Getting to know datacenter employees: Jeroen Koene
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 Jeroen Koene
Datacenter Technician Lead
Employee since 2015
Jeroen Koene grew up in a small town south of Amsterdam with one older sister. He enjoyed sports (particularly archery) and spending time outside—he even met his girlfriend (now wife) through sport. Many of Jeroen’s family members worked in the trades as electricians, construction workers, woodworkers, and metalworkers, giving him early exposure to those career opportunities.
The path to technology
Coming out of school, Jeroen started as an apprentice electrician, working on projects in museums, stadiums, and other high-profile buildings. After the company he worked for went bankrupt, Jeroen switched gears and got his first job in a datacenter, using his electrical and mechanical know-how on the critical environment team to ensure smooth datacenter operations.
Once Jeroen joined Microsoft, he worked his way up to a mobilization DCPM role, working on capacity expansion. He also then connected with the local Datacenter Academy (DCA) folks and helped with the buildout at the first DCA in the Netherlands. “It’s pretty fun to work for such a large company and work on a smaller project that actually has larger meaning than people can imagine,” he explains. “I have two small children and I like to think that the things we’re doing now will be for the greater good for them later on.”
Jeroen’s team recognizes that one of his greatest strengths is his ability to rally people behind a common goal. He has a team-centered mindset and works to make sure his team members always feel included. He helps provide perspective on the impact their work has, as the world increasingly relies on platforms like Microsoft Teams during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue work and schooling and stay connected. “We’re giving chances for everyone to make a difference in our community and across the world. Currently, we’re connecting people together and preventing people from feeling alone.”
Particularly during current times, Jeroen enjoys working on a dynamic team, encourages them to learn new skills through cross-team collaboration and focuses on supporting the business goals where needed. “The image that datacenters are no longer plain grey buildings with servers, but the enablers of the future by the services they provide, and the idea that we collectively as a team contribute to this is a “superpower” in itself.”
A day in the life
Jeroen starts his day connecting with his team over a cup of coffee. They cover their game plan for the day and discuss any safety concerns. His day will involve stand-up meetings to support datacenter operations, using dynamic problem-solving to address issues as they come up.
Favorite childhood food
Jeroen fondly recalls his dad cooking brussels sprouts, frying them up with potatoes, cashews, mushrooms, and bacon. Now Jeroen and his wife make this for their own kids!