40 unsung heroes of Dublin’s Tech Scene
Dublin has an underground movement of amazing people that get very little recognition for their contribution, and yet are vital to the success of the Dublin tech scene. Everyday people who are donating their time to help improve knowledge sharing and networking opportunities that are vital for the success and growth of a tech scene.
While we could have collated a list about ten times as long we’ve had to limit our list to 40 key people for brevity’s sake. Let us know in the comments who we are missing and we will continue to update this list as a thank you to the unsung heroes. Aside from some loose groupings of Development, Design, Entrepreneurship and Support the people are listed below in no particular order.
Silviu Preoteasa - Entrepreneurs Anonymous
Since 2014, Silviu has been a chairman of Entrepreneurs Anonymous - the most active meetup group about entrepreneurship in Dublin. Recently, Silviu has become a co-organiser of a popular event, the B.U.I.L.D Hackathon, where technically-minded developers and business people come together to test new ideas and solve challenges. Self described as a growth hacker, serial entrepreneur, and lead investor, while not organising free entrepreneur events Silviu spends his time managing marketing technology in Hostelworld.
Kevin Loaec - Hackers and Founders
Kevin has been running the Hackers/Founders meetup in Dublin which boasts over 2,000 members. Previously he was also at the helm of the Find a Founder meetup which aimed to pair up budding entrepreneurs - because, as we all know, you can’t do it alone. Kevin practices what he preaches as he is a founder of Chainsmiths - a cryptocurrency and blockchain consultancy. On top of all of that Kevin organises the biggest blockchain hackathon in Europe.
Mary Cronin - Lean Startup Dublin
Mary established the Lean Startup Dublin meetup to provide a place to get together, learn and collaborate around Lean Startup methodologies. Having been popularised by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup, companies large and small have been adopting the Lean techniques and approaches to improve product development and increase speed to market. Mary is a co-founder of ThousandSeeds which has garnered a reputation as ‘thought leaders’ on Lean Startup principles in Ireland, and she teaches entrepreneurship in UCD using lean and design-led methodologies as well.
David Scanlon - Startup Grind
David runs the Dublin chapter of Startup Grind, an international community of startups which aims to nurture entrepreneurs through monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors. David knows a thing or two about building successful startups as he is currently the Venture Investment Lead at NDRC with some previous time spent at the Lucey Fund.
David Denham - Agile & Entrepreneurship
David has experience creating and running a web development and hosting company and he now spends his days as a Scrum Master and Kanban coach at Workday so he knows a thing or two about Agile and Entrepreneurship. The Agile and Entrepreneurship meetup tackles the problem of fusing Agile with Entrepreneurship with talks about how to handle uncertainty in product development, introductions to Scrum and Kanban and getting hands on with Lean.
Alan Spencer - Agile Lean
Alan set up the Agile Lean meetup to get people together who are using some aspects of Agile and Lean in a software development / IT / DevOps context to discuss their experiences and get fresh perspectives. With topics ranging from velocity and predictability to SAFe and LeSS there is value for the devoted agilistas. Aside the from the meetup Alan works as the principal architect manager at Think Big, a Teradata company.
Russell Banks - Dublin Beta
Dublin Beta is a place where people with early stage products / services can get direct feedback from a wide range of attendees. In addition to Dublin Beta Russell has supported the Dublin Startup Eco-System through curation of the Startup Digest Dublin as well as helping out on Startup Weekends.
Dara Carolan - DublinUX
Dara set up DublinUX last year but it has grown into one of the most popular meetups in Dublin which attracts UX & UI designers and developers, as well as those interested in strengthening their user experience knowledge. Having plied her trade as a Designer Dara has recently jumped ship into the world of Development so she is uniquely placed to discuss UX strategies from both sides of the aisle. Dara is currently working as a software engineer at Accenture.
