During the #AtlassianSummit, Adam Hynes, a Developer for Atlassian shared a talk called: “Don’t be Left Out: Tips for Working in a Remote Team” It was a very interesting talk. We talked to him afterward and decided to follow up with an interview. Here’s an intro to his topic and a transcript of the conversation.
Working with a team on the other side of the world can be a lonely, frustrating experience. But with the right attitude, practices, and tools, it still can be an effective way to build software with others.
Hear from Atlassian developer, Adam Hynes on how he moved to the other side of the world and stayed productive (and sane) without changing teams (How to lead a happy remote team). Learn how he uses tools such as Floobits for real-time remote pairing, Confluence for whiteboarding hard problems with distant teammates, and HipChat for asynchronous stand-ups to keep the team on the same page across timezones.
You’ll come away with several remote working tips that’ll set you up for success.
Adam, Please Introduce yourself.
I’m a Dev for Atlassian at Geo service team. I gave some tips & tricks about Working From Home (WFH), how to work in a remote team & best practices for keeping a strong team bond. I also talked about the day to day about programming, Retrospectives as well, which are really good for us as devs for continuous improvement.
During my talk, I asked who works in a remote team. I think 80% of the audience had their hand up. To me, that proves that the world is moving this way. I think in 20, 30 years this will be the standard. I think that actually the future, that’s where we are going.
Do you think a lot of the Atlassian add-ons are still for in-house teams? If you think everything is going towards remote, do you think this add-ons can survive this transition? Or would they be having to change their dynamics?
In general. Part of my talk was about what tools we use. One funny thing is that we haven’t change what tool we use, even in-house team members. We use Atlassian of course, they are all web based and everyone uses from their laptops, no matter where they are, remote or in-house. I think the same goes for add-ons, they work naturally remotely as it would in the office. Some add-ons are specially good for remote teams. Like your guys’ add-ons: Scrum Poker for Confuence or for Jira is great for estimations using planning poker, the Retrospectives for Confluence or add-on or for Jira are very useful as well. I think you’re going to be seeing more & more dedicated add-ons for remote teams.
Tell us a bit about Video. You talked about how do you need to set up a process for video conferencing, could you to add more?
I think you have 2 kinds of people. People who work remotely and are used to being in the screen and having this type of meetings. And you have people who have never done that and only have the perspective of being in the office. Those people (in office people) tend to miss a lot of things that happen. Small things like having 2 conversations at the same time. Is annoying if you are in the same physical office, but you can do it. But when you are working remotely you can’t share either conversation, so you are excluded from both. In that case is super annoying and our team has been learning to handle that.
Another thing is making sure light is right so they can see you properly. Having a mic on all the time is worth it. You want to keep the natural conversation. I think is really important to keep the communication line open. After the talk yesterday I had some interesting talks with people. Facebook has something they demo’d last week. It’s a meeting room with the VR headset on and people have avatars and you can walk around and interact with them. Honestly, I think that’s going to be the future of meetings. Where it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. And that’s even more natural that you can be wherever you want. change locations and have an avatar to talk directly to people, you could have a virtual ‘off-site’ if you want. As technology improves, remote work is becoming easier. I think in 20 yrs. It is going to be so easy that you can work from the countryside and with no commute. It will be so easy, that people is going to choose that over the city life.
How about Robots? Conference robots, Telepresence technology, what do you think about that? What has been your experience?
We discussed that in our team and we concluded that we don’t really need that. In our team, the low tech solution for that is we have a printed cardboard of me and he’s put that in our team space in Sydney, so they are reminded of my presence because of that cardboard. Now it’s even an attraction at the office. People have talked to me and said, Oh, I saw you at this talk yesterday in Sydney, the cardboard! And I’m like WTH??
We definitely need to see that!
Readers, if you have any more questions, let’s get the conversation started. Reach out to us in any of our channels.
Adam, Anything else to add?
Of course: If you are interested in remote work, if you’ve been apprehensive whether it would work or not you can check out my talk on the website in the next few days. There’s also a great book called “Remote: Office not required”. It’ll help you get your way and overcoming barriers to remote working.
Thanks a lot and enjoy the rest of the event!
Here's a quick pic of our SoftwareDevTools team during the Summit:
Trying to improve your #Agile practices? OR are you getting started with Agile? Are you in a remote team? Check out our products for Agile teams at SoftwareDevTools. We focus on making agile ceremonies more effective and easier to adopt for remote teams.
Check out our Atlassian tools:
- Agile Retrospectives for Confluence
- Agile Retrospectives for Jira
- Scrum Poker for Confluence
- Scrum Poker for Jira
- Stand.bot for Stride: A bot to automate daily updates.
- And for Slack also!