Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Barbara Rollo

  • Name: Barbara Rollo

    Role: Product Specialist, Kainos

    University attended: University of Ulster

    Degree: BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems, 2:1

    I have worked for 23 years in the IT Industry, mainly in the area of HCM and Payroll Software. I started out as a Software Developer and then moved into a System Analyst role. I then moved into managing a software support team and providing software demonstrations and client training. I took a break from management to have a family and after working for the same company for 22 years, I made the move to Kainos. I have never looked back! The role I have currently undertaken is focused on automated software testing in the areas of HCM and Payroll.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I get the train to work at 8 and am at my desk by 8:30am – The express train is a god send! I tend to work 3 days a week in the office and 2 days at home (no make-up days!). Each day though, whether at home or in the office has a similar makeup. I will have a few conference calls with clients each week, consisting of scoping their required test scenarios and playing back the test packs when they are complete. I am scoping or building tests most of the day (lots of Excel!). I go to product development meetings each week to liaise with the development team on new features in our testing software. 

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m just finishing a Payroll test pack for an American company and starting a new payroll test pack for another American company. I have calls with both parties to subsequently wrap up one project and kick off the next. I am also working on a project with my manager to automate how we raise work requests within our team and give our customers access to do this also.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I had many friends who worked at Kainos who told me of what a great, progressive place it is to work. It is challenging and rewarding, and that was what I was looking for at this point in my life.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    Yes! At University, I don’t know where I got the idea from, but I always thought I wanted to work in Software. My Grammar school at the time didn’t even offer Computing A level and I was so determined; I went to night classes to do my Computing A level!

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I absolutely love mentoring and assisting colleagues. I love passing on my knowledge and helping others to succeed. I also feel great pride when the work I have completed makes life easier for the customer and they appreciate your efforts.

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

    I would say – Go for it! you won’t regret it.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    I don’t think anyone in particular, I just liked the idea of being just as good as the boys! It was 28 years ago when I started my degree and out of a class of about 50 students, there were only seven girls. We were out to prove our worth and that computing wasn’t just for boys!

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

    In my opinion it has got to be the internet. When I left university, I didn’t even have an email address to keep in contact with my friends and now we a can get any sort of information at the touch of a button. We don’t even have to touch a button, we can just ask a question! The internet was the start of all the major advances in mobile phone technology, gaming and Entertainment technology.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My mobile phone – it’s like my right arm! It is my camera, my alarm clock, my tv, my reminders, my way of shopping and paying! I could not be without it.

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