MindTree Community Vibrant Engaging Dynamic community.mindtree.com
Success Stories Building Configuration
Community Sharing Tips & Tricks
Community Helping Build Tool
Management Expertise for the
of ‘Web Application Testing’, using
Integration Experts Matrix for
Benefit of the Community
Browser Plug-Ins and Add-Ons
Consumer Digital Brands
Tech Leads Community
Tech Leads Community
J2EE Community Reaching Out
Champions Hand-Holding the
A Center of Excellence (SAP BI)
and Networking with the Larger
Community on Shell Scripting,
Leverages Community Platform to
Community Outside MindTree
Provide Real Life Examples
Collaborate and Share
SAP BI Community
Community Sharing SharePoint
Community Busting the Jargon
A Thought Leader, Leading by
Usage Scenarios from Different
Example to Clear Myths on Agile
Companies & Its Impact on Business
for the Community Agile Community
Community Creating a Blue Print
Helping Community Understand,
Champions Deep Dive into XML.
for Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Projects
Learn and Converse in Spanish and
Showcase How to Use it Effectively
by Providing Live Examples
Foreign Language Community
Tech Leads Community
It is a privilege to nurture MindTree Community. I am grateful to the champions and members who helped take the initiative to the next level and for making a significant impact, both professionally & personally, in the lives of their community members. Shadab Lari | KM Team
I was very new to android; rather I thought it is out of my
Japanese Learning Series (in Foreign Language
way. While conducting events in Linux community, a
Community) helped me to understand not only the project
manager provided me an opportunity to work on android.
requirement in better way but also it helped me to
Now I am a proud developer of Android. It gave me a
understand what the language consultant is discussing
window to see the world outside!
I have been able to know new ways & existing practices in
Being a member in Investor community helped me know
MindTree by attending events on "TestLink" and "What-If
about investments. Otherwise, I would not have known.
analysis applied to test scenario writing“. It gave me an all-
round idea about tools & ways people go about testing. Srihari Sahu
Agile Myth Series, Cadence learning stories were very
I was never a speaker before. By organizing various
activities and events for the community, I can speak confidently in front of a crowd now. A lot of people look forward to me as a role model, which I consider as a great compliment to the work that I have been doing. Srivatsa Kondapalli Spanish classes (Foreign Language Community) helped me understand the basics and simple usage of phrases made my interactions with the client more lively and helpful.
good, interesting & informative.
External speakers events like ‘Consciousness’ by Vishu Hegde and ‘Read India Read’ by Manavji are kind of unique events which makes Mindtree Community stand apart from others & that’s how it should go further. Avinash Patel ‘Branuial testing’ community initiative helped me to interact with testing peers within Mindtree.
I was new to SAP BI tools but got a significant confidence
The community has helped me to get an overview about
post attending events in SAP community.
WCS as a part of WebSphere learning series.
Cloud Computing events helped me connect with new people and has helped me shape my thinking towards cloud computing technology. Prashanth Tavalam
J2EE Community has arranged many technical events so far, for example events on JQuery, Java 7 and others. These helped me to get to know about newest technologies. Ekanath Patil
It is great to hear from senior folks on their experiences on
Participating in communities made me self-confident on
how they have come so far. It helps me to plan and apply
what I am doing; Stronger in my skills and helped to get
the same to my personal and professional life.
deeper into the topics of my likings; self-satisfied that I
could contribute to others learning.
BookFish and Green community helped in creating awareness, knowledge sharing and sense of responsibility. Uma Ramakrishnan Got a good understanding of impact of social media through SMILE initiative by Sales & Marketing Community. Muzaffar Fazelhussain Green Community has helped me know more about environmental issues, and has motivated me to take some initiatives.
Shyam Viking My Presentation skills have improved. Mainframe technical community helped me in this. Jyothi Mangalathu The OTS events with Jana were very rewarding. This helped create comparative analysis between application development and OTS which in turn helped the extended community. Vikramjit Bindra
Success Stories 2011-12
Building Configuration Management Expertise for the Benefit of the Community Tech Leads Community | Anil C, Sudheer Kotagiri, Manoj Karanth, Gajendran V THE NEED People understood the need for good configuration management in projects but never learnt it the way it needed to be applied. Stories ranged from, “Clients look up to us to own and streamline this complex landscape” to “We were struggling. Client escalated. We brought in an expert. Build stabilized.” There were fewer experts than we needed. Developers were not motivated enough to learn configuration management skills since the usage of the skills by project managers were not articulated properly. This also stemmed from the belief that configuration managers are not needed full time on projects. A concerned community member thought “Why can’t we support projects to set it up right the first time?” Or even “How can we identify (and recognize) experts in different build automation tools and sustain an ongoing interaction around this topic?”
THE ENGAGEMENT The objective of this engagement was to provide a detailed overview on how to approach and implement select areas in Configuration Management with a large project serving as context. The series was divided into 6 main areas, as outlined below. Scope, scenarios and takeaways were identified for each. •
Context setting: Provided an overview of a large project, its project/program landscape, technical architecture, key challenges and its configuration landscape.
Source code repository: Dwelled into details of how source code is stored & structured.
SVN Branching approach: Elaborated why and how branching is implemented.
Build Management and Continuous Integration: Showcased why continuous integration is opted for and how it is implemented.
Building dependent projects: Explained the context of multiple projects, challenges & solution approach.
Release Packaging and Deployment: Elucidated the need for right packaging and demonstrated various deployment scenarios.
The engagement lasted around 90 minutes each with hands-on demonstration of how a module/aspect works.
THE OUTCOME The event series got an overwhelming response. Approximately 240 members participated and got the opportunity to get insights in build automation. This included live examples & scenarios. Also, they were exposed to tools & techniques of how to do successful build automation in projects – irrespective of project size. Post event around 21 documents and 15 blogs were published. In addition 9 SMEs who used different configuration management tools were identified and felicitated. Some of the specific outcomes were: •
Real life project scenario of one of the large MindTree accounts showcasing complex configuration landscape & CM plan template.
