Soon after joining Atlassian about 18 months ago, it was clear that this is a DevOps-minded crew. Not that there’s any coordinated effort around this. It’s simply a group of people dedicated to continuously improving the ways we work in our respective expertise, and the ways we work together across teams.

Last month, we launched the DevOps Dojo – a website sharing our thoughts on the cultural and technical aspects of adopting the DevOps way of developing software. We’re far from having it all figured out. And in many cases, we know what we should be doing, but are only starting to actually do it. (Probably sounds familiar, no?) But since transparency is both a big part of our company culture and a big part of DevOps, we don’t mind opening the kimono a bit.

On Thursday we kicked off a new community event series called the Open Dojo where we gathered four Atlassians in various roles into a Google Hangout and talked about the particular challenges facing distributed teams who decide to embrace DevOps principles. Using the Hangouts OnAir option, we were able to broadcast live and take questions from viewers. What resulted was a lively conversation covering culture, tools, technologies and logistics.

If you missed the live event, you can check out the video right here. Then head to the DevOps Dojo for more musings, tips, war stories and links to other kick-ass blogs out there.

ps: Here’s a run-down of the topics we covered at the Hangout.

0:00 – introductions & welcome
1:30 – What is the biggest challenge of working with teams in different offices?
8:00 – What role does video conferencing play?
12:00 – What happens when a sudden situation comes up? How can distributed teams communicate effectively?
13:30 – What are the keys to getting people on a dev team to buy into technical DevOps practices like continuous delivery and test automation?
20:15 – What are some reports or metrics that can help make the business case for these practices?
22:00 – How can we create development environments and share them between developers?
29:00 – Are team-building exercises valuable? What are some of the best & worst ideas you’ve seen?
34:30 – What are the tools & languages used in developer workstations at Atlassian?
39:00 – What are some ways to “compartmentalize” change? What if changes are coupled to downstream APIs or DBs?
43:15 – What private cloud software does Atlassian use?
44:45 – Any ideas for team-building across remote teams? Can you do it without travel?
47:30 – When working with a risk-based deployment model, how do you make the call around what features should be deployed when?
49:15 – What are some strategies for managing the logistics around making those decisions when the people with the domain expertise might be in different offices?
52:30 – How can product teams and central technology teams keep each other in the loop during development so there aren’t surprises at release time?
55:45 – Do Atlassian products integrate with tools like Vagrant and Puppet? Will they soon?
56:45 – Can you confirm the rumors of the Atlassian beer cart?
58:00 – Wrappin’ it up!

DevOps & Distributed Teams...