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Better teams through remote working (BetterSoftware 2014)

Simone Carletti
October 13, 2014

Better teams through remote working (BetterSoftware 2014)

Presented at BetterSoftware 2014.

Running a successful remote company is not only possible, but it can actually lead to better team and a better product. Remote working encourages habits of communication and collaboration that can make a team objectively better, but only if it's done well. Remote working is a different way of working, with different constraints and processes.

In this talk I discuss some the most common challenges I tackled in the last 4 years of running a remote team and offer some practical hints about operating a distributed company. I explore the tools, development techniques and team management techniques for getting the best out of your remote team.

Simone Carletti

October 13, 2014

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  1. Be#er teams through remote working Simone Carle, // @weppos Be3er

    So4ware 2014 #BSW14
  2. Remote Working Pi5alls Tools In Real Life

  3. WARNING All characters appearing in this work are NOT ficBBous.

    Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is absolutely REAL.
  4. @weppos

  5. None
  6. What is remote working?

  7. Remote working is a different way of working, with different

    constraint and processes
  8. Remote working brings you the freedom to spend as much

    Hme as you can in the places you love
  9. Remote working permits a flexibility and freedom that increases your

    quality of life
  10. Remote working increases team producHvity by encouraging focusing and reducing

    Hme waste
  11. Remote working can drasHcally cut down company costs and expenses

  12. Remote working encourages habits of communicaHon and collaboraHon that can

    make a team objecHvely be3er
  13. But only if it's done well

  14. Remote working is not suitable for everyone

  15. Remote working is not a panacea for all that ails

    the modern workplace
  16. Does it work?

  17. Does it work?

  18. Dispersed teams can act.ally out3erfor5 g7oups that are collocated. —

    MITSloan Does it work?
  19. Approximately 69 percent of the employees sur>eyed cited higher productivit@

    when working remote, and 75 percent of those sur>eyed said the timeliness of their work improved. — Cisco via Help Scout Does it work?
  20. By telecommuting, 83 percent of employees said their abilit@ to

    communicate and collaborate with co- workers was the same as, if not beKer than, it was when working on-site. — Cisco via Help Scout Does it work?
  21. Does it work?

  22. Does it work?

  23. Does it work?

  24. Does it work for everybody?

  25. NO

  26. Yahoos can no longer work from home — CNN

  27. Pi5alls

  28. CommunicaBon

  29. Enforce proper (over)communicaHon techniques COMMUNICATION

  30. Don’t use email internally COMMUNICATION

  31. Limit face-to-face discussions COMMUNICATION

  32. Remote by default http://stet.editorially.com/articles/making-remote-teams-work/

  33. Everyone on the team must adapt to remote working REMOTE

  34. Make sure every team member is at least someHmes remote

  35. Office Hours

  36. Strict office hours don’t play nicely with remote working OFFICE

  37. Determine basic availabiliHes based on Hmezones OFFICE HOURS

  38. Share team availabiliHes OFFICE HOURS

  39. None
  40. Timezones

  41. Schedule your day wisely TIMEZONES

  42. Plan for async communicaHons TIMEZONES

  43. Personality

  44. Remote work is not for everyone PERSONALITY

  45. Get people that don’t need a manager PERSONALITY

  46. Remote working requires a proper mindset PERSONALITY

  47. None
  48. Meetups

  49. Face to face meetups are vital MEETUPS

  50. None
  51. Encourage company retreats MEETUPS

  52. None
  53. Encourage regular hangouts MEETUPS

  54. None
  55. Tools

  56. CommunicaBon CollaboraBon AutomaBon IntegraBon

  57. CommunicaBon

  58. History is crucial CHAT

  59. CHAT Hipchat

  60. Hangout, if necessary VIDEO

  61. VIDEO Google Hangout

  62. No emails EMAIL

  63. AutomaBon

  64. BOT github / hubot

  65. BOT Steve McBots

  66. BOT Steve McBots

  67. BOT Steve McBots

  68. DEPLOY go-remote-control

  69. DEPLOY Steve McBots + go-remote-control

  70. TESTING Travis CI

  71. QUALITY Code Climate


  73. CollaboraBon

  74. CODE GitHub

  75. CODE GitHub CodeReview

  76. DISCUSSIONS GitHub Pull-Request

  77. DISCUSSIONS GitHub Pull-Request

  78. ISSUES GitHub Issues


  80. An outdated or inaccurate comment is worse than no comment

    at all
  81. IntegraBon




  85. AGGREGATION Papertrail

  86. AGGREGATION Papertrail

  87. IRL

  88. It’s not all black or white

  89. You can choose your shade

  90. And discover that

  91. You can (safely) deploy on Friday

  92. You can have more Hme for you

  93. You can have fun at work

  94. Thanks. h3p://joind.in/talk/view/12265

  95. No ananas were harmed in the making of this presentaBon

  96. QuesBons? @weppos simonecarle^.com