The realistics of being a remote developer

PyLadies Night with Sedinam Dwamena

The realistics of being a remote developer

As developers, we are often told that we have so many advantages when it comes to the job market. An advantage we have is the ability to work remotely while earning some cash.

We had another exciting PyLadies night session with Sedinam Dwamena, a front end developer at 64robots where we found out the answers to some of the questions we had.

Kindly introduce yourself and tell us about your role at 64 robots

So I’m a frontend developer with 64robots... a remote company with both founders based in Baltimore. I’ve worked remotely for a little over a year(enough to know that it’s awesome 😎. I specialize in Vue.js. So most of my work is in UI feature development and bug fixes. I recently developed a desktop app using electron js for one of our upcoming company projects. Basically anything UI and UX, I’m your girl.

How is a normal work day for you like in terms of preparation and how you go about it?

There’s almost no preparation. I wake up, pray and move to my laptop. I like to get my work done early so that I can have some free time. So I try to start from 6am to 12pm essentially clearing 6 hours.

The other 2 hours I get it done during the rest of the day. The mornings are my most effective hours and then I go into hibernation in the afternoon

What are the expectations of being a remote developer ?

People expect it to be easier in the sense that you don’t spend time and money on transportation, food, etc.

One of the things I realized when I first started out was I spend a lot of the 8 hours at the office, talking with colleagues, eating, getting distracted, but for remote work, 8 hours of work means 8 hours of work.

We often hear that remote developers work longer than the normal 9-5 working hours, does this reduce your productivity as a remote developer?

It depends on your company. For me, being a remote developer means I’m in charge of the amount of money I make since I get paid by the hour. My company is very relaxed when it comes to working hours since we’re all in different timezones.

Sometimes you get to work more sometimes less. It depends on how strict your company is and how many tasks you have.

Do you think it's realistic to work remotely throughout ones’ career as a female developer?

Yeah, why not. You can do everything you want at your own pace... Take up a hobby, get pregnant, work around your kids, etc.

Is working remotely for everyone?

Remote working requires some discipline or you’d spend your workday relaxing and chilling. You also spend time alone. So if you really like office drama then I would advice you to stick to going to the office.

After the first month of working remotely, I realized I spent most of the time watching series and sleeping instead of working. And it really reflected in my salary 😁 That made me sit up fast.

How then do you suggest one can remain efficient and effective while working remotely especially if the salary isn’t proportionate to the number of hours worked?

Just do what you would with any other job, negotiate a higher pay, better benefits, or just get a new job. If you’re not happy, you need to move on.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while working remotely and how did You overcome them?

1. Discipline - Set a schedule and stick to it. My company for instance is flexible with the time you work but other companies would want you to work within a schedule regardless of the timezone.

2. Communicating with people from different languages and keeping people updated on projects - get to know them and let them get to know you as well. Let them know you don’t understand what they’re saying. You get to know more about their culture and they get to know yours.

3. Different standards of coding - Defend yours whilst being open to other ideas. If you have a problem with someone, let them know instead of letting it eat you up. Be nice about it though.

Do you experience imposter syndrome, If you do how do you deal with it?

Yes, all the time. You were hired because you’re good at what you do. However, you can ask your direct supervisor for a review of your work and what he/she thinks you can do better and work at it.

What technique do you think one can use to get out of one's comfort zone?

Start out with one thing you are uncomfortable with. When you see it’s not all bad, it’ll give you the needed confidence you need to do more.

Thank you so much for your time Sedinam and for sharing your experience with us all.

If you have any more questions.. you can reach out to her on Twitter: @b_dwams.