8 Bits with Diego Rejtman!

8 Bits with Diego Rejtman!
This week we are joined by Developer Relations General Manager, Diego Rejtman! Join as we discuss mentorship, Microsoft the Musical, career advice and more!

Follow Diego on Twitter: @DiegoRejtman
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @TheCodeTraveler

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8 Bits with Diego Rejtman! - 8 Bits
In this episode of 8 Bits, we are joined by Diego Rejtman! Diego is a General Manager on the Developer Relations team at Microsoft.Follow Diego on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiegoRejtmanFollow Chloe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChloeCondonFol...

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Chloe Condon  0:16
It's a wonderful time of the year. Do you know why I started with? I have a funny story 2020 mishaps Hello everyone. Welcome to eight bits just starting off with a little icebreaker story here. I chose to wear this flaming dumpster fire shirt today because I'm long no spoilers but Brandon and I are working on a little blooper project of our of our own here. And yesterday, I started a stream yesterday with that song. And it's the streaming immediately broke with Scott hanselman like it immediately tried

Brandon Minnick  0:57
to write

Chloe Condon  0:58
so fast that I that I broke this the streaming thing we were using so I just wanted I was testing I was debugging to see like, Is it me? Is it my singing? It's not? I think we're live. Hey, Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  1:15
Here I was thinking you were singing yet. Because it's December. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Chloe Condon  1:20
It is the most one of

Brandon Minnick  1:25
Yeah, I even hung Christmas lights for the first time ever. I have a new homeowner and a couple our neighbors put up their lights and I was like, You know what? I can get into this. Yeah, I'm gonna hang on my lights too.

Chloe Condon  1:38
And you know what, you know, we use travel a bunch for home which is probably a rare thing for the holidays. I have my menorah here and my Christmas at my mom made me Chloe and I so why don't steal my identity. This is knitted I'm feeling very festive. I have this fake fireplace that I got from Walgreens feeling very. I've got the Santa Claus here. And I have a menorah. Because I am Jewish. I'm Jewish on my dad's side. I do want to maybe hopefully put together some sort of IoT menorah project between now and the end of Hanukkah. We'll see. I don't want to I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. But um, I'm feeling festive, too. I'm feeling I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. holiday spirit. Um, I'm very excited. I haven't even told you about this off camera, but I'm done. But the seasons of serverless challenge continues. I know he's talked about it last time for anybody tuning in for the first time. Hi, everyone, I'm here at Microsoft. Also a cloud advocate here at Microsoft. I work with students on academic team so I get to make really fun cool content that students will enjoy. And now I'm super excited because I'm getting to make content with students are wonderful mshs our Microsoft students ambassadors, they're kind of like nice, young mini Mbps. I like to think that them the future MVP is actually future CEOs really these are pretty smart. They're not even kids, they're they're adults. But I got to work with all these awesome essays on the seasons of serverless videos that we're doing so our first one was perfect turkey Brian which was very relevant at the time because you know turkey time cultures all around the world because all of our essays are like all around the world if you follow any of the Imagine Cup stuff or if you've ever mentored for Imagine Cup. Oh my goodness, these students are so so so so smart. So anyway, we had turkey Brian, last week we had lovely ladoos which ladoos are a lovely dessert from India, using machine learning to detect what's living in what's doughnut hole kinda like hot dog, no hot dog. And this week is the world's Guinness Book of World Records. Longest kebab from Turkey Turkish kebab, and British helps us Microsoft Student Ambassador myself in sessile or coworker, talk to him all about me in the world's longest kebab, which is a real thing. And in Turkey, they have this festival every year they can of course this year is a COVID where they this long kebab. Now Brandon, how do you think this works? Because like, I had a lot of questions about stick lane and everything. How do you think?

Brandon Minnick  4:43
Well, I guess the first question is does it have to be edible? like is that a rule to be the robots?

Chloe Condon  4:49
Like people are going to the festival they eat it so like they're building it Gosh, and they want to eat it. So to engineer and solve here. Yeah,

Brandon Minnick  4:58
I mean when I see with a kebab is You don't have to cook it all together, because kebab is basically anybody that doesn't, or hasn't had a kebab before. They're delicious. And they come in all sorts of varieties, but picture like chopped up veggies, some chopped up proteins, typically chicken grilled, and then you kind of slide them onto a stick. And so you gotta bite it off the stick and you get to enjoy what was ever next. So maybe it was like a roasted cherry tomato, to grilled chicken.

They're delicious.

Yeah, and so, with the world's largest one, the nice thing is you don't have to cook the whole kebab at once. Like when I see like world's largest burger, they have to build a giant grill that can cook the burger, or like use flavor or other flavors. But with this, oh gosh, I imagine I'm picturing like a bunch of industrial size kitchens. Right now, I just went to outside because for COVID times, but you could probably do it indoors. Pre COVID. And then just like our bodies of people cooking veggies, cooking chicken, cooking beef. And then then you'd have to have a giant stick. So Oh, gosh, do you just chop down the biggest tree in the neighborhood? And then. So it's

