008: Origin Stories Pt.2

All super heroes have an origin story. And, so do nerds. Many of us can remember back to that moment when we realized that there was magic in the world - magic that we could be part of; and, magic that we could help create. This week, we get personal with the crew and learn more about where they came from, what kind of stuff makes them tick, and what it is that they love about being web application developers.

This Part II of a two-part series. Part II will includes Carol and Adam. Part I was Ben and Tim.

But (drum roll please) thank you to our first patrons! You are helping us make this podcast better. For anyone who wants to know more, check out our Patreon listed at the end of the show notes.

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Follow the show! Our website is workingcode.dev and we're @WorkingCodePod on Twitter & Instagram. New episodes weekly on Wednesday.

Triumphs & Fails

Notes & Links


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[00:00:18] Adam: Okay, here we go. It's show number 8 for February the 3rd. Today on the show, we're going to be talking about our Coding Origin Stories Part 2. Uh, Carol is going to go first, and then... Myself, Adam, and we'll find out about why we is who we is, uh, before we do our triumphs and fails. I just wanted to take a moment and say, hopefully the audio quality on this episode, you'll notice is a little bit higher than it has been in the past.

[00:00:43] Adam: Uh, and that is thanks very much to, uh, our first patrons. Um, so we have people supporting us on Patreon now. Thank you so much. Um, and we'll talk a little bit more about that later, but we are already investing that money in hopefully making the podcast better. So we'll see. How that goes. Upward and onward.

[00:01:01] Adam: Yes. All right. So as usual, let's get started with our triumphs and fails. I'm gonna go to Ben first. Ben, what do you got this week?

[00:01:09] Ben: Well, uh, it's just felt like a long week for me. I'm tired. So my mind goes more to failures than it does to successes. And, um, I had touched upon this in a previous episode that communication has been a lifelong struggle for me.

[00:01:24] Ben: Just being in touch with people. I'm very much a out of sight, out of mind person. And I just, again, struggled with this my whole life. And I go through these phases where I'm like, Oh, today's going to be the day where I wake up and I start to communicate better with people. And it just continues to not happen.

[00:01:42] Ben: And, and where I notice it is that I'll, I'll get an email and then I'll star it because I'm like, Oh, I got to respond to that. And then like weeks will go by where I'm not replying to my starred emails, let alone the things that aren't starred. And I just. I don't know, I don't know what to do about that.

[00:01:59] Ben: Part of me is like, that's just who I am and it's never going to change. And maybe I should just embrace it. There's people I want to respond to. And I'm just, I don't know how to motivate or allocate time or, or what, so. I

[00:02:14] Adam: mean, do you

[00:02:14] Tim: eventually respond to them, Ben?

[00:02:17] Ben: Yeah, eventually. Yeah, hopefully. But it's like every email communication or text message communication then has to start out with a lot of apologizing.

[00:02:27] Ben: Sorry, I haven't been in touch. Things have been hectic. Work's been really busy. I've been very stressed,

[00:02:32] Adam: etc, etc. And also I don't want to talk to you.

[00:02:37] Carol: Yeah, I just start with, Hey dudes, I'm lame, I don't respond quickly, but here you go.

[00:02:44] Ben: I, I know, but I just, I'm trying to set myself up to have to

[00:02:48] Adam: do that. Or just say,

[00:02:49] Tim: look, I'm a lot more important than you are.

[00:02:51] Tim: So, I finally got around to you, be glad I

[00:02:54] Adam: did.

[00:02:55] Carol: Here's Tim Cunningham's email, he'll vet for me, okay? I, you know,

[00:03:00] Ben: I think about, uh, uh, Tim Ferriss, who in the four hour work week, he talked a lot about getting personal assistance and, and, and shedding a lot of sort of the mundane stuff that he has to do every day.

[00:03:13] Ben: And I mean, if I had just money to burn. I feel like that would be such a power move to have someone who just sorts my emails for me and reminds me to communicate with people and can take dictations.

[00:03:27] Tim: There's some power there. I think I have the opposite problem of you, Ben.

[00:03:32] Ben: You love communicating

[00:03:33] Tim: with people.

[00:03:34] Tim: No, I actually don't, but I get it over with as fast as possible. I see an email that comes in, I respond immediately and I don't. Proof check it. I don't, I mean, my, uh, grammar and spelling is atrocious and a lot of times I'm wrong, but I'm like, I just want to, I just want to get this out as fast as possible so I don't have to have this over my head and then I regret it.

[00:03:54] Tim: I wish I were a little bit more thoughtful and, and like you and just say, you know, I can't handle this right now. I'll, I'll answer it later or

[00:04:03] Adam: not.

[00:04:04] Carol: You need that delay send that holds it for like, you know, a couple hours and then sends it.

[00:04:09] Adam: Is that a thing? It is a thing. There's like a plugin for Gmail.

[00:04:13] Tim: Oh, I need that for Outlook.

[00:04:15] Tim: That'd be great. I

[00:04:16] Adam: think that's supposed to be when you're

[00:04:17] Ben: drunk, right?

[00:04:22] Adam: Well, it is COVID and we're working from home. Who knows? As far as email goes, I... I end up, I don't really like it, but I end up kind of using my inbox as a to do list. So, I try to stay on top of my email and archive everything I don't need to have in my inbox anymore. Yes. And then it's like, then I have like the unread versus read status.

[00:04:43] Adam: If it's unread, I really need to come back to this first. And if it's read, then it's like, okay, well, you know, I need to get to that eventually.

[00:04:50] Ben: Well, like, so just, just as a perfect example, I mean, people listening can't see this, but I have 1248 unread text messages.

[00:05:02] Adam: I have zero unread text messages. Yeah, I can't, I have to

[00:05:05] Tim: be inbox zero by the end of the day.

[00:05:07] Tim: I would, I would commit seppuku if

[00:05:13] Adam: I didn't. Okay, any more? No, I'm drained. He doesn't want to talk to us right now. You've made me talk too much already. All right, Carol, how about you? Yeah, I have a

[00:05:24] Carol: triumph. So last week I mentioned that I was kind of feeling down at work and just not getting, just not feeling like I was getting everything.

[00:05:31] Carol: You know, the whole new to the team, not knowing the terminology, not feeling as productive as I am. I'm always Super productive, always doing stuff. So just feeling like I wasn't quite there. I had my one on one this week, which is like our career conversations that we do. And the overall, you know, review was you're doing great.

[00:05:51] Carol: You're doing amazing. You're picking up things so quickly, you know, like we have nothing bad to say. And, you know, we're super happy that we found you type thing. So it was good timing for the. I'm not feeling like I'm doing as well, and I'm not interacting with a team in an office like typically I would be, so it was just good to hear that feedback back from our director of engineering to just say, hey, good job.

[00:06:16] Carol: Nice. Win

[00:06:17] Adam: win. Good job, Carol. Good

[00:06:20] Carol: job. I'm gonna pat myself on the back.

[00:06:23] Adam: You should. Yeah.

[00:06:27] Adam: All right, Tim, what do you got? Try them for a fail. Both.

[00:06:32] Tim: So I'll start with a fail because I've mentioned Triumphs lately. My fail is so we are rebranding, doing some rebranding and renaming some things. And I had to marketing task me with coming up with our USP, our unique selling proposition. Um, Because I'm the one who knows the product the best and that is, I just have been avoiding it because that is really hard without being complete liar, you know, it's like, Oh, we're so unique because of this.

[00:07:06] Tim: And you take some little thing and you tweak it up to 11 when it really doesn't. I mean, I see the value of our product, but I see that most people, if they really wanted to, could build it and could do it. And the only reason it's unique is because I'm doing it and my team's doing it. And I think we're special, but you can't put that in marketing material.

[00:07:28] Tim: So I've just been avoiding that like the plague this week and the marketing people are mad at me. So that's my fail. My Uh, Triumph is, you know, earlier episode we talked about some of the goals for 2021, which I listened to today and I thought that was an excellent episode that we did.

[00:07:47] Adam: Pat ourselves on the back.

[00:07:49] Adam: Way to go us. Way to go us. Good

[00:07:51] Tim: us. So I talked about, uh, blockchain and Bitcoin. So actually today I built my own blockchain.

[00:07:59] Adam: Interesting. And it was a lot

[00:08:02] Tim: easier than I expected. When you get down to it, I mean, blockchain is really just, you build, you do a genesis block, which is the first block, and then you take whatever data, metadata you have there, and you hash it, and then you link that to another one, and it hashes the previous hash, and it's just, it's just linked hashes is all it seems to really be, um, it seems a real, Complexity that comes with blockchain and BitTorrent is doing the smart contracts, but yeah, is mostly the consensus mechanism.

[00:08:35] Tim: So, to be truly distributed, you have to have a bunch of nodes, and they have to have a methodology to come up with a consensus to say that something And it's distributed, so not one person, not one node can do that. It has to be a consensus, and you have to have a scheme for that, and there's a whole lot of overhead involved in that.

[00:08:56] Tim: So that's really, excuse me, where the complexity is. The actual blockchain is, was actually extremely simple. So yeah, I'm excited. I, I, I took something that I thought was a lot more daunting than it was, and now I'm not quite so scared of it. So I'm researching the consensus, uh, chain and mechanisms involved in that and building

[00:09:16] Adam: distributed apps.

[00:09:18] Adam: You, you kind of skipped the, the big question here is what is you, what are you calling your coin? And where can I get some? So

[00:09:26] Tim: I'm, I'm throwing around the idea. Let me pass this off to you guys. My, I'm not necessarily a coin. I don't really want to do the whole monetary thing, but I think it'd be interesting if you had sort of a blockchain business card.

[00:09:41] Tim: And I'm sure there's probably something out there already, but I like to do it myself because I think it'd be a simple use case where you could authenticate that you are yourself, and here's your private information, your public and private information, some you could designate as public, some you could designate as private, the private can be, you know, encoded with PGP encryption, and so when you meet someone, you give them your Bye bye.

[00:10:08] Tim: Blockchain business card and they give you yours. And so there's a transaction that takes place that says you two have met at this point in time. And, uh, and maybe it can even see like people you have in common that are all part of your chain. And then, uh, you authorize them to see because, uh, you know, blockchain is public.

[00:10:27] Tim: So you don't want everyone having your phone number and everyone having your email. So those things you, you. from ので scraping and we'd, you know, just go whatever we want, and

[00:10:46] Adam: say, Hey,

[00:10:48] Carol: we don't want this anymore. What do you guys think? I guess sort of like that, but you wouldn't need the actual physical touch necessarily.

[00:11:07] Tim: I think, I think what would be cool with it is you could, you could sort of see who you've had in common in your chain, right? You could say, Oh, you know, so and so because you could see the entire chain of all the interactions of times you've traded cards with someone. So it's kind of like

[00:11:19] Adam: the ledger.

[00:11:20] Adam: Yeah, exactly. This maybe sounds super

[00:11:23] Ben: creepy, but I could almost envision something like that being very interesting at a conference because I'll meet people at a conference. And then not remember their name or who they were. Yep. And, you know, even to get like even slightly more creepy, it'd be great to be able to almost see a timeline of the people you met because like, it's like, Oh, I know I met them, uh, the Wednesday morning after the orientation meeting.

[00:11:47] Ben: So we're like, let me see who I met in my card blockchain around 10 a. m.

[00:11:53] Adam: It wouldn't be hard to build an app that could do that with like QR codes and, you know, do it on your phone. But then the, then you have that awkward moment of like, Oh, hey, it was nice to meet you. Can I scan your badge with my phone here?

[00:12:04] Adam: Maybe what you do is you like make it so that it becomes the thing where everybody has to take selfies together. And then you just make sure that your badge is visible in the selfie and you can steal the QR code out of that later. Yeah, but what

[00:12:15] Tim: I was thinking was like a, like a mobile app where you could just basically flick it to someone like AirDrop it or whatever, like NFC maybe as well.

[00:12:22] Tim: But yeah, I don't know.

[00:12:23] Adam: We'll see. Sounds neat. Well, I guess that leaves me. Um, I've got a... I feel like it's a little bit lame, but I'm just gonna go with it. Uh, my triumph for this week has been that I've been standing more. So I have a sit stand convertible desk and for the last, I don't know... It's been a sitting desk, um, that happens to plug into the wall for no reason.

[00:12:48] Adam: So this week I've made a very concerted effort to stand more and today I managed, with the exception of eating my lunch, I managed to stand all day. So I'm, I'm pleased with that. Take some, uh, time and some effort to build up the stamina to be able to do that and some stretching, but I

[00:13:06] Carol: find like after I've been standing for a while, like working the next day, if I sit, my legs hurt, like, I feel like I'm not getting circulation like I'm supposed to or something.

[00:13:15] Carol: So then I end up standing again. So once I get in the habit of doing it, it's hard to not stand then because sitting actually is not

[00:13:21] Adam: comfortable.

[00:13:23] Ben: Do you find that? You can think well when you're standing and that's not a loaded question. When I stand, I find that I cannot think very well. You're more distracted?

[00:13:34] Carol: I

[00:13:36] Ben: think so. Cause I think I'm focusing on standing and holding my body. I also, I have flat feet. So I think my knees start to hurt and my

[00:13:44] Adam: feet start to hurt. I think that's, to me, that's like the value proposition of having the sit stand desk is that you can switch on a moment's notice. Whereas before I got this desk, I would be like, I really need to stand more often.

[00:13:56] Adam: So I would, you know, spend Two or three hours and I'd take everything off my desk and break out the IKEA Lack table and put it on top of my desk and then build up my monitors and everything back up on top of that. And then I would be able to stand and then, you know, give it a couple of weeks and I'd be like, Oh, I'm so exhausted.

[00:14:11] Adam: I need to sit down again for a while. And I have to, again, take a couple of hours and convert it back. With the convertible desk, you can just hit a button and in 30 seconds, you're You're switching. Ben,

[00:14:22] Tim: I'm so glad you said that about your flat feet. A big strong man like you, I have flat feet too and that's not, I have a standing desk as well and I hate, I'll stand at it for a while and it really starts to hurt.

[00:14:34] Tim: But like you said, I can't focus. on like a hard problem like a solitary problem unless I'm sitting, but if I'm on a call and because you know I'm a bit of a, I'm a kind of an ambivert. I like people, but I'm very, you know, it takes a lot out of me to talk people for a long time. So if I'm on a call, I have to stand, I have to pace, I have to be moving cause it's sort of nervous energy.

[00:14:58] Tim: But if I'm, Doing a coding problem? I have to sit. I can't think standing.

[00:15:04] Adam: Well, to answer your question, um, I honestly sometimes I feel like I can think better when I'm standing. It's something about like standing there and, and, um, putting effort into being there kind of focuses my mind and puts it like I had a really productive day today too.

[00:15:20] Adam: I closed. A bunch of bugs. Um, and I think that part of that was because I was standing and, um, and also not doom scrolling nearly as much. Yes. But, uh, win. That was a win today. Yeah. There's less to

[00:15:34] Tim: doom,

[00:15:35] Adam: so less to scroll. Yep. Yep. Yep.

[00:15:38] Carol: Bernie memes

[00:15:39] Adam: are winning. Love the Bernie memes. Oh, they're making my life happy.

[00:15:44] Adam: There's so many Philly Bernie memes, like Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Bernie, uh, reserving his spot in a, in the snow on the side of the road. Love it.

[00:15:54] Tim: Just, I like the unedited Bernie meme with him just sitting there at the inauguration going, this could have been an email.

[00:16:02] Adam: Yeah, that

[00:16:03] Carol: one would be epic. I haven't seen it, but that sounds awesome.

[00:16:06] Adam: That's, yeah, with the right, like, voice in your mind, Bernie's voice, the irritated Bernie, that would work perfectly. Yes. I mean, come on, Biden!

[00:16:20] Adam: Tim the voice guy. All right, well, I guess let's move into our main topic for the day. So, Carol, why you is who you is?

[00:16:30] Carol: I do not have the same story that you guys have. So, I wasn't the kid that had computers and was interested in computers and was, you know, from day one going, okay, this is where I'm going to go.

[00:16:45] Carol: Um, the one thing I did do is tinker a lot. You know, that's what my grandpa would call it. We had a garage out in the front and, you know, we worked on vehicles and I would always be in there pulling something apart and putting it back together.

[00:16:57] Adam: Tinker? What'd you say? Tinker.

[00:16:59] Carol: Like, tinker on things. Oh. Like, to tinker?

[00:17:02] Carol: Yeah. I mean, I don't know what else you call it. You just, you are doing nothing productive, but it's keeping you busy so you're not bothering your family, right? So you're just messing with things. So I would take things apart and put them back together and, you know. I would strip cables and then solder them back together just for the fun of it, just to see what happened to it.

[00:17:23] Carol: But, um, as far as computers go and as far as software, um, it wasn't until probably like 2006, 2007 that I finally was like, all right, I kind of want to go this route. And when I started school, I went the route of hardware. So I was like, I'm going to be in network. And I'm gonna like do all of this enterprise level administration stuff and people are going to rely on me for their internet, whatever you do with networking.

[00:17:51] Carol: I don't even know now. Right? And then I did an internship at a local hospital doing that and I loved it. And like, it was, it was a. So much fun, like just doing the hardware side of it and, and the networking both were, you know, awesome. But then Tim hired me as an intern doing

[00:18:08] Adam: software. And you said that that happened because of, uh, like a program through school, right?

[00:18:13] Carol: Yeah, yeah. At the local college, um, I guess, I don't know if Silvervine at the time had reached out to the deans or what they had done, but, um, Silvervine came up through the Dean and was like, hey, you know, we have slots available. And the Dean was like, you're our best student, so we're going to give this thing to you.

[00:18:30] Carol: Yeah. Pat myself on the back again, right? Not to humblebrag. Not to humblebrag or anything. Yeah. So, they were like, hey, you should go do this. And I was like, I'm already doing one internship. And they're like, well, this one's paid. And I was like, okay, yeah, I'll give you that one. I quit. Good job. So, I ended up doing it, and, um, like, Tim brought me on, and...

[00:18:50] Carol: Within probably, you know, a month of just learning, you know, software and learning code, I realized that I have wasted a lot of time in school and that I did not want to do hardware. I'm cool taking your phone apart, fixing it. I'll put screens on things all the time. I'll help people, you know, replace parts on their computer.

[00:19:09] Carol: Like, I still... Get hardware and I still have fun with it, but software, that's, I mean, 2010 is when I was like, all right, software is where my life's going to be at. So I didn't, you know, have like some crazy kid's story with computers. I think the only thing I ever did was play Oregon Trail in the library.

[00:19:29] Carol: I avoided it at all costs because. It just, it wasn't my thing. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to be playing. If I was in front of a screen, I was bored and I hated it. So, I mean, we didn't even watch TV. We just were always outside playing.

[00:19:42] Adam: You have died in the military.

[00:19:45] Carol: Yes, several times. A few times. But yeah, I mean, like, I don't, I don't really have, like, a big, massive, I, at some point, bound technology and that's where it was going to be at.

[00:19:58] Carol: I thought I was going to go hardware. Yeah, you did. And Tim changed my

[00:20:02] Tim: mind. So, I mean, if I could interject on your story here, so, um, so we, yeah, we, at that time I just started going to conferences, um, and I was just amazed at just kind of, um, the idea. There was some people that had gone, there was a guy who brought his son.

[00:20:23] Tim: And, um, I was introducing him to him and I thought, you know, there weren't a whole lot of people that were programming the language that we were writing in. So I said, well, let's just make opportunity. I was in charge of hiring. I wasn't the HR person. We didn't have an HR. This was before we were Silvervine.

[00:20:39] Tim: We were another company name at that time. And so I went to all the local colleges and I said, um, Uh, you know, we, we want, we're, we're hiring programmers. So if you can recommend people to us that are your shining stars, um, we'll hire them as, as paid interns. And it had to be, I wanted it to be paid because, um, I started as an intern, as I mentioned in my story.

[00:21:03] Tim: And, um, it was, it was a paid position just because you have to have some skin in the game, something to lose. And that, and that made sense to me. And so, you know, I, I think we actually hired. At that time, we had four. It was six. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. We hired six. And of those, do you remember how many we kept?

[00:21:24] Adam: All of them.

[00:21:25] Tim: Yeah. And they were all pretty, I mean, you were the best. Let's be honest. Carol, Carol, Carol was a rock star. Uh, she, she really still is. Yeah. She, she, she had a determination in her drive that made up for, uh, she didn't necessarily have the programming skills at the time. She had some IT classes, like some web.

[00:21:45] Tim: Page classes, but she just had this like htmo. Yeah, yeah. But it's like, you know, no one knew the language we were programming in anyway, so we're gonna have to train them. And so that was my goal, is to bring people up and to train them and to get them into it and yeah. Um, so any of you guys who are guys and girls who are hiring out there, take a chance on, on paid interns, people just come outta college 'cause they can wind up.

[00:22:12] Tim: I mean she, before she moved on to another, Pattie Geahan, Ashley Geahan

[00:22:28] Carol: Magnets. uh, as part of like the Dean selecting me to do the internship. It kind of all came about because we had to take C sharp and we had to build this little like calculator project or whatever. Like, it wasn't anything complex at all. And the teacher teaching it had never taught C sharp before. So a couple of weeks into the class.

[00:22:52] Carol: I got really frustrated and just taught myself everything. And then it turned into the dean found out that after every class, we were having an extra class of me teaching everything to the other kids that the teacher didn't teach. And it wasn't her fault. She got Put in this position last minute. She didn't know anything about it.

[00:23:10] Carol: You know, she was a hardware person too. So she was just trying to help, but she was like, I really think you should go venture into this just because you clearly have a passion for software. Even if you don't know that you do yet. C

[00:23:23] Ben: Sharp. Yeah. Do you find that, I know you, I know you said that your time in school had been wasted, but I imagine that having gone into hardware.

[00:23:34] Ben: It gives you a little bit more perspective, maybe, on how the greater system of, of, of software fits together. Do you, do you think about that at all? I mean, I

[00:23:45] Carol: do, I think, yeah, not so much like network side anymore, but I do think more of like processing side. So when I'm seeing something render on, you know, A tab I have open or something.

[00:23:56] Carol: I'm like, man, if I could put it on my phone, not only is it going to take forever to render, it's also going to go drain my battery. Um, what type of, you know, data is it going to require from like my carrier? So if someone's not on like unlimited data, like what is that looking like for them? I think more of those type of things.

[00:24:13] Carol: Just what is the impact to the hardware that we are. What my, what is my code's impact to the hardware? I

[00:24:21] Adam: guess

[00:24:23] Carol: like if you loop over something a thousand times and then you hear your C P U and you hear your fans all go in, you're like, maybe I should kill that.

[00:24:30] Ben: I, I have a, um, I have an iPad and what I find is if I leave the iPad on the table for a couple of days, I come back and the battery is drain.

[00:24:40] Ben: And, and I, the battery app in the iPad shows you which, uh, apps have been using the app. I guess like what's been draining the battery. And I, and I keep forgetting to check. So then when I finally go, it's actually past the point I can look at it anyway, but I finally narrowed it down to my mail app was doing a bunch of background syncing.

[00:25:02] Ben: I the mail app, so I don't even know what was going on there. But, uh, yeah, I finally just started killing those apps and you can turn off different settings for background syncs,

[00:25:10] Carol: but one of the things that kills our phones is we have life 360 and that tracks your kids, but it tracks their speed. It tracks if they're using their phone when they're driving, it tracks if they press the brakes too hard and those constant like hits.

