Remote engineers

Have you ever had this happen to you?

You bring your favorite hot beverage to your desk. You open your code editor and start working on the ticket you chose for today. It should be easy. Thirty minutes, tops.

2 hours later, you realize you’re stuck. You try to figure it out, once again.

2 more hours pass. By the time you give up, everyone is gone for the day. You dig deeper into the problem, and 4hours later you’ve made almost no progress.

Sure, there’s some scattered notes, here and there. But you can’t figure it out. You get angry at yourself for not asking for help earlier.

“working from home as a junior employee sucks”

It’s time to call it a day. You write a terrible end of day message that gives very little actionable info. You don’t even know how to explain the fact that you spent the entire day on a ticket you thought would take 30 minutes. You try again. This time, your message is a little more useful. It describes your problem, and explains you have no idea why it’s happening.

You tell yourself that tomorrow will be different, and sign off.

“Every time I ask for help, I feel like I’m bothering the team”

I’m pretty sure a version of this has happened to every remote engineer, regardless of seniority. Especially when you’re onboarding, or you’re the only engineer at your level… it can be hard to ask for mentorship, to reach out for help.

You get stuck. You try on your own, not letting anyone know you’re stuck. Everyone seems so busy. You don’t want to interrupt their day.

You struggle to keep up with everyone’s timezones or schedules, and forget that not asking early could mean you’re just not getting any help today.

One the other side of the world, your manager is wondering why you haven’t finished your ticket. They aren’t sure how to say anything without sounding like they are trying to micromanage you.

You both stay quiet until the next day.

It doesn’t have to be this way.