Craig Andrews

Craig Andrews

Principal Engineer · Data Tribe

Craig was responsible for the Hadoop platform back in its early days as we struggled with bash scripts gluing Hive queries together, and invented our Pidl Ruby DSL to resolve this problem.

Articles by Craig

Open-Sourcing Pidl (Pipeline Definition Language)

Announcing the release of Pidl, a Ruby DSL that we developed to manage our ETL pipelines through Hadoop.

Author:

Craig Andrews

Category:

Data

Time:

17 minute read

Andy Burgin

Andy Burgin

Senior DevOps Engineer · Data Tribe

When not organising Leeds DevOps, or conference speaking, Andy is improving our underlying Hadoop data platform.

Articles by Andy

DevopsDays Paris 2015

We sent senior DevOps engineer Andy Burgin to DevopsDays Paris to find out about the latest ideas and innovation in the DevOps community.

Author:

Andy Burgin

Category:

Devops

Time:

14 minute read

David Sunter

David Sunter

Graduate DevOps Engineer, Platform Services · Early Careers Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

Dave joined on the first software academy ran by SB&G in August 2016, now working in Platform Services Team as a Gradaute Dev Ops Engineer.

  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Cricket
  • Snowboarding
  • Gaming
  • Technology

Articles by David

Taking a Chance - A Graduate DevOps Blog

The transition of an engineering student into a DevOps graduate, through the Software Academy at Sky Betting and Gaming.

Author:

David Sunter

Category:

Early Careers

Time:

4 minute read

Gav Harris

Gav Harris

Engineering Manager, Platform Services · Data Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2011

Gav joined the SB&G family as a member of the Infrastructure Tribe, and has a strong desire to automate all the things. He now leads our Platform Services team: has succesfully rolled out Chef across the entire estate, and remains at the forefront of our investment in infrastructure automation.

Articles by Gav

Delivery Pipelines with Test Kitchen, Chef and Docker

Jenkins, Test Kitchen, Chef and Docker put together are much more than just a configuration management platform

Author:

Gav Harris

Category:

Deployment

Time:

16 minute read

Speeding Up Chef Search

We rely on Chef heavily for configuration management. This is one way we speed it up.

Author:

Gav Harris

Category:

Deployment

Time:

6 minute read

Adam Hepton

Adam Hepton

Lead Engineer, Website Experience · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

After almost ten years working in the education sector and contributing to key building blocks of the web such as the HTML 5 specification and jQuery, Adam joined Sky Betting & Gaming, where he is passionate about ensuring the millions of users of Sky Bet have a pleasant experience regardless of what device or platform they are visiting from. He and Tom Hudson were part of a group of people who initiated the trending topic #songsincode on Twitter in 2009.

  • JS
  • React
  • Node
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Agile
  • Kanban
  • Delivery
  • People

Articles by Adam

Pull Requesting into Pull Requests for Collaboration

Autonomy over development is great, but having no single project owner can bring its own problems. One workflow to help with this is to pull request a pull request.

Author:

Adam Hepton

Category:

Workflow

Time:

10 minute read

Tom Hudson

Tom Hudson

Principal Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2011

Pragmatic purist, problem solver, coder and Go lover.

  • Cars
  • guitars
  • cheese and crackers

Articles by Tom

How We Release So Frequently

We release our code several times per day with no planned outages. Here’s how.

Author:

Tom Hudson

Category:

Deployment

Time:

11 minute read

Monitoring Virtual Sports

Virtual Sports is one of our most popular products; here’s one of the ways we improved our monitoring of it.

Author:

Tom Hudson

Category:

Product

Time:

17 minute read

Alice Kaerast

Alice Kaerast

Big Data Architect · Data Tribe

Alice played a key role in building our Hadoop-based data platform as a DevOps Engineer, and now applies this engineering experience as an Architect as we continue to evolve our platform.

Articles by Alice

How we broke Hadoop by optimising services

We’ve been optimising the allocation of services in our Hadoop cluster recently. It turns out a quiet Hadoop gateway server is a bad one.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Data

Time:

3 minute read

Towards a realtime streaming architecture

Outline of the streaming architecture we are standardising around in the data tribe at Sky Betting & Gaming

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Data

Time:

7 minute read

Our Top 10 Big Data News Sources

Keeping on top of an area of technology that is as rapidly moving as the big data ecosystem is hard. Our data tribe share some of their resources for keeping up to date.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Big Data

Time:

5 minute read

Measuring Impala performance using Apache JMeter

Our web performance teams regularly use JMeter to load test our websites to identify performance of the various components involved, but it turns out you can actually use it to directly test the performance of a Hadoop datawarehouse.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Data

Time:

2 minute read

Google Phone Numbers in Spark

Our CRM team rely on having clean phone numbers to push SMS messages to customers, various people have tried creating some logic for this validation but surely this is a solved problem.

Category:

Data

Time:

15 minute read

Kafka Cluster Sizing

We’re starting to use Kafka for a number of projects. We can start off on virtual machines on our shared VMWare cluster, but we expect the disk IO to soon reach levels that will make it unsuitable for running on our shared storage. This post looks at some techniques for sizing up a physical Kafka cluster.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Big Data

Time:

4 minute read

When Hadoop tools disagree with each other

We recently saw an 8-year spike on one of our graphs recently. It caused much amusement when it was tweeted out, but there’s actually a good story behind this apparent 8-year lag in data processing.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Big Data

Time:

6 minute read

Leeds Tech Groups and Meetups

Leeds has a big tech scene, which has spawned many tech user groups and meetups, many of which see attendance from our engineers. Here’s just some of the upcoming meetups for the next week.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Community

Time:

1 minute read

How to DBA - All Your Base conference experience

Some thoughts from this year’s All Your Base conference on the past, present and future of how we manage databases.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Data

Time:

6 minute read

Using Zookeeper Locks in Jruby

How to use Zookeeper locks in Jruby

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Jruby

Time:

7 minute read

Distributed Database Query Optimisation with Lego

Lego based notes from a workshop on Hive, going from basic unpartitioned tables through to partitioned Impala tables with stats computed and backed by parquet.

Author:

Alice Kaerast

Category:

Data

Time:

6 minute read

Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick

Head of Bet Technology · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2013

Paul leads the Bet Tribe technology team and has worked in the betting industry for his entire career: first Ladbrokes, then Sportech, Buzz Sports and (best of all!) SB&G.

Articles by Paul

Paul McCormick @ Agile Yorkshire: From Projects to Investment Themes

A talk about the importance of forming product teams and investment themes rather than trying to execute projects.

Author:

Paul McCormick

Category:

Agile

Time:

1 minute read

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

DevOps Engineer · Data Tribe

Josh is a platform engineer in the Hadoop data team, and keeps our Cloudera cluster ticking over.

Articles by Josh

A Little Specialism Goes A Long Way

Is the principle of using commodity hardware for a Hadoop cluster over-valued? Recognising the value of some specialised hardware can provide significant benefits.

Author:

Josh Mitchell

Category:

Hardware

Time:

9 minute read

Dan Rooke

Dan Rooke

Solution Architect · Data Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2010

Dan has spent most of his SB&G career with the account team, managing traffic growth for that application of several orders of magnitude over a few years. Dan now acts as a Solution Architect for the team, with a specific interest in real-time event processing which he is pursuing with a recent move to the Data Tribe.

  • Event Processing
  • RabbitMQ
  • Kafka
  • Samza
  • Spark Streaming

Articles by Dan

Board Assistant

Scrum/Kanban Board Assistant - solve those physical and virtual board synchronisation issues!

Author:

Dan Rooke

Category:

Agile

Time:

3 minute read

Tom Scott

Tom Scott

Principal Data Engineer · Data Tribe

Tom provided technical leadership for the SB&G Hadoop data team when he wasn't driving his family around in his minibus. After working in our cutting edge team till Nov 2015, he now works for Cloudera.

Articles by Tom

SerDe vs UDF – parsing JSON in Hive

5 different approaches to handling JSON data with Hive.

Author:

Tom Scott

Category:

Data

Time:

15 minute read

Rob Tuley

Rob Tuley

Head of Data Technology · Data Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2011

Rob leads the engineering arm of the Data Tribe with teams working on data warehousing via Hadoop, real time data streaming, Informix & Oracle management, and infrastructure automation & platform tooling.

Articles by Rob

Alberto Brandolini on DDD & CQRS

Some key take-aways from having Alberto Brandolini on-site at Skybet talking to us about DDD methodologies.

Author:

Rob Tuley

Category:

Data

Time:

2 minute read

Kanban's Geological Record

Ian Carroll’s commentary on tracking the record of workflow by looking at the Kanban cards coming off the boards.

Author:

Rob Tuley

Category:

Agile

Time:

1 minute read

Colin Ameigh

Colin Ameigh

Principal Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2012

Generalist with no preferred language. Has been building large scale, high availability systems since the last millenium

  • Almost everything

Articles by Colin

CSI Skybet

A tale of football, nodejs, and rabbits.

Author:

Colin Ameigh

Category:

Operations

Time:

14 minute read

How do I become a Software Engineer?

