Season 3, Episode 1 | July 5, 2021
In this episode of the podcast Bekah and Dan talk to Jono Yeong about digital gardening, learning Elixir, and how he brings learning new things to what he's doing with Rails. And for a bonus, he even walks us through how to do a proper Tim Tam slam.
Jonathan Yeong is a senior developer at Shopify. Being from Australia, he often goes by Jono. A Rubyist at heart, he blogs and produces videos about all things programming. He’s passionate about the human connections in technology. And believes that being part of a community, a mentor, and a teacher is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
In this episode of the podcast Bekah and Dan talk to Jono Yeong, a senior software engineer originally from Australia, but currently based in Seattle, USA, about how digital gardening leaves room for growth, allows you to develop what you enjoy, and is an investment in communication skills. We also talk about learning Elixir, the process he goes through as he's learning something new, and how he brings learning new things to what he's doing with Rails. Bonus: he even walks us through how to do a proper Tim Tam slam.
Hello, and welcome back to the Virtual Coffee Podcast. I'm Bekah. And this is a podcast that features members of the Virtual Coffee community. Virtual Coffee is an intimate group of developers at all stages of their coding journey. And they're here on this podcast, sharing their stories. And what they've learned. Here with me today is my cohost, Dan.
Hey, Bekah. Um, season three, that's exciting. We had a really great season two. We heard from all sorts of people. Yeah. We had a lot of great conversations. Um, in the last season, you know, we talked a lot about finding your voice and building confidence as a developer. And I heard a lot of great stories from different people and it was a blast. And we are pumped to be back for season three with some great episodes
I am very excited to be back too. And I thought would be
Okay. I am excited and you are pumped. Okay.
Very excited. As we move into season three of the podcast, I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about what we've learned as podcast co-hosts. I think we can talk about all of the seasons
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, well, w when did our first episode air in January, something like that. So it's been half a year or whatever. Um, I've I've learned a lot. I've learned a ton from the technical perspective. Um, you know, producing this, you know, with, with you is, has been, I don't just like the new thing to learn every, every week. Uh, it seems like, um, and it's now I'm at the point where I know all the things I don't know, you know what I mean? Like, you know, sound quality stuff, editing, um, things like that. I, I, uh, I've gotten. To the point where I can do it, you know what I mean? And so now it's like, now I know all the things I don't know, or at least I know that there are a lot of things. I don't know, you know what I mean? Um, but it's been fun. I feel like I've been, I've been at least from the technical standpoint of, you know, podcast stuff. Um, kind of getting my feet under me. Um, so that part's been cool
I can start the intros without laughing all the time.
Most of the time.
I feel like we we've been using Zencaster and they released a new version of their software, which was pretty cool, which we enjoyed a lot. Um, and they have a countdown thing now. So when you hit this, you, when you hit start record, there's a little countdown. And I feel like that almost helps us, you know, cause you, I dunno. I feel like that was where we get tripped up is cause it hit record and then there'd be some pause and nobody knows if they're supposed to talk or not. You know? So it's a small, small touch. I feel like that has helped us.
Yeah, well, I think getting more comfortable to, you know, in the beginning, it was just, it's different being interviewed for on a podcast than interviewing other people, because you have a different role as a host and you're there to try and tell the story. And I think it took a little while for me to kind of wrap my head around that and maybe going into season three, I feel like I've got a better grasp on storytelling as a podcast. Rather than like, okay, I have this list of questions and we have to hit all the questions. Like we have some backup questions, but where is the conversation going and how can we keep that up and tell the story of the person on the show and think about what, what would benefit anyone who's listening to the podcast?
Absolutely. Yeah. From the, from the host point of view, I have, uh, I don't know, I felt like I've, I've tried to learn a lot too, and I'm at the same point where it's like, okay, now I can see the things, you know, that I don't quite do well or that I, you know, think I can improve on. Um, and you know, some of them it's clear how to fix and some of them, some of them, it's not always, but, uh, it's, I don't know. It's a journey and, um, it's, it's been fun. It's been, and it's also, I mean, everybody that we talk to are people that we like and are part of our community and, you know, they're friends, some of them close friends, some of them, you know, new friends, um, for me. And, uh, it's been just a blast to be able to talk to everybody and learn more about them personally, too, and hearing everybody's origin stories and, um, crazy, uh, boat plane training incidents and, uh, you know, just hearing more about from, you know, from people's lives. Um, it's one of the things that I like and that I like about the, um, in our, in a Virtual Coffee, is when these conversations get off track and not off track, but, uh, get whatever, you know, that don't have a track. Right. Um, like you were saying. And, um, I feel like those always ended up being the most valuable conversation. So
Yeah, I love it.
And it's been cool trying to apply it here.
I love chasing a tangent. It's a good time. And usually come out with something interesting, at least.
Yes. Yeah, absolutely.
And it has been fun. You know, getting to know people a lot better and to learn about their lives and the things that they've gone through. It's really been great for me. Like you said, there, there are things that you take away from. Every episode and every person that we talked to. And I just love that after we're done recording a podcast for every season where we've recorded almost all of the third season, but there's always been something in every episode that I've taken away and just thought about for the rest of the week. And it's really helped to inform the way that I've done things and the approaches I take. So it's been great to be able to have that live learning experience.
Yeah, I agree. And they, uh, it's just been like little tiny breakout rooms with just you and me and one other person. Um, and, uh, it's, it's been really very cool, very cool experience. And I'm excited about season three.
Yeah, we're really excited to be sharing this season with you all too. Um, we're going to be talking about recognizing your potential, navigating interviews, overcoming career stagnation, how to do a proper Tim Tam Slam, and a lot more.
That's right. So kicking off season three, episode one, we have Jono Yeong. Jono is a senior software engineer. He's originally from Australia. I is currently based in Seattle, um, USA. And he. Okay. So he's primarily a backend developer, but is enjoying re-entering the crazy world of front end development. He loves giving back to communities and empowering others on their developer journeys and, um, without such a supportive community, he wouldn't be where he is today. Uh, and he says, hashbrowns are his guilty pleasure food. Um, and so, yes, so today he'll be talking to us about, digital gardening, learning elixir, and how to do a proper Tim Tam Slam.
We start every episode of the podcast. Like we start every Virtual Coffee. We introduce ourselves with our name where we're from, what we do and a random check-in question. Today's random check-in question is if you could have one person narrate your life, who would it be? Hey, I'm Bekah. I'm a front end developer from a small town in Ohio. And I am going to change the question a little bit, cause I feel like it. I am. I decided I didn't want a narrator, I wanted a musical background and I would just like to choose everyone that sing in Frozen 2 musical background to just sing my life story for me, because that seemed more fun.
Sure. That would be cool. So is. It makes me think of Monty Python. Like the, uh, the, the guy, what is his name, Sir Robin? you know, the guy following around Sir Robin: "so boldly goes, Sir Bekah, she's doing something. I don't know. I can't think of it, but like, yeah, I like that musical narration I can get by that. Um, hi, I'm Dan. I do front-end development. Um, I'm in Cleveland, Ohio, and if I had to pick a narrator. I was thinking for a couple of minutes about this. And, uh, honestly, Sean Connery is who I landed on. Um, I think it'd be pretty cool. I, and I just listened to a podcast about, um, The Rock, the movie and, um, w which of course he's, he's in it. And that made me think, oh, man, what about Nick Cage narrating your life? Which, um, would be, uh, would be, it could be pretty interesting too. Um, I'm sticking with it. I'm sticking with, uh, Sean Connery, but I, I. I would like to know what that would sound like, Nick Cage just kind of narrating somebodies life in their head.
I feel like that's like two very opposing voices
Right, right. Yeah. Right. Which is why that movie is so good, you know?
Yeah. Oh, amazing. Um, hi, I'm Jonathan. Uh, I am a senior developer at Shopify currently based in Seattle and jeez, Bekah threw the curveball and with a musical number. I am not that musical, so you're totally fine. Um, I, you know, I think I would get a fictional character being Yoda potentially could get annoying after a while, but, you know, I think there would be like wisdom. Right there. And then a real person, Nick Offerman. I just hope he laughs at some point during my life story. Just to get that sound clipping
Yeah. Yeah. He's he has an excellent laugh, um, with the Yoda. yeah, It be worth even. I'd be, I mean, it would be like great, you know, um, sound wise. That Yoda would be, just be judging me all the time.
I feel like you'd really have to pay attention. Like you have to think. Cause he wouldn't straight forward narrate what would happen? He would just be dropping Yoda wisdom about what happened
Yeah, I think he'd make my life sound
I don't know.
I have enough of those already. Um, so welcome, Jono, we're very happy to have you here on this third season of the virtual PA Virtual Coffee podcast and doing an excellent job already. Um, so we really like to start with a little bit of the background, your origin story. So if you could give us your short version of how you got to this point in your.
yeah. Um, I have a pretty boring or I guess standard technical background. Um, so I did a four year degree at university, um, interned at a company. Um, but during that time, and then at the company, I was doing iOS work initially, um, for a few months, and then they got me on a Ruby on Rails project. And that's really when I really fell in love with web development and decided to kind of pursue that route. So from there went to kind of be another kind of Ruby on Rails shop in Sydney. So I'm originally from Australia. Uh, and then I actually moved to the States. Um, so working with Rails all the way through and uh, yeah, now I'm in Seattle and now on Shopify.
I don't feel like I could have you narrate my life, you and Mike Rogers, like can we go back and forth between the two. It would be a very happy time for me.
just so much happiness.
Um, well that, that is awesome. And we are glad to have you at Virtual Coffee. I don't remember when you joined Virtual Coffee do you?
Um, I, I D I remember, I remember the circumstances. I was in a Code Newbie chat. And I was talking about seeing Virtual Coffee and I tweeted about it. They're like, Hey, this seems like a really cool community. And then I think you mentioned, you tweet at me saying like, Hey, come join at this time. And, and let's yeah, I think it all kicked off and spent almost maybe like six months, maybe more. I don't know. I can't, but it's time.
Yeah. we were, we, we just, uh, recorded our podcast episode, wrapping up, um, season two, right. We're talking about that too. Like looking back on time. And I was just, I just kept throwing out random numbers of months. Cause I literally, I have no idea. I have no idea. It was, uh, you know, it was after the pandemic started. I know that much. And then after that, I'm just like, I don't know. It's all just a big cloud.
Yeah. Um, so one of the things that I think would be cool to talk about, I know you updated your site yesterday or sometime, and it looks really awesome. So we'll post that in the show notes, but you, um, there's this concept of digital gardening that you talk about, and I think you practice, so I'd love to start there. First of all, what is, what, what does that even mean? Digital gardening.
Yeah. Um, so digital gardening is really about curating your posts. Like you don't need to have fully formed or finished. Um, written work. It's, it's really about having a thought and then building on that thought over time. Um, and it's kind of the opposite of a blog, which is almost like a feed with that sorted in chronological order. Um, so with your digital garden, you kind of pick and choose what you want to present up front. And it's really about that curation. Um, I definitely. Got heavily inspired by Maggie Appleton. So definitely go check out her blog as well, which is also a digital garden. Um, her artwork is beautiful and she explains it really well over there.
Yeah. I've seen a couple other examples like that and Maggie Appleton site that is the first one I, I think I saw too, um, they don't let it out of this whole concept. I think that's really cool. So do you, um, And this is something I've been sort of interested in for a while too, but, um, haven't really, you know, my blog is old and I don't update it that often. Um, but it is still like old, you know, that regular style. Um, so when you're doing like the curation process, right, for older posts, do you just re like remove them or what, like, or do you tuck them away somewhere or, uh, you know, like, can you explain a little more about how you handle like that sort of stuff that maybe isn't super relevant anymore, but, you did write it, you know, five years ago or something.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I think the curation in my mind, uh, yes, to some posts going away. So I actually removed a bunch of posts that, um, when I was migrating over to this new site redesign. And then also, um, being okay with putting a big "work in progress" box. So it actually on the, uh, I have a post about GitHub and Notion and notion this was pre Notions API, and this was really just about how I organize our projects. Um, but. Now that Notion has an API, it would make a lot of sense to make something, wake it up and nurse, and actually talk to each other. So I put it like a big alert and box saying like, Hey, I am going to be working on this. Um, you expect things to change
So as you update that post and I did I read that post, I really enjoyed it. Um, as you update it, plan is what will be to literally update that post as opposed to doing a part two or see this or whatever. Um, things like that.
That's, that's pretty interesting. And it is, and like I have seen other people do it. It's it's, uh, There's the question of like time with regards to technical content, especially, it's always sort of interested in to try to handle, right. And I have, um, one of my ...and I mean, a lot of this is because I don't write that often, but still one of the posts on my site that gets the most traffic is, um, some old CSS like float hack thing, you know? And it's still like, I mean, it still works, but it's like, you know, not at all anything, I would tell somebody to do now. You know what I mean? Um, and yeah. I've thought about, I've thought about how to handle that or, um, so, so, so if this was a digital garden, I suppose the answer would be to, uh, well, either toss it and just point them back to the main page. Right. Or just rewrite the whole article at that same URL or something like that.
Yeah, I mean, you, um, I mean, you can keep that old posts around, like it's, it's really your playground. You can really do whatever you want with it. Um, there's no really hard and fast rules. Um, I think like if you wanted to toss it or update it and utility could, you could also write like, uh, a new update paste. I think the key idea is really just not waiting for perfect to publish. So you don't need to, you can just publish a thought. And it will be okay. Um, and I think this reminds me of someone in Virtual Coffee, maybe it was Vic, who just did a timer and was like, I'm just gonna write what I can. And by the end of the time, I'm just gonna publish this. I think that like, feels like that digital garden essence to me,
Yeah, Vic has been doing a lot of that kind of stuff. And he's been someone that I've admired his work with that too, that the not perfect. The, uh, get, get it out the door kind of get published. Um, thing has been, has been really cool. Um, I would say inspirational. I don't know if you can be inspired if you haven't actually gone and done it. I mean, I haven't actually gone, um, done anything with it, but it is, uh, it is cool to see. I do like that attitude, you know? Um,
I mean, for me, the hard part would be going back and updating things. Like I get them out and then I don't, this is, I mean, I have a master's in English and it was the same thing. Like I, I got excited. I wrote the paper and then. Like to go back and edit was the worst. So I don't know, like how do you motivate yourself to do that? Or are you like, well, I'm not motivated. So then this isn't something that I need and you can take it away or just say, like, this is a weed,
Yeah. Yeah. That's a great question. I think it's, it's definitely going to be. A work in progress as in like, I'm still trying to figure out that, um, process a little bit more. Um, I know that when I was trying to write like a blog post every week or every two weeks, and just trying to like push out a new content, it became. Really hard. And I was in a bit of a rut. Like, it just felt like I was going from deadline to deadline. So like giving space to not need to write a new post every single week, but be okay with like updating whole pace, mainly just also I'm lazy. So like, it'd be nice if we could just tell you something that's already rating and then just add a little bit to it as, okay. So like writing a whole thing thing.
Yeah, I was. You know, speaking of doing that, you know, lots of people will make a goal like that, of a blog post or whatever. I think that, you know, thinking about it, it seems to me like the most important part is actually just writing, like the habit of writing and publishing something every week is, uh, you know, sort of a straightforward goal right. To do. But I was listening to podcasts, uh, maybe the indie hackers one a while ago. And, uh, they're talking about, I don't remember who the guest was, but he was talking about, um, like long form writing instead of, um, instead of lots of lots. Posts, you know, one post that takes them months to do, and it's long, you know, a long read or whatever, but that they found it to be much more, um, for himself like writing, uh, to be, to be much more enjoyable, which I, which I've been interested in too recently. And I th I feel like that could fit really well into the digital garden model, because you could even do your drafts if you wanted to, um, or parts or whatever, you know, and keep it going. Uh, like that'd be kind of cool to see. It would be cool to see it like. To like, watch it grow. You know, if we're going to keep down the, the, like the metaphor, the garden metaphor.
Yeah, I really liked that point of, um, you know, doing what you enjoy, because I think that is really the key to it all. Like you could write deadlines, you could have deadlines and write blog posts, but like, if there's no way or like, you're just doing it because you have to, it's not that fun, then you're not going to keep doing it.
