What if you could get to know the hiring managers at VMware before you come onsite for an interview? Well now you can with our Meet the Hiring Manager series. From their own career journeys to the characteristics that they look for in candidates, we want you to hear from the people who help bring teams together at VMware – hiring managers.
This week we virtually met up with Kyle Austin who is based at our headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Kyle joined VMware’s End User Computing (EUC) business unit in 2010. When asked what he loves about leading R&D teams for EUC at VMware Kyle said, “The software we build touches millions of workers all over the world on a daily basis and makes people’s lives better by empowering them to do business anywhere on any device—what’s not to love about that?”
Read on to get to know Kyle.
Palo Alto, California
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Kyle Austin: I’ve spent most of my career in startups building never-before-seen, market-changing products. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of creating something new that has the potential to make the world a better place. When VMware acquired my last startup in 2010, I had every expectation that I would spend 12 months helping with the transition, and then go back into the startup world. I just crossed my eight-year anniversary at VMware and I stay because there are always big new challenges and opportunities for me at this company.
VMware Careers: Why did you get into the tech industry?
Kyle Austin: I’ve been obsessed with computer programming since I was five. My parents had an Apple II computer, which gave me a big incentive to learn to read, so I could then learn how to program. Green Eggs and Ham quickly led to BASIC programming books. That obsession to create software has never left me. I am now lucky enough to be leading a team of amazing software engineers who I get to help in their projects every day. While I don’t code at work on a regular basis anymore, I have lots of personal weekend projects that keep my skills sharp and relevant.
VMware Careers: How does VMware’s EUC business and product suite compare to other tech companies?
Kyle Austin: When I joined VMware in 2010, it felt like I had joined a large, well-funded engineering driven startup. We were given the autonomy to pursue almost any idea to see if it could be the next big business. As VMware has grown, it remains a place where new ideas are welcomed and thinking outside the box is rewarded. We never stop asking why and we are always looking for better ways to do things. Code remains king at VMware and the software engineering career ladder is second to none.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring, tell us more. Tell us about the type of people that you are looking to recruit.
Kyle Austin: For the most part I focus on potential and raw talent rather than deep domain experience. The software industry changes quickly. I want people on my team that can learn fast, adapt, and haven’t gotten stuck with a specific technology, skillset, process, or approach. I want people who will challenge me (and themselves), and people who will help make everyone around them better.
VMware Careers: If you could share one piece of advice what would it be?
Kyle Austin: Never underestimate the importance of communication and being able to work well with others. You can be a rock star coder and do amazing things in isolation, but the leverage and velocity you can get from a team being around you is huge. You should learn to be able to clearly articulate your ideas, tell stories (with data), and inspire those around you as you grow. If you learn these soft skills, it will greatly accelerate your career. It’s also important to surround yourself with people better than you—as Confucius said, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
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