I had a great visit last Thursday to the Sky Offices in Leeds for their Insight Day, a day based around finding out a bit more about working for Sky and the types of projects that their teams are working on. Sky Leeds Cafe

Their offices are really cool, modern and sleek and it seemed like a great working space with a big cafe and a flow of different teams of people having meetings and moving between the three Sky buildings. The office culture too seemed really good, as we walked through the main entrance we were greeted with a board of suggested improvements that people had to make office life even better which showed us from the off the teams are really open to feedback.

We started the day being introduced to the team behind Sky’s Software Engineering Academy, and finding out what they were looking for in graduates as well as getting to meet their most recent grads who were able to tell us more about their personal experience of applying and the technology they work with on a daily basis; and given the opportunity to ask them some tough questions!

My Sky Insight Day Team

The main part of our afternoon was spent on a coding project, with each of the tables being given a MacBook Pro between a team of 5 people and tasked with making ourselves into an agile team (more on agile here) by assigning a scrum master, product owner, developer and testers between ourselves and come up with an idea to make Sky Cinema a new phone app from a blank mobile bootstrap theme.

When we decided our roles the clocks started and we had three 30 minute sprints to develop ourselves a functional product. Our product owner mapped our user requirements to stories, while our scrum master ensured the stories stuck within our 30 minute available sprint time to protect the sprint. As the developer I was then responsible for writing the app (to some pretty quick deadlines) while the two testers used their phones and our other MacBook to ensure that our application performed well on different devices.

Our Mocked Insight Day App

At the end of each of our 30 minute sprints we had a sprint review, allowing us to work out if our predictions on sprint effort were accurate and refine what was going into the next sprint and moving things around our kanban whiteboard!

We were the only group to create a native (progressive) web app from our view, allowing the user to install our very lightweight app easily and hiding away native browser controls to increase engagement. We also used a splash screen to enforce a strong brand image as the user enters the app.

Overall it was a really useful and hands on day that I really enjoyed, it was really interesting to meet and work with other undergrads from different Universities too, and was fun to be thrown into a team to develop something with them; thanks to Sky for having us!