Before I start this post I want to emphasize on that this post just includes friendly recommendations and personal preferences and is not a bullet proof method of preparing during the VCDX defense day itself. People are different and some feed on stress. If you do, you will probably disagree with everything in this post. You have been warned.
There are most likely two scheduled times for the defenses, one on the AM (around 09:00) and one on the PM (around 14:00). I recommend at least trying to get the session that fits best to your body clock. Yes I said body clock. No I’ll not start talking about yoga and how feng shui can help (not that it couldn’t, just that I have no experience in those things).
The thing is most people have a preferred time of day where they are most alert. I’m crap at 9:00, but I’m much more comfortable after 12am and even more if I only had to take a leisurely train ride in the morning. Also I imagined that taking the train/cab/car/bus to a location I’ve never been to would not help the nerves.
As for the transportation to the defense location, that is always just a personal preference really. Google Maps was extremely helpful as always. If I didn’t have Google Maps I would get lost a lot the time when travelling. In Google Maps we trust (and hope they don’t send me into a ditch, cough Apple Maps cough).
When you arrive to the VMware offices (or the location specified in the defense acceptance email) you will escorted to a some sort of an waiting room. You can use the time for a couple of things. You could frantically go over notes or just relax. I recommend that latter one. At this point there is nothing that will stick, and there is always the risk it increasing the stress level.
Then one of the panelist comes and fetches you. You’ll have access to water in the room since the next couple of hours you will talk more than you ever have. The time is finally here.