CS Career Hub Pilot AMA: Learn More About the CSCH Community and Team and Ask CS Career Questions
Hey, so hi everyone. I guess we'll get started. So before we get started with the AMA, we're just gonna do a few announcements. And some of the links for these announcements will be in the stage chat, text channel after really you can watch out for that after this is over. So our first announcement is just that this is our very first AMA in CSCH and it's the first of many. So we'll have more stage events in the future. More AMAs with different guests and different themes.
This first one we're kind of working out the kinks. So you might have to bear with us a little bit if it's not like totally smooth. But yeah, it all the, these events will be recurring and there'll be more information about ones that are coming in like June, July and on a bit later on we'll probably post, well, I mean, we'll announce before everyone and also probably try to get them up on our website.
And after each AMA we're also going to we're going to be recording these AMAs and we're also going to transcribe them so that they can also just be read online on our website. So ideally we'll post the transcripts about a week or two after the event. So you can watch out for those and we'll, we'll post them in the discord server when they're available. And if you have any questions about that feel free to just ask in a stage chat or ask a mater wherever.
Second announcement is we're going to start doing a kind of office hours, so, well, I'm aiming to get them started by July. Just as more like informal, just like come and chat with some of staff aiming to have like one or two mods and every single one where you can just ask about CSCH or anything you would ask and ask them OD, or just about career. Like, if you need someone to talk to about any career questions you have it'll just be like an hour set aside every week. That's like really casual and informal where you can just come and chat and a voice chat.
And those are my two announcements and I'll pass it over to Cassie for the next announcement.
Yeah, so this is the trial of mine, and we're still trying to figure some of this out, as you can see we're going to be sending out a survey at the end just to get an idea of what we'll be doing in the future. You know, what we could improve on what you'll want to see develop in the future in the community. So if there's any, anything you want to add, just let us know.
I think it will be taking it to the next announcement, which I think is the
Yeah, yeah, that's me. And by the way, we'll be sending out a survey for all that as well. So you can put your feedback in one thing we're looking for in the survey, we're looking for more mods and more contributors, people who are going to be helping building the server and helping Billy and CS career up in general. We've added quite a few, but we're going to need more. So we'll be sending out a application Google forms thing in the near future, so people can apply. Yeah.
Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
I was gonna say that's kind of where announcements Wilson buffaloes out kind of good for the game anytime now.
So we'll send both of those out at the end of the AMA in the stage chat and remember for moderation and contributing you w we CSH is a actual registered non-profits. So if you have a volunteer your time matching at work then that's I think that's a great incentive to get involved too. Yeah, so I'll pass it over to FF to kind of get us started on the AME,
Evening folks. I am ff, your lovely moderator, and I will be running through a few of the steps here that we'll be taking today as we handle this trial run of the AMAs in general.
So in general, what we're going to be doing is we're going to be looking at the chat texts that people have been dropping. You can continue to drop your questions into stage chats, so have people vote on them with a thumbs up, and as questions accumulate, them's up, he'll grab my attention and I will be able to pull the team speaking with your question. You also have the option. If you are on desktop is, should be at the bottom of your screen right now.
I'm not sure how it looks on mobile, but you can also request to speak and by doing so, when you pop up, I can attempt to put you into the voice chat, and you can ask your questions directly to the team so they can hear your lovely voices.
So important to note, this is the same CSCH that, you know, in I'm going to continue to moderate and ensure that we are being respectful and professional here. You know, I'll love jokes for those of you who know me. I'm happy for jokes, but let's try and keep it professional and make sure that we're being compassionate and kind to one another and enjoy ourselves. So with that being said, I'm going to go ahead and let you folks take the time to figure out how to request to speak. And I'm going to jump into our text chat.
And our top question right now comes from marshland, and it says which elements of the CSC community do you enjoy the most in helping out new members, making friendships, casual, chit-chat organizing events, escaping existential, dread, et cetera. And for this question, let's go ahead and start off with Kevin and see what his thoughts are. Yeah. I mean,
I've been kind of here since the very beginning. I love theater. I've always loved seeing people get jobs.
I know there's a joke of people just getting away
From stuff from here, but it is fine me and
That part of that everyone's life basically. And seeing people go from the stadium or whatever, to a real job. So that's my favorite. Right. Great. Let's jump over to Brenda. Brenda's also been here for a good while. Let's, let's get her thoughts.
Yeah. I think I've been here since 2017 and let's see, what do I enjoy the most? I feel like everything, but at different times so when I first joined, I was just here chatting and like trying to get internship advice because I was doing my first speak internship in junior year, but I actually found some good friendships and like mentors through here, which was really awesome. And then when I was a moderator I was also still chatting in here a lot. I just really enjoyed meeting people expanding my network and everyone was really like super nice and helpful here. So that was my favorite at that time.
Now I kind of chat a bit less, but I feel like I help a lot behind the scenes on organizing events and like making the community better and just improving it however I can. And I found, I really liked that working on community stuff for a CS career hub was kind of how I realized I really like community management. And I kind of started doing some of that freelance on the side of like software engineering too. So yeah, in summary, I think I like everything at different times meeting new people and like getting great advice and internship and now really enjoying improving the community and making events like this happen.
Thanks for sharing Brenda. And before we move on and then jump into other questions, I want to make sure that we highlight who we have here chatting with us today. So we have obviously Kevin, Brenda, our illustrious gopher with a new face at one week. Thank you. And we have Cassie here as well. Hello. And of course everybody's favorite dozing, Pikachu, semi awake at work, welcome to the chat. Hello.
And before we end up going into other questions, I just wanted to, to very briefly if, if you're open, of course, is sharing about your career journey and your path just where you started and where you are now very briefly, maybe like a quick blurb, so that people kind of a context for who you are, who you are on the server naturally. And and essentially giving us just a quick overview of, you know, your career.
Hi, should I start? Is that okay if I start first? Sure. Go for it. Well, Hey guys, I'm Kasey. I started off in a community college and, you know, long story short, I met a lot of really interesting people who basically told me that I should pursue computer science. And I guess I ended up in that, in that path. My story is actually kind of boring. I just went to a community college transfer to a four year got a job right after college working at Bloomberg and I kinda quit well, I quit, but I kind of just kind of took a break you know, like a set of like a gap year ended up getting my master's in cybersecurity and ended up working as a researcher, which I currently work at right now.
I really enjoy my time in the, in CS career home, mostly because I find that I relate to a lot of people here when it comes to like mock interviews and when it comes to a lot of like the, you know, the mental health issue, the burning out and all that stuff.
So usually you'll find me in those channels. But yeah, so I currently enjoy the work I do as a researcher and just in general talking about tech stuff.
Beautiful. Thanks semi. What about you?
I think relatively, I have a more traditional path and I did B bed back in undergrad. After I graduated realized I would never cut it as a doctor and then jumped from a few, start, a startup to a few other startups as he got into tech and then
Eventually stopped over to bake and working at AWS and now looking for the, my next role. I think my role in the server is mostly about posting beads and about venting about, I guess, big an interview processes. And I guess how life works at like mid senior level is that big companies. And I can confirm that's essentially all semi does this event and Postmates next up we've got gopher.
Yeah. So as if you have, you may know I am from Quebec, so I've done well. I've, I've a fairly traditional background in computer science. I went to a small French Canadian university called the university of Sherbrooke. I did five co-ops there in various software development positions and yeah, and now I, I work at Samsung ads full time since six, seven months, something like that. And throughout this whole thought a good chunk of my schooling, it was a, I was part of a CCH kind of growing as a developer.
Excellent. And real quick, Brenda, Kevin, if you guys can one at a time, just real quick, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yeah. so I said a little bit about I guess I'll start with my career. So I did a lot of internships and part-time jobs and freelancing throughout college. I kind of did a little bit of everything and I was at a couple of startups. I was at a mid sized company that was under a larger company. I did freelancing for, and part-time jobs for individuals and also really small companies. And currently I work at Adobe. I was a software engineer and I've been here for about two years now.
And in terms of CS career hub, I always almost call it CS career hackers its original name. I joined, like I said earlier in 2017 and was around here chatting, asking for advice about like internships and things like that. I started doing a bunch of resume reviews and just contributing and those kinds of ways.
And I eventually became a moderator and just got more and more involved and kind of improving community making bots and the website and things like that. And kind of, you could say worked my way up the career ladder of CSC H a total raise
Of $0 over that time. And now I'm just kind of running it with Kevin and I'm trying to get the community as much as I can.
Thanks for going into a little more detail. Appreciate it, Kevin.
Yeah. So I am your server on her. I built his career hub from the very beginning I joined. I started with someone named John wonderful Google engineer way, and both of us kind of created this place. Fun fact, it wasn't CS crackers first though. It wasn't until probably two or 3000 people in that we finally had a name.
So I started kind of the non traditional path. I actually went to the military. I joined the Navy for five years. They got out decided, Hey, I want to go be an electrical engineer. And at some point I switched over to computer science while in college. Since then I worked at Google, did some machine learning, did big data stuff there, Microsoft, I don't really know what I did there. Joined TripAdvisor and now I'm at Amazon and then right in the middle, I created a nonprofit called CS career hackers which the server is a startup, which is now called CS career hub. Yeah, that's me.
Awesome. Thanks for breaking down the origins, Kevin, and thank you all for sort of giving a little bit of background so that people understand the context for your answers to their questions today. It's good to, you know, have a little story that goes along with the folks you know, questions and answers here. So let's go ahead and jump to another question we have here. I see from triple J, we have what's the most memorable slash spectacular failure either you or your team was involved in, what did you end up learning from it? If anything, and I think let's start with gopher. I think you might have a story.
I mean the most spectacular failure I've seen or done a thing is who've never stayed very long at any one of my jobs because there were all internships. So I haven't seen a ton of spectacular failures, although I have caused a couple of production issues in the past two days. So that's kind of it really, and there were nothing major except kind of breaking targeting for the whole UK, but it's not a big deal.
Very casual, very nice. Let's, let's jump over to Cassie. Cassie. What about yourself? The CUNY meter? The question off, just let me know
The biggest, I guess the most spectacular failure, right?
Oh, that's probably a hard one to answer because it's, I don't like to see things as failures. I think I like to see them as a learning, you know, like a stepping stone. So I remember, yeah, so I was, I was looking at a project at a Bloomberg and I don't have a strong finance background. And obviously you need a strong finance background if you, even if you work in data or if you, even if you're working in software engineering.
And so I was working with this client and then I was told, Hey, you know what, you know, they give you like basic training. It's like not really a lot of there's kind of a ramp. You work really fast and hard. And they said, Hey, look, so you have this client to work with, go work with them, you know, let us know what you need and let us know what they need.
And I think it was really bad because I sort of kind of volunteered for that because I was really excited. It was like my first job out of college. And I was like, all right, like, let me, let me just give it a shot and see what what's the worst that could happen. Right. right off the bat. The first question was, can you explain to me why we got this number for this, you know, this formula, this equation. So in the way that if you know Bloomberg, you will know that it's based on the fact that we use the terminal now with everyday life, like literally that we do everything in that thing. And so the client asked me and I looked it up and I had no idea what to do. I was, I was, so I was so confused.
I was like okay, they really just throw me into this. Like, I really didn't have to do so. I mean, I, I, at the end of the day I did get a solve. I just had to, you know, reach out to my, my colleague, but it was a really, you know, like you had to learn fast because there was a live client adding a lie, a real question for a real world problem.
And to me, that was like a really, because I've heard of stories where people say, you know, like in turn, they get into a job and they, they don't you know, they don't ask for help right away. And that was like, you had to ask for help because you had to make the terminal look good. We flex on your customer service ability, every flex on your ability to learn, you know, pick up things really quickly. And that was, I don't know, I guess you can call that a spectacular failure, but that it worked out really well for me.
