Passing VCP-DCV (2019)
If you have read one of my previous blog post, you will know I passed VCP-DCV last year (2019). My path to certification has not been an easy one and I'll like to talk a little about my experience.
From early 2019, VMware made a change to its certification policy, removing the mandatory 'recertification' of existing certification within 2 years. Now, VMware certs no longer have an expiry date. This applies to both new and existing candidates. Thus, many previously expired certs will now appear active. I have previously passed VCP-DCV 5.0 in 2011 and I am one of them. This means if I were to take a new VCP-DCV exam now, there is one lesser exam (vSphere Foundation exam) to take.
I opted for a vSphere ICM on-demand course (as I needed the flexibility of attending the course in my free time due to my work commitment). I have to admit that an actual instructor-led classroom course would probably be way more effective. Especially as my on-demand lab portion of the course crashed after the first few lessons and I was not able to proceed. Having the flexibility of attending the course in your free time means you have to be very disciplined as well. I can imagine this will be a challenge for most people unlike those attending classroom courses. In my case, it took me more than 1 month as I was constantly distracted by other priorities. As part of my preparation, I set up my own VMware lab environment on my MacBook Pro. I may create another blog on how I set up the lab environment. It is a simple set up with 1 domain controller, 1 virtual router, 1 NAS, 1 vCenter, a couple of VMs, for me to play around vCenter and get familiar with the navigation.
So, I took the exam on 21 Dec 2019, hoping to clear one thing off my mind before the holiday season starts. There are a total of 70 questions. The passing score is 300, out of the total score of 500. I scored 290, just 10 marks shy of passing. Although this means that just by getting 1 or 2 more of the questions right I could have passed, just by taking the exam, I felt I had learned a lot. From the exam, I immediately know which are the areas I need to focus on improving. In addition, your test result printout explicitly highlights for you which are the subject areas of the questions you have gotten wrong. Thus, it is not difficult for me to work on those specific areas.
VMware's retake policy requires the candidate to wait at least 7 calendar days prior to attempting the same exam again. I spare no time in getting the next available slot, and on 31 Dec 2019 (literately the last day of the year), I retook the exam a 2nd time. This time, I passed the exam with a score of 367. Within the day itself, barely 7 hours after passing the exam, I receive the email from Acclaim on my earning the VCP- DCV 2019 badge from VMware.
One more thing
So, with the passing of VCP-DCV, the next path naturally would be to look at VCAP-DCV. As of 2020, one day after me passing the exam, VMware updated its website on the pre-requisite for VCAP-DCV 2020, which is to pass VCP-DCV 2020. I have raised a support ticket to query on this as there is currently no upgrade path from VCP-DCV 2019 to VCP-DCV 2020. At this moment, the exam and course for VCP-DCV 2020 are exactly the same as the ones which I took (vSphere ICM 6.7). And VMware does not allow me to retake the exam which I have passed. It has been 1 week and I am still communicating with support on this but at this moment. it seems like there is no way out for me. I believe I am not the only one facing this problem and I really hope there is an easier solution to this.
"What do you think?"
Let me know if you think there is any important/useful details I have missed in the above write up.