Kushal Das

FOSS and life. Kushal Das talks here.

The week without pants

The idea of this blog post comes from a book tile, The year without pants, you should read that.

Last Monday, I joined Eucalyptus Inc. , a company located in Santa Barbara in USA with employees in different parts of the world. Yes, this is my first full time remote job and this post is about the experience of the first 5 days.

On day one I started with fixing my new work vm (as I am yet to get a new laptop) and setting up different work related accounts (emails+vpn+ldap etc). As IRC is the primary means of communication, I found it very easy to join in the conversations, other than the few minutes of mistyping the password :(

On day 2 and day 3, I got access to the test servers to try out different setups and getting familiar with the system. Meanwhile one of the senior team member gave me a visual tour of the community part of the forum and I am now taking care of the questions there, along with other community members. The primary IRC channel #eucalyptus on irc.freenode.net was already in my auto join list for the last few years, so talking there was exactly the same but now I can help others more with my newly acquired knowledge :)

Work timing is not fixed, for the next few months I will find out a more suitable time line for the day, for now I am getting up and coming online around 9am so that I can still chat with my colleagues who are going to sleep in their timezone. I also stay awake late (which is an habit of last 13 years) and spend time over IRC discussing various things in details.

For the first few months I am working with the support team, to learn more about the system (which is similar to Scott’s experience). People ask different type of questions, starting from configuration values to different parts of webui. The learning is fun and as I am trying out different parts of the documentation as a newbie, I guess that becomes a test on “How good is the documentation?”.

The fear of being left alone while working remotely goes around in many friends’ mind. This was not the case with me, I already knew few people in the company from IRC channels and people also use a voice system mumble, which is giving a more personal touch. BTW, you should watch this talk from the github folks on their effort with remote workers.

On Friday, I went to Deependra’s house, to learn and discuss things over few glasses of coconut water and superb laddus :p

Today is Monday, a new week already started. The friendliness and welcoming gesture people showed, is common in many different FOSS projects and very good for a new person to join in and to blend in the culture. In the coming weeks I will learn more and write more on my experience. For now, time to go back to the other ssh shell.

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