Yeah. It sounds like you grew a lot already. Very nice. Yeah. Yeah. Well, with these last, with these last three folks, I'll go ahead and open it up and let it be a little more of a free for all open dialogue on, on this question and let you all sort of pick it up and answer it as you feel. So between semi Brenda and Kevin, what's the most memorable, spectacular failure that you've encountered. Oh boy. So I guess this is funny story at the time, but when I was in the Navy there was something there we on the same call, but it was watching at the time on deployment. So we worked 12 hour shifts,
Day, night and night got boring. So for some reason we said Hey, let's wrestling is a good idea. I'm not arresting, I don't do that stuff. But we accidentally in the process of doing that, turn off a piece of machine that if it's down for over an hour it takes you have to get it reset and re-installed, which takes about a month of work and probably a lot of money.
Thankfully, we got it back up, but that is one of the things that I remember from the Navy that it's like, you don't mess around in that stuff in the shop, you don't mess around in the shop. Yeah, at least where we were. If anything is everything, except for those machines, you could turn off to turn right back on. If you needed to reload, it was easy. But those two ones I think we had to would take him off the reload. And if I had to guess probably five or six digits of dollar sides, jeez, hardware's not a joke.
I don't think mine is as consequential, but it felt like it at the time. So in my first like I said, I had a bunch of different like random internships and things in college. So my very first one was my summer of freshman year. I had an internship at a pretty small, like less than 50 people company.
And I was supposed to like do a task or whatever, and push that code up to the repo, what I ended up doing, I think, cause there was a merge conflict or something I force pushed and I basically erased the whole repo except for the one file that I changed. I don't know how I did it. But at the time I didn't know, git very well. I was like, I had just learned programming like that year. It was like right after my freshman year.
And cause I had changed majors. So anyway, yeah, I forced pushed and the whole thing was gone except my one file. So I was panicking and I was like, I didn't know about like get version history that well, and like you could just revert my commit. So I like sweat for a good hour. And then I was like, okay, I'm just going to contact my manager and see if he can fix this. My manager was really nice, luckily understood. And he was like, oh yeah, it's fine. Like, don't worry about it. I'll I'll, we'll just revert it. And that's when I learned about how great it and version control is. So that's like always the first one that comes to my mind.
Do you still refer to you get references? What do you know by hand now?
I know it much better, but I there's this website called OSHA get, I do sometimes still refer to and it teaches you how to mess up your your history.
Yeah. I'm still the same way still on the same stage, just having an easy website to remember, that's all you need. Right. Just a good starting point. Samuel laid on us. How about have you bombed
If we want a more programming related one. So we actually caused a major outage in our AWS service last December right before new year's Eve. So what we had done was we had transformed one of our main indexes to be using weekly instead of daily. Basically a, a daily, a weekly, instead of daily aggregates, we released a off by one error to production.
And then at this point, our service is around some something around 10, 20 million records a day. And it turns out that our actually our canaries, which are tests that run continuously in the background did not catch this edge case at all, but it basically resulted in all of our, all of our data storage being pointed to be incorrect index. And this is first flag to us when some of our other automated tests started failing.
So this is, I think probably December 20, December 29 or so of last year. The entire team was more or less page. We kind of went through debug. This problem figured out kind of what was wrong. And we managed to get a hotfix out and around 30 minutes. Right. As a bunch of people in our org was kind of escalating and wondering what was the issue. We pushed the hotfix out, tested it minimally and deployed it to, I would say most of our users within the within, probably within two hours.
And then it was the painful step of realizing that this is, this has already been in these regions for like multiple days. The author winter existed for multiple days and starting to write like scripts to figure out what went wrong, to kind of migrate any of the incorrect data over to the Craig spots, as well as analyze like why this like failed so that we don't run into similar issues next time.
Wow. Catastrophic level. But I mean two hours, that's not bad. It's a pretty good turnaround. So I'm going to add that ahead. And so
I was going to say that was pretty good. Yeah. Two hours. It's pretty sure. Usually the ones that I've had, it's like a couple hours, like, sorry, a couple of days in some cases weeks,
What services is particularly known for its on-call rotation and what we make mistakes. We are responsible for fixing
And yet you're running away to risk to risk. I can, we have to because you're replacing you. So now I'm going to go ahead and point out that I haven't seen anybody raise her hands. So I'm going to go back to our text chat, but if you're interested in speaking to our lovely guests this evening, go ahead and raise your hand and we'll make it happen. I'm gonna go ahead and jump down to some more recent questions we've had here.
What is the worst piece of common advice or most common piece of bad advice you see posted on here, Reddit articles or otherwise that you think causes misconceptions about the field? And I think I'm gonna open this one up to everybody because this is a good question to sort of bounce back and forth and you love to see people disagree in the chat. So let's have at it.
You could probably start with that. I don't really know if there's bad advice or bad this or that. The one bad thing I see unfortunately, is that we'll have people come in with no experience or very little and nothing against those people, but the giving in terms of senior engineers, bad vice for their careers.
Yeah. So that's kinda what I see. And that's all there when you're giving advice to each other. Yeah.
A little hard for that one, because I noticed that, you know, when you're in on Reddit enough, when you're on discord enough, you find that I, I, I agree with Kevin, like there is no bad advice per se, but I don't want to say there's no good advice because what I've noticed when I, you know, give mock interviews and stuff like that, I've noticed that because everyone is different.
I've seen two similar people with similar background you know, one do really well, does the same company, actually one doing really well and what the other one's going really bad because it turns out something else that's in a way like, you know, they have some issues, you know, underlying issues.
It's hard to say without like being more specific. It's like a really broad question that saying like, what's the most common for the whole field personally, I think probably the most, the worst one is probably resume because that's like, you can't really get a straight answer. Like if you could, you could show it to 10 people and get 10 different answer and maybe 11, if one of them is a, I guess an HR person. So it's really, really, I guess, tedious.
Yes. I, I want to add onto
What Kathy is saying is that there is no advice that is one size fits all. Advice is, could be clicking, taken differently based on your background. Like, I can give advice to say like a hundred CS undergrads that you should just leave code every day and Anchorage, and it might work for some of them, but it would not work for all
Yeah, definitely. There, there's a kind of a locality also too, to the advice. Like I would feel very comfortable helping pretty much any Canadian, especially any French Canadian in their early carrier. And, but like the further away we go like away from like Canada, like us is still fine. They still have an understanding of like how things work in the U S but like once we go outside of that, I have no like context. So a lot of the advice I might give might not be appropriate for someone I know in the UK or in Europe or elsewhere.
I will also say that oh, there's no bad advice. Part of that question is also what causes misconceptions. I think one big misconception that sometimes especially prevalent, prevalent here and on Reddit is that you have to into a big end to be considered successful or to have a good career or a good life or good money.
I think it's gotten a little better now in the server at least. But it used to be a big thing where it was like big N or bust. Like you have to get a 200 K job at Google or Amazon or Facebook where that's just absolutely not true. You can do really well. Without having a big N like, certainly it can help, but slowly, like it's not the be-all end-all and like many smaller companies or even startups will actually be great for your career and for your wallet too
Wallet and your mental health, just to make sure that whatever you do at the end of the day, you're taking care of yourself. Cause you don't want to burn out just at the very early beginning of a career when you were, you know, grinding out the code, just cause we didn't really want to get into the big van, the big four.
Yeah. And also you don't necessarily need the code for you don't need to grind li code for everything maybe like for Google. Yeah. Probably. But there are a lot of companies out there that won't make you deal. Well, maybe not a lot these days, but there are definitely companies out there where you don't have to grind code.
I agree. I mean, I've spoken to a lot of people who've said something where they were like, you know, I can train tech skills, but I can't, I can't train personality. Like, so, you know, behavior questions, or
Just even how you are as a person. Like if you're a pleasant person, then you can get a job almost anywhere. So those are really, really important thing to focus on. Yeah. Before we, we move on from this, I just want to say that generally speaking, I, you know, for everybody who's listening here and anybody who who hears this later or reads the transcript later, you know, generally I've found that folks here in, in CS career hub, they, they take the time to confront bad advice or advice. That's a given in a blanket manner giving opinions that are very much subjective or very unique to a particular set of experiences.
And I just want to say that it sounds like everybody here in the, in the call today is in agreement that there is no one size fits all. So if there's a, if there's any bad advice to answer the question more directly, it's the bad advice is believing that there's advice that fits everybody.
And we've done a pretty good job I'd say in ensuring that we all take each other's unique experiences into account. And that's really what, what the server's been about. So I'll get off my little apple box here and let's take a look at another question, got a few more coming in. Let me, let me start with, let me start with, with harps and then we'll get to the other ones. Harp asked here was software engineering, CS tech, your first choice of careers, or did any of you pivot to tech from another field? If so, how was the experience? Unfortunately, we've had a little bit of that shared today, but let's go ahead and open it up to the floor.
I will go first with this one because I have been through so many different for years. Well, not, not really careers exactly, but I've, I've had a lot of thoughts on this. I changed my major tons of times, which I mentioned briefly before.
So when I was first entering college I applied with English and molecular cellular biology, double major somewhere along the way I dropped the English major part of that because I realized it was not a lot of writing by, I like to do it was the classes were basically like reading really old books and it was so boring. And I also realized I didn't really need, I didn't really need English to, you know, write the future. So I was a molecular cellular biology. We abbreviate as MCB at Berkeley. So I was MCB for a good semester.
And then I was like, I don't like biology that much. I don't want to be like three hour long labs just looking at my test tubes or my microscope or whatever. And it was just not my thing. And realized I, I think I was struggling to like pivot away from that. Cause I had been doing that in high school internships were all in, in like the science and bio area. So I was having a hard time kind of thinking about what else to do. Especially since I'd built up so much experience in that through past internships.
So I, how did I do something similar, but where I could not do the science-y side of it so much. I was going to do public health then and it was thinking about getting into like health policy or public policy or maybe like health hospital management or whatever.
Cause I knew I liked management and like the business side of things and policy. So I was public health for other like good semester or two I think just one semester and but it felt like two. And after that, I, I, I was like, well, I'm not nearly as passionate as all these public health people about like what's going on in the world as as weird as it is to admit it like that. But they were like super passionate about all the world issues about public health and policy and like improving public health. And I was like, well, I in like, I would love to be that kind of person, but I think I'm not. So I was just kinda like floating around trying to figure it out. I, I'm not, I taught myself how to code at the, towards the end of fresh, like spring of freshman year, like end of the spring semester of freshman year.
I was like making my own websites, trying out a bit of Python. And I stayed up all night doing just coding, like small mini projects and things like that. And I was like, you know, I think I could actually do this for a career. And at Berkeley later, like so many people who are CS and a lot of my friends are CS. So I guess it kind of makes sense that I explored that. And it was just kind of a, like a revelation one day after like staying up till 5:00 AM like doing a mini project just because I wanted to, I was like, yeah, I could totally do this. So then I looked into changing my major again, but I didn't want to change it to computer science because all of my computer science friends were like depressed and sad and like just struggling.
And I was like, well, I don't want to do CS. Maybe I'll do cognitive science because that was like alternative for a lot of people. Berkeley who didn't do just straight CS or couldn't get into the CS major. And cognitive science also had like a bunch of different fields in it. So it had like psychology, neurology, sociology, and like three other things, which I won't list. But like a bunch of stuff in one plus some CS class requirements too. So I decided to do that and I think for me the transition was easy just cause I was just was really into coding. I was really into like making projects and like seeing things live and being able to build in, in, in make an impact in that way, rather than through something like really difficult to make an impact on the world, like public health.
So I figured tech would be my way to do that. And then I was also pretty lucky to like, be able to get an internship like really quickly after that through connections. And I'd say that connections are like the number one way. And I think a lot of people more experienced people in the server say that actions are really important in your career, like more so than grinding leak code. So my first internship was also kind of through like a connection and alumni of Berkeley. And I didn't need to do like a coding interview or anything. And I kinda got my foot into the industry that way. I was just doing a lot of my own projects and like self learning really quickly. And luckily had that connection was kind of long-winded to answer. Sorry, but
No, thank you for sharing and, and it's, it's funny cause I feel like your journey is it kind of sounds similar to semi's so I'm curious how, how a Landair Cassie of course I want to hear your story as well and gopher and Kevin, but, but semi I'm, I'm curious, how does Brenda's experience compared to yours?
I think the TLDR is that Brenda was a lot smarter than me. She chose to switch earlier, so I kind of have a very similar background. I started off at McGill university in Canada in biochem with the target of pre-med and the goal of medicine of course, was to kind of save lives, make impact influence individual people to have like better outcomes and make the world a better place. But for some personal reasons, one of which was that I turned to, I can't actually stay on blood totally realized at first I decided to not pursue medicine, but by that time I had already finished my entire undergrad gone through med school interviews and such. And so the, I basically kind of had the opposite experience, trying to break into tech where I was relatively lacking in any connections afforded by my school.
It was a lot of the same processes of like say self discovery, finding out that I really did enjoy working on some of these problems. And then also like researching online and finding any materials that were available until I kind of had like my own portfolio. And I actually took that brute force approach. And instead of the kind of targeted approach, I think I might've applied to like something like 200, 300 companies for my first ever role. And it was, I think it was also once you apply to enough, you can just get lucky. I had a few companies who are like willing to take a chance on me. I found the one that kind of, I clicked with the most, the one that basically offered me the most opportunity to grow and be a better engineer, took it. And then it's been a great journey sense.
Beautiful. And for the record, I actually dropped out of medicine myself at one point because I was like, I can't do this blood thing. So I totally feel you Cassie, you had input.
I was laughing the whole time because I'm thinking, wow, a lot of medical people here, I myself wanted to get into it at one point. I think the blood thing was also what turned me away. Also just the whole idea of being in a hospital where you know, a whole zombie situation I had when I had actually believed it. And fun fact I actually researched this nature. Apparently nature would not allow real life zombie. So that was kind of disappointed at that. Sort of random quick question though. I, I I've always thought that public health, you, you did that in your master's not undergrad. Are you planning to go for that in the future?
Thank goodness. So Berkeley had a Berkeley had a undergrad public health program, which is pretty rare and undergrad. I will not, it's just really not my thing, like being around, there's a type of public health persona. I would almost say like, they're just a certain type of people are like, they're really in the know about the world. They're like at least the one, all the ones I've met and some of my friend's friends they have that certain kind of personality and I don't, I don't think I have that.
I will say though that I don't just do CS. I think I've mentioned me doing a lot of random things. So I do like freelance finance writing. I do community management freelance on the side, like aside from CS career hub. I also do like some paid community management now. So I have a lot of interests outside of software engineering, but not public health.
Good. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. Great. Follow-Up Cassie.
In my case for repivoting, I I've always been in tech for most of my life, so I don't really have a lot to add to that in terms of pivoting from one industry to another. I can say though, that I have actually been in government, I've been in finance. I've also been in a, I've done a lot of stuff outside of tech.
For example, like every 10 years there was a census and I actually did that one too. I'm going to go and door to door, asking people to fill in a survey that was fun. It's I think too many people from my experience, too many people trying to get into tech because of the money, but not realizing the more important thing they should be focusing on is trying to see if they can solve real world problems. So I think for, to that extent, that would be my, I guess my answer to that question.
Great. Go for Kevin. Any thoughts on your on your path to, to getting into this career, if you would've done things differently or if you know,
Well, actually funny enough, like thinking back when I was in high school, I think I wanted to be a biochemist. So kind of like in the same vein as like med pre-med but due to a whole lot of issues when I was in in late high school and, and college, which is in, in Quebec is, is kind of different than it's like a separate set from university. I ended up not pursuing that and going for CS instead. And it like part of that Mo what motivated, motivated that was I always did kind of tech stuff on my own, but also it kind of offered good career prospects, which was important at the time.
Otherwise I've been a very kind of traditional pat to do CS. So it'll have a ton of things to do.
No problem. Thanks for sharing.
Yeah, I guess at least me then I actually see us was as far away as I thought it would be. I spent my entire childhood and a little bit of adult career playing music. I was playing trumpet. Fonny M baritone did drum Corps, marching, man. I thought I was going to get into the covenant zone for the Marines and play music for the next 20 years. Didn't happen.
I ended up joining the Navy thinking, Hey, maybe I could go fly planes that didn't happen. And eventually got in it in the Navy. So I did that for four years. I was on the radio side. So more of the electrical engineering side got out, went to college for electrical engineering and did about a year, year and a half heard about a story. One of our professors was stapling McDonald's applications to the back of the test and I was having bad experiences with some of them for harassers. So I ended up just on a whim going to the CS
Kind of admin office or counselors and saying, Hey, what is this about? They had out my entire plan mapped out for me, like how I would still graduate in four years. And it was all around more professional things. So I said, skirt switched over to CSN. Two and a half years later, I was working at Google. So I don't really have that big of a background for CSC. It was a short term thing for me,
Totally different walks of life out here. Really impressive, all your stories. And and I just want to highlight the fact that this, you know, diversity you're seeing here is not unique. There's tons of people in the server with this experience variety. So if you're relatively new to the server or you've been here before and you are kind of curious, you know, how do these people have all this information?
Just, you know, bear in mind, not everybody took the same path to get to where they are and none of us, you know, do in life. So it's good to, to hear everybody's unique stories, you know, some of us growing up with this stuff and, you know, some of us kind of just getting tossed in the deep end. So thanks for everybody's sharing their stories here.
And you know, we had originally pegged us to end at eight o'clock, but I think our plan right now is to kind of keep this thing going and, you know, as people start to wind down for the evening, we'll, you know, treat it accordingly, but we'll try and answer as many questions as we can and get you guys some feedback to your burning, you know, thoughts.
So next big one I see here is, do you have any advice for getting up to speed in a new role team or company? How best not to feel like a total imposter in those first few months. And I think I'd like to start with let's start with Cassie. I wanna get your thoughts first and then we'll go ahead and do the same format and bounce around. Hey, okay.
I think that was an amazing question. I, I, this is my favorite question so far, just because I still remember you know, going into Bloomberg right off the bat and right out of college and thinking, okay, well, if I don't know anything, how do I, how do I fit in, I guess
Really no, there's really no one size fit, all answer. Like I said, like we started before, like we talked about before, I think the two way I approach it, I just try to look at it like a systematic way in any, I guess, any group or any company that would join it would be, do I understand the company and do I understand the team or the product that I'm, that I'm?
I think I learned that really, really clearly were really directly because now I'm in a research position and it's not about a product per se, but about, I guess in most of most of the time when you're working on a paper, you're trying to figure out what are you trying to tell? So that's the product at the end. So I, I think the main thing you could do is try to understand what your, what the big picture is, what the product is on and a company, of course, because you want to know how it affects the bottom line.
And from there, you could start working towards fitting in and trying to figure out how you can best fit in and help with the, with the development.
Excellent. Any thoughts from anybody else here on the input or anything they want to add?
I think imposter syndrome in particular, or is it, or at least the feeling of not being able to contribute immediately into your company or a new team that you joined is super common. And while this isn't a solution, I, I, I'm just saying that you guys are not alone.
I think whenever I join a new company or a new team or a new tech stack, or even just like trying to catch up to speed with a project, even within my team that I haven't been part of from the beginning, it's a lot of work to kind of like understand everything that's happening since everyone who's currently involved has so much context and no matter how good the documentation is, it's, it's easy to feel like an outsider.
And I think especially in terms of Al onboarding, it's both important for like more senior members of the team to be aware of that and try to accommodate that for the more newcomers of the team.
It's like, it is, it is okay to like ask questions. It is okay to, to kind of mess up and fail. I think like one of my first tasks as the team that I'm currently on it took me like almost two weeks to do something that now I would take a day to. And I think that's just, it's just the growing process of being in a unfamiliar team and people are understanding, people are accepting that, of course it's like, if you're in unity, you're not going to know the same as someone who's been with the same team for four years. So yeah. Take your time to ramp up, ask questions and don't be afraid.
Yeah. Most of the ramp up periods are in around six months anyway. So be it's okay to take the time into six months and ask questions anyway. Yeah.
Yeah. I I've heard like, like to make a metaphor with cycling, I've heard cycling kind of described as it doesn't get it doesn't ever get easier. You just go faster. I think that might apply where you're always going to like, kind of need to gripe with the fact that you, you, maybe you go from a place where you, you, you're relatively comfortable, you're in your comfort zone, you know, the tech, you know, the, you know, the services and then you move on to this new team and you need to start from scratch.
And I think you'll always need to kind of deal with, with that, but you might go faster each time, a little bit. So I don't know if there's any like real advice that can be given to make it make that easier.
Great input so far, Brenda, Kevin, any thoughts?
I kinda missed the question at least some of that one. Were you asking?
Yeah, no problem. So this question was when it comes to joining a new role team or company, what advice would you have for getting up to speed and how best what can you do to make sure that you feel like you're not a total imposter in those first few months?
Honestly I have a different Asper for every role, every level I joined Amazon and there was no ramp up for me, day one, I was expected to contribute to a massive project, replacing, literal. But I, that's not everyone.
That's not what you're going to be expected is a SD wan or kind of nasty to those first of all you're not garbage at your job even though you think you are and you will ramp up and they're not going to fight you. If they do far, you pick the wrong job. Anyway, they're not going to fire you in three months unless you really screw up. And you probably don't have the option to royally screw up that bad.
So I wouldn't worry about that and just latch onto your mentor and then ask good questions. And I don't mean ask basic questions, like try to do your research and then say, Hey, I've looked into this, I've done this. I've kind of stuck here. What are your thoughts? And then make sure you don't really ask that question again. Make sure you know, that Donny learned how to answer that any time comes up and then just ask new questions as they come up and you'll be fine.
Speaker 4 (00:55:51):
Yeah. I agree with that. Take notes and make sure that if you remember, we were supposed to ask question during your interview, those are similar questions that you should be asking when you actually get the job because they're supposed to reflect the transition. So, you know, if you were worried about I guess how you might be able to fit in with your time management, for example, that's something you might want to consider because I think that being able to manage your time means you you're able to better manage your, your workflow. And if you can do that, you can it's thing that leads to another,
I think one other thing that's good to add is that, especially nowadays, we, I would say most of us are working in remote environments. And so for onboarding, it's a lot harder to kind of understand the culture of a team, understand how people interact and you miss like the say common lunches or like coffee talks that would be easier to have and pre pandemic times. One thing that I think a lot of people have found really helpful as they've joined by team, is that reaching out over, say like coffee chats or one-on-ones with each of the individual members of the team getting a feel for like their personalities, even their faces, if your team doesn't use cameras and just kind of like being more able to understand your team as people, rather than just in terms of engineers, I find makes teams more welcoming of a place.
I'll add onto that. Just, I think some people did mention asking questions about the code base too. Like the best way to learn really quickly is to ask a lot of questions. I'm generally a pretty confident person, so I never afraid to ask questions. And I think that's, what's really gotten me to learn quickly whenever I met a new job.
I am like constantly pinging my mentor or team leader, whoever it is during that job about anything I'm unsure about. And like, they really don't mind if it's people who like, are annoyed by it. Maybe you don't want to work with them so much anyway, like, especially I think as an intern or a new grad. But even as an experienced like engineer, like when you're new to a huge code base, it's really normal to not a lot of it.
So I was asking questions like near, constantly in my first month at Adobe where like I would just, I would just go to my manager who is kind of like a double as a team lead every single day. And we'd like, joke about how much I asked him questions.
Yeah. If, if you're unsure about things or have like general code base questions, like anything, I think you just have to find your mentor if it's not, you know, already like assigned to you or anything and just not be afraid to ask and speak up along with that, I would say to just be confident in your own ability. And even though you might be like the most junior on your team like you're there for a reason and you know, things and I don't think you should ever really question that.
I kind of have a story to go along with that where I was an, at a place in my junior year of college or after like summer of junior year of college. And there was an engineer there who was a S like a senior engineer and he'd been there for like four or five years. And I was just an intern who like just started a month ago and he told me we were talking about a a task I had to do. And he told me that there's a particular way I should do it. And I was confident in enough to like push back against it.
Well, not really at first, I think I was nervous too, because I was an intern and he was a, he was a senior engineer there. I think I wasn't totally sure either that I was right, but I did have the confidence to kind of like speak up and be like, I don't think this is the right thing to do in this case.
And then I got like he, like, we kind of pushed back against each other. But then I got advice from someone else on my team who was also really senior, like a staff engineer. And he was like, yeah, I think what you're saying is right. And like, we can all talk together about it. Oh, like, no matter what level you are, no matter how junior you are or how many of you are to the team, you're there to know some stuff that other people don't.
And like, if you really feel like you don't know anything, like ask a lot of questions and like get comfortable and also understand that it will take most people, like a lot of people months to adjust to a huge code base. I learned really quickly, but I still didn't understand like the core six of the code base on curling working on until after like two months of pretty intense work on it. And like talking myself through the workflow and like the, I guess you could say the flow the work of the code base for many weeks and asking any questions.
Well, in summary, just like ask questions and have confidence that you do know some stuff and you're there for a reason.
Yeah. Solid answers all around. I'll, I'll drop in just one quick anecdote for myself. When I first started my first job, I was working in R and D and we were doing a lot of shall we say questionable practices, testing live in production in a manufacturing environment. And much of, much of
The the problems we were encountering came down to the fact that our senior engineer was mixing data, that he was manually manipulating with production data that was being generated by the software itself. Because at the end of the day, the people on the shop floor, they, they just wanted to get results from that data. They didn't care about, you know, integrity of the data or, or any of the intermediate steps to get it. And I had probably less than a year of experience. And I got in an argument with him to, you know, polite one. But nevertheless, it was me confronting him on something that I had talked to the rest of our team about people who were far older than me, but I confronted him on it and told him that this was unacceptable. And I kind of forced the issue until I got buy in from the rest of the team to get them to stop doing this because it was compromising our ability to even know for software was doing what it was supposed to.
So the end result of that was that the final output of the data may have been imperfect, but that allowed us to get feedback from the people in manufacturing to give us, you know, a sense of, okay, this is how our software is failed, so we could at least track it. And I think that's one of the important things to realize is that in these scenarios, it's easy to get lost thinking that you are too new to see a problem you're too inexperienced. You don't believe that your intuition is correct, but it's like everyone has said here, you were hired for a reason. They, they want that fresh blood. They need those new ideas. So trust yourself, trust your instinct. And, you know, if you can't even, you know, lean on that, you know, trust your training that you've experienced through college or internships or otherwise you've got this.
So I will keep it going. We're a little bit past eight o'clock if you need to drop off, of course, feel free, but me and the team here, and they keep it going for y'all, as long as it takes to good Friday night, if you were of age, not, you harp grab a drink, enjoy yourself. We're going to move on to the beginning of C a C H question coming in from char also known as seemingly awake at work. What got you into the creation of CSCH? And as a follow-up from our very own Nirvana why'd you rename from CS career hackers to see us career hub. And I think this is a good question to start off with Kevin.
Yeah, I it's kind of a short story. That's not really short story. I, I guess
The thought it off I used to browse CS career questions, right. And every sauce and I saw a post that was, Hey, I can't pass an interview on garbage. I'm giving up. I'm gone somewhere else. It sucks, you know, but times he just had to post all right. That's probably not the best way to go here's whatever. But one day I actually saw all of it. Like the entire page was just that. So I said, great for the next week, maybe even longer, I will give a mock interview to anyone who wants it or needs it.
And then John, our
Co-Founder jumped in and helped me out. And I think we gave a one to 200 mock interviews that week. I didn't sleep very much I think probably a third or even more got a job afterwards. I said, this sucks. I don't want to ever do this again. I actually kind of quit on mock interviews for awhile. But I said, what if I don't do it this way? What if I don't just give a bunch of mock interviews, burn myself out, wait awhile, do it again. What if we can use my big data skills and bring together a community to do it for us?
I was helping out with another server at the time that I actually wanted to spawn this as kind of a branch of their server, their company, but they dragged their feet. So I created it myself and critical John and a couple of other people who have been a massive help to the success of growing the service.
And I think we had 600 people the first day and well over two or 3000 people within the first week. It took off, it was fast. I eventually created a nonprofit to back it and
Kind of push for some of the stuff that we needed. Like we needed resources, we needed tools. We needed a lot of free stuff because we were not making money.
So three years later, almost 21,000 people here, a lot of wonderful people that have helped along the way who have come and gone or are still here. Yeah, so that's kind of how it gets started.
As far as the naming goes contrary to what Brenda said, I was not called CS career hackers the first time. I believe it was the HD amount representation of just name. I, as you can tell, I don't have a profile picture. I don't really care about that stuff. So it took like 5,000 people to get a profile picture and probably 4,000 to get a name outside of just name.
Then eventually we needed to see this career hackers stuck for awhile, but I there's two reasons we changed it. One is I suspected that in order to get partnership and for companies to work with us, we probably should not have hackers in the name. So I knew suggesting we moved to something else.
And the other one was when we started doing discovery servers where people could search for something they would find her server and join. Yeah. a lot of people joined, not reading the roles, not reading anything else outside of hackers and saying, Hey can you hack this Microsoft server? Can you hack this? Are I I want to steal money from this person or whatever. Obviously we aren't that so it was either we got off a discord discovery, so which we're growing people from. So I didn't think that was a great idea.
We finally pushed through with the new name, change and redesign everything we can. So we switched over to a CS career hub. Yeah, so that's kind of intro why don't we get started with stuff and name changes.
Beautiful. Thanks for walking us through that history, Kevin. And it looks like, you know, if you're, if you're listening in right now or Ivana went and did us a service of grabbing that first post where Kevin dropped, you know, the, the invite to join the discord many moons ago?
No, actually that's not the first one. Oh, really? You did more than once. Yeah. the original posts, if you click on that, it says there's the original post can be found here. That's the actual original now paste it.
Well, thank you for correcting me. I totally,
That's probably one of the first like five or six posts, but yeah, that was the first one.
Speaking of the first one, I was laughing a little, I was kind of chuckling a little bit about the, the hacker question because I I'm also on other servers for I guess, cybersecurity related questions and those questions never really end, no matter what server go to, as long as you have
The word hacking or anything that's adjusted, because I guess for some reason, kids are really desperate. One day really wants to take down the enemy and
And Minecraft or something. Yeah. That's all right.
You know, can you take down this guy? Can you DDoSs on this guy? Yeah.
I mean, when your life is sitting in front of a computer screen and yelling at other preview best and kids. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's worth the risk, right? Yeah. And for the record CS career hub does not endorse any type of hacking behaviors. So do not at me. So thank you, Kevin. Thanks for that. That feedback Kasey. And here we have, I think we have a couple other questions here, lurking, and I just want to point out that our audience has been very quiet, rather shy. That's all right. No problem. But there is that feature to raise your hand. If you want to hop in the chat, make yourself known, you know, ask a question directly.
I, I do want to also add onto that this is a trial run. We do want to learn how stage events works and all that. So we would at least like a couple of people that jump in so we could try that out. So yeah. Please ask away with raising your hand and all that.
Absolutely. Yeah. So if you're having difficulty figuring that out, if that's part of the problem, you know, feel free to, to message one of the one of the moderators on the side for questions, anybody who's online right now available to try and help figure that out for you. In the meantime, oh, it looks like we've got her first guest look at that. Let's see. All right, coach. Welcome to the chat you are. Hello?
Audience 1 (01:13:18):
Uh yeah. So Kevin, you're the guy from the thread you just link, right? Yeah. Okay. So yeah. So you might've answered the question before, but why did you like leave Google for Microsoft? And like what were like the major differences in the culture you've found? Was there like anything unusual or because I think just especially if you move, like from California to Washington, that's probably are different also we're culture riots because Microsoft's right. So
Yeah, so I didn't leave Google for Microsoft. I did obviously, but that, wasn't why I was leaving. I was leaving California. I was a new grad paying like 38% state and tax all taxes in general, if not more like
It seemed like half my money was gone around half of my money has gone to taxes and I'm not an extrovert. So all this stuff that you do in San Francisco, I didn't really do. I, the reason I went to Microsoft is because they said, Hey, we want to pay you more than Google does for you to work here. It's really it there, it was, I mean, I loved having an office, but all around is a worst experience. That's not saying that that was Microsoft, but that was at the time SharePoint. The development tools were garbage. It took two weeks and pushing anything through versus two hours. It Google if I wanted to write code at Google, I just pulled up Citi online and I just wrote all this stuff on mine.
There was, I could use any idea I wanted, but I could do whatever. And it took five minutes to compile instead of eight hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the tools at Google that it didn't it Microsoft. That means said last that I knew they were changing, that they were going over to visuals not visual studio. It might be visual studio. Yeah, their tool was kind of their online thing and all that process. Is it improving sets? So, yeah. Like I said, I didn't leave Google for Microsoft. I left California for Seattle.
Audience 1 (01:15:50):
Okay. Thanks for the answer. But can I ask you another question or yeah, please. Okay. wasn't it just possible to like transfer internally because I think Google also has some offices in Washington and also maybe like Texas and Texas also, like they don't have any state tax. Right.
I believe at the time it was a pretty small office in Seattle. Seattle, I enjoyed, I knew people up here. I had friends from college and all that. So it seemed like a place I wanted to go. And at the time there was no headcount for teams that I wanted, but yes, you could transfer. You could go somewhere else.
Audience 1 (01:16:36):
Yeah. But then again, I think you mentioned that Microsoft paid you more, right? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. That's all I wanted to ask.
Cool. Appreciate it.
Yeah, coach, thanks for hopping in and being the very first one to bring yourself in, bring yourself forward and share your thoughts. So at the bottom, I'm not sure if you're on desktop or not, you can move back to the audience. There should be a little indicator there next to your mute. And we'll, we'll just keep this thing.
Oh. Or that that's also an option. Hope you come back though. So great question, Kevin, thanks for breaking it down for us on your experience and your reasoning, because you know, sometimes it's as simple as just wind to leave and save a little money and you know, it's, it is a lot of options for us out here in the career of computer science and software engineering. So I'm going to jump back over here very briefly. I don't see anybody raising their hands. It looks like coach was the bravest amongst us. Oh, I stand corrected. We've got another caller coming in. Let me bring you on board. Sunset. Welcome to the chat. You're muted. Go ahead and ask when you're ready.
Audience 2 (01:18:01):
Hi guys. I just noticed that you guys were doing this and thank you so much. It's awesome to hear from professionals. So my question, a little bit of backstory. I graduated with a degree in math some time ago, and first I didn't really know that I wanted to pursue a career in computer science, but a couple of years down the road now I find it really awesome. And I've spent a lot of time kind of studying on my own. So I don't have to go back to school and pay a lot of money to try and start things going.
So my question is what would you say is the biggest difference between like somebody that has six months, one year experience on the job and somebody like me who just kind of, for the most part, you know, I'm a logical person. I can think through problems really well. And I've spent a lot of time studying like syntax and that kind of thing, but I don't really have that experience as part of a team where can something real is what I would call it. And I was curious on what you guys thought that difference is like, what, what, what is the next thing that I should try to learn, I guess,
Audience 2 (01:19:22):
Is what I'm curious about?
Hey, that sounds like two questions, right? One is what it's like to work in a team. I, if I could strengthen your question and the other one was w what the difference is between somebody who has done the job for about a year versus somebody who's just starting out. Is that, does that sort of capture the essence of your question?
