Yesterday, I defended Dell EMC Certification Master – Enterprise Architect (DECM-EA) for the second time and passed. This post has my recommendations to be successful, visit this link for the DECM-EA program overview.
Here are my suggestions:
- DECM-EA now has a mentoring program, make sure you sign-up (through the DECM-EA program manager) and have your design reviewed before you submit.
- You are required to provide three projects as part of your submission. The project that you want to defend before the panel, must include Dell Technologies components. My advice is to use two past projects that may not be the most recent but demonstrate your skill-set. For the last project you are going to defend before the panel, either enhance an existing design to align with the blueprint or create a new one based upon a recent customer engagement. This ensures you can tell a complete story that ties back to a single customer and demonstrates all areas of the blueprint. This was something that tripped me up during my first defense, I had blueprint areas being met across all three projects and my most modern design was with Nutanix, which I could not refer to.
- My primary submission was a combination of Word and Visio diagrams. My entire primary submission was 70 pages long. My other two projects were what I used for VCDX-NV and NPX. My first primary submission in 2018 was my VCDX-CMA submission.
- Build your primary submission design with chapters that align to the blueprint.
- If your primary submission architecture uses a legacy application architecture, that is no problem, however do explain how your design would be leveraged for a cloud-native application stack.
- If your primary submission architecture is built with legacy 3-tier infrastructure, you have a problem. It needs to be a modern infrastructure stack.
- Your presentation to the board is 30 minutes long without interruption. Make sure you build a slide deck that aligns with the blueprint and allows you to tell a compelling story. During this 30 minute period, try to cover any blueprint areas you felt you were weak on – this gives you the chance to make your case without interruption.
- During the 45 minute Q&A period, be prepared to think on your feet and think critically on the fly. You cannot predict what you will be asked, but you can practice being cool, calm and collected. If there was a problem with your design, admit to it and explain how you would fix it and why. Make sure you dig into the questions being asked, to work out what they really want you to answer.
- This is a Master-level certification, the next step beyond Expert-level certifications, know your gaps, make a plan, do the work and demonstrate your skills.