Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre is situated on the premises of University of Limerick, in County Limerick, south-western Ireland.
The research centre is home to Software Process Quality research group, lead by Dr. Ita Richardson, who have years of experience in the field of global software development. As a recently started Academy funded project is centered on this topic, we saw chance for collaboration. To kick off the collaboration, I stayed at Lero for 2 weeks in November.
From research perspective the stay was very fruitful – we got some concrete plans for approximately the next 6 months on what kind of steps to take and publications to aim for. I also got new perspectives for tool development and how to approach research projects. There were also several meetings arranged with doctoral students, whose topics varied greatly. Always interesting to learn and discuss research on very varied topics!
Apart from getting nice input for work, there was also time for activities in Limerick and its surroundings. A road trip around county Mayo, pub evenings with traditional Irish music and singalong, and a trip to the Cliffs of Moher were among the agenda.
One particularly nice day was the Saturday in the middle of my trip. Science Foundation Ireland has been putting heavy emphasis on outreaching and bringing research to public eye. As a part of their outreach program, Science Week was organized in Limerick, and Saturday was its hight point. There was science busking at the Milk Market (i.e., scientists showing party trick versions of physics phenomena), a science fair at the Hunt Museum (including stands, demos and workshops), and the day ended with Pub Science at the local gastropub – 11 researchers gave 5 minute entertaining speeches of their projects and fields. Software engineering was represented by Ita Richardson, who talked about using software in connected health.
All in all, the visit was two weeks well spent. The people were all very friendly and helpful, the Irish atmosphere relaxed and scenery beautiful, and the Guinness was cheap. The research collaboration will continue for three years, and am looking forward to visiting Limerick again in the future.