Async Remote
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Async Remote

About the Book

Nobody is happy in a badly managed project

Do you work on projects managed in a way that is easiest for managers or customers? Focused around their priorities without taking yours into account? Project managers all over the world make the same mistakes again and again which in turn leads to unhappy programmers. Check with the list:

Feeling of burden is stressful

It's the middle of a Wednesday. You thought it was gonna be such a good week. You started coding your task on Monday, and you still keep working on it. Your boss keeps asking for status update. The customer would also like to know how things are going. It's the third day of working on it. It's finally the time to deliver some code. You need to merge your branch with master often to stay in the loop. And you can't much help your friends working on different parts of the system. A lot of time put into the task, but no visible effects to anyone except you so far. This whole situation feels stressful. Not only for you, but actually for everyone.

Are you tired of working on the same area of code and the same feature for a long time? Days or sometimes even weeks? Feeling disconnected from other team members? That's a sign that something needs to change.

Lack of self growth is boring

Have you already mastered one technology on a certain level and now you are more interested in learning new ones? Maybe you are a very good Ruby programmer but only decent JavaScript or frontend developer and would like to improve yourself in that area. The only problem: they keep giving you Ruby tasks because you are already good at it, and not even a simple thing to code on frontend. No chance to expand your horizons except when you are at home. Here you can learn more about Angular, Ember, Node and other trending topics that you know you will have to master sooner or later to stay in the business. But shouldn't we rest at home and spend time with our families? If your current project doesn't give you a chance of becoming a system architect when you want, or opportunity of working and learning about all the technologies used in that project, then there certainly is room for improvement here.

Uncertainty is killing performance

When you come back to work after a weekend or holiday, do you immediately know what to work on? Or do you need to contact someone, perhaps even multiple people? Do you know what to do, what to work on when they are not there for you? As developers we are often not so sure about current priorities and we would like to work on tasks that are most important right now and deliver business value to the client. We fear that when we fail to do so we will be blamed. When we are certain that we work on the right thing and the scope of the task is small and well defined we are 100% committed and effective. Confusion in this area costs the project's money and client's happiness. We prefer clarity.

Wouldn't it be better to work in a project which avoids these pitfalls?

To work in a project with management process that understands and emphasizes developers needs? If you could actually enjoy the process of making the application, you would love your work way more, wouldn't you? That would be like in the beginning of your journey into the land of programming. Do you still remember that time?

What if you could greatly improve many areas of your current project management that has a direct effect on your and your team's happiness? Like immediately knowing what you should be working on when you start your day? Delivering something valuable even twice a day and being proud of that? Being able to organize your time according to your liking and priorities? Taking your time in the middle of the day to create a meal compatible with your diet, to exercise, walk or take a lovely nap to refresh your mind? What if tasks in an unfamiliar technology are learning opportunities and small challenges instead of being scary monsters? Can you imagine your team collaborating together on the whole code?

Developers oriented project management to the rescue

Our ebook is here to help you achieve these goals. It is for people who value Clarity, Focus, Freedom and Collaboration. It contains a list of guidelines that we established at Arkency throughout years of working remotely. You can apply them to your project slowly and every one of them will help you improve some of the aspects. Together they make tremendous difference and let you enjoy a lot of benefits that a programming job can offer. They create a programmer friendly environment in which you can feel comfortable and productive. After all, your team mostly consists of programmers, so the project should be optimized for their efficiency and happiness. But it also creates a nice set of rules that makes the communication between customers, product owners and developers easier.

As programmers we are privileged. In our lives we can enjoy many things that people doing other kinds of job cannot. But we need a work-flow that will let us actually seize the opportunities such as, for example, the possibility to work remotely. Buy the ebook now, push for the right kind of change from bottom up and fix the problems that are making you unhappy.

Agile doesn't matter when you are not in charge

Agile provides great opportunity for people to step forward and become leaders. But do you and your company know how to let people enter the path of leadership? How to empower the developers so they can introduce changes that make them more effective? As part of the book we are explaining as weel how developers can play the role of project managers. Your company might not become second Valve or Github but you can certainly benefit from applying changes leading towards more flat organization structure.

