I’m on week 3 at VMware, working my way through training and tasks designed to get me “Ramped Up” in the role. Its been incredible so far and for so many more reasons than I expected. First, let me say that I’m truly sorry I haven’t done the next Professional Growth post, I’m actually going to combine question 4 into post 3, and do a repost so look out for that. I’ve been a little busy but I promise to get back on track with those.

First, lets get this question out of the way.

“You went to VMware amidst the Dell Acquisition? Why?”

Yes, this was a major concern even before getting a call to do the first interview. There are so many articles and blog posts centered around VMware and Dell’s acquisition of EMC. Yes, there was a recent round of layoffs at VMware that was pretty significant. Ultimately, I felt comfortable with the stance VMware is showing and reached out to multiple contacts both inside and outside of VMware to get opinions.

I walked away from those conversations thinking that VMware, though part of the Federation, is very strong in its own right. This company still has new areas to grow and I’d like to be a part of that.

Alright, now that that is behind us, moving on.

Going to the “Dark Side”

I’ve heard this numerous times from my new coworkers and a few others. I understand that becoming a Pre-Sales System Engineer means that I am convincing companies that Product X is right for them, but its so much more than that. At the end of the first week, I questioned why that phrase is even used at all. By the end of the second, lets just say I don’t see it. This is an excellent opportunity and allows me to see and help so many people in so many different environments. I’m here to help validate, demo, show the value of these products and help solve problems. I don’t see a dark side to it at all.

First Impressions on my team and role

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect going in. This is a vendor role, remember. Up until now, I’ve been a customer. One of the first things that struck me was all of the members willingness to help. People in different areas of the business have gone out of their way to get me slide decks and 1-on-1 meetings to discuss products, helping me get up and running.

My account reps took a good chunk of time to discuss and exchange knowledge and ideas, during a very busy part of their quarter, when they should be focusing on closing deals I obviously am not a part of. Above that, just being available far more than I expect them to be.

But, the best part of this actually happened around going to a customer’s business to do a demo. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been told “welcome to the Dark Side” plenty of times. This is part of sales, I support sales by doing the technical portion. It’s an understanding that I will convince companies that they need some software to solve their problem or reach their goal. What I wasn’t completely expecting was hearing the account rep and current systems engineer push on the idea of “we don’t sell shelf-ware”. The idea is that we don’t push products you don’t need to solve your current problem, or isn’t part of a soon to be project/goal.

That in itself makes this move all the sweeter. Why? Becuase it goes back to a core competency at my last job, a type of company culture if you will. At Voxeo/Aspect, they called it customer obsession. Doing what is right for the customer and seeing it through to the end. I’m reminded of that by this team and its amazing to see that idea being pushed, even in Pre-Sales.

Drinking from the firehose

Yeah, I have a lot of products to catch up on, but I’ve never been one to NOT want to learn a new enterprise tech. BRING. IT. ON.

Work | Life Balance

Coming from a customer background, I was presently surprised when my phone died the other night and I didn’t have to worry about an on-call rotation. But what really surprises me, is when my manager ends a friday call with “Alright, have a good weekend and remember, Family first… Work Second”. Work/Life balance is incredibly important here and as I agreed to this role, my one concern was how it might affect mine. I had spent a considerable amount of time working on this in my last job to improve it, to the best of my ability. While at VMware, its practically pushed in my favor by management.


All in all, I already considered having VMware on my resume as a great career booster, but the perks keep rolling in. I don’t mean that in a way that suggests good discounts or benefits, which coincidentally are also great. The culture is good, the team is great and the role  will definitely cater professional growth beyond what I initially considered. I look forward the future that is at VMware. Now if I could only come up with a paper for VMworld… seriously, what should I talk about?!?!