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Hi! We’re Toptal, we help developers get jobs they can do from anywhere. AUA!

 

by @breanden | 5yr  | 23 comments

Hi everyone,

My name is Breanden Beneschott, and I’m a Co-founder and the COO at Toptal.

At Toptal, we help developers get work they can do from anywhere.

As a digital nomad, I’ve lived and worked remotely in >30 countries since I finished school four years ago. I’ve been building Toptal. Toptal is a private network of awesome freelance software engineers, and companies hire us to build cool stuff. We are also an a16z-backed company in growth mode, and this year we’ll hit about $80 million in recurring sales. Although our network has grown to thousands of people, Toptal doesn’t have any offices. We operate from more than 93 countries, and since we encourage everyone to travel, a lot of us are digital nomads.

Last year, I wrote a post on Tim Ferriss’s blog about how to travel as a founder/engineer that has some tips I’ve learned that you might find helpful: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/10/04/how-to-travel-to-20-countries-and-build-a-massive-business-in-the-process/

If you want to know more about Toptal (our developer community, how we travel, how we operate) or you just want to pick my brain, I’ll be happy to help where I can!

Thanks,
Breanden

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@levelsio | 5yr

I’m closing the AMA now, thanks everyone for the great questions and @breanden for answering them :slight_smile:

If you’d like more info about how Toptal works, see http://toptal.com/developers :dog:

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@caseyr | 5yr

Hey Breanden - good to see you on here.

One thing I’ve been curious about is how you started out getting deal-flow and how you’ve scaled it over time. I know for a lot of freelancers, doing the work isn’t the challenge - it’s scaling the business & sales side of things.

It’s also one of the scary things for many about traveling, as people feel they’ll have to exist on their existing clients and won’t be drumming up new business.

Can you talk a bit about strategies you used and what kind of processes you have in place? What have you learned over the years in how to close clients and win their business?

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@breanden | 5yr

Hey Casey,

Honestly, half the reason I helped start Toptal was because as a freelance engineer paying my way through an expensive university, I wasn’t getting paid for half the stuff I was doing. Marketing myself, getting deal-flow, doing estimations, RFPs, invoicing, taxes, etc. was all a significant time sink, and I never got paid for any of it. Even though I had some great clients, at the end of the day, my hourly rate could easily be divided by 2 if I included all of the hours that went into actually getting every dollar into my bank account.

Obviously I’m not impartial, but the best thing you can do as a freelance software engineer looking for stability is to join Toptal. You want deal-flow, to be paid for the time you work (on projects that are actually interesting), and to skip the sales fluff? The Toptal network pools its resources and spends millions of dollars a year to make sure everyone here can do exactly that. Many Toptalers are engineers who have left Silicon Valley to pursue their dreams of travel (while leveraging a Bay Area income), and deal-flow + stability are some of the biggest reasons they are here. Of course they can get clients themselves. But why spend the time or risk the hassle when they can ping a Toptal Director of Engineering and often get an interview with a new client whenever they want something new?

To answer your question more directly, however, I do have some pointers for getting hired/closing business as a freelance engineer. These things worked well for me:

  1. Act like a core team member from the very first interview. Do not act like a transactional freelancer. Go above and beyond, think medium- and long-term in addition to short-, and figure out what true north means for your potential colleagues and also what value system is important to them for getting there. If you realize they don’t have the same first principles or true north across their team, tell them.
  2. Think twice. Code once.
  3. Explain things simply and clearly. Provide the context your client needs in order to understand your answer. If you are not able to do this (meaning he still doesn’t understand), realize that’s your problem, not his. You need practice making complex things simple.
  4. Be available and communicative. I remember winning several deals because the client had a question about my RFP or something I said in the interview. It was late when they pinged me, but I took the time to either 1) respond with the best answer I could, or, 2) immediately let them know I got their message, and I would respond at a certain time.
  5. Inform potential clients that you will tell them when they are wrong. And then do it. Everyone has worked with a yes man. Your client doesn’t want that. Or if they do, you don’t want them as a client.

