[@OKau] After the hackathon: 4 classic recipes

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Mon May 4 05:09:50 UTC 2015

On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 10:41 AM, Rosie Williams <budgetaus at hotmail.com>

> I'm sad to hear from Cobi that the way forward earning money in open
> knowledge seems so grim. I'd think that for people with a professional
> history there would be opportunities opening up with government agencies as
> they begin to open up. In NSW there is a lot going on now (or will be). All
> NSW state agencies are looking at what they should be opening, the NSW
> State Library is opening the DX Lab incubator.

It obviously depends exactly what one means by "earning money in open
knowledge". If you consider any open source development under the banner,
then it's easy (for developers), and if you cast the net as wide as working
with or on any "open technologies", then there's no shortage of possible
roles, including within industry (RackSpace comes to mind). So I think Cobi
is either being very pessimistic or is considering only a narrow range of

I've been lucky enough that for the past few years, most of my professional
work has been under the broad umbrella of open knowledge, including open
research data at ANDS and VeRSI, a "data guru in residence" fellowship at
the University of Melbourne, and now working on National Map at NICTA.

If the momentum around publishing open data continues to grow, then
presumably there will be a need for more people to do that work, and hence
more job opportunities. Obviously the staff at Link Digital are paid to
work on "open data projects", and you could say the same for various staff
scattered around museums, libraries etc.

The pattern currently seems to be more along the lines of finding work
using the same skillset, and squeezing open data in wherever you can. I
frequently find that projects that started out as purely "hobby projects"
creep into my professional work, such as demoing http://cycletour.org as an
unintended showcase of open government data, or using opencouncildata.org
as the basis for a proposed standard for CSV data
for data.gov.au. One benefit of this approach is that you tend to be
constantly pushing the bounds of current practice, rather than being put in
an "open data" pidgeon hole which might be ignored.

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