Gareth Hayes, test manager at IFDS, talks to Siliconrepublic.com about working at IFDS, and about the many wonderful things he loves about his adopted home.
Where are you from?
I’ve lived all over the place, but spent many years in London before moving to Ireland. London is busy, eye-wateringly expensive, occasionally insular, but it’s also exciting, beautiful in places and culturally astounding.
How long have you been in Ireland?
10 years. I came for the weekend to see some friends and never really went home.
Why did you move here?
A smashing girl, now smashing wife.
What work do you do?
As test manager, I head up the test team in IFDS Ireland. We are a global team with representatives in Ireland, Bangkok and Chennai, and are responsible for testing change across the IFDS suite of applications.
How would you describe your working environment?
We have recently moved out of the State Street office on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay into our own refurbished space just off Camden Street. It’s a brilliant location, only a couple of minutes from Grafton Street and the office is massive, bright and spacious. We have a canteen on-site and the ever-excellent Boojum right outside the front door!
IFDS is a relatively young company with a diverse, passionate, young and supportive workforce. The atmosphere in the office can occasionally be fraught, as our business is very focused on client delivery, but there is an overwhelming sense of working together across all departments to deliver high-quality services to all of our clients.
What do you like most about your job?
The people! I work with a bunch of mature, supportive colleagues with common goals, which makes some elements of the job easy. The challenges and excitement are there, coming as a result of working in a fast-paced market with continual changes to our systems and to the products we offer to our clients.
We also continue to grow at a really fast pace, both in Ireland and in our various offices across the globe. As the company has grown, I have been given the opportunity, support and training to grow with them and now manage a significant team of testers responsible for shipping quality products to the live system.
The company has continually invested in the test team, with industry-leading internal and external ISTQB training offered to the whole team and, in recent years, a significant spend on automation and test management tools.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Once I found I could buy Marmite, I relaxed a little.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?
[Dublin] is a big city where people actually notice you – refreshing after years in London where folk tend to stare at the pavement when walking.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
I have made some very close friends in the 10 years spent working at IFDS. Home is where your friends and family are.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
The commute (a 20-minute stroll) beats being squashed into various armpits on the tube; Whelan’s; John Banville, the Dublin mountains being a bus ride away.
Bunsen Burger; Grogan’s; the walk down the Dodder path; “grand”; Dylan Moran; the Why Go Bald? sign; My Bloody Valentine; Rancheros; the toilets in the Shelbourne (sometimes they have free cake at reception); IMMA; Lakker; the noise the traffic lights make when the man goes green; Hodges Figgis, and it’s light ‘til 10.30pm in the summer.
Ryanair (derided by everyone, but you can get a return ticket to some astounding unknown European destination for the price of a chicken); the adverts at the back of The Irish Times; Solar Bears; The Blue Light; Sheridan’s Cheesemonger; the bog bodies; the Caravaggio in the National Gallery; the Asia Market; gigs at the Unitarian church on St Stephen’s Green; 777 and Dunnes’ tofu.
Forbidden Fruit; Dungarvan beers; Kerry; Sharon Horgan; puffins at Ireland’s Eye; cans on the Trinity Cricket pitch in summer; the Robert Tressell plaque on Wexford Street; the walk out to Poolbeg Lighthouse; Delhi O’Deli; Elaine Mai; the Francis Bacon studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery; Adrian Carton de Wiart; the review of the Leaving and Junior Cert exam papers in The Irish Times (“difficult, but fair” in most cases), that Ireland is always in the top few most charitable countries in the world, the fact that the bit between the road and the River Liffey down by the docks has a name (the Campshire)…
There are lots more, but that’s as many as I could think of in 10 minutes.