Why ex-servicemen and women should consider a career in IT


Why ex-servicemen and women should consider a career in IT

Cliff Saran

With more than 1,800 redundancies in the RAF and army expected this month, the outlook does not look promising for ex-servicemen and women. Cliff Saran speaks to a former soldier, who has retrained as a highly skilled datacentre technician.

Wayne Ginders spent 22 years in military service in active technical roles overseas, including in Iraq and Kosovo. His LinkedIn profile states he is trained as a Challenger 2 tank commander, he is a level 1 football coach, and has taken courses in network cabling wireless (fibre optic), fibre optic single and multimode installation and testing and wireless LANs.

He now works as a customer operations technician at datacentre operator Equinix. This hands-on role involves cabling and making physical changes to the servers in the datacentre for clients.

"After I left the military service in 2010 I studied a Level 3 BTEC in data communications for copper and fibre optics. I decided that the datacentre environment was the way forward," he says.

After some research, Ginders contacted datacentre operator Equinix. "I wrote to Equinix explaining my background. I was recruited as a technician on a six-month contract. After working there for two months, I was offered a permanent role and have been working as a technician since November 2010," he says.

Ginders says areas of his military training that have helped him in his current role include procedure-driven tasks, results-driven targets and the team environment.

He advises servicemen and women facing job cuts to be positive about other career avenues. "I am more than happy in my role at Equinix and highly recommend this route. Since joining the company I have been talking to friends within the MOD and suggested that [work in] datacentres is the way forward," he says.

"My final piece of advice is to think outside the box. Look outside your comfort zone because the great skills you have gained within the services are very appealing to the IT industry," Ginders adds.

Equinix has recently recruited a number of technicians from military backgrounds. UK managing director Russell Poole says people with a military background are well suited to work in a datacentre where there are clear reporting lines and a requirement to adhere stringently to policies and processes.

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