So on Dec 31st I scheduled my VCAP-DTA5 and figured it wouldn’t be that bad compared to other exams I have taken……I was pretty wrong.

First thing is that I went through the blueprint and it looked extremely straight forward on what was going to be tested and how many questions there actually were. I will start off saying that I love the practical labs but with only 23 questions they only give you 3 hours. You may think….well 3 hours that’s a ton of time for 23 questions! You sir are wrong. If you have ever taken any of the practical VCAPs after 4.x you will know that 23 questions only means there are 23 common questions with sub questions for each. So this means you are doing something around like 30ish with all the steps.

The take away is…..KNOW EVERYTHING and work efficiently. If you are stuck waiting for the lab to actually render a page (I will go over this in a bit) then you should move forward and write down what the other question want you to do while you wait. 

My main complaint was the speed of the lab. Since Pearson isn’t running a local environment for this you are at the mercy of their testing internet to RDP into the lab you are going to be working on. If it is slow raise your hand immediately. They can only do so much but just have them report it. Now if the internet speed is fine you still have a few things to worry about. I am pretty sure this is a nested environment. I only think this is true because the speed is a huge issue. I have virtualized View before in a nested environment and it performed at just about the same rate. You are going to need to make sure that you know exactly where things are in the ui and what they want you to accomplish. I personally spent a majority of my time waiting for the lab either in the View flex UI or waiting for tabs to actually render. Please note that my testing center was having massive internet problems and when they moved me (for the 4th time -.-) it finally was a bit better.

Time management is something that you need to focus on here. Don’t guess where things are or what things are in the blueprint…deploy it prior. 

I didn’t actually study for the test prior to taking it. You may think….what the hell is wrong with you? I used to fix View all day every day when I was at VMware so I felt extremely confident since I used to be in support. The other part of that statement is wow there were things in support that I had fixed but I hadn’t actually implemented.The night before I would go through each part of the blueprint with a test Connection Server / Security Server. I would review each part of the blueprint and see how fast I could complete each portion and then move on from that. This test actually tests the broad range of things you can do in a View environment and should know how to do in an environment.

I was very surprised that my labs didn’t break like they had in previous tests. All of my problems were with the Pearson Vue workstations which were usually hard locks, slow internet, hard locks, and an odd comment lock issue.

TL;DR

  • Use this to determine what you don’t know: http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?course=187168
  • Build a lab environment and just run through the blueprint section by section to see how fast you can do it and learn what you don’t already know
  • Time Management
  • Submit Feedback to VMware! The comment button is there for a reason.It won’t hurt their feelings and it will help them understand the challenges that you face.
  • Don’t freak out if something bad happens in the exam. Raise your hand and let them know! They may give you additional time for their end being horrible.
  • Did you pass or not? I am still waiting on my results.

Let me know if you have any additional questions or feedback for me.