Developer Advocacy from Nuxt to React with Debbie O’Brien
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The role of developer advocate is a fairly new one and can therefore be difficult to define as it continues to evolve. In today’s episode, Alex, Tessa, and Ari get together with Debbie O’Brien, Head Developer Advocate at Bit, to discuss how she transitioned from being a developer to team leader to working as a developer advocate and she unpacks the elements that drew her to the role. Debbie shares her passionate take on KPIs as well as the lessons she learned from the book Surrounded by Idiots. We delve into the traits that make up a good developer advocate and discuss why there’s a need for companies to introduce the role of junior developer advocate. Later Debbie shares some of the learning challenges you’ll experience as a developer advocate and how she adapted to learning React under high-pressure circumstances. We end the show by hearing everybody’s picks, ranging from AI software and counterintuitive fruit gums to the world’s most expensive headphones. For all this and more, join us today!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Introducing today’s guest Debbie O'Brien.
- What it means to be a developer advocate and how the role has evolved.
- Why KPI analytics aren’t always useful.
- Debbie shares what drew her to developer advocacy.
- How Debbie went from developer to team leader to developer advocate.
- Debbie shares what she learned about leadership from Surrounded by Idiots.
- How developer advocacy can be a very time-consuming position.
- Why it can be difficult to determine whether you want to work in tech.
- Determining what kind of people you want to work with.
- How working in developer advocacy means you get to be at the forefront of new developments and technologies.
- Some of the concerns around developer advocacy’s ability to connect with and help developers.
- How Debbie’s company is helping companies migrate over from legacy stacks.
- Why empathy is as important as technical skills in development advocacy.
- Why the role of junior developer advocate is important for the industry and should be actively created and nurtured.
- Why writing a starter guide is a good job for a junior developer advocate.
- Why it’s difficult to get into developer advocacy.
- Debbie shares what it was like learning React under high-pressure circumstances.
- The type of learning challenges you will experience as a developer advocate.
- We hear this weeks' picks! Rowntree Fruit Gums, Elgato Stream Decks, GitHub CoPilot, and more!
“Maybe the most successful model for a junior developer advocate program would be one at a company large enough that could have them do product rotations.” — @GloomyLumi [0:35:23]
“I feel like KPIs are kind of, it's that classic criticism of measuring something because it's measurable, rather than measuring the things that you need to keep track of like, it's just quantitative data.” — Tessa [0:08:30]
“I started thinking about what are the parts of my job that I love and what is the part of the job that I don't like, and then try and look at what kind of job fits the job that I love. And everything seemed to fit into developer advocate.” — @debs_obrien [0:40:54]
“Having worked on small, medium, and large codebases, I know one of the big things that I think you need to keep in mind when you're doing developer advocacy is, ‘Okay, how do you integrate this with an already existing project?’” —@fimion [0:32:58]
“There should probably be a starter role, maybe it's not a junior developer advocate, maybe it's like a content creator and then you kind of go up because you could be a very, very, very good content creator, and not necessarily be a developer advocate.” — @debs_obrien [0:35:50]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Our picks this week
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[00:00:38] AC: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Enjoy the Vue. I am Ari. Today, on our panel we have Alex.
[00:00:45] AR: Hello.
[00:00:46] AC: Tessa.
[00:00:46] T: Hello.
[00:00:49] AC: Today, our special guest is Debbie O’Brien. Debbie, would you like to introduce yourself?
[00:00:55] DO: Hello. I'm sorry, I had to do that, because the script says, “Debbie O'Brien says hello.” I just went, “Okay, let's go with it.” Yes. Hello, everyone.
[00:01:07] T: Can we redo mine? I have to say hi.
[00:01:10] DO: Yeah. You got it all wrong. I was the only one who did it right.
[00:01:12] AR: I wasn’t looking at the script. I'm sorry.
[00:01:18] DO: Cut. Yeah, let me introduce myself. Right. Yeah, I am Debbie O'Brien. You should all know me by now. If you don't know me, then you have not been working with Nuxt, because that's what you would have known me for. I used to work at Nuxt as a developer advocate and did a lot of content creation on Nuxt. I now work at Bit as a developer advocate. I am basically based in Majorca in Spain, but I'm Irish, as you can probably tell by my accent. Yeah, I love traveling the world and speaking at conferences, and just doing cool things, and working with the tech community and open source and having fun. I don't know. What else do you want to know about me?
[00:01:54] AC: Oh, I'm sure we'll find out lots throughout the episode. Because today's topic is developer advocacy, and what the heck is that? Let's start with a roundtable. What does being a developer advocate mean to each of you? Let's start with Alex.
[00:02:11] AR: It means that you get a lot of really cool avocado stickers, is my understanding.
[00:02:16] T: Oh, no.
[00:02:17] DO: I don't have an avocado sticker.
[00:02:19] AC: What?
[00:02:20] T: Not a real developer advocate.
[00:02:22] AR: Oh, no. Oh, no.
[00:02:27] AC: Okay. Avocado stickers. Tessa?
[00:02:31] T: Well, Alex is completely wrong. Developer advocates are obviously, they're like YouTube stars, right? They're just in it for the fame. They're not creative. They just want to stand up on stage and look really pretty and really cool and make lots of famous friends, because they're super famous. Everybody loves them, because they're famous. They also have really nice sunglasses.
[00:02:48] DO: I do not have nice sunglasses. [00:02:51] AC: Oh. Well, I guess you're doing it wrong.
[00:02:52] DO: I know. I need new ones. I need new ones.
[00:02:54] T: You’re not ticking any of these boxes, Debbie.
[00:02:58] AC: Okay, Debbie, what is it for you?
[00:03:00] DO: Are you not going to answer? I'd like to hear your answer first.
[00:03:03] AC: I'm still not entirely sure.
[00:03:06] DO: That's why I wanted to hear it.
[00:03:08] AC: My impression of it is that, basically, you guys just get to make things and then share it with people.
[00:03:19] DO: No, that is me. You got it right. You got it so right, Ari. Yeah. I think, it's a topic that it's really hard to actually say exactly what a developer advocate is, because it's such a new role. It's a role that's changed over, especially over the last year, especially with COVID and everything that happened, it changed the whole world. The developer advocate role change, too, because all of a sudden, companies need to get their product out to developers, and they're not getting it to the conferences as much as they would like to, etc. You need more people to advocate for your product.
Also, people are creating really cool stuff. There's a lot of really cool new products that you want developers using. The developer advocate is really, I like to think of it as like, so we have a sales person in our company. He always says, “You do the same job as me. You're a salesperson.” I'm like, “I'm not a sales person.” In a way, we are the same, because we both advocate for the product. We both describe the product, talk about it, talk to people about it, etc., and share knowledge about it.
The main difference is that the salesperson cares about money and the developer advocate doesn't care anything about money. I don't care about money. I'm going to talk to you about Bit. I'm going to tell you how cool Bit is, and how you should use it. If you walk away from that and decide never to use it, I don't really care. Because it's like, I don't care if you're going to spend money and do the cloud and do the enterprise and have 20 people on your team and all that. It does not interest me.
What I do care about is if you're using the product, and it's not working the way it should, or there's a feature that's missing, or you don't understand things, because it's not very well documented or there's no good demo, then I care about it. I care about the developers. I like to say, I work for the developers. You, everyone, all these developers out there in the world are my bosses in a way. I haven't just get paid by someone else. That's the way I like to see my role.
[00:05:13] T: Yeah, it's interesting, because I feel with sales, the way that I've seen the job done nowadays is the purpose of a salesperson isn't to create more sales people. Although, I think, ideally, if you're a great salesperson, then you would make people excited about your product. With developer advocacy, I almost feel a lot of it is creating sleep or sell advocates across different companies that are excited about your product and are advocating for it, because you create a good experience for them. They trust you to look out for their needs.
