8 Bits with Michael Staib!

8 Bits with Michael Staib!
This week we chat with Michael Staib, Microsoft MVP, Author of Hot Chocolate and founder of Chili Cream. Join us as we learn about Michael's journey into tech!

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Pj Metz  2:01
limited edition. Limited Edition Music Intro

Brandon Minnick  2:11
we keep getting copyright claims,

Pj Metz  2:13
even though we use methods to do it. We did everything right and we are being unfairly.

Brandon Minnick  2:22
It's right. Well, you got the copyright and everything.

Pj Metz  2:26
Welcome to the show we're complaining.

Brandon Minnick  2:30
That's right. Yeah. Welcome back to ape. It's everybody, the show where we interview the people behind the tech. I'm your host Brandon Minnick. And with me as always, DJ, Matt's DJ.

Pj Metz  2:43
Listen, my weeks Great. It's only Tuesday. But I'm really excited because this is my last full week before I take some PTO for December. Because next week, so this is first off an exciting moment for me. For those of you who are just hearing me for the first time, I have a former high school teacher who got into tech in May of this year, after learning to code with a with Brandon and Chloe and the rest of the tech community on Twitter. Everyone helped me learn really, but I was afraid I'm like I'm getting out of teaching. I'm losing out on winter off. I'm losing out on summers off, I'm losing out on all this time off that comes to teaching. No, the company has unlimited PTO, and my boss was like, Hey, I'm taking two weeks at Christmas so I can spend the holidays with my family. I was like you we can do that. And she was like, yeah, like I'm not going to be here you should be here that was like this is greatness. Very

Brandon Minnick  3:45
Microsoft for December's are dormant. And basically, I've learned over the last couple years of working here that you just don't schedule anything for December you have any deadlines, or if you have any, like critical meetings and milestones. get them done before giving holiday here in the US, which is the end of November, or scheduled for January because yeah, yeah, we like to take a well deserved break. And even yesterday, my wife and I were chatting about look, what do we want to do? And so we've we've, we're doing a we're doing a road trip to somewhere warmer.

Pj Metz  4:29
Awesome. What's the address of where you're going to be staying so we can all find you.

Brandon Minnick  4:34
Yeah. My week's been good. But speaking of which, this is our last episode of eight bits for the year. So speaking of well deserved time off, we'll be back in full force in January. But stay tuned because we already have a bunch of amazing guests queued up.

Pj Metz  4:55
Absolutely, absolutely. Absolutely. And very excited for us. Today and like, I'm interested to get into it, I don't have a lot to talk about. I ran a half marathon. I'm showing it off here. gratulations. I've got the metal back here. Took me two hours and 50 minutes, I was out of 2000 plus participants, I was in the last 100 across the finish line. But look, I did it still counts. I can still say I ran it. And the only reason I bring it up is because I know branded, you also are training for one. I'm excited for that. That's an zet the Napa marathon.

Brandon Minnick  5:36
Napa Valley marathon in March. That's right.

Pj Metz  5:39
I might have to come out to support you in that just because I know how much a half marathon hurt and you're twice as much as me. So I need to be there to cheer for you and like meet you at all the spectator spots.

Brandon Minnick  5:51
That'd be awesome. I mean, yeah, after the show, I'm literally running after do a seven mile warmup. And then I do three to four miles at my training pace, which will be like seven minute 32nd mile or eight minute mile. So yeah, after you do a casual Seven Mile warm up. For those

Pj Metz  6:13
of you listening, you can't see but my eyes are the size of dinner plates right now, when he said seven mile warm up because the longest distance I ever ran and training for my half was seven. Because I'm bad. I'm bad at training. Drink monster energy drinks. And that's, you know, not good for me either. But

Brandon Minnick  6:35
yeah, yeah. I mean, for what it's worth, I don't I just Google, like how to train for a marathon. And usually, there's like a 16 week training program that you can just copy paste. And so I just I just blindly follow it. And in hopes that I'll be able to survive on marathon day.

Pj Metz  6:55
Yeah, man, I'm sure you're gonna be fine. Because you've got a you don't have the extra heft that I have. So it takes a lot more energy to push 270 pounds than it does to push you. You live athletic boy, you

Brandon Minnick  7:15
got the new Nikes. Oh, to help you cheat.

Pj Metz  7:19
Oh, is it the ones that are banned?

Brandon Minnick  7:22
I think they're technically legal. But rules were made after they were already used in like record setting races. So they kind of make them legal. And they're incredible. Like, you can feel it pushing you. And you kind of have to change your stride when you run with them to like, take full advantage of it. But once you figure it out, it's like you almost feel it's like Boyden boing boing.

