New Kid in Town

June 26, 2008

Well, I have been here working for Softlayer for a week and it has been GREAT. Not great... UNBELIEVEABLE! I just graduated from ITT just down the street in Chantilly, Va with a degree unrelated to what I am doing right now. To be honest, I was afraid that I may not do too well with Softlayer, because of the material and positions they train for. I have quite a history with trouble understanding basic computer terms and how computers and electroncs work.

My brother is like a GOD in my family with electronics. He picked out our family PC, set up our wireless system, and fixed my laptops multiple times (I have had 4 in the past 3 years...) and he was a full-time CSA for a conference center while he was in high school. He tried to teach me and help me understand what he's doing when he works on computers and I just couldnt process it in my mind. It just doesn't click.

My very first class in ITT was Intro to Personal Computers. I got an A in classwork and homework by writing the papers and turning them in, but I couldnt even understand what I write. I did not do too well in tests and final exams and ended up with a B. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldnt make sense of what I'm reading in the books. We never did lab work, it was all just books and papers and black and white pictures.

My first day at Softlayer, I was very nervous. I thought the day would not end very well. Robert Guerra was my trainer for the first half of the week. He did an AMAZING job explaining EVERYTHING about the company, what my job is and parts of the server and everything in between. He did 500 times better than my teacher in college. Everything clicked almost right away. Of course, I did not remember every single thing the first time, it just had to be repeated to make everything perfect. I remember driving home with a HUGE smile on my face and saying "I LOVE this job!"

I never expected to be doing IT work, and I just think this is AWESOME! The facility looks amazing and everything is in tip-top shape and everything is very well organized. I have not worked in a cleaner environment until I got to Softlayer. There are not very many people in the WDC facility yet, but I have gotten to know many of them here and I feel very comfortable.

My other issue here is communication. Spark is a GREAT communication tool for the whole company of SoftLayer and it is helping me out a TON. I love the fact that we use instant messaging to communicate with Dallas and Seattle divisions and sort out problems and I love how everyone is friendly to one another. I cannot use a phone because of my hearing impairment and that is one reason why it is really hard to find jobs for me. A lot of job positions require someone to use a phone or radio and that cancels a LOT of opportunities for me. When I had to deal with that situation with one of my previous jobs, I had to pull someone aside and ask them a favor and help me out with phone use. Not a lot of people like to be pulled aside REPEATEDLY. Spark will help me rely on myself to talk to people myself and get all of the job done!

Thank you Robert Guerra and Eric Antonio for training and putting up with me for the past week! I have one more week of training to do with Eric and I am going to stop at nothing to make Softlayer proud.

-Clayton