Getting To Know…Ben Spera

Ben is our resident software delivery expert and passionate Collingwood football club supporter. Working out of our Melbourne office, Ben heads up Oceans Software Delivery team, leading them through the design, development, delivery and testing of our programs.


Tell us about your role at Ocean

As the Software Director here at Ocean I have accountability for the design, development, delivery and testing of our programs. Leading a team of software developers through to business analysts, day to day I am ensuring we meet our delivery and quality targets. No two days are ever the same for me here at Ocean and over the past 10 months I have really enjoyed seeing positive changes in how we do things. Introducing Lean and Agile concepts to the way we approach delivery has increased our efficiency as a team, guaranteeing we deliver value to our customers, quickly and with a high level of quality.


What’s your story?

I am a first generation Australian, born and bred in Melbourne’s West, in a small suburb populated with a lot of Italian migrant families. My parents migrated to Australia from Italy, my mum with her family from a small town in Naples when she was 9 and my dad came across on his own when he was 18 from a town called Salerno. They met shortly after my dad arrived, introduced through mutual friends and married not long after. I continue to call the west of Melbourne home, accompanied now by my wife and two children. Following the completion of a Computer Science degree from RMIT, my career in software started, this was almost 20 years ago where I commenced my first role as a graduate software engineer for a defence company. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to perform varied roles across my career, working for multiple organisations. Prior to joining Ocean, I was working in NABs Innovation LAB where I worked as an Agile coach; transforming how NAB manages their 1-billion-dollar yearly pipeline of work. Having the opportunity to work with start-ups, hear their story, learn how they got started, how they have grown and then having the opportunity to work closely with them was an amazing experience.


When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind?

Family life keeps me pretty occupied when I am not at work. I have two boys who play a mixture of Aussie rules football, soccer and basketball. I also coach my son’s soccer team, hit the gym a couple of times a week and love watching my beloved Collingwood football club and the Napoli soccer team. My wife and I also share the love of travel and try to get away as a family a couple of times a year. Some of our favourite destinations include Thailand and Europe, although we are hoping to take the kids to the United States next year!


What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Set aside some time every day or every week to stop and reflect. As our work and personal lives become increasingly busy, this is something I am trying to prioritize more and more; allowing me to slow down, assess where I have been and where I want to go.


If you could have your time again, what would you do differently?

I would slow my career down and not be in such a rush to move onto the next role. It is quite easy to get swept up in the race to get to the top. I have learned over time to just enjoy the role I am in, enjoy the challenge and not rush ahead to the next level. Good things come to those who wait!