Open Thread: Web Worker Independence


It was 232 years ago today that a bunch of colonials got fed up with the king and announced that they weren’t going to take it any more. While I certainly don’t think the situation of web workers is comparable to that of America’s founders, the anniversary does provoke thoughts of dependence and independence. Despite my happy status as a work-at-home web worker, there are still some ties in my life that I would just as soon dissolve in the search of more complete independence.

For starters, I still pay too much for a wired broadband connection. Though the most recent Pew survey on home broadband indicates a continued growth in both broadband and wireless use, the penetration of these necessary technologies still isn’t universal enough to support the dream of web work anywhere at a reasonable cost (and as our parent GigaOM points out, usage-based pricing is likely to raise fees for many users).I’d also like to finish declaring my independence from Microsoft Windows. Though I’ve successfully banished it from my desktop, I’ve still got several Windows-based servers in operation, in part through inertia, in part to keep existing web sites based on Microsoft technologies online. Worse, even if I get Microsoft out of my own life, it may sneak back in if the current rush to competing proprietary browser-based runtimes (like Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR) continues to work against the open, standards-based web.

Don’t get me wrong: on the whole, I’m happy with my web working career. There are just these few little friction points that I’d like to see eliminated. What about you? What’s holding you back from your ideal of web work? What parts of the web of technology would you personally like to declare independence from?



“browser-based runtimes (like Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR)” – I thought the whole idea of AIR is that it is not browser-based?


Broadband limitations. Where I live, satellite internet is the only option. Better than dial-up, but with the signal latency and tendency for cloud formations to block the signal during thunderstorms, it’s less than ideal at $60 a month. The latency makes VOIP and VPN unreliable.

Loren Johnsonq

Two things that come to mind immediately which I declare my independence from:

1. At-arms-length with head turned, “we already handed you the spec so work, monkey, work” development. Surprisingly it happened to me recently, just when I thought it would never happen to me again.

2. Linux administration. I’m a web developer and therefore your system administrator — huh? Yes, I am. Do I like it, no way.

Venado Partners, LLC

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