Blog 53

September marks Degree 53’s 5th birthday and we’ve come a long way in those five years. This week, our 95th team member started and we’re planning on adding more fresh talent to our amazing team. So, we thought we’d do an overview of who Degree 53 are, what it’s like to work here and why you should join us!

We are based right in Manchester city centre on Cross Street and occupy two floors in Steam Packet House, which conveniently includes Wright’s chippy. We moved here last November when we could no longer fit into our office in the Sharp Project. We transformed our new office into an open and collaborative space, and all our meeting rooms are named and themed after Las Vegas casinos. Our new location is close to public transport links, there are lots of shops and restaurants to grab lunch, as well as many bars and pubs for after work drinks.

Who are Degree 53?

Our agency founders came from the mobile division of a UK bookmaking giant Betfred after they realised our UX, design and development services could be offered to other companies too. Thanks to this background, our core services focus on the online gambling industry. However, this has allowed us to transfer our skills to other sectors and we’ve done work for finance, travel, education, retail, utility and sports companies.

We are a collection of developers, designers, DevOps engineers, DBAs, business analysts, testers, infrastructure engineers, IT, automation testers, project managers and senior managers that help us create great products and meet our clients’ needs. All of them are split between different clients and are assigned to projects according to their strengths.

Back in February 2017, we announced that we would be creating a specialist division to focus on our gaming services and strengthen our offering. We’ve more than doubled our capacity, which prompted the office move. This has allowed us to pursue new clients across the globe, build an entirely bespoke sports betting platform, as well as developing our own gaming products in-house. We’re currently working with clients as far and wide as Asia and the West coast of the US. Our goals don’t stop here, and this is why we need more awesome people to join our team.

What is it like working at Degree 53?

The work that we do is varied. We have projects that need full development or design from scratch, those that need updating or improving in terms of technology, those that need to be integrated with third-parties and those that need our consultancy to make sure they’re on the right track. So we utilise a lot of different skills, depending on client requirements.

Our clients are very demanding and expect high standards. Projects need to be delivered on time due to tight schedules and set sporting events, so we expect our teams to meet these requirements. But we make sure there’s always someone to provide help and support, so you have everything you need to complete the project.

We’ve never wanted to be too corporate and want our team to have fun and enjoy working here. The office is very informal, there’s no specific dress code and we have a flexi-time scheme. We have a number of social activities during the year, like payday lunches where someone comes in and cooks for everyone in our office (or we order food in), regular social events and after work drinks, annual darts tournament, quizzes, bake offs, board game nights and sporting events. For those wanting to chill out during lunch time, we have a nice breakout area with PS4 and Wii U, so you can relax and play Fifa if you like.

Our biggest event of the year is our team holiday. We go away to a sunny destination for a short weekend break to do some team building, sightseeing and partying. We’ve been to Marbella, Ibiza, Fuerteventura and Rhodes so far and these trips are always great for bringing the team together and getting to know everyone better.

Everyone contributes to our culture, however, some go on to earn the label of “legend” and usually not for anything they’re proud of. The really special ones go on to achieve immortal status when someone creates their own Slack reaction emoji. Here is a quick intro to some of them:

Chris - Project Manager

Never bank on him to book you the right flights. But you can trust him to host Banksy’s Business Beers every Friday after work and do a cracking pub quiz on special occasions.

“Working here you have a great work/life balance - you are expected to work hard but this comes with many benefits such as regular company nights out. We've had a mixture of bandeoke, champion beat-boxers and magicians on some of the events. To top it off we get to go on a company holiday once a year. On the project team we have a great camaraderie which is reflected in how we work as a team. All in all, it helps create a really good environment to work in.”

Warren

Warren - IT Support

He may now look hench, but he turned up on his first day in a full suit and wore it for a week until someone told him about our dress code. Warren lives off toast and is crap at Fifa. He really needs to stop missing leg day too.

“Working at Degree 53 is a pleasure and a day rarely goes by where I don't laugh with (at) someone! I started as an apprentice and the amount of opportunity to move through the ranks is excellent. I never feel as if I'm at a dead end.”

Kate - Project Manager

Kate is the healthiest team member who will never eat pizza or take the last treat from the kitchen. Her best way to relax is to run a marathon. On her birthday. For fun.

“I genuinely love working at Degree 53. I never go through a day without laughing, people care about each other and it's a really supportive environment to work in. I've grown so much as a project manager, I've gained confidence and I've worked on some really fun projects. Can't ask for much more than that!”

Chris B

Chris - Digital Strategist

Chris calls himself a hipster and pays insane amounts of money to Brewdog to provide him with his uniform (and some beer). He also wears weird turnups and ‘cleans’ them in our kitchen freezer. Despite being mistaken for a goth (in the early days), he mainly listens to emo and hates pretty much everything.

Tunde - iOS Developer

AKA DJ Tunds, he does a mean cover of Kanye’s Stronger and Gold Digger. He’s a great cook too! His lunches always look amazing and he made a fantastic effort with his cornflake tart for our bake off.

Ricki - Senior Developer

Ricki has the best expressions for situations he’d rather avoid, like he’d “rather fight a bear than look at bad code” and so on. There’s also a mad story for every occasion, so you’ll never be bored with him! But when stressed, Ricki can start talking to stuffed animals nearby for moral support.

Nick - Head of Delivery

A lean mean tea drinking machine. As Head of Delivery, Nick has the approach of mentor rather than manager which works perfectly with the team that he has built around him. However, Nick is not all work and no play. After a glass of sherry or two, you may find yourself subject to a paragraph from his favourite works of literature. He’s also the only member of the team (and maybe the human race) not to own a telly!

Andy - Managing Director

Andy is always the first up on the karaoke, which is lucky for us because it gets the pain out of the way early and allows everyone to enjoy the rest of the night. He looks about twenty years younger than he is and was once mistaken for an apprentice.

Rob W

Rob - Technical Director

Rob first worked with Andy when they were both 18 and 16 respectively and have been friends ever since. Rob looks as old as Andy looks young. He can fix any technical issue and likes to remind everyone of that, but after a couple of drinks is unable to walk home without falling over and often has to go home via A&E.

Rick - Test Analyst

Rick is known for being the quietest most sensible person in the office, however, give him a drink and let’s just say, you’d wish you were back in the office!

Rich W

Rich - Operations Director

Not a day goes by when Rich doesn’t mention cricket or Yorkshire. He’s normally sensible and will take the last train home (if we’re lucky) on a work night out. However, once he stayed out till the early hours and jumped into the sea after a night out. Rich loves all the treats, will accept any food he’s given and has a stomach like Mary Poppins’ bag.

Alex - Account Manager

Another Yorkshireman, Alex loves his countryside, Barbour jumpers and ballet. He occasionally indulges in the office Maoams and Celebrations, and always has his hand in the cookie jar. He also hasn’t caught a ball in cricket since 2011.

Nathan - Test Analyst

If you remember what it was like go on your first lads/gals 'coming of age' holiday, Nathan did it with us! He’s a free spirit and up for a good laugh. He has never missed an office night out.

We hope this gives you a good idea about who we are and what it’s like to work here. We’re doing quite a bit of recruitment at the moment and our vacancies can be found in our Careers section.

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