Source code repository (SVN) configuration, folder structure, backup, selection considerations & working branching strategy.
Continuous Integration setup and its constituents. Showcased few sample build scripts.
Demonstrated working solution in ‘multiple dependent projects’ scenario.
Real life release situation that involves packaging and multiple deployment environments.
Success Stories 2011-12
Sharing Tips and Tricks of Web Application Testing, using Browser Plug-ins and Add-ons Testing Community | Sudip Naha, Krishna Punekar THE NEED More than 50% of the testing projects involve testing web applications. Thus it becomes important for passionate testers from the community to have insights on testing web applications effectively. The community champions from Testing TTG decided to take this up and give a weekly dose or mantras, essentially tips and tricks, to the testing community. In addition they felt many in the community believe that important tasks like: •
Automating functional test cases
Assessing performance or security, and
Understanding the concerns of the end users of the application
may need too much of effort as well as complex thinking. All of which may not be true depending on the context. They felt, however, for being a smart tester it was important to be aware of the smart utilities that are already available and use them in a right way.
THE ENGAGEMENT Each event was focused on smart ways of testing web applications and did not cover any theoretical constructs. It took into account real life examples and provided practical tips. Throughout the series there was 1 hour interaction between the community members. The idea was to ensure that all members made immediate use of what they learnt back at work. Events took place at all MindTree Indian locations – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune. 3 days prior to each event, the champions from Testing TTG practice completed the knowledge transfer and walked the facilitators through internal demos across all locations. This was a great way to ensure consistency of content and experience throughout the series. A total of 32 events took place.
THE OUTCOME Approximately 417 Minds participated across locations. Passionate testers got exposure to smart add-ons across most popular browsers with live demos for each. Some specific outcomes include: •
Testers learnt practical ways of using add-ons and plugins while testing web applications.
The community saw an increase in the willingness to contribute.
MindTree Minds who attended the events have spread the word to their teams on how to best use plugins and add-ons while doing web application testing.
A blogging contest was organized around this theme. 10 blog posts from 8 bloggers got published. This is what the winners had to say, “I will try my best to keep contributing and keep up to the expectations. This recognition is really motivating.” and the runner-up said, “Really appreciate this recognition; I’ll try to add more such posts to Konnect.”
Success Stories 2011-12
Community Helping Build Tool Integration Experts Matrix for Consumer Digital Brands Tech Leads Community | Jaganath Shankar, Sandeep MP, Pranshu Jain THE NEED MindTree develops and maintains a number of consumer websites for a large CPG company. Each website on an average has integration with at least 5 to 6 third party tools on various technologies for different brands. There was a lot of relearning happening due to the fact that developers moved across teams frequently within the account. While developers had the context of their account and its brands, they seemed to relearn what their peers had already experienced. For example one of the project managers said “I came into the system recently and my application had integrations with 12 different third party tools. I had no single point of contact to know if we had the done this kind of integration before to pull out learning, tips, tricks and best practices. I had to re-learn before I realized that person next to me had done this already!”
THE ENGAGEMENT The objective of the engagement was to reduce relearning as much as possible. Especially in cases where many third party tools on various technologies are available and used, reducing the time in understanding and learning the APIs and finding out inhouse experts is of an immense value. The IG, in which this large account was part of, leveraged the community platform to provide insights on how to develop, integrate and maintain third party tools like Google Search Appliance & Site Integration tools, Facebook social plugins, Vkontakte (a popular Russian social network service), Channel Intelligence, YouTube and Flickr. The experts also shared how to best leverage SITEsMart (MindTree’s web development framework) that can save upto 70% of the web development time.
THE OUTCOME The engagement helped the community to share APIs of different third party tools, provide key insights and tips to members. The proceedings of the event were video recorded and archived on the social platform within MindTree. It brought down the relearning effort substantially within the project teams. The initiative, in addition, consolidated 47 in house experts and built ‘Tool Integration Expert Matrix’ (TIEM) which enlists the experts, tool name, flavor (Search, Social Networking Tools, Ratings etc.) identified across Java, .NET and PHP technologies. The experts also shared best practices for 38 different third party tools and generated awareness to 360+ community members. Harsh Bhagwatkar said, “It was a great idea to dedicate a day on sharing different types of tool integrations used in brandwebsites. There was lot of sharing and learning from attendees as well. Attendees’ also shared their experience from different projects which helped to know new tools & methods other than what has been used for a large CPG customer. We got a holistic view on complete process.” Lalith Prasad (Web Operations Team Head) noted, “Knowledge about tool integrations with brands is an important aspect when working with the CPG customer. These talks/demos provided insights on integration aspects and helped in figuring out the integration experts within the account which reduces the re-learning effort across the brands and technologies.”
Success Stories 2011-12
J2EE Community Reaching Out and Networking with the Larger Community J2EE Community | Abhideep, Dinesh, Archanaa, Manasa, Shridhar, Gokul, Apoorva, Swaleha, Shubha THE NEED While it is important that the community meets face-to-face to get insights and experiences from various people across the organization it is equally important to collaborate and network with like-minded people outside the organization. This helps in getting a diverse perspective, build relationships, and get insights from the technology world. Experts in their chosen fields value recognition outside their organizational circles more than within. Realizing this key aspect J2EE Community Champions decided to reach out to business partners IBM and Huawei to collaborate in a model that will not only enrich community members within MindTree, but also have a mutually rewarding relationship amongst business partners.
THE ENGAGEMENT A two day event called ‘Tech Days’ was organized that brought together the technical communities of the business partners. Techies from IBM & Huawei participated as audience in addition to 2 speakers from IBM. The first day was kicked off by Madhusudhan KM, Chief Architect & Head of Central Architecture Group, MindTree. He spoke about ‘Rules of the thumb do not apply’ citing breakthrough examples from Skype and eBay architecture, Google, Twitter analytics, DataSift and so on. This was followed by talk on Architecture & Scalability Patterns, Nonfunctional requirements. The day ended with a speaker from IBM who provided insights on ‘World of references: The friendly threesome – references, finalizers and the garbage collectors.’ The second day started with a keynote address from Amol Mahamuni, Director Java technologies, IBM Labs followed by captivating talks on Security Patterns, Application Security, Code Analysis and Unit Test Patterns by MindTree speakers. The participants on both the days were enthralled and had an engaging experience.
THE OUTCOME The 2 day event provided the opportunity and the platform for like-minded people from IBM, Huawei and MindTree to network with each other, share their expertise and chart out channels for further collaboration. Not to mention they spoke highly about the insights they got out of speakers from MindTree. For example few participants from IBM and Huawei noted the events facilitated by MindTree champions on architectural, scalability and security patterns were very helpful and informative. Events on Non Functional Requirement (NFR) and MindTree’s UID story were thrilling to some. It was heartening to read one of the attendees writing, “I gained a lot in few events, what I was struggling for past few months” and the other one said “one of the coolest shows!” Another participant from IBM remarked, “Events on application security where different algos and frameworks were discussed was very informative. Security patterns was very well presented by quoting real world scenarios. Event on Code Analysis will help us in day-to-day job. Learnt about some tools which I was unaware of.” This was the first ever MindTree ‘Tech Days’ event that was attended by various communities in MindTree. More than 500 MindTree Minds participated in the 2 day event. More than 25 delegates from IBM and Huawei too participated.
Success Stories 2011-12
Champions Hand-holding the Community on Shell Scripting and Provide Real Life Examples Linux Community | Raghavendra Kulkarni, Jyoti Sangam THE NEED Knowledge of shell script is important to work on any UNIX based systems or database servers or on a testing framework. Though Shell Scripting is a basic skill every engineer needs to know however these skills wash away with time due to low exposure and usage. In addition some technical minds need advanced skills on shell scripting where they handle multiple operating systems and environments. The community champions Raghavendra & Jyoti had learnt things the hard way. They understood the pain points of the engineers in the area of shell scripting. They often got ad hoc requests from different business units to fix scripting issues from different MindTree locations. They also realized that the community members had no real hands-on experience and were not exposed to different scenarios in real life problem solving.
THE ENGAGEMENT The aim of the series was to help the community write good shell scripts for different roles (Sys Admin, DBA, CM, system developer, application admin, monitoring admin, integration engineer and open source developer). Jyoti, Raghavendra and 7 other facilitators, across various projects shared their experiences on Shell Scripting from their respective projects. They created awareness on styles of scripting, exposed the community to practical examples of usage in advanced Shell Scripting, provided insights into the developer’s scope using case studies and explained how to automate using shell script as a language, including real life experiences. Facilitators wrote sample scripts on-the-fly during the engagement. This helped the audience to understand the concepts and facilitated discussions. Manik said “I was enthused by the flow i.e. introduction to basic Linux commands first and then on Shell Scripting. I see tremendous learning value participating in the series.” Tricky and illustrative assignments on each topic was another attraction of the ‘The A-Z of Shell Scripting’ series.
THE OUTCOME Over 200 community members participated. People got to know the severity, complexity, and process orientation in addition to learning hands-on on what to do in specific scenarios. Here is what few community members had to say: •
Suprabha Nayak, “I attended all the events. It’s really a great initiative and effort giving a foundation of shell scripts from Linux community. The events really helped me in learning shell scripts as it involved case studies also.”
Vivek Kamath, “It was a good experience. We got insights on remote commands, redirection and command piping. It also provided an overview of shell scripting, how to write and execute a shell script. In addition we learnt about the applicability of shell script for routine maintenance, monitoring and scheduling tasks.”
Shraddha Soni, “All the events were comprehensive. The facilitators answered all queries or gave us a clue on how to search for it. Case studies helped in understanding the application of scripting in projects which are in different platform / different domain. Overall, the experience was excellent.”
Aphroj Hussain, “I attended only the last event and it helped me a lot. I learned so many new things – Migration across the different platform, it's challenges and constraints, understood the broader aspect of scripting, mainly the validation part which is the major part of the scripting. I learned networking concept too.”
Success Stories 2011-12
A Center of Excellence (SAP BI) Leverages Community Platform to Collaborate and Share SAP BI Community | Saurabh Jain, Sunanda Swain, Aashish Dabral THE NEED SAP BI, post-acquisition of Business Objects, consists of 3 diverse areas - Business Warehouse, Reporting and ETL. These were 3 different skillsets with no integration between each other. When SAP brought them it required everyone within the MindTree SAP BI Community to be cross-trained on each of these tools. As a result it became imperative that BI community got together regularly to share information and knowledge on these tool set. At the same time SAP BI COE at MindTree was growing very fast. A lot of documents, templates, best practices, reusable components were being created in projects. Research was being done by people on new technologies and areas in an isolated manner. It thus became important that the COE needed a platform to regularly share research findings, talk about the best practices in different projects, share reusable components and provide fellow community members with insights on various learning that different teams were gathering. The objective was also to get onsite/offshore teams to collaborate more often, share knowledge and generate best practices.
THE ENGAGEMENT Events were planned and the community met regularly to address them. These were introductions in each area of SAP BI viz. Business Objects, HANA, BODS. The objective was to get people who are new in the COE to develop interest, integrate them together and increase awareness. Another engagement was to provide exposure in new areas like Mobility and Geospatial reporting. This was based on the research/work done by few people. Team also shared best practices on reusable components used in some projects. That would help improve productivity and share better ways of execution. An overview on some of the new tools in the SAP BI market was also organized. Events were planned in a way that induced high participation. Few events recorded maximum participation because there was an element of curiosity and topics selected resonated with seniors and juniors alike. Members from Chennai & onsite teams also participated. It was also observed that live demos got the most attention. This helped the community to get hands-on exposure and experience in respective tool and technology area.
THE OUTCOME Three points worth mentioning as an outcome of regular community interactions are: •
The community discovered during one of the events on Xcelcius best practices that 3 different teams were trying to achieve the same utility in 3 different ways without collaborating with each other!
Documentation for SAP BI is time consuming activity. The tool does not provide automatic feature to create this. ‘Auto Doc’ solution was created to counter this problem. This reduced a 5 month work to 5 hours. It was an eye opener for all. The team took this to a large FMCG client & won a project for Auto Doc implementation.
A 10 member team attended SAP TechEd (SAP Annual conference) and disseminated the learning to 300 members.
Regular in-person interactions triggered online discussion on Konnect. Discussion forum with no interaction had influx of 2-3 questions every week. This led to reduced cycle time, helped resolve issues faster and limited the incident of project teams reinventing the wheel. Lot of documents, templates and reusable components were created. Face-to-face conversations, apart from bringing the community together, also helped in sharing knowledge and improving customer perception. Customers appreciated the fact that MindTree has a community and their teams are not working in isolation. Success Stories 2011-12
SharePoint Usage Scenarios from Different Companies and its Impact on Business SharePoint Community | Jackson Chackungal THE NEED Microsoft SharePoint is treated as infrastructure by most customers. While the ‘SharePoint Practice’ served our customers, not many community members knew how their customers were using SharePoint they built for them and its implications on their business. The community champions wanted their members to realize the importance of the work they were doing for their customers. In addition, the community wanted to get a direct insight into the latest developments on SharePoint and how Microsoft was looking at building SharePoint in the near future.
THE ENGAGEMENT The community champions invited external speaker Susan from ActionAid, who develops SharePoint applications similar to those developed by MindTree. She shared how SharePoint solutions they built had helped in their objective of reducing poverty across the world. It was an exceptional case study since not many people thought SharePoint can actually be used for purposes that impacted people’s lives. On a different note, SharePoint Product Manager, Shobha from Microsoft, elucidated how SharePoint is applied across industries. Shobha shared a case study from a financial organization who improved processes by adopting SharePoint. She provided specific insights on how it helped reducing the time to process the loans, reduce internal cost and improve efficiency. In his keynote speech, Anjan – CEO of ITS BU, earlier explained the importance of keeping the customer’s business in mind. Clients and the goals they want to achieve are the prime reason we develop applications after all, he said in his note. Sudhir Reddy, CIO, talked about PeopleHub, MindTree’s intranet that is built on SharePoint and the reasons why his team chose the product. He spoke of disparate applications MindTree had earlier and how his team combined them into one platform, including challenges involved while integrating SharePoint with SAP. He also talked about the importance of how FAST search integration helped in improving the portal’s usage.
THE OUTCOME The community got some real life insights on how SharePoint helps business to deliver more and how important it is for the end users. Madhusudhan RA, one of the participant, said, “Inviting actual users of SharePoint to give insights was a new concept totally. We got information about the usage of SharePoint from different industries and perspectives.” The community also got customer feedback on SharePoint as a tool. In addition it helped attendees to get insights on what aspects of SharePoint people need to concentrate (especially for the newer version of SharePoint) and tips on making the application compatible with mobile and tablet phones. Another very interesting takeaway was information on how the SharePoint platform was being used in MindTree and a glimpse on various considerations and effort that was taken to migrate from the older PeopleNet portal to the fully integrated PeopleHub platform. With ActionAid, Microsoft and MindTree showcasing use cases of SharePoint it helped the community to get an understanding of how SharePoint portals in different organizations were making the much needed impact to businesses and how retaining and disseminating information and making it available to the wider audience helps in improving the productivity of a knowledge worker. One message that came out clearly - SharePoint was used more and more by people than emails for publishing information.
Success Stories 2011-12
Community Busting the Jargon Conundrum J2EE Community | Sudeendra Sharma, Gokul Rangarajan THE NEED In our dynamic and ever-evolving business new phrases keep popping up in the market. Quite often software professionals come across newer terms or an old jargon they wouldn’t have heard. This results in them spending lot of time and effort in decoding what a new term could mean and how they could apply the technology tidbit in their work. For software engineers being updated is crucial. Realizing this, few community members from J2EE community decided to fill the gap and help their community in understanding the keywords and jargons often used in the IT industry. That way the community is informed what a keyword means, where it is typically used and how they could be applied. These insights would also help architects and solution designers to dig deeper into the new keywords and apply/use them whenever need be.
THE ENGAGEMENT Thrice a week, couple of passionate community members who have volunteered for this, send a snippet in the form of a keyword used in IT industry. This snippet is a jargon, a trend, or a term used in the market. It is sent to the community as an email flash. Each mailer provides insights on 2 unique terms and these terms are further elaborated by these volunteers to help readers get a better understanding on the term. The write-up is supported by hyperlinks wherever necessary. This helps the community to dig into the write-up and uncover what related terms could mean. The team, in addition to sending emails, also updates a Wiki titled ‘Jargon Busters’ which is available on Konnect (MindTree’s social networking site). The wiki works as a handy ready reckoner and serves as an encyclopedia for the larger community within MindTree.
THE OUTCOME The volunteers got a very good response from the community members (both juniors as well as senior) and their feedback was encouraging. Their words say it all … •
Raghavendra Seshadri: “This is really useful; you get to know about new things and lot of unknown technologies as well.”
Johnpeter Devesahayam: “Great work and the best way of sharing knowledge along with the latest trends.”
Jas Sivakumar Janarthanan: “Jargon busters are just wonderful! Please keep it up!”
