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Mastering Data Engineering as a Remote Worker

Season 15, episode 5 of the DataTalks.Club podcast with José María Sánchez Salas

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Alexey: This week we'll talk about doing data engineering as a remote worker, among other things. We have a special guest today, José. José is a computer scientist who is currently focusing on data engineering. Previously, he worked in different fields like software engineering and backend engineering. He likes writing, and he's in charge of a data engineering newsletter, but he will tell us more about it during the interview. So welcome to the show, José. (1:09)

José: Yeah, thank you so much. I'm very happy to be here. (1:38)

Alexey: As always, the questions for today's interview were prepared by Johanna Bayer. Thanks, Johanna, for your help. (1:43)

José's background

Alexey: Before we start – before we go into our main topic of doing data engineering remotely and other things – Let's start with your background. Can you tell us about your career journey so far? (1:50)

José: Yeah, sure. I studied for a computer science degree in Spain and I worked in several Spanish companies. For the last year, I have been working in Norway and living in Norway, as well. That's the quick introduction. [chuckles] (2:02)

Alexey: Well, that's quite a change from Spain to Norway, right? From very hot weather to more cold. (2:35)

José: Yeah. [chuckles] Right now it's quite good because right now in Spain it's almost 45 degrees (Celsius) and it's kind of very hot. Right now we have I think almost 20 degrees. It's raining, but... [chuckles] (2:44)

Alexey: Oh, I see the benefits, right. [chuckles] Have you seen the Northern Lights yet? (3:04)

José: Yes. Yes. I saw them. (3:11)

Alexey: Amazing. You need to send some pictures. It's a dream of mine to see them. Which city are you in right now? (3:15)

José: Right now I'm living in Dragsvik, which is quite a small village. This week I'm moving to Bodø, which is in the middle north of Norway. (3:24)

How José relocated to Norway and his schedule

Alexey: How did you end up in Norway? What's the story there? Did you just find a job there and relocated, or did you specifically want to go to Norway? (4:21)

José: No. In fact, we moved here because of my partner. She got a big interesting offer to work here. So, we decided to move here. Neither of us have lived outside Spain, so it's a good opportunity. And we are here. [chuckles] (4:29)

Alexey: So you work remotely currently? Right? [José agrees] So you live in a village, and your job (your employer) is also based in Norway, but you work remotely. So how is your day organized? How do you do this? (5:01)

José: Most of the days, it's the same, but it depends on the working hours of my partner, honestly. Because I have no specific working hours. Most of the days, I have two blocks of three-four hours and these blocks are split somehow – it depends on how things are going in the day. (5:18)

Alexey: So you have two blocks of three-four hours, and you just put them in some slots, depending on the availability of your partner – when she is not available, or when she's working. How strict is your schedule? Do you always work at the same time or sometimes you work at night and sometimes during the day? (6:09)

José: Right now, it's very stable. I start working at 7 a.m. and the first block is from 7 or 8 to 11. And the second one usually goes after I have a little break. That's right now. (6:32)

Alexey: [chuckles] So you don't have a long siesta anymore? (7:05)

José: No, no. I actually should have one because I wake up at five in the morning. (7:08)

Alexey: Oh. Why, so early? (7:15)

José: Why? Because it's good for me to not just start working right after waking up. I need some time to wake up and warm up first. The first thing I do is go out and do a workout. (7:18)

Alexey: So when you found this job, was it already remote first? Or did you have to somehow negotiate this in your contract that you will not be able to come to the office, that you will live in that remote village, and you will only work online? (7:56)

José: Yeah. I did not negotiate the remote position. Because the offer that my partner received was to work within several months. We live for three months in one place and we live for six more in another place. My first requirement was to work remotely. Funny thing is that it was hard to find a remote job in Norway, but I finally got it. (8:13)

Tech companies in Norway and José role

Alexey: I have no knowledge whatsoever about the job market in Norway. What kind of companies are hiring there? Do you have typical big tech companies like Microsoft, Google and the like? Or is it more just Norwegian companies? (9:11)

