8-Bits with Jocelyn Harper!

8-Bits with Jocelyn Harper!
This week we are joined by Jocelyn Harper! A senior engineer at PayPal and the host of @gitcutepodcast, and is also the author of ‘A Software Engineer’s Guide to Seniority’. We'll chat about the road to seniority from her bootcamp, and how she ended up working in her tech role today!

Follow Jocelyn on Twitter: @javavvitch
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon​
Follow Brandon on Twitter:@TheCodeTraveler

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8 Bits with Jocelyn Harper! - 8 Bits
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Chloe Condon  2:00
Hello Hello, Brandon, you're


Brandon Minnick  2:04
I'm back.

Chloe Condon  2:06
You returned to the show we missed you so much. If folks tuned in last week or listen to the podcast, my computer froze at one point we just felt lost without you. So I'm just so glad that you're back.

Brandon Minnick  2:18
Yeah, it was weird. It was the first show I had missed since we debuted May last year. So Wow, it was almost a year of show every week. And thanks. Thanks for covering for me,

Chloe Condon  2:34
as well, but you know, we got through it.

Brandon Minnick  2:38
It didn't. I didn't open my laptop for like five days. It was incredible.

Unknown Speaker  2:44
This says to me, this doesn't mean you need to take more vacations, Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  2:49
I think I do. I did it. My manager yelled at me. And she said, She's like, you need to take a vacation. And I said, Well, if you had says,

Chloe Condon  2:57
our goal for 2021 is to have PJ step in for you more. Oh, my goodness. Well, how is your how's your week been so far coming back? It's been three days now since you're vaycay.

Brandon Minnick  3:15
Yeah, he's easing back into things. But there was a really cool announcement that Microsoft shared this week about the future of Visual Studio. And I don't know if you heard about it, but we announced I hope I get the right Visual Studio 2022. It is not available to download yet. But some of the big news is it'll be 64 bit now. So apparently, Visual Studio has been 32 bits forever. And we're bringing that into the the modern day world which To be fair, there's a lot of dependencies in Visual Studio. So it wasn't, it's not easy, but you'll finally be able to open. I heard the numbers because let me back up there. One of the big reasons for doing it is because 64 bit apps can utilize more RAM. So if you had a giant supercomputer with a terabyte of RAM, you were still limited and your 32 bit ecosystem as to how many files and projects you could have open in Visual Studio. And so yeah, now you'll be able to go crazy. It's separate with the numbers and something like hundreds of 1000s of files can now be open in Visual Studio. So if somebody out there has a giant project like that good for you. I don't ever want to deal with a project like that but you can do it. And the other big part of that was visual city for Mac is getting a total total redo facelift makeover. It's go in total.

Chloe Condon  4:44
We're doing makeover so exciting. I love a makeover montage from an 80s 90s movie. Okay,


Brandon Minnick  4:52
so Oh, he's good. As selfishly as a C sharp developer dotnet developer to see Microsoft just continuing on investing more and more into the Visual Studio suite. So I'm excited. That was a nice little announcement back because I knew about it, but I couldn't talk about it. So now we're talking about it.

Chloe Condon  5:13
Does this mean we're gonna get 4k VS code paths? That's all I'm interested in, like, what capabilities? Will VS code paths have now that we're ushering in a new era of VS code?

Brandon Minnick  5:27
Does this look great? Have you tried those in VS code?

Chloe Condon  5:31
I have and I'm so obsessed and I anytime they add a new character, I mean, Clippy has the hat now and a skateboard. It's just very exciting times. Definitely check out the VS code. Pat's extension,

Brandon Minnick  5:42
if you're not already, is

Chloe Condon  5:44
here. It's like, I always had a Tamagotchi as a kid I wanted like a Tamagotchi but bigger and now I was just living on my computer. It's beautiful thing. We love to see it.

Brandon Minnick  5:56
You have to feed it and I clean up after it.

Chloe Condon  5:58
I think it's just kind of to keep you company. You know, like, I don't think they're giving you you know, help like Clippy. Although maybe that's a feature, maybe I should contribute to the open source project like as some useful tips and tricks. I actually thought about recently, like building a clippie for my dad, because I've been helping my dad learn how to use a new device. He had a very old Mac. And now he's trying to learn how to use a Chromebook. And I'm writing out docs for him, which is been very fun to teach him how to do different things on his computer, like the copy and paste command are a little bit different. And now he's got right clicking, it was a very old Mac. So I was thinking, oh, maybe I should just build a Clippy for my dad. And then I realized, am I the Clippy It was a very meta moment for me

Brandon Minnick  6:47
to log

Chloe Condon  6:48
in, let me just zip off my costume zip. No, I'm just kidding. I haven't really fun Microsoft trivia thing to share today before I guess comes on branded. I've been doing a little guest segment every other week on this great show called the positivity report with my pals, Josh and mark and the whole gang. And I've been kind of sharing some Microsoft's history with them. So first, I went on I talked about Kira, the dolphin, who I've talked about on here before the the alternative alternative assistant in Japan that was sort of a Clippy substitute. I talked about the windows 95 soft videos starring Rachel and Chandler to teach folks with the power of the cast of friends how to use Microsoft. But I recently learned through a tweet about and tell me if you've heard about this before. Brandon, do you know much about the windows 95 start me up commercial and kind of the history and lore around that?

Brandon Minnick  7:54
I don't think so.

