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Does anyone know whether EuroClojure is a good place to meet up with potential employers? ~€1k (ticket, airfare, lodging) is kind of pricey if it isn't.


@dottedmag Are you interested in moving to the job, or more looking for jobs in your region/remote?


@tjg Remote. And there were no good jobs on Malta last time I checked 🙂


@dottedmag imho your time would be better spent going to local meetups, making a name for yourself online, whatever


unless you’re planning on taking the stage, of course 🙂


but i would definitely not consider an event a way to exchange money for job opportunities


@dottedmag sure making a presentation is a way to go, I guess you know that though 😉


@lmergen I doubt there are more than 10 people who know what is Clojure in the whole country where I live.


(Most likely 10 times more during summer, but tourists don't come here to discuss employment opportunities, I believe).


well, there're definitely only a few places where Clojure community exists. OTOH, there's a lot, say, in London alone:


(I mean if you type in "Clojure" ofc)


over here in Amsterdam there's quite a Clojure following as well


Oh, one can also search for remote jobs there. Thanks, I missed it.


@dottedmag there's your opportunity - turn malta into a hotbed of clojure. you have a ready-made mascot: the Clojure Falcon. (you're probably tired of that, sorry.) :)


@mobileink I have some ideas about that yes, but first I need money to pay the bills 😛


so host a clojure event, get the tourist board to pay for it. heh, it could happen.


yep cheap Clojure event might be cool


Let me think about it. I believe hotels and event spaces are dirt cheap here in winter.


i'd love to visit malta, i'll bet many clojurists would. amazing history and culture.


btw I much wonder about such "international" websites: do ppl in Europe really look for specialists world-wide, or rather from own city/country? 'cause how do person who does only speak English but not your native language. Does relocation really happen in practice?


From my experience US West Coast companies, even these that declare remote-friendliness are not thrilled to have someone 12 timezones away.


Relocations in Europe do happen all the time. It sure helps to have EU/EFTA citizenship.


English is not a mother tongue for most of the Europe, but IT companies tend to become English-speaking as soon as they reach some critical size.


As an anecdote I have worked for Norwegian IT company where Norwegians were a minority. At some point we had the same amount of Norwegians (3) as Nepalese (3).


but it in general makes me think that I should switch back to PHP


(like new Wordpress gig every 3 min)


And a horde of hothouses competing for them 🙂


Not sure if this should be considered an opportunity or more like nonsense


@dottedmag just to give you an impression, i work for a clojure startup in amsterdam, we're 7 people, of which only 2 natives... the rest eastern or southern european


it appears to becoming the norm


@dottedmag so your real task is not to find a remote job, but to convince people looking for clojure programmers but want locals that a badass in Malta is just the thing.


(i work in a tech hub with many startups, i would say 80% of the +- 300 people working here are foreigners)


@mobileink It's a very hard sell.


well, you do have to be a badass. 😄


I can try deceive people by going to interviews and then dropping the bomb that I'm not going to relocate when they are raving, but that's still a deceit.


i would suggest you be honest upfront, not to waste anyone's time -- you can be bold, however


Being honest upfront does not work, tried.


it's an interesting problem and frankly i'm glad i don't have it. but. it calls for majorly creativity. dunno how much of that i have, but i'm rooting for you.


then i can only suggest, be willing to relocate


Well, I'm not that desperate 🙂


By the way, being the only remote person in a company is not a good experience if the management is not convinced that the remote is the future.


you might think about solving some problem they have ahead of time. to demonstrate not only i can solve your probs, but i picked you, not the other way around.


otherwise your justvanother guy.


yeah, i dont think there are many companies succesful at hybrid on-site and remote employees


it's an all-in kind of deal, a remote team requires a lot of structure and async communication


Even things like international contracts/payments are an issue


Oh, not in Europe, that's for sure.


Companies do source lots of services all the time (beginning with accounting, renting and cleaning), having another contractor is not a big deal.


@lmergen good q, i'd like to see real data. i'm under the impression lots of companies do very well with temote. ask the marissa meyer how well killing remote woked out for yahoo! simple_smile


@mobileink We can only trade anecdotes.


