Leaving Telstra

It’s been 1430 days or thereabouts, since I started my adventure with Telstra.
First with the API strategy, then with the Innovation Ecosystem System engagement within the CTO; not to mention my “side hustles” with muru-d, codeclub, telstra foundation, techfugees, CSIRO ON:, Austrade,  countless hack events and I even featured as a guest on a podcast
I also got to meet some great people, work with some amazing folks, inspire some young folks, and I got to help bootstrap things that will lead to great change. I really feel like there was a greater purpose to what we were doing.
If I were to summarize the last 1430 days or so, it’s would be about community, collaboration & cultural change, underpinned with a strong desire of “giving back”, or as my dear friend Annie Parker keeps remind us all, we got to #payitforward.
Now it’s time to start a new adventure. Yes, that’s right, time for a new avatar!
I’ll be joining the local AWS team in Melbourne. I’m heading back to the world of software, leading a team, made up of folks who love what they do, with a singular purpose, underpinned by a set of powerful leadership principles (if you haven’t seen Amazon Leadership Principles, check them out).
Since I am still passionate about the Australian tech ecosystem. I want to see more of the likes of Envato, Red Bubble, Culture Amp, 99designs, Drawboard, spring up and go forward to take on the world. I also want to see more of the great research at our universities be unleashed onto the world and commercialised through programs such as CSIRO’s ON:, and university programs such as the delightfully named TRaM (Translating Research at Melbourne). And fortunately for me, I will still be in a position to be involved.
Speaking of taking on the world,  I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Austrade by participating with the Landing Pads program. I have been a member of the assessment panel this past year, and it’s been both an honour and a highlight to be part of the program.  I even got to host a few info session about BerlinSan Fran.
Now, I always had an inkling I would be back with a Seattle based software company, and I’ll be joining many of my former colleagues who have made the move from MSFT on the east side, to AWS on the west side – it’s just taken me a bit longer. I’ll digress for a little story, 4 years ago right after leaving Microsoft, I did interview with AWS, but the Telstra offer came first. Fast forward 4 years, and when I got my recent AWS offer, the letter referenced my OLD address from 4 years ago.   Yes, I know!
So, to recap – leaving Telstra. Starting at AWS.
Onwards to 2018!

1337 d4y5 47 73l57r4


It’s been 1337 days since i started at Telstra, to be part of the team working on the API Strategy and it feels appropriate on this 1337 d4y5 1337 d4y5 47 73l57r4 to see the next chapter of the API work be written, with Steve Cooper, aka @DeveloperSteve coming onboard to take this to the next level as the API and Platform Evangelist at Telstra. Welcome Steve – looking forward to seeing things move ahead.

Back in September 2016, I moved into a new role as a member of the Innovation team at Telstra, in the Chief Technology Office, located in the Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne.

Well a lot has happened in those 12 months! We built a new team, re-launched the lab with a new sense of purpose & vigor, and began to inspire the next generation

We also hosted many events, and lucky for me, I was able to capture a “moment” of just some of these

I also got more connect with the ecosystem and was invited to contribute via a number of initiatives…

It’s been a full 12 months, with a lot more to come

3 years on, break out the leather, crystal or glass

Each year I do a little retrospective post marking my work anniversary, and today I it’s time to continue the tradition.
First up here’s some of those previous posts covering my time at Telstra
During the last 12 months, I’ve gone from working on the Telstra API Strategy to moving to the Innovation team, in the Chief Technology Office.
Along the way, I picked up new duties and am responsible for people again.   I really like being a “people leader”, helping develop, coach, mentor, inspire. I even had a ‘grad’ to tend to and Serina (aka gilly) has been absolute delight. Maybe you have read some of her stories — GovHack 2016My week with … A botTechfugees for Young people: #hack4refugeesA world of code. Her time with me is coming to an end, so I wish Serina all the best with the next step of her career.
I really like working with grads, and since Telstra has a well structured graduate program I look forward to contributing to that.
Something else I like, is being involved with Muru-D, and last year #SYD3 was full of amazing young companies. I got to work closely with Simpla and Cuberider – seriously, how amazing was it to see Cuberider send Australia’s first payload to the ISS!!  I was involved in the recent SYD4 bootcamp and look forward to seeing the next batch come through! And what a legacy Annie Parker is leaving behind, but can’t wait to see what Lighthouse becomes!
There’s a bit of theme – one of nurturing, mentoring, curating, advising & inspiring and these are all the things that get me going and inspire me. So, can’t complain about that!
Oh and the leather, crystal, glass reference – it’s the suggested three year anniversary gifts

1,000 Days


I’ve just clocked over 1000 days at Telstra. It’s gonna get hard to play the “I’m new here” card now I guess.

It’s been a journey so far – kinda like the hero journey


A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

And to be honest, it pretty much sums up what happened in relation to the API Strategy work — A call to adventure, guardians, mentors, temptations, threats, challenges, revelations, transformations, atonement, a gift of the goddess and eventual return! Yup, pretty much a text book experience.

