While intercontinental tag teaming brings with it a round-the-clock advantage, it has
its challenges. Internet and satellites may offer a gateway for colleagues to communicate
across the globe, but its hinges are still a little rusty. Even though Novell has outfitted
its offices with state of the art communications technology,
connection breaks and frequency
noise often disrupt Jim and Prasad's "team meetings." Ultimately, screen to screen
congratulations takes away from the personal satisfaction of hi-fiving a job well done
over a beer.
Working with a colleague on the other side of the world also poses challenges that existed
way before the digital age. As project partners, Jim and Prasad have to work through cultural
Differences can stem from something as small as a gesture. In Indian culture,
shaking one's head side to side is a sign of agreement - something that confuses Jim in his
conferences with Prasad. Sometimes it's a question of lifestyle. Prasad says he is surprised
by the lack of balance between work and family life he sees in the US half of his team.
When it comes to coding, however, they are all on the same page, literally, and that's
what the global workforce in the Internet age is all about. If they can't meet face to face,
at least they can have a meeting of the minds.