Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware Bulgaria. You will learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview experience.
This week meet Ina Uzunova, R&D Manager at VMware Cloud Management Business Unit. She shares what made her stick to VMware for 13 years now, what problems her team solves and what are the profiles of the new colleagues they’re looking for.
Tell us about your career journey to date?
I have been working for VMware for thirteen years and this amounts to almost my entire IT career so far. I have been privileged to work on highly innovative and successful solutions and in most cases, these were the pilot releases of a new product – Site Recovery Manager, Virtual SAN, vSphere HTML Client and now vRealize Automation Cloud. Each product release was more intense and demanding than the previous one, yet more rewarding. To make my journey even more interesting I changed my career course few times. I started as a Software Quality Engineer, then moved to a Software Engineer, followed by a Product Owner and now I am an R&D Manager.
How is VMware different to any other tech company you have worked for?
VMware stands out in so many ways it is impossible to pick just one. However, the mix of never-ending technical opportunities and investment in talent is what makes it special in my view.
The technical challenges are unique and require non-trivial solutions. Combined with a very dynamic environment and ambitious deadlines, this creates endless opportunities for the software engineers to grow professionally. Just looking at the technical hierarchy, which consists of ten technical levels, you can tell that nobody gets bored here.
VMware knows not only how to attract top talent but how to retain and further develop these talented engineers. VMware has a special program called Take 1. This program enables employees to join trainings, classes and universities and gain new skills and knowledge which helps them advance in their career. The annual budget is so generous that it easily covers courses at MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.
As a manager I am thankful that via Take 1, I can support every team member who decided to go after another degree or certification, and I am very proud of their achievements and the value they bring back to the team and company.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Communication is crucial for your professional development. As an excellent computer science student, I thought the only things that mater at work are my programming skill and hard-working nature. I could not have been more wrong! Sound technical skills and knowledge are just the base, especially at such highly competitive company as VMware. The ability to express ideas, to communicate your goals, challenges, and passion clearly and respectfully is what will make you stand out.
At VMware execution results are super important but you need to be careful how you define “results”. As a manager I no longer see the “result” only as the product that we delivered to the market. I add to the bucket and encourage my team members to see everything we have learnt, the skills we have gained and the professionals we have become as equally important result.
Take the difficult tasks that nobody else wants to do. You will be surprised how rewarding that would be for improving your skills and gaining respect from your colleagues. There is treasure behind every problem so look for problems – design limitations, testing gaps or customer issues – and then try to solve them proactively.
Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
In the Cloud Management Business Unit, we make the clouds invisible so that our customers can focus on transforming their business. We believe developers should write business applications as opposed to apps that manage virtual infrastructure.
The Cloud Automation team strives to provide the best-in-class cloud automation platform that enables self-service multicloud environments. We support and provide management across all major public cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, GCP, as well as hybrid-clouds such as VMware SDDC. Our product, vRealize Automation, gives customers increased agility, productivity, and efficiency through self-service automation, by reducing the complexity of their IT environment, streamlining IT processes, and delivering a DevOps-ready automation platform.
Apart from the ambitious business goals, Cloud Automation team is famous for being very passionate about sports and social activities. We have one of the best marathon runners, bikers, and skiers. Here you can meet not only great professionals but also great people with diverse hobbies and personal interests.
If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow for a role in your org, what interview tips would you give them?
Although it is a cliché – relax. Interviews are designed so that we understand what you know well and what your strengths are. Our team is expanding, and we are looking for new team members and the interview is the first step from building a good professional relationship.
Before the interview think about your biggest achievement so far and what helped you accomplish it. It will cheer you up, increase your confidence and remind you that you did not have to know everything from the start to succeed.
Check out the open roles at VMware Cloud Management team: