Career Journey

A Day in the Life of a Software Engineer

What is it like to work in the IT industry in Bulgaria? 

Meet Desislava Andreeva – a young professional who started her career in the industry because she wanted to build products that impact people’s daily life. She started her career as an embedded developer with C, and over a year and a half ago, she joined the Security analytics team of VMware Carbon Black Bulgaria.

See what her work day looks like and learn how she overcame her insecurities and decided to apply for a job in a field she wanted to develop in. 

What does a cybersecurity software engineer at VMware do?

In a nutshell –  I build big data pipelines, which gather and process data from different sources. My job is technically challenging and requires collaboration with different teams and people with diverse expertise, culture, and background. Depending on the case, I may need to work with product managers, SREs, data scientists, backend developers, and UI experts. This allows me to dive deep into our product and also positively affects my professional and personal growth.

I work in a very dynamic environment. I start my day with a cup of coffee, and the daily sync-up meeting with my team, and then I get on with the tasks I have for the day.

I like the hybrid working model, which allows me to work from wherever I want. When I work from home, I go on a walk after a few hours of coding tasks to clear up my mind. When I am at the office, I take coffee breaks with my colleagues instead. You’d be surprised how many of us are aspiring latte artists!

I highly value the flexibility that VMware offers – it allows me to arrange my day in a way that makes me more productive at work and happier in general. I usually finish off my days by exercising or hanging out with friends.

Tell us more about Carbon Black.

VMware Carbon Black is an integrated endpoint and workload protection platform that analyzes attackers’ behavior patterns to detect and stop never-seen-before attacks. Its mission is to transform security through big data and behavioral analytics in the cloud. 

It is part of the VMware Intrinsic security vision for embedding unified visibility and control into every aspect of an enterprise’s infrastructure: network, workload, cloud, endpoint and identity. 

Tell us about your career journey to VMware. What made you decide to join the team?

I chose VMware because of the product, the team, and the self-development opportunities. 

Working on a product that addresses a global problem is very important to me.  I feel like my work makes a difference in the community. It also has to be innovative so that I can tackle unsolved problems and work with the latest technologies. 

Building a great product wouldn’t be possible without a strong team. For me, it’s essential to have both people to learn from and share my knowledge with, and so ideally, the teams should consist of some experienced people and some young professionals. This way, I can learn a lot from experts with significant experience while sharing my knowledge with young colleagues who are at the beginning of their careers. 

The ability to develop myself as a professional is also a key factor so that I can deepen my knowledge in certain areas, take on more responsibilities and simultaneously go through different positions on the career ladder. 

VMware ticks all these boxes; it allows me to develop in a strong team while working on innovative projects, having access to various resources, at-hand training and unlimited possibilities for career development.

How do you keep yourself in the loop? What are the channels you follow for your professional interests? 

I often work on additional initiatives which improve my skill set. I participate in conferences and forums to get more experience and confidence in presenting or onboarding new team members to develop my mentoring skills. I participate in hackathons or courses that help me deepen my knowledge in different areas. VMware helps me easily find such opportunities since we have a variety of internal events organized regularly. 

I am a visual person, I perceive better when I read and watch, so I find Pluralsight, Tutorialspoint, and Linkedin Learning very helpful whenever I need training for a specific subject. Anyway, I am privileged to be part of a company and a team whose culture promotes sharing knowledge on many levels – from more general between teams to more in-depth inside each one. This helps me be up to date with the latest trends in various subjects without much extra effort.

What are some critical skills to be successful as a cybersecurity software engineer?

Every software engineer should have good problem-solving skills and abstract thinking.  They have to be fast learners, also at the same time be team players and have very good communication skills. Since I am working on data engineering projects, currently I find another critical skill for this type of work which is analyticity. It’s about digging into the use-case, picking the right data and understanding its semantics, and using it to shape an efficient and extensible model that will work for you now and in the future. 

If you could give a piece of advice to aspiring software engineers, what would it be?

To be patient – you don’t become a professional overnight. It takes time and tackles many problems, so don’t be afraid of complex and challenging projects. On the contrary – seek and ask to be assigned to these.

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