Meet Sébastien Delneste, a data center technician in St. Ghislain

Meet Sébastien Delneste, a data center technician in St. Ghislain

Our data centers and the Googlers that work in them ensure that our users always have a great experience, from getting search results in microseconds to always being able to access their information. So we asked one of our Data Center Technicians, Sébastien Delneste, to share some insights on what he does every day and how he likes working in a data center.

Tell us a bit about what you do.

Sébastien Delneste: My team is responsible for the well-being of our data center. A big part of the job is to repair servers, diagnose problems and keep on improving the repairs cycle to ensure maximal availability of our servers. I also handle incidents like broken network devices and power outages. I help engineers test new platforms on a bigger scale, deploy new platforms, turn-up new data centers, decommission deprecated hardware and so on.

That seems like a lot of variety. What do you like most?

Sébastien: Hardware operations has impact. What users know as “Google” is really the combination of great software running on a huge set of servers, interconnected by one of the most efficient networks in the world. We’re crucial to Google’s success.

I also feel like my voice is heard. Whether you’re a senior vice president or a Noogler, everyone’s voice is heard. If something feels wrong or broken, it’s your job to fix it. And this is reflected in my day-to-day work. If I’m using a tool that’s missing a feature, I’ll tell the developer. If I find something that needs to be improved, I build it, escalate it and it gets changed. Pretty soon, every Google hardware operations technician in the world has adopted a change I made, and are thankful for it! That’s very satisfying.

What brought you here? What were you doing before Google?

Sébastien: I spent about 10 years working as a freelancer in data center management, building my own company, which I sold when I joined. After being contacted by a recruiter, I applied for a job in St. Ghislain to see what would happen. It was a brand new world for me - I was more familiar with much smaller companies. But the interviews turned out to be interesting discussions with passionate people; I didn’t worry about how I was doing, and just enjoyed really good conversations with the people I met. They’re now my colleagues.

Are you close with your team? What do you do when you’re not working?

Sébastien: We have a great team and we enjoy spending time together. We do a range of things, from going out to have a couple of beers, playing video games, or even going fishing and camping. We recently took part in a 20 km race in Brussels. Googlers from our Brussels and Amsterdam offices participated, and it was a great way to get to know people from other offices and other functions in the business. It was a fun day and we all met up for some drinks and frites to refuel after the race.

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