Online VCDX Workshop (w/ Q & A)

By | April 7, 2017

Since the very day it was announced back in 2013 at VMworld Europe the VCDX workshop has always been an inspiration to me, so you could say I attended the workshop as a lab rat at a certain point in time and I do my best to attend these workshops whenever they’re available because they just get better and better and frankly the questions that come from the audience are most valuable.

This is the first online VCDX workshop and it was lead by Joe Silvagi (@VMPrime) and Karl Childs (@KarlChilds), I will not delve into the details of the session as I truly urge you to attend one as it is a workshop not to be missed and it will clear out, pave the way and clear the fog for you in terms of VCDX submission, here a couple of blog posts (1 from me) and two other I found online:

  1. VCDX Workshop VMworld Europe (Barcelona)
  2. Thoughts on VCDX Workshop
  3. VCDX workshop notes

Now, I would really like to emphasis how these workshops are advancing and are touching on solid points that you as a VCDX candidate really need to know prior to preparing/submitting your application.

I am very much thankful for the efforts that are being done for the VCDX program and I am sure that things are being steered the right way, with that said you will find here under the written part of the Q&A from the session [I scrapped the names so that not to violate anyone’s privacy], please be keen to differentiate between the Q (question) and A (answer), the information provided here-under is as-is without any modification except for the names.

