8 Bits with Katy Farmer (again!)

8 Bits with Katy Farmer (again!)
This week are joined by Katy Farmer again! Join us as we chat about interviewing, hiring and mental wellness!

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8 Bits with Katy Farmer (again!) - 8 Bits
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Chloe Condon  2:01
Ah the song I know we save every time but the song is what I need to wake up at this time of the day. Hi, we're back for eight bits. I'm Chloe crimson, one of your co hosts here. And of course, we have Brandon Minnick here as always. Hi, john. Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  2:20
Good to see you again. I am good. I've been I've been playing around with Reddit this week.

Chloe Condon  2:27
Okay, tell me more. I only recently two years, but I'm very obsessed.

Brandon Minnick  2:35
Well, um, So to be clear, I'm not just sitting around playing on Reddit. But actually exploring Reddit API's and trying to build reporting tools. It's it's selfish. It's to help help me out. But, uh, yeah, you know, I I'm on Reddit. And I like to hang out in the developer communities, all about the C sharp subreddit, dotnet subreddits, Amer developers subreddit and love it. But I wanted to kind of build a dashboard where I could see everything in one place. And so started playing around with Reddit API's and turns out, you can you can pull all that data, you can pull it all for yourself, you can pull it all for other users can aggregate it together. And so you have been playing around with that. And we'll be, I'll be showing it off to you soon. Chloe, keep an eye out for it.

Chloe Condon  3:30
Fun. I think Becca Rosenthal on the show, read it and play back Rosenthal, some of the URLs, right. Yeah, thank laughs to get her back on talk about the Reddit API, I'm sure yeah.

Brandon Minnick  3:42
Sure. My tool, see what she thinks cuz. Yeah, for me, it's like, you know, I love hanging out in these different subreddits. Yeah, I learned a lot. And I try to share a lot. But yeah, I've always been curious. What like, Are there trends, right? Like if I share something in this subreddit versus this subreddit, because some are kind of the same, some are kind of similar, or so like, what gets traction, what does it we're working to best engage with the developer community. So stay tuned. We'll be I'll be showing that off to hopefully later today.

Chloe Condon  4:15
I'm totally paying attention. I'm just trying to your favorite wholesome subreddit is, but I needed to figure out mine, which I think is I've been a big fan of our slash dad like reflexes. It's not even just dads. It's just people like catching something before it falls or baby's about to like fall off the couch. And it's brought me a lot of joy. To just watch people have dad like reflexes.

Brandon Minnick  4:46
There's our slash, Ah,

Chloe Condon  4:48
oh, yeah. How

Brandon Minnick  4:49
many W's A w w w. That's always a good one. But

Chloe Condon  4:54
yeah, so I like oh, I've got Animal Crossing. Like design to get inspiration for my island. Oh, absolute units, someone it's all just absolute unit of a cat, absolute unit of a bear. But yesterday someone posted I think they ordered a pizza from dominos, but they were out of the cheese that they put inside the crust. So they gave them extra cheese. So it was absolute unit of a cheese pizza where it was like a cheese, gosh, two inches of cheese, the dream

Brandon Minnick  5:25
dish, but not a deep dish.

Chloe Condon  5:27
Egg zactly. So Brandon, I thought of you somewhat related. I saw that Britney Spears is in Mali, and I was like, oh, going on with Maui. I bet Brandon's got some updates.

Brandon Minnick  5:42
Down at Maui, but yeah, I mean, I'm still working on it. I'm working on it. A couple tools myself for it. But yeah, I'm still chugging towards the November release date. It's available in preview right now. Although with dotnet Maui, yeah, there's still it's a work in progress. So the previews of dotnet Maui right now are, here's what the team's gotten done so far. So if you want to try it out, play around with it, you totally can. But yeah, I'm not. I'm not converting my apps to dotnet Maui just yet. Because literally the team's not done building it. It's it'd be like trying to race a car with with a wheel missing. So there's still some UI controls. They're still working on building and optimizing. But I can't wait. Actually.

Chloe Condon  6:30
Cool merch, that T shirt that are Yeah, Jeremy Sinclair was wearing.

Brandon Minnick  6:36
Yeah, those are awesome. I just got, I'm going back to a conference. So I'll be at that conference. It's It's literally called that conference. It's one of my favorites.

Chloe Condon  6:47
I think this is a full circle moment, because I feel like we've talked about this conference on some of our very early episodes. I think when we first met Brandon, you were about to go to bat calm. Me, maybe I've

Brandon Minnick  7:02
spoken at it three times. So this will be my fourth. But yeah, it's my favorite conferences. One of my favorite parts is they focus so much more on the wellness and the wholeness of the developer. So it's not just tech talks. I mean, granted, I'll be giving a talk at Maui. But there's talks on mental wellness, they encourage you to bring your family so as part of the speaker registration, they ask you how many family members are you bringing, and they have tracks and courses and workshops that are just slightly tech related, but for families, so like, children can hang out and have fun, and even younger speakers. So I remember the first time I ever checked in, I was waiting in line and my speaker check in and right in front of me was a 10 year old who is giving a talk the next day. So really, really, really good conference. It's also online this year, so highly recommend it. Check it out. that.us

Chloe Condon  7:57
I've heard so many amazing things about that conference from you from our coworker Cassie, I think Seth spoke there. Maybe two years ago. Um, I have a lot of FOMO Wait, your go? Are you going physically to it?

