What's your job about?
Leidos Australia is a provider of Science and Technology solutions to the Federal Government. Within Leidos I am currently working as a DevOps Engineer. I am currently working on maintaining monitoring solutions, as well as scripting and automation.
Usually, I begin with the daily Engineering Team stand-up meeting, where each team member outlines what their day will entail and asks any questions that might have come up on the previous day, and any team issues are addressed. Next, I will check for any new incidents assigned to me, as well as following up on any issues from the previous day or raised over night. I am then able to move onto my project work which changes from day to day and varies from working on writing designs, or attending design meetings to completing actual implementations. I also get involved in helping other projects by providing my expertise and knowledge or creating scripts that have been previously developed.
What's your background?
I grew up in the regional centre of Coffs Harbour, mostly spending my early days outdoors. Not exactly the sort of life that gets you ready for a lot of time working with computers! In my early years, I never really had an interest in computers. It was not until my parents bought the family a PC that I became the kid who could help with small computer issues—mind you I was guessing a lot of the time. In high school, I took all the computing classes available in order to learn as much as I could to further my knowledge. After school, my big opportunity came when I was offered a traineeship from my graduating high school as a network administrator and I fell in love with the IT industry. I moved to Sydney to study a Bachelor of IT, followed by a Master of Science (Internetworking) where I specialised in Network Administration and Design, as well as programming. After finishing my master’s degree, I applied for the graduate program at Leidos as a Systems Engineer. My role in the company has developed to a DevOps position which I have been in now for two years.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
It is possible for someone with a different background to do my job. In fact, a lot of people in my team have different backgrounds. Not all of them are university graduates either. I often find I learn a lot from the colleagues who do have different backgrounds. The role I am currently working in requires people who really like to solve problems. A large portion of my day is spent on tasks which involve being given a list of requirements and a deadline, and needing to create a solution that is efficient yet able to be deployed quickly. It is a challenge but when the work is delivered it feels extremely rewarding.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job is the constant flow of new challenges. Each day brings a new task, with varying types of work so no two days are the same. One day might be focusing on a critical script that will need to be deployed to restore some form of functionality while another might be developing an entirely new system. For me this is great for staying engaged, and continuously learning new skills and growing each day.
What are the limitations of your job?
Like any job, there are peak times when we are required to work longer days in order to meet deadlines. And likewise there are times when we have some quieter periods. It’s not so much of a limitation but something to be aware of. Importantly it is not a job that you can do on your own: it is a highly collaborative role that absolutely relies on the whole team and wider organisation. I know this is something that some people might struggle with, especially coming out of university.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
At university group work is going to be hard at times - Always do your best to show up for your classmates. Keep casual communication open so you know what’s going on. Be ready if you need to pick up for others and do your best to account for these times before deadlines.
Connections are important - The friends you make at university are contacts into companies and always a good place to bounce personal ideas off. Don’t be shy and put yourself out there.
Make time for yourself - It is easy to let the deadlines get to you, but look after yourself and rest when you need—you’ll do better work and learn more.