Plot Twist: an Irishman Walks Into the Picture

Pleased to welcome Darragh Grealish on board the fast-moving, albeit crazy Relink train. Darragh will focus primarily on DevOps & NetOps. Travelling back and fourth from Zurich for the time being, he is our source of Toblerone, which we are very thankful for.

We asked Darragh a couple of questions and he answered them, not before showing us a couple of examples of badly written company blogs. Here's to this *not* being one of them:

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself; how you got to where you are career-wise:

    Growing up on the west side of Ireland most of my childhood was in a the country on a dairy farm. I was somewhat removed from the industrialized cities in Europe. We did have a small airport (GWY) nearby and I always wanted to travel to non-english speaking countries and have interesting adventures abroad. 

    My uncle was an engineer and in the early 90’s I had my first computer, an Intel 386. Between that and farm machinery, that is where my love for computers and electronics started, I attended a boarding school and there was a teacher that was very much into HAM radio transmission. I would spend many evenings building antenna’s and climbing up radio tower (before GSM days! So it was safe) but I became more interested in Microwave communication as it carried data wirelessly. I then joined a technical college that had a focus in embedded electronics and digital systems, realizes that their wasn’t much opportunity for work in my small town Galway.

    After that, I moved to a computer research institute (DERI) that focused on Data Semantics, This opened many opportunities to work on research projects with various other institutes abroad. That is how I found myself moving to Switzerland on a three month project with EPFL, Lausanne. In 2008, I finally unrooted my self from Ireland and in 2009 I took my first real job as a System Engineer at a Swiss tech company. Then my career started. I became to love the city and outdoor life Switzerland provides you, Centrally located in Europe, I could work on many projects across Europe, and today I work with Relink both remotely and located at there office in Copenhagen.
  2. If you had to pick one common trait among revolutionary companies or founders, what would it be?
  3. Less management overhead and more risk-based execution
  4. What kind of software do you use with your work on a daily basis?

    VIM, ZSH, ArchLinux, nmap.
  5. If you were the product owner of one software tool you use regularly, what would you change?

    Chrome: As pretty much every tool I use needs to run in a browser and chrome really needs to change it’s performance requirements, I think I would give all the core develops a Thinkpad X220 with i5 CPU, 4GB RAM running Ubuntu and say “Now make it fast” Seriously since a few years, web browsers really slow down our work as web app’s are not forced or forced by the browser to run efficiently, they just throw CPU power it.
  6. Did you always want to be a DevOps engineer? How did you end up as one?

    Initially I wanted to focus on hardware, primarily communication and robotic automation, basically the interface between software and hardware, as I found that fascinating; motion control and actuators. I had a great opportunity to obtain a real robotic arm when I was young, (Unimation Puma 700 Industrial Robot)  and quickly learnt the internals of computers from that experience, it was older then I was, and ran from a DEC PDP/11, still the design hasn’t changed all that much in modern computers.
  7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years or 20?

    Understanding better how we as humans can better interact in a pure digital work, practically speaking, building Infrastructure and Software that lets us us sleep better at night :)
  8. Where's the best place to go in Switzerland?

Without a doubt, the mountains, Arosa, Ftan and Toggenburg (on a snow day) are one of my favourites places relax

Say hi to Darragh over at the Twitters or at his nifty little site.

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