TINKERBOX STUDIOS PTE LTD 10 Best Tech Companies to Work For 2017
About Tinkerbox Studios and Our Working Culture
Tinkerbox Studios is a design and development studio on a mission to build innovative products that changes lives for the better. Founded in 2007, Tinkerbox has been a launchpad for execution in design and development of products. Our clients range from start-ups to local SMEs and MNCs to governmental organisations, with the focus of bringing innovation to life. Through our 9 years of experience, we have helped build over 86 different products and ideated more than 5000 solutions with our clients and partners. Our aim is to help organisations use their money wisely, for them to maximise their productivity and value.
Our working practices focus strongly on quality code. We practice test-driven development which ensures that all code written is covered by automated testing. This allows our clients to scale their products without worrying about breaking code written previously. We also have code review, which enhances our quality of code by ensuring that all code written within Tinkerbox is reviewed by a second person. Feedback can then be given and developers can learn from one another within the team. Additionally, we also subscribe to third party online tools which help us test quality and level of test coverage within our code written.
Internally, we also promote a strong learning and experimentative culture. We hold weekly townhall sessions where employees can provide feedback and suggestions to improve current processes within the office. The company also provides necessary support for them to develop new ideas. These discussions have produced some internal products, which include Tinkerdex, an in-house project management, HR and finance tool which spans the different departments. We also have partnership with a Vietnam team which allows our clients to do maintenance work and simple add-ons at lower cost.
We also prioritise our employees' personal fulfilment at work. Weekly Townhall meetings give our employees the opportunity to voice out any concerns and challenges they may be facing with assigned projects. The management team can then take the appropriate steps to address these concerns and provide them with the support that they require. Additionally, quarterly one-to-one talks are held to hear any work and personal concerns each person may have, and to provide them with feedback. Action will then be taken on beneficial suggestions. We also make it a point to ensure that all our employees understand their roles in the company, and align it to the organisation's overall goals, objectives and direction.
On a team level, each project team consists of both senior and junior developers so that junior developers receive the appropriate amount of guidance from senior developers. Online and offline resources are also made available to encourage individual learning.
We also have Tinkerthursdays, which is held on alternate Thursdays after work where we provide food, and encourage our employees to give talks and share knowledge, whether technical or not.
To encourage a work-life balance, we also introduced "Fika" which means coffee break in Swedish. This practice encourages our employees to take a short break between work to play a game of foosball, board games, or simply have a snack. While taking a break, employees can also engage in team bonding on a daily basis, and have conversations to facilitate the exchange of tacit knowledge.
Externally, we advocate our learning culture by sharing knowledge with the local community. Our employees have been mentors in various bootcamps including General Assembly, TechLadies, and Alpha Camp. We have also helped out and give talks at various hackathons including the SIA App Challenge and UNited we hack (organised by the Singapore Committee for UN Women). We're also frequent contributors to the local Ruby and Rails community by participating in monthly Ruby Meet-ups and RailsGirls.
We also work closely with the local universities in Singapore to carry out internship programmes for their students. Through these internship programmes, we inculcate our best practices in our interns and eventually hire some of them as full-time staff.
What our Associates Say
"IDEO worked with Tinkerbox in 2013 to create a series of Minimum Viable Products as part of a larger project to help our client in Australia explore several new business models. Throughout our engagement, Tinkerbox was highly collaborative - we worked closely together to focus the development resources on the most important objectives in our MVPs. Outside of technical work, the developers were curious about the insights that we uncovered in the earlier research phase and contributed fruitfully to our discussions around experiment plans." - Keith Oh, Interaction Designer, IDEO
"At Ricoh Singapore, I run the Managed Application Services team where we innovate Ricoh specific solutions for our customers. Tinkerbox Studios, with its extensive reach to the developers' community and agile methodology practice, has proven to Ricoh that agile development methodology can be applied to outsourced projects too.
The practical use of the tools provided the transparency and the communication channels we needed. Test driven development and integration tests gave my team the confidence to maintain the apps developed by Tinkerbox. To us, Tinkerbox is more than just an outsourcing consultancy firm. I personally think that they promote the right product development practices often neglected in enterprise projects.
As it is, I have a couple of projects in the pipeline that I will be seeking Tinkerbox Studios' consultancy services for. Tinkerbox Studios is my recommended developer for product development projects hands down, and I sincerely recommend them to you. I'm sure you will enjoy the process of developing your product with them." - Sam Hon, Lead Architect & Manager, Ricoh
Other than winning the Best Tech Company to Work For Award 2017, Tinkerbox Studios has also been named the top 25 most promising Agile providers by APAC CIO Outlook in 2017.
We have also been featured in HRM Asia, Channel 8's Tuesday Report, The Straits Times (The Sunday Times and Digital Life), and Dropbox for our HR and outreach practices.