It is commonly known that the best way to increase your chances of achieving the VCDX title is to join a Study Group, have your design reviewed by VCDX-level peers, participate in VCDX-level Mock Defences and be mentored by already qualified VCDXs.
With that being said, the Study Group is a symbiotic relationship where each participant is expected to contribute to the group and give as much as he or she receives. There are no free rides.
Here is a list of common courtesies when participating in a Study Group that will ensure all attendees gain from the experience:
- Attend each Study Group that is scheduled, commit your time to the process, particularly if the 60 day countdown to the D-Day has started. This is especially true when the session being held is within your area of expertise.
- Contribute to group discussions, do not “lurk” in the background silently absorbing information, that is parasitical behaviour.
- Think for yourself, the VCDX is about the journey where you learn and absorb lessons from your own mistakes, sweat and effort.
- Do not ask for an answer to every question asked, it is bad form and can be construed as coasting or lurking. Make a note of the question, research it and if you cannot find an answer, query it at the next session.
- Make sure you prepare yourself for the agreed Study Group schedule. If a session is about presenting your design, then make sure you have a Powerpoint document to present; if the session is about networking, then make sure you have a set of networking questions to test the group.
- If you peer review design documents and then incorporate parts of another candidate’s design into your own without acknowledgement or reference, that is called plagiarism.
- A standard practice is to list the reviewers of your VCDX submission; do not list a person’s name if they did not review your documentation.
- If you think you can coast and then win the VCDX on the sweat of others, it will be an empty victory that you and your peers will be aware of.
- Study Group tips by vHipster