Chloe Condon  6:21
my screen here to show a visual. So I had the same question. I was like, What are the logistics of kebab shops like and what's really interesting, our full length video with the solution is going to be posted next week where we'll be talking about kebab, like DevOps, Bob, because truly like sessile, and I were like, Okay, how does this work? Is this like, see, Brandon, it's interesting that you said different kitchens and outdoors because you're close, it doesn't matter that I'm gonna show you a visual here in a second. Personally, I pictured like a carwash. Just like a really long stick. And the meat of the kebab. Like it is suddenly light. Like, okay, but you know how when you eat a kebab, you're usually not breaking the stick, right? Like, do you have to get a piece of meat like, okay, I want to sell still. But here's the video, you can check it out. It's on YouTube right now for our seasons, the server lists on my YouTube channel. But here I'll play a little bit of it. It's sort of like an assembly line outdoors in a way. So like, there is people gathering together. As a community for this festival, there could be smaller, mini kababs. So then sessile and British and I were like, Oh my gosh, this is like containerized kababs. Like, literally everybody is making their own individual kebab. And what's really, really cool about vs project, and you can check it out@aka.ms slash seasons of server lists. There are like literally the problem that he is solving for is okay, so we need to make sure that this is edible. Like it can't have too much pepper, because then people like there's FDA requirements or, you know, like different things that would make it such that like, okay, you can like all

Brandon Minnick  8:05
qualify as a kebab.

Chloe Condon  8:07
Well think about it, what if you put too much spice on it, people are gonna be like, hey, like, too much pepper, and each piece has to be consistent kebab berry going on. So it was such a fun project to talk to him about. I highly, highly recommend if you if you are a bit of a student or learning to program or you're looking for kind of a challenge to do seasons of serverless great way to get started. I know PJ previous guests participating in some of the challenges and has been having fun with that. But it was so fun, because usually we're solving these problems like last week with the ladoos usually when you're using machine learning, and to determine, you know, it's like retail skews or like you know, products but it was tasty desserts. And now this week I'm dealing with like, meat ops delicious seasonings seasons of serverless for sure. So check that out everyone super fun.

Brandon Minnick  9:02
inside. Oh, I love that we can just attach ops on anything now. And it just works. Yes,

but yeah, kebab ops

Chloe Condon  9:11
is an Android Dev and one of my favorite meetup or conference shirts he has is the Android icon divided into different like meat sections you know like kind of a butchered part and I believe off track with him later but he's still owns meet up the URL or the meat things go back to normal walk to the meet themed meetup y'all. What have you been up to this week? Brandon, what's your life Ben? How's how's dark not world I did a video with Scott Hanselman yesterday so your little face popped up on Xamarin video he was show

Brandon Minnick  9:48
nice. Things are great. I mean, I probably sound silly cuz I'm assuming most people have figured this out as functioning adults, but I was Having neck pain and ankle pain recently, and like couldn't figure it out. And turns out, me sitting on the couch like this working from home all hunched over was just totally an ergonomic and as silly as it sounds like just moving to here moving to my desk where we host a bits together. And doing work here instead of just like, on the couch, hanging out, has just vastly improved my life. So if anybody else is experiencing any like neck pain, back pain, wrist pain, shoulder pain, make sure you got an ergonomic setup, make sure everything's nice and where it should be, your body is relaxed. You're not contorting yourself, because I don't. I thought I was just falling apart. I'm like, but it's happening. I'm only in my 30s this shouldn't be this bad yet. Like I couldn't I couldn't turn my neck like it. It was a problem that turns out I just didn't know how to sit.

Chloe Condon  11:05
It's funny. I personally have found myself tweeting more often tweets that are like, I don't need or I've been seeing them. But I've also been tweeting them myself. They're like, I don't know who needs to hear this, but tweet. Well, they did need to hear what you just said sound like Interesting. Interesting. I have been working from a beanbag chair a lot recently. And huh. But it's true. I love all these tweets that are like, Hey, I don't know who needs to hear this. But make sure that you hydrate and I'm like thing I have not noticed. Well, I love that. And now you're feeling you're feeling like a new person.

Brandon Minnick  11:41
I'm like a Spry 21 year old again. I can I can move my neck in all directions. Doesn't hurt. And it's Yeah, the other weird thing was the ankle pain. Like, it's just not having my feet flat on the ground. And while I was working, and I didn't know that was a thing. And yeah, I started going for runs because like, I'm probably not exercising enough. My feet are just kind of getting a little tight. And then it just got worse. It's like this isn't good. It's about an ankle brace. Like, every did everything that had nothing to do with the actual root cause cuz

Chloe Condon  12:16
like, I don't know, I have these moments to where I'm like, Hmm, I wasn't feeling good. And then I slept for eight hours. I feel crazy.

Who knew? But

leave? Would you feel good. Like truly that has been me during 2020 I think especially having to stay put and having a routine and like realizing these things. I'm like, Ha, I've only had a cold brew today.

Unknown Speaker  12:46
Right now.

Brandon Minnick  12:48
And honestly, like, I think that's the same for me, it's, I would say it's COVID induced or, but because I would always hang out on the couch and type in like that was never anything new. But the difference was, I was able to do other things. And so I could just say like, being able to go into the office a couple of days a week, or just like maybe working from a coffee shop or like meeting up with a friend for lunch. Like all those things were enough to break up my day whereby bad posture didn't affect me. But yeah, now that I'm on doing nothing but bad posture for eight to 10 hours a day. Turns out, it catches up with you. So

Chloe Condon  13:25
this pro tip I've been getting so many great like very simple, but easily implemented pro tips from like friends in the internet. Our coworker Jasmine actually tweeted the other day that she recently changed from dark mode to light mode and that her mood significantly improved. And I was like ha, if that's like a really interesting correlation because, you know, it's almost like I don't know, the folks out there have seen Broad City or familiar with these sunlamps that a lot of people on the East Coast or that you know, in Boston don't get as much sun. They'll use these lamps to kind of help with, you know, feeling better. And like that's literally it. I commented this on their tweet, I was like, Oh, this is literally the kind of like therapy like version tech version of this. So small little fixes and little upgrades that I can give myself in my life. Actually, Brandon, you gave me one. Not an ad but I recently got sleeping headphones to block out music at night. into my life I sleep at night.

