The road to VCDX, Part 4: Discipline

Wow, again it has been a few weeks after the last post around my journey in becoming VCDX-DTM. And what a past few weeks it were. If anyone told me it was this hard, I would probably laughed at them. Since the last blog I learned something about myself I didn’t think I had: Discipline.

Let’s get back in time a few weeks. My design got roasted big time. But what do you do when you fall down? Of course, you get up again. And that’s what I did. I had one major goal: Submit on the 25th of August, one day before I would fly to Las Vegas.

In my last post, I wrote about creating a story line for the design and stick to it. And so I did. I completely rewrote most of what I already had and made it a lot easier for the reader to follow me.  Unfortunately, I also have a full time job as an architect at a big insurance company in the Netherlands, so I had to do this next to that job. And that’s where discipline comes in. When you are so focussed in achieving something like I do now, it will become easier to stick to the plan.

I learned some other stuff as well along the way:

  • Word 2016 for Mac still sucks ass. Auto save does a good job, but you need to make sure that everything you do is saved.
  • Making copies to different cloud providers is a good idea. I used both Stack and Dropbox and when one of them broke, I still had the copy of the other. Which saved me from a heart attack.
  • Having people to guide you who are true specialists in certain areas is really helpful.
  • Paying those people off with massive spare ribs is how you get them to stay helpful.
  • Drinking coffee during both day and night doesn’t really help in the long run.
  • Drinking beer doesn’t either.
  • The road in becoming VCDX has a low W.A.F.
  • It’s hard to explain what an IT Architect does for a living to people who think a Raspberry Pi is actually something you bake in the oven. It’s even harder to explain why you drag yourself in a journey like this.
  • A homelab is essential in validating stuff. I wrote most of the design at a customer that uses Vblocks (which I don’t think have a lot of W.A.F.), but I still got to validate and test some of the things that I designed.
  • The design is one thing, but don’t forget about the supporting documentation. That could be a lot of work as well.
  • Oh and be sure to link your requirements instead of just referring to them as text. Saves you a lot of work when you change the sequence of requirements.

And yesterday it finally happened. I submitted the whole thing. Basically enough pages to lift a monitor with 6 centimeters.


Now the waiting starts for at least a couple of weeks. And hopefully it’s good enough to be invited for a defense at the Palo Alto office of VMware.

I will keep you posted.

Continu reading: Part 5, Waiting, Waiting..

Johan van Amersfoort