Remote perl developers amid the CoViD-19

We’re in the middle of a *global* pandemic with the coronavirus running riot around the world. Most countries have implemented some form of “lockdown”, forbidding their citizens to gather in large numbers, or congregate together. There was a time when self-satisfied westerners looked askance at the Chinese tourists wandering around European cities with their face masks looking like a scene from a sci-fi movie. CoViD-19, to give it it’s proper name, has changed that and now the sight of a face mask is an everyday event, and we’re all in the same movie. Equally, even where lockdown is less rigorous, and people can mingle to an extent, there is a need to maintain a “safe” distance of at least 2m between people, wear gloves at all times and wash your hands often, preferably with an alcohol gel.

Whether you’re a perl developer, a php, java, c++, or a SQL developer, the restrictions hits all of us. All of this makes it fairly obvious that sitting in tightly packed underground/metro trains on mainstream commuter routes is a recipe for disaster. What we need is to find a way to get to work *without* going to work physically together and *without* working physically together. The obvious solution is to switch to remote working, or telecommuting as it used to be known. If you have a project manager who can handle it, remote working offers many advantages:

  • Less cross-contamination between commuters and their families.
  • Less cross-contamination between workers and their families.
  • Less traffic and public-transport generated pollution.
  • More efficient use of distributed environments and personalized work-spaces.
  • More time to work, instead of commuting or attending pointless meetings (nb. not all meetings are pointless).
  • More time to code with perl, the shell and the https protocol, and time to interact with a SQL database or two.

All that fun stuff.

You’d think that agencies, and their clients too of course, would be absolutely clamouring for remote workers. And if, like me, you’ve spent the last 10 years working entirely remotely on perl and SQL based projects, one would expect the walls to be being battered down as agencies couldn’t get enough people to fill the rapidly expanding “remote perl and SQL developer” slots. I have 20 years experience in this industry, the last 10 years all remote, you’d think we’d begin to hear enthusiasm for remote working by now, especially from clients whose main interfaces are HTTPS based. Is it time for change?

Apparently not. The spins I keep hearing are variations of: “It’s ok, we’ll be out of lockdown in a few days.”, “The client really wants someone in the office”, “Your experience in aerospace doesn’t really match my client building his job-search engine.”, “We work remotely and very efficiently in Germany, ah you’re in Spain? That’s different.”, “Oh, remote? Hmmm, we’ll be in touch…”, and my favourite: “It’ll be over by christmas!”.

If you are interested in hiring an experienced REMOTE perl, php, shell and SQL, developer, then please feel free to get in touch.

Cheers

richard.foley [at] rfi.net