8 Bits with Jill Wohlner!

8 Bits with Jill Wohlner!
In this episode of 8 Bits we are joined by the founder of underpin.company, Jill Wholner! Join us as we discuss Jill's journey from Slurpies to tech and more!

Follow Jill on Twitter: @JillWohlner
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @TheCodeTraveler

Listen to the Podcast

8 Bits with Jill Wohlner! - 8 Bits
In this episode of 8 Bits we are joined by the founder of underpin.company, Jill Wholner! Join us as we discuss Jill’s journey into tech!https://underpin.companyFollow Jill on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillWohlnerFollow…

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Chloe Condon  0:09
Oh my gosh, look at that intro.

Brandon Minnick  0:13

Chloe Condon  0:14
whoever made that intro is probably so talented and cool and really cool hot right now. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the show, you may notice a fancy new intro. That is our special gift to you this week on eight bits. Welcome to events, y'all. I'm Chloe.

And this is a show where every week we talk to some really interesting cool people in tech that do really cool things. But before we get into our super special guest this week, Brandon, how you doing? How's your week, then? Oh, it's been a whole week since last we spoke.

Brandon Minnick  0:54
I'm so good. Having just a great day. And part of that is we have upped our game at eight bits. And so everybody saw the awesome new intro.

But we also have a website. So we have eight bits.tv. So that's that's it. That's the URL, https colon, backslash backslash, eight bits.tv

where you can find all the episodes from the back catalogue. You can find for every episode, we have the podcast. So if you just want to listen to the audio at three XP like I do, go for it. We've got links to the video live stream. So kind of like you can see us right now. And also a complete transcript. So if you're ever curious about what we chatted about, maybe just want to control f something to be like, I know Chloe mentioned Azure Functions. I know. We talked about being happy

all the time. But yeah, so you could just do Ctrl F as your functions. And it'll jump you straight to the timestamp part in the conversation. You don't even have to watch the video, you can just read, read the video, if that's a thing. But really excited. We put a ton a ton of work into this this week. So hopefully everybody loves it as much as we do. Feel free to give us some feedback. Let us know what you think.

Chloe Condon  2:14
Please let us know like if you need I feel like we're giving people so many different ways to consume our content, Brandon, I feel like they can listen to us they can watch us What are we missing? We just need like an AR VR experience to add on to the

Brandon Minnick  2:28
sector in the studio. We should have April

Chloe Condon  2:31
on the show April and Thomas can talk to us how to get that set up from our mixed reality team. So let us know other ways that you want to be able to consume the show and maybe we'll but I love this now because people can listen to us when they're on the go. Maybe we show something visual I I hear a rumor today that we may be shut, we may have some props that we're showing. So people can listen in on their bike ride and then go home and see what we're talking about. So I'm just so excited. We've we've really just overnight upped our game. So check out the website.

Brandon Minnick  3:06
It's about time Really? Yeah, we've been doing this for over a year. Now. We started this in May. And that's only a couple months away. We're basically in March. So yeah, it's about time we have the website podcast, all the options. You don't have to be limited to Wednesdays at 1pm pacific time to catch the live stream anymore.

Chloe Condon  3:27
Oh my goodness. I can't imagine listening to our podcast on two x speed because I already talked so fast. Like I wonder if when you do that. It's just like, like a chipmunk. Let us know.

Brandon Minnick  3:38
My laugh. Two x three x. It's like a cackle.

Chloe Condon  3:45
Oh my gosh, well, now I'm gonna go watch and listen. No, you

Brandon Minnick  3:48
have to?

Chloe Condon  3:49
I have to do it. I think that'll be what I do on my walk today. Um, well, I'm super excited for our guests today. But before we bring them in, how has your week been? I know you've been slaving away on this website. It looks awesome. Any exciting things in the world of Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  4:07
Oh, gosh. I mean, the big news for me as a .NET / C# developer, the .NET 6.0 Preview just came out last week. So this is hot off the presses. You might be thinking to yourself, if you're also a .NET developer like hey, did .NET 5.0 just be released? And yeah, .NET 5.0, was taken out of preview into general availability back in November. But now we have the first preview available for .NET 6.0, and there's so many goodies in it for especially if you're a Xamarin developer or a Blazor developer and I can't wait to try it I I need to set aside some time now that now we've got the website up and running. I've got nothing but free time, right?

Chloe Condon  4:54
Yeah. Oh my gosh. That'll be fun. See you have a fun After this show, you're just gonna be like dotnet and it up.

Brandon Minnick  5:02
Mmm, I can't wait. Oh, and tomorrow, speaking of .NET is a whole .NET Conference. Yeah, there's .NET conference. And it's a Focus on Windows. And so if anybody out there wants to learn about how to make Windows apps using C#, using .NET, think there's some F# courses, all day tomorrow: .NET Conf Focus on Windows. It starts at 8am Pacific time, and goes till five or six pacific time. So all day, you have to tune in, that's my plan. I'm gonna tune in, put it on the TV in the background while I'm working, and just try to soak up all the goodness.

Chloe Condon  5:42
Ah, fine. Is that gonna be? Is that on TV? Or is it gonna be? I wonder if we're hosting that?

Brandon Minnick  5:50
Good question.

Chloe Condon  5:51
We'll find out. We'll put somebody in the chat.

Brandon Minnick  5:54
As the host who's promoting it. I feel like I should add info. Well,

Chloe Condon  6:04
I have a super exciting thing to tell you, Brandon, I don't even think I've told you this. So you know, shanaya bot, right, we've talked about shanaya bought a lot on the show. Okay, I'm going to share my screen because I have a very important announcement to any shanaya bot fans out there. Now, if this is your first time joining us, I built an AI bot with a friend of the show friend of the pod PGA Mets. And it's a really simple Twitter bot that we built together to teach PJ how to use logic apps. But now he's hosting it himself. And we've learned all sorts of fun things about it. And you can go follow it right now. The username is bot underscore shanaya. And it tweets. Let's go girls, every morning to remind you to go in the morning. But Brandon, a very exciting thing happened last week. I got a little bored. And I made a new bot. And it's called it's Britney bot, because I just watched the Britney Spears documentary hashtag free Brittany. And I was thinking, you know, what can What can I build that will spark a little bit of joy in people's lives. So I very quickly spin up its Brittany bot, you can go follow it now if you'd love. It is a Twitter bot that I made in about under 10 minutes with Azure Logic Apps. And it tweets. Britney bot Yes, the handle is it's Brittany bot with two T's so like, very, very professional and classy here. And you can also check out the documentation on how I made this ad aka.ms slash it's Brittany bot with one T. But it's really fun, simple little logic app that I built that. So I've got shanaya now in the morning, reminding me Let's go girls, and now in the evening. I've got Brittany bot telling me it's Brittany bots, new features coming every day coming soon.

Brandon Minnick  8:04
In the comments talk about aryana bot.

Chloe Condon  8:06
Yes. Oh yes. How can I forget

Unknown Speaker  8:08
taking over?

Chloe Condon  8:09
So she's not up and running yet. But you can Ooh, is it Ariana? grande bot Ariana PJ let me know in the chat. bot is but it's Brittany bot was inspired by Ariana Grande bots, which is something that PG and I worked on stream last week and you can go check it out. But I'm not going to tell folks what Ariana Grande bot does. Because you have to watch our stream to find out now this isn't clickbait. This is sincerely because we don't want to pay all the hosting people to keep clicking using our bot. But it's been really fun to play with BJ and and build some of these bots. And now we're just building a bot army of pop culture celebrities. So everybody enjoy go follow it's Bernie bot Go Go follow shanaya bot and and Oh, I should say shanaya is bot underscore shanaya on Twitter. And it's Brittany bot is it's Brittany bot with two DS and sharing this not only because I really love these projects I've been working on but our guests that we have on today.

Oh my gosh, I'm so excited because she's not a bot. She's not a bot she's real life human woman. But during this global Panera. I have met a lot of really great people on the interwebs do two different pop culture things that I have similar interests with like, I feel like Twitter can be a really garbage place sometimes, but I also can meet really wonderful cool people. And I don't know if I've talked about it on the show before but I've been watching a lot of 90 day fiance so much so that I bought this pillow to commemorate all of the seasons that I've done. I work so much work to quote 90 day fiance and it's funny how the internet brings people together because July

I met on Twitter. I think we connected on 90 day fiance. We've now realized that we love a lot of similar pop culture things, including Britney Spears. So I'm very, very excited to have a like minded human on the show to talk to us all about tech and what they do. So welcome to the show, Joe. Yay.

Unknown Speaker  10:22
Thanks for having me.

Chloe Condon  10:24
Oh, my gosh, our pleasure. We are so so excited to have you on the show. Um, do you want to tell the folks at home a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Jill Wohlner  10:34
Yeah, of course. So Hello, I'm Joe willner. I am a technical recruiter ish kind of person. My I am the CEO and founder of my own company. So I work for myself, which partners with organizations to help them with all things people and recruiting is like the plug so underpin is my company. And yeah, I've been doing this only one company for about a year now. Same time started as the global panni. And it's been great. And I'm super jazzed. And I feel very lucky. Twitter has made me a lot of great friends through the years and I feel very fortunate, Chloe, that I got to meet you. via Twitter. And we found out we have oh my god so much in common, including a childhood of ice skating.

Chloe Condon  11:23
Yes. Oh my gosh, I should have gotten some images to show here.

Unknown Speaker  11:28
I have a grain of me in practice one day that came up on my timehop not that long ago. It's like me in acid wash jeans. Ice skating. Yeah.

Brandon Minnick  11:39
Cool. Just imagine like is that around the time like the Mighty Ducks movies were coming out?

Chloe Condon  11:44
Oh, yeah.

Brandon Minnick  11:46
leaning into it. Oh, yeah.

Chloe Condon  11:47
I don't know if this is something that only I did. Because I have never heard of anyone else partaking in this. But um, so I did figure skating and I competed. But there was also this thing called precision team that we had at skate town in Roseville. That's where the fancy skating rink was near Sacramento. And precision team was basically synchronized swimming, but with ice skaters. So like, imagine, like 20 kids like doing like, declines and stuff, kind of the stuff that you would see in Disney on Ice, like when they do all the RMR on ice even when they're doing the formation. And that's all I have to dig up some of that footage and maybe share it with books. Technically,

Unknown Speaker  12:24
I was. So I did solo and I was in a group too. But I it wasn't called precision. I don't remember what it was called. But when you moved up the ranks, this is akin to like, actually what I'm wearing now because I put this patch on my sweatshirt myself. You would get a patch. And I had a jacket full of patches. And I was feeling myself.

Chloe Condon  12:44
Joe, when I tell you I still have all my patches. I think I'm going to sew them onto my jean jacket. How? Okay, I'm curious. You're working in tech. It seems like we have a really similar kind of quirky, unique backgrounds here. How did you find yourself in this industry from the skates to the tech? How did you get? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  13:07
So I found my way very randomly into tech. So I live in St. Louis, Missouri. Now I was I say I'm from here. I'm an Air Force brat. But I did a lot of growing up in Southern Illinois. And my skating days were when I lived in DC, and then we moved out here. So I went to undergrad and grad school in the area. And I got my grad degree in what's called industrial organizational psychology, which is basically study of humans in the workplace. My partner and I, at the time, weren't location tides were just like, whoever gets a job first. That's where we'll go. which landed us in San Antonio, Texas, or they worked for the federal government. And I worked for a manufacturing company that made Slurpee machines.

Chloe Condon  13:55
Okay, this is important. brands and I'm gonna let you do follow up here because I I'm at a loss for words on what like I have so many like Slurpee questions for your job.