Does that help? :slight_smile:

Best,
Breanden

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@xiufensilver | 5yr

Hey Breanden,
What would your advice be for someone who’s looking to eventually pursue a career as a developer? Would you recommend that they get a degree, take courses or learn to code on their own, eventually getting an internship and freelance work? What path would you suggest in order to gain the most knowledge and experience as a developer? Thanks for doing this AMA :slight_smile:

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@breanden | 5yr

Hi Xiufen,

You definitely don’t need a degree to be a good or financially successful developer. I think one good approach aspiring developers can take right now is:

  1. Start building something. Anything. Ping a developer friend and get her to help you set up an environment and crash you through the very basics. Pick a language (Python/Java/Ruby/Mathematica/etc), and buy a highly rated book on it. Read the whole thing and do every example. Go to Codecademy, and do every course they have on your language. Search Google for tutorials on your language (and get used to Googling any time you get stuck). Join StackOverflow/Quora and ask/follow questions about your language.
  2. Join a bootcamp program like General Assembly or Hack Reactor.
  3. Keep building something. Anything.
  4. Dive into Open Source. Start by helping on tasks like documentation, helping organize issue lists, etc…this will force you to be around great developers and read their code, which is a great way to learn. Most Open Source projects have amazing contributors that won’t mind pairing with you to teach and get you going quickly.
  5. Keep building something. Anything.
  6. After that, you can start working as a junior developer either at a company or as a freelancer.
  7. Keep building something. Anything.
  8. Teach other people every chance you get. Explain what you’re doing to your boyfriend/girlfriend. Research and answer questions on StackOverflow/Quora. Write blog posts and tutorials for the things you’ve just figured out.
  9. Keep building something. Anything.
  10. Surround yourself with senior developers and constantly ask “why?”, not just “how?”.

After a year or two, you will be on your way to becoming a good developer, and you will get clients :slight_smile:

Best,
Breanden

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@pilcrow | 5yr

Hi Breanden, thanks for doing this AMA!
Since I’m thinking about joining your network, I was wondering how likely it is to find projects through Toptal? Is the level of demand and supply balanced or are there many more developers than potential clients? Myself, I’m from the Java world getting acquainted with Scala/Play/Akka at the moment and based in Europe.

Thanks!

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@breanden | 5yr

Hi Pilcrow,

The short answer is: there is always a way for you to create value (financial, educational, and social) for yourself at Toptal. As a Toptal engineer, if you are ever in the position where you feel like you are out of options, that means I am failing, and you should yell at me immediately—my skype is smsprep. While there is no guarantee of client work, we do work very hard and invest a lot of resources to ensure that anyone in Toptal who is looking for an engagement has multiple good options at all times. There are always many new positions open (Scala/Play/Akka > Java), but ultimately it does come down to whether or not you are a match for any specific client/project, and of course it helps if you can be flexible in terms of your availability (full-time, part-time, hourly, possibly on slightly different time zones, etc.).

Another important point is that, as a Toptaler, you’ll have free access to a lot of Toptal resources like Udemy, Pluralsight, conferences, misc events, etc., and you’ll have ways to earn significant money by working with us directly whenever you choose.

Does that answer your question?

Best,
Breanden

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@nemrut_dagi | 5yr

Hi Breanden,

How did get you Toptal off the ground and maintain traction so soon after graduating? Did you have early investment to jumpstart the company, and if so, how were you able to prove the business model and appeal of Toptal offerings with so little experience under your belt?

Thanks,
Nemrut

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@breanden | 5yr

Hi Nemrut,

We started Toptal six months before I finished university—proper dorm room style in about 400 square feet. By the time I graduated, I think our run rate was nearing $1M/year, so we had some traction before I picked up and started traveling. We did raise a little bit of money (about $1.4M from a16z and a few others) for strategic and stability reasons, but our initial traction came from our network (Taso and I were both developers and we knew a lot of people in Startupland) and our endless hunger (Taso and I are both the kinds of people who need things to be accelerating forward at all times or we freak out). When you combine a good network with that kind of drive, you can make a lot happen.

