The resin.io team has just returned from Summit 2016, our annual gathering held in Athens. Running a remote team has lots of benefits, but in our experience, getting to know people face-to-face accelerates remote collaboration. This is why we gather for a week of talks, discussions, hacks, and activities.
As our team gets larger, it becomes harder to keep track of what's going on across resin.io. There are a lot of projects in development at any given time, and it's great to take a breather from the day-to-day to learn in detail about what the the rest of the team has been up to.
A photo posted by resin.io (@resin_io) on Nov 7, 2016 at 1:54am PST
We adopted a semi-unconference format for the week. Some "must have" talks were decided before the Summit, while most of the program was decided on the spot, polling people about what they wanted to hear or share. Scheduling all of the sessions was a bit more ad hoc than we would have preferred, but the tools we normally use when working remotely came in very handy (team chat, notifications, spreadsheets). In future Summits, this would be an obvious place to improve on.
- Hacking our internal processes, creating more opportunity for serendipity
- Caring for users post-signup
- Mapping out the resin.io infrastructure
- Workshop on adding new hardware device support using meta-resin
- Workshop for writing better changelogs with Versionist
- Expanding our automated testing and continuous integration with AutoHAT
- Brainstorming for improving DevOps, deploying more resin-on-resin projects, improving coding and development conventions
- Fireside chat telling the company story to our new team members and setting a vision for the next year
...and a lot more. I personally came away with a bursting notebook and pumped up about the year ahead.
We are running an infrastructure company, thus couldn't just shut down communications for a week, but also couldn't leave anyone behind to handle support for the duration of the Summit. We tackled the problem as follows:
Our Head of Experience, Shaun, hacked up a notification dashboard that connects to our support infrastructure, which made it really easy to see if there were any new tickets to be answered.
A photo posted by resin.io (@resin_io) on Nov 10, 2016 at 7:46am PST
The software for this dashboard is available on Github
, and we will likely set one up in each of our offices around the world.
It wouldn't be a resin.io event without some hacks. We took advantage of being in the same space to share ideas.
One highlight is Etcher Headless
, designed to make automatic SD card burning as easy as possible. It uses a Raspberry Pi, an LED strip, 4 USB SD card writers, and leverages Etcher
. When you plug in a new card, a predefined image is automatically written to it and verified. There is already hardware available to do this, but is usually quite a bit more expensive than our version.
You can find the code on Github
. We would love to hear if you build one of these yourself!
Another project is resin-cam
, streaming PiCamera videos using WebRTC
. We often use webcams in our demos to showcase remote software deployment to devices around the world, and it will be nice to deploy those cameras with resin.io as well!
also got a boost at Summit as we started assembling the first redesigned Beast 3.0 tile. Of course, this project will take a lot longer than one week to build, we'll keep you posted on the progress!
Now most of us are back at our battlestations with good memories of the week we spent together. We have a lot of awesome things to build, and events like the Summit are great to hash out projects and explore new ideas. Plus, we get the rare opportunity to spend time with one another. We're all looking forward to Summit 2017!
If you have any suggestions about what we should focus on over the next year, drop by the forums
and make yourself heard!