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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Fostering Dynamic & Diverse Workplaces Through the Community at Grace Hopper India

Did you know that mixed-gender teams lead to higher profits and sales for organizations? It’s because of this, and the opportunity to create an environment where all people can bring their whole selves to work, that VMware is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace community. Connect with VMware Member of Technical Staff, Vartika Agrawal, and hear how her drive to continuously innovate within Information Technology is empowering women to lead change in their careers at the Grace Hopper Celebration in India.

 

Vartika AName: Vartika Agrawal

Role: Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 1

 

Share what a typical day is like for you at VMware.

Once you start doing what you love for a living, the work is no longer work. A day at VMware is never monotonous as each day comes with its own challenges, priorities, and learnings, which is empowering me to achieve my full potential. I am a morning person, so I prefer starting work early. For me, a typical day starts by catching up on emails, checking my calendar, and making a rough plan for the day. After this, my team syncs up to share status updates on what we’re each working on. From there, I dedicate time to work on vSphere We Client, which is the VMware product that I’m currently working on. The second half of the day consists of meetings, technical discussions, and continued work on the problem I took up in the morning. Outside of my immediate work responsibilities, I give back through the VMware Foundation, participate in research projects, and organize team events such as birthday celebrations, team lunches and day outings. I try to balance time between regular product work and other activities as it helps keep me refreshed and rejuvenated. On days with fewer projects, I spend time playing games like foosball and table tennis with my teammates.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology? 

Information Technology is rapidly growing as there is constant innovation happening in the field. Computers and coding have fascinated me since high school. At the RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, I got a chance to explore this field in depth. A degree in Computer Science provides an immense number of career options to choose from based on interests and skill sets. There are pure technical jobs for people who love math and coding. There are Program Manager roles, which do need knowledge of computers, but are more of management jobs. As a member of the IT community, I feel that I am receiving the opportunity to contribute to the continuous changing dynamics of our society.

 

You have a poster on “Cache-Based Side-Channel Attack on AES in Cloud Computing Environment” and “IoT Transaction Security” being shared at Grace Hopper (#GHCI15) India. Can you share more about what the poster addresses?

“Cache-Based Side-Channel Attack on AES in Cloud Computing Environment” is based on the work done with my friends during my final semester at RV College of Engineering, Bangalore. Our paper demonstrates cache-based side-channel attack between virtual machines where a malicious virtual machine owned by an attacker extracts an AES encryption key from the victim’s virtual machine, which is spawned on same physical machine. Software implementation of AES uses table lookup operations, which affects the cache. These lookup indices are closely related with private key used for encryption/decryption. Leakage of the key can reveal lot of confidential information. My poster session paper shows how the attacker can obtain this key and how one can combat the attack by disrupting the cache-access patterns during encryption.

“IoT Transaction Security” addresses security requirements when IoT devices are connected to the cloud. IoT is an emerging technology. As more and more devices are interconnected, and send and receive data over the network, it becomes important to protect the data from security vulnerabilities. My poster session paper provides confidentiality and integrity of data originated from an IoT device that is sent over the network to the Cloud through the following ideas:

  • Providing direct HTTPS connection between IoT devices and cloud by eliminating the mediator devices
  • Bitcoin block chain ledger principle to achieve decentralization and scalability in IoT network

 

The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is Our Time to Lead. What does this theme mean to you? 

It’s time that mainstream society acknowledges and supports women pursuing technical careers just as it does for men. Research shows that diversity within teams leads to better business outcomes, so it makes sense from an innovation and ethical perspective to empower woman at all levels within an organization. The Grace Hopper Celebration in India, which brings together over 12,000 people every year, is a great platform to raise awareness about the importance of women in the workplace while empowering women in their professional and personal growth through meaningful connections with others across the technology community.

 

 

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Taking the Lead to Grow at Grace Hopper India

At VMware, we empower our people with the resources and tools to own their future. Connect with VMware Member of Technical Staff, Shwetha Lakshman Rao, and learn how she is taking the lead to grow in her career while inspiring others along the way at the Grace Hopper Celebration in India.

  

Shwetha Lakmanan (1)Name: Shwetha Lakshman Rao

Role: Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 6

 

Share what a typical day is like for you at VMware. 

My day starts by coffee with colleagues, followed by checking emails so that I can prioritize my tasks for the day. As a Java API tester, I repro and verify the bugs related to vCenter Server, identify use cases that have not been covered, and write the code for those use cases. I work on scripts as per customer requirements to help solve their issues or automate manual efforts, and I help team members resolve their technical issues. The best part of VMware is there is no boundary to work on research of one’s interest, and I enjoy this opportunity. VMware empowers me to enhance my technical and soft skills by attending conferences within and outside of India. I also work in the “Internet of Things” research group and am involved in many other initiatives such as Borathon (VMware’s employee-led hackathon), giving back with the VMware Foundation, and innovations around improvising the testing strategy and patents at VMware. Each year, VMware employees are given 40 paid hours to give back to the causes closet to their hearts. I spend my Service Learning time going to government schools twice a week to teach English for the students of grade 4.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology?

Information Technology impacts everything. You name a career and one can map IT implementations with it. Because of this, there are endless opportunities to learn and grow in an IT career that personally interests you. A career in IT requires continuous learning. It is about problem solving which requires analytical skills, and I love solving issues by building different algorithms. Information Technology is not just about technical skills; it is about how one can manage time while working on multiple tasks. There is nothing that can describe the amount of satisfaction that I feel once I’ve finished a task that involves developing a code that solves a complex problem.

 

You are participating in the Hands-on Lab session and have a poster on IOT transaction security at Grace Hopper (#GHCI15) India. Can you share more about what you will be discussing during these two sessions?

It is a pleasure to present our poster “IoT Transaction Security” at the Grace Hopper conference. IoT or “Internet of things,” is an emerging technology that is buzzing in the IT industry. The focus of the poster session project is to provide confidentiality and integrity of data originated from an IoT device that is sent over a network to the cloud environment. The paper proposes the below two ideas:

  • Direct HTTPS connection between IoT devices and cloud: targets to remove intermediary devices like mobiles that are currently used for the transfer of data generated by IoT devices using HTTPS.
  • Bitcoin block chain ledger principles to achieve decentralization in IoT network: proposes solution to prioritization of transactions.

The Hands-on Lab is an exciting opportunity to share an overview of some of the latest VMware and AirWatch products by demoing the products in real-time with the audience. Below are a few of the products we’re planning to share with the GHC India community:

  • NSX: Network Virtualization
  • vSAN: Storage virtualization
  • vCloud Air
  • Photon: OS for containers
  • Proj Bonneville and AppCatalyst
  • VVD: VMware validate design
  • Helix: VMware IoT platform
  • AirWatch Moblie Device Management

The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is Our Time to Lead. What does this theme mean to you?

The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration “Our Time to Lead” motivates women to start owning and leading tasks without waiting for someone to come and ask them do it. It is all about having the right attitude of initiating and owning things.

 

 

 

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Empowering the Leader in All to Grow at Grace Hopper Celebration India

What inspires you to lead? At VMware, we’re empowering both women and men to drive positive change for each other, customers, and the wider community. Connect with VMware Sr. Member of Technical Staff, Kavya Reddy Musani, and discover what inspires her to grow in her role as a leader and how she is sharing that knowledge with others at the Grace Hopper Celebration in India.

 

Kavya M (1)Name: Kavya Reddy Musani

Role: Senior Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 4

 

Share what a typical day is like for you at VMware. 

