Pictured (from L–R): Noel Moroney of JLR Ireland (Services) Ltd.; Karen Cohalan of Enterprise Ireland; Tracey Carney of Dublin Tech Summit & Catalyst Media; Natalie Dalgarno of Carelon Global Solutions Ireland; Pawel Borzym of Sidero and Kedar Suryavanshi of Unum.
Tech Nomads took place yesterday, February 22nd, 2023, at The Complex in Dublin, an art gallery and warehouse space in the city centre.
A showcase of innovative tech companies, jobs and teams, Tech Nomads highlighted work that is hybrid-flexible, fully remote or outside of Dublin. The event promised attendees the opportunity to “find [their] tribe,” and find the perfect tech/life balance.
Partners for the event included Enterprise Ireland, Jaguar Land Rover, Valeo, Carelon, FRS Recruitment, UNUM Technology Centre, Ericsson, Kneat, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and Sidero along with industry partners Grow Remote and Tech Ireland.
Lightning talks and panels
The event started in earnest with a panel discussion on the ‘State of Play of the Tech Industry in Ireland.’ Moderated by David Monaghan, Deputy Editor, Business & Finance magazine, panellists included Tracy Keogh, Co-Founder, Grow Remote, John O’Dea, CEO TechIreland, Donnchadh Cullinan, Enterprise Ireland, Head of ICT HPSU, and Denis Curran, Head of Regional Development Corporate Governance and Engineering, IDA Ireland
“It’s no secret that lots of the very largest tech businesses have reduced staff numbers and have announced reduction in staff numbers,” said O’Dea.
He continued: “When you look at the totality, it’s a relatively modest proportion of the total. This is a sector that has grown enormously over the last two or three years.
“In terms of the indigenous side, we surveyed the CEOs of indigenous tech businesses in the last month, and the majority of them said they expected to hire this year.”
O’Dea noted that indigenous tech was “still growing.”
Curran echoed O’Dea’s sentiments, noting many opportunities are available regionally in Ireland, and said “our thoughts are with the people impacted” by big tech lay-offs.
On the subject of remote working, Keogh stated that “if we remove location as a barrier of employment, that can bring our communities back.”
Cullinan spoke about the current climate for Irish scale-ups in tech, saying that despite the news that unicorns are seeing massive reductions in their valuations, “in an Irish context, we never got ahead of ourselves to the extent that everyone else did.”
Cullinan suggested that by not chasing “stupid deals,” Irish scale-ups were spared a harsher impact.
In an Irish context, we never got ahead of ourselves to the extent that everyone else did.
David Dolan, Chief Operations Officer, Sidero spoke about Innovative Software Solutions Services in Sidero, stating that they try to create an environment within their organisation that allows creativity and innovation, while ensuring psychological safety in employees.
Clodagh Daly, Software Engineering Manager at Jaguar Land Rover provided an Introduction and Overview of Jaguar Land Rover, Shannon.
Daly deconstructed electric cars for attendees, stating “you’ll be surprised how little there is. It’s almost all software.”
She also noted that the culture of Jaguar Land Rover is ‘top down’ – “it’s an open door policy.”
Ken O’Brien, UX Director at Unum Technology Centre led a panel discussion titled ‘Unum Starts with U, Unum Technology Centre.’ He was joined by colleagues Amy O’Donovan, Principal Business Analyst, Declan McGuill, VP, Product Manager, and Busi Msipha, Program Manager.
“The technology team in Carlow are well respected … We identify opportunities where we can apply technology to different areas,” said O’Donovan.
Moderator John Shaw, Ireland Head for Carelone joined panellists Paul Kiely, Software Engineering Manager, Alina Antonova, QA Lead, Owen Kelleghan, Product Manager, and Aishwarya Radhakrishnan, Data Science Lead to discuss Career and Life at Carelon.
What’s important is building that human connection as soon as possible
“I am part of a community that really cares about health,” said Antonova.
Echoing Antonova was Radhakrishnan, who said “it’s always people first.”
On the subject of helping people settle in with remote work, Kelleghan said: “As people settle in it gets easier … what’s important is building that human connection as soon as possible … We can do work remotely … but you have to be really focused on those first two or three weeks to get people engaged.”
Philip Miesbauer, Tech Specialist at Jaguar Land Rover spoke candidly about Neurodiversity at Jaguar Land Rover.
“I’m autistic, so my brain works differently to 90% of brains,” he said.
Alongside panel discussions and lightning talks was the opportunity for attendees to network with leading technology companies.
Paul Kiely, Software Engineering Manager, Carelon, spoke to Business & Finance in the networking lounge.
“[Tech Nomads] is a great opportunity to show new ways of working,” he said.
“We offer remote working as the core way of working in a hybrid model, so … we can show people that are there looking for employment at the moment the options that they have beyond even Dublin itself, to go beyond into the regions,” he continued.
David Dolan, Chief Operations Officer, Sidero, said: “The main bit for us is to get our name out into the market.”
Thilo Rusche, Chief Technology Officer at Sportskey said Tech Nomads helps ‘get their name out there’ for potential recruits.
“We are actively recruiting now for two roles, getting a sense of who’s even looking … It’s valuable.”
Tech Nomads agenda announced for in-person event
Leveraging Technology for the Good of All: An Interview with Nikki Lasley, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amplitude
Connecting the world, an interview with Harry Moseley, Global Chief Information Officer, Zoom