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
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.
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.