I just received the OK from FIRST HQ that Jean-Pierre can be a formal member of our FLL team this coming year. I’ve been working with him and his father on setting up a remote dev site in Costa Rica that will mirror our own local site. In addition, I’ve been looking into a number of technologies that will help us coordinate and augment our collaboration.
We are fortunate to get the opportunity to experience collaboration across national boundaries. While it will present certain challenges, we will get to learn a great deal about how developers and businesspeople today work as a geographically diverse team. This is a great experience for everyone to have in today’s shrinking world.
Some of the unique skills we’ll learn are:
– Teleconferencing technologies (skype/facetime, white boarding)
– Formal Project Management Skills (Trello)
– Document Management (DropBox)
– Code Stores (mirroring, versioning, roll-back, etc) (GitHub)
– Bug Tracking (Debuggle)
– Cultural Differences (language, values, outlooks, calendars, etc)
– Creating Cross Cultural FLL Learning Materials (website, videos, etc)
As a side note, robotics is also playing a role in shrinking meat space by allowing humans to collaborate using telepresence robots. The idea is that a remote person can be represented locally in the form of a robot that acts as his physical proxy. No more expensive and lengthy business flights for remote team members. However, the technology is still stuck in the uncanny valley as the following videos demonstrates: