Remote Development is the Future of Tech

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Black Tortoise, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Avatar

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    So kudos to Port for testing out a remote/distributed model. I have over 5 years working as a remote technologist on a global market, and I know the world is shifting in that direction (at least, for industries that operate on the web, or can use it for effective collaboration).

    Remote work is the future, and its for lovers of freedom. Any industry that can afford non-colocated collaboration would benefit from having a remote-first model (this merely implies colocation as the alternative, and that the culture should merely aim to collaborate distributed while occasionally having room for temporary colocation). People are happier, they have more control over their own lives, they have the expanded bandwidth to enhance their lives and experience new things more frequently, society is healthier overall, companies are more agile, companies have lower bills, companies consume less natural resources, there are fewer cars on the road, etc, its a culture of pure win. Not to mention, it empowers people from literally any location in the world with an internet connection to compete with top tier talent in the worlds most prolific cities (economically speaking).

    There is a lot of resistance to this within the corporate culture of the USA. I fear that western corporations might get left in the dust as the agility of the wider international markets skyrocket. Many corporations are reluctantly buying into this, as they see talent fleeing some of the bigger tech cities (exception being perhaps NYC). It seems to be popular at the small/lean/startup business scale, and seems to be very successful.

    Anyway, I respect Port a lot for migrating towards a distributed model for collaboration, and think its a healthy choice. Its certainly a modern and progressive choice with proven effectiveness. Just dont forget to meet up with your team for some challenge coin fun now and then ;)

    Oh, and this is in reference to the recent livestream
     
  2. macnlos

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  3. Gravidy

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    I agree @Black Tortoise. I run a 9 person development team that is remote, and it works just as well or better than any other team I've been on.

    People will often cite the issue of friction to communication. However, most people underestimate the value of focus in creative work. Any friction to communication is also friction to interruption. Less interruptions leads to increased focus, which leads to higher output.
     
  4. CICI

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  5. Rada Torment

    Rada Torment Community Ambassador (ES)

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    Lets be honest, it's not a free issues model. As example imagine having problems one, or more days, with your internet connection. It's not something they wanted from beginning, remember that they talked about the reasons.. so it's a mix of good and bad things, like everything. None of both models are perfect, and Chris said probably they are going to try to find a better place in the future.
     
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  6. Black Tortoise

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    My experience comes from working in some of the biggest cities in the world, so internet connection was never an issue. The one or two days ever where my place of residence lacked internet, I just walked 2-3 blocks to a cafe of choice or rented a coworking desk for a day. Most cities with a tech culture have a lot of options for things like meeting rooms and video conf rooms that you can rent by the hour for meetings and such.

    Certainly, there is no group collaboration or product development model that has no friction anywhere.

    When you read about issues regarding working remotely, almost all of them are actually issues of cultural and psychological transition. Most of them are no longer problems after a year or two as you adapt to a very different lifestyle. Im not saying it has no flaws or there are no pain points you just have to deal with, its just infinitely less so when compared to colocated & commuter culture. I am just saying this in case someone with no experience, but is curious, and goes and does a web search for "issues with working remotely," and sees some "issues" pie chart that draws data from people that only work partially remote or have only worked remote for less than two years, and cant tell that the "issues" are just "adaptations in progress." For example, people say things like "I cant imagine how lonely it must be to work alone in your house often," to which I reply that I get something like 4 extra hours of personal bandwidth every day to have an active social life that is 10x as rich as if I were colocated full time.
     
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  7. Astirian

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    I've worked from home in my last two jobs and it's fantastic. There's always a couple of people it sits uneasily with because they just assume you're on the playstation but git commits speak for themselves in development.
     
  8. Feeyo

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    I am very concerned about a company that cancels their office because of it being too expensive, and all work from home as a solution. I am not against working from home, I do this often, one day in 2 weeks or so. But having a full game development company working from home is a big concern and issue. It is not good at all.
     
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  9. Jason_M

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    I'm not inclined to watch the livestream (not enough spare time), so perhaps this was addressed but...

    Didn't they just relocate to a new office a few months back?
     
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  10. Lesni

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    It is a good move.
    A place to 'meet' is still needed but can be a 'shared coworking location'.
    Just to name a few advantages:
    1. access to more talent
    2. access to temporary 'expert' freelancers
    3. more productive by removing 'travel to the office time'

    There are some issues but smart employer's will solve these.
    The trend is for remote employees to be the majority in the near future.
     
  11. Lesni

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    Yes they did.
    They moved to a smaller office and now the new landlord has raised the lease cost significantly.
     
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  12. Jason_M

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    Thanks for the explanation.

    That's bizarre. I presume that the terms of the lease contract wouldn't allow manipulation mid-contract, or are they working on a *very* short contract length?

    At any rate, working at home is probably lovely, but one can't help but wonder if it will hamper collaboration between team members?

    I suppose they know what they're doing.
     
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  13. Katu

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    I can only speak from finnish dev culture, but here almost every company offers remote working. I like it. Does not really affect collaboration as we have tools that help with that. Add flexible working hours and its awesome. I can do my hours, on weekly basis, when ever and where ever I want. It makes me happy and makes me do better work.
     
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  14. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    Can somebody elaborate on what we are talking about here.
     
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  15. Woodchuck

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    like in all things it depends on the people

    if you have a good people that are dedicated, responsible, focused then it doesn't matter where you work. you can count on the work being done.

    people that are lazy, incompetent, <insert other negative traits here> will always be bad whether you work at the office or at home.
     
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  16. Humbert_Humbert

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    How many full time employees do they have anyway?
     
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  17. Lesni

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    It was in the Friday Livestream. If you need a detailed account I suggest you watch it. The announcement was in the first few minutes.
    "Dispersed Working" 1:30 - 5:00
     
  18. Jason_M

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    Thanks for the tip. They seem really pleased with the change. I wish them well.
     
  19. Boo Ladedada

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    Next Stream a white van in the parking lot of McDonalds
     
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  20. Winfield

    Winfield Legend of the Hearth

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    I like what Portalarium did -- got rid of the central office (for reasons of expense, increase employee productivity (as long as IT works well for instant calls/video/chat, Jira, deadlines, virtualized servers etc.), and employee satisfaction).

    Working from home is a blessing and can be a curse; it takes discipline and trust by the employees and the company. Do it well - lots of productivity and profit. Do it poorly - lots of loss.

    I've met the Devs in Austin many times; and like Chris said in the live-stream, the employees are very seasoned, disciplined, focused, and proven regarding work standards and ethic. Whenever I would visit Portalarium, I never saw water-cooler talk, chatting on cell phones, checking facebook, etc. unless it was for the job at hand. Impressive. They'd work on their headsets with the lights dimmed to not be distracted by even the slightest nearby conversation. Now working remotely, their "tap on the shoulder" will probably be a quiet "ding" in their speakers or headset.

    I've tele-worked many times in my career and am always more productive than in the office (except when tiger-teaming for 2 hours in front of a white-board and butcher paper). I share my screens to my coworkers and always have my hangout camera online during "office hours". Some people don't like that "at home", but heck, set up your home office for business and close the door as needed; take a shower and put on some clothes dressed for the day. You're clocking business hours. It works.

    So thumbs up from me.
     
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