Best,
Breanden

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@endtagster | 5yr

Hi Breanden, I’m interested in working remotely for US companies, but in general do US companies have visa restrictions? Do they accept developers living in other countries without US working permit?

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@breanden | 5yr

You can freelance as a non-US citizen working outside the US for a US company. You just complete a W8 to prove you’re not a US taxpayer, and then you’re responsible for paying your taxes in your home country. Your US company may actually have a hard time getting you your money when the time comes, and you’ll probably be frustrated by that process and the many fees different services (like your banks) take, but you can definitely do it.

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@marcusmeurer | 5yr
  • What changed in the 5 years since you started the company?
  • Do you see a development in the amount of people who want to work location independent?
  • How do you structure your team calls? Are they gathered in one timezone like Automattic is doing or do you have another setup?
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@breanden | 5yr

Hey Marcus,

What changed in the 5 years since you started the company?

Wifi, 3G/4G coverage, and data plans have changed a lot. It’s significantly easier (and cheaper) to have internet everywhere now, and it used to be a pita. In February, for example, I was in Svalbard (essentially the North Pole), and the wifi was faster than in SF. Outside, you couldn’t take your phone out of your pocket, because it was -40C, and it would freeze in seconds, but inside the wifi/4G was like lightning. I’ve started using ATT’s Passport plan as a backup wherever I go, and it’s simplified my life a lot.

Do you see a development in the amount of people who want to work location independent?

The numbers are surging. You’re telling me I can travel, have an awesome life, make money, build big things, work with smart people… all while I’m young? Badass. I’m in.

However, what I’m starting to see from people a bit now (including myself at times) is nomadic life post honeymoon period. There are very real risks associated with it that can sneak up subtly. Isolation, loneliness, impatience, restlessness, and even depression are all things people should to be aware of, and the movement will eventually have to figure out real solutions here. I plan on writing more about this topic in the near future.

How do you structure your team calls? Are they gathered in one timezone like Automattic is doing or do you have another setup?

We try to have very few of them. We’re not big fans of meetings. Every team here has a call on Monday where they sync up, and the rest of the week is meant for one-on-ones and on-the-fly Skype calls where you pull in the people you need to in order to get things done. In general, most of the company operates on a loose UTC−05:00 time zone and is surprisingly available regardless of the time.

Thanks!
Breanden

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@divraj | 5yr

Hi Breanden,

Do developer’s work exclusively with Toptal , if not what are some of the other marketplace’s / part time job’s etc that you see them do ?

When is Toptal coming to India ?

Cheers

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@breanden | 5yr

Hey Divraj,

Many Toptalers work here exclusively, but it’s not a requirement. Some have day jobs at big tech companies, other have their own freelance clients, and others have their own start-ups.

Toptal is in India! We don’t have a large presence there yet, but I know several Indian Toptalers.

Best,
Breanden

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@flowen | 5yr

hey Breanden!

Do you find there is still a lot of resistance to remote developers? Personally when I ask my former employees and clients they don’t really like the idea that they’re not able to work in the same timezone.

How do you match developers with employees? Or wait… I just made an assumption, are your clients usually looking for fulltime developers or is there also a lot of freelancing going on?

how did you create the top3% test? I haven’t done it myself, but I just wonder how you came up with those numbers (26,7%, etc) and questions.

I’ll have to dive deeper into your site, but it looks like you’ve build up a great business there :smile:

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@breanden | 5yr

Hi Flowen,

Answering your questions in order :smile:

Do you find there is still a lot of resistance to remote developers? Personally when I ask my former employees and clients they don’t really like the idea that they’re not able to work in the same timezone.

Yes, every day! I wrote a post about this topic here: http://qr.ae/pvi0V, but for us it comes down to helping people understand that:

  • A good remote developer is better than a bad local developer.
  • A great remote developer is better than a good local developer.
  • A top developer is a top developer regardless of where they are.

How do you match developers with employees? Or wait… I just made an assumption, are your clients usually looking for fulltime developers or is there also a lot of freelancing going on?

We are a network of freelance software engineers, so virtually everything we do is freelance :slight_smile: For matching, we have a core team of very senior engineers here who sit down with clients and help them choose the best fits for every project/position they have.

how did you create the top3% test? I haven’t done it myself, but I just wonder how you came up with those numbers (26,7%, etc) and questions.

It wasn’t arbitrary. We didn’t start by saying, “wow, we should set the acceptance rate at 3%, because that sounds nice” or we somehow knew that the bottom 97% were bad. 3% (and every value you see on our screening process) is simply the result of a numerator and a denominator (successful_applicants over all_applicants). We designed the process to be the bare minimum criteria for us to be extremely confident that we are admitting someone into the network who will thrive here. We’re engineers ourselves, and we look for great problem solvers with personality and drive — the types of people we want to work with (and learn from) ourselves.

Thanks!
Breanden

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@flowen | 5yr

thanks for the answer @breanden ! I totally agree with that blog post, more is not better.

Good to hear it’s mostly freelance. My ideal situation would be to work for a client 3 days/week remotely and be able to carry on with my own projects in the other days. Have you seen such possibilities @ toptal?

and a completely different question: you travel around a lot i presume. Do you still develop or rather not so much these days? if so, what’s your favorite laptop for travel and work? You’ve probably spoken to many other traveling developers, any favorites out there? :slight_smile: Looking at the new macbook as I love the minimalistic idea behind it, but I worry the screensize is too small.

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@breanden | 5yr

Definitely. Lots of Toptalers do part-time.

I still code, but not nearly as much as I used to. My days often involve some front-end work, some mathematical modeling (I like Mathematica), and good amount of Excel. I wrote about my setup here, but basically I use a 15" MacBook Pro Retina and an iPad Mini with AirDisplay, so I can use it as a separate monitor. If I’m in a place for more than a few weeks, I’ll buy or borrow a monitor. It’s worth the $100, and it’s pretty easy to find a Toptaler who will put it to good use when I am gone.

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@toorschot | 5yr

Hi Breanden,

We’re in our 3th project together with developers from Toptal. We’re really happy with the cooperation so far!

I’m wondering if in your ‘3% get accepted’ policy, people are also questioned/tested about remote-work and work-dedication skills like structuring work, fixed times, reporting back, etc.

What I’ve noticed is that all developers I’ve worked with seem to have a different take on this and me as a client was not always prepared for this. Maybe it’s a good thing, being toptal, to include and structure a sort of policy around remote work and it’s lifestyle. I guess it could at the same time promote remote-work and increase understanding at client-level.

Keep up the good work.

Tom

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@breanden | 5yr

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your message. Before I answer, I really want to clarify that ‘3% get accepted’ is not a policy. While “top 3%” sounds sexy, for us, it is simply the result of a numerator and a denominator which are successful_applicants over all_applicants and our process, which is designed to make sure anyone who passes is very smart and will thrive here. Sorry to diverge, but I see a lot of copycats changing their taglines to “the top X%”, and as an engineer, seeing arbitrary numbers like that makes me cringe :slight_smile:

To answer your question: We do cover aspects of effective remote working during our screenings (esp during the test projects), and we have a very active internal community + blog where people share knowledge and learn from each other, but we do limited formal training here outside of making the communication and availability expectations very clear. I would really like to hear about your direct experience here, though, to see if we can perhaps do something even better.

Please email me at [email protected] any time.

Breanden

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@levelsio | 5yr

Hey Breanden! Thanks for doing this AMA :smile:

What do you recommend to developers that are working for fixed companies now that would like to be come nomads and work remotely? What skills should they focus on to get hired remotely (e.g. at Toptal), are those skills any different from general developer skills? If so, in what way?

Toptal started 5 years ago, back then remote work was even less fashionable than it is now (getting slowly fashionable recently :stuck_out_tongue: ), what made you and Taso decide to run the company remotely AND focus so much on getting the developers you hire/place to do the same? Why?

