"I would argue that it makes your company more inclusive because it puts the focus on results" and pushes politics aside and makes the metrics about the work. Although it may sound paradoxical, when people do that, they are actually kinder to one other, Murph said. "It's not about who can position themselves a certain way but driving toward results."
Mandel added that he doesn't need to know what his staff is doing, only whether they are delivering results. "Offices allowed us to be lazy,'' and now there needs to be a system in place and rigor to develop output.
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The speakers also discussed how to make remote engineering teams more effective, noting that it can be a challenge to understand where issues such as delivery bottlenecks are in remote teams. Saraf, who led a fully remote team at Packet before its acquisition to Equinix, said they start every Mon...
Mandel said when you work in technology, flexibility in terms of time and location are important.
GitLab hires for values fit not a cultural fit, Murph said. "Our values page is more than words on a wall. You want people to join your organization and know they're going to align with the sp...
A company with a "hero worship culture can be very toxic," especially for support roles, Downard said. He advised engineers to focus on collaborating and working together to accomplish a goal--not whether they have completed something as an individual.
"This is a team sport and it's critic...
As remote work becomes more prevalent among engineers, success requires the key building blocks of workspace communication and mindset, said Darren Murph, global head of remote for GitLab. Murph was one of four engineering leaders who shared insights and perspectives on the future of remote work ...
There are also "a couple of random breakout rooms that simulate small conference rooms in an office,'' he said. That way, people "can roll in and out as you see fit."
The rooms are designed to make people feel like they are sitting next to someone in an office. It keeps people bonded.
Chris Downard, vice president of engineering at GigSmart, said that when the company went fully remote, he knew it was important to keep people "in sync" and his strategy was to create a Zoom meeting that offers "coffee talks," and the first person who joins makes a list of breakout rooms focused...
Leadership should also adopt a mindset of protecting focus time. "When we saw that wasn't happening, leadership mandated 'meeting free Wednesdays,'" he said. But if leadership doesn't enforce this, meetings will bleed back in.
Murph recalled being asked by a chief people officer how to make remote meetings better. His response? 'Make them harder to have'.
"Ideally, you want as few as possible using asynchronous tools and then reserve synchronous meetings for making decisions."
Lawrence Mandel, director of e...
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