Meet the speakers: Tomo Simeonov, Senior Software Engineer, vCenter Lifecycle

In a series of interviews, we are introducing our colleagues who you can hear at “Back to the Source” event in London on October 24th. They will share their perspectives of what it feels like to be back home after years of building life and career abroad. Take the chance to ask questions, engage in open discussions and gain insights “from the source”.

Tomo has over 5 years of software engineering experience in variety of fields spread in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. He has started showing interest in computer science in high school, where he participated in several national computer science competitions, as well as and international once.His interest lead him to study computer science at the University of Manchester, where he graduated with bachelor degree in the top percentile of his class with various university awards, earned along the way. His career started in the financial sector, where he worked for UBS in several different software development positions.His interests in distributed systems, computer architectures and virtualization naturally lead him to VMware. At his role at the company,  not only he is a great contributor to the projects, but also he has a couple of patent submissions, which are pending approval. At his free time, Tomo enjoys spending time with his family, playing computer games and reading.

What is your international work experience?

I graduated from the University of Manchester with a major in Computer Science and I’ve lived in London for 5 years, working in the financial industry as an IT specialist.

What factors did you consider when you were deciding to come back to Bulgaria?

I returned to Bulgaria at the end of 2015 and there were several reasons to do that. The standard of living that I had in London was not what I wanted for myself. London is an extremely rushed city, and as you all know the weather is not very pleasant (but you get used to it). I was spending many hours commuting and my job was quite stressful. All this, combined with some personal factors, were the main reasons to choose to return to Bulgaria.

How was your experience job hunting in Bulgaria?

When I made the decision to return to Bulgaria, I knew I wanted to work in the tech industry. The main factors I took in consideration were to work for a product company, rather than an outsourcing one, to solve interesting problems and to have growth potential. That’s why I applied at VMware, as the office in Sofia is the largest Research and Development center for VMware in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

How did your career at VMware progress?

I’m working on one of VMware’s core products – vCenter. Being part of the Lifecycle team allows me to collaborate with colleagues in all locations around the world in all the product areas.My career in VMware has developed very well. I started as a Junior Software Engineer 4 years ago, and I am already a Senior Engineer, which shows the career growth opportunities I have here. Our company has two career ladder tracks – technical and management one. As a person who likes to solve problems, I am growing professionally on the technical track.

What differentiates VMware from other employers?

VMware is different to any other company I’ve worked for several reasons. Firstly, we work on complex technical challenges. You can find VMware products in every business domain, which means that we solve many different problems and that allows us to evolve.Secondly the VMware foundation program empowers us to give back to the community – something I had as a benefit in my previous job in London and was really excited that I will have it in Sofia too. Recently I had the opportunity to teach young tech talents as a volunteer in my paid working hours.VMware offers very good employee benefits. We have much better conditions for paternity leave than other companies in Bulgaria, or even Europe and America, which gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and my child when they mostly needed it. We have flexible working hours, which helps to have a good balance between my personal and professional life. All of this allows me to spend more time with my child, which is very important for me and I am happy that it is important for the company as well.

How would you evaluate your decision to return?

I am often asked this question, especially from my friends who still live in the UK. For me, this was the right decision at the right time! Now I am able to strike the right balance between work and family responsibilities, and I am much happier. Sofia is the place where I want to live and raise my children.