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Aurelie Verrot - Learning and Working Remotely

Season 3, Episode 8 | August 23, 2021

In this episode of the podcast, Dan and Bekah are joined by Aurelie Verrot to talk about working through bootcamp during the pandemic, remote work, and how to "just be cool" when you're dealing with challenges like the pandemic, virtual school, and remote work.


Aurelie Verrot's Profile Photo
Aurelie Verrot

Aurelie Verrot is a software engineer from the San Francisco Bay Area, originally from France. After moving to the US and taking care of her children for 4 years, she decided to make a career change in 2019 to work in tech. She started her first dev job in May as a Software Engineer working mostly with Ruby on Rails.

Show Notes:

In this episode, Dan and Bekah talk to Aurelie Verrot, a Software Engineer from the San Francisco Bay Area, who's originally from France, about the importance of relationships in team-building--whether as part of the learning process or in a work environment--and the benefits of being able to work from home. She talks about the importance of clear communication, creating boundaries, and maintaining flexibility as key habits to build.

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Aurelie:

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Transcript:

Bekah:

Hello, and welcome to season three, episode eight of the Virtual Coffee Podcast. I'm Bekah, and this is a podcast that features members of the Virtual Coffee community. Virtual Coffee is an intimate group of developers at all stages of their coding journey. And they're here on this podcast, sharing their stories and what they've learned. And we're here to share it with you here with me today is my cohost, Dan.

Dan:

Thanks Bekah. Today, we sat down with Aurelie Verrot. Aurelie is a software engineer originally from France, but who now lives in the San Francisco bay area. Like many of us Aurelie has been working from home since the pandemic started. And she shared with us, some of her experiences, uh, going through all that as well as some important approaches and habits, uh, that allow us to be healthy and productive.

Bekah:

We start every episode of the podcast. Like we start every Virtual Coffee. We introduce ourselves with our name where we're from, what we do and a random check-in question. Today's question is if you could be one kind of plant, what would it be? We hope you enjoy this episode. Hi, I'm Bekah. I am a front end developer from a small town in Ohio. And if I could be any kind of plant, I would be, I really want to say like Sequoia because they're really tall and cool, but I've never seen one in real life. An aloe plant seems useful cause they're healing, but like air plants are really resilient and they're tiny and you don't have to do that much to take care of it. And that, that also seems good.

Dan:

What was that? What kind of plant is that

Bekah:

An air plant.

Dan:

Air plant?

Bekah:

Yeah.

Dan:

So like from a video game or something,

Bekah:

No, it's not from a video game. It's like a real thing.

Dan:

you know, aloe plants are only healing. If you break off the, you know, you have to destroy the destroy, the plants, get them, although that's a whole different. Um, hi, I'm Dan. I am a front end developer from Cleveland, Ohio. Um, if I could be any kind of plant, I think like, uh, like a maple tree or something would be cool. Um, I was really trying to think of all the other kinds of plants that I know, and I can only come up with like three or four off the top of my head. Uh, wouldn't want to be like. Yeah, I think just going to go with maple tree cause they're cool. And like, plus it's on a, that's on a whole country's flag, you know, so that's cool too. So that's going to be my

Bekah:

So it'd

Dan:

answer.

Bekah:

like, oh,

Dan:

That's right.

Bekah:

the flag. It's not

Dan:

Exactly.

Bekah:

is me.

Aurelie:

Hi, my name is I am from the San Francisco bay area and I am a software engineer. And, um, if I I think I would be some kind of lavender. I lived

Dan:

That's a good one.

Aurelie:

south of France for a while, and I had like fields of lavender everywhere. It's just my favorite plant, I guess.

Dan:

That's a good one. I like that one.Lavender pretty and like, and useful, you know, that's, that's good. It's a good combo.

Bekah:

I have three lavender plants in my front yard for the first time. It did not die. So I am very excited about it. Um, so welcome. We are very,

Dan:

Good.

Bekah:

to have you here on the podcast today. Um, and we always like to start off the podcast with your origin story. So how did you get to where you are as a software developer? Okay.

Aurelie:

Yeah. So, um, I'm a recent career changer. Um, so before I was in quality safety and then very much management, in France. I moved in the US in 2015 and I couldn't work. Uh, because of my visa. And so I took the time to raise my kids and make sure the family was fully integrating new environment, um, when I've been able to work. Um, one thing I knew for sure that it was that I didn't want to pursue my previous career. So I try different things. And at some point, uh, I tried some coding tutorials. Um, why that mostly because my husband is an engineer. And so I go to an easy go-to I guess. Uh, and I liked it, uh, but it was like kind of hard for me to learn by myself. So at some point I decided to join a bootcamp. And they did yeah, two month and a half, three months bootcamp, and then, um, a, an internship for six months. And then I found my first job and I started in May.

