The Stack Archive

Data Centre apprentice reaches for the Moon

Thu 31 Jul 2014

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Usually we spend our time trying to get interviews with the top bods from across the tech world. This has been getting steadily harder lately as there is far more competition these days to write about technology.

As such we’ve decided to stay one step ahead of the curb by interviewing people at the beginning of their career, thus ensuring if they make it we can say ‘we found them first’. Another cunning move from TheStack I think.

This week I headed over to sunny Slough which apparently boasts the best ice hockey team in the country? (You can thank Google for that useful piece of information). Slough also hosts some of the world’s most modern data centres and I was meeting with Tom Davy 25, who is close to completing an electrical engineering apprenticeship with Equinix. I wanted to find out a bit more about this and what had started him on a career working in data centres.

How did you end up on this apprenticeship scheme?

‘I did a couple of years of multimedia production at Uni but it seemed like the only people who got jobs in this sector did so because they knew someone. I then went to East Berkshire College to study electrical engineering and whilst I was there the college got approached by Equinix to support an apprenticeship scheme’.

When you started electrical engineering did you want to work for a data centre?

‘Honestly when I started I didn’t even know what a data centre was. When the opportunity came up to apply for the apprenticeship I applied and was one of two people chosen for this. I’m really glad I did though as this is way more exciting than I thought it would be and much better than rewiring a house’.

What is the best part about your job?

‘When you go to start a job you walk into a big empty hall. By the time you’ve finished the hall is full of equipment, everything is working properly and you can see everything powered up. Going in with the team and looking at the end result is really satisfying.’

What do your family think of your job?

‘I’m fairly sure my parents don’t understand it. That’s fair however as I have no idea what my dad does either.’

Is there anything really cool you’d like to see happen with data centres?

‘There has been talk recently about building a data centre on the moon. It sounds mental but actually it could happen sometime soon. You could power it with solar panels, also it’s pretty cold on the moon so you wouldn’t need to worry about cooling and you could use satellites for connectivity’. (I’ve paraphrased here. Actually we continued to discuss data centres on the moon for most of the interview. If anyone actually does this I want to go. I will give you loads of free advertising on TheStack and my sister’s hand in marriage if you let me visit your Moon based data centre).

So now you’re finishing your apprenticeship what happens next?

‘I’m looking to continue working for Equinix as a fully qualified electrical engineer. Whilst you don’t get guaranteed a job at the end of the apprenticeship, it is pretty likely. I enjoy what I do and I like the company and the group I work with so want to continue with this.’



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