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Krasimir Tsonev — Remote Work Ambassador

The Remote Work Ambassador campaign is an initiative run by Remote IT World — a global community of IT and blockchain professionals who work remotely. Read more about us here.

We are happy to introduce Krasimir Tsonev as a Remote Work Ambassador. He is a strong supporter of the distributed mode of work and experience it every day. Krasi is contributing to the community his intimate sharing on working remotely, we invite you to read it, enjoy it and don’t forget the beers once you start the journey yourself.

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Where do you live? How and when did you start working remotely?

Krasi: Hey, my name is Krasimir Tsonev and I’m working as a front-end developer. I live in the beautiful city of Varna right on the coast of the Black Sea. I started working remotely roughly ten years ago. I did it because I wasn’t satisfied with the work in the office. In terms of tasks and also salary. So, the remote type of work gave me those two things.

Share what kind of experience it is for you to work remotely.
How do you deal with tasks, productivity, schedule, deadlines, time zones management?

Krasi: Over the years I worked in different environments. I’ve been a freelancer, I worked for agencies or product companies. None of them was fully remote though. I had to deal with a lot of friction between me and the people in the office. It worked (and it is still working) only because both sides put efforts to make this type of collaboration possible. The remote work requires more of asynchronous than synchronous communication. Because I’m not physically at the same place as my colleagues I can’t just ask them what is X or Y. Everything should be written somewhere and explained well so I can pick up task, documentation or conversation. I learned to describe well what needs to be done and at some point I started expecting the same from the others. For example, I very often rejected projects that were poorly documented.

Knowing exactly what I have to do has an effect on my productivity too. Documenting the task in details helps me plan my work and come with a better estimation. That is actually true not only for remote developers but for any type of work. It’s just we get into bigger problems if something goes wrong. As I mentioned a lot of stuff are happening asynchronous which means that we can’t get an instant feedback on our tasks.

Usually when people find that I work remotely they assume that I go to the beach and take beer after beer while in the meantime I eventually write some code. That’s not quite true. I do have a flexible schedule in terms of not being on my desk straight eight hours. However I also have a lot of scheduled meetings and pair sessions with my teammates.
And that’s extremely important because that’s how I stay in the loop and basically know what is going on with my projects. And of course this depends on the company and how it approaches remote people but so far that’s my experience. To be honest I find remote people more organized, focused and pro-active.

Tell us about your team.How do you collaborate on a day-to-day basis? What language and tools do you use?

Krasi: I work in a company called Antidote.me. There are several people remote but most of the engineers are in the London’s office. We use Slack as an instant messenger and also for pairing sessions. For more broader company meetings we use Zoom. I’m part of the front-end team where we write mostly JavaScript. The back-end developers use Python. We also have data analysis and dev-ops-ish people but I’m not quite sure what sorcery they use.

What is the very best thing you like the most when being able to work from anywhere? Would you recommend this type of work to your friends and colleagues and why?

Krasi: I have to mention here the usual suspects — freedom, flexible working hours, flexible location etc. All these things are correct. However, after ten years of doing it I would like to emphasize on two other points. The first one is that I’m close to my family and I’m seeing how my kids grow. I’m able to help to my wife and basically enjoy the family life. The second point is the opportunity to work for a worldwide brands. I’m pretty sure that you can’t work for such variety of clients if you take an in-house job positions. And those two points are I think a better reason to try working remotely. I’m always saying that everyone should try it.

What is the most honest advice you would give to someone who wants
to start remote work?

It’s hard and it doesn't always work right away. It needs your full attention, a lot of patience to make it right, but if it starts working you’ll probably never go back. I encourage you to try for a couple of months and then buy me a beer because I’m sure you’ll love it.

Get to know Krasi by visiting his blog: http://krasimirtsonev.com/blog/

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