When I came on board at SoftLayer, the company was at the beginning of a growth period. IBM had just invested $1.2 billion to build 15 new data centers all over the world including one in Hong Kong—I was excited to get to work there!
Before I joined the Hong Kong data center’s Go Live Team as a server build tech, I went through a lengthy interview process. At the time, I was working for a multinational bank. But after the Chinese New Year, something inside me said it was time to take on a new challenge. Many people in Chinese cities look for new opportunities around the New Year; they believe it will give them luck and fortune.
After much anticipation (and interviews and paperwork), my first day was finally here. When I arrived at the SoftLayer data center, I walked through glass security doors and was met by Jesse Arnold, SoftLayer’s Hong Kong site manager; Russell Mcguire, SoftLayer’s Go Live Team leader whom I met during my interview process; and Shahzad, my colleague who was also starting work that day.
Shahzad and I felt very welcomed and were excited to be joining the team. During our first-day tour, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “You can do this Ying! This is transition, and we never stop learning new things in life.” Learning new things can be challenging. It involves mental, physical, and emotional strength.
Inside the Data Center: Building Racks!
When our team began to build racks and work with cables it was uncharted, but not totally unfamiliar territory for me. For a time, I worked as a seafarer cadet electrician on a container ship. I have worked with cables, electric motors, and generators before—it was just in the middle of the ocean. So, needless to say I know cables, but SFP cables were new. With the help of my colleagues and the power of the Internet, I was on my way and cabling the data center in no time.
When we build a server, we check everything: the motherboard, processors, RAM, hard drives, and most importantly, OS compatibility. After learning those basics, I started to look at it like a big puzzle that I needed to solve.
Inside the Data Center: Strong Communication!
That wasn’t the only challenge. In order to do my job successfully and adhere to data center build procedures, I had to learn the best way to communicate with my colleagues.
In the data center, our team must relay messages precisely and provide all the details to ensure every step in the build-out process is done correctly. Jesse constantly reminds us what is important: communication, communication, communication. He always repeats it three times to emphasize it as a golden rule. To me, this is one sign of a successful leader. I’m glad Jesse has put a focus on communication because it is helping me learn what makes a good leader and SLayer.
Inside the Data Center: Job Satisfaction!
I am so happy to be working at SoftLayer. All the new challenges I’ve been faced with remind me of Nike’s slogan: Just Do It! And our young team is doing just that. We work six days a week for 14 hours a day. And for all of that time, I use my mental and physical strength to tackle my new job.
I’ve learned so much and am excited to expand the knowledge base I already have, so I can be a stronger asset to the SoftLayer team.
I consider myself a SLayer that is still-in-training because there is more to being a SLayer than just building racks. SLayers are the dedicated people that work at SoftLayer, and they’re my colleagues. As my training continues, I look forward to learning more and to continue gaining more skills. I don't want to get old without learning new things!
For all our readers in Asia below you will find the blog in Mandarin translation!
在我加入香港数据中心——Go Live Team，成为一个服务器构建技术员以前，我经历了一个很长的面试过程。当时，我正在为一家跨国银行工作。然而，中国农历新年以后，我的内心告诉我，是时候要迎接新的挑战了。很多中国人在新年的时候寻求新的工作机会，他们相信，这会给他们带来好运和财富。
经过一番前期工作（还有采访和文书工作），我终于迎来了新的第一天。当我来到SoftLayer数据中心的时候，我穿过玻璃安全门，见到了SoftLayer香港站的经理——Jesse Arnold，我曾经采访时遇到的SoftLayer里Go Live Team的组长——Russell Mcguire，还有Shahzad，和我一样第一天开始工作的同事。