International Data Center Day is coming up on March 23, but the point of the day is for it to be an ongoing effort throughout the year to raise awareness of the industry, which is why I am talking about it now.

I love everything about International Data Center Day, but one of my favorite initiatives is “the power of one.” Bob Cassiliano introduced me to the it last year when we recorded Episode 31 of The Thought Cloud podcast.

“The power of one is designed, basically, so that people know that they don't have to have groups of individuals involved,” Cassiliano said. “That's not necessary — it can be one on one.”

I talk to people about the industry all the time. That’s mainly because I tend to work in public places, and people get curious and ask me what I’m doing on the computer. I don’t tell them I work at a magazine or that I’m in media/publishing. I tell them I am the editor of a data center magazine. A few people don’t have anything to say to that. But, you’d be surprised how many people go on to ask me questions because they actually want to learn more about it. And, believe it or not, I even run across some people who know a thing or two about it already and maybe even work in the industry themselves. On the flipside, though, there are always the people who say, “I could never do that.” Whatever their reasons may be, I think a lot of them are wrong. And, the reason is this: Nearly every person I talk to in the industry tells me they got here by happenstance. And, you can put me on that list too.

So, I got to thinking … how cool would it be if we all shared stories about how we ended up where we are? The idea is twofold. First, our stories might inspire other people to join the industry. Sometimes the connection between technology and real life isn’t so clear at first sight, but hearing other people’s experiences can be an eye-opener. Ali Fenn, president of ITRenew and one of Mission Critical’s 2021 Top 25 Women in Technology winners, comes to mind for me here. She never dreamed of working in IT as a little girl; she loved the outdoors — the ocean, in particular. So, she combined her passion with her education to promote sustainability through a circular economy in the IT industry. So, you see what I mean here? If someone says they love the ocean, the most natural assumption is that they will become a marine biologist, not the president of an IT company. But, the connection is there. We just have to share our stories.

Like Cassiliano said, you just have to sit down with one person to make a difference. But, in celebration of International Data Center Day, I’d like to publish your stories if you share them with me. That way, others in the industry can use your story as a tool when they find themselves in conversation with someone who has similar interests or goals.

To participate in this International Data Center Day event, email me at Put “International Data Center Day Celebration” as the subject and include your full name, title, company, head shot, and 500-word (or less) story.

It’s an easy way to contribute to the International Data Center Day Movement. But, that brings me to the second point …

We’ve all had a chaotic couple of years with the pandemic, the digital transformation, and the labor shortage. I think we could all use a moment to look back and reflect on the path that led us to the place we love.