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Tech Lead Journal

67 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#17 - Remote Work & Asynchronous Communication at Doist - Gonçalo Silva

“Asynchronous communication promotes flow. And flow is generally what we’re all looking for. Not only because it’s more productive. Not only it’s because it’s within this state that we produce the best work. It’s also within this state that we feel the most fulfilled."

Gonçalo is the CTO of Doist, the remote-first company behind Todoist and Twist that has a mission of building the future of work by creating tools that promote more fulfilling ways to work and live. Doist has been a remote-first company practically since the founder started working on Todoist in 2007 and with its first remote hire in 2011.

In this episode, I learned a lot from Gonçalo about Doist and its remote working history and culture, including some advantages and disadvantages of remote work. We also discussed at length about having asynchronous communication as the first preferred communication style instead of synchronous, and why it is such an important communication style to adopt in a remote team. Gonçalo then shares about Doist core values, the cornerstone of every single thing that Doist does as company, from creating processes to decision making and recruiting. Towards the end, Gonçalo also shares some engineering and technical practices that Doist does, especially the ones important for a successful remote team, including the importance of pre-allocation and prioritization.

Listen out for:

  • About Doist - [00:05:59]
  • Gonçalo’s career journey - [00:06:52]
  • Doist remote work history - [00:10:30]
  • Remote work advantages & disadvantages - [00:13:01]
  • Asynchronous vs synchronous - [00:18:53]
  • Handling emergencies - [00:25:10]
  • On meeting and real-time chat - [00:26:48]
  • Hiring and onboarding - [00:30:38]
  • Doist 5 core values - [00:39:01]
  • Role of a manager - [00:41:07]
  • Technical practices - [00:42:47]
  • Prioritization - [00:48:55]
  • Doist architecture - [00:54:04]
  • Remote work resources - [00:55:48]
  • Gonçalo’s 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:56:54]


Gonçalo Silva’s Bio
Gonçalo is the CTO of Doist, creators of Todoist and Twist. He’s been working remotely for over a decade and managing remote teams for most of that time. He loves long-term ambition, asynchronous communication, and programming.

Follow Gonçalo:

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