Dublin's tech tigerland - sham or real deal?


In the past three or four weeks I have been getting a lot of contact from recruiters who are viewing my profile on LinkedIn but for some strange reason, they never like to admit that’s where my they got my details so they usually say they saw my CV on monster or irishjobs.ie where I have no presence.

Anyway, I’m not actually looking to move at the moment because things are really good with my current employer plus I’m still mulling an offer of sponsorship for a US visa which is looking very attractive in a get-the-hell-out-of-dodge kind of way. But obviously anyone is interested in some amazing standout offer so I reply to the odd few that actually look they might have been written specifically after reading my profile with an enquiry about the salary involved. They generally reply with a fairly mid-market intermediate range (I don’t see myself and am not paid currently in this bracket). I reply usually to say that I’m earning 25% above the top range they’ve quoted and the company has an incredible benefits and bonuses package. To date, every single reply has been along the lines of “well, they might be willing to stretch to that for the right candidate”. Um, I’m no recruitment expert but you might be missing the central point of how you coax someone from their current position. You need to offer considerably more than my current earnings to tempt me to move from a job I’m very happy with.

Anyway, I thought I’d ask some people here who might have a little bit more experience than me. Am I missing some etiquette or protocol? Am I supposed to mention the salary I would want as my “current salary” so it can be matched or something?


Yeah - I’ve noticed this getting worse over the last few months - sometimes they don’t offer a specific job - they just say they have clients who are interested in ‘people like me’. More often they offer jobs of a type and at a level that a cursory reading of my profile would tell them that they are wasting their (and my) time. I do occasionally get direct access from employers themselves - they are usually better thought out and sometimes quite interesting to me.

This whole coyness about rates is infuriating though - I recounted an incident about this earlier in this thread. I’ve often found that ‘they might stretch to X’ comes from the agent - not the prospective employer and you just waste your time (I always have telephone contact first and make my rates clear at that point - and I do likewise if I’m involved in recruiting people). It is easy to tempt the right people though - certainly in the contract game - the flat rate structure means that you can get a really good person for just 10% more than an average person. There are a lot of really good experienced programmers working out there for 450-500 a day - offer them 500-525 and they are yours - you pay about 10-15% extra but you get a 100% more productive programmer.


For the last 15 months I’m still getting bombarded by recruitment spam from Irish recruitment agencies. I’ve given up trying to get them to stop having sent all of them repeated requests to delete me from their lists. But anyways.

I’ve noticed the collapse in wages in the short time I’ve been away. Just a few days ago I got one, for a Software Development Manager, leading and mentoring a team (I’m assuming of green n00bs), minimum of 7 years dev experience, minimum of 4 years in a Dev team lead/manager role, experience running projects under different methodologies, certification in the some sort of project management of the likes of Agile or Prince II highly desirable, experience in a huge range of technologies, pretty senior position really…


Now what sort of highly experienced competent professional who is actually capable of doing that job properly, and has all the years of experience under their belt to have seen all the mistakes and horror stories in badly-run companies, is going to do that job in the hot-house atmosphere of a start-up for that money? It’s a joke. The whole ad just screamed to me that here we have a company set up by a bunch of Morkeshing wideboys on the make, with some sort of tech scam, and they want to build it as cheaply as possible by exploiting the hell out of some idealistic bright-eyed gullible young fools. Or in other words just like every other IT startup I ever worked in in Ireland.

I have no intention of ever working in Ireland again if I can possibly help it, but getting job ads like this on the other side of the world is only reinforcing my determination to stay away from IT in Ireland, and only reinforcing my opinion of the Irish IT industry as largely being a cynical exploitative sweatshop scam industry. If anyone on this thread is a young professional with 3 or 4 years decent experience under their belt - you’ve done enough, and you’ll never get anywhere in IT in Ireland. Go now and get a real job for a real IT company in a real country, three years experience is usually enough to get a visa for most countries on the skilled worker lists.



This suggestion may not make me popular here, but, as a group, maybe youse need to start thinking about getting unionised and/or buying political 'fluence?

After all, what are organisations such as the IMO, Law Society, Insitute of Chartered Accountants, Irish Bankers’ Federation etc, other than unions for the protected pofessional classes?


Not sure that I have more experience than you, but I’ve moved jobs twice in the last couple of years. Both times the offers were actually for more than I asked for (and also a lot more than I was being paid).

In that same time period I’ve also spoken to recruiters and employers about some other jobs that were paying less or the same as I was on, I just don’t proceed with those - if they even bat an eyelid at the money I’m asking for then it’s out. I don’t want to have to haggle much on salary, if I have to do it when I come onboard then any raises are going to be like blood from a stone, I reckon.

The trick seems to be to filter like mad and only interview really selectively, i.e. job is interesting, right location, they don’t balk when you mention salary you want. I use any phone interviews to try and gauge whether the place is a sweatshop or a decent place to work - I don’t really have an exact algorithm for this but if you’re talking to a tech person in there then you usually get a sense of it, and asking questions about their processes and suchlike is usually instructive. For instance, for me, if they go on about agile an awful lot, that is a red flag. Likewise if they cheap out on the developer hardware. Generally I have noticed that the difficulty of the interview process is strongly correlated to the eventual salary offer, so for that reason I rather like to be asked lots of hard technical questions (and interviews being too easy is probably another red flag). Obviously the degree to which one can be picky will vary from person to person.

The 40K job Sidewinder mentions is a joke, but employers will always try their luck. I’m not sure that a few adverts around like this actually means salaries are dropping, anymore than a few 3 bed terraced houses in Finglas on Daft for 800K means prices are rising. If nobody takes the job at that level it’ll just hang around like a bad smell.


Lack of unionisation is one of the best things about the IT industry, IMO, or at least it is at the higher skilled end of the spectrum. If you don’t like a job, quit and get a new one. If Ireland doesn’t offer the jobs you’re after, hop over to London and go contracting. If you have the language skills, the world is your oyster.

There is possibly a case for it in the outsourced support sector. I’ve heard some very interesting stories about treatment of staff at IBM in Dublin, for instance.

As for your “protected professional classes”, try making a living as a barrister in Ireland. Whilst there’s plenty of money at the pointy top end, the pyramid is supported by a base of people working for free, or worse. Minimum wage is a lofty aspiration.


A lot of people in the industry really wouldn’t be union types, anyway. I’d have zero interest in being part of a union myself. Unions in Ireland have a pretty terrible reputation in terms of being really against change and innovation, and that doesn’t jibe well with most technologists.

Many of the professional organisations mentioned above, like the Law Society, really don’t function in the same way as unions do; in the sense that they’re more about upholding standards in the professions (and gatekeeping), as well as lobbying for their professions. We could have something like that, and in fact we do. There is the Irish Computer Society, and depending on your quals you can also join Engineers Ireland, but I really don’t see a point in it (and nor do most other software people as I don’t think I know any members of either organisation). Really all the ICS does as far as I can see is lobby (ineffectually) about data protection issues, which is fair enough but not really a justification for their existence as there are other bodies concerned with this.

I do concur with Eschatologist that it may make more sense for people in some types of roles to be unionized. I am sure they could join a general union like SIPTU if they wanted?


Just my 2c.

I’m one of those so called IT emigrants, I came here during the Celtic tiger era as a young European professional. I’ve since settled in Ireland and have a family here. I now work for a multinational that had been here for over 20 years and have got substantial pay increase compared with my previous job (first contract but interesting project). I’ve also spent 7 years in between working for Irish Tech companies.
I spend 90% of my earnings in the Irish economy (the other 10% goes on ebay purchases & a yearly holiday abroad which is I presume the average for Irish people as well), Irish people are friendly towards foreign nationals which in turns make us stay here long term.

Also, about my industry, you’re normally on your way out due to forced early retirement, being burnt out or making a 180 degree career change by the age of 45-50, most of us also work ridicules hours/days (for example I’m about to remote in just now as I’ve been doing pretty much every day this week).
Facebook, Twitter, Google and etc are not something to envy, most employees in Ireland are very young, lowest pay scale of the industry due to experience, Language specific email machines.


I think it’s evidence that the job market is not as good as it appears. After 9/11, the same thing happened. Lots of ads, all copies of an original ad. So you have non-contracted agencies hoping to drop in a prospect to an employer that they guess or know is looking through another agency. As I say, I think this is evidence the market is tighter, at least tighter than the number of recruitment agencies and job adverts appear to indicate.


You say - before we talk, you should know that my rate is X. Please confirm that rate with your client as acceptable, and call me back. I look forward to discussing the position at that time. Click.


Interesting. That could well be the case. Hearing more from recruiters because they’re hungrier? There’s always a certain amount of chatter, as I think agencies seem to ring or email every few weeks to keep their databases current (as well as new ones trying to harvest CVs) but the noise factor definitely seemed higher than normal.


You forgot to mention that the standard of english and other european languages is also very good in Poland - at least in Krakow where I’m just back from. There’s also time zone considerations - at least some crossover with the US and pretty much all day with the rest of Europe (GMT+1).


Not sure if there is a more recent thread on this but any updates on current Dublin IT Jobs market. My other-half is trying to get back in after about 5 years out. Was a Senior Dev beforehand (15 years - Java mainly) - 70Kpa ish. Has re-skilled in the meantime (android/ios). Any tips on where to look and what’s happening out there?


The job market is very good for developers. I’m getting a lot of contact from talent acquisition people on linkedin. There’s always speculative contact from recruitment consultants - but there’s a lot more now from people placed within companies as recruiters to expand teams.

There’s certainly plenty of work in the dot com 2.0 types. It wouldn’t be for me, personally, but there’s lots of work there.

Citi have a large mobile/tablet dev shop which is worth a look.

The market will sustain 70k for senior dev at your OH’s level. Any more can be difficult unless interviewing directly for a tech lead / architect role. What’s been going on for the last 5 years? Education? Or do you mean moving back to Dublin after 5 years?


I know Citi didn’t renew some contractor positions in the last few weeks so perhaps they have vacancies but getting work for a decent length of time out of them might be a problem
My company in Dublin have positions actively advertised but when I enquired from HR about them on Friday for a relation they said that they were on hold.


thanks for the replies


Reviving this thread because things seem to be on the up and up for tech and developers

June 2018 Amazon 1000 jobs
siliconrepublic.com/jobs/am … in-ireland

July 2018 Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal to be converted to tech hub = 1000 jobs
irishtimes.com/news/environ … -1.3582265


Things have been “on the up”for some time now.
Problem though: there isn’t as such enough people already. I have been looking to hire a couple of SW developers over the last few months, and 75% of CVs require some sort of work permit or visa sponsoring.
So only about a quarter EU candidates, of which there’s very few locals.
Salary expectations (especially from people with 7+ years work experience) are “mad”, well, until you take into account the rental situation in Dublin. It is effing bananas.

Edit: interestingly, quite an uptick of applicants from UK in the last few months, who are looking to move due to Brexit.


Yeah seeing the same. Majority of applications are just “giving it a lash”. People with the right experience are in demand and can pick & choose.
So we’re bringing in lots from abroad, who need to rent and can afford the crazy prices, pushing others away.

The housing problem is probably one of the factors putting off more tech companies setting up here.
Although on the jobs side I am seeing more tech jobs appear in Galway, Sligo, Belfast, Cork which is a great thing.
Remote working needs to be supported, understood and managed so that it can be the norm and could help ease the pressures of commuting and distance from the city.


Which is sad, because a lot of the office spaces are pretty sh!te in terms of desks, air con, acoustics, person / sqm, etc.