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Old 08-09-2016, 07:59   #16
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
Thorne not sure where you are but some of the greatest IT guys around are sailing the east coat of the usa -- they are the developers of OpenCPN and are always looking for good folks to assist in that little project. and they are great guys

look at OpenCPN and there should be contacts there.
Chuckr, thanks for the info, I'll check them out.

I stay in the gulf most of the time ( just dogged the little hurricane that hit the Florida great bend area)

So much fun... So little time. ( to sail )
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:07   #17
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Very nice, i do php, javascript, C# and monitoring my sites are critical to my work. I run my net through satellite, bit pricey but have to keep the net connection going.

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What kind of satellite setup do you have? I would really like to use a full time auto aiming setup but it is pretty pricey.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:31   #18
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Re: Cruising IT people

Glad to know there are folks out there doing it. I am a programmer myself and hope to transition to at least half time on a boat after the kids are out of the house in about 10 years.
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:06   #19
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Re: Cruising IT people

I'm at the other end of IT (management) and would like to venture into this remote work also. I have a similar setup for internet on my boat (Bullet M2 HP, ubiqti air gateway for wifi inside the boat. the biggest problem with wifi is the marinas! of the last 6 or so that I've been to that had wifi, they all except 1 had really bad implementations. 5 of the 6 were really only 1 AP with a bunch of repeaters. This leads to horrible performance I don't know why they do that except to save on the cabling costs! I've setup a few wifi environments. so (as most of you can too) can tell when the wifi is a crappy setup!

How does one get started working remotely? Contract work?
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Old 08-09-2016, 15:45   #20
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Re: Cruising IT people

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I'm at the other end of IT (management) and would like to venture into this remote work also. I have a similar setup for internet on my boat (Bullet M2 HP, ubiqti air gateway for wifi inside the boat. the biggest problem with wifi is the marinas! of the last 6 or so that I've been to that had wifi, they all except 1 had really bad implementations. 5 of the 6 were really only 1 AP with a bunch of repeaters. This leads to horrible performance I don't know why they do that except to save on the cabling costs! I've setup a few wifi environments. so (as most of you can too) can tell when the wifi is a crappy setup!

How does one get started working remotely? Contract work?
All the major banks I have worked at, (either contract or FTE), have been remote. It has been a good 7 years since I have had to go to an office. Start with the big banks and see if they have something you can do for them.
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Old 08-09-2016, 17:44   #21
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Originally Posted by BWSJWS View Post
I did a lot of research before we bought Neptulink. We will be moving from country to country in our Custom Built Bruce Roberts 370 (40ft overall) and we needed to eliminate the uncertainty of undependable wireless connections, either from marinas, friends vessels, or just trying to hook up onto one nearby (that really is not dependable at all). So we opted for cellphone technology, inserting a sim card into our cel booster and we have had (t'ill now) great success. Regularly we are connected 20nm out from the nearest cel tower unobstructed by mountains and we pay the cel provider for a monthly data package. (Just like at home in Canada but cheaper). It is simply the best out there.

I read up in the NeptuLink. Thank you very much for sharing that with us. I could see myself making great use of it sailing the Med. I think it's this year that the EU is doing away with cell roaming. So you'll be able to buy one sim card that will work accross the EU. So basically you could sail from Calais, France to Greece and stay in phone contact most of the way.

In the USA I signed up the first day of the release of GSM on AT&T. Since they only had a couple of towers working in New York at the time I was offered a flat rate monthly charge for voice and data. I still have it. So I could easily travel from Florida to Boston while being able to do business.

I'm a little involved in Tech. I direct a team of electronics engineers in a high tech center in the Mid East along with a couple of guys in California. I also direct a small team of software programmers in Argentina. My day is partly filled with dealing with high and low level systems design and build issues while also overseeing production in the Far East.

I'm constantly upgrading my patent portfolio. I just filed a new one in my area of technoligy today with 30 detailed claims. As you no doubt know that the more patents you file the more work comes down the pike as you start to deal with the USPTO examiners. Not to mention the international jurisdictions. I suppose you can call me an inventor.

Being the founder of the technology company I also have to run the business. Dealing with sales and marketing guys, legal, accounting etc.

But since I'm travelling a lot already and I'm used to managing different locations remotely I think it really doesn't matter where in the globe I work. What's really important is ability to get to an airport within a couple of days and great communications. Ocean passages I will end up using sat coms.

It's my fantasy to continue working and marrying my love of what I do with the love of the sea. I also like to do things economically. It's part of my DNA. So I am so happy you shared your Neptulink device with us all.

