Knowing nothing about computer programming, or what that even meant, I found myself starting a software development course in Limerick Institute of Technology when I finished school. Learning how to program in Java and COBOL didn’t quite rock my world, but it was on this very course that my interest in requirements gathering and software testing was born.

Graduating with a BSc in Information Systems in 2006, I went into a software testing role with a small company. A year later I left, and joined my current employer where I’ve remained ever since.

I joined as a software tester, a position I stayed in for the first 5 years. For most of that time I worked in product development (developing the ‘out of the box’ software) before taking up a role on client projects. It was there I discovered both my passion for design and leading on solving complex problems. It was during this time that I transitioned from my testing role into a business analysis role.

I thrived in helping clients to understand the root causes of the problems they were facing and then working through complex requirements to find solutions that meet business need and drive impactful outcomes for users. This often involved working in ambiguous and uncertain environments, where I have been able to use my skills and knowledge to lead both colleagues and clients through to find the right solution to each problem, be is as simple as capturing data to translating and implementing legislation or building external interfaces.

Given the nature of my work, I am a lead contact when a project is deployed into live, which always excites me. Working on site with the end users is hugely motivating, and I’m at my best when the adrenaline is flowing in the face of any issues that arise in a live environment. I enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of figuring out the source of the problem, and how it can be managed or fixed.

Since October 2017 I began work with the Scottish Government on the design and implementation of the biggest project since devolution began: to set up their Social Security platform and start delivering the Low Income Benefits. I was the Lead Business Analyst on the very first benefit to be delivered & administrated by the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland: Best Start Grant (BSG) Pregnancy and Baby Grant. My work continued, as the lead BA for the two additional BSG payments; Early Learning and School Age.

After a short stint supporting the Best Start Food release, I started working on the Scottish Child Payment (SCP) Phase 1. SCP is a flagship benefit for the Scottish Government, to help them tackle child poverty in Scotland.

For the second phase of SCP, I was elevated to a business architect role and I am currently the business architect on Pension Age Disability Payment.

At present, I am the only female business architect working on the Scottish Government project and on my companies UK team.