Becoming VCDX 281 – Thanks to Everyone that Helped!

I’m over the moon to report that the hard work paid off and I’m now a VCDX, number 281! Wow. I’m still smiling :). To become a member of such an esteemed group is a huge privilege and just doesn’t feel real! I may have been a little excited on Twitter… 🙂

VCDX Twitter.PNG

I know 100% that I could not have achieved this goal without the support from others. This post is an effort to convey my gratitude to everyone who helped me reach this milestone.

I’d first like to thank my family and friends, who have put up with my extended absence whilst I’ve been working on my design and preparing for my defence. My gratitude goes especially to my wife, without who’s support, hard work, patience and encouragement, none of this would have been anything more than a pipe dream.

I’d next like to recognised that this achievement would not have been possible without the support of the VCDX and VMware communities.

I need to again thank Bilal Ahmed and Rebecca Fitzhugh, who have supported me throughout this entire process, and took part in something like 8 of my mocks between them. You saw my first stab at a presentation and my first attempt at a design on a physical whiteboard – you must have been a little worried at that stage!

Thanks Dominik Zorgnotti for running my first design mock and for the positive feedback after that mock – looking back at the whiteboard sketch, I was a long way from being match ready! Thanks to Fouad EL Akkad for the early morning mocks (5am, ouch!) and support throughout the last few months – congrats mate on also achieving your VCDX! Thanks to Mike Burkhart for a really useful mock and advice session, I think we were on the phone for about 3 hours!

Thanks to Gregg Robertson for running face-to-face mocks in Brentford back in March, for running the VCDX Slack workspace, and for the general advice throughout. Thanks to Kiran Reid for drilling into my SLAs at those face-to-face mocks and for following up a few weeks later to review my changes. From the VCDX Slack workspace, a big thanks to Simon Z and Manny Sidhu for participating in so many mocks, especially for coming up with really great and testing design scenarios. Also from the Slack community, thanks to Chris Noon, Anton Davidovskiy, and Ramandeep Singh for taking part in mocks and discussions.

Thanks to Abdullah Abdullah and Per Thorn for taking the time to do a scenario mock and a presentation mock. The contrast between your much appreciated feedback brought a smile to my face and reminded me that each candidate has their own approach, there is no one size fits all way of presenting a design.

Abdullah and Per were just two of a host of VCDX  (other than those already mentioned), to whom I’m grateful that they took time out to run a mock. I’m  grateful to Paul Meehan for organising a mock and pulling in Yves Sandfort. I got a very useful steer on my SLAs and catastrophic scenarios from that mock. Thanks to Shady Ali ElMalatawey, especially for going deep on the VxRail parts of my design and presentation. Thanks to Lior Kamrat for running a mock that really helped me figure out the business approach for the early parts of my slide deck. And in the final week leading up to my defence, thanks to Paul Cradduck and Jason Griegson for some of my last presentation mocks. Thanks to René van den Bedem for my final presentation run through and advice session – even though this was less than 48 hours before my defence I took the decision to make some key changes to my deck based on René’s feedback.

Thanks to the management at my work place (Mark, Shad, Lee, Dean and Trevor) who have supported me through this process, including with study time and justifying funding over the last 18 months.

And thanks again to those that I have not thanked above but who helped me on my successful design submission. I thanked everyone back in March who help me get that far, but to recap, those folks are as follows – thanks again again!;

  • Paul McSharry
  • Karl Childs
  • Simon Pelham
  • John Nicholson
  • Jase McCarthy
  • Stijn Depril
  • Matt Northam
  • Matthew Bunce
  • Marco van Baggum
  • Mat Jovanovic
  • Tim A
  • Trevor A
  • Mike P
  • Hein
  • Fengrui

To wrap up, thanks again to everyone involved in helping me achieve this massive goal. I truly couldn’t have done it without you!




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