Xtravirt Senior Consultant Matthew Bunce has recently achieved VMware® Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification becoming VCDX #222. In doing so he has joined an elite group of world-class architects which also includes two of his Xtravirt colleagues, Sam McGeown and … [More]
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Xtravirt Senior Consultant Matthew Bunce has recently achieved VMware® Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification becoming VCDX #222. In doing so he has joined an elite group of world-class architects which also includes two of his Xtravirt colleagues, Sam McGeown and Gregg Robertson. Matthew has been awarded his VCDX in the specialist area of Data Center Virtualization (VCDX-DCV).
In this blog we chat to Matthew and find out more about his journey to this outstanding achievement.
So you’re VCDX #222, how do you feel?I really don’t know yet. I don’t think I’ve quite processed that I’ve actually managed to achieve it. It’s been my primary focus for the last 5 months and now I really don’t know what to do with myself. I’m sure the feeling won’t last long though!
How did you get into using VMware?I started using VMware technologies in 2003-2004 and have used it at several roles over the last 12 years. I’ve done everything from desktop support, networking, voice, messaging and storage in that time and the skills I’ve gathered across all those technologies have been invaluable.
What made you decide to go for the VCDX certification?I’ve been working towards it for a couple of years but it was only just before Christmas 2015 when I discussed with fellow vExpert, Marco van Baggum, about submitting a design based upon a project we had completed earlier in the year that I committed to doing it - not realising we would only have just under 3 months to get everything completed.
How long was your VCDX journey?I started the process back in 2013 when I took the VCAP-DCD exam, 6 months later I followed up with the VCAP-DCA. The VCDX-DCV seemed so far away at the time and it was something I never thought I would achieve.
What advice would you give others thinking of embarking on this journey?There are a quite a few things, but mainly:
- Start as soon as you can.
- Take small steps at first and try and gather information, designs and documentation from projects you have worked on and start to put a document outline together. Having a document with nothing but headings can be very daunting but allows you to break it down into smaller chunks which you can focus on.
- If possible, work with someone either on the same design or going for the same type of VCDX.
If you were to consider do this all again and going for another VCDX, what would you do differently?Considering that I am planning to go for my VCDX-NV later this year, I have thought about what I could do differently. While working on my submission this time around, I had colleagues and friends review my design several times while I was writing it and had some great feedback, but couldn’t get some of the points into my design so hopefully next time around I will be able to incorporate their advice a lot more.
I know its early days but how has life been since becoming Matthew Bunce VCDX?It’s still very new and I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. I even woke up early this morning to check my phone like I’ve done every morning for the last week, looking to see if my results had arrived. It took me a couple of seconds to realize I was already a VCDX and I hadn’t just dreamt it!
Overall, has the journey been worth it?The journey has had a huge impact on me both personal and professionally. I think about problems in different ways and have learnt so many different things along the way. I’m certainly much more confident in my own capabilities and I’m looking forward to putting these skills to use.
Any further comments?Undertaking the VCDX journey takes lot of time and commitment and during this journey I’ve missed family birthdays, parent’s evenings and all sorts of other things so anyone considering this needs the support of their family. Lucky for me my family were right behind me and I owe a big thanks to them for their support and patience over the process. I’ve been fortunate that my colleagues and friends have also been incredibly supportive, having faith in me even when I’d lost faith in myself. Having someone to work alongside is invaluable. My thanks go to Marco van Baggum for working with me on the design and putting up with me for the last 6 months! I don’t think I’d have submitted if it wasn’t for his support. A supportive employer also helps, Xtravirt have been fantastic, fully supporting me through the whole process. My colleagues have been incredibly supportive and the management team have been behind me 110% all the way.
Matthew Bunce joined the Xtravirt consulting team in May 2015. As well contributing to the Xtravirt blog, Matthew blogs on his own site at www.virtualisedgeek.com. If you’d like any assistance with a virtualisation project or simply want to learn more about how Xtravirt can help your organisation, please contact us , and we’d be more than happy to use our real world experiences to support you.