Chloe Condon  7:55
Okay, so this was a very fun quarantine rabbit hole I went down a couple weeks ago. So there was a Windows 95 commercial that that came out and it had the song start me up by the Rolling Stones in it. And, you know, as long as like, stop me up, you know, people are familiar with it. And someone in the comments mentioned that a fun fact about music licensing, is that when that commercial came up, the person in the editing room working at Microsoft was a pretty big audio file or like fan of the Rolling Stones and could tell that the recording that you know they had paid several millions of dollars or however much for wasn't the original recording. Like he was able to pick that up because he was just kind of a savant with the Rolling Stones music. And it turned out that the stones had given them a newer recording that they record in the studio to make sure that the certain bandmates weren't in the band anymore wouldn't be getting the royalties for it, which opened up this whole kind of like case of debunking or we're kind of putting into play making sure that when you buy the rights to a song, it is the actual thing and I'm sharing my screen right now. But Brad Chase has a really really great article about this that I ended up reading all about the windows 95 start up story and it goes into all the details of this if you want to check it out. But I thought this was so fascinating. This is just a rabbit hole I literally went down because of someone's comment mentioning this and I was like, This can't be real and it's totally true. They made a deal with Microsoft to secure you know the rights to the song and it ended up being a kind of a different version with different a different drummer I think perhaps, so definitely check that out. If you're if you're interested in learning a very niche, interesting piece of history about the windows 95 start me up commercial, because famously Windows has a start button. And it seemed like the perfect accompaniment to that commercial and I just loved this. I love finding out like weird quirky things about the behind the scenes and like how the sausage gets made and in these things

Brandon Minnick  10:00
Just like a fantastic rabbit hole, especially during pandemic lockdown, you got nothing else to do. Learn, learn all about this amazing story.

Chloe Condon  10:11
Well, it's just like when we learned about the the cue jockey on the show when we had Carmine on it. Yeah. And about how they used to if you haven't listened on that episode, y'all definitely go back and listen to it. We learn all about the Microsoft cue jockey, aka, it was someone's job to just DJ the music for the whole queue for people who call them. So cool. I wish that was my job.

Brandon Minnick  10:37
I'll drop a link to that episode here in the chat. But you can always go to a pitstop TV and check out the back catalogue. And yeah, I was back we had Carmen Kohli on for our as our holiday episode back in the day.

Chloe Condon  10:49
Oh my gosh, that's right.

Brandon Minnick  10:52
We have another amazing guest today.

Chloe Condon  10:55
We do. I'm so excited, Brandon, because this human is someone that I have interacted with so much on the interwebs on Twitter. They're always very funny. They have a shared love of 90s nostalgia that I do as well. Always tweeting the funny technical tweets out there. So everyone, welcome to the show. Jocelyn Harper.

Jocelyn Harper  11:25
Hello, hello. Thank you for having me.

Unknown Speaker  11:28
Thank you for coming. Jocelyn. Welcome to the show.

Jocelyn Harper  11:32
Thank you. Thank you. So hi. Now,

Chloe Condon  11:36
for people who don't know you or don't follow your amazing Twitter at it's Java v. vit bi Tch.

Jocelyn Harper  11:44
Yeah, so I wanted just history on that I want to Java, which, because I do like witchy things. But that wasn't available. So I was like, Huh, so I learned that when I saw the witch in like 2016. When that came out that back in the day, they didn't actually have the letter W so they just use two bees. So I just use two bees for it. I love Java, which

Chloe Condon  12:10
but it's so funny because in my brain, you were always Java, which and only just now when I was reading it, I was like, Oh, no, is there a typo? But no.

Jocelyn Harper  12:20
I tricked your brain? branding? Um, yeah. So I guess,

Unknown Speaker  12:28
what is your kind of how, how would you describe it? We're gonna go all over your origin story and how you got here, but tell the folks a little about yourself. Oh, gosh,

Jocelyn Harper  12:39
hi, um, I've been a software engineer for five years, literally five years a few days ago. I'm currently a senior software engineer at PayPal. Whoo. Um, and things that I really like, besides just tech in general. I like annoying. White tech Bros. I love video games. I love cooking. I love my cat Luna. I love musicals. I love Broadway. I know. I know. I know. Um, I love like a lot of things that don't have to do with tech. But essentially, I'm just out here trying to normalize tech, because I feel like for a very, very long time Tech has just been like this monolith that people see. And they're just like, Oh my gosh, they're in tech. They work at like Pay Pal and Microsoft. They're just, they're just a bug. And it's just like, no, we're just normal people that Google on things. And hopefully, by normalizing it, people will realize that it's something they can obtain to be and, you know, get into tech. So that's my goal.

Chloe Condon  13:50
Also, Brandon took an amazing, amazing screenshot of Jocelyn zcat. Luna for the show. So if you're listening to the podcast, make sure that you check out the website to see this adorable photo of featuring Luna.

Brandon Minnick  14:03
Luna was amazing.

Chloe Condon  14:09
So you have also so in addition to also being Broadway fan girls over here, sorry, Brandon, we're gonna have to there's gonna be a whole segment of the show dedicated Broadway, but we've just decided what is your path to tech? What is your sort of origin story of getting to work in a senior engineering role at PayPal?

