Q&A: Kainos MD Brendan Mooney
Q Do you prefer the town or country, and why?
A I've lived in cities for the past 30 years, but always consider myself to be "from the country". Why? Good memories, space, greenery and peace.
Q How has the IT sector in Northern Ireland changed in the last decade?
A It's got bigger, more confident and more adventurous. More of the same please!
Q How do you foresee it changing in the next decade - particularly in Belfast?
A I'm not sure that I would distinguish between Belfast and any other location in Northern Ireland. Overall I expect the IT sector to continue to grow strongly, a combination of global companies opening or increasing operations in NI, local companies continuing to expand and an active start-up scene.
Q Where is our IT sector placed in the grand scheme globally?
A There are about 33,000 IT professionals in Northern Ireland, so in the global scene, we are very small - for instance, each year there are over one million IT graduates in India whereas we have less than 1,000. That just means we need to focus on the right business opportunities. That said, we do punch well above our weight.
Q Have you any career advice for anyone trying to work within IT and software?
A If you are choosing a career in technology, it's a great choice - although my opinion is clearly influenced by my own experience - I've worked on interesting projects with great clients and very talented colleagues; I've been able to travel the world and also to live in NI.
In terms of advice, be ambitious for your career, and be ambitious about the work that you do, the colleagues that you work with and the organisation in which you work. And see the world, professionally as the opportunities arise, as by travelling you get to expand your horizons
It's also really important to build a network of advisers or mentors, people that you trust. Many of the challenges that you will face in your career have been encountered by many others before and you can learn from what they did well and from the mistakes that they have made. I have found that people are really generous with their time and advice and I have personally benefited over many years from other people's great advice.
Q What was the last book you read?
A The Radetzky March, written by Joseph Roth in the 1930s, a work of fiction, describing the Austro-Hungarian Empire through three generations of a family. By contrast, the book before was the zombie-filled first Walking Dead novel.
Q What was your last holiday, and what will the next one be?
A Portugal. Eileen and I first went there on our honeymoon in 1993 and return regularly. As for the next one, we normally decide just a few weeks before we travel, so it's far too early to talk about our holiday for next year.
Q What is your favourite band/album and why?
A My musical tastes are heavily influenced by the punk and rock bands of the late 1970s and that would remain a theme today.
Q What is your favourite sport and/or team?
A I'm a soccer fan and an Ipswich Town fan - again a choice made in the 1970s.
Q And have you ever played any sports?
A Soccer and gaelic football, but not to any great standard. Today, I'm more likely to be found on a bike.