If you read any news about Waracle, you’ll notice an air of intrigue about our mobile app development company. Perhaps it’s the super high growth that’s intriguing, or, the fact we work with global clients on such exciting mobile and IoT projects. Whatever it is, people are very curious about life at Waracle!
Started in Dundee, Waracle now also has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. In fact, the expansion beyond Dundee came after Waracle became part of Exception in 2015.
Life at Waracle is revealed!
On his recent visit to our Bash Street headquarters in Dundee, Gregor, Marketing Communications Officer at Exception chatted to Waracle’s Marketing Manager, Caroline about life at Waracle mobile app developers. Thanks to Gregor, here’s an insight from Caroline about life at the fastest growing mobile app development agency in Scotland!
So Caroline, how long have you been part of the Waracle team?
I’ve been at Waracle 2 years. When I joined the company, I was amazed at just how life-changing some of the mobile app development projects really are! In 2015, I joined the App Store Optimisation team and witnessed how our digital health team work with pharmaceutical companies on amazing health research projects. In the past 2 years, I’ve seen how the latest wearables and mobile technology are helping to improve the lives of people suffering from various medical conditions. These projects are so incredibly worthy and our team gets completely obsessed with them because they can immediately see how this changes people’s lives for the better.
What changes have you seen at Waracle over the past 2 years?
Aside from moving out of a small office space and into our fantastic new Bash Street HQ, I would say that when I joined the company it had a feeling of coming out of start-up mode. Having previously worked in a very successful tech start-up, it reminded me of everything I Iove about being part of an agile, creative and modern thinking team. Over the past couple of years the company has grown considerably without losing this agile ethos and it’s really true what it says in our office slogan!
Do great work. Have fun. Go Home Happy.
Can you tell me about your role in the company? What’s a typical day like?
There isn’t a typical day! I’m lucky in that I split my time across Marketing for Waracle and App Store Optimisation for our clients so I have a very varied working week. I analyse all of our clients’ app data and put together optimisation reports including all the latest download stats, engagement metrics and more.
In terms of marketing, one minute I can be creating Adwords ads, or writing content for our mobile blog and the next I can be arranging a meet-up event or monitoring all of our social media channels.
One thing that is consistent and typical of every day is 3pm when my colleague shares his chocolate! How this tradition came about is a very long story involving a trip to New Zealand and some highly sought after feijoa chocolates! I guess it’s all part of being such an international team! It’s true when we say we are #wellsourced!
I spotted the #wellsourced wall of flags when I arrived – what’s this about?
Well spotted! We’ve such an international team at Waracle and it’s something our CEO is very proud of sharing with our clients – hence the welcome atrium wall art.
It’s not uncommon to hear the occasional “Buongiorno” or “Hola” greeting in the office. We have some remote workers too based out in Spain and we always look forward to their visits to the office each quarter and for the Christmas party of course!
Remote working isn’t uncommon at Waracle and we have the tools and practices in place to make this work seamlessly, which of course we also use with our customers on a daily basis.
You’re from Dundee, right? What does working at Waracle mean to you?
I’m proud to say I work at Waracle. We’re well known in the city and often feature in The Courier Business news but our growth takes us all over Scotland, the UK and throughout pockets around the world. I think it’s great that we’re working on world leading technology projects. I studied at the University of Dundee so I’ve always known Dundee is renowned for breakthroughs in technology, medical and biotech areas and it’s great to work for a company which is very innovative.
It’s also exciting to see our expansion to other offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London and to attend wider industry events and represent the company at ScotlandIS etc. Last year I had the added bonus of hearing Sir Chris Hoy speak at The Digital Tech Awards!
Does Waracle share its knowledge with the Scottish tech community?
We arrange a lot of meet-ups covering mobile topics from IoT to Voice. For example, our recent Amazon Alexa meet-up saw over 50 people attend our Dundee office to learn about voice technology. It was so successful, we’re arranging a similar Amazon Alexa event from our new office at Glasgow Collective. Our team like to speak at events too. Coming up, we have Joe Shanley taking a session at the 2017 ScotlandIS conference on IoT data analysis and visualisation for sensor networks.
