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Being Green at VMware

Being “Green” at VMware isn’t just about our virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions. It’s an important part of who we are and how we shape our workplace community. Join us as we celebrate Earth Day and learn a little bit more about how our people work together as One VMware to make environmentally conscious decisions each day.

 

Growing Green

Earth_day_photo_1VMware’s Palo Alto, beautiful California headquarters strives to be green from the ground up. In 2009, VMware began pursuing its first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for three buildings on campus. To become LEED certified, a building has to satisfy prerequisites and earn points for recognizing best-in-class building strategies and practices. To date, the LEED certification project at VMware has:

  • Diverted 86.5% of the on-site generated construction waste from landfill
  • Allowed 32.81% of the total building materials, by cost, to be manufactured using recycled materials
  • Reduced connected lighting power density from that allowed by Title 24 by 18.45%
  • Installed occupancy sensors for 76.2% of the project connected lighting load
  • Installed ENERGY STAR-rated equipment and appliances equal to 60.76% by rated power

vm_209_0022_182726We’re currently growing the number of LEED certified buildings at VMware. Eight buildings at our Palo Alto campus and the commercial interiors of our new Vista building in Bangalore, India are in the certification process.

Learn more about the LEED Certification here.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get to Work

Whether you bike, take the commuter rail, carpool, or drive on your own to work, VMware supports a variety of ways for our people to be Green when commuting to and from work every day.

With 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, our “campus in a forest” is bike friendly. Being situated in the Stanford Research Park allows for access to a variety of bike paths and ease of commute due to the designated bike lanes across the city of Palo Alto as well.ColoradoBikers

Interested in going for a cruise around Palo Alto, California? Discover over 4,000 bike routes around the city here. 

Depending on where you live, commuting by bus or rail might be the most logical and environmentally conscious decision. In order to reduce the number of incremental vehicles on the road, VMware currently pays 100% of the cost for employees to use public transportation at our Palo Alto headquarters. Some of the most frequently used modes of public transportation in the Bay Area include CalTrain, a local commuter train route that goes between San Francisco and the San Jose/Gilroy stop at the Palo Alto station and Dumbarton Express, an express bus route that runs from Union City BART to Palo Alto and Stanford Research Park – where VMware headquarters sits.

Hear from Hanna Friend, VMware Program Manager, on her commute to work with CalTrain on the Peninsula Moves! blog.

For employees behind the wheel, our Palo Alto campus has 53 EV (Electric Vehicle) charging stations onsite. Since March 2013, there have been 11,670 EV charge ups and 122 MWH (milowatts) used. That is the equivalent of saving 51, 153 kg (kilograms) of green house gases and 15,205 gallons of gasoline. Pretty cool, right?AOWN_Hanna_Phan_2

Reduce & Reuse for What’s Next

To power what’s next for our community, VMware headquarters has eight solar installations that can produce an estimated 1,300 MW (megawatts) of power. This is the equivalent of taking 190 passenger vehicles off the road.

We’re also proud to say that because of our sustainability practices and the participation of our people, VMware’s Palo Alto campus diverted 91.59% of waste from landfills in 2013. Since 2009, our people have reduced the total waste output of VMware headquarters by 70,000 tons while our population increased by over 1,000 people!

Going Green Goes Global 

Being Green isn’t just something that our people practice at VMware headquarters. Our global sites are working together to define and drive sustainability efforts that will make a difference in their local communities. Here’s a glimpse of Green activities taking shape at VMware offices around the world.Earth_Day_Photo_2

  • Our Broomfield, Colorado site holds e-waste recycling events for employees’ personal items (i.e. computers, TVs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines). To date, the site has collected over four tons of electronics to be safely and ethically recycled.
  • VMware Cambridge in Massachusetts reimburses its employees that carpool or use public transportation to get to work each day. Over 50% of our Cambridge employees take public transportation.
  • Over in Europe, our Cork, Ireland site recently began a Waste Awareness Campaign in March of 2014. Each of the three buildings onsite (Behan House, Kavanagh House and Parnell House) has a board that displays its monthly recycling vs. waste figures. The goal is to increase recycling while reducing waste. A little friendly rivalry between sites is helping each building improve their recycling statistics. To date, the Parnell House is in the lead with 58% of their waste being recycled. VMware Cork intends to drive these stats above 70% in the coming months.
  • Employees at our Sofia, Bulgaria site collect plastic bottle caps to recycle offsite. The money from the recycled caps is donated to a local nonprofit.
  • In Japan, VMware Tokyo employees turn off the lights and air conditioning in conference rooms after meetings have concluded to reduce energy consumption. Tokyo employees also recycle cans, pull-tabs, caps, and plastic bottles after use.
  • VMware Bangalore in India implemented the use of microfiber mops to clean office premises. Microfiber mops help the environment by using less water and chemical when cleaning, thus contributing less to the waste stream.

Earth Day reminds us to reflect on how we can do our part to protect our environment and shared finite resources. At VMware, we’re always looking to learn more about how we can work together to make more sustainable choices for our global community’s future.

Join our community as we work to give more, take less, and protect mother Earth.

Tell us, what inspires you to be Green?

 

 

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Exercise Your Mind: Top 4 Reasons Why VMware is a Fit-Friendly Worksite

What is your work schedule like? Are you on the go, moving around from one location to another, or are you relatively stationary, sitting in one spot for the majority of the day?

At VMware, we believe that it is important to integrate balance in our peoples’ work schedule so that each individual can grow professionally while focusing on his or her well-being. And it is because of this, that the American Heart Association recognized VMware as a 2013 Fit-Friendly Worksite.DS-6029 AHA_Seal13_Gold_cmyk

Each year, the American Heart Association honors employers that go above and beyond to foster a healthy environment for their employees. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and physical inactivity doubles this risk. That’s pretty scary if you stop to think about it…but let’s keep moving and see why VMware was afforded this honor: Hear from our people too and see how VMware empowers us  to live a balanced life!

1.) Health & Wellness Resources and Seminars

All VMware employees have access to the VMware Wellness Portal, a site that provides a wealth of educational resources including a personal health & wellness tracker, nutrition tips, the latest news from Mayo Clinic, and information on blood pressure and cholesterol readings.

VMware also hosts Wellness Lunch & Learns, a series of seminars either in person at VMware’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, or by webinar throughout the year. One recent seminar, “Put a Lid on High Blood Pressure,” focused on the basics of a healthy blood pressure, the risks of high blood pressure, and tips for reducing blood pressure without medication.Hackathon_4

 “The Health & Wellness Program at VMware has been very inspiring. I’ve started tracking my portion sizes and it has made a big difference. After grocery shopping, I measure the appropriate portion size for the calories on the packages and store in snack baggies. –Paula, Senior Benefits Analyst

2.) State-of-the-Art Gyms

There’s nothing like going for a quick run, stretching in a yoga class or pumping some iron to find your center. Whatever your fancy, at VMware, our people can enjoy the vFIT program, two fitness centers located at VMware headquarters that provide a variety of fitness machines, workout classes including spinning, body sculpting, circuit training, Bollywood, Zumba, and more. Our soccer field and basketball / sports courts provide a team building environment available to all members. For sites without a gym, employees can use the gym reimbursement program.Health_Wellness_Photo1

3) Locally Sourced, Delicious Food

Deliciously prepared food is an important staple in our workplace community. Whether our people are enjoying a meal together while collaborating on a project, coming together during a holiday celebration such as Lunar New Year, or winding down the work week at a Friday Bash, food helps unite our dynamic and diverse community. Because of this, our Real Estate & Workplace team works tirelessly to provide a healthy variety of food options for our sites. Some of the most popular meals and snacks include: Smoked salmon salad with lemon-dill vinaigrette, Vital Vittles Tangy Ginger Cookies (Vegan), Honey Nut Bunch cereal, and Clover Strawberry yogurt.

“Club vFit is paramount to my aggressive fitness goals. With an up-to-date facility and an encouraging staff, I am always motivated for my workouts. And that sets the tone for my day, to be the best I can be, both in and out of my job.” – David, Sr. Admin AssistantFood_Photo_1

4.) Staying Fit as a Community

Have you heard of The Amazing Race, a reality television show in its 23rd season on CBS that takes teams across the globe to tackle a variety of challenges? The first team to make it to each “Pit Stop” wins a prize and the team to make it first to the final destination wins the race. Sounds like an adrenaline rush, right?

VMware decided to create its own spin on The Amazing Race. Each year, VMware people team up to work on their fitness goals while visiting virtual “Pit Stops” (i.e. our major office sites across the globe) on the VMware Wellness Portal. Employees log their fitness minutes in the physical activity tracker and the team with the highest exercise average wins the race. The Amazing Race at VMware is an opportunity for our people to come together as a community and learn about other office sites while achieving their individual fitness goals. Weekly raffle prizes, fun team names such as “Wii Not Fit”, and the encouragement from others make the event invaluable (and fun)!

Getting out from behind the desk to spend time outside is also important for our people. From green space and walking paths around VMware’s LEED certified headquarters to offsite events such as our Cambridge site’s service learning project with The Food Project in Massachusetts, our people see value in spending time outside.ColoradoBikers

Can’t keep Colorado Springs or Colorado down. We have some amazing folks here. Twenty-two VMware employees participated in the annual Bike to Work Day, which is about 20 miles from the office to downtown Colorado Springs and back. NICE JOB Fitness with Altitude!!!”

-Trisha, Member of Fitness with Altitude from our 2013 Amazing Race Challenge

 

 

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A VMware Employee’s Pursuit of Happiness Inspires the Growth of Others

Helping people reach their goals and exploring their best selves is a personal passion for Karen, lead for VMware’s T3 innovation program. I connected with her recently to learn about her work and how she ‘seeds’ new growth and learning opportunities for her colleagues at VMware. Join me on this conversation to see how her pursuit of what makes her happy in her career has enabled her to empower others.

 

Karen_Ellis_HeadshotName: Karen Ellis

Role: Take 3 Program Manager

Office Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Years at VMware: 2.5

 

What is a typical workday like for you? 

A typical workday at the Cambridge, Massachusetts office at VMware varies, but is always great. I interact with a lot of people, engineers mostly at this site, but I talk to people from all over the company. Sometimes I’m helping employees navigate their Take 3 adventure, other times discussing opportunities they may want to explore. I’m involved with global mobility program development, so we’re looking at all of our employee’s experience here and how we can support their development and growth in the company, which is really exciting. We have a really upbeat and friendly office atmosphere and we overlook the Charles River, with great views into Boston. It’s hard to beat! 

