No Formula for This
It's 2013, the internet is available everywhere and you work for an engineering driven company. Do you really need office space? Buy a few books on agile and lean, pick the appropriate git workflow and you're done, right? Not exactly.
Despite a handful of exemplary distributed teams the efficacy of working remote is wrought with challenges. The relationships and interactions among team members critically define the success of any company, regardless of geographic proximity. So what differentiates success from failure across various distributed companies? How can we optimize for the former, avoiding the latter?
All too often the subject of working distributed zeros in on tooling and methodologies, almost always concerning communication channels. This is not unexpected; after all, human beings tend to focus on difference over commonality. Questions like "how do you ensure everyone is on the same page?" are important, but paradoxically those answers are largely irrelevant. The interesting questions are not what tools we use to communicate, but rather what drives communication. There is no formula for this. In this talk we will explore the various configurations of distributed teams, dissecting both productive as well as undesirable qualities that emerge when working remotely. We will postulate that distributed teams are novel and worth consideration, but ultimately impossible to reduce and replicate.