Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Caroline Grant

  • Name: Caroline Grant

    Job title: Senior Technology Content Developer, Bazaarvoice

    Short Bio: Hi, my name is Caroline. I graduated from Ulster University with a Masters in Computing & Information Systems. I have 20+ experience working as a UX Technical Writer.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I start early, before anyone else is up, and work through my inbox. I’ll also jump onto Slack (our messaging platform) to check the company channels and answer any direct messages sent my way. I’ll then jot down my To-Do tasks for that day.

    Next, I’ll typically get the kids up for school or online college and eat breakfast with them. Tidy, grab a cuppa, and go up to my wee office to get stuck in. I usually have a call with India first thing (10am here is 3.30pm there). Then I get focused work done before a series of meetings in the afternoon with Belfast and Austin colleagues.

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m currently working on the ‘Insights’ project. It’s an exciting new tool that is powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing. It allows our clients to dive into metrics and make informed decisions about their ratings and reviews programs. I’m collaborating with UX and Product on the UX microcopy for the insights dashboards.

    MICROWHAT? Microcopy refers to all those little words or bits of text that instruct and guide users through every screen of your application or website.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    A colleague who still works here encouraged me to apply for this role. Bazaarvoice sounded like a fantastic company with lots of opportunities and the position suited me to a tee. However, I was happy where I was, a good position in a high-tech German company.

    Then two weeks later (no lie) this tech company I was working for closed it’s Northern Ireland office (due to Brexit uncertainty and other factors). Being made redundant knocked me for six. I had never been unemployed before but ‘every cloud has a silver lining’!

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

    No. I originally wanted to be an architect and studied technical drawing as an honours subject for my leaving certificate exam. I even applied to Queens; a seven-year Architecture degree course. But I decided on the tech industry in the end as that’s what our careers advisors were pushing. I love what I do. But I still sometimes wonder “what if I had taken that other road”.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I enjoy the people side and the variety of work. My work allows me to work with and collaborate with colleagues in Austin, India, and Belfast, on a daily basis. I’m based in Co. Donegal; I was a remote worker even before Covid hit. So I set myself a personal objective to stay connected with someone existing or new every week.

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

    There are so many different roles available in tech. Look beyond the stereotype. Spend time in the industry (summer placement, open evening, get a week’s experience through a contact). Explore the different roles and talk to people in different teams. Come find out about us!

    How do you see technology impacting on our lives?

    Technology has given us so many multi-functional devices, like the smartwatch, the smartphone, smart devices like Alexa, and even smart homes. However, technology can have both a positive and negative impact on our lives. Our kids and even adults are getting more and more addicted to these modern devices.

    Overall though, technology has made our lives easier, faster, better, and more fun. Technology has enabled me to work seamlessly from home, as we have so many amazing collaborative tools and resources.

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

    Virtual reality. Not sure it’s the most important but certainly the most exciting! Our team used to have to travel to company headquarters a lot in my previous job. Our CEO has invested in VR headsets; we had so much fun playing zombie games (love the Walking Dead and World-Z) and going on roller coasters. What a thrilling experience. I think VR will be the future for entertainment; however, it’s too expensive for the masses yet.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Alexa - smart device. I use Alexa for everything, e.g. as a cooker timer, appointment reminders, checking the weather, playing music, asking questions, adding items to my shopping list.


    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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