There are so many things that I want to share with you all about my experience at ThoughtWorks. I literally do not know where to start. Let’s see… I’ll try to recall everything from day one and put it down in this blog post. Please feel free to ask me about anything that you want to know… be it about the ThoughtWorks or personal, doesn’t matter (:p).
Day 1 – Be On Time
I was late on my very first day. I know… I know… I’m tardy. But this was not because of my tardiness, it was because of the situation(s). To start with, I was struggling with a bad cold. I woke up late. The weather was bad, it was raining cats and dogs. And to top it all, the traffic was really bad. Okay so fighting with all that, finally I make it to the office at around 12:00 (2.5 hours late on my first day) and drenched.
VC (People Champion) came to receive me. I wasn’t very comfortable (what else you can expect from a drenched late person) but she very gracefully ignored all of that and took me inside the office (:D).
On stepping inside the office the first thing you will notice is that there are no cabins. It is just a big wide hall with tables and chairs. That is all. Individual teams share their own tables looking on the big wide HD monitors.
Then we moved inside the meeting room. Here comes the second noticeable thing. Auto rickshaw and a bus inside the Hall (:D). Take a look:
Then just before entering the meeting room, I noticed one more thing that was quite different from other workplaces I have been too. The meeting rooms were named after famous places of Pune (Since it a Pune office). Typically meetings rooms are named like 5A, 5B, 5C etc but here they are named like Shaniwar Wada, Pune Vidyapeeth etc…
I really loved the concept of naming the meeting rooms this way. It actually comes naturally in your conversation (hey meet me at Shaniwar Wada or we have a meeting at Pune Vidyapeeth (:D)). In my previous workplace, the meeting rooms are named as 5A, 5B, 5C and I’m still now sure which is where (:/).
Another thing that I liked is the meeting room setup. Every meeting room is well equipped. It is so quick to connect and at the same time energy-efficient. I don’t want to give away too much. You can visit and see for yourself. Everything works flawlessly. Now it evens works with your voice. Isn’t that cool?
The next thing you will need is your MacBook Pro. Mostly the people from the Asian countries are not well-versed with MacBook but trust me after a few hours, MacBook is the thing you would want to code in.
I was really surprised to get the MacBook on the very first hour of me joining the ThoughtWorks. This itself speaks so much about their culture. ThoughtWorks loves its employees. They provide them with the best tech in the world and encourages them to excel in whatever they want to do and not just coding. It makes you (as an employee) feel wonderful. And that is all that makes the difference.
That is all for the showoff (:p).
Towards the end of my first-day induction, I got a book on Extreme Programming (XP) which people might have already read or known who are planning to join ThoughtWorks. Got a Tech Radar brochure (for more info, visit TechRadar) And lots of chocolates (:D).
Day 2 – The Day Of Exploration
If you know ThoughtWorks then you will also know that ThoughtWorks is all about its people. And I would like to quote the words of Martin Fowler which describes our culture.
Primarily it boils down to the people. They do a good job of hiring people who are both very smart, but also pleasant to work with. In particular there’s a lot of focus on people with integrity, and I’ve found I can trust my colleagues here much more than with most of the clients I worked with over the years. There’s also a real passion in doing good quality work and wanting to get better, which is excellent fodder for a writer like me.Martin Fowler
The first thing that I wanted to do after getting into ThoughtWorks is to explore its people and culture as fast as I can. This is because I’ve been following ThoughtWorks for some time and I found that ThoughtWorks productivity is at least 10 times that of other companies of the same size. I was eager to explore the reason behind such high productivity.
And as you explore the culture and people here, you find that they are all very passionate about the work they do. Yes, this is it. No one forces them to do anything, everyone does it by themselves. The blogs that you read, the events you attend. All of it just a result of an individual initiative that grew fast.
There is no hierarchy. Everyone is a ThoughtWorker and works together to achieve the same goal. And that is the reason why ThoughtWorks has a reputation in the market for Technology Excellence.
On exploring a little more you will find that Open Source is at the heart of ThoughtWorks. Selenium is one of the many famous open-source tools that has been produced by ThoughtWorkers and adopted worldwide. If you are interested in reading the history of Selenium and how it was born then read the following article:
Dedicated to Social Impact
Thoughtworks is not just about profits. Software Excellency and Social Impact are at the heart of every ThoughtWorker. As a technology enthusiast, our job is not limited to just building great software, but also to make this world a better place. We do this by contributing to the social cause.
Brahmini is one such project. It is an easy-to-use EMR & hospital system. It combines and enhances existing open source products into a single solution. This project is done by ThoughtWorks for free in order to help the village hospitals to keep track of all their patients and work effectively and efficiently.
Here I would again like to quote the words of Martin Fowler:
Social Justice isn’t just about doing work for good causes. It’s also about looking at our core work and asking how it can benefit society.Martin Fowler
It is all about giving back to the society by the means that we do the best i.e. Technology.
Day 3 – Exploring Communities And People
As I have already mentioned about the productivity of ThoughtWorks, the big reason behind that is the community-driven culture.
There are many communities inside ThoughtWorks that is there to teach and learn. The first thing that you would want to do is to join the community that interests you. There are communities for everyone. Each and everyone is very active and enthusiastic about the work they do. And also communities are a big collection of talent and experience as every person that joins the community brings in a new perspective, experience and talent into it. So, make sure you explore communities and join the ones that interest you.
We regularly host events such as Geek Night where we invite people from outside of ThoughtWorks to teach and educate others of the new technology trend in the market. You can always stay connected to ThoughtWorks thought their social media channel or website to get the latest updates about all the events that keep happening.
At this point, you start to see why ThoughtWorks is known for its excellence. The rate and amount of information sharing inside the company are very high. And if you are inside something that moves fast, you ought to move fast with them to keep the pace.
I hope this article helps you a little better into understanding our culture. Although this article was only meant to share my first-3 day’s experience. I will keep on writing more about the culture and values of ThoughtWorks as I move forward with my journey.