I’m co-founder and CTO at Boundless. I’ve been working on software startups since about 2012 having spent most of my 20s working as a water and wastewater engineer.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When I was 11 I asked my Dad who does the job of designing houses and he told me about architects and civil engineers. Those jobs went straight onto my ‘What I want to be when I grow up’ list and never really came off it. Ultimately I went on to study engineering and I worked as a civil engineer for about 10 years.

Planning the move into software development is probably the most proactive planning I’ve done, career-wise. One of my main motivations was the ability to move about the world a little more freely and since making that decision, having freedom to work from anywhere is something that I’ve pursued in a pretty dogmatic way.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

The most marked challenge for me was my initial move from office work to remote work. I had always planned to move to remote after getting a few years experience in the field of software. I loved the consultancy company I worked with at the time and approached them with a proposal to work in France for a few months. I still have that ‘Winter Working Proposal’ doc and it addressed everything: my plan for accomodation, where I was going to find office space, how I would set up internet, tools our teams could use – I even specified the roaming mobile plan I was going to use. I put so much work into it. But it wasn’t the right circumstances. Remote working wasn’t too common in Ireland at the time so I think it was difficult for my employers to envisage how it could work logistically and ultimately, they said no to my proposal. I was pretty devastated but I understood their decision. And…I already had a Plan B and Plan C mapped out.

Plan B was to ask Bizimply for a full time job. I had been building software for Bizimply for a number of years through my consultancy job. Founders, Gerard Forde and Mikey Cannon, were super open-minded and kind about my needs and let me skip off to France. I did my first day of work for them in a new co-working space in the Alps.

I was always prepared to go for Plan C which was to leave it all behind and do my best to find a job with an employer who was open to remote working but I’m glad it didn’t come to that as maintaining a connection to the Irish startup world has been key to where I am now.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

What we’ve done with Boundless so far feels really great. We empower companies to treat their employees equally. We also like to lead by example and show our customers the right way to employ remotely. Boundless believes that everyone should have the ability to shape their day in a way that suits them, whether that means working early so you can hang with your kids in the evening or starting late after a morning of skiing. I work hard with my team to make sure that working with us fits in with their lives.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

A track record of executing well is always going to stand to you – it helps others to faithfully recommend you and want to work with you again.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Looking outside of your specific realm is very important and building relationships with people in different worlds to yours. As a developer, you can easily end up working in a vacuum but being involved with all aspects of the company opens doors to the next stage of your career.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

The numbers don’t lie and there are clearly fewer women working in tech than in many other sectors. Barriers occur at all stages, starting at school. So it’s not a case of one barrier and one solution, or one solution to overcome all the barriers. And it’s certainly not the responsibility of the women working in tech to solve the problem of barriers for women working in tech. A simple thing that any company can do is ensure that they are hiring women, treating them fairly and that they work closely enough to address difficulties that arise.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Hire women, pay them equally and promote them. And provide flexible working arrangements to everyone, regardless of gender.

There are currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Pay equity and transparency would be a great starting point. My role at Boundless has opened my eyes hugely to the fact that I have been underpaid for much of my career. Women need more information to stop this from happening.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

The Lead Dev is an incredible organisation that I have found really helpful since starting in my current role. They insist on diversity among their contributors and their content is well thought out and helpful. I follow them on Twitter and as a result end up attending webinars and getting insightful and digestible articles on my timeline that so often speak to problems that I am experiencing.