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Brandon Minnick 2:01
Hello, welcome back everybody to eight bits. I'm your host Brandon Minnick, and with me is normally my co host Chloe Condon. But
Pj Metz 2:18
I'm Chloe, everybody. I love Buffy. And I like her. And I like being a really good Developer Advocate.
Brandon Minnick 2:29
Now with us today we have we have a guest, quote, guest co host, filling in for Chloe. PJ Mets. Welcome back to the show.
Pj Metz 2:38
I'm excited. This is not even my first time getting to help co host I've done this before. And I've been on the show. And I mean, it's just exciting that I get to keep hanging out with you and all these different ways, especially in something as official as eight bits TV,
Brandon Minnick 2:53
you know what I mean? That's right. Yeah. For anybody out of the loop. We have a website now eight bits.tv. That's where you can go check out all of the previous episodes. And like PJ was saying, He's been a guest a couple times. And he's even been a co host a couple of times. So go back and check out all of Apex episodes. Yeah,
Pj Metz 3:14
the the Chloe wig. That's, it is a
I mean, I gotta tell you, I feel like a new man. Just because I am dressing with a woman's wig. And so it's very, uh, in my eyes. I have to abandon this. I'm sorry. I have to get out of here.
Brandon Minnick 3:39
Oh, yeah. So. So for folks who maybe haven't met PJ, maybe they're still catching up on the previous podcast of eight bits. PJ. Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you? What do you do?
Pj Metz 3:51
I'm PJ Metz. I'm currently looking for my first opportunity inside of tech as a developer advocate, or a technical writer or a junior developer. I was a teacher for 11 years. And I recently stopped working as a teacher to devote myself 100% full time to finding a job in tech. And I'm very excited to be meeting lots of great people and companies and talking to lots of great developer advocates all around companies like stripe, git lab, like launchdarkly companies like oh my gosh, there's really like a ton of them on Cisco. Commando. I'm talking about all these great companies that are all interested in me. And so it makes me feel just like the prettiest. The prettiest girl, the dance, that anyone's even interested in talking to me at all, but I've got a great background in writing. I've got a great background in streaming because I stream with you, Brandon on Sundays and I stream with Chloe, who's normally here on Thursdays. And I'm just excited to put myself out there and really get into tech. So that's what I've been doing over the past few weeks.
Brandon Minnick 4:58
Love it. Absolutely. And Where can folks find you? Where are you streaming?
Pj Metz 5:02
So I'm firstname.lastname@example.org backslash metzen around you can follow me on twitter right here I got lucky enough that metzen around was not branded already. So I snatched it all up, messing around comm has links to all my socials as well as projects I've done. And talks that I've given I gave a talk at a Microsoft conference last year called confusions is a suite of learning all that's available at metzen around Comm. And if you find me on Twitter and send me a DM, I'll talk with you there too, about literally anything, video games, or 80s music or Hawaiian shirts or tech, whatever. I'm just excited to talk to people. So find me hit me up, and I'd love to meet lots of people.
Brandon Minnick 5:43
Love it. Love it. So you've obviously been very busy looking for looking for new jobs. What a fun tech stuff Have you been working on this week? Well, this week, I've
Pj Metz 5:59
been trying to get my Twitter bots that Chloe and I do that are based on 90s pop singers. We've got one for Mariah Carey, one for shanaya. Twain, and we've got one for Ariana Grande day. One, she's not 90s. But she was born in the 90s. So we count it. Right now I'm trying to add a new type of bot normally, what our bots do is they respond to users. And they will respond back when you say sort of a secret word that activates them. Well, this in sync one that we're building, we're trying to get it to respond with a video every Friday, and a GIF as a reply instead of just text. And this is much much harder. I actually reached out to a bunch of people, including Andy Piper, who works at Twitter. And he helped me figure out a easy way to try and get it going. So right now, I've been spending a couple hours over the past few days trying to get this bot to tweet a video. And I've tried a couple different methods. But I think I got it. And hopefully tomorrow I'm going to be able to make it live and it's going to work and we're going to be tweeting some videos with this bot account. I'm
Brandon Minnick 7:08
very excited. That's incredible. And so I am sharing all the links to the bots in the comment right here. What's What's the name of the the ariana grande de bot,
Pj Metz 7:18
it's bot Tiana grande de Bo T. All of those actually so body Asana and mechanical carry were both suggested by Brendan O'Leary, who's a dev REL at Git lab. He was in our chat. And he suggested both of those names. So I can't take credit for the great names. That's Brendan O'Leary's. Helpful, helpful contribution to our streams.
Brandon Minnick 7:42
Amazing. Shout out to Brendan and and what do you what are you using to make the bomb that's all in Azure? Is that right?
