This essentially prevents any person that owns older property from doing any upgrades, or major repairs at all, because the massive cost of upgrading the entire house at once is completely out of reach for most people. this leads to urban decay and property abandonment on a massive scale.
with the recent push by parties such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google to have registered developer programs complete with code signing, be very wary of industry wide pushes to introduce a similar thing for programmers. The IEEE has attempted to introduce the idea for years. you can be sure that soon after introduction laws forcing accreditation for many types of positions would shortly follow, as would subsequent rises in membership fees and requirements.
Not to mention the threat of only a certified developer being able to legally write code at all. this situation already exists in many engineering disciplines. with things like secure boot and locked bootloaders and signed code, it is almost a technical triviality.
want to know how general purpose computing will be killed? it will be via initiatives such as this.
This is patently false
> this leads to urban decay and property abandonment on a massive scale
Australia does not have property abandonment nor urban decay on a massive scale. Go to Detroit to witness such things.
[ http://blog.id.com.au/2012/australian-census-2011/the-where-... ]
And there is certainly urban decay all over the city I live in (Perth).
Also, building codes are local government, aren't they? So it depends on what council you are in. And I've certainly heard some bad stories.
Huge real estate boom fizzled at the end of '09 / early 2010.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! A property boom has wrecked several countries. Australia could be hit by that.
2. New buildings are unoccupied, sometimes for months.
A more useful measure is rental vacancy rates. The Australian average is 2.3%, which is pretty close to "none" in practical terms.
According to the following Melbourne has a 5.9% vacancy rate. They use water usage data from the water companies for their analysis. (<50L/day = vacant property)
REIV vacancy rate is (unleased property on the books) / (property on the books).
It's always going to be an under-estimate of true vacancy due to properties that are empty full time and those that are privately managed and temporarily vacant.
> While dwellings are vacant for a number of reasons they are primarily associated with holiday areas
[ http://australianpropertyforum.com/blog/main/3204321 ]
As someone who does live in the inner-city of Sydney and pay $3100USD/month for a shoebox. I would be incredulous if there were a large amount of vacancies beyond normal turnover.
There are usually bidding wars for property sales (most inner-city properties are sold by auction) and dozens of applications for rentals.
Suburbanization tied with ridgid regulations that make property development or improvement extremely costly lead to a downward spiral in property values, which means of obtaining loans insurance or other guarantees becomes nearly impossible, meaning even less redevelopment, more decay, and more crime, accelerating further suburbanization.
this feedback loop decimate inner cities.
I take it you haven't been to Perth lately?
Right. Hence why I said "one cause".
That's what the various bodies would like you to think, as making things black and white makes their life easier, and keeps them friendly with the various trade organisations.
I gather it is now legal for a professional electrical engineer to do their own wiring in Queensland, just they can't do it for third parties. By my reading, it is also generally okay for anyone to work on an "extra low voltage circuit", meaning less than 50Vac or 120Vdc. At the same time, the various energy authorities will claim it is illegal to install your own solar panels, and their publicity material says you can't do any wiring. The actual law seems to say you can DIY, just that you would need an electrician to connect the 240Vac side of an inverter to the main.
Workcover applies an additional layer of regulation in industrial situations. There also seems to be a requirement for an electrician to do solar work to qualify for various green rebates, despite the electricity regulations saying its okay.
And contract electricians cost upwards of $80/hour, making replacing a light fitting prohibitively expensive.
I'm surprised that a keen DIYer hasn't tried using a 3-phase 32A plug to plug their house into the mains, and claim the entire house is an appliance.
My gut feeling is that the law doesn't really achieve much, past a level of discouragement via FUD, since it's pretty well unenforceable. Electricians are supposed to write out "compliance certificates" for any work done, but I gather an awful lot don't. Even then, unless the work impacts the external connection, the only copy of the certificate resides with the home owner. I imagine an awful lot of people file it under the sofa, or in the garbage bin. As far as I know, there is no central record of a house's wiring configuration. Practically, the only way of telling that a job wasn't done by an electrician is that the job is really bad (and dangerous), or of a standard that significantly exceeds that achieved by a typical electrician.
Having studied abroad (Ireland), I was required to send in all of my exam results for my B.Sc, H.Dip & M.Sc. as well as a reference from each employer that I worked with in my field (Software Engineering).
