Do you want to help change the way we use computing? If so, spending time at VMware is a fantastic experience. Being an intern this past summer was a superb way to dive into the next generation of technology while working with a truly remarkable group of people.
I worked with the vCloud team for twelve great weeks. Though "cloud" can mean many things, vCloud Director is all about providing easier, faster access to virtual machines, networks, and storage — something that can make infrastructure so much easier and efficient. Don't simply take my abstract word for it – though there are many others who can testify, Chewbacca's interview with VMware's CTO Steve Herrod is on the shortlist.
My project for the summer involved a way to monitor systems like vCloud more effectively in the presence of virtualization. Rather than dive deeper into the technical side (suffice it to say it was both engaging and fun), I'll focus here on what truly made the experience great — the people I had the chance to work with and the environment at VMware.
From the moment I arrived, I was impressed by the dedication and helpfulness of everyone around me. When I needed help with my development setup, my next-cube-neighbor Luke made it his priority to come to the rescue – and when I ran across a minor bug in one of the internal systems used by the team, I was encouraged — nay, urged — to track it so as to make sure it did not affect customers. Needless to say, the issue was resolved quickly.
Being bathed in excellent ideas from the team was another high point of the summer. For example, my mentor Snorri had a vision of a powerful way to explore the type of monitoring data I was collecting — interactively "zooming" the way we do with pinch gestures on touchscreens. With the backend provided by VMware's Cloud Foundry, I built such a tool as a project for the summer intern "flings" contest; you can see the demo here.
The vCloud team is also a very tight-knit one. We ate lunch together, and yes, it's awesome. Bringing everyone together to decompress, chat about work, and the happenings in the world makes for a great break in the middle of the day. It also doesn't hurt that the VMware cafe food is delicious, and that free snacks are in abundance. In yet another show of spirit, as many team members as possible came to the final intern poster session, where the interns had a chance to present the work we did to the broader VMware community.
Thanks in part to VMware; we actually have a vCloud instance where I go to school. In fact, part of my project involves setting up the monitoring system there and developing it further. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue working on a project that started at VMware with the wonderful group that is the vCloud team.
Ilari was an intern on the vCloud team during Summer 2011. He graduated with a BS in ECE from Olin College of Engineering, and is now a second-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon. For slightly perplexing reasons he is also known as mrcaps.
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