#19 Manuela Rink on being an iOS developer evangelist at Microsoft
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Tim Bourguignon 0:00 This is developer's journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon. Thanks for joining. And Good evening, everyone. Tonight, I have a very special guest, just called Manuela. Hi, Amanda. Hi, Susan. Hi. It's been a long time preparing this, uh, this interview, we have had to postpone a few times. But I'm really happy that we are finally here and recording this.
Manuela Rink 0:30 Yeah, completely my fault. I'm so sorry. But we scheduled for today and I'm so lucky that it worked out.
Tim Bourguignon 0:37 Yeah, I'm as well as well. Um, we've worked a couple of times last year together. Actually, we we met in June, I think last year, as we are a common friend. And we recorded Channel Nine video last year, a streaming video. That was our first contact. And since then we've been chit chatting and discussing a lot of things and I thought you would be a great, a great guest on the podcast. Yay. say a bit more about yourself where you come from, what do you do? Because you have a pretty, pretty amazing position. And we'll just kick off from there.
Manuela Rink 1:14 Okay, so um, yeah, I'm on. I'm basically from from Austria. I'm in kind of x pets here in, in Munich, in Germany. But actually coming from Austria to Munich. It's not that much of a cultural shock, such as the beard. It's better.
Tim Bourguignon 1:33 I use it.
Manuela Rink 1:35 Yeah, I said it. Oh, my God. I'm so sorry, Austrian guys. You have really you have to catch up. yet? Okay, so, so, so much to be here. I'm, I'm a techie girl. I don't know. Since I can think I guess my first contact with computers. I hit that about the age of 10. And this was end of 80s. around. So see, 64, for example, was the thing back then? And yeah, I don't know. It just started the magic. And it didn't wear off until now. Huh, cool.
Tim Bourguignon 2:17 And when did you start getting serious about
Manuela Rink 2:21 getting serious? So um, the the couple of years before I graduated from high school in Austria. I already focused on computer science we had I should explain this, some some special courses, which you could, which you could book. That's cool. And jack, we had programming there. With Pascal, for example, in delfy. I don't know if you remember those old times. Loop loop back round yellow funds. Those those from the beginning. So I suppose when I was age 1415. Yeah. And then, as I said, the the magic didn't wear off. So after school, I decided it has to be something with computers. What I want to study, and then I'm started to study technical computer science. I don't think that I would do this. But yeah. Having having the basics and yeah, knowing Computer Science from the ground upwards. didn't hurt, actually. Yeah. And then after studying a couple of years mardana had to I entered the, the business out there. And yeah, I had some already some stages from little company to big company to middle company to try and company where I'm at currently. And yeah. So, um,
Tim Bourguignon 4:03 you've been doing Pascal and Delphi, but you've been doing other languages, right?
Tim Bourguignon 5:07 I just I just know you from the from the Objective C and swift scene. And I was surprised to see your handle. In Java chick was what? You had a past which was not swift and Objective C. Yeah.
Manuela Rink 5:26 It's a dark one and it's a quite enterprise one actually. Because right after university I started working at some Akiba. Most people don't know this company, but actually they do because they are the ones who assemble the touchups. Yuan, for example, in a lot of self service, machines in banks, for example. Yeah, so there is a challenge challah basically, and wrote UI based testing framework. So sounds pretty cool efforts. Back then it wasn't that cool.
Tim Bourguignon 6:06 really is.
