My VCP5 experience and a Workstation 9 giveaway!

VMW_10Q3_LGO_CERTIFIED_PRO_4For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Google+, you may have noticed that I recently passed my VCP5.  This exam was a long time in the making, but every time I would go to take it, something would come up.  Originally, I was scheduled to start the new year with my VCP5 exam, but a last minute trip to Seattle forced me to reschedule my exam for February.  When I rescheduled my exam for February, I had no idea I would be starting my new job, but as luck would have it, I scheduled it for the same week.  So once again, I rescheduled for March.  Hopefully this explains why I had been so quiet with my blog lately as I had spent a lot of my available time leading up to the exam studying.  Even though I switched into a marketing role, I’m still keeping my technical side.  I committed to passing this exam and even made it part of my goals with EMC.


The good news is that my studying paid off.  I passed my VCP5 with a better score than I got on the VCP4!  A few of my biggest takeaways from the exam were as follows:

  • Gone are the majority of the questions about minimums and maximums (I think I had only 1)
  • Even more questions were about real world examples
  • There was a heavy focus on performance troubleshooting and identification
  • Several questions focused on HA, DRS, and FT
  • Only a handful had images, so be sure to paint a mental picture from the descriptions


My exam prep consisted of many different resources.  I started off by reviewing the material found in 3 books:

I also reviewed the study guide and exam prep questions put together by Mike Preston.  This guide is very comprehensive and full of great information.  Simon Long also has practice exam questions on the VCP5 as well and was one of my primary resources when studying for my VCP4.


The final resource I used in my preparation was the recordings of the vBrownBag.  They went through every section of the VCP5 exam blueprint and is great to listen to.  I only wish that they did it again so that I could have asked my questions live.


So on to the giveaway.  One of the rewards for passing the VCP5 is a free VMware Workstation 9 license.  I want to give back to the community that has helped me so much, so I’m giving this key away to someone who needs it.  Wining this license key is simple:

  • Make sure you are following me on twitter
  • Leave a comment here telling me something about your VCP5 exam experience (or study plans if you haven’t taken the exam).  A helpful tip, a gotcha, anything will do and there is no wrong answer here!
  • Make sure that you also put your twitter handle in your comment (I will need this to DM you if you win)

The winner will be selected at random and you will earn an extra entry if you tweet about this blog post and mention my twitter handle in the tweet.  I’m going to to do this quick, so the contest will close at 12:01 AM Eastern on April 1st, 2013 and I will contact the winner shortly after that.

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  • virtxpert


  • Congrats on the pass, Sean. My own VCP journey has also been a long time coming. But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel now that I’ve finally had an opportunity to take an official prereq course after 7 years of doing VMware administration.

    Now that the course is under my belt I hope to knock out the exam by the end of May, then move right into VCAP5-DCA prep. My study materials sound similar to yours…the official docs, #vBrownBag VCP5 video series, Mastering vSphere 5 by Scott Lowe, and study guides from Jason Langer and Mike Preston. I especially need to focus on features or areas that I don’t use regularly like FT, FibreChannel and NFS, and vApps and IP Pools. I am very glad that there is less emphasis on min/max type questions. Rote memorization for exams has always been my weak point.

    But the one thing I am now lacking since changing jobs a few months ago is a nested ESXi lab I can use for study and practice. My old Workstation licenses stayed with my previous employer so I am currently without. If I win, once I pass my own exam I’ll follow your lead and give away the license that comes with the cert. Guess that will be a good reason to finally start a blog. 🙂

    Twitter handle is @vDanBarr


  • tates11

    Not really in a hurry to get this, as I’m taking the exam by next year… but it would be good to prepare earlier 😀

    Twitter: @tates11

  • Vipin V.K

    Sean, Congratulations on your achievement . Have plan for VCP, date is to be fixed. Twitter handle : @vipinvk111

  • Rajesh Wankhade

    Congrats !!!! i know how much you feel happy to clear this exam as i clear it on last sunday too its wooow but honestly i am not working on Vmware so little scare how will be the journey with vmware and dont know how to start. if you have some thing to share pleas share with me 🙂

    Thanks lot and and congrats once again !!!!!

  • george

    Hello Sean,

    I am a recent
    college grad who will be interviewing on the phone for the Associate
    Consultant I position. If I make it past, they will fly me for in
    person interviews in Chicago. Can you give me some advice on what’s like
    for phone and in-person interviews? What kind of technical and
    behavioral questions will EMC ask?

    I am trying to prepare
    for the interviews and I stumbled on your blog Thulin’ Around. I think
    it’s a great blog and it’s really nice of you to share your work at EMC.

    I sincerely appreciate your help.


    • George,

      Congrats on getting the phone interview, that’s the first part. Are you going to be a part of the GSAP program? If so you may want to read my other blog post ( as it covers a lot of what I went through for training. Every interview is different, but I just say be honest and be yourself. If you want the job, say so.