This article is primarily for teachers in South Australia, but the concept might be useful to anyone, not just teachers. I was looking to write a little web app that listened for updates to the teacher job postings page on the DECD website when I stumbled upon a solution that could already do that and more. This post shows you how to use the free tool, Follow That Page, to watch the DECD website and get alerted when a new job is posted.
Recently I watched a friend checking the DECD website for new job postings. From what they tell me, the 'new job' notification alert system doesn't work, so I was looking to code up something simple to listen for any changes in the DECD job posting pages.
First I created a web listener using Google Spreadsheets, but it didn't update fast enough. Then I tried creating an API using import.io which looked like a good option, but would require some development. Luckily, I stumbled upon a tool called Follow That Page created by Onno Zweers. It's a web app that listens to web pages and emails you daily or hourly alerts when the html code changes, for example when a job posting is added, changed or removed.
Visit Follow That Page. On the home page you'll see a form where you can enter a URL to follow and your email address. Now you could choose to follow any site for updates, but if you're interested in following teaching jobs in South Australia, these are the following URLs you'll want to enter :
After you've set up the first URL you'll have the option to add the other URLs later.
Once you've submitted the form, you'll be prompted to create an account, after which you'll be taken to a configuration page.
I set up my alerts using the settings in the image below. You'll notice I've chosen daily updates as opposed to hourly. This is to avoid unnecessary spam in your inbox from regular site changes.
If the page changes you will get an email at the end of the day with a summary of changes. If there are no changes that day, you will not get an email.
You can see additions and changes to the page are denoted with a + in front of them and deletions are denoted with a - symbol.
Unfortunately you can't set Follow This Page to only look at the job titles on the page. So sometimes the 'time remaining to apply' information changes on the DECD site every hour and so you will get an email each night alerting you to pointless changes. Slightly frustrating but I'm looking into a method to point the scanner to only look at job titles.
I still have my API from import.io, if I can write up a little website that only publishes the list of job titles then I could point Follow That Page at that page and it will only send email alerts if a job position is added or removed, ignoring any other changes. It's a little cumbersome, but I will hopefully build it out and post about it soon. In the mean time pointing Follow That Page directly at the DECD website is your best option.