On Thursday 13 February Kindred Group’s award-winning Stockholm office opened its doors to hundreds of visitors for the Kindred-hosted Women In Tech (WIT) meetup. Three talented Kindred speakers highlighted different areas of the organisation and explained how we use technology to deliver the best gambling experience for our customers.
Veronica Björksten, Kindred Product Manager hosted Women In Tech meetup at Kindred’s main hub in Stockholm on 13 February. She’s been involved with WIT since their first-ever conference in Stockholm and is thrilled to be able to bring it into Kindred’s Stockholm office. She says it's important for women in the industry to encourage each other:
“There are still fewer women than men in the industry. We need to stay in the game and not give up. There are a lot of opportunities within the tech industry with a wide variety of roles. I want for students and women considering a future in tech, to see that there is a wide range of opportunities available outside of coding.”
Synthetic monitoring streamlines the user experience
Violeta Stegaru, Test Automation Developer at Kindred Group delivered the first presentation of the evening. Her contribution focused on active monitoring in production and how to collect data to identify issues in the system early on, before customers decide to contact customer support.
“The system test simulates customer interactions, to try and find things that don’t quite work and fix them before a customer discovers them,” says Violeta. “It's like sending a little robot on missions to make sure all the paths are available! If something happens on the way and the robot gets blocked, we get alerted. We try to predict failures and send the robot on the most probable missions. With enough data, we can teach the robot to anticipate the best routes. I hope we can move towards such machine learning in the future.”
Soft skills are the new hard skills
Marjo Kayhko, Kindred Development Manager spoke of top competencies every leader today should have:
“I think this topic is extremely relevant in this context, despite it not being particularly tech-related. We have a very traditional view, that a confident leader equates to a competent leader and we simply must start questioning how we look at leadership. When you're building diversity, you can't just wait for women to apply for the jobs. You need a clear strategy on how to recruit more women.
“In tech, people often get promoted because of their strong technical knowledge, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have the ability to lead others. We need to realise that skills which have previously been regarded as soft, such as social and people skills, are the new hard skills required for leadership. Small things like looking away from your e-mails and giving your team genuine attention, inspire creative and collaborative ways of working. Still, there are many people who think assertive leadership is the way forward.”
Tassia Latorraca visited the meetup in order to expand her network and was very inspired by Marjo's presentation: “We have all experienced such instances of leadership and it's nice to hear someone talking about leadership in a humble way,” she says. “You can be a leader without pushing people around.”
Using innovation and data to protect our customers
Maris Catania, Head of Responsible Gambling and Research at Kindred concluded the evening with her presentation on different ways Kindred works on responsible gambling. She explained how the Kindred Player Safety - Early Detection System (PS-EDS) works.
“The majority of people play socially and regularly, but there are some who sadly develop an addiction,” says Maris. “Kindred tracks certain behaviours: players trying to win back their losses or being abusive in their communication with customer service. This allows us to step in as soon as possible if a player displays signs of problem gambling. Based on our research on best practices and approaches, we contact these customers via a most suitable method. Today, we have 15 industry awards in this area.”
PS-EDS is only one example of how Kindred uses technology in innovative ways to care for our customers in the best way possible. “I think this meetup is a good platform to show that we can do quite a lot of innovation in this industry, and in so many areas of it,” Maris concludes.