Neueda Life: Ryan Eastwood, Senior Software Engineer

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We caught up with Senior Software Engineer Ryan Eastwood, who’s remained a crucial element of the Neueda team since he started with us four years ago, to find out more about his career journey to date as well as his role in developing our internal training and knowledge sharing scheme NeuLearning.

Ryan, take us back to the beginning; how did you get to this point?

In the eight years before I embarked on a career in IT, I managed several betting shops around Belfast and County Antrim. However, I wanted a change and started studying for a degree in Banking and Finance, followed by a post-graduate qualification in Professional Software Development at Coleraine University. All of this was while I was working 40-hour weeks, so I had to study efficiently in order to get the grades AND still make it to Kelly’s Nightclub every Wednesday night! In June 2013, I joined NYSE as a 27-year-old graduate where it was time to knuckle down and start my career in IT. The following year I joined Neueda as a mid-level Software Engineer.

What did Neueda look like in 2014?

Although the company had been in operation for many years, I considered myself to have joined Neueda at ‘the beginning’. The Capital Markets business was in its infancy, with the whole team sitting at a small cluster of around eight desks. Now, Capital Markets alone is bigger than the entire company was back then.

My first project with a major investment bank started right away. It was Neueda’s first POC with this particular client, and the step-up in deliverables was a big shock to the system. It meant putting in some long hours to ensure we never missed a deadline. Fast-forward four years, and I still work with this client as a Lead Software Engineer, and Neueda is a trusted partner to them.

What makes Neueda special?

I’m happy to be involved in several internal programmes, including Great Place 2 Work (GP2W) and graduate training. Along with Emma Neil and Ralph Graham, I helped to found our internal training and knowledge sharing scheme, NeuLearning. The idea behind it is for individuals with in-depth knowledge of technologies, languages or a particular industry to share it with their colleagues. The trainer gets the opportunity to improve their presentation skills in a friendly environment, so everybody involved learns and develops. It holds a particular place in my heart because I had a fear of public speaking and I had to take several sessions in the early days to help kick things off. It was actually during one of these sessions where I met my wife Nichola, proving that you should always push yourself to overcome your fears!

The four years I’ve spent at Neueda have flown by, and I can say with certainty that I would not have gained the valuable experience, skills and knowledge that I have today at another company.

Stay tuned to our Neueda Life blog series to gain an insight into the experiences of our amazing team.

 

Neueda Knowledge: Hugo Espresati, Senior Software Engineer, talks Java

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Over the years, we have seen Java earn its place as one of the leading programming languages for enterprise applications. We spoke to Neueda Senior Software Engineer Hugo Espresati about the role of Java today, as well as his experiences working at Neueda.

Hugo, can you tell us a bit about your role here at Neueda?

I currently work as a Java tech lead on-site with one of Neueda’s clients, managing a team of six. When Neueda offered me the role, I knew it was time to leave Spain, broaden my horizons and head to a new country. I’ve been living in Belfast since July 2017 and love it so much that I’ve decided to stay here long-term.

Has the application of Java changed in the time that you’ve been a developer?

Java is still applied in different areas for a variety of reasons in both large or small scale applications. Dependence has indeed decreased due to other powerful languages, like C# or Python emerging but Java is still a leading language for large applications for enterprise organisations.

Is there are a shortage of Java developers?

There certainly is, which I find surprising. In Belfast, as well as the rest of the UK, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find Java professionals at any level. Typically, most UK developers are educated in mathematics or physics and so don’t possess a deep knowledge of computer science. This barrier makes it even more challenging to find senior software engineers.

How do you think this shortage can be solved?

I think developers need to be more flexible and open to trying other languages. When I’ve conducted interviews for developers, the candidates have software development expertise in one or two languages. However, if you have a good all-round understanding of programming (Object Oriented programming in this case), it would only take a matter of weeks to get your head around Java. It’s worth making the time investment, as Java professionals are in high demand right now.

What’s it like to be a Java developer at Neueda?

There’s so much variety at Neueda. You have the opportunity to work on different projects and technologies should you want to, which can help developers to stay fresh. The wider team is also always on-hand to collaborate with you and offer any support you might need.

The people are what really set Neueda apart from the rest. I’ve found them to be dynamic, willing to share knowledge and happy to answer any questions, even if you think they might be silly! We always work as a team, and there are a number of initiatives including mentoring for less experienced staff and bespoke training programmes.

What can you say about the Neueda culture?

