The West Coast Mobile Office

Writing software is a lot like writing anything else. I think that's why so many computer programmers are unhappy working at companies that expect to see them typing away furiously for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. With any creative endeavor, inspiration tends to happen in bursts. In programming, these bursts tend to take the form of the 18 hour caffeine-fuelled marathon sessions that come to mind when you think of Internet startups. One of the (very few) things that those companies got right in the late 90s was to recognize this work pattern and find ways to accommodate it. (Unfortunately, most companies accommodated it by setting up pinball machines right in the middle of the dev space, thus wiping away any potential productivity gains in a sea of noise).

Anyway, back to the point at hand, the key to keeping up productivity as a developer is to find ways to foster these inspired bursts of creativity. With this in mind, we packed up the truck and left rainy, dismal Portland behind for a while. 20 hours south, we set up shop in Bishop, one of the most inspiring spots that the US has to offer. High alpine wilderness, tons of amazing rock climbing and Bouldering, pleasant secluded camping, and, amazingly, good EVDO coverage. Everything a climber/geek could want!

Free from the distractions of the city, we'd pull out the laptops in the morning, sipping espresso and knocking out new functionality until well after lunch. Thus creatively spent, we'd pull out the rock boots and head up the hill in search of Boulder problems on the amazing granite that Bishop is famous for.

What a week. What a place. we'll be back.

Jason Kester

I run a little company called Expat Software. Right now, the most interesting things we're doing are related to Cloud Storage Analytics, Online Classrooms, and Customer Lifecycle Metrics for SaaS Businesses. I'll leave it to you to figure out how those things tie together.

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