Remote Transformation
Case Study
Couchbase: Building Up and Out-Remotely
Traditionally on-site technology company successfully launches a remote workforce and new Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) offering simultaneously.

About CouchbaseCouchbase is an award-winning, distributed NoSQL cloud database. Built on open standards with a memory-first, high-performance design, Couchbase offers the robust capabilities required for business-critical applications on a highly scalable and available platform.

Objective: Launch DBaaS with a Remote Team

Couchbase planned to expand its offerings of server and mobile solutions by adding a fully managed service. Their goal was to design and develop a new DBaaS (database-as-a-service) that leveraged Couchbase’s server and operator, letting customers easily deploy and manage Couchbase on cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Couchbase approached their digital innovation partner, Theorem, for help. They originally planned for an on-site engineering team to support the new DBaaS program, but after experiencing Theorem’s Distributed Model firsthand during the course of their partnership, Couchbase ultimately opted to structure this new workforce as a remote team. No longer limited by geography, the ease of sourcing top talent to fill the new roles was an immediate win that helped build momentum and support around the new remote model.

Couchbase faced both expected and unforeseen challenges while working on its DBaaS, including:

Solution: A United, yet Distributed, Foundation

Theorem’s partnership with Couchbase not only ensured the success of their DBaaS program, but demonstrated to Couchbase leadership how it could be backed by a resilient distributed team. Elements of this model adopted by Couchbase included:

1. Hiring and Training

A distributed workforce is only possible with the right team:

  • Screening applicants
  • Conducting interviews
  • Making hiring recommendations
  • Co-developing training and onboarding materials for Couchbase’s remote team to work alongside Theorem’s core development squad (during DBaaS’ development)
2. Process Implementation

The complexity of a team and software design requires innovative solutions

  • Implementing agile sprint cadences, asynchronous reporting, daily stand-ups, and all-hands product reviews
  • Recommending collaborative tools, processes and ceremonies for remote teams
3. Product Development

A core development team builds the essential experience

  • Prototyping the Alpha version of the DBaaS software Expanding the UX design and creating WireFrames and initial UI mock-ups
  • Testing core dependencies
  • Training new team members
  • Developing towards Beta and GA releases
Results: Exponential Growth and Sustained Resiliency

On February 4, 2020, Couchbase publicly announced its fully managed beta DBaaS offering for enterprises: Couchbase Cloud DBaaS. Their new remote model proved successful – its globally distributed workforce was resilient enough to deliver a new product offering under extraordinary circumstances.

With the support of Theorem’s guidance and expertise, Couchbase experienced several massive wins:

  • Growth of the team from 8 to more than 30 contributors
  • Code output increase to approximately 462k LOC
  • Successful development of an asynchronous remote culture
  • Adoption of a globally distributed team
Digital leadership under pressure: How COVID-19 is redefining your role

New workplace realities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic pose unprecedented challenges for leaders. The pace and severity of change have caught everyone off-guard-even agile organizations, which thrive amidst chaos. Economic volatility is high. The future is uncertain.

And leaders are under extreme pressure as they manage their companies through. Perhaps most challenging is the fact that they must accomplish this remotely. With the sudden and indefinite shift to distributed work models, how can leaders maintain teamwide performance and morale as they navigate this unfamiliar landscape?

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