Archive for the ‘How We Work’ Category

Countdown to Burning Rubber 2014 – how to organise a summer party

Rowena Farr - July 29th, 2014

We’ve learnt how to throw a pretty awesome summer party over the past few years. With the 4th Burning Rubber fast approaching, here’s some essentials we’ve previously included. Happy 13th birthday Team Rubber!

Space hopper races

Be warned: these can get very competitive. Release your inner child….

IMG 4809 1024x764 Countdown to Burning Rubber 2014   how to organise a summer party

A bouncy castle

The more people that get involved, the higher everyone can bounce. Until you start getting space hopper balls involved that is…

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A play park with death slides

Ensure you take the pic at the right time to get some real gems

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Retro or neon tents

Great for contemplation, napping and sleeping over

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A fire which burns all night

You can even sit and warm up next to it (spot the Corwin)

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Waking up outside

Enough said

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Until Friday folks

Programming and development that doesn’t suck

Andy Parkhouse - August 5th, 2013

This position has now been filled but thank you for your interest 🙂

We’re looking for a Developer to work with either Viral Ad Network or Delib. These companies are part of Team Rubber; you can find out more from our blogs. We think we have a pretty good environment in which to write software. We have a big airy studio in a listed building in Central Bristol. It’s not perfect; it’s a bit busy, but we care and say thanks, and we go out for lunches and drink together after work and I reckon that counts for a lot. We’ve got pretty good at using agile development processes like Scrum and Kanban. We also have version control, testing, and decent chairs (or sofas to work on if that’s more your style). Bring your own laptop or we can supply one – you’ll get a decent quality Macbook Pro.


Typically we work well with people who’ve got a Computer Science degree and have been coding since at least their early teens. YMMV. We prefer people who can write.


We need to get some web app and operations stuff done, here’s the outline:

– We generally use XHTML, CSS and Javascript. There may be other ways to do it, but we’ve found these ones are pretty good and not too much hassle. We have to support a wide range of browsers including, increasingly, mobiles and tablets.


– We generally use python. Generally python doesn’t suck. We work with python frameworks including Pyramid, Zope and Plone. You don’t need to have used these, but experience with a web framework might be useful.


– There are some database things to do. Sometimes in various flavours of SQL or NoSQL or whatever.


– We have lots of devops things, including deployment automation for servers around the world; sysadmin and shell scripting ftw.


– We’ll like you more if you can combine programming and UI/UX; we try to avoid silos, I prefer working with people who can solve an interesting computational problem and put together a good GUI to hide the computation from the humans. Being a photoshop guru is not essential though.


Could be full-time, part-time or freelance scenario. There’s a bunch of things to get done right now. They’re usually interesting. There’ll probably be some more things to do after that. Sound interesting? Senda cover letter and your CV to We don’t place too much faith in CVs, the covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview. No applications will be accepted via recruitment companies.




Andy (Director) and Jess (Developer)


Introducing our Delib AU office and ‘the owl’

Rowena Farr - February 20th, 2013

Delib Australia are currently set up and operating in a shared space with Reading Room. One of my immediate check-ins was to ensure that some of the similarities from the UK were visible in our new Delib AU home:

Delib AU office  300x224 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

Delib's Australian shared desk space

1) Alcohol on the shopping list (including cider) – check

Shopping list  224x300 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

2) Enthusiastic employees – check

Delib employees 300x224 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

James and Rowena smile for the camera

3) The owl – Lorna is this you in bird form?!

Owl  224x300 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

The Owl system

The Owl system ensures the office washing up is done on a daily basis. If the Owl is on your desk then it is that persons’ turn to clear up. Alternatively you could use other means such as a sharable animation to encourage employees to tidy up 😉

4) Pins on the map – check

Australia map 300x224 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

Reading Rom office pins on the map

5) Koalas on the wall – hmm not yet

Koalas  224x300 Introducing our Delib AU office and the owl

Koalas or are they drop bears?! on the wall our Delib AU offices

If your interested in meeting up with Dan or James then the team are based on James Street in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.