Jocelyn Harper  14:32
Yeah, so oddly enough, it started when I was really really, really young. I taught myself how to code with HTML and CSS when I was like nine because I had my parents got me a computer for graduating. The fourth grade was straight A's. Yes, that's as easy as it sounds. And I was super excited about it convinced my parents to get me AOL because I got a A CD in the mail, and I was like, ooh, I want to do this. Um, so they paid for it. Silly parents. And so that kind of got me into a lot of things I probably shouldn't have been looking at when I was nine. But also, people making these Angel City wet or into fire Angel City, Angel fire. Yeah, geo cities, there we go. I actually use Express for a lot of my websites. But that is no longer a thing now because it just leads to the clothing brand. Um, but I saw people with all of these really cool things like pixel dalls and pixel animations. And I was just like, I want to learn how to do these things. And so I literally went to a website called Lissa explains, which was very, I think it was kind of based off, of course, explains it all, which was kind of genius.

Chloe Condon  15:52
The original engineer on top

Jocelyn Harper  15:56
that part and I taught myself how to make a website and taught myself like Photoshop, even though at the time it was in Photoshop, it was like, for Raul PaintShop Pro, that's it. That's what I use taught myself how to make like, animations and all of this stuff, and kind of forgot about it while I was in school. Which was odd because I was like, in math league since I was like six and Science Olympiad and all these really nerdy great things. Um, and then I was an office manager at the age of 25, fast forwarding, and my friend, start went to a boot camp, because she was starting to do some SQL database things, even though at the time I wasn't really understanding why she was doing database, does anybody really

Chloe Condon  16:45
know why they exist?

Jocelyn Harper  16:49
I was just like, why are you? Why are you suddenly a DBA now, anyway, uh, and so she convinced me to apply to it. I applied got in, it was a 12 week Java slash JavaScript boot camp, where we learn Java and JavaScript at the same time. And after that, I got my first job at JPMorgan Chase as a Java developer in 2016. And kind of just took off from there. And now, I'm a senior software engineer trying to figure out you know, what the heck I'm doing? I'm doing something, right. Yeah, very non traditional. But I don't think I would have preferred it to be any other way. Really.

Chloe Condon  17:33
I love how angelfire and geo cities have become a frequent topic on this show. And Brandon, I don't know if you saw this, but I tweeted the other day for folks listening. I will describe this in great detail. I was doing some research. And I found this Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen homepage that legitimately says at the bottom of it best viewed and 800 by 600 resolution camera.

It's such a time capsule like I am upset that I don't have access to the old town fan pages that I made on angelfire back in the day, but this is just a sensible angelfire site that has just it's like a fossil I love. I wish that we had more time.

Jocelyn Harper  18:22
Right now I love I love the viewer counter at the

Chloe Condon  18:29
bring back. I should.

But I was doing some research for an episode of a podcast that I'm doing about Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. And this took me down a rabbit hole of just the amazing I call it art these Angel fire pages are

Jocelyn Harper  18:51
they should be like saved put into a digital museum. Oh, is this really bringing in the NF T's can we do? Oh no.

I'm sorry.

Chloe Condon  19:04
Brandon, did you ever make one of these? What was your like? calling to Angel fire juice.

Brandon Minnick  19:11
So I agree with you though. Yeah, we've had so many guests that kind of got their first coding start on Angel cities. Gee, I said into cities at Angel cities. Yeah. But yeah, I will say it's funny how so many people contributed to these page like made websites and even just on places like my space or Neopets has been another big one. And the number of folks that didn't realize it at the time that they were coding like, that's, that's what we do day to day, and you're doing it when you're eight years old, and it just shows how anybody can get into tech and it's I I don't know how else to like shout it from the rooftops. But it's like if you did an angel fire geo cities, Neopets by space website back in the day, you can get into tech. You could do it. So that's, that's an that's an amazing, amazing story. But I

Chloe Condon  20:16
feel like a hacker when I would like copy HTML from my live journal and like, try to edit the different color hexes. Like, I was just guessing, throwing out random numbers that I wish I could just hold little Chloe and be like, learn this.

Brandon Minnick  20:31
I mean, no, we all still just guessing and thrown out random code, see if it works.

Jocelyn Harper  20:36
Yeah, really, we really are. admit, I still use a color picker when I'm doing things like and I love that you brought up live journal, because that was a whole other sector was trying to like do your own custom live journal layout.

Chloe Condon  20:51
so important to your clout and status as a middle schooler back in my day,

Jocelyn Harper  20:55
it needs to be pretty. And I carry that throughout my life. It needs to be pretty. And beyond

Chloe Condon  21:01
anybody out there thinking, you know, maybe not in tech or looking into tech. If you found yourself having an obsessive focus on how beautiful your lives are no look, perhaps think about getting in front of

Jocelyn Harper  21:15
do that. Absolutely. Join us.

Brandon Minnick  21:17
Speaking of which, we were chatting about this before the show, Jocelyn. But one of the things I'm most impressed with is not only did you have this amazing journey to get where you are today as a senior engineer, but now you're also helping people get there as well. And one of the things Oh, what should we start with? Maybe? Get cute? Get cute guy dot dev? Tell us all about it. Oh,

Jocelyn Harper  21:47
yeah. So I'm writing a book, y'all. Technically, I wrote the book. And it's called a software engineers guide to seniority. A lot of the times I feel like I should have shortened that title, but it is what it is. Um, basically, I decided to write a book because, you know, I recently became a senior software engineer at Pay Pal. And I just realized that I had no idea what I was doing. And I started talking to a lot of friends that were senior engineers, or like mid level, and they also had no idea what they were doing. And I'm just like, why does nobody know how to act as a senior software engineer at any of the resources that I would look up, we're telling you how to, you know, pass a senior interview. So you know, basically like your system designs and your algorithms and catching and, and all that. So I'm like, that's fine. There's a lot of resources on that people don't need to hear that from me, again. But I want people to know how to prep themselves for applying to a senior software engineer, interview, I feel like that was one of the main things where I see a lot, and I always reference the subreddit, CS career question. That's kind of like, an amazing, like little treasure trove of a dumpster fire. And I see all of these people talking about, like, I've applied to, like, 500 positions, and I haven't gotten anything back. And I'm just like, chances are your resume sucks. And so um, which is it's true, I'm sorry. So I'm a recruiter,

Chloe Condon  23:25
I concur.

