Archive for the ‘Tips & Hacks’ Category

  • Encouraging Involvement in Distributed Teams

    Encouraging Involvement in Distributed Teams

    Mar 14, 11 • In Basics, Featured, Practices, Tips & Hacks

    One of the biggest challenges in remote work is simply making sure everyone has a strong sense of involvement. In this article Steven Baker, a veteran of dispersed agile software development teams, shares his experiences and recommendations for keeping the communication, camaraderie, and personal connections alive in a distributed setting. When you don’t occupy the same office for the same period of time every day with your co-workers, you can’t walk to your co-worker’s desk, or turn around in your chair to have a chat about what you’re working on. There is no water cooler to mill around get in the loop on what’s happening, and having lunch together is difficult. Differences in location, timezone, and working hours, can all combine to make you and the members of your team disconnected from each other. This

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  • Using a Control Channel to facilitate virtual meetings

    Using a Control Channel to facilitate virtual meetings

    Jun 29, 10 • In Tips & Hacks

    Data communications protocols are often divided into a┬ácontrol channel and a data channel. An example from electrical engineering are the “control lines” and “data lines” in an RS-232 connector. The FTP protocol uses a similar arrangement, where a control connection is opened to port 21, and a data connection to port 20. The source of this common pattern is the realization that it is fundamentally difficult to manage a conversation using the same channel you are using to have the conversation. It’s hard to say “wait, you’re sending me too much information” if the pipe you you need to send that message on is clogged with all that information. Human conversations use a control channel as well. Our data channel, of course, is our voices. But when people are gathered in a room for a

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