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 Parag Talekar.
- Job title: Senior Engineering Manager
- Years at VMware: Six months
- First job: My first paying job was in high school when I started setting up local area networks (LAN) for a small typesetting and publishing company. This was back when coaxial cables were primarily used for this purpose. I didn’t know much about computer networks, but bought a few books and jumped into it. I remember struggling to make it work because I didn’t terminate the cable with a BNC terminator. I eventually figured it out and couldn’t believe that someone would pay me to play around with this stuff.
- Fun fact: I love to travel and learn about different cultures, cuisines, and ways of life. I once spent a few weeks in Mongolia, living with nomadic people out on the grasslands. It was a truly unforgettable experience. I hope I get to visit a lot more places soon.
- Favorite social distancing activity: Even though I love traveling and meeting new people, I’m not a very social person when I’m at home. I like to spend time in my woodworking workshop whenever I have free time. I’m currently going thru a phase of only using hand tools to build furniture. It’s quite challenging, slow, and physically demanding, but I feel like it’s meditation in a way. I do enjoy the zoom happy hours with the team where we just hang out and not talk about work.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Parag: I’ve been a Software Engineer, Architect, VP of Engineering, and CTO. Before joining VMware, I was a Senior Manager at Cisco where I led one of the engineering teams that built the Webex Calling product. I also held a senior architect role for a while. Prior to Cisco, I spent almost a decade at BroadSoft in progressively larger roles, culminating in a Senior Director of Engineering role. Broadsoft pioneered VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, and I helped them build their vertical market applications and cloud solution. I still love writing code but find fulfillment in building high-performance teams.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for in the past?
Parag: As a relatively new member, one thing that is immediately noticeable is that VMware is a genuinely people-focused company. Our focus on EPIC2 values helps us quickly execute innovative ideas with passion and integrity, which bring great value to our customers and community. Recently we have realigned our overall strategy and I believe VMware is well placed to win the Multi-cloud Enterprise space with our multi-cloud and SaaS acceleration plans.
VMware Careers: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Parag: As a relatively new member of a growing team, I look forward to learning something new from my team every day. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to help teams and individuals grow, succeed, and achieve.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Parag: There have been many lessons I’ve learned over the years, quite a few of them the hard way by making mistakes, and I’d like to think I’ve managed to find a lesson in them. If I must pick one, it would be that technology by itself won’t solve all business problems, it’s the people that innovate, build, apply, and refine the technology that we should focus on as managers and leaders. So, care about the people you work for as a manager, cultivate empathy in yourself and the team, and help them find flow at work.
VMware Careers: What makes the team you lead so effective?
Parag: I have two teams – the Cloud Services, and the DevOps team. The DevOps team is at the core of what we do. Without this team, we wouldn’t be able to deliver a working product to our customers. This team builds, maintains, and enhances the software pipeline that ultimately delivers a high-quality product. The Cloud Services team is another foundational team that builds the management and control plane for our Blockchain product. Without this team, our customers wouldn’t be able to deploy, manage and operationalize their Blockchain deployments. Another thing this team is focused on is aligning our product to the larger multi-cloud strategy. Everyone on these teams, in fact, the larger Blockchain team, is always looking for ways to improve how we do things. We all embrace EPIC2 values and are constantly looking to be growth-mindset oriented, and this makes us an effective team. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we are also a fun-loving team and are always looking for fun, creative ways to help us bond as a team.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow what interview tips would you give them?
Parag: A good interview should be more of a conversation and less a question-and-answer session. So please come ready to talk about what you have done, but also what you would like to do. And finally, be yourself!
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Parag? Check out the list below of open opportunities on his team!
Engineering Manager – India
DevOps Engineer – Opportunity for Working Remotely – United States
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