8 Bits with Taylor Sternberg!
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Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
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Chloe Condon 0:15
It's the day of the show y'all. It's the day of the show. Brandon, I'm gonna be dropping so many deep niche musical theater references that only 10 people are going to understand on this episode. I apologize in advance.
Brandon Minnick 0:30
It's gonna be great. There's gonna be so many deep cuts today.
Chloe Condon 0:33
I'm so excited for this episode. I am your co host click on done and I am here with
Brandon Minnick 0:42
Brandon Minnick. Great to see you again, Chloe.
Chloe Condon 0:44
Thank you. I've got my jazz hands on today because we have a very special guest. I'm very, very excited to you all because it's a theater themed episode, y'all. We're talking theater. We're talking Broadway. We're talking the performing arts, which we always seem to bring up on this show. But this time, it's a little bit special. But we'll get into that in a second. There's a little there's a sneak peek. We're trying out a teaser right now. Brandon, it's been a week no longer than a week we took last week off. We have we had a big event happened last week. But we we now have a new president now. So welcome, Joe. How is your week? Ben weeks then Brandon.
Brandon Minnick 1:27
I mean, just this week's off to after a crazy start. We were you were chatting before the show about just the weather that's going on right now in the Bay Area around San Francisco. And it's it's wild. There's there's rain that just doesn't stop. We're getting like flash flood watches and warnings set my way. And I was joking around last night, but before going to bed. They said that this morning, like, just FYI. It's only a flash flood watch. But it could escalate to a warning overnight and like
Chloe Condon 2:04
Brandon Minnick 2:06
I guess. Do I just stay up all night? Or like, do I just checked my phone every hour? What do I do? And I mean, I just I slept I put a actually like lead into the sleep too cuz I've got those Bose sleepbuds or sleep is
Chloe Condon 2:24
an unofficial product that we're both obsessed with and could not sleep without.
Brandon Minnick 2:30
Yeah, pop those in but on a sleep mask. And I was out and just hope for the best.
Chloe Condon 2:38
I luckily live on a higher floor. So I wasn't too concerned about having to hop onto Noah's Ark over here on in the East Bay. But yeah, it was a wild storm last night. Lots of rain. I got a little scared Brandon. You cannot see my view right now. But I had to recently bring in all of our patio furniture because the wind blew into the air like the Wizard of Oz and patio furniture just hanging out indoors with me these days. But what a crazy week for weather. I feel you know, I said something to someone recently, I was very embarrassed because I was doing a screen share with them. And I said please don't judge me for all the tabs that I opened. I was like this is kind of a representation of my brain right now. I feel like the weather is trying to mimic my anxiety.
Brandon Minnick 3:26
Chloe Condon 3:27
Yeah, but you know, this is fine. I'm that meme with the mug. This is fine. I'm trying to think what has been going on in the last couple of weeks for me, I'm been doing a lot of fun. content as your content. Oh, I've been streaming with that project on Mondays. So we've been doing lectures, all of the lectures for bit project, this cohort are public and open to anyone to join. So oh my gosh, Brandon, you'll love this. So everyone will love this. But Brandon in particular love this. So we were learning serverless we're learning about Azure Functions with that project. And you can check out all these videos on my twitch on bit projects twitch on their YouTube as well. And the first week, we're learning all about Azure Functions. So how to set up an Azure function how to, you know, work with GitHub, because a lot of these folks are programming for the first time. But on Monday, we were playing with the Microsoft Face API, which if folks aren't familiar, you can use the Microsoft face API. Actually, you know what, I think I have a link that I'll share it's aka.ms/bitproject something all good.
Brandon Minnick 4:38
project for the wind f Tw
Chloe Condon 4:40
a no big project face something. Let's see. We're gonna This is worth it. Y'all. aka.ms slash bit. Project face, big project face. And we basically were had to test we're using beard detection. We wanted to To determine what what is the likelihood that there is a beard in this image and my boyfriend? It can it can do. Is this person wearing eyeglasses is this person on facial hair does so many things that you can make up all kinds of things. And so we needed a data set. And my boyfriend has a very epic, red beard. And so the this is the interesting part, y'all because I played with the Microsoft Face API a lot. I actually have this Azure. It's a Mario Kart Astrology Face API project where I used cosplay imagers of Mario Kart characters to determine what your cosplay or your your chosen Mario Kart player says about you. And the reason that I had to use cosplay images is because the Microsoft Face API doesn't work on animated faces. It only works on real human faces. So we ended up going on this fascinating tangent, I highly recommend, highly recommend checking out the video y'all on my Twitter, on bit projects, YouTube. So we use an image of my boyfriend and we went to Thailand, and he had a pancake or a crate printed of him with this, like, 3d printed machine, you gave them a picture and they put it on pancake. Basically, it was in a mall in Bangkok. And it was really cool. And so I have this picture of my boyfriend holding a pancake. And we use a Microsoft Face API. And because the pancake was rendered from an actual image of a person, it was able to detect the beard and the image. So then we got very curious, we started clicking around and being like, okay, so maybe a really realistic photo can stump the face API. So we used the Mona Lisa, it detected a person. So we've been playing around with this with the project we even tried. So we of course, this didn't work, but we tried Yoda Chewbacca, baby Yoda, it's a little, I think it's a little too animal like perhaps to identify it as a face. But stay tuned on Mondays because I believe we haven't officially confirmed it yet. That the project will be working on going forward on Mondays starting on February 8, is building a data set with because we we determined after using the face API, we're like, well, we can't determine if this is Yoda, not Yoda or Chewbacca, not Chewbacca. So we will be training our own data set using Yoda images and Chewbacca images to determine. So I know this is technology that people have been asking for, for a really long time. And I'm here to say, myself and the students of that project are going to provide this for you. If you ever need to determine if something God or not, we got you.
