Posts Tagged 'Experience'

September 21, 2010

A Transition from Humdrum to Dynamic

Having said greetings to exactly five people just like every other morning before this one, the employee made the final turn in the maze of cubicles to arrive at the mountain of papers and folders in his personal work area. Sitting down, he checked the agenda for that day, though that was unnecessary for he knew all too well what to expect. The agenda basically read:

  1. Extract data from a particular account
  2. Manipulate data to arrive at a comprehensible format
  3. Organize data into charts and graphs
  4. Perform variance analysis
  5. Document findings and submit for review
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5

The above scenario, although quite simplified, is a high level summary of my career for the past 10 years before working as a Server Build Engineer at SoftLayer. With this mindset that my daily work in the field of Finance and Accounting could be simply listed as a series of routine steps, I made the difficult decision to set out for a major career change. Due to previous yet limited professional experience with programming and pc troubleshooting, I was not unfamiliar with the field of Information Technology I had in mind. As a hobby, I also enjoyed tinkering with computers so this choice was a no brainer for me. For web hosting, those who are serious about a website would need to make a jump from having a static ip address to one that is dynamic but for my life, I was looking to go in the opposite direction from static to dynamic. Through a friend who at the time worked at SoftLayer and often spoke highly of it, I was informed of a great opportunity to re-enter the IT field.

It is now 6 months since the first day I started at SoftLayer and I must say there is no looking back but only forward. The number of people I greet at the start of each work shift is still a set number, but other than that, so much has changed in a positive way. I am no longer bound to redundant procedures on a daily basis since I typically cannot predict ahead of time what challenges face me that day at work, since our customers’ needs will vary on a day-to-day basis. It is this variety in tasks that make me realize I have found what I was looking for and in the past, I have always worked behind the scenes and never clearly seen the fruits of my labor. Deadlines for reports and what not would be met, but no clear realization of what impact I could make on others. On the contrary, at SoftLayer, we are able to deal with customers directly and through that there is satisfaction in knowing that my efforts help make a real person happy, which can be crucial since there are times that a business’s success will depend on how we handle requests. All in all, I am very thrilled with this recent major decision I have made and here’s hoping to a bright future with SoftLayer!

August 31, 2010

An excerpt from the Diary of a N00b

I must admit coming to work for SoftLayer made me a little nervous. I was hired as a receptionist and I assumed my computer skills, or lack thereof, would get me through just fine. I am not one of those people that you would consider computer savvy. Sure, I can use a computer to look up directions or make a PowerPoint but I knew I was rather limited for the times.

Before working here I thought the only kind of cookies out there were the kind you could bake with chocolate chips. I thought clouds only were up in the sky and was impressed when I heard someone mention they were customizable. When people said “I’m headed to the NOC” I just assumed they were going to knock on someone’s office door or maybe it was a hip new restaurant.

My first day I received calls about phishing and honeypots, I was beyond confused. I was sure Winnie the Pooh did not work here and these guys didn’t seem like the fishermen type. I decided it was time for me to get a little more current on the times. Everyone at SoftLayer has been accommodating and so generous with their time. I have been so impressed with everyone’s team work. I have learned so much in these first few weeks.

The SoftLayer Team has been so helpful showing me around the new building. It is absolutely stunning, it is a bit of a maze though. I’m afraid if I didn’t have someone walking me through, I might have to leave bread crumbs to find my way back.

In closing, I am glad to learn there are more cookie options but I still prefer the chocolate chip kind.

August 19, 2010

The Girls' Engineering Club

I remember when I got started in computing. For the morbidly curious it was officially "a long time ago" and I'm afraid that's all I'm going to say other than to note that a major source of inspiration for me was the movie TRON, or more specifically the computer graphics in that movie (naturally I'm looking forward to the release of the new TRON movie!).

Computers have come a long way since then and what they've gained in power, they've also lost in simplicity. To draw an analogy, the kids of my father's generation, who spent a lot of time in the garage tinkering with cars, would have to make a big technological leap before they could monkey with the guts of today's newfangled automobiles. In a similar fashion the computers of my era, with built in Integer BASIC and simple graphics modes, have given way to mouse-driven, fully graphical user interfaces of today. Where I started programming by entering a few lines of text at a prompt and watching my code spit out streams of text in return, these days an aspiring programmer has to create a significant chunk of code to put up a window into which they can display their results, before they can write the code that generates those results.

