Facebook jobs, happy Irish workers and interactive lessons on the way

18 Mar 2016

Facebook’s jobs announcement was the major story this week, but elsewhere a report into worker happiness found Ireland to be a cheery place. Oh, and augmented reality is coming soon to a school near you.

Teaching has failed to keep up with technology, leaving classrooms up and down the country stuck in a rote-learning quagmire. But, with governmental pushes to change the curriculum, and industry projects to revolutionise classrooms and lecture halls all over Europe, things may be about to change.

A new Horizon 2020 project called Newton is being headed up by Gabriel-Miro Muntean, a DCU academic who will lead a group of 14 (six universities, eight industry partners) to ‘reimagine’ the classroom.

Funneling talent

In short, Muntean’s team will look at using gamification, multisensory and multimodal learning, interactive AR teaching assistants and a virtual experimental fabrication lab to ensure students stay engaged on multiple levels.

That should help funnel a growing number of people, from all walks of life, up through the education system.

This is good news for companies like Facebook, U-blox and Ipswitch, the latter of which opened up a new EMEA HQ in Dublin this week, with 60 jobs on the way.

For its part, Facebook announced an impressive 200 jobs that it expects to fill this year, bringing its total Irish employment to a landmark 1,500.

Engineering alert

U-blox, meanwhile, is looking to fill engineering positions throughout the company. We spoke with Jim Connelly, the company’s design centre manager in Cork, about what it takes to make the grade at U-blox.

We also spoke with Sylvia Lu, one such engineer at U-blox, about the various influences that led her to become an engineer.

One of those reasons was because it made her happy, and she’s not the only one. Irish workers are, apparently, fourth happiest in the world, according to a new survey.

Who are we behind, you ask? Colombia, Mexico and Russia, surprisingly.

1. Facebook to create 200 new jobs in Dublin – will employ 1,500 by end of 2016

Social media giant Facebook is creating 200 new jobs at its international headquarters in Dublin. The company is introducing new R&D and business innovation centres that previously only existed at its Silicon Valley headquarters.

2. New Ipswitch EMEA HQ in Galway to create 60 jobs

IT firm Ipswitch is opening up its EMEA HQ in Galway, with 60 jobs to be created over the next five years and this number representing a major chunk of its global workforce.

3. Are Irish workers the happiest in the world? Nearly…

Irish workers rank fourth in the world when it comes to workplace happiness – making it the top-ranked state in the EU – with Dublin leading the way.

4. U-blox: ‘We’re looking for design engineers at all levels’

Ask anyone in the industry what the most exciting development area in tech is and most of them will say the same thing: it’s the internet of things. That places U-blox in an enviable position.

5. DCU leads EU’s €6.5m dive into future of teaching

A new Horizon 2020 project led by DCU is looking at teaching techniques, investigating how things like computer games and augmented reality could soon become the norm in classrooms.

6. Engineer: ‘I was inspired by my parents and excited by the job’

Sylvia Lu, an engineer at internet of things technologies company U-blox, talks about her experience in the sector, and what advice she has for others interested in becoming engineers.

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Facebook image via Marco Paköeningrat/Flickr

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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