ANNAI magazine
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Introduction of yourself

My name is Enzo, Co-founder of Anexus, a Drupal focused developing firm located in Latin America. I’ve been running the company for 7 years. Our team spread in 8 countries of Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica,) and we have 36 Drupal developers across the region, providing Drupal solutions to our partners in the US, Canada and the UK.




I am also a co-founder of weKnow at weKnow we are in the education and consulting business all related to Drupal and Symfony development.


At the coming DrupalCon in Baltimore, we will host a  Drupal 8 training master course and the great news is that seats have been fully booked already.


Recently I started a new adventure with my family, we’ve moved to Australia to start a new chapter in our live.


About productivity related to work (Working in the office vs working remotely)

Working remotely means there are many things to manage by yourself. First of all, you need to be responsible for what you do. Preventing all distractions around you is as important as optimizing your workspace.


For office workers, phone calls or meetings would be the cause of distraction. If you are remote worker, TV or video game would be potential distractions, so you need to have a sort of discipline to get things done in your work.


Some people say that if you want to achieve efficiency, making your own routine and controlling distractions would work.


As a company manager I’ve got many feedback from employees, some of our guys ended up resigning the company saying “I need to go to the office to communicate face to face”, I think that’s reasonable for some people. So I think it’s depending on how people feel about working on their own.


But thinking about those who work in the big city or cities with commute problems, remote work would be positive in terms of eliminating stress in commute and so on.


About not having to commute to the office

It depends on where you live, in my case I gain 3 to 4 hours by not having to commute. Thinking about the impact of this, no commute makes a huge difference.


I think no commute makes the life better. Keeping the stress out from driving for hours, cost effectiveness in your domestic finance, staying closer to your family, and so on.


About flexibility in your personal life

When new developer joins your team and get assigned to a project, first things you need to do is to get trust from your team members. Of course you’ll need to work from 8 to 5 for the time being, but you’ll be able to manage your working hours after you earn trust.


In our company, some people work based on their family needs or ultimately their preference. Let me share an example.


One guy raises his child as a single father. Taking care of the kid from 7am, starts working at 10am, get things done till 3pm, go to school to pick up his kid and come back to work. Then he keeps working till 8pm to be on time with the deliveries.


He’s doing great as a professional developer, and he’s a great father as well. I think this is great thing about working remote.


The point is, his work style is because he earned trust from the team. He’s self motivated person and manages himself. When he need to be away from work, he shares the situation with the team, but he definitely gets things done on time. This is how the professionalism should be, and without it, everything doesn’t work well.


Our management team strictly make a rule that we never do micro management to our guys. Because we hate it. But instead, we talk to our guys like this. “I know you are professional, I also know you are great, so let’s get things done together.” Imagine that you have such a useless management team who check your development status every 5 minutes with choking your neck, that’s a total disaster.


Another example: In general, Latin American companies arrange payroll twice a month. On a payday, supermarkets get super busy because people visit there to buy foods and daily necessaries. But I tell our staff “Don’t go to supermarket on a payday. You guys should be the one who can go there before they get busy, because you are in a position that you can control your work shift, if you are professional.” I mean, if you are the same as others, you can’t buy what you want because people are flooding to buy things there.


About collaborating with team members who live in other region

Our staffs are working in 8 different countries, and time difference between Argentina and Mexico is 4 hours for example. But we have a rule to work together with the rest of your team in a same time frame at least 4-5 hours. Not everybody can do that, sometimes it doesn’t work well, but that’s our basic. So people in all the region cooperate each other to do it.


Key to deliver a great outcome in developing is how you communicate with team. As you know, those who work in developing world issue tickets could be managed in two ways.


The case that outcome isn’t okay
Ticket A : I don’t understand this ticket.

The case that outcome is great
Ticket A : I understand until part B, so let me work on B first, and I’ll move on to part C. It’ll be great if you guys can support me about what A means, while I work on B and C.


Be proactive. That makes a huge difference to your team.


Anything you consider to work effectively with the team

I truly hope that our team can enjoy work and play, and hope that keep improving their life better and better (They should be like that), so I take much care about how we can draw a clear line between business and private life. Using Skype for communication wouldn’t be a good solution because business and privacy would be mixed up, that would make our staff annoyed.


As for business communication, we use Flowdock and it’s working great. Group chat is engaging when working with a team even when you are working alone at home.





Also, chrome extension called Figure it out allows you to figure out time zone that you want to know, and it’s very handy.



Figure it out


Drupal is a global community and opportunity to grow is in the community as well. So we try our best taking our staffs to visit conferences around our region. This way, they can meet colleagues who don’t usually meet face to face, sharing days together, hanging out for drinks and so on. When they go back to their workplace, their performance gets even better.


I personally have been a huge fan of travelling, relaxing and trying new things in a different part of the world makes me motivated very well. That’s why I kind of wanted to share same idea with our guys.


Any message to the Drupal community in Japan?

Hiring staff in a different region is a great solution. This means you can hire great talent always respecting their personal life and lifestyle, because there’s no geographical restriction in employment.


For example, if you run a business in Nagasaki, you can move your business faster by hiring staff in Hokkaido. Don’t be afraid to do so. The most important thing is to understand that hiring great talent without geographical restriction works better than hiring an average staff under certain conditions (geographical matter etc.)


Wrapping up

Enzo-san is one of the most active community leader in the Drupal world. We basically talk with him about business, so it was very meaningful for us to talk about this topic with him.


Recently here in Japan, we got to hear the word “remote work” often, and it was impressive to hear how much we can leverage our performance without micro managing a team.


It was also impressive to hear he chose the best solutions based on his personal experience. One of the reason why it’s working great is I think because he knows who to hire, by seeing their personality and how that blends with the company’s culture.


Everyday is a challenge but hopefully we can find the best way to collaborate no matter where we are.

Kentaro Inoueの写真

この記事を書いた人 : Kentaro Inoue

Author : Kentaro Inoue

ANNAI Inc Nagaoka branch Manager who is in charge of site building. My favorite module is Rules and Flags!