Brandon Minnick  14:29
I've been trying so hard to get my wife to try it out because she hasn't been sleeping well. And yeah, I bought so we're talking about the Bose sleepbuds Yeah, and it sounds silly because it's just headphones you sleep in and all they do is play white noise but I started sleeping like a baby. And my Yeah, my wife Kim just refused to subscribe because she's like, I don't like things to my ears. And I'm like, I know Me neither but these are made to sleep in so they're


Chloe Condon  14:58
This is not an ad

promoting good sleep like, it has changed my life mean, I wake up from the slightest noise if I could sleep through anything, it's incredible how if you're well rested, you feel like you can conquer the day. Like, who would have thought? Who would have thought that such a concept? Right?

Brandon Minnick  15:15
So we should write a book on this Gosh.

Chloe Condon  15:21
Breaking News, everyone. Okay, well, I've one quick thing and I'm like really excited to introduce our guest. But first I just have to mention, a very important anniversary is today i'm going to share my screen, you can tell that it's obviously not very important because I'm laughing. If anybody remembers IKEA monkey, it is the eight year anniversary of this monkey being found out an Ikea. I think, my favorite from the internet, this monkey was just found like an owner had left us in a car. I don't know if it was in North York, Toronto, in 2012. On December 9, this just made me so happy. And actually, Thomas on our team even commented, I said, I think about this monkey every day. And he said me as well. I just love I've been thinking a lot lately, since we're stuck on the Internet at all times about how there's certain memes and images that have brought people together during not even just 2020. But like through the internet, right like tyranny our coworker recently was sharing that we that him and I just had a thread that's just us sending frog means back and forth to each other. You have a group chat with some co workers, that's just raccoon means to get us this year, right. And I also as a pro tips of everybody out there. If you do not have a person or a friend or a family member in your life that you can just send memes to that resonate with you get one because it has been it has saved me during 2020 has given me some laughs insanity and relatable this much needed. Yes, yes. But I'm super excited about our guest today, Brandon. Oh my gosh. Yay. Um, okay, so I have a I have an origin story for how I met Diego at Microsoft. Oh my gosh, I just weld it. I guess. You You saw the caption of the show. I don't know what we're doing joking. Like, it's a big secret. So I haven't done as I'm sure you do, too, having worked, you know, in different industries and stuff, where I have these thoughts to myself, like, I'll be coding something and I'll think to myself, like, I wonder if any other engineers are programming to the original Broadway cast soundtrack of Candide. Like, I love very specific musical theater things and my interests are very niche and specific right? So I'll have these thoughts to myself like wonder if anybody else today was was thinking about oh event while listening to Mean Girls the musical Probably not. But I had this moment at Microsoft recently, the first time I ever met, our guest was in a meeting with my team. And this person was talking about Shrek the Musical. Now for those who do not know, I have a previous life as a musical theater actress. And I don't want to I don't wanna brag too much. But I did play Fiona in a community theater production of Shrek the Musical. I do not know many people in this industry who are familiar with this show. So when this man started talking about this show, I was like, This is my moment, but it's very niche musical it I can talk about it with someone. So without further ado, people have eight beds, please welcome

Diego Rejtman  18:54

Chloe Condon  18:59
Welcome to all the musical fans tuning in. Of course. No.

Diego Rejtman  19:04
worries. I don't think I'll be as interesting as the illegal monkey, but I'll try.

Chloe Condon  19:11
I'll have to follow I know I should have saved it for me and I knew when you learn

Diego Rejtman  19:19
this haircut

Chloe Condon  19:22
you know, I noticed I have a tweet in my drafts right now. The baby baby IKEA monkeys jacket is very eerily similar to baby yodas jacket. And I'm kind of convinced that maybe like it's canon, I'm not sure we'll have to we'll have to see in Mandalorian what ends up happening but so Diego for folks who aren't familiar with your work your work or what you do at Microsoft, would you mind letting the folks know at home a little bit about yourself and what you do here?

Diego Rejtman  19:54
Yes, hello folks at home. My name is Diego. I was born and raised in Las Vegas. Argentina. But this great company, Microsoft invited me to work in Seattle now 20 years ago, and I've had multiple jobs in the company. I am currently a general manager in the team that Brandon and Chloe are also in is called Developer Relations. And happy to be here.

Chloe Condon  20:18
Nice. And you have worked in a lot of different places in Microsoft, but I think is such a cool part about working at Microsoft is there's Microsoft is huge. There's so many different things and projects and specialties and expertises and products, oh my gosh, just thinking about like Xbox and everything. So you made a really interesting jump in your career at Microsoft. And I would love to hear about like, how you got working with students because of course, I'm a fan of students here working on the Academic Team. But tell us a little about about your experience working with academic things.

