VMware Solutions Engineer Boyoung Kim takes us into the world of Tanzu Solutions. In this interview with JOBKOREA, Korea’s #1 job portal, she talks about her important role and how she helps her team deliver business solutions to clients worldwide. She also shares her thoughts about being a women game changer in a male-dominated industry.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Hello. I am Boyoung Kim, Tanzu Solutions Engineer at VMware. It’s been 3 years since I joined VMware through the VMware Sales Academy program.
What’s your role in the Tanzu Solution Engineer team?
Currently, there are five people on the Tanzu Solution Engineering team in Korea, including myself. As the youngest member of the team, I am responsible for delivering technical presentations and demo sessions on solutions that customers would want to adopt and providing them with technical information about VMware’s solutions.
This process is not just simply conveying information, but also requires understanding the overall business characteristics of the customer, followed by designing and proposing an architecture that works for them. Therefore, through meetings with various job managers such as operators, developers, and C-levels of the customer, we understand the pain points that customers are currently experiencing and how they can be improved through VMware’s technology and products. Solution engineers are sometimes referred to as presales engineers. This is because all the above-mentioned processes take place before the actual product sale. This is a job that requires
deepa deep understanding of the business as well as technical competence.
Please tell us about one of the most memorable projects you have been involved in.
I recently participated as a speaker at Tanzu Roadshow in Seoul, an online and offline hybrid event attended by about 600 customers. It was my first time after joining the company having the experience of communicating directly with so many people and presenting in front of them at a large stage. It was indeed very special and rewarding. After the event, my colleagues asked me if I was nervous, but I wasn’t as I thought! Maybe I am a stage person.
What do you do to better understand the business?
A very important part of this job is to accurately understand your business, which is also very difficult. I get a lot of help from the sales department. Sales have more opportunities to meet customers in person than solution engineers, and in the process, they can get more diverse and detailed information. Through close collaboration with the sales department, we seek to fully understand the business environment of our customers and are more prepared to meet them.
What do you need to consider when building a solution for your customer?
An understanding of the customer’s current environment must come first. The phrase ‘the customer’s current environment’ includes several things. For example, if you are a customer who wants to adopt a Kubernetes-based solution, you may want to provide information on system configuration (current workload configuration status, whether Kubernetes is used, etc.), the purpose of building the application, and the physical organization configuration (what language and framework the application is running on), and the operation and management environment (the composition of the development and operation organization and the situation of personnel in charge of Kubernetes), etc.
What competencies do you need for this job?
I would like to break it down into technical skills and soft skills. Technical skills are literally technical competencies that you should have as a solution engineer. One needs to understand the infrastructure and then build up knowledge based in required areas based on the demands of the role. Understanding Kubernetes and development frameworks is important in my work, and I do a lot of hands-on practice with VMware’s solutions and Kubernetes environment to improve my technical skills. If you practice, you will be able to accumulate knowledge and experiences that cannot be obtained by studying in writing. In-house, I study with like-minded people and obtain certifications. These days, I am interested in public cloud environments, and I plan to participate in a cloud study program supported by Google Cloud.
Soft skills are non-technical competencies that are necessary for communication, such as presentation or conversation skills. I often speak at internal and external seminars, and if possible, watch the recordings again to review my presentation habits and find areas for improvement.
When do you feel satisfied with this job?
Seeing my customers adopting the solutions I presented and using them well reaffirms the work that I do. Last April, we received ‘Elevate Our Best’ award in recognition of the team lead. The award also motivated me to be more immersed in my work.
What are your thoughts on being a female solution engineer? Also, how do you find VMware a good place to work as a woman in tech?
The biggest attraction of being a solution engineer as a woman is that I can learn technology and business together, which is advantageous for career expansion. In fact, there are many cases where they change their careers as a consultant, a support engineer, or a salesperson after working in SE. I would recommend the solution engineer job to any women who majored in computer engineering or electronic engineering who prefer to meet and communicate with various people.
Also, VMware is a wonderful place to work as a woman in tech for various reasons. First, there are many people around here whom I can learn from, those with outstanding abilities and high passion. Also, in VMware, what you do is not limited because of your age or gender. You can spread your wings wide open without being prejudged or restricted besides your ability. Finally, I can grow into a global talent with a broad perspective. I am literally learning everyday from my colleagues all around the world and it feels fantastic.
This article is first published in JOBKOREA, Korea’s largest job search platform.