Software Developers Journey Podcast

#100 Tim Bourguignon is a guest on his own show


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Tim Bourguignon 0:00
I'm actually not doing it for the listeners. That's the secret sauce. I'm having so much fun listening to the stories that I first and foremost do it for myself. I get people from around the world from completely different cultures, to tell me about them for an hour, although they know me at all, most of them have probably never heard of a podcast before. And this is this is just mind boggling for me. So this is the very first the key element. If there were no listeners, I think I would continue doing it. Because this is just so much fun. And I learned so much for my own sake and for my own story through those discussions. Hello, and welcome to developers journey. The podcast is bringing you the making off stories of successful software developers to help you On your upcoming journey, my name is Tim Bourguignon and today...

Amitai Schleier 1:04
hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, whoa, well, well, Tim, it's not all about you on developers journey. I know that you've interviewed a lot of other people, and you like to be the one that hosts the show and yada, yada, yada. But today is the 100th episode of developers journey. And I thought that I would just drop in here and turn the tables a little bit and flex my elbows as the rude American and just say, Listen, man, let's let's have me interview you today about your journey. How's that sound?

Tim Bourguignon 1:39
Oh, boy.

Amitai Schleier 1:40
Let me try and give you a little a little intro. So when I'm doing other things other than hijacking the show, Tim is the host of the show. Tim is a passionate software developer who found love and human connections. And when he's not knee deep in an IDE... trying to picture that... you will find him simply talking to people and sometimes doing both at the same time. Tim, welcome to developers journey

Tim Bourguignon 2:05
Very, very nice to, to be there. Thank you.

Amitai Schleier 2:10
Welcome, welcome. I hope to make you a little more comfortable here. And listeners. If this is your first show, I recommend starting with a different one. But other ones. So this show is to help listeners understand what your story as a developer look like, and how to imagine how to how to shape their own story and road future. So let's go back to your beginnings. Tim, where would you place the start of your developers journey?

Tim Bourguignon 2:34
Actually, my father is to blame for that. If you're listening, Dad, it's for you. I was I was born in the 80s. And so I got interested in the, in the whole computer thing he and by the end of the 80s, and all my friends were getting Nintendo, so the NES systems, and of course I wanted to have one as well. And my father said, No, no, you can only play with a sink. This is dumb. So we're going to buy a computer Then, of course, he bought a Macintosh, which was a fine machine, I must say. But there was no games. So I spent my first years just screwing up with the machine, just trying to do things with it because it was really interesting, but not playing at all. And the first games I got were LucasArts games, the Indiana Jones series that was back then it was only in English. So if you know me, I come from France, and I was not 10 years old back then. So I, I sat with a dictionary and trying to decipher with all these characters were saying and started tinkering around with this game and was the Macintosh at all. And this lasted for a few years until we got our first windows 95 pc where I spent most of my childhood, tinkering with a thing, changing parameters, and having to reformat the whole disk every three months because I screwed up with the parameters too much. I guess that's the third beginning of my life with computers during high school. I was mostly interested actually in architecture, and I wanted to become an architect.

Amitai Schleier 4:03
You mean the real game,

Tim Bourguignon 4:05
the real game, the one building buildings. And an internship when I was when I was 13 or 14, convinced me that it was a dumb idea. That wasn't what what I was after. But I guess the idea of building things stuck. And I started playing around that was the first language was basic on the on the Texas Instruments, pocket calculator, and we spent time at school, not listening to the teachers and programming stupid things instead. And that was really the first the first get withdraw into software development, I would say.

Amitai Schleier 4:41
So there are a couple of things there that that jumped out at me. I'll stop you there. As the host of the show. It's my prerogative to tell you when it's time to stop talking, if you really want to enjoy this. I really enjoyed it. So two things I noticed. We have a lot in common. we've crossed paths many times. And one of the ways that we didn't cross paths was through this architecture idea. But it happened for me, my father was an architect when he was working. And it turns out that his specialty was historic preservation and restoration. And it turns out for me, I wound up doing software with a specialty and legacy code, which is basically the same thing no matter how much I thought I was going to do something different from my father. So that's one thing, a point of point of similarity. And another you mentioned, basic on the TI graphics calculators. That was also it wasn't my first programming language. But it was the first one when I would stay up late at night, to do in high school, and actually got involved with an online community, my first online community, the first web page I ever made was lists of sites where you could download programs for your tailor calculate. Yeah, so just, this will come back and forth as our paths cross again. But so do you remember where you're going with your story, or should I ask you a different question?

