Weekly Developers Hangout #2 : remote? working?

Yep, it’s not Scottish, and it’s the second one – I 1-indexed that one, boosh.

A few technical problems – turns out microphones and headphones don’t work unless they’re turned on and enabled, and webcams don’t work if you don’t have one.

So, the chat? Can you work on island whilst the rest of your team are on another island? Webcams will see to most of that, but even on a beautiful island like Mull, don’t expect people to flock from all over the world to you office, just to hack some PHP. Make use of the tools at your disposal.

As some of you may know, I started a monthly technical forum at work, broadcast out from head office to 3 remote sites and whatever client sites people want to dial in from. We make heavy use of slides and low-motion visuals to save bandwidth, and try and keep things accessible to people only on the phone. It’s a big team, and a big effort, but after a year of meetings, it’s really paying off, management are backing it, and it’s a good place for staff to talk and learn. Getting the images and sounds to the remote office isn’t the tricky part (although it’s harder than it should be), the trick is to keep the remote participants engaged. Give them feedback channels in advance of the event so they can get their questions answered. Provide videos afterwards for people to watch at their leisure. And at every opportunity, remind them that their voice should be heard. If an online conversation is swamped by one site, what’s the point of having it online?

If you’re coming along next week, noon at My Google+ Profile (invites : http://goo.gl/P0p2b ) keep an eye on the news for something you want to discuss, or throw a link to a book, a gadget or a toolkit you want to discuss below.

Until next week peeps.

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