Being asked about this on a regular basis, I’ve decided to document my story with telecommuting.
Currently my experience in the area is about 2 years working out of the offices out of almost 7 years(all of which were working in distributed teams).
Disclaimer: this article is not about how to quit working. I do code 4…15 hrs almost every day, and though I earn more than average Ukrainian engineer(, I don’t see how I possibly can stop – I’m addicted! : )
Disclaimer to disclaimer: why would telecommuting be related to quitting working? Because I hear about that mostly in a context of quitting working for someone. And I do enjoy being useful for other people(yay weird traumas).
My story of telecommuting
First taste. Days
First I’ve tried the taste of working remotely somewhere in 2008/9. Crisis just started and customers were picky. I’ve just recently entered the profession and managed to catch a cold in midst of my second billable project(first one was put on ice because of the crisis). Long story goes short. I was good, project needed me to deliver on time so all the sign-offs happened quickly. I loved this company a lot, but then I grew up and decided to lead a team for a while. Offer to do this in a year was not matching to my vision of myself, so I quit.
Love is the answer. Weeks
I’ve thought that I would love to prove myself as a team lead and was suggested to try that in… a year. I’ve found nobody in my home city was ready to give me that straight away, so my next employer happened in a few more years in Odessa.
Thus I had one more excuse to telecommute – visiting my relatives in Kiev(which I didn’t use until the very late). I was working from whichever place I could because I loved the project and because of the time differences (we had folks +8hrs from us in Vladivostok and -10 hrs in San Francisco) and synchronizing with all of them was of major importance to me. Later on I fell in love with a girl from another city spending a few weeks in her place. I can’t say my leaves were appreciated(*wink*), but nobody was firing me while I was bringing the cash in the house.
Because of whatever political reasons we’ve lost the customer and I’ve decided to return to Kiev. Teamleading was thus no longer a valid option(my office was still in Odessa *sigh*), so the company & immediate management was going to lose me.
Accidentally my friend offered me a job supporting an internal project(which was lots of fun as I it made me excited about the sales and related stuff). I’ve decided that it would be fun to become a sales engineer person and I was presented with an opportunity to become a one in… a year(why people are not saying simpler yes/no things?).
So I quit and while interviewing one of my sales engineer friends, I was offered to check out their office and fell in love again.
That last company was luck again and soon I’ll be celebrating my year as a remote person(though, almost quarter of that I was visiting our offices).
I love the people so much that I’m gonna commit to stay in one of the locations for a while. Telecommuting is dead? Long live telecommuting!
I won’t be summarizing anything as the stuff from above is just a story and your actions is what counts towards the result.