Computer Scientist, Catarina, on Dublin’s Tech Scene

Searching for adventure? For Catarina, moving to Ireland was the perfect way to experience an exciting new country along with taking advantage of the many IT jobs available in Dublin. Part of the team in Groupon’s Dublin HQ, the 25-year-old moved here from her native Portugal over a year ago. And with a Master’s degree in cloud computing, Catarina found her feet in Dublin’s tech scene quickly. “I moved over with my boyfriend. He had come here beforehand and really loved it. It was not difficult to find a job here, as there are so many opportunities available,” she says.

Working in Dublin

With a Bachelor’s degree in computer science as well, Catarina loves working in the fast-paced tech scene in Dublin. “It’s really great to come here and see all the different nationalities working in places like Groupon,” she says. “In Portugal, there aren’t as many opportunities to work in similar areas. Here, we work with a lot of new forms of technology and on new platforms. I really enjoy that. My boyfriend works in TripAdvisor as a software developer, so in our free time, we work on projects together. We have different skills so we can share knowledge and learn from each other.”

Interesting Work

A Software Development Engineer with Groupon, Catarina gets the chance to tackle interesting projects in her day-to-day role. “We use Node.js and CoffeeScript here in Groupon. Here, we get the chance to work with more recent types of technology,” she explains. Along with her regular role, Catarina gets time each week to work on a passion project. She adds: “I get to pick out projects I want to work on. For instance, we have a bi-annual hackathon in Groupon called GEEKon which I got to take part in. Right now, we’re working on creating a live map to show where vouchers for Groupon are being used in real-time around Dublin. It’s really cool to see the map in action and to see where people are buying vouchers.” An innovative new tech and design project, she says: “We worked on it using a lot of different technologies and by bringing people together who had diverse skills. Then we visualised it, so it would look really good. It’s displayed in the lobby here in Dublin and in our other offices around the world.”

When we moved over, my first impression was that Irish people are really friendly.

Living in Ireland

Based in Clontarf, Catarina and her boyfriend love their new home. “When we moved over, my first impression was that Irish people are really friendly. And that’s definitely true. Before we decided to come to Dublin, we looked at London. But it’s much bigger and busier. For us, Dublin is a good size. It’s small enough meaning you can get around easily and there’s a lot to do in the evenings and weekends. We have a lot of friends here now and go to birthday parties or drinks every week. It’s really social,” she says. “We live in Clontarf close by the beach and at weekends, we get the DART to go and see places along the coast like Malahide and Greystones. We went to the NodeConf conference in Waterford last year and absolutely loved it. It’s a really beautiful city and there’s innovative work happening there. In my role in Dublin, I’m getting a lot of experience that I wouldn’t have been able to access anywhere else. For anyone working in IT, Ireland is a good place to come and work.”

Catarina sitting at her desk at work

Advice for Moving to Ireland

For anybody making the move, Catarina says it’s a good idea to research where you might live before you travel over. She explains: “My boyfriend came over first and he spent about three weeks looking for somewhere to live. There’s a lot of competition to find a place, so I would definitely recommend doing research before you move here. If you work in IT, I think it’s really easy to come over and find a job.”

She adds: “If you know someone working here, I would get in touch with them beforehand and see if they know of any roles available. Once you have a job, it’s much easier to find everything else such as a house. Companies like Groupon are very helpful as well. They know it’s hard to find somewhere to live so will help you out.”

What to Expect in the Irish Tech Industry?

Want an exciting tech career in Ireland? You’ve come to the right place. Visit our Tech in Ireland section to find out more about roles available and what your life in Ireland could look like. You can also follow us on Twitter at @TechLifeIreland.