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:
- 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.
- If you had to pick one common trait among revolutionary companies or founders, what would it be?
- Less management overhead and more risk-based execution
- What kind of software do you use with your work on a daily basis?
VIM, ZSH, ArchLinux, nmap.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 :)
- 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