VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation VCA-DBT

Last week I passed the new VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation. This is a new VCA from VMware as they very kindly retired all the VCA6 qualifications as of the 31 December 2017. Retired is an interesting word, retired means you can’t take it, but VCA’s currently don’t expire like VCP’s.

There were several reasons I wanted to take this exam, one of them is that I’ve passed all the VCA’s since they came in to existence back in  2013 I believe. This one makes my 10th VCA.

  • VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCA6-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Desktop and Mobility (VCA6-DTM)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Hybrid Cloud (VCA6-HC)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Network Virtualization (VCA6-NV)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Cloud Management and Automation (VCA6-CMA)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation (VCA-DBT)

Additionally for passing the exam you will get a badge issued to you from Acclaim, my profile can be seen here.

There is no course requirement, but VMware recommends viewing the free VCA-DBT training course available in the VMware Learning Zone. The previous VMware eLearning courses were more like a conventional training course, with a number of pages to click through with both slides and a narrator.

fundamental training

Old style VMware eLearning

The VMware Learning Zone offers a web site with a modern look and feel where you can sign up and take courses. Some are free such as the VCA and fundamentals courses, others you can purchases such as certification or exam prep courses. I’m sure this will be the place where all VMware training is done in future. The learning zone has a gamification feel to it with a dashboard and leader-board to track your progress and encourage you to watch more.

VCA-dashboard1VCA-dashboard2

When it comes to the VCA-DBT training it is made of a number of modules with different experts talking about their subjects, more like a webinar. The course in my mind has a slightly disjointed feel to it, and has the look that someone has reused a few videos that were already produced, however the subject matter is also quite wide and varied with 72 modules covering:

  • Horizon View
  • ThinApp
  • Virtual SAN
  • vSphere
  • Design Principles
  • Daas and Horizon Cloud
  • App Volumes
  • VMware Identity Manager
  • VMware User Environment Manager
  • VMware Cloud foundation
  • VMware NSX
  • VRealize Suite
VCA-course1

New learning Zone here is Andrew Klopp discussing Thinapp

However one of the plus points is that each module is fairly short, the longest was about 20 minutes, and each module matches an exam blueprint which is the VMware way. The full course took me about 5 hours to get through, but unlike the other VCA’s It’s not always about memorising the course but applying the knowledge you have to the exam questions.

I must admit that If had just taken this course as someone new to VMware I don’t think I would have been able to answer all the questions in the exam on say NSX. But without taking the course I would have struggled with some of the questions on vRealize Business which I don’t use and in fact hadn’t heard of.

For those wanting to take this VCA exam, there is no practise exam available, however there are some sample questions available in the Blueprint which should be a good indicator of how prepared you are.

The exam is non proctored so it can be taken online from home. With 50 questions in 135 minutes time shouldn’t be a problem. The exam costs $125 or £102 +vat, but don’t forget if you’re a VMUG advantage holder you can get a discount of 20% on exams. I was able to get a 70% discount from completing the Stanly VCP6 course recently, another one of the bonuses for taking this course, making the final cost just £36.72.

If you want more information then the latest exam blueprint is available here and you can find out more about the VCA-DBT here.

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I’ve just completed a MOOC and earned a Virtual badge

emc-educated-modern-data-center

I’ve just completed a MOOC on Exploring the Modern Data Center from EMC. What is a MOOC I hear you shout well it’s apparently a Massive Open Online Course, and the open bit means it’s free.

The course is available to anyone with internet access, Conducted over a six-week period, the course will require Students to invest approximately two to three hours of work per week.

Sutdents will be engaged through a blend of online content in the form of educational videos, recorded whiteboards, documents, and assessments. Students will also have opportunities to interact with others and learn through group discussions.

This was released as a 6 week course, and I enrolled right at the start on the 19th of July, and each week there was a new topic, each week took me about 2 hours of watching videos from various sources at EMC to cover the subject, so a little bit of marketing videos and some more technical ones.

The course covered the following topics.

  • Week 1: Introduction to Modern Data Center
  • Week 2: Technologies of Modernized Infrastructure: Flash and Scale-out Storage
  • Week 3: Technologies of Modernized Infrastructure: Software-defined and Cloud-enabled systems
  • Week 4: Technologies of Modernized Infrastructure: Trust
  • Week 5: Technologies of Modernized Infrastructure: Automation
  • Week 6: Transformation of People & Process, and Next Steps

I will say that this wasn’t a really full on technical course so if you’re starting out in IT and want to get in to storage and cloud systems you could do a lot worse than take this course, it’s still available to sign up for it here.

For more information I recommend you watch this 4 minute video:

There is a small test at the end of the course which is online and free but more importantly one of the rewards for completing this course and passing the exam, is you get a digital badge, now again what is a digital badge I hear you shout, well a digital badge is a new way to recognize your earned knowledge, skills, and certifications and share them online with verification.

Initially I was quite excited about this concept it certainly appears to be a way of linking all those certifications you earn in one place. You can take a look at someone’s public profile and immediately get a look at the badges and therefore the qualifications they have, and by clicking on the badge learn more about want that badge was awarded for and even where you need to go for more information.

The badge for the MOOC is managed by a badge vendor Acclaim and I was pleasantly surprised to see this is a part of Pearson who we all know have been managing our IT Technical exams for a while. Now EMC and I know VMware (thought Cloudcred) are looking at using badges from Acclaim so I thought that there was a chance that there would be a true unification of the certifications that we own.

Since looking in to this I have discovered that there is even an open badge standard which although hosted by Mozilla, they are keen to say is not proprietary, and an open technical standard any organization can use to create, issue and verify digital badges. However further research would appear to tell me that Acclaim badges are not truly open badges and now it would appear that Microsoft are also going to be using badges, however I think they are also going to be a proprietary, so I’m a little concerned that we are just going to end up with vender portals for each of our badges but only time will tell. If you want to see my Acclaim profile then click here.

For more information on Acclaim badges please take a look at this two minute video:

For more information please see the following links: