The Big Interview… Helen Wilson

13 Nov

Welcome back to our most popular regular feature, “The Tribalingua Big Interview”. We meet the members of the team and ask them about their lives, loves, hopes and fears…

We reveal the thoughts of the people who make this company such a special place to work.


This week we’re talking to Helen Wilson who is NZ Market Champion and Charpenings’ Scrum Master at Tribal.

Hi Helen!

Tell us a little bit about you.

Oi, Tribalingua!  I’m a 37 year old, born in Newry, Northern Ireland, but I spent most of my childhood in Cork in the South of Ireland.  I moved over to the UK, to go to university in Teesside in the North East of England to study computers and that’s where I met my now husband, Ben and we’ve been together for 17 years and married for 13 of those. (I know, he’s a saint J)

I’ve been in IT since I left university, starting as a junior programmer in North Yorkshire and then moving to 2nd line support and also to Leeds.  At the same company as the support role, I moved into testing.  I have now been testing for nearly 15 years and within my time at Tribal on and off over the last 10+ years, I have been a test team leader, tester and scrum master.  When I moved to work at Tribal, I moved from Leeds to Silkstone, with Ben (the hubby) and then had my two little girls, Megan (6) and Caitlín (4) there.

I’m a bit crazy and like to play tricks on people in the office, but I can also be a bit of a mother hen, and try to look after my team members and others and I hate having my photo taken.

What’s your role in Tribal?

I am the NZ market champion and more importantly the scrum master for team Charpenings.

Describe your typical day.

A typical day, is there such a thing.


I’m woken by my daughter Megan, not by an alarm clock so I can’t hit it to ‘snooze’, at around 5:30am – 6am.  I know it’s too early, then I get the kids ready for school, then get myself ready for work, after I’ve checked my work emails.  Then the final house clear up after breakfast and rush out the door for school.  Then I drive the 35-45 minute commute into Sheffield, to the office.


I unlock my machine and go through any emails, see what meetings I may have, getting issues resolved, going through my to do list, helping out the team and trying to keep on top of what is being produced for the NZ market.  Talk on skype to people I need to get in touch with, whether that’s in Brazil, NZ or Sheffield (sometimes, it’s easier to catch someone with skype even if they are in the same office as you).


Back to being a mummy and a wife, it may be colouring in with my youngest, doing school home-work with them, some house hold chores.  My most important role of the, is tucking them into bed at night, reading them a story and getting rid of the nasty thoughts that may linger above the bed (they bring the nightmares).  After that, it’s clean up duty and talking to the hubby about our day and what is coming up over the next day.

Tell us about your team.

I kind of have two teams at the moment.  Working with other Market Champions and the NZ support Champion, Alastair Bell.  However my main team is Team Charpenings; Bruno, Mauricio, Rachael and Vanessa, Danillo recently left the team to work on another team (traitor, rs..) .

What do you do in your free time?

My kids take up my time outside of work, with school, out of school activities, meeting their friends, having to go to kids parties, cleaning up after them… you get the idea.  If, I get any spare time for myself, and I’m not lying in a heap, I enjoy meeting up with family and friends , as well as keeping up to date on Formula 1(I was over the moon, when I found out I had Ayrton Senna on my team).  I like to do material crafts, so making things for my kids and friends, only little things, no clothes, yet, but I like to do the odd couple where possible; felting or free machine embroidery.  I also love to travel and learning about new people and places.  I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Australia, New Zealand (recently with work), Tanzania, Canada, USA (east coast mainly), some major cities in Europe.  When, I heard about the Bravi teams being put together, I volunteered to be part of them, as I wanted an insight into a country that I didn’t really know much about, apart from Senna, the amazon and Rio (beaches and Christ the redeemer).  I know a little bit more now.

Tell us about where you live.

I live in a little village called Silkstone, just east of the Peak district or west of Barnsley. I prefer to say east of the Peaks.   The village is known primarily for having a church which was constructed in the 12th century, along with having a wagon way, to help with movement of coal, which was a big industry in the area until the end of the last century.  The village is also notorious for holding the inquest into the Huskar Pit Disaster and having a monument to honour the children that lost their lives in it.

Why did you choose this career?

I think as with many other people in testing, I didn’t go out to be a tester, never mind a scrum master or market champion, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the world of IT.  I enjoyed working within Unix databases, but I was a rubbish developer, sitting there writing lines of code, was so soul destroying, esp. when I got it wrong, which was most of the time.  So, I think with most things in life, opportunities came up and I took them.

Who are your heroes?

My Dad (What can I say I’m a Daddy’s girl), my Mum (I know a predictable answer but you never know, they may read this) and Murray Walker, he’s a legend!!!

Where do you see yourself and Tribal in five years?

Tribal will no doubt be bigger than ever and hopefully EBS will be a key component of its future.  Me, still working for Tribal, and getting ready for the horrible teenage years of my two girls.  Wish me luck.

Who`ll win the World Cup next year?

Argentina, as it’s Mauricio’s home country and a friend of the UK. 😉

Helen's Family.

Helen’s Family.

Thanks for your time Helen! We really appreciated it!

One Response to “The Big Interview… Helen Wilson”

  1. mitchelfelske November 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Good interview. Very nice to know a little bit more about you, Helen! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: