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And Now I Know What Time It Is In Kathmandu

September 9, 2021

“My grandpas was in World War II

He fought against the Japanese.

He wrote a hundred letters to my grandma;

Mailed em from a base in the Philippines.


I wish they could see this now,

Where they say this change can go.

Cause I was on a video chat this morning

With a company in Tokyo.”
– “Welcome To The Future” Brad Paisley

It wasn’t video, it was a Teams meeting with no cameras. And it wasn’t Tokyo. It was Nepal. But, it was a meeting with my development team. I live in in Pleasant Grove, Utah. My team lives in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Why is my development team in Nepal? Because that’s where they live. Their location is less interesting than their skills. Which are great. In my previous company, I had a team that lived in Manila. My Nepal team works Nepalese time. My Manila team worked Mountain Time hours.

The first remote team I worked with was in India, many years ago. They provided much of our Dev work.

Did you know that all airline pilots much speak English?

A story is told about a Lufthansa airline pilot waiting to take off from Berlin. While waiting he made a comment in German to another pilot over the radio.

“English only,” the air traffic controller insisted.

“I am a German pilot, flying a German aircraft out of a German airport. Why do I have to speak English?”

After a short pause an British voice responded, “Because you lost the bloody war!”

I think software has a similar if less formal rule. There have been a few notable software companies that were not US based, but not many. The Americans and the British did much of the early work on computers.

Even after the Second World War many of the greatest German scientists came to the US. Computers are one of the things that have their origin in America. So, it’s not surprising that the language of those who create software is also English.

I’m reminded often that when I’m working with developers who live in other countries, they speak multiple languages. I’m the one who is less talented. (I do actually know two languages, but I only speak one. That’s a topic for another post.)

I had a meeting with my Nepal team tonight at 9:15 pm MDT. It was 9:00 am in Nepal. They were starting their Friday while I was finishing up Thursday. It was important to meet “in person.” I’ve talked to several of our team over the past week via slack. But, with more than 12 hours separating us, a slack conversation takes several days.

I’m excited to work with my new team. And now I’ll always know what time it is in Kathmandu.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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