VCDX is About Validating Architects, Not Teaching Architecture


I am going to be a little controversial here in this post so I warn you.  I was actually reading This Post by new VCDX Rob Nolen and we also had a phone conversation that got me thinking a little bit.  There has been some conversations lately about obtaining “VCDX Enablement” and other VCDX “training” and there is something I personally wanted to express my opinion about.  Bear in mind as VCDX number 37, I was early in the process so I had little community help to succeed.  Like many of the early adopters, we had to “Just Do It” as Rob points out.  That being said let me explain a little more about where I am going.

Being a VCDX is About Proving Your Skills

I am a firm believer that at the VCDX Defense level, you have already proven a lot just be being invited to defend.  I also believe that the role of the certification process itself is to VALIDATE your abilities as an Architect.  I also firmly believe that although the process itself is not built around TEACHING you architecture skills, there are resources out there.  For example, you will not find VCDX Specific Training Classes offered by VMware that teach you architecture skills.  There is however a lot of material out there between TOGAF, Books by other VCDX Holders, as well as simply doing the job in the field.

When you decide to start this process and complete those pre-requisites it’s really up to you to start building your design.  In most cases people who have been doing architecture leverage real designs.  It’s very difficult to go from “Couch to VCDX” if you have never actually worked in the role of an architect.  Since the certification evaluates both your technical skills, problem solving, and overall architecture skills, that’s something very hard to teach.  I can honestly tell you I never took any classes around architecture skills.  It was just something I did as  PSO Consultant.  I had a lot of good designs to choose from for my application.  It just become a matter of making those designs suit the VCDX Blueprint.

You can decide to take my opinion for what it’s worth, just an opinion, but it is truly what I believe.  I want to make sure you get the help you need if you want to become an Architect and much of that comes from working with other architects.  An electrician does not get certified in most states without an apprenticeship to learn the skills hands on.  Get mentored by other Architects, VCDX or otherwise.  Learn those skills from doing.  Don’t expect to be handed them in a book, although many books can help you understand more about the skills you need.  John C Maxwell speaks a lot about finding mentors and surrounding yourself with the kind of person you want to BECOME.  I truly believe in this and I am constantly learning from others that I surround myself with to grow, so should you.  I am sure there will be those that don’t agree with my opinion…..and that is okay.

“If you’re always at the head of the class…’re in the wrong class” – John C Maxwell

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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