Environmental, Social, and Governance

VMware’s First Virtual High School Hackathon

What is the VMware High School Immersion Program?

Three years ago, the VMware Office of the CTO (OCTO), in collaboration with our VMware Talent Recruiting team, kicked off an early talent engagement program to introduce high school students interested in technology to the experience of working at a Fortune 500 technology company. The VMware High School Immersion Program aims to teach future engineers that there is more to the job than just coding.

In past years, the program included such sessions as How to Market Yourself, The Role of the Product Manager, and Intro to User Experience.

While VMware was unable to host the week-long event in person this year due to COVID-19, we were eager to engage in a virtual format with our first-ever 24-hour Virtual High School Hackathon. Applying the lessons learned from OCTO’s completely virtual global Borathon this past spring, we planned a virtual hackathon that would keep students both engaged and eager to learn more.

VMware’s Virtual High School Hackathon 2020

On July 13-14, we launched VMware’s first Virtual High School Hackathon! We welcomed 33 high school students from around the U.S. to meet virtually and learn about our culture, community, and values. The students participated in various workshops to improve their programming skills, while competing in groups to earn the title of VMware Virtual High School Hackathon winners!

This year’s development theme was: a Technology Response to COVID-19. Students were encouraged to think about what they could create to help their community and schools during the pandemic. Eleven VMware Interns and New Grads contributed to the event as mentors to guide the teams as they learned more about programming and helped them map out what they wanted to create during the event.

The students began their 24-hour hackathon with an introduction to VMware, followed by an interactive workshop on Machine Learning hosted by Andrea Siviero, VMware Principal Architect for Professional Services Engineering. Then, the hackathon began!

Students from Bay Area High Schools Take First Place

The winning project was Maps4Covid – an app with real-time location mapping to optimize social distancing measures and allow for safe navigation anywhere. This app allows tracking the movements of people in the workspace or any given building. Using contact tracing, the app allows the user to track potential contacts and enforce social distancing. This application would help admins trace their member’s physical activity and help each user be wary of foot traffic in their area. This winning team comprised of three students entering their junior and senior years across the Bay Area high schools – Cupertino High, American High, and Evergreen Valley High.

Committed to Support our Next Generation of Engineers

The objective of the High School Immersion program is to give high school students a unique and engaging opportunity to enhance their current programming knowledge and develop professional skills, all while networking with like-minded students from around the country. We are continuing to grow this program by staying connected with the attendees and building out more high school events. Click here to learn more about the VMware High School Immersion program.

Sloan Griffin is the Program Manager of VMware’s Borathon program within the Office of the CTO. She also works on OCTO’s innovation programs such as xLabs and RADIO. Sloan started at VMware in 2016 as an intern and began work as a New Grad in 2017. Sloan has an insatiable desire to learn and loves to solve difficult puzzles. Sloan is passionate about the evolution of an idea and supports the innovator on their innovation journey wherever it leads through all the resources and programs OCTO offers.


Katherine Nguyen is a Program Manager on the University Talent Experience Team with a focus in high school relations. She supports VMware’s university recruiting strategy by providing students with a rich and rewarding experience through events, outreach and more. Katherine believes that great organizations are built by the people and for the people. She is passionate about working with students who are just starting their career, and providing them with resources needed to succeed.