Synergistic Effects: A Mixed Remote/In-house Team Can Be Better than the Sum of Its Parts

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Video and slides synchronized, mp3 and slide download available at URL http://bit.ly/1gZVTiC.

Dana Caulder discusses how to improve team communication and delivery, aligning processes and tooling for iterative improvement, processes to mitigate team member turnover and speed-up onboarding. Filmed at qconsf.com.

Dana Caulder received her PhD in Chemistry at UC Berkeley and then completed a postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. When it was time to get a real job, she decided the chemistry lab was not so interesting after all and accidentally found her way into software development. Dana currently works as a technical lead in the Genentech Bioinformatics department.

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Synergistic Effects: A Mixed Remote/In-house Team Can Be Better than the Sum of Its Parts

  1. 1. Synergis)c  Effects:     A  mixed  remote/in-­‐house  team   can  be  be;er     than  the  sum  of  its  parts   Dana Caulder @dmysticd
  2. 2. Watch the video with slide synchronization on InfoQ.com! http://www.infoq.com/presentations /mixed-teams InfoQ.com: News & Community Site • 750,000 unique visitors/month • Published in 4 languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese) • Post content from our QCon conferences • News 15-20 / week • Articles 3-4 / week • Presentations (videos) 12-15 / week • Interviews 2-3 / week • Books 1 / month
  3. 3. Presented at QCon San Francisco www.qconsf.com Purpose of QCon - to empower software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation Strategy - practitioner-driven conference designed for YOU: influencers of change and innovation in your teams - speakers and topics driving the evolution and innovation - connecting and catalyzing the influencers and innovators Highlights - attended by more than 12,000 delegates since 2007 - held in 9 cities worldwide
  4. 4. Application Development Maintenance Delivery Science Software Together we build great software for science
  5. 5. Adopting agile has been key In house team + no agile = good Mixed team + agile = WOW
  6. 6. Agile reminds me of chemistry class Thermodynamics Kinetics
  7. 7. ing ag ile us With our mixed team, we are… Delivering value Sustainable Having fun!
  8. 8. (drug discovery)
  9. 9. ing ag ile us With our mixed team, we are… Delivering value Sustainable Having fun!
  10. 10. Saving $$ and animal lives Animal Reservation / Checkout •  28% fewer animals ordered •  $600K savings 2012
  11. 11. Enabling ground-breaking research Meta Studies enable exploration •  Avastin response in studies over the last 7 years •  Performance of drug candidate(s) across cancer models
  12. 12. New customers coming to us Bridging Research / Early Development •  Improving collaboration •  One stop shop for in vivo data
  13. 13. ing ag ile us With our mixed team, we are… Delivering value Sustainable Having fun!
  14. 14. Continuously evaluate the trade-offs Time $$ Quality
  15. 15. ing ag ile us With our mixed team, we are… Delivering value Sustainable Having fun!
  16. 16. Inside & Out: Wendy Kan YouTube Genentech Channel
  17. 17. Our biggest challenges Scientific software is hard Time Difference Team keeps changing
  18. 18. Our biggest challenges Scientific software is hard Time Difference Team keeps changing
  19. 19. Science is a different language
  20. 20. Science involves lab work
  21. 21. Science doesn’t pack nicely
  22. 22. Science moves fast
  23. 23. Our biggest challenges Scientific software is hard Time Difference Team keeps changing
  24. 24. 9 hour time difference complicates communication
  25. 25. Our biggest challenges Scientific software is hard Time Difference Team keeps changing
  26. 26. 2011 2012 ag i le 2013 QA QA UX
  27. 27. Doomed to fail?
  28. 28. Be a team Know each other Know your purpose
  29. 29. Be a team Know each other Know your purpose
  30. 30. “Your way” might not be the “right way” (Re)evaluate tools Choose a process that works for the team
  31. 31. Everyone’s opinion counts Ask: What should we be doing? Guard time for what the team thinks is important
  32. 32. Be a team Know each other Know your purpose
  33. 33. Meet in person Visit each other Teach each other Do something fun together
  34. 34. While you’re waiting for the teleconference to start… Talk about weekend plans family pets traditions Make jokes
  35. 35. Be a team Know each other Know your purpose
  36. 36. Know your customers Refer to customers by name Recap customer feedback
  37. 37. Know your customers Setup customer meetings Or bring the experience to the team
  38. 38. Track your tasks Maintain code quality Document stuff Find a schedule that works
  39. 39. Track your tasks Maintain code quality Document stuff Find a schedule that works
  40. 40. Make your TODO list Find a tool you like Create an “Unassigned” user Understand the tasks
  41. 41. Discover what’s under the surface
  42. 42. Numerous Challenges language barrier bariera językowa
  43. 43. Use all communication channels
  44. 44. Getting the conversation started is the hard part Ask 2 Questions
  45. 45. Track your tasks Maintain code quality Document stuff Find a schedule that works
  46. 46. Code review – don’t let it drag on CR w/ people in your time zone Do a separate (pre) check-in for formatting changes
  47. 47. Don’t ruin someone else’s day Continuous integration – use it! Continuous integration – use it!
  48. 48. Track your tasks Maintain code quality Document stuff Find a schedule that works
  49. 49. Create a team wiki Put it all in one place (or try) Make it part of the task Make it helpful
  50. 50. Make onboarding easy
  51. 51. Track your tasks Maintain code quality Write documentation Find a schedule that works
  52. 52. Make  mee)ngs  predictable
  53. 53. Is a meeting necessary?
  54. 54. Don’t make Fridays suck No face/face team meetings on Friday. Don’t end a sprint on Friday.
  55. 55. Consider a transition week Start End Demo Retro Plan Plan
  56. 56. Save Time: Prepare in advance Use a Google form for preliminary retrospective feedback Email blockers / sidebars before the standup
  57. 57. Save  Time:  Bin  tasks  by  complexity  
  58. 58. Be a team Know each other Know your purpose Track your tasks Maintain code quality Document stuff Find a schedule that works
  59. 59. Thank you! … my team, customers, colleagues at Genentech & Roche §  Cheetah By Hein waschefort (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/ 3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons §  Water cooler Pavel Ševela / Wikimedia Commons §  Iceberg By Created by Uwe Kils (iceberg) and User:Wiska Bodo (sky). [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/ copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons §  Giant snowball By Kamyar Adl (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons @dmysticd
  60. 60. Watch the video with slide synchronization on InfoQ.com! http://www.infoq.com/presentations/mixedteams

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