Culture Time is one of the unique things that makes the EU & UK Engineering Team at OpenTable so special. During Culture Time, engineers can engage in professional development like online courses, work on proof-of-concepts for new OpenTable features, and more. It is an opportunity for us to grow and learn new technologies, as well as a chance to work with people outside our normal team. Some Culture Time projects have even gained momentum and ended up as production code. In fact, the tech blog itself is an example of a Culture Time project.
Acing the internship interview
Today is an exciting day because we've just started accepting applications for our summer internship programme! If you're reading this then hopefully you've already applied or you're thinking of applying. Don't worry if that's not the case, but just bear in mind that the target audience of this blog post is internship programme candidates.
Welcome to the OpenTable Europe technology blog
Hi, welcome to our relaunched tech blog, it's been quite some time in the works! Our last post was in 2019 – and to be fair there have been some distractions since – but we're delighted to be back.
Starting your career as a software developer
A couple of years ago I was asked to give a talk to programming undergraduates at Kings College, London. I wrote up the session as a blog post and added it to my personal website, where it has received thousands of hits since (one or two hits).
OpenTable's Global Hackathon 2017
Last week we were excited to kick-off our first OpenTable Global Hackathon, underway simultaneously in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Melbourne, and right here in London. Having personally never attended a hackathon before let alone helped organise one I was initially daunted, but with some careful planning, good suggestions from the team and a fair amount of making it up as we went along, the end result was quite a success.
The goal driven organisation
Quarterly team goals are an effective way to establish organisational purpose, direction and alignment while supporting team agility. But be vigilant - they can be used inappropriately.
Puppet is an important tool to us at OpenTable; we couldn’t operate as efficiently without it but Puppet is more than a tool or a vendor, it is a community of people trying to help each other operate increasing complex and sophisticated infrastructures.
Coach don't rescue
I recently attended a fascinating and emotionally-charged talk by Samantha Soma at DareConf 2014 titled 'How to stop rescuing people'. It strongly mirrored my experience of moving into a leadership role and I'd recommend anyone with a spare 30mins to watch it.
What can I do?
I've noticed recently a lot of content in my social media network is based on the current escalating problems in the Middle East.
Remote Worker Notes – Tools and Setup
For the last couple months I've been working remotely with our search team at OpenTable. Let me share our remote working setup and some rationale for our choices. I will shy away from judging how it's all worked out and leave that for subsequent blog posts.
Prioritisation is a huge part of modern life. No. Prioritisation is an ESSENTIAL part of modern life. I'm not talking solely about Agile here either. Yes we plan stories, yes we prioritise them to get them into the backlog but I'm aiming at a higher level. Life lessons that are useful to all of us.
20% time: Why, as a manager, you should love your engineers to be doing it
We allow all our UK based developers to have some time to explore new technologies, try out prototypes and clean-up things that escape the day-to-day process. Two days out of ten, seems a lot doesn't it?
Coaching style over substance
Have you ever been lucky enough to mentor someone who really got it? Maybe you've had the opposite experience and the session ended up being a failure for both of you?
Beginning a journey to chatops with Hubot
As a part of our 30% time a few of our team, @ajroyle, @stack72 and I (@ryantomlinson) decided to get together and look at Hubot with Hipchat integration. There are several weird and wonderful scripts that ship with Hubot (see above) but the core concept of driving tooling via chat is one that we see value in.