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Diego Acuña Enjoys Pura Vida at VMware Costa Rica

Whether technical support engineer, Diego Acuña is collaborating with his teammates to solve the seemingly impossible for VMware customers or leveraging employee perks to grow his knowledge, he delights in pura vida at VMware Costa Rica. Read on to learn more about what inspires Diego to innovate what’s next at VMware. 

 

Name: Diego Acuña

Role: Technical Support Engineer

Office Location: Pavas, Costa Rica

Years at VMware: 1

Favorite Tech Gadget: Thin Clients

 

Give us an inside look into your role.

Diego_Acuna_Bowling_2As part of VMware Costa Rica’s GSS (Global Support Services) team, I provide technical support on a wide variety of VMware’s products to Brazilian customers and partners. I work in a generalist model, meaning that I support almost all of the products in VMware’s suite, including Site Recovery Manager, vCloud Director, Horizon View, and vCenter Operations Manager. I really love working under a generalist model because it allows me to have a full understanding of VMware’s technologies and gives me the flexibility to discover new things that I did not even know existed.

Why did you choose VMware?

I had always dreamed about being a part of VMware’s technical staff. I’m passionate about technology and loved every VMware product that I came into contact with. Choosing to work at VMware was not a tough decision because it was something that I had always wanted. And to be honest, who would not be proud to be a part of the most innovative company in the world?

How do VMware’s shared values (execution, passion, integrity, customers and community) come to life at your site?

Diego_Acuna_Go_KartingAt VMware Costa Rica, you will see VMware’s values woven into our everyday lives. It’s natural for us to work together to accomplish a common goal because it is a part of who we are. We’re highly motivated and passionate people who support each other, bring new ideas to improve internal processes, and are always striving to improve customer satisfaction because customers are the reason why we are here. We are able to deliver high-quality support by constantly improving our skills and making sure those developed skills are applied on a daily-basis. Lastly, we take every opportunity to give more as we know that we are all part of a huge family. An example of this is our recent Learn to Dream project. My coworkers and I had the opportunity to donate school items for children in indigenous school areas so that they could receive the education that they deserve. This is important for us, as we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to grow.

Is there a particular value that resonates the most with you?

It is tough to define a single value taking into account all of them are so relevant. However, if I have to pick one I would choose execution. Things need to get done, that is for sure. How they are done is what really makes the difference. I believe in the power of teamwork. Every single person is a vital piece of a huge puzzle, and that is why it is so important to give our best in every task that we have each day. I realize that what I do will affect others, so that is why I try to make positive contributions.

Watch the video below to learn more about life at VMware Costa Rica.

Share a story or example that illustrates your team living VMware’s values.

There was one particular vSphere Data Protection case that I struggled with shortly after I began supporting the product. I had got to a point where I did not know what else to do, the customer was having repetitive failures on a huge number of VDP appliances and every time we seemed to fix a problem another related-one would come up. I have to admit I was starting to get worried.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was at that time that I commented about the case one day during lunch time with some co-workers, and that’s where things started to light up, as all of them showed their willingness and eagerness to help. They all recognized how frustrated I was about not being able to figure out the solution. They not only helped me by providing suggestions, but also patiently reviewed tons of log bundles of several VDP appliances with me, and even got in touch with the developer and customer with findings. This collaboration made a positive impact on the customer. He was very impressed with the passion and care that we as a team showed towards resolving the problems he was facing and was very satisfied with the resolution. It meant a lot to receive that support from my teammates because it is not something that you see in every company. It is clear that we are all heading in the same direction and we know the power of teamwork!

What benefits or perks are most notable for you at VMware? Why?

Definitely the Professional Development Assistance Program, which provides employees financial support for external professional development courses, certifications and degree programs. Having the opportunity to grow my knowledge by taking classes at our local university is really important to me since every class will contribute to my knowledge and therefore will contribute to my role at VMware. It all is about delivering the best support experience to our customers.

What types of people are successful at VMware?

Diego_Acuna_FutbolKnowing what you are doing is definitely necessary, so expertise in the specific area that you are working in is very important. However, those who are motivated and have a clear understanding of the importance of their work are the ones that really succeed at VMware. I am part of a team that believes that attitude can beat aptitude.

How is ‘pura vida’ a part of the Costa Rica site?

Well, pura vida is a lifestyle here in Costa Rica. We Costa Ricans are happy people, and that can be noticed and felt at our site. Every employee at our site will greet you with a smile on his or her face, and will make you feel like a part of the family from the moment that you step into our office. We are very friendly, and we know that hard work is necessary, but we also understand the importance of taking a break and enjoying quality time with co-workers and family. Some exciting activities that we’ve participated in together as a site include futbol, bowling, and kart racing.

