8 Bits with Jay Gordon!

8 Bits with Jay Gordon!
This week we are joined by Microsoft Developer Advocate, Jay Gordon! Join us as we discuss web design, system administration, mental health and more!

Follow Jay on Twitter: @jaydestro
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @TheCodeTraveler

Listen to the Podcast

8 Bits with Jay Gordon! - 8 Bits
Jay Gordon is a Developer Advocate at Microsoft!Watch the Video Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ULKoIRVxwFollow Jay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaydestroFollow Chloe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChloeCondonFollow Brandon on Twitt...

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Chloe Condon  0:23
That song

every time Oh, it still plays my ear because I have it open in another tab. Wow. Hi, Brandon. Hi.

Brandon Minnick  0:37
Good. It's so good to see you.

Chloe Condon  0:39
Good to see you too. Welcome back everyone to eight bits. I think this is our first time streaming on the MicrosoftDeveloper YouTube channel. So hello.

Brandon Minnick  0:48
That's right.

Chloe Condon  0:49
We're all our

new viewers

Brandon Minnick  0:51
growing, we're branching out. I like to think of it is us taking over? Yeah, we we kind of stumbled upon this. And as an a Microsoft employee, and as a developer, I probably should have known that we had a Microsoft developer YouTube channel before, but I stumbled upon it this week. And it's like, Hey, can we can we Seibel stream to this. And nobody said no.

Chloe Condon  1:18
Time to be alive. So exciting. I'm super excited for all our new viewers. If you've never watched the show before, and you're kind of going Who's this quirky lady with the pink headphones? And this guy with the is that the um, this is fine dog. Yeah. So this Oh, yeah. Oh, fak, their monkey, and Zara, monkey shout out. We are your host, Chloe and Brandon, we host this show every week called eight bits, which is a show where we talk to really awesome guests about all the cool things that they do in the community. We kind of talked about the behind the scenes thing, get a little off topic. We've talked about whatever we talked about Brandon theme parks, talk about, oh, my goodness, read clowning. Definitely watch previous episodes,

Brandon Minnick  2:06
we have so many amazing guests. And really, every like that's the point of the show is to learn more about the people because there's, there's so many streams, so many YouTube videos of let's look at code and do X, Y and Z. But we found that there's some really amazing stories behind the tech where we get to know the folks who make those tools that we use every day. And I think most interesting, at least for me has been learning their story because we all kind of think of getting into tech. Well what's that mean? You got to go to college, you got to get a degree then you got to get a job and have an internship. And there's like these steps that seem to be prescribed to get into tech. And that's totally not the case. I every guest we've had on has a different background. You and I have different backgrounds. And that's, that's fascinating to me. And I love it. I love it. Because, yeah, spoiler you don't need a degree to get into tech and you don't. You don't have to go to Ivy League or top tech school to work at a company like Microsoft.

Chloe Condon  3:13
I'm over here with my theater performance degree. Just I'm I tweeted something a couple days ago that actually was inspired by a conversation I was having with one of our previous guests PJ two time guests, PJ mattes. Shout out to PJ. And I think I was I was texting him and I said he was having some imposter syndrome. And I said, I'm just three children in a trench coat, pretend it's okay. And I think it's important to have these conversations, especially as senior engineers, because a lot of the times it used to bother me so much when I was learning to program and people be like, oh, that never goes away. And I'm like, it's easy for you to say you work at Airbnb, like and I was going to work at Microsoft like, yeah,

Brandon Minnick  3:58
it never goes away. Yeah. And it's easy to forget that because yeah, I'm sure people look at us and like Wow, those two people. They they've got it all together. We don't. But no, yeah. Speaking of PJ, I joined him working on a website, why you guys

Chloe Condon  4:15
were streaming on Sunday. I

Brandon Minnick  4:20
Thanks for joining us, I

Chloe Condon  4:20
think hamburger to explain what's poppin and you are building, you're just finishing up a hamburger segment on this web.

Brandon Minnick  4:29
So here are all my NFP net. Let's see if anybody's interested you can check out PJ's first website. He's just learning to code. And for some reason, wanted me to help him make a website. And I'm not a web developer. I'm a mobile developer. I make iOS and Android apps, specifically in C# using Xamarin. But it's been a lot of fun. Get back to you. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to making razor pages or ASP.NET Core And it's fun just to like, learn and stumble through things together. Because, yeah, like, he just mentioned that to me before. It's like, oh, man, I can't wait to have that much experience and be like that someday I'm like, dude, it never changes. We all just, we're just Google and stuff. We don't overdo it. Like, we're copy pasting from Stack Overflow, we just, we just know what to Google. I feel like that's the SR is like, we know, we know what? That's right. Exactly.

Chloe Condon  5:29

Brandon Minnick  5:35
Yeah, he did. PJ did added a secret webpage, to his website. And so I won't spoil it because, well, spoiler alert, all the code for his website is open source, he's got a link to it on that webpage. So if you want to dig through the source code and find out the URL, because you can't navigate to it, but yeah, I don't know how we got there we were, we were gonna add a new page. And we're like, let's just copy paste some old code, any copy pasting some old code, and you're like, Oh, we should just keep that that's really funny. It's like, this burger ordering app. Has nothing to do is websites all about poetry and introducing you to modern day poets that he loves? Cuz he's a high school English teacher? And? Yeah, if you can find it, let us know.

