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Monthly Archives: July 2014

VMware’s Dexter Arver Illuminates the Power of Curiosity in Service

What ignites your curiosity to pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of others? Questions like this are sparked at VMware by the wide range of passions that our people bring to life through Service Learning. Connect with Dexter, Supervisor, Web Applications and see how his thirst for learning through service makes a difference in his home and the community.

 

Name: Dexter ArverDexter_family_photo

Role: Supervisor, Web Applications

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware: 8.85

 

What does “paying it forward” mean to you?

It means taking a step back and realizing how lucky you are to be in the situation you are in. And since the catalyst for your success is luck (i.e. in birth, having great parents, getting your first job, etc.), sharing some of the result of that luck with those less fortunate.

What does the quote, “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” from the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign for employees mean to you? 

How about another question: how can one learn without curiosity?

Being older has made me over-estimate myself to the point that sometimes, I have this attitude that I know everything. I tend to not want to go to some new event or experience because I tell myself that I know what will happen and that its not worth the time and effort. What I’ve found is this intuitive feeling is completely wrong most of the time. This is where my kid really has taught me a lot about being curious and withholding judgment. Because allowing yourself to be curious and to go into things with an open mind will only help you grow and learn as a person.The-Wick-of-Learning

How do you instill this value in your child?

My child is very young, so I don’t really have to do much. She’s always curious about everything. The best I can do is to encourage her to keep asking questions.

Please reflect on having your child featured in the Service Learning campaign advertising. What does it mean to you and your family?

I think having the image featured meant the most to my mother-in-law. She was just so happy and proud.

As for me, I just thank VMware for the opportunity to have my daughter and picture featured in this campaign. Because you know, as a biased parent, I feel that she is the cutest kid in the world and I want to share that sentiment with everyone that ever sees this poster. I mean come on, she’s so cute!!!

 

 

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Diego Acuña Enjoys Pura Vida at VMware Costa Rica

Whether technical support engineer, Diego Acuña is collaborating with his teammates to solve the seemingly impossible for VMware customers or leveraging employee perks to grow his knowledge, he delights in pura vida at VMware Costa Rica. Read on to learn more about what inspires Diego to innovate what’s next at VMware. 

 

Name: Diego Acuña

Role: Technical Support Engineer

Office Location: Pavas, Costa Rica

Years at VMware: 1

Favorite Tech Gadget: Thin Clients

 

Give us an inside look into your role.

Diego_Acuna_Bowling_2As part of VMware Costa Rica’s GSS (Global Support Services) team, I provide technical support on a wide variety of VMware’s products to Brazilian customers and partners. I work in a generalist model, meaning that I support almost all of the products in VMware’s suite, including Site Recovery Manager, vCloud Director, Horizon View, and vCenter Operations Manager. I really love working under a generalist model because it allows me to have a full understanding of VMware’s technologies and gives me the flexibility to discover new things that I did not even know existed.

Why did you choose VMware?

I had always dreamed about being a part of VMware’s technical staff. I’m passionate about technology and loved every VMware product that I came into contact with. Choosing to work at VMware was not a tough decision because it was something that I had always wanted. And to be honest, who would not be proud to be a part of the most innovative company in the world?

How do VMware’s shared values (execution, passion, integrity, customers and community) come to life at your site?

Diego_Acuna_Go_KartingAt VMware Costa Rica, you will see VMware’s values woven into our everyday lives. It’s natural for us to work together to accomplish a common goal because it is a part of who we are. We’re highly motivated and passionate people who support each other, bring new ideas to improve internal processes, and are always striving to improve customer satisfaction because customers are the reason why we are here. We are able to deliver high-quality support by constantly improving our skills and making sure those developed skills are applied on a daily-basis. Lastly, we take every opportunity to give more as we know that we are all part of a huge family. An example of this is our recent Learn to Dream project. My coworkers and I had the opportunity to donate school items for children in indigenous school areas so that they could receive the education that they deserve. This is important for us, as we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to grow.

Is there a particular value that resonates the most with you?

It is tough to define a single value taking into account all of them are so relevant. However, if I have to pick one I would choose execution. Things need to get done, that is for sure. How they are done is what really makes the difference. I believe in the power of teamwork. Every single person is a vital piece of a huge puzzle, and that is why it is so important to give our best in every task that we have each day. I realize that what I do will affect others, so that is why I try to make positive contributions.

Watch the video below to learn more about life at VMware Costa Rica.

Share a story or example that illustrates your team living VMware’s values.

There was one particular vSphere Data Protection case that I struggled with shortly after I began supporting the product. I had got to a point where I did not know what else to do, the customer was having repetitive failures on a huge number of VDP appliances and every time we seemed to fix a problem another related-one would come up. I have to admit I was starting to get worried.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was at that time that I commented about the case one day during lunch time with some co-workers, and that’s where things started to light up, as all of them showed their willingness and eagerness to help. They all recognized how frustrated I was about not being able to figure out the solution. They not only helped me by providing suggestions, but also patiently reviewed tons of log bundles of several VDP appliances with me, and even got in touch with the developer and customer with findings. This collaboration made a positive impact on the customer. He was very impressed with the passion and care that we as a team showed towards resolving the problems he was facing and was very satisfied with the resolution. It meant a lot to receive that support from my teammates because it is not something that you see in every company. It is clear that we are all heading in the same direction and we know the power of teamwork!

What benefits or perks are most notable for you at VMware? Why?

Definitely the Professional Development Assistance Program, which provides employees financial support for external professional development courses, certifications and degree programs. Having the opportunity to grow my knowledge by taking classes at our local university is really important to me since every class will contribute to my knowledge and therefore will contribute to my role at VMware. It all is about delivering the best support experience to our customers.

What types of people are successful at VMware?

Diego_Acuna_FutbolKnowing what you are doing is definitely necessary, so expertise in the specific area that you are working in is very important. However, those who are motivated and have a clear understanding of the importance of their work are the ones that really succeed at VMware. I am part of a team that believes that attitude can beat aptitude.

How is ‘pura vida’ a part of the Costa Rica site?

Well, pura vida is a lifestyle here in Costa Rica. We Costa Ricans are happy people, and that can be noticed and felt at our site. Every employee at our site will greet you with a smile on his or her face, and will make you feel like a part of the family from the moment that you step into our office. We are very friendly, and we know that hard work is necessary, but we also understand the importance of taking a break and enjoying quality time with co-workers and family. Some exciting activities that we’ve participated in together as a site include futbol, bowling, and kart racing.

 

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VMware Hosts the Best First Bytes Camp Yet!

At VMware, we’re passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). As instigators of innovation, VMware people recognize that their spark for computer science started from an early age. Living our EPIC2 values, VMware people are combining their passion for STEM with Service Learning in the broader community. Our collaboration with First Bytes Summer Computer Science Camp at The University of Texas at Austin is just one example of our ongoing efforts to empower students in STEM. Read on to learn more. 

 

First_Bytes_Logo2014 marked VMware’s  third year participating in First Bytes, a one-week camp hosted by The University of Texas at Austin for high school girls interested in pursuing computer science as a degree in college. After an application and panel selection process, approximately 60 girls from across the state of Texas were invited to attend.

The VMware sponsored portion of the camp was held June 18 and 19. On June 18, VMware hosted the campers onsite at our River Place office in Austin, Texas. After a short overview of VMware’s University Relations Program and snacks by Hey Cupcake!.

First_Bytes_2014_8Sharon Weber, Staff Engineer for Ecosystem Infrastructure spoke about the Heartbleed Bug and how a single line of code can impact the whole world. “It was great to see the camper’s interest and overall knowledge about Heartbleed and online security. They asked some refreshing questions on the topic and showed interest in our open culture and warm welcome to the campers, which was exciting to see,” commented Weber.

For the activity portion of the day, the campers were broken into teams and using a maze, saw how programming is about giving instructions where several ways or solutions can lead to the end result. The winning team won a VMware goody bag.

To wrap up the day, five VMware women from the R&D and sales organizations engaged with the campers to talk about their individual career paths – from college to the workplace. Our “Anything Boys Can Code Girls Can Code Better” tee shirts were a bit hit too.

On Thursday, June 19 the VMware University Relations team and two engineers from our Palo Alto, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts offices headed over to The University of Texas at Austin for a series of Hands On Labs. Sharon Tam, Engineer for vCloud Hybrid Service taught the girls how to program a game in SCRATCH. Soumya Mishra, VMware Engineer working on vShield taught the girls about hacking and Internet security. Any camper who wore her VMware shirt to the lab was given a raffle ticket to win one of two “Raspberry Pi’s,” a coding device that the girls had used earlier in the week at camp.First_Bytes_FB_Photo

On Friday, June 20, Soumya Mishra sat on an informal lunch panel that allowed the campers to ask career related questions to several professionals within the IT industry. “Getting an opportunity to present on ‘Internet security’ at the First Bytes summer camp was truly a wonderful experience. The appetite for knowledge and enthusiasm to learn about the new technology trends displayed by the girls was beyond words. I gained insight on what today’s youth thinks about the computer science field and apprehensions in joining it. I was glad to be of help in providing them a clear vision of the industry and encouraging them to be a part of it,” said Mishra.

Based on the camper’s enthusiasm (and the fun we had), we believe that this was our best camp yet! We are really looking forward to hosting the campers again next year. Special thanks to Sharon Weber, Sharon Tam, Soumya Mishra, Kelly Dare and Jennifer Green from VMware for contributing their Service Learning time and sharing their skills and talents with these amazing young women.


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