[00:05:43] DO: Yeah. I mean, you could have people who are not paid. I get paid, thank God. Because otherwise, I wouldn't be able to survive, right? You could have someone who's advocating for something, and the same way with Next. I was advocating for Nuxt way before I was employed by Nuxt. I was speaking at conferences. I was writing blog posts. I was creating material in my free time. I was advocating for Nuxt, and I got absolutely nothing. I didn't get any sunglasses, or any avocado stickers. I like was an African. Then, I got employed by Nuxt.
[00:06:12] T: They still didn't give you any sunglasses, or avocado stickers. Unbelievable.
[00:06:16] DO: No. I know, right? I got triangles, though. Does that count? Yeah, it's different. One of the things as well some of the team say to me like, “What are your KPIs?” I don't even know what a KPI is. I’m like, what the hell is that mean?
[00:06:34] AC: Key performance indicator.
[00:06:35] DO: Is that what it is? I just go like, “Don't do KPIs.” I thought they were packets of crisps. KP crisps or something. No. Seriously, I never knew what it stood for. Yeah, I can't put KPIs on my job. If someone says to me like, at the end of the month, how many blog posts you're going to have written? How many videos are going to create? How many demos? How many conference talks? How many podcasts? I can't give that information, because my job changes so much, and it varies so much, depending on the needs. The needs change a lot, because the product is new, and it's growing. Today, I’m on a podcast. That's something cool. I do it the other way around. I do my KPIs at the end of the month. At the end of the month, this is what I did.
[00:07:16] AC: You always hit the target.
[00:07:21] DO: Yeah, because I never set myself by these. It's great. Yeah, it's very hard to measure. I did have friends who are developer advocates who came to me with this fear, because their company, it was new for that company talk developer advocates. They were being told, “We need you to write three blog posts a month, and we need you to do this.” I was like, “Tell them no. Maybe one month, you might write 10 blog posts.” I did that Nuxt. I wrote a blog post a day, every day, when we were in lockdown. It was my, just get me out of lockdown. I was like, I'm going to write a blog post one a day, every day. Helped me survive. I don't know, as weird as mud.
That's something that I could do and then I didn't write a blog post for six months. Everything is different, and you can't measure those things. I think, companies are getting to be more aware of the fact that you have to let the developer advocate just go free. They will do a great job and they will come up with new ideas and new things. The creativity will just happen. If you set KPIs, that's just like giving them tickets. It’s like, “Oh, I don't do tickets.”
[00:08:18] T: Yeah. Your description of the way you do KPIs reminds me of, I don't remember the joke. I heard a joke once about throwing a dart and then painting the target around it. I feel like, KPIs are – it's that classic criticism of measuring something, because it's measurable, rather than measuring the things that you need to keep track of. It's just quantitative data. Does it really mean anything?
With your blog post example, let's say a team was told that they had to put out a blog post every two weeks, but they don't have any overarching goal, or any vision for what they want their community to be like, or what they want people to be excited about. Is that achieving anything, except for some security blanket that okay, we're putting out content regularly that's inherently good. We're doing a good job. We're good developer advocates. I'm not so sure.
[00:09:03] DO: Yeah. You can't measure it short-term. You'll know in a couple of months’ time if you're making impact, because people are using the product. Developers are talking about it. You're creating a community at the end of the day, and especially in the product I'm working on, it's open source. You're really focusing on the community. If you start seeing people and using GitHub discussions, for example, I've done my job, just because two people replied in the GitHub discussion. That for me is like, “Wow, there you go. I've reached a target.”
[00:09:31] AC: We should do an episode on measuring developer performance in general, because that's a whole can of worms.
[00:09:40] DO: It's very different as well, because I came from an agency work where I literally had to clock in every 15 minutes of work. Everything was clocked in and invoiced to clients. Almost literally, going to the bathroom, literally stop the clock, go to the bathroom, come back. It's crazy. You're literally logging in. You knew exactly how many minutes a day you worked, for what company, for what project, for what client and how long everything took. I swear to God, you could spend about 45 minutes a day just logging time and you waste so much time doing it. It's almost just not worth it. Now, I don't do anything.
[00:10:12] AR: My first developer job was at an agency, and I had the exact same experience. Only, I was in the support department. It was like, “Okay, cool.” I worked 10 minutes on this project. Then I switched to another project, so that was another 15 minutes. Then I worked on this other project and that was 30 minutes. Then I answered an email from this client, so that was 10 minutes. Then it was just like, “Oh, well.”
[00:10:33] T: I didn't work in the agency, but I also had to log hours, but not minutes. Just a rough estimation of hours. A lot of people would just save it till the end of the month, and then take a day to write in all their hours. Just like, I don't know. No matter how you did it, it was awful. Some places also have software that they put on your screens to monitor it. I guess, maybe if you log hours, it could be convenient if you're doing it to yourself, because then you don't have to write things down. Although, I would find that very stressful, but especially if your manager is doing it.
[00:11:00] AC: We've established all the wrong ways to measure performance. I'm curious, what drew people to be developer advocates. Why make the transition from developer on a product to advocating for a product?
[00:11:18] DO: I think for me, it was a little bit different, because I went from developer to team lead. Team lead, I ended up doing lots of consultancy work, which is great, but also lots of team leading. Don't get me wrong. I love people. I was people managing more than I was developing. It just was like, that's not what I want to do. I was like, holidays, hours, someone’s sick, cover this, and agency needed this project done. Oh, one thing I hated as well as estimating timings of how long it's going to take to build that application, or whatever, or that page. It’s like, I don't know, two weeks, three weeks. I don't know. I'm terrible at that stuff.
I hated what I was doing in that respect, but I loved what I was doing when I was consulting with the clients and stuff. I loved when I was at conferences. I started thinking about what is the part of my job I love and what is the part of the job that I don't like. Then, try and look at what job fits the job that I love. Everything seemed to fit into developer advocate. It was like, this is what I love now. It could have been developer experience. I mean, there's developer relations. I find them all very, very similar, all of them similar, but maybe a little differences.
Any of those would have suited, except team lead and even architect and I love doing architecture. I want to be building. I don't want to be just consulting. I want to also be building. There was a lot of things that just for me, it just made sense, because that's what I wanted.
[00:12:40] AC: Anyone else want to chime in?
[00:12:43] AR: For me, I was organizing meetups and realized that it'd be really great if someone would pay me to organize meetups.
[00:12:52] DO: You're in it for the money. [00:12:55] AR: What I’ve learned is that I really hate solving my own problems, and I really enjoy solving other people's problems.
[00:13:02] T: Don’t we all?
[00:13:04] AR: Yeah. I feel like that that – There's a good part of developer advocacy, where people go like, “I'm having this issue.” You get to go, “Cool. Let me fix that for you.” Here's different ways that you can approach it. Use the one that works best for you, right?
[00:13:17] T: You wanted to become a professional Tweeter, right? Because I've heard people on Twitter really love to solve other people's problems, even if you don't ask them to, or if you tell them, please don't solve my problem. They'll come bashing down your door like, “Hey, here's what you're doing wrong with your life.”
[00:13:31] AR: Yes. I wanted to be a professional reply guy, is the – I like talking with people and seeing what problems other people are having and helping them come up with solutions. That's what got me into doing developer advocacy and experience and stuff.
[00:13:50] T: Yeah. I guess, similar to Alex, both in the tech world and in the art world, I know a lot of people who are like, “Oh, I became an engineer, or I became an animator.” When I was a kid, I didn't know you could do that as a job. I was just like, “What?” I guess, I can't really be that surprised, because I was spending a lot of time prepping talks and planning meetups. Then I found out, you can get paid for that. I was like, “What?”
