Category News
Publication date
11 July 2022

1 year of Covid and Annertech - or, how I became a digital nomad

Time to read 5 minutes read

Big thanks to Annertech. It’s been one roller coaster year for everyone, but if you allow me, I’d like to share my story.

Reflective time

Being made redundant due to Covid makes you think, "What now? Can it be any worse?" That blow to my ego turned into the best gift I have ever received. I went back to living with my parents. Not the best start – I agree. But it gave me the necessary time to reflect.

A luxury that we tend to forget. When you are working hard to meet deadlines, you rarely find a moment to ask yourself the most important question: "Where am I going? Will I be happy in five years? Is it the right direction? Is it worth it?"

I took the opportunity to focus on myself and enjoyed reconnecting to the family I had neglected. I looked at myself and identified few key areas I wanted to dig deeper into: cybersecurity and PHP OOP. I passed my CompTIA Security + and sharpened my PHP skills.

I started creating small projects on the side. I solicited feedback from a trusted mentor. At one point, I even considered changing direction and wholeheartedly getting into cybersecurity. Let me tell you, I am happy I stuck with Drupal, but… in fact, Drupal itself only had a small part to play in my decision.

Adrien, wearing an Annertech tshirt, looking at the sun set

Annertech: The A-team

I had worked with the Annertech team in the past, so I shared my desire to re-join the team. My previous time with Annertech had been enjoyable overall, but I had other aspirations and the traditional way of working remained well ingrained in me.

Working full time remotely was still a new notion at the time. Although it had many benefits – I was not ready. This was 2016. But we parted ways without harsh feelings and kept in touch.

Fast forward to today. These are truly the best people I have worked with. (I think) they want this to remain a secret… 😉 but this is why:

There is no ‘I’ in Annertech

Stella (Managing Director) has proved once again that taking the time to individually celebrate each member of the team is the best gift she could give to each and every one of us for Christmas. The box of happiness was not bad either though…

(Those Holmes Bakery caramel fingers, were my deadly sin. 😉)

Packet of caramel fingers

With time, I found out that what really mattered most to me was the freedom to express myself through my work and to feel valuable.

I think I can speak for each member of the team and say that we all feel very blessed to be able to do something we enjoy doing and be rewarded for it. Rarely have I found a team where there was no personal desire that would hinder the spirit of the team.

But most importantly…

Work from anywhere… digital nomad, anyone?

Carefully traveling through Europe and meeting new people, I’ve learned a lot about myself.

Being in a new environment can seem challenging at first, and hopping from one flight to the next can be tiring, but it’s always rewarding to meet new people, discover interesting places, and share different cultures/opinions. This gives me more energy than I would have staying in the same place behind my desk.

My first stop was Madeira Island. I did not meet many Drupal developers there, but I found some real hardcore digital nomads, crypto enthusiasts, and the beauty of nature. It is an amazing little island!

Lizards on a wall in Madeira

My most recent stay was in Riga, Latvia, where I experienced some heavy snowfall and cold weather (-13 degrees)! At this temperature, it’s hard to refuse a glass of hot mulled wine 😉

However, I must say that I can't help but return to Ireland with some frequency. There will always be a piece of me there, even as I find myself in other wonderful places.

All in all, I think it’s fair to say that at the moment I am loving the digital nomad lifestyle!

Conclusion: Let’s watch 2022 rise above 2021

Annertech is one of the few companies to truly let their staff enjoy the lifestyle that suits them best.

Being able to travel around the globe and meet other enthusiastic digital nomads made 2021 worth it for me. I hope to meet more Drupal nomads in 2022!

Thank you, Annertech; here’s to an even more exciting year!

Watching Maderia sunsrise

Reposted here from Adrien's blog with his permission.

Are you ready for your next adventure?

Profile picture for user Adrien Sirjacques

Adrien Sirjacques Drupal Backend Developer

Backend extraordinaire Adrien has figured out the perfect way to combine his two passions – coding and travelling. French-born Adrien is Annertech's digital nomad: he spends his days writing code and solving problems while being inspired by some of the world's most beautiful places.