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Life at Ada: Neil Rooney

Life at Ada means making the world a little healthier every day, and leaving the world a little better than you found it. We’d like you to meet some of our colleagues and learn how they’re improving health outcomes around the globe. And while you're here, check opportunities to join Ada. ✨

Neil Rooney, our Head of System Administration, shares how he creates the right environment for everyone to succeed at Ada.

How are you making an impact at Ada?

My team creates the right conditions behind the scenes for Ada to succeed. Need the internet to do your job? We’ve got you. Need Slack, Miro, Figma, or Jira to collaborate with your colleagues? We’ve got you. Need to make sure our system security is always audit-ready? We’ve got you. So we’re making an impact by creating the optimal setup for everyone else at Ada to make an impact.

What are the 3 most important skills to succeed as a Head of System Administration in health technology?

  1. Patience. We deal with a tremendous number of third parties. Suppliers, services, security providers. We also resolve about 300 service desk requests every month. 
  2. Problem-solving. As a company that’s constantly moving, adapting, innovating, we need to find new solutions and solve new problems. For example, we set up a secure sharing system with our partners for clinical validation reports. It’s open-source software and offers a best-in-class experience. 
  3. Agility. We work with people from all walks of life and solve problems with varying degrees of complexity. We need to keep up to date with the latest technology and find solutions to meet changing needs.

What do you enjoy most about life at Ada?

Knowing that the work I do contributes to our users’ well-being. We have a Slack channel called user_feedback that shows reviews people have left about Ada. Many of us follow it and see messages like this come through all day:

"This app literally saved my mother's life. She had severe back pain for almost a day, and the app said she may have an atrial tear (among other similar diagnoses). Bottom line is that I knew it was serious. It got her to finally go to the hospital despite being very fatigued. Turns out she was having a mild heart attack! The doctors said that if she had waited much longer, the damage could have been much worse or even fatal."

How are you taking care of your physical and mental health lately?

I’m a big fan of our company Headspace subscription. I also ride my bike very fast and do yoga at home with YouTube videos. If it's been a particularly bad day, I head over to the drum studio. 

What's the best career advice someone has given you?

I was always told to “pick your battles.” There’s only so much you can do. Pick the right battles and win them.

If you could have coffee with a great scientist from any time, who would it be?

I would love to have coffee with Carl Sagan. I often spend hours watching old interviews and find myself using the inspiration I feel afterwards to do better work. Space exploration has always fascinated me since I was young and to quote Dr. Robert Zubrin: “It's where the science is, it’s where the challenge is, it’s where the future is.”

The world would be a better place if everyone____.

Took better care of each other. 

Considering using your skills to improve health outcomes? Check opportunities to join Ada.


Elba Quintero
Elba Quintero

Elba is a Localization Lead at Ada.