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5 Things You Should Know About VMware Certification

One of the great things about the blogging and other social networking tools such as Twitter is the ability to get something quickly. Last week, I was tweeting with fellow virtualization blogger Jon Owings of 2VCPs and a Truck. It was quite simple, John just said that he didn't know what to blog about. I replied with a topic idea and Jon immediately took it. The result is this post where Jon's views of the VMware certification are spelled out.

Now that you've read Jon's list, here's my list of five things you should know about VMware certification:

1. Certification is not a substitute for experience. While this seems to be somewhat profound, the real-world experience cannot be simulated. The VMware certification does have emphasis on troubleshooting, but unfortunately this can't be used as a broad-reaching gauge of experience. In my personal certification path, I ensured I had over two years of VI3 experience before seeking the VMware Certified Professional. It follows in the spirit of my other certification efforts as well. I didn't achieve the Windows Server 2008 MCITP credential until mid-year 2009. It is important to note that as Jon is a solution provider -- I'm not. Therefore, I don't have keep up with the cutting edge of certifications.

2. Achieving a VMware certification is the single most effective rounding off of one's external presentation. I've always believed that one's marketability is a sum of one's technical experience from current or previous jobs, formal education and certification inventory. Each one is pivotal in the well-rounded IT professional. For virtualization professionals, the VMware certification creates a nice cornerstone to that model. I've even said before that virtualization has changed my life, and the VCP certification in particular has done that for me.

3. The VCP is becoming diluted. There are quite a few VCPs out there now. Between 2005 and 2007, if you had the experience plus the certification you could be very selective on opportunities. In 2010, the novelty has worn off for sure. This is even including the fact that VMware requires that a course from a VMware Education Services (or partner) be taken by the prospective VCP.

4. Hypervisors are not enough. To round out the virtualization professional (and this includes non-VMware virtualization), other core technologies such as storage and networking are critical. Traditional IT professionals could get by with having core competencies such as Windows server technologies or Linux server skills. With virtualization, you can not put enough emphasis on storage. The more you can be a storage professional with virtualization, the more you can set yourself apart from the rest of the VCPs in the field. Networking can hold the same torch, though not as much as storage.

5. Don't be intimidated by the VCP test. If you are considering the VCP credential, by all means go for it. Virtualization is one of the hottest places to be, and I'll always feel we can have one more in this party. Besides, there are also plenty of new markets for virtualization. I think there is a market for the very small business, especially as blended cloud/virtualization solutions become more popular.

Are you considering the VCP credential? Share your comments here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 02/11/2010 at 12:47 PM


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