As a member of the Veeam Vanguard program, I was fortunate to be chosen to attend the VMCE v10 Beta training, at the Veeam offices in Bucharest. The course was conducted over a period 3 days and involve not less than 8 Vanguards from various European countries, as well as members of the Veeam training team. At the end of the 3 day course, we were invited to sit the new VMCE v10 pilot exam and feedback accordingly.
While I cannot go into details about specific course material, I can talk in general about the experience.
From the offset, this felt like it would be a different course than any other I had attended before. This was mainly due to the fact that as a Vanguards we were chosen to attend and comment on the course, because of our knowledge and experience.
Very quickly the course had the feel of a “train the trainer”, which was a real eye-opener. It wasn’t sitting listening to the instructor, Bart Pellegrino, delivering the VMCE course material. We were privy to Bart explaining how the trainer’s should be delivering the training in their classrooms and the message they should convey throughout the training.
We loosely followed the content of the course, but at every natural, and lot of not so natural, pause we were invited to comment on the structure and content of the module. This where things got really interesting.
You see we were sitting commenting on what should/shouldn’t be included as part of the course material, but it was like pulling at a thread. If we suggested “XYZ” content, then some of the Veeam training team would challenge our opinion, and ask us to consider the suggestion from the angle of non-Veeam, 3rd party trainers or attendees, who would have less access to Veeam resources. Certainly got us all thinking slightly differently, before making our next suggestion
Equally the content/delivery and the message from Bart was challenged by Vanguards and Veeam training team alike. What was extremely gratifying to hear/see was every piece of feedback was either noted or commented on there and then. No comment or suggestion was dismissed outright. Sure there were some that were disregarded quickly after a very brief discussion, but it was never done so disrespectfully.
Soon it became quite apparent that the content was still very much a work in progress and the discussions/feedback were worded accordingly. One of the best discussions came on the final day when 2 particular modules came under close scrutiny and thorough discussion, which eventually led to a very positive outcome. I look forward to seeing the end result.
And so to the VMCE v10 pilot exam, which I sat immediately after the course end on Wednesday. Now I need to emphasize that the VMCE course is *NOT* designed to help you pass the VMCE exam. You will find the exams questions are an absolute testament to that. I will offer one piece of advice, you *will* need practical and hands-on experience of *ALL* Veeam Availability Suite features. I found this out to my detriment, which resulted in me failing the exam:(
If you do not use the features regularly or have never used them, then do yourself a favour, set up a lab and use them!
However, this wasn’t about passing the exam. The attendees were presented with the opportunity to feedback on the exam questions, which was of more value than actually passing. Overall it was a fair exam, and will absolutely test your Veeam knowledge.
The event also provided the opportunity to re-connect with some of my fellow Vanguards. Some of the Veeam team members I had engaged with online but never had the opportunity to meet in person. I was also able to contribute a little something back to the VMCE training program, by recording a little testimony about the VMCE training.
Given the amount of discussion/feedback over the 3 days, I dare say the VMCE v10 course content/structure and delivery will change. A big thanks to the all who attended and contributed to the event. I know I can take a small amount of pride in the fact that I was able to participate and help develop a better experience for future course attendees. For the ability to do so, I would like to thank all at Veeam, my employer (brightsolid) and my fellow Vanguards for the opportunity to do so.