The following blog post is an informal detailing of the first few months at Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) as a Junior Data Engineer. The intention of this post is to give a brief overview of what to expect when you join as a recent graduate as well as life here at Sky Betting & Gaming. An earlier blog post of a similar vein can be found here
Sports and Data Engineering! My two passions together in one place. How could I not be excited to start life at this amazing place of work in the city of Leeds! (Leeds is a wonderful place to live but more on that later).
Before joining Sky Betting & Gaming I was a recent graduate working in the big data field as a data engineering at Company X. A company working with similar technologies to those encountered at Sky Betting & Gaming but operating in a different manner. The change of job and role was nice but also needed. I’d decided to try something new and more in tune with my interests which lead me to a role at Sky Betting & Gaming.
Some of the things that first struck me about working at Sky Betting & Gaming were the openness and clear direction of the business that I was shown in the first few weeks. My first few days at Sky Betting & Gaming involved a lot of meetings and introductions with people all over the business which helped immensely in adapting to the business culture at Sky Betting & Gaming. The people were friendly, the environment motivating, but most of all I was excited to get started on some ‘real work’ (Not to say these meetings and introductions weren’t but I personally couldn’t wait to play around on my work station ).
After the first week had passed I was raring to getting started with some coding. Work began at a manageable pace with guidance eventually leading to very independent work as expected. This ‘easing in’ period was, in my own personal opinion, excellent! I’d joined the company with a fellow colleague from my previous employer and we were stationed in close proximity to two amazing senior engineers… You know who you are. Throughout the first two months they were on hand to thoroughly explain concepts which were new to us but to also assure us that our beginnings in the work environment are a learning process and so moving at our own pace was encouraged.
The ‘Average’ Day
To say ‘average’ is the wrong choice of words as no two days at SBG are the same but things that I have found myself doing on an ‘average’ day as a Data Engineer include:
- Development (encompassing stability, improvement, enhancements as well as the creation of pipelines and more)
- Regular planning and inception meetings to facilitate the needs of the business and the developments we intend to implement
- Various forms of QA testing
- Pool tables (Everyone needs a break here and there)
- Eating out for lunch at one of the many food places within the city center
- Online and in work training when possible as well as when required
From the first day of work I’ve been involved in all the above activities and more. The list seems exhaustive but the environment we work in means it is easily manageable.
The work day begins at any time between 08:00 and 09:30. This flexi-time allows for people to work to hours more suitable to their travel needs. The day ends between 16:00 and 18:30 to align with the flexible starting hours.
Technology and The Way We Work
Sky Betting & Gaming has adopted team organization in a similar vein to the the ‘Spotify Tribes Model’. This way of working arranges departments into ‘tribes’ with each of these tribes further broken down into smaller working teams. It is a very efficient model which allows for high levels of collaborative working (A theme which is encouraged throughout the business).
Sky Betting & Gaming has an excellent technology stack in each tribe. My tribe in particular has thoroughly impressed. In the short time here I have had exposure to several different platforms and a plethora of programming languages (new and shiny technologies included) all fit for purpose. My knowledge in my specialized field has been expanded but I’ve also discovered interests in areas not normally considered from the perspective of a data engineer (This is partly due to the excellent collaborative efforts throughout the business).
And Finally.. The City
When I started working at SBG the city was an afterthought. Its appeal was there but I hadn’t had the time to appreciate it in the ways in which I currently do after a few settled weeks here at SBG.
On my first day at work, for our lunch break, my colleague and I took a trip to the town center. The city center is a surprisingly short 5 minutes walk away from the office offering up a variety of eateries on the way. A usual dining area is Trinity Kitchens; A collection of in door food stalls offering up anything from tortillas to duck and pancakes.
The city as a whole is vibrant and entrancing, becoming as much an influence on my satisfaction as the job itself.
For those who are interested
Sky Betting & Gaming have a variety of opportunities for graduates which can be found here
Have a look and see what piques your interest :)