Saturday August 25 2018, C3.3, 14:10 AEST

This talk is about how to overcome the basic conflict and malaise that naturally occur in software teams working across countries, timezones, languages, cultural assumptions, hierachies, and professional backgrounds. Come for the war stories, stay for the one weird trick for avoiding meetings.

Have a call instead of sending email, they said. It’s better for communication, they said.

What if everyone hates meetings, and the rooms are perpetually booked, and nobody understands your accent? How do you do that day in, day out with an international team across time zones and languages? How do you keep everyone engaged, make sure work doesn’t get siloed between sites, ensure everyone feels empowered to ask questions? What if one group doesn’t quite speak the common language, or isn’t up to speed on how to push back on work? How about resolving conflict, or translating professional contexts?

This talk is the coalescing of years of experience working with many international teams in multiple countries. It will cover: successful and unsuccessful strategies for pulling together software teams across time and space; embracing the awkward; spotting conflicts before they escalate; translating context and taxonomy; and how to grow participation and collaboration. Most importantly, it will go through how to stealthily work yourself out of a job by teaching everyone else to do it.

Watch 'International Cultural Bungles for Fun, Profit, and Sleeping At Night' on PyCon AU's YouTube account

maia sauren

maia sauren
ThoughtWorks Australia

Maia Sauren is often preoccupied with science education, diversity in technical fields, open information, and how emerging software interacts with science and biotechnology. Maia is an Executive Committee member of Women In STEMM Australia, has been heavily involved in forming the Open Knowledge community in Melbourne and Australia, has also been an executive committee member of Australian Science Communicators.

Her PhD from was about determining the effect of anatomic variations on radiofrequency compliance of mobile phones (Your Mobile Phone Is Safe To Use Please Go Back To Worrying About The Climate). Maia is a Business Analyst and general gopher at ThoughtWorks. Maia has recently returned to Australia from India, where she was part of an international team developing digital tools for an international healthcare NGO.