Pj Metz  7:45
It is fears that the tech industry is taking this amazing places. And that leads me to think about a tech in general. And that's the point of the show, right, Brandon?

Brandon Minnick  7:57
Absolutely. And we have such a great guest to be a disservice to be chatting about ourselves any further. Our guest today I've known him for a couple years, we kind of live in same tech circles with mobile app development with Graph QL. But speaking of Graph QL, he is the founder of chili cream. One of the most well known companies for making Graph QL services in dotnet. Welcome to the show, Michael. Stay fed. Hi, guys. It's so so good to see you. For anybody that doesn't know Michael and I are actually just hanging out together in person. We got to see each other in Prague a couple weeks ago at a conference called Update. But Michael, for anybody who doesn't know you, who are you in? What do you do?

Michael Staib  8:48
Yeah, so who am I? Yeah, I'm Mike Stipe, as Brent already introduced me. And I'm a vivid dotnet developer for I would say, for the last 20 years. And I really love open source. So I'm an open source developer, and got actually into open source. Because of my brother, he dragged me into it doing free work for others. And, yeah, and then at some point, I met Graph QL for the technology, when Facebook introduced it, and started an open source project. And that's actually how I got into touch at one point with Brendan. Awesome.

Brandon Minnick  9:41
Yeah, let's do a quick describer cuz I'm sure we'll be talking about Graph QL a lot. For anybody who doesn't know Graph QL what what is it? And maybe, how does it compare to what we know is rest?

Michael Staib  9:59
Yeah, so Graph QL was introduced by a company called Facebook, I think most of us know this company. And they actually introduced Graph QL as a way to fix the issues that they had with their first mobile application. So when they initially released their Facebook apps for mobile, they got a lot of criticism. And, yeah, I remember these crappy apps, but do it the wrong way. They just just they just used what they know. So HTML and standard rest, cause they put this all together, essentially, in a browser frame in an app. Actually, what do you do today, a lot of mobile apps today are made with React or stuff like that. But what they found out is that back then it really didn't perform, because we had rubbish, 3g networks. And rest is not very optimized for the mobile use case, because we have these predefined. Pre predefined back back ends where we have predefined requests. And that means we in the end, will consume a lot more data than we actually need for our mobile devices. So that's when three developers in Facebook came up with something called Graph square, which essentially gives the consumer of API's the power to ask for what you want. So that's the short version of graph.

Brandon Minnick  11:41
Yeah, it's really that's that's why I, when I first thought, I fell in love with it, because as a mobile app developer, myself, I know the pains of having to a trust the users internet connection, users, cellular data plans are constantly switching between cell phone towers, especially if you're moving through the city on a bus, or maybe then you go underground on a train. Internet connections can't be trusted. And so you want to make as few internet requests as possible. And yeah, I remember the first time learning about Graph QL. Or I was like, wow, instead of making a dozen API requests, I can just make one. So my app loads faster. I use less of my user cellular data plan, like, yes, give it to me,

Michael Staib  12:33
is really important. If you, if you if you show it to front end developers, it's, it's it says it's us. So they just say just see it, try it a bit out. And then they say, Oh, I don't want to do anything else anymore. I'm just doing graph bear from now. But, but for back end developers, it's sometimes scary. It's like, okay, now everybody can ask for what they want. So everybody can arbitrarily grow in my backend. So people get a bit freaked. But it's actually not. not that scary when you get into it.

Brandon Minnick  13:11
Oh, I can. Yeah, I've heard the same, the same concerns. But talk about let's, let's let's zoom out a little bit, because Because Graph QL is definitely today somewhat zooming out. It's it's the future. We're on the video podcasts zooming out. Also, not just metaphorically. But uh, yeah, let's, let's go way back is Michael, you haven't been working on Graph QL your whole life. And on apex, we love to know, the people behind the tech and how you got into it. So if we go way back, when did you first start coding or getting into computers getting into tech?

Michael Staib  13:55
Yeah, I often think that's, that's different for my site. So I'm not 40. So I actually be going on my 42 now in the summer. So it's really different. Yeah, yes. On the 20 years since my birthday, so sent me a GitHub star as the president. That's right.

