Everything you need to know about a remote job at crossover?
I have been receiving a lot of questions on Linkedin about the joining process of crossover and how my life changed after I joined this company so I decided to write this article to share my experience in Crossover. I joined Crossover in October 2019 as a chief software architect and it has been a productive journey so far.
I decided to join crossover because of two main reasons, the first reason was that I love working on different technologies and in the previous job, most of my time was spent on managing people and clients so I wanted to break that cycle. The second reason was that I like to explore and experience different traditions and cultures across the globe. So joining a remote job gives me the flexibility to work and explore at the same time.
I believe that I took the right decision to switch to the remote job at the time of unprecedented events like Coronavirus. The Covid-19 did not affect my work schedule and it is a usual day for me during the lockdown days. I get my tasks for the day in the Jira, I meet my team on Zoom or communicate with them through crossover’s chat platform XOChat.
The hiring process starts with simple questions about your profession and continues with detailed testing. Initially, there are eight rounds that gauge your aptitude and technical skills. This process entirely depends on the hiring position and the above process is for the Chief Software Architect position.
The hiring process is quite rigorous and it took me around ~ 6 weeks to complete the hiring process. I applied to Crossover on 19th August 2019 (the next day after my birthday :)) and I got my joining letter on 30th September 2019. The duration of this process entirely depends on your availability to take the subsequent round. Once you clear a process’s step then you shall have an option to choose the date for your next submission, for example, once you are done with your CCAT exam then you shall be asked for your availability for a language test and so on.
I read the job description for the position and prepared myself accordingly. This position demands hands-on experience in writing code, Code Deployment/Code Integration, and writing test cases. I used to write code on a regular basis to complete the proof of concept or sorting out the technical issues for my team so I did not have any issue with this technical part.
I found that the biggest challenge is to clear the CCAT/UCAT exam as the target score should be among the top 10% of the distribution. So that summarizes that I should be targeting a score of ~40 out of 50 questions in 15 minutes whenever I take practice tests though it seems that if I got 35 then I have a good chance to qualify this test. IMHO you should not apply for a job on crossover unless you achieve this score during your mock tests.
I had to make a serious decision about the time to take my CCAT as failure to qualify in the exam can lead to a waiting period of 3–6 months for the next attempt. One of my friends was not able to clear the CCAT round and had to wait for six months for the next attempt.
So I took my own time to prepare for the exam and spent ~ 2 weeks on the preparation until the time I achieved the desired score. I found a lot of materials on the internet for CCAT preparation and here is the list of some websites that can be useful for anyone who’s preparing for CCAT:
CCAT Test Prep, Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test - JobTestPrep
The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is a general pre-employment aptitude test that measures a candidate's…
Free Cognitive Ability Test Practice: Course, Mock Test, Sample Questions
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Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) Practice Questions
In this course, you will encounter with different CCAT questions. All questions will be solved detaily. Types of these…
Some useful tips for CCAT (Remember each question carry a single mark):
- Practice, Practice, and Practice.
- Try to attempt all 50 questions and focus on low hanging fruits (easy questions).
- Skip the questions that are not solved in the first 5-10 seconds or are lengthy.
- Don’t use paper for calculation as it takes more time, try mental calculation to find the answers quickly.
- You are not supposed to find the complete solution to the questions and need to pick the appropriate option.
- Read articles on Medium or Tedtalks of your interests to improve your English vocabulary and that shall help you score well in the test.
RemoteU — 4 weeks of rigorous training
After clearing six rounds of aptitude and technical followed by two rounds(40 mins each) of rigorous technical interviews, I received a joining letter but that letter was for joining their training program(RemoteU). My journey to join the crossover depended on how well I do in my rigorous training( 4 weeks). I was paid for this training and they expect 100% of my commitment i.e. I can not do any other job as most of the time was spent on training. This training decides whether I shall be part of the crossover team or not. They pick the top 10% members from the team otherwise you are out of the program.
