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Brandon Minnick 2:00
Hello, and welcome back everybody to eight bits, the show about the people behind the Tech where we interview them to learn about their journey and how they got into tech. I'm your host, Brandon Minnick. And with me as always is the amazing PJ Metz. PJ, how's your week?
Pj Metz 2:19
My weeks gone? Great. Now that I'm here, I mean, it's not like this is the only bright spot the dark week of work. That's not what's happening. Actually. No, it's been going well, I I'm doing very well. And I'm excited to be here today. I think it's gonna be a good show. I jelly. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 2:39
I'm excited to also excited because I am going on vacation this weekend. It's a holiday weekend here in the US. So we're gonna go to the beach and just relax.
Pj Metz 2:54
It is a holiday. It's a three day weekend this weekend.
Brandon Minnick 2:58
Monday is Presidents Day.
Pj Metz 3:01
Next Friday, Family Day forget lab. So I've got Monday, next Friday off. What was it like to get like does a cool thing called friends and family day they started that during the pandemic during the pandemic, they were like, Hey, are fully remote workforce is like, crazy productivity right now. And they looked at their workforce. They're like, Guys, what are you there? Like, well, we're just home and we're just working. It's like, okay, stop. Everyone has to take at least one day off a month. And they created friends and family day.
Brandon Minnick 3:32
Such a great idea. Because yeah, truly at at companies, especially one set to unlimited vacation. And for those on the audio podcast, I did that in air quotes, because it's not really unlimited. There's always like, like, well, you're after three weeks of vacation, people will start asking questions. But yeah. It's it's always tough for folks to step away break away. I mean, I know, even though we'll be at the beach, also be checking emails and looking at stuff. I won't be responding to things or necessarily doing anything but stay in the loop. And yep, that's not me. That's shit, but
Pj Metz 4:17
I'll probably have like Slack open and like maybe like my, my to do list on GitLab up and just to see what's on there. And I'll consider doing some work on so I like what I'm doing. Like I'm building content. I'm making, you know, videos and presentations and stuff for students. So like, I like doing that stuff. I can only read so much from my new ereader that I just got so I need a break.
Brandon Minnick 4:41
That's yeah, sorry. This part for me is Yeah, I love what I do. And a lot of the job I'm in now is stuff that I used to do in my free time anyways, so a lot of it still doesn't feel like work.
Pj Metz 4:54
Right? Yeah, they say do you love what you do? then you can teach a man to fish yep, I think that's the way normally if this were in front of a live audience there would have been uproarious laughter there, but all I have are audio clips, so we'll just go with this instead. Terrible All right
this is a quality podcast, y'all.
Brandon Minnick 5:29
That's right. So uh, BJ Devaney announcements coming up, I know I'm, I believe in for vacation. So I'm kind of, I've got one foot out the door, I don't have anything queued up, actually, for the rest of the month. I was supposed to speak at a conference in Las Vegas, about two weeks, but got cancelled because of COVID. So stay at home.
Pj Metz 5:58
I've got, we've got actually it finally was just confirmed. I'm going to be in Rhode Island at the beginning of March for a computer science education conference. And we're making a little, a little get lab photo booth for people to show up and take a picture with our little DevOps school bus because we're cute. But I'm excited to be going to a conference with my boss this semester. And it's funny because like, business thinks in quarters, but schools thinking semesters, and so this semester, because I'm in education, I'm looking to actually be on campus, at least to university. So that's something I'm starting to put together, it's going to be kind of cool to show up and teach some students how to make either a twitter bot or a discord bot or something so they can see how they can use GitLab for their work and their play. You know, making Twitter bots is just fun, pure fun. So love it.
Brandon Minnick 6:50
I mean, I don't think it was around when I was in college, but it didn't really didn't teach us anything about source control. Think back then it was SVN. Which we don't have to talk about that.
Pj Metz 7:06
Well, listen, today's show is a great one. And it's a guest that I was personally very excited to have on we got to stream previously myself and this guest on I believe that pulumi twitch channel where I was said, I'm learning Python. And our guests said, Well, you should come on and show some Python and build a twitter bot live and I was like, Oh, I'm not there yet. But we did it anyway and we did. We basically crowdsource the whole thing. And immediately people in the chat started pulling merge requests on the file to fix some problems. But I'd love to introduce welcome to the stream everybody. Matty Stretton. Hey. Oh, look at all the sound effects. I have a soundboard that I never
Brandon Minnick 7:54
used. Does it have lasers?
Matty Stratton 7:57
No, I Well, it could. I never used it. I mostly used it for the, you know, sort of rim shot and applause and grown. You know, lasers are a good move, though. Yeah, I've got this one. Oh, well, so how did I get here? This is apparently I was reading the other days everyone was like, So where did that come from? And like, there's not like everyone just started referencing it. But it's not actually from something. It's like conceptually, like not that exact implementation, but like, and I think what everybody would think in their head is that it would be saved by the bell. Because it's like very Zack Morris like timeout. But that's Yeah, but that's not what time at the you know, yeah, that's a, I think, Ferris Bueller. Right. But that doesn't really happen. It never stops. He just he just does what fourthwall breaks, right, you know, talks to us. Oh, you know what, you know what it makes me think of actually, you know what, it's, it's funny because you're gonna think it's like an 80s comedy thing. But you know what that really is? Is it's frickin Goodfellas about how Goodfellas starts. Oh my God, it is right. It's it's the freeze frame. And he's like, as long as I could remember I've always wanted but you know, so it's yeah, like
Brandon Minnick 9:20
oh, this resolved? Yeah, heard it. Maybe here. No. Yeah, it's been gonna tell us all along. Yes.
Matty Stratton 9:30
As always has been you did the astronaut me Right, right. Stretch is really good fellows. Always has been mean for me, Brendan. Go make it. Work to do. Maddie. Uh, tell us who you are. What you do. You got you got the screen. It's yours. Now tell us all about Oh, geez. All about myself. Okay, well, we'll do this a little bit at a time. So currently, um, so my name is Mandy. threatened like Job wise, because we define ourselves by our job clearly, I'm a staff developer advocate at pulumi. We do infrastructure as software, you can talk about gloomy stuff at some point, I've been been here almost a year now, which is nuts. I have, you know, I know we like to talk about stories and origin stories stuff. So I'm gonna, you know, kind of treat this a little lightly. But I. So I basically worked in Technology Operations for a couple decades and then kind of came over to the vendor side. And so when I've been on the vendor table, I was at chef, for a fair amount of time I've been at pager duty, I was at Red Hat, and I'm at pulumi been part of the DevOps movement for a long time. I always feel like I'm new to it. But every year, the percentage of time that I've been part of DevOps is a greater percentage. We'll talk a little bit of that, but the I'm a global Chair of DevOps days, I started and continue to run the, the one that's here in Chicago, big believer in the DevOps community and the DevOps movement. And now I'm at pulumi, because I, you know, I really dig in for code. And all of this comes, you know, I've said before, it's kind of a fun, fun thing. Those of you if you're in developer relations, and you're single one of the hardest things is how do you explain to a potential date what your job is? It's a Yeah, and the end result is nobody actually cares that much about how detailed you are you don't have to explain it that well. But I usually say hey, I worked in ops for 20 years and now they pay me to talk about it so
Brandon Minnick 11:33
that's perfect. I still struggle to tell my parents what my job is. Friends
Pj Metz 11:39
I work in tech and then I'm like, but like I'm not don't worry like I don't have like a puffy vest or anything right yeah no Patagonia Yeah, I do how you can't get those anymore they had to go to Patagonia won't do branded shit anymore. Ah that's what I heard they're like no we don't we don't really do that. Dang Alright, well Patagonia if you if you want anything branded you got to do it yourself kids so get your iron on patches out like it's
Brandon Minnick 12:10
North Face if you're listening we are still looking for sponsorships That's right we do an eight bits Northwest north
Pj Metz 12:18
northwest North by Northwest
Matty Stratton 12:31
I told you this would be better with a live audience it is it is the audience you need to you need to get a I you need like not Don Pardo sounding but like a recording at the beginning. That's like eight bits is recorded in front of a live studio audience. You know how far it I can? Yeah, yeah. No, but we'll save it. That's for the Patreon. You'll get my There we go. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 12:56
That's right. So So Maddie, let's let's go way back because we were chatting a bit before the show. And you mentioned that theater was a big part of early life, maybe it still is. So take us back there and share with us how did a path through the theater get you into now working with tech and computers?
Matty Stratton 13:20
Yeah. So I definitely sort of nothing ever goes the way that I expect and that's, you know, what they say life is thing that happens when we make other plans. So when I was when I was in school, I you know, got very involved with theater, loved acting, love directing, and my initially I went to college, you know, for for theater undergrad, and as I but I also always have loved technology, you know, going all the way back to when I remember being in second grade. And we had the apple two's you know, at the elementary school and this is, you know, by the way just for everybody listening like you don't have to have this like old school dork origin story that I do do well in tech. This is not like my bonafides I just think it's funny. Um, so back in those days, like I remember in the in the Chicago Tribune, which was like our paper, you know, like in the in the Sunday funnies in the comics, there was like a section that was like about computers, and they would have like, basic program like programs in basic that were printed in the comics, right? In the Sunday comics. So I remember I would cut them out, bring them to school and you know, type them in and to do these programs and stuff. And that's sort of how I you know, I just thought that was fun. My dad always had Apple computers and stuff and so I kind of would play around with that and and so I but I would say if you look at like my senior bio for the theater club in high school, it said it was like where do you see yourself in 10 years? mindset something like either a successful but miserable computer programmer or a unsuccessful but happy actor. And the reality was it was neither of those it was a disgruntled system administrator because, you know, at the time nobody I mean, like nobody nowadays people will be like, Yeah, I want to be an SRE when I grew up or whatever, like nobody wanted to be a sysadmin. Like, back in my day of sysadmin stuff like, anybody I worked with an ops in the 90s, in the early 2000s. Like, their origin story was always there from the military, or I was a geology major, and I had to get a real job and whatever, like nobody went to school to be a sysadmin. Right. We all just sort of became them.