José: Yeah. It's more Norwegian companies. I don't really know if Microsoft or Google are here. [chuckles] But yeah, most of the companies are Norwegian. (9:38)

Alexey: Can you tell us what you do? (9:56)

José: Right now I'm working as a software engineer, with a focus on IoT platforms. I handle the current platform, which is in progress right now. I'm heading the project. We are two people, so we have not so many possibilities. (9:59)

Alexey: In what area is the company? What exactly does the company do? (10:38)

José: It's the mechanical industry. I don't know if it's the specific area. They usually build big platforms like fishing dunks in the middle of the fjord and these kinds of things. (10:47)

Alexey: I was kind of thinking, “Hmm... Is it related to fish and fishing?” Because all I know about Norway – I might have a very closed-minded and short-sighted view of Norway – but usually I know it [related to] fish. Because every time I go to a store, I see fish from Norway and my impression of that was like, “Okay, probably it's mostly fishing there.” [chuckles] What you do is also related to that, right? (11:23)

José: Yeah. But it's not the food area – it's more the industry [aspect]. (11:54)

Alexey: Okay, so you produce some stuff that is later needed for fishing? [José agrees] I assume that there are some sensors and whatnot, and your job as a data engineer/software engineer is to collect data from these sensors, correct? (12:05)

José: Yes. (12:22)

Alexey: You are building some sort of a platform for making the data easier to collect? (12:24)

José: Yeah, essentially. Currently, we are developing a kind of operating system for all of this. (12:29)

Alexey: Can you say it again? (12:52)

José: Yes. Currently, we are developing a kind of operating system for all of the projects – so how all this data is stored and how all the data comes in and goes out. (12:55)

Alexey: I see that we already have a few questions. One of the questions is, “Why was it so difficult to find a remote job in Norway?” It seems like for a technical field, especially after COVID, there are plenty of options. (13:17)

José: Yeah, I thought that. But the point here is that most of the companies where I got an interview and had a conversation with, they always wanted me to be in the office at least once a week. It wasn't possible for me. For me, it was kind of difficult to find a job because my thoughts were, “Okay, after the pandemic situation – Norway is a big country. It's very big. The villages and the cities are very far apart, so it's the place to work remotely.” But it's not. [chuckles] (13:39)

Alexey: Most of the companies are probably in Oslo, right? (14:48)

José: Yeah. Oslo, Bergen, Tronheim – the big cities. (14:51)

Alexey: Okay, so what you needed to do was find a company that did not require you to go to the office and there were not so many options. What about companies that are not Norway-based? (14:57)

José: I didn't have the opportunity to go there because I found the job kind of early... Well, not early because it took three months. (15:14)

Challenges of working as a remote data engineer

Alexey: So what do your usual daily activities look like? Can you share some challenges of working remotely as a data engineer? (15:31)

José: Well, the first one, I think, is the loneliness of working alone. I'm alone in my house and it's kind of difficult to react for people who are not so used to working remotely. My company is kind of, “Okay. You are able to work remotely.” But this is not the core of their business. My colleague is German – in Germany. So one of the biggest [challenges] is loneliness, I guess. (15:43)

Alexey: What do you do to overcome this feeling? (16:45)

José: Yeah, I'm trying to. It's kind of difficult. I just try not to think so much about it – it's just work. (16:50)

Alexey: Well, it's kind of like when someone says, “Don't think about an orange elephant.” And then all you can think about is this. (17:04)

José: Yeah. Yeah. (17:12)

Alexey: I think the phrase is a little bit different – I don't remember the exact wording. But if you just try not to think about it, it will come back. Do you do anything else? I assume that in a village, there are not so many things happening – there aren't meetups that you can join. Right? (17:14)

José: No. I like living like this. I think it's not for everyone. Because I love being alone. I really like the feeling. But I know that this feeling is not for everyone. (17:34)

Alexey: So it's a challenge, but on the other hand, you kind of take advantage of this and enjoy it. (17:59)

Alexey: Yeah, absolutely. Do you have other challenges in your work? It doesn't have to be related to working remotely, but maybe just your work [specifically]? (18:03)

José: Yeah, one of the other challenges is living and working in the same area. I found this out when I was in Spain working remotely as well. It was [a situation] where my living room was the same room as for work. So it's difficult to say “Okay, I'll just stop working and set up the laptop and I'm here.” It's kind of difficult to switch because it's a single space. Yeah, it's a big challenge. (18:17)

Alexey: Yeah, I understand what you mean. Well, probably most of us understand. During COVID, we had to work remotely and therefore live and work in the same space. I was very happy to actually come back to the office. But I know many people have different opinions about going to the office because you can save so much time on not commuting. You just wake up, do your stuff, and then open your laptop, work, finish your work, close your laptop and then you have one hour more in your day. (19:06)

José: Yeah, absolutely. (19:39)

Alexey: Any other challenges? (19:43)

José: Yeah, probably for the last one, I usually try to split the space. It's a good approach to kind of prevent this situation. “Okay, I have one room and the living room, so I only have to work here.” So I try to block one space in the living room and this space is only for work. (19:47)

Alexey: What about challenges of your actual work? I imagine that you need to deal with a lot of data. From what I know, IoT data usually involves large volumes – you have a lot of data coming from the sensors. So what are some challenges that are related to your work as a data engineer and dealing with these sorts of data? (20:31)

José: Well, for me, the first one was not being in the same place as the sensors where the data comes from. It's kind of difficult to explain that. Because in all of my previous jobs where I worked, I was just a software engineer – I just developed something and it was kind of abstract. But with IoT it's “Okay, we have this sensor that is connected to the temperature of a belt or an engine. This data comes from this engine. Yeah, you say that these data come from the engine, but I cannot see this physical thing.” It's kind of difficult to explain, though. (21:04)

Alexey: From what I understood, (maybe I'm wrong) what you mean is – the engine with all the sensors is somewhere where you don't have access to it, and it would help for you to actually go there and see where the sensor is placed, how exactly this data is generated, etc. Then you would have more understanding of the data – how exactly this data is created, how it's captured, etc. It would help you as a data engineer to understand the data better and then process it better. participate. Right? [José agrees] Why would we actually need that? I'm just thinking, “Okay, there is some sensor.” You can conceptually visualize. “Okay, there is an engine and there is a tiny thing connected to it that sends data.” Why is it a problem? (22:32)

José: It's not a problem. But for me, it was difficult. It was a challenge for me. (23:29)

Alexey: Yeah, I guess being on-site and seeing how exactly this all works helps to get a better understanding. (23:39)

José: Yeah. Right now, I'm uncomfortable with it. But the first time it was not really related to the same work that I did before. (23:44)

José's newsletter on how to make use of data

Alexey: I see. Maybe we can talk about general data engineering because I know that you have a newsletter, and your website. We have checked your website and one of the things that you mention there is that if you have some data and or streams of data – you just capture this data (you just save it) and you don't necessarily know what to do with this data. You just store it. And you say that you can show [people] how to turn this data from just a “mere paperweight,” as you call it, into a major asset in your business. This is a very loaded sentence, and it's very interesting. So how do you turn data that is just there (that you just keep and don't do anything with) into something that is useful? (24:04)

José: Yeah. The first thing is to understand the business or the client's customers. What are you doing? Why are you storing this data? Is it just for having a big database? Is this data coming from the main part of your business? After that, after understanding the business, I'm able to do these transforms and all these things? I don't know how to explain that, actually. (25:07)

Alexey: But you probably explain it in your newsletter, right? (26:14)

José: Yeah. [chuckles] (26:18)

Alexey: Okay. I'm just thinking of what kind of follow-up question I can ask. I guess it's related to the challenge you mentioned. You said that for you, it's important to see where the sensors are placed. So you want to understand the data better, right? And this is what you need to do. If you have your data stored in the database, the first step you need to do is understand how exactly this data is created or what the idea behind this data is – what does it mean? Can you do that with any data? Why do you even capture this data in the first place? Do we need to capture all the data that is out there? Or maybe first, we need to understand what we want to do with this data and only then save it? (26:29)

José: Yeah, I think we first need to understand that not all data is usually worth [something]. (27:20)

Alexey: Okay. Let's say we have some datasets – a bunch of data that we store – we think it's useful, we start keeping it. It's been [lying around] there and we think, “Yeah, let's make use of this data.” What do we do next with it with this data? (27:34)

José: I would try to explore it and see what information is there – the features and all these things. I don't know. I'm really bad at names – I think you would use the ETL process to find what is inside the data. (27:54)

Alexey: But you would probably also need to have some sort of business case in mind, right? Why exactly would you create this ETL? (28:27)

José: That's the point of understanding the business point first. (28:36)

Alexey: And then you just create a pipeline – an ETL – and that's it? You call it a day? Is there anything else? How do you organize your work with stakeholders, for example, to show that, “Okay, here's the dataset. Here's some data. Here's our business understanding of this data. Here's our goal.” We create some pipeline and then what do we do next? How do we show the results to the stakeholders? (28:46)

José: Honestly, I don't know. [chuckles] I don't know. Right now in the process of getting there – I'm not ready to call myself a data engineer yet, because it's not what I do. Well, I do data engineering but I don't know how to explain that. Right now I'm not working with clients and stakeholders, so right now I don't have this process to go into. (29:17)

Alexey: So who do you work with? You mentioned that you have a colleague in Germany. When you create your pipelines (when you create this platform) somebody needs to use it, right? (30:00)

José: Yeah. (30:13)

The process of making data useful

Alexey: I'm back, I guess. Yeah. What I was saying is that you and your colleague from Germany are creating a platform. So you somehow process data. This platform is for somebody – somebody needs to use it. I guess these would be your stakeholders. (30:21)

José: Yeah. Our stakeholders right now are the other colleagues in the company who are responsible for putting and connecting all the sensors. Right now, this is the process. (30:43)

Alexey: Can you walk us through this process? Let's say there is a new machine and you want to start collecting data from this machine. What exactly is happening after that where you decide, “Okay, we need to start collecting this data.” (31:04)

José: Yeah, the first thing we start with – I don't know if it's the starting point necessarily – we connect the sensor. Once it is connected, my colleague has to register this sensor to the system so the system is able to collect the data and process it. Processing the data is not storing the data at this time – it's real-time. This is the process right now. As I said, it's the ACM progress – that's the status right now. (31:20)

Alexey: I see. Can you tell us what you wrote about in your latest newsletter issue? (32:17)

José: Yeah. Not technical information, honestly. It's more about how we can use data for business. The main purpose of the newsletter is to explain how someone can get information and profit from data without being a technical person. (32:25)

Alexey: How did this idea of starting a newsletter actually occur to you? (33:14)

José: A good question. The idea was, “Okay, I'm a very technical person and I don't like people, honestly.” [chuckles] It's very difficult for me to speak with other people and to speak with stakeholders and explain technical information for people who have no technical background. So the point was “Okay, I like writing.” And I'm kind of trying to explain that in writing, but it's easier for me than talking. (33:22)

Where José gets inspiration for his newsletter

Alexey: So for you, being on this podcast is already quite an achievement, right? It's quite a challenge. Maybe achievement is not the right word. What I mean is that since it's difficult to speak with people for you and you prefer writing – sitting down, thinking of what you want to write about, and then structuring the material, and then explaining it. [José agrees] I see. Well, thanks for being here. I understand now. I imagine that there are many people like you – we call them introverts, right? I'm also an introvert. Sometimes it's hard to be around people all the time and you need to... in your case you decided to go to a Norwegian village. [chuckles] [José laughs] Maybe it's a little bit extreme. Yeah. (34:15)