And the question I always ask…Is this the future? :smiley:

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@breanden | 5yr

Hey Pieter,

Tackling your questions in order :slight_smile:

What do you recommend to developers that are working for fixed companies now that would like to become nomads and work remotely?

Practice communication (in English - both written and verbal) until you are excellent if you are not already. There are plenty of sites like Livemocha.com for this, and communication is one of the most important parts of working remotely. In fact, I think being responsive, clear, and communicative as a remote developer is almost as important as your technical skill. Get used to over-communicating and chatting to people online and constantly being available even if you aren’t sitting at your computer doing heads down work. It goes a long way with clients. Leaving Skype on all the time and replying to emails at odd hours (even if you’re on a train, standing in line for an event, etc.) takes some getting used to. You don’t always need to be working, but you need to be responsive even if it’s just to say, “Hey I’m grabbing some food real quick, but I got your email, and I’ll push in a few minutes when I get back."

What skills should they focus on to get hired remotely (e.g. at Toptal), are those skills any different from general developer skills? If so, in what way?

Again, proactive communication and responsiveness. At Toptal, we’re almost all engineers, and we look for great problem solvers with personality and drive. To us, that’s the very definition of an engineer. But when it comes to who really kills it at our company, it’s the tremendous problem solvers who are proactive and communicative. When you’re remote, clear expectations and communication are lifeblood.

Imagine two different developers:

Person A is smart, sociable, and you always know what she’s working on. In fact, because you guys communicate so well, you could be in two separate rooms yet have the same answers to questions like: 1) What are you working on now and why? 2) What were you working on yesterday and why? 3) What will you be working on tomorrow and why?

Person B is also smart and friendly enough, but you don’t always get the updates you’d expect, and maybe days go by where you only vaguely know what she’s working on (“refactoring…” or “back-end work mostly…” etc.). Eventually cycle times are extended due to communication delays, and problems that could have been resolved in a few seconds get incorporated into code and product simply because you weren’t asked about them when they arose.

Who are you going to hire again? Who are you going to tell your friends they should hire?

Toptal started 5 years ago, back then remote work was even less fashionable than it is now (getting slowly fashionable recently stuck_out_tongue), what made you and Taso decide to run the company remotely AND focus so much on getting the developers you hire/place to do the same? Why?

Pasting an excerpt from an article I wrote the other day :slight_smile:

We could have gone to San Francisco, set up shop, raised many rounds, and pursued Toptal in the typical Valley way. But of course when Taso and I started all this, I was still in class, and everything had to happen virtually. Taso didn’t live in Princeton, and I didn’t have time to commute to NYC or SF for meetings every day. So, using Skype as our office, we said from day one we would be distributed (meaning we would be working from anywhere but a central office), and we proceeded to “meet” people and companies all over the world using our computers. And instead of having two or three in-person meetings a day, we could do ten or twenty virtually with people who were located anywhere. We didn’t lose any time for commutes, and we avoided all of the costs associated with them. No one stared at clocks, and no one wore a suit.

While working like this, we realized that we didn’t need to physically be in Silicon Valley for Toptal to take off, and this opened up a world of possibilities—literally. Taso and I are adventurous people, so we began talking about cool places we could go that were also economically strategic so we could reinvest as much as possible back into growing the business and skip funding rounds in the meantime. We quickly set our sights on Budapest, as one does. It was significantly cheaper than San Francisco, and, to us, it was significantly more fun.

As we grew in Budapest, we further embraced the freedom of not having a physical office. We traveled to dozens of nearby countries and met hundreds of incredible people—from Topcoders to Prime Ministers to CERN researchers to infamous hackers—often in the places we’d least expect. Soon our core team members were operating from Russia, Brazil, and Argentina, and with our team’s coverage map widening every day, Toptal began to grow organically in that same way. We were able to practice what we preached—working remotely—and because we were entirely distributed and that was never a question, we figured out how to have our cake and eat it too. We had the freedom to hire talent wherever we went and build local Toptal communities in every country we visited.

And the question I always ask…Is this the future?

Of course. Staring at a clock in an office sucks, and as Tom Preston-Werner (CEO of GitHub) said, “If you do not have a distributed team you are, by definition, not working with the most talented people.”

Cheers,
Breanden

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How do you apply to remote startup jobs?


by @dpt | 5yr 4 years ago | 0 comments

I started applying to jobs on remoteok.io and other similar sites and have been wondering how other people are approaching these sites.

I’ve been freelancing and consulting since 2009, but have never applied for a job “the normal way”, so I was wondering how other people are doing it. Are you sending CVs and cover letters or are you doing anything creative like videos or other such things?

Personally, I’ve wrote up a CV and hired a guy to write cover letters for me. I think the letters he writes would work well for corporate jobs (or for anything that has an HR department – he uses a lot of these HR buzzwords like “cross-cultural” and “highly motivated to develop my professional skills” and stuff like that), but I’m not sure if this stuff is appropriate in a startup context.

Please don’t interpret my post as “I want a job, please help me” because it’s not that. I’m just curious how everyone else is doing it. Specifically for non-tech non-design jobs (things where you can’t easily point to things and say “I made this”). As I said, I never applied for a job and don’t know so many people that have and I’m sure my mom is not the right person to ask.

I’d also be curious how many applicants positions on remoteok.io etc. usually get, in case anyone knows.

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Are there any nomad game developers here?


by @munly_leong | 5yr 4 years ago | 16 comments

Are there any nomad game developers here? or aspiring nomad game developers? It does seem to be an extreme rarity. Even moreso since most game devs typically don’t cross over with the web developer or startup crowds unless they have something like Unity3D in common. Also games are typically a lot more work than websites and are usually much less profitable at the indie/small studio level.

Anyway here’s what I’ve found so far.
http://www.chronosoft.com/ - only making $150/mnth on RPGMaker type games, tough even for Chiang Mai :frowning:

http://www.gamedevnomad.com/ - seems like he’s trying to support himself creating art asset packs first and work up to building games full time.

Looking forward to blogging about my own journey but I have a ways to go to even catch up to these guys first. Was also thinking that anyone working on even moderately complex Unity games or high res 2d games might have assets and builds that are prohibitive to move around on countries with weaker internet, i.e. sub 5mbit, cough Australia :wink: etc. Would love to hear more experiences if you got them.

There are far more teams collaborating remotely out there just from what I know, but almost none of them are nomads with most AAA and vfx studios not working this way in part due to potential IP leaking issues but it seems not to be a problem with the kickstarter generation.

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Can you give me some examples of non-digital jobs for nomads?


by @workingtraveller | 5yr 4 years ago | 16 comments

I am doing research into what skills are good for getting work anywhere as you travel - other than working on line. So like craftsmen, a hairdresser… people using skills that are not available locally and so having them as a traveller is an advantage to getting work in the places your are planning on visiting. So, any one working their way around the world and not working on your laptop?

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Developers! Thoughts on the new Pixel C laptop/tablet for travel?


by @dave_chakrabarti | 5yr 4 years ago | 9 comments

It’s that time of year again, where I see cool swanky new tablet / laptop hybrid things and start wondering if I could actually replace a Macbook Air for shorter / longer travel.

Anyone have any thoughts on Google’s new Pixel C? Anyone have experience writing code (or for that matter, writing long-form text, like a novel) with either Android or IOS as your main operating system? Would you leave the Macbook at home for a one week trip? A one month trip? Long-term?

  1. I know the software’s not quite there yet. I anticipate major issues being the lack of web dev tools for mobile OSes (I write a ton of front-end code!), and flaky alternatives to Sublime. I’m interested in figuring out if it’s “good enough”. For example, how’s Cloud9 on Android? Any workarounds I should know about?

  2. Anyone living tethered to Tmux / Vim on a Linode (or other VPS) full-time? I’m not drinking the Vim Koolaid (or well-aged single malt) yet, but might consider it if there’s a tangible reason for it.

  3. Is the hardware trade-off likely to hurt a lot? $500 - $600 buys quite a lot of laptop, running Intel 4th gen processors + the never-ending clunkiness of trying to make Ubuntu work on Windows hardware. Where should I expect to feel the pain on a Pixel C?

