Behind The Scenes

Learn how ESPN tackles tech problems, fosters innovations

Collaboration is part of the DNA of ESPN.

Without all departments working together, the company would not be where it is today. Recently, the company saw two new internal initiatives kick off to help foster knowledge sharing and teamwork.

The Support Center is the newest team to join the ranks of ESPN. Located in Building 1 in a former production control room space, the Support Center provides a collaborative work site for multiple technical support teams to leverage expertise and provide solutions to emerging issues.

This team will take a systematic approach to resolving issues and ensures that the technical teams are looking at end-to-end services, not individual systems, to correct potential or active issues.

“The Support Center staffing model is called a matrix and will be comprised of both permanent staff as well as rotating personnel from other technical teams,” said Brian Dishong, associate director, service operations center.

“Teams that have traditionally operated in a silo will now be able to participate as part of the group, which allows for a larger, more specialized pool of talent.”

The technology team has also debuted the Hacker Lab.

This new facility provides an on-campus space for employees to collaborate and develop new technology during their free time. Beginners-to-advanced ESPN techies are welcome to join the Hacker community to learn, mentor and utilize their creativity in a new way.

During the grand opening, several employees debuted robots that they designed and could control using various software including their iPads. Additional presentations included physical hacking demonstrations as well as software hacking discussions.

“This is a cross-departmental effort to foster creativity as well as allow people a work-life balance opportunity to do fun stuff in their free time with some of the best resources available,” said Brian Jackson, software engineer, digital technology engineering.

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