Andry Diaz, Dominican Republic National, Living and Working in Scotland
Hola! I’m Andry and I moved to Scotland to study for my PhD in distributed software systems. I was then lucky enough to find my perfect job here – and my perfect partner!
Software Engineer Andry Diaz left the heat of the Dominican Republic to achieve his academic ambitions in Scotland. He now works for banking software specialist Avaloq in Edinburgh.
Working in Scotland
I’m from the Dominican Republic. I got my degree in engineering there and then studied for my Masters in Jamaica. After that I wanted to do a PhD so I was looking for places where I could work on distributed systems – which I was very interested in - and discovered that Scotland was well-suited to this.
I moved here in 2009 and while I was doing my PhD I met my partner, who is English but was also living here. We’ve since got married and now live in Falkirk, which is halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Working for Avaloq
After completing my PhD, I was delighted to be offered a position with Avaloq as a software engineer. Avaloq is one of the biggest Oracle partners in Europe. Within the company, I'm part of the Localisation Europe team. We work mainly with the tax functionality that is built into the Avaloq Core Platform.
Just recently I’ve been designated the main responsibility for the French Taxes component and have also contributed to the Swiss Final Withholding Taxes and German Taxes codebases.
Avaloq really tries to develop you personally in many different ways, not just on the technical side of things. I’m also part of the recruiting team here and the company is supporting me in learning French. It’s the best job I’ve ever had - I’m surrounded by really bright people who inspire me to be better.
Our office is open-plan, modern and comfortable, with great views of the building’s rooftop garden. There’s also free fruit in the kitchen every day and two big barista machines that make lovely coffee, as well as a pool table and Playstation.
Avaloq has a flexi-time policy so, dependent on the meetings you have scheduled, you can complete your hours as and when you want. It’s great as it gives us freedom to manage our own time. As I like to start early, I’m usually able to leave the office by 4pm so I have plenty of time in the evening to relax. I think I have a great work-life balance.
Living in Scotland
Scotland is a beautiful country, and I love the fact that the Highlands and Islands are so close. We love to visit the Isles of Arran and Islay. I live in the countryside but it’s only a short walk from the train station so it’s an easy commute to the office in Edinburgh. English is also the main language which suits me well.
If anyone else is thinking of moving to Scotland I would absolutely recommend it. The people here are so friendly – Scotland is the place to be!