Q&A Session for VCDX Online Workshop Pilot – April 2017

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Attendee – 17:18
Q: Can you elborate on the partner enablement? What do we have to do (as a partner)? when will it get into effect?
Karl Childs – 17:20
A: The partner enablement strategy covers working with TAMs, as an example, at large partners to help manage the process with the partner. Other pieces include more of a turn-key package for the candidates, and providing special dedicated workshops
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Attendee – 17:20
Q: what mean by CMA , DT, And NV?
Karl Childs – 17:26
A: They are the different tracks. CMA = Cloud Management and Automation. DT = Desktop. NV = Network Virt
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Attendee – 17:23
Q: TAMs are afaik only for large (premier) partners. So no joy for enterprise partners? Any stuff for EMEA planned? I see all the stuff in the US and some in the UK, but mainland Europe is pretty thin on this.
Karl Childs – 17:26
A: Using TAMs was just one example. By providing packages of documentations, workshop decks, training, etc we can offer help to all partners.
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Attendee – 17:27
Q: I’m going for a VCDX-NV and with the change of VCIX-NV (certification) to VCIX6-NV (badge), I’m still eligible for attempting a VCDX-NV correct?
Karl Childs – 17:27
A: Yes, the VCIX still shows in your transcript. We actually look at the VCIX as the real prereq.
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Attendee – 17:31
Q: I notice in our partner portal that the VCIX6 designations don’t show up and it’s only looking at which Partner members have the original VCIX.  Probably not your purview but my mangement didn’t believe I passed until I showed them my transcript haha
Karl Childs – 17:32
A: Yeah, I don’t work on that portal side, but make that recommendation to them (which you probably already have.) Since it still shows in CertManager, that’s what gets reported to Partner University. I would think it should work?
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Attendee – 17:32
Q: Will he do a remote defense only or in personal defense is an option?
Karl Childs – 17:33
A: for additional VCDXs (doubles, triples), it is remote only, by telephone and WebEx.
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Attendee – 17:38
Q: I suppose if working as a group (of 2) the two people must submit all designs?
Karl Childs – 17:39
A: Yes, a design shared by more than one candidate must be submitted by all candidates at the same time.
Karl Childs – 17:40
A: and they would submit the same desing, but as indiivdual applications
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Attendee – 17:46
Q: As Joe mentioned, he used to architect but never really wrote out a design document, I fall in this category, how did he get more experience in writing a design document?
Karl Childs – 17:50
A: Joe is coming up on a section where he talks more about his experience, let’s ask him to speak to this at that time.
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Attendee – 17:48
Q: If a design is jointly worked and submited by 2 candidates with vSphere + NSX  – Can 1 candidate submit the design for VCDX DCV and 2nd for VCDX-NV? or both have to be same VCDX track ?
Karl Childs – 17:50
A: They can be different tracks, as long as they are submitted at the same time.
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Attendee – 17:52
Q: Are we going to get the slides after?
Karl Childs – 17:53
A: Yes. After you fill out the survey at the end, you will receive the slides.
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Attendee – 17:54
Q: As far as I understand it, there is no gain from addiotional complexity. However, is there a minimum framework one should have?
Would it be sufficient to cover all areas (in the BLUEPRINT), but not with 50+ hosts but with 5 or 10 per datacenter? Think of 
Karl Childs – 17:57
A: Yes. As long as it covers every element in the blueprint, the size and scope won’t matter. It’s more important that it is laid out in a structured, well laid out way for the panelists to review it easier. 
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Attendee – 18:09
Q: Are we allowed to use some of the templates and modified artifacts from VVD, provided we cite the source?
Karl Childs – 18:11
A: Templates are fine, but the content inside of that must be modified and adapted to reflect your specific design. The VVD design itself cannot be used, but feel free to use the templates as a baseline.
Karl Childs – 18:12
A:  It’s the same concept as using a standard Install guide, but adapted to your specific design, reflecting the right names, etc.
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Attendee – 18:12
Q: Is mentoring by the current VCDX is still in effect? are we still able to ask them to guide us if by chance their available, how do we go about with this process?
Karl Childs – 18:13
A: Yes, mentoring is still available. Look in the vcdx directory, and some of them are tagged as mentors. You may reach out to them directly.
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Attendee – 18:12
Q: Off topic a little, but what are the exact ID requirements to enter the defense submission room?
Karl Childs – 18:14
A: Same as a test center: picture ID. You will not be able to take any computers or materials into the room, so we will store your belongings before you go in. You may only take in your presentation (on USB, etc.)
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Attendee – 18:15
Q: Regarding the details on a design, I am preparing for NV for my submissions and in I have done the design and implementation from the ground up, including all hardware and excluding phyiscal network devices (i.e router, switches, firewalls).  (1/2)
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Attendee – 18:15
Q: How detailed should I be regarding the non VMware components? (2/2)
Karl Childs – 18:30
A: Per Joe, as detailed as it needs to be to show why you used that component, and how it interacts and connects to the VMware components, and how it met your requirements.
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Attendee – 18:23
Q: @karl Is one government issued ID acceptable? Or do we need multiple?
Karl Childs – 18:25
A: Two are required, at least one with photo
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Attendee – 18:23
Q: Is it mandate for a person to be at Architect role to do VCDX ? or A Technology love administrator role person can pass the pre-req and go for VCDX?
Karl Childs – 18:25
A: Anyone who has met the prereqs can attempt VCDX. THose with real Architect experience often do better, so we recommend if you don’t have that, try to get some customer-facing experience.
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Attendee – 18:24
Q: Any plans on an offical “mentor office”? with some kind of “response SLA”. Like a central point for things, formal questions, general stuff. volunteer mentors are hard to come by and very busy
Karl Childs – 18:26
A: Currently there is not. 
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Attendee – 18:42
Q: it is not in the blueprint, but would it be a “good thing” to include a small section about the stakeholders? Kinda like building a “story/background”
Karl Childs – 18:43
A: doesn’t hurt!
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Attendee – 18:51
Q: Can I come to the defense in a batman costume?
Karl Childs – 18:55
A: i say yes…but the panelists might not appreciate it
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Attendee – 18:59
Q: So minimum 60+?
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Attendee – 18:56
Q: on a serious note for the panel is there any particular dress code? As with a customer presentation youd go in a shirt/tie/suit etc
Karl Childs – 19:01
