Visas and Work Permits — 10 min
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 I'm Martin O’Grady, a Staff Frontend Engineer in the Onboarding vertical at Remote. Our vertical is responsible for the onboarding experience on the platform. Originally from Dublin, I've been living outside of Ireland for over a decade. Two years ago, I moved to Melbourne, Australia with my partner, who is from there. Fun fact: Melbourne's beach named "Shark Bay" had frequent shark sightings due to nearby cattle farms. After the farms closed, the beach was renamed "Safety Beach" to attract tourists. 🤷♂️
What brings you joy
Skateboarding: I’ve been skateboarding for over twenty years. It has always been the easiest way for me to make friends in new places.
Swimming: A new recent joy! A desk job combined with wanting to jump around on a skateboard doesn’t do wonders for the lower back. Swimming has been helping offset those negative effects.
Morning sun: Nothing like soaking in a little bit of sunshine before starting the day.
How did you end up working at Remote?
Unfortunately, I lost my job during the pandemic, as the company I was working for had to shut down. At the same time, my partner and I were in the process of relocating from Berlin to Melbourne. However, the border closures and travel restrictions made it extremely difficult to secure flights to Australia. This situation placed me in an awkward position as I couldn't guarantee the specific time zone I would be working in several months down the line. Luckily, I came across Remote. It was the first time I came across the term Employer of Record. Prior to the pandemic, I had already been working remotely for two years, but setting myself up as a contractor had been an annoyance due to the additional administrative work involved. Joining Remote provided me the ability to have a job where I could relocate to a new country, while still being legally compliant. Experiencing the benefits of Remote's platform firsthand motivated me even more in my work. I realized the value it could bring to others facing similar challenges.
What has async work done for your life?
I enjoy the flexibility that async work allows. For example, sometimes, I may have a bad night's sleep, or I might need to run an errand, either of which isn’t an issue as I can always move my schedule around. The main benefit is that async work has granted me the ability to visit my family on the other side of the world without major disruptions to my work schedule. For instance, last summer, I had the opportunity to return to Ireland for a two-month period. During that period, I was able to continue working seamlessly in a new timezone while being closer to family.
What do you like working about at Remote?
What I enjoy most about working at Remote is that the company stays true to its values. The feedback I often hear from new team members is how pleasantly surprised they are to discover that our values aren't just empty buzzwords, but rather deeply ingrained in our daily operations. Let me provide you with some concrete examples of how these values come to life:
Transparency: This value is at the heart of everything we do. Everyone communicates openly in public Slack channels or through accessible Notion pages. This transparency is crucial for us to work in an asynchronous manner.
Ownership: There is a strong sense of ownership throughout the entire organization. Our engineering team is product-minded, and we’ve fostered a culture of strong collaboration among engineers, product managers, stakeholders, and operations. I consistently observe engineers engaging with stakeholders, and gaining a deep understanding of what needs to be built. This dedication to collaboration ensures that we prioritize building the right solutions.
Care: We genuinely assume good intentions, and if anyone ever finds themselves stuck or in need of a helping hand, there's always someone ready to lend their support. It creates a warm and supportive environment.
How is working at Remote different from other companies
One thing that was different for me, at least, was working with such a globally distributed workforce. I’ve worked with talented people from all corners of the globe during my time at Remote. Having an organization that is globally distributed allows us to tap into talent from various regions, bringing diverse perspectives and expertise to our projects. For my home team, known as the Customer Onboarding team, which happens to be the most geographically dispersed team in engineering, we leverage our global presence to our advantage. When it comes to major releases, we can coordinate our efforts to ensure nearly 24-hour support. For instance, the team in APAC initiates the release while the teams in Europe and the Americas stand by, ready to provide support and address any unforeseen issues. Additionally, usually when a team member is reviewing a merge request, they’ll go ahead and merge it if everything looks good. Waking up in the morning to see that your work has already been shipped is always a great feeling!
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