Hello All! I wanted to share my thoughts on my latest round of studying and the VCP-DTM 2018 exam.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to the cert changes lately, just the name of the cert alone should be enough to tell you new things are afoot. The TLDR of it is basically VMware is getting rid of the usual VCP5, VCP6, VCP7 etc and moving toward a yearly release cycle for certifications. For more details on the whole thing check out this blog post.
The one thing I would like to complain about with the new certifications is the level of detail in the topics needing to be studied. For example here is a snip from the VCP7-DTM Exam Prep Guide:
Alright great. Configure and Manage Pools. I feel like I have an idea what is expected of me to know for that section. Now let’s compare that to the VCP-DTM 2018 section:
Ahhh sh!@ That is not nearly as helpful as the previous version of the prep guide. I sincerely hope this is remedied in future installments of the prep guides. If it isn’t, the exams are going to get much more difficult in just a couple iterations. For now though, the section titles line up exactly with the VCP7 version of the exam. I used the more detailed sections of VCP7 for direction in what to study.
Another difference between the VCP7 version and VCP 2018 version of the prep guide is the VCP7 has a section that details in what documents you can find the various topics.
While some might say this is super helpful, I am not sure I agree. I found this was not always very accurate, and so I ended up rarely using it. Google ended up being a much better judge of which documents held each topic.
And lastly, the VCP 2018 version of the exam prep guide has 10 practice questions. Even being only 10, having any kind of example question from VMware is very helpful in seeing what kind of information they are pulling out of the various documents and how they are wording the questions.
With all that out of the way let’s talk about the various resources I used to study for the exam. As a quick disclaimer, I absorb information much better when I can read it, so some of my resources are skewed in that direction.
My personal study guide
For this exam, and because there really wasn’t a recent study guide shared within the community, I created my own study guide. To my surprise, it ended up being fairly helpful. I plan on sharing it probably later this week, so keep an eye out.
Greg Shields has a Great VCP7-DTM study course on Pluralsight and it was a big help to me in studying. I often have a hard time watching those types of courses in video format as I can get distracted from them easily. Enabling subtitles helped me stay focused and assisted in absorbing the tons of information contained in the course. The other great thing about the pluralsight course is there is a transcript for everything, so technically you never have to watch a video…..but you should watch the course. And the other other great thing about the course is each word in the transcript is linked to a specific time in a specific video. This feature is great for studying as you never have to jump around in different videos looking for the section you want to refresh in your mind. Here is the link to the course: https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/vmware-horizon-7-desktop-and-mobility-vcp7-dtm
This probably is no surprise now the hands-on labs are great study material for pretty much any of the exams. Being able to walk through all the installation and configuration of the products is immensely helpful. Or you could just load up a lab if you want to play around or poke a particular portion to get more experience with it. I won’t say they are as good as having a home lab, but they aren’t far off. Hands-On Labs also let you download the documentation from the labs in pdf form for more studying. These are nice if you need to refresh yourself on a particular process or see a specific screen in the product without loading up the lab.
Obviously, all the VMware documentation is going to be good study material. VMware has even gotten better for the most part with their documentation over the years. The problem with being better at documentation though is it usually means there is more of it. The Horizon documents alone number around 20, and you still need to think about App Volumes, Identity Manager, and UEM each having their own set of documents. It’s. A. Lot. It used to be feasible to read through all the documentation a couple of times as study for a test, but that is really not possible anymore. The install guides and admin guides are still the go-tos and definitely should be studied. As for everything else, I would say let your own studying take you to the various documentation you may need more information on.
VCP6-DTM Study Guide
Lastly and probably my least used is the VCP6-DTM study guide over at https://www.vladan.fr/vcp6-dtm/. That isn’t to say it is a bad guide, because it is great. The difference between the VCP6 and the VCP 2018 is just too much though for it to be a primary study source. I mainly used this when I was having an issue finding relevant information about a particular section of the VCP 2018 exam prep guide. In these instances, I would look at the VCP6 prep guide to see if there was a similar section. If there was I would see what this VCP6-DTM study guide used as their information and use it to guide me back to the relevant documentation for my own version.
The last thing I wanted to discuss briefly is the exam itself. Like most VMware exams, I thought all the questions were fair. I did realize during the exam that there were sections I had studied more and other I had studied less. I know this hurt me in the sections did not study as much. Please keep in mind there are 6 Objectives to study, and you should study them all equally thoroughly. Overall though I got a pass so I am not going to be too upset about anything.
Hopefully this is helpful and makes sense to everyone. I plan on releasing my study guide for this exam starting later this week, so please keep an eye out for it.