Last night at the Martime Museum in Fremantle Thales Australia launched their Software Development Centre. Over the last 12 months Thales Australia has emerged as a single entity bringing together a number of smaller companies into a single entity. With strengths in both military and civil industries, Thales also boasts a large software development branch with approximately 150 developers based here in Perth.
Under their former banner, ADI, most of their development was reportedly C/C++ and Java. Through discussions with a number of the local Thales Australia staff I understand that they are doing a substantial amount of work in C#/.NET. This move necessarily increases the pressure on the market to deliver more .NET developers which unfortunately are a scarce commodity at the moment. Thales joins a number of other large .NET employers such as UnisysWest, HBOS/BankWest, Change Corporation and Fujitsu to name but a few.
With such pressure on the local .NET industry it begs the question as to what the future holds – what’s going to happen when there just aren’t enough developers to go around? We are already seeing this happen with a number of people moving jobs in the past month. There is an increase in the number of developers preferring short term contracts to permanent employment – this adds considerable overhead to projects due to the time lost due to replacing staff as they churn. It was a relief last night to hear the Minister for Energy, Resources, Industry and Enterprise, Franics Logan, talk about a recent meeting where it was agreed that all states in Australia would follow Victoria in rolling out an advertising campaign targetting high-school leavers. This would encourage them into tertiary ICT courses which will help fuel the next generation of technology workers.