If most of people started to work remotely in the wake of the COVID-19, our Lead Engineer Developer Denis Florkin has been teleworking for a while now. Here are his tips.
Being a developer wasn’t really planned for Denis Florkin. And yet, as he started to work in the Communication field, he quickly switched to coding. Since 2019, Denis Florkin, 29, is our beloved Lead Back-End Developer at Stoomlink. In 2021, he became our Lead Engineer Developer.
His first office? At home
Although he did start by a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Multimedia Writing, Denis quickly decided to train to become a developer.
His first mission was for
CluedIn in 2016. The company, located in Copenhagen, works remotely with all its European team. Denis had to quickly adapt and jump aboard the teleworking train.
“I was Frond-End developer for the company. The designer was from Lithuania, the development manager was from Brussels.” Obviously, he took a few trips to Denmark for work, but he mostly worked from his home office in Liège. Which was not a problem for Denis, rather the opposite ! “I’ve always been a bit of a homebird. Even when I was filming and photographing, I have always really enjoyed the quiet post-production moments at home. And I still love it as much today as a developer.
Since my first team was used to working remotely, I learned a lot from them. They kept pushing me upwards, it was really motivating !”
From mentee to mentor at Stoomlink
After several freelancing works for Stoomlink, Denis is hired! From mentee on his old job, he became a mentor at Stoomlink. “This mentorship position meant more responsibility. A real challenge that I was eager to embrace !”
And since 2021, he got promoted to Lead Engineer Developer.
Remote : 5 tips
1. The importance of ritual
When you start working remotely, the hardest part is probably to stick to your working hours.
Many employees forced to telework tend to work longer hours than usual. For Denis, it’s all about discipline and ritual.
“Every morning I get up, drink my coffee in the living room and then go to my office. This is my workplace. When the day is over, I go out and it’s over. It is important to have a separate room.”
Obviously, not everyone is lucky enough to have a room to turn into an office. “If you don’t have an office at home, then you need to establish a ritual. The goal is to switch to « work mode »”.
The laundry is over ? Netflix is calling you? It’s not always easy to stick to your schedule and stay focused on a task. Have you try the Pomodoro Method ? « This method is easy: it involves completing tasks in 25-minute, with a 5-minute break. » In our complex world, we love how simple this method is !
2. Know the goals of your company
“If you don’t know the big picture of your company or the task you are working on, how could you work by yourself?” In teleworking, the notion of organisation and communication is essential. “With good communication and a good vision of the company’s priorities and mission, there is never ‘nothing to do’ and you can move forward more easily on your own. Having a clear ‘path’ of work for the next hour, the next day and the next week, allows you not to suffer but to move forward. “
3. Long live asynchronicity
Remote is a new way of working. Dozen of videoconferences a day is not the answer ! Avoid to replicate what you did before and start to privilege asynchronicity.
“This is the difference between a call and a text message. When I call you, you have to drop everything you are doing and answer me. If I text you, you can reply to me when you have time. “
In a three words: avoid micro-interruptions! “It’s the management that focuses on efficiency and not on control.“
4. Good communication is key
Again, it’s all about communication. “Company members need to be on the same page. We must avoid any misunderstanding, comments Denis.
And I do believe that written communication forces people to put their thoughts down on paper before sending it, which is always a good thing… And you can keep track of the communication, which allow more transparency.
5. Remote but not alone
Remote work doesn’t mean being alone from Monday to Friday. “The team dynamic is really important ! Conference calls are a good solution for that matter. Don’t give up completely synchronicity, on the contrary…”
“At Stoomlink, we use a daily call (10 to 15 minutes with the team) to make sure everyone knows what they have to do. That allows us to talk and see if it would be easier to do some pair-programming to focus on a problem. Which, in my opinion, also increases the quality of the code.”
3 (random) facts about Denis
So pretentious. He only watches series with a IMDb score above 8. One good show he recommends? “The Queen’s Gambit”.
What a chef ! Denis loves to cook. “I cook hamburgers, with a good meat and a nice little sauce. I also cook a pretty good mushroom and garlic risotto.” (Note for Denis : we would like to confirm the info).
Work addict. He works regularly on weekends. “I want to become better at what I do. As a Developer, you have to stay alert, since the field is moving.“