4 Question Series W/ Dennis

Dennis - Digital Nomad Software Engineer

Check out the video!

Check out my interview with Dennis, who is currently working on a project with a Cancer Research firm in Silicon Valley. Dennis is changing the world, while traveling it! This interview is part of my 4 question series where I ask successful digital nomads from all over the world and all walks of life to answer the 4 questions we all want to know the answer to.

  1. Who are you? Tell us about what you do and how you got where you are.
  2. Where is your favorite place to work remote?
  3. What are 2 tips you would give someone who wants to work at your favorite place?
  4. What are (or were) your biggest fears around working abroad? And how did you address these?

Have questions about digital nomading? Message me on Instagram, I’m happy to answer them


Transcripts Of The Video

00:01

coming in this is lauren with the four

00:03

question series so i am here with dennis

00:06

as a reminder the four question series

00:07

of the four questions um i asked digital

00:10

nomads

00:11

um to get the answers to questions that

00:13

we all have

00:14

so i’m here with dennis dennis is going

00:16

to tell us first off a little bit about

00:18

what he does

00:19

yes hi um i’m dennis i’m originally from

00:24

manila philippines i’m now

00:27

based in las vegas nevada i’m a software

00:30

engineer i work for a consulting company

00:32

that specializes in

00:33

laboratory information management

00:35

systems and

00:36

currently i’m working on a project for a

00:40

cancer research

00:41

firm based in silicon valley

00:45

and so we were dennis and i were talking

00:47

before this and that’s one thing

00:49

um that’s almost kind of a misconception

00:51

is that if you’re in a job like that

00:53

where you’re working on cancer research

00:54

a lot of people are worried about

00:56

security and stuff like that while

00:57

they’re

00:58

working abroad and you can have those

01:00

sort of jobs it’s not necessarily always

01:02

like a freelance blogging or

01:04

graphic design or digital advertising

01:07

like i do

01:08

you can have maybe a more traditional

01:10

job

01:11

like a software engineer for a big

01:13

consulting firm and still

01:15

managed to travel that’s correct because

01:16

even though a lot

01:19

a lot of my colleagues are office based

01:22

but we actually have team members from

01:26

all over the world so we

01:27

we work with uh with colleagues from

01:29

different time zones uh

01:31

uruguay india

01:35

so even even before the pandemic started

01:38

everyone was already in the mindset that

01:40

we have to work with people’s schedules

01:42

and different time zones and yeah

01:43

and virtual remote working okay

01:47

so in that case maybe somebody who’s

01:49

already working at an international

01:51

business they might have

01:52

even if it is a more traditional

01:55

traditionally office job

01:57

um if you’re at an international

01:58

business you might be more likely to

02:01

be able to work remote because they’re

02:02

already used to working with uh

02:04

people in varying time zones yes i would

02:06

say uh in my case uh because i can

02:09

pretty much uh work anywhere i i tend to

02:12

do a combination of

02:14

uh going on vacation and then at the

02:16

same time working remotely while i’m on

02:17

vacations like

02:18

extend the time when i’m uh on a

02:21

different location

02:22

um like we were talking about earlier my

02:25

favorite one of my favorite places that

02:27

i worked at when i was uh traveling

02:31

is um actually in kolanta in thailand

02:34

uh that’s an island okay um

02:38

just a a couple hours flight from

02:40

bangkok uh

02:41

and the reason is i have friends that

02:42

are based there they were uh

02:45

swedish and they were living and working

02:47

in sweden and that part of the

02:49

winter so they moved there on the

02:52

swedish enclave in holland

02:54

so i visited them we played each

02:56

volleyball

02:57

um did you scuba dive because that’s the

02:59

big thing in kolata for as i recall

03:01

uh i didn’t unfortunately but i think

03:04

i’m so much in that swedish enclave

03:07

during that time

03:08

but the great thing is that the uh

03:10

internet is reliable which is really

03:11

really important

03:13

so i was able to um there’s no

03:16

inefficiency with working even though i

03:18

was based there

03:20

uh so yeah i i that’s probably one of my

03:22

favorite places that i i i

03:24

can see myself coming back and being

03:26

based again and working for

03:27

several months all right yeah i was a

03:30

huge fan of coca-cola in kosovo i didn’t

03:32

have a chance to see kolanta

03:34

i don’t know what the internet is like

03:35

in those places i wasn’t a digital nomad

03:37

at that point

03:38

per se right um but yeah i would

03:41

recommend that that part of the world as

03:42

well

03:43

um so what are your two tips for

03:45

somebody who

03:46

is interested in working in kolanta or

03:49

maybe even

03:50

thailand uh more generally for uh i’d

03:52

say i think

03:53

it would be good to do do it gradually

03:55

like what i said i would do a vacation

03:57

but i would extend it

03:58

so half of the time i’m in a remote

04:01

location

04:02

i’m i’m really on vacation i don’t have

04:04

to work at all

04:05

and then the other half of the time that

04:07

i’m doing combination

04:08

are working um the only the challenge of

04:12

course

04:12

apart from the wi-fi connection uh the

04:14

speed in my case we work with so much

04:16

data so it’s really important that the

04:19

bandwidth is consistent and reliable

04:21

yeah uh but also the

04:22

the time zone right like for me uh i

04:25

can’t

04:26

i’m immediately switch back to a

04:29

different time zone

04:30

um uh so for me i need that adjustment

04:33

period whenever i’m

04:34

we’re mostly working somewhere else so i

04:36

can sort of shift my

04:38

sleeping and like working time to the

04:41

new location that i met

04:42

so i think people forget they think they

04:43

could just arrive on the airport and

04:44

they could like

04:45

you know do zoom calls at 3am so i think

04:47

that’s important to keep in mind

04:49

for sure so kind of to reiterate there

04:51

one

04:52

is it doesn’t have to be all or nothing

04:54

you can go and take like a shorter break

04:56

and

04:56

right um kind of like hey let’s try out

04:59

thailand for two to four six weeks

05:01

right maybe before i move there for

05:02

three four six right however long

05:04

however many months

05:05

yeah and if you do if you do like it

05:07

then you can just understand

05:08

yeah for sure that’s a good point and

05:10

then secondly which

05:11

actually i do this but i don’t even

05:13

think about it is

05:14

all i’ve always um

05:18

have make sure i have a couple days for

05:20

my flights right and so i actually only

05:22

book meetings tuesday wednesday and

05:23

thursday

05:24

and i’ll try to book flights um on the

05:27

most expensive days unfortunately

05:29

friday saturday sunday monday that way

05:31

at least i have like a 24-hour schedule

05:33

where i can kind of get

05:35

fit in but it sounds like you do the

05:36

same thing where it’s like give yourself

05:38

a day or two at least

05:39

after you land that way you’re not

05:41

freaking out and trying to jump on a

05:42

call while you just got out of the

05:44

airport

05:44

yes exactly that’s that’s the difference

05:47

okay okay

05:48

yeah i like that um so um

05:52

go through and we already have three of

05:54

those so the last one

05:55

what is your biggest what are your two

05:57

biggest fears so one biggest fear

05:59

um if you can’t think of two when you’re

06:01

working abroad and how do you handle

06:03

that

06:05

uh i honestly don’t have any fears at

06:08

all because in some places

06:09

i feel like i am actually much more

06:12

productive you know i

06:13

don’t really feel like i have to worry

06:15

about how well i would perform

06:18

like when i was based in um zagreb in

06:21

croatia

06:23

it was it was my setup was great i have

06:25

like a desk and

06:26

i mean it’s not necessarily worse off

06:30

than my

06:30

my home office it was actually better

06:32

because

06:34

i feel like uh much more comfortable

06:36

working

06:37

over there okay so interesting in terms

06:39

of fears i think um

06:43

i think there’s still a little bit of

06:44

stigma from traditional

06:46

workers because they don’t understand um

06:49

when someone is based

06:50

elsewhere yeah um

06:53

but it quickly dissipates if you if

06:55

you’re just able to

06:56

be reliable you know you don’t play it

06:59

on the pulse

07:00

you do the things that you say you will

07:02

do uh even though there might be dubious

07:04

about

07:06

why you’re like in a different location

07:07

as opposed to at home

07:09

or the office it immediately goes away

07:12

because they can tell

07:12

right away who is productive and

07:15

efficient and reliable

07:17

so i think that’s the important thing to

07:19

keep in mind to allay those like

07:21

you know uncertainties about co-workers

07:24

that work remotely

07:25

okay so for your concern or your biggest

07:28

fear

07:29

it’s not necessarily your biggest fear

07:30

it’s maybe other people’s biggest fear

07:32

your employers because for your clients

07:34

biggest fear that

07:35

now you’re going to be less productive

07:37

or you’re not going to show up on time

07:38

or you’re going to have internet

07:39

problems or whatever when you’re working

07:40

abroad

07:41

so making sure that you’re maybe even

07:44

doing a better job when you’re working

07:45

abroad than

07:46

when you’re at home that way you can

07:48

mitigate that yeah so it’s not

07:50

necessarily a fear it’s more like

07:51

it’s like it’s an important thing that i

07:53

have to keep in mind

07:54

because i think the burden should be on

07:57

me when i’m working remotely

07:58

and because no one wants to hear that

08:00

like oh i’m uh

08:02

you know still trying to get the

08:04

password for

08:05

you know this nobody wants to hear any

08:07

of those things so you have to take care

08:09

of all those things

08:10

so all of those background things have

08:13

been handled by yeah and they just have

08:15

to deal with all of the

08:16

actual work absolutely because actually

08:20

that’s one of my biggest pet peeves is

08:21

when i’m like

08:23

when somebody’s working for me and

08:24

they’re like oh i’m traveling

08:26

sorry it’s going to be a day or two now

08:28

it’s like dude this is your job you know

08:29

what i mean like your job’s in travel

08:31

and work

08:31

yeah you have to keep the separation

08:33

like all of the logistical stuff

08:35

you have to deal with it’s on your

08:37

shoulder absolutely so your employer

08:39

your co-worker they

08:40

do not they should not have to know any

08:42

of those things yeah

08:44

yeah you should be able to go and not

08:46

even tell them and they shouldn’t be

08:47

able to notice the difference exactly

08:48

yeah for sure

08:49

that’s a good one those are fair there’s

08:51

a lot of really good insights and those

08:52

are unique ones and i haven’t heard that

08:54

yet

08:55

um i forgot to mention at the beginning

08:56

we’re coming in here from santorini you

08:58

can’t see too much of it right now

08:59

obviously in the background but uh

09:00

dennis thank you for your time i’ll be

09:02

tagging dennis in here as well

09:03

um i don’t know dennis may already get a

09:07

lot of instagram messages but if you

09:08

have any questions maybe he’ll

09:10

answer i’ll be happy for you all right

09:13

have a good one until next time

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