Sharing Experiences with Distributed Collaboration

Working in distributed teams using virtual tools opens up many possibilities, makes us more flexible and saves CO2, however, it also comes with many challenges.

We have to understand those to improve our processes.

Please share your experiences with distributed work and how it differs from working together face to face here.

You can use these 3 questions to guide you:

  • What are the most common/important challenges in distributed work for you?

  • Which aspects of face to face collaboration are most important for you?

  • What was the best remote-work/collaboration experience you ever had?

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Thanks for asking!

Part of the reason I went to re:web was to pitch the idea that I’m playing with, which is to build a networking bridge for ssb. This was two fold, I’ll possibly need their collaboration at the app level to plug this in, and also if this was something that some of the ssb team present would value.

With good intentions, we met between sessions, and suddenly realized my script that I’d planned on the flight in was probably d.o.a. :smile: While we had discussed prior to meeting, and we had followed each other, read each others manifestos, etc… what I hadn’t realized was the cultural differences coming in as more of a hardware type hacker, versus the incredibly skilled software hackers they are. Some of the items that were design constraints, say radio link budget, there was not really awareness of. No fault on any party :smile:

This comes to this:

  • What are the most common/important challenges in distributed work for you?

By meeting face to face, I was able to get a faster understanding on the cultural differences – sw vs. hw – that I may need to api the interface to the hardware in alternate ways suitable for their use. The challenge would be this cultural difference could have extended for a lot longer and impeded true collaboration.

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Thank you @Emile, that is a great point and good experience! How are you developing your idea further now after you met and saw those differences?

@MariaEuler — I haven’t quite figured that out yet :smiley: I’ve been reflecting on this a little bit since I also recognize there is not a shared “technical” language between the team. This is in contrast to a job I worked on with a former colleague this fall; where we had that shared language and idioms; and we were having a blast collaborating on an RF problem.

Luckily; I’m still waiting for hardware so it is not a pressing issue — and I suspect things will take more time to discuss where those gaps are; recognizing that I’m going to get a workout on my empathy/patience skills :laughing: