While I continue to reflect on possibilities for long-term career direction, I also need to find small jobs or projects to work on to provide an income. I have reactivated my ABN and am open to suitable contract work. I don’t know exactly what ratio of technical to non-technical work will sustain me in the long term, but I have a variety of skills that I can offer for short-term work.
I’m finally finding some time to reflect briefly on DrupalCon Sydney, which ended a week ago. This was my first DrupalCon, and the first DrupalCon to be held in the southern hemisphere. It was described as a ‘floating’ DrupalCon (in addition to the two regular northern hemisphere ones); the next big Drupal event in the southern hemisphere will be a return to Wellington, New Zealand, for DrupalSouth. I have fond memories of DrupalSouth Wellington 2010; it’s where I gained a lot of encouragement in developing my Drupal skills, and where I started making connections with key contributors to Drupal outside of Australia.
In my most recent talk on humanities computing, one of the issues that I raised, and that others asked about, was how humanities computing projects are evaluated in a way that can contribute to career advancement, especially for those of us who do not hold traditional research positions but are some kind of hybrid developer/research assistant. The time that I spend developing a database and website (what our end-users see) is time that I don’t spend writing scholarly articles (which would be better for my career).
One of the goals of the Founders and Survivors project (the one that concerns me the most) is to compile and publish data about the Van Diemen’s Land convicts from a variety of sources, and make links or cross-reference between records from different sources that relate to the same individual (or, potentially, the same family). Our sources include convict indents carried on the convict ships, conduct records, police gazettes, and registers of births, deaths and marriages.
I am still buzzing one week after my happiest linux.conf.au ever, which was followed by the immensely rewarding DrupalSouth; but I go back to work tomorrow, and while I’ll be putting the fruits of the previous weeks to good use, this may be my last chance in a while to reflect on the highlights of the conferences and what they indicate to me about the current state of the free software community.