Today I attended the trek to visit a cool company, VMware.  The visit was organized by Haas Technology Club.

(You can read a blog post with photos at HTC Club blog)

I think I am one of the early VMware users.  It should be about seven years ago in 2003, when I was working as a pre-sales and post-sales specialist.  As a pre-sales, I often had to do product presentation and demonstration to potential customers, and I found VMware was a great tool for pre-sales, because by using VMware, I can easily run Unix/Linux/Solaris system within my Windows laptop, and I can then demo my product on various Operating System easily (or even simultaneously) just on my Windows laptop.  VMware also make great sense for post-sales job, because as a post-sales, I often need to troubleshoot complex technical problem for customers, and very often I want a “clean” Unix/Linux/Solaris system so that I can try to reproduce the problem, then by using VMware, I can install a new and “clean” Unix like system very easily and quickly within my Windows laptop, and I can also remove those “testing” system easily by simply deleting the virtualization file.  I remembered when I saw a “VMware Virtual Machine” running inside a window for the first time, it was simply amazing.  Wow, how can they do that, running a Linux inside of Windows?  So cool.  I immediately had a gut feeling that this company has great potential, and I began to keep on paying attention on VMware’s growth since then, till today.

Let’s go back to today’s visit.  A group of 10-20 Haas MBA students visited VMware headquarter (3401 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto) this afternoon.  The region is quiet with beautiful trees (after all, it is spring season now in California).  We are hosted in their cafeteria (I think they want to keep the visit pretty informal and relaxed), which is quite spacious.  And we were served by various nice fruit, coffee, soy milk and snacks, and free VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion license 🙂 .

The VMware Campus Relations manager invited several managers from various functional group: Finance, Corporate Business Development, Ecosystem Engineering, Product Management and Product Marketing.  The visit was kick-off with a short introduction by a senior manager and then each different function group manager talk to our students at respective tables.

In the introduction part, the manager actually talked a lot from his own personal perspective: why he joined VMware four years ago etc.  He emphasized that in terms of size, VMware is not a start-up, either VMware is not an established giant company.   Exactly.  With 7000 employees and 2 billion revenue, VMware is a medium size company between a typical 10-20 people start-up, and a well established giant such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon or Yahoo.  And more importantly, VMware is in a unique market leader position and keeps fast growing.  I think this is particularly interesting for a certain group of MBA students who might prefer to work in a fast growing environment with entrepreneurial sense.

After the short intro part, basically it became a free talk.  We can approach any manager to talk about their team and specific job.  It was great to talk with different function group and get a comprehensive sense of how the whole company is running, and how each function group is running to fit with the corporate’s growth.

A great cool company and a great trek!  Huge thanks to VMware for hosting us, and very grateful to Haas Tech Club for organizing this event!