Tech expert urges Northern Ireland workers to throw hats in ring for Dublin jobs
A Belfast tech expert taking up a top post at multibillion-dollar payments giant Stripe has said he hopes Northern Ireland's IT workers will be in the running for dozens of new jobs with the firm in Dublin.
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David Singleton moved from Google to take on the role as head of engineering at Stripe.
The company was founded by Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison in 2010, and is based in San Francisco.
Now it's setting up a new engineering base in Dublin.
Mr Singleton, who attended Methodist College in Belfast, taught himself coding at the age of 14 in order to help his family business.
And as part of his hugely successful career, he spent 11 years at Google, one of the world's biggest firms.
At Stripe, he's responsible for the company's global engineering efforts across its payments infrastructure.
The firm employs 1,000 worldwide, across nine offices. But the Dublin office is its first engineering hub outside the US.
"I think these will be fantastic jobs at the heart of Stripe, and with the great talent in the workforce in Northern Ireland, with Queen's University and Ulster University, there is great opportunity," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"We are really excited about moving more of Stripe back to Ireland. We are launching our first international engineering hub outside of the US."
The firm already has its European headquarters in Dublin, with around 100 staff.
"It means a lot to bring the very core of Stripe back to Ireland," said Mr Singleton.
Stripe's customers include Intercom, Deliveroo and Slack. But Mr Singleton said smaller Northern Ireland businesses, such as Ferguson Flowers in Belfast, were also using the system.
He said, after receiving "tremendous" support during his school days when teaching himself programming, that he would like to see more investment in teaching children about it during their time at school.
"I was born and grew up in Belfast and went to Methody. It was while I was at secondary school in Northern Ireland that I got into computing," he added.
"I taught myself to program when I was 14. I started to find ways to use computer programming to help my parents with their small business.
"I am keen to see more investment in teaching people how to create and achieve things at that age. Programming is an incredibly creative pursuit.
"I'm also excited that there are some great technology companies in Belfast using Stripe."
Speaking about the main Stripe business, he explained: "Stripe is a technology company. We build economic infrastructure for the internet.
"We have a product that enables anyone who wants to start a business to start using payments and accepting payments.
"It's very flexible for small businesses. We have a very powerful product which grows with your business, without a lot of work, allowing you to do work across countries."
Last year, Stripe founders the Collison brothers launched a new magazine to help provide insider tips from some of Silicon Valley's most successful entrepreneurs.