VCAP-DCA: Will I ever get it done...

Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
I passed the VCAP-DCD in march 2014, aiming to take the DCA by summer. Then fall. Then life screwed me over (surgery) and postponed it again.

I just got back in the mood for studying, having renewed my CCNP yesterday and I want to keep the momentum.

Problem is, every time I get started, I get distracted by something else. I have everything I need:

- a big ESXi host, capable of running a nested environment comfortably,
- the VCAP-DCA official cert guide
- the unofficial one by Jason Langer and Josh Coen
- TIME!

But somehow, I just don't get anywhere close to starting in a productive way. Anyone else doing this at the moment, facing similar issues? Maybe if I wasn't alone in this, it might make it more interesting. I would love to tackle the VCDX challenge afterwards, ideally this fall but I have to get my ass in gear if I ever want to get there.
Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
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Comments

  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Welcome to the club. It's a constant struggle my man. just keep at it!!!
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    Hard to keep at it when you can't get started :)
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Hard to keep at it when you can't get started :)



    Nothing wrong with taking a break sometimes. Getting burned out is normal. Take a breather for a few months.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Definitely take a break if needed. That'll give you time to rebuild your environment with Vsphere 6 and take the new version of the test. :)
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The DCA is easier than you may think provided you've been managing (or have previously managed) an environment for say a couple of years or so. I gather you are more on the design side of things, but the the admin aspect shouldn't be too difficult. Hit your weaker areas hard and you'll do just fine.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    I've been VCP since 2.5... so I do have a lot of hands-on and have worked in many varied environments. I guess this hands-on exam (and it's cost) intimidate me a bit. I just want to make sure I pass on the first attempt...
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • zcarenowzcarenow Posts: 110Member
    If you're single without kids, you should have no excuse to get it done unless it was a health issue or some tragedy in your family.
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    I'm 45 and my son is 19 so... No excuse is a bit of an easy thing to say... I just have a hard time focusing and getting started.
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    I'm 45 and my son is 19 so... No excuse is a bit of an easy thing to say... I just have a hard time focusing and getting started.

    They say with age you get slower with learning; do you want a statistic to be true? icon_wink.gif
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    I just finished and passed the CCNP Security 300-206 last week... I can keep up. What I said from the start is that THIS particular exam prep, I can't get into... Like Essendon said, maybe I'm thinking too hard about this one... Anyway, I just finished setting up my lab and configuring my SSH sessions in SecureCRT. Let's see if I can get around to it now. At least I'm making progress... I just wish I had a lab manual or something to give me tasks to do etc... Like a mock lab. We should come together as a group and build a lab guide. I'll open a new thread for this...
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    There are several study guides online. They've broken down the exam blueprint and gave examples of each task.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    Oh I know, but it's more fun when it's laid out like an exam/practice test... Looking for motivational tools :)
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Oh I know, but it's more fun when it's laid out like an exam/practice test... Looking for motivational tools :)

    Well if you want Architect192; I'm currently wrapping up my CCNA R&S study (probably about 3 more weeks, only working on subnetting/ACL's want to get under 30 seconds per, @ 50 seconds roughly) atm, and will be doing the VCAP5-DCA afterwards. if you want to bounce ideas of each other I'd be happy to assist. :)

    My home-lab is extensive; check out my blog below, plus I just added a 3rd Dell R610 to the cluster so now the VMUG Advantage is being fully utilized. :)

    I'm sort of going down the same route as you, except I want CCNP in DC and then a DCA/DCD but by the time I get there it will probably just be a DCA and VCIX in Design. To me getting a CCNP in DC makes sense to me logically since my end game is deep into VMware and DC from Cisco seems like it goes hand-n-hand.
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    I wanted to do a CCNP DC exam to renew my R&S but since I hadn't done the CCNA DC... kinda pointless. I crave getting a top tier cert (VCDX/CCIE) but I need to get past this hurdle first. Let's see how my week goes... Thanks for the offer :)
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Check these links out:

    VCAP Test Track (lab on a lap) | SOSTech
    VCAP5-DCA Practice environment – Test Track v.550 – Lab on a Laptop II | SOSTech

    This guy develops the DCA exam (known as GSXRules here on TE)
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • GSXRulesGSXRules Posts: 109Member
    Essendon wrote: »
    Check these links out:

    VCAP Test Track (lab on a lap) | SOSTech
    VCAP5-DCA Practice environment – Test Track v.550 – Lab on a Laptop II | SOSTech

    This guy develops the DCA exam (known as GSXRules here on TE)

    Hey, I know that guy! looks like he finally got around to updating his environment to 5.5 too! icon_cool.gif
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    GSXRules wrote: »
    Hey, I know that guy! looks like he finally got around to updating his environment to 5.5 too! icon_cool.gif

    LOL :) Thanks Josh... Now you guys stop replying to this thread. I'm trying (REALLY!) to study right now and I get distracted easily (oh! A squirrel!)
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • zcarenowzcarenow Posts: 110Member
    I just finished and passed the CCNP Security 300-206 last week... I can keep up. What I said from the start is that THIS particular exam prep, I can't get into... Like Essendon said, maybe I'm thinking too hard about this one... Anyway, I just finished setting up my lab and configuring my SSH sessions in SecureCRT. Let's see if I can get around to it now. At least I'm making progress... I just wish I had a lab manual or something to give me tasks to do etc... Like a mock lab. We should come together as a group and build a lab guide. I'll open a new thread for this...