Jocelyn Harper  23:28
Not that your experience sucks, but just you don't know how to write a resume. So I go into that in depth. And then like, you know, once you actually get the job, you pass the technical part, like, okay, now what. And it's just trying to set up people the best way possible for success and trying to help them figure out what path they want to take wants to become a senior software engineer. And it's different per company, right? It's different from Fang companies to like your smaller companies as well. But I tried to generalize the advice, just really good advice overall, for like soft skills. So I'm really focusing on soft skills, as far as that's concerned, because not a lot of software engineers have great soft skills,

Chloe Condon  24:14
despite having the word soft in the title. It's like soft skills software.

Jocelyn Harper  24:25
And I'm not like bashing anybody, it's just because they don't know they haven't had the experience, right. And as somebody that's had the experience five years as a software engineer now and then also, gosh, how many ever years I've had in like retail before that, like if you hadn't had the job experience before, you don't know now. So I just wrote a book and I thought maybe this will help people.

Chloe Condon  24:49
And hopefully it does. And I think it's so or important to educate folks, especially who are new to the industry. I know for me, I'm very lucky and I have a partner who's a lot more SR and works in this industry. But if I didn't have him, I wouldn't know about these nuanced things like leveling, like how leveling and number leveling is so different across different companies, I wouldn't know how to negotiate for my salary. And there's these things that are just sort of inherent knowledge and the industry or even vocabulary words that,

you know, I love that you are taking your experience and helping teach more people because we all need help, especially as folks who come into this industry have a very unique backdoor path. How do you know what to do? Unless you know what to do?

Jocelyn Harper  25:36
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I wrote it from the sense like the position of what would I have wanted to know, when I first got into that position, and apparently 140 pages worth.

Brandon Minnick  25:53
Yeah, it's so good. Because, you know, as you grow in your career, you tend to establish mentorships, and you help kind of the junior engineers. And that's, this is a big part of that mentorship, but not just thinking about it, the folks that I've mentored, it's always one to one. And I'm, yes, I'm able to help them. But I'm only able to help that one person in that one moment. And now you have a whole book on it. And we can, we can help the world. So on behalf of the world, thank you.

Jocelyn Harper  26:29

Brandon Minnick  26:32
and I want to show this. So this is this is the website. So when folks go to go to cute guide, get get cute guide, dot Dev, and that's gi T, cute guide dot Dev, you'll see this really cool page. And if we scroll down a little bit, I just wanted to show off a quote here. Because I love this. It's very inspirational. But yeah, everyone tells you how to interview. But they never tell you how to grow, and couldn't have said it better myself. Because, yeah, there's no boot camp. So focus on interviews, there's books everywhere, like you said on interviews, but then once you're in the job, then what? And I feel like we all just kind of figure it out as we go.

Jocelyn Harper  27:21
Yeah. And I think that, honestly, I think that could contribute a lot to burnout that people experienced too. I feel like if you think that you just have to be a technical performer. And you have to do really well technically, and you just keep doing that. That's a really easy way to get burnt out. But the thing is, is that there's so much more there's like leadership qualities that you can have. And I just really want to help people in that sense, because it's like, you don't have to code all the time in order to be a value to your team or to your company. Honestly, a lot of companies want you to do more outside of coding in order to get promoted and to do more. So hopefully, this helps people just to step away from the keyboard set, like strict working out. Please don't be working till like midnight on things. Um, unless it's like, I don't know, something that's like do the very next day or something, or it's like a hot fix or P one or something like that. But I just think people just have like a very warped sense of, like work ethic when it comes to tech. And I'm hoping like when people actually figure out the actual like, how things actually work outside of like levels. FYI, which I use a lot by the way, which shows the disparity across a bunch of companies with leveling, because senior engineer differs for that. But I'm hoping that can help people. And I don't know about

Chloe Condon  28:49
you, Jocelyn. But when I went to my boot camp so long ago. And Jocelyn, I graduated around the same time in 2016. Like it was only my only thought process was, I just need to get a job, I just need to get a job, I need to get that first job. And I love it. This is a book that talks about seniority and how to like progress Your Career From there, because I don't know about you. But I never have been a senior before. I've only been a senior in high school. Like I've never been a senior either way in my life. And I never really had a career or like a career trajectory. I worked in retail, I was a nanny. So even just thinking through these things and understanding them and knowing how to think about them, I think is such an important skill that that often no one really has a roadmap on. So having this guide in this roadmap is so great, especially for folks who maybe are afraid to ask for mentorship or don't have those resources available to them.

Jocelyn Harper  29:46
Yeah, I agree. I feel like Sorry, I cut you off again, Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  29:50
Oh, it's just shared. We have so many folks chiming in, on the topic and let's see. I'm going to pronounce that as Dedicated saying that he's never even heard of leveling and how you focus on steering teams and actually former guests yen's welcome back Good to see you again. He said, building rockets is a great way not to burn out and

Chloe Condon  30:18
burn out the booster that right.

