Culture is key post-pandemic. Here’s what I’ve learned as an engineer
Recently we welcomed Software Engineer Gryff Coates back to the Skyscanner fold, his second stint since joining as an intern. Here he explains what his role entails, why he decided to return to the organisation, and how he’s discovered culture is key to feeling you belong somewhere.
Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day, Gryff?
I’m a Software Engineer in the Gadget Squad, so I mainly focus on improvements in the SEO space. That can be anything from creating new landing pages to working on the back-end software. If you’ve searched for a flight on Skyscanner, its likely my squad has developed that page. This can involve creating the source code, to helping design a project from an engineering perspective and then maintaining the service if necessary. I’m also a member of the Accessibility Guild which is an exciting part of the business.
What with the pandemic impacting travel, what sorts of problems are Software Engineers like yourself trying to solve for travellers across the world?
Very quickly at the start of the pandemic, we could see the appetite for travel was changing; new rules and restrictions were coming into place, and travellers needed more information than ever. With the ever-changing situation we needed to adapt by finding new data sources from partners, travellers, and governments. We use data to share meaningful information with our travellers, so they can plan their trip with confidence. For example, we now include travel restriction information on our website through our map — so it’s easy to see what restrictions (if any) are in place at your destination.
You’ve posted on LinkedIn before about the importance of culture, and this being a real pull to re-join Skyscanner. What does culture mean to you?
I can speak to this in two ways: what it meant to me at the beginning of my career, and what it means now. I originally joined Skyscanner as an intern, and even though it was at the start of my software engineering journey, my input was valued and I was trusted with making decisions. As an intern, that’s a great way to learn. And above and beyond that, people really want to make a difference here — we all have a passion for simplifying travel for everyone. If you’ve got up to 100m people using the site and app every month, that’s a lot of impact you can make on delivering an easy search experience…even at entry level.
I left Skyscanner for a new opportunity, which was brilliant. But I realised I missed the culture and passion that people have here. It’s not until you work somewhere else that you realise how important it is. I didn’t even come across a job advert for my role — one day I found myself thinking about Skyscanner and I decided to see if there were any engineering opportunities available.
I have never worked somewhere where Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is central to the company culture. Employees can be their true self at work, and as a person with disabilities, I feel listened to.
You mentioned you’re a member of Accessibility Guild, what does that entail?
One of the reasons I re-joined Skyscanner was I’d realised how central culture was to making my day-to-day working experience meaningful. You can’t underestimate how important that sense of belonging can be. I think the Accessibility Guild is a great example of seeing that in practice. It’s made up of a group of employees from across Skyscanner who are passionate about making travel inclusive and accessible to everyone. I’ve been able to work on projects that have made booking travel easier for blind users and we’ve also added accessibility options when searching for hotels. Accessibility is becoming an integral part of the design process for engineers, which is something I’m passionate about.
What would you say to someone who is considering working here?
Skyscanner is one of the only businesses where I have truly felt listened to and I know my ideas will be taken seriously. The culture here is like nowhere else; you feel included, and the people really are great. I’m really pleased to be back here.
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Join us for the adventure of a lifetime. Together we can change how the world travels. https://www.skyscanner.net/jobs/current-jobs/