Belfast Telegraph

Rapid7: Software firm creating 50 more jobs at Belfast base

By John Mulgrew

A Belfast software firm is creating up to 50 new jobs here as part of rapid expansion at the US-owned business, it can be revealed.

Boston-based Rapid7 counts international IT giants such as Microsoft among its clients, and has grown its workforce to around 100 here since 2014.

It's now planning to expand by around 50% over the next year.

Chris Wallace, the company's director of people strategy who also heads up the Belfast office, said: "We are going to continue to grow pretty aggressively. In the next year or so we will add about 50% (more staff) or so.

"We are taking over the floor above us as well. It's going to continue to be all systems go.

"How large Belfast will be in two or three years from now, I'm not too sure," Mr Wallace said.

"I do know that Belfast will continue to be the largest engineering centre the company has."

And the Belfast operation produces a range of different pieces of software, which are used throughout the company.

Rapid7 produces a range of security software and data analytics, designed to help cut down and speed up work for a host of IT firms.

In little over a decade, the company has increased its global workforce from 350 staff to almost 900.

Deral Heiland, who was visiting Belfast yesterday from the US and looks after the company's 'internet of things' development, said: "We deal with companies from the Fortune 500, to the shop-type companies. We service all of those," Mr Heiland added.

The company sells to a range of big name businesses, along with smaller organisations.

Mr Wallace said the reason the company set up in Belfast two years ago included the convenience of the time zone and a "good technical population".

"It has a reputation for having very good education, it has the ability to form very good relationships with universities."

The company recruits many of its new software engineers through the universities, and has a dedicated internship programme. And out of that, he says between 50 and 60% of those on placement are subsequently offered a full-time job.

"We have been practically overwhelmed sometimes with interest from potential interns."

But despite it being a talking point among company bosses, Mr Wallace said Brexit will not stymie the firm's plans for rapid growth and job creation.

"Their stance was pre-decision, that Brexit won't impact us one way or the other.

"It's business as usual. It is neither here, nor there ... we are in it for the long-haul."

Belfast Telegraph