Bazaarvoice Agile Coach Niamh McGuigan is a Tech Trailblazer

Bazaarvoice Agile Coach Niamh McGuigan is a Tech Trailblazer

 July 15, 2021

Niamh McGuigan is an Agile Coach at Bazaarvoice Belfast and a Tech Trailblazer.

Sync NI caught up with Niamh to hear about her work, aspirations and how she got into the tech sector.

Plus you can read more about loads of further great women working in Northern Ireland's thriving tech sector here.

A flexible and varied working day

Niamh's typical day at Bazaarvoice starts with a coffee. She then uses Notes to jot down her To-Do list and prioritise her day. Her role is a lot more fluid than others so there’s not always a ‘typical day’.

"One day I might be facilitating a team meeting, the next I could be training teams on a new Jira tool and the next acting as a collaboration conductor. It involves a lot of context switching which I really enjoy," she says.

Niamh is leading a facilitation piece around Empowering Teams. It’s based heavily around Marty Cagan’s work describing how great product teams are made up of ordinary people who are empowered and inspired. Over the last year at Bazaarvoice, her team have moved from a Product v Engineering organisation model to a Product Development Organisation model and this Empowered Teams piece has been instrumental in educating and embedding that change.

Interacting with a variety of individuals and teams

Her colleague Sorcha McNamee encouraged her to apply for the role at Bazaarvoice. "We had a quick chat and I was fully convinced after she described the culture and talented individuals that I’m now lucky to work with," she says.

And it is these talented individuals that are the favourite part of Niamh's work. She considers herself "very lucky" that her role enables her to interact with a variety of individuals and teams across the global organisation.

An unexpected career route into technology

Niamh hasn't always wanted to work in tech. She originally set her hopes on becoming a vet. "I’ve always had a great love for animals although my mother quickly put me off the idea once she arranged for me to lamb an actual sheep," she says. "That was an experience to say the least."

She knew from then she would never have a career in veterinary medicine or healthcare. That’s when she first started considering a career in the tech industry.

Transferable skills to reapply 

For those considering a job in the tech industry, Niamh shares her advice. "There are so many other roles within the tech industry which you don’t necessarily need a heavily technical skill set, there are so many other transferable skills that you can reapply," she says. 

"My experience has taught me to try out different roles, find out what roles you enjoy as well as the ones you don’t because there’s always something you can take away from every experience."

Discussing technological developments

Niamh sees technology impacting on our lives as lockdown propels our world into the virtual space. "Although this will provide us with more flexibility and enable some of us to now work from anywhere, there are some negative psychological effects to this. Returning back from what we now call ‘the new normal’, we all have to become better at striking the balance between virtual and physical connections to reduce this impact," she explains.

A technological development that Niamh considers the most important is artificial intelligence, which is now a part of everyday life. 

"The volume of data which we’re collecting around us will only continue to increase. It’s one of the biggest trends at the moment and one of the most valuable tools for drawing connections, gathering insights and understanding behavioural shifts. This allows us to interpret, understand the world around us and make better informed decisions," she says.

And, a gadget she could not live without - "Alexa, it’s great for setting cooking timers, playing music and I really love the riddle of the day feature," she concludes.

Work alongside talented women like Niamh at Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice is home to many tech trailblazers like Niamh who are working with pioneering technology that helps shape our present and our future.

Trailblaze your way through your career with a job at Bazaarvoice.


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