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A day in the life of…
Graduate software engineer at Commonwealth Bank
Nirvan Gelda graduated with a Bachelor of Computer science from University of New South Wales in 2016, and is now Graduate software engineer at Commonwealth Bank
5:30 - 7:30
It's time to get up! I know what you're thinking- it's a pretty broad time range. I'm someone who doesn't do routines. If I wake up early I'll either go for a run around the harbour or head straight to work. If not, I’m sleeping in. Either way, I’m in the office between 8am and 9:30am. CommBank provides a very flexible workplace and I take full advantage of that! My train ride takes 30 minutes - I've spent the last few months listening to podcasts on the commute. My current favourite is the Tim Ferris show.
10:00 - 10:15
The CommBank building I work in is set up for activity based working so you can choose where you sit based on the type of work you’ve got on for the day. Sometimes, it can take some searching to find a seat if you come in late though!
My first meeting each day is the 10:00 am stand-up. A stand-up is a short and sharp 15 minute session. It's a great opportunity for everyone in the team to share what they worked on yesterday, what they plan on working on today, and to discuss any challenges they might be having.
10:15 - 11:30
It’s time to get stuck into work. As a software engineer my role is to build the product and/or feature. I work with product owners, designers and testers to understand what to build, how it should look and the best way that it should function.
For the last few months we worked on developing a new feature within Netbank. This feature has gone live and allows home loan customers to change the frequency of their repayments on their mortgage online. As part of that project, I'm also looking at implementing a table on each customer’s personal NetBank page to summarise their loan information. This will allow them to know where they stand at a glimpse.
11:30 - 12:00
I head to our weekly engineering newsletter meeting. This newsletter gets distributed to a few hundred engineers across the Bank. Articles cover technology trends from around the world, new initiatives within the Bank and different engineering practices we believe we should all try. To freshen up the newsletter, we add an ‘Engineers of CommBank’ section. Each week, we’ll profile one of our engineers to showcase our great talent.
12:30 - 1:30
Lunch is one of my favourite times of the day! My absolute favourite food for lunch has to be Guzman Y Gomez, there’s one nearby the office. I love Mexican food! Almost all of the grads sit together and eat outside on the level 6 terrace. The topics of conversation are usually pretty varied. Today it's all about rotations. Who is and isn't rotating and where people are going. Very juicy!
1:30 - 3:30
After lunch I've got an opportunity to crack on and try to finish the feedback panel for the Netbank tool. One of the key focusses at CommBank is collaboration; we know that people think differently and that a chat can lead to great ideas so I’ve approached one of the senior developers to help me out.
3:30 - 4:00
Next up is my fortnightly one on one with my manager. I use it as an opportunity to update him on what’s going on with my work. I also like to use the time to raise ideas for projects or discuss my development and future rotation opportunities. Based on the conversation he's got a few people he'll introduce me to, which is great way for me to build my networks. Having a manager who genuinely cares about my development really helps at such an early stage of my career.
4:00 - 5:00
We've got a session to discuss the designs for an upcoming project which aims to improve the user experience for the customer. These sessions give us an opportunity to talk about design decisions, the feedback we’ve received from user testing, and the complexity in implementing the design from a technical view point.
5:00 - 6:00
To finish off the day, I'm doing a little audio recording and video editing. I've volunteered to create short tutorial videos on how to use specific internal tools within the Bank. Today's video is on a tool we use to conduct A/B testing. A/B testing is the process of comparing two webpages to determine which one performs better. We use switchblade to test the success of new features on the Netbank and CommBank app.
It's time to head off, which involves clearing my desk, throwing everything in my locker and begrudgingly fighting the hordes of people at Town Hall station. Once home I’ll get stuck into cooking dinner. It’s a great way for me to wind down after my day. Finally, I’ll read a book for the last hour, I’m currently reading Mindset by Dr Dwek. I’ll try to get to bed by 10:30 before I start it all again!