I had a chance to spend a week with some of Dublin’s software thought leaders, including two days teaching in a Postgraduate Diploma Program in Product Management offered by the Dublin Institute of Technology and Software Skillnet. In addition, the Irish Software Association generously hosted a workshop and lecture, where we talked about technology management, agile, and building commercially successful products.
While their software community is small (more people live in the San Francisco Bay Area than in all of Ireland), excitement runs high. They’ve labeled themselves the Silicon Republic … I met more than a hundred software professionals sharpening their skills, including a handful of entrepreneurs wrestling their way through early market fit and self-funding. (The agile prodmgmt talk is on Slideshare.)
DIT has the first year-long certificate program I’ve seen in technology product management. It’s part of their broader push to advance from outsourcing and technical support toward indigenous (Irish) companies building software with worldwide commercial appeal.
From that far away, it may seem like we have it all figured out. (Ssh, don’t tell.) Instead, there are facets of the Silicon Valley ecosystem that are just hard to duplicate elsewhere:
- Deep expertise in every possible specialty, from freemiums to UX to data security. Assembling a great team in Dublin is just harder than in Palo Alto.
- Very deep investment resources, including angels and incubators. I’m hoping to chauffeur some of mo chairde nua (my new friends) when they visit Sand Hill Road.
- More veterans of earlier tech wars. It helps to know the drill.
Facing that head-on, DIT and ISA’s Software Skillnet are bringing a range of experts over to share, mentor and connect. A great way to narrow the Pond.