Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Nicola McCabe

  • Job Title: Software Engineer, Global Payments Integrated

    Bio: I studied Computer Science at Ulster University in Jordanstown and graduated with First Class Honours and a Diploma in Professional Practice in July 2020. In July 2018, I started my placement year in Global Payments as an intern.

    During my placement year, I was offered to extend my placement and a job as a Software Engineer for after I graduated, both of which I accepted. I started back as a Software Engineer in July 2020. 

    What does your typical day look like? 

    Working from home, every morning starts the same, with a team meeting to talk about our plans and targets for the day.

    Apart from that, every day can be different. In GPI as a software engineer, we don't just write code to implement our solutions, we also design and test our solutions. With this approach, on any given day I could be creating design diagrams, writing C++ code, reviewing code, or writing automated tests in frameworks such as Python and Robot to run on our devices. 

    What are you currently working on? 

    I work on the embedded side of our company, meaning I implement software solutions to be run on a Customer Engagement Device (CED). In layman's terms, the pin pad machine you tap your card on every time you go to the shop, I program the software on that.

    At the minute, I am working on a project called Store and Forward. This project means we can take payment transactions while the CED is offline and store them. When the CED goes back online we process these transactions through the gateway in a batch.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular? 

    My brother has worked for the company for a couple of years now. He would tell me about the type of work he was doing and the projects he was involved in and it always sounded so interesting to me.

    He also used to tell me about all the perks of the job, how the people were good craic but also how smart and competitive everyone was. So when it came around to looking for placement, GPI was my first choice.

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

    To be honest, no. When I was younger I never really thought about a job in this industry until picking my A-Levels. I went to an all-girls grammar school where coding and IT weren't hugely advertised subjects. I've always been a logical thinker and love solving problems and doing a Computing A-Level made me realise a career in the tech industry was for me. 

    What’s your favourite part about your work? 

    The variety, working environment and of course the people. As said before, every day is different so it keeps it interesting. I never just wanted to write code all day and in GPI, I get to do a bit of everything.

    Additionally, the working environment is very encouraging, even as an intern I was always treated as an equal, always heard and my ideas considered. I can speak freely to anyone and ask for help without feeling intimidated. Finally, you can't forget about the legendary Summer and Christmas parties, the best days of the year. 

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

    Do it for the right reasons. I've heard of many going into this industry because "That's where the money is at" and it's the wrong mindset. Technology is ever-changing and you need to want to keep up, if you are interested in this industry then 100% go for it's the best place to be.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives? 

    In terms of the overall technology we create, it has a massive ongoing impact. The increasing popularity of using a card or phone to pay for goods speaks for itself. Especially in the world we live in now, from a cleanliness aspect, not having to use cash to pay for goods is immense. 

    Who inspired you to work in this field? 

    As said before, my brother's in this industry. He's the first person I knew in the industry and has had a big impact on my choice of career.

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

    GPS has to be up there, don't know how I'd get from A to B without it!

    What tech gadget could you not live without? 

    Probably my laptop, can't beat a binge of a good series!

    About the author

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