An advice that I offer to a lot of people is to move themselves out and meet new people in their neighborhood, to provide learning opportunities to themselves and occasionally learn how bad their own ideas are.  I provide that advice because I practice it, to a fair extent.

After having started Moolya, I decided to say “Hi” to other software companies around our office in J.P. Nagar, Bangalore.  It is always possible that I might be told that the founder of the company is busy or I wasn’t supposed to knock at their door without an appointment. I don’t mind people turning down my offer to meet them, so, I started knocking doors.

I noticed a board, “Effective software testing” hung outside a company and you bet, I was curious to go check out who these people are. I went in, met the people at the reception and flashed my card with “Director – Moolya Software Testing Private Limited” on it and said, “I would like to meet the founder of this company or the Head of Testing and of course, I don’t have an appointment”. Probably, the designation of Director convinced the receptionist to pass on my card to the founder and then I was invited to the founder’s office.

Having no specific agenda, we talked about things that we mutually thought interested us and I discovered an organization that appears to thrive on open source testing tools. I felt happy to have known them. The founder of that company helped me tour his company and explaining things. It was a nice experience. He offered me any support I needed for Moolya.

A couple of days later, at the tea shop, I found someone wearing a badge with a company name closeby to Moolya’s office. I introduced myself to him and found out that he was the founder of the medical tourism company that had its own software development team in-house. Looking at the passion I was demonstrating, it didnt take him long to ask, “Can you help us test our software?”. That was cool and surprising. At this moment, our proposal is being reviewed by them. Irrespective of whether they provide business to us or not, he exposed me to lots of things they had developed and helped me to support on the so called domain knowledge, if we were to get a project related to medical tourism.

When we were roaming around wearing Moolya’s T-shirt, someone at the nearby coffee bar, approached us to ask, “Do you guys help in staffing testers?”. Although we weren’t decided on it, I am happy that we built a contact that way. Turns out that they offer HR consultation. So, we know how far we need to run if we need some help on that.

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A news came through my uncle (who owns a printing press close by to Moolya office) that a new Madras Cafe was started at the next street. I was excited to check out the new options to eat and to my surprise something appeared more interesting than Madras Cafe itself. A new company “Multunus” was constructing their office, just above Madras Cafe. After trying out the Madras Coffee, I googled for Multunus and found their website www.multunus.com

My first instinct said, “these guys don’t appear to be traditional and I want to meet them”. After spending some good time on their website, I sent an email to Vaidyanathan ( the founder CEO of Multunus ) and didn’t get a response for a while. Later, got a response and then a call from him.

Turns out that he had read my blog long ago and was excited that I got in touch with them. Also, they weren’t starting up but were moving to a new office. Vaidy was even kind enough to invite me to his office and also mentioned that it would be great if  I could talk to their team.

We fixed up a date and I ended up being there on time. The experience I had in their office was so cool that I guess its not wrong to say that there are lots of inspiring things about Multunus. Their people are constant learners, so, you can find people up to date on things. I did my bit of research before writing this post. I am convinced looking at their tweets and their activities online that they are constant learners. They love and practice being the small “a” agile.

Their work environment is not the cubicle style and it appeared like a joint family sitting together and working. I guess a lot of bugs get squashed because people talk to each other face to face.

Now, lets digress from that and look at their application form for a tester: http://www.multunus.com/careers/how-to-apply/application-form-for-testers/

Some of the questions asked in it are interesting and I reckon that even those who are testing only organizations don’t appear to ask them. I am excited about all this and after having met the only tester of Multunus, I could see that their hiring has been right. After having interacted with their team for about 45 minutes, I think, they are a good team to have.

I wasn’t offered coffee but a fruit bowl and Vaidy tells that it is a practice to offer fruit bowl to all people – more healthy stuff. I think they clearly stand out amongst the crowd.

If you were to need some help developing a product and you visit Multunus, you are most likely to make up your mind that you don’t need to be looking further.

They are moving into their new office on 23rd May and I wish the team at Multunus more great success to come in their new location.

I am not sure if B-schools or MBA programs have this but I can tell you from my experience that knowing your neighboring companies can help you solve your problems faster and occasionally theirs. I do it for the fun of meeting new people and learning from them.