Pablo Murillo Barrionuevo, senior applications consultant at Version 1, tells us why he chose Ireland as a place to live and work, and how he has learned to appreciate rare sunny days.
Where are you from?
I’m from Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, which is best known for its stunning modernist architecture and multicultural heritage (as well as for its football team, but I am not a big football fan myself). Before coming to Ireland I was living in Malaga, in the sunny Costa del Sol, so I can say I’m from the Mediterranean overall!
How long have you been in Ireland?
I landed in Dublin Airport on 3 January 2013, so it has been more than one year and a half living here.
Why did you move here?
Many factors, most of them related to the professional side of things. When my wife and I decided that we had to move outside Spain due to the economic context, it became clear that Ireland was the best destination thanks to the many career opportunities available in the Irish IT sector. Having the language and the skills, it was a wise decision for us to come here and start a new life.
What work do you do?
I joined Version 1 as a senior Oracle developer, working on the database side of the customer’s applications, implementing projects and developments including coding, testing, configuring, bug fixing, handling change requests and many other activities in order to deliver value to the customers I work with.
How would you describe your working environment?
It couldn’t be better. I have felt really welcome since the very first day. Everyone is really friendly and helpful, and I’m always challenged to learn new things and methodologies, which I really appreciate because I’m one of those people who gets bored easily when doing the same thing over and over again.
What do you like most about your job?
In Version 1 I have regular meetings with my manager to talk about everything that’s going on, and I can always be honest and freely express my opinion without thinking about any possible bad consequences. I also like the flexibility of being able to start the working day and to go home earlier sometimes, or later, depending on my personal needs. It still surprises me when somebody thanks me for a job well done – I think, ‘It’s my job, you don’t have to thank me for anything,’ but I like it. But the most important thing since I came here to Ireland is that waking up in the morning to go to work stopped being a stressful situation causing me negative feelings.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Well, a little, to be honest. It’s never easy to leave one’s country and not being able to see family and friends as often as one would wish, but Irish people are very welcoming and make things easier to handle. Also, you meet lots of people here living the same situation as expats and it’s really easy to make friends with them.
At first it was difficult for me to adapt myself to the weather because I arrived in the middle of winter and there was a big contrast compared to where I came from, but after a few months I got used to it.
Adjusting to working in Ireland was not that difficult, even though it was the first time I used the English language 100pc of the time. Settling down is just a matter of time.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
My colleague Marko already mentioned the two taps in the sinks, so I’d say the lack of blinds on the windows and the carpeted floors in most of Dublin’s apartments. But, on the positive side, it was really surprising how polite Irish people are, always holding the door before you or quietly queuing without complaining in shops. It also surprised me to see the ‘LOOK RIGHT’ and ‘LOOK LEFT’ signals painted in the pavement, which are really useful for continental people like me. They have saved me many times from being hit by a car!
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
A professional career and working life are really important to me, and I’m glad to say that mine are absolutely satisfying here in Ireland. Being happy at work, I am happy at home and that is what really matters: being happy.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
Distances are quite short in Dublin, which lets me walk everywhere I need to go, allowing me to forget about the nightmare of Barcelona’s underground metro and Malaga’s traffic jams during rush hours. I also love something I never saw before: the unlimited cinema pass.
Finally, living in Ireland has taught me to appreciate sunny days much more and to enjoy them in a special way.