As a Quality Engineer (QE), my day starts with checking if the build of my component has been generated. Then I make a note of the tests to be run and work on verifying and closing bugs. VMware has a huge QE department, and each module of every single component is taken care of by running tests multiple times. There are countless times a component is tested across multiple teams. The automation code is reviewed and renewed continuously to make the best use of it. Although it might seem monotonous to work on the same component day in and day out, I’m proud of what my teammates and I are accomplishing together because I know we’re helping make a significant impact on technology and the wider community.

In parallel, VMware has several innovation initiatives throughout the year that empower me to pursue my passion for technology. From Borathons (employee-led hackathons) to RADIO (VMware’s internal R&D innovation offsite) to patent filing sessions, there is always something going on for me to explore new ideas outside of my main scope of work. These events allow me to stay on top of the latest trends in technology while connecting with new coworkers across the globe.

At VMware we never forget to have fun. It’s a part of our journey to work smart and play hard. Events like the quarterly Beer Bash and activities like badminton, table tennis, and caroms lets me socialize and get together with my friends from other departments to relax and unplug from the work week.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology?

This may sound silly, but I joke with my friends that they may not see the results of their work immediately. An electric engineer can’t see the electrons and photons just like that. However, I can see the output of my code immediately and I can optimize it to any extent. This is what inspired me to get into Information Technology. I can play with the software and try to use it in multiple ways. Whenever my code solves a problem, I feel as if I invented something new. The rate at which tech is advancing says a lot about the way our thinking has changed. Now, everything can be managed with the tap of a finger and I am excited to say that my contribution to tech is a part of that growth.

You are presenting two sessions at Grace Hopper (#GHCI15) India: one on machine learning and the other on new clear energy. Can you share more about what you will be discussing during these two sessions?

The Grace Hopper conference celebrates women in Computing. It’s a privilege to be associated with GHC and to present two sessions this year. There is a huge flood of data everywhere in today’s world and carefully analyzing it will help us arrive at some common patterns of data behavior. We have popular algorithms like k-means, a clustering algorithm that puts data that is similar into buckets, and decodes incoming data with these buckets of data and categorizes it accordingly. In my machine learningsession, I have taken the example of a spam detector and filter. Spammers are continuously fine-tuning their methods to induce spam, which ultimately puts pressure on email inboxes, and thus lowers a computer’s performance by affecting its CPU, memory, and network. A careful observation will reveal that 70% of emails in our inbox are either spam or junk mail. My colleague and I are presenting an enhancement to the k-means clustering algorithm, which further refines the distance calculated between similar words. Thus spam is detected even more efficiently.

My second session is about tapping into the subconscious mind for energy utilization. We know that the percentage of women in senior roles is less than men at this point in time. Somewhere along the career path, we are losing women to such an extent that we are not able to bounce back. The strong-minded continue to spark in their career. However, not all can cope with the changes that come in personal and professional life. Women are natural multi-taskers. However, they suffer internally to achieve perfection with everything and to satisfy everyone. This leads to stress, improper time-management and a toll on their health. My session teaches techniques to attain an Alpha state of mind where we are empowered to think better and utilize our energy to the fullest.

The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is Our Time to Lead. What does this theme mean to you?

It’s definitely time for women to lead and rightfully ask for what we deserve. I personally took this as my motive in 2015. VMware Bangalore is empowering female employees to seek out opportunities to grow. One way that we are doing this is by participating in tech conferences and forums. I led the focus group for GHC India 2015 with the help of my mentors and VMware has had a record number of submissions and selections for GHC India across R&D, GSS (Global Support Services), Sales, HR, Technical Operations, and AirWatch. We had 55 authors, 60 submissions, and 10 selections. Of the Anita Borg Institute committee members, 23 are from VMware. These women are working on tracks covering topics across R&D, soft skills, management, and entrepreneurship. I would like to personally thank everyone at VMware, including my manager, who trusted and stuck with me on this journey. My theme to lead has been successful and the numbers speak volumes of our efforts.

