Engineering Manager at Proton Technologies AG
One-On-One with Nikita
My name is Nikita and I’m an engineering manager. I studied in Dublin and started my career in management consulting before becoming a software developer. I’ve helped develop products that help people with business intelligence, data visualisation, UX as a Service, billing, and eCommerce. As an engineering manager, I have hired and worked with people located all around the globe, in both co-located and distributed teams.
I’ve always advocated remote and flexible working, so in that context the pandemic has brought about positive change. I’m also deeply passionate about privacy, diversity and inclusion, and mental wellbeing.
Outside of my full time job, I’m a qualified yoga teacher, artist, and photographer.
I’ve lived in Co. Wicklow for 9 months now and I love it! I moved here at a strange time, during the highest level of lockdown, so there are still a lot of restaurants, cafés, and exercise classes I’d like to try.
What attracted you to living and working in Wicklow ?
I had only ever visited Wicklow twice before – I was in Greystones village once, and hiked in Glendalough. Driving into Wicklow from Dublin, I was greeted by the sparkling sea and relaxed, friendly locals.
Six months into working from home full-time in 2020, I moved out of Dublin city centre. The apartment I lived in was clearly not designed for multiple people to work from home in. As my company hadn’t confirmed a return to office policy yet, it was a chance to move somewhere I’ve always wanted to live. My dream has always been to live by the sea; coupled with my fond memories of visiting, I moved here. I was craving nature and a more varied landscape for spending time outdoors, as well as a more suitable environment to work in. I took the bus down to view a room and luckily it was offered to me.
Can you walk us through a day in the life of living in Co. Wicklow ?
I am a fully remote worker, and my company doesn’t have an office in Ireland. On workdays, I get up, get ready, make a spinach and tropical fruit smoothie (ask me for the recipe!), and start working. In the evening, I’ll either go for a walk, do yoga, or do bodyweight exercises before cooking dinner. Then I’m free to read, game, or just relax.
How would you describe transport within Wicklow ? Is it easy to get around ?
There are buses serving the key routes, e.g. into town centres and to and from the DART stations. However for any locations off the main routes, it can be tricky for walkers as footpaths will end and merge into the road. I can’t drive (yet!) so I rely on buses and lifts. Being close to a DART station is very handy for getting into Dublin city centre when needed. There are also Aircoach routes, although they haven’t been active during the pandemic. I am a big proponent of public transport over cars, but due to the infrastructure here, I would advise getting a bike, scooter, or car while living here.
How fast/reliable is your home internet connection ?
It’s fast enough that I never have to think about it! My role is very collaborative so I am on many video calls during the day, and I have not had any issues with them. I am using powerline adapters which I highly recommend for anyone not in the same room as their router. I’m grateful to live in a quiet and scenic place while having a fast connection.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite locations or attractions within Wicklow ?
Glendalough is fantastic for walking and hiking, with a variety of routes to choose from. I love the rocky area around it.
There are plenty of beautiful and easily accessible beaches in Co. Wicklow – apart from Bray Beach (the promenade is lovely!), they are generally never too packed or busy.
Above all I enjoy being able to see the mountains and sea in general, so I’m happy no matter where I am in this county!
What advice do you have for individuals or families interested in relocating to Wicklow ?
If you’re looking for more nature, a quieter pace of life, and easygoing people, you should consider towns such as Bray, Greystones, and Wicklow Town. Dublin is only a DART and/or a couple bus rides away, and commutable by car. I would advise having at least a bike or scooter (electric or non-electric) if you are not living directly within the town centre or close to the DART station. There are lots of sports clubs and good food to be found here as well. Runners, sea swimmers, and hikers will love it here.
Thank you very much Nikita for taking the time to talk with us and thank you for representing Co. Wicklow as a Rural Ireland Tech Advocate.