27th July 2006:
The one downside with being a contractor is that once a project that you are hired for finishes, it is often the case that your employment contract finishes also :(
So, sadly, we all did too good a job on the last project(!) and it finished on time so I am back looking at the job market. Thankfully, all went well with Bullseye and as I'm leaving with a good reference from an Aussi company, it should should be easier to find the next job down under.
Despite only being two months since the last time that I went through this job hunting procedure, there is a noticeable difference in the job market. The one common phrase that I kept running into from recruiters and fellow contracting buddies regarding the companies looking for new employees was: "they just can't find anybody". It seems there is a major shortage of people with .Net skills in Sydney and I've been quoted between five and fifteen dollars more per hour now than compared with eight weeks ago. Its handy for contractors in the short term but I'd imagine that it will eventually start hurting the job market here if companies have to start offshoring projects to India or somewhere...
I have done eight interviews over the last couple of weeks and the vast majority were very positive with the both the business and technical parts of the interviews going aok. As with the last round two months ago, the technical part of the interviews tended to be VERY technical with real-nitty-gritty questions being posed. They varied from the "here's a pen a paper: implement x, y and z" to the more advanced on-line multiple choice series of questions which adapted itself to zone in on your weaker areas: yuck!
Still, no word yet on if/where I'll be working. So, in the mean time I think I'll embark on a mini-trip. Being winter in this part of the world, it makes sense to try to go skiing while there is snow in the mountains. Relatively close the Sydney are mountains which regularly get snow in winters (they're called the Snowy Mountains, oddly enough(!)): sadly it is just too wet this year and it seems the skiing isn't the best which many of the resorts resorting to artificial snow on otherwise rocky slopes.
With that in mind, I think I'll go for the sun instead. I had looked into going to some South Pacific island chain such as Tahiti, however there are limited flights and all are booked up for the coming couple of weeks :( Still, at the same latitude as Tahiti is the Aussi area of Cairns where the temperature never seems to drop below 25C all year: just what the doctor ordered after the last couple of months of wet Sydney weather.