Pj Metz 7:48
Well, originally, we had shanaya bought an Azure as a, I think they're called logic functions, right? Logic Apps. Yeah, yeah. So we had an Azure Logic App where every day, she would tweet at the same time, let's go girls, let's go girls. And I realized that Chloe showed me that way. And it was really easy and effective. But we ended up moving away. And now we've gotten completely in node.js. And I have a secret, it was actually running in Heroku for a while, but I turned off the Heroku. And right now, it's running on the cloud on linode, which is a cloud provider. And I've got it fully running on a VM machine from them. So I've tried a couple different places to host this code. Because I'm interested in learning a lot of different things. I'm trying to find a bunch of different ways that I can do these projects. It's pretty exciting. Love it. And just notice that a friend of the show, Matt Hamilton, you're hanging out with us today.
Brandon Minnick 8:45
We actually met Matt together when we were on your stream on metzen around Nashville feels like a year ago. It
Pj Metz 8:52
honestly it might have been.
Brandon Minnick 8:56
Matt, good to see you again. And yeah, if anybody else wants to join us live, we do live stream at 1pm. Pacific time on Wednesday. So everybody catching up on the podcast, feel free to join us and hang out in the comment section. But we do have an amazing guest today who has so much to share with us. So I do want to jump right into that. So let's welcome to the show. yen yen yen's.
Jens Woeste 9:22
Hey, Brandon. Hey, BJ. Welcome. Thanks for having me.
Brandon Minnick 9:28
Absolutely. Yeah, yes. And I actually we've known each other for a while now. We met through the Xamarin world. But we've been chatting the last couple days and learning about yen's and his background and his history and it's fascinating. So had to bring him on. But yes, for those of you for the folks who are watching who haven't gotten a chance to be yet, who are you? What do you do?
Jens Woeste 9:54
Yeah, yen's 46 years just had my birthday. I live in Denmark. I'm actually, it's not just Denmark, I live in the city of pilant, which is also known as the Lego city because the Lego world HQ is in the city. So you can imagine this is not a safe city to walk around barefoot in. So yeah. As we spoke about, I've been within tech 20 plus years, a good deal of them within the financial world capital markets. And yeah, I thought it could be nice to have a chat to you guys and, and share a little bit about my, my journey and, you know, also get some perspective on how you guys see the tech world. Yeah,
Brandon Minnick 10:52
absolutely. And so one of the things we love learning about on the show is, is everybody's origin stories, or, as we like to call it, your, your Marvel origin, story, and, and yours. And we all we all start at different points. PJ mentioned, TJ is learning to code now. I got into it in college. But yeah, as you said, You started way earlier than that, what was your first journey into code? Yeah. So
Jens Woeste 11:19
zoom back to 1981. I was six years old at that time, my brother who's six years older than me, he brought home a set expectrum with 16 kilobytes of memory. And I was just drawn into that machine. straightaway. You know, it, I learned my first programming language on that thing. It was basic. You know, and it just gave this this intuition and an understanding of, you know, how computers are wired, how processes work, you know, what goes on down on the, on the various circuit boards, at a very early age, a little bit like kids today, you know, you see a three year old toddler wielding an iPad, in a way that I would never be able to swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, and then they've done a lot of stuff already. Right. So it was this very early introduction to technology, and you know, from very early on learning to to use technology as a tool, and not something to you know, where you had to study hard and, you know, read a lot of books, etc. But just go at it and use it play with it. Right. So, so yeah. So that was that was, that was my first first encounter. And then, very quickly, my parents, they got a PC in the house. And you know, before I knew it, I was on to turbo Pascal. Shout out to Anna, she is back. I know, he's still at Microsoft. He's also the father of C sharp. And TypeScript if I'm not mistaken. So yeah, and obviously gunstock. So without him, I would have never learned c++, which was also, you know, just the thing you naturally had to do. Yeah, and then slowly entered sort of the era where I started getting paid for what I was doing. And had my first real Microsoft encounter in the mid 90s. did an MCP, Microsoft Certified Professional program, did the Microsoft Certified solution developer, I think it was on dB, advanced dB. And SQL Server was a lot of calm development and stuff like that.
Brandon Minnick 13:54
Gary stack back in the day.
Jens Woeste 13:55
Yeah. And then but, but again, then there's been a lot of transitions throughout my career, you know, there was one phase where it was all about BP. Then I had a phase where we were writing add ins for Microsoft Excel. And that was back to C compiler. Then we had some enterprise integrations within a bank where we had to integrate a trading system with a a pricing environment. So we actually used soap and and and web services to do that. amazing technology back then. So it was really groundbreaking. Now, you know, there's XML everywhere as Brian showed us last week, so so we don't really think about that so much more. Then I had a long period where I was not actually coding anymore. I was more and I kind of consultancy sales mode with To a, with a actually a San Francisco based technology company was based on Java. So that was kind of a different story. But anyway, so that was more or less 10 years where I didn't really program that much. I did a little bit of Python did a little bit of scratch and lap you, my kids, they got into. I don't know if you're aware of these but LEGO League, they have these wonderful robots. This is the newest version, the spike of crime, it's called. But but we also did some programming on the predecessor of the Lego Mindstorms NXT, and Eb three. So again, this is just if you want to teach your kids to code, this is such a great starting point, you have kind of your main computer here. You've got your inputs, your outputs, you've got your servos, you've got some sensors, there are some light sensors here that you can use, if you're doing line following things like that. And then there are so many different programming tools that you can use to program these things. You can use scratch from MIT, if you're familiar with that. There's even a plugin for visual code, which can generate code for this puppy. And you basically just connect with you basically just connect over Bluetooth, you transfer the program, it just runs. And it's no, it's really an excellent way to teach kids to program,
Pj Metz 16:34
I got to get one of those and have it fight my Roomba.
Jens Woeste 16:39
Actually, a couple of follows here from from labor said we have actually spoken about at some point doing kind of a a robo battle kind of thing. That could be that could be awesome.
Pj Metz 16:53
Jens Woeste 16:55
But maybe we have to switch to metal and Arduino and these kinds of things. And so no, fast forward. End of 2019, I left my, my job at this software company to start my own. So, which is also a company I have today. It's a it's an advisory or consultancy company, we do advisory for banks, exchanges, financial institutions, private equity, you name it. But then obviously, we've all experienced the laughs and joys of this global pandemic. Which, which maybe freed up a little bit of calendar time, if I can put it that way. So anyways, I'm very bad at sitting down and just doing nothing. So I I've been working on this idea for for some time now. And I thought, well, now's the time to try it out. So basically, I've built this app, which is a FinTech app. tool for private investors, not going to say much more about the functionality, because we are still one, maybe two months away from the actual go live. So, so better keep the cards tight. But this is, this is how I met Brandon, because, you know, I'd had this pause in programming for for a fair amount of time. And I said, Okay, I need to find myself, you know, technology platform to do this. And, you know, when you fire up your Mac, you've got your Xcode and swift and what have you. And if you want to Android, you know, Java, blah, blah, blah, but I didn't want to maintain two different code bases and all that, and I can't trust Xamarin. And the thing about Samara and and, actually the new dotnet, as I call it, because a lot has happened in the dotnet space, since I last touched it back, back in, let's say the, the, the early 10s. You know, one thing that struck me where I used to have to write 1000s of lines of code to manage threads, memory, io, all this stuff, you know, now I just have to follow Brandon's async await best practice and you know, I'm good to go right? No, but no but seriously, that there's so much of this, this housekeeping that we used to do as programmers which is not now just taken care of, by you know, the the, the the operating system and the execution core and all that. So you don't really you can your abstraction layer is suddenly much suddenly at a different level which is probably Really, obviously saves you a lot of development time. The downside, especially for a guy who's slowly losing his hair is obviously I'm, I'm used to when when I'm getting a runtime error of some sorts, you know, I want to know exactly what caused it what what bits was wrong, in what register, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's not possible anymore. You know, the debugger. The debugger gives me so much information, but it doesn't give me you know, all the low level details, and actually took me a while to realize that I don't really need that information. Because, you know, at the end of the day, it's typically because I did a nasty fire and forget on a on a threaded task or something, and some exception came back, which you didn't catch and then all the dominoes they follow, right. Yeah, no, but and, again, the, the, the interaction I've had with with, with you, Brandon, it's been amazing. So first of all, huge shout out to you Kip. transept because the way you structured that app, you know, I'm not talking about, you know, the, the UI design and all that, but but how you have, you know, structured your code behind and how you've, you know, done your housekeeping with, with these container objects, etc, etc. It just, it just makes so much sense. And I didn't have to invent that, that that strain of thought, right. So huge shout out. Again, but and if, and if there are any aspiring app developers out there, I mean, the first step is go to GitHub, check out the kid trends app, because you can really learn a lot from reading Brandon's course.
Brandon Minnick 21:52
And I promise we, we didn't pay ends to say any of that. very much appreciate the kind words so. So. And yeah, for anybody who is interested in getting into Xamarin development, or wants to check out a fully featured app, git threatens is totally open source. It's in the app stores. And even if you're not looking to get into mobile development, if you manage a bunch of open source repos, check out get trends, you can download it for free on iOS and Android. It's it's also totally open source. And it helps you monitor how many views clone stars, all the activity, you're getting on your repos so that if one starts trending, so for example, if we have everybody visiting certain GitHub repo today, then get ready to send you a push notification to let you know that we had a spike in activity. So do check it out. I appreciate very much the kind words Yes, but no one jumps up way back. As you you mentioned, a lot just as a heck of an intro. But you talked about getting into programming at an early age. And that's something that I can't agree with more, I really think that everybody should be introduced to it, and probably an elementary school and grade school. And I love that you're doing that and helping with that, especially the Lego robotics. But what I'm curious about is, PJ is somebody who is now just getting into code. What were your thoughts on that? And I'm curious how maybe that would have helped you or hurt you. 2030 years ago? Yeah.