But anyway, so I went to school for theater, and I ended up dropping out of college, I ended up dropping out of college twice. The first time I dropped out was as a theater major, and I needed to get a job. And I ended up going to work for this. Like, it was like an apple service centers, this little company called Glen Ellyn Computer Services here in the Chicago suburbs. I went there. And it was like, a just to, I was fixing computers. But they also we're an ISP. And this was like 1995. So I learned HTML, because it was just like, we had to sort of know a couple things. And I got a job as a webmaster at this company called Midwest computer works, which at the time, was the biggest competitor to CW there was a time that if nobody has ever heard of Midwest computer works anymore. And this is when it was all mailorder. Right. So like, it was a big deal to move to online. So like, I remember, having to learn how to write like a shopping cart in Perl, you know, and all this stuff. And this was blah, blah, blah. I just kept sort of stumbling my way around. And let's be 100% Clear. It's a lot easier to stumble around and be successful in tech when you look like me. Yeah, I mean, like, Yeah, but a lot of things. My career has been very serendipitous, which I think is a lot true for a lot of us if you know you never know your your plans, like the junctions. If you ever played that game about how did I get to the PGA like that record scratch? Okay, how did I get here, and I, I ended up spending a fair amount of time in the Windows world, and I never knew windows, like when I was growing up, we didn't have PCs, it was all Apple and stuff I didn't know. And then when I went to school, we were using Unix systems. I didn't know shit about Windows. But when I was doing Apple work, a lot of these graphic design companies or graphic, you know, graphic shops, they would the designers all use MAC's, but then they would have this like Windows NT machine is their rip station. So Windows NT existed in my world, so I sort of had to learn it a little bit. And then I kind of fell into a job at a system integrator. And they paid for me to get my MCSC and learn all that and it just and then that became 10 years of a Windows sysadmin. And God bless me having to manage SharePoint and stuff, right? Like and it was all because of one random thing. And I always love tracking back to like this inflection that happens. So I wouldn't be sitting here. There's two points what I mentioned in the greenroom time, I'm going to mention in a second because I think it's fun, but one that goes way back. So, so much of my history and why I'm doing the job that I do why I'm where I am, is because I decided to get involved in theater in high school, which was a little bit of a whim. Now what had happened is I joined our speech team, some schools call it forensics, because my buddy was like, Hey, I get extra credit and speech class. If I go to this meeting, will you go with me and I went to the fun. And I, you know, got assigned. This is when I was like a sophomore. I was doing duet acting was the event that I got assigned into right or that I tried out for and they said, Okay, we're gonna have you do and actually, the scene we did was from the producers I just remembered, which was the opening scene of the producers with Bialystok and bloom and I played Leo bloom. But the guy that I was matched up with was a senior and he was very involved in theater. And, you know, after we'd been practicing and stuff, and something came up long story short about what how were we going to practice together over Christmas break? And there was theater Fest was happening where everybody goes down state, it's a big thing. And my partner said something about,
you know, I couldn't do this time because of theater fest. And our coach said, Matt, are you going to be at theater fest? And my partner said, why would he be going? And I was like, Oh, it's on like John bar, right? And so I decided to try out for the play and do all that and that got me into theater and then that's how I met my first wife. Like all sorts of stuff happened when I went down that and so I'm like, This guy was like a jackass, but I guess I got to thank him. Because I wouldn't have like that I would have that divergent. There's an alternate universe, right? There's a diverse thing where that's not me. And I went and ended up getting an MBA right? A theater through spite. Okay, so the other important part of my career has come from spite as well. Um, so a few years ago, I was, you know, I sort of towards the beginning of DevOps, I was at the beginning of DevOps days, the beginning of the days of DevOps. I was an organization, and I wanted us to start implementing it for code. I was like, let's do this chef thing. And so I propose that and I had been running the tech ops team, I'd been moved into an architect role. And somebody else had sort of taken over. And he didn't have a whole lot of respect for me or my team, as we found out. And I was like, so I sort of put together a proposal. I'm like, I think we should, you know, investigate, we should implement chef and let's get going. And, you know, he was like, oh, no, this will take us a year to get implemented and 10s of 1000s of dollars in training, and no, no, no, this is just too much for your team. So I was like, All right. So over the course of a couple of weeks, like in my evenings and weekends, I wrote a few chef cookbooks to handle not all of our infrastructure, but a fair amount. And I kind of turned up with it and was like, Hey, man, this wasn't me, this isn't done. But like this is, you know, this wasn't that hard. And then like three to four weeks later, my job was eliminated. But because of that, I went and got more involved in the DevOps community went and worked for a consulting company doing cloud and DevOps. And again, if that didn't happen, you know, so I was said, I learned chef out of spite, but if you know, this person hadn't let me go or late like I wouldn't be I would not be sitting here today, talking to you all. So anyone who's watching this, I'm sorry that that happened.
Brandon Minnick 21:49
Don't spite Mattie cuz yeah, you might inspire him to solve world hunger. That's
Pj Metz 21:55
right. Yeah. I'm pretty sure I know how to build a car that doesn't. Definitely doesn't know how to give me $20,000. How often Brandon, how often do we talk about that path? And how strange that path can be for people on this show? It comes up all the time.
Brandon Minnick 22:20
It it is. It's super common. And that's one thing I found is you use set goals, but keep them flexible. Because you never really know where you're gonna end up. You never know what opportunities are going to pop up. I mean, if the pandemic had never happened, I don't think I ever would have started coding and streaming with PJ. And here we are 50 Plus episodes into a podcast.
Pj Metz 22:51
It's true. And I know especially that like, the only reason I am involved in tech right now is because you said, You know what I do is kind of like teaching. You just have to learn how to code. So I was like, All right, sure. And the fact that I even met you even though we went to the same college, we never met at the same college. I only met you because I was dating someone who when they graduated, moved to Melbourne, Florida, and you got one job offer in Melbourne, Florida after you graduated. So we just happen to be in the same town in the same group of friends. And here I am with like, amazing things. I thought with tech money behind me. Like, thanks, fete. It's awesome.
