Leidos

Science, Technology & Analytics

At Leidos, we make the world safer, healthier and more efficient through information technology, engineering and science. It’s work that matters, and a mission we are passionate about.

We are a large scale prime systems integrator. We go beyond the platform by creating solutions that turn complex, mission-critical data in to practical, usable solutions for our customers. Our key asset is the quality of our people – 1,400 in Australia from different backgrounds and with a wide range of skills and experience, working together to deliver innovative answers for our customers’ most complex challenges.

In practical terms, we are Australia’s largest commercial supplier of intelligence services to the Australian Intelligence Community. We also maintain legislative websites for governments, provide critical systems integration projects to the Department of Defence and support the IT environment for the Australian Taxation Office.

HERE'S A SNAPSHOT...

38,000 Employees
30 Countries
1969 Founded

Why Join Leidos?

You can make a real difference

As an evolving organisation, our people are able to make a real difference not just to the work we do, but to our working environment too. We welcome new ideas and encourage our people to challenge the norm.

We also listen to what our people say. So, we run an annual Employee Engagement survey called Leidoscope. This tells us what is working well and where we can do better. And it helps us with our business planning for the next year.

We are developing a supportive and rewarding culture

We want everyone to be able to be the best they can be and recognised for their contribution. So, every day, we are developing a culture where collaboration, transparency and flexibility are embedded, our people are recognised and opportunities for their personal development are clearly laid out.

Last year alone, ‘Young Professionals’, ‘Defence & Emergency Services’ and ‘Women’s’ Advocacy Groups were established. These are voluntary groups of like-minded Leidos employees who have a common interest, meet regularly and hold open events that anyone in the company can join.

We celebrate our differences

We are proud of and celebrate our diversity – we are all unique – and work hard to help everyone feel accepted as part of the team.

During the year, we participate in events such as International Women’s Day, RUOK Day and Taste of Harmony. And, last year, we were recognised as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

We also give back

Last year, Leidos was recognised as one of the World’s most Ethical Companies. So, delivering practical solutions to complex challenges doesn’t just apply to the work we do for our customers. Not only are our people involved in many charitable causes and communityrelated initiatives but, as a business, we also have ongoing relationships with the Australian War Memorial and Bravery Trust, which provides urgent financial support to veterans, current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

We’re big but small

As a company, we are rare. Whilst we are part of a 32,000 person US-based organisation with a 50 year history, here in Australia we are still a relatively new name. Our business is growing fast and we are building an enviable reputation for innovation and delivery.

Where you could fit in

Whether you are looking to specialise in a technical area – such as Software or Systems Engineering – or in any of the functions that are essential for the smooth-running of our business – HR, Finance, Business Development, Operations or Corporate Affairs, for example, you could be part of our future.

Who are we looking for?

At Leidos, we love a challenge. So, if you are adaptable, eager to get involved and enjoy finding better, more efficient ways of doing things, we should talk.

Early Careers

Graduate Program

We run a one year graduate program, enabling graduates to work on real projects as an embedded and productive team member right from the start. They are surrounded by seriously smart, approachable people, so there’s plenty of scope to push boundaries, learn and grow.

All of our graduates are employed on a permanent basis and are provided support, on the job training, and networking opportunities along with an assigned mentor and buddy to help navigate around our organisation.

At the end of the year, they typically continue to work in the area they started in and further develop their strengths and capabilities. After that, they often progress into technical or managerial positions.

Industry based learning program

We also run a paid industry based learning program for 12 months. Ideal for students in their penultimate year at university, this offers the chance to apply what they have learnt into hands-on work experience by tackling real projects alongside more experienced team members.

What our Graduates Say

Savas Semirli

Software Engineer at Leidos

There are always events being held to facilitate mingling with co-workers and celebrating of milestones and there are flexible work arrangements to suit your lifestyle supporting a healthy work-life balance.

What’s your job about?

Leidos is a large scale prime systems integrator. As a software engineer, I am involved in a number of activities that is useful to our customers and helps to solve their challenges. I help build deliverable software, integrate existing software, take part in ceremonial meetings based on the software engineering methodology, and team communications both online and in-person, to ensure the works progress effectively and efficiently through the day. We utilise a fairly advanced tool stack to facilitate project management and team collaboration.

The skills and experience you learn in this role are transferable to many different roles and positions throughout the IT industry, so if you are not sure this is for you, never fear, there is a whole bunch of other things you can do.

What’s your background?

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and throughout my early school years, I was not sure what I wanted to be or what I wanted do but I was always interested in computers. Since I was really young I would help my brother in his computer business which fostered a healthy curiosity for how computers worked. Over time I understood the hardware and then began wondering about the software. For a while, the software was always an interest but I never followed that interest.

I studied business and international business at two different universities but was never really won over, I felt something was just not clicking. Later I decided it’s about time I looked into IT. That was the best decision I made throughout my tertiary education. I had found what I was really interested in and what I enjoyed. After my first year studying Information Technology I was so sure that this is what I wanted to do for a living I started job searching and attending job fairs as soon as I could. It was at the Big Meet in 2017 that I met the representatives for Leidos at one of the stands, after about two minutes of speaking with the team I knew this is the type of organisation I wanted to work in. Further research into the company solidified this gut feeling, and so I submitted my application. The first two times I applied, I made it quite far in the application process but was unsuccessful. However I was not one to give up, the third time I applied I had made it all the way to the face to face interview’s and after a short time, I received the exciting news… I had made it through. One thing I would like anyone reading this to take away is to be persistent, and do not take rejection personally, learn from it and try again. Understandably the industry is huge and thousands of applicants each just as bright and capable as the other apply to the same role, I was just humbled to be a part of the process no matter the stage. I am now in my second year working at Leidos and I could not tell you where the time has gone, I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Suppose someone wants to do the same job as you do, would that be also possible with a different background?