  4. Anyone figuring out a semi-reliable way to multi-task with multiple windows in Android? For example, how painful would it be to run two terminal sessions, a Cloud9 window, and a Rails tutorial window at the same time, switching between them constantly?

  5. Is there a compelling reason to consider an Ipad Air 2 over the Pixel C? They’re in the same ballpark, and though I’ve stuck with Android as a phone OS, I’m very used to working within the Apple ecosystem for work stuff (downloading El Capitan as I type this).

Note: I’m fairly anti-Windows these days, especially as a dev environment (haven’t used it since XP), so an older Surface isn’t likely to be a good alternative unless the Ubuntu support is rock solid :smile:

Thanks! All feedback appreciated.

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What's the best place to find developers?


by @dries | 5yr 4 years ago | 16 comments

Nomads!

I’d like to start my nomad adventures in a location where developers (html,css,ruby,java, etc) can be found that are great to work with, communicate well in English and whom are affordable.

I’m a freelance designer/coder aiming to build a small development team so I can focus more on sales and design.

Many thanks in advance!

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Hi, we are Coboat, an 82ft coworking catamaran sailing the world. AUA!


by @james | 5yr 4 years ago | 15 comments

Hi we are Coboat, a floating coworking space. We will take our custom 82ft catamaran around the world and offer a platform for a mix of digital nomads and entrepreneurs to come on board to work and collaborate together.

We have the latest in green energy technology and will utilise the latest in satellite internet, 3G & 4G to stay connected and online.

We offer trips from one week to one year and we will take up to 20 together on a creative adventure to amazing places to find inspiration.

Like most other coworking spaces we will offer plenty of chances to encourage synergies, with regular events, skill & idea sharing sessions.

We are non-profit and we hope to foster and develop ideas for social projects as we travel through regions.

We are also running a free 100 day scholarship ‘Made on Coboat’ for anyone who wants to kick-start a new project.

Please, ask us anything. :smile:

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How could I increse my knowledge about remote an freelance jobs to be a digital nomad?


by @marzietudiante | 5yr 5 years ago | 1 comment

Hi every body.
I m Marzie from Iran, French teacher and recently i decided to travel all countries, but i don’t know how get money from a remote job or freelancer or digital nomad. i would be happy for your helps

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Are there unpaid volunteer digital jobs?


by @mart | 5yr 5 years ago | 5 comments

My goal is to start travelling in October to south east Asia. Since I don’t have a technical or IT backround I still like the idea of becoming a digital nomad and not only travel. So I like to learn things and use my own skills. I have the luxery that I don’t need to earn money so can anyone help me where I can find unpaid jobs or projects?

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Hi! We're Hacker Paradise, a traveling community of creatives. AUA!


by @alexeymk | 5yr 5 years ago | 11 comments

Hi! We’re Hacker Paradise, a traveling community of developers, designers, and other creative types. It was started by us two, Alexey and Casey.

Here’s the short pitch we give from our website:

Travel the world, get work done, grow personally & professionally, and be part of a tight-knit community of passionate and intellectually curious people.

You bring yourself, a project to work on, and a positive attitude.

We facilitate a tight-knit, creative community, organize a curated list of awesome places to visit, and provide a high-productivity workspace.

Last year we did Costa Rica, this year we’ve done SE Asia (Thailand, Bali and Vietnam) and this Monday we’re launching our first Europe trip, landing in Tallinn, Estonia.

I’m happy to answer questions about anything Hacker Paradise related - how and whywe got started, what the trips are like, the business side of things, and which one of us has a cheesier sense of humor (hint: it’s Casey).

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Hi. We're Teleport, building software for startup people to discover and budget your next move. AUA!


by @sten | 5yr 5 years ago | 13 comments

Hi, I am Sten, co-founder & CEO of Teleport. We build software for startup people on the move. We have released Teleport for Startup Cities, Bay Area Teleport and Teleport Flock to date.

