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Running a Remote Big Tech 🏒 β€” with Farhan Thawar (Shopify)

Refactoring Podcast β€” Season 1 β€’ Episode 5

Today’s guest is Farhan Thawar β€” VP of Engineering at Shopify, angel investor, and entrepreneur.

Shopify is a public company with thousands of employees, and one of the very few companies of its scale to be remote-first.

While other big tech quietly issued RTOs, Shopify doubled down on processes and culture that allowed it to stay remote, or, in their own words: digital-first.

So, today, Shopify has ports instead of offices, does VR meetings, has a unique collaboration culture, and completely embraced AI for productivity.

Here is everything you will find in the chat:

  • πŸ’» Balancing Remote & IRL β€” how Shopify optimizes for a remote experience while still helping people get together in real life.

  • ✏️ Remote Communication & Culture β€” workflows and principles to make engineers productive in a remote environment.

  • πŸ‘― Pair Programming β€” betting heavily on collaboration.

  • 🎽 The Role of Managers β€” how Shopify’s managers stay technical and optimize for unblocking people.

  • πŸ€– Be an AI Centaur β€” fully embracing the AI revolution by writing 1M+ lines of code with Copilot.

πŸŽ™οΈ Episode

You can watch the full episode on Youtube:

Or listen to it on Spotify, Apple, Overcast, or your podcast app of choice.

πŸ™ Thank you

Thank you so much for listening! Let us know what you think about the podcast in the comments or via email!

We just got started with the Podcast, so if you found this chat valuable, please consider subscribing to the show on YouTube, Apple, or Spotify.

Also, consider giving us a rating or leaving a review on the platform of your choice, as that really helps other listeners find the show.

See you next week! πŸ‘‹


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Refactoring Podcast
Interviews with world-class engineering leaders about writing great software and working well with humans.