Hello OpenHatchers! I’m Parker, OpenHatch’s in-house winter intern. I’m writing to share a little bit about what work is like at the Flophouse (OpenHatch HQ, AKA Raffi and Asheesh’s living room)—because it’s pretty awesome.
We use pair programming, an Extreme Programming (yeah, I know—best name ever) methodology where two people share a computer and work together. I usually pair with Raffi while Asheesh works from another computer adjacent to us. At first, pairing felt like extremely effective personal training. But now that I’ve been brought up to speed, pairing with Raffi is more of a collaborative process. I’ve learned that the most important part of programming is making choices, and Raffi and I build off of each other to choose the best approach to a problem. We also help each other catch typos and stay focused—I can’t get away with checking Facebook when Raffi is looking over my shoulder!
While our workflow is Extreme, our lifestyle is simple. When lunchtime rolls around, we move to the kitchen where we all “pair” on cooking. Sometimes one or two people bike to the grocery store or to the nearby produce trucks to pick up groceries. Our meals are always vegetarian (which I like) and often have a spicy Indian flair. Oh, and we also pair on clean-up.
We finish work at around 7:30 with an end-of-day meeting. We relax on the couch and each person gets a chance to say what did and didn’t work for him and to ask the other two for feedback. I might apologize for being distracted during a planning meeting, and Asheesh might thank me and Raffi for letting him take a phone call while we did the lunch dishes. Since we’re working so closely together in a cramped space, this open communication is essential for staying sane.
It’s really fulfilling for me to be working with other Free/Open Source Software activists. We’re not just working for the weekend. We get up in the morning and go to work because we think what we are doing is important.
I owe a lot of thanks to the Neukom Institute and the Institute for Security, Technology, and Society at Dartmouth College for providing the generous funding that made this internship possible.