SB&G hires engineers, so what is one, and how do I become one?

Author:

Colin Ameigh

Time:

12 minute read

Velocity Amsterdam 2015

Velocity - Building performance

Author:

Colin Ameigh

Category:

Velocity

Time:

6 minute read

Glen Mailer

Glen Mailer

Software Engineer · International Tribe

Sheffield-based generalist who loves programming and hates waste.

Articles by Glen

SkyBet Sheffield Tech Talk: Scaling Agile by Not Talking to Each Other

Our new Sheffield office recently hosted an evening of technical talks to get ourselves acquainted with the local technology community. The first of these talks is now available to watch online.

Author:

Glen Mailer

Category:

Agile

Time:

1 minute read

Dan Adams

Dan Adams

Web Application Security Specialist · Infrastructure Tribe

Dan is our go-to guy for any security-related questions, and works with our teams around the business to ensure we are running a secure platform

  • Hiking
  • history
  • philosophy
  • space tech

Articles by Dan

Hacker Herding - Ten Lessons Learned From Launching a Bug Bounty Programme

Lessons learned from operating a bug bounty programme, and some tips for launching your own

Author:

Dan Adams

Category:

Security

Time:

9 minute read

XSS - Just the facts, ma'am

A basic primer on Cross-site scripting (XSS) and its prevention

Author:

Dan Adams

Category:

Security

Time:

7 minute read

Horses, batteries and staples - tips for effective password usage

Tips for effective password usage, for both end users and system administrators

Author:

Dan Adams

Category:

Security

Time:

14 minute read

Preventing phishing attacks - an example of defence in depth

Phishing attacks are difficult to entirely prevent against, but are a good example of a situation in which “defence in depth” is appropriate.

Author:

Dan Adams

Category:

Security

Time:

8 minute read

H2OhNoes! Five lessons we can learn from old-world utility firms on how to handle outages

Utility companies have customers. And just like us, those customers expect a ubiquitous, always-on service provision. Are there therefore any lessons we can learn from an old, established industry like a utility company on how to handle outages?

Author:

Dan Adams

Category:

Incident Response

Time:

7 minute read

Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas

Principal Engineer · Bet Tribe

UI focused engineer with a passion for JS, UX and front-end performance.

  • JS
  • React
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Node

Articles by Ian

Looking back at NodeConf London

It’s a little known fact that skybet.com has been working with Node.js since version 0.4 (though our first app running in a live environment was on version 0.6) so we’ve got a long history of running JavaScript on the server. In addition, our customer experience is wholly reliant on JavaScript in the browser so you could say we’re less of a PHP shop and more of a JavaScript shop… So it was with interest that three of the skybet.com team headed to that London for the first ever NodeConf London.

Author:

Ian Thomas

Category:

Node.js

Time:

9 minute read

Is Client-Side Rendering Ready For The Big Time?

As we look to define best-practice for our next generation Sportsbook, one area of focus is the rise of support for SPAs in Search Engines. Is the support there to remove server rendering forever?

Author:

Ian Thomas

Category:

UI Engineering

Time:

15 minute read

Tom Lomas

Tom Lomas

Software Engineer · Core Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

A software engineer with Account in the Core Tribe. Works with the account integration API and more recently in improving the payment systems used by deposits and withdrawals.

  • NFL
  • music
  • travelling
  • PHP
  • Node

Articles by Tom

Increasing Login Capacity by Using Node.js

How we went about transitioning key parts of our stack to Node.js to benefit from the asynchronous nature that it brings.

Author:

Tom Lomas

Category:

Product

Time:

7 minute read

Iker Gomez

Iker Gomez

Software Engineer · Data Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

Iker is one of our Software Engineers in the Data Team keeping our pipelines alive... He is the team member responsible for the data team improving their Spanish language skills

Articles by Iker

Big Data Spain or how I used my Tech Ninja Fund

We sent Software Engineer Iker Gomez to Big Data Spain conferences in Madrid to learn more about big data technologies and real-time processing.

Author:

Iker Gomez

Category:

Big Data

Time:

9 minute read

James Moorhouse

James Moorhouse

Software Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

Software Engineer in the Bet & Customer Transactions squad where he works primarily on the Bet Tracker product, written using a combination of PHP and React.

  • Running
  • snowboarding
  • cars
  • gym
  • electronic music and some web based technology thrown in there for good measure

Articles by James

Modernising our Application with TypeScript

How we used TypeScript to successfully refactor a large business critical codebase.

Author:

James Moorhouse

Time:

17 minute read

Life After Graduation

Are you a recent graduate or graduating soon? wondering what life after University is like? have a read and see how we do things at Sky Betting & Gaming.

Author:

James Moorhouse

Time:

7 minute read

Darrell Taylor

Darrell Taylor

Hadoop Developer / Consultant · Data Tribe

Data Warehouse forklift driver, shifting crates of one and zeros around the place.

Articles by Darrell

Google Phone Numbers in Spark

Our CRM team rely on having clean phone numbers to push SMS messages to customers, various people have tried creating some logic for this validation but surely this is a solved problem.

Category:

Data

Time:

15 minute read

Adam Blanchard

Adam Blanchard

Software Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

Software Engineer in the Sky Vegas squad, working on the release of the new desktop and mobile platforms using PHP, JavaScript and React.

Articles by Adam

A/B Testing in Javascript with Canvass

A/B testing is a popular method for testing changes. Here’s how we do it with the Canvass library.

Author:

Adam Blanchard

Time:

6 minute read

Team Size and Why It Matters

Team size varies massively across different projects, but how big should a team be, and why does it matter?

Author:

Adam Blanchard

Category:

Organisation

Time:

9 minute read

Adam Pointer

Adam Pointer

Principal Automation Engineer · Platform Services Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2012

Tech lead within the Platform Services team, focusing on what the next generation of our build tools looks like.

Articles by Adam

Deploying Consul in AWS

Looking at deploying a Consul cluster into AWS and how we can rollout upgrades with no loss of service

Author:

Adam Pointer

Category:

Deployment

Time:

14 minute read

Matt Kirwan

Matt Kirwan

Software Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Software Engineer in the Gaming Promotions Squad currently working on processing real-time promotional data using Apache Kafka and NodeJS.

Articles by Matt

Responsive React Components

The early spotting of technical debt within our new responsive Sky Vegas React codebase enabled the squad to implement an elegant solution to rendering components based on the current device’s viewport size.

Author:

Matt Kirwan

Category:

UI Engineering

Time:

12 minute read

Andy Butcher

Andy Butcher

Solutions Architect · Bet Tribe

Always in search of the simplest thing that could possibly work

Articles by Andy

QCon London

I went to the QCon conference this year. This is some of the stuff I learned.

Author:

Andy Butcher

Category:

Conferences

Time:

20 minute read

Andrew Munro

Andrew Munro

Senior Software Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

Senior Software Engineer working on the SkyVegas platform. Coming from a games development background, I enjoy delivering the best gaming experience possible to our customers.

  • Music
  • Technology
  • Gaming
  • Space

Articles by Andrew

Isomorphic Vegas

A summary of how we use isomorphism to render Vegas and keep state consistent between our servers and clients

Author:

Andrew Munro

Category:

Organisation

Time:

8 minute read

Jon Bulbrook

Jon Bulbrook

Software Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2014

Currently a Software Engineer in the Gaming Promotions Squad, working on internal APIs and real-time promotions using Apache Kafka and NodeJS. Also worked on the new Sky Vegas platform using React, JavaScript and PHP.

Articles by Jon

Why is device detection hard?

A look at why device detection is the thorn in our side thats not going anywhere.

Author:

Jon Bulbrook

Time:

20 minute read

Tom Davidson

Tom Davidson

Senior Infrastructure Engineer / Delivery · Infrastructure Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2014

Part of the Delivery squad who are responsible for deploying, upgrading & scaling the PaaS that underpins the majority of the Sky Betting & Gaming products. His philosophy is, "Why do something manually more than once when you can script or automate it."

  • automation
  • scripting
  • virtualisation
  • linux

Articles by Tom

Scripting NetBackup Policy Creation

The documentation and examples of the use of NetBackup commands can be sparse. Here is how we used the CLI to script our policy creation.

Author:

Tom Davidson

Category:

Deployment

Time:

26 minute read

Lee O'Donnell

Lee O'Donnell

Director of IT Infrastructure & Security · Infrastructure Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2010

Leads the delivery of high scale, secure and high performance infrastructure platforms for SB&G. Background in electronic engineering of high performance computing platforms, telecoms and software engineering of internet solutions

Articles by Lee

Automating Performance Optimisation in a Highly Virtualised Infrastructure Platform

Together with our partners at Turbonomic we’ve put together a video about how we optimise our highly virtualised platform.

Author:

Lee O'Donnell

Category:

Infrastructure

Time:

2 minute read

Callum Leahy

Callum Leahy

Graduate Software Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

Part of the team delivering real time promotion information to our internal customers, working with Apache Kafka and NodeJS

Articles by Callum

Implementing The Schema Registry

Article describing the use of a Schema Registry, why we need it and takes a look at how we did it.