Bottom line is I'm already managing a high tech operation globally and it is not that difficult with the phone and computer.

Thanks and fair winds,

Chaya
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Old 08-09-2016, 18:02   #22
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Re: Cruising IT people

Thanks, Thorne, for starting this thread! Some great stuff here. I started a thread a week or so ago asking some of these questions, and you wouldn't believe some of the negative comments that it elicited. I only recently bought my first cruiser, with a 5 year plan to get the boat and ourselves ready to leave shore. Then I got the opportunity to switch positions at my job to one that will allow remote work. I develop mobile management middleware for iOS devices using Objective C and C/C++. Also coming up to speed on Android and server-side development. My boss says that as long as I can join in conference calls, send/receive email, and VPN in to connect to the corporate source control system, I'll be good to go. This thread shows that not only *can* it be done, it is already being done!

I'm in the Fort Lauderdale area, if anyone has a setup they use to work remotely that I can come look at, and let me pick your brain, afterwards I'll buy you beer...

Regards,
David


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Old 09-09-2016, 04:10   #23
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Re: Cruising IT people

I think that the content in this thread is great and it shows that it can actually be done. However, I would like to be a little voice of reason here. I'm not trying to be negative. I just want to show an angle that hasn't been considered.

I worked in IT as a consultant for 20 years. Over my career I didn't everything from programming to system integration to project management. In the last 5 years I have seen a big shift toward remote work. However, in many those instances it lead to the development team being outsourced offshore. Once the upper management noticed that working remote was feasible, they quickly realized that the person didn't need to be in the USA/Canada. Since wages for skilled programmers are 1/2 from India or China, its a "no brainer". The outgoing (laid off) programmers trained the new offshore programmers remotely.

Like I said, I don't want to be negative, but its something that needs to be considered. In fact, I felt it was so risky that my exit plan did not include remote IT work. Instead I invested my money and studied real estate markets. Now we have implemented our plan and have been cruising for 8 months on the revenue from those ventures. I'm much happier that I don't have anyone to answer to and no deadlines to worry about. A cheque just gets deposited in my account every month, while I'm out here enjoying the islands.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:02   #24
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Re: Cruising IT people

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I think that the content in this thread is great and it shows that it can actually be done. However, I would like to be a little voice of reason here. I'm not trying to be negative. I just want to show an angle that hasn't been considered.

I worked in IT as a consultant for 20 years. Over my career I didn't everything from programming to system integration to project management. In the last 5 years I have seen a big shift toward remote work. However, in many those instances it lead to the development team being outsourced offshore. Once the upper management noticed that working remote was feasible, they quickly realized that the person didn't need to be in the USA/Canada. Since wages for skilled programmers are 1/2 from India or China, its a "no brainer". The outgoing (laid off) programmers trained the new offshore programmers remotely.

Like I said, I don't want to be negative, but its something that needs to be considered. In fact, I felt it was so risky that my exit plan did not include remote IT work. Instead I invested my money and studied real estate markets. Now we have implemented our plan and have been cruising for 8 months on the revenue from those ventures. I'm much happier that I don't have anyone to answer to and no deadlines to worry about. A cheque just gets deposited in my account every month, while I'm out here enjoying the islands.





You are absolutely correct about the wage differences that can be found around the world.

However.

You shouldn't mistake having someone work remote with out-sourcing.

When out-sourcing was shoved down the throat of American companies by foreign software companies and governments who promised cheap custom software it was found to be a huge boondoggle because of cultural differences and the differences between what is considered "Good" systems design, good programming and programming by the hour, or programming by the day.

I have found that remote IT folks now have "VERY" high standards ( think scrum and agile ) due to the stigma that out-sourcing created of poor programming and unusable software products.

In the past when I was asked to "Fix" the problems created by out-sourced teams, often I found that it was better to just shelve the entire out-sourced code base and start over.

( think of a car that was an outsourced design and you find the wheels are actually on top of the car ) yes the wheels are attached and yes they turn, they just missed the subtle point that the car would need to sit on them.

This disconnect between expectation and result is however improving, I have been made aware of code that has been created by out-source teams that actually works to various degrees.

But unless there is a seasoned Architect/Programmer with proven credentials who rides herd on the out-sourced product you run the risk of not getting even the cheap product you paid for, and that causes you lost time to market. These days that can be a career mistake.

So now,,,, rather than destroy remote opportunities, outsourcing is actually creating new ones due to the clear need for more programmers and the need for somebody to make sure that systems created actually work.

