Orange & Bronze Software Labs has always been known (in a manner of speaking, popular) for having a “Happy Place” to work in, not only for its armada of Software Developers, but for all of its also happy and dynamic employees. O&B has uniquely adapted an unconventional working climate they call a happy place – defying the norms of conventional cubicle confined corporate offices, stiff and uptight working environments, and even stereotype grouchy bosses in suits and ties. So despite the still inevitable constant stress and tight deadlines, people in O&B manage to keep a cheerful mood and enthusiasm within the work place that makes everything still fun to do. A distinct flavor as it is a rarity (at least here in the local industry) for a very extensive technical nature of work to simultaneously maintain an element of fun and glee. O&B managed to do just that and the idea works very efficiently. Not only does it suit the company’s Agile practices in doing business, it’s also a main factor how O&B maintains a very steady pool of employees since the company’s formation.
Last November of 2008, Orange & Bronze Software Labs made their last farewells to Makati Executive Center, their home for more than 2 years, took the last of their equipments and moved in to a new place in CJV Building in Legazpi Village, still in Makati City. Not only has O&B migrated to a happier and bigger place for its business to deliver greater results, the move is also a symbolic leap from the company’s humble beginnings to its present bigger and firmer status in the industry, paradoxically because they have already been delivering greater results from the beginning. The move is more than a symbolic measure of the company’s fast expansion, it is a testament of their solid commitment to continue pursuing their unique core values and principles. An expansion of figurative, symbolic, and literal sense – since their workforce has tremendously grown from a handful of no more than ten (10) since their founding in 2005, to full blown groups presently divided into several teams and projects. They needed a bigger place to accommodate such growth and still maintain the trademark of having a happy place, and indeed they have: a happier one!
Worthy of a Pinoy Big Brother style of living, the office looks and feels more of a home than a working space – just what most software developers really need.
CJV Building, named after Carlos J. Valdez and former Ambassador to Japan, was also the owner and resident of the Penthouse (6th floor) of the said building. O&B bought the whole penthouse floor sizing at 450 square meters of area, and also the 5th floor of the same area size. Being a residence housing the former Ambassador, the place was perfect for O&B to emulate a cozier working environment. Compared to the previous (a bit cramped up) offices in Makati Executive Center where they occupied several separate units in three (3) floors, they now have two (2) whole floors as breeding grounds for their Software Engineers, Project Managers, Business Developers, Graphic & Web Designers, and Management. Still, they have to maintain the climate of the home away from home archetype and the new place is just the right thing for them. Worthy of a Pinoy Big Brother style of living, the office looks and feels more of a home than a working space – just what most software developers really need. Complete with comfortable stylish couches for both resting (albeit nap) and working areas, a bar which now serves as a makeshift coffee counter (coffee, almost the literal blood life of O&B’s workforce), a full functioning kitchen and pantry (even free lunch rice for everybody), and a whole open floor for the software developers undivided by office walls and cubicles.
Best and happy working conditions results to best programmers, and in turn produces the best software and makes real profit.
Indeed, Orange & Bronze has lived up to its name as a Software Lab, as the working areas for its Software Developers are reminiscent of school laboratories – united only by long tables for them to work together, serving more rooms for teamwork and knowledge sharing. Surrounding the entire office are also the ever present shelves of books for the continuous cycle of learning. The happier place lends also a larger room for play, as the developers’ small prize for the everyday stress of coding. Playstations and game consoles are available just about anywhere if such a need arises if only to preserve a programmer’s sanity, and a quick doze of entertainment to prevent brain arteries from snapping altogether. Uncomfortable business suits, corporate attires and campy leathers? O&B people enjoy the freedom of wearing as you are. They work in colored shirts, walking shorts and flip flop slippers, giving the more free feeling of being at home (heck some even literally goes far as almost living in the new office). Sounds more like a dorm for teenage school boys and girls? The company however still applies a set of conventional policies and rules that work, after all, no one wants nor expects somebody to report to the office wearing only his underpants and morning breath – normal rules still do apply. Best and happy working conditions results to best programmers, and in turn produces the best software and makes real profit. Self discipline is all that’s needed, a handful of push and reminders from the management, a bit of corporal punishments for the naughty ones (kidding!), and there’ll truly be fun in the work place that one would want to go to every day.
Orange & Bronze’s recent move is a smart one. The building is located at the heart of Greenbelt vicinity, not too far from personal and corporate needs for everyone. Standing along Aguirre street, the place is not as busy as the New York-style streets of Ayala or Buendia, yet not that remote as it still stands within the Makati Business District. Convenient stores and Banks are well placed within the area, as well as “Jollijeeps” (those uniformed city-sanctioned boxed up eateries in all corners of Makati) for more affordable alternatives for lunch and snacks. Comfort and fun are keys to O&B’s successes, and they just managed to expand both further this time around. A happier place for happy people to work, and a smart move for very smart people to go farther.
For more info about the company, go to software.orangeandbronze.com