By David Davis

Recently at VMware Partner Exchange 2011, I had the honor of meeting VMware's Steve Jin. If you have read the vCloud blog at all in the past, likely you have read a post from Steve or visited his blog

I sat down with Steve, learned a lot about him, and learned what makes him so successful.

Nov-Post4 - Interview with VMware's Steve Jin - rev 2-1

Who is Steve Jin?

Steve works as a developer for VMware and has been in app development for over 16 years.

He lives in the Silicon Valley area, he is an avid sports fan, swimmer, and former track runner.

Steve has written many critical pieces of code for vSphere but most impressive is that Steve is the author of the open source vSphere Java API (aka VI Java).

What is the VMware vSphere Java API?

For someone (like me) who doesn't write code everyday and isn't 100% up to speed on VMware app development, I asked Steve what the importance was for the Java API.

Here's what I found out:

  • The VMware Java API is used by a number of internal VMware apps as well as Hyperic.
  • The Java API is also used by many third-party apps from HP, Brocade, and NetApp (to name a few at
  • The Java API has over 12,000 downloads and more every day.
  • Some VMware customers that use the Java API are large banks and telecoms, as it’s an easy way for a Java developer to interface with vSphere.
  • After it had been available for some time, the Java API was released as a "fling" (called "VI Java" from and it had been the highest voted fling and now only trailing behind the popular VMware Admin fling – VMware Guest Console (VGC).
  • The Java API homepage and download site is:

I asked Steve what the best way was, for someone like me, to learn how to use his Java API and that led us to his book…

Nov-Post4 - Interview with VMware's Steve Jin - rev 2-2

VMware VI and vSphere SDK: Managing the VMware Infrastructure and vSphere

Steve is the author of an excellent book on using the VMware VI and vSphere SDK. Honestly, this is the only book of its kind. I found out that this book is ideal for the Java developer who wants to write code that talks to vSphere. He covers how to create vSphere client plug-ins and how to write applications that manage the VMware infrastructure.

State of the Cloud, According to Steve

We hear all about "the cloud" from marketing people but when I get the chance to talk to developer who actually writes the code and interfaces behind the scenes, I'm always interested to ask them what the state of the cloud is, from their perspective.

About the cloud, Steve said there are two different types of developers – users/general code developers vs. developers writing apps to interface with and manage VMware products. If you are using the cloud as a general code developer, you don't care much where your work is stored and where your apps are being tested. To help your development, you want to know SpringSource products like Spring MVC, RabbitMQ.

On the other hand, those writing code that interfaces with VMware products are critically interested in the cloud. They want to learn about the VMware APIs (like the vSphere API, vCloud API). VMware cloud strategy includes vCloud Directory and APIs, but it is not limited to that. In fact, you can build a small scale cloud with vSphere as well.


Overall, Steve is excited about the quickly changing landscape of cloud computing and continues to work with VMware APIs and SDKs to make applications that interface with vSphere and applications that run in the cloud "just work" from the perspective of end-users and VMware Admins (like me).

It was an honor to meet Steve and I really appreciate the time he took from his schedule to do this interview!

You can learn more about Steve by following him on Twitter at @sjin2008 or read his blog at

Couldn't attend PEX? Make sure that you have VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas on your calendar for August 29-September 1, 2011 because now is the time to start planning!

David Davis is a VMware Evangelist and vSphere Video Training Author for Train Signal. He has achieved CCIE, VCP,CISSP, and vExpert level status over his 15+ years in the IT industry. David has authored hundreds of articles on the Internet and nine different video training courses for including the popular vSphere video training package. Learn more about David at his blog or on Twitter and check out a sample of his VMware vSphere video training course from