VCDX – D-Day

Loads of cash, months of effort and planning, hundreds of hours of preparation is now culminating in a two hour session before “THE PANEL.”  This is it, “DO OR DIE.”  It is easy to freak yourself out at this stage.

List of articles in my VCDX Deep-Dive series (more than 70 posts)

If you have prepared properly with your Study Group, Mocks, VCDX Mentoring, immersing yourself in Blogs, Books and Podcasts, then you have nothing to worry about.  Just keep cool and do not let your nerves get the better of you.  Right now, you are your biggest enemy.

You will be thinking, “What if I fail?  Will my peers think I am a loser?”  Crush those negative thoughts and give yourself a good mental slapping.  Just to get to this point is a win.  It takes dedication and guts to put yourself through this process, and your colleagues recognise this.  The Defence is merely the capstone to your success.

Before the Defence, make sure you:

  • If travelling, arrive at least 24 hours before your appointment
  • Stay in accommodation close to the venue
  • Dry run to the venue – How long does it take?
  • Set your alarm
  • Get an excellent night of sleep
  • Relax – study time is over
  • Eat well, keep your energy up and remain hydrated
  • On the day: Dress in professional business attire
  • On the day: Perform a dry run of your presentation before you get to the venue, this helps calm your nerves and reinforces how prepared you are

When you arrive at the Defence, you are only allowed to bring a Flash Drive with your presentation (PPT & PDF), Remote Pointer, two forms of Government ID and a Paper Copy of your VCDX Application.  Everything else goes in a lock box that you can collect afterwards.

Once you have been escorted to the Defence area by the Moderator, make sure you:

  • Check that your presentation works on the Laptop with your remote pointer
  • Re-arrange the white board to your satisfaction; make sure your back is not facing the panellists when writing on the white board
  • Check the white board markers – make sure they work
  • If you are tall, position a chair so that you do not have to kneel or crouch when writing on the white board
  • Breathe and adjust to your surroundings
  • REMEMBER: Each Panellist has been through the same process; they want you to succeed; they are there to test your knowledge, not to embarrass you or watch you fail
  • Just focus on starting your presentation without any hiccups and then you will warm up very quickly and hit your full stride
  • Note the location of the Timer, regularly check it to ensure you are hitting your points on time
  • Do not venture to the other side of the room where the Panellists are sitting, they have scoring information on their Laptop screens that you are not permitted to view

Schedule of the Defence:

  1. Arrive 15 minutes before the start time
  2. Moderator will meet you in the lobby and escort you to the Defence area
  3. Moderator will check your Government ID and take a photo of you for the VCD “X-files”
  4. Moderator will introduce you to the Panellists and invite you to setup your presentation on the Laptop provided
  5. Moderator will read a script regarding your Defence attempt
  6. Moderator will ask if you have any questions and if you are ready to begin? Breathe, visualise your success, take your time and then tell the Moderator you are ready to begin your presentation
  7. 75 minutes elapse – You are now past the half-way mark
  8. Moderator will escort you to the rest area for coffee and a bathroom break
  9. 10 minutes elapse – Refresh yourself and relax, visualise the questions you are going to ask for the next session, breathe, keep calm
  10. Moderator will escort you back to the Defence area for the Design and Troubleshooting scenarios
  11. Moderator will read out the Design scenario slides on the Overhead Projector
  12. Moderator will ask if you have any questions and are you ready to begin?
  13. 30 minutes elapse – You are now on the final sprint to the finish
  14. Moderator will read out the Troubleshooting scenario slides on the Overhead Projector
  15. Moderator will ask if you have any questions and are you ready to begin?
  16. 15 minutes elapse – Finito, go out and celebrate, reclaim your life
  17. Moderator will read a script closing the Defence and will escort you to the lobby
  18. You are free to go and hopefully you have hit it out of the park
  19. Within 10 days, you will receive an email with your result
  20. Within Four weeks, if you fail, you will get a PDF from the VCDX program with the Panellists’ feedback

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Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.

One thought on “VCDX – D-Day”

  1. Hi Rene
    Excellent Post.. I love the way you articulate your thoughts.
    I have bookmarked this site while I prepare and plan for my VCDX journey.

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