Tag Archive: Turing

Puzzle missing a piece
Developer Testimonials

Why I quit freelancing and joined Turing

If you’re sick of freelancing and want to take your career to the next level, check out Turing for remote software jobs. I did, and I’ll never freelance again

I had been freelancing for a few years, and let me tell you: being a freelancer is tough. It’s hard to get a gig, deadlines are tight, and getting paid is a continual challenge.

After exploring almost all the freelancing websites out there (Guru, UpWork, Freelancing.com), I found I had huge competition, was only able to secure low hourly rates, and ended up working with demanding customers that knew little or nothing about how a mobile app or a web app is done. This meant lots of headaches and compensation that didn’t account for the fact I frequently ended up being both the designer and the developer, for the price of one!

This used to drive me nuts!

When I realized that those places wouldn’t give me what I wanted – and deserved – I went ahead and started to look for some clients on my own. I built a fancy website, enhanced my LinkedIn profile, and started a blog, in the hopes that (fingers crossed!) I could find the jobs I needed.

What I didn’t know is that this was just half of it. I still needed to get paid for the jobs I delivered, and most people wouldn’t pay me until they thought their product was done, but their product was NEVER done because they wouldn’t stop adding new features, often while refusing to pay for the additional work.

In other words, I was working really hard but still struggling to make good money.

That was before I discovered Turing. I’ll be honest; it takes some time to pass their tests. And if you’re not a skilled developer, you’re going to find out that their qualification exams are no joke. But if you’re experienced and talented, you’ll find that the time you invest in getting qualified for Turing’s platform is well worth the time you spend upfront.

I’ve been working for Turing over the last year now, and I’ll never go back to the struggle of freelancing again.

At Turing, I got “matched” to an American tech company and started to work only two weeks after the interview process. I’m integrated with a team of really good (and professional) people who treat me fairly and are always happy to help and share their knowledge. The money is sent directly to my bank account and always on time! I know it almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. If you’re looking for a remote software job and good at front-end, back-end, full-stack, React, Node, Angular, Swift, Python, or any of the nearly 100 skills supported on Turing’s platform, you owe it to yourself to do what I did. Take their tests, get an interview, then start getting paid what you’re worth.

But don’t take my word for it. Visit https://turing.com/jobs and see it for yourself! Working at Turing is a life-changing experience, and I’m looking forward to meeting you here. 🙂

By Sep 28, 2020
Developers Corner

Things to know to get hired as a Turing Engineer

To help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying their time working with Silicon Valley companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a software developer who is considering applying for Turing.com. You might have just learned about Turing a few minutes ago, or you might have already gotten past the teaser coding problem on Turing’s landing page, created a profile, and are now staring at an extensive list of Turing tests. Either way, you (most likely a high-achieving and high-aspiring software developer) are on the right track. The number of high-profile silicon valley companies that hire  remote software developers through Turing  is increasing each week, and more than 160,000 software developers have signed up for Turing in its first year alone. You’re smart to be jumping on this opportunity now! But, if you’re like most developers, some part of you is likely starting to wonder if you’re sufficiently prepared to dive into the application.

Even the most seasoned software developers can get anxious in the days or hours leading up to a technical interview. So, to help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying a remote software job with top US companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing. We even asked the primary designer of the Turing Tests himself, Turing’s VP of Engineering, Zan Doan, (previously an Engineering Manager at Facebook) to give his thoughts. Here is what they said:

1) Sharpen your problem-solving skills

First and foremost, as in any silicon valley technical interview process, Turing engineers are expected to be expert problem solvers, able to manipulate data structures and common algorithms to solve a variety of problems while optimizing for speed and efficiency. Everaldo, a Turing engineer based in Curitiba, Brasil, gave the following advice:

 “Turing applicants should familiarize themselves with sites like HackerRank and Codewars, where they can sharpen their problem-solving skills. They should also study dynamic programming and Big O notation to understand techniques for coding challenges, since, if you implement a naive solution, it will get a lower score or might timeout if the solution is quadratic or exponential.”

Everaldo also recommended studying the well-known book “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle McDowell. Not a bad idea considering one can always count on seeing a few Stanford CS students crouched over that “little green CS bible” in the Stanford dining halls during the interview season. Mastering the material there will put you in a position to get the same caliber jobs that many of those same Stanford students are pursuing!

2) Know your tech stacks

One thing that is relatively unique about Turing’s tests is that you have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in an array of tech stacks with which you’re familiar. Whether you’re a Swift iOS developer, a MongoDB + React + Node.js full-stack developer, a Frontend developer with expertise in Flutter, a Python developer capable of scaling a Django backend, or anything else, you can find corresponding tests on Turing’s platform. Dhyey, a Turing engineer based in Ahmedabad, India, says, “Make sure to take and pass as many tech stack tests as possible. Proving you have a range of skills will make you eligible for multiple roles and increase your chances of getting hired.”

Doing well on these specific tech stack tests might require a little review before you jump into them. Zech, a Turing engineer, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recommends you do the following:

 “Take a little time to lightly review anything about that particular technology or language you’re not very familiar with because the tests tend to assess your knowledge about it from end to end. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should dive into a full-on ‘study for exam mode’ but just refresh your knowledge of a few things. If you’ve used a language/technology professionally for some time, you should pass the test without much problem.”

3) Showcase your technical experience

Investing time into filling out all the details of your profile and past experiences may be a hassle, but it will give you an edge over other vetted candidates. Dhyey emphasizes this point saying, “since the process is highly competitive and there is very little human interaction, it is very crucial for your profile to accurately reflect your ability for you to get picked over other vetted candidates.”

If that alone doesn’t convince you of the importance of highlighting your past accomplishments, projects, and experiences, this is the area that Zan Doan, the primary designer of the Turing Tests, also believes is most important. He says: 

“The word I would use to describe the best Turing developers is ‘hands-on.’ Turing jobs often require developers to adapt to a startup environment and make an impact quickly. Because of this, Turing tests not only ask the candidates questions about their general work experience but also hands-on questions about detailed implementations.”

Showcasing your ability to excel in a hands-on environment by taking care to describe your past technical experiences in your profile accurately will prime you for success on Turing.

4) Finally, prepare your workspace for success.

The Turing application process is similar to any technical interview, with the added caveat that the online tests (and later on, the possible interview) are all done remotely, meaning you’re in charge of preparing your space. 

On this point, Zech recommends, “make sure you’re in a relaxed environment with little to no distractions. You’ll need to have a working and stable internet connection, especially since you can’t retake an exam within three months in the event you fail.”

Similarly, if you qualify for an interview, Everaldo says, “it’s just like a regular interview: be ready, on time, dress code, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, it helps to have a good setup for the interview. Have a strong Internet connection, headset, mic, and test the setup before the meeting.

And that’s about it! If you feel well-enough prepared in the above four areas, you should have no problem feeling confident clicking “start” to begin taking Turing’s tests or signing into a remote Turing interview. Silicon Valley opportunities are at your doorstep. The most beautiful thing about Turing’s application process is its hyper-focus on finding talent. We believe talent can be found anywhere and can be of all races and genders. And if, by chance, you’re not successful in your first shot at applying to Turing, a computer science education has become so democratized that we’re confident you can study up, come back, and succeed another day.  Remember, at Turing, we know that not only is talent universal, but opportunity as well.

Ready to get started? Apply to Turing’s remote software developer jobs now

By Sep 17, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

Learn how Turing helped Ohi Technologies hire Silicon Valley-caliber Remote Software Engineers

Ohi Technologies What does Ohi Technologies do? Ohi Technologies set out to build a 2-hour delivery platform for e-commerce companies utilizing smart warehouses and effective software solutions. What challenges did they face? Previously, hiring engineers at Ohi Technologies was a tedious process requiring a large pipeline of candidates. The amount of time and money spent… View Article

Ohi Technologies

What does Ohi Technologies do?

Ohi Technologies set out to build a 2-hour delivery platform for e-commerce companies utilizing smart warehouses and effective software solutions.

What challenges did they face?

Previously, hiring engineers at Ohi Technologies was a tedious process requiring a large pipeline of candidates. The amount of time and money spent on unsuccessful hires made the process costly and fraught with risk

In a prior role, VP of Engineering Nick Blanchet estimated it takes three months from start to finish to hire and onboard an engineer successfully. These challenges led Ohi Technologies to turn to Turing to fill their software development job vacancies. However, they initially felt that remote-distributed teams create other problems. Ohi was concerened having remote engineers would reduce transparency in productivity. Additionally, having a team of remote software developers would make it challenging to align time zones globally, and the overhead of performance management tracking and other HR responsibilities had the potential to slow them down. Not to mention that the overall cost of engineering in a highly competitive market was pricing them out.

How did Turing solve their problem?

Turing’s solution brought speed and efficiency to Ohi Technologies’ hiring process by providing pre-vetted and readily available engineers that could hit the ground running with minimal ramp-up.

“From the first call with Turing to hiring a team of three highly skilled software engineers that were able to start effectively handling tickets took less than one month.”

Additionally, Turing’s post-match product enabled their team to maintain productivity in a distributed team by providing visibility into their engineer’s daily activities. Turing also made collaboration and communication seamless by enforcing a required time zone overlap and daily updates. Turing’s approach to sourcing, vetting, and hiring remote engineering professionals globally at a very competitive cost enabled Ohi Technologies to find quality developers outside of high cost-of-living areas.

Results

Ohi Technologies was able to engage three Turing software engineers to scale their development quickly. The new hires enabled them to get their product to market rapidly and increase product demand and scalability. Ohi sees Turing as their long-term partner for building on-demand teams of engineers.

 

By Sep 9, 2020
Turing Announces $14 Million Seed Round
Turing News

Turing Announces $14 Million Seed Round led by Foundation Capital

Company will use the additional capital to accelerate the global shift to remote work Today marks a giant milestone in the history of Turing. The company is delighted to announce its oversubscribed seed round of $14 million. Turing is proud of the support we’ve received from top-tier VCs and prescient investors who share our belief… View Article

Company will use the additional capital to accelerate the global shift to remote work

Today marks a giant milestone in the history of Turing. The company is delighted to announce its oversubscribed seed round of $14 million. Turing is proud of the support we’ve received from top-tier VCs and prescient investors who share our belief that the future of work is boundaryless and that remote-distributed teams democratize opportunity for talented developers wherever they may live.

Investors in Turing’s seed round include Foundation Capital led by Ashu Garg, Adam D’Angelo, Facebook’s first CTO & CEO of Quora, Gokul Rajaram, Cyan Banister, Beerud Sheth, founder of Upwork, Jeff Morris Jr., as well as executives from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon.

According to Turing CEO and Co-Founder, Jonathan Siddharth, “We were already growing fast prior to the coronavirus crisis. I think remote work is here to say. COVID has accelerated a shift that was already underway. We’ve seen a 5-year shift play out in the last 5 months. A lot of companies that want to go remote-first still face key obstacles on sourcing, vetting & managing remote developers. It’s really hard to find silicon valley caliber developers who are remote. It’s hard to evaluate developers who are remote. It can also be frustrating to communicate with remote developers across different timezones. Often the right kind of daily, weekly syncs don’t happen. It’s hard to manage performance. That’s why we built Turing. Turing is creating a new category of verticalized remote work in the cloud. It’s a cloud of developers, that’s sourced by software, vetted by software, matched by software and managed by software. It’s AWS for Talent. What if, you could “push a button” to hire and manage remote developers?” 

The company will use the additional capital to keep scaling the business, investing in continued automation, AI initiatives to source, vet and manage remote developers.

According to Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital, “When the Indian outsourcing and IT revolution was in its infancy, I predicted that the market would grow 100X over the next decade. People thought I was crazy at the time and, in retrospect, my prediction seems like a gross underestimation. I feel the same way about Turing. We are creating a new category around remote and distributed work. The future of work is remote, and we’re just getting started.”

Turing’s Founding Story

Turing was founded based upon the idea that talent is universal while opportunities are not. The company’s mission is to find the best developers from all over the world and match them with companies building world-changing products. 

Turing is co-founded by Jonathan Siddharth and Vijay Krishan. The duo discovered the power of using remote teams to build a company during their last venture, Rover, which the two started while still attending Stanford. SaysTuring CTO, Vijay Krishnan, “The cost and challenge of competing with Google, Facebook, Apple, and other giant Silicon Valley companies led us to source highly skilled remote developers from around the world.  What we learned building a company with a fully distributed team convinced us that remote-distributed teams are the future of work.”

Their experience at Rover provided the skills and knowledge that made them the perfect team to launch Turing. Turing’s data science powered platform offers a vertically-integrated solution for companies to spin up engineering teams the same way AWS lets companies instantly add additional server capacity.

Looking towards the Future

Turing will create 1000 jobs for remote engineers by 2022. The goal of the business is to provide Silicon Valley caliber jobs to the top 1% of developers from all over the world, help businesses scale at the push of a button, and level the playing field for the world’s best developers. 

Turing’s founders believe that the future of tech is boundaryless. The company is powering the remote revolution by making it fast, simple, and cost-effective to add exceptional talent to any team, and then to monitor and manage your people no matter where they live.

About Turing:

Turing is an automated platform that lets companies “push a button” to hire and manage remote developers. Turing uses artificial intelligence and data science to source, vet, match, and manage remote developers from all over the world. Turing currently has 160K developers on our platform from almost every country in the world.

Turing’s mission is to help every remote-first tech company build boundaryless teams. Turing’s backers include Foundation Capital, Adam D’Angelo, Facebook’s first CTO & the current CEO of Quora, Gokul Rajaram, Cyan Banister, Jeff Morris, and executives from Google and Facebook. The Information, Entrepreneur, and other major publications have profiled Turing.

About Jonathan Siddharth, Co-Founder, CEO

Jonathan is the CEO  and Co-Founder of Turing.com. Before starting Turing, Jonathan was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Foundation Capital, following the successful sale of his previous AI company, Rover that focused on deep personalization of content recommendations. Jonathan received the best Masters Thesis Award in Computer Science at Stanford University where he specialized in Artificial Intelligence while building AI-enabled products. In his spare time, Jonathan likes helping early-stage entrepreneurs scale companies and tinkering with AI projects.

You can find him Jonathan @jonsidd on Twitter and [email protected] His LinkedIn is https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonsid/.

About Vijay Krishnan, Co-Founder, CTO

Vijay Krishnan is the Co-Founder & CTO of Turing.com. At Turing Vijay leads data science efforts that inform automation in vetting, matching, and managing remote developers. Before co-founding Turing, Vijay was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Foundation Capital following the successful sale of his last AI company, Rover, a business he co-founded while at Stanford. Before Rover, Vijay was a scientist at Yahoo’s Data Mining and Research group. His work led to patented methods to increase Yahoo’s large-scale text categorization accuracy with profound implications for search relevance, ad-matching, user, and content personalization efforts.  

Vijay has a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, specializing in AI. Vijay is recently married and lives in Palo Alto, California. You can find Vijay on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact  —   Oliver Starr, Head of Content    —   [email protected]    — 530-641-3999

By Sep 2, 2020
COVID-19

The Post-COVID-19 Workplace

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early spring of 2020, Few aspects of life have changed more than the workplace. A recent Stanford study reported that upwards of 42% of Americans are now working from home full-time (compared to just 7% pre-COVID-19).

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early spring of 2020, Few aspects of life have changed more than the workplace. A recent Stanford study reported that upwards of 42% of Americans are now working from home full-time (compared to just 7% pre-COVID-19).

Pressed suits and business trips have given way to Zoom calls made from the kitchen counter, and growing collections of drawstring pants. With more and more companies making increasingly long-term shifts to remote work, it leaves us wondering, what will the new ‘normal’ workplace entail?

Earlier this month, the BBC Visual and Data Journalism Team released a stunning rendition of a typical work day in the post-COVID-19 workplace. While many of their proposed changes to the workplace will come as obvious adaptations, some of their predictions may surprise you.

Architecture

The demand for large-scale office spaces is already dwindling, according to Hugh Pearman of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In their place, Pearman argues, will rise specially designed workplaces removed from bustling city centers.

Such workplaces will be smaller, and carefully designed to facilitate in-person meetings; which will likely only be held for collaboration and brainstorming with colleagues. Long-gone are the full work days of tapping away at a keyboard (you can do that from home).

“Touchless Technologies”

Additionally, new buildings will likely employ “touchless technologies” that take advantage of data science, face activation, and voice recognition. Furthermore, air conditioning may be equipped with UV lights to kill bacteria and viruses. Antimicrobial metals such as copper will be used in high-touch areas.

“The Shift Away from the City”

Pearman goes on to point to historical precedents of health concerns driving large scale infrastructure changes. It was concern of disease and air pollution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that triggered population movements away from city centers into new and growing suburban areas.

“The Death of the City”, as a recent Politico article called it, blames COVID-19-induced telecommuting as the root cause of the urban flight taking place across the developed world. When employees realize they can work from anywhere, the lucky ones pick up and move for greener pastures.

“Making the Home Work”

With more people completing a greater portion of their jobs from home, the very idea of “home” is bound to shift as well. UK architect Grace Choi has already experienced these new demands, with more and more requests being made to incorporate home offices and work studios into new constructions.

According to Choi, “we’re all going to need to configure our space in a more intelligent way” as we adjust to a world of remote work structures.

We will all be adjusting in the months (and years) to come as we become hybrid workers – sometimes at home, sometimes at the office. One thing’s for sure however, remote work is here to stay.

By Aug 17, 2020
Hiring developers

With these companies leading the shift to remote work, Turing engineers are well-positioned to excel.

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon.

