Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You will learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview experience. If learning and interview tips from our people interest you, we invite you to read on.
This week meet Senior Director of Engineering, VMware Cloud on AWS, Suresh Bashyam. Suresh has been with VMware since November 2018 and is currently managing a global team of 100+ Engineers across Product Development, Infrastructure, Continous Integration/Continous Deployment, and Site Reliability Engineering. Suresh is hiring as his team scales, we invite you to read on get to know him more.
Palo Alto, California
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Suresh Bashyam: Like many Tech Engineers and Entrepreneurs, I moved to California from India in 1995 with big dreams and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. After completing my Master’s degree in CalPoly SLO (Go Mustangs!), I joined Nortel’s Mobile division, mostly working on Telco infrastructure. The dot-com boom fuelled many startups in Silicon Valley and my dream to make millions of dollars made me leave Nortel and join a small startup called Unwired Planet, that was developing a browser for mobile devices. I worked on developing a TCP like Stack for mobile devices (WAP 1.0). We were very successful and launched our browser product on many mobile devices. Later in 2004, I joined another start-up called Bytemobile (acquired by Citrix) as an architect, working on their mobile offerings. There I helped bootstrap two new products and also worked on building an engineering organization in Patras, Greece. Later, I joined Lab126, a subsidiary of Amazon, in a management role. I was responsible for developer productivity tools for the kindle teams. My teams were one of the early adopters of Amazon Web Services (AWS) inside Amazon. We built the entire continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) solutions for devices on AWS. We worked on all of the components starting from developer checking in code to pushing the binaries to factories in China that were manufacturing the devices. We built a highly scalable over-the-air (OTA) update infrastructure for the Kindle devices. My passion for improving developer productivity drove me to Salesforce, where I took on a new role as Sr. Director, Productivity Cloud. I learned a lot about testing at scale. Our CI solution had 40 million test executions a day and almost 10 million Selenium-based User Interface (UI) tests that ran on a farm of browsers. I was also greatly involved in the transition of Salesforce stack from 3-tier architecture to microservices-based architecture. After four years in that role, I moved to VMware to work on VMC on AWS. I was attracted by the product vision that enables enterprise to perform seamless workload migration from on-prem data centers to AWS without any application changes. I am currently in charge of the control plane, infrastructure, basic service fabric and Day0 operations. I have been in this role for 18 months and I am learning something new every day, and enjoying my work.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?
Suresh Bashyam: VMware has similar issues like many other tech companies I worked at earlier. We have challenges increasing diversity in our workplace, and work-life balance due to the fast pace of delivery expected from technology companies. The biggest difference I see is the way VMware has taken these challenges head-on and have implemented meaningful programs to solve them. For example, our CEO, Pat Gelsinger has announced public goals to move our workforce closer to fully representing the diverse, global customers we serve.
Our most recent data analysis shows that women at VMware earn 99% of their male counterparts’ salaries globally. Racial and ethnic minority employees earn 100% of the salaries of their white counterparts in the U.S.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Suresh Bashyam: Firstly, I would say integrity, having a set of moral values and always upholding them in every decision I make is the sign of a good leader. It has helped shape my decisions and also assisted me in making tough choices when I had to.
Secondly, I would say have a solution-focused mid-set, which is, in my opinion, one of the key traits of a great leader. I do not think of anything a problem instead, I think of them as opportunities to improve something and impact the team and product. This has earned me a lot of respect with my peers and leaders in VMware.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Suresh Bashyam: My team works on VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS is an integrated cloud offering jointly developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware. It allows users to run a highly scalable and secure service by migrating and extending their on-premises VMware vSphere-based environments to the AWS Cloud running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). My team’s charter includes building and delivering Infrastructure such as Kubernetes (K8s), customer onboarding and Day0 operations, and Metering and Billing. We mostly work on Java-based services that are run as containers on K8s.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow for a role in your org, what interview tips would you give them?
Suresh Bashyam: Unlike many tech companies, we don’t believe in engineers spending months solving Leetcode problems to get through interviews. We expect candidates to be strong in computer science fundamentals. Candidates should be able to explain the current projects they are working on and clearly articulate what design choices were made and why. We also expect candidates to spend some time learning about our products before the interview and start a meaningful dialogue with interviewers to better understand our solutions.
Could you see yourself working for a leader like Suresh? Check out this open role on his team below and apply today!
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