 

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VMware Harnesses the Power of Human Difference at Grace Hopper Celebration India

VMware is proud to be a silver sponsor of the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration India (#GHCI15) on December 2-4 in Bangalore. The conference, which is produced by the Anita Borg Institute and presented in partnership with ACM India, is India’s largest gathering of women technologists.GHCI_Logo

In 2014, VMware created VMwomen, a business-led initiative dedicated to the advancement of women in technology. Events like Grace Hopper Celebration India provide epic opportunities for VMware people and external community members – regardless of age, background, or gender – to make meaningful connections while achieving the things they never thought possible.

Close to 50 VMware people will be participating in Grace Hopper India this year. From paper and poster submissions on topics such as machine learning and clear energy, a dynamic people booth at the student career fair, to a live VMware Hands on Lab demoing the latest VMware and AirWatch products, the VMware community is showing up in full force to make remarkable things happen.

If you’re attending the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration India, dare yourself to pursue moments of growth. This is a special opportunity to create new beginnings for yourself and women in technology. And be sure to stay connected with us in the following weeks as members of our community will be sharing their unique stories and involvement with GHCI15 on the VMware Careers blog.

I look forward to connecting with you all virtually or in person at Grace Hopper Celebration India!

 

 

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VMware EWI People Spotlight: Greg Bieler

Greg_Bieler_Headshot_1Name: Captain Gregory A. Bieler

Role:

U.S. Air Force: Program Manager

VMware:

  • vCloud Air Government Services Program Manager
  • AO Courts Cloud-View Project Coordinator

VMware Office Location: Reston, Virginia

 

Gregory Bieler is an active-duty Air Force officer working at VMware full-time for about a year as part of U.S. Air Force Education With Industry. This program enables Airmen to work in a section of a company commensurate with their Air Force career field to learn industry perspectives and best practices. Similarly, the service members help energize and strengthen company’s workforce and business practices with their unique military experience and backgrounds.

The following is a conversation with Gregory about his time with the Air Force and at VMware. The opinions shared here are his own and not of the U.S. Air Force or Department of Defense, nor of VMware.

 

Share what inspired you to serve in the U.S. Air Force.

I went to high school in Ohio and was an avid water polo player. The sport was not very popular in the Midwest. I looked for the closest summer water polo camp and the Naval Academy looked like a great option. After attending the summer camp multiple times, I thought about attending the academy so that I could play on their team. At the end of the day, I didn’t meet the cut and decided that I would rather attend Miami University as an ROTC student. I visited both detachments and ended up clicking better with the Air Force Cadets than the Navy Midshipmen so I signed up. Originally, I decided that I could do the Air Force for four years, get some great experiences, and have my school paid for. The more I learned and experienced in the Air Force, I began to feel a sense of pride and that my job meant something more than just earning a paycheck. A couple of deployments and C-130s later, I can’t imagine doing anything else.greg-bieler_2

 

How is Education With Industry empowering you to grow personally and professionally?

Education with Industry has been an incredible experience in the last few months alone. My professional work history consists of a chemistry degree, a few years leading aircraft maintenance, and then two aircraft hardware upgrade programs. While I’d like to think I understand software better than the average person, it is still mostly a foreign language to me. The purpose of EWI is to leave the comfort zone of the military and jump into the deep end, so I figured I should find the deepest end possible. I’m just starting to get through the culture shock of working for a Silicon Valley company.

From a personal standpoint it’s been very interesting to try to work with remote teams. VMware gives us the technology and flexibility to work anywhere, anytime. This makes getting a team together and communicating very important. It’s much harder when your team could have two or three jobs across different time zones to coordinate priorities and actions. Also, working with different organizations and personalities than we typically have in the military, I’ve been able to hone new communication and leadership skills. Luckily, VMware has a set of values – EPIC2 – that encourages the new guy coming in to feel like a valuable member of the team from day one.

From a professional standpoint, I have learned a ton about technology and IT program management. VMware looks for ways to challenge the status quo and deliver value to the customer. VMware doesn’t say “we can’t do that”; they say “we haven’t done that yet.” While not having specific Air Force regulations is a double-edged sword, VMware has showed me that if you hire the right people and let them do their jobs, great things will happen.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, said, “Taking risks is the lowest possible risk.” I have made that one of my top professional calls to action. I’ve already been in contact with Defense Innovation Unit, DIUX, and The Air Force’s Chief Technology Officer to try and learn how my fellow EWI student, SSgt Sean Jordan, and myself can leverage VMware to help with the Air Force’s current issues. Finally, I have challenged my own public speaking habits after listening to Carl Eschenbach, Chief Operating Officer and President of VMware. During the Company All Hands call, he addressed employees’ grievances and concerns candidly without them losing faith in him or the company. That blew me away.

 

What advice would you share with others currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who are looking to grow in their careers through Education With Industry?

I am lucky, but you shouldn’t count on that happening to you. My fellow EWI students are some of the best Airmen I’ve ever met. They are hard workers who had all their personal and military education completed. Regardless of your goals, find multiple mentors you can trust. I have multiple individuals who I talked to about not only EWI but also what companies I wanted to prioritize. If you are trying to find a mentor, find someone you trust and just ask. Additionally, make sure to diversify – as a lieutenant, one of my best mentors was someone whom I disagreed with on many issues within our career field. If you already have a good mentor or two and are still searching for more advice, contact me or another EWI alumni on LinkedIn.

At the end of the day, the Air Force is counting on its Airmen to positively represent the Department of Defense regardless of where you’re stationed or what job you’re doing. If you prove to your leadership that you can handle the challenges in the Air Force, your leadership will invest in you with opportunities like EWI.

Birla Institute of Technology and Science Student Makes an Impact on VMware Identity Manager

At VMware, interns and co-ops have the opportunity to work alongside industry thought leaders who transforming the way businesses do work. Connect with R&D Intern and Birla Institute of Technology and Science student, Mayank Juneja, and discover how the community at VMware is empowering him to make a meaningful impact on the transformation of Information Technology.

 

IMG_20151105_143147Name: Mayank Juneja

Role: Intern, R&D

Office Location: Bangalore, India

University: Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani

 

 

A Day in the Life at VMware 

FullSizeRenderMy day begins with a hot cup of coffee and checking emails. I am working with the DevOps team for VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) to develop an Operator Dashboard to display analytics information. The project involves global collaboration, so I have the opportunity to partner with teammates at VMware Headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Brainstorming with my mentor over a particular issue is a daily feature. And when you have a mentor with a sense of humor, it can be a lot of fun. I spend most of my time coding for tasks and incorporating review suggestions, so the project is as challenging as it is interesting, as every day I am learning a new tool or concept. When I need to relax, a game of foosball or table tennis is my escape. The day ends for the India team with a stand-up meeting to discuss project statuses and blockers.

Community Inside at Company  

I love the people here – they are intelligent, treat each other with respect and are always ready to help. I have already learned so much in just over three months and I can’t thank my colleagues and manager enough for it. And not to forget the fun part, I have been to so many team dinners and parties, including Intern Day, a fun outing with games and activities around Bangalore, as well as my first Beer Bash, a tradition that brings employees together at the end of the week to celebrate our accomplishments and community together.IMG-20151030-WA0002

Milestone Memories

When I was able to give a demonstration of my project after it first went into production. The demonstration was part of a Sprint Review, which is a fortnightly event to review the work done by all the teams at vIDM. I was surprised by how well my demo was received by everyone. I felt a sense of accomplishment and it was an amazing feeling.

Embracing Moments of Growth

If you are enthusiastic about technology and want to work in a highly productive environment, VMware is the place to be. You will get a chance to work on real projects and explore technologies beyond the regular university curriculum. If you have an opportunity at VMware, take it with both hands and get ready for an invaluable learning experience.

 

 

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