Notes on working remotely

September 20th, 2004

Talking to Carl this morning I pulled out a short list of techniques to facilitate being a productive solo satellite member of a team:

* a morning phone call to talk about priorities. (if you're going to do this, try to be in the timezone which is 3 hours ahead)
* a short (~7 bullet) evening email reviewing days accomplishments, even if they're limited to (broke computer, spent rest of days fiddling with it)
* a regular (~weekly) social call, no work priorities, just stay connected and checked in with where your co-workers are.
* a shared drop space (e.g. shared IMAP box) to create an agenda for phone calls
* create office hours, and stick to them
* as a one person office its critical to create routines, and habits.
* only try to acquire one new habit at a time

Some of the challenges

* it's much harder to do advocacy and education remotely
* spec work is nearly difficult enough face to face, remotely it's nigh impossible
* don't underestimate the disorienting effect of travel, even for long term visits, on coding efficiency

And, slightly off topic, but said with such irresistible enthusiasm it bears repeating, he re-iterated what we all know, but rarely practice

A door which closes is essential for coding 

One practice we’ve talked about in the past which is very intriguing, but on which I could use some more data points is Staff Exchange, something to look at for the future.

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