Maniganda Prakash: “Simple but effective. This sort of small initiative will make a big difference among us techies.”
Dinesh Sharma: “Very simple but innovative way of sharing information (short and precise). Good thought!”
Vinay Parashivamurthy: “Great idea. Short but informative.”
Mahesha Mahadevappa: “It’s good, I like this way of being updated.”
Vinod Kumar Devi: “Fantastic idea to learn/revise small but important tit-bits of info that will help in solidifying our understanding related to that topic!”
Success Stories 2011-12
A Thought Leader, Leading by Example to Clear Myths on Agile for the Community [go] Agile Community | Raja Bavani THE NEED There are several myths and misrepresentations about Agile, across the industry. It is probably a result of the way in which Agile Methodologies have evolved over the past decade. Many early adopters realized the potential and value in adopting Agile principles. This initiated a cultural transformation in software delivery i.e. the traditional way of creating and maintaining software changed to the evolutionary way. As it became popular it was quickly adopted by companies, thus the principles got very little time to mature. This resulted in different people having developed different notions about Agile which eventually became misleading and incorrect. Raja Bavani, who is a thought leader on the subject and also a champion for the Agile Community, decided to break myths he has come across while meeting various people. The intent was simple. Give the community (within and outside MindTree) the right picture of what Agile is and what it isn’t.
THE ENGAGEMENT Nothing beats pen and paper. That way it helps in making tacit knowledge explicit which in turn works as a good reference material. It also helps people to share the same with those who are still grappling with the myths. Raja chose blogging as a medium to break the following 15 myths people had: •
Take the Waterfall Model and Add One Arrow
Agile Impacts Work-life Balance
Agile means 'Start Coding With No Documentation
Agile is Just Another Fad
Agile means 'Ad Hoc' or 'No Processes'
TDD is Enough to Ensure Software Quality
Agile means 'No Planning'
A Chain of Unit Tests is a Complete Regression Suite
Agile Team Members Must be Super Stars
Agile Doesn’t Allow for Long-Term Planning
Agile Testing is All About Unit Testing, TDD, and Test
Agile is for Product Engineering Only
Changes Can Happen On a Daily Basis
Agile is for Development Projects Only
In Agile Projects Process Compliance is a Big Issue
THE OUTCOME The write-up cleared doubts of many. In the first 6 months over 1500 community members read Raja’s blogs. The content triggered substantial comments and thoughts from various community members across locations. The online conversation became more vibrant and meaningful bringing different viewpoints from practitioners within MindTree. The examples shared have helped project teams in understanding the core of Agile and thus breaking myths around it. Besides this has become suggested reading material for the Sales, IG and Delivery teams too. In November 2011, the blogs were collated to create an e-book for the benefit of the community outside MindTree, see here. Within 4 months of publishing, hundreds of users had viewed the 29 pager document. The write-up has become a good reference material for teams that have adopted Agile. Coincidentally when Raja went to speak at a national conference, one of speakers said, “The ‘Agile Myths and Misinterpretations’ is an extremely useful and informative compilation on myths prevalent in Scrum waters. What I liked immediately about it was that it went beyond simply listing the myths; it dove deep into issues, how myths are introduced into the process and take root, and what people can do to prevent such problems from plaguing their teams and clients. I have used it whilst preparing for my session in Agile India 2012, and would have no hesitation doing so again.”
Success Stories 2011-12
Champions Deep Dive into XML: Showcase How to Use it Effectively by Providing Live Examples J2EE Community | Somanna Ramaiah, Aravindan Nandagopalan, Abhideep Chakravarty THE NEED XML is used in most of the technologies; either in a programing language or scripting or markup language. It is used in both server as well as client side programming and also as a database. For example Web development, Content management, Configuration management, Database management as well as in binary flat file. Couple of J2EE community champions felt it was important for the community to have know-how of effectively leveraging the XML technology. This eventually would help in reducing the code complexity; improve the logic as well as portability. In addition they wanted to share insights on how XML was best leveraged in other projects. The objective was also to trigger discussion within the community on what people are actually using XML for and how they are applying it in their projects.
THE ENGAGEMENT Practitioners from different projects shared their experience in using XML/XSL technology and the advantages of it. They divided the topics into two buckets to ensure audience at all levels get benefit out of the program. â€˘
One was to provide insights on technologies around XML i.e. XML & DTD, XML & Schema, Formatting Objects with XSL, DOM & SAX Parsing.
The other was usage of XML i.e. case studies on how XML in used in CMS, as well as in web service. Case study on Parsing of XML was also shared.
A total of 9 events were conducted of 90 minutes each which included theory as well as hands-on. The team shared best practices along with the sample example of XML, creation and validation of the XML, traversing XML with XPATH and formatting XML with XSL.
THE OUTCOME The event got a good response from all the XML enthusiasts. Around 150 community members participated in this event series which took place over a span of 1 month. They got an understanding of real life project case studies, various use cases where XML is currently been applied in projects, best practice while using XML as well as in depth understanding of the XML technology. Some said they now realize how important it was to effectively design XML/XSDs for better reuse of types and better payload structure to increase performance in terms of data transfer and marshaling/ unmarshalling in context of web services. The outcome of this series was not just the technology and the tools build around it, but also the live examples which are presented as case studies. This was liked by the community and they appreciated the initiative by the speakers a lot.
Success Stories 2011-12
Helping Community Understand, Learn and Converse in Spanish and Japanese Language Foreign Language Community | Janani Raghu, Vidit Mathur, Sneha Narayanan THE NEED MindTree Minds who interface with clients from non-English speaking geographies sometimes have tough time in understanding client conversations. Either they have to be dependent on a translator to decode what the client’s needs are or they are dependent on their peers who understand client’s native language. The need also stemmed from the belief that understanding a foreign language also gets one closer to the local culture. There are other scenarios where some passionate community members like to learn languages like Spanish or Japanese even though they are not working with Japanese or Spanish clients. There are others who have learnt Spanish/Japanese in the past but they want to stay connected with the language. Whereas others who intend to travel or relocate to continental Europe/Latin America or Japan prefer to learn Spanish and Japanese language respectively as it is widely spoken there. It would also help them to converse with locals in their daily life.
