The (A)dora to (Z)oe of Coding at Arctic Shores

Following a chance meeting at an Imperial College event, Arctic Shores’ CEO Robert Newry invited two budding software engineers for work experience in coding at the company’s headquarters in Manchester. Zoe and Adora are both A-Level students from East London with a passion for problem-solving and keenness for coding. Take a look at their experiences below:



Upon arriving at the WeWork office in Manchester, I was completely astounded by the size of the building! First of all, we were given a tour of the office, which impressed me as it was fitted to be both practical and stylish, before having a meeting to discuss the agenda for the week ahead.


Richard, a senior software developer, gave us an overview of the exciting week ahead and took the time to answer any questions that we had. We then completed ‘Skyrise City‘ – one of Arctic Shores’ game-based assessments. The assessment is based on the Big Five personality model and has great visuals and challenging gameplay.

Skyrise City Opening

The opening screen for Skyrise City

Finally, we met with Annabelle and Shonagh from the HR team. They were both so welcoming and made us feel comfortable and at ease.



We started co-coding our own game-based assessment which gave a really good insight into what the day-to-day looks like for a developer at Arctic Shores. We then met with designers Adam and Stacey who work alongside the development team to make sure the art appears in the assessments appropriately. I love art, so to see how it is digitally manifested into the assessments was interesting and inspiring. The art in Arctic Shores’ assessments is very aesthetically pleasing.


Emily, who is part of the science team, then walked us through the different levels of ‘Skyrise City’ and demonstrated how each level is based on validated psychometric studies used to measure personality traits. I thought it was amazing how Arctic Shores has made the task of completing psychometric tests engaging and fun.


I found the task of creating our own psychometric game to be challenging. We hit a few bumps in the road, but I felt that overcoming these problems allowed my coding skills to grow and reach a more advanced level! I was able to approach problems from a different angle, without feeling lost, and become more independent when searching for a solution. I essentially made sure that asking for help was my last option.

We continued working on our code with software developers Mark and Olly. Their expertise in the field is something to be admired and they taught me a lot about the lengthy yet rewarding processes of making game-based assessments. They also taught us how to fix bugs and enhance UX (user experience).



In the morning, we met with Jody – the talented head of UX (user experience). He gave us an insight into the importance of UX. I was astounded to learn how a great UX can transform a standard game into a brilliant, million pound one. For example, the gameplay in the popular Candy Crush is nothing new but it’s the UX design that keeps people playing – from the bright graphics, to the cute characters and sweet music. Jody also gave us inspiring advice about the importance of pursuing our passions, which I am very thankful for – thank you Jody!

Our own Skyrise City reports were then discussed with Nisha, one of the business psychologists at Arctic Shores. It was great to reflect on my personal traits and I was astounded by how they can be used to assess performance potential and fit in the working world. I know myself quite well, but hearing that I am quite impulsive surprised me a little!

Code breaker

One of the challenging levels of Skyrise City


Nisha talked us through our own results from Skyrise City which are based on the Big Five personality traits of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. These are measured on a spectrum, so it was really intriguing to learn where I sat on each one and was surprised about how accurate my results were!

Following our meeting with Nisha, we got some great advice from Richard on how to refine our code on our own assessment. I noticed that in such a short space of time, my coding skills had greatly improved!



Today was spent reviewing the progress of our game-based assessments which made me feel accomplished as I reflected on the work I had put in during the week. I felt that my coding had improved as it was more fluent with less errors.

We also took some time to discuss some current games and applications on the market.


Most of our day was spent focused on our own assessment, which involved a lot of problem solving, before meeting with Stacey again. Our task with Stacey was awesome! We had to rate the artwork from different games on a scale from ‘cool’ to ‘uncool’ and then had the chance to review a few games. This gave me an insight into all of the small details that go into developing a game or app such as the music and settings.



Sam, the product manager, showed us how the management of the products and coordination of the various departments at Arctic Shores works; it was fascinating to learn how everything comes together and interlinks at the company.

Finally, I spent some time reflecting on my experience and putting together my diary. I am thankful for my time at Arctic Shores which has been truly inspiring and eye-opening!


The whole team at Arctic Shores are so helpful and they really made us feel as comfortable as possible. I am so grateful for the assistance and learning opportunities they gave me during my week in Manchester, and I hope that the company continues to grow!

Zoe and Adora’s diaries have been merged and edited for clarity and length. 

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