The office of the 20th century is a testament to design. A great deal of thought goes into the layout of a building. How are the offices laid out? Where are the elevators located? Where will teams meet? But the focus on co-located office space is quickly becoming a relic of the past. To meet the challenges of the 21st century GitLab's Head of Remote Darren Murph is pushing organizations to put just as much thought into their remote work structure as they would an office building. 

For many companies, the transition to this mindset comes with difficulty. They've shifted into remote work as a necessity, but maintain the 20th-century ‘office-first’ mindset. While this is passable and can work, it's not ultimately taking advantage of the key benefits of a virtual atmosphere. 

To take advantage of the shifting dynamics, GitLab is using their own platform to consolidate all of their virtual collaboration. Providing a single source of truth, GitLab has designed the virtual version of a central hallway where all work is funneled. This breaks down organizational siloes and enables the GitLab team to collaborate with maximum efficiency, by making sure that everything is as visible and as transparent as possible for everyone in the organization. 

A company’s ‘central hallway’ is going to look different from organization to organization, but the takeaway for all remote organizations and engineering leaders should be the importance of de-siloing information across your organization. This will encourage virtual collaboration and boost creativity. 

Meetings that Support Remote Culture

A Chief People Officer once asked Darren, “How do we make our meetings better?” His response? “Make them harder to have.” 

Darren believes that you should have as few meetings as possible because people deserve to be able to focus on their work. From this belief flows the practice of using tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to gather consensus asynchronously, and then reserve synchronous time for meetings where only decisions are made or important status updates are shared. 

This has the effect of focusing a team’s attention which is important as teams become distributed around the globe, and time zones become a greater issue. It's far too easy for your entire day to be meeting with teams across your organization, with people coming online in various time zones to fill your day. Instead, the focus should remain on having critical day-to-day functions performed asynchronously - with meetings taking a back seat. 

In addition to focusing an organization's efforts, being thoughtful about structuring remote work also reduces meeting fatigue. We’ve all experienced being on Zoom or other video conferencing software continuously throughout the day. Not only is it inefficient and distracting, but it can lower your company morale and leave you exhausted and feeling like you didn't accomplish anything during the day.

Darren’s ideas may have seemed radical just a couple of years ago. But he and the folks at GitLab are pioneering - and thriving - in today’s remote environment. The office of the 21st century is undoubtedly going to be virtual, so remember to put as much rigor and thought into your virtual work structure as you would if you were designing a building. 

To learn more about how GitLab and other companies transitioned to remote work, check out Dev Interrupted's Remote Work Panel on August 11, from 9-10am PST.

Image showing four leaders of remote work from Dev Interrupted's New Leaders of Remote Work panel

Interested in learning more about how to implement remote work best practices at your organization?

Join us tomorrow, August 11, from 9am-10am PST for a panel discussion with some of tech’s foremost remote work experts. This amazing lineup features:

Dan Lines, COO of LinearB, will be moderating a discussion with our guests on how they lead their teams remotely, how the current workplace is changing, and what's next as the pandemic continues to change

<Register here>

 

Don't miss the event afterparty hosted in discord from 10-10:30am with event speakers Chris and Shweta, as well as LinearB team members Dan Lines and Conor Bronsdon.

If you haven't already joined the best developer discord out there, WYD?

Look, I know we talk about it a lot but we love our developer discord community. With over 1500 members, the Dev Interrupted Discord Community is the best place for Engineering Leaders to engage in daily conversation. No salespeople allowed. Join the community >>

 

 

 


Shweta Saraf, the Senior Director of Engineering at Equinix, has a particularly interesting remote work story: she experienced a fully remote acquisition during the pandemic.

Her former employer - Packet - was acquired by Equinix, a huge company with more than 30,000 employees and over 200 locations around the world. Suddenly, the small team at Packet who were experts at remote work found themselves in the position of trying to onboard not just themselves at a new company, but onboard an organization of 30,000+ to the principles, structure, and best practices of a fully remote work environment. Because Equinix is the largest data center company in the world, operating data centers and office hubs all over the globe, the switch to remote work had to be as seamless and efficient as possible.

One of the key areas Equinix first looked to be efficient was in their meeting practices. They began what they refer to as ‘Better Way Wednesdays’ (their name for a best practice also utilized by Shopify) as a way to better inform employees and leadership. These meetings paired with a monthly business memo, capture the state of business along with key achievements, challenges or blockers, and give senior leaders KPIs and metrics.

This practice made it possible to cut down on the number of weekly status meetings, where the same information is passed on in different formats or through different levels of abstraction. The investment in this practice paid off immediately. Teams found that the “Better Way’ meetings would often only take an hour, but would save tons of time across the board. It also had the added benefit of reducing zoom fatigue. More focus time and better communication were realized by a single meeting shift.

The biggest focus Equinix implemented was asynchronous communication, because of the many time zones involved and the number of people all over the world, including engineering teams. Rather than restrict productivity to a specific set of time zones, async communication gives employees the agency to be held accountable for completing their work on their own time. Meaning that it is no longer necessary to align employees on separate continents onto the same Zoom call if that information can be transcribed in a chat app.

However, for companies where office culture is strong, with ceremonies happening in-office, it can be a learning process to adapt to working completely remote. With Packet’s experience aiding the transition for Equinix, a cross-synergy of ideas was realized. Employees from both companies found themselves questioning former agile ceremonies, such as stand-ups and retros, and whether these can be done asynchronously, or if they require a meeting at all. The merger resulted in an easier working environment for everyone.