A link shall be sent to an email to enroll yourself for Crossover Engineering RemoteU Training.
The RemoteU is a mandatory program for all new joiners to Crossover and they taught different processes and techniques to become a productive remote team worker. In the first week, I learned about the importance of techniques like Deep diving, Time Motion Study (TMS), Zero-Based Target (ZBT), First-Time Acceptance Ratio(FTAR), Gemba Walk, WSPro tools and so on. They taught me to thrive for a 3x productive goal and take ownership of your own productivity rather than expecting someone to spoon feed me. There was training(1 week) to get familiar with these concepts and it was followed by three weeks of technical training (Architectural Documents and Writing E2E). Here is another article that gives insight into doing more work in less time.
If you’re not collecting productivity data, you’ll never succeed at work — by Michael Schrage
The training encouraged me to keep on finding and learning new ways for improvement, automating repetitive tasks, welcoming negative feedback from my coaches, and looking forward to the challenging problems to solve. I always have access to my daily activity data (there is a software program installed on your system which monitors how much time is spent on types software applications) using the WSPro tool so I could easily measure my performance and work on the improvement.
This training has changed the way I used to handle the problems, nowadays I always think of saving a single second of my time and try to automate most of my tasks. In my previous jobs, I had never analyzed my work this closely, in fact, no one ever had advised me to do things like this. Frankly speaking, I never estimated tasks in seconds (it was either in days or weeks) and this training helps me to visualize a task breakup in seconds. Now, I would know the tiny steps involved in a task and would try to focus on improving the steps by automating them.
During the training, I kept my FTAR closer to 100% and completed my tasks on time. I was adaptable to the changes as things can change quite dramatically here. I was assigned to optimize the source code on the first day of my technical training and was assigned to work on architectural diagrams and End to End Test Cases(E2E) on the second day (they had started this program for the first time). In that first week, I was able to complete the assigned tasks with 100% FTAR and I got a surprise gift from my VP in the second week, he increased my target to double :D. They wanted to bring out the best from you and I was able to achieve that target as well.
During the training, they conducted a proctored CCAT exam to make sure that you are the real person who took the un-proctored CCAT. There was a video recording from two angles, the first was from my iMac and the other was through my mobile. You shall be thrown out of the program if your score is not satisfactory(<35). Finally, my training was completed and my final round was to present my case(PPT) to the RemoteU graduation panel(EVPs, VP, and your manager). I had a meeting(15 minutes) with them and after that, I got this email from crossover :)
I was allocated to the central team as product chief architect(PCA) and responsible for managing a CRM based software. The fun part was that this software is built on technology (C# Dotnet and C++) that I worked a few years back so it was another challenge for me to prove myself :)
How does it change my life?
I used to work ~60 hours a week in my previous job and I realized that I was spending extra hours because I was not thinking critically about tasks. Now I know that I could have done those tasks in less than 40 hours and save those precious hours for my personal and professional growth. Here are some of the changes in my life after I joined the crossover:
The flexibility of Remote Work
I always have a desire to explore the world and I believe that I can get the best of both worlds as a remote worker. I have plans to visit a country in the world, spend a month there to know about their culture and places. Now those plans can be easily executed as I can work remotely from anywhere. Once this Coronavirus is over then I shall visit Canada and spend a month there to analyze how it works.
I used to spend ~ 3 hours(~1.5 hours each side) commuting to my office and home. Now I can save those hours by working from a home office and that’s a daily saving of 12.5% of my time. I start fresh for my work and try to complete my tasks within 8 hours. I have allocated time blocks(4 hours each) for my daily tasks and I feel that I achieve those targets as there is no distraction to my work.
I try to automate the process after analyzing the task so that there is the least manual intervention. I look at my daily/weekly activities and find out those repetitive tasks which can be automated to reduce my time. For example, a substantial part of my job profile is to write E2E so I created a small utility in google sheet (apps script) to automate my submission to JIRA and that saves at least 20% of my time on an E2E.
