8 Bits with Danny Ramos!

8 Bits with Danny Ramos!
This week on 8 Bits we are joined by Danny Ramos from New Relic! Join us to learn about Danny's journey from a Standup Comedian working at Costco to working in Tech!

Follow Danny on Twitter: @muydanny
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon​
Follow Brandon on Twitter:@TheCodeTraveler

Listen to the Podcast

8 Bits with Danny Ramos! - 8 Bits
This week on 8 Bits we are joined by Danny Ramos from New Relic! Join us to learn about Danny’s journey from a Standup Comedian working at Costco to working in Tech! Follow Danny on Twitter: @muydanny​Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon​Follow B...

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Chloe Condon  0:42
Hello, what about that intro? If you're listening or watching, you may notice that we have this brand new intro that for lack of better term slaps shout out to Canva. Brandon, how are you doing this fine Wednesday?

Brandon Minnick  1:05
You know, I was doing good. But after that intro, I'm doing great.

Chloe Condon  1:11
Music What music?

Brandon Minnick  1:14
I'm so pumped up. what's what's unfortunate is nobody else got to experience the full video, like we just did. Because that video was actually two and a half minutes long. So we kicked it off two minutes before we went live. And then everybody got to experience the last 30 Minutes with Us. But Wow, that's incredible. I I don't know, should we should we play the whole video next time?

Chloe Condon  1:42
We should play the whole video. I'll fix it. So we have the right image in the middle of it. But yes, it's, here's the thing I as you know, Brandon, I come from a musical theater background. And music is powerful, right? Like, just in the same way. This is a great segue into I guess today, just in the same way that when you have like, a stand up comedy act, or even back in the day, when they used to do live sitcoms, they would have like a warm up act, right? You know, kind of like pump everybody up for the show. I when I tell you, I listened to so many different songs on this free licensed music on Canva. Before I found one with a key change that would like get me go and put me up for this. I was very there was a selection process with this. So I'm so glad that that work paid off.

Brandon Minnick  2:30
It's amazing. Yeah. And but yeah, everything's everything's going great. Let's see. Big, big release this week for the Xamarin community toolkit, which, if you've listened to the show before, you know, I am a official maintainer on this zebra community toolkit, which is for all those Xamarin developers out there. If you want to bring in a bunch of really cool controls, buttons, even MVVM stuff that you can use under the hood, you can add this Ammar Qt toolkit nougat package to your repo. And we just officially released version 1.1 today, so more new goodies, go check it out. It's all free to use. It's all open source. So highly recommend it to any and every Xamarin developer out there.

Chloe Condon  3:22
Xamarin all the things. That's super exciting, trying to think what is so many things have happened in the last week. Oh, my goodness, what I got to put in a little bit of work on Saturday, which usually I'm like, work on the weekend. But this was actually really, really fun. I know I say this like a lot on different streams. But I work on I work on our in our academic area of cloud advocacy. So I get to work with all these amazing students who are way smarter than me and very, very cool and awesome. And I always find myself singing Whitney Houston's I believe the children of the future because these these kids inspire me. We had all of our recent cohort of bid projects, present all of their Azure Functions projects on Saturday. And when I tell you I left with this feeling very inspired usually when I work on the weekend, I'm like, on the weekend, I am floored by these projects. I'll be sharing a tweet a little bit later today with a bunch of the blog posts of all the amazing projects, but these students did everything from and most of these students had not played with Azure API's. A lot of them it was their first time dealing with an API. But everything from making their own music players to a text messaging app to notify there was a geologist turned engineer who was using their skills to get alerted about earthquakes on their phone. Oh my gosh, so many amazing projects, a productivity app for students which is like super relevant for kids during the Panera. But yeah, it was just my heart is very full because you know, we were Here we work on Microsoft products and stuff. But like when I get to see these kids, I say kids, but they're like grown adults in my mind, because their apps are incredible. Make things that are really impactful. And it's their first time using these things. I'm just, I'm blown away. So yeah, that that was my wonderful, wholesome heartful week.

Brandon Minnick  5:23
It's always incredible. And I, anytime I've joined, yeah, these workshops, hackathons that are centered around students. I'm always really impressed because the the scope of their projects, I remember, like folks coming to me and like, what are you working on? Like, oh, we're, we're gonna use artificial intelligence. We're gonna write it in Python to do this. And like, Oh, wow. Like, do you have experience with all that already? Nope. So you're gonna figure that out tonight? And I'm always blown away, cuz they do. And it's, it's incredible. Yeah, what you can, what you can do, and you set your mind to it. So that's so awesome. I'm so proud of them for learning that I mean, just learning things on Azure is no small feat. That's, that's very impressive.

Chloe Condon  6:17
I'm so excited for the next cohort, y'all can check out if you know anyone. It's open to anyone, students, beginners, anything like that. If you want to learn about Azure Functions, build a serverless project from scratch, have mentorship from folks like myself, Anthony Chu from the Azure Functions team. It's just been really awesome. I mean, like, I work with Azure Functions all the time. As we know, I love Azure Functions. I'm building things like fake boyfriends on there, and Animal Crossing turnip timers, and all the things that love Azure Functions. But it's so fun to see the creative. I have like a younger generation working with these things. Because there are so many different projects that I would not have even thought to build, like, we had someone in a previous cohort, make an app with Azure Functions that would take a picture and turn it into a PDF. And I thought, oh, like, what is the reasoning here. And it turns out that unbeknownst to me, a lot of students have to like upload their files in different formats for online learning. So this actually solved a real life problem for this person and like their classmates, so and we had oh my gosh, we had someone just like you were saying, Brandon, about like, Oh, I'm gonna go build this really hard thing. And like brb. We had a student in a previous cohort, never have played with IoT before, never met did anything with wearables, made a wearable device using Azure Functions, IoT hub that his grandfather could wear. So if his heart rate went above or below a certain level, he could get notified, and they would be able to take action. So it's like, incredible stuff. It's like mini Imagine Cup over here. So I'm just floored by all these projects and can't wait to share them with the world. It's been a very lovely week, and we're getting ready for a bunch of imagine cups of this stuff this week. So I'm feeling very, very fulfilled with my I'm helping the children of the future. The future, the future, Chloe's and Brandon's of the world. That's