Alexey: So you decided to start the news newsletter to take time to put your thoughts into writing and explain how exactly to work with people – or to work with stakeholders and how to make use of data. How do you come up with the suggestions (with the tips) that you provide? Do you get inspiration from your work or from the internet or from social media? (34:15)

José: Yeah, from everywhere. One thing I have in mind all the time is everything that is going on around me can be an email. The key point of the email is not just for the data itself, it's more like entertainment. It's also working outside and just I kind of get the inspiration from – I don't know, I rock in the middle of the fjord. [chuckles] And I think about wanting to explain that situation somehow so that it's interesting for people. I try to convert this story into the data/business world. You know what I mean? (35:57)

Alexey: More or less. [chuckles] So you get inspiration from everywhere and you say, “Okay, this should be interesting. This must be interesting for people. Let me try to work it out and put it in writing.” (37:22)

José: Yeah, maybe it's just a thing that just happened to me. I feel happy or I feel sad, whatever – it's okay. I try to explain that and how we can take advantage of it, but focus on the data world, which is kind of difficult, but... (37:36)

Alexey: So you work remotely and I'm wondering... This newsletter that you have, do you think it helps you to put yourself out there – to maybe get attention, to get more opportunities as a remote worker? (38:10)

José: I think so. I think so because one of the advantages that the newsletter has is the repetition. Every day, I write an email and my audience receives this email. With repetition, we have confidence. The big challenge is to get people into the newsletter. (38:36)

Alexey: Okay. So you do it consistently – you do it every day? It's a daily newsletter? (39:19)

José: Daily, yeah. (39:24)

Alexey: It must be quite difficult to come up with content every day. Is it not? (39:27)

José: Kind of. It depends, because most of the days I write the email, but it's not just one email. Maybe it's an idea and I have some ideas and I write four emails. (39:32)

Alexey: What you're saying is that sometimes you have an idea, but you kind of split it into multiple days. You start and then on the second day, you continue, continue – until you work it out. Then you get another idea and you start writing about that too. (39:59)

José: Yeah. It depends. [chuckles] (40:16)

Dealing with burnout

Alexey: One of the things that I remember from the COVID times is this feeling of burnout – when there are so many things happening: around the house, and at work, and everyone wants meetings, and there is a need to reply to emails. Then on top of that, if I also had to write a newsletter every day, I would probably go crazy. So how do you...? Do you even have this feeling of burnout sometimes? And if you do, what do you do to overcome it? (40:20)

José: One thing is going out. Here, I'm living in the middle of the fjord, so I just go out to nature and it helps a lot. It really helps. Another thing is exercise, which is very important to try not to think about work. Yeah, that's the two things. (41:03)

Alexey: Previously, in Spain, you also worked remotely, right? Was it also a village or was it in the city? (41:49)

José: During the pandemic I was in Barcelona. After the pandemic I lived in a small... it's not a village, just a small city. A town, yeah. (41:59)

Alexey: Unfortunately, not everyone has access to nature – not everyone lives in a Norwegian village and can just go out and enjoy all these lakes, mountains and forests. I saw some pictures from Norway and all of them are so amazing. I'm kind of envious that you can just close your laptop, leave your house, leave your apartment, and then enjoy all that. But not every one of us has access to this. [José agrees] Say if you live in Barcelona, you don't have nature, really. Right? So what do you do there? Just go for a walk? (42:20)

José: Yeah. Go for a walk. In Barcelona, there is the beach, so it helps. [laughs] (42:57)

Alexey: Right, right. [chuckles] (43:07)

José: I always try to live or to go near nature. (43:10)

Alexey: One thing you mentioned is doing some activities, like sports activities, for example. I remembered, “Okay, I'm already busy. There's so many things happening. How can I squeeze in sports?” What's your take? (43:20)

