Geographical proximity

Marcus suggested this topic, which is a subject close to my heart:


Another topic that may be of interest is geographical proximity of work.

Unlike some other development environments – most Excel solutions are reasonably self contained or at least not intrinsically linked to other source systems.
Given this there’s a lot more freedom to do work remotely. For example, the furthest client I’ve done work with is 1,400 kms away in Coffs Harbour.

Does anyone see outsourcing a threat to their work?

Is this other people’s experience doing MSO development? For example, do you do
any work for London clients from home in Carlisle?

–/End Marcus

The biggest reason I came back to Excel/Access/VBA from VB6/C#/.net was exactly this. Deployment, deployment, deployment. Whilst those other technologies have their strengths, the ability to email a single file solution means that Excel/VBA/Access is a viable remote working option. I’ve done SQL Server and Oracle stuff too, and the overhead to work off-site is high (having to replicate the db in my environment). Maybe the Citrix/Terminal Services type apps will make other technologies viable for more potential clients eventually.

I do work for people far and wide, I have current clients in the US that I have never met. I remain unconvinced that I could do the same thing with .net or even COM (as a viable business).

In fairness much of my work is still on site, but I think that is a cultural/social thing rather than technical, and I know I can always do most development remotely.

Outsourcing a threat, no I don’t feel that, simply because the blend of business knowledge and technical skills common in Excel development is not easily replaceable. I think in more purely technical roles it is more of a risk.

What about you?



4 Responses to “Geographical proximity”

  1. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    Virtual machine execution environment = 1 file

  2. Marcus Says:

    “Virtual machine execution environment = 1 file”
    Hi Stephane, unfortunately in many corporate environments where the PC’s are locked down, this is easier said than done.

    Most MSO development implementations require no interaction with corporate IT department. I believe this is a major reason for the platform’s popularity in the corporate world. While I do spend a lot of time on site the balance between on site and off site work varies dramatically. Last year I spent about 5 months from home, this year I’m in the city almost all the time.

  3. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    The statement is true, however. I was pointing this out in relation to the problem related to multiple configurations that usually have to be deferred to the actual machine where some software runs.

    The irony of course is you mention the IT department locking down PCs, as if virtual machine environments touched the physical machine. Quite the opposite, this is the best protection you can get. Now I won’t argue the stupid people (or religious Microsoft advocates) in IT departments.

  4. Ross Says:

    Funny I was thinking about the same thing last night – the out source to India, thing.

    I agree with you on that Simon, I don’t think dev roles where additional specialist understanding, or importance on being available will or can be out sourced/ off –sored. Excel type roles fall fully into this bucket.

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