Audience 2 (01:19:48):
I think that you put it well, yes, for me, the biggest thing for me is I'm kind of nervous. Like you guys were talking about being confident in yourself, but for me, confidence comes from a point where I know that I understand things I know what's on. And
Audience 2 (01:20:08):
Right now the biggest source of confusion for me is like, what am I missing? You know, like, what am I supposed to be trying to understand besides just syntax and like how the languages work, how you put things together, you know, I just, I don't know what to learn, honestly. Yeah.
So I, I was gonna just ask for some context on yourself, are you currently working or are you a student or like what perspective are you coming from?
Audience 2 (01:20:42):
So I, I've had a little bit of an interesting life. I, out of school, I worked in an office for a year doing something unrelated. I ended up quitting because I had the option to, it was like customer support. And they wanted me to go into management and stuff like that. And I just, I didn't want that to be my life after that.
I started studying computer science, but I got sidetracked because I became a streamer for a couple of years, and I had like a decent following, which was fun. But yeah, it's, it's a lot of work to be a streamer and kind of unrewarding at the end of the day. So here I am, as far as working, I have like a non computer related job right now just to kind of get some money.
But in terms of like CS career wise, I am as far away from it as I could get, honestly, if I'm being honest, I just I've worked on my own stuff. I'm trying to get involved with like open source or anything like that, but it's really intimidating because, you know, the people that are there working on these projects, they know so much, and they know a lot about like the frameworks, technologies, whatever that I just don't understand.
There's so many out there and I don't know which direction to go in, because I feel confident about my understanding of like languages, but I don't know the tools out there that kind of are built from them, you know, so, yeah.
Okay. So I would say I think Cassie was about to say this, but it is a very broad question. And I think a lot of people actually ask questions like this. I will say that syntax is definitely like the least of your worries and software engineering. Yes. In general syntax is kind of like the very basic, like, like you have to have it, but it's like learning math in elementary school. So you can like go and do some do a career later.
After that, I feel like it's super broad, but in general, and this is what will be different for, you know, different situations in such of course. But I think in general I think going in trying and doing some open source projects is a good thing because projects and working on, like, it doesn't have to be within a corporate context to be counted as real work.
Like for me, for example, when I was first starting, I just did a ton of projects on websites, my own apps anything that felt interesting to me, I just worked on like mini projects for them. And I think I grew and learned so much more from that. And like being able to put together like a backend plus a front end and like make it work well for users was a really good learning experience. And then after that being real-world experience in terms of like internships or working at a company is also a big thing because it's super different from working on your own.
And I think part of your question was about working with a team and yeah, it is super different. And I think doing some, if you can't work at a company or don't want to work at a company yet, we're not ready for that.
I think getting really involved with something open source or in a project with friends, I think is really helpful, like learning to work with people make pull requests and having other people review them, or you reviewing better code you know, knowing how to read and iterate on other people's code manage it is all a big part of software engineering too.
And then of course like working with and communicating with those people oh, I guess that's a very broad answer, but it was also a pretty broad question. I think the basics, the TLDR is like syntaxes, just such a little small part, actually a foundational, but small part of actual CS career. And where it goes from there is really just like doing projects and working with other people.
Yeah, absolutely agree with Brenda on that. As a fellow math lover, I went to a double major before I dropped it. I just want to say ultimately, just like math as a very broad field, try to focus on you know, you have, it seems like you have a syntax, but I don't think I might've missed it, but you didn't quite say like what languages you weren't learning, what your interests are.
So once you have those down, you know, like I said, you can start contributing to projects and figuring out, you know, where to take it from there, because once you have a project that you're looking at, you know, like an open source project, you could say, Hey, okay, you know, this is the this is the tech stack. This is the, you know, what am I going to do with this? So take it from there and, you know, never stop.
And I just, one more thing before I shut up this is you mentioned at the end that you see all these really experienced people who know so much about all these different frameworks, all these different languages, and maybe like all the nuances of those tools. And I will just say, I felt like that too. And like, it was so overwhelming to see all these people who like, know all these things.
But I'll say that it, it really compounds with experience and those people that you're seeing probably have years and years of experience in their own projects, in open source projects in company experience, like they, they have so much work behind that, that maybe you don't see when you're just looking at them LinkedIn or on GitHub a built a lot of that knowledge over time. And you don't have that much experience yet.
And so that if there's of course going to be a difference, it doesn't mean that they're super smart and you'll never get there. You are on a different timeline and they have started, they started 10 years ago. So that it just comes with experience and you can't, you just can't get distracted by what other people know. And in, in such a broad field, absolutely. No one is going to know the same things as the next person in this field.
Literally everyone is going to be working on different things, even, even if you're all developers, for example, gonna learn different things just by being in different code bases. And each react developer is probably going to know something that the other doesn't and that's just how it is. I'll shut up.
No, Brenda, thank you very much for your answer and a sunset. I hope that that gave you a little bit of insight that you were looking for. And going forward, of course, you know, as we work on, on curating these questions and getting you answers, you're looking for, we'll try and see if getting the questions to our folks a little ahead of time, helps them to get you something a little more targeted to what you're looking for since we're kind of put them on the spot, asking them to dance, to sing for us in the moment, but but thank you for, for coming on and as you know, asking your question. No, that was awesome. I didn't realize this was going to happen next up.
We're going to go ahead and jump back over here to stage chat. I actually have a question from earlier coming in from our little trial mod rye also known as speed running lead code. The question is, if you could go back to the start of your career and do one thing differently, what would it be and why?
And I'm going to go ahead and let the folks here interpret that as they will, whether the start is back all the way when you were a, we taught tinkering with Legos or, you know, when you're in college and you decided to just make the jump over, you know, whatever that means to you. And I'll open the floor up starting with gofer.
Career-Wise, I'm pretty satisfied with a lot of the decisions I made early on, but the one thing that I kind of find myself wishing I did more, was trying build more kind of a network in the academic world with my like professors in the, like especially since I work for a time, I was looking at, you know, going for a master's or maybe a PhD. And like that lack of network was really kind of setting me back.
But like on the other hand, I had put like guessing and she all my time and effort, like kind of optimizing towards industry and that has worked out pretty well, but I think there might be like a balance too, to be, to be reached between the two especially since like early on, you might not know if you want to go and get more like of an academy experience, so you can be a good idea to kind of cover co cover both cases.
Great answer any input from anybody else here, don't be shy.
I think of an answer because it, the question was, what did we do, I guess from when we were a little toddler all the way to college? What, what sparked the interest? It was that the quest,
Yeah. Sorry, let me, let me run it back for you. If you could go back to the start of your career, however you define career and do one thing differently, what would it be and why
I missed that? I didn't hear that part. So if I could go back to my career, I guess wherever I define it, I hate to say that I don't really have a good answer for this because I have somewhat of a different route that I took. I dropped out of high school. So if I could go back, I would do it again, just because it led me to where I am now. And I'm happy where I am. I guess probably more focused, more on relaxing. Just realizing that, Hey, if at the time you think it's a big deal, it's probably not a big deal. And, you know, just try to try to enjoy life a little bit more. I think that would be my biggest, you know, I, I unfortunately like having daily and depression and all these terrible things, you know, and it's like, ah, you know, it's never enough. It's never, you know, so I think that would be my focus, like focus more on mental health, more on taking care of myself and just slowing down a lot more
Great answer and a good thing to highlight as well, taking care of is a big
Part of not just this career, any career, but something that we should all be cognizant of. And if you are a student listening, make sure that you're taking care of your whole self, not just your intellectual self, so great input, Cassie.
Yeah. I would also have kind of the same answer as Tassie, especially the beginning part of that, where you said I don't, you would, if you could do it all over again, you'd do the same thing. I would too, even though like sometimes I talk with my friends, I'm like, dang, I wish I was like that genius at that company who began coding when he was 10. Then I, you know, get into Google without having to grind lead code. I'd be a genius at work. And it'd be, life would be easier at the same time. Like, I'm really glad I went the route that I did, where I did a ton of exploration before I settled down on CS, then there's like nothing really to regret. I, like I talked about how I was a molecular and cellular bio that in English and then public health.
But also I didn't even more exploring that. And I thought about business. I thought about psychology. I like I dabbled in everything and thought about everything, did a ton of exploration. And if I were to do college over again, I still would not apply with a call a CS major and like go straight into that. I'm really glad I got to know myself and my interests and that exploration before settling down on my career. And I'm still glad I wasn't a CS major and Dade cog psy to kind of have a more interdisciplinary view of things. Yeah,
I think you're touching on a pretty important point there that I think w we probably all have aspects of our path, or like, to, to now essentially in a career that could have been like, say more optimal, but like ultimately your journey through her life in general, isn't like an optimization problem. It, you know, it's, it's a thing where you just, you just need to kind of go and figure things out as you go.
That's a perfect way to put it.
I think how to get the opposite point of view is that I wish I did more, I would say conscious long-term planning and my career in the sense that I ran into a few roadblocks that if I had known about them slash like foresee them earlier, I could have avoided. So some of these being like to use a possibly contrary example in this chat would be say, like prepping interviews, or at least studying stuff that will be relevant to interviews beforehand. So instead of say like cramming and failing at
The time of other things would be, say, having more of an idea of like what fields I want to get into sub fields being, say, like front end, backend, M L a I R forever, because there are somethings that you have quite a barrier of entry in this field. The largest of which is probably actually U S immigration, but there are other things that you have pretty high barriers. ML AI would probably be the biggest one.
You love to see the variety, you know, there was no, as we said, one size fits all answer. You know, some people wanted that wanted that, you know, play the field mentality. Some people think they should have focused a little bit more. And for the record, I think I'm more in semi's camp. I wish I had, you know, had the chance to really drill down on what I wanted earlier in my life. But I'm here now talking to all of you talking to over, wow. We have 38 people listening in right now. That's crazy. So it's a, it's been a worthwhile journey, I would say. No matter how you got here Kevin, I didn't know if you wanted to add anything, but if you didn't see the question there was, if you could go back to the start of your career and do one thing differently, what would it be and why?
Buy Bitcoin? Yeah, I mean, I was in the military when Bitcoin was still pennies. I I I had people telling me, it's like, Hey, what are your thoughts on this and all that. And yeah, she was, I could order it. Right.
What was the Amazon stock price when you joined like a third of what it is now
Was like right around a thousand. I don't actually know what it is now. Oh, that's not what I want. Yeah. It's about a thousand. So 3,200 now.
Yeah, my next two years of stock are going to be great. I don't know. I, there's a lot of stuff in my life that I sometimes wonder if I should have done it differently. But I also wouldn't be aware it was if I did. So my career has been a weird one, but it's also gotten me here. So I don't know. I do wish I studied more. My ADHD kind of kicked my butt a little bit in college. So the courses that I enjoyed, I did in a day or two like I did calc one, two and three. I learned all of it in two days. But when it came to networking, I had a networking job and a couple of courses on it. I still don't know anything. So yeah,
I don't know. I study more, maybe a look at different options to learn how to negotiate a little more maybe.
Yeah. I mean, there's, there's a variety of little things that each of us look back and we realize, oh, if I had just known that one thing, potentially all of this, you know, chaotic path I've taken to this point, might've been a little bit smoother, but ultimately it still got you here. And it got you chatting with folks tonight, from all over who are really interested in hearing your story. So we appreciate, you know, all the, all the speakers, you know, I just want to highlight that we're we're approaching nine o'clock. We're just past eight 30 here, central time for me. I am of course, happy to keep this as going, as long as our lovely guests are interested, but if you are hopping online and you're listening in, just want you to know that, you know, we will be con taking your questions as long as our guests are available. And as long as you are here, and if something comes up that you missed from before, if there's a question that you would've liked to hear the answer for, we will have a transcript for you and a recording within the next one to two weeks after little volunteer, audio editing on the team's part. So I
I was going to say, we do plan on doing these more often. So even if we don't get to your question, like there will be other opportunities where we'll have events. You can't ask absolutely office hours too,
And I'm sure a lot of you have burning questions for under our lovely DevOps master. We will we will let you interrogate him thoroughly when he's not on baby duty or such, but that being said,
I saw someone's hand was raised, but I think they dropped off. So assuming that they are currently, you know, second guessing their question, I'll call back, hop back over here to stage chat and feel free to keep dropping in your thoughts. I'm going to be bouncing back and forth. Like I said, from questions yesterday to today, one that just appeared in my purview here.
