When I was a kid, my father taught me how to fish. From there, I’ve been learning by myself and I now go fishing on my kayak in Ireland. Kayaking gives me the serenity and freedom to find the beautiful spots ashore. I am able to explore remote, extravagant beaches and finally return home, happy and relaxed.

My name is Jose Miguel Jiménez, I am a Senior Software Architect at Metric Group Ltd, and Software is my passion. I started programming when I was 12, self-learning BASIC Language in an MSX computer. I studied a Software Master’s Degree in Albacete, Spain. I decided to move to Madrid and worked 14 years in Hewlett Packard, designing and implementing Healthcare Solutions.

My second passion is Hardware and IoT (Internet of Things). I played with this technology implementing homemade projects. Due to some difficulties in Madrid, I ended up looking for a job abroad when Metric Group Ltd contacted me. The managers in Metric had high expertise in Software and Hardware, and they took care of and supported employees. As I was looking for new challenges, I decided to accept the opportunity and move my job, home, and country. I work in Transport and Ticketing Solutions in Metric Group Ltd – after five years, I have to say that it was worth taking on this challenge.

Outside of my job, I love fishing. I started fishing in rivers and lakes – I was part of a  fishing club and went to some competitions, but I didn’t enjoy that much as it was stressful; I feel that the essence of fishing is about being relaxed. When I moved to Ireland, I needed to learn how to fish at sea. Ireland is amazing with big fish everywhere – in the summertime, it’s mackerel season and it’s incredible.

I´ll never forget the moment I caught my first fish – I was 8 years old and I was fishing from a homemade raft made from four plastic barrels in the Jucar River, Spain. We used this “boat” to transport goods from one side of the farm to the other. I took my rod, placed the bait in the water, and I felt something pulling on the string – I got my first pike! After that, I caught at least one of these fish every day.

Fishing with my son, 2008

I like to make my own equipment, as I enjoy it a lot when I catch fish with my homemade stuff. I buy local gear as much as I can – however, I purchase some equipment online, like fishing wire, hooks, and basic lures. My favourite lure is the 5 luminous prawns rig – it always works (please keep that a secret …)!

Mackerel is my favourite to fish. But cod and pollock are strong and fight a lot – this is what a fisherman is always looking for. I’ve sometimes caught eels as well. I’m trying to learn how to catch other species, like ray fish and bass.

There are some varied and beautiful spots for fishing in Cork, with many cliffs and secret paths to climb down, relax and enjoy the view. I recently added kayaking as a new hobby – fishing and paddling is the perfect combination. Cork has so many amazing places, like Cobh, Myrtleville, and Monkstown – you will always find me around there.

My most memorable catch was this year – I bought a kayak and on the first day, I caught around two dozen pollock. I kept only two; you can see the photo below.

Behind me is Beatriz, my daughter

I do see similarities between fishing and my current occupation. The concept of “Agile” has become popular in the last few years – this is just the name of iterations of Try->Learn->Do. Fishing is the same – you learn every day, try new things, and focus your efforts to improve.

Fishing has definitely been a benefit to my technological career. For Software Engineering, your mind has to be clear and relaxed – new ideas won’t come if you’re stressed or under pressure. Fishing is a way to clear your mind, think on your own with no interruptions, and decide the next step.

My advice to beginner fishermen is that some basic knowledge is needed to start fishing. Books and videos will help you to learn the basics – from there, get experience and practice. But the most important thing is to enjoy it, take it easy, and have loads of patience. The fish will eventually come.

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