@mobileink ive got my wisdom mostly from stories and blogs in this case, but i hear a lot that the remote employees are missing out on a lot of information thats being exchanged "in the hallway"


a lot of companies have a lot of this informal kind of decision making


One of the companies I worked for kinda embraced remote work, but at the end all the decision-making was still at HQ, and contractors were shuffled to perform the most boring jobs.


well, we could research it, i'm sure somebody has, but who has the time?


@mobileink Someone who wants a PhD 🙂


note that i'm not saying that remote is not doable, im saying that it requires a lot of structure that a lot of companies are not set up for, and fail when trying a hybrid remote/onsite team


and last but not least, i definitely think setting up this structure is worth it, but it requires discpline that many smaller orgs dont have


yeah, you have to manage it properly.


you need to start communicating a lot through an issue tracker, start documenting the shit out of everything on a wiki, etc etc


i think gitlab is a very interesting case study


their ceo is quite vocal about what it takes to do it correctly


fwiw i work from home even tho my company is in the same city. better than 3 hrs spent commuting. but i often get left out of emails, etc. i thibk sth like slack is essential - but it ain't easy getting people to switch from email. even the tech people tend to resist! just because it's change.


@dottedmag nah its not a good argument. to many hiring managers, remote is perceived as risky. you need to address that, not the salary part


@lmergen There are several case studies, yes, so if one wants to start a distributed company there is a knowledge. The main problem is that management doesn't see a reason to start a distributed company.


@lmergen I'm talking about the interview stage when company has already given an offer.


And then I can try to capitalize on sunk cost fallacy 😃


@dottedmag fwiw i am doing the tech hiring at the place i work for, and it's impossible for me to start doing remote at this point :)


as a developer, i would love to


but it would take too much political convincing internally, and i dont feel like spending my energy in that battle


and hiring clojure developers on-site is easy enough, apparently


You'll be surprised to know that the company I mentioned above (kinda-embracing one) started to hire remotely after failing to source enough high-quality C developers in Israel.


i was at CES in Jan and mentioned to some people at the hackathon that i was working in clojure. the response was "you get paid to code in clojure? really? wow!"


not enough high quality C devs in israel ? what kind of standards did they have ?!


@mobileink Which means supply is high, but demand is low.


@lmergen Those things you mentioned you need to do for remote work would also benefit on-site work. Good use of issue tracker, documentation, etc. Maybe the problem is though if a company’s not already doing it, it’s going to cost extra and/or there will be a philosophical barrier to it.


@lmergen Very high, apparently. Or they weren't able to acquire leads for hiring, not sure.


it doesn't mean supply is high.


@jeffmk totally agree! reality, however, is that most small organisations are still doing a lot of informal decision making :/


@jeffmk Squashing all informal decision-making and moving it into a trackable asynchronous medium is hard, and slows down company in a short-term.


I don’t see why Slack isn’t “good enough” for that. I’ve seen both sides of this debate in my own recent work. 1) I’ve worked for years with a company in NYC. Never met any of them. We work just fine together. Can hop on the phone if Slack isn’t good enough. 2) A local company I work part-time for wants me to work for them full time and in-office. Frankly it doesn’t entice me. But they explicitly won’t give me interesting work unless I do that.


(I’m far from NYC, FWIW)


@dottedmag i took it to mean the pgmrs really want to work in clojure but it's still fairly rare. i.e. demand is irrationally suppressed. they just don't know they need it. ;)


@jeffmk and that fails as soon as a decision is made on-site near the coffee machine and not shared over slack


my point is that hybrid doesnt work


I really think the barrier to entry of just throwing a water cooler discussion on Slack, to keep remoters in the loop, isn’t that insurmountable (of course the decision may be made before they’re even aware of a need for one). But it is a barrier.


if the supply is low, you don't even bother, you just hire some php pgmrs.


A conscious decision does have to be made.


it takes discipline, yes


and then there's a whole political debate of convincing the rest of management, who already sees IT as something incomprehensible to manage, let alone a team of remote employees you've never seen irl


@jeffmk problem is you cannot force people to do what they do not want to do, at least in an established org.


Definitely. In my case for local-co, one of the two main managers doesn’t like remote work, period. So it’s not a battle I can expect to win.


lets just say, it takes a certain kind of company that has the right mindset to make this work


this is exactly the problem i'm facing.


boss is on board, but will not issue an edict. which is probably wise. so we're struggling to figure out how to mak change less scary and even beneficial. lead by example is about the best we've come up with.