Author:

Callum Leahy

Category:

Gaming

Time:

6 minute read

Serena Wadsworth

Serena Wadsworth

Test Engineer · Data Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

Engineer working in the Data Science squad of Data Tribe. Immersing myself in the world of Hadoop and trying to learn some R. When not at work I enjoy playing PS4 and trying to crossfit.

Articles by Serena

Hadoop: The Data Storage Elephant

Outline of how Hadoop works and how it is used at SBG

Category:

Data

Time:

4 minute read

John Denholm

John Denholm

Lead Platform Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2012

Longtime Skybet engineer, generally in charge of all things Graphite. Likes cats and whiskey.

Articles by John

Scaling Time Series Databases

We collect a lot of metrics about our production systems using Graphite Times Series Databases. In order to improve performance of Graphite and reduce the load on our SAN we purpose-built and tuned some very vast dedicated hardware for our Graphite Databases.

Authors:

John Denholm and Gary Mulder

Category:

Big Data

Time:

16 minute read

Gary Mulder

Gary Mulder

Site Reliability Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

After 10 years as a Systems Administrator, now specialising in Site Reliability and Performance Analysis. Likes making fast computers run faster. And maximum-pain chilli peppers.

Articles by Gary

Scaling Time Series Databases

We collect a lot of metrics about our production systems using Graphite Times Series Databases. In order to improve performance of Graphite and reduce the load on our SAN we purpose-built and tuned some very vast dedicated hardware for our Graphite Databases.

Authors:

John Denholm and Gary Mulder

Category:

Big Data

Time:

16 minute read

Marcus Ojerinde-Ardalla

Marcus Ojerinde-Ardalla

Junior Data Engineer · Data Tribe

A Young Data Engineer With a Passion For All Things Sports

Articles by Marcus

A Recent Graduates Guide to Sky Betting & Gaming…

A recent graduates blog on their first few months at Sky Betting & Gaming as well as what to expect.

Category:

Data

Time:

7 minute read

Ashley Broadley

Ashley Broadley

Principal Engineer · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2012

Likes Programming, Board Games, Cycling, Squash, Thai Boxing and Pilates.

Articles by Ashley

Sky Betting & Gaming's January 2017 Tech Talks

Join Adele, Mark, Tom, Mark, Adam & John for our January 2017 edition of Sky Bet Tech Talks on Retrospectives, AGILE Programme Management, Discovery & Experimentation and Squad Health Checks

Author:

Ashley Broadley

Category:

Tech Talks

Time:

2 minute read

Martyn Ranyard

Martyn Ranyard

Platform Engineer · Bet Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2014

Multi-faceted geek, some people collect things and call it a hobby, I collect hobbies.

Articles by Martyn

Overlay network performance testing

How do you decide on an overlay network to use for the next generation platform at SkyBet?

Author:

Martyn Ranyard

Category:

Infrastructure

Time:

10 minute read

Patrick Holmes

Patrick Holmes

Head of Cloud Delivery · Infrastructure & Security Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

Member of the Infrastructure & Security Tribe, responsible for the operational delivery of the SBG cloud platforms and infrastructure services

Articles by Patrick

Lessons Learned for Incident Commanders

Incident command is a reasonably new area of focus for SBG. In a nutshell we have a nominated technical person known as the Incident Commander (IC) who gives direction in order to resolve an incident and restore service as quickly as possible.

This blog post contains some of the insights and ‘lessons learned’ by our teams from their experiences in live incidents and exercises (known internally as fire drills) as they work to improve their skills and reduce our Mean Time To Resolution

Author:

Patrick Holmes

Category:

Incident Response

Time:

13 minute read

John Kitson

John Kitson

Scrum Master · Gaming Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2015

John works as a Scrum Master in the Gaming Tribe, covering the Gaming Promotions and Casino squads. John is a father of one and in his spare time enjoys running and organising at his local junior parkrun.

Articles by John

Squad Health Checks

Enabling Continuous Improvement through regular introspection by the teams themselves.

Author:

John Kitson

Category:

Tech Talks

Time:

10 minute read

Sophia Chambers

Sophia Chambers

Junior Software Engineer · Core Tribe

Working at Sky Betting & Gaming since 2016

Currently a software engineer in the Core UI tribe based in Sheffield. Favouring all things javascript.

Articles by Sophia

How do we increase the numbers of women in technology based careers?

How to tackle the technology industry’s disheartening gender imbalance from the perspective of a female software engineer.

Author:

Sophia Chambers

Category:

Community

Time:

11 minute read