A few days ago, I got an e-mail from an Australian university, asking if I was interested in teaching a course. Just for four months. Indeed I am! I’m very interested in lecturing opportunities. But ironically, despite the demand in my skills – there are visa problems. The job is only part-time (40%). So they can’t bring me into the country to work.
I’ve suggested that they allow me to teach two courses. I want to put together an undergraduate Flex/AS3 module. But I suspect that the curriculum is set in stone. This isn’t a slur on Australia. My experience of universities worldwide is that they need to close the gap between what they teach, and what the industry needs.
I lived in Australia for five years. Australians often describe their home as “God’s own country”. A bountiful and beautiful paradise – and they’d be right. I loved the countryside, the sunshine and the health and fitness culture. But for five years it’s as if my life, and career were on pause.
Previously in England, I only had to develop an interest in something, and it was like starting a chain reaction. Opportunities would present themselves. The money would roll in. I’d connect and collaborate with incredibly talented people.
Now I live in Asia, the a chain reactions have started again. Each opportunity triggering new opportunities, contacts, and possibilities. My career is vibrant and exciting again.
But Australia was a void. A pleasant place to live, but my career stagnated. It was in Australia that I realised the potential of the Flash platform and ActionScript. I was a pioneer. Or a hermit in an ivory tower. Before Flex, I was writing serious e-business and consumer RIAs. I set up a company, and struggled to get something off-the-ground by myself. I tried to find people to collaborate with, but real talent was thin on the ground. I tried to get assistance from government incentives. I tried to convey the potential of what I was doing. But Australia just didn’t understand technology, and there was no real strategy. In the end I couldn’t justify a visa to remain in Australia, because Australia just didn’t need people with my skills or experience.
Australia just didn’t need innovators, experienced I.T. professionals, computer programmers or Flex/AS3 professionals. The immigration website publishes a list of in-demand skills. Skills like “hairdressing”, “plumbing”, “panel-beating” and “air conditioning engineer”.
Since then, there’s been a change of government, the list has changed, and they’re crying out for all kinds of I.T. professionals. I’m inundated with e-mail job offers for C++ experts. (Get up-to-date! – I got into C++ 16 years ago! – the world has moved on). But still, I think the Australian I.T. industry outlook is too weak and sluggish to maintain my interest. (All right, Melbourne is vibrant, but it rains a lot).
Yet if the visa problems can be overcome, I’m certainly interested in university lecturing. If that leads to something full-time in academia and/or research, I would be tempted to live in Australia again.
Entry filed under: Education.