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An Inside Look at VMware Bulgaria

With over 120+ locations throughout the world, VMware is truly a global community made of passionate employees who thrive on collaborating together to bring industry-changing IT innovations to life. Each site also carries its own uniqueness, which is why we are highlighting office stories through our VMware Office Spotlight series. Get a flavor for what the VMware Bulgaria office in Sofia, Bulgaria is like today!

 

Who We Are

The VMware Bulgaria office is located in Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria. Sofia is the largest city in the country, situated in western Bulgaria at the foot of the beautiful Vitosha Mountain. The city abounds in rich history and is an important cultural and historic center not only for Bulgaria but also for the whole Balkan region. Today, in the backdrop of its rich history, Sofia is a modern, youthful city that is home to several major universities, cultural institutions, and thriving businesses.VMwareBulgariaOffice

Established in 2007, VMware opened its doors in Sofia due in large part to the talent of the local engineering community in Bulgaria. Today, VMware Bulgaria is home to over 500 employees. As the largest Research & Development site for VMware in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), VMware Bulgaria boasts some of the best software developers, quality engineers, technical writers and product managers in the world, who are at the forefront of developing key VMware products focused on cloud management and automation.

Building on the success of its first site in Bulgaria, VMware opened a Professional Services Center for Excellence in Sofia in 2015. Closely tied to VMware Bulgaria’s R&D Center, the Professional Services Center for Excellence supports VMware’s customer and partner needs across EMEA. Over the years, VMware Bulgaria has transitioned from an R&D facility to a multifunctional hub with product, professional services and business operations teams.

Employees in the Sofia offices come from diverse ethnic backgrounds (Bulgarian, American, Spanish, Greek, Polish, Syrian, Russian, and Israeli to name a few). Collaborating through audio and videoconference meetings or visits to sites around the world, our people are empowered to work on global projects that foster cultural and professional growth.VMware Tech Awards 2015-031

 

Our Culture in Action

The culture in Sofia is all about passion for what we do, innovation in everything we do, and seamless execution together. Our passion to continuously innovate comes from the realization that we are working on products that are helping our customers solve their toughest business challenges. Through technology preview events onsite, VMware customers have the opportunity to meet our developers, test new product updates, and share real-time feedback on products, which allows us to create best in class products.

VMware Bulgaria’s progress as a site would not have been possible without an open and collaborative environment. Through internal technology events, including product demos, poster sessions, and borathons (employee-led hackathons), our people are able to get hands on with products allowing for continuous learning and innovation.

Teamwork goes hand-in-hand with team play. Apart from having sports groups in futbol, biking, and yoga, VMware Bulgaria is proud to have taken home first place during VMware’s Amazing Race 2015 challenge, a global employee health and wellness contest that encourages our people to live balanced lives.DSC_2154-48

Giving back to the communities that we live and work in is important for our people. Through the support of the VMware Foundation, employees join forces to organize skills-based Service Learning events that make an impact on the Sofia community. From technical conferences and contests aimed at local expert groups in Software Development, Quality Engineering and Technical publications, to career counseling and virtualization courses at the local universities and high schools, taking time out of the workday to serve the causes closest to our hearts is making change happen in Bulgaria.

Defining the Future

As we look to into 2016 and beyond, we’re thrilled for what’s in store for our community. We will soon be introducing the VMware IT Academy at the leading universities in Bulgaria. Through the Academy, students will receive instruction on the latest virtualization innovations from VMware engineers. Its rewarding to see firsthand the imprint our people are making on our future technology leaders and the Software-Defined era.

 

 

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VMware Interns Networking All Over the World

Andrei1Andrei Mario Dinu recently finished his second year at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, where he is pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He is a Member of Technical Staff Intern working in VMware’s Sofia, Bulgaria office. For more on Andrei’s experience, follow him via twitter handle @dinuand.

