My Opinion Of The VCDX Pass Rate • Chris Colotti's Blog

My Opinion Of The VCDX Pass Rate

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Let me strongly preface this with the fact it’s 100% my opinion only, but I wanted to just write quickly about my opinion on the “VCDX Pass Rate” or passing percentage, or whatever you want to call it.  Over the last few years there has been some discussion on this as more people are passing.  The “pass rate” may seem higher that it once was.  I want to provide some feedback on why that may appear to be true and also my personal insights.  The bar has never and will never be lowered regardless of the perception of the passing rate over time.

The VCDX Pre-Review Process

As most past candidates know, after you submit your application there is a rigorous “pre-review” process where your application is examined by VCDX Panelists.  This is where you are either invited to defend or your application is denied and sent back to you with additional feedback for you to re-apply.  This process has been “tuned” over time to identify those that have the best chance of SUCCESS based on their initial application.  I want to stress this, because it’s important to what I am going to say later.  I will admit early on this process was not as fine tuned and more people were invited to defend that maybe should have been given more time to develop their design.  This  equated to more people defending and not succeeding, thus a lower “pass rate” in the past.

By doing a better job over time the pre-review has selected people who present the best chance of success once invited to the defense process.  Think about it, we are not trying to fail people…we want to see them succeed.  Therefore the goal in the pre-review is to identify those that on paper show the best examples of architecture skills.

The VCDX “Pass Rate” is Meaningless

Yes you heard me right.  I believe if we do our jobs right and invite the candidates that show in the pre-review application process who exhibit the attributes we are looking for, then in theory we should have a higher pass rate.  If you invite 100 people who on paper appeared to be qualified, and they were well prepared for their defense, who cares if all 100 of them pass?  Personally, I don’t really care that simply means we did a good job identifying those that have the attributes to succeed.  Once you are invited to defend, the fact is you hold the keys to succeeding or not.  You’ve already been granted the invitation to further demonstrate your skills.  If you happen to trip and fall during the defense…..well…..that’s a different problem.

So my point here is to those that examine the percentage of people who pass, I ask why is it such a big deal?  What is more important is knowing we are NOT ever lowering the bar, in fact we are just trying to do a better job early in the process to make sure the bar is met and those invited have a better chance to succeed.  Some may perceive this as me “spinning” things, but I don’t think so.  I commend the past panelist for continuing to make sure the pre-reviews are done well, and the panels are conducted as they always have been.

In the end it’s about inviting the right people with the right skills, and ensuring they are given the best chance for success, not failure.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is currently a Principal Architect at Cohesity. In his role he spends the majority of his time supporting Cohesity events and creating outward facing content. He also acts as an active interface between the field and engineering/product management as customer zero in the TAG production lab. Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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