Brandon Minnick  8:10
That's the plan. I yeah, I talked with our managers and made sure we had budget and made sure everything was okay. And I just got the thumbs up. So I booked plane tickets again. I booked hotels again and rental cars. It's It's uh, it's weird.

Chloe Condon  8:26
What a time to events, hopefully, fast, right? Um, well, I just got done with an event this morning. I was up right on early 9am. We started the static web apps conference, maybe let us know in the chat. Are you still here, maybe you left a tab open. And now you're joining us after this conference. It was super fun. I got to host it. JOHN Papa was the keynote speaker. And truly, you know, I mentioned this on the on the stream for the conference. But it's rare during the pandemic that I have the attention span to just like, sit down and watch every talk back to back. But I got to watch all of them, y'all. And they're all really great. I learned a lot. We talked about geo cities. We talked about angelfire. We talked about flash animation. I of course talked about the first website I ever visited the 101 Dalmatians live action marketing page, featuring Glenn Close. It was a good time had by all you can check out all of the previous talks@aka.ms slash swa comp on demand. And it was Yeah, it was it was a great time I learned a lot. I'm talking about jam stack. We're talking about the CLR. We're talking about all sorts of different ways that you can use static web apps, DevOps, oh my gosh, covered all the things my brain is very full. So from kind of like, zoning out, I'm probably thinking about static web apps.

Brandon Minnick  9:50
Can you define a static web app in one sentence or less?

Chloe Condon  9:54
Very cool. No. Yeah, so it's Well, it statically messenger with Azure. Obviously, there's a bunch of different awesome plugins and integrations that we have an extensions with VS code that make them a lot easier. But it's just a single simple web page, basically. And it's really cool. It's very, there were a lot of what I really loved about this conference was, you know, typically you do an event, and you're talking about the deeply, deeply technical things. And that's all fine, right? Like we love to get in the code. But what was cool was how many conversations were being had about, hey, static web apps, not only are this super useful, like thing that you can get up and running quickly, but it enables other people who don't have those deep technical skills to also get things online, you know, your crochet knitting site for your grandma, you know, a theatre company, website, things that require a lot less deep, deep coding and building. So it's exciting. It's making the web more accessible for other people. And I'm really excited to see o r g, dear friend, Brian, Ben's friend of the pod are to our other two part guests, other than our guest today, is going to be talking tomorrow, I think in the evening at 11pm. Pacific time with Burke, Holland, all about all of the new features that were just announced, because it's all generally available right now. So check that out. Brian's gonna be Burke is so fun to watch y'all. I mean, it's going to be I'm going to probably stay up late watching two of our favorite co workers. But yeah, I am. I'm so static right now. You see, my hair is just like stone.

Brandon Minnick  11:34
They give

Chloe Condon  11:37
Rocco's modern life static cling the newest revamp of rocks, but I somehow managed to not reference during that conference. How did that happen? Um, well, Brandon, anything else you want to say before we bring in part two of one of our favorite guests?

Brandon Minnick  11:57
Oh, we got it. We got to bring her in. Cuz Last time, we didn't even come close to finishing the interview. So I don't want to lose any more time.

Chloe Condon  12:05
I secretly kind of like once we got to like the three quarter mark. I was like, This is great. We have to bring them back. Welcome back to the show for part two.

Katy Farmer  12:23
back Oh, you know what I love you know,

Chloe Condon  12:27
wha the squeak wall if you will? At to Farmer farming. We haven't seen you for a full week. How are you? Oh, in that week,

Katy Farmer  12:39
I think I'm probably changed forever. But also I did nothing and it was fantastic. I just spent a lot of time with my dogs looking at squirrels and thinking about how how to get squirrel. How to be next to squirrel. You know, all the hard questions.

Brandon Minnick  12:59
What to do when you catch squirrel? Yeah, it's my it's my dogs biggest problem. The squirrels Jason.

Katy Farmer  13:06
Girls are taunting My poor dogs know what they're doing?

Chloe Condon  13:12
So for anybody who is just joining us on this episode, we'll do a little throwback we should have we should have done like a montage. Previously on eight bits. Get it? Tell them lovely humans tuning in who you are, what you do, and a little bit about yourself.

Katy Farmer  13:28
I am Katie. I am the community technical community manager to be specific at circle ci. I was a late career changer. I went to school for music and then for literature and then worked as an editor for many years and then thought boy money would be sure nice. And then I got into tech. I went to a boot camp. I did all the things that you're supposed to do to become a successful girl boss. I'm mad that I said it. I was gonna say it just came out real and I didn't know how to fix it. The

Chloe Condon  14:08
term business Ma'am. Ma'am, I do like that.

Katy Farmer  14:13
I also I have a shirt that says I'm a professional, which really encapsulate my idea of business casual.

Chloe Condon  14:21
For anybody listening to the podcast. I am wearing a hat today that says I love meeting. And I feel like you need to wear this hat with that shirt.

Katy Farmer  14:31
Also for the people who are at home it does

Chloe Condon  14:36
an absolute mood. So you were here last week and we covered we covered a lot of the origin story of Katie. Brandon, let's start to recap together. Let's tag team this. I feel like we started with Marissa computer in Katie's home growing up, no computer, try and find one Talk about band music specifically playing in the high school band and the trumpet the trumpet. We'll also talk about piano. We talked about a lot of stuff.

Brandon Minnick  15:11
Working in it. Yes. Right. And I was in college right now. So even though you weren't studying computers, it anything like that? Nope, you worked in it. So your first job is just choose one, turn everything off and turn it back on again. And it fixes it every time. Really?

Chloe Condon  15:35
Did we talk about like, how you got on boarded for that job, though? Like, was it literally like, type? I mean, you would use a keyboard, I assume I was

Katy Farmer  15:45
typing. Okay, that was I would say, that's my main skill. When it comes to computers, I can type. So good. Um, most of that was, so I started during the summer, like semesters, so like, a little bit slower. And basically, I had to stay, stayed in the shop, as it were, and watched all the other technicians solve problems and just learned by just kind of being apprenticing sort of, you know, just, I was definitely the only fan of any kind. It was, and I was also shorter than everyone by about a foot and a half. And when we would have to Yeah, I'm, I'm small.

Chloe Condon  16:31
It's useful to like crawl under desks to plug things in and unplug things I found personally as a five foot, yes,

Katy Farmer  16:37
we would have to walk across campus and I would be walking with some of the other technicians and they're walking and I'm like, literally jogging next to them, like Slow down, slow down. But yeah, it was just a lot of like, Watch and learn. And again, in that like scenario of like, at the university, the computers are very much. You know, they're, they have like ghost images there. You just reset them if bad things happen. So it was an easier environmental learning, I think, because there was just like one way that it should be there. Like this is how windows should be set up period on this campus. Yeah, so that made it a little easier. But then later on, I became a manager of the help desk and things got complicated again. Because I started figuring out that while I very well could learn computers, I have always been good with people. And that's the thing that's, that's the bridge that's often missing, right is like, I know how I figured out how this computer works. But I still have to be able to tell this, this person with a PhD in music theory, or biology or calculus or whatever, like, how to get another email. And that's a different altogether.

Chloe Condon  17:47
I have a question for you. We asked this to Brian or no, this was to Carmen I believe he used to work at the Microsoft customer support Help Desk. And he said one of his favorite customer support questions or requests was someone thinking there was wizardry in their computer because of the Microsoft download wizard and wanted to get the occult out of their windows? Do you have any favorite help? stories gave me I mean, I have so many.

Katy Farmer  18:22
I my favorite one was this like staff member called all the time and they always had problems with their computer. They were always like, it's slow, it's freezing. They they always had a virus, the just always and I had reset her machine so many times. I was like, You know what, let me just come on over. Let me just come on over and like see what's up and like spend a little time with you on your computer. And when I got there, they were on their computer like you know, in a very traditional way for people who you know, a lot of people keep things are on the desktop, you know, like, however many documents and files so the desktop is like completely covered. It's real hard to find anything and then I'm like trying to look for the mouse among the sea of like icons and the mouse is like instead of the cursor on the screen, it's like the little cat that like was

Chloe Condon  19:23
guilty of adding that I think like back in the day that was super popular on geo cities and angelfire and I'm pretty sure on my live journal I had like a little peek at you cursor. Yeah,

Katy Farmer  19:34
it was just like she kept downloading these like cat cursors they were from this like random website because she was just searching for them and I was like, Listen, I you have to stop downloading these. There. Getting

Chloe Condon  19:52
I feel like we have a comment here from Aaron Aldridge that says sometimes they really missed direct Help Desk slash support work and I used to work in VIP Video Game support. And I truly think that every developer at some point in their life should should have to work in support and help desk because it's humbling, and you also get a lot of empathy. Well, you also start to understand the importance of product feedback, like you're right there in the trenches. I truly, we should all be doing customer support Help Desk like once a week.

Katy Farmer  20:21
Really? Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's, it's such a fast way to learn, right. And, like, I remember, I mean, that was like my returning clients, you know, I think I helped that person like, once, once, or once or twice a week for a while, like, somewhere in the middle, it was a lot. But my favorite one, kind of, I don't know, I think there's something about it that relates to tech, but like a lot of people who work in universities who I'm sure if anyone, like watching has worked in academia at all, it can be a very, it's a tough, it's a tough place. People who have PhDs and our professors can be a little full of themselves, sometimes they're good at what they do. And when they're not good at something like that feels simple to them, they are angry. And I just remember, like talking to this professor over the phone for like, a really long time, like they were just, they were really upset, they had grades to turn in, and their computer wouldn't turn on. And it was like, Alright, well, like do you see a power light? And like, do you check the cables and like all the things and they were just like, they'd had enough of me trying to help them. They were like, just come over here. Just come over here and just fix it. I was like, eventually is like, Alright, I'm gonna come over there. And then, you know, the first thing I do is I like, check the powerlines it's not on I checked the cables. And then I'm like, following the following the cables. And I was like, Okay, I have some news that you're not gonna like, which is that you are correct, that all the cables are plugged in, they were all plugged into a power strip, when the power strip was also plugged into the power strip. Oh, no.

Brandon Minnick  22:09
It doesn't give you enough power. It was just the power back on itself,

Katy Farmer  22:13
this beautiful moment. Cuz at the time, you know, I was probably like, 20. And I can't imagine that as you know, this person who's very good at their expertise. It's just real hard to have people be like, you just, you plugged it in wrong. That's a hard pill to swallow. You know. Brandon, do you have any Tales from the help desk?

