Staff Frontend Engineer at Remote.com
I'm a web lover who helps turn ideas into accessible experiences!
Within React ecosystems, I'm a product-minded engineer working on headless systems at scale. Yet, I can't refuse a CSS challenge. Along the way, I keep raising awareness that Web Accessibility is more than a fix — it's our duty as web creators.
I've been doing this as an online mentor, and at Remote.com (yes, the company is literally called Remote 😅)
Hello, everybody. I'm so excited to be joined by my friend Sandrina. Say hi, Sandrina. Hi, everyone. All right. So, Sandrina, we are just a few months away from Epic Web Conf, and I am so
thrilled to have you speaking at the conference in Utah on April 11th. And I wanted to kind of break the ice for people so that they get to know you a little bit ahead of time, so they're excited to come and meet you at the conference. So, could you give us a little introduction to yourself?
Sure. So, I'm Sandrina. I'm from Portugal, and I'm a web lover that loves to turn ideas into accessible experiences, but without losing all the fun that the web brings. That's the focus here. And currently, I'm a staff front-end engineer at Remote.com. And yes, it's a company
literally called Remote. Very cool. Very good. So, does the company make universal TV remotes or…? Exactly. If you Google remote, we are still competing between the TV remote or the remote logo on the Google results.
Yeah. Well, good luck on that front as well. Great. So, can you tell us a little bit about the kind of work that you do on a regular day, like day-to-day at Remote.com as a staff engineer?
Okay. So, it's a React ecosystem. So, everything related with React. I'm more focused on stuff related with forms at scale. So, forms from inputs, validations, UI, all up to the API
side, you know, validations on the server as well. And how we keep up with building forms at scale. We are not talking about one and one another. We are talking about thousands of forms related with employment and policies, you know. And yeah, that's me basically there.
And what else? In between, I also try to help with accessibility at Remote and try to make it compliant. Recently, I've been working on the accessibility statement for Remote.com, which is super good. And yeah, that's it.
Interesting. Can you talk a little bit more about that? What is an accessibility statement? Accessibility is a page that you create on your website. It's a statement saying like how compliant or how accessible are you, how your website is. And it's kind of a place
where you say, look, these are the parts that we know that it's compliant. These are the things that we do in our website to make sure that it stays accessible. And as important, the same part, it's not just about saying what is accessible. It's also about admitting
what's not accessible and saying like, look, we are aware that this part here is not great. We are trying to do our best here. And well, last but not least, also provide an email contact to report accessibility issues.
I like that. That's a very accountable sort of approach to accessibility. It holds yourself accountable and it demonstrates that it's a goal and an important one for you at the company. So yeah, I'm always a fan of companies being more transparent. So that's very cool.
I like that. So if people want to go a little bit deeper into some of your background and stuff, they can actually check out our interview for Epic Web that feels like just yesterday we talked about that. And yeah, it's pretty, pretty cool stuff that you're working on with
the related to forms and things that remote. I would like to ask you, though, about what you're planning on speaking about at Epic Web Conf. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly on what it is, but I have a bunch of ideas. But my
goal is I'm going to talk about accessibility in a practical way without borrowing rules. I'm not going to talk about rules. I'm going to talk about experiences, real life examples.
And I think my goal for the talk will be to show you that if you care about someone different than you, it's already halfway done to be accessible. Because most of the time is being accessible is just about thinking about different than new, using the Internet and considering
that. Being accessible is almost like building a website that it's flexible. If it's flexible, probably it will be also accessible. I have something like that in mind.
I like that idea or that approach. I think typically using guilt as a mechanism for getting people to comply is a good way to get them to comply, possibly, but not to enjoy doing
it and not to be self-motivated to continue to do it in the future when you're not there to make them feel guilty. And so I think it is better to inspire people to find it within
themselves to be motivated and empathetic to other users of their stuff. Yeah, obviously, you can say, oh, you need to follow the law and because of the law, you must do this. But yeah, I don't want to go in that route.
Yeah, yeah. You'd rather that people make their websites accessible because they want to and because they care about the people that they're working with. And being accessible really means a lot of things. For example, if you do a pet project just for you, then it's 100% accessible because it's just for you.
But what does it mean to be accessible? It really means just to be useful for the people who use your website. And in your pet project, it's just you. So yeah, it's accessible for you. But then when you work on a big company, it's no longer about you. So you also need to care about the other people. Yeah, I actually like that perspective a lot.
One thing that I would caution people against though is, I don't remember where I first heard this, but somebody showed some statistics or their analytics and said, see, we don't need to make our
web app mobile friendly because we get so few mobile visitors. And it's like, well, maybe you get so few mobile visitors because it's not mobile friendly. So I think that it's important to keep in mind that you're saying, oh, well, our app doesn't
really have users who are blind or have an issue with using a keyboard or whatever. All of our users are able users. And I would caution against that attitude also because
there are laws and stuff too. But I think even people can be differently abled at different times of their lives as well. So like I'm holding a baby and now I can only use one hand or stuff like that. And it really depends on your website.
But for example, at Remote, our product is about helping other companies to hire globally and talent is everywhere. Opportunities should be as well. At the same time, any type of person
can be anywhere. So that opens a window to any kind of person. So we try to be accessible to any type of employee or employer. And so, yeah. Yeah. And it's a big part of equal opportunity as well. Especially the people who are
disadvantaged already don't need your app making their lives worse. And so, yeah, I think there's a lot to be said about that. So I am really looking forward to your talk. I like the approach that you're planning on taking with it. Now, when we're at the conference, you're going to have your
talk and it's going to be, you know, it'll probably be stressful. It's always stressful for me. Like until I get off that stage, I'm like, ah, but you're going to have like plenty of opportunities to talk with other people at the conference. It's a single track conference. So everybody's
going to be in the same talks and then we'll have extended breaks to give people opportunities to talk with each other. And so my question to you is, what are the sorts of things that you hope people come and talk with you about? And what are you interested in talking with people about in that
hallway track? Within accessibility or outside accessibility? Just anything. Yeah. Like if you're into baking and you want people to talk with you about making bread, that's cool too. Okay. So, okay. Within the epic web world, anything related with animations,
and experience and the merciful journey of whatever you are trying to accomplish. And outside the epic web, I don't know, I'm really into calisthenics. I'm into personal finances and I'm into, I don't know, good food. I like to eat.
That sounds great. Well, good. So, plenty of things to talk to Sandrina about. Everybody, you should go and find her at the conference and talk. That's why we go in person, right? Otherwise, we all just record on our computer and do a remote conference or something. But there's just
something special about being there in person and meeting with people. So, I'm excited to have you there. Yeah. And don't be shy. Probably it's a bunch of introverters trying to hang out and so, yeah, please come say hi. I don't mind. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Sandrina,
for giving us some of your time today. I hope that you have a pleasant trip to Utah and that you have a good time while you're here. And I'm looking forward to seeing you in April. Looking super, super forward for it. Thank you so much. It's what, three months almost? Oh,
it's almost there. Yeah. Yeah. It's coming right up. Okay. Thanks, everybody. See you, everyone. Take care.