Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Steph McClelland

  • Name: Steph McClelland

    Role: Software Developer at GCD Technologies

    Steph McClelland is from Portadown, where she is currently employed as a Software Developer at GCD Technologies. A first class honours graduate of computing from the University of Ulster, Steph is a highly skilled and adaptable developer. With over 4 years professional experience in software engineering, she is proficient in a wide range of programming languages, across both web and app development.

    What does your typical day look like?

    The structure of my day will largely depend on the project I am working on. I could be in meetings with the team breaking down feature requests for a scheduled release, discussing implementation plans, or perhaps running product demos with Project Managers and clients. On other days you might find me working on development tasks, reviewing code, writing documentation and tests.

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m currently working as part of a team developing a custom ERP system for a leading building insurance company to improve their business processes. The technology we are using is React JS for the front-end and PHP for the backend restful API.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Before joining GCD Technologies I had been working on C++ and C# in-house software for a few years. I was ready for a challenge, keen to work on a variety of projects and learn new technologies. Working here has given me the opportunity to achieve these things and much more.

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    No, for a long time before choosing my degree I had seen myself working as a teacher. I love sharing knowledge and helping people grasp concepts. Thankfully these play a part in my career today through mentoring in the workplace and also volunteering as a mentor at CoderDojo sessions.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    Solving complex problems through building solutions from my ideas and then seeing them come to life is very rewarding.

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

    The tech industry is thriving in Northern Ireland and working in a tech company is a brilliant learning experience. It’s a great opportunity to be creative and ambitious. If you're inspired by the continuous innovation of technology, you could contribute to that innovation throughout your career.

    How do you see technology impacting our lives?

    Technology has changed how we communicate, watch tv, exercise, pay bills, manage money and that is just a few examples. With the development of smartwatches, tablets, smart home devices and virtual AI assistants, our lives have become easier. I see future technologies such as 5G connectivity, self-driving cars, Internet of Things and Immersive Media continuing to enhance all aspects of our lives by informing us about our homes, bodies, improving connectivity and enabling us to experience media like never before.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    My older sister studied Computing at Ulster Universitya few years ahead of me. She has been a great role model and is always there to offer advice. Seeing my sister prosper in this industry inspired me and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in tech..

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

    Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applications have made a significant impact in recent years with customer service chatbots, smart home technology and medical diagnosis tools.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    I would be quite lost without my smartphone. It’s my clock, organiser, purse, shopping list, sat nav and much more.

    About the author

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