I was invited to the Collegeville Workshop three days ago (Monday) and am thrilled that the entire thing is virtual and remote this year, because otherwise my introverted self that is allergic to traveling would likely not have been able to attend. The topic this year is developer productivity, meaning for a white paper:

Your text can address impediments, challenges, opportunities, research directions or potential solutions, or combinations of these aspects.

I really wanted to contribute. But what insight could I offer? I first thought about more technical approaches - talking about tools and software that might help the remote developer. That didn’t seem like something that was really in my wheelhouse to have expertise on. I also thought about different kinds of managerial advice that might be given, namely how to foster collaboration with a remote team. I largely interact with open source communities or independent projects and I certainly don’t manage anyone, so I couldn’t offer insight there.

Write about what you know

I decided to take an overly simple approach, give in to writing about “softer” things, and importantly, write about what I know. This started as one document to detail some good practices and challenges, but very quickly morphed into two when I realized that I had much more to say. So, without further adieu, here you go!

  • Developer productivity means developer happiness
  • Future wants for remote software engineering

  • I am testing out docdrop.org as a suggestion from Jon Udell, which means you can add comments or annotations on it via hypothes.is (and I'll need to figure out how to see them!) I have a feeling that some of my thinking is relevant far beyond research software engineering, and I also have no idea if these ideas have any insights for others because they seem obvious to me. However, in the tiny case that one person is inspired, I wanted to share. I don't have any intention for these documents other than sharing with you, possibly to inspire, or to help you think about yourself and what you want the future to look like. Now, it might be time for you to consider, what are the features of your happiness and productivity? And what do you want the future to look like?