Frederico Luz Braga is a software developer who's been with X-Team for almost two years. He lives in Curitiba, the largest city in Brazil's South Region, and gives us some insight into his career before and after he joined X-Team.
Hi Frederico, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Let me begin by asking what inspired you to get into programming?
I always enjoyed playing with puzzles and figuring out the best solutions to them. Some puzzles could keep me awake for hours at night and I would be restless until I actually solved them. The challenge of solving problems is what most inspired me to get into programming. It's basically solving problems all day long!
Thankfully, I found out that this passion for solving problems could also earn me money; I started learning how to program from home and eventually decided to dive deeper with an undergrad course.
Over the years, other reasons have kept me inspired. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with building something new and the impact of my work on people around the world are two of the biggest ones. Programming is awesome!
That's great to hear! And yes, it is awesome. So what was your career like before you joined X-Team?
I worked full-time for software companies in my local city and jumped from project to project each year inside those companies. The majority of the time, I worked on mobile projects (mainly Android) for all kinds of businesses, such as financial, educational, insurance and nutrition companies.
And why did you decide to join X-Team?
The global scope of the company was something that really caught my attention. I remember thinking at the time how exciting it could be to work with other developers from all over the world. It felt like a million new opportunities and challenges could come knocking on my door. The possibility of getting to know so many new people and actually work and learn from them was something I didn't want to miss!
Additionally, the flexibility of remote work was something I always wanted. X-Team allowed me to those flexible working hours. Being able to plan your day and change it if needed gave me the feeling of true freedom and improved my quality of life.
Being "stuck" to the normal 9-6 schedule was something I definitely believed I could change and, thanks to X-Team, I did. Now, I can work when I feel most productive and motivated, which makes a big difference.
I heard from other Brazilians that you seem to lose many advantages (the Brazilian Worker Safety Net) when you change to freelance work. Is that true? And were you concerned about that before you joined X-Team?
I wasn't concerned about that at all. If I were to say something about it, I'd say that it has been more beneficial than it's been harmful. I opened an OPC (One Person Company) and I learned how to do my finances and accounting. I also understand taxes and now know what it takes to be autonomous in Brazil. The benefits far overcome the risks.
That's good to hear! Now that you've worked at X-Team for two years, how would you say it's different from the full-time jobs you worked at before?
I would say that X-Team excels in 2 things: people and adventure. Starting with people. It sounds odd, because remote work usually doesn't allow you to truly connect with your colleagues. With X-Team, it's different. I feel like we're in a community that keeps people together and makes us feel like we're part of something bigger, even though we're not physically close to each other.
Since I joined X-Team, I was able to work and get to know people from the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Lithuania, USA, Australia, Poland, Russia, Colombia, Ecuador, and a few others. This is something that many companies fail to accomplish, even when they are not remote.
Secondly, the adventure aspect. Being adventurous is something that's in X-Team's DNA. There's a culture that encourages exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning new skills. It's the core concept of what I believe being an X-Teamer is about. You cannot easily find this culture in other places.
In the last 2 years, I had the chance to visit the USA, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Poland and other parts of Brazil without needing to take days off.
Of course, I also learned a lot work-wise during my time at X-Team. The projects helped me expand my knowledge in mobile, but they also allowed me to start understanding some front-end and back-end technologies, including React and Node.js. It has definitely been a life-changing experience and I'm very excited about what's still to come!
So how do you stay productive as a remote worker?
I always plan my next day before I go to bed. I think about what I need to do and how much time I'll need for these tasks. It required some discipline at first, because you're normally tempted to change those plans and procrastinate if you are not careful. But I eventually learned how to follow my schedule as I planned it the day before.
I also try to focus on healthy habits. Healthy habits include exercise and not eating food that's too heavy. This is something very important for me to stay productive during working days. Exercise helps me relax and feel energized to work. Eating light food prevents me from feeling sleepy and lazy.
Finally, I avoid working from home every day. Working in different places during the week helps keep things fresh. I realized that working home every day quickly gets a bit tedious and repetitive, and it affects my productivity. Going out and seeing different people on working days helps me to stay motivated.
Amazing tips! I think they apply to many of us. Finally, what dent would you like to make in the world?
If I were to give some advice to the broader world, I'd say to always try and find ways to motivate yourself and keep moving forward, regardless of the challenges that you face. Follow that mindset and I'm sure that great things can be achieved.
Mindset is key. Thank you so much for your time!