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Monthly Archives: October 2013

An Inside Look at the VMware Johannesburg, South Africa Site

With over 50+ locations throughout the world, VMware is truly a global community made of passionate employees who thrive on collaborating together to bring IT industry-changing innovations to life. Each site also carries its own uniqueness, which is why we are highlighting office stories through our VMware Office Spotlight series. Get a flavor for what the VMware Johannesburg office in South Africa is like today!

 

About Johannesburg

The South African office officially opened in March 2010 with the help of Matthew Piercy, VP of NEMEA (Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa). It was designed to be a fresh and inviting corporate office in the heart of Africa’s economic hub, Johannesburg. Approximately 82% of South African businesses operate in the greater Johannesburg region. Local attractions include rugby games at Ellis Park, Lion Park, Gold Reef City, Barnyard theatres and the Apartheid Museum.

The VMware Johannesburg site is a welcomed permanent home for our employees in the region. Before the site’s establishment, employees worked from a local EMC site and a leased facility for a few years. Given the significant revenue growth and headcount deployed in South Africa, the site’s creation was a needed and welcome mainstay. Our site houses over 30 employees and growing.

Areas of Opportunity

We have a number of VMware organizations represented at the local office including Professional Services, Systems Engineering, Marketing, Operations Management, Sales as well as the West East and Central African (WECA) Team. The WECA Team is an inspired, positive group of people that support VMware in more than 30+ countries within Africa including Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and more. The team consists of System Engineers, Sales and Channel people.

The VMware Johannesburg office is a full-fledged sub-regional office that is working on a variety of projects that focus on Cloud Automation, End-User Computing (EUC) engagements as well as some very large Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) projects for the financial sector.

Life at the Johannesburg Office – Our Team Culture

We are very much a close-knit group of Type A personalities who thrive under pressure. However, we are also able to not take ourselves too seriously when the opportunity presents itself. When not working, several of our people enjoy playing golf and brewing beer. In general we are a very family focused group and like to spend as much time as possible with our families having braai’s (barbeques) in the hot African sun. The South African Team has won the EMEA Team of the Year Award for two of the past four years that it has been awarded- we are very proud of this accolade. Our team spirit, positive attitude and the ability to drive what’s next enabled us to receive such recognition.

Everyone has a never say die attitude and we are tenacious to the point of being stubborn. We love a challenge and rise above the noise to execute on or mandate against two core principles, excellence in execution and consistency. We hold each other to a high standard and greatly value integrity as we challenge the status quo and get things done to empower our customers with the tools they need to meet their toughest technological challenges. Our everyday actions help us define what’s next for ourselves and the industry.

What’s Next

VMware’s unique advantage in the IT space is a very compelling sales tool. We’re excited to see how our forward movement in the technological space can add to this advantage. Ultimately, we aspire to help thousands of our customers move effectively to the Cloud and leverage the technology we provide to make IT work better for their business. We have the best value proposition in the market regardless of country and are passionate about bringing this vision to benefit our customers – both current and potential!

 

*Content Contributors: Ian Jansen Van Rensburg, Celeste Davids and Judy Phung

 

 

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9 Tips to Help you Ace a Technical Interview at VMware

You spent hours on the resume, weeks on researching the right companies, and now just got word that you’ll be having your first phone interview – congrats! Interviewing for a technical role can be an exciting (and nerve-racking experience). At VMware, our hope is that every student who interviews with us has a positive experience. The key to this, we feel, is helping every candidate know what to expect each time they interview. Hear from Maria Raimundo, Technical Recruiter within the VMware University Relations Team as she shares 9 tips to help you prepare and feel confident for your technical interview at VMware.

 

Whether your interview is on the phone, via video conference, or in-person, our policy is to ask straight-forward questions that pertain to the job and assess your overall fit for VMware. We know this may be the very first time you’ve ever interviewed for a company, and that your prior experience may be limited to school work (which is okay). With all of our university hiring, our strongest motivation is assess the potential of each student. Here are 9 tips that I believe will help you successfully prepare and ace an interview at VMware.

 Interview Prep Tips

  • Be Able to Speak to your Resume: Your resume is the first place we look. Come prepared to discuss any and all projects and coursework you’ve listed. Don’t just tell us what you did, but how it made an impact: share with us how you lead a project, when the results didn’t go well, how you learned from it, and why you loved solving that particular problem.
  • Practice Your Code: Brush up on those technical skills if the position requires it. For most R&D positions, we ask you to write out your code live. Practice writing on a white board or via a virtual chat room.
  • Speak to your Answer: Discuss your thoughts and processes out loud so the interviewer can truly see where you’re coming from. Even if you don’t come up with the right answer, this helps our interviewers understand how you approach a problem.
  • Don’t Bluff if you don’t know the Answer: We do ask hard questions but we don’t expect you to know everything. Again, it’s okay if you don’t know – you can even admit that – but we encourage you to ask more questions or just tell us what you do understand.
  • Ask Questions: Ask your own questions, too! We love that – it helps us understand what matters to you and shows forethought.
  • Interview Attire: Come comfortably dressed in business casual attire. No need for anything fancy – just something nice that makes you feel confident and professional.
  • Be up-to-date on the Latest Industry Trends: Read up on the latest industry trends. Again, we don’t expect you to know everything about us, but it’s a good idea to be able to speak comfortable about our business at a general level. Here’s a place to start.
  • Learn about our values: Do your homework and make an authentic connection to our shared values and how you connect to them. Or at least start a conversation on your understanding of the values.
  • Say ‘Thank you!’: Mom and Dad were right – saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way! It’s always a good idea to thank your interviewer for their time at the end of the interview.

