Today marks the eight years I’ve been working professionally as a web developer where I spent the majority of that time working remotely (~ 6 years). Eight years isn’t that long in this field, but the journey itself is somewhat interesting, to say the least. If I can offer some bits of advice to those who just starting, I’ll say:
- Always be learning - This is my one motto. You can do side projects in your free time, learn a new programming language, learn a new framework, anything. The possibilities are endless. There is always something useful you can apply back to your daily work.
- Underpromised, over-delivered - Manage the expectation of your work. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Always remember this in your quotes, estimates, timeframes, and everything else.
- Use a framework - Frameworks exist for a reason. They define a standardized set of structure so everyone can be on the same page. Use it, don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t waste so much time on problems that have been solved over and over again. Pick your battle.
- But master the basic - Get to know how things work under the hood. Once you got the basics down, learning any framework is just a matter of nuance.
- Set your boundary if possible - I don’t mean solely physical boundary but mentally as well. Remote working can be challenging and takes time to get used to. Set a dedicated workspace if you can. Set your working time, and adhere to it. I find the Pomodoro technique works best for me.
- Take a break - Work never ends, there is always a little bit more needs to be worked on. Take some break, spend time with your loved one.
- Learn to say no - Clients can always come up with ridiculous requests, but part of your job as a developer is to educate. Explain what’s wrong with the proposed requests and provide a better alternative. Most of the time, they’ll accept it.
- Be kind - Always help your colleagues. Be compassionate. Always assume the best of people.
Well, that’s all over the place, but I hope I get my points across.