Rightmove: Through the keyhole of a QA Engineer and an Android Developer
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be part of one of the UK’s biggest tech giants?
Rightmove is the UK’s largest property marketplace and is a digital native business. Its website and apps receive over 140m visits a month – more than ASOS, Instagram and Wikipedia – making it one of the UK’s top visited sites, it manages 70TB of data, using 15,000 servers, and is on target to make 2,000 code releases this year. Rightmove isn’t just a household name – it’s a tech pure play with a large-scale platform, home to a keen engineering community.
Here, we take you through the keyhole to life in their technical team. We’re joined by Dean Smith, a QA Engineer, and Aamir Choksi, an Android Developer.
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Dean: I’m in my fourth year here at Rightmove – and loving it! As a QA Engineer, I work on all aspects of the Rightmove platform. My role loosely revolves around managing the quality processes for my team and writing or maintaining automation frameworks for the frontend apps, using tools such as NightwatchJs, Geb and straight up selenium WebDriver in Java. The apps we work with are principally developed in Java or ReactJS and we have recently been moving to Docker.
Aamir: I joined Rightmove in February and I currently work in the Apps Team as an Android Developer. On a day-to-day basis, I use Kotlin and Java to develop the Rightmove Android app and we use MVP architecture and follow clean code/architecture principles. We also use some third-party libraries like Coroutines, Dagger2, Picasso, Mockito, and Firebase Crashlytics.
What does a ‘day in the life’ look like for you?
Dean: The nature of what I do requires the ability to context switch quickly and often. Most mornings we start off with ‘stand up’ (well, actually ‘sit down’ thanks to COVID-19!) for a short catchup up with the team and to give a quick overview of the previous day and what we might tackle next. I then split my time between Kick-off’s or Sign-off’s, meetings, exploratory testing and coding. In between all of that, I like to see what’s going on generally in slack to chime in on conversations when needed and enjoy the light-hearted chat.
Aamir: Most of my day compromises of coding new features for the Rightmove Android app, refactoring old code, fixing bugs, etc. When I'm not coding, I'm doing code reviews, attending team meetings like stand-ups, sprint planning, feature estimation, and sprint retrospective.
What attracted you to working at Rightmove?
Dean: What initially attracted me to Rightmove was the fact that it was a household name but what sealed the deal was the interview process and the people I met during that. It’s the best interview process I have ever been through. I got to meet some of the colleagues I would work with and getting a sense of the culture and how warm and affable they were was invaluable.
Aamir: Rightmove is the UK's largest real estate portal and part of FTSE100 with over five million downloads from Google Play Store. I've been using the Rightmove app myself since I started renting my first property. The opportunity to work on such a popular app and create value for millions of people, while working on the latest tech stack with an amazing team was what attracted me.
How would you describe the culture at Rightmove?
Dean: Inclusive, pleasant, crazy, enjoyable, thought provoking and thoroughly engaging. I love the ‘no blame’ culture - What’s the problem? How do we fix it? How can we avoid it in future? Affectionately, I like to say that Rightmovers are a little eccentric in a fun, relaxed way. Whether you are playing table tennis, pool or chatting in the kitchen there is a palpable ‘homeliness’ to it all.
Aamir: People here are very approachable and are always willing to help; everyone is encouraged to innovate and to bring new ideas to the table.
How does the team work together?
Aamir: We work in an agile way, everyone is given autonomy, and everyone in the team is easy to approach if something needs to be discussed.
Dean: We’re very similar. We work in agile, two-weekly sprint-based development streams, or focus on epics.
What do you enjoy most about working at Rightmove?
Aamir: I love the autonomy that I’m given to innovate and to bring a new approach to finding a solution – already I’ve worked on several new releases since joining. You get to work with some of the smartest minds in the industry, on some of the latest technology. And, alongside some great ‘usual’ company benefits, you get 10% time each week to focus on learning new skills or developing in an area you’re interested in. There’s great work-life balance at Rightmove too – which is so important to me.
Dean: For me, it’s the culture. Everyone is so nice here; we have a wonderful mix of extremely talented people that career/skill growth is just natural. The opportunity to grow here both professionally and personally has been amazing; I feel like I’ve learned so much. Echoing Aamir, our 10% time out to work on any project of our choosing (directly related to Rightmove, or not), is a fantastic perk that everyone should know about. You can use it for personal development, learning a new framework or pairing up with a colleague to explore some new tech.
A huge thank you to Dean and Aamir from Rightmove for taking the time to chat to us about their experience – and to give us a look through the keyhole of this household name! Are you interested in learning more about a career at Rightmove? The team are currently hiring for tech experts in the following roles – follow the link to find out more and apply!
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