Brandon Minnick  22:37
Oh, gosh. So yeah, I worked in IT support as a as an internet, Disney. So we didn't necessarily handle the hardware like that. But I remember. So we supported the website. And yeah, all the time, people would reach out and say something like the websites down or it's not working. I'm trying to remember an exact scenario, but just in general, yeah. Like everybody was always mad. Everybody's always upset. at us at me. It was my fault. And yeah, similar to Katie story, most of the time is a user's fault. I mean, yes, some of that feedback can be taken and we could do things better make the button bigger. Yeah, people would like if, if a list shuffled, like we maybe reorganize things on a page and something wasn't in the exact same spot where it used to be. We can help desks to help desk tickets about the website being broken. I don't know what they're talking like. I'm literally on it right now. And it's working. Now like nope, it's not there anymore. It's like, Oh, you scroll down. You scroll down a little bit. You got it. Yeah, it's always I mean, it's always it is fall. It's always a help desks fault. And you can't

Katy Farmer  24:01
just say thank you, you know what I mean? Like there's they're always pretty, like decently irritated. And then just like going from there.

Brandon Minnick  24:11
Right? And and you just gotta take it. Like, once you get off the call, then you can vent to your co workers, like a happened again, or somebody thought the website was broken, or was it but when you're on the call, it's like, yeah, I'm so sorry. Yep, you're absolutely right. That button used to be there and now it's not Yes, it's just a little bit lower. Look into it.

Katy Farmer  24:33
I think my my, the years I put in in support, I think probably attributed to my being able to like be successful once I moved into tech just because I was used to like, I worked on a lot of customer service. I worked retail like places where people are just like, they're not that nice to you because they don't have to be or because the they're already starting off with a problem once they come find you right like they're not coming to hang out with you, because they already have everything they need. So I think that like when I got into tech, and you like, again, the bar is like very low.

But, um,

yeah, definitely, like, feel like being able to like listen and bring people down from that edge and like, you know, have a full conversation is z is

Chloe Condon  25:25
my customer support experience, I think was a unique one because I worked in video game customer support. So I was dealing with very angry, mostly men who were very upset about not getting their gold, because like, that was the reward system. This came. And luckily, we only used email customer support. This was like maybe like 10 years ago. And all of the subject lines would be like my gold, I need my gold Bring me my gold. And I learned a lot about logs, not like wooden logs, but like chat logs when I worked in that role. And I, I learned from a lot of people who were like, why am I banned? Why am I banned? I didn't say anything bad that people really try to cover that they have not said really terrible things that they actually have. So shout out to moderation tools. Microsoft awesome content moderation tools out there. But yeah, I feel like it I it's interesting that you guys actually worked in like physical it customer support or things that actually existed because doing customer support for imaginary war commander bases. And imaginary gold is a whole thing to wrap your head around when you're like I serve these people like I help them with their fake bases that they've spent a lot of money on creating in this, you know, spotting the internet on a server somewhere. But really learn a lot about like how to deal with people how to communicate with people, the customer is always right, as I learned for retail and Trump doing video gave customer support. And yeah, I love I see a lot of that in you, Katie, because I feel like a lot of your tweets, which was I'm really going to talk about today are very positive and uplifting. And when I'm going through my day, and I see your tweets and my feed, it brings joy to my life. I feel like I needed these tweets when I would take breaks as customer support agent be like, You know what? I can do it. So, okay, we chatted last time, all about your journey to your boot camp. And I think we ended around talking about how you chose we had a question in the chat about how to choose your boot camp. We've talked about this a little bit on the show before of not all boot camps are created equally just like any university or school, you're going to want to bet the information about the program, see what stock they're using? How did you end up choosing your boot camp? Katie?

Katy Farmer  27:55
Great question, Chloe. I think it's like I just want to kind of make it clear that it's really hard, especially because you know nothing about the subject. And yet you were trying to look for a place that is like, theoretically, the expert, right, then you're like, well, I don't really know what the criteria is for being good. So I guess, oh, and I was very lucky that I had programmers like in my life who could weigh in, and they did extensively about like, the various boot camps. And so they're there. I mean, now there's a lot more options, even at the time I lived in Denver. And there's an in person school, they're called touring. And I knew I needed to be in a classroom setting like physically because I knew that if I could learn online, I would have although I know that they like they, you know, there's differences with like curriculum and stuff, but online learning is like, it's not for me, I need a teacher in front of me.

Chloe Condon  29:03
I am the same way. ej Metz, who was self taught, but I need accountability in my life as well.

Katy Farmer  29:11
Yeah. And honestly, like, I went to like, you know, the schools usually have like open houses. And like, always go to those. And honestly, like, if no one tells you anything bad about the school, don't go to it. Because that means there are many secrets. Because everyone I know who's gone to a boot camp has pretty complex opinions about them. Because that none of them are perfect, right? Like, sometimes it's a cultural sometimes the cost is like, enormous and I think, especially when you're choosing one, like make sure you understand what the range of like tuition costs is because some of them are a lot more than other ones like I think. I think a lot of them sit right around 20,000

Chloe Condon  29:59
which is There's an interesting trend of tuition deferments, like not having to pay until you get a job and taking a certain percentage. So, thinking through those things like where am I at financially? I mean, I always say, no one ever just wakes up one morning is like, you know what, I'm gonna go do that. I think we said this on the last episode, right? But like, usually people who are making a career change, either have had a huge existential crisis about their life and career like me. They have, they need to make more money, they want to have more security in their life. It's a big, big financial, also life decision. Most of these programs are full time. But truly, it's, I always say, people, if you hear someone who's graduated from a boot camp, just assume that that they've seen it, they can, they can live through anything.