    Maybe you're just not passionate about the VCP like the Cisco stuff. Maybe you don't have quite the interest that you thought you would have. It happens. I find the Cisco stuff pretty dry.
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    When I was studying for DCA, I was going through a redesign/redeploy on my company's internal virtual infrastructure concurrently, and I tried to incorporate as many of the items from the VCAP blueprint as I could, from deployment, to management, to measuring performance, and so on, and taking a deeper dive as needed. I'm thankful I was given the leeway to take my time with it then; I probably wouldn't have found the focus required to get it done otherwise.

    I also had taken the Troubleshooting course about 18 months earlier. That certainly helped.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    @Architect192 - so were you able to make a start on this?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    Sort of... for two days... I'm going on a business trip to Dublin (Ireland) this week. After I come back - I'm going to try to get back into it. Maybe watch some CBTs for review at the hotel while I'm there, depends....
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Essendon wrote: »
    Check these links out:

    VCAP Test Track (lab on a lap) | SOSTech
    VCAP5-DCA Practice environment – Test Track v.550 – Lab on a Laptop II | SOSTech

    This guy develops the DCA exam (known as GSXRules here on TE)

    O la la! - I may just change course after my CCNA and do the DCA before the MCSA; Josh this looks awesome!

    bowing.gifbowing.gifbowing.gif
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    Here's a quick update on this...

    I finally booked my exam for May 4th (2015) so I have motivation there. It's paid for. And it's freakin expensive so I don't want to waste $ by failing. So I've been studying for the past week, lots of the material is review so no biggy so far. I tried Josh's mock test exam to sort of assess my current level (excellent setup and challenging questions) and did pretty good (even found a mistake in one of the autocorrection script in the lab). I might have been overthinking this exam, but I won't take it for granted.

    I also found a "study partner", more like a "let's get motivated by telling each other what progress we made", so this is going to happen in less than 3 weeks.

    I'm hunting for practice scenarios now to make labbing more fun.
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • daviddwsdaviddws Posts: 303Member
    Deathmage wrote: »
    They say with age you get slower with learning; do you want a statistic to be true? icon_wink.gif

    I dont think that learning and motivation are correlated in any way. There are plenty of motivated people that have trouble learning new material. I think perhaps as others have said a 1-2 month break would be beneficial, and then come back with guns blazing and knock it out.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • GSXRulesGSXRules Posts: 109Member
    Here's a quick update on this...

    I also found a "study partner", more like a "let's get motivated by telling each other what progress we made", so this is going to happen in less than 3 weeks.

    I'm hunting for practice scenarios now to make labbing more fun.

    Attention to detail is king. Have your study partner write you questions and respond in text. Make sure you hit all of the requirements laid out in their scenario.

    If you want labbing scenarios search reddit, the VMware communities etc for people asking questions reporting scenarios/etc. Recreate in your environment and resolve.

    Then repeat using PowerCLI

    Then repeat using Orchestrator
  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member
    Well here it is guys... I answered my own question. I got it done on monday.

    Passed the VCAP-DCA with a decent score. It was tougher than I though, had a few questions that I didn't even answer or just partial. Worst thing is, most of the things I focused on for the exam, where I knew I was lacking, weren't in the exam. But I learned new stuff so... :)

    One question in particular stumped me. Nothing worse than getting a question and going: ??? You can do this in vSphere? I have done quite a few of the advanced tasks in real life but never encountered that particular item (can't disclose obviously).

    One thing I'll say is that there are things on the exam that are NOT covered by the VCAP-DCA study guide. Read the actual VMware PDF documentation for each section/topic to make sure you cover everything.

    The PDFs are available during the exam, I referred to them 2-3 times max.

    One thing I did was to run "esxcli esxcli command list" and paste the output in notepad. It's a quick and easy way to find the complete command path instead of trying to memorize everything.

    Also, <tab> <tab> to list all command line commands or "partial <tab><tab>" i.e vicfg <tab> <tab> gets you the list of all vicfg-* commands, if you forget the specifics. Both in vMA and ESXi shell.

    The partnering didn't work much, my partner didn't keep up/have the time to commit to it. What did it for me is booking the exam. It's paid. I HAD to do it :)

    So good luck to anyone else starting that path. I'm taking a break (I think) then probably start the journey to VCDX.
    Current: VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCP-DCV2/3/4/5, VCP-NV 6 - CCNP, CCNA Security - MCSE: Server Infrastructure 2012 - ITIL v3 - A+ - Security+
    Working on: CCNA Datacenter (2nd exam), Renewing VMware certs...
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congrats on the pass. The path from VCAP to VCDX is a long one.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Excellent Work! Congrats. Go for that VCDX, won't be too hard for an Architect like yourself!
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congratulations!

    Obviously, not interested in you violating the NDA, but do you have any feedback on which was more useful, the official guide or the unofficial one? Or is it the regular situation, where they're both good, and both worth the time?
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Passed the VCAP-DCA with a decent score.

    See I told ya! I knew you'd pass without much problem. Congrats!

    I highly recommend you join a study group for the VCDX, there are sure to be a few in the US. I'm part of one here in Australia, lemme know if you want to join mate. More the merrier!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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