In short, there's a bit more of a learning curve to get started. While kids are a bit farther along when they start out, it doesn't hurt to give them a push where you can.

Several months ago, the counselor at the local elementary school called to invite my daughter to join a newly-formed Engineering Club for the girls in the fifth grade. My daughter had scored well in her math and science tests and they wanted her to be a part of a pilot program to help foster an interest in science and engineering. For various reasons (most having to do with bureaucracy) the school was unable to get the program off the ground. My wife, not wanting the girls to miss out on an opportunity, took the program off-campus and created an informal club, divorced from the school, and driven by the parents. The Girls Engineering Club was born.

The club has a dozen or so young ladies as members and since they're not tied to the school calendar, they have meet once or twice a month through the summer. In the club they explore applications of science, mathematics, and technology with a particular focus on experimentation. For example, the club formed shortly after the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The girls spent their first meeting talking about what the professional engineers were doing at the time, and then trying to find ways to separate motor oil from water using things like sand, soap, coffee filters and dish soap. When I got home that day, I saw the aftermath. I hope the girls learned a lot... it was certainly clear that they had made a big mess and had a lot of fun.

It became my turn to help when the club took up the subject of Software Engineering. I'd like to say that the club leadership took me on because I have degrees in Computer Science and I'm a professional Software Engineer by trade. In truth, however, I think it was just my wife who thought I needed something better to do with my weekend than play video games. For whatever reason, however, I was pressed into service to teach the girls about Software Engineering.

Naturally I wanted to teach the girls a little bit about how engineering principles apply to the creation of software. But I imagine that a group of pre-teen women would find an hour and a half exposition on the subject at best half as exciting as that last sentence makes it sound. Moreover, these girls were used to hands-on engineering club meetings. If the girls didn't "get their hands dirty" with at least a little bit of programming, the meeting would be a bust. The problem was... How do you teach a dozen pre-teen girls about programming; and on a shoestring budget?

When I was taking computer science classes in school we had very expensive labs with carefully controlled software environments. For the club, each girl probably has a computer at their house, but I wasn't anxious to ask parents to pull them out of place, drag them somewhere that we could set them up, and then slog through the nightmare of trying to get a semi-uniform environment on them.

Instead, I gathered up my veritable museum of computer hardware. Using those that were only a few years old, and still capable of running Mac OS X, I pulled together three that could be wirelessly networked together and have their screens shared. It was a bit of an ad-hoc arrangement, but functional.

Next came the question of subject matter. In my daily life I work with a programming language called Objective-C. Objective-C is a really fun language, but it requires a pretty hefty tool chain to use effectively. I didn't want to burn a lot of my hour and a half with the girls teaching them about development tools... I wanted them writing code. Clearly Objective-C wasn't the answer.

A while back I read about a book called Learn to Program by Chris Pine. Mr. Pine had created a web site dedicated helping people who had never programmed before learn enough to get started. After the web site had been around a while, and after a bunch of folks had offered their comments and suggestions to improve it, he collected the information from the web site into the book.

The book uses a programming language called Ruby as its teaching tool. Ruby is a fantastic language. It's one of the so-called "fourth generation" scripting languages (along with Python, Perl, JavaScript, and others). The language was designed to scale from the needs of the novice programmer, up to the demands of the professional Software Engineer. For the girls in the club, however, the nice thing about Ruby is that it provides a "Run, Evaluate, Print, Loop" (REPL) tool called IRB (Interactive RuBy). Using IRB, you can type in a Ruby expression and see the results of executing that expression right away. This would provide the great hands-on experience I was looking for in a reasonably controlled environment. More importantly it would run (and run the same way) on my collection of rapidly-approaching-vintage hardware.

I wanted to get a copy of the book for the girls. The Pragmatic Programmers offers many of their books, including this one, in electronic formats (PDF and eBook). I contacted them about a volume or educational discount on a PDF copy of the book. A company representative was kind enough to donate the book for the girls in our club!! You could have knocked me over with a feather. That gift put the train on the track and the wheels in motion.

(In appreciation, let me mention that Learn To Program is available in its Second Edition from The Pragmatic Bookshelf today. This is not an official endorsement by SoftLayer, but it is an enthusiastic recommendation from your humble author who is very grateful for their generous gift).

In the end, the club meeting was on a very rainy day. We struggled to keep the computer equipment dry as we hauled it to the home of one of the club members. Their poor kitchen table became a tangle of cords carrying power and video signals. Using shared screens, and my iPad as a presentation controller, I walked the girls through a Keynote presentation about some of the of the basic concepts of Software Engineering. Then we fired up Ruby in IRB and I showed the girls how to work with numbers, variables, and simple control structures in Ruby. They had to sit three to a computer, but that also let them help one another out. They learned to use loops to print out silly things about me (for example, I had my computer print out "Mr. Thompson rocks!", the girls felt that they absolutely must get their computer to print "Mr. Thompson most certainly does not rock!" 1000 times). There was an awful lot of giggling, but as the teacher I was proud to see them pick up the basic concepts and apply them to their own goals. My favorite exclamation was "Wow! I could use this to help me with my homework."

As a Software Engineer, I spend an awful lot of my time sitting in front of a screen watching text scroll by. My colleges and I have meetings where we work together on hard problems and come up with creative solutions, but just as the computing environments of the day have become more complex, I've become a bit jaded to the discovery and wonder I enjoyed when I poked away at my computer keyboard all those years ago. One of the benefits of volunteering is not what you do for others, but what they can do for you. With the Girls Engineering Club, I got to experience a little of that joy of discovery once again. The price was a little elbow grease, some careful thought, and a bit of my time. It was absolutely a bargain.

Categories: 
June 29, 2010

The 360 degree Network is not a myth!

OK so 360 degrees covers every direction, right? It’s everything top to bottom, front to back, and side to side. Is it possible for a network or datacenter to have you covered by 360 degrees? No way. Impossible. Can’t happen and wont happen in this life nor the next. That kind of total coverage is on the level of other mythological beings, like Big Foot, that are awe-inspiring, and the stuff of legend. The new network extensions in addition to what we had before have brought a lot of light to what the possibilities are. I mean at one point most people in the world thought their world was flat. So if you can see things the way I do you may agree that the 360 degree network is real and SoftLayer is the key to this understanding. Who knows, if we prove this to be true maybe we can even find hard proof evidence of Big Foot too.

Steve Kinman, affectionately known as SKinman, beat me to the punch in writing about the new POPs that have been recently released. If we didn’t know better we’d think it was his job or something to write blogs. But seriously, if you haven’t already, take the time to check out http://theinnerlayer.softlayer.com/2010/network/. I was all hyped up to write up about the new additions, and luckily that there are so many things that this offering has to give Skinman was only able to get in some of the cool stuff about it. The overly quick review of recent updates to the network is that we’ve added POPs in pretty much each and every major Telecom city in America. This not only gives us additional capacities, redundancies, and even luxuries that are not just impossible for you to get anywhere else, but also that you don’t have to pay for it.

So what do we get from this additional network capacity? The answer is a much better overall end user experience. The internet isn’t about just a bunch of tubes, but instead it is about people. It’s about people who want to connect to others, people who want to learn things, and people who want to make life easier. We’ve simply taken one of the widely acclaimed networks in the world and increased its capacity and potential exponentially. We know we get a better end user experience, but I say we also get tons of Value which is what makes this business. “How so” you ask? If you think about it we’ve all been given all of these awesome additional features and it costs us nothing, zip, nada. In fact it probably increases our leverage to make more enterprise level solutions even more affordable and within reach. Geographical diversity is a huge tool to have at your disposal, but most times it costs way too much to think about things like Disaster Recovery, or High Availability solutions and not to mention too complex. Think about it. If you have different facilities in different cities there are few ways of making something work and endless road blocks keeping you from being able to do what you need before you even think of the costs. Let’s face it; Innovation is both expensive and Risky. The value that new POPs bring on top of what our network was already capable of does more to neutralize the cost and risk of expansion more than anything that has ever been available to the masses. The POPs do not even mention what is possible and what often gets overlooked about the private network already. Lets take a look at what matters most to the majority of our customers.