[00:14:11] DO: Again, you're in it for the money.
[00:14:13] T: Right. Well also, I really miss working in I don't think sales is really the right word, but working in shops and working with customers and helping them pick out things that they wanted and helping them solve their problems. There's a new problem every single day. Also, back to Debbie's point about liking people. Sometimes even if you like people, it's hard to work with people. When you work in a store, even if you have a hard time, they go away eventually. You don't have to stick with them every day of the year for the rest of your life. I miss working with people and I miss the dynamism of working with different people in different problems every single day. [00:14:46] AC: I would just like to take this opportunity to say, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being in a job for the money. If you happen to also love it, that's great. If you don't, that's okay, too.
[00:15:00] DO: You're not a developer advocate, Ari.
[00:15:01] AC: I am not. I'm just a regular old run of the mill developer at a healthcare analytics company.
[00:15:08] DO: Do you have this, because it's really trendy right now. Everyone seems to want to be a developer advocate, which I don't understand. Everyone. It's like –
[00:15:14] T: It’s the sunglasses, Debbie.
[00:15:16] DO: Getting the sunglasses. It may be for the stickers, but I don't know. There's a lot of people. It's something people are wanting to get into as their first job, as opposed to coming up the roles of having done other stuff, and then trying to transition over, which is totally fine, right? It's like, what is attracting people? Or what do you think is attracting people to this role? Or maybe you're thinking like, “Oh, my God. I'd hate to do that role.”
[00:15:38] AC: I personally, I don't think I would like it. I don't like creating content, which I realized there's a bit of irony in that I am a panelist on a podcast, but that's different. It's totally different.
[00:15:50] DO: You give talks.
[00:15:52] AC: I gave a talk, and I don't know that I will do that again. I don't know. I might. I might. I'm not going to say never. It could happen. I think, maybe people are burned out on the typical tech role, at least I would have to imagine, because I know I hated my last job. I've made no secret about that. Apparently, the people I worked for found out and they disconnected from me on LinkedIn. I'm like, “Wow, that's petty.” You know what? I hated it there, so bye. Now, I have a job that I really love, but had I not found that in my next role, I could definitely see wanting to explore other avenues in tech.
[00:16:36] DO: That's interesting you say that, because one of the reasons as well, was that I just needed to get out of the company that I was in. Obviously, not Nuxt. Nuxt is great. The one before that.
[00:16:45] AC: Yes. We want it to be clear.
[00:16:46] DO: I’m not going to say the name.
[00:16:47] AC: We like nuxter.
[00:16:48] DO: I want to be very clear. If Nuxt hadn't come along, something else would have. As I was already looking, just Nuxt was the perfect choice at the time. I was trying to get out of where I was, because I was not happy, not just doing the job, but also with the people I was working with. Do you know what? At the time, I did think it was the people and then I bought a book, which is a really cool book. I can't remember the name, because I have it here. It's Surrounded by Idiots. It's a really good book.
I was going through so many problems of trying to manage people and people put you in a manager team lead role, without telling you how to lead people. All of a sudden, you've got to lead developers, just because you're the one with the most experience, or the most knowledgeable, or whatever. That's not the right thing to do, but that's what companies do. I'm leading these people and these people are not like me. I didn't understand that they were not like me. I just wanted a team of Debbies. Apparently, that's not possible.
[00:17:44] T: I mean, maybe if you set up a fun house in your room with mirrors everywhere.
[00:17:51] DO: I was like, we were working with Nuxt at the time. I was like, “Right. Everyone, here's the course index at the weekend. Go and study this. In Monday, we'll try and implement these features.” I’d come in on Monday, and nobody had done the course I suggested. Nobody to watched the talk. I'm like, “What?” I couldn't understand that somebody wouldn't want to spend their free time just working with Nuxt.
I was in love with my job and my job was my hobby, and everything was the same. Other people were actually doing a job as a job. 5:00 came and they didn't want to know anything about tech, until next Monday. Nothing. Not even Twitter, nothing. They didn't want to know. I was very harshly do understand –
[00:18:23] T: Especially Nuxt other.
[00:18:25] DO: Yeah. I couldn't understand it. I was like, “Why are you not all like me? I fought so hard to get here. I've struggled to get to this position.” That book really helped me, because it helped me show that there are different types of people. It separates them out by colors. I'm a red and a yellow. I'm just, “Go, just fire, just yeah.” Other people are greens and blues. They're the typical people, or a bit more relaxed, but also like different problem thinkers. I would change.
Nuxt 3 is out, for example, very soon. Let's move all our apps to Nuxt 3, for example. That'd be me. Someone else would be like, “Hang on a moment. Should we not test this out, and let's give it a six months?” We need those people as well. Trying to manage people who are not like yourself can be very difficult if you don't understand how people work. That book really helps you understand how people work. I recommend that to anyone who's leading.
Yeah, I just wanted to get out of what I was in. That for me was I need to look for something. Also, I needed to look for something outside of Majorca, because we don't have a lot of companies here. You're very limited to what you can do. The developer advocacy role is one that was primarily a remote type job before the word went remote. It was the one that you might be able to get into, as opposed to a developer working remotely, which just wasn't going to happen a year and a half ago.
[00:19:42] T: Yeah. Also, I think that book might have been your pick the last time you were on the show. Loyal listeners will have at it already.
[00:19:50] DO: Probably. It's an amazing book. Yeah.
[00:19:53] T: That's an interesting point, because I think it also plays into time zones and things, especially with people that have to work in the office. Maybe. I don't know if anybody in this group would know what I'm talking about. Maybe some people read at night. They're ready to go at 2 a.m. Then it's 80. They're like, “I don't feel like doing anything. I just want to lay in bed all day.” That could be yourself as well. [00:20:12] AR: Then, there's us normal people who wake up at 5:00 in the morning, and –
[00:20:16] DO: 5 is normal?
[00:20:17] AC: I wake up between 6 and 6:30, but not because I want to. I would like to make that super clear.
[00:20:27] DO: I'm a 7 a.m. person, so I can get up and go and do sports.
[00:20:29] AC: Yeah. My first meeting is at 8 a.m. every day.
[00:20:33] AR: No, I wake up between 6 and 7, realistically, and then I play video games for two hours, and then I go to work.
[00:20:39] AC: Yeah. I have to do something in the morning before doing other things.
[00:20:43] AR: Yes.
[00:20:44] DO: Do you think a person can be a developer advocate, if they're the type of person that is only doing it for the job, like 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, or whatever hours you choose, and not do anything outside of their working hour? Is it the type of job that consumes your life, because for me, it does consume my life, but I love that, so that's cool. A lot of people I know in developer advocates, it also consumes their life, because they're always doing other stuff, weekends, free time, etc.
[00:21:12] T: There's also a lot of developer advocates that are in the middle, where it seems like it consumes their life, but they also bounce it out by doing things for themselves during the day, if they know they're going to do something at night. It reminds me of discussions about pricing art in the art world, or getting paid for a job versus an unpaid internship, because it's like, you want everybody to get paid.
At the same time, if somebody especially newer to the field, is under charging, charging really low prices, then a lot of people resent them, because they're dragging down the prices, even though it's not necessarily their fault, but more the ecosystem undervaluing the art, and they just need to make money. I feel like, it can be similar with this field.
I think, as it continues expanding, there will be increasing amount of room for people who are like, “I just want to clock in 9 to 5 and go home.” Especially at newer companies that are creating a new developer advocate team. I think because they're new to it, they want to treat it like a regular product engineering team and just give talk-down orders and you follow it. People who are looking for a job, they just want to do 9 to 5. I think, that would fit the bill.
