This morning I've got a meeting with developers in Vancouver, then straight after that a meeting with our dedicated support guy in Utah. Later this week I've organised a meeting with developers in Paris, where I'll be dialing in from my holiday in New Zealand if I absolutely must. I have regular conversations with friends from London over a mailing list we run.
The effortless way we work across borders these days has kind of crept up on me, but actually I've been doing it for years. In London I worked with clients across Europe, North America and Australia. My last job had developers in Graz, Austria. My current job has developers all over the world. Living in Australia you get used to scheduling meetings for 08:30 or 18:00 to catch people in other timezones.
There's always far too many intermediaries in the kind of companies I work with these days, so weeks of to-and-fro emails can be short circuited by a five minute conversation with the actual person doing the work. Working across timezones also gives lazy developers the opportunity to spent a day futzing around by asking a roadblocker question when they know we've left the office. One way to avoid that is to occasionally check your work email before you go to bed and surprise them with a "get to work" answer.
One of the indispensable tools for working across timezones is timeanddate.com. On that one you'll see my current timezones of interest. Paris has the developers of the set-top-box project we're working on, San Francisco and New York because I'm always interacting with people in the US. Salt Lake City is where Omniture are based, and Dallas is the data centre for our Omniture implementation. London still has loads of my mates, Stockholm has Justine.