Charles

Meet Charles, (37): TechOps at i3D.net

Charles (37), works as a Technical Operations Engineer at i3D.net. He is based in Pasadena, i3D.net’s US office.  

How did you become a Technical Operations Engineer? 
I have been working in data centers since 2011. I didn’t study to get a degree in a technical field, but I just liked working with computers and a friend of mine got me my first job in a data center. So that’s how I rolled into the world of data centers. I have been working for more than two years at i3D.net now. 

How did you end up at i3D.net? 
I worked for a tech company that offers internet services to businesses. I was working a night shift job there. I hated the night shifts. When doing night shifts you sleep during the day, so for me it felt like I was missing out on many things. So, that’s when I started looking for another job, and ended up getting a job at i3D.net. I really liked what they were doing. 

What does your job entail? 
I actually do a bit of everything, but officially I am a TechOps. i3D.net offers 24/7 service, since we have offices in the Netherlands and in the US, we have different shifts in order to cover this timeframe. This works pretty well since the time difference between Pasadena and Rotterdam is a 9-hour difference. For the past 1,5 year I covered what would be the Rotterdam’s nightshift. When my colleagues in Rotterdam get off from work around 6PM, my shift would start. I cover network issues, tech-ops and game-ops issues. Besides, I also do data center work, mostly in the LA data center, this entails the maintenance, installing and racking of servers. I also work on network related issues like the set-up of switches. It’s definitely a wide variety of tasks. This year I also flew out to do some data center work in Tokyo and Sao Paolo. In Tokyo I was upgrading line cards and in Sao Paolo I worked on a migration.  

What do you like the most about your job? 
I like working on network related things with the Network team. They work on interesting stuff. Right now, they are working on an Anti-DDoS solution called GLAD. In the US office one of my colleagues is closely involved in this project. It is very interesting, and I get to learn a lot from it. Last year I got the chance to fly over to the Netherlands to meet my colleagues from the Rotterdam office. It was really nice to meet my other colleagues and hang out together! 

How does your average workday look like? 
When I come in the office the first thing I do is check the different Slack channels if my Dutch colleagues came up with requests that have to be taken care of overnight. As I just said, due to the time zone difference their shift ends when I come into the office. Furthermore, I check the ticket system for requests that are still open. Sometimes I work on a ticket, but I need some more information from one of my colleagues in order to solve the problem, but in the Netherlands it’s nighttime, which makes is it a bit harder for me. 

What is the weirdest thing that happened to you at work? 
One time I was working in a data center, I was all by myself. I was trying to lift a server full of hard drives. The server chassis had about 100 hard drives in it. I think it was about 60kg. Suddenly it felt like my hands got a bit sweaty, but when I looked down, I saw I was covered in blood. And it was a lot, it was pouring, and it was all over the place. It literally looked like a horror show happened because of the trail of blood I left. At the moment, I didn’t even feel I sliced my arm. I walked to the front office of the data center, and they brought me to a doctor. I still got a scar on my arm. 

What have you been working on recently? 
We got two new colleagues in our Pasadena office, so I’ve been busy training them. Furthermore, I am currently studying for obtaining my JNCIA Juniper certification. This certificate demonstrates competence with Juniper’s technology. I have to do an exam, and it’s in three weeks. I still got some time to study for it. We also recently moved out from the data center in downtown LA to the Equinix data center El Segundo, that was a pretty big project. i3D.net has some big projects on the launch of new games, so we’ve all been working on that. 

Do you think you got what it takes to become a TechOps Engineer at i3D.net?

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