Katy Farmer  30:48
And there's like, even more like, I mean, I didn't grow up with any kind of like financial literacy. And so even the idea of being like, adding, you know, getting another loan, like, Well, I have these student loans, and it's all just putting this loan with these other loans. Right, which like, in my mind sounded fine. But then it's like, well, actually, this is a different type of loan. I can't pay this private loan back like I can my federal school loans and stuff like that. So just like, the best thing to do is to just ask as many people who've gone to that school as you can, whoever will talk to you reach out to absolutely everyone, some of them will get back to you like this, just just really throw it all out there. Because they'll all be able to tell you, like I said, and if they don't have critiques, then like, honestly, I do find that a bit suspicious, mostly either, because sometimes the schools are, you know, might have ways to convince people that they shouldn't be talking about whatever it is like, I'm more than happy to tell you the things. I think were wrong with the school that I went to while I was there, but it's also like been a few years and it's unsure. It's different now. They're really quickly evolving. So there's a lot to pay attention to.

Chloe Condon  32:08
Yeah, I love this comment from crazy in the chat that says nothing wrong with an existential crisis or two before you find your career. Absolutely. Yeah, not, not all of us just wake up knowing what we're good at what we want to do, for sure. And of course, you did your boot camp, and it went perfectly and you didn't have any imposter syndrome. And you nailed it, right?

Katy Farmer  32:31
No, felt great, never cried. Um,

Chloe Condon  32:38
see, I'm laughing because my boyfriend loves to say that I powered through my boot camp hackbright with tears and code, and coffee. How was your experience? Because I know, for me, I felt quite a bit of imposter syndrome. And I didn't even know what imposter syndrome was until the first day of my boot camp. So it was a it was a big weight on me. You know,

Katy Farmer  33:03
I think it's interesting. Like, I definitely didn't know about imposter syndrome. But I think it I think as people, we tend to gravitate towards things we're good at, right? So I spent the first half of my life really in like the arts, things, I felt like I was more naturally inclined to do. Whether or not that's true, I still think there's a lot of nature versus nurture here, like, I spent more time in the arts, therefore, I was better at them. Therefore, I felt more comfortable there, you know, kind of rolling that way. But like, when I got into boot camp, I started getting into it. I don't know that I felt like an imposter. But I, I felt like I still wasn't sure it was possible to start later. Like, I felt like maybe you have to have been, maybe you have to have had a computer your whole life. Like maybe the only way to like, be really good at this is to just have been doing it. And you cannot fast forward. And so in that way it feels like it's a little imposter. But it's almost a little bit more like age and experience based. Because I know a lot of people who like yeah, they had you know, they were writing basic. And I was like, tell me what go in there a disc you say? And it's not because I'm, like, so incredibly baby young that I don't know what that is. I just didn't have it. So I think there's this fascinating edge of like, I didn't really feel like I belonged. But I also felt like it wasn't because like I thought maybe this is just not how you're made.

Chloe Condon  34:41
There's a lot of vulnerability. I feel in learning a new skill. And I was recently thinking about, I was never a good dancer. I did musicals, but I was terrible at dancing. And I remember I tried to remember why didn't I just keep at it, you know, and I think that I took a ballet class and it was a beginner ballet class. I was in my probably mid to late 20s. And I was the oldest person in there and it was a bunch of kids. And then I never, like, I don't belong here. This isn't for me. But I think that's what the cool thing about boot camps around this time in 2016 was, that's what it was. For me. I was like, Oh, these are people like me who are making a career change later in life. But yeah, it can feel very jarring when, you know, I had to Google what stem was like, they were like, Who here works in STEM. And I was like, on my phone, just like, like, I don't know what this acronym is. But there were a lot of moments like that, where I was just like, Oh, do I belong here?

Katy Farmer  35:42
And even like the number of people who switched over from like, other sciences, that can be intimidating, right? It was like, Oh, well, a lot of my classmates were like, chemical engineers, or something that sounded intimidating to me. So I was like, Oh, I am an expert in the Oxford comma. Thank you. So in reality, it turns out that like, knowing grammar really well actually is a is a pretty big skill when it comes to code. Because every coding language has its own grammar and like lexicon that's really important. So being able to remember those things actually really helped me be able to just like straight up, type and write code a little faster.

Brandon Minnick  36:21
Nice, ever. I mean, I, I have a slightly different origin story where I did get a degree in Computer Engineering. But yeah, I've never even those first programming classes. I had never written a line of code before. I knew I wanted to learn it. But yeah, I just felt like I was surrounded by everybody who already knew what they were doing. And I had no clue what was going on. And you're like, Oh, yeah, hello, world. Yeah, no problem. Like, what

Katy Farmer  36:55
are you thinking? Like? I can, I can memorize a lot, right? Like, that's how I was always really good at school, because I'm really good at like memorizing things. And I, so I could memorize code and be like, Okay, I know, this is how I make like a REST API. But I, I think maybe almost until I was all the way done with bootcamp didn't know why I was doing any of it. And I think that's one of the really hard things. Because this used to happen to me in, in math in school, too, is I would say, like, Well, why, like, what is the cosine? And they would be like, you don't worry about that right now. I am worried about it right now. And there's just like this brink of learning where they're like, Okay, well, like your brain can't handle this other information. So you just need to do this. And I find that a very frustrating experience, although I have yet to find a solution for it. It's like, yeah, you just have to memorize this for a bit. And then once you get going, you'll start to pick up like, why it's happening that that that patience is really important. But it's also like, yeah, it made me furious.

Chloe Condon  38:08
I was person to I drove my boyfriend crazy during my boot camps and be like, but why is everything zero index? He's like, that's not important. It just is I'm like, but

Katy Farmer  38:16
why? Why would just tell me?

