[UPDATE: a newer version of this presentation is here. joduinn 25feb2013]
At the Mozilla Summit in sept2011, we ran a session on working remotely at Mozilla.
I was surprised/stunned/honored by needing to run this session *twice* because of popular demand, the sheer volume of interaction in each session and the ongoing interest since the summit.
Writing these slides, I realize how much I care about this topic… and how many careful subtle habits we’ve developed within RelEng over the last ~5 years.
During the summit, and again last week in Toronto, I had a chance to meet with Homa Bahrami (Senior Lecturer, Haas Management of Organizations Group, Haas School of Business, Berkeley). Apart from being a great person to talk with, she has lots of organizational and behavioral science background to help explain why the things that we felt were helping, were in fact, something she would expect to help!
As I said at the start of each session, at first it felt odd for a Release Engineer to be talking about work habits of distributed groups… until you think about how physically distributed Mozilla’s Release Engineering group is. I note, for the record, that *none* of RelEng are “in headquarters”. While there are occasional miscommunications, RelEng is fairly well plugged into whats going on… after all, we *need* to be in order to do our job of shipping software quickly, reliably and accurately.
To me, this feels like it actually is about working together in clearly understood ways. The suggestions here have helped “remote” RelEng people in clear and obvious ways, but they *also* help “local” RelEng people work together better.
Please let me know what you think. And of course, if you have ideas or suggestions that I missed, I’d love to hear them.
(Apologies to those who’ve been pestering me to post these over the last few months. Last week’s “remoties” day reminded me how important this is to post – even in its rough state. I’ve fixed the most egregious errors/typos, and merged in some feedback I got in the Q&A sessions. However, these slides still need further work. If you spot anything to fix, please let me know!)