An Outsider's View
Editor’s note: I asked Caroline Fritz, our new managing editor, to write this month’s editorial and introduce herself to our readers. Caroline has been working behind the scenes for several months and has already helped us improve our coverage of the industry.
When I first started at Engineered Systems, Mission Critical’s sister publication, back in 1999, I knew nothing about HVAC. My previous writing experience consisted of writing general interest articles for daily and weekly newspapers, writing about art for a monthly, and limited technical writing about the metal building industry. I had no experience writing about engineering whatsoever. It was a little intimidating, but the editor Robert Beverly had faith in me, especially when “quick learner” was featured prominently on my resume!
I have learned quite a bit in the ensuing 11 years: Not enough to install an HVAC system by any means, but enough to understand certain concepts behind the technology and communicate them to readers, I hope, without seeming like a complete idiot. Since Mission Critical covers many topics that ES also covers, such as cooling (ES also devotes two issues a year to mission critical HVACR topics), I am hoping that my learning curve on data center and power issues is slight. Kevin Heslin and Peter Moran, Mission Critical’s editor and publisher, have faith that I can get up to speed quickly.
One of the key goals of any HVAC project is efficiency, with the underlying objective of saving money by reducing energy and operating costs. Mission-critical facilities also need to combine efficiency with reliability. Not only do data centers have to be energy efficient, they must be able to keep up and running. Data centers are a business, after all, providing their clients a host of services from networking to maintaining critical data to server applications. It is an industry hidden from the public view for the most part, but as critical to the ever-present technology that fills people’s lives as their laptops and smart phones. Of course, you all know that.
As a relative outsider to the industry, putting my foot further through the mission-critical door, I think it is not only a pretty exciting place to be but also an incredible opportunity to be a part of a quickly changing environment. And the best place to read about these changes is Mission Critical. This month, we talk about how the demand for green energy will affect power consumption (“Digital Power” by Peter M. Curtis); the upcoming challenges faced by data centers with changes to the New York City building code (“Legal Perspectives” by Peter V.K. Funk, Jr.); and how changing the cable purchase process can help the bottom line (“Five Practical Tips to Cut Structured Cabling Costs” by Bob Eskew).
In addition to editing articles and, in the process, learning more about the industry, my duties at Mission Critical consist of ensuring a smooth production process, posting breaking news on our website Monday through Friday at www.missioncritical.com, and tweeting this news at www.twitter.com/MCritical. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a hot news flash, information about an upcoming mission critical-related event, or to herald the release of a new product.
I may even show up at trade shows. I will be the one furiously taking notes and reading, reading, reading.