DevOps engineer at Viasat Ireland, Adrian Fachal, is smiling into the camera at the company's Dublin office.
Adrian Fachal. Image: Viasat Ireland

From Galicia to Dublin: One DevOps engineer’s journey

3 Mar 2020

Adrian Fachal, DevOps tech lead at Viasat Ireland, moved here from Spain three years ago. Now, he enjoys playing in his office band and sampling Irish food.

Since falling in love with Dublin after a week-long visit three years ago, Adrian Fachal has moved to the city and taken up the role of DevOps tech lead at Viasat Ireland.

Here, he talks us through his experiences having made the decision to move – from the chattiness of his Irish peers to getting to play with his office’s band, The Arconics.

‘I remember thinking that I was very lucky to fall on my feet here and that this place was awesome’

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

I’m from Galicia, which is an interesting place in the north-west of Spain. It’s not your typical image of Spain. It is on the Atlantic coast, from where we get some of the wet weather you know here in Ireland.

It also has some similarities and cultural links with Ireland – it’s green and, for one thing, the traditional music there is surprisingly similar to Irish music. I come from Vigo, which is the biggest city in the area – about 300,000 people.

What prompted your decision to move here?

Well, it was an interesting coincidence. I was thinking about changing jobs after having been in the same company for five years, but in a few initial searches the only interesting positions I could find in Spain were all in the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

Being from a kind of quiet place where nature is always very close, I definitely didn’t like the idea of living in a massive city and spending half of your life commuting.

I wasn’t sure what to do and suddenly got a text from a friend who was living in Ireland and he said his company was looking for DevOps engineers. I hadn’t thought of moving to Ireland at all but then he told me: “Just come to visit Dublin for a week, you’ll love it here”. And I did! I had so much fun in Dublin that when I got back to Spain, I started to look for a job in Ireland.

What’s your role in the company?

I am the site reliability engineering team lead.

We take care of production systems, design and build the infrastructure where our apps run and make sure our developers can deliver features fast and reliably.

How would you describe your working environment?

It is a very unique bunch of people, which I am very happy to be part of. There’s a culture that has grown organically over time. Together, we’re on a mission to build great quality software, and there is a great sense of pride for what we build and how we build it. We do it as a team, while having fun and having real relationships with the people we work with. It’s really good.

We all spend a lot of time and energy at work, so for me it is key that you can feel that what you do is worth it, and that you are with people you care about and you like spending time with.

What do you like most about your job as a DevOps engineer?

I love it when we can find solutions to complicated problems in a simple way. When something isn’t working well or there’s a new challenging thing we need to implement, as a team we discuss it and brainstorm our ideas.

Through this collective process, we usually manage to find a solution that works. It makes a challenging problem simple to understand, while also providing an elegant and smart solution. Elegance is key.

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

On the contrary, it was so easy. Everybody was so welcoming from the very first day.

I remember being in the local pub after work on a Friday in the middle of March. It was a bit chilly but still sunny and lovely. I was having loads of fun and interesting conversations with my new colleagues and their friends.

I felt so relaxed and happy, and I remember thinking that I was very lucky to fall on my feet here and that this place was awesome

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

I was surprised with how easy it is to meet people. Everybody seems to love to chat to strangers and they show genuine interest in you. They want to know where you’re from, what it’s like over there and what you do – I wasn’t expecting the Irish to be that open.

Another surprising thing is the food. I had low expectations, but it turns out the Irish are mad about their coffee, bread and olive oil. I can sense there’s been a big evolution recently and now it’s very easy to find excellent food in restaurants and supermarkets.

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

There are so many fun and interesting things going on at the office here, but one super awesome thing is The Arconics. That’s the name of our band. Yes, we have an office music band, and we play every Thursday evening in the office!

It’s mainly an improvisation project. It has a constantly changing – and increasing – number of members. I can’t define what music style we have but there are always amazing tunes coming out of nowhere.

It’s really fun and there is real talent there. There are people from all departments, ages, looks and musical backgrounds.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

The people, definitely. I have found real friends here, and I even found love! My Irish girlfriend and I recently moved in together so, as you can see, I am really integrating here.

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