I will be hitting the big 30 in November and the major question on my mind is what do I have to show for it?
Of course I can begin thinking and listing out all the “things” I think I have achieved – my job, my assets…etc but are they really worth it? Is this all my life amounts to?
This seems like one of those notes I used to write in my journal many years ago. I remember I often called it “my black book”. This was cos all the dark depressing thoughts I had were penned/penciled down in there (I should find it and dust it up). I did that for many years till I became stronger and better at dealing with them. This is not one of those notes.
Sunday, as I walked into FWC, I noticed on my left images and pictures of a man. A man that I had never seen before but I strangely recognized. As I entered church and sat down, I saw more pictures of this same man. I later realized that this was a man that made all of this happen. This was the man that God worked through to birth the immense structure and ministry under which I now sat. Through out that service and afterwards one word kept running through my mind – the word LEGACY. What will my legacy be? What will I be remembered for? What impact will my 3 decades on earth have produced? All these questions point me to one conclusion and that is that “I have failed you Lord”. As I sit and write this, I feel the great potential locked up within me that is gradually being snuffed out by the thorns in this life, by indiscipline, complacency and lack of planing. Which is why, starting today I commit to do the following;
– To break down my life’s vision statement – To plan for it every step of the way My exact plan for my career path (c-naptic) My exact plan for a woman My exact plan for marriage and settling down. – To pray fervently for my fathers help and guide (I am a spiritual being above all else) and – To do all this daily, no matter what.
“We must put a stop to such distractions and get into such a living relationship with God that our relationship with others is maintained through the work of intercession”
To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” – The Shadow of an Agony, 1166 R
A typical pattern in most organizations that are starting out is that they have a lot of employees that are driven and energetic and who urgently take big decisions to move the organization from where it is currently (a start-up) to a much stronger organization.
The challenge with this pattern is that it breaks down at some point. As these organizations become successful they become complacent and that fire begins to whittle down until it is totally extinguished.
Craig Groeschel once said “Success kills pride, pride kills urgency and that is why people say nothing fails like success”
The idea here is not to just be urgent and to take decisions without thinking it through. No, the goal is to not be caught in the state of constantly analysing and reanalysing every possible scenario but to get up and go ahead with your idea.
The decision to step out with your idea is often not an easy one. Our design ideas are usually a reflection of who we are and there is that fear that your idea will be rejected or someone will poke so many holes in it and totally discourage you. So, we end up thinking about every scenario and digging into every detail – thus, we find ourselves stuck in the paralysis of analysis. The danger in this is not the analysis itself, it is the fact that you become paralyzed while doing this and therefore cannot react to an urgent situation or need that requires your attention.
Set a “drop dead” date: Set a deadline that you should not exceed. Remember that other people (units and departments even customers) are most likely expecting your feedback. Preferably set a date before your actual deadline.
Get a sanity check: Share your ideas with others. Not everyone, but people you trust and respect. Basically, bounce your ideas off them and get their feedback. No, do not setup long meetings (everybody’s time is precious). A casual conversation about your ideas will suffice. Now, you may ask, how does this help me make a decision faster? This exercise ensures that you get a fresh pair of eyes to look at those ideas and flag areas of issues hopefully long before you do.
Curb your curiosity: Curiosity is the mother of invention but it also killed the cat. Know when to put on those breaks and slow down. It is unlikely that you will solve all of life’s problems tonight.
Recognize that the moons will never align: According to ScienceFocus, the eight major planets of the Solar System can never come into perfect alignment. The last time they appeared even in the same part of the sky was over 1,000 years ago, in the year AD 949, and they won’t manage it again until 6 May 2492. He who watches the wind [waiting for all conditions to be perfect] will not sow [seed] – Ecclesiastes 11:4. In other words, don’t fret if your ideas or decision doesn’t feel quite complete. You can always improve on it later.
Stair step your decisions: This basically involves breaking a major decision into smaller, easier to tackle ones. Its the little decisions that lead up to the main one.
A few days ago I was at “Next Shopping Mall” and I heard a song in Yoruba. The song is titled “Órenté” and it’s by “Adekune Gold”. Now the song is not fully in Yoruba, it does contain some English lyrics but it was quite nice.
Anyway, when I heard the song I had a strange feeling. I felt some weird love for the language and I was kinda proud that I was Yoruba. The next feeling was that I will like my kids to speak the language fluently. This second feeling was weird cos I think that’s what my father must have felt when he came home one day and insisted that we all begin speaking Yoruba to him – that never worked out. Instead I think it created a rift between us and him. We couldn’t really express our true selves because we had to rehearse everything we wanted to say then translate it from English to Yoruba before speaking it out.
However, the song was a good one and I ended up searching for it online and playing it back to back for a few days after. In the song, the guy is basically praising a lady for being loyal and sticking with him. He says
“we may not have money but we have health, we may not have money but we have peace of mind. We may not have a roof over our head but our life is as sweet as honey…“.
