This week, Don and I discuss our history with in-office and remote work, why junior devs might reconsider working outside the office, and how requiring folks to work in your proximity is a trait of managerial vanity
I couldn’t find it in the show notes and I can’t listen right now, but I’m curious about your reasoning why junior developers would want to consider in-office work. I agree 100%, I’m just curious what you think about it.
As an aside, my wife’s work has a system where she basically gains 1 remote work day every 3 months (well, up to 2 days, but it’s a Big Old Company), which I think is a pretty reasonable way to onboard people to the company and business while also allowing freedom.
Two reasons, for me:
Learning. Pairing face-to-face with someone, or being able to ask questions in-person, is a much faster way to learn things. The ability to interrupt the more experienced person is a big advantage to the learner, and remote interruption is harder to do. The fidelity of the conversation is stronger in-office, rather than remote, as well.
Politics. The ability to maneuver office politics, get a promotion, move up the ladder, etc, is much easier to do with a lot of firms face-to-face. There’s a bias that so many managers have with a person being in front of them instead of through a chat program.
You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with your wife’s approach of remote and in-office mix, but for folks trying to break into a career, I think there are certain advantages that on-site gives them.
I’m in total agreement. #1 applies not just to technical learning, but about business domain learning, as well. I hadn’t thought of #2, though, that’s a great point!
I mean, #2 is kind of gross, right? Why shouldn’t advancement be strictly on merit? But if only things worked that way…
I love working remote, so I think it’s a great goal for folks to go after. However, when I was talking to my students about it, I wanted them to consider the side effects of trying remote for their first gigs, which are usually critical for future success.
It is gross, but being aware of and understanding the problem lets you engage with it instead of tripping over it, unawares. Politics is gross, in general, but educating ourselves and engaging in the process helps mitigate nasty surprises in the future, which is why I’m glad you mentioned it.