Career Journey Meet the Hiring Manager

Meet the Hiring Manager: Borislav Tonev, R&D Manager, VMware Cloud on AWS

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. We’d like you to meet Borislav Tonev, R&D Manager, VMware Cloud on AWS this week.

What’s unique about the team you’re leading?

I joined the team during the pandemic and what amazed me was that I felt a sense of belonging right on the very first day with them. Our product is complex, but the colleagues are friendly and supportive professionals, so new people start contributing quickly. We face and overcome demanding situations together. This collaborative and open culture is the heart of our team.

What is your team’s tech stack?

We are a DevOps team working primarily with Gitlab, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform/Terragrunt for our IaC setup, Concourse CI. AWS is our public cloud provider and we also use Python and Bash for automation and MariaDB as a database.

If you can use one to three words to describe your team, what would they be?

Intelligence, curiosity, responsibility.

Share some interesting details about your colleagues?

All team members have taken part in this year’s VMware Talent Boost Academy as lecturers on various infrastructure-related topics. The feedback for everyone’s  performance was impressive. This culture defines a great team atmosphere and encourages the members to grow in the context of lifelong learning.

Tell us about your career journey to date?

I started my career at HP around 11 years ago, right after my BSc graduation at the Sofia University, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. I have worked as a server infrastructure engineer and consultant, moving consecutively to the private and public cloud area as Senior Cloud Operations Engineer at KPMG ITS, with a primary focus on the Microsoft technology stack.

After gaining work experience, I started teaching technical courses at the university. I had the opportunity to give students knowledge back after receiving it at the same place just a couple of years ago. Lecturing provides a priceless experience in terms of communication and interaction and different perspective on the technology in general. The most prominent reward is the positive feedback and gratitude from the students for valuable knowledge on best practices and hands-on experience that they have learned from the courses and applied in their daily work.

At work, we were able to expand our Cloud Operations team significantly, building a unit with great synergy. As a result, I began taking on more responsibilities in the management field and was promoted to a Team Lead position. Recently I decided to move on to the next step of my career development and I am happy to be part of VMware’s Cloud Solutions organization as Manager of the Foundation team for VMware Cloud on AWS.

How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for in the past?

Being part of a leading technology company, I have the chance to work with world-class talents across the globe who can define industry-wide standards and processes. This sets the respective expectations at our workplace high, making it an excellent choice for everyone looking for challenges.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?

Our industry requires us never to stop learning and keep up with new technology. For sustainable team creation and growth, people should be provided with long-term possibilities to learn and develop themselves.

If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow, what interview tips would you give them?

Get prepared to present a challenging project or task that you have worked on, and outline the main stakeholders. You should be able to provide a different level of details depending on your role. We could also discuss approaches to different working situations involving dealing with sudden obstacles, conflicts, and prioritization.

Depending on your experience, it would be good if you could provide examples of proactive identification of process deficiencies and driving their improvement and streamlining. In addition, you should know your strong sides and the primary motivating factors to achieve the best results, make a positive impact, and be satisfied with your job.

We value the focus on delivery and results, so curiosity, proactiveness, and a knowledge-sharing culture are vital for our team.

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