Was listening to Signal by Sara Groves. It’s one of the songs on her new album – Floodplain.
“All the clichés about how fast kids grow are true. I woke up this morning eye to eye with you. The love songs and adages couldn’t explain the whole of all you’re becoming, body and soul“
I could relate with the words of the song and it brought out some emotions in me too. As I write this, K is 13 months and she’s a little more than the full length of my torso. I remember holding her a few minutes after she was born and I remember how very tiny she was then. Right now she’s feeling a bit independent – wanting to wear her shoes on her own and close her feeding bottle by her self. It’s really a glimpse of years to come (God willing), where she may be taking decisions about which school to go to and which man to marry – I quivered a bit as I wrote that. 🙂
Anyway, there’s really so much emotion and love that has shown these past year. It’s a different kind of love too, different from the love I have for E. It feels like the love God has for me; It’s deep, purposeful, intense and has no bounds. I know I can do anything and everything for her.
Sara ends the song in a way I’ll want E and K to remember me always. She says ;
“All the clichés about how much I love you are true. As big as the sky and up to the moon, a million a zillion, infinity plus one“
2020 started with a list of badges & certifications that could show the skills I’ve built over time and also what I love doing. I’ve built some great things over the years so some badges won’t be bad 🙂
I’m proud to say that target is now complete with the achievement of the VMware Certified Implementation Expert and the VCAP-DCV Design certification.
With all that 2020 brought, it was the year that I made the greatest investment in myself through learning & development. There were many long days and nights and a lot of sacrifices from my family.
What’s next for 2021? I’ll probably explore VMC on AWS, GCP (especially the VMware engine) and the VMware Specialist – Cloud Provider
My advice to others thinking about something similar – “Make a plan and start somewhere”
Upgrade guides & steps for VMware products – You need to be familiar with how to upgrade different products from different versions and some of the best practices in doing so. You can find loads of information about this on the VMware validated designs.
Resource utilization – This is basically Objective 3.4 – Determine appropriate computer resources for a vSphere 6.x physical design
VSAN configuration guides. VSAN is a crucial component in almost every design so you need to understand this thoroughly. According to the exam guide, you need to be familiar with the following documents.
VMware vSAN 6.5 Technical Overview
vSAN Stretched Cluster and 2 Node Guide
vSAN 6.2 for Remote and Branch Office Deployment
Requirements, Limits, and Licensing of several VMware solutions – vSphere, vCenter, FT etc
Understand how to identify a set of goals, requirements, assumptions and constraints from interviews with various stakeholders – this was somewhat confusing because not many businesses in my region have roles broken down into CIO, CTO, SMEs. Bottom line, there are a lot of overlapping roles. The vBrownBag video by Mark Gabryjelski helped with this
Understanding the difference between functional and non-functional requirements – Check out Rebecca Fitzhugh’s blog.
Finally, the VCAP6-DCV Design Quiz by vMusketeers helped place me in the exam scenario. I wish the questions were up to 60 though
Get enough rest/sleep. I’m ashamed to say that I dozed off several times during the exam. A consequence of not getting enough sleep.
Be sure to visit the loo 😉
Check-in early and go through the checking process. I had issues during my exam and spent two hours getting it fixed with Pearson Support. Later found out that it was an issue with the TLS version in Internet Explorer.
Read, read and re-read the questions before looking at the options
Don’t assume that the first few statements in the question point to the answer. Sometimes a large part of the question is designed to through you off balance 🙂
My journey to achieving the VCAP Design started in 2015 when I attended the VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V5.5] training in the UAE. At the time I had the VCP5-DCV and about 4 years of experience “managing and building” vSphere environments. I have that in inverted commas because the environment I was managing at the time was a tiny one comprising of 2 hosts and less than 10 VMs. I also had not designed environments that were bigger than 5 or 6 hosts.
The training course was a huge eye-opener for me. It exposed me to validated designs and VMware best practices and the lab environment was well…huge! :-D. Needless to say it was a lot of information to process. The course came with a free voucher and since my flight from the UAE was 48 hours after the last day of the course. I had to take the exam within that window. I attempted the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP-DCD) exam on the 15th of December but I was not very prepared and I failed – Ouch!
My second shot at the design exam was in 2019. I registered for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Design Exam (3V0-624). A few years had passed after my first try so I felt I should be good. I also figured that I had some more experience designing vSphere environments and had learnt and used more VMware technologies.
Sadly, I still did not completely have a grasp of the design methodologies and failed again. My score was 260 out of a passing score of 300. Double Ouch!
From the score report, the list below shows the areas I missed and what I needed to improve on;
Gather and analyze application requirements
Determine risks, requirements, constraints and assumptions
Map Business Requirements to a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
Build Availability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
Build Manageability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
Build Performance Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
Build Security Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
Transition from a Logical Design to a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Network Design from an Existing Logical Design
Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Storage Design from an Existing Logical Design
Determine Appropriate Compute Resources for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
Determine Virtual Machine Configuration for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
Determine Datacenter Management Options for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design