Equinix, a company of tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of locations, transitioned to remote work successfully during the pandemic not because they were remote-friendly, but because they adopted a mindset of remote-first. Meaning that a developer on the other side of the globe could participate meaningfully and not feel left out. While not every company underwent an acquisition during the pandemic, Equinix's journey to a fully-remote organization is a familiar story for many tech companies this year.  To learn more about Equinix and how other companies transitioned to remote work, check out Dev Interrupted's Remote Work Panel on August 11, from 9-10am PST.

Interested in learning more about how to implement remote work best practices at your organization?

Join us tomorrow, August 11, from 9am-10am PST for a panel discussion with some of tech’s foremost remote work experts. This amazing lineup features:

Dan Lines, COO of LinearB, will be moderating a discussion with our guests on how they lead their teams remotely, how the current workplace is changing, and what's next as the pandemic continues to change

<Register here>

Don't miss the event afterparty hosted in discord from 10-10:30am with event speakers Chris and Shweta, as well as LinearB team members Dan Lines and Conor Bronsdon.

If you haven't already joined the best developer discord out there, WYD?

Look, I know we talk about it a lot but we love our developer discord community. With over 1500 members, the Dev Interrupted Discord Community is the best place for Engineering Leaders to engage in daily conversation. No salespeople allowed. Join the community >>

 

 

INTERACT is the biggest thing Dev Interrupted has done yet.

An interactive, community-driven, digital conference on September 30th - by engineering leaders, for engineering leaders. 1 day, 10 speakers, 100s of engineers and engineering leaders, all free.

1 day, 10 speakers, 100s of engineers: Dev Interrupted's Interact Conference

Why attend?

 

Speaker Lineup

Sessions and more information to be announced over the upcoming weeks - register now to save your spot

🎉The #InteractDI Afterparty: Hosted by Dzone🎉

Immediately following the event, join our growing engineering leadership community for an afterparty in Discord hosted by Dzone. Click here to join.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This event wouldn’t be possible without our Presenting Sponsor, LinearB, and our Presenting Partners, DZone, and Daily.dev.

Presenting
Sponsor

About LinearB

Metrics alone don't improve dev teams. Software Delivery Intelligence (SDI) helps dev teams continuously improve by turning insight into action. Unlike top-down engineering metrics tools which become shelf-ware, LinearB is a dev-first platform and provides value to every member of the team. Development organizations using LinearB's SDI cut their Cycle Time in half after only 90 days. The result for developers is less bureaucracy, fewer interruptions, and more time to build. The result for teams is fewer process bottlenecks and accelerated delivery. Activate Software Delivery Intelligence for your dev team in 5 minutes at linearb.io.

Premier Partners

About DZone

DZone.com is one of the world’s largest online communities and a leading publisher of knowledge resources for software developers. Every day, hundreds of thousands of developers come to DZone.com to read about the latest technology trends and learn new technologies, methodologies, and best practices through shared knowledge. 

About daily.dev

The fastest growing online community for developers to stay updated on the best developer news. Together they supercharge developers’ knowledge and empower better software.

 

About Dev Interrupted

Dev Interrupted is the premier community for software engineering leadership and continuous improvement. We publish our podcast weekly, maintain a Discord Community of more than 1,500 engineering leaders, host monthly events, including our new quarterly INTERACT conference, publish articles, create videos, and much more. 

 

Everyone loves free stuff, right?

Even better when that free stuff is both fun and adds value. That’s what Dev Interrupted’s upcoming event - The New Leaders of Remote Work - by engineering leaders, for engineering leaders - is all about.

 

Join us from 9am-10am PST on August 11th for another great panel discussion with:

Dan Lines, COO of LinearB, will be moderating a discussion with our guests on how they lead their teams remotely, how the current workplace is changing, and what's next as the pandemic continues to change.

Want to learn from the new leaders of remote work? Then this livestreamed Dev Interrupted Panel is the event for you.

<Register here>

We're excited for the future and very thankful to have you on this journey with us. You can always reach me for feedback (or site bug reports!) via our developer Discord community or on our Twitter.

Thanks for everything -

Conor Bronsdon

Community & Content Lead, Dev Interrupted

If you haven't already joined the best developer discord out there, WYD?

Look, I know we talk about it a lot but we love our developer discord community. With over 1400 members, the Dev Interrupted Discord Community is the best place for Engineering Leaders to engage in daily conversation. No salespeople allowed. Join the community >>

 

 

Who says developers and dev team leads can't be the life of the party? Come see for yourself why the Dev Interrupted Discord and Podcast have emerged as the go-to community for engineering leaders. Our developer discord has grown from 0-1300 engineering leaders in just the past 8 months, and our community is attracting the attention of CTOs and VPs of companies like Netflix, GitHub, and Gitlab.

We're incredibly honored that so many people are finding this community valuable and we’re excited to keep the party rolling with our newest launch: devinterrupted.com - whether you're a developer, a dev team lead, a CTO or VP of Engineering - we want you to feel welcome.

We've built the Dev Interrupted website to serve as the central hub for our growing community. Our mission is to create the most active and engaged community of engineering leaders possible - and to give our community the opportunity to contribute and learn more.

The Dev Interrupted Site Includes:

As members of our community, we also want to give you some visibility into what's on the horizon for Dev Interrupted.

On Our Roadmap:

We're excited for the future and very thankful to have you on this journey with us. You can always reach me for feedback (or site bug reports!) via our developer Discord community or on our Twitter.

Thanks for everything -

Conor Bronsdon

Community & Content Lead, Dev Interrupted

Invitation image to the Dev Interrupted discord community for developers and engineering leaders

If you haven't already joined the best developer discord out there, WYD?

Look, I know we talk about it a lot but we love our developer discord community. With over 1200 members, the Dev Interrupted Discord Community is the best place for Engineering Leaders to engage in daily conversation. No salespeople allowed. Join the community >>