[00:25:26] Carol: To your location, like nonstop. You're going 55. You're going 54. Those will drain your battery real quick.

[00:25:35] Adam: Mm-hmm. ,

[00:25:36] Tim: one other area that I'm really proud of you, Carol, is when you, we, I, and I think I, I feel a little bit bad about it, but I don't, is I, I feel like I pushed you into public speaking. You

[00:25:49] Adam: did. I did.

[00:25:50] Carol: Scared the crap out of me first time. Uh, I might have cried for a while. Uh, we were at a conference and Tim's like, Oh, you should definitely submit a topic. And I'm like, Oh, cool. Yeah, I'll submit a topic. And then I go through what other people have submitted previously. And I'm like, I don't know how to speak on these things.

[00:26:07] Carol: Like, I don't know what makes sense. I don't know, like, I don't think anyone's going to listen to anything I have to say. And Tim was like, well, just go look at Tent. io. It's this new, like, distributed social networking thing. Like, let's just go see what it's about. I started, like, Googling and I'm like, cool, got it.

[00:26:23] Carol: I'm going to submit on Tent. io and we're going to talk about distributed social networking. And that

[00:26:28] Adam: was my first off. What conference was that at?

[00:26:31] Carol: Uh, CFObjective, and RhizosomeBlue. Okay.

[00:26:36] Tim: And then later she was on the committee for running the whole conference, so. Sometimes you just need a

[00:26:43] Adam: kick.

[00:26:44] Carol: I do. I definitely need those kicks sometimes to remind me, you know, to push myself a little bit.

[00:26:51] Carol: So that's pretty much me. Do you guys remember your first search engine?

[00:26:58] Tim: I know mine. What's yours? What's yours?

[00:27:01] Adam: AskJeebs.

[00:27:03] Carol: Do you

[00:27:04] Adam: remember

[00:27:04] Tim: that? AltaVista.

[00:27:06] Adam: AltaVista?

[00:27:07] Ben: I think I used Excite or HotBot

[00:27:10] Adam: or something. Gopher. I

[00:27:12] Carol: remember Gopher. I've

[00:27:13] Adam: seen, like, that. When I really, like, started to use search engines, my first one was, it was called Dogpile, and it was a federated I kind of remember that.

[00:27:25] Adam: Like, in frames. Eye frames. I had forgotten

[00:27:29] Carol: about that one.

[00:27:30] Adam: Yeah.

[00:27:31] Tim: It had a little bone and a dog. It would like Go dig, dig up your searches for you. Yes. From all the different searches. Yeah. Before Google owned everything. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

[00:27:39] Carol: Yep. I remember Ask Jebs and I remember the A O L free 50 hour CDs we used to get in the mail.

[00:27:44] Carol: Mm-hmm. like, all right. And save these for someone so they can have internet .

[00:27:51] Adam: I use those to make like mousetrap cars.

[00:27:55] Ben: Before I understood how search engines worked, at least theoretically, I remember I had a GeoCities page, which was, uh, like a FTP based publishing platform back in the day. And I remember going in and typing gibberish into the source code of the page.

[00:28:14] Ben: And then immediately going over to the search engine and pasting in that gibberish and then not understanding how I just published.

[00:28:23] Adam: It hasn't indexed yet. You mean it's not crawling the entire internet every time I search? I hit

[00:28:30] Tim: save. Why didn't it update the index?

[00:28:36] Carol: So that's me, I guess. Go on Adam. Let's hear about your start.

[00:28:41] Adam: So, uh, fair warning. I love the sound of my own voice, so I'm probably going to go way off the deep end and a bunch of this is going to get cut. Okay, so I was trying to think about this and like, where does it make sense to start? Um, so basically, uh, computers have been around in my house for as long as I've had memory.

[00:29:06] Adam: Um, My earliest memories include hanging out on the floor of my dad's office, doing nothing, just hanging out in the same room as him as he was working on the computer. And I guess the thing that I was doing was, uh, trying not to breathe in secondhand smoke and, uh, listening to, you know, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, and, and thinking that that was just the coolest thing that I was in the same room as a computer.

[00:29:31] Adam: Um. But so when I got my first computer, it was my one that my dad got for myself and my brothers, but it got to be in my room because I was the oldest. Um, I was about nine years old. This was around 1990. It was hard for me to pin down an exact time. Um, but it was a 486 66. It had DOS and, um, we had Battle Chess and Commander Keen were like the two games from it that I remember the most.

[00:29:57] Adam: And my dad taught me how to make Um, like my own sort of menu system for, for finding files and for, uh, organizing my games and stuff. And besides playing games, mostly what I used it for was just as like a journal. Um, but I remember almost like, almost visually. So I remember upgrading to Windows 3. 1 and that was just mind blowing like visual thing and a mouse like wasn't just a Rectangle on the screen that you could move around and like DOS had a mouse, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as a Windows Um, so it was either Windows 3.

[00:30:37] Adam: 1 or Windows 95. Um, my dad, when he set that up on my computer, you could change the, the music that it plays like as you log in, instead of the iconic Windows startup noise, you could pick a song, you know, whatever you've got saved on your computer. Well, my dad, being the rock and roll kind of guy that he was, took out a section of the song, Welcome to the Machine.

[00:31:00] Adam: by Pink Floyd, um, which I'll insert a clip of it here. Um, but it just goes like, Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

[00:31:18] Adam: And it's a drawn out thing. It was. Awesome. And as you're like 10, 11, 12 years old, something like that, nobody else, none of my friends had anything like that. It was amazing. And it was like one of my favorite bands at the time too. So it was, it was just perfect. And for me, that was like hook, line, and sinker, you know, I, at that moment, computers became everything in my life.

[00:31:42] Adam: Um, I played lots more games. There were, you know, of course a bunch of different Commander Keen games. Um, the ones that I remember. the most. There was this, uh, I hesitate to call it a flight simulator, but it was like a flight simulator mechanic for a game. It's called Terminal Velocity. You could, like, fly around.

[00:31:58] Adam: It was a multiplayer, like, LAN, uh, game. And so my brothers and I and my dad would, like, fly around and you could, like, attack each other. Um, I think, at least according to my memory, it was way ahead of its time in terms of, uh, visuals. It wasn't, like, an amazing, Texture or like ray tracing or anything like that, but just the smoothness of it.

[00:32:19] Adam: It was a a networked game. It was amazing It was no

[00:32:24] Carol: ordinary trail

[00:32:26] Adam: You didn't die of dysentery in it. It was impossible to die of dysentery in Terminal Velocity But also in addition to those I would that's when I would start to play like Wolfenstein 3d and Doom and that sort of became the the Um, the core, like I, from those, I really became like a first person shooter game player.

[00:32:47] Adam: Um, and that'll come back around later too. Um, in terms of like programming stuff, so, you know, I, I grew up around my dad working as a programmer. He didn't start out as a programmer. He was in construction and, um, he kind of pivoted into programming. I can maybe tell that story some other time. I'm sure it wouldn't be long.

[00:33:05] Adam: Yeah, that's an origin story right there. Yeah, well this isn't, this isn't the episode about my dad, okay? Okay, all right. He also

[00:33:13] Carol: did a lot of music stuff because your brother,

[00:33:15] Adam: right? Yeah, yeah, um, but that was, that was later. That was like, you know, he's a, he was an old man by then. This was, uh, early on. Um, but so I had been around him programming and so I guess I kind of caught the bug, you know, wanted to...

[00:33:30] Adam: Make computers do stuff too. So he got me a book called Teach Yourself Visual Basic in 21 Days. I think it was Visual Basic 4. Um, and so that was like my first, outside of the most basic, like, you know, uh, 10, print, Adam was here. Actually, back then I had a different name. Adam is my middle name. I'm not going to give away my first name on the podcast.