Diego Rejtman  21:00
Microsoft is a big company has about 30,000 employees with presence in more than 150 countries. And employees are encouraged to jump from team to Team every few years, not only to maximize your own learning and experience, but it also helps the company be more connected. We have this concept called one Microsoft. And the real way that we become one Microsoft is when people move around, and more connections happened. I worked in multiple engineering teams. Microsoft hired me straight out of college in Argentina, I went to University of when Osiris and there's a team at Microsoft called University recruiting that that hired me. And I worked on multiple multiple engineering teams, my favorite being the Xbox team, I was on the Xbox One launch team, the one that that he liked the new Xbox One, not the original one. But the new one. About seven, eight years ago, that was my favorite theme. I was there for six years. And I worked on the on the back end services called Xbox Live, as well as the client code, which is the Xbox One operating system. I love it very much. I am someone who mostly follow like a scientific path. I studied computer science at the University and and I truly love that. And I haven't really explored my artistic side growing up. And this is something that at Microsoft, I also didn't see, like a good place to try that, you know, I'm going to stick to shipping code, shipping software, leaving great teams to power the planet. But sadly, our new CEO came in and he started talking about integrating all parts of ourselves. And they started talking about this concept of growth mindset, you can look it up. And at the same time I was approaching my midlife crisis, I was reaching 40 years old and I have achieved a lot of things that I set out for myself, came to this great nation, I formed my family and I have kids and I I had professional success will be on my expectations. So I started getting that existential crisis. And I started doing things like building these walls behind me with answers and questions. seeking answers that will allow me to be happier. I haven't found the answer yet. They went they really got inspired. And I sent an email to the head of HR at Microsoft, Kathleen Hogan and said like I I really want to explore my my people my humanistic side, can we meet? And she said yes. And that's one of the things I want to one of the takeaways for the audience, which is connect with the world. Good things happens when you connect with the world. When you send a letter, send an email, stop someone on the street, knock on the door. Doors Do not open unless you know, you know, and I actually gave a TED talk. You can search it up online about this topic, sending letters connected with the world that that email letter is sent to Kathleen one thing led to another and and I was given the opportunity to lead Microsoft global university recruiting. So this is the thing that found me 20 years ago, I was able to lead that team 200 wonderful recruiters dispersed globally inviting 10,000 students to Microsoft every year 5000 interns and 5000 full time employees. So because of that I was I got involved with universities with students with internship classes. I had a lot of fun. Hopefully I made some sort of impact to some students. And now I moved on to my next venture at Microsoft.

Chloe Condon  24:52
So exciting and how, I mean, I've worked with some interns here, Microsoft, again, not an ad for interns. I just love them. to Microsoft, they're so smart. And, you know, they haven't, they haven't been bogged down by the world around us. I love working with interns because they just have this passion and this drive. And they're just so so so, so excited. And you can see it in all the work that they do here at Microsoft on the Learn modules, they work on the programs they create on the content that they put out there. It's just so exciting and wonderful to see.

Brandon Minnick  25:26
Yeah. And do you mentioned your journey started in Buenos Aires? I'm curious how how did you find Microsoft? or How did Microsoft find you? Because I know a lot of folks probably think, well, Microsoft, it's a company based in Seattle. If I don't live in Seattle, I don't move to Seattle, then I don't have a chance. So I'm curious, how did that? Well, it's not the truth. But let's, let's start spread about word and yeah, diga. How did how did you find them? or How did they find you?

Diego Rejtman  26:01
Excellent question, I will quote Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said, The I can only see what it is prepared to see. Meaning that we all have Li antennas, like Shrek, and opportunities are passing by all the time. And they're always there, maybe you don't get some type of opportunity, but you get another one. And we are the ones who need to be attuned to these opportunities to do Don't miss them. And once we see them have the courage to go for it. You know, I I grew up for computer science when I was 10 years old. And my parents spent a whole month salary to me my first computer a Commodore 64. And I'm, I'm dating myself and but that that was my love for computers. But that good mix with my love for for sending letters, which is something that my mom encouraged me to do. When she saw me playing games all day. She said please write them some letters to the people who made the games. So you get to know what's behind the games. And I didn't. And I email and I sent pen and paper letters to more than 10 companies and and it was very shocking that they all replied back. All of them. Yes. And that cemented my my desire to pursue computer science and, and when I was in, in, in university, I want to say this. One of the alumini there, his name was Jorge, he actually mentioned that Microsoft might come to Argentina to to recruit so I send them a letter, I sent him an email saying like, hey, here I am. And this kudos to Microsoft, like, as you say, like, we want the greatest minds, the greatest hearts, people who do people who will build the future. And many, many the majority of those, like we hire for the US in the US, but we also hire globally for the US, or in all these different countries. So they, they took a bet on me, Microsoft took away from me, and that was 20 years ago.

Chloe Condon  28:06
I think it was a really good day.

I love what you said about like putting kind of writing those letters, putting putting it out into the universe telling people what you want and connecting other people and I feel that so deeply, especially as someone who is rooted in the arts, I really view my job as a developer advocate as a casting director. Because a lot of what I do with my network is connects different people together to have conversations or you know, communities together and I think so much of what we do as dev roll like as developer advocates is really like finding like oh you're working on this thing this person is doing this thing like let's let's make something cool together which is always so so exciting to see when a bunch of you know really cool like minded talented people can come together and oh my gosh Diego we got to talk about Microsoft musical cuz what it what better example whoever runs learn TV account, holler. Put a great tweet up that said when is learning TV the musical coming? Great question learn TV, Twitter account person I. But tell us about how that happened. Because I have performed in many vehicles in my in a day. And it's no easy feat to, you know, put a musical onstage, let alone film it. And there are some very incredibly talented people in this video. What is the origin story here and also, I'm firing my agent because why wasn't my call?

Diego Rejtman  29:41
Well, for those of you who don't know what he's referring to, you can search on YouTube, Microsoft, the musical and you will see a music examiner made by the interns and they say that they clearly does not go to be like most of the grades that goes to these Stanford students will leave McGregor, who, you know, directed, wrote with a friend named treat and directed with a friend named Shweta. The musical did most of the work. I would say, I was an enabler, and I'll tell you the story, but all the credit goes to him and the 150 interns who made it happen. And I think little things may be things happen. When you mentioned glory about sending letters like I would not be here today with you talking to this audience. If I had not mentioned that I loved Shrek the Musical in that meeting. Like I took a risk of being vulnerable. Right? Like my four year old male engineer, and I talked about, like, how I watched straight the musical on Netflix, you can all find it about 50 times, you know, by the way, my love for music has started also with my mother, when when I was young, she took me to the movies to see the sound of music. Like many people my age the world is divided into people who love the sound of music and do not hate the sound of music. I'm on the love the sound of music camp

Chloe Condon  31:10
to VHS is for people. I'm dating myself here. Separate VHS was back in the day at any rental home we went to,

Brandon Minnick  31:20
you know, like different stories is I heard this on a podcast. I don't know this person personally. But she grew up Never knowing there was a second VHS for sounded musical. Had no idea about how it ended just kind of thought like they got together they sang some songs. And that was it happily ever after. And

Chloe Condon  31:43

Brandon Minnick  31:45
It was until one of our friends said something about what happens in the second half. She's like, wait a minute, that never happened. And he goes oh, you never see that part. Have you? It's a it's a very different movie. The second half

Chloe Condon  32:02
is you know, in the tradition of eight bits random, always bringing it back to theme parks, of course. But I couldn't agree more Diego like I think that it really takes people with creative ideas like I've been watching this Imagineering series on Disney plus. And these creative ideas that when you think about it, there are technical problems that are being solved right by Imagineers like building animatronics and rides and like creating a performing arts like experience for like multiple 100 people, hundreds of people a day. And I think it's so it's such a breath of fresh air. And so exciting and thrilling when you find other like minded people in this industry that like and are passionate about the same things that you are and want to focus and spend time because that's the thing, right putting on a musical takes time and energy and effort but I have the pleasure of interviewing these interns during build this year. And oh my goodness here bees to see these students eyes. I mean, they're all working professionals light up and talking about what this experience was like, like we it almost felt like they learned just as much as they said, putting together this musical as they didn't need like internship, the internship part itself. And whenever I find folks in this industry who are doing cool, creative, fun projects like this, it's like our people found them.

Physical brought it all together.

Diego Rejtman  33:35
Yes, so I know that we're talking about the musical because it's something fun, but behind it, there is very serious business. And that is that when I joined the university recruiting team I'm a big fan of Microsoft but I was concerned about truth in advertisement. Truth in advertisements for this, you know, means that when you advertise a product, and people buy the product is exactly as advertised. And we were making big statements, big statement of Microsoft, right? Like our our motto were like our advertisement said like commerce you are and do what you love, you know, bring your whole self to work. We would say we would say use Microsoft as a platform for your passions. These are big statements and, and Microsoft like this, there's still a difference between the future we aspired to have an early experience, there's a gap we aspire to be this, our live experience is this and the job of all of us, the two of you and me and everybody watching works at Microsoft is to reduce that gap between who we want to be and who we are. So, you know, like, over the summers like my team and I we notice that we did a really good job. You know, treating the interns very well. pampering as much as we can giving them A lot of parents and showing them how cool the Northwest is in Seattle. And, but where we truly living up to those promises, right? And and this is where it wasn't just me again, it was like a group of a group of colleagues, we started to see how can we can make this true? How can we force foster this culture for the interns? And we started talking to them about this idea, like, what are your passions? What do you want to do in addition to your job? Like, what is something about you that you were going to leave outside? Do you want to come in and, and again, this goes again, about the antennas and planting seeds. Because three summers ago, we did the competition for a video that interns would submit, talking about the showing their experience, and Leah McGregor submitted one, he was one of the top three videos. So yeah, like he could maintain as I say, like, this is someone to watch. There was like very good storytelling in that video, you know, I started following him on social networks. And I noticed that he did some musicals he did when he school give you like, they were not as big as members of the musical, they were smaller, but they there was there was like, passion and talent there. So basically, what happened is like, by the time he came back, we, my team, and I will basically be more serious, like, bring your passions and, and he sent me an email saying, Hey, you know, my passion is music, which I already knew. Like, I really am thinking about doing this, like crazy thing in three months, got together like 100 in terms of Microsoft music, and, and this is the musical income stream. This is a passion of mine as well. So he was very easy for me to say no, but I think the power of yours is more powerful than the power of No. So I said, like, go for it. And I said, oh, by the way, like my favorite thing. In addition to Shrek the Musical is, I like the Tony opening. Now he mentioned that he wanted to do like a Tony opening number. And I told him like, in 2003. Neil Patrick Harris is one that I really love. And, and these guys just run with it. They can still 150 people, orchestra, actors and actresses, dancers, producers, writers. Camera people, like these are all 100% interns. They had no budget for it. Like in the end. Like we were able to give them some budget when we saw that this is this is real.

Chloe Condon  37:31
Interns cuz i i'm i'm 31 myself and I have done musicals produced by grownups that are not this good. I can assure you, and just the amount of effort like that goes in. I just my heart, my heart exploded when I thought well, my heart exploded. And I turned green with jealousy because I was like, Oh my gosh, why was I not involved. But I'm coming for you. And you actually reminded me of a story Diego and we're just playing the musical here as we tell this that I really love what you said about the the whole bring your authentic self to Microsoft like that is one of our pillars here at Microsoft and something that that Satya speaks to a lot and that's that's kind of a common theme here. And and this song that we're playing currently is all about, you know, being being yourself bringing your whole self to work. And I remember very vividly when I was learning how to program I was practicing whiteboarding with some teachers at my engineering school. And we were you know, we had some sort of whiteboarding problem that was like, you know, you have a farm and you're trying to figure out how many pigs can go wherever. And so as because I'm silly, and I'm Chloe, you know, quirky. I use very funny variable names, and I put, you know, piggy one is one and piggy two, and piggy three, you know, I was putting on a little joke and my whiteboarding solution. And I got very, very nice feedback from this person, but they said just you know, I thought you did a great job, you saw the, you know, whiteboarding question correctly, but I would advise you that when you interview at places that you don't use silly or funny variable names, and I very quickly responded, I don't think I want to work anywhere where they don't like my silly funny variable names. So that is something that when I have ever jobsearch in my career that I really hold with me that I'm like, if people can't handle my really terrible dad jokes work here. And that is what I loved about this video. Is that it really you can see the authenticity there's the dancing oh my gosh, like look at this choreography Brandon.

Green this this is it's so wonderful to see so many I mean, like you said hundreds of students in this video just being their full true I mean dancing, authentic selves doing an cheerleading move here.

Brandon Minnick  39:56
Very impressive.

Diego Rejtman  39:57
It's they felt empowered. And this is something that money can't buy. And to be honest, like, these great companies, the technology companies, the big five, the ones we compete with, there is a war for talent out there, because these are the folks that are gonna build the future for humanity and, and honestly, like, the financial packages, and like the parents, like they're very similar in these companies. So what would make a student choose to go one place for another, I think it comes down to a place where you can be happier. And, and happiness comes from living the life you want to leave from authenticity from friendships, you know, all the other stuff, stuff is like, it goes the short way. But in the long term, it's not happiness. So this was one of the multiple projects that happened. As part of this internship, yeah. And I think like, we could like, I think my university recruitment team team, we could not have done this better than the interview at the Microsoft marketing team, sorry, I'm gonna throw the gauntlet, but they will not. They cannot do this better than these, because you cannot buy an authenticity. It was like, very passionate, I actually, I did a cameo they asked me to do in the in the video at some point. Because I was not the first choice. So I want to thank our CEO, Satya, who were to VC at that time. And that was a third choice during the review, you

Chloe Condon  41:32
know, and it's so what you say about authenticity is so true, right. And I think that really is true with developer communities. And I'm sure Brandon, you can speak to this as well, that if you are going out there and you're selling a product for us, it's it's things that Microsoft is either it's Xamarin, it's VS Code, it's, you know, whatever it is, as your functions, whatever we're doing content on. But there's such a difference between connecting with an audience member and saying, you know, hey, I instead of just, you know, doing the usual thing with this particular piece of software, I decided to do this fun thing that maybe makes a little bit more relatable, there really is something to be said for having that. I always explained developer advocacy as a liaison between marketing and engineering, because engineers don't know how to do marketing a lot of times and marketers don't know how to talk to engineers. So in a lot of ways we act as this translator to be like, Alright, like, I I'm not going to send you a newsletter, or an email that has all this jargon in it, let me be real with you. Let me talk to you as a person. And that's what I really loved about Microsoft musical is that like it candidly, like, of course, I was already working at Microsoft. I think if I had seen this, I would have been like, I want to go see, looks like Microsoft. But um, but it's true. I think that like passion and enthusiasm shows through and like, Yeah, hello product. Without that.

Diego Rejtman  42:53
Just those are the only things the two things you need, I think in life to accomplish anything you want, is enthusiasm. And time, I think things take time. That musical that was a culmination of three years of cultural activation. Like it wasn't a musical, and we couldn't do it again. Now, if we want. Those things take time. And you need to have enthusiasm, because you're going to hit roadblocks, and you have to have real enthusiasm to keep going. You know, I think that the trick is not how to get there is very simple time and enthusiasm. The trick is knowing where you want to go. That's the real trick. There's nothing worse than then going up a mountain and when you're at the top, you realize this not the mountain I want to do to go to scale. These other mountains, I think that's the harder part is to really know, what do I want? And then there are methods to get there. But what do I want? That's the that's the tough question.

Chloe Condon  43:51
That's one of my favorite quotes from a musical students on time. But how Cinderella says how do you know what you want till you get what you want, and you see if you like it, which for me, and a lot of ways was I thought I wanted to be an actress. And I did that for a while and I was like, wait a minute, I want to go do that thing. So finding that mountain and climbing it just not thinking about it, doing it finding the time. Couldn't agree more.

Brandon Minnick  44:14
Yeah. And Diego, I know you do a lot of work with mentoring. And I imagine that you can help people as a mentor. So like if you've climbed that mountain, and somebody says I'm interested in doing X, Y and Z, you can say, oh, here's what I recommend, or here's what I don't recommend. And I'm curious, yeah, how do you handle those conversations, and either encourage somebody go up a different mountain or maybe just give them the boost boost, they need to keep climbing.

