QA Engineer Gone Remote

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QA Engineer Gone Remote

Nine months ago I started working remotely for a US based company and it’s been a life-changing experience. A few benefits I immediately noticed with remote work versus being onsite were the disappearance of office distractions and that I could finally create my own work environment in a location where I felt comfortable. As a fan of silence or my own noise (music), I could focus my thoughts and dive directly into my work 100%.

While working remotely leaves me physically in my home office, I never feel alone. Culture at Modus Create is positive, professional, and above all, people share their knowledge. This is a key thing in an IT world where everything is constantly evolving and changing.

Sharing knowledge

When you share knowledge, you are surrounded with a constant flow of quality information. It’s like a virus you can’t get rid of and really don’t want to. It pulls you in, becoming a part of that circle. Participation becomes pleasure, and you no longer relate to those ‘Monday morning’ jokes on social media. This sharing allows and results in growth–both individually and professionally. Your company, colleagues, clients and you are all growing together. Networking and exchanging knowledge via various channels (which will be mentioned later in the article) are crucial for a person working remotely.

Is working from home for you?

Working from home is not for everyone. Some people do not succeed at working from home because of distractions and the inability to focus beyond them. Everything is at your fingertips; discipline is very important.

The benefits are fantastic for employees who can manage working remotely.

  • You save time by avoiding long commutes and traffic jams.
  • Extra time is now available for your family
  • Working in a quieter atmosphere
  • Equalising (or raising) work/life balance
  • Saving gas and saving the environment.

Productivity is a personal matter, but for me, it has increased as well. For people who flourish with the typical office surroundings like ambient sound, huge open space offices or cafe bars, remote work may not be your best option. These things, and many more are worth considering before going remote.

Lessons learned

Smart companies want to find the best talent possible regardless of location, while others will limit themselves to their local talent pool. I believe the old-fashioned way of thinking is changing and will continue to in the coming years.

As someone who was born and raised in Europe/Croatia it seems that most people in Europe are no longer interested in moving to countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which were previously the most popular locations. Over the last century, it was commonly felt that there was so much to learn and that better financial opportunities were offered in other countries.

Today, things are working differently. Germany is no longer destroyed by the bombing of WWII and no longer needs raw physical workers to raise their country to shine again. Salaries, style of work, costs of living and buying power are just not worth traveling these long distances and uprooting your home. Technology and remote work have opened up a whole new world for those who are in IT; all you need is knowledge, a laptop and a stable WIFI connection. Business technologies are turning towards software, web apps and mobile apps. Classical office employment will become less common with new emerging technologies. This will allow remote workers to collaborate from anywhere in the world. A company’s culture and success is made of colleagues who work remotely and those in-office.

We have been taught that knowledge is power. And yet, knowledge does not come free, and it takes time to gain experience. My own example: I left Croatia for 6 months to do an internship in Germany for a company that was giving me a gross monthly salary of 0 (zero) Euro. Why did I do that? I wanted to learn something, so I took a risk and left my comfort zone. In the end, I got what I wanted, learned a lot and am thankful for the opportunity. That experience was the base for the life I wanted. I saw it as the only way to speed up the personal goals that I set for myself. So don’t always look for money; knowledge will pay itself off when the right time comes.

Is it difficult to find a remote based job?

In order to land a remote job, you will need to understand how companies who usually hire remote workers think when hiring. What is important for them in order to see who you are? Are you active on StackOverflow, Reddit, Github? Do you have a personal blog and/or a personal website? Do you publish quality posts on Medium? Do you write or ask for relevant information to your field? Are you promoting your personal brand? Are you actively engaged?

If you said no or can’t answer these questions, start working on them. Choose one, work on it, and think of quality over quantity, and not the other way around.
Good work is always appreciated by smart and innovative people. Share knowledge, work smartly and you will accomplish your goal.

Are you working remotely already or are you dreaming of landing a location-free job? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments!

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