Sharlene Davey

Busting the myths about working in tech

Although Sharlene Davey (BBusCom, BBIS) had been keen on technology from an early age, she first opted for Business and Commerce, with a major in Public Relations. After graduating, she took a job at a PR consultancy, but found herself more attracted to the work of her technology clients than she did to her own. So, Sharlene followed her calling and returned to Monash to study Business Information Systems.

Sharlene had always planned to stay on the business side of technology, in a strategy or analyst role. She feared that otherwise she’d end up in some dark cubicle writing code. Alone. But once she’d entered the Commonwealth Bank graduate program, she soon discovered that being a developer actually requires problem solving, creativity and yes, even collaboration.

“As part of an Agile scrum team, I work with designers, business analysts, product owners, project managers, data scientists, and other developers to solve problems and develop new products for our customers every day,” she explains.

Sharlene has also had the opportunity to try various roles, from Business Analyst in Cyber Protective Services to Architecture Analyst in Digital Solution Architecture to iOS Developer in Mobile Engineering.

Sharlene said the environment at Commonwealth Bank is more like a technology firm than a bank. “My team are really interactive, the environment is relaxed and we’re empowered to dress for our day”.

If it’s true that the best ideas come from many minds, the Spend Tracker (an innovative feature of the CommBank app) is a great example. “This technology enables us to understand customers’ spending habits and gives nudges to helping to improve their financial wellbeing,” suggests Sharlene. “It was really exciting seeing something our team developed available to thousands of customers and showcased through a bold marketing campaign.”

Sharlene says that her two industry-based learning (IBL) placements gave her a competitive edge when applying for graduate programs. “IBL gave me the chance to experience a wide range of roles, from Global Channels Security Analyst to User Experience Designer, and from Business Analyst to Test Automation Developer,” she shares. “This breadth of experience has been invaluable in developing my skills.”

Sharlene offers others a great tip for people looking for their next role/ placement: “Never turn down an exciting opportunity just because you don’t think you can do it. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to learn and to try new things – you never know where it might lead you.”