Tim Bourguignon 5:58
No, that's fine. That's fine. This architecture thing that so that's interesting because I've thought about it. A lot of time afterwards, when I started doing software architecture, I think the story came back to this building things. So I changed field, but I continued doing the same kind of stuff. When I applied from an engineering school, which I did in France, I wasn't sure where to go, I had an idea of then going to aeronautics, but the idea was building things. Again, it's only at the end of college. So University, that I really embraced the computer science stuff and discovered that I could do architecture actually, from this. And so that's that was the subject of my major in college in software architecture. And that's really where we're where it all started for real, where I really stalled, okay, now, I think I'm gonna go in this direction for real and earn a living out of this, but before that there was really not the idea. I would say that

Amitai Schleier 6:58
makes sense. Yeah, I think for a lot of us We those of us who were lucky enough to grow up around computers, we never imagined them as careers. We just were drawn to them and spend time with them. And lo and behold, turns out that seems like an economy that pays for geeks to be geeks, which is happy, good luck. But, you know, I didn't I didn't have a plan for it either. I just I feel like I've had good luck. So speaking of going back to the beginning, I feel like we should mention on the hundredth episode of this podcast, the story of this podcast, at least a little bit. So how did you come to developer's journey in its current form? And how did it even start to begin with?

Tim Bourguignon 7:39
So let me brush real quick about what happened between between the end of my studies and the beginning of the author's journey, and then we can get to that. I started my career as a consultant and I've been a consultant for actually most of my career. I jump different branches and when you do a to automation, so software for automating factories, I did some medical, in radio on oncology. But at Siemens, I worked for various different projects as a consultant. And what I discovered was that in every position, I took over role I took, I always started as a developer, and then drifted into something that had a connection to humans. That is as a as a kind of consultant inside the company for a different project group. It can be its team lead or as a tech lead, then later as a scrum master or coach. It's always assaulted as a developer in the tech side and then drifted into this human side. The beginning of this podcast is exactly the same story again, it was in 2014, I was consulting for a bank I was on as a technical product owner to creating the base layer for an application that was going to be reused over different applications. And I was put in charge of the hiring process of the dude The bank wanted to scale up their engineering effort. And so I was put in charge of pre interviewing people. And after 20 job interviews, and wanting to refuse reject every one of them, we thought something was wrong. And being humble enough, we first searched the problem on our end. And so we picked up our phones or I picked up my phone and started calling people that I knew from conferences, I was pretty active on the conference circuit, but then, and I started calling the speakers, well known speakers were up, from my perspective on a pedestal somewhere up there, and asking them well, when you are searching for somebody, when you're searching for a good developer, what are you looking for? And besides getting fantastic tips and tricks on how to do interviewing, which I've gotten way better at now. Not asking these dumb questions and trying to actually make people Do some whiteboard exercise anymore. I got fantastic stories, do stories at some point it stuck me it's I need to record this. This is just fantastic. I was kind of still fixated on the idea that in order to be a computer scientist, you had to study computer science. And that was the first thing that struck me is none of those people that I called, had a computer science degree. And that was the first step on the long journey to get to your question does this was 2014 and the first episode came out in 2016. So I've started tinkering a bit with the idea, doing some more interviews, doing way longer interviews, doing interviews in German, because I live in Germany, doing interviews in French to see how that goes. I'm doing scripted interviews, doing freestyle interviews, and this freestyle interview style is the one that stuck is the one that that felt the most interesting, as you may remember. A guy he called me Ty was different. first guest that was ever published on this podcast then your interview. So it was a was the first interview it was a bit longer. I think it was an hour and a half and shortly after reduced it to the 45 minutes. That's the usual format of this podcast.