For the visa I was applying for at the time it required that I was certified by the ACS, have a minimum of 5 years experience.
The process took 6 months for a single sheet of paper saying I was qualified for my profession! Due to this, my visa was submitted quite a while later than I initially planned and that took a further 12 months. 18 months all up waiting for my residency.
They took $600 for what was an open and shut case. They never contacted any of my references or colleges enquiring about my past experience or grades. The whole thing is a complete sham and is just another way of grabbing money off those who need visas.
The entire visa system in Australia is in bad need of restructuring and left a very sour taste in my mouth.
10 minutes later you have a Visa good for three years. Normally one expects lots of bureaucracy when dealing with the government, but the US/Canada have really streamlined their NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) down to next-to-no hoops to jump through.
Regardless of what they say, you always calmly reply with the following mantra, "My period of employment is for a period of up to 3 years [note: used to be one year]", at which point my plan is to return home to Canada.
Every statement you make with immigration must be some variant of that, and you must never, ever, suggest that there is the slightest thought/plan of staying past your limited visa, even if you plan to do that by re-applying.
With the exception of the first couple years (where I was rejected twice), I've never had to spend more than 10 minutes at immigration. I will admit the confrontational attitude does get your heart racing...
"You will place the interests of the public above those of business, personal, or sectional interests".
Also, I am potentially doing this through my current employer rather than as a skilled independent migrant.
Edit: I'm from London
OTOH the independent visa gets you much better terms than the sponsored one. The sponsored one contains a provision stating you must leave the country if you're unemployed for a month (IIRC). BUT you will need to prove more experience than you currently have to get the independent PR visa. If you have the BSc it knocks a few years off the experience requirements.
I found the australian immigration website and a web community called PomsInOz very helpful for these things.
You would have issues getting a different visa than the 457 though, they require 5 years experience if you do PR by yourself.
Does the 457 visa mean that there is no requirement to meet the educational requirements for a Software Engineer on the SOL?
Effectively, my lack of BSc won't stop me if I can get on a 457?
The 457 requires you "have skills, qualifications, experience and an employment background which match those required for the position". I never finished uni and got a 457 in 2008 (I'm Swedish). I did have ~10 years of experience though.
The Department of Immigration have lots of information on their site, http://www.immi.gov.au/.
I'm trying to figure out if they will accept me being sponsored by my employer with my 2.5 - 3 years experience and DipHE... basically, will they take me despite my lack of BSc?
Australia is very restrictive on immigration because so many people want to go there. I'm not really sure why they would restructure the system when this is the case, they have a relatively small population and extend a variety of state benefits to immigrants, so they don't want to be swamped.
It's all about keeping one type of immigrants out.
- moved all over the world
- applied for a visa while inside the country in question
- some expectation that having an employer vouch for him means anything
- most of his trouble with getting a COC out of Singapore
As I state at the end of the post, I'm quite well placed to deal with all this and thus personally find it mostly rather comical. However, dealing with this as eg. a refugee fleeing war or persecution is another kettle of fish, and the sheer rigidity of the system means that plenty of people fall through the cracks: a friend of mine recently had to leave the country after 10 years (!) of legal residence and entrepreneurship because his self-employment didn't fit squarely into Immigration's boxes.
Singapore is a business, not really a country, they want as many immigrants as possible. They have a stated aim to use immigration to massively increase the population. This is not the same situation as Australia at all.
And refugees don't have to apply for skilled visas, they come under other rules.
Good luck with your visa, but don't assume that everyone finds the system as hard as you seem to be.
I don't even live there any more so it doesn't affect me directly.
How Oz treats refugees is a subject of much debate, I was trying to say it's quite a separate issue from this one.
Yes, the processing fees are enormous, especially considering you don't get it back if you fail.
Secondly, it's telling that we have yet to see a response from ACS on this page. Speaks volumes.
 http://www.immigration.govt.nz/pointsindicator/ follow for Absolute Skills Shortage and Future Growth Areas.
Assessed by ... the ACS.
I don't know if that's a genuine phenomenon or whether it's just a third-hand mutation of some shock jock talking point.
It will get you here -- it wont get you PR/Citizenship/Centrelink anymore. ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&obj... )
http://jobs.geekzone.co.nz/Jobs - You may find some more fun jobs here
Looking at user groups in NZ might yield you something too
They gave me a post-nominal: CT.
