Artem’s personal user manual

This page aims to help my colleagues understand me better and to make our relationships easier and more productive.


  • Morning owl (wake up early but sleepy all day)
  • Live in Berlin, Germany, but originally from Soviet Russia
  • Like coffee, tacos, books, nature
  • Dislike crowds, mushrooms, coriander, drinks with ice
  • Hobbies: photography, cooking, leathercraft, couchpotatoing
  • Pronouns: he/him
  • My name is pronounced as artyom but I don’t mind if you say it differently
  • Check out my blog, book on clean code, photos, and recipes
Artem Sapegin on the sea

My work preferences

I prefer to work from home. I have a perfect workplace, the best coffee in town, catered lunches (by me and my girlfriend). The office environment is too distracting, and I get overwhelmed by too many things going on around me. Also, being around people all day is draining, and the commute on public transport is too stressful for me.

I prefer written asynchronous communication over calls. It allows me to reread the question multiple times, think about what to answer, edit the text to make it clear, and have your response to reference later. I have trouble staying focused during calls and quickly forget important details (unless I make notes, which makes it even harder to focus).

Probably, I’ll decline a “quick” call right now or a request to join an ongoing meeting. I need time to mentally prepare myself for a call.

I’ll most likely don’t reply to a “hello” or “do you have a minute” message in chat. Feel free to write a more actionable message though (for example, “can you help me with X”).

Lunch is sacred, and I have time for lunch blocked every day in my calendar. Also, you don’t want to work with me when I’m hangry.

I mostly work between 9am and 5pm CET.

I’m always “away” in chat. It doesn’t mean I’m not there but don’t expect an immediate answer — I often close chat and email to focus on work.

I don’t have any work-related communication tools on my personal phone, and I don’t check messages or emails during off-hours.

I do my best work when

The task isn’t too big or abstract. I struggle to start a task when I don’t see an obvious first step.

I understand why are we doing something, especially regarding the processes. If a certain task feels unnecessary or like a waste of time, I’d do anything to avoid it.

I know where things are, meaning all the tools and processes I need to do my work are documented and I know where to find them, and where to find the docs.

I work with one or two people at a time.

I receive feedback regularly so I know I’m moving in the right direction.

The best way to give me feedback is

Concrete and immediate but private: I need a specific example of something I did wrong, and ideally it shouldn’t be too long ago.

Slack messages or a call work equally well.

I’m happy to help with

Anything frontend.

I appreciate help with

Talking to people I don’t know.

Making deadlines and priorities clear.

Organization and planning of any kind — I’m struggling with these things a lot.

Reminding me of things I promised to do but forgot.

Seeing the big picture if I dive too much into details.

A bit of my quirks and personality

I’m happy to meet my team for lunch or anyone for coffee one-on-one once in a while but you probably won’t see me in many social activities, all-company gatherings, etc.

The best way of learning for me is by doing. I need to have all the docs and information I may need accessible at all times.

I may seem rude to you — it’s not on purpose, and I’m trying to do my best to avoid it. English isn’t my native language, and Russian is way more direct.

If I seem angry, I’m probably very tired, stressed, or overwhelmed. Feel free to tell me about it.

I’m not good at small talk, and I’ll probably be awkwardly quiet instead of initiating it.

And here’s where I work

My home office

P. S. I encourage everyone to make a personal user manual. This article is a good start.