Member of Technical Staff - Site Recover Manager R&D
Chih was originally drawn to VMware because of its strong reputation as a technology innovator — but after being hired as a software developer last spring, she realized her passion for the job went far deeper than coding and designing software. The 2013 graduate is not only working on architecting what’s next in VMware’s disaster recovery product, but is also hugely invested in mentoring young women in technology. She is even spearheading a new mentorship program for recent graduates, encouraging young women to strengthen their VMware voice.
Why did you choose VMware, and what were your initial experiences working there?
I joined VMware to explore one of the coolest computer science concepts: virtualization. During my interviews, I met my now-director and learned about all the different opportunities for career growth at VMware. She encouraged me to connect with technical mentors and peers at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, where I met some very inspiring leaders in the women-in-tech community. Being surrounded by people who are giving back to the technical community inspired me to become an active member of VMware’s own community.
What were your ﬁrst few months at VMware like?
I started with the New College Graduate Boot Camp, where I had the opportunity to learn about VMware’s products and work on a different project team for a few weeks. It was a great way to learn about the company’s culture, meet other new graduates, and gain exposure to different products. I was able to expand my virtualization expertise and jump-start my current assignment.
Which VMware value (execution, passion, integrity, customers, and community) resonates with you the most? Why?
Passion! I’m surrounded by people who are not only passionate about solving problems – connecting the dots in ways we wouldn’t normally think possible – but also passionate about giving back to our community. I recently attended our annual innovation offsite, where 1,500 VMware R&D employees connected to discuss improvements to VMware technologies and work environment. As part of our annual service-learning program, my team volunteered at a community outreach farm – weeding vegetables, digging ditches, and providing fresh produce to a local school. It’s great to see the company give back to the community on various fronts and to have such an encouraging and inspiring culture.
What has been your experience as a woman in the technology space?
It’s been terrific! VMware invests in creating an engaging workplace for technical women. I’m on the WIReD (Women in R&D) committee, working on initiatives including mentorship programs, technical talks, and networking events. In my non-coding spare time, I’m expanding our existing intern mentorship program to include new college graduates.
What advice would you offer to women in tech?
Be brave; speak up if things don’t resonate with you; be passionate. It can be hard to speak up in a room full of men — I personally find it intimidating, but it gets a little easier every time you do it!