Yes! With an open mind and a willingness to learn, anything is possible.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

What I love about my job is the fact that as technology changes so do our approach and implementations, in turn leading to learning new things all the time. In regards to Leidos as a company however, it is a fantastic organisation which takes great care of its employees. There are always events being held to facilitate mingling with co-workers and celebrating of milestones and there are flexible work arrangements to suit your lifestyle supporting a healthy work-life balance.

What are the limitations of your job?

A steep learning curve. If one has not done anything like this before there is a fair bit to learn before being self-reliant, however again nothing an open mind and willingness to learn won’t solve. There is also the physical side, naturally, for this role you are sitting down a lot, regular walks and exercise is your friend here. Teamwork is a massive part of the job if you are alone ranger start building your team skills. In saying that however, the people at Leidos are amazing and very understanding, you’ll never feel isolated or left out, and over time you’ll be picking up the skills needed naturally.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

  1. Do what you enjoy!
  2. Get into industry as soon as you can, school is great, but industry is very different.
  3. Be persistent always!

Luke Franco

DevOps Engineer at Leidos

For me, this is great for staying engaged, and continuously learning new skills and growing each day.

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.

Nadia Gottschalk

Project Coordinator at Leidos

I’ve landed in an amazing team that has given me great development opportunities; because of this I’m now responsible for delivering a body of work within my project.

What’s your job about?

My current role as a Project Coordinator is to plan and communicate upcoming activities with my team, track the budget and schedule, report our progress to the client and upper management, work with suppliers to obtain their services and ensure the technical team have everything they need to perform their work. My role can also include writing plans for an upcoming phase of the project or working with another part of the team to gather and consolidate information.

I work in one of Leidos’ larger projects so there’s always a lot happening; because of this, there’s opportunity to work with many different people across different project areas. Working in a large team also means that you can see many different working styles and can pick and choose what others do that you may want to implement. 

My advice for project management graduates (in particular ones with a limited IT background) is to proactively learn technical information from teammates such as Solution Architects, Software, Network and Database Engineers etc. Although project management principles apply to many fields, having domain-specific knowledge will make you a more understanding and effective project manager. 

What’s your background?

I grew up in Brisbane in an area surrounded by bush, so I was lucky enough to experience living alongside lots of native animals around like wallabies, goannas, bush turkeys and carpet pythons.

For many years I planned to be a research scientist and so I studied a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.  After working in three different research laboratories I realised that although I love science the day-to-day life of a researcher wasn’t for me. I decided to start anew by moving to Melbourne and studying a Graduate Diploma of Business. During my studies, I interviewed at Leidos and was accepted into the 2019 grad program as a Project Coordinator. I’ve been a Project Coordinator at Leidos for 2 years and am really enjoying it here.     

During my time at Leidos, I’ve worked in a Proposal team in Leidos’ Business Development area and in two different projects during the execution and project closure phases. The Business Development area of Leidos is quite different to the project side; I think it’s a valuable experience to first work in a project and then get involved in some proposal work. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, someone with a different background to me could definitely perform my job. I’m a Project Coordinator working in IT however my background is neuroscience, genetics and business. Whilst taking some more IT courses at university would have helped, a lot of the skills and knowledge required in my role is specific to my project or the governance structure and processes which I need to comply with. As long as you actively learn and ask questions along the way it’s possible to build the skills to work in an area you don’t have an extensive background in.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

I’ve landed in an amazing team that has given me great development opportunities; because of this I’m now responsible for delivering a body of work within my project. My favourite part of the job is when my team and I achieve a key milestone after many months of hard work. 

My role also requires me to interact with lots of people including the technical team, upper management and external suppliers. I enjoy building relationships with team members and suppliers outside of Leidos as most people I’ve worked with have a really good sense of humour which makes work really enjoyable.

What are the limitations of your job?

Because I’m responsible for delivering a body of work I have to obtain resources, closely track the finances & schedule and report my team’s progress. Although my team is amazing and always available to help, I tend to put pressure on myself to ensure I feel in control of what I’m responsible for delivering.

Project Coordinators have to make lots of phone calls and interact with many people. Someone who doesn’t enjoy talking to people and building relationships with others would likely not enjoy this job, having said that you don’t need to be extrovert to do well in this role.   

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

1. Taking the occasional early study break or going on that 3-day road trip won’t hurt your results, you’ll come back refreshed and be more efficient when you return to study.

2. Keep in contact with lecturers and tutors; they may know of potential job opportunities or become a mentor.

3. Your limited work experience doesn’t make you less valuable than someone with more experience. You will be able to work with the same confidence and capability that others possess with time; as long as you do the best that you can with the skillset you have at the time then that’s enough.

Shaun Blackburn

Software Engineer at Leidos

There is trust there from management and it makes work a lot more enjoyable.

What’s your job about?

Leidos Australia is an information technology contractor that targets various government, defence, intelligence and health projects. I work on a project called JP2096 which is in the area of intelligence and is also often referred to as “Google for Defence”. This project aims at unifying various defence data sources so users can find what they are looking for easier. There are also a number of bells and whistles in the system that make analysing and looking for trends easier which means more informed and efficient decisions.

An average day for me looks something like the following:

  • Get into work, check Slack for any team or project updates.
  • Either continue working on or pick up a new Jira ticket from the Scrum Board. For my team, this means a 3-5 day chunk of work on some part of the system. These can touch on one or more technologies and include a variety of things e.g. java/python code, automated deployment scripts, an investigation into open-source software etc.
  • Lunch at midday. Usually, walk to somewhere in Melbourne CBD
  • Often there are meetings to discuss a new component design. You can get as involved with this as you want. I enjoy being involved in the designing stage so I end up in quite a few of these meetings.
  • In between working on my own tickets and meetings, I review other people’s work to make sure we are all at the team standard.
  • Go home on time

What’s your background?

I grew up in Melbourne and have lived there all my life. Following high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but ended up in a Bachelor of Science at Monash University. I finished that and then followed it up with an honours year in Genetics. I did really well so afterwards there were a few labs wanting me to do a PhD with them. I lasted about a year into a PhD and then decided that this wasn’t how I wanted to live my life and quit. Looking back it was the best decision I have made and I only wish I had done it sooner.

I spent the next few years in casual jobs before I started to think about getting qualified in something else. I considered a number of things before I landed on a Masters of IT. Some of my friends would later tell me when they heard about it, it just seemed right. A couple of years later I was applying to graduate positions and a friend pointed me to Leidos, who I had never heard of before. They seemed to be doing cool things and be all about technology so I was keen. I put in an application, had a phone interview and then a face to face interview. I got offered the job soon after that. It was a bit of a different journey to end up in this position, but I’m very happy how it turned out.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

I often tell people that anyone who can think and problem solve could do my job. Sure there are some things you learn in computer science and it would be difficult to ramp up in programming knowledge if you had never done that before. However, if you wanted to, and had the drive to learn, then anyone could do it. A degree can help you get through the door, but being able to learn new skills and then teach other people will help you do well once you are there.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

What I love about my job is the work-life balance it offers. This includes being able to work your hours at a time that suits you and being able to leave for the day without expectations of unpaid overtime. As long as you do your hours for the day and are at work for key meetings, the time you come in and leave is pretty flexible. There is trust there from management and it makes work a lot more enjoyable. I also go to work enjoying the idea that what I am doing has a positive impact on people and Australia as a whole, rather than just being about the bottom line.

What are the limitations of your job?

The project you first get to work on is very dependent on what is available at that time. You could get lucky, as I did, and land in a big project that is just at the beginning stages, or you might end up in a project you don’t enjoy much. Rotations are not as readily available due to the nature of the work, but if you make it clear what you want then from my experience Leidos will try to help you make it happen.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student…

  • Prepare for your interviews by having a list of prepared answers to typical interview questions in the STAR method. You might have heard it before, but it works.
  • Don’t keep doing something you are not enjoying. You don’t have to enjoy it all the time, but if it’s none of the time, then look elsewhere to what might suit you better.
  • A good work ethic is not something you start once you hit the workplace. Do it now.

Life at Leidos

Job satisfaction and business success thrive in a positive working environment. Every day, we are developing a culture where collaboration, transparency and flexibility are in-built, innovation thrives, individuals are recognized, development opportunities are clear, and new initiatives are being launched all the time.

Celebrating our differences

We want our people to feel valued for their unique qualities, ideas and perspectives. It ensures a sense of belonging and underpins our success as a business. Events such as International Women’s Day, RUOK Day and Taste of Harmony are all central to our calendar.

Sharing knowledge and experience

Our Advocacy Groups and Communities of Practice help ensure likeminded people, irrespective of where they work within the organisation, are able to collaborate and learn within their interest or professional groups.

Listening to our people

We work hard to make sure that everyone feels challenged to do their best work in an environment where they feel they belong. Our annual Employee Engagement survey, Leidoscope, provided rich insights into what our people feel is working well and where we can do better.

Recognising our achievements

Everyone likes to be thanked, so we have developed a range of tools from simple Kudos cards (thanks to a colleague for helping out) and monetary gift vouchers (recognition for a great job well done) through to our annual Leidos Australia Values Award (LAVA) events held simultaneously in Canberra and Melbourne.

Sharing progress

Regular team and company events are held throughout the year to keep everyone informed of our progress as a business. We also produce weekly company updates covering a range of business and social topics.

Giving back

We are involved in a number of community-related initiatives either as an official partner or by raising funds for causes our people believe passionately in.

Learn more about our community partners

A word about diversity & inclusion

At Leidos, inclusion is about creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, valued, respected and supported. Embracing diversity means understanding and recognising that each of us is unique, and that our differences are our greatest strength. These are much more than goals or campaigns. They are central to building a great place to work for each of the 34,000 employees at Leidos across the world. Because together, we are better.

Our global focus on Diversity & Inclusion

Meet Yanny

Yanny Li – Systems Engineer at Leidos

Yanny Li studied ​a double degree in Engineering and Commerce ​at Australian National University in 2018 and is now a Systems Engineer at Leidos.

5.00 AM

The alarm goes off. I have a shower, get dressed, make a cup of matcha latte and catch the train into a yoga studio.

6.30 AM

Free-breathing. I have a 2-hour Ashtanga Mysore yoga session. A daily dose of inner peace keeps me calm and clear-headed throughout the day.

8.30 AM

I try to walk 10,000 steps every day. If the weather is good, I would walk to work from the yoga studio (about 2 km).

9.00 AM

I arrive at work, get to my desk, log in and check the calendar for all meetings scheduled for the day. I get myself a cuppa before checking my emails, attending to any outstanding chat messages on Skype from last night and replying promptly to my colleagues.

9.30 AM

I started craving coffee and so are a few of my co-workers. We all head down to our go-to coffee spot. These coffee runs are a great chance to catch up with my colleagues and get to know them better.

