Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Fionnula Kelly

  • Lead Software Engineer - InsightCloudSec

    I joined Rapid7 last December with over 8 years experience as a python engineer. I gained a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I love to start early as my first hour usually allows me to catch up with anything that has happened in the US as we have colleagues in Arlington, Virginia. I then make my way through my slack reminders for the day, tasks ranging from following up on customer queries, investigation of feature requests and assigning pieces of work to the team, peer testing and code reviews. We normally have one team ceremony a day, as we work in agile, standup, refinement or retro which I run. As I manage and mentor members of my team, I also ensure to meet with them on a one to one basis once per week. This sets a great opportunity to touch base with them on what they are working on, any challenges or roadblocks they are facing that they may need help with, and to check in on career growth opportunities we’ve been working on together.

    What are you currently working on?

    My work is mainly focused on enabling others to do their tasks effectively. I gather context from customer feature requests and investigate the feasibility while documenting my findings. I also prioritize the workload of the team ensuring we deliver our objectives for the quarter while balancing customer issues and requests.

    What inspired you to join Rapid7 in particular?

    The work I do within the cloud security space is really interesting and working within multiple cloud environments is familiar to me. But it is the people and the culture at Rapid7 which really sold me the opportunity. I’ve felt very welcome from the start and feel this has really enabled me to contribute to my team and the Rapid7 products.

    Did you always want to work in this industry?

    No, I had no idea what I wanted to do at university when I was in secondary school. I had originally applied to do a degree in Geography. I never considered a career in technology as an option for me initially, until one of my teachers mentioned it to me when I was finishing my A-Levels as I had always really enjoyed computing at school so I changed course last minute.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    In short, the people. I love how all the teams at Rapid7 come together and collaborate to solve customer challenges, while also taking feedback onboard to enable us to build and improve our product offerings. This is enhanced by the atmosphere in our offices and the different collaboration spaces we can use.

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

    Do it! Opportunities are endless, different avenues are open within technology, not just engineering. The perks of the job are amazing and do not compare to other sectors.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    The product I work on is of huge importance to companies leveraging cloud technology. Due to misconfiguration of a single resource on cloud infrastructure, there are many security vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Our product helps mitigate this by providing clear insights into compliance, risk and exposure.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    Not one person in particular, but my mum and dad bought our first family PC when I was much younger and I was always interested in it. My secondary school ICT teacher also guided me towards technology and my parents were always supportive which I am very thankful for.

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

    AI (Artificial Intelligence) – We are already seeing how Artificial Intelligence can help and has in the Healthcare industry which is of the most value.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Probably the most common answer to this question, my smartphone.

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