Updating Results

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

  • #2 in Government & public services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Matthew Allen

Matthew studied Bachelor of Information Technology at Griffith University and is now working as System Analyst at Australian Taxation Office.

6:30 AM

What’s that? My alarm is ringing! I jump out of bed, get dressed and organise breakfast for myself and the family. I leave home at 7.30 am to drop my son off at school, before returning home.

8.00 AM

Time to fire up the laptop and log into remote desktop access of the network. With COVID-19 still a risk I generally work from home. While I’m waiting for my laptop to log in, I make myself a nice cup of tea with some dark chocolate and an apple on the side.

8.30 AM

The first job is to read all the new emails, taking note of important updates and actions required. Next, I write a prioritised ‘to do’ list of my tasks for the day. For example, there is a test review email which notes a couple of documentation items I should tweak. I update and load the updated version of the document into Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) test record step. TFS is the digital system we use to manage and track our work.

I receive a Jabber message (Jabber is the instant messenger platform we use at the ATO) from one of my teammates wanting some details from a design document training session we both attended last week. I copy and paste the relevant section from my OneNote writings and send it to him. In the ATO, people tend to use Jabber in the first instance, rather than calling people via the phone.

9.25 AM

I attend my teams daily online WebEx stand up meeting which commences at 9:30 am. I provide an update of what I achieved yesterday, the work I’m planning to do today and mention any blockers. IT at the ATO embraces an Agile approach to software development and project management. I have a new test execution to complete and a PowerPoint slide pack to prepare for an upcoming security presentation on the products the team has finished building.

09.45 AM

I start preparing the test data, which is XML files using the generator tool, and making sure to populate it with the required data types in all the applicable fields as per the test script steps.

10.15 AM

I walk out to the kitchen and eat a muesli bar, washed down with a cup of coffee for morning tea.

10.30 AM

I attend our online sprint retrospective meeting. We each take turns talking about what worked well in the current sprint, what can be improved for the next one. I talk about how everyone is collaborating and supporting each other well. I note having pre-prepared test data made the regression testing faster.

11.00 AM

I continue working on the test. I log into the developer environment and use applications such as rFHUtil, Microsoft SQL Management Server to run the test with the data I created.

I complete the test and review the database outputs in Notepad++ & Excel to confirm that the messages were received and processed as expected. I take screenshots and make notes where required.

12.00 PM

Time for lunch. Tuna and salad again. It’s healthy, but not so tasty ☹. Round it out with a banana for dessert and a non-caffeinated tea.

12.30 PM

Lunch is over so I return to work. I tidy up my test document and the associated files before updating the status of the task in TFS to ‘done’. I move onto working on the PowerPoint slides for our security presentation to the rest of the branch which is scheduled for later in the week.

I collaborate with the team business analyst, confirming the completed features to be incorporated in the slide pack. I refer to a previous example. I collate and insert the necessary information from the relevant feature documents making sure the slides are professionally formatted.

1.30 PM

I join the STP test chapter online meeting. All the testers in a project program release train gather to hear the latest news. I learn about a change to the test build information we are required to include. I make a note to update my current test document.

2.00 PM

I’ve already attended 3 online meetings today, but this one is different. A few weeks ago, I applied to meet the Federal Assistant Treasurer & Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar, and I was successful! It’s time to attend. I’m a little nervous as I’ve been selected to ask a question, but it goes well and is an amazing experience.

3.00 PM

I sneak a cheeky afternoon tea break, munching on a chocolate-coated nut bar while sending friends a couple of random messages.

3.15 PM

I complete the finishing touches to the PowerPoint slides before forwarding the draft to the business analyst for checking. I cross that off my ‘To Do’ list. I receive an email from one of the testers in the team who has completed the review of my test and confirmed it is correct with minimal document changes required. I cross that off my ‘To Do’ list too.

I start preparations for the next test, which includes a form lodgement method I haven’t done before. I Jabber an experienced member of the team to confirm my understanding of how to approach it. I prepare the test data and get the documentation ready. It’s best to execute a test all in one day as changes occur in the development environment daily. I decide to do the lodgement tomorrow morning.

4.30 PM

It’s been a busy day. Time to complete my hours worked in TMS & effort details in EPM systems before shutting down the computer for the day.

5.00 PM

I head out for a jog at the local park and then back home to exercise with my gym equipment downstairs. Healthy body, healthy mind, so they say.

6.00 PM

I help make dinner for the family. Stir-fried chicken and vegetables with noodles tonight. Yum.

7.30 PM

I have a shower and get the little one to bed.

8.00 PM

Time to relax and watch Netflix.

9.30 PM

Bedtime. Need to rest up before I do it all again tomorrow. Good night! Zzz.