[clug] [Offtopic] Canberra based employment for kernel hackers?

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Tue Oct 19 17:17:32 GMT 2004

Bob Edwards wrote:

> At the Novell Seminar last Monday there was a strong push by Novell, HP,
> IBM and Oracle to get more Linux (Novell's SLES 9, in particular) into
> Federal Government.

You make a good point here. Employment will grow to match the number of 
customers who need those skills (obvious, right?). Now, consider that 
therefore the number of job adverts is a metric of the success of a 
product. That bit worries me, as there are still a _lot_ more Windows 
jobs being advertised. The metric isn't perfect though -- you might need 
100 mechanics to service 10 BMWs, but only 3 to service Toyotas for some 
reason. That skews my proposed metric.

> An interesting factoid that flew past was that in the past many companies
> apparently baulked at Linux because the cost of hiring suitable
> Sys. Admins. etc. was _higher_ (I almost fell out of my seat). A part of
> the argument for now considering Linux was that Linux Sys. Admins. are
> now about as expensive as Unix/Windoze admins (but you will need fewer of
> them).

Definitely. Windows is aimed at being administered by less skilled 
people (although that was more true in the past). Unices have a 
reputation for requiring skilled people to administer, and you pay more 
for skill.

> This was all a bit curious to me. I had always thought that M$ admins were
> paid a lot more than Linux admins - why else would anyone ever consider
> being a M$ admin? According to these dudes (above) this was not the case.
> (You can tell that I don't believe them).

It pays the mortgage, and it's an easy job to fall into. You also need 
to remember that most people haven't made the moral decision that you 
have, and don't mind using Windows. In fact it's more comfortable 
because it is familiar.

> Either way, I know that I am paid a lot less than most M$ contractors
> floating around town. If I didn't enjoy my job so much, I would probably
> care about that.

Contractor != employee. Divide by at least 2 to get employee rates. I 
would expect a well paid Windows admin in Canberra o be earling $40k - $60k.

> Anyway, looks like the Government might start looking more seriously at
> Linux/Free Software/Open Source Software in the near to medium future. May
> be worth putting in a CV with some of the outsourcing/contracting firms
> around town - they may want to get in early and be ready for the Linux 
> roll-
> out when it comes. Then again, I might be dreaming.
> As for software development, many of the smaller Defence contractors 
> will be
> looking more and more at Linux for their embedded systems work, I would
> think. Might be worth putting in CVs with them as well. CEA in Fyshwick
> might be one worth approaching. There are plenty of others.


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