Pj Metz 23:43
I have a very, very light experience with code. When I was younger, in the sixth grade, my parents sent me to hang out with my cousin for two weeks, because he was going to a computer camp. And they thought, well, maybe that'll be good for PJ too. So I learned basic, and he was in the I want to say C plus class or C class. But we just sat in a computer lab at, I think it was Duke University campus. So they had this computer lab, we got to hang out there and just type code. But I wasn't excited by basic at the time, I was excited because after lunch, we got an hour and a half to play video games. And I would always drive Starcraft and go and play Starcraft for an hour. But I remember this idea of, well, I follow the instructions. I put this on the screen, and the ball bounces and I can change how many times it bounces or I can generate a house with shapes I've generated on screen and seeing that I could create something if there had been a program at my school that I could have continued that at. I think it would have done a lot for my creative thought and for my ability to problem solve because that's what coding is, is what's wrong with Where's the issue? How do you fix it? Even simple stuff, if you mess up, you know, your first hello world, and it doesn't prove you get an error, you can figure out what went wrong. And that process builds resilience, it builds creativity. And it builds up critical thinking. And if we can have that as a core class, you know, we think that science is a core need that every student needs to know how science works. We think math and English in history, we see these these core classes in America, why wouldn't computer programming as part of a critical thinking course, be something that's important for these kids to have, I think it's really important, it would have changed the trajectory of my life immensely. And even if I didn't end up getting into computers, I would have had this great background in problem solving that would have helped me in whatever field I went into. Most.
Jens Woeste 25:55
I do agree, but I would like to take it a step further. Because I actually believe that programming should be a, a course, or subject that is, you know, on the same level as math, science, etc. Because it's such a useful tool, just like math, math is just a useful tool, nothing more. So it's programming. And it's getting more and more and more important, you know, again, I think if you look 20 years ahead. So many job descriptions will involve some kind of, maybe not a low level of Xamarin coding. But But yeah, you get the drift. Right. It's, it's, it's, it's just as important as being able to wield the hammer. Yeah, so. And while we are at one, we are at that subject, I also think it's very important to see technology as a whole as a toolkit. And you know, just because you learn basic, or you learn C, then that particular tool is not necessarily the best tool for everything. And this is typically a discussion I have with Java developers, but that's a different story. No, but but, you know, teaching the kids to, to use technology is a tool to help them solve a real world problem, right? And it doesn't and, and it doesn't matter what kind of programming language or technology stack or whatever, because at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether, you know, in principle, whether you're coding C, or C sharp, or Java or whatever, it's it's they all just different abstractions of more or less the same toolbox. Right? So
Brandon Minnick 27:56
absolutely. Yeah. And, and I've also found, for me, it just helps me understand how things work. And so like when things don't work, then I kind of bought, specifically speaking to software. But this also applies to things like if you work on cars, you understand how an engine works, and your car starts making noise. Same idea, like when you're on a website, and it freezes. If you understand how everything works together, then you can kind of start thinking about like, Oh, well, it was probably this, like maybe hitting this button that triggered database lookup. And that probably failed. So to get around this, if I can just avoid hitting the database, and you've got to start figuring out, like, figure out your way through, we'll say, the software world, which I find incredibly helpful. And I see things when I'm talking to friends who maybe don't have that programming background, where they'll say something like, I like this app's broken, like every time I launch it and doesn't work. It's like, Oh, well, have you tried just clicking this button first instead? And then kind of seeing that light bulb for them? Like, oh, there's ways to get things to work, even if it's not the first thing you tried. And couple that with just their learning a basic understanding of networking and maybe how packets work. IP addresses that'll also just help you like, debug your Wi Fi. That's it DNS, is it the router? Is it the gateway, the DNS.
Jens Woeste 29:37
But But if you take it a step back, it can also be in my view, a very helpful learning tool. So I've worked with a good deal of my career within finance and capital markets, and a good deal of those years doing what is referred to as quantitative research, which is another way of saying you are implementing mathematical models as computer software, right, and then you're analyzing data, yada, yada. So and and, and I've always found that if, if you are researching a new model, or you need to understand the new model, the best way to to get the intuition for it is actually to say, Okay, let's sit down in programming. Because if you can program it, you understood it. Right? So, and it may sound like a chicken or the egg kind of contradiction, but it's actually true. When you're when you're assimilating new knowledge, whether it's mathematical models in finance, or guidance systems for rockets, or, you know, line finding algorithms for a Lego robot, it doesn't matter. If you don't understand the model of what what is it in the real world that you are now trying to put in to a piece of software? Right. And when you get that abstraction, it's so much easier to learn and understand fairly difficult topics. So that's, that's always been my mantra, if, I mean, if there's something you don't understand, try and code it. Because it will force you to, to, to to learn it, right,
Pj Metz 31:30
that idea of coming up with a solution, it creates the pathway in your brain, and then he used that pathway to further and deepen that learning later on. Absolutely.
Brandon Minnick 31:39
Yeah, well, in speaking of which, you do so you do a lot of work ends with Lego robotics and the LEGO League. I want to also jump into that a bit, because that is being taught or rather, you are teaching children to code through Legos is that so
Jens Woeste 32:03
I mean, I'm not, I'm not acting as the teacher for an entire class I'm supporting, I've got three boys at home. And they are every year they are competing in this FIRST LEGO League tournament, which is an amazing stem competition consists of a there's a robotics competition, where there's a robotics board where they have to solve all kinds of missions using a robot such as this. And then there's typically a project as well, an innovation project where they have to come up with a solution to a problem within you know, the, every year they have a new theme for, for for these competitions. I think, last year, it was something about how to make people move more, because people have a tendency to sit at home, on their couches with the iPads and being physically inactive. So how can we, how can we get kids out or even adults out and move on? And, you know, these kids, they came up with the most wonderful ideas, you know, everything from virtual treasure hunts. You know, I think there was one team who did like a, a staircase, where it was at a train station, and there was an escalator. And all the passengers, they were just riding the escalator. They didn't take the stairs, even though it would be better for them physically to do that. Right. So so they had this idea of installing huge piano keys on the stairs. So when you walk down the stairs, you will playing the notes of the steps, right? Which obviously made people choose going up and down the stairs rather than taking yesterday. So and, again, it's an amazing competition. I know it's in the US as well. So you know, if for your kids for your schools, you know, do a shout out because it's it's really, it's really a competition that challenges them on a lot of different areas. So obviously, they have to design the physical robot, they have to program it. The next thing is they have to practice because, you know, sometimes real world situations are difficult to handle incurred, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe the room the lighting in the competition room was a little bit different than when they practiced at home or know tons of different things can go go wrong, but it just teaches these kids to go into problems. Well, what it took a while so I've been supporting my own kids and their teams, you know, as best as I can. And yeah, obviously it rubs off as well because when you Very easy to, to excite about technology, then if someone slips this under your door, you start tinkering. So it's
Brandon Minnick 35:11
Yeah. And so we have the link, we share the link to FIRST LEGO league.org. Yes. folks listening. So let's go to find out more.
Jens Woeste 35:20
Yeah. So that's, that's that's the main site the the global main site. And that's typically a lot of regional centers where they organize regional competitions, but I believe they have yearly the the finals, the World Finals, I think they are in Orlando, or at least they were a couple of years back. So but you know, they, it's, it's an amazing, it's amazing thing. And, yeah, I mean, you know, it's not like my kids are, you know, yeah, they did. They want some design prizes and things like that. But they haven't gone all the way yet. But who knows?
Pj Metz 35:59
Maybe your kids can compete with young kids. And
yeah, friendly competition that
Jens Woeste 36:05
Who knows? Who knows, right?
Pj Metz 36:07
I'm a robot.
Brandon Minnick 36:11
Right? I played with Legos a lot growing up. But they didn't move. They weren't robotic. Yeah, I
Pj Metz 36:19
had to do it myself. I had to go. Next week, and she was like, sure, honey, whatever.
Jens Woeste 36:26
So I'm current. I'm currently in my office. But you know, I'm collecting, especially the space themed Lego. So obviously, the second five, the new shuttle that just come out.
Pj Metz 36:37
The really big one that's like the space shuttle.
Brandon Minnick 36:40
It's like this. Yeah, it
Jens Woeste 36:41
says it's a it's a it's a I believe it's discovery, the discovery shuttle. But unfortunately, it's without the side boosters and the main fuel tank. So it's just the shuttle itself.
Pj Metz 36:57
But it's gotta get a lot of orange bricks and make it yourself. Exactly, exactly.
building a robot and programming you have to do certain things. I am 100% confident that my mechanical engineer friends in college in 2007. That was a senior year project that had to do and we got, you know, elementary school kids doing it now.
Jens Woeste 37:20
I just did this session for so my youngest is in primary free. And they had a unit on on internet and internet media and all that. And they have these, you know, they invite parents into do a talk. So what I did was I actually I did a demo app in Xamarin. You can you can get it off. GitHub if you want. The magic eight ball app. Right? Yeah. But but but but the amazing thing was, so I mean, the kids, they totally got the concept. So push the magic eight button, and some random text comes up, you can ask it something and you get a random response, right. But what really surprised me there was the these kids, they totally got it. I mean, they were not able to, you know, analyze all the code and all the zamel and all that. But hey, we had a chat about the, the the string of arrays that had all the questions and answers and all that. And they got it. And the interesting thing was, not even did they get that, but it fairly quickly led to a discussion about privacy and security. Because we suddenly we had a discussion about Okay, if I'm an app developer, I'm building this app. I can get all this information about you. From your device. No questions at all. Mostly. Apple might differ, but But yeah, no, but but English. And these kids, they just sit. They got it. And again, this is the iPad generation, you know, they were they I mean, I think before they got a pacifier they got a got an iPad, right.
