After my exam earlier was postponed due to some problems between Pearson VUE and VMware Lab communications, I did my VCAP-DTM deploy last Friday. And it was a pass on the first attempt :) Woohoo.
The exam is a whopping 3,4 (or somewhat with 205 minutes) hours getting through tasks where time management is the most important piece. Well next to actually knowing what you need to be doing. I missed some questions in the end, but 30 questions seem to be enough to barely pass. I was a bit slow as deployment is something I do differently in real life, irritated about the backspace not working (arrow del key combination is not my cookie) while my Pavlov keeps hitting that key and in the last part of the exam I had to keep pushing radio buttons several times before they got active.
Some tips for the time management when you will attempt the exam:
- Prepare your exam lab experience. Do VMware Hands on Labs from the EUC mobily courses. Is it not for the subjects, is it knowing how to operate the lab environment. The exam lab is the same as the hands-on labs. I used several HOL-1751-MBL-1 and so on. Do note the Horizon are not the versions used in the VCAP6 version, but most items are still in the right place. I have also used Ravello Cloud for my labs. Bonus with the HOL’s is that you already have the password to use in the exam drilled.
- Familiarize with the subjects. Read through the exam objectives and practice those in your own lab or hands on labs. These blog posts were very helpful:
- Going through the VCAP6-DTM Deploy Study guide several times with this blog post series: https://szumigalski.com/2016/08/01/vcap6-dtm-study-guide/.
- Prepare yourself about the exam lab environment with this blog post: http://sostechblog.com/2016/07/26/vcap6-dtm-desktop-and-mobility-deployment-exam-launch/.
- Schedule your exam. Have something to work to. Do this before starting to study, but allow for a reasonable study preparation period.
- There is no non-native English speaker time extension, 205 minutes is what everyone gets.
- A VCAP study group with peers is worth it, especially working together on a shared goal and for sharing experiences, tips and tricks. At our company ITQ (http://itq.nl) we did VCAP Bootcamps were we had multiple sessions and let some of the team present an objective. Don’t have peers at your company that go for the same kind of exams? Well reach out on twitter, the community is strong in its knowledge sharing force and you will get a group in no time.
- Mirage base layer and application layer capturing, restoring, as well as App Volumes capturing take time to complete. Make a note on your whiteboard and do some other questions while these are capturing. Return to see the progress.
- Set your environment to a comfortable screen resolution, mine was to set the screen to 1024×768. Also change this resolution in the Remote Desktop Manager. If you happen to need console access to a virtual machine (mostly RDP will work), use the web client not VMRC or the vSphere client console as the CTRL-ALT are not working.
- Once at the exam, go through the exam questions, start the capturings, complete the ones you know, skip the ones you don’t know or are not sure about. You can navigate back and forth through the tasks, but don’t go skipping in berserk mode. Have some idea what questions are for what subjects, use your white board to write done the questions, make notes and mark completed, in progress or fail.
- Do take time to read the assignment, you have multiple clusters, desktops and connections servers. Don’t wasted time starting the task on the wrong component.
- Don’t let slow performance get you. This is a lab environment and not running in your exam centre or even region. It can be slow, be prepared and be patience. But that doesn’t mean that if it is unworkable you shouldn’t say something about it….
Know how Horizon architecture, application capturing and desktop pools work, know your way with Identity Manager (vIDM) and Mirage, know the lmvutil and vdmadmin command line help options, and you will be a okay. And yes that time management….
– Enjoy your exam experience!
Sources: vmware.com, szumigalski.com, sostechblog.com