What’s been your most exciting project so far?
It’s very hard to say! Can I mention 3 or 4 things?
Researching and publishing the Scottish App Stars #SAS30 has been an exciting project. #SAS30, was launched in February 2017 to celebrate the success of Scotland’s mobile app community. It’s based on app store research for companies with apps who have their corporate headquarters in Scotland. I was delighted to interview the founders and CEOs of successful apps such as Mallzee and Qikserve.
Secondly, being a Marketer, I am proud to share my marketing knowledge with our blog subscribers and I wrote the 4 essentials of mobile marketing whitepaper. If you haven’t read it, you should download it today!
Being a part of the project team launching Midcounties Co-op app was really exciting too. I was involved in ensuring the app tracks members’ behaviour and it’s great to see how the engagement stats are used to help optimise the app further.
Last year, we hosted a project for a local Data Lab MSc student via e-Placement Scotland and The Data Lab – it was fun to work with the student and see their data visualisation project come to life knowing it was something we could continue to develop too!
What’s your favourite app? It doesn’t have to be one Waracle developed!
I love the FitBit app! Since joining Waracle, I’ve become a bit more obsessed with mhealth and I think the benefits of wearables are immense! I’ve always loved keeping fit but the Fitbit watch and app gives you such a focus with heart zone training and monitoring resting heart rate, sleep etc. Not to mention, with such an interest in wearables at Waracle, we all compete with each other … .did I mention we’re all a bit competitive?
What opportunities are there at Waracle for further training?
We run some really cool internal projects – we call them Friday Missions. It’s a chance for the team to get together and cross train each other and all to the benefit of local companies.
For example, one of our Friday Missions was to work with RaptorUAS and create a mobile app to control their drones. The creative team had input into the user experience while the development team created the app and the marketing and sales teams got together to offer the CEO commercial advice for his business.
I heard about the brownbag sessions, what are they?
One of our team runs a weekly brownbag session and schedules these lunch and learn sessions when someone will briefly talk on their area of expertise and answer any team questions. I delivered a brownbag session after attending Turing Fest – which was a great opportunity to attend and hear from the likes of the BBC on how they plan their mobile apps.
We’ve covered topics from ‘how to be not crap at design’ to ‘digitalising street art’ and some very technical bits as you might expect in between. It’s genuinely important for us to keep learning about new tech innovations and not unusual for groups to gather in the office at night with beer and pizza to live stream the latest Apple Keynote.
And, can you tell me what happens at ‘Last Friday’?
On the Last Friday of each month, the team gets together to hear about the recent successes of the company, about new projects on the horizon and celebrate company and individual’s success. We’ve an employee of the month award, known as The Top Banana which is great recognition for whoever has really gone above and beyond.
Our team even created a bot for the voting system which not only reminds people to vote but collates the votes and send them to HR each month!
We often invite guest speakers in to deliver a session to the team on IoT, or blockchain or something topical. The visit from IBM Bluemix was probably the best to date and shortly after we became an IBM Watson IoT Partner. But let’s not forget the Great Waracle Bake-Off that also happens on many last Friday’s. #GWBO
It says on Waracle Careers page that the team is quirky – what does that mean?
It’s no joke on our Waracle Careers page when we say we’ve an energetic, if somewhat quirky team! A typical day can involve signing up for a digital health challenge to walk the distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats tracking with our wearables to going along to Great Waracle Bake-Off with our Marketing Director impersonating Mary Berry!
Why do you think someone should apply to work at Waracle?
Life at Waracle is never dull! There are so many reasons people should apply to join us! For developers, I’d say it’s the opportunity to drive mobile app development in life changing directions and at the same time really develop your skills and career. Whether involved in fintech, digital health, IoT or voice projects, all of the developers are working on technology which improves lives.
Regardless of the department, there’s such a strong ethos amongst our UX designers, scrum masters, QA team and marketing and sales teams where we all enjoy learning and working together. People are encouraged to pursue their interests and use their skills to the benefit of the company – the fact that we’ve such a successful ongoing brownbag series and fun Friday Missions says it all!
Waracle are always on the lookout for additional team members so why not check out our current vacancies and join Waracle!