Four months into my second internship with Red Badger, I’m here to give you my opinion about what it’s really like to work here. Daily life, social experiences and free holidays. There’s a lot going on at Red Badger.
A little bit about me: I’m a fourth year Computing student from Imperial College London. I started with Red Badger for two months last year, spending my summer on the “Badger Academy” programme, where five other university students and I tackled our own project.
We spent an intense 3 days learning React.js, Node.js and a little about the Serverless framework, guided by our mentor, Anna. We went on to use our newly acquired knowledge to build an internal tool for use on the Fortnum and Mason project. While not so much of a success (we were all new to the technologies after all), the project was most definitely a huge learning experience for me. It was the first real experience I’d build production quality code, following an agile workflow (properly at least) and working in an “industrial” environment.
The whole point of an internship is to widen your knowledge, gain solid experience and learn how to be a real developer. However, there was a lot more to this particular company which made me want to return.
My first contact with Red Badger was with Amy. She’s part of the HR team and handles a lot of hires at Red Badger. There was nothing about the recruitment phase that I didn’t love. The interactions with Amy and the founders (in later interviews) were enjoyable, relaxed and friendly. I’ve dealt with multiple companies and agencies and I can’t say I’ve had as great an experience with anyone else as with Red Badger. This, in my mind, was an important first inclination about what type of company RB is to work for.
Everything we do at Red Badger is about people: employees, friends, clients, client’s customers. There is an emphasis within the culture that every decision we make is driven around providing value to everyone. This was one of the most important things I learnt whilst at Red Badger; a pragmatic approach to delivering value to clients and customers.
Red Badger has a stimulating and friendly work environment. The culture is one of respect. Work is always focused towards a common goal. The company as a whole is constantly reflecting on the direction they want to take and how to get there. The company progresses through team interaction. It grows organically through internal meetings and “away days” for individual progression.
There’s always a lot going on in the RB community. We host multiple conferences and meet- ups in the office, allowing us to actively engage with the tech community. These are great opportunities to network with like-minded individuals in the same field. More importantly, there are countless social events being organised. Some of the recent events have included pub quizzes, team lunches, weekly dodgeball tournaments as part of a London league, spoon carving and the occasional trip to the pub!
I think this really helps you engage with others in the company outside of a work environment, not only strengthening your work relationship, but also your friendship. I think this is vital to how RB run their company and what makes them such a pleasure to work for.
Once a year, RB pay to have the whole company leave the office for a few days and explore another part of the world. This year, we visited Obonjan, a small island off the coast of Croatia. We spent three days taking a break to enjoy the weather, getting to know each other a bit more and having fun in true Red Badger style. The company hired out a boat and we took off on a cruise around the Adriatic.
While a time for fun and bonding, we spent one day focusing on the company. There were workshops, talks and discussions throughout the day, but the highlight for me was the inspiring talk given by our COO, Dave. He spoke about the company’s direction, hopes and aspirations for the future and reflected on how far RB has come in the past year. Overall, it definitely built a sense of achievement and made me proud to be a part of it.
At Red Badger, the little things are important.
Even if it’s something as simple as having free drinks and fruit in the kitchen or a communal toastie maker, those things lift your mood that little bit more.
The internal project team is here to help as you get to grips with our practices and environment. After the learning experience, you find yourself with more flexibility. You can pick a project which sounds like it will interest you most or maybe something you’ve had less experience with. You’re encouraged to push and better yourself as an individual, team member and consultant. There are always different people and teams to learn from, so it’s common to find rotation through projects if you’d be a better fit on another team. I don’t think I’d ever be bored working at Red Badger with so much diversity in terms of work and environment. With every client project (except F&M), we work within the client’s business, allowing you to break up the same old office scenery.
I hope I’ve done the fantastic people I’ve worked with justice, and hopefully shone an accurate light on how much of a joy it is to work here. Hopefully I’ll be back in the office soon, I’ve just got to smash my degree first!