B Calm and B Corp
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B Calm and B Corp

[6:m] my first six months in mondora

A few days ago was exactly six months since I started working in mondora. Before my first day I was really excited and thrilled by this opportunity but I didn’t yet know what it would be like.

Mondora is a software company, based in Valtellina, and is one of the first benefit corporations in Italy. The positive impact is contagious and the work environment is really virtuous, and in my opinion it’s what Buddhists mean for Right Livelihood.

Mondora doesn’t have managers, senior somethings, accounts, architects, sales or other enterprise definitions for people, we are all human beings, more or less good in doing our things. Ideally, we are all full-stack, from IT to management, to development, to customer relations and we work together towards a common goal. The management is completely flat and democratic, we use loomio to take decisions together and everyone can vote or share a proposal. Overall well-being is monitored with officevibe and we have the good habit of publicly praising colleagues, through a dedicated slack channel (if you want to know more have a look at this article).

onboarding process

Since I live 400 km away from Valtellina, my onboarding was a two week long full immersion in the :m world. And this means a lot of smiles, tech talks, wine, pizzoccheri, mountains and (at night) trail running with colleagues. My first day was a disruptive all-day-long sprint planning meeting.

For every new :m player the company buys a bitto storico wheel of cheese, the employee decorates it and the wheel is kept in the Casèra for three years. After three years, the employee auctions it and chooses how to reinvest the auction sum and can decide wether to buy more cheese or sponsor another local sustainable project (http://www.hirebitto.com/). After watching this video of me decorating cheese, all my friend started asking me if I was working in a cheese factory.

Teaching new players is done in several ways: the colleague who managed you hiring usually tutors you in the early stages and helps you learn about tools, projects, best practices, and colleague nicknames. While signing the agreement new employees also receive our handbook. On a daily basis, skills-based training is done by peers, through our slack chat, 4to5 meetings, code review and code linting.

Now I usually work remotely, at home or at a local bar with a good wifi, or in the park. Is it very important for me since I don’t like office life and routine, and this allows me to be free to change my everyday schedule, to stay in contact with nature, train and spend time with my family.

A good work-life balance is important for the employee, but it is more important for the company. I have not been so productive since university.

Managing work remotely is quite easy when using the right tools and some common sense. We chat on slack about everything, have meetings and do pair programming on Hangout, track everything on Jira, do code review on Bitbucket. The team is really helpful and we try to put everyone in the condition of continuously working and growing. I try to be as fast as I can when replying to chats and questions.

As an agile team every morning we meet on Hangout for the daily standup, and every two weeks we estimate and groom tasks, as well as retrospecting our work: all this is done in a Hangout meeting. Every two weeks we also meet physically for the sprint planning meeting, so we don’t forget that we are working with other real people.

The challenges of being remote in a not fully remote environment are several: it’s easy to overwork, to loose commitment on the project and with the company, to forget about human beings behind the slack nicknames. To avoid overworking I normally stay in a dedicated room during daytime and I don’t carry my laptop in the rest of the house during the rest of the day, so I have created a sort of office. Keeping high commitment on the project is really up to your personality, but self-asking why am I working on this, is really useful.

Bitto Storico aka Storico Ribelle

To stay in touch with the company and colleagues I have decided to go to Valtellina once every couple of months for a few days. This allows me to recharge my tank of smiles and good vibes with my colleagues. I usually come back filled with new forces and ideas. To keep other players close to me I try to contribute a lot to common chats and I even sent wine to the office to celebrate my birthday remotely.

In the future I think mondora should establish a periodic company retreat to ease the relations and to bring good powers together. We have started thinking about the opportunity of remote training for junior players, and we’ll experiment the work@mine (the name is not official at all): every month an employee will stay for a few days near a remote player to acquire new perspectives.

I’m working in a great company and I’m proud of being a part of it.

If you are interested in working with us drop a line at : careers@mondora.com

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