A few months ago, Xu Deng drove down a Canadian highway when suddenly a deer bolted in front of him and hit the front of his car. While Xu sustained no major injuries from the accident, he later learned that his insurance company would not cover his automotive damages. As a result, Xu found himself in debt that would take him months to pay off, a wiped out savings account, and damages he still had to repair by hand.
Looking for extra work
Following the accident, Xu was looking to find extra work outside of his job as a developer for the gaming-based company, Launchfire. He was helping some friends with development projects, but the pay was not enough. After seeing a Hacker News thread about remote work, Xu signed up to be a contractor on Moonlight. He was matched on a project to build the Moonlight blog - the one you’re reading right now!
Xu enjoyed using Moonlight to find remote work. He describes the process as “Some kind of magic happens behind the scenes.” Xu and a few others were selected for the project based on their skills. Each of them submitted a proposal based on this spec, telling the team why they were the right match for the work, and how much it would cost to hire them.
The Moonlight team selected Xu because of his excitement about the technology they were using, VueJS. In his proposal, he wrote “My daily job is to build web apps. I love building web apps and have some side projects listed at http://xudeng.io/projects.html. Two of them are implemented with Vue and Vuex and both with complex UIs. Almost all my front end projects are done with Webpack.”
A blog built in 10 hours
Xu accepted the job, and finished building the entire Moonlight blog in about 10 hours of work. The contract was a fast win for the Moonlight team because of Xu’s focused attention, and the time that went into planning the project. Before writing any code, Xu had a spec with succinct goals, access to the code base with a detailed README file, and high fidelity designs in Zeplin and Sketch.
To find productive time in the week on what he calls heavy tasks, Xu enjoys working in quiet and peaceful work spaces. He is “always 100% focused on the task at hand, if I know what I'm doing and the thing is not boring.” He occasionally listens to either Chinese artists like Bo Liang and Yoga Lin, or top hits on Apple Music.
Working remotely was a new experience for Xu, but he’s bought into the lifestyle. “With remote work you have more freedom with your time. You can work on the weekends and work on projects you’re passionate about," Xu says. “Anyone can do remote work, but Moonlight makes it easy to find a good match.”
So, that's the story of how Xu hit a deer, and Moonlight got a blog. As a company, our mission is to help people earn what they want. In this case, Moonlight allowed a member of our community to deal promptly with an unexpected financial burden by working a few extra hours in a week. While we hope that Xu does not have any more financial surprises, we enjoyed working with him and hope to see him back on Moonlight in the future!
Have a remote work story you want to tell us about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an interview.