A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.

Issue 030: Home Office

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Issue 030: Home Office

Welcome to the thirtieth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Home Office. In this edition, Adrian explores the conditio sine qua non required for telecommuting to develop and thrive; Graham analyzes the economics that conspire against working from home; and in the Library section, Adrian talks about Gerald Weinberg's 1971 seminal book, "The Psychology of Computer Programming".

Await! In Async We Trust

In 1997, I moved back to Argentina to start a career in software engineering in a small web startup. They were in such a small office in the outskirts of Buenos Aires that my boss told me to go to the phone company, and get a new phone line installed at home. Then she gave me a US Robotics 56K dial-up modem, got me a subscription to an Internet Service Provider, and with those, I worked from home for the first few months. I would only go to the office on Monday mornings for regular coordination, and on other occasions randomly, usually during team events. The company paid for both the phone line and the ISP.

Your Place or Mine?

It is no great secret, and no great surprise, that the latest SARS outbreak has greatly reshaped the world of work. Particularly in software engineering: where the work can be done anywhere with an internet connection so codes can be pasted from Stack Overflow, and the practitioners generally have a dislike of meetings. Your average stereotype of a software engineer would rather build the wrong thing for eight hours in a flow state, than have a 15-minute conversation in which they find out what direction they should be going in.

Gerald Weinberg

Some books are like mirrors. By that I mean that reading them involves a great deal of looking at oneself, both for praise and loathing. Taking a look back in time, reflecting on all those times we thought we were right and we were wrong, bringing back memories of times long gone, some of them painful, most hopefully fun and joyful.

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