Well I’m obviously excited. I’ve been holding back a bit, but it’s getting harder to do so. As you’re probably aware (from reading my previous blog posts) I’m getting ready to leave the country on a reasonably permanent basis. But who knows where, or when? Well, I’m about to tell you!
On the 30th of April, I’ll be flying to Melbourne, Australia. Isn’t that exciting? Well it is to me. Melbourne is pretty much a really big Wellington. So I guess it’s more like Auckland-sized? They’ve practically got a population the size of New Zealand’s inside one massive city. I’m told that you can drive for 10’s of kilometers and still not be out of the city. And that is both exciting and scary.
Luckily, it won’t be a big, scary, new place for me. I’ve actually visited Melbourne over the Christmas holidays (along with Cairns and Adelaide), and I have a few good friends there already (who used to live in NZ).
I actually really like Wellington, and I really like New Zealand (except perhaps the government? Though they seem to do better than others…). So why am I moving? Many young people travel, or so I am told, and while I’d be perfectly comfortable staying in New Zealand, I know that I would kick myself when I’m older if I don’t do it now.
An Interlude (psst: this is actually the main body)
I’m starting to make a habit of enforcing discomfort upon myself via changing jobs. In the last 5~ years I’ve worked for 3 different employers, and reasonably soon I’m likely to be on a fourth. What do I mean by discomfort? I’m talking about sitting in a comfy chair, for 5-10 years plus, feeling secure that your job isn’t going to go anywhere, and making money off the same thing, day in and day out. That is comfort, comfort in job security. Now, job security is great, but being silo’d and not doing anything new, exciting and innovative for years at a stretch really, really makes me unhappy. So when I’m feeling like I can’t go further, like I can’t get anything good done, like I’m getting down and depressed - I jump ship (so to speak). I find something new and exciting and fast-moving to put my time towards. Thankfully, I’m in an industry where this is possible.
I work in the IT industry (excuse the nebulousness). I see the IT industry as being akin to the Music industry, just without all the stagnation and copyright worry. Software Developers like myself, the kind of people who build the websites or apps that you use daily, are sort-of analogous to music bands in the music industry. Instead of having publishers and distributors (ie outside of the game industry) who lay claim to copyright over the material, We lay claim over our own material (either at an individual or company level).
We have to worry about plagiarism as well. However, there is also the more counter-intuitive, counter-plagiarism that we have to deal with: Patents. I’m going to try not to rant on patents as that could be a whole post in itself, but I want to touch on them a little. In the patent system, a patentable process is one that cannot be derived from mathematics and must be difficult enough to concieve of (ie, is not obvious). Unfortunately in the realm of software patents, an expert advisor is almost never consulted before a patent is approved, and in some systems, a patent may be automatically approved after a certain amount of time in the system. Effectively, we get this legally enforceable anti-plagiarism system that does not itself check for “prior art” (other than existing patents) and penalises anybody who might come up with the same work. This is like a rock-band asking another rock-band to pay up because the latter also used a distortion effect on their guitar.
So… after that last paragraph you might be inclined to think I should be pretty uncomfortable as I am. But really, I’ve described some of the USA Patent system (I think), and I haven’t really ever worried about them outside of “Shit, those things could be nasty”. I’m much more interested in creating cool new things that will make lives better, or at least make somebody’s experience a little less unbearable. I’m one man, wanting to be a part of different rock-bands that are pushing the artform further.
Back To The Show
So after that brief intermission, I hope you can understand why I’m moving. As with my jobs, I’m also finding myself getting comfortable with my current location. So that’s going to change. And later, it will change. And later… I think you get the idea.
But don’t go getting the idea that I won’t return. I probably will, some day. My family would be very unhappy (or upset) if I didn’t! I’ve got another couple of months left, so I think that’s plenty of time left to spend with all of you who will be sad to see me go.