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Our People



Our People

Our people drive our success. We attract the greatest talent in Northern Ireland and deliver breakthrough performance for our parent company.

Meet some of our employees

Dale Long Headshot.
Dale Long
Service Engineer
Tina Ho Headshot.
Tina Ho
Application Developer
Neil Bailie Headshot.
Neil Bailie
Cloud Security Engineer
Philip McShane Headshot.
Philip McShane
Machine Learning Engineer
Eilish Bouse Headshot.
Eilish Bouse
Data Scientist

Dale Long

Service Engineer
Allstate Northern Ireland

Role — I recently joined the Splunk Infrastructure support team. Helping my team to provide enterprise support for the Splunk monitoring tool used widely across the company.

Background/experience — I received a computing with Education degree from University of Ulster and was a placement student at Allstate NI prior to starting my (almost) 2-year journey at the company.

Positives — This role provides opportunity for individuals to work with people from across the enterprise with the chance to work on several different projects and aspects of the tool. I have the chance to work on both communicating with clients and also being involved in the technical side of the role (working with the Linux terminal and some light sys admin work).

Advice — Using Splunk isn't exactly something that's ingrained into everyone who works in IT, so going into the role with the ability to throw your hands up and say, "I just don't know… yet" is a phrase you can't be shy about using. It's fast paced both self and guided education, which makes it slightly intense and a lot of information because it's a tool that uses a lot of different add on applications.

Skills/Personality — Knowledge of Networking or at least an interest in Networks is valuable to anyone going into a Splunk role. Ambition to want to learn new skills, such as the SPL language (Splunk's own SQL variant), and the patience to learn new skills are good in any role. Communication is also vital as there is a lot of interactions with clients in the enterprise.

Tina Ho

Application Developer
Allstate Northern Ireland

Role — I am an Application Developer for PT Alliance Commons. We collaborate with various teams across all lines of insurance (Property, Condo, Boat, Auto) to help deliver a quality product.

Background/experience — My Undergraduate degree was BA Sociology. However, after working in a cinema as a supervisor, I decided to do something more challenging with my life and applied to do a MSc conversion course in Software Development at QUB. This was a condensed course over the space of a year which gave me the skills to become a software developer.

Positives — I have learnt to use Maven and GitHub which are essential to software development. Although my main development language is Java, I also get the chance to code using HTML, XSL, XML, SQL and JavaScript through Waterfall, Agile and Scaled Agile methodologies. This means the work for Commons can vary day to day.

Advice — Stay positive, Commons and software development can be very challenging but there is a great team to help support you. Don't be afraid to ask questions, it's how you learn! Also remember to make notes on what you have learnt for future use and for new team members.

Skills/personality — Have the confidence to try new things, and the ability to bounce back when something doesn't go according to plan on the first attempt. Good communication and interpersonal skills are also needed as you will work with people across all shores.

Neil Bailie

Cloud Security Engineer
Allstate Northern Ireland

Role —The Cloud Security Engineering team is responsible for ensuring IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions in the public cloud are delivered securely. We define patterns and practices which form our Cloud Security Framework. The role takes a DevOps approach to engineer solutions, using automation and CI/CD to deliver secure, repeatable, scalable solutions in the public cloud. We operate an agile methodology and use pair programming when working on stories.

Background/experience — I graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Queens University Belfast and spent the next 15 years building up my skills in a variety of roles, mostly focused around the Microsoft stack. I started to work to deliver cloud based solutions in 2016 which was a rapid but rewarding learning curve. In 2018, I was excited to join Allstate NI as it provided me the opportunity to work with cutting edge cloud technologies and deliver solutions at scale.

Positives — I get to work with a very talented team that is based in both Northern Ireland and the US, my peers are subject matter experts and I'm constantly learning new things and being challenged to deliver secure, repeatable and robust solutions. Locally Allstate Northern Ireland is a very positive place to work, I feel like the company put me and my wellbeing first and ensure I have a healthy work life balance. Our new building in Belfast is state of the art and a very enjoyable place to work.

Advice — You'll be constantly learning; cloud technologies iterate at a rapid pace and so you need to have a willingness to continuously learn and be prepared to dedicate time to it. Get as much exposure to the technologies as you can, public cloud is available to everyone, setup your own labs and be prepared to invest in developing your career.

Skills/personality — The role fits well with individuals who continually like to learn and develop new skills. We pair up when working on sprints, so working well with others in the team is very important. Skills and experience which would fit well with this role include DevOps, Automation, Cloud and Virtualisation technologies.

Philip McShane

Machine Learning Engineer
Allstate Northern Ireland

Role — I'm a machine learning Engineer in the ANI Cognitive Automation Incubator

Background/experience — My previous experience has mainly been in research at Queen's University Belfast, where I worked on applying deep learning to visual speech recognition. My research involved working with both computer vision and speech recognition which gave me the opportunity to learn about cutting edge developments in both these areas. I have also worked with a Belfast based start-up on developing audio-visual speech recognition based solutions for commercial applications.

Positives — Machine learning can bring benefits to many different areas. Working in areas like computer vision, natural language processing, and chatbots means there is great variety in our team's projects.

Advice — Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. You develop the most when facing and overcoming new challenges.

Skills/personality — A strong mathematical background is extremely useful in helping to understanding the algorithms used in machine learning. Being able to clearly and confidently explain the ideas behind machine learning in a way that can be understood by non-experts can be invaluable in bring the full value of machine learning to the business.

Eilish Bouse

Data Scientist
Allstate Northern Ireland

Role — Data scientists develop predictive models and apply advanced statistical techniques to make discoveries about business problems and processes. As a result, the D3 team is a central team that supports all areas of the enterprise.

Background/experience — I received a joint Honours degree in Physics and Applied Maths and a Masters in Applied Maths from University College Cork. I subsequently worked for several years as an actuary in both the life and health insurance industries.

Positives — My role allows me to add value to the business by deriving insights from the data it possesses. In this capacity, I meet people from all areas of the business and get to work on some very interesting and innovative projects.

Advice — Data scientists can provide valuable business insights when they are answering specific business questions. It is important for the data scientist to understand what questions the business needs answered with the dataset they have. This means that, in addition to their technical abilities, they should be able to communicate effectively and be inquisitive.

Skills/Personality — The role suits people with strong mathematical and coding abilities in addition to effective communication skills. Finally, a data scientist should have strong business acumen so that they can translate their observations into objectives that aid the business strategy.

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