Pj Metz  14:20
Right, y'all. Right there. So you because earlier you said 20 years ago, right. So at 2022 is when you got started in tech. Did you start in that'd be college age. Did you get introduced to it in college back in the 90s? How I

Michael Staib  14:38
I have a zigzag way I would say. So I actually got into computers with around six because my my father was an engineer. And we we had these big IBM machines. And so I got into programming very early. Due to my farther, but into professional development, I get around 20. And in Germany, we have several ways to get into your job. So you don't have to have a college degree in the beginning. I actually started with something. How would we translate that into English, it's it's way actually learn on the job in the beginning. But it's more formalized, you have school school system, set their up and you, you learn computer science on the job. And I actually did my college way back after that in the evenings, so I'm not there to stay and not I didn't take the straight way into college

Pj Metz  15:57
fairs. The Straight Way is is the non zigzag way is, I think, the less fun path. Because oftentimes, it's that zigging and zagging that gives you something outside of everyone else's experience, that becomes what makes you not valuable, because like, you know, we're not commodities, but like, what gives you insight into things that you otherwise wouldn't? Like? You know, I'd say that Brandon, of the three of us might have the most straight line in the tech. But even he will tell you that no, I was over here and engineering. And I was over here on cruise ships working on Comm systems and I was doing server stuff that wasn't really quite what I do. Now, you know, that Zigzag is what I mean, if the journey if the point of a journey is to see things along the way, then the Zigzag is gonna make for a broader journey and nothing you bring more to the table. And so your experience, so I would say, you know, it sounds to me, it sounds like you're saying like, Oh, I I had to go here and then I had to go here that zigzag, that's fine. We like that, especially on this show. We love that.

Michael Staib  17:02
It's, it's the problem, I think, in today's world is that you expect a 20 year old to know what he wants to do. So I was 20. I was not sure if I really wanted to do computer science because this was a hobby for me. So I did it. And I essentially grew up at startup in, in Germany. So technical, technology wise, work wise, I grew up at a startup where just did it for fun, just programmed. And I didn't want to go to college yet because I thought I really wanted to work to mess around with stuff. And also do parties wants to do. So I took this this detour and dropped out of of my school back then went to that startup. And yeah, did a lot of work. Work there learned a lot. I have to say I learned a lot about how to start a company how to how to get projects done. I wouldn't say that I learned clean concepts. In the beginning it was more we need to get this feature out. We need to get this done. So you did did everything to just make things happen. But it's good to have experienced that.

Brandon Minnick  18:36
Absolutely. Yes. You mentioned when you were younger, I think you said six years old. Kind of got into computers with the help of your your engineering father. What What was that first computer? Do you remember? What you were working on?

Michael Staib  18:54
Wasn't not an IBM do at 16 I don't know if somebody knows that. Do it 6pm and has two floppy disks. And the thing that mesmerized me is my father this AutoCAD program where he essentially did did plannings for for for system, but it could draw a space shuttle. It took I think it took five minutes to actually draw. But it was like this thing can create that the space shuttle and I really wanted to create also my stuff that I wanted to draw essentially on the screen. And my father essentially showed me and told Pascoe how to use the line commands to draw stuff not in AutoCAD, but with with with programming commands. And that's essentially how I got into programming. And that faster fascinated me that you could create something with these devices. Yeah, and it's still an empowering Feeling to progress.

Pj Metz  20:02
That seems to be a common theme among a lot of the guests that we talked to. And even just people I talked to in tech, the idea of you discover that the machine when you tell it a certain password or secret code will create something, and that you've been involved in making something brand new, is a lot of the excitement that gets people into tech. And it's, oh, well, if I can make a spaceship, or if this can make a spaceship, what can I make it do? And I do want to highlight that that tendency of early tech to be like, we're going to show you this picture, but we're going to draw it right in front of you with like lines and colors and shapes. And I love the idea of like, the system's like, it's like the machine is drawing. You don't see that enough anymore.

Michael Staib  20:46
Yeah, it's it. Also, we don't build the machines. When I look at Tech today, like my son, or my daughters, they grew up with this device. So they, they really did digital natives, but they don't build their iPads. They just get these machines and they work. And, yeah, we built them essentially back then build. Try to get maybe a new graphics card in there. And then I destroyed a lot of computers in my family.

Pj Metz  21:19
Brandon, did you ever? Did you ever brick a computer or mess up a computer in your house when you were growing up when you were messing with it?

Unknown Speaker  21:27
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, I

Brandon Minnick  21:28
did the same thing. Where? Yeah, you want to buy a new graphics card? Or? I think the one time I really did some damage was I bought a new power supply.

Pj Metz  21:38
Over you at this?

Brandon Minnick  21:41
Oh, probably teenager. Yeah. But

Pj Metz  21:46
old enough to know, like, this is what it's called unable to find it. Maybe not doing that on your own. But yeah, put a new power supply in mom and your mom's like, sure.

