Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Mark McKeown

  • Name: Mark McKeown

    Role: Head of Capital Markets Delivery

    What does your typical day look like?

    Day-to-day is very varied but generally consists of reviewing progress of existing project teams and working through the discovery pieces for mobilising new project teams, from business, technology, and resourcing perspectives.

    What are you currently working on?

    I have responsibility for over two dozen project teams of varying sizes and technology stacks. We are seeing a lot of interest now in our cloud computing capabilities, particularly AWS, and I am doing my best to keep up with the latest AWS service offerings which are constantly being added to and enhanced.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Version 1 are building something special in the Capital Markets space and it is particularly satisfying to see how quickly the team has grown, and the ambitious plans it has for the future.

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    Yes, aside from the time when I was little and wanted to be a Fireman, I always knew I wanted to be in technology – taking things apart to see what was inside was my speciality! Personally speaking, I picked science/maths/technology subjects whenever I could at school. I also completed an Engineering Doctorate as I couldn’t get enough of engineering.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I enjoy working in an industry where I feel that the possibilities are endless, and you never know what this day or the next day brings. Working as part of a team to brainstorm and solve complex engineering and business problems is rewarding and fun

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

    One thing I have learned is that the tech industry is not just about those who have a technology background or education. It is in many cases about just being creative: be it the look and feel of a user interface, finding ways for globally distributed teams to work together to bridge timezeones and cultures, or to think outside of the box and look for inspirations in nature when finding solutions to problems.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    The pace of software engineering is unrelenting. I remember only a few years ago that people would comment that the cloud could never be trusted for storing data and running software. Nowadays I need to take a moment to think about the last technology project I worked on that did not involve cloud computing somewhere in the solution. Suffice to say it is behind almost every app we use on our smart phones.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    Unquestionably my Dad! He spent his career in engineering, from starting out as a telecoms engineer at BT, to building his own engineering business from scratch.

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

    The smart phone. Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will feature in the next wave.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My iPhone, though I must do better at switching off from it for more important things.

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