November 27, 2008 at 6:12 am 1 comment

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.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. re: Australia at calm in the chaos  |  November 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    […] were driven largely by the offence taken (as an Australian) at Daniel Freeman’s post titled Australia. Check out the article, it refers to working in different countries and the opportunity that brings […]


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