Part-time Perl Developer Position based Reading, UK

Peter Edwards peter at
Thu May 26 16:46:02 BST 2011

> Let's assume that you and I work together.  You like working at home, I
> prefer to work at work.  Now, one day we need to discuss something.  How
> do we do that?
> What I used to do was schedule 2-3 days a week in for meetings if that was
necessary at points of a project lifecycle.
A properly run meeting takes time to prepare an agenda and write minutes and
carry out follow-up tasks so if you're spending more than 2d a week on them
they are probably not productive. Unless you're meaning pair programming and
the like.
Mostly a day a week was enough.

> Those "collaboration tools" only work if they work well for all the
> participants.
Well the ops manager lived in the South of France and the colleague I
programmed most closely with lived in Paris. Another colleague lived up in
Sleaford.  We used Skype, occasional meetings, collaborative drafts of
specs. Seemed to work okay.
In fact although I'm on site here every day still most of the discussion
work I've done has been on MS messenger with rarer white board workouts.

> > To get a gig like that you must have some worth to a business - industry
> > knowledge, domain knowledge, contacts - and some personal attributes -
> > organised, flexible attitude - to make it work. You need something to
> > differentiate yourself from some cheaper guy abroad.
> Are you saying that people who can't - or won't - persuade manglement
> that they should work at home are somehow lacking in those requirements?

My point was really that a UK person will be more expensive to employ as a
teleworker than a East European or Indian teleworker so you need to offer
something - such as on-site availability - to justify the cost.
A pal of mine running a suits company in London got Vietnamese programmers
to write his company shop for that reason.
If you're somewhere where management won't play and you want to telework
then you have to move elsewhere. Which is what I did originally to get to an
employer with a more tolerant attitude.
The alternative approach of hack-on-open-source-projects and
get-yourself-known then telework-all-night-sleep-all-day is also possible
provided you're enough of a smart-arse to justify your rate.

> TEH FOOOTBAWL or about what was on the idiot-box last
> night or what AWESUM SPORTS CAR you don't know a damned thing about but
> really want - none of that has any bearing on being able to talk sense to
> a client.
> All oil on the social wheels. Most humans are social animals and get on and
work better with people who make some effort along those lines, however
insincere or pointless. One of the evils of recruitment software is finding
out the sales guys record people's favourite footy teams / interests as well
as partner name/kids names and birthday so they can trot them out on the
phone / in person as if they a) remembered; b) gave a shit, in order to
maintain a relationship as a basis for doing business. I suppose you *could*
proceed without any social niceties (see earlier customer quote).

Cheers, Peter

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