And since the remote teams all work on different time schedules having a team lead actually sit in a office or cube at a specific time is getting rethought.

And so remote IT workers are coming into their own and demand will increase as the need for ever more sophisticated software continues to expand.

Of course this is only my opinion and my experience, your mileage may vary.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:51   #25
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I'm at the other end of IT (management) and would like to venture into this remote work also. I have a similar setup for internet on my boat (Bullet M2 HP, ubiqti air gateway for wifi inside the boat. the biggest problem with wifi is the marinas! of the last 6 or so that I've been to that had wifi, they all except 1 had really bad implementations. 5 of the 6 were really only 1 AP with a bunch of repeaters. This leads to horrible performance I don't know why they do that except to save on the cabling costs! I've setup a few wifi environments. so (as most of you can too) can tell when the wifi is a crappy setup!

How does one get started working remotely? Contract work?
Yes it is a rare marina that has a "Good" wifi setup.

Since you are on the management side I would think out-source team management would be the angle you should use.

And no, actually no 1099 contract for remote work.

Here is what I stay away from concerning remote work.

1. No foreign companies ( carefully vet all companies as to where ownership is)
2. No 1099 deals
3. No W2 contracts less than a year
4. No small companies
5. No companies of less than 50 employees. ( not the same as a small company)

6. No part time gigs, unless you have worked for them full time before.
7. No 30 day pay schedules.
8. No 2 week holds on first pay.



My advise is to put your resume on all the big job boards and specify remote on the ones that allow it.

I get anywhere from 3 to 5 calls a day of which maybe 1 a week is for remote work.

Of the one a week that is remote, most fail the above criteria. Only about 1 every 6 months is actually a "Real" position with no weird wrinkles.

( After I completed a really tough project I was required to sign a non-compete agreement that would make it impossible for me to work for anyone else in the U.S. for 2 years after I worked for them, well, I don't work for them anymore. )

So, it's not easy to find "Real" remote work, that will send you a check, but as with anything, persistence will pay off.

Just remember if it smells or seems weird or unethical.... It is,,, stay away.
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Old 09-09-2016, 13:33   #26
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Re: Cruising IT people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
You are absolutely correct about the wage differences that can be found around the world.

However.

You shouldn't mistake having someone work remote with out-sourcing.

When out-sourcing was shoved down the throat of American companies by foreign software companies and governments who promised cheap custom software it was found to be a huge boondoggle because of cultural differences and the differences between what is considered "Good" systems design, good programming and programming by the hour, or programming by the day.

I have found that remote IT folks now have "VERY" high standards ( think scrum and agile ) due to the stigma that out-sourcing created of poor programming and unusable software products.

In the past when I was asked to "Fix" the problems created by out-sourced teams, often I found that it was better to just shelve the entire out-sourced code base and start over.

( think of a car that was an outsourced design and you find the wheels are actually on top of the car ) yes the wheels are attached and yes they turn, they just missed the subtle point that the car would need to sit on them.

This disconnect between expectation and result is however improving, I have been made aware of code that has been created by out-source teams that actually works to various degrees.

But unless there is a seasoned Architect/Programmer with proven credentials who rides herd on the out-sourced product you run the risk of not getting even the cheap product you paid for, and that causes you lost time to market. These days that can be a career mistake.

So now,,,, rather than destroy remote opportunities, outsourcing is actually creating new ones due to the clear need for more programmers and the need for somebody to make sure that systems created actually work.

And since the remote teams all work on different time schedules having a team lead actually sit in a office or cube at a specific time is getting rethought.

And so remote IT workers are coming into their own and demand will increase as the need for ever more sophisticated software continues to expand.

Of course this is only my opinion and my experience, your mileage may vary.
Hmmmm not sure why, but we must have worked with vastly different outsourced teams. In my last 5 years of work, every one of the outsourced projects was considered a success. No "on shore" programmers were brought in to fix anything. The quality of the code written was top notch and certainly on par with the code being written by local coders. Especially the code written by Indian teams.

However, yes there were time zone issues as the projects struggled to provide support for the remote teams. Of course that problem was solved pretty quickly on those projects.

Like I said.. I'm out cruising now and was not comfortable relying on income from remote IT work despite 20 years experience. I also have not met anyone out here relying on it either, despite meeting TONS of former IT people (not sure why IT people seem to end up on boats). Just some food for thought. If you are able to make it work, then all the power to you, it would be a good life.

