How 5 People with 4 Day Jobs in 3 Time Zones Enjoyed 2 Years Writing 1 Book

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 from 11:00 – 11:45am in B204


Hear how a distributed team tackled a big project (a book about a large open source project) in our spare time. Along the way, we encountered tools, techniques, and working styles that may be useful to you in your own career—or at least serve as a humorous warning.


In May 2008, five busy programmers in town for a conference sat down for dinner and decided to do a book together. We dreamed big dreams for the project scope, made big plans for technical collaboration, and yes, made big mistakes as we worked. Two years later, reality looks really different than we’d imagined—better, in fact.

In this talk, you’ll hear about:

  • Getting through the Trough of Sorrow
  • What to do when you have all the responsibility and no authority
  • Laughing at your estimates (and getting stakeholders to laugh with you)
  • What worked for us (and what might or might not work for you)
  • Lessons for freelancers, telecommuters, and distributed teams

Speaking experience