 

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Welcome to VMware Costa Rica!

Marcela_ArayaOur office site is located in the heart of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, which is home to over 200 international companies that have benefited from 1/3 of the world’s population, 2/3 of worldwide GDP, and of course, an exceptionally talented and bilingual young workforce. Education has been a key priority for Costa Rica’s government, with multiple universities offering technology-focused careers that are empowering professionals to meet the demand of high-tech companies looking to expand operations in Costa Rica.

Although VMware was a relatively new company to the local community when our site opened its doors in 2012, we had a group of six passionate visionaries that took the opportunity to drive what’s next! Today we have over 140 employees representing 13 organizations onsite, with new employees joining almost every week. Our people enjoy our workplace amenities, local restaurants, and the ever green Sabana Park situated just a few blocks away from our site. The Sabana Park, also known as “San Jose’s Lung”, has running tracks, ponds, and hiking trails.Costa_Rica_Futbol

Costa Rica is a vibrant country that has many components that make it unique. With a small area of just 51,100 square kilometers, we have access to white sandy beaches, lush rainforests, volcanoes and more. But what makes our country truly unique is our people! Costa Ricans are friendly and warm, always looking to enjoy life and making our visitors feel at home so that they can experience first-hand our country’s motto, Pura Vida (pure life). We infuse life in all that we do; work, family, and friends. We are very passionate we work hard to take our results to the next level.

Areas of Opportunity

The Global Systems Support team continues to consolidate their operation onsite in Costa Rica. We are proud to say that this organization is obtaining the best metrics in history. Due to the great results being delivered, the team will start providing support to AirWatch users in the near future. The Renewal Strategic Operations team has increased its presence in Costa Rica through its e-commerce division by hiring a new manager that will help drive the operations for two key online stores, the VMware eStore, where software licenses and initial SnS are sold, and VMware’s online renewal store, where SNS’s are renewed. Another team that continues to expand is the Worldwide Business Practices team. We recently welcome the team’s new manager, whose primary focus will be to oversee a global team of Enterprise License Agreement Install Base analysts based out of Costa Rica, Palo Alto, California (U.S.A.) and Cork, Ireland.Costa_Rica_Family_Day_2

Our Culture in Action

VMware’s core values (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, Community) are embedded into our site’s vision, mission, and more importantly our culture. We reflect these values in every interaction with our peers, visitors, managers and the community. Two of these values are more than core to us: Passion and Community. We work with passion and we work as one to reach our goals by relying on one another. One example of this is the Fuel (employee engagement) team that engineers experiences for our people to realize how much they mean to us and to VMware. The Fuel team has hosted several events from a beautiful Family Day with inflatables for the children, games, swimming, and to two energetic and fun-filled days where we showcased two of the Costa Rica futbol games during the recent 2014 World Cup. These were two exciting opportunities for our people to come together, cheer, and celebrate as one!Costa_Rica_Animal_Shelter

Another very dear value to us is Community. We foster opportunities for our people to make an impact with our local community by coordinating events that enable teamwork while giving back to our close neighbors. Some of our recent events have included singing at the Montelimar nursing home, cleaning at the AHPPA Animal Shelter Costa Rica, and planting trees and cleaning at San Lucas Island. In August, we’re planning a service learning outing to give our time to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, which protects one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the leather back sea turtle, a turtle that is in critical danger of extinction.

Pura Vida at VMware

Ariel_with_Costa_Rican_PresidentFor Costa Ricans, Pura Vida (pure life) represents how our people embrace life, work, and challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude by working together and having fun along the way. We tropicalize and give that unique flavor to all that we do. We’re always there to help with a smile, usually using “pura vida” as a thank you expression. We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to contribute to VMware’s success.

What’s Next

VMware Costa Rica recently had the opportunity to host Costa Rica’s president, Luis Guillermo Solis onsite to introduce VMware as a company to the community. He was pleasantly surprised to learn about our expansion plans for the site. We plan to welcome more organizations and expect to reach 400 employees in the near future. We’re excited for what’s next!

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VMware Hosts the Best First Bytes Camp Yet!

At VMware, we’re passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). As instigators of innovation, VMware people recognize that their spark for computer science started from an early age. Living our EPIC2 values, VMware people are combining their passion for STEM with Service Learning in the broader community. Our collaboration with First Bytes Summer Computer Science Camp at The University of Texas at Austin is just one example of our ongoing efforts to empower students in STEM. Read on to learn more. 

 

First_Bytes_Logo2014 marked VMware’s  third year participating in First Bytes, a one-week camp hosted by The University of Texas at Austin for high school girls interested in pursuing computer science as a degree in college. After an application and panel selection process, approximately 60 girls from across the state of Texas were invited to attend.

The VMware sponsored portion of the camp was held June 18 and 19. On June 18, VMware hosted the campers onsite at our River Place office in Austin, Texas. After a short overview of VMware’s University Relations Program and snacks by Hey Cupcake!.

First_Bytes_2014_8Sharon Weber, Staff Engineer for Ecosystem Infrastructure spoke about the Heartbleed Bug and how a single line of code can impact the whole world. “It was great to see the camper’s interest and overall knowledge about Heartbleed and online security. They asked some refreshing questions on the topic and showed interest in our open culture and warm welcome to the campers, which was exciting to see,” commented Weber.

For the activity portion of the day, the campers were broken into teams and using a maze, saw how programming is about giving instructions where several ways or solutions can lead to the end result. The winning team won a VMware goody bag.

To wrap up the day, five VMware women from the R&D and sales organizations engaged with the campers to talk about their individual career paths – from college to the workplace. Our “Anything Boys Can Code Girls Can Code Better” tee shirts were a bit hit too.

On Thursday, June 19 the VMware University Relations team and two engineers from our Palo Alto, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts offices headed over to The University of Texas at Austin for a series of Hands On Labs. Sharon Tam, Engineer for vCloud Hybrid Service taught the girls how to program a game in SCRATCH. Soumya Mishra, VMware Engineer working on vShield taught the girls about hacking and Internet security. Any camper who wore her VMware shirt to the lab was given a raffle ticket to win one of two “Raspberry Pi’s,” a coding device that the girls had used earlier in the week at camp.First_Bytes_FB_Photo

On Friday, June 20, Soumya Mishra sat on an informal lunch panel that allowed the campers to ask career related questions to several professionals within the IT industry. “Getting an opportunity to present on ‘Internet security’ at the First Bytes summer camp was truly a wonderful experience. The appetite for knowledge and enthusiasm to learn about the new technology trends displayed by the girls was beyond words. I gained insight on what today’s youth thinks about the computer science field and apprehensions in joining it. I was glad to be of help in providing them a clear vision of the industry and encouraging them to be a part of it,” said Mishra.

Based on the camper’s enthusiasm (and the fun we had), we believe that this was our best camp yet! We are really looking forward to hosting the campers again next year. Special thanks to Sharon Weber, Sharon Tam, Soumya Mishra, Kelly Dare and Jennifer Green from VMware for contributing their Service Learning time and sharing their skills and talents with these amazing young women.


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Searching for Creative Solutions Inspires Nina Karapetyan to Innovate at VMware Armenia

At VMware Armenia, being successful is just as much about loving your work as it is about knowledge and expertise. Connect with Nina Karapetyan, Member of Technical Staff, and see how passion shapes her role and the community at VMware Armenia.

 

Nina_Karapetyan_photo_1Name: Nina Karapetyan

Role: Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Years at VMware: 2

Favorite Tech Innovation: Over the past decade, there have been so many interesting innovations (many of which are really revolutionary), that it is hard to say which is my favorite. But if we’re talking about recent ones, I would have to say the idea of Bitcoin.

 

What is your role? Which products and solutions do you work on?

I am working on vC Ops (vCenter Operations Manager) within vcops-product team. Currently my team is working on a new generation of vC Ops, which is a scalable and highly available monitoring and management system. Within the vcops-bridge project, we’re implementing business logic of the vC Ops. My day-to-day work is to fully understand UE team requirements and how to get appropriate information from the vcops-platform in the most effective and optimal way.

Why did you choose VMware?

I chose VMware because it is the leader in virtualization technology and cloud infrastructure solutions. It is a pleasure to be a part of such a successful company and take part in developing innovative technologies.Nina_Karapetyan_photo_3

How do VMware’s shared values (execution, passion, integrity, customers and community) come to life at your site?

We’re continuously striving to excel in what we do. Our team members believe that the passion we have for what we do can only be expressed by the quality of our execution. Integrity is a key component for the standard of execution we’re striving for each day. It is with a “Do What You Say and Say What You Do” approach that we deliver what we consider to be an acceptable standard. This in turn positively impacts our customers who are the main focus for our products. We also realize that we are part of one community. By sharing our experiences and knowledge with one another at VMware, either through social events or personal enterprise, we are able to fully consider ourselves part of the community – a community that drives what’s next together.

Is there a particular value that resonates the most with you?

I think it is passion. I am really passionate about my work and I believe that because of this passion, I am a more creative and effective worker, one that searches diligently for solutions that inspire my teammates and I. Passion increases our chances of success and passionate employees make VMware successful.

What perks or benefit is most notable for you at VMware? 

I think the most notable benefits are the interesting projects that I get to work on and the knowledge that I take away from my experiences working with my teammates. I enjoy working on the next generation of the vC Ops product as it is completely different from the previous versions that my team and I have worked on in the past. The day it is released will be one of the most memorable days for me.Nina_Karapetyan_photo_4

What types of people are successful at VMware Armenia? 

While knowledge and a strong background is important, the key to a successful career at VMware revolves around loving your work and the product you’re working on, taking initiative, being innovative, and developing your skills to help your team achieve its goals.

How is fun and camaraderie a part of the Armenia site? 

Our office in Armenia is very colorful and full of light, where work is very interesting. The team members here are very sociable and friendly, which makes for a welcoming and open atmosphere in the office. Outside of our work, we enjoy spending time together outside. We’re also known for playing table tennis, biking, hiking and skiing.

 

 

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VMware Opens Its “Campus in a Forest” to the Community

VMware people came together on-site at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California on Tuesday, May 27, to welcome neighbors, community officials, customers, and partners to celebrate the completion of VMware’s campus expansion project. Dubbed the “campus in the forest”, VMware’s headquarters encompasses over 105 acres with roughly 1,500 trees in the Stanford Research Park making VMware the largest company in the Park and within Palo Alto, as well.ls3_9820

To kick off the campus opening festivities, employees enjoyed breakfast from VMware’s Off the Grid food trucks located around the Hilltop, Promontory, and Creekside neighborhoods (mini-campuses). Some of the favorite breakfast treats included waffles from The Waffle Roost and chicken longanisa from Cluck It Up.

It wouldn’t be a celebration without a way for our people in Palo Alto to remember this piece of VMware history. To mark the occasion, a variety of colorful t-shirts were handed out to VMware people to keep as a memento. Hues of green and blue were spotted throughout campus all day. Employees were also encouraged to sign a “handprint canvas” mural by choosing a bold green or blue paint color to spread across their hands to make an imprint on the canvas. The handprint canvas was a fun way to celebrate our unique people community.img_9276

Later in the day, people were “all ears” as VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Stanford President John Hennessey and Palo Alto Mayor Nancy Shepherd shared their unique perspectives on this milestone for VMware and the IT community by helping kick off the ribbon cutting. Roughly 2,000 employees joined in to cut a seed-paper ring, helping plant the seeds of VMware throughout the Valley.

Following the ribbon cutting, employees enjoyed an Employee Bash at the Hilltop Café patio. From mini burgers and veggies to cupcakes adorned with trees, employees were able to relish on the late spring afternoon and celebrate this momentous occasion with their VMware family.cm1_1765

LindaMarie Santiago, Director of Real Estate & Workplace at VMware shared, “As a docent for the event, I had the unique perspective of being able to stand next to the stage and look up at all of the people surrounding the Campus Green with their colorful blue and green t-shirts. The feeling gave me one of belonging… to a company and a community about which I am proud to be a part.”

A big ‘thank you’ to all of our people who have worked together to drive this growth and help achieve what’s next for our company and the wider community. It was a great day and one that will surely go down in the VMware history books.

 

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They’re Back! Student Innovators Take VMware for Summer 2014

It’s that time of year again!

Intern season is upon us in the United States and the VMware University Relations team is busy preparing for our student interns to join us onsite at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California, as well as our other locations throughout the United States for the 2014 summer.Intern_Leader_Speaker_2

Driving What’s Next in Information Technology

Like our fulltime employees, VMware strives to make sure our interns get the most out of their internship experience. From day one, VMware interns have the opportunity to gain real life practical experience by engaging with highly intelligent people who are solving real-life complex problems. Our interns work on challenging projects that make a difference within the company year after year. Did you know that VMware’s Horizon Suite was essentially created out of a summer internship project? Pretty cool, right?

Working for a Fast Growing Market Leader

As one of Universum’s Top 100 IDEAL Employers for students, VMware has attracted some of the brightest talent across the United States. One of VMware’s interns last year said, “It feels great when one works for a company with ‘leadership’. And yes, VMware is THE leader in virtualization technology.”  Our interns acquire a new set of skills and an expanded perception of what their future career could be at VMware. Each summer, VMware interns receive the chance to experience our culture first hand by attending our Intern Speaker Series. These internal tech talks give interns the opportunity to engage with some of our top executives and learn about their role at VMware, their thoughts on industry trends, and how they can grow professionally in the IT industry. The execution of the intern’s summer projects and the accomplishments that they achieve at VMware prepare these students for life after graduation.Intern_SL_1

Giving Back in the Community

Just like our employees, VMware interns receive the opportunity to give back in the community during a specific service learning event planned for interns. Last summer, our Palo Alto interns helped host a job shadow day for middle and high school students, who are part of the Berkeley Foundation for Opportunities in Information Technology (BFOIT). Our interns mentored and provided knowledge and guidance to help them pursue higher education in technology. The BFOIT students were also able to job shadow our interns for an afternoon and saw what projects they were working on and what they might be interested in pursuing in the future.  BFOIT’s takeaway from their visit to VMware was extremely positive. Executive Director of BFOIT, Orpheus Crutchfield said, “Our field trip to VMware was one of the best rated that we’ve ever offered and we are excited to participate again.” We’re looking forward to bringing the BFOIT students back to Palo Alto this summer for another visit with our 2014 interns.Volleyball

Work-Life Integration

And, what would a summer internship be without a little fun? Throughout the summer we like to mix things up with some fun and meaningful events for our interns such as a movie night, intramural sports league, and an intern hackathon. One of our most popular events, our intern kickoff at our headquarters in Palo Alto, gives our interns in the United States the opportunity to hear from VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, welcoming them to VMware.

VMware offers its interns one of the best experiences they can ask for in an internship. Driving what’s next and working for a fast growing market leader in information technology has helped our interns grow and develop to prepare them for their future careers. Being able to experience our company’s culture by giving back to the community and participating in our intern events gives them an experience that they will never forget.

On behalf of the VMware University Relations team and the rest of our employee community, I’m excited to welcome many bright innovators to VMware sites across the United States this summer.

 

 

Find Leanne Farmer on:

 

 

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A Community that Inspires Ashot Nalbandyan to Drive What’s Next for VMware Customers

At VMware, our people are passionate about pursuing the seemingly impossible together to make things better for our customers. Hear from Ashot, Member of Technical Staff at VMware Armenia and see how he and his team work together to shape what’s next for the community.

 

 

Ashot_Nalbandyan_3Name: Ashot Nalbandyan

 

Role: MTS3 in the vC Ops-platform team

 

Office Location: Yerevan, Armenia

 

Years at VMware: 4

 

Favorite Tech Innovation: In general I would have to say the Hybrid Cloud, but in scope of my work, I would say the Scalable Management System.

 

 

What is your role? Which products and solutions do you work on?

 

I’m working on vCenter Operations Manager, aka vC Ops, which provides integrated performance, capacity and configuration management for highly virtualized and cloud infrastructures. It collects and analyzes performance data, correlates abnormalities and identifies the root cause of performance problems. The new generation of vC Ops, which we are currently working on, is powerful and scalable management system. Currently I’m working on the core of that system, which we call vcops-platform. It is very rewarding to work on vC Ops and to be a a part of a team that is playing an important role in cloud systems. 

 

Why did you choose VMware?

 

I chose VMware because it is the industry-leading virtualization software company. As an employee at VMware, I’m empowered to work in one of the fastest growing areas of current (and why not, future) information technology.

 

How do VMware’s shared values (execution, passion, integrity, customers and community) come to life at your site?

 

My team strives for execution excellence. It is a core value that all of my team members adhere to because of our burning passion for our work and our desire to deliver what’s next for our customers. However, our product focus does not impede us from being an active part of our community. We believe, as a team, that our community has had an important role in shaping who we are and as such believe that the community is also part of the company.Ashot_Nalbandyan_1

 

Is there a particular value that resonates the most with you?

 

The value that resonates the most with me is passion. I cannot imagine achieving what my teammates and I have accomplished at VMware without passion. It is the driving force behind all innovation, which is what VMware is famous for.

 

What perks or benefit is most notable for you at VMware? Why?

 

The most important benefit for me is that I’m surrounded by capable professionals who challenge me to pursue the seemingly impossible. VMware is a great place to grow your professional skills, to apply your abilities and to be involved in solving tough technological challenges. For me personally this is very important, and I think this is the best thing for any IT specialist who wants to grow his or her professional skills, do something important, and feel proud of his or her work.Ashot_Nalbandyan_2

 

What types of people are successful at VMware Armenia?

 

People who love working, are inspired to continuously improve their professional skills, and who enjoy working in a team environment and feel responsibility for a product’s success. Being a good professional and having a good knowledge of technology is not enough to be successful at VMware. VMware people are always striving to be their best selves and a support for their teammates.

 

How is fun and camaraderie a part of the Armenia site?

 

The VMware Armenia site and its employees are always organizing various team-building parties. From biking, dancing, outings in nature, to dinners and strike ball games. It’s never boring at VMware Armenia – I feel like we’re one big happy family.

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VMware is Proud to be a 2014 Universum Top 100 IDEAL Employer

From day one, student interns are empowered to make an impact and grow at VMware. Our teams are intent on creating an innovative, flexible, fun, and dynamic community that fosters and supports the growth and development of our interns.Universum_2014_Badge

It’s because of this focus on creating a meaningful, robust and fulfilling experience that brings us great honor to be #26 in the Universum 2014 Top 100 IDEAL Employer list among Computer Science students in the United States. The rankings are based on a survey of over 46,000 undergraduate students, and reveal which employers have the most effective employer brands.

Betsy Sutter, SVP of People at VMware shares, “It’s an honor for VMware to be recognized as an ideal employer amongst students and interns. Every year, I look forward to the surge of emerging student talent that comes through our doors. They bring an energetic thirst to apply their skills to the challenge at hand and a zest to learn that is invigorating. In turn, we put a lot of heart and soul into providing a top-notch experience for our interns and college grads that is filled with development, growth, fun and community. A big thank you goes out to the students who rated us an IDEAL employer!”NYU_photo

Each year, the VMware University Relations team partners with universities across the globe to connect with the next catalysts of change – students. “VMware’s University Relations specialists have made it a priority to plan events that demonstrate the true essence of VMware. We host events on campus that speak to the students about our culture and values,” shares Amber Daniels, Manager, University Relations Specialists. “Our informal panel sessions with VMware engineers have proved to be beneficial in recent semesters as they provide students with the chance to further map out their career interests and how they want to grow professionally.”

“Prior to accepting an offer at VMware, students have the opportunity to learn exactly what projects they’re going to work on. This allows students to see if the project is in line with their degree, program, and career interests,” says Meagan Shannon, VMware Intern Program Manager.

Once onsite, student interns are immediately immersed in a culture that invests in their goals and interests to live a balanced and fun life. Some key aspects of their experience include: one-on-one mentorship, meaningful projects that are shaping what’s next in the Software-Defined Data Center, End-User Computing and Hybrid Cloud, service learning with local nonprofits, as well as opportunities to relax and enjoy our campus amenities.IPS4_blurred_2013

“Interns are actually responsible for some of the more innovative projects at VMware,” says Charles Fan, SVP of R&D, Storage and Application Services.

This is because students come with a fresh perspective that pushes boundaries on technology and the latest academic knowledge. Did you know that VMware’s Horizon Mobile project essentially started from a summer internship project? It’s pretty cool to think that student interns where on the ground floor driving what’s next in mobile cloud computing at VMware.

So a big “Thank you!” to our student innovators for choosing VMware and making it a great place to work! Your passion to envision what’s next inspires each and every one of our people.

 

 

*Thank you to our post contributors: Amber Daniels, Meagan Shannon, Judy Phung, Charles Phan, and Betsy Sutter

 

 

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Bike to Work Day at VMware – where wellness, environment and passion converge

Have you heard the news? May is National Bike Month in the United States!

National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, is celebrated in communities across the U.S. to highlight the many benefits of bicycling. And this week, on May 8 to be exact, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting Bike to Work Day in California, a time-honored tradition for 20 years running. The annual kick-off for “bike commuting season” takes advantage of the longer days and the favorable weather which brings out more people  inclined to try it out.Bike_to_Work_Day_logo

Riders who take to their bikes instead of their cars are treated to a variety of benefits including numerous “energizer stations” hosted throughout popular bicycling routes. The event and energizer stations are made possible by sponsorships from and participation by local communities. Our people had so much fun hosting a station last year – did we mention that employees dressed as a chicken and a banana were involved – that we’re excited to be back at it again, sponsoring a VMware energizer station.

With more than 450 employees who live within biking distance (less than 5 miles), converting these commuters to bike commuters can have a dramatic impact on our environment and our people’s well-being.Bike_To_Work_Day_6

Did you know?

