Posts Tagged ‘skype’

  • Podcast #28: Shane Pearlman of Shane & Peter

    Podcast #28: Shane Pearlman of Shane & Peter

    Mar 23, 11 • In Featured, Interviews, Podcast

    In this episode I talk to Shane Pearlman of Shane & Peter, a fully dispersed software consultancy. We talked about recruiting  the right kinds of people for a distributed team, and how to stay connected as friends as well as coworkers. Show notes: Shane Pearlman is @justlikeair on Twitter Shane & Peter Check out the Shane & Peter Lifeblog Redmine Adium Coworking Freelance Camp

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  • 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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  • Podcast #23: Interview with Rob Dempsey of LifeOfTheFreelancer.com (Part 2 of 2)

    Podcast #23: Interview with Rob Dempsey of LifeOfTheFreelancer.com (Part 2 of 2)

    Feb 8, 11 • In Interviews, Podcast

    Part two of a conversation between Rob Dempsey of LifeOfTheFreelancer.com and myself. In this part we dig into the intersection of freelancing and distributed teams: the phenomenon of ad-hoc teams composed of independent consultants who come together to work on a specific project. If you’re a freelancer trying to figure out how you can take on bigger jobs, you need to check out this episode. Show notes: Rob’s site is lifeofthefreelancer.com,[email protected] on Twitter. Since this podcast was recorded, he also launched The Itinerant Entrepreneur. Shane & Peter is a web development consultancy that organizes teams of independent consultants to take on larger projects. We discussed using Campfire from 37Signals for team chat

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  • The Endless Break

    The Endless Break

    Oct 18, 10 • In Practices

    Everyone needs to take a break from time to time, especially if you’ve been collaborating closely for an hour or more. But when working together remotely, breaks have a way of stretching out longer than intended. Here’s one simple rule for avoiding the Endless Break. It’s a common enough scenario: you work together with a coworker for an hour or so, and then you hit a stopping point and decide to take a 5-minute breather. Both of you go for a walk, maybe grab some water, and then head back to the desk and sit down again to get some more work done. When collaborating remotely, it doesn’t always work out like that. You get back to your desk, and check your teammate’s IM status. It doesn’t say “away”, but she hasn’t posted anything on

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  • Screenshare-palooza

    Screenshare-palooza

    Sep 16, 10 • In Toolkit

    The ability to share your screen with a remote team member is an essential piece of the remote collaboration toolkit. When it comes to screensharing software, there is a dazzling, sometimes baffling array of options. Here are a few I know of. Skype has built-in screensharing. It is currently display-only, but it works across all platforms. They appear to be using the same video compression technology for it as they do for their video chat, which means that while the picture can be a bit blurry, it copes well with temporary network slowdowns. Good old VNC is still one of the most robust and cross-platform solutions for sharing desktop control. There are multiple VNC clients and servers for every OS, both free and paid. DimDim, Yugma, YuuGuu are all launchable from the web, all have names that

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  • Get up, stand up: Coordinating with a Daily Meeting

    Get up, stand up: Coordinating with a Daily Meeting

    Sep 9, 10 • In Practices

    A short daily meeting is a great way to keep your team members on the same page. But holding a virtual meeting every day can pose special challenges. This article discusses different ways that real dispersed teams handle daily meetings. Almost all of the dispersed teams I’ve talked to have had some kind of daily meeting during the week in order to say in sync with each other. They usually use the term “daily standup”, as popularized by various Agile methodologies, although in my experienced distributed teams don’t usually physically stand up during these meetings. This has less to do with a lack of team energy and more to do with being able to be seen on their webcams. The typical format for a daily standup is to go around the “room” and answer the

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  • Netbooks: A Remote Worker’s Best Friend

    Netbooks: A Remote Worker’s Best Friend

    Sep 2, 10 • In Practices, Uncategorized

    A netbook can grant you great freedom in where you work from, but that’s just the beginning. In this article I talk about the advantages of using a netbook as your primary videoconferencing device. I recently acquired a Netbook (a Lenovo S10-3t), and with just a week’s worth of use it has already made big changes in how I work. Of course, I already knew how useful the netbook would be for “workshifting” – working from wherever I happen to be. While my main workstation is already a laptop, it’s a desktop replacement-style laptop so it’s on the larger and heavier side. And with an i7 CPU, it tends to go through batteries pretty quickly. The netbook has none of these limitations. There’s no excuse left not to answer my email from the kitchen table,

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  • The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide: Part 2

    The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide: Part 2

    Jul 1, 10 • In Basics

    In part 2 of this series, I talk about why face time is essential; the two types of realtime communication tool which should form the backbone of your day to day interactions as a dispersed team; and why instant messaging can do more harm than good. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you may want to go back and read it. Face Time A little face-to-face communication goes a long way with remote work. A day spent working with a teammate in person can change the whole character of your subsequent online interactions. Before, they were a screen name and an avatar. After working with them in person, with every instant message or email they send you’ll have a mental picture of their tone and mannerisms to go with it. People become more

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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 control 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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