Brandon Minnick  21:58
Yeah, well, then you just kind of guessing check. Like, you know, how do you connect the power supply to the motherboard? Like, here's some pins. Let's see if this works. But yeah, when you're, when you're dealing with electricity, you don't really want to guess a check. Because if you get it wrong, sometimes,

Pj Metz  22:17
yeah, sometimes it's a little bit more dangerous. Oh, bad car, Bob said. I took a CPU off board and put it back and it didn't turn on afterwards.

Michael Staib  22:28
Yeah, to think of thing.

Pj Metz  22:31
Totally normal. You're in good company, Bob. So at a young age, you're, you're you talked about putting together computers six years old, you get this first machine? You said it was a hobby even going into college? What are some of the languages what are some of the things you were doing as a hobby in your in your teenage years.

Michael Staib  22:54
So I started, I started with to Pascal, but that essentially what was what my father could do. But then also went in queue basic. So the basic, basic dos programming things that came basically for free. But I also did some Delphi. And then in 2002, came the first betas out of Microsoft dotnet. And I did all by then I did already a bit of Java, like several programming and stuff, messing around with that. But Microsoft TechNet was like this new stuff. And that really got me although it was rubbish in the beginning, the idea behind it, and yet the perspective where it could go was amazing. I think it was it just got to where it had to be when Moodle came out. And it was then you could run it on Linux, you know, with dotnet quad. went even further, you can run it everywhere. Now, on a Raspberry Pi you don't you don't you're not limited anymore.

Pj Metz  24:08
Those early days, man like it really like I remember, like when you're talking about dotnet and what you're building with dotnet in, you know, 2002 2003 this is still where the internet is like the.com bubble just happened. So people thought the internet was done. And it was stuff. But like, this is a unique era that we're talking about here. This is still Angel Fire in geo cities and these like there's a vibe to that time period, you know. But so you're talking about starting with dotnet. And those early days, did you start building with it like pretty quickly, or is it something that you saw and came back to later?

Michael Staib  24:53
Yeah, remember? So So Microsoft was looking for beta testers and you could order a CD I mean, today you just download it right. But they that you could order a CD, you could sign up and they sent you a CD with dotnet on it. And Visual Studio beta for dotnet. It was. It was it was great. I mean, if you go further back here, you've got windows and floppies. Yeah, I think kids today don't don't appreciate these days anymore. These days,

Pj Metz  25:23
more floppy disks, that's for sure.

Michael Staib  25:27
Yeah, but I but I got these, I think it was three CDs with Visual Studio on a dotnet framework on it. And I started installing it and, and just playing around for that. And here was pretty easy to get in because they they copied a lot of the concepts of Java. So you can kind of you you could get started very quickly with it. And then I tried to put it in projects I was working on. And try to find a use case for it. So just to keep using it. And kids were essentially gets a good stack. It worked. And I, at one point ended up at a company called red dot, which was a web content management company, which fits perfectly in this comm dot bubble, where you had all these CMS companies building these web CMS. And yeah, I worked at Red Dot and we were I think twice bought by first the Canadian company. And then another Canadian company. Yeah, so yeah, it was it was fun. It was fun to see all these very tiny companies coming up with similar ideas. Like making use of the web. I think web 2.0 was the term that everybody loved back then. It was it was a great, great time.

Brandon Minnick  27:04
Yeah, it's funny that you mentioned red dot, I didn't I didn't know you worked there. But yeah, I remember one of my first or my first internship, I worked in IT for Walt Disney World in Orlando. And we actually were looking for a new CMS system. And remember the red dot vendors coming in? And so I don't I don't remember if we bought it or not. I wasn't that important. I was just kind of happy to be invited to the meeting as an intern. But that's so cool to think you might have been working there. Well, we were looking to buy and your product. Why didn't you?

Pj Metz  27:44

Brandon Minnick  27:47
Honestly, we probably did. I remember. Like I said, like, I was an intern. So I didn't get to make any decisions. Even if I did I, I was only there for three months. But I remember being at the top of the list. I think it was between like, do we just make our own or yeah, do we go with this third party vendor? But yeah, yeah. That's

Michael Staib  28:11
that's that, by the way, fits also perfectly to that work back then. We built our own CMS, we do it on. And most of these projects crashed and burned. And yeah, took a lot of money with them. But everybody was building a CMS back then.