Brandon Minnick 23:39
Yeah, and I think it also goes to show and that's kind of the the ethos of this, of this show of eight bits, right is to demonstrate all these various paths to get into the tech community to whether it's you learn to code on your own, you get a degree, there's really no one prescribed path. And, and there's really no one prescribed start date. So you could be mid career, like Vijay was a high school teacher for over 10 years, learn to code and here we are. Whereas my path was more of the traditional route. But you don't have to do that anymore. Anybody can do it. You can do it.
Matty Stratton 24:25
I think it's a really good thing to point out too is that because we tend to focus and amplify like the quirky stories and the non traditional stories and everything but like the traditional story is just as valid like you don't have to have a like, super obscure origin story to be awesome. Attack. Yeah, I said, I went I got my degree, I did this thing. I went and I did an internship. I just went through the traditional path and you know what, you are just as awesome just the same way that like, as you know, I referenced before I'm like, we all love to tell the stories about iron, you know, I you know, interrupts and having to configure modem boards and, you know, we all get grumpy about this stuff. And it's not, it can feel gatekeeping. And I would never tell someone to not feel a certain way. But the reason is because these things are just like, kind of funny, or creative or there it's of interest, but it doesn't mean it's the only right thing. Right? So, um, and the other place where it's funny, I was think about this, though I was like, somebody not too long ago. And we're, I think we're putting together like a talk proposal. I was like, I feel like non traditional is the new traditional, in a way, like, which I think is that I thought about that. I'm like, I bet the numbers don't back that up. Because you know, but because of what we talked about. So here's my analogy. It's like a DevOpsDays. analogy. So when we think about one of the core concepts of DevOps, we talked about this idea of comms, its culture automation, lean measurement, and sharing. And you'll feel like it seems like we talk about culture way more than we talk about anything else. And it's like, does that mean it's the most important? And it's like, no, it's just the one that we have to make people pay attention to, I don't have to convince engineers to play with automation tools, they're just gonna do that. That's fine. But are the same thing where it's like, Why do we always talk about empathy? Why are we not talking about them? Like, because that part you don't have to be told about? You already know, right? So like, we we on one hand, so we want to amplify these non traditional stories. But it doesn't mean it's more that we just sort of have to talk about them more so that they're heard, but it's to get them to be heard as much as the traditional ones that already are normalized. But I just, yeah, want it to be fair that like, you don't have again, you don't have to have an amazing exmon worthy origin story. Attack, right? You can, you know, and you can just show up and do your shit and clock out at the end of the day. And that's here anymore. And that's awesome to just, you know, yeah. I think that there's, there's a, I think it's that everyone has an interesting path, whether you took the traditional path into tech or not, like Brandon says, His, his path was traditional, but he wasn't really doing a lot. He was doing some rack and stack stuff at the company he worked out before, and he was doing some communication stuff. But it's still very different from where he ended up. So like, yeah, traditional in the sense of the right degree. But sometimes these left turns come out, like I don't think Brandon was ever like, and I'm gonna end up in San Francisco, and I'm definitely gonna be writing and Xamarin. And it's gonna happen. It's, it's the, the non traditional paths need to be highlighted and validated. But traditional paths, you're valid too. And your story and your way that you get here is a good story. Because the reasons we get into things is very, you know, it's intensely personal. As I stumbled through that sentence, like, that you got into tech is related to theater, which came to you out of spite, because a lot of theater is built out of spite like you don't you don't go to a bunch of late night Rocky Horror Picture, show showings without building a little bit of spice somewhere. Um, but I think that you're you're absolutely right. I think there's a there's a focus on non traditional roles, because I think that historically, it's been excluded. But you said, I don't know that the data backs it up. I think I just read recently that something like around like 42% of working developers have either gone through a boot camp or are self taught, oh, like, those numbers are shifting and changing. And the companies are taking notice. And I do think in what we all do in dev rel more likely to see non traditional roles to get to Dev Rel specifically. I couldn't get to see that because you because it's a non. It's a non traditional role. That's what that's what I started getting that right. Like, it's not really part of your pattern. And it's, it's, this is a whole other topic that I can and have ranted about and the
