Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Gerard Kelly

  • Manager, Data Engineering, Data & Analytics, EY Ireland

    What does your typical day look like?

    First thing in the morning, my partner and I take our dog Kevin for a walk. After a cup of coffee, I log in and check any outstanding emails and actions from the previous day.

    I then review the current items on our sprint board, I have a stand up with my team to assess the current status, what are our blockers in completing our sprint, and potentially reprioritise any tasks given to us by the business.

    The rest of the day then consists of meeting with various project stakeholders to inform them of any potential blockers to project delivery, or to simply assure we are on track to meet deliverables. Time between meetings is spent on code development/review with the members of the project data team.

    What are you currently working on?

    Currently I am the Data Team Lead with one of the commercial banks in Ireland, our programme is involved in the transfer of various financial portfolios from a bank that is exiting the Irish market.

    It’s my responsibility to engage with the wider business, understand the needs and requests from stakeholders, and ensure my development team are meeting the deliverables set down by the programme. To date, we have delivered three successful migrations, we are currently working on the fourth migration of the programme.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    When I graduated from university, three of my friends joined the Data & Analytics practice in EY NI. At that stage, the firm across Ireland had around 50 people, over the course of the next five years I saw the business grow to nearly 250 staff members across the island. I wanted to be part of that growth, to be on the journey to see EY become the premier Data & Analytics practice in Ireland.

    Did you always want to work in this industry?

    I’ve always been fascinated with technology and being a very extroverted person, consultancy seemed to be a good fit for me. I’ve been in this industry since leaving university and I haven’t looked back.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    As I touched on, I’m a big extrovert, I enjoy engaging with colleagues and clients from various technical and non-technical backgrounds as this allows me to continually develop my own skills whilst establishing that personal relationship that allows for a smoother journey to our shared project goal. This is linked to my GAA background growing up, from underage to senior, we work together to achieve our shared objective.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry?

    Belfast has become a tech hotspot in the last few years, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, for such a small place we have massive talent coming through our schools and universities. Tech does not equal just coding, don’t let that put you off. There are countless roles and opportunities for anyone with a passion for technology and data, having that diversity in our industry is what makes it a great place to be in.

    How do you see this technology impacting our lives?

    We see the benefits of data analysis daily, be it through our recommended playlists on Spotify, or the health statistics gathered by our smartwatches.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    It’s hard to pinpoint an exact figure, as it’s been a journey. Various people along the way helped me get to this stage; my parents instilling the need to get a third-level education, the coaches in my local Gaelic football club teaching the core skills of teamwork, and communication, and my cousin - who works in the same industry and was someone I could always look up to and count on for providing solid advice on my own personal and professional development. All these people and more combined, have got me to where I am today.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    The Smartphone.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My noise-cancelling headphones, they block out the outside world…so I can enjoy Hugo Duncan’s greatest hits without disruption!

Share this story