Turing Events

Key Takeaways from Turing’s Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere Event

By March 5, 2021 5 min read

Top engineering leaders who have built large, remote developer teams for tech unicorns, pre-IPO companies, and enterprises came together at the Turing Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere event on 18 February 2021 to discuss the strategies, tactics, and tools for creating and managing high-productivity remote teams. 

Turing.com co-founder and CEO Jonathan Siddharth kicked off the event with opening remarks where he elaborated about the massive advantages of being a remote-first company and why Silicon Valley tech giants are going for distributed teams.

“The new way is to look for the best people in the world who could contribute to your company’s success, not the best people who happen to be living near your office,” Jonathan said.

The guest list for the conference included Darren Murph, Head of Remote, GitLab; Pravin Desale, SVP of SDS and Appliances, Veritas; Suneela Joshi, Sr. Director of Engineering, Abbott Laboratories; Chris Herd, CEO, Firstbase; Anna Chukaeva, Co-Founder / COO, Carta Healthcare; Job van der Voort, CEO, Remote.com; Henrik Hussfelt, Director of Engineering, Proxy; Andy O’Dower, Veteran Product Engineering Leader, Former Head of Product, Carlease.com and Alex Bouaziz, CEO, Deel among others.

The much-awaited event delivered what it promised and much more as all the sessions were full of solid nuggets of wisdom. Here are the key takeaways from each session of the event in case you missed it.

1st Session: Secrets of Running High-Performance Remote Teams

GitLab’s Head of Remote, Darren Murph, joined Jonathan for the first session and discussed the do’s and don’ts behind successful remote-first companies. The conversation was full of new ideas as the duo touched upon various issues ranging from the importance of culture in remote work to asynchronous communication to time zone management. 

Answering Jonathan’s questions, Darren explained some of the key concepts of remote work like ‘transparency and belonging,’ ‘psychological safety,’ ‘values fit,’ ‘documentation,’ etc., in detail.

“Many companies haven’t drawn the parallel between transparency in your work and belonging in your culture. But what we believe is that the more transparency and visibility that the entire team has to each other’s work, the easier it is for people to feel like they belong.” Darren said.

“Belonging is crucial to culture, especially in a remote environment,” he added.

During the session, Darren also shared his views about remote-first and hybrid-remote companies.

2nd Session: Managing Remote Engineers – Lessons from the Field

Turing.com CRO Prakash Gupta moderated the second session featuring renowned engineering leaders including Pravin Desale, Suneela Joshi, Anna Chukaeva, Andy O’Dower, and Henrik Hussfelt.

The high-profile panelists, who had gone through the challenges of managing remote teams during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic, gave the audience a unique opportunity to understand the key lessons that they had learned from the field. 

“Remote-first is a mindset that you must apply to every aspect of your management,” Andy said. 

The engineering leaders also discussed the formulae that they implemented during the pandemic to continue to hire, onboard, and define success for a remote software engineer.

 The session ended with a small poll where most of the panelists, barring Henrik, said they expect their organizations to go for a hybrid-cum-remote set-up in a post-Covid world.

3rd Session: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Managing a Global Remote Workforce

A new ‘remote-work mafia’ joined Jonathan for the penultimate session to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities to create a seamless, remote work culture. Firstbase’s Chris Herd, Remote.com’s Job van der Voort, and Deel’s Alex Bouaziz were at their absolute best during the conversation to give the audience an enthralling panel discussion.

Describing his philosophy about remote work, Job said: “Remote work allows you to live your life, and work is just a facet of that. I can live wherever I want. I can earn money wherever I want.”

Responding to Jonathan’s question on what CEOs building boundaryless companies can achieve with remote workers, Chris said: “Rather than hiring the best person in a 30-mile radius of an office, you can hire the best person on the planet that you can afford for every single role. So there’s this massive talent arbitrage that companies can now fish in a global talent pool, which is incredibly important.”

“The second part is efficiency. Our employees are more productive and efficient because they’re not distracted in the same way that they would be in an open-plan environment. We’re also far more cost-efficient because we’re not spending $15,000 to $50,000 per worker per year on office space,” he added.

Answering the same question, Alex said: “Many companies don’t understand that being distributed means establishing trust. It means that you will not be able to check if all your teammates have their greenlight on Slack every day. That’s just not going to work.” 

“From a trust angle, as long as you understand the mechanism that is right for your team, then you’re setting up the right culture,” Alex added.

The panelists touched upon a variety of subjects from helping people build strong interpersonal relationships, to the disadvantages of being globally distributed, to setting up a functional home office. They also shared their thoughts on specific tools, processes, workflows,  and more.

Apart from the quality of the discussion, there was one more thing that grabbed the audience’s attention — Job’s webcam and workspace set-up. 

And to the delight of the live audience, Job shared the list of equipment he uses, including his Sony webcam. He also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of ergonomic chairs and desks and how companies should consider providing a budget to employees for it.

4th Session: How to Stop Worrying and Love Remote

The final session saw an all-Turing team explaining how they build the world’s most-advanced vetting and matching system to match developer talent with opportunities on a global scale.

The speakers for this session included Turing.com co-founder and CTO Vijay Krishnan, VP of engineering Zan Doan, senior growth product manager Chul Kwon, and senior product manager Alex Sung.

Describing the reason behind the consistent increase in the number of customers demanding Turing developers, Vijay said: “The reasons are threefold intelligent vetting, speed of hiring, and scalable quality control.”

The panelists also shed light on Turing’s products that are generating tremendous value for both customers and developers.

Zan explained how Turing uses the lessons from Facebook, Google, Uber, and other top engineering organizations to produce an intelligent vetting engine. He said: “At Turing, we cover all important vetting areas that help us find great engineers and make them successful working with Turing customers.” “We created more than 100 automated assessments, not only to cover vetting standards in the Bay Area but also to assess other critical aspects of the engineer,” Zan added.

Zan also described the Turing way to manage remote developers effectively.

During his turn, Chul helped the audience understand how Turing’s seniority assessment test, algorithm coding interview, and automated vetting flows help companies hire top engineers on demand. 

“By leveraging data science, we have reduced vetting time to just six hours. Our process means you can have the world’s best engineers in not sixty days, but seven days,” Chul said.

Talking about Turing’s deep developer profiles, Alex said: “Turing developer profiles are detailed, comprehensive, continuously updating, representations of our developers. They only show validated skills, enriched by on-the-job performance data.”

He also explained the Turing Workspace and the Turing Virtual Machine’s importance in managing remote talent efficiently and keeping firms’ code safe, respectively.

The event concluded with Jonathan’s closing remarks, where he thanked all the panelists for sharing their valuable insights with the public.

The conference allowed the audience to know the nitty-gritty of remote work and to understand the thought process of some of the best minds in the remote business.

All the sessions of the Turing Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere event are now streaming on YouTube. Head over to Turing’s YouTube channel and let us know what you liked the most about each session in the comment section.

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