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Under the Hood

The New Zealand IT industry is one of the most exciting in the world. Whilst we have our fair share of enterprise organisations, we also boast a broad range of technology start-ups.

As an IT professional it can be challenging to clearly understand the range of different opportunities that exist. So Under the Hood is doing this for you, regularly taking time out to meet and profile the people that make our industry tick.

Under the Hood: Contracting Your Way to Success – Paul Brady

Paul Brady blogWelcome to the latest edition of our blog series ‘Under the Hood’, where we meet the people who make New Zealand’s amazing IT industry tick. For this blog we caught up with another RWA contractor, Paul Brady, who currently works as a Senior Developer and Technical Team Lead at Air New Zealand.

Read and watch on to find out about Paul’s experience working with Air New Zealand, his thoughts on the IT industry and advice for IT professionals, and how he uses his skills to give back to the community.

Life of a Contractor

After contracting as a developer for several years, Paul started to move into leadership roles. Having been at Air New Zealand for over five years now, Paul’s responsibilities depend on the project. On some projects, he will lead a team exclusively, taking on technical design tasks and mentoring other team members. With others, Paul works to make sure the project is running smoothly, liaising with the project management team to ensure that deadlines and quality standards are met.

Whilst working at Air New Zealand, Paul has been involved in some high profile projects, including the overhaul of a 10-year-old booking system. Paul has also worked on projects where the company has come to his team with an idea, and they are tasked with making it a reality; like Fare Hold and a multi-currency pricing solution.

Being able to work on these kinds of projects is just one of the benefits of life as a contractor, a life which Paul fell into by accident. Though he admits that contracting offers less job security, Paul feels that it has made him more adaptable and open to change, and has taught him many new skills, along with offering far greater flexibility.

To find out more about Paul’s background, current role, and the projects he’s worked on at Air New Zealand, watch the video below.

Keeping Up with IT

Paul’s career has seen him take up many roles in the development space over the past 15 years, so naturally he’s got a lot of advice for up and coming IT professionals. Though he states the most important part of getting into IT is deciding you want to do it, Paul believes that constantly learning, about new technologies and progressions, is the key to sustaining success in the field.

In those 15 years, Paul has also seen a lot of change in the sector. With the Internet and the evolution of mobile having such a profound impact on the technology industry, Paul believes that the next big change will be the Internet of Things. Paul also says that it presents an interesting challenge, in the need to program in restrictive environments for low powered devices.

Watch the video below to hear Paul’s advice for IT professionals young and old(er), his thoughts on the way the industry has changed, and where he thinks it’s going.

Personal Projects

Leadership isn’t just a part of Paul’s job either; it’s also a part of his life outside of work, with Paul naturally having gravitated to leadership roles within social groups and a unique musical proposition!

Like many of the other subjects of our ‘Under the Hood’, mentorship has been, and still is, an important part of Paul’s career. Starting out in a small company, Paul found himself doing a little bit of everything and was quickly taken under the wing of more senior figures. Nowadays, Paul uses his passion and proficiency for technology to give back to the community. Paul recently helped out with JHack, a junior hackathon run by MIT, going to schools and teaching children how to code.

Find out more about Paul’s leadership roles, and the work he does to give back, by watching the video below.

Thanks

A massive thanks to Paul for taking the time to be a part of this series, your experience, insights and advice are sure to be valuable to many IT professionals.

Until next time, keep an eye out for the next ‘Under the Hood’ blog, and get in touch if you think your current role would make for a great blog.

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