Larissa’s love affair with IT started early. While still in high school, she took what she describes as a simple, basic course and enjoyed it so much she knew she’d found her future career. Following two college degrees (one of which included a year’s scholarship to the US), and a career as a Java Developer in her native Brazil, she’s now working with Zinkworks in Athlone.
It’s All About the People
The Irish culture, she’s found, is similar to the Brazilian one in some ways. “People are really welcoming here. They like to talk, they’re interested in you. And they also like to party.”
In fact, she didn’t know a huge amount about Ireland before she came here. Discovering that all the major tech companies are based here was, naturally, a major influence on her decision to move. A little research into the lifestyle convinced her it was the right choice. And what were her first impressions? “Ireland is really, really green.”
For Larissa, the best part of her job is that she’s always learning something new. That, and the teams she works with. (She’s currently introducing them to Brazilian music through shared playlists.) “It’s the human factor”’ she says, “I work with a lot of people from different places, and they solve problems in different ways. All these cultural differences mean you learn so much – not only about others, but about yourself as well. And it’s a really good working atmosphere. If you need help people will help you without thinking twice. “
That help extends beyond the office. Zinkworks were on hand with practical help to smooth her move from Brazil. And to sort out her heating problems on her first weekend here. “We’re a very hot place”, she laughs. “I knew nothing about the different types of heaters – not even how to turn one on. We don’t need them where I’m from.”
Feeling at Home in Athlone
Zinkworks is based in Athlone, about 125km from Dublin. “Some people”, she says, “think Athlone is small, but that’s exactly why I like it. I like the homey feeling of it. And small towns are different in Ireland. There are always a lot of things going on”. And she points out, because Ireland itself is small, everything is close by. So, it’s easy to get into Dublin for a taste of big city life.
At the time, she says, moving here with her wife was a big leap of faith. Three or four years on, “it was a good decision and we are very happy”.
And what advice would she have for others making the move? “Well, if you’re coming from a hot country, be prepared. Though it’s not as cold as you might expect.”
Good to Go
It has, she says, been very satisfying. “At first you are kind of scared. You are jumping into something completely new. But I think once you go and give it your all and you work hard, it can be a really good experience. You’re going to meet a lot of people, you’re going to make friends, to learn and to make mistakes. You’re going to fail and then you’re going to succeed. And that’s how life is, right?
As long as you’re happy and you have really good people with you, you’re good to go.”