What does a Mobile Developer do? Ste tells us all

The people behind sky posted on 16 Feb

“Having a team that supports you and trusts your decisions really makes working here a joy!”

Sky Careers

Name: Ste Prescott

Job title: Mobile Developer

What area do you work in? My Sky App

What’s your career journey been like up until now?  Graduated from Sheffield Hallam in 2015 and joined the company where I did my placement. Felt too comfortable so moved in 2016.

What does a typical day working here look like for you? We’re really flexible and I work from home in Liverpool one week and then in office at Leeds the next. Typically, we have the iOS stand up first thing after the Android team have theirs. Here we share a brief overview of what we are working on and any issues we have or things we need to share with the team. After the devs have shared business will share any updates or feedback. From that stand up you’ll know if you’re to continue what you’re working on or pick something new up due to priorities changing. Once you know what you are to be working on you get to it. It’s not just a solo job, we are free to pair and share ideas. One of the great things is I work with some insanely clever people who I can bounce ideas off and learn from. We use GitHub issues to keep track of tickets. Each ticket will have a user story with acceptance criteria added by one of our Business Analysts. Any questions can be asked on that ticket so we keep all communication visible. Each issue brings its own challenges but we’re encouraged to do it well, not just get it done. We are given time to test our work and write code that we enjoy reading/reviewing. Once the work is done a Pull Request (PR) is raised in GitHub. At this point another dev will peer review it and the testers will pick it up to ensure it meets the acceptance criteria. If all is well it’ll then be merged in and be distributed in the next release otherwise it’s back to fixing the issues found.

If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? I joined the service team because we were to build a new App using Swift. From a team of 3 iOS devs I assisted in growing the team to what is now 8 iOS devs (With more being recruited.). I’m also active within the iOS community here. The community link up with iOS devs across all offices and we share ideas, present and give pro tips to each other. We also arrange external speakers to come and give interesting talks too. I have been working with the other reps of across the locations to put in place a fair system to send some of our iOS devs to Apple’s WWDC.

What’s been your proudest moment since working here? On the dashboard of the new My Sky App there is a Sky logo that allows the user to tilt the device and see the image being refracted. I was given 3 weeks to build several prototypes one using SceneKit, another using SpriteKit and another using Core Graphics. The challenge was awesome, we as a team didn’t know how it could be done so it was fun to have the time to play.

What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The team. In most tech jobs there’ll be interesting challenges and that keeps an engineer interested. However, having a team that supports you and trusts your decisions really makes working here a joy! Not only are our engineers great, the management of our team are faultless. Several engineers could possibly name a scrum master, project manager or boss that they really didn’t like working with or made your job life difficult, in my team the management have our back and support us, keeping senior stakeholders away and allow us to do our job well.

Describe your work/life balance? The company is amazingly flexible and understand that people have lives. Several times I work extra hours because the work is so interesting but it’s always our choice.

What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Join some tech communities, they run several, get to know other developers in the area you’re interested in and give yourself time to play around with the new tech you want to get into.

An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’m a qualified nursery nurse.