Podcast #31: Joseph Moore of Pivotal Labs

Podcast #31: Joseph Moore of Pivotal Labs

May 9, 12 • In Featured, Interviews, Podcast

In this episode I talk to Joseph Moore of Pivotal Labs. We talk about the challenges of moving from a collocated team to being a “satellite team member” thousands of miles away. What’s especially interesting about Joseph’s story is that he still pair-programs all day, every day with other members of his team despite being remote.


 Show Notes:

00:55 – Introduce Joe

  • Software Developer
  • Moved from San Francisco to Atlanta and continued working for Pivotal remotely

01:41 – Interview begins

 01:58 – Joe’s background

  •  Pivotal Labs is a consulting company specializing in web apps, web development, and mobile development
  • Worked on site for Pivotal and continues working remotely from new location in Atlanta

04:50 – Pair Programming

  • Two developers sitting side by side at one computer, working on the same problem together
  • Slower, but teams produce code that is higher quality, fewer defects, better design, etc.
  • Quickly & easily make changes

06:55 – Pair Programming 100% of the time while remote

  • Same standard equipment (iMac)

09:10 – Patience and Social Skills while Pairing

  • Be a good listener
  • Not let ego and opinions take too much precedence
  • Have an open mind
  • Arrive at solutions together
  • Patience with finicky technology
  • Video face time is important
  • Being disciplined with distractions
  • Take breaks (naturally)

13:55 – Keyboard back & forth sharing

  • 100% access vs watching and critiquing
  •  Etiquette and cues
  •  Latency
  •  Free up CPU by using multiple machines

23:08 – Daily Pair Swapping

  • Change who you’re working with
  • Make sure everybody is aware of everyone involved in a project
  • People are introduced to many other ideas and opinions

25:09 – Going from co located to remote (Joe’s experience)

27:18 – Daily Standups

  • Discuss standing up versus sitting down
  • Avoiding distraction during daily standups
  • Look at what has been done and what goals are for that day

32:01 – Daily check-ins with clients

  • Ensures everything is moving smoothly, have priorities changed, and verify work that has been done

33:56 – Social impact of going from co located to remote

  • If you can make occasional physical visits, do it

36:40 – Advice for remote workers

  • Discipline
  • Patience with technology and others

38:17 – Type of person who can be successful at remote work

  • 50% patience
  • 50% skill

39:40 – How much of a “normal” work environment can be replicated with distributed teams?

40:35 – Aspects that are superior to remote versus co located work

42:00 – Remote pair programming and coworking

43:38 – Wrap Up

  • Anyone interested in agile project tools should check out Pivotal Tracker
  • Free software: Pivotal Tracker
  • Pivotal Labs is a consulting company located in San Francisco, New York, Boulder, CO, and Joe in Atlanta
  • Twitter @joem
  • Blog: 40withegg

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3 Responses to Podcast #31: Joseph Moore of Pivotal Labs

  1. Jonathan Linowes says:

    Avdi, when i click the iTunes subscribe link I get a message “The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the U.S. store.”

  2. […] An interview with Joe Moore of Pivotal Labs, with lots of great info about how to do remote pair-programming effectively. […]

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