Brandon Minnick 7:30
The people what they want.
Chloe Condon 7:31
Exactly, exactly. That fun video. It was we honestly did not know if it was going to work when we started feeding it the Yoda images. So our shocking surprise with with some of those images is genuine, genuine and on camera. Oh, but Brandon, I want to make sure we have so much time to speak to our guests today. So wait any other should we have tried to think is has anything else been? Any scoop? Any exclusives we need to talk about before we get into our guest?
Brandon Minnick 8:01
new stuff in the world of tech. I mean, it's been it's been pretty quiet because we're all just coming back from winter break and getting ramped back up for the holidays. And so yeah, I'm trying to think there hasn't been any huge major announcements at least in in my world,
Chloe Condon 8:20
other than politics, not really in the tech world. Yeah. We should give ample stage time to our guests. I'm very, very excited for this guest today, Brandon, because I met this human being to the power of twitter.com. And it is so exciting to me when I find people who come to this industry, like from the arts, but particularly from a performing arts background. And particularly when they did the thing when they did the Broadway when they did the national tour of wicked or whatever that may be. And this CMN Brandon, they're going to introduce themselves in a second here. But they were on Broadway for seven years. They did they did it. They did the dream they lived the life. They are now working in tech, which is why we have them here to talk about their story and how that transition happened and how they use their tech background. Everyone please welcome Taylor. Hello.
Welcome to the show. Taylor.
Taylor Sternberg 9:23
Thank you. I'm happy to be here.
Chloe Condon 9:25
Hello. Now we know this is very different on a live audience like Broadway of course
Taylor Sternberg 9:31
have a live audience. It is live on Yeah, that's true. It's a baby.
Chloe Condon 9:37
As you can see, Taylor has all of the beeps and beeps and gimmicks and stuff because Taylor is a pro at this streaming thing we were just learning. I do.
Taylor Sternberg 9:45
I do work at a company called Twitch and it is been a great education for me to learn how to do live streaming really well. And I've got all the toys here and I got the zoo. Where'd I go. I got the zoo. And when I set up my stream, I have a lot of you know, I've got a green screen back here, you can see a little shout out mess up over there. You know, I've got my whole thing.
Chloe Condon 10:09
So you're a producer, you're a set designer, your stage manager,
Taylor Sternberg 10:13
right? It's really great. Because like in COVID, you when you want to be creative as a performer, this is like, yeah, yeah. And there's so much stuff to do and play with and learn, especially if you like toys like me, and I've got like a camera and I got a light and I, you know, you can anybody can have their own talk show, like you have here. Yeah. So it's just really been great.
Chloe Condon 10:38
Good stuff, we need that, like, we need that we're gonna so Taylor is going to be our person that we go to for all of our streaming needs now. So Taylor, how did you find yourself here on this call? It does give us the the origin the Marvel origin story of Taylor Intertek.
Taylor Sternberg 10:55
Um, so, you know, before I wanted to be a computer Pro, I'm in full screen. Before I want to be a computer programmer, I wanted sorry, before I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be a computer programmer. And because I, I, my parents were in television, and when I was bored, everybody had Mac's around. So I just like, mess around with the Mac's there, but there were no games. So I just like, mess around with like the settings and, and and really figure out how a user interfaces design. And at the time, Mac was like it. And I was really interesting computers. And so then in high school, I took AP Computer Science, took c++ and went on a math. Like, I think I remember the one thing it was like, build a pyramid with zeros. And I remember that one. Yes. And I guess the formula is like two n plus one. And it took me like a day and a half to try and figure it out. And I was like, I'm out. But I do miss performing stuff on the side. I've been performing since I was young, like in you know, school theater and singing was a part of my family. My mom's super professional ice skater performer and now she works in TV. For Yeah, she's kind of semi retired, impressive. We love so like, entertain was always part of it, right? And so I said, Okay, maybe you're gonna do this musical theater thing. So I dove into the whole musical theater training, and went to theater school at UCLA. And then my first audition out of college, I booked the national tour of Jersey Boys for two years, and then got pumped up to Broadway. And it was a great adventure. But I always had this kind of like tech yearning in my heart. I said, I had five roles that I covered on Broadway, four were acting roles, and one was tech support. And so like, I was really into, like design and website design. So I learned WordPress, and I taught myself PHP, and always kind of like, played around with that. And then I was like, yep, I think I'm done with Broadway, and said, Okay, how do we make this transition? And that's okay, how can I get the ground floor? It's like, you're not going to start like a Google or Microsoft, or, you know, an Amazon right off the bat. You may you might get lucky, you might book jersey, Boise first audition, but it's not likely. How can I get the ground floor here, and I found a tech support job, and jumped into that, and started working and learning and, and it was with a really small company, and took that experience to another company. And at that company, they said, okay, train, you know, what do you want to do? And so I did, like, b2b implementation. And then I went to marketing, and then went away from that. And I said, Okay, what I really want to do is I want to be in entertainment and gaming, something that I'm really passionate about, I'm tired of this b2b crap, whatever, no offense to b2b people. But I learned a lot there. And so I really focused my efforts. And one of the avenues that I found was contracting, where you can contracted a company, where you know, there's not this like, three, four month hiring process, you just go on for six months, learn a bunch of stuff. And now you have that in your pocket and you go, I had a contract at this big company. And then that now becomes your resume, just like you would do a performing arts resume. You say, Oh, I did this in this show. And I did this in this show. And so I was able to build my resume to a point where now I'm so happy that I can work in, you know, entertainment and Jason stuff. And be creative still, while still exercising that kind of technical muscle. Yeah. And now I do a lot of like, you know, marketing and lifecycle and CRM. And so there's, you know, there's a method to the madness there. But it's about, you know, the the summary of all of that is, you want to do something, build your resume, make yourself valuable, and then go find people who want that value.
Chloe Condon 14:55
And I feel like there's so much I mean, I know that there's so much that you did, I'm proud Play that is transferable to what you do now in your role. I mean, I think back to when I entered theater, I did so much of my own marketing promotion, things like that for myself. But even when it comes to maybe for folks who are joining us on the Microsoft Developer channel who don't really know what a swing or understudy is, um, let's explain that to them. So, Taylor, you just, you weren't just in the show you were covering multiple parts? Is
Taylor Sternberg 15:27
that right? Yeah, yeah. So I covered the lead, and I covered three ensemble roles. And the idea is that the people on stage are also understudies. And so if someone shifts up, someone has to shift under to cover who they shift up to, in most cases. And so if they would shift up into a lead role, I would shift into their role.
Chloe Condon 15:48
And that's often why if you're the production of Hamilton, and the before times, or things like that, and you're like, Oh, my gosh, there's so many different people have different roles. They're usually always in the show, but they're just playing a different part. Usually, yeah.
Taylor Sternberg 15:59
Like, sometimes you'll see, okay, this person is playing this person, this person is playing this person, this person, this person, it's not necessarily because three people went in, it's because one shift over and then to shift into those that were, you know, move around.
Chloe Condon 16:13
So when people ask you an interview question, and tech Are you used to change I mean, all the time.
Taylor Sternberg 16:20
Tell us about a time when you experienced change. And it's like, the greatest thing that I ever learned was in Broadway is that you go to show up to work and you don't know what's going to happen. You have a set of skills that you can employ, but you are ready to change at a moment's notice and make choices that are is going to benefit whatever. And the other idea there is, you know, this idea of just ship it right, we're gonna put on a show the train is leaving the station, you just have to ship
Chloe Condon 16:47
right, that show must go on Yes,
Taylor Sternberg 16:48
Brandon Minnick 18:18
I love that is we've kind of our ethos on the show is to interview folks like yourself who have non traditional tech backgrounds that didn't necessarily go to college for the computer science degree and get their first internship straight out. And there's a couple things you touched on. One once pretty common one, the first one being, you might not get the exact job you want is your first job in tech. And I mean, even myself, I did go to school, I got that degree. And my first job was not what I expected. I ended up working as a test engineer and had to kinda climb my way up. But
Chloe Condon 18:58
it's like the ensemble you got
unless you're a lawyer and you break someone's leg deep.
Taylor Sternberg 19:06
It Same thing with theater is like a lot of people would start in a touring company or start in like a non tech show. And then transfer over to a bigger show, as you said, You've proved yourself to be competent in this smaller risk situation. Let's increase your capability for risk. Ah,
Brandon Minnick 19:26
Taylor Sternberg 20:56
right. But you know, what that says is there is a gatekeeping there. And this is the big issue that I have with tech is sometimes they say, well, you're not avail, you don't know what to talk about, because you can't talk about KPIs, or you can't talk about LTV, or you can talk about CAC, you know, all these acronyms that are inside baseball words, whereas you go, what's the LTV, you go lifetime value? And you say, Well, you know, when I ran a weekly theater series, I made sure that I had people returned to the show over and over, and that would increase the lifetime value of their customer score, right. And so if you go into an interview, and they say an acronym that you don't recognize, and the interviewer doesn't like that you don't know that acronym. That's crap, right? Yeah. So that's a flag. There is there is some like trickery you can do. Where if you can just understand these insider terms, you can write stories for your interview, that allow you to essentially pass the test using any story you have.
Chloe Condon 22:02
I already am bookmarking this video to send to all the people that I mentor, because this is truly something I believe so strongly in finding your gimmick and tech, whatever it may be. Maybe you're previously a teacher, and you you bring all this value to education tech, or maybe you come from the finance world, and you go into FinTech. But I couldn't agree more Taylor. And I wish that I had had this conversation when I was a little baby junior developer, answering questions in these interviews, because I would get questions like this where, you know, it's a chicken and egg thing. How do you get the experience if you don't have the experience? And I would get questions like, tell me about a time that you engaged with the developer community. And I wish you know, at the time, I didn't have that experience. But I wish what I would have said was something similar to you like, oh, let me tell you about the time, I ran my own one woman cabaret, and I it was a charity event that all my friends you know, we all put it together. And we had like an overall there, that wasn't even something that came to mind because the two worlds seem so different. But I love this idea of that's, I mean, first of all, we need more diverse non traditional background, people in this industry, period, point blank. But the more that we share these stories like yours, where it's like, Look, this thing like stage managers, your PMS, will say like
Taylor Sternberg 23:19
Chloe Condon 24:43
If you and I Taylor start riffing on the OBC of, you know, anything goes Brandon, tell me like, Oh, you see, what is that? Like? There's such that's such a thing that we do in tech because there's a lot of assumed knowledge and being able to welcome where people in this industry like absolutely We got to like, break down these barriers and make sure that we're actually asking the real questions that we want to be asking, which is, Hey, will you be a good fit for this team? Not Hey, are you familiar with all these acronyms?
Taylor Sternberg 25:11
And you roll the boat or familiar with this specific or right out of titanium? And would it's like I can roll the goddamn bow, you know? Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 25:23
I've noticed with with with the acronyms. there's kind of two p, two schools of thought really where it's, I noticed some people will use acronyms to almost make themselves sound smart or smart. Yeah. Oh, everybody knows you don't you don't know what this means
Unknown Speaker 25:40
many leather bound bugs.
Brandon Minnick 25:45
But then there's also the folks that just use it so much, and especially working at Microsoft, we are certainly guilty of this because Microsoft loves acronyms internally. We use it so much you don't realize that it's not a common phrase. Hasn't hasn't reached that critical mass. where like, like we say FBI probably most people watching have heard of the FBI. You don't really have to explain that one. But But yeah, it's super important. Like you were saying earlier, Taylor that. If If you catch yourself using that acronym, like it's gonna slip out, right? just preface it or back it up and say, Oh, I'm sorry. By the way, did you? Do you know what cltv means? It's like, customer lifetime value. Got it. Okay, now we're on the same page. Pretend you
Taylor Sternberg 26:31
don't want to be inclusive and get diverse voices in there. And you're in the interview room and you're an interviewer, make sure that the person you're speaking to knows the acronyms that you're using, because they may not know what it is. I have people where I say s, SF DC, and they still don't know what I mean. And it's an industry wide thing. salesforce.com. I didn't know that when I started, right. But if you guys thought
Brandon Minnick 26:50
it was data center, I knew what Salesforce
Chloe Condon 26:54
was like San Francisco.
Taylor Sternberg 26:58
If I go, oh, SF DC. I'm very intelligent. Can you see? It's like no, let them understand. Like if I talk about LTV or lifetime value, right, say the lifetime. So tell me about it. Like if I'm an interview, I said, Tell me about a time when you increase the lifetime LTV of a customer, right. And you say just like you know, LTV is lifetime value, which is the the amount of money that you can grab from a customer over the time that they interface with your product. Right now you're set up your interviewee for success to tell the story as opposed to Haha, tell me about LTV, and also try to guess what those letters mean.
Chloe Condon 27:37
Oh my gosh, I hear LTV and high here when TV which we're streaming to currently so my brain just gets jumbled up all the time. I love this comment that we have here. It says someone in my business made an acronym hunter as a slack plugin. We can all add it, we add to it too. But if there's something you hear, but you don't know, we can just do slash acro hunt NHS etc. Oh, wow. It's amazing opens things up for people. I love that I famously my first day of hackbright, the engineering school I went to that was full of all of these wonderful, amazing women who came from stem backgrounds. They're talking about STEM and I was literally googling what stem was on my phone Taylor because this was like an original Broadway cast. Awesome. Yes, yes. These people
Unknown Speaker 28:21
love flowers. They're florists.
Chloe Condon 28:27
Yeah. And I think like even on top of that, you know, obviously the three of us all have dabbled in the performing arts in some form or another. I know. Brandon famously was in the Pirates of Penzance. And we've talked about that middle school. We've all had experience and do a little bit of public speaking, I think improv and that experience as well. Like helps from a communication perspective when and even Oh, my gosh, interviewing Taylor, let's talk about whiteboarding interview versus auditions and callbacks, because at least in an audition or a callback, I know what material maybe you're gonna give me but in a whiteboarding interview, that was a lot.
Taylor Sternberg 29:09
Um, you know, I've been doing, I've been doing improv for 20 years. Oh, my God, I'm an old now. I'm an old man. I said it the first time saying like, I'm an old but I didn't put in the noun. But I was like, Oh, that's a funny thing. I'm old as the noun. So it's really about being a kinesthetic detective, of understanding what your environment is, right? What's going on and saying, What can I pick up from what's going on? What can I pick up from? The feeling of the person that I'm talking to? What can I pick up from what they're looking for? It's, it's when you're an improv, you're trying to take all the data points you have at your disposal and use as much of them as pie So if you're in a whiteboarding process, and I haven't done a lot of whiteboarding processes I've done like one I think, but it's the idea of saying, here's what is presented to me is the offer. Now how can I make the best thing out of it? And yes, and if they say something like, oh, what about this? You go? Oh, yes, I am. Let's add something on there. Yes. And it's Adrian says that yes. And I know a lot of friends who have the yes and tattoo.
Brandon Minnick 30:26
Taylor Sternberg 30:27
But it's also with improv, you go through a little of CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, where you really learn how to take the moment. One director I worked with said, when you have somebody listening to you, and they're there, you have control, right, because they have no choice other than to listen to you or to interject. So take that moment, understand you're not rushed. And understand you control the room. And that's why I really think everybody should take an improv class, because it teaches you how to slow down the moment, here's something that I figured out. And that may have someone has already said this before, I don't know. But especially with smart engineering type people, or not smart engineers, anybody is sometimes your Thank you, yes, is a strong moment, it's a dramatic moment. Sometimes, as a technical person, your brain moves faster than your mouth. And it's our job as technical people to make the sausage and allow the mouth to be basically the dam for what the brain is putting out. And you have your brain at this pulse of like that, but your mouth can't get it out. That's why you will start and they go through it and whoever, right? So it's about a matter of going, how can I get the tempo of my brain and my thoughts in sync with the communication of my mouth, that grounds you, and allows you to take your time, and really express yourself when you're in a whiteboarding, or you're an inner in an interview, of saying, Let my thoughts match the tempo of where I'm going so that I don't get ahead of myself, or I don't lose the person in the room, because all of this is storytelling, you're telling a story, to get them across the line for you.
Brandon Minnick 32:24
And, and I found for me, it also helps to explain things as you go, that definitely helps slow me down. And so especially when we're, if you're speaking on stage or presenting something, you're, you're gonna be nervous, you're gonna feel that need to rush through it. But it's always good just to kind of catch yourself and say, Actually, let's explain what that means. Or let's take a step back. This, this is actually this, this, this and this, and you kind of you can break it down a little bit. And not only does it help everybody who's listening, keep up. But it also ensures everybody's on this on the same page as well. So you didn't you didn't miss anybody, you didn't leave anybody behind by moving to the next slide. Even though your mind as the presenter might be thinking about, okay, what's on the next slide? How am I gonna do this transition, or the next thing I'm going to do is jump into code. And I've got to keep all these things kind of juggling in my brain. But yeah, just slowing down explaining things as you go. Also, at least for me helps. Like you're saying, link up that brain to mouth connection.
Taylor Sternberg 33:35
Well, here's another one. So I took stand up comedy as well. And I do not like stand up comedy. I like working in groups. I like working in teams, I like collaboration. But the best thing about stand up comedy, I learned was how to construct a joke. Premise, turn, right. And in your premise and turn, you have to create breadcrumb breadcrumbs to the turn. So somebody understands the turn that you are taking. And that's a lot of with a lot of like, stand up, comedians who start, they think, Okay, I'm gonna get really heavy here and create like a third degree joke that you have to be really in the know and understand the reference and the inside to get, what you can do is in order to tell your story, set up every beat so they walk with you down the process, whether you're in a whiteboard or an interview, to get them to understand and say I do this and then do this. And then they do this, which gets me to this. And that's the button or the last line of whatever you're trying to create. I love I love. One of my favorite stand up bits is Norm Macdonald doing the roast of Bob Saget, and he gets the worst jokes ever. But what he does is he does a great example of him building the beats to getting to the punch line. Even the punch line is really corny or bad. Add, he is taking you along the journey of getting to that line. So like one of my favorite jokes he did was yes offline program or someone can learn to be funny. It is formulaic. You know, Bob, you have a face like a flower, a cauliflower. Your face was as ugly as a cauliflower. He made sure that you understood exactly what it was. So the premise was, you have a very pretty face like a flower. And the turn is actually a cauliflower. And then he even explained it even further as saying that your face is very ugly. Another one of my favorite jokes that he does is well tonight you have a lot of well wishers and including a lot of people who would like to throw you down one. A Well, that is being that there are people who would like to murder you using a well. entire process of the joke, the turn. And then if you missed it, he lets you know how it works. So whether you're in interviews, or you know, whiteboarding are all those things, it's like you have to understand your audience and get them to come with you on the journey.
Unknown Speaker 36:17
I love that.
Brandon Minnick 36:20
Nice. Yeah, great advice for it's funny because normally, I feel like we speak to the the interviewees of the world. So like, how do you get that first job in tech? And how do you Ace the interview? Right? But it's so true. The the interviewer really affects how the interview goes. And I think so far we found like, if you're spouting off acronyms and pretending to be really smart, you might lose the person you're interviewing,
Chloe Condon 36:46
and also reading the room. I think something that Taylor mentioned earlier, like knowing who you're in the room with and who you're performing for. I mean, I can speak as a woman in tech, how many times have people said things to me that have immediately made me want to say no to a job offer? Like, oh, hey, thank you so much for coming in. Today, we actually have another woman who's coming in later and interviewing for the role, I think you guys would really get along? What if I said that to any guy?
Taylor Sternberg 37:14
You must know things about each other? Because we are both women? Yes. Well, they're
Brandon Minnick 37:18
Chloe Condon 37:20
about our nail polish together. I mean, there's so many moments that I think even you know, if you are I've been in situations before, at conferences, where the swag of the booth has been men's boxers. And don't worry, we have stuff for women to baby onesies read the room, read the room, you know. So I think when it comes to these things, you know, I it is very common, where you will go and interview at a company and they'll really spout off a lot of like, you know, we have a very diverse team, we have so many women who who work here and you get interviewed by all men. I think castings important when interviewing. I think representation is important when interviewing. And you are really, I always tell this to my mentees who are typically Junior engineers, but it's important, it's hard to, it's hard to remember this when you're a junior engineer, and you're just like struggling and you're like God, I
Unknown Speaker 38:09
get it, I
Chloe Condon 38:10
want it, you want it so bad. But it's important to remember that you are in demand as well, like, you should be picking up on these signs in the interview, it is so much better to not to not to say no to the role and not have to go through a whole other cycle of interviews, again, than to take a job where you can tell that the signs are there and the interview. So it's an interview, you're interviewing the company as much as they're interviewing you. As far as I'm concerned.
Taylor Sternberg 38:37
It's, you know, you you, I think the objective in a lot of these rooms, is the same thing in an audition room. And the other thing I always hear from casting directors is they go, we want you to be good. Because if you are good, then our job is over. Right? We're not here wanting you to fail or to be smarter than you all I really want you to succeed. And if you succeed, then everybody can go home, and we've got a new, you know, person on the team. I don't know where it's going,
Chloe Condon 39:06
I will tell you that the biggest, most wonderful gesture that has ever been done to me to interview and is why one of the many reasons I accepted her role at my last company century was halfway through, they realized that I had only been interviewed by men. And they replaced one of my interviewers with two women. And I thought that is so thoughtful. And this is a company that I would I'm sorry, a woman and a non binary person, I should say. And the thought process, there was oh, this, they're thinking about this. And this shows to me. This is a company that I really want to work for if these are things that they're noticing and things that they're keeping in mind. And I think that goes to show on a lot of career pages on hiring pages and a reason why we took a lot of care at century to make sure our page represented who we were and who what we did there and what the people looked and acted and sounded like what we actually believe. I think there's a lot of jargon in corporate America where we say here are our core values are our beliefs, right? They'll have it at a startup up on the wall. But what do those words mean? Right? It's going back to the acronyms like, what does this pillar represent? Because I'm seeing diversity on the wall, but I'm seeing a much different story in your hiring process.