The last time we spoke, the T3 program was just taking off. How is it going now and what new things can employees expect?

The Take 3 Program (T3) is an opportunity for VMware employees, with five or more years of service, to take a three month rejuvenation period and select an assignment outside of their regular day job. T3 is an opportunity for professional, technical, and leadership development that not only benefits personal and professional growth, but also enhances the contributions employees are able to make to the company.

In the two and a half years since T3 launched, so many great developments have taken place. We have a new user interface for our online portal that is easier to use, we have a lot more opportunities for employees to choose from, thanks largely to the amazing adoption of T3 in R&D, and we are looking forward to moving into the rest of the company in the coming quarter. The success we have seen in our engineering community, and the impact it’s made around the company, has helped us push this idea into a employee wide activity. In the next few months we’ll see the beginning of more cross function Take 3 activities and a lot of collaboration and skill sharing taking place around VMware, and that will be really exciting to see. T3_Duck

Where did your passion for learning come from? How does this passion energize your current role?

Before joining VMware, I was in the non-profit world. I started at America’s Promise and AmeriCorps, and after that, for a decade, I was a program developer at The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, a global non-profit who’s main goal is to empower underserved youth to learn, create, grow and develop through the use of technology. My drive has always come from helping people reach their goals and explore their best selves through whatever means that may be. In creating programs and experiences for a targeted audience, you get to think about how that service impacts people and their needs, and you are a part of the overall health and well being of people. Here I get to do the very same thing. Within VMware, my job is to think about what’s next for our people, what drives them and where they want to go, and that experience is really important.

How have you seen the guiding principles of the T3 Program weave into your own growth & development?

I very much believe in growth and development: both personal and professional. If you’re not learning something or experiencing new things, you’ll get bored and be unhappy, and who wants to spend their days like that! Working at VMware has afforded me many opportunities to branch out, get involved in new things and be engaged in many different areas of the business, all things that have helped me grow tremendously during my tenure here.

One way that I’ve been able to develop is with my new relationship with the Global Talent Development team. Using my knowledge from the T3 program to help think about and launch new programs to support our people has been really fun and challenging, definitely a great experience in terms of career growth.

Can you share a person, place, news source, or item that inspires you to try out new things and collaborate with others?Karen_Ellis_Farm_Team_Pic

This photo is of my fellow Cambridge colleagues and me working in the gardens at The Food Project in Dorchester, Massachusetts. People who dedicate their lives to causes that matter to them constantly inspire me. I try to volunteer often and give my time and resources to organizations that matter to me and do powerful work. VMware’s Service Learning Program is great as it encourages employees to give back throughout the year.

Share a fun or inspiring T3 project that you have helped drive.

There are so many great T3 stories that I think are fun and inspiring. I have been lucky enough to be a part of every one of our participant’s journeys, and it’s been such a great thing to be able to see, from the initial idea to the end of the project. The projects that I think resonate with me the most are the ones where someone really goes outside of their comfort zone to try something completely new. I think that it takes a certain fortitude to do a complete turn for three months and do a totally new job.

We’ve had a few participants in R&D go out into the field and work with customers for three months, and a few that have incubated new projects that then turned into larger areas that the business explored far longer than the three months. I think both of those areas are so interesting because it pushed people to be open to whatever may come at them and adapt to new and sometimes unfamiliar situations. What I’ve taken away from this program is that our employees have some amazing ideas to explore and talents to share. T3 is a great program because it fosters the spirit of innovation that is core to VMware. It is a cool and different way that our smart people at VMware can stretch and grow themselves.

What advice would you give to individuals looking to grow in their career? How does VMware provide opportunities for growth for its people?

The advice I would give anyone looking to grow his or her career is to talk to anyone that you think is interesting. You never know what can come from one conversation, even sharing the simplest of ideas can help you formulate a new plan and could open up a world of possibilities you didn’t know existed. What’s impressive to me about VMware is that they are really dedicated to helping employees develop in all areas, and they show that in so many ways, like through Take 3 for growth, or the technical education courses they offer to encourage continued learning, or Service Learning through the VMware Foundation to support community involvement and help employees give back to causes and projects that mean something to them. Those are just some of the opportunities that are available for employees to personally and professionally grow here at VMware and there are so many more. It’s really a great place to work and I’m proud to tell people I’m a VMware’r!!

 

 

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Borathon – A VMware Hackathon Fostering Innovation on a Global Scale

Borathon is an opportunity for VMware people to get back to their creative roots and work collaboratively to build flings, features, proof-of-concepts, hacks, or new workflows. The purpose of Borathon is to engage as a community and work together to foster creativity and to build enthusiasm for our products. As participants, you get a chance to build something that can truly have an impact on the company. You get to show it off in front of a panel of judges of senior engineers and management.VMware_Borathon201403-28

But why did we pick “Borathon” as the name of the hackathon? Well, legend has it that when VMware moved from CVS to perforce, the new repository had an island theme – “Bora Bora”. We wanted the name of our hackathon to be representative of our historical roots. Explaining the roots of VMware is something we need to do constantly as we grow. Otherwise, culture cannot be propagated.

