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Microsoft in your community

Getting to know datacenter employees: Amanda Bailey

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 Amanda Bailey

Datacenter Technician

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland

Employee since 2021

Early days

Amanda grew up in Neilstown, Clondalkin, Dublin, the eldest of five siblings. Sharing a three-bedroom house with a dad who worked nights and caught up on sleep during the days, she and her siblings spent their days outdoors. There was a big green across the street where kids could play and chat with friends. Amanda loved running around with her Alsatian named Rocky, cycling, swimming, and playing music. She attended local schools, including Collinstown Park Community College for secondary school, where she would eventually return to attend the Datacenter Academy. She completed an apprenticeship in hairdressing and worked as a production operative, shop assistant, and cleaner, while raising her children.

The path to technology

It wasn’t until a chance encounter with the instructor of the Datacenter Academy, Eithne Hogan, that Amanda’s career path came into focus. Her sons now teenagers, Amanda was ready for a full-time career. She had returned to Collinstown Park to pursue reception and administration, ultimately earning a business administration major award. Eithne encouraged Amanda to consider applying for the Microsoft Datacenter Academy. “I’d seen it on the list, but didn’t have a clue what it was, nevermind how to do it. Eithne explained that they literally teach you from the ground up. I didn’t need to have any IT experience to do the course.” The Academy’s hands-on training got Amanda hooked on technology: “I really enjoyed the hands-on section of the course—opening up the PCs, seeing the parts, figuring out what they are, how they connect to each other, and what makes what work.”

Superpowers

Today, Amanda works in the datacenter with the break/fix day team. Two superpowers help her shine in her job—her versatility and her friendly nature. She credits her versatility to a post-DCA summer internship, in which she rotated through each department in the datacenter. Thanks to that training she can jump into tasks outside her specific role as needed; for example, she was able to take care of a cabling ticket in short order, having trained with the deployment team. Her open and friendly nature is just as important as her technical skills. “I like to treat everyone as if they were a friend I just hadn’t seen in a long time, no matter their age, gender, role, or position with the company.” It’s an attitude that has the power to bring together a diverse team and create a culture of mutual support. Amanda cites this helpfulness as her team’s superpower: “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful since I joined the Microsoft team. I couldn’t have settled in as well as I have without all their help.”

A day in the life

Amanda bikes 20 minutes to work—or takes the long way when the weather is nice. Arriving at the datacenter, she reviews her tickets for the day, creating a prioritized to-do list from the service requests. She orders the needed parts and gets the ones currently on hand. Next, she checks her email and Microsoft Teams for any messages. After a quick bite to eat, she goes down to the “colos,” the colocation stacks in the datacenter. Amanda stops to chat with the security people and then starts her work. Investigation tickets come first if she is waiting for a parts delivery, so she can determine what still needs to be ordered. She greets coworkers in passing in the corridor or aisles of the datacenter, but teamwork generally happens over Teams. Here she connects with coworkers to troubleshoot issues or coordinate parts deliveries. Finally, Amanda returns to the office to complete an end-of-day report and any online training needed.

Favorite childhood food

Christmas dinner with the family is Amanda’s favorite—”cooked turkey and ham, my mam’s beautiful sprouts, mashed and roast potatoes.” The meal “reminds me of innocent days, laughter around the table, when I had no worries other than if I would get picked to wash or dry the dishes after the meal. And I wasn’t the one spending the day making it all.”