Congratulations to Marco Schneider, Train Signal picked your name out of all the entries I received. You will be receiving a copy of the wildly popular Train Signal vSphere Training Package, a vNerd t-shirt and a vDestination t-shirt. If you haven’t paid attention to the contest and the contest rules, the winning entry had to represent the worst training nightmare, and Marco nailed it. Here is his winning entry:

Phew! I’m just rushing into this competition as I was rushing into that course some years ago. It was in the year 2002 when I had scheduled a course in Frankfurt (Germany). It was part of my MCSE-preparation and was about – let me think … “Managing a Windows 2000 Network Environment”. So I considered the course not as insignificant and had put lots of expectations in it.
I was arriving in the early morning with a train from my home town about 200 miles away. But travelling by railway – despite of changing trains twice – should become the “convenient” part of the journey.
Arrived at Frankfurt railway station, there was a thunderstorm with heavy rainfall and strong gusts of wind. Some sort of road works blocked my sight to the nearby streetcar stop what made me stray around for some minutes before I reached it. But as short as the way from the railway station to the streetcar was as “dangerous” was it on that morning. A flaw caught my umbrella faster than I could even think about closing it. Peng! The umbrella was gone! Well having accepted the thought of getting “a bit” wet before reaching class I headed to the streetcar and arrived some minutes later at…the wrong station 🙁 Accidently, maybe distracted by all the umbrella stuff I obviously must have taken the wrong route. Ok, back to the station in the opposite direction and finally with the correct line to the course-location.

As you can certainly imagine, these actions took some time and I was already ten minutes to late. The course should have already begun! The fact that I was meanwhile drenched quite a lot I attempted to put aside for now.

Finally in the classroom the trainer was still introducing the class with all the whole blah-stuff (where are the toilets when are the breaks etc.) So seemingly I had not missed too much. ‘So, why all the hurry?!’ I was asking myself but it got even worse. More precisely – in retrospect – I think it would not be too evil to claim that participating in a sightseeing-tour in Frankfurt had perhaps payed off more. Why? – Because it first took the trainer almost an hour to fix the connection between his PC and the beamer. Then after some slides and of course some theoretical stuff – we all were looking forward to some hands-on-practice exercises. But what was that? – While the exercises worked for some of us, for others they didn’t. Lots of troubleshooting initiated by the trainer rounded the rest of this lucky day.

Well, to shorten it a bit – and because I guess you also have to read the other participants’ nightmares: the struggle continued for the following days. Obviously the system image the course was based on had a bug. They transferred another one from MS (of course also buggy) but even though some exercises worked others didn’t.
The upshot was that my boss successfully reclaimed the course fee back and I practiced the stuff in self-study manner to finally successfully take the exam some time later.

So, what’s my moral of the story? (… and this is where the circle closes with your competition right here…)

It’s not worth to shorten the anyway short life of a poor umbrella just because of getting oneself taught something one could teach oneself in a more convenient manner at home (and in a safe place 😉

Enjoy your Train Signal training, the training will give you a solid understanding of the objectives included in the VCP-410 exam and I’m positive you will get your VCP4 if you put this to work. At some point in time, tweet a photo with your vNerd t-shirt and one with your vDestination t-shirt, that would be cool. Thanks for entering and congratulations. Lastly, a big thanks to Train Signal for donating an awesome prize package.

Greg W Stuart
Greg is the owner and editor of He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He works as a Sr. Consultant at VMware and resides in Northern Virginia, 15 minutes west of Washington DC.

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