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Refactoring the career path of an engineer

“I want to build an environment where engineers want to come and work. Where they can grow and be recognised for their technical mastery to ensure ANZ attracts, retains and engages the engineers we need to deliver critical business projects.”


Is it possible to rise to the top of your profession without having to take on the responsibility of managing a big team? This might be controversial, however even some of the most ambitious amongst us don’t aspire to lead large teams.


For the engineers working at ANZ, the answer is now ‘yes’, it is possible.


ANZ’s engineering talent is exceptional. It’s also quite broad; we have more than 5,000 people in a range of engineering disciplines.


And in our talented team many, many people are prepared to challenge traditional thinking rather than resort to convention as they seek out greater pools of value. Often this value is realised from technical mastery, not management.


I want to build an environment where engineers want to come and work. Where they can grow and be recognised for their technical mastery to ensure ANZ attracts, retains and engages the engineers we need to deliver critical business projects.


I also want to empower our engineering talent to reach further and have an even bigger impact on customers and the community.


Engineering capability is more important than ever


Engineering has been a part of bank operations since the 1980s but has evolved from a small niche for people operating mainframes to the point where the bank’s overall engineering capability is fundamental to our customer value proposition, our competitive positioning and our ability to modernise ANZ’s business.


We also need a more diverse and sustainable engineering workforce profile. This includes leveraging the benefits of early talent, having higher female representation and an integrated workforce, optimising our footprint across key locations, and making the most of partnerships with vendors. 


The engineers at ANZ control and change a significant base of technology, managing billions of lines of source code that drive every aspect of our business.


Approximately 40 per cent of the technology used in the bank is custom built by our software engineers while almost all technology is tested, deployed and directly supported by our engineers.


Our investment in market leading customer propositions has drawn in a large amount of world-class engineering expertise, specifically around software, data and security engineering.


Demand though for engineers is only increasing. Some of the demand is controlled by our investment appetite but global shocks, new regulation and market disruption have seen rapid unexpected surges in the need for more engineers.


Engineering success


We’ve done a lot of research and there are some key things critical for all engineers:


  • A quality and credible tech environment – leaders and peers who understand tech, an organisation that invests in technology, its people, the tools and the tech stack.
  • To be part of a company that values what tech can deliver and integrates tech so it is intrinsically part of the business.  Tech is never an afterthought but part of the everyday.
  • To continue to learn – because they’re curious, active in developing new skills and a keen interest in staying current.
  • Interesting and challenging work where they can be creative with solution designs and deft use of new technology.
  • To see the impact of their work. Engineers want to be creating stuff that gets to market and is used but customers.


Becoming a master


Engineers also want to keep growing and be recognised as they do so. That’s why we’ve spent a year developing a new career development  framework, ANZ Career Engineering Pathways, to help our engineers build a path to mastery.


The new career framework gives an engineer the chance to progress based on their level of skill and proficiency, rather than solely their ability to manage teams.  Our career framework, which will roll out from February 2023, sets the technical expectations for each role and shapes how people can also move laterally to different engineering fields.  


Our career framework is anchored on eight different engineering specifications including software, infrastructure, cloud, data, security, site reliability, support and quality.


Our most senior engineers are called ‘distinguished engineers’ who lead, educate and inspire teams - but may not have the day-to-day administration and oversight responsibilities.


We have many exciting challenges at ANZ. With this engineering-centric career model, we can offer our engineers both great career opportunities and career progress in the fields of engineering master.


I know this will go a long way to help us make ANZ a great place to work for engineers.


Tim Hogarth is Chief Technology Officer at ANZ