VMware

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VMware Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
1,392 Reviews
3.6
1,392 Reviews
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VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger
Pat Gelsinger
456 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Many companies talk about work/life balance, but VMware practices it (in 95 reviews)

  • Great technology, community oriented, great to employees, good working environment (in 94 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is determined by your manager (mine was a known workaholic) (in 62 reviews)

  • The company once slim and trim has grown many folds; bloating the middle management (in 71 reviews)

More Highlights

218 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Looking back, VMware has some major problems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at VMware full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, salary, and quality/location of offices were always top notch. Global reach and presence is well established. Certainly the kind of place someone could stay forever (if they can handled the Cons below)

    Cons

    In retrospect (I didn't leave specifically for any of these reasons, though perhaps I knew it even then) VMware has a very serious middle management problem. Middle management spans the whole spectrum: Manager to VP.

    On the VP side, quality is inconsistent. Some are fantastic, some are bad enough to drive top talent out the door. It seems the bad ones are micromanagers that do not trust their people, and constantly meddle in the day to day decisions that should be left to their Directors and Sr Managers. In some cases these VPs even derail progress at the Manager and Individual Contributor level with their control addiction. And worse these VPs work twice as hard making sure their upper management is happy with them than making sure their own teams are well led.

    At the Director level, generally these are well-seasoned operators that have truly achieved this role with their prior performance and results. Unfortunately, due to the VP issue stated above, there is a fairly unhappy relationship forming. Directors are the captains of this structure, and they should be given the trust and latitude to get things done. Rarely, with bad VPs, is this allowed. Taking risks and trying new things isn't encouraged. Directors are frustrated. They aren't given a vision to work towards, instead just a series of convoluted decisions and directions from their VP. This has negative effects downstream.

    At the Senior Manager/Manager level, the sergeants of the organization are in crisis. They see the conflict between their Director and VP, and the sargeants are left with conflicting directions and goals. The lack of trust their Directors experience is passed on to them, and so on. Paralysis ensues, nothing significant gets done, that which does get done is half-a$$ed and short sighted, and all parties end the day feeling unsatisfied and beaten down. The bad VP continues to report up that all is well while chaos and unhappiness reigns below.

    Ultimatelt this all flows downhill and impacts the individual contributor who now has no real leadership to guide them, sees distrust and incompetence all around them, and becomes one of those unhappy, lazy, and jaded employees that are the doom of any good working place. The spend more time taking smoke breaks, complaining, avoiding their management, or shopping on-line than actually getting anything done. Yet they loudly announce how they are "slammed" and "too busy", "overworked", with no "work/life balance" etc. which then sets their poor leadership off on a wild goose chase. It's all such a waste of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at yourselves - honestly. Do your people trust you? Do you trust them? If the answer is no then one of you needs to go, because it's not working. Stop worrying about how you look to those above you and start worrying about the people you're supposed to be leading. Grow a backbone and understand what matters, which sometimes means stepping back and letting those capable people on your team make decisions - good or bad. You will have to report failure from time to time, deal with it. That's called leadership. It's meant to be a little scary when you're doing it right.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    VMware Response

    Nov 13, 2014Vice President, Human Resources

    Thanks for taking the time to leave your review. It’s thoughtful and thorough and I appreciate you providing the insights and the feedback on your VMware experience.

    Of course I’m very sorry to
    ... More

  2.  

    The golden years are over

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Architect in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Architect in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at VMware full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very good work/life balance. Salary and benefits are also good at VMware. It's great for people with families/kids as there are many activities on a nice campus in Palo Alto.

    Cons

    Lack of professional/technical growth, but also lack of advancement or growth opportunities within your career.
    A lot of manager in middle management were bad engineers and got promoted to where they can't do much damage. But without proper training they end up being bad managers as well.
    Experience is very specific to a team with some of the teams having some really incompetent engineers. Processes are broken, don't exist at all, are very antiquated and worst of all: resistant to change.
    Customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with even the core products.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having a vision is not the same as having a strategy. Realize that the world around you is changing and developer focused companies like Amazon AWS or projects like OpenStack are disrupting the enterprise IT teams that you clinging to.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Senior MTS - Software Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at VMware full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Many free onsite technical trainings for developers. Having time to take them is another matter.
    - Flexible work hours.
    - Code get reviewed before checked in.
    - Frequent employee survey, but managers know when the survey to be sent out and prepare ahead of time to treat his/her team well right before the survey. After the survey, things can go back to ugliness.

