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Monthly Archives: December 2013

VMware Employees Close Out 2013 with Gratitude and Reflection

At VMware, our giving is rooted in a concept, we call “Citizen Philanthropy,” recognizing that we all have something that we can contribute to the Community.

Now an annual tradition, the VMware Foundation celebrates the holidays through Giving Back Together. This year, in the spirit of EPIC2, VMware’s core values, we are focusing on the Community dimension by sharing opportunities with our people to give more by recognizing what we have and appreciating each other.

Over the past six weeks, the VMware Foundation has been sharing fun ways for VMware people to give more; including:

  • Virtual Gratitude Wall on VMware Link, VMware’s internal social network powered by Socialcast
  • Physical Gratitude Walls in VMware office sites around the world
  • Airplane Thank You Notes

Trisha Amescua, Staffing Coordinator and member of the Austin Citizen Council shared, “Being a part of such a giving community of colleagues is a complete blessing in itself. I have enjoyed being involved in the Gratitude Campaign and watching so many VMware people share their thoughts, thanks and appreciation. Joining together in this has shown how much VMware as a whole is truly involved with not only each employee, but in the community locally, as well as globally. I look forward to many more opportunities to share and get everyone involved.”

We also hosted, leading researcher, Dr. Robert Emmons to share ways that we can cultivate gratitude in our lives. You can join us by keeping a gratitude journal, or just giving a simple handwritten note to someone you appreciate.

As we continue the holiday season, we leave you with this reflection:

“Feeling gratitude but not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

 

-Jessamine Chin

About Jesssa: Jessa is the Sr. Corporate Citizenship Manager for the VMware Foundation. She works out of VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

 

 

 

 

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Empowering VMware People to Drive Their Self-Development and Growth

Developing one’s career is an art developed over time using experience and resourcefulness. Today Maria Raimundo, VMware University Relations Recruiter, sheds light on VMware’s innovation culture and how it supports the growth and development of its employees through skills training, educational reimbursement and mentorships.

 

At VMware we grow our business by creating value for our customers and partners. More importantly, we grow our people by investing in development and fostering a culture that embraces learning as a part of the innovation process. Not only does the process of developing yourself improve your personal and professional life, but it can assist in your collaboration with others and your overall contributions to the wider community. Here are a few of the resources that VMware employees can take advantage of to reach that next level of growth and development in their career.

VMware Edge Portal

The VMware Edge Portal is an internal portal that offers self-directed development for any employee from any location at anytime. VMware employees can sign up for classes that are related to their role, enhance professional skills or take certification courses to improve a particular discipline. You can even check out digital ebooks for free from Books24x7! So, if you’re looking to take that additional Java-skills course, need some extra help with public speaking, or want to take a certification in your field, it’s all possible through the VMware Edge Portal.

VMware Professional Development Assistance Program

VMware empowers each employee to drive self-development in partnership with his or her manager. The Professional Development Assistance Program provides financial support for external professional development courses, certifications and degree programs that are not offered internally at VMware. Have you ever thought about pursuing a part-time secondary degree or another type of program at some point in your career? If your answer is “yes,” then this is where our Professional Development Assistance Program comes in. We offer assistance to help offset some of the financial cost for the secondary degree with management and HR approval. That’s a pretty awesome perk.

Fostering a Mentor Relationship

Perhaps the greatest teachers you’ll encounter at VMware are your fellow coworkers. Having a mentor is not just limited to your immediate manager (though we hope you find them as a great resource). There are many opportunities to discover colleagues who would be willing to provide both personal and professional support as you grow at VMware. Be sure to connect through our internal social network, VMware Link, support our commitment to giving back to the community through the VMware Foundation, and get to know other members from different teams through our weekly social events. Sometimes even a casual meeting could lead to someone who can help you re-think about how you’re approaching your career goals.

In the end it is up to each of our employees to take advantage of the resources and opportunities provided to them here at VMware. How do you plan to grow to that next step?

 

-Maria Raimundo, VMware University Relations Recruiter

 

 

About Maria:

Maria is a University Relations Recruiter at VMware. Her primary focus is on hiring engineering students for both internships and full-time positions throughout VMware’s Research and Development teams. Before working in Human Resources, Maria was a California certified K-12 teacher. She has found a happy medium in her current role of guiding students through what may be some of their first corporate experiences.

