I have been working remotely for the past four years with international teams, and I do not see myself returning to an office in the near future. It is really easy to get used to managing your own time and meeting project goals while doing what you love from any place in the globe. So I started my job hunt by looking into remote job posting sites and after some time I stumbled with this article.
My first reaction while reading about the company was surprise. The people that write job postings usually focus on what the company wants from an employee, listing out skills and knowledge requirements, but this was not the case. “Taking care of our employees is our primary focus” – this line really caught my attention.
After some years in the industry, it’s common to see developers who only worry about the salary and don’t prioritize the company’s culture. This leads to a fragile stability and therefore disappointment. We are in a constant race for deadlines and introducing new features using the latest frameworks and if you aren’t conscious about that, you can get burnout. If the organization’s vision is to pursue people’s happiness and personal growth, in my opinion, the foundations are strong.
Taking care of our employees is our primary focus
Embracing quality, being honest and help others build awesome products matched my values and there’s where I had to stop the search and do my best to be part of it.
Once I submitted my application, conversation with Yannick started. He is one of the Product Managers at madewithlove and HR as well as an amazing photographer and world traveler. I had my first round of interviews with Andreas, Jonas and Dimitri after completing the technical assessment. A couple of weeks later I started my first day and my so longed dream became true.
My first task was to check out the “Getting started” wiki, which is madewithlove’s playbook and it contains very important subjects for newcomers to read about. In here you can find about the company’s history, the tools everybody uses, a number of policies, among others. I read the “Getting started” wiki the week before my first day because (you guessed right) I was very anxious to start. As you would expect, the team was super friendly. I have not got the chance to talk to everyone yet but so far I got to know a lot of fascinating persons and I am looking forward to meeting them face-to-face at the company retreat this October.
Despite we are thousands of kilometers away, we feel close by sharing weekly calls with our web cameras on. They usually happen during my morning, which is Belgium midday so my coffee is always beside me. The meetings brief us about the different projects our team is working on and at the end we get to hear Andreas’s weather forecast. (Disclaimer: only helpful if you are in Belgium. We are collecting signs to have the weather forecast from Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, France and Canada).
Every developer uses a virtual environment to work (Docker). This is great to solve compatibility issues which are very frequent in our industry. Consequently, spinning up my local environment was a charm.
Despite we are thousands of kilometers away, we feel close by sharing weekly calls
Atom has been my IDE for the past 2 years, but after trying PHPStorm thanks to the company, I do not think I will change it soon.
We work collaboratively by reviewing each other’s code by submitting pull-requests (PR) and putting comments whenever something can be improved or is off. When I was the only one in my team because my colleague went on vacation, Frederick was the one evaluating and approving my PRs, so nothing gets pushed into production without having another pair of eyes check it first.
You may wonder what is this about. Well, it is a collaborative process to onboard people in the team and make the newcomers feel welcome by having a series of periodical check-ins with a designated colleague. Kaio Brito has been my guide in madewithlove. With him I can openly talk about doubts or challenges I am going over and his advice is really comforting and helpful.
I believe my experience with the buddy system has been excellent and I would definitely recommend it to my friends out there in the industry. Your first weeks at a new company can be overwhelming but choosing someone to guide you is important to make the process easier for you.
Although I would not bring God into this, just madewithlove. Fridays are an exceptional day in the week where everyone has the chance to do activities related to improving your skills, writing blog posts, collaborating in an internal project or read something interesting online or in paper. Since “personal development day” isn’t that catchy, they came up with the name “friyay”.
On my first friyay, I watched Tony’s introduction about Docker and read a book about best practices when building APIs. The following one, read and watched videos about a design pattern that I was going to use in a project. The subsequent, I spent my day studying PHPUnit tests for APIs and TDD approach.
In summary, I personally love it and strongly encourage organizations to follow this example. Not only it helps to break the daily routine of project work but also enriches your knowledge about the subjects you like. Promoting personal growth leads to having valuable team members.
Being part of the company has been a fantastic experience so far. It meets my expectations and I hope to live up to theirs. I could not be happier to be part of the A team madewithlove has. Big thanks to everyone I have been bugging so far and to you for reading my story!