because I part of why the non traditional I think, is helpful and it doesn't even have to be non traditional in that like no I you know, I said I said on a webinar last week, it was like, you know, Dev Rel or empathy engineers, right? And so this is where, why interesting and different backgrounds across your team are really powerful because there's no one type of person of user that You have one type of consumer, right? So, um, and I think that it, it's not impossible to have empathy for someone if you haven't lived their life, but it's a lot easier. And I've said this before, you know, I say I do Dev Rel uneasy mode. When I do Dev Rel for ops, because I was in the shit for 20 years. Like, I don't have to work hard to have empathy for people that have a rough time in OPS, like it's there, and 20 years ago was definitely an absolute battlefield. But it's interesting, because there's a thing and this is where I'm going to tread lightly, because it's gonna start to sound a little gatekeeping. And I don't mean it that way. There are certain types of Dev Rel that is very, very hard to do if you haven't actually done the job. And I don't mean because you don't have the technical skill. And I don't even mean that you can't own it. There's, this is this was also the example I'm going to give in this. And this is by the way, that doesn't mean that all Deborah's, that's true, because another statement that Maddie has made many times is DevRel contains multitudes, everybody does not do the same thing, or bringing the same strength. So that's the important part to remember, it doesn't mean you can't do DevRel if you haven't done it, but there's a style that works, that's a lot easier to do, just by having it. So I'm going to bring this back to a sales engineering reference. But it'll be similar. So when I was at chef, before I was doing dev rally things in the world, I was a sales edge, right? And so who are we selling to? We're selling to ops people. And so two little things about that. One was, I, you know, the rep that I work that I was partnered with all the time, you know, like, she said to me, once, she said, you know, she's a match, like, this happens all the time, we go into this room. And she's like, you know, I see all the ops people are sitting back, you can't see me crossing my arms if you're listening to the podcast, but they're sitting back in their chairs, with their arms crossed, when we start, and a few minutes in, they all start leaning in and listening to you. And I said, you know why? Because I made a joke about system D. Right? I gave the Shibboleth that was like, we're, I've done this. Yeah, you know, and it doesn't mean you have to do that. So where that connected though, is we had someone on our team, who was a awesome sales ENTJ. But like, he was younger and didn't have a lot of experience. And it just was he couldn't like it was nothing against him. And actually, now he's done this, he could do this amazingly, you know, years later, but like, he couldn't have done the job the way that I did it. And it would have been unfair to expect that, right? Because it's like, hey, the way you reach them as in a different way. And the same thing is true with with like dev rel. So like, I come from this, like, I've been on the journey. So I can put, I can talk to you in the way of someone who's been on the journey, you don't have to have been on the journey to understand someone's journey. It's just easier if you have so it like so many other ways. I do things on easy mode, right? I'm doing Dev Rel on easy mode, because what I choose to do Dev Rel for is a lived experience of mine, you know, you know so but there's other again, it contains multitudes. And I think that's one of the things that we have to start to learn about this is that, like, your teams don't scale horizontally. And I know this isn't a DevRel podcast. So you know, we don't have to go. That's a whole other thing that I have thoughts about, but like, you can't expect everybody on your team to have the same thing. We're T shaped or M shaped, you know, where that where that comes. And I think that's an overall better thing for us to understand in our teams. And that goes back to the non traditional because of that, it means your your team is more robust, because you've had different backgrounds. You think about things differently, you have a different perspective, you have a different context. So it's just funny, I just, it's stupid Whitney just right. So remember what I was talking about? Not I was talking to someone about non traditional being the new traditional IT WAS Whitney. So she missed it when I said that, because I think she just joined the stream now. So anyway, shout out to Whitney, who is a great example of, by the way, if you had Whitney on the show. Oh, not yet. You need to write it down.
Brandon Minnick 34:18
Welcome to the show.
Matty Stratton 34:22
I make another recommendation for you as well. Annie Hedgepeth. So I think she's still at hashey Corp. She has a great story. So I'll, anyway, yeah, always. Yeah, I love people that have fun stories, right? Like both because it's inspirational, but also, because it's interesting. Again, no offense to anybody who's like I knew, you know, like, I knew I got a computer science degree. I went out and did this. That's great. You're interesting for other reasons. Just not that. So. That's fantastic. You mentioned DevOps podcasts that this is not and you're right. This is not a DevOps podcast. But I've heard rumors whispered across the great oceans that you have a DevOps podcast. I do. So this this has a fun store origin story too. And this is people are usually tired of hearing stories about this stuff. But that's what the show is about. So anyway, so I have a podcast called the rest of DevOps. And here's a little bit of it's first of all, we are to the best of my knowledge. Someone could correct me the longest running still active DevOps podcast. So there were shows before us about DevOps, they have pod faded. That's fine. They had the time they did the thing they needed to do. There definitely have been shows that have come after us. That might be more popular. But we're still we're still around. People been counting us out for years. Wait, how does that go? Come on. PJ, you got it for me like, ah, hold on. Yeah. This one? Oh, no, not that. I was trying to get the rap lyric. There's a rap lyric. I want Whitney. I'll get it for me. Like, oh, wait. Oh, no. Uh, oh, no, I like okay, well, we'll find it. Okay, what's next, like conscious rap right now? I'm sorry. Anyway. So here's sort of the story about arrested DevOps. It's kind of fun, I think. So it started with I was gonna write a blog. And I needed a name. And my friend Jess, who doesn't work in tech at all. She's the one who coined the name arrested DevOps, which is amazing. And I was like, What am I gonna do with it? And then I was like, Well, I was like, I want to do a podcast. And my intent was, so the way that I learned about DevOps, the way I learned DevOps at first was through podcasts, through listening to DevOps cafe, or the ship show or food fight. But the problem was, like, none of those shows were built around the idea that you were new, nothing against them. But like, I learned it through osmosis, right? You know, I'd be like, I don't know what you're talking about. But I'm gonna listen to your shows enough. Over time, I'm going to understand what Continuous Delivery means or whatever, blah, blah, blah. So I was like, Alright, I want to do a show. That is for the person who knows nothing about DevOps, who like the joke was always my boss right about DevOps in the in flight magazine and told me to do it. Because apparently, there's lots of articles in you know, horizons magazine about DevOps, and AI. Now, if you're a listener of the show, you know that that's not really what our show turned into. Because one thing is you can't control your audience. We started to have people that would be listening to the show, I'm like, why are you listening to the show, you should be on the show. And so, but I reached out to you, I wanted an accountability partner, because I'm very good at starting things, and not very good at continuing them. So there's a guy that I had met at an Azure meetup here in Chicago, named Trevor and I was like, hey, and he was more of a, you know, a coder, a software engineer, also, quite a bit younger than I am. So different generation, so to speak. And we're like, let's do this show together. And so we kind of started doing it. And it, yeah, it just sort of progressed over the years, we've, you know, added more hosts and gotten more people involved. And, you know, I remember if you're one of my favorite podcasts is greater than code, which I don't know, if you are any of your listeners are familiar with. And so just to try and who's one of the hosts of greater than code, I met her at redeploy a few years ago. And I was just sort of like total fanboy, because like, I love her talks. I love her on greater than code. And she said something to me about like, oh, we should we're having lunch. And she's like, we should have you on greater than code. I'm like, Oh, my God, right, you know, when you get to be on when your favorite shows. And then I was sort of, like, you know, I have a podcast. And, you know, I got her to come on the show. And like, right after, she's like, I had such a great time. And then she's like, if you're ever looking for more hosts and stuff, I'm like, yes, yes. Yes. So yeah. So so, you know, just to try and is one of our hosts. And it's like, we just we keep going so I, you know, we it's about every about twice a month. It's very practitioner oriented, you know, like we
I don't know, and it's I every now and again, I kind of think about is it too much do we you know, but it's, I feel like we're part of part of the community. And, you know, what gets me is anytime I guarantee any time I'm like, I'm done. It's time for us to be done with the show. Then you get that like message on LinkedIn or you get the Twitter DM, that's like, oh, I learned this thing and it changed my job or I mean, we get that a lot and it's, it's a, it means a lot. So also that being said, As hard as it is for me to take a compliment. I will tell you if there's anyone who's created content, who does this show who does the thing that's had an impact on you? Tell them, even if you just tell them a little bit, because it's, it means the world. Yeah, and keeping the people who are creating content that you enjoy, whether it's a podcast, whether it's a stream, whether it's a show, whatever it is, if they're creating something that you like, tell them, shout them out, tag them, like, those little tiny things. If you're, you know, if you're around in the stream all the time, or if you're always listening to podcasts, like promote it, because like, it makes the creators know that it's that it's working, it's reaching someone, you know, on that note, I believe, we need to take a second to take an ad break, one of our famous advertisers wants to tell you all about a great product. I if you're hearing my voice, that means you've been listening to or watching eight bits with Brandon and PJ, and we're here to talk to you about your product. And how it can help you in your life by to do whatever your product does. So if you're an avid listener of the show, or you watch us on Twitch, then you will know that your product, your product is right for you.
Brandon Minnick 41:28
That's right. If you have anything you'd like to promote, feel free to reach out to us. You can find us at Hello at eight bits.tv via email, you can find us on Twitter at eight bits pod. Let us know we'd be happy to chat and share your goods with the world.
Pj Metz 41:48
That's right. Fantastic. I get excited every time that little ad break runs. Because like I keep noticing little things in the video that I like like most of what I like is that I can tell I recently had a haircut and that video so my hair I thought I thought it was gonna be the opposite, where you're gonna say every time you see a thing you wish you did different, which is more how I live my life now. 2022 and I'm living positively dammit. I had a I had a talk that I gave a lot in mostly in 2019. And it was funny because you know, you give the talk a lot. Everyone's like, okay, but like, again, especially in non virtual, it's like most people don't go to like 20 conferences a year. So most people don't see it all the time. But some of your friends on the circuit do and so like so like Aaron aldric had seen that talk like a ton of times he always liked it always said nice things. But there's one slide that had a typo in it. And every time I'd hit the slide, I would go, Oh shit, I haven't fixed this typo. And it happened enough that we were about I think it was like DevOpsDays Nashville. I was sitting in the audience next to Aaron and I was gonna like my talk was gonna be next. And he goes oh, hey, he's like, quick. Did you did you fix a typo? What? Oh, shit. You're right. Okay, good. Awesome. Oh my god.
Brandon Minnick 43:09
So. So Maddie, we were chatting earlier about how there's different paths to get into tech, and all of them are absolutely valid. But I'm curious. If somebody for somebody who's listening right now says like, wow, like, This guy used to be a teacher. This guy used to be in theater, and I don't really have any of that. But I still want to get into tech. But I don't have the degree. Maddie, where do I start? What advice would you give him?
