The VCAP-DTA (VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Desktop Administration) is a new-ish exam from VMware which covers everything from core View configuration and troubleshooting to desktop optimization, pool configuration based on specific requirements, Active Directory and Group Policy, and so on. While being a master of the View Admin console is required to pass the exam, it is certainly not all you need to know. I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to say it – know everything on the blueprint! Even moreso than the VCAP-DCA, this exam is very wide in its scope, and that means you have to be ready for anything. I spend a lot of time building and configuring View environments in my day job, and if I hadn’t studied as I did, I would have failed miserably. You have to not only be aware of the edge case, but you have to know how to be able to configure and troubleshoot it.
I sat the VCAP-DTA for the first time on April 17, and as you may have guessed, I did not pass (270/500, with 300/500 being a passing score). I ended up not managing my time very well at the beginning of the exam, and I just ran out of time before I could complete the last four questions (I had two in progress, and I didn’t even look at the last two). I was; however, very impressed with the VMware Certification folks getting my results to me in around a business day after completing the exam. Compared to the three full weeks I waited for my VCAP-DCA score last year, that’s unbelievably fast. Kudos!
As disappointed as that made me, I rescheduled for two weeks-ish later (May 3) and brushed up on my weak areas. I made absolutely sure I knew where the things I was weak in appeared in the documentation set. I went in with a little bit better strategy on managing my time, and I took the exam again. This time, I felt much better about my performance, mainly because I actually made it all the way through the exam. I completed more tasks, and even though I had trouble with some items I really shouldn’t have, I felt like I put myself in a much better position to pass. Less than one business day later, I had my results – pass!
Here are some resources I used to prepare (and re-prepare, I suppose) for the exam:
- VCAP-DTA Exam Blueprint from VMware
- Exam Experience and study resources from Steve Dunne (@stevied_82) – Great study resources and his experiences are spot on with mine. Definitely worth a read.
- Exam Experience from Manfred Hofer (@Fred_vBrain) – Also great experience post.
Thanks for reading!