Software engineer moves from Croatia to Cork for better opportunities

6 Oct 2015

Drazen Zoric, a senior software engineer at u-blox, speaks to about what brought him to the internet of things company, and about the Irish identity.

IoT Makers Week

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which was the part of Yugoslavia at the time.

Croatia declared its independence in 1991. The war followed and the country has struggled with severe economic crisis ever since. Although a truly beautiful place to live, it was very hard to find interesting jobs there, so I decided to set up my own business in the end.

Owning a small company, I worked on some quite challenging and interesting projects, but the business environment turned out to be very unfriendly and, in the end, I spent more time doing the paperwork and dealing with administration than doing my job. Therefore, I decided to move to a more stimulating environment.

How long have you been in Ireland?

I’ve been in Ireland for almost a year now. Time goes by really fast.

Why did you move here?

I decided to start looking abroad for better professional development options after my summer holidays last year.

While on vacation, I was contacted by several Irish companies, and by Brian, the recruiter who contacted me regarding a position at u-blox.

I decided to go for it, because it was the most interesting one in terms of technical knowledge and the possibility to learn new high-end technologies.

On top of that, Ireland was high on my personal preferences list – in fact it was the number one choice for both me and my family.

We researched our options well and, it being an English speaking country with a very similar mentality to our homeland, and it having no working visa requirement for Croatians, Ireland was a perfect choice for us.

Not to mention that living in the capital of the Rebel County makes it even more perfect. Cork is just the perfect size for enjoying all the benefits of the city combined with nearby beaches. It’s also well connected to both the rest of Ireland and to mainland Europe.

What’s your role in the company?

I currently hold the position of senior software engineer. I work on an exciting project involving firmware development, software-assisted hardware verification and software verification.

How would you describe your working environment?

It is great. Both management and colleagues are very professional, friendly and helpful, the team spirit is strong, and I couldn’t have wished for a better working environment.

What do you like most about your job?

I truly enjoy interesting work on new stuff – like ASIC development – and working within an amazing team the most.

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

It wasn’t difficult at all. Irish people are very friendly and helpful, as well as very professional (but yet informal) within a working environment. I really like that.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

I have only been pleasantly surprised so far – by the friendliness of the people, the ease of getting things done around here… Even the weather is not that bad at all.

Public transportation can also surprise you, if it shows up on time.

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

My colleagues are very friendly and eager to help with any advice I might need, which helps a lot.

U-blox, as an employer, is always prepared to help whenever possible.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

I like the whole package: Cork city, nearby beaches, nice shopping malls with very good offerings, and great beer, of course – our local Murphy’s and Beamish.

But what I like the most are the people. The people are simply the best there are, the way they are proud of their heritage, but also very cosmopolitan at the same time, makes you feel very comfortable living here.

In the whole past year, I have only had good experiences, and it is very easy to be happy when surrounded with positive, happy, good-natured people – even if it rains some of the time.

Looking for tech jobs in Ireland? Check out our Featured Employers section for information on companies hiring right now.

IoT Makers Week explores the internet of things revolution and the makers driving it with reports on from 5 to 9 October 2015. Get updates by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #IoTMakersWeek on Twitter.

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