 

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Paying It Forward: A VMware Employee’s Journey to Growth Through Giving Back

At VMware, our giving is rooted in a concept, called “Citizen Philanthropy,” recognizing that we all have something we can contribute to the community. Connect with Mark Schmidt, Manager for the Global Support Services Team, as he shares his service learning contribution with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and hear the inspiring lessons he gained through service.

  

Name: Mark Schmidt

Title: Manager, Global Support Services

Office Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Years at VMware: 1.75

Favorite quote or motto: “Work smarter, not harder” 

 

How would you describe what you do at VMware?

As a support manager at VMware, I am responsible for a team of engineers who provide world-class business-to-business support to some of the most recognized companies in the world. As a team, we support customers who have moved into the virtualization and cloud realms as an extension and partner to their business.

What about your work is meaningful to you?

Being able to successfully deliver results through others, motivating a team of people to deliver unparalleled industry leading support in business critical situations, and having the ability to make a difference to businesses across multiple industries globally.

At VMware, we celebrate the holidays through Giving Back Together. What does that phrase mean to you?

Being as fortunate as we are, working for such a great company that gives us time to give back to our communities, it’s important to share our stories and inspire others to do the same. Working as a team for worthy causes is a great way to spend time, especially over the holidays.

This year, you participated in a Service Learning activity. Can you share how you contributed back to the community and what you learned through that experience?

It was with great pleasure that I spent a week at a camp for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. That week I facilitated activities such as skiing, tubing and sailing for people with visual impairments. After spending a week with the campers I realized that they faced daily challenges; some that seemed impossible to me. However, each and every one of them persevered and adapted in ways that allowed them to accomplish their goals. They never gave up and in many ways, saw the world in a way many of us ever get to. I went to camp that week thinking I was going to help someone see the word; instead, they helped me change the way I see mine.

What advice would you give to people who have the intention to volunteer, but just can’t find the time?

Take stock of what you’ve done over the last month. Then ask yourself, was any of it as important as helping someone in need? Pay forward before you pay yourself.

As the year is coming to an end, can you share what’s next for you, your team or VMware?

I look forward to another exciting year of working with great people on complex issues; learning from those around me and sharing what I know with them.

 

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Helen Hastings, 2013 VMware Intern and Grace Hopper Attendee, Challenges the Status Quo by Driving What’s Next for Women in Tech

At VMware, our people are fueled by a passion to continuously make things better. This passion to challenge the status quo and architect what’s next goes beyond technological innovation. Hear from Helen Hastings, 2013 VMware Intern for Nicira, on her VMware and Grace Hopper Conference experiences and the inspiring individuals that have empowered her to get things done.

 

Even after the close of my internship this past summer, VMware has provided me with amazing opportunities within the tech world by financially supporting my attendance of the Grace Hopper Conference this past October.

The Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) for Women in Computing is an annual conference designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the largest technical conference for women in computing. As a young woman in a field that is currently dominated by men, the majority of my extracurricular hours are spent working with organizations promoting women in computer science, and GHC was a perfect opportunity for me. So after negotiating hard with my professors to let me take a few days off from classes, and getting homework ready to tackle on the long travel, I set off to Minneapolis, Minnesota with a plane ticket made possible by VMware.

I was blown away by the keynote speakers on the very first morning: Telle Whitney speaking on why she cofounded GHC and its accomplishments, Maria Klawe sharing how she brought the percentage of female CS majors at Harvey Mudd up to almost 50%, and Sheryl Sandberg asserting how women can overcome the obstacles they face in male-dominated careers. I spent hours in the Student Opportunity Lab, a myriad of round-table sessions where professionals spoke of topics relevant to participants my age, ranging from choosing the right internship to maintaining the best possible LinkedIn profile. At all hours, speakers, panels, and information sessions in every field possible were simultaneously occurring. Lynne Thieme, Director of R&D at VMware, was one of many speakers and gave a presentation on the evolution of data and application availability.

Much of my time was spent networking and grabbing every opportunity I could to meet inspiring individuals in the tech world. I reconnected with colleagues from prior internships and organizations such NCWIT (The National Center for Women and Information Technology), and was introduced to experienced employees from all over the country and outside it as well. I navigated the massive career fair and met women from every company present. VMware’s booth was incredibly popular because of their pink t-shirts boasting the words “Code Princess” with a crown of 1’s and 0’s, which were a hot commodity. I even overheard some young men brag about how happy they were to receive one! Participating in a tech fair where the swag was feminine and the company representatives were female was a fresh and inviting experience and wholly unique to GHC.

A prevalent theme of Grace Hopper was the importance of visibility of female role models in the technology industry. As a young woman, physically seeing and hearing from inspiring women in your target career does wonders to eliminate stereotype threat. VMware realizes the significance of this as well, which is why they host the Women Connecting Women (WCW) Mentorship program. I loved learning from my WCW mentor this summer. In addition to attending the VMware-planned events, she also made sure to visit my intern poster presentation and learn about my project, invite me on outings in the Bay Area, and even take me to an impromptu lunch in Santa Cruz. My favorite WCW event was the BFOIT (Berkeley Foundation for Opportunities in Information Technology) visit, where my mentor and I gave high school students interested in computer science a tour of VMware and a chance to meet a diverse group of VMware’s employees. The event reinforced how self-propagating the idea of mentorship is: learning from my own mentor, I was able to be a mentor to younger students. I made sure to stay in touch with a BFOIT teacher to invite his student’s to a high school hackathon I helped plan in the fall.

Thanks to the WCW program and the Grace Hopper conference, I had the privilege of starting school with some fantastic new contacts of women in the industry, inspiration from role models in the field, and a surge of momentum to take into kicking off the year for my tech outreach student groups. Thank you so much to VMware for these wonderful opportunities!

 

-Helen Hastings

 

About Helen: Helen Hastings, VMware intern, summer 2013, had a blast and learned an incredible amount while working for Nicira on the Control Plane team and witnessing the successful launch of NSX. She is currently a sophomore majoring in computer science at Stanford University. She loves teaching others about programming, and is a director of tech outreach groups she++ and Pilot.

 

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VMware’s Martin Casado Recognized as a Silicon Valley 40 Under 40

 

Recognized as a Silicon Valley 40 Under 40, Martin Casado, Chief Networking Architect, VMware, is literally architecting what’s next in IT through network virtualization. Co-founder of Nicira, Martin is a true innovator who loves to solve complex problems by challenging the status quo. In his current role, Martin is leading the future of networking and shaping the Software-Defined Data Center within the VMware NSX team.

Hear from Martin as he discusses his vision of the new network architecture and the profound importance of network virtualization.

Interested in joining the VMware NSX team and revolutionizing one of the largest industries in the world with the backing of a global leader? Learn more about the types of people the team is seeking to tackle complex problems that radically simplify IT.

Martin exemplifies the spirit and drive of the VMware employee community – comprised of people driven to achieve the seemingly impossible fueled by customer passion and a culture of giving back to the community.

Congratulations again to Martin Casado for imagining, defining and delivering what’s next!

 

 

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MooseCon 2013: Bringing Together Today’s Engineering Leaders to Define and Tackle Tomorrow’s Security Threats

At VMware, our people are driven to continuously innovate and make things better for our customers, products and each other. And it’s because of this passion to envision what’s next that events such as MooseCon (Making Our Organization Security Experts Conference) 2013 come to life. Read on to learn about this dynamic employee led event.

 

What’s more exciting than gathering together a bunch of engineers to collaborate and debate what’s next in security? Not much. On November 18-19 over 200 VMware employees came together for MooseCon 2013, an internal security conference hosted by the VMware Security Engineering, Communications and Response (vSECR) Team for R&D employees interested in discussing all things security. “It would be difficult to get this many engineers to an external security conference like DEFCON or Black Hat, so instead we brought some of the best talks from DEFCON and Blackhat here” shared Dave King, VMware Staff Security Engineer. Whether onsite at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California, or virtually tuned into the conference via WebEx, employees from all backgrounds were encouraged to attend the event.

