Some folks know I had set myself the challenge of preparing for and passing the VCAP5-DTA exam in 60 days. That’s right, from Zero to VCAP5-DTA in 60 days. Highly improbable, yeah? Nearly! I didnt pass the first time, but 2nd time’s the charm! I PASSED! Yep, in 80 days.
Did I try to wing it? Hell no!
I studied and labbed my head off for this test. I had a steep learning curve, no doubt about it. The blueprint is your go-to resource, I followed it to the T. Everything on the blueprint is fair game. Everything! Did I say EVERYTHING?! If you think – Oh they cant ask things in this much detail. Well, you are in for a nasty surprise. If the blueprint says – “Deploy and configure Thinprint modules”. Then everything about ThinApp is game. Things from adding a repository, modifying a package in whatever way down to deploying it computers/users using GPO/View can be on the exam. This was only an example, not a question from the actual exam. Dont expect me to divulge much more information because of the NDA I signed!
As for the exam experience, I got 23 questions to do in 3 hours. As has been said on the various other blogs out there, notably here and here, you cannot sit back and wait for tasks to complete. You cant afford any slack at all, you dont know a question, you skip it and go on to the next one. Your aim must be to get as many tasks completed as possible. Special shout out to VMware Education for getting the score report to me very quickly! Now only if they could do something about the very very very laggy environment, this exam’s great.
So to summarize:
– Follow the blueprint to the letter. Do not skip a thing. Anything and everything in there is fair game.
– Steve Dunne’s advice is great about resizing the numerous RDP windows to 1024 x 768 resolution. Do not close any RDP windows, especially the ones to the Connection Servers and the Domain Controller.
– Do not shutdown any physical machines in the exam environment.
– Connect to the View Administration console from the Control Station (the first machine you log onto when you start the exam). It’s quicker this way rather than RDP’ing to the Connection Servers and then opening the View console.
– Be quick, dont get stuck on a task. If you dont know it, skip it. Partial credit is awarded, so if you can complete a question or two within a task, you’ll get some points.
– Lab, lab, lab and then lab some more! Take notes along the way.
For those curious about my home lab – I had the following machines:
– 3 virtual ESXi 5.5 hosts
– 2 x Connection Servers
– 1 x Composer Server
– 1 x Transfer and 1 x Security Server
– A VM masquerading as a physical machine to practice local mode on
– 1 x DC
– 1 x SQL server (for the Composer and Events database)
For the curious, the VCAP5 – DTD is up next!