A couple of times a month, we like to get to know members of the KJR Collective a little better. Today we catch up with Matt Cole.
Years in the industry: 23
Started at KJR: In November 2007
Based in: Brisbane
Currently working with: Brisbane City Council and Services Australia on projects involving automation, load and performance testing.
What Matt loves most about his job…
“There’s no such thing as a typical day at work for me”. Matt’s days are consistently met with obstacles that he conquers through determination, intelligence and skill. A challenge often presented is a testing project that lacks data. Overlooked by many, but devastatingly obvious to Matt, when this is the case, a client may face potentially devastating consequences: “Projects can have lasting problems if there’s not enough testing data, so sometimes we have to create fake data, get teams together to anonymise data and produce enough of it so we can assess new systems and software accurately”. As an experienced testing and quality assurance professional, Matt’s had a successful day when no defects are found. It means he’s worked with the business and “got it right all the way through”.
How Matt got into this industry…
“It was a bit of a roller coaster getting into tech – there was definitely a period of time where I didn’t want to work there”. After finishing his Bachelor of Information Technology with a Double Major Software Engineering and Computer Science at Griffith University, Matt had a change of heart about his career. This led him a stint as a groundsman at a charity organisation for a few years while he sorted out which path he wanted to take. But it wasn’t long before the allure of tech came back to him, and after assisting the receptionist with a computer error, he was soon promoted as a network admin.
Exploring the possibilities of a career in tech, Matt made the discovery that he doesn’t like creating bugs, but he “loves finding them”. This interest led him down the path towards technology advisory, where he found KJR. “I knew of KJR and its reputation already. Kelvin Ross (KJR’s founder) was actually a guest lecturer at university once”. Over 12 years later, he’s still about. And the rest they say, is history.
What Matt thinks about the future of tech…
Matt holds firm in his belief that technology is only limited by people’s minds. “When you think about where technology was five years ago, driverless cars were only fiction. Now, they’re basically here!”. As for how it will affect his role and industry, he does recognise a need to keep up to date with the ever-expanding vocabulary of new processes and concepts. “There’s always going to be roles for people like us in technology, but what will change is how we perform our duties”. His biggest surprise in the evolution of tech has been the number of computing languages and testing frameworks that have appeared over the last few years – think Ruby, Cucumber and all that follows.
He also does other things…
“In 2017 my son was born with a genetic condition that will affect his physical wellbeing throughout his life”. Matt pays it forward and sits positively in his reality by volunteering his time at Children’s Health Queensland. It’s a heartfelt response to the healthcare his son has been provided so far. “They’ve definitely helped us, so it’s good to give back and help them out too”.
Matt has also had a passion for rowing since he was a teenager. “The first time I stepped in a boat was at school back in 1991”. Matt began rowing competitively and spent several years coaching the sport in various schools and competitive clubs afterwards. With breaks in training to care for both a newborn daughter and son, Matt started rowing again this year and aims to keep it up.
Matt’s final word of advice…
“Being a tester, I’m always looking at the minute details of things. Sometimes though, it’s better to look back at the wider picture”.