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Mathew Vo

9.15 AM

My alarm goes off and I blink a few times. Definitely stayed up a bit too late last night. I dress in casual loose-fitting clothes and pack my bag. Getting ready for the day is a simple process for me and I’m out the door within 20 minutes ready for the bus.

10.00 AM

Into the cafeteria, I gather my breakfast, usually runny eggs on freshly toasted bread, blueberries, banana bread and iced coffee. I delicately balance my bag, breakfast plate, coffee and phone upstairs to my desk and eat it whilst catching up with team members, planning my priorities for the day or checking the status of PRs (Pull Requests) that have progressed. My mind is probably in the process of waking up, but knowing that my peers won’t judge me for not writing a single line of code by 10.30 reassures me that I can take my time.

11.00 AM

Canva partners every newbie with a mentor for the first 6 months of their Canva journey. In my weekly 1-on-1 with my mentor, I receive valuable feedback and get the chance to reflect on what went well and what could improve this week. My mentor is young but already such a knowledgeable person and a great leader. I tend to be an introspective person, and these meetings help me take a step back from the little code details and instead reflect on how I’m going on my personal journey.

11.30 AM

My work style is to section out chunks of time in my day to focus on completing tasks so that I minimize context switching. I’m building a core component of our backend logging infrastructure, with technologies such as Terraform, AWS Lambdas and  so that Canva’s logs are more reliable and in a readable format faster. I’ve never heard of these before in University but I’m feeling confident and speeding through the work. An hour later, I’m finally satisfied with it and create a PR to have my code looked at by other engineers. Canva encourages a strong code review culture, and getting your code critiqued by other people is one of the best ways that I develop my skills as an engineer.

1.00 PM

Everyday, lunch is expertly created by the Canva inhouse kitchen and Vibe team. Today is amazing Beef Ribs and Chicken Wings. Many people sit with their team but I don’t spot them, so I choose anyone to sit next to. People at Canva are all friendly and welcoming, so even though cafeterias are very reminiscent of anxious high school days, I have often sat next to random people and developed unlikely friendships. 

1.30 PM

After lunch, I have coffee/milk tea/messina date so I wait near the coffee machine to meet. My mentor setup these meetings to help me get acquainted with other people in different teams and to help me feel welcome as a newbie. We talk and learn about each other’s work and grab a milk tea from Gong Cha near Central Station. Before I know it, I’m learning about Russian weather and skateboarding.

2.00 PM

Back at the office and I’m now working on a new component of the logging infrastructure that I have no experience in. Half an hour passes and I’m reading documentation but I’m stuck. I ask my mentor for direction on what high-level decisions I could make, expecting to be told exactly what to do, but instead he advises me and gives me full discretion to implement it how I see best. Feeling good, I pick up the pace.

3.00 PM

Head down to the gym and greet everyone in #handstand-club. Canva has subsidized social clubs so no matter if you enjoy boardgames, wine or even doing a few handstands every day, Canva will support your interest. My friends at #handstand-club are some of my favourite friends from work and we also work up a little sweat trying to master the artform that is the perfect handstand. I never imagined such an innocent daily ritual could become something I would look forward to everyday.

3.30 PM

Time for Infrastructure Team Show and Tell, which is a fun and lighthearted way for members of the team to present new features that we’re all working on, give kudos and to celebrate our wins and hard work. Our Team Lead makes everyone feel welcome and introduces the newbies, and the MC decides to crack a joke. I spot some exciting technologies that are being worked on and pick up some insights on how our security and incident management could be improved.

4.30 PM

Days almost over and people that arrived early are starting to wind down, but it’s time for the last code chunk of the day. My concentration is waning a bit, but my earphones are in and I’m working at a great pace to finish off any remaining tasks/PRs so that they can be deployed over the weekend. Anything I get stuck on, I decide to leave it for the next week.

6.00 PM

It’s Friday night work drinks and I grab a craft beer I’ve never heard the name of. My friends and I catch up about what we’re proud of this week and what videogames we’ve been enjoying.

7.30 PM

After saying goodbye to my friends, I make my way over to Crossover Dance Studio in the city. I’ve been breakdancing for 5 years and love ending the week by dancing with my dance crew. I work on perfecting my windmills and then finish by doing some physical conditioning. I always thought that once I finished University, I would have to put aside my hobbies. Dance is such an important part of my life, and the work-life balance at Canva makes it possible for me to have the time and energy to keep pushing my dance. My dance crew and I then head to a nearby restaurant and talk about our favourite up and coming dancers.

11.30 PM

Finally home so I take a well-deserved shower to relax. I pop onto Discord and banter with my online friends. I’ve had a long day and I unwind by hanging out with my boiz.

1.30 AM

I’m tired but I push myself to do some stretches whilst reading a book, then it’s time for bed!