When I was 14 I got my first tech job as a tech support guy for a local "mom and pop" internet service provider, from there on out I have been in many data centers in the North West working with multiple companies of all caliber. From National Dial-up Internet Service Providers to small webhosting companies that have had their stuff collocated in many of the area's datacenters.
When I was about 20 I decided I was burnt out on the internet and wanted to try Central Office build outs for a national telecommunications company installing their fiber and DSL network in Washington and Oregon. The one thing that I learned in the Telco industry is to do nice and neat work. Work that you could trace a single cable in a bundle and follow it from point A to point B.
After a few years of doing the same thing over and over, I figured it was time for me to get back into the Internet as it was way more challenging for my ever-thinking mind.
So I took my nice and neat skills and worked on a contract for Microsoft building out a data center in a top secret location in the Puget Sound. This was by far one of the nicest and cleanest datacenters I had ever seen. After that I went to work for some other area datacenters doing systems administration work. I helped them do a migration of two datacenters into one. I helped build out a datacenter, and I helped by trying to make the datacenter as nice as Microsoft's along with as neat as the Telephone companies COs.
During this time I really noticed SoftLayer Technologies was Ahead of the Rest when it came to the internet utility hosting Industry. I quickly wanted to learn everything about this company, and being the nerd that I am, figured I should buy a server from this company. I Bought one and went to lunch thinking I might have a call or e-mail saying that my server will be done here within the day. Wow! 45 minutes later? "These guys are on top of it", I thought.
Then one day I was browsing Webhostingtalk.com (this is my equivalent to your teenager's myspace.com addiction) and noticed that SoftLayer just released a P.R. about signing a deal with InterNAP for a 10,000 server datacenter in Tukwila so I figured this company's features are so freaking amazing and cool. "I just need to try to get a job at this location with this really cool company", I said to myself. I sent off a Resume and a little info about myself. I did not hear back from them for a while. I figured my quick-witted humor may have rubbed the HR department the wrong way, or maybe I wasn't qualified, or too qualified.
SoftLayer finally called me back. I was as happy as a 10 year old getting a dirt bike for his birthday -- they wanted an interview.
So I go in and tour the facility and do my interview with the interviewing committee, I have to say it was one of the most intense interviews I have ever had with the technical questions that was asked along with just a hard interview process, though I left that day knowing I would be getting a call from SoftLayer as I felt I sold myself to them on my skillset.
I have to say it is really relaxing and challenging working for a world-class company in a world-class datacenter. There is a great deal of stress that comes with our job in this industry, and when the datacenter and management have everything in order from the get go and it hasn't been patched together it makes your job as a Systems Administrator a little less stressful. I do my daily walks of the datacenter in Seattle looking at thousands and thousands of racked servers that are set to standards which is weird when I've worked for places that use motorcycle tie-downs and zip ties to secure your rack to make them ‘Earthquake' ready.
I now sleep at night knowing if there is an earthquake we will be prepared and your data and machines will be safe in SoftLayer's Seattle N+1 datacenter. We have a wonderful team of build engineers and systems administrators that work around the clock to keep your virtual datacenter up and running. I wouldn't want to be at any other place for 40+ hours a week!
3 bars for life!