Ian Thomas

Senior Principal Engineer
The Stars Group

Ian Thomas is a Senior Principal Engineer for Flutter Entertainment working in the International Sportsbook Platform tribe. He started his career at Flutter 7 years ago as an engineer working on Sky Bet and has been involved in various of the company’s brands since, most recently focusing on PokerStars Sports. With over 25 years’ experience building for the web, Ian is passionate about combining technology and user experience design to build commercial products that delight customers.

On Being Glue and Grease, Building a Global Frontend Platform

In 2020 The Stars Group combined with Flutter Entertainment, creating the world’s largest online betting and gaming operator with more than 13 million customers worldwide. PokerStars Sports was identified as a key area for investment, with an opportunity to re-platform the brand onto Flutter’s Global Betting Platform and completely rebuild our customer facing applications from the ground up.

As we scaled our sportsbook engineering team from a handful of engineers to 14 squads and over 130 technologists, we looked at ways that we could embrace agile and DevOps to further drive the delivery of this new platform and a step-change in product experience for our customers.

This talk explains how we embraced platforms thinking across our client engineering teams to create pipelines and fully automated serverless infrastructure to support our customer facing applications. We’ll discuss how we identified the need for a focused platform team, presented the business case, designed the approach and tooling, and monitored their impact over time. Finally, we’ll discuss the mindset and non-technical aspects of the work that have been essential in making this area a success.