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Data Center Aficionado & Creative Writer

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My Data Center Experience

I discuss my experience working in different data centers during my extensive IT career.

As a good introduction to my website I will discuss my data center experience. I think that’s the right move a “data center aficionado” should do or I would get questions. In short, I worked at a data center technician in vendor-neutral data centers and also for a Silicon Valley company. Which company was that? You’ll have to read to find out.

How I Got Interested In Data Centers

Before I can discuss why I wanted to work in data centers I need to explain how I got my start in the Information Technology field.

I graduated college in 2004 with a BA in English with the dreams of becoming an author. And I tried to publish my books through the traditional ways like getting an agent through my early 20’s. Unfortunately, like many writers, I got rejection after rejection. During that time I worked various jobs that had nothing to do with writing or my degree. By late 2007 I gave up on my writing dreams and focused on finding a stable career so I could live instead of trying to survive. Plus, I wanted to pay off my debt.

After researching what career I could do without going back to college I discovered IT. I had a bunch of personal experience of doing IT for family and friends since I fixed their computers, removed viruses, upgraded their hardware, and much more. So I studied and practiced for the CompTIA A+ certification for the rest of 2007, took the exams in March 2008, and passed both on the first try! By May 2008 I got my first entry-level IT job.

After working different IT jobs to develop my skill-set I came across mini data centers in the places I worked. I could look at the one or two racks of servers but I couldn’t touch them or even enter the room without an escort. Yet, I wanted to do that work which meant I had to improvement my skills.

My Data Center Experience Starts

By 2014 I got my first data center technician job at Peak 10 (now Flexential) in Alpharetta, GA. I worked the third-shift and did all types of duties like rack and stack, assist customers with issues, monitored systems, running Ethernet and fiber, installing Power Distribution Units (PDUs), and more. It was a good introduction into working for a vendor-neutral data center because it was large but not too large. And I got great experience working with customers with their various requests and/or issues.

Now everything wasn’t good during my time at Peak 10. The company had issues regarding its training and procedures for us workers due to upheaval in management. Thus, this confused us technicians because our day-to-day tasks changed week to week. Or management gave us new tasks to do at the last minute with little to no training. Eventually I had to leave because I could see things weren’t going to get better until someone resolve the management issues.

My Three Month Stint As A Contractor At A Data Center

Let me spend a moment to discuss my experience working as a contractor data center technician at a data center for a company. The company will remain nameless because I don’t have much good to say about this position.

There was nothing wrong with the company but the other contractors I worked with. The main problem: Due to not enough permanent jobs the contractors fought among each other for the chance to get a full-time job. Thus, it was so difficult to get assistance from my coworkers. Some of the other contractor were outright hostile to others.

Did the company know about these problems? Yep, but there was nothing they could do about it except try to get the contractors to work better with each other. Yet, why would they try when we were contractors? If a contractor would become too much of an issue, and that happened from time to time, the company would contact the contracting company and that troublemaker was out of a job.

By month three I saw the writing on the wall and left. It wasn’t worth my time or health to deal with that crap.

Working At A Silicon Valley Company

I’ll wrap up my data center experience talking about working for a Silicon Valley company. In 2017 I got a job as a Site Operations Technician for the Atlanta, GA data center for Twitter. I was pretty excited to get this job because I enjoyed using Twitter, and I wanted to work at a Silicon Valley company.

Working in the Atlanta, GA data center is going to be a series of posts in the future because I have so much to say. Overall, I enjoyed my time there because I learned so much. Plus, Twitter’s data centers were huge! I walked so much and it was quite a daunting task to learn where certain racks were due to be in different rooms. I’ll stop now because I do want to save my thoughts for the future posts. Stay tune for those!

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