Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Home working in IT - 2 years later

It has been a long time since i have written my last post. I'm now back to write a new one because i still have a lot of questions around my way of life and the home working. 

It looks like home working raise a lot of questions and really start to be trendy. perhaps one the new ways of working...

There is already an article where i gave my first impression about the home working after few months here :

I'll try to take a step back and to give some insight about me and the home working with nearly two years experience.

So i'm sure there are already a lot of questions thanks to the previous post : 
  • Do i still work in underwear or am i now at the next level and now working nude and do i stop to shave me to look like a bear?
  • What am I doing now?
  • Do I travel a lot?
  • Am I out of my local world and am i only living connected?
  • Do I improve my english within the past two years?
  • Am I still happy to work like that?

Code in underwear?

To answer it quickly : no and no, i always work dressed. Even if ok, it's possible that i checked mails or did few things before taking a shower and being dressed. Why is it stable? Simply because I have to drive kids at school before starting to work. As it's not sure to go to school in underwear is acceptable, i don't want to take any risk. More seriously, in my head, it's a good way to split things. before being dressed ans washed, I don't have start my "working day" but after it's the case.

An interesting story about writing my previous post "Yes, I code in underwear @home" is that i was not hoping to find myself associated at the first place on google search results when you're searching for "code underwear home" : . I don't know if it's a good or bad thing. Let's say it's "interesting" ;-).

About the shaving, even if i participated to the Movember last year which was already a challenge to not divorce, I'm still trying to not look like a bear. 

What am i doing now?

I'm still working for the same customer within the same team. Topics and team members changed a bit. I would say everything is still the same and everything has changed. Let me try to explain that. The big context is still the same : I'm working from home for the same customer with great guys and still doing crazy stuff. Appart from that, everything changed, not exactly the same guys and doing projects after projects which are all totally different.

I've got now two hats. On the one hand, I'm the "official" remote ScrumMaster of the team. I would never have think what a remote ScrumMaster could have been and what it could have done before working in this context. This topic can be a full post. It's not the goal of this one. On the other hand i'm a still team member of the team.

Do I travel a lot?

As i'm working for a remote company, a good question could be "does it imply a lot of travel?"

I'm working within a distributed team but with one particularity (which make the whole thing possible in our context in my opinion) : we are doing local sprint planning each 3 weeks which mean meeting each other IRL. Most of the time, it's about one day in Lille or in London which does not make a lot of difference thanks to the Channel. So these days,  i'm out for the whole day. I'm leaving home a bit early and return in the evening not so late. It has not a big impact with my family. 

In addition to that, four times per year we are doing the sprint planning where my customer is, in Switzerland. In this case, it's about a short and "extreme" week in there where we are doing sprint planning, conference, hackaton, runs in the mountain, meetings where it's easier to be in the same room, drinking beer (where it's easier to be in the same room too even if we tried some "friday beer hangout").

In my opinion, it's really a good balance between the possibility to be very available and flexible when i'm working from home for my family and the fact that i let my wife managing the family when i'm not there (It's really my vision, you can disagree or have others).

Am I still connected to my local (IT) world?

I think it easy to be disconnected from your "local (IT) world" when working at home without any interest in it because of you're not part of it... So you can start to loose friends and colleagues near you which is not good!

So, to fight against that, i'm still part of the Ch'ti JUG, the local Java User group where we organize meetup about Java and its very large ecosystem which is still cool. We recently organized a Devoxx4Kids session which is about sharing our passion for programming with kids. It was awesome to see the happiness on the kid's faces when programming a Nao or a mindstorm.

In addition to that, I'm giving scrum course at the university by helping student in their project as a Scrum coach (I hate this title!).

It's my way to keep in touch with my local world.

Do I improve my english within the past two years?

I'm really the worst person to judge it. I would say yes even if it's sure i don't have a "good english". I've got a pragmatic english to make things working every day. That's it. Appart from that, i'm still interesting in learning new words thanks to my native speaker colleague, especially insults or expression of everyday life!

Am I still happy to work like that?

To make it short : What! Already two years! 

Thanks to this way of working, i'm now a running and trail running addict. It's so easy to be able to run at lunch from my home/office. 

It's still so cool to be so efficient at work and to be so available for your kids.

Even if there is still a difference between the personal life and the working life, I've got now more international friends rather than international colleagues.

On the family side, it's still interesting to see that rules like when the door is closed, i'm working and it's possible that i will not respond if you knock on the door are still in place and still working fine. It's interesting to see that the kids have fully understand this way of working. They are able to talk about my office and my bedroom like two different things whereas it's the same room in my house ;-)

I think nobody can say if he will be able to work from home until he's doing it. It works for me and it's cool.


tike mik said...

The rest of the household goods can be left to the company which is carrying the goods, but check out what kind of packing materials they use first. Most companies will provide bubble wrap and chest style boxes so that any breakables are well taken care of. They should also offer something like a 'white glove' service which means that nothing will get dirty. This is particularly relevant when precious china or glass is being transported.
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