Delib’s down under tour reaches the halfway mark ;)

Rowena Farr - February 8th, 2013

Delib’s third Australian tour has just reached the halfway mark. Here’s a snapshot of what we have been up to so far 😉

Stop off numbero uno – Singapore

After *just* about managing to take off in the snow we spent a grueling 13 hours getting to Singapore. Only to be greeted by the one and only Angry Birds 😉

Angry birds in Singapore  225x300 Delibs down under tour reaches the halfway mark ;)

Ben posing with angry birds "Row take a photo, take a photo ;)"


Stop off numero dos – Brisbane

Home of Delib AU – well Dan and James that is (Craig lives in Canberra which is A.C.T territory… yes Ben A.C.T – Australian Capital Territory) & our shiney desk space in Reading Room Brisbane. After another 8 hour flight we were finally re-united with the Delib AU team:

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The Delib AU team reunited for our first lunch together

Stop numero tres – Adelaide for the day

Yes that’s right we flew 2.5 hours each way for a client meeting…! Portugal and back anyone?!

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Dan catches up after a meeting with City of Tee Tree Gully


Stop numero cuatro – Perth

5 hours from Brisbane and another mildly delayed flight later we land in Perth. At the weekend I went cycling in 36 degree heat whilst Ben decided to adventure round Freemantle prison. You can imagine who was a little more burnt of the two! After some useful meetings, Dan and I head up to King’s Park whilst waiting for Dan and Ben to wrap up a last minute appointment:

Dan and Rowena in Perth  300x224 Delibs down under tour reaches the halfway mark ;)

Rowena & Dan head up to King's park post client meeting

Stop numero cinco – Adelaide

Once Dan had retrieved his bag that was 😉 yes it got stuck on the conveyer belt! Ask Ben about how much he loves his really handy (but slightly broken) small suitcase – he really loves the useful handle on it…!

Dan retreiving his bag 224x300 Delibs down under tour reaches the halfway mark ;)

"Nope that is the last bag & yes it is stuck"


Stop numero seis – Melbourne

After a slightly bumpy landing coming in, we’re now in Melbourne for a few days. Today we’re catching up and prepping for more adventures next week. My inner transport geek is mildly excited about hopping on a tram over the weekend 😉

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Ben watching out for trams..


Watch this space for more adventures from Delib AU down under.

Building apps? Sweatbox them. We just started doing this, and it works.

Andy Parkhouse - January 23rd, 2013

WTF is sweatboxing?
Film production technique from Disney, also used by Pixar. Animators gather every morning with the film’s director to review previous day’s work (rushes).

  • animation is time-consuming
  • changes are costly and painful
  • many many people are working on a film at once
  • the work needs to fit together so that the vision and story flow

Linky linky

Called Sweatbox because…

  • the room Disney used was hot
  • work people have slaved over is ruthlessly, brutally scrutinised

Why use Sweatbox when building apps?

  • all the same production problems as animation, but with user experience, usability, support and maintenance added for Extra Fun Times
  • quickly find what isn’t working (team-sized variant of hallway testing)
  • find opportunities for plus-ing (Pixar’s technique for adding more to good ideas)
  • you want to build an outstandingly good artefact, right? So critique what you’re building, honestly and relentlessly

Things Sweatbox isn’t:

  • this is not the standup meeting for whatever agile methods you’re using (standup is not a place for critique)
  • not testing with end users against their actual needs
  • not a planning meeting
  • not tea and biscuits meetings
  • not a beasting session for individuals on the team

How are we doing it?

  • big TV – not the real environment an app is used in, but big = easier to see (grouping around a single laptop is terrible, and is even less like using the real app)
  • standing up, creates freedom to move and think, to enter into or withdraw from confrontation, and to move to point at things
  • done on the floor where the rest of the team (account managers, sales consultants etc) work, so they can be drawn in quickly for testing + opinion

Do these or you’re doing Sweatbox wrong:

  • no holds barred – total honesty
  • BUT critique the artefact not the person
  • “did you consider [xyz]?”: good
  • “this is going to cause support issues”: good
  • “you should have done [xyz]”: bad
  • “that flow sucks because [xyz]”: good
  • “you have completely screwed this up”: bad
  • “would [xyz] work better?”: good
  • “you are a dumbass”: bad

Wot no picture?
Nah, it’s just us standing round a TV. Imagine it if you must.

