Working Remotely: Social Distancing and Software Development

Many of us are being asked to (or are deciding to) work from home to maintain a safe social distance from others to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Yet there is still work to do. In this blog, Director of Business Development Jaclyn Barnard shares how you can continue to build high-quality OpenEdge applications with Roundtable TSMS while working from home. 

For quite some time, many of you have worked remotely by choice. Whether the driving factor is the ability to have a more flexible schedule, avoid traffic headaches, or it’s just a personal preference, the ability to effectively work from home, a temporary office, or the coffee shop has been a great time-saver and convenience. Due to recent unfortunate events, our local governments and, in some cases, even our places of employment have asked us to stay at home. Working remotely is no longer a choice – it’s something that you have to do. As a Roundtable TSMS customer, are you prepared to work remotely? Do you have the necessary infrastructure in place to easily and quickly make the transition from an on-premise development team to a remote development team?

The answer

It is possible to continue reaping the benefits of Roundtable TSMS, a full-featured software configuration management solution, while you and other members of your development team work from home. Here’s how.

Create a secure remote desktop connection 

For starters, you need to enable remote desktop on your PCs, or set up a remote desktop server. This will allow those members of you team working remotely to interact with their PC and your network resources as if they were sitting at their desk. This is a great solution as it does not require you to reinvent your current infrastructure or reinstall and reconfigure development and testing environments. You may be sitting in the comforts of your home office, but you get all the benefits of being “at the office.”

However, you need to make sure that you are connecting securely. At Roundtable Software, we use OpenVPN to support and secure our remote connections. One of the deployment options was an ESXi virtual appliance. Having a preconfigured virtual machine made it super simple to quickly deploy it to our ESXi server, configure as needed, and, most importantly, get going.

Take it the cloud 

Some of our customers like Boris Henriksen, Managing Director of Dimaps, have taken idea this a step further and have moved their entire development infrastructure to the cloud. (We’ll be sharing stories like theirs in more detail in the near future. Be on the lookout for that!) Whether working on-premise or remotely at home, they always connect to their cloud development server that is hosting their Roundtable TSMS application, databases, and testing servers. This has advantages beyond simply having remote access.

In conclusion

We understand that not all shops are the same and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The idea is to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it is a road closure, bad weather, or “social distancing,” the ability to be productive from a remote location is an expected business-practice. In uncertain times like these, this ability is perhaps the best we can do to ensure our health and that of the businesses we support with our efforts.