If I want the next grade up -- CP -- I will need to take thousands of dollars of synergising-outside-the-box courses.
Basically the ACS isn't really for software engineers. It's for middle management.
I won't be renewing.
(I might renew my ACM/IEEE memberships).
I'm not sure if (Insert nationality here) Computer Societies are as irrelevant in other countries, but in Australia I'm pretty sure it serves no useful role other than in immigration.
So, if that's the case, they have no basis for qualification to determine the merit of an IT skills based residency application.
A self-proclaimed peak body.
But that too has turned out to be bit of a farce. The real value is in their digital libraries and it is amazing how carefully they segment it to make it hard to get access to anything useful without paying frankly stupid amounts of money.
Out of all the people I know working professionally in dev/IT I don't think any of them are now BCS members.
I haven't heard of employers asking for it either.
I did consider membership at one point, and attended a few events, and judging from the people there it seems like they might have a little bit of relevance in pockets of the consultancy industry etc., but otherwise there doesn't seem to be much value in joining. There are some good special interest groups, and affiliated organisations (e.g. ACCU is great if you do much C/C++ stuff), but most of those are open to people who are not BCS members anyway.
I wouldn't ever ask for BCS membership from candidates because I know my own experience, and know the hassle I'd still have to go through to get membership just in order to certify a very basic level of knowledge, so I know I'd exclude a huge proportion of good candidates without getting an assurance that they were fit for the job, and would still have to go through most of the same interview process anyway.
I (Comp Sci B.Sc.) never bothered for many of the above reasons, and I can find better things to spend £100 a year on, but I have bothered with IMA (ima.org.uk) membership after finishing my Maths B.A. because the IMA's magazine is actually quite interesting (and it's only £48 a year).
There is a role I think, for software developers to organise in some form, to accredit training courses and represent the profession/craft/trade to government.
It seems these old style Computer Societies aren't up to the job and prefer to act as gatekeepers.
In software it is just not needed, especially since a lot of the people I have worked with have other degrees outside the areas of electrical/electronic engineering and computer science.
I'm a Network Engineer and find membership worth while, if only for the mailing list.
I also didn't renew after I realised what a joke the ACS really was.
It wasn't cheap either. I remember the fee to be around $700 per year. That was in 2002. And for a graduate, I would rather spend that $700 for something with a better ROI, like rent or food on the table.
It is in the universities interests to advertise that their IT degrees include ACS accreditation (despite no Australian IT employers I know of giving a damn about it) and it is in the interest of ACS for the university to keep paying the exorbitant fees. If anything, I feel that ACS accrediation is detrimental to the students as it requires the university to include such useful courses as "Ethics for the IT Professional" in their degrees. While being ethical is obviously important to any professional, this is time that could be spent learning real skills instead.
While I can understand that a professional body would want to ensure that people acted ethically and in good faith, I would think that it would be wiser to ensure that people graduating from technical, engineering related, and detail oriented degrees were just that. That way having an ACS seal of approval on a degree would carry some sort of weight towards the technical quality of the person, and hence would actually mean something.
Maybe it's the spaces and people I work with, but no one that I have worked with is actually a member of the ACS, despite being in industry for almost a decade.
They need to show that there's some Code that could be made enforceable by legislation. It's part of the bigger plan to lever the ACS into the same role that the law societies or the AMA enjoy.
I also just looked at the website, and all of the membership levels look like rankings in a guild system to me. Spend your time, pay more money, rise in ranks. Protectionism at its finest, and even though I'm heavily a software developer, I'm still against this burden.
Basically software liability is just rolled up into the relevant market. Writing facebook games? It doesn't really matter to society if you get it a bit wrong. Writing pacemaker software? Then you're governed by medical device regulations.
Software's application to problems are so varied, so wide, that it's insensible to apply a single liability scheme to it.
The wide range of software that can be written precludes a standard measure of risk and liability, hence it eliminates the need for an (software) industry wide accreditation body.
Plus I've always found smaller more local meetups to be a better way of interacting with a specific development community.
It seems the lower down the qualification chain you go, the more importance is placed on giving you fancy certificates. ACS membership is one of those things.
Of the basic form:
"Here is the Code. Read it some time."
