Remote / Working from Home, Part 4

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]


Home distractions are very different than office workplace distractions because they are much more personal. The lines are blurred between office and home life. 

Here are some useful tips to get through the day:

  • No matter how clear the boundaries, family will always see you as "the dad" or "the mom."
    • It can be very difficult and takes everyone time to get used to.
    • It's better to handle their requests than to get angry.
  • A dedicated room/office is best.
    • Room dividers work.
  • Meetings and calls
    • Make it clear that you are in a meeting
    • Keep a cool head while on the phone and your 2 yr old demands mac & cheese.
These all go back to the other entries about working from home: a routine, personal presentation, cleanliness, organization -- all of these communicate to family and others that you have your game face on and providing for them.


It's not always easy to follow these bullet points. Heck, I find myself ignoring my own advice and tips here and kick myself for it. If you've made it this far then I hope you've learned something from my experiences. 

Be Safe.

Remote / Working from Home, Part 3

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

The previous entries went through the basics of everyday "working remote." This entry talks about new hires or new teams introductions and other good stuff. 

Initiative, Integrity and Vigilance

Working remote, when starting with a new team can be a little awkward. Especially when you've never met the team in person first. These are good guidelines for this situation.

  • Ask questions - Show Initiative
    • Sesame Street taught my youngest: "Asking questions is the best way to learn."
    • Not sure which questions to ask?
      • Find someone, anyone that is available
      • Ask to be pointed in the right direction
      • Don't assume everyone will drop what they're doing.
      • Be patient. Be calm.
    • Basic Questions to Ask:
      • Who can help with HR questions?
        • Payroll Dates
        • Benefits
        • Timesheets
        • Expenses
        • Time Off Requests
      • Who is my manager, if not working on the same project?
      • Who are the members of the team I'm working on?
      • What access, resources, documentation do I need for the projects I'm on?
      • What meetings should I attend?
  • Follow-up - Integrity & Vigilance
    • It's important to know that it's your responsibility verify that everyone knows where you are and what you're doing, right now.
    • Be respectful, professional and concise.
This does go back to communication (part 1), but these are more of the solid foundation items for successful remote work.

Tip of the Day: Number 3372.7

Windows: Moving Applications Between Multiple Monitors

[Win] + [Shift] + ([⬅] or [➡])

One simple, elegant key stroke sequence vs. :

Moving a window that is maximized:
[Alt] + [Space]
[Alt] + [Space]
[⬅]  or  [➡]

Remote / Working from Home, Part 2

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Part 1 covered the primary goal of DevOps: Communication. 

Part 2: Routine & Consistency

Establish daily practices that everyone can depend on. 

Make a mental list of your daily work routine:
  • Shower
    • Yes, it's super easy to skip this, but trust me, it's vital to establishing a fresh perspective.
    • A shower can do wonders for your attitude and Vim.
    • It sets a tone for the day: Warm. Energetic. Positive.
  • Work Casual / Respectable Clothes
    • Somehow, wearing comfortable work-proper clothes gives a mental energy to be able to focus on tasks.
    • You never know when you're going to have a video call.
    • "Clothes Maketh The Man."
  • Have Breakfast
    • Even if you don't feel like eating.
    • Drink a protein shake.
    • Scramble some eggs in a drinking glass and microwave for a minute.
  • A Solid "Start & Stop" Work Times
    • This an important key to consistency.
    • Everyone on your team will know when you're available and working.
    • Post this information in your profile or status in your instant messaging tool.
    • Establish times of day to pause and communicate status.
So, yeah... that's a lot to cover. It all sounds weird reading (and writing) this because "everybody does this, right?" Wrong. I've read articles lately about "When it's okay not to shower." So, again, yeah... it's basic, but really very important to get in the right mind-set to work from your home office.

Side Note 

Driving to an office has this same effect:

    You are mentally (and physically) transferring attitudes and mindsets to "work mode." 

Capture that feeling and think about ways to recreate it.

Back-Track: What happened between 2017 and 2020?

This blog hadn't been updated in quite a long time. Why?

It was intended to be an easy, private notebook for me. Ramblings, thoughts, etc. During that time, I was using Twitter ( @edhaack) for quick, blurty blurts on findings - ultimately feeling overwhelmed (maybe). 

What happened, really?

Work. Life. Balance. Xceligent publicly and shamefully closed its doors a week before Christmas 2017. Previous co-workers talked about how I helped them and wanted my help on their projects. Ultimately, I siloed myself -- and have taken some time to reflect on the last 30 years.

Why come back here?

I think I wanted to return a more private, intimate and minimalistic platform. 


Some of those tweets are kinda cool to go back and look at. I may just integrate this with that.

Remote / Working From Home

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

I usually refrain from mentioning current and previous positions I've held and will continue to do so. This is about the "better practices" of "working from home."

This is the first of a few articles based on my experiences.

When the COVID-19 quarantine threw everyone into a relative 'panic mode,' a VP asked me to write a short article on transitioning from working "in office" to "at home." There are a lot of these types of videos and articles available already, but it gave me pause to reflect on how this group and these teams work - cater to their culture.

Part 1: Communication

  • Communicate with tact and courtesy. 
    • Status is vital to success. There's nothing worse than not knowing what people are doing. The default thought is they are watching movies or housework. Which leads to...
    • Trust on all sides. 
      • Trust that you are adult and responsible enough to do your tasks
      • Trust that your people are those adults, but expect status: good, bad or ugly
      • Trust in the team to collaborate and be successful
    • Tact: Focus on the tasks not the drama
      • It's very easy to get caught up in the lack of face-to-face water cooler conversation. Be mindful of the above "Trust"
      • Messages lack emotion (even with emoticons) - Always be sincere.
    • Recognize potential disagreements.
      • If messaging is failing and/or going beyond a simple question/answer synchronicity, it's time to pick up the phone.
      • Take pause. Messaging is permanent. Read and re-read a conversation before planting a flag in a discussion
      • If ever in doubt, pick up the phone.
[More to come]

PowerShell 7 - Scaffold Structure (Follow-up)

Some interesting hurdles crossed with this simple philosophy:

Organize custom functionality in a structured, standard format.

Main Scaffold

  • "Process" and "Begin" segments
  • Status Notifications - Output Logging
  • Exception Handling - Generically
  • Artifact Publishing

Custom Structure

  • AssertParameters (arg testing/validation)
  • MainProcess
  • $Script:Artifact.Data
  • $Script:Artifact.Files


  • Simple dot sourcing the "custom" script, does not pull in $Script:args variables. (Must explicitly pass $Script:args)
  • Almost ready for 'main' branch merge

The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion - 2023 Experience

This article is a WIP.  Setting up Oblivion in 2023 on a Steam Deck (w/ SteamOS)  Install from Steam  Vortex Experience (post base mod tools...