Taylor Sternberg 40:18
Yeah, you know, there's only one thing I want to talk about it being in the room is your objective as an interviewee is to put the person you're talking to, in comfort? Yeah, try to make them as comfortable as possible. Don't make them nervous or uneasy or feeling like they, you know, they need to say shoe, same thing for the interviewer. Make sure that the person you're interviewing is comfortable, because you want someone to be comfortable. So they perform at their best ability, and it helps build rapport. But back to that point of, I think there's a lot of things that we end up doing, where we think, okay, all of this stuff is is very efficient and very high leverage. But, and they go, you know, we should get rid of X, Y, or Z. You know, what, why should we? Why should we have Chloe interviewed by these people, it doesn't matter who it is. And it does matter. Because sometimes the things that you think don't matter, matter to the people who are affected by it, whether it's, it's, you know, what I was talking about something about like, today of like, we should, we shouldn't ask these people X, Y, or Z. And I said we should, because even if we don't use it, it shows that we are listening, and we're trying to get them invested in what we want to do. And, and so, I used to work at a camp and they said, some people say, it's not the way you say it. It's how you say it. Sorry, it's not how you say it. It's what you say. And they said, No, that's not true. It's what you say and how you say it. That's important. Yeah.
Chloe Condon 41:53
Words matter. And actions matter. Right.
Taylor Sternberg 41:56
And and I love and I love the strategy that metzen around uses of juggling broken glass in a room that really helps put a nice piece of ease in the room. That's awesome.
Brandon Minnick 42:06
Yeah, I hear they say it's, it's like drinking three cups of coffee in the morning. Well, Mama wakes you up. You're ready to go.
Taylor Sternberg 42:13
They now have Coca Cola mixed with coffee. Great way to start your day.
Brandon Minnick 42:17
Oh, no. I totally, totally aside. Yeah, I learned about that. A couple years ago. I was in Panama, and a guy I met who lived in Panama City. He was like, Yeah, we do that. Like we'll just take a coffee and pour Coke into it. I was like, that sounds crazy. I've heard about wine. And of course,
Chloe Condon 42:42
I saw a table thing that was like red wine and coke. And I was like, and apparently it's something that is popular in other countries. Who knew? Hey, now I know. I need this feature.
Brandon Minnick 42:55
I will say when when I did my experiment when I got back home. When I lived in San Francisco, I grabbed a cold brew and a coke. And yeah, I was awake for like 36 hours straight it.
Taylor Sternberg 43:09
It does. It tastes good.
Brandon Minnick 43:11
Um, it's definitely a new taste is something that
Unknown Speaker 43:15
it's not probably.
Brandon Minnick 43:17
It's something you've never, or at least for me, it's something I've never tasted before. And I will say by the time you got a couple sips into it. It wasn't that. And so his thing was like he he does a lot of driving. And so he needed to needed to stay up, whether it's two in the morning, and he's got to meet his deadlines. And so for him, it was just let's stay awake. And so yeah, I guess if you ever find yourself in that situation, hopefully, hopefully we don't have any crazy stressful deadlines, right. But
Chloe Condon 43:48
when I did children's theater at Berkeley in the morning, I relied heavily on Red Bull, pineapple flavor,
Unknown Speaker 43:56
Unknown Speaker 44:00
Chloe Condon 44:03
Well, let's see. Do we have any questions in the chat here for Taylor? I thought PJ has some questions. By the way.
Taylor Sternberg 44:10
Adrian, does he mix everything with beer? I know they have a rattler they have a diesel. Like what what like what else do they mix with beer? Wow.
Chloe Condon 44:23
appetising, man, right. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 44:27
It really gets the point across like, you know what you're getting into and your dad diesel.
Chloe Condon 44:32
We've got a question here. Taylor. What do you love most about what you do now?
Unknown Speaker 44:35
Unknown Speaker 44:37
I love I love that I'm
Taylor Sternberg 44:38
creating entertainment and I'm helping create entertainment. I'm also you know, as a as a creator and a former creator and a former creative professional. It's like, I want to help other creative professionals. do what they do best. You know, it's like when I when I saw Chloe and she was starting, streaming and like being a really great actor. advocate, I was like, Oh, this is a really, really great person. I was like, I just want to help her create something awesome, you know and see her thrive. And that's why I'm here is because I want to see this thrive and do well. And so I really love setting up people for success. I think the other thing, there's two other things is like in operation stuff, I do a lot of work in no code. So when you build out like a no code sequence, and it works perfectly, you're like, Oh, it's like I did magic. And everyone is using Yes. Hey, elite hacking. And then the other one is when you create a UX pattern that forces people to do what you want them to do in a great way. It's awesome. Like, do you set up like a landing page or a form field and they fill it out perfectly? And it's wonderful and use the right language? And then it comes back in? That's an amazing magic trick.
Chloe Condon 45:51
It's very, yeah. And I think also, I'd be really interested Taylor in knowing what your feelings are about just the performing arts landscape. Now we're in this digital area era during COVID-19 where everything is online. Bradley is shut down right now all of the regional theaters are shut down. We've seen some things like Ratatouille, the musical and there was a really cool Broadway performer I think and Beetlejuice who did an at home, Floyd Collins production made completely of cardboard boxes. Wow. Which has been so cool to see. Have you seen any theater or performing arts? I guess I should say during quarantine, that has been interesting to you.
