I passed my second VCAP exam!
I found myself writing this post while taking the exam, so I figured I should probably go ahead and put it down in bits.
The exam has been well described by several others, so I won’t duplicate that. What I will add is my preparations and own thoughts.
1. The exam was difficult to study for. I set aside quite a bit of time to study, but towards the end I felt like I wasn’t getting much out of it. Looking at the Blueprint, it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t a bunch of facts that were need as much as it was knowing how to design. In the end, there were some questions directly related to core facts, but not many that wouldn’t have turned up on the VCP. Only a couple of times did I think “I would just look this up while creating a design!”
2. Watch the demonstration video for the exam. It was spot on and made the first visio-like question much less intimidating then it would’ve been.
3. I approached the exam a bit different than I normally do. There is question flagging and the ability to go backwards, so I decided to start with the visual questions first, since they would take the most time. I then went backwards and did all the short multiple choice questions. Finally, I went forward again to cover the longer multiple choice questions and any other big questions I wanted to review. I didn’t have time to review all the flagged questions, but I did finish all the questions with 4 minutes to spare (much better than I did with the VCAP-DCA).
4. You need to know the entire stack. If you only deal with the VMware part of the environment, you’ll have a difficult time. You definitely will need to be familiar with network and storage terminology and design. To me, this makes sense since no virtual infrastructure (and especially a cloud infrastructure) is designed in a technology vacuum.
I definitely feel this exam is exactly what it thought it should be. It was challenging, but there were no major curveballs or questions that I felt were there as landminds.