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 Ivelin Nikolaev, 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.


Ivelin Nikolaev

Sr. Manager, Worldwide Consultancy Center of Engineering (WW CoE)

Sofia, Bulgaria


VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date? 

Ivelin Nikolaev: My career journey started nineteen years ago. I have had various roles as a Developer, Architect, Team Leader, Manager, and Head of Development in multiple organizations. I’ve also had the chance to build and lead numerous development teams operating in .NET, Java, C/C++, Python, VB, Cobol, Fortran, PL/I, RPG, and Delphi. My colleague network includes Quality Assurance Engineers, Database Developers, and Administrators, Public Cloud DevOps, Data, and Delivery Analysts who are firstly great professionals.

For the last ten years, I have always been seeking opportunities to build professional services organizations from scratch, nearshoring business, or scaling up existing organizations – VMware Bulgaria provided me all this freedom of professional expression. I am thankful to my teams to have had the chance to implement hundreds of successful initiatives for Fortune 500 companies that are changing their customers’ lives. To list a few, I’ve been lucky to work for numerous industries, such as Core Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Forex, Public Sector, Aircraft/Ground Control, Railroad, Electronic, Fleet Management, and many others.

On a personal side, I am also a strong supporter of Neurodiversity – a framework supporting people with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome both at work and as a volunteer in NGO.

VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?

Ivelin Nikolaev: Many companies nowadays are IT-centric at their execution core. At VMware, I feel at home since our projects touch the deepest tech needs of our customers – from bare metal to highly virtualized multi-layer architectures spanning outside on-premise infrastructure. The building blocks of VMware services allow almost limitless combinations of designs and implementation approaches.

Another great asset of VMware is the colleagues we work with. We have individuals who are not only exceptional technically, but also creative and great communicators. The spirit of inventors exists within every team at VMware. We approach each day with the mindset – let’s build what has never been done before!” It is highly rewarding to know that our integration and automation solutions become integral to our customers’ core business. Together we are building a better tomorrow for many people globally.

VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?

Ivelin Nikolaev: I’ve had the luck to report and be mentored by some of the greatest leaders in the industry, but the one thing that had led me almost two decades was the motto – “If you want it – own it.” Far too many people fall into the trap of having great ideas but fail to learn the necessary skills, share, outreach, negotiate or sell their ideas. A good idea becomes an excellent product or service only if you step up, take full responsibility, and fight for what you believe is the best way forward. Taking well-measured risks and being persistent in what you chase is the way to advance your idea – be it process improvements or a new line of business.

VMware Careers: Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?

Ivelin Nikolaev: Our Worldwide Center of Engineering is a continually growing and evolving organization. We have high exposure to a global market of IT departments within enterprise organizations. We work on close to a hundred new projects each year globally. Each one of them is unique – from minimal integrations with third-party software to large scale deployments on-premise and public clouds. We aim to connect the great products of VMware into the actual business demands through integration and automation with existing IT services and infrastructure.

Most of the roles are developer, quality engineering, and technical writer profiles. But more importantly, we seek people with the consultant spirit. Within our professional services organization, we frequently face the customer, discuss business needs, clarify requirements, architect solutions, or troubleshoot complex problems – so to summarize, we combine tech and consulting background. Everyone within the PS CoE team feels comfortable being on the forefront and come up with creative ways of using product features, implementing missing functionality, building new toolchains. Our teams are not fixed about a particular technology – we code in a vast number of languages and seek people who think about the best solution for the customer despite our preferences. Thus we enforce the culture of constant learning and open-mindedness.

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?

Ivelin Nikolaev: Although your previous experience is essential, we are more curious to understand how you plan to develop with us. Within our teams, we continuously search for authentic, proactive, and trustworthy individuals. My advice for an interview would be:

  • Be genuine – show what you are passionate about, share your thoughts freely.
  • In case of a concern, don’t assume – instead, ask. We highly value straight-forward communication.
  • Be confident about your motivation applying to VMware. Share with us what you believe, learn, develop – otherwise shine your talent.

Could you see yourself working on a team with a leader like Ivelin? Check out the open roles in VMware Bulgaria.

Learn more about the VMware WW CoE team!