Tag Archives: DDM IT Quiz

The architecture of a techie paradise

mindfire solutions techie paradise

“Do you really like working at Mindfire Solutions? “ I asked and saw my friend give me an as-if-you-don’t-know-it-already look. He said, “Whoever would want to leave this techie paradise?”
You may begin to think that I was merely doing a survey. No, I was not! It was a candid coffee table conversation between the two of us. Little did I know that this conversation would reveal the reasons why Mindfire Solutions’ attrition rate is way too much lower than the industry average? Here’s the gist which explains why my friend has been hanging around the Mindfire premises for almost a decade.

You work because you choose to!
Mindfire offers salubrious working conditions that encourage techies and geeks to blossom to their true potential. A flat organization structure ensures that people are free to speak their mind and “work because they choose to”. The wet blanket of bureaucracy hardly gets a chance to snuff out the embers of innovation at the workplace. If you look at the people working here, you will realize that they are a bunch of spirited guys and gals doing good tech work and always asking for more work. In fact one of the employees wrote a Glassdoor review saying “a year in Mindfire is equivalent to three years of experience. Thanks to the vast exposure that techies get at Mindfire with regards to technology areas and client interaction they have a steeper learning curve and a greater opportunity to grow in expertise and reputation (salary also comes under this purview) as compared to their peers elsewhere. A recent recruit who worked for one of the Big 4 companies opined that “We (Mindfire) are just the Right size for recognition of skills/contributions as opposed to getting absorbed in a big company where positions/awards are pre-determined”.

Cooperation, Collaboration and Innovation is the culture here:
There is a culture of collaboration at Mindfire. Most employees feel Mindfire is like a family where there are always people to help out. This camaraderie among employees makes the organization a healthy place of work. There are no walls at Mindfire. We have open workplaces and it should not come as a surprise to find the CEO himself sitting next to you and coding. Even the company financials are made known to each and every employee at the end of every month to ensure transparency. Innovation is the lifeblood at Mindfire Solutions. The way we make extensive use of technology to ensure quality in the work that we do ascertains the fact. We have homegrown systems and tools in place that check for bugs in the code that we write for our customers, keep our client updated using 2MV (2 minute videos), address requests, needs and problems at work, help make better and universally accepted decisions, catalyze day-to-day work, increase the speed of learning and be aware about the happenings in the organization. Stupefied? Aren’t you?

An organization of Knowledge seekers:
That Mindfire wishes to foster a culture of learning and has a knowledge driven culture is evident in the manner it wants its employees to get themselves certified. It has sponsored over 300 certifications with 95% certified software engineers holding Industry recognized certifications from the Industry leaders like Oracle , Microsoft, FileMaker, Zend etc. So it should come as a surprise to know that each Mindfirean has an average of two certifications per head. Not only that, it has sponsored ACM membership for all its employees. There is a great emphasis on dissemination of knowledge. After all, the more you share your knowledge the more you get to learn. Mindfireans have conducted over 170 seminars with a cumulative total of 4000 attendees across teams and centres. They zealously participate in technical forums and have earned brownie points for themselves and the organization. In our endeavor to provide quality software services to our customers, over 2000 code reviews from across various tech areas have been done and there is a dedicated team of 50+ QA specialists testing approximately 250 projects every week. There are 100+ subject matter experts to solve the developers’ queries anywhere and anytime. When it comes to IT spending Mindfire leaves no stone unturned. More than 500 people work on licensed software tools and this fiscal around 25 paid tools have been added in the extensive tools library. Mindfire Solutions is also the proud organizer of the DDM (Debasish Das Memorial) IT Quiz, a national level annual quiz fest for management and engineering students. This event is organized in the memory of one of our most talented employees whom we lost to a fatal road accident in 2010.

Oh and there’s a cherry on the cake too. In order to encourage its employees’ spirit of learning, Mindfire in a maverick move, distributed about 700 iPads and android devices to all its employees last December. Did you just let out a small sigh?

Flexibility in work life= great personal life:
One may begin to wonder that with so much work and learning going on at Mindfire Solutions the personal lives of its employees would be hitting rock bottom. But the situation is quite the opposite. We have fixed time for clients and that gives us more time for ourselves, family and friends. There are no strict rules/policies etched on stone and flexibility is given a lot of importance. Unlike larger companies where number of hours clocked is strictly monitored, people at Mindfire enjoy flexibility in working hours (no time sheets/registers/swipe machines) as long as the work gets done. New mothers/mothers-to-be can avail unlimited maternity leave, those who are ill can convalesce without worrying about losing their job and there is also the work-from-home option for those who cannot afford to come to office owing to certain urgencies at home. Also one does not have to haggle for leaves. Have you ever heard of a company that has a holiday calendar consisting of 365 holidays (366 in case of a leap year)? Well Mindfireans would know this better coz everyday is a holiday at Mindfire Solutions. Nobody forces you to work here. To reiterate a point already mentioned earlier, you work because you choose to. And last but not the least, in this world where “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL)” this organization offers free lunch for all its employees across the three centres. Surprised? Don’t be!

Here’s a company which offers tremendous work options in 60+ technology areas, a great learning opportunity and a flexible and laissez faire culture. Not to forget the handsome spot bonuses in lieu of good work done. I am sure now you understand what my friend meant when he said, “Whoever would want to leave this techie paradise?”

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Death ends life but not the relationship!

Ever thought what it feels like to live another person’s dream? We at Mindfire Solutions do!

Yes, we have been doing it every year since 2011 and hope to continue the tradition forever. And on that day we organize the Debasish Das Memorial IT Quiz popularly known as DDM IT Quiz, a tribute to Late Debasish Das, a brilliant team lead, an amicable colleague and an amazing person. It was his dream originally to organize a mega IT quiz event that would attract the quizzing enthusiasts from technical and management institutes from all over Odisha and may be later arrange it on a Pan-India scale. But before he could do something about it, we lost him to a fatal road accident on 12th Jan 2010.

We started out in the year 2011 with quite a bit of trepidation but were overwhelmed with the response that we received (120 teams registered for the event that year). This strengthened our conviction and ever since then we have been organizing the Quiz every year for the last four years. Each year the event gets bigger and better and attracts more quizzers than the last.

This year we had warm-up online quiz contests on Facebook with the lucky winners winning exciting prizes such as t-shirts, pen drives and watches. In order to sensitize the public, on 2nd March 2014 we organized a flash mob based on the theme of road safety at Bhawani Mall, Bhubaneswar. We are the first corporate in Odisha to organize a flash mob for promoting our event and instilling awareness about road safety in the public. Come to think of it, after all it was a road accident that snuffed the life out of our colleague. There was also a “quote a quote” competition on Facebook on 5th March, 2014. We received a lot of replies and the lucky winner (the one whose quotes got the maximum number of likes) won an iPod.

The D-Day:
The event was held on 9th March, 2014 at Pal Heights, Bhubaneswar. More than 300 teams had registered to participate in the event. Gradually the number of participants at the venue swelled in numbers defying the sultry hot climate that is currently setting in the region. But obviously only the top eight teams made it to the stage after the preliminary elimination round. This event was hosted by Greycaps (http://www.greycaps.com/) and Quizmaster Lloyd Saldanha did an excellent job by keeping the participants and the audience virtually on the edge of their seats. In this event there were prizes worth Rs 100000 to be won. There were exciting audience prizes as well which were picked up by a quiz-keen audience.

The Winners:
This intellectually stimulating quizzing session ended with the team from KIIT, Bhubaneswar as the winners. Omkar Amrutanshu and Loy Larvin Rao looked every bit the achievers as they received the prize of Rs 50,000 from Chinmoy Panda, CEO, Mindfire Solutions. He also gave away prizes of Rs 30,000 to the first runners up, Chinmaya Dehury and Sheikh Wasim Sajjad, members of the team from NIT, Rourkela and Rs 20,000 to Saransh Mohapatra and Jyoti Prakash Panda, members of the team from Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar who were the second runners up.

At the close of the day when we returned to our homes content with the way the entire event was organized, it was difficult not to let that stray thought enter our minds. That one single wish: if only Debasish was alive today he could see his dream turn to reality. In this case it’s true that death has ended his life, but the relationship that he shared with us will be cherished forever. And it is those memories that will provide the zeal to organize yet another DDM IT quiz next year, only much more bigger and better.