Appian Engineers take Creativity & Innovation to Next Level with Rubik’s Cubes


As someone who works in marketing, I’m always fascinated by Appian’s team of engineers. This group is constantly tackling the new challenges in making our BPM software platform capabilities to create the best customer experience possible. It’s the kind of group that produces such results that I shake my head and say “ok guys, just carry on and I’ll stay out of the way.”

So what does a group of such talented individuals discuss when they have some down time? How to increase the exposure of Appian engineering of course! This was the case for Appian Vice President and head of Engineering Dan Mascenik earlier this year as he sat down for lunch with several members of his team.

“We had a small sign outside the entrance of our offices, and visitors would routinely not know where to go when getting off the elevator on our floor,” said Mascenik. “Myself along with several of our engineers tossed around ideas about how to increase our program’s visibility.”

Idea after idea was kicked around, but perhaps the one that raised the most eyebrows came from Software Engineer II Daniel Thielman, who proposed an entrance sign of the Appian logo constructed entirely of Rubik’s cubes. “When he [Thielman] threw out the idea, I thought he was joking,” says Mascenik. “As we discussed the idea more and shared it with the larger team, everyone got excited about it and about taking on the challenge.”

On a Friday evening in early November, Mascenik brought more than 600 Rubik’s cubes to the department’s back room. The team was ready to map the design and build away, aided by pizza and drinks to maintain energy for the long night ahead. “Once we laid the design concepts, the construction took about five hours in total,” according to Mascenik. “We had a free flowing assembly line process and Engineer Steve Liang was our master Rubik’s cube solver for the cubes that needed to be solved a certain way given the logo design.”

Once the sign was configured to match Appian’s logo, all that was left was for Mascenik to take to the glue gun to secure the cubes into place. “I think everyone was scared to do it so somehow I got volunteered,” Mascenik joked.

Aside from creating a visually appealing sign that is very eye-catching for visitors, the project serves a much larger purpose for the department. Engineering is always looking to test themselves, striving to produce better results than the project before. “The sign shows that engineering is not afraid of a problem or challenge,” says Mascenik. “Look at what we challenged ourselves to just for fun. This concept is truly a symbol of the pride we have for this department.”

Another great showing from the Appian Engineers! By the way, if you think you’d be a strong candidate for our engineering team, be sure to take a look at our latest openings. Who knows, you could be part of the next wild idea!

Mike Ingrisano

Media Relations Manager