10.00 AM

Time for our regular Stand-up meeting. My work is project-oriented and using the agile methodology. These stand-up meetings keep everyone aware of the project’s landscape and progress. If there are certain tasks or issues we need to focus on, this is the time to discuss and to make any adjustments needed.

As a Systems Engineer, my role is to support the execution of Systems Engineering activities on a large-scale system of a systems integration project. This involves breaking down customer supplied requirements into lower-level service specifications, working design aspects and managing the compliance tracking and evidence gathering back up the lifecycle.

10.30 AM

I go back to my desk and continue working through the task I started earlier today. I read through emails and feedback from the detailed requirements I submitted for review. Collate all of the feedback and comments, I make changes to my work. The changes don’t take too long to make. Once I am done, I would chat with the senior engineers to make any further amendments or arrange new tasks.

12.30 PM

It’s lunchtime. I alternate between a social lunch or a lunch packed the night before. I go for a walk around Collins Square and pick up some snacks from Woolworths. The snacks go to our team’s snack drawer and keep everyone in the team energised throughout the day.

1.30 PM

Back at my desk and continue working through the requirements specification process. The detailed requirements describe the necessary functions and features of the project solution and lay a strong foundation for project success. I write down any questions in my head and walk over to my manager’s desk to discuss them.

3.00 PM

I take a small tea break whilst chatting to colleagues in the kitchen area.

5.00 PM

Time to catch a train home. I use the commute time to check my social media messages and catch up with my friends.

6.00 PM

I get home, pack my lunch, pick out my clothes for tomorrow and change to my gym outfits.

7.00 PM

The gym is less busy now. It’s time to sweat it out and stay on track with my health and fitness goals.

10.30 PM

Time for bed. I try to go to bed by 10:30 PM so I can start the next day nice and fresh.

Meet Richard

Richard Barsha – Software Engineer at Leidos

Richard Barsha studied ​a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Software Engineering ​at RMIT University in 2018 and is now a Software Engineer at Leidos

5.30 AM

Snooze and ummmm… snooze again… So here is the thing, I’m just not a morning person. When my alarm starts blaring I will typically indulge my lazy side and snooze it. Once I manage to crawl out of bed, drinking a glass of water helps get the blood flowing (my substitute for the caffeine loaded beverage my partner obsesses over). Lights on, I cover the eyes until they adjust and move onto brushing my teeth, getting dressed and packing my lunch.

6.20 AM

Early bird benefits. By this time, I’m in the car and driving to the train station. Having tried both routines, I can definitely vouch for the idea of being an early bird. Missing the 9.00 AM peak means plenty of parking at the train station, cheaper myki fares and a guaranteed seat on the train. Lately, audiobooks are my jam in the morning, so the earphones go in and I do my best to stay tuned into the book while I fight my forever wandering mind. In case you were wondering, I’m currently listening to “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

7.20 AM

Settling in. Just arrived at my desk, greeted the team and signed into my computer. After a quick catch up with the team, it’s time to check my priorities for the day. The development team is made up of approximately 4 seniors, 2 technical leads, a recent graduate and an intern. We are building a data management platform which will be used to store and serve data to millions of Australians – robustness and scalability are imperative. I’ll spend 5 minutes going through my emails, replying to anything urgent. Up next is checking Jira for workflow changes, if I have made a pull request it’s (hopefully) been reviewed and pushed back to me for amendments. I tend to prioritise addressing feedback on a pull request to maintain momentum – a lingering pull request is a bad news. After all, comments have been addressed, I push my code and move onto the next ticket – this should keep me busy for a while.

11.30 AM

Stand up. You may be thinking it’s a bit late for a stand-up, well… kind of but not really. Running standups at this time has two benefits, firstly it gives the team flexibility to start when it suits them, secondly, it means people talk faster as it’s strategically close to lunch – works surprisingly well. Sometimes we will walk the board sometimes we will do a round-robin (yesterday, today, blockers), I personally prefer the round-robin but change is always welcome.

12.00 PM

Lunchtime. I love food, so naturally, I love lunchtime. Resisting the temptation to buy lunch in the city is a tough one but eating dumplings every day gets expensive and the housing market isn’t playing nice these days… oh and I guess it’s not very healthy.

12.30 PM

Busy work. Trying to deep-dive technical challenges straight after lunch is usually a struggle. Using this time to reply to emails and take care of any other “busy work” helps ease into productivity.

1.30 PM

A collaborative effort. Recently we had a new intern join the team, as part of onboarding we do some pair programming – I found pair programming invaluable when I started my graduate program and it’s something we do often. It gives them a chance to follow along and solidify their technical understanding, asking any questions along the way. Similarly, it forces me to consciously explain my approach in a manner which makes logical sense, an excellent way to weed out pesky knowledge gaps.

3.30 PM

Winding down or ramping up? As the day matures, instead of winding down I try and ramp-up to finalise any deliverables before I head off. The sprint review is tomorrow which means its all hands on deck to get the work we committed to during sprint planning over the line. After checking Jira, there are a couple of tickets requiring review so I grab one and jump into it.

4.30 PM

That’s a wrap. Times up, I pack my bag, say my goodbyes and jump on a train. The days can be cognitively demanding so I skip listening to an audiobook, instead, I play some chilled music and reflect on the day during my commute home.

6.00 PM

Home sweet home. I walk in the door, greet my partner and give the cat a scratch. I do my best to be useful while we prepare dinner, she is much more skilled than I. We have dinner, I do the dishes and try to mentally prepare for a trip to the gym.

