My Summer ’19 Internship Experience at VMware

Make the World Better-Lucy Stones

There’s a way to do it better-Find it- Thomas Edison

Upon arriving at VMware Atlanta office on the first day of my internship I was filled with mixed emotions. It was an intense feeling of both responsibility to fulfill the expectations of my superiors and excel at my work. There was a sense of accomplishment that I had made it to one of the best places to work. Having not worked for an R&D team before with no prior expertise in IoT, I felt like I was starting all over again despite having 4 years of experience in software development.

I joined the VMware IoT team as an R&D intern. My task was to discover ZigBee device’s capabilities (programmatically and dynamically) and then on board them to VMware’s Pulse IoT solution. Considering this was an unknown domain, I had to research the device on the go. At the end of the internship, not only had I put a working system in place, I also made it commercially viable giving my team an option to explore it further. It also gave them a platform to work with the customers and tailor the product as per their needs.

My role primarily was to:

  • Research, ideate and develop ZigBee stack solutions which will fit into our needs. One option was to start with a ZigBee stack development which wasn’t feasible as it would have taken a long time. Second option was to buy a ZigBee stack solution and then make it work for us. I explored both the options and then settled down on using multiple Open Source stacks. The pros about using open source stack was that I was able to change/modify and write new code tailored to my specific needs, get help and guidance from people who were already contributing to it and in turn give back to the community by sharing my experience. It was even easier to add support for all type of end devices which follow the ZigBee cluster library specifications.
  • Enable ZigBee device discovery and capabilities discovery from a gateway point of view. The process of capabilities discovery include: 1.Discovering all the device details such as the Model, manufacturer, Mac Address etc. 2.Discovering all the metrics a device can collect, such as temperature, humidity, current measurement etc. 3.Discovering all the commands the device can support, such as On/Off, Increase/Decrease light brightness etc.
  • Onboard all of these devices on the VMware Pulse IoT center without any human intervention. The vision was to do all of it in a single click of button, without having a person to manually enter the details about each device in the Pulse and then on-boarding them individually.
  • Collect metric from all the devices using VMware open source liota(little IoT agent) and enable command execution through the Pulse IoT center.

I also had the opportunity to show my work to people from different teams and domains and get their feedback at the VMware intern Poster event. The Poster Session is a way for each intern to present research information, illustrate the process and demonstrate the outcome of their summer project. As an intern, I’ve been exposed to a lot of cool new products and their cultural impact has left me speechless. The Intern poster session is the best reflection of this, the best part of the session was interacting with the coworkers who have been working on VMware products since inception and watching them get intrigued by my ideas!

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The response to my project was overwhelming, and it made me feel so proud about the work I had done over the last 3 months. This summer internship experience puts me in a unique position where I have a good grip on IP based Networking protocols as well as other communication protocols used in IoT like ZigBee, BacNet. I also learnt how to use them to get a viable IoT solution.

The most remarkable aspect of my internship, in addition to the exciting project work, was the positive interaction and amazing relationships I built with my coworkers. I am grateful to my manager, mentor, and my team who supported me and pushed me to do my best. Special thanks to my manager Ravishankar Chamarajnagar , my mentor Dev Kondur, Keerthana and all the team members: Raghunath Krishnamurthy, Vasu Yendapally  for helping me at every step and teaching me the right way to do things through their constructive feedback. I find Ravishankar Chamarajnagar to be a motivational role model, a leader who reminds people of the common purpose, the importance of the work they do, the necessity of setting challenging goals and the celebration of small wins. I would also like to thank Parth Trivedi from whom I learned so much about turning client’s expectation to a reality and how to make a product good enough for the market. He has an excellent eye for details and has helped me in providing valuable feedback for my project.

I would also like to thank Rochester Institute Of Technology for providing a wonderful course work as part of my Master’s degree which helped me in cracking the interview and obtaining this internship. As my summer internship comes to an end today; I am pretty much confident and feel assured that my experiences at VMware along with my Master’s coursework from RIT will help me in establishing a successful career ahead !!

I eagerly await the next opportunity at VMware!

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