This week we had the chance to catch up with Neal, a Developer based in Dublin who helped us shape a better idea of what you should be expecting if you relocate to Dublin or Ireland in general. Neal lived in Ireland for many years before moving to South Africa and last year he came back – it must be the Irish charm!
Our first questions was; why did you decide to relocate back to Ireland in the first place?
Neal: “There were two main factors. One was that the economy in Africa has been getting incrementally worse for many years – we did not just want to work but also to get our money’s worth. Second reason was the education system in Ireland which is a great one that our daughter has been benefiting.”
That makes total sense but there are many countries where the education system is great – maybe some even closer to home! Can you put your finger on why you chose Ireland in specific?
Neal: “After our move to South Africa in 2006, Ireland had always left a mark on us as a place where we wanted to come back to some day. I guess it was the great memories we had here with the people that kept us connected. Plus, among the places we have seen and lives we can easily tell that Ireland is one of the safest!”
So, the relationships with friends were close enough to bring you back after a decade! It would not be wrong to call the Irish culture an inclusive one regarding internationals, is that right?
Neal: “Totally. The community is very welcoming here and having the same language helps a lot of course but both times we had the same impression. In my case, having a family here and settling down together helped a lot too. You know, interacting with not only work but also with our daughter’s friends and families, her school, my wife’s circle and so on…”
That sounds comforting. But enough about the good parts! Could you remember what surprised you the most when you arrived to Ireland?
Neal: “When the first winter hit, we could not believe the change in the temperatures but if i am being serious I guess the fact that Dublin changed so much between 2006 and 2016! It has become a standout European city ranking among the best and much more cosmopolitan.”
Because that was our starting point; a question about work-life as well! Looking at your previous experiences, what makes working in the Irish IT market more attractive for you?
Neal: “The way companies do business and treat their employees is much different here. There is a real work/life balance. In Ireland I also got the chance to work with more international and cross-functional distributed team. It is very stimulating I must say.”
Do you have any advice for someone moving to Ireland from abroad? What should they be ready for above all?
Neal: “Obviously weather again if they are from a warm country but most importantly they should do their homework on housing as properties and rentals are quite more expensive in comparison to my country. That being said, I believe this was the best move we made!”
Thank you Neal for the insights! We hope they will make things easier for our international candidates when they are thinking about relocating. You should also check the article “Moving From South Africa to Ireland”. It is based on our chat with Marais, a South African Developer, and what his thoughts were on the relocation process specifically!