COVID-19: Transparency becomes essential when working all-remote (Part 3)

Claudio PinkusClaudio Pinkus
April 8, 2020

Here is a short excerpt from the article published by JAXEnter.com, part 3 of a four-part series.  

Introduction

From a technology perspective, until recently it’s been surprisingly difficult to carry out simple tasks like asking a question about code you are viewing in your editor, but don’t understand.  If you are among the developers who use tools like Slack or GitHub to discuss code, there are some significant limitations in both, but for different reasons.  Developers often turn to Slack to ask ephemeral questions about code that’s unclear, but this involves copying and pasting from your IDE into a channel, and having to then recreate the whole context you just lost in order to explain to the recipient what they are actually looking at.  Code reviews are often conducted In GitHub, where the context is more clear, however, you are limited to discussing only the changes that are part of that PR.  What if you have questions or a suggestion about another part of the code that is not changing?

Here we will focus on another aspect of remote work.  Before your team went all-remote, it was relatively easy to keep informal tabs on what everyone was working on.  Just looking around you, could see who is at their desk or in a meeting, or who moved a task on a board. Gone is the physical tap on the shoulder to ask a question or bounce off an idea.  In an all-remote world, there is a need to become more transparent in order to improve collaboration, perhaps to demonstrate to your boss that you are actually working while at home, and most importantly, to improve performance and code quality for your team and your company.

What is transparency in software development?

One way to think of transparency is to consider it a philosophy, or a point of view.  It implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed, and how they are performed. 


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