Curious about the life of a new starter at one of the biggest online betting giants? We've got you covered in our latest blog. We got insight from our friends at bet365 to understand life for their DevOps Engineers so get ready to hear from Josh Smith and Neil Chan - two graduates making waves in the DevOps department at bet365. Let's dive in!
Tell us about yourselves
Josh: I grew up in Liverpool and studied Computer Forensics and Security at Manchester Metropolitan University. I come from a family of techies so computing is very much in my blood. I liked the fact that my course was quite specific rather than generalist and that I’d have a chance to play with emerging technologies.
Neil: I’m originally from Hong Kong and grew up on the Isle of Man. Growing up, I was unsure about what I wanted to do at university but I’d always enjoyed games and technology. I was interested in how they were developed, so I chose the Computer Games Development course at Liverpool John Moores University. I’d never programmed before, so it was a steep learning curve at first but the more I learnt, the more I enjoyed it.
J: Leaving university last summer, I knew that finding a job was going to be tough, even more so in the current climate of things. Because of previous work experience, I knew a few people in the industry, so I put out a post on LinkedIn stating that I’m looking for work. Through the powers of social media, recruiters from bet365 reached out about possible positions at the company.
I knew some people working at bet365 and they explained how much they enjoyed working for the company. So I applied.
The recruitment experience was different from other places I’d applied to. With some companies, you felt that they were taking advantage of the current situation in the world. Paying peanuts but expecting a huge amount in return.
With bet365, I didn’t feel like that at all. I felt they valued the fact I was a graduate and that there was a clearly defined place for someone with my experience at the company.
N: I started applying for jobs a few months into my Masters and got a lot of interest. However, when I graduated in September, most of the opportunities had disappeared. Nobody wanted graduates. They were looking for people with experience.
Then in October I saw that there were opportunities at bet365 and applied. Alicia, their Graduate Recruitment Specialist contacted me soon after. She was friendly and told me all about the opportunity in DevOps.
She just sounded so positive compared to other interviewers. She talked about the company, the role, and the opportunity. It was really exciting.
Was bet365 what you expected?
N: I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was blown away by what I found. Starting in January, I only got to spend one day in the office. I expected it to be overwhelming and was a bit daunted by the size of the company, but I didn’t need to be. Everyone was so friendly and helpful.
One thing I’ll never forget is that I was able to go home at Christmas. Because of the lockdown, I hadn’t seen my family in almost a year. bet365 gave me time to see them before I started. I really appreciated that.
J: I knew the bet365 brand, but my knowledge of their technical output was limited. Talking to Alicia and others I learned just how big the scope of the work is, how much it has grown and the diverse technologies they use and build themselves in-house.
Having had a year in the industry, I had a feel for what to expect. Coming into the company, I realised that not only was the work good, but the people were very like-minded. We had a similar outlook and ambition.
What do you work on?
N: Josh and I work in the Build and Release team. It’s part of DevOps. Our goal is to automate the development process as much as possible. From implementation of code, all the way to testing and deploying products/services autonomously. So, we can continuously develop and release services and reduce the length of the development cycle.
J: If you look up DevOps online, you’ll find a lot of different definitions for what it involves. At bet365 we are working to automate the way the code is implemented within the business to increase efficiency and output of our in-house products. We reach a global audience in the millions and offers a huge range of sports. As you can imagine there are 100s of lines of new code which are added and updated and it is our job to test it and put it on the right track to be committed to the live system.
What is the work like?
J: Our job is to set up and test new products and services within the build and release environment before being passed on for review before releasing to live. We receive code from the development teams, test it to make sure it runs properly and suggest changes if necessary. It’s very hands on but because we work within a test environment, even if mistakes are made there are many review stages before the work is released to live, so you never feel out of your depth. The way we work and the support we get really helps to ease you in.
N: I started recently and have been learning how everything works. The work is very hands on. From day one you are basically doing the same jobs as engineers who have been there for years. But you never feel out of your depth. There is so much support available. You get taught everything. Everyone is there to help you develop and train you up.
What is the training like?
N: There are regular training sessions. As a starter you learn all the basics. I learned so much from Josh. He only started a month or so before me, but the training is so good that he can share what he’s learned with me to ensure I can get up to speed quickly.
The great thing is, whoever you reach out to for support, they are more than happy to help. Whether it’s someone on your team or a developer whose code you are working on. It’s great to get insight from other juniors. There are new starters coming in all the time and I now feel in a position to help them.
J: There are a whole host of learning and development resources at our disposal. There’s the Pluralsite online learning platform and the bet365 wiki, which is regularly updated with how to guides for all the tools we use. The most important learning tool in my opinion is the other members of the team, who are welcoming and are always happy to run through new tickets.
You never feel pressured by anyone, which is important as a graduate coming into a new role in a new environment. You feel like you are giving every chance to succeed. It’s very nurturing.
What is it like working from home?
N: I only experienced working in the office for one day. By the second day it was lockdown. That was quite odd. I was surprised that we could do everything from home without any limitations. One of the team dropped off some equipment for me so I had everything I needed. They seem to go the extra mile to make your life easier and more comfortable.
J: I got to spend a month in the office. I feel fortunate that I was able to do that.
Working from home has been as straightforward as can be expected. Our Team Leader gathered all the equipment we would need to do our job and delivered it to our homes, so as not to put us at risk going into the office. This included Laptops, additional monitors and other essentials to not only work from home but do so effectively.
Everything is set up to help us to communicate with each other from home and get on with our work. The company also pays for a gym membership, which is really useful from a mental health point of view. It’s so important to have those outlets.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
J: The people are great, and you are always learning. These are two big ticks for me. But the thing I really like is the diversity of the work. Because you are in control of what you work on, you can always find a new challenge or something new to learn. It never becomes stagnant. My knowledge is constantly expanding.
N: I love the team that we work with. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. No matter who you reach out to, everyone is willing to take the time to help you out. Every day is different and because it’s not repetitive, it stays fresh and exciting.
And that's it!
Feeling fired up and ready to crush it at bet365? Well then, what are you waiting for? Scope out the available roles here and join their expanding team graduates.
If you’d like to join the team bet365, then create a profile on the hackajob platform, where they’re currently hiring for a variety of roles or log in to your profile here.
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