The following is a guest post from Miles Kane, Director of EMEA for @smartbear. Follow his journey in Ireland here.
We are officially past the incredible spell of September weather and into October. I woke up this morning to thunder, lighting, and a flood watch for Galway City. No matter what we are dealt over the next few months it won’t change the fact that the last six weeks have been absolutely gorgeous. Stunning weather for the beginning of fall in the west of Ireland.
Here are a few updates on what we’ve been up to in Galway over the last month or so. I hope you and yours are enjoying the fall season, no matter where you are in the world.
A highlight of last month, and really my entire time in Ireland thus far was having lunch with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. I was fortunate enough to be invited by the IDA and NUI-Galway to help welcome the Mayor back to his parent’s hometown. Both from Connemara, about an hour outside Galway, Walsh’s parents immigrated separately to the States in the 1950s before meeting in the dance halls of Dorchester and getting married in Boston. Mayor Walsh was back in town to visit family and friends as well as take the opportunity to promote and discuss ways that Boston and Galway can collaborate more in today’s global tech economy. When asked what’s the biggest difference of coming back to Galway now as Mayor compared to the years coming over to visit family, the Mayor replied “It seems I have even more cousins now than I ever remember. Oh and people seem to want to take more pictures with me.” He also spent time with a group of BC college students who are on a semester abroad trip at NUIG. Unofficially dubbed “Galway’s Son” he couldn’t have been nicer and more engaging. I look forward to following his progress as the new leader of Boston over the next generation.
At SmartBear EMEA HQ we are pressing forward towards some aggressive Q4 growth targets after finishing up our first quarter together as a team. Summer holiday season is officially over and our expanding customer base has joined us on the mad dash towards yearend.
Amongst our growing team I am fascinated on a daily basis by an unintended dynamic. Something I didn’t foresee when hiring our first group was the unique cultural differences/rivalries between the different parts of Ireland. Of our current roster of 12 we list the following as birthplaces across the island: Galway (x4), Belfast, Mayo, and Limerick (in addition to Moscow, London, Stillwater, Glasgow, and Bangalore). Suffice it to say we are truly an international sales team, and there is a fair bit of “slagging” that goes on between the lads from Galway/Limerick/Mayo. Being a Minnesotan who survived six years in a Boston office, I can relate.
Those of us “blow ins” have also been getting a crash course in the finer points of the Irish vernacular. Some of my recent favorites:
Yer man – direct translation would be “that guy”. Example: “Do you see yer man over there, he was quite pissed.” I was thoroughly confused the first few times I heard it used in a sentence, and now catch myself using it frequently.
G’won (go on) – best translation would be “step up” or “all you” in American slang. Used frequently went attempting to coax someone into a bet or a dare.
Fair play to you – meaning well done, or nice work. Example: When one of my reps closes a deal with a difficult customer, it would be common to here a teammate shout, “eh fair play to you on that deal lad.”
Played a blinder of a game – American version would be “crushed it.” Saw this in an email today describing our new sales engineer’s first external presentation in front of 100+ software testers in Spain. Google told me he did well!
Bye, bye, bye – quite simply, Irish don’t just say goodbye to finish a phone call. They say it a minimum of three times, and aren’t afraid to go for five or six if the situation calls for it.
Lastly, here is your weekly dose of why Galway is one of the most incredible places on earth, shot during the International Oyster Festival last month by local filmmaker Hugh Sweeney. In case you were wondering, the offices of SmartBear are a two minute walk from where this video was shot. We are living the good life on Ireland’s west coast.