After ignoring my first alarm, I force my eyes open and scroll through my phone for a few minutes before I slowly roll out of bed and start getting ready. I chuck on some workout gear, grab my breakfast, lunch, and work clothes, feed the dog, and head out the door. I like to start the day with some exercise, and today I’ve opted for a run around the lake in Mawson Lakes. There are two new duck families with ducklings, and seeing them makes the run seem worthwhile. Two laps (4.5km) later, I decide that’s enough and make the couple-minute drive into work.
After parking in the secure car park, I head to the building and scan my ID card for entry (a necessity in the defence industry) and head straight for the showers. I’m one of the first people to arrive; our hours are flexible and I prefer to start and finish early most days.
I grab my breakfast (yoghurt with berries and muesli) and sit down at my desk. The first thing I do every day is checking my emails and action anything that’s come through from the evening before. I see I have a reminder about mandatory training, a few emails from members of my team informing everyone about changes they’ve made, and a meeting request for lunch with the other grads in my cohort. Whilst eating, I flag the training reminder for later, read the information emails to see if they affect me, and respond to the lunch invitation (yes of course!).
Time to get stuck into my tasks. We’re able to pick which tasks we might like to do from the dashboard of available tasks, then have a chat with our team leader who then assigns them. All of our tasks are related to our product, OneView, which is a physical security information management (PSIM) system; a fully configurable guard room solution. Currently, I’m working on a coding task to improve our Configuration Tool, which will ultimately save us a lot of time configuring large, nation-wide sites in the future. We write our code using C# in Visual Studio, in the Windows environment. Some tasks involve some work in xaml, xml or sql databases as well.
The endorphins from the run are running low and it’s time for a coffee. I head to the coffee machines in the on-site café and press the button for a latte. On the way back I grab some fruit to eat for morning tea later (the coffee and fruit are all free – perks!). Happy with caffeine in hand, I get back to work.
It’s time for a stand up meeting with my team. We have two software teams in the civil solutions department; each team has two meetings a week and then we have a joint meeting on Fridays, followed by a morning tea with the entire department. Today is a regular team meeting day, and we get together to discuss what we’re all working on and any problems we’re having. This is a good opportunity to bounce ideas around and find the right help. The team leaders can then report this information to their manager. When it’s my turn, I explain what I’m currently working on and some of the team foresee some problems I might have further down the track with accessing data in a specific code project. They tell me who I’ll probably need to talk to in order to work around this problem, which is very helpful and will certainly save me time later.
I decide to take a break from coding and work on some grad school homework. Grad school is a great opportunity for further learning, where our company puts on fortnightly sessions for all of the first-year grads (and not all of the sessions involve homework!). Most of these sessions are about a specific department in the company and are given by that department head. This enables us to get a small taste of all of the different areas in the company, which is beneficial to us as we start to choose our career paths. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the key stakeholders in the company and build our networks. Currently however, we’re doing a series of externally-run grad school sessions that are a bit more general, and I’m doing some pre-work for an advanced presentation skills workshop. I’m preparing a short presentation on my work and why it matters, which will be critiqued by an expert.
Time for lunch! We can buy lunch in the café (serving different meals daily), but I prefer to bring food from home. This week I’ve brought in all the fillings for what are basically chicken tacos in wrap form, so I head to the kitchenette to put it all together then go sit out in the sunny courtyard to eat with some other grads. There are less of us than usual, as some have opted to drive in to Mawson Lakes to get sushi and bubble tea.
I’ve been asked to have a look at a problem that we’re having on one of our sites. Our movement tracking system just isn’t starting up correctly. This particular site is our biggest job yet, and it’s a ‘greenfield’ project, meaning that we’re installing our product in a brand new place that’s currently under construction. This is as opposed to brownfield projects, where we are installing our product on an existing site, generally replacing another product with our own. We have a test lab set up for this particular site, so I head in there to see if I can replicate the problem. I can, which means we can work on solving it a lot more easily than if we were just providing remote support to the engineers on site. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to this site (in northern NSW), for commissioning work a couple of times, and I can say from experience that it saves a lot of time and stress when the Adelaide office is able to tackle some site problems themselves.
I’m feeling restless and I’ve got a bit of time up my sleeve after working longer days earlier in the week, so I decide to go for a quick walk to clear my head. There’s a nice walking track straight from the office along Dry Creek, and today I got to admire the Rainbow Lorikeets along the way!
I realise I haven’t met with my mentor in a while, so I set up a meeting for next week. When we start, we’re assigned a mentor (who works in a part of the company that we have no planned rotations in) to be a guide and a point of contact for non-work related issues. I’m very lucky and my mentor is the head of the cybersecurity department. He is full of interesting stories and great tips, and even though I’m quite settled now, I still like to meet with him regularly for a quick chat and update about what each of us are doing. After this, I get back in to my coding task.
Time for a quick coffee break! I head to the café to meet with a few other grads in my cohort. We talk about work for a few minutes then slowly drift in to more social matters, like our upcoming lunch!
Off the clock now and ready for sport. Once a week we have an organised inner-company sporting match. This is in our own time, but it’s a great way to get to know more people and run around. Today’s sport is tennis, but we play a variety of sports including soccer, volleyball, badminton, and basketball. We’ve also tried some more obscure sports such as ultimate frisbee and a Swedish game called Kubb. We usually head down to the local university to use their gym, but we have a tennis court onsite so today it’s just at work!
Tennis isn’t my strong point and I lost most of my matches, unfortunately, but it was good fun! Time to head home now, and take the dog for a quick walk before preparing dinner, or heading off to a dance class.
No dance class tonight, as I’m pretty exhausted after my run and tennis, so I eat dinner and veg out in front of the TV for a while. Sometimes if I’m feeling motivated I’ll do a LinkedIn Learning course, but not tonight.
Time for a shower, and to get organised for tomorrow. I think I’ll just go for a walk in the morning so there’s no need to prepare breakfast or my work clothes to take with me. I make sure I’ve got everything for lunch and put together an afternoon snack.
I get into bed (performing some hard-core yoga to position myself around the sleeping cat), and read for a while before sleep eventually takes over. Ready to do it all again tomorrow!