Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Peter McAlister

  • Name: Peter McAlister

    Role: Team Lead, IE Core Team, Applied Systems

    Bio: From a young age I had an interest in technology and knew I wanted to be a software developer after my first programming lesson. I began working at Applied Ireland in 2014 shortly after completing my BEng Computing (Hons) course at Edinburgh Napier University. I joined as a Junior developer and progressed to the point of being in charge of my own team.

    What does your typical day look like?

    The majority of my day is spend coding new features or debugging existing software issues. In my role as Team Lead I work with my team members, advising them on their tasks and supporting them when they encounter issues.

    What are you currently working on?

    Currently I am working on a new Direct Debit Loan system that has been requested by one of our customers.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Applied Ireland had a great reputation as a Tech employer in Belfast. When I went for my interview the people were knowledgeable and friendly which cemented it as somewhere I would like to work.

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

    Yes, from a young age I was interested in computers and technology.

    From then I knew I wanted to work in the tech industry but it wasn’t until my first programming class that I realised I wanted to be a software developer.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of my job. Each task is a puzzle to be solved.

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

    The tech industry offers a varied range of jobs/careers.

    Try as many aspects as you can, you may be surprised by the ones you enjoy most.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    Industry wise Satoru Iwata was always an inspiration ever since hearing the story of how he managed to double the amount of content available in a video game by optimising the code, fitting it on a cartridge that had less than 1MB of space.

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

    Personally, I have been impressed with the various uses that have been found for 3D printing.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    3D Printing has sparked the imagination of so many people. Encouraging them to come up with creative solutions to problems that have challenged the world for years.

    Creating bespoke components, making personally tailored prosthetics for people in need or even producing mask filters to aid in the Covid-19 pandemic.

    This technology has given people the ability to make a positive change in the world and as the technology becomes cheaper and more efficient over time I believe this positive impact will grow.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    I really should say smartphone, but I think I’d sadder if I lost my video game console.

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