Remote Work

3 Questions with a Tech Lady: LaToya Allen, Software Engineer+ Founder of SheNomads


Interview by Allison Grinberg-Funes

Hi LaToya! Tell us about what you’re currently doing.

I’m currently readjusting to life in the states. I spent the last 2 months working from the UK, Israel, Spain, Portugal, and Norway. I work in Engineering at Big Cartel, and am building SheNomads while I do so. It’s a community for underrepresented folks in tech who want to work remotely.

SheNomads started off as a podcast. I had no idea how to work remotely from other parts of the world, so I used the podcast as a way to connect with digital nomads, and ask them about it. Where can I find a good co-working space in Barcelona? How can I fly to Europe for $300 or less? How can I best work with my team when I’m 8 hours ahead? Things like that.

Once I started working remotely, I found that I wanted to do so in a digital nomad retreat, but many of them were a reflection of tech culture as it is today. I didn’t want to be the only woman in a house full of young men drinking beer and staying up until 4am, so, I started my own. Yoga twice a day, a beautiful co-working space, and a home full of good energy in art. That’s what I wanted out of a retreat, so I made it happen. It’s happening in Mexico City this February, and we have a few spots left.

Since then, I’ve added on remote coding classes, open source projects, and helping underrepresented folks in tech find remote jobs.

What are some resources people can use to develop an efficient and productive remote team?

Slack, Google Hangouts and TMux. Working on a remote team heavily depends on communication. With Slack I can go back and see the answer to a question I had in the past. Hangouts is great for face time; sometimes the nuances of a conversation have to happen face to face. For me, personally, finding a creative answer to a complex question is easier when I can talk it out. TMux is fantastic for remote pairing; it allows you to ssh (*secure show) into another person’s computer, which is great for pair programming, debugging, and test driving solutions.

What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from working abroad that you didn’t know beforehand?

The one thing I learned about myself: I’m not nearly as liberal as I thought I was, and my feminism needs to be more intersectional.