Taylor Sternberg 46:33
Yeah, you know, I think the biggest thing is like, understand the medium that you're pushing on. If you're using Tick tock, like don't try and do you know, a 30 minute talk show. I mean, they have a live thing, whatever. But it's like it's quick clips around Instagram. It's very in a certain way. I think one thing that a lot of people run into when it comes to like live versus VOD, is what makes live unique. It's this conversation I'm having with chat with a Kalyan and Mojo Mojo Jojo 86. And, and that it's live. We can ask questions. That's the function of live Yeah, I end up doing just a talking head video on Twitch or YouTube Live or you know, Instagram Live like what is the purpose of being live just do a video on demand. I would say things that I'm really drawn to right now on Twitch are people who build these amazing performance experiences. Like one of my favorite is the sushi dragon.
Chloe Condon 47:30
Oh, yes, we looked at that yesterday with you I'm I'm amazed by people on Twitch who are doing full kind of immersive interactive performances. And in a weird way, Taylor I kind of Hope it rubs off into the life theater world because the interaction is very cool. Oh, yeah.
Taylor Sternberg 47:47
You know, it's, it's, it's that, you know, I think like St. Vincent does some of it to another one I like is dandy does it and they have the controllers on their hands and they dance around the room and they got a green screen and they make effects happen and they do different things. And if you're a developer, this is a great moment for you to create a stream there's a great great guy that I always promote named cruiser eight, and cruiser eight and he's got this thing called cruise control and it's a pseudo code library for controlling twitch interactions. And so you can have chat make things go and have channel points make things go and and and you can have this interactive art experience with chat building things out. Danny does it does it sushi dragon does it. And and so there's a lot of really amazing web hooks and API calls you can pull in to create really fully immersive interactive performance experiences. And even if you're just somebody wants to turn on a camera and go, like what is your show, right? What is your live show? If you're doing it on Twitch I like to liken it to a radio show where it's like dropping content somebody is not going to hang around for the entire two three hours of your thing, but they might come in for 20 minutes How do you allow them to have context when they drop in and then with YouTube it's like you know it's video content make video edited? Build an experience from beginning to end there's all amazing opportunities for you to do stuff and you're not going to know unless you say the two words do I
Unknown Speaker 49:19
just have to ship it
Chloe Condon 49:20
does I have to ship it yeah that's like been the wonderful thing about so I recently I've just been going on a twitch and browsing just being like what are people doing on here I'm so curious. And I was at before doing this browsing only following a drag queen that I love named Vishal vivacious highly recommend who deejays almost every single day, but it's fascinating to see everything from a meditation sound bath to having people do there's ASMR twitch there's crafting twitch there's just watch me click on my keys for a little bit Twitch. There's so many things Dev.
Taylor Sternberg 49:57
People do live coding on Twitch and what They'll do is if you subscribe, or you put in bits or do any of those things, they will put your name into the comments of the code. So it's still an interactive experience. So like say, Okay, I'm programming this thing. Let's test it. Hey, you know, Kelly, you just gave me 15 bits, or Oh, that's a really great idea. I'll put you in the comments. This was Kelly's. I love that, you know, and so you can make it an interactive experience. But it's just like, imagine you're hanging out with your friends, because that's what COVID has done for all of us, is it as you made us have these pseudo social relationships that we need, and we crave? Yeah, you can create those pseudo social experiences on YouTube, live Twitch, whatever, so that people feel connected and have a community that they feel like that are part of,
Chloe Condon 50:51
it's almost more intimate than a live event. Because you can have these one to one interactions that previously as a speaker at events, there would be a lineup of people, sometimes people would have to go and get the lunch or go to the next talk. So I've, in a weird way, kind of enjoyed it can be overwhelming sometimes. But I've really enjoyed being able to have these connections with people I wouldn't otherwise be connected with at all.
Taylor Sternberg 51:16
Yeah, well, there's there's a, there's two here. I think it's a high l maybe high l codes of people who have built extensions and experiences where you know, it like I said, it's, it's it's all about live is all about stimulation. And response is, you press a button and you get something back. Right. So you know, I you can build something and it just changes the color or as as a hotel code, I think I would say is it chill or Kyle clarkia built an extension that allows folks to highlight leave a message on a lot of VS code. It's like all people want to do is be recognized in chat. That's what I'm trying to do with all of you in chat is make sure I call you out to know that your stim your stimulus is getting a response. And that's what's so cool about live. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 52:03
Chloe Condon 52:33
That's why I'm taking apart all these toys on stream. I'm like, surely I enjoy this, surely some other people are going to enjoy this.
Brandon Minnick 52:43
And this thing, like I guarantee you, there's hundreds, if not 1000s of people around the world that also love those things. And you get to share that passion with them. And this is a world you would have never known existed. These are Oh yeah, never would have met or come across them day to day life. And I just love how we can just literally go to a platform like Twitch and say, start. Right and you're done. You're going.
Taylor Sternberg 53:08
The other fun part is you meet these people in these communities. And then when you know we can meet each other for real again, you go with conferences, and you go, Hey, this person from my chat. Hey, how are you? Nice to see ya. You know, oh, yeah, Insta fluff builds some really good interaction stuff as well.
