Getting to know datacenter employees: Manny Flores
Microsoft’s success depends on our people. We are proud to introduce some of the talented folks in your community who work in our global datacenters. Discover what inspired them to seek a career in the tech industry, the different pathways they pursued, and what a day in the life of a datacenter employee looks like.
“Having two instructors that genuinely love helping others start their careers in the IT industry had an impact on me. Jay Nickelson and James Stephens inspired me to continue my IT career and I am now a Datacenter Technician.”—Manny Flores
Introducing Manny Flores
Datacenter Technician 1
Des Moines, Iowa
Employee since 2023
Manny was born and raised in a small town in Iowa called Denison. Throughout high school Manny knew a four-year degree was not for him, but he still wanted to continue his education and be able to say that he was proud of himself. He always had an interest in technology but wasn’t sure what he really wanted to do. His parents struggled working with technology and Manny would explain to them how things worked. “My parents would always say I seemed like I really enjoyed being around tech.”
The path to technology
In college, Manny started a web development degree but after one semester he knew that he did not want to sit in front of a computer all day and preferred tasks that were more hands-on. He saw an ad on the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) website about Microsoft teaming up with DMACC to create the Microsoft Datacenter Academy. He was immediately interested and wanted to have the hands-on training and gain job-ready skills that the Academy provided. “Having two instructors that genuinely love helping others start their careers in the IT industry had an impact on me,” Manny said. “Jay Nickelson and James Stephens inspired me to continue my IT career and I am now a Datacenter Technician.”
Manny believes that his superpower is communication. He accepts when he might not know something and is always able to ask for help from his colleagues. “In this industry there is always something new to learn, especially since technology is always evolving and changing. I have noticed that being able to ask questions correctly, you’re able to solve your issue more efficiently.” Manny also notes that one must keep an open mind when troubleshooting servers and using a method called cross elimination. He frequently uses critical thinking to understand the process of how computers work and what they need to fully operate.
“When I can build, fix, and help with my hands, I like to think of myself as a computer doctor.”—Manny Flores
A day in the life
A day in the life as a datacenter technician can be very interesting. For Manny, there is something different every shift, which he enjoys because he doesn’t feel like he has to do the same thing every day. Some days are very challenging, and Manny has to diagnose a server issue but can’t find the problem, and other days all he has to do is make simple hard drive swaps. His favorite tickets are “No Post” tickets because he finds them enjoyable and feels a sense of achievement at the end of the day. When he can find the problem, fix the problem, and verify the problem, Manny feels amazing. “Having that hands-on work is something I enjoy. When I can build, fix, and help with my hands, I like to think of myself as a computer doctor.”
Favorite childhood food
Every year Manny and his family would go back to his dad’s hometown of Santa Rita, Mexico. He would run down the street to where a guy named Juan had a small taco stand in front of his house. “I was the only one wanting to eat tacos every night so I was known as the guy that would ask everyone to get tacos.”