The Phoenix Park, jokes Daniel, should perhaps become his address. From a small Portuguese town, 50 kilometres or so outside of Lisbon, he has traded the picturesque vineyards of his childhood for Dublin, and his new favourite park – one of the largest public parks in any European capital city.
The great outdoors was one of the reasons that Ireland attracted him in the first place. “It just seemed to be a country with a natural beauty,” he says. “That’s something that I value a lot.”
A diverse community
Ireland is also a hub for tech talent from around the world. When Daniel joined his first team at Workday, it was made up of four people from four different nationalities.
That, for him, has been one of the most interesting experiences of his career at Workday. In the six years he’s been there, he’s worked with colleagues from all over Europe, the US, Canada and the Middle East. “Workday”, he says, “is a cultural melting pot with over 60 different nationalities. And, when you’re trying to develop or create a new product, there’s so much added value in the different perspectives that people from different backgrounds bring”.
As a Software Developer, Daniel helps define how things are built. “I guess that’s the part of engineering that is interesting”, he says. “It’s like working on a puzzle. You get a problem, you have to fix it and you have to weigh all the trade-offs.” That means bringing people together and finding a solution that everyone is happy with. “So”, he says, “there’s a purely technical engineering problem, but there is also a personal side where you make sure everyone is involved. That everyone can make their voice heard. I really like that process. It is my favourite bit.”
Collaborative cultures and career opportunities
That sort of open communication and collaboration are very much fostered at Workday. Today, Daniel says, with so many big and multi-functional products around, one person cannot come up with the solution alone. “If you decide you have the perfect solution, but don’t talk to anyone”, he says, “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the wrong solution”. It’s input from others that shows up any shortcomings and suggests improvements. “Decisions here”, he says, “are always taken as a group. It needs to be a consensus”.
Having previously worked in a small company, the career opportunities here were a big part of his decision to move to Ireland. Within Workday, he’s found the freedom to explore new career paths. And opportunities in Ireland are growing as the many global companies based here continue to expand. So, for tech workers now, he says, the sky’s the limit.
As Gaeilge, le do thoil
Language was also a factor in his decision to come here. A frequent visitor to the UK, he felt comfortable speaking English which made integrating into Irish society easier. Though, he was surprised to discover that Ireland has its own language too. With his natural love of languages, he immediately started a course in Irish. Just, he says, for the fun of it.
A city buzzing with life
Life here, he says, is about having a good work-life balance. He enjoys a very fulfilling career, but also his free time. Dublin is buzzing with life and culture, but it’s not a huge, loud and menacing metropolis like some other cities. People are friendly, he says, and you feel safe. “Parts of the city like where I live now are very quiet and that’s great for your quality of life.”
On new experiences
Looking back on his decision to move, he says simply, “When this position came up, I was 25 and I thought ok, let’s go, let’s do it. Let’s have a new experience abroad and the new experience abroad became permanent”.
And would he do anything differently? “I’d do it sooner maybe. I’d go straight from university.”