This is the world we're living in, this is generation V. There's no denying that it's really hard in many facets and it's uncomfortable in a lot of ways, and it’s up to us to adapt and overcome during these times of adversity.
We spoke with Vinh Jones (Director of Product Management at 8x8) and Mariusz Ciesla (Design Leader and Entrepreneur at Kiro) on how they are handling the new normal of distributed and work-from-home engineering teams.
Both Vinh and Mariusz agreed that transparency, communication and easily-available development team data are critical to keeping virtual teams engaged and on track.
Here are a few teasers from the many highlights in our discussion:
- We’re moving to an asynchronous style of communications where team members are scattered in multiple time zones - literally around the world.
- You have to always rely on very transparent communication and you have to make sure everything's very clear to people that are no longer interacting with you face-to-face. Continuous data-driven statuses make it easier to provide feedback and help spot problems early so they can be remediated.
- Provide “self-serve” access to data for everyone that needs it with tools to easily navigate and explore. Being able to access all the data and all the information you need to do your job is very important when you're remote because the people who have the answers you need might not be online during your working hours.
- It’s also important to create an open communications environment where people can reach out at any time. Provide ample opportunities for “drop in” interactions to recreate some of the spontaneous “water cooler” energy and creativity that is available in the office.