The last two and half months have been quite an adventure. During this time I applied to work with over 50 companies. I conducted interviews with 28 of them. I went to multiple rounds of interviews with a dozen; and 8 went as far as doing whatever the company used as a technical gauge or code test. Discussions with four companies got to the point of discussing salary. I visited in companies on both the east coast and the west coast.
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard it. Somewhere along the line somebody asked you how well your site or application works for people that are blind. You probably mumbled something along, “They don’t use our stuff,” or maybe, “I don’t know, does it matter?” The short answer is, yes it matters. And you want to pay attention to why.
My friend, Sara Blackthorne, has been running a podcast for over 6 months now. She has 25 weekly episodes under her belt at In Her Room where she holds “meaningful conversation with women writers from around the world” (she is a much better writer than me, so I’ll use her words) and it is all community supported.
Shortly after I developed my vestibular disorder, I began working remote, from home. Even before that, my employer accommodated me by letting me work from home if I ever had a really bad vertigo day. For the last two years, all my work has been remote, until this month. I’ve now figured out that I have a way of working that best meets my productivity and health needs and when I don’t get to work like that I get cranky, frustrated, and highly inefficient.
But we do it to ourselves. I battle imposter syndrome every day. In fact I made a distinct decision back in 2009 to “fake it until I make it”. I got fired for poor performance (I was severely depressed at the time which affected my work). While out of work in a down economy, I specifically put on a new outward face that would pretend to be someone I’m not to land a job.
Negotiating is a tricky subject. Talking money seems to still be a taboo in polite society. Subsequently, we often over pay for things or get underpaid for the work we do. A friend asked about having a conference session on negotiating. I began working on a talk, but I’m not sure it is ready yet. This article is an attempt to get my thoughts out there so a discussion can be had to help me flesh out the talk.
For the last eighteen months, I have been working remotely from my home in Wisconsin for a startup located in San Francisco. This has been one of the greatest adventures I have had in my life; learning a tremendous amount about the world of startups, better coding practices, how to make a remote environment work, and about myself. Today I want to share what I feel are best practices for myself & the teams I’m on working with to get the most out of being remote.
As a developer, I hear terms like behavior driven development and test driven development being used constantly. And these are good methods for building software. The concept being you establish an expected behavior of your software and write testing scenarios to prove your software meets that behavior.
A little over four years ago I was in a tough spot. I didn’t have a job, my lease was up and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had burned through my savings, charged up my credit cards and prepaid on a storage garage for three months, using up the last of my money. I moved all my stuff into that garage or sold it and planned on moving into my parent’s office at the age of 34.