  • For every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO2 (0.88 pounds) is saved
  • Palo Alto’s population doubles every day  – think about the carbon impact from all of that traffic
  • Traffic congestion wastes nearly 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year in the United States
  • Bike commuters are fitter, have better triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels
  • Happiness & stress reliever: active commuting delivers an overall 11% reduction cardiovascular risk*

How it Started

The manner in which VMware became involved in Bike to Work Day is fairly unique. As a marketing manager in our services group, I didn’t have commute programs for coworkers in my job scope. However as an avid cyclist, bike commuter, and bike safety educator, I saw an opportunity for VMware to raise its profile, improve its surroundings, and enhance the employee experience. With a proposal in hand, I approached the VMware workplace team (responsible for infrastructure, transit, commuting programs, and more) and asked for their support.Bike_to_Work_Day_5

By the end of the meeting, I had the budget allocated, support from a variety of groups, and a willing team of volunteers to pull it off. It’s the “can do” attitude, the spirit of inventiveness, and the freedom to experiment and participate outside the scope of your job that makes VMware special. I’m able to bring my experience and volunteer activity into the workplace and contribute to the VMware community. And, this year, I’m doing it again!

What’s Next

Bike to Work Day is part of a grand effort I have to improve and enhance the experience for VMware employees who bike to work. To date, our Palo Alto campus has 133 bike lockers, over 200 external bike racks/posts, five indoor bike rooms with lockers and racks for 120 bikes, and one covered outdoor area with racks for 20 bikes. There’s more to be done and I’m excited about the future! It’s pretty cool that I’m empowered to help drive this change at VMware!

Come Visit Us

Come join us this Thursday, May 8th, between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. at our VMware tent on the corner of Arastradero Road and Foothill Expressway. We will have “What’s Next” water bottles, energy bars, and fresh fruit available for all bicyclists. Sports Basement will also have a tent set up to provide any needed bicycle services. We’d enjoy connecting with you!

 

*Stats from Bikes Belong, 2010 and the City of Palo Alto, California

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Passion Inspires VMware Teachers to Lead the Growth of IT Students

In honor of National Teacher Day, a day that recognizes the hard work that teachers put in each day to educate our future, we are recognizing a few of our very own teachers – VMware Instructors – and sharing how they pursue their own educational growth while empowering the development of others in the information technology community. Hear from Evelyn, Raminder, and Jerry and see what inspires them to work together to make an impact in the VMware Education Program.

 

Lady_Teacher_1Name: Evelyn Baymon

Role: Learning Consultant

Home Office: Houston, Texas

Years at VMware: 8 

Favorite VMware Education Course to Teach: Optimize & Scale

 

How did you get into teaching?

I always knew that I wanted to teach, but for some reason I thought that I would be teaching math. I came upon technical training by teaching technical topics in what was called “Lunch Time Brown Bags.” A friend of mine owned a training business and had accidently doubled booked one day. He sat in on one of my technical trainings and was impressed with the lunch brown bags that I delivered, so he asked if I could take one of the classes for him. When I delivered the training for him I was so elated by watching the light bulbs go off for people as they learned that it made the transition into training very easy. I really stumbled into my passion.

What do to maintain your knowledge?

I read a lot of materials on VMware’s blogs, VMware employees such as Duncan Epping and Mostafa Khalil, and by non-VMware employees like John Hales who wrote Administering vSphere 5. Working hands on is really the best reinforcement. Thankfully I have access to internal labs, so I practice often. I also listen to presentations from VMworld and VMware’s Global Support Services. GSS delivers training for Technical Support too. Sometimes I find this training to be more in depth because you have to know more about how the product works to be effective at troubleshooting.

What does the phrase “Inspiring Passion” mean to you? How do you inspire passion with your students?  

I am of the belief that passion inspires passion. When you bring passion into the class as your truth it becomes contagious in the classroom, bringing excitement and enthusiasm for learning.

What is the best advice that you’ve received in your instructor career? 

Laugh at yourself first. I remember one time using an analogy to describe a topic but when I finished I realized the end of the analogy had several different meanings so I paused, laughed at myself and said, “Umm. I don’t think I will use that one anymore.” The class laughed along with me. Humor in class is a good technique and when you laugh at yourself first students appreciate your transparency.

What would you tell someone who is interested in becoming an instructor?

Being an instructor is not just transferring knowledge, but it is about being able to recognize the diverse needs of the audience and being able to make adjustments to your own style to accommodate those in the classroom. Patience is a victor in the classroom and confidence is imperative. Being selfless is an art, which allows you to bring out as much information from the students as you give information to them. The exchange allows everyone to be a part of the learning process and it is a lot more fun when we are all learning together. Never be afraid to say I don’t know something because in reality there is so much to know that one person will NOT know it all, but be willing to find out and grow, as you too continue to learn.

 

Male_Teacher_1Name: Raminder Singh

Role: Technical Instructor

Home Office: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 2 years 11 months 

Favorite VMware Education Course to Teach: vSphere Optimize & Scale and vCloud Automation Center

 

How did you get into teaching?

