Peter Allwin, Head of Development
Tell us about your journey and area of responsibility at Viaplay.
I came in as a Development Manager almost 3 years ago for one of our backend teams. After some time, the Cloud Platform team ended up without a manager and I had some time on my hands, so I asked if I could take that on as well and help them out with the managerial things.
Then in October 2017 I got the opportunity to take on the role as Head of Development, which of course was a big and rather overwhelming change. Basically, it’s my job to deliver a platform that Viaplay and Viafree can build on.
What do you like the most about working for Viaplay?
Everyone at Viaplay and Viafree is really passionate about the product and that makes this a very inspiring work environment. Viaplay is an organisation where people have the chance to influence a lot and we leave much of the decision making to teams and individuals, which I think is a good environment to be in. We want to defer the decisions on how to implement architectural decisions to as late as possible, so that when it comes down to the developers, you have a lot of room to be innovative. You can create what’s best for you and your team and use the best tools and technologies on the market to build something you’re really proud of.
We want to be a place where teams are presented with a problem and then get to use their creativity to solve the problem in the best way possible.
What is more, I think the thing that enticed me the most from the beginning about Viaplay was the close connection with the customer. I come from the enterprise side, where the release cycles are very long, so being in a place where you can change something that affects the customer right away is really intoxicating. You really feel like you have the power to make things happen which is cool.
How do you feel about having moved away from the development?
I love development so I still do that, even though I’m sure I’m not technically supposed to! But I consider it therapy, partly because it’s fun but it also helps me as a manager to understand what frictions exist in a developer’s daily life. So being able to take on the role as a developer, even if it’s just for a short while, I think I get a feeling for what it’s like to be a developer and that hopefully influences my decisions for the better.
Is it easy to get promoted or change the path internally if you don’t feel challenged at your current position anymore?
I think we’re good at promoting people internally, but it really depends on you! For tech people, we have three career paths: a technical path where you go towards a more senior role with either a deeper or broader area of responsibility, and of course we have a leadership track where you can move towards a management position, if that’s what you’re interested in doing. You also have a horizontal path where you can move to a different team and just change things up a little and learn something new. So either way I think we can offer you opportunities to grow depending on what you want to do. Of course we have people in key positions where we need have to have a succession plan, but I don’t think we’ve ever said no to someone who’s wanted to change things up. The most important thing is that you to do the things you love.
What qualities are you looking for when you look at staffing up?
I believe that you have to love what you do in order to succeed, so passion or drive is vital. We’re a company that moves quickly so you need to be open to change and suggestions. You need to like to collaborate with others, and not only come up with your own ideas but also help promote and push others’ ideas.
Of course we’re looking for competent people who know their trade, but we also want people who have the drive and passion to learn from the experts we have here and can grow within their role and Viaplay.
Check out our open positions here!
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