The Nutanix Certified Expert (NCX) certification tests candidates on their ability to create and deliver Cloud-Smart solutions that leverage the Nutanix stack for Private Cloud and the best offerings from our Public Cloud partners for hybrid services.
Every NCX is an expert in their field and has proven their ability to design enterprise-scale solutions that support business-critical applications with service level agreements specified by business stakeholders.
Recently we caught up with new NCX, Mark Gabryjelski, to talk about his experience earning this expert-level certification and to get his advice for other professionals looking to earn their NCX.
Can you tell us about your IT background?
Back in college I was inspired to start a career in IT after teaching my own AutoCAD professor how to use a computer. I ran my own home lab that gave me a little bit of experience, but I ended up getting hired at a company with the help of IT certifications I was able to secure.
After four years at that company, I left for a new role at Expert Server Group. I had a great mentor there that always encouraged me to keep learning. I continued to pursue relevant training and certifications, which helped me land a role at a large financial institution. From there, I landed at my current company WEI where I’ve been for nearly 11 years as Senior Architect & Virtualization Ambassador. That’s also where I got into Nutanix solutions.
Throughout my career I've focused on continued education and certification. That’s how I got started in this industry and it’s why I am where I am today.
Why did you decide to get your NCX certification?
The NCX certification isn’t one that you earn by taking a test. You get validated by your peers because first, they have to approve you for coming in to defend your design and second, they have to validate that you did a good job. Once you earn that certification, for me it feels a lot different that you’ve been validated by the community and have lived up to those standards.
What other certifications do you hold (Nutanix and others)?
Along with NCX, I currently hold multiple Nutanix Certified Professional certifications, Nutanix Certified Advanced Professional, and Nutanix Certified Sales Expert. I’m also recognized by Nutanix as an SME in Multicloud Infrastructure. In addition to Nutanix certifications, I maintain many VMware certifications and currently hold VCP #46, and VCDX #023, while being recognized by VMware as an SME in many practice areas.
Can you walk us through the process of getting your NCX certification?
I started by taking on a project that consumed the Nutanix portfolio. I created a presentation for this project that outlined the solution for the customer and I leveraged this design for my NCX presentation.
A lot of that was provided to me as a template I received from the Enterprise Cloud Solution Design (ECSD) boot camp and it was just a matter of taking my existing presentation and mapping it in a way that would be simple for the panelists to consume. The ECSD boot camp is the best course for architects I’ve ever seen. They have really great instructors and they push people to the limit every single day.
And as far as the particulars, it's all in the Exam Blueprint Guide. You have to address security, availability, manageability, etc. and you have to balance your choices for what the business requirements are. One thing to remember is that just because you can implement technology does not mean you should. It has to solve a business problem.
What advice would you give someone who’s pursuing the NCX certification?
My first piece of advice is to set goals and manage your time. This is the most difficult soft skill to pick up. I’ve seen people work 60+ hours a week, and I used to be that person too, until someone spent time with me and taught me how to manage my time and set expectations. This took years, but it was a huge benefit to my quality of life and my personal and professional goals. I also learned that just because you fail to meet the deadline for your goal, does not mean you failed, it just means you need to reset your deadline.
My second piece of advice is to make sure you understand different skill sets. For example, if you have somebody who is going in from a junior engineer, or is a siloed team member, they can expand their skill set and grow by working with other teams. The second book release in my series, IT Architect Series, called The Journey (written by Mellissa Plamer) expands more on this.
Are you interested in pursuing the NCX certification? Visit our website to learn more and get started.
This article was written by Karlie Beil, Customer Marketing Specialist.
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