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Workplace of the future - Page 10

12 Ways to Break Your Filter Bubble and Gain Diverse Perspectives

It’s nearly inevitable: Humans tend to associate with those who are similar to us—whether politically, economically, racially or otherwise. This phenomenon, called clustering, is so prevalent that white Americans have 91 times as many white friends as black friends, according to research from the Public Religion Research Institute reported in the Washington Post: And not only are we more likely to have friends who are similar to us, but many popular social networks employ algorithms that “rewa

Why Diversity Matters in Technology: Hello From Buffer’s Inclusivity Catalyst

Recently I learned something new about the history of photography that illuminates a lot about the relationship of technology and diversity. In the 1950s, Kodak sold almost all the color film used in the U.S. To make sure the colors of their prints were calibrated correctly, Kodak had to set a standard that any studio that processed film could match against. So they came up with the Shirley card [

Creating Pablo: A Year of Lessons from a Startup Within a Startup

When I started working at Buffer, there was a phrase I heard often when discussing projects and ideas: “Let me reflect on that.” It’s a sentiment I had rarely heard at the previous tech companies I worked for, and it surprised me. While moving fast and making quick decisions can be a very valuable approach, I have learned from Buffer that it’s also great to make the space to pause and reflect. At the 1-year anniversary of Buffer’s image-creation tool P

‘I Didn’t Notice:’ Why I Trained Myself Not To Be a ‘Woman in Tech’

For a long time, almost as long as I’ve been a member of the exclusive “Women in Tech” club, I’ve avoided talking about diversity. I modeled myself after Marissa Mayer, who when asked what it was like being the only female engineer at Google (back in the day) said, “I didn’t notice.” I completely believe this. It’s often very useful not to notice. Perhaps her blindness came naturally. For me, I trained myself not to notice being the only woman in the Slack channel because noticing hurt me. It

How We Saved $132k a Year With an IT Infrastructure Audit

Over the last year and a half, the Buffer team has tripled in size, from 25 teammates to 80. And our technology stack has ballooned as well, from a simple setup with just the basic AWS components to a much more fully utilized set of AWS and other external services. There are now so many pieces that make up the whole of the application: from how we store our data in mongo using compose, to how we run the application in an Elastic Beanstalk, to how we manage our data warehousing using Redshift. T

Building Slack /slash commands with AWS Lambda

When AWS Lambda came out last year I was amazed.  The thought never occurred to me that web development doesn’t need to be complex, instead it can be about purely accomplishing the task at hand.  While they’re relatively early still, I think AWS Lambda and AWS API Gateway, are great examples of where web development is headed. If you haven’t experimented with AWS Lambda yet, I’d definitely recommend doing so.  Essentially it’s a model of web development in which

5 Flexible Work Strategies – and The Companies Thriving With Them

They call us “The Sandwich Generation” —the group of workforce-aged adults who are not only caring for their aging parents, but also balancing the needs of their own children. It might be hard to understand the term until you experience it firsthand. When my father-in-law had an unexpectedly difficult time recuperating from surgery last summer, I was stunned at just how upside-down it turned our lives. If you’ve been through the prolonged hospitalization (or any other intense, sustained medic

Representation Matters: 25 Images to Honor International Women’s Day

Buffer got two incredible notes in our inbox over the weekend: “Hi Buffer/Pablo! I love using Pablo . I hopped on to make some graphics for International Women’s Day for my business and couldn’t find any good graphics. Please can you change this. When I typed in women and girls I got women whispering to each other, girls holding hands, and a woman in cutoff shorts fueling a gas tank. Please upload some inspiring images ahead of international women’s day. Thanks!”

Optimizing for Slow Motion Video in iOS

When Buffer first introduced video on our platform, it was quite clear that the feature would be a perfect fit for our mobile users. We know that videos can be an important part of a social media strategy, so making sure this rolled out to our whole audience was important to us. Fortunately, we were able to get things moving quite fast on mobile. Uploading videos to Buffer o

A Tale of Two Books: How What I Read Affects How I Lead

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee I’ve felt lucky to learn so much from being an avid reader in the past few years. I’ve come to believe that there is such immense power and knowledge contained within books. As a natural introvert, I’m a reflective person and love to read books and think about what we could try to apply at Buffer. In fact, we’re such believers in the power of reading at Buffer that all new team members (and family members

Working Remotely: How we develop Buffer over 10 different timezones

At Buffer, we’re a fully distributed team. We recently closed our office in San Francisco and now have a team in 12 different timezones . One of the frequent questions we receive is, “How do you work as a remote developer with so many timezones?” It’s such a great question and helps me reflect on some the unique aspects of working as a full-time developer at Buffer. It’s been such a fun journey working remotely for over t

From the Other Side: What I Learned As a Partner On a Buffer Retreat

As a psychotherapist in the mental health and counseling industry and the partner of a Buffer team member , I jumped at the chance to attend Buffer’s recent retreat in Hawaii . I was curious to learn more about the world that my partner is so passionate about—this particular job has affected him so profoundly. And as my own industry is built on ideas of empathy, relationships, and human interaction, I hoped to ge

Slack meet Looker. An experiment in bringing data to the team.

A while back I read a pretty inspiring blog post, Serving Analytics the Right Way It’s a great read by Kevin Teh, a Data Scientist at OpenDoor. Like at Buffer, they also use Looker as an analytics platform. One part of the post I really liked was the idea of ‘Bringing data to the Team’. “all of the data is updated in real time without requiring an analyst to do any repetitive manual work. However, t

When Transparency Meets Inconsistency: My Philosophy on Sharing Openly Even As We Change Course

I’ve been fortunate to have many great mentors over the years, and as a result I try to spend a lot of time helping other founders. When Buffer was going all the way with our self-management experiment , I was meeting weekly with someone who championed this concept within her company and successfully got the team started in this direction. After several chats, Buffer hit a key phase of growth and I wasn’t able

From Idea to App in 45 Days: How We Built a Mobile Tool for Our Remote Team’s Retreat

Solving the challenges we face at Buffer has always brought us to some unique places. From trying many different forms of management to recovering from a serious hacking incident, we are always learning valuable lessons along the way. Recently, we just wrapped up our 7th Buffer retreat. As our distributed team from corners all around the globe prepared to meet up in Hawaii, we thought one thing that we could improve would be a way of letting everyone on the team know where things are happening

Competition, Culture and Tough Feedback: 13 Questions with Buffer Founder Joel Gascoigne

Not too long ago, our pals at Product Hunt were kind enough to ask Buffer founder Joel Gascoigne to host an “ask me anything” chat session . 10,000+ words and many dozen questions later, we wanted to share some of our favorite questions and answers with you, too. 1. Joel’s average weekday Q: What’s your average weekday like? A: These days I generally have a lot of quick meetings with different people in the team.

The Joy of Presence: Reflections On My First Remote Work Retreat

The Buffer team has just returned from our 7th all-team retreat in Hawaii , during which more than half of the team was meeting face-to-face for the very first time. One of our first-timers, Ross Parmly, shares this reflection of the week. Celebration has followed so much of my Buffer journey. Celebrating the moment Carolyn ‘s name showed up in my inbox for the first time. Ce

7 Tough Lessons I’ve Learned on Giving and Receiving Feedback at our Startup

It’s one of the biggest pieces that will make or break us as we try to become a great company, and I only recently realized it. We’ve been back and forth a number of times about the topic of feedback, and it’s an area where we still have a lot of work to do to get right. People often say, “You have this value of positivity and no complaining [

Hello From Hawaii! How We Planned a Weeklong Meetup for 90+ Teammates, Partners and Kids

Imagine getting off a plane in a new state or country, heading to a place you’ve never seen, to spend a week with 70-plus coworkers you’ve never met (plus some of their partners and kids). That’s what happened to more than half of the Buffer team over the weekend. This week, our fully distributed team is all in one place—Honolulu, Hawaii—for our 7th all-team retreat . We’ll spend a full we

Why We Believe in Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ at Work (At Least At Our Startup)

A lot of people want to help women succeed in the business world lately, which is an awesome trend to see. There are an ever-growing number of programs and initiatives focusing on everything from getting girls interested in coding to getting professional women into leadership roles. One interesting offshoot of this trend has been an emphasis on language and speech—it feels like more and more well-meaning people are giving thought to the words women should say [

We Don’t Have Performance Reviews at Our Startup: Here’s What We Do Instead

Hi there! This is an older post that we’ve kept around for transparency but that means that sometimes the information is no longer accurate. Head to our homepage to view our most recent posts. I remember the feeling—the sleepless night beforehand, the nervousness in the pit of my stomach. I was waiting for the results of my annual performance review. Performance reviews—most often yearly—are how many companies provide feedback to their employees. They often involve a numeric rating and maybe

What Do People Really Think About Diversity in Tech? Here are 63 Anonymous Perspectives

First college graduate from my family. Vegan. Working mom. Cherokee. Mormon. Queer. There are so many beautiful forms of diversity, and we’ve had an amazing crash course. In spring of 2015 we opened up Buffer’s Diversity Dashboard , a passion project for me and many other Buffer teammates focused on creating an inclusive team. The dashboard shares real-time data on the demographic diversity of the Buffer team, as well as thos

Why We Support Teammates with Dependents (and Why it’s No Longer Part of our Salary Formula)

Hi there! This is an out of date post that we’ve kept around for transparency purposes. Go here to view the latest version of this post. One of the things we’ve always been interested in doing at Buffer is looking at compensation differently and transparently. In the latest update of our transparent salaries formula, one key change was that we began to pay teammates more money if they had dependents, or family members who depended on their income. The formula that we originally came up with o

What Does It Mean to Bring Your ‘Whole Self’ to Work?

Life is a mashup of passions, purposes, and pursuits. The role we play at work is only a small part of who we are . Yet often, it’s the only part employers care about. Traditionally, when we arrive at work, we leave something at the office door—and the same applies to getting home. We almost separate into two different personas. In fact, a fascinating study by Deloitte [