Chloe Condon  6:20
Yeah, I think that's so cool. I think it's been so fun to see folks like we've had a lot of guests recently, like llerena, clown turned engineer, we've had Baker's turn engineers, we've had, Oh, my gosh, PJ is a high school teacher who's learning how to program right now. And today, our guest, you know, it's funny, because I don't think about our guest as a non traditional background person. In my mind, he's just like this super technical Dude, that's been in my life. But I'll give my little I'll give my little intro of our guests in a second here. So we can see I'm sure he has a lot to add about copying and pasting things from stocks. So our special guest today is someone that I met, oh, my goodness, three years ago, four years ago, maybe I'm in at DevOps day, Boston, and one of my favorite humans. Welcome to the show, cloud advocate, Jay. Hello, Jay. Welcome to the show.

Jay Gordon  7:18
How are you both doing?

Chloe Condon  7:19
We're doing good, you know. So we're just talking about, you know, how we have all these people coming from these different backgrounds. And I thought, what better intro than for you, Jay, because you were gonna talk a lot about how you got started with community and everything like that. But tell us a little bit about your imposter syndrome, because you've been doing this a lot longer than I have. And do you still have impostor syndrome was all over you.

Jay Gordon  7:49
I'll be real. It was a big problem for me for a while. And the reason why it was is because I had reached a certain point in my career where I compared myself against a lot of my peers, I spent so much time worrying about what other people were doing and trying to do the same thing. And this was when I was Assistant Administrator, and especially when I went into advocacy, I mean, but lately, you know, I really came to recognize that my strengths are my strengths. And those are what I focus on now rather than the things I'm not capable of doing. And while I will have moments where I look and I struggle with imposter syndrome, I certainly feel like I through a lot of work. I've overcome it a lot. And I am still not the best at what I do. I will never be the best at what I do. But what I do, I appreciate it. And I try to do it as best as I can. So

Chloe Condon  8:48
yeah, and I think that sort of as RuPaul calls it the inner saboteur. Yes, everyone, I did just say group calls masterclass is showing that kind of voice in the back of our head, we are kind of our own worst enemy and a lot of ways. But before we get too much, even to imposter syndrome, Jake, give everyone at home here. We know who you are. You're a co worker, of course on our team, but give the folks at home a little bit of intro on who you are, what you do. What what's going on in the world of J.

Jay Gordon  9:21
Sure. So right now, I work for the DevOps advocacy team on the cloud advocacy group. We're part of a team called methods and practices and within methods and practices, all the different ways for you to use the cloud. And so I focus on something like call fundamentals with Azure. And I focus a lot on how DevOps and Azure works together, as well as the fundamentals of how to use it and especially get your say az 900 or one of those certificates. My my career kind of starts in like 1997 When like I have just finished high school, and I have absolutely no idea where life is taking me, I don't really want to go to college because I wasn't really good in high school. And some guy had a bunch of dialer racks for dial up posting. And he he called me one day after I I left him a bunch of voicemail saying I wanted to or answering machine messages saying I wanted to help work for his company. And he said, okay, and he paid me like three bucks an hour to help people do you like Windows 95 dial up. And then from there, I I tried to go to college, and it really didn't work didn't take, I think is the best way to describe it because I had some shoot some things to worry about with my dad, he was not this the most well person, and I had to spend time with him and take care of him and I had to get a full time job. ended up dropping out and working as a system administrator for just these different companies. I actually did web design before that, because I have absolutely no design skills but back in like 2001 or 2002 if you just knew enough HTML like

Chloe Condon  11:22
if we had Anna Medina on the show, friend of yours, J and Anna was going on with us about Neopets and MySpace. Oh my gosh, I'm wearing my Word Art shirt today as a trivia.

Brandon Minnick  11:37
I love that.

Jay Gordon  11:38
But yeah, I become a system administrator for like one company for like, almost eight years. I ended up spending time at a little place a few places jumping around and then eventually went to BuzzFeed. That was a really awesome experience because I was there for when that crazy the dress thing happened. I was I was on call that night. What absolute nightmare of an

Chloe Condon  12:01
okay, so for people who were not on the internet that year. Real quick, the dress if people are not familiar was one it was people on the internet, were seeing this dress as blue or gold, I think depending if we had some sort of like trick of the eye thing. And it blew up on BuzzFeed. And Jay, you used to give a talk about that right about like, what the surge of like the influx on BuzzFeed.

Jay Gordon  12:30
Yeah, I'm gonna share something with you really quick. I really love this particular talk that I used to do. And it's about this situation, what it was like to work on the BuzzFeed tech team during record traffic. This was an incredible, incredible night. These are the nag iOS alarms that we had when I just found out and this is the thing that my wife and I whenever we talk about this story, is how it begins. I didn't know what was going on. I spent the whole day at a data center because the llamas got loose. Like if you if llamas got loose, okay in like real llamas. Yes, llamas got loose in the street. And I do this in one day in one day. And so you can see we ended up having about like a half a million active users on the site.

Brandon Minnick  13:28

Jay Gordon  13:29
this was a visualization of all the traffic at once we took logs, and we threw it into this thing that created a GIF. And then here's Ben Smith, who's now with the new york times. Talk. This is a BuzzFeed

Chloe Condon  13:42
article about this. So

Jay Gordon  13:48
I'm going to go ahead and just throw this in the private chat. And so if you want to share Yeah, good. But yeah, this was a crazy day and we all hear the llamas and they were the different colors the dress, but we dealt with just oh, by the way. She did buy me this drink. Kate Holderness who actually was like the person that made kind of this viral moment happened after she got the email. And it was about some Tumblr thing. She's now with Tumblr, which is really cool. She was just like bit Tumblr, like Maven of a BuzzFeed and from that became this like, insane thing that happened that like I was up until like, four in the morning.

Chloe Condon  14:32
I love that it's just a typical day at BuzzFeed to deal with mama drama. And

Brandon Minnick  14:40
and it's it's so funny because I'm, I would say I'm very familiar. This is my first time hearing Jay tell the story, but I was familiar with the dress. And I mean, obviously it's gold. I don't know whatever else is talking about. I didn't it didn't even occur to me that this went viral and so Of course, you're gonna get tons of traffic, and it might break somebody's website. And it turns out, Jay was the one behind all that story

Chloe Condon  15:12
I love. It reminds me of that story that's part of the Azure. The ignite the tour that I gave that, I believe is a story that another Chris Christina, who was also on our team was talking about the data center went down in New York, and there's so so much publication that comes out of the New York area that when things happen, you don't

Jay Gordon  15:36
have a backup. And guess who was one of those companies that suffered through

Chloe Condon  15:41

Jay Gordon  15:44
That was about six months before I worked there. That happened. I started working after and we had begun this transition from a data center environment, mostly to being cloud first. And so that was like my huge introduction into like, going cloud as Is that why

Chloe Condon  16:03
did a metro?

Jay Gordon  16:04
Yeah. And, and yeah, by fire, I spent about a year and a half, you know, at BuzzFeed. And then I went over to digitalocean. Because I wanted to make cloud, it was the best way to kind of describe it, did that for a little while, then went to MongoDB. And that's when I met Chloe.


not. And then after that, I'm here at Microsoft. And like I said, doing the thing we're doing now. And the big things that I get to do is like my Azure Fun Bytes show, and it's really fun. I love previous

Chloe Condon  16:35
guests can attest that it's

Jay Gordon  16:39
I volunteer my time for DevOps days in New York City. That's a whole story in itself, we can get at some point. And that is, and you know, I I love. I am more of a people fan than I am a technology fan. I just happen to work in technology, and help people in be better at what they do. My technical skills will sometimes not be as great as other people's but my ability to connect and help some whether beginners or people making transition to the cloud. I've been able to connect with people and have conversations that make technology more accessible. And I love what I do. Yeah.

Brandon Minnick  17:26
It's funny. We haven't had this conversation. It's not like we cheated before the show we're talking about exactly we're talking about. Yeah, we haven't talked about this before. I literally had that same thought this past week, because it kind of hit me. I was conducting a couple folks like, somebody asked for help with something. And I wasn't an expert in it. But I knew somebody who knew somebody. And just connecting the pieces together just made me feel so whole, like it felt it felt better than any code I had written in the last couple weeks. It was

Jay Gordon  18:00
such a great thing. You know what there's I worked when I was Assistant Administrator, for a very long time, I worked for a company that had us do phone support, and tickets. But the phone support had no triage, you either are not windows department, Unix department. That was it. Windows or Unix. That's that. And the numbers were ran and the actual calls were randomly routed. And so I would just it would just go into the ringer and I would pick up the phone, I would have no information about what I was answering. Once in a while we get callbacks or customers that would ask for me directly. But my the first about eight years of my big serious like tech career was just talking to people about their problems. As soon as they picked up the phone with me, I would just hear and they'd all of a sudden say My website is down, or I can't send email or our company can't take care of business because our SSL certificate isn't working.

Chloe Condon  19:06
And the level of empathy that you need, like to a figure out their attack level skills like be there's so much that goes into those customer support calls.

Unknown Speaker  19:16

Brandon Minnick  19:17
and the question behind the question too, because the like just saying, Jay, like the email server going or not being able to send emails, that doesn't mean the email servers down, it could be a DNS problem. It could be it was always so many different causes.

Jay Gordon  19:30
Always it was always that maybe the SMTP server was blocked because of some sort of network restriction at the local place that they were working at. Maybe it was because they were getting mail triggered as spam, because there was something about the server that they were sending it from because they added a little and if anybody is old as we had a cobalt rock machine, if you know what I'm talking about, you know, holler at me in the comments with some analog or q mail and we will Have to kind of like configure those. And then, you know, it was a whole big thing to learn how to do stuff like that.

Chloe Condon  20:06
I think it took me a requirement that everyone who works in tech should have to at least work in customer support for like a brief stint because I was a customer support representative at a video game company. And I think at now, as an engineer, I have a lot of empathy for like, you know, when when your users are facing an issue, like it is frustrating and the amount of inbound like, I think there's a difference between hearing like, Hey, we're getting hundreds of emails about this versus seeing each individual email. So I think it should be a requirement.

Brandon Minnick  20:37
And, I mean, obviously, the empathy is crazy important. And I'd say along with that, the other big skill I were, I learned when I was working in support having to open and close tickets was don't assume anything, because I would add True Story, like I would hear something like my emails down, and I would automatically assume that it's the email server, and I would jump in and reboot the email server. And it's like,

Jay Gordon  21:04
so quick user error.

