Web development work in Sydney: where to go ... what to know?
November 4, 2010 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Web development work in Sydney: where to go ... what to know? I'm a web developer, and might be getting laid off from my corporate job in Sydney next year. So, two questions really:
  • What's the best way to find work? Which agencies are the best? Which websites?
  • I have a bit of lead-time, and I should probably be thinking about brushing up on my skills: I've spent a lot of time working on idiosyncratic in-house CMS and maintenance tools which would make you splutter if you saw them. So ... Drupal? JSP? Front-end stuff like JQuery/AJAX? What are the technologies in demand?
More background on my situation inside.

Further details:

Moving isn't an option, I have a family and mortgage situation which means I can't, for instance, move to Melbourne.

For that reason, however, I'd probably be happier with non-profit/public sector/academic type work which didn't pay the big bucks than with a high-flying buzzword-rich job which might fall out from under me in six months.

As a programmer, I am strongest in Perl, and have built whole database-backed sites from scratch, but of course I'm familiar with PHP as well.

I've worked with Drupal, and done extensive customisation, CCK, Views etc. but not to the extent of making a custom module or anything low-level like that.

I'm strong in modern HTML and CSS, and I know Photoshop like the back of my hand, but I'm not a graphic/visual designer.

I have a lot of recent experience with XML/XSLT.

I've got a lot of experience teaching and doing in-house training.
posted by AmbroseChapel to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you have XSLT experience, have you tried Symphony CMS? Seems like a good fit for someone like you with a technical background, and it's made in Australia.

Also in an academic or non-profit job you have more comfortable timelines, so the planning approach enforced by something like Symphony might really fit well.

Can't say much about the Sydney job scene though :-) Good luck.
posted by circular at 4:20 PM on November 4, 2010

Response by poster: Cheers circular, I'll check into it.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:27 PM on November 4, 2010

If Sydney software jobs are anything like California, getting a job is much easier if you already have one, so I'd suggest job hunting as a top priority over getting more skills. (Which is not to say you shouldn't learn more, of course.)
posted by anadem at 6:01 PM on November 4, 2010

Your skillset looks really good, to be honest. If you are at all experienced with PHP and have decent communication skills, you won't be out of work long. We interviewed a good PHP dev six weeks ago and the first question I asked was, "Why is he out of work?" (Turns out he just got off the plane from the U.S. Score!)

Are you on LinkedIn? It's suddenly become ubiquitous in the Australian I.T. industry these days. I've had recruiters email me about of the blue from there, even though I'm not looking. Might be a good idea to get yourself on there if you're not already. If you're already there, polish your profile and ask colleagues for some recommendations.

I work for a Sydney company that's always looking for talented developers, and I have friends in other companies in the industry too. Feel free to pass on your CV if/when the need arises. (Email's in my profile.)
posted by web-goddess at 11:16 PM on November 4, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks web-goddess, I'll contact you in the week.

I'm realising now there's a question lurking in my original post -- does anyone actually use recruitment agencies any more? Or is it all on the internet now?

That is, does anyone still walk in to a physical location and have a real person talk to them about their skills, give them tests and so on? Or is it all done by filling in forms and uploading résumés to a website?

It's been a long time since I looked for a job!
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:57 PM on November 5, 2010

When I last looked for a web dev job (would've been early 2008), it was all online. I just went to Seek and sent my CV to all the jobs that looked promising. That will get you on the books with the recruiters. They won't have any tests themselves to give you, but you may have to take some depending on the roles they put you forward for.
posted by web-goddess at 8:30 PM on November 6, 2010

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