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Kieran Massey, I.T. Grad, IMGS

Kieran Massey Staff Profile

Kieran Massey is in the Staff Profile hot seat this week.  Thanks for a fantastic interview Kieran!

Can you describe your role at IMGS?

My current role at IMGS is IT graduate, I started with IMGS back in April 2020, I was lucky to get in with IMGS when I did because of Covid just kicking off, things were uncertain for a spell . My role consists of working with the development team and meeting customers’ data driven needs in developing applications, BIs, generally using Hexagon’s M.App Enterprise Studio so far in my daily work. I would also work daily with Databases, some CSS where applicable and some dodgy Javascript from myself when also needed.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to play Playstation, big gamer since my dad bought me a Nintendo 64 back in the day. I also read comics from time to time, I have a nephew too so I try to be involved with Jaxson as much as I am able throughout Covid. I do like blowing off steam at the gym, but with Covid its more of a home grown gym, caveman style!

 

What’s the last book that you read?

Apart from comics, I’m reading the Lee Childs ‘Jack Reacher’ collection, I was surprised to find out there is 19 books in the series, I’ve 3 down, a lot to go.

 

What will be the first destination that you will visit overseas when travel reopens and why?

Wow first destination, tough one! My Fiancée and I (Snuck that one in!) have been putting off Greece for awhile and I think after this everlasting lockdown, we owe it to ourselves to go over and visit Greece. Other than that just to be able to go out for some food again with the gang, drinks, all of that social aspect to life, will be nice to have again.

 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

I think I’d like to try acting! Very random but I am a movie buff so to act for a few years would be cool, play on the Irish accent thing for a while. Make sure I got to be in a movie with Salma Hayek!

 

What do you enjoy most about working at IMGS?

I love the closeness of the team actually, even though we’re remotely working, I can feel how close and connected the team is to one another, and that made coming into IMGS so easily to adapt to also. My last job wasn’t so team driven which was just chaos to be honest, so to see how close IMGS is and to be apart of this family now is special.

I love how every day is different in my job, be it creating data driven customized applications, or BIs for customer needs, every day so far has brought something different and I wouldn’t change that for the world!

Keith Duffy, I.T. Grad, IMGS

Keith Duffy, I.T. Grad, IMGS

Keith Duffy, I.T. Grad, IMGS

IMGS Staff Profile
Keith Duffy, I.T. Grad

Can you describe your role at IMGS?

I work as a developer for IMGS. Since arriving a little over 6 months ago, I have done a mix of both front and back-end development. For my first project after joining, I was tasked with designing and building a new WordPress website for the company, that went live a couple of months later. Since its completion, I have moved on to working on mainly database and form design using a mix of SQL and JavaScript. 

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I play competitive First-Person Shooters, mainly Rainbow Six Siege. I built a gaming PC right at the start of the lockdown and it has been a godsend throughout. As there can be no socialising at the moment, I feel very lucky and privileged to have a large group of friends that so I can hop on with in the evenings and play together. When I’m not stuck in front of a computer, I spend my time indoor rock climbing, practicing drums, doing yoga, or jamming music with friends.

 

What’s the last app that you downloaded?

The last app that I downloaded was Waking Up. This is a meditation app by Sam Harris who is a philosopher, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist. Over the last number of years, I have gotten quite heavily into meditation. I used a couple of apps before this one, but I love the more mindfulness based, Vipassana style meditations that Sam specialises in. It has really helped me throughout this difficult time, and I would be lost without it.

 

What will be the first destination that you will visit overseas when travel reopens and why?

The first place I will probably get to travel to after everything reopens will be my honeymoon. Although the exact destination has not been decided yet, we have been seriously considering an extended trip to Asia. Mainly Japan, Nepal, India, and Tibet. I have never visited this part of the world and have always wanted to so this will be a major tick off the bucket list!

 

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?

If I wasn’t working as a developer, I think would like to be drum teacher. I have played drums since I was very young and have earned a Grade 5 distinction for playing. I would love the time to commit to earn my Grade 8 to become a certified teacher. I have a major passion for music and love sharing my knowledge and passion with others.

 

What do you enjoy most about working at IMGS?

The thing I enjoy most about working at IMGS is the learning experience. IMGS has such a competent and professional team that I feel privileged to be able to work alongside and learn from. I have learned so much since arriving in the areas of database design, location intelligence and project management and it is all down to the help provided to me from each of my colleagues. There are no stupid questions here, which I’m happy about as I ask a lot!

 

Pragruthi Morali

Women in tech at IMGS – Pragruthi Murali

Women in Tech at IMGS - Pragruthi Murali

To celebrate Women In Tech at IMGS and their invaluable contribution to the business, we will be turning the spotlight on key female members of our tech team over the coming weeks. 

This week’s Women in Tech at IMGS spotlight interview is with Pragruthi Murali, Application Engineer, IMGS.

Pragruthi Murali, Application Engineer, IMGS

I’m an enthusiastic computer science engineer with an MS in Software Design and Development . I’ve been working with IMGS for the last 3 years as an Application Engineer.  My work revolves around development, implementation, data engineering and dba tasks.  I work with customers to provide technical support for geospatial applications which include Geomedia, M.App, G-tech managed service and I’m currently working on adding FME to my list!

Pragruthi Morali

Pragruthi what first got you interested in Tech?

As a kid I had a fascination with a PC game ‘Ages of Empire’. It still fascinates me today how clever the in-game AI was and how much tech has evolved since then.

In middle school once of my subject choices was computer science, which introduced me to the world of tech at a very early stage.

 

Can you tell us a little about your role and what a typical day is like for you?

Recently no two days have been the same. I have been fortunate to get exposed to various aspects and stages of projects from design  development, implementation and support to drafting estimates.  I love the problem-solving aspect of my job: resolving bugs, developing new product ideas and experimenting with new features, which all help to keep me engaged and busy.

 

What obstacles do Women in Tech face?

Irish statistics show that less than 25% of women work in STEM skilled roles.  This gives an impression that tech might not be a great choice for women, which is absolutely not the case.  As Ireland is now widely viewed as a leading technology hub, more needs to be done at school level to educate girls about the the vast array of opportunities that are available in the STEM World.

 

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of pursuing a career in technology? 

If you are passionate about technology, then go for it as there are a myriad of opportunities for women in this field. It’s a hugely rewarding career with plenty of scope for career development.

 

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?

Post-pandemic there may be an online learning revolution for students, which increases the demand for LMS (Learning Management System). I previously used Moodle cloud for one of my thesis on LMS and would highly recommend it.

Also with bitcoin and blockchain becoming popular terms it might be good to see quantum computer and quantum key becoming a reality outside of the lab.

 

Are there are particular women in tech that have inspired you?

It was inspirational to see how Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, led the social media giant from a $56 million loss in 2008 to an astounding $18.5 billion profit in 2019.  I was given Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘ Lean In’ as a graduation present, which is a great guide for job hunting and finding your way early in your career.

A quote to live your life by: ” If your offered a seat on a rocket ship , Don’t ask what seat!  Just get on “- Sheryl Sandberg.

 

When travel restrictions are eventually lifted what destination would you most like to visit?

I would love to visit Greece, in particular the beautiful island of Santorini with it’s picture post card scenery . I also  can’t wait to try their famous classic baklava!

Women in tech at IMGS - Aoibhinn Stuart, Delivery Director

Women in tech at IMGS – Aoibhinn Stuart

Women in Tech at IMGS - Aoibhinn Stuart, Delivery Director.

To celebrate Women In Tech at IMGS and their invaluable contribution to the business, we will be turning the spotlight on key female members of our tech team over the coming weeks.  This week’s Women in Tech spotlight interview is with Aoibhinn Stuart, Delivery Director, IMGS. 

Aoibhinn has over 15 years project delivery experience across a wide variety of industries, including Banking, Payments, Insurance and Utilities.  She is passionate about customer service and the importance of building strong collaborative business relationships. She is ISEB, ITIL and Scrum.Org accredited with a strong understanding of complex IT systems and processes.  Aoibhinn specialises in project management, process improvement and quality assurance to improve system stability, functionality and efficiency.

Women in tech at IMGS - Aoibhinn Stuart, Delivery Director

Aoibhinn Stuart: A Career in Tech

Aoibhinn what first got you interested in Tech?

It’s hard not to have an interest when everyone in your family is involved in tech in some way!  I remember desperately trying to get a hold of my brothers Atari and Commodore 64 when I was young and later in school we were introduced to the concept of coding, which really interested me.  I always had a love of engineering and tech and so it just felt like the right route for me.  It certainly helped to have been encouraged from a young age and exposed to the world of tech, long before I began working in this field.

Can you tell us a little about your role and what a typical day is like for you?

My official title is Delivery Director but in reality I am part-time PM, part-time tech lead, sometimes strategist and all day problem solver! 