Remember – it’s not just anyone who is granted an interview, so if you’re nervous, just remind yourself that you’ve done well so far. This is the next step in what will be a life-long journey of building a career; regardless of the outcome, you are going to be that much closer to building skills that will serve you well. Take that deep breath and happy interviewing!

 

Maria Raimundo

 

About Maria: Maria Raimundo is a Technical Recruiter with the VMware Palo Alto University Team. She’s has been working in HR and Staffing for over 8 years and loves helping students get their first job. A California native, she received her bachelor in English Liturature from Santa Clara University. Prior to working in the tech, Maria was a high school English teacher.

 

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Connecting What’s Next: A Look Back at the Summer 2013 Women Connecting Women Program at VMware

In its second year in action at VMware, the Women Connecting Women Program successfully joined dynamic female leaders at VMware with female members of the 2013 Intern class. Hear from Meagan Shannon, Intern Program Manager as she takes a look back at the events, connections and discoveries made for women this past summer at VMware.

 

The Women Connecting Women (WCW) Program is designed to provide our female interns with the opportunity to build strong relationships with other women within the company and expand their personal and professional network during their internship at VMware.

To kick off the summer, the WCW mentors and mentees gathered over dessert to network and learn from a panel of VMware women that shared their unique perspectives on what inspired them to grow in their career. Highlights included Dawn Smith, SVP and General Council and Lily Chang, Sr. Director of Ecosystems Developer Project sharing their insights on the importance of building a strong network and the impact it has on the development of your career.  

Another memorable event for WCW participants was the job shadow day hosted onsite at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto for students participating in the Berkeley Foundation for Opportunities in Information Technology (BFOIT).  BFOIT is a “project of the International Computer Science Institute, which supports historically underrepresented ethnic minorities and women in their desire to become leaders in the fields of computer science, engineering and information technology.” The program is designed to empower young people with the knowledge and resources to pursue higher education and production of technology.

During the event, the BFOIT students heard from senior leaders in engineering at VMware about their career path, scholastic background and why they chose to pursue a career in Engineering & Computer Science. They were also given the opportunity to shadow a VMware intern or full-time employee to see first-hand what a day in the life of a VMware employee looks like.

Erin Van Der Veen, Project Manager, said that she and her intern mentee were “encouraged by the students who [they] interacted with at the BFOIT event. Their curiosity about technology and vision inspired us both!”

Hosting the BFOIT event provided our WCW program members with the platform to give back to the community by sharing their story and showing the BFOIT high school students how they can make an impact on a daily basis by working in the technology industry.

To close out the summer, WCW members gathered together at the Allied Arts Guild to celebrate the exciting memories made at VMware and what’s next for each other, the company and the technology industry.  It was inspiring to see the strong relationships that were developed over just a short few months between the mentors and mentees and their plans to stay in touch once the interns returned to school.

Meagan Shannon

 

About Meagan: Meagan recently relocated from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California to manage VMware’s Internship Program. In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

 

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From Idea to Inspiration: Innovation at work at VMware

Have you ever wondered what fuels VMware people’s drive to discover what’s next? It’s simple. VMware people are passionate about challenging the status quo and innovating what’s next because of the positive impact their discoveries have on the greater good: our customers, products and people. Hear from Bich Le, Innolabs Innovator in the Office of the CTO at VMware and see how his desire for personal growth with the VMware Take 3 Program empowered him to innovate what’s next!

 

On the morning of May 15, 2013, I nervously stepped onto the stage of the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton hotel in San Francisco. Before me was an audience of over a thousand of VMware’s brightest engineers, who flew in from around the world for the company’s annual R&D Innovation Offsite, an internal event for employees. I was preparing to present the paper I authored. I had spoken at the R&D Offsite on numerous occasions in the past, but it never seemed to get easier. Then I remembered why I chose to do this and I reflected back on the journey that led me to that day. It all started in the summer of 2012 with my Take 3 project. Take 3 (T3), a VMware people program intended to drive continued innovation by empowering eligible employees with an opportunity to take a break from their usual work responsibilities for up to three months to work on an advanced development research project or learning activity.