The journey was featured in a recent article at the end of July, entitled Telstra’s API revolution.  It gives a great wrap up of the work to date, and acts as a solid record of what has been done.

There have been losses along the way, and I won’t dwell on them all but I do want to mention one of my fellow travellers – Bruce Carney. We both started on the same day – brothers in arms, facing the challenges together. Bruce is no longer with us – he’s part of a new journey with Aussie software darling, Atlassian, and I do wish him well on his next journey.

So I now find myself at a transition point, a time for a new story, with some familiar folks, and some new ones as well.

I am now a member of the Innovation team at Telstra, in the Chief Technology Office, located in the world-class Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne.

The lab opened in August 2015, with lots of great coverage:

The lab is the centerpiece of Telstra’s innovation and technology research capabilities. Gurrowa, which means Interchange in the Wurung language, signifies the interchanging of ideas that will take place in this unique co-creation space that will drive the new wave of innovation at Telstra.

It has been the location for projects, events, hackathons over the past year, and with the experience gained over that time, we now have an opportunity to fine tune the way it works and make it AWESOME!

So that’s the new call to adventure.  What lies ahead? I don’t fully know, but I do know WHY we’re doing this, and that makes for a fun journey.


730 Days & 23 trips to Sydney!

Today marks 2 years into my time at Telstra , and it’s really zipped along.

I even got inspired to get a “simpsons-style” cartoon of me – the orange hat is a nice touch I think.

Frank A

The last couple of these types of posts I’ve done have included a bit of a recap – 12 Months In & 546 Days so I will spare the look back, suffice to say a fair bit of stuff got done – some visible such as T.DEV speaker at I ♥ APIS in San Jose,  sponsor at Web Directions 2015, judge at Hackfood, author on Telstra Exchange; and some not so, but just as important!!

I also made a a video to be used for internal training  – here’s sneak peak


Oh, and I’ve had 23 trips to Sydney over these past 2 years. Yes, I did the maths.

OK then, so there are a few things coming up that I am looking forward to…

What else? There’s a few other things, but I’ll keep’em under my hat for the time being. It revolves around how developers took over the world and how we can respond to that.

And did i mentioned I’ve had 23 trips to Sydney !!

546 Days

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Today marks 18 months I’ve been at Telstra. Feels just like the other day I posted about 12 Months In

The last 18 months is best summed up like this – the first 6 months was spent working on the API strategy, the next 6 months was to sell the strategy, and the last 6 months to implement. So we now find ourselves at the start of the next phase.

We’ve also been a bit public over the last few months, first at APIDays in Sydney, and then I ♥ APIS, which means we got some coverage:

I’ve also been involved in a bunch of hackathons – from participating in them, running them and being a judge

So, as I had said earlier, we’re now at the start of the next phase. The developer portal is open. We have a few public APIs, and we’ve have had great community support, with blog posts, articles, and code samples.

Great to see developers being open to using these APIs and giving feedback
Onto the next 546 days…..

12 Months In

It’s been 12 months since I started with Telstra. My pass still worked after a few weeks off, so that’s a good sign.
Telstra <3 APIs

Telstra loves APIS

Anyways…. looking back on the past 12 months, lots happened …..

Enough looking back – time to look forward. Onward to the next 12.

So far the job has been pretty much inward looking, as we worked to get a API platform in place & get some APIs on-boarded to the platform.
But that’s all about about to change!
I have an upcoming talk at APIDays Sydney, titled “Telstra’s Path to API Enlightenment” and I’ll use that to describe the journey we’ve been on. (oh, and speaking of journey, I saw a great tweet recently by Aussienick which describes a similar journey)
Technology Project Management explained in one picture
So here’s to the next twelve months and beyond.

new year, new house, new job

We moved house last week.  It was also a time to cleanse, as we went through many many boxes, collected over many many years, and transported around the world from Melbourne, to Canberra, to Seattle, to Sydney, back to Seattle and finally to Melbourne (and moved around once or twice in Melbourne just for good measure).

This week, I started my new job. 124 days after finishing up at Microsoft, I am starting at Telstra, in the Global Applications and Platforms team – yes, I like platforms

Why Telstra?

Yeah, I asked myself the same question. When I was a fresh faced university graduate, my first job offer was for Telecom Australia. I turned it down. that was then.

Now, almost 30 years later (seriously), the time is right. GAP is looking at software-driven business opportunities, which is what I’ve been doing for a long time. Seems right up my alley.

GAP is also behind muru-d,  the start-up accelerator backed by Telstra, which includes Annie Parker & Mick Liubinskas

It’s the coming together of technology, start-ups, global markets and big ideas, and I am excited to be part of it. I also want to thank Charles Fitzgerald, who reached out to me and let me know of the opportunity. I am very grateful.

So, what will I be doing?

Well, my title is API Product Manager, and I’m going to be working on the API strategy. Watch this space I guess…..

Also, If Telstra can allow their logo to become a Reg Mombassa original for NYE2013


then I  know the time is right for my ugly mug to be next to a Telstra logo


Here’s to a great 2014