Hiring: Software Testing / Test Automation

Andy Parkhouse - May 21st, 2012

We’re rebuilding a big web app and I need someone to take care of testing and engineering test automation.

We have a decent environment (in Bristol) where we write software. It’s not perfect; it’s a bit busy, but we care and say thanks, and the people are ok and I reckon that counts for a lot. We also have version control and testing and decent chairs and lunch, a lack of fear and no pissy politics.

This job will work better if you’re in Bristol, face to face communication is valuable for this role, but we can also work with you remotely. We have irc, and a ticketing system and version control, and we’re used to working with people around the world (we have staff in multiple locations; some of us also contribute to open source projects). We can also overlap time zones (within reason), but you’ll have to provide your own chair and lunch. 😛

You’ll be testing software already, and familiar with tools similar to Selenium and Hudson, as well as being technically capable of talking to our programmers, and solving engineering problems. We’ll be doing interesting things with automation for deployments and system management, and you’ll need to be involved with this. It’s a fun challenge because mistakes cost us real money 🙂

It’s probably a full-time permanent position, but we’ll consider flexible ways of getting stuff done.

Interested? Drop me a line:

Delib are looking for a Sales Consultant

Rowena Farr - March 12th, 2012

Delib are looking for a Sales Consultant to join our small and friendly Bristol based team.

We are looking for an individual to start on a full time 3 month fixed contracts with a view to permanent extension.

The role with Delib will primarily involve calling Public Sector organisations on a full time basis and will involve the following responsibilities on a daily basis:

  • Work through existing contact lists or research and find contacts
  • Cold call public sector organisations with a view to generating leads for Delib’s products (call target is 40-50 calls a day)
  • Follow-up on calls with targeted email to contact based on the nature of your conversation
  • Nurture relationships with contacts and move leads on through the sales pipeline
  • Maintain clear & detailed records on people contacted and status of contact/organisation. Update records as required.
  • Provide phone demos of products where necessary


Generous holiday allowance (24 days plus time off over Christmas)

Flexi time scheme (with core hours from 9.30-6)

Contract based on 37.5 hours a week and based in a central Bristol office

Company outings and opportunities to get involved in out of hours networking etc

The starting salary for this position is £16k

If you are interested in applying for this position please send a short covering letter and CV to

We’re officially Work Cyclists!

Alex Pitkin - November 29th, 2011

Picture 2 Were officially Work Cyclists!

A very cool idea from local agencyPixillion led to them making the lovely siteThe Work Cycle. They have some pretty big agencies on there and some really nice photos of pretty bikes in proper use. An early morning start with Matt, Corwin, Ben, Tom and Ally polished our submission which today has gone into the site. Lovely.

Picture 3 Were officially Work Cyclists!

Beccy gets prepared for Burning Rubber on Friday

Rowena Farr - July 27th, 2011

CIMG5545 300x225 Beccy gets prepared for Burning Rubber on Friday

To celebrate ten years of Team Rubber this weekend we are off to a nearby site to burn some rubber but where will it be held exactly? Not sure Beccy knows yet that’s for sure…..

What is your creative process?

Rowena Farr - July 22nd, 2011

Following the Vision Bristol warm up event on Wednesday afternoon at The Arnolfini I was particularly interested in exploring Poke’s idea of ‘Creative Process’ here at Team Rubber.

Different individuals in the office do of course work in different ways. Ben for example aids his creative process through biscuits – and has subsequently been renamed to ‘Biscuit Ben’.

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Biscuit Ben


At Team Rubber we are always ensuring people feel comfortable in their working environment and Ben feels most comfortable when in his own creative working environment:

Biscuit Ben desk1 300x225 What is your creative process?

For more information on how biscuits can aid creativity please visit Ben’s Biscuit Blog.