Adam McConnell - Graphic Design Dublin
Adam set up Graphic Design Dublin meetup as a space where designers interested in networking, collaboration and socialising could meet to share news, info and learn from each other. With over a decade of design experience Adam has a lot of knowledge to share. Adam has recently taken on the Interim Market Lead Lead role in addition to Graphic Design at LED Group Robus.
Diarmuid Bourke - Python Ireland
Diarmuid Bourke joined the Python Ireland committee in 2006, and has been a chairperson of Python Ireland, one of the most popular developer meetup groups in Dublin since 2013. He has over 7 years experience in software engineering, including building SaaS web applications and regulated document systems in small businesses and startups. Diarmuid also organises the annual PyCon conference in Dublin.
Pat O’Callaghan, David McMullin and Cormac McGuire - Dublin JS
Declan McGrath - Ruby Ireland
Declan is the driving force behind Ruby Ireland, which is a developer group for anyone interested in Ruby or Rails in Ireland of all levels. Having previously worked at Intercom Declan now spends his days working at Clavis Insight, an online store analytics firm.
Michael Flanagan, Barry O’Sullivan - PHP Dublin
Michael and Barry run the PHP Dublin for passionate PHP developers to meet, talk shop, enjoy speakers and presentations, and just generally chat about software development. Talks cover all sorts of topics including software design patterns, optimisation, modular software and more. Obviously the guys are keen on travel as Michael works as a developer at Good Travel Software and Barry spends his days working at travel startup Dynamic Res.
Data Science / NoSQL
Allen Thomas Varghese - Data Scientists Ireland
Allen runs both the Data Scientists Ireland and the Dublin Data Science Beginners meetups. By running both meetups Allen enables both experienced developers and interested beginners to learn more and increase their skills in the hottest job title around these days: data science. The sessions cover all things R and Python as well as other data science, statistical computing, data analytics and big data technologies. Allen currently works for data science specialists Creme Global so he knows what he is talking about.
Arturo Calvo Devesa - Machine Learning
Arturo runs the Machine Learning Dublin startup which discusses Machine learning in all its forms as well as the ethics around AI. Arturo is a veteran of multiple startups and is currently working as CTO of Sedicii, an authentication startup that eliminates the need to send passwords over the internet. Aside from this Arturo also works as a senior research software architect at the ADEPT centre in Trinity College, which is an academia-industry research organisation with over €100m in funding.
Eoin Brazil, Ger Hartnett, Joe Drumgoole - MongoDB
The MongoDB meetup reflects the growth and popularity of the database itself. Early sessions were introductions to dynamic schemas and document oriented databases but recent talks are more about the challenges in scaling Mongo and multi tenant deployments. Eoin, Ger and Joe obviously believe in the database but they may be a little biased since they all work at MongoDB. However there is no denying that the database has a lot of traction, particularly in the startup world. One way to show how highly regarded it is as a database is that it is the default database for all of the latest development stacks - MEAN, MERN, MEEN among others.
DevOps / Architecture
Paul O’Connor, Simon McCartney - DevOps Ireland
Paul has been running DevOps Ireland since April 2015 which brings people interested in DevOps together to share ideas and have a beer. Simon primarily runs the DevOps Belfast meetup but he also helps out south of the border as well. Paul, who is a self proclaimed server wrangler and kraken deployer spends his days ensuring the reliability of Yelp while Simon works with Hewlett-Packard
Alberto Ramos, Cassiano Aquino - Dublin DevOps
Alberto and Cassiano look after DevOps for ZenDesk during the day but they also look after the DevOps Dublin meetup after hours. Not only do the meetups feature diverse speakers who share the best practices in DevOps they also ensure that attendees are fed and watered, living up to their motto “Beer, Pizza & DevOps! What else can I say….”.
Jason O’Conaill - AWS User Group
Jason founded the Dublin AWS User group back in 2013 as a community of users, developers and business professionals meeting to share ideas & learn from each other and from leading figures in the AWS technology space. With the benefits of infrastructure-as-a-service becoming mainstream skills in the area of AWS and other cloud providers are in high demand. Jason is currently working at Infinity SDC, a leading UK wholesale data centre provider.
