We talk to Áine Hanly, who works at Storm Technology as a Senior Microsoft Consultant in the CRM Practice.
Tell us a bit about your job
My primary role as a consultant is to provide technical advice and support to clients implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Customer Relationship Management software used by companies in sales, marketing and customer services.
This involves meeting with clients to understand their business needs, customising and developing solutions on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and finally installing these solutions in the customers’ environment.
Depending on the size of the project I could be working with a Business Analyst or a number of software developers to deliver the project. We have a strong emphasis on team work at Storm which allows people to share ideas and find shared solutions to problems.
What’s a typical day like?
Depending on the stage of the project, it could involve an onsite meeting with a client, designing and developing software solutions, installing software solutions or supporting customers on technical queries in relation to Microsoft Dynamics CRM product.
I’m mostly based in the office but I also travel to customer sites where required. Due to the nature of my work, I also have the option to work from home which is an added advantage of my role.
What do you like best about your work?
I enjoy seeing how technology can solve everyday business problems for our clients and, when integrated successfully into their business processes, can help them grow and become more efficient.
Each project that I work on is unique and comes with its own challenges and rewards. IT is an ever evolving sector which promotes constant learning, requires up-skilling with the latest technology and challenges you to keep your skill set up to date.
Does your role require particular skills?
Some of the skills required are:
- Good problem solving
- Analytical skills
- Interest in new technology
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
My role requires a few different skill sets – it is important to understand the technology and have good technical skills, but you also need to have good communication skills and be able to understand the customer’s requirements and build a solution that best meets their needs.
There are many different roles within IT. Some may be more focused on the technical side and others on the business analysis side – my role is a mix of both with slightly higher emphasis on the technical side.
Did you always want to be a software developer?
I always had a keen interested in science and mathematics in school but wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue. I took chemistry and biology as my science subjects for my Leaving Certificate and decided on a general science course at NUI Maynooth as it allowed me to get a deeper understanding of all the subjects I was interested in and from there decide the direction I wanted to take.
It was there I became interested in computer science, leading me to specialise in Computer Science and Mathematics Applied. After college I went on to work for Intel and while there I completed an MSc in Software Engineering in NUI Maynooth part-time.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about career options?
Work in something you enjoy doing – if you enjoy what you do you will be successful in it.
I would also recommend exploring the different career options. IT may not be something you considered but there is a wide range of job functions within IT and a degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering can open a lot of job opportunities.
If like me, you enjoy mathematics and specifically problem solving then this may be the career for you!