Chloe Condon 53:23
Yeah. Oh, yeah. I'm so excited. I'm, I'm newer to twitch, I just became an affiliate. And I'm playing around with all the booths and the beeps. And I think that's what makes me so excited is that, you know, previously we would give a talk, and it'd be like, Hi, I'm this person, I'm just going to talk at you. But the ability to be to be able to have an ongoing conversation while working on something. I tuned in yesterday to our co workers, Tierney and M. We're doing a live stream on Twitch of they're setting up GitHub actions, and I got to join the chat. And then we start talking about cheese because Tierney was sagging on some string cheese and then the conversation turned to cheese. So I just loved it. This is this would have never happened if M and Tierney were doing a live talk it would have been you know we're on the stage and we're on and and I love that this has now become this format. That is a lot. Not only Not only do I think it opens it up to more people, because I think there's people who are able to tune into this that maybe wouldn't have previously attended a tech conference. But it's like you said there's all these niche bizarre things that people love. I was encouraging our guest on my show yesterday llerena clown turned engineer that she just needs to do a twitch stream of her pug. And then she showed me a video of it snoring and I'm like I would watch this
Unknown Speaker 54:41
Taylor Sternberg 54:42
was a stream from while of like a dog shelter and you just sit there and or there's one of like a chicken coop. And just like Hey, nice window in the life you know, because we can't go out so let's let's just hang out and watch chickens and talk and chat. One of the coolest interactions recently was games done quick was a few weeks ago, and anytime there was a clap emote in chat, that's what we call them on Twitch their emotes cat clap emote on Twitch, there was a crowd, and an animation of somebody clapping would go. And if more claps would go on screen, you'd see the hands go more and more and more and the sound will get louder and louder. So as a creative and as a coder, you can create these experiences that are interactive with the crowd, you know.
Chloe Condon 55:27
Yeah, I love and because, you know, we we know, Taylor from joy musicals, very rare to be able to acknowledge the audience, except in very specific certain instances in particular shows,
Unknown Speaker 55:37
turn off your phone.
Chloe Condon 55:39
Yes, turn off.
We're coming for you. Unwrap your
Unknown Speaker 55:44
laws before the show.
Chloe Condon 55:48
And it's been so interesting for me because I used to say something in a talk that I gave like, shout out to the daughters, like back in the before times, you'd give a talk and you're like, Is anybody Oh, there's someone nodding. So I know, at least this person's listening. And I feel like the people in the chat especially when you're streaming and it says, you know, 60 people are watching, there's two people active in the chat or something like that. And I can have this interaction with them.
Taylor Sternberg 56:12
Right? What if you like, um, like, right now, you could type in slash poll and take a poll? Or you could say, hey, chat. Do you like pineapple on pizza? One for Yes, two for No. So let's see it right now. Do you like pineapple on pizza? One for Yes, two for now, or do a poll but that's interaction. You know, it's like you can Yeah, you can put something out and get something back. No, is not a number, right?
Chloe Condon 56:42
Oh, gosh, I love all of this. I I'm here for like, I'm very torn y'all because I cannot wait until we can I just keep picturing us being back in a concert venue or a theater and being around people and hugging our friends. But I equally am excited by what this has done to be able to open up more things to more people on a digital scale. So I'm, I'm hopeful and optimistic by how this changes not just the performing arts world, but just how we present content.
Taylor Sternberg 57:14
Yeah. Here's I'm gonna put some links in chat here. There's sushi dragon. Here's dandy does it who I think is identical the previous one you sat? Okay, I want this. Let me put a space here. There we go. dandy does it and then another one that I've been liking a lot recently is clone Corp. clone Corp. Yeah, clone Corp. Does interesting stuff too. But it's all really crazy weird. Adult swimming sub. Oh, there's also like v tubers. The V tuber world is amazing. And v streamers where they have a digital avatar that tracks their face and does animation on screen. Oh, wow. Yeah. Oh, no. Somebody's got a mods have to allow me links, whatever. Okay, well, Shannon's? It's, well put them in the notes. Yeah, the sushi dragon. dandy does it a clone Corp. And then Oh, so like the V shojo. group. So if you were to look up the shojo iron mouse is a V tuber. And then there's one more I was gonna say
Chloe Condon 58:22
iron mouse sounds like a cool metal band that I wanted to see perform live.
Taylor Sternberg 58:27
coding. Nico has a full body tracking suit and full Unreal Engine 3d motion capture. And she does a talk show. And it's I mean, wow,
Chloe Condon 58:36
I love it. I'm just so excited. Taylor, you are our official twitch correspondent for the show. We're gonna come to you to help us get all the beeps and boops that we want on here. Thank you so much for coming today. Where can people find you on the interwebs
Taylor Sternberg 58:52
twitter.com slash Taylor's here and go see the the Killer Instinct promo I posted because that's going to be a lot of fun.
Chloe Condon 59:00
Whoo. Tell us about that.
Taylor Sternberg 59:02
So I work for twitch rivals, which is eSports shows on Twitch and we're having a killer instinct tournament, which is a fighting game. And we got the original announcer who does like you know, killer ads. And it's amazing. And he sounds great. But I just posted the trailer. It's gonna be a lot of fun. And then another one we got is the streamer bowl. We got 30 football players, 30 streamers and 30 community players playing in the big streamer bowl coming up. And they're playing fortnight trios. So that'll be a lot of fun.
Chloe Condon 59:35
Adrian I thought the same thing I thought Killer Instinct from bringing it on initially the musical. Thank you so much for joining us, Taylor. That is our show for today. But I can't wait to see all of the exciting Performing Arts type things that we'll do together and will bring to this world. And thank you for sharing all your knowledge. I'm like taking notes for myself.
Taylor Sternberg 1:00:00
Buddy has any questions about streaming, feel free to contact me on Twitter. My DMS are open, happy to help you out. Because I just love creating cool stuff and helping people out.
Chloe Condon 1:00:09
Well thank you for helping enable it. And from both of us here at eight bit studios, aka our own homes. That is all for today. Brandon, play us out.
Brandon Minnick 1:00:22
We'll see you next week. Bye.