Working together across time Zones
A music freak from Singapore; a techno geek from India; an ardent cricket fan from Singapore; a burger-loving bass guitarist from the United States; a Singaporean Potter fan who is learning to cook and a movie-loving Arsenal fan from Indonesia; what do you get when you put them together? You guessed it right, The Credibles. Six university undergrads from four different countries, working on four different time zones, our team is a diverse mix. Let’s put in a word about our coaches as well. Our coach is an avid Led Zeppelin fan who loves tinkering with motherboards and processors. He also happens to be a professor of business in a Singapore university. Our assistant coach is a junior year undergrad who’s majoring in Computer Engineering but wants to be an investment banker.
So how did we work across time zones, how did we coordinate and collaborate? We owe a big thank you to instant messengers and online forums – the main channels of communication for our team.
Early morning in Atlanta, evening in Chennai and dinner time in Bandung and Singapore – our online discussions every weekend were a good way for all six of us, and sometimes our coach and assistant coach as well, to discuss what to put on the site and what to not, what looks good and what looks ugly… While one was munching on doughnuts for breakfast, another was having his afternoon tea, and the others were sitting in front of their computers with their take-away dinner, we deliberated and argued on content and on design. What font to use on the banner, which photos to put up on the home page, which parts of the video to edit, even the smallest of details were discussed.
Technology to the rescue
Once-a-week discussions were surely not enough. There were frequent emails, chats and VoIP calls between the team members; even smses were sent and long distance calls were made to prod each other to be quick with the work.
A mammoth project such as this requires all team members to work simultaneously together. Each article that was written by a team member was edited and proof read by one and translated by another. The videos were shot at different locations, and then compiled together.
Well, our discussions were not limited to work alone. We got a chance to savor the flavor of different cultures – music, the latest flicks, politics, dorm life and what not. We all got hooked to Indonesian pop numbers (introduced to us by our teammate from Bandung) which gave us a way to de-stress ourselves when the work got tiring.Our team members were geographically thousands of miles apart, most of us haven’t even seen each other, but the bond that we formed during these few months, is something we all are going to cherish.