Our most recent Borathon launched simultaneously at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto (California) and our Bangalore (India) site on March 27 and ended on March 28. With over 100 participants at each site, this two-day hackathon was a wonderful opportunity to get back to creative blissful coding.

Some teams stayed overnight to continue working on their ideas. We of course encouraged that with breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks in between and about 80 pounds of candies. Let’s not forget our large quantities of beverages and an endless supply of caffeine.VMware_Borathon_Candy_v2

Even with so much caffeine, you still occasionally need to get up and move! That is where the Teddy Bear Contest came in! We hinted there would be prizes for the best Teddy Bear and we had a great turnout from our stuffed friends! There was a stuffed moose, a minion, a very fluffy Optimus Prime, and a bunny along with the bears. The winner of the Teddy Bear contest received a $25 gift certificate to Best Buy. The winning toy was determined by the loudest applause, which was a great way to liven up the late night hacking.

Let’s not forget the awesome prizes that were given out during Borathon. Prizes for the winning teams included Leap Motion Controllers, Chromecasts, GoPro Cameras, and RADIO passes (an R&D innovation offsite for VMware people).VMware_Borathon201403-20

Hackathons can often prove perilous to the hardware the teams use- and one poor developer accidentally spilled a soft drink all over his laptop- instantly killing it. He was undeterred however and continued to push through with that innovative spirit, he went and found screwdrivers, disassembled the machine and laid it out on a fan to dry it out. A short time later, he was able to reboot the machine and went right on coding! We felt this embodied the spirit of Borathon and our community value of Passion and rewarded him with a prize.

Looking back on the event, we feel inspired by the passion VMware engineers showed for developing new and innovative ideas. It is also wonderful to see the Community that has developed in the days after Borathon. It’s common to see Borathon hoodies on campus because people are proud to be part of the event.

 

-Todd Valetine & Laetitia Farrugia

 

 

 

Todd_Valentine_HeadshotAbout Todd: Todd Valentine is a program manager in the office of the CTO; Todd joined VMware originally in 2011 in the Cambridge office and has recently relocated to Palo Alto. Todd is a graduate of the Boston University Graduate School of Management with a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Information Systems.

 

 

 

Laetitia_Farrugia_PhotoAbout Laetitia: Laetitia Farrugia is a program manager in the office of the CTO. She comes to us from France after having travelled and lived in multiple countries. She studied in France (ESSEC Business School) and in Cardiff University (UK) where she picked up skills in international business administration and marketing. Having also worked in IT for most of her career, she brings a broad variety of experience.

 

 

 

 

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Mark Roukema, Software Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo Shares Why He Boomeranged Back for a Second Internship at VMware

Some of the best advice I’ve heard includes taking as many opportunities as you can to ask questions, explore, and to test out ideas to stretch yourself. If you are a current student, you may be at a point where you have flexibility to zero in on these moments of growth. Because of this, I decided to sit down with Mark Roukema, VMware intern and current student at the University of Waterloo to see how he takes this advice to heart as he returns to VMware for a second internship. Let’s see what Mark has to say about VMware’s people, making an impact from day one, and the defining moments that helped shape his trajectory.

 

Mark_Roukema_4The Software Engineering Program at the University of Waterloo provides a variety of growth & development opportunities for students, including six four-month internship placements with top employers across the country, including VMware. During my third year of college, I was lucky enough to receive the opportunity to intern at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California as a Software Engineer working on the Partner Engineering Storage team. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. It’s because of this experience that I decided to join VMware again for a second four-month placement working on the same team. Now several months into my second internship, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts on why I came back.

Here are four key reasons I decided to intern at VMware:

1. People and Culture

From day one it was clear that VMware treats its interns differently than most employers that I’m familiar with. I spent my first day getting acquainted with VMware’s culture by touring the newly expanded, beautiful campus in Palo Alto and meeting my new coworkers. To my surprise, most of the other people in the orientation were not fellow interns, but full-time new hires. Attending orientation was my first clue that I was in for a game-changing experience.  I felt like an equal contributing member of the employee community, just like any other talented employee. This was a key factor in my decision to return to VMware.Mark_Roukema_5

2. Making an Impact on Real World Challenges

The largest difference between a VMware internship and internships at other companies is that the quality of work we are given. The work that VMware interns are involved with is of great interest to each team and makes a direct impact on the business. For the first time at an internship I got the sense that my work was actually contributing to the team and unless I put my full effort into it I would let the group down. What I do matters and that means a lot to me.

During my first internship at VMware, I was directly involved in putting together a software plugin that uses technologies that I had never heard of or worked on before. If you had asked me about the problem that the plugin addressed at the start of my internship, I would have probably said that its resolution was not feasible or that I couldn’t do it. However, with the support and encouragement of my team, I was able to learn new skills and familiarize myself with new technologies, which helped me make an impact on the project. I pushed beyond the artificial limits I had set for myself and grew, which was very rewarding. My work at VMware proved to not only be challenging, but one of the best hands on learning experiences that I’ve gotten out of an internship.

