Håkan Olsson, senior QA engineer at FireEye, tells us why he chose Ireland as a place to live and work, and how a friendly team makes Irish living easy.
Where are you from?
I’m from Karlshamn, a town in the south-east county of Blekinge in Sweden. A sleepy costal town with a nice archipelago, it’s known for salmon fishing.
How long have you been in Ireland?
I came to Ireland the first time in 1994, to Galway for a few months as an erasmus exchange student. I then returned to Ireland in 1998 on a three-month contract to Dublin with my first job … and never left.
Why did you move here?
A Galway girl who I met on my first visit, and later married, was a big influence on that decision.
What work do you do?
I work as a senior QA engineer in FireEye’s QA team in Dublin. We perform quality assurance of FireEye’s endpoint security solutions.
How would you describe your working environment?
It’s a very friendly and inspiring office, but with a high pace and lots of challenges. We work closely together with the other FireEye offices around the world to create world-leading security tools. The company embraces all nationalities and cultures. In December, I introduced the office to the Swedish Christmas tradition Lucia – who knows, maybe I’ll have them dancing around the Maypole for Midsummers!
What do you like most about your job?
It’s very refreshing for me, having worked in mobile telecoms for 18 years, to try something new. Working at FireEye is like starting a new chapter and it is introducing a whole new skillset to my experience.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
For me it was a fairly easy transition as I was working for a Swedish company when I moved to Ireland, and had already worked with some of my colleagues. Also, having visited Ireland several times before, I felt at home here.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
This might sound strange but what I found most surprising was that it was not too different to where I came from, apart from the weather. Ireland is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
Having lived in Ireland for 16 years now, I feel as Irish as I do Swedish. But I have really felt welcome into the company from day one and I really enjoy working with a friendly team.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
What I love about living in Ireland, and especially where I am in Wicklow now, is it’s like living in a playground for an outdoor enthusiast like me. I have the Wicklow mountains, Dalkey Quarry close by and a lovely beach and running trails on my doorstep.