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Building and Scaling Distributed Teams

Building and Scaling Distributed Teams

Remote work is the number one desired workplace setup for developers. As a lead dev, you’re able to hire from a global talent pool, and your team’s productivity, engagement and retention can soar as everyone works in the way that’s best for them. But done wrong, it’s a recipe for isolation, miscommunication and massive lost opportunity. This holds many of us back from embracing remote work on our teams.
In this talk, I’ll share the tools and practices we’ve figured out at Buffer, a globally distributed team with no offices. As a lead, you’ll learn how to make and communicate decisions remotely, solve those pesky collaboration problems, be a great manager when you don’t see your team face to face, and hire and onboard remotely. These are the four key areas you need to get right to build and scale a vibrant, effective distributed team. Whether you have just a few teammates who work from home some days, or you’re fully distributed, this talk will help you make remote work your team’s super power.

Katie Womersley

December 06, 2018

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  1. Building & Scaling Distributed Teams Katie Womersley @katie_womers VP of

    Engineering, Buffer
  2. @katie_womers “I strongly believe in 5 years people will laugh

    at the idea of commuting to an office where they pretend to be productive from 9-5, non stop. If your team isn’t distributed now, you’re missing one of the biggest productivity shifts in our lifetime.” – Mitchell Harper
  3. @katie_womers https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2017

  4. Photo by Kido Dong on Unsplash

  5. None
  6. 1. Hiring 2. Decision making 3. Collaborating 4. Managing 4

    Steps to Remote Success
  7. #1 Hiring from Everywhere https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2017

  8. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

  9. @katie_womers #2 Decision Making 1. Clarify the Decision 2. Decide

    Decision Makers - RACI 3. Make the decision 4. Document the decision
  10. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

  11. @katie_womers #3 Collaborating

  12. https://www.newyorker.com/cartoon/a20805

  13. @katie_womers #4 Managing Remotely • Remote 1-1s • PSA: Mental

    Health & Burnout • Model Boundaries, Leave Loudly
  14. @katie_womers JIRA (project management) Discourse (announcements) Notion (Handbooks, general documentation)

    Github (code + specific documentation) Dropbox Paper (RFCs, meeting agendas & notes) Figma (designs & diagrams) Zoom (video calls) Slack (Chat. *Not* for making decisions!) Gmail (asynchronous discussion) Loom (recorded video messages) Joyable (mental health) Mural (brainstorming, virtual sticky notes) Toolbox
  15. Thanks! Katie Womersley @katie_womers