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Mike Le

Interested in hearing from programmers who work remotely.

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 (Dumbest part of LV in my opinion -- the lack of a standard, across-all-platforms font for use in all property nodes, diagram constants, comments, etc.) .

 

AQ, when you complain about LV, it makes me chuckle. :)

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AQ, when you complain about LV, it makes me chuckle. :)

It's like a mother calling her child dumb.  It maybe true some times it's just odd to hear it.

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It's like a mother calling her child dumb.  It maybe true some times it's just odd to hear it.

It's more like a parent calling the kid on low grades when you know the kid can do better. ;-)

(The irony in this case is that the kid can only do better if the parents did better, spent more time, etc., so it's really me critiquing myself and my team.)

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I've been working remotely for 10 years. Generally speaking you can get more code written out of the office but meetings / planning sessions / brainstorming are a bit harder and will require more effort on your end. Job interviews and other "managerial tasks" are particularly difficult.

 

You are using a source-code control system, right? This is the most important piece of the equation, as in addition to all of the other benefits it takes care of synchronizing your code with others. Likewise your project documentation and bug-tracking system helps keep everyone informed of what is being worked on.

 

Communication with your co-workers needs to have a low activation energy. You'll need to be on the phone a lot of course, but IM is great for quick back-and-forths. If there is a significant time zone difference, pick a time of day that is maximally convenient for both sides and block that out for collaboration. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone; get a headset and unlimited minutes on your phone or use Skype etc. You don't want to feel like there is a clock is ticking.

 

For code reviews you need some sort of screen-sharing technology like gotomeeting.

 

Written project plans (that are kept up-to-date!) become more important when you are off-site.

 

If you have hardware you need to work with, you'll want a machine set up back at home with that hardware that you can connect to remotely. We use Microsoft's built-in solution (RDP) inside a VPN. Be super-nice to the people back at the office, since there is always the occasional need to have somebody plug in a cable in for you!
 
Finally be tolerant when people call you in the middle of dinner etc. That's just the cost of working in a different time zone.

 

Rob

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Yes, be super nice to your coworkers back in the office.  Perhaps send them Swiss chocolates every once in a while!

 

Enjoy your trip Mike.  Talk to you soon.

 

 

Tom

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I've recently switched to always working on my office PC via remote desktop instead of taking data with me and maintaining multiple VMs (Home and work).

 

Less headaches with forgetting my USB Disk (This way I just leave it at work).  Less re-compiles based on RT and FPGA files "changing" becuase they're suddenly on a different computer.  Re-connecting to running RT systems is a lot easier int he IDE when always working from a single PC.

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