Alex Bewley

Name: Alex Bewley

Alex Bewley is a Director of Engineering at VMware, where he has been for the last 5 years.

Prior to VMware, Alex started and ran two small companies. The first was focused on Professional Services for Sun Microsystems customers. And the second was a software company, delivering performance, availability, capacity management, and costing tools.

Before this, Alex was a systems engineer at Sun Microsystems.

I got to know Alex while I was at VMware. He joined my team when I moved into Global Services. Alex was part of a team doing research into tools that could dramatically improve customer support. I joined the organization to reinvent support. What a perfect fit!

I worked with Alex and the other researchers to build a team to take their prototype and turn it into the core of VMware Skyline, a proactive support product.

I wanted to interview Alex due to the breadth of his experience, and because he has worked and managed his team while being remote from headquarters.

I hope you enjoy the interview.

Questions Interview

I asked Alex three questions that were specific to him.

  1. This year I am focusing on topics in my podcasts. I am mixing in interviews with great managers, but I am tying it all together by asking questions related to the topics. Let me start with the topic – working remotely.
    • You have worked remotely from headquarters for much of your career, a good part of this time from your home. What are some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages that you have seen?
    • You have been incredibly successful in this model. What are some tips or tricks that you would like to share with my listeners to help them to be more successful? 
  2. The next area that I would like to talk about is innovation. You have been deep in technology for most of your career, even while managing and running your own company.
    • How do you ensure that your team finds the right balance between delivering on the projects and products that they are responsible for AND innovating?
    • When you look at small companies and large companies, anything to add about how the challenges that each faces in remaining innovative? 
  3. I am a fan of both personal and team / organizational goals. What is your perspective on how important they are? (If they are, a follow-on about how to make them challenging while not impossible to achieve).

I then asked Alex the same six questions that I ask all interviewees – in a lightning-round format.

  1. What’s the most important factor you consider when hiring someone?
  2. Who was your most effective boss, and what made him or her stand out?
  3. What was the most difficult transition that you made in your career?
  4. How do you approach helping someone with their career development or path?
  5. What tools and tricks do you use to find work-life balance?
  6. How do you go about building relationships with your peers and other leaders in the company?

I really enjoyed the interview with Alex. Here are a few quotes that jumped out for me.

“By getting people to actually turn on video during remote converences – opens a whole new world of interacton.”

“Strong opinions – loosely held.” – attributed to Ryan Shondell

“No screens at dinner.”

I hope this gives you a sense of what you will hear in the interview.

Career Path

I talk to Alex about his career journey. Alex graduated with a degree in computer science. He then worked at both large companies and started and ran two of his own. Quite a journey. Such great insights.

I hope that you learn something from Alex!

See Also

Alex Bewley Interview on Youtube

Goals – Why Do Them?

Get Stuff Done!