Brandon Minnick  38:20
I mean, sometimes the answer is just whoever made this said, so. They just decided 20 years ago that we'd start counting at zero. And we still do it. It's like, Okay, moving on. Sometimes that's that is the only reason it's just like, yeah, whoever made C sharp just decided that was going to be the thing.

Chloe Condon  38:41
Yeah, I will find a link for it and drop it in the chat. But our coworkers Morgan Bell and Burke Holland interviewed person who created the first hello world, you know, that ever happened? And I believe one of the questions they asked them was like, Why hello world? There was just like, because I love hearing those answers. Because, yeah, truly, a lot of times when we make decisions in our programs, it's just like, because why did you make a Shania Twain but because we love Nightwing? Sometimes we can make. So Katie, I think the biggest question that I get, as a former bootcamp grad is about the job search post bootcamp. Which is another time in my life when a lot of tears, tears were expelled from my face. I always like to say that the highs are very high and the lows are very low during the job search. What was your experience, like as a junior developer out of a boot camp? You know, starting this new career, you probably had a resume similar to mine that had a lot of arts and you know, literature stuff on it. What was it like being a candidate fresh out of a boot camp?

Katy Farmer  39:51
It's kind of a wild experience. I am. I have a hard time sometimes saying very like, positive things. Myself, I am really good at interviewing, okay, like, I'm good at talking to people. It's a skill that I have. But then they were like, actually don't talk, just just do this exercise. And I'm like, but if you talk to me, you would like me though, for sure. You want to try that.

Chloe Condon  40:16
I don't want to conversations with PJ about this. And he was interviewing this year because we were right there with you like, getting your foot in the door is part one, getting past the recruiting software past the hiring manager, recruiter, whatever that is. talking to them is another thing. But a coding challenges is very different than the original informational interviews, as you know, whatever it is we do teachers retail, things outside of technology, interviewing as an engineer is so vastly different than any other career. I think I saw someone Emily Calgary think, tweet like, oh, you're a doctor. No, this is a tick tock. She was like, Oh, you're a doctor do surgery right now, like on this thing that you usually don't do? Like? We put it in context. It's like, Wait, what? Why are we Why?

Brandon Minnick  41:06
You don't do surgery? in your free time on nights and weekends? Yeah, no, I am a doctor, I get paid to do that. That's my job. My

Chloe Condon  41:17
doing 10x surgeries. You're not a 10x. Doctor, how dare you. But it's true. Like this industry. I think that was the biggest adjustment for me coming into it was my whole life. I too am like, Hi, I'm a nice person. Here's my resume, I interview really well. But once I found out about this whiteboard, anything, I was like, Oh, no, a test.

Katy Farmer  41:37
Yeah, a test in an area that I still felt very much like, Okay, if we do this together, and I know you, I'm going to get there, right? Like, that's where I was at, as when I left the boot camp, I was like, okay, like, if I feel comfortable with this person, then together, we'll get to a solution. I know that. But with a stranger who doesn't always feel like they're rooting for your success. I'm not going to get there. In fact, I am going to actively work in the other direction, whenever that is like, whatever, when one time, I won't tell you the name of the company. But I'm sure they've changed their interview practices, because at the time, it was very small. And it was just the I think it was like the director of engineering or the CTO. And I done a coding challenge in go. And I had learned go just to do this. And I was like, super interested in it. I was like somebody like, I don't know, I didn't really get it. But I was like fascinated by go. And then we were doing like, you know, you turn in the assignment. And then you have like a review. And I remember the interview or anything at all. Yeah, I remember the interviewer asking me like, Okay, well, um, why did you use this technique? And I was like, it's the only one I know. Good answer. Yeah. And then and then he would say like, Okay, well, what are some other options? And I said, I don't know. He said, just tell me. And I was like, I don't know. Like, we just, this interviewer just couldn't stop asking me to try to dig for information. I'd already told them I didn't have. Yeah, and like, it was so painful. I just thought like, clearly you're not going to hire me. Right? Like, you are looking for things that I don't currently have. But he would not be graceful in the interview about like, how does that be free? He was just, it felt like he was just torturing me. He would just be like, right, but why? And I'd be like, I don't know. I learned go for this. I was just so excited to have a working go anything. And, and not only did he like he robbed me of that joy of like having done the thing. But then like, I mean, still to this day, it's one of my worst interviews because because he made me feel so bad for not knowing when it turns out is actually a thing that people don't mind.

Brandon Minnick  44:10
Yes, that's a great answer. That's what I try to teach junior developers is when you don't know don't pretend don't fake it. Don't try to make it up. Be very upfront and say, I don't know what the answer is. But maybe maybe have like an inkling you can say like, yeah, I'm not really sure. But maybe we could try this. And that that really just in my experience I've noticed that's the big differentiator between junior and senior I mean there's a lot of things that differentiate but yeah, senior devs are Oh is very upfront with like, oh, I've never done that before. Hey, Chloe, how long do you think this projects gonna take? Oh, I have no idea. I've never done it before.

Unknown Speaker  44:55
No idea. We

Brandon Minnick  44:57
figure it out.

Chloe Condon  45:00
Yeah, gosh, Tales from the interview vault. I very similarly had to learn Ruby. My boot camp was Python and JavaScript. And I had a coding challenge that was Ruby. And I was so scared because I got this email the night before I had been studying Ruby up and down. And the recruiter said, Hey, you know, we're so excited to have you come in tomorrow, we will be, you know, testing you and this, this and this, and I didn't know, these additional languages that they mentioned. And I asked my boyfriend, like, What do I do? Like, I can't just go in there and pretend that I know all these crazy languages. And he said, let them know. Like, they know you're a bootcamp grad like set expectation, you can give pushback here like this is they are bringing you in. So I always I totally agree read in like honesty and being straightforward. I love that you answered it, like, I do not know. Because when you do Harry Potter spell and suddenly

Katy Farmer  45:51
know the syntax, I know. Phone, not screen sharing or anything, we were on a phone call, and we were just both looking at my test. So I couldn't. I literally have nothing else to give you. Like,

Chloe Condon  46:08
I think like, there's a tendency, especially with Bootcamp, grads, and juniors, that they feel that they cannot be choosy with their roles that they're like, I gotta take whatever job I get first, which usually I emphasize empathize with, because financially, you're running out of money, you need a job, you kind of don't even know if it's possible for you to get a job. But um, if you feel at any point, when you are whiteboarding to an informational interview, or even a phone screen, any weird vibes, culturally from the company, or just like Katie said, like anything, where you're like, this person kind of gave me a negative experience, I think it's important to say that these are things as an interview II versus an interviewer that you can make decisions on, I always like to tell people that I mentor, it's much better to say no to a job and keep job searching for another week or month, then start a job and have to do this all over again, in two months, because you're unhappy. So I think honesty is best.

Katy Farmer  47:07
Yeah, well, and that's the thing too, right? I think, like, if you're honest with them, maybe you don't get that job. But like, I always tell people like you will get one you will. Like, I firmly believe this, like, build your build your networks keep reaching out to people, I got my first job because of a fellow alumni. Right, like, and I didn't know him, Well, I don't think I'd ever met him before that. But he was just like, in the, in the broad network of the school. And just like, invited me to come and chat with him. And then he was like, Well, my company is hiring. So like, Why don't you talk to this person and kind of set me up on that path for success. You know? And I think, like how you feel during the interview, like if you are like maybe like pretending a bit like oh, yeah, definitely. SQL I hear. Docker Yes, yes. Yes, I, I have containers. That feeling. That's how you're gonna feel every day at that job, if you get it, where you're like, Oh, I actually don't know anything. And I'm pretending here. Like, that's how you're gonna feel at work. And that's, it's not good. And it's not sustainable. Right? It feels terrible to work like that. And I'm not saying that I haven't. Because maybe we all learn. But it's, um, I think it is really important to know that like, there, there are people who are already in the biz that will like that we want to help you. Right? Like, I want to help you. I always open my dm so like underrepresented folks like you want to resume review, whatever, because, you know, we have to work within the system that currently exists, while it exists while we burn it down. But, um, you know, while it is and we need these, like jobs to survive, and like we have to do what we can to make sure that there's room for for new people. Absolutely. And if y'all are following Katie on Twitter, get out your phone or computer right

Chloe Condon  49:11
now. And follow the cater taught on Twitter. Mostly because all of these positive tweets seriously are talking about being a positive force for motivation in the community. I would love to talk at about we talked about you talked a little bit about kind of networking, like so to speak and how you got this first job through someone through your boot camp. I think I got my second job in tech from my network of boot camp and Twitter. I have seen a lot of folks who've gotten jobs on Twitter recently. You're very active on Twitter, as am I but I really love these positive tweets tell us like how this started, why you do it. And that I'll bring up some examples of the joy that Katie

Katy Farmer  49:59
I mean That's a good question, I think. So I have an anxiety disorder, which means if you're not super familiar with it, it's kind of it's the difference between worrying and anxiety is the amount of control that you have. So I might worry, I'm going to be late. But I know that like, I, you know, can leave my house earlier or whatever, but I have anxiety about things I cannot change, I have anxiety that like, my dogs will get sick when I'm not home. Or that, you know, some friend, somewhere I haven't talked to you in 10 years is like, mad at me. Or, or a lot of like more serious things, too, you know, like, I just fundamentally am anxious about my existence. And it got really bad during my boot camp. Because it's a very high pressure situation. And once I got into like a working schedule, especially because I was traveling, going to conferences, I just saw a lot of people who maybe didn't have anxiety disorders, but it was clear to me that the people around me were like, stressed out. And so was I and like, there are a lot of like physical symptoms that come if you have any kind of like, anxiety or depression that come with a lot of physical symptoms. And for me, one of them is that I just get like, I get like too hot, yet really hot and like flushed. And I feel a little bit like someone is like crumpling me up like a piece of paper. And it's really hard to escape that feeling. And the key to not like the key that I've learned through years of like therapy and medication is that like I have, I have to have some tool to stop the crumbling before it reaches like critical mass. And one day I got on Twitter. And I just remember being like, I just needed a distraction. Like, I feel really bad today. And I want to tell you something nice about you. Because what I really wanted was for someone to just say something nice about me. You know, like, the secret to be my positivity on Twitter is that they're all things that I'm not good at saying to myself. And when I put them out on Twitter, I can kind of say them to myself in this public way. Then I'm not too good at in private.

Chloe Condon  52:21
I love all of that. I find a lot of that very relatable as a person with anxiety myself, I love this tweet that you did the other day that says I don't ask folks how they're doing. I say, I'm glad you're here. And then in the thread, it says I care about how you're doing too. But it's a lot to ask right now, no matter how you're doing. I'm glad you're here. And I think especially now asking someone like hey, how's your year? Fred? How are you doing? Especially? Good question. I think I tweeted the other day, you know, people, I'll be like, hey, so sorry, I didn't respond to this text. I've been having like an existential crisis with the pandemic. Like, I think we're all really in this kind of chaotic headspace. Um, but I love like you're tweeting out tips and tricks for like, how to better interact with people lots of like, hey, you're a positive muffin of loveliness. And it's it's needed. We have in the chat here crazy is saying to China following the cater taught on Twitter. I have been encouraged more than once by her tweets. Same Aziz. Absolutely. The same. Um, are there any that you are like particular you think are like the top one we should share here? I feel like there's so many good ones, Katie. Oh, my gosh,

Katy Farmer  53:38
I honestly can't remember. The as as someone who again, was a writer for a lot of my life, they leave my head and then they go away. Yes, I like this one. What's your sign? yield? Just make way.

Chloe Condon  53:56
Yeah. And I think you know, mental health in tech is an important topic that we do not talk about nearly enough in this industry. So I think I love that you have not only just this channel to talk about this Twitter, but that we're talking about it now. I know therapy has helped me quite a bit as especially as a

Katy Farmer  54:17
new developer,

Chloe Condon  54:18
you know, navigating the landscape of corporate america and whatnot. Also shout out to ariana grande de, who just donated I think a million dollars worth of therapy to women this week. But yeah, I love that work. There are more candid conversations happening out there about the importance of mental health, the importance of therapy and just getting especially during this chaotic time making sure your head is in a good because can't write code. If your head's not in a good place, at least not I can't. I can't do much.

Katy Farmer  54:52
If I'm not like taking care of myself and sort of an interesting question that I Tell people like. So I did a conference talk about a little bit about anxiety. It was called accepting compliments and other acts of bravery. It's a favorite talk of mine, which is just like, how do you accept things you like about yourself or stories you tell about yourself that you want to be true. And the conference had a situation where they would set up like tables in the public areas for like topics. So I'd be like, Oh, this table is gonna talk about like, and DevOps. And this one's gonna talk about this. And there was one that just said, anxiety, and I was sitting at it by myself, just like, and it was like, you know, whatever. I was just like, hanging out at this table, like on my phone. And then someone came and sat down. And I just remember, I just like said, Hi. And then he said, How do I know if I have anxiety? And then we had, like, a conversation about it. And I was just like, you know, teardrop, like, I don't know, could it be okay, you know, like, it was, it's so rewarding to have someone have a moment of reflection. Like, it means a lot to me when people reach out to me on Twitter to tell me that, like I've said, anything that resonates with them, just because, again, I'm often my tweets are kind of a form of like, my own anxiety. Like, I got to get this out, I have to get this out and shout

Chloe Condon  56:24
out to one of my favorite conferences. I think this is in 2019, no 20 2019 anxiety tech, it was a whole technical conference about applications and mental health services and ways to deal with anxiety in tech. Some videos online, I think of you know, I think I built the Azure Functions ADHD, medication reminder app. So just very practical things that you can talk about. And, you know, that we struggle with and deal with as developers, because we're all humans, I think. I mean, I don't think we're androids. I think

Brandon Minnick  57:00
there's that new, what's a new GitHub thing called? Have you seen that? GitHub just announced this new thing that will basically write code for you? Oh, so watch out world.

Chloe Condon  57:16
Goodbye, world. I'm Katie. It is so lovely to have you back for part two. What? Of course people can find you on Twitter. Are there other places where people can follow you on your all your awesome positive tweets and beeps and boops out there? No, most of

Katy Farmer  57:32
it happens on Twitter. If you're a circle ci user? I am I spend a lot of time on our community site answering questions helping people there. But I'm always happy to see you however you choose to engage. I put up educational material about circle ci on their YouTube channel. So you can find some like technical resources from me there. But Twitter is the place It's fine. It's my jam.

Chloe Condon  57:56
And if you ever get the chance to see a live talk with Katie, Katie often does her own illustrations and talks. So definitely make sure you check out any opportunity that Katie is speaking. Brandon. Gosh, I almost want to bring Kane back for part three. Like it just seems like we're ending this too soon. As a trilogy, right? Yes. Yeah. A New Hope. cater dot the new hope. Um, before we close out the session, we've got about two minutes here. Any words of advice to anybody out there? Who's who's similarly struggling with anxiety and wants to be a participant in the community? Because I know even for myself, that can be hard sometimes.

Katy Farmer  58:40
Yeah, I think that I'm going to be Nike about it, just to do it. I think that was the thing I wish I could have told myself a million times is like, just click Send sooner. Because like, and as a technique that I use that I doesn't work for everyone. So keep in mind everyone is you know, individual, but um, sometimes I chase an anxiety to the end. So you say like, Okay, well, what happens if I send this email? And like, what's the worst thing that happens? They say no, the end. So like, really just remember that, like, people who are interviewing you want you to succeed, your coworkers want you to succeed. at best. You have one enemy out here.

Chloe Condon  59:24
We want you to succeed.

Katy Farmer  59:26
We want you to succeed.

Chloe Condon  59:29
Amazing. That is a great advice. Thank you, Katie for coming back. And Brandon. We still don't know how to end the show after eight days out, Brandon.

Brandon Minnick  59:42
Well, thanks, everybody for joining us. We'll see you back here this week. Don't forget to check out eight bits.tv where you can find the podcast subscribe to all the episodes. You can catch Katie's episode from last week and all of our other amazing guests. But until then, we'll see you on Wednesday.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai