Who's doing all the cool web dev. stuff in Melbourne?

So it’s that time again, and I’m giving serious thought about moving on from my current role.

I’ve been thinking it might be time for a while, however one of the benefits I’ve greatly enjoyed is the generous amounts of research and experimentation into the latest and greatest technologies that I’m allowed.
From which I’ve the chance to play with and even implement a lot of the new web dev. hotness, which has been an absolute pleasure as you would imagine!

Unfortunately the more I research, it’s becoming blinding apparent that web dev. studios in Australia really aren’t doing anything really exciting (with the obvious exception to the SitePoint team ;)). This opinion isn’t helped by some the horror stories I’ve been hearing from previous colleagues. Earlier today I reached out on Twitter

“Are there any #Melbourne companies doing cool stuff with PHP, Amazon #Cloud, JavaScript, #NoSQL, #Symfony2 or all of the above?”

But since the usefulness of Twitter is directly proportional to the quantity and quality of your follower, I’ve been met with a rush of silence.

So I’m putting the question out to the SitePoint community, where is all the action happening in the Melbourne web dev. scene? I’m personally primarily concerned with PHP shops but this hopefully this will spark some general discussion :slight_smile:

The “web dev. scene” means solving business problems, not “playing with the new hotness”. The answer to most companies’ development needs is rarely a NoSQL application on the Amazon cloud written with a framework that was finished less than a week ago.

If you want a job where you have a higher chance/opportunity to use bleeding edge technologies, the “scene” you want to be in is tech startups, not a web development company.

Although I accept your premise, I don’t believe being an established company and using the latest in technology is mutually exclusive. This is a sign of the times IMHO. But with that said, it’s exactly that reason that I choose to works with smaller companies where they are afforded the freedom to “solve business problems” with more modern approaches.

For sure there are large companies, take IBM for example, where a short project’s time to production is somewhere in the ball park of 3-5 years. Where they generally choose to stick with older, well established workflows, toolsets and technologies.

On the other hand you have fairly well established companies, doing business on the back of the latest and greatest. Companies that have made the business decision to keep their tools, skills and technologies current. Companies where experimentation and creativity are encouraged. I’ve recently been exposed to a handful of these such companies in Melbourne myself.

And I believe for these different business models there are different breeds developer who thrive in each. I have colleagues who work at IBM who loathe the thought of keeping current and the continual learning process. And equally loathe spending spending 5 years get a project live.

The team at SitePoint and their sister companies are great examples of big business embracing modern technology. 99 Designs makes extensive use of Amazon cloud services, and were in fact some of the pioneers for Amazon (so Amazon claim), among other things.

It is a dificult question because the definition of “hot” may difer slightly from one person to another. Something else is what you consider exciting. Something exciting doesn’t imply to use the latest technology or services.

I don’t know how things are in Australia although I suspect that it is similar in the rest of the countries. I guess if you want to learn the latest fad you’d be programming applications for IPad or using Flex and things like that. But is that really exciting? For me, it is simply to solve a problem knowing that I found the best solution possible. That may include the use of new technologies… or not.