Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Matt Coulter

  • Name: Matt Coulter

    Role: Technical Architect at Liberty IT

    What does your typical day look like?

    Every day is different for me. It is my job to empower and enable our engineers to rapidly deliver business value in a well architected, sustainable way. This means I can be talking to our market CIO about strategy, working with local directors on execution, talking to Amazon Web Services (AWS) about what features we need soon, consulting with engineers on problems or writing some code. 

    What are you currently working on?

    A key focus of my work is enabling Well Architected, Serverless implementations built with AWS CDK through the open-source code available at And last week I was invited to present at the AWS Summit London on how Liberty IT uses AWS CDK – I shared lots of helpful information about how we scale AWS CDK for our parent company, Liberty Mutual, to solve problems for our customers, the benefits we now see and the tools we have built internally to make it all happen.

    It was a great to be invited back to speak at another AWS event – at the end of last year I was asked to be part of the keynote speech of the Chief Technology Officer of Amazon, Dr Werner Vogels at the AWS: re:Invent conference in Las Vegas - a learning conference for the global cloud computing community. It was the fourth year in a row that employees from Liberty IT have taken part in the conference.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I had completed my placement year in Liberty IT and enjoyed working with the team so much that I then joined the company after I graduated from university.

    I've held a number of different roles at Liberty IT, starting in a UX team delivering small enhancements to a $4bn insurance application. It was amazing working directly with the end users to understand their frustrations and then coming back to them with the solutions and get to see their reactions. I worked my way up to team lead where I proposed a complete UI rewrite of the 170 screens across multiple lines of insurance. This was to solve user pain and to make sure the application was ready for the impending rise of Chrome as the dominant browser. At this point in time I was running the global technical lead meetings for the commercial insurance market as well.

    I’ve led an initiative to improve the DevOps practices and create an environment where all of the teams could rapidly deliver with confidence through pipeline automation and appropriate automated testing.

    After that I worked exclusively on data and how we use data to streamline our quoting process whether it be through prefilling answers we already know or using AI/ML to predict an answer. This role led me to create some really advanced serverless architectures on AWS and data processing platforms.

    The next role was as an Account Architect working to create the right environment to empower and enable our engineers to rapidly deliver business value in a well architected way. I was using a combination of facilitated practices (Wardley Mapping etc), hands on training and external advocacy to improve the serverless experience at Liberty.

    In my current role I am work directly with the engineering community across Liberty to understand how to improve the developer experience and also speak about it externally.

    This has meant I’ve never sat around for long doing the same thing and have pushed myself to learn new skills and solve new problems. I’m not sure where else would have enabled me to make each of those transitions so seamlessly.

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

    No, at school Biology was easily my favourite subject. I may even still have a hand-written note from my IT teacher suggesting that I should drop the subject! Once we got past the basics and into programming, that’s where my interest ramped up.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    Customer feedback. Absolutely nothing compares to when you can make a difference to  a customer. I will never forget an Insurance Agent vigorously shaking my hand because I had fixed what was a minor bug to me, but he had to live with it as a major issue every day.

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

    Do it. The industry feels very daunting at first when you’re looking in from the outside but there is an incredible community of supportive people who will help you grow and thrive.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    Everything is digital and connected now, look at the increase in technology usage since COVID appeared in 2019. This is no difference with Insurance - we now have serverless call centres that after a natural disaster can automatically process claims in less than four minutes, so customers can focus on the important thing – piecing their lives back together.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    It wasn’t so much a person, but an idea sold by many well-known individuals. There are very few industries in the world where you can produce something out of nothing that makes a difference in other people’s lives. If you have a laptop and an internet connection the possibilities are endless.

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

    The cloud isn’t new, AWS launched in 2006. The piece that is new is the concept of code being a liability. The idea that you can pull from this catalogue of massively scalable capabilities, stitch them together with very little code and have a viable business.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    At this point my smartphone and I are never more than six feet away from each other. I mostly use it for communication apps like Twitter or Slack to stay in touch with developers all over the world.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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