You don't build airplanes but you build whole systems. Share with us something more about your work.
I am part of the Build team here at VMware and we are responsible for a rather complex and critical system. Most people will see the build web front end, which is what they use to interact with us, however behind the scenes, things are much more complex and we are orchestrating the deployment and reclamation of thousands virtual machines per day, putting a lot of stress on the VMware products and the underlying infrastructure. And all that has to be highly available as any downtime causes hundreds of hours of lost R&D productivity. We are trying to balance on the edge of innovation and reliability and this won't be possible without the great team we have.
What does your work day look like?
I guess like most engineers here, with the added twist that we tend to interact rather closely with our teammates across the globe. So I wake up and have a coffee (or three) come to the office and check my pending tasks, sync up with the folks around me and then start working. On a normal day it will be some feature which we are working on, but because we are operating a service, not only building it - we sometimes need to be ready to drop everything and start looking into something more urgent. That is why sync-ups and communication are so important. I am also the SCRUM-master for the Sofia-Bangalore team, so I have a little extra overhead. Usually, in the evenings we have meetings with the US folks.
What are some great heights and depths you've managed to reach in your career?
In our team, we have always had a culture that everyone can freely share their ideas. And there were a few projects which allowed me to actively contribute not only with the development but also influence the design process and they were great learning opportunities, as well as a great inspiration to be able to spread my wings, sort of speak. At the same time, there were times, when just the geographic distances have proven challenging especially when you need to convince enough peers in the value of a given idea, so there were the cases when if felt like swimming upstream.
What brings you a feeling of freedom at work?
The ability to openly share ideas especially when working with something so complex as the build system where often we need different skills and knowledge for the different pieces. This can be challenging but at the same time, we rarely get stuck in one place.
Tell us about a cause you supported as part of the Sofia Heroes Giving Network, that was extremely meaningful to you.
The one that's closest to my heart at the moment is this NGO which aims to plant a million new trees in Bulgaria - for once it is a noble cause and we need more trees and vegetation everywhere, and it is also a more long-term impact, instead of a one-time activity. And I've always loved the forests, so helping create more seems like fun.