Amitai Schleier 11:15
I would imagine that there was there was immediate feedback that came in and said, That guy was not nearly interesting enough to listen to for an entire hour and a half. Absolutely.

Tim Bourguignon 11:23
I never invited him again.

Amitai Schleier 11:27
Thank goodness, dodged a bullet there. But so, gosh, I have a lot of directions. I could go I don't have a lot of practice doing this kind of interview thing. I hope this is okay for your listeners. I have so many directions I could go one is you mentioned that you will you're from France, your name is French. You live in Germany. And somehow we are conducting this length of this interview in the language of my choice which is English. Where did your comfort with English come from? Other than games when you were a kid in France? Well games when

Tim Bourguignon 11:56
I was a kid It really started there. If you wanted to play games back then you had to learn English. So it's really where it all started. After that, I guess since I blame my father in the beginning, I'm going to blame my mother now. She's a speech therapist. And I think that's during my childhood. I tended to see movies in in their original language with subtitles, because this is very subjective. I never really spoke about this with her, I should maybe, but mom, if you hear this, we need to talk about that. I think she can read the lips. And I think it just was painful for her to read something and hear something else. And so I think we saw only movies in original with some subtitles, hollywood being what it is and many movies being out there. I think I listened or watched many, many movies in English and so well, it had to come and go It had to develop and develop itself. I remember when I was 14 during a trip to Scotland with a family and learning English, there very intensively. And then during my university time I went and work for Siemens, that was my first contact with Siemens in Chicago in Illinois, and stayed there for for six months and learned even more English and it's it's stuck. And so when I decided to run the podcast and then to start the podcast, it was pretty much a no brainer to try and go for for English, even though I would say my German is almost better than my English now. And at least it's easier for me to speak German the whole day and continue speaking German in evenings. English was no brainer because I wanted to, to get at the the whole world and get the diversity of profiles and not just Germans on the show.

Amitai Schleier 13:57
Makes sense. I remember hearing a couple of those early German interviews, my German is not ready for primetime, or really, I will need to work on it because I will be spending more time in Germany in the near future. But a couple things in common with us again, I'm from the Chicago area. And I don't think that I was there anymore when you were there, I think I was out and about by then in the New York area, but that's another area of overlap. Another one is that English, French and German are all languages that I have some of I don't think I can qualify on your level, but English is native. I studied French, probably just about fluent in high school. I was we had a very, very good teacher. And then my German is enough. The way I explained it to people, if they expect me to understand I won't and if they don't expect me to understand I will.

Tim Bourguignon 14:49
You're dangerous enough. I know you.

Amitai Schleier 14:51
Yeah. It's like that. It'll have to change. But so that's that's part of what I'm asking is I'm going to need to learn something from you about it. Something else that I'm thinking about So the story of the podcast, how it came about, but also, maybe lessons from the podcast. Not exactly advice, but just what are some things that you learned along the way about podcasting or about yourself? Or about the interview process? or really anything to do with with this thing that you started? Huh?

