So today was my day, I spent the whole monday studying my materials like a recluse in my hotel room (my wife had an extra reserve of patience to burn :-), Today I woke up at 5:00am in order to prepare myself for the defense, I took a shower to clear my thoughts, had a quick breakfast and then drove from Burlington to Alewife to catch the T red line to Kendall, where the VMware offices are located.
I was a bit pessimistic about public transport (well, I’m used to those in Italy) so I ended up being very early (7.25am) to the appointment, I left my wife with a good book to read and I started rehearsing my initial presentation, at 8:05 they made me walk into the Panel room where I hooked up my Mac to the projector and the (in)famous iPad timer started running…
Everything is under NDA so I cannot disclose the questions, and I will not disclose who was on my Panel too (they can do that if they want) but it definitely was intense, unfortunately my spoken English is quite bad so I had to try to explain myself with simple articulations, I still don’t know if they were effective, definitely I was not satisfied with them.
The 75 minutes flew thru like they were 5, and if you normally don’t believe what you read on the internet about stuff, this is definitely not the case, BELIEVE everything they say about the VCDX defense.
After the defense I got 15 minutes to spare, I had some tea, visited the men’s room, checked out the stunning Boston panorama (the VMware offices are located on the 10th floor) and relaxed myself on the overly comfortable armchairs in the cafeteria, believe me, they were the most refreshing 15 minutes I ever had in my whole life.
After the break I walked into the room again for the Design and Troubleshooting part, obviously I can’t go into details here, I will just say that I was probably on the right track for the Design but I spent too much time on two things only, If I had to retry this I would have done things differently.
The troubleshooting scenario is the one that I was most confident with, I think I found the root cause and hope that my explanation of the problem was enough verbose and correct.
Now they’re going to let me know the outcome on Friday the 12th (or even Monday the 15th), I will eagerly wait for that email, in the meantime I still feel a sense of relief 🙂
For the VCDX candidates still having to defend here’s an advice that I quote from the great Jason Boche:
Tips for the Defense:
1) Know your design, I mean really know it.
2) Refer to tip #1
This is definitely the wisest advice.