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A Day In The Life Of A Remote Software Engineer

Table of content:

I wake up in the middle of the night, covered in cold sweat. No, I didn't have a nightmare – in an effort to be even more productive, I work out while sleeping. Nightmares are for project managers and I am a remote software engineer. I am the nightmare.

I check a cron report that sent "goodnight baby" to the two of my LDR girlfriends (and none of them are imaginary this time). I walk up to the window and glance over the night skyline of my Motherland. Ah, Zamboanga...

Stupid sexy Flanders

It shows 1 AM on my Casio watch, which means that our daily stand-up (1 PM ET) is about to start. I join the Zoom meeting. Without the camera, of course, as I like to work naked. I am greeted with the ever-tired smile of Kevin (our project manager), and the turned off cameras of the rest of our developer team. Do they also like to work naked? Stupid sexy Flanders–

– Bayani?

Said Kevin, interrupting my horny train of thought.

– What?

– What about your tickets in the current sprint?

– What about them?

– Did you close them?

– Yes, 8 days ago.

– Good. Would be great if you notified me about it next time!

– Why? You're the scrum master here, do your own scrumming.

God, how fabulous can I be. Even though my primary language is React, my one-liners in English are fire. I leave the meeting with a myriad of new bugs. That's why I like working with these guys – bugs, feature requests and code reviews are a cartoonishly large, fresh piece meat, and my mind is a flock of bloodthirsty piranhas.

Everyone Is Stupid Except Me

For many, I don't have a life. The same people that get stuck in traffic in the cars they don't like, go to parties they don't enjoy, go to gym they hate and exercise to look like the influencers they secretly envy – are the same people that tell me that I don't have a life. But in reality I have it figured out to the T. It's a simple two-step process:

  1. You figure out what you like
  2. You build your life around it

I like solving problems. I don't like talking. I like quietness. I don't like long commutes. I hyperfixate. I don't need to "clear my mind". I'm living the dream. Kevin feeds me bugs and money. I pay him back with air-tight code. We're like a clownfish an anemone, except we're Kevin and Bayani.

Okay, time to work. 12 new tickets. Today's on the menu:

  • Fix a bug where the app crashes on iOS
  • Update a component to use React hooks instead of class-based methods
  • Optimize the rendering performance
  • Resolve a styling issue causing elements to overlap on smaller screens
  • Add form validation to ensure proper input
  • Refactor legacy code to improve maintainability
  • Implement lazy loading for images
  • Fix a memory leak issue occurring when navigating between pages
  • Improve accessibility by adding proper ARIA attributes to components
  • Implement client-side routing using React Router
  • Implement i18n support for multi-language content
  • Add unit tests using Jest and React Testing Library

Easy stuff.

One-way ticket to Hell

5 AM. I'm halfway there. I'm kinda stuck on the memory leak issue. I've dug deep into the code, trying to find the root cause. Component lifecycles seem like the obvious culprit, but even after handling unmounting and cleanup, there are still these goddamn edge cases slipping through the cracks. And don't even get me started on third-party libraries. They do add functionality, but they also add complexity. It's like trying to untangle a mess of wires blindfolded. One wrong turn, and boom – memory leak city.

8 AM. I'm eating yesterday's Mcdo delivery. It's not a break, I'm problem-solving. But this time the problem is the fact I'm still kind of mortal. Flesh is a mere formality, so I maintain it the bare minimum for my brilliant mind to function. "Garbage collection? More like garbage collection's evil twin. Breaking the references without causing more harm than good is like performing brain surgery with a sledgehammer." – I'm thinking while taking the last bite.

9 AM. I'm not giving up. I'll revisit the component architecture, scrutinize those third-party dependencies with a fine-tooth comb, and tighten up memory management wherever I can (i.e. everywhere). A post-prandial spike gave me a little boost, so now I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

10 AM. Alright, so I thought I had it. After hours of pulling my hair out over this memory leak nightmare, I stumbled upon what seemed like the holy grail of solutions. But guess what? A dead end. Back to square one. Everything seemed to be running smoothly, and for a moment, I dared to hope. But then, like a cruel joke, the memory leak reared its ugly head once more. Despite all my efforts, the symptoms persisted.

10:02 AM. My body is asking for a cigarette. I'm frustrated and angry. I light up my cigarette, close my eyes and take a deep breath. I imagine that it's the bug that's burning away. "I hate you, stupid bug", I say to myself, turning into an 8 year old for a second. Wait a minute...

10:03 AM. It was a loop that was iterating one too many times, creating unnecessary references that lingered in memory. "I'm sorry little bug, I love you", I say as I quickly rewrite a few lines. Phew!

"Bayani the Greatest"

10:04 AM. Basically, I am Alexander the Great, but greater. My tickets close faster than Blockbusters after the rise of Netflix. I am "Wow", "Oh my" and "Holy hell". I love this job. God bless Match.dev who landed me a gig with [redacted]. Do you want someone like me in your team? Do you want someone who's as eager to solve your problems as Bayani the Greatest? Then drop them a line at team@match.dev

11:00 AM. I check the cron report that sends "good morning babygirl" to the two of my girlfriends, as I put on my nightcap and finally fall asleep. Tonight was a good day.

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