Harry Wynn
IT Architect
August 27, 2018

Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home

Harry has worked remotely for almost 10 years as a senior mobile, web and desktop developer—learn how he balances work with family.

How did you get started with remote work?

I was planning a move from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and began looking for new job opportunities there. After my employer at the time found my active resume on Monster, we had a discussion and they decided to keep me on full time as a remote employee. That was in 2009—I've been working remotely full time ever since.

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What are you working on?

I'm currently doing full stack web development for Solomon Page located in NYC. My projects are split roughly 50/50 between internal systems and tools and public facing websites like our open opportunities listings.

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What's your typical work routine?

My wife and I have 3 school aged kids, so my routine mainly revolves around their schedules of going to and from school (although it's a bit more relaxed now for the summer).

Typically I'm up at 5:30 to make coffee for my wife and wake everyone else up. After making breakfast, we'll drop the kids off at school and start my day around 7:30. I'll work until noon, then after eating lunch try and sneak in a 30 minute bicycle ride. I'm back to work afterwards until it's time to start making dinner around 5:00, which my wife and I will alternate throughout the week. After doing the dishes and getting the kids to bed I'll spend a few more hours finishing up my day, typically until around 9:00.

My weekends follow the same general time schedule. Saturday I try and reserve for getting things done around the house. I'll use a few hours on Sunday to catch up on anything I may be behind on, or get a jump start on my new week.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

There was a time that I occupied an entire room with a large IKEA desk crowded with monitors, a printer, stacks of papers and trinkets. I slowly realized most of this was just noise (literally) and unnecessary.

Now I have a dedicated work area in the bedroom that's rather minimal with a small writing desk and a chair.

I do most of my work here during the day, but I can also easily unplug my laptop and migrate to somewhere else in the house for a change of scenery without any hassle.

I've also been known to work in exotic locations like the food court at Target while my wife is shopping :)

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

My 13" Macbook Pro is my workhorse. I like the size as it's small enough to remain portable and still have enough juice to run my multitasking universe.

My iPhone keeps me connected while I'm on the go—I'm constantly tethering my laptop to it while mobile. My 100 Mbs connection keeps me wired at home.

Email and Cisco Jabber for keeping in touch with coworkers and Citrix for connecting to the office in NYC.

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How do you stay on task?

I keep a lot of notes in different locations for different reasons. I use Apple's Notes app for keeping them long term - basically my archive. For short term notes - those I'll collect on a conference call or working on a specific task, I'll keep them in a Text Wrangler document. I usually have quite a few of these open at once.

I use a Trello board for each major project. This makes it easy to share out tasks that require input from other IT or marketing team members, and also allows them to see how I'm progressing through development.

I use Todoist for managing the individual tasks for each portion of a project. Checking off each individual item gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivates me to complete the next on the list.

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What do you like about remote work?

The best part of working remotely is the flexibility in my schedule and the amount of time it allows me to spend with my family.

I can start my day earlier or later, or make an appointment during the day for the kids if need be. I can eat nearly every meal with them, help my wife out if she needs something, and not have to worry about after school child care.

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What do you not like about remote work?

It's difficult when your home is also your office, so I've always struggled with drawing the line between work time and home time.

I feel as though I've improved over the years, although the challenge increases if I'm approaching a deadline on a project.

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Biography

Harry Wynn

Harry is a senior level mobile, web and desktop developer leveraging nearly two decades of experience across a variety of industries including executive search, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, engineering, entertainment and parenting. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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