Tim Bourguignon 15:20
The first thing that comes to mind would be listening. I wanted to I wanted to have a very loose coupled interview style. So not scripting anything. Not preparing many questions, not pre priming the guests. I really wanted to have this this honest emotional discussion. And and when I throw some curveballs, or when I ask them some questions, and the guests stumble a little bit, it's it's not played. It's really it's really how it is. I I didn't prepare any I did prepare some things and I have some questions always in the in my back pocket. And that came, I can use them and I, I prepare in and read the BIOS and stalk the guests a little bit and research bit on them. But I try not to use this too much and the guests are definitely not prepared. That gets a couple questions for me to think about their journeys. But those are definitely not the questions that I will ask. It's more along the lines of what were the biggest decisions you had to make or which are the stories your West tail, etc. But so this this idea of really getting in the moment and following the flow only works if you're listening correctly. And if you if you are attentive and deep listening to what the person is saying and not all the time trying to think of what you could be saying next to appear smart. Sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn't. I have a few interviews where I know I was tired and because I Record pretty late in the evenings to get on to get guests from from the US. So it's a it's 10 or 11pm. here when I start, I know sometimes I am a bit tired and I, I realized that this deep listening is not working as fine as it could be. But that's that's one of the good sides actually of the corona epidemic. I'm working from home and I can record during that date now, which is way better. But anyway, so this deep listening is really, really hard and it's something I really had to work on. And I think it's working way better now. It's through almost 100 shows. It works pretty well. I also have some some questions I know worked already in a different interview, and so I can, I can reuse them. But this dip listening was was one of the biggest things I learned. And the other thing I was thinking about was along the lines of giving out without really expecting anything in return. This is because this is the life of a podcaster Today, I would say there are a few percent of podcasters who have a community and, and get feedback all the time and, and are really deeply involved. But the vast majority of the 90 something percent of the rest of podcasters it's more of a single men show a woman show, you're doing things on your end, you get some feedback sometimes, but most of the time you don't. And you cannot even dream of making a living out of it. Some some do some pay the bills, the hosting bills, etc. But making a living out of it is really, really completely differently. And so it's really giving out and I never expected to get back so much in human contact in experiences with people in, in discovery, discovering different cultures and having having fantastic talks with people and then developing friendships with people that I didn't know anything about before. forehand and this decision was really a discovery on my end as well. I didn't expect that. Yeah, that would be the two main aspects that I

Amitai Schleier 19:09
discovered. So it sounds like if I can practice my own listening, it sounds like your process for interviewing was mostly intuitive. And I can I can concur. You're not prepared for the questions I'm asking because I don't even know what questions I'm asking until. But it sounds like you, you did try to inform your intuition beforehand about the person so that you were primed? A little better for a little bit better questions. So that's one thing I heard you say and other is this deep listening idea which requires your energy and attentiveness and sometimes when you can't bring that the difference is noticeable. But when you can, it seems like that was a set of skills that you would say are more honed now than they were before. I'm wondering a couple of things about that. One, do you see it paying off outside The show itself, I imagine so, and two are either of these or maybe something else. I want to just prime you with this question to come back to later. This is from a podcast called greater than code, I'm going to borrow one of their million dollar questions. So think about this one. And then I'll remind you the first question, what would you say is your superpower or maybe what would other people say is your superpower? Now the question that I'd like you to answer first is, how has this deep listening practice from the show paid off? Otherwise?

Tim Bourguignon 20:31
Well, I'm earning a living as a coach. And so my, my day to day job is, is getting people to talk. So for me, for me, it's it's obvious that they said pay off. I get to listen to people and get them to talk and tell me about what they think their problems are and then by quite often, just Amelie Watch out. This is this is an insider secret, reformulating with What I just heard, I steer them in, in rethinking what they just said.

Amitai Schleier 21:04
So what you're saying is it works to reformulate what you just heard to steer them in what they're thinking. I just saw what you did. Yes, it does.

Tim Bourguignon 21:15
Exactly. And this is this is my, my job as a coach is reformulating, getting people to think back about what to say. And if we reached an end in this thinking, then just push back on one element or expand the discussion in one direction. And this is what I do as a host. So, yes, it did bleed out in my day to day life.

Amitai Schleier 21:37
Okay, so let me let me double back then. Would you say that deep listening is the thing that other people would identify as your superpower? Do you think other people like when people put him on a team? What exactly is it that they're hoping to get? Or when people put him on a team? What do they get the most of that they weren't expecting

Tim Bourguignon 21:58
either of those. It's probably one One of the aspects, but I mean, truthfully, it would be the aspect or maybe that's the one that painful, but it's not the one that really works. I guess the one that really works is that I am somehow and I have no idea why or how maybe that had, this has to do with my, my cisgendered white, male, nice people, or at least people in our industry, I able to relate. And somehow I am able to, to convince people to follow me and to try things and to to step over the edge and do stuff that they thought wasn't necessarily possible before, because I'm there beside them to do it. And to to to, to reach over the edge. They they're convinced to try. So the listening and and skill is, is mandatory to getting there, but I think it's still Not the the key skills in itself. This that makes some kind of sense,

