Tech Humans Of Dublin # 12: Cera Ward, Google

Cera Ward

Mapping Dublin’s tech ecosystem, one human at a time.

The tech industry is very collaborative in Ireland. There’s no competition, even though we’re all in the same space. I think we agree that all boats rise, and that we’re better collectively, together as one.

Google would very much take that approach. We put a lot of stuff out in open source, we’re very much open to partnerships – compared to other industries that I’ve worked in, I’ve never experienced that before. Whether you’re a big company, a startup, or somebody who just has a good idea, people are willing to back you. Things are very positive, and very optimistic, which is interesting for us as Irish people, as that’s something that we don’t necessarily have built into our DNA sometimes.

What I see in this campus, with fifty-six different nationalities here, is that the Irish thrive within this world. We’re very collaborative, we’re very good communicators, and we’re very good at getting on with the job to hand. What we’re doing here is quite unique to Dublin; this is now the third biggest site for Google worldwide. It was never supposed to be this big, it was supposed to be a regional office. We’re determined to give back on all levels, and are appreciative to have this vibrant city on our doorstep. We want to see Dublin thrive, because the more it thrives, everybody wins. The whole ethos is about encouraging everybody to do well, and for businesses to realize the opportunities that lie in digital, as well as the help and support that’s out there.

We look at the things that are big in Ireland, and we get behind them. Food, for example: we’re running an initiative in partnership with Bord Bia, where we take twenty-one companies through an incubation programme – some of them aren’t Google customers, and never will be, but we don’t mind. We’re telling them how to think about their digital presence, from a marketing and sales perspective. We also run a similar programme with REI (Retail Excellence Ireland), because retail has had it tough. Trying to help indigenous retailers how to understand tech. Then there’s our social engagement stuff – we’re working at the moment with Trinity College, trying to help get computer science on the curriculum. We take it all very seriously.

Google’s here over ten years now. I can’t say that all this wouldn’t have happened without Google, but we are a linchpin. And it’s all working out quite well for us.


Cera Ward is the Country Manager for Google Ireland