Then on the other hand, that might also continue to propagate and build up and change this impression of what developer advocacy is in to something else, like what we were talking about earlier with the KPIs.
[00:22:27] DO: Talking hours.
[00:22:29] AR: I think some of it also is it depends on who your target audience is, too. If you are doing something where you want all developers, any developer anywhere to be able to use the thing right, then yeah, being a developer advocate; you want to be where the people are all the time. You need to be over the top about it. Then if you're in a company that's a very large enterprise, and you are a developer advocate for the thing that your company makes for other companies talking about it at non-work hours, you're not going to be able to go to a regular person and be like, “Hey, we can now manage all of your enterprise needs for things.” People on the street are just going to be like, “I have $20 in my wallet right now. I don't have enterprise problems. I have people problems.” The audience for that is just completely different.
[00:23:23] T: Okay, but to be fair, we're also not stuffing random strangers on the street to talk to them about changes, right?
[00:23:28] AR: Oh, we're not supposed to? Oh. Oh.
[00:23:31] DO: No. We don’t sell. We don’t get money.
[00:23:34] AR: That’s the mistake I’ve been making.
[00:23:35] DO: We don’t care about enterprises. We care about developers.
[00:23:39] AR: Yeah. Okay, I'll stop grabbing people on the street.
[00:23:42] DO: Who's your boss? What are they making you do?
[00:23:50] T: Going back to your other question, Debbie. A lot of people that I've noticed in the circles that I went in that are wanting to move into developer advocacy, tends to be newer to the industry. I find, also, a lot of career changers, both wanting to enter into developer advocacy, and also already working in developer advocacy. I wonder if it's also something attractive about not just having to code all day, but also being able to leverage your other pre-existing skills and strengths.
It's interesting, because when I was looking for my first job, there was somebody who's going to be on the show later, actually, who their first job in tech was as a tech evangelist. I got a sneak preview into that life, but I didn't know anything about the tech world, or what I would be interested in, or what I would be allowed to find as a job, I guess, if that makes sense.
I think, also, after having entered the tech field, and having a lot of friends, that gave talks and stuff and knowing that I don't have to do it only in my free time, but I can do it during work hours, so I can have actual free time. I still don't have actual free time. It felt really appealing. Also, I think a part of it was, I don't know. I think, this is probably really uncommon. If it is common, a big secret in tech. I think, there are a lot of people in tech that don't necessarily have the best experiences. They might be worse for you, if you are, say, not a man. Or if you're a person of color.
[00:25:12] AR: I have no idea what you're talking about.
[00:25:16] T: Yeah, we're being a bit facetious. I think for that as well, at least for me, personally, I was like, “I don't know if I like being a tech worker or not. Do I enjoy this? Am I good at this?” It's hard to tell, because it's hard to separate your experience in a work environment with your colleagues from the thing itself. Yeah, I guess that was a roundabout way of saying, I wonder if people are also moving into that field, because they see more opportunities to expand their circle of people that they work with and expand their experiences. They see people on stage, or on videos looking like they're having fun and they're like, “I want to have fun, too. I want those sunglasses.”
[00:25:53] DO: It's a very good point, because it's like, the developer advocate is very free and not part of the main team of the developers, or the product team, or whatever. They're involved. You're still part of all those teams. You don't have to fit in as much. You can be very free. Yeah, a very interesting way putting it.
[00:26:12] AC: Yeah. I gave a talk, because it looked like y'all were having so much fun. I was like, “No. Not for me.” Granted, I managed to look like I was having fun while doing it. Immediately after, just dead inside.
[00:26:28] T: I wonder if we're having fun, because it means that we can't edit our slides anymore, so we don't have to worry about it anymore, because it's too late.
[00:26:36] AR: Yeah. We can stop the editing of the slides and just do the thing. I think for me, some of it too, is that I did theater for 15 years.
[00:26:45] T: What?
[00:26:46] AR: Yeah, I know. Right.
[00:26:47] AC: You've never mentioned that before, Alex.
[00:26:48] AR: I’ve mentioned it before. Part of that is that every month, you're working on something different. Your friends are the people that you work with. If you want to hang out with somebody, you go work a show with them. That's how it works. I did that for so long, that I'm so used to being like, I want to hang out with the people that I work with. Then you get the jobs in an office and you're like, “No. No, I don't.” Trying to refine that, people who have the same interest that I do and doing that stuff.
[00:27:22] DO: You want to work with a lot of Debbies as well. We’re the same, right? You just want Alexes.
[00:27:26] AR: Well, no. I want to remove Debbies. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I want people who are –
[00:27:36] DO: Share the same passion.
[00:27:38] AR: Yes. Or is excited about things as I am. Former jobs, I'd be like, “Oh, there's this really cool thing.” They'd be like, “It's not PHP. I don't care.” You're like, “But. Okay.”
[00:27:50] DO: Yeah. Or you hold a meetup in your company and you're like, you go to all the trouble and you get someone flying over to the meetup and they're all excited. They're like, “7:00.” I finish at 5. See you later. You’re like, “What? See in the office. You don't have to travel anywhere.” It's like, come on. Yeah, I couldn't. Yeah. I think that's an important thing. You get to work with people who are like-minded like you. It's very true, all developer advocates I've met, I could so happily work with them. They're like my team. They become your team and you're just like – I don't know, you just gel, right? Ari, look at you missing out on –
[00:28:22] AC: I'm very happy with it.
[00:28:25] AR: You start figuring out who you con troll and how you troll them, too. That's the other fun part of being a developer advocate.
[00:28:32] DO: I think, you're also always learning. I don't know, Ari. Maybe you're also still learning, so I don't like tell me to say you're not.
[00:28:39] AC: Yeah.
[00:28:40] T: Not me. I'm done learning. I've learned all the things. Nothing well.
[00:28:46] AC: You know you're a white man.
[00:28:50] DO: Yeah. I think, because one of the other things as well is that you get to play with the shiny new cool toys. You're never going to be a developer advocate and have to go and work with jQuery, or some old tech stack and be stuck doing things not the way you want to do them. I think, you get to make an impact and get to push things forward and work in the more modern, cool, shiny, cool things. That's definitely a seller.
[00:29:13] AC: I'm just going to say, working at a startup, you get that too.
[00:29:19] T: I like to hear more about that. Because I feel there is a lot of concern in the developer relations community about developer advocates not being able to relate to the developers that they're marketing to, because they are always working on greenfield small projects, and they never have legacy, heavy, big, giant, sprawling apps. Also on that note, I feel like in developer advocacy, There is this problem of there not really being any junior roles. I've also heard some advocates believe that you need to have a lot of experience in the engineering world before you can become an advocate. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to be a good advocate. I'm curious, what everyone's thoughts are on experience and being able to empathize with and help developers.
[00:30:01] DO: Tessa, that's a lot of questions thrown in all at once. Right, let me answer the first one. The cool thing about my job and working at Bit is the fact that what we've built is a way for you to share and collaborate on components, but also, that you – it's basically creating a developer environment for you, a better workflow. We're encouraging you to test components, to write documentation for components and basically, to write better code and to think component-driven. You're building components and doing everything in isolation.
We're actually helping those companies that are working in jQuery, that are working in these legacy stacks. We're helping them migrate over and actually, have a better life, which is really nice. That's a really, really cool part of my job that we get to share this cool tool that we're using, but this tool, we're basically saying, I'm advocating to you to say like, “Get out of jQuery. Get out of where you are and work with this better way of working, and we'll help you do it. This is the tool that's going to help you do it.” That's my take on that.
[00:31:08] AC: I'll speak to my perceptions as just a plain old developer.
[00:31:12] DO: Just a developer for Ari.
[00:31:15] AC: Something that my manager and I have talked about a lot in terms of when we're looking to hire someone is someone who has spent enough time on one project to have to live with their mistakes. Because there's a very specific value in knowing that your decision was probably the right decision at the time, but it doesn't always end up being what works in the long run. Having to learn from your mistakes and feel the pain of your mistakes.
I think, it is a different perspective as a developer. Yes, there are times where I do not feel a lot of people who are just doing toy projects on a constant basis. I feel like, it is a very different quality of developer. Do I envy that to some point? Of course, I do. Because I mean, I don't love dealing with past Ari’s mistakes. I do think it makes me a better developer. That being said, I think, it is valuable to have all different perspectives being represented in a discussion, people who haven't had to live with their mistakes, people who are just optimistic and always get to do greenfield stuff. Because some of us can get very jaded. I really think that – No. Me? Never. I think, that maybe experience doesn't matter as much as empathy when it comes to being a good developer advocate.
[00:32:43] T: Yeah, and I agree. It's really important to hire a developer who's been working for at least a couple of days, so they could be like, “Who wrote this code?” Then they'll see that it says you yesterday and you feel like, “Well, it made sense yesterday.”
[00:32:56] AC: True.
[00:32:57] AR: Having worked on small, medium and large code bases, I know one of the big things that I think you need to keep in mind when you're doing developer advocacy and stuff is like, okay, how do you integrate this with an already existing project, right? Because you're right, there's so many things where when you do create a greenfield thing, you just go, “Okay. Create, use the Vue command line and create a new application.”
[00:33:24] DO: Works on my computer.
[00:33:26] AR: Yeah. We’re done. Boom. Okay, cool. I've made an example. Move on. Okay, cool. I need a build process that bundles a gulp thing, that bundles stuff into a gulp process that is using stuff from 10 years ago.
[00:33:42] DO: Gulp. What's that?
[00:33:45] AC: Flashbacks.
[00:33:46] AR: That’s a whole different beast.
[00:33:49] DO: I thought that died.
[00:33:50] AR: Nope. No. They came out with version four. It was slightly different. It was a whole thing. I did an upgrade. It was fun. Yeah, so knowing, okay, it's great that it's easy to make a new thing, but how do I take this and put it into a pre-existing thing? Getting someone who has, at least in my opinion, they should at least have the experience of like okay, at least look at an older code base. Look at a code base that's been around a while and understand that you can't always just throw everything away.
[00:34:21] DO: Yeah. This is why when your question says about junior developer advocates, I do think there's a role for junior developer advocates, but I don't think a company should only have junior developer advocates. I do think that you have to have – just a company should have not just junior developers, but also some senior developers, you need a mix.
I do think there's place for a mix, because I think the junior developers. Before, the Debbie of three years ago would have said, “No, you have to have five years’ experience and you follow the book.” Things have changed and there's a very clever people coming into the tech world. Very creative people who are better than me at creating videos and creating content. You're like, “Well, why stop them from doing that? They have a great way of explaining things and doing that.” Yes, they might not have five years’ experience of actually building something, but that's not necessarily important, specifically for that job.
They should listen, obviously, to the seniors and be involved in those calls and learn about the old code, so that they can make that connection with people like Ari, who's stuck in that legacy world.
[00:35:22] AC: Maybe the most successful model for a junior developer advocate program would be one at a company large enough that could have them do product rotations. Because I do. I do think that they’re some experienced as a developer on a product is necessary in order to be an effective developer advocate. If you know that you want to go the one direction, I mean, there should be a program that lets you do all of that all in one,
[00:35:48] DO: Or there should probably be a starter role. Maybe it's not a junior developer advocate. Maybe it's content creator. Then you go up. Because you could be a very, very, very good content creator, and not necessarily be a developer advocate. I think, there's there is a little bit of differences between them as well, because the developer advocate creates content, but not just creates content. Does a lot of the building and the demos and speaking at conferences, and maybe you don't ever want to speak at a conference. You can still be a developer advocate and that's totally fine, Ari. We'll still have you.
[00:36:16] T: Yeah, I wanted to say, I think there is room for that separation. That maybe a product rotation wouldn't necessarily be the best for a junior developer advocate. It could be. For example, I don't think you need to have that experience to write a getting started guide and to make those really good. Maybe as teams get larger, there can be room for more niches and specialization in certain areas. Then still, for some roles, more product engineering experience to be necessary than other roles.
[00:36:45] AC: I was just going to say, that's a really good point about the getting started guides and not being extremely well-suited to a junior.
[00:36:51] DO: Yeah. One of the reasons why they hired me was because, I don't know Bit. They don't want to hire someone that knows it to be able to explain it, because they just explain it. When they explained it to me, it blows my mind. I’m like, “What are you saying to me, right?” Whereas, I'm able to explain it to you, because I've learned it from the ground up, rather than knowing everything.
If you want someone to really teach you something beginner style, take someone who's never used the product. It’s the best thing you can do. They learn it. Rachel Naber is actually doing it with Reactor, with the new docs, and she didn't have any React experience and she's building the React docs. I've had a little glimpse of – She's been doing an amazing job, because she's putting on Twitter a couple of things, or diagrams, and it's just you look at it and go, “Wow, I understand this.” Yeah, I do think it’s – [00:37:36] AC: There is a fun fact. She is scheduled to be on the show to talk about that specifically. We're very excited.
[00:37:41] DO: Oh, my God. It’s so exciting. She's great.
[00:37:47] T: Yeah. I think, no one will have as much empathy for the frustrations of trying to get something new working, and it not integrating with everything else as a new developer advocate. On the other hand, only having worked at small companies, like I'm not really sure what the experience is at a larger company, like the stuff Alex was talking about. I feel like I've seen a lot of that. When I talk to friends that are working at giant FinTech corps, for example, it's like, they work on one small part of one small component over the course of weeks, or months.
I'm just like, I don't understand how people market to those developers, or how they get new tech incorporated into their stacks. Yeah, I think empathy touches on one of the really big, big skills, which is one thing that I heard was if you don't have experience, then when developers are telling you their problems, you won't be able to understand or empathize. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I haven't had the experience yet, where somebody assumes that I'm a recruiter, but people will just walk up to me and start telling me their problems. Like, they don't know anything about me at that point. I’m a stranger, but it doesn't seem to matter.
I think, we're people and we have feelings, even if we want to pretend we don't want to. The most important thing is having somebody that you feel is listening to your problems and cares about them. Then, that itself is a really powerful driver. Whether they have a lot of knowledge or not, they'll be energized by that to help figure out what your issue is, I think.
[00:39:06] DO: How does one get into being a junior developer advocate if these roles don't even exist? These people, they’ll really love the role. They probably are going to be amazing at it. Where do they go? Do they just start being a developer and do all that content creation in their free time and eventually hope for the best?
[00:39:21] AC: Isn't that how you did it?
[00:39:24] DO: Well, I didn’t know the job existed when I first started, so I was just developing to be a developer. Then that came along, because I need to get out of it. Yeah. I mean, I do think that yes, you do need to be creating things in your free time and for free, yes. Maybe that world will change.
[00:39:39] AC: I mean, change you all want to see. Make it happen where you are, just saying.
[00:39:45] AR: In my experience, all you have to do is take over to meetup groups. Then there you go, your problem solved. You've got your developer advocacy platform already started.
[00:39:54] T: See, in my experience, you just have to meet somebody that you never think you're going to talk to again. Then five years later, they pull you into something or other.
[00:40:04] AC: I'm sorry. I’m just being a hater today. Geez.
[00:40:10] T: I think a lot of developer advocacy depends on who you know. I honestly don't know how people get into it at a lower level, because I was trying for several years to switch to developer relations. Although, we do have somebody –
[00:40:22] AC: You know people.
[00:40:24] T: I do know some people, or I know people who know people. We could have someone coming on who seems to have gotten into developer relations early on in their career. I'm excited to hear what they have to say about that. Yeah, honestly, I don't know. Because even who you know, a lot of times depends on you going to conferences and having the finances and the time and the opportunity to go to a conference, and happen to be in the same room with the people that can help you. Then, they're remembering you, and so on and so forth. I think, it's really hard to get into.
[00:40:55] AC: Literally, how I ended up here.
[00:40:56] T: I have a lot of friends in the field.
[00:40:58] DO: Yeah. I was very lucky. Because even though the job that I was in had its problems, I did have a very good manager who allowed me to go to all the conferences, and gave me the time off. Because I was speaking, obviously, the expenses were covered, so it wasn't costing the company and money. They allowed me to go to quite a lot of conferences. I got to meet – They almost paved the path for me to be able to get into developer relations. I have something to thank them for, which is great.
Definitely, I got offered the job at Nuxt pretty much at the Amsterdam, the Vue Amsterdam conference. That's how it started. If I hadn't gone to the Vue Amsterdam Conference, would they have called me and offered me a job? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. It all comes in the speaker room conversations. The speaker room is the place to be if you're looking for dev advocacy roles, which is going to come back hopefully, the speaker rooms, and we will be able to have those kinds of conversations. That's when you can say safely to someone, “I'm looking to change jobs. I'm looking to get into dev advocacy. Do you know of anyone or anything?” Then word spreads from there.
[00:41:57] T: Yeah. Although, if you look at a lot of speaker panels as well, that also tends to be an exclusive group in more ways than just who's the speaker, but also who gets picked up to be a speaker. I think, one other challenging and exciting thing about being a developer advocate is that you always have to be learning to an even greater extent than developers maybe. Debbie, I know that you've been learning React recently. I'm curious, how you've been going about that, and how that experience has been for you.
[00:42:22] AC: Rude. Just rude, Tessa.
[00:42:25] DO: Yeah.
[00:42:26] T: I want to know.
[00:42:29] DO: Basically, I was, and I don't like to put myself at the top, or say, I'm amazing, or anything like that. I'm going to paint this picture, because it's important to paint it this way. I was basically at the very top of the mountain in Nuxt. I was the expert, pretty much level of Nuxt. I mean, they were always –
[00:42:45] T: Debbie Nuxt O’Brien.
[00:42:46] DO: Debbie Nuxt O’Brien. That was me, right? Then I literally, it's like, I got on skis and I just went downhill, all the way to the bottom of the mountain and I became a junior developer, who couldn't even make a component, who literally did not know what's going on. I was writing the wrong syntax all the time. I didn't know what was going on.
The children were driving me mad. Why the hell are there children in React? We don't have children in Vue. The children were killing me. There were things like, what is happening here? It was very hard for me, actually. The docs were terrible. I spoke to Rachel Nabers about it and I went, “I cannot learn React, because it's too bloody complicated.” That's when she told me, “I'm working on new docs. You'll be able to learn it when they're release.” When is that? Four months later. Like, you got to wait four months to learn React? I need to learn React now. How can I do this?
It was very frustrating. It was very difficult, because you're in a situation where you're under pressure to learn it. You're now in this role, and you’ve got to work with every day. Everything is strange, and you don't know what's going on. Before you were like, “I know what I'm doing. I've got this.” Now you're like, “What the hell?” My brain was fried every day. I now consider myself a, I would say junior plus developer in React. I'm pretty much there. Yeah. I can create components and I can create applications. Don't get me into hooks and things like that. I'm not really there yet. I've done one hook, but that's it. I'm not a real developer yet in React, but I'm getting there.
It's very hard to change. Yeah, you have to do it. Now, we've pretty much it's secret, but we've pretty much got Angular support going on. I don't know if I'm going to have to jump in and start doing Angular stuff. I hope not, because I don't think my brain can cope with my – That's what a developer advocate has to do. They have to be able to just be thrown in and take a challenge and just learn it.
It's great fun. I'm glad I did it, because I think I've become a better developer for having done it. I think, I can now relate to more developers. Whereas before, I really could only relate to the Vue community. There's nothing wrong with that, because the Vue community are amazing. I could never have related to the React community before, because I had not worked with React. Now, I have that connection with other people and things that really helps as well as a developer advocate. Even if you're not very good at it, just to know and experience it is important. I've actually been very lucky that I've been on many calls with the React core team. I have to say, they're some of the nicest people out there. I always thought the same, like the Vue community, the Vue, Vue is the best. I love my Vue community. I will never, ever leave my Vue community. I told my job that. I'm never leaving Vue. I'm in the React community now. I'm really happy to be part of it, because I've got to actually know the people. Just because they have this company behind them.
They've had to take a lot of stick from people, because people think they have – they’re a big team and they've got a lot of money, because of the corporate behind them. That's not the case. They're just developers like us. They're just developers, like the Vue community. I think they're amazing people and it's been a pleasure to work alongside them and get to know them better. Yeah, they're great people. I don't know about the Angular ones, though. I haven't met them one yet.
[00:45:47] AC: Because we can all just be like, “No, it's the Angular community that's the problem here.” Just kidding. We love all developers. It's just so much easier to make fun of them.
[00:45:59] T: Having worked in all three communities. I feel they're just different flavors. What's that ice cream? Neapolitan, or something? We get vanilla and chocolate and strawberry. Yeah.
[00:46:09] AC: Does anyone have any final thoughts, or questions before we move on to picks?
[00:46:13] DO: Ari, when are you going to apply for a job as a developer advocate?
[00:46:16] AC: Never. No. Never say never, but not in the near future. I really do truly love where I work right now.
[00:46:24] AR: Did you enjoy the React? Oh, wait. No, wrong.
[00:46:30] DO: It should be just all the while, and let's just put it all together. Let's just call it Enjoy the React Vue.
[00:46:36] AC: Tessa. I’m waiting for the pun. Come on.
[00:46:39] T: No. I am just thinking –
[00:46:47] AC: We'll say that for the Patreon.
[00:46:50] AR: We’ll make that be – We’ll hold that and we'll just keep that recording separate and it will be –
[00:46:54] AC: For gold sponsors only.
[00:46:55] AR: Yeah, it'll be the blackmail bit that we use when we need Tessa to do things.
[00:47:00] AC: Tessa already does all of the things. Come on now.
[00:47:02] AR: She does already do all of the things. What am I missing?
[00:47:06] AC: If people would like to find you on the internet, Debbie, where can they find you?
[00:47:09] DO: I live on Twitter. I practically sleep there. It’s so strange, but my life is on Twitter these days. It might change when the world is more normal and you might find me at conferences in the future. For now, you'll find me at Twitter. Debbie.codes is my website. All the links are at the bottom of that. I do have a YouTube channel and lots of Nuxt stuff is on that. If you do want to learn Nuxt, it's free content. Go and learn Nuxt that way.
I'm also doing obviously, Bit stuff on my Twitch channel and YouTube channel. I haven't been doing much YouTube and Twitch lately. Sorry people. I've been just so busy doing other stuff. I haven't met my KPIs there.
[00:47:46] T: That's okay. You'll write them at the end.
[00:47:50] DO: Yeah. I would say, just go to my website, Debbie.codes and you'll find everything there. Just reach out to me on Twitter, if you want anything. I'm quite happy to talk to people. Just talk to me. [00:47:59] AC: She is quite friendly. I can attest.
