Originally posted in September 2015 on vmice.net
The VCDX Mentor Program was a program originally started by VMware to give aspiring candidates access to a VCDX that was willing to help out on the journey.
Soon it seemed as if it wasn’t a good fit for VMware to assign mentors to specific people, since many mentors liked to help specific people or specific people wanted a certain mentors. So to make a long story short changes were made to the program. These changes can be read in this community thread: https://communities.vmware.com/thread/494515
Now mentors can be identified in the VCDX Directory with a specific Mentor flag. At the time of this post 36 people are up for mentoring a candidate.
The mentor needs to follow a specific guideline to make it absolutely clear what a mentor should and shouldn’t do. That guideline is accessible on the above community thread as well.
I recommend you talk to mentor as see if they are willing and capable to help out in the journey. It helped me immensely and actually played a big part in my successful first attempt.
The time a mentor has for the mentee depends on the mentor. Most likely they are quite busy people with lots of things to do. Just talk it through with your mentor on what he can do in terms of timeframe and time slot scheduling and work from there.
I’m not saying all mentors will work from a predetermined script so please keep in mind the following sections of this post are the things I thought helped me in the mentorship process.
- One of the main skills a mentor can help with is communication skills, just listening to mocks and presentation runs will give people a lot of insight into what the “uhms” and “ifs” are when presenting.
- Other thing is to be able to answer seemingly complex questions quickly and clearly. Rene Van Den Bedems post helped me get the correct mentality when answering potential panelist questions: http://vcdx133.com/2014/07/06/vcdx-learn-to-speak-vcdxese/
- Skill Set Tests sessions where a skill in a certain technology is tested. For me this were the most helpful sessions. Lets say it showed me how little I really knew at that time and much effort I needed to put in. Also it trains you in explaining the things you know better and faster. This of course can be done in a study group as well with a predetermined list of terminologies and answers.
- Helping out with presentation layouts and general recommendations with communication skills.
- Mock Defenses for skill and presentation evaluation.
- VCDX Journey experiences.
Here is a graphical representation of the sessions:
So that includes all the specific sessions that helped me in my journey and in turn I’m extremely grateful for all the guidance I received from my mentor.
And finally, my mentor was Rene Van Den Bedem, VCDX #133. He has one of the most detailed VCDX Deep Dive posts in the community and I highly recommend reading every last one it. http://vcdx133.com/2015/01/27/vcdx-series/