From the time I got introduced to virtualization in 2006 I was intrigued by changes that were brought in by VMware in the Data Center. Around that time my past employer was looking for a VCI (VMware Certified Instructor) and asked me if I could step up to the challenge. I was quite happy to take on this role since I liked talking to people and discussing technology. That was the first time I travelled out of India to co-teach my first ever VMware class. I got lucky to have Asif Rafiq from VMware Australia as my Mentor Instructor and since then I’ve never looked back. Being a VCI empowers me to be an agent of change while talking about the game changing technologies within the Data Center and Cloud space.

What do to sharpen your knowledge?

I’ve built myself a home lab, which I religiously login to every week. I encourage students to bring up topics and product features that they have seen or implemented in their environments. I also pick up problems from different forums and research them, regularly Interact with co-workers and subscribe to VMware blogs and communities to get the latest news. But I must say the best way to maintain knowledge is to share it with others – it grows automatically.

What does the phrase “Inspiring Passion” mean to you? How do you inspire passion with your students?  

We need success and happiness to lead a better life. Passion is the driving force that helps individuals to be successful and happy. If you are passionate then you have a very powerful force that can help you accomplish anything that you set your mind to, and more importantly you can experience satisfaction in the work you do. The students coming to VMware’s Educational classes get skilled on the most innovative technologies and stand out from the crowd. As an instructor, I work to ignite passion within my students by bringing various scenarios to the discussion like how VMware customers have utilized different features of our products in innovative ways. I also try to adapt my teaching style based on the students so that everyone is involved in our meaningful discussions.

What is the best advice that you’ve received in your instructor career?

Be passionate to learn.

What would you tell someone who is interested in becoming an instructor?

For someone aspiring to be an instructor, one should really be passionate about educating students. It shouldn’t be just another job to earn money. The success of training depends, to a great extent, on the abilities, skills and personal qualities of the trainer who carries out the training. For anyone interested in becoming a VCI they must ask themselves the following questions: “Do I desire working with people?”, “Do I enjoy communicating with them?”, “Am I ready to learn how to prepare and conduct trainings?” and more importantly, “Am I passionate about VMware?”.

 

Male_Teacher_3Name: Jerry Davis

Home Office: Indianapolis, Indiana

Years at VMware: 8

Favorite Course to Teach: vCloud Director 5.5: Install, Configure, and Manage

 

 

How did you get into teaching?

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I began my IT career as a C-programmer in a company that built UNIX-based trusted operating systems. As a professional programmer, I initially sought and felt the same rush that comes from a program compiling… and working… as I did when I was a student programmer. After a while, however, I grew weary of staring at thousands of lines of C-code looking for that proverbial semi-colon.

As I became restless for a change in roles, the CTO, who happened to be the company’s only instructor, asked if I would be interested in training. He had heard a tape of me speaking in church and figured those public speaking skills might be transferrable. 15 years later, it appears they were.

What do you do to maintain your knowledge?

Some time ago, my father-in-law dropped off an HP DL380 and a Dell PE 2950 to my house. While my wife is not crazy about the noise these servers make, they are invaluable to undergirding the nested ESXi environments I need to stay sharp on vSphere, vCloud Director, and other technologies.

I also make sure to ask more questions of my students than they ask of me in every class I teach. The pain points and best practices they share with one another and with me guide my study and practice in between deliveries.

What does “Inspiring Passion” mean to you? How do you inspire passion with your students?  

The desire of the student to learn is just as important as the ability of the instructor to teach. Passion bridges any gaps that may exist between the two. Passion cannot be faked. Either you have it or you don’t. My classes are filled with endless references to food, pop culture, and family life along with references to real world applications. I think that blend of technical and nontechnical analogies sparks in others the same passion that drives me to learn and explain our technology in a way anyone can understand it.

What is the best advice that you’ve received in your instructor career?

Begin every answer to a question about best practices with the words, “It depends”.  Early on during my tenure at VMware, I asked my manager if I could take time to develop my own Rolodex of best practices to share with my students. He responded by telling me that such a project would amount to a second full-time job. Needless to say, I went back to the drawing board.

I decided to come up with a short list of factors that can be trusted to distinguish between best and bad practices. Whenever my students ask me best practices questions, I simply begin my response with the words, “It depends” and explore the ramifications of pursuing a wide range of approaches to whatever scenario has been presented. This approach empowers my students to make the most of our technology even as they learn changes that emerge in our dot- and first-digit releases. 

What would you tell someone who is interested in becoming an instructor?

Those who can, do. Those who can do it better, teach.

 

 

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