Software programmer interested in SRE, DevOps, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality.

How do I organize my work blocks


After publishing my previous Working at Theorem: a typical workday article a co-worker asked me the following:

Can you go into the details of what happens during those “work” blocks? Do you frequently check slack_email or only check them occasionally? Are you heads down for parts of the day? Do you have dedicated “help_review others” time or does it happen ad-hoc?

This is an interesting question, so here are the answers.

Checking email / Slack

I approach these two differently. Email is something I check only when I don’t have any other task or when I’m in a break. I don’t have alerts or notifications when a new email arrives, so it’s a task that only happens in an active way. I consider email as the best asynchronous communication tool available, thus I treat it that way. I’ve several different filters that labels or archives emails as they arrive so when I check them I don’t have to lose precious time triaging everything that I’ve received.

Of course working 100% asynchronously is an utopia when working in a team that interacts with an external customer, so synchronous communication is a must; at work we use Slack for this. I’ve enabled notifications although I’ve also muted several channels that only generate noise or are mostly for announcements. I could leave those muted channels, however they are still important and I check them a few times throughout the day, usually after catching up with email.

I try to be conscious of how much affects others when mentioning them on Slack, so I try to keep usage of @here at a minimum, @channel only when it is urgent or very important; using @everyone is completely off the table, unless a catastrophe happens. And when it comes to direct messages I always try to send initially only one message: a greeting plus whatever question or comment I’d like to communicate; this way the other person can quickly decide to dedicate some time to me or not.

Code reviews

A big part of my day consists of reviewing pull requests created by other members of the team. I’m not going to go into the details of how you should behave when doing PR reviews, there are already hundred of posts dedicated to that: this is how I approach this task, YMMV.

First I start by reading the title and description. If those are good and informative then I’d approach the review in a better mood: good programming is mostly about communication, so I held prose to the same standards as code.

Second I look at each commit individually. Writing clear and well scoped commits makes reviewing easier, as you can better understand the author’s intentions. PRs with just one or two gigantic commits are a bummer and from time to time I try and teach people to write smaller commits next time.

Last but not least I look at the code in detail. The first things I look for is overall structure: is the code properly indented or doesn’t violate the rules and standards set for the project? Then I look at the semantics, trying to understand each decision, expecting to see well named variables and methods, easy to follow flow control statements, etc. I can be very nit picky at times, so I have to keep me at bay of not becoming an asshole. And yet there are times when you need to become one; luckily is not something that I need to do often.

PR reviewing is an opportunity for both the author and the reviewer’s growth as programmers and communicators. Treat it like as a learning experience and not as a chore.

Time management

With the current pandemic my working conditions changed quite a bit, even when I was already working remotely. The biggest change was on time management. When I worked from my office, I had some dedicated time for things like checking emails and Slack, for deeply diving into any tasks I was working on, and for reviewing code. Now those dedicated time chunks are gone, so I try to manage my time as follows:

  • Checking emails and Slack is something I do first thing in the morning, before and after lunch, and during any coffee- or cigarette-break;
  • Working on assigned tasks in 20 minutes chunks. Nowadays is hard to find long stretch hours of work, 20 minutes is a good compromise between I want to do something and gonna check the kids, have a break.
  • PR reviews: I usually do them after the above mentioned 20 minutes. In the past I also scheduled this way, but after 40 minutes/1 hour instead.
  • Lunchtime is something I’ve cleared out in my calendar, daily from noon to 1pm, so we have some routine for the kids. This I try to keep on schedule, so it doesn’t conflicts with my calendar. Of course it doesn’t always happens but so far it hasn’t been a problem.


As you can see I haven’t shared any truth revealing insights, though I hope it helps others getting more organized. This schema works for me; it might work for you or don’t work at all.

Interesting in working with me? Check our careers page and apply to any of our current openings. We are waiting for you ;)

Working at Theorem: a typical day


I’ve joined CitrusbyteTheorem 9 years ago, and since day 1 it was a fully remote experience. Over the years I’ve learned lots about how to organize myself to approach each new workday although never gave much thought to it, until a few days ago, when while interviewing a candidate he asked what does a typical day at Theorem looks like. This post will try to address that question.

First and foremost, a disclaimer: by no means I speak on behalf of Theorem or the rest of my teammates; these are entirely my own experiences and do not reflect the reality of all the great people working at this company.

I live with my girlfriend and our two lovely kids (4 years old and 1 year and a half), so keep that in mind while reading this post.

As you are aware, at the time of writing this post we are living in very strange times, throughout a global pandemic that has most of the world in quarantine with people confined to their places and working remotely. As stated earlier, at Theorem we are 100% remote since the beginning, so the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t change much on how we work, although it had some effects.

Pre-pandemic typical workday

I have an office 20 blocks away from home, and my kids went to kindergarten 4 blocks away from the office, so days started at 6:15 am to enjoy breakfast with the family, then we would drive the kids to school, drop them and head to the office. My workdays usually started, then, at 8:00 am.


The very first thing I usually do any given day is going through my emails and any pending notification from the day before. If something requires my attention immediately I answer right at it, otherwise, I either archive or snooze the message to a later time if required.

Next is checking the status of any ongoing task I have been working previously, and paving the way for what’s next. Then, off to work.

Around noon either myself or my girlfriend goes to pick up the kids from school, and takes them home to have lunch, and then back to the office. If I’m the one picking them, I do that during my lunch break, and then have a quick bite or snack. Otherwise, I cook something for myself or order some delivery. During this break I might read or watch something.

Then the rest of the day goes on, until 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm, depending on the day, and walk back home. And that concludes a typical workday.

Typical workday during the pandemic

Things have changed, clearly. We don’t wake up anymore at 6:15 am, now it’s usually at around 8:00 am. Breakfast is served, and I use this time to catch up on some news and go through my emails and notifications, again snoozing for an hour or so whatever needs my attention; the rest is archived.

I’ve set up a standing desk in my bedroom, which is right next to the living room, where the kids spend most of their time playing. The biggest change since the pandemic was that nowadays I don’t have long stretches of work time anymore, so I try and split my tasks into smaller time schedules, so I can take a look at my kids, play with them or help them with homework (yes, even my 1.5 years old daughter has Zoom meetings now.)

Work from home Work from home

Working from home with kids

Lunch and dinner are usually planned the night before, so at around noon either me or my girlfriend starts preparing lunch. The kids love this time as they get to watch something on Netflix. I had to cancel all my meetings during this time, but that doesn’t seem to have affected my work. Asynchronous communication works great!

After lunch work continues, and I might be able to get some work-only hours if the kids decide to nap, otherwise, again it’s split into smaller chunks of time. Either way, I’m still able to drive my commitments to success.


As you can see, not much has changed, other than how many hours in stretch I can work without interruptions. All other work details were already in place given that we are a 100% remote company. The biggest takeaway, for me, is that in order to survive this crazy new world we are living in, you need to work with great people, who understand not all experiences are equal, who trust you will work with professionalism and responsibility, and who you trust back in the same way.

If you like what you read and you would like to form part of this great team, check our careers page and apply to any of our current openings. Who knows? Perhaps your dream job is just waiting for you.