The Site Platform Team at Betfair is hiring!
|March 16, 2012||Posted by Stuart Gunter under Uncategorized|
I’ve recently been trying to put together job specs for a few open positions I have in my team, and it quickly became evident that it’s nearly impossible to get all the relevant information across in a job spec. They need enough information to excite the ideal future teammate, but shouldn’t be too long either. So I figured it’d be a good idea to try explain what it is that my team does at Betfair and why it’s the most awesome place to be!
What we do
As you might’ve gathered from the name, my team is responsible for building the platform upon which most (if not all) of Betfair’s web applications will be built. There are a few major applications using this framework in production – including the new sports betting site (try it on desktop & mobile) - and the list is growing rapidly! There are a number of major areas we address within the platform, but here are just a few that might pique your interest.
We have built a configuration system that underpins the entire framework and provides an incredibly flexible mechanism of building pages for our users. This gives us the ability to dynamically determine what page to serve for each request and make sure the appropriate page components, backend service data, translations, etc. are all composed into a meaningful experience for the user. The framework is extensible so that application developers can customise it to meet their specific product’s needs. Very few companies do anything like this (largely because they don’t need it), and there doesn’t appear to be anything in the open source world that does exactly what we need. This one area alone is powerful and exciting enough to make our team an awesome place to be!
For Betfair users, performance is absolutely critical. With highly volatile markets, it’s essential that users are able to place bets quickly – otherwise they may not get the price they were hoping for. Given that we operate an exchange-based product, responsiveness is key to users getting the outcome they expect. The site platform provides a core framework that optimises as much as possible within the application – ensuring that we make best use of the resources available to us to serve the response to the user. This is all abstracted away from the application developer so they don’t need to worry about whether their code is executing in parallel or not. So we basically get to do the complex and interesting parts that require real specialist knowledge, and provide it in a way that is easy for other developers to use.
Everything should be measurable – including the success of the user experience. A/B Testing is a great way of running experiments in production to evaluate how successful they are. Success may be measured by any number of different factors dependent entirely on what the outcome is you’re aiming for. The key idea here is that this is a common requirement of all our applications, so we’ve built it into the platform for all applications to use. We allow the Product Team to design and build their A/B tests and roll them out in a controlled manner to a specific audience, then measure the outcome of that experiment to determine which test is successful.
SEO is critical to being found on the web. Relying only on direct traffic would be disastrous, especially for a site with rapidly changing content. We need our customers to be able to find the right page in our site quickly and easily, which is why we’re baking this into the platform. Various techniques can be used to improve search engine ranking, and wherever possible we want to make that very easy for application developers to leverage without having to build the foundational components themselves. Yet again, we get to do the really cool stuff and then see the fruits of our labour in the success of the products that are built on our platform.
And much much more…
These are only a few of the things we have built or are in the process of building. There’s plenty more we still want to do! Got any good ideas about what could make the platform even better? Why not join us and make it a reality?
Who we are
I hope you can see from some of the things we do that our passion is the web. Our specialisations are deeply technical, requiring a thorough knowledge of many different aspects of web software engineering. We are the ones that read books about Web Performance Optimisation and Java Performance Tuning . We are the ones that think tools like Nagios , Splunk , OpenTSDB and WebPageTest are cool. We are building a world-class site platform that is dramatically improving Betfair for our customers… and we’re having fun doing it!
So after all that, I hope you have a better idea of what we do and why it’d be an amazing team to join. We currently have two positions open for a and a . Why not check it out?