I bumped into my second brother, Dr. Xiaoliu, on Gtalk the other day. He asked me “are you still working from home?” I knew what he meant. It is hard for a doctor to imagine that one can actually “work” and “stay at home”.
I enjoyed working from home over the past five months or so.
The biggest benefit is being able to live in any place I likes. Then there is no more daily commute chore, which used to take at least one hour each day. That was 220 hours per year, and equivalent of over a month of working days! Furthermore, I’ve always disliked the cubicle office life, where there is little privacy. Equipped with 10Mbps fiber optics connection, I am able to do online collaborations very quickly. Questions are often discussed and resolved in minutes.
I’d be lying if I say there is no downsides to telecommuting.
Face-to-face meetings have very important values that are hard to duplicate using other medium. When I left my expertise area and jumped into the Web 2.0 world, I truly realized that the ability to learn is the most important ability of all. In this Internet age, information is everywhere, but a good portion of knowledge is still contained in books. The following books helped me a lot over the past few months:
- PHPEclipse guide
- Scalable Internet Architecture
- Designing with Web standards
- PHP definitive guide
- HTTP, XHTML guide
- Ajax and PHP
- Flash CS3 Professional Video
So back to my brother’s question. “Yes, I still work from home, and I’ve enjoyed it”. It’s good to work with a super smart team and from home!