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Life as a remote working dad at Rawnet

Lead PHP Developer

Lead PHP Developer
Pedro is the Lead PHP Developer at Rawnet where he has led projects for Leafletdrop, Dignity Funerals, Hypnos, Whistl, and ITV Media. Since 2012, he has been an integral part of the team, contributing to the agency’s growth and success. Pedro’s role revolves around his love for crafting precise, efficient code and shaping the digital landscape with care. A standout project is Leafletdrop, where he built the entire system from scratch, including a complex ecosystem with four distinct applications – a marketing site, UI app-serving API, management dashboard, and the UI app itself. Pedro’s expertise extends to creating micro-services and external-facing APIs. His dedication to Rawnet’s projects reflects in his commitment to delivering quality and innovation to clients, driving successful outcomes in every endeavour.

This is no doubt the most talented bunch of people that I’ve ever worked with.

What made you want to join Rawnet?

I immediately fell in love with the British sense of humour and everyone at Rawnet had lots of it! I was expecting a more corporate-style environment like we usually have in Portuguese and European companies and perhaps even in many British companies, but Rawnet’s style is laid back, informal and everyone is quite friendly and supportive, that’s probably how they caught me.

When did you join Rawnet? What job do you do?

I joined in July 2012. I had a brief break in 2021 but couldn’t stay away for too long and got back in March 2022.

I am a Lead PHP developer which doesn’t mean that this is the only type of work that I do. I also love to work in user interfaces and interactions, Javascript, UI frameworks and I have the chance of doing all that at Rawnet. They just won’t let me do any design related work, not sure what’s wrong with my fluorescent green and bright red colour schemes.

We work on many projects with very diverse scopes, for clients in a vast range of areas and using many technologies. This all adds up to a very interesting job and it’s not easy to get bored.


Where do you live? How come you’re working remotely? 

I live in sunny Portugal, that’s self explanatory as to why I work remotely.

Back when I started, remote work was a lot less common and only a very small number of companies allowed collaborators to work from home in the same country, let alone in a different country. I saw a job post for a PHP developer role at Rawnet and applied with little expectations, but got selected for the interview phase, did some technical tests and in the end got offered the position.

My whole life was based here in Portugal, my wife and 2 kids, still toddlers at the time, my house, my Sunday league football team, my surfboard and waves. 

I struggled to accept Rawnet’s offer as I just couldn’t be convinced to move to England. I told Adam (our MD) that I was going to decline the offer and reluctantly mentioned the possibility of working remotely. Again, this was long before the pandemic and working remotely was uncommon, but Adam immediately said “Yes of course, let’s do that! Come over to the office for a few weeks so we can all meet and then you can go back home.” and this is how it all started.


Does Rawnet support you whilst you work remote?

Oh most definitely, Rawnet provides me with all the equipment that I need as well as the social side of work, considering that I’m in another country. I have daily calls with people from different teams and we’ve been able to keep a very closely knit culture even at a distance. I usually fly over a couple times a year as I can’t really miss the epic Summer and Christmas parties.


Do you feel part of the team?

I feel part of the team, I feel part of Rawnet and I also feel that Rawnet is a part of me. It’s been so long since I joined, we were a very small team of just 2 PHP developers and the whole company was not more than 15 people. It’s been a very enjoyable journey and a pleasure to see the company growing, how it evolved and changed and adapted. The speed of digital transformation forces companies to change but not all can accomplish this. Obviously, there were growing joys and pains but witnessing the process is also what makes me think of Rawnet as my own.

What does your average day look like?

There’s a good degree of flexibility in the schedule but I’m usually at my desk at 7:30, at 9:00 I do a 15 minute break for coffee and the school runs, then back for more work, team calls, etc. There’s the lunch break from 12:30 to 1:30 and then back to work until I end my day at around 4:30. During the Summer months this is early enough to still have many hours of daylight and do family activities or even go to the beach to clear my mind on the particularly demanding days.


What responsibilities as a dad do you have?

Giving them education and paying for stuff. That’d be quite a lot already but I also take them to school and pick them back up, usually cook them dinner (I’m a very decent cook), take them to swimming practice 6 times a week and do the other usual dad activities like making fun of their teenage pimples.


Would you say you have a good work-life balance?

Excellent. I do tend to think about the challenges that I come across on my projects outside working hours but that’s my own fault and I think that it’s a common thing with developers. Only very rarely have I been asked to do overtime in these 10 years.


Has Rawnet allowed you to be flexible with your work hours?

They are quite flexible. When there’s family responsibilities or other situations that force you to take a break during your day, planned or unforeseen, everyone is very accommodating and you can work those hours later in the day or on another day.


What advice would you give to someone considering working remotely?

If possible it’s ideal to have a room just for working, your very own home office. It’s a good way to get into a working mindset when you enter the room and exiting it gets you back into your dad/husband role. I rarely come into my home office outside working hours so this space is like being in a real office, my brain associates being in this room with work and this keeps me from getting distracted.

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