Written by Sam McGeown
Published on 30/10/2015 - Read in about 4 min (642 words)

Apologies in advance if this is post is a jumbled nonsense, I’m still way too excited!

This morning I woke to the news that I have passed my VCDX-CMA!

This was my second attempt at VCDX and although the first failure was a painful experience, the lessons learned from it were invaluable to take into the defence the second time around. Failing doesn’t have to be a negative experience - if there is one thing that I will take from the VCDX program it is that there is ALWAYS more I need to learn, and I can always do better. Learning has to be a way of life (in this industry especially!) and the minute you stop, you start falling back.

My defence went better than last time (clearly!) but I still wasn’t confident that I’d pass. In fact as the wait went on I started thinking more and more like I’d failed, but I think it’s easier to remember the bits you struggled with than the questions you answered effortlessly!

According to the VCDX directory, and it looks like I’m only the 3rd 5th person in the UK to hold the VCDX-CMA! *Edited: There are some additional CMAs for double VCDX’s added now*

What next?

Ideally I’d like to submit a DCV and an NV design at some point - I have the VCAP exams for DCV and the VCIX exam for the NV track, so it’s just a case of having time to find and write up a design.

For now though, I think I’ll just enjoy this one and take a break!


A massive thank you has to go to…

  • Ruth, my wife - she’s been very understanding about lots of late nights and weekends working, missing time with her and the kids to study and also had to deal with me being stressed out at times. She always encourages me, always pushes me to be better and to go further and always believes in me, even when I don’t.
  • Gregg Robertson - he originally pushed/tricked/coerced me into aiming for the VCDX and has been a great study partner, also passing his VCDX-DCV this round - massive congratulations.
  • Lior Kamrat - Lior was the 3rd member of our little study group and unfortunately didn’t make it this time round. His design was very similar to mine in a lot of ways so it was great to bounce off each other’s ideas and preparation. I am sure that his experience this time around will be the platform for success next time - as mine was.
  • Larus Hjartarson - Larus has written some excellent articles on preparing for the VCDX defence (especially his scenario preparation) which were invaluable resources getting ready. I also had the privilege of meeting up with Larus a few times at VMworld this year to do mock defences and discuss strategy.
  • Simon Eady - my good friend, colleague and coffee boy Simon - he provides a heady mix of insults and encouragement, and is my go-to vROps guru!
  • Karl Childs and Chris Colotti - these guys worked really hard to put together the defences and manage the VCDX program, even when it looked like there wouldn’t be a slot for me to defend Karl worked feverishly to make sure that it was sorted.
  • My panellists - I’m not supposed to discuss who my panellists were, but I wanted to thank them for their time and the effort that they put in - they spend a lot of personal time and effort on the defences on a voluntary basis.
  • Xtravirt - my employer, they gave me the opportunity to step up to consulting nearly two years ago now, and through that I have had the opportunity to develop and hone my skills and become someone VCDX level!
  • Anyone else I’ve forgotten who’s helped me on the way!

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