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Engineering

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Bringing the Iconic DraftKings Experience to Retail

In 2023, we opened two flagship DraftKings Sportsbook locations in Arizona, TPC Scottsdale, and in Illinois, Wrigley Field. To bring the beloved DraftKings mobile experience to our physical spaces, Andriy, Senior Director of Engineering, and his team put their heads together to blend the customer experience seamlessly. Let's learn more about Andriy and the work his team does.

 

What do you do at DraftKings and where are you located?

Hi everyone, I'm Andriy, Senior Director of Engineering on our Retail and B2B SportsBook teams. I'm currently based in Sofia, Bulgaria. I've been enjoying the exciting journey at DraftKings for over four years.

My primary focus is building efficient engineering teams that can effectively process ideas from concept through tech design and implementation, delivering the highest quality to end-users. 

What has your career path and professional growth been like at DraftKings?

I've worked in the tech space for 20 years, starting my career as a Software Engineer for embedded networking devices, using C, C++, and JavaScript languages. After that, I moved in the Engineering Management direction, helping companies build new products from scratch, such as a Test Automation Platform still used by one of the biggest game console vendors.

While searching for my next challenge, I joined DraftKings because I wanted to work on a large scale with different teams on various projects. This is not something you can find easily in other companies.

The first product I worked on at DraftKings was the B2B Online SportsBook. Eventually, I became responsible for the whole whitelabel solution and Professional Services for our 80+ B2B clients. After two years, I got the opportunity to take over the DraftKings Retail Sportsbook team, which includes Core Engineering teams, Release Operations, and Technical Support. The main focus was on the stability of the product with no delays in features that customers had to wait for.

Describe Retail Engineering and the work your team does.

We work in a highly regulated environment where stability and proper collaboration with state regulators are crucial. The nature of our work makes our lives even more interesting, as we need to stay compliant while using our CI/CD pipeline without losing flexibility.

As mentioned, the Retail organization consists of Core Engineering teams, Release Operations, and Technical Support teams. Each of them has unique expertise and challenges. For example, in Core Engineering teams, we operate on microservice architecture with a lot of focus on quality and automated testing. Release Operations are responsible for smooth partners' upgrades and collaboration with the Compliance and Product teams to keep partners aware of future deliverables. Technical support is a small team that ensures 24/7 monitoring, communication with partners, support for inquiries, escalation points for Engineering, etc. Essentially, they give our Engineering teams peace of mind once we log off.

A common denominator is that we always consider the customer experience and how to improve it. One of our missions is to stay Customer-Centric and build a seamless DraftKings experience between our online customers and the offline (in-person) Retail environment.

What makes your team's work unique and different from our competitors?

A few things come to my mind:

  1. We invest a lot of time and attention into our product—we are a "live" product with the latest features from the Online Sportsbook world. We also put a lot of effort into connecting online accounts with offline accounts so our customers can deposit/withdraw money from online accounts directly in our Retail Sportsbook locations.
  2. Challenges related to scale - we have over 1,000 machines in our active markets and have developed proper tooling to cover our needs. Sometimes, you need to invent a "P2P way of sharing data" in the Retail space to stay reliable on low-bandwidth internet.
  3. We are very dependent on the hardware we use; thus, our engineers develop the code for embedded devices to make it work. This rare combination makes Retail Engineering such a distinctive space to work in. Being "hands-on" takes a new meaning when you work with hardware that will be used by countless people every day.
  4. Our technology stack includes C#, F#, Node.js, and React. We use Kubernetes heavily, which gives us an edge in reducing downtime and maintaining high availability.

What are you most excited about regarding the future of DraftKings products?

As a company, we are still in a "stay hungry" mode. We constantly experiment and build new products and are very open-minded about new technologies and opportunities. Stay tuned for the next big things from us!

Any fun facts about your team?

We live and work in more than five countries. We are a global team, so our hobbies and interests vary widely. On my team, we have teammates who own horses and alpacas, one with a brown belt in judo, and another who is a world champion in the World of Tanks game. As you can imagine, our team has no shortage of engaging discussions and funny stories!

 

Ready to share your best ideas with our global team? Learn more about our Engineering team and check out open Engineering roles.

Want to take a deep dive into our Engineering world at DraftKings? Learn more on our DraftKings Tech blog!

 

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