I’ve been tracking the VCDX for over a year now. I am scheduled to defend my design at Partner Exchange 2011. This will be my second attempt at the defense as my first attempt was at VMworld 2010 and I obviously did not pass. I have not talked much about my first defense; mostly because publicly admitting I failed at something was not high on my to-do’s list.
VMworld 2010 was communicated as the last allowed attempt at the VCDX3 so when I received notice that I had not passed, I had a whole range of emotions from being angry to extremely disappointed in myself. At the time, it was the first time I had failed at something in my career. I remember having immediate thoughts that I would not attempt the VCDX again and as time went on, those thoughts turned into how I would change my design and what I would do differently if there were another chance.
When VMware announced there would be another chance to become a VCDX3 at PEX 2011, I’m not going to lie, I was a little excited. You see I had thought I would be starting over from scratch going through the Enterprise Admin and Design exams all over again. I think it was this news of one last chance at PEX that pushed me over the edge and so I began putting those design changes down on to paper.
Instead of making changes to my first design, I thought it would be best to start from scratch. Trying to figure out what was wrong or what I missed wasn’t healthy for me nor was a good use of time, so it was out with the old and in with the new. The process was more difficult the second round as I attempted to cover every little thing ensuring nothing was left out and that all things were covered. As most have already communicated, the application is down right nasty and probably the most difficult part of the process (aside from standing in front of the panel). I spent countless hours on it and attempted to apply whatever lessons I learned from the first attempt to it. I used every bit of time allowed and submitted all required documents to VMware the day everything was due as I ferociously made fine tune adjustments.
On to the dreaded waiting game!
It seemed as though the waiting for this round was much longer than I had remembered the first time. All documents were turned in right before Thanksgiving and it was only very recent that results were communicated. As time went on I didn’t let things worry me too much as I hadn’t seen anyone tweet about getting their results (thank goodness for Twitter!). Finally the day came when I got that email I had been waiting for. I had done it a second time and was accepted to defend my design!
Some final thoughts…
As we get closer and closer to PEX 2011, I’m beginning to block out time to prepare. I won’t go into every little detail I’m doing as it has been so well communicated by others and honestly, was not my purpose for this article. It is funny though, I find myself reading all those same articles even though I read them 6 or so months ago!
Pass or fail, making it to the defense, let alone twice, has been a great success in my eyes. My first attempt I looked at myself as a complete failure. Stepping back and looking at that long road to the defense has shown me it was not a complete failure. The actual process taught me so much about how to be a better Architect, how to better communicate and articulate myself, and I think most importantly, taught me a lot about myself personally. I have also met a lot of great people through the process. Individuals who like me have gone through the process and have both passed and failed.
So this second round when I walk out of that room, pass or fail, I know I’ll succeed in my eyes (at least a little bit) One thing is for sure; Thursday, February 10th at about 3:00 I’ll be a better Architect…