    Cons

    - Too many Indians in management levels. This leads to 80 or 90% of the developers that got hired are Indians. No racial diversity as you see at Google.
    - Not a quick hire and fire environment to get rid of low performers. Some can stay there rotten without contributing anything much.
    - Can have a lot of political flavors when products are merged and acquired. Not a good place for you if you don't like politics. Best ideas might not win because of politics. Your work can get wasted because of politics. It also depends on how your managers manage your team and control his people.
    - When a culture is bad, people might just follow their own interest without considering technical disciplines.
    - Too much work on some people while others don't do much.
    - Bad planning at the management level. This can upset developers. A lot of chaos in some group.
    - The best persons to do a particular task might not be chosen because there is no ownership. Best people might end up fixing bugs just because the wrong developers were chosen from the beginning. This can impact developer's motivation and performance.
    - Always lacking Quality Engineers impact product's quality a lot and developers might have to do QE jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    not well organized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at VMware full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you are interested in virtualization, it's a good place to start, here, you will have first hand experiences as to how virtual machines are built and implemented.

    Cons

    very disorganized, management is not good at managing projects, products, hiring, lots of engineers and managers do not much other than talking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    improve the hiring process, especially the managers, centralized hiring is recommended since I've seen so many managers hiring people they knew although every single interviewer thought the person is far from a good candidate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Headed in the wrong direction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Reston, VA

    I have been working at VMware full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Leader in enterprise virtualization and making a strong move in cloud computing. "Unlimited" vacation is a plus, but needs to be approved my manager. Some strong benefits including Employee Stock Purchase Program.

    Cons

    Company put a CFO in an operations role and cost-cutting is hurting the companies ability to compete. They are focused more on cutting cost than on innovation and recruiting. Company has hired from companies that are no longer successful, and those managers are bringing the same philosophies over. Poor communication about how to be successful within the company. Management just announced across the board pay decreases for employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Culture no longer fosters trust and confidence in employees. No clear direction on how to move within the company, and leaders would prefer to hire from competitors than to grow from within.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work - if You're Director or Above

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at VMware full-time

    Pros

    Smart people, great technology, beautiful campus, good benefits.

    Cons

    VPs and Directors are dictatorial and arrogant. Revolving door at the VP level and endless re-orgs - new executives bring their entourages with them. They clog middle management and dilute the culture. If you have ideas, experience, and career ambitions you will be frustrated at VMware. Unless you sit at the Director-level or above, you can't get involved in discussions that affect your future. You will be told what to do - and if you don't like it, you will have to find another job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people doing the work. Vision should be informed by reality. Promote from within - stop hiring from outside, stop tweaking the organizational structures, it's killing morale. Good people should be rewarded for their performance and included in discussions that affect their futures.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nice technology and very nice campus

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at VMware full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Palo Alto campus is great and feels good to be there. The technology is very good and some really smart people to work with. To me the environment looked quite open and many folks were easily approachable

    Cons

    The management is very volatile. Most managers are technical folks and don't have capability to plan a product release or manage people. Smart engineers get the job done somehow. Features get dropped in every release due to poor planning. For experienced engineers it is not a great place. Lot of encouragement given to new college grads and for them it is a good learning experience.
    Something to note - the company had no new innovation for a long time.
    Benefits were very moderate compared to other companies in the Valley.
    Selling their old product (vSphere) will only take them so far.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Watch out, the open source is coming to get your bread. You can do nothing to stop it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Managers carousel

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at VMware full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic product company, lots of smart folks, lots of energy / passion for technology.

    Cons

    The company once slim and trim has grown many folds; bloating the middle management. Consequently its a Managers Carousel - you work for a manager for on an average 6 months before they get promoted (or) move to a different group taking with them your effort and rapport and you watch your effort and hard-work go in-vain.
    In short back to Square one :).

    Beware some times this may cause people getting stuck in a given grade for years; causing mass exodus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please shed the fat and keep the organization flat.
    It has one of the greatest engineers, but bad management will force these engineers to leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Hired me, then laid me off in 11 days due to budgetary cuts.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Optimization Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Process Optimization Analyst in Austin, TX

    I worked at VMware as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Able to work remotely, friendly co-workers, flexible hours, willingness to listen to new ideas, "green" culture, free snacks, breakfast, and food.

    Cons

    IT infrastructure is poorly developed, service tickets take a long time to complete, lack of cross-departmental engagement and transparency.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire someone for a job before your budget is approved.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not the same company anymore

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in East Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in East Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at VMware full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    One of the best pay master in bay area.
    Great benefits

    Cons

    This company used to be great engineering driven company earlier. But it's culture has changed drastically as it grew. Now it is becoming similar to Oracle, or Microsoft that are very hierarchical in nature.
    At the time company grew in size, lot of existing people with no management skills or experience were promoted as managers. They do not understand how to keep employees motivated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten the organization structure a bit. Otherwise, VMware would soom become 'Microsoft of virtualization'

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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