A male professional is standing against a white wall with photos of cars on either side of him, looking into the camera.
Daniele Faugiana. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

‘I came here alone and I had to reinvent my life from scratch’

16 Oct 2019

One year on from his move to Jaguar Land Rover in Shannon, Daniele Faugiana talks about leaving Italy for Ireland.

Daniele Faugiana is a functional safety engineer at Jaguar Land Rover in Shannon, where he took up residence one year ago after moving from Milan.

Here, he tells Siliconrepublic.com about his decision to move to Ireland, and how his new job and the people he works with have allowed him to develop a “comfort zone” here.

‘As I was looking for an experience abroad I decided to quit and look for another adventure somewhere else in Europe’

Where are you from and what’s it like there?

I was born in Italy, Turin. I grew up in Pisa and I have spent my last three years in Milan. Milan is a very big city and it has an amazing industrial and financial history. Fashion and business play an important role in the city also, from a cultural standpoint.

Services are always very efficient, the quality of life can be very high for those who have a good job, but sometimes you might feel a little bit under pressure in a city that lives 100pc of its time at full throttle. With nightlife, events and lots of work, it can be hard but you can get very motivated and proud of being in the very centre of Europe, where big things happen.

How long ago did you relocate and what prompted your decision?

I relocated one year ago after Intel Corporation, the company I was working for, decided to close one of its sites in Milan by relocating all its employees to Pisa. I had to take a decision about moving or leaving the job. As I was looking for an experience abroad I decided to quit and to look for another adventure somewhere else in Europe.

I found my position at Jaguar Land Rover as a functional safety engineer and it was perfect for my career development. Moving from a component maker to an actual car maker was a perfect step to grow.

Describe your role in Jaguar Land Rover.

As a functional safety engineer, I am responsible for the analysis of system and software architectures that are designed in our Shannon site. In a project, my goal is to help architects and developers so that they achieve the highest standards in terms of safety. I take care of many aspects, from purely technical decisions, to good practices, guidelines, tools and processes to be applied during the development.

Finally, I collect all the required evidence to demonstrate our effort in making the system safe to an eventual third-party safety assessor. As the complexity and the critical nature of software systems is increasing, it takes a dedicated team of functional safety experts to reach that confidence.

What do you like most about your job?

The best thing about my job is that you need to know a bit of everything. To analyse complex software systems, like the ones we are designing in Shannon, you need to be aware of the technology at different levels of abstraction. From the concept level down to the implementation of the software, including the way the system interacts with the humans, the way the application software is written, the architectural details of the operating systems involved and much more.

You need a hacker mindset to dig into the details, to understand how things work and how things can break up, harming people’s health.

What were the biggest challenges of relocating and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenges came when I had to leave my family and my friends. I came here alone and I had to reinvent my life from scratch. I had a lot of things to do at the beginning and nobody could help me from home, as it’s pretty far from here. It took me a couple of months to settle and to achieve this status.

Keeping the focus on my relocation, planning properly and giving the right priority to the incoming needs I have been able to do everything by myself. Once everything was done, and only at that point, I have started having a social life, exploring the country and many other interesting activities.

What are the major differences between Milan and Limerick?

The current location is basically the opposite of the previous one. This area in Ireland seems to be a quiet place, where people can live a very quiet life with no major difficulties. Everything is simple, everything is smooth and you can take your time and explore the nature. Obviously the weather is completely different here but that has never been a problem with me as I hate the sun!

How does your working life and other supports help to make you feel at home there?

People are nice and spend time talking with you, they are very keen in helping you with your problems. I have never found myself in trouble. Jaguar Land Rover is working a lot to simplify its employees’ lives by helping them in social activities, balancing their work-life ratio, offering conditions that allow us to focus 100pc on our job, family and friends.

I have created my new comfort zone in Limerick – I’m not sure it’s a good thing to have a comfort zone but, for now, I like it!

What do you like most about your adopted home?

There are two major reasons to love this place. The first one is the countryside, the environment. If you like to travel around and see the beauty of nature, then Ireland, and especially the west coast, is perfect.

Another great thing is the bureaucracy is very simple. A lightweight bureaucracy can be a double-edged sword sometimes but, in general, it helps a lot while relocating as everything is always simple, straightforward and clear, with no surprises.

What advice would you give to others who are planning to relocate for work?

The best thing to do is to plan the relocation properly, in advance. Everything in Ireland is simple and explained online. You can’t have problems during the relocation if you focus on it and take your time to get the required information.

Finding a job in IT in Ireland is very easy and there are great opportunities to learn a lot in a low-pressure context where you have time to grow your skills by facing an adequate level of challenge at the same time. Learn how to communicate effectively and efficiently as such skills will give you an incredible advantage here.

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