[00:47:59] DO: I have no friends.
[00:48:04] T: You have a roomful of you. Isn't that all you need?
[00:48:07] DO: Yeah. You know what? I started putting ads just the other day. I made 3 euros. I was so happy. I put ads on my YouTube channel. I've never done that and I felt really guilty. I was like, “Oh, my God. This is terrible doing this.” Then I went, “I got 3 euros.” I was like, “Yes, someone bought me a beer.” People who are watching my Nuxt videos are buying me beer, and my beer supply is going to get better and better. Watch my Nuxt content, so Debbie can drink more beer.
[00:48:31] AC: Or just send her a six-pack.
[00:48:34] DO: Oh, you can totally do that. I even have a button at the bottom saying, “Buy me a beer,” and you can actually go and buy me beer. There's so many options. I just like beer. I missed going to the conferences and pubs and people buy me beer. That's not been happening and it's destroyed my life.
[00:48:48] AC: Hopefully, will help you pick up the pieces soon.
[00:48:50] DO: Yay. Watch my Nuxt videos. Buy me a beer. [Inaudible 00:48:53].
[00:48:55] AC: All right, let's move on to this week's picks. Who's going to go first? Tessa.
[00:49:03] T: Okay. I guess, I'm first. My first pick for the week is I replaced the casters on my chair with rollerblade casters. I think, less boss talked about a few years ago and somebody else popped up on my TL having tried it recently.
[00:49:17] AC: Yeah, I saw that.
[00:49:19] T: Yeah. We've talked on the show before about how I have hair. One of my big headaches is if hair gets caught in the casters, it's hard to get it out. It's hard to roll anywhere. You know how when you try to roll in a little circle with the casters, there's always a point where it doesn't roll smoothly. That always makes me really upset. It's like, maybe things would be better with the rollerblade wheels.
I mean, I can share this specific model I bought, but I think it's just one of those random, not a real brand. I got the axle wheels in polyurethane, because I heard it's more durable, but polyurethane, or PVC will be very quiet, or rubber will be a bit louder. I wish I went with the PVC or the rubber maybe, because these are pretty quiet. The wheels also have a cushy feeling, which I thought I was going to get for some reason.
It's a very smooth, gross feeling. You feel like you're gliding. I picked this particular brand, because it came in milk tea and I was like, “That matches my chair,” because my chair hardware is bronze. They don't necessarily have the highest durability rating and it took me over an hour to get these casters off and replace them. Alex will say, it's good to have weak fingers. I don't know why it was so hard, but it was really hard. Maybe I would have gone with more durable ones if I knew. That's pick number one.
Pick number two, I have been plagued with fruit flies. I kept on reading that the best way to get rid of them is a vacuum. My vacuum is big and bulky, so I didn't do it. I was like, “Am I really going to buy a Dyson or something just for these fruit flies?” I ended up buying a small Black and Decker, and I finally see the end of the tunnel. I only see one or two fruit flies a day now. It's amazing.
[00:50:43] AC: There's a method for dealing with fruit flies that has been passed down in my family. A little bit of wine and dish soap in a glass attracts them and kills them.
[00:50:54] T: Yeah, I don't have wine, but I've tried everything else. They won't even go for a banana soaked in apple cider vinegar.
[00:51:01] AC: I have used this method personally and it is highly effective.
[00:51:05] DO: I have them too as well, but I don't think they're actually fruit flies. I think, they're coming from the drains. I actually put them stopper things in the drain all the time. I put sellotape at the part where the water can overflow. If I ever feel it's going to overflow in the kitchen, but anyway. Also, I put the cloth under sponge in a Tupperware thing, so they can't get on that as well, and they have disappeared. Try it.
[00:51:28] T: Amazing. Yeah. I think, mine might be coming from the drain, too, but they're definitely fruit flies. Because sometimes, drain flies. Do we need to do an episode on fruit flies?
[00:51:39] AR: Yeah. We definitely get drain flies a lot here in the summer, because it gets very warm and very moist everywhere.
[00:51:47] AC: Please, no. Not the hour.
[00:51:49] AR: Yes.
[00:51:51] T: Anyway, as I tweeted the other day, nature abhors a vacuum. It's been working great. They really hate it. Yeah. My last two will be a lot quicker. I've been listening to this book, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk. I saw it recommended on some YouTube video that showed up on my timeline. I think it was an Anna Cana. I was like, “Oh, I like those bullet points.”
It's nice, because it talks about talking and listening. I don't think it's only about kids. Although, it does make me reflect back on my childhood. A while ago, I talked about that critical inner voice book and this is very similar was like, if somebody responded to you in this way, how would you feel? Or how would you speak to somebody to make them feel invalidated, or to make them feel heard? It's pretty fun. I guess, it's a weird thing to say about a book on communication.
The last one, actually, this is something I found out about when I was working in a store. I completely forgot they existed. My absolute favorite candy is from round trees, and it's called fruit gums. They're hard, fruit-flavored gummies. No artificial flavors or colors. They're a little bit sour, a little bit sweet. Because they're harder, it takes a long time to go through them. They're the best. I got mine from the English tea store. I'm waiting for their arrival. That's my last pick.
[00:53:00] AC: Wait. Hard gummies? Like Swedish fish, like that?
[00:53:05] T: No, they're harder than Swedish Fish. [00:53:07] AC: How?
[00:53:09] T: Also, Swedish Fish are very sweet. The fruit gums are much less sweet.
[00:53:13] AC: Sorry, I'm still processing.
[00:53:16] T: They also come in a little green box. They're super cute. Try them, then you’ll understand.
[00:53:20] AC: Okay. Perhaps, someday I shall. Until then, I trust you. Let's move on to –
[00:53:25] T: A few dozen out.
[00:53:27] AC: Of course, I trust you, Tessa. I may not always agree with your taste, but I trust that other people will also enjoy it. Just stop me. All right, Alex.
[00:53:38] AR: All right. When we're recording this, it has recently been Prime Day. I bought myself –
[00:53:46] DO: You sound like you're reading the news.
[00:53:48] AR: Yeah. I have it here. We're going to read about this. I bought for myself an Elgato Stream Deck, which is this little 15-key keyboard that has LCDs on it, so that you can change what the buttons are. I was getting it, because I'm starting to do more stuff on Twitch. I was like, a new way to be able to handle some keystrokes and stuff like that. I started setting it up, and I'm using it for everything. It is amazing. You can set it up –
[00:54:16] T: Do you use it to flush your toilet?
[00:54:17] AR: Not yet. Giving me ideas. We'll make that happen. Randomly flush the toilet from down here. Yeah, it is one of those things where you don't think that you need it, until you get it. Then you're like, “Well, there's all these weird key commands that I have to remember. Let me just set up a profile for that.” Well, and then there's these other key commands. Let me just set up another. Now, I have 15 folders of different things that I can do depending on what's going on. It's fantastic. Yeah, that is my pick for this week is the Elgato Stream Deck.
[00:54:47] DO: I agree with that. It is fantastic. I have one too and I use it all the time all day, turning on lights, turning off lights, opening emails. I just don't have to find things anymore. It's just click, click, click. It's just cool and it's shiny. Even more husband loves it. He's like, “Oh, this is so cool.”
[00:55:03] AC: All right. Debbie, you're up next.
[00:55:06] DO: Yeah. I got this morning access to GitHub co-pilot, and it is amazing. What is it? It's like, you know when we’re talking about junior developers. Well, a junior developer is going to be senior developers in a week. I'm going to be a React senior developer next week, because it's literally doing the job for me. I'm just starting to code and it's just telling me what I need to do. It's AI. It's brilliant. It's just in VS code. I'm just typing along, and all of a sudden, my job is done. I'm like, “Wow.”