A few years ago the ACS geared up to join some sort of peak body for professions. They took the view that they should represent all software professionals of any kind.
Then Engineers Australia put in a competing claim for jurisdiction over software engineers. The scoundrels.
I remember this because I was a student member at the time (hey, free BBQs) and they sent a sob story email to all their members about it.
Basically everybody is pissing on everybody's curtains.
No IT employer in Australia that I've communicated with has ever mentioned the ACS in regards to qualifications, not once -- I would be surprised if any even know it exists, unless they have worked with sponsoring skilled worker visas.
No IT employer in Australia that I've communicated with has ever mentioned the
ACS in regards to qualifications, not once -- I would be surprised if any even
know it exists
It says a lot if you prefer to tell us you're an ACS member rather than that you write code for fun at home.
And this is only the first step to apply for an 'invitation to apply' for a visa.
What are my job prospects as a US software developer seeking to emigrate to Australia? How often do Australian companies sponsor visas for overseas workers?
Frankly, assuming you have the right to live in the US, you are much better off staying in the US if you want to maximize your opportunities as a software developer vs. moving to Australia.
I say this as a Canadian who worked as a software developer in Southern California for 4.5 years but moved to Australia two years ago, largely to escape the restrictions of US work visas and try my hand at doing my own startups.
Sydney and Melbourne are the only two cities in Australia with sizable markets for software developers. Compare that to multiple regions in the US with large software industries (SV, SoCal, Texas, Research Triangle, NYC).
There are very few pure technology companies in Australia so the vast majority of software development is in-house development for banks, insurance companies etc. Australian companies also tend to be relatively conservative in terms of technology platforms so PHP, .NET and Java are the norm vs. Python or Ruby.
Certainly there are very talented and capable software developers in Australia, but the software industry is so small and under-valued (compared to e.g. mining or real-estate development) that there's very little opportunity to advance professionally.
Check out http://www.seek.com.au/ to get a feel for what jobs are on offer.
http://www.realestate.com.au/ is also interesting to get a feel for the eye-popping prices that Australians pay for housing. (I rent.)
It's a shame that there isn't a well-defined exchange program between countries like the US and AU. In all other aspects I meet the visa criteria head-on, yet the fact that I don't have a degree will slow me down by 2-3 years.
As for your job prospects, they're excellent in Melbourne or Sydney, and good to fair elsewhere.
 I had to log in to their account management system, which involved finding a randomly generated username and password that had never been sent to me.
What sort of events do they promote? Curious.
Edit: oh, but only if there was a piracy commissioner...
Anyway, the fact that Matt is complaining about fees and then is happy to be associated with the Singularity University that chargs $25k for a course (http://apply2013.singularityu.org/res/p/faq/) makes me wonder if hes just mad that they cant compete with courses provided by organizations such as TAFE.
In general, this all makes me mad. Matt just seems very outspoken and is giving Australia a bad rep in general.
It's a bit unpleasant reading these articles (Barrie's and the original by Harper) now, as I currently work for Bigcommerce, and turned down an offer from Freelancer. Ironically, Freelancer offerred me about 40% less salary because at the time I had a theoretical background and almost zero practical experience.
Morons still get in. There's no accreditation in the whole world that says "This guy or girl is not a moron."
One gave up, the other went to New Zealand.
The ACS just issued a media release:
Delimiter has posted an article as well:
I find it humorous that the ACS's response is "the ACS Foundation has nothing do to with the ACS". It just happens to be an organisation they set up and uses their name that their members promote.
Some interesting emails came in overnight:
"The ACS is run by a whole bunch of accountants and lawyers who can't believe their luck that people associate them with the technology industry"
"You’re right that the ACS has to go.
Back in 2001 I contacted the ACS to discuss some policy things and was horrified to discover the “experts” I was talking to were nothing more than accountants. Later they elected a lawyer as president, and then a recruiter, prompting me to publicly condemn the ACS as a fake during the period 2004 – 2006.
The ACS is actually an anti-professional organisation. Their agenda is not to promote computer science or engineering expertise, but rather to allow pretenders to hide in the generic vagueness of “ICT Professional.” They actually work to devalue real expertise, since engineers and computer scientists pose a threat to accountants, MBAs and lawyers who want to claim membership of the technology professsions.