I love that I get to socialise with my colleagues. I’m a social person and everyone has been so welcoming, helping me to feel at home. In fact, I moved to Belfast on a Thursday, and I was out getting to know the team on Friday! Because I spend a lot of time working in our clients’ offices, it’s important that I still have the opportunity to meet all of the new starts and remain a key part of the team. Anyone who joins Neueda is warmly welcomed and treated like family. I love it.

Stay tuned to the Neueda blog to get more insights into life at Neueda, what we’re working on, and the talent we’re on the lookout for.

 

Neueda Life: Anna McKeown

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We’re proud to bring talented graduates on board at Neueda to collaborate with our experienced team and deliver some of the most innovative projects for our exciting global clients. This month, we caught up with Anna McKeown who recently joined Neueda as a graduate Analyst Software Engineer, training with us as she completes her Masters in Software Engineering.

So, Anna, why Neueda?

I wanted to join an organisation with a reputable graduate training programme, and I sent out applications to a few places. Neueda stood out from the rest, and I knew I wanted to join after getting such a good feeling when I met the team. There’s a great atmosphere when you walk into the Neueda offices, with teams working together and sharing ideas. It was always the place for me.

How has the training programme been so far?

The ability to learn on-the-job from day one was appealing. There’s no classroom training, which demonstrates the trust Neueda puts into its people. I’ve been able to work at a level and pace that I’m comfortable with while training side-by-side and learning from more experienced team members.

What are you working on at the moment?

It’s been great to collaborate with my fellow Neueda graduates on an exciting project that’s allowed us to learn together and support one another. I’ve really felt that my contribution is significant and that my ideas are listened to and implemented.

What else do you like about working at Neueda?

It’s a close-knit team, and there have been regular social events that have included nights out, a trip to a water park, and an escape room; there’s always something going on! It’s a testament to Neueda’s culture that everyone wants to socialise, whether that’s lunch together or post-work drinks.

What’s next for you?

I’m not sure, but I would love to stay at Neueda once I’ve graduated next year. Fingers crossed!

Does Neueda sound like a place you’ll love? Find out more about joining an organisation that’s committed to individual career growth with first class training and development opportunities. Click here and be part of something special.

 

Neueda Knowledge: Belfast – New York – London

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Every month on the Neueda blog, members of our team will share key learnings and experiences from our latest exciting projects. This time we hear from Software Engineer Michael Malanaphy and a project that took him from Belfast to New York to London (and back again).

Background
I joined Neueda in July 2015, as the company’s 39th employee. It was a big moment for me because my dad was Neueda’s very first employee many years ago. It’s been something of a family affair as my younger brother also joined the Neueda two years ago.

Onboarding and role
Neueda puts a lot of trust into its employees; when I joined as a Software Engineer, I was assigned my first client and project on day one, so I was able to turn on my laptop and get started right away.

Initially, I was responsible for legacy systems and exploring ways they could be improved. It was an initial 30-day project in the public sector division, but it ended up turning into a year with all public-facing websites changing and improving. As this project was coming to an end, I was asked to move into our capital markets division with my skills utilised on challenging projects in a new industry with global clients.

Big Apple

I was given the opportunity to travel to NYC to work on a project for one of the world’s biggest banks. Python Developers were required to support an internal trading application aimed to help their traders track and research company information. It was an exciting challenge given that Python was a relatively new language for me, which was great for my professional development  in preparation for the three-month project.

The aim was for our team of six to learn the system while we were out there so that we could work on it remotely from Belfast. We rotated working in the bank’s New York and New Jersey offices while living on Manhattan’s Wall Street. Being based in the client’s office gave us the opportunity to experience the reality of their day-to-day working life. We had to communicate effectively with the wider team without taking them away from business-critical tasks.

London
Following this successful trip to New York, I was then asked to work with the client’s London team, so divided my time between London and Neueda’s Belfast head office; one month on and one off for 12 months. This was a highlight for me as I have a lot of friends in London and the team I worked with there were also really welcoming and friendly.

I feel so lucky to have experienced living and working in two of the most exciting cities in the world and, with another potential project coming up, there are more adventures with Neueda on the horizon.

Neueda in three words

Challenging, fast, fun. While the work can be challenging at times, everyone supports one another, and you get out exactly what you put in. Plus we have a lot of craic [definition: fun]!

Stay tuned to our Neueda Knowledge blog series to gain exclusive insights into Neueda projects and the experiences of our team. You can also find out more about becoming part of the Neueda team and working on groundbreaking projects for some of the most exciting organisations in the world. Click here and be part of something special.

