Reflecting on NoDesk's five year journey to advance remote work.
This past July, NoDesk turned five.
As part of this milestone, I want to reflect on how and why NoDesk came to be, what’s changed over the years, and talk about what’s next as we all look towards the future of work.
I created NoDesk to be a free and accessible resource on digital nomads and remote work.
I had transitioned to remote work and felt there was a need for a resource that provided curated information, resources, and job opportunities for digital nomads and remote workers.
As I’m a proponent on learning by doing, this became an opportunity to continue my learning to code journey that had begun a few months earlier.
When I look back, three factors worked in my favour: I was working on something I found exciting, I enjoyed the learning process, and I only focused on the features that were needed to build NoDesk.
Perhaps counterintuitive, but being a novice can be an advantage as it forces you to focus on what matters instead of the nice to have features or over-engineering solutions.
I launched NoDesk in July, 2015.
A few weeks later, NoDesk had its public launch when it was posted on Product Hunt by a community member. It was an important event as the community embraced NoDesk – all the upvotes and comments were by new friendly faces – and it marked the start of my maker journey.
Following the Product Hunt launch, traffic has increased over the last few years, thanks to community support and the increased attention that has been on digital nomads and remote work.
Supporting the digital nomad and remote work communities
I actively maintain NoDesk, and have created several new sections, launched a newsletter, worked with companies of every size to help grow their remote teams through the job board, and connected with hundreds of friendly people from across the world.
A question I get asked often is how I do the curation on NoDesk. All links are curated by hand from around the web. No bots. No computer algorithms.
But the most rewarding part of this journey has been all the stories that you’ve shared on how NoDesk has helped you find remote work and improve your quality of life.
These personal stories have been the main motivation behind the new NoDesk that I’m excited to share with you today.
The new NoDesk is the same, but different.
During these five years, it’s become clear that NoDesk does the most good and delivers outsized returns for everyone by helping to empower individuals and companies to work together remotely.
Our mission is to enable talented humans and companies to work together remotely.
With this latest release, it’s all about remote work.
I have redesigned and updated the job board.
You can search for remote jobs by title, company and keyword, and filter results by location – because some remote roles have geographic restrictions.
If you’re not sure what to search for, then head over to Job Collections, and browse remote jobs by role, job type and remote location.
I have also redesigned each job listing to make it easier for you to get an overview of the role, and improved the tags used to categorise each job.
Remote jobs are added daily.
As an aside, I’ve noticed an increase in attempts by people to post remote jobs on NoDesk that are scams. Most of these get stopped by Stripe’s fraud detection system, but a few have made it through.
However, as I review each job before it gets published on the job board, I’ve been able to deal with these scams directly, and so you will not have seen these roles on the job board.
It takes time and effort, but it works and helps keep you safe.
NoDesk should be a place that you trust in your remote job search.
I have redesigned and updated the Remote Companies section.
Discover over 750+ remote-first and remote-friendly companies and startups. View a company’s profile, learn about their mission, culture and values, and the work they do.
This section is a work in progress, and profiles are continuously updated.
I have redesigned and updated the Articles section.
This section features the best articles, stories, and big ideas about digital nomads, remote work, and the future of work from across the web, sorted chronologically. Since 2015, I’ve curated 2,803 articles, written by 2,946 authors from 740 publishers.
You can now browse articles by topic. Articles are added daily.
Welcome to Intrinsic, the NoDesk Blog. This is where I share my thoughts on life and work, and surface stories and ideas from the remote work community as a whole.
Self-determination theory holds that human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered "intrinsic" to human happiness and far outweigh "extrinsic" values such as beauty, money, and status.
If you’d like to contribute a story, please click here.
I have redesigned and updated the Books section.
Great books inform, entertain, and inspire. Here you’ll find more than 100 great books to read. Browse recommended books, curated reading lists, and discover your next read.
I send a newsletter every Thursday with the latest remote jobs, stories and ideas from the remote work community, and the occasional offbeat pieces to feed your curiosity.
The newsletter is available for free to everyone.
However, if you’d like to support my work and have the opportunity to do so, please consider joining as a paid subscriber at $5/month.
You can subscribe here.
These are the main highlights, but there’s much more on NoDesk to discover so, I invite you to browse.
The journey to reimagine and rebuild NoDesk has been challenging.
In contrast to the original build, there were three factors that worked in my disfavour:
- How do you improve something that already works without breaking it? The constraints associated with this rebuild did impact the project’s direction and timeline.
- I have more experience building projects which may have led to some over-engineered solutions.
- Too many known unknowns and unknown unknowns, but that’s life.
In review, I have rewritten all code, changed much of the site structure, and redone the design.
Another question I get asked often is about the tech stack.
The icons, Heroicons, are designed by Steve Schoger. The colour palette is from Refactoring UI, and much of the design inspiration is from Tailwind CSS and Tailwind UI, designed and created by Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger.
I use system fonts. The NoDesk logotype uses a font called Noto by Google that aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel, which feels just right for remote work.
As I continue to build and expand NoDesk, I remain committed to make this a friendly place for people everywhere, and all content will remain open and accessible to all.
But it’s not just what you build that matters, it’s who you build it with.
To all the remote work curious, newsletter subscribers and members, contributors, supporters, and friendly visitors thank you for your continued support and for making all this possible.
To all the companies that have trusted NoDesk with their hiring needs, advertisers and community sponsors, thank you for your support.
NoDesk is bootstrapped and independent, and that’s because of you.
Here’s to the next five years.