What Remote Workers Do in Their Free Time. Part I

Article by Denis Oleynikov
Friday, May 3rd, 2019
It is vital to have a rest after work, and there’s a lot of ways to relax and have fun. But today we’ll skip talking about bar-hopping or laying in bed and concentrate on something less obvious. In this blog post, we will focus on our hobbies.

Serokell team members love to spend their spare time actively and make good use of it. These people are fond of cycling, video gaming, learning foreign languages and assembling hi-end audio amplifiers. What do hobbies give to our colleagues and will the hobby turn into the job if it starts to earn them the money? These were our questions, and here are the answers.

Let’s start with Arseniy, our CEO. He likes to ride a bike to get his dose of adrenaline.

I’d describe a hobby like an activity you really like on the one hand, but which is not included in your job responsibilities, on the other. And my hobby is downhill mountain biking.

Arseniy on mountain bike
Arseniy loves mountain biking.

I believe that any style of cycling is good for one’s physical and mental shape but, as for me, downhill mountain biking is also the way I get a dose of adrenaline. It is easy to start this sort of activity – just choose the right bike and don’t forget to prepare your physical form before you go mad. NB! Wear a helmet! In the future, I also want to start kitesurfing in addition to my two-wheels activity.

Of course, cycling and kitesurfing cost money. But in my opinion, even if your hobby does generate some money instead of taking them from your wallet, it doesn’t become a job.

Arseniy Seroka

Daniel Rogozin is famous for his article series about Constructive and Non-Constructive Proofs in Agda. Here is another side of our Haskell software engineer: he likes English literature and French language.

A hobby is a kind of activity out of my professional area, which I like to do from time to time. The main distinction between a hobby and a job is like that: your hobby is always connected with pleasure, and you may postpone your hobby for a better time. On the contrary, when you do your job, you should remain professional and sometimes forget about your own emotions.

I love to read English literature and poetry. My favourite English poets are William Blake and Percy Shelley. Also, I prefer Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as novelists. It’s good that nowadays you usually don’t need to spend any money on reading, as classics are available in electronic format without any fees. I think reading classic fiction forms my cultural background.

Also, I’m trying to study French because I like this country, language and culture a lot.

I don’t have very much time for my French lessons, but I’ve found a quite interesting way of learning the language: at first, I’ve set French as a default language on my laptop. Now, my git messages sound like a passionate declaration of love:

suedehead$ git push
Énumération des objets: 13, fait.
Décompte des objets: 100% (13/13), fait.
Compression par delta en utilisant jusqu'à 4 fils d'exécution
Compression des objets: 100% (7/7), fait.
Écriture des objets: 100% (7/7), 1.39 KiB | 1.39 MiB/s, fait.
Total 7 (delta 4), réutilisés 0 (delta 0)

I’m a Francophile to a certain degree.

Daniel Rogozin

Rinat Stryungis is one of the strictly-tech guys in our company. When he is not busy doing ML research, he makes tube amplifiers!

I like tube amplifiers and DIY hi-end audio. So, my hobby is assembling these things by myself. You need a basic knowledge of electrical circuit theory and intention to study more specific sections, such as feedback theory, to build your own amplifier. The main profit is sound. I like to be able to adjust the sound for myself (and I don’t mean equalisation;-) ). And of course, I like to project schemes of tube amplifiers.

Tube amplifier.
Rinat makes tube amplifiers. Yes, it’s fun.

Although I usually don’t spend a lot of time on it, most of my vacations I spend projecting and building amplifiers. It is a fascinating but costly hobby, and right now I am saving money for the tube curve tracer. Besides, I once tried to make my own DAC (digital to analogue converter), but it required too much learning. I gave it up when I understood that I needed to program FPGA.

Rinat Stryungis

In addition to being fun, hobbies make us more attractive. Imagine you cannot talk about anything except your working relations, tasks and so on. Not very tempting, huh? If you don’t know yet what is suitable for you, try thinking about your mindset, the amount of free time you have and cash you’re ready to spend — and check one or another list of hobbies. For example, this is a good one. If you are interested in more of our hobbies, check out the second part of the series.