By delegating at least some of the classic project manager actives such as meeting with clients, prioritizing tasks and extracting stories to programmers, they are given a chance to understand the business side of the project more deeply and to collaborate directly with the customer. With the technical and business knowledge, programmers can become true leaders for the projects, capable of independently handling issues and delivering the results, without the need for much supervision.


The final price of this ebook will be higher (around $39). Current price is for the beta version of this ebook and for all the future updates. For the time this book is in beta version: Unlimited money back guarantee policy in case you are not completely satisfied.

  • How to provide business value to customers and be able to learn new things at work. Can you start learning frontend when you are a backend developer, or the other way around?
  • Small stories. What's their value and what kind of problems do they solve?
  • Sprints. Are you really having them? Or maybe you are working day by day to improve the codebase and release new features?
  • How to deal with positive and negative risks that affect IT projects so that people are always working on the most important task right now.
  • The rule that makes programmers more effective at selecting next tasks.
  • Developers attitude to project management. Why should developers improve their soft skills and how to do it.
  • Customer meetings. How to take most of them?
  • Developers talking to clients and creating tickets. Trully collaborative nature of work.
  • The life without Project Managers. Can it exist? How can developers become more independent?
  • Extracing tickets from documentation of feature. How to deal with big features and attack them step by step in 2 different ways.
  • Over-communication. Why do you need to communicate differently when working remotely?
  • Continuous deployment. Step by step guidance.
  • Lack of Pull Requests. The way Google does it.
  • Green Build. Must be.
  • Screencasts, as a way to share knowledge in company.
  • Communication tools, especially for remote workers.
  • Meetings, not too much, not enough.
  • Async Standups - how to.
  • Share this book

  • Categories

    • Agile
    • Software

About the Authors

Arkency Team

Robert Pankowecki is Ruby on Rails developer, working remotely for more than two years. At Arkency he’s worked on number of web projects in collaboration with small startups as well as large corporations. The creator of active_reload library which made your Rails apps faster in development mode. Founder ofwroc_love.rb conference and one of the leading speakers at Lower Silesian Ruby User Group

Robert Pankowecki
Robert Pankowecki

Robert Pankowecki is Ruby on Rails developer, working remotely for more than two years. At Arkency he’s worked on number of web projects in collaboration with small startups as well as large corporations. The creator of active_reload library which made your Rails apps faster in development mode. Founder ofwroc_love.rb conference and one of the leading speakers at Lower Silesian Ruby User Group

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Story of size 1
  • Forget about sprints
  • Stream Of Work
  • Chronos vs. Kairos
  • Can developers be project managers?
  • Developer’s attitude
  • Customers Meetings
  • Developers creating tickets
  • Specification as floating ticket
  • Working with tickets
  • Start from the middle
    • Don’t focus on providing the data
    • What if you really need to use the real data?
    • Technical decisions
    • Defer
    • Detecting actors early
    • Starting from the middle is pivot-friendly
    • When to stop working in the middle?
    • Gradual migration of persistence
    • Code is not a stone
    • Outsourcing less important parts
    • Optimise for the developer brain
    • Summary
  • Communication as tickets
  • (Over-) Communication
  • On async
    • Why should you try to lean towards more async communication?
    • When sync
    • When async again
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Standups and meetings
    • Async standups
  • Tooling
  • Friendly workflow environment
  • Bonus: How to get anything done? - 4 tips
    • Start enough times
    • Accept negative feelings and start working
    • Love the grind
    • Detach yourself from results
    • Now
  • Bonus: Am I ignored in my async team?
  • Typical Project Management smells
    • Management thinks “you can build perfect solution from day one with all Nice To Have, just add more developers”
    • Protips
    • Yet another weekly meeting is scheduled
    • The “cheaper” developer makes Research and Development tasks and the more expensive one fix his bugs.
    • The project knowledge and tickets are distributed among different tools (Trello, Pivotal, EverNote).
  • Bonus: Q&A
    • Links
  • The end
  • Feedback

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