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Running a Remote Big Tech 🏢 — with Farhan Thawar (Shopify)

Refactoring Podcast — Season 1 • Episode 5
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Transcript

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Today’s guest is Farhan Thawar — 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:

  • 💻 Balancing Remote & IRL — how Shopify optimizes for a remote experience while still helping people get together in real life.

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

  • 👯 Pair Programming — betting heavily on collaboration.

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

  • 🤖 Be an AI Centaur — fully embracing the AI revolution by writing 1M+ lines of code with Copilot.


🎙️ Episode

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🙏 Thank you

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

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See you next week! 👋

Luca

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