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Working at TravelTime: Change the Way We Search the World

Mihaela Popa 23 June, 2021 | 3 min read

TravelTime is a UK company responsible for the TravelTime API, which allows people to search geo data by travel time.

It was founded in 2009 by Peter Lilley and Charlie Davies and it is based on the idea that time is more useful than distance to search websites and databases with lots of locations. In 2012, they won the UK leg of the European Satellite Navigation Competition and the ensuing press coverage led directly to their 1st client.

Today, they have 50 employees in the UK, Lithuania, Poland, France, and the Netherlands & return over a billion requests each month for over 100 clients worldwide. They recently raised over £3 million in investment and are now looking to expand their team. To help you get to know them better, we’ve asked the team at TravelTime a few questions about the company, their culture, and some tech challenges they are trying to overcome.

Tell us more about TravelTime's product.

TravelTime is an API that allows people to search geographical data by travel time, rather than distance. Our clients can rank and sort thousands of locations by travel time for their users. For example, when compared to traditional ‘as the crow flies’ radius search, the TravelTime API shows you points of interest that are actually reachable within a 45 minute travel time using various modes of transport.

For example:

  • Locating the pharmacy you can reach before it shuts, using public transport.
  • Discovering all hotels within a 15-minute walk of the airport.
  • Finding a new office location with the shortest commute for all employees.
  • Identifying which postcodes are most relevant to direct marketing and local advertising campaigns.

You can check how one of the biggest UK’s recruitment companies is using it to return better recruitment results here.

TravelTime is used in many places across the world from Thailand to San Francisco.

TravelTime image.png

What tech stack are you using and what are some tech challenges you are trying to overcome?

For our backend infrastructure we’re using Scala, JVM, Akka, Scalaz/cats, protobuf, JTS and on the front end side we’re using TypeScript, NextJS, ScalaJS.

Some of the tech challenges we’re currently working on are:

  • High-performance programming on the JVM;
  • Algorithms for shortest paths for road networks and public transport;
  • Data compaction and compression;
  • 24/7 high rpm API service;
  • Rolling deployments without interrupting services;
  • No-code development platform for GIS.

How would you describe the dev team at TravelTime?

Our dev team can be described as vibrant and qualified. We have a core team of very talented developers and have very little turnover in the technical department - some have been with us since TravelTimes inception 8+ years ago!

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How would you describe TravelTime’s culture?

At TravelTime we strive to be an organisation that empowers employees to be judged by their output, not their hours. We work based on autonomy and trust. We set and measure objectives, both individual and team-based, which we believe creates better output than working to rigid leave patterns. Truly a people first and inclusive culture, we focus on the People Agenda and are proud that our colleagues and managers support our staff to be the best that they can be with structured CPD’s and training budgets with Friday afternoons dedicated to personal development projects.

Staff work both remotely and/or from our offices in London and Lithuania – the choice is theirs. When they do pop to the office, they are welcomed with daily breakfasts provided, along with bright and spacious workspaces and fantastic locations (our London office is a stone’s throw from Covent Garden Piazza).

In addition, we provide a suite of fantastic benefits, such as Share Options, Self-improvement budget, Contributions to gym memberships, Pension Scheme, Team away days and celebrations, and even an extra day off on your Birthday – on us!

We are proud to be known for a dynamic, fun, hardworking, entrepreneurial work environment.

traveltime team.png

What’s the interview process like at TravelTime?

It very much depends upon the role – and sometimes even the person!

We always respond promptly to applications and if your CV excites us, we will firstly have a short 15-minute call, just to ensure there is mutual interest before we progress to the latter stages.

We turn offers around fairly quickly and a typical recruitment process for a technical role is as follows:

  • Quick 15 minute Chat.
  • Technical Test, approx. 2 hours max, at a time which suits.
  • Team review of the technical submission, followed up by a group call to discuss solutions created in more depth.

If successful, an offer will be made (we trust the judgment of our team to make the right decisions).

And finally, what are some traits that would make someone successful at TravelTime?

Autonomy is key to our culture. Our successful employees are truly trusted and therefore are proactive self-starters who are comfortable working in a fast-paced technical environment and can manage their own workload, whilst maintaining collaboration with the rest of our talented team. Oh, and a strange sense of humour is often required!

Doesn't that sound like the perfect company you would want to work for? Take a look at TravelTime’s open roles here and join their team's mission of changing the way we search the world!

Author's avatar
Mihaela Popa
Community Manager at WorksHub

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