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Prashant Abhishek

AltCampus founder, Geek who loves community and building products

Quickfire Round ⚡️

Where is your current homebase ?

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely?

Bali, Indonesia and Chiang Mai, Thailand

Highest education qualification ?

12th

Occupation

Information Technology

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working on a scale of 1-5 (where 1-negative and 5-very positive)

3.5

Years of total experience ?

5 years

Years of freelance/remote experience ?

2.5 years

When I think about the ability to work freelance/remotely, I feel ____

Freedom. Thanks to internet, we can all sorts of digital work from anywhere. I don’t need to be in a big city to work on an exciting opportunity. I can avoid traffic, crowd and live at my pace and preferred setting.

What was your key motivation for being freelancer/remote work

Again freedom and working on what matters the most to me.


Fireside Chat 🔥

I know that you are currently working from Dharamshala. What convinced you to make this move ?

It goes back to my school time. My friends and I were in school and we had this dream that we would live in hills and have fun !! We had been to a few mountaineering camps and desired the romantic idea of living in hills. However we had no plans of how we could actually do that.

Beautiful home in Dharamshala
Beautiful home in Dharamshala

Later, when I was Bangalore doing a full time job, I felt quite frustrated with the city life – crowd, traffic etc. I started thinking of moving to some place remote. I called my school friends and guess what – they were all in.

Earlier that year I had a chance to visit Dharamshala, thanks to hillhacks. I liked the place and it was interesting to note that there was a tiny tech community here. The fact that it’s a much cheaper to live in compared to Bangalore allowed us a runway to do whatever we wanted. I thought it made sense and that’s it.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely?

Well, I think the core of remote work productivity lies in organisation and communication. Finding the right tools that help you do this is the key. For me a combination of Email, Evernote and Notion.so does the job.

What is your motivation behind your new project AltCampus – an alternative to college education ?

It stems from my personal journey. I dropped out of college, primarily because I thought that college was not helping me get where I wanted to go, as in I wasn’t learning anything practical, wasn’t building stuff and 4 years felt like too much time to invest on the promised RoI.

So yeah the motivation behind AltCampus is to build an alternative platform that my younger self could have gone to. In broader sense, I feel worried about the quality of software developers we as a nation produce. I feel there is a need for a skill-based training program that would give opportunity to young people and it should be super accessible, hence no upfront payment model. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing people grow.

Peer learning at AltCampus
Peer learning at AltCampus

What advice would you give to someone who wants to lead a similar lifestyle ?

Well, I would say that people probably shouldn’t attempt remote work as their first job. Get experience working in an on-site team. It teaches a lot. And then once you have some experience, have developed good communication skills then build a good portfolio and try getting a job/doing a startup/being a maker. Another important thing is savings. Please save a bit(2-4 months runway) before you attempt it. It gives you freedom. I have written a post about my journey, I think it might help.

Do you see any challenges of working remotely and how do you try to overcome it ?

One is presence of an offline community. If you are super remote, then you don’t have access to meetups, happening cafes etc. and you kind of miss the human element. So try to find a place where you know you will find like minded people. I mean part of what I do today is about how we can get a decent tech community going here in Dharamshala.

Other would be discipline, remote work demands responsibility and discipline. I just try to work everyday (including weekends) even if its 3-4 hours.

Where can people can find you on the internet (if they have more questions)?

Twitter – https://twitter.com/dprank

Email – prashant.abhishek7g at gmail

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