At VMware, we believe people should be able to bring their “whole selves” and have meaningful ways to connect with their work while developing personally as individuals. Meet VMware Member of Technical Staff, Preeti Agarwal, and hear how her decision to move across the world to explore new opportunities at VMware is empowering her to grow and make an impact in the community.
Role: Senior Member of Technical Staff
Office Location: Palo Alto, California
Years at VMware: 3
Give a glimpse at a day for you and your team at VMware.
I work on VMware’s kernel, ESX’s Resource (Memory) Management layer, which is part of the vSphere Group. My teammates and I work on defining and developing features like sharing memory across virtual machines, continuously making vSphere more scalable, and improving the performance. Along with this, we are involved with fixing any known issues on the upcoming vSphere releases.
A majority of our day is usually spent working on features, defect fixes and doing peer reviews. Reviews are not restricted to one team, they are sent out to a broader kernel group and anyone can review them and gain more insight into the product to know what’s happening. We also work in close collaboration with other teams like the Monitor, vMotion, Platform Infrastructure, and DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler), since most of the features span multiple project boundaries. We have regular weekly staff meetings within our immediate team, as well as other teams to discuss the future direction of VMware’s technology and any technical issues that might cross project boundaries. If we need a quick resolution to a problem, or just need to discuss an idea with someone, we can easily drop by each other’s offices to get things done.
Can you share what the community at VMware means to you?
In 2011, I was working in India and was ready for a change. I began looking for opportunities in the Bay Area, and came upon a role at VMware. The “just do it” attitude of the extremely talented folks here has made me believe that anything is possible. My teammates have helped me to challenge myself both professionally and personally as an individual. Several programs and initiatives in place at VMware, including the VMware Foundation, VMwomen and the Diwali Celebration, have also provided a platform for me to grow.
Through the VMware Foundation, which empowers employees with 40-paid hours each year to give back to the community, I have made small contributions by serving and helping clean up the San Francisco Bay and volunteering at Hidden Villa Farm. A phrase that made a good impression on my mind from Hidden Villa was, “We do not own any place, we simply take care of it.” Working in nature at the grass roots level made me realize that hard work in the soil can be personally satisfying while also beneficial to the wider community.
VMwomen, a business-led initiative that is working to create a more diverse and inclusive work environment at VMware, has empowered me to connect with fellow women colleagues across the company, hear how women leaders have successfully navigated their careers, and discuss the challenges specific to women in the technology world. Through VMwomen and the support of my manager, I was able to achieve a dream of mine by attending the 2014 Grace Hopper Conference. A memorable moment from the conference was my conversation with Dr. Durdana Habib, a Grace Hopper ABIE Award Winner. When asked how ones actions can inspire someone to make a difference, Habib shared that you should always show the person what they can achieve and this will drive them towards the goal. Habib’s advice has shaped how I work to inspire future leaders at VMware.
Later in 2014, my colleague, Divya Ranganathan Gud and I received the opportunity to co-lead the VMware Diwali celebration on campus at VMware headquarters. Since 2008, this employee-led event has been one of the most colorful days of the year at VMware. As a co-lead, my role was to help plan and organize the event, which included creating the program schedule and seeking employee participation in the dancing, singing, table scaping, Diya making, and Mehndi (hand decoration) art. Helping plan this event was a very reward experience for me. I made friends from across the company and realized that our people are what make celebrations like this at VMware so successful. By aligning people’s passions and skills with specific tasks, we were able to carry the workload of hundreds of people.
Overall joining VMware has been a very enriching move for me. I have found myself growing leaps and bounds both personally and professionally, and have been able to challenge myself and grow further than the original boundaries that I had set for myself as an individual. I am thankful to VMware for empowering me with wonderful opportunities to grow as an individual and celebrate milestones with members of our community.
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