Diego Rejtman  44:46
Thank you so much for bringing this this topic. Mentoring is a huge passion of mine. So I want to talk about role modeling cell mentor. I'll answer your question very quickly and then I will go to that but I think like this I think the paradox of things. that it takes time to understand is that we do not grow from our successes. Like we enjoy our successes, we have fun with our successes, we can toast with champagne with our successes. But we don't grow with our successes. Because if I'm being successful, I don't need to change, I don't need to change. I'm winning the race, like what why do I need to grant any faster, I'm already winning the race, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna try to run faster and succeeding. We grow from failures. or better said, we get the opportunity of growth from failures, we have a failure, meaning Oh, I'm no longer winning the race, what the hell is going on, I have an opportunity to say, Well, I'm going to keep losing the race, or there's an opportunity to say, I'm going to do whatever I need to do, to go back to winning the race. And that's where the growth come from. So I think in terms of mentorship, so many of the things that hold us back, comes down to one thing, only one, which is fear, fear. We are afraid we all have fears, we are afraid we are afraid. And we are afraid of what we're afraid of failure, not knowing that failure is the only way to grow. You know, it's easier said than done. But I would say like the best mentors you will get are the ones that have wounds and scars and have gone through failures. And those are the ones that can give you the best advice. And for a lot of time in my life. When I was younger, I thought I was a great mentor, but I haven't gone through a lot of failures. So the advice, the quality of the advice I was giving was like mediocre. But after I lived more, it became better quality advice. Rather than just anything I want to tell you all these good things happen when you identify and follow role models and mentors, role models, for those of you who don't know, are people you don't even know. These are people that you admire that you want to be like, I have a few I've been following astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson forever. singer songwriter Jorge Drexler forever, philosopher Alain de Botton, you know, these are alive ones, let me I have dead ones as well, you know, Darwin, and Einstein and those people. This is something that is very powerful, and mentors that you engage with, you know, and there's very few things in your career that will be more helpful than mentors. And so goes, if you don't know how one or two or three mentors, you are missing out, all you have to do is ask, and they ask I will make to you and I guess what my main thesis is, at some point, it's your turn to mentor others. So that's how you pay forward. So I have I have mentors today, multiple ones. And I have like 50 mentees, I found that after making a lot of my professional dreams come through, I like I really want to pay forward. So I'm quite generous in terms with my time, and we'll see that and sustain. But

Brandon Minnick  48:03
fantastic. Yeah, yeah. And and I'm curious, because I know you are, you're also an avid reader. And yes, so mentioning, you have a lot of mentors you've never met. I'm curious. Is that where you get the inspiration from some say reading their books? And are there any books you recommend

Diego Rejtman  48:21
that you agree I, you know, leaders are readers, leaders. And I always remind, remember, the matrix 1999 movie with Ken Reeves, the matrix where he basically and I'm beating myself again, can you believe that movie? No, it's all it's amazing.

Chloe Condon  48:42
Matrix I'm feeling like 100 year old woman right now

Diego Rejtman  48:45
we're gonna go to the matrix. The way that they teach you is that they connect the cable to the back and the healers, Jiu Jitsu and healers. So these things, you know, that technology didn't exist don't exist yet. The way you upgrade your operating system is through reading. Of course, you can also look at movies, documentaries, podcasts. But reading is something where there is a human being that is not you, who has experienced and live incredible things that you haven't and they are being suggested is to put everything in a book in their biography or into the research and they're giving it to you. So it's a shortcut. Books is a shortcut to knowledge to wisdom, and people don't Liberace so I am a reader and I do. I like to gift books. So I, I do have here a list of like 10 books that I want to recommend which are 10 books for the holiday reading. And if you're a man, I would love to just call out a couple of them. Is that okay? Yeah, please. These are just the books in English. One thing I learned also is that when when we recommend something or when we describe the world, we are actually describing ourselves, talking about diversity and inclusion. Many times people don't realize See a post from someone saying these are my favorite books, these are my favorite, these are the best movies. And but then even the United States and they don't speak any other language. And so they're missing out like 90% of the content from other languages in other countries. So really, these are the ones that from everything you've been exposed to, these are the best ones. But there's, so these are, these are the ones in English, this one is, I've gifted this more than 25 times this holidays, the school of life and emotional location, by alarm, they will turn the switch philosopher, and this is something they will teach you in school. And it's so important because we are very focused on external success, like looking out with the antenna, which is great. But it's we, I don't think we look inside enough. Many of many of the answers of our happiness are inside and inside. So this one is amazing. I really love psychology books. Here's another one called, you know, too soon, all too late. Smart. Very, you need to know the one. You know, the scientific ones. This is like this one is like 40 years old, The Selfish Gene. But like, if you really want to understand the mechanics of life like these, these Richard Dawkins is placed in an amazing way. And then you get an A perspective about what we are. And it helps us be more comfortable with the struggles of the human condition. So a lot of books that I have to recommend, address. There's too many of them.

Chloe Condon  51:32
I brought a book

that I want to share because I was so proud. So here's the thing, y'all i, this is Microsoft Oh, but I do own a Kindle. And I listened to a lot of audiobooks also. But it felt really good just finished a book and I purposely bought this book as a physical copy. It's by Abbi Jacobson of Broad City, it's called I might regret this. And it's about a road trip that she takes cross country. But I actually decided to buy the physical copy of this, because she draws a bunch of illustrations in that. And I could not agree more Diego, I read this book, and I put it down and I went, hmm, all of like this is answered a lot of this person's experience has given me so much insight into the things that I want to do the different paths and ways that things can go. And that's what I love, love love about Microsoft, not to bring it back to Microsoft. Again, this isn't Microsoft is that there are so many people from different walks of life care, like, just the three of us on this call are so so different in our background experience, origin story and really think of people like almost like a Marvel Cinematic Universe, right? Like, there's so much that we don't know going on underneath the Iron Man armor. is iron a Marvel? Yes. We're gonna yell at me in the comments. But really, like people have these superpowers, and I think like when you identify, I always tell people that I mentor about There's a song from the musical Gypsy and it's all about you got to get a gimmick. And it's like, what is your gimmick? Like, what is it about you that makes you special? And I love that we see that here. People just really like being their authentic selves and bringing it to what they do here.

Brandon Minnick  53:21
And embracing that too. And not just, you know, acknowledging that, oh, yeah, clothes a little quirky. But also like, we need to shine a spotlight on her because she's amazing. And this quirkiness is just a little part of how amazing she is. And like, I've worked at places where I've worked faces for it's accepted, but it's not encouraged and definitely here, it's most definitely encouraged.

Diego Rejtman  53:50
If you want more defense about being yourself in shrink the musical, listen to this song, let your freak flag wave. Two things would you say? Like, we all have one superpower, which is one of the same. And this is like this laser beams that come out of our eyes. That is called attention and whatever you look at with those laser beams, wherever you point to you will grow which means whatever you pay attention to with time and enthusiasm, he will grow. So you want to know more about programming calling you. You pay a lot of attention to that. You will compare that you want to have a healthy family, you pointed your family give them attention, you will grow anything. You like fitness, you pay attention to your body as you will grow. But the opposite is also true. Whatever you don't point he won't grow. So that's the balance of life to say like what do I choose to pay attention to knowing that it will grow and get stronger? And what do I not knowing that he will he will die and And talking about what you said, being ourselves, in this book and underwater talks about how unfair is the comparisons we make to others? Because we are the only ones who know what our inside looks like. Barely, like I barely know, like, what I'm who I am, but, but I know all my insecurities, my imposter syndrome, my wounds, like, I know all my bad thoughts, my, my, my impulses, but I don't know yours, like all I see from us what you show me, you know, what do you show me on social networks, which is a highly edited version of yourself, or when you show me you know, and so it's very unfair to compare our insides to other people's outsides. So I think it's very important to know that we are all struggling with this thing called life. We're all trying to figure it out. And it's so important to support each other in this journey. And we all need that support. Because the human being is a social animal, and we can't do it alone. So have compassion for yourself. self compassion is number one thing you can do for yourself is not easy. We keep a very high bar for ourselves. Almost impossible work. And then once we have self compassion for ourselves, we can have compassion for others. And it's easier said than done. I'm at 44 I'm still working on it, you know, but that will be something that I highly encourage you be be be easy on yourself sometimes. Especially 2020. And all of these

Brandon Minnick  56:32
fantastic advice. Especially. Yeah, especially for 2020 Oh my gosh,

Diego Rejtman  56:37

Chloe Condon  56:40

I'm too weird or strange, or I'm I don't know, if I belong at Microsoft. Here's a picture of me responding to a fart from Shrek the Musical, and let's see if I can get this one here.

Diego Rejtman  57:09
Dreams are only dreams people unless you make them through remaining dreams. Do something about it. So my daughter's when he shared the musical in there in the theater class. Those are my two daughters. And there was a charity event and they were they were basically there was a silent auction to be on the play and they won and I wasn't there it was me and like 40 kids and it was deemed to be a statue you might notice Yeah,

Chloe Condon  57:37
so fine. Well, we are coming up on the end of our time here. This is so lovely Diego, thank you for coming in chatting with us about well first of all, oh my gosh. Got a couple minutes left. Diego Have you been what is your favorite theme park and what's your favorite ride?

Diego Rejtman  57:56
My favorite the theme park East Disney World in Florida specifically beater beach which is like the waterpark. My favorite drive by far east Splash Mountain. Okay, I've gone multiple times. I love the music I love it's on water I love everything.

Chloe Condon  58:14
Diego it's getting a revamp they're making their will send you an article we've talked about this on the show. It's fascinating. I love this. I love the fact that Brandon Didn't you work at that waterpark.

Brandon Minnick  58:31
I worked at the one next to it. I was a lifeguard at typhoon lagoon one summer in high school

Diego Rejtman  58:35
is beautiful, too. I love that one. Yeah. I have a I have a relation with everything in the world, which is lazy reverse. Like I can be on a lazy river for like, hours upon hours. And I fantasize if I will be gates. I would be like a lazy river all across the United States that people can get into and out.

Chloe Condon  58:55
We need one in Redmond. Yeah, let's go around to the different buildings. You wouldn't have to take a car anywhere. I actually think it's a brilliant idea with social distancing. A lazy river and Redmond. Well, thank you so much Diego, people, where should people follow you on the interwebs? Yeah,

Diego Rejtman  59:14
I am most active on LinkedIn. Because I work in recruiting and, and sharing my sense of wonder that that's my mission in life sharing my sense of wonder. So LinkedIn, the others, my QR code, and my name, you can search, you know, that's where I post the most. Because I'm now a developer relations advocate. I'm also building a Twitter. So follow me on Twitter is My name is my handle. And I accept all invitations on LinkedIn. So go ahead.

Chloe Condon  59:44
Well, we will see you all next week. Thanks again, Jayla for joining and thanks for coming.

Diego Rejtman  59:51
Everybody. Thank you.