@mobileink Can you set up something on a company-controlled computer and show it being useful for remote work?


(Or rather, useful for any work at the company)


a small group of us is actually using slack, and loving it. but expanding that - shudder. on the bright side, when a couple of us went to CES we used slack to coordinate, and one of us was the main IT big cheese, and he loved it. so little by little, i guess.


but even people who have used slack and grok it insist on using email for all kinds od stuff that could go in slack. drives me nuts.


Yep, incremental infection of the remote-is-viable virus.


yeah. remoters too must take some responsibility for maintaining visibility.


I’ve found that orgs that are pretty on-board with Slack use email much less. Guessing it’s a cultural thing.


Well, it's hard to maintain visibility being outside of organization 🙂


Also, remoters are highly visible in #jobs 🙂


Upwork for example uses time tracker which you wouldn't fool


"1h paid = 1h worked" they say


It’s rather invasive, isn’t it? Screengrabbing or something along those lines?


upwork - most time offline lately


and also (heaven forbid) monitoring your mouse/keyboard activity


I’m afraid for me it’d record many alt-tabs to reddit and other such time-wasting interspersed throughout my work far too often.


I don't know anyone who is using their host for Upwork work -- everyone puts everything (time tracker/etc) into VM.


That seems like a very good idea.


yes technically it's so simple


I do that whenever I have to do work with social network integration. Then I can keep all my paranoid privacy addons enabled on my host machine and still be able to code an FB integration.


Perhaps you can find a local tech company looking for their first dev (or first experienced dev)? One that’s fairly programming language agnostic?


But I don’t know the tech scene in Malta.


Actually, I shouldn’t even say “tech company” — I should say just plain company.


Tech scene in Malta is a bunch of online casinos. Slowly dying out as more and more EU countries require local licenses for this kind of business.


And local businesses pay peanuts. It might be worth looking for a CIO position though. Not sure it will paid better than a relaxed remote gig.


One advantage of being a first developer is that after “proving yourself,” you might be able to work from home/remotely rather than be in the office. The pay may not be so great (due to being a local Maltese company), but it can be relaxed, then.


I have experience doing this.


In fact, I know someone who just states upfront that they work best remotely. They come to meetings, but that’s it.


@dottedmag if you don't mind my asking, are you actually from malts or just living there? your written english is impeccable; do you speak maltese? if so forget about remote, i smell a book.


@mobileink I'm living here, but uprooting myself and my family when we just arrived half a year ago is out of the question. We have moved from Norway and we don't have a good reason to go back to cold and expensive country. BTW, I'm not a Norwegian either.


And Malta is dual-speaking English/Maltese, being an ex-UK colony, so impeccable written English is not a rarity here.


local boy masters fancy high end programming language, sets out to find remote gig in a world that may or may not be rejecting globalism. this is the strange story of his adventures. i'd buy a copy in a second. simple_smile


I hope I didn't sound desperate earlier 🙂 I'm always looking for opportunities.


oh your not a local boy, too bad. still, i see literary possibilities. or just a blog.


maltese language is totally fascinating.


@mobileink Like Kitchen Confidential improved Anthony Bourdain’s career. 😛


yeah! why not?


@mobileink It is. I couldn't make myself learn it though.


tie the search for international remote work with all the political crap that's going on now, throw in a little local color - best seller!


@dottedmag i studied atabic a few lifetimes ago. maltese has lots of it, always wanted to study it.


@mobileink I hardly managed to get some proficiency in Norwegian, which is a much more useful language. I try to stay away from natural languages until strictly necessary.


atabic -> arabic


@dottedmag What made you pick Malta out of the whole of Europe? (sorry if you mentioned that way back somewhere in the scrollback history and I missed it)


(I visited there as a child on a school trip once and thought it was lovely; I went back recently because my wife was invited to judge a cat show there and, again, through it was a lovely island — but I don’t get the image of “Clojure tech hub” when I think of Malta!)


@seancorfield How on earth did your wife get invited to Malta to judge a cat show? I’d like to nominate my wife (or myself) for that as well if there’s room for more.


