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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


If you work in a large city there is a good chance you have to commute to work. It is also likely that your commute time is non-trivial. Here in Los Angeles it is not uncommon for people to spend over an hour in their car everyday. No fun!

If you search for sas jobs 1115 jobs are returned. If you tell dice to restrict to telecommuting jobs a whopping 0 are returned(!). So why isn't telecommuting more of an option? We have laptops, cell phones, secure VPN, high speed internet, Skype, etc. Why hasn't the distributed work force become the norm? As a SAS programmer, do you telecommute? If not, why not?

If you do telecommute, could you share your setup with us? What has worked for you and what hasn't? The more specific you can be the better. If I can get enough feedback I will put something together along the lines of A SAS Programmer Telecommuting/Home Office Best Practices.

Some questions I am thinking of:
Do you have a plan for backing up data? Is it local? There's a lot of really good online backup that is really cheap.
How do you protect your data? Encryption tools?
Do you use a revision control system to track your source code (Git, Subversion)?
How do you connect to servers? VPN, SSH?

Any other issues I am not thinking of?

1 comment:

  1. I telecommute and have for 15 years (off an on). I was the first official telecommuter at SAS (that's what I was told at the time). At this point, I haven't been onsite, truly, in 2+ years so this is really my full-time life.

    On backups, I run RAID 1, backup nightly to an internal drive, an external drive, to a Windows Home Server and also use Carbonite. I am paranoid about it as you can tell.

    Data is not encrypted.

    I do not use a revision control system but probably should.

    I connect using VPN as needed.

    The biggest issue with telecommuting is the loneliness of doing it all of the time. People shouldn't assume that it is all better than being in an office.

    Networks are critical so that you can stay in touch with other professionals. It is far, far more productive for programmers but it has its personal costs.