It's more clever than me. I mean, I'm pretty clever. This is out of this world. Yeah, it's still like, you got to sign up for it if you want access to it, and you might get access. I was privileged enough to get access. I have to say, it is incredible. I'm going to do a stream on it. We're going to do videos on it. I think, definitely, it's going to take over the world and we're going to need less knowledgeable developers. We're going to be able to get code shipped faster. I think that's very exciting. It's not going to take over the world. It’s going to –
[00:56:04] T: Debbie the React O’Brien.
[00:56:06] DO: Debbie React O’Brien. I'll always be a Nuxter, though. Remember, Nuxt has to live in there somewhere. It could be Debbie React Nuxt O’Brien, or Nuxt React, or something. We configure the order out. That's okay. Yeah. TypeScript. I've got TypeScript in me name now these days. Bloody hell.
[00:56:24] T: Oh, wow. That’s a lot.
[00:56:26] DO: Yeah. Definitely check out GitHub co-pilot is amazing. I’m also watching on Netflix a series called The Startup. It's actually been really good fun, because about these people who go to startup and a tech startup, and it’s a GenCoin. It's about a Bitcoiny kind of thing. The funny thing is that the investors asking them, why GenCoin? Why should we invest in this company? What is it? Why is it important?
It's so funny, because we're trying to figure out the same in the air company at the moment. Not that we don't know what we are. Just, it does so many things, so trying to figure out a way of simplifying it and say like, “You know what? Why do we build this?” We build it for this, this and this and this. No, we built it for – This is the problem we're trying to solve. Just, I could relate so much to it, because we're like, “Oh, my God. We're the same as these. We're looking for investor. We're looking for this.” It's really, really cool. Definitely recommend that.
[00:57:14] T: Debbie, this wasn't on your list, but I know that you've had your headphones for a while now. I'm curious how they've held up and how much you're enjoying them.
[00:57:20] DO: Oh, my gosh. Yes, I should talk about it. Right. I have the most expensive headphones in the world on my head. I think, they are the most expensive anyway. The Apple AirPod Max. They are the best things I have ever had when it comes to headphones. I hated headphones before, because they hurt my head, they gave me headaches, they never fit my head. The ones that go in your ear, they fall out of my ear, then they just give me pain in my ear. I refuse to wear headphones, and then work gave out to me, because we're having constant meetings.
I was like, okay, these headphones, I put on my head in the morning, I forget to take them off, because I just don't even realize that they're there. It's so nice. There's a little button you can press. Then, I don't hear anything that's going on around me right now. I just hear what's in my ear, which is you three, which is amazing. My husband could be singing in the shower and I don't know about it. The children could be playing in the park and I don't know about it. I live in a very noisy area, but I didn't realize that, until I bought these.
My MacBook, I don't need a new Mac anymore, because it doesn't make any noise anymore. It does, but I just don’t hear it. They're amazing. They are definitely worth it. Especially, if you do a lot of video editing and things like that, where you really need to concentrate. I think, I focus a lot more now. Whereas before, I was working and then like, “Oh, the birds are singing. Oh, yeah. Sorry, birds.” Okay. Now, I'm much more focused. Definitely. They're amazing.
[00:58:43] AC: I just have one question. How's the headband? Because, so the thing that gets me about most headphones is actually, they hurt the top of my head. My scalp is really sensitive.
[00:58:55] DO: Yeah. No. This is clothy material. It just have that hard bit, but the part that's sitting in your head, and it shapes to your head, so that's why it's really comfortable for anyone's head. Before, I swear to God, I would get on a plane, and I would not be able to wear it for the length of an entire movie. I would not be able to sit – I'd be taking them off going, “Oh.” I literally could do eight hours with these on my head. Then I'm about to go to bed and I'm like, “Oh, my headphones. I need to take them off.”
[00:59:24] T: Did you try them on in store, or just take a leap of faith? Because the only ones that I've ever been able to wear for more than six hours are the Samsung over-ears. Then they stopped making those.
[00:59:34] DO: Yeah. I did try them on in the store and the Apple girl was trying to sell me by the 80 music and she's playing. I was like, “Look, this music is amazing, but I don't listen to music. If I'm buying these headphones, it's so I can have noise cancellation. Also, so I can work and listen to people, or just doing podcasts, or conference talks online where I need to give my talk and I don't want to hear the distractions outside me, because there's a lot of distractions in my area.”
Yeah, I tried them on. The thing was in a busy store, and you know what like the Apple stores are like. It's a busy store and she pressed that button. I was like, “Where did all the people go? Oh, my God.” The difference is incredible. I thought in the Apple Store with lots of people, that noise is taken away, then it's going to take away my Mac noise. It's going to take away the birds singing. I love the birds singing, but not all day on my ear. The children on the street and everything else that goes around and my husband singing in the shower. Yeah. The only problem I have is, I don't always hear the doorbell anymore. Sometimes the Amazon man gets a little bit angry with me. He ends up having to call me, but that's fine.
[01:00:37] T: You really told her, “Listen, I don't want to listen to any music. I just want to hear me all day.”
[01:00:42] DO: Yeah, I want to hear me all day. Isn’t that so cool? I did bring it to a hotel. We did go to a hotel at weekend and I brought them and I did listen to music and I sat by the pool. All the people by the pool disappeared. It was just me looking at the pool, listening to the music. It was like all these people were quiet and nobody was talking. It was so amazing, because it's very relaxing. It's cool. Can’t wait to try them on a plane.
[01:01:09] AC: All right. My pick is a lot less expensive. For the past couple of weeks, I have been playing Cozy Grove, which is like a Stardew Valley meets Animal Crossing-ish type game. Yeah, I've been playing it for a couple of weeks. The one thing that is a little different about it is that it really is time boxed. You start to run out of things to do after a certain amount of time played each day, which is good if you're the type of person who gets really addicted to games and then just plays them non-stop. This encourages you to not play for after a while. Unless, of course, you want to time travel. It does also say that that could cause problems, so you shouldn't do that. Not that I've done that. Yeah, Cozy Grove. I know it's available on Switch. I think it's iPhones even now. I’m not sure all the platforms it go on.
[01:02:10] T: I’m guessing it's mobile, because they need some of my favorite mobile games.
[01:02:12] AC: Yeah. I know. It's on the Apple Arcade now. I'm assuming it's probably on most platforms.
[01:02:17] AR: I've just sent the link to my wife, because I feel she's going to enjoy this greatly.
[01:02:24] AC: Oh, yeah. It's funny, you should say greatly, because it's about ghosts on an eye. There we go.
All right. That is all for this week's episode. If you aren't following us on Twitter, you really should be. You can find us @enjoythevuecast. It would make us feel really special if you did. I mean, you could mute us afterwards. Just follow us. That's all we ask. If you haven't already, subscribed to the show on whatever podcast app you're using, please do. Please leave us a review. It makes it easier for other people to find in the future. If you know anyone who might Enjoy the Vue, you should tell them about this podcast, because the more people who listen, the longer we can keep doing this and make people happy. Thanks for listening. Until next time, Enjoy the Vue.
[01:03:13] DO: Bye.
[END OF EPISODE]
[01:03:18] CF: You haven't heard from me for a while. I started a thing a while ago, where people were sending all sorts of feedback, and sometimes stuff not even related to the show. To @GloomyLumi, you need to stop. If you have feedback, we have a link in the show notes. Send your feedback there. We want to hear from you. You can make the show better. Tell us what you want to hear more of and who you want to hear from. Okay, that's it. Thank you.