Brandon Minnick  21:07
So Oh, yeah,

Jay Gordon  21:08
I think I understand what you mean. And empathy has been a big, big part of what I do. My my goal in everything in my career is to have conversations with people that let them know that I've tried to, I'm going to try to understand what their issue is. And and if I can't answer it, I'm going to find an answer, it's going to happen. And so I felt like, it's it's a, it's easier to help people than in the way you can and to always try to solve their problem. And and now be real, that's a lot of therapy. You know, as a person that did, like I said, First, you know, first run triage work, if you will, for technical support on like, Unix servers that were live, that I had no information, I had to kind of learn that the person on the other side of the phone sometimes wasn't there just to make me work. What they were actually there sometimes to do is to make me understand what, why this is such a problem for them. And for me to respond to that in the coolest way I could, and that would help them and if I couldn't give them an answer, right, the second, you know, hey, I'm gonna get you an answer. It's gonna work out, we're going to work together, and I'm going to make sure that whatever it is, is the problem. It will find a way through it. And I think that that comes a lot from where I come from, you know what I mean? It's a huge, where I came from

Brandon Minnick  22:44
getting some comments in, here's Andrew McCallum turning negative to positive. And you're right, it is really hard. But it can be done. And it's always always rewarding. Very well said.

Jay Gordon  22:57
It's funny, you know, turning a negative into a positive is a big part of like, a lot of the music that I grew up listening to that got me to where I am.

Chloe Condon  23:05
And that is a great segue because your origin story on how you


because you, so I always knew that Jay was like a fan of music and a fan of Sopranos from the sweater. But I you have your, like, early beginnings of your community building work in based in the music world, Jay. So tell us a little bit about that. That is pretty freakin cool. I heard there's Dean's involved. So

Jay Gordon  23:36
yeah. So I grew up in New York City on Staten Island, specifically around when I turned about, I guess 15 I I started going to shows around New York City. I had gone to like see my first punk rock show. I think when I was like 13 my stepbrother was a huge like punk rock and hardcore guy introduced me to some bands and our parents split up was what it was. And and I moved to New York, I like I said it started growing up and living on Staten Island. From there I went to go see a lot of places like you know, cbgbs Coney Island high, the wetlands, ABC, no Rio. And as far as like, we had small little punk clubs, where we all had to kind of pull our resources together to make things happen. And it's kind of like derivative this term called DIY, do it yourself. And those of you who work in something like open source may understand kind of like, you're building something for a community and if you work as a group, as a community together, you can make something really cool and so Rather than learn about community going through things like through my school, or by going to college and joining a fraternity, I went to cbgbs, every single weekend, I started learning, like how to make fanzines. And then at one point in 1997, I made this with a friend of mine, this is a

Chloe Condon  25:24
prop, we'd love a visual, oh,

Jay Gordon  25:26
this is a seven inch vinyl record that my friend and I put out, and was a, for a suicide prevention organization that we gave the money to. And one of the coolest parts of it is we put this little mirrored sticker, in every single one of the layouts, every single one, we sat in my friend Chris's house, who did the record with me. And we took these and we folded them. And then we took this mirrored sticker and put one on every single thing individually, I was, like 18 years old, I did not know how to make a record, I did not know how to make a band, give me music to make, what do I not, I did not know how to how to take this record, and get it into people's hands. I had to learn all that. And it's exactly why I do what it is I do now. Because these are the things that I learned. Just by doing this, I learned how to take something that had a message. And in this one, we told people, we believe that there was an alternative to suicide. And so what we said was, this is something we wanted you to have. And I had to figure out how to get it in everybody's hands. And so now maybe it's not over something quite as serious. But my goal is to always put the things that I think they should people should see into their hands. And it all kind of starts with like this idea of anybody can do it. All you really need to do is to start with sometimes the docks that are open to you and with me, you know making a record there was a there were books that a fanzine called maximum rock and roll that put out and maximum rock and roll caught through this like guide of how to book shows how to is called like book your effing life, how to book shows to go and get bands to come see you how to write letters to different people and have them show up. Friends of mine put on like many hardcore festivals, and maybe like 300 fascinating

Chloe Condon  27:46
because it really does mirror what we do in dev REL specifically now because I feel like there's so many like articles and talks on how to give talks and like, that's so like one of the big reasons that when people ask for those type of talks that I'm still willing to do them, because I think part of being a good community member is like giving back to the community and giving tools like just this morning, I was talking to our Microsoft Student Ambassadors about public speaking and how to present and how do you do a workshop remotely? Do you do a workshop remotely during these times when we can't be in person face to face? So I think that's so cool that literally what you did in your community in this music community is very open sourced in the same way that a lot of technology and devrel is so many parallels.

Jay Gordon  28:37
Yeah, I think it's important to always kind of do the things that you feel are important to you, you know what I mean? And I, I've always, always felt like, working to help people has always been my thing. You know, one of the great things about like, the shows that we used to put on this, like Community Center in Staten Island as a kid, if you wanted to get into the show for $1 off, you brought in a can of vegetarian food. And it wasn't to make people want to come. It was to get people to give us the kind of food so then we could go to Samaritan's Purse, or I should say, a local food bank and give them the cans of food. And so sometimes you can make people do things by telling them there's a carrot and that carrot might not be something that they realize can be super, super productive for other people. And that's open source. I mean, in general, that's open source.

Chloe Condon  29:39
I love that. I'm gonna I'm writing that down and like I want to do that we do in person meetups again, I'm gonna have people don't bring stuff. That's a really great idea.

Brandon Minnick  29:47
Very well said and we're getting lots of compliments in the comments. I assume Andrews talking about uj when he says I like this guy. So nobody's ever said anything about me and we've been doing the show for months. So glad to have you out. It's Yeah, really?

