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. We hope you enjoy getting to know Joy Ghosh, and we welcome any questions you may for him. Please leave a comment on this post or send us your questions via Twitter or LinkedIn
Director of Research and Development and VMware Cloud Foundation Engineering
Home Office, California
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Joy Ghosh: I started my professional career as a Software Developer in the field of Electronic Design Automation at Cadence Design Systems more than twenty years ago, where I learned a lot about the event-driven simulation of integrated circuit designs. Since it was my first official job, I learned not only how to develop code following industry standards but also to have a “developer owns quality” mindset, where we were fully responsible for building a quality product by performing “test-driven.” development.”
After a couple of years, I flew to Buffalo, New York, in 2001 to pursue my MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science, specializing in routing protocols within different wireless networks (Mobile ad hoc, Bluetooth, etc.). During that same period, I got exposed to some exciting work within the Nokia Research Center (doing performance analysis of 3G vs. 4G) and then Fujitsu Labs of America (Optical Network Interoperability).
After graduation, I decided to get back to the industry and joined the backend server group for Yahoo Messenger, as a software developer at Yahoo in 2006. Having used Yahoo Messenger heavily while growing up with friends and family, this was a surreal experience to be writing features in that very same product. This was where I had my first real experience building a SaaS (Software As A Sevice) product, where we pushed code weekly to our cloud, following a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process. In addition, we were fully responsible for keeping them running (in a follow the sun model). Yes, I had to carry a real physical pager (not a soft one on the phone) and be on pager duty rotations, where it would go off non-stop between 7 am-7 pm like clockwork!
I joined VMware in 2011 and have had a very enriching nine years since then in multiple groups and roles. I started as a Senior Software Developer in the core vSphere organization, writing code for the platform that supports all our Guest OS features (Guest Ops APIs, VMware Tools, Host-Guest FS, Guest Authentication, etc.). After a couple of years, I transitioned into a management role and continued to lead the same team for a while. Then in 2014, I moved up the stack to build complete SDDC based solutions as part of the newly formed Integrated Systems group, which eventually evolved into VMware Cloud Foundation, which is one of the main GTM strategies for VMware at present.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you’ve worked for in the past?
Joy Ghosh: When I joined VMware, the first thing that struck me was the open and modest culture amongst a few of the sharpest minds I had come across until then in the valley. Having a technically complex landscape with hundreds of TLAs (i.e., Three Letter Acronyms, and I just made my point!), onboarding in VMware takes some time and effort. So when you find folks in engineering who are super helpful in guiding you to learn and quickly get comfortable and productive, you experience a great feeling of collaboration and teamwork.
Apart from that, the other thing that set it apart for me in VMware was our strong technical leadership, starting from the top. Paul Maritz was the CEO when I joined, and he was deeply technical. Then Pat Gelsinger came along and led us to new heights, and he too comes from a reliable, professional background. That makes me feel proud to be a part of the engineering leadership team overall.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Joy Ghosh: There is no short cut to hard work, and you have to be patient and persistent while continuing to learn and grow, and more importantly, growth does not necessarily mean getting promoted to the next level. At every level or role, there is a lot to learn and grow into, to take full advantage of all it has to offer. Opportunities will keep coming, so you first need to make sure that you are fully prepared to grab them so that you continue to be successful in the new role or level.
Last but not least, stop comparing against mental timelines of where you thought you should have been by when, or against other friends/colleagues both inside and outside the company, as you may never really understand what they had to go through. Focus on your career, and you may feel happier.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Joy Ghosh: VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) is the backbone of running the full VMware SDDC stack as one seamless solution on-premise (private cloud). Our focus is to let our VMware customers forget the multitude of VMware products and their features and let them quickly consume end to end capabilities or solutions, that help them in their professional journey. The way we do this is by offering a software solution that can help build an entire SDDC stack on the customer’s hardware (deploying other VMware software on them, and configuring them to talk to each other following VMware validated designs), as well as providing critical value in performing lifecycle management across the entire SDDC stack. Additional cost added administrative features like password rotation, certificate management, backup, and recovery, etc. across all the products in the SDDC stack. Within VCF, my teams are currently chartered with end to end Platform Security, core UX/UI standard services, and building an extensible VCF platform to enable usability features, and faster solution/product integrations for both 2nd and 3rd party offerings.
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?
Joy Ghosh: First and foremost, bring your whole self to the interview. Demonstrate a passion for technology in general, show genuine curiosity to learn and grow, and give it your honest best. Listen well, ask clarifying questions, understand the problem fully from different angles, and then speak your mind as you work through solutions. Your approach to solving issues shall show us your ability for critical thinking, so the end solution is less important, think things through as you analyze your solutions for correctness and applicability.
Second, in terms of explaining what work you have done in the past (if you have prior work experience), or when asking about what we do, start with the “why.” Being able to start with real customer use cases and discussing the purpose behind building whatever it is that is getting built shows us your ability to balance the desire for engineering excellence with business relevance.
Last, have some fun! You get to meet some new people in the industry and expand your professional network. It also helps to ease the nerves, allowing your best side to come forth and shine, no matter what the outcome of the interview ends up being.
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Joy? Apply today to the open roles on his team!
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