Where can we find top-notch python developers?

Roy Smith roy at panix.com
Sun Mar 19 04:05:16 CET 2006

In article <1hceomq.1whcmq2114jly6N%aleaxit at yahoo.com>,
 aleaxit at yahoo.com (Alex Martelli) wrote:

> Unfortunately, I entirely understand _why_ most software development
> firms prefer face-to-face employees: when I found myself, back when I
> was a freelance consultant, alternatively working remotely for some
> time, and at the client's office for another part of the time, I saw my
> productivity soar by 3-4 times when I was working locally, physically
> right next to the rest of the team, rather than remotely 

Actually, it's a quadratic problem.  If your productivity goes up N-fold by 
having face time with your co-workers, consider also that your co-workers' 
productivity also goes up N-fold by having face time with you.

For the most part I find coding to be a solitary activity (unless I'm doing 
pair programming, but that's another post).  Face time is good for design, 
code review, and solving problems.  It's also good for catching snippets of 
conversations which aren't directly related to what you're doing but keep 
you in the big-picture loop anyway.  Most of the really good design work 
I've been involved in has happened during random spontaneous hallway 
discussions.  You start with, "Hey, Joe, what do you think about ...?", 
then you go find an empty room with a whiteboard, and a couple of hours 
later, you've both earned your salaries for the month.  Sometimes, somebody 
who you didn't even think knew anything about the topic of discussion will 
notice what you're drawing on the board and contribute what turns out to be 
the winning idea.  That's really hard to do when working remotely (even if 
you're both in the same time zone, let alone 5, or 8, or 12 hours apart).

I find my most productive way of working is to come into the office every 
day and appear to get nothing useful done.  I go to meetings, schmooze, 
argue, eat lunch with co-workers, try to sell my ideas to anybody who I can 
get to listen, and deal with bureaucratic stupidity.  Then I got home and 
get in a good 3 or 4 solid hours of coding where there's nobody to bother 

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