Actually, we got a couple in here. Let's, let's take a look at Twitch's switch answers us to this question. What are the top three things, behaviors, habits, principals, or actions you consider most important to your success. And as usual, we'll go around the
Table, round Robin, however you want to do it. And whoever wants to hop on first, how about it?
Top three? I guess trait that contributed to my success. Is it okay if I only do one?
Sure. Yeah. Whatever, whatever you were willing to share.
Well, I realize sometimes I'm talking and things isn't laid up and I'm like, oh, I have to press talk to, to talk. But I guess the only one would be probably, I'm just realizing that, you know, there was no right path and just go with your interests. So I, that, that was the way I chose my master's degree. I was like, I look, I'm, I'm interested in cybersecurity. So I guess I'll go down that route. And I didn't even really think, I didn't believe a plan too far ahead, other than knowing that it made the most sense at the time. And it's sort of a long story for that one, but I guess just sometimes you just have to trust yourself and just do it,
But to answer, let me, let me have have one of our other lovely people, give their thoughts and just so that I continue to do what I was supposed to do, which was give you the question, what are the top three things, behaviors, habits, principals, or actions you consider most important to your success.
And so top three, I feel like you mean in career success or I guess even life success. I think at least for me personally is so w these were characteristics or like what was it exactly again, top three behaviors. Habits of principle. Okay.
Or just specific things that you did that happened to pay off well for you,
Right. Okay. So I'd say number one actions, like I mentioned before, I feel like the, like, that's how I got my foot in the door. And that's how I continue to like, get referrals and new opportunities. Even if just through like communities like this, like under the other day, ender just like gave me this, like intro to me to a community manager. Cause I was interested in community management and I feel like so many of those spontaneous connections happen just because you, you meet people and then you meet their friends. And then their friends and like your network just keeps expanding and that opens up so many opportunities.
So that's, I'd say that's the number one thing then for the other ones, I think just being confident and putting yourself out there and actually taking those opportunities and running and, you know, believe in, you can really do something with them.
Like just because I was studying bio for many years I was totally fine transitioning into CS. And then just because I've been only doing CS for my career for the past few years doesn't mean that I can't try out community management and like so many other different experiments, like there's so many things you can do in life. You just have to the opportunities do it.
Absolutely. Thanks for answering. I'm going to poke semi.
You'll have to excuse me for using some Amazon internal tools, but I think the strongest life principle almost is bias for action. I think in terms of like life philosophy, it's like very few things will happen to you because of luck. Life happens to you when you meet the intersection of like luck and effort. And I think a lot of the best things in my life happened because I took chances because I decided to do things which instead of just kind of like sitting there and waiting for opportunities to come to me and this can be phrased in terms of careers. It can be phrased in in terms of friends, in terms of life adventures.
And yeah, I think it's probably the, one of the most important principles, at least to me a second one would be earn trust, but I think I'm going too far into like Amazon at this point, but definitely just being someone both like trustworthy to your friends, to your colleagues, to your mentors and such being someone that is dependable and being just like a general good person.
And I think it's a good rule of thumb just to like make life decisions by, I would say the third is just like knowing when to quit and when not to there are slices also life and career are also a little bit of risk. I can definitely remember all of the, all of the times we can, maybe not all the times, but a significant times of the, the times I failed. And I can also recall somebody few times where I decided to keep going. And I think those times where I did fail and try again, were some of the most rewarding some of these being like some of the, you get the companies I applied to got rejected many, many times. Sometimes I'm like the third, fourth time I would get it.
Great input. And I
Just want to say that you will
Absolutely be roasted later and off topic for this, but thank you for, for sharing your insight. Very valuable. I'm sure Kevin has some, some similar insight due to his experience at Amazon. But I'm sure he also has his own thoughts that transcend just the leadership principle.
He he's already getting arrested a couple of places. It's pretty great. I was surprised that he would say something like bananas. I don't know if I'm going to go by leadership principles. I mean, I have my own one is stop burning yourself out. It doesn't help anyone yourself included. I actually burned myself out to the point. I move it over to Boston and played music for a year while working for another company software engineering still. But that's important.
The other one I always go by and everyone's going to hate it because it goes against everything you were taught, but the grass is always greener on the other side. I follow that Mo I follow that principle because I always chase down the better opportunities, better careers, which is pushing me up in my career on becoming better, because I'm always striving for what's next or what's, where am I at now?
And how do I get to next part? Sometimes that's not staying where you are. So yeah, I, that goes against basically everything your parents said for grass is greener. Yeah, I guess that is bias for action only. Yeah. here it is. Hey, send me, not me. I'm just saying that he's right. Yeah. I guess the third one really is an emphasis on the first, like don't, I don't know, I'd say it. It's a good idea to not put work first because you want to retire, but don't let it take over your entire life, like do other stuff like I'll have fine go learning to fly a plane or go play music or something like that. Stop putting a hundred percent of your life into Lee code or your job at work enjoy yourself. So, yeah,
Definitely. And I just want to point out that earlier you had mentioned in your story that you didn't get the chance to fly planes. Will you fly them now? Right. So that's yeah. Yeah. So you never know that's guys. I
I sought out greener grass got more money than I could pay for a flight school. There it is. You never know what advice or insight you're going to get here. Right. Thanks Kevin, go for, I know you've got to have something
Yeah, actually I think I boil down kind of the two main things that helped me so far, like in my career, in life in general, I think the first one is having a capacity for introspection for being able to like look at my current situation and like, you know, what, what I'm satisfied within what I'm not satisfied with, and then kind of formulating a plan to like, kind of resolve some of the issues I have.
And also just in general, having like a mindset of like personal improvement in pretty much whole aspects of life and not just like carrier and software engineering. But to me, like just continuously like caring and striving to like improve myself has just kind of worked out very well. And I think that combined with like some of the wonderful leadership principles at Amazon that semi pointed out of like trying to, you know, be proactive and put yourself out there. It just, yeah, it has been working out very well.
Excellent input. Thanks a lot for that. And really just generally, I feel like that was a good question. Cause it speaks to, you know, the things that each person here values and what has really propelled them to be where they are now. So, you know, I I'm treating this like my radio show, but if you're listening tonight, you yourself are either on this track or well, beyond this track of being a person with this level of insight into yourself and your career. And it's important that if you don't feel that way yet you're on your way. And that's really what the server's all about. So thanks folks. I just want to point out if you want to ask your question to yourself, I am happy to read your question, but feel free to raise your hand. I'll drop you in the chat and you can share your lovely voice with the rest of us. But in the meantime, I'm going to hop back over here and we're going to take a look at our next question. It looks like we have, let's see here. I'm going to go take a look at this great question from fully asleep at school, which programming language or framework would you recommend learning for the post COVID-19 job market once free for all?
It's all you,
That's a tough question. I think it really depends on your interests. I, I stayed, I did Python before the Kobe and I I still do co still do pipeline. So it's, it's a really tough question. I, I think probably the more, the question that, or the answer to that we should all try to strive for if any, any language, as long as you're working on a project that you're happy with or that you're interested in.
And I mean, it's so secret that like I'm a programming language nerd and I have some languages I greatly prefer than others. But I think in general, if you're just starting out, it's more important to get familiar with Gero programming than which language exactly you're using. I do think it's important to eventually kind of branch out into other languages just because they, they can use very different paradigms and being familiar with the different paradigms can help you even in languages that don't use them like being familiar with object oriented patterns can be sometimes useful in the functional programming context and vice versa.
So yeah, I think any, anything that is kind of anything that will get you to code is probably the thing you should pick.
Again and it said for the specifically at the end, it said for the COVID-19 market. But I had to think about that. And then maybe if, if you are really, you know, persistent or I guess headstrong toward, like, I really wanna work for a company that's doing that does well in a market in a, in a environment like this, then I guess what you could do is just sort of Google and look at all the companies that are doing well, all the stock, you know, just look at the companies that are doing well, that, that have their, their stock prices are going up because of the COVID-19 and see what their tech stacks are and see what they are doing. I take it from there.
Yeah. I think that's super broad too though. Like all those companies, even within one company, they're going to be using a lot of different things. So I don't think that's really dependent on COVID-19 like and honestly, a lot of the companies that were being well before are still doing well now for the most part especially with reopening, like, yeah, I guess what Cassie said, but at the same time in what you're going to want to learn is really dependent on the job and the role and not so much the market. I would say
I will also add that, especially at larger companies, often our interview processes are language agnostic. So my team, for example, it does most of our work and TypeScript Kotlin react, Java, Golang, and Python, but you can interview in any language and you are all treated the same. So the language choice literally does not matter for my team at AWS. And it's true for most of the big end companies. So it's probably as like oversight and Brenda said, pick whatever language, I guess, as what everyone else has said, pick what language you're interested in, as long as it's not something, something like cobalt or like F sharp that no one else uses.
Well. And I think, you know, to, I want to sort of drill down on this very, very briefly and also, you know, quick reminder, we're coming up on nine o'clock and if you're starting to tap out, you're welcome to hop off. And if you're listening, we'll get you that, that log as well as the transcripts and recording for you to, to listen to later. But I think part of the, if we're talking about the nature of the question, I think the nature of the question is, is really asking in your opinion, as a, as a developer in your corner of the market today, based on what you were observing in terms of what is in use, what is on the rise, what is on the fall, what what's maintaining, if you had a recommendation and you can be as specific or targeted as you want to be, what would you say is a good place to start? If let's assume
You have the fundamentals down? Does that question make sense?
Sorry, go ahead.
Well, I would say C plus plus is a kind of a harder one. Like if you say you're like coming out of like a degree with no real C plus plus experience and trying to find a job doing C plus plus that kind of more systems Z programming can be very difficult. And that's something that I run into as an intern, trying to get companies to let me intern in C plus plus was more difficult than in other languages,
No, absolutely. If someone is aiming for these kinds of positions, they should take should try for it, it's it? Yeah. It's just if, if the goal is to get a job, it can be a bit, a bit of a rough one.
And that's something that I wanted to highlight very briefly was, you know, the nature of everybody's careers here, you know, there's some overlap, obviously we have two Amazonians in the house for one but you know, everybody's career is so varied that it can be pretty difficult to assess what is the specific language that is right for you, the individual.
And so the question becomes, who are you? What, what are, what matters to you? What are your goals? What are your values? What kind of career are you looking to have? And you'll note that anytime somebody pops up in the chat, you know, most often semi or gopher, they will sometimes have diametrically opposed views on what languages,
Their favorite at the moment and what they enjoy and what they use at work. And so, you know, here, they're relatively in agreement from a principle standpoint, but for anybody listening, it's important to evaluate, you know, what is it that, what kind of career are you trying to have? What interests you today and let your interests sort of guide you? Because it may turn out that this advice right now to learn node is not for you. It may turn out that you're, that, that, you know, C plus plus person that really loves that optimization that people like Marashi would yell at me for that you should be using Russ for instead.
But the point is that you should know your path by, by essentially making it as you go and take their input here as, as a part of the list of options available to you. You know, you have a lot of choices in front of you. So once again, getting off my soap box is MC
I, I have one thing that by the way I try to stay out of the coding language race because I don't have 40 hours a week to argue on what cutting languages better. The best advice I got and I give everyone else learn two languages, one that you're an expert in. And another one to showcase that you can learn other languages from your expert language after that you should be able to migrate over to anything except for like Haskell. That's kinda my advice.