Dave Doran, Thomas Shaw - Docker Dublin
In a very short time Docker has ascended from unknown project to DevOps utility. With more and more people looking to learn about containerisation in all its forms the Dublin Docker meetup aims to meet this demand. The goal is to help people learn about the tools to automate workflows and ship faster. While not supporting Docker Dublin, Dave is a software development manager at Workday and Thomas is a build engineer at Demonware.
Niall Moran - Azure Dublin
Niall setup the Azure Dublin meetup as a place for developers, architects, DevOps, data scientists and IT professionals of all types to meetup and discuss the benefits of Microsoft’s offering in the cloud infrastructure space. The meetup also follows Redmond’s new, more inclusive approach by reaching out to Linux lovers as well as non traditional Microsoft languages such as PHP, Java and Node.js. And Niall is well placed to run the meetup as he works as a principal solutions architect at Microsoft.
Richard Rodger - Dublin MicroServices
Richard believes so much in microservices he’s written a book about it, The Tao of Microservices. According to Richard microservices just make sense - if you can write a system that has scaling for free and it is easier to write in the first place why wouldn’t everyone do it? And with the Dublin Microservices meetup Richard is on a mission to spread the word about this new architecture and help people overcome some of the challenges encountered in moving to a distributed architecture. Richard is a co-founder of the node.js consultancy nearForm and author of numerous open source node.js microservices libraries including Seneca.js.
Frameworks / Platforms / Libraries
Xavier Glab, Simona Cotin, Tasos Piotopoulos, Juliusz Fedyk - Angular JS
Cian O’Maidin - Dublin Node.js
When NodeJs was a plaything for mad scientists Cian and his business partner Richard Rodger went all in. They saw the potential in the nascent platform and setup a node.js consultancy, nearForm, which has grown to become the largest node.js specialist consultancy in the world. From day one Cian has supported the node.js community in Ireland through the Dublin Node.js meetup but he also organises the annual NodeConf.eu event. Even though Cian is based in Waterford we included him in the Dublin list due to the work he does in the big smoke.
Rob Campion, Cian MacMahon - ReactJS
The ReactJS meetup, just like its namesake library is a fairly new entrant onto the scene but it is gaining a lot of popularity. React was a pioneer in the virtual DOM space which offered a much higher performance option for web applications with many data bound objects. The complementary Flux architecture pattern espoused the benefits of a unidirectional flow of data based on the belief that “shared mutable state is the root of all evil”. Both Rob and Cian work as software engineers at Hubspot where they are putting React through its paces in production code.
Naoise Gaffney - Start-Ed
Start-Ed is a network of award-winning startup legal advisory clinics, providing access to commercial legal advice for startup businesses and entrepreneurs while enhancing legal education for law students. Originally set up by Eric Klotz, Naoise took the helm when Eric moved to New York. When not providing free legal aid to startups Naoise is senior patent counsel at Intellectual Ventures.
Christina Lynch - Ireland Girl Geek Dinner
Girl Geek Dinners are a chance for ladies in technology to get together, enjoy some nice food and drinks, and have fun meeting other women in their field. Originally started in London, Christina brought Geek Girls to Dublin to highlight the growing number of women in tech in Ireland as well as provide a social and support network. While it is a Girl Geek event it is not exclusive and members may invite their male friends. Christina also supports the Women Who Code Dublin meetup as well. When not supporting meetups Christina works as a Technical Support Engineer at Microsoft.
Gene Murphy - Silicon Drinkabout Dublin
Silicon Drinkabout is a monthly meetup for startups (including techies, designers and business folk) to meet like-minded people, have some fun and relax at the end of the working week. As startups are often working solo, getting out of the office (home) can be very helpful. Gene has been helping out in the startup and tech community for years through his involvement in numerous startup weekends, co-founding Startup Ireland and now through his role as Entrepreneur in Residence at Bank of Ireland.