Manuela Rink 6:09 And this is this is actually how I started into the towels. And this went on to the next company I entered because in a big company right after right after university, it was kind of it feels like being stuck somewhere to be have not not any influence within this company. So just get an order. process this order, get the next one. So yeah, it wasn't it wasn't colorful. I always say my I want to have my word colorful. And this wasn't colorful at all. This was gray and black and dark. Okay, they're in? Yeah, I went over to a company with just 10 employees. But the super interesting thing was they had super, super giant customers, like, a lot of ministerium. So a lot of governments in Austria, for example, the Department of Defense, the first iopener, so the biggest field, one of the biggest steel production plants. It was the patent. European agency. Yep. And yeah, I did visualizations in Java. In swing. Yeah, for a couple of years in this was exactly the time when iOS and the whole mobile world started to get somewhere. So you, if you saw that it wasn't just a just a trend, sort of business evolved out of this. In I, I still have the feeling but back then I am, I really realized it that you can put the software you wrote before and the use with keyboards and mouse, you really can touch it with the touch device. And having a smartphone, which you which which is kind of attached to your body. And write software for your own super personal device and then be able to really, really get a grip on it through really touch it. This is this fascinated me from from the first moment on and this was the turning point where I thought, Okay, this this enterprise stuff behind the customers is super interesting. But we only wrote software for, for for a bunch of academic knowledge groups who use this. And with the mobile worlds, you had the broad open because as soon as you have an epic store, which is visible. And then you have hundreds, thousands or millions of users. And this was so so exciting. And this is why I took the step and move to Munich and became an iOS developer.
Tim Bourguignon 9:11 So that was the job before your last round of 3d development only.
Manuela Rink 9:19 I did iOS development because I was super interested in learned a lot. I went over to to our ship architecture ring, the whole ecosystem around it. So the app is mostly just a little parts of them have a big software business in them. I did a lot of architecture work there and I started to be responsible for the iOS team at the company I worked for. So this is how I got in touch with the management position. So because it was had a virus suddenly that which was exciting in some super great, but made me so anxious at the very same time, but I think this is this is completely normal when you when you get thrown into cold water again, because it was completely unknown territory. You are the boss of someone of 15 people. And yeah, just make myself very humble, I guess. So the atmosphere
Tim Bourguignon 10:28 isn't something you enjoy doing?
Manuela Rink 10:30 Yeah, I was I was biased, I guess because I'm on the one hand, it was super exciting to be responsible for the forthcoming have such a lot of great minds. And to see them evolve as you get the possibilities to do so. And on the other hand, I always had the feeling I'm failing and constantly failing. I'm doing everything wrong. Yeah, so I yeah. There was the, the two hearts. So the one constantly varying the other one constantly cheering. So it was balanced, I guess. But I'm being completely overwhelmed by yourself is a pretty good thing, though. I guess. because it keeps you keeps you on the ground and makes you think every time I rethink your, your decisions and reflect on what you're doing
Tim Bourguignon 11:25 completely out of your comfort zone. But the final two are to learn and, and then stay on your toes. Yeah, yeah, let's go. That's a perfect point. To me.
Manuela Rink 11:37 It was young, but um, later on the verka had to do shift it a bit too much. That's why I'm, I guess this position up. Because I'm, as as I told you, right in the beginning, I'm I love technology, I love coding, I love I love building things. I love understanding complex things. For example, when when you see something and you have the feeling, oh my god, I will never step through this, I will never cope with this. And after doing a lot of love, and blood and blood and a lot of little steps. Suddenly you you achieve this goal. And this is what I really love to do in tech. And this management position was shifting into a direction was, which was not right for me at this moment. Because I would have to leave a lot of time for tech behind and to really focus on the management part. So it was no 5050 anymore. It was more of a 7030 more to an 8020 not being able to do tech anymore. It really started to hurt to see that your own team is doing the epic shit stuff. And you're filling. I really yeah. So it's, it was not right. Right, that but it felt like just filling up extra sheets. The other people are doing the great stuff. And that was the point where I saw Okay, it's not right anymore. It was right. And it was super exciting to be able to walk this path with all those great great guys and girls in the team. But when it really get unbalanced, I thought, Okay, this is the point where she has to do something else. Because otherwise you're stuck here. And you're regretting this in a year or two or five, or in 10 years, and you're looking back and then you're one of those people who say, Oh, yeah, I was used to coding too. And I thought, it's not time for me to say this.
