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Using AI to create great customer experiences

Telstra Careers Inspiration

Posted on December 3, 2018

1 min read

How do we create great customer experiences using our best tech?

Customers are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s important they can speak with us in a way that’s easiest and convenient for them.

One way our teams are doing this is by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create amazing digital experiences for our millions of global customers.

You can get an insight into the innovative work our people are doing in customer experience in this video with our Sales Executive, Gretchen Cooke.

Want to be part of the Telstra team? Head to our Careers Website to learn more.

How I’m keeping our code secure

Telstra Careers People

Posted on October 29, 2018

3 min read

I started my career in the Australian Defence Force and what I really enjoyed about this time in my life was being able to make a difference to so many people on such a large scale.

I feel like I get to do the same thing here at Telstra.

To be able to work for such a large organisation – the largest telecommunications and technology company in Australia that has an impact on almost every household in this country – is really powerful.

If we get security right for Telstra, we’re actually helping protect Australia’s critical infrastructure and national security interests.

My role at Telstra

I lead a team of specialists within the Cyber Security team and our job is to make sure we secure every line of source code as early as possible, while still enabling the business to move fast.

Another part of our role is to educate our developers, uplift our development teams and put security automation tooling into their hands.

Why? Because at the end of the day, we cannot do security by ourselves. We need the organisation to practice security in collaboration with us and ensure that software is being developed ‘secure by default’.

Our team has a very strong alignment to Telstra’s vision of becoming a world class technology company that empowers people to connect.

This makes our work even more relevant and exciting, as the business really depends on us to make sure we can deliver quality, robust, secure applications to our customers as fast as possible.

It’s challenging work but….

I feel like since I started here, I’ve been able to take my career to a new level as every day is different and full of variety.

The cutting edge work I get to do also means I need to use different parts of my brain – technical, strategic and business.

As the Security Code Manager, I need to use my technical brain for the innovative work we are doing in “shifting security left” and for keeping up with industry trends. I use my strategic brain to deliver capability that that will enable us to scale and to influence security culture within the business, and I use my business brain to make sure the operational demands of the team are managed.

Why my future is at Telstra

Telstra’s leaders have given me so much autonomy to define and create a new team. I can honestly say they’ve been extremely trusting in my decision making and it’s something that has helped me to excel in my role.

The other reason why I see my future at Telstra is that I’ve been able to work from my hometown of Perth, and from my home office whenever I need to. This type of flexibility is amazing and has helped me to balance my life needs.

Having said this, my leaders and colleagues who work on the east coast of Australia make sure I’m always connected to them, so I never feel isolated and always part of the team.

See where a career at Telstra could take you.

The world class technology we’re looking forward to working with

Telstra Careers People

Posted on October 19, 2018

6 min read

It was an incredible and exhausting three days, but Telstra Vantage 2018 has come and gone. Thousands of people from all over roved the show floor interacting with humanoids, testing out 5G, and learning about how we can better utilise mixed reality tech in our lives.

The show opened with a Welcome to Country, simulcast from Perth and Melbourne, displayed on screen in real time. It was an incredible feat of technology and made possible by our network.

Speakers ranged from leaders inside Telstra, to New York Times best-selling authors and trailblazers in new tech. Amongst the many events, panels, and tech demos we caught a glimpse of what possibilities the networks of the future will bring.

Here’s just some of what we saw at Vantage that’ll forever change what we work on at Telstra and how we do it:

Maroushka smiles outside the Vantage show floor

Connected Play, #GirlBosses, and Our Exciting Future

My favourite experience was definitely getting to mess around with Sphero robots thanks to the Telstra Foundation and Code Club Australia. The app-enabled, programmable balls help kids to unlock their coding skills through connected play. I really wish that was a thing when I was in school!

I love that the Telstra Foundation has long-standing partnerships with organisations like Code Club Australia, because it means together we can deliver more programs that increase digital literacy for young people.

Telstra Foundation boxes on the show floor

We had the chance to hear from some incredible women that make me proud to work at Telstra including Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive, and Ayala Domani, Director of Innovation. They emphasised the critical role that gender diversity plays in supporting companies to innovate and flourish in a time of unprecedented disruption.

