night owl squad updates

2017, Jan to early Feb

I posted a variant of my night owl developer ad to CraigsList Atlanta computer gigs on January 13, 2017. Here is an update on how that batch of respondents turned out.

Overall Observations

So far, so good. My respondents are keeping me active when they are available; that's one thing I get out of the deal, and I think they are getting something out of the deal. I may post my ad again, though, because I don't have anywhere near 100% "coverage" during the hours I want. Amongst other goals, I want a big enough community / squad that someone is always around.

Cast of Characters

There were 3 - 4 clearly robotic responses--robots selling their people's services, and no one had read my ad.

As for the humans, in order of time spent so far:

Mr. 4.6 Hours

He's codenamed 4.6 because soon after he wrote we spent 2 hours on type chat and then 2.6 hours on voice + screenshare. That was just day 1. We've spent multiples of that since then.

Mr. 4.6 is a keeper, but due to very unusual and temporary circumstances, he's been out of commission for a few days. Ideally I always want several people "green" (on Google Hangouts / Chat or whatever service), so his absence may motivate me to repost my ad. There's room for multiple apprentices / students / sales assistances / cheerleaders / babysitters / business partners / etc. I figure the new batch will want to know what happened to the last batch, so I'm writing this.

He's spent quite a bit of time on screenshare watching me work and asking questions. I've gone down a bunch of "rabbit holes" demonstrating various technology. I'm considering giving him some version of my current project's code and database so that he can start learning it, but that's not entirely my decision. (That's another story.) I'm also not sure how interested he is in this project. I'll find out soon enough. If he's not interested, that's fine. I'm sure I'll find something for him to do when we don't have a paid project.

4.6 has a non-technical day job, but he develops games in GameMaker as a hobby. He wants to get deeper into tech.

Upon thought, I advised JavaScript for him to start learning first. He's been taking the Codecademy course. He's a way's into it, and he seems happy with it. (I haven't had a reason yet to look at the course, so I don't have an opinion yet.)

He's found around 20 CraigsList ads for me to answer. I've answered around 7. No replies so far. He's found stuff mostly outside Atlanta. I've always had luck locally, so we're moving back in that direction.

We've been doing a "shift" from around 7pm - 11:30pm on active days.

He's asked me a bunch of questions as he explores stuff. Hopefully that is part of his benefit in the deal.

The Brain

By the time we synced up, he was waist deep in a project that he didn't seem to want help with, and / or there wasn't budget for both of us. That's fine. Now he's about to start a DAY job--horrors! So I'm about to lose him from the night owl scene, but I've enjoyed chatting with him, and he'll make a good long-term contact.

While he worked on his stuff and served as a "green dot," I answered a few ads. I got one response, but I'm not sure if it'll go anywhere.


Our mutual availability is erratic--I've been busy with 4.6, for one--so we haven't gotten too far, yet. She's more of a CSS artist than I am, so we made a combined response to an ad--I'm pitching my experience and heavy tech, and I pitched her CSS art ability. No response to our response, but it's only one data point.

Upon thought, I'm not sure I should go after anything remotely like "build me a web site," but I'll think of some way for Paris and I to beneficially interact. Perhaps more to come...

The Hat

My specification of two time blocks--7:30pm - 10:30pm and then later--has proven accurate. He pops up around midnight, and he's been willing to talk at 5 - 6am, but I'm not active enough by then. As I'm writing this, my sleep has drifted even later, though, so I might make true contact with him soon.


She's into sales and marketing. I believe it's her day job. I asked whether she is interested in learning tech, and she said yes.

She was probably typing on her phone, and I was outtyping her at a 30:1 ratio, but what she said was on point, so I kept going. Then she asked me for a picture. My picture rant is a whole 'nother issue, let alone how odd that seems in a business context. I asked if she wanted a picture before or after type chat, and I never heard back.

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