This article will help you identify and address various communication issues that can plague off-site professionals. Whether you’re a full-stack developer, a UI designer, or a content creator, these easy to memorize tips will help you hone your communication skills.Continue reading →
You can buy capri pants, cheap flip-flops, and boonie hats anywhere on vacation, but beachside shops usually don’t carry quality hardware that can help you be more productive on the road or save you time and money for more enjoyable activities.
In this post, Toptal Technical Editor Nermin Hajdarbegovic takes a look at inexpensive and readily available travel hardware designed to boost your productivity on the road. You can put most of these gadgets on your summer shopping list without making a dent in your travel budget.Continue reading →
Do you have what it takes to travel the globe while working full-time? Can you work on the road while still finding enough time to take care of yourself and enjoy the adventures of travel? It’s not a lifestyle for everyone, but it’s probably not as tricky or demanding as you think, especially when you have a sense of purpose.
In this article, Toptal Director of Operations Dror Liebenthal explains how to enjoy the nomadic lifestyle without compromising your professional performance, health, or social life.Continue reading →
Synchronizing productivity for interdependent team tasks can be a hassle even in the best traditional workplace environments. Add in the inherent challenges of a remote team, and the hassle becomes two-fold. But it doesn’t have to be.
Toptal’s Technical Editor Kate Scheer takes us along on her journey to inspire timely content from her remote authors, and her communication recommendations cross into other realms of remote work.Continue reading →
How does one secure a vast, distributed network of tech talent? There are three ways of doing this: the right way, the wrong way, and the Toptal way. Today, we will be discussing the latter, and unveiling our plans for a comprehensive overhaul of our onboarding and authentication procedures.
In this post, Toptal Technical Editor Nermin Hajdarbegovic will help you get acquainted with our brand new processes. Since all Toptalers will be required to use our new security platform, we encourage you to comment and contribute to our efforts.Continue reading →
There are a number of things which motivated me to start my current company. Breaking away from client work while retaining all the benefits of being a location independent freelancer was one of them.
We’re a team of 10 now, serving more than 1,500 businesses worldwide. We have an office in Berlin, but many of us work remotely. In this article, I’ll dig into to the principles, tools and lessons that have helped us along the way. After reading it, I hope you’ll be able to architect your software company so it’s remote-friendly right from the start.Continue reading →
The Toptal Global Mentors program is designed to help novice developers around the world improve their skills and create new career opportunities. In our diverse, yet interconnected global industry, cutting-edge skills are always in short supply. The program aims to bridge the gap between skilled software engineers in developed countries and students from across the globe, who aspire to join the industry.Continue reading →
Toptal has a strong remote culture), to say the least. To keep up with each other, we need a tool to keep team members in sync, where we can reach any other person at a moment’s notice. We use Skype as our main communication channel among Toptal’s core team.
Over the years, Skype has grown a lot, and has become a versatile tool that can be used on all of your devices at once, syncing chat amongst them, and providing a simple way to call and share screens. It is a tool that we leverage every day for our internal operations.
As heavy Skype users, there are a few things we’ve noticed that might not be clear to everyone. Here are a few tips on how you and your remote team can get the most of of Skype.Continue reading →
There are a lot of developers who take good care of themselves and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. If you are one of them, you can skip the rest of this post, because I wrote it to help developers like myself, who could benefit from a healthier lifestyle.
Even if you are entirely focused on your career, and think you don’t have enough spare time to lead a healthy lifestyle, bear in mind that good physical health will also boost your productivity.Continue reading →
Remote jobs can be good for you, but depending on your character, they can also have some unpleasant side-effects. Burnout affects people in all walks of life and in all industries, so what makes remote workers different?
Recognising burnout symptoms early on is of vital importance and I cannot stress this enough. The deeper you sink into it, the longer it will take to recover, it’s as simple as that.Continue reading →
Working as a remote software development freelancer has many benefits, but setting up an effective distributed working environment can be a real challenge. In this article, Toptal Engineer Ivan Voras describes how he leverages SSH and a number of related technologies, along with the Raspberry Pi and ownCloud, to be able to work effectively from anywhere.Continue reading →
Some people like the known and predictable. They freak out when their daily routine gets disrupted. But, I’ll bet if you are doing any kind of creative work like programming or design, you are not one of those people. Ordinary day-to-day office work will kill you. It will eventually strip your motivation, creativity or flare for what you do.Continue reading →
Even if you have a brand new notebook and a flagship smartphone, you should not rely on stock hardware for professional voice calls. It’s simply not good enough; otherwise there would be no aftermarket audio industry to begin with.Continue reading →
Remote work comes with lots of things to take into account when designing your schedule, so finding the right balance that works best for you can be tricky. Here’s how to create a remote working schedule that works best for you, enabling you to get the most out of life while staying productive and effectively supporting your colleagues.Continue reading →
We live in a time where technology has made it possible to work from anywhere, and many people have eschewed the traditional office for the chaotic din of a cafe in Bangkok or a hotel in Prague. Yet, while this trend has opened up unprecedented opportunities, it also brings with it a number of challenges, perhaps the most insidious of which is a lack of ergonomically healthy options in non-traditional workspaces.Continue reading →
Most of us work from home offices, so we use cheaper household electricity and enjoy better prices than businesses in many parts of the world. Since we don’t commute or drive to work each morning, we already save a bit of money and reduce our carbon footprint. However, there is always room for improvement.Continue reading →
Any time you’re physically out of the office or working with someone who isn’t next to you, you’re working remotely. At Toptal, working remotely is a productive and efficient reality that we evangelize to our clients, while practicing what we preach.
In this article, Toptal COO Breanden Beneschott shares great tactics in operating highly collaborative remote teams.Continue reading →
Toptal has taken its place as one of the strategic partners in Facebook’s effort to connect the world. Our vision of a distributed and office-less company with developers spread all over the globe has proven to be an amazing match to Facebook’s attempts to connect people worldwide.Continue reading →
When entering the remote developers’ world, the biggest obstacle that managers must overcome is to change their mindset by accepting that the developer will not be in plain sight, and where they can manage and follow the work being done.
This new paradigm requires businesses to implement a number of mechanisms to track progress and avoid a redundant workload. Such mechanisms will help both manager and developer be more productive, which is in everyone’s best interest.Continue reading →
Working with a great designer can be an invaluable asset to any team. With clear communication channels, and free-flowing co-operation, the designer should give you everything you need to speed up the building process and limit questions and confusion as much as possible.
What can you, the developer, do to ensure that the product you have built is delivered in a timely manner without sacrificing the quality of the user interface and user experience?Continue reading →
As Co-Founder and COO, Breanden Beneschott has been effectively running Toptal, a venture-funded company growing hundreds of percent year over year, while traveling across the globe. Breanden shares his tips and experiences as a successful traveling engineer and entrepreneur, including his perspective on the benefits of this new lifestyle.Continue reading →
With an 80% increase in the remote workforce from 2005 to 2012, there must be more to the picture than meets the eye. This post pulls the rug out from under 5 of the most prevalent myths about remote workers, with a specific focus on the software development industry.Continue reading →
As a veteran telecommuter through multiple jobs in my career, I have witnessed and experienced the many joys of being a remote worker. As for the horror stories, I have more than a few I could tell. With a bit of artistic inclination and a talent for mathematics, I also have a fascination with patterns: design patterns, architectural patterns, behavioral patterns, social patterns, weather patterns—all sorts of patterns!
When I first encountered anti-patterns, I discovered a trove of wisdom I wish I had known before I had learned the hard way. Anti-patterns are recognizable repeated patterns that contribute significantly to failure. For example, the manager that keeps interrupting the employee in order to see if the employee is getting any work done is engaging in an anti-pattern that serves to prevent the employee from getting any work done!
Based on my own experiences and experiences of friends and co-workers, I am assembling descriptions of anti-patterns related to telecommuting.Continue reading →
If you’re an experienced developer, you’ve probably progressed from being a humble tester to a senior developer, and if you’re a freelancer, you’ve made another leap, perhaps the biggest of them all, when you started working with clients directly.
Some clients aren’t in the software business; they’re in an entirely different industry that needs a piece of software, and they don’t have a clear and precise vision of what they want from you. This is a far greater challenge than it appears, and here’s what you can do to improve client communication and project documentation.Continue reading →
At Toptal, we’re building a software product that aims to revolutionize team creation, contracting, and human resources. Our team is completely distributed: we have no office, and we work from all around the globe. And when I say “all around the globe”, I mean “all around the globe”: our internal staff consists of nearly 50 full-time individuals from Brazil, USA, Russia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, and more. This includes engineers, designers, recruiters, sales, and executives.
We all work from home, and we’re good at it: we’ve had countless Skype sessions, code reviews, feature iterations—all components in building a great product. We work hard, and we’ve been at it with as much fervor and energy as ever.
Earlier this year, we decided it was time to bring everyone together in the same location. We’ve had tremendous success as a distributed team. But regardless, we wanted to add an edge to our collaboration and creativity, and connect in-person. Our journey, the results that came of it, and the economics behind it are all explained thoroughly in the post that follows.Continue reading →
Starting a new remote gig, be it a contract project or a full-time job, can be a little intimidating if you’re used to going into an office day after day.
But this style of employment is growing in popularity, with some very notable companies lending it their endorsements.
I’ve worked remotely for years now on projects of various scales and durations. With this post, I hope to enumerate some of the best practices that I’ve picked up for working in a variety of situations. The advice here ranges from specific recommendations for software and hardware, to tips for hitting your team’s deadlines.Continue reading →