Brandon Minnick  30:21
And then yeah Azria saying you basically you need soft skills to become a senior engineer. So how can you get there? And it sounds like you've found that the perfect niche for work, what we need in this industry?

Jocelyn Harper  30:39
I mean, I can totally answer that question now, but also by my book, but no. But no, just it's funny you asked that that like people without empathy, how in soft skills? How did you become a senior software engineers, you know, these people get pushed through the ranks, because depending on the company, there may be no other way for them to level up, they may get more money. And so they take these positions that maybe they're not totally about, and then they end up becoming. Yeah, I'm not gonna mince words, really terrible tech leads, and then really terrible managers. So you know, and I can't necessarily blame them when that's the environment that they have been given. And they've been shown, that's the only way to be successful, and the only way to get more money, because we're all doing this for money, let's be real. So I can't blame them too much. Because if, if a person's like that there's only so much that manager training can fix, you know, I mean, so hopefully, people can build empathy. And if you have access to a therapist, get started on it now.

Chloe Condon  31:59
Personal and mental health and growth, I think is equally important. Like if you're going to manage a team, you got to get your own brain in order as well.

Brandon Minnick  32:09
Well, separately. Now, Jocelyn, not only do you have a book, but you also have a podcast is the so bring up the link now it's get cute podcast calm. So again, gbit cute podcast calm. Is this also heavily focused on similar soft skills leveling up?

Jocelyn Harper  32:32
Yeah. It's a bit more technical, though, because I started the podcast when I was working at my previous company, and I was experiencing some really heavy imposter syndrome. Because I was just like, in a really toxic environment. And speaking of people that shouldn't be managers, but so in a way to try to save myself mentally at the time, I started the cod cast, because I was just like, well, I'll just start talking about technical things that I know I know about. And maybe I can help people with these things. And these ideas, and, yeah, two years later, it's definitely become a lot bigger than I thought that it would have been. Um, but yeah, basically, I try to help people as much as I can, with technical things I do talk about like, technical interviews and algorithms. And just like Java, I have a Java series that's going on right now. So I do try to help people that way. But I do also talk about how to fix your resume, or how to handle talking to recruiters or those things that if you have never done it before, you really don't know about. So essentially, everything that it's associated with get cute. It's just, essentially I want to help people, be the best versions of a software engineer that they can be, and also show people that it's it's difficult to break into tech, but it's not impossible. And you don't necessarily need to have a four year college degree to do that. Speaking of

Chloe Condon  34:04
wedges that PJ in the chat here newly job getting non traditional background self thought first, so shout out to

Brandon Minnick  34:15
him or host of the show.

Chloe Condon  34:17
And BJ says we call that stuff the hidden curriculum and education and I think that's so true. I feel very lucky that I have a lot of friends and a partner who works in this industry because there's so much nuanced information that you really don't know exists until a someone tells you or B you make a mistake and tells you it's so great to pass on this knowledge. I feel exactly the same way like as a bootcamp grad. Also, I think it's so important to educate folks. Hey, not not only Hey, you can do this. If you don't work in tech. This is a an industry in the skull. You can went to, but once you're in it, oh my gosh, now what do I do?

And that that's important to know. Okay, I did the really hard thing I got the job. I went through the gauntlet of the whiteboarding interviews. Now what?

Jocelyn Harper  35:13
Yeah, yeah, I even go into like what to do when you're waiting for an offer? Yeah, so many things that people don't know what to do. People start panicking, or they just sit there. And I even went into like, maybe this is just me personally. But before I was software engineer, I was poor. So, uh, when I got my first like, offer letter with that salary, I didn't know what the heck to do with that. I was just like, a white money, this is a lot of money, but then it's kind of like, okay, now you need to start managing your money. This is not I'm not a financial adviser. I don't go into like the nitty gritty with that. I just say get a financial advisor, like, what is equity? What is 401k? How should I think about this stuff? It's a whole new world for a lot of what the heck are RS use? What does vesting mean? Like? It's all of those things that like, I didn't know about any of that until I was, I was forced to figure it out. So it's really important and, you know, trying to have people understand what's TC what's total compensation, I don't understand what that means, like, really breaking it down for people. So they understand like, like you said earlier, Chloe, like understanding what everything is. So when you go to negotiate, you have a better understanding of where you're sitting.

Chloe Condon  36:32
And imposter syndrome definitely doesn't help with that. Like I'm not asking for help is so so important. Because how do you know what you don't know? Like, people like you, Jocelyn. Doing the Lord's work out here for

Brandon Minnick  36:46
the newbies, all the knowledge sharing all the secrets? That's what I do. Shifting gears just a little bit. You mentioned Java. And before the show, we were chatting about this new Microsoft announcement. And Java. Tell us more about that.

Jocelyn Harper  37:05
Okay, so I was really excited. I don't know if anybody has been following the Google vs. Oracle Supreme Court case that I believe the verdict came in last week. Essentially, Oracle was suing Google because Google had used code, like copied verbatim from the Java API and a Android SDK, I believe. And essentially, Oracle's argument was like, This is copyright. You can't use this. And essentially, Google was like, no, it's like, it's free. It's open to the public. No, that's. So pretty much everybody was just like, Okay, this is going to like really impact coding as we know it our industry as we know it. So we're hoping that the Supreme Court gets it. Because you know, sometimes with people that aren't very invested in tech, it can be a little, little Dougie. Which way it's going to swing. So the Supreme Court did rule in favor of Google so gay. So literally, that same day, Microsoft announced that they are doing Microsoft open JDK, and for those of you who are not Java engineers, open JDK came about once Oracle did the thing and got a hold of Java, because how do I I'm not gonna say this nicely. Oracle kind of just, like, likes to destroy things that they get ahold of. And so as a Java engineer, a lot of us were very scared that Java was just going to become obsolete, because Oracle likes money. So Microsoft is doing a really good thing. I've been following Microsoft as far as like their open source contributions for a couple years now, maybe three years, essentially, kind of like when it started around GitHub. I was just like, what is Microsoft doing here? I kind of like this, like, why do they like open source so much? And so it's really nice to see Microsoft actually standing behind their open source contribution and helping out fellow Java engineers so I'm super super excited to have like another really giant tech house kind of backing Java that's not Oracle. So