Pj Metz 39:10
Yeah, these kids are front end users their you know, their end users now.
Jens Woeste 39:15
Yeah, that's what they had the intuition. They had the intuition they understood completely, you know, oh, so so my Apple ID is actually available or my location or, you know, information that is sent back and forth between my iPad and some some sort of on the internet, you know, and yeah, if nothing else, maybe I planted the seed and a couple of them will grow up with tinfoil hats. I don't know.
Brandon Minnick 39:48
Not a bad thing to be aware of them. I I love everything that Apple's been doing lately, especially with their with their privacy push where an iOS 14 day Five, which should be coming out soon. as a as a mobile app developer myself, I'm privy to all the developer betas. And they're on something like beta eight or beta nine of iOS 14 f5. So should be out soon. But in that they will implement. I forget exactly what they call it. But I think it's like app transparency, app, trans app tracking transparency, I think it is. Where, yeah, there's this been this whole, I guess you would call it a market where every app that you use both on mobile, and this is true in web as well. They'll track you as you use different apps. And then they'll find out information from those apps, so that they can basically give you better ads. And one of the biggest we'll say employers of this is Facebook. And so that's how, you know folks like to joke around, they're like the Facebook ads listening to you recording what you say that's how it knows that I need a new coffeemaker. It's not your other apps. Yeah. But it knows us so well, that yeah, it's it's a new using other app, if you looking up, maybe amazon.com, looking up different coffee makers, or reviews, and then it knows, oh, this person's in the market. And yeah, iOS has been making a big push lately. So fortune five, grab it, as soon as it comes out, update their phones to it. Because you'll have better protection, you can obviously allow an app to continue to track you if you want to. I don't personally want to but and then apples also added to every app, or force better, better way to say that is forced us developers to add to each of our app pages in the App Store, the list of everything we do with your data. So we were talking about my app trends a minute ago, if you check out get trends, gi t tr e n ds on the iOS App Store, you'll see a little blurb on that page that here's what good trends does. If your data and I don't, I don't collect any PII. There's no data collection going on. But even things like every mobile app, or I shouldn't say every just about every mobile app will track will do certain things to track your like crashes and errors so that when the app does crash, we can find out about it, we can fix that bug and push out a new release. And so that's what you'll see if you go check out good trends. But if you really want to get really want to get nervous, check out an app like Facebook, like Instagram, you'll see you'll be scrolling through all the things they do with your data for a good couple seconds. Whereas at least with good trends, you'll see it in two lines. You see, you bury.
Pj Metz 42:59
You see Facebook and Instagrams ad push lately about how personalized ads are like really good for you. And it helps you find things you wouldn't otherwise know. So they're trying to show that hey, like the end result is we push things to you that you want to know about. So it's all about like, Oh, this person, this small business needs to know the right data so they can get it in front of the person who's going to do something with it. And sure, like, I don't want to see ads that are useless for me. But I don't know that I want you taking all of my information that so that I can see there's a drum kit on sale for me nearby. You know what I mean? Like?
Brandon Minnick 43:37
Yeah, absolutely. Actually, yes. It's a good question for you. So being in Denmark being in the EU, you have and have had better privacy, at least regulations. What are your thoughts on on all this coming from the EU where you're a little bit more protected than PJ, here in the US
Pj Metz 44:01
are wide open here? I'm
pretty sure. Well,
Jens Woeste 44:05
I mean, we have this this overall legislation referred to as GDPR. Which is I totally get the idea behind this legislation. But it's just taken over him. You know, every single website you visit, you have to accept not only cookies, you have to accept privacy policies. You have to accept you know, yada yada, yada. And nobody reads this, right. But, but that's just one point. Another point is, let's say I'm doing a, let's say, a club. Let's say let's say I'm doing a network club for semmering enthusiasts in the Billund area. If I start registering people's data, like name, email, cetera, et cetera, yeah. So first of all, I have to notify them of their rights. You know, I'm bound to, I think I have like six months, if I haven't touched those data in six months, I have to automatically delete them. That's there's so many rules, which means that and obviously, God, God help me if I by accident, share those email addresses with other club members, you know, I mean, in theory, I will be, you know, crucified. Right. So, so, so there's good and bad to that legislation.