José: Yeah. The first thing is – I usually do it the first thing in the morning. I try to prioritize myself before something else. I try to do this the first thing in the morning – just waking up and going out. I just realized it, because these three years have been, “Okay, I just woke up and started working, had burnout, and it's kind of difficult to escape from it.” Right now I think I found the way that works for me. [chuckles] (43:39)

Alexey: So, everyone, move to a Norwegian village. [chuckles] (44:51)

José: Not everyone, because... (44:57)

When in Norway, do as the Norwegians do

Alexey: Yeah, as you said, it's not for everyone. It's difficult to be alone, right? There are not so many social activities that you can do outside of work. Just curious, do people in Norwegian villages speak English or do you need to know Norwegian? (44:59)

José: Usually, they know English, and they speak in English, but they usually speak in Norwegian. I speak Norwegian a bit. Most of the time, we speak in Norwegian, but Norwegian people when we just speak, it is “Okay. I'm trying to speak in Norwegian, but you just switch to English because it's easier for you and it's easier for me.” But I'm trying to improve my Norwegian sometimes, so I say “No, no, no, let's speak in Norwegian.” So it's not a problem. (45:20)

Alexey: So you try to speak Norwegian as much as possible. That's cool. I've spent so much time in Germany and because everyone speaks English, I use English most of the time [chuckles] even though technically I know some German to get around, I still just use English. (46:16)

Alexey: Well, I see that we have quite a few questions. I want to go back to these questions and we still have some time to cover them. The first question I see is, “Which websites would you suggest using to find remote work for beginners – for somebody who is just starting their career?” (46:41)

José: Well, here in Norway, there is a website where you can find everything. Right now I'm using it – it's (47:03)

Alexey: Okay. So for those who do not live in Norway, it's probably not very relevant. (47:24)

José: No. [chuckles] (47:29)

Alexey: Did LinkedIn work for you in this case? Or you had to use this website? (47:32)

José: Yeah, it worked.... It works sometimes. I know some other ones. I am really bad at names. Upwork is a platform – website. But yeah, that's it. (47:37)

Alexey: Well, if you're in Norway, then it's that website. I think you said (48:04)

José: It's – It's “find” in Norwegian. [chuckles] (48:11)

Alexey: I see. The other question we have is, “What are the crucial steps in learning and doing data engineering to really master it?” (48:21)

José: Can you repeat? (48:33)

How to master data engineering

Alexey: “What are the crucial steps in learning and doing data engineering so that I can really master it?” (48:36)

José: I'm just thinking... The first thing. (48:58)

Alexey: It's a very broad question, yes. (49:03)

José: Yeah. I'll try [to answer]. I will say that... I don't know how to explain that. There is a big point, I think, that is having a very technical background. For those who don't have a technical background, I don't know. (49:06)

Alexey: So what you would say is that you need to be a software engineer first in order to become a data engineer? (49:43)

José: It will be easier, I think. I don't know how to answer that. [chuckles] (49:50)

Alexey: Yeah, it's a very broad question because there are so many steps in doing that. Well, the first thing is to have a good technical background, right? Perhaps, if you do not have experience working as a software engineer, maybe this is what you can start with. So just work as a usual backend developer, or... (49:59)

José: Yeah, start working with small data projects, like a backend engineer or a backend developer. That would be good. (50:25)

Alexey: So you start working as a software engineer and then you start working on small data projects. Okay. That's enough to master it? (50:43)

José: Uh, no. Keep going! [chuckles] (50:55)

Alexey: Keep going. [chuckles] Okay. That's the most important part, right? I guess this is not the answer the person who was asking was really looking to get. But I think, if we need to think about that, that's the main idea, right? Work on projects and repeat until you master it. Kind of sounds simple. What I can say is – we have an entire course about data engineering called Data Engineering Zoomcamp. You can go there and check what modules are there. I think we have six. (50:57)

Alexey: I will not talk about these exact modules. You can go and check. But the main idea of what José said is, just keep going – keep doing. Work on a project, work on the next project, work on the next project, and then – that's the best way to master it. Right? (50:57)

