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What Goes on Inside One of the Most Exciting Tech Companies in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Discussion

To become the best, you have to have a culture of innovation.

Sky Betting and Gaming

At Sky Betting & Gaming, they work hard and play hard. They’re one team and every voice is as important as the CEO. They work with groundbreaking technology and tackle the challenges of scale. Why not join them?

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at one of the most exciting tech companies in Leeds?

Sky Betting & Gaming are industry leaders. They’re constantly innovating, always looking for ways to improve their service and up their game – as a result, they’ve become one of Yorkshire’s only tech unicorns. But how have they done it and what goes on behind closed doors? From cutting edge technology to a unique focus on learning and development, this is what makes Sky Betting & Gaming a cut above.

They push the boundaries of technology

Sky Betting and Gaming

Credit: Dave Lindsay

Imagine developing an AI system that’s used by millions of people around the world or creating a game-changing product in a multi-billion pound industry. That’s the daily reality at Sky Betting & Gaming, where creativity, ambition and technology come together in a fast-paced digital environment.

Sky Betting & Gaming is the biggest online bookmaker in the UK, which means they work with technology at scale. During the FIFA World Cup in 2018, they took around 12,000 bets per minute and after the 2019 Grand National, more than 1 million people visited the site simultaneously, so they have to deal with huge peaks in traffic. And that presents its own unique challenge. Everything they do has to work at an ever-growing scale, from Super 6 to Request A Bet, so they’re constantly developing their technology stack to make it faster, more reliable and bang up to date.

That’s what makes Sky Betting & Gaming so exciting. They’re not afraid to experiment with untried technology and they’re not averse to risk, so if they think it will benefit their customers, they’ll do it. And because they do it all in house, everyone benefits – you can try new things, learn new skills and really push the boundaries of what’s possible.

They have a work-hard, play-hard ethos

Sky Betting and Gaming

Credit: Dave Lindsay

Sky Betting & Gaming are constantly innovating, they’re always looking for ways to make their system smarter, faster and more reliable. The result? A fast-paced work environment that never gets boring. You’re constantly challenged, they’ll stretch you to the limits of your abilities and push you to be better, but you’ll do it all surrounded by your tribe, a close-knit team of like-minded people.

They work damned hard, but they play hard too. Team lunches, nights out, even a day at the races – they have a packed social calendar to keep their team happy and motivated. Play your cards right and you can even earn extra goodies with Now That, a rewards programme that lets you nominate people to revel in the spoils of their hard work. And to keep you on the top of your game, there’s a free gym membership.

They’re big players in the local the tech community, but they also have their own dedicated employee events, the biggest of which is The Gathering, a Glastonbury-style mini-festival. You can hear talks from guest speakers, network with your colleagues and blow off a bit of steam at the disco. It gets better every year – in 2019, they added an on-site escape room, a silent conference and a resident DJ. It’s their way of investing in their team and making sure everyone is working towards the same goal.

They give you complete autonomy

Sky Betting and Gaming

Credit: Dave Lindsay

Because of that shared vision, their tribes have total autonomy. They don’t tell you what to do, they just point you in the right direction, so you’re the one solving the problems and you’re the one getting the credit. It’s empowering – you have complete control, but you also have complete responsibility, so there’s a real sense of ownership here. It brings a new dynamic to the team, everyone cares because everyone has a stake in the game.

This is agile working at its very best. At Sky Betting & Gaming, autonomy allows you to move fast and fail even faster. If something isn’t working, if it isn’t going to benefit the customer, you can change course in an instant – no wasting time, no laying blame. More importantly, you can choose how to spend your time and prioritise the projects that will have the biggest and most valuable impact.

“The idea of agile software delivery is really about delivering the most value you can, as quickly as possible and as frequently as possible,” Rik Barker, Chief Technology Officer at Sky Betting & Gaming, told us. “So rather than getting into huge long project plans where an idea doesn’t see the light of day for a year, it’s about breaking things down into the smallest component parts you can release to either deliver value or learn something.”

They make your growth and development a priority

Sky Betting and Gaming

Credit: Dave Lindsay

At Sky Betting & Gaming, you have control over your own development. It’s up to you where you take your career. Want to push hard and fast? They’ll give you the means to do it. Prefer to take it slow? No problem, they understand the benefit of finding the right work-life balance. But when you are ready, their flat hierarchal structure means there are loads of opportunities to grow.

Learning and development is a real priority here, so much so that they dedicate 10% of your week to it. Every Friday afternoon, you can read books, solve problems or even host a talk if you want to – and if you’ve got an idea you want to explore, this is your chance to do it. You can collaborate with software engineers, product managers and designers to develop your idea, pitch it to the business and roll it out to millions of customers. Not only has it happened before, but it inspired CoLab, Sky Betting & Gaming’s very own tech incubator, which is open to employees and external businesses.

And through it all, Sky Betting & Gaming is there to support you. When you’re starting out, their Graduate and Tech Academies give you a pathway into the industry. They also run bespoke programmes that give you a tailored learning journey which you control based on your individual needs. And then there’s the Ninja Fund For All – everyone gets £1,000 a year to supercharge your personal development, from books to courses and conferences, you choose how you want to spend it.

Want to join the team?

Because of this unique ethos, Sky Betting & Gaming is growing and it’s growing fast, so if you want to fast-track your career, this could be just what you need. You can work with ground-breaking technology at scale, constantly learn new things and enjoy a work-hard, play-hard philosophy, all in a supportive working environment that encourages creativity and ambition. Get those applications in.

Cover image credit Made By Wiser.