Yeah. I can see that.
Yeah, definitely being able to show your ability to, to bust outside of your comfort zone and work in essentially a sphere that is not really relevant to your expertise. That's I think the spirit of what Kevin was getting on, what semi expanded on was, you know, for those of you who are very, very comfortable with Python, you know, maybe it's time to put Python down for a minute, pick up Java, you know, or if not Java, maybe one of these lovely, you know, newer languages like rust or something or go back, you know, go back to, to see itself. And and C plus plus or something, whatever will help expand your perspective on development.
Because I think the point Kevin is making is you want to demonstrate your ability to learn something new and that you're not uncomfortable with being uncomfortable in a new space. It's a great answers, everybody. Thanks for for helping me expand on that. So with that being said, I just want to highlight once again, if you want to ask your question directly, we'd love to hear your lovely voices,
I'm going to go ahead and come back to the text real quick. And I see here we have, oh, here's a nice question. Any opinions on the best way to negotiate salary? Most articles say to not say a number first, but I prefer to give a number first on the high end of what I want.
Now this question will come up pretty frequently in the, in the chat. So I think it's actually a good one for us to cover here because you know, there's sometimes some dissenting opinions on what's some good technique and I'm going to narrow the scope of the question to that initial question for your salary. You know, what do you do in a situation where the recruiter or manager is asking for a number and I'll let anybody take this question.
I I guess I'd start out by saying, if you give a range and they get, they give you a number in your range, don't try to increase it afterwards. You'll get your offer refracted. I do research know how much you're worth, how much you're willing to take to leave where you're at. If you're a student, you don't have much wiggle room. If you're happy, if you're happy, where you are you have a lot of wiggle room.
My best negotiation was when I tried to say no. I often say no to companies by giving them a number that I expect them to say no to you. And a couple of times it works. They give me that number Amazon being one basically you just need to back up your number with either evidence or other offers or say, Hey, I'm happy where I'm at.
If you don't give me what I want nicely, please don't say it that way. I'm probably going to stick around where I'm at. Far as numbers go. That's usually based on cost of living where you're at housing where you're at now and where you're going, because you can make $90,000 in Kansas city and go to California and make 110. That's a paid year decrease, even though it's an increase. So factor that into what you negotiate say, Hey, we're making here. I mean, an increase of X at view, evaluate that at cost of living for California. That's why I need at least like yeah, so tips I have basically for that.
Yeah. The negotiating negotiation. When I think it's a tricky one, just because there's, I think that's highly dependent on, I guess, a person's personality because you know, you can't just tell a person to say this and that and expect the same result for two or three different people. When you give him that advice. Kevin basically said everything I a hundred percent agree. The only thing I would add to that, it's just a whatever figure you give, just to make sure it's a number you're comfortable with at the end of the day. You know, you're the one taking the money home. So don't let anyone tell you this is the range you should take, or you should stick with it. If you're not comfortable with the number, then don't do it.
I have one thing to add as well, if you're not comfortable in negotiating, if you're, if that gives you a lot of anxiety that are legit, don't go to the sketchy places, but legit companies that will negotiate on your behalf or they'll tell you what to say and how to negotiate. No. Do all the research for you.
Speaker 3 (02:08:41):
Oh, that's amazing. I was going to recommend taking a master's class with Chris Ross and a negotiation. That's a thing too.
Yeah. And as you can imagine, they're worth their money cause it'll make you more than what they're charging.
One other easy trick is if you're nervous about negotiating just beat it ops obviously depends on how comfortable you are with the recruiter, but if you are nervous it's it's okay. Just to ask the recruiter to allow you to negotiate over email, and then you can take the time to kind of draft your, your thoughts. Most of most companies, especially if they're at the stage where they're giving you an offer are pretty invested in hiring new. So they actually do have a lot to lose to good insight.
Any thoughts from anybody else? Also thought respond to the, how far can you push on these negotiations? It, it depends on your level and the company that you're negotiating with. Most companies, I would say big and companies are, or are very strict in terms of leveling, but their bands tend to be both very high and very broad.
I've seen stories like I I've seen stories of people negotiating basically 150 K year over year promos within the same band, just by a simple email. Within smaller companies, there tends to be a bit more flexibility, both in terms of your leveling and in terms of your actual number, the percentages can vary very widely. And again, the easiest way is still just to have negotiate have competitive offers. It's, it's really hard to push companies to go above their expected range or above their band. But if they really want you and you have something that's hard for them
To kind of convince your wife from then it's, it's possible, anything is possible. Yeah. Thanks for, for taking the question and expanding on it with with that input from, from Johnny beef in the chat negotiations can be tough, especially when you're, when you're newer you know, when you're younger and you're sort of doing this for the first or second time, and you don't really know what you're worth or you don't, you're not super comfortable being confrontational.
I know that, you know, I I'll speak for myself. I won't speak for everybody, but you know, my preference is that I don't, you know, cause conflict. So it can be difficult approaching a negotiation because at the center of it is you disagreeing with what somebody is offering you and you have to, you know, stand your ground and say, no, this is what I'm worth. This is, this is my number. And and doing your best to stick to it. And that can be hard when it's early in your career.
So rest assured you're not alone. A lot of folks here have, you know, they've, they've had either the experience to build up that comfort level or they were tossed into the deep end, like the rest of us. And they just had to negotiate what they could and work their way up the ladder. So good answers. Yeah.
And I like to like add that I've essentially gone through my first ever negotiations for when I was applying for my first job, like six or seven months ago. And no again recently. And w yeah, it was very difficult to like, kind of stand my ground and like, you know, how I had a number in mind, but then like global companies when, like, I agree too, it's it was difficult in the face of that to like, kind of stand my ground, but ultimately I did and it worked out and I think what really helps, like Kevin said is to just know your market really well know what's possible.
What's typical and you know, it, and like can kind of play to your strengths as much as possible. Like in my case, I had, I had a lot of internship experience, so I was able to kind of argue my way into like a, a higher than typical offer for my first job.
Yeah. Thanks for sharing. And that's actually a question that pops up pretty frequently as well. The, the idea that you're not just negotiating for that first job and like getting your foot in the door to the next job, sometimes you're just negotiating within the
Job itself and that's pretty great. So I just want to say, you know, we're, we're, we're coming to a close here with our, with our final question or two we've been here for a couple of hours and I, I want to, again, thank everybody for sticking it out and, you know, chatting with us tonight and vibe, and then we're gonna hit, hit the, hit the crew with a pretty lighthearted, pretty good one here. So we have, what is your favorite downtime activity? How do you unwind after a long day of work? And I'll open the floor up to everybody.
I play way too much games. So that's probably how I do it. Feel free to connect with beyond steam. That's, that's pretty much it I'm, I'm all over the place, but they I'll go home and play drop it. I I play games and obviously I go far my plane after work sometimes, like I probably fly playing nine, 15 hours a week just to make sure I clear my head from work. So yeah, I walk somewhere else away from my desk, start working from home. And then I come back and start like reading or somewhere I'll watch shows or play games or I'll play guitar. So that's the thing. Yeah.
For me, I'm still kind of recovering from the absolute chaos that was the university and kind of how it's rectal to my hobby time. So right now I'm mostly just kind of either playing video games watching anime, studying Kanji because I'm the trash Wiebe or yeah, go like go it's about it or going on the bike ride now that the weather allows.
I have less wholesome Hafiz. I used to play a lot of volleyball, indoor and beach as well as bike a lot used to host a bunch of like dinner parties. And then other than that, I used to drink a lot. So I guess drink it, eat a lot. So like trying out every bar and restaurant, whatever I stay, I'm living in clubbing, hosting parties yeah, stuff like that. Mostly just enjoying the social life of various cities. I, me too, I forgot to mention that because it's been in work from home mode for so long, so I'm definitely looking to it for, to post it. Yeah. Agreed. Yeah. And I'll give a brief answer since this one's pretty, pretty laid back. Yeah. For the most I
I spend, well much of my time here now with all of you keeping trying to keep the chat from devolving into absolute chaos. But generally, yes, I enjoy music production. I did that quite a bit in college. I am I'm a pretty big fan of, of things like basketball. Haven't had a chance to do that in a long time, but that was what I would do before. I enjoy, you know, working out periodically and going out like semi said, when I, when I had the chance with friends mostly when I travel, that's my big thing, but yeah, I, I truly enjoy the, not just the time spent at home, you know, doing the typical things like studying or reading or watching, you know, shows here and there.
I also enjoy going out and meeting people and being social, you know, in small doses and then returning to my layer and recharging like a good introvert. So we're coming to a close here, but we have one more question and no, Nick, I'm not starting a Texas flame war about maps or rockets, but we have our very own, our lovely Jason coming to the chat right now.
No, and we're bringing them in right now.
Welcome to the chat you're muted. And what's your question, man?
So my question is what is the end game in terms of the career path that you guys are on? Cause I'm sure everyone was kind of aware of the age bias towards a younger crowd for most CS careers. It's not to say that there aren't older software engineers there definitely are in higher positions, but you can only have so many principal engineers and so many architects. I don't know if I've seen many 50 plus software engineers on any team that I've worked on.
So the question is like, do you guys plan to keep being software engineers for the rest of your life? Or do you plan on retiring before that, from the big dollars paid by a banana company and so on, or do you plan to go management or open your own business consulting? Like what is your personal end game as you get older and naturally have to deal with the bias in software engineering.
So I'd like to point out real quick. I've seen plenty of people that are 50 sixties probably even a 70 year old software engineer. I hear age bias a lot, but I have not seen that a lot. I mean, obviously I've seen a lot of younger people, but I seen a lot of other people as well. So I hope it's not as big as it is. I don't know what my end game is though. I may stay an IC. I may be a principal engineer doing architectural work. I could be the CEO at some company at some point. I have no idea.
Trim Cassie or Brenda. What do you think Brenda, you wanna go first?
Sure. so gosh, one of my AirPods ran out of battery. It's weird. Hold on. Okay. so I think this is really varied for me. I just like, I have changed majors like five times. I've changed my end goal kind of five times. But I think I kind of settled down on what I want to do. The beginning I wanted to like be an early stage startup and like build it from the ground up and be an executive or whatever.
Right now what I'm thinking is I'm just gonna coast at some large companies and make good money and do what I actually want to do on the side, which tends to be more entrepreneurial and and also more community community oriented. Sometimes those two things intersect. So something like that and maybe build it into my thing with some profit in the future.
So I think that's one thing. Another thing is like if none of my, entrepreneurial pursuits workout, I would probably just soft retire a soft retire from engineering at like 40 or something. And do the things I actually like to do for like part-time and then travel with the all the money that I made only just do like freelance writing or community management for fun. They pay a lot less, but when I'm soft, retired, I won't care and I'll do them. I'll probably maybe like do them part-time and it was just like, relax and do whatever I want with the rest of the time.
Yeah. That's a really good answer. I was, I don't have a fixed end game, but I do know that you know, I finished my master this year actually, and you know, I'm looking, I'm doing research and I'm thinking, wow, this isn't too bad. If I could kind of rephrase the question, I would say you know, the question, say something like, what's your dream, you know, what do you want to, what do you want to be known for?
I think ultimately I want to be able to help people with disability because I have one myself and I, I know, and I've seen it happen to people like disability could happen to anyone for any reason. There's like no rhyme or reason to it. And if I were to be reborn into, you know, a new life, I want to be in a place where it's more, it's less hostile to people with disability. It's more, less of a taboo and more friendly. Like it shouldn't be like, oh, difficult to find a job just because you have a certain disability or you know, so I want to kind of remove the barrier for people with disability.
Great answer. Thanks for sharing that.
Yeah, they can, can go ahead. For me, I'm like not interested at all in management, so like to, to remain in tech, I would have to remain the individual contributor. But obviously my plan from the beginning, from even before university was to achieve financial independence and being able to retire early.
