Kirsty Halloran August 25, 2020

Avaya Ireland Youth Talent Development Program

* The picture was taken just days before the country “shut down”, little did everyone know what was in store for them!

The generosity of spirit and willingness of Avaya employees to share their time for the benefit of others is evident throughout the Avaya organisation, and none more so than in Avaya Galway in the west of Ireland. Galway is a University city, and the commitment to education is prevalent in the community and business culture there.

Avaya Galway has a strong history of working with students of varying ages through its involvement in initiatives such as Junior Achievement, CoderDojo and others. The week of March 2nd  was the last face-to-face event hosted in the facility for students when a group of 16-year olds came to the Galway facility to learn about the type of activities that take place in a company like Avaya, as well as what skill sets are needed for the various types of roles in an organization like Avaya. Only one week later on March 12th the Irish government announced measures that came into immediate effect moving workforces to remote working and limiting interpersonal interaction.

As in many countries, restriction periods were extended and people adjusted to the new living and work environments they found themselves in. The restrictions halted the activities being undertaken in the Galway facility with local students, but co-ordinator Olivier Guillot was not deterred, and instead looked for new ways to continue with youth talent development programs – hence the birth of Avaya Bits and Bytes

Avaya Bits & Bytes is a new cross-departmental initiative by Avaya Ireland employees with the aim of promoting and developing an interest in coding among primary and post-primary students with no previous programming knowledge. This program is fully online leveraging the Avaya Spaces platform and is currently running its first iteration with a group of children of Avaya employees.

The Avaya Bits and Bytes ‘Space’ is a persistent ‘always-on’ space where students can follow directions, accept challenges, and join live events. The learning experience is a blended approach with a combination of self-paced and online coach-led learning. Appropriate to the new Avaya Spaces delivery platform is the programing challenge of developing a Space Invaders game! Initiatives such as this are a fun way to learn, and what could be more fun than making games?

The program enhances creative thinking, develops problem-solving skills, and provides opportunities for communication and collaboration. The current iteration of the course is the first, but Olivier plans to run more based on the current positive feedback the program is enjoying.  When we share our wisdom and knowledge for everyone’s benefit it yields more to us than we could ever imagine, and what we have given may come back to us in ways we may never have expected!

Just days before the country “shut down”, little did everyone know what was in store for them!

Kirsty Halloran

Kirsty Halloran has worked in the business communications industry for over twenty years and has held many leadership roles across functions such as Product Management, New Product Introduction, Sales Enablement and Marketing. She is currently responsible for the marketing of Avaya Alliance Partners. Kirsty holds a B.A in Economics and Politics and a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from the National University of Ireland as well as several professional qualifications.

Read Articles by Kirsty Halloran