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Old 23-02-2015, 16:01   #16
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

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Originally Posted by FollowingCs View Post
Liquid, where are you planning on living aboard? marina?

I have a possible opportunity to pick up a great cruising catamaran well before I'm ready, and I will need to work full time from the boat for about 3 years.

- Ray
~ Following Cs ~
I am currently living aboard in a marina and working full time. I purchased a separate phone that I put onto my Verizon grandfathered unlimited data plan and I wifi tether that for all of my devices(tablet, laptop, etc) aboard. It has worked great and I actually get better service than the marina wifi provides.

I am living on my 28' Bristol while I fix up the Cheoy Lee. I spend about 4 hours per day working on the boat and the rest of my day is spent programming. I plan on starting to cruise in November and will continue to work my job from marina to marina for the next 5 or 6 years, using vacation time for longer legs, such as the Canal when I bring my boat back to SoCal. I figure after that 5 or 6 year period, I will have saved more than enough to cruise for years and years. My calculations are for every month of work I do, will allow me to bank savings for 3-4 months of cruising time while still paying my expenses.

I left a 5 bedroom home in Agoura Hills, CA behind and I can already say that living aboard is sooooo much cheaper. My monthly expenses went from around $5k per month to now under $700. All of that extra money is now going into the repairs and the refit each month.
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Old 22-03-2015, 10:59   #17
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

Any one looked into saving power by using a non-electrical fridge http://www.mitticool.in? That can help. Also if you have cellular signal, freedompop is free so wifi shouldn't be a problem.

Does $700 include the slippage fee? I am thinking about doing exactly the same thing.
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Old 22-03-2015, 21:46   #18
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

I've been doing software dev from home (but not from boat) for 6 of the last 7 years. My take on it is as follows:

Having a lot of screen space is nice, but not really a necessity. However, you must have shoreside internet connection, unless you are working on your own solo project, which never needs urgent production maintenance. Internet cafes, somebody else's wifi etc don't cut it.

So far I've done a couple of weeks of coding in the remote pairing mode while working on a boat in a marina (shoreside internet via a cable connection). With just a Macbook Pro, while my 24" Thunderbolts were gathering dust at home. It was fine, I'm totally looking forward to do more of it this summer.

My co-workers absolutely loved it. We are a 100% remote outfit to begin with, so we are geared for the "you can work on the North Pole, as long as you can get enough bandwidth there, and stay up in our core hours" scenario. Which is a nice notion, and me being on the water sort of validated/reinforced it

--Alex
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Old 22-03-2015, 23:24   #19
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

I am also a software engineer, mainly the Java stack, and have been doing it for a very long time now. I consider myself quite senior and very good at what I do.

Over here in Australia it seems that employers that allow the flexibility to work from home regardless of whether it floats or not are becoming pretty much impossible to find. I moved to the country (house, not boat) a couple years back thinking that I would eventually find some sort of work out there, but was fooling myself. After a year of searching with part of that making no money at all, I have now had to accept be in the city, away from my family Mon - Fri to be able to get any kind of work.

I have worked from home in the past with one particular gig that lasted for around 5 years and loved every minute of it. It's all about discipline. 9 to 5 each day I was working regardless of what the family were doing. They understood and respected that and I didn't flex on it. I am far more productive working from home than from an office. Truth is, if an employer was willing to allow me to work from the comfort of my home, I would even be happy to take a pay cut since I would no longer have the cost of renting a room and travel to and from the city each week. Yet, it seems like it's just not possible anymore in Australia.

The short term goal for us is going to be to move on to the boat within the coming year, but I'm afraid it's going to be tied up in a city marina so I can catch the bus to work each morning.
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:28   #20
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

Thanks for all the input here.

I'm not yet sure if my current company will allow me to work 'from home'. It is a strange situation anyways. My corporate office is in Portland, but I'm in Ohio managing a small team (5 of us). Our small company was bought out by a larger company, but we haven't moved. While it is totally possible to do my job remotely, I'm not sure they will let me.

We will be downsizing the house in spring of 2016, and we'd love to just move to the boat, reducing expenses even further as some of you have mentioned. Heck, my first visit to the boat we might be buying won't happen until May anyways, to even see what the possible setup might be.

I may end up with a job on the East Coast somewhere (St. Augustine maybe), driving to work at a new office job. Or I may end up contracting services. Or I may end up with a new job that allows remote work. My setup will be determined by what kind of job I end up with.

I'm also a bit concerned about the wife. She is a Realtor now, and would be starting over if we moved to the East Coast anyways. Not sure if she will continue, but then not sure what she will do if she doesn't.

Thanks again,
- Ray
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Old 09-04-2015, 00:22   #21
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

From where I sit, it looks like distributed teams and availability of remote work has been exploding in the last couple of years. If you have a track record of dealing with some of the shinier toys that Silicon Valley style startups tend to use (Ruby, Angular.js, ElasticSearch, Hadoop, Clojure - that sort of thing), it's not that hard to work from home.