[00:33:50] Adam: Um, Carlton. Yes. 10, print, Carlton was here. 20, go to 10. Um, aside from stuff like that. You know, when I really wanted to learn programming, it was Visual Basic. Um, I made some screensavers and like I learned how to do desktop apps, but I didn't really have anything, any desktop apps that I wanted to build.

[00:34:11] Adam: So I didn't really make much beyond screensavers with it at the time. And then we got AOL, and uh, not long after we got AOL, Uh, sort of two parallel lines kind of took off for me. The first was, um, my dad showed me like how to browse the internet in the AOL web browser. Um, and I ended up finding this website called The Church of Mountain Dew.

[00:34:44] Adam: Oh, man. Okay, it gets better. Uh, I, I spent hours the other night looking for this stuff. So I have some links for you guys. Um, so the four of you guys know, or the four of us, the three of you know, I have, uh, taken an interest lately in, um, making my own Uh, link shortener. So I have, so it's, uh, t u t dot x y z, tut dot x y z.

[00:35:07] Adam: Um, so it's tut.xyz/ChurchOfDew, and that'll take you to the first one. So the title of the page, it's actually an archive. org. Yeah, it goes way back. Yeah, so I, this was, this was the original, like, Church of Mountain Dew webpage, and you can see the images are all gone, and all the, like, deep links within this page are gone, which kind of because, uh, There was a lot of funny, fun stuff in here.

[00:35:34] Adam: Lots of cool pictures and stuff. But I've been, I lost this site for a long, long time. I couldn't find it. And last night when I was Googling around for relevant other stuff, um, I found somebody that linked to this page. Cause I had no idea what the URL was. It's like members. aol.com/ this person's name or something.

[00:35:53] Adam: So I had no idea what the URL was, but I managed to find it through somebody else's. thing, um, which was if you go to tut.xyz/dew1, d e w 1. Um, so this one is just a page with a couple of links on it, and it's got a Mountain Dew logo background, and this one linked to the Church of Mountain Dew. So this is how I found it, um, and this one links to a couple of other ones.

[00:36:15] Adam: And I recognize this page, I recognize the other one I'm going to show you as well. So, which I guess you can probably guess is tut.xyz/dew2. Um, and this one has different Mountain Dew graphics on it and like a recycle bin full of two liter bottles of old school Mountain Dew bottles. And at the bottom there's some old school Mountain Dew logos in it.

[00:36:33] Adam: Anyway, all this to say, you know, I'm like a 12 year old kid or something like that. Mountain Dew and the internet are my life. Um, I wanted to create my own website. So what did I do? I created my own like parish of the Church of Mountain Dew. Where I had my own photos of Mountain Dew cans and, uh, oh man. I didn't know you were so religious, Adam.

[00:36:58] Adam: Yeah, well, you know, everybody has skeletons in their closet. And kidney stones, I imagine. Yeah, actually. And so one of the things that stands out in my memory about this, my personal Church of Mountain Dew website, my parish, was, um, I took extreme levels of pride in the fact that I coded my website in notepad.

[00:37:21] Adam: You know, those like, you know, uh, this website looks best in Netscape Navigator, little animated GIF at the bottom of the page or whatever. I hadn't found one of those that was like this website written in notepad and had the notepad icon. And I proudly displayed that on mine. And I was like, No syntax highlighting, no line numbers.

[00:37:40] Adam: It's just me and a black and white editor and and I thought I was so hardcore and I was so naive. It was terrible. You know, you got to make a stand somewhere. Right. All right. So like I said, that when we got on AOL, that sort of started these two parallel timelines for me. That was one. I was a kid and, and just kind of exploring what the web could do.

[00:38:05] Adam: And I really didn't, you know, honestly, I don't think I even knew any, the first thing about CSS. At this point, it was all just, you know, Is that a thing back then? It might have been. Um, it's, it's tough to put the pieces in the right order here, but it might've been starting to get like CSS1 footholds or sort of similar thing.

[00:38:22] Adam: I remember early on. Well, no, this was definitely after we stopped using AOL because I can, we moved every few years. My family was a couple of ladder climbers, so there was new jobs and moving across the country and stuff. So, but I can, I can, uh, time box everything by which house we lived in when it happened.

[00:38:42] Adam: Um, so, you know, AOL was this house and then this other house that came later was when my dad showed me the page that had like demos of, DHTML. Do you remember this? And it was like, basically it was HTML with a bunch of JavaScript, you know, embedded in it. So that it was like, hide this div and show this div and you know, whatever other crap.

[00:39:02] Adam: Um, anyway, so the web stuff being a little 12 year old nerd that was going on. And then at the, at the same time, I was also a 12 year old. Punk 12 to, I don't know, let's say like 14, 15 year old punk kid falling in with the wrong crowds in the AOL chat rooms. And I managed to get myself invited to uh, a room of people who fancied themselves hackers and would like share, um, quote unquote hacking tools.

[00:39:31] Adam: Hacksaur. Yeah, so, um, I wish I could remember, I can remember one of the names of the, uh, like a library file for Visual Basic. was a BAS file. I don't, I think it was probably just like for basic or something. But, um, so there was this file called master32. BAS and it was for 32 bit Windows programming. And it would let you like control another application by, uh, say like, so think about like jQuery, right?

[00:40:00] Adam: You say, give me the div with this ID. And then within that div, I want to find a button and the button has this class on it or something, right? You could control Windows. That way you could say, give me the window titled AOL. And there was like parent child, uh, and it was MDI programming in Visual Basic.

[00:40:16] Adam: You get a multiple document interface. Um, and so you could say like, okay, here's the AOL window and within it, I know that there's a window that's titled instant message. And then you can grab like the text box in that and the submit button. And so you could like program it to send messages really fast or something like that.

[00:40:32] Adam: Right. And, and so it had these like, and I'm just now making these connections. I hadn't thought of this until. We started talking, but, um, making that, like, connection where it works very much like jQuery. And so the, the thing that I did to get my family kicked off of AOL twice

[00:40:54] Adam: was Uh, making and using tools to what we called in these hacker chat rooms, we called it punting, punting somebody off of line. Basically, if you sent somebody enough instant messages through AOL fast enough, their connection would drop. Like a DDoS. Yeah, kind of, but it would make their modem disconnect.

[00:41:13] Adam: And so, you know, you'd go start an argument because you're a badass 15 year old kid, and you might kick you offline. I think I ran into you one time. Uh, yeah, so that was my, uh, my dark side, my, my, uh, the neo to my Mr. Anderson, um, and yeah, um, I don't, I don't really know what to say about how that stopped other than I think if it didn't stop, I probably would have lost internet privileges.

[00:41:44] Adam: So it had to. Literally. Forever. Yeah, definitely forever. I definitely don't do anything to bury them forever. Yeah, well, it was a bit further

[00:41:55] Tim: back in time, but I war dialed a local bank after watching War Games. Nice. It's a movie. I war dialed it for just days on end until finally someone in the bank called me up and said, Stop

[00:42:07] Adam: it.

[00:42:07] Adam: You annoying little kid.

[00:42:12] Adam: So, uh, but, uh, like we were talking about that master32 database, uh, I learned so much about programming from those tools. So even though that they were, even though they were like a terrible thing for me to be involved with, it really, honestly, I think pushed my interest in programming and my skill and my, just like my everything, like it just pushed me forward sort of up to a new level.

[00:42:34] Adam: Um, and, uh, I continued programming. After that, so like when I got to high school and I needed a graphing calculator, we were talking a little bit about this last week. Um, I, you know, learned, I, I would swap games with other kids at school and, and learn how to make my own games and tools and stuff like that.

[00:42:51] Adam: And I definitely never, ever wrote down test answers inside of a, an app inside the game, inside the calculator.

[00:42:58] Ben: You never built in a physics equation solver. Yeah,

[00:43:01] Adam: never, never, wouldn't have been that. Um. I

[00:43:05] Carol: feel like I should throw out right here to the kids listening. Don't do that.