Tim Bourguignon 13:50 Yeah, I totally relate to that. I had exactly the same experience. Okay, before switching to my current company, I was working for Siemens, and I felt myself completely drifting into management as well. Okay, two years, I said, Well, no, I'm not ready for that. And I switched to a very technical company. And it's two years of pure technical stuff, drifting in management again. And now I embrace that, and then it's doing really great, but at that time, it wasn't ready, either. Um, but let's focus on you. Then you made a pretty interesting move after
Manuela Rink 14:30 the move actually, wasn't that interesting? Because I still think it was just coincidence. I wasn't looking for something like that. What I'm doing right now and for the listeners, should we keep the secret? So when I when I really felt this, the position I'm in is this doesn't fit my my expectations anymore. Is it doesn't the Fit to my, to my passion, which which is currently driving me young I decided to quit and joined another company where my husband and I had the super, super great opportunity to start a new tech areas, a whole new division in after starting by the beginning of last year, we got kicked out three weeks later, because management decisions and cleanup in hierarchy, and so on and so on. So our new division, which started with four people, was canceled out of the of the organization. So having decided that my current job isn't what I wanted to do, starting with another challenge, and then get get cut off with this challenge was quite hard, actually, really hard. And when I'm looking back, I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me, because at this point, I really had the opportunity to think about what it really wants to do. So this was not just okay, I want to be more tech, I can build up a new division for mobile development there. So now I really was there with empty hands, and had to make up my mind in which direction Should I run? And this was, yeah,
Tim Bourguignon 16:29 good, good.
Manuela Rink 16:30 And this was was quite freeing for minds, in them making. making myself I'm kind of kind of nervous because I've never been to this to this position. But it helped a lot to really make up my mind in which direction I I will go in the in the next few years.
Tim Bourguignon 16:52 Is this is this a process that you realized while you were living it? Or is it something in retrospect that you can relate to right now,
Manuela Rink 17:03 this is definitely something in retrospect, because when I was in this situation, I was just them. This happened to you who wants to do something, and someone else decided that you're not allowed to do this anymore? And now you're there with empty hands? so sure. I never make I never was anxious that I that I don't find another job. It was just what do you do now? So are are you going back to coding? Are you looking for management? Nope. Because this is what you really realized that you don't want to do right now. in the mail, where do you want to go? in them? Because the possibilities out there are so broad. It was a really tough time for me to to figure this out. Where a month ago.
Tim Bourguignon 17:57 But you did find out?
Manuela Rink 17:59 I did find out. But as I said before, it was a complete coincidence. Because when I when it applied to my current position, the title is quite esoteric. I think I was I yeah, I, I couldn't, I couldn't really get a grip on the position itself, by by just reading what you have to do. It just sounded cool. Because you can detect you can do communities, you can do prototyping, you can do some partner work with some super early stage development tools. It was It sounded like cutting edge with a safety net and meet a lot of people on your way. And it's very, very exciting. And that's why I applied to this job. And I thought, hey, this sounds good. And let's see if the if the expectations get fulfilled by the first interview, and yeah, it's worked out pretty well. It did.
Tim Bourguignon 19:06 Yeah, no, you have all the listeners on on the chairs, waiting to know what you think you're doing your background in iOS and mobile and all this stuff. You must be working for Apple right?
Manuela Rink 19:20 By now, I know everybody has googled me and found me on different platforms. But I'm a technical evangelist at Microsoft.
Tim Bourguignon 19:32 No, wait a second. It just doesn't doesn't match up. You're doing iOS. You're still doing iOS,
Manuela Rink 19:38 but I'm still doing iOS and Microsoft. That, huh? How does this work out? It works out pretty well because a lot of tech companies out there a lot of the big end kind of the old and ancient ones. Realize that just selling their own products in their own in their own ecosystem doesn't work out anymore. And Microsoft saw that just selling licenses of different products version of a version you for years after years doesn't work out anymore. That's why the whole company started opening doors. And yeah, that's what a lot of people are. A really big crowd of people is feeling that, um, there is a lot of change going on with Microsoft, what we are doing this product with open source communities with community work for itself, and how the strategic the strategic position of the of the products is changing. Yeah.
Tim Bourguignon 20:52 And what does a technical evangelist actually do?
Manuela Rink 20:56 a technical evangelist. I used to say that I am taking the developers by the hands and walking the first cumbersome hurt hurtful, and maybe maybe we're losing a bit of blood. The first steps with them in Guyton, the best I can to make their way into this new technologies and handle the new technologies. so smooth as it can be. Yeah, so I kick start them in a very nice way, I hope.
