Blog 53

Today marks our 4th birthday and we’re thrilled to be celebrating it!

It’s been a very exciting year for Degree 53. We’ve grown significantly as a business and as a team, making lots of internal changes to how we operate and look after our employees, as well as expanding our client portfolio.

When we just started out 4 years ago, there was only about 20 of us with one client in Betfred. Fast-forward to today, we’re a 77-strong team (almost doubled our headcount since last year!) and we’ve nearly outgrown our office. There’s now a much more diverse project and client portfolio under our belt too. Our recent client wins are Sykes Cottages and Goldchip, and we’ve been working on some new projects with Betfred and Penn Gaming in the US.

It is also worth mentioning that our IT apprentice, Warren, has finally finished his apprenticeship and has become IT Support Analyst.

Changes ahead

Earlier this year, we announced about our expansion and growth, as well as creating a new division to focus on our gambling platform solutions. This has been a huge success so far and we’ve made around 30 new hires (instead of the 20 we announced), and we’re not stopping here.

With such a huge growth, we’ve been concentrating on making sure the business could scale without any disruptions. We’ve implemented a new training programme to support everyone in managing their workload and teams. We’ve created a new structure and introduced completely new roles, such as Enterprise Architect, Database Administrator and Automation Tester to bring new expertise, as well as providing wider support to our clients and projects. We’ve even built our own load testing environment, using Raspberry Pis to ensure our solutions withstand high amounts of traffic and interactions.

Because there are now so many of us, all from different backgrounds and with various skill sets, we’ve introduced Lunch and Learn monthly team meetings. It’s an opportunity for our team members to give a 15 minute presentation on their chosen topic and share what they’re passionate about in their role. It can be on introducing a new process or a case study about a recent project. The goal of our Lunch and Learn meetings is to share the expertise and make everyone else aware of different methodologies and ways of working together.

It’s not just all work at Degree 53

It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t consume insane amounts of food! This year, we’ve raised the bar on our culinary and social activities. We’ve introduced monthly ‘surprise’ lunches (the first one was a surprise, so they continue to be called that) that are freshly prepared in our office (we even installed an extractor fan!) - we’ve had some delicious wraps, fish and chips and pies to name a few of the delicacies. With the work we do, we need to make sure our team is well fed!

The biggest and most anticipated event in our calendar is our annual company holiday. We get to go on this if we hit our yearly targets. This time, we flew over to Fuerteventura for some sun, quad biking and partying. We also held one of our first company-wide karaoke nights and discovered some very talented entertainers among us. We had lots of fun on this holiday and came back with some great memories. It’ll be hard to trump that next year!

Going in two directions

Since we opened the Degree 53 doors four years ago, we’ve been working across many different industries (e.g. gambling, finance, sport, education, travel). However, as we have a unique specialism in online gambling, we made the decision to split the business in two. We launched Degree 53 Gaming to specifically service our gambling clients, whilst Degree 53 continues to grow and provide digital solutions to all other industries. This is why this year, we launched a new website. This split has been a success so far and both sides of the business are seeing steady growth.

What’s next?

Our goals for this year are to continue growing as a team and as a business, supporting our existing clients and acquiring new ones. We’re working on a big gaming project of our own. So, you’ll definitely run into us at events like ICE or EIG in the future. We’ve also grown our UX and design offering by working on a number of projects outside of gaming, Discovery phases and Product Design Sprints. We’ll be able to share some of our work very soon.

Today, we’ll be taking our birthday celebrations to Revolucion de Cuba to party into the night.

If you’d like to join our team, head over to our Careers page, or if you’d like to learn more about our services, get in touch!

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