Right, right. I mean, that's been my that's my, my personal experiences a lot of times. Yeah. Things. And like, that's what, that's one of the reasons why it's good to build habits, you know, because the, sometimes it's just over, it's hard to sit down and write, you know, but if it's like a thing you're used to doing, then. Then that part is not hard anymore. And then it's like, well then it's actually writing that you have to deal with, but it's your mind makes it not as big of a deal. At least for me.
And I liked the point about like, writing what you enjoy, because I also see a lot of people that are writing things that they don't enjoy and they hate doing it, but they just keep doing it. Cause they think that they need to do it, which just, um, just sounds really miserable. So how do you find w okay, one, what do you enjoy writing about, like, how do you go after that? When you're writing.
Yeah. Um, man, that is a great question. So I've figured out that I really don't enjoy writing tutorials. Um, they take me a lot of time and I feel like I don't do it very well, so there's that. Um, but I think like, what am I most enjoy is really just exploring new tech and then just kind of getting into like, How I align and what my process is. So I really like writing about personal stuff as opposed to like technological stuff.
Do you think that you write, or would you say that. Right, because you think you should be writing as a developer just to kind of, um, extend yourself into the community or it's just something that, that you want to.
yeah, it actually started off being like, oh, I should be doing this. You know, I should be writing. You should have a blog, just so you get the exposure and you can tweet about something. Um, but it's kind of transitioning a bit more into like, I'm trying to find the enjoyment out of writing and like figuring out like why I like doing this and then realizing that. Writing or getting better at writing and reading communication, just kind of everywhere. Like it's pervasive. It's not just in a blog post. Um, but like, I'll do this at work where I'm writing documentation and like emails and stuff like that. Like that's all really important. And I've only really just started realizing that a year ago or something
Yeah. So I talked to the tech interview study group a couple of months ago, and we, I was talking about networking and one of the things that I said was that. A lot of times we have this very, um, narrow idea of what networking is, but in our industry and the things that we do, we can create a wider network. So networking can be writing a blog post or tweeting, or, you know, like curating that digital garden. And so that allows you to have a community that you don't know. And sometimes it's really fun to like, especially at virtual. Someone will come and be like, oh, I read your post this one time. You're like, oh, that's cool. Um, so it was really nice to kind of extend yourself out there and in kind of meet people without even knowing it.
I was just looking back at your blog posts. So in your, for the readers, I will obviously post this, but, um, the blog posts you were talking about how you use Notion and, um, GitHub Projects together right. To, to, to track side projects. So, um, so one thing I was, I was just like, kind of curious about was, um, what, like what you like to do with side projects or what kind of things do you have going on? Are they, I don't are they, are they just like fun? Are they like hobbies? Are they, um, you know, possible revenue sources like that sort of thing. Um, I was wondering kind of how you approach, um, the side project life.
Yeah. Yeah. That's uh, yeah. I have a lot of, I think, fun side projects and there's a lot that I've just started and like have never like finished or touched after the initial start. Um, as I'm sure a lot of developers do. Um, but yeah, most of them are around like how, how can I learn this thing? So we'll have a sub project around like a concept or something like that. Want to learn. Um, I hate, so this is where, cause I am on a visa, so it's kind of weird. I don't know if I can actually add another revenue stream. So I haven't really been pushing towards like doing that stuff. Um, but yeah, that's, that's where I am.
That is interesting. I have no idea. I mean, I have no idea how that works. Probably a good thing to check out, I suppose, if you were going to, if you were going to step into that, but, um, honestly, maybe it might, that might make, uh, some of your decision-making easier could, right? Cause you don't have to think about it. Don't have to, don't have to worry about that part. Uh, you know, for awhile that's kind of fun. Is there any specific one that you've been into recently? Any of your side projects?
Yeah. So, um, well this personal website was, I guess a side project, just because like I was building svelte kit, um, something that I've never really built before I'll use before. Um, and then on the other side, I'm learning a bit more about Lixa ElixirPhoenix. So I've been building. This thing that I'm trying to document on YouTube, which is a, uh, like a, a social media app for, for puppies. I don't know if that makes sense, not, but essentially it's like, you can, you have like a bunch of puppies that you add to the side and you can follow dogs and you can have like little meetups and stuff. That's, that's the grand idea, but it's really just about a learning project.
Can you just talk a little bit about what elixir is? Just give some definitions for the things that you talked about.
Yeah, no, that's great. Um, so Elixir is a functional programming language. Um, it's written by José Valim and it has a lot of. Um, Ruby ish syntax. So if you come from Ruby, you kinda, you feel like that initial layer feels a little like Ruby, um, but then when you really dig down into it, it's all about functional programming languages. So, uh, immutability is kind of like a, a big component of it. Yeah, there's all these like little extra features. Um, and the language itself is an interpreted language. So it's built on top of Erlang. Um, so think like Ruby is kind of built on top of C almost. Um, so everything can compile as down to Erlang.
That's pretty cool. Yeah. There's a lot of, a lot of interest in the functional programming languages, you know, uh, space, you know, these days, which, which I enjoy. You know, on a nerd level, I haven't really dug into any of them. Um, you know, I know Kirk is into shoot. I can't remember it was called, um,
uh, F no, no shop hassle. No, throwing out
How do people write programs back then? Like, I don't understand.