Matty Stratton 43:41
Okay, well, I'm gonna 100% temper this again with it. I am a sis hat white dude. So my advice is to be taken in that my personal experience is different and is easier. But that said, I think the if someone's like, Okay, I don't know how to get into this thing, like the industry in general is where it's something where I don't I don't have a lot of like, I don't think there's one wrong way to do it is what I mean. Like, it's also I guess what I'm what I'm getting at is like, find some way to get your foot in, right? Like, even if you're like, I don't know, if I want to be a front end developer or as SRE or whatever. It's like, the good news is you don't need to know that right away. Right? Like, who's something right, you know? And I would imagine, that's where again, sort of the same thing if someone's like, Hey, I think infrastructure is really interesting. There aren't really a lot of infrastructure boot camps. But you know what, like a coding boot camp might not be a bad idea because it could get you in that place. And one of the hardest parts I think, I think it is hard to break into, quote, infrastructure, because that really interesting infrastructure challenges happen at a scale that you can't just sort of teach yourself Right, you know, so you kind of have to come up in a different way, you know, like, like do some other work. But then thankfully, because of the world we live in now with DevOps and with, you know, greater areas, like, you can be a front end developer that's also interested in infrastructure and sort of do that along the way and where that comes, so it's a little bit easier, I want to say easier, but there's less of a, of a of a rut that you that you go into. And now you're following it, because you made this decision early on, you were an enterprise developers. So now you just start stuck with Java for the rest of your life write like, a horror story. Yeah. Um, I think, yeah, I guess that's the one thing I just want to be really cautious because I think there are people who are better equipped to give better advice to under index people than I am. So the best advice, you know, sort of tongue in cheek is like, be born a white dude. Right. That's, that's how I did it. Right. Um, but that sucks. So, but that doesn't mean you can't, but this is the only way that I can tell you how to follow my experience. Um, I think that the don't try to do things alone. That's the other thing too. I think if you have when you're trying to just anything, if you have not just the countability partner, but it's just it's also it's more fun to learn with other people. And it doesn't even mean even if it's informal, but like if you know, people, if you have friends that are like, I'm kind of interested in like these study buddies, so to speak, do co challenges together, because also, that is going to, you can't really show that in a in your resume that that gave you that skill. But that collaborative skill of getting used to working together is powerful. And then that can lead you into some some stuff. I think, learning in the open, I will tell you this, that's another interesting way. And everyone's not comfortable with it. But I had recommended, you know, one of the people I'd recommend to be on the show is Annie Hedgepeth. And Annie, I'm one of the main ways she got involved in tech was learning in the open she she has a non traditional background, she wanted to learn something and she decided to learn to be open. And she did such a good job of being that that her. So I'll tell you what she wanted to learn in spec, which is a you know, policy as code testing language. And it wasn't really well known. There wasn't a lot of Doc. So Annie, as she was learning going through, she documented everything she did in our blog. And for the longest time, I just don't know if this is still true. But for years, the official inspect documentation basically just linked to Andy's blog. They're like, you just did this better. And then because of that, you know, so learning in the open is way easier to do these days than it ever has been with streaming with blogging with whatever and you'll get people that will help you. And it helps you then you have something to point to as well, right. Like, you know, so so maybe that's a fun thing to do is you know, get some some friends and be like we're gonna work through some training like PJ's, that's what PJ was doing with Python, right? You know, on your stream. Like, you know, that's that's one thing. And yeah, maybe it'll make you learn that you like doing this kind of thing. And maybe you'll want to do, you know, training, education, deverill, stuff like that, because you're like, that was actually more fun than the thing I built.
Pj Metz 48:29
Something you said in that response that really struck me was, you don't have to know exactly what you're gonna do. You just have to get started. And I think someone who's who's just deciding they want to do tech, and they're like, Okay, I just learned that there's a bunch of different jobs, but they find a job that seems interesting, based on the description, a couple articles they've read, they're like, Okay, but how do I become blank. And it's almost like, Well, don't worry about necessarily how you become blank. If you are over here and you haven't like started written a Hello World yet. Knowing that I've got to get some basics in here, I've got to start learning something, the path towards blank will start to open up as you start to develop just tech skills and stuff like that. And I can't say enough good things for learning in the open because that's what I did. When I was learning C sharp, I did it on Twitch. When I was learning dotnet I did it with Brandon and Brandon learned that right alongside me. He hadn't used a ASP dotnet core before. And he was like, we're gonna build a website. Well, I was like, Let's build a website. He was like, Well, I'm a Xamarin developer, but Okay, let's do this. And we worked on it together. And we would just sit there for you know, about two hours a week working on stuff and making mistakes and breaking our database and calling errors that we couldn't fix for three hours and but it was this great experience of one learning how to collaborate to showing other people the work you're doing Like you said, it creates a it creates a record of what you've done that can be extremely useful.
Brandon Minnick 50:07
Absolutely and, and also love the idea of essentially announcing and sharing with the world what you're doing. So what the example that came to my mind was I'm I'm currently training for the Napa Valley marathon, which is in just a couple of weeks now, which is kind of terrifying. But it's, it's just me training on my own. But I've told so many people that I'm training for a marathon, that if it doesn't happen, I feel like I've let those people down. And I'm sure they'll still be proud of me. Either way. But yeah, like, Sunday, Superbowl Sunday, here in the US, I had to do a 22 mile training run. And I could barely sleep that night, because I was so anxious, nervous, I didn't want to do it. But that that was my motivation for going it was like, I know, I, I've told people about what my goals are for this marathon, I want to try and run it at an eight minute mile pace, which I've never done before. And if I want to do that, then I've got to wake up at 6am on Sunday to go this 22 mile run. You can almost essentially inspire yourself just by sharing your goals with your friends, family, on the internet, wherever, because everybody's cheering you on, and they want you to be successful.