3. Intern Life, Fun and Balance

Of course my internship was not all work. There was plenty of fun to be had both at work and at home, where over 100 other VMware interns from all across the world were living. The VMware University Relations Program provided interns with a variety of events to get to know each other and explore all that California has to offer. From social events like our LAN party on VMware’s campus, day trips to places like Angel Island, volunteer opportunities within the local community and possibly the most important factor: reasonable working hours. No one ever asked or expected me to work more than a normal 40-hour work week. This left plenty of time to hang out with fellow interns and explore. I think work life balance is important because for most of us, the things that matter and are important to us and define who we are occur outside the office. It only makes sense that these things get as much of our attention as we can afford to give them.Mark_Roukema_3

4. Anticipation for What’s Next

When my first internship at VMware came to an end I came to appreciate how great of an opportunity I had come across. I was leaving with more knowledge and experience than I had ever imagined that I would get out of an internship. During my last week I learned that if I wanted to, I could walk away with one more thing, an offer to come back and intern for another four months.

For me this was an easy decision. VMware is by far the best internship experience that I’ve had to date. I know that I have a lot to learn and takeaway from my return, so I’m looking forward to what’s next. I’ve been given the opportunity to continue my work from the previous term and am excited to see it through the next phase of its lifespan.

Thank you VMware for this incredible opportunity to work with passionate people who are driven to challenge the status quo all while having fun and building meaningful relationships. I’m looking forward to the remainder of my second internship.

 

About Mark: Mark is a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is currently continuing his work with networked storage technology on the Ecosystem Research and Development team at VMware.

Find Mark Roukema on:

 

 

 

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Pi Day – Celebrating Service with our Community

At VMware, Pi Day is a day we geek out over giving back. Together with our extended community, we celebrated 3.14 with a Service Learning fair, where people built connections with local causes and learned more about how they can contribute back. It was an amazing day – hard to capture in words, so we’re sharing some photos that convey the energetic vibe.

YOU INSPIRE ME

Throughout the day, we invited people to share what inspires them to serve. If you need a boost of inspiration, don’t miss our fun video. It’s guaranteed to make you smile (or whistle)!

WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING

Pi Day speaks to the spirit of community at VMware that recognizes our interconnectedness as citizens of the world. As such, we give back by using our time, talent and skills to create a thriving community together. Our deep gratitude to the nonprofits that joined us on Pi Day and shared ideas for how we all can spark change in our communities.

BIG THINGS HAVE SMALL BEGINNINGS

We want to hear from you. What ignites your passion to serve? Post a comment below or join us on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #iServe.

 

Looking forward to hearing what inspires you!

Pi_Day_Collage_6

 

 

 

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Learn how three VMware women forge change daily and across the globe in their own right.

In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2014), we’re sharing the dynamic stories of three of our very own technology leaders from across the globe. Kristina, Cindy and Pushpalatha from Bulgaria, China and India respectively are instigators of innovation making waves in the way they lead, frame a problem and get out of their comfort zone. They recognize that inspiring change starts from a conscious decision to rise to the challenge and lead by example. At VMware, creating a supportive environment where our people can thrive and innovate is core to the employee experience. Take a moment to learn more about what this means to Kristina, Cindy and Pushpalatha:

 

Kristina_Stoitsova_HeadshotName: Kristina Stoitsova

Role: Director R&D, vSphere Web Client

Office Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Years at VMware: 5.8 

Typical day for you: My typical day starts with coffee, my mailbox and a review of my calendar. I then look at the goals I’ve set for myself for the week – I try to stick to them during the day and not get lost in urgent tasks that are not that important.

The morning and early afternoon are usually busy with internal meetings and work with my direct team. Late afternoons and evenings is when most of our meetings between the Sofia and Palo Alto sites take place due to the time difference. Once I leave the office, I seek to have quality time with family and friends and re-charge my batteries for the next challenge.

I try not to let a day pass by without talking to engineers on my team, learning something new and helping someone out.

A pivotal moment for me: I have had several pivotal moments since I joined VMware. Joining VMware was a career-changing experience for me. I moved from a smaller Bulgarian software company into a completely new environment. The difference in scale and complexity was impressive. I was fascinated by the tremendous impact VMware products have on our customers and the IT industry. The number of extremely smart people also amazed me. My first year was full of growth. Looking back, joining VMware was one of the best decisions that I have made.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Several years later, I had a pivotal moment when I stepped into the role of a second line manager. I had to re-think my way of getting things done, the level of operation and the new challenges that my new role brought to life.

A more recent pivotal moment has been the start of an MBA program that I hope will further expand my horizon and will help me build the skills required to make the next step in my professional development.

As a woman, the strongest quality that you need to bring to work is: Every person, regardless of their gender, age, background or way of thinking has strengths and it is important to build upon them, rather than focus on weaknesses. I consider my empathy to people, my ability to set direction and goals while working within my team and alongside others, to be some of my strongest qualities in the workplace.

I inspire change by: As a lead of a large team of very capable engineers and managers, I inspire change by enabling and supporting my team to come up with and voice new ideas, take initiative to change and improve development processes and challenge practices that are there just because “they’ve been that way for a long time.”

 

Cindy_Kou_3Name: Cindy Kou (寇育新)

Role: R&D Senior Director, VMware End-User Computing

Office Location: Beijing, China

Years at VMware: 1.5

Typical day for you:  As a remote site leader, a typical day can look like:

  1. Conference calls and face-to-face meetings around cross-team communications, people development, and technical innovation that can last from the early morning until midnight in the office or from my home.
  2. Traveling to VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California for discussions on strategy and our overall roadmap.
  3. Visiting with customers, partners and field offices around the region to provide support and promote our products and solutions.

