Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Wollongong. Throughout primary school, I was an above-average student and excelled however as I entered high school I lost my drive to study which was reflected in my performance. It was in year 11 when I made a decision to put in more effort in order to attend university. I knew from an early age I wanted to work with computers and technology. Though I wanted to pursue a degree that was more technically focussed, the Bachelor of IT was a great opportunity for me to obtain an introduction to programming.
How did you get to your current job position?
I joined ThoughtWorks as a CareerTrackers intern in 2015 and since then have returned in my semester breaks for further experience. Throughout my internships, I learnt about ThoughtWorks as a business, different tech stacks, clients, and met lots of ThoughtWorkers along the way. Upon graduation, I joined the Graduate Program in 2019.
How did you choose your specialisation?
I knew I wanted to do programming before I started university and was determined to study this - it’s always been an interest of mine from a young age. I was able to learn the basics through my degree and obtained practical experience through my internships.
What was your interview process like?
Having interned with ThoughtWorks for 3 years, my interview process was different from other graduates. Towards the end of my degree, I had conversations with ThoughtWorks around future opportunities and expectations. The opportunity to attend ThoughtWorks University, the work culture, and the people were key driving factors for me - it was these conversations that confirmed I wanted to build my career with ThoughtWorks.
What does your employer do?
We’re in consulting. ThoughtWorks is a premium software delivery partner. We build custom web solutions and applications for clients using agile practices.
What are your areas of responsibility?
This varies from project to project. As a consultant developer, your role on the project will differ based on scope and requirements. For example, in my first project, I was in charge of product quality where I did testing for the application and fixed bugs alongside other developers. Currently, in my new project, I’m building backend systems for a client.
Can you describe a typical workday?
Each day is different. Typically I’d arrive at work around 9.00 am and will go for a coffee. At our morning stand-up, we catch up with the team on what everyone is working on and will go through our Jira board. Throughout the day I will work on assigned tasks based on the logs. Most of my time is spent pairing with a senior developer on my team.
I’m currently working on inception - I’m working with key stakeholders from our client to define what they want to be built with a focus on user experience.
What are the career prospects with your job?
ThoughtWorks doesn’t have set paths - Graduates are able to obtain a broad understanding of technologies through training and project experience. I’m still in the early stages of my career so having the ability to explore and learn is important to me. I have an interest in infrastructure so there are opportunities for me to work within this space within projects. We also have individual training budgets and training leave which means I can attend relevant conferences, enrol in courses, and be certified in areas that are of interest and beneficial for my career.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I had a clear passion and goal at an early age to be in programming. If I wasn’t where I am now I could be working with the family business in the auto industry or perhaps be full-time with the Navy.
What do you love the most about your job?
Flexibility and culture. ThoughtWorks’ environment gives me the freedom and opportunity to really learn and develop - there’s no hierarchical structure.
What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to pair program with senior developers - the amount you learn in one day is significantly higher than in other environments. I’ve also had the opportunity to pair with my peers which reinforces my knowledge and is a valuable experience in itself.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job?
As a Consultancy, we have set deliverables and timelines with the client. The tasks or time spent on a particular task or project may not necessarily align with my interest at the time but the ability to continuously learn within a team environment is invaluable.
I haven’t had the need to work on weekends but this is requirements driven. For example, if we run into production issues then we may need to work into an evening or on a weekend to ensure we meet deliverables.
Stress levels come and go with project deadlines. You’re never alone though - projects are done within a team environment so we’re in it together.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?