VCAP, VMware

VCAP Exam Retirement – Not Well Received…

VMware Education dropped somewhat of a bombshell today when they announced the almost immediate retirement of the VCAP CIA/CID/DTA/DTD

Effective March 2, 2015 the following certification exams will be retired and no new registrations accepted:

  • VCID510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Cloud Infrastructure Design
  • VCIA510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Cloud Infrastructure Administration
  • VDTA510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Desktop Administration
  • VDTD510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Desktop Design

There has already been a fairly big outcry in the VMware Community around the decision to scrap the exams…and even though this move had been expected with the announcements of the new VCIX Advanced Exam Roadmaps, what I think people didn’t expect was the chopping off at the head of these VCAPs. This has left some people’s plans of VCDX defense attempts in limbo…specially for those who where looking to defend for Cloud based on vCloud Director…vCloud Director has been pulled from the vCloud Suite for Enterprise but is still very much alive for Service Providers…I know of a few guys (myself possibly, though not 100% committed) who where already building documentation around vCloud for a defense.

To me I this shows a clear disconnect from the VMware Education and Certification team from what is actually happening in customer and partner land…the way this has been done is a mistake and VMware needs to retract the immediate retirement and put a 3-6 month period of these exams to EOL. There also needs to be some direction as to a roadmap for Service Providers who will continue to use vCD+NSX+VIO who would not be looking at vRealize Automation.

Feel free to comment below on your thoughts around the retirements…hopefully VMware Edu Services will read the communities thoughts and respond with something positive.


11 thoughts on “VCAP Exam Retirement – Not Well Received…

  1. While vCloud Director isn’t part of the suite, have there been any statements indicating that it could be not used as part of a VCDX defense?

  2. There has been considerable disconnect for a couple of years now.

    Some certifications have product versions in the name, some don’t.

    Some exams are dragged around for years after the product is gone, some disappear overnight.

    Sometimes exams are announced months in advance, usually it’s a complete surprise.

    Dates are sometimes kept, usually not (VCP-NV-with-a-Cisco Cert? pushed out. VCAP550D EoL? pushed out. vcix-nv with ccie? pushed out)

    Little to no communication. Like announcing VCAPs are going to be replaced, but still(!?!) not releasing upgrade paths or a FAQ. I thought telling people VCAPs would be replaced in a few months with no other info was about the dumbest thing possible, until of course they dropped the exams with no warning at all!

    Recertification policy for certifications based on specific versions, with an official explanation of “You need to stay current” How am I supposed to “stay current” on an end-of-life product? Answer? You’re not. Learn the new stuff even if you are not using it or lose your certification and take a 3000GBP class if you want to come back later.

    On-line “exams” at the VCP level is just a money grab. All of the answers were available on-line within a week of the VCP550D exam launching and there are not many questions. So that exam is completely meaningless, except as a revenue source. I guess the whole “force everyone to take a real exam” wasn’t working out well enough? People won’t 200GBP and take one at a a real testing centre, so pay 70GBP for a meaningless one. Kind of like how an airline lets your “retain your status” for 300GBP, no flights required.

    Per the roadmap, this will become a regular feature, with another meaningless (and probably 70GBP) on-line exam required before taking an “in person” VCP exam. Poof! VMware just raised the cost of the VCP by 70 pounds – but who will complain since google will get you the answers?

    VCAP replace by VCIX? Proof the end-user/customers has zero use to VMware. This move is based directly at partner employees looking for VCDX. It screws customers just for the sake of screwing them. VCDX candidates took both exams before, they will still need to take both. But an administrator won’t bother taking the design exam and it’s useless to just take the admin exam since there is not cert or benefit.

    Planning for VCDX and wondering how you can continue on your View 5.x or vCD path? Screw you, get with the new program or get left behind.

    Not to mention, renaming to “Implementation”. If you are not implementing, this is not for you, since clicking through install wizards is so much more complicated than administering a system.

    It really comes down to “new business”. Existing/past certification holders are not just given no consideration, they are really screwed at every turn. All certifications are now directed to those that are installing/selling/pushing the absolute latest product and the rest can go hang themselves.

    One request: I would like assurances that there will continue to be a wholesale name changes at least once a year, I’d hate for managers and HR to start to get an understanding of the program.

    Solution: Listen to your damn customers not just your partners! Quit renaming shit just for the sake of renaming! Quit changing shit just for the sake of changing shit! Is there just a whole new team with no history with the program running around trying to put their “stamp” on it? Quit pushing meaningless exams that increase your revenue and decrease respect for the program!

    Oh, and get rid of the class requirement!

    1. As a VCI and employee of a VATC I feel your pain. In my opinion VMware Education has been flip-flopping too much the last few years. It would be a good thing, if they would consult with people from the field (as well as the VCI and VATC community) before doing another 180 degree turn on their certification/training program. The current management doesn’t seem to do that at all, is the impression I’m getting (from trustworthy sources), and I really hope they will get their act together, because this can backfire spectacularly. Just look at the slump in Microsoft certifications in Windows 2008 compared to previous versions.

      vCloud Director is somewhat in limbo nowadays, and that is frustrating as well; I’ve done quite some work with it, and now it’s effectively dead when it comes to the training side of things. This is not really encouraging, when it comes to products like vRAC; why should I invest a lot of time in it, when the returns are murky and the product can be phased out just like that after a few years.

      The training requirement will probably be kept in place in my opinion. It’s what (still?) separates them from the glut of MS certified people, of whom you don’t have a clue whether they can actually work with the product. By putting up a (artificial) barrier, you weed out a number of people who you don’t want to represent your product. Also, it keeps the certification more worthwhile.

      The main problem people have with the cost of training has a different edge to it in my opinion. It is also the, rather off-putting, behavior of employers, who seemingly don’t want to invest in their employees (or people they hire) anymore. This seems to be somewhat US-specific, but it’s more of a thing for a totally different discussion. The cost of training isn’t that high by the way; you only need to attend a full course once and if you keep up to date after that, you hardly have to attend any additional courses. It is more of a price of entry I’d guess.

    2. This needs to be nailed to the front door of where ever VMware education is based. I’ve been Cisco certified much longer than I’ve been VMware and my impression from the beginning is that the big difference is VMW sees training and certification as a revenue source where Cisco sees it as a means to distribute their brand. As a end user customer I agree the killing of the VCAP-*A certifications is a big deal; I was roadmapping my training for next year to include this certification, at this point I’ll just continue to renew my VCP and be done with it.

  3. I just took the older VCP-Cloud exam because I work with vCloud Director all the time and never with vCAC/vRA which is what the later VCP covers.

    I guess it’s not commercially viable to continue developing exams for future versions of vCD but I fail to see the point in retiring the exams immediately.

    I’m already working towards VCAP550-DCA so I’d better get a move on in case that goes the same way…

    1. …and +1 what JLocke said as well!

      Certification is not cheap and constant changes are only going to make it more difficult for the gatekeepers of future employment (aka recrcuitment “consultants”) to figure out what pile your resume belongs in…

    1. Its a good move for those who might have taken a punt on getting designs done before exams… But it still doesn’t fill the gap on advanced certification for those who work with vCD and will be doing awesome work on Next gen platforms using that as a foundation…that is to say it’s not all about the VCDX pathway

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