THE ENGAGEMENT The engagements under Spanish track (El Viernes Español) were conducted once a week and typically lasted for about an hour. Around 19 in-person events happened which included practice sessions as well. Janani designed the series and Vidit chipped-in by coordinating the practice sessions. This series covered basics of Spanish language to few advanced stuff. The rules of grammar, verb conjugations and numbers were presented as slides as well as audio-video. The series also included areas like answering telephone calls, conversing about health, likes and dislikes, planning for weekend trips and so on. Many people participated from other locations via live meeting and bridge lines. Sneha, who lead the Japanese series, was one among many other participants who got inspired from the Spanish series. She designed this learning series in 10 interesting events. She covered Japanese alphabets, basic Japanese greetings, number system and counting in Japanese, and how to tell time in Japanese to name a few. She also covered topics like pronouns/nouns commonly used in Japanese and basic sentence structures, the grammatical rules pertaining to Japanese verbs and most importantly she taught on culturally accepted or prevalent behavior and customs in Japan. This gave a lot of confidence to the participants.
THE OUTCOME Approximately 330+ members attended Spanish series. About 150 members attended Japanese track. Passionate members got an understanding of Spanish as well as Japanese languages. Their enthusiasm was so high that they continued their discussion and interacted asynchronously even after the series came to an end. Janani continues to receive emails and calls from the community/project managers whenever they need any assistance. Janani not only enjoyed her community experience but also got motivated to write a book titled “How to learn Spanish in 10 days”. Ranjani G one of the participants of Spanish series said, “Spanish classes helped me to understand the basics and simple usage of phrases and made my interactions with the client more lively and helpful.” On the Japanese side most of community members got appreciation from their Japanese speaking customers as they were able to understand their customer requirements better. One of the participants, Perumal Ramaiah said, “It is really helpful if you know your customer language & culture. “Japanese Learning Series” helped me to understand not only the project requirement in better way but also it helped me to understand what the language consultant is discussing with them.”
Success Stories 2011-12
Community Creating a Blue Print for Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Projects Tech Leads Community | Janardhana Reddy, Vikramjit Bindra, Deepak Bhat, Nagabhushana Reddy THE NEED Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS or simply OTS) software is a popular choice, vis-à-vis custom-built software as more solutions are being built to address common business needs. The community felt that the training, process and systems that are designed for custom development were often wrongly applied to OTS projects resulting in delays, cost escalation, incorrect solutions and missed expectations. Hence COTS practitioners, within the Tech Leads community, interested in improving project implementation were looking for a forum to create an impact beyond their projects.
THE ENGAGEMENT Suppressing the urge to solve the superficial problems, series of events around OTS were planned. The community met over 19 events that were spread over 6 months. These were set out to create a repository of knowledge addressing all lifecycle stages of COTS projects starting from competency development to sales support to implementation and finally operational support. This was essential considering the diversity of participants from Enterprise Resource Planning to Web Content Management systems. Participants comprising of business analysts, architects, project managers, testers and developers brought their thoughts and experiences, in identifying the fine differences that exist in project lifecycle. These discussions helped in spreading the awareness, receive more ideas and inputs were documented on Konnect, via blogs and videos.
THE OUTCOME The insights gained through the series of OTS events indicated that root cause of all the issues was in the processes adopted, for example, static processes that were in use were not scalable to the needs of current or future OTS projects, different OTS families needed different type of focus and finally emerging solution areas like cloud projects also needed to be addressed. Considering all of the above, a set of recommendations were created in a form of a deck that facilitates selflearning. It also had the capability to extract knowledge from project execution data and provide contextual recommendations to similar type of projects, almost like a person suggesting out of experience. The community can find these recommendations on Konnect, tagged as “ots2”. The visibility created by the community on the OTS project implementation has led to inclusion of a session on OTS awareness and appreciation into Business Analyst onboarding program. In these sessions the campus Business Analysts learns the differences between OTS and custom development projects. As a tactical solution, templates that could be used in OTS projects for estimation, requirements gathering and planning have been uploaded on Konnect. These are expected to provide interim solution until a much long term platform like Delivery Platform comes into existence. In summary the outcome was: •
The community got an understanding of how to improve the execution of OTS projects within MindTree. Some of these principles were used in OTS implementation projects in the last couple of months.
Created awareness & appreciation amongst Business Analysts, Delivery Managers and Technical leads on the need for differential treatment.
The initiative brought together OTS practitioners and created a focused community.
Success Stories 2011-12
MindTree Community Awards
Community Awards 2011 Community of the Year: J2EE J2EE community was one of the most active communities in MindTree in 2011. Some of the key community events that took place were: •
Tech Days: A 2 day event. 500+ people participated. 10 interactive events. One of the participant noted, "I gained a lot in few events, things I was struggling with for the past few months”.
Series on ‘Spring Framework’: 300 participated in 4 events.
‘XML Unplugged’ Series: 150 participated in 9 events.
JEE Design Patterns: 105 participated in 5 events.
Meeting with June 2011 Campus Batch – 200 participated. Generic overview about Community and J2EE Specific activities.
Meeting with November 2011 Campus Batch – 120 participated.
BattleCode Contest for MindTree World: 120 teams registered within and outside India. 40 participated and 2 teams won.
JVM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools: 50 participated. Facilitated by Campus Minds from Oct 2009 batch.
