Guest post by Bill Clements, Senior Director of Software Development, YapStone
You don’t have to be a techie to know that Silicon Valley is the technology capital of the world. Between flashy news headlines about entrepreneurial celebrities and primetime TV shows that glorify the startup lifestyle, everyone is generally familiar with the patch of land that gave birth to the technology revolution.
But did you ever wonder how Silicon Valley grew to be the world’s most popular tech haven in the first place?
One might say it was the result of the perfect storm of events, but more accurately, it was a domino effect. The Santa Clara Valley was turning out tech before the 1900s – including the telegraph stationed near the Golden Gate Bridge, which was used to signal the return of the American fleet after the Spanish-American War.
In 1933, the US Navy purchased Moffett Field to maintain the USS Mason, which later became a hub for aeronautics and eventually, NASA’s Ames Research Center. This naturally brought numerous tech professionals to the area.
Around that same time, Stanford University began turning out revolutionary engineering talent and setting up research facilities. Many graduates of the program stayed in the area, created patents and grew companies from out of their garages, like Hewlett + Packard, for example.
Startups cropped up and grew because of the talented technicians in the area. Then, of course, venture capitalists came onto the scene adding fuel to the fire and well, the rest is history.
Silicon Valley Spin-Offs
All over the world, metropolitan cities have created their own Silicon Valley-like tech scenes, turning out innovations that have shaped our world. Austin, Texas, which is where my family and I are from, created the Austin Area Economic Development Foundation to diversify the local economy away from Oil & Gas in the late 1950s. Then in the early 1960s the first major technology companies Tracor and IBM came, and now there are almost 6,000 high tech employers.
Dublin has a similar story.
When the dot-com bubble burst around the year 2000, the IDA enticed budding technology startups like Google, Eventbrite, and Etsy, to take advantage of Dublin’s affordable property near esteemed technology schools. Soon, these companies moved in, creating high paying tech jobs; this naturally increased the cost of living in the city.
Now, employees that wanted more reasonable mortgages had to commute in from elsewhere. This has been the state of Ireland’s “Silicon Docks” for the last few years and is precisely the reason why Drogheda is primed for an explosion of technology.
Extending Silicon Docks to Drogheda
48 kilometers North of Dublin, Drogheda has significantly more affordable housing – which is one of the many reasons why YapStone chose to become one of the first tech companies to open in the area.
The tech talent in Dublin has an easy, reverse commute to Drogheda or can relocate to Drogheda where housing costs are less expensive. Drogheda is also about 40 minutes South of Belfast where there is a strong technology community and the currently open border between North Ireland and Ireland gives Drogheda tech companies yet another great tech community to access.
At YapStone, we are very aware that establishing ourselves in Drogheda will start another domino effect and that tech history will repeat itself.
As the stories of Austin and Dublin have pointed out, all Silicon Valley clones go through two cycles. First, a tech community is established near a college or tech companies that are committed to development, these become training grounds for the workforce. Then over the years, talent becomes seasoned at established companies and eventually takes that knowledge to start new companies in the area.
Drogheda will be no different.
The tremendous tech talent in Drogheda will find more opportunities to work with nimble technology companies, like YapStone, that are at the forefront of innovation. These technologists will be able to perfect their crafts with the most desired skill sets, such as the development of micro-services and cloud deployment.
Having these tools at their disposal will cause Drogheda-based technologists to join an elite talent pool and they will be the pioneers of the next Irish tech revolution.
YapStone is making a significant investment over the next five years to hire and develop a leading-edge team of technology professionals at its Drogheda Office. Our mission is to tap Irish talent to create the best technology and create world-class engineers along the way. If you’d like to join us, please take a look at our available tech jobs. We look forward to building something great with you!