Why work at Unruly?

What do you picture when you think of a “normal” software development team in London in 2018?

You might imagine a wide expanse of open-plan office or maybe cubicles, where teams are directed from the top down and measured against project plans with milestones. Everyone is sitting at a desk with headphones on, panicked because they’re behind schedule. But don’t worry, everything’s okay, because they have standup meetings each day and that makes them “agile”.

Or you might picture a more benign environment, with a gym and free food, and maybe some version of ’20% time’, but at such a large scale that it’s like moving to another city each time you go to work — very different from your home, surrounded by people you barely know.

Unruly is neither of these. And we think that’s a good thing.

At Unruly, we really do agile. In fact, we’ve used XP since the company was founded. Sure, we have standups, but we also collaborate on everything, pairing or mobbing as appropriate. We’re devoted to TDD, and we release to production multiple times a day. We’re continually thinking about our iterative planning process, and this year we’re trying an approach that combines a tactical stream with a quarterly goal — one that’s aligned with a business objective, but is planned and executed by the development teams. And at Unruly, if you build it, you run it, generally on AWS cloud services.

Yes, we have a funky office, but we’re still a smallish company (we’re a very independent part of News Corp). No one is more than two jumps from the CTO, and the top managers still know everyone’s names. We have weekly team-wide gatherings to share information about both technology and the general direction of the company, because we value transparency. And we use a ‘gold card’ system, which allows employees to spend 20% of their week on something that they think will help Unruly, either directly or (very) indirectly, including open source projects, or spiking novel experiments.

We pay competitively, but people don’t come to Unruly to maximise their earnings. They come to Unruly because here, they can be really involved in software development, not simply following instructions from on high; because we really care about learning; and because, while we have our flaws, we’re always dedicated to becoming better at what we do, as individuals and as teams. They come because Unruly is trying to be better, to make a difference that includes, but goes beyond, the way we develop software — we are the trusted marketplace for video advertising, one that changes the way video advertising is perceived and delivered.

So. Are you feeling Unruly? If so, let’s chat. Have a look through our open roles, or drop me a line at cto@unrulygroup.com.