First Week at VMware

Thu Jun 26th, 2003 02:53:46 AM EST

Diary Entry 134
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I started working at VMware on Monday, June 16th. It's been a good time so far.

That morning I arrived in the morning and filled out all the usual forms, and then my ``mentor,'' Matt, took me for a tour of the place and showed me to my desk. Waiting for me there: one dual-processor hyperthreaded 2 GHz P4 Xeon workstation with 768 MB RAM, 60 GB IDE HDD, 36 GB SCSI HDD, and one brand-new-in-box 2 GHz P4 IBM ThinkPad T30 with 1400x1050 display, 1 GB RAM, 60 GB HDD. (For the non-technical types out there, that's pretty good.) I spent most of the day getting Debian installed on them, set up to my liking, and reading over parts of the internal website.

There are so many smart people working here, with more coming all the time. There are something like 150 ``members of technical staff'' at the moment, and Mendel says that they're hiring on average about one person a day. The kind of ``smart'' here is a little different from the kind of ``smart'' at Stanford. At Stanford, it's all theoretical, because there's no time to both write papers and write code. At VMware, it's all concrete, for the same reason. Some VMware folks do manage to write papers, too (like Carl Waldspurger with his award-winning paper in last December's OSDI).

VMware still has a little of the ``1999 dot-com startup'' feel to it. My desk sits next to an alcove filled with beanbag chairs on one side and the game room, with X Box, Super Nintendo, TurboGrafix16, and a pinball machine, on another. The company cafeteria is continually stocked with free snack food, soft drinks, coffee, and juice. There are free bagels and muffins Tuesday and Thursday mornings, free catered lunch on Wednesdays, free beer on Friday afternoons, and more free food I forget right now.

I'd like to say a little about the project I'm working on, but there's that NDA I signed. So I'll just say that Tal and Jim and Mendel and I decided to start by adding ********** to VMware. Then we'll be able to take our laptops home, which will make Tal happy. After that we'll work on ******** issues, as usual, both ********* and ********. It should be an exciting summer. I expect we'll get at least one paper and one new feature in a released version of VMware out of it.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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