Well, I took the VCAP5-DCA exam on Monday 8/19, and it was everything the blueprint said it would be.
This was by far the most challenging certification exam I have taken to date. Like many others before me have said, I think the content was fair and a good representation of the product. The testing center setup does leave a little to be desired because you are working from a jump box on a single monitor, so navigating is a little cumbersome. Others have complained of slowness, but my testing center had a pretty good performing rig and I didn’t feel like it was dragging too much. I started at question 1 and made it all the way to 26. There was one question and a few tasks in multi-part questions that I did not complete because I could not remember the exact method at the moment while under pressure and there were other questions that had plenty of low hanging fruit. I ran the clock out trying to finish those few things, but some did not get done. I used every bit of the 3.5 hours with no breaks. Fortunately, partial credit is possible.
For study material I used the following:
- Trainsignal VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale class by presented by Jason Nash
- I can’t say enough good things about this training. You can get a Trainsignal subscription to ALL of their content for $49/mo. This class is well worth a one month subscription and they have many other courses of interest that are on my to-do list.
- The vBrownBag sessions presented by ProfessionalVMware.com
- I was not aware of vBrownBag until I started to prepare for this exam, but it is something I will follow going forward. There is a whole series available for free covering the VCAP5-DCA topics and they are packed with great information. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
- Chris Whal’s VCAP5-DCA study checklist
- This well put together checklist covers the whole blueprint and is what kept me organized when going through all of the topics.
- My own lab
- This is probably the most important study tool. Go through the whole blueprint and make sure you do everything in lab. I work with VMware every day at work, but there are plenty of things that I have just simply never had a need to do or don’t do often and these are what can get you in the exam.
Overall, I think I did pretty well on the exam, but I don’t feel nearly as confident as I’d like. It will be a long 15 days waiting for the results, fortunately, I’ll have VMworld and a vacation with my family to keep me occupied. I’ll update here when I get the results.
Time to start studying for the VCAP5-DCD!
On the 29th I got an email from VMware showing that I passed the exam. Woohoo!