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The No. 1 place to work in IT: Quicken Loans

Stacy Collett | June 18, 2013
IT employees enjoy the company's relaxed atmosphere and culture of innovation, but they're equally thrilled to be part of the revitalization of downtown Detroit.

Leaders and employees recognize people who do things that embody those ideals by nominating them for monthly ISM Awards. And each year, executives give Gilbert Awards to those who exemplify the isms at the highest degree. Named after Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, Gilbert Awards are presented at an Academy Awards-type event.

"It's a great way that leaders and team members acknowledge the work we do," says Brickey, who has won both an ISM Award and a Gilbert Award in his four years at the company.

Quirks and perks
David Polidori, director of platform engineering, credits the executive team for giving directors like him "the leniency to do what we need to do to keep that culture" and to pass it forward.

Quicken Loans' open workspaces in vibrant colors
Vibrant colors and team members on scooters are common sights. Credit: Quicken Loans.Click to take a slideshow tour of Quicken Loans.

IT staffers, for instance, participate in informal weekly "innovation time" where they can freely explore and prototype ideas. "It's a very good investment. The team members love it, the business loves it and the impact is huge," says He.

With vibrant colors and an open floor plan, Quicken Loans' offices were designed to encourage creativity. Adding to the relaxed environment are Xboxes, Ping-Pong tables, all-you-can-eat popcorn, free-flowing slushies and a weekly dose of veggies and hummus. At "Big Wheel parking stations," employees can grab a three-wheeler or a scooter for an indoor spin.

"I use the scooters to get just about everywhere," says John Fair, senior software engineer. His day typically starts at 8:30 a.m., and then he'll spend an hour or more in meetings, depending on a project's status. "I go to a couple different 'stand-up' meetings, which are short five-to-10-minute briefings," says Fair. The rest of his day is spent on engineering work at his standing desk. "I think better on my feet," he says, adding that he may try a treadmill desk that sits on another floor.

His favorite perk, though, is the freedom to choose the right technologies for his projects. "I can pitch the best solution for the problem and be heard. I don't have to use the same technology we've done before — I'm encouraged to look into it. I wake up every morning excited to do that."

A close second, he says, might be tickets to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games that Gilbert (the team's majority owner) occasionally gives away. "There will be contests, or you'll hear our CEO over the loudspeaker saying, 'Caller No. 20 will get tickets to the game.' You'll hear his phone start to ring in the background," Fair says.


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