Invest Derry Strabane chats with Version 1's Lorna McAdoo about new job vacancies

  • This piece was written by the team at Invest Derry Strabane, whose new Work Life Balance campaign supports Version 1 as they announce a number of skilled job vacancies.

    The Covid-19 pandemic caused a shift in how we work, with millions around the world abandoning the morning commute to the office in favour of working from home. It also provided irrefutable evidence that highly skilled jobs do not need to be based exclusively in the larger cities.

    The likes of Version 1, along with many other businesses, are looking towards the North West of Ireland as a location with exceptional potential, particularly as a hub for remote working. The IT services company already has a range of roles open for the North West’s skilled talent pool, with more vacancies in the pipeline.

    Invest Derry Strabane embarked on a Work Life Balanced campaign supporting companies who have decided to set up or expand their operations here. 

    We chatted with Lorna McAdoo, Director of Operations and Business Development NI at Version 1, to discuss what makes the North West a dream location for businesses who are keen to broaden their horizons.

    Version 1 has been named one of the best places to work in both Ireland and the UK. What is it about the company that makes it so endearing to employees?

    For the past 24 years we have worked hard to deliver on three commitments. These include making a real difference for our customers, building an empowering culture for our people, and growing a strong organisation for the future. Those looking for a short-term result or an easier road might sacrifice one benefit for another, but at Version 1 we never have, and never will. We know that our greatest strength is balance across all three commitments: our customers, the people, and the company.

    This is The Version 1 Difference, represented in our strategic triangle logo. Our strategic triangle allows us to maintain a balance between our customers, employees, and our organisational performance – and provides a perfect foundation for a collaborative, innovative internal culture. We strive to remain balanced and humble despite our success, ensuring that we never develop an ego or become complacent.

    Thanks to this culture, life inside Version 1 represents fairness, equality and meeting each other halfway. Balance is the Version 1 Difference and is our secret to a successful, inclusive workplace culture. In Northern Ireland we have worked hard to develop an inclusive, supportive, collaborative and rewarding culture. We have staff engagement scores quarter on quarter of 89%+ and our customer survey scores are in excess 9+ out of 10 across all our customers.

    Version 1 is also investing more than £1m in its Belfast operations and creating 180 new jobs

    It’s fantastic that Version 1 decided to locate a workplace in the North West. What attracted the company to this area, and Derry in particular?

    We already have several key staff who work for the company and who live in Derry and the North West. Over the last 12 months it has become very apparent that people want to work for an organisation that provides the flexibility to work from home or part-time in an office.

    We looked at the universities and colleges and the skills that they are developing through various courses, and the broader talent base. There is great talent in the North West and we at Version 1 feel we can provide excellent working and career opportunities for those individuals. We are also very excited to work more closely with organisations such as Derry City and Strabane District Council, Ulster University (Magee), Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and North West Regional College.  

    This decision by Version 1 is incredibly exciting for the large pool of multitalented individuals in the North West. Can you give an indication as to which positions are available here?

    We have many open roles that cover a wide assortment of skills. These range from the traditional Software Development (.Net, Java), Business Analyst, Scrum Masters and QA Consultants through to more senior roles in Cloud Computing, Data Science, Delivery Practice Leads and many more.

    Version 1 also recently acquired Neueda to create 'one of NI's largest expert tech businesses'

    Remote working has become customary for many businesses following events of the past year. How seamlessly has Version 1 transitioned to this new way of working, and how important is work-life balance for employee morale?

    COVID-19 saw us shift from being a traditional business to one that aims to become a digital-first organisation. This covers all aspects of the business - from premises strategy to connectivity and security, to designing a digital sales process, to new leadership approaches to productivity tools. This is not a binary move and becoming naturally digital requires a shift in organisation thinking. Moving from ‘acting and thinking’ digital to ‘thinking and designing’ digital requires us to review all our ways of working, people practices and the technology we use.

    Version 1’s recent acquisition of Neueda indicates a bright future for the company. What further plans do you see on the company’s horizon?

    Version 1 has a hugely exciting future – not just here in Northern Ireland but internationally. Our growth plans are challenging but this only continues to focus us in being the best that we can be and maintaining the passion for ensuring that we continue to be a Great Place to Work, a Healthy Place to Work and that we have customers who continue to build and retain long term partnerships with us.   

    Finally, having done so with Version 1, what advice would you give to other businesses who may be considering bringing employment to the North West?

    I would recommend that they reach out to Derry City and Strabane District Council for help and guidance. I have been very impressed with their proactiveness and support. We also recently joined the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, and again have been really impressed with the services they offer their clients. This is most definitely an area worth considering for businesses, and one that I am very excited to grow and work with.

    For more information on the roles available at Version 1 and other job opportunities in the North West go to or check out Sync NI's tech Jobs page here. 

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