A: no specific dress code, but we recommend busines casual at least. Many wear a tie. The more you show you are serious, the better impact you make on the panelists.
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Attendee – 18:58
Q: It would be nice to allow for voip next time too. Otherwise, it ties up my desk phone…:)
Karl Childs – 19:02
A: Thanks Marco, I thought the same thing, we’ll look at the options for doing that on future calls.
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Attendee – 19:02
Q: Shouldnt the panelists be basing their score on your answers to the questions and the discussion
Karl Childs – 19:03
A: They do. But a key part of the defense is how you present yourself. Your visual and verbal communications. Just like any customer-facing architect.
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Attendee – 19:02
Q: hey Karl – I’m slated to defend in May, any idea when defense appts will be out? need to book travel
Karl Childs – 19:04
A: They come out 3-4 weeks before the defense dates.
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Attendee – 19:03
Q: Thats ounds very much like they are letting their personal feelings impact their scoring?
Karl Childs – 19:10
A: No, they do not. But think about how your answers come across if you were not dressed as considering this seriously. Perception does make a difference if the panelist is evaluating your answer to a question.
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Attendee – 19:08
Q: this time is in CO right? I was scheduled for PA on the last 2 but had to pull out due to family issues
Karl Childs – 19:10
A: Correct.
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Attendee – 19:17
Q: how many Eng involved in defence interview
Karl Childs – 19:22
A: All the panelists are VCDXs, and are typically Architects.
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Attendee – 19:21
Q: I am a bit concered about the “language barrier”. For a non-native speaker like me the VCDX is obviously harder because we have to get our message across on a foreign language. This independent of our skills as architect, how is grammar/lang scored?
Karl Childs – 19:22
A: Grammar and language is not scored. The panelists understand the language barriers and take that into consideration. 
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Attendee – 19:25
Q: How do deferrals work?
Karl Childs – 19:26
A: If needed, you send a request to vcdx@vmware.com to defer your defense. We will schedule accordingly.
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Attendee – 19:25
Q: For team submission, how granular do we need to go into which architect wrote what piece? I ask because on my team, we have both had a heavy hand in all components, sometimes as scribe and sometimes as reviewer
Karl Childs – 19:29
A: You don’t need to dictate who wrote what, but can emphasize specialty areas. In fact, the important thing is that every candidate can speak to every element of the design, since they will be defending individually.
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Attendee – 19:24
Q: How the score of defense structured?
Karl Childs – 19:32
A: The panelists provide a score for each element of the blueprint. An algorithm determines the overall Pass/Fail, based on all those individual blueprint scores, across the three panelists. You receive that final P/F score and the areas you scored lower in.
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Attendee – 19:32
Q: Can I bring my own markers into the defense?
Karl Childs – 19:33
A: No, only your presentation on USB stick will be allowed. We will make sure we have working markers in the room.
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Attendee – 19:34
Q: will we get this slde deck?
Karl Childs – 19:37
A: Yes, after you fill out the survey at the end of the workshop, you will receive the slide deck.
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Attendee – 19:40
Q: What scary me as French, i am not Fluent, my flow is quite low. But I want achieve VCDX it will be a big lack to optimize time
Karl Childs – 19:41
A: It is difficult, I won’t deny that. I hope at some point, as we grow and have more panelists, we will be able to offer panels in different languages.
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Attendee – 19:40
Q: do i talk to the panelists like customers or like panelists  in my presentation?
Karl Childs – 19:42
A: During the presentation portion, talk to them as panelists. When it changes to the design scenario, talk to them like customers, as they will play that part.
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Attendee – 19:40
Q: Where do you get travel and facilites access logistics information for each site?
Karl Childs – 19:42
A: You can search on vmware site, but I’m not sure where it’s at for public. But we will send you that information when you recieve the defense invitation.
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Attendee – 19:44
Q: Can we get an extract of Q&A here ?
Karl Childs – 19:44
A: Not sure, I will try. Hopefully WebEx lets me export it.
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Attendee – 19:48
Q: do we get Visa invite as well with defense invitation?
Karl Childs – 19:47
A: Yes, if needed. You will need to let us know you need one.
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Attendee – 19:47
Q: What is the 24-month goal for certified VCDX?
Karl Childs – 19:48
A: Growth is important to the program. The specific number is an internal number, but we want to multiply the number we currently have.
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Attendee – 19:48
Q: Is there any where online that we can find out the current number of VCDX (per track) that currently exists?
Karl Childs – 19:49
A: Yes, look here: https://vcdx.vmware.com/
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Attendee – 19:51
Q: https://blogs.vmware.com/education/2015/02/from-vcdx-candidate-to-panelist.html
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Attendee – 20:38
Q: Hello Karl In an event you unfortunately failed your first defense, how long can you submit a next design? Can restructuring the failed design be still be possible  to submit?
Karl Childs – 20:46
A: Yes. If you are updating the current design, submit a change log and you will move directly to the defense. If you restructure the design enough so that it changes the fundamental design, it will need to go through the application review again.
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Attendee – 20:44
Q: if you submitted two designs and was approved for defense, can you schedule it once or it will be scheduled with different dates?
Karl Childs – 20:47
A: You can only submit one design at a time.
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Attendee- 20:54
Q: Please paste the survey link here
Karl Childs – 20:55
A: http://bit.ly/2o7uHH6
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Attendee – 20:56
Q: Is there any future plan for more deep dive workshops?
Karl Childs – 20:56
A: we’ll repeat the workshop, but it won’t go deeper. 
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Attendee – 20:59
Q: I read that there are some discounted fees for developing countries, can tell me how much it is for India?
Karl Childs – 20:59
A: It is the same price globally.
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Attendee – 20:57
Q: I have a question but the Mic not working Well, Karl can you ask please for me if already happen that a candidate wanst fluent in english
Karl Childs – 20:59
A: The panel will interpret as best they can, but the panelists are primarily English speakers.
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Attendee – 21:00
Q: the community mentoring link doesn’t seem to work http://vmw.re/1zeTnKu
Karl Childs – 21:01
A: That may be an old link. I am not familiar with it.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it has/will help you,
(Abdullah)^2

 

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