Jehad Affoneh
Jul 18 · 6 min read
Group of designers with the potential candidate standing in the middle
Group of designers with the potential candidate standing in the middle

For twenty years, VMware’s products have been the driving force for moving organizations across the globe to the digital age. From compute and cloud to networking and security, VMware’s software is at the core of data centers across the world.

Over the past two years, the VMware design team has been on a journey towards a one experience-led VMware. We’re determined to build the best design team in the enterprise, and to us, the words ‘enterprise design’ sound more like an opportunity rather than a limitation. We believe design in the enterprise solves complex and interesting problems. We don’t lower our bar for user experience when we go to work, our customers shouldn’t either.

Enterprise design is where super complex problems get simplified, new patterns for systems get invented, and where we’re fortunate to work with some of the smartest engineers, product managers, and business leaders in the world.

At the core of VMware’s software is vSphere. It’s the management platform used in tens of thousands of organizations, from non-profits and aid organizations to 100% of the Fortune 500. vSphere is probably one of the most used management platforms on the planet, it’s that important. Hundreds of thousands of people use vSphere every single day as the foundation for their infrastructure to deploy and manage workloads and apps.

We’re looking for a Senior Staff Product Designer leading vSphere. What does that even mean?

About the role

At VMware, product designers are responsible for the end to end experience of a product, a project, or a feature. They work closely with product managers and engineers starting with the initial user research that comes with understanding the customer and the problems they’re facing, to specifying end to end solutions, to implementing these solutions and iterating on them.

Sr. Staff is one of the highest levels of leadership in design at VMware. They help define product strategy, vision, and roadmap. They are part of the leadership team driving the strategic direction of user experience for a product line and/or a business unit.

Working with product designers across the product team, they help drive design quality, end to end workflows, and communication and collaboration throughout the process.

As leaders within the design team, they mentor product designers and help influence direction for the rest of the design organization.

On vSphere, you’ll be the product designer with the highest responsibility and influence. You’ll partner with engineering and product management leaders to help define the future of vSphere as a platform as well as identify areas of investment for user experience to improve and iterate on the experience we’re delivering to our customers.

You’ll work closely with customers and lead other product designers on the team to identify the future of user experience on vSphere, directly impacting hundreds of thousands of customers. You’ll also work closely across the organization with other design leaders to focus on end to end experiences that are enabled by multiple VMware technologies and built on top of the platform vSphere provides.

About you

You are a problem solver. You love bringing clarity to ambiguity and thrive on solving complex enterprise-level problems. You are a great communicator who can listen and understand customers, cross-functional team members, and product designers and then formulate and articulate a vision and strategy.

You’re an opinionated decision maker who understands and listens to different perspectives but is able to make firm decisions on behalf of VMware’s customers.

You like simplifying complex systems and approaching uncharted areas. You are a business leader as much as a design leader focused on delivering great solutions that VMware can build to solve real customer problems. You understand tradeoffs and are able to make them in a balanced way. You have the curiosity to learn the breadth and depth of new domains.

About us

We’re a team of makers: product designers, researchers, and UI engineers working together to advance user experience in the enterprise space. We LOVE solving complex problems. To us, design is the method to solve real problems for real customers.

A photo of the VMware Design team at our first annual design conference, Shape, earlier this year.

We love experimenting, trying new paths, and taking risks. We don’t just say this to sound Silicon Valley cool, we truly appreciate the value of risk-taking.

We believe in the importance of psychological safety and building a team that continues to improve. We truly have an open-door policy and focus less on titles and levels and more on the shortest path to getting things done.

Ownership is important to us. This is the place to drive decisions, design, and experiences that will define how the cloud operates.

We’re warm, at least that’s how we describe our culture. We think time spent at work should be productive but fun. We’re serious about getting things done but the balance of life and work is important to us. In fact, it’s important to all of VMware starting with Pat, our CEO.

We’ve seen enough change over the last two years to know that more change is possible, and we do what’s needed to make it happen. We have each other’s backs and are candid with each other when we give feedback. We don’t let short-term discomfort stand in the path of long-term growth for all of us.

We believe in diversity and inclusion. We care about being able to bring our true selves to work. We don’t want you to just fit in, we want you to belong. This is your team.

Process

Don’t you hate it when a company’s recruiting process is a black box? We do too. Here is our process, in detail:

  1. You’ll apply using this link. We expect you to provide a resume and a portfolio. In this portfolio, we’d like to get to know you and the work you’ve led and done. We understand that at your level, you’re not building every pixel. That’s okay. We want to learn more about the problems you’ve solved, your process, the impact you made, and your takeaways.
  2. We’ll reach back to you once we’ve had the chance to review your info. Generally, this happens within a couple of weeks.
  3. We’ll do a one-hour call with one of our senior staff product designers to go through your portfolio. This is as much us interviewing you as it is you interviewing us and a chance to make sure this is a fit for you and us.
  4. If it appears that there is a good fit, we’ll move to a full on-site interview loop.
  5. In the full on-site interview loop, you’ll meet with our design leaders, designers on the team, and engineering partners. We’ll go through a portfolio review with the team, then you’ll have the chance to chat 1-on-1 with specific individuals on our team.

If you want to reshape the landscape of enterprise design and make an impact on a platform used daily by the overwhelming majority of the private cloud datacenter market and make a few friends and have fun in the process, this role is for you.

This role is based in Palo Alto, California.

Have any questions? Hit me up on Twitter (my DMs are open).

If this position is not the right one for you, but you’re still interested in joining the VMware Design team, we have many available positions here.

VMware Design

The VMware Design team | Transforming enterprise user experience and design

Thanks to Grace Noh and Janet Amaro

Jehad Affoneh

Written by

Head of @VMwareDesign. Co-created @VMwareClarity. UX, Engineering, Open Source, Travel, Nutella, Big Macs, & Politics. Find me at: mynameisjehad.com

VMware Design

The VMware Design team | Transforming enterprise user experience and design

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