After a year of remote work

14 Sep 2019

Over one year passed since the last post. In the end of the last one, I was wishing that I would get accepted to Toptal and find a remote job. My wishes came true, I got into Toptal! But I still kept applying to remote jobs at stackoverflow. Since there are not many C++ positions -comparing to Javascript-, there wasn’t any mid-level position left to apply. I was not feeling at senior level yet, but I just wanted to try my luck, nothing to lose anyways. Applied to a job with title “Senior C++ & MEAN Full-stack Blockchain Developer”, even if I was not Senior, or know much about Blockchain; also I knew MERN stack instead of MEAN stack. Luckily, they gave me a chance! A test project which took around a month, it was really fun one too. They liked the result, and I started working at a full-time remote job at this awesome company, Komodo Platform. Euphoria! So the lesson here is to apply to any interesting job even if you don’t feel qualified, maybe you have the potential they need, or maybe you are actually qualified. Worst outcome is the rejection, which is not bad at all.

I am still working at Komodo Platform. Really cool people, so cool that they use Discord instead of Slack! Good that I don’t need to run one more chatting program. I was working solo on the project Antara Composer, I completed it recently. My lead guided the project really well, I learned a lot on the way. Now I have one more project under my belt along with my baby Remnants of Naezith. Next project is Antara Game SDK, since I like game development, it will be even more fun.

My expectations from the remote job concept is highly fulfilled. Now I recommend all my programmer friends to switch to this, you are probably a friend, no one else reads this blog! I already talked about the benefits at the previous post. I can say that all of those are correct.

The best part of it is being home obviously. I love being home. I can or even I’d rather stay home as long as I have my computer, internet and food. Also I don’t “require” daily social interaction. That’s why this work type fits to me, I know it’s not for everyone. Some of my friends dislike it and won’t even try to land a remote job, just because they have the opposite of these.

My girlfriend I’ve been together for 3 years moved to Turkey, and we are now married for 4 months! She is not a Turkish citizen so the procedure is twenty times more complex. We need to get residence permit, so much government offices needs to be visited for documentations etc. On top of the documents stuff and wedding preparation, she has an issue with the kidney, so we also need to visit hospitals all the time. Imagine working full-time when you have to handle these stuff! I don’t even know how to do it, because it’s not like you can just take couple days off and complete all the stuff you need to do. It lasts for like 6 months, still not done in fact. I survived all of this, thanks to the job being remote, I can do these stuff mid-week day-time and work at mid-week nights and weekends. I don’t need to take off days for a bank, visa, dentist, doctor, government etc. And these are not rare. So this is the second best part about remote job, time flexibility. As long as I complete what’s needed to be done, and complete weekly ~40 hours, I am free to work any time. Though this is not case with all companies unfortunately.

Again, this also changes from company to company, but I need to count my hours with a timer. This is really good because I can track when and how much did I work. It is also used for the payment.

Hardest part about remote job is avoiding the distractions. If you are not living alone, there will be someone calling you for something. At my parents house, they were acting like I am not working at all, calling me for every little thing at any time. Now I moved to my own house and my wife is a lot more careful about it. So let’s say you are aiming to work 8 hours that day. And during the day, someone called you for something and you are gone for 15 minutes. That 15 minutes, you are AFK. Means the timer won’t be running. You go to eat, same. You go to toilet or shower, same. This is completely normal, though this makes our 8 hours of work extend to 9-10 hours. 8 hours are real 8 hours at home, unlike the 8 office hours where you don’t do much all the time. This is not a problem for me since I am home all day at my PC. I can spread the 8 hours to whole day. But yeah, when you are home, you are vulnerable to distractions.

Another topic I want to talk about is the taxes. I can only talk about Turkey of course. First, you have to form a Sole Proprietorship company. It’s really easy to do. Having a company will cost fixed amount of 1,109 TL monthly, though you’ll be making enough money to not worry about this. And when everything is ready, let’s say you are earning 263,308 TL a year, gross salary. First we cut the company cost as expense 1,109 * 12 = 13,308 TL, that leaves us 250,000 TL. Also you have the life cost, let’s say 50,000 TL a year. That gives us a net of 200,000 TL a year in our bank account. Now the tax part starts, Just because you bring USD to Turkey, government gives you a 50% tax discount. So we will take 100,000 TL as base. You need to check tax slices but this amount is at the last slice which is over 98,000 TL. Rule says that you’ll pay 22,760 TL for the 98,000 TL of it; and 35% of the rest, 2000*0.35 = 700. So it’s 22,760 TL + 700 TL = 23,460 TL. If you are paying your taxes regularly, you get another discount of 5%. 23,460 TL * 0.95 = 22287 TL is the final amount that we need to pay yearly. That’s only 11.14% of our net amount 200,000 TL. It’s really really low compared to European countries or Turkish companies which your pays salary after cutting the tax around 33%. My accountant Süleyman Aldemir is really informative about this kind of work. You can contact him and ask stuff at or ask me for his phone number. Not opening a company and not paying taxes is an option, but it’s highly illegal. It will cause really big trouble when caught, and it’s not hard to be caught with this much of an income.

I have a tiny personal project which is really fun to develop, no code needed. It’s a page I named Finance, on Google Sheet. I set constants, like the tax stuff above, and then the inputs like all sorts of income. One table for every single life expense, Cost of Living site is really helpful. Also having currency values like USD/TRY, you can enter =GOOGLEFINANCE("CURRENCY:USDTRY") to make it update automatically. Then, one table for all kinds of assets like whatever you have: TRY, USD, cryptocurrency, gold, stocks etc. So the assets sum up which gives you your total cash wealth, then at one table you calculate the income, tax, life cost and in the end you get the amount that you save: hourly, monthly, annually. Take monthly hours as 40*(365/7)/12 = 173.81 to convert hourly rate to monthly. So with these, you know how much you save monthly, and how much you currently have. Now you can set a goal, like a house let’s say. You can roughly estimate how many years, months will it take to reach that goal. Also it’s nice to have % values around, like how much % is the rent compared to whole life cost, or how much % is the income tax compared to your gross salary. I am just trying to automate all these, values update themselves, I need to update very little stuff. It really motivates you to see some numbers moving, and you feel really nice having more control over your finances.

I feel really lucky and happy that life goes really well for me; I love my wife, I love my job at Komodo. I hope this is the equilibrium. I’ll be working here until they decide to kick me!

So this is the summary of why I am trying so hard to make my friends start working remotely. We have a Turkish developer Discord Server, dev-komünite, feel free to join.

Finally, step up your algorithm skills first and apply to Toptal. If you use my link, it will give both of us $500 bonus at your first salary. This URL does not look like it’s an unique referral link but it actually is. Here, register using my page. But as I said, the application is really tough, I studied here.

I really hope you got a little bit of motivation to take this very basic action, applying to remote jobs. It is life-changing.