7.30 PM

It could go either way. Depending on how strong my will power is that day, I may or may not be at the gym. I try to make it there around 4 times a week, exercise is a key ingredient to a healthy work-life balance.

8.30 PM

Lights out. After getting home I jump straight in the shower and prepare for bed.

The day is done.

Meet Jacqueline

Jacqueline – Software engineer associate at Leidos

Jacqueline studied ​a Bachelor of Information Technology (I.T. security) at Deakin University in 2015 and is now a software engineer associate at Leidos.

6.00 AM

I’m awake…just. Don’t bother talking to me; I won’t give you a coherent response. I eat breakfast and drink tea. Tea is good. I spend too long savouring my tea and rush through brushing my teeth and getting dressed to get out of the house on time.

7.00 AM

I drive to the station. As it’s so early, I can usually find parking pretty easily. I get on my train which is 3 mins late, find the last seat in the carriage, grab my phone and earbuds out of my bag and settle in for the journey to work with some head-banging tunes to get me pumped for the day. I’m looking forward to the day ahead.

8.00 AM

My train is now ten minutes late. I choose to take the stairs rather than the escalators to get out of the station because I like to pretend I’m fit. It’s a brisk walk from the station to the office.

8.10 AM

I walk into my office suite and greet the two guys on my team who beat me in. We like to make use of Leidos’ flexible hours and have more home time in the afternoon. The rest of the floor is very quiet as most people don’t get in until a bit later. I unpack my stuff and log into my computers. I check my email and see the weekly update from the chief executive with updates on the organisation as a whole. This is a good way to find out what’s happening in different parts of the business.

8.30 AM

My team is currently working on a research and development project and we use scrum software development methodology. Today’s the last day of our two week sprint and I need to finish off the story that I’ve been working on before 11 o’clock so I can get the new functionality into the release.

9.30 AM

I’m happy that my code has built successfully, my unit tests have passed, I have a running instance of my new feature in our Dev environment and I’ve documented how to use the new feature. I need to get my story and code reviewed before I can mark it as ‘Done’. I ask one of my team members to review it for me. I give him a demo of the new feature and explain how it works. He reads through my code and picks up on a couple of things that I could have done better. I go back and fix the minor issues, then he re-reviews my code and approves it. My changes then get merged and my story is marked as ‘Done’.

10.30 AM

The Leidos office in Melbourne holds a morning tea every fortnight, and today’s the day. I get to the kitchen just as the food arrives so I can be sure I won’t miss out on a mini chicken curry pie.

11.00 AM

It’s sprint review time! This meeting only happens at the end of the sprint. We each talk through our moods during the sprint, what we think went well, what we think could be improved next sprint and people we’d like to thank.

11.30 AM

My team demos the stories that we’ve worked on over the sprint to each other. Some sprints, our client will come along to see the progress we’ve made, but this week it’s just an internal demo.

12.00 PM

Lunch time! Half of my team go out and buy food, the other half bring stuff from home. I’m in the ‘bring stuff from home’ category because I’m trying to save a deposit for a house. I head to the kitchen to toast my sandwich and then bring it back and eat it by the window while browsing the housing market on my phone and chatting to my colleagues.

12.30 PM

We merge the code in our Dev environment to our Prod environment and check that all tests are passed. We deploy to Prod and ensure that everything still works as expected. We fix any issues that come up.

1.00 PM

It’s sprint planning time. This always feels like the longest part of the sprint, so I make sure I’ve made myself a nice cup of tea to get me through it. My team gathers in a corner and we sit down and go through each new story in our backlog queue. We vote on the number of points we think each story is worth based on how difficult we think they will be to complete. The higher the points, the more difficult the story. If there’s a large discrepancy between our rankings, then the people who voted for the highest and lowest number explain why they thought it was difficult or easy respectively. After hearing their explanations, we then vote again until we reach an agreement. Once all of the stories have points, stories are added to our next sprint based on how many points we think we can achieve over the next two weeks.

3.30 PM

Sprint planning is finished and as I don’t have any story currently assigned to me, I can pick the next one from the top of the backlog queue to work on. It turns out that the next story is to configure and install a new software that I’ve never worked with before, so I spend a bit of time doing some background reading to try and figure out how it works before I start attempting to write configuration and installation scripts.

4.10 PM

Back to work. I think I’ve got enough of an idea to get started on my story, so I start writing some configuration and installation scripts.

4.45 PM

Home time! It was a good day. I pack up my stuff and log out of my computers. I leave the office and walk up to the station to catch a train home.

6.00 PM

I arrive home, eat dinner, walk my dog, have a shower, catch up on some TV and relax.

10.00 PM

Bedtime! I’ve achieved quite a bit today, so now it’s time for a well-earned rest.

Leidos Career Mentor Stories

Job satisfaction and business success thrive in a positive working environment.  Every day, we are developing a culture where collaboration, transparency and flexibility are in-built, innovation thrives, individuals are recognised, development opportunities are clear, and new initiatives are being launched all the time.

Hear from some of our Leidos Career Mentors about their experiences and words of advice for people starting out in our industry.

Sandy Croft

Business Relationship Manager at Leidos

I love the lightbulb moment that people get when I am explaining something. Whether I am demonstrating our software in its development stages and people say “wow that’s amazing! I can’t wait until it’s finished!” or I am explaining some nuance of the way the military works – just what is an OODALOOP and why is it important to our software?

What’s your background?
I grew up in a farming area in South East Queensland and attended school in town. I moved to Adelaide and completed year 11-12 in a big city high-school which was a bit of a shock. I joined the Navy when I was 19 and did my Bachelor of Arts at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) before heading out to sea to drive ships. Driving ships took me all over like South East Asia and the South-West Pacific.

I transferred to Intelligence and worked in rooms with no windows and on ships at sea in the Middle East and the Australian region. I was lucky to be able to do my Masters back at ADFA when my eldest child was 6 months olds.

I moved 18 times in 21 years until I finally bought my own home in Canberra. At the same time, I had my second baby at the age of 43 and had a moment where I decided that I didn’t want to be a nomad any more. So I left the Navy in May 2019 and joined Leidos Australia.

What’s your job about?
Leidos Australia are an IT company that are building ‘Google TV’ for Defence users on a Defence IT system. I am their ‘pet intelligence officer’ because I have experience doing the job of an Intelligence officer and our software is aimed to make their lives easier. So how does someone with an Arts degree get a job with an IT company? I say that it’s my job to be the translator. I speak military and so I translate military-speak to the IT team, I’m learning IT so I can speak it to the project team.
Essentially I am a liaison between the software team in Melbourne and the customer in Canberra. I have also coordinated working groups (more talking!) where we have shown our work in progress to military people in uniform and the software team take their feedback and incorporate it. It helps that I am the sort of person who likes to talk to people and that’s pretty much my entire job.

Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
I never imagined working for an IT company as I’m not technical at all. I am great with words – speaking them, reading them, researching and writing. I even did sales for a while because it’s all about words and talking. My job now is the happy combination of my military experience, my sales experience, my love of talking and telling stories to get my point across. I am loving learning all about the way software works and connects and all the hidden ‘under the hood’ mysteries and I am using my natural skills in explaining that technical information in a simple way.

What is most rewarding about your job?
I love the lightbulb moment that people get when I am explaining something. Whether I am demonstrating our software in its development stages and people say ‘wow that’s amazing! I can’t wait until it’s finished!’ or I am explaining some nuance of the way the military works – just what is an OODALOOP and why is it important to our software?

What were some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now?
Being a chatty, bubbly person in the military meant I attracted attention, and not all of it was positive. It’s called being a heat-seeker! It’s great in my current job though! The tough side though is being ‘piggy in the middle’. When things get tense, when we are up against a deadline or something isn’t working, I am in the middle. It is great that I am a sensitive person when it comes to managing relationships, but when everyone is tense – it’s important not to take it personally. I cannot have an ego and can never say “I was right!” to the customer, even when I was!

3 pieces of advice you would give women who want to work in your industry?
Don’t change yourself to fit your job, change your job to fit yourself. If you feel like you to have to make yourself be smaller to fit in at work – then that workplace isn’t for you. My best bosses were the ones who recognised my unique abilities, gave me direction and let me go. I then aspired to be an empowering boss like them.  Doing something that isn’t work-related adds another element to who you are, so try something different and random. My sales experience has helped me do software demonstrations and taught me how to explain things.

Bronwyn Hampson

I have a team of highly professional engineers that are very skilled at what they do.

What’s your background?
I started my career as a Purchasing Officer for a medical research company.  This was part of an Office Traineeship, so I was working 3 days a week and doing an office management course at TAFE 2 days a week.  I loved the role and the training and was offered a full-time position after my year of training.  It was an amazing step into the corporate world and I had extremely good mentors.  Being only a small company, we had no onsite IT support and I found myself tinkering and becoming the go-to person in the office for anything IT.  I performed a few site upgrades of Office versions and printer rollouts and really knew then that I wanted to be in IT.

The majority of my experience has been on the job, moving up to help desk support then onto project management.

My first ‘real’ IT job was with a major retailer, working on a Windows rollout, in the application packaging area.  I loved deployments, I loved translating tech jargon to business-speak and I enjoyed the pace of projects.

Many years later, I am now running a team of nearly 60 people, managing major computing environments and services for a Government agency.

Throughout my whole career, the most valuable thing for me was the open and honest guidance I have received from various mentors.  I learned very quickly that if you were willing to ask for help, there is always someone willing to provide it.

What’s your job about?
My current areas of responsibility are the management of an ongoing services team responsible for the delivery of end-user services for Defence.  We cover several services, including endpoint security, printing services, Microsoft operating system build services, Application Packaging, endpoint management configuration services, Verification and Validation testing and Release Services.  We have the most impact on the Defence end-user experience and are responsible for ensuring Defence endpoints remain on current version operating systems.

We have coverage of 6 major environments and support over 150,000 machines and 120,000 users.  We have to ensure updates go out to the fleet with no end-user interruption or interaction – so imagine your home pc updates that occur – we do all that in the background and track compliance for each machine.

Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
I had no idea what career choice I wanted to follow.  Nearly 30 years ago when I started this role, it wasn’t very common that IT support was a widely chosen career path.  I had two IT subjects at school and never really touched IT apart from the home dial-up modem connection and Napstar!  Once I started to get involved in IT, I loved the fact that each issue had a solution.

What is most rewarding about your job?
I have a team of highly professional engineers that are very skilled at what they do.  I love seeing them come up with solutions and concepts that are not only making their lives easier but improve customer experience.

I love being able to translate from the technical to the business talk.  We provide a lot of reports on a daily basis and it’s not just about providing data but providing the context of what the reporting means.

I also enjoy the forward planning of what we are going to be implementing and how.  The struggles that go along with this include ensuring we have enough funding, resourcing capacity and customer buy-in.

What were some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now?
There are two sides to every coin.

The challenges of this role are mainly about the pressure that comes with supporting the Australian Defence force.  We are responsible for ensuring that they have a reliable and available platform to allow them to do their main role in supporting the warfighter.   When you remember it in this context, a small issue that affects 20 people could be a detrimental impact on an active Defence operation.  I have to ensure we understand the impact of what we are dealing with and ensuring we have the correct priorities assigned.  When we have an issue in the environment, we work 24×7 to remediate it and return services.  So often, I have had many weekends interrupted with urgent calls.  There is a real sense of satisfaction in remediating these large issues and supporting the team to return of service.

3 pieces of advice you would give women who want to work in your industry?
Think about possible progressions in the role and test yourself against what suits you best.  Is it people leadership, technical management, architectural expertise, project management, etc?  Each career path has its own requirements from a strengths/personality trait.  See what aligns to your own areas of interest and then devise a plan to achieve it.  Floating aimlessly and hoping for the best is not a development plan.  Take it seriously and it’s ok to try and change tack.

Mohini Sathe

The most rewarding thing for me as a senior engineer is when the customer is happy. Working with an amazing group of people to produce the best outcomes, build the relations and help the business to grow.

What’s your background?
Since high school, I developed an interest in Electronics and decided to get into engineering. All my cousins, my sister was into either arts or commerce, I was the only one who decided to get into engineering. Thanks to my parents for supporting me and gave me the freedom to choose the career I wanted. Due to finances, I had to work to pay my engineering fees and that is how I landed up in my very first job after finishing a diploma in computer course.  I was doing really well professionally and was at the peak of my career, which is when I tied the knot for lifelong commitment and moved to Australia leaving everything behind.

For most of my experience, I have found myself as the only female engineer, but it never bothered me; all that matters to me is kind of work, surroundings and support from seniors. With my previous job due to long commute, non-flexible, non-supportive work environment I find it hard to spend time with my 2 young children and decided to change. That is how I landed up in my current job at Leidos Australia. Leidos Australia not only gives me the flexibility I was looking for but also the ongoing opportunities and learnings to continue my passion in technology.  I joined Leidos Australia as a Senior Software and now working as a Software Engineer Lead. This clearly shows how Leidos Australia is good in recognising talent and hard work.

What’s your job about?
With 20 years of local experience, Leidos Australia is a leader in providing practical solutions to the federal government using science, engineering and technology.

As a Software Engineering Lead, I am engaged in multiple projects. I am not only leveraging my experience but also learning new technologies, building innovative solutions and being part of the workforce working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in government, defence, intelligence, border protection and health markets. My daily activities involve creating and building innovative solutions, troubleshooting the issues, improving the processes, facilitating the agile event ceremonies, building healthy client relations, mentoring, and coaching my software development team.

As a people leader, I look forward to a face-to-face conversation with my teammates. It gives me great satisfaction to be part of their journey on the path they have chosen. My job is to align their interests, passion for the hands-on professional experience. At times, they may need to upskill; Leidos Australia provides a huge training platform and free courses.

Like my manager, who gave me the opportunities and provided me with the environment for my voice to have the audience, I try to do the same thing for my team and that involves coordination with program managers, leads etc.

Since last year, I have been part of the Women and Allies Network (WAAN) committee and we run many events on professional development such as inviting influential guest speakers, conducting mentoring sessions etc.

I believe Leidos Australia is not just the company but one big family where we look after each other, grow together, work together and have fun as well. We run few social events throughout the year to get to know each other and build relations

Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
Well, not really. When I was at the university studying electronics, I never thought I would end up designing and developing software.

Since my first job, I realised computer programming, designing software is limitless and very creative. The idea of helping organisations to grow their business and communities for a better quality of life with the help of software attracted me the most.

What is most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding thing for me as a senior engineer is when the customer is happy. Working with an amazing group of people to produce the best outcomes, build the relations and help a business to grow

What were some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now?
I have faced many challenges; the best challenge I have faced so far is juggling between parental duties, work duties and keeping up to date with emerging innovative technologies. However, working in Leidos Australia, that promotes work-life balance, flexible work arrangements has helped me to pursue my passion and also raising two young children.

One of the other challenges I have experienced in the past is unsupportive behaviour. Apparently, after talking to my female colleagues this is a very common challenge women face in the male dominating industry. However, working in Leidos Australia I can proudly say that leaders here are very supportive and very encouraging and they are good active listeners

3 pieces of advice you would give women who want to work in your industry?

  • IT industry is very creative, innovative and fascinating, we not only need engineers but engineers who are collaborative, easy to approach, self-organised, self-managed and great mentors. I believe women engineers are better at doing all of this.
  • The advice I have for women engineers is not to underestimate talent and capabilities. Speak your mind and make sure your opinions count. Challenge your abilities and push your limits, change is growth. IT industry has so many opportunities, unleash your talent and seek an opportunity that gives you a sense of achievement and scope to learn and grow. Work as a team and not individual to succeed.

Dani Storey

The single best thing though is working with brilliant people and I really value the team and the fantastic culture at Leidos.

What’s your background?
I was born in England and my family moved to Queensland Australia where I grew up in a place called Moranbah, which is a regional mining town with a population of about 8,000 people.

I attended school in both the UK and in Australia and from about the time I was 14 or 15 I knew I wanted to work with technology in some capacity. Originally I’d planned to join the Army, study IT and eventually go into the private sector, but that was cut short when I got injured in and got medically discharged. So I took a different route and studied both my degrees externally, whilst working fulltime in IT jobs and by the time I graduated I was working in a team leadership role in a small business in Canberra. Over the past 10 years or so I’ve worked in IT engineering roles, as a Solutions Architect and as a Chief Technology Officer to mostly government clients.

I applied for my current role at Leidos in 2020 as I wanted to get back to the Architecture and Digital Modernisation work that I’d loved throughout my career. Throughout the interview process, I really liked the culture, smart people and the mission that Leidos has, so it was a no brainer for me.

Now, in my current role within the Leidos Australia Digital Modernisation practice, I work with a team of architects and technology specialists to help design IT systems and capabilities in areas such as cloud computing, application migration, end-user computing and across lots of different technologies.

What’s your job about?
Leidos Australia provides practical solutions that answer our federal government customers most complex challenges using Science, Engineering and IT and the team that I belong to is right at the centre.

My job is to help solve technical challenges, overhaul government IT systems to deliver better services to citizens and government customers. On a daily basis I understand problems, workshop ideas, design IT systems and explore different ways of doing things. I love the variety and the complexity of the systems we work with.

Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
Pretty much. Since mid-high school, I had an inkling that I wanted to work with technology and I have done so throughout most of my working life. I really think it’s the best industry to work in and I’m never bored.

What is most rewarding about your job?
I get to solve new challenges every day and get to design and build complex systems. The single best thing though is working with brilliant people and I really value the team and the fantastic culture at Leidos. The work we do is important for our government, citizens and military, so it’s nice to be contributing to something bigger in some small way.

What were some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now?
Technology moves so fast and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. The thing I’ve always loved about technology is the change, continuous learning and being able to be creative in order to solve problems with technology.

The workload varies and sometimes it’s really busy and other times we have time to plan more strategically and work on longer-term efforts. I enjoy the variety, continual learning and it really feeds my curiosity at work, but some people may find that quite stressful.

3 pieces of advice you would give women who want to work in your industry?
My three pieces of advice to women who want to work in technology would be:

  • Aim high, figure out what you want and work toward acquiring skills to get there. I’ve always planned my next role and started working on skills needed well before I’ve wanted to move into it.
  • Seek out mentors that can be managers, team leads, colleagues and other women in IT that you admire. I’ve found managers and other women in IT are particularly willing to help you (so long as you’re willing to take action and ownership for your career).
  • Explore different areas in IT and work out what you like and dislike.

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Bec caught up with Adam, software engineer with Leidos

STEM at Leidos

Over half of our 1,400 team members in Australia have STEM-related backgrounds and roles.

At Leidos, we bring together science, engineering and technology to deliver smart solutions to our customers’ most complex challenges. So great ideas are our currency and every person is encouraged and enabled to be curious, open-minded and confident in bringing theirs to the table. 

We invest considerable time and resources to make sure our technical teams are fully supported and developed. Our busy technical training program gives everyone the chance to learn new skills. Likewise, our Communities of Practice provide the chance to connect and share ideas with like-minded colleagues from across the business. And, our Technical Core Competencies ensure that we have access to best practice and expertise across our global business. 

We deliver our customer solutions through four lines of business: 

+ IT Projects – Major IT systems and transformation projects to Federal Government Agencies. 

+ Intelligence – Solutions and support to Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance projects for the Australian Intelligence Communities. 

+ Defence Mission Systems – Complex systems for the Department of Defence including Command and Control, Force Protection Hydrographics, Electronic Systems, Data Analytics and Electronic Warfare. 

+ IT Services – Critical IT services support to Federal Government Agencies focusing on Prime Contracts for Service Operation and IT Infrastructure Support. 

These are supported by enabling functions such as HR, IT, Finance, Business Development and Corporate Affairs. 

Things to Know

Career Development 

This is key for everyone at Leidos. It underpins our ability to deliver for our customers both now and in the future, and we firmly believe it’s something every person in our company has the right to expect. 

Technical Core Competencies Communities of Practice

Our people are encouraged to join our Communities of Practice which are built around a number of key areas including Mission Software and Systems, Cyber Operations, and Operations & Logistics. 

Enabled to Thrive

The last year has seen us adapt our approach to enable everyone working remotely to continue to be collaborative, innovative and, above all, safe and healthy. 

Gender Equality at Leidos

As a large scale prime systems integrator, our biggest asset is the quality of our 1,400 people.

So, no matter where our people work or what their background is, we strive to ensure everyone feels welcome, valued, respected and supported. Inclusion is one of our most important company values and it underpins our approach every day. 

Our Australian Executive Leadership Team – 40% of whom are female – are passionate about ensuring women are appropriately represented within our organisation and fully empowered to grow and have an impact as an individual. 

We offer opportunities throughout the company ranging from the many technical roles delivering solutions to our customers through to our enabling functions such as HR, Finance, Business Development Affairs and Commercial Management. 

Our thriving Women’s Advocacy Group runs networking events throughout the year providing an excellent chance to compare notes on mutual interests, meet new people and help each other through sharing ideas. Each year, we also celebrate International Women’s Day – a global initiative celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

We also offer a range of work practices including flexible working and additional leave arrangements. We have attractive parental and care leave options. And, over the past year, we have made significant changes to the way we collaborate as so many continue to work from home. 

Things to Know

Enabled to Thrive 

Every day, we strive to develop an open-minded and supportive culture. We love good ideas and encourage everyone to be curious and bring their ideas to the table. 

Culture of health and wellbeing 

We’re passionate about helping our people and their families stay fit and healthy both mentally and physically. We have a busy information hub on our Intranet, a great Employee Assistance Program and actively take part in initiatives such as RU OK Day and Mental Health Month. 

Flexibility 

We all have different lifestyles so we offer a range of flexible work practices for employees to choose from including flexible working and leave arrangements. 

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