I mean, you know, you don't have to be a genius to figure out what kind of data is being mined through through apps and websites these days. And I think it's good that there's some kind of legislation keeping, especially the big tech tech companies in check. But, you know, on the other hand, it also has to be done intelligently. And I think the GDPR regulation, as it's implemented is, it's more of a nuisance that it's that then than it is solving a problem, right. So, so yeah,
Brandon Minnick 46:15
I get it. Yeah, I was literally on a website. today. I was doing I think I was booking a rental car. I don't have car rental. But um, yeah, it had the banner at the bottom, like you were talking about? Yes. It says, Do you accept the cookies? And I'm like, I don't. So I don't click the accept button. But does that really even do anything? Or is that more of like, a formality? Yeah, like, they still put the cookie? It's,
Jens Woeste 46:45
it's, it's a legal requirement. It's just, yeah. So whether you're
Pj Metz 46:54
doing what they want, if you explicitly
Jens Woeste 46:56
say no, you don't accept the cookies, and they still let you continue. And they do give you cookies. Actually, I think that particular company would be in trouble.
Pj Metz 47:09
Jens Woeste 47:12
Yes, just cookies
Pj Metz 47:15
are getting into legislation.
Jens Woeste 47:18
But actually, this is, this has also been been an interesting element of my own FinTech startup, because as I alluded to earlier, it's, it's like it's an investment tool for private investors. Right. But you know, and so one thing is I allow, I allow the users to store their investment portfolios, etc, and analyze them and do all kinds of stuff. And that's all fine and dandy. But if I were to provide a functionality where they can then save that portfolio into the cloud, so that it's available on other devices, just takes off, you know, that the regulation in terms of you know, layers of encryption, and two factor authentication, yada, yada, it's it's financial data, right. Yeah. personal financial data, right. Yeah. It just just takes off. So
Pj Metz 48:14
yeah, personally, I given that I just put my bank account up on stream every once a while, like, Hey, guys, you can look on routing number if you really want to. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 48:27
Again, sorry, real quick, Jr. in the comments is asking the name of your startup.
Jens Woeste 48:33
Yeah. So my not so my startup, as I said, I haven't gone public yet. And there's, there's more reasons to that. But one of them is the original name was already being used by another company. I found out later.
Pj Metz 48:51
Jens Woeste 48:52
Yeah, something like that. So right now, I'm working with an ad agency there. So first of all, they're doing a UX change of my app, because Brandon, you will come to show the screenshots I send you. So because it's, it's like When, when, when you when you have a guy who's all wound up in, in in models and, and screen real estate, as you are when you're working within capital markets, you know, the most expensive real estate in it on gating, any trading for the screen real estate, because you just want to cram as much information in there as possible. But again, so so this is this is sort of the MVP version, or the version that the raw version. And you can see that there's quite a lot of information just in that one screen. And for me, hey, that's, that's no problem, but maybe for a new inexperienced investor. It's like what is going on here? So So right now I have a proper UX designer to redesign my front end and give them more appealing. Look, and yeah, yeah. But at the same time, we also doing kind of a branding session trying to find a new name, where obviously the domain name is also available. Just add on the weather that's actually important in these days. Anyways. So So hey, yeah, if you're sitting out there and you have a great idea for foreign for name for an app, shoot me a DM on Twitter or look me up on LinkedIn or whatever.
Pj Metz 50:35
And we tried that
Jens Woeste 50:37
it can't it can't be Mike.
Pj Metz 50:40
tried it? They said no.
Brandon Minnick 50:42
Yeah. So you can have rich so yes, your your Twitter handle is at sub orbital. So su b o rb, it LS. And when we were chatting earlier, you mentioned that we were also into amateur rocketry,
Twitter handle comes from
Jens Woeste 51:03
Actually Actually, that was that Twitter account was used for communicating about so I'm involved in a not for profits, crowdfunded crowd sourced, not totally open source but close to project to to do a suborbital flight. Hence the names of orbitals and the and they are called communicants of orbitals by the way. So again, check it out just as Easter here we we've had serious testings of our of our new ppm five engine with the new swirl injectors, etc, etc. So but you know, the aim of this project is to on a shoestring string project to build and launch a rocket with eventually a an astronaut aboard to do a suborbital flight mimicking that of Alan Shepard.
Pj Metz 52:04
If you want to clarify, You're different from the Lego stuff, right?
Yeah, God, I
just wanted to make sure we weren't making Lego rockets. Okay.
