Working Remotely: Tips from a Veteran

I have a total of eight years experience as a remote worker. I began my remote working career as a life coach for a distance learning startup before pivoting into a career as a software engineer which I was able to take remote in 2017.

While I love working remotely, it’s not without its challenges. Given the current global crisis which has most of the world working remotely, I figured I’d take a minute to jot down my top thoughts on remote work in the hope that they can help and encourage others during this difficult time when many have had remote work thrust upon them with little preparation:

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Optimism And Software Development

Business and salespeople are optimists. Well, perhaps that’s painting with too broad a brush. Maybe it’s safer to say that, at the very least, their jobs require some degree of optimism regarding the raw probability of things like a sale closing or a business venture succeeding.

On the other hand, programming is an inherently realist if not slightly pessimistic endeavor. Well, maybe that’s painting with too broad a brush again and it’s safer to say that it should be a realist if not slightly pessimistic endeavor. (If you’re skeptical, just spend some time working on a behind-schedule software project and you’ll very quickly get in touch with your realist/pessimistic side.)

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Netflix

A lot of companies (Apple, Disney, Warner Brothers, etc.) are planning on launching their own streaming service within the next 12-18 months to compete with Netflix. My guess is execs at these companies looked at the profit margins Netflix was getting on content belong to their companies, started seeing dollar signs, and figured, “Hey – we can do this and make boat loads of money for ourselves!”

However, in arriving at the conclusion that they should launch their own streaming service in order to achieve massive profitability, I think these companies missed the point regarding what made Netflix so popular in the first place.

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