Chloe Condon  39:23
shout out to previous guest Brian Benz, who was originally brought into Microsoft to talk a little bit about this new thing called Open Source so we bow and Java

Brandon Minnick  39:35
wouldn't be surprised if Brian had paved the path paved the trail for that Jocelyn I don't know if you know this or not. Jr. in the comments is asking where hardware devices included in that really are we is just software API's.

Jocelyn Harper  39:49
I want to say it was just software. I'm gonna read the ruling but I don't remember seeing hardware. Yeah, I know I read the entire universe or lawyers here. I want to say it's just software though. I haven't seen anything about hardware as that ruling concerned.

Chloe Condon  40:12
Ah, well, I love Java. I love Java as the coffee. I love Java as the language and AI. It's great to see because open source all the things please like we truly stand on the shoulders of giants. I love, love, love open source and it it warms my heart. But Microsoft is playing a big part in open source these days. Because who would have thought

Jocelyn Harper  40:34
like it's so nice to hear that people love Java too, because people love to rag on Java. Okay. Do

Chloe Condon  40:41
you know why I love Java? Actually, Jocelyn, you will love this YouTube. But when I was first starting out in tech, I was trying to decide like what language to start using. And my boyfriend showed me this series of videos from the Java zone conference that I believe work on gifts, or maybe it's just the Java specific one. And there are videos featuring such music videos like Lady Java singing jajaja Java zone, Jajah Java zone, high budget music


high budget previews of movies, they used to do like a very elaborate, very theatrical video every year for this conference. So shout out to whoever organize those videos and go check out the Java zone lady Java video because it is one of my favorite tech internet things.

Jocelyn Harper  41:30
Oh my god, that makes me so happy.

Brandon Minnick  41:32
We need to have somebody from that on the show.

Chloe Condon  41:35
Someone from the music video. There's probably 100 people in this music video. We need anybody out there if you are in this music video. Tell us we will have you on the show. We need to know everything.

Jocelyn Harper  41:44
Yes, please. Why do I feel like Oracle's not cool enough to do that was probably like a Sun Microsystems.

Chloe Condon  41:52
Up deep dive into it figure out how. Okay, but wait, speaking of Lady Java, Java is sorry, Brandon. Broadway was mentioned. We gotta go back. Tell me about your give us your your favorite musical. And how did you get interested in Broadway shows?

Jocelyn Harper  42:13
So my favorite musical, okay. Okay,

Chloe Condon  42:17
you can pick two or three if you want. I know so hard to pick one.

Jocelyn Harper  42:20
Okay, the last five years? I'm sorry. Yeah. Um, it's just the last five years is just so beautifully composed. And it just makes me very, very happy. Miss Saigon.

Chloe Condon  42:35

Jocelyn Harper  42:36
I know it's problematic. Sorry. It's beautiful. Sorry. And thinking. I'm probably gonna have to say

Chloe Condon  42:49
it'll come as a surprise to no one that mine is Legally Blonde.

Jocelyn Harper  42:53
Oh, I saw a local performance of Legally Blonde here. And it was just amazing. It was so. Um, right, I would either have to say it's either Brent or wicked because two, those two musicals were very big for me getting into musicals. So how did I get into musicals? So I've always been singing I've been singing for like, I think there's videos of me singing it like h3. So at some point, like singing like Mariah and Whitney, and those things were good. I honestly can't even I think it may have been in like Middle School. And I saw, yes, it was a choir performance. And we went to go see Sweeney Todd. Ah, Wow, that is a

Chloe Condon  43:45
big, heavy intro musical.

Jocelyn Harper  43:49
And I freaking loved it. So. So from there, it kind of was just like, it just went off. Because at that time, I remember when wicked came out on Broadway. And I was in Delaware. And there was no way I was going to be able to go to New York City to be able to see it. But if you were on limewire, you could download the entire performance bootleg. And guess who did? watched it obsessively. And so from and so from that I just started like, going to like figuring out all of these musicals and talking to like my theater friends and figuring out like, what musicals they were into, and I went to every high school theatre production possible. I was way too shy to ever be in it, though. Um, and yeah, I've just really loved Broadway. I love musicals. I think that some of the best voices in the world are on Broadway and have been on Broadway. And I just appreciate acting and i i appreciate singing the most with people that can sing just make me so happy. Because I don't think people understand how hard it is to be like to sing, to have like that natural talent to sing and then to also be like, freaking phenomenal. So yeah, I

Chloe Condon  45:02
just now that you mentioned it, I'm pretty sure some of my earliest internet memories and the first online community I was a part of was the broadwayworld.com message board and I would use a currency I had a lot of sheet music, like for auditions and you know, different things that I would sing or play on the piano. And there was a currency within the online Broadway theater community to trade like this is back in the Napster days, of course like to trade bootleg Broadway videos for sheet music.

