The Boost project encourages young people to go on to higher education and to develop further in their dream job. Thanks to Boost, 280 selected young people receive intensive support as from their fourth year in secondary school until the first year of higher education. Several times a year, Boost organises a voluntary company visit. In February it was LCL’s turn. 15 students signed up to check out our data center.
The Boosters found it hard to imagine what exactly a data center looks like. "I had no idea what to expect," says Booster Leen. "I did google ‘data centers’ before we came, but now I can actually see it in person."
The group was divided into three smaller groups, and Abdellah, Michael and Stefan gave them a tour of the data center. Once they had registered and made their way through security, the visit got into full swing.
The three tour guides took the Boosters to see different rooms at the centre, and showed them the fire extinguishers, the leak detection systems, the long rows of extra batteries, and the generators on the roof. The students listened intently to everything they were told and asked a lot of questions. For example, “what kind of people work here?”, “has anyone ever broken in?”, and “what happens if there’s a fire?” Mhwda (2nd-year Booster) was surprised: "When you walk in, it's like entering into another world. And we got to explore it!”
Thanks to the tour, the visitors got a better idea of what data centers are all about. "I had already learned a bit about them, but I’d never seen a data center in real life before," Ola says, IT management student and speaker at last year's She Goes ICT, an annual event organised by DataNews that recognises remarkable women in the ICT sector.
After the visit, everyone was impressed. "I'll never take the internet for granted again!" says Nada. The supervisor, Griet, was also surprised: "This is incredible, I have never seen anything like it. It's a mesh of systems, everything is connected and there’s a solution for everything."
However, data centers still remain a complicated concept: “It’s still difficult to really get your head around the fact that so many different people’s data are stored here,” says Mhwda. Nada: "We all use it, we just aren’t aware of it. We don’t notice it when we’re at home, but we do use it." "All my selfies might be saved here!" says Ola, laughing.