A pivotal moment for me: From the moment I joined VMware 1.5 years ago, I immediately loved the company because of its innovation and engineering culture. One way this innovation culture comes to life for our employees is through our company-wide innovation conference that happens every year. To participate, Engineers must submit papers about their forward thinking ideas. The authors who get their papers accepted are invited to present at the conference. Right after I joined VMware, the China R&D site organized an innovation contest as a means to inspire ideation. As an amazing result, the China site was able to fly more than 40 engineers to San Francisco for the 2013 innovation offsite.Cindy_Kou_1

As a woman, the strongest quality that you need to bring to work is: Getting out of your comfort zone. In my opinion, many intelligent women are too quiet to be well recognized by their managers and co-workers. The first thing for us to overcome is shyness. Speak up and share your brilliant ideas in public. You will earn more respect and trust. Females also sometimes find it difficult to feel included in the currently male-dominated world in the IT industry. I am always looking for commonality with other male professionals by socializing with them and my extend network. Some of my career opportunities came from my well-connected network. Lastly, women tend to pursue perfection and avoid taking risks. This characteristic prevents a lot of females from achieving higher career success. Don’t be afraid of failure. Stretch yourself by taking on new initiatives or challenging assignments.

I inspire change by: Delivering innovative solutions. For example, our View mobile client team filed a patent of virtual UI interaction model on mobile devices. The patent was implemented in production. Because of this innovation and other cool features, VMware Horizon View mobile clients have received very high appraisals from end users in terms of usability and performance. Our products are rated number four in both the Apple and Google Play stores. As a contrast, our competitor’s product received rating of two in both stores. Our team has changed the user experience and the competitive situation by delivering such an innovative solution.

  

Pushpa copyName: Pushpa G.P

Role: Senior Quality Engineering Manager

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 17 Months

Typical day for you: Each and every day brings opportunities for me to learn and add value for VMware’s customers. As a part of the Suite interOp Quality Engineering (QE) team, I collaborate with multiple business units in order to create an environment where my team can obtain an overall understanding of the entire VMware product suite. Communication and collaboration happens predominately through email and conference calls since our teams are global. We’re managing multiple releases, so I try to balance my time with each of my team members by understanding and supporting their personal aspirations, while motivating and supporting them in achieving business goals.GHC_Pushpa_1

A pivotal moment for me: It was my third week at VMware when I received the opportunity to lead the interOp testing, primarily from a co-existence perspective. This requirement came because of a customer that had reported observations while installing and configuring multiple solutions released along with vSphere 5.1. It was a great challenge to find the upgrade sequence and install, upgrade and configure all 10+ solutions of vCloud Suite with just one team. This achievement was an excellent example of teamwork. Today I am proud to say that the interOp QE team has become strong enough to install, upgrade and configure almost 90% of the solutions in the vCloud suite and are capable of quickly ramping up to learn new solutions when they get added to the suite.

As a woman, the strongest quality that you need to bring to work is: The key to success is managing situations with what is available, owning your projects, and finding the right balance for your individual work-life needs.

I inspire change by: Being optimistic, leading change with a positive attitude, fostering an open culture, communicating with reasoning, bringing objectivity, welcoming different perspectives, better planning, coaching and enabling the team to convert challenges into opportunities. Overall, I try to always smile and seek the reflection of the same from others that I meet, thus bringing happiness and motivation. I am fortunate to have excellent support from all directions – my team, peers and management.

Be sure to join us in the #WomensDay discussion on Twitter and let us know how you’re inspiring change.

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7 Reasons It Pays to Be a VMware Intern

Making an impact while growing personally cannot be defined by monetary measures alone especially for our interns at VMware. The true rewards of interning here are made of meaningful work, rich learning, a collaborative environment, attention to flexibility and fun, and a culture of learning and service to one another, our customers, and the community.

 

AmberDanielsAs an insider on the VMware University Relations team, I want to share with you seven reasons I believe it truly pays to be an intern at VMware:

1. Meaningful Projects: At VMware, our intern projects are tailored to meet the specific needs of the business. The program is designed to provide students with real life practical experience, challenging projects, and the chance to experience our culture first hand. VMware interns can rest assured that they’ll be an integral part of a team. From day one, our interns are welcomed and encouraged to share their ideas, attend team meetings, and are given the opportunity to highlight their internship projects to the entire company (including executive staff). When asked about her internship project presentation Disney Lam, 2013 VMware Intern says, “I enjoyed speaking with other teams about how they can integrate the project into their own code. Some engineers even asked me when the project was going into production!” Overall, we don’t hire interns to match a yet to be determined project. We hire for specific projects for specific teams. Our interns know that the work they are a part of will make an impact.IPS_Blurred_2013[1]

2. One-on-One Mentorship: VMware interns have a designated mentor from day one. An internship here is not a job shadow, it is an opportunity to learn from and work beside the best minds in the industry.  Typically, our mentors are the people that design the intern projects, so who better to learn from. Additionally, our female interns have the added advantage of an extra female mentor. This is a part of VMware’s WCW (Women Connecting Women) Program. WCW is a springboard for female interns and new college grads to connect and build their networks with the goal of empowering other females (that are even younger) with the tools and resources to pursue a career in STEM.

