Adding some thoughts on the value of VMware certifications

This morning I posted about how I feel about the VCDX price increase. TL, DR: I can understand the reasons behind this, but VMware has to deliver value for the money.

Having said that, there is a bigger issue in the room in my opinion.

Essentially this tweet from Jason Nash triggered this post:

For what it is worth, I think that with VMware, the partner tier says not much about the technical skills and qualification.

As you can read here, the requirements for the highest level, Premier Partner, is essentially revenue driven. Sure, you need four VCPs but when you are big enough for a million of sales within 12 months, sending out four people on an ICM course is peanuts.

Do not get me wrong, the VCP has is place but from the higher partner level I would expect more to verify the expertise. VCP is a multiple choice exam, VCAP deployment is hand-on (you cannot braindump that) and design requires you to draw and place something (again, no braindumps here).

So why would or should a partner spend any money to certify his employees toward the “VMware Certified Advanced Professional”-level or even above?

The answer is: I do not know and I cannot see a business case for this at the moment.

Back on twitter Joe Silvagi  from VMware pointed out that there are business benefits for a partner:


Nevertheless, here I try to see it from a potential customer point of view.

You cannot pick an enterprise/premier partner and know that they have at least a number of n VCIX or even a VCDX in a certain field (solution competency) to guarantee a certain amount of knowledge.

This would really count for something BUT…

… VMware needs to promote their advanced certifications so these get the attention and value they deserve.

I had to explain to many people what my VCAP or VCIX actually means, customers and coworkers alike, and even what the next level with VCDX would be. For a VCDX attendee this is the worst case, you put effort into your certification in order to get benefits (from a pay increase to a new job) but if no one knows what this title is, you have a problem because this lowers your ROI

Compare this to Cisco, if you say “CCIE” everyone has an idea what you are talking about and goes like “ahhh” and “ohhh”.

This might be different in the US, but this is my unfortunate experience here in Germany.




My two cents on the VCDX price increase

Last week I completed my VCIX-DCV and started contemplating if I should take the long way towards the VCDX.

Currently doing I am doing preliminary outline of a project in order to give it the Paul McSharry basis assessment. After that, it is finding a VCDX-mentor who is willing to give my project a quick review and discourage or encourage me 🙂

This morning there is a lot of buzz around the vCommunity about the Certification Exam Price increase. Going from about 1000$ to 3000$ for defense seems a bit too much for many.

Personally, I was always amazed how “inexpensive” the VCDX program was.

With this certification, you aim to be one of around 250 persons in the world who hold the VMware top tier certification.

Think of it economically:

If you personally pay for it, what would be the gain of this certification?

Think of it like a student loan. You will probably get more salary or can apply for a new job at architect level. I am going out on a limb here, but in these job regions paying the sum of 3000$ is not totally off the limits (not easily done, but you should get it back over a few months).

If your company pays for this:

Your employer is probably using you and your certification to get new projects or customers. From there on this is a simple investment calculation. Split 3000$ on two or three projects and it is payed off.

Another important point in my opinion:

We are also finding ways to recognize our VCDX panelists who commit a tremendous amount of their own time and resources to support the program.

I was always wondering how many applications the panelists have to read and evaluate.

This is a manual process unlike the VCAP exams where there is one setup and a script will do the evaluation. And don’t forget this is done by highly qualified VCDX architects who have most likely other things to do 🙂

So where does it leave me?
I am still going forward with my outline, make or break won’t be the exam price for me.