Paul Robertson's words, punctuated

Thoughts on development, user-centered design, code, etc. by Paul Robertson

Leadership and communication for distributed software teams

Since I’m a remote employee, I’ve been interested in learning better ways to work in teams that are distributed geographically.

I recently read Scott Berkun’s latest book The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work. (This one wasn’t even free from the publisher. =)

In the book Berkun (former program manager at Microsoft and now author and leadership consultant) describes how he took a break from consulting and joined Automattic ( as an employee for almost two years. He was brought in as part of their transition from a completely flat organizational structure to an organization of teams. Along with anecdotes about the company, he gives lots of great insights about management in software companies in general, and particularly about working in distributed teams (Automattic is a 100% remote employee company — hence the title of the book).

If you’re interested in those things, I highly recommend the book.

If you don’t have the time to read a book right now, this morning I found an interesting article by William Allen (of Behance): Never Stop Talking: How Small Teams Stay Great When They Grow. Although Allen makes no mention of Berkun’s book and uses examples from his own experience, I found it to be a great cliff-notes summary of some of the most compelling ideas I picked up from the book.