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  1. Member
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    #1

    Default VCP exam without course

    I am gutted that VMware make you do their courses! I wont be spending $3000 to go on one in the UK, I could get a lot of crystal meth for $3000!!

    Do you guys think it would be stupid to sit the exam anyway - and put on CV/Resume:

    VMWare VCP (exam only)
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    #2
    Can you even take the exam without having had the class?
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  4. Cyber Donkey slinuxuzer's Avatar
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    #3
    No, you must take the course to be eligable for the exam.
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  5. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #4
    You can take the exam whether or not you've taken the course. But there is no point as there is no such thing as "VMware VCP (exam only)" you are not in anyway a VCP unless you've met both requirements. That's like putting "MCSE (1 exam only)".

    VMware insists on the course since they will at least guarantee that you have at least 4 days of training in the product and you haven't just crammed a book or done a bunch of braindumps. Given the present state of IT certification I don't blame them. They don't want to see it become another MCSA/E.

    As a VCP myself (having paid out of pocket for a course just so I could get the certification) I can't really say I disagree with them.

    If you've been working with ESX for a few years skip the Install & Configure and take DSA (or FastTrack) - I guarantee you'll learn something... Most of my class had been working with ESX since 2.x and we all learned stuff.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs
    VMware insists on the course since they will at least guarantee that you have at least 4 days of training in the product and you haven't just crammed a book or done a bunch of braindumps. Given the present state of IT certification I don't blame them. They don't want to see it become another MCSA/E.

    As a VCP myself (having paid out of pocket for a course just so I could get the certification) I can't really say I disagree with them.
    I got to disagree with the above statements. You can sit the training, pass the exam, and still not be prepared to deploy or manage the product.

    The MCSE track for 2003 is more rigorous than the VCP track. IMO, it doesn't matter if you accumulate knowledge via classroom training, or reading books. As much as I like VMWare, I gotta say this is more of a ploy for money than it is keeping the cert legit. After self-studying for my MCSE 2000, which was admittedly easier than it should have been, I was far more prepared for deploying, designing, and managing Windows platforms than I was for VMWare Infrastructure after completing my VCP.
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  7. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #6
    Okay I'll give you that with the 2003 track Microsoft has done a much better job of screening out the paper certs - and I have no problem with self-study, thats how I've learned almost everything I know. And I'll admit the VCP exam was ridiculously easy.

    How would you suggest they handle things? I can't see a lab exam being cost effective for an entry-level (to VMware) cert like the VCP... what other method could they use? The VCDX exams will be way harder with a peer defense at the end but still requires at least 1 course (since it requires a VCP) and I don't agree with that.
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    #7
    Personally, I don't think certs can ever be a definitive indication of skill. It represents some skill, knowledge, perhaps a bit of some type of intelligence, and a willingness to persevere and commit to completing a goal.

    They need to come up with a fair, challenging exam for VCP, and not require taking a class IMO. If you know the material for VCP, why does it need to come from a class. I could even see requiring a class for the VCDX cert, but not for VCP.
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    #8
    Ok, I agree, the VCP (exam only) is a little weak, I will give the exam a miss and will have to go with experience only

    If Microsoft can include practical simulations I am sure VMware could do 10 times better. I think they are mostly just cashing in...

    How do you rate the instructor that delivered your course? I have been on a few courses over the years and thought - "Phew, glad it was my employer that paid up for this course!"

    Somehow my expectations would be much higher if I was paying Ł1500 of my own money
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by HeroPsycho
    Personally, I don't think certs can ever be a definitive indication of skill. It represents some skill, knowledge, perhaps a bit of some type of intelligence, and a willingness to persevere and commit to completing a goal.

    They need to come up with a fair, challenging exam for VCP, and not require taking a class IMO. If you know the material for VCP, why does it need to come from a class. I could even see requiring a class for the VCDX cert, but not for VCP.
    I agree with this, as I had a similar experience recently bridging my ITIL Manager's v2 certification to ITIL Expert v3.

    I was required to take a 4 day "bridging class" that was about $2500 and culminated in a test that bridged my certification to ITIL Expert v3. The test was extremely difficult, with a required score of 80% to pass. I was certain that I failed, but somehow I managed to score exactly 80%. I do know that at least half of the class failed (at least the honest half!).

    I knew as much about ITIL v3 as I was going to know going into the class. I had read the v3 ITIL books several times, which is about the only study material available. The class provided no additional information. Another bad thing is that I could have been working that week and earning money to support my wife's purse and shoe habit. Oddly enough, the a lack of money coming in during a given week doesn't seem to negatively impact the purse and shoe budget, whereas an increase in money coming in seems to permanently expand the budget. Someone should study this.....

    I agree that the origin of the knowledge is irrelevant. In fact, in this situation I would rather be charged $2500 for the right to take the test than have to pay $2500 to sit through a class that is providing nothing new or useful only to get to the test at the end. I'll make it up quickly in a single engagement, and if what I hear is true, a VCP will quickly recoup the $2995 they spend.

    IMO, VMware uses the cost of the class and exam prerequisites as a method of controlling supply and keeping the value of the VCP high. Additionally, as mentioned they are making some serious coin from it....

    MS
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  11. Senior Member cacharo's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs
    You can take the exam whether or not you've taken the course. But there is no point as there is no such thing as "VMware VCP (exam only)" you are not in anyway a VCP unless you've met both requirements.
    That being said is it possible to do the exam before the class?

    It would likely take less time to self study and take the exam then it would be to twist the arm of my employer to send me to the class.

    Just curious...
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cacharo
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs
    You can take the exam whether or not you've taken the course. But there is no point as there is no such thing as "VMware VCP (exam only)" you are not in anyway a VCP unless you've met both requirements.
    That being said is it possible to do the exam before the class?

    It would likely take less time to self study and take the exam then it would be to twist the arm of my employer to send me to the class.

    Just curious...
    No, taking the class is a requirement.

    From their site:

    How to become a VMware Certified Professional

    Becoming a VMware Certified Professional is a straightforward, three-step process:

    1. Participate in a VMware authorized course that is instructor-led to learn best practices and gain hands-on experience. If you are a current VCP, there are no course prerequisites.

    2. Gain hands-on experience with VMware. Individuals who do not have the hands on experience find it very difficult to pass the exam.

    3. Enroll and pass the certification exam. To register to take the VMware Certified Professional examination please contact Pearson VUE, a third-party testing center at www.pearsonvue.com/vmware


    I'm assuming that when you register for the exam they have some type of training verification step. Can a current VCP confirm this?

    MS
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    #12
    If memory serves me right, they only verify your course completion when you submit for consideration of obtaining the cert, not to take the exam.

    With that said, I don't at all understand why you would take the exam and the course later. The course can only help you pass, and most of the exam questions are straight out of the course book, so take the course and then take the exam.

    I would also encourage you to pay for the course out of pocket if your employer refuses to pay for you to go. $3000 sounds like a lot, but you will more than make the money up for that. A co-worker of mine just left the company because of his VMWare expertise for a job making $30K more than what he was making. $3K is peanuts!
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  14. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #13
    Warning: very long winded

    Quote Originally Posted by theloop
    How do you rate the instructor that delivered your course? I have been on a few courses over the years and thought - "Phew, glad it was my employer that paid up for this course!"
    It was without a doubt the best training class I have ever attended in my life. All the training I have ever taken has been out of my own pocket (independent consultant), so I tend to get pretty bitchy when it doesn't live up to my expectations.

    I have been working with virtualization since 2002 and VI3 for a couple of years so I am comfortable with all the basics, as such I didn't really want to fork out $3k to take Install & Configure, but they never offered DSA (Deploy, Secure & Analyze) here and I wanted to avoid traveling. Then I got lucky and the FastTrack "pilot" became a permanent course and they put a date for it in Vancouver.

    Since it was the first time VMware had ever offered an "advanced" course in Vancouver (it combines I&C plus DSA into 5x10hr days) only 2 of the students had limited knowledge of the product. The two instructors remarked it was the most advanced group of students they had ever had (I'm telling you this because if you ended up in a FastTrack with a bunch of beginners, I could foresee a different experience possibly).

    As for the course itself we were the first week of the "new revision" of the FastTrack course material where it was all nicely integrated (previously students had to flip between the I&C and DSA books and slidedecks - distracting to say the least). The material was well laid out and there was substantial detail. Because it was FastTrack we would spend about half a day on storage for example and cover everything from "what kind of storage does ESX support", to "how to modify the SCSI command queue depth for a QLogic fiber channel HBA via the service console CLI" (seriously!). Since we didn't really need to spend a lot of time on the basics we flew through it which allowed the instructors lots of time to address off the wall questions and best practices.

    You share an ESX host and VC server (via Citrix to their datacenter in California) with your neighbour, at first I was kind of hesitant about it (didn't I pay enough for my own server?) but I actually grew to like it - you could still do 75% of the labs on your own and for some of them it really helped having two people looking at the same thing (for command line stuff especially - typos are a P.I.T.A.).

