Working In A Distributed Team: GroWrk Lead Engineer shares Experience
Some companies are skeptical about working remotely because it seems difficult at first. But it doesn't have to be! For many years, distributed teams have been considered a risky alternative that is more expensive than keeping a team of developers and designers together under one roof. However, the last few years have seen a lot of companies and startups move towards remote teams in an attempt to hire the best talent and increase productivity.
The debate around remote work majorly stems from the ability to communicate and share information between different people who never see each other in person. In this article, our Lead Engineer, Daniel Galindo shares his experience working in a remote distributed team and the effect on his productivity.
What does your role entail and what are you most proud of about it?
DANIEL: One of my major responsibilities includes handling the development of applications and the Growrk API. I joined GroWrk on May 1st, 2020. And so far, I am very proud to be part of the team that created the platform from scratch. Usually, most companies require you to work with an existing technology infrastructure that you have to adapt to. But when I joined the GroWrk team, we realized that it was necessary to create an infrastructure that would adapt to our needs and help achieve our mission.
What has your experience been like working in a distributed team?
DANIEL: It's been awesome! At GroWrk we work in distributed teams across several countries. I have the opportunity to work with great talent from different parts of the world. One of the best things is the cultural diversity that this brings to the company. Another great point is that development never stops! When the guys from Mexico are leaving, the guys from India and Egypt start working. This allows us to create code 24 hours a day. I feel very good working in this way, and I think I speak for all when I say that we love it. The ability to collaborate with people from different parts of the world, both with clients and team members is amazing. For example, I would never have imagined working with someone from Egypt. It sounds so far off but in a distributed team, it is possible. And I love that everyone brings a different perspective to the table, which gives us a huge advantage.
What do you value most about remote work?
DANIEL: What I value most about working remotely is that I can focus on what I like to do, generating code to give solutions to what we are developing. Working from home allows me to enjoy more flexibility since I and my team can often work whenever we feel most creative. The advantage of work-life balance is what motivates most of us to join the remote workforce.
How productive are you working remotely?
DANIEL: Very productive! I worked for more than 10 years in an office and I can surely say I don’t miss the distractions. Personally when I code I need the full attention to focus on doing things correctly. When the pandemic made us change the way we work, I discovered that remote work allows me to focus more on software development without losing contact with my co-workers. I became more productive when working from home than when commuting to an office and spending valuable time stuck in traffic, and I actually interact more with my peers from other areas now.
Working in a remote company, do you feel connected enough to your teammates?
DANIEL: Communication is key to building strong remote work relationships. So is company culture. At GroWrk, all the employees engage in the daily stand-up and encourage each other. Just yesterday, we all shared individual quotes that have shaped our perspective on life and have influenced us positively. It was uplifting! And as a software developer, my team and I have effective tools to communicate and solve the challenges or blockages that we encounter. Although I have been working with my colleagues for almost two years and I haven’t met some of them in person, I do not feel that there is a lack of connection.
Is there adequate communication between your teammates and team leaders?
DANIEL: While we have a lot of open communication on our team, there's always room for more tailored processes and documentation. We are all growing and learning a lot as the company is scaling, but I think we try to formalize some of our workflows to help with that.
Do you feel valued by the company for your work?
DANIEL: Yes, I do feel like my contributions are valued here, and that's one of the reasons why I love working at GroWrk. The leadership team always takes the time to listen to all team members' perspectives, which creates a productive work environment.
On a scale of 1-5, how important is employee engagement to you?
DANIEL: I'd say 5. It is very important. Due to the nature of the work, people's commitment is fundamental. If your work depends on someone else's work, you must be able to communicate clearly so there are no problems. Communication is important to me and something I am striving to do well.
What three words would you use to describe employee experience at this company?
DANIEL: Professionalism, growth, and opportunity.
Don't let the word "remote" make you think it is impossible to achieve your mission, it's been working out fantastically for GroWrk. As long as your teammates are dedicated and willing to put in the necessary time to keep in touch and get their tasks done, remote work might be an option worth trying out.
Working remotely is not just for developers, designers, and marketers – it's a viable solution for everyone. Technology has evolved to a point where the only limitation to working together is imagination. There are many lessons learned in our experience at GroWrk that can be applied to other remote teams regardless of industry or skill-set, and we love sharing.