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Before VMware’s industry changing products go to market someone needs to make sure they meet the quality standards synonymous with the VMware name. At VMware, Quality Engineers are the well-respected individuals that take on this role for the organization.
Let’s explore what a Quality Engineering (QE) role is at VMware. Members of the Quality Engineering team have the opportunity to work side-by-side with our Core Developers. This collaboration allows QE’s to work on a wide range of products and sample a bit of everything that VMware has to offer its employees. It’s almost like a career buffet! Our QE’s are brought into the software development life cycle (SDLC) early in the process, which allows them to make meaningful contributions to the projects they are assigned to work on. It’s not uncommon for VMware Quality Engineers to become Core Developers after partnering with teams on various projects.
A visual overview of the Engineering Maturity of QE at VMware:
Recently, I had a chance to ask Phillip Kesling, VMware Manager R&D, QE Tools a few questions about his experience in Quality Engineering here at VMware. Phillip’s insights from the discussion are recapped below.
Q: Phillip, please tell me about your career path at VMware.
A: I began in the Community Source Team. I was brought in because I had a development background with expertise in automation and storage technologies. This was a good fit at the time for the Community Source program was aimed at allowing partner companies to develop extensions and features for our core product through access to our product source code and the tools/guidance we provided. This program soon expanded to include hardware and software partners, and eventually evolved into today’s Ecosystem Engineering (EE) organization. The EE organization is responsible for fostering our partner ecosystem that is so vital to our customers and VMware’s success. Shortly after joining as a Lead Developer I was promoted to Senior Developer and was made acting manager for our team. From there I was officially promoted to manager and have managed many different teams across a wide variety of products and technologies over the last six years. In the last 1.5 I’ve moved into a QE role that allows me to work with smart people to solve the difficult problems of improving our products while becoming more efficient and giving our customers more value for their money.
Q: What makes Quality Engineering/Quality Assurance at VMware great?
A: At VMware we strive to be QE Engineers. That is, we strive to be a Quality Engineering organization, not simply a Quality Assurance organization. The difference is the maturity level of the organization. We act as “trusted advisors” to the product teams. We know the products inside and out, we develop efficient ways to test our products smarter, faster, and more thoroughly, and we provide valuable feedback to the product teams on everything from quality of the products, customer feedback, security, integration and interoperability between our features and products. In short, we go way beyond simply testing our products. We work smarter and in a broader capacity than simple Quality Assurance, which is vital to the past and future success of the company.
Q: What advice could you give to students that are interested in VMware?
A: Ask questions, be willing to learn, and be willing to be humbled. Our products range from relative basic OS level type products all the way up into our cloud products including every layer in-between. To be successful at VMware, you need to have an open mind and be willing to listen and learn. Also, be ready for a challenge. We solve very difficult problems in QE at VMware, often on a scale never seen before in the industry. We push the boundaries of our technologies both through our testing and through the use of our products to provide scalable solutions for solving tough, common industry problems.
Q: Why should someone choose Quality Engineering here at VMware?
A: I think the key thing is that Quality Engineering is not Quality Assurance, and it isn’t simply running a set of pre-prescribed tests against our products. We strive for a higher quality maturity level than that. Our QE engineers need to understand development, if not do development as well. In some cases, such as my team, we are a fully-fledged development team within the QE organization building mission critical, highly scalable applications (not just small tools) for use by QE and all of R&D.
Having the opportunity to connect with Phillip Kesling and learn more about the VMware Quality Engineering team was a very rewarding experience. The passion and dedication that our QE’s have towards helping develop and deliver transformative products and solutions to the market is awe-inspiring.
If you are interested in learning more about our Internship and New College Graduate opportunities in Quality Engineering please visit our website here.
-Shawn Sigona, VMware University Relations Recruiter
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