It took me, not unsurprisingly, longer then expected to sit down and write this post. Primarily because I am a little in shock that I actually achieved this, but also because imposter syndrome kicked in a bit, and really I simply needed time to sort through all the emotions I experienced: euphoria, disbelief, let down, loss of direction, etc. Now that I have had almost two weeks to sort through my thoughts and feelings I figured it was time to share my thoughts on my journey to VCDX.

My entire VCDX journey is without a doubt a multi-part post, I will do my best to share as much of it as I can, as quickly as I can. Today I mostly want to reflect on the things about my journey that have transformed me either as a person or a technologist.

You can’t do it alone

Unlike other certifications, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around what it takes to get over the line. And even when you think you know, it’s likely you don’t. If you choose to go down the VCDX path, engage with the community. While there are tons of great resources out there to help on the VCDX, there is just as much good information as inaccurate/aging/unclear information. Utilize the communities pool of knoweldge and experience to help enable you to succeed. Utilize the VCDX directory to find a mentor, form a study group, join a study group, but don’t think you can do it yourself.

LISTEN

Depending on your experience and background it’s highly possible that you will start on the VCDX path totally unequipped for what is required to suceed. Personally, I know that I was. Listen to those on the other side of the road and/or those who are also in the process with you.

Coming from a technology engineering background I entered the VCDX journey viewing it like any other technical challenge out there, in other words “easy”. In reality, VCDX is anything but easy, in fact if you’ve ever heard or uttered the phrase “The technology isn’t the part I’m worried about….” you can relate to what I’m describing. While you have to be a technical expert for the VCDX, it is about so much more then just the technology.

It’s OK to stumble

As you are on the path towards your VCDX you will stumble quite a few times. Some of them will be painful, some will just be frustrating, and some of them you won’t even understand what the hell just happened. It’s OK. Pick yourself up and just keep moving.

Pace yourself

Getting your VCDX is a journey. It took me about a year start to finish, during which I was extremely focused on it. Do not underestimate the effort this will take and if you feel burnout coming on, be proactive.

Be ready for the let down

I am fortunate that I dedicated a number of years to competing at a relatively high level in two different sports. Once you get that email, you will have a period of sheer and utter joy and elation. That’s the awesome part, the part that sucks and is rarely talked about is that that elation only lasts for a short while. Then you will suddenly realize “Holy crap, what am I going to do with all my spare time?” Do not be surprised when that happens, have a plan to handle that, but ultimately don’t forget to enjoy your accomplishment.

That’s all I have on the subject today, hopefully you will find this useful on the journey to your VCDX.

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