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Conversations in code: Elevating your career

“Coding is a rewarding vocation that many choose as a lifelong pursuit, but it doesn’t mean that knowledge gained over a lifetime can’t be shared."

Lillian McCann

How good am I at my job? What impact do I have amongst the organisation? Does my work stand out?


It’s a very human reaction to wonder how colleagues – some of whom we look up to as mentors - really regard our expertise.


I recall the early days of my career when I was interested in feedback but was sometimes afraid to ask, or the pressures of the day didn’t allow those conversations to take place.


As my career developed, I’ve often wondered; how could these conversations be more ingrained into our day-to-day work life?


The power of conversations


500 engineers from Australia and India recently completed a transition pilot of ANZ’s Engineering Career Pathways which sought to answer many of these questions and create an environment which nurtures developmental feedback.


The program has been designed by ANZ’s engineers to help build the bank’s engineering capability but also to develop their skills and craft as individuals.


At ANZ we are interested in well-rounded engineers who can guide and grow others. And to help someone else grow and prosper you don’t necessarily have to be a people manager.


Engineering Career Pathways allows engineers to stay on the tools and still progress in their careers. Conversations in the workplace are a key element to progression.


Coding is a rewarding vocation that many choose as a lifelong pursuit, but it doesn’t mean that knowledge gained over a lifetime can’t be shared. In my experience many top coders love helping others develop their skills.


Lillian McCann, an Identity Engineer at ANZ Plus, was surprised at the level of support she received through the process. ‘I enjoyed speaking with Adelle (McDonald, a senior leader in the ANZ Plus business) to discuss my assessment results and my career aspirations.


‘Aside from her guidance at the outcome discussion, I’ve now got someone very senior who knows my goals and will look for opportunities on my behalf,’ comments the former Summer Intern who was hired to work at ANZ after that program finished.


ANZ Site Reliability Engineer Srinivas Kumar Bugata says the program’s self-assessment helped to identify his best fit, progress his areas of interest and kick start these conversations with his manager.


‘Based on the work I showcased in the self-assessment, the report exactly identified where my best fit is and what will help me with my areas of interest.’


‘I’ve now been able to have conversations with my manager to help them better understand my potential and interests. I’ve recently started working on an automation implementation framework - I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity if I hadn’t gone through the Pathways assessment. The program allowed me to showcase my ability.’


The big picture


The program’s assessment process was designed to be objective and data-informed to reduce bias and consistently apply the same standards across different areas of ANZ.


People undertake a self-assessment that is then assessed by their manager. Both sets of responses are then compared using an algorithm before going through a multi-layered panel calibration phase that aims to removes bias and determines the ultimate craft level of the engineer.


This gives our engineers a clear picture of where they stand and what they need to do to progress their careers, grow the community and guide the conversations they need to have.


Fadi Kaba, who is new to ANZ, found it useful to help him identify gaps.


‘While I couldn’t document a lot of impact due to my short amount of time with the bank, doing the assessment helped me see the big picture of what the business wants from me.’


With the pilot now complete, the next phase of the roll-out will be Australia Retail, Australia Commercial and the Institutional technology teams.


Lastly, have the conversations. They will guide you in elevating your career, whatever that looks like for you.


Tim Hogarth is Chief Technology Officer at ANZ


Click here to see what it’s like working as an ANZ software engineer

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