The first time I heard of VMware was during my freshman year at the University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB), in a course called “Operating System Usage.” UPB is one of the top universities, and best in Computer Science and Engineering in my home country of Romania. I remember working on a homework assignment using VMware Workstation and playing with virtual machines. For the first time, I was familiarizing myself with virtualization. I realized that programming and I would be very good friends. In addition to my internal passion, my teachers, family, and friends inspired me to continuously follow my dreams and passion for technology.

It was this support system that sparked the interest in VMware that eventually progressed into my current internship. UPB has a program that exists exclusively to match up students with summer internships. Many of my fellow classmates are happy to share their experiences and refer others to companies they have interned with. In my case, I took advantage of both opportunities. Impressed by a former Romanian VMware intern who told me about his progress and experience, I also wanted to do something meaningful during the summer. So, joining VMware as an intern for 13 weeks was the perfect deal!

I’m so glad to be part of an awesome VMware community in Sofia! I trust my coworkers because when I’m facing an obstacle, they always give help and advice. More than anything else, I enjoyAndrei3 the highest level of transparency in everything my colleagues or I do. They want me to be successful, so the whole team can be successful. It’s also very fun working here. We have beer bashes every Thursday — everybody gets together, cools off with a beer, and shares stories of the week that’s passed. Sometimes, coworkers challenge each other to solve problems as fast as possible (We are geeks, so we enjoy this).

Internships are one of the coolest things you can do in your life, especially as a young professional entering the tech field. The interns are respected at VMware in whichever location they may be working from. The experience might differ between locale, but not that much. At VMware sites all over the world, the interns are simply dabbling with magic in a highly productive environment!

–Andrei Mario Dinu

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Meet VMware Member of Technical Staff, Sabo Rusev

VMware people are passionate about making a difference, creating game-changing products, and committed to empowering our customers with innovative solutions to simplify IT complexity. It’s because of these people that VMware is the leader in cloud infrastructure, business mobility, and virtualization software. Connect with Member of Technical Staff, Sabo Rusev, and discover how his love for innovation and the community at VMware Bulgaria drive him to refer his friends to join VMware’s inventive culture.

 

DSCF2861Name: Sabo Rusev

Role: Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Years at VMware: 2

Favorite VMware Milestone: The release of vCloud Suite 6.0 – “I am proud to be a part of such a huge success.”

 

Share what inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology.
This is quite a complex question – I have many things that inspire me, so I’ll try to list some of them. It is kind of a family business for me as my father is also involved in IT. When I was about 12 years old, he showed me how to write my first line of code spelling out “Hello World” using Pascal. I felt like a real hacker when I saw the black console for the first time. My love for computers has grown stronger ever since then.

I think that programming can be really addictive – let’s take the “Hello World” for example. To illustrate this, I will list my thoughts when I first wrote my first program (and yes – I do remember them, even though it was quite a few years ago):10338235_10204047773214016_4539677485654923393_n

  • I made the computer print “Hello World.” Hooray!
  • Why do I need this?
  • Can I do something else with this?
  • I know – I’ll try to make it print my name.
  • Hmmm… How do I tell the computer my name?
  • Ok now I am seeing my name! Hooray!
  • How can I print it 100 times in a row?
  • Hooray! I did it. Why do I need that? Let’s do something more useful… how do I make it colorful now?
  • Ok – can I make the Snake game now?

This can go on and on forever – whatever your imagination can come up with. When I was answering this question I realized that my twelve-year-old self had been asking “What’s next?” over and over again – a question often asked here within the community at VMware.

Also another reason for me to pursue a career in IT is that I was quite good at math in school, so that’s why I chose Computer Science as my major.

So in general, I am involved in IT because it is both fun and challenging, and computers are the closest thing to magic that we have at the moment (and people love magic).

What’s a typical day for you and your team at VMware?

20140627_141546Coffee with my colleagues, stand-up meeting to discuss project statuses, reading and writing emails, fixing and creating bugs, as well as writing features. There is a lot of communication going on within the team because most of the problems are quite complex (that’s what makes them interesting). When the workday is over, sometimes I play table tennis, go to the gym, or grab a beer with my colleagues.

What inspires you to innovate in your career?

VMware’s internal employee-led events like Borathon (hackathons), RADIO (R&D Innovation Offiste), XLR8 (innovation program to accelerate the development of solutions to hard computer science problems). The whole idea of innovation for me is coming up with the next “vMotion-like” feature, which will change the IT world. This is what I remind myself of when I am asking myself “What am I doing?” at 5 A.M. when I am participating in a hackathon. It fuels my drive.

What drives you to refer friends to VMware? 

I believe that VMware is the best place to work and grow. The work is interesting and I want my friends to be a part of this journey with me. I’m proud that some of the people that I’ve referred through the Employee Referral Program are colleagues with me at VMware now.

 

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VMware Talent Boost Ignites Learning for New Bulgarian University Student

At VMware, we know first-hand how learning empowers our people’s innovation, both professionally and personally, as they work together to define what’s next for information technology. Talent Boost is an employee-led initiative at VMware Bulgaria that provides future innovators – aka, students – with the resources and tools to grow their IT skills. Join us as we connect with Member of Technical Staff and 2014 Talent Boost participant, Valeri Colov, as he shares a look at his innovation journey. 

 

Valeri_Colov_HeadshotName: Valeri Colov

Role: Member of Technical Staff

Office Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

University: New Bulgarian University

 

 

What inspired you to study computer science in university?

Studying computer science gives me a comprehensive understanding of the surrounding world and this understanding inspires me to seek out opportunities to learn each day. As a computer science student, I am able to make useful programs that make my life and the lives of my relatives better. As a new employee at a leading technology company, I have the opportunity to make my own mark on products and applications that are changing the world.CareerEvent (1)

How did you discover VMware Sofia’s Talent Boost class? What were your takeaways from participating in the academy?

My friend, Stanislav Ivanov, recommended it to me. He shared his own unique experience from participating in Talent Boost the previous year and convinced me that it was worth pursuing. I attended an open house event at VMware Bulgaria called “Lord of the Code” that consisted of technical presentations, a company overview, and networking and fast track interviews. Although I did not make it through this particular interview, I did not give up hope. Several weeks later, a VMware University Relations recruiter, Tinka Ivanova, reached out to me. She asked if I was still interested in VMware and offered an opportunity to participate in VMware’s Talent Boost class. I grabbed the opportunity and that’s how my career started at VMware. My main takeaway from this experience is that as a student, it is important to learn fundamental concepts and focus on how things work in principle instead of concrete technologies and tools.

What’s your favorite memory of your experience with Talent Boost?

During Talent Boost, participants have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and culture at VMware Bulgaria. One of my favorite memories was when the other Talent Boost participants and I enjoyed some relaxation time playing games with auto simulators. There was a projector, a steering wheel, and three pedals that connected a gearshift to a PlayStation. The game was called Gran Turismo. One of the Talent Boost lecturers organized a competition for us with the game. It was fun because most of us had never played a game on PlayStation with a steering wheel before. The best moment was seeing people with real driving experience mess up. This was because the people with their driver’s licenses were busy making sure that they weren’t hitting walls while the people without their driver’s licenses were open to exploring the road and driving fast. I was one of those people:)

You’re about to start your career at VMware. What are you looking forward to within your new role?

While this is the start of my career at VMware, it is also the start of my career in general, as I am a recent graduate from New Bulgarian University. I know that I will do well sometimes and there will be other times that I make mistakes while working on problems. I know that the people that surround me here at VMware will be by my side as I navigate through whatever technological challenges come my way. Because of this, the lessons I learn will empower other recent graduates joining VMware in the future.

What advice would you share with students looking to join VMware Talent Boost in Sofia, Bulgaria?

What can a student looking to join Talent Boost do? Stop looking and do your best to join. Talent Boost is an intensive course covering a variety of topics such as data structure, algorithms, OOP, Input/Output, networking, multithreading, and more. VMware employees, who are the Talent Boost instructors and innovators in their field, will challenge you to grow. The path to success is full of failures and lessons learned – this is one of the best ways to grow. If the VMware University Relations team doesn’t connect with you right away, re-strategize and be better next year. If they call you and you get into Talent Boost, empower yourself to make the most of this course. My formula to success during the course was: Comprehend, Challenge and Code.

  • Comprehend: Listen to what the lecturers share with you and try to understand why the things are done that way.
  • Challenge: Challenge the Status Quo. Work in “what if” mode (i.e. “What if I do it in another way?”).
  • Code: Try to code everything you learn.

 

Click here to learn more about VMware’s Talent Boost Class.

 

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A Mentor and Mentee’s Take on the VMware Internship Program in Sofia, Bulgaria

At VMware, students are both challenged and rewarded with meaningful work and rich experiences in a collaborative environment that empowers them to architect what’s next. Learn more about the VMware Intern Mentor Program in Sofia, Bulgaria and see how our people work side-by-side with our interns to share their guidance and feedback, empowering career growth on both sides.

 

The VMware Internship Program at our Sofia, Bulgaria site provides students with the opportunity to grow and develop professionally over the course of three to six months while participating in an internal Research and Development project. Throughout the internship, each intern will have an experienced engineer as his or her Mentor. Intern Mentors share guidance and regular performance feedback on projects as well as how to navigate the professional world successfully.

In today’s People Spotlight, we’re highlighting two VMware employees that have experienced both sides of the Mentor/Mentee role during the internship program, Lyubomir Pishinov, a current MTS and former 2012 intern at VMware Sofia and Konstantin Spirov, a Senior Software Engineer working on vCenter Orchestrator.

 

Intern Mentee:

Name: Lyubomir Pishinov

Office location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Job title: MTS

Period at VMware: 10 months

Favorite tech gadget: Kindle

 

What sparked your interest in technology?

I can’t tell for sure, but maybe like most children, I was fascinated by the computer games of my childhood. Along with computer games, I started to become interested in everything that was connected to computers. After my first days in high school I knew that my future would be tied to computer technology.

What is life at VMware like for you?

An amazing experience. It is fantastic that I have a chance to grow professionally here at VMware. Every day I learn so many new things and I’m really glad that I have the opportunity to work among some of the best professionals in the industry.

What has been a fun VMware moment for you?

Well, a really fun VMware moment for me was when our TechOps team played a Halloween joke on coworkers on site. When I came into work that day it took me more than a few minutes to realize why my mouse and headphones didn’t work. The mouse laser was sealed with a piece of Scotch tape and the headphones were plugged in the microphone jack. It was pretty funny after I realized what was going on.

How would you describe your mentorship experience at VMware? Share your biggest takeaway.

To have the chance to get assistance and guidelines from your mentor during the internship is really essential for the success of your internship project. The combination of creativity and experience is the main factor that turns ideas into reality during an internship at VMware. Overall, my biggest takeaway was the emphasis on staying closely focused on the goals of my internship project and evaluating the pros and cons of each decision that I had to make as an intern.

What advice would you give to future VMware Interns?

My advice to future VMware Interns is to work hard, be proactive and embrace learning opportunities.

 

R&D Mentor:

Name: Konstantin Spirov

Office location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Job title: Senior Software Engineer, vCenter Orchestrator

Period at VMware: 3 years

Favorite tech gadget: My ergonomic keyboard with angle adjustment capability and my “Pomodoro” kitchen timer.

 

From a Mentor`s point of view what is the benefit of interning at VMware?

The IT job market in Bulgaria is very competitive, even for the internship positions. Luckily VMware has one great advantage over our competitors – we are able to provide rich experiences and meaningful projects to work on in a collaborative environment.

A VMware internship is a great start for a student’s career, and they really learn a lot. 70% of the learning process is goal oriented (learning by doing), but in the remaining 30% of their time, interns have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a horizontal direction – to experience the work in an enterprise environment, to discuss the big picture with employees and to explore the great library of courseware we offer for our employees.

And last but not least, an internship at VMware looks great on a student’s CV (resume). The opportunity to succeed is great – it’s not a secret. An intern’s project research could be used as a proof of concept or early prototypes for real product features. Very often we are able to offer a full employment position to the successful interns.

How would you describe your Mentor experience at VMware? What has been your biggest takeaway?

The project I proposed was a software development framework, which provides the opportunity of using Java applets with HTML5 browser without JRE installed on the client machine. The intern I was mentoring (Minko Gechev) was a perfect match for the project – was very focused, and he really liked the domain area. The project required knowledge in many languages and API and proactive research. We set some milestones, and I gave sufficient buffer time for Minko to orient and fill in the gaps. He was able to learn and grow very quickly. At the end of every milestone we discussed the architecture and tactical ideas for implementation.

Minko’s knowledge about JavaScript design patterns was great, so we talked a lot about the new Web approaches and frameworks. These discussions provided a fresh perspective to my role. From the mentor’s viewpoint –  now I can more effectively decide where I should lead and where I should leave freedom. I learned (without laziness and without abandoning my responsibilities as a lead) how to trust more and to expect trust in return.

The most important factor, which made our collaboration very natural, was the fact that we shared the same passion on the bleeding-edge approaches. Personally for me the opportunity to experiment and play with a project, which is not in production was also great. We were able to complete our major tasks two months before the deadline. Afterwards, we prepared some Tech Talks highlight our project results and presented them to other teams within VMware.

Overall, the mentorship of the internship projects is something employees voluntary do; the reward is the joy to help these young people in boosting their talent.

 

 

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VMware Bulgaria’s Annual Open House Day 2012 Showcases Innovation at its Best

  Hristina Haralampieva

 VMware Bulgaria’s Open House Day, initiated five years ago, continues to be an annual highlight that attracts experienced developers, quality engineers and other technical experts eager to gain an insider’s look at the products, solutions and processes of VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure. OHE3[1]  

 This year’s most recent event focused on innovation by inviting five employee experts to present cutting edge projects developed locally in Bulgaria. Experts shared their insights by taking a deep-dive into the Java environment for modeling UI interactions, applications of PCA (Principal Component Analysis), as well as VMware’s global innovation culture. Previous events focused on topics such as Cloud Computing and Platform-as-a-Service (“PaaS”). Nikolay, VMware Bulgaria R&D Manager, who presented vCenter Operations Manager, had this to say about the event:

I was pleasantly surprised to see people interested in the details of the PCA (Principal Component Analysis). I’m glad there are people dealing with similar high-end topics. There were a lot of interesting discussions that came about. I’d love to participate again. It was a lot of fun and it was quite motivating to meet everyone.

 In the tradition of the Open House, the event ended with a social bash where guests had the opportunity to mingle with VMware employees and learn more about the company culture and workplace atmosphere.
After the event we had the opportunity to catch up with several of the Open House Day guests to gauge their sentiments about the event. Stanimir, a software entrepreneur, who was among the event attendees said:

The event exceeded my expectations. The presentations were informative and well prepared and executed. I was pleasantly surprised that they also had technical content, which was very useful for a geek like me. During the beer bash I made contacts with several VMware employees and we chatted for more than two hours on various subjects. It gave me a good understanding of the internal culture and impressions about the quality of the engineers who work at VMware. I loved it!

  OHE2Attendees thoroughly enjoyed the event and their feedback encouraged more of these events in the future. We look forward to hosting our Open House Day again in 2013!

Hristina Haralampieva – Events Project Manager, EMEA

 

 

 

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VMware University Relations is now on Instagram

 We are excited to announce that VMware University Relations in now on Instagram! Join "vmwareu" on Instagram to gain an inside look into the VMware Internship Program. Followers will connect with our VMware intern office sites around the globe. 

Vmware_UR_instagram

 This year we will have interns in Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and in the United States (Austin, TX, Cambridge, MA, New Brighton, MN, Palo Alto, CA, Pleasant Grove, UT, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA).         

 Be on the lookout for some of our latest photos from Instagram on our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ accounts as well! 