My mornings consist of catching up on e-mails, chasing my children around to get dressed and doing the school run.  Most mornings we have a stand up to catch up with everyone virtually and go through the tasks of the day.  Usually this is followed by some project calls with customers and in the afternoons I will either have a new project plan, estimation or a marketing strategy to review. 

Since the pandemic, I have made a huge effort to regularly link in with each member of our team individually for a ‘virtual coffee’. It is really important to reach out and ensure we look after one another as these times are very isolating and as leaders we must lead by example.  That means making time for people and checking in with them on a personal level.  It’s too easy to lose sight of the human element of business when you are caught up in the deadlines and tasks of everyday life. 

Come the evenings.  It’s homework followed by dinner then a walk and usually a movie.

I do a final e-mail catch up before bed and check my calendar so I am prepared for the next day.

What obstacles do Women in Tech face?

Themselves.  When I speak to women in other industries or younger women deciding on a career choice, I often hear that they don’t like coding – therefore they wouldn’t like tech.  This common misconception drives many women away from our industry. Tech has such a vast array of jobs that I am still amazed at some of the roles people enjoy!  Coding is a small part of what we do.  There are business analyst roles, project management, solution architects, data driven solutioning, the list is endless.  If I could share my experience of tech it would be that women are great leaders, enablers, multi-taskers, mentors and yes, coders! There is room for everyone!

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of pursuing a career in technology?

Go for it!  It really is a fantastic industry to be  part of.  It’s never boring, things change so quickly that you are kept on your toes. Do your homework, look at all aspects and decide which interests you the most.  Is it infrastructure, data, application, web development?  Speak to others in those areas to get a feel for what their role entails.  Encourage each other.  There is an expression I love ‘real queens fix each others crowns’ and that would be my mantra for women in all industries.

What are most proud of in your career so far?

The biggest success for me is that I have managed to juggle a career with bringing up a family.  It is not easy to manage the pressures of young children and a busy job but somehow I have just about managed to keep all the balls in the air!  Joining IMGS has been a real career highlight for me, we have such a fantastic team and I love my job and who I work with.  I don’t think you can wish for more than that in any role.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Pre COVID, travelling would have been my big love.  I am really looking forward to getting back to visiting new countries and seeing new cultures.  Nowadays we do a lot of walking, cycling and movies!

When travel restrictions are eventually lifted, what destination would you most like to visit?

A bar.

Cloud

Moving to the Cloud by Ciaran Kirk, Operations Director, IMGS

Moving to the Cloud

By Ciaran Kirk, Operations Director, IMGS

In today’s changing world, work practices have changed forever, and on-premise systems are proving expensive to maintain while not providing the level of access and performance needed.

Moving to the cloud is not a new concept, and where previously it was a nice tech option, it is very quickly becoming the only solution available to organisations, who want to:
1. Decrease infrastructure capital and operating expenditure
2. Provide true resilience for continuity and disaster recovery purposes
3. Provide elastic scale to handle peaks in demand
4. Query large datasets which have outgrown on premise data storage
5. Take advantage of the latest AI and Machine Language analytics to gain rapid insight

If we take each one of these points in turn, we can see why moving to the cloud is a key part of any digital transformation:

Decrease infrastructure capital and operating expenditure
By moving your systems to the cloud, you are removing the need to have on premise servers thereby decreasing your systems administration overhead. This can be a significant cost saving, if done correctly and at the right time.

One option is to look at IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service – where you migrate your servers to cloud providers such as Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure. In this case the cloud provider is providing the infrastructure and will ensure your servers are physically up and running.

Moving to the Cloud Blog Picture 2         Moving to the Cloud Blog Picture 3 final

In the case of IAAS, your IT support team must still maintain the system running on the server, so it doesn’t completely remove the need for IT systems support.

If the aim is to remove or greatly decrease systems administration overhead as well as the infrastructure costs, then SAAS (Software as a Service) is the perfect model. With the SAAS model the supplier handles the infrastructure and the software system and support so that the end user has little or no overhead in running the system.

In IMGS we have long been users of Office 365, and as someone who remembers when we used to have the headache of running our own exchange servers, Office 365 has been fantastic and provides access anywhere and is always available.

One of the big advantages of SAAS solutions, is the pay as you use model. With this model, customers don’t have to make a large capital expenditure up front for a software solution. This makes it easier in future to switch solutions if required and avoid a legacy IT trap where customers can’t afford to switch off platforms.