Yeah. Um, like lots of, lots of, you know, trying and failing and lots of bugs that nobody knows about until it's so much later and you know, all that sort of stuff, no tests, FTP, you know, hit save, and then FTP up to the server and see if It. works. Uh, that's how I did it. Anyway. I don't know.
When I was first building my blog, I didn't know that you could run things locally. And I also didn't know, like, so I was just like committing things and seeing if they worked or not. So I don't even want to go back to when I first started that repo because all of the stuff in there is just me making like these minor tweaks or seriously messing things up. Oh, how do you want to do that? Because I also didn't know that you could take back to meds. You can change things. It was a, it was a wild time, I think back then.
Yeah, I still make those kinds of commits. Like I made a bunch of commits where I'm just like removing a trailing slash just to see if like my HTML tag is working properly. I'm like, okay, well this isn't working, I have no idea what I'm doing.
Yeah. That's all right. That's what like squash merges before, right. Just hide all that stuff. Yeah, no, I was, um, I was working on the, um, um, get up our, uh, I mean, I'm sorry, our co-working sort of room, um, and involves, uh, like a slack app and a zoom app and Netlify functions, um, up until a point you can kind of point it to local your local stuff. Um, but eventually you have to like point it to a server that you have to point the, the zoom app or the Slack App, to a server. And that was incredibly hard to test. I was, I ended up doing. the same thing. I was just like, I was sending stuff up and have it, you know, deploy and then see if it works. Um, I have A I have a slack, like a test slack workspace, you know, that's just like, Dan's whatever test Slack and, uh, there's like 4,000 Dan's in there. Cause I was testing a new, you know, like what happens when a member joins, you know? And um, if I didn't get it right then I had. Make the change, commit it, let it build and then join again, you know, with the new account and see if it works. It's like the matrix with Agent Smith is like, uh, it's just like a slack that's just full of a thousand mes. Don't go there. It's frightening. I'll say I'll send you an invite. You uh, yeah. Oh
So you also talked about, um, doing videos. And so I wonder like one does, can you digital garden videos? Is that a thing? Is that like Instagram live? I don't know.
how does that like play into this role of content creation?
Yeah. Oh man. Interesting. I, I would say digitally gardening videos is harder. Then writing because you have to do a lot more editing in the video. Um, you can't really just cut a piece out and then like add a new piece in it. Wouldn't like tend to make sense or missed, um,
Have you tried, have you tried, uh, have you tried,Descript yet for video editing
I haven't. No, I've been sticking with a
you can literally copy and paste like text and it'll do the video and the audio and everything like really well. I'm sorry. They don't, they don't sponsor us or anything. I just, I've just been excited about it
Sorry, I didn't mean to, um, while I did, I guess I did mean to interrupt, but, uh, I didn't want,
I didn't, I don't know why I said, I don't know why like interrupt on purpose and then say, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. Uh, anyway, um,
okay. No. You're good. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I think that's a really, there's so many tools out there, which is great. And like, I think Bekah mentioned live streaming as well, which I guess like you can kind of pick and choose Nicky T is doing a really great job with live streaming and he's kind of like rolling with the punches and learning Rust, which I think is really cool. Um, I do think like where, where I see video, because it is completely different platform. It's kind of like YouTube, so that. You can't really curate YouTube videos as easily. It's like that they own that platform. So they tend to show it how they want to show it. Um, so it is a little bit harder in that sense,
Yeah. Yeah. And I think with YouTube, you can't change them either. Right? I mean, if you change them and then, then it's a new, you have to create a new video and delete the old on or so you know, something like
right? Yeah. Although yeah, exactly.
Create new ones.
That's interesting though.
Now we're going to invent digital gardening for videos
That would be cool.
or it wouldn't at all. So, okay. So you're doing these videos and is this just kind of along the same lines as what you're doing with your digital garden, your. Working on these things, learning them, and then just providing another avenue for people to kind of learn along with you.
yeah, I think like, yeah, exactly that, and it was also a challenge for me, cause I'd never really done video stuff as well. So at the start of the year, I really wanted to kind of explore it a little bit more. Um, and then. Um, I kinda, uh, realized that I really enjoy doing it. I don't enjoy actually filming the videos. It's really hard, or I can't speak in front of a camera. Like, I don't know how people do it. Um, but the whole process of like editing and like getting all the music and all that stuff is, is really fun. Um, so yeah, it's, it's been a goal and a lot of the content is pretty similar to what I would put in. The blog, but it does go through more in-depth tutorials because I hate writing about tutorials, but I think showing is just a lot easier to follow and a lot easier to explain in my mind,
Yeah, that's, that's pretty cool. and so you can I suppose, yeah, you don't have to like create all the screenshots or the, uh, you know, grab the code examples perfectly if you're just showing, you know, when you're doing like a screen-share and showing the, um, the app like in place, right. Just take somebody for a tour. I can totally see. I can totally see how that it, that would be.
Yeah, and you can go on like tangents and you can get lost a little bit, and it's all easy to come back to the main thread. Then it isn't like a blog, like you can't just write like an extra thousand words on a tangent and then expect them to like keep reading after that. Okay.
You could, but, uh,
I think I just, uh, wait, I have to go back and delete some of my blog posts.
um, have you been doing, I'm sorry if I might have already answered this, have you been doing much streaming as well? Um, aside from the produced months, have you dug into that?
no, I haven't. Um, I've been thinking about it. I don't, uh, we come back to Nick. Um, I can't speak and like learn or like do something at the same time. So it really just be like, it would just be silence. He used to be watching me on my computer. It's a skill. I don't know how you do that.
Yeah, no, it is. I've been, I've been have been wondering about that. too. I've been thinking about, you know, digging a little bit, and this is paying attention to myself. Coding, not, I wasn't streaming, you know, but I was just like, oh, I haven't like talked to moved for like three hours. Like this is not going to be fun for anybody.
I think, I think one of the things that's about it is it's nice if you can do with a partner, because then they can kind of fill in, like, Nick does it with Christina and Seth and I are going to be doing it in a couple of weeks. Um, and the first time Seth and I did it, it was like I had not ever live-streamed and I'm, I'm terrified of it. Like it's not something that I feel comfortable doing and immediately I froze up. And Seth was right there, kind of like talking through it, like, okay, well, this is what we're going to do. And this is where I'm like, okay, now I feel comfortable and I can kind of go along with it. And so to be able to have that conversation, I think makes it a little bit easier because then you have way less pressure on yourself to be doing all of this.
100%. That that makes a lot of sense.
Yeah. I've, I've enjoyed times when we just jump on a zoom or whatever, and, and people, you know, like,if somebody posts in help and pairing or something. It has a problem. Right. And pairing up, like doing the pair programming and just sort of recording it. I think that's, you're talking about Bekah and like, it's easier for me to ask questions or to answer questions then to like on a, don't think of all possible questions and then produce content, you know, like that, the, uh, the thought process for me. Um, it's like, um, I don't know, you know, you just like answer what's in front of you. Right. And then, and then just talk, but the, I feel like when you're streaming, it's. Um, the expectation is maybe it's a little more okay. If you make a mistake or if you, you know, um, start saying something and then you're like, oh, wait a minute. I just remembered this other thing. Or, you know, something like that. Um, a little more, like, I don't know if it's a little more into that. The it's okay to make mistakes mindsets, right. It's like not perfect mindset is the streaming. Um, which I try to remember to when I, when I consider it and right, is, um, it's like the work in progress kind of thing. Um, I could see how it could all fit, fit, fit together, you know?
Yeah, I think that's the beauty of live streaming as well as the fact that you can kind of make these mistakes and like let other people see how you kind of move on from there. Um, I think with videos, um, I'm actually trying to do a video where I'm trying to show that process a bit more. Um, but with videos it is very edited.
Um, so you don't see that.
right. Well, yes. If you went onto YouTube and push play on somebody's video, you wouldn't want to see them saying, um, you know, I'm not really sure how to do this, but like watching the thought process in a stream, the expectations a little bit, like you go into a stream knowing that it's live right. And knowing that. Probably going to be doing that sort of thing. You know what I mean? Figuring it out in front of you. And that's part of the, part of the draw, I suppose. I mean, definitely part of the draw, but, um, a little bit different mindset, I suppose, when you're creating, you know, as a creator. Right. Are you going to add your videos to your site, to the, to the digital garden. Um, and in some way
Yeah. I, um, I had a, like a fleeting thought about adding like the most recent video. Um, I think like, ultimately I'd love to create like a, a platform where I can add tutorials like my own course platform kind of thing, then have everything just, you know, work in one place,
Yeah, sure. Sure, sure. So you have like a collection of, uh, yeah. Step one, step two, step three kind of thing. Yeah.
Um, that, well, I mean, there's, I mean, I could, I could see that being fitting pretty well into the digital garden. You know, I idea I could also see it, you know, there's lots of obviously lots of different, uh, approaches to that, to that, um, that that people have done. So that's pretty cool.
So for these, it seems like you have a lot of you're working on a lot of things that you are learning about personally. Um, and then when you are, are working in your day job, you're working with rails, right? And so how do you just kind of like make that jump back and forth or, you know, are there things that you're learning from what you're learning that you can apply to your day job?
Yeah. I think like both of that is like totally valid point. It's like jumping back and forth between functional to like object paradigm is, is really hard sometimes. Um, I'm not very good at functional language, I guess that helps, you know, like I gotta have those like muscle memory, um, yet. Um, but yeah, there's definitely things you can learn from all these different sources that, um, You can bring into any new project, um, had there a quote somewhere where it's like, you never starting anything from scratch. Like you always taking those past experiences with you. And I think that's very true. Um, whenever I'm learning any of these new things, is that from Vic as well?
I was going to say,
I'm like, gosh,
I remember Vic talking about that.
Yep. And we talked about that with Sara, a bunch too, on, on when, when she came on the pod is, you know, I mean, she came from, you know, the agriculture tech field and, uh, you know, was able to apply a lot of that, Um, to her current. yeah. It's moved from that to, well, FinTech, I guess. But, um, I do like that idea. We've talked about it before, you know, it's that idea of leaning on your past experiences, you know, and how it can all be relevant, um, relevant to you or to your current, um, platform. It's funny thinking about that switch in between, like when you're learning a new paradigm sort of, and you have an old one, it's like that balance point of when your muscle memory tips over and you start actually like reaching for functional things when you're in back in Ruby or, you know, uh, vice versa. Um, When you're so when you're learning, um, so this is, uh, wait, I'm sorry. Oh, Elixir. Right. Um, so you're learning elixir. Do you find yourself doing things like, um, how do I do some Ruby thing in elixir like that kind of Google, Google search, a thought process, or, or do you try to, um, sort of erase your mind for, for, for the moment, you know, when you're trying to learn a new thing, uh, and, and do the, you know, pure like elixir way or whatever, if that exists.
