Website redesign: How I evolved my website

My personal website used to be on the matejlatin.co.uk domain and consisted of mostly personal articles. I had only written a few of those in the past few years so it didn’t get a lot of traffic. Long gone were the days when I published an article every week. So the website was updated only every now and then. It was running on Jekyll and was hosted on GitHub Pages. That made a lot of sense when I designed and built it because I wanted to improve my Front-End developing skills, as well as Git.

Remote work is not for everyone

It would take me years to find out that the open-plan offices suck. It would take me even longer to understand that a designer doesn’t need to be collocated with the team they’re working with to do their job well. Working remotely doesn’t hinder collaboration. Ok, that’s only partially true. Let’s dig deeper into this.

Open-plan offices are the sweatshops of the West

Six years ago, I joined a tiny startup and it was the first time I experienced an open-plan office. There were only three other people working with me in that office and we really got along. We went to lunch together, took walks together, hung out in our free time and built a friendly relationship based on trust. My journey would then take me forward to London where I’d end up working for other, larger startups. Little did I know, that the tiny Luxembourgish company would be the only positive onsite working environment that I’d get to experience in my career.

My favourite books of 2018

Similarly to last year’s favourite books of 2017, I wanted to write a quick blog post about some of my favourite books that I read in 2018. Out of the 19 that I managed to read (exactly the same number as in 2017), here are my top 5. Keep in mind these are books I read in 2018, not necessarily released in 2018 and they’re not sorted in any particular order.

Buzz junkie

It’s early in the morning, probably around 7 because it’s still quite dark outside. I’m reading a book and trying to relax a bit before another busy day, my phone is resting on the table not too far away from me, but still out of reach. The book is about stoicism and a lot of topics in it are about having control over our lives.

Going back to working remotely

It’s a regular working day but I’m not sitting in an office, rushing from one meeting to another. Not anymore and it’s because I decided to go back to working remotely. I spent the last five years getting up really early, commuting to work, attending standups, hurrying to meetings and hoping that I would be able to get some work done before time runs out. It’s a never ending struggle. No matter how optimistic you are, the number of meetings never really reduces. Commuting to an office, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk, can never be pleasant.

Eliminating distractions and getting things done

I lived in London for the past three years and worked for two companies in this time: a late-stage startup and an enterprise. Both are trying to emulate the early-stage startup working environment by designing an open-plan office. It sounds great, but if it’s not done right, it isn’t.