P.S. You missed my point that "remote" work seems to eventually become outsourced work!
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:22   #27
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Re: Cruising IT people

Hummmm, that is a bit weird, please forward the names of the teams you worked with.

I can always use more help.

And yes, I have met a bunch of folks on boats who "Used to be" in IT, one facet or another, and that is also kind of strange.

Probably the reason I'm still in it, is, I like it.

Besides sailing, it is what gets me up in the morning.

Actually it I think you could draw some close parallels between the sailing and systems creation...

Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch, well........ On second thought.....

The ever changing language and platform requirements are kind of like the ever changing weather.

You never know where the next blow ( meaning cooling shower or nasty sail shredding white squall ) is going to come from......

Example: I am into DotNet Core right now and at first blush it looked like yet another way for MicroSlop ( misspelling intended ) to drive us all crazy,,,,,

( bad storm )

but actually it is the best thing they have done in 15 years.

( refreshing shower, time to clean the decks )

And once again I am loving what I do.

Of course you could accuse me of going to far with these analogies, I told a team member the other day he needed to get back on the boat, after we found he had taken off on a rouge project.

Now if I can just find a really good Indian team that likes to sail.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:29   #28
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Re: Cruising IT people

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In the last 5 years I have seen a big shift toward remote work. However, in many those instances it lead to the development team being outsourced offshore. Once the upper management noticed that working remote was feasible, they quickly realized that the person didn't need to be in the USA/Canada.
In my segment (US state government healthcare systems), we've seen a little backlash against offshore development over the last decade. True, most developers/vendors still have offshore (primarily Indian) development resources, but most large state contracts that I see require work to be performed in the US. Sure, Indian firms combat this by bringing resources over here, but the wage gap tightens when they have to do this.

So, if you're an IT resource looking to do remote work (and your skill set aligns with needs), do a little research on firms that operate in the state government space. An experienced developer with solid credentials/references has a fighting chance against offshore resources. The federal segment may have the same kind of domestic work requirements, but I don't know that market very well.

Good luck with your boat-based work plans.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:37   #29
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Re: Cruising IT people

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In my segment (US state government healthcare systems), we've seen a little backlash against offshore development over the last decade. True, most developers/vendors still have offshore (primarily Indian) development resources, but most large state contracts that I see require work to be performed in the US. Sure, Indian firms combat this by bringing resources over here, but the wage gap tightens when they have to do this.

So, if you're an IT resource looking to do remote work (and your skill set aligns with needs), do a little research on firms that operate in the state government space. An experienced developer with solid credentials/references has a fighting chance against offshore resources. The federal segment may have the same kind of domestic work requirements, but I don't know that market very well.

Good luck with your boat-based work plans.
See.. This is why I posted this. In hopes that some suggestions would be put forth. This is great advice for Americans. Not so much for other countries. Up in Canada, it doesn't matter if its government or not, outsourcing is the reality.

I mostly worked with teams from IBM and Fujitsu (not sure if Fujitsu is still doing it). My last 3 years of work was primarily with IBM teams (out of India).
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Old 11-09-2016, 16:38   #30
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Re: Cruising IT people

I'm kicking off a new program for a major healthcare company as I write this. They have a strict policy of not only not offshoring but not hiring ANY citizens not from the USA. This is a major company you all know well.

My fellow architect almost could not work there but we were able to clear it with the CEO... And he is Canadian! No green cards and no sending work to companies that use may use green cards to do their work. Anyhow.. They are a generally progressive company.

As far as outsourcing goes... I typically staff anywhere from 100 to 200 IT a year - programmers, QA, Security, DBA and so forth. This project has me leading 116.

As a company we have touch points with about 150,000 to 200,000 technical staff a year and own one of the major job boards. Although it's still gaining momentum we have seen a quick uptick in the number of companies in the USA are swinging back to USA-only staff. With DevOps the number of staff needed to manage even large projects has plummeted and this means companies have the ability to keep all their chicks in the coop. They are instead moving their IT operations to
Middle America where rent is cheap, wages are too, and the backbone infrastructure is brand new. This has pros and cons for them but it is a trend.

In my experience I would not say the comfort level of remote working has gone up for those companies that sponsor it. Rather, they have figured it out and have established polices for remote working. The more critical you are to the operation the more likely it is you need to show face time, unless of course you are a purple unicorn and have them wrapped around your finger.

Before anyone starts spouting about how great their San Francisco IT companies are and so forth. You must realize... That's not the norm. Consider yourself to be lucky and just say please and thank you for the opportunities afforded to you.


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