Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware Bulgaria. You will learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview experience. If learning and interview tips from our people interest you, we invite you to read on.
This week we want you to meet Ivelin Nikolaev, Sr. Manager, Worldwide Consultancy Center of Engineering (WW CoE). His team is implementing hundreds of successful initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, changing their customers' lives.
Ivelin, please tell us about your career journey to date?
My career journey started 19 years ago. I have occupied various roles as a developer, architect, team leader, manager, and head of development in various organizations. I had the chance to build and lead various development teams operating in .NET, Java, C/C++, Python, VB, Cobol, Fortran, PL/I, RPG and Delphi. The pool of my colleagues includes quality assurance engineers, database developers and administrators, public cloud DevOps, data and delivery analysts who are firstly great professionals.
For the last 10 years, I have been always seeking for opportunities to build professional services organizations from scratch, nearshoring business, or scaling up existing organizations - VMware Bulgaria provided me all this freedom of professional expression. Being thankful to my teams I've had a chance to implement hundreds of successful initiatives for Fortune 500 companies that are changing their customers' lives today. Just to list a few, I've been lucky to work for numerous industries, such as Core Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Forex, Public Sector, Aircraft/Ground Control, Railroad, Electronic, Fleet Management and many others.
On a personal side, I am also a strong supporter of Neurodiversity - a framework supporting people with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome both at work and as a volunteer in NGO.
How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?
Many companies nowadays are IT-centric at their execution core. At VMware I feel at home since our projects are touching the deepest tech needs of our customers – from bare metal to highly virtualized multi-layer architectures spanning outside on-premise infrastructure. The building blocks of VMware services allow almost limitless combinations of architectures and implementation approaches.
Another great asset of VMware is the colleagues we work with. We have individuals who are not only extremely technically knowledgeable, but also creative and great communicators, supporting our team on every front line.
The spirit of inventors exists within every team at VMware, to the extent that “Let’s build what has never been done before” sounds like an everyday task to do here.
It is highly rewarding to know that our integration and automation solutions become integral to the core business of our customers and we are involved in building the better tomorrow for many people globally.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
I've had the luck to report and be mentored by some of the greatest leaders in the industry, but the one thing that had led me almost two decades was the motto - “If you want it – own it”. Far too many people fall into the trap of having great ideas but fail to learn the necessary skills, share, outreach, negotiate, sell their ideas. A good idea becomes great product or service only if you step up, take full responsibility and fight for what you believe is the best way forward. Taking well measured risks and being persistent in what you chase is the way to advance your idea - be it process improvements or new line of business.
Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Our Worldwide Center of Engineering is a constantly growing and evolving organization. We have a great exposure to a global market of IT departments within enterprise organizations. We work on close to hundred new projects each year globally. Each one of them is unique – from very small integrations with third party software to large scale deployments on premise and public clouds. Our aim is to connect the great products of VMware into the actual business demands through integration and automation with existing IT services and infrastructure.
Most of the roles are developer, quality engineering and technical writer profiles. But more importantly we seek people with the consultant spirit. Within our professional services organization we frequently face the customer, discuss business needs, clarify requirements, architect solutions or troubleshoot complex problems - so to summarize it, we combine tech and consulting background. Everyone within PS CoE team feels comfortable being on the forefront and come up with creative ways of using product features, implementing missing functionality, building new toolchains. To add to that, our teams are not fixed about a particular technology – we code in vast amount of languages and we seek people who think about the best solution for the customer despite our own preferences. Thus we enforce the culture of constant learning and open mindedness.
If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow for a role in your org, what interview tips would you give them?
Although your previous experience is important, we are more curious to understand how do you plan to develop with us. Within our teams, we constantly search for authentic, proactive and trustworthy individuals. My advice for an interview would be:
1) Be authentic – show what you are passionate about, share your thoughts freely.
2) In case of concern, don’t assume - instead simply ask. We highly value straight-forward communication.
3) Be certain on your motivation applying to VMware. Share with us what you believe, learn, develop - otherwise shine your talent.
Could you see yourself working on a team with a leader like Ivelin? Check out the open roles in WW CoE organization here.
Learn more about VMware WW CoE team: