Editor’s note: This article is written from the perspective of a fictional character, Sandrine, the protagonist of I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. You can learn more about the book at

Sandrine sighs as she starts her third week in confinement. The ability to work from home was one of the things she always wanted to have. But, all of a sudden, the invaluable perk has become a burden to carry every day. Isolation starts to take its toll.

Sandrine feels that she is stressed because of the crisis. Knowing it is normal to feel this way doesn’t seem to help much as some of her friends already lost their jobs at the beginning of the crisis.

Sandrine is glad that her company made the pledge to keep all the workers with full pay. The pledge is one of the reasons she wants to stay productive and keep the company in business.

Contradictory information is coming in from everywhere. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed in all that polarized noise. Sandrine would like to shield herself from negative distraction yet at the same time, in a strange way, scrolling through the infinite social feeds gives her a sense that she is still connected with the world.


Sandrine receives a DM notification on her instant messaging.

It’s her friend, Mary.

Sandrine responds and the two have a short conversation.

Sandrine sips from her glass of water.

A calendar notification pops up on Sandrine’s computer. It’s a reminder that her manager, Gaspar, has invited her to an afternoon virtual hot chocolate with her team.

Sandrine thinks for a moment before replying.

Are you feeling like Sandrine right now?

Mary seems to have found some momentum by becoming more active on social media and checking in on people. She’s even managed to pick up a great idea on virtual mocktails from Sandrine because of it.

And maybe she’s right. Maybe Sandrine could view her meeting from a different perspective. Maybe by thinking about how she could support her colleagues, she will see some actions she can take that don’t exist when she views the situation from the perspective of how she feels.

How about you? Where could you change your perspective to find some momentum in your world right now?

Read what happened next.