Pj Metz  28:31
I got stuck on something you said the idea of Visual Studio showing up on like a CD. And I just activated this thing in my brain of like, that's how you used to get anything you had to go and get something physical that contained it. And so I typed a Visual Studio to 1000s. And I've got an eBay listing here. And you can buy Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition. For what I think is 108. Yeah, $187. US, but it's three CD system right here. And for those of you who will be listening to the podcast later, yeah, it it looks like the Visual Studio logo, except, like instead of the flat edges where it's like a flat infinity sign. It looks like a straight up number eight turned on inside like a real infinity sign. But it doubles. It's the double CD case. It's that typical 2000s where it's very shiny, and it's got like a ghost of an image on it rather than a full image on it. There's a key that you need on the back. That is only I think it's only 11 digits total. Here we can't see the key just so you know, they blocked it with a pen cap. But you can guess amazing

Brandon Minnick  29:55
yeah, yeah, it's very, very spoiled nowadays. It's like, if you want to do anything, try anything. You just go to the website, download install, if that's even required, you know, a lot of stuff you can do just in your browser. But yeah, back in the day, you had to you had to order stuff, you had to pay for it. They had to pay for me. So like, Yeah, I'll bet this cost similar amount back then. Right?

Michael Staib  30:24
You think about? Did anybody have you guys had MSDN subscription back then? Or worked for a company that up? Because the MSDN subscription, you get got a huge package with hundreds of DVDs with every product. So essentially, if you go online, and look at your MSDN subscription, you see all those products that you have there. You got them on CD, everything, and every update was shipped to you. So every I think every three months, you got a new package for you.

Pj Metz  31:00
I understand why waterfall. Work that because you literally had to ship the products to people, you couldn't just update it. You're like, the newest updates here. Get the Postal Service ready? Here we go. And for the young people, yeah, that's why it's called shipping. That's shipping, we're gonna choose a new product like no, we're not actually putting it on a on in the UPS truck. But yeah, that's where the term comes from. And also the little Save button. That's the floppy disk we've been talking about before for the 20 Somethings that surely tune into our podcast. Yeah. I love it. So

Michael Staib  31:39
go ahead, Michael. Yeah, it's it's also just to throw in terms, if you hear about Apple just has a goat master of iOS or something. That's essentially the gold master that they sent down to the factory that produced the CDs from that goat master.

Pj Metz  31:59
Amazing. Absolutely. But, Brandon, you were talking about how nowadays you just go. And if you want to try something, they're like, Yeah, try it here. Here's, you know, you can use Visual Studio Code, download it for free, start using it now. And this idea of creating things so people can try it back, then you had to buy the software, there wasn't, you'd get a demo, but wasn't a lot. And that really ties into open source, there's just a shift at some point where it became, we want you to be able to try it, we want you to be able to do it, because you might be able to help us make it better. And that's really what's exciting about modern tech and Michael, you are passionate about open source. And and that really takes us to a to this link that we've been posting before to chili cream. So what's Yeah, cream.

Michael Staib  32:57
So to free myself, so we started. Okay, I have to go a bit back,

Pj Metz  33:04
take us back or paint a picture.

Michael Staib  33:07
So essentially, all my all my things I did in work, I actually always did together with my brother. So my brother and me actually worked on every company together. I think there's just one company we didn't go and work to add together. And my brother was always the front end guy. So he built always the UI stuff. And I was the backend guy. So perfectly perfect match. And at one point, because he does all this JavaScript stuff, he started with this thing called open source free software and stuff and build open source components for something like jQuery. If somebody remembers jQuery was a thing back then. And he built, he started building plugins for that. And that's essentially how he pulled me in to this open source space. And then there were other driving factors like mono came out, you had now some guy that was producing an open source dotnet stuff. And that really, they really triggered me I wanted to break free from the things we adopted was confined to on Windows and start start doing open source software. And it took me a couple of projects. So I I didn't just start with hot chocolate. I started with smaller projects that were just trying out putting something, putting something in the open, let's work together with with people and try something out. And that works quite well on GitHub. I think GitHub essentially created the platform where you collaborate on there were others and I tried these others. I don't remember the max of complexity. I think it was my first

Brandon Minnick  35:05
GitHub before GitHub.

Michael Staib  35:06
Yeah, it was Microsoft's try to produce a space like GitHub. It didn't work. But everybody moves to GitHub. And then GitHub became a part of Microsoft. So it did. In the end, they got their open source base. Up there,

Pj Metz  35:27
they sure did it just million dollars.

Michael Staib  35:36
Yeah, then then, at some point, I was on a project with my brother and this company called Swiss live, I'm still contracting for them. And they said, We want to overhaul our whole back end API's and do something called Graph square. And I said, what is that? Is that all data? And I actually chastise people for saying that but back then I was in that this this person that's sat there, and the teammate said, You go explore Graph QL.

Then I SMC went, and I looked at the options that we have it was I think, there was Graph QL dotnet. One of the really first dose of them, so it was a, they were just starting. And I looked at that, and I said, I don't want to do graph graphs like this. And I essentially went back to the team lead and said, let's let me build that. I need two weeks for it. And then we have about

Brandon Minnick  36:52
two minutes. It wasn't two weeks, right.

Pj Metz  36:57
We finished in two weeks.

Michael Staib  36:59
It took it took I think it took me half a year to have something that that kind of worked. But on the first presentation, it completely broke together. And I really had to tell my colleagues okay, I come back in two more weeks, maybe took a year. Product. Yeah, but that but that essentially started this thing. In the beginning, we called the project I think project Zeus, but we kind of didn't like that. And my and I'm a passionate Starbucks coffee drinker. And every time I go with my son there, he wants a hot chocolate. So

Pj Metz  37:50
did my bros out on purpose. Brandon, hold on, Brandon held a Starbucks cup? Is it hot chocolate?

Brandon Minnick  37:57
No is a venti flat wait. I'm not

Pj Metz  38:00
even a mocha, mocha. Partially hot chocolate.

Brandon Minnick  38:05
I just got back from Europe. So I've been waking up at 5am Every morning, and I have nothing else to do. So I just walk over to Starbucks around the corner and I grab it. Biggest coffee I can get

Pj Metz  38:19
somebody Michael, tell us more about that. So your son loves hot chocolate. And that leads us to

Michael Staib  38:25
yeah, my open source project that started then we essentially named our graph boys ever they know chocolate. Because I love I love to stuff that my brother actually did in JavaScript, they just have silly names. And I thought, actually, it's it's random. Like if you go and do an open source component in dotnet, like let's say Graph QL. Then either people call a Graph QL dotnet and Graph QL. Or you, I don't know, graphics link or something like that. And I thought it's kind of Yeah, a bit boring. And I loved how the JavaScript guys do it. And my brother just said, let's call it hot chocolate, because we all were just at Starbucks, and then we went with it. And from there came up with other silly names like chili cream, like a softer bakery around that.

Pj Metz  39:22
I love strawberry shake. And finally, the one I'm thinking is pretty cool. Banana Cake Pop.

Michael Staib  39:32
And that's, that's because at the Build Conference in in San Francisco, they had banana cakepops at Starbucks. And actually, when you went to the Microsoft Store, in the north storm that they had there, they have these banana cake pops from Starbucks and you could get some free I don't know which which year it was, but it was one of the last MSBs at San Francisco.

Pj Metz  40:02
I love a good lesson. All this all this talk about like cake pops and Starbreeze shakes and hot chocolate. It's got me, it got me hungry. And that reminds me that I need to take an ad break real quick. So we'll be back after a quick word from our sponsors, y'all. Hi, 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 that's right so

Michael Staib  41:05
actually stop ours could have sponsored this show.

Pj Metz  41:08
They should we'll reach out to them. That's right Starbucks

Brandon Minnick  41:11
use an email Hello at eight bits.tv or truly anybody? We are a tech focus podcast. If you'd like to represent your tech product here, let us know we're not looking to become millionaires. We just want to be able to pay our server costs at the end of the year.

Pj Metz  41:29
Core Bob mentioned Mountain Dew finally sponsored I wish you'll know today. Not a kickstart Mountain Dew you're losing me you're losing me. Core Bob says products and services are the goodness they are the goodness that's right.

Brandon Minnick  41:49
So So Michael, you start building this, this empire of products and notice chili cream products known as hot chocolate strawberry shake, Nana cake pop, when what does this for you turn from something? If this is just a cool open source tool into maybe I can create a company out of this?

Michael Staib  42:16
Yeah, and so we're actually two years into the project because it is a lot of work. And I my main, my main my main focus or the people contacting me, and now contacting me because I, I do this kind of thing. They essentially want people from the project to help them build their solutions, or have them scale their solutions, revenue them. So then started shifting into that direction. And we thought about Yeah, actually, it's also for us, we don't need to get rich, but it would be cool just to pay our bills for doing this, so essentially earn our money from the open source project. And, yeah, we started steering this community, and trying to think about things how we can make money for ourselves from that without losing these open source components. So we are putting a lot of emphasis that we want to keep that as an under the MIT license, we are not going to change that this will always be open source. But there are ways ways like that come natural, like people asking you can you help me on my project, we we are willing to pay for that. And this is essentially how we got into making it more a company around it. And in August, we finally filed our company. So we are now a Delaware company, because Delaware is very tax friendly.

Pj Metz  44:01
Delaware. Listen, I can't believe how much big stuff is in Delaware, despite being such a little state.

Brandon Minnick  44:11
I do have a consulting company that's founded in Delaware.

