The Powerful Mix of Technical and Non-Technical Skills – Story of the DFS Team
Teams are an integral part of each company’s success. However, putting together a team can be more challenging than we think. Of course, we can have several extraordinary individuals together, but will this guarantee the team’s success?
There are a couple of key aspects that we need to define when building a team. Consider the following questions as guidelines:
- What is the team’s mission?
- What are the goals for the upcoming year, quarter, month?
- What skills are needed to achieve the goals & to make those deliverables?
The answers to the first question will most likely give us direction for the second question. Chances are we won’t find all the required skills in one person, but we need to focus on creating the perfect mix.
This mix of skills and people may require a combination of technical and non-technical individuals that add value to the software you are creating. And, this is just the first step. 🙂 Next, we need to:
- Set communication guidelines;
- Encourage collaboration;
- Boost motivation;
- Ensure early detection of conflicts & their elimination.
In this blog post, telling the story of our Data Feed Services (DFS) team, Ana will try to give a plastic example of what this means in practice.
The story of the DFS team started almost two years ago with the three Singular Sportsbook musketeers: Kosta, Viktor, and Kristina – all three of them highly skilled in software development and Sportsbook business domain, with a respective tenure in Singular.
Both Kristina and Viktor started their professional journey as part of the Singular internship program several years ago, led by the already greatly experienced and well-proven team lead Kosta. The three of them together have successfully handled numerous business challenges, implementing the strong foundation of the DFS (Data Feed Services) team.
Successfully integrate any Feed Provider as part of the Singular company strategy and vision; sustainably take care of any data received further; implement and establish fundamental Singular platform postulates. Each Feed Provider communicates in its own particular manner, ‘speaking’ in a particular way and format, with particular specifics – challenges of various nature and dimensions for the team.
This requires strong technical knowledge and an equally deep understanding of various sports with their respective specifics. Here, by sports, we are referring to the wide spectrum of games, from the highly popular football leagues to the lesser-known.
Luckily, soon enough, help arrived from our Sports Data Editors, Vlatko and Boro, adding great value to the team with their extensive in-depth sports expertise and knowledge.
Vlatko came from the sports betting world, being at first Sport Receptionist, and later on bookmaker in a Sports betting & retail company, and even nowadays, still taking an active role of freelance Football Data Scout in one of the Sports Data service companies.
Boro switched from an Economist profile, working as an Accounting Assistant, and expressing his knowledge and passion in sports covering freelance Content Writer position for a given football-oriented web page.
Both of them switched their career paths from completely non-technical backgrounds, joining and experiencing the technical world of IT software product development. They were practicing and are already successfully applying agile work methodologies being an integral part of the team while coping with the rest of the technical staff in a highly synergistic and complementary manner.
Based on their extensive sports knowledge, they transform the pricing data sent by the Feed Providers in varieties of formats, names, context, structure, etc. into a unified Singular format. This way they make the data understandable to the rest of the Singular platform modules and components.
As the challenges and workload grew due to the growth of our Singular Story, the team strengthened up with additional two young and promising people. Dario and once again Kristina joined us as Interns and recently successfully onboarded as Junior Back-End Developers.
All these skilled people with various backgrounds, experiences, and areas of expertise are being coordinated and orchestrated by the role of the DFS Product Owner, covered by my side. On a daily level, I am trying to coordinate and orchestrate their work in the most efficient manner, passing them the voice of the business, the customers, and all other relevant stakeholders, while at the same time sharing and creating the Singular story and vision, in a joint and interactive manner.
Once having the right people on the team, we must ensure that they have the right tools available, including easy access to information, and clarity of responsibilities and expectations.
The teams release their deliverables in an agile manner as part of the regular sprint iteration cycles with a given schedule and frequency, on which the whole work planning is being based upon.
Each working day starts with a regular daily coordinating meeting. It includes sharing an update from the previous day, such as what we’ve worked on, what we’ve achieved, which are the eventual blockers and challenges, and what is going to be on the agenda for the current day ahead.
In our team, we encourage frequent, open, and transparent communication. In case an additional sync, coordination, or consultation is needed, the Slack channels are always available. The G-Meet is also an option, no matter whether for an internal, or cross-team alignment. JIRA, Confluence, and G-Suite are also heavily utilized in the day-to-day work for effective collaboration between all Sportsbook teams.
And here we are nowadays, relying on a synergy of varieties: the non-technical complements the technical, the young and enthusiastic complement the mature and experienced. All together, we deliver excellence of service, creating the Singular story of success – a story of customer happiness and satisfaction.
Building a team from the ground up is a challenging task. But, it is certainly extremely rewarding once you have the right people beside you. Singular’s DFS team is such an example, and we’re so glad to have Ana leading it. We’re always on the lookout for team players with a go-getter attitude and if you happen to be searching for a new job opportunity, check out our Career page. Maybe you will be the next person to join our #SingularTeam. 😉