Guest Contributor: Mary Ramirez
This year I had the pleasure of attending the Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas. There were many tracks and topics available. I made sure to mark the most interesting talks on my handy dandy Atlassian Events App. One track I was particularly interested in was People, Practices and Culture. I enjoy learning how we can grow our teams and workforce outside of technical learning. I'd like to highlight three sessions I attended and throughly enjoyed. Also, head over to the Atlassian Summit recordings to hear other talks.
The "Pipeline Problem" and Other Myths About Workplace Diversity by John Paz at Atlassian
John began his presentation by explaining his upbringing. Coming from bi-racial parents and often mistaken for being Puerto Rican, John knew early on that he was different. He then shared his journey to becoming an Atlassian employee. Many in the audience could relate to his story and how he juggled it all while having a family. John then shares how he found his tribe through a hash tag on Twitter known as #BlackTechTwitter. A twitter post requesting users to post what Black Twitter in Tech look like sparked fire across the Twitter-verse. John himself came across the post and it inspired him. The session ended by letting us all know that we are all responsible for making a change in our workforce... and it can begin today.
How To Be A Healthy, Happy, and Productive Remote Worker by Stella Garber at Trello
Stella shared many details on how teams at Trello work collaboratively. Trello is 70% remotely distributed, spanning many countries and timezones. Using tools like email and Slack, small but very important details can easily be missed. In order to make sure everyone is on the same page, Trello teams have created a shared set of rules. Rules like always "Assume Remote," which means not everyone is in a conference room and so we should use people's time effectively and efficiently. Another tip she shared was practicing the idea of "over communicating." Rather than assuming a team member heard what you said during scrum or saw the slack message, it's best to communicate thoroughly and repeatedly to ensure details aren't missed. And the last tip I enjoyed learning from is the idea of setting a schedule. For many remote workers, it's hard to put the computer down. Practicing the concept of moving regularly throughout the day and setting the computer down and away from your personal space can prevent remote workers from burning out.
Building a Culture of Trust and Transparency Through Confluence by Katie Burke at Hubspot
I'd say this talk was the most interesting to me. I didn't realize how teams can use Confluence as a tool for team building. "The Failure Forum" is a Confluence page HubSpot employees use to provide both positive and negative feedback. I believe that this is a great alternative to company surveys and allows management to create on the spot improvements. HubSpot has also created a “Culture Code” that is available internally and externally. This public facing document serves as a great example for potential employees interested to know what the companies culture is like. Lastly, I learned about "Ponderings" a wiki space where team members can share stories and create bonds through vulnerable and personal stories.
There were many more sessions in this track. I encourage you to head over to the website and share with us which sessions are your favorite.