If you've taken a NetApp course with Fast Lane in the past few years, you might have had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Mrs. Debbie Sellars. Debbie has been a reliable asset in the classroom for Fast Lane, teaching NetApp technologies to students from across the country. Recently, Debbie’s excellence was recognized by NetApp, as she was named “Top Americas ALP Instructor". To celebrate this accomplishment, we sat down with her to find out more on her background, vision for her future with NetApp technologies and her home life .
Fast Lane: What first interested you in becoming a NetApp instructor?
Debbie Sellars: Chuck Terrien contacted Ashlynn Consulting, Inc. to see if we might be interested in delivering NetApp classes for Fast Lane. I was a former EMC instructor at the time. I knew that NetApp technology was something special and jumped on the opportunity as quickly as possible.
How long have you been teaching NetApp – or IT in general?
I’ve been working in IT since I was 17 years old. I was actually teaching Word Processing classes at the time. I moved into consulting and worked in both pre-sales and post-sales positions for over 25 years. I worked for a storage integrator during that time (around the late 90’s) and was asked if I might be interested in working with NetApp technology. I was performing consulting engagements for NetApp customers at that time.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy meeting all of my students and helping them with their NetApp knowledge and environments.
How have you seen the industry change during your teaching tenure?
I’ve seen the advent of more virtual classes and labs. This gives me the opportunity to concentrate more on the technologies instead of troubleshooting physical labs. The NetApp simulation tools work extremely well in our Fast Lane lab environments. During virtual deliveries I’m able to work with students all over the world exchanging ideas and allowing them to take advantage of all the great NetApp solutions.
What new advancements in the NetApp world have you excited?
While some companies fight the cloud NetApp has embraced it. There are so many options to take advantage of within cloud integration technologies. This allows the customers to match their requirements to the appropriate solutions. This will allow them to be more efficient, save money and time.
What do you think sets you apart from other NetApp instructors?
I’m very passionate about delivering my NetApp classes. I spend a great deal of time researching and studying to prepare for my classes based on the rapid changes that are occurring in the industry. I really enjoy working with people. I believe my students know that I really care about them getting the best class I can deliver.
What is it like being in a household with two NetApp experts – both you and your husband Stephen?
It is great to have so much knowledge in the Sellars household in regard to NetApp. We are able to bounce ideas off each other regarding our classes. He is still confused about the fact that I won Instructor of the Year and he did not. In all seriousness, he was very supportive and acknowledged that I was well deserving of it!