So just imagine a young Chloe almost like trading stocks, like I'll give you my music for defying gravity. If you give me that video of Avenue Q.

Jocelyn Harper  45:49
I forgot Avenue Q was also one day downloaded illegally.

Chloe Condon  45:55
Don't put us in jail, please. Is that weird children, the statute was.

Jocelyn Harper  46:01
That was like 20 years ago, please.

Chloe Condon  46:05
But I learned a lot about like how to communicate with people online. It was my first time being on an internet forum. And you know, I think very everybody has different ways, especially if you have a non traditional background to like, translate your experience that into now. And I think building theater communities is a lot like building a developer community. Because in the same way that you put on a show, like a show requires so many people like a stage manager and actors and sets and lighting. And I feel that way, even at Microsoft, and we're working on a really large project, like so many people just like they say there's no small actors just, you know, there's no small parts, just small actors. And I think the same goes for any kind of project that you're working on. It takes a whole team to put up a up Show, The show must go on, you know,

Jocelyn Harper  46:53
it's true. And I think that, especially in tech, I think that there's always like, everything that you do, no matter if it's like feature work, or you're doing a whole new project, or whatever it is, like it's a collaboration with everyone, right? So I feel like sometimes we as engineers, kind of like the silo ourselves and think it's like, oh, well, we're software engineers. I didn't know you guys. I'm like, No, there's product as well. There's business like there's QA, like, there's all these moving parts. It's just kind of like, like you just said, there's no like, there's no small parts. There's a small actors, and I just really want to push home that like we need to be collaborative with everyone in our spaces and on our teams in order for things to work. Because if one part is failing, like you, you don't pick up the slack like that, that doesn't work like that just means the entire thing's broken.

Chloe Condon  47:44
And everyone's important as to former office managers. Be nice to your office managers.

Jocelyn Harper  47:49
Yeah, I get really annoyed when people are like, not nice to products. Like that's a quick way to get. I can't cuss out people at work but. And angry emojis. Like be nice. What are you doing? Yeah, right.

Brandon Minnick  48:06
Those are the people that like, they can do things. So anybody from like, the product manager can make things happen to the office manager can get you things get you the hook up with things. Always be friends with your HR folks, if you really want get hooked up with things. Yeah, it's, it's, it's crazy to me how many engineers come in with this mindset, like, better than thou. And you're only here because of me, and I'm writing the code, and you're just here to support me. It's like, No, man, if, if you're nicer, then you will get all the perks, all the things. Plus, you'll advance so much quicker in your career. So I always make it a point. Yeah, be extra nice, because they're the best people.

Chloe Condon  48:53
And where would we be without marketing?

Jocelyn Harper  48:56
I know, just be kind. I think people are just like, rude for no reason. It's like, it doesn't take away anything just to be kind to people, you know what I mean? So it's just like, and you never know,

Chloe Condon  49:10
your office manager that you're being really rude to could be a software engineer someday.

Jocelyn Harper  49:15
You know, think about that. You're trying to get a job at not saying that that's happened to me.

Chloe Condon  49:22
Be nice to everyone. I love this. This has been such a fun show. Like I feel like we've we've really covered almost every single topic, though, that we could from Broadway to you know, I do want to ask though, you mentioned that you worked in retail Jocelyn. We've had a lot of folks on the show before who've talked about their previous roles and experiences, kind of affecting the way that they think about their current roles. What in what ways have had those retail kind of customer interaction roles helped you as a senior software engineer

Jocelyn Harper  49:59
I'm just dealing with people. I think that's the biggest thing like working retail is so challenging. I respect people that work retail so much, because humans are truly terrible. Sometimes I'm very condescending, like, very like, expecting a lot. And, oddly enough, not saying that I've run into a bunch of people like that. But it's taught me how to. Maybe I've gotten worse at it since the retail days, but try to like control my emotions, I wear everything on my face, right? So I'm just like, if people if somebody says something off, I'm just like, retail face like, I don't even see it. And I swear, like with retail also, like you had to be really organized as well, you had to always be on it, you had to know your information. And I don't know if this is a coping mechanism, maybe this is something I need to talk with my therapist about tomorrow. But when it comes to that, I kind of take that with me through jobs and meetings and everything where I want to be as prepared as possible. I kind of view like, if I'm talking to one of my managers, or if I'm talking to a product owner, I come into a meeting ready with everything outlined as much as possible. I guess it's kind of come from coding as well, because I think of edge cases. I'm like, oh, maybe they'll want this, this and this. And it's funny, because I was doing that it's at coach, like somebody would ask for a bag. And then I'd be like, Okay, and then I'd like grab like, three or four accessories, because maybe, maybe they'd like that, too. So it's kind of like almost upselling in a way. Yeah. Very weird. But it works. It works for me. So,

Chloe Condon  51:59
and I love you know, people always ask you in interviews usually like, Oh, are you used to working with a variety of different types of people, you can just say, I worked in retail.

I've seen it all.

Jocelyn Harper  52:14
So many people. Yeah,

Chloe Condon  52:16
I was a Disney store employee myself. And I know, usually when you're interviewing people aren't asking you like, how did your time at disney store, you know, help you to prepare for this job. But it's just like you said, you know, even working at someplace like Sephora thinking two steps ahead and thinking, you know, this person said that they wanted this mascara, but I'm gonna bring these other ones to also show them, you know, because there's so many ways that I feel like our brains kind of like prepare us for roles later in life. And it always sneaks in, in interesting ways, like into my current day role.

