Fiona, Senior Software Engineer

Tell us about your education and how you came to work in IT.

I studied ICT at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, but was also quite keen to pursue a career in Social Work so I went on to do Social Policy with Criminology for two years at Ulster University, Jordanstown.  I realised that I didn’t enjoy the course and started to look for other opportunities, specifically in ICT or Computer Science.  Thankfully, I was able to transfer across into Computer Science and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.  I applied for a placement in Liberty IT and after receiving my offer, I got a phone call offering me the bursary which was fantastic!  After final year, I returned as a graduate and I’ve been here ever since.

How did you feel when you first joined the company?

If I’m honest, at the start it felt a bit strange and grown up to be working in such a big professional company, but from the word go everyone was really friendly and welcoming!  My team was very supportive, helping to get me set up in my project and I found that even when going for a cup of tea in the kitchen, people would chat away and make me feel very at ease.

Describe a typical day for you.

I currently work on a project that uses Java, Guidewire, Databases, XML and WebServices.  On a typical day, I could be writing code for a new piece of work or writing my own test cases and JUnits to test the functionality.  I might also be fielding questions from the business or system analysts to ensure the requirements are fully implemented and supporting the QA and UAT testing – so it’s very much a hands on approach through all the stages.

What training have you received since you’ve been at Liberty IT?

As a graduate, I undertook all the required training such as Java Fundamentals and Data Driven Testing, which helped refresh what I learnt during my degree, but also reinforce the good practices to apply in my own development.  Since then, I’ve had training specific to my project.

Have you had the opportunity to travel while working for the company?

Yes, I got the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis in the States to meet my team members within our parent company, Liberty Mutual Insurance.  I find it really invaluable to get out and meet the team face to face in order to build rapport – we work very closely together on a daily basis so meeting them in person helps.

Are you involved in any committees, user groups or Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within Liberty IT?

I’m a member of the Social Committee who are responsible for organising the monthly social events for the company.  I have the pleasure of working with a really great bunch of people who are always enthusiastic about organising new and exciting events for our staff and it’s always nice to know what events are coming up ahead of everyone else!