Tim Bourguignon 21:35 Okay. And how did that this this is work on a day to day basis? How you going from company to company speaking with developers, or how should I picture this.
Manuela Rink 21:47 So this is a little part of it. So I'm working with partners too, on, on, on little workshops, with some, just a bunch of just a bunch a bunch of attendees. But most of the time, I'm doing the Baroque Baroque evangelism, we're calling this. So I'm going to conferences, I'm going to meet ups, I'm going to user group meetings, and so on, and talk there about the stuff which I'm really enthusiastic about. And this is always based on mobile developments. Because this is for my, for my hotter heart, it's really being far. And then I'm looking for the connection points to the Microsoft technologies. Because every mobile app, for example, or most of the mobile apps need a back end somewhere. And Microsoft has Azure with such a broad offering of different services, or your iOS app wants to do some fancy things or some some very useful things for for accessibility. For example, there you have to Cognitive Services API's can detect faces, you can make speech to text text to speech, you can search in a very meaningful way you can try to understand the emotions, which are in a text, for example. So there is more and more and more, but my day to day pay on a day to day basis work is really to have a look at the mobile ecosystem. And that's from the Microsoft world sisters, because it's and when it fits, I do talks about it, random rods, demo codes, and that's basically it blog posts and interviews with some people like YouTube.
Tim Bourguignon 23:52 Okay, and did you do that kind of public speaking before? Before coming to Microsoft?
Manuela Rink 23:59 No. I always wanted to, um, I was talking at, I think, one meetup and one conference before entering Microsoft's so really out there. But for once, I didn't have time because my trip was really very time consuming, but this sounds like an No, like everybody says, Hey, I have some time you can do this. But I actually didn't, didn't see this back then that this is so important to share your knowledge to share your pain, actually, what you've learned from failing what you've learned from succeeding with people out there and to get better through sharing. Because a lot of steps think so what what I experienced that when they go out there and say, hey, look there. You can do this in a really cool way or ran against the wall there. And this is how I recovered and succeeded anyway. So to tell their stories, they think they are making others better than they are. And that the others had a competitive advantage, then it sounds weird, but I think people are, are really anxious to to share their own experiences. Because they're really afraid that someone else can use this knowledge in a better way or Yeah. Like like themselves. Or they are shy.
Tim Bourguignon 25:37 They're free to, to show their their weaknesses. And so say, Well, this is what I was trying to do at work. I have 10 2050 people, maybe more. And how was this four step? So he said, you were at a conference or you spoke at a conference on meetup before? But this first step on the stage? How was it?
Manuela Rink 25:57 Yeah, I was sweating, my heart dropped the typical symptoms. But I, I survived. And this is, this is what what I really can tell everybody, everybody who really tells me, hey, I want to start speaking to method Hey, why don't you I have this in this in this meetup. I can put you on the agenda. Let's do it. So it's really just doing it and yeah, you you will fail, you will be shitty on stage. Oh, yes. Don't, don't don't care about this. Because you have to start somewhere. And you're getting better. And, yeah, there are those natural talents out there. They just put them in a group and someday they will entertain the whole room. It's okay. But you don't have to be this natural talent. It just have to have a lot of a lot of enthusiasm about something. And this is what really keeps the people listening to you. I think
Tim Bourguignon 27:02 I have experience with speaking about your own experience, I've realized that this is what people most get get them most, the biggest high on? Yeah, I've been I've been doing a lot of talks, sometimes speaking a little bit experience and sometime going really theoretical, but even deeper, really deep, but but theoretical on some subjects. And all the topics where I speak from experience are just going bananas. I don't know, it's really something.
Manuela Rink 27:36 Yeah, I can totally agree. Because, um, think about yourself, when you're sitting in the crowd, in a conference and a meetup or wherever. And you hear somebody speaking of something which happened to him or her. This is always personal, because failing or succeeding is attached to emotions in both ways. And when when those people are talking about those experiences, the crowd can feel this. Because this is completely authentic. This is not something a summary about some technology I read about. And that's why I'm here and I'm going to bring this topic closer to your attention. It's really talking about what's happened to somebody. And this is thrilling. I think it is.