Jocelyn Harper  52:50
Yeah, it's just, oh, sorry, I keep talking over your mind. And I feel so bad.

Brandon Minnick  52:55
No, no, no, this is this is your show. I just didn't say that. clearly what you just said about people necessarily not saying something, but it's not exactly what they want, is something that took me a while to figure out as an engineer, that when somebody asks you a question, they probably aren't struggling with that question. There's something more behind it. And kind of asking you like, what's the question behind the question like, Why? Why are you trying to figure out how to reverse sort of linked list? Because there probably is another way to do something. And in this case, like, maybe, you know, maybe you don't need to do any of that. And there's a much easier way of going about it instead of kind of plowing through this one direction. So yeah, kind of go in like one layer deeper, like, what do you really bought? Or what are you really looking to solve? What's the problem?

Chloe Condon  53:52

Where can people find all your amazing stuff on the interwebs? Jocelyn? Obviously, we've got the Twitter, Java, vv, ITC H, we got the origin of that earlier. But can people like buy your book what's going on with the book?

Jocelyn Harper  54:12
So the book will be available April 30. Pre orders were open, but they're closed right now. Because it was like at 310 pre orders, and I couldn't handle that. So what a great

Chloe Condon  54:24
problem to have.

Brandon Minnick  54:27
Too many people bought it

Chloe Condon  54:28
stopped buying this book.

Jocelyn Harper  54:30
I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready. So yes, it will be available April 30 at midnight, etc. So I'm actually going to later on today, I'm going to actually put in an email list back up, because it seems as though people have been tweeting at me and messaging me about it a lot. So I probably need to have them available for that. And then the book is actually going to be a bundle. So it's going to be $25 but you'll have the white edition you'll have the dark edition and then you'll also get an E So you can put it on your Kindle. And yeah, that's going to be got get cute guide dot Dev. Or you can go to get cute podcast.com that's also there as well. And then I have my personal website Jocelyn hyphen Harper calm. But more than likely Twitter is the best way to keep in touch with me about

Chloe Condon  55:22
cute musical, like get cute goes to Broadway 2035. I'm here for it.

Jocelyn Harper  55:29
Next on the list, you're already the star. Okay,

Chloe Condon  55:33
I would like to audition for the role of Luna the cat, like, please, Brandon, you can play yourself.

Brandon Minnick  55:46
Or you say I can play the cat a minute to catch up. also happy to do that I'm here to contribute.

Chloe Condon  55:57
And as far as you know, the the kind of folks who should be looking out for reading this book or maybe gifting this book to someone? Is this a book that should be given? Like at what level should folks be at when they start reading this? Is this something maybe you should read before your boot camp or after your first role? What's who should be reading this one?

Jocelyn Harper  56:18
I definitely think it's for people that have already received their first role. Like I said, I've kind of target this at mid level to senior level people. Not to say that people that are in boot camps, won't gain any information from that. But I think it would be really good for at least entry level engineers, so they can maybe sketch out a rough roadmap of where they want to go in their career. You know, people are always like, what's your three year plan? What's your five year plan? And honestly, I don't really do that. Because things have been kind of like all over the place. Like I didn't think I was going to be writing a book five years in or doing any of this like that was on the plan at all. But as far as like your career is concerned, like I know right now that I'm really good at being an individual contributor, right? I like coding, that's what I want to do right now. But who knows, maybe like a year or two down the line, I would be open to being like a manager or something like that. And that's all information that, you know, people may not know about when they're going to their first role. So really just pick it up, if you want to know, give, like a general outline of what to do and what things to do to kind of like, accelerate your way through the path because I don't necessarily believe in this timeline that senior engineers need to have five to seven years experience. I had four when I was hired as a senior engineer, and I've known people that had three years experience and been hired as senior engineers. So really, it's all about what you see for yourself in your career, and how hard you're going to work at it. Once you're already inside, you know, factors besides like gender and race and everything aside, because we know, that's a problem.

Chloe Condon  58:00
Did you ever think five plus years ago before your boot camp that you'd be writing a book about this? Is it kind of a strange experience?

Jocelyn Harper  58:09
It's really strange. Um, I talked about this with my therapists a lot. I'm just like, I people were like, Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. And it's not that I'm not excited like I am. But I don't think it's going to hit until it's actually available for people. And then hopefully, people start buying it, and then I'll probably cry because that's usually what I do.

Chloe Condon  58:29
So I'm so excited to read it. I'm gonna just devour this book when it comes out on the 30th it is not going to sit on my shelf. I'm gonna just read it. I need this info. Jocelyn, so thank you for writing it.

Jocelyn Harper  58:41
You're very welcome.

Unknown Speaker  58:44
Yay. Well, we're pretty much at the end of the show now. But Brandon, how should we close it out? We still haven't figured out how to close out the show.

Brandon Minnick  58:56
To be a little song and dance jig. We go Oh, yes. But what's a song from wicked where we

Chloe Condon  59:03
don't Angular we're good alerting you

Jocelyn Harper  59:12
Why don't you have a series of Tick Tock videos doing that Chloe?

Chloe Condon  59:17
horizon. It's on the horizon. I first got to learn how to use Tick tock, y'all. Well, y'all, thank you so much for joining us for another episode of apex. We have some really, really exciting episodes coming out y'all soon and we're going to be celebrating our anniversary soon. So wild one year. Thank you so much. And Justin will have to have you come back after the bugs out and chat more about what it's like post book release life. Amazing. Thanks for coming y'all back next week.