Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Emma Martin

  • Name: Emma Martin

    Role: Software Engineer at BT

    University: BSc Hons in Marketing, Ulster University and MSc in Software Development, Queen’s University Belfast.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I know it sounds cliché but no day in my role is ever the same. My team is very agile in how we work, and the team is fantastic at allowing everyone in the team to try different tasks and grow their skillsets. The main themes within my day is our morning stand-up with the team to find out what everyone done yesterday, plans for today and any barriers. Then we can have another stand-up with the offshore team depending on which tasks you are responsible for during the week. The rest of my day is spent completing development tasks.

    What are you currently working on?

    I joined BT on the two-year graduate rotational programme which gives employees the opportunity to be placed within three different teams over the course of the two years. Currently, I am in rotation one within the Test Automation Team within BT TV. The Test Automation team are automating the testing unit for BT TV using machine learning techniques. The team are decreasing the need for manual testing of the product and are utilizing automation testing techniques to speed up the testing of each release of the BT TV product.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    My interest in BT came from a few friends I knew within the company and I could see the exposure to different technologies and experiences within their graduate programme. I had worked for a number of smaller companies during my time at university and knew that I had wanted to join a larger organization as a graduate.

    BT products have been a staple in my house and I really wanted to work for a company that I knew the products and services. Another aspect that made me want to join BT was that everyone I chatted to during the recruitment process was extremely knowledgeable and I knew I would have the ability to work with experts.

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    Prior to university I had never thought about working within the technology industry. I studied an undergraduate degree in marketing as I was always interested in business and knew a marketing role would be very creative. During my time at university I was given the opportunity to work as a summer intern for a Belfast-based start-up Secure Broadcast and this started my interest in software.

    I then went on my placement year working within the Employability Department at Ulster University and during this time I got to shadow a variety of students working with technology. I was always really impressed with the range of projects they had the chance to work on during their placement.

    Then I was offered the opportunity to complete a Women in Business week with PwC and work as a Technology Consultant within the Digital and Emerging Technologies department. I can honestly say I had the best week and I would urge anyone interested in a career in technology to complete the scheme. I

    What is your favourite part about your work?

    The most enjoyable part of working within technology for me is that everyday you learn something new. I find I am most motivated in terms of work when I am finding solutions and problem solving. I enjoy being at the start of a project and not having any idea how to build a solution and then looking back once I have and seeing how much I have grown from project to project. My favourite part of my job is that I am not perfect and still have a lot to learn, but I am given the opportunities and projects to develop myself everyday and become a better software engineer.

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

    For anyone who would be interested in a career in technology I would say do it! There are so many opportunities within Belfast for those interested in technology. I never thought prior to my conversion course that I could actually do this job and I am extremely proud of myself being in a job that I now love.

    There are so many different ways to get into the tech industry with apprenticeships, courses and conversion courses there is a route to suit everyone interested in a career in technology. It is also important to remember that there are so many different roles within technology not just coding – for example, project management, technical delivery, UX/UI or product etc.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    I would have to say my brother inspired me to work within technology. He studied a computer science degree and I remember growing up amazed at him writing code and fixing computers. When my interest in technology happened, he was always there to encourage me to study the conversion course. The conversion course was extremely intense and challenging and Paul always had the time to sit and explain his knowledge to me to help my understanding. He has been the greatest support for me when joining the technology industry.

    Ariadna Groberio has been a fantastic mentor over the past three years and I have appreciated everything she has done for me. She has been there to constantly inspire and support me throughout my journey into technology. Ariadna has been extremely successful in her career and has always been there to provide mentorship to me and help me develop professionally.

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

    For me, 5G the next generation of mobile technology was an extremely important development over the past number of years. 5G will unlock so many exciting opportunities for industries all over the world. I am delighted to work for BT which through EE was the first company to launch 5G within the UK.

    BT have used 5G to enhance group experiences as well through BT Sport. The footage of the FA Cup final at Wembley was shared around the country through immersive virtual reality and augmented reality. This development is taking digital transformation to new heights and it will be exciting to see the developments that come with 5G.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    I would have to say my iPhone as it is the one tech gadget that I use every single day without fail. I use my phone to set my alarm, all my social media, watch videos, take pictures and use apps. I live in Belfast and my family are down at home, so I am always on my phone ringing or Face Timing.

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