Getting Insight Into The Challenges Created By Digital Nomads

from the join-in dept

If you haven't been paying attention to the Techdirt Insight Community lately, I wanted to let you know of a fun new project that's taking place there. It's new series of expert discussions in the Insight Community, sponsored by Dell, about the various challenges created by the rise of "digital nomads." With a growing number of people being able to work from anywhere with just a computing device and an internet connection, both companies and individuals are finding a variety of new challenges -- from how to strike that work/life balance, to keeping a team on the same page, to dealing with security issues, to just dealing with the basic challenges of carrying stuff around and finding connectivity. We're putting the best content together and creating something of a living digital whitepaper with input from a variety of folks. If you're a member of the community, log in and contribute. If you're not a member, join now and contribute your insight (and maybe earn some money for your efforts).

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  1. identicon
    Steven Leach, 14 Aug 2008 @ 2:32pm

    Digital Nomads, SOHO, Software Development, Virtual Corporations

    I have been developing software for various companies off and on from my home, and at one time was a total at home developer, netadmin from 1995 - 2001. I installed Linux servers in companies, and would remotely administer them using a fractional T1 Line. These days I use DSL, with a variety of packages. I no longer administer Linux systems, the companies wised up after 2001, and no longer needed me to "maintain" those systems so i had to find a different source of revenue. Since I developed software, I started offering my services through different websites, but was unable to make a steady living, so I started telecommuting for various companies in Silicon Valley, Sacramento, and now Folsom. In each case the majority of my work was performed at home, and I would visit the company site 1 -2 days per week, for meetings, integration, testing etc. These are my expereinces.
    Various source code control packages, or version control packages were not meant to handle different time zones. Time stamps on files can always be a problem. Even now I work at a company where the IT head insists on keeping the date/Time on my work computer in the Time zone in which that person resides, not the time zone in which I work. When I edit common documents this causes a problem, that I have to fix with a PowerShell Script.
    Todays telecommute options are far superior in 90% of the features than even 5 years ago when I headed a project where some of the software was contracted from a Ukrainian group, I was in California, and the actually company where we all met and tested software was a 3 hour drive away. Conferencing software, white boarding, and interactivity net meeting offerings, along with remote control software of internet accessible computers have grown up to the point that I have interviewed, written software, remotely debugged the software I created, never setting foot anywhere near the actual company.
    Security is an issue for some companies, but other companies, just have simple policies, like archive the days software efforts, with a password, place the archive on a shared gmail account, or rapidshare account, and send an encrypted e-mail to company detailing what was accomplished, and the password.
    The internet has become a must have for most software development, tele-everything is usually considered at the very start of any project. If specifics are needed please e-mail me.

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