Sky Tech Leeds offers exciting opportunities

Changing the game posted on 26 Mar

Matt Grest, Head of Technology here at Sky, explains how crucial and exciting it is, to be part of our Tech Team in Leeds. He shares how it's a place which gives people the environment to really achieve their potential.

Sky Careers

Why is Leeds so important for Sky?

Leeds is a key strategic location for us at Sky, with a large team working in two locations in Leeds City Centre. We have a sizeable Customer Contact Centre as well as a large Technology Hub, which is what I’m going to talk to you about in a bit more detail.

Tell us a bit more about the work, which gets delivered by our Tech Team in Leeds?

Our tech team in Leeds is the one behind the online side of Sky Sports, Sky’s most popular digital platform. If you’ve ever visited or used one of our sports apps, then you’ll have seen some of the great work that the technology team in Leeds is focused on.

What makes it so exciting to be part of  some of these teams?

The Sky Sports Digital Technology team uses a range of cutting edge technology to power this platform, including JavaScript (Node.js, Angular.js), PHP, Java, Python as well as Android and iOS technologies.

A key challenge for this team is the constant focus on getting you up to the second information on sporting events across the world, and alerting you within seconds of Wayne Rooney scoring a goal in stoppage-time at Old Trafford. You’d be amazed at the systems that are in place to get this goal-event updated on the web site and the notifications pushed out to mobile users. Then imagine the challenge on a Saturday afternoon when there’s several hundred football matches taking place across Europe; that’s a huge amount of data to process and push out to sports fans; all within seconds…

This team also have the challenges of bringing you breaking news of the latest sports headlines; with Football Transfer Deadline day being one of the big days in the year when millions of sports fans from across the world are following all the latest transfer news. The huge traffic demands on the Sky Sports Digital platform is a constant challenge for the team, so optimizing and streamlining is a constant focus.

What other work takes place in Leeds?

Sky’s Online Customer Service Technology Team is also based in Leeds. This team is responsible for the customer self-service tools on the website; the Help and Support pages, the area of the website where you manage your account and view your bill, the system to report a broadband fault as well as the Sky Service App.

Customer Service means everything to us at Sky. With a constantly growing customer-base, it’s essential we give people the tools, the help and the information in order to resolve their query.

The Sky Online Service Technology Team use a variety of cutting-edge technologies, such as Ruby, JavaScript (Angular.js, Node.js, Ember.js, Backbone.js), Java, Groovy, and Heroku.

How do you think our people working in Tech in Leeds would describe the way they are expected to work here?

The Sky Technology Teams in Leeds all work to an Agile product delivery methodology; with a clear focus on delivering to the end-users’ needs, with regular product changes being pushed out the live platform.

We use Scrum and Kanban processes, depending on the needs and demands of the particular team, with every sprint having an agreed goal for all members of the team. This approach keeps everyone focused on what’s important and minimizes any waste in the team.

Technology teams work hand-in-hand with the Product Owners; we are very-much focused on a collaborative approach where the team succeeds or fails together. We don’t have a blame-culture, we’ve got no time for that as we’re all focused on doing the right thing for the Sky customer.

Sky continues to lead the way with the use of cutting-edge and innovative technology. Examples of some of the technologies we use in Leeds are Java, Ruby, Grails, PHP, JavaScript (Ember, Node, Angular), Python.

How would you describe the culture – what is it for you that makes Sky a great place to work?

At Sky everyone is empowered, and we want our colleagues to feel they really can make a difference. We want people to be creative, suggest new ways of working and new tools, and innovate around technology; we are constantly looking at ways to improve the things we do. This means that when a suggestion is made we never outright say “no”. We’ll give people the opportunity to trial and prototype new ideas, and work will colleagues across the team in order to see if this is an idea we want to turn into our standard way of operating.

Working together is key to us; we want people to share their successes and failures across the team so everyone can learn and move forward as a team.

The great thing about working for Sky in Leeds is that it gives you the environment to achieve your potential. …


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