Amitai Schleier 23:05
it makes a lot of kind of sense to me, I have a lot of similarities to you in this regard as well. I'm wondering if this relates to so that your answer to your superpower or one of the superpowers or what what somebody would identify in you that they're looking to add or what they think they want and what they actually need, that you provide them. All those different variations on the question. I wonder if that all relates to this pattern you mentioned earlier, where many times you've started in the developer role, and then drifted toward a role where your ability to bring out the best in interactions with other people became more important that I mean, that specifically wasn't what people were looking for. They were looking for you to be a developer, and then they realized they had something else. What How do you account for that shift? And is it still happening?

Tim Bourguignon 23:55
Well, up to now I mostly described it as I'm a crappy developer. And that's why I take over different jobs.

Amitai Schleier 24:03
Excellent coach answer. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 24:07
No, I think there is something to it. I think there is something to it. And it still happens, although now I tried to get it backward. So because now I get hired to do the squishy stuff to do the, the more psychological stuff and the more team oriented and collaboration oriented stuff, and now I have to work to come back to the technical side. But that's put apart I think that's, that's, that's correct. I, I tend to drift naturally toward this. I fought to get against it for a long time. I quit jobs to come back to software development, and six months down the line that was exactly in the same place, just in a different company. But I think that's that's still happening. I get hired as a coach and then I drift toward where Somebody is needed to move the needle. I really have maybe it's, it's my job as a consultant, I really fit into a box and stay there. I most often than not start as something and a few months down the line I identified where there was a need, and I try to get in there and 100% of the time it has to do with people makes perfect sense

Amitai Schleier 25:23
to me. So I'm thinking now about this podcast again, I keep doubling back to it. Because 100 episodes is a lot of episodes, you had kind of an iterative process of discovering what the podcast want it to be first, talking to people conferences, realizing it's recorded, doing some some walking, walk casts, and then finally landing on interviews in English with developers not longer than 45 minutes. You're welcome very much for that one. And so I'm wondering if along the process of what has become a little more linear, I would say from the outside, where you pretty much know how long it'll be you know that The format or lack thereof, people kind of know what they're getting into because they can listen to 99 past episodes before they come on the show. Was there any point? Or has there been any point or more than once? Has there come a point where you wondered whether this was still paying off and you should keep investing in it? Or has it always seemed like once you got into this pattern, that this is a good pattern. Keep going, huh?

Tim Bourguignon 26:23
That's, that's interesting. My first answer to this would be a first timer to go on attentions. I'm actually not doing it for the listeners. That's the secret sauce. I'm having so much fun listening to the stories that I first and foremost do it for myself. I get people from around the world from completely different cultures, to tell me about them for an hour. Although they don't know me at all. They did. Most of them have probably never heard of a podcast before. And I reached out to them and we started Talking and then they tell me about their story for an hour. And this is this is just mind boggling for me. So I love it. So this is the very first the key element. If there were no listeners, I think I would continue doing it. Because this is just so much fun. And I learned so much for my own sake and for my own story through those discussions. So it's an alibi to be able to continue hearing do stories.

Amitai Schleier 27:29
Okay, so then that raises another question. I was wondering, and you started to answer where your guests come from. And as a fellow white sis head guy, which again, is I get listened to more than I sometimes think I deserve. And I have to imagine that that's a lot of why. One thing that's important that I feel is important in my role as a person with some influence in our field. Hopefully not too much, but I know that I have some and some influence in every place that I go to visit as a consultant is to share this privilege that I have, as best I can. And one of like, for example, if I'm a conference organizer, which I have been, if I just naively look in the networks that I defacto belong to, by growing up with computers and being a white guy. What am I going to find? I'm going to find a lot of people who are similar to me. And I didn't do anything to share this privilege. Now, I tried to be more deliberate about it than that. But it sounds like you are specifically very deliberate about it with this show. And I'd love to hear more about how you find the guests that you get.

