If you fail your first VCDX panel defense (in-person), you will be given the option of a VCDX Remote Defense if you resubmit. The same is true for Multi-VCDX. This was added to the VCDX program to reduce the travel expenses for VCDX candidates and to provide a more flexible VCDX defense schedule. This post is about my experience with the VCDX Remote Defense for the VCDX-DTM track.
The guidelines of the VCDX Remote Defense:
- The remote defense technology is Zoom (at the time of writing).
- You will be asked to share your Desktop and verify that only your presentation and Whiteboard software are running (awwapp.com in my case).
- You will be asked to enable your WebCam, so that the panelists can see you. The panelists will not enable their WebCams.
- You will be asked to show that your smart phone is powered off.
- You will be asked to do a security scan of your office via the WebCam. You must be alone in your office.
- You will be asked to present your government issued identification to the WebCam.
- You will be asked to confirm that no recording devices are enabled.
- You will not be able to see the VCDX timer. The moderator controls that and will give a warning at the final 5 minute mark for each phase of the Defense. First-time VCDX is 75min (presentation) and 45min (design scenario). Multi-VCDX is 60min.
- You will be charged US$995 for the VCDX application review and then an additional US$900 for the VCDX remote defense after you have passed the VCDX application review.
The platform I used during the VCDX Remote Defense:
- MacBook Pro 13″ 2017 running macOS 10.14.1 with Microsoft Office for Mac 16.19 and Mozilla Firefox 63.0.1.
- iPad Pro running iOS 12.1 with Apple Pencil for the Whiteboard software (linked to my Desktop Firefox session via the awwapp.com Internet Share function). This allowed me to sketch my diagrams by hand, rather than use the mouse from my desktop.
- Beats Solo headset with integrated microphone.
- Connected to high speed Internet via Wifi.
This was my first remote defense, I normally travel and defend in-person, which is my preferred method. However, it was a positive experience, it took a little getting used to being seated and not being able to look the panel in the eye and walk around. I had to disable the WebCam preview of myself in the Zoom session, I found it distracting. I presented a full slide deck that aligned to the VCDX blueprint, as if I was defending VCDX for the first time. And once I got started with my presentation, I forgot it was a remote session and was fully immersed in the experience.