COVID-19 is a bug on production but the checkout is still working
With over 130.000 infected, COVID-19 is rapidly becoming a burning theme and it is like a bug on the production server. So let us discuss how that affects the web industry. Of course, this is one of the least affected industries today since most of the people in it are able to work remotely quite easily. Is it that easy?
The short answer is no. Imagine opening your favorite browser and trying to google new pieces of information and getting an error. You try again, and you get an error again. That would be odd right? In other words: imagine what would happen if (for example) google stopped working? You wouldn't be able to find out new information and you wouldn't be able to communicate with people that you care about. The Internet is crucial for today's communication and research. And that is why is paramount that this industry keeps on working properly.
But some people might say: can't you do all of that from home? The answer is no. You would still need technicians to maintain the physical server in order to keep it running.
NOTICE: I am not saying that this industry is more important than any other. It is just as important in a different way. Of course, we would still need medical care, food, electricity, and all other important industries.
Working from home does have lots of benefits. You can stay isolated for a prolonged period of time and ensure that you are safer from COVID-19. But one question arises, you do work on your clients' website (for example) - but is your client losing their customers during this period of time? In my opinion, developers should think about this question and negotiate the best deal with their clients. Here is what I am suggesting:
If your business is affected by the current pandemic - I would suggest that we switch to “maintenance” mode during this time. This would mean keeping your website up-to-date and operational with the lowest costs possible. This would potentially save you some money during these hard times and you would still have a fully functional website that can create an income. I do know that your website and your business may not be currently affected – but I like to think in advance.
Delaying any new features and non-necessary changes might help you in the long run.
Even in maintenance mode, you would still need to communicate with your clients possibly on a daily basis.
If you are starting to work from home, here are two tools that you might find helpful in order to maintain your communication with the client but you may not know about:
Google Hangouts, you may not know about this one. This is an excellent tool for communication. And to be honest it is my favorite. It works like a charm and does the job perfectly. Most of us do use Google for sending and receiving emails so there is no need to create an account. You can sign in with your existing Google account and "voila" you can now chat or get on a quick call with your client! If you need a conference call you can use Google's meet. It is basically the same thing as a hangout but for conference calls and chats.
Trello is quite intuitive and easy to use. You should give it a go if you need a simple task organization. Besides being so easy to use, this tool comes loaded with features. Here are a few examples: Github integration, calendar and Google drive integration.
Stay safe and keep things rolling... This is just a bug on production!
To keep things short. COVID-19 does and will affect many businesses around the globe. Our job is to try and keep things while keeping us all safe and sound.
By helping our clients overcome the troubles that their businesses have encountered we are helping a bigger goal. And that is keeping the economy rolling so that other fields can do their part in order to fight this virus.
The second part is equally important as well. But many developers do not pay attention to it. As a developer, I do touch my keyboard... And I do it a lot! And that is why I try to wash my hands as much as possible - especially during this time. One more thing that I am doing - disinfecting my laptop with special attention directed to the keyboard and trackpad. While working from home does reduce the risk of conducting this virus, we must all take precautions in order to stay safe.
To sum everything up:
- Try to negotiate a remote work if possible in order to stay safe, if not improve your work conditions and apply all necessary measures.
- Talk to your clients in order to help them overcome their difficulties. Talk about maintenance mode.
- Keep exceptional hygiene. This is the most important one.
- Do not panic. There is no reason for it. This is a bug on production but the checkout is still working. We will fix it as soon as possible. We just need to keep working on it.
- Help the elderly if you are able to. They are most endangered when it comes to this virus.
- Keep on coding!
By following these steps you are helping yourself and the others. I wish you all the best, and stay safe! In case you need more material to read, you can always read on how to become a web developer!