Bekah:

That's awesome. That seems like a really fast journey. How long did it take you? Um, from the time you kind of started

Aurelie:

I started mid 2019 with my first. Yeah, my first tutorials, like just learning Ruby, running Java script. Um, but I didn't really know what to do with that. I mean, it was. Kind of cool. I started to solve some algorithm, but I couldn't figure out how to use that, to create like websites and application and everything. So, yeah. And I just tried to find my answers, you know, Google, like everybody else. And there was so many information. I couldn't just grip breast any, so yeah, I, at some point just, I needed help to, to learn, I guess, um, and learning by myself. I know it's not where I'm the strongest. So yeah, I signed, I searched for bootcamps that could allow me to to take care of the kids and. And also being able to travel to San Francisco. Um, uh, yeah, and I found one and I applied and it went really fast. Yeah, for sure. Uh, in like two months it took to between the decision, finding the bootcamp and passing all the interviews for the boot gym in two months I was enrolled. So yeah.

Bekah:

What do you think? What was the difference in learning experience between learning on your own and joining up?

Aurelie:

Um, the problem I found with learning on my own was really this fire hose of information. And about everything. It's you search something and you find something for something for JavaScript, and you find something for 5,000 for, and you asked for some advice and people will give you or an answer with what they know. And sometimes it's not what you are working on. And for me, it was just too hard to find. Really focused on something. Um, I was absorbing opinions from everybody and I just couldn't make my own curriculum, you know, so having something more structured and also I think someone, um, I could ask all my questions. Um, it was something I thought will help me better. So, yeah, it was, it was really, it was better for me. And also, so English is not my first language. Um, when I started the bootcamp, I was not super confident with new talking English. So I think someone will take the time to talk with me to understand where I don't understand things and explain me slowly. Um, some stuff, um, it was really helpful. So yeah, I really appreciated the bootcamp for that. And I searched for online, online bootcamp at first. Um, but I realized that to learn English, it was maybe easier for me to have the person in front of me and, you know, um, Reading lips when people talk. So it wasn't really easier for me to have someone in front of me, like a real person. Yeah.

Bekah:

Yeah. absolutely. And so your bootcamp was it a hybrid bootcamp? Some, some of it was at home. Some of it was on campus or how was that structured?

Aurelie:

So I chose an in-person boot camp, so it was supposed to be 12 weeks of in-person bootcamp. And I started on January 27th, 2020. So everybody knows what happened in March. So, so I did six weeks of in-person and six weeks of our remote learning because of COVID restrictions. it was really challenging, uh, to be honest, uh, I really liked the, the in-person way also because it made me, um, meet a lot of people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, you know, when you're a stay at home, mom, uh, you meet moms and that's it. So yeah, in the bootcamp really. A lot of different people and it was really great to have like the backgrounds, they all have different background and it was great. It was really, um, helpful for me to talk with these people. Um, for me personally, and also for, um, of the tech and, uh, switching to remote. Well, first I had to, you know, you have to adjust and also we didn't have this. Um, the connection that we had before discussions were mostly on slack. People didn't have time, even me to like, do some zoom meeting after classes. So it was really different. Yeah. Well, less than directions. Um, but it went well. Uh, in the end, yeah, I really missed like, uh, the social part it, which is strange because I'm usually someone who like, loves to live in a cave and, uh, talk to nobody. But I guess, I guess it changed me. So yeah.

Dan:

Yeah. I feel like a lot of us learned some stuff about ourselves when the, when the pandemic started and all the quarantine stuff happened, you know?

Aurelie:

Yeah.

Dan:

You know, my, my natural thing is like, oh, I hate people. I don't want to be anywhere. know, the same thing live in a cave, you know? And then all of a sudden when you're forced to not ever see anybody, it's like, oh, No, it turns out I actually do, like, people might not like, you know, lots and lots of people or anything, but, uh, yeah. It's, uh, I don't know. That was, that was an experience. I'm sure it actually had probably, uh, well, I don't, I was going to say I'm sure. I don't know if I'm sure, but, um, fact that you started your class kind of started all together. Um, and you had six weeks. Is that what you said before? Uh, before, uh, you know, the quarantine started? So that probably helped a little bit. I mean, you at least knew the teacher and you knew, um, the, your classmates and stuff I imagine was much harder. Um, you know, starting from, from scratch in that, in that situation.

Aurelie:

Yeah, for sure. I don't think I would have, um, succeeded. Um, yeah, maybe at all. If it was online, heard many. Um, people talk to me about the same, uh, boot camp I did, but online, completely online. And, um, I, I think you need some skills, like self skills and everything, to really succeed kind of online training. And these skills, I don't have them, I guess, or maybe not enough. I don't know.

Dan:

It's definitely interesting. I don't know if I would, I mean, skills is an interesting word, but there's everybody kind of learns differently. Right. And so, uh, it's, it's more. W what were your sort of what you're suited to? Right. And, and I don't, I mean, I don't learn from lectures really, or people talking, you know, but of course I have the same issue with video Uh, I, I have problems. I dunno. Um, I don't know what the right word is, but, uh, I, I don't, um, the information doesn't stick in my brain, right. until I do things, but the self guided stuff only works for me personally. Uh, when I am super into whatever it is, you know, I always. Personally I'm self-taught, but like I said, I'm self-taught, as in like, I'd learned things but bit at a time, you know, bits at a time, as I things that interest me in college or whatever, like w in my free time, uh, and the idea of trying to do that from scratch now seems horrifying. So I can totally relate to like, wanting to, um, the lesson planning and stuff like that, that you can kind of, kind of talked about. And the, I would have no idea what. To do or even, to tell somebody what to do, you know, if somebody is like, oh, I want to learn to be a developer. What should I learn? You know, think I would, I'd be like, I have no idea. know, learn stuff. It seems really hard to, to, to do all on your own, like entirely on your own. Um,

Aurelie:

Yeah.

Dan:

at least.

Aurelie:

I'm the same, I think also that need, like, it's not that I need some guidance all the way, but I think for, um, to start, I need someone to guide me when I start and I need to. Maybe show that I, I, I need to show someone that I understood something and to me the go to be like maybe more confident and then such sort by myself. But yeah, I. I like to have like person saying, okay, this, you know, now you know how to do it. You do it well. So go ahead and do more that I need, I guess.

Bekah:

Yeah. Even being in a traditional classroom, you can, when you see other students. It's kind of acts as a gut check, right? Like if you're like, wow, I'm really confused. Should I be confused or other people like you look around and you're like, okay, that person definitely looks confused too. So like, in that sense, like there's a, there's some community and that kind of enables you to think like, okay, well we're in this together. We all need to figure this out. So let's ask some questions or, um, like, okay, I'm not the only one that's having this experience right now. And just like having that community support, whether it's for a gut check or to say like, yeah, this is. It's tough, but you're doing a good job. Just keep at it. But sometimes that's all you need, but when you're yourself and there's so much information, there's, it's oversaturated amount of information, like you said, some of it's good. Some of it's not, some of it can apply to what you're working on. Some of them, you don't recognize that you can't apply it yet. Um, because there are simple things able to hear other people talk about that, to ask questions and to see, um, How, how people are working through things can be, um, a huge game changer for that.

Aurelie:

Yeah. And I had this experience. We had some exercise, um, like we were trying to, I don't know, create like a new feature in class and there was this kind of, um, algorithm to solve for that. I know that by myself, I wouldn't have been able to do it and other people, uh, as well, but I had some, um, understanding that helped them. So there things as well, and altogether, we were able to deliver something that was watching really well. So I think this is important as well to have. People around you and, um, people you can talk to and exchange you spend way less time to solve problem. And, um, and these less frustrating in the end. So yeah, I think the learning experience is maybe better by the way. I mean, but like you said, then maybe for some people, some people are able to learn as well by themself and I admire that.

Bekah:

I think it's good practice though, to be able to learn with other people. Because when you go out and start working, you're probably going to be working with team of people. And the more comfortable you are communicating about things and asking questions, it's going to be overall. I think for like being a part of a team, especially it's a remote team,

Aurelie:

Yeah. That's something that I wasn't used to do my previous career. It was more like have one task to do and you have to do it by yourself and the Festus. And people were not really, don't know, available to help or things like that. You didn't just. you didn't ask actually. And so this is something that I've learned, with, with, coding. You have ask, have to ask for help. You have to ask for people to test your thing. You have a, yeah, you have to ask for reviews, you have to ask to call So out to people and say, Hey, uh, either someone to review what I've done or. I don't know what to do and I need help and something that I really learned. Um, yeah. When I started coding, uh, it, something that made me, a lot uncomfortable at first, uh, to be honest, because I like to be the person who is expert on something. And I, I like to be the one with the answers. Instead of asking them, but yeah, I changed now. I'm asking questions all the time.