Brandon Minnick  14:09
So, yeah, fill everybody in. I have. I've a will say a unique obsession with 711. as of lately, we recently moved which is why if you've been watching the show, you've seen my background change. And our new house has a 711 just around the corner. So one block away. We can go grab a book, I kind of use it as like the the office vending machine that I used to have so like I want to go grab a soda grab

Chloe Condon  14:39
snackable Lacroix

Brandon Minnick  14:43
I go I go to 711 way too much. It's one of those things where like the credit card starts to yell you're like was this You again? Yeah, it's still me. But

Chloe Condon  14:53
did you buy 25 nerds ropes sir.

Brandon Minnick  14:58
No But uh, yeah, so I found out recently and we'll let Gil confirm this but that slurpees and icees say machines

Jill Wohlner  15:12

Chloe Condon  15:18

Unknown Speaker  15:18
So and also the machines, the IC and sometimes are not branded. I see machines at Target are same machine to Wow. And almost all of them in the US are made in San Antonio, Texas.

Chloe Condon  15:34
So what you're saying is National Slurpee day we're all slurpees are free, technically all iced, tea free, same type of beverage. Wow.

Brandon Minnick  15:45
We are blowing minds. I could see prints in the chat. tell the world about Slurpee machines.

Chloe Condon  15:53
We broke this. So see on the show.

Unknown Speaker  15:56
So the the the fun part of work was that it definitely like in the cafeteria area, like there were slippery machines that you could get slippery slurpees all day that kind of like loses its fun after not too long. And actually it was a manufacturing facility. So like I was an HR coordinator started temp got on to full time employment. And so I hiring was part of what I did. And I hired everyone from people who work the line to executives, and so and I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, like, this is like how we're all doing it. You know, I say this all the time. One of my goals and why I get to know teams that I'm recruiting for is that my goal always is to not look stupid when I walk on calls with candidates like still to this day like and that's the goal. Oh, it's just like, look smart enough. So fake it till you make it which I think you and PJ were talking about in a podcast not that long ago, which I totally agree with. And but so perk Slurpee machines, not perk. The food and beverage industry is a good old boys network, just like tech ish. And it is there's some dark, there's dark parts of food and beverage.

Chloe Condon  17:14
Oh man.

Unknown Speaker  17:16
But an additional silver lining is I got to go there conferences or conventions are full of the conference from the swag room. It's like seven elevens dish like convenience stores hyping the next snack.

Chloe Condon  17:30
Oh, dang. Wait. Wow. Like we're like picturing like Doritos taco. Yeah, like, yeah, level.

Jill Wohlner  17:38
Yeah. Anyway, you can imagine it's, it was pretty incredible to get to go to those like convention conferences.

Chloe Condon  17:46
I am here I was thinking that when I went to South by Southwest like eight years ago, and I got to try the new McDonald's flavored fries, I thought I was in 2030.

Brandon Minnick  17:59
You haven't had like the bacon wrapped hot dogs that they sit on the roller for a couple hours and

Jill Wohlner  18:05
tell they're just right. questionably

Brandon Minnick  18:06

Chloe Condon  18:09
I feel like there's something about purchasing it in that environment. Like I don't know if y'all have been to Universal Studios. We're talking about theme parks really early on the show today. But one of my favorite places to go at Universal Studios. Orlando is the quickie Mart 711 kind of thing that they have in The Simpsons area, which they do sell slurpees Alright, got this. They're called slurpees know, one of the things

Unknown Speaker  18:33
I can picture that it happening is she's like that.

Brandon Minnick  18:38

Chloe Condon  18:39
Yeah, sir. Man, I got him slurpees for this show. Afterwards,

Unknown Speaker  18:47
yeah. I was living my best Slurpee life in San Antonio wearing like pantyhose to work, giving Oh my God, I had to give a training to admins, other admins about, like, what to wear. It was, of course, all women. And it was like, it was bizarre, like six like it was in the 60s. But it was 12 years ago, and like about how not to wear too much perfume to work and things like that.

Jill Wohlner  19:13

Unknown Speaker  19:15
Um, and so I generally kind of, you know, enjoyed the job. And I got to learn a ton, because I reported directly to the head of HR. So she's just like, let me in on everything. But this company was down the road from the basically at the time, the only tech company in San Antonio called Rackspace. And everybody in San Antonio at you know, in 2010, wanted to work at Rackspace, and they had their headquarters is in an old mall, which was amazing. And everybody got to wear jeans and T shirts there every day. And I was like, how do I get into technology? Like literally that was

Chloe Condon  19:54
I had a similar moment in my career where I was working as a salesperson At Yelp, it was one of my first jobs out of college. I got it through a Craigslist ad. And the minute that they told me all the deli meat and in the fridge and the crystal geyser was free, having come from the theater world and the arts world where you were so lucky, if you got a slice of pizza rehearsal, I was like, Oh my gosh, I got to work at Tech, like the snacks.

Brandon Minnick  20:21
services that

Chloe Condon  20:25
no eating and costume.

Unknown Speaker  20:28
Yeah, I felt like tech was this dream world. And I did what any good, like recruiter does. And I figured out on LinkedIn who was hiring recruiters at Rackspace, I reached out to him. And I did an interview, which was I left work and did it in the was phone because I mean, no one was doing video interviews then. And it was in the parking lot of a Starbucks. And I impressed enough to come on site. And the next thing you know,

Chloe Condon  21:00
I'm a tech recruiter x rays. Wow.

That's awesome.

Brandon Minnick  21:06
Yeah. Rackspace, they do. It's like hosting.

