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.
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.
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
- Virtual SAN
- Design Principles
- Daas and Horizon Cloud
- App Volumes
- VMware Identity Manager
- VMware User Environment Manager
- VMware Cloud foundation
- VMware NSX
- VRealize Suite
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.