Meet Deel: Artem Smirnov, Frontend Engineer
What’s it really like to work from wherever? Just ask Artem Smirnov, a frontend engineer on Deel’s Payroll Core team.
In his role, Artem works closely with UI/UX designers, backend engineers, quality assurance engineers, and project managers to develop designs into interfaces and integrate them with backend data.
“Do you remember the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button on Google? Frontend engineers implement the functionality of that button and make it come alive,” he explains.
A true digital nomad, Artem spent more than ten months traveling in 2022. He explored 8 countries, took 21 flights, and rented over 25 apartments, hotel rooms, and villas along the way.
Here’s what Artem shared about traveling the world while working at Deel, plus his best tips for aspiring digital nomads.
What brought you to Deel?
Artem: It’s a funny story. I was in the process of changing jobs and decided to work with new clients through Deel. Several of my friends had Deel contracts with their clients and were happy with the service.
I started researching Deel and ended up on the Careers page, where I saw their principles, which were similar to mine. As it turned out, Deel was looking for a frontend engineer, so I sent my CV/resume to get more details. During the interviews, we discussed all the questions I had about working in the company, the team, and the processes. I knew it was a good fit, so I accepted the offer when it came in!
What makes working at Deel special?
Artem: If you go to the Careers page, you’ll see a section with the heading, “We believe in work without borders.” And this is absolutely true! Many people at Deel travel while they work.
My teammates are in 11 different countries, with different cultures, native languages, and time zones, but this doesn’t prevent us from working together and creating a great product.
Where did you travel in 2022? What were the highlights?
Artem: In 2022, I visited Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey (Türkiye), Georgia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Honestly, it isn’t easy to highlight just one thing. I was impressed by the local people and their way of life, culture, cuisine, and nature in every country. My last trip of 2022 was to Indonesia, which involved exploring volcanoes, wildlife, and snorkeling.
What are your best tips for aspiring digital nomads?
Artem: Two years ago, I was setting up my ideal workspace at home: the right chair, a large comfortable desk, two screens, a light, and a good location.
All of this is important, of course, but when you become a digital nomad, finding the perfect workspace becomes difficult. Now, a simple, comfortable chair and dining table are good enough for me.
You can find many tips for digital nomads on the internet, but here are some of mine:
- If you have friends who can also work from anywhere, try traveling together. Renting a large villa is cheaper than several small ones — and ten times more fun.
- In the airport, sim cards are usually overpriced. I prefer to buy a sim card in each country at the office of a mobile operator. Also, it’s better to take a tariff where the phone can be used as a hotspot. It will be your backup channel for work if something is wrong with the Wi-Fi.
- Always take out health insurance when traveling. You never know when you’ll have to go to a clinic.
- No matter where you travel, try to withdraw money from an ATM near a bank branch or in crowded places under cameras.
- Working from a laptop can sometimes be uncomfortable for your neck. I always have a foldable laptop stand, a small magic keyboard, a trackpad, and my favorite microphone. It makes my work twice as comfortable and doesn’t take up a lot of baggage.
How has working remotely impacted your life?
Artem: With remote work, I can travel not only during my vacation but also during work. Your day is no longer routine. You have extra time that you used to spend getting to the office. Now I spend this time on morning and evening walks, which help me transition between work life and home life.
What countries do you plan on visiting next?
Artem: I started writing this in the Philippines and am finishing it in Georgia. I plan to be here for the next month, then I’m going to Turkey on a road trip for a month or two. After that, I’ll be off to some new countries, but I’ve yet to make concrete plans. I’m always intrigued by where I’ll go next!
Want to make your remote work dreams a reality? Good news — we’re hiring! See our open positions.