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The Big Tech Show: Are tech graduates who earn six figure salaries making Dublin a boring city?


Last month, Stripe co-founder John Collison told me something I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to.

“A starting salary in some software engineering jobs is more than €100,000,” he said.

“I don't think this has leaked its way out into the popular consciousness here… There’s a career conservatism in Ireland.”

Indeed. This week, the Big Tech Show decided to tease this out. Are software and tech graduates the new mega rich class? If so, what wider effects on society are we starting to see from this? Will conservative, middle-class parents now say things like ‘help! My daughter, the software engineer, is drowning?’

And what are the effects on things like rents and house prices? If the premium rental residential areas in Dublin start filling up mostly with engineers and other tech graduates, do we risk creating the type of bland, homogenised cultural atmosphere that has made cities such as San Francisco into the boring, vanilla-flavoured metropolitan areas?

Joining me, Adrian Weckler, to discuss all of this is Stephen Kinsella, the newly-tenured professor of economics at the University of Limerick and that institution’s director of Immersive Software Engineering.

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