One of my favourite things…Podcasts. Whats not to love, right?

27 Aug

99 percent (plus 1) certain…

99 percent

So i stopped for some time listening to Podcasts. I was doing some traveling, not that that’s much of an excuse, its not. I had a break from many things in fact, hey i was on holiday!

Holiday is over and like Yoga is the practice of going back to it, i went back to Podcasts, how could i stay away?

plural noun: podcasts

a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.


Some of the benefits i would say about podcasts are:

  • You can get an education on a wide range of subjects, pretty much any topic you like
  • You can start and finish your day with an interesting story, who doesn’t like bedtime stories?
  • You start to wonder how you know stuff, how you get ideas, and then you find yourself saying…it was in a podcast!!


One podcast in particular i am pretty passionate about is about design, by Roman Mars, from San Francisco, his podcast is called 99 per cent invisible, because…

99 percent of who you are is invisible

Try saying that to yourself the next time you look at yourself in a mirror

Roman gave a Ted talk recently which is well worth a look

The Worst-Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed


Ronan started his career in Software Testing, he worked for free and hung out in Radio Stations at every chance he got.

A couple of years ago he started 99 percent invisible, a project about unseen design work that shapes our lives, a project about cementing for others an infrastructure for the most creative and interesting storytelling programs to find an audience and prosper.

He started with nothing, got funding from his fans, he’s producing more shows because we (the fans) gave him a donation, now he has a staff producing, with health benefits, an amazing story about a guy that created the job he wanted and has been very successful at helping others

Other sources i can recommend for listening would be the BBC, music, documentaries and much more

You could take a look at the top ranking podcasts, the people who do the Ted talks have a list

Question is, how do you want to start or end your days?

Testing times in Tasmania

5 Jun

Since these are the last days in Tasmania, I thought I’d post an account of both the successful projects I have been involved with in the past year.

It’s been nearly one year, one island, and two projects.

First up, Aurora Energy


First up was the six month contract at Aurora for their Full Retail Contestability contract, prior to getting a call about this role I had never even heard of Aurora, but since they do not operate on the mainland, how would I?

The population of Tasmania is about the same as the population of Geelong in Victoria. I previously had experience in Full Retail Contestability for Alinta Gas, Gas of course being about a hundred times easier to test of course, there are not as many rates to test, with electricity there are quite a few rates, which apply at different times, depending on the type of heating, underground heating has a different rate, this is a rate that can now be charged VIA the Smart meters that were introduced not long ago.

Tasmania is the last place in Australia to do this sort of project, so it was easier for them to hire people with prior experience in FRC industry to come work in Hobart.

FRC is about allowing the customer to choose who they pay their electric retailer, it makes the people that bill you more competitive for your business and hopefully the bill on your fridge is not so frightening, well that’s the idea.

How i went to Tasmania the back in 2001



The FRC project for Aurora went very well, the modules I was involved with had minimal issues, and of course I had quite a bit of help from some great people too.

One of the obvious advantages of working in Hobart is I could walk to work and be at work in two minutes, quite a change from the hour and thirty minute commute to Xerox in Sydney.

The obvious dis-advantage to being in Hobart during mid-July is it never stopped raining, or so it seemed. Quite a challenge from the consistent weather. It was 22 degrees for six months living in Sydney. The winter too seemed a bit odd, for Australia. It seemed more like Ireland in fact. I thought I left Ireland, not now I seemed to be back in the midst of it?

University of Tasmania

University of Tasmania


Towards the end of the project at Alinta, I heard about another contract at the University of Tasmania and since I was already established here, I made good friends.

The role was as Integration test analyst testing, for the Admissions SLIMS (Student life cycle Integrated Management System) team, the scope of the role included testing web modules VIA SOAP. Since I had quite some experience testing aseXML from the Utility companies it seemed like an interesting role to be involved in.

This project too has gone extremely well for me; I have had the pleasure of working with some incredibly talented people on some challenging releases with tight time frames.


Wineglass bay



In Sydney I was involved with a lot of Start-up/Innovation groups, meet-ups every day was a challenge in choosing which event to see and which event not to see, this was another initial challenge in being here, the nights were free. Hobart does not have the same innovation culture, yet.

Since I have been pretty much working every day I could in the past year, I didn’t get much of a chance to be the tourist I was 14 years ago when I drove around, but now I can afford to rent a car or even buy a car and do that.

You can see more of my experience displayed on my Linked in profile

Tasmanian devil in action



I think what I have learnt more than anything else in the past year is you learn a lot by doing a lot and by being focused on the work at hand you improve and outperform your own expectations and I also became an Australian citizen in Tasmania, a great ending to a great year of hard work.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers