Would you meet up with a coworker on a precious Saturday to compete in a 5k through 13 obstacles in the notorious Tough Mudder? Would you carry them piggyback while running through mud?
Companies love to tout their family-like values, but few truly walk the walk. When we say we value teamwork, we mean it: from day to day software engineering to helping each other climb Everest 2.0. In the case of the Tough Mudder, Everest 2.0 looked like the warped wall on American Ninja Warrior, but bigger. It was slick from rain and hard to get up without help from your teammates. You could run halfway up the wall, grab the rope, and climb until someone could grab you, hoping they could pull you over the top. The IQ delegation sent a couple of our coworkers up the rope first and people on other teams helped pull them up. From there they worked as a team to get everyone over the wall, and stuck around to help the next team get started.
This choice of weekend activity may sound irrational to some, but Software Developers choose careers like this every day. Instead of climbing a wall, it can be fixing a stubborn bug.
Eric Frick, an engineer who ran the race, related the Tough Mudder experience to one of the tasks he was given for a client. He was asked to collect data from an embedded system for analysis. Sounds easy enough, right? Well they wanted to collect the data 100 times every second, which happens to be a lot of data. Eric describes the story: “It seemed like a straightforward task, but we found out when you try to write that much data to an SD card it can be problematic. We were seeing threads locking, and the system would just reboot. I was out of ideas for how to make it more efficient, so I had to lean on my teammates to help me come up with a solution to solve the problem. Together we came up with the idea to consolidate the reading and writing of data to its own thread where it could be scheduled automatically by the OS. This allowed the main thread to avoid the burden of the constant IO operations.”
IQ’s success in cultivating its corporate culture is that it lives its core values every day rather than placing a poster in the office and considered the work done. IQ employees go out of their way to help each other and this results in an engaged and friendly workplace which allows us to maintain the quality of work for which IQ is known.