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Certification path update

I've asked my employer for support with the VCP4 training/exam, so we'll see how that turns out. Lord willing, I'll be passing this Q4 2011. One other item is the 70-297 exam (2003 AD design).

To get me to that point, I'm setting myself goals:
  1. Read at least one VMware book per month. I have a lot of good VMware books - I need to read them! I am starting (rather, finishing) 'Mastering VMware vSphere 4', by Scott Lowe.
  2. Get serious about my home lab. Sounds like a silly thing, but I've bounced around here and there about how I want to do things - all Workstation, dual hosts, etc. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and get two identical PCs (probably whiteboxen, as I've had before).
  3. Set aside study time and ONLY study during those set hours. Outside of that time, no studying. I have a (tendency is too light a word) compulsion to do things in intense chunks, usually separated by long periods of time. I think 3-4 hours each weekend, and 2-3 hours twice a week. This is what my wife and I agreed upon while I was doing my MCITP:EA, anyways (actually more...but this will only be one exam, not seven).
Beyond the above, I also intend on documenting all of my troubles/trials/successes in this blog as a kind of journal.

Q1 2012 (or perhaps sooner, I will be reading this book in between VMware studies) I'd like to get the AD design cert under my belt as well (70-297). Something they still haven't upgraded in the MS line of certs, so might as well get it done - I already have the book, and my experience is certainly leading in this direction.

Beyond those two, down the road I may do certs just for the learning challenge - like the Hyper-V cert, perhaps some Messenging stuff like Lync and Exchange. Those are secondary to my VMware and Active Directory pursuits, however.

Looking forward, I have another item to set my long-term sights on: Microsoft Master (AD) certification and VCDX (and surrounding certs) I recently corresponded with Mark Parris regarding the MCM:AD cert, and he sent me a laundry list of reading to do. Seriously, the list is epic, and we are talking years, not months, of study. Besides, I need significant deployment experience before I can even think about going that route. However, once I get the 70-297 done, I'll meet the scholastic requirements for the MCM:AD, so that's something, anyways.

The VCDX is something I've felt is in my future for some time now, so getting the VCP down and done is Part 1 - and it's usually the first step that's the hardest to take in a journey.

To recap:
  1. VCP4 (Q4 2011)
  2. 70-297 (Q5 2012 or sooner)
  3. VCDX (?)
  4. MCM:AD (?)


  1. Update: After prayer and consulting those much wiser than myself, I am cancelling the work we had planned for this year on the garage and will now instead be focusing all that time/money/energy on getting my VCP. After that, we'll see what's next - I am leaving this in God's hands.


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