  1. Free inbound bandwidth. – We were the first to introduce this and some have followed to offer as well, but not everyone.
  2. All 10G connections from each Carrier or Peer – In order to make sure you have the best end user experience there is a vast amount of BW capacity and we will not work with any providers that cannot give us 10G in a location. This has caused us to no longer work with providers we have previously worked with to get this done.
  3. Cisco Network Routing and Switch Gear from top to bottom – We use this throughout our infrastructure to make sure we have the best results. We are also constantly testing new technologies to make sure that we do not miss out on pushing the industry from an innovative standpoint.
  4. Arbor Peakflow and Atlas Traffic Analysis - This may not be necessary for everyone at all times, and it is something of a minor point. Still it is somewhat important to note how traffic is coming in and that it is available for you if and when you need it.
  5. Automated IP routing & Management via FCP – This makes sure we use the best routes for your traffic which further ensures a better overall experience.
  6. Individual and Secure Private VLANS – Without this you can be exposed on a network which is a problem and you could have additional unnecessary risk. Without this others in the data center could “sniff your traffic” steal your IPs, or simply see and hack into your servers somewhat easily.
  7. Up to 1000mbps connection on the server - it just includes all of our backbone carriers and our peering partners as well. (this number is expected to grow as we add more peering partners each week)
  8. Geographically Redundant DNS services – this is made even more powerful with the additional POPs available.
  9. This doesn’t even mention higher styles of load balancing, firewalls, or the control that we offer, but that is a whole other blog post.

OK, so now we’ve really tooted the Public network horn pretty hard. Doing this is necessary, because it doesn’t get a lot of attention sometimes. If you are wondering why then it’s important that we cover the other half of the coin: The Private Network. SoftLayer is built from the ground up making sure that we can imperative things to our customers: Unparalleled control, Automation, Integration and all of it is On-Demand with no long term contracts or large CapX to risk. We know this is important to you because it’s also important to us. We have always strived to be the innovative leader and the very first step was the private network. Normally, this is what gets all of the attention in anything that we bring out or offer because it ties everything in without having the normal hassles and complications caused by time and space issues in a datacenter. Where else can you integrate a cloud solution with dedicated servers while setting up a DMZ to make it all PCI compliant? You guessed it, nowhere. Where else could you take the same solution and expand it to multiple datacenters for higher levels of failover and performance?..... OK I guess this is getting kind of redundant and I could keep this up all day long, but I think you get the point. I am interested to hear of things that anyone feels that cannot be done within our network

With as much acclaim as the SoftLayer Private Network has gotten (and well deserved I might add) it is a major feet to provide an extended public network that is equally as impressive. Together they combine to create the 360 degree network, like all 5 lions coming together to form Voltron- Defender of the Universe. I’m just saying that if we have this here…. Keep your eyes out for Big foot.

Categories: 
May 18, 2010

Skinman’s Travels

Well, I am on the final flight I have for about a month, finally. I left 8 days ago to go to Vancouver for the Game Developer Conference (GDC) for a great part of the trip. Even walking 10 miles with the great “walk-aholic” @gkdog and needing lots of oxygen was cool. We walked around Stanley Park and if you haven’t done it you should. It’s about a 6 mile loop and it gets the attention of all your senses. It was about 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) when we started on the bright, wind free side of the park and all was good.

As we walked we saw some pretty cool sights and I have attached a picture or two for you to see. Once you get past the bridge in the pictures

You round a corner and then the pacific winds hit you in the face and the sun hides behind the rock walls and trees.

I thought at first the temperature difference was about 10 degrees but as we kept walking I soon was glad I wore jeans, and not shorts, and my new comfortable shoes. At about 3 miles I was ready for a taxi but once you hit the backside of the park cars, taxis, helicopters and sea planes are hard to come by as well as “porto-potties”. But we kept walking. We saw giant cable wrapped bundles of lumber that must have fallen from their ships and washed ashore. Then we stumbled upon Kent Avery. The man can balance a rock. This picture is not faked in any way

And here is a cool video about him http://ow.ly/1M3AQ. I watched him stack two or three rocks and he just balances it and then adds another and then another. Did I mention there is a 10mph wind blowing and not one stack of rocks fell.

We made it around the park and then walked the rest of the 10 miles to get to a small restaurant on Robson hill. Yea, I said hill and yea we had to walk up it. After sitting at the restaurant for about 3 hours I could barely move. The hotel bed that night was a welcome site. The next day it was off to San Francisco for Citrix Summit and Synergy. This was a much larger show and the first thing I noticed while walking towards the convention center was the people who had already checked in were wearing branded Citrix and SoftLayer lanyards around their necks to hold their access badge. It was really cool. I can’t count how many people I talked to that noticed my SoftLayer shirt and asked what we did just because we were on the lanyard with Citrix. Overall this was a great show. Nathan Day was on a round table and then discussed Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Public and Private Clouds. The entire team of 7 stayed extremely busy for the show.

SoftLayer is becoming more and more known everywhere I go. Infrastructure as a service must be here to stay, because I don’t get to stay in one place very long at the moment. Flight 566 from San Fran to Dallas is about 20 minutes out. See you on the ground!