Jens Woeste 52:12
Yeah, no, you gotta have you gotta have healthy interests. Right. So
Pj Metz 52:18
that's amazing that so you guys said you just lost like a test rocket recently, like over so
Jens Woeste 52:24
we did the search? Yeah. So this Sunday, and this Monday, we did seven tests in total static files of the engine. We were testing different nozzle configurations. And we were testing a new injector design on the rocket engine. So but yeah, you know, go to commendable communities voxels.com check out, there's all the videos, there's all the we had, we were telling the world about what's going on in our rocket shop, we are inviting people to come and join our project. It's again, it's volunteers, we've got 60 plus volunteers now. Ranging from everything from students from from, from, from various universities doing, some of them are even doing their master thesis in our rocket shop. We've got, you know, people from all areas around mechanical engineering. But again, the project is it's not only about that, we also have, you know, immediate crew, they do all this streaming, live streaming, you know, make sure that we can also, when we are launching our rockets, we've done six or seven launches so far that we are able to stream back in HD quality directly on YouTube from a supersonic rocket. So yeah. With people doing guidance systems doing all the programming. You have, obviously we have the whole operations team, because we do see launches, we launch our rockets from sea. So and recovery as well, you know, yeah. Are we all as we call them the Department of slowly descending objects? Yeah. So So yeah, no, it's it's a it's a cool project. Check out the the web page again. And as I said, everything is crowd sourced, crowdfunded. So you know, dig in. And obviously, we would love support for the project as well. So
Brandon Minnick 54:31
yeah, that's absolutely absolutely incredible. But that's one of my dreams or my goals is before I die. I want to go to space so I want to feel this I want to see the curvature of the earth and he, I guess, thank you for doing this because I love that these programs exist.
Jens Woeste 54:51
But Brandon, we haven't actually selected the astronaut yet. So
Pj Metz 54:57
yeah, that shortlist Brandon,
Brandon Minnick 54:59
I don't know if I want to go First, after a couple of tries, and after we proved it out, but yeah, I've even I've told my wife is there's definitely bigger companies going after this, like Virgin Galactic is one that comes top of mind that I told her if we get to the point where I'm 5060, like, getting up there, in terms of being physically able to do it. Where, like, if it still costs $200,000, like, I'm cashing out the 401k I want to
Pj Metz 55:39
bury me in space. Yeah, it's amazing. That's rad.
Jens Woeste 55:47
Yeah, and I but but I think actually, and this is, again, there's also a little bit of sanity to what we're doing. And that is the fact that, you know, as technology evolves, evolves, by, you know, your, your standard iPhone has more computing power than the entire Apollo program had for, you know, doing all the guidance to the moon and back, right. And, and, and you have these systems that you can just order off Alibaba or eBay or whatever. That that, actually, yes, they are not, you know, flight grade, they will not be FAA approved. Right. But they are good enough for what we're doing. And if you, and if you make sure that you keep a proper element of, of system redundancy, it's totally safe, you know? So, so, so yeah, and this technology is available for us. It's, it's not it's not only the NASA is who has access to this, right? Yeah. So so you can actually build all the guidance systems, everything that's needed in order to be able to control this thing. You can build on a shoestring budget, right? The designs that the design approach that that we've taken is also to say, you know, what? If you look at it this How much time do we have with three minutes less left? So but but but but it's, it's, it basically comes down to keeping things simple, right? And if there's no, there's no need to, to, to to to use some exotic material to reduce the weight mass of the rocket by 0.00001%. Because at the end of the day, a rocket launch is a ballistic exercise, right? So you go up, you have no pogi, you go down. It's not like an airliner, where you have to think about the fuel and service consumptions throughout lifetime, right. So So and by employing this, keep it simple, stupid design principle. You can, more or less build your own rocket from stuff you can buy at the local hardware store. Your if you know what you're doing go head to Home Depot
Pj Metz 58:09
and make a rocket. Tell them when you're checking out. Once he got going on this weekend, I'll just build the rocket
Brandon Minnick 58:18
base real quick. Yeah. Yeah, that's absolutely incredible. We only have two minutes left. I do want to say again, thanks so much for coming on the show. It's your backgrounds, incredible from learning, teaching yourself how to code to building rockets to building robots and teaching children to build robots. It's your fascinating, fascinating. Yeah. But uh, for folks who want to chat with you more, learn more about you. Maybe they want to go to space and they want to be astronauts to Where can the folks at home find you?
Jens Woeste 59:00
Again, at suborbital that's my Twitter handle, look me up on on LinkedIn, whatever, you know, I'm, I'm happy to connect. And if there's a full stack Xamarin developer out there, including the Azure etc, with minimum 10 or 15 years of experience, and shoot me a DM and we'll figure something out. Kidding. It's no I'm, I'm happy to be here, Brandon. And, you know, again, for myself this the series of programs, it's always nice to, you know, hear about people's experiences within tech. And you know, how they did things because, again, I don't, I think we all choose own paths, but sometimes we can we can get some inspiration from each other.
Brandon Minnick 59:53
That's right. I know I'm inspired. Oh, yen's. Thanks so much for joining us today. PJ. Thank you so much for filling in. Chloe, thank you so much for joining us. We'll be back next week, same time, same channel, and we'll see you then.
Pj Metz 1:00:07
Have a good day. Oh