 Come have some fun, we'd enjoy connecting with you on Instagram!

 

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Life at VMware – Student Engineering Contest at the Bulgaria Office

Hristina Haralampieva

 

 Helping universities nurture talent and provide a platform for learning and knowledge sharing is among VMware’s top priorities. That is why when the local representatives of the international students organization BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) invited us to take part in their Engineering Week initiative in March 2012 – whether to jump in or not was a no-brainer for us. EngineeringContest1[1]

 The aim was to challenge a group of students, chosen among hundreds of candidates who applied for the contest. The students were chosen according to their university year and development knowledge.

This event was great for team building. VMware Quality Engineers and Development experts were there to sort out the engineering tasks as well as carry out internal dry runs, which the organizers and attendees said was “a very refreshing experience” that helped them get into a competitive mood to try and beat the other students in time and overall code quality.

 The contest took place at the VMware Bulgaria office in March. Twelve students from the two leading universities in Bulgaria competed for the top three places where prizes and software development books awaited them. The atmosphere was really competitive and fun. After the engineering contest an award giving ceremony took place at the local university premises, which was then followed by an evening job fair cocktail event entitled “Companies night”. EngineeringContest2

 One of the most rewarding aspects of this event was the positive feedback and engagement we had with the universities and their students. As one of the participants said, “Thank you for organizing such a great event. The task was very interesting and challenging. This was one of the most exciting days in my life!” EngineeringWinners

 This certainly gives us the strength to continue to participate in similar events in the future. You’ve got the knowledge? We’ve certainly got the challenge. 

 Overall, twelve very bright students left with the satisfaction from a job well done at the contest and hundreds more, who are now certainly more aware of VMware, our business and career prospects. Events such as these make us excited for future engineering and networking engagements with university students across our global community. 

 Hristina Haralampieva – Events Project Manager, EMEA

 

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VMware is Hiring – Java User Interface Team, Bulgaria

 VMware is hiring for the Java User Interface Team at our field office in breathtaking Sofia, Bulgaria. In the video below, Nacho Nachev and Vesselin Arnaudov discuss user interface design, the culture of the team there, and what type of candidate they are seeking to hire.

 The Java User Interface Team is looking to bring on individuals for several key roles within the group. You may fit one of the below profiles:

1. Senior Java Front-End Software Engineer

2. Senior Software Engineer in Automation

3. Java/Python Back-End Engineer

The “vSphere Client” and “vSphere Web Client” are tools that provide the full set of management capabilities for the VMware’s vSphere Virtualization platform. The team, responsible for developing these tools, interacts with many internal and external stakeholders to provide the best user experience and maximum flexibility for managing the virtual infrastructure.

Developing a highly scalable and highly customizable platform for user interfaces brings complex technical challenges every day. Taking responsibilities and driving improvements, while managing complex integrations and release scope, makes our days both challenging and rewarding. Inventing the future of the IT administrator management tools forces us to think globally and seek new innovative solutions.

Team members have responsibilities spanning from ensuring the best possible end-to-end experience with VMware vSphere Platform to architecting the complex business platform for the management application suite.

Key engineer responsibilities are:

– define/analyze the product requirements, write/read functional and design specifications, write/support the code

– resolve design trade-offs and complex implementation issues

– work in collaboration with management, quality assurance, user experience and technical publications teams

 

Join us for a video tour of our Sofia, Bulgaria field office in the video below! 

 

Have questions or interested in joining the Application Development Team at our VMware office in Bulgaria? Reach out to Brian Lee via his social links below.

 

About Zoya:

 

Zoya has been working as a technical recruiter in the U.S. and Bulgarian markets since July 2006. She has recently started at VMware as a Staffing Partner and is eager to apply her recruitment expertise in attracting top talents for the company.

 

Find Zoya Milenkova on:

 

 

 

Current R&D job openings in Bulgaria: http://ow.ly/8OFng 

Current Java User Interface job openings in Bulgaria: http://ow.ly/8OGAq

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