Thursday, July 07, 2016


Oh it's hard.

The killer is, I've looked at so many jobs, that even if I were find a job tomorrow, it would still mean that 99% of my job-hunting effort was fruitless.  That's just how it works: you roll the dice until you hit Yahtzee.  But it also means that I'm pretty much as close as I was when I started.

In other news, we'll be casting the net wider.

Monday, June 27, 2016

More Brexit

Brexit is looking more and more like a colossal cock-up, but again, that's only the general consensus among the people I know and the media I access.  We can only keep watching the situation and keep trying.  Another potential complicating factor is the imminent decline of London as a financial center.  There seem to be a lot of jobs there in that sector.  Not that I'm looking in London yet, or for that sort of job particularly, but if that all shuts down, there could be a glut of developers on the market.  Uncertain times.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Brexit -- wow, that was an historic moment.  (I can say "an historic" when talking about Britain.)  There were enough hints that it was going to go that way, but how weird it still was, when every person I know online, and every editorial source on news sites I frequent, were pulling for Britain to stay in the EU.  Shows how de facto segregated things are, even in this day and age of supposed connection.  Maybe the winning side are wondering, who are all these people who voted to stay in?

I don't fully understand everything that went on, admittedly.  My impression of how this affects our plans to "Brenter" is this, though, in general: not good.

  • The anti-immigrant sentiment that won the day can't be good.  There is a basic dumb truth that, as a white male Westerner, it won't affect my chances to get in nearly as much as many others, but how can I feel good about that?  If I do get in, I so much prefer living, working, and being in a diverse culture.
  • We trade out the conservative Cameron for the staunch conservative -- who, Boris Johnson maybe?  Not someone I'd relish living under, but worse, even among the downtrodden who are allowed to stay, the safety net will inevitably be cut.  Which sucks on its own, for a lot of people, but personally, it means that Marjorie will have a much harder job finding work in social services.
  • What I really forgot to factor in was the pound.  It's already plummeted, against both the US dollar and the Aussie dollar.  This means I'd be earning less there, period.
The one possible favorable outcome is, I wouldn't be competing against all of the EU.  Britain's Tier 2 work visa currently requires companies to show that they can't find someone within the EU to fill the position -- presumably this will go away, but who knows how long it will take.

It's been difficult so far, trying to find work.  I've sent out a lot of CVs -- easy enough in this day and age, but if it's easy for me, it's easy for everyone, and so, how to stand out?  The responses have been tepid at best.  I get occasional glimmers of interest, but it's largely from recruiters who give up when they realize I need sponsorship.

We may have to consider other options, but I will keep at it.  I think we can still make it happen.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I made this [letter] very long only because I have not had the leisure to make it shorter.  -- Blaise Pascal

When we moved to Australia, a couple of recruiters called me out because my resume, done in American style, was only two pages.  Australian CVs are expected to be multiple pages, if justified.  So I made a longer one and have been using it ever since.

UK companies apparently expect only two pages at max.  So today I took my five page CV and somehow pared it down to just two pages.  It was a pain, and not just because I had to fight with Word.

But: it's been submitted now to a UK jobs website, so to some extent, the die is cast.  I suspect I will have to do a lot more work than just waiting for companies to come to me, but we were getting antsy about actually starting to make something happen, so this is a good step.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

England plans

So that last post was actually written back in January, but I didn't post it until today.  I'm thinking I might as well revive this blog to keep people informed about our England plans, which yes, are still in progress.  It's generally the worst idea to talk about a thing like this before the actual commitment is there, due to the psychological phenomena I've seen mentioned a few time recently, whereby announced plans tend to fall by the wayside because announcing them gives your brain the payoff ahead of time, leaving only the drudgery of execution.  And man, is there some drudgery ahead.

Still we are pushing on.  We've kind of settled on Bristol as a target - it seems a vibrant city, with weather less miserable than most other UK cities - though it is still very much up in the air.  A lot will depend on where I can find a job.  (Of course, the whole plan depends on if I can find a job.)  I found a massive database put out by the UK government, of companies that are willing to sponsor new hires for Tier 2 visas.  It's in PDF form, with ill-formatted text, and so was a fun challenge to convert it into plain text, filter out the ones with "software" in their name, and geocode them all so I can see them on a map:

A lot are (of course) clustered around London, which may be where we end up out of necessity.  There's only one such company in Bristol (to the left by the controls).

But I can't really apply until we're a lot closer to ready, since I want to be able to actually accept a job and not leave Marjorie in Australia to take care of everything.  So we're in the process of sorting out our stuff.  And it's the same headache I posted about in the early days of this blog, when we were moving to Singapore: every single item in the house involves a store/ship/toss/sell decision.  There's plenty to do on top of that as well, of course.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Next steps

Marjorie and I have moved around a fair a bit at this point, but have been in Melbourne now for close to twelve years.  This is not to say we’ve settled.  We both love Australia in general and Melbourne in particular, but it feels a bit like golden handcuffs.  We’ve talked in the past about buying a house here (we’ve been to a number of auctions and talked to mortgage brokers even) but it just never seemed to happen, probably in part because of a vague dissatisfaction with the idea.

We also have talked a fair bit over the years about trying somewhere else.  Maybe back to the States?  Some places we’ve considered, roughly from most interested to least:
  • San Fran - cold, expensive, and Marjorie has a better chance of scoring a job some place that’s a seat of government..
  • Austin - would be living in Texas.
  • San Diego - unknown to Marjorie, and same job issues for her, but we may go look at some point, Still California-expensive.
  • Boulder - cold and small?
  • Seattle/Portland - cold and gray.
  • Atlanta - feels like going backwards.
  • New York - too hectic for Marjorie.  And expensive and not dog-friendly.
  • Boston - cold, both weather- and people-wise (my opinion - I’ve just never latched onto that city.  Marjorie likes it a lot more than me).

Add to all of them that the USA just seems nuts to us now.  We’ve considered some other places overseas as well:
  • Germany - cold, and language barrier
  • France - cold, and language barrier
  • Spain - language barrier
  • Japan - culture shock, language

It’s harder to move now that we’re older (just because it would be harder to find jobs) and because we have a dog we love dearly.

So yesterday (30/1/2016) Marjorie and I had an idle discussion, as we frequently do, about what we’re going to do.  And for once, an idea seemed to take hold: move to England.  Not London proper, which would seem to be a lot to deal with, but an outlying suburb or anywhere to the south, like Brighton (in hopes of marginally better weather).  We’re in the very early stages of feeling it out, obviously, but we both seemed to latch onto the idea and I think it might actually happen.  We’ve done the overseas move before so we know what it entails, and know we’re capable of it.  And we know enough to keep a lid on things until we nail something down, which is why I’m writing this here.

Lots to do from this point, but it’s exciting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I can't vouch for the numbers, but this website still gives me a good feeling about being here.