Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You’ll learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview process. This week, we’d like you to meet and get to know Hannah Foxwell.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Hannah Foxwell: Although I started my career focused on e-commerce, I was immediately interested in agile development methodologies and automation tooling. Within the tech community in London, I became involved in the DevOps (Development and Operations) movement, and in 2014 I founded a specialist consultancy to focus on platform automation within the Microsoft ecosystem – specifically Windows and Azure platforms. I guess I’ve never been afraid to tackle challenging problems!
One of the reasons I’m so passionate about DevOps, continuous delivery, and agile is the human benefits these practices bring when implemented well. Teams who adopt these practices don’t just deliver higher quality software, and they also work more sustainably. I joined Pivotal in 2018 because the mission to “Transform How the World Builds Software” was a mission I already cared about. Following the VMware acquisition of Pivotal at the start of 2020, I’m excited to be continuing the work I love as part of Tanzu Labs – helping teams break free of legacy processes and embracing Cloud Native technologies to deliver more for their users.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?
Hannah Foxwell: Since joining VMware, I’ve been impressed with the focus on Diversity and Inclusion, with high-quality training provided to everyone, not just managers. It’s a consistent topic with leadership, and you can see from the data that real progress has been made. These efforts benefit underrepresented minority groups, and they help create a more inclusive and happier environment for everyone!
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Hannah Foxwell: The most important thing I’ve learned when leading technical teams is that technical leadership and people management are different challenges. In my team, we are spoiled with opportunities to develop technical leadership and subject matter experts – whether we are guiding our customer’s strategy, leading delivery teams to build new platforms or mentoring teammates on new technology. The engineers on the Platform Services can develop as technical leaders without having to leap into management.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring! Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Hannah Foxwell: VMware Tanzu is a new business unit within VMware focused on Cloud Native products and services that help our customers modernize their applications and infrastructure, with Kubernetes as the foundation. The Platform Services team within VMware Tanzu Labs exists to help customers leverage these technologies, adopt modern engineering practices, and ultimately enable business outcomes through software.
Platform Services is the most fun team I’ve ever been a part of. It’s a perfect home for Platform Engineers who enjoy variety, are curious about new technology, and keen to learn more about Kubernetes and the Cloud Native ecosystem. The pace of change and evolution in this area of technology make it an exciting space to work. We’re also hiring for leadership and management roles to support the Tanzu business’s growth and allow us to help even more customers transform their platforms.
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?
Hannah Foxwell: One of the key things I look for in new hires is learning and sharing knowledge. The knowledge and experience they bring to the team are essential, but it’s a short-term benefit. I would encourage candidates to focus on demonstrating their ability to learn, especially anecdotes where they then shared that knowledge with others. As part of this, we put a big emphasis on empathy as one of our core values – the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, see things from another perspective and adapt your response is a critical skill when working with customers.
Can you see yourself working for a manager like Hannah? Click below to check out the open position on her team.
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