Unknown Speaker  8:10
right. So I

Chloe Condon  8:12
guess should we be awesome, amazing guests. Very excited. Yes. Okay. Well, as we mentioned, sometimes you need a warm up act, to like, get people pumped. We're the warm up act for this incredible, incredible mainstage performer here. I met this person through the interwebs. They are a dev roll over at New Relic and just moved my city. Welcome to the show, Danny. I should have got this soundboard ready for this one. So we could have like laughter, but

Danny Ramos  8:50
just be like the

Chloe Condon  8:53
word. So Danny, tell the folks at home who you are what you do all that fun stuff.

Danny Ramos  8:59
Yes. Hello, everyone. My name is Danny Ramos. I am a developer relations engineer at New Relic, otherwise known as a relic kin. And I stream on Twitch every day. Sometimes I miss a day Don't tell my boss. But Twitch and I'm out here just trying to learn alongside everyone just like be as the best developer I can learn more, teach more. But prior to that, I was doing stand up comedy and I was working in retail for about eight years. Shout out to Costco and I just decided you know what, I'm gonna go to code school. And that happened to be like two weeks maybe? I don't know. I was supposed to start and then like three days before pandemic happened. And so everything went remote and so I was stuck inside learning code while we were supposed to be stuck inside anyway. So it kind of worked out for me. And I got really lucky. And then about a month after graduating school, I got a job in New Relic. So that's how I got here.

Chloe Condon  10:08
What a happy ending.

Danny Ramos  10:09
Yeah. All right. Yeah, we'll see how it goes.

Chloe Condon  10:13
The journey continues.

Brandon Minnick  10:15
Yeah. And and that's incredible. Just the timeline. Because, I mean, we just hit the one year anniversary of the pandemic lockdown. And so essentially, what you're saying is, around this time last year, you didn't know how to code yet. We're working or maybe past your job. But before that had been working in retail, and now you're, you're working in Developer Relations at New Relic? That is incredible. Congratulations.

Danny Ramos  10:46
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, about a year ago, I probably was getting the grade from my first exam and very much crying because the first exam I remember, like going through it, and I was supposed to just like, create a method I was doing. So I focused in backend and learned Ruby and learned rails. And I remembered trying to, like, define a method, and I had no idea what to do. And I even wrote, like, I commented out a piece of code and wrote, I have no idea what I'm doing. Like, I'm not gonna understand code, like, this is terrible. Like, I just spent so much money on this, and I'm not going to get it and my girlfriend's like, Well, you know, people learn, so stop crying.

Chloe Condon  11:30
so relatable. I vividly remember so so my boyfriend is an engineer. And so I was very lucky if I had like homework help, or things like that, or needed homework help, I should say. But I vividly remember and I'm still, like, physically triggered by the sound of Fleet Week, like whenever so in San Francisco, we have Fleet Week, every year, where all of the I guess maybe it didn't happen this last year where they fly all of the Air Force airplanes over it's very loud. And I vividly remember having to complete my boyfriend was out of town. So I was on my own for this one piece of homework I had to do over the weekend, crying and trying to learn regex and the listening, the planes go over. So it's it's one of those things where when you're new to programming, it can feel like

Danny Ramos  12:19
overwhelming because you're just like, I Why don't I understand this? Why am I the only person that doesn't get it? And then you get a slack message from someone's like, hey, do you understand what's going on? I don't, I'm like, Okay. Struggling but it feels very isolating, especially for learning alone in your room, which is your office.

Chloe Condon  12:41
I mean, I didn't learn what imposter syndrome was until I started in tech. I don't think that's any coincidence.

Danny Ramos  12:48
I just thought I was really weird.

Chloe Condon  12:52
Oh, this is everyone. Yeah. So but you I would imagine having coming from a performing background as a comedian, or even just working in retail, like, failing, I feel like is such a big part of being a performer. And I'm sure like, testing out new material as a comedian and having it go definitely quiet. How have you found that kind of like transition going for you? Like, do you think I know, for me with whiteboarding, for example, like, I was like, oh, I've auditioned before. So like, this is a little bit better. Do you have any of those crossover moments that come up for you?

Danny Ramos  13:30
Yeah, absolutely. So during the interview process, it was something that I really wanted to focus on. And I wanted to highlight because I knew that would make me stand out in the in the lineup of people that were being interviewed, and it sounds like, I'm constantly failing every day, and I'm constantly failing in front of people. And I take that as like a learning experience. So it's like, my whole thing was that two years ago, I guess, three years ago, now, I walked into like a dingy dive bar for the first time to try stand up comedy. And I failed miserably. I was so bad. And so much. So like, the host was like, Dear God, that was awful. Let's give him a round of applause. And that kind of grew inside of me, because it's like, I really love this. But I also can, like learn from each failed experience. And at that time, I was kind of looking for a new job. And that's actually how I got into tech because I was meeting more and more people that were in tech or had gone to Code School and things like that. And I kind of wanted to find another like, failing experience that I can grow from. So stand up actually kind of got me into tech because it was like, I want to find a job that I am finding myself in this like creative failing process where it's like, I will do something that doesn't work. Okay, what about this? Okay, what about this, I've learned this doesn't work and I learned this doesn't work, but I know this piece. Pretty good. So let's try this over here. And that's exactly how I kind of approach coding. If I'm not panicking.

Chloe Condon  15:09
There's nothing more vulnerable. Brandon, have you ever tried stand up before? Have you ever done?

Brandon Minnick  15:16
I don't know if telling bad jokes at conferences. I've never gone to an open mic or anything like that. Now,

Chloe Condon  15:24
I have done it once. And I will say the only like parallel experience that I can explain to doing stand up for the first time was the first time because you feel like a total imposter you go out for the first time and you're like, I don't know what I'm doing. But nobody knows. It's okay. The first time I ever said to someone, like when they said, Oh, what do you do? And I said, I'm an engineer, like, and I felt like, Oh my gosh, I just said it out loud. Like, okay, no, the alarms haven't gone off. And like, nobody's pulled off my Scooby Doo mask yet. That is the only similar experience that I felt like when I first started interviewing as an engineer and stand up comedy. So I love that you were able to kind of be like, oh, let's use this vulnerability skill as something applicable to something else. I love that Danny. Yeah,

Brandon Minnick  16:09
it's also it's it's very mature. Because I guess, would you would you consider yourself a junior dev or junior engineer? Is? I you really, should you usually don't hear that? That mindset from somebody who just is still kind of new to it? Because, yeah, when you come out of school, and I blame schools for this, but But yeah, in school, like failure is bad. Failure is the worst thing that can happen. If you get an F, Oh, my gosh, you're gonna get kicked out at college, or you're not going to get into college. He's really kicked out of high school, whatever it might be. But, yeah, in reality, failure is how we learn. Because we have to try. And most times, whatever we try both succeed, especially not the first time, and we learn from that experience, and then we can try again. And eventually we do succeed. But yeah, usually when I'm chatting with recent graduates, whether they're coming from boot camps college, they're still very much that mindset is like, I have to get an A, I have to get 100% every time. Otherwise, I'm a failure. And it's like, no, I fail all the time. I even go into things knowing like, this will not be successful. But I need to try it. So. Yeah, I'm very impressed. And it sounds like maybe we should get more devs into comedy.

Chloe Condon  17:39
Steve. Thanks. So I'm ready. I'm ready for the improv comedy team of Devereaux because I have you ever there's such a night and day difference between seeing someone do a live demo, and it totally going awry. And then like, not even just having an improv experience, but knowing how to handle that situation versus that. And I think like in the same way, you know, we've said this on the show before, like, I've seen a lot of really bad musicals like I've seen a lot of really really bad plays in my life. Like that was a majority of my life pre engineering. And but there's always something from a bad performance that like you can kind of walk away with but a bad technical talk or demo booth. We need to we need to start like teaching improv classes. Danny.

Danny Ramos  18:31
I'm down like I was trying to do developer improv but I need to like actually write a curriculum now. It was just like Daniel and I'm doing improvident getting mad at each other because we're like, this isn't working.

Chloe Condon  18:44
Yeah, and we we need to go back a little bit to your origin story here. Your Marvel origin story. Um, what was your you were working at Costco and you were doing the stand up comedian thing, but what was your degree in and what was your kind of previous life before that? What were you involved in?

Danny Ramos  19:02
So my whole dream, I guess was well, I didn't know I didn't know what I wanted to do. In high school or anything. I had no idea but I knew that I like really enjoyed like making people. Hey, what's up Mia? I enjoyed making people laugh. Like that was always like my thing. I was voted funniest person at my school. I was like the emcee. Like, I knew that was like my thing. And so I was like, Well, I guess I could go to school for film, I can make funny movies or something. And so I ended up going to the University of Colorado, Denver and studied film and theatre production. And that was okay, but I unfortunately had to work like full time while I was in school. So I'd like take the train down. And I was I had just started at Costco and they gave me the maintenance position, which is actually the janitor. So

Chloe Condon  19:56
I was the office manager at a company aka eight janitor.

Danny Ramos  20:00
Yeah, so I was the janitor, I would go in at like 5am. And then I would get off and then go to school, take the train down and then just, and it was like my life for a long time I was very comfortable. You know, it's like whatever during janitor, the janitor job. I love being loved being a janitor. I think it's so much fun to just like walk around, you kind of do your own thing and a lot of time to like, be thinking of little jokes and bits in my head and like, just wearing the same thing, just being a disgusting 20 year old wearing like a Hawaiian shirt and brown pants that didn't match anyway.

Chloe Condon  20:40
Think I thought up a lot of material. Like when I was stocking makeup at Sephora, like I would just like be putting wiping down makeup. You know, back in the day when we could try on makeup in a Sephora Can you imagine today wiping what we used to call quote unquote, the layer of uncertainty. Never try on makeup in a public place, you will get a disease. But I would often like just kind of zone out and get into a system where I'd be thinking of different things that I wanted to write or like different projects I want to do you kind of get to be in your own little world and those those roles where you're just in your own little world. Yeah,

Danny Ramos  21:17
yeah. And so there I was in film schools doing little films and stuff here and there. Some of them live on youtube, but I won't drop any links to those yet. And I had met the black Actors Guild, so the black Actors Guild is a production and education company in Denver. And at the time, it was just like for guys who had just finished school or dropped out of like University of Northern Colorado for theater. And it was like a group of just like five young black students that were just like, you know, what, we don't want to be the main, like side character, we want to be the main character. So they were like, we're gonna start our own Theatre Company. And we hit it off, and we met at this party. And then we started doing improv together. And then that led to us doing our own productions and running our own theater and like, really killing it in the improv scene in Denver. And we did that for like, eight years. I mean, they're still going strong right now. Wow.

Chloe Condon  22:18
So for folks who aren't like us who have these creative arts degrees? I know people ask me all the time, like your view of theater performance degree, would you do pretend to be a cat all the time? And I was like, kind of? What do you do like with the you said it was a film and theater production degree? What kind of things are taught and that kind of curriculum? Because I feel like you probably learned a lot of business savvy things are like just how to manage and put up a show or, or a production or a film production for that matter.