Over the two-day period, both internal and external speakers shared insights on a variety topics including, vulnerabilities in car ECUs (Chris Valesek – IO Active) and Microcells (Tom Ritter – iSEC Partners), the potential of cross-channel attacks via processor caches (Yingqian Zhang – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), how quickly one can come up with fuzzers from various APIs (Derek Soeder – Cylance), even without seeing the API definitions themselves and more.

Glen McCready, Principal Engineer based out of Palo Alto shared, “We take educating our engineers seriously, but we want them to have fun while learning. Attendees walked away after two days having enjoyed some very interesting talks. Based on the employee feedback we’re hoping to make MooseCon a reoccurring event!”

And about that “Moose” in MooseCon… Word on the street is that the conference icon originally derived from a conversation around a coworker’s sweater and the need for a moose on it to give it some oomph. 

Ultimately it’s because of our passionate people community that events such as MooseCon are able to thrive. At the end of the day everyone learned a thing or two that they could take back to make their products better. And it’s because of this curiosity and innovation that I’m excited to see how far technology will evolve by next year’s MooseCon.

Until then…

 

-Price Smith

 

*Special thanks to Glen McCready, Dave King and Eric Betts

 

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A VMware Intern’s Reflection on the Community that Gives More

Connect with Ariel Weingarten, 2013 VMware Intern within the Ecosystems Research and Development Team, as he shares his meaningful experiences with the people community at VMware.

 

One of VMware’s core values is Community; a community focused on giving more. With over ten thousand employees it’s hard to imagine a cohesive set of mores standing out. Throughout my internship at VMware, I was pleasantly surprised at the sense of community and my colleagues’ motivation.

Often, the idea of “give more” is confused with giving more of your time, which quickly becomes unmaintainable. Instead, VMware helps its employees to work at a broader scope. The same amount of effort can provide so much more when the whole community is kept in mind.

Some remarkable things can happen when you’re willing to dedicate your time, talents, and energy to work within a larger organization. I’d like to share three examples that illustrate what I mean.

Drinking from the Fire Hose

From the moment I accepted my offer at VMware the giving had already begun. My flight was paid for, my living arrangements were awaiting my arrival, and a classy shuttle and affable driver were ready to take me to my first day of work. After getting dropped off, I was already eager to get started at making myself a worthy investment for this kind of treatment. Little did I know I had only seen the tip of the iceberg.

My first few weeks were filled with connecting with coworkers who provided deep insight on managing virtual infrastructures and VMware’s virtualization stack. It was a truly staggering amount of information; in the words of my mentor, I was having fun “drinking from the fire hose”. This rich educational experience in enterprise virtualization software is rare to have experience in as a student and one that I’m truly grateful for.

Intern Life

Some really great things come about when you try to outdo VMware at creating a thriving people community. After enjoying numerous VMware-hosted intern events, I wanted to give back by helping organize a barbecue for the 200+ interns at the intern’s housing location. The VMware University Relations (UR) Team enthusiastically came back offering to help fund an intern-planned event. I came up with a wish list and was thinking that the UR Team would cover a portion of it and I’d raise the rest from my fellow interns. Instead, the UR Team provided me with a Visa gift card that allowed me to throw a fun and friendly intern owned and operated event for the entire intern class. I was thrilled to see that the desire to give more and a bit of determination are taken seriously and acted upon at VMware.

VMware rewards taking the initiative both in and out of the workplace.

Giving Until the Very End

After four months, I sat at my desk reflecting over my time at VMware. I was a bit bummed out that my time with the company was ending. That being said, I was far from dissatisfied. Working at VMware provided me with some of the most valuable expertise in the industry right now: solving problems with virtualization technology. There are a lot of companies out there looking for this in an employee and one of them happened to call my mentor that day.

He must not have noticed how hard I was reflecting because he asked if I could handle a customer support call. As it turned out, the customer was having some trouble with VMware Server Certification. This was a process that I had become intimately familiar with over the course of my internship. What started as a support call became an interview of sorts and the next thing I knew I had a consulting job at AMD.