“Thanks to the WCW Program and the Grace Hopper conference, I had the privilege of starting school with some fantastic new contacts of women in the industry, inspiration form role models in the field, and a surge of momentum to take into kicking off the year for my tech outreach student groups” says Helen Hastings, 2013 VMware Intern.Helen_Hastings_4

3. Collaboration From the Top to the Bottom: There is company-wide support of the VMware Internship Program. From the start of on campus recruiting to the peak of the internship season, there is widespread support. Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEO, makes it a point to speak to the interns during the annual summer kickoff event. In addition, executives like Sanjay Poonen, Raghu Raghuram and Carl Eschenbach participate in Q&A sessions with interns on-site to share information on their career path and encourage direct, open door conversations.

4. Intern Housing: Finding housing in Silicon Valley is no easy task (especially if the needs are short-term). To enhance the overall experience, VMware provides housing options for interns that do not live locally – a huge perk and also shuttle service.RAFT_Service_Learning_4

5. Interns Give Back in the Community: Giving back is an integral part of VMware’s culture, so it is something that we want to share with our interns right away. Each year, VMware interns are given eight paid hours and new college grads are given 40 paid hours to volunteer for a cause that matters to them. In recent years, our interns have worked on assembling hands-on learning kits for science & math teachers and have also helped to sort a variety of donated materials for distribution to educators working in underserved communities.

6. Interns Have Fun: VMware’s CTO, End-User Computing, Kit Colbert stated, “While we work hard, we also have fun.” This holds true for VMware interns too. Whether it be a team outing to Angel Island, Boston Museum of Science, ice cream socials, cookouts, coding challenges, or coffee chats with senior leaders, our interns have fun while making a difference!

7. Growing Professionally and Personally: Interns and new grads are core to VMware’s growth. Our main goal is to see our interns succeed. When asked about his manager’s interest in his professional development, Charles Monnett, Member of Technical Staff and former VMware Intern said:

He genuinely cares about my professional development… At first I thought I was just lucky to have landed on such a great team, but I’m starting to see that I’m not the only one here who has such a supportive manager, it’s company wide and I’m glad I chose to start my career at VMware.

_DSC5633(1)Growth is multi-faceted. A 2013 intern quoted, “You will learn more in three months at VMware than an entire year at school”. We take a holistic approach at VMware when delivering the internship experience to our talented Undergrads, Masters and PhD students. We understand that these students have different goals. A sophomore undergrad may want to mix things up after interning with VMware and go intern with another company the following summer, while a PhD or Masters student may come back for three summers and eventually accept a full-time role with us. Whatever our interns decide, we support them 100%.

We understand that interning is a student’s only opportunity to test the waters before accepting a full-time offer and we believe they should make the right decision for their individual needs. At the end of the day we hope our interns walk away with a new network and unforgettable lasting experiences.

Do you want to learn more? Are you ready to make an immediate impact by architecting what’s next in IT and for yourself? Join us!

 

-Amber Daniels

 

About Amber: Amber Daniels is a Senior University Relations Specialist for VMware working out of the Austin, Texas office. Prior to her role as a University Relations Specialist, she was a recruiter on the University Relations team. Amber enjoys connecting with students and planning creative ways to engage with them. During her spare time, she likes spending time with her two year old and watching college football- not at the same time.

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True Professional Growth Goes Beyond Salary Bumps and Promotions

Shawns_Profile_PicAs a recruiter one of the most common questions I receive from potential hires is, “What kind of professional growth does VMware offer?” From human resources to engineering, VMware is passionate about empowering its people with the tools and resources to grow. I can personally attest to this statement.

When I began my journey at VMware as a staffing coordinator, I had little experience in university recruiting. My role was to schedule interviews and book travel for potential new hires visiting VMware’s campuses around the globe. In just two years, I’ve progressed from staffing coordinator to junior university recruiter and into my current role, as a university recruiter. I have the privilege of working with and hiring some of the brightest engineers computer science has to offer.

This journey would not have been possible if I wasn’t given the tools and support I needed to be successful. There is a lot of opportunity for growth in my team. We have countless projects that don’t fall under a specific person’s responsibilities so any time I see a special project, I always make sure my management knows I’m open to the challenge. For example, I was asked to co-pilot a 300-person open house event for students at VMware headquarters last summer. This was the first event of its kind for our team and I was honored to be able to plan and execute the event with another colleague. It taught me the value of collaboration and event planning, which I can take with me on my professional journey. I’m grateful to have a great management team that trusts me with more challenging projects like this one.Shawn_Convo_Pic

Well enough about me. I recently connected with Charles Monnett, a University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign computer engineering undergraduate, and one of my first hires as a VMware Recruiter, to get his take on the opportunities for professional growth at VMware.

Charles is a Member of Technical Staff for the Continuous Product Development team (CPD). He does the maintenance of VMware’s hypervisor (ESXi) at the hardware level.

When I asked Charles about his experience over his first six months, he had some great things to say.

“I love what I’m doing here. My manager trusts me to make decisions that will impact our products. He lets me choose how I want to handle a problem and if I make a mistake, he gives me the opportunity to fix the mistake rather than fix it himself.”

Professional growth isn’t always about promotions and salary bumps. Being allowed to make decisions and working through the results of those decisions can grow your toolbox of professional knowledge. As a software engineer, it’s easy to only focus on the code. As an engineer at an enterprise software company, software engineers need to be able to interface with their customers so that they can understand what their needs are and shape their product enhancements around these needs. “I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here,” Charles said. “One thing I’ve learned, that they don’t really teach you in school, is how to work with customers. It’s nice to learn the non-technical side of things. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work for our customers will allow me to make our product even better.”

When asked about his manager’s interest in his professional development, Charles said, “He genuinely cares about my professional development. Just a few months into working at VMware I was given the opportunity to be a triage lead. It gave me insight to how our company partners with our customers to resolve customer issues and it also got my name out there.” Charles continued to say, “I’m learning to work with people. I can take these skills home with me and it helps me be a better friend and a better husband… At first I thought I was just lucky to have landed on such a great team, but I’m starting to see that I’m not the only one here who has such a supportive manager, it’s company wide and I’m glad I chose to start my career at VMware.”

Like Charles, I too am glad to have started my career with VMware. With over 14,000+ coworkers, I feel that each of us has won the career lottery as we’re empowered to drive what’s next for our customers, the business, and each other.

 

-Shawn Sigona
About Shawn: Shawn is a University Recruiter for VMware’s University Relations team. He works at VMware’s corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California supporting the Suite business unit. When Shawn isn’t recruiting, he spends his free time playing video games and rebuilding broken computers.

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Chris Knowles’ Work is Creating the Music of the Data Center

At VMware, our people are empowered to defy convention while pursuing the seemingly impossible. Hear from Chris Knowles, VMware Staff Solutions Architect, on the innovation projects that play a part in his growth.

 

Chris_Knowles_HeadshotName: Chris Knowles

Role: Staff Solutions Architect

Office Location: London, Ontario, Canada

Years at VMware: 3.85

Favorite tech innovation: The transistor

 

 

What inspired you to pursue your current career?

When I was very young, probably around three years old, I started tinkering in my father and grandfather’s workshops. I would take apart everything I could get my hands on, sometimes to the dismay of my parents. One day, my dad brought home a commodore pc10-II IBM clone from work when I was a kid and from then on I was hooked. I had found something in computers that really resonated with me, and when I reached an age where I started thinking about what I was going to do for a living I knew that it would be technology related. As a little kid I was always interested in the technology behind the things I enjoyed. When I was around 8 years old if you asked me what I wanted to be for a living, I would have answered a hydrodynamics engineer. What 8-year old wants to do that for a living? I did. I wanted to work for Reggie Fountain and build the fastest offshore race boats in the world. I have enjoyed working with computers from a very young age, and as such I didn’t so much pursue a career in technology, as evolve into it.

How would you describe what you do at VMware?

My team has three primary roles. We support top deals and escalations that become very complex from both a business process and technology standpoint and we deliver advanced enablement for the field specialists on our product stack derived from what we learn dealing with top deals and escalations. Without trying to sound arrogant, our team effectively acts as the expert’s expert.

Continuous learning is what helps us innovate. How do you practice this at VMware?

We are constantly working on pushing the limits of what we can do with our solutions. This drive to innovate allows us to be in a constant state of learning. Learning is not something that we should set time aside to do; it should be a part of our everyday actions. I had a teacher in high school that went to great lengths to instill a love of learning in her students, and that has stuck with me. I enjoy growth and strive to learn every day.

Which VMware values most resonate with you? 

Overall, I would say execution and passion.  I am constantly amazed at how much we can accomplish when we work on things that we are passionate about. Any of the projects I have had the opportunity to work on that I am truly passionate about don’t ever feel like work. Anything that is worth doing is worth doing as best as you possibly can. I don’t think you can over-execute on something, especially something you are passionate about.

How did your growth and development at VMware empower you to work on “Music of the Data Center?”

I have an amazing leadership team that I report into at VMware. They have always been incredibly supportive of us and allowed us the freedom to pursue our objectives in a very unconstrained and freeform manner. This has allowed my team to develop some very innovative solutions to problems that were often thought unsolvable with our current technology. This led to me winning the DaVinci Award, an internal award that is given out to employees within GTS (Global Technology Services) for continually innovating to solve problems and create new ideas. As part of the award, I was given a week to work on whatever I wanted. I had been playing around with the concept of the music of the data center since around 2007. I had been doing some experiments and algorithm development over the years but with not much focus or direction. When I was given the week to work on whatever I wanted, I felt it would be a great opportunity for me to put my head down and see if I could make some real progress on the concept based on my past work and the knowledge I had gained over my time at VMware. At the end of the week, I was able to show real results by building a basic proof of concept of some of the fundamental components of the concept. This led to me submitting my work to the VMware XLR8 program, an internal program for employees to work on hard engineering problems. I’m anxiously waiting to see if it is accepted. It’s an incredibly high bar to be accepted to XLR8 so I’m not holding my breath, but it’s great to work somewhere that even has an avenue by which to get your ideas visibility.

Share what’s next for you, your team or VMware?

I’m hoping that my research proposal is accepted in the VMware XLR8 Program. My team is working on developing new enablement for the field specialists and I’m working with colleagues across GTS on a new program for engaging with top deal customers in order to drive the closure rate and timing of large ELAs.

 

 

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