Neueda Life: Lisa Sweeney, Head of People and Culture, explains why culture is made, not born

By | Neueda Life | No Comments

Lisa, what does culture mean to you?

Culture is a word that’s both overused and underestimated in the business world today. It goes so much further than a dress code, office décor and the occasional staff social; it’s an organisation’s DNA. Culture defines how you interact internally and externally, and if it’s cultivated and nurtured correctly, it flows down from the top, making employees feel valued, motivated and part of something special.

How important is culture for Neueda?

We’re unapologetic about our commitment to company culture. Everyone knows that the technology sector is a particularly competitive market, so it’s imperative that we not only attract the best people, but we continue to nurture, develop and retain the talent we have. Additionally, our culture needs to resonate with our customers, so we’re proud to receive regular feedback from customers that our commitment to culture differentiates us as a partner of choice.

How has Neueda developed such a positive company culture?

We’ve always had buy-in from the senior team, as well as key individuals throughout the business, who demonstrate and inspire behaviour that reflects what Neueda is about. We think of these individuals as our ‘culture architects’ – our role models and leaders who can influence and help to bring our culture to life. From day one, our leadership team had a clear vision of what type of company they wanted, and crucially, didn’t want to be.

What elements go into Neueda’s culture?

Our culture flows from our values. One of Neueda’s core company values is ‘challenge, decide, commit’, so we always want people to have a voice and to challenge us, and when a decision is made, we fully support it as a team. We also want our people to take risks, and they’re told from day one ‘if you fail, fail early and learn from it – don’t hide it’. Operating by these values creates a high trust, high-performance culture and when it’s combined with the talent and passion of our people, it creates a thriving, learning environment.

What role does your team play in Neueda’s culture?

There’s a traditional view of HR as the team in a company that manages policies, handles interviews and deals with issues and problems. While those are indeed crucial elements of HR, its function goes way beyond that, which is why we call our team People & Culture.  Our people expect to be challenged and given the opportunity to continuously learn and develop. It’s about engaging our employees and ensuring they have a voice to add-value and help shape and influence the direction of the company.

Staff wellbeing is also a crucial ingredient of our success and forms a massive part of our approach. The new generation of talent place particular importance on work/life balance and value recognition, which is why we offer staff initiatives such as social events, yoga and health tests to help them maintain a healthy mind and body.

What role does social responsibility play in culture?

For Neueda, being socially responsible is not only the right thing to do, but it also has real value for our team. Through initiatives such as our Neueda Code Club, where staff volunteer their time to teach primary school children how to code, or our recent staff trip to Malawi with Habitat for Humanity NI, we are giving employees access to experiences that enrich them both personally and professionally.

Neueda is an international business. How is the culture maintained across different locations?

It’s a fundamental part of our job to engage regularly with our people and teams – both locally and internationally to ensure our culture travels. This means those who are on client sites as well as those in our Neueda offices in Belfast and Malaga.  To do this, we host regular web meetings and video calls and bring people from our various bases together as often as possible to share ideas, recognise successes and share company plans.

Most recently we held our company away day here in Belfast which involved the entire company taking part in various team building activities (check out our video) – our aim was to get everyone together socialising and having fun whilst building and developing trusting relationships.  At Neueda it is important that we can trust everyone to do the right thing, it allows people to be independent and autonomous.

Everyone in the team works hard to make sure the Neueda culture continues to thrive, proving that culture is made, not born. A recent survey carried out independently with our staff revealed that 95% of our employee base would recommend Neueda as a great place to work – so it’s important that as a company we now continue to work hard in maintaining it.

Stay tuned to our Neueda Life blog series for insights into our people and what life is really like at Neueda.

Neueda Life: Nichola Eastwood, Senior Data Engineer

By | Neueda Life | No Comments

As part of our ongoing Neueda Life series, we sat down with Senior Data Engineer Nichola Eastwood to find out more about her career journey, maternity leave and what she loves about working at Neueda.

Nichola, where did your Neueda journey begin?

I started at Neueda back in May 2016 bringing my 12 years Business Intelligence and SQL development experience with me. Initially, I joined the Data Team working on client sites to implement Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence reporting solutions. It was a fantastic experience as I was involved in the full life-cycle of projects, from the analysis and design stages, development and testing, right through to implementation and final delivery. I particularly enjoyed building relationships with the clients and working closely with them to help evolve the reporting solutions I was putting in place to meet their business needs.

How did your role develop?
During the later stages of my pregnancy, travelling to client sites become more difficult. Working closely with my manager and HR, I had the opportunity to transfer to a new internal team. This was Managed Services, which, at the time, was very much in its infancy. I got to play a vital role in shaping the team and processes in the early days from the comfort of the Neueda offices in Weavers Court, with the chance to work flexibly around my pregnancy.

Tell us about the Neueda-Baby experience!

Neueda was so supportive and understanding from the moment I announced I was pregnant. I was given clear guidance from Lisa in HR of what to expect, from maternity leave and pay through to my return to work options. I started my maternity leave in July 2017, and Lisa kept in contact while I was off and was on-hand to respond to any questions that I had. When the time came to return to work, I was able to go back on a reduced hours contract and use some of my holiday allowance each week, meaning I could work three days a week until Remy was settled in childcare. I gradually increased this to four days before returning to full-time hours again. This flexibility made the transition back to work much less stressful for both me and Remy.

What was it like returning to your team?

When I came back in July 2018, the Managed Services team had a new manager and many more new team members, but I was welcomed back with open arms and made to feel like there was very much a place for me. I was even given the option to return to the Data Team, so I truly did have complete career autonomy. In the end, I decided Managed Services was still for me, and I’ve since been learning new skills on Amazon Web Services (AWS), exposure to Linux platforms and new development languages such as Python, all while training other members of the team on SQL. On reflection, my transition to the Managed Services team meant that I’ve ended up learning a lot of new skills and working in a team that I absolutely love!

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

 

Neueda Life: Ryan Eastwood, Senior Software Engineer

By | Neueda Life, Uncategorized | No Comments

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 Life: Anna McKeown

By | Neueda Life | No Comments

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 Life: Ralph Graham

By | Neueda Life | No Comments

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

By | Neueda Life | No Comments

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.