Re: telecommuting - advice needed

Subject: Re: telecommuting - advice needed
From: Lev Abramov <lev -dot- abramov -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Joy Kocar <kocar -dot- joy -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 18:51:42 +0200

I would not even dream of working in a distributed working environment
without using Skype. I sincerely hope this is the main communication tool
adopted by the team (which remains to be seen, of course). Given that
neither I nor the folks in the Philippines are native speakers of English,
using a video channel might provide visual support (articulation) that can
be helpful in comprehending each other's utterances. On the other hand,
there is usually a delay that desynchronizes voice and video, so the real
value of this tool might not be so great. I'll report what my mileage has
been once I get results.
Some sort of written communication will certainly be necessary - both to
make sure we are on the same page, and to ensure some sort of accountability
("I did not say that!" - "Yes, you did!" - you know, that sort of thing...).

I strongly doubt I will have a say in the selection of specific tools (wikis
etc) as I am joining an existing team (been recruited because of the logjam
they are experiencing at the moment, in hope I will be able to unclog
whatever bottleneck there is...). I will certainly do my best to introduce
my favorite procedure-documenting tool - a freeware screen event recorder
called Wink <> - if there are procedures to
document and if the tool is not used by the team.

One thing I know: it won't be boring. :)

I will definitely report on the development.


On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 5:33 PM, Joy Kocar <kocar -dot- joy -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> You might want to consider using Skype. We have a team in the US and
> Australia. We have weekly meetings held over Skype and that has worked
> brilliantly for us. From time to time the reception is not ideal but for a
> free service you can't beat it.
> Filipinos tend to be fluent in English (especially those on Luzon) though
> some have strong accents. With Skype you can have them clarify things by
> typing in a chat box so you can have simultaneous voice and IM. If you all
> have webcams, Skype supports video so you can get some of the body language.
> Skype also keeps a history of the chat so you can copy the text to create
> minutes of the meeting. You can use the minutes to verify what everyone
> agreed upon. Minutes can be composed and maintained on a wiki like Google
> sites or use Google docs.

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telecommuting - advice needed: From: Lev Abramov
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