This is a short summary of our DevOps Stuttgart Meetup from March 19th about remote working. This time we had several speakers presenting in small slots of about 10 - 15 minutes each. For the first time, we streamed the meetup via YouTube while organizing it in Google Meet.

We started with Malte talking about how ZOI became a cloud-first company and how they leverage remote work with using SaaS solutions. Malte also gave a short summary of how ZOI recently helped other companies to move their business operations into the cloud.

Afterwards, I did a short presentation on pair programming and especially the challenges when doing it remotely. Summary:

  • not only applicable for coding
  • see it as a chance
  • be patient
  • think out loud, express your thoughts clearly
  • rotate roles & rotate pairs
  • take breaks
  • do research individually
  • don’t continue working on a pair project after working hours
  • collect feedback and adapt ways of working if necessary

Lena from ThoughtWorks was sharing some remote working practices with us. She explained what basic requirements (e.g. on the hardware side) need to be fulfilled to be successful while working remotely. She also presented some team rituals that her team recently introduced:

  • Stand-Up to start the day, Stand-Down to seize the day - especially: no work on the project after Stand-Down
  • Take scheduled breaks, setup an alarm, make sure to drink enough, pomodoro technique
  • Take care of mental health of your team members
    • regular (virtual) coffee / tea time
    • lunches together online
    • open walk-in room (video conferencing room)
    • regular feedback
    • (online) game playing together

The last prepared part of the meetup was presented by [Marcus}( He talked about how tmux. tmux is a swiss army knife for enhancing your terminal, e.g. by splitting your terminal screen, keeping sessions running while logging off from a server. Or - with connection to our topic - by sharing terminal sessions with other people. Quite a while ago, I created a tmux cheat sheet

Some of the questions being asked during the meetup:

  • whats your opinion on ms 365/teams as a cloud solution
  • ​Can you really compensate human work interaction by (online) gaming?
  • Have you established a morning / afternoon routine, to connect to each other?
    • Morgenkreis, where you meet with your kids in a video call, before you start your (working) day
  • ​do you have daily online meeting, like scrum meeting? If yes, how many times do you meeting - once/twice during a day?
    • Michael’s team: one standup / daily, 15 min
    • Lena’s team: one Stand-Up and one Stand-down. No work to be done after Stand-down
  • ​I mean are you only talking about this crisis or about working remote on a regular basis?
  • ​Do you use special tools for remote pairing like floobits
  • ​can you share some useful tools for working remotely with team?
    • see list below
  • ​Sounds a lot that the The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has to be solved before pair programming.
    • This is best done in person, but do you also do this remote.
  • ​Any tips on how to counterbalance uneven power dynamics between pair progr. peers? a shy person might be inclined to give more space to the other person even though he/her has more to contribute.
    • I would recommend regular feedback and adapting your ways of working and communication. This might be rather a task for the more extrovert, but make sure to give space ​for the more silent people to express themselves
  • ​Lena, did you have “stand down” before you started working remotely?
    • Nope
  • ​How do you handle topic like knowledge base? dedicated application? shared drive?
    • Confluence or other wikis, READMEs if it belongs to a code base

Some more facts about the meetup:

  • up to 80 people in the stream
  • lively discussion on YouTube, Slack and Google Meet
  • participants from Karlsruhe, Berlin, Reutlingen, Allgaeu, Ludwigsburg, Ehningen, Echterdingen, Oberaichen, Stuttgart, Gerlingen, ​Landau - Pfalz, Degerloch, Texas, ​Kiyv, Deizisau, Moscow, Magstadt

You can find the slides to our presentations here.

Suggested Tools:

Further References: