The guys over at VSPECIALIST have come up with a great idea to help people that are planning on going down the VCDX path. They are putting together a mock VCDX defence panel to help prospective VCDX panel attendees to hone there defence and presentations skills.
The aim of the Defence Practice Event is to help candidates with the group aspects of a defence session, and to prepare candidates for the type of technical questions they may face from a panel. You may your design inside out, but can you verbalise them to someone who doesn’t know your design as well. Can you explain your choices, limitations and restrictions in your design to someone else, and can you technically defend these when questioned?
The VCDX session at VMworld last year was a real eye opener for me as they had a very small mock session with the actual defence panel. It was suppressing to see a few people who volunteered struggle so much, not with the technical aspects of the challenge but actually trying to explain there thinking aloud as they tried solve the issue they were presented with. It can often be a misconception that the only skills they are looing for are technical, a good % of what they look for in a VCDX is communication and presentations skills. After all they don’t want people to go in front of customer and be terrible at the soft skills after VMware award them the top qualification they can bestow.
I think its great these guys are willing to take time out to help the community in this way and it is a fantastic opportunity to practice for what in real life will be a gruelling experience.