Attention all Geeks! Please go to the front of the line!

The one thing that everyone will agree on is that if the economy is reopened all at once that the coronovirus will have better odds of winning than one would expect the House to win when gambling on a website like SlotoCash Casino.

If the House always won, then nobody would play. What would be the fun in that?

Everybody knows that if you start “cheating” and “counting cards”, that the odds of the House winning can be greatly reduced. This why most in-person casinos have rules against card counting. Watch the movie “21 (2008 Film)” if you do not understand what “counting cards” is. I don’t know if the casino’s reaction to counting cards, as portrayed in this movie, is a true representation of how real-life casinos react, but for this discussion, let’s assume that it is.

The casinos (the guy who ran the security) is the coronavirus, and the MIT group that ran the poker ring are the rest of us.

Casinos always want the House to win, and they stack the odds in their favor to help ensure that happens. They use 5 decks. They change out dealers. Encourage people to drink, so they lose their senses. And I am sure they do other things, but I am not an expert in this area. Needless to say, if there is any group that is an expert on beating the odds, and putting a situation in favor of the House, it is gambling establishments.

So in order to beat the coronavirus at its own game, we have to take a lesson from the gambling establishments and “stack the House”. Change the odds and bend the rules without breaking them. It is a fine line that the Casino Industry has to walk, but as I said, after all of these years, they are experts in this area.

If the whole world, or even just one country, or even just one state, “returns to normal” all at once, the House (coronavirus) wins by a landslide. We need to take a staggered approach.

That is where the “Attention all Geeks! Please come to the front of the line!” comes in. A Geek working on a computer by himself at home has almost a zero chance of catching the coronavirus. That is fine for a majority of a programmer’s work, but there are times where you just need to sit down as a group, discuss things, and solve a problem. But even in those interactions, groups are limited. In programming companies, large groups of programmers and divided into smaller groups. The groups consist of mostly programmers and testers. There is also some interaction between release management people, database management people, and documentation people.

For a majority of those people, the same people interact with each other and they do not ever interact with the “outside world”. Those people could be allowed to return to work with little fear that they would cause a huge spread of the virus. Whenever people start to interact there is always going to be an increase in the likelihood of the spread of the virus, but with this group of people, it is small.

Some people have also suggested staggered shifts. Let’s say that your major product have 4 subgroups of programmers and testers. If you want to increase the spacing between them (or just the number of people in the office at the same time), the 4 sub-teams are divided into 2 groups. During week 1, team 1 and 2 work onsite and teams 3 and 4 work from home. During week 2, teams 3 and 4 work onsite, and teams 1 and 2 work from home.

The main problem comes with release management people, database people, and documentation people, because usually these people are assigned to support the rest of the other people. So maybe start out with having the programmers and testers start reporting to work during week 1 and week 2, then add on the other technical people starting in week 3 and week 4.

The other area of concern is going to be the people who interact with the “outside world”. These would be the product managers who have to talk with the clients to get the details of the project from the client, salespeople, human resource people (who interact with everybody), and cleaning people who migrate from area to area doing the cleaning.

So in order to make a “back to work” plan for your company, you are going to need to tag each person by:

  1. Who do they regularly interact with within the company (same group of people or a shared resource between different groups)
  2. Who do they interact with from the “outside world”? Is this person a programmer who has zero interaction with the outside world? A person whose job has a lot of interaction with the outside world, for example, a salesperson? Or a person who sometimes has interactions with the outside world, for example, a project manager?

Once you have your employees classified into different categories, you can then start formulating a plan on how you can safely allow your employees to return to work. When making this plan, you also need to take into account that schools are not going to return to “normal” until September (and even then, it might not be 100% normal) and a lot of universities are postponing admission of the freshman class until the spring term, which would start only in January 2021.

The bottom line is that everybody has to be on the same train, going in the same direction, trying to get to the same end goal. But I think that if we all work together, and do our part, we can all get through this. And remember this, since the hi-tech companies are going to be first in line to “return to work” all eyes are going to be on the success and failure of these companies in ensuring the safety of their workers.

Yea, I know. For a lot of people who choose to work with computers and other hi-tech environments, having all eyes on you, as you do your job, can be majorly stressful. But we can do it.

“Where there is a will there is a way.”

“All hands on deck.”

“Full steam ahead.”

“It is not what your country can do for you. It’s what you can do for your country.”

Okay. I’ll stop with the inspirational quotes now and let you get back to work.