People of Intel - Roman Zhukov

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  • February 26, 2024

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Roman Zhukov
Software Product Security Lead

​Intel Ireland's campus in Leixlip has a population of thousands - equivalent to a typical Irish town - and filled with a vibrant, diverse and dynamic collection of people. Through the People of Intel series, we share their stories.

Roman Zhukov, 35

Software Product Security Lead


I’ve always had a passion for technology. I wrote my first computer program at the age of 10 and the next year I hacked my school network to get access to the restricted games folder so that me and my friends could play games. So, that was my starting point in cyber security! It’s been a long and exciting journey building my career over the last 15 years and I’ve had multiple roles, but all connected to cyber security. I’m never bored as it is constantly changing. We have a joke in our cybersecurity space that “there is no cloud - just someone else’s computer.” I feel I’m unlikely to ever not be able to find work as more and more companies and governments understand the importance of handling it.

I began working for Intel back home in Russia, and transferred to Ireland in 2022. We’d heard a lot of positive things, especially about the lush greenness of the countryside, and my wife and I wanted to show our kids the world. They are eight and six and so it’s been a lovely adventure for them.

We’re from central Russia, about 400km from Moscow and the landscape is quite flat and industrial. So we have absolutely loved how accessible nature and the sea is here. Back home it would take about four days of driving to see the sea. One of the first things we did when we arrived here was go to sea swimming in Sandymount. Admittedly it was really cold, but we have got used to that now.  We’ve really enjoyed seeing the mountains and we spend most of our weekends hiking and camping.

Here it’s so easy to drive anywhere and everything is so convenient, it’s been really important to give my kids the chance to explore this nature. We’ve wanted to show our children different cultures and have visited half of Europe. My kids had zero English when we arrived but after more than a year they are chatting away to their friends and having lots of playdates and learning and interacting really well.

We didn’t know much about Ireland when we arrived, so I’ve been learning about the history. I was surprised about the opportunities that exist here, and the growing speed of this country, especially the tech sector. We really love the climate too as it doesn’t have the freezing extremes that we have in Russia. The most surprising thing though has been the people. There is an openness and friendliness that has been fantastic. To see the way people help each other, and take care of nature is a huge cultural shift for us and great role modelling behaviour for my kids. We’ve been visiting the seal rescue in Wexford and really admire how committed people are to the country and each other. I didn’t expect that level of respect for each other, and us. Watching the situation in Ukraine unfold and how much the Irish people are helping the refugees has been inspiring. I haven’t faced any animosity and we chat with Ukrainian people and see everyone trying to help each other.

My wife hasn’t started working yet because she wanted to be around for the kids as they settle in, but she’s been building a community, volunteering for the local athletics clubs and local library to help with English lessons for others. It’s felt like a really easy transition actually moving here, and our plan is to spend time here in Ireland as we love it here. We enjoy the lifestyle and the kids enjoy the whole environment and access to sports. We’re thinking carefully about buying a house actually. I’m really fond of sports, especially volleyball. I used to play it professionally but there isn’t a volleyball team at Intel so maybe I’ll start one! But I try to get involved with the community, and give some lectures to school and colleges on amazing technologies that Intel does and, of course, cyber security. When I was speaking to a school in Celbridge recently, I loved their questions. My favourite ones were “when will we finally have the ability to fly with a jet pack?” And “Who will eventually win - the robots or humans?”

I think the future is certainly going to be interesting.

Read more from of our People of Intel series.