Home > Certification, VMware, vSphere > VMware VCAP v5.1 exams retired–with practically no notice.

VMware VCAP v5.1 exams retired–with practically no notice.

Well isn’t that just dandy.  As a vExpert, I suppose I’m generally supposed to LIKE the information I share about VMware with the community.  But today’s post won’t be like that. 

VMware Education just announced the retirement of a number of VCAP exams.  The announcement can be found at http://blogs.vmware.com/education/2015/03/exam-retirement-announcement.html.  Not altogether a huge surprise – exams get retired for new versions all the time. 

The issue this time, is two fold:

1) They announced on March 2nd that the exams are retiring on March 14th.  12 days away.

2) The new exams, for the v6.0 track are not available yet!  “and by retiring them it allows us and our candidates to focus resources on the upcoming exams and certifications that were announced earlier this month.” is noted from the post.

Now, I’ll put on my Devil’s Advocate hat for a moment, and try to come up with the responses that VMware Education must have been thinking in their heads:

  • These are the v5.1 exams, and v5.5 has been out for a while.  They were going to get retired sooner or later

Actually, that’s it, that’s all I’ve got.

My commentary on it from an end user point of view:

  • Maybe people are still WORKING with v5.1? 
  • VCAP exams are difficult, and take a lot longer to study for. 
  • Finding an available exam sitting for some people is TOUGH.  There may not be a testing center in their location, or if there is, they may only do exams two days a week or something.  You can’t “just reschedule in two weeks” often – usually more like 2 months out in my experience. 
  • Normally, if you previously booked, the cut off would be for net-new bookings.  In this case, the wording is clear: “If you have an exam date already scheduled prior to March 14 for one of these exams, you will be able to complete it as scheduled. If your appointment falls after March 14 you may reschedule it prior to the 14th, if a spot is available.”  That’s right, if you fall after that deadline, too bad, here’s your money back. 

Come on.  Exams take time to study for.  I’m a huge proponent of the certification game, and of scheduling an exam as a goal to make you study, and sometimes those are booked far out.  To maybe have spent months studying, only to get the chair kicked out from under you is crazy.

I get there’s a new version coming, and new exams.  But they’re not here yet, are they?  The product was “announced” a month ago, still no downloadable bits.  No blueprint for the exams. 

Here’s hoping VMware Education can rethink this.  I have a hard enough time recommending people get certifications and invest their time without having to try explain this type of move.

Oh and to add insult to injury – remember that VMware Recertification Policy introduced last year?  (https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=46667&ui=www_cert).  If you had a VCP prior to March 10 2013, you need to recertify before… March 10 2015.  Hopefully this VCAP wasn’t you waiting for the last minute to recertify, or this is going to be a double whammy. 

Sorry VMware Education, someone dropped the ball on this one.  What SHOULD have happened is:

  • 90 Days notice should have been given.  That’d be a LOT more reasonable.
  • IF you had an EXISTING booking, you should have been allowed to complete it. 
  • The v5.1 based track shouldn’t be retired until after the v6.0 track has officially landed.

If you’re affected by this, or just generally unhappy about the situation, I highly recommend you follow the advice on the VMware Education blog post: “If you have specific questions or concerns please contact the Certification Support team.”

Good luck to all of you who are going to be able to write in the next 11 days.

Categories: Certification, VMware, vSphere
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