August 4, 2007

Extreme Telecommuting

Posted by Ben Simo

"Ten years ago, there's no way this would have worked. Now there are hardly any barriers."

- Anthony Page

Many of us spend most of our days trapped in a cubical or windowless office. At times I have enjoyed the opportunity to telecommute from home. I've had some good and bad home offices over the years. I've worked with great views and I've worked in basements. I'm a bit envious of James Bach's new digs.

I have the pleasure of working from home one day a week. I look forward to this day because I don't have to deal with traffic, I can work in the comfort of my own home, and I can get work done with fewer interruptions.

Earlier this week, I came across a CNN story about telecommuters that don't work from home. These telecommuters work from wherever they want to be. They are working globetrotters. Today's technology makes it possible for many people to work from anywhere in the world. I think we are still some time away from this being an option for many employees. However, it may be a viable option for contract work. If work can be outsourced to anywhere in the world, why not a beach or mountain top?

"People ask me where I live, and I'm not sure what to say, I'm not sure where I live. I live in the world."
- Trygve Inda

If you could be an extreme telecommuter, from where would you work?



August 04, 2007  
Adam Goucher wrote:

Ya, I'm pretty jealous of his view too...

While not extreme per say, you should also look at 'digital bedouins.' There was an flurry articles about it earlier this year when cnn picked up on the idea. Basically, have laptop and cool phone and will work from where ever.

August 06, 2007  
Erkan Yilmaz wrote:

> If you could be an extreme telecommuter, from where would you work?
I'd like to work from places where I have e.g. "access" to different kind of people (who have e.g. other views than I would have at that moment of time).

e.g. prison inmates, retired persons, people who are in hospitals, truck drivers, people waiting for their air planes, childrens, ...

While you are talking with them you might also be doing something good by paying attention to them. Who knows perhaps you stamp people to become software testers ?

Of course this requires that the other persons want to talk, but can't you convince others (to talk) ?

Well, who knows I could also be knocking at all the tester homes: and ask e.g. Ben or Adam: "Do you have some time ? I wanted to test with you this feature." I wonder, if I should book my ticket already for the journey ? :-)

How about adding some screenshots of bugs with a wonder of the world in the background ? Would this attract more people to read the bug reports (just kidding: if you do not have the writing skill to convince a developer or product manager to read a bug report completely, the picture will not help that much :-) ) ?

August 13, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

I was once snowed in for a few days at a hotel in a small town in western Kansas. If I can work from a hotel in nowhere Kansas (actually a charming small town with very friendly residents), I could probably work from anywhere. I could definitely live cheap in western Kansas. :)

It might even be possible to live in an airport like the guy in the movie The Terminal. :)

As a tester, it would be great to be able to spend more time working from wherever I could observe and interact with the users of the products I test.