It starts now! Operation Grandslam

For those of you that work in virtualisation specifically with VMware products there comes a time where you want and need to get qualified further. I’ve already got my VCP3.5, 4 and 5 but now’s the time to really kick the shit out of the exams and get some advanced certification. My motivations are simple, I want that  VCDX and I want people to know what I’m really capable of. I also want my Son to Max and wife Tammy to be proud of me and that’s more than enough motivation anyone should need.

As with all ex forces we sometimes like to plan these things like a proper military operation so I’ve calculated what sort of time I can dedicate to this quest which needs to be signed off by the long haired commander (my wife!)

The mission is simple. Achieve VCDX.


  1. Pass VCAP-DCA Exam
  2. Pass VCAP-DCD Exam
  3. Design selection
  4. Join VCDX study group and work with my peers
  5. Get a VCDX Mentor
  6. Design completion and review to send VMware
  7. Prepare defense
  8. Take Defense
  9. Take my wife and son on a nice warm holiday and drown my sorrows or celebrate.
  10. Go again if needs be and seek additional support and education

As in true spirit of an ex forces soldier all good missions or operations should have a good name associated with it.

So “Operation Grandslam” is the overall Operation name. It speaks for itself really!

There will be three sub-operation names to track progress which I’ll use in this blog for ease of reference.

The first Operation name which covers the VCAP5-DCA will be called “Operation Genesis”. It all starts somewhere!

Second Operation name to cover the VCAP5-DCD phase will be called “Operation Quick Sand” as it for me will mean that I’m truly stuck in to this now and will not be turning back till it’s done.

Last but not least “Operation Neptune’s Trident”. There are three parts to the VCDX, the first is the Design phase, the second is Defense prepartion and last is the day of days i.e. the day I actually crap my pants and go and do the defence.

So now that I’ve got a rough plan and order of battle together I need to see what sort of time I can dedicate to this in reality. I’ve recently been on a seminar and some of the commitment the guys had invested in to their designs were staggering so I’m expecting months and months of work ahead of me.

So lets assume I work a typical day of 0830hrs to 1730hrs and it takes me on average a hour to commute home. That means I get in the door of my house around 1830hrs. I will need to feed my fat head as well say hello to my family and spend a little time with them as a priority so an hour is being dedicated to doing that. Therefore from 1930hrs onward till 2300hrs is going to be allocated as “Blackout time” where my entire world is my lab, PC and design.

Weekends I will be allocating a typical 9-5 work day hours to Op Grandslam as this will give me a good eight hours and in the evening allow me some time with my family to try and balance things out, give the mind a rest and recharge the batteries for the upcoming onslaught of a working week and more study/work.

Let’s do some totting up then shall we?

Weekdays = 3.5 hours
5 working days in a week (normally) therefore 3.5 hours X 5 is 17.5 hours.

Now let’s add them to the two weekend days of 8 hours a piece so that’s (8×2) + 17.5 Hrs a total of 33.5hrs per week

Let’s say we have 4 weeks in a month and that will give me a final figure of around 134 Hrs per month of dedicated time to Op Grandslam of which I’ll never get back with my family so it’s nothing short of a massive sacrifice and one that I really appreciate my wife for allowing me to do.

There may be bonus time added if I can get some allowance in my role at my company to dedicate however this is never certain nor can be relied upon. All this needs to be done off my own back so I’ll be footing the bills for all things needed to get there which includes exams, travel, study material, labs you name it and it comes out of my ever decreasing fund pot!

So that’s it for now. I’ve got goals, I’ve got timings for my Ops now I just got to pull my thumb out and take those first baby steps and get that proverbial ball rolling.

I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be emotional but I hope you can share this journey with me complete with trials and tribulations.

Comme Je Fus




IT virtualisation professional since 2002 after serving 7 years in the British Army as a REME Corporal. Currently a Solutions Architect. I'm a dedicated husband, motorcyclist, proud father and owner of two beautiful border collies Monty and Mitch. Hobbies are: Motorcycles - Isle of Man TT/Road races and MotoGP/BSB/WSB Rugby Union Skiing DCS Flight Simulator -A10A/C and SU25 Frogfoot specialist Airsoft - Closer Quarter Battle

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