Tim Bourguignon 28:34
Yes, I'm trying to be steady, bright as I can. I'm sure there are some biases in there that I haven't caught up with yet. But I'm still trying. So for instance, I'm deliberately looking at the gender statistics of the podcast and I realized in the first season, the first two years there was one season that they were very, very few women. And so I think Try to correct this. And for 2020 it's looking very good. So it's not quite at 50%. And me being on my own show is not going to help. But it's it's close to 50%, which is, which is fantastic. And I explicitly started to look for guests from Africa. I had no developers from Africa before 2020. And so I really was intentionally looking for that. But still, there are some blind spots and and i think i don't have any person of which will be transgender. I'm I'm doing my best but yes, I'm really searching for that. And how do I search for people? Mostly online, mostly Twitter. I'm really looking for people who are saying things that I find interesting. Then I have a whole database of names and and once in a while, I'll look into there and say, Okay, now 90 new guests would be interesting. And I started researching for people and say, Okay, what do they have to say? Well how does their journey look like? Do we have to look like they have a different journey? Something something interesting? Are they polarizing online? That might be a hint for for people who are we have strong opinions and try to see who could be interesting then look at how they speak English and if they would be able to to hold to it it's not always easy but some people I think have a very interesting profile and then their English is not not as good as I would like it to be so sometime I saw soldier go for it sometimes not. And the last thing is, I get some referrals so a lot of people will suggest names and say, Hey, you should speak to this person. You've been guilty doing this quite a few times and for the better I would say and yeah, so I get I get a whole a whole bouquet of guests like this, some with very strong followings. I think of West boss, for instance, who had 200,000 something followers and on Twitter and and some who are not on twitter at all. And I guess this is important as well to highlight both those different stories. So yeah, it's a it's a balancing act

Amitai Schleier 31:16
of a takeaway. Yeah, if I, if I restate if I use this technique of inform you today, where I restate what I just heard, it's like, what's important here is not that you have any particular success metrics that you're nailing it on, although they help you to maintain an intention. What's important is that it would be very easy, by default, not even to have this intention, and you have it and you check it and you feedback with yourself about it. And the show is better for it and your experience is better for it. Is that right?

Tim Bourguignon 31:47
Yes, it is. And the I would say the the really only success metric I'm following is am I still having fun with this. And as long as I'm having fun with that, then then The rest, the rest follows or doesn't itch. I just don't care about having so much fun listening to the stories. And I think there is a, there is a group of people out there who are interesting, interested as well. And the download numbers and the comments and the feedback tends to say that's the case. It's never going to be a serial level of podcasting with hundreds of millions of downloads per episode, but that's the one I'm shooting for. And so I have my success metric with is really having fun and sharing it at the same time, and trying to make a splash in our limited area of influence in this industry, and try to push the needle toward more diversity, more acceptance for older profiles, then this broad culture that I've experienced, I'm sure you've experienced it as well.

Amitai Schleier 32:52
Yeah. So I mean, I definitely benefit from sort of being able to pass in a bro culture but it is not where I belong. So I try to use that belonging when I'm giving it in much the same way that you have. I'm thinking now about another way that you have lent your privilege more specific way, which is, you recently had Harold Ryan Gruber, on your show, and he is doing a coding tour now. And you also hosted me when I was going on a coding tour a couple summers ago 2018 at your employer, and I'm wondering, I mean, at the time, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world that if if somebody that I knew and had just presented at a conference with and we had become friends because of the show, actually. And so I felt like I had a connection to you. But it wasn't necessarily a foregone conclusion that any company would invite me for a week, even if you don't have to pay a fee. Still just to have a stranger come into your company, it could be extremely disruptive. And you were instrumental in making sure that I had a place to go for a week when it came to my Thema and redheads. So what was if you remember, what was your thought process And what kind of pitch or persuasion did you have to make internally to have me be allowed to come?

