Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Niamh McGuigan

  • Name: Niamh McGuigan

    Role: Agile Coach at Bazaarvoice Belfast

    What does your typical day look like?

    I always start with a coffee then use Notes to jot down my To-Do list and prioritise my day. My role is a lot more fluid than others so there’s not always a ‘typical day’, one day I might be facilitating a team meeting, the next I could be training teams on a new Jira tool and the next acting as a collaboration conductor. It involves a lot of context switching which I really enjoy. 

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m currently leading a facilitation piece around Empowering Teams. It’s based heavily around Marty Cagan’s work describing how great product teams are made up of ordinary people who are empowered and inspired. Over the last year at Bazaarvoice we’ve moved from a Product v Engineering organisation model to a Product Development Organisation model and this Empowered Teams piece has been instrumental in educating and embedding that change.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    A colleague Sorcha McNamee encouraged me to apply for this role. We had a quick chat and I was fully convinced after she described the culture and talented individuals that I’m now lucky to work with.

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

    No, I originally set my hopes on becoming a vet because I’ve always had a great love for animals although my mother quickly put me off the idea once she arranged for me to lamb an actual sheep. That was an experience to say the least. I knew from then I would never have a career in veterinary medicine or healthcare for that matter. That’s when I first started considering a career in the tech industry.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    Definitely the people. I’m very lucky that my role allows me to interact with a variety of individuals and teams across the global organisation.

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

    There are so many other roles within the tech industry which you don’t necessarily need a heavily technical skill set, there are so many other transferable skills that you can reapply. My experience has taught me to try out different roles, find out what roles you
    enjoy as well as the ones you don’t because there’s always something you can take away from every experience.

    How do you see technology impacting on our lives?

    With lockdown our world has been propelled into the virtual space.  Although this will provide us with more flexibility and enable some of us to now work from anywhere, there are some negative psychological effects to this. Returning back from what we now
    call ‘the new normal’, we all have to become better at striking the balance between virtual and physical connections to reduce this impact.

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

    Artificial intelligence, it’s now become part of everyday life and the volume of data which we’re collecting around us will only continue to increase. It’s one of the biggest trends at the moment and one of the most valuable tools for drawing connections, gathering insights and understanding behavioural shifts. This allows us to interpret, understand the world around us and make better informed decisions.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Alexa, it’s great for setting cooking timers, playing music and I really love the riddle of the day feature.

    Read more about our Tech Trailbazers on Sync NI here. Find out more about Bazaarvoice Belfast's job opportunities on our Jobs page here.

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