A presentation at Abstractions II in in Pittsburgh, PA, USA by Fen Aldrich
At the company I work for, everything we build is distributed; our software and our company itself; my team alone is in 12 timezones. Building distributed systems is notoriously hard, but as they say, “humans are even more difficult.” As we’ve worked to build a purposely distributed team, we’ve faced specific challenges and worked to overcome them directly. We’ve treated our distributed nature as a boon to who we are and how we work, not just a challenging fact of life to be overcome, or a bug to be dealt with.
This talk dives into the details of how our company thrives on its distributed model:
Why we say “distributed” instead of “remote” and how that language has been key from day one.
How have shared values held us together as a group and how have they evolved as we scale from a handful to over 1000 employees?
What challenges we face on a daily basis being distributed
What tools and practices we use to over come them
How we can possibly make it work with a truly global team.
The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.
The published Source Code for Elastic. These are some of the values and ideals that hold us together as a company
Blog from Antonio about how our Distributed culture enabled him to fulfill a life-goal while still working at Elastic.
Resiliency engineering conference. Mentioned briefly in the talk, not in particularly related, but solid conference, check it out, yo.
Concepts of Spoon Theory as a metaphor for how different folks have different levels of energy and how different activities take different amounts.
Here’s what was said about this presentation on Twitter.