[00:43:09] Adam: Tracking is bad, guys.

[00:43:12] Carol: For calculators, for calculating.

[00:43:14] Ben: Do kids still have calculators or is everything just on the phone these days?

[00:43:19] Carol: No, mine, yeah, mine have to take their, um, whatever that big one is. Like, I can't remember

[00:43:25] Adam: the number of it, but,

[00:43:27] Carol: Yep, they have to have their graphing calculator.

[00:43:29] Adam: Yeah. I imagine they probably... I think it just depends on the teacher in the school.

[00:43:32] Adam: Yeah. Yeah. Our kids just, just use the laptop. When, when I was in school, I remember when I was in high school, that was the time when cell phones were starting to like become available and to be like, be able to fit in somebody's pocket instead of the like car phone where it was in your trunk and you had the like wires run up to the front with the handset.

[00:43:51] Adam: Wow. You're so young. Yeah, my brothers and I had to share a cell phone. I had a beeper. I had a beeper, too, but that was later. Uh, high school, this was around the time that, like, Quake and Unreal Tournament became, uh, like, really popular games. And that's, I think for me, was a really, I spent a ton of time playing Quake in our land at home with my dad and my brothers.

[00:44:19] Adam: Um, and it just, uh, you know. If I wasn't doing something productive on the computer, I was doing something unproductive on the computer. Um, but my, it also, you know, like, like we were talking about with the other stuff that you screw around with on the side that's not productive, it can lead to something productive.

[00:44:39] Adam: So for me, I learned networking. I, my house that we lived in at the time, again, thinking in terms of like what house were we in, had, uh, lived in, we lived in an area, I mean, let me crack open a Mountain Dew here.

[00:44:56] Tim: Church of Mountain

[00:44:56] Adam: Dew. Church of Mountain Dew. Uh, we lived in an area that had, uh, a really high water table, so nobody had, or not many people had basements.

[00:45:05] Adam: Um, and so we had a crawl space under our house, and my dad made me crawl around under our house, and he would drill down a hole in the floor, real close to the baseboard, and like shine a flashlight through so I could find the spot, and I would drag a coax network cable to that hole and push it up through, and we had a token ring network that I helped with.

[00:45:23] Adam: Token Ring. Yeah, man.

[00:45:25] Tim: Wow.

[00:45:27] Ben: I don't understand any of these,

[00:45:28] Adam: uh, words. So, uh, uh, a Cat5 network, you just have like a central hub and you run a wire to everything, right? A token ring network has to be sequential. So you have to, like, if you want to network five computers together, they have to go in a literal ring.

[00:45:44] Adam: It's like Christmas lights.

[00:45:45] Carol: Yeah, so like I hand it to you, you hand it to Tim, Tim hands it to Adam.

[00:45:48] Adam: And if there's a cut anywhere, the whole network's down. You're done. So, yeah, that was fun. My kids always, they're, like, these are the types of stories that they make me drag, uh, out of the, uh, that they make me retell at the dinner table.

[00:46:03] Adam: Like, Dad, tell us a story about the time you had to crawl in the mud and put networking in your house. Okay. Up here, both ways. What do you want to know? I had to crawl through the mud and drag a network cable.

[00:46:15] Carol: The things Daddy will do

[00:46:16] Adam: for internet. Yeah. So, uh, when I was a senior in high school. I got an internship at a local, uh, uh, and this is perfect.

[00:46:27] Adam: I got an internship at a local Pepsi bottler. It was a franchise. It wasn't like Pepsi corporate. Um, you know, and if you don't know, Pepsi is where they make Mountain Dew. So this was. I see the connection. We're in Georgia and we only drink alcohol. So I was just like, you know, the IT intern, right? So I was changing copier paper and carrying boxes of copier paper.

[00:46:50] Adam: And I was doing like level one tech support. Like, Oh, my computer isn't working. So I'd go over there and reboot it for them sort of thing. So when I wasn't, uh, Carrying around boxes of copier paper and filling copiers with said copier paper. Uh, if there was none of that work to do, they let me work on their intranet, which was written in ColdFusion 4 or maybe 4.

[00:47:09] Adam: 5. Um, and so that's where I really cut my teeth on, on dynamic web programming. Before that, I had done the slightest bit of like CGI bin, Perl, uh, you know, writing to a text file sort of thing, but this was really was like. Whoa, you can hook this up to a Microsoft Access database? And, uh, Access is the bomb.

[00:47:33] Adam: And, uh, so that was awesome. I got to, I learned a ton there. Um, uh, not just about like CFML and, and databases, but just about, um, complicated HTML. Like about, uh, that was the place where I learned that you could have a bunch of check boxes with the same name. And if you submit that then all their values are in the same.

[00:47:55] Adam: field with, uh, it's like comma delimited with all their values of the ones you selected. That was cool. Um, and you're just like a lot, a ton of little things like that, that I learned from that job. And then, you know, I went off to college. Um, I knew by this time that I wanted to work in computers. And so I, I signed up immediately for a computer science degree in college.

[00:48:16] Adam: And I. took CompSci 101, and it was, it was like, I could have done it in my sleep, um, because I had already learned all this stuff. Actually, I kind of skipped over in, so in high school, um, there was a computer science course, like an elective, um, and, uh, I learned a lot there too, but I, again, it was still kind of, what the hell are you doing, Tim?

[00:48:44] Adam: Oh my god.

[00:48:46] Carol: All I know is I, I was fixing my heating pad and looked up

[00:48:51] Adam: and was like, oh, so the school had a Linux server and, uh, because I was like the best student in the computer science course.

[00:49:06] Adam: I got to be the one to like, install the OS patches, the kernel updates on that. That was kind of fun. Okay. So then I moved on to college. Uh, I signed up for a computer science degree cause I knew immediately that that's what I wanted to do. Uh, and coming from a poor family, I needed a job. So I signed up also to be a computer science tutor and I hated that.

[00:49:27] Adam: That was the worst job I have ever had and I've had some pretty crappy jobs. Um, why? Because the people, I'm trying really hard not to be mean here because I'm sure that there are plenty of people that really want to do well but just don't have any background knowledge to draw on. The people that I was tutoring in Computer Science 101 didn't know what they were doing.

[00:49:49] Adam: Probably had no business being in that class and didn't really want to learn. They wanted somebody to do their homework for them. And it was really frustrating to try to teach somebody. And you can tell that they're just blowing you off and like waiting for you to fill in the answer for them. So I did that for like, I don't know, four weeks and then I quit because that was just, that was awful.

[00:50:12] Adam: So then I went and like stuck shelves at FAO Schwartz. Um, let's see. You need to imagine other people's complexity. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I was, I was a college freshman. What do you expect from me?

[00:50:28] Tim: Same thing I expected from me. Not much.

[00:50:32] Adam: I was

[00:50:32] Ben: a teaching assistant for two semesters in school. And, uh, what I found was that there were some people who just could not wrap their minds around the concept of a variable.

[00:50:44] Ben: Yeah. It's like a label that refers to something else. Yeah. And it's like, no matter how many diagrams of octopus with tentacles and arrows and boxes, like it, they just. It was something that there was a disconnect in their, in their mind. And it was like, I just found that there were two groups of people.

[00:51:01] Ben: There were people who totally understood what a variable was and people who would never understand what a variable is.

[00:51:07] Adam: Abstract thinking. Some people just don't get it. And I don't know how true this is, but I remember somebody, it might've been the teacher of that 101 course, told me that the point of the 101 course is to weed out the people that belong in the program from the people that don't belong in the program.

[00:51:22] Adam: And, you know, like I said, I can't vouch for that. I don't know if that's true, but it, based on what I saw, it, at least it seemed to be effective at doing that job. Like if you couldn't pass 101, then maybe you should consider a major change.

[00:51:40] Adam: Actually, you know, pay attention to what your tutor is telling you. Uh, later in college, I got an internship at Purdue Farms. We talked a little bit about that before the chicken company. And that was like, um, that was fine. It was, it was a little bit of programming. Mostly busy work. I took a full time job at Purdue after I graduated and it was like 95 or 90% working on a mainframe doing accounts receivable stuff.