@jeffmk judges of cat/dog shows have different level of experience as well. Since I was a child my mother were organizing cat and now — only dog shows. And judges may come from provincial European cities (here to Russia)


That’s cool. In all seriousness I’m not sure I’d have what it takes. After the fourth or fifth animal, I’d start forgetting their relative differences.


My wife flies all over the world judging cats — standard for the job. She’s been to Panama, Colombia, Hungary, France, Netherlands, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, Russia. We’re off to England (again!) in a few weeks. She just accepted a gig in Belgium in September.


man. you married up


My wife thinks she married up too, since my job allowed her to do all the cat breeding and showing and then all the training that made of this possible! Either way, we both appreciate the end result: she loves traveling the world to play with the prettiest cats in the world and I love being able to tag along sometimes and, most of all, I love that she’s happy doing what she wants most!


Wow, how’d she get into that business?


I went with her on the England / Malta / Russia three show trip — that was fun. And then we went to Australia for two weeks shortly after that 🙂


Takes a lot of training (and expense!).


And I thought “programmer” was a cool job. Now I’m having second thoughts.


Hahaha… takes about five years in the cat fancy doing a bunch of (volunteer, unpaid) jobs, as well as breeding and showing to championship level multiple cat breeds before you can even join the training program… and that takes about two years and costs $25-30K to attend all the shows you need to train at… then there’s a six month open book exam… then a board-level vote on you becoming a level 1 judge.


My wife has reached level 4 now and the international gigs don’t come much until you get to level 3. Level 1 to level 4 can take up to ten years.


Oh you have to be able to breed cats to judge?


But, yeah, it’s a cool job and I love going with her, when we can afford to cover my travel as well.


Breeding is the easiest route into the training program (for some definition of “easy”) but you can also go in as a non-breeder (but you have to have shown more championship cats in more breeds for that).


Yeah it really sounds interesting. How long are the shows?


Don’t want to push this topic too far, but we are still discussing jobs 😉


Usually Sat/Sun. Mostly you judge just one day, but sometimes both. And to bring it back to Clojure, I’ve been known to schedule user group talks in foreign countries around my wife’s cat show schedule 🙂


@seancorfield I have a pretty good remote job, so when me and my wife decided to move from Norway, we selected a place which was 1) EU/EEA (ease of moving); 2) warm; 3) inexpensive; 4) not levying exorbitant taxes for self-employed; 5) has good school system; 6) has a good medicine.


Luckily I work fully remote so, if necessary, I can take my laptop and work on the road when I’m traveling with her on longer trips (work doesn’t let me have more than a week off at a time unless I’m guaranteed to have laptop and wifi 🙂 )


@seancorfield If not for (4) we'd might end up in Spain, Italy, France or Greece. But ugh. I'm not ready to part with 50% of my income anymore.


@dottedmag Makes perfect sense. I can def. see the appeal of Malta in that context. If you have to change jobs, not so appealing tho’…


@seancorfield It's not expensive to live here, so it's easier to find a remote job which allows to maintain a particular lifestyle, than, say, in Kristiansand (southern Norway).


But local market is abysmal.


By a sheer coincidence a classmate from university I attended just moved here to work for a local company and the difference in what we make is 10 times.


I wonder then if Malta is different from Russia (excl. Moscow/Saint Petersburg) in that sense


aha so Malta is more expensive


Also, Malta does not have that nifty scheme when self-employed software engineer needs to pay €500 a year in taxes if they live in, say, Novosibirsk, and earn up to €1M/year.


uhm... for €1mln €500 would be 0.05%


ah, you mean "up to"


@andrewboltachev It's a fixed tax. One can apply for it if their turnover is not larger than 60M RUB/year, and they don't employ more than 15 employees.


The tax depends on the region, and not all regions have "Software Engineering" as an allowed activity type for patent system, but then it worth moving to the region where it is allowed 🙂


@dottedmag ah yep. In my region of Russia it costs 55k RUR/year


(and in some others — 15k for the same)


It's funny to see such a libertarian concept as fixed tax in Russia 🙂


I don't watch the news, but they might be "for small business development" or sth


Its funny, that me, working in a large business, that is generally considered slow and what not is able to work remotely currently most of the time. Also we have split teams between US and Europe and it works pretty well. Documentation goes into wiki, communication first via lync or mail, everything then is put into itrac. Actually its pretty simple, if you use digital documentation, which does not have to be that sophisticated. Hearing the voice during meetings is enough, no need to see the others face. Screensharing is not that of a problem anymore.