Pj Metz  44:14
That's right. Thanks, Delaware. I don't know why. Like that's just the advice. That's just what you do. Yeah, congratulations in August. That's only I forgot how to do math there for a second a few months ago,

Michael Staib  44:32
a few months ago. Until then we essentially Yeah. Money through contracting. So we our core team of three and then we have like the core contributor team around that have another six persons that that are only working on stuff. And we three core persons refer my brother and pasca essentially started billing more More than come into a company and building tools around that, like banana cake pop, which we hope, at one point will give us more stability to live on. But, yeah, it's just trial.

Brandon Minnick  45:15
Because that's always something that seems counterintuitive because your, your code is open source, I can go get it on GitHub, I can go to github.com/chili griemann. And there's all the products. And so somebody outside looking in this maybe not familiar with the open source world might think like, well, that's silly, because that would be like Coke, Coca Cola posting their formula, and then Pepsi could just steal it. So what, what is that business model around open source software? And have we moved away from necessarily the code and the software being that main product?

Michael Staib  46:02
Yeah, I mean, think about it, like the dotnet code is on GitHub, it's open source, so you don't have you don't necessarily earn money from selling dotnet to somebody the same as for us. We don't earn if somebody has a hot chocolate sell. I don't want to know that it's there. But we earn money with the things around that people needing specialists on that. People are buying workshops with that with us, or also enterprise services around that, like advanced telemetry, and stuff like that. So you can earn a lot of money with things around open source and keep actually, the whole software free. And if somebody doesn't want to pay then doesn't have to, there is no license that you have to pay. It's an MIT license, you can fork it, you can use it. And I think that is I like that more like, when I use dotnet. And something goes wrong, I just look at the code. And if I find an issue, I can essentially fix it and do a PR. So it's it's it's much a much opener approach to software engineering, but still there is money that you can earn around these things like Microsoft with Azure around that they don't own from dotnet. But with things around

Pj Metz  47:36
it. Yeah. Go ahead.

Brandon Minnick  47:41
Yeah, sure. Yeah, I've noticed that similar tread, because if you look at even the biggest tech companies today, versus 10 years ago, 10 years ago, if you wanted to update to say windows 10, you had to buy a Windows 10 license, or Apple was doing the same thing with Mac, where if you wanted to update to Snow Leopard, you had to buy the new version of Snow Leopard. And it feels like the industry has gotten to a point where the software itself, it doesn't doesn't bring in enough money to warrant that high barrier to entry. And if you get people onto your platform, then you can more easily keep them there more easily. Introduce them to other services you offer. And, yeah, it's a common trend I'm seeing with the open source world where, yeah, hey, let's make this product open source. Because a enterprise companies actually love that. Because that means if for some reason, there's an open source project that the maintainers decide they don't want to do anything anymore. That's okay, because the source code is still there. So like you said, they can fork it, they can still maintain all their services. But at the same time, having worked at enterprises, they are very, very concerned about support. And we'll pay a lot of money for support. And I remember when I worked at a company called Harris, our support contracts were always more valuable than the initial installation contracts. And it was always, you know, quite literally, we would, when we would bid for contracts, we would take a hit on the front end, so maybe install it at a loss, but then say, hey, we want to support this for 10 years, and here's what we're going to charge you every year for 10 years for that support. And at that point, it's, that's that's where you actually make back that money. And so, yeah, I'm seeing that a lot with the open source world where we support contracts. For things like, if an enterprise needs to get a hold of you or one of your engineers at chili cream, you can guarantee them something like 24 hour support or 72 hours. Exactly. And you'll respond back and help them fix any problems. And that's almost more valuable to them than had they paid for the product.

Michael Staib  50:22
Exactly. And that's essentially how we, how we make money with it. And, yeah, I mean, we have like a community support. So people that go into our platform, they can just join us on Slack and get a lot of support for free. But it's it's the best effort thing. And companies want to have this. Yeah, they want one reliable, tap on on the developer

Pj Metz  50:51
of the platform. Right. And what's useful about a tool is, do you have access to the tool? And then do you know how to use the tool? So you got the software? Cool, if something goes wrong? Do you know how to fix it? Do you know how to make it work? And God, I love it. That's fantastic. This is I'm taking notes.

Brandon Minnick  51:12
Early, you know, when you think about, you know, big, big online retailers, like Amazon and Walmart, they know how much revenue they make per minute. And so literally, if the, if the website just goes down for a couple minutes, they're out millions of dollars. And so for them to pay for a support contract, where within 24 hours, you'll have experts on the phone or on the on the servers fixing it. That's almost a no brainer. To them. It's this insurance policy that says, hey, this website instead of going down for a week, worst case scenario will have a backup and running in a day.