Moving ourselves and our families around the globe we have become all too familiar with the hassles this lifestyle brings. Figuring out where to stay, what to expect, where to pay taxes or which visa to get. Rinse and repeat.

We mapped out hundreds of relocation nuisances we could fix with software. Once these get solved millions of people like us could benefit. So there was no choice but to start this company.

Over the last decade most of our team were busy building Skype which turned out to be quite effective making the world smaller in the metaphorical sense. We believe we can now rearrange the human population physically as well.

I’m joined here with my co-founder @keskkyla and possibly other members of our 9-people-across-6-countries team – depending on what you guys want to know.

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Hi! We're DuckDuckGo, the anonymous search engine and we're a distributed team. AUA


by @brianstoner | 5yr 5 years ago | 16 comments

Hey everyone,

Thanks for having us! We’re DuckDuckGo, the anonymous search engine that doesn’t track you.

The company was started in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg and has steadily grown to a team of more than 20 people serving over 9 million searches a day.

We have a small headquarters in Paoli, PA, but the majority of our team is distributed around the world. I’m personally based out of NYC and work on the Front-end of the site.

I should be joined by a few others on the team, including: Zaahir, Doug, Chris, Adam and Jag.

Ask us anything!

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Are there any remote internships for developers?


by @ryan | 5yr 5 years ago | 6 comments

Are there any remote internships or apprenticeships for developers that are young in their career? I remember that Zapier had a couple a few months ago for content management. I’m more into software engineering and back-end development. Are there any places that I should look for such a thing?

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Hey! We're Sqwiggle, we're a remote team building tools for remote teams - AUA!


by @tommoor | 5yr 5 years ago | 14 comments

Hey everyone,

We’re the team behind Sqwiggle - a tool for remote teams to stay in touch through instant video and presence. We’re super passionate about remote working - currently the team is in San Francisco, Baltimore and England but we all travel a lot.

We have just started working on a new app called Speak.io (we’re recruiting beta testers!) which deeply integrates into the Mac desktop to provide audio and presence (a bit of a pivot in startup terminology :wink: ) - again we’re focused on distributed teams.

Today I’m joined by Eric, Luke and Will - the team building Speak.

Ask us anything!

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Hello. We’re Envato - we have 90 remoters and thousands of authors all over the world! AUA!

 

by @collis | 6yr 5 years ago | 27 comments

Hi guys, I’m Collis, cofounder and CEO of Envato. We have a team of 250, ninety of whom work remote in all parts of the globe.

Our sites are also home to thousands of creative freelancers making a living selling on our marketplaces. That community has earned over $250,000,000!

When we started Envato, my wife Cyan and I wanted to travel the world with a business - so we started this one. We did manage it for a year working from HK, Canada, Florida, Paris and Singapore before returning home.

I’m joined by Jarel who has worked with Envato since 2009 from around the US, our headquarters in Australia, as well as stints in Eastern Europe and Thailand.

Ask Us Anything!

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Hey! We're WooThemes - the remote company behind WooCommerce. AUA!

 

by @bryce | 6yr 5 years ago | 35 comments

Hi everyone! We’re WooThemes, the makers of the now most popular ecommerce software in the world - WooCommerce.

We’re a distributed company and have been from Day 1. We do have a small office in Cape Town, South Africa, but the majority of the team is spread out across the world.

Ask us about building a business upon open-source software, scaling our product to millions of users and general nomad life!

Personally - I’m Bryce and am currently based in Thailand. I’ve met some you before in person + #nomads :smile:

Today we should also be joined by the founders of WooThemes - Mark Forrester & Magnus Jepson - along with several of our more nomadic team members.

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Hi! We’re Zapier - a 100% distributed company all around the world. AUA!

 

by @wadefoster | 6yr 5 years ago | 41 comments

Hi everyone!

I’m Wade, co-founder at Zapier. Zapier is a remote team with 20 people scattered around the world. Every few months we get together to have a fun company retreat. Many of our teammates also travel a lot. :smile:

I’m joined by Alison Groves, Jason Kotenko, Lindsay Brand, Matthew Guay and Jess Byrne. Ask us anything!

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