Danny Ramos  22:48


I would say, my school i don't i there was a lot of things that I learned from my school. And it was great. But I really want to recognize, like, I learned a lot from being part of like the black Actors Guild and being part of an ensemble of people who, we were just like, hungry, we were hungry to like, produce our own content. We were hungry to make people laugh, and like, obviously, make some money off of art, which had been really cool. That was like, Whoa, we can do that and live like that. That's crazy. So it was just a lot of different small business savvy things where we're just like, Oh, you know, what, if we, that was when Instagram was new, so we're like, if we jump on this Instagram thing, we can like, we can like market our shows on Instagram, and people can like them. And you can create a hashtag. So weird, like, we call our like, hashtag was like gt RT, like guild talk, real talk and then big. And then we took over like the Denver improv hashtag. Like, if you just type that in, it was just pictures of us. It was just like finding little things like that little different angles, where we would just like become the first thought of people's mind, in people's mind for out door. And that's

Chloe Condon  24:05
something you can totally use as a dev role to like, that's just learning how to I feel like so much of learning how to brand myself as an individual entity, as an actress like, has helped me a lot and being able to create a brand and, you know, you got to sell yourself as a product and a lot of ways. So I love that you're able to use, like that practical life experience now in your current role. That's awesome.

Danny Ramos  24:29
Yeah, yeah, that's, I think it takes some reflection, you know, because there's times when going into a tech interview, I felt like, I didn't have much to offer. Just like, Oh, I worked at Costco, like on paper. It's like, Oh, I worked at Costco. And I have a college degree that I didn't use. And I'm a standard comic that gets paid with pizza and beer. So it's like, oh, I don't have anything but if you really break it down, it's like, Okay, I have this production. degree where I learned how to like, reach deadlines really quickly and like, do everything I can to get something finished and with the small little budget and then stand up, I'm failing constantly. And then working at Costco, I held all these management roles and blah, blah, blah. It's like, you got to really spread it out a little bit and see what are the highlights for each thing? Yeah,

Chloe Condon  25:21

Brandon Minnick  25:23
Yeah. And actually, I'm curious. Cuz I want to expand on the stand up comedian background a little bit and what, what you're bringing, or maybe what you learn from it that you're bringing into devrel. So yeah, what, what are some of the ways that you prepared as Are you learned as a stand up comedian during your preparation that you now use when you say, before you stream or if you're to go on stage at a conference? What kind of skills came from that background?

Danny Ramos  25:57

really excited to get on stage at a conference. That's like, that's gonna be like, my sweet spot. I hope

Chloe Condon  26:07
we'll be on the front row will be like,

Brandon Minnick  26:12
both sides.

Danny Ramos  26:15
My giant head? Yeah, I yeah, I'm looking at conferences to like, apply to, or submit abstracts, too. But I think, for me, when I do stand up, I like to be as like genuine as possible, like, share personal stories and share my experience, and really relate to the crowd. And I think I kind of bring that during like a twitch stream, like, I just want to be as genuine as I can. And there'll be days where I'm just like, tired. I'm like, but I'm, you know, I'm gonna stream or talk about a funny story or show, like, jump into some code that I have no idea how to approach and just kind of ask the chat, like, Do y'all know how to do this, because I'm not really sure how to do this. Yeah. And that that's kind of something I'm take from being a comic, just like, people really just want to relate on a very personal level, at least that's how I approach it. And so if I can be as genuine as possible, I think I'll find success there.

Chloe Condon  27:14
I think authenticity in tech can be rare. And what makes me because you know, when, especially when it comes to developer relations, or marketing, there's sort of this like, hashtag a synergy, you know, marketing jargon that comes into play a lot. And what I really really loved, like one of the positives of the Panera has been streaming, because for me, and we've talked about this on the show before with other guests. Previously, as a diver, ah, I felt like alright, I have to have my demo. And it was very much like, what did we call them, I can't even a webinar, right, where it was very rehearsed and practiced, and everything would go a certain way. And what I've loved about streaming and having participation from the audience is it's like a group pair programming session. So like, being vulnerable about Oh, I'm really bad at regex. So like, let me try to figure this out and use Stack Overflow, but then having the help of the audience, it becomes more of a you know, it's not a one to many relationship, it's it's more cohesive and able to work with the community more so I've actually, I think that your your vulnerability, you know, in the way that you're like, portraying yourself, like, hey, let's learn this together is way more welcoming to because nobody out here goes through these tutorials online and just zips through them. To me,

Danny Ramos  28:32
yeah, I hope so. Yeah, I want to be that person that people can learn alongside and really just, I think it's, I'm, I'm excited to just be the sower early in my career in a position like this. I feel so lucky. Feel like Jonah and really took a risk. But I'm excited, you know, see where I'm at in a year. And hopefully I've already so many people have reached out to me and just been like, Hey, you know, I noticed that you were working at Costco for a really long time. I'm thinking about getting into tech. Do you can you give me any tips or resources? I'm like, Yes, this is this is exactly my time to shine. Like I can get you in some, you know, vest flannels, I

Chloe Condon  29:23
saw that Prince Harry just got a job as a tech like growth something out of a startup like he was just like in the news other day, and I was like, oh, we're gonna see Prince ariens and Patagonia should be interesting. My first thought

Brandon Minnick  29:37
to bring him on the show.

Danny Ramos  29:40
Like a puffer. That's what I'm seeing in the bay. Everyone's got these little cool little puffer jackets.

