It's weird how, in the age of reasonably effective remote communication tools, software engineering jobs cluster extremely strongly geographically.

@pnathan take: the remote communication tools are in fact actually not all that effective.

(ben kingsley's character in _sneakers_: "don't kid yourself. it's not that organized.")

@brennen Interesting.

My general take is that we don't need *tools* to be effective remote workers, we need management towards developing effective processes.

@pnathan i don't think i'd disagree too hugely or anything, but i also think there's just a lot of power in physical proximity that networked comms have a very hard time competing with.

in hybrid orgs, it still feels like you're going to have the onsite people who kinda know what is going on and the remote people who mostly don't.

i'm sure there are exceptions.

@brennen "i also think there's just a lot of power in physical proximity that networked comms have a very hard time competing with."

Like what? Can you nail down what that is outside of "managers feel happier to see butts in seats"?

@pnathan sure: face to face communication is pretty high bandwidth, and humans are still social animals with a lot of protocols that only operate fully in meatspace.

@pnathan don't get me wrong - i've spent half my life on the network and i've been full-time remote for several years, so i'm not over here arguing against the existence of remote work. but i think we're kidding ourselves if we assert that the network transcends any advantage to shared physical space.

@brennen @pnathan Informal communication with very little setup cost, like meeting in the halls or at the coffee machine are very hard to replace by online interactions. I also think that their immediacy is much more likely to lead to direct action compared to some online contact.

@galaxis @brennen I get that, but that's perfectly feasible to do online with IRC, Twitter, etc. you just need people who are comfortable chatting with a keyboard. :)

@pnathan @galaxis i've been on irc for like 20 years and it's been part of my work life for a good chunk of that. i've got lifelong friendships formed there. etc.

it still ain't the same thing.

@galaxis @pnathan and if it were, i wouldn't use irc once or twice a week to organize a meetup for lunch/beer/whatever. what, after all, would be the point?

@pnathan @galaxis maybe if we were talking face to face things would be clearer.


@brennen @galaxis highly doubtful.

and if we were talking face to face, I couldn't mull over your words adequately later.

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