The panel of leading women in tech, led by Boiciuc

It was also a highlight to hear Neha Narula from the MIT Media Lab on the advance of cryptocurrency and how the internet of value has the potential democratise access to money.

Technology is the growth engine in an ecosystem that governs how we interact with each other and the world around us. Vantage gave me the opportunity to better understand the technology we enable through our network like cryptocurrencies, eSports, mixed reality and our market-leading work with 5G. It also served as a reminder that humans will always be at the centre of the technology we aspire to create or improve in the future.

Maroushka Saldanha, Sustainability Consultant

 

Kim smiles for the camera before entering the show floor

Being ‘that’ nerd, optimal creativity, and humanoids

Throughout the jam-packed 3 days, I learned about new and emerging tech, interacted with humanoids, and was scanned to see what type of dog I resembled using artificial intelligence (apparently, I’m a smart, friendly poodle who gets along with people easily, which isn’t too far off from the truth!).

The interactive booths were great to showcase the tech in action, but some of my favourite sessions included listening to influential speakers on the main stage. During New York Times Best Seller Daniel Pink’s keynote, I learned that my optimal time to be ‘creative,’ was later in the day, which surprised me as I usually spend my evenings relaxing or exercising (i.e. not reaching my creative potential). Since then, I’ve been slowly adding more creative activities to my life including writing this blog!

Telstra shows off its locator technology

Another great session was called “Unstoppable Force Meets Irresistible Objective: Empowering Women in Technology,” hosted by Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive. Featuring an amazing and diverse panel of female leaders, I loved hearing about their perspectives on what we can do to encourage young women to get more involved with STEM opportunities at an early age. Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, mentioned that we need to change our views on what technology leaders look like so girls can confidently say, “I want to be that nerd!”

Reflecting on my childhood, I was fortunate that my dad encouraged my sisters and me to build websites and learn HTML at a young age. This helped me discover my passion for designing digital applications as an UX Designer.

Ready player one! Kim tests out Fortnite over a 5G internet connection

Leaving Vantage, my mind was full of endless possibilities. From helping kids code to providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth, I’m excited to see how we can use the technologies around us and work closely with our communities to create lasting change.

Kimberly Nguyen-Don, UX Designer

 

Alex steps up to the plate before entering the Vantage show floor

Software Defined Networking, Democratising Data, and the future of 5G entertainment

From 5G to the connected workplace, the demonstrations and keynote addresses were awe-inspiring from start to finish. I’ve always wanted to experience the power of a technology showcase first-hand, and being one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, Vantage didn’t disappoint!

It would be too hard to single out a specific event that I enjoyed the most. The presentations from Robyn Denholm on our ‘Connected Workforce’ future was fascinating but so was hearing about her empowering perspective on the future of telecommunications through 5G and software-defined networking.

The 5G network centre was ready to show us what it could do

In a different vein was New York Times Best-selling author Daniel Pink who presented on “The Science of Timing”. He explained how we can unlock our most productive selves. Coming from a Sales and HR background, I loved hearing about all of these in equal measure!

I was transfixed by Director of Digital Currency at MIT Media Lab, Neha Narula, on her views about the future of digital currencies and ‘democratisation of data’. A standout was the closing keynote with our two Aussie cave rescue divers, Craig Challen & Dr Richard Harris! See? It’s hard to pick a single event!

I loved the demonstration of Telstra’s capabilities across both our international Ventures portfolio and experiencing the future of 5G. With the Telstra Ventures presentation, we had the opportunity to hear from four very different start-ups utilising AI to accelerate their product development. Of particular interest to me was real-time data analysis and IoT solutions in agriculture.

