Let’s get you up to speed!

First, we encourage you to check out the Dev4x site (http://www.dev4x.com --particularly the "Our Approach" section), the latest blog posts (http://www.dev4x.com/blog/), and the following presentation to get an idea for what Dev4x is building (http://tinyurl.com/dev4xoverview). Most of all, please be familiar with our Manifesto (http://www.dev4x.com/manifesto).

If at any point you’re feeling confused you can always contact our Community Team by emailing community@dev4x.com.

For any definitions to terms you're not familiar with, please refer to: http://tinyurl.com/dev4xdictionary.

How We Work

As a whole, we’ve got volunteers from all over the globe. That means we’re incredibly flexible with how we work. The flip side of that is you have to take responsibility: we get work done on our own time and try to attend relevant calls when our schedules allow for it. This also means that we have to be very direct in our communication with others around us. If there’s any confusion or problem, let the team know and we’ll work to address it.

We work in a holacratic style (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUHfVoQUj54). This entails that each role has certain domains over which they have authority, accountabilities to fulfill, and a purpose to serve. This is regularly updated and publicly available on our team list document (http://tinyurl.com/dev4xteam)

Time Zones, Remote Productivity and Avoiding Burnout

Working remotely is new to a lot of us and poses some unique challenges. Zapier has put together an incredibly helpful guide to remote working, upon which much of our own way of working is based. If you have time, please check out Chapters 10 to 13. https://zapier.com/learn/the-ultimate-guide-to-remote-working/

We work across multiple timezones, and apologize in advance if meeting times are inconvenient for your timezone. Our default timezone when communicating is EST (New York, US). When setting meetings please double check with team members that this is a reasonable time and state the meeting in EST. If you’re not sure what that is, Google search has a timezone calculator embedded in it.

Hang in there! There are a lot of tools being used to communicate with people from many different locations. We are all learning new tools and fumbling our way through until it feels comfortable. So please be patient with others and yourself. It may take a few weeks to fall into the rhythm and be confident about knowing what is happening. At first it will feel like walking into a huge mansion with whispers coming down the hallways and you suspect everybody is in one big room you haven’t discovered yet. This style of communication, by necessity, is not like that. Rather it is a lot of little rooms with both synchronous and asynchronous communication happening. Please ask if you are locked out of an area.


1) Trello
Trello is our general project management tool. The Sprint’s tasks are usually broken down into more manageable pieces, assigned to different team members. Here, we post all of the documents related to the task, ask and answer questions, and get work done!

We also encourage you to create a task if you see something that needs to be done. When creating a task, please be thorough in the instructions. Anyone on the team should be able to read the description and instructions and take over the task if need be.

You will be be granted access as needed, in the meantime both the tech and pedagogy boards are publicly viewable:
If you’d like to learn more about how Trello works, here are two guides to Trello: https://trello.com/b/I7TjiplA/trello-tutorial (interactive guide)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaDf1RqeLfo (video)

2) Google Docs, Sheets, Slides
Most of our collaborative work is done on shared Google documents (not Word documents!). We post the links to the Google Docs inside Trello tasks by clicking the using a shareable link, unless the document is explicitly confidential. You can take a copy or download for offline use by using the options under FILE > Make a copy or Download (choose format). You will be invited to comment or make suggestions to documents. If you receive a message saying that your changes may be lost go back and make sure you haven’t clicked inside a REPLY box and have an incomplete comment. If you ignore that message all of your comments may not be saved.

If you have any questions, please check the following guide: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/49008?hl=en.

For sharing help:
Active members will be given access to our shared Google Drive folder and are expected to keep their Dev4x documents there. Note: some documents are confidential, so be mindful when sharing documents people outside the organization.

3) Jira
JIRA is our tech and development project management tool. If you are involved with development and technology tasks you will likely be using JIRA.

In order to understand Jira, you’ll need to understand Agile planning. The following video explains both:

If you are on the tech team or need access please contact community@dev4x.com.

Meetings and Communications

General process
We’re a distributed, fast moving team. It can be challenging to stay up to date with what’s been done and what needs to get down. Here’s how we keep up:
    • We hold General Update Meetings, as well as public pedagogy and technology hangouts (see our shared calendar). Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate and ask questions.
      • All Dev4x volunteers will be sent a regular newsletter with general updates and tasks that we need help with. Please respond ASAP if you are able to take on a task. This information will also be posted on the wiki.
    • Finally, the tech team uses agile Sprint planning to decide on and assign tasks for the upcoming weeks. You’ll be invited to join the next one by a member of your circle, if necessary here is some more information about sprint planning (http://tinyurl.com/dev4xsprintplanning). 
    • The core team also holds Governance meetings, where we update roles and the company structure. We're committed to full transparency in this regard. You can view all roles, accountabilities and domains on our team list (http://tinyurl.com/dev4xteam). In fact, we encourage you to reach out to your team members and get to know who you’re working with. It’s always easier to work with people you feel comfortable with.
No one likes ineffecient meetings. We do our best to stay organized using this framework:
  • Check in round (how's everyone feeling, etc.)
    • Decide on a Facilitator and Secretary
  • On the Fly agenda building (everyone can add to the agenda)
  • Process one tension at a time + Ask: What do you need?
    • Meeting facilitator runs the meeting and secretary takes note of: agenda + outcomes + what everyone needs
  • Closing round for any final comments or impressions (everyone gets a turn)
    • Minutes are then sent to community@dev4x.com to be shared with the rest of the team in the weekly update

1) Calendars
Although our regular Hangouts don’t tend to move around too much, we occasionally need to meet to work through tasks. We use Doodle (http://doodle.com/) if we have to decide on group times to meet. For one-on-one calls, we ocasionally use 'Sunrise meet' to set up one-on-one calls (https://sunrise.am/meet/).

For more information on Google Hangouts please refer to this document: https://zapier.com/blog/google-hangouts-video-calls-guide/

You’ll find the permanent links to our main events here: http://tinyurl.com/calendardev4x.
To subscribe to this calendar in your local time zone and receive notifications, scroll down and click on the button in the bottom right corner.
Note: this calendar shows public meetings only, individually organized work sessions between team members are not listed here.

If you want to catch up on recent updates, please check out our Youtube channel and our blog.

2) Wiki
The wiki is an internal tool we use to stay aligned in the way we work. For a tutorial on how the wiki works, please refer to this video Bodo made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iULYo5Q39gg

3) Hipchat
Active members will be invited to join Hipchat. We use Hipchat for casual team conversations instead of email in order to keep our communication more transparent. We even have groups you can post interesting articles or related news into. You can use Hipchat in a web browser or download the app for your phone and computer.

Quick introductions to Hipchat:
If you are to get your account set up, please contact community@dev4x.com.

4) Email
Plain old email. For one-on-one communication outside the core team, we're staying old school. 
Note: Active members will be assigned an @dev4x.com email address as needed.