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Remote dev checklist

alexandrudanpop profile image Alexandru-Dan Pop Updated on ・1 min read

Hello fellow devs, considering lots of you work remote nowadays, what guidelines do you follow to make this more enjoyable ❓

Here's what I try to do:

  • have a nice setup - it's important that you enjoy your spaceΒ  since you will spend so much time in here. If you want to check out mine I posted it here

Need to sell guitars to get some extra monitors πŸ˜„
my office

  • use good hardware and technical setup πŸ’». Even though I don't like having many things on my desk, apart from the Dell XPS 15, what makes my life better is this pair of NC headphones. They are important for deep focus -blocking out the fan noise from the laptop or the outdoor noise as I sometimes work with the windows open

  • have a schedule & be organized - I use the same 9-5/6 hours that I would use if I would go to a regular office

  • interact, share ideas, try to help others - I have conferance calls daily with teammates to help on job topics. Online communities are also great - Dev, Twitter - this is the best time to get you social in the online space

  • deliver awesome work - now it's the right moment to be productive and really focus on what you need to achieve. Being remote also saves a lot of time that can be invested into sharpening some of our skills or enjoying some hobbies 🌟

Posted on by:

alexandrudanpop profile

Alexandru-Dan Pop

@alexandrudanpop

I'm Software Engineer who loves working with Javascript, React and NodeJs. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» I'm also a big Typescript fan! πŸš€

Discussion

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I agree with most of this, and indeed, working from home solves a lot of the problems that happen in the office.

  • have a nice setup - hammock in the garden and ~ 23C temps for the next week. Check. Laptop & good Pioneer NC bluetooth headphones for when the neighbours are noisy. Check.
  • have a schedule - mine is actually better than if I were in the office. In the office, I'd be working 8-4, but now, I tend to work 5-4. Purely out of choice. I get 3 hours first thing in the morning where I'm not interrupted.

For the rest, I try to constrain how much I talk to people, but that speaks more to my office environment than it does anything else. We have a culture of everyone thinking "Joe knows this, so lets ask Joe the question" (without anyone realising that everyone else is also asking Joe questions, and Joe isn't getting anything done at all, other than helping others do their job).

At least working from home, I can choose when I reply to people, so I get the focused time, and I still help others out.

If only my partner & kids could adjust to working from home so easily... but still... NC headphones work for them too. ;)

 

I totally agree on the talking part. So often at the office I would get pulled left and right with question after question, but being able to control when I help has been a major boost to productivity.

 

I'm freaking Joe, man... I do love helping others, but sometimes I don't have time for my own problems :P

I also have started doing a similar schedule, it lets time for my own projects and to do stuff around the house.

 

I think every "Office Joe" should change their name, to Joe.

"Hey, Joe, can you..." - all turn around.

We could have regular meetups too to share horror stories.

 

Love the hammock idea, need to get one as well!

Yep, being remote can help with our mental sanity as we can sometimes control how helpful we are by delaying some answers.

I get the same problem with the questions, most of the time in the morning, when I open the Teams app and see 2-3 questions or people asking for calls. Don't have a solution for this thought.

 

Love the hammock idea, need to get one as well!

If you're going to do it, don't forget a tarp & paracord. Perfect sun-shade/rain cover, depending on your climate. Where I am, it rains a fair amount, and honestly, working in a hammock listening to rain hitting the tarp is wonderful! Sadly though, there's a bit too much background noise for conference calls - wind blowing the tarp (so for those, I often come back inside).

when I open the Teams app and see 2-3 questions or people asking for calls. Don't have a solution for this thought.

This might not work for you, but...

  • Email client stays closed, except for first thing in the morning. I've added an auto-responder that replies (word for word) "Sorry, but during lockdown I'm checking emails less frequently. If you need me to reply to this urgently, call me. If your house was on fire, you wouldn't email the fire department..." (thankfully, no 3rd parties know my corporate email address).
  • Skype (external comms). Signed out unless I need to have a conversation with 3rd parties. In which case, it's pre-planned, and I have a calendar invite (received at least the day before, or someone called me to tell me).
  • Teams (internal comms). Status message set to "If your house was on fire, you wouldn't IM the fire dept." All chat message notifications (individual and group) are disabled, and I only get notifications of calls.

I have two pre-planned calls per day, one is the team Stand Up which, recently, we've got down to 6 mins, and for everything else, I get to choose when I reply (I block out a chunk of time in the calendar for checking/responding to people).

 

I made a VSCode theme specifically for sitting in the sun! :-)
marketplace.visualstudio.com/items...

 

I think having the right setup is key here. So many people have more space, more monitors, better desks at the office. It is so important to invest in your home office setup or hopefully your company will help you with that.

 

Totally!
Just because you work from home doesn't mean you need to work only from a laptop and from a couch. In order to be productive we need proper desks, chairs & gear.

 

What has been the most valuable advice for me over the last few weeks was the schedule. As you said, I maintain the same 9-6 that I would work from the office. I normally take 15 minutes on either side to do a fake kind of commute to listen to music or podcasts and think about what I will be doing and what I did that day. I also take a normal 1-hour lunch break. All of these have really helped me stay on course. In fact, my boss noted how I had been even more productive while working remotely than when I work at the office. Everything else mentioned is important, but I will put scheduling right to the top (provided you have the right equipment, can't work at all without it).

 

Yeah the scheduling part is the one thing that keeps the mental sanity intact. Otherwise you can easily overwork or underwork, both being detrimental to you and the company.

I like the 15 minutes walk idea, for me most of the workout I did was in my home office as well, but looking for outdoor alternatives.

 

But, what guitars do you have?? I'll show you mine if you show me yours 🀣

 

Sure, I have 2 cheap guitars but owned them for over 12y now:

  • the electric one is a ESP LTD M-103FM
  • the acoustic one is a local brand called Hora created here in Transylvania πŸ¦‡

pic of two guitars

Anyway, they are more like decour because in the past few years only picked them up a few times a year.

 

Nice! Those Harley Benton amps and cabs are a really good value, too. I wish we had those in the states :(

Here's my music room at our old house. We moved in February and I haven't gotten any time to set everything up in the new place yet. Like you, they're mostly decor at this point. Music used to be my life when I was younger, but my professional career and having kids hasn't allowed me much time to play lately. Hopefully as the kids get older, that'll change. I bought a drum set for my daughter two years ago and she likes to play every once and a while, but she's still too young to teach, so most of our "jam sessions" are her "teaching" me to play :P

I'll have to check out Hora, local brands always interest me!

Wall of guitar stuffs

Top from left to right:

Carvin GP7X
LTD Surveyor-415
Bernie Rico Jr. Hesparian Slant 6
Peavey Fury
ESP Eclipse II
Tacoma DR38

Bottom:

Squier Strat (my wife's)
Honestly not sure what the brand is - Classical acoustic - This was my very first guitar, now my daughter's

Amps:

Mesa Mark V / Soldano 2x12 (Eminence Legends)
Bogner 20w XTC Prototype / Ampeg 1x12 (Celestion V30s)
Bad Cat Cougar 50
Peavey 5150 / Emperor 4x12 (2-Celestion GK100s & 2-Celestion V30s)

Wow you really have some nice gear here, and a family of musicians, that's awesome!

 

A comfortable place to work makes all the difference!