It’s almost stopped being a surprise anymore. As each new announcement comes in of work-from-home policies being extended later and later than previously planned, most of us have stopped questioning, wondering, or even worrying. If anything, we find ourselves signing into our next scheduled Zoom meeting a little relieved. “Why would I even want to go back to the office?”

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon. Here’s the break down:

Twitter

In many respects, Twitter was the trendsetter that made a more all-in approach to remote work “cool.” It was back in early May when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent an email to all Twitter employees saying that they can continue working for home for as long as they see fit. That means remote work at Twitter can continue for as long as…forever. A spokesperson for Twitter revealed that this decision stemmed from Twitter’s “emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere.”

Square

Jack Dorsey is also CEO of Square, which is why the mobile payments company was quick to echo Twitter’s earlier announcement and make work from home a permanent option. And yes, they did use the word permanent.

Facebook

Just last week, Facebook announced its decision to extend the work-from-home option to July 2021. Although this policy change was largely driven by ongoing COVID concerns, in a live-stream posted to his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he is also catching on to the larger vision of the future of work: “When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives” It’s clear that Zuckerburg has seen the potential of remote work to advance opportunities for talent around the world. To his staff, he pitched the idea as a way of creating “more broad-based economic prosperity.” With this vision for the future, Zuckerberg has announced that it is going to “aggressively” ramp up the hiring of remote workers. The Facebook CEO now predicts that 50% of the company’s employees could be working remotely in the next 5 to 10 years.

Google

At about the same time as Facebook, Google also announced that its employees will have the option to continue working from home until at least July 2021. With concerns for how the COVID pandemic will impact families (especially given the possibility of having to provide home-schooling for children) Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote to his employees that he hopes the remote work policy “will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Shopify

Back in May, Shopify joined Twitter in giving its employees the option to continue working from home indefinitely. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke is also looking beyond the current COVID concerns and seeing the vision for the future of work. In a tweet, he explained that “COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver’s seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead. We cannot go back to the way things were. This isn’t a choice; this is the future.” What is this new future? Lutke made it very clear: “Office centricity is over”

What this means
With such large and influential tech companies like these transitioning to more permanent remote-work policies, it has never been a better time to be a Turing engineer. Opportunity is spreading across the globe. Silicon Valley is growing and Turing engineers are uniquely positioned to ride the wave of remote work jobs that is already here (with more coming). Like Zuckerberg’s sentiment, it’s time to stop cutting off the many brilliant and talented engineers who live in “different communities, have different backgrounds, and different perspectives.”

By Aug 13, 2020
How to Encourage Remote Teams to Learn New Skills
Turing News

How to Encourage Remote Teams to Learn New Skills

Assembling a remote workforce is just the beginning, though, as you’ll need to onboard everyone, manage teams, and get them working productively. Once you do this, you then have to tackle the challenge of keeping your workforce engaged by encouraging them to learn new skills. Leveling-up is an often overlooked aspect of remote work management.

Remote work will be part of the new normal, especially with job search engine Adzuna noting a 270% increase in remote job offerings since 2017. Employers today — led by Adobe and Aetna — are tapping into a vast talent pool unrestricted by geography, with various industries looking to fill vacancies. Assembling a remote workforce is just the beginning, though, as you’ll need to onboard everyone, manage teams, and get them working productively. Once you do this, you then have to tackle the challenge of keeping your workforce engaged by encouraging them to learn new skills. Leveling-up is an often overlooked aspect of remote work management.

 Why encourage them in the first place?

We discussed in ’10 Traits of the Best Remote Managers’ how good remote workforce managers support their team members’ career development, as failure to do so can make them feel neglected. After all, continuous learning is crucial, with CNBC describing how acquiring new skills is becoming more valued than degrees and similar credentials in the modern workforce. That’s especially true given the rapid changes in technology — changes that make some 40–50% of employees feel under-equipped to do their jobs well. So, at the very least, ensuring your team has the means to learn new skills will help them perform better in their current position.

 Encourage your team through using the right software 

To help your team learn new skills while working remotely, you need to ensure that you have the right software. The good news is that software like Loom and TalentLMS is designed for educating remotely.

 Loom

Many distance learning tools have emerged in recent years, and Loom is considered an industry leader due to its ability to share content. An outline of Loom’s features by HP details how the app allows those running the lessons to record videos and share tutorials. Loom will enable you to quickly get detailed lessons and instructions to your remote team no matter where they are. Even better, Loom lets you see who has watched your videos, giving you a mechanism to monitor whether or not your team is taking advantage of the opportunities you are providing. In this way, you’ll be able to identify who among your team is genuinely engaged in learning — allowing you to give more encouragement to those who aren’t.

TalentLMS

While Loom is for general distance learning, TalentLMS is tailored for businesses. A review of TalentLMS’s features by Finances Online notes how the platform can help users simplify conducting activities like webinars, online courses, and training programs. You can even build eLearning courses and save them on a cloud server, where your team can access them at their convenience. Having the classes in the cloud will give your team the flexibility to learn in their own time and on their terms. 

Encourage your team to be proactive learners

 While encouraging your team to learn new skills is necessary, if you want to have a productive workforce, you also have to encourage them to be proactive in wanting to learn. Forbes recommends leveraging existing resources for upskilling, such as asking skilled team members to create eLearning courses and provide guided instruction. By having team members create resources and teach others, every level of the company will be learning, whether it is team management or a new skill essential for the workforce.

 It is vital to make sure that there’s a plan to help build your remote employees’ skillset. And it is your job to encourage them and provide an environment where that rewards learning. We hope this article helps. 

For more on hiring high quality remote engineers for your startup, be sure to check out Turing where you can push a button to hire Silicon Valley quality talent at scale, on demand.

AUTHOR BIO: Maggie Myers is part of a multinational consulting firm offering human resources and talent acquisition consulting. She has extensive experience doing remote work and is currently managing a small remote team of content creators.

By Jun 11, 2020
People in a co-working space
Management

Best Tools for Managing a Remote Team

When deciding which tools to use with remote workers, think about the projects that you’ll need your remote team to complete, as well as how you want them to interact with your local team. You’ll want to choose tools that allow your teams to work efficiently and effectively. Since your organization will have a unique… View Article

When deciding which tools to use with remote workers, think about the projects that you’ll need your remote team to complete, as well as how you want them to interact with your local team. You’ll want to choose tools that allow your teams to work efficiently and effectively. Since your organization will have a unique set of needs, you’ll have to carefully consider each option against your objectives to make sure that you’re on the right path.

Having said that, here are a few tools that we think your organization could benefit from if you work in remote setups:

1. When it comes to project management….

We, at Turing, use Trello for project management. It’s a great (free) way to plan your projects, distribute tasks and collaborate together. Asana is another project management tool that is both easy-to-use and a very effective way to plot and track projects. Even industry giants like Uber, AirBnB and Pinterest use Asana.

While these tools aren’t the most versatile, their pros well outweigh the cons and they are a great way to keep your remote workers on track and on schedule.

2. When it comes to communication…

At Turing, we use Slack for most of our internal communication. Slack is an online chatroom that works as a great platform for brainstorming, sharing files, comparing notes and much more. Slack organizes your conversations by channels, keeping things neat and clean.

3. Video is critical…

As for video interactions, we principally use Zoom for our all hands meetings, and Whereby for quicker small team conversations or sales call. There are pros and cons for each of these, but choosing the best tool for your team depends on your company’s specific communication needs. 

4. Especially for creatives…

While Turing is focused on engineering driven tasks, that doesn’t mean there aren’t creative components to our work. Members of the marketing and commucations team here have recently been exploring Milanote.

Key Features:
– Write notes & to-do lists, upload images & files and save things you find on the web
– Organize visually using the flexible drag and drop interface.
– Boards by default are a private place to think, but with a single click you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team
– Milanote is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief.

Pricing:
– Free version available with no time limit.
– PRO version $9.99 per month (monthly and annual plans)

Below, have a quick look at the Milanote interface. It’s pretty.

Milanote Interface
Remote team management is essential to today’s modern workplace and an integral piece of the puzzle. The tools mentioned in this article should give you a good starting point when it comes to filling out your software stack and ensuring that you have all your communication bases covered.
By Apr 30, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

Will Work Remain Remote Post COVID-19?

The world has changed. In December of 2019, you wouldn’t have been willing to bet that by April of 2020, we’d be doing every technical job in the US from our homes. Yet here we are as the world’s biggest-ever experiment in remote work enters its second full month. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that for most companies, even those with little or no remote work experience, things have been going pretty well.

The world has changed. In December of 2019, you wouldn’t have been willing to bet that by April of 2020, we’d be doing every technical job in the US from our homes.

Yet here we are as the world’s biggest-ever experiment in remote work enters its second full month. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that for most companies, even those with little or no remote work experience, things have been going pretty well.

So well, that Benedict Evans, the author of this remarkable newsletter (If you haven’t signed up, you should.) felt that now was an opportune time to reprise a wry truism and ask some excellent questions about it.

