Frank Kilcommins

API Technical Evangelist @SmartBear

County Galway

Co. Galway

One-On-One with Frank

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself, your job and how long you’ve lived in County Galway?

I’m the API Technical Evangelist at SmartBear, and have over 15 years of experience in the technology industry. My roles have spanned from software engineering to enterprise architecture. I’m currently on a mission to inspire, engage with, and support the API community as well as SmartBear customers across the end-to-end API development lifecycle and management space. My recent roles have been focused on API-led digital transformations and architecture modernization within multinational enterprises predominantly in the financial services sector. I spent more than a decade within the IT industry in Dublin, but made the move back to Galway in 2014 and have been working almost 100% remotely since.

What attracted you to living and working in Galway ?

Both myself and my wife are from county Galway and we always had the intention to move back west. It was really a combination of remote working opportunities, improved infrastructure to support remote working, and a desire to do a self-build that convinced us to move back. Marriage and the desire to raise a family in the countryside near our families also played a strong part.

Can you walk us through a day in the life of living in Galway ?

Mornings these days start with school routines for the kids or exercise, where my wife and I try to alternate (schedules permitting). Generally, I boot up the home office setup around 9 AM, although sometimes I work US hours, so get some extra free time for DIY or other backlogs during the early morning. I still try to play team sports locally, so two evenings a week go to training/matches. I find the structure of team training great, plus being a remote worker for so long, it’s always good to have some outlets outside of the home office.

How would you describe transport within Galway ? Is it easy to get around ?

We live about 30 minutes outside of the city, so public transport is a little limited. We like to say we’re 30mins from everywhere by car (Athlone, Roscommon, Galway, Tuam) so it’s pretty convenient for any of those locations by car. There are local bus services that run into the city four times per day and we’re about a 10min drive from the train station. The nearest village is about 2 KM away, so it’s easy to hop on the bike and grab some caffeine supplies when needed.

How fast/reliable is your home internet connection ?

It’s been great for the last couple of years. I’m lucky that fibre is coming into the house, so you can get upto 1GB fibre connection. I’m currently set at 300Mbps which holds pretty consistently in the 260-300Mbps range.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite locations or attractions within Galway ?

Locally, there are lots of woods, parks, and bogs that are really nice for walking, running and mountain biking (for example Woodlawn House). Galway city would be our go to spot for socializing and the food scene in Galway has come on leaps and bounds in the last 5 years with some really nice wine bars and restaurants. Every trip into the city comes with the mandatory walk along the prom to fill your lungs with some fresh sea air and if I’m with the kids, we’ll spent as much time at the beach as possible which could be anywhere from Traught Beach in Kinvara, or Salthill, or even out to Furbo.

What advice do you have for individuals or families interested in relocating to Galway ?

Go for it! Galway is such a diverse and big county, so there really is something for everyone. There’s a lot of road between Connemara and Ballinasloe. Amenities and infrastructure has improved considerably in the last few years and Galway city is a great place for culture and socializing.

Thank you very much Frank for taking the time to talk with us and thank you for representing Co. Galway as a Rural Ireland Tech Advocate.

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