Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You’ll learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview process. This week we’d like you to meet Martin Borisov.
- Job title: Sr. Manager R&D
- Years at VMware: 5 years
- First job: I started as a software engineer, working in various industries, including electricity generation and distribution, telco, healthcare, and others. I had the chance to travel a lot and experience various cultures and attitudes for work.
- Fun fact: I am a musician, guitarist to be more precise, and I used to play in various rock bands. Nowadays, one of my hobbies is to write and produce songs whenever time permits.
Tell us about your career journey to date?
Like most managers in software, I started my career as an engineer. Initially, I worked as a software engineer in professional services for various industries and customers, including electricity generation and distribution, telco, healthcare, and others. Working for large enterprises throughout the world allowed me to travel to South America, Europe, Asia and gain a lot of software engineering experience and customer-facing skills.
After a couple of years, I became very interested in the inner workings of software engineering, mainly in how the development processes could be optimized and improved. Working with people from various countries and cultures also sparked my interest in people management, motivation, empathy, and how to be more productive and happier at work in general.
How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for in the past?
One of the fascinating things about VMware is the unique blend of a culture of tolerance and diverse thinking and striving towards technological excellence. To put it simply, in VMware, I have met some of the most incredible people, who are very excited not only for using the latest and greatest technologies in the products they develop but also in actually creating these new technologies. In VMware, we build the future, and this is something we truly believe in!
While the company’s core business is virtualization, numerous other products focus on automation, security, end-user computing, machine learning, and many others. In addition, the shift to the public cloud provides many opportunities for learning new and exciting technologies that are at the forefront of the software industry at the moment.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The belief that today is the day when a new great idea will be born that has the potential to change the world.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Good relationships with colleagues and friends go a long way. It’s important to build great products and strive to make them better with every new version, but the software is ephemeral. What we learn, the knowledge we acquire, and the relations we create along the way are what remain at the end of the day.
Empathy is one of the most important traits a manager should try to learn, and people are the greatest asset.
What makes the team you lead so effective?
One of the most important things we do is always work together as a team and help each other every day. This could be a mentor spending time with a new team member, peers helping each other to solve a complex issue, pair programming, team meetings where we share the problems we face and try to solve them collectively, and many other examples of teamwork.
The attitude within the team is very positive, which helps us move forward, even in difficult moments. We share successes but also tolerate mistakes and promote attempts to do something new, to try out a new idea, even if there is a risk it might not succeed.
The folks in the team are truly world-class software developers; they not only apply the best engineering practices in their work but also create them. As a result, there is a lot to be learned from them and they are always happy to teach.
Whatever we do every day and no matter what our product goals are, most important for us is that we feel content and happy at work.
If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow, what interview tips would you give them?
Demonstrate your ability to think outside the box. If the question is difficult, think about it aloud, and the answer might just come up. Software development is a creative process. While concrete and specific answers are good, what matters is how we solve problems we haven’t faced before and questions we don’t immediately know the answer to. And remember, a positive attitude goes a long way!
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Martin? Check out the open roles in his team: