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Async From Anywhere: Why Developers Are Choosing Remote-First

“I’m actually more productive and communicate better now, even though we’re 5000 miles away from each other.” -- Filipe, Freelancer on
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Filipe, based in Porto Alegre, Brazil, can typically be found in any spare moment at the climbing gym down the street from his house. The highly addictive process of finding the ideal route up a climbing wall is called ‘solving a problem’. Beyond the physical skill, it’s similar to any type of problem solving, requiring deep critical thinking and a dash of creativity. “I like climbing really late at night. The gym here, if you are a member, you can go all the way until midnight and just have a key card to let yourself in.” 

“I have a hard time keeping normal hours-- I much prefer staying up late and starting work later the next day. And I love working alone or with a very small team.”  

In April, he started working as a freelance software developer through and was matched to work with recent Y Combinator alum Insight. They’ve been working together to build an entirely new kind of search engine for technical fields requiring deep expertise. 

“It’s curated by industry professionals to make sure you have the best data possible for the question you are having,” explained Filipe, “I have really enjoyed working with them.”

After kicking things off on with the Insight team at about 10 hours per week, Filipe expanded to work with additional clients Tatch and Mahm.

“It’s been working really well because I am one hour ahead of the east coast US teams, and 4 hours ahead of California. We end up generally coming online about the same time together, so while most work is async, we can all easily chat if we need.” 

“One of the large reasons I wanted to leave my full time job was to work remotely instead of on location. Some older, more traditional clients weren’t accustomed to working remotely. I saw so many professionals who weren’t great with communication online, or just communication, period.” 

Even before Covid-19 required so many companies to shift remote, Filipe knew the flexibility of remote work and the dedication that comes with startup culture was important to him. 

Prior to freelancing on, Filipe was working at a software agency in Brazil. “Mostly kind of large, dull, enterprise use cases with a few interesting ones occasionally. It was too big,” he shared, “I’d rather work on something more impactful and important, with just a few dedicated people.”

With a climber’s mindset to seek out unique problems and solve them, he’s been busy tackling tough engineering challenges and helping his clients scale their companies. “I’m actually more productive and communicate better now, even though we’re 5000 miles away from each other. It’s really important in a project like this to be transparent about what’s going on, since the other people can’t just stop by your desk and see what you are doing.” 

While Filipe’s late night climbing routine has been interrupted by social distancing practices during the pandemic, he’s been on the hunt for new problems to solve- everything from learning to crochet a beanie to perfecting his neapolitan pizza recipe. Anything that still keeps his mind active and engaged after he’s stepped away from his computer for the day. 

“If the quarantine goes on much longer, I’m afraid I’ll need to build both an outdoor pizza oven and a bouldering wall in the yard,” he joked. 

Curious to try working with a freelance developer like Filipe? Learn more about hiring through here. 

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