Ally Schmidt
Working as a software developer

TLDR: Jevon and Scott are both software developers at Bio::Neos however, Jevon works remotely from Florida, and Scott is a hybrid worker. In this article, they give insight into what it is like working as a software developer remotely and hybrid. 

High school and College graduation are a highlight for May. Students everywhere are buzzing about their future plans and dream jobs. Jevon Timmons, a software developer for Bio::Neos, works remotely in Jacksonville, Florida, and has excellent insight into what it is like to work from home every day! Scott Walker, a software developer for Bio::Neos, works hybrid living in Iowa City. While Jevon and Scott work together, they work very differently and have taken different paths to get here. Below, Jevon and Scott give insight into what working as a software developer is like. 

Working for an Iowa based Company in Jacksonville, FL

The software development industry has been a bustling, fast-paced hub of innovation and progress, and the rise of remote work has added a whole new dynamic to this field. My journey in the industry started as a fully remote employee in a junior software engineering role at B::N. Now, as I have grown in my career, I want to share my unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges that come with being a remote software developer.

Advantages of Remote Work:

Remote work has numerous advantages that have positively impacted both my personal and professional life. One of the most significant benefits is the flexibility it provides. Working from home has afforded me the time and opportunity to be more present with my children, fostering a bonding experience that wouldn't have been possible with a typical office job.

The elimination of commuting has not only given me more time with my family but also enhanced my work-life balance. With the extra time, I've cultivated a healthy routine involving regular outdoor activities and exercise. My newfound passion for exploring bike routes and discovering new fitness programs has become a refreshing change of pace from the usual screen time.

Overcoming Challenges:

Working remotely does pose certain challenges, most notably time management and maintaining productivity. To tackle this, I've found that sticking to a schedule and taking regular breaks are effective strategies. By setting specific work hours and stepping away from the computer during breaks, I'm able to maintain a steady pace of work without feeling overwhelmed.

Effective Communication and Collaboration:

As a remote employee, ensuring clear and constant communication with the team is crucial. I connect with my colleagues daily via Slack, exchanging information, brainstorming solutions, and simply keeping in touch. Additionally, we utilize Redmine to document our progress and discussions, helping to sync our work and maintain transparency.

Staying Current:

In the fast-paced software industry, it's vital to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements. I rely on various tools and resources, such as online forums, webinars, and podcasts, to keep my knowledge current and skills sharp. In addition to those resources, bi-weekly, we have a "Dev-Talk," which provides discussions with the team on various topics, trends, and news in the tech space. It has been pivotal in staying connected to my colleagues while exploring our mutual interest and passion for tech.

My journey as a remote software developer has been both challenging and rewarding. While it may not be a conventional career path, the flexibility, improved work-life balance, and personal growth I have experienced have made this journey worth every challenge. I believe that as the software development industry continues to evolve, remote work will become more prevalent, providing even more opportunities for developers to redefine their career paths.

Going Hybrid as a Software Developer

Junior Software Developer, Scott Walker, discusses his experiences with a hybrid work structure at Bio::Neos.

In today's rapidly shifting work landscape, the concept of hybrid work has emerged as a game-changer for many fields. It allows the worker to strike some balance between some days at the office and others at home. As someone who has experienced the benefits firsthand, I've been both impressed and surprised at how impactful of a change it has been for me. The flexibility it offers has revolutionized the way I approach work, allowing me to strike a balance between an office environment and the comfort of my own home in a way that feels more enriching than either could provide alone.

There is no denying the value of working in an office environment, particularly for newer employees such as myself. When I first joined Bio::Neos, I had the privilege of working entirely in-office for the initial few months. This period provided me with numerous advantages, including the opportunity to start building relationships, get a feel for the workplace dynamics, and receive hands-on mentorship from seasoned developers. Being physically present in the office undoubtedly helped me develop an idea of my responsibilities and a sense of belonging to the team more quickly. It is also worth noting that those initial months working in-office made me more accessible as well, allowing more opportunities for me to learn and grow as a developer. Even though I wanted to try working hybrid eventually, I believe those months prepared me for the adjustment better than if I had the option from the start. 

What I see as the most significant benefit of working in an office is the ease of communication and collaboration that it facilitates. When I begin work on a new task, discussing my approach with colleagues and bouncing ideas off of them can be immensely valuable. That ability to engage in face-to-face conversations promotes more effective communication. Even when it's difficult to contribute to a topic I'm unfamiliar with, being closer to the process lets me learn about the considerations and questions one should ask to be better going forward. The office environment has significantly contributed to developing my communication skills, allowing me to confidently articulate my thoughts and collaborate with my peers more productively.

After gaining clearance to work hybrid, I began splitting my time between the office and home. The option to work remotely has been a game-changer for me, especially when I want uninterrupted focus and freedom from distractions. Working from home enables me to create a personalized space conducive to my productivity, allowing me to delve deep into those tasks that require individual focus and concentration. I've also noticed how much easier it has been to maintain a routine for exercise and chores. I spend more time working hard at the things that matter because I'm not dealing with some logistics that an entirely in-office structure would require. That saved time has been a true blessing for my work-life balance. Productive work, less time spent commuting, I'm getting runs in during lunch, and I've always been on top of household chores. Really, what's not to love?

This ebb and flow between an environment that promotes collaboration and discussion and one tailored to my needs feels incredibly natural to me. The hybrid work structure has provided me with the best of both worlds. I can leverage the advantages of an office environment when needed and seamlessly transition to the comforts of my home office when independent work takes priority. It has allowed me to grow personally and professionally while maintaining flexibility as work requirements shift each week. Bio::Neos' commitment to a hybrid work environment has undoubtedly enhanced my productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. I encourage anyone with a similar opportunity to try it out and see the kinds of changes it brings for you.