Yeah. Um, Definitely have a bad habit of like, how do I do Ruby in X? Um, cause I'm just so used to Ruby and Ruby and rails and stuff. Um, but I think they're getting into the weeds of the language is really important. So like I'm trying to like switch our mindset to like, be more of like, okay, how do I do this in a functional language rather than how do I do it in Ruby and then transport it over.
Um, yeah, and I, and I know like in the Elixir slack, people talk about it a little bit, where you run into a lot of issues when you try and just like port over Ruby, into Elixir, like a lot of things just don't make sense and don't work. Like anti-patterns almost
Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. Have you, uh, has there been any like specific things that you can think of that like you approaches you can take when like back into the Ruby world from, from the new stuff?
Yeah. Um, great question. I think the biggest thing is really just the immutability aspect of it. So like, you know, making sure, like I am being really explicit with what is changing under the hood in Ruby has really helped. And the Elixir concurrency model is, um, I would say like is built a little bit differently than how Rudy's concurrency model work. So it's all about passing messages and not about changing the data that. Threads share. So kind of taking that functionality into review as well. Um, at least on an architectural level has really helped.
Nice. That's cool.
You are, you also mentioned you had done some iOS development early on,
have you, how has that, okay, so you've done it. So you did iOS and then Ruby, and now you're learning Elixir. So is there like a pattern that you've seen that you've worked through those changes or as you've grown or things that you've learned and can apply as you learn the new things?
Um, yes, that syntax, especially so hard to Google for. Um, wait, is that, see, now I can't even remember. Is that the newest one or is that. the, this is every time I, I, I, I, uh, Yes, learning new languages is hard learning old, keeping up to date with, um, you know, languages that you've been writing in for a long time. It turns out also hard sometimes.
like how to Google that
um, but it is, uh, um,
I don't know. It is cool that you mentioned that cause it's a, you know, it is like an important piece of of learning I think is. Is finding out how to find things out.
yeah. And it's, it's hard to think about that sometimes as well, because once you've done it, a bunch of times, it becomes almost like you just do it. It's like a thing you're even thinking about. Um, but yeah. And then trying to explain that to someone who's just starting, it's like, there's a bit of a disconnect that sometimes, um, it can be really hard to explain.
Yeah. And it also Oak place. Good.
I was going to say, this goes back to your point about communication and you know, you're writing and that's part of communication and learning how to do that. But like even Googling is part of communicating, um, being able to speak into the world, what you need or what you want. Right. And so sometimes. It's easier just to go to a group of people. Or I know like yesterday I was working on how do I get a slack reminder to this channel every single day? And I'm like, well, I know Marie did that. So I'm just going to ask her first because it's late and I need to get right to the source. And I know that she can point me in the right direction. And she did, she was like, this is what I look for. And it took me right to where I needed to be. And so sometimes, you know, knowing who to ask the questions to. That can help you understand how to ask them. The next time is a really good step in communication and in learning or, you know, writing whatever. But all of these things are ultimately skills that we all need to be using.
yeah. Asking for help is so hard as well. When you're first starting. I remember I did not ask enough questions when I was signed to learn Ruby on Rails. And I felt like there was almost this like stigma of like, it felt bad to ask questions. Like I had to struggle with Google for a bit before I did. Um, and yeah, it just, it's a terrible way to learn. Like, just ask someone.
it is really hard. Well, and you went to university, so you had the traditional English classroom experience. And so I'm curious, cause I'm a bootcamp grad and I learned by myself. So I don't, I didn't really have that experience of people asking questions around me. Did, did that happen there? Maybe I'm imagining in my head what, what I think it would be.
Yeah. Uh, yeah, I mean, people definitely ask questions and those plenty of people that are just like, Very, I guess, questions with answers that just went out of my head. Um, so there's definitely a lot of courses in uni that I have not found that useful in real life. Um, so yeah, it's both. It is like, I guess it is time of told him that, that, um, ability to ask the right question.
Yeah. I mean, I guess, I mean, it's very different being a, being in a university where you're expected to ask questions versus like in a job, it seems like the stakes are a little bit steeper or something. You know, I know that a lot of bootcamp grads are like, yeah, I'm done with bootcamp. Like finally, this is, I can breathe in like No.
Please. Did you ask all the questions?
No. I mean, I didn't have the opportunity to ask a lot of questions, um, because it was a self paced thing and there were some opportunities for meeting with people, but there weren't that many, and I just didn't really know about expectations. Like, should I be working with others, students on things? And I don't know, as a mom of four kids. So some people would be like, yeah, we're getting together for five hours. Come. No, I can't do that. Or that's late and I wake up early because I've got kids. So I just never really kind of found, I think maybe the group of people I could have learned from in that situation. Um, but I mean, we, I talk about this all the time. I've gotten a lot better with communicating. I don't usually spend. Many hours on the same problem without asking a question. And if I do, it's only because of my stubbornness, like I know I can get this, you know, so that's, that's more of a me problem, I think.
Um, I think like you also touched on a really great point where it's like, you didn't couldn't find the right people. I think finding a community, especially when you're like just starting out that really made a lot of difference. Um, in my learning journey was finding like the code VB community and then getting a bit more involved with like Ruby meetups and stuff, just so I can have the people around me to actually also ask questions.
here's a thing.
yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah. I mean, Yeah. Obviously there's definitely some topics to be discussed around rails and the community. But I think like a lot of that started to, because everyone wanted something better than PHB. And I think it was really groundbreaking at the time. Um, and it still is like everyone, there's still big companies like Shopify. So you still use as rails. Um, so yeah, there's, I think a lot of people kind of wanted that change, especially from the Ruby community.
