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"You're the one with the accent": How to build an inclusive distributed team

YOW! CTO Summit 2018 Sydney

Building a distributed team is hard. As you hire engineers in other locations, processes that used to work start to fall down: alignment suffers, code reviews slow down, teams start to block on decisions, and the only person who knows how to fix the bug is currently asleep!

Of course, there's a better way. To make a distributed team successful requires commitment and thoughtfulness. Changes in behaviour are required by all parties, not just those outside HQ, i.e. those "with the accent".

In this talk, I will share experiences from being Google Australia's first engineering hire, cofounding Twitter's NYC engineering office, lessons learned building a distributed team at my previous startup, Lexy, and early insights from Canva's approach to global teams. I will discuss strategies to empower and include your distributed team, from communication style to engineering process to hiring.