Unknown Speaker  21:09
Yeah, for sure. Right. Yeah. So hosting. And there were one of the early hosting companies. And then, you know, have had their heyday and then weird things, and they gotten acquired and all sorts of weird stuff now. But yeah, it was a very, and it was like 6000 people when I was there. So it's still the largest company I've ever worked for. And yeah, it was so fun. They told me I remember vividly them telling me like the first day you're gonna hire Linux admins. And I was like, Whoa, no clue what that what are those words, of course, but like in the fake it till you make it realm. I was like, cool, of course. And so I was like reading and trying to learn. And I learned the best by talking to others. And I know when I kind of leaned in on what I'm good at, which is building relationships. And so I just started like going and hanging out with my Linux admin teams. And I was like, if you answer these questions for me, like, I'll buy you lunch, or buy you a drink, or whatever, and then we just became friends. And so it became much easier for me to talk to candidates on the phone, because I heard these people talking to each other and like, understood their language. And a lot of people in tech are really like quirky and weird, like me. And so I just like felt like I found my niche. And I have not not looked not regretted leaving the Slurpee the Slurpee, because ever since

Brandon Minnick  22:37
remember, brain freezes, yes, plus.

Chloe Condon  22:40
So I know we have a lot of people on the show who have these like, degrees that are very, very different from what they do by Jay, myself being one of them. We had wasn't it last week, our guest was telling us they had an art history degree, I believe, and they work at Microsoft. I think it's really interesting that your degree is like, highly applicable to what you do on a day to day basis. And yet you did not plan this career path. Like Yeah, for folks who are watching who maybe are thinking, you know, I want to get into tech, but I've got this like, totally unrelated background, like, how, how did you connect those dots?

Unknown Speaker  23:20
Yeah, and I mean, I think for me, it's really important, like tech can feel exclusive on a lot of different levels. But also, the one being people feel like they had to have grown up loving tech to be in tech. And that's also false. I did not grow up being like a really a gamer, like I played a few video games growing up in the 90s and stuff, but I wasn't a huge gamer. I didn't like Tinker. I wasn't like a puzzle person, all of these things. But I really like interesting problems. I like building highly functioning teams like I love the human aspect of it and tech are not tech, Every company has those types of needs. And I love connecting people with jobs. And so I think it's just about trying different things out and tech fit me very well also like the high paced nature of it. Now I get to work remote, there's a lot of perks. And so even like those types of things, I just wouldn't let your background whether that's schooling or like your upbringing and your like interaction with tech in general, dissuade you from this, this organization.

Chloe Condon  24:30
It's funny that you say you You didn't grew up tinkering and doing stuff like that, because I am following you on Twitter. I feel that you're very much a Tinker like you're always making cool Lego projects and like, like I was on my show adopted out of yesterday, we were chatting with ro and she does a lot of CSS front end type stuff that really becomes art. Like it's this really interesting blending of like programming and art and I've always personally thought of Like coding is a lot like digital crafting. Yeah, no way. So I get so excited when I see, you know, folks that are working in tech, like kind of finding what that is like, what piece of tech suits them the best. And I feel like in a lot of ways, Joe, you're kind of like a casting director in a way. Hot here, because you get to find and identify really cool, interesting people that get to fit into these literal roles. So when you're doing like when, as a recruiter, when you're doing that kind of work and trying to match those things, it sounds like you're having conversations with the team to figure out what you know, what is a Linux developer? I like that. But I know from the mentorship that I do, and some people we've had on the show, it can be really hard to break into this industry. It's a chicken in the egg thing, right? How How do you deal with those kind of candidates, maybe the ones that don't have like, the super, super long resume of experience, but they have a clickable experience that you've see potential in?

Unknown Speaker  26:05
Totally. And so I mean, I think there's a lot of different ways. One thing I want to say too, is like, I feel very fortunate to be in tech because I feel like Tech has opened my eyes to these types of hobbies and things that I didn't know about or maybe like it like I I'm very into Lego now like very into Lego. And I was not growing up and I was like, why I feel like why did anybody tell me how friggin awesome Lego is. Or like, this is Mario that I made out of perler beads. I'm like, this was so fun to do. But so Tech has opened my eyes to that. I was definitely like the kid growing up who and I didn't know what to say was like, writing newsletters for the class when no one asked me to

Chloe Condon  26:55
come on newsletter through an AOL chat room. But I joined

Unknown Speaker  27:01
in third grade, and people are like, okay, but I do think so getting into tech is all about like exploring and finding what you're passionate about. And or, like as passionate is kind of like a buzzword right now. But like finding where you have fun, and spending time there. And so when you're trying to get your foot in the door, whether that's like working on some open source stuff, or just working on projects of your own, or like watching your videos about building these bots and like doing that, like, it's about being able to make like tangible things as well that you can put on a resume that help get your foot in the door to and be learned to talk about those as if those are projects you did at work. Communication is the number one thing that is important to recruiters for early career candidates. If you can't talk about what you've done, or what you want to do, even if it's broad, like that will end a conversation very quickly.

Chloe Condon  28:03
Yeah, specificity. Definitely key knowing what you're looking for.

Brandon Minnick  28:09
But, um, and I know this is gonna be different for everybody. But in your experience, what's the best way to add again, that, that knowledge?

Unknown Speaker  28:22
Yeah, so I think that, um, whether whatever pathway you take into tech, whether it's like traditional CS, or doing some type of like boot camp, or online learning, like a Code Academy, or there's many, many, many out there. It's just about I think, building a community within the space that you're in, and learning what other people's interests are, and then figuring out like, how you can riff off those, whether it's collaborating with your teammates, whether it's just like hearing about something they're interested in, and you're like, Oh, I could explore that even on my own. And just like being very aware of what's around you and building those those networks and communities in whatever space, whether it be in person online, etc.

Brandon Minnick  29:08
Yeah, I love that advice. And that's something I found really true. Like when I first got into mobile development, particularly with with Xamarin. I just started going to meetups. I mean now everything's online, but just kind of joining the communities. I started downloading all the Xamarin podcasts I could find I searched on Reddit, there's a Xamarin developers, Reddit, there's a developer Facebook group and just kind of immerse myself in it. And it's Yeah, you're totally right. It's interesting how much you can just almost absorb like I wasn't necessarily studying, right. I wasn't opening manuals. I wasn't necessarily even coding all the time yet, but just kind of hearing what's going on in the community, seeing what folks are making You gotta you learn what's out there, what's possible. And then as you meet more and more people, you kind of you now have this support group to that can help. So when you're first getting started here, you don't know everything. You don't know anything. So you can Yeah, you can ask around ask questions and yeah, leverage, leverage the community.

Chloe Condon  30:20
Guys. Go ahead, Joe,

Unknown Speaker  30:22
I was gonna say that the fun thing about tech as well is like the barrier to entry can be quite low in just playing around. So meaning not like getting a job. But like, if you wanted to learn about something open source or see a project that somebody is working on, you can or try a new language, you can try it out for a few days and decide, actually, that's not my language, let me try something else. And you, there's a lot of free resources out there where you don't have to put in money upfront, like how I would equate it to is like, I'll bring it back to Lego. Like I didn't initially know I was going to like Lego, so I bought a small set. And so now I bought by very expensive sets, because I know I'm not going to try to put it together and be like, Oh, I actually hate this. And this is a ways I buy a tiny brickheadz and play with that for a little while. And so like just not I think starting off broad. And keeping in mind like that you don't need to be like sinking money into a lot of things is really like something good to keep in mind.

Chloe Condon  31:24
Yeah, I was just gonna say on the community friend. So when I first started in tech, I had never used Twitter before my boyfriend was working at Twitter at the time. And he said you should get on here. This is where developers are having a lot of conversations, and you can get involved with the community a little bit more. And I was like, Oh, I don't want to use this app. It's stupid. Five years later, on Twitter, 24. Seven. But I think honestly, you know, beyond what we talked about earlier, about, like connecting with people like meeting friends on there. I have found a lot of people on Twitter, doing the work that I am now aspiring to do. So an example would be I love Danielle Baskin. I've talked about her on the show many, many times. She makes all of these hilarious, quirky, funny, interesting technical projects that always make me laugh and always keep me entertained. And I draw a lot of inspiration. And from especially I think now during this pandemic, you know, we're all stuck at home. We're not going to meetups, we're not going to events, and I really view Twitter long. Some days are a little bit of a trash fire than others. But I view Twitter almost like the conference floor of the general community of tech. You know, sometimes it the discuss the discourse can be a little crazy. But that being said, I think something that I miss about going to conferences and doing meetups and events is being able to have those one to one and one to many conversations that you would have in the hallway or like waiting outside the bathroom or whatever that may be an in an interesting way. Twitter has sort of become the watercooler chat of the global Panera in a way very much so

Unknown Speaker  33:02
it's cool to be able to see on Twitter and like on tik tok. I'm actually not on tik tok because I'm too old to be out of it. But actually, I'm not on tik tok because I know I'll get obsessed with it. And I was like, I don't need another thing.

Chloe Condon  33:16
They're like, he's singing sea shanties. 24. Seven. Good.

Unknown Speaker  33:23
But it gives you It gives you insight into like you said, these projects that people are working on and just like understanding more what happens in tech. That's so I started using Twitter when I was in grad school, like when it first came out. And I think if I always try to remember this, if I remembering correctly, when Twitter started, you had to text in your tweets like this is early Twitter way, way. And so I was just kind of like me, and my partner would play around with it. And I used it I I'm sober now. But I was very into beer at the time. It was like there was an app that would like, I would log what kind of beer I drank. And then it would tweet about it. I forget the name of it, or untapped, untapped yet. And so like, that's the main way I use it. And then when I got to Rackspace, other engineers were using Twitter a lot. And I was like, I want to, like, I want to talk to them. But I don't really know how so I do what anyone does. When you first start on Twitter, you're just like, being 100% lurker, and like seeing the interactions they have and seeing how they talk to each other what they're working on. And then one day, you just like, work up the nerve to like, respond back about something because you're like, oh, they're talking about something I know about. I'll do it now. And then it just like kind of steamrolled from there. And Twitter very much became the platform of choice for me. It's where I have like, I've hired a ton of people from it. I've gotten jobs through Twitter. It's Yeah, it's really a I mean, it's a it's a positive and negative community. Like you said Chloe in many ways, but it really me as a person recruiter and in many ways, an outsider always still in tech, no matter how many years I'm in the industry, because recruiters have a super bad rap that I have this like inside preview into what's going on in interspace. And continue to, like, if I'm talking to a, I was talking to a candidate last week, and I mentioned something that I knew was going on with their company and someone I sourced and they were like, Oh, my gosh, how do you know about that? And so they it's a way to continue to like, impress candidates and it like keep keep up as well, which I really like.

Chloe Condon  35:36
So what you're saying is, I'm not a regular recruit. Yeah.

Brandon Minnick  35:42
And you touched on something, I'd love to dig a little deeper into the reputation of recruiters. I'd love to know, kind of what what is that reputation and how, how do you think it came about? And if there's any recruiters watching,

Chloe Condon  35:58
I, I would like to, I would like to make a comment here that before I got into tech, I'm a former recruiter, I was a recruiter for a hot second of my career. I had no idea about this distaste for recruiters and so I became an engineer like it but I loved recruiters because I that's how I got jobs. And now I feel like the culture in engineering is very like, oh, recruiters,

Unknown Speaker  36:25
what is that? It's very cool to hate recruiters. It's annoying. Like I get it, I get it in some ways. But the the backstory for me from what I can glean is that especially agency recruiters, they're set up the the industry is set up for them to look like shit. Because they are and I have never worked at an agency myself, I've only in house and then now I guess I kind of agency could run my own biz, but they are consistently given job descriptions from someone else given no access to the teams, and then told like a, like a sale and soccer and blue or whatever like that, like you have to have these many numbers, you have to make these many calls themes or any emails, you have to get this many candidates. And so like, of course, they're spamming people, this is how they make money. That's it like they're making just like they're working on, you know, a commission. And so

Chloe Condon  37:24
they don't know what a sorcerer is, I was a sorcerer for I think, three or four months of my life. And it was literally my job to comb through LinkedIn, find keywords of the of words that I didn't know the meaning of them all into a spreadsheet gives them to the real recruiters to reach out to. So it's very, it's interesting to hear you say this because I think that there's a huge I think of myself back then pre pre engineering. When I was a recruiter, I didn't know what a majority of the technical terms were. And I probably look like a total goof. Like being like, do you have 2000 years experience with Docker? I'm just asking with pants.

Brandon Minnick  38:03
And actually, Sam, in the comments brings up a good question as well. Like, what's, what's the best approach with commuting? in communicating with a recruiter that's reached out to you first? Yeah, so

Unknown Speaker  38:15
I mean, I'm always an advocate for talking to recruiters seeing what I mean. So it there's two types of recruiters. So there's agency recruiters who work for an agency who then have clients that are many organizations that they're hiring for. And then there are in house recruiters that like this recruiter works at Microsoft, so they only hire for Microsoft and because Microsoft is so big, likely they hire like a specific set of software engineers at Microsoft, because a huge company and so depending on the type of recruiter, you can kind of set your expectations that way, a lot of agency recruiters won't tell you the company that they're hiring for which seems skeezy but that is because if you then as a candidate apply to the role without them they make no money. So that is why they are skeezy that but if you're making pennies on the dollar commission base and you need that paycheck, like they do what they got to do so I feel like anyways, the industry is set up against them. But so I'm always like I am always want to, you know, communicate with recruiters try to get some more information and just see you know, what's out there as well like, I please be nice to recruiters.

Chloe Condon  39:31
Please be nice to be to recruiters. I have a blog post that I wrote a while ago that is called How to succeed at being a crypto and Bitcoin influencer without really trying and it is about how, by sheer chance I got copied and pasted onto an article that was here's the top 100 women in crypto and Bitcoin that you should follow. I don't have any knowledge on that subject. Took about a month or two for me to get removed. From this list, and I still get inbound recruiter requests about crypto and blockchain and Bitcoin on a weekly basis. So I empathize with recruiters because I was there I was that girl, combing through LinkedIn and and trying to hit my numbers. But yeah, it's it's tough to. It's tough because yes, as engineers, we're like, oh, this is annoying, but like, I think it's important to have empathy and understand that this is, this is just kind of the life of a recruiter, hopefully, we can find some change in that maybe we just need to teach some of these recruiters to code.

Unknown Speaker  40:41
I've known many of recruiter has left recruiting to become a software developer, because they're like, already recruiting for these roles. They're like, I can do this, and maybe people will hate me. And so but just like anything, there are there are people who are really great at recruiting and there are people who don't try that hard at recruiting just as any profession. I think one of the things that I'd like to see change for in house recruiters too, is being less like just specifically data metrics focus, because I really feel like that's only part of the story. So beyond like the number of candidates that are getting in or reaching out to you, but like, How good are their their experiences? How happy are your hiring managers? How happy are candidates and some teams do that, but a lot of teams don't. So it's it's hard if you're not like gauging the right things, for recruiters and then incentivizing, you know, shitty work. Now,

Chloe Condon  41:35
we have a great comment here that says historically, recruiters and sourcers were largely incentivized for quantity rather than quality. Ah, also Hi, Amy. Hi, Amy. Yeah, well, I it makes me so happy when we meet someone who's working in this side of tech, who really like is that not only looking out for the candidates, but looking out for other recruiters as well. So I love that you're sharing this and what I've been loving about your Twitter lately, Jill, is, you've been sharing some really fun, interesting kinds of questions that you've posed to your followers. One recently was, tell me about something earlier in your career that that still makes you laugh. And I was going through all the responses and having such a good time reading about these things. I would love to know, like, as a very kind of visible public woman working in recruiting on the interweb. Like, how has it been interacting with different stories like this? And like, are you finding that, you know, there's, there's some interesting tales of Tales from the Crypt recruiting story, Oh,

Unknown Speaker  42:39
my gosh, every recruiter has some weird, weird stories, for sure. And the funny thing about Twitter too, is like, it's never the tweets you expect for people to engage with, that they actually like engage with. So like, I thought that was an interesting one. But I was like, oh, wow, this took off a lot more than I thought. But yeah, I think in tech in general, it's just like such a strange world. Recruiters a lot. recruiters and HR departments in general, one of the many woes are that you'll hear especially being in, in the high tech space, and we are like, so privileged to be in this this space and get like, crazy luxuries at work that other people don't. And yet people constantly complain, like the amount of especially because I had been ahead of people at companies too. So like I said, HR and recruiting background. But like the amount of complaining that will just happen about like, types of snacks that are available or like, you know, like where the trip was this year, or that kind of thing is very is very funny to me. But yeah, there's tech is full of strange, strange woes.

Chloe Condon  43:50
As a former office manager, I think it would be a legal requirement that everyone working in an office has to be office manager for a day.

Brandon Minnick  44:00
One of my favorite stories is my wife is also an HR and also head of people. And she came home one day and she's like, I had to explain to somebody today that we couldn't buy another brand of coconut water because we already offered six different brands of coconut water. And that if they wanted that brand, they could just go next door and buy it

Chloe Condon  44:28
when I tell you that I okay, so I worked as an office manager in 2015. And I spent a majority of my time loading Lacroix into a fridge and when I tell you it took me probably three years to be able to enjoy Lacroix again because I kept getting asked Can we please get coconut Lacroix in the office but if you've ever ordered coconut Lacroix you know it is a very rare flavor to find it. It is stuck with me. It's kind of amazing, you know and I think For folks like myself, and like PJ and Joel, who, like, haven't been in this space, so long when we come in, we're just like, I'm sorry. What is crazy? Yeah, it is. And, and the fact that I had to, I think a year ago go through about 100 different free tote bags and T shirts that I had been given over the course of my time going to tech conferences, versus you know, it's it's, wow, that's tech can be I think, sometimes being in tech, we don't see how ridiculous it can be sometimes.

Unknown Speaker  45:33
Totally. And I think it kind of to tangent a little bit. But one of the things that I enjoy, and I think what makes me different about like, in tech with my background is and y'all are this way too, but it's like I'm very human focused much more than I am tech focus. I'm actually like, not that interested in the tech I like I am but I'm not. I'm much more interested in like, are we treating people well, and organizations? How are people interacting with each other? Is this a safe space like is, you know, and then like, very, like random things like we're talking about privilege, and like the Lacroix's and stuff like our because I've heard this like, are the amount of luxuries that we are given at this organization, whatever happens to be like actually putting off people or making people uncomfortable, who come from lower sex, or like lower socioeconomic statuses, and they've never like encountered this type of wealth and like amount of food and things like that before, like, those types of problems are really what drives me and enticed me about technology. And I think because it's not, it has been an afterthought in our space. And so there's so many more problems to solve there.

Chloe Condon  46:47
I mean, the AI has not taken over yet. And I think that sometimes we forget that we're building most of the time technology for humans. So ideally, the humans who are working on this are good humans. good and nice, empathetic humans who care about the well being of other humans. So I appreciate the work you're doing in this space jaw. It's having having an eye and an ear and a brain on that is very important. We had someone in the chat asked about our beanie babies, though. So

Jill Wohlner  47:21
she's here.

Chloe Condon  47:22
We're here. Yeah, we had SS said I need to see the purple bear, please. I had that one, but lost it. We brought our beanie babies to share with y'all. Jill, do you want to give some explanation for the importance of this particular Beanie Baby? Yes. So

Unknown Speaker  47:40
this is the Princess Diana Beanie Baby very important to us. 90s children. It was very hard to find. There's actually many different varieties of the Princess Diana like, depending on tags and stuff. I've looked into this. Yeah, and so some are very worth a lot. And some are worth very little minus worth very little. Don't let the Don't let the case we'll use. She's worth very little. Um, but yeah, so in the backstory to mine was when my parents recently moved into a new home, my mom found it. And I told my wife immediately This is going in our living room. And so I brought it up for the show.

Chloe Condon  48:22
And I'm just obsessed with Beanie Babies, and also started making Beanie Baby taxidermy, which you can check out on my twitch channel. I'll be making these soon. But it's interesting. The reason we brought this y'all is Jill and I have very similar upbringing and background, which I think is what made us gravitate towards each other on Twitter and the interwebs. But Jill, we both have a very similar kind of aesthetic vibe. We're very much into pink or pink sparkly things Britney Spears pop culture, we can feel okay I'm at I'm I don't want to speak for you. But I feel a little bit like a fish out of water in this industry. Like I how do you navigate working as a recruiter kind of being that first point of contact? How do you navigate that? Like, I imagine there's a lot of biases that come into play there. What does that like for you?

Unknown Speaker  49:19
Totally. What's really interesting is when I think back to my earlier days in tech, I see I see myself morphing into like playing a role that wasn't me where I I have real glasses now. But I used to wear fake glasses because I thought it may look smarter because I was very self conscious about looking dumb around engineers, because I've had a few really bad experiences where engineers were brutally mean to me for being a recruiter and like not having a CS degree or whatever else. And so I was very self conscious about that. I also like always just dressed in jeans and T shirts and never anything that made me look like them at all. Like I was a, like a lead conference recruiter, I was always traveling around. And so that was then and as I kind of grew into myself a little bit more in tech, I felt more comfortable being myself. And so now I try to, like, probably push the boundaries of that in the, like, in an effort to most of the things that I do this will get philosophical for a second, because I've had some, you know, like ups and downs in life in general. I always think about like, if tiny Jill had known me as adult Jill, like, would she feel better and like feel connected to someone and so I always talk about that I'm gay that I grew up with an eating disorder that I you know, I'm not technical, that I'm weird that I love Lego, etc, etc. And then I'm bisexual. And so all of these things because I want to make connections with people because I know that tech can be very make a lot of people feel alone and so i that is like my goal is so that like even Jill early in the industry if she had maybe seen me would have felt like oh, I could you know, I don't have to wear t shirts all the time even something as simple as that. That I may be fit in here because it is tough.

Chloe Condon  51:17
My heart just grew 300 sizes hearing that

Brandon Minnick  51:20
I love reach to the screen and just

Chloe Condon  51:22
yes yeah I think a lot about that as well I think about what what role models did I have little Chloe Have a look up to in tech and the only one that I can think of is gadget from Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and that was an animated chipmunk. So of course I didn't see myself in this industry. So I love the authenticity that you bring to this industry Joel and I hope that because of you a young a young person out there gets involved in Legos a lot earlier because they see how cool your Super Nintendo Lego build is because you all it's really really cool and you need to check it out on our Twitter

Unknown Speaker  52:05
I think to like as being a recruiter because of recruiter is not a cool job in tech there is a we see this discourse all the time on Twitter of like, what engineer types of jobs are cool or not cool. And so it's like there's space for all of us and so I even want like someone like tiny Gil to see like, oh tech recruiting that could be cool. And or insert whatever type of engineer like it's not a very specific thing. Like there's not one type of okay in the industry.

Chloe Condon  52:33
Yeah, I I love that.

Brandon Minnick  52:36
And I know we've haven't been shouting the best light on recruiters. But I do want to share Bernards comment here and just say, I have nothing but positive experience with the critters and definitely feel like they are in my best interest. So

Chloe Condon  52:51
yay. Oh my gosh. Happy.

Brandon Minnick  52:54
Thank you. Yes.

Chloe Condon  52:56
We love recruiters. I think in the same way having been a I worked in sales at Yelp. Whenever I get a telemarketer call. I'm not quick to hang up because I'm like, I'm so sorry. I know. I know. My heart. Um, we are at coming to the close of the show. So we have to bring up a very important topic on the show that we address every episode, which is theme parks. Jell o we got a Pikachu cameo in the back. Hello, if you could show. cute dog alert. Jill, do you have any thoughts on theme parks? Do you have any favorite rides or theme parks?