Pj Metz 51:39
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So we talked about, just get just get involved. And we talked about that the path towards that specific job within tech isn't necessarily it's, it's important to have your goals set and have that like, focus on what you want to do. But there is no like you said, there's no, there's no class for being like, I mean, there's no like DevOps class. Really. There's no degree in DevOps, there's no not yet not in some places. But also, you may change your mind, because as you come in, you now know more about different things. So you you want to have you want to begin with the end in mind, but understand that it can be fluid, right? Like, we sort of, you know, not to get the thing, but there's always like, remember, what was the big thing that everybody you know, got all you know, about John Kerry? Oh, he's a flip flopper. And you're like, Wait, you mean, they changed, he changed his mind his mind with new, new information. So that can happen, like be dedicated and committed to your goal. But as you learn more things, Mm hmm. You know, cuz the map is not the territory, right? You know, so like, we have an understanding, I'll put it this way. It's not just about people that are new. This happens all the time. So I used to do my job at Red Hat, it was around, sort of like, you know, cultural transformation, and especially with government agencies, but that was neither here nor there on that last part. But one of the things that would be funny is, you know, you would ask someone to like how they would rate themselves, like you're like, okay, in these areas, and people will be like, Oh, we're a five out of five. And you're like, but because you only know that it can go so far. But wait, yeah, there's this whole more that can be right. And Dr. Nicole Forsgren had a great she's she's talked about this multiple times about why why Nicole and I agree with her wide maturity models are not great because they have a maturity model implies an end state. And she she gave this MC did a couple of her talks where she sort of talks about the map, like if you play World of Warcraft, right? Like, how big as Roth is continually changing, right? Like three, expansion, that map gets bigger, and there's more things, right. But if you're at the beginning, you don't know. Right? So like, you know, again, think about me, like, you know, right in that bio in 1993, where I was like, I was gonna be a you know, what do you call it a computer programmer, cuz it was the only thing I knew you could pewters that was it. Yeah, I mean, to be fair, that might have been all there was so I mean, well, when you're young, also, the only jobs you know, are like baseball player, astronaut, marine biologist. Fine. Like that was it?
Brandon Minnick 54:30
I wanted to be a ninja turtle when I grew up. Yep, sadly, still hasn't happened.
Pj Metz 54:34
Yeah, I was gonna say there's still times where this is this branch is gonna lead you.
Brandon Minnick 54:40
Yeah. Well, so one of the thing I like about that idea is just, you know, get started on your journey, because you you don't really know what we're where you'll end up. My first internship in it taught me that I didn't want to work in it. And that's okay. And So, I got I got a little lucky because it was just a summer internship. So I knew in three months this was going to be over. But I respect people who work in it so much because it is a thankless job. Nobody contacts it, because they want to say thank you. They contact it because they're mad at you for maybe something they did, and maybe something I configured wrong on their computer. Sure. But yeah, nobody's happy when they call it. It's a very thankless job. So make sure to thank your IT worker every now and again,
Matty Stratton 55:36
I was just gonna say so just like we talked about, like the content creator. So it reminded me when I was at apartments, calm, my colleague who like I, you know, I was director of, you know, tech ops, and then my colleague who ran like data ops stuff for us, he was like, you know, so Hal was always like, Matt, like, how come you always have a new laptop, or you get the new phone or you get whatever. And I'm like, because at Christmas, I go down to the help desk, and I bring them cookies. And in the summer, I bring them homemade jam, and I treat them like people. I mean, it wasn't just driving, but it was like, I know them, and I know who they are. And I'm friends with them. And so it means that I'm like, But you, they only know you when you have a problem. So you're just another person, it doesn't mean that they don't do good work, but doesn't mean you have to bribe your help desk to get work done by again, just like the bar for being a non terrible dude. And tech is so low, the bar for treating your helpdesk your HR, the gate agent at the airport, all these people just don't be a jerk. Like, and you will be like a breath of fresh air. That's the thing. People are like, Oh, you're bribing. I was like, No, I'm just being nice. And I brought my co workers to Yeah. Like, you got to explain some of the spaces. It really is just, it's it's building good relationships. And that's what I've started to learn all DevRel is building honest, real, authentic relationships with people, be yourself connect with people. And on those connections, you can talk about work stuff, but the connections and the people come first. And that's true of DevOps, you said earlier, culture isn't the most important, but it's the one we got to teach you all the most about because you're resistant to it for some reason. It's culture. It's it's the people, right? Yes, be people be nice. You can't hear it on the podcast. But my shirt says Be kind to
Brandon Minnick 57:42
love it. So Maddie, we only have a couple minutes left. In You are a very, very busy man. So I want to make sure we share all the amazing things you're doing. We've we've talked about the podcast that you do. We've talked about DevOps days, what else are you're working on that we can share with the world.
Matty Stratton 58:01
So another thing so I just and maybe this is breaking news, I'll put this here. So for the last couple years, I've hosted an online game show called DevOps party games, we actually decided recently that we're not doing it regularly anymore. So we're going to keep doing it. Kind of here. And there. We do it as part of events. But still check out DevOps party games.com It's been super fun. I threatened I am sorry, I told PJ he could be on and that was right before we decided not to do it anymore. So we just do it can be on it's yes, we just do them more special events now rather than, you know, every month or whatever. Yeah, totally fine. Um, the other thing is, so I do from a work perspective. But still, it's fun. I do a stream at Twitch tv slash pulumi. I do that every Thursday. If you're listening to this, it's already happened in the past. But if you are watching the stream right now, I decided I just decided that this Thursday, I'm going to take my personal Hugo website and deploy it all with pulumi. And you know, just sort of do a static site build. I don't know how it's gonna go. I just gonna just sort of figure it out and have some fun. But yeah, go twitch.tv/pulumi Twitter is your best place to find out whatever nonsense I'm up to. I'm at. At Matt Stratton on Twitter. And yeah, DevOpsDays Chicago is hopefully coming up soon. I mean, it's hard to make any kind of plans, but go to devopsdays.org to see any upcoming DevOpsDays there's a lot that are going on. I'm excited to be back and I hope to see you all on the internet's Mm hmm. That's fantastic. Well, listen, you can follow us at a pit stop TV. Make sure to check out everything that Matt just told you about DevOps days, DevOps party, all the all the great stuff. And make sure to like and subscribe to us on YouTube so you can always see when we're on and live and we will see you all next time.