One of the things that absolutely inspired me in my tenure at Stack Overflow was remote work. In fact, I loved it so much that I chose it as an absolute prerequisite for my next job.

Why do I love remote working? For traditional office jobs, it just makes much more sense. Why should people be forced to spend hours commuting every day, then be forced to work in a noisy open office, eat out and spend less time with their family and all of this at their own cost? I love remote working because it's local working. I work locally, in my home, and not away, in a megacity.

unhappy statue
Statue of a unhappy commuter—Commuters of all genders have been unhappy since the middle ages

Let's take a senior developer commuting to London everyday on a 60,000£ salary, enough to live in a small home in the suburbs. She will make around 3,500£ a month, or £20 per hour. A season ticket to London can commonly be over 350£. Two hours of commute per day are worth 800£ of her time, and she's giving them up for free. What about a month of lunches? It's another 200£. All in all, an office job is costing our senior developer almost a third of her salary in terms of mixed time and actual money! Not peanuts.

On top of that, if she had a remote job, she could live outside of the London commute area and pay much less for her house or get a bigger house for the same salary. Or go nomadic and visit Thailand for 6 months while working. Remote workers actually do this.

Office work is a crazy bad idea, remote work is the future of office work.

I am not the only one to think this. There is a company who is a kindred spirit: Toptal.

They are a completely remote company: not only "remote-first", like Stack Overflow: everyone is remote, no offices. I ❤️ this.

Secondly, the company helps remote workers: they take the top 3% of developers, designers and finance professionals and help them find remote freelance jobs. They similarly aim to help companies that want to dip their toes into trying remote work by providing them the best talent from all over the world. Everyone wins.

Finally, it's a truly international company, not only a company with an international audience. As a committed internationalist, this makes me very happy.

Toptal

I've decided to join Toptal in the role of remote engineering manager.

I will help our tech leads and their teams by helping them write and review code, architect great applications and being successful developers altogether. I will also continue to talk at conferences and write about architecture, performance, leadership and scaling as I've done for the past years.

To remote work!


A software engineer & Stack Overflow alumnus in London. I write about software development, coding, architecture and team leadership. I also speak at conferences worldwide.

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Gleanings

hackurls - news for hackers and programmers
Claudio Santini • Mar 27, 2017

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