May 5, 2010

Adjacent Synergies

The week of May 10, I’ll be heading off to San Francisco with a full complement of SoftLayer personnel to attend and present at Synergy (www.citrixsynergy.com), Citrix’s annual conference. We are heading out in force to deliver our message on the advantages of utilizing Infrastructure as a Service.

If you are familiar with SoftLayer, then you know our value proposition: we can provide network and compute infrastructure to our customers faster, better, and with a less financial burden than doing it on your own. I’ll be making a presentation on Wednesday May 12th highlighting the advantages of IaaS and examples of business getting more done more quickly for less by using a service provider like SoftLayer.

In addition, on Thursday the 13th, I’ll be discussing the managed vs. automated self-managed models of IaaS with Jon Greaves of Carpathia (http://www.carpathiahosting.com/blogs/carpathia-blog). It ought to be an interesting discussion that helps customers decide which model is right for them.

SoftLayer is a Gold Sponsor at the event and we will have some other management on site as well as members of the sales team discussing our service at our booth in the Solutions Expo.

I didn’t make up the phrase “Adjacent Synergies” but I think it counts as a double in buzzword bingo. I would have used “Synergistic Adjacencies” instead.

-@nday91

February 19, 2010

More Strange Dreams – This Time with Explosives!

So there we were at Lance’s New Year’s Eve party and all of us are having a great time and enjoying some of Sam F’s delicious 3-Bars BBQ. We at some point decide that it would be a good idea to jump into Lance’s pool for a little swim. This is when Lance whips out his fancy new scuba diving outfit that he has custom-fitted with a Camelbak that’s full of Miller Lite*. Why you would need a Camelbak full of Miller Lite while swimming underwater breathing a tank full of oxygen, I don’t know, but I’ve seen weirder and more inventive things with this group of people, so I move on. A few of us try it on and swim around underwater while drinking delicious Miller Lite from the Camelbak and we’re having a good ol’ time getting ready for the fireworks show. I then notice that there are a lot of people showing up for the annual fireworks display – a lot – like people are flying in on helicopters. This is when Lance announces his big plans for this year’s fireworks display to us all.

He has made himself a homemade rocket suit propelled by crazy amounts of giant fireworks. Once lit, it will thrust him straight up into the air. It should be noted that Lance is not a small man and the amount of fireworks strapped to his homemade suit was ridiculous in size and by no means safe, to him or anyone within a 10 mile radius for that matter. The fact that he had a SoftLayer-themed biker’s helmet on (I assume for safety?) accompanied with tons of explosives strapped to his body was also – ridiculous. I’m thinking Nathan, our CTO, had something to do with this idea. The idea was that Lance was to reach the proper altitude, and then the fireworks would be released from him like the space shuttle’s booster engines when entering orbit and the fireworks would burst into beautiful explosive visuals and spell out “SoftLayer” in fire in the sky. How he was going to get down safely remains a mystery, because at this point in time someone lit Lance’s rocket suit and sure enough, away he went, straight up into the sky as planned, leaving sparklers and pretty fireworks bursting in his wake.

It was then that I had woken myself up, giggling at the thought of Lance being shot up into the sky with tons of explosives strapped to him and in a biker helmet and I emailed myself the contents of this yet another strange dream.

January 6, 2010

The SoftLayer Customer... A Little Different?

I work in the support department at SoftLayer, and I can tell you that a day of answering phone calls and tickets is not what you might expect. SoftLayer customers are a little different from customers of other companies.

I know from my own experience dealing with cable/internet providers, electric companies, delivery companies, online stores, etc. that the only time I ever call is when I have received sub-standard service and something needs to be fixed. I am usually met with a person on the phone that either does not know the answer to (what seems to me) a simple question or simply does not hide the fact that they don’t care about my issue. I have always chalked this up to a company that has grown to the point that the original people who cared about their company are no longer in touch with the end user (customer). So, I wade through mountains of sludge to get to someone who can actually give me the information I need or maybe even fix my problem. Then, in the case of cable/internet, I wait… and wait… and wait… and…………………. wait for a technician who knows what they are doing to fix the actual problem. And, yes, it has taken three technicians on three different days and a supervisor being called out to my house to fix a problem in the past.

