Engineering 6 min

Inside Remote Software Engineering jobs: Senior Backend Engineer Kevin Poston

Sep 25, 2023
Preston Wickersham


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Welcome to our series Inside Remote Software Engineering jobs! This series includes a collection of interviews with members of our engineering team, who will each share their background, professional journey, and story of what it’s like to work as an engineer at Remote. The interviews showcase the diversity and expertise of our engineering team members and explore how Remote engineers shape the future of work at our company.

About me

My name is Kevin Poston, and I am based in Virginia, United States of America. A fun fact about Virginia is that it is known as the “Mother of Presidents” because eight U.S. presidents were born there. I am a Senior Backend Engineer on the Product Led Growth team. Our primary objective is to ensure that our customers can easily explore, embrace, and benefit from our platform, minimizing any hurdles. By implementing features like self-service onboarding and in-app education, we enhance the overall product experience for our users.

How did you end up working at Remote?

I’ve worked in software engineering for around 12 years now. Over that period, I’ve worked in a variety of domains including public safety, government, and compliance, and even built library software for a while (please do not talk to me about bibliographic records).

A friend of mine told me that he thought I’d really like programming in Elixir. I started to look into it and learn some of it in my spare time. I fell in love and instantly wanted to find a job that allowed me to use it. Around this same time, Remote was promoting the fact that they were hiring engineers without any previous Elixir experience. I thought this had to be too good to be true, but I found out that they had a training plan in place for folks like me who didn’t have previous Elixir experience. Knowing that I would have an opportunity to write Elixir while also helping people drastically improve their lives due to working remotely, I couldn’t apply fast enough.

What does your day-to-day work at Remote look like?

I usually spend the first part of my day catching up on everything that’s happened since I last stopped working. This involves watching looms and browsing through Slack channels that are important to me. I give priority to things I’m tagged in, of course, and then work my way through everything else. We have many Slack channels, so I have discovered that I sometimes need to time-cap this to about 15 to 20 minutes. We have some great social channels, and it is very easy to get lost scrolling through amazing content from all over the world. I focus on what is important to start my day, and then I can catch up on other things later in the day if I want to.

After catching up, I update my public to-do list of items that I am going to attempt to accomplish for that day. The public to-do list is a Notion document that anyone can look at. This is great for transparency, but it also helps me make sure that I have a prioritized list of things I need to look into for that day.

Once I have my list of items, a typical day would involve me working for 3 to 4 hours, and then taking a break to work out and eat lunch, then getting back to crossing things off the list for that day. Obviously, things tend to come up during the day that are not work-related, and when they do, I’m able to re-adjust my time easily because I don’t have mandatory working hours. If something needs to be addressed at the moment, I’ll do that and then catch up a little bit later that night.

What are you working on right now?

I'm currently working on a feature that will help our product suggest specific items to users based on what they've done before and their roles. This will make it easier for them to find what they need quickly.

What is something that you have worked on at Remote that you are proud of?

Without a doubt, it would be the Cost Calculator. You can imagine how different costs are applied across the various countries that we support. I find it incredibly satisfying that others can now access this data with ease, considering the complexity of these calculations.

What has async work done for your life?

It has given me freedom. I now control my day and that feels amazing. I work not only when I am most productive, but also when it fits into my day the best. I have two daughters and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. I love that on some days, I can spend more time with them during “normal working hours” and then work a little when they go to bed. Async work truly puts me in control of how I want to live my life.

Which tech do you like the most and why?

That’s a broad question, but if we are talking about programming languages, it would absolutely be Elixir. I left over 10 years of experience being a full-stack developer with mainly an object-oriented programming background to come to Remote with no production experience with Elixir. It’s been over a year and a half now, and my only regret is that I didn’t make the switch sooner. The language itself maps so well to how I like to write code. José Valim did not just create the language, but he also has fostered one of the most welcoming and helpful tech communities that I’ve ever been part of.

Which tech are you curious about?

ChatGPT. Oops, this might give away how I answered all these questions…

What brings you joy? (doesn’t have to be at work)

  • My faith in God. This has kept me centered over the years more than anything else.

  • Then, of course, it would be my family. I met my wife when we were both nine years old, but thankfully we waited to get married until we were 22. We now have two daughters, and I love every second that we get to spend together as a family.

  • After these two things, I get the most joy out of helping other people. I’ve been so fortunate to have great people in my life who have helped me when I needed it most. This is the main reason I am thankful to be working at Remote. I’m writing software that helps people find their dream job, and live their best life. It’s hard to beat that type of satisfaction.

  • Playing my banjo.

Learn more about how our global engineering team works. Or head to Remote’s Openings page to browse engineering jobs and apply today! 

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