My VMCE-ADO experience

So my first go at the VMCE-ADO exam was way back at New Orleans during VeeamON 2017. That experience could quite easily be described as an A+ for attendance but an F for effort, it was a textbook case of the ‘7 Ps’ and I walked away with a measly 50% result.  Thankfully I was fortunate enough to be using an exam voucher which included a free reattempt so I thought why not give it a go while I can. That exam showed me first hand just how tough it really is but more importantly, I saw what it was going to take in regards to study to make sure I was really ready for the next attempt.

Unfortunately, it has been over a year since VeeamON 2017, in fact, VeeamON 2018 has already come and gone, yet I couldn’t delay sitting the exam any longer as the reattempt voucher was just about to expire. Timing was not the best as we just sold/purchased/moved houses 3 weeks prior and it was my sons 3rd birthday 2 weeks prior. I think I gained a few grey hairs this month… Nevertheless, the exam was booked and I couldn’t reschedule it without getting out my credit card.

Regarding studying for attempt number 2, one thing I made sure to do was to focus on the sizing formulas which are covered throughout the VMCE-ADO textbook, I tried to memorise every single one and it proved very helpful in the exam. I ended up writing these formulas down onto a single piece of paper and it was was the last thing I read before going into the exam.

The exam itself is only 40 questions long which means you only have a relatively short amount of time allocated to complete the exam so I made sure to keep an eye out the time left. I did one quick pass through all the questions, selecting the first answer that felt right and flagging ones I wasn’t sure about. Once I made my way through the 40 questions I went back and reread the questions again, trying not to change answers unless I was really sure. After the second run-through, I would only focus on the flagged questions.

One thing that stood out to me was the variety of difficulty in the questions.

A variety of the questions I felt were straightforward and I could answer pretty much immediately. Other questions took a bit of consideration and could even be pieced together from clues in other questions. The remaining questions felt like they were straight out of Gostev’s book of unsolved Veeam bugs…

Thankfully I scraped through with a pass mark of 73%, a whole 3% above the minimum pass grade. I walked out of that exam feeling like a weight has been taken off my shoulder and a serious appreciation of just how tough that exam is.

My suggestion to anyone going into this exam is that even if you might design and deploy Veeam for a living you will still be faced with questions that can only be answered by thoroughly reading the VMCE-ADO textbook. Even with my significant hands-on experience working with Veeam products I still encountered questions that I’ve never had to consider before as they would only come up in the most unusual of customer environments.

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