Chloe Condon  29:45
I kid you not speaking of comedy and tech, I once threw a meetup, a century scouts meetup that was on Halloween. And we themed it as the best like code horror stories. So like people brought there were still like debugging or like, you know, Oh my god, the server's on fire kind of stories. And I dressed up in a costume, quote, unquote, because no one thought I was in costume, it turned out where I borrowed my boyfriend's Patagonia jacket, I wear my allbirds. So I dressed as what they call the Midtown uniform. If you don't follow me on Instagram account, and nobody knew I was in costume, everyone thought I was just dressed as a regular Bay Area, Silicon Valley employee. So I think what's really what I love to see, especially when I see folks who enter this field from either a comedy background or entertainment background, it is really hard for me as someone who is entering in this industry later in life to not poke fun at certain things that I just find so absurd. Which is why you'll find my Twitter's is a majority of me either self deprecating humor about my code, or like me pointing out weird inconsistencies in tech where I'm like, this doesn't make any sense. And I think if I didn't have a sense of humor about it, especially as a woman in tech, I don't think I would be able to stay in tech. And I used to give a keynote, called the ROI of lls, which was about this, it was literally talking about how, you know, we have memory hooks that can either be like deeply emotional or very funny. And you're going to remember a talk or an engaging, you know, workshop that you did with someone who made you laugh or pull at your heartstrings. So I always get really excited when I see folks in the industry like yourself or Corey Quinn, or you know, Emily, who are doing these really great, you know, funny things about tech, because I think we need a sense of humor to be able to survive in this industry.

Danny Ramos  31:33
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, I'm working on our I finished an abstract on, I called it all shout outs. I actually codes on Twitch. Yes, helped me finish up my abstracts, and I'm trying to submit it to conferences. It's called beer bellies and comedy, no beer bellies and failure. I should probably not be

Chloe Condon  31:59
workshopping it.

Danny Ramos  32:01
It is called beer bellies and bombing building resilience. Okay, I love talking about just like the embracing failure, kind of what I talked about earlier, just like this idea of like, taking every chance of failure, or every opportunity of failure and just growing from it.

Chloe Condon  32:18
Ah, and then did you work in retail? I know you've had some customer service positions, but I feel like it's time for Tales from the retail. I just, as I said it, I'm very proud of myself improv.

Danny Ramos  32:35
To do it,

Chloe Condon  32:36
or no, did you? Did you? You've worked in a couple retail positions. Is that right?

Brandon Minnick  32:44
I mean, are you asking me are you asking?

Um, I haven't like,

worked in retail where I've stocked shelves. But I've worked in like, customer facing jobs. Like I've had a couple of jobs at the Disney theme parks and where you have to very much interact with guests. And you know, at Disney, you always have to be nice to the guests. Like that's you, if you are me do a guest that's the quickest way to get fired at Disney. And so some of those guests, they're, they're having bad days. And you know, they're on their family vacations with their four kids that are all screaming at them. And they're letting let me know how frustrated they are. Yeah, you have to just it's 100 degrees that everybody's just miserable. But you're just like, yeah, this is this is great. And then yeah, I mean, the best is when you can actually cheer them up or turn it around, you know, anything from just like giving the kids chicken tenders or some ice cream just to make them smile or giving, like copying something to the parents. But yeah, I've definitely had to, or I've definitely had to experience those tough customer moments, that's for sure.

Chloe Condon  34:03
Yeah, I definitely feel like I'm, I should have used this when I was interviewing as a junior Dev. So anybody out there interviewing, who's worked at Sephora, you can steal this from me. But I remember we used to have makeup consultations, so people could come into Sephora. And you know, we could do a smoky eye on them or you know, help them pick a lipstick shade and kind of do a little makeover. And I am very if, of course podcasts are a visual medium if you're listening to this, but I'm a five foot two very pale, young lady and I was in college at the time and people would come in who would have completely different skin color, eye shaped skin tone everything and say, I want the makeup that you want at that you have on and I go okay, I can do that. That may not look the best. So it's almost like building a feature for a client or something right where it's like, hey, I want this website to look exactly like this. I was like okay, well, um, so I you know, give these consultations when I do their makeup. Exactly like mine. They go that's one Good, I'm gonna be like, Oh, that's what I told you. So like being able to communicate those things to a client, you know, especially when if you're doing any like freelance work or working with like a third party to build something for them, I really got to learn not only just how to like suggest, like, Hey, this is not the right idea, but maybe we can think about this. I've found that a lot of those customer interactions I find myself going back to my previous life working at j crew, disney store, you name it, and these very particular interactions where you know, In what world do you have to deal with a situation? Somewhat a kid peed in the magic tumblers and aisle three, like, go take care of it, like thinking on your feet like that dealing with difficult situations. I felt like anytime I got in a job interview question that was like, have you ever dealt with difficult people? I'm like, Well, I did do theater. And I did work in retail. Here. So yes, yes, I have

Danny Ramos  35:58
so many times where it's just like, put on a face. You're like, oh, wow, this baby just puked its entire body weight all over the shopping cart. I am the person that has to clean this up sweet. The my holding this baby like, I'm so sorry. I have no idea what's wrong with him?

Maybe the patient

will get you another car. It's all good. But yeah, I think I think that yeah, that's kind of those kind of experiences kind of like build a little bit of resilience. But it's also like, I think I I try to always just keep a positive outlook on life. There's so many, you know, you never know what's going to happen in life such as like, oh, okay, this is not the worst thing in the world. It's probably the worst thing in my life right now. But in about five minutes, I'd probably be okay.

Brandon Minnick  36:49
Yeah, and I think it ties in nicely to something you said earlier, Danny, about bringing your authentic self. And is when, when you can be authentic with people like they, they recognize that and they appreciate it. And like, think back to when I worked at Disney. You're so trained, like, literally, you have to go through days of classes, when you get your first job at Disney, they call it Oh, gosh, I remember what they call it, maybe it'll come to me in a minute. But before you're allowed to interact with guests, yeah, you have to go through a couple days of training. And by the time you get out there, you're you're kind of wearing this mask, you're putting on a fake smile, and you're just being overly nice to people and, and people can detect that. Like when, when you're not being authentic. It's, it can be very jarring. And that's something I found when I first started getting into Developer Relations was I won't say I necessarily lied about anything. But I very much had a line drawn in the sand between. This is the Brandon that I present to the public. So this is Brian. And you'll see on Twitter conferences, meetups streaming, whatever. And then this is who I am at home, and it doesn't work. I mean, yes, you can do it. But I wish somebody would have told me this earlier. Because once I started sharing things about myself, anything from being honest about what you know, and what you don't know, to just sharing Little things like, like, I have a dog named Kirby and he's amazing and, and just kind of like, sharing some more personal aspects and just being true. helps kind of with that with being authentic, and, and yeah, like it. I see it so much more now. Like anytime I am out somewhere or like, maybe you're at a restaurant or just go to the drive thru or maybe you're at a store, and somebody is just not authentic with you. And it's like, Hey, man, like, Listen, you don't have to you don't have to give me the spiel. You don't have to do the company line. Just be real with me for a second. Like, is this gonna work? It just yeah, it helps cut through everything. So I love that advice. And I'm honestly really jealous that you You not only already learned it, but yeah, you had that coming into the into the demo world. Yeah,

