Operation Quicksand Mission Status – Complete

Well well well, guess who’s back on track? Once again? Wardy’s back, back again! Ok enough of Eminem tunes…

So as most of you who may be reading this blog will know; as part of the journey to getting the VCDX certification is obviously to make sure that you get the pre-requisites completed.If you’ve been reading since the start of my blog then you’ve probably listened to me moan about the fact that I’ve had a few issues trying to pass the VCAP5-DCD for over a year (Having attempted three different versions).

The reasons why I had issues were mainly that I do like to ask questions if I think there is something a little vague, especially in the real world as it’s a critical part of the requirements gathering process. However this is not a luxury that you have in the exam and to be frank, nothing technical is hard in the exam, the bit that will bite you on the arse is actually trying to understand what it is they are asking you to do in terms of the requirements and the way they (VMware) want you to lay out the questions.

It used to be that some of the questions in the exam were indeed very open to interpretation and second guessing as to what’s needed. I am pleased to report that since the revamp of the exam early this year; the 5.5 version this time around was a lot clearer, though there are still some gremlins in there waiting to pounce on any self doubt which was the case for me! Perhaps if I hadn’t been so stressed and paranoid about doing the whole thing all over again then my mind may have been clearer.

I’m not going to lie, I put the hours in trawling all over the forums and study groups as well as chatting to those who’ve completed it and those not so. I was armed to the teeth with knowledge this time and didn’t leave anything to chance and was confident in my knowledge and experience but not in my exam taking skills. I’m always the same in exams, I pass but never well in my own standards and it was with no surprise this was the case again for my DCD exam too.

I was disappointed in the score at 339 to be brutally honest but I was relieved to see the Congratulations screen instead of the dreaded “You did not pass this Exam” from which I was familiar with. I did kinda let out a cheeky “YESSSS!) in the examination room which prompted a few stares and evils but sod it, a pass is a pass.There are those reading that I do need to thank for their support and you know who you are and I don’t forget things like that. There were those on twitter I’d like to thank as well for continued support and Michael Webster who after one of my fails was able to steer me back on the right track and pick up the pieces of what was my confidence.

So there you have it, I you haven’t guessed already I pass and now officially a VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 in Data Center Design BOOM!!! So if you’ve failed and reading this, keep at it as you WILL pass eventually with the right support from your fellow professionals and self belief.


So this means Operation Quicksand comes to a close with mission complete status but as one hurdle has been overcame then one required jumping. Now for Operation Genesis is up next in the VCAP5-DCA. Allegedly this is the easier of the two exams to pass however it’s been some time since I’ve been mucking around in my lab so have no doubt I’m going to be rusty and lacking in hands on with certain new features with 5.5. The ones I’m most anxious about is the vCenter Orchestrator as I never could get my head around the logic. The rest I’m reasonably happy with but need to go deeper than vanilla installs. I will also need to set up my Domain again and a few other pre-existing requirements so that I’ve got an environment similar to the exam. So that’s all folks, keep an eye out for VCDX and DCA updates as they are going to be coming more often now. Till then, ride safe!

Regards to all



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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