Benedict Evans Tweets about Remote Work

But then, he goes on to say:
“And in parallel, for years people wondered if the exploding cost of living and declining quality of life in Silicon Valley would force companies to start moving out . When would ‘are you driven enough to live here?’ be overtaken by ‘I can’t live here no matter what’?

“And now, we’ll find out. How many Silicon Valley companies will come out of months of forced remote work and decide that actually, they don’t need to pay SV office rents, and they don’t need to pay salaries to support housing costs 50% higher than London or NYC?

“So, this could be a catalyst for an acceleration in the global diffusion of software companies. /fin”

Or to put it more simply, as a result of coronavirus, has “remote work” become merely “work”? A lot of smart people seem to think so.

Below, Rich Barton, the co-founder of Zillow, announcing via Twitter that his entire team will be able to keep working from home for many months. He’s one among many Silicon Valley leaders that have come to agree that the benefits of remote work often exceed the drawbacks, even when you take the current pandemic out of the equation.

Rich Barton on Twitter Today we let our team know they have flexibility to work from home (or anywhere) through the end o… 2020-04-29 14-48-00.
Meanwhile, Jason Aten writes that even the behemoth, Microsoft, believes that remote work isn’t going to disappear once we emerge from the current situation.

Investors, many that used to believe that every key person needed to work from the same location, have altered their beliefs in today’s new reality.

This tweet from investor Jeff Morris is a great example:

As I type this, a number of companies are collecting data to learn just how far along the curve we are from remote work as a novelty to remote work becoming the way most of us work going forward.

We’re trying to find out how productivity has changed with most employees working remotely. We want to know whether people feel that remote work has improved or reduced their quality of life. We hope to get an idea of the annual savings companies expect to realize by eliminating the cost of maintaining some of the most expensive office space on earth, and we’ve been monitoring the shift in total payroll expense as a result of companies leveraging remote talent in geo-arbitrage regions.

While we don’t have answers yet, we have some clear sentiment. Many people won’t go back to the office. Some will appreciate the option to work where they please. CEOs believe they can radically reduce real-estate and salary costs without sacrificing much, if anything, in the performance of their teams.

At Turing, March was the company’s biggest month ever. Demand for skilled, remote-ready engineers has never been higher. And all of a sudden, companies that were remote-reticent have become believers.

While many uncertainties are staring us in the face, one thing is relatively sure; right now is not a great time to be a commercial realtor in Silicon Valley.

By Apr 30, 2020
COVID-19

Laid Off? Need Engineering Talent? Turing is Here to Help.

We are living in an unprecedented moment in modern history. People and companies are dealing with tectonic change coming from every direction. Unfortunately, our country and the world are going to go through a very painful rebuilding process. Many companies that were not fundamentally strong are going to go through layoffs and amazingly talented developers… View Article

We are living in an unprecedented moment in modern history. People and companies are dealing with tectonic change coming from every direction. Unfortunately, our country and the world are going to go through a very painful rebuilding process. Many companies that were not fundamentally strong are going to go through layoffs and amazingly talented developers are going to be let go.

But while some companies are downsizing or even closing entirely, others are hiring as quickly as possible. Turing wants to be the bridge between suddenly available engineering talent and positions that companies need to get filled now.

Our AI vetting system and global reach can help identify talent from all over the world and help that talent get matched with good-paying jobs at well-known companies. Our goal is to help America rebuild by connecting over 100,000 engineers with amazing jobs.

If you are a highly skilled engineer that’s been recently laid off, and you have expertise in the areas Ruby On Rails, JavaScript, Android or iOS Development, or Python, we may be able to help you find work very quickly. We also encourage you to share this post with your colleagues, who might also find themselves looking for alternate employment.

If you are a company that is in the enviable position of needing to scale up immediately to meet new, crisis-driven demand, we can assist you in finding and managing top-tier talent from around the world.

In addition to placing talent and filling open positions, we’ll be regularly updating this post with other companies that are seeking talent.

At this time, Turing is actively seeking individuals with the following skills:

  • Ruby on Rails Engineers
  • Mobile Engineers (iOS and Android)
  • JavaScript and Python (any JS framework)

Minimum requirements for these positions: 4 years experience, 2+ years experience working remotely.

To get started with Turing and be matched with open positions, the first thing you need to do is visit developers.turing.com and begin our vetting process. Once you’ve successfully completed our testing process, we’ll schedule you for a follow-up interview to make sure you’re ready for remote work and placement.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone. Turing wants to be your partner in finding work or scaling up, no matter where you are. Join us.

By Apr 22, 2020
COVID-19

Helping Amazing Engineers Get Back to Work Quickly

Please enjoy this replay of Turing CEO and Co-Founder, Jonathan Siddharth, as he speaks to the shockwaves rippling through the technology community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Helping Companies and Engineers During this Crisis

Please enjoy this replay of Turing CEO and Co-Founder, Jonathan Siddharth, as he speaks to the shockwaves rippling through the technology community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Says Jonathan; “We are living in unprecedented times. A lot of people are about to be negatively impacted by all the changes in our economy. I’m sure you’ve already heard of layoffs at many companies or companies planning to do layoffs.”

“Unfortunately, our country and the world are going to go through a very painful rebuilding process. Many companies that were not fundamentally as strong are going to go through layoffs where amazing, talented developers are going to be let go.”

“We think information workers, knowledge workers, and software engineers are likely to be disproportionately impacted in the US, and many other places.”

“We want to do our part too. Turing has always been committed to finding the world’s best developer talent, through our automated vetting engine and matching them with the world’s best companies.”

To hear the rest of Jonathan’s thoughts and how Turing can help, watch the full Periscope above.

By Apr 6, 2020
Smart Slack hacks ultimate guide
COVID-19

The Ultimate Guide to Slack Hacks

Slack is one of the most popular communication tools for remote teams. With the ability to coordinate conversations by a specific theme, within a team or company-wide, there is great power in this platform. Long popular with remote teams, here are some tips and tricks that you might have missed. Use these to make the most of your time and communication efforts.

Slack is one of the most popular communication tools for remote teams. With the ability to coordinate conversations by a specific theme, within a team or company-wide, there is great power in this platform.

Long popular with remote teams, here are some tips and tricks that you might have missed.

Use these to make the most of your time and communication efforts.

We will cover:

Notification Management

Pin important messages

Keyboard shortcuts

Polls and surveys

Star items = quick list

Slackbot Reminders

Include posts

Keyword Notifications

Find mentions quickly

Search Smarter

Quick link to previous posts

Bookmark location in a channel

Formatting for Impact

Deep Work Time – DND

Customized Emojis

Integrate! Apps, bots, and workflows

Notification Management 

    • You may not need notifications for all activity within a channel. Adjust your notification requirements by selecting the settings icon (cog) at the top of the channel on desktop or using the drop-down menu (3 dots) on mobile, then settings, then notifications/notification preferences.

Pin important messages

    • You might want to pin the most current update of the project you are working on or your guide to using the channel. You can pin up to 100 messages per channel, but keeping it to crucial information is better.

Keyboard shortcuts

    • You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate around the Workspace, mark a message as read or unread, format your messages, and more. Saving time and giving flow and process to your time in Slack.
    • When all the pictures and GIFs are making it hard to follow the conversation type “/collapse” into your text box, which will leave text only within the chat and reverse this type “/expand.”
    • To see the list of shortcuts hit “ctrl” and “/.”

Polls and surveys

    • Want to get some quick feedback from the team? Or trying to decide on meeting times? Use the command “/poll” and follow the instructions to call up the “Polly” app. Both powerful and fun.

Star items = quick list

    • Click “Show starred items” or use the keyboard shortcut “crtl_shift+s” for a quick list of all your starred messages. This hack can be useful to quickly review essential items and help you to come back to something you might not have time to handle at the moment.

Slackbot Reminders

    • Use the “/remind” command to give you a personal reminder, or to remind someone else on your team. An example is “/remind @Jeff of meeting at 2 pm”, your reminder will be sent at 2 pm to Jeff about your upcoming meeting.

Include posts

    • Where you need to share longer-form content, you can include posts in your Slack messages. You might want to share project plans, or quickly link to your code of conduct, vision, and mission statements.
    • Create a post – (On your desktop). Select the attachment icon (paperclip) → “Create new” → “Post.” From here, you can share your post, edit it, allow others to edit it, format the article, and add images to it—further instructions via the Slack help section

Keyword Notifications

    • While you will get notifications if you are tagged or mentioned, it can be useful to get a notification. Likewise, when someone uses a specific keyword. Go to preferences, then notifications to set up your desired keywords. You will receive the notification, and the channel will display a badge.

Find mentions quickly

    • You can use the @ symbol on the top right on desktop to show, or hide, mentions if you are looking for a recent conversation (or you’re drowning in notifications). Or use the keyboard shortcut “ctrl” + ”shift” + ”m” to show and hide your mentions.

Search Smarter

    • Use modifiers that help you to search smarter. “From:user”, “in:channel”, “during:March”, or “has:emoji-code”, this one is particularly useful if you follow a specific process of emoji usage within your Workspace. You can find a complete list of search modifiers here.