So like, I can't know for sure what I'll do in like 20 years, but there's, there's a good chance that I'll retire entirely from tech as a career and like just kind of focus on hobbies or whatever. And then tech like programming will just become another hobby again. I could see myself just doing open source contribution just, and working on whatever I want to work on rather than, you know, whatever I'm paid to work on.
I think for me, in terms of long-term mission kind of echoing what cassy said. I, so my, as a pre-med, I really wanted to get insight to psychiatry and I still think that ultimately, if everything goes well, I want to see myself building something that helps, I guess, bring people together. Especially since I think it's one of the most critical issues of today's times. We shouldn't talk about politics or anything, but I still believe it's one of the biggest issues facing us.
If not though, it'd be like, yeah. I think I'm in a pretty comfortable career. And I think I would like to see how far I can go, whether that's climbing the management chain or just trying to see what impact I can make on other people. And yeah, that's kind of what I want to see, but let's be realistic. Take us pretty comfortable. And maybe, maybe I just started coasting. Maybe there's a, not to like roast companies that say joining Google
Or like Microsoft and just enjoying work life
Balance. Maybe it's doing quant finance
And selling out. So who knows?
Speaker 7 (02:25:37):
Money is always a good answer.
Yeah, completely understandable. I'll be brief on mine. My my original plan coming into this field was to sort of recapture something that I had lost growing up, which was my love of invention. You know, growing up, that was one of the things that I love to do is building things, sketching out ideas for concepts, things of that nature and attempting to implement them with whatever scrap I had at hand.
So coming to this field and realizing that I can bring to life ideas through essentially the written word was just something that was really profound for me. It was profound for me as a kid. I lost it a little bit and I recaptured it coming back into the field later in life and my law. So my long-term goal is to essentially reach a place where I'm able to create tools, release them into the world comfortably, without worrying about my ability to take care of, you know, my mother and my brothers, my family at large, and making sure that I can continue to, you know, lift as I climb cause that's one of my principles in life.
And so that's ultimately, I know that's not a very specific answer, like become CEO of a startup or something. But in terms of general life principle, that's what is really core to me. I could see myself, you know, assuming discord is even here in 20, 30 years or whatever we move on to. I could see myself continuing to do this kind of work and service for folks.
Speaker 7 (02:27:27):
Yep. That's exactly how I feel. And that's, that was my whole thing about soft retiring. I want to do more like direct contributions to the community. And that's really always been my goal in life to make great communities and just do good things.
Yeah, definitely. Jason, I hope that was a good answer or set of answers really for you. Thanks for, for reaching out and, and raising your hand for us. Cool. So we have one more, we're actually gonna do something a little interesting here. We we actually have a response from the crowd and we're, we're going to try and experiment with this. We have our very own PSI, one of our, our, I don't even want to say senior developer that undersells it.
She brings a lot of great content and input to the server and we just wanted to hear some of her thoughts real briefly, any minute now.
Sorry. I did not realize I had, I did not realize it was an accept button there. So as I said, my name is Sai I'm relatively new to the server, but I'm a staff software engineer you know, one of the big companies. And so I wanted to speak specifically on besides question on age discrimination.
And obviously I'm not there yet. I'm still fairly, fairly young myself, but it's, it's a topic that I'm pretty highly invested in myself because this is something that has that definitely worried me a lot more when I was younger. But there's a lot to the term of age discrimination where it's sort of has gained an ethos around it or sort of like there's this like trout of assumption or sort of say just from people assuming a lot of things.
I don't think I can ever guarantee you to anybody that there is no such thing as age discrimination because it's just like any sort of discrimination there's always going to be saying that there is none of anything is, is extremely hard to prove, let alone extremely hard to even justify saying, but I do want to sort of caution too, a lot of the younger folks who sort of hear this kind of thing about age discrimination, age discrimination, age discrimination from all over the place, right?
Like, you'll see it on say Reddit or you see your talked about within your peer group or you'll see, you talked about even in a news article, right? I do definitely think it is extremely overblown in terms, especially in terms of the causality that people are assigning to it.
Because when you hear about people, a like an article that says there's age discrimination going on there, your arguments are generally along the lines of 7% of developers on stack overflow survey are responded to, they were 45 or older there that doesn't necessarily imply causality that, that there must be a, some age discrimination bar or companies are actively her discriminating against people over 45.
I'll give a couple of reasons as to that could also help heavily explain that number, right? One of them being the fact that CS has grown so fast and, and, and, and so much of a loss over the last 10, 20, 30 years, the amount of people that work in this field now are easily 10 X, if not more than what it was say back in the, even the 99 dot com boom.
There, what that really means is there's just not that many 45 plus year olds, often engineer just like this, not going to, because to be that old and in software either you're relatively new, which is, which is, you know, career switch has happened, but it's not the most common thing. Or you're been around in the industry for 20, 25 years, which just is not the B due to the relative youth of the industry. There just isn't that kind of years of experience talent in terms of numbers compared to something like, you know, finance or law or something like that, where it's been around for a hundred years.
Another possible reason for this, this idea that people that are older, people can't be software developers could just be. You're the pay is pretty good, right? Like even, even, even if you're not in big end, right? Like, as people have said multiple times throughout the, throughout, throughout the night already, the is off your engineering across the board, even at companies, you know, in like a low cost of living area at a more average company,
You can hit six figures, you know, something.
So some mid career, without that, without like struggling overly hard, or at least it's a, it's a lot easier in this industry then than compared to most other ones. What that means is you have a lot more financial freedom. And I think a lot of the people who moderators and admins who spoke about their experiences with wanting to say retire early, or be financially independent, the amount of the pay that happens in this industry allows you to do that. So there's people who don't necessarily want it. To continue to just pump code out as they're at, you know, eight hours a day, 40 hours a week for another 10 years after the original for say, 20 years.
All right. Even if you don't want to go into management or go into leadership or going to a staff role, or are you in a senior role, you just may not want to do the same thing for that long. And you have the money and the financial capability to be able to have set yourself up to not have to do that. So it was, I just wanted to sort of sort of point out that I think there is a lot of talk about age discrimination, but there's not actually that much. I I'm careful that words here, but I don't want to say it that much evidence because, you know, there probably is some sort of evidence,
But there just is so many others for reasons I can explain or help to cover up that gap. And I personally am not too worried about the, about that the concept of, of, of say getting older and in doing so, because to me, I think of it from a business perspective,
If you were, if you're a 50, if you're, if you're 45, if you're 55, whatever, whatever age that you're thinking is too old software engineering. If you do say a mid-level work and you don't want to be a leader and you're happy,
Are you taking the mid-level market pay for that, be that like 150 hay or a hundred K or 200 K depending on where you are and what company you're at. And you're okay with that. There's no real reason for it, for a company to
Say, I don't want this person, if you're a good engineer th regardless of the age, I like part like there's, I think that's one of the sort of nuances that happens in software with that lessens the blow doesn't it, to remove it for a lot of these supposedly discriminations that people overly worry about, which has just come out,
Not you it's bad business to discriminate. And on and on. I think in the end companies want to make money, which is why you see a lot of diversity, inclusive inclusivity, and belonging initiatives and in industry now, because there's a lot of history around discrimination, a lot of history around these kinds of practices, but it doesn't pay to do that.
And any good company doesn't, you know, you don't want to make decisions that are, that are bad for the company. And it is a bad decision to not hire someone who is qualified and who wants to do the job. So, and that kind of that kind of anti-discrimination and good work that people are putting in to make sure that this is not a problem, or at least is much less of a problem. Moving forwards is pretty hopeful in my opinion, because it's definitely moving in a direction. That's a, that's pretty good. I think
So as always with great input, and I just want to, to highlight again that, you know, this, this is a trial run. And so having somebody come forward with input to help us test out this format is really great for us and side. You know, you, you touched on a lot of great issues that will likely spark a ton of questions across the board if not in, in chat tonight than in an AMAs in the future. So I just want to say thank you for taking the time to articulate your thoughts and expand on the topic that we had before. Yeah. I'd like to second that as well. That, that was great. Thank you.
So just in general you know, maybe I'll apply to be official contributor, but label or not. I don't really care about that. If anyone ever has any questions to ask, feel free to ask me, I might not have the time. I may not. I think a lot of people know I'm kind of like in my last week or two of my, of my job right now, which is why I have more time to sort of interact with like an online community here. And I probably won't have that once I start my new job in two weeks, but I do sincerely love just helping people and answering these kinds of questions for everybody. Mentorship is one of my favorite things about the job that I do. So if anybody has any questions feel free to ask you, I, I try to answer the one that I can.
Nice. Beautiful. Thank you. And, and I want to also point out a quick aside, you know, we're going to, we're wrapping up here for this evening. W I believe we have a couple additional thoughts here before we wrap up, but I just want to very briefly touch on the fact that we have contributors here and, and senior folks and people who continuously give up their time and volunteer their thoughts. I know that to some, you know, folks who have a surplus of time that hang out here in, in CSH is, you know, it's something fun to do. It's, it's a luxury, right? But taking the mental energy to, to volunteer, speak your mind and share and engage in long-term, you know, that's, that's what, what giving back is all about. It's going beyond your personal needs and giving to others. And that's something that we really value and appreciate here.
So I just want to make sure that, to those who are listening, when you're here in the chat, when you're talking to these people with these senior tags, are those who are speaking their, their thoughts to you, you know, just be mindful of their time, be mindful of the questions you're asking, be thoughtful, as thoughtful as they are, you know, meet them where they're at and be cognizant of the fact that, you know, you might not get the exact answer you want now, but in time and through further discussion, hopefully your answers will be will come to light. So we're coming to the end here, Brenda. Kevin, did you have any additional thoughts that you wanted to add before we wrap it up?
Yeah, I guess I could take over here first and foremost. Thanks a lot. I probably can speak on behalf of everyone. That was great. You're absolutely wonderful hosts and I hope you keep doing this for us. Yeah, this was a lot of fun. I loved all the questions we are learning right now. This was a trial that lasted 200, two hours and 45 minutes so far. Plus our 30 minutes beforehand. We are going to be doing more events in the future. We want to do something like office hours where you can join and ask questions questions like this, or questions for your career advice or programming or interviewing and things like that. Ideally we're going to be doing that once a week.
We're also looking to do more of these AMAs. We, I we've had thoughts on doing happy hours for the server game nights and our stage events, so we are going to be having more of these. So we're sending out feedback. We'd love to have your feedback on what you would like to see and what we should do next and also remember to do the notification as well, so they could see when these are starting we'll have a schedule at some point. Yeah, so that's what I have
Yeah just to kind of reiterate what Kevin said, this was really awesome. FF has been an amazing host and thank you, everyone who is here speaking today for ju like being here and hearing your perspective. It was really great to hear everyone's journey and everyone's thoughts. And this was super fun. So can't wait for the next events we'll have. And to also reiterate what I said in the stage chat I will be posting one big message with all of our announcements from the beginning for anyone who missed that. And yeah, I guess that's it.
Yes. Thank you everybody. Thank you for participating, be on the lookout for those notifications, as, as was mentioned before you know, the feedback's gonna be very important for us, obviously, quite a few of you have popped in and popped out. Some of you joined early and have stuck it out all the way. We appreciate you. Those are shut up in the middle. We appreciate you as well. You know, we're doing this for the listeners, we're doing it for you. And so you make this have meaning in the first place. So be sure to leave your feedback is sure to talk about, you know, things you'd like to see in future AMAs.
One of the things that you want to see the community do, how, how do you want to see the community develop? And if you can drop that either in event feedback or in the form, that would be helpful, we'll be announcing a future. We have I believe we have a couple coming up, but the details will be disseminated to everybody who has those event notifications tagged in the get roles channel. So be sure to get that if you want to hear about future ones. And once again, thank you everybody for your time. Enjoy your weekend.