Collaboration with IBM & Huawei Community •
IBM invited speakers from MindTree J2EE community for a webinar. Abhideep Chakravarty gave a talk on 'Java with Groovy'. Randhish Raghavan shared his expertise on 'XML Schema Design Patterns'. Around 120 Techies from IBM, CTS, Infy and other companies participated.
During Tech Days event at MindTree around 22 members from IBM & Huawei participated. Two speakers from IBM
Dinesh Sharma’s interview was featured in the IBM Community Wiki ‘Spotlight’ as “Featured interviews of achievers in the
engaged the community. One was a keynote speech from IBM Program Director. Java Technology Space.”
Event of the Year: Aackose Lal In June 2011 many community members were looking for an opportunity to learn fundamentals of jQuery. It was a hot language that time. Members also wanted to know how to best use this language in their respective projects. The not-so-good part of an upcoming language is that not much content or expertise is available within the company. Hence most of the time software engineers have to learn a new software language by themselves from scratch, spending lot of time. In July, as a part of deep dive series, Aackose facilitated an event on ‘jQuery – How to write less and do more!’ The event got the excellent response from MindTree Minds. Around 130 people from the Tech Leads, .Net and other communities participated in the event. Post the event Aackose continues to get ad hoc requests. This is what he exclaimed, “Even after the event, I keep receiving calls from different accounts asking for clarifications, suggestions and possibilities about various jQuery implementations. This experience turned out to be the most unforgettable event in my life!"
Success Stories 2011-12
MindTree Community Awards
Member of the Year: Shyam Viking Shyam has been an excellent combination of a guru and a networker. He connects very well with community members, whether Campus Minds or someone senior. If there was anyone super-active on Konnect in 2011 it was Shyam Viking. No one matches the number of events he has facilitated, documents he has uploaded, bookmarks he has shared, blogs he has written, or Pulse (the twitter equivalent of Konnect) he has shared. With these Shyam can be exemplified as someone who truly believes in knowledge sharing. As a result he was probably one of the most followed members on Konnect. These were some off the key characteristics that we looked for in a member who could be adjudged ‘Member of the Year’. He is also one of the most modest and humble community members we know. Shyam is a very enthusiastic person who not only evangelizes the benefit of being part of a community, but at the same time articulates his technical know-how to his fellow community members very effectively. Shyam said, “Participating in community events makes me confident on what I am doing. It gives me satisfaction that I could give it back to the place (communities) where I learn the most. It comforts me that I could be of some help to some struggling community member. And it gives me a feeling of completeness that my knowledge isn't tacit. It is in Pulse, Blog Posts, Bookmarks, Documents, Discussions, Ideas, events and several other modes which could be used by the organization in years to come.” For all his dedication, sincerity and showcasing the true spirit of volunteerism that directly benefits others, Shyam was recognized as the Member of the Year.
Champion of the Year: Abhideep Chakravarty Abhideep has been the key catalyst in the J2EE community and led his community from the front in 2011. His passion to make things happen, his love for sharing what he knows, his ability to take the lead, his zeal in working closely with other community champions and peers, and his skill in networking with people makes him what he is today. He is a techie to the core and a keen learner. In 2011 he took the lead in organizing events within his community – whether they were self-facilitated events or events facilitated by others. Abhideep has also facilitated an unconference of sorts at IBM and was very well appreciated by people there. Abhideep empathizes with his community as well as other J2EE community champions and is also a great community member. One of the parameters in scouting for 'Champion of the Year' was adherence to MindTree's CLASS values. Abhideep did fit well here too. His care towards his community, the passion for sharing and helping his community to stay updated vis-à-vis market trends, his eagerness to learn has helped him get that extra visibility within the organization. It seems that he is also admired for this eccentricity by others. Abhideep is knowledgeable at his level, exhibits leadership traits, is a people’s person, empathetic, approachable, and proactive. He has been responsive to the community needs. For all his dedication, sincerity and showcasing the true spirit of volunteerism that benefits others more than him, he was recognized as 'Champion of the Year'.
Success Stories 2011-12
MindTree Community Awards
Special Recognition Award: Veena Sonwalkar (UCDC Community) User Centric Design Community (UCDC) is better remembered because of the “Design Friday” series. Veena, one of the champions of the UCDC community initiated this series in the late 2010. The series spanned a few months and it was a great success due to events like ‘Affinity Mapping’, ‘Designing applications for iPhones’, ‘UX design patterns’, ‘Basics of Typography’, ‘Stop Motion Animation Techniques’, ‘Usability Testing’, ‘UX in agile projects’ and so on. Also one of the reasons that made the series a hit was due to team inviting several speakers from outside MindTree who shared their perspectives on what’s happening in the market and experience about various UX & UI related topics. Veena ensured seamless knowledge sharing in UCDC community and demonstrated a spirit of a true champion. Over one of our conversations, this is what she had to say, “Design Friday is a knowledge sharing platform where we discuss different design techniques, soft design and consulting skills, business and consumer behaviors, and more. It is a platform to share and connect and learn from each other’s knowledge and skills. It is our weekly dose of inspiration and new ideas. Apart from these events, we also send out mailers about articles and blogs which the members can read up on.” She adds further, “These events provide this unique opportunity which has helped even the most shy people to open up and build their confidence, whether through public speaking or writing or even creating something. We invite guest speakers from external organizations like Yahoo!, Motorola, Onward Research + Innovation, Deskala, Selco, and other organizations. With such a level of exposure, we are definitely learning much more here.”
Special Recognition Award: Janani Raghu (Spanish community) Janani was looking for a platform where she can pass on, or in KM parlance ‘share’, her Spanish language skills with the larger audience. She was also on a lookout for a forum that would help her make friends and build a network within MindTree as she was new to MindTree at that time. Janani leveraged the community platform a place where beginners and experts come together to collaborate, network and help each other improve their Spanish speaking and writing skills. This resulted in her leading “El Viernes Español: The Spanish Friday Series”. Janani received tremendous response from community members. Around 335 members participated in a total of 19 events. Janani received the special recognition award for her passion towards sharing what she knew, her thirst to learn Spanish and teach others. Vidit Mathur also co-facilitated a few of the events for the Spanish Community. What was even more heartening is that when Janani moved to the client location she did not let her passion and enthusiasm die down. From the client location she started facilitating events via live meeting and bride line. Truly she proved the axiom – “for really passionate people boundaries don’t matter in a connected world”. This is what Janani advises her fellow community members through her blog, “If you are looking for fun through a source other than your project work, then come and join any of the MindTree communities you are interested in. I am sure you will enjoy your time there.”
Success Stories 2011-12
MindTree Community Awards
Special Recognition Award: Sneha Narayanan (Japanese Community) Sneha was inspired by a series of Spanish language events. She was very keen to bring her expertise in Japanese language for the betterment of the community. She facilitated many events for Japanese community in interesting ways such as ‘The ABC of Japanese’, ‘Salaam Namaste-The Japanese Way!’, ‘Some fun with Japanese numbers’, ‘When in Japan, do as the Japanese do!’ and so on. Many of community members began to get appreciation from their Japanese speaking customers as they were able to understand their customer requirements better. Around 140 members interested in improving their Japanese speaking and writing skills participated. The series had 10 events spread across a few months.
One of the participants Perumal Ramaiah was quoted saying, “It is really helpful if you know your customer’s language and culture; the Japanese Learning Series helped me to understand not only the project requirement in better way but also it helped me to understand what the language consultant is discussing with my customer.” Sneha, in her blog, wrote the following, “MindTree Communities is an excellent platform to spread ones knowledge and expertise throughout the organization. Not only does it give visibility, it also enables one to meet scores of other people who share similar interests, allowing you to exchange and share ideas and experiences on a common ground.” She added, “When I facilitated events I got to meet so many enthusiastic colleagues. I had a wonderful time making so many friends and colleagues through my events.”
Special Recognition Award: Prashant Naik (WebSphere Community) Prashant is one of those passionate community champions who loves sharing knowledge. In 2010 the WebSphere community was dormant. Prashant took the lead and formulated the charter (the vision, mission, goals and a roadmap) for the WebSphere community. Prashant also played a role of an SME and facilitated around 15 events starting from February 2011, which spread over 6 months. His initiative to revive the community saw a positive response and was very well received by WebSphere community members. This has helped WebSphere Commerce team members who have been working on a single module get exposure to the other modules/subsystems of WebSphere Commerce and also gain knowledge in the areas they were unfamiliar with. What is even more heartening to know is when Prashant had to travel onsite he made sure that the community stayed connected and that it met at regular intervals. Before leaving for onsite he handed over his responsibility to Natraj Veerappa who drove the activities very well. One of the participants Akshatha Kamath noted, “I found the event very helpful because it gave an overview of modules like Calculation Framework, Payments, and Inventory etc. We also had an open platform where we could share our expertise, discuss and debate on technical concepts. Experienced people like me got better insights on various e-commerce topics which we had not explored before.”
Success Stories 2011-12
MindTree Community Awards
Special Recognition Award: Deepa Krishna (Roots and Fruits Community) The nature of engagements in Roots & Fruits community is to groom softer aspects of an individual. Deepa facilitated series of events on topics that she has always been passionate about like, ‘What does it take to create a happy workplace?’, ‘How to deal with Emotions’, ‘Developing Emotional Intelligence’, ‘Authentic Happiness’, Happiness is a choice’ and so on. Deepa also initiated a blogging competition on 4 topics which received a very good response viz. ‘Recognition or Money: what makes you happy and why?’, ‘Are leaders born or made’, ‘Future belongs to right brainers. Agree? Why?’, and ‘Importance & relevance of ethics and values in corporate life’.
Such activities and events helped community members to do a self-introspection and perform even better in their workplace. Deepa also facilitated couple of events around Workstation Intelligence for which she leveraged theatre techniques used by various artists. For this instead of calling the participants in a conference room she went to their workstations and performed an interactive play for 15 minutes. Community members who participated were awed by this as Deepa was able to make the participants realize why it was important for them to learn to say no and why they should quit whining at their work place. Deepa was delighted with this experience and said, “The roots and fruits community allowed me to express my thoughts on emotional intelligence, happiness at work and importance of right brain. During my interactions I observed that a lot of youngsters are interested in these topics and that was a good sign of change. The eagerness of the participants to go through a self-journey through introspection was quite impressive.” She went on to add, “In the technical communities you get to learn something that can be implemented and measured quantitatively back at work. The impact of the Roots & Fruits Community events like “How to deal with emotions”, “The whole new mind”, “Happiness” cannot be measured quantitatively. However it certainly gets you thinking, become more open minded and makes larger impact on the way you deal with life as a whole.”
Success Stories 2011-12
Few Statistics There are
54 Communities in MindTree today - technical, role based, domain focused as well as skill
87% of MindTree Minds have been involved across all MindTree locations. There are about
4% of the workforce is championing the community initiative. On an average there are 60+ physical events in a month. This translates to
3 face-to-face events daily
30 members participate in each. champions invite
On an average our community members and
1 external speaker every week.
Outcome of MindTree Community Survey
Community Participation 8823
Perception of Community Activity
6031 4782 3078
saw a great progress in the way community initiative has evolved in 2011.
Personal/Professional Impact Q1 11
noticed a positive impact (personally/professionally) on themselves and others.
Community Impact on Daily Work
said the community activities made a direct impact in the work/project and it was a life saver for them. community.mindtree.com
Success Stories 2011-12
(Additional 43% believed community has helped them to a fair extent)
Published on Jun 14, 2012
The communities in MindTree are directly and indirectly aligned to the business in which MindTree operates. Since the community is driven vo...