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Knowledge Powers Laura Douglas of VMware to Pay it Forward

What empowers you to get things done? At VMware, our people are inspired to drive what’s next for technology and one another in the community because of the belief that knowledge powers change. Connect with Laura, Americas Field Planning Manager, and see how her learnings create opportunity.

 

Laura_Douglas_1Name: Laura Douglas 

Role: Americas Field Planning Manager, Real Estate & Workplace 

Office Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Years at VMware: 4

 

What does paying it forward mean to you?

The truth is, none of us can get through life alone. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the encouragement of my family and peers. I’ve gotten help along the way and have been given opportunities that not everyone has access to. Paying it forward is the act of recognizing what has been done for you and expressing your gratitude by leaving this world with more than you take.

What does the quote, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you” from the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign mean to you?

As cliché as it sounds, knowledge really is power. The more you learn, the more power you have over anything that has been holding you back, whether that is fear, circumstances, etc.Douglas_Photo

How do you instill this value in your child?

My son is 9-months old, and it amazes me how much he has learned in such a short time! We have been reading to him since the day we brought him home (and he likes to play with books, as you can see), which in my opinion is one of the most important things you can do for a child. As he gets older, we plan to introduce him to the importance of giving back by volunteering as a family.

Please reflect on having your child featured in the campaign. What does it mean to you and your family?

We’re so proud that Parker’s picture is featured in the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign. I love working for a company that not only encourages citizen philanthropy, but that gives its employees a chance to be involved on a whole new level such as having family members featured in the promotional materials for the summer Service Learning campaign. It’s so fun knowing that his poster is hanging in VMware offices all over the world.

 

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VMware’s Felicia Jadczak Makes an Impact While Letting Her True Self Shine

At VMware, we celebrate the diversity of our people. Our unique characteristics and perspectives make the impossible, possible. Connect with Felicia Jadczak, Staff Program Manager, and learn a little bit more about how she thrives with the support of the VMware community. 

 

Felicia_Photo_LastName: Felicia Jadczak

Role: Staff Program Manager

Office Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Years at VMware: 4

 

How does VMware’s culture help you to succeed while making an impact?

I’ve been partially deaf all my life. I started wearing a hearing aid (in one ear) at age seven, and recently switched to wearing hearing aids in both ears last year. All my life I’ve had to struggle with misunderstandings, curious gazes, and impolite questions (‘what’s in your ear?’). I avoided speaking on the phone for many years, because it was that much harder to understand what the person on the other end of the line was saying, without being able to see their lips moving. In school I sat at the front of the room, always. I’ve gotten used to needing to take extra hearing aid batteries with me everywhere I go.

I don’t see myself as disabled. My hearing loss is just part of what makes up who I am. However, sometimes I need to admit that there are things that I need help with or things that I do differently, especially in a professional work environment.

VMware’s values and culture support people who get things done, with passion and integrity. This has made me feel supported from the standpoint that I may not always be physically able to understand what is going on in a videoconference or conference call, but I know that my colleagues respect me for my work and as a member of the team—even if I have to keep asking them to repeat what they just said! There is a super supportive community here and I feel very included and valued.

VMware has allowed me to make an impact by letting me be myself, and encouraging me to celebrate who I am as part of what makes me a great employee. I have been known to overuse the smiley face emoticon, I dress up to go to the office, I geek out over cute redheads, I use internal tools such as Socialcast to effectively communicate with co-workers across different time zones and geographies, I dye my hair with crazy colors and I don’t bother with trying to hide my hearing aids because I know they won’t change anyone’s opinion of who I am—a (stellar) VMware employee.

 

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VMware’s Flexible Work Environment Empowers Victoria Reddington to Get Things Done

At VMware, we foster an open culture that supports the well-being and success of our people. Hear from Victoria Reddington, Desktop Partner Director, EMEA on how the flexible work environment at VMware inspires her to forge change.

 

Victoria_Reddington_PhotoName: Victoria Reddington

Role: Desktop Partner Director, EMEA

Office Location: Frimley, United Kingdom

 Years at VMware: 4

 

How does VMware’s culture help you to succeed?

VMware empowers me to succeed because of the flexibility that I’m given to get my job done while also looking after my family. I am currently working two and half days a week after having recently returned from maternity leave, and will return full time (with flexibility) later this year. 

How has VMware assisted you in making an impact?

I am responsible for helping guide VMware’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Partner organization in the right direction while bringing new solutions into the organization. VMware’s culture supports growth and development, and it’s because of this that I’m able to support the Partner team’s career development through programs such as Partner Manager Boot Camp. My team is highly motivated to ensure that the right partners are empowered with the resources to take our new solutions to market, which is no easy feat, I can tell you. VMware’s open and honest culture has given me and my team tremendous confidence to speak up where we need to make improvements and seeing them realized is extremely satisfying.

 

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Hands on Learning Empowers Eric Betts of VMware to Give More

VMware people are tinkerers. They harness their curiosity to explore the impossible while bringing to life what’s next in technology. Hear from VMware Staff Program Manager, Eric Betts on how his passion to learn by doing allows him and his family to give more within the community.

 

Eric_Betts_HeadshotName: Eric Betts

Role: Staff Program Manager, Security Certifications & Compliance

Office Location: Palo Alto, CA

Years at VMware: 9

 

 

What does paying it forward mean to you?

DevynBetts-Soldering copyFor me paying it forward means to give back. Over the course of a lifetime people are gifted with the knowledge and skill of others. By taking a break from your normal routine to discover areas where you can make a difference, you are paying forward the gifts that you have received from others. The effort can be large or small, but the important point is to engage and help make someone’s life better. I am fortunate that VMware supports volunteerism through Service Learning. I have volunteered with my daughter’s school, non-profits, and STEM-based organizations. The work can be tiring at times, but I always feel better knowing that my contributions have helped improve lives and the world around me. I have seen others do the same and the collective effort can make a remarkable difference.

What does the quote, “In doing we learn.” mean to you?

BettsKidsAtMakerFare2013George Herbert’s quote focuses attention on the idea that we learn from experience. Not all learning is achieved in a classroom or from a textbook. Some of my greatest learning experiences resulted from real world challenges where there was no set plan. I learned from being hands on, open-minded, being persistent and exploring all options. Just because something doesn’t exist or hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean that it is impossible, it just means that the method, technique, or technology to bring the idea to life might not exist yet. I love how the “Maker” culture encourages prototyping ideas to invent everything from simple electronics to robots and 3D printers. Being adventurous and a constant learner are critical keys to success and satisfaction.

How do you instill this value in your children?

My wife and I have always encouraged our children to try, explore, and tinker.  There are no wrong answers through this process, only discovery and outcomes.  We’ve reiterated that you won’t know if you like (or dislike) something unless you try it (within reason of course), visit, taste, watch, or touch to experience things in life for yourself. Through this we have developed little “foodies” that cringe at the sight of a children’s menu in restaurants, and instead prefer a bowl of green-lipped mussels to a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. These days our playroom not only has toys, paper, scissors, crayons, rainbow looms and Avengers action heroes, but items such as hot glue guns, wires, duct tape, soldering irons, Lil’bits electronics kits, motors, LEDs, small computers (Arduino/Rasberry Pi), white boards and musical instruments as well. We encourage our children to not just use technology, but also research and understand how the technology works and consider ways to improve, hack, and adapt it for other uses. Anytime they say, “I wish there was something that does …”, we capture the thought and discuss it.Betts_Photo

Please reflect on having your child featured in the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign. What does it mean to you and your family?

It’s been a wonderful experience. With our daughter seated next to her best friend, we’re proud to share the image with their classmates, family, friends and more importantly, share what they were working on when the picture was taken. The Service Learning campaign allowed my daughter to see herself “in action”, it’s a great visual to see what focused concentration looks like and how it has been used to inspire others.

As a parent and an employee, the VMware Service Learning campaign has been a pure blast. Watching the coverage expand from an internal newsletter, to an external campaign has been exciting and fun for our entire family!

 

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Yong Zhao of VMware Welcomes the Impossible to Creatively Power Change

How far will you go to defy the norm and create change? Questions like this are sparked within the VMware community daily. Connect with Yong, Senior Member of Technical Staff at VMware Beijing and learn a little bit more about what inspires him to make the impossible, possible.

 

Yong_Zhao_3Name: Yong Zhao

Role: Senior Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Beijing, China

Years at VMware: 4.5 years

What does paying it forward mean to you?

Paying it forward means that people should do good deeds and help others in daily life as often as he or she can. It is important to spread this principle to others so that we all can work together to make the world a better place.Yong_Zhao_2

What does the quote, “Creativity is an act of defiance.” from the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign mean to you?

Creativity is an act of defiance. It will challenge or break old habitual ways of thinking and behavior patterns. Creativity is also a power to change the world and make the impossible possible.

How do you instill this value in your child?

Yong_Zhao_4I learn and grow with my child and work to be a good friend and trusted advisor for her. I encourage her on her interests and strive to teach her how to be grateful and kind to all those around her because love is spread out on the basis of feeling the love first. With a grateful heart, people will naturally spread love and treat people and things around them with respect and kindness.

Please reflect on having your child featured in the campaign. What does it mean to you and your family? 

My family and I feel very proud and honored to participate in the VMware Foundation’s 2014 summer service learning campaign. It is no doubt that through this activity we have learned a lot and improved greatly. This has been a very meaningful and valuable experience for my family. We always strive to keep the essence of the VMware Foundation: Serve. Learn. Inspire. in our minds.

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VMware’s Dexter Arver Illuminates the Power of Curiosity in Service

What ignites your curiosity to pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of others? Questions like this are sparked at VMware by the wide range of passions that our people bring to life through Service Learning. Connect with Dexter, Supervisor, Web Applications and see how his thirst for learning through service makes a difference in his home and the community.

 

Name: Dexter ArverDexter_family_photo

Role: Supervisor, Web Applications

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware: 8.85

 

What does “paying it forward” mean to you?

It means taking a step back and realizing how lucky you are to be in the situation you are in. And since the catalyst for your success is luck (i.e. in birth, having great parents, getting your first job, etc.), sharing some of the result of that luck with those less fortunate.

What does the quote, “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” from the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign for employees mean to you? 

How about another question: how can one learn without curiosity?

Being older has made me over-estimate myself to the point that sometimes, I have this attitude that I know everything. I tend to not want to go to some new event or experience because I tell myself that I know what will happen and that its not worth the time and effort. What I’ve found is this intuitive feeling is completely wrong most of the time. This is where my kid really has taught me a lot about being curious and withholding judgment. Because allowing yourself to be curious and to go into things with an open mind will only help you grow and learn as a person.The-Wick-of-Learning

How do you instill this value in your child?

My child is very young, so I don’t really have to do much. She’s always curious about everything. The best I can do is to encourage her to keep asking questions.

Please reflect on having your child featured in the Service Learning campaign advertising. What does it mean to you and your family?

I think having the image featured meant the most to my mother-in-law. She was just so happy and proud.

As for me, I just thank VMware for the opportunity to have my daughter and picture featured in this campaign. Because you know, as a biased parent, I feel that she is the cutest kid in the world and I want to share that sentiment with everyone that ever sees this poster. I mean come on, she’s so cute!!!

 

 

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An Inside Look at VMware Cork

Growth of VMware in Cork

With headquarters in Palo Alto, CaliforniaVMware was founded in 1998. Today it has offices in over 50 locations worldwide employing over 14,000 people. One of those global locations is Ballincollig, eight kilometres west of Cork city. The office campus is situated in Barrack Square, a historic military barracks that was originally established in 1810 and has been home to VMware since 2007. The first VMware employee in Cork was hired in 2005 and the company has experienced remarkable growth since then both locally and worldwide. There are currently close to 800 employees in Ballincollig making VMware Cork the third biggest site globally.VMW_Cork_Updated_Blog_Photo

Employees at VMware Cork support customers throughout the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). VMware Cork is home to functions such as Global Support Services, Finance, Inside Sales, IT, Order Management, Deal Desk, Facilities, Legal, HR and Recruitment/Staffing. It’s a truly multi-cultural campus with native speakers of over 20 different languages. Employees can avail of a wide variety of activities including a running club, tag rugby, cookery classes, among others and there are regular social events, including the annual Summer BBQ.

Giving Back 

Giving back to create a thriving community together is a key value for VMware globally. Through the VMware Foundation employees are encouraged to donate 40 hours per annum to support local worthy causes. Employees across the Cork site support projects such as Terence MacSwiney Community Collegelrish Cancer SocietyPenny DinnersBarnardos and Age Action Ireland.Giving_Back_Cork_Fashion_Show

VMware Cork also recently finished their first programme of CoderDojo with an all-girls local Primary School - Scoil Mhuire based in Ballincollig, Cork. VMware is aware of the need for more women in the IT and Computing industries and the interest in the programme from an all-girls school was something that we were extremely excited and optimistic about. The CoderDojo was run through the VMware Foundation with mentors using their Service Learning hours to help teach young children coding in an exciting and innovative environment.

Partnership with Cork Institute of Technology 

Investing in third level education is a key focus for VMware. The company played a major role in partnering with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to develop the world’s first suite of Masters and Undergraduate Degree programmes in Cloud Computing, with the first graduates conferred in May 2013.Cork_Soccer

In another mark of the strength of the relationship between VMware and CIT, the company also sponsors the football, hurling and camogie GAA teams at CIT.

Awards & Recognition

In 2013 VMware was awarded Cork Chamber of Commerce Company of the Year. The award was in recognition of the company’s culture of innovation, the quality of its workforce, its continued growth and its contribution to the local economy.

One of the main factors behind VMware winning the award, according to the judges, was its apprenticeship programme. VMware has adopted the government-sponsored JobBridge scheme enthusiastically. Known internally as the Cloud Careers Programme, the company takes non-IT and unemployed people and puts them through a three-month technical training programme, followed by a six-month work placement. Since its introduction three years ago, over 90% of participants have secured employment with VMware.Cork_Ireland_Award_Photo

Also VMware took the honours in the 2013 ‘Sustained Excellence’ category award at the IT@Cork Leaders Awards in County Hall.

IDA Ireland, the state body responsible for attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the country, has highlighted VMware as a success story when enticing new companies to the Cork region. In May 2014, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited VMware in Ballincollig in recognition of the company’s investment in the local workforce, where he remarked: “You’re a great brand image for our country.”

The influential business magazine Forbes ranked VMware as the third most innovative company in the world. VMware’s people in Ballincollig will continue to play a key part in that innovation in the foreseeable future.

 

 

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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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