My VCDX Defend Experience

Let’s directly start with the most important news; I’ve passed my VMware VCDX defend and got VCDX Number #040! Very Cool!!

The story: two weeks ago I travelled to Munich to do the final and biggest step in the VCDX Certification path – Present and Defend your Design & Implementation Plan.
In preparation to this I worked overtime to first get my design translated and secondly to review all the design choices since you will be ask about this.

The Defend consists of three parts which are covered in the 3-hour timeslot:

1) Defend your submitted design (15 minutes for the presentation, 60 minutes to answer questions about the design)
2) Design Scenario (30 minutes)
3) Troubleshoot Scenario (15 minutes)

I won’t bore you with all the stressy details, I just want to give you some useful tips for the Defend:

  • It’s a good idea to put all your diagrams into the slide deck. If there are diagrams that aren’t relevant for the 15 minutes presentation (eg. detailed diagrams) insert them after the “Questions ?”-slide for use as a quick reference whenever questions are fired off;
  • Keep focus on the question that is asked you. Don’t make a long story of a simple answer since the defend is time limited and it’s preferable that you score on every subject;
  • Make sure you can validate every single decision, know which other (technical) options are available and more importantly what the impact would have been for the other (technical) options;
  • Remember that an answer like “I did this since it’s a best practice” isn’t a complete answer, most of the time there must be either a technical and/or organizational reason why a specific choice is made;
  • Don’t expect much feedback of the panel members that indicate if the answer you are given is of any use. Most of the time they just start typing and go on to the next question;
  • Read Duncan’s recently published blog about the Design and Troubleshoot Scenario and note that the panel members will also tell you that you have to think out loud, ask questions and whiteboard everything that comes up into you mind.


To conclude, keep in mind that VMware published an online directory in which you can find all the VCDX certified people. Remember this resource since I already got in touch with people that dishonestly were claiming that they received their VCDX status!

Leave a comment


  1. A really big congratulations!! Well done!

  2. Congratulations on achieving VCDX #40! You deserve it!

  3. Again, congratulations Kenneth! Welcome to the club. I also thought it was a great experience, but I thought the application was the hardest part.

  4. congratulations on your achievement.
    i wonder how it feels to know that there are less vcdx in the world than there are presidents 🙂

  5. Congratz and thanks for the heads-up! Will take it in mind when I reach that state :-).

  6. Congratulations, Kenneth! Now I’m no longer the last VCDX… 🙂

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