21 Jan 2013
[UPDATE: The newest version of this presentation is here. joduinn 12feb2014, 09nov2014]
In November, I was asked to present “we are all remoties” at MozCamp Singapore. In the end, I ended up presenting twice! The second time was on the main stage, in the largest room, where the keynote was held.
Giving a presentation in a room that big is always daunting, but during the presentation, it was encouraging to see the people that had been hovering at the back near the coffee machines + snacks gradually move to the remaining empty seats near the front and start taking notes. After the talk, I spent the rest of the day answering lots of questions and getting encouraging feedback.
Interesting that most of the people who came looking to attend “the remoties talk” had either heard an early version of it at Mozilla Summit in 2010, or heard about it from someone who was there. The people who heard it before thought it a good refresher; the people who were hearing it for the first time found it immediately useful to their day-to-day working lives! All self-confessed that this was a talk they never thought they’d find interesting so they almost skipped… but now thought it was essential, and wanted to know if I would I give the same presentation with their group?!?
Humbling. And encouraging. All at the same time.
Every time I get to talk about “remoties”, whether in a formal setting like MozCamp, or in discussions with people in other companies, I have two strong feelings:
- Passionate: I feel more and more convinced this topic is super important to the Mozilla community. In the changing face of the software industry, I feel this is becoming important to an increasing proportion of workplaces outside of Mozilla. Given Mozilla’s origins, we have a long standing reputation for successfully working with people in different physical locations. As we grow, we need to learn how to scale this part of our DNA. I feel if any organization can do this right, and show the way for other organizations to do it right, Mozilla can. The impact on the industry cannot be overstated.
- Embarrassed: In preparation for each talk, I pour over the slides, fix typos, rehearse and generally try to make it better. Every time, I fix lots of errors. And literally every time on stage, I find even more errors. Feedback and questions afterwards make me tweak the presentation every time. After my recent presentation at Netflix, I completely rewrote most of the presentation. Each time I do this, I feel better about the revised version, and embarrassed by the earlier versions.
Please do ask questions and/or give feedback/corrections/suggestions – either in comments below, or by emailing me. I’ll do my best to work them all into a revised presentation before the next talk which is already scheduled for outside Mozilla (more news soon!).