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Joanne McGarry

Digital Enterprise Integration Manager

They say: ‘do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’. Tech, says Aer Lingus’ Digital Enterprise Integration Manager, has something for everyone.


Working in technology isn’t about sitting behind a desk, coding all day. It’s about being part of the bigger picture. Joanne McGarry, Digital Enterprise Integration Manager at Aer Lingus, tells us how a solid grounding in STEM was a sure-fire route to success for her.

School-yard fascination

I’ve always been fascinated by technology. When I was at school, I was always trying to figure out how things worked.

I enjoyed the science subjects and we had a computer at home, which wasn’t that common in the 90s. IT was having this massive boom and it just seemed like a really exciting area.

I studied computer applications and software engineering at Dublin City University, and afterwards I was delighted to join Aer Lingus as a Java developer. That was 12 years ago.

For the last three years, I’ve managed a team of software developers, some based at the airport and some based remotely. We’ve created some of the systems people will be familiar with. When you book your flight, we send your email, when you go online to check in we produce your boarding pass and assign your seats, and after you have flown we award you with your Aerclub points.

The technologies we’re working on now have come along leaps and bounds from where we started 10 years or so ago. A lot of the challenges we face are around modernising existing products and services. It’s very varied and very exciting.

You can create any career you want with a science or engineering degree. The basic skills you learn – communication skills, problem solving, how to analyse a situation – you can use anywhere.

Finding joy in work

I think it’s important to find joy in what you do, and your career choice should excite you. Because technology is such a dynamic field, it gives you so many options and pathways to find out what you’re passionate about.

There are stereotypes associated with STEM roles, particularly in technology. I think it’s important for girls to understand, from an early age, that technology isn’t about a programmer sitting at a desk, typing away on the keyboard all day.

Technology is everything around us. It’s the phone in your pocket, the Alexa in your kitchen, or the automatic boarding gates at the airport.

We need to help girls understand the practical applications of technology and the impact it can make. All the issues facing the world at the moment, things like curing disease or tackling global warming, will be addressed by STEM.

Transferable skills

Sometimes girls have an image in their head of what a computer job is, or what a scientist or an engineer looks like. It tends to be a man, and we need to change that.

You can create any career you want with a science or engineering degree. The basic skills you learn – communication skills, problem solving, how to analyse a situation – you can use anywhere.

In short, a computer science degree means you can be part of the bigger picture, connecting people and transforming lives.

Would you like to join a really great team at Aer Lingus? A team which has been connecting Ireland with the globe for over 80 years.

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