Glen is entering week three of this two month long road trip and it feels like he’s been gone for three months already! As far as working with Glen goes, we haven’t noticed a difference thanks to apps such as Slack – we’ve been able to communicate in real-time, make cloud based called and send files, projects are being worked on the same as if Glen was in the office!
Before you carry on, here’s a quick recap of where has been before we find out about this weeks adventures… Brussels – Vienna – Szeged (Hungary) – Budapest – Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Venice – Prague…
From Venice to Prague, and one day in which to complete the journey… Google told us it would take around eight hours, but from our experience we’ve learnt to add at least another two hours on for comfort breaks and food – with what we have already experienced this is what we would now consider to be a breeze of a drive, however this all changes when the night before you stay up gaming (old schooling it with LAN / Age of Empires) to the early hours of the morning and only have half the recommended amount of hours needed for a “good night’s rest”. Anyway, travelling to Prague was a struggle, my mate and I took it in shifts drive and have power naps to compensate, oh and lots of Red Bull 😀
Bang for our buck!
Finding the ideal place in Prague was tricky, when it came to finding the perfect place to eat, regardless of where you are (unless your in a tourist area) you find yourself at a supermarket chain! The noodles are 10p and everything is pretty much the price it is back in the UK (around the time when tuck shops and healthing eating bans in schools were non existent!)
How nice it is to have the window open and not have to worry about those blood sucking creatures! Well… from what I understand they exist in this country too but it’s not even half as bad as it was in Venice – I haven’t been bitten yet!
Working as a Digital Nomad
Communication is key – At Matmi we use Slack, if you don’t know what it is, it’s simply a messaging platform that allows you to make calls, have group conversations, create threads and topics based upon messages, transfer and download files. This is how I have been working whilst one the road, I’ve been able to keep in touch with the guys back at HQ and work with them co-operativly on projects.
From my journey so far, I feel that this a valuable tool, not only has it made life so much easier with regards to tackling issues, keeping up to date and attending my daily stand ups, it actually helps with productivity.
When you’re in the office speaking to a colleague about task related issues or solutions I find Slack is an invaluable tool – you can use it for future reference – for example if you’ve forgotten where an object should be placed on a screen or how that object should interact you can just check your notes in Slack.
Can Slack actually be better then working in the office? Yes! Speaking to someone face to face may be quicker sometimes but it could actually be more productive using Slack to keep notes so that you don’t have to keep asking the same questions, thus saving time.
Breaking focus – Being a programmer requires alot of mental focus for examples – when you’ve got a visual blueprint of how all the elements within a feature interacts with one another, and how it interacts with a server. The problem with being in the office is at a moments notice someone quickly grabs your attention and the image you’ve constructed in your brain has gone and you’ve got to start the whole visualisation process again… thus a decrease in productivity.
Good for Communication skills – I think my communication skills have improved since I have been remote working, because it’s not as easy as just explaining something face to face I feel that your messages about tasks have to be constructed in the shortest amount of words, very direct and straight to the point being to be able to get your vision across without too much messaging back and forth.
Overall Slack has been an invaluable tool for on the road and even for the office, instead of having work related conversations face to face why not record them by speaking through Slack? It helps promote focus, increase communication skills and a give you a paper trail.