WHY-NI?
WHY - NI: Magen Gicinto & Robert Raines - NISOS

WHY - NI: Magen Gicinto & Robert Raines - NISOS

October 27, 2021

Today we met with Magen Gicinto (Director of People and Strategy) and Robert Raines (VP of Engineering) from NISOS.

NISOS are the Managed Intelligence company. Their services enable security, intelligence, and trust and safety teams to leverage a world-class intelligence capability tailored to their needs.

Having set up their first Technology arm to the company in April 2021 in Belfast, NISOS have since been working with Enso Recruitment as their exclusive recruitment partner and have successfully hired a team of talented and forward thinking engineers and product leaders to help bring their technology ideas to life. 

Today, we hear about their journey from start to finish - why they chose NI and what that experience was like. They also provide some advice to companies out there, much like themselves, who might be thinking about setting up a tech wing in NI and what the benefits are. 

 

 

WHY-NI? Mark Owens - Civica NI

WHY-NI? Mark Owens - Civica NI

August 9, 2021

In the seventh episode of the WHY-NI? Leadership series we are joined by one of NI’s best-known tech professionals …Mark Owens.

 

Mark is the is Managing Director at Civica Northern Ireland and previously worked for Capgemini, where he was a Vice President, running their UK SAP Practice for over 3 years.

 

Mark has a passion for recognising the people of Northern Ireland and proactively adopts a corporate and social responsibility approach to develop and retain IT skill sets, from initiatives with local schools, colleges and universities, to providing Coder Dojo mentoring.

 

In this episode, we catch up with Mark to learn about all things Civica, the incredible projects they have worked on, their incredible contribution to the tech sector in Northern Ireland and the big plans that are in store for the team.

 

We find out the challenges the Civica team have faced together, their significant successes, Marks views on how Northern Ireland can continue to grow successfully from early education through to tech leadership and why NI is such an innovative global tech hub.

 

“There’s one word…talent, we have the talent, that’s not debatable. Nobody can debate to me that we don’t have talent, we do have to put that down to people like Belfast Met, Ulster University and Queens University in creating such talent people but just generally we have talent all over our country. What we need to do is attract it, we need to support it, and we need to grow and nurture it and we become the next Silicon Valley”.

 

So, join us in the next episode of WHY-NI? as we continue to uncover the answer to that all-important question…Why NI?

 

WHY-NI? Gareth Burns - Selazar

WHY-NI? Gareth Burns - Selazar

July 21, 2021

In the sixth episode of the WHY-NI? Leadership series we are joined by Gareth Burns.

Gareth is the co-founder and CTO of Selazar in Belfast.

He teams his love and experience in technology with an honest, collaborative, and transparent approach to business strategy, managing technical departments as well as working directly with high-value clients and partners.

Stack agnostic, Gareth has built and delivered platforms using .NET, Java, AWS, Azure and many more, and he was also the founder of the Belfast .NET Development Guild. Belfast's only .NET meetup group.

In this episode, we catch up with Gareth to learn about his journey into IT, his role as Selazar, and their plans for world domination!

Gareth gives his views on what the wider tech sector in Northern Ireland needs to do to ensure it continues to grow successfully and why NI is a great place to establish and grow a prosperous and productive tech business.

“The people, it’s always the people, the people of Northern Ireland across the board are fantastic. It’s a positive place that is moving in the right direction, it's moving forward, it’s got its head up. There’s a real passion and desire here to learn and be great at something, for me Northern Ireland and the tech sector here has talent, attitude, energy!”

So, join us in the next episode as we ask the pivotal question…WHY-NI?

WHY-NI? Dr Jayne Brady - Belfast City Council

WHY-NI? Dr Jayne Brady - Belfast City Council

June 8, 2021

In the fifth episode of the WHY-NI? Leadership series we are joined by Dr Jayne Brady.

Jayne is the Digital Innovation Commissioner at Belfast City Council and the incoming Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (HOCS).

A true Engineer at heart, Jayne is committed to delivering economic and social development through harnessing her extensive, broad experience and track record of success. 

In this episode, we catch up with Jayne to learn about her role as Digital Innovation Commissioner, her entrepreneurial achievements, the challenges associated with leading digital change in Northern Ireland and we hear her take on how Northern Ireland became a high quality, internationally known tech hub.

“We have areas where we can be very niche, Northern Ireland can’t solve all the problems of the world but in those niche areas, we are strong and offer a strong return on investment. The other piece we need to look at is the people, we invest in culture, culture eats strategy for breakfast, and that gives me the most hope, our people, our entrepreneurs, and our culture is so strong. We have proven over the last number of decades that we are extremely resilient, we have emerged, and we have a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

So, join us in the next episode as we ask the pivotal question…WHY-NI?

