How the 2020 Election Changed Tech in Politics Forever

Cybersecurity is Everything

Remote First

  1. We quickly became over communicators, and on a variety of mediums. For reasons not worth getting into beyond “it was expensive”, we didn’t have a campaign Slack for most of the cycle, which made it difficult to communicate quickly and directly with people outside the tech team. On the tech team, however, we used Keybase as a stand-in, and created a set of shared chats between the different teams. This worked pretty well, and we got to a point where even when we were sitting right next to each other we would talk on chat as well.
  2. We set up a “perpetual” Google Hangout and we had a TV at the end of the row where the tech team sat. Matt could easily drop-in at any time to just be a part of the environment and participate in side-bar conversations that maybe didn’t raise to the level of chat (e.g. where are we going to get lunch?).
  3. Daily stand-ups and tracking work items in GitHub. We created project boards for everything we were doing and wrote down even the most inconsequential task so that we could track it. Anybody on the team could quickly and easily get a grasp of what was going on, who was working on what and so forth. This helped a lot as we had conversations with people outside the tech team.
  4. Bringing a laptop or a phone to unplanned events and making sure anybody remote could be dialed in to participate. When the boss would visit the office, there would often be a group huddle in the middle of HQ, and I wanted to make sure anybody who wasn’t on-site that day could participate. I’d often just FaceTime or setup a Google Hangout and hold my phone up so they could see and hear everything that was going on.
Joe Biden stands left of Dan Woods. Dan is holding his phone with Matt on the screen to meet the boss.
Taking Matt to meet the boss during a surprise visit on Jan 1, 2020.

Tech, Research, and Comms in Lock Step

Microservices

Conclusion

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Dan Woods was CTO for Biden for President during the 2020 election. Previously he worked building tech for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

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Dan Woods

Dan Woods

Dan Woods was CTO for Biden for President during the 2020 election. Previously he worked building tech for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

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