Pj Metz  51:55
If anything goes down for a week does not exist anymore. Facebook was down for three days, wasn't it? But it wasn't two days. It

Michael Staib  52:08
was partly Pompey, they came

Brandon Minnick  52:11
Oh, yeah. When they lock servers already forgotten that they had to break.

Michael Staib  52:19
And the issue were that they almost wrecked on Cloudflare. Because it because they get got all these additional requests than that then again checked for failing DNS. Yet we are running on

Pj Metz  52:37
was it a day? It was only a day. My brain remembers it as like, half a week. Maybe? It was a series today. Yeah, it was. Your right was it was like a year long loss of Facebook. Which might be a good thing for the world for a little bit. Meta now, right?

Michael Staib  53:00
Yeah. I think I think people people, people are not so concerned about Facebook. But Instagram is also Facebook. And that's right.

Brandon Minnick  53:09
Even WhatsApp. My wife

Michael Staib  53:10
was effective. Yeah, WhatsApp, you're right. These are the critical things now.

Pj Metz  53:18
So back to open source, the idea of support and the idea of like, like, like, stuff's free. Now, like, I remember, Brandon, when we started, when you started teaching me to code, everything was free. Like, here's, here's an IDE, it's free. Here's Visual Studio, it's free. And I was like, I remember at one point going this crazy that all of this is just free. But that's kind of what I said earlier, it has just shifted to what is valuable is getting more people involved. And not just like in an open source project, it's valuable that you have support for it. If something goes wrong, if something is not working, well, the open source community can be like, Oh, this isn't working. I think I know a way to make this better, and they can contribute and that contribution. And the desire to fix things seems to be what is part of the open source community. Amazing.

Michael Staib  54:13
Yeah, that's, that's even. That is a great way thing. Like when we started, I started the project was my brother. But now we have over 100 contributors, people that are working also on that platform.

Pj Metz  54:30
And that's a good number of contributors to

Brandon Minnick  54:34
absolutely, yeah, we we only have about five minutes left, Michael, but I'd love to get your advice. So let's say there's somebody out there right now who similar to you. They're, they're young, they're they're interested in technology. They they're not sure if they should go to college or how to get started. What would be your recommendation to that person?

Michael Staib  55:01
Yeah, first, I wouldn't worry about making a big decision. When I'm young, I would just go first with the thing that feels best for you. That that essentially was was how I did it. And then and then I just went with the flow. In order to get into tech, there's, there's so many ways, I would actually start with open source from my perspective. And going to open source projects or going to user groups will open up a lot of other contacts, because what I have experienced in my life is that you need to meet the right people, that that help you onboard that it's much easier than if you struggle alone and try out on your own. For me, it was always best, the people that essentially have helped me and lifted me like, from my small age on my father, that guided me into things, then I had a lot of mentors during my career. That then helped me. Yeah, open the right doors. So don't worry to make mistakes.

Brandon Minnick  56:20
Yeah. You mentioned user groups. I know meetup.com has a lot. That's usually where I found a lot of fellow developer user groups. Are there any else you'd like to recommend?

Michael Staib  56:33
Yes, so I'm involved with my friend, Jose, who is also who's running the the user group. So we having a user group here, but it's also on meetup, a lot of dotnet user groups, that's the space where I'm at, but the graphical user groups, JavaScript UI group, so for, for the user groups for whatever makes you happy. So that's a great place to actually start and even look at if that is something that you would like for Korea, if it's just a hobby for you. And then stop tinkering.

Brandon Minnick  57:11
With fantastic advice. I appreciate his so much coming on the show, Michael. Hopefully, we've inspired somebody out there to get started, start searching for your local user groups take advantage of this open source world we live in, or you can get free tools. So Michael, for anybody listening who wants to keep up with you follow everything you're working on? Where can they find you? Online.

Michael Staib  57:39
So first, you can naturally follow me off on Twitter if you want. But if you want to, even if it's your first contribution to open source, if you want to get into open source, start with us start with cherry cream. We have a lot of very interesting projects. So yeah, try out. And we are very open and there's we accept anybody who wants to help I

Brandon Minnick  58:06
love it. Love it. And that's for anybody listening on the audio podcast. It's github.com/chili cream. It's right. Yes, it's a cream CR EA M.

Pj Metz  58:23
It doesn't taste good, but it is a great thing to be a part of.

Michael Staib  58:30
Yeah, my wife is British. So that's all I have to

Brandon Minnick  58:37
say it's truly been a pleasure. Thanks for joining us on the podcast this week. And thank you for listening. We're actually taking a break for the rest of the year. So you won't see me and PJ again until January. But we already have a couple guests queued up so make sure to subscribe make sure to tune back in and we will see you next year.