Tag Archives: TANSTAAFL

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?”


Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Today as I dug into my plate of piping hot chicken biryani and let the rich aroma of multiple spices fill my nostrils, I realized one thing. It’s true, many authors have written volumes on the fact that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) but then they haven’t worked at Mindfire Solutions. I am sure they haven’t coz if they had then they would have known that lunch is actually FREE at Mindfire Solutions!

Biryani for lunch at Mindfire
First of all let’s know a bit about the concept of free lunch. This term is quite popular in economics textbook and finds its origin in the saloons of United States where it was a tradition to provide free lunch to customers who bought at least one drink. Most of the times the food was high in salt which compelled the buyer to buy more drinks later on. Hence the term TANSTAAFL has economic implications in the sense that even if it appears free there is a hidden cost to the person or the society.

A you read further you will realize that for the free lunch served at all the three centers of Mindfire Solutions (viz. Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Bangalore), it only wishes for employee satisfaction in return. A brilliant idea to perk up employee enthusiasm, free lunch is an initiative to let them do their thing (i.e. custom software development) without having to bother what’s for cook for lunch that day. Mindfire Solutions has a diverse population of software professionals who hail from different parts of India. And we all know that neither cooking is everyone’s cup of tea or searching for eat-outs in the middle of the day, every day, is a good idea to many. So to ensure a hassle free life and in turn better attention towards work (that’s always there!), Mindfire Solutions offers all its employees the option to sign up for the free lunch program.

The next thought that comes into mind is that, if it is free then the food may not be of great quality. Well let me assure you (trust me, I m extremely fussy about my food) that the food is of decent quality and tastes good as well. The caterers are strictly chosen, tried and tested so that any lapses can be forestalled. Caterers are dismissed almost immediately if there are any issues found with regards to taste or quality. Also the spread of items is not the same everyday and is changed regularly to bring in more variety to everyday food.
What started as a mad rush for food initially (because people found it hard to believe it is true) has tempered down a lot since the past couple of weeks. People are more organized now and there is hardly any ruckus in the cafeteria. However there are some rules that Mindfire lays down as well. The first and foremost rule is that wastage of food is a criminal offence that has to be avoided at all costs. Also as long as one eats at the cafeteria, one gets food for free. But when people sign up and do not inform that they will not be eating on a particular day within a specified deadline leading to food getting wasted, well, in that case they will have to pay. The free lunch is not included in any one’s individual CTC as it is an organizational initiative. Also if someone chooses not to avail the free lunch facility, it is not reimbursed either monetarily or through Sodexo coupons. So it is a case of “either you have it or you don’t” coz food is a matter of personal preferences.

Mindfire Solutions Cafeteria
Most employees I have interacted with have praised this initiative by Mindfire Solutions and thank the organization and its CEO to have released them from the drudgery of cooking lunch/finding a place for lunch every day! Gestures such as these are a reassurance and certainly leave an impression on the hearts of the employees. Isn’t it?