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I have been working remotely full time since the Fall of 2006

During that first try, it was simple because we were just following the ethos of the open-source programming community. Even then, way before offshoring was popular, naturally insular and introverted programmers and developers would collaborate together across timezones, cultures, languages, and even languages (English, is very honestly,m the world's pidgin, the world's patois).
I have been working remotely full time since the Fall of 2006

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay

I have been working remotely full time since the Fall of 2006. When I started AbrahamPR, which quickly morphed into Abraham Harrison with the addition of Mark Harrison, I took the ethos I learned when I was working as a Full-Stack developer (nee LAMP developer) from 1996 through 2003.

During that first try, it was simple because we were just following the ethos of the open-source programming community. Even then, way before offshoring was popular, naturally insular and introverted programmers and developers would collaborate together across timezones, cultures, languages, and even languages (English, is very honestly,m the world's pidgin, the world's patois).

I've had ADSL from a company called Speakeasy since 1998 and surely has broadband for a few years before then. Everything in my life was done asynchronously. The entire Linus and Gnu/Open Source community ran on async comms. The only people who didn't get it were the people who would insist that the entire world would synchronize to one agreed-upon conference call.

Ironically, those were the same people who never realized that low bandwidth was always a feature and not a bug. They were the people who insisted on creating real-time space and offices and live chat groups on places like AOL and Second Life, places where none of the actual devs or hackers spent any time, only the perverts, the bored, and the lonely.

The actual interesting people were on asynchronous terminal ASCII bulletin boards, forums, message boards, and online communities like The WELL, ArtsWire, The Meta Network, and even specialized BBSes, Listservs (for the scholars and nerd-adjacent), and USENET newsgroups.

Yes, there was Talk where you could chat and there was IRC where you could hang, but that was for pleasure. The asynchronous world is where people got shit done. The fact that there are entire villages around the world filled with Virtual Assistants that are sleeping weird hours to mirror the working hours of their parent companies and bosses really explains how much people don't get it. I love to make fun of people without passion.

That, for me, business is personal and I can really only sell things I am sold on; however, most of the world's moguls, entrepreneurs, VCs, and even CEOs are just selling widgets. In this case, the widget just happens to be Facebook and Uber and the rest. I don't mean to disparage Mark Zuckerburg: he was legit a coder and a geek; and the OGs who created PayPal and Google and all the rest are legit scientists, geeks, and even nerds.

But "back in my day", we knew what Linux and Unix SAs looked like. We could spot (and smell) a code from blocks away. Not even the former cell phone salesmen who got their Microsoft Certs passed our muster. I mean, the network guys were pretty cool--and we needed them--but they were walking around in button-downed oxford shirts and wearing Dockers.

Learning that Silicon Valley might never have been this way ever and that it has always been a little douchy and way more hipster--like the way portrays hackers and coders in the movies--than they really are. Mind you, there are sexy coders but it's not their fault that they're hot, blame their parents. But really, most of the time, no one ever saw anyone else.

I did most of my growing up from 23 through 28 becoming a man among men on an online conferencing system known as tmn.com--The Meta Network. It was hosted by a company called Metasystems Design Group (MDG) and while the partners did share an office space together, it was mostly because they really needed to work in-between places: between the real and the virtual (that might have been my biggest mistake, not taking that role).

I never really looked like the geek I was and it might have been my superpower; however, I am the most gregarious painfully introverted guy you've never met. So I probably would have hated that. In fact, I did. I tried to make myself take that role when Abraham Harrison really began to take off. I put myself into the role of Chief Dog and Pony Show Officer. And it was OK if I had lots of time and space to go into my hidey-hole to recover and relax.

I think it has a lot to do with inheriting my mum's anxiety disorder. It might not be as extreme as her's, thankfully, but you should rent space in my head before attending an event with loads of people or if I have to do an in-person presentation. Maybe you can't see it from the outside (I don't have a resting bitch face, I have resting confidence face).

So, short story long, I have spent the majority of whatever career I have virtual, remotely.

In my current company, Gerr.is, I have a business partner, Daniel Krueger. I haven't shaken his hand or broken bread with him, I think, since 2010. So, it's been just about a decade that we have been completely virtual. Yes, I see him in HD on our Zoom and Skype video meetings; however, I'm being serious. Equal partners and not meet up in a decade.

And no, he doesn't live in Botswana. He lives in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, only 170.2 miles from my hidey-hole in south Arlington, Virginia.

Apps like Slack might have been made to act a little asynchronously, but now they're real-time synchronous tools for mostly real, sometimes distributed, and maybe virtual offices.

To this day, I use BaseCamp as my baseline. It integrates really well with email and it's decidedly asynchronous and retro. It's message boards and it's task lists and it's an assortment of throwing tasks over a wall and then accounting for when and how they're thrown back, completed.

I tried out Asana and thought it was pretty great but very few people I knew used it (or were willing to), an issue I have with everything, it seems, except for maybe Telegram (chat), email, and Google Docs and Sheets.

Image by Nicole van Lunteren from Pixabay

Image by Nicole van Lunteren from Pixabay 

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