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Amen Jeff. I've been doing this for a decade now - working in a small team in a big company from across the world. My current team has had up to 5 timezones in 3 countries at time. I've often considered blogging about it, but my first post would have read just like yours: IM is crucial (didn't have it when I started) as a replacement for over-the-cubicle-wall chatter. I would add that with the right attitude you can be hugely more productive when not constantly interrupted by general meetings, birthdays, wanderer's by and so on. I miss all that to some extent true - but on those rare occasions when I fly in and visit the mother ship, and spend some time in a cube, I start to wonder how anyone gets anything done (or how I did back then) I agree there are times when being there is very beneficial, however overall this loss is outweighed by the productivity gained by working alone. On a technology note: If the advent of IM was a real boon to this way of working, the advent of VPNs around 1999 was an absolutely essential part of making this possible - if you're doing it for a big company.
Toggle Commented May 11, 2010 on On Working Remotely at Coding Horror
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May 11, 2010