So I going to back up maybe a little bit, just a second too. So we talked about, you know, you're doing rails and there's an expectation maybe of what that looks like, but. Can you walk us through what that does look like, like practically, like what are you doing at work? What does your day-to-day look.
Yeah. So I think the day-to-day really is around. Um, I think it's pretty similar to most other jobs where you take an issue and you, you pick it up. And, um, a lot of the rail stuff is really just about connecting with all our different, um, Components. So we have kind of this rails engine type architecture. So just making sure that and rails engine is really just like a library that you can just like plug into your application. Um, so making sure those connections work, um, and then using, we use graph QL a lot Shopify. So I'm just like learning about that aspect too, and how everything kind of fits together. I'm not sure if I answered the question though,
Um, I think that's, that's a good way to think about how, how you're approaching your day to day and what's going on. So I feel like I don't want to leave this podcast without giving you a huge shout out for sending me Tim Tams,
changing experience. So can you explain to everyone what a Tim Tam is?
sure I can. They are an Australian chocolate biscuit that is covered in chocolate. And the two layers of the biscuit also has chocolate in between the two layers. Um, so it's pretty amazing. And there's different flavors in Australia where you can get different stuffings in the middle. Um, you get double coat. I think I sent you a double coat
did send me a double. Okay.
Yeah. Okay. Which is like, Just a thick layer of chocolate. It's yeah. It's, uh, it's been really good. I've been rationing them out as well. We've like, we're almost out
Which I should have ration them out. I will not tell you how many of them I ate for breakfast every
Okay. So do you prefer the double dip tip and Tams or the single
the double K for sure um, but
enjoyed the single here.
Ooh, interesting. I just love the more chocolate to swing one chocolate. Um, sorry, Dan. I'll just send you something
Yeah, no, I'm just, uh,
Tim, Tim Tam -less over here.
glad there are not Tim Tams and Kroger because
they are very dangerous.
it was so easy and it's not that many in a pack.
there were not enough
simultaneously asleep too much. Do you now, do you eat your Tim Tams with tea? Because I heard that's how you should do it, but I had mine with coffee.
Yeah. Um, so I think tea's the way you go. You probably have the coffee. I just not sure. I guess coffee chocolate would be a pretty nice flavor combination. Um, but there's a thing called the Tim Tam Slam where you bite it, like each end of the Tim Tam and you like suck the tea or coffee through the Tim-Tam like a straw and it like melts the chocolate a little bit. And then you just like shove the whole thing, your mouth, and you just have like a multiple and chocolate with some crunchy texture and also the flavor of the tea or coffee.
Yeah. It's very messy.
You have to find that
stream coming up or where you're going to be trying out some
Yeah, we gotta, we gotta, we gotta, get some to some people and we'll do a group, you know?
wasn't like I fully intended to save them for virtual coffees and have them a little bit at a time just going to do it.
that they're just too good. Yeah. There's a balance with Tim Tam slams. I've definitely waited too long in the toughie, in the tea dunk and the whole Tim Tam just like slid off and I've been like, well, now I just have a Tim-Tam in my, and that's less delicious.
Oh, practice. Right. And practice a little,
I've got a practice.
It's like the best practice you could do.
a man. That sounds really good.
We're going to do that at our conference. We'll do some Tim-Tam slams. That'll be a
Yeah, can we get, uh, I mean, we should reach out it's Tim-Tam um, sorry, a brand or, or like a, you know, a product that a brand makes.
it's a product that a brand makes so on. It is the brand, um,
So that's what we should reach out to you for a sponsor.
Either get the podcast sponsored by we'll just start it start every podcast episode with the Tim Tams.
they don't have to give us money. They just need to
Yeah, no, no, no.
Oh yeah. That'd be amazing. I could be, yeah, Tim Tams little. They also have. So, if you take a flight back to Australia, they'll have like little single pack, Tim Tams that they give you as like, you know, the plane snack food. So we'll have that in the VC swag bag.
so many great ideas.
Okay. So I feel like that's a, a really, oh man. I was going to punt so bad right there. I'm not going to do it. Nope. Not doing it. It's a really great way to wrap up the podcast. I think, um, with something, Nope. Still somebody stopped me from putting,
need more puns on this podcast. I'm I'm pro I'm pro pro pro pun.
I could embrace that. No. Did you just say no?
I did not. I, I was I'm in favor, as I said,
Okay. All right.
a bus just drove. I don't know if that's what you heard.
the bus said no, the universe has
I just ignore it. I just ignore what the, what the bus says outside it's you know?
That seems like the right thing to do. Um, anyway, thank you for the Tim Tams and thank you for being on the podcast. I feel like, uh, this was a really good exploration of the digital gardening and learning and growing, and this was a lot of fun. So thanks for
Yeah, thanks so much for having me.
Yeah. Um, yeah, I'll also add my thanks. It was fun.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Virtual Coffee Podcast. This episode was produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Dan Ott. If you have questions or comments, you can hit us up on Twitter at VirtualCoffeeIO, or you can email us at email@example.com. You can find the show notes, plus you can sign up for our newsletter to find out what Virtual Coffee's been up to on our website at virtualcoffee.io.
Please subscribe to our podcast and be sure to leave us a review. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next week.
The Virtual Coffee Podcast is produced by Dan Ott and Bekah Hawrot Weigel and edited by Dan Ott.