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Tag Archives: Ontario

Chris Knowles’ Work is Creating the Music of the Data Center

At VMware, our people are empowered to defy convention while pursuing the seemingly impossible. Hear from Chris Knowles, VMware Staff Solutions Architect, on the innovation projects that play a part in his growth.

 

Chris_Knowles_HeadshotName: Chris Knowles

Role: Staff Solutions Architect

Office Location: London, Ontario, Canada

Years at VMware: 3.85

Favorite tech innovation: The transistor

 

 

What inspired you to pursue your current career?

When I was very young, probably around three years old, I started tinkering in my father and grandfather’s workshops. I would take apart everything I could get my hands on, sometimes to the dismay of my parents. One day, my dad brought home a commodore pc10-II IBM clone from work when I was a kid and from then on I was hooked. I had found something in computers that really resonated with me, and when I reached an age where I started thinking about what I was going to do for a living I knew that it would be technology related. As a little kid I was always interested in the technology behind the things I enjoyed. When I was around 8 years old if you asked me what I wanted to be for a living, I would have answered a hydrodynamics engineer. What 8-year old wants to do that for a living? I did. I wanted to work for Reggie Fountain and build the fastest offshore race boats in the world. I have enjoyed working with computers from a very young age, and as such I didn’t so much pursue a career in technology, as evolve into it.

How would you describe what you do at VMware?

My team has three primary roles. We support top deals and escalations that become very complex from both a business process and technology standpoint and we deliver advanced enablement for the field specialists on our product stack derived from what we learn dealing with top deals and escalations. Without trying to sound arrogant, our team effectively acts as the expert’s expert.

Continuous learning is what helps us innovate. How do you practice this at VMware?

We are constantly working on pushing the limits of what we can do with our solutions. This drive to innovate allows us to be in a constant state of learning. Learning is not something that we should set time aside to do; it should be a part of our everyday actions. I had a teacher in high school that went to great lengths to instill a love of learning in her students, and that has stuck with me. I enjoy growth and strive to learn every day.

Which VMware values most resonate with you? 

Overall, I would say execution and passion.  I am constantly amazed at how much we can accomplish when we work on things that we are passionate about. Any of the projects I have had the opportunity to work on that I am truly passionate about don’t ever feel like work. Anything that is worth doing is worth doing as best as you possibly can. I don’t think you can over-execute on something, especially something you are passionate about.

How did your growth and development at VMware empower you to work on “Music of the Data Center?”

I have an amazing leadership team that I report into at VMware. They have always been incredibly supportive of us and allowed us the freedom to pursue our objectives in a very unconstrained and freeform manner. This has allowed my team to develop some very innovative solutions to problems that were often thought unsolvable with our current technology. This led to me winning the DaVinci Award, an internal award that is given out to employees within GTS (Global Technology Services) for continually innovating to solve problems and create new ideas. As part of the award, I was given a week to work on whatever I wanted. I had been playing around with the concept of the music of the data center since around 2007. I had been doing some experiments and algorithm development over the years but with not much focus or direction. When I was given the week to work on whatever I wanted, I felt it would be a great opportunity for me to put my head down and see if I could make some real progress on the concept based on my past work and the knowledge I had gained over my time at VMware. At the end of the week, I was able to show real results by building a basic proof of concept of some of the fundamental components of the concept. This led to me submitting my work to the VMware XLR8 program, an internal program for employees to work on hard engineering problems. I’m anxiously waiting to see if it is accepted. It’s an incredibly high bar to be accepted to XLR8 so I’m not holding my breath, but it’s great to work somewhere that even has an avenue by which to get your ideas visibility.

Share what’s next for you, your team or VMware?

I’m hoping that my research proposal is accepted in the VMware XLR8 Program. My team is working on developing new enablement for the field specialists and I’m working with colleagues across GTS on a new program for engaging with top deal customers in order to drive the closure rate and timing of large ELAs.

 

 

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Paying It Forward: A VMware Employee’s Journey to Growth Through Giving Back

At VMware, our giving is rooted in a concept, called “Citizen Philanthropy,” recognizing that we all have something we can contribute to the community. Connect with Mark Schmidt, Manager for the Global Support Services Team, as he shares his service learning contribution with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and hear the inspiring lessons he gained through service.

  

Name: Mark Schmidt

Title: Manager, Global Support Services

Office Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Years at VMware: 1.75

Favorite quote or motto: “Work smarter, not harder” 

 

How would you describe what you do at VMware?