Tim Bourguignon 34:07
That's a good one. So the the internal discussion I have with myself is easy. I've I have yet to be disappointed when clashing two brains with one another. Sometimes it doesn't stick and sometimes the discussion is not as great as it could be. But almost every time I got fantastic things out of discussions with people, and so any occasion opportunity to experience something else with somebody else, it's just it's just golden. So when you ask if you if I knew where you could land in Germany and do this tour, it was obvious to me Yeah, we need to get you because I will profit from it and I wasn't really in the office when you when you came but I am most of the my colleagues are going to benefit from it. They're gonna have a world class coach with them and somebody with a different culture and who's going to ask questions differently. This is this is absolutely golden. And this is the same thing with always Howard, when I see him going out of this comfort zone and going to us or trying to go to us I think that was his trip was a bit disrupted by the corona epidemic. I think it's, it's the most important thing. And so if I can move the needle and help in this regard, of course, I want to do it. Same thing for the podcasts if I can help people listen to all the stories and something else and what they're used to, then then I go for it. That's, that's obvious to me. And how did I convince my boss on my company to do this? Huh? I'm able to remember doing anything special. I remember having some discussions about it, but I guess it's the the trust I've built over the years, I reached a certain level in the company where where I can really whisper in the ears of our CEO and CTO and etc. I have a cc level title myself that has to do with with learning and training. And so I guess it's more more mostly trust so when when my boss heard Okay, let me tell you could come and work with us. It was mostly not obvious to him, but but I guess he trusted me that there was something to take out of it. And this has been built over the years have been in this company for more than eight years. We have a long connection. Yeah, I don't remember doing anything special beside then the the legal stuff because we have some some client work at our companies that we had to get some MBAs and stuff but that was just the organization of stuff. The the psychological part of it, I think was was okay. You remember, definitely,

Amitai Schleier 37:01
I don't remember a lot. I remember not being surprised that if you decided I would come that your company would have become. But I don't think I knew the story if there was a story of how it happened. But so I think another way to characterize what you just said, I'm really liking this trick is not that you did nothing really, but that you put yourself in a position over the course of many years, where any particular wacky idea doesn't necessarily have to be proven to be tried by your leadership. They're willing to say why? That sounds a little strange to me. But if you think it's a good idea, then let's try and that's not nothing. That's a sustained effort. And it's also very coherent. It sounds like to me, the way that you mentioned this podcast is something that you keep doing because it's fun for you and that's your success metric. And that if you can share something about it with other people, that's rewarding as well. That to me coheres Exactly with how people like us get into programming in the first place, and how people like us get into coaching in second place, we find ourselves loving the thing itself, time goes by, code goes by days go by, we forget to eat. Who knows, I don't have that anymore, unfortunately. But but that's the fun part that gets us so into it, we learn new things, we put new things to use, we find ourselves able to solve new kinds of problems. And then we want to share that and that's the that's the programming part and the coaching part that you and I also share. And it's it fits exactly with this narrative that you're telling in your podcast episode on

Tim Bourguignon 38:38
very well observed maybe two to two to do a double loop. You asked me for my superpower, and one of my answers was I'm somehow able to convince people to follow me. And I think that's part of the answer as well. In this case, I know I built trust with my boss for for a long time and we've been working on this for For a long time, explicitly, not just implicitly, but it it's also part of a picture. I seem to be convincing when I want to try something, and not convincing people to do it on their own, but convincing to do it with me. And that's that's one of the paintings I, I refer to quite often that's the the Liberty Leading the masses. I'm not sure how the the the, the title in English pbft Ghidorah popular. The people are living beating people. Yes, it's a painting from from from the French Revolution was this woman. McGann who is leading the people on the barricades. That's really how I see my role as a leader being there and leading leading not necessarily by doing all the work but at least being in the middle of it in the midst of it and sweating as much as the other There's even though they might be doing the work of me. I think this is one of the one of the things people can relate or tend to relate to is leaders that, yep, that are there and not just talking to talk, but also walking the walk. And with my boss, I think, over the years, this is what would have been working.

