Episode 28 – Put Your Skills Into Context with Eoin Woods

 In Podcasts

Eoin Woods is a professionally qualified technical architect with over twenty years’ experience in the capital markets and software product domains. Eoin is a regular conference speaker as well as a published author, which includes being co-author of the book “Software Systems Architecture” and Chief Technical Officer at Endava.

In this episode Eoin tells us why our skills have both a software engineering and a commercial value. Eoin also talks about the unpredictability of future technologies and why Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain excite him.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:51) – Phil introduces Eoin Woods

(01:15) – Eoin explains that he is the Chief Technology Officer for Endava which is a software engineering services company

(01:34) – He is responsible for what Endava sell to their clients and making sure that it is delivered well

(01:52) – Eoin spent around ten years developing software products before moving into the capital markets domain


(02:22) – Unique Career Tip: Eoin says that you need to identify subjects that interest you and that you can become expert in

(02:41) – Always remember to consider the context that your skills fit inside, their value and how they relate to other peoples’ skills

(03:02) – Consider both the context of your skills within the engineering domain and their value when applied

(03:27) – Phil and Eoin discuss the reasons why I.T. professionals often don’t understand the commercial context of their skills


(03:56) – Worst Career Moment: Eoin talks about joining a company where he only stayed for a short period of time

(04:24) – Eoin was swayed to join the company because a very good friend of his worked there and he liked the people

(04:36) – After a few months Eoin realised that it wasn’t the right company for him and that he wasn’t convinced the company was heading in the right direction

(04:51) – Eoin moved on to a new company after just six months


(04:56) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Eoin talks about a successful middle office project and completing his book “Software Systems Architecture”

(05:42) – Two editions of the book have been published and Eoin often gets asked if there will be a third

(05:57) – Eoin says that he is unsure on exact numbers but knows that the book has sold over twenty thousand copies so far

(06:12) – The book is being used by both practitioners and university teachers

(06:44) – Eoin says that he gets quite a few requests for slide sets of the book which don’t currently exist


(07:19) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Eoin says that the thing that excites him about the I.T. industry is that we’re not quite sure where we’re going

(07:41) – UNIX and the C programming language were the disruptive technologies when Eoin began his career

(08:09) – From that point in time technologies such as Java, highly distributed systems, server computing and cloud were impossible to predict

(08:18) – Given all that has happened in the past twenty years, it’s exciting to think what might happen in the next twenty years

(08:25) – However you can see trends, such as miniaturisation and the internet of things (IoT)

(08:50) – Eoin is particularly excited by certain types of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Serverless Computing


(11:30) – The Reveal

(11:38) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “Home computing”

(11:52) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “To achieve anything you’ve got to manage yourself and, indirectly, manage others”

(12:25) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I’d be thinking about cognitive and IoT based systems. I’d learn as much about the theory first and then figure out what was useful”

(13:13) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Doing my current job really well because it’s really quite difficult”

(14:00) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “It’s the ability of explain something to different audiences”


(14:26) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Eoin says you need to identify people you admire and are doing what you want to do.  Then get to know them

(14:48) – Eoin has done this throughout his career and has never been rejected


3 Key Points:     

  1. Make sure that you’re aware of how your skill relates to the skills of other people
  2. The path of the I.T. industry is unpredictable as can be seen from the advancements over the past twenty years
  3. To be successful you need to be able to manage yourself and, indirectly, manage others


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