I was just talking to my manager, who related a recent experience in which he ordered the game “Rock Band” along with the Beatles CD from an online seller. The game arrived promptly, but the CD never came. It was shipped via the US postal service, and he simply received notice that they could not deliver it per their policy… What? When did the USPS stop delivering CDs per policy? Anyway, he called the USPS “customer service” and they denied everything up to and including the fact that they are still in the delivery business (huh?). He finally made it to a “supervisor” who denied they had the package, but stated that she would take down his information and have someone call him in two days to tell him what she already knew….that they did not have the package. Wow. That is amazing customer service! The story does end well. He contacted the online seller, who sent another CD immediately via another shipper free of charge. They even sent it overnight and simply asked that he return the first CD should he EVER receive it from the USPS.

SoftLayer is growing at an astronomical rate; and yet, I am proud to say we have maintained consistently superb customer service. As I said above, the only time I call a support line is when I have a problem needing a quick solution, and my unhappiness grows as I receive poor customer service. I continue to be amazed at how happy most of our customers here at SoftLayer are when I answer the phone. Even when they are experiencing a problem, they are generally in good spirits when I speak to them on the phone or reply back and forth through our ticketing system. I find this amazing. Of course, we deal with unhappy customers occasionally. But, on average, we deal with happy customers on a daily basis. I can only attribute this to the fact that they call or submit a ticket with the firm expectation of receiving excellent and timely support. They could only have this expectation because of their past experience with us. I honestly do not call my cable/internet company with any expectation other than long waits on the phone, uninformed support, and days of waiting before a problem is solved. I am NOT happy when I am forced to call them. This is the reason it is actually a pleasant experience to work in the support department at SoftLayer. Besides working around people who know their jobs, I get to speak with customers who are in a good mood even when they are experiencing problems. I love meeting their expectations by resolving whatever issue they may be experiencing quickly and completely—thereby helping them to continue on in great spirits throughout the rest of their day. I know that customers will be happy the next time they call. I would not enjoy working for the USPS customer service line or in the support department of that cable/internet provider as I know I would get nothing but unhappy people with an expectation of poor service. This is one way in which SoftLayer customers are different.

December 30, 2009

The Newbie

Hi, I am the newbie and just wanted to start off saying thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome. I have really enjoyed my first week here at SoftLayer. I can honestly say, this is the most exciting and fun job I have had. SoftLayer should win the Best Places to Work in DFW for 2010!

I think the best part about starting right before the holidays is getting to share the holiday cheer with all my new co-workers. As most people know, most companies get busy around the holidays which can cause tension and stress in the workplace. Coming into SoftLayer one of the major things I liked is that no matter how busy we are there is still a sense of peace and calmness; this is a great asset in a workplace.

As most would know, when you first start out at a new company you need to do research to learn about your new company and the industry it is involved in. These first few days I have been reading a bunch of different articles and websites to learn more about what SoftLayer does and to get a feel for the industry. I have to say I am still rather confused. There are so many technical terms and Wikipedia doesn’t pick up on all of them (ha ha). The more research I do, though, the more I pick up on certain things. I still have more to learn but I am eager and excited to learn more about SoftLayer and the industry. Now off to do more research!

December 18, 2009

Peek-a-Boo!

It’s no hidden secret that a lot of older generation individuals are always struggling with technology. From sending an email to signing in to Facebook, most of our parents have struggled keeping up. One reason my parents have struggled with the internet is due to all the horror stories they hear. From viruses, to hackers, to identity theft they’ve almost been scared from logging into the monster that is called the Internet. I honestly never thought I would be able to convince them otherwise until last weekend when my son and I were playing peek-a-boo.

What better way to convince my parents, who live 965 miles away, to give technology and the internet another try then to play peek-a-boo with my son? I immediately gave my Dad a call and asked him to download Skype. He asked me the first question he always seems to ask which was, “How much is it?” To which, I replied free (This got his attention). After a brief argument on how he heard a co-worker’s computer crashed after downloading something on the internet, my Dad reluctantly downloaded Skype and we were on our way (this was about a 45 minute long ordeal, well worth it though).

Nowadays people in my generation thrive on technology, and we crave the latest and greatest gadgets and software we can get our hands on. With the internet becoming more accessible than ever before companies like Softlayer are able to provide the tools for anyone to claim a spot on the web all their own. Companies like Skype for instance have their servers housed somewhere in a datacenter just like Softlayer’s. I will probably never get my Dad to admit technology is his friend, but at least it’s beginning to become less of an enemy in his eyes. Especially since on any given Saturday morning he can login to Skype and within minutes be playing peek-a-boo with his first grandson.

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