DAERA tech team sows seeds of success

DAERA employees graduate from Neueda IT Skills Development Academy

IT professionals from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) have been further enhancing their tech skills, having graduated from a bespoke software development skills programme delivered by Neueda.

11 members of DAERA’s IT team completed a bespoke modular-based four week programme at tech company Neueda’s HQ in Belfast, during which time some of Neueda’s most experienced specialists shared high-level knowledge in programming languages .Net, C# and SQL, as well as expertise in database integration.

[L-R] Paul McGurnaghan, Natalie Chambers and Shane McConnell from DAERA are pictured with John McShane, Neueda.

[L-R] Paul McGurnaghan, Natalie Chambers and Shane McConnell from DAERA are pictured with John McShane, Neueda.

This was the first time DAERA has used an external IT specialist to upskill its staff in this manner, a move which is geared around encouraging sustainability in-house through investing in people and reducing the Department’s long-term need for external IT support.

“We worked with the DAERA tech team to build a learning programme that was specific to their technical requirements,” explains John McShane, Principal Consultant, Neueda. “Then we set about developing their skills in a way that would empower participants to use that knowledge in their daily roles. 

“This is a really strategic way of enhancing in-house IT capability and we commend DAERA for having a long-term vision on how to best equip their tech team with the skills they need to stay ahead of the curve,” said John McShane.

Paul McGurnaghan, DAERA, added: “Engaging some of the most talented IT professionals in the industry has been of huge value to our IT team. The programme was built around the specific tech challenges we face as an organisation, equipping us with the skills we need to navigate these, whilst maintaining an excellent service to our users.

“Neueda has been an ideal partner to help us grow our skills and capacity internally. We are delighted with the feedback from staff who completed the programme and the enthusiasm with which both our team and Neueda embraced it. The process is one from which we will reap rewards for a long time to come.”

This project is the latest in a series of innovative collaborations between Neueda and DAERA. Most notably, in recent years Neueda helped design and deliver a ground-breaking online system for DAERA to increase the accuracy, efficiency and transparency of CAP payments to farmers. The system has been hailed an overwhelming success, having been used by 100% of farmers making CAP payment applications in 2018 and praised as pioneering on an international scale.