Distributed Teams, Systems & Culture: Finding success with a distributed workforce


Distributed teams are the future. As an engineering team, you want to work with the very best people you can. Guess what? The most talented engineers probably don’t live near your office - or if they do it’s in an increasingly competitive market like San Francisco or London. Moreover, when you are building a system that requires 24/7 uptime, having a team that follows the sun helps you to strike a balance between having an alert team and one that get’s a good night’s sleep.

In this session, I will share the tools, tricks, and methodologies that help build and maintain a world class, worldwide engineering team. Drawing on my experience at Pantheon where 30% of our engineers work remotely and some teams have over 50% remote workers, I can help you and your organization learn how to stay effective while being spread across cities, countries, and timezones.

By attending this session, you will learn about:

  • Exploring overcoming the challenges of both synchronous and asynchronous communication. We'll cover our practices for synchronous communication, including Zoom, Hangouts, Google Docs and Stickies - with special attention paid to timezones woes and reliving necessary meetings out of band.

  • Tools and techniques we use to keep remote employees engaged such as how we use Slack and how we treat emails, tickets and pull requests.

  • How we divide work between remote and local engineers for maximum effectiveness, so local employees' interruptions are minimized, while remote employees are as unblocked as possible.

  • How we build and maintain team cohesiveness, so remote employees feel integrated with local employees.

  • Common problems, blockers and troubles - and how to handle them

  • Why structuring your work methodologies to be remote-centric is worth it - and what the wins for existing local employees are.

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When & Where

Thursday, 24 September, 2015 - 10:45 to 11:45