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​How to thrive as a remote software engineer

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago

Making the switch to remote working as a full-time way of life can be very rewarding–or it can go very wrong. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to make a success of it.

1. Be present

You may not be physically present, but that doesn’t mean you can phone it in. Your boss will still notice your attitude, so work hard and aim to be the best developer you can.

Focus on the details and look beyond the immediate problem; when fixing a bug, look at its origins: when it happened, what went wrong, and how it impacts the project. Even minor problems can bring you important insights when you approach them analytically.

2. Encourage feedback

Getting feedback is vital to your career development and will help you improve both your hard and soft skills. Open yourself up to feedback from colleagues and managers, and you’ll be rewarded with a clear understanding of what’s going well and how you can do even better.

Create a positive atmosphere where it’s safe to offer and receive constructive criticism. When giving or receiving feedback, remember it’s not about insulting people, it’s about helping them improve.

3. Prepare for meetings

In a remote software team, you’ll need regular catchup meetings to share thoughts, challenges and discoveries. Try to make everyone aware of the agenda a few days in advance so they can give useful input. For the meeting itself, sit somewhere you can be seen and heard clearly, and make sure your internet connection is stable.

4. Bring your passions to work

Even if your current job isn’t quite where your real tech passions lie, be honest about them with your employer, and they might find a use for them. For instance, if your hobby is designing Android games, maybe you can help the company create an app. They might also point you at some useful learning opportunities. Developing yourself will help you add value to the team.

5. Encourage code reviews

When you’re working on a code base with other devs, it’s vital to set clear principles to determine the structure of the project. Regular code reviews will help everyone stick to those principles while creating high-quality code.

6. Find your Gandalf

Mentoring is one of the best ways of learning to code, so find a mentor either through your network or through a service like Codementor. Many of the problems you struggle with will have been solved before, and someone out there can teach you. Of course, it’s always worth doing your own research, but check your findings with an expert afterwards.

7. Follow thought leaders

New and better tools are constantly emerging, so follow industry leaders online and keep track of the newest developments in your sector so you know what to focus on next.

8. Make friends with other devs

Join a programming community to get that sense of camaraderie you may have left behind at the office. Try if you’re not sure where to look. Joining a group is a great way to learn new things and build a positive reputation for yourself.