As a support manager at VMware, I am responsible for a team of engineers who provide world-class business-to-business support to some of the most recognized companies in the world. As a team, we support customers who have moved into the virtualization and cloud realms as an extension and partner to their business.

What about your work is meaningful to you?

Being able to successfully deliver results through others, motivating a team of people to deliver unparalleled industry leading support in business critical situations, and having the ability to make a difference to businesses across multiple industries globally.

At VMware, we celebrate the holidays through Giving Back Together. What does that phrase mean to you?

Being as fortunate as we are, working for such a great company that gives us time to give back to our communities, it’s important to share our stories and inspire others to do the same. Working as a team for worthy causes is a great way to spend time, especially over the holidays.

This year, you participated in a Service Learning activity. Can you share how you contributed back to the community and what you learned through that experience?

It was with great pleasure that I spent a week at a camp for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. That week I facilitated activities such as skiing, tubing and sailing for people with visual impairments. After spending a week with the campers I realized that they faced daily challenges; some that seemed impossible to me. However, each and every one of them persevered and adapted in ways that allowed them to accomplish their goals. They never gave up and in many ways, saw the world in a way many of us ever get to. I went to camp that week thinking I was going to help someone see the word; instead, they helped me change the way I see mine.

What advice would you give to people who have the intention to volunteer, but just can’t find the time?

Take stock of what you’ve done over the last month. Then ask yourself, was any of it as important as helping someone in need? Pay forward before you pay yourself.

As the year is coming to an end, can you share what’s next for you, your team or VMware?

I look forward to another exciting year of working with great people on complex issues; learning from those around me and sharing what I know with them.

 

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VMware Foundation – Employees Give Back – Big Bike Ride for Heart & Stroke

On Friday, June 1, 2012 the VMware Burlington Staffing and GSS teams partnered together for the Heart and Stroke Big Bike event in Burlington, Ontario. Hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Big Bike event helps raise awareness and funds for heart disease and stroke research. The Big Bike holds twenty-nine people and VMware was able to fill two bikes for this event. This was a history-making event as VMware was the number one company for fundraising in all of Halton, Ontario! It was a wet and rainy ride as Burlington received 40mm of rain in a six hour period, (It felt like all 40mm came during the ride) but one which we certainly we will never forget. 

                     BigBikeGroup2OnBike

To learn more about this event, we sat down with VMware employees and Co-Captains for VMware’s participation in the Big Bike, Jonathan McDonald and Marvin Marcos to learn more about what it took to make our participation possible.

What was your involvement in the Big Bike Ride for Heart & Stroke?

“I have been involved for the last few years with Marvin as a Team Captain for our Big Bike Teams. This year’s event was the first time we have ever had more than a single bike in a year. Although much of the same planning took place, it was on a much larger scale. This involved everything from recruiting the fifty-eight people we needed to join as riders, collecting and organizing the shirts, to motivating our co-workers to get out there and fundraise. Although there were some stressful moments, it was all worth it in the end when we got to the venue and actually participated in the ride.” -Jonathan McDonald – Senior Technical Support Engineer

“I have helped organize the Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike event since its inception five years ago. Throughout the past five years, VMware has raised more than $35,000 for an excellent cause that affects us all. This year we were able to break two records during the Big Bike event. Not only did our team ride two big bikes, but we also raised nearly $12,000. This is the most funding we have raised …so far. A special Thank you go to my Co-Captain Jonathan McDonald as well as Brian Ferguson.  I’ll work side by side with these guys anytime.” -Marvin Marcos – Technical Support Engineer

What did you enjoy about participating in this event with your VMware colleagues? 

“It is a great team building exercise and a great way to get the Heart and Stroke’s message out there. From obtaining approvals from management to recruiting fellow employees to participate in the event, we were able to work with people that we do not normally have the opportunity to work with on a regular basis in the office. The whole event helps build the morale of the people who participate. In the end it strengthens our teams, as it is easier to collaborate with people that you know!” -Jonathan McDonald – Senior Technical Support Engineer

                      BIGBikeGroup

What are your thoughts on the VMware Foundation's Service Learning program?

“I love it! The fact that VMware allows and encourages us to take the time out of our busy days to help out in our communities is amazing! I have never worked for a company prior to VMware that has such a strong Service Learning Program.” –Jonathan McDonald – Senior Technical Support Engineer

“I am very grateful and proud to be working for a company that has a Service Learning Program. As Jonathan mentioned, we are all busy, but with something such as the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning program, I have the opportunity to connect with a much wider audience when I get to be involved with charity work.” -Marvin Marcos – Technical Support Engineer

 

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VMware Office Spotlight: Burlington, Ontario

Pic of me

 

 The VMware Burlington, Ontario office has experienced tremendous growth in the past five years. From 20 employees to now over 250 employees, the office has become a cornerstone in VMware's global initiatives. Clayton Magnus, VMware HR Recruiter further divulges on the Burlington office's strong culture, the organizations present there, and what he is most looking forward to in the year ahead with VMware

VMware 001

What is a strong culture like? How is the Burlington office's culture strong?

A strong organizational culture is a team that shares the same values, beliefs, norms, ideas, vision and habits. The Burlington office exudes these characteristics. They take pride in being customer focused and really do exemplify the idea of one team. There is a common bond among the people that work in the Burlington office. On a daily basis you see this camaraderie. Whether it is in the lunchroom as colleagues eat lunch or play games with one other, or at their cubicles where team members will help each other out with a case they are working on. This creates an overall environment that is very relaxed, which makes it easier for people to achieve their goals. VMware 003

Which organizations are located at the Burlington office?

The Burlington office is a home office for VMware with employees working in Sales, Professional Services Organization, IT, System Engineers and Global Support Services. GSS has the largest contingent at the Burlington office as staff in Service Delivery, Licensing, Shared Services, Support Operations, Training, Escalation Management, and Bridges work here.

How has the Burlington office has grown in the past few years?

Five years ago there were 20 employees in the Burlington office. Now there are just over 250 employees that work here, so the office has definitely grown from a numbers perspective.

From a business point of few, the Burlington center has seen a shift from a center with regional presence, to a center that has a global identity. The hiring philosophy has changed over the years too. The center looks at a character versus competency approach whereas five years ago there was a lot of emphasis put on finding stronger technical resources over anything else. Now that the Burlington office is in a mature state, they can take the time to invest in people and look to build on top of what has already been created. VMware4

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead for the Burlington office?

We’ve expanded to another floor in our building. That means more growth, which is exciting. Internal mobility is a huge initiative within GSS and I expect to see a lot more of it in the year ahead. Ultimately, I am most looking forward to continuning to work and partner with the business to make us more successful.

 Clayton Magnus – Recruiter, Burlington, Ontario

 

Current Burlington, Ontario career opportunities: http://ow.ly/azlmr 

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VMware is Hiring – Systems Engineer – SpringSource vFabric Team

Matthew Quinlan and Jamie Engesser, Directors for the VMware/SpringSource vFabric group, discuss the day-to-day tasks that their trailblazing team is responsible for and the type of dynamic candidates they seek to hire.

 

The VMware SpringSource vFabric Team is looking to bring on an individual for their Systems Engineer, vFabric Specialist role in Atlanta, Georiga. You may fit the below profile:   

Systems Engineer, vFabric Specialist – Atlanta, GA, US

The VMware vFabric Specialist SE will be responsible for providing pre-sales deep technical and business expertise with regards to the vFabric products, including technologies such as the Spring Framework and related projects, tc Server and Tomcat, and Hyperic management infrastructure. The individual will interface directly with customers as well as collaborate with Product Management as a field representative on the development of products and enhancements.

Skill sets:

 Must have 8+ years experience with J2EE Architecture, preference to someone who has pre-Sales experience.Excellent communication skills, willing to present to technical and non-technical customers. Build Proof of Concepts (PoC) and demo's. 

To apply and learn more about the role click here: http://bit.ly/KY56Xv

Hear from Matthew Quinlan, Director of Systems Engineering for the vFabric Team:

“Being part of the vFabric division is really the best of both worlds. We operate almost like a startup inside of the VMware organization which means we can be nimble and avoid bureaucracy while retaining all of the advantages of working for a large and highly successful software company like VMware.” -Matthew 

“Are you tired of being the smartest person in the room?  If you join this team I can assure you that you will rarely, if ever have that experience again. A players like to work with other A players and we are building an elite team.” -Matthew

“At the end of the day, we’re techies and there is nothing better than working for one of the most innovative software companies in history.” -Matthew

 

Have questions or interested in applying to one of these roles? Reach out to Tom via his social links below.

MePicAbout Tom: 

Tom Spero is a Senior Recruiter for the SpringSource division of VMware. Over the past 15 years Spero has recruited in the technology space for small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. Spero brings 8 years of professional services recruiting experience, specifically in the J2EE/Middleware/Open Source space for Sales Engineers and Consultants. 

 Find Tom Spero on:

Linkedin

 

Current vFabric job openings: http://bit.ly/IKMWlH

Current SpringSource job openings: http://bit.ly/IKOhJk

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