At VMware, students and recent university graduates are empowered to make an immediate impact on projects that are disrupting information technology as we know it. Connect with Senior Manager of the Solutions Architect Group – Networking & Security Business Unit (NSBU), Nauman Mustafa, and learn what fuels his drive to innovate and how he and his teammates are investing in future innovators.
Role: Sr. Manager of the Solutions Architect Group – Networking & Security Business Unit
Office Location: Palo Alto, California
Years at VMware: 2
Favorite innovation: NSX
What is a typical day like for you and your team at VMware?
One of the most exciting things about working on the VMware NSBU (Networking & Security Business Unit) is that every day brings new opportunities to incubate fresh ideas and solve interesting problems for VMware users. To do this, we work on NSX architecture and design in the ream of the SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center), while also overseeing escalation support and enablement for customers and field teams. By working directly with customers, we’re able to provide immediate feedback and product improvement suggestions to our product team.
What fuels your passion in the technology space?
The biggest reward that fuels my passion is the success of VMware customers and the enthusiasm they demonstrate when technological improvements create stronger business agility for their organization. Innovation requires ambitious customers and users who are looking to continuously improve and evolve the way business is done. VMware provides a unique fast paced environment that empowers engineers to nurture ideas and transform them from a vision to reality all while transforming the way businesses do work.
What innovation projects are you excited to see evolve?
Networking and Security was my passion when I started my career 14 years ago, but I exhausted it to the limits with traditional approaches. After joining the VMware Networking & Security team, I have been able to relive my passion by taking a software approach to solving infrastructure problems. The experience has been priceless.
As part of the NSBU, my teammates and I are working to make our flagship product, the NSX platform, even more exciting. Our strategy is to make NSX rock solid and provide features at scale that will not only bring innovation to the tech industry, but also create business efficiency for our customers.
I hope to see several Networking/Security related inventions come to life, including data analytics to intelligently optimize the Cloud/Data Center environments and simple yet powerful ways to connect Data Center and remote branch offices.
How does VMware empower you to grow both professionally and personally?
Two years ago, my then manager convinced me to pursue a role in NSBU, and stated that one year of work at VMware would be more transformative for my career than several years of continuation at my former employer. He was absolutely correct, and I am thankful for this opportunity as it has allowed me to work on transformative products and technologies, while also empowering me to lead specialized projects, incubate new ideas, and speed up development of existing products portfolio.
Why are University Relations (interns and recent graduates) important for NSBU efforts at VMware?
Recently I collaborated with the VMware University Relations team to assist with the NC State University Career Fair and Tech Interview Workshops focused on Networking and Security. As expected, it was a huge success and the turn out was tremendous.
It is extremely important for NSBU to keep a healthy connection with of interns and recent graduates as the NSBU’s fast paced and dynamic environment requires self-motivated individuals with fresh ideas, drive, and enthusiasm . These individuals are long-term assets with high levels of innovation and can quickly adapt to rapid changes while being agile. NSBU has embarked on a transformational journey and fresh grads will bring tremendous value in shaping the future of networking and security industry.
Share some of the biggest lessons that you have learned as an engineer that you would like to impart on others starting their careers in the technology space.
Being an Engineer can be very rewarding and satisfying if you enjoy the area you work in and build things that brings real value. This can happen if you keep the following in mind:
- Think outside the box and challenge the status quo. Ask the “why” question as it continuously forces you to re-examine your approaches and bring new ideas to life.
- Stay close to your users and customers as they give you their perspective on what really matters most to be successful.
- Build and innovate products and solutions that solve your customers’ business problems.
- Be creative and enjoy your job everyday as it not only brings the best out of you, but also allows you to keep a healthy work-life balance in long run.
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