Finger on the trigger, gamers were impressed by the wireless speeds

Alexander Austin, Enterprise Graduate

Missed Vantage but wanted to hear from some of the speakers for yourself? Be sure to check out Telstra Vantage™ TV to see some of the amazing events we talked about.

eSports opens a new world of gaming, connecting shared passions online

Tech and Innovation

Posted on May 11, 2018

4 min read

In its current format, eSports – another name for competitive multiplayer gaming – has been around for over a decade internationally. In Australia, we’re now seeing eSports events sell out entire stadiums to fans eager to watch their favourite athletes compete onstage. It’s a turning point for the online pursuit entering Aussie homes alongside traditional sports viewing, and fans can take part more than ever before.

eSports is a billion-dollar industry worldwide, and it’s just as lucrative for its top competitive athletes as well. One of the highest-profile eSports championships in 2017, The International 7, pitted dozens of teams playing the online battle arena game DotA 2 for a total prize pool of nearly $US25 million. And with nearly $US24 million of that prize pool coming from the pockets of fans keen to watch the action, it’s clear that there’s a ready-made audience for the digital sport.

eSports events are only becoming more popular in Australia as well. The biggest events of 2017 packed out Sydney stadiums with tens of thousands of excited fans, and this year is set to improve on that. With eSports competitions often being broadcast online on platforms like Twitch available for everyone to watch, too, it’s a worldwide phenomenon. More events and tournaments are happening around the world in 2018, too – eSports is here to stay.

What is eSports, and how did it get started?

‘eSports’ is another name for professional gaming, in competitions that usually take the form of organised multiplayer matches – either online, or in person in the case of big worldwide competitions and tournaments. Like traditional sports, eSports covers different game types like real-time strategy titles (top-down games like Starcraft 2 where the player controls dozens of different units on a battlefield) and first-person shooters (where the player represents one individual, often in a team of other players up against opponents or working to complete an objective).

Competitive gaming has been around since ‘70s arcade parlours and the first home game consoles, but eSports as we know it found its roots in the internet cafes of South Korea – ‘PC bangs’, where players could pay an hourly fee and play different games against friends in-store or online. In the 1990s and early 2000s, as broadband home internet became more popular and affordable, these games and their players moved to regular online battles at nights and weekends.

In the past decade, pro-level eSports has moved from cyber cafés and homes to exhibitions in stadiums and arenas – where there were 10 tournaments worldwide in 2000, 260 in 2010, and that number has only risen since. Worldwide eSports organisations and the long-term success of games like Counter-Strike has turned these competitions into a true test of players’ skills – not just their reflexes, but their teamwork, strategy and understanding of the most intricate details of a game’s ‘meta’. Just as traditional sports’ rules evolve over years, so do the rules for each game, its competitive play, and its organising body.

What does the future hold for eSports in Australia and the world?

The biggest eSports tournaments are already broadcast live online to tens of millions of viewers simultaneously, rivalling Australia’s largest sporting events. When you realise that the most popular video game in the world – 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V – has made more money than any blockbuster movie and left ticket sales for any sporting event in the dust, you start to realise the scale of what’s to come.

We’re already living in a world where eSports teams and players are bought and traded like any NRL, AFL or other high-level traditional sport player are, and the prizes for top competitions stretch into the tens of millions of dollars. Players live in dedicated houses with high-speed connectivity and train for hours a day, honing their skills to become the best. It’s clear that eSports isn’t going away any time soon, and as our world becomes even more connected it will only grow and thrive.

eSports is nearly unique in that it allows for everyday gamers, sitting at home in front of their TVs or computer screens, to play the same games as the world’s best players. Indeed, every professional gamer out there today got their start as a hobbyist, and we’re seeing the first eSports athletes with full-time careers starting as young as age 16. As the networks connecting us to each other and to the world become faster and more powerful, we’ll all be able to take part in eSports at every level – from the couch to the stadium.

4 things I wish I knew before starting my first job

Telstra Careers People

Posted on May 2, 2018

1 min read

Earlier this month I was invited to share my experience of transitioning from university to the world of work at a Telstra sponsored Grad Girls event attended by around 40 young women nearing the end of their undergraduate degree.

Grad Girls is a one year program run by Vic ICT for Women that helps female undergraduates make informed decisions about the first step in their career paths as well as start their professional network.

 

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and Science degree only a few years ago, I remember being in the same position as these young women.

As I sat on the stage answering questions from this group of women who are all on-track to graduate, I was reminded of my own feelings of excitement as I looked ahead to all the unknowns in my first full-time job.

So, here are four things I wish I knew before tackling my first job after university.