My VCAP-DCA Experience

This will be my obligatory VCAP-DCA Experience post. It is obligatory because of 2 reasons:

  1. I am a blogger
  2. I recently took the VCAP-DCA

Therefore, I am required by law to do one of these posts. At least that is how I think it goes.

I took my exam at a PearsonVue facility, which on this particular day was really crowded. Fortunately and I am still not really sure how this worked, but my computer was in the room with all the other testers, yet it was its own room with a door and walls. This made my experience much better. I didn’t have to hear other people breathing, clicking pens, typing etc etc. In normal everyday life these things don’t bother me, but when in a very quiet testing room, it can become a  distraction. Similarly, they did not have to hear me cursing under my breath when I couldn’t get a scenario working, or when I finally got a scenario working. There are good and bad kinds of cursing, and I explore all.

The VCAP-DCA as everyone and their mom will tell you, TIME IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. Listen to all who say this, because it is true.  Having now taken the exam, I would find it hard to believe that anyone would have an easy time finishing this exam early. Not only would you have to immediately know all steps of a solution the moment you read the question, but you would also need to implement it without any issues. The latter being a bigger pain. I ended up clicking the Finish button with 3 minutes left, because I knew there was nothing else I could accomplish in 3 minutes.

Knowing that time would be an issue, I decided on a simple low tech way to help me be more time effiecient. With the marker and dry erase piece of paper I was given, I had two columns: Done, and Not Done. When I completed a question/scenario, I would write the number of the question in the Done column. If I needed to skip a problem or come back to work on it more later, I would place it in the Not Done column.

This allowed me to know which problem I needed to go back to and finish, without having to read half-way through each problem along the way before I remembered if I had already done that one or not. Simple, but it worked out very well for me, and I generally don’t use the marker and dry-erase sheet for anything else anyway….

There was one part of the exam where my vSphere Client crashed, and by crashed, I mean it locked up. I couldn’t close it and I couldn’t get to any of the apps underneath it either. For several minutes I had a good deal of anxiety while hoping it would somehow close by itself. It never did.  Finally I remember that I was inside of a remote computer so I did a “Ctrl Alt End” and was able to get to Task Manager and hard close it. I wasted a good 10 minutes on it though 🙁

The content of the exam was great. By great I mean it challenging without being impossible, and it was thorough. There were questions, I immediately knew everything I needed to accomplish. There were questions where I had a majority of the knowledge in order for me to stumble on to an answer. And Finally there were a question or two where I was like, “How the Fuck do I do this?!?!”. Those were the times being able to curse under my breath was helpful.

In my opinion though it was a good exam, and because of the breadth of questions it asks, I think most people will probably have similar  experiences where they have varying levels of comfort with the questions asked. Which is the whole point in the first place, it should be challenging. If it wasn’t challenging, the being a VCAP-DCA wouldn’t mean anything.

Will I pass? Not sure. Based on the number of questions I had answered/partial answered/not answered, I think it is probably a toss up. I am hopeful, but if I don’t pass I will schedule again for a couple weeks out and go in a second time and dominate it.

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