The following blog post is primarily aimed at recent graduates or undergraduates who are considering a role at Sky Betting & Gaming but it should also provide a good overview of our company culture for anyone else who’s considering applying for one of our technology roles.
Around 8 months ago I was sitting in a University lab revising, or as I like to refer to it, learning. This was in preparation for a 2-hour written exam which could, so I was told, have implications on what happened for the rest of my working life. In reality, I felt rather secure in my immediate job prospects straight out of University as, unlike some of my peers who had secured a job offer on the condition of them achieving a certain grade, the offer that I had lined up from Sky Betting & Gaming was based on the results of my technical test and an interview, testing both technical and personal qualities. Due to this, the biggest challenge of the current exam period was to beat or match my fellow students, the game was on.
In the heart of the exam period, if you had asked me what my daily routine was going to be after I finished University, I would have told you I expected to be sat at my desk all day 9 to 5 hacking away on my own, writing code. This would have been somewhat preferable to working all hours of the day completing past exam paper questions, but definitely not as flexible or relaxed as my timetable had been previous to the exam period. Fortunately, this was all speculation; my current daily routine or working environment are nothing like what I had expected.
For those of you reading this whilst finishing that algorithms deadline or perhaps revising for your own final-year exam, allow me to fill in the blanks about what it’s like to transition from University life to a role at Sky Betting & Gaming:
/ruːˈtiːn/ noun - a sequence of actions regularly followed.
Routine is probably the wrong word to use here as we’re pretty flexible; the working day can start any time between 07:30 and 10:00 (am), this allows people to beat the morning rush hour, grab a coffee before work or simply spend an extra hour or two in bed!
Dependent on the day, typical activities include:
- Software development
- QA testing
- Completing online training courses
- Helping out releasing some new features
- Regular project inception meetings or retrospectives to discuss how we’ve been working
- Eating lunch at Trinity Kitchens
- 5-a-side football
With the working day finishing anywhere between 16:00 and 18:30 it becomes obvious that working here can be a varied and fun experience.
We’re pretty hot on collaboration at Sky Betting & Gaming. We organise our teams according to the Spotify tribe model, there’s a lot more to it than this, but tribes are essentially just departments and the tribes (or departments) are then broken down into many smaller software delivery teams which are responsible for a specific set of features or product areas.
Unlike most University courses, Sky Betting & Gaming encourages collaborative work. Every member of the team will pull together to produce the best possible result, we do this by a number of ways including: pair programming, regular discussions, code reviews and agile practices such as retrospectives and inception meetings.
We like to keep on top of our technology stack and keep up to date with the latest technologies. This allows us to keep our products ahead of the competition as well as allowing us to scale our infrastructure to support our massive growth. Contrast this to University where you may be using technology which is 5 maybe 10 years old and you’ll soon begin to appreciate the rate at which the technology sector is evolving.
Sky Betting & Gaming Culture
The work you carry out at University is dictated by lecturers and shrouded by warnings about plagiarism, which makes sense in a University environment; you’ve come to learn what the University has to teach you and at the end of it you get a grade, which is supposed to reflect upon your own achievements - not what you copied from the Internet…
Here, however, we like to do things a little differently…we are encouraged to set our own goals and learning targets, finding the right balance to benefit both ourselves and the business. All of the work we do is in teams, with Engineers frequently working together and using each others code in order to get the job done.
We’re well looked after at Sky Betting & Gaming, our benefits include free full Sky HD TV and broadband and personal £1000 tech ninja fund every year to be spent on anything from tech kit to conferences. We’re looked after whilst we’re working too, with tonnes of on-the-job activities including human-sized table football, beer fridges, sponsored bike rides and street food pop-ups.
Are you about to graduate? Perhaps you already have?
If all of this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of then take a look at our graduate programme.