I have started learning new things in my spare time, I have enrolled for two courses (Machine Learning and Financial Markets) on Coursera. I would try to implement machine learning in my current job and try to further optimize the time taken for repetitive tasks.
I have an interest in corporate finance and was managing finance for my last company but I always want to enroll for a formal course. Now I got the time to pursue that interest and enrolled myself in the financial markets course.
Now I have time to spend time with my family and friends. I spend an hour with my parents, I play with my daughter, my nephew, and my niece on a daily basis. Sometimes we are learning a dance step or doing a Zumba or playing badminton or tennis. I try to meet my friend/partner every Saturday. I keep my Sundays reserved for my family and we try to go out and explore new places/restaurants in my city.
I spend my time reading blogs on medium and listening to ted talks on topics like productivity, self-awareness, motivation, universe, and arts/cultures. So I have a whale of time now for these activities and it becomes possible only after joining a remote job in this company.
No Effect on my work during Coronavirus
While most of the world come to standstill and locked at their home, my work is unaffected by this unprecedented event. I get the usual paycheck, start my day from the home office, and complete my work as if there is no coronavirus around the globe.
I hope you enjoyed this article and got a high-level view of what to expect while you are applying for a remote job in the crossover. If you like this article then please clap and share it. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help!
I have received a number of questions from different people on my Linkedin account so I am summarizing those questions so that it can be helpful for others as well.
After how many days of the HR interview, does the RemoteU training starts?
It should be 3–4 days and you should receive an email for remote camp training.
Do we need to buy our own system (laptop and other computer accessories) or they reimburse for the same?
Yes, you need to buy system n crossover won’t reimburse it.
After completing the RemoteU training, you received an email that said that “we will monitor quality, productivity, and compliance for the next 4 more weeks”. So did it happen just for 4 weeks after that or does it still continue to happen on a daily/weekly basis?
RemoteU shall continue watching your performance until you start working productively.
Do we get paid during this RemoteU training?
you shall be paid for remote camp training.
What happens if we use other apps on the system during a day? Does it impact negatively? Like Udemy, YouTube or some other app? Is there a requirement to use a particular app for these many hours each day?
It depends on your manger to allow which apps you can use but you should only use the app for work. Your manager shall decide your day and type of work that you need to do.
Since the payment is in dollars, what is the conversion rate applicable to Indians and how is it processed?
Payment is done through Payoneer. You need to connect your bank account with Payoneer and Payoneer charges 2% as a fee for conversion.
Is the salary as described in the job role or are there any hidden clauses? and is it given on a week to week basis?
Payment is done on a weekly basis (after 2 weeks) as per hourly rate* the number of hours worked.
A 40 hour week is what is stated in the job description, how strictly is that followed?
Depends on a manager or higher management to decide the hours but eventually, it’s work metrics that are visible to everyone.
What if do more than 40 hrs per week? Do they pay more?
You get paid for 40 hours unless there is approval from SVP.
How many leaves do we get in a month? How do you manage exigencies which may occur at home? And what about planning for leaves like for a 1–2 weeks? Do we just take a weekly pay-cut. Or the contract terminates and we have to rejoin?
You can contact your manager for leave and get approval. It’s a contractual job so no work no pays. If the contract terminated then you need to reapply and follow the same process.
Each day, how many breaks are we allowed to take?
Ideally one should have < 3 breaks but again it depends on the manager and performance.
What is the level of job security?
It all depends on your performance so if you are meeting the metrics then you shall continue to work.
How long does it take for a person on average to land his/her first contract after the Training? And how long between contracts?
It’s ~ week time. I got my manager after 3 days
Do you receive payslips? Is this considered to be a full time job or a contractual one?
You get an experience letter which contains details about your work.
Are their daily targets or targets which extend to 2–3 days or a week?
There shall be weekly targets and the entire focus is on FTAR( First Time Acceptance Ratio).