PMP Bootcamp Experiences

About the course:

Dates: January 27-30, 2020
Duration: 4-days (35-hours)
Location: San Diego, CA (Little Italy)
Instructor: Joe D
Organization: Project Management Academy (PMA)

My thoughts:

So this course (PMP Bootcamp from PMA) is an experience that I have been postponed for long while. When I mean a long while, that is nearly 10 years… Since passing my Scrum Master (PSM) and Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certifications I have felt a strong motivation to finally get a PMP. This motovation lead me to purchase a hard copy the PMBOK 6th edition which revealed to me how INTENSE the actual working material is for the exam and the Project Management Profession in general. Previous to attending the course, I signed up to be a member of to assure I was heading in the right direction, towards passing my PMP exam. Actually, after becoming a member, I completed an online video course that I found on This course did not stick with me well as I did worse on a practice exam after completing it. So finally, I decided to take the in-person bootcamp which I would rate a affective at 8 out of 9.

The course was held at a location just down the street from my home, just 1 kilometer away. This location, I am sure, was by happenstance or perhaps perhaps by fate! Whatever the reason for the awesome location for the course everything in alignment for a fantastic experience.

There were 15 individuals in my class with some that had been working as a PM for many years and others that were completely new to the profession. One individual that sat immediately next to me had completed the course prior with the same instructor a couple years earlier yet did not get a chance to schedule is exam. As he was not able to find a time to complete the exam he opted to take the course again as a refresher. Overall, I believe I had the most practical experience as a PM among the students and certainly the only one with significant Agile (Scrum) knowledge.

During the course the instructor (Joe) supported nearly all of the knowledge areas with practical experience from his many projects. These practical excerpts supported us (the students) in seeing that nearly all of the materials had real world applications while also illustrating that not every organization applies all aspects of the PMBOK. This was excellent to know and hear however it was also frustrating because having a defined rule book does help. From my personal hands-on experience running projects is most effective when Senior Management buys into the methodology even if the methodology is flawed in nature.

On the practice exam, during the course, I scored better than on my previous practice yet not as well as I had hoped. Joe mentioned that I was right where he expected me to be for the practice test and that studying and taking at least 2 (or 3) more practice exams would be optimal. His suggestion was to take the real PMP exam between 1 and 4 weeks from completing the course. This will keep the topics fresh, allow for immersion into the knowledge areas, and give time to take additional practice exams.

Four things I noticed from completing my practice exam were as follows;
1) It is best to read the last sentence of each question first and then go back and read the complete question. This method ensures any irrelevant information is not taken into account in your answer.
2) I need to ensure that I do not miss key words like ‘only’ or ‘not’ within the question as I did three times in the practice exam.
3) It would be best for me to remember the formulas for Earned Value. Since I often use Microsoft Project, the application handles the calculations for me so taking a step back to do some memorizing is a good idea.
4) The TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) are paramount to have as a solid part of my vocabulary for the test. These can be a bit cumbersome as there is often duplicate TLAs among different industries or companies.

Resume | Hotpoints

PM for multiple software development projects concurrently with cross-functional teams work both on- and off-shore

Implemented Atlassian Jira, for Scrum with sprints of two-weeks including for eCommerce software development

Product Owner of development teams up to eight members with sole ownership of all product backlog items (PBI)

Scrum Master for a teams up to four; conducted all Scrum ceremonies including refinement, retrospectives, planning, and review

Insulated team members from distractions and impediments to maintain focus on the burn-down and project roadmap

Facilitated Scrum team-inceptions for development teams of four to eight individuals

Owned the O365 Program for all 6500 users globally including license assignment and license level evaluation

Directed cloud ERP implementations with contract values over $3 million USD in scheduled monthly recurring revenue

Collaborated with the IT Portfolio Managers to assess global initiatives and their fit within the overall short- and long-term vision

Reduced response times for customer service agents by 76%, from an average of 90 minutes to 22 minutes

Responsible for regional revenue growth of 40% year-over-year, acting as technical sales support

Led teams of up to 15 offshore software developers, business analysts, testers, and UI/UX designers in Argentina, Peru, and Brazil

Resume | Overview


A seasoned, collaborative, and certified professional with a proven track record since 2001 on software development teams and in information technology (IT); as a dedicated client portfolio and stakeholder advocate.  Works well within an agile and dynamic environment with an innate ability to overcome roadblocks and mitigate risks, with skills straight from the PMBOK and  Understands end-user needs and able to translate them into actionable requirements as product backlog items (PBI).  Skilled at owning portfolio and program improvements through analyzing the optimal integrations for a quarterly product roadmap and deliveries during sprint review ceremonies.

As Product Owner, for the development team, acts as the main interface for collaboration to ensure delivery of the project backlog items (PBI) is aligned with the product vision through backlog refinement.  An adept Scrum Master with an innate sense of urgency regarding sprint retrospectives (lessons learned), sprint review, and spring planning along with team dynamics.  Excels as a liaison between clients and vendors with a strong sense of urgency regarding milestones, requirements, timelines, deliverables, stories, initiatives, and epics.  Able to achieve successes through ensuring accountability from initial project concept through the discovery, planning, mockups, wireframes, scripting, design, development, testing, QA, implementation, migration, and go-live phases for high-profile applications and implementations. 

Welcome Blog

A long long time ago, just after the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, there was Geocities, AOL, Anglefire, and MySpace… Those times are since gone (thank heaven) and yet here I am, writing a thread on my personalized Website, with the calendar about to change to 2020. Wise ones say that hindsight is 2020 and well I feel it is time to reflect on the past while looking to the future. Many of these reflections and stories will be posted here, when I get a chance or remember to do so.

On this site I will make note of memorable events and experiences while also displaying my skills, achievements, and resume. Though I had not used WordPress in some time, I selected it as my CMS platform over Drupal for simplicity purposes. That said my posts here will come in the form of a blog and yet they will not always appear to be as common or ordinary.

You see, I am what I call a native San Diegan as both of my parents were from La Mesa, CA and I was born in Merced, CA. While my father was in the Air Force I was brought onto this Earth at a military base that no longer exists and shortly afterwards Mom, Dad, and I moved back to La Mesa where I call ‘home’. From there my life went as others have; grade school turned into junior high which lead to high school and my first job at Dow Stereo & Video. At Dow I solidified my passion for electronics and then I moved on to MobilWorks and subsequently Classic Sounds where I met a fantastic dude Martin Samo. Then I decided that I needed to get my degree and then find a career (rather than a ‘job’) so I completed by AA at Grossmont College and got accepted to Cal State San Marcos where I got my Bachelor’s in Business Administration.