Quick link to previous posts

    • Using the timestamp (time beside your name above a post), you can copy this as a link and paste into a new post, bringing old posts back into the conversation quickly.

Bookmark a location in a channel

    • Some channels require more attention from us than others, if you need to read everything in the channel then use “Alt+click” on the message where you are leaving the channel, it will mark all subsequent messages as unread. On mobile, this should be a long press/hold on the message.

Formatting for Impact

    • Need certain parts of a post to stand out? Then use formatting. E.g., using * either side of a word will embolden it i.e., *here* now becomes here. Or traditional keyboard shortcuts also work. You can also add formatting like inline code or block quotes, very useful to help faster communication of crucial information. More on formatting your messages from Slack.

Deep Work Time – DND

    • DND – You can type in “/dnd” into the text box and then set a time, or use the bell icon to the top left and select a time frame. Stopping you from receiving any sounds or notifications in the time frame you specify, and your co-workers will see a sleeping symbol beside your name.

Customized Emojis

    • Emojis can be useful to speed up communication within your team or to help strengthen branding and team identity. You can add the custom emojis from the drop-down menu on the top left and choose “Customize Slack.” Admins have the power to limit who can edit these.

Integrate! Apps, bots, and workflows

      • Slack supports integrations with 100s of apps. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones. See the Slack help center for details on each and a full list of apps available, follow this linkZoom for SlackStart a meeting, join a meeting and make a call with Zoom phone. Remember, you must register your Slack and Zoom accounts with the same email address.
      • Trello for SlackManage cards on your boards from Slack, add conversations to cards, and update due dates.
      • Asana for SlackCreate new tasks and turn your conversations in Slack into to-dos in Asana
      • Salesforce for SlackSearch Salesforce records from Slack, configure Salesforce alerts for Slack. Send Slack messages to SalesForce, or send Salesforce records to Slack.
      • Twitter for SlackYou can set up mentions on Twitter to feed into a channel that the team can keep an eye on. Follow similar businesses or your suppliers.
      • Google Calendar for SlackView your full schedule and have your status update when you are scheduled in a meeting.
      • Donut for SlackDonut helps to improve team-building; there are prebuilt connection programs in Donut, one of the most popular functions is virtual random coffees. Help to encourage cross-organizational bonding.
      • Loom for SlackMention @person or #channel directly in your Loom videos, and they can watch the clip without needing to leave Slack.
      • Polly for SlackThis Polls and surveys bot lets you get quick feedback. Use pulse surveys directly in Slack.
    • Greetbot for Slack.  An onboarding assistant for Slack. Customize welcome messages and schedule follow-ups.
    • You can also create custom integrations, build your bot, create automated workflows, and much more, read more on this via the Slack help center here.

 

Do you have a workflow or trick that works well for you in Slack? Then please share it with us over on Twitter @Turingcom.

By Mar 31, 2020
COVID-19

A Collection of the Best Guides for the Suddenly Remote in the Time of COVID-19

At Turing, we’ve been focused on remote work for years. To help you out during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve begun curating the best and most in-depth guides to help you navigate this new and confusing reality.

With so much information out there right now for the Suddenly-Remote, it can be hard to know where to turn or which information is reliable.

At Turing, we’ve been focused on remote work for years. To help you out during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve begun curating the best and most in-depth guides to help you navigate this new and confusing reality.

We will continue to add to and update this list as additional high-quality information becomes available. Keep in mind that the majority of these guides were written for the immediate application of remote-work basics. They are not intended to provide the detailed information, skills, and best practices required for sustainable remote work or for new companies that are adopting a remote-first paradigm from day one.

With that in mind, here are our initial picks for the best guides to help you and your company deal with the need to go Suddenly-Remote during this very challenging moment in time.

GitLab’s Guide To Remote Work

https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/

Gitlab is the world’s largest all-remote team. They know what they are talking about. Gitlab’s guide is one of the most detailed guides out there and includes the company’s “Remote Manifesto.” They cover:

● How & Why

● Getting Started

● People & Values

● Management

● Hiring & Learning

You can jump into the sections that are most relevant to you and your team and share the link with others throughout your organization to help get them up to speed on all things remote.

Zapier’s guide to working remotely

https://zapier.com/learn/remote-work/

Here is another remote working heavy hitter. Zapier is 100% distributed, with over 300 employees spread across 17 countries.

The Zapier guide includes an AMA for those new to remote, which is available at the start of the page. This guide consists of the following seven areas:

  1. Automation for remote work
  2. Teamwork on a remote team 
  3. Remote work for managers 
  4. Remote work for employees 
  5. Remote workspaces 
  6. Remote work tools The state of remote work

Zapier has also added a recommended reading list. Their guide is downloadable as a file for ease of sharing.

Remote Work Guides from Twist

https://twist.com/remote-work-guides

Twist is a communication app from the wonderful people at Doist. Doist is a remote company with 68 team members spread across 25 countries.

Their guide is a collection of various remote working guides curated in once place. The guides available are as follows:

● The Future of Work: The Guide to Remote Work

● Remote Setup: The Remote Guide to Logistics

● Remote Projects 101: The Remote Guide to Project Management

● Scaling Your Remote Team: The Remote Guide to Hiring

● Leading Distributed: The Remote Guide to Management

● The Art of Async: The Remote Guide to Team Communication

● Designing Without Whiteboards: The Remote Guide to Product Design

There is a great depth of information here, including thoughts from various remote work experts throughout the guide.

The ultimate guide to remote work from Miro

https://miro.com/guides/remote-work/

Miro believes in helping teams to collaborate. Their remote work guide covers:

● Introduction to Remote Work & Collaboration

● Is Remote Work as Great as it Sounds?

● The Most Important Remote Work Statistics

● Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

● How to Onboard Remote Employees

● Building Remote Work Culture & Why It’s So Important

● How to Manage a Remote Team

● Engage Your Remote Team to Keep Productivity High

● Complete Guide to Remote Team Meetings

● 15 Best Team Building Activities & Games for Remote Workers

But what if you need more than a guide? The extraordinary team at Slack has you covered there, too. Simply click this link: https://calendly.com/slack-customer-experience/remote-consult?month=2020-03 to schedule a remote team consultation.

As more quality information is released, we’ll be updating this meta-guide to help you easily find the best resources from one centralized location.

By Mar 19, 2020
COVID-19

Remote Now! A Quick Guide to Remote Work Best Practices

In a world where so many are going suddenly remote there are things we can learn from those who have been working outside a traditional office. While there are differences in circumstances, job types and personalities, there are also many commonalities for those of us working remotely.   Here is an outline of some best practices to help you, and your team, make the most of remote work. 

Note: This is the second part in our series on Remote Now, a primer for employees and companies that have been forced to become suddenly remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for additional posts over the next few days!

In a world where so many are going suddenly remote there are things we can learn from those who have been working outside a traditional office.

While there are differences in circumstances, job types and personalities, there are also many commonalities for those of us working remotely.  

Here is an outline of some best practices to help you, and your team, make the most of remote work. 

We will cover:

  • Communication
  • Social interactions
  • Trust
  • Online etiquette
  • Remote work boundaries

Over Communication is Key

Quick Wins:

  • Have agreed communication processes & schedules
  • Embrace the remote way of communicating
  • Use video in meetings
  • Batch communications where appropriate
  • Edit and review messages before you send them
  • Over communicate = assume nothing – give context and give some more
  • Strong documentation as a rule 

This is the number one challenge for most people going remote.  When working in an office we become accustomed to being able to “swing by” someone’s desk to ask a question.  Communication in a remote role forces us to be more deliberate and think ahead of time what we might need when we send a message to a colleague.

It also forces us to not “scratch the itch” straight away.  You might like an answer from your colleague straight away, but if you are using asynchronous communication then you need to get comfortable with waiting for a response.  But having agreed times that people respond by will help the team to know, and meet, expectation.

And batching communications will help you develop better communications hygiene.  Don’t send off a message every time you have a query, put them into one post and edit and review before sending.  Ask if you could make your message clearer, or do you need this level of information?

Documentation is a huge part of keeping your team and projects moving forward.  Make sure to prioritize good documentation and agree on formats and processes for keeping documents up to date, while ensuring version protection and data security.



Quick definition: Synchronous = real time e.g. phone or video call  vs. Asynchronous Communication = you send the information not expecting it to be picked up straight away e.g. email, messages via Slack.

Social Beings and Trust

Quick Wins:

  • Schedule social time with the team
  • Have the trust talk with team members
  • Set expectations around check-ins
  • Encourage two sided feedback
  • Ensure team members feel supported
  • Build serendipity into the team

We are social creatures which helps us to create bonds, growing trust and improving communication and collaboration as trust is developed.  Without social interactions this can be greatly slowed down on a remote team. Build some serendipity into how the team interacts, using tools like Donut via Slack helps to bring some randomness into team interactions and encourage the creativity and the social strengthening that happens in unstructured situations.

Therefore making social interactions part of your work week is hugely important.  Make time in your daily standup to include time to chat about life in general, while it might feel like a “waste of time” there and then, it is actuallys an investment in improving the team’s effectiveness in the long run.

Schedule in virtual chats, run ice-breakers and when appropriate, organise in person meetups to help your team to bond.

Managers should start open conversations with team members to ensure they feel trusted within their work.  As a manager you may need to “check-in” on a team member, but make sure it’s clear that you’re not “checking up on them”, this can feel like unnecessary monitoring.  Build clear expectations around when check-ins happen at the team and individual level. Schedule them in, use a format like a daily stand-up to help everyone know where they are on a project, what their next steps are and how they are progressing so far.  For individual check-in, ensure that team members know that these are about finding out if they are enjoying their work and feel supported. Make it about you both sharing information and have equal sharing of feedback.

Key to all of this is trust, it can be hard to help people new to remote work to feel like they are trusted.  This is vital in helping that person to flourish in a remote role and should be a core part of the management team’s goals.  Having the conversation about trust helps, also recognising someone when their work is good is very important.

Online Etiquette and Boundaries

Quick Wins:

  • Use video for conference calls
  • Use an agenda
  • Everyone is remote for the meeting
  • Either set specific “office hours” or a set cut off point for work
  • Create rituals to help you start and end the day

Because of the nature of many of the tools we are using we need to be extra deliberate about how we an online meeting.  It is much easier to mistakenly speak over someone in a video conference call than in a physical meeting room. Create habits that help to ensure people are engaged and feel involved.

If you have a hybrid team and are running a conference call, treat everyone as if they are remote.  Having some team members in a room, while your remote colleagues are struggling to hear the conversation happening on site isn’t good meeting etiquette.  Have all team members at their desks and dialling in as if they are also remote. This helps to level the field for communication and gives the in office team members a clearer understanding of what is good practice for an online meeting.

And finally boundaries.  These are important to ensure people don’t burn out.  A struggle for many remote workers is continuing to work late into the evening, or working through lunch.  This becomes a matter of diminishing returns, you are no longer as effective and it can take days to come back from burnout.  Agree a set hours of work where possible, and suitable, or set yourself certain boundaries like “I don’t work after 8pm on a week day” will help to avoid burn out.  It also helps you not needing to wonder if you are ok, or if you could fit in another hour, which is one more decision you would need to make. 

The issue is often being able to switch off after a days work.  You might have just hit on an amazing idea but now it’s “home time”, using rituals to finish (and start) your day helps you to get into the right mindset and wind down from your work brain.  Things like taking a walk outside, listening to a certain type of music, exercise or scheduling a call or coffee with a friend or family member can help to draw the lines around your work.

We all find our own ways of working and are always learning from each other.  We’d love to hear what works well for you and your team. Find us on Twitter and let us know your remote working best practices!

By Mar 16, 2020
COVID-19

Remote Now! A primer for the “suddenly remote” during the COVID-19 pandemic

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard the news. As coronavirus cases explode around the globe, more and more companies are instructing their teams to work from home. For companies that already have a fully or partially remote structure, this is pretty much business as usual. But, if your employer is more traditional, being forced to run an entire business with a team that finds itself in the position of suddenly being remote presents a slew of challenges.

Introduction:

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard the news. As coronavirus cases explode around the globe, more and more companies are instructing their teams to work from home.

For companies that already have a fully or partially remote structure, this is pretty much business as usual. But, if your employer is more traditional, being forced to run an entire business with a team that finds itself in the position of suddenly being remote presents a slew of challenges.

This primer, which will be produced in short excerpts, is intended to help employees and employers get a grip on the essential skills, tools, and best practices that will reduce the problems and stress we’re all likely to encounter during this frightening time.

For most of us, this Remote-Now experience will (hopefully) be short-lived. If we’re fortunate, we’ll weather the coronavirus crisis quickly, and within a couple of weeks, people will be able to return to their offices and normal work schedules.

This primer is not intended to help your company “go remote” on a long term basis. Our goal is to give you the necessary knowledge and skills to enable you to continue your operations with as little disruption as possible during the near term.

As a result, we’re not going to do an exhaustive review of every tool, or of all the techniques that remote-first companies use. Instead, we’ll focus on simple practices and widely available and mostly free tools that will allow you to get started quickly and function at a reasonably high level during this difficult time.

Over the next several short posts, we’ll profile the tools we think are the easiest to learn, the most common (making it more likely your team is already familiar with them), and especially those that are inexpensive or free. We’ll talk about scheduling, give you a list of the most common remote worker shorthand, and go over the best practices we’ve found that will help your team interact in the most seamless manner possible.

To help you get started, here’s a short list courtesy of Lisette Sutherland of Collaboration Superpowers with the simple things your company and employees can do now to help make this daunting and unexpected challenge a bit easier:

  1. Find a dedicated place in your house. Make this an area where you can be productive and is separate from your private life. 
  2. Use video. It’s important that your team members can see and hear you well. Have plenty of light and wear a headset.
  3. Create a team agreement. Talk about expectations for how to work together—templates available here.
  4. Set goals and be enthusiastic. Working remote is all about trust and communication. How will you know what each other are doing? 
  5. Get familiar with the tools. There are great tools available for online collaboration like ZoomSlack, and GoogleDocs that can make this process easier.
  6. Lean in. Start without big expectations, experiment, and grow your skills. Put feedback loops in place to evaluate progress. Regular retrospectives on how the team is doing will inspire continuous improvement and trust.

In addition, don’t forget to be empathetic. Not everyone has worked from home before. Some issues and distractions are likely to make this effort more challenging for some than others (kids home from school or a sick spouse come to mind). 

There’s a learning curve here. Going Remote on the fly is not the simplest thing in the world, especially when that world is freaking out around you. Put simply, be kind to one another. We’re all in this together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Mar 13, 2020
remote work policy
Management

How to create (or review) your remote work policy

Many companies are finding themselves in position of having to go remote with a very fast turnaround.  We wanted to make some of that process easier by giving some guidelines on creating (or updating) a remote work policy.

Many companies are finding themselves in position of having to go remote with a very fast turnaround.  We wanted to make some of that process easier by giving some guidelines on creating (or updating) a remote work policy.

Here you will find the following:

  • What is a remote work policy?
  • Why should you have one?
  • What should it contain?
  • Creating the policy
  • Free Resources

What is a remote work policy?

This is a HR agreement between the company and an employee on when and how they can work outside the office.  It is also a checklist of expectations and guidelines.

The policy should outline the legal rights of employees that are working remotely and who are eligible to work remotely.  

It should also contain best practices, therefore making the transition easier and reducing uncertainty.  A policy such as this can be temporary or permanent.

Why should you have one?

It’s a legal requirement.  The documents you require will be different depending on local laws, make yourself familiar with what you require and don’t be caught out.

It’s protection for a company from breaches of employment and equal opportunities legislation and helps employees to know what the correct procedure is to follow.  It is recommended that you review your policy at least once per year.

In a great article by Laurel Farrer she outlines these 6 areas in which a company can unknowingly be outside the law regarding remote work:

  1. Work contract – scope of work must match the documentation
  2. Occupational Health and Safety Standards
  3. Information security
  4. Employment and labor laws
  5. Tax regulations
  6. Immigration laws

Also, it helps employees to know:

  • How to handle communication
  • Steps to keep data safe
  • Their legal rights
  • Advice on wellbeing
  • How their interactions with management might change
  • That their career won’t be at risk by being remote

What should it contain?

The contents of the policy should help make it clear what expectations there are for both employee and employer.  While the document is there to protect both sides legally, it should also help in the smooth operation of the business and help the employee to understand how remote working might differ from them doing their role in office.

  • Working hours
  • Legal rights
  • Insurance
  • Cybersecurity requirements
  • Tools
  • Expenses (if applicable)
  • Strategies
  • Termination

Creating the policy:

Before you start to craft your policy take time to consider the following:

  • Audit current work practices
  • Include employees in the process 
  • Use clear language
  • Update the policy regularly

Work alongside HR, legal and financial departments in creating a remote working policy.

  • Outline how different roles will work remotely
    • Different requirements for HR vs a developer
  • Clear rules about working from home
    • Consider various scenarios and plan communication tools and processes for each:
      • Team all-hand meetings
      • Client kickoff meeting
      • Manager 1:1s
      • Performance reviews
      • Employee learning and development activities
  • Supply employees with the right tools
    • And ensure they are comfortable using them
    • Will you offer a stipend or reimbursement so they can purchase equipment?
    • Tools and software have both communication and engagement implications, as well as cybersecurity aspects
      • Tools to include:
        • Team communication
        • Video conferencing – hardware and software
        • Collaboration software

Things to consider:

  • What are the legal requirements around remote working in your jurisdiction?
    • Legislation differs from country to country
  • Is the role suited to remote?
    • If not, how can you adjust to suit this role via remote
  • Are management prepared?  Will they require further training or support?
    • If a manager has no previous experience with a remote team training is advised
  • Are there implications to taxes or benefits?
    • This differs across states and countries.  
  • Give guidelines on the use of Wifi and VPNs
    • Ensure these are tested
  • Make space for work relationship building and maintenance in the policy
    • Have a virtual water cooler and help management with improving engagement remotely
    • Schedule this monthly, quarterly and yearly
    • Ideas to use:
      • Office hours
      • Video hangouts (non-work)
  • If an employee is 100% remote ensure all other relevant policies are also signed, like their in-office colleagues

In a great article by Macy Bayern of TechRepublic she outlines 10 rules for your remote work policy:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Availability
  3. Responsiveness
  4. Productivity measurements
  5. Productivity measurements
  6. Tech support
  7. Rightful termination
  8. Physical environment
  9. Security
  10. Client confidentiality

Free resources:

Remember that your remote work policy should be tailored to fit your company.  Use these resources as guidelines in crafting the ideal policy for you and your employees:

A Sample Remote Work Policy for Employers from Remote.co

Crafting Remote Work, Flexible Schedule, and Working from Home Policies [+ Templates] from Owl Labs

How to Make a Remote Work Policy Work for Businesses and Employees from Smartsheet

Guide to Writing a Telework Policy from The Telework Pilot Project

Telework policy and process from University of Washington HR Department

Telework Guidance from Telework.gov, official website of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Resources for companies embracing remote work from Gitlab

Remote Working Policy Template – Local Authorities, United Kingdom

Telecommuting Policy Sample from EnterpriseSeattle 

Handbook of Operating Procedures – Telecommuting from The University of Texas at Austin

The policy is only one part of going, or having, a remote team.  Things like trust and deliberate communication are key in keeping your remote team engaged and productive. 

Ensure you give time to these other areas of how you approach remote, and help relationships and communication to be front and centre of how your team operates. 

By Mar 12, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

Ashu Garg is Bullish On Boundaryless Teams as the Future of Work

Ashu is equally bullish on the role that remote, distributed teams will play in the future of work. Join us and learn why Ashu likens the Bay Area today to Florence during the renaissance, why the world is flat, and why the companies he believes in incorporate boundaryless teams in their plan from the start.

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital.

Ashu loves puzzles and making bold predictions, including the prediction he made in 1998 that the IT Services Industry would grow by 100x in the next ten years. A decade on, that projection proved prescient.

Today, Ashu is equally bullish on the role that remote, distributed teams will play in the future of work. Join us and learn why Ashu likens the Bay Area today to Florence during the renaissance, why the world is flat, and why the companies he believes in incorporate boundaryless teams in their plan from the start.

By Feb 10, 2020
Hiring developers

Vetting Candidates for Remote Work

What you need to know about a candidate to make a great long-distance hire  Hiring remote, global talent is tough. Most of the usual signals you rely on when hiring someone in the US don’t apply. You may not recognize the school a candidate attended. You may never have heard of the companies a candidate… View Article

What you need to know about a candidate to make a great long-distance hire

 Hiring remote, global talent is tough. Most of the usual signals you rely on when hiring someone in the US don’t apply. You may not recognize the school a candidate attended. You may never have heard of the companies a candidate has worked for, and you may not have any idea if the people providing references are genuine. You also can’t rely on recruiters because they’re likely dealing with these same problems.

So how do you make sure a remote prospect is up to the task and won’t simply slow you down?

Overcoming sourcing challenges with rigorous vetting

When the usual means of identifying talent are likely to fail you, a new process is needed. At my current company Turing, we’re working to solve this problem. In this article, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned during hundreds of technical screens. My goal is to help you identify best practices for vetting prospects and making sure your placements are going to be capable of delivering the results you require.

At Turing, we match developers from all over the world with positions at some of the world’s best and most interesting startups. Every time we make a placement, we put our reputation on the line. In other words, we can’t afford to make bad matches.

Since we are unable to rely on typical signals that would allow us to determine if someone is good enough for our clients, we’ve developed a system that provides unbiased feedback about a candidate’s skills in all of the areas critical for their remote-work success.

Core to our approach is a highly structured vetting process that incorporates sophisticated automated testing as well as detailed, in-person technical screening for individuals that have been able to successfully pass our coding examinations.

All of our testing is intended to help determine key facts about the experience, skills, and capabilities of a candidate. What we’re trying to understand through our tests and interviews will help us determine if a person has the skills they claim to have and whether they’re capable of performing basic tasks, managing projects, and people, or even leading entire projects from conception through implementation.

So, at a baseline, we’re trying to determine if someone can contribute to a codebase in a meaningful way. Maybe their skills only support accomplishing scoped, individual tasks. For example, can this person add a button that does x, y, and z on this web page and build it in a way that takes into account the full technical stack of the application?

Or can this person go in and add unit-testing to some kind of already written back end piece of logic? Generally, can they contribute within an already established structure and do things that won’t upset that structure, if given functional requirements?

Then, there’s a level of complexity beyond that. Can this person take a direction like “Hey, we want this larger-scope feature built?”, and successfully run with it? And can they execute at that level of complexity, something that is going to be composed of many tasks? Can this person, for instance, build a new signup flow, or build a new matching algorithm for some sort of matchmaking service? Can they individually make the sorts of principled tradeoffs in design and implementation that is inherent to successfully building at that level of complexity requires? Does this person have the sophistication to read between the lines and identify functional requirements implicit in a higher level and more coarse-grained specification?

But most critically, at both the task and feature-based levels, we’re trying to determine if this person will be able to contribute to an already established infrastructure, both technically and procedurally.

Identifying coders, leaders, and project architects

For more senior placements we start getting into higher levels of architectural complexity. Can this person start an entire project from scratch if they’re only given a general direction? If they’re tasked with building and deploying a new Android app that does something novel, can they deliver? Or if a company is expanding their product into a whole new space, can the developer take some rough business ideas and some rough sketches about how the company would like to go about doing this, and then build out a full-stack product, from the UI to the backend architecture to the design of the database models?

Can they manage the entire process from system architecture design to writing elegant implementations? Do they possess the depth and breadth of experience, as well just general horsepower, to be skilled enough to implement the MVP from the front end to the backend to the database as well as whatever infrastructure they’re going to use to actually deploy the code?

Even vetting somebody in terms of their technical acumen from a general level that seeks to get a signal on someone’s “seniority” is a really complex thing to do. Proper vetting needs to understand whether a person can design systems at a very high level. Can they understand how pieces fit together and how those pieces talk to one another? And then you start getting down into deeper levels of abstraction. Does a candidate understand how this feature fits into the greater scope of the product?

Can they assimilate to use the tools in a particular company? Can then adapt to the cadences and workflows of the team that they’re on, and work with other people to be part of a bigger whole? And then, at the task level, you need to determine if someone has fundamental baseline computer science abilities? Will they build efficient pieces of code? Do they understand notions of runtime and space complexity, and how that might apply to the code that they write, and the specific problems they are being asked to solve?

Are they able to conceptualize how their code will typically be used and how the stuff that they write will actually be run?

But the most critical thing to keep in mind is that it all comes down to code. Code has

a dual purpose.  It is going to be executed by a computer, and it’s going to be executed at certain cadences and using certain pieces of data and memory. But it’s also the stuff that people are going to read, and have to maintain.  People will have to go in and either edit or understand what your piece of code is doing in order to write their own piece of code, to modify or extend the functionality of a given application. Designing abstractions and writing code that can be comprehended by another human is extremely important.

AI versus Human Vetting

It’s almost an overwhelming list of skills that somebody requires to be considered a “good” software engineer. Trying to vet them all in an hour-long phone interview is very difficult. At Turing, we’ve realized that it’s possible to take the human out of it. To a point.

We do have an hour-long technical interview that we use with some of the most skilled developers that we’ve found on our platform, where we validate and extend upon things that we find through automated testing.

The technical interview allows us to screen for things that we find are very, very hard to test for. Of course, we’re interested in their communication capabilities, but we also like to test some technical things in an interview in addition to an automated test.

 Why Both?

During the course of developing Turing’s platform, we found that automated tests are really good for testing someone’s facility with specific technical stacks. For example, with programming languages like JavaScript, or Python or frameworks like React, or Node JS, or Laravel. We found that we can test someone’s knowledge of how to use those particular things pretty well in an automated test format.

We can get a really good signal as to whether somebody actually knows a particular framework or whether they speak a particular language. What’s really nice is that we can provide skill-validation to clients who are looking to get somebody up and running with the stack that they’re using as quickly as possible.

We’ve also found that we can automate testing of more general-domain kind of format

For instance, we can find out if the candidate knows how to build a server. Do they know and understand how a database is going to interact with a server, and how that server might interact with a front-end client? Do they know common design patterns that might be encountered in software engineering, and how those patterns might best be applied?

Is a candidate familiar with the types of algorithms they might encounter in software engineering? Or, given this piece of code in a language that you purport to know, can you tell us what you’d expect to happen if it was run with a certain type of input? We’ve found that those types of questions are really good for the types of automated testing that we currently do.

And we think that we get a pretty good signal on a developer’s mastery of a specific type of coding, say front-end development or back-end systems development, or mobile development or database design.

There’s really good tooling that we’ve built upon, that allows you to run code in a browser. And this allows us to do things such as automated live coding tests. We can do automated live algorithm testing in this sort of format with a significant degree of success, in terms of being able to test algorithmic correctness and efficiency.

We’re able to test whether or not somebody can write code that fulfills a particular function within a particular amount of time, and with a particular amount of like memory. We’re really excited to expand upon this method and see what further coding-based automated tests we can do.

Where automated testing breaks down

But even in a live coding format, there are holes that we have in terms of our automated tests.

Right now, it’s still very hard to get a computer to tell us what the elegance of somebody’s code is. Or how well it was organized, or how readable it is, or how well abstracted it is.

That’s where I really feel like a technical interview comes in handy. Because then I can present candidates with situations they might encounter during their work and they can walk me through how they’d design the solution to the problem. Doing this during a technical interview can help me understand what a candidate’s thinking is, and what kind of code, organizationally, they’d spit out to approximate a solution. This really helps me get into a prospect’s critical thinking. I can really see how they handle problems with uncertain specifications, how they ask questions about getting required specifications, and more generally a get a clearer idea of what the nature of their programming abstractions and elegance might be.

“Automated testing establishes a bar that filters people out. The in-person interview confirms the testing and tests the candidate on critical things that are currently hard to measure in an automated way.”

In general, what we’ve learned at Turing is that a well-designed and comprehensive automated testing facility is very cost-effective when you need to screen a large number of applicants blind. If I had to do an in-person interview, or even review and background check every candidate that wanted to work with Turing, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day or enough days in the year.

And as our testing capabilities continue to evolve it makes our ability to find the best candidates and then invest our time where it’s most productive; doing technical screens for the top-tier applicants only.

What to do if you don’t have automated testing

In my next post, I’ll talk a bit about what you can do if you don’t have an automated testing facility. I’ll also dig into the way you can make the onboarding process simpler, and how you can spot early signs that a remote hire is struggling or even failing. Stay tuned!

By Feb 5, 2020
Hiring developers

How to Become a Remote Developer for Turing

My goal with this post is to tell you how to prepare yourself to get your first serious remote gig.

So you want to work for a top tier company – hopefully, one based in Silicon Valley – but you don’t live in the US and you haven’t been able to secure a visa. Don’t despair. More and more of the latest valley startups have discovered that there’s a ton of talent offshore. This means that today might just be the best time in history to become a remote developer.

As someone that’s been working remotely about as long as it’s been possible, my goal with this post is to tell you how to prepare yourself to get your first serious remote gig. Today, I work for a company called Turing that places developers with opportunities all over the globe. We have some of the most advanced developer testing and vetting of any company in the world. What I’m about to share with you are key insights I’ve developed first, as a person that’s gone through Turing’s testing and vetting process as well as someone that now works on making that process even tougher and better.

First Things First, Be Prepared to Show Your Work

If you’re a developer applying right now, make sure that you’ve got a portfolio of some work that you’ve done before. It could be code you’ve submitted to GitHub. It could be some art design work that you have worked on. Maybe some websites that you’ve worked on, or maybe applications on the App Store.

Being able to showcase completed work is a very good thing. When we’re evaluating candidates that have passed our tests look at prior work. Additionally, many Turing clients want to see examples of the work a potential match has completed. The other thing that can help you stand out is if you have a good CV. But be careful! Attention to detail is critical. Make sure there are no errors in any documents you share to showcase your skill.  Nothing will shoot you in the foot the way an obvious mistake can. Believe me, I’ve seen so many people with errors in their CVs. To me, it’s a red flag if someone submits such an important document with mistakes. It says you’re careless and don’t take the time to check your work. So, no errors on CVs!

It’s also really important to have relevant information included in your portfolio. If you say that you have a particular skill make sure that there’s a corresponding project where you have actually used that skill. You’d be surprised how often someone will say they are proficient at coding in a certain language but then they don’t provide a single example of their work in that discipline. If you say you’re good at something, impress me by showing me an example of your great work!

Another critical skill for someone remote that wants to work for a high-profile US company is to have strong English. I know there are many people that are not native English speakers so it’s always good to make sure that your English is very concise. If this is a weakness, don’t ignore it. Do whatever it takes to make sure that you understand English very well and that you’re proficient in communicating in English, too. It’s the language your team is going to use, it’s the language you’ll be using to comment your code, and it’s probably the language of the people that will be using the product you want to help build. It’s easy to think people will overlook weak English skills, but if there are two candidates that have the same experience and have performed equally well on the automated tests, the one with better English skills will perform more strongly in a live technical screen.

How to Ace Your Automated Testing

The key to a superlative performance on automated testing is to be very well prepared.

Ensure, for example, that if your area of expertise is Python, you have prepared yourself in terms of the coverage of the topics in Python.

Be sure you’re prepared to cover that language end to end because the questions will try to test your coverage. The exam will cover your in-depth knowledge as well. if it’s algorithms and data structures that you work on be sure you know everything from the most basic concepts all the way to graphing algorithms and runtime complexity.

How Long the Automated Testing Should Take a Skilled Developer

For a skilled individual, I estimate that our current automated testing will require about eight hours. So, maybe a day. But of course, you may not want to put all that pressure on yourself to finish everything in one day. My recommendation is to allocate two hours per day and give yourself roughly a week to do just about all the MCQs in the qualifying exams.

Technical Exams – Where You’ll Sink or Swim

Just like with the automated MCQs, your performance during the technical interview will come down to how well you’ve prepared yourself. During a technical screen, we want to understand your in-depth knowledge. We also try to validate your performance on the MCQs and to understand if you have good working knowledge of design patterns.

For whatever programming language you use, it’s critical that you know everything from the basics to some really advanced techniques. And since we only pass the top 1% of developers you need to be prepared to talk about the projects that you’ve worked on in a little bit of detail.

You also need to be able to answer system design questions. System design questions are very important for a screener to understand how you are able to visualize a product from an architectural point of view. You should also be able to go deeper, all the way to the code, and even how it is going to be deployed on the final environment where it’s going to run. So, you need to be prepared to discuss all those things related to end-to-end software development.

For example, if you are a Python Django developer, you should be prepared to answer any questions relating to that language in depth. It’s also good if you’re capable of answering questions about system design and also planning as well.

Where Developers Get Tripped Up in the Technical Screen

During a technical screening, most people are not prepared to go into detail on algorithms and data structures. Again, it comes back to preparation. We often have people complain that they don’t need to know this stuff for the work they do but being competent with both algorithms and data structures is very important for high-level work. Another thing I see a lot of candidates struggle with is when we ask them to explain various concepts in English. I’ll emphasize again, that having strong English communication skills is vital to ensure placement with top-tier US opportunities.

Final Words of Advice

To wrap up this post, I want to emphasize a couple of the key points I’ve made above. In Silicon Valley, it’s very competitive to find good work. If you’re trying to get into this market as a remote engineer, you have to be truly exceptional. Turing’s tests are designed to filter out all but the best candidates to be matched with our clients.

If you’re really serious about securing one of these most in-demand positions, my advice is as follows:

  • Preparation is critical. If you have a weakness, work to improve it
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding algorithms and data structures because if you do, you’ll fail the MCQs or the technical screen
  • Make sure your ability to communicate in English is up to the task. If it’s not, take action to improve it
  • Be sure to have a portfolio that includes projects related to the languages you claim to know
  • Polish your CV. Scrub it of mistakes because if you don’t, we’ll notice them and that will hurt your chances

Next Time

In my next post, I’ll be talking about what you should expect once you’ve passed the MCQ and technical screens, how candidates are matched with opportunities and what you should do to ensure that your onboarding process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

 

By Feb 5, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

The #Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast with Murray Newlands:

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-Founder of Turing. Jonathan built his last successful company, Rover, using remote, distributed teams. His new company, Turing, is based upon the idea that talent is global, while opportunities are not. Please tune in to discover how to hire remote employees and what it takes to build your company with a fully distributed team.

The #Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast with Murray Newlands:

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-Founder of Turing. Jonathan built his last successful company, Rover, using remote, distributed teams. His new company, Turing, is based upon the idea that talent is global, while opportunities are not. Please tune in to discover how to hire remote employees and what it takes to build your company with a fully distributed team.

About the Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast:

The world has changed. In the past, companies were built with locally-hired teams, operating out of the same office. But today, entrenched competition, brutal commutes, exorbitant real-estate prices and more global distribution of talent have upended this practice. Now, billion-dollar companies are now created with teams working remotely and distributed all around the world. Creating #boundaryless companies is hard but we will give you the tools to succeed.

By Feb 4, 2020