Bekah:

I totally feel

Dan:

Yeah.

Bekah:

And, you know, as a career changer too, and coming from an experience where I was the one with all the answers having no support from other people, it definitely was a hurdle to get through. And, you know, I taught English for a lot of years and would always be like, wow, I bet you are a really good communicator. Just a very different role and I was not used to communicating in that way. So no, I wasn't, I'm working on it though, you know, um, it is almost a new skillset to be able to communicate in that way and to ask those questions, um, I want to kind of the conversation a little bit, because you talked about, you enjoyed being in-person for bootcamp, and now you're working a remote position. And so like, I'd love to hear your take on that transition and in why you chose remote work over being in person you liked the in-person bootcamp. So.

Aurelie:

Yeah. So I discovered that it's not really. Um, being in an office with people that I like, it's more, more of the interaction interactions with people. Um, and I think working remote remotely is not a barrier. I mean, a blocker for, um, team communication and having fun with your team and yeah. And having, yeah, great exchange and. Um, and also I'm a mom, kids, and I need to be available and working remotely is the easiest for me to be able to continue to try them to the doctor or to whatever activities they have. Um, I like to be here. When thing, when do you come back from school? And if they have one more. I don't want to just run all the time. It's something that I did when I was in friends. I was working full time from eight to six, uh, picked up the kids at the nanny's house at six, and then you just had to run to run, to run. And it's honestly, it's just not the life. Um, and yeah, since I had the opportunity to change my career, Why not changing the way I was working. And, um, so yeah, uh, something that I decided like early. Um, I, I, I wanted to work from home. Uh, that was the easiest for me. So, yeah. And what I experienced today in my team, um, I mean, we have great way to interact. Um, with each other, we have one-on-ones we have coffee breaks. have, um, what we have team lunch, uh, like every Thursday we, we, we eat together and, yeah, it's great. And we have a lot of varying, um, session if we want to. And yeah, so it's really not about just being the office. It's just. How you want to create relationship with your teammates, you know, and yeah. So far it's been three months now that I'm full-time remote and, uh, yeah, I think I've made the choice. I really like it.

Dan:

Is everybody on your team? Uh, full-time remote.

Aurelie:

Yes. We are all four remotes. Uh, we are all mostly...We are all in the U S. Um, so I'm in, I mean, the team that is separated do teams. My team is only in the us and the other little team is, uh, Um, so yeah, and it, for example, it's another challenge. Uh, we had like a summit for, um, our team that is called an organization. And, uh, we had to have everybody on zoom at the same time. And so we had people during the day, we had people during the night. But, um, yeah, it's I, and I think people are willing to do that because everything, everything is great and we have great relationship between us. So, yeah, it's, uh, it's great. Maybe next time it will be us in us that will have to be up at night. We'll see.

Bekah:

Okay. I think that's such a great point that you made about it's it's about the relationships, right? It's not necessarily about the place, right? You are because there can be various successful remote teams, fully remote teams, and there can be very successful in person teams and, and there can be, you know, Ones that are not successful at all. And it just depends on, you know, how are you building your team? What, how are you creating the relationships or the other people and like recognizing them as, a person and not just somebody that's got to get this work done. Um, and so I think that's so important when people say, well, you can't have the same relationship. On remote teams that you can in person. And for me, I found way more value in the remote teams that I've been on I ever have my in-person teams. And I think it's just really about, you know, what, what is the value of that team?

Aurelie:

Yeah. I never believed in the, you know, these companies will have like foosball and ping pong tables and stuff like that to create a environment. It's not about that. You can have like as many foosball table you want and your people won't talk to each other. So it's not something I really believe in. And, um, I mean, if the leadership like is willing to show that they are, uh, okay with being remote, that there are, um, the way that they're communicating with each other is. Remotely. And sometimes they organize fun things. Every people, uh, in the Yarki will do it because we do just what the leadership does. That's that's the way people work. So, yeah. And if your company is organizing great events, just to have people talking to each other and meet, um, whatever the. Department they are working on and everything. I think this is how you create work relationship with anybody in the company. And for example, my company, um, last week or two weeks ago, I don't remember. Um, they're organized like every trimester, uh, what they call table four six. So you have to register in advance. They have like a list of people and people that are randomly chosen. They create a table. So it's a zoom room. And they give you like a budget to, uh, order something with door dash and you are eating your lunch with people you wouldn't have worked with maybe. So. Yeah, it's a, I think that's the kind of evidence that needs to happen if you want your, your employees to just have great relationship relationship with it.

Dan:

I think that's really cool. I was going to ask, you had mentioned that you got your, your S your small team does like every week, right? I mean, it's kind of eat together kind of thing.

Aurelie:

Yeah.

Dan:

think that's. Is there any other, um, sort of, not like the big summit level stuff, but, uh, any sort of week-to-week stuff that, um, that your team does or, the organization does to improve, you know, your communications in near relationships, um, on your team.

Aurelie:

Yeah. So, um, well, in my team, we have like a wall to have like least one SU meeting altogether. So when we don't have any new organized, like a coffee break or something like that, it's short, but it's just, Hey, what did you do this weekend? And blah, blah, blah. So this is something that we do. We also have, we also use the new feature from slack, the slack huddle. So we use that mostly to talk with all the We have, like Melbourne or Singapore. Then, um, what else do they do? So, yeah, there's the table four, six. There's a, the end cred. Oh, okay. So onboarding process. Um, we are, um, in teams during the onboarding process. And so we have like some activities. I'll just call that company and everything and they encourage us to just stay in contact. So like every month, month and a half, I have this meeting with my team that I onboard with. And, um, so it's, you know, it's tiny things like that. They also organize like, um, My company works a lot with charities. They encourage volunteering they encourage people to rope together to do some volunteering as well. So it's all the things that they are. I think they are trying to, uh, find, um, ways for people to, um, to show their common interest and build on that. I think it's yeah, it's a great idea. They have a, yeah. And we have also, um, like societies they call them, that, so for example, we have like, uh, Um, society for women, for women in engineering, for parents, for people from the, uh, LGBTQA, uh, community, it's, uh, it it's great. And, um, To try to yeah. To build on that and think this is how you make people talk to each other. Yes. Yeah.

Dan:

I think that's really cool. My, uh, yeah, my wife works for Teach for America and they do, they have a lot of stuff in it. Similar, similar kinds of things, you know, um, that they do to sort of promote, um, interpersonal relationships, you know, on their teams. Uh, sometimes I think they might go overboard. You know, they spend, you know, a lot of time on zoom, um, altogether, but it's, it's cool. And, and I mean, and she loves her team too, you know, and they, they, they're all, they're all spread all over the place and all remote and everything too. It's very cool. And I, I feel like it is it's, uh, important to that's one of the things that some parts of it happened automatic or can happen automatically when you're all in the same you know? Uh, and obviously there's plenty of unhealthy in the world, but like it's, I feel like it takes more concerted effort. Um, When you're, um, you know, on a remote team, um, to do that sort of thing, because it's easy to into cave, cave person mode. Right. Um, and think the thing you said at the beginning when I asked this question was about how a lot of it comes from leadership. Um, uh, I just want to just touch on that again, because I feel like that's, that's really true and it's important, you know, if, if leadership is like, make some sort of rule that everybody has to do something, but doesn't, you know, don't participate in it or anything. Um, I feel like lots of times that ends up just causing resentment at best and doesn't actually promote, you know, uh, any, any So I think that's really cool that the is sort of part of this whole process. Yeah.

Aurelie:

Yeah. And also we are, um, So we have offices the world. We have employees all over the world and some rules are in place as well to, um, to make sure that people who are not on us time zones also feel part of the company, you know? And, um, I think that's, that's, great. We have like all important meetings have to be recorded. That way, if someone is on another time zone and can join, or even if someone has an emergency at home and they have to pick up their kids, they can still have all the information that has been shared during the meeting. And I think it's a game changer when people do that. Remote work is really possible. Otherwise, I, I don't know. Yeah. If your job is only for us market, maybe it's easier, but as long, I mean, if it's from somewhere else or you have people working from elsewhere, you have to implement these things in your house, you have to force it. Otherwise, like you said, the first thing people do usually is just to KV.

Bekah:

And it's nice too. When you, when you have communities of belonging, where you have shared interests, easier to learn more about so many there. And then also to like branch out beyond that, because when you have an environment that, know, feels. One, like you're comfortable there, there are these people around you that you trust and, you know, and they'll have different overlapping communities then you would have to. And so then there just becomes this, like, know, you have these sub communities, but then it all works together to feel to create something that's like this, this nice big. Supportive community that allows you to do, So much more because when, when you feel safe in a space, when you know that you can trust those people, then you're more likely to grow and to take chances or risks or be innovative, um, and and move faster. It's funny. Yeah. That it's not more highly valued on teams like, oh, well, that's, that's not, um, it's not a valuable thing that doesn't help us with our product, but, but it does because of the side effects of having a supportive place. Um, so I know that there are certainly lots of people out there that. Are not interested in remote work, um, narrow struggles that are associated with it as well. I know for me, you know, I, I work remotely and I don't have an office space. So sometimes it's like really hard for me to stop. I'm well, the computer's there and the kids are playing on the sit down and do this one more thing. w have you found to be useful to kind of some of those struggles?

Aurelie:

So I have to get, we live in a two bedroom apartment, um, and my kids have been, uh, at remote school, um, all year, last year. Uh, so. Yes, there are struggles when you want to, to work from home, especially today. Um, so it's it. I mean, you can do just what you can do with what you have and the time that you have. So instead of stressing about having like a super private. Room for yourself with closed doors and just try to make, I mean, try to use what you have and just work on that. I changed my, uh, desk space like four times last year. And I finally find my corner, you know, it's not, I mean, I'm, I mean the living room, so, um, Yeah, with the kids. It wasn't easy. At some point we were four people in your apartment having zoom meetings at the same time. Um, you adjusts. I mean, especially, I think it's even easier now before. I don't think people were really, um, inclined to understand that maybe you have a dog, maybe you have a kid, maybe you haven't even baby, uh, or even. And there are only people that you have to take care of. Um, now the understand better what it is because people were forced to work from home. And I think this is when, if, if you really want to work from from home. Um, this is when you can find your thing without really stressing out about it. So at first, like for example, I was in the middle of the living room and I had to get. Passing behind me all the time. Uh, well, I can do anything. I can, I mean, take my kids against the wall, just for them to not walk behind me, you know? So yeah, just try, just to do with what you have. Zoom can allow you to put backgrounds, just use that and your kids. Well, My experience, my kids. So they are 12 and 10. So obviously it's easier than with little kids. I don't really have the experience with little kids, but at least with my kids, uh, just told them that what I was doing was important and what I was doing will maybe make us have one day. I think it house like with maybe I will have my office and they will have their own bedroom and they won't have to run behind me all the time. And, but if nobody is making any effort now, Maybe what happened. So this is what I try to explain them. And they Enough to understand that. And so we try to establish rules and every week we weren't changing the world because we tried something and it was not adapted. And so we had to change and, uh, but yeah, it's just. At first, I was like super stressed and I didn't want anybody to be on camera and everything. it was just impossible and it made me really nervous. And like, for example, during the bootcamp, my son really wanted to uh, who was my instructor. And so it was on the, like on the couch with me. And it was like, Just his head. So at first it was just the hair and then the nose and then the full face. And you, you can't avoid that. Um, but yeah, so I, I w R reviewed the rules like multiple times. I tried to organize their schedule mine to make sure that at least. Um, I had one moment in the morning and one moment in the afternoon with a quiet time where I could set up like some zoom meetings and I mean the most important ones, um, a good pair of headphones. I mean, a lot of tools exist, um, just to, to do that better, but yeah. I mean, unless you are already working in a company that will give you a steep end to buy a set of new monitors and everything. Well, fine. Just do that. But if you can't, you just, and also one thing that was, um, important decide of the material aspect and organize it or the musician or more like aspect? Um, communication when I was in projects during the bootcamps and, uh, they wanted to, uh, code all weekend for eight hours a day. Sorry, I can't, I can't, give you three hours in the morning and I can give you three hours in the afternoon that's it. Because after that I need to cook, I maybe I need to take care of my kids. Maybe I need you to tell me also, you know, Mean, yeah. So just being clear with people, Maybe some people will have some expectations from you and you just have to be really, um, um, I mean, just tell the truth and say that things maybe won't happen like that. And as soon as you, mean, the sooner you that the less struggles and blockers and frustration it creates, so. My only, yeah, I think my only advice is just let it go.

Bekah:

Yeah, I think that's such good advice, you know, and I don't know if this is a mom thing or not, but I know at least a lot of moms that I know now we, we do a lot because we have to do a lot. Right. And so. then we, we want to continue to do things that we enjoy doing or that we've done before really well. it's really hard. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. Or sometimes like we're in a different stage of life and we need to let those things go and it can be really hard. To do that because you're like, well, I enjoyed this or I could be good at this, or I will have enough time, I think you're right. Saying like have clear communication about things and be okay with communicating that. So, I mean, and that's another thing that goes. Creating trust. You know, if you are, if you don't just keep pushing through, just be open to begin with and like, I can do a little bit, but no, I can not do that. And so. there's, like the clear communication there's boundaries, your setting, but then also talking about being flexible with things because you can try it things it doesn't work. And just having that self-awareness I think a great. too, to be able to work with different groups of people and to with your team and, and make sure that, everybody knows where you're at, because that's what, you know, that's, that's what, creates good team.

Aurelie:

Yeah, I think so. I think so. Um, my resentfully, so my kids find any return to school. Uh, and so I have to drive one, uh, in the morning because it was cool. It was really far away. And also, I think he's too little to go by himself. Um, so I ha I I've just told my kid and my kids, my CMS, um, yeah, starting um, August 11th, I won't be able to accept any zoom meeting at eight. It will be eight 30. That's it, I mean, and nobody said, oh my gosh, Nope. Everybody say, oh yeah, of course. That's it's. Yeah. So I think sometimes we are most stressed about saying the thing more than really. Yeah. too much, I guess.

Bekah:

That's for sure. Well, I think, you know, all of these things that you've talked about it, think one of the benefits of. COVID and the pandemic and stuff is, is that people are more open and willing to this. And I mean, moms have been impacted, I think, more than any other group or they're very high up on the list, but you know, I also think that it's good that eventually, I think there'll be more opportunities for moms because things like this are regular. Like it's okay to have. On your screen. okay to say I have to take my kids somewhere. And in some sense, it's normalize this and hopefully that's something that we forward because remote work is that that's what makes things doable for me as well, to be able to take kids the doctor's or to a field trip or, you know, whatever is, something that I, that I want to be doing. And I'm glad that I have that ability to do that and to, you know, be able to. Take that time and, and not have to in my car for a really long commute somewhere. I knew a mom that was looking for work, um, pre COVID and she was looking for her first job. And she said, well, the only one that I was offered is a two hour commute, two hours each way gets it's not worth it. It is not worth that

Aurelie:

No.

Bekah:

is not that great. And I don't, I don't know. I feel like it's ridiculous for anyone to ask somebody to commute that like, that's a, that's a red flag in my mouth. Like yeah. Spend all that time in your car

Aurelie:

Well, it's a,

Bekah:

could work from home.

Aurelie:

yeah, it's something that we know a lot here in the, in the barrier, because you have a lot of people, you know, working for like the giants, like Google and apple Facebook. And, but they can. I mean, they are old enough to have kids and so they can have a roommate. So they have to live far away where prices are I guess, to live. So I know many people doing like two hours come here, morning and afternoon. And it's, I think it's just crazy. And I'm glad for them that we are in remote days and now they are just working from home and everything is fine.

Dan:

had, you know, when you're talking about sort of breaking up your. Hours of your day or whatever. I kind of touched on it, but I was one I wanted, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you between work and also taking care of, you know, your family and everything. Um, if you ha how you kind of, um, build any habits or anything for self care and, you know, like staying healthy and stuff like that. Uh, if you, if you, if you have anything, you know, any tips or anything like that, I could probably use some.

Aurelie:

I don't know if I have good tips for that. But so actually it was really funny because when I was a stay at home, mom, I never found time to do anything like at all. And since I work, I trained almost seven hours a week. I don't know. Um, yeah, I don't know. It's just a F yeah, no, I don't have any tips. It's just, uh, if I want, I know that like hour I need to, um, to go out of my desk and just take few steps. Just because, you know, it's good for your eyes. It's for your brain is good for whatever. And so it's like, oh, I need to the, I dunno, the dishwashers. I will do that. And in the meantime, I will do some stuff and come back to my desk. And so it's something that I tried to do, like every hour, um, training, uh, do I train so much? Um, probably because. Hey for someone, some coaching. So it's, it's a good motivator.

Dan:

Are they scheduled? I mean, is it, so if you're paying somebody, so is it like it's on the calendar

Aurelie:

uh,

Dan:

yeah.

Aurelie:

watch, uh, they won't check when I do they can check if I've done all my trainings, every.

Dan:

Okay.

Aurelie:

and then it's just to me. Um, so I try to like early in the morning to do my training before working. It just doesn't work, especially since the kids are returning to school is just it's too much. So I do that. know that, uh, uh, when the kids are eating because we make our kids. It's um, together. And then I, with my husband, we eat later, like that's weekend have a sense of, uh, you know, of, uh, um, no date night, just night time for adults, you know?

Dan:

Adult conversations.

Aurelie:

Yeah, I don't conversation. That's right. Uh, so yeah, I, when they are eating I train and so yeah, when they are eating their rice, I'm squatting. No, I don't. I mean, yeah. I, I don't, I don't have really any advice. I don't know if you think you can do it in the morning, just, just what's your, I don't know, your alarm clock earlier or do it just no pressure. And sometimes I don't do it. And the next day I will do two trainings. That's why, I mean,

Dan:

I liked your, I liked your approach with the concern of getting up through that throughout the day as well. Um, and that like throwing in the light. grabbing a couple of chores, you know, or whatever in the meantime, or, or doing that sort of thing. I think that's cool. I think that's a cool approach.

Aurelie:

It's really something that I love with remote working is being able to sprinkle the chores. During the day like that, it's not just a block up. I need to clean today. No, you, you that

Dan:

Yeah.

Aurelie:

you know,

Bekah:

Yeah.

Aurelie:

when you think about it and it's, it's great like that. So sometimes I'm like, have laundry to fold and I have my tests running on the, on the monitor. so while the tests are running, I'm folding some t-shirts.

Bekah:

I think

Aurelie:

That's

Dan:

That's a really good idea.

Bekah:

Twitter.

Aurelie:

I, I just tried to be chill and the more chill I am and the most I do. So I guess, eh, maybe it's my advice. Just be chill.

Bekah:

Well, I think in the moms in tech, um, Meet up that you a couple of weeks ago, you were talking about self-care and I think this goes back to what you were talking about earlier today, because a big part of that was clear communication, too. Right. being able to express your needs and. And to be able to take time for yourself or do things. And I think that step is always just recognizing like, okay, what is going on with me right now? Because I think, I don't know, we just move so quickly that we don't ever think that. I'll be like laying in bed and then like, suddenly I'm like, oh, I understood. I sat at my desk for a really long time. And I felt really grumpy. But if I had gotten up and a walk, I probably of chilled out and not this way right now.

Dan:

Yeah. And the, the. I think it actually ties really well in with the, um, having like the happy teams and actually being much more productive. You know, you, you just, you said when you're feeling chill, you actually do more work. Right. And. It can seem counterintuitive, you know, like if you think, oh, you know, if, if I force myself to sit at my desk, you know, and, and, and bang on whatever I'm working on for hours and hours and hours, you know, it seems like that's the only way to get things done. It's done sometimes, you know, but the having healthy, you know, healthy self and healthy teams, uh, you might be spending time doing things that aren't like. Writing code or whatever, but it turns out makes all of you, you know, yourself and then your team much more productive, ultimately, which the, like, I think studies have shown us to be obviously very true too, but it's, uh, it can be hard to, um, or it can be easy to lose sight of, of that. I think when you're in the, I don't know, in the thick of it, you know, so I think that's really, I think, uh, keeping a chill is it's very good advice.

Aurelie:

Yeah.

Bekah:

Well, Aurelie it's been great to have you here with us. Um, we really appreciate you talking about this, cause this is something, um, everybody is dealing with now, uh, before we wrap up, is one piece of advice that you would give somebody who's starting a remote job?

Aurelie:

Um, yeah. having a journal like every day, Taking notes, and sometimes revisit your notes like maybe a week later, two weeks later. and not everything because you might not know what, why you are not in that, but, um, some point you will discover that it's probably a good context for something. And yeah, it's something that worked well for me. Uh, sometimes it was like, okay. I w I need to take that. I don't know why, but, and it just, yeah, well, yeah, I remember that from that day and I noted that, oh yeah, that's the piece of information that I need. So yeah. I think the journal helps and, um, that's it.

Dan:

I love that. I think that's great advice. It sounds, it sounds really cool. It sounds like a very good idea too, for somebody new joining the team.

Bekah:

All right. Well, thanks so much Aurelie

Aurelie:

thank you.

Dan:

Thanks Aurelie.

Bekah:

Bye! Thank you for listening to this episode of the Virtual Coffee Podcast. This episode was produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Dan Ott. If you have questions or comments, you can hit us up on Twitter at VirtualCoffeeIO, or you can email us at podcast@virtualcoffee.io. You can find the show notes, plus you can sign up for our newsletter to find out what Virtual Coffee's been up to on our website at virtualcoffee.io.

Dan:

Please subscribe to our podcast and be sure to leave us a review. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next week.


The Virtual Coffee Podcast is produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Andy Bonjour at GoodDay Communications.