A woman wearing a maroon jumper stands smiling with a wall behind her. On the wall, there are two shelves with toys and plants on them. She is Lynn D'Arcy, a data centre engineer at Yahoo.
Lynn D'Arcy. Image: Yahoo

How this engineer moved from IT to a data centre

8 Aug 2023

Yahoo’s Lynn D’Arcy discusses her role as a data centre engineer and what her career progression has been like at the company.

“When I initially started out in IT, I was surprised to see very few women in the roles I was in,” says data centre engineer Lynn D’Arcy. “At that time, not many chose the network administrator/engineering roles.”

However, over the years since then, D’Arcy has seen this change, “especially with companies actively encouraging and promoting women into these positions”.

D’Arcy has worked at Yahoo for 14 years, starting out in the IT department before moving to the company’s data centre five years ago.

According to D’Arcy, her interest in a career in tech first started in fourth year of secondary school when one of her subjects was computing.

“Back then the operating system was MS-DOS. I loved learning the commands and being able to use these to get certain outputs and information.”

What brought you to your current job?

I had a summer job when I was 17 and I was lucky enough to be able to get into the IT department (although my original position was data entry). I loved learning about the network topology, setting up computers for users and troubleshooting issues. This is also when I built my own first computer.

I knew then that this was what I wanted to do, so I studied networking and computing for two years. After this I was lucky enough to get a role as a test analyser with IBM, moving to a network administrator role with Keelings and finally to my position in Yahoo.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

I would definitely say that my IT manager when I started Yahoo, Ian Hickey, was the most influential. He always made me feel like I was part of the team and deserved to be there. He always encouraged me to learn and to grow and always steered me in the right direction, even if I didn’t think so at the time.

He taught me the importance of interacting with different departments and the impact these can have on a working relationship and career growth. I will be forever grateful for his support, guidance and friendship throughout the years.

‘Tech is fast paced and always moving forward, which offers great opportunities to learn and grow’

What was it like moving from technical support to data centre engineer?

Over the years, I interacted with the data centre team, so when a position became available I jumped at the chance to apply. From the very first day there, I had the same feeling I had all those years ago when I started at Yahoo – a feeling of being home. The team was so welcoming and treated me like one of them. I knew then I had made the right decision. They always offer support and encouragement and are always there if I need help.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to tech?

I am very logical and factual in the way I think and see things. I like knowing how things work. I love trying to figure out why something has gone wrong and how to fix it. In a crisis, I stay calm, do not panic and I am known to say “it’s fine, it’s grand” a lot. Most importantly I do not take things too seriously and I am definitely known for my sense of humor and being able to joke about.

Tell me a bit about your experience with career progression in Yahoo.

Yahoo for me offers great career growth and progression. There is an abundance of tools for us to use to continuously update our skills and knowledge. We are actively encouraged to apply for opportunities within the company. There is an amazing sense of inclusion and diversity.

Everyone in the company is always happy, proud and delighted to see our colleagues fulfil their potential and there is always recognition of these achievements. It is this culture of support and acknowledgement that makes me proud to be part of Yahoo.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in this area, or just starting out in one?

Tech is fast paced and always moving forward, which offers great opportunities to learn and grow. Take every opportunity you can and gain experience from it. Even if it seems like a bad day, there is always something good you can learn. Get to know your work colleagues from all departments because you never know when you might need their help and expertise.

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