@sveri should be the stuff you do is just well-defined already and doesn't change much?


i.e. the main focus of such company just can't change


Not sure, our PM gives us the features in forms of user stories. The team then figures out what has to be done via discussing things. Usually I see our PM once a year, if at all.


we have demos every three weeks to the PM via calls and screen sharing


@sveri "Slow" in the discussion above probably meant "from idea to MVP for a new product in 4-5 weeks compared to 2-3".


I remeber myself working on a project for a couple of months and not knowing what it is for


Not every industry needs that, of course, but if the worst enemy of the company is the lack of the sustainable business model, then having remote overhead might be deadly.


Yea, thats what our PMs job is. Actually I only went to see a customer once in the last 6 years and talked to him about how he wants to use our product. From time to time the PM gets customer feedback about needed features, but, I guess thats tangential to working remote.


@dottedmag what actually is the remote overhead?


@sveri Basically it boils down to 1) the need to use low-bandwidth communication channels as opposed to face-to-face meetings for the whole team; 2) the need to schedule any meetings instead of winging it. In experimentation stage, where there is a lot of unexpected market's feedback and plans change every day, if not more often, it becomes a real problem.


One big problem with traditionally structured companies is that remote work in contradictory to how they communicate


aka Conway's Law


@sveri I'm sure remote-and-quickly-changing is possible for a tiny teams, but once it's over, say, 5 people, the coordination overhead increases quickly.


communication channels increase factorially


@dottedmag I see what you mean. Daily change might be troublesome indeed. But if your implementation needs change daily for several developers I guess everything is foobar already.


@sveri Which is a good description of an early-stage startup 🙂


in order to be a successful remote employer/employee, you must embrace asynchronous communication


@dottedmag 😄 Well, I never been there and hopefully never will be


And, frankly, early-stage startup without a lot of feedback from the market is a soon-dead startup.


one more day (or night) of a real good discussion on Maltese clojure job market, huh 🙂


thats fun though to see how globalized it is, seriously


I work for a 100% remote company (we grew that way mostly through “accidents of hiring” until critical mass was not geographically where the company got started) and we rely heavily on Slack, video calls (in Slack or via Skype for Business), JIRA/Confluence and Office 365. We are (almost) all US-based and generally operate on West Coast time because that’s what suits everyone best. We have one non-US staff member right now but for a small (US-based) company the tax/payment logistics for non-US employees is too painful for us to want to hire more anyone else outside the US.


Contract work is different of course (and we’ve had great success with Ukraine-based teams for specific work, for example) but hiring full-time employees has to be US-based, as far as we’re concerned.


@seancorfield Are you privy to the tax/payment details? Just curious how that’s handled (i.e., what IRS form, or how does your company make the actual payment).


All I’m privy to is that it’s sufficiently painful that we don’t want to do it 🙂


The one non-US staff member we have is going through a visa process and we plan to have them US- based at some point. And that’s not a process we want to go through again either.


But now you know how to do it!


(as someone who moved from the UK to the US and went through an E2 visa process, then a separate work permit process, then permanent alien (Green Card), then citizenship, I can totally sympathize with any company not wanting the time, expense, and general pain of dealing with any of that!)


Yeah, and I can imagine it’s only going to be worse going forward.


I suspect that if we’d known just how much time/expense/pain was involved in this in advance, we might not have entertained it even once.


I think I found some info on international US tax forms here:


Pretty sure that’s just for contracting though.


I can imagine the visa process is nearly impenetrable to a non-expert.


Doesn't e.g. Upwork provide services transparent for US companies (to hire person from anywhere in the world)?


However I might suppose it doesn't, 'cause here in Russia my way of using it not 100% sure correct according to all the laws of all the countries involved


And let's face it: no one wants their labour being replaced by another, more cheap one in general


i’m late on this, but its nice to know there is someone out there getting paid to judge cats, because mine sit there and judge me for free all day long