Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

Building, nurturing, and managing distributed software teams

David Smith (DigitalOcean)
2:35pm3:15pm Thursday, May 11, 2017
Location: Meeting Room 10 A/B
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Managers, directors, and VPs of engineering

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Basic engineering management skills

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to manage, nurture, and build distributed engineering teams


In both open source and commercial endeavors, teams are increasingly built from people distributed across the world. So how does one take a far-flung group of people and turn them into an efficient development team? David Smith examines the characteristics of good teams and shares strategies for building and managing them.

Photo of David Smith

David Smith


Dave “Dizzy” Smith is the director of cloud engineering at DigitalOcean. A software industry veteran with over 19 years of experience, Dizzy has the rare ability to breath life into abstract and theoretical business concepts with practical software solutions. He has a broad range of experience across real-time messaging systems, identity federation and authentication, and low-latency peer-to-peer data stores and has been an active contributor to many open source projects. Previously, he was VP of engineering at several database-related startups, including Basho, where he spearheaded the Rebar Project, created Bitcask, grew the engineering team from 4 to 30, and won the Erlang User of the Year Award. He was also one of the original contributors to the Jabber/XMPP project, contributing servers and clients across multiple platforms.