How Crossover Changed My Life...

19 Oct 2018

XO is like a pirate ship. You are always busy with challenging tasks, but usually you can’t make any mistakes. If your favorite character is Captain Jack Sparrow or Han Solo, than this works for you. Here is my story about how I moved from the Wall in Siberia to the Atlantic Ocean on the Spanish coast. It took 2 years and 4,000 hours of hard work but the happy faces of my son and wife make me really satisfied.

So, the story started 2 years ago in Moscow at one of the first XO tournaments. I don’t remember who invited me to this event but the description looked like an invitation to Hogwarts. My wife, who was pregnant at that time, pushed me to go to this event.

At that time we were living in Moscow and I was making $18,000 a year. Previously, in my hometown I made $5000 a year. XO promised that I would make from $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Does it make sense that I would take the job? Yes, of course I would and I did!

When I took part in the tournament everything looked strange. We started at 12:00 noon on a Saturday, and finished late at night. As I said, it was one of the first tournaments and the process had many issues. But the XO team moved forward and competitors demonstrated patience. In the middle of the night, I passed all steps and got the offered the Ruby Architect position with an average wage of $60k per year. In any case, the next day I went back to my old office job still making $10 per hour.

First, your profile is entered into the Market Place at XO. The chiefs and hiring managers check it for potential programmers whenever they need additional people to work on any project. How fast you can be hired? There are no direct answers to this question. Even the my tournament happened in January, at the end of Feb I was still riding the subway in Moscow. Meanwhile my wife suggested that I go to an employment agency to get help with improving my resume for the XO Market Place. We went to a UK-based agency and I paid them around $100 to create new resume. I met with a career consultant over Skype and answered a list of questions. In two week I received a beautiful perfect application which I still use today. In the same week that I posted my new resume I got the job offer starting from April 24, 2017 with XO.

On June 1st, 2017 my wife gave birth to our son. It was then that I realized all of the advantages of remote work. Most of the time, I work from home and don’t have to spend half an hour in a traffic jam twice a day. So I can play with my son for an extra hour. Ask Carlos Gonzalez, the famous child psychologist, how important this is.

After six months of working on my first project the client company had to cut me because of budget restrictions. This is how all pirates live - you don’t know how long your trip will last. During this time I earned around three times more than I did at my old job. I was able to save a little bit of money and decided to take a vacation with my family. I read books, went to the gym everyday, and played with my 6-month-old son.

Meanwhile XO began organizing an online hiring tournament and I decided to try out for the new Chief Architect position. Even the tournament happens every week on Saturdays, many people instead decide to go to a wild coyote bar. I decided to go to the tournament because I have a family to feed. I had to solve a math problem: How fast can an ant travel if it moves in a certain way. As you know, an ant has six legs. On the my third or fourth try I passed the tests and got the Chief Architect position.

Even the I was welcomed to the Market Place in my new position it was the same situation… It was January again in 2018, and as I understood, 80% of the hiring happened in the first ten days of the quarter because in every quarter, budgets and goals are reviewed. So on January 15th, sadly I had still not been hired. I began searching for new work because my money ran out and was living on credit. My son started to crawl around the apartment looking for toys.

My next job could have been in Dubai. It was a good offer for $70,000 with a personal driver and a one year contract. Also, I would get full resident status. But something went wrong at DevFactory on Feb 03, 2018. Dmitriy Sklyarov started to search for someone to support the infrastructure as Chief Architect for $100,000 per year. So, my wife grabbed our luggage and our 7-month-old son, ready to move from -20 C to +20 C. Once again, life asked me to make a choice between certainty and uncertainty. Guarantee stability versus 142 percent hiring to income. An 8 hour work day from 9 AM to 6 PM versus open schedule, meeting everyday on Skype, GoToMeeting, and Zoom, that are made for computers geeks.

You will probably guess what I chose. After two years of working with XO my lifestyle has greatly improved. Three times a week in the morning I go to the gym together with my one-year-old son and my wife. I like having control over my schedule. I work whenever I decide that I’m at my most productive state. Of course, our monitoring team always controls our productivity and results. If you make a mistake then your manager will find out and try to help you solve the problem to avoid any penalties.

We ended up staying at home all summer without the 40 C gap. When autumn came with the last sunny days we moved to the south. One of the benefits of working at XO is that we have staff from around the world. You can get information about any place first hand from the people that live there. I found out from my colleagues from Pakistan that it is not a place where terrorists live. I have learned that Karachi is one of the beautiful cities in Asia. Here the Ukrainian and Russian guys work to solve challenges everyday. The wise Indian guys help you to understand the products better and the Spanish people recommend which wines to choose.

It is not easy to work here, but if you are ready for adventures - follow the white rabbit…

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