Photo credit: Cathal Noonan

I'm a software developer from Cork, Ireland. I'm the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Workvivo, an internal communications platform that helps companies increase employee engagement in their organisation. I live in Cork, Ireland with my wife, 3 kids and our dog, Toby.

I've been interested in computers since I was five years old. My first computer was an Amstrad CPC6128 which was remarkable because it featured a floppy disk drive instead of a tape deck. I have vague memories of typing up the source code in the back of the manual trying to build my own tennis and basketball games, only for them to not work.

My career to date

I studied the B.Sc. Business Information Systems degree program at University College Cork. One of my fondest memories from this time of my life was the six months I spent in Boston, MA on an internship with Fidelity Investments. We were massively overpaid for the work we did, partied hard and enjoyed every minute.

After graduating, I joined Core HR - an enterprise HR and payroll software company - as a software developer. At the time, the company had about 70 staff and the vast majority of their software was built in Oracle Forms and PL/SQL. Fortunately, I was part of the team tasked with the company's Web products, so spent most of my time working with JavaScript, HTML, CSS - albeit served from an Oracle database via PL/SQL stored procedures (yes, really). In 2009, I proposed to management that we build a new product targeting smartphones, as mobile was changing the way the world uses technology. So I became the Product Manager of Core Mobile. 18 months later, the company was now primarily focused on building software on the Web (and mobile), and I was tasked with leading this new era and promoted to Head of Technology. When I left the company, they had over 250 staff across four offices.

After almost seven years at the company, I decided to leave Core HR in 2014. It was always my ambition to start my own business, and I felt that I needed to expand my experience somewhat before I'd be ready to do so. I joined Vearsa, an eBook distribution and analytics provider, as their Chief Technology Officer in April 2014. I loved my time at Vearsa, spending my days bouncing between planning the product roadmap, expanding our team and managing a large infrastructure migration from a managed solutions provider to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Although Vearsa's head office is in Cork, most of our customers were based in New York - and I loved visiting our office there, meeting with customers and sales prospects and attending conferences like Digital Book World.

In August 2015, I left Vearsa to start Subwoofr, a music startup. I worked full-time on Subwoofr for a year, doing everything from launching the product, selling to dozens of customers, raising angel investment and hiring a team of five people. After a year, it became clear that Subwoofr was not going to be the huge venture-backed startup opportunity I thought it was at the start. I switched focus back to my consulting business, Array Software and worked on a variety of projects in late 2016 and early 2017.

Workvivo's 2nd birthday party in summer 2019

In May 2017, I joined forces with John Goulding to start Workvivo. John went on to become CEO at Core HR after I left, guiding the company through to acquisition in late 2015. We had always worked well together at Core, and knew that if we worked together again we could do something great. After a brief flirtation with an idea for a recruitment platform, we focused our efforts on building a platform to help companies with employee engagement. As of September 2019, Workvivo is a team of 13, with an impressive collection of customers including some of the world's leading technology companies. Organisations using our platform range from small businesses with 100 employees right up to large multinational businesses based in over 60 countries with over 30,000 people.

Writing and speaking

I love writing about technology, typically translating my own learnings about a specific tool or framework into an article or tutorial. I've written over two dozen tutorials for IBM developerWorks. My work there has been viewed by millions of people across the World and translated into ten languages. In 2009, I wrote Beginning CouchDB, published by Apress. In 2014, I co-authored HTML5 in Action, published by Manning. I've flirted with the idea of another book many times - if I ever do get around to it, it'll probably be self-published.

I also love to talk about technology. I've spoken at many events on topics from launching a startup through to full on technical talks on AWS Lambda. While at Core HR, I was the keynote speaker at their customer conference each year. I am also an Associate Faculty member of the Irish Management Institute and Cork University Business School and I lecture on the UCC/IMI Diploma and Masters in Digital Business as well as various customised executive education programmes.

Get in touch

If you want to get in touch with me, you can find out how to reach me on the Contact page.