The real problem is to stay motivated and avoid the "one remote guy in a co-located shop, who gets to maintain a mission-critical piece of plumbing everyone wants to forget about" scenario. Conway's Law is not your friend in such a setting.
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Old 22-04-2015, 08:50   #22
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

A bit of update:

1. I just had to find another gig, and the number of people willing to hire remote developers or even entertain the prospect of a fully distributed project team seems to have grown considerably in the last couple of years.

2. Having looked at satellite comms, it looks like I could reasonably do what I'm currently doing from a coral lagoon somewhere in the Pacific for about a thousand bucks per month in communication costs, plus ~$4k investment in spare equipment. Iridium NEXT launching as we speak should make it even more plausible in the next couple of years. Good times.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:17   #23
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

Congratulations.

What kind of development do you think you could do with that much bandwidth?

All the shiney toy stuff I've done recently is deeply interconnected with Internet services. AWS API's for queues, data storage, devops monitoring, and etc. And the modern high scale architecture is to split anything with different operational requirements into separate processes that scale independently. I wonder what areas of software development are more old timey and don't need so much Internet, like back when we used to write games for phones. My wife and I could disappear into a cabin for a month and come home with a product.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:44   #24
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

> What kind of development do you think you could do with that much bandwidth?

Various server-side programming. I wouldn't be donning an ops hat in that scenario, definitely. OTOH, I haven't touched any system that I couldn't run on my laptop in three years.

The bandwidth available is basically enough for text chat, SSH sessions and interacting with version control a few times a day. My productivity would be hurt, but not at all completely destroyed by these limitations.

This is all theoretical, of course. Having to work on vacation... ah, well...
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Old 22-04-2015, 10:35   #25
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

One thing to watch for while working at anchor is wave and wakes rocking the boat. That makes it harder to work and really limits large tippy monitors.

I use a hp probook laptop with autocad at anchor. It's not softwear development, but the processor use is high. I picked the HP because the case was metal, keyboard was splash proof, access to the drive bays requires no tools, fairly good battery life (4 hours with cad) and accessories, 12v charger, memory were cheap.

I added an extra solar panel just for the laptop. Idling along it uses 9 watts, but that jumps to 26 to 36 watts an hour with cad and charging. I'm using two cell air cards for internet, mainly as one does not cover everywhere I go. But for file download/upload and emailing clients, it works well.

Working from a dock is not a problem, At anchor it can be fun if the winds are up or the boat is waked.
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Old 22-04-2015, 10:43   #26
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

Have you seen Dash? It keeps a local copy of programming references (even StackOverflow!).

Yes, working on vacation: it seems like you'd want a cruising ground with short hops. So that you can move the boat on weekends. Say, the Caribbean or Central America. It would be odd to say "Sometime next week I'm going to be at sea for 4-7 days" every month or so, which you would have to do for a usual South Pacific itinerary.

Well, please keep sharing anything you learn about programming while sailing. I am two years into retirement and sometimes miss making things.
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Old 22-04-2015, 10:57   #27
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

So far philippines, malaysia and indonesia have internet from cell that costs about $1-2 per month
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Old 22-04-2015, 14:30   #28
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

Currently coming to the end of being on the boat for a few weeks. Haven't been programming, but have had to do plenty of other work related stuff, although technically I'm on holidays (the joys of working for yourself).

I've discovered the abilities of the current generation of tablet and my new one has become a valuable part of my toolkit. Easily transportable, consumes little power, will run all day on a single charge and I've used it for everything from emails, note taking, document reading, internet browsing and even rdp connections to servers. I also can access my NAS in the office for file transfer. Even better, at the times I've had to use the laptop I've tethered it for internet access and together this not only has provided pseudo dual screen functionality, but also effectively dual computers.

I think I like this system as my programming work will require a power hogging workstation notebook, and this will reduce the power budget enormously since I can offload many other tasks to the tablet.

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Old 30-04-2015, 05:13   #29
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

I'm also a 47 year old software developer. Must be a life stage. in theory, my employer has a flexible work policy. Any job, anywhere. I'm based in Tasmania, with the bulk of the team mainland (Sydney) based. I frequently work remotely (from home) and I'm at least 50% more efficient. I'm easily distracted by conversation, but most other interference is not a problem.
I've worked for a week or so from our caravan (a kind of yacht that is often substituted for a floating one) in national parks with reasonable 3g coverage. I write apps for Android, so offline work is completely feasible, but I do like stack overflow. Most web services our apps consume are present in a mock server I can take offline.

My development platform is a Macbook Pro, with stacks of ram. Its very power efficient, but I do like space. I wish they still did the 17" version. It's a nice bit of hardware, but I'm not overly fond of OSX.

Anyway, development from a yacht is still a pipe dream, but great to see people doing it. Some motivation where for me to chase the dream.

Cheers

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Old 30-04-2015, 19:54   #30
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Re: Software Development Setup On Board.

I will be experimenting soon, staying on a friends catamaran next week.

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