I followed the development of the Take 3 program with great interest, from inception to initial pilot to general availability. While most T3 participants seem to spend their 3 months doing a Group Exchange or Service Learning, I chose the research/advanced development option. It gave me a unique opportunity to satisfy several personal and professional goals. First, it allowed me to dedicate time to intriguing research ideas that I had come up with, but had never had time to realize, due to work and family commitments. Secondly, despite the variety of VMware products and projects I’ve had the privilege to contribute to, there are always emerging technologies and skills I’d like to learn and acquire that don’t fit in to my day job. Lastly, I wanted to continue the tradition of helping VMware to find new business opportunities from the application of virtualization principles.

One new area, which I was eager to explore, was web technologies. I also wanted the project to somehow involve mobile devices and applications, a field in which I had virtually no experience and one that is becoming tremendously important for VMware.

To define a research project that combined both web and mobile technologies, I studied a new trend in smartphone and tablet application development called Backend as a Service (BaaS). Nowadays, instead of writing their own server software and running it themselves, many mobile developers outsource all back-end functions to cloud providers publishing REST APIs to services ranging from user management, data persistence, and message queues to social network integration. Those services are easy to use, self-scaling, and are purchased by the hour based on the desired capacity and support level. When viewed as a whole, BaaS APIs constitute what is arguably the closest thing to a true “cloud OS” for mobile and web apps. Once I had found an interesting and challenging problem worth solving, I set the project’s goals as: develop a solution; prototype some of the use cases above; and document the work in a paper that is of high enough quality to be submitted to the R&D Innovation Offsite.

Looking back, my Take 3 project exceeded my expectations. I learned the new skills that I had coveted, and had fun doing it. The R&D offsite paper writing, submission and presentation process taught me to manage my time better, and also made me a better writer and public speaker. Most importantly, it opened new doors and personal connections for me, and I was able to apply the experience I gained from my T3 directly and immediately. In summary, the Take 3 program resulted in a win/win for VMware and me; the company gained a newly energized and re-trained employee, while I was able to satisfy my personal curiosity and professional goals.

Learn more about VMware’s Take 3 Program here.

 

Bich Le

 

About Bich: Bich Le is an Innolabs Innovator in the Office of the CTO at VMware. He joined VMware in 1999 as employee #27 to work on x86 virtualization. Since then, he’s moved up through all layers of the software stack, and contributed to a wide range of products including Workstation, Converter, View, VirtualCenter, and Application Director.

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The First Job Out of College: Now Which Offer Do You Accept?

With graduation in the not so distant future, the task of accepting a full-time job is one that might be on many of your minds. While this is an exciting time, making a final decision on which role is most suitable for you will take time and thoughtful consideration. Hear from Allison Steinkopf, VMware University Relations Recruiter as she shares the 5 steps that she took when deciding to come and work at VMware as a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. 

 

The process of accepting a job offer begins with a job description. After reviewing the description, ask yourself whether or not you have the necessary skills, passion and vision to complete the requirements of the role? After this, you should explore the finer details of the project work to decide if it will excite you. Finally, if the company’s hiring team thinks that you’re a fit for the role and you think that you’re a fit, you accept their offer. Simple, right?

For many students looking for career opportunities post graduation, it’s not always as easy as the above scenario. In many cases, students pursuing technology careers are often given multiple job offers from a variety of innovative companies. While it can be a good situation to have multiple offers on the table, it can definitely make the decision process more complex. Here are 5 steps that I believe you can take in order to accept a job offer that is right for you.

First, I encourage you to go beyond the job description and think about the factors that can be left out of a decision. Second, it is important to think about the team and coworkers that you will be interacting with daily in your role. Do they value collaboration and challenge and encourage each other to do their best work? Can you see yourself easily becoming a part of this cohesive unit? Third, the company culture is an important aspect to consider because this, along with your team relationships, often determines whether or not you jump out of bed in the morning or groan when the alarm goes off. Fourth, do you see growth opportunities with the position in consideration? Don’t just think about today. Think about where you could be in five years at an organization. Fifth, consider whether you sincerely believe in what the company is trying to accomplish and whether or not it believes in empowering you with the resources and tools to drive what’s next in your career.

Ultimately, these are the most important factors that I considered when I decided to join VMware upon graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles this past June. VMware is a place of passion, innovation and collaboration that has propelled me forward on my path to becoming the best professional that I can. My team enables me with the skills that I need while I push them to work smarter, not harder. I know that I made the right choice and hopefully this will help you do the same. Thankfully, I can happily say that I don’t groan when my alarm goes off in the morning.

 

Allison Steinkopf

 

 

About Allison: Allison Steinkopf is a University Relations Recruiter who works out of the VMware Austin, Texas office. She is a recent Austin transplant from California who loves to explore new restaurants and all that Austin has to offer.

 

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Learn more about the workplace culture at VMware, see pics of our offices, talk to recruiters, and get real time job openings by following us on our social pages:

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