Getting to know datacenter employees: Scott Walker
Datacenter Employee Spotlight is designed to bring recognition both to DC Techs who went through the Datacenter Academy or support their peers through mentorship and volunteerism. The spotlights also work to illuminate real-life examples of pathways into IT careers and provide potential role models to those looking to access to the digital economy.
Introducing Scott Walker
Technical Trainer since 2018
Scott Walker grew up in a small shore town north of Virginia Beach, and from a young age loved tinkering with anything mechanical, like go-karts, dirt bikes, and boats. After attending Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina, Scott became an elementary school teacher, with interest in hobby cars and other projects on the side.
The path to technology
Scott had his elementary students complete a career aptitude test and decided to take it himself. The results showed his ideal job based on his personality would be teaching tech. Eventually, a neighbor approached Scott about a server technician role at Southside Virginia Community College, which Scott was ultimately hired for.
Working at the community college, Scott learned even more about technology and attained A+ and Server+ certifications. Around this time, the Microsoft datacenter was about to open nearby, and many of Scott’s peers were being hired on. In 2015, Scott made the move as well when was hired on through Atos to work as a datacenter technician at Microsoft, initially working on deployment and rack assignment and provisioning (RAP).
In partnership with DCA, Scott facilitated the externship program at the Boydton datacenter upper campus with two early participants from the local DCA. Scott was able to help datacenter employees through the first round of having externs shadowing them as the program got off the ground.
Scott is also involved in community outreach to middle and high schoolers, engaging them with hands-on demos at local career fairs. In a rural area, it’s important to expose kids to the local opportunities and to give them the chance to identify their interests. The Datacenter Academy also holds mock interviews, where leads and trainers from the datacenter come in to help students hone their interview skills and really shine. “You see these people out in the community and I just love when we find their hidden talents.”
A day in the life
“I love living in a small town, but something magical happens when I get to work. I am instantly connected to my Global Training Operations team that literally spans the globe. I love giving support to my local datacenter, but I often conduct classes with learners from all over the Americas reaching from Canada to Brazil. That is exciting for a small-town boy. Trainers have the ability to ’wear many hats’ because in the span of the typical day we may offer career guidance to a veteran datacenter technician, certify a logistics technician on a forklift, and then teach a class on deployment to new hires. The great thing about working for a modern datacenter is there is always new technology to learn and teach.”
Favorite Childhood Food
Scott recalls his mom having everyone help to make home-pulled taffy during snow days when school was cancelled.