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 Vladimir Genkov, Sr. Solutions Manager
- Job title: Sr. Solutions Manager
- Years at VMware: 1 month
- First job: My career started in 2006 when I was a technical support specialist assisting clients to resolve their issues covering two businesses: Internet service and voice-over IP providers.
- Fun fact: Even then, I was using VMware Workstation product to spin up virtual machines and play around with my favourite Fedora Linux distribution.
- Favourite social distancing activity: I absolutely love hiking, and conquering mountain peaks with different groups of people. The next one on my list is “Koncheto”. When the weather allows it I enjoy doing calisthenics at the park, using body weight to keep fit.
Tell us about your career journey to date?
My career started in Bulgaria with a few technical support engineering roles. I saw the need to gain Linux administration knowledge in the early days. I started configuring services following online guides and articles in my spare time, but I could not see the big picture. Binaries in one place, libraries, links and configuration files in others. And then, 3 months later, I woke up one morning and the pieces of the puzzle clicked together – I could clearly see the relationship between a large number of Linux files. Such an amazing machine is the human brain.
This is when I realized that invested effort via hands-on experience builds up knowledge which is unlocked later.
With each role, I got deeper into the operating systems, services administration, protocols, and components interoperability and developed key clients’ communication skills.
I moved to London, UK, where I spent 13 years working in different roles, from technical support to infra services specialist, architect, Site Reliability Engineer and Site Reliability Engineer Lead. Being exposed to experience from a small disaster recovery firm to a large financial corporation was very beneficial for me, but the switch between the two working environments was huge. What helped me succeed was reaching out to different team members in the early days to get the information I needed. Investing time in helping them back when they needed was the foundation of strong relationships, which boosted my career forward.
Invested effort in self-education and helping colleagues is always rewarded in the future.
How is VMware different from any other tech company you have previously worked for?
VMware has cultivated a culture of attracting, growing and retaining amazing talents and utilizing peoples` skills in the right way. This, paired with experienced and visionary management, allow the company to continuously release innovative technologies on the market.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The unexpected. I live an active life and the challenges and change keep me in shape and push me forward.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Collaboration is another key ingredient to success.
What makes the team you lead so effective?
I am currently building the Adoption Center of Excellence (ACoE) team. I am looking for resiliency and skills in the candidates. Focus on providing value to our clients by understanding their needs and configuring vRA product based on their requirements. Along with sharing knowledge and best practices, providing internal assistance within the team and prioritization of workloads, and establishing strong synergy with the R&D teams are the enabler to the team`s efficiency and success. I strongly believe that VMware values: Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers and Community or EPIC2 are the foundation of a smooth accomplishment of our goals.
If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow, what tips would you give them?
Think about your past career experience and prepare to give examples of your efficiency and effectiveness in previous teams, client focus, risk and time management and behaviors like integrity, collaboration, challenge, and client and people leadership.
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Vladimir?
Check out the open position for a Senior Solutions Engineer, Cloud Management on his team.