Danny Ramos  39:35
yeah. Well, I mean, it's good. It's good to hear I just started I mean to cut you out clip but it's good to hear it's because I think the first couple times I was doing stand up, I was trying to put on like a front. And that just like makes you super exhausted. So I just imagined just doing that on Twitch every day and not being like my true self and trying to be like the master developer. I remember having like a one on one with Joan and sheffler, my boss. And I was like, you know, I had like a really cool experience today where I just asked the chat like, Hey, does anyone know how to figure this out, I am kind of blank. And I don't know what to do. And it was really nice to do that, because I had this whole thing in my head that like, I needed to be like the educator, but I obviously don't know everything. And I'm very new. And I'm here to learn. So I just need to like, kind of washed those layers away now. He said, Brandon, it's just gonna be like, super exhausting. And I'm not going to be able to be like, who I am. And I think I'm pretty cool. So I'm

Chloe Condon  40:47
so jealous of Danny's self awareness. So early on in his career, because I feel like I just learned how to ask for help this week, like, for like, five years now. So I feel like you're you're already set up for success, Danny, because I think two of the biggest things that I learned was to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, and also learning how to ask for help. And and those can be very vulnerable, especially when you're brand new to a field and you're already terrified that you're like, with your imposter syndrome. Oh, my gosh, like, did they make mistake? Like, are you sure that you emailed the right person? The offer letter, Microsoft, I don't know. But then on top of that, to be able to be vulnerable enough to like, not everybody knows everything. And I think that's, that can be very, very difficult when you are trying to keep up the appearance that you know what you're doing. Everyone starts somewhere.

Brandon Minnick  41:39
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, yeah, that's, that's another thing that I wish somebody would have told me too, is, admit what you don't know, and be upfront with it. Because when I, I used to do used to be a sales engineer, and I always looked at it, like, I'm supposed to be the expert, that is kind of the liaison to the company, to the developers that are using our tools. And yeah, when I started out, I definitely pretended a lot. Because I knew I didn't know things, but I do my job was also to be that expert. And so I didn't want to let the company down, let my manager down. But really all I was doing by pretending to know something was letting our customer data, the fellow developer who was just trying to use our product and asking questions for us. All I had to say was, you know, that's a good question. I'm not really sure. I'm going to go figure that out. And then I'll call you back or all

Chloe Condon  42:41
saved my life My biggest fear as is overall when I first started was, oh my gosh, what if because now when that everything's digital, you can kind of like that the questions yourself, right. But like, back in the day, when pre Panini when people just raise their hand or come to the front of the stage of the microphone. I was deathly terrified that someone was going to ask me a question that I didn't know the answer to. And I would just be like, Bueller, Bueller and and disappear into the abyss just perish on the spot. But once I learned that sentence, just like Infinity War, but once I learned that sentence, I was like, that's a great question. Let me get back to you afterwards. And we can have a chat like game changer, because suddenly I was invincible to mistakes.

Danny Ramos  43:24
I just like yeah, brushing it off. Like Anyway, back to anyway,

Chloe Condon  43:27
next question. Also, for this is a tip for anyone but especially women in tech, I found that a lot of folks were coming up and saying more of a comment. Let's have a question. I go, what's your question in there? That's my other helpful.

Brandon Minnick  43:43
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I found just even like, if you are asked a question where you kind of know the answer, but you definitely not an expert, then also, I'll lead with, well, I'm a mobile app developer. I'm not really an expert on databases. But I think this is how I would do it. And then yeah, if you are streaming live, or if you're you are at a conference or meetup or other people can help out that. also reach out to the audience and say, is, is that right? Does anybody else know more? here no more than I do? that can help out and it just being just being upfront, because if you pretend like if somebody did ask me an Entity Framework database question or something like that, and I pretended to be an expert on it, they're gonna sniff me out. Like, the people in the audience or the people watching who actually are experts are gonna hear me use the wrong jargon. They're gonna hear me. Maybe, maybe not to my answer is wrong and might still be correct, but it might not be the best answer. And then right away, they're gonna just lose that respect for you. Like, oh, this guy is pretending Yeah, like he's pretending to be. expert. What else is he pretending about? Whereas, yeah, if you just kind of leave that with Well, I'm not an expert on databases. But here's how I've done it in the past. And then yeah, reach out and be like, but who here is an expert? Who, who? Who knows better than me? and try and get people chime in? is, it's so important. Yeah.

