With people from all over the world choosing Ireland as a place to live and work, we speak to those that have put down roots here. This time, we talk to Md Yusuf, a software engineer at AOL.
Where are you from?
I am from Sylhet, Bangladesh. Sylhet is a nice and beautiful city, it has lot of things to see. The weather is great there all year round, 30 to 35°C degrees in summer and 15 to 23°C in winter. Winter is the best time to go there as the summer might be too hot for some. It’s a nice and peaceful city, very safe city and with a low crime rate. I spent most of my time in Bangladesh there.
Sylhet is a bit mountainous in places; that's why there are a lot of tea gardens. You can’t miss the beauty of the tea gardens if you are there, they’re beautiful.
One of the best universities of Bangladesh is in Sylhet – Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. I was a student of this university.
Cricket is the top sport there. We all love cricket and we all play cricket – every school, college, village and town has a cricket team. We even play cricket in the street as there are too few grounds to play on.
How long have you been in Ireland?
Around five years.
Why did you move here?
Standard of living would be the first reason, I guess. Besides that, there are much more opportunities for IT graduates here in Ireland. Of course, the English language was one of my motivations as I didn’t have to learn a new language. I also have friends who are living here who gave me good feedback about Ireland, so it was easy to make the decision.
What work do you do?
I am a software engineer on AOL’s search team – the best team in Dublin. I work on search front end.
How would you describe your working environment?
Absolutely fantastic. It’s the best place I have ever worked in. I am happy to come to work every day. The people are friendly, help is available all the time if needed and, besides the work, there are a lot of sports and social activities which make life after work more fun, especially when I was new in Dublin and did not have many friends. I learned to play basketball in AOL, and I can’t go without mentioning the ping pong table – it’s the best addition to the sports room, I have to say. AOL Dublin is one of the best, if not the best, place to work in Ireland.
What do you like most about your job?
It’s a very flexible environment, there’s not much pressure and help is available if needed.
It’s really interesting to learn how search works and how different modules get displayed in the page. I recently worked on GSA, which is to introduce multiple languages and countries in search, and working on the search mobile platform was a fantastic experience.
Learning about new tools and technology is one of the best things about working in AOL. Brown-bag [lunchtime] sessions are the best to find out about different tools and technologies used in different teams.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
In the beginning, the rain and cold in the winter was a bit hard to cope with, but then I got used to it. Besides that it was all good. The people are very friendly here so it was always easy to get help if needed.
I was living in Cork at the beginning and a lot of the time people would call me ‘boy’ – eg ‘How you doing, boy?’ – which did not make sense to me, because I was a grown-up man. Now I know that it was nothing to do with age!
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
The rain! It rains a lot here and when there is a sunny day people are so happy.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
AOL provided me with a place to stay when I started my job, before I found my own place, which was really helpful. People at work care about me, which makes me feel safe here. They help me on everything besides work, which is wonderful.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
Friendly people is obviously one of them. The natural beauty, especially Killarney National Park, is also wonderful. I love travelling around the country and Ireland has a lot of places to see. It’s a bit hilly, I think, which reminds me of my hometown.
It’s not as crowded as it is back home, which is great. Living in a developed country where all the latest technology is there to use is a great advantage, I think.