What it takes to work at a mediatech company
It’s always good to know what you are getting yourself into when applying for a job. But it can be a challenge to get a good sense of what it’s really like to work at a company. Well, it’s your lucky day: six of our colleagues will let you in on a few secrets from the DPG Media tech workplace.
A tech company in disguise
Once upon a time, DPG Media was ‘just’ a media company. We made magazines, we published newspapers, and we broadcasted television shows. It was pretty straight-forward; life was comprehensible, life was good.
And then, life got disrupted. The media industry was revolutionized – for the better – by the internet and information technology. Around the turn of the century, our website Autozone.be had about 5.000 visitors per day. A mindblowing number at that time, but it got even better due to a media campaign in December 2001. We doubled the number of visitors! The website, built with Oracle WebDB, had only one single server. The entire infrastructure is pictured here. It is almost incomprehensible today, as we now serve 90% of the Dutch population and 8 out of 10 Flemings through our brands.
DPG Media is actively exploring and contributing to the digital space, and always will be, as technology, services for the customer, and customer demands are ever-evolving. Technology is at the heart of everything we do for consumers, advertisers, and colleagues.
Step by step, click by click, we’re becoming a mediatech company. Just think of Streamz, VTM Go, and Volkskrant Magazines, for example. To succeed in a rapidly changing environment, we need tech talent to make it all happen.
“So,” you might ask, “What does that mean for me?”.
We’d like you to know that working at DPG Media requires a specific set of skills and mindset. So before applying for a tech job – which we very much want you to do! – take some advice from our colleagues.
1. Roll up your sleeves
“We have a very pragmatic working environment, one that offers many opportunities to people that want to roll up their sleeves and just go for it. That has always been the spirit and drive within this company.”
Remmelt Beckers – Agile Portfolio Manager
We are a pragmatic bunch that gets digital transformation done together. We don’t wait around for something to happen. If an idea is good, there is no need for endless slide decks and proposals. Just get to work. Preferably together, because we’re stronger as a team. We work hard – not because we have to, but because we are passionate about what we do.
2. Dare to speak up
“You have to make it happen – be a bit assertive; nobody will hold your hand and do it for you.”
Sylvie van Nieuwerburgh – Product Owner
DPG Media is a big company. With over 6.000 colleagues, we reach 90% of the Dutch population and 8 out of 10 Flemings through our brands. Because of our size, there is an unlimited number of growth opportunities – professionally and personally – and collaboration. But it’s up to you to make it happen. So speak up in your daily standup, scribble down your learnings in a blog post, ask a colleague for advice, and give your opinion. That’s how we all grow.
3. Operate in freedom
“I like how DPG Media values an entrepreneurial approach. I had a vision, and DPG Media gave me a free pass to set the data area up exactly as I wanted.”
Wannes Rosiers – Area Manager Data
The DPG Media workplace gives you lots of space to organize your work exactly how you want it. You can count on the leadership team to provide direction through a vision and business priorities, but there won’t be a set of work instructions or a how-to-guide waiting for you. Our agile way of working allows you to operate in freedom, develop solutions, and experiment.
4. Take ownership
“You can make decisions and find solutions; nobody is breathing down your neck or dictates what you should do. There is real trust. But of course, you have to be able to deal with the responsibility that comes along with that freedom.”
Petra van Veen – Scrum Master
Cliche but true: with freedom comes responsibility. Tech teams are responsible for their solutions and infrastructure from start to finish: you build it, you run it. We trust you to make the right decisions and take ownership of everything you do and create. Ownership, responsibility, and accountability do not end with your limits, nor the limits of your team. We all solve problems, not just our own. Taking the initiative to improve, experiment, help, and share is part of the deal.
5. Shape your career
“A developer could become an architect but could also choose to grow into a Scrum Master role. Although we do want to write up some career paths for inspiration, there is no fixed career path. Sometimes, you will be asked to try a new role. But in the end, it depends on your eagerness.”
Inge Vermeesch – Agile coach
Taking ownership doesn’t only apply to your day-to-day work; it’s also about your career. Which path are you on? DPG Media provides plenty of growth opportunities, but it’s up to you to cease them. Want to get certified? No problem, just ask. Want in on a project? Volunteer to help. You are in the driver’s seat, so make sure you know where you are going – and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
6. Be OK with change
“I love how there is always a new challenge that arises. There is little chance of getting bored here.”
Maarten Witteman – Area Manager Advertising
DPG Media is a dynamic company where change is a given. Sometimes it’s a change in organizational structure, sometimes, you will switch teams, and sometimes it means adopting new technology. We like to take on new initiatives and are not afraid to toss them out if they don’t work. So be ready for change and embrace it. It may mean you need to learn a new skill or find different ways of collaborating. That requires flexibility, positive thinking, and an entrepreneurial spirit.