Amitai Schleier 40:19
So we've been talking to talk for about 45 minutes, and I'm gonna try to walk us through this episode, and try to wrap it up here. So one thing I know that you like to ask your guests on your show, is for a piece of advice, and it sounds like we may be almost we're coming to some, or maybe you have something entirely different in mind. But for those who maybe are practicing developers or practicing coaches or interested in becoming developers or becoming coaches, or maybe some other role entirely, just anybody who might be listening to this, and maybe particularly interested in your point of view, because you've brought out so many other people's points of view What would be some advice that you'd like to share?

Tim Bourguignon 41:03
Obviously, I had some time to think about it. And my advice wouldn't link completely to the discussion we just had. But but i think that's that's the most important advice I give my mentees, and we didn't talk about mentoring. But I have a few mentees and mentors myself. And this is the advice I always come back to. So I guess that that's the one I'm going to pick for today, which is along the lines of you are at the steering wheel of your own life. If you don't do anything, then life will happen by default. And this is, in my opinion, the worst thing that can happen. I have yet to see decisions that are really irrevocable and cannot be overturned and changed. There are some hard decisions definitely and there are some some that can be really hard, but this is not the norm and so most of the decisions we face on the day to day basis. Even if it's moving to a different city, even if it's changing jobs, it's changing industries, etc. It's all things that we actually can can walk back on our own. We are very, very lucky in our field of expertise to be able to do this. And so my advice is always to really be at the steering wheel and decide where you want to go and try and get out of your of your comfort zone and do things and try things. I know it can be scary. I know. Sometimes you don't know if it's gonna gonna work out or not there. I tend to say if you don't know if it's going to work out, then then it's probably a good thing to try. If you already know if it's gonna work out. Then you're not trying far enough away from your comfort zone. So it's get out and try get out and do things and try to live your life as Yeah, as if you were the driver. It's not just passenger watching things on

Amitai Schleier 43:00
That makes sense. Terrific. Yes. Yeah. So if listeners are hoping to take your advice and avoid doing nothing by default and having whatever happens happen to them, how can they continue this discussion with you where's the best place for them to go?

Tim Bourguignon 43:14
I guess, hitting me on twitter would be the best. The best place to type is my is my handle t i m o th EP, which comes from Timothy and he must have which is a French joke on an Asterix movie anyway. And if you look hard enough, on my website, I have a link calendly invitation to book a spot with me and then get talking if you need to talk if you want to talk. So that could be an idea, as well.

Amitai Schleier 43:46
And I assume that people don't have to be recorded to talk to you. They can just have a conversation if they want to. Absolutely,

Tim Bourguignon 43:53
absolutely. That's how I meant it.

Amitai Schleier 43:55
Greg, do you have anything coming? You want to talk about the virtual conference talks or Anything else going on? Actually not.

Tim Bourguignon 44:02
I cleared out my agenda for the rest of the year. We just had a new baby. And so I decided I should pull out a little bit on the conference talks. So until the summer is going to be going to be easy, but you can go on my website. And if there's something you I will post it there. So that's would be the best way to see if I'm going to be able to travel some at some point.

Amitai Schleier 44:26
Yes, hopefully all of us. Congratulations on the new baby. Thank you for letting me try something bold and hosting this show. And this has been another episode of developers journey. I will not see you next week. It'll be back with just Tim hosting somebody else. You're welcome. And you can see each other then, bye.

Tim Bourguignon 44:49
This is Tim from a different time and space with a few comments to make. First, get the most of those developers journeys by subscribing to the podcast with the app of your choice, and get the new episodes out to magically right when they air. The podcast is available on all major platforms. Then, visit our website to find the show notes with the old links mentioned by our guests, the advices they gave us, their book references and so on. And while you're there, use the comments to continue the discussion with our guests and with me or reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn. And a big big thanks to the Patreon donors that helps me pay the hosting bills. If you can spare a few coins, please consider a small monthly donation. Every pledge, however small helps. Finally, please do someone you love a favor, tell them about the show today and help them on their journey.