Remote Work

Short to mid term remote work to create new or update existing web applications


Clients

Woodard Education, Xiaozao, Lenovo, ACT

Background

Remote work is often practiced by members of teams where a daily commute to work is not possible or is extremely inconvenient. The benefits of working remote are less time for developers spent in meetings and non-critical interactivity around the office. Benefits to the employer also include more autonomous time for the developer to work on the project and incidentally more time spent on the project than required.

Disadvantages to working remote are developers not being a part of the company culture or being involved in the daily meetings of workers that are in the office.

Summary

Overall, I love working remote. Depending on the size of the team and the project that the team is working on, working remote can be extremely advantageous. I have worked remote in two capacites throughout my career: part-time remote work and 100% remote work.

My experience working remote part-time has been with several companies between 2000 and 2005, in Silicon Valley. As a part of the perks of working in certain start-up companies, there are often days where developers do not have to come to work, such as on Fridays. Although I do enjoy working from home, I find uneven days working home and then having to come back into the office may interrupt my coding habits. At Lenovo, I took initiative and volunteered to work on a project that included several members of the offshore in team and a global change to the application. I agreed to work with the Indian team at nights and switched my schedule for about two weeks. This was an amazing experience and was different from having one day off per week.

My experience working 100% remote has been great. I have worked 100% remote with two companies: Xiaozao and ACT.

Xiaozao is a Chinese start up company that works with recent Chinese graduates in pursuing careers as well as guiding along their career paths. Xiaozao was formed by previous partners in my Woodard Education platform. As the Senior Web Developer, it was my responsibility to build the first version of the Xiaozao website from the ground up. Because this company was a start up, I spent many days and nights working on the MVP product to present to potential investors and required me to go above and beyond the standard working hours of an enterprise position. This was definitely a start up remote position that came with great responsibility and sacrifice. I enjoyed it very much.

My second experience working 100% remote was with ACT, a non-profit test administration company that provides testing services both nationally and internationally. My contract with ACT was for four months to build an international test rescheduling functionality for ACT internal usage. 100% remote positions have more structure than start up remote positions. I worked from California, while the rest of the team was in Iowa. This required a shift in working hours, while I agreed to work on Pacific Standard Time. This meant that I was behind my team by two hours and also meant I stayed on my shift for two hours after the team was finished every day. This requires that all work is completed and updates are provided for the Iowa team before they start work the following morning.

Working 100% remote on a corporate position requires constant discipline and going above and beyond past your normal hours to get things done at times. It also requires diligent communication by the remote worker in order to ensure the rest of the team is properly updated with the latest changes.