Hi, my name is Dwain.
I love my family and am so blessed to be married to Lauren, with whom I have 3 beautiful children: Judah and Hosea and Avah.
I work as a Software Engineer at Automattic Inc and have been working remotely for the last few years.
This blog is my creative outlet. I enjoy the process of using it as a tool to showcase things I’m learning and perspectives I appreciate.
I am 34 years old! Today is a day for counting blessings and thinking about the great people in my life and most importantly the Lord’s goodness towards me and my family.
The highlights of the past year were celebrating Judah turning 3, Hosea turning 2, and that our beautiful daughter Avah was born. We also celebrated 9 years of marriage! We were fortunate to have been employed through the terrible COVID-19 pandemic and the bonus for me was that we realized how toxic negativity was and started to encourage one another to not think that way anymore.
I also stepped into a “management” role at work and have really been challenged to grow through the experience. I celebrate the team I’m on and the individuals I get to work with every day. It’s an adjustment to think of success through the lens of helping team members but it’s interesting and I look forward to learning more.
Besides our family and work, the last year was a great challenge. Lauren and I contracted covid and sadly lost Lauren’s father and my grandfather to the virus. All plans were thrown out and motivations were low.
In the next year, I hope to grow deeper relationships and be better at understanding others. I look forward to a year filled with positive thoughts and friends who uplift. I hope to spend many hours with family and have more fun.
If you’ve been reading while I was 33 wait till you see me at 34 🙂
To succeed at remote work, we need to know what we need and how to communicate it.
I have three kids and the best kind of support from Lauren. Remote work would be impossible without her being a great friend, taking care of the kids when I’m having meetings and listening to all my silly ideas.
This post was a draft for a while and I’ve tried to make it as universal as possible, though, I realized that I could only share my viewpoint on the type of support one would need and so I’ll touch on practical and intangible support.
My workday starts at 8am. I have a separate space where I can lock the door to stop the kids from running in. I’m not too fond of interruptions and any other task or requests while I’m working. I’m most productive in the morning and try to schedule my deep work between 8 and 12. Since I became team lead I have more meetings in the afternoon. I take a break every hour and regularly go outside to see my family.
To think about what you need to help you with, consider these questions:
What kind of space would you like to work in? Should your space be open and accessible to those around you?
What are your preferred work hours and when are you most productive?
What can others do to make your work easier and how can you return this favour?
After answering these questions or thinking about your own practical needs, consider the intangible needs that are equally important.
I need to talk about disappointments and let go of stressful situations. Similarly, I love speaking about the joyful work moments and having some quiet time to write and think fills me up. Reflecting on the positive things and practicing gratitude allows me to face life with a fresh perspective. There are days where it’s impossible to be entirely focused, where I am distracted by family responsibilities or life. You will face similar situations.
For the intangible support consider these questions:
Do you have good separation between work and life? Are you taking enough time off?
What makes you truly happy and how can you create a space for this in your life?
Do you take time to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, regardless of how small they are?
When we disconnect from work we need to return to space where we are loved, respected and cared for. In this environment we can more freely share how work affects us emotionally. Remote work situations differ a lot and we all have our own unique context, but despite the varying contexts taking your loved ones on the journey with you is crucial.
Keep in touch
Add your email address below to be notified of new posts on this site.
The global pandemic induced a mass workplace migration. Many office inhabitants were thrown into the wild remote working paradise. The expected decrease in Covid-19 case numbers will see most people abandon the remote working paradise, but for some, the distributed work environment is here to stay. I’m writing this guide for those who will become permanent remote workers.
I have worked remotely for over 7 years and still find both glorious and challenging. Along with flexibility and control, remote work requires great discipline and support.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting on the pillars of remote work success. I’ll touch on inner circle support, time boundaries, self care and much more. If you are interested in learning more about remote work and other related topics please subscribe below.
This is the list of topics I’ll blog about in the coming weeks. I’ll update the titles with links to the posts as I publish them.
It was a privilege for me to feature in episode 003 of a fantastic podcast called Howzit. The podcast episode touches on remote work, faith, writing, and personal development. I’m grateful to Travis for inviting me.
I published my first blog post on April 16, in the year of our Lord 2012. Since then, eight years and 170 posts later, I wonder how I can use my writing more purposefully. How does one commit to writing in a way that fosters the best outcome?
Purpose helps others understand our actions. Sharing the reason we’re doing things with those who care, helps them motivate us when we’re stuck. Purpose is a driving force that is able to help you stay consistent over decades.
What purpose should you have for writing that transcends your current context?
My motivation is a moving target: To become better at writing, because writing is a superpower. It is true, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. Being great with words could be the difference between life and death. Being skill full in the art of writing has the potential to unlock many opportunities.
For the sake of writing, writing could undoubtedly be reason enough, but I also have a second reason. That is, to grow my community of influence, the network—of shared opportunities.
I hope to use this blog to demonstrate my skills and these are the topics that I hope to cover as I aim to improve my ability to put what I learn into words:
Software Engineering industry and practice.
With a greater sense of purpose, I’d like to intensify my efforts and would like you to join me, either by creating your own blog or following along and reading mine.
I enjoyed this humorous talk on public speaking. Some of the advice feels gimmicky, but if you compare it to what you hear when presidents and leaders speak you’ll see that they all use it, well with a few exceptions.
The main points are
Combine 3 breathless sentences for dramatic effect.
Repeat words three times for impact : “My people, my people; my people“.
Use balance: “In this life, and in the next”.
Reach for unique metaphors: “Love is a fruit in season at all times and in reach of every hand.“
Exaggerate a bit for effect not to cover up the truth.
Rhyming. It tricks the brian into being comfortable with the information given as it sounds so right.
Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, explains exactly how she got ahead in a male dominated industry.
Here’s what stood out for me:
Your authenticity is your advantage.
There are two currencies when it comes to success. 1 Is performance currency and 2, relationship currency. You need both to succeed, but only relationship currency get’s you to the pinnacle.
She pointed out how doubtful some people are. She learned a thing from her white male colleagues. They were “frequently wrong, but never in doubt”, in other words they had confidence all the time.
Perception is realities’ cop-pilot. What people perceive you to be is often how they think you actually are. You need to make sure that you make it easy for people to perceive in the same good way you do yourself. You can train others on what they should think about you. How should people describe you when you’re not in the room?
If you offer that which is not valuable you will not get any reward for it.