Lessons from {distributed,remote,virtual} communities and companies



1.Lessons from {distributed,remote,virtual} communities and companies Colin Charles, Chief Evangelist, Percona Inc. colin.charles@percona.com / byte@bytebot.net http://bytebot.net/blog/ | @bytebot on Twitter FOSSASIA Singapore 18 March 2017

2.License • Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/legalcode

3.whoami • Chief Evangelist (in the CTO office), Percona Inc • Focusing on the MySQL ecosystem (MySQL, Percona Server for MySQL, MariaDB Server), as well as the MongoDB ecosystem (Percona Server for MongoDB) + 100% open source tools from Percona like Percona Monitoring & Management, Percona xtrabackup, Percona Toolkit, etc. • Founding team of MariaDB Server (2009-2016), previously at Monty Program Ab, merged with SkySQL Ab, now MariaDB Corporation • Formerly MySQL AB (exit: Sun Microsystems) • Past lives include Fedora Project (FESCO), OpenOffice.org • MySQL Community Contributor of the Year Award winner 2014

4.Open Source Communities Get It • Find a piece of software • Download it, read its documentation, compile it, get to using it • Join the mailing list • Join the IRC channel • Use the software, find an itch, scratch that itch, and you’ve got your first feature diff to contribute • File a bug, extend some documentation • Evangelise the product to your friends

5.Architecture of Participation Describes the nature of systems that are designed for user contribution

6.Did anyone care about… • Timezones? • Weekends? • Travelling to an office? • Calling someone to get things done? • Meetings? • “Every minute you avoid spending in a meeting is a minute you can get real work done instead.” - Jason Fried, Rework

7.Have a clearly stated goal of what your community/company should achieve

8.Distributed Workforce • Establish early • Great for: • development (engineering teams) • consulting, training, support • sales • Bit more challenging for: • finance & admin, human resources, management

9.Social aspects • Culture • Trust • Cultural backgrounds • Native languages, home countries • Self-motivated • Leadership + collaborative work ethic • Communication skills • The English language as lingua franca, say no to colloquialisms, say no to being passive aggressive • Work life balance


11.Remote has advantages • Hire great talent everywhere • Work from anywhere • Set your own work schedule (core hours) • Timezones can “follow the sun” (great for support organisations) • HBR, Forbes: 50% less likely to quit, 87% more engaged than peers, 1.9x likely to say they love their jobs

12.Communications • Git (and Github) • Slack • water cooler, stand up’s, ChatOps, discuss support tickets, etc. • Email • Jira • Confluence/Google Sites • Google Drive • Skype/Google Hangouts

13.Face to Face • Company and team meetings • Monthly all-hands calls (including reporting) • Weekly CEO calls • Google Hangouts for team meetings (the power of the face!)

14.Some tips to success • Benefits policy - harmonise it (yes, including vacations!) • Remind everyone about asynchronous communication • Document heavily • Make clear company culture in documentation • values, history, constant evolution • Process must be clear: who are decision makers? Conflict resolution? • Make sure there isn’t an advantage of being in the office; and no disadvantage of being remote - DHH, Remote

15.Resources Paul Graham - Mean People Fail

16.Thank you! Colin Charles colin.charles@percona.com / byte@bytebot.net http://bytebot.net/blog | @bytebot on twitter slides: slideshare.net/bytebot