 

Neueda Life: Ralph Graham

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There’s no doubt that an organisation’s data is a vital asset when it comes to surviving and thriving in the modern economy. We spoke to Neueda’s Delivery Manager for Data and Analytics Ralph Graham to find out more about today’s data projects, his time with Neueda so far and the integral components that make up a winning data team.

Ralph, can you tell us about the type of projects you work on at Neueda?

Of course. I lead a team of 10 people who work across a wide range of data projects for both our private and public sector clients. This involves us looking at all elements of a data project from data quality and landscape, through to visualisation and predictive analytics.

What are the challenges facing today’s organisations when it comes to data?

The sheer amount of it. Data grows exponentially every day, but the ability for organisations to use it isn’t moving at the same speed. However, it’s critical for them to fully utilise the data they’re capturing to remain profitable, particularly when it comes to predictive analytics which reacts to customers in real-time, as opposed to relying on historical data that’s out-of-date as soon as it enters the system.

Your team is growing, so what type of talent are you looking for?

Data is integral to every IT project, so I’m looking for a combination of skills and talent to join our team. In particular, I’m interested in hearing from visualisation experts, data scientists and those who have an interest in predictive learning. We also require intelligent and passionate business analysts who can translate business processes into data driven requirements to support analytical outputs.

Describe Neueda in three words.

People are fantastic. To elaborate, I’ve been working for 11 years since leaving university, spending the last four with Neueda, and it’s the most hard-working and social organisation I’ve ever been a part of. Every month, we enjoy team trips that have previously included golf taster lessons, rock climbing and food tours. There’s always something exciting happening, and everyone gets on really well.

Find out more about becoming part of the Neueda data and analytics team and working on groundbreaking projects for some of the most exciting organisations in the world. Click here and be part of something special.

 

Neueda Life: Brendan Monaghan

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This week, we sat down with our CEO, Brendan Monaghan to get the inside scoop on how Neueda started, his plans for the future and what it means to be part of our team.

Brendan, how did it all begin?

David Bole and I set up Neueda 13 years ago after working with organisations and helping them to grow. In the beginning, we talked more about what we didn’t want to be, as opposed to what we did want to be. This approach, combined with a very clear understanding of our founding principles (financial stability and customer success) and company values, has created something unique, something special – the Neueda culture.

On a basic level, we work hard to keep politics to an absolute minimum and create a supportive environment where our people are trusted, challenged and given every opportunity to succeed.

Since inception, we’ve stayed true to our founding principles to remain profitable while maintaining a laser focus on our customers. I know everyone says that, but in 13 years we haven’t lost a customer which is something we’re incredibly proud of.

What’s the vision?

The overall vision for the company is simple; to be the trusted technology partner to global market leaders in capital markets, private sector and public sector.

Neueda has become synonymous with technical excellence, innovation and a strong delivery track record.  We have historically played a key technology role in large global companies and international markets. We actively seek out challenging projects, all of which are serviced by our teams in Belfast and Malaga, and deliver significant economic benefits and enhanced skills across the industry..

What does this mean for your employees?

There’s ample room for our team to be challenged and to evolve with us, no matter what age you are or the level of experience you have. We operate a flat structure, which enables us to identify talent and support them to excel in their role and deliver the best service to our customers.

We aim to keep growing the business year-on-year, which unlocks new opportunities for everyone meaning more of our people can take on new challenges and develop their skills.

We make a commitment to everyone who joins us, that you will grow with us. If you choose to leave, and we hope you won’t, you will be significantly more skilled and employable than when you started. As a company, we embrace leavers and also returners. In fact, in our short history, there have been six people who have left and returned to work for us, which has provided interesting insights into our growth and development throughout the years.

What’s next?

It’s an excellent time for us. We’re busy and currently recruiting to grow our teams for some of the most innovative technology projects. We have a truly global client base, with projects taking place in the USA, Europe and Asia, but our aim is to continue to base our work in Belfast as much as possible rather than continue putting people on planes, which can cause sustainability issues, not to mention work/life balance challenges for our team. Plus, for Northern Ireland to continue growing as an economy it has to export, so we’re trying to do our bit by bringing as much work back here as possible.

Stay tuned to the Neueda blog for news and insights from our team, and read more about our latest projects. You can also find out more about becoming part of the Neueda team and working on groundbreaking projects for some of the most exciting organisations in the world. Click here and be part of something special.