Chloe Condon  30:03
It's really cool. Because I think, in a lot of ways, you know, people ask me all the time, how do you build community? How do you think about building building community? And honestly, I don't draw. I mean, also, I have a very different career path for most people. I was in theater and did community theater for a very long time. And I think about a lot of community engagement like I do from my theater past. And I think in the same way that I do that I encourage a lot of students that I work with, and people that I mentor, like, Hey, you may not have run a developer community before. But what other communities are you involved with? Do you do lacrosse Do you do maybe you're involved in some sort of podcasts that you run, and like, that's a community in itself, all of your fans have podcasts, there's so many kind of translatable communities, and I actually think the superpower is using non traditional ways to get communities involved. So this way that Jay was explaining is such a great example. When we did century scouts, we made it camp themed. Like that was just an idea of like, you know, I really like parties that are themed, like, let's make a meetup that's themed. There's so many things that you can take from your experience and other communities into tech. And I think it's so exciting when we see those things, those worlds collide. Yeah, and creative examples are great.

Jay Gordon  31:15
Well, we did jewelbox, together, you really found a way to kind of bring that thing of making people feel like there's more going on than what you're actually providing them. And in that case, by using community to hide what your real motive is. Chloe, and I did this event with a whole bunch of little girls, where we taught them how to use these jewel bot IoT devices. And so we kind of built the thing as an event.

Chloe Condon  31:44
For people with jewelbox. They're these really cute, they're aimed at girls, kind of elementary school, middle school age to learn how to program, our good friend, Sarah chipps, founded the company, and it teaches you how to program and you can like send little buzzes or light up when you're near your friends really, really cool product. And yeah, so we wanted to just host a workshop to encourage little girls how to code.

Jay Gordon  32:12
And that was the funny thing is that we did something that I know, you know, Chloe was more capable of than me, which is we tried to present it in a way that a bunch of little girls at a birthday party would kind of feel and it was kind of the way we put it together.

Chloe Condon  32:29
Yeah, we had, like colored hairspray. We had a nail station, we had Chuck the musical playing in another room for people who decided not for them. So I think like, my and I'm sure you all feel the same way as cloud advocates. My strategy with teaching people to learn is the Mary Poppins spoonful of sugar technique. Because I think when you're having fun, it's harder to realize that you're

Jay Gordon  32:52
absolutely true. So true. It's It's incredible how like, if you make something and like I said, if you make something seem like it's not really work, or you're not really learning, and that's why we like with like, Microsoft Learn, like we gamify so many things part of it, because it makes it that you're not necessarily feel like you're working or you're you're learning, you're kind of going through this thing, you're getting points. And along the way, you're kind of figuring things out. And I always loved that.

Chloe Condon  33:24
And that was part of our gamification for the meetup that I used to host was I thought, okay, I don't want to go to a meet up every month. But what would get me to go to a meet up every month, and I was like, swag. This was back in the olden times when we could meet. And so we ended up because it was a camping meetup. We had these patches and stickers that were themed for each event. So it'd be like the DevOps patch, the like open source patch. And so once you kind of add these gamified elements to things like, think about what gets you to go to I mean, I was going to Alamo Drafthouse all the time because I wanted to get the points. I was like, how can I simulate points in a community environment and get my community excited about it. And the best part was, we had a woman who had all 12 of the patches at the end of a whole year set, I didn't even have 12 and I hosted the event. So I think it's cool when you find creative ways to get the community involved, like ziens like I love this idea of is Dean j because I know sailor hg has been doing some really cool things with like, how a calculator works, how computers work, and there's so many, like creative ways that I've seen people involve technology and community. I started

Jay Gordon  34:36
making like my own ziens when I was like 15, and they were pretty vulgar about like, things I didn't like, because I was an angry 15 year old

Brandon Minnick  34:50
as a 15 year old.

Jay Gordon  34:53
And another and then another thing about like, you know, just like my friends band, and stuff like that an interview with another friend's band, it was just a way to get people to like, talk about things that were going on. And so you, you you did, they were cheap to make. And back in the 90s, there was a thing kind of known as kinkos cards, and kinkos cards were these cards that you could pre purchase to make photocopies at your local kinkos when kinkos eventually became like, I don't know, UPS stores or something like that. And then we had friends who knew people who worked at kinkos. And people would somehow in other share cards, we don't know where they came from. But then we would use those to like, make our fanzines or say I would go to the school that I work, I went to, I would use the photo photocopier, like in the library, and and not say why I would just make a whole bunch of copies. And then when I when I was a teenager, I didn't really like high school that much. I went into a program that let me go to work one week at a major bank in Manhattan, and then school the next week. And so the weeks I would be at work, we'd use the photocopier family fanzines.

Chloe Condon  36:15
Oh my goodness.

Brandon Minnick  36:17
Yeah. And it's such a such an important takeaway, too, to make things for people help people, because we've been talking a lot about like building communities. And if you're, if your intent is to get like to get famous, like people ask me like, how do you how do you get more Twitter followers? And how do you get more subscribers? And and that's the wrong question to be asking yourself, the question you should be asking yourself is, how can I help people? How can I create content? How can I write a blog post, make a video something that will help others, then the community builds around that and that's when you'll get the subscribers and the followers because people want to see what you make next, because the last blog posts or the last video was so helpful.

Jay Gordon  37:08
And sure, it's the same thing with, say, the last fanzine that you made, or the last time you you, if you're a band, you wrote a record that a whole bunch of people really appreciate it. And the next time you had something to say, the next record they bought because the message you had somehow there another and you know, we were we were talking about this before the show, and if anybody knows who the band minor threat is the one of the things that was great about the band minor threat, they wrote songs that were maybe about a minute long. And in that one minute, you got to learn everything you needed to know about that song and everything that the singer guy wanted you to learn about. And I feel like nowadays, my goal is in a minute to give you everything or maybe in a five minute presentation, a 20 minute talk a 30 minute presentation, I don't care. I want you to feel like when I've done something that the thing that you wanted to that I wanted to communicate to you. You understood. And so if you look at something like a minor threat song, they trim the fat, there's no solo, there's no big big lead. There's no huge like Phil's it's a fast song with a message and you understand it by the end. And that's the way I look at technology and sharing education around it. Yeah.

Chloe Condon  38:28
I love it. I'm gonna put that quote like, on this episode.

I couldn't agree more.

Brandon Minnick  38:35
It's hard to do. I think it's Mark Twain quote. And I'm gonna paraphrase that remember it exactly. But it's something like, I decided to write you a long letter, because I didn't have time to read you a short one. Like condense words down is a lot harder than just to kind of roll gotta let it all out. And hope everybody can kind of connect the dots. But yeah, if you can condense something down from an hour to 45 minutes from 45 minutes to 30 minutes, it's gonna be that much more valuable. And like you said, Jay, it also shows you value other people's time. Like, I don't need to waste 60 minutes of your life. I could do this for you in 30 minutes.

Chloe Condon  39:19
Ah, I love it. And Jay, you. I know there's like kind of, we're all on Twitter. Obviously. We're tweeting all the time. And I definitely personally have felt that anytime that I'm posting, especially community related things, or even sometimes some technical things that I make, like the fake boyfriend app, the more authentic I am, like, whenever I share something that's like, you know, it's one thing to share projects that's like, look at this thing that I bought with Azure. Sure. But when we're doing this work and the community like the jewelbox one is a great example or even just like building products that are helpful for people and I know Jay, you recently hosted a DevOps days that you just had to really be the one of the superheroes that that tell us a little bit about what it was like to put on a community event like that, in the midst of a scary pandemic on the way and how, how do you bring together community in a situation like that?

Jay Gordon  40:17
Sure. So on February 29, of this year, I got back from

Copenhagen, Denmark, I had been in Denmark, and then before that, Geneva, and through those trips, they were for a DevOps days in in Geneva, and then Microsoft Ignite the tour in Copenhagen. I had gone through all these like big, big talks, and had spent almost seven months planning, DevOps days in New York City. And my plan was to come home from Europe, emcee this conference, and then get ready for what was next. And I think it was go to Amsterdam for like the next Microsoft Ignite the tour. And so the last thing I remember is March 3. And fourth is when rations a lot, though, the big thing I remember is March 3. And fourth is when devopsdays, New York City was. And all of a sudden, people stopped wanting to come. speakers were concerned, I was concerned and so I don't want to speak for anyone else that was part of this. But as a person that organized myself, I can tell you that it was it was a difficult decision to want to do a conference because nobody knew what was going on at the time in the world. And so we we get through March 3 And fourth, you know, we do have maybe 150 200 people that show up, you know, we originally had planned somewhere meeting in the number of five to 600. But the thing that we really learned is that we didn't know what was going on. And that's the best way to put it. Nobody told us anything in the world. And because of that we still put on our conference. And, you know, I left that conference, you know, hoping things were going to work out well. And they were because a lot of people came that did come and enjoy themselves. There was great food, there was a lot of really amazing talks. But I don't think anybody kind of knew what was coming. And, you know, March 15 is when New York City where we hosted this shutdown. And so I think about those, you know, that from March 4 to march 15, that time really sat with me. Because how I had to negotiate the idea that I did a big, you know, public event was really difficult. But, you know, it remains probably the last big tech event that's happened in North America. It's probably one of the last, if you think about in the context of the nationwide quarantine, it was probably one of the last tech conferences in North America. And it was a lot to negotiate mentally to get it done. And a lot to navigate logistically. But we did. I wish it happened in a different type of, you know, situation. But we got it done. Communities is just so important. But the safety of community is is paramount. And I think that's why not just in this situation. But codes of conduct and community are so important. And I think that that's why we talk about that constantly. Because community safety, even in like even an open source projects. If someone's going to make a comment on something, you want to make sure that that comment isn't something that's offensive or horrible. It's going to make everyone feel bad. You want people to work on things collaboratively, so you feel good about it, because there's a safety that comes from that and and safety of communities, whether it's health or whether it's you know, shielding people from abusive, you know, contributors, it's all relative. And so, I always believe that, you know, that kind of thing that they say the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm. You know, I think that that should come along with how we do community.

Chloe Condon  44:31
Yeah, anything how I know the three of us. We're traveling quite a bit and doing a lot of in person office hours and meetups and events. How has that been for you Jay to kind of I know you're doing a lot of stuff with your as your friend bytes and hosting a lot of live events. But how's that transition been for you? I know off camera earlier, we had had a conversation that sometimes we can do it much in the same way that you know we commit to an event in the evening or speaking at something Sometimes we forget that presenting his work. And it can take a lot out of you and being a community member is an active active process. So how do you balance? Like, you know, when do you turn on your community brain at night and morning? And what is your life? And now as a devil's advocate,

Jay Gordon  45:18
you know, I think I mentioned it, that the one thing that I had to do was to reorganize how my brain works when it comes to advocacy. And that started by not asking anyone for advice. That was the best thing I started doing. And I said, as an advocate, what do I need to do right now to make a message be heard? And so I said, Well, I need to come up with a format that works, I need to come up with a focus that people need. And that was fundamentals. And that's what has your fun biases. And so I asked myself, how do I present these things in the best possible way. And I said, well, live streaming on Twitch, and YouTube, and like we're doing right now is one of the most effective ways to have conversations. And so I started learning how to do this more and more, I've learned the technologies that I needed to get it done. And then I started learning how to make prepackaged, like, short form videos, and that men learning how to be a video, like editor and producer, or whatever. These are things that I've never done, I before. before March, I had never done any of this kind of work before. And all of a sudden, it became my job. And so what I decided to do was just throughout my entire life into this whole change of mindset of how advocacy should be done. And our leaders at Microsoft said, you know, we need to be focused on reaching everyone everywhere. And if we're online and we create content that is easily ingested anywhere at any time by anyone, then we're really accomplishing what we're supposed to be doing. And so that's my hyper laser focused like path right now is to make people understand technology in the easiest way possible, anywhere in the world. through basic conversations.

Chloe Condon  47:17
I loved all of the like new interesting ways people are connecting as developers my manager shout out to Jen looper JavaScript aunty on Tick tock, like, giving out VS code tips on Tick tock, really cool. It's It's been such a fun kind of time of exploration and like, connecting with people on on different channels and platforms. I did DevOps party games a couple weeks ago, which is really fun. Got to do a live game show with a bunch of tech people like in cold water and a bunch of other folks. Ah, what about you, Brandon, are you like? I mean, we're doing this show. Obviously, we were not doing this show before. There's so many because you used to do a lot of workshops.

Brandon Minnick  48:01
Oh, yeah, that was kind of my my bread and butter. I take a lot of pride in workshops, where anybody can attend them no matter what your skill level is. So if you are brand new to programming, you'll be able to successfully complete this workshop. If you've been programming for 10 years and just want to learn something new. It's probably an Azure Xamarin verb expertises. Then you come learn something new. And yeah, I was, I was pretty terrified when with a pandemic kit, because that meant I can't travel. I can't host workshops in person anymore. I can't speak at conferences anymore. And that was pretty much what I've been doing for the last two to three years. And I, I knew this world existed of streaming content, being on Twitch and streaming code, hosting interviews, and speaking of conferences remotely. Not really a thing, but some conferences did it. And it's been really cool to jump into this world and learn it because yeah, I was I was terrified. I didn't have a microphone or a camera. I didn't know how to edit videos, like Joe said, you have to kind of become this. Almost one person immediate

Unknown Speaker  49:13
produce. Yeah,

Chloe Condon  49:16
finally, the tables have turned because I hear I've been learning all these tech things with all this media producer experience for my theater degree. And now has funny how this all works. An expert I think it's such a great example, though of like this growth mindset of I don't know how to do that thing, but I'm gonna go figure it out like that. In the same way that if I started learning VR and AR today, I would know nothing like so many people at home are having to adapt with their community building and they're streaming, you know, techniques, and it's just so cool to see how everybody's connecting differently.

Brandon Minnick  49:54
Yeah, and to be honest, I I love this now. I was actually speaking with my manager earlier this week. Because I guess I spoke at a conference this morning. Shout out to telric for hosting the dev reach conference. It's still going so highly recommend it. But yeah, I tell him I was like, I'm really enjoying this. Like, I miss traveling. I don't miss traveling as much as I used to travel. But yeah, I would love to keep keep this up, doing these weekly shows doing. Conference live streams been able to do so much virtually where before it required you to essentially devote a week to it, you had to get out of plane, you had to fly somewhere you had to book a hotel, all that stress involved. And now we can all just connect.

Chloe Condon  50:40
Have you guys found that you think about community differently, because I now think of I think I used to think of community on a local level, like, Oh, we have the Microsoft Reactor in San Francisco, or we have I spoke at this wonderful event in Prague called Chiquita has a female meetup of all female developers best name ever chiquitos shout out to chiquitos. But I think previously, I've always kind of thought of giving talks, as you know, much in the same way that theatre, you do a show in a very small black box or on Broadway. Only those like 200 people in that theater get to see that show on that night. And what's really, really cool because when you're giving a talk, you're not giving it every night, you're giving it once and you're done like you fly out to wherever you give it and you give it. So I found this time to be really interesting, because I consider community as far as India now. Like I have people who tuned into streams from all over the world. I've talked at events of places that I haven't visited yet even I feels almost like we can reach more people, which has been just really, really cool for me.

Brandon Minnick  51:48
Yeah, and even things like we were talking about, I'm working on a website for like the first time in my career. Nobody would have ever invited me to speak at a conference about how to build a website, right? Most of us I have no idea what I'm doing. But here we are like, I can spend a Sunday morning on Twitch. And we can figure it all out together. And that that's so much better. Like it's as silly as it seems to. for me just to be like googling stuff and copying and pasting StackOverflow live. It really shows like a sneak peek into what the developers really like. Like that's, that's it? I mean, there's more to it, obviously. But yeah, get us have this stuff memorized. If you don't know what we're doing.

Chloe Condon  52:33
Watch other people's streams because I have been a huge fan. I've been watching PJ stream on the weekend. So I've been watching you Brandon code a bunch. But a still tech related in my opinion stream that I've been enjoying is Saylor HDS Animal Crossing stream. I have learned a lot about animal crossing from the stream. And what I think is really wonderful is I think I get to watch people stream who wouldn't otherwise be streaming if we weren't sitting at home.

Jay Gordon  52:58
Yeah, but it was really awesome. my homie, my homie Austin, who I do a podcast with called fist pod. And anybody who's ever used Fisk on a hard drive knows what it is. But my homie Austin, he actually did an entire DevOps conference. In Animal Crossing,

I believe.

Ian was one of the speakers, I believe. Yeah, cold water. And, uh, I think Heidi Waterhouse and

Chloe Condon  53:28
I probably would have never happened if we were all like, doing our veins all around the world.

Jay Gordon  53:37
bunch of other people are part of this. And it's because they love this video game. Like I personally, I didn't really know much about it. I just know that Tom doke. Sounds like a guy I don't want to deal with. He makes you take more

Chloe Condon  53:50
money. Yeah, I

Jay Gordon  53:51
don't know, bosses. No, masters. Sorry, Tom. No, I'm not interested. But if

Chloe Condon  53:57
I couldn't think about it, think about how many people attended that conference. And like, in any other scenario, there's no way you could have gotten a couple 100 adults to sit down for an hour during the day. Like, it's crazy. I love it. It's so

Jay Gordon  54:13
I think that that's one of the things you have to be able to do right now is Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do is if if you're creative, and you do things that people are both entertained by, and they're also educated by that they'll want to keep coming back. So that's what I'm trying to do like, like I said, as your fun bytes, please come on the weekend, every Thursday on 2pm. twitch.tv/azurefunbytes, like, I try to make things fun and conversational. I do demos but during the demos like I normally have a guest that guests will help me learn about what we're going through and maybe I teach them so Chloe, we've done that before. Hey Brandon. Maybe you can give me a little Xamarin, one of these days, because I'm not much of a Xamarin person, but I definitely could learn a few things. And I know that the audience that I have would love to hear what, what you can teach us. So it's, it's really awesome to be able to work with also people cross our advocacy team, and to say, Hey, here's an idea. You want to give this a shot? And and seeing if it works like, Hey, what are we doing right now? You know, that's the awesome thing is you try what works.

Chloe Condon  55:33
And I will also plug, if you are watching this from my youtube channel right now, Jay, and I have a show, show and tell episode where we walk through Power Apps. That's really, really fun logic and Logic Apps. We walked through Logic Apps, I'm confusing my other power app that I'm building right now with shanaya. Which I think I accidentally dropped the link to in the chat right as we started. But yeah, it's so fun because I knew nothing about Logic Apps before Jay taught it to me. Now I'm using them all the time to automate a bunch of processes for me. So I think there's just so many cool people to learn from too many things to learn really all there's too many cool things for

Brandon Minnick  56:16
good or bad.

Chloe Condon  56:17
Wow. Well, we are at the end of our show here. We've got a couple more minutes. Jay, we have your Azure fun bytes, your twitch channel here, you're on Twitter, we've got your Twitter handle listed right here. Any other fun events or things we should be taking a look out for that are coming up for you?

Jay Gordon  56:37
Just really looking forward to the new Borat movie that's really about

Chloe Condon  56:43
oh, my gosh, what's the date?

Unknown Speaker  56:45
No. So Chloe, I'm

Jay Gordon  56:47
gonna send you something very, very important that you can enjoy this evening. We'll talk about it in after let's put it this way, you'll be able to see it sooner than later.

Chloe Condon  56:58
Great. All right. I'm sure

Jay Gordon  57:01
there's a watch. There's a watch party this evening. And so I'm very much looking forward to. But other than that, you know, I do as refined bytes every week. It's really fun. I really enjoyed doing ignite this year. If you want to check out. You can look up, aka dot m s j at Ignite. You can watch my ignite tour talk. All right, my night 2020 talk. And it's just you know, another day for Jay doing.

Chloe Condon  57:34
Great. Well, Brandon, you got any plugs before we go anything exciting. You just spoke at a conference cry?

Brandon Minnick  57:41
I did. I woke up early and flew all the way to Bulgaria to speak it never

Chloe Condon  57:48
came back to us

Brandon Minnick  57:48
or the internet. Yeah, I

Jay Gordon  57:51
saw how another talk that buffalo recently.

Brandon Minnick  57:56
upstate New Yorker. Oh, Cheers to that.

Chloe Condon  58:00
Are you streaming with PJ this weekend?

Brandon Minnick  58:03
I believe so. We're trying to Yeah, stream every Sunday morning on Twitch messing around is PJ's handle. And? Yeah, so if, if you've never built a website and you want to join the struggle, come join us. Or if you have built websites with razor pages and ASP. NET Core, and want to help out some struggling developers also come join us. That'll be a it's a noon Eastern every Sunday, messing around on Twitch.

Chloe Condon  58:34
Amazing and not to plug all PJ things but shanaya bot if you're not following shanaya bot bot underscore shanaya on Twitter, we've created a very fun bot with logic apps. Actually, Jay, you are big inspiration for us building this. Where if you need the motivation every morning at 9am pacific standard time to tell you let's go girls. Boy, do we have a Twitter bot for you. New features coming very soon. which include if you tag our shanaya bot and tell her that you are not impressed or asked if he should be impressed with something she will respond. So keep an eye out for that. updates coming soon. There's a link on the Twitter to build your own one. So check that out. But that has been the show today all thanks for joining us, Jay and we'll see on our next episode.