I get this question a lot and I plan on updating a few slides for upcoming VCDX Workshops to address it. In the past the workshop certainly focusses on the defense day, but I am reminded today of some things that make a proper submission. Actually there is probably a good list of things NOT to do that also comes to mind. I think I will just give you a quick list and you should be able to catch the idea.
Here is a few basic hints for your VCDX Submission package
DON’T just submit stock PSO templates! Honestly, I’ve seen this for years and the measure of an architect is not if they have a pulse and can download a document to put in a zip file. That may sound harsh, but respect the time of the people reviewing it, and put in some effort please.
DO make sure all your documentation is aligned with the design! You can use templates as a GUIDE, but they should reflect alignment to the actual customer requirements and the rest of the design package. Any templates are a good source of formatting and other layouts if you need help with them, but you need to use the submission to demonstrate your written skills.
DON’T forget to include your application! I’ve seen this in the past as well. People get all the way to the end of their design packet and actually forget to include the application! This is a required component and may sound obvious, but sometimes I always have to state the obvious for it to be heard.
DO try to send in a standard readable format! You can get it to us a various set of ways, but let’s try to make sure we use standard formats like Microsoft Office, PDF, ZIP files, etc. We often get some submissions we cannot open or read and this may cause VMware to send it back to you for re-submission.
DON’T wait until the last minute! Every round I seen this that a bulk of submissions come in at the 11th hour just before the deadline. This is of course up to you, but some of the things I mentioned above could get you into trouble. Submissions are not always reviewed as soon as they come in, but in some cases they are given a quick glance. If, for example, you are missing the application because you forgot to attach it, you could be notified and still have time to send it over. Once the deadline has passed your submission cannot be updated or altered. Even when I submitted mine, I sent it in early, and even sent an updated version just before the deadline because I made some significant changes.
DO make sure your submission is 100% complete! Ultimately I say this in the workshops, but the age old saying of “measure twice and cut once” applies. Check your documents, then double-check to make sure your items are in order. You want to breathe easy once you hit the submit button and then focus on preparing for your defense once you get your invitation.