Last Updated: February 25, 2016
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1.132K
· lee101

Working As A Remote Contract Code Monkey

I have been coding remotely from New Zealand for around 5 months now working 11am until 7pm matching Melbourne time, I have a Google hangout stand-up at midday and email my progress around at the end of each day, I’m also remotely included in retros, product showcases and planning meetings. It has been working pretty well.

Communicating pro-actively has been an important part of working remotely.
I always seek review and confirmation that i'm on the right track as soon as I can, for example I might describe what i’m going to do on a task and then ask someone if it sounds good.
I open pull requests when i’m only getting started so I get granular review as I work to make sure i’m not going down a path that they don’t want technically.
Maintaining a Trello board of good things, bad things and questions to be discussed at the retro and pro-actively adding things when you think of them does wonders for speeding up the meeting time and does away with duplicates and the awkward “all my points have already been covered” moment.

pros

  • Less distractions
  • More time coding
  • No commute
  • Wearing comfortable pants
  • More time with family
  • Saving money living in the country with in laws
  • Saving money eating in at home.

cons

  • Living with in laws (optional)
  • Missing pub lunch on Fridays (but now i eat with family)
  • Missing LANs after work on Fridays (but now i play with family)
  • Missing friends from old “real” job.
  • Contractors seem to be offered less in terms of training.
  • Contractors/code monkeys can have little to no say in how things should be architected, how the business should work, what frameworks to use and may even get monkey work (hopefully/usually its all automated).
  • I miss physically checking in on everyone, so you get to know less about the people/business but more about your code.

I would recommend trying it if you have a family and you get the chance.

1 Response
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I work in this way for over a year and i would add a small tip:)

Working in this way does not allow you to know more than what they want you to know, so you'll never know if you work in an "end of life" project or if the company navigate dangerous waters.
In short, the context is that of a freelance mono-client relationship. Being linked to a mono-client is not from the business point of view correctly. The comic aspect is that the employee is often harassed on several fronts, to optimize internal costs. The company, however, always sees you as an "employee for rent".

over 1 year ago ·