In IMGS again we have experience of this, when recently we moved from Salesforce to Zoho. We were able to switch seamlessly and migrate from one system to other in 2 days with no downtime or outages – if these solutions were on premise this would have been a lot more expensive to do.

Provide true resilience for continuity and disaster recovery purposes
One huge advantage for moving to the cloud is in providing true resilience and disaster recovery options. With cloud systems, you can select to have cloned systems in different regions to make sure that if there is a major outage, your organisation can continue to operate.

By selecting high availability options, you can ensure your users are never offline no matter where they are in the world. With the increase in remote working, having systems that are not dependent on a single site or broadband connection is critical.

Provide elastic scale to handle peaks in demand
The real power of the cloud is the ability of cloud systems to scale quickly to meet increased demand. With on premise systems providing scalability can be very costly, as hardware needs to be purchased in advance and will sit idle when demand is low. With cloud you can scale up and only pay for what is needed.

With Serverless technology, cloud providers are bringing this scalability and availability to a new paradigm. Serverless allows organisations to build and run high availability applications and services, without worrying about provisioning, maintaining, and administering servers.

Query large datasets which have outgrown on premise data storage
A big driver to the cloud is the explosion of data growth. Putting it simply, large organisations do not have the capacity to store all this Big Data on premise and the cloud is now providing the only real option. Cloud providers can provide a wide variety of ways to store your data whether in low cost file storage such as Amazon S3 to data warehouses like Snowflake.

A big concern for users is Data Residency and where this data is stored. In Ireland we are very lucky with most of the cloud providers providing data centers in Ireland so we can ensure our data stays within Ireland and the EU to meet GDPR regulations. Also, with modern integration tools like Talend we can also take a hybrid approach and store sensitive data on premise and in a variety of best of breed cloud locations, so as not impact end users.

Take advantage of the latest AI and Machine Language analytics to gain rapid insight
The final reason to move to the cloud is to take advantage of the powerful machine learning and AI services that are available as cloud services and can deliver rapid insights in areas such as predictive maintenance and customer churn.

All the major cloud providers provide these capabilities, (for example Amazon SageMaker) as well specialist SAAS providers such as Databricks provide data science and analysis capabilities that on-premise systems just can’t match.

Moving to the Cloud Blog Picture 4

Summary
As I said at the beginning the cloud is not new and a lot of what I have discussed here is pretty obvious, but I do feel organisations haven’t fully embraced the cloud and I hope this blog might help your organisation begin their digital transformation by moving to the cloud.

If you would like to learn more about moving to the cloud please attend our upcoming moving to the cloud webinar where we will demonstrate using our Data Intelligence Platform how you can migrate to and take full advantage of the cloud:

Webinar: Migrate to the Cloud with IMGS

FME 2020 by Gavin Park, Lead Solutions Consultant IMGS

FME Desktop 2020.0

It’s likely that 2020 will be remembered for a long time so it is perhaps fitting that the focus on the FME 2020 release has been finding your data zen and making working with data even easier.

FME started 2020 ready to prove it had come of age and was no longer that geeky tool sat on the GIS computer, but was a tool that delivered across the whole organisation. 2020 has proven to be the year that has shown it can.

FME is for the Organisation

FME’s goal is to support individuals and organisations of any size with integrating departments, applications and systems. This is a goal that has become increasingly important, as organisations try to adapt to new ways of working and increased demands for data to meet new challenges.

Sisense Bootcamp in Israel by Ellen Noone

Sisense Bootcamp Israel

On day one of the Sisense bootcamp in Tel Aviv, Israel, myself and Ciaran arrived SisenseBuilding1at the Atrium Tower to start our bootcamp. We were immediately wowed by the impressive skyscrapers and towers surrounding us. The building hosting us, had 40 floors and we were on floor 16. We were met by Einat Pick, the organiser of the bootcamp. We had a very welcoming reception where we were given goodie bags and the opportunity to speak to other Sisense partners, who were also attending the bootcamp from all around the world.

Gavin Park, Lead Solution Consultant, IMGS

Gavin Park Blog Picture

Can you describe your role at IMGS?
Probably what most people will know me for here is training and consultancy on Safe Software’s FME products, as that tends to keep me busy and out seeing our different customers.  Its also been a great way to see different parts of Ireland!  Though I’m getting more involved with projects and helping to design our solutions for customers, which is allowing me to use some more of my previous technical lead and solution architecture experience. …