Danny Ramos  45:21
I think I was kind of forced into admitting that I'm not an expert because I, I get hired for New Relic. I'm like, Oh, my God, this is insane. Like, my, my girlfriend has been engineer for like five years, like, New Relic is a huge company. This is so amazing, blah, blah. And I was like, wow, whoa. And then I remember telling my parents like, That's so cool. What is New Relic do and I'm like, I have no money. Yeah, like, real quick. And I, I, obviously, I'm like, only a year from our I'm like, three, four months from Code School. And we never use like an observability platform. So I was like, Oh, they it's an observability platform. And friends would be like, okay, but what does that mean? I'm like, Can you just be excited for me

Chloe Condon  46:13
was the first like, difficult, quote, unquote, thing that I that I had to learn at my first. My first job similarly was at a Docker ci CD company, and we didn't use or learn Docker containers at my boot camp. And so step one for me as a dev role was to like memorize the two sentence pitch that was like, we're a Docker ci CD company that does blah, blah, blah. And that was like such a, just even I think making the transition from a non technical role. We've talked about this in the past with, we had Kim Brandon's wife on the show. And also Jill, there's a lot of like, translation that you learn and happen language wise. I was literally just helping a friend the other day, she texted me and said, Oh, my gosh, I had my first big interview with a media tech company, like helped me with technical jargon terms, like what should I ask? Like? How are things? How should I ask these things? And it's funny, having been in this industry so long, like the difference between like, hey, what back end tools do you use? Or like, what productivity tools do you use to like blah, blah, blah? versus like, how do you do like, there's so many kind of industry specific things that we're so used to as quote unquote, technical people, that literally like we talked, we've talked about this before. stage managers from theater are just like PMS or product managers, they really do the exact same thing. But being able to communicate that and use the right jargon on your resume, or in the interview or, you know, on your on site really makes a huge difference. And I think is one of the really big barriers to entry for a lot of folks like us, because how do you know until you've learned?

Danny Ramos  47:48
Yeah, yeah, once once I was in school, and I was learning more and more about the tech industry. I was like, Oh, I have so much experience and all of this, like it just, it was just crazy to actually put two and two together. It's like, Oh, I have all this. Tons of marketing experience from when I was a marketing manager at Costco. It's like, Oh, that is like dev rel, like, I'm marketing myself. I'm marketing the company. Like there's, there's that little piece there. And then there's janitor, like just taking some terrible thing that I had to deal with and just making some good out of it. You know, that's, that's kind of highlighted.

Chloe Condon  48:26
Yeah, the whole like, I have nothing to offer thing I feel like is something that I have to help every single one of my mentees with, because they're like, I am so unqualified, I don't know why I'm getting these interviews like this is. So this has to be a mistake. And I'm like, No, no, like, you did x before. And x can be applied to y. And these ways. Sometimes it just kind of helps. You need a translator like I recommend to anybody out there, who's making a transition into tech. It's what you're doing is really, really hard and making sure that you have a mentor who can support you and help answer those really weird tricky questions like just like you said, Jenny, like, how do I define observability? Or like, how should I pose like, I got this interview question and I got really tripped up on it. What's a better way that I can answer it given my skills? Because you don't know what you don't know. And it's, it's hard to learn these things. Unless you learn from failing or you learn from someone we stand on the shoulders of giants over. We got to learn from the other people who've gone through it.

Danny Ramos  49:27
Yeah, I think it's very, very important to have a person you can kind of look to for questions and kind of take you out of this, like tunnel vision of your previous experience. I know for me, it's just like, Oh, this is just all the stuff that I've done. And people would be like, wait, no, this was really cool. Or when you did this, this was really cool. And this is this and this. And like,

Oh yeah,

but that was just like a regular regular day for me. No big deal. It is good to get someone to really make you notice like the really, really cool things about yourself. That way. It gives you that confidence that you need going into an interview.

Chloe Condon  50:02
I always give the advice to folks who are just starting out as speakers like giving talks. They're like, how do I write my bio? Like, what do I put in it? I always tell folks, if you're having trouble writing your own bio, and you have trouble talking about yourself and bragging about yourself, ask a good friend or a big fan of yours, right it like, because it's hard, it's hard to like, see the specialness and the superpowers that we already have. So having a mentor having someone like, you know, I'm sure in your boot camp, Danny, you had a lot of people like going through the same interview process and kind of like comparing notes like, how did this go for you? But yeah, I love this comment here from PJ. That's a great point about tunnel vision, Danny, because it's hard not to be able to identify these things for yourself.

Brandon Minnick  50:47
Yeah, it's so true. Even I was recommending a good friend of mine, who would say his name just in case employers watching, but recommended him for a role at a new company. And the first thing he came back to me and said, He's like, I don't know, I don't think I have any experience with this. And the role was, it was a sales engineering role. And he's like, I've never done that before. And I was like, Yeah, but hey, you're, you're already a senior developer. So you, you understand code tech, all the jargon, blah, blah, blah. Plus, you've been a consultant before, like, you've, you've built apps for companies and people and they've had to give you requirements that tell you what they want, what they're looking for, is like, this is exactly the same thing. You're just now doing it on behalf of this company, like as a, as a sales engineer, you're not necessarily selling anything, you're helping them overcome problems. So when you go meet with these people for the first time, you're just going to essentially architect out some things for them listen to what their requirements are, make some recommendations as you've done this before, you've been great. And and yeah, it's funny when I set the intro, I set the intro email to connected with the hiring manager. And it was just it was a glowing intro and I'm not bragging about my email writing skills I'm but I am bragging about his his experience and his his job history and how well allied to it. And he even see it he would have, this would have been a role that he would have saw posted online and would have just turned down and said, Nope, not for me, because I've never been a sales engineer before. And I think there's definitely one theme we keep hitting on is that your previous experience is definitely relevant, whether it's working at Costco, whether it's being a stand up comedian, whether it's doing plays and drama, like that experience is insanely relevant to what we do every day. And so, yeah, being able to see that and, and to steal Danny's phrase that, you know, avoid that tunnel vision is huge. And yeah, sometimes you just need somebody else, like a family member or a friend, spouse, a colleague, somebody just to kind of be like, actually, you're perfect for this. Here's why.

Chloe Condon  53:15

Danny Ramos  53:16
you're perfect period.

