How are the different time zones of remote team members at Stack Overflow accounted for?

In a recent interview Joel Spolsky mentions that remote work is best done within similar time zones to allow high bandwidth communication through Google hangouts, slack etc.

In the interview Joel says "We pretty much hire people in Western Europe and North America" & "We overlap 4 or 5 hours a day"

Does this mean that Stack Overflow only hires on the East Coast of the USA?

If Stack Overflow does hire on the West Coast, how is the time zone difference of 10 hours accounted for between the West Coast and Western Europe?

  • 1
    SE/SO has hired people based in the Philippines and Japan. And Colorado isn't that far from the West Coast. – user642796 Sep 23 '15 at 7:31
  • Geoff Dalgas: Oregon, Jon Ericson: California, Jason Harvey: Alaska... – user259867 Sep 23 '15 at 11:25
  • 2
    People on the west coast of the U.S. do overlap with people on the east coast by 4 or 5 hours a day. I don't think each person has to overlap with everyone else. – Bill the Lizard Sep 23 '15 at 13:33
  • Are you asking for information that you can use in your own workplace, or so you know when to bug the SE staff most reliably? If it's the former, I don't really see how it's on topic; if the latter, it's unfair, and bordering on impolite. I don't see a good reason for this question; maybe you can edit to clarify what you're interested in here. – jscs Sep 23 '15 at 19:07
  • @JoshCaswell Since when did questions have to be justified? This is just asking for some basic information. – James Sep 23 '15 at 22:57

Stack Exchange has had employees scattered around the world. Tim Post was in the Philippines for years, and jmac was in Japan. I don't know if employees far from US/western-Europe time zones were expected to shift their hours for better collaboration, though I know that at least one did at least some of the time, based on interactions we had.

Fairly recently the SE job postings have started to specify time zones where relevant. (Some pure-remote positions still get posted, and some positions are constrained to particular locales.) Here's a sample from the current listings:

job postings with time zones

These listings say things like "time zone in (range)"; I don't know if that means "no one from east Asia need apply" or "your work day must match a time zone in this range".

Here's an unconstrained remote one, for comparison:

remote posting

Oh, and no, within the US it's not limited to the east coast. I know people in Colorado, California, and Texas, and that's just on the community team.

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