Rackspace University Enables Execution through Education

by Nicholas Kelly, Curriculum Developer, Rackspace Technology and Karine Lucy Begoumian, Manager, Global Talent Development, Rackspace Technology

Woman in her desk writing in her notebook

Execution is the focus of our 2024 strategy and Rackspace University (RU) knows that in rapidly evolving industries like technology, education enables execution. RU supports execution at every level in Rackspace by fostering a culture of learning and by providing Rackers with the educational opportunities they need to go from strategy to reality, both for themselves and for our customers.

Learning Culture and the 52+ Initiative

A centerpiece of the Rackspace Technology culture of learning is our 52+ Learning Hours initiative. Rackspace encourages Rackers to spend at least one hour a week on their learning or professional development. Rackspace also recognizes any Racker who spends 52 or more hours on learning with an achievement badge they can share on social media sites such as LinkedIn. These learning hours can reflect time spent in training provided by RU as well as mentoring meetings or time preparing for professional and technical certifications.

Throughout 2023, Rackers executed on turning our shared learning objective into learning accomplishments. Rackers recorded a collected 277,388 learning hours and 98% of Rackers logged learning or professional development time. The Racker with the highest 2023 learning hours spent over 1,500 hours involved in professional development and the 10 Rackers with the highest learning hours each spent over 1,200 hours on education.

Day 1 and beyond

From day one, Rackspace has prioritized a commitment to continuous education. Our comprehensive onboarding program, Rookie-O, instills foundational skills and gives Rackers the resources and tools necessary to excel. In addition to global, company-wide onboarding, in 2023, RU began to deliver business-unit specific onboarding, actively supporting ongoing professional development through workshops, trainings and hands-on practicums. Sales, technical operations and HR all benefited from the initiative, upskilling over 3,000 Rackers in their specific roles. Our strategic approach ensures a knowledgeable, skilled and agile workforce while fostering individual growth and contributing to the overall success of our organization.

Certifications and Emerging Technology Education

Education also played a crucial role in helping Rackers learn how to leverage emerging technologies safely and help meet customers’ technology needs. In 2023, technical certifications and AI training were a Rackspace learning focus.

Along with learning 52+ recognition from Rackspace, Rackers received recognition for their learning from our cloud partners in the form of technical certifications. In 2023, Rackers added 1,272 new certifications from AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud. These certifications illustrate our Rackers’ commitment to pursuing the education needed to help customers execute ideas and go from business needs to fully realized solutions.

RU has also ensured Rackers have the knowledge they need to excel in their roles even as emerging technologies like AI transform the workplace and tech landscape. RU offerings include a monthly “InnovAItion Thursday” series, where Rackers get to work hands-on with AI technologies in interactive lab environments. RU also worked with Rackspace leadership to create organization-wide compliance training on responsible AI use and developed its extended course on AI ethics and safety so that Rackers can understand and effectively interact with AI inside and outside the workplace.

Education for the educators

Throughout 2023, RU staff have participated in “RU Learning?”, an ongoing Learning and Development speaker series. In the series, Rackers throughout RU and the broader organization have presented content development, communication, outreach and technical skills that help RU better engage with and educate Rackers.

Elsewhere, RU’s technical training staff have invested hundreds of hours not only studying AI technologies but also building them in collaboration with Rackspace engineers, working to gain a deep understanding of the technologies they can pass on to their fellow Rackers.

This training for RU trainers creates an upskilling feedback loop. When trainers can better execute on their education objectives, they can help more Rackers learn and, as a result, execute on their objectives.

Education enables execution

Though execution is the focus of the new year, throughout 2023, RU and Rackspace have laid the groundwork for that execution through concentrated education efforts that build on the existing Rackspace culture of learning.

Through our 52+ initiative, our certification drives, our technical upskilling efforts and our ongoing work to continually upskill RU’s training staff, Rackspace and RU strive to ensure that Rackers can drive outcomes and innovation for both Rackspace and our customers.

One thing remains certain in our ever-changing world of technology: Education and execution remain tightly woven as Rackers set out on their 2024 strategy.

Learn more about Rackspace Technology culture