Daniel I. Scully


Water & Distributed Working

After completing the corrections to my PhD thesis the previous day, I started off this Tuesday to search for employment. Before loading even the first job advertisement however disaster struck. Fortunately I had a plan!

The disaster in question was that as I leant over the table to turn on the wall socket I knocked my external monitor, which fell onto a pint glass of water, which it then promptly smashed over the keyboard of my laptop.

Now laptops and water do not get along well. Fortunate the laptop was off at the time, and it’s currently sat next to a radiator, with all its covers off, in the hope that all the moisture will leave. After two full days I think it might be dry enough now, but I haven’t yet worked up the courage to test that belief. Tomorrow. Maybe.┬áIn the mean time I need to continue the job search.

The incident has made more essential a plan I had for using the job hunt as first attempt to work in a more distributed way – centred around online (cloud) services which I can access from multiple devices, instead of centred on a single and fallible device.

This also means that regardless of where I am or which I device I have to hand, I can always get hold of the latest version of my CV, check the notes I’ve made on a job application, or get the details of a contact. The last thing I need is an opportunity coming my way when I’m away from the house, or having another device taking all my hard work to the grave!

Through a combination of Evernote and Dropbox I’m attempting to make my job search completely distributed. Both of these excellent services can be accessed via installed applications on my computers, through a web interface from someone else’s, or with the excellent Android apps I have installed on my phone and tablet. Dropbox is hosting all my CVs and application forms, while Evernote is the store of all my notes, links and contact details.

With my main laptop out of commission it’s already proved a success, and I’m hoping that this job seeking will be a learning experience so that I can work in a more distributed way on other the future projects. If you have any ideas for other good services I’m missing out on, let me know on twitter. I’ll try and remember to post an update in the future on what I’ve learned.

Update 09/11/2013 – After 4.5 days drying out I reassembled the laptop and all is well! Phew!