Remote Work: My first decade working from the far end of the earth

Presented by John Dalton
Friday 2:35 p.m.–3:20 p.m. in Medium Lecture Theatre CB11.00.401
Target audience: Community

Abstract

Even though the open source community is one in which online collaboration is the norm, I still tend to get a lot of questions from people when they first find out that I work completely remotely. "How did you get a job like this?" "What's it like to work from home?" "Oh, I couldn't do that - you must be so disciplined!" "What tools do you need to be succesful at remote work?" It's been ten years now since I first took a leap into the unknown and started working remotely for a small company on the other side of the world. I've changed jobs since, and worked with people based all over the globe. This milestone seemed like a great chance to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and to discuss the practice of remote work with coworkers and colleagues, past and present. In this talk I'll discuss the challenges and opportunities that remote work brings, what it takes - both personally and organisationally - for remote work to be successful, and what it's like to go a decade without a coworker on the same continent. We'll talk about what kind of software and practices an organisation can use to enable remote work, and most importantly we'll talk about how crucial workplace culture is in allowing remote work to succeed.

Presented by

John Dalton

John Dalton is a Database Administrator for Engine Yard, where he's been working remotely from his home office in Tasmania to support developers around the world for the past six years. Most of his career has been spent as a *nix sysadmin since shortly after he first fell in love with Unix in the mid 90s. When not fixing Linux boxes and databases in the cloud John enjoys being a dad to his four boys, video and tabletop gaming, cooking and decorating cakes. As far as he knows he is the only person to have ever interrupted a birthday party to comply with the terms of a CC-BY-SA license before cutting the cake.