I think the solution has to be a formal inquiry into regulation of the IT professions, with a view to government stepping in and, as you put it, disbanding the ACS. At the moment, the ACS has insinuated itself too strongly into formal regulation. Simply starting a rival organisation for software engineers, say, would not work. Government has to dissolve existing ACS influence and leave the way open for new specialist organisations."
The entire membership seems to be guys who built a homebrew PC in the 70s and haven't showered since, or international students who believe so much in their education they're fooled into believing they need the ACS to rubber stamp their degree.
They're totally irrelevant in today's "but can you write good code?" hiring practice.
The ACS preys on uninformed international students. (Who, in interviews, all seem to want to work for Cisco in five years time! Are they taught this by the ACS?)
The problem is this is the professional body that determines what we teach in universities, that promotes the technology industry as a whole and who decides who we let into the country on a skilled visa.
Which one is the bigger joke?
When I graduated from uni, I looked at the ACS requirements and they were all to support the status quo of the 1960's EDP era. So I wouldn't have been accepted even if I tried. Even though I had the best computer engineering qualifications available at the time.
Over the years the ACS members I have had the misfortune of working with couldn't program their way out of a wet paper bag, not even using COBOL or RPG. Of course, as other comments here indicate, they abided by the Peter Principle and had been promoted to their level of utter dismal incompetence to muddle management.
I believe it also exists to provide a framework around CPD (continuing professional development), but I'm not sure how relevant this is to our industry.
"Temporary Residence Transition stream
If you apply for the Temporary Residence Transition stream, your skills do not need to be assessed because you have already worked for your nominating employer for two years in Australia.
You must have at least vocational English.
This stream is available only to people who hold a subclass 457 visa. People who hold other 400 series visas may qualify to apply for a permanent residence visa through the Direct Entry stream."
However as an employer, I've hired a bunch of people from overseas on a 457 visa and never thought to get them to talk to the ACS. I don't really care if your university degree has been rubber stamped or not. (And if you can write code, I don't really care too much about your degree)
It is because we need to avoid such problems that we need software developers who can develop systems that actually meet their specifications, tested to provide assurance that they do. This is why we need certification of professionals (of their competency, and with expectation that they will behave ethically when there are problems with systems), and why we need accreditation of qualifications that provides external confidence that educational institutions are producing graduates who are of a standard that they can be expected to grow into competent professionals.
Most "developed" countries have schemes aimed at this - imperfect, and certainly needing improvement - and most are managed by professional societies - the organisations comprised of IT professionals who give voluntarily of their time to serve their colleagues and their profession, to no personal benefit.
In Australia this is the case with the ACS, which sees itself as the guardian of professional standards. Hence ACS provides certification of professionals (the CP scheme), and accredits university courses in IT, according to international standards. In both certification and accreditation, ACS serves as the Australian implementor of international standards that are widely accepted throughout the world, and particularly in our Asia-Pacific region. If you are interested, google "IP3" and "Seoul Accord" to find out more.
ACS may be imperfect in that role (this is inevitable), but seeks to improve, continuously, and always aims to respond to identified genuine problems with the ways it conducts its business. In order that the profession of IT should mature, and deliver outcomes acceptable to society at large, ACS has a goal that increasing numbers of professionals should become certified, and believes that ultimately mandatory certification of at very least senior professionals, charged with managing major projects or leading the design of technical solutions, should be established (paralleling other professions, which, over time, have been recognised as being of such critical importance that competence should be certified).
There will always be those who prefer to avoid any kind of regulation or oversight, any kind of distinction that identifies those in whom greater trust can be placed. But the Novopay system in NZ is just the latest example of medium to large systems worldwide, with critical roles in wider society, whose failure illustrates the need for software systems developers to lift their game, and which begs the introduction of quite stringent requirements on senior developers and managers who claim competence to develop such systems.
As the Vice President of ACS charged with oversight of certification and accreditation, I am always keen to have input from wise professionals who believe they can improve the way we conduct our business. If you have considered input, then please contact me so that we may benefit from your wisdom.
Professor Doug Grant FACS CP
ACS Vice President (Membership Boards)
From another angle, and longer explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsWhGBgbUsc
I have never seen something like that in real life, I couldn't believe it.
I'm curious, where in Australia do you live if I may ask?