GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
CircleCI

"What to expect as a remote CircleCI employee"

Below is an article originally written by Gillian Jakob Kieser at PowerToFly Partner CircleCI, and published on June 11, 2019. Go to CircleCI's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

A common question we hear in interviews is "What's it like to work remotely at CircleCI?" Well, it's many things, including wonderful, supportive, and, at times, challenging. As we grow our Engineering organization across Europe this year, we expect more folks to be curious about what it's like to work here on one of our distributed teams. We reached out to some of our engineers to find out what their experience is like, so you can hear it directly from some of the folks you might one day be working with.

Perspectives from the team

What do you enjoy about working remotely?

"The flexibility. Flexible hours mean that I can spend time with my family that I would otherwise spend commuting, and that my kids would be in daycare for longer." -Marc O'Morain, Senior Staff Engineer

"I am thankful for the team's ability to continue progressing on work while some of us are asleep. Our team's timezone distribution means I have on-call cover for my evenings and early mornings." -Dan Carley, SRE

"I appreciate that my team (and our company as a whole) make a clear effort to think about what it means to communicate asynchronously. People realize how crucial it is to think about the way we interact, and folks do the work." -Liene Verzemnieks, Support Engineer II

"I enjoy that we are all able to have flexible lives! Our team is passionate about our work and our mission, and I love seeing what everyone is doing outside of work (traveling, working out, cute babies, etc.). I feel extremely supported and cared for by everyone." -Jacque Garcia, Software Engineer

"The ability to make my own schedule. Working mornings/evenings with gym-lunch-power nap in the middle of the day has been a game changer." -Justin Cowperthwaite, Engineering Manager

What makes your team successful as a distributed team?

"We are all very understanding of each other's goals – we communicate regularly on what we are working on and accomplishing throughout the day, and have crushed difficult tasks together. Our team is passionate about our work and our mission." -Jacque

"Distributed communication means writing things down, which helps everyone: people returning from sick leave or holiday, as well as new people joining the company. We use our team Slack channels so that everyone can contribute to answering things we know or learning things we don't know." -Dan

"My team has been open to experiments over time (e.g. two weekly team meetings so everyone gets at least one in-person, real-time conversation with teammates, even if it's not everyone at once). We put a high priority on being kind to one another, and although we don't always talk about it as such, and we put a high priority on psychological safety (e.g. it's okay to ask "silly" questions, or not know the answer, or have feelings). The combination of regular conversations in a variety of formats, plus the CRITICAL glue of Small Hands (periodic in-person team gatherings), really does something magic." -Liene

What advice would you give new remote employees?

"Be open. The people are really nice and supportive." -Dan

"Make sure you plan out breaks and be intentional about creating social interaction with your coworkers (since it might not happen organically)." -Justin

"Get out to the office as much as you can, and for as long as you can when you first start. Try to meet as many folks in person as you can." -Marc

"Overcommunicate: err on the side of asking questions or reaching out (you can't stumble into water cooler conversations, so whatever you can do to create opportunities for communication is extra valuable). Also, define work/not-work, whether that's time-based (e.g. I work 8:00 - 17:00, and then I stop) or computer-based (e.g. this is my work computer, this is my personal computer)." -Liene

"It can be challenging to deal with uncertainty. When in doubt, get people involved." -Jacque

Tips for distributed teams

We've been a distributed organization since the very beginning. As we've grown, we've picked up quite a few lessons along the way (for example, on communicating asynchronously, pairing remotely, and distributed onboarding). For those considering joining our team, a well as those growing their own distributed teams, we'd like to share some of our favorite distributed team tips:

  • Use asynchronous communication where possible when working across timezones, and make the best use of any synchronous communication time you have.
  • Converse in common team channels rather than Direct Messages.
  • Record meetings.
  • Say hello and goodbye to your team each day to indicate when you're in/out.
  • Make your working hours visible on your calendar, so it's clear when you're available and working.
  • Leave summaries in Slack threads after team discussions or huddles.
  • Pair often.

The best methods for working on a distributed team, whether at CircleCI or elsewhere, will vary by the team, the individuals on it, and the work you're trying to do. We encourage you to communicate with your teammates, test things out together, and overall be patient. Building a happy and successful team, especially a geographically distributed one, takes time, but having processes that work is worth the investment.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Relativity

How Relativity’s Monika Wąż Conquered Fear to Find Her Dream Career

There's a phrase in her native Polish that Monika Wąż reminds herself of each day: "If you don't learn, you're just going backward."

The Associate Product Manager at legal and compliance technology company Relativity says she would believe in a growth-centered approach to work even if she wasn't in the tech field, but that it's especially important because she is.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Videos

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020