Careers Companies Companies ... — 12 August 2013
Colorado tech firms dominate
Outside mag best workplaces list

Zen Planner

Zen Planner, a Highlands Ranch firm that provides management software for fitness-related businesses, placed 2nd on Outdoor magazine's "100 Best Places to Work" list.

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f there is any doubt that Colorado is one of the premier outdoors states in the country, take a look at this year’s Outside magazine “100 Best Places to Work” list.

Centennial state companies dominated the roster with 27 winners, including the number 1 and 2 slots. And there is no shortage of Colorado-based tech companies on the list, with 10 of the 27 honorees involved in technology-related activities.

Outside magazine is a lifestyle publication covering travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness. It publishes its “Best Places to Work” list annually.

Second place on the 2013 list went to Highlands Ranch-based Zen Planner, makers of management software aimed at fitness-related businesses. According to the magazine, “Zen Planner gives its team plenty of opportunities to play. Yoga instructors and nutrition experts strut the halls, and workers have been known to break for parkour practice. At regular 'chug and learn' sessions, employees enjoy free beer while developers talk up the program’s newest features.”

Other well-known Colorado tech firms on the list include ReadyTalk in Denver, Gnip in Boulder, Rally Software, TrackVia and Spectra Logic.

Rally’s 393 employees might consider the magazine’s description of their company’s culture something of a left-handed compliment. According to Outside: “The company’s dry work developing software to improve businesses’ efficiency is offset by their appreciation for juvenile team-building: Think go-kart racing, ghost tale bus tours, and miniature golf outings.”

Nevertheless, company executives are more than happy to receive the honor.

"It's an incredible honor to be named to Outside's list … for the fourth time," says Tim Miller, Rally's CEO. "The results that we achieve in the world of Agile development would be impossible without our employees, who are absolutely committed to fulfilling Rally's company mission and values."

First place on the list? Groundfloor Media, a small public relations firm in Denver’s LoDo district with just 15 employees. Says Outside:

“This small PR firm, which services clients including Qdoba and Oskar Blues Brewery, is good at keeping employees around: It had a zero-percent turnover rate in 2012. Work can be done from anywhere, as long as it gets done. The on-site gym with an Apple TV keeps the average blood pressure down, as do the multiple office dogs.”

For the full list of winners, see the Outside magazine website. Here’s a list of all the Colorado tech-related winners:

RankCompanyLocationStaffDescriptionOutdoor magazine comment
#2Zen PlannerHighlands Ranch24Management software for fitness-related businesses.Zen Planner gives its team plenty of opportunities to play. Yoga instructors and nutrition experts strut the halls, and workers have been known to break for parkour practice. At regular “chug and learn” sessions, employees enjoy free beer while developers talk up the program’s newest features.
#5ReadyTalkDenver176Audio- and web-conferencing.The staff knows how to have fun. Hula hoops, Nerf guns, and beer kegs abound in the break-room-turned-nerd-lounge.
#9GnipBoulder65Provider of social data for Tumblr, WordPress, and others. A stocked bar, kegerator, and staff Whiskey Club make it easy to toast to their success.
#14TrackViaDenver39Provides tools for businesses to build applications.Staff spend their days patiently guiding luddites into the world of online apps, earning them well-deserved unlimited vacation time, free lunch Fridays, and the occasional paintball war.
#21Training PeaksBoulder48Develops software that manages workouts for endurance athletes. and coaches.Workers at Training Peaks make frequent use of their employer’s products. If you’re struggling to keep up with the shaved legs of your fellow developers on daily workout rides, you may need a few hours in the Pain Cave, the office’s fully equipped workout room.
#24Rally SoftwareBoulder393Provides cloud-based solutions for managing Agile software. development.The company’s dry work developing software to improve businesses’ efficiency is offset by their appreciation for juvenile team-building: Think go-kart racing, ghost tale bus tours, and miniature golf outings. Interested employees can also take (at no cost to them) regularly held public speaking, leadership, and collaboration courses.
#29OrbotixBoulder36Makes Sphero, a smartphone-controlled robotic ball that can be used as video gaming tool.This technology company’s main product, Sphero, is a smartphone-controlled robotic ball that can be used as video gaming tool or for a tricky game of fetch with the dog. Staff members bring that sense of play to work on Hack Fridays, when they’re free to work on any creative project they want.
#44Pellucid AnalyticsBoulder16Provides technology for investment banking industry.Pellucid pushes employees to unplug with a monthly education and active lifestyle allowance. Table-tennis-happy employees compete for the Ping Pong Champion belt, which is frequently and proudly worn around the office.
#63Namaste SolarBoulder, Denver80Provides solar energy technology.The office’s zero-waste policy means that employees focus on composting or recycling materials, which makes sense for a company based around solar energy. Harmonious office relationships are highly valued, though the office’s “Fun Committee” does encourage pranks.
#94Spectra LogicBoulder437Provides large-scale, long-term storage and archive solutions.Spectra Logic provides tape and disk-based data backup for everyone from NASA to National Geographic. Staff take advantage of the campus volleyball court during monthly summer BBQs, battling it out for corporate domination.

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