WHY-NI? Emma Mulholland - LeanCoffee

WHY-NI? Emma Mulholland - LeanCoffee

May 11, 2021

It’s Live! The fourth episode of the WHY-NI Leadership series is here!

 

In this episode we are delighted to welcome one of Northern Ireland’s most passionate Product evangelists…Emma Mulholland.

 

Emma is enthusiastic about all thing’s product, currently, the Principal Product Manager at Instil, Emma’s work is inspired by human-centred design and solving user problems.  This passion for Product extends into the wider tech community through her role as Co-Founder and Organiser of LeanCoffee and ProductTank.

 

We catch up with Emma to learn about her career in Product, what it really means to have a “product mindset”, her journey with Product Tank Belfast and why the growth of the Northern Ireland Product community is celebrated.

 

We discuss how Product roles are now more prevalent than ever and how the advocacy and education around changing company culture to “that product mindset” is opening doors for the tech community in Northern Ireland.

 

“We are in a really interesting time, there are a load of opportunities and we offer a really great balance with your life choices! In Northern Ireland, you don’t have to sacrifice anything to further your career. Northern Ireland offers an incredible quality of life and incredibly stimulating careers, simultaneously, which is a brilliant combination”.

 

So, join us in the next episode of WHY-NI? as we continue to uncover the answer to that all-important question…Why NI?

WHY-NI? Claire Burn - WWCode Belfast

WHY-NI? Claire Burn - WWCode Belfast

April 19, 2021

Our third episode of the WHY-NI? Leadership series is live!

We are joined by one of NI’s leading champions for diversity in tech …Claire Burn.

Claire is a local Senior Director of Women Who Code Belfast, Founder & Conference Co-ordinator of Women Techmakers Belfast, a Cybersecurity enthusiast and currently a Security Data Engineer at Elastic.

Claire has worked in technology for around 8 years and has led some of the most impressive and innovative diversity in tech initiatives in Northern Ireland.

Claire’s passion for tech surpasses her own career. Not only has Claire led multiple volunteer groups, but she has also spoken at various events, including Women Techmakers Dublin, and is currently an online instructor for LinkedIn Learning (Python Coding).

In this episode, we catch up with Claire to learn about her career in IT and her passion for technology, her journey with WWCode Belfast, the plans the WWcode team have coming up this post-pandemic.

We deep dive into Claire’s passion for diversity in tech, why it’s important to teach, lead, and pass on your knowledge to others in order to enable a sense of community and of course, why Northern Ireland is the perfect place for a career in tech!

“Northern Ireland is known for being a hidden gem, in terms of top tech minds, we really do have some of the best Engineers! Companies come for the connections, but they stay for the talent!”.

So, join us in the next episode of WHY-NI? as we continue to uncover the answer to that all-important question…Why NI?

WHY-NI? Andrew Bolster - Farset Labs

WHY-NI? Andrew Bolster - Farset Labs

March 8, 2021

In the second episode of the WHY-NI? Leadership series we are joined by one of NI’s best-known tech professionals …Andrew Bolster.

Andrew is the founding Director of one of the first truly collaborative initiatives for technology professionals in Northern Ireland, Farset Labs.

Andrew is a passionate technologist, the founder of multiple technology-based groups and organisations, an award-winning researcher, community leader, and an occasional public speaker.

In this episode, we catch up with Andrew to learn about all things Farset and the big plans that are in store for the Farset team in 2021. We find out the challenges the Farset team have faced together, their significant successes and Andrews views on why Northern Ireland is so successful as a global tech hub.

“We have a really interesting history of being pretty darn tech savvy! We’ve got a load of interesting technologists today; we have a really strong community who are innovative and the fact that we are just that “wee place” is a big benefit! We have that “network effect” meaning we have a really strong community and pipeline of technologists, it’s fantastic”.

So, join us in the next episode of WHY-NI? as we continue to uncover the answer to that all-important question…Why NI?

 

WHY-NI? Mark McCormack - Aflac NI

WHY-NI? Mark McCormack - Aflac NI

February 8, 2021

We are delighted to be kicking off the very first podcast in our series with one of NI’s foremost industry leaders, Mark McCormack.

In this episode, we catch up with Mark to learn about his current role and the growth plans Aflac NI has in store for 2021, seek his advice for those starting out in their tech careers and get Mark’s views on what it is that has made Northern Ireland so successful as a global tech hub.

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