Day 1: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Every wish there was a 9-day/81-hour course to propel you down the road to being a VMware Architect?   Wish no more.

The VMware Center for Advanced Learning has gone live with a course intended to:

Strengthen architectural & solution outcome skills in VMware Sr Consultants, Architects and Partners by establishing a baseline and model to interact with VMware Customers, leading the discovery, design and effectively communicate VMware solutions.

The Advanced Architecture Course is a very comprehensive program covering not just technical content across solutions; but it also includes presentation and business skills, our VMware IT Value Model and Digital Workspace Journey Model, solution design best practices, and internal and industry standard architectural methodologies.

Note that while it seems to have many parallels, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the VCDX program.

I’m not entirely sure how you go about signing up for it, my company (a VMware partner) received an email in February inviting us to send someone – and one of my co-workers managed to get on one of the betas runs of the class in January, also by invite.  You might try @henryvillar  who has tweeted about it in the past.

In the run up to class start I received a link to the VMware Wire micro-learning platform which included an AAC prerequisite learning path consisting of 32 hours of training including VMware Hands On Labs and Pluralsight courses covering Agile, TOGAF and ITIL.

(If you are keeping score, that is 113 hours of training so far)

A few days before the class you get a packet to “become familiar with before class starts” that includes a case study (11 pages) and two SoWs (16 and 90 pages).

My class has 31 participants from around the world, grouped in to 6 teams – mostly employees, only a handful of partners – and all men.   Your team is important as on the last day you will present a solution you have been working on (as a team) since Day 1.

Class kicks off with a welcome and overview, then you are off and running learning about the IT Value Model and Digital Workspace Journey Model and how important it is to be talking about business needs and outcomes vs product names with client execs.

We then played a game (team vs team) where we chose IT projects to implement for a company based on brief case study and budget numbers.   The IT projects were presented with backing information, projected outcomes and cost.  The game was great as it made us decide on which projects to execute when and gave quick feedback on the results.   I found it very enlightening to see what the class developers wanted us to notice, take into account and focus on.

There’s also a daily quiz, which it turns out counts (along with many other things – tho mostly the team presentation at the end of the class) towards your grade – and you need a 70 at least to “pass” and get the coveted CAL AA badge:


Downside to the class: as a partner you get to see the PS Solution Builder tool which would make my life much easier – but isn’t available to partners.

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