[00:52:06] Adam: It was boring as hell. I learned some new programming, new to me, old programming languages. It was like maybe eight ish percent desktop Client server, Visual Basic, and my, uh, Microsoft SQL server stuff. Um, and then the 2%, I would say, web programming, CFML. I was working on their intranet, which I say intranet, that's being kind.

[00:52:27] Adam: It was a phone book. Um, yeah. Hey, you know what? I got to keep my fingers into CFML and keep my interest going in it. Um, I don't think I really learned a whole lot of. of web programming while I was there, but you know, I, I kept my skills honed a little bit, I guess. Um, and really the, the thing with that was that I, I think I kind of pushed them into doing, using web stuff more for reporting.

[00:52:57] Adam: So that VB and Microsoft SQL app that I was working on was an asset management app and they wanted some reports from it. And they sent me to crystal reports training and I learned that and yeah I mean it was it was doable but man was it a lot of work for like very little return and it was not very good reports in my opinion for what I could do at the time whatever maybe it was my fault but um and I was like look you can pay me and I'll do it and it'll take me all day to write one report and it's going to be look like garbage Or you can give me an hour and I'll do the same thing with HTML and access to the database.

[00:53:35] Adam: Just set up this DSN for me and I'll have your report for you in an hour and it'll be 10 times better because I can do roll up data and whatever else. Um, and so I think that from that I was able to push them into doing that a little bit more. So who knows, maybe I started the the snowball. That became a massive intranet for them.

[00:53:55] Adam: I don't know. I was gone before it had a chance to do anything. I'm sure it's still plugging along. Of course. Um, but the reason that I was gone was because I got a job doing consulting because, you know, by now I was highly qualified. Uh, So I got a job as a web dev consultant doing ColdFusion. Um, and, uh, that was where I had the best boss that I have ever had in my entire career.

[00:54:22] Adam: Um, he convinced me to start my tech blog. Um, and then after I got going with that, he convinced me and sent, paid for me to go to my first tech conference, which was CF United in Washington, D. C. And beyond that, But beyond just like those ways that he advanced my career, he was just a good boss. Um, you know, he, we, he and I got along really well on a personal level and we communicated well together.

[00:54:48] Adam: Sorry, Ben. And, uh, and it was just, it was a wonder, wonderful, uh, thing to be able to work for him. And I, I really appreciated working under him. And he and I still hang out and. Talk almost on a daily basis, and we get lunch regularly to this day, which is wonderful. That's awesome. Um, and then, uh, that company ended up getting bought, and I didn't like where the, it was like a small 50 person consulting shop, and we got bought by an international consulting conglomerate, and it became all about billable hours, and if you were unbillable for like two weeks straight, then you got canned, and I just, you know, the whole office kind of started to dwindle down, and I was like, okay, well, I'm out of here.

[00:55:32] Adam: Um, and so from there, I got a job at, uh, the University of Pennsylvania, um, specifically the Wharton Business School there, which was a huge opportunity for me. They were doing a lot of CFML stuff and, um, the team that I was on was a really cool team. And I'm going to say this and it's going to sound impressive, but trust me, it's not as impressive as it sounds.

[00:55:50] Adam: We worked on games and serious simulations for the business school. Now, obviously, we're not writing like Quake, but you know, if you can think of, so OPEC is the oil group, whatever, they set the price of oil. We had a simulation that was based on the concept of OPEC, and people had to negotiate with each other and set a price, and there was goals and whatever.

[00:56:14] Adam: It's always like, what are these business classes, what are the concepts they're trying to teach? How can we do that, teach those concepts in a fun way? That was the games that we made, um, and through the business school, because it's, because Wharton and Penn are prestigious Ivy, Ivy League schools, there were some really cool...

[00:56:31] Adam: Donald Trump

[00:56:32] Tim: went to Wharton, so your argument's

[00:56:33] Adam: invalid. I'm pretty sure that they revoked his, uh, or at least the student body, uh, petition to revoke his honorary degree or something, but anyway... That's hilarious.

[00:56:47] Adam: You threw me off. Uh, so one of the pretty cool opportunities working there was that, um, lots of really interesting people would come through. So they have what they call the executive education program, which is for people who have made it into like higher up in their company, but they don't have a formal training in finance or, um, business strategy type stuff.

[00:57:09] Adam: So they go to like an intensive couple weeks course, and they sort of like rush you through an entire year's program. are all the key concepts, the cliff notes in a quick way. And occasionally they would run the same program for NFL players, right? So you've just made it in the NFL. You've got this multi million dollar contract you have, and you came from the streets.

[00:57:29] Adam: You have no idea how to take care of your money. So they would send NFL players to this program to like learn how to invest and how to strategize with their money and, and that sort of thing. And so I got to meet like Jay Feeley, uh, who's a. Former kicker for, I believe, the New York Giants, if I'm not mistaken, and a bunch of other NFL players.

[00:57:48] Adam: And it was just a really cool place to work. And they had a lot of really talented people there. And while I was working there, uh, one of the things that I started to do was I became the manager of the Philadelphia ColdFusion user group. Um, uh, basically I knew I wanted to get into public speaking and presenting at conferences because I was really enjoying going to conferences, um, and I figured that becoming a CFUG manager would put me in front of a small audience regularly, help me kind of work out the butterflies and the stage fright, um, give me the opportunity to work on some content, uh, and I think it really did.

[00:58:24] Adam: And I, from there, kind of used it as a springboard to, um, start working with conferences, presenting more regularly. That sort of thing. Um, from there, I kind of started working on Taffy. I actually started Taffy while I was at a conference. And, uh, Taffy, so for those that don't know, Taffy is a framework that I wrote for authoring REST APIs in ZFML, and it's still pretty heavily used.

[00:58:50] Adam: What inspired you to do that? The conference that I was at when I started Taffy, um, it was a very small conference. There was like maybe 15 people there, um, and basically it was we all picked a topic or two and we just took turns presenting our topic to everybody else in the group. So it was more of like a seminar style, um, there was no tracks or anything.

[00:59:13] Adam: And one of the topics that I had picked was how to write REST APIs in CFML. And so I did a comparison of a bunch of different options, um, PowerNAP and I don't think ColdBoxRelax had existed at the time, but there was a couple of other ones. Um, and I was just dissatisfied and at the same time had recently been doing a lot with SWIZZ, the framework for Flex, um, which was a itself.

[00:59:40] Adam: Which, so Flex was sort of a framework for doing applications within Flash. Um, so, and so Swizz was, uh, uh, a sugar layer on top of that. Um, and it was very heavily using metadata, um, and, uh, dependency injection. And, and between that and a couple of other ideas, I just decided, like, I could kind of remix all these things together and it would make a really great framework for doing APIs.

[01:00:09] Adam: And so that's what I did. Yeah, I agree. I use it all the time. Thank you. I don't. Actually, I do. I use it every day. Uh, we, it's, it's built into our product at AlumniQ. Uh, and I'll have to ask my boss if I'm, I'm gonna have to cut this part or not, but, uh, in 2020, Taffy was in the critical path of collecting millions of dollars in payments for event registrations and online gifts and that sort of thing.

[01:00:39] Adam: Very awesome. Cool. I got you about the same. Awesome. Um, and then so, uh, uh, let's see, when was it? I guess it was after I left Wharton and I started working with Steve. Um, I was mostly doing consulting when we first started and then we kind of pivoted into Um, AlumniQ, writing some products for colleges and universities.

[01:01:03] Adam: Um, but while I was working for Steve is when I wrote my book on doing REST APIs. Um, it's RestAssuredBook. com and, uh, that, you know, uh, it was fun. I've always wanted to write a book. Um, I felt like self publishing was going to be a lot easier, uh, than, Trying to do something with, like, O'Reilly or whatever.

