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Tech Corner with Lauren Grendon – Director of Blockchain Engineering – MasterCard

23 May 2019 by Mason Alexander
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​In the latest edition of our Tech Corner, Lauren Grendon, Director of Blockchain Engineering at MasterCard Labs sits down with MA Senior Principal Consultant Brendan Hennessy to discuss what MasterCard Labs are working on at the moment, his opinion on the Cloud Wards and what advice he would give to those who want to build high performing teams. Check out what they discussed below:


What is your role and remit within MasterCard?

Commercialising blockchain within MasterCard Labs, driving and building out the Blockchain functionality and teams.


Tell me something that MC are working on that may not be common knowledge but would be of interest to people in the market from a technology perspective?

At MasterCard we are working with a lot of cutting edge technology ranging from AI, Data Science, Machine learning, AR, VR. We are creating new payment flows that allow us to understand habitational transactions like when someone is looking to buy their coffee in the morning and what local shop they usually purchase that coffee from on their daily commute.


Cloud Wars, what’s your opinion on Google v Microsoft v Amazon? What are MC using at present? Do you believe in the hybrid way or sticking with one in particular?

I think that a hybrid approach is the best way but more importantly using the right tool for the job at hand. Some cloud providers are more expensive than others and within MC security and cloud are massive priorities for us. It’s about how do you leverage cloud correctly to get the best and most secure result for our customers.


With the emergence and application of machine learning and AI, how do you think it will affect MC?

It’s going to allow us to open up new areas and give us more potential to work with new companies and therefore create new streams of business.


Dublin is a real hot bed for top tech talent and you are currently building out one of the best performing teams within Dublin, what advice would you give on managing and building high performing teams?

Don’t compromise on quality and focus on soft skills. Style is important, everyone has their own and it’s about blending different styles together to get the best end result for the team. Agile knowledge, well-balanced, technical proficiency, good people person.


What is your greatest frustration when it comes to talent hiring and retention?

Agile knowledge is key for me and my teams, technical proficiency in technologies which candidates state on their CV’s they have strong working proficiency with is something that is not always the case. Hiring good people who get on with others is something that tends to ensure retention of our staff here in Mastercard which remains strong.


Brendan Hennessy


Senior Principal Contract – Software Engineering Practice – Technology