José: Yeah. I think there is no top. I think there is no “master”. You can stop the progress. It's the same as life. (51:56)

The legalities of working remotely in Norway

Alexey: Yeah. Right. Another question. I see a question from Elena. “Do you need to be registered in Norway for your taxes?” (52:12)

José: Yes. (52:26)

Alexey: So because the company is Norwegian, you have to be in Norway to be able to work for them. Right? (52:30)

José: Yes. However, if you have a small company outside Norway, it's the same as if you work with the United States or another country. To work here, you need to be registered. (52:36)

Alexey: Do you have a small company or what is your employment setup? (53:07)

José: Right now, I'm a full-time employee. (53:15)

Alexey: So you're a full time employee without... So just the usual full-time contract, right? [José agrees] Okay. (53:20)

The benefits of working remotely

Alexey: Another question from Elena is, “What are the benefits of remote work?” I think we partly touched on that. You save the commute time since you don't need to go to the office and back. For you, what are the other benefits of working remotely? (53:31)

José: Not depending on a specific place. You can work from everywhere you want. That's the biggest benefit, I think. (53:50)

Alexey: For you, it means you can work everywhere in Norway where you want or you can work everywhere in the world where you want? (54:14)

José: Right now, in the world. But it depends on your company – if it allows it or not. I was in Spain last month and two-three months ago, I was in Argentina, so there was no problem. At least for my company. [chuckles] (54:24)

Alexey: Yeah, that's very convenient. Then you also said that you need to move every three months, right? [José agrees] So that's why you have to have this flexibility, because you're never in the same place for long, right? [José agrees] I'm really curious what kind of work requires moving every three months? (54:57)

José: Yeah. She's a nurse. (55:19)

Alexey: A nurse? (55:21)

José: Yeah. She has a contract and more contracts. That's our point of view. Because like that we can explore the country while we are working. That's the biggest thing, we thought. That's a good opportunity. (55:22)

Alexey: Yeah, that's really cool that we (people in IT, software engineers, data engineers, data people) actually have this possibility of finding remote work, right? Because for a nurse, it's not really possible to do things remotely. (55:57)

José: [chuckles] Very difficult. (56:15)

Alexey: Yeah, very difficult. Are there other advantages? (56:18)

José: Yeah. I think the one related to having more time. You have more time to be with your family, to do whatever you want. And that's a good benefit as well. (56:23)

Alexey: Yeah, and I think we already talked about disadvantages, right? Loneliness. What else? Is it difficult to separate work from non-work? Did we talk about other things? Or is there anything else you would like to add to the list of drawbacks? (56:46)

José: Right now, no. (57:08)

José's recommendations

Alexey: Okay. Well, one question we always ask is if you have any resource recommendations. Is there a book, course, whatever? You probably can recommend your newsletter, I know. But apart from that, is there anything else you can recommend on the topic of either remote working or data engineering? Or maybe something else you recently discovered? (57:12)

José: Yeah. Not a specific resource, but for technical people, it's very, very important to develop soft skills and try to improve them. I have no specific resource. There are a lot of them [in general]. (57:36)

Alexey: Soft skills is quite a broad set of skills. Would you recommend any specific skill and say, “Okay, if you want to start working on these skills, start with that one?” (58:09)

José: For me, it's talking to other people. [chuckles] Try to do that. (58:27)

Alexey: Well, you're here today, right? (58:33)

José: Yeah, yeah. [chuckles] (58:35)

Alexey: Well, yeah, that's a very good recommendation. Even though it's not a resource, the recommendation is nevertheless quite good. So I think that's all we have time for today. So thanks, José, for joining us today, for telling us about your story, about your work setup, about the challenges, benefits, and your newsletter as well. So that's all for today. (58:42)

José: Thank you so much. (59:08)

Alexey: Yeah, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today as well, and asking questions. Have a great week! (59:10)

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