Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Nicole Sinclair

  • Biography

    I graduated in 2019 from Ulster University with a degree in Business Management. After I graduated, I worked in a financial company as a Risk Analyst, moving into a government role before joining Kainos through their BA academy in March 2023. I always had an interest in technology and working alongside Business Analysts in my previous role I had realised with my transferable skills this job would be perfect for me. I had not had a technical background, but I had the passion and willingness to learn. The BA academy gave me all I needed to kickstart my career with its tailored training and great support. I was immediately involved in projects once the academy ended. I learned so much from agile methodologies, creating user stories, workshop facilitation and Data Modelling. I was well and truly ready to hit the ground running once I started my new project. 

    What does your typical day look like?

    As cliché as it sounds, no day is the same. There can be many updates and changes so daily priority calls are necessary. I start my morning off with checking my to – do list and make sure the priorities still align for the day ahead. Every morning we have a stand-up meeting to discuss our outcomes of the day before, what we are focusing on today and flag any dependencies or issues. I facilitate workshops with stakeholders to gather detailed and prioritised requirements for upcoming work, present analysis back to the client and hold technical discussions to create tickets for the work to be completed. I finish off every day by updating my personal Trello board on what my priorities are for the next day ahead.

    What are you currently working on?

    I am on the DVSA MOT project. DVSA through their MOT service deliver periodic inspection from certified examiners on mostly private vehicles in Great Britain. MOT service aims to provide users with knowledge about their vehicle condition and usage to keep Britain's' roads safe. The service is changing to be digital by default to improve user experience. The online services include MOT History, MOT Testing Service, MOT Reminders, Trade API, and vehicle recalls.

    What inspired you to join Kainos in particular?

    Kainos is a company who genuinely care about their staff. The opportunity for career progression was evident from the beginning. It is no surprise that they won the Glassdoor Award for Best Place to Work for two years in a row. My interview and onboarding experience was seamless and Kainos stayed connected with me throughout and this confirmed for me this was the place for me.

    Did you always want to work in this industry?

    Since I was young, I was always fascinated by how technology is increasingly changing the world we live in for the better. Making mundane tasks easier and more efficient to do (If it can be done better and faster, I am all ears!). However, my career has taken me in all different industries including Finance and Government, but one thing remained the same, technology was always in the back of my mind, and I always found myself drawn more to those roles.

    What is your favourite part about your work?

    I would say it is a close tie between working with extraordinary forward-thinking colleagues and being able to knowledge share with them but also observing the journey of a significant project; from its initial exploration phase to its final completion and release. You get to witness how an idea or concept is researched, planned and transformed into a fully functional and deployed solution that is ready to be used.

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

    DO IT! Working in technology and being submerged in how it is changing every dynamic of the world we live in, means you will be never run out of passion, and you will never be bored. The opportunities are endless and there is so many friendly people that will help guide you. You do not have to be a tech expert to work in tech if you have passion and willingness to learn you will love what you do.

    How do you see this technology impacting our lives?

    I thought this question would be a perfect way to talk about AI and show it is impacting our day-to-day lives and daily tasks. So, I typed this question into Chat GPT (A natural language processing tool whereby users can type queries and have human-like conversations driven by AI technology). This is what it came up with: “Technology is poised to dramatically transform our lives in numerous ways. With the rapid advances in AI, automation, and connectivity we can expect a future where technology seamlessly integrates into every aspect of our daily routines. From smart homes that adjust to our preferences to automatous vehicles that revolutionise transportation, our environments will become more intelligent and responsive.”

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    My mum. When I was 10, she bought me my first laptop as I was not showing interest in most other toys/games. She saved every penny to be able to get me the laptop and I remember first logging on and always being excited and passionate about recent technology advances (in which there has been many from this first bulky laptop). She is the reason I am in this field today.

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

    Remote work and collaboration tools have undergone significant changes within the recent years due to the increase of demand prompted by COVID-19. More companies have invested in adopting remote working and with this video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams had to work on improving reliability, user experience and integration with other productivity tools. Project Management and task tracking tools such as Trello and Jira have allowed us to ensure accountability when working remotely. Cloud based document collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 have become more robust allowing for multiple users to collaborate simultaneously. The pain points of remote working are being vastly ironed out by advances in technology to provide us with a better work life balance.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    As a technology enthusiast it is difficult to choose one gadget that I could not live without. However, if I had to choose, I would say my smartphone. It combines many functionalities into a single device. I have friends living across the globe but through my phone I have still been able to keep in touch, through calls, messages, and social media I feel connected to the world. I have a wealth of knowledge on my fingertips with search engines, songs/media I can play to entertain me during the commute and an alarm that can be pain to make sure I am up in the morning!

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