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Dealing With The Loneliness of Working Alone (thirdyearmba.com)
28 points by dlevine on June 5, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

I run a HipChat for a few work-alone iOS devs. We've got about 3 active users that are somewhat timezone-disjoint and so we can afford to take on a few more. Some of us know each other IRL but some don't. Most are contractors with products on the side.

It's low-volume, most of the traffic ATM is discussing new WWDC features or asking for help debugging something. Occasionally we hit each other up for longer software architecture or product discussions.

If interested, e-mail is in my profile. Also I would totally recommend starting groups like this if you're a workalone server guy or whatever. It's pretty useful to have that daily interaction.

I do understand this but feel that this also illustrates a point that the tech community should deal with psychologically anyway.

A social circle away from what we do isn't just a good thing for our own self-fulfilment, it's vital to our understanding of potential customers and users. We can't live in a vacuous bubble where we don't have a vibrant social scene away from tech and think that we can build startups for other people without being part of their lives. Finding that balance where we spend our social time with others is incredibly important and especially so for people who work from home alone.

The idea that every conversation should centre on the work that we do, whether it be our own work or our conversational partner's work is terrible, yet I see and meet people who spend their life working and going to tech events and never expanding outside of their immediate reach.

It may sound easy to say, but go and spend time with people entirely unrelated to what you do and love, it makes for a much more fulfilling time than concentrating on our own passions within tech.

I could rant on this for lines and lines, but it comes down to the simple idea of "go outside".

I completely agree with this. I worked 3 years remotely out of India for a company based out of London, with mostly remote employees. I have yet to meet a single colleague in person. While there were times when I had literally not stepped out of the front door of my house for upto a week, it suited me just fine since I am an introvert and loner. However, the days when I did step out, I ensured that I met my friends, a lot of whom were non-technical and also that I 'did' stuff.

Basically, unplug and live in reality for a while. Don't think about tech. It's easy to do and quite gratifying to be honest.

I think a lot of people in the tech industry live in the mistaken belief that technology and technological pursuits are is some way more 'creative' and 'intellectually stimulating' than anything else out there and feel compelled to surround themselves and live in this bubble consisting of other geeks as themselves. This obviously is not true.

Great point!

I'm working solo right now and I have to say, I absolutely love it. Prior to my project I was in firmware at a large corp and after years we got moved into a shared lab and I could not stand it. Working from home (and solo) gives me a nice, quiet, and productive place to get things done. I like that it's rekindled my joy of programming, before it was a job/career. It definitely can get lonely if you let it, but it's just a decision you have to make for yourself in the end. I always have IRC open and my phone is near by, so I still have ways to interact with people throughout the day, except now I'm not being interrupted nearly as much ... so my interactions with people are much more positive.

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