Jared Porcenaluk works as a lead software engineer with CitySwift, based in Galway’s PorterShed. CitySwift are a company that offers a data engine to power modern bus networks, helping them improve efficiency, increase profitability, and sustain growth. Jared took time out to speak with the PorterShed blog recently about starting up the Galway Tech Meetup, a monthly get-together for those interested in tech.
Jared moved to Galway in June 2021 in the middle of the pandemic with his wife, and now he’s focused on giving back as much as possible to the community, and creating new opportunities in the world of tech. In Orlando, he was deeply involved in the tech community, and following the easing of restrictions, he wanted to help kickstart the Galway meetup world once again.
Jared says that those working in computer science or at a tech company will be in attendance at the Galway Tech Meetup to soak up knowledge, share ideas, and collaborate. But he says that he also hopes to see other people come, too – those who are workinging in a traditional industry, those who are interested in how tech can help them, or those who are not tech-types, but who work with tech companies.
Even those without much, or any, tech experience are welcome to come. For Jared, events like the Galway Tech Meetup are often the torchpaper for all sorts of amazing ideas to ignite – even from those who aren’t in the tech realm.
“I’ve seen it happen before where people are on the outside looking in. They come to meetups, they talk to people, and they get ideas on where to start…then they start doing things, they start doing their own talks, and they start getting paid to be in tech,” he explains.
The first event is set to take place on June 2nd at 6 pm, and a big crowd is expected to come.
Bowling Green will be the location for the inaugural event, and Jared is excited about having so many like-minded people coming together. The physical space itself, he says, is something that will really help his ambitions for the event.
“I am very appreciative that the PorterShed is here and that you guys are willing to lend me some space for an event like this because it’s rainy – and meeting at an event outside probably wouldn’t work. Honestly, for the size of Galway, this space is incredible, and knowing that there’s going to be another new space [in the former Connacht Tribune building] that’s wild, so it just feels like there’s some energy in the tech community, and I’m hoping to get all that energy in one room.”
Ultimately, with the Galway Tech Meetup, Jared is keen to broaden the scope of what tech actually means to people, allowing them to get the most out of their experiences by thinking up new definitions and ways of solving problems.
“I want people to get excited about the possibilities of the future because they are wide open. We can do anything, really, if we put our minds to it. So, I want to foster that here.”
Jared talks about the Galway Tech Meetup as a way for all sorts of disciplines to come together to share ideas, cross-pollinate, and collaborate effectively. He mentions an example of bringing those involved in material science, traditional engineering, and artificial intelligence together in the one space to talk and explore new approaches and paradigms.
After all, Galway is a distinctive city that is full of entrepreneurs, tech experts, and entrepreneurial hustlers. For Jared, Galway is a special place – and there is plenty of room for new ideas to be sown – and the Galway Tech Meetup is an ideal way to complement the pre-existing ecosystem.
“In France, when people make the grapes, and then they make the wine, and they drink the wine, and people say ‘oh, this is from the Merlot region’, and you realise every wine is a little different because of where it’s grown.
“I think Galway is unique in the same sense, and yes there are tech meetups elsewhere, but it doesn’t mean that there can’t be something special here, and something unique, and different. Just because it has the same template doesn’t mean what fits inside is not unique.”
By Trevor Murray