Liberty IT
Yamin Xue, a software engineer at Liberty IT. Image: Liberty IT

From dinosaur museums to Dublin with Liberty IT

1 May 2018

What kind of things do you need to think about when crossing continents to take up a new role? We chatted to Yamin Xue about her experience moving from China to Liberty IT’s Dublin office.

Choosing to take the plunge and move abroad for a job is a massive gamble.

You’re flying away from everything you’re familiar with and diving head first into the unknown. You may also have visa woes or a language barrier to contend with.

There’s a lot to think about on top of the general mixture of stress and excitement that come with landing a new role. So, what is it like to deal with all these factors when you take up a position in tech?

To gain a better understanding, we spoke to Yamin Xue, a software engineer at Liberty IT who came to Ireland from China to pursue her studies, and was subsequently hired by the firm.

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

I’m from a small city in China called Changzhou. It’s a lovely city and, randomly, well known for its dinosaur museum!

How long have you been in Ireland?

Over four years now. I studied here for two years and have been working in Liberty IT for more than two years.

What prompted your decision to move here?

First of all, it’s an English-speaking country. I have a friend in Ireland who told me all about the culture, pubs, music, and friendly, funny Irish people, so I knew it would be a colourful place to be!

Also, compared to the UK, the tuition fees are lower in Ireland and, with my visa, I could stay an extra year after I graduated, which is great.

What’s your role in Liberty IT?

I’m a software engineer.

How would you describe your working environment?

We have a small but growing team in our Dublin office, and I like that we are engaging across teams. We have a very collaborative environment within office hours.

This also translates into the social space as we often host and participate in meet-ups and tech talks, which are fantastic for knowledge-sharing and inspiration.

Our various committees run some great events, including a number of cultural events where we showcase traditions and dishes from across the globe. This gives me a chance to bring some of my background, stories and culture to Liberty IT, which I really enjoy.

What do you like most about your job?

We’re always adopting new technologies. Over the last two years, I’ve been working on projects using React.js, Spring Boot, Docker etc. My skillset is always being updated.

Also, being part of a large organisation like Liberty Mutual Insurance brings great opportunities to showcase and learn from other teams. Last year, myself and five colleagues went to Liberty Mutual’s head office in Boston to take part in a 24-hour hackathon. Even better, we reached the final. It was an awesome experience.

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

It was difficult at the beginning, but I settled quickly. The culture differences can be challenging but are also so interesting to me.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

I would say the weather and the people. The weather is so unpredictable, and it could be four seasons in one day, which took a bit of getting used to! The people are very nice, easygoing and family-oriented, which I really love.

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

I made lots of friends across the teams at Liberty IT. We support each other and the social scene is great, so there are plenty of after-work opportunities to catch up, which makes me feel very at home.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

I like the work-life balance here the most. I always have time to spend with my family and friends or to travel and enjoy my life.

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