This post is dedicated to our visit on Thursday afternoon to the VMware Campus in Palo Alto, San Francisco. The tour was offered by VMware and offered limited spots. The first 20 responses from European visitors would assure a spot in the tour. Two colleagues of mine and myself were lucky enough to earn a spot!
The bus trip took around 30 minutes from Moscone to Palo Alto where VMware campus is located. The area around the campus is beautiful and clearly shows that the US has plenty of space. Space, something that the VMware campus has plenty of. I had a lot of ‘wow’ moments during the tour because of this and also because of the large, modern buildings they have.
We had to sign a NDA form before the tour started, so I was actually hoping to see or hear things that I didn’t know of yet. But sadly, nothing was said that I can’t share with you.. =)
The tour was guided by Jeff Goodall and did a great job in telling his story. About 40 people attended the tour and consisted of employees, partners and customers. The biggest group Jeff have been guiding, was about 96 people!
Jeff mentioned that VMware is a green company. Almost everything, from the floor until the ceiling is made of recycled materials. Every building has it’s own corporate identity.
All office spaces counted together should provide for about 6000 employees, while the current amount of employees in Palo Alto is about 4500, Outside, and inside, the space I mentioned earlier is coming back every time. They even have soccer fields, gym areas, a terrace and even a place where you can drop off your dog if you want to take him with you to the campus while working. Awesome!
Good to know: depending on your role, showing up in shorts and a t-shirt is no problem at all.
One thing gets clear almost the same moment as you get through the entrance; silence. Everything is so quiet, both inside and outside. The only thing you heard was the wind blowing through the trees, birds whistling and sometimes an airplane flying over. I’ve never experienced such a relaxed business environment and I’m sure that will help you stay relaxed during a busy day.
VMware provides breakfast and lunch for their employees. Dinner is not included, as they prefer that you just be at home with your family, which is a good statement.
The way they handle with their people, can explain why they are growing so fast. Every Monday is dedicated for new employees to start with their first working day.
There is no Data Center on the campus, but there are some small labs for developers and engineers to work on and perform testing. I guess all the Data Center components are running on VMware vCloud Air now.. =)
The tour was very cool! Rather short though, and a shame we couldn’t see some of the office spaces or cubicles as Jeff called them. They should consider making this tour an extra option when you are registering for VMworld, or offer VMworld first-time visitors a tour to see where VMware is located and how they represent themselves as a company.
If you ever get the chance to go and visit their campus, do so!
Thanks for reading.
For more information about VMworld see their website at vmworld.com.