Doing the remote work thang



I've worked for Sun since 1988... since 1996 I've done it from back here in my hometown of Richland, Michigan... remotely... it's not for everyone, and many jobs do not lend themselves to it... there's more travel than my peers, more 3AM calls, more likelihood of the 'dog eating my homework', letting go of the importance of promotions and 'climbing the ladder'...

And I'd not change it for a thing...

In April 1996, I settled in to my home office with a PowerMac 7100/66, a 128KB/s ISDN line (which turned out costing about $3K/month!) and one phone line. A succession of SPARC-based desktops, X86-based laptops, and connection technologies have come and gone since then. As of August 2004, my setup includes:
  • Toshiba Tecra 9100 laptop, running Java Desktop System 2; external LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse
  • Lexmark Z51 inkjet printer (via CUPS/lx5000)
  • Sun Ultra 80 4-way workstation in storage
  • Derated ADSL service running about 380K/s down, 165K/s up ($80/month)
  • 2-line 900MHz wireless phone
  • Kyocera 5135 cellphone (still drying out after it's third dip in the lake
  • (Future) Homebrew AMD64-based box running Solaris X86
Sun pays for the equipment, the DSL line, the phone line, and whatever cellphone time is used for work; they no longer pay for electricity.

Curious about working from home? Have your own horror stories? Drop me a line!
Comments:

Eric, Great to hear that I am not alone in Michigan. :) I know the field office is down in Southfield and all. I am up in Midland working from home full time now for the last three years. I am on the SR@H pilot and it ROCKS. http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/dlacher/20040728#sr_h_sun_ray_home dl

Posted by Dan Lacher on August 12, 2004 at 01:59 AM EDT #

Well, I've been working for Sun since July of 2000. I come to the office everyday but when I'm sick and can barely get out of bed or there's "problems" outside I stay at home and check my email and voicemail regularly and I think I actually work better that way. Oh, and when I say there are problems outside, I mean stuff like riots, looting, people blocking streets with burning tires, pro and anti-government protest marches, the army and national guard taking over the streets, teargas, snipers, bullets flying everywhere....you know? Things tend to get a little uneasy over here. In fact I'm only going to be in the office until noon because at 2:00pm there the last anti-government march before Sunday's referendum and I gotta get home before that. If you haven't guessed by now, I'm live in Caracas, Venezuela... Check it out...and stay tuned. http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/americas/08/08/venezuela.recall.ap/index.html

Posted by Oscar De Le� on August 12, 2004 at 02:05 AM EDT #

Also another WFH employee here - not too far from you (in Fort Wayne, IN!!)

Been wfh for 3 years on 08/15 - and love it. Seem to get ALOT more work done. Sun is great in their flexibility for this - I was based in Menlo Park for most of my career there.

Posted by Robert Weeks on August 12, 2004 at 02:21 AM EDT #

Why does it seem that there are far too many Sun employees that 'brag' about being able to work from home? This is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination folks. Perhaps Sun employees should focus on the quality of their products a little more instead of bragging about the 'quality of life.'

Posted by guest on August 12, 2004 at 04:38 PM EDT #

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Main Sequence: 1) an astronomy term denoting the lifecycle of a majority of known stars. 2) err @ Sun/Oracle: long-time (since 1988) Sun/Oracle veteran, still shining in an ever-changing high-tech universe

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