By then end, I realized that the opportunities at VMware are vast. If you are willing to put in the hard work, the company steps up to give you more to work with. This synergistic environment leads to positive changes in both the workplace community and abroad.

 

-Ariel Weingarten

 

About Ariel:

Ariel is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. During the summer of 2013 he interned with the Ecosystems Research and Development Team developing a server certification automation infrastructure at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California. He will be returning to VMware to intern in January of 2014.

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Emad Benjamin, Principal Architect, on shaping the future of technology at VMware

Shaping the future of IT begins with passionate people who bridge customer needs with innovative ideas. Hear from Emad Benjamin, Principal Architect, VMware Global Center of Excellence, and see how his connections with people, both coworkers and customers, have helped him bring innovative ideas to life.

 

Name: Emad Benjamin

Title: Principal Architect, Global Center of Excellence

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware: 8

Favorite tech innovation: Java because it runs the world.

 

What inspired you to pursue your current career?

Hmmm! I was always curious to figure out how things actually worked. I used to take my toys apart as a child to see what was inside, so engineering made sense to me.

Speaking of toys, how can viewing things like that help with your work at VMware?

The drive to understand the functionality of technology is the true essence of being able to balance innovation with customer reality. It has helped me appreciate creating simple but straight to the point effective solutions. By double clicking on various layers of technology, one can understand what makes a specific functionality tick and then how it is used or ought to be best used. At VMware, we are about pure play innovation; we focus on digging deep at the core of user functionality and understanding the best way to bring SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) to solve everyday customer problems.

How would you describe what you do at VMware?

I focus on solving practical customer use cases by leveraging VMware vCloud Suite, and then share back this experience with our engineering team on an ongoing basis.

What are some of the exciting things currently happening for you and your team? 

I have been in the industry for 20 years, covered projects from all around the world, and worked with some technology pioneers – but until the GTS (Global Technology Solutions) Team, I had never really seen a group that was so talent packed. GTS is the Swiss Army Knife times 1,000 – insanely capable to sell, deliver, and promote VMware products.

Continuous learning is what helps us innovate. How do you practice this at VMware?

Simple, the customer is always right, the customer always has new ideas, and we listen. Engineering at VMware doesn’t have the luxury we have, of knowing all of the real customer use cases – so for the GTS Team, innovation is a daily pursuit – not because we espouse all good things about the technology, but because we have a real customer force driving us to practical innovation.

How did your growth and development at VMware empower you to write the book Virtualizing and Tuning Large Scale Java platforms, and Enterprise Java Applications Architecture on VMware? What were your takeaways from this experience?

I spent a long time, 5 years, in VMware IT, and then GTS, so I was both a consumer and advocator of our products, so it was an easy transition to write about it. My time with VMware allowed me to solve some hard-core problems, much of the same type of problems that our customers face on a daily basis, which gave me the ability to look at our product suite with customer solutions in mind.

Which VMware value most resonates with you and how have you seen it come to life?

Passion. At VMware if you truly have an idea, it can come to fruition through hard work and collaboration. I had the idea of Java Virtualization, as a concept, and I was lucky to have the support around me to have this dream materialize.

What is a fun VMware memory for you?

President Club Paris. We attended the Opera Garnier, a charity event, dinner cruise in a yacht on the Seine, and then finished off the fourth day with a memorable dinner at the Louvre. It was pretty special to have met the executive team, mingle with everyone that was over achieving on their numbers, and to listen to many of their great stories.

Share what’s next for you, your team or VMware?

I plan to continue to further evangelize the Java Virtualization story, taking on some of the world’s toughest workloads, such as the 3rd largest trading platform in the world, which today runs on a virtualized instance of GemFire. I will turn my focus to a wider global reach to carry the BCA story across EMEA, APJ, and Americas regions. VMware is on a strategic course to virtualize the world’s most critical applications, and while we have been very successful at doing this, I will be part of a team that will carry and scale out this effort globally.

 

-Emad Benjamin

 

*Take a look at Emad’s video interview where he further discusses his two books, Virtualizing and Tuning Large Scale Java Platforms, and Enterprise Java Applications Architecture on VMwarehttp://bit.ly/1hL9r0w

 

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