With today’s newsletter, we cap off another huge year of tech news at Information Age.

Here is our annual peek behind the curtain to see which stories you read the most in 2023.

12. The best-paying tech jobs in Australia

Senior development and architecture roles are among the best paying roles in tech this financial, according to a salary guide. Software engineering salaries saw an average 18.5 per cent pay increase, keeping developers ahead of inflations during a tough year. Flexible arrangements have also persisted with some employers continuing to offer fully remote roles after the pandemic.

11. The best IT companies to work for in 2023

A survey of over 50,000 Australian employees helped uncover the best tech companies to work for and once again US tech giant Cisco topped the list. Atlassian was high on the list, too, even though it started cutting jobs in March during an international wave of tech layoffs. Salesforce, normally a contender for best workplace, was conspicuously absent.

10. Nearly 70% of Aussie IT jobs are in shortage

This year saw new government agency Jobs and Skills Australia produce its first major report into the state of the country’s workforce. The unimaginatively named ‘Jobs and Skills Report’ found Australia is facing an immense skills challenge and tech is among the worst with a serious shortage of employees for over 70 per cent of IT-related occupations.

9. Australian academics caught in generative AI scandal

Generative AI was easily the standout technology in 2023 thanks to the popularity of ChatGPT. We often covered the potential pitfalls of AI, and this story about an academic from Macquarie University was a doozy. In a formal submission to a senate inquiry about the consultancy firms, Emeritus Professor James Guthrie included a bunch of false claims about KPMG he got from Google’s Bard chatbot. Whoops!

8. Women on verge of quitting IT

A lack of representation, negative bias, burnout, and too few women in leadership roles were found to be contributing to a rise in the number of women looking to walk away from the IT industry, according to a survey. For a broad field in desperate need of greater diversity and inclusion, it’s a disturbing sign.

7. Latitude breach a ‘ridiculous’ failure

Melbourne-based financial services company Latitude was hacked earlier this year, exposing 100,000 driver licences to attackers in a high profile data breach. Latitude revealed the incident stemmed from a third-party vendor, an excuse one cyber security expert labelled as “ridiculous”.

6. Australia to buy quantum computer from US

In an Information Age exclusive last month, we brought you news about the Commonwealth’s intentions to buy a quantum computer. The government had started an unusually secretive procurement process that is understood to favour US-based company PsiQuantum. It’s all very hush hush, but recent mid-year budget documents point to concrete details about the project coming soon, even if the costing has been hidden from the public.

5. Top 4 IT jobs Aussie employers are trying to fill

Cyber security engineers, full stack developers, data analysts, and business analysts: these are the top four jobs employers were desperate to fill in 2023. It’s no surprise that cyber security is high on that list given the prominence of major breaches over the last two years. Data from recruiting firm Hays also showed a movement toward Canberra and Perth for high-paying tech roles.

4. Optus reveals cause of nationwide outage

Optus, Optus, Optus – what are we to do with you? After being in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2022, the telco was back in the spotlight for an epic network outage that led to a senate inquiry and the subsequent exit of CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin. The stated cause of this outage: a “routine software upgrade”. Oof.

3. Medibank finally reals ‘rookie mistake’ in breach

You love to know the details of serious problems, it turns out. Medibank’s 2022 breach was an absolute shocker that led to personal details of every single one of its 9.7 million customers exposed to hackers. Once again, we saw a company blame a third-party service provider for the problem – how is this such a common problem?

2. Scientists herald superconductor breakthrough

When South Korean scientists claimed to have created a mythical room temperature superconducting material, it created a maelstrom of activity as labs around the world raced to replicate their findings. As our story pointed out, there was a lot to be sceptical about in the original non-peer reviewed paper; indeed, it was too good to be true.

1. Reddit descends into chaos

By far the most read story on Information Age this year was about social media site Reddit, after management tried to claw back control of APIs commonly used by volunteer moderators. It was, in effect, a labour dispute that showed the way community-run online spaces can clash with the priorities of profit-focused business owners. Our story about the incident hit Reddit’s front page, sending our pageviews into the stratosphere.

Honourable mentions:

Most of our reads come from the Information Age newsletter that gets delivered to your inbox twice a week, but every now and then, stories pop up for other reasons. In 2023, two stories about scams made regular appearances in our numbers each week.

How to avoid the latest PayID scam was a republication from The Conversation that warns of people sending cash to scammers from online marketplaces.

Beware the Linkt toll scam also popped up throughout 2023 despite having been written the year before. One of the alleged scammers sending out text messages about Linkt was arrested last week.