    Which I guess brings us to the best part of the whole experience, the two instructors (there were two for FastTrack - you try teaching for 10 hours non-stop over 5 days!) were both VMware employees - not contractors - and had been teaching the material for ~3 years, as such they really knew there stuff (since they only teach VMware they focus all their practice/play time there - unlike contractors who often teach Microsoft or Cisco or whatever as well) and both had been instructors for 10-12 years (one had been in IT for 30 years - he started on IBM virtualization! ). I really felt their passion for the product and excellent depth of knowledge really made the course for me, if they were the course instructors I would say - yes take it - if its someone else try to make sure they're VMware Education staff instructors (my instructors were Mark Fei and Andrew Ellwood and although it was their first time teaching together they made an awesome team).

    And again if you have lots of previous VMware experience take FastTrack or DSA. I learned some stuff in FastTrack I found really valuable that I would have otherwise missed with only DSA - but its pricey.

    No for the oh so important question... ROI.

    FastTrack course = $5495
    VCP-310 exam = Included
    Total = $5495 USD

    As an employee at your current job will it get you a $6k raise - maybe, but probably not.
    Will it help you get a better paying job? Most likely, a quick monster scan shows it on a dozen openings in Vancouver right now.

    As for me its already paid for itself in new consulting offers.

    Sorry for the long winded rant. Hope some of it made sense.
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  15. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #14
    I did both vmware classes and passed also the VCP 3.5 exam. But I must say that the requirement of being on a course is a good thing.

    I passed several MCPs and for a bet I even passed a Microsoft exam without having an idea about the content (ISA server) - never touched ISA etc. and passed just using braindumps / transcender etc. As I said - this was for a bet and as a proof of concept that Microsoft exams are mostly paper exams.

    As VCP you know you had SOME handson experience, even if it just for a couple of days in a class, but you have at least installed and configured a cluster ONCE ... I didn't even install ISA once ... so go figure.

    And : The course and course book is not even close to enough to pass the exam. A lot of questions can only be answered when you have enough experience ..

    So comparing Microsoft and VMware exams is a bit dodgy

    And yes, you can take the exam without the course .. I know a few people who did it because they couldn't afford the course but wanted to have the exam as long as they knew the stuff .. All they have to do now is the course and they get their offical welcome package ..
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  16. AEV
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    #15

    Default Fast-track

    You mean the test is included with the fast-track course????? Holy=poo Batman!! I'm taking the fast-track next month and almost scheduled the test after the class.... I guess I'll have to verify that info..

    Also years (YEARS) ago my company needed 2 MCSE to hold their Microsoft ranking so I did SMS1.0 so I could finish MCSE3.51 and wouldn't you know it... Without even seeing it I found myself setting it up at 130+ offices. Talking about falling into the fire. Well everything turned out fine and SMS is still around and did I ever learn my lesson... "If you don't use it, Don't go for the exam" Because maybe, just maybe your employer will dump something on you.
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    #16

    Default Re: Fast-track

    Quote Originally Posted by AEV
    You mean the test is included with the fast-track course????? Holy=poo Batman!! I'm taking the fast-track next month and almost scheduled the test after the class.... I guess I'll have to verify that info..
    I think its the old V3 fast track that included the exam voucher. The latest revision of the course doesn't seem to have it. At least when I did it last month I didn't get one and the spec sheets from VMware don't mention it any more.
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    #17

    Default Re: Fast-track

    Quote Originally Posted by tiersten
    Quote Originally Posted by AEV
    You mean the test is included with the fast-track course????? Holy=poo Batman!! I'm taking the fast-track next month and almost scheduled the test after the class.... I guess I'll have to verify that info..
    I think its the old V3 fast track that included the exam voucher. The latest revision of the course doesn't seem to have it. At least when I did it last month I didn't get one and the spec sheets from VMware don't mention it any more.
    The voucher is only included in fast track courses held by vmware itself, not neccessarily in courses held by ie IBM
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  19. MIPS processor please Mishra's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Gomjaba
    I did both vmware classes and passed also the VCP 3.5 exam. But I must say that the requirement of being on a course is a good thing.

    I passed several MCPs and for a bet I even passed a Microsoft exam without having an idea about the content (ISA server) - never touched ISA etc. and passed just using braindumps / transcender etc. As I said - this was for a bet and as a proof of concept that Microsoft exams are mostly paper exams.

    As VCP you know you had SOME handson experience, even if it just for a couple of days in a class, but you have at least installed and configured a cluster ONCE ... I didn't even install ISA once ... so go figure.

    And : The course and course book is not even close to enough to pass the exam. A lot of questions can only be answered when you have enough experience ..

    So comparing Microsoft and VMware exams is a bit dodgy

    And yes, you can take the exam without the course .. I know a few people who did it because they couldn't afford the course but wanted to have the exam as long as they knew the stuff .. All they have to do now is the course and they get their offical welcome package ..
    Yeah man those MS exams are dumb because you can just cheat them. Thats what I did too.

    I went and got my degree to become a doctor and just cheated all though that too. I ended up killing a few people through surgery's and everyone sued me until I was bankrupt. But thats okay because its ez ez pie.
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  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Gomjaba
    I did both vmware classes and passed also the VCP 3.5 exam. But I must say that the requirement of being on a course is a good thing.

    I passed several MCPs and for a bet I even passed a Microsoft exam without having an idea about the content (ISA server) - never touched ISA etc. and passed just using braindumps / transcender etc. As I said - this was for a bet and as a proof of concept that Microsoft exams are mostly paper exams.

    As VCP you know you had SOME handson experience, even if it just for a couple of days in a class, but you have at least installed and configured a cluster ONCE ... I didn't even install ISA once ... so go figure.

    And : The course and course book is not even close to enough to pass the exam. A lot of questions can only be answered when you have enough experience ..

    So comparing Microsoft and VMware exams is a bit dodgy

    And yes, you can take the exam without the course .. I know a few people who did it because they couldn't afford the course but wanted to have the exam as long as they knew the stuff .. All they have to do now is the course and they get their offical welcome package ..
    I know a guy who attended the VMWare training, didn't pay attention and/or didn't understand, used brain dumps to pass the exam, and he's a clueless VCP.

    I challenge you to tell me what's different between him and you passing an ISA exam aside from VMWare making $3000 on training.

    I know plenty of people who attended formal training for MCSE, and I didn't, and I knew the material better than they did.

    In my opinion, a requirement to attend training doesn't mean you know the material any better.
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  21. was here.
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    #20

    Default Re: Fast-track

    Quote Originally Posted by Gomjaba
    Quote Originally Posted by tiersten
    Quote Originally Posted by AEV
    You mean the test is included with the fast-track course????? Holy=poo Batman!! I'm taking the fast-track next month and almost scheduled the test after the class.... I guess I'll have to verify that info..
    I think its the old V3 fast track that included the exam voucher. The latest revision of the course doesn't seem to have it. At least when I did it last month I didn't get one and the spec sheets from VMware don't mention it any more.
    The voucher is only included in fast track courses held by vmware itself, not neccessarily in courses held by ie IBM
    Ah. Mine was from a partner. The ones held by VMware themselves don't list the voucher either however.
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  22. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #21
    When I took mine back in late April/early May through VMware it still included the voucher.

    Here is a quote from the VMware certification FAQ:

    What do I need to know about the Fast Track class?
    ...all students of the class will receive vouchers for the VCP test at the completion of the Fast Track class...
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  23. was here.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs
    When I took mine back in late April/early May through VMware it still included the voucher.

    Here is a quote from the VMware certification FAQ:

    What do I need to know about the Fast Track class?
    ...all students of the class will receive vouchers for the VCP test at the completion of the Fast Track class...
    The FAQ still mentions VI3 as the latest so doesn't look like its been updated. The PDF course descriptions had a voucher mentioned in the VI3 version but that line disappeared in VI3.5 version.

    Either way, mine was via a partner so it wouldn't have come with a voucher. They didn't mention that a partner course doesn't come with the free voucher. We managed to get the course at a discount anyway so course + paid exam was still significantly cheaper than the regular price.
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  24. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tiersten
    Either way, mine was via a partner so it wouldn't have come with a voucher. They didn't mention that a partner course doesn't come with the free voucher. We managed to get the course at a discount anyway so course + paid exam was still significantly cheaper than the regular price.
    Fair enough. Did you use the new Revision B course materials? (the combined course) or did you have to "flip"
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    #24
    Flip. Had 3 books in total. I&C, DSA and the combined lab book. The instructor jumped around like crazy in the books because certain parts were better in the other book apparently.
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    #25
    That's too bad. The second revision ("VI3 Fast Track 3.5 Revision B") course materials are so much easier to work with. I wonder if only the official courses are using it.

    For anyone considering taking the course in the future with HP or IBM, you should ask which materials you will be using.
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