Unknown Speaker  53:34
Of course I do growing up in St. Louis. My theme park was six flags. Okay. So there's one right outside like outside the city like 30 or 40 minutes. So love Six Flags. And Mr. Freeze was my favorite growing up which is the one where it goes like forward and then goes backwards.

Chloe Condon  53:54
Oh my gosh, I'm bringing this right now.

Brandon Minnick  53:57
This is a roller coaster. a roller coaster. Yes. Yes. You do the whole thing twice.

Unknown Speaker  54:02
Yeah. And then you kind of you kind of go up in the air and you like sit for a minute just so your stomach can drop enough and then it's like,

Chloe Condon  54:09
Whoa, okay, so we got a coaster girl here. I love rollercoasters. Wow, Mr. Freeze reverse blast. Ooh, that sounds like a Slurpee. Yeah, I was like, kinda

Jill Wohlner  54:23
like the Baja Blast.

Chloe Condon  54:28
And wait, so six flags. Was that also an animal theme park. Our Six Flags here in the Bay Area was an animal theme park as well.

Unknown Speaker  54:37
No, it was just like rides and then there was a I can't remember what it's called a water park next to it to

Chloe Condon  54:47
Gosh, what I do I miss waterparks y'all. But I miss the lazy river right now. Just hanging out live my truth. That sounds nice.

Brandon Minnick  54:57
That's a nice warm day. That sounds good.

Chloe Condon  55:01
So, Joe, what is the scoop on where people can find you on the interwebs and stuff? Where can they come and check out all the cool things that you're doing and stuff that you're sharing?

Unknown Speaker  55:11
Yeah, so I am on Twitter. Whoa,

Jill Wohlner  55:14
there we go. That's my main,

Unknown Speaker  55:16
my main agile Woolner very active on there. I also started streaming on Twitch a few weeks ago and I'm going to stream again on Friday I do Lego builds, I do Lego builds and talk

Chloe Condon  55:28
so are you building this your next stream so

Unknown Speaker  55:32
I don't know if I'm going to do another brick heads or if it comes in time, I got the dinosaur fossils, which is like a really cool build. I'm very excited about we have like a Lego shelf in the room over there. So it's all to me. I'm like, what will look good on the shelving

Jill Wohlner  55:51
stage in life?

Unknown Speaker  55:53
And yeah, so Twitch, I also recently started a sub stack where I write about interviewing and tips and tricks and all that kind of jazz. Those are my main ones that you'll probably find. I have the most

Brandon Minnick  56:08
job Warner's lol w h, o n er substack on Twitter. LinkedIn,

Jill Wohlner  56:20
LinkedIn. Yes.

Chloe Condon  56:24
Yes, ooh, PJ is asking what is substack?

Unknown Speaker  56:27
Oh, so substack is like a blogging platform or writing platform basically. And so you can have like, it can be subscription based. So basically, you can have free content on there and also paid content and a little bit of both. So it basically has a back end of stripe built in so that you could easily like charge people if you want to do

Chloe Condon  56:49
a man thing. I think we need to do a Lego stream collab soon, Joel, I keep refreshing for the Lego flower bouquet. I want that bonsai tree, but I meant

Jill Wohlner  57:01
I meant to bring up the flower bouquet from downstairs, but I totally forgot.

Chloe Condon  57:05
We just finished it took the entire you know, first half of the global Panini but we just finished the giant Jurassic Park build complete with just a loom, little figurines and stuff. And I'm really excited to start on the Nintendo one that you crank and when the you have

Unknown Speaker  57:24
the Nintendo one is so great. My wife is working on we work on them separately. That's the kind of couple we are. We'll be in the same room listening to a podcast working on our separate bill. Um, but she's making the grand piano that plays music, right? Yeah, it's, it's honestly amazing. Yeah. Okay, well, I

Chloe Condon  57:43
guess I'm gonna be spending some time on the legal right after this show. What's your favorite build that you've done?

Unknown Speaker  57:49
Then Nintendo TV with the crank? It's so great.

Chloe Condon  57:52
Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. I that's gonna be my weekend. I think you'll building a Nintendo Lego. And let's see, we've got a couple more minutes left here. I'm trying to think what else do we need to share with the people at home I would say follow you on Twitter. Like excellent Twitter always asking like the awesome questions and posing just making me laugh a lot, which I need during this the year 2021. But I've really really been enjoying all your postal I I'm so I'm so happy that we have someone we talked a lot about on the show about opening the front door for people and making sure that we're you know, there's so many barriers to entry for folks to get into this industry, be it recruiting software, or just like not having exposure to tech in general. And I super appreciate all you're doing to help open the door for all kinds of folks. So thank you for all the work that you do.

Brandon Minnick  58:50
And don't forget so Jill's got her own company now underpinned company and just really want quickly wanted to show you can go to underpin. And there are all these open roles you can reach out, reach out to drip reach out to Gil about a lot of work it covers like fire hydrant Code Academy. get you in a day. Yeah. So that's

Jill Wohlner  59:15
all great

Brandon Minnick  59:16

Jill Wohlner  59:18
Thank you.

Chloe Condon  59:19
And I'm super excited. I'm gonna tune in for these Lego streams. I keep catching you at the very very end of your streams. But I'm gonna I'm gonna be in the chat asking all kinds of questions. Why did you choose this Lego? Amazing. Well, that's our show for today, y'all. Check out our awesome new website, where you can see all of our previous episodes and a transcript of this show. You can search you can literally Ctrl F and search Beanie Baby now how amazing. On Demand

Brandon Minnick  59:52
website is eight bits.tv.

Chloe Condon  59:55
Yes. Thanks, y'all. We'll see you next week. And have an excellent excellent Wednesday.

Brandon Minnick  1:00:02
Bye, everybody.