- Craig Horne shares with us the changes COVID-19 has brought for him and how he has pivoted and adapted to it by buying new hardware and using comms software
- He find skills shortage in the ICT sector is the biggest challenge being faced by Australia today
- His advice to the younger professionals is to become financially independent sooner using the multitude of paths to wealth for Australian residents.
1. Where are you, and what is daily working life like for you right now?
I'm currently working from our home office, which had been converted into a home classroom for the last two months. We headed down to Officeworks and bought a printer, whiteboards, textas, folders, scrap books. After emptying the entire office room over eight hours, we put back in just what we needed - a desk, two chairs, a whiteboard on the wall, and the stationery. After upgrading the iPads, the kids didn't just survive but thrived. Now, working life for me consists of phone calls on the mobile, and emails on the laptop. I run a couple of websites, so in reality, I can run them from a beach in France (which I hope to do one day). Video conference calls seem to work quite well for local contacts, and I depend on Slack for comms with developer teams in different parts of the world.
2. What is the key piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
The key piece of advice I would give my younger self is to resolve to become financially independent. The pension will not last forever and superannuation will not accrue enough money over your career to support you until death. There are a number of paths to wealth for a resident in Australia: owning investment properties, starting a business, or simply through savings. All are great options and have very little downside. Now for example, cloud computing means you can start an e-commerce website for just a few cents. Recently, the top 7 self-made billionaires from the top 10 had one thing in common – they all started a technology-based business.
3. Do you have any inspiring words of wisdom for those looking to take their next step in their IT career?
I would encourage ACS members to consider membership benefits such as mySFIA, which is a tool to assess their current ICT skills, and then map the path forward towards their chosen career by addressing gaps. It is an evidence-based approach to career development that employers appreciate. ACS also has training available to help members address gaps.
4. What do you see are the challenges for the sector? And how do you wish to contribute to resolving them?
The biggest challenge facing Australia at the moment is an ICT skills-based shortage. Resolving this challenge requires a contribution from employees, employers, government, educational sector, and professional associations. In this COVID-19 crisis, I think smart decisions about where to support skills development will lead to Australia becoming a world-leader in tech talent.