Close this search box.
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Mark Varney

Graduate software engineer, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Mark Varney is a graduate software engineer at CBA, who spends his working day writing the code that helps us bank online.

Mark hated maths in high school, and wasn’t exactly into science either. In fact he only discovered his affinity with STEM subjects while he was doing an arts degree – majoring in journalism – at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). 

“Although I didn’t like the degree, I did a very basic web design subject and enjoyed using the HTML/CSS to code up a web page,” Mark explains. “At the time I was also into amateur music production and became obsessed with building homemade gear which required electronics knowledge too.”

Gradually – at home and at uni – Mark got big-time into computer science and after graduating from a degree that wasn’t his thing, replaced journalism with a Masters of IT. 

RELATED: What tech jobs can I get at a bank? 

“I decided that I wanted a job in tech and settled on programming after I got over the initial brain pain,” he laughs. “Plus, I thought giving machines complex logic so they can carry out tasks by themselves was insanely cool.”

Straight to the bank

One of the most exciting and significant real-world projects Mark worked on during his second stint at UTS involved working alongside CBA – who were “super cool!” – and one of their software engineers. 

The overall vibe of the company, alongside the exciting opportunities they boasted for tech grads, convinced him to apply and land an internship with the Bank – and later a spot in their much-coveted graduate program. And that’s still where he works – from home because, 2020.

RELATED: Getting your foot in the door with CommBank careers

These days as a full-time CBA graduate software engineer, Mark helps create the code that allows us to internet bank. “If you’ve ever made or received a payment using the CommBank app, there’s a good chance you’ve used code that I’ve worked on,” he says. 

And his advice for tech grads looking to skip snoozy IT roles in favour of something fun and unexpected like a programming gig in a bank? 

“There are so many amazing resources these days – Khan Academy, YouTube etc – that you can, to an extent, basically teach yourself anything before you score a job,” he stresses. “Learn how to learn – and most importantly how your mind works.”

Mark’s study and career pathway

Bachelor of Arts in Communication, UTS (Journalism)
Masters of Information Technology, UTS (Software Development)
Graduate Certificate of Mathematics, UTS
Graduate Software Engineer, CBA

This article is brought to you in partnership with CBA

Share this post :

Signup to our newsletter

Latest Job Kit

STEM Role Models


Open Day TikTok Videos
Open Day

Sneak peeks of Open Day from TikTok

If you’re still wondering what Open Day is all about, check out what went down at last year’s events in these videos.

Careers & study quiz

Quiz: Are you prepared for Open Day?

Open Day preparation is key to making to most of your time on campus. Use this quiz to work out if you’re ready.