Chloe Condon  53:18
Beautiful, you're perfect. You look like Linda van Julie's stag are a model. And what I'm really excited for you Danny is like, it pops up in mysterious ways. Like throughout my career, I'll have these moments where I'm like, Huh, like, Good thing I took that. Here's an example. So I used to run a meetup. And we didn't have a big enough budget to buy a step and repeat which is like those things that you get for events that will just say like, the brand name behind you to take photos, you know, and I had a budget of a couple $100 and this just seemed like a no brainer to me, but I ordered this gonna sound crazy until you put it together in your brain. I bought a clothing rack, a shower curtain that had a design of a scenic background on it. And some shower curtain rings. And that was our seven repeat. Like I'm using all of these skills from you know, I used to do plays without a budget we use kitty litter boxes for the set. How do you work with like, how do you build a set? How do you work on a budget? How do you do these things? And I remember you know said that people were looking at me kind of weird in the corner you know, putting together this thing. This you know, photo booth and I had all the props and everything and people were like how did you think of this? I was like Well, have you ever had to put on a production of the into the woods with four people and no budget in a black box theater because this is how I learned the magic of set design or lighting has been so useful. During the Panini I had the best lighting on all my streams because I learned how to do lighting design. So it pops up in these really funny ways that I never thought it would ever pop up and and I'm so excited for your journey, Danny because you're just beginning you're gonna I'm sure a year from now we're gonna have like comedy stuff. The variety our tech edition are something I can't wait to see what you do.

Danny Ramos  55:05

Brandon Minnick  55:06
And since you mentioned meetups, and we only have a couple minutes left, I want to make sure we we chat about Danny's meetup Ruby galaxy. actually have it. Let me see if I can share this or anybody watching our live stream, you'll be able to check out Ruby galaxy alongside us. Let's bring this up. And there we go. Yeah. Did he tell us about Ruby galaxy?

Danny Ramos  55:28
Yes. So every month we have an iteration. Oh my gosh, it's not even updated. Okay. Well, imagine this is a nice little homescreen. I was supposed to work on this before I got on here. But every month we every last Thursday of the month we do a Ruby meetup. I call it Ruby galaxy because it's Ruby enthusiasts from all around the world. And we are doing it tomorrow Tomorrow at 12 o'clock Pacific. And it'll be hosted by myself and chill codes on Twitch here on the screen. You'll see her and yeah, it's super fun. It's been really exciting. We've had like guests like mats on and Patterson on and tomorrow we have Corey Haines and Amir Rajon, and we're focusing on Ruby off the rails. So I'm gonna leave it there, but

Chloe Condon  56:25

Danny Ramos  56:26
But we're gonna focus on some cool Ruby projects that are kind of outside the rail scope. But uh, yeah, so that's something I've been working on. And you know, I'm on Twitch at mooi. Danny, and you can follow me mooi Danny, everywhere actually on Twitter. And yeah, running a meetup is hard. It is really hard.

Chloe Condon  56:49
Just wait until you do an in person. Danny. You got to have beverages. You got to make sure they got chairs. It's a lot.

Danny Ramos  56:59
Yeah, this is kind of nice. Because I'm just like, Alright, y'all have computers in the time, right?

Brandon Minnick  57:05
Yeah, so it's something that it looks like anybody can join. It's totally remote. And it looks like to sign up, you just go to Ruby galaxy.io. And submit your email address, click that Register Now button. Is that right?

Danny Ramos  57:20
Yeah. So you can that will be just to join our email list. But it's actually you can just pop on on the twitch channel, which is the Ruby galaxy. And just watch it like any other show. You know, it's been really fun. And we've always had really great questions in the chat. And you can follow the channel to get some updates at the Ruby galaxy.

Chloe Condon  57:44
Amazing. Okay, we've got a couple of minutes left, I have to ask you a very important question. Yes. Tell us about your favorite theme park and ride go

Brandon Minnick  57:54
in two minutes or less. Oh,

Danny Ramos  57:57
my God. So before I do that, I also Oh, do we have any other time to like plug stuff?

Chloe Condon  58:04
Oh, yeah, you can do the actual

Danny Ramos  58:06
theme park. But I also want to do that too. But also Everyone, be sure to check out future stack. Future stag is super sick. It's gonna be new relics kind of upcoming conference in May 25. To the 27th the pelicans are going to be doing a bunch of cool stuff. But we have speakers Kelsey Hightower, Andy bow and Sam Aaron.

Chloe Condon  58:26
That's a great lineup. Yes.

Danny Ramos  58:28
Super siglap. I'm really excited. Kelsey Hightower actually told me that he used to be a comedy manager. So I want to talk to him about that more, because it's very broad.

Chloe Condon  58:40
I love that. Yeah.

Danny Ramos  58:44
But yes, check out feature stack. There it is right there. And read ride.

Brandon Minnick  58:52
And that's New Relic comm slash feature stack for anybody listening along on the podcast,

Chloe Condon  58:58
and I've been loving all of the relevant content. So it should be a good time.

Danny Ramos  59:02
Yes. And check us out on Twitch. New Relic New Relic new underscore relic or you can find the schedule on my channel as well. We Danny but I would have to say Waterworld

Chloe Condon  59:15
live show.

Danny Ramos  59:17
No, no live show. Also great movie. But no, there's a there's a theme park in Colorado called Waterworld. And they used to have this giant wave and it would send people I don't they had to get rid of it because they were too many people were getting hurt. It was this giant that'd be released. And it would just destroy everybody and people would be on tubes smashing into each other and everything. So that's that

Chloe Condon  59:43
sounds like class action Park. Yes. Yes, yes. Amazing. Well, Danny, thank you so much for coming today. You've been amazing guest. We got to get you back here. We'll do some improv comedy on the show or something.

Danny Ramos  59:56
Yes, definitely. And

Chloe Condon  59:59
make We're gonna follow Danny on all the things at moyou. Danny, you can follow me at click on Done. We're Brandon, the CO traveler and we'll see you all next week. Bye.

Danny Ramos  1:00:10
Thank you