Talking Dublin Tech: This Island Belongs To Doers

Andreea Wade

I’ve been doing things since I can remember.

I organised my first event when I was 14, started coding when I was 15, published my first article when I was 16, managed a death metal band when I was 17, worked in TV and radio when I was 20 and was the editor of an advertising magazine when I was 21. In post-communist Romania.

And then I moved to Dublin.

13 years later and I am still doing things. Still in Dublin. Because this island belongs to doers.

Ireland was named the best country to invest in Western Europe, first in the world for inward investment, first in the world for availability of skilled labour, flexibility and adaptability of workforce and first in the world for productivity and efficiency of companies and large corporations. The Republic’s overall contribution to humanity and the planet has seen it take the top spot in the very first Good Country Index. The index ranks nations according to their overall contribution to humanity. I feel the need to repeat that. Overall contribution to… humanity.  Oh, and we’ve just become the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.

This island belongs to change makers. To givers. To creators. Someone once said that life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. You want to start something? Build something? Come to Dublin. (Insider info: I am not sure if it’s bravery that we have here or this ‘ah sure, it will be grand’ attitude that allows doers to get on with the doing, be it failing and/or succeeding).

But Dublin is grand and it is getting grander. Every doer adds to its expansion. Big things are born out of small steps. Luckily. Beause anyone can take a step. And then another. And then another.

Take me for example. …and a story I never really shared.

Thirteen years ago I left an editor job (and a pseudo-celebrity Radio DJ type gig) in Transylvania, Romania to come to Ireland and work in security. It’s not that I had a dream. Not a well defined plan. I just had me. In this city.

In Dublin, I learned probably the most important thing someone coming from a communist country could learn: that I could do whatever I wanted. There is a slight difference between being a doer when amongts others and being one when alone. And Dublin taught me to be that.

And do I did.

You should have a look at WITS Ireland for example – an active forum supporting women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With our president, Michael D. Higgins as patron. I am priviledged to be on the Board, alongside some wonderful women in STEM. And check out I founded it because diversity matters. Of skills. Of gender. Of race. Of knowledge. I spoke about this at the Web Summit. A healthy industry, a healthy community needs a healthy mind too. I created Startup Hiking for that. First for the head, then for the heart (the Transylvanian in me needs the mountains). You probably know about Startup Weekend. TechStars have just aquiried it, part of their UpGlobal acquisition. You should go find one in or around your city and participate. I have been lucky enough to help organise a few of these Weekends and they are great fun. And then there’s Creative Mornings. Have done that too. Because tech is not just dev. Design matters. Dev matters. People matter. Ideas matter. Execution matters. Passion matters. Community matters. Support matters. Turn what matters to you into a mechanism of change. From product to community.

I am just one. And I am slowing down on the giving as I am back in building mode. But the community here is rich, is dynamic, is alive and it is expanding. If you are like me and looking for a place to build, come to Dublin. Add to what is here and what is here will add to what matters to you.

Come do.

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