Joyce Tan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Joyce Tan, agile software developer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Friendliness and work-life balance welcome Singaporean to Dublin

8 Sep 2016

Business and technology history is being made in Ireland. The country is also a haven for tech talent, drawing people from all over the world to work at the industry’s cutting edge.

Joyce Tan, an agile software developer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, moved from Singapore to Dublin to break free of her comfort zone. Here, she found job satisfaction, and friendship.

Where are you from?

I’m from Singapore, a city state that is just above the Equator, so it is summer all year round.

We have a diverse population of over 5m people, made up mainly of Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians and, increasingly, people of other nationalities with their own cultural distinctiveness and strengths.

How long have you been in Ireland?

I moved to Ireland 10 months ago.

Why did you move here?

I had been with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Singapore for almost eight years, and I always enjoyed the work culture and team dynamics within the organisation, but I was at a stage in my career where I was falling into my comfort zone.

I raised my concerns with my manager and he promptly bought up the opportunity of a potential posting in Dublin. The idea of a new environment, and different teams, users and job scope, got me really excited.

Also, I have always wanted to travel and experience Europe, so it was the perfect opportunity to gain professional experience in a different culture and fulfil my personal goals at the same time.

What’s your role in the company?

I am a software developer in an agile team within the global markets operations technology space.

In the team, everyone is a strong individual contributor towards the delivery of software. As a senior developer in the department, I coach other team members both technically and functionally, and I also get to influence the direction and approach of design decisions.

How would you describe your working environment?

My current work environment enables employees to work hard and succeed together. It is a healthy work environment and there is always room to present and debate each individual’s idea.

What do you like most about your job?

In Bank of America Merrill Lynch, I’ve been very fortunate to meet and work with many talented people who have taught me the functional and technical aspects of the way the bank systems work.

I also went through the exciting transformation phase when the bank adopted the agile development methodology. The end result was an enhanced development experience, and the fast delivery and feedback has resulted in many successful technical deliveries. I am very proud to be part of the team who got to experience this journey.

As a senior member within a relatively new team in Dublin, I am excited about passing on this knowledge and experience, and influencing how the team delivers to the clients.

Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?

It wasn’t difficult, as my approachable and friendly Irish colleagues are always there to recommend the best parks and mountains to explore, and I can count on them to recommend road trips within the country.

Everyone at the bank is always ready to provide tips and a helping hand. There has not been any instance where I felt alone in a foreign country, and that definitely makes settling in much easier than I expected.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

The Irish people are incredibly helpful and friendly.

I recall, during my first team night out, passing a casual remark with one of my new Irish colleagues on how I needed to get used to the UK keyboard, as I had always used a US keyboard in Singapore. Soon after, I received a parcel from Amazon – he had gone online over the weekend to get me a US keyboard, which I am still using today.

How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?

Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Dublin has a very diverse range of employees. This helped me meet people from around the world who had also relocated to Dublin.

We shared tips, from finding the best restaurants and cafes to satisfy my food cravings, to the daunting task of looking for apartments.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

There is a very strong work-life balance in this country. There is a great focus on getting things done really efficiently. There is also a general sense of job satisfaction, and that balance allows me to achieve my needs and goals in my personal life.

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