At Rustici Software, we live by these tenets: have empathy, be excellent to everyone, be transparent, always be listening and be yourself. Some of those were easier when we started off as a very office-centric organization because we valued face-to-face interaction and time together. Since 2020, things look a lot different and a majority of Rusticians work remotely or a hybrid of in-office and at home days. However, we’ve worked hard not to lose the spirit of collaboration and culture.

We’re heading into four years of figuring out balancing a remote and hybrid model with a strong people-centric culture where we strive to have everyone feel like they’re a valued member of the Rustici team. With that in mind, we regularly check-in with each other to see how things are going, keep in touch and find ways to help. Many of Rustici’s software developers are hybrid or fully remote, and some of them shared what their day is like, how they feel about work-life balance and tips for the new hires we’ll soon be welcoming to several teams.

What a typical day looks like

“I log on at 8 and check emails. They are typically conversations from Github around open pull requests. If there is code review assigned to me, I will complete that so that they are not waiting on me. The team lead meets with me individually every week or every other week, depending on the need. He is excellent at ensuring I am doing the work that accomplishes our most important goals and is there to discuss things that are blocking my progress. There is also an hour set aside each week for all of the teams’ developers to join a call and ask anything they want. This has been an excellent time to discuss goals for the product as a whole and to share knowledge. There is also an hour set aside each week for project discussion for the team lead and developers working on a specific milestone.”
– Nick Carver, remote SCORM Cloud developer

“My days are fairly flexible, but I usually work from 9 AM – 6 PM. On the Content Controller team, we handle tasks in a fairly optimized way. My main meetings are 1:1s with the team lead and our weekly huddles. The majority of the time I’m coding, but if I need to take a quick break, I can always do that.”
– Nathaniel Sop, remote Content Controller developer

“I’m an early riser, so I start between 5 AM and 7 AM. I like the flexibility of starting my days early. Most of my time is spent researching and learning about, or working directly on, programming and development tasks for the SCORM Cloud UI along with four revolving weekly meetings.”
– Sean Moore, remote SCORM Cloud developer

“A majority of my day is focused on building and maintaining our products. I don’t typically spend a lot of time in meetings and instead direct effort into design, coding, peer reviews, and technical chats in Slack. I’m a night owl, and I’m typically most productive in the afternoon, so I often start and end my day a little later than the rest of my team. On days when the weather is nice, I like to take a quick run during my lunch break to re-energize.”
– Ashton Garcia, hybrid Rustici Engine developer

Check out our answers on the Joel Test to see more about a day in the life of a developer.

What about work-life balance?

“It’s great and gives me the autonomy to work from home, save the time to commute to the office, and the flexibility to adjust my work times around my life (appointments, errands, etc). Not commuting allows me so much more time in the day to invest in side projects, hobbies, and my general life.”
– Grant Scritsmier, remote Content Controller developer

“Rustici clearly views their employees as humans first, workers second. I’ve never been pressured to put in more than 40 hours.”
– Noah Bond, remote developer support engineer for the delight team

“There is work/life balance. On DevSecOps, we are sometimes on call or have to do certain tasks during off hours. These two things could disrupt personal life, but we usually know what to expect ahead of time and on-call events are rare.”
– Joseph Marino, hybrid DevSecOps engineer

How does Rustici compare to other remote developer positions you’ve had?

“It is night and day. The flexibility to adjust my schedule as needed, the time off policy, and the bigger focus toward prioritization rather than strict deadlines are refreshing.”
– Grant

“This has been the best work experience of my life. I often feel like I’m in a dream. I’ve never worked for a company that cared this much about its employees or put as much thought into creating an atmosphere for people to shine and do their best work. Most of the other experiences I’ve had were almost the complete and total opposite of Rustici. The attention to individuals’ mental health and affording us time and space to work is paramount and unrivaled.”
– Sean

“I have had one remote position before, and it was a different world. I had to account for every minute of my day by documenting what I did. Everyone had the same hours, regardless of time zone. There were multiple development teams, but my team was siloed and had minimal insight into other teams’ projects. It felt very “corporate,” and I am thankful for the change when coming to Rustici.”
– Nick

“This is my first position out of university, so I can’t provide a comparison, but I will say this: You won’t be expected to work 60 hour weeks, they pay fairly, provide good healthcare as well as BONUS benefits (Jenafits), and they cultivate a sense of trust between the company and employees, meaning they don’t violate your privacy to micromanage you. You’re treated like an adult. Sold?”
– Noah

What advice would you give new hires?

“Tell someone the highs and the lows that you are feeling. We want to know how you can feel plugged in. We do not want someone new to feel hesitant about asking questions in meetings or through Slack. We know what it was like to know nothing about Rustici Software and all that it does at the beginning.”
– Nick

“Lean into the company culture. Be active in Slack, communicate what you’re working on and reach out whenever you need to, join social events and game breaks, and share some of your interests/hobbies with us. We’re a people-oriented company, and we enjoy hearing what you’re up to, be it work-related or otherwise. You will find that help will always be given at Rustici to those who ask for it.”
– Ashton

“Get into a routine! Working remotely requires discipline to get into work-mode on your own. Typically, going into the office will do that, but if you are remote you need to hold yourself accountable. But don’t be afraid to switch up scenery. If you are totally remote and can’t head into an office, then I would say hitting a coffee shop or co-working space occasionally can help flip the work-mode switch.”
– Joseph

“Don’t lose track of time. When you’re in an office, there are distractions from your work, like hanging out with coworkers, eating in the office, etc. Make sure you take care of yourself and DON’T burn yourself out. There have been times I’ve overworked and exhausted myself because I was in the middle of something. It’s okay to put it away for the day and return to it tomorrow.”
– Nathaniel

And as for the business side? We’re the same as our remote developers. We give our best 40 hours, and our schedules are flexible as well. It’s about the work you do, not where and when you do it. I work a slightly adjusted schedule a couple days a week so I can spend those evenings volunteering, which is something I’m passionate about and is encouraged here. I let my team know, and they enjoy learning about my interests outside of work.

Whether you want to talk about company culture, eLearning technology or standards, we’re here to help.

Alicia is our content marketing manager who captivates audiences by providing comic relief to the eLearning standards. She wrote the cmi5 Best Practices Guide and writes about eLearning in presentations, blogs and articles regularly. Every year, she volunteers as a reporter for the Daily Dragon and is often found volunteering at a therapeutic equestrian center.