[Linux-aus] Funding a real job database

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Mon Feb 17 14:55:01 UTC 2003

On Monday 17 February 2003 12:49 pm, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Leon Brooks">
>> Put it this way: would the Department of Premier and Cabinet be keen on
>> hiring somebody from perkypants.org? Even cyberknights.com.au is a
>> luck-pushing name in this kind of field. Yet in terms of getting things
>> done, the president of SLUG and `worse-half'-of-LA-Prez must be at least
>> a reasonable choice.

> Sure, I grok, but I would strongly suggest that these issues should be of
> little to no importance to Linux Australia. :-)

> If someone wants to start a consultants coalition or whatever [1], then to
> Linux Australia, they ought to be on exactly the same playing field as any
> other vendor. LA can be there to say "Sure, we have support and vendors
> here in Australia, never fear", and that's a huge win in itself.

> [1] Which I've been interested in for some time, but there's never quite
> enough time amongst everything else to do it... The curse of small
> business.

That's a bit part of what SLPWA is aimed at. SLPWA wants to relate to LA. 
SLPWA is happy to do consultant-matching under LA's banner and/or throw 
working code and database contents at LA for the purpose.

LA doesn't necessarily want to get tied up in the details of the mechanism, 
but I strongly suggest back that since LA and SLPWA/LinuxConsultants appear 
to be doing exactly the same thing in slightly different ways with their 
people/job databases we should at least start by joining forces for that 
activity, and probably also consider expanding on it. SLPWA has expressed 
willingness (and have a Committee meeting today, too, an appropriate time to 
present issues for solution).

A consultant's political position is often quite distinct from that of a 
vendor (although there is also overlap, case in point being LinuxIT), 
likewise a job-seeker is chasing different politics to either. However, one 
service that all would benefit from is a one-stop clearing-house for work 
(including, of course, sales).

A consultant-only organisation also doesn't have the infrastructure behind it 
to take on sizeable chunks of work, particularly work which involves supy, 
thereby invading vendor territory.

In WA, at least, the Gummint is being seen to take steps which allow work to 
be broken down into bite-sized chunks to facilitate participation by small 
local businesses. An organisation facing this work basically needs to be 
collectively weighty enough to take on an entire large contract for a very 
simple reason: nobody is going to go for acquiring a solution that involves, 
say, 70% WinXP supplied by a conventional bidder and 30% Linux workstations 
supplied by SLPWA (or whoever) spread across several departments.

SLPWA could conceptually expand to provide such a rendezvous service 
Australia-wide, but I don't think that's a good idea, and would much prefer 
to see an LA-coordinated network of SLPWA-like organisations. Not sure which 
hat(s) I'm wearing, if any, when I make that pronouncement. If the 
arrangement were to be so, it would make sense for LA to be the visible 
interface, hosting (at least the domain of) a people/work/contract router, 
and routing enquiries pitched at a state level and below to individual State 
organisations, where such exist.

Of course, homogeneity is too much to hope for. As CLUG is different in 
structure to most of the other LUGs, so OSV is different in both intent and 
organisation to SLPWA. AFAIK, nothing concrete exists in 3x-our-population 
NSW at all.

WRT expanding the rendezvous service and making it `serious', Jeff, your 
keep-it-light approach is fine, given one important qualifier. There must be 
an entity - be it suited corporation or tee-shirted grassroots organisation - 
which both has Linux at heart and can be taken seriously as a 
people/work/contract-router by government and larger businesses. I stringly 
suspect that LA want to wear that hat as part of being a central, one-stop, 
well-organised but non-dictatorial point of contact for Linux in Australia, 
even if the actual rendezvous service is run by a corporation.

My agitating towards having the service run by a real paid person or people 
is, I hope, a reasonable compromise that will be light enough to preserve the 
Linux ethos (fuzzy though that is) but weighty and competent enough to be 
tken seriously by the appropriate suits.

We also happen to have at least one suitable person (I could probably dredge 
up 3 or 4 with a bit of effort) to hand at the moment. Carpe diem?

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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