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Building Stripe’s Remote Hub: Scaling Distributed Teams

Building Stripe’s Remote Hub: Scaling Distributed Teams

One year ago, Stripe created a remote engineering hub - a virtual office for remote engineers, coequal with its physical engineering offices. Aditya Mukerjee, the Remote Hub Site Lead, will share the lessons that Stripe has learned while building a globally distributed engineering team. Whether your team is working remotely temporarily due to COVID-19 or whether you are investing in remote work as a long-term strategy, the discoveries Stripe made along the way can set your team up for success in building high-quality software at scale and working effectively across geographical boundaries.

Aditya Mukerjee

May 06, 2020
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  1. Building Stripe’s Remote Hub:
    Scaling Distributed Teams
    @chimeracoder
    Aditya Mukerjee
    Systems Engineer & Remote Hub Site Lead
    Stripe

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  2. Why should remote work be our long-term
    strategy, instead of a short-term contingency?
    @chimeracoder
    How do we work effectively as remote teams?

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  3. @chimeracoder

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  4. The best practices for operating remotely at
    scale are the best practices for operating at
    scale, period.
    @chimeracoder

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  5. @chimeracoder

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  6. “We’ve thought about remote work, but it just
    leads to problems”
    @chimeracoder

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  7. @chimeracoder

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  8. (Note: please don’t swallow radioactive materials at home)
    @chimeracoder

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  9. Working at home during a pandemic is
    different from “working remotely”
    @chimeracoder

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  10. Remote Hub: Year 1 Goals
    1. Expand the breadth of teams hiring remote engineers
    2. Improve work experience for remote engineers
    3. Recruit and hire more remote engineers
    @chimeracoder

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  11. Data & Methods
    @chimeracoder
    Goals
    Hypotheses
    Results

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  12. Goal #1: Expand the breadth of teams
    hiring remote engineers
    @chimeracoder

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  13. Hypothesis: Managers and teams are more
    comfortable shifting to remote work when they
    feel there is an established path
    @chimeracoder

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  14. Data: Collate a guide of the common practices
    already used by teams working remotely
    @chimeracoder
    Data: Adopt these practices as a team as a
    prerequisite to opening up to remote work

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  15. Result: Nobody wants to feel like a guinea pig,
    but everyone wants to try something new
    @chimeracoder

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  16. Goal #2: Improve work experience for remote
    engineers
    @chimeracoder

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  17. Hypothesis: A remote landing team can help
    cement your team’s culture
    @chimeracoder

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  18. @chimeracoder
    Data: 3-month pilot of San Francisco
    engineers working from home

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  19. Hypothesis #2: Being distributed remotely is
    not that different from being distributed across
    offices in different cities
    @chimeracoder

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  20. Data: Video calls are not a barrier if everyone is
    calling in separately
    @chimeracoder
    Data: Adopt asynchronous tools for code
    review, project management, product
    development

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  21. Data: On-call rotation that are well-scoped and
    sufficiently documented can be covered
    remotely
    @chimeracoder

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  22. Result: Building a remote hub means building
    great remote teams
    @chimeracoder
    Result: The best engineering workflows create
    discoverable records
    Result: Remote work is a forcing function for good
    engineering practices

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  23. Goal #3: Recruit and hire more remote
    engineers
    @chimeracoder

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  24. Hypothesis: Most engineering roles can be
    hired remotely, as long as the team and
    manager are committed to it
    @chimeracoder

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  25. @chimeracoder
    Data: We codified and simplified requirements
    for working remotely

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  26. Result: By the end of 2019, Stripe had nearly
    200 remote engineers in roles across the
    company
    @chimeracoder
    Result: As of today, all Stripe engineers are
    working remotely

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  27. @chimeracoder
    Result: Being set up for remote work at a small scale meant we
    were prepared to scale it up rapidly when needed

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  28. Summary of Findings
    • Remote work is a forcing function for good engineering practices
    • If an engineering role can’t be done remotely, ask yourselves why?
    • Be methodical and rigorous. Identify and amplify what’s already working.
    • Working at home during a pandemic is different from “working remotely”
    @chimeracoder

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  29. Thank you!
    Aditya Mukerjee
    @chimeracoder
    https://github.com/ChimeraCoder

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