Why I Love Skype Meetings

Patrick God on December 11, 2017

Let me get this straight. I’m talking about Skype meetings with fellow coders – not management or marketing meetings where all attendees are in a... [Read Full]
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It's alright. It works, mostly. Can't say I love it. Everything feels harder and less personal than meeting face to face to me, and people always start talking at the same time. "Go ahead", "No, it's OK, you go ahead" etc.

 

I don't like telephone conferences, no matter if initiated with computer software or not.

  • voice quality is bad (I'm pretty sure it was much better 20 years ago)
  • there's a delay that is just long enough that the one talking last starts to repeat when someone else starts to answer
  • some people activate hands-free, which is often accompanied by an echo, which makes them and everybody else even harder to understand
  • the ones working in their home office or an open space office "entertain" everybody with their background noise
  • another great feature of some telephones is to play music in the conference when muting or calling someone else on a 2nd line (well, at least you don't make this mistake more than one or two times)

But Skype/Hangout/... are okay for pair programming and when you want someone else to take a look at a problem on your computer (screen sharing).

 

I'm with you. A proper setup is mandatory. That's why we use Skype with a headset and a webcam. Everyone tries to provide a quiet space so that nobody gets annoyed and if anything is disturbing (like a ringing phone, cracking headsets, loud background, etc) we simply tell each other and the problem gets solved almost always immediately.

 

Personally I share the same point of view as you. Skype or any other tool that enables to share screen is a significant facilitation in daily work. I think that anyone knows that a picture is worth thousand words.
Currently I'm working with people which are working in different locations and I can't imagine my work without possibility to share me screen to other developer or even manager :)
In the past I was working with people which were accustomed to tool which didn't support call and desktop sharing. They were using it and they were happy because tool itself was easy to use. When they want to make a call they did it through traditional phone. By the way it was huge waste of time. This situation lasted for many years. Together with my colleagues I introdced them Skype. At the beginning they were sceptical but voice calls and desktop sharing convinced them. They didn't imagine why the had used this old tool so long...

 

Thanks for sharing your story. I don't want to miss screen sharing either. :)

 
  • can you hear me?
  • yeah I can hear you. Can you hear me?
  • sorry say it again mate?

If that doesn't happen it's alright as long as teams are small enough. I've had calls when teams had more than 10 people and it was too difficult in most cases just because there was so much going on the stand-up that it was easy to get lost on what's going on.

 

Granted, with 10 people it can get messy. Currently, we are 7 at most and it still works. Maybe we're just lucky that we don't have many technical issues?

 

Probably lucky enough. It's good as long as it works 🙂

 

I totally had the "working together quietly like cube-mates" experience via Skype and it was pretty awesome.

My friend and I had worked out some software issues with an art installation I'm helping her with and we moved on to just doing some physical assembly on our respective components for a while. It was nice to be on camera together kind of sharing a space together even though technically we were several thousand miles apart.

 

Wait so there's nothing about Skype specific, just as audio video calls.
I'll recommend in your situation to try zoom, it has a cool good whiteboard feature beside share screen and video, good for collaboration.

 

You're right on with the collaboration stuff. For instance, we use Visio for any flow charts that we want to draw together or a web-based whiteboard tool if we want to draw anything else.

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