VCAP-DCD Resources

By | September 7, 2015

The most recent cert that I passed was the VCAP-DCD550, also known as “The Widowmaker” as my wife can attest to 🙂

In order to prepare for it did the following things:

  1. Read Forbe’s & Lowe’s book VMware vSphere Design (2nd ed.) – this book is an excellent source and needs to be read at least twice by any aspiring VCAP-DCD
  2. Watched Scott Lowe’s Pluralsight video “Designing VMware Infrastructure” – again watch it twice as you’ll pick up stuff you missed on the 2nd viewing.
  3. The Exam Blueprint of course – This is basically every pdf VMware has, and it’s a tough slog, but worth it.
  4. I read the VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide… but compared to the first 3 I didn’t find much value in it.
  5. Grierson did an excellent job on this site, it’s a GREAT primer on what to expect on the test.  The study guide after the last question is also superb and put together by some pretty smart fellers 😉
  6.  I joined an excellent VCAP-DCD study group on Google+.  The folks there are very helpful & active.

Be warned: even with the above prep I failed TWICE before passing.  I took it once cold at VMworld 2014 to get the feel for it at a discount and got a low 200’s.  Then I took it again after months of prep and got a mid 250’s score.  This test can be disheartening!!  After another month of serious study the 3rd time was the charm with a 406:


Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be glad to help out any aspiring DCD’s 🙂


3 thoughts on “VCAP-DCD Resources

  1. Jason

    Nice site Chris 🙂 keep up the good work.

    The DCD can be a challenging exam and defiantly can be disheartening 😛 However strangely enough the 4 hour drive to the testing center and sitting in the Panera Bread for a final study session prior to passing the DCD on my 3rd attempt is a fond memory of mine now :p

    Chin up and good look to any new challengers to the DCD!

  2. matthieujbraga

    Thanks for sharing Chris!

    I have always been of the opinion that it is the journey to these certs which is the interesting and valuable part of the experience. While any cert is nice to have as an achievement, it is the knowledge gained behind that journey that is really what matters, and no cert can describe what that meant for the individual concerned.

    The tests I have been able to pass with minimal (or no!) studying have only ever served to inflate my ego, and not grow me in any meaningful way. Needing to retake an exam IMHO tends to push an Engineer to approach both the content and related challenge from different angles, and the take away ends up being much greater.

    Thanks for the post that shows that perseverance and not getting discouraged wins the day! 406 is an amazing score…….

    As I get ready to look at the DCD in the coming months, I will try to keep this all in mind on my own journey.

    1. chrisfwilliams Post author

      Thanks Matt! Let me know if you need any help in the process!


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