[01:01:24] Adam: So, I got to do it my way. I wrote the book initially in, like, uh, two weeks. Um, Oh, wow. Plus, no one ever makes

[01:01:32] Tim: money off O'Reilly. They

[01:01:33] Adam: think they will, but they don't. So, yeah, I, so I was inspired by, um, somebody that I follow on Twitter. Her name is Amy Hoy. She's a, a business person. Um, she teaches people how to do business stuff.

[01:01:46] Adam: And, um, she did, she wrote a book. It's shorter than my book, but it was still a book, um, in 24 hours called F ing Ship. Um, and it was, yeah, like, you know, beep it out, but just F ing ship, like ship your product. Just get it done. Just do it. So. I was kind of inspired by her getting that book done in 24 hours.

[01:02:09] Adam: I was like, okay, well, I'm not going to be able to devote 24 hours straight to this, but I can do two weeks, right? And so I set the goal of doing it in two weeks. And I just wrote it in two weeks in, uh, you know, like three or four or five hours in the evening after my family went to bed. And, you know, I would take like half days on the weekends and, and do that.

[01:02:26] Adam: And I, uh, paid somebody from the community to proofread it for me and self published it. And it's been going great. It's pretty awesome. Um. And then I started a podcast. Because you like to hear yourself talk. That wasn't obvious in the last like 40 minutes.

[01:02:48] Ben: Did Daria Norris, did she work

[01:02:50] Adam: at Wharton? No, when I was doing that consulting gig between Purdue and Wharton, one of our clients was the Free Library of Philadelphia. Oh, she works at the It's actually pretty cool. They have a little row home back behind the library that's the IT office. It's not IT, it's their little wing of IT that was like the website or something.

[01:03:17] Adam: The web office, I think is what they called it. And they had, you know, maybe, Half a dozen people work in there, um, mostly programmers, some infrastructure type people, and, uh, that's where I met Daria. All right, this is good stuff.

[01:03:34] Tim: Yeah. Well, man, that was, that was, that was a

[01:03:37] Adam: very complete story. I told you. I

[01:03:42] Tim: love this stuff. You know, uh, one thing you touched on I really enjoyed was, um, Speaking at conferences and going to conferences. I mean, it's a great way to learn. It's very

[01:03:55] Adam: motivating.

[01:03:55] Tim: And even if you don't necessarily learn something from you, you get motivated. It kind of gets the creative juices going.

[01:04:03] Tim: It kind of rekindles. A lot of times if you just get stuck in your own silo, you get stagnant. But going to a conference and and listening or present. My thing was, if I want to learn something, I would try to present on it because the pressure of getting in front of, you know, 500 people and telling them how to do something really forces you to learn it because otherwise someone there is going to be smarter than you and call you out.

[01:04:29] Tim: So, and they still might, but that's okay.

[01:04:32] Ben: That's like, I remember I've given just a handful of presentations in my entire life. And I gave one presentation on ColdFusion custom tags, and I had examples for like everything I could imagine one could do with custom tags. And I remember in the, uh, the speaker feedback surveys, someone wrote down like, it was a pretty basic presentation.

[01:04:56] Ben: And I was like, a basic presentation? Like literally I scraped the bottom of the barrel of my soul on what you could do with custom tags.

[01:05:07] Adam: It makes them cry.

[01:05:11] Tim: Shame on you, people. He's a unicorn. With flat feet. With flat feet. Me too. Me too. Oh,

[01:05:22] Adam: man. So, maybe we can talk about this in the after show, Ben. Um, I remember a presentation that you gave.

[01:05:27] Adam: It might have been a lightning talk. Um, and I can't tell you exactly what it was about, but what sticks in my mind about it is that it was about Love.

[01:05:38] Tim: Oh, yeah. Oh, my God. Yeah. That was fantastic.

[01:05:41] Adam: That was great. About

[01:05:42] Tim: love? It's love poetry. It was fantastic. You did fantastic. That was really, that was the highlight,

[01:05:49] Adam: man.

[01:05:49] Adam: We'll save it for the after show. Maybe we can talk about it there. So maybe this is a good time to mention, uh, our patrons. So, Tim, tell them about our patrons. Artie,

[01:06:01] Tim: you know what amazes me about Patreon? I'm like, people are so generous. They are. They're so amazingly generous and that is so fantastic. We, you know, even before we announced we had a Patreon page, people are asking us if they could donate and that just blows me away.

[01:06:18] Tim: You guys, you guys are fantastic and we truly

[01:06:21] Adam: appreciate it. Some big hearted people. And we even have one person, that person who asked if we had a Patreon page. So that he could support us became, uh, our, our top supporters. So we have multiple tiers there and, and the, the highest tier is what we call the top supporters and he's paying 30 a month to help us out.

[01:06:43] Adam: Um, and one of the things that he gets for that is that we're going to say his name on every show. So. MonteChan, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

[01:06:53] Tim: Monte, your heart matters.

[01:06:57] Carol: It's helping us not

[01:06:57] Adam: be monsters. Yeah, we don't want to be monsters. But so for anybody that doesn't know, uh, The perks of our Patreon, everybody gets a lifetime Discord invite.

[01:07:09] Adam: We have a Discord where we hang out and talk with each other and with our patrons. And, uh, that includes our entry level, which is 4 a month, basically a dollar an episode. And in addition to that, other perks that you can get include early access to new episodes. And what we're going to be recording soon, our after show, uh, and we're really fun.

[01:07:32] Adam: We probably had to cut it out, but if you could see our faces. How red we all got there for a minute. Thank you,

[01:07:39] Carol: Ben.

[01:07:41] Ben: I'm just, I'm just feeding off of Tim.

[01:07:44] Tim: Yep.

[01:07:45] Adam: It's a circle of life, man. Circle of life. All right. Well, so patrons, when you listen to this, stick around. You're going to get the after show after we close everything out, but everybody else, um, thank you for listening.

[01:07:57] Adam: Please share the show with a friend. Word of mouth referrals are awesome. If you could rate us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, if they happen to support rating and reviews, that would be wonderful. Send us your topic suggestions on Twitter or Instagram @WorkingCodePod and we'll catch you guys next week.

[01:08:15] Adam: Your heart matters.

[01:08:35] Ben: Back when you were talking about flight simulators, that's one of the earliest things I remember doing on a computer was playing, I think it was Microsoft. Mm-hmm. Flight Simulator. And I distinctly remember not being able to land with the engines on. So as I was coming into the airport, I would just shut off all my engines and sort of drop

[01:08:55] Adam: onto the runway.

[01:08:57] Adam: Did you ever land on the carrier? I think I

[01:09:01] Ben: probably not. I

[01:09:02] Adam: was, I was not very good. There was a day, or I should say there was a night. Uh, where it was, you know, middle of the night, like, probably midnight, 1am, my dad came in and woke me up. He was like, I did it! I did it! I was like,

[01:09:22] Adam: that's great, dad. Can I go back to bed now? Get it together, Ben. I'm trying to keep going here so that we can get you to bed on time. We still

[01:09:31] Carol: got an after

[01:09:35] Adam: show to do. Oh, Tim's

[01:09:40] Adam: killing me. Sorry, buddy. I'm just not looking. What's in that bottle? Everclear. Is it really?

[01:09:51] Adam: I have no idea what you guys are giggling about.

[01:09:55] Carol: I can't look at him and not laugh right now. It's

[01:09:58] Adam: cracking me up.

[01:09:59] Carol: I almost spit my water out my nose. I'm sorry, Adam.

[01:10:11] Adam: I'm so sorry. You know, we get so

[01:10:16] Carol: tired. I'm sorry. You know when you get so tired, anxious, you get hysterical? I think Ben's hit that point.

[01:10:25] Tim: He's laughing at me, and I'm laughing at him, and I

[01:10:27] Ben: can't

[01:10:27] Adam: stop laughing. Alright,

[01:10:29] Ben: I'm good. I'm sorry.

next episode: 009: Testing

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