Effective Projects with Family and Friends

Short Form


Always wanted to work on an open source project with family or close friends? We’ll talk through the joys and challenges, how to turn the latter into the former and create an effective working relationship.


Working closely with family and friends on projects can bring joy but also has challenges. Because you know each other, you more easily trust your collaborators and know their strengths and weaknesses. You often have easy, shorthand communication and can quickly work together on problems. At the same time, you both know how to annoy each other really well and it can be all too easy to slide back into old roles. Both Cat and Bill (daughter and father) understand this very well since they worked together in the same small company for 8 years.

Some of the topics we will discuss are how to communicate clearly, ways to resolve disagreements, how to be inclusive of others, how to surface hidden expectations and feelings before they cause sudden flare-ups, and how to have a lot of fun in the process.


collaboration, learning, Process, relationships

Speaking experience

This is a brand new talk for us, but we've done a number of presentations and trainings together.

Bill has many years of making customer presentations for large software and engineering corporations before co-founding Synotac, now PixelSpoke. He continues to give training presentations within the company as well as presentation to clients. Topics have ranged from fault-tolerant transaction processing system architecture, large-scale relational database internals, to privacy and security technologies for individuals and small business.

Catriona has led numerous trainings and workshops at both PixelSpoke and Ecotrust for audiences with varying levels of technical expertise. Topics have included best practices for knowledge sharing, how to use a variety of tools, exploring the interaction the physical world and digital, best practices for internal wikis, and successful security strategies for personal computing.

Some of our past presentations are listed on the PixelSpoke Events page in the past events section: http://www.pixelspoke.com/perspectives/events/