Last friday I had my last day at sgalinski.
For the last 4.5 years, I have been the Frontend Lead for the digital agency and helped building web experiences for a lot of clients. Now, this journey has come to an end.
What I learned
I for sure picked up a few things along the way, so let me share a few of them with you.
Building a fully remote company is possible
The first thing you need to know about my previous workplace is, that it's fully remote. We did not have an office space or something like that. We'd rather just had everyone work from home, or wherever one wants to work. Heck – one of our working students even travelled Canada while working for us (hi Tim, hope you returned safely 👋).
This kind of work and collaboration inspired me deeply. While it might not be everyone's cup of tea – if this is for you, you will enjoy it. A lot.
Apart from the obvious advantages (no commute, no unnecessary interruptions, pants? what?), I think what baffled me most was that I actually communicated a lot more with my teammates than in any other engagement before. Just because we had to. If you don't meet at the water cooler every day, the need for actual meetings becomes more transparent. We jumped into video calls on a regular basis, for meetings, helping your co-workers out with technical questions, or just for chit-chat. But since every single call we had was somehow intentional, we were a lot more conscious about our communication.
Socializing is important
While it can be a great experience to code in your little cave all day, there also is a need for regular human interaction. If you cannot engage in the regular office activities, or after work drinks, you need to make up for that. There are two ways we did this.
Meeting at events. Whenever you can, attend conferences, barcamps or whatnot together with your colleagues. Book a hotel or AirBNB for the whole gang and maybe meet a day in advance and spend some quality time together.
Have a digital social space. Like most on-site offices have a coffee corner, or meeting rooms, you should provide something similar in your digital space. appear.in is a great tool for establishing something like that. We had three permanent video chatrooms where you could join to talk with others if you felt like having company. That helped a lot to get back the piece of the puzzle you give up by being remote.
Why I left
Well, after four and a half years, I felt the need for some change in my life. I am thankful for the time I spent with the gang and can honestly say that it had a great influence on my career and provided me with a lot of opportunities during that time.
But, you know, things change, people grow and right now I feel like it is time to start a new adventure.
What is next?
Oh boy, loads of things 😀.
I actually have a lot of different plans and to be honest: I have no idea how my life will look like a year from now. But here is one thing that is for sure: I want to be more in the open again. I miss writing blog posts, sharing code, passing on what I've learned to the community, that sort of thing. So expect to hear from me again 😉.
With that being said, I can't wait to get my hands dirty again and see what's out there. I'm still in the process of figuring things out, but I feel energized in a way that I have not felt in a while. And that's a damn good thing 😎👨💻.