Tim Bourguignon 28:31 And since the timings running, I really want to ask you this question. How's it being a female speaker in the tech industry,
Manuela Rink 28:42 it's like being the super colorful unicorn in a in a in a good and bad boy, all at the same time. Because you get a lot of attention, which is positive and negative. At the same time. I was at a conference two weeks ago, and I swear, I swear I was the only woman there except from the service person. And this this, this was very strange, because you mostly have some some female listeners and attendees. Or somebody from organization. I don't know. But yeah, I was the only one. And this is not not so cool. So those those situations really made me realize that we have a problem here. But this problem is totally solvable. So this is nothing I really worry about. Because there are a lot of people out there a lot of women out there who really want to do is first step. But as we said before, they're just anxious to do this. Because, oh, I will talk to just manager Hey, don't worry. Men don't show emotions when you talk to them. But hey, they listen. They really listen. And you get the cool feedback afterwards. It's It's thrilling. It keeps you going. And it keeps being a challenge, I would say. But it's fun. It's really fun. If you love tech you, you're meeting so so many like minded people and if they're male or female doesn't matter, because when when you meet something you share a Really? Yeah. Share enthusiasm on on a topic then doesn't matter at all. Yes, you have the awkward situations where things are happening, which won't happen to a to a male colleague, but they're getting rarer and rarer. So we're in a good way, I guess.
Tim Bourguignon 30:48 I sure hope so.
Manuela Rink 30:49 Yeah. But
Tim Bourguignon 30:52 I hope you realize yourself kind of role model. Now, right?
Manuela Rink 30:57 Yeah, a lot of people are telling me this, but but but it doesn't feel like this.
Tim Bourguignon 31:00 Cool title.
Manuela Rink 31:03 Hey, I'm a technical evangelist. female. Maybe I should add this to my, to my to match up description. Female technically.
Tim Bourguignon 31:17 You shouldn't do you shouldn't do
Manuela Rink 31:20 that. That was a TLR.
Tim Bourguignon 31:22 No, but that that's, that's a big problem. We are running a couple conferences, the company before. And when I look mostly part of the committee's program committees, and we'll look at the submissions. I'm always bashed the very little amount of submissions we get from from speaker Renan hajikko were female speakers. Even if we wanted to have more, more diversity than we have to go and get get female speakers and reach them personally. which is which is always a hard work and hard to to. To manage. It's doable, but it's still hard.
Manuela Rink 32:07 Yeah, because they're not not so many of us. When when I think back to university with my, in my year, when I'm when I graduated, there were one other woman and I don't know 15 men, so it doesn't get better over the years, right? Because a lot of a lot of women are dropping out of jobs or pausing because of family and returning to something which is already hard, is even harder. So I can understand every woman who says I want to focus on family or I want to work in a in in another branch of business because this is just hard in them life is hard enough. Why should I make my my world even harder by running into stupid, awkward and nerfing situations.
Tim Bourguignon 33:09 But also situations that make your attendees and yourself grow in an exponential manner. Yeah, absolutely. You stocks it's just amazing how much cooler
Manuela Rink 33:19 huh? Yeah, and I'm getting the feedback from the from the listeners. And it just has to be one guy or one girl which just says Wow, this was great. This inspired me that then then you then you want you're instantly won the whole challenge because because you stood there and inspired somebody else by what you are doing by just being yourself and this is just great. And that's why we're doing this right
Tim Bourguignon 33:49 yes, that's what I'm why I'm doing it so that I can totally relate to that. The worst talks I did where I felt like completely bombed and it was not interesting at all. And it gets just one comment from a person Listen, some sparkle in their eyes and say well this was great. Yeah, everything is forgotten. You still know you've messed up but but at least you were helpful to somebody and that's that's all we are there for?
Manuela Rink 34:14 Yeah, absolutely. couldn't have said it better.
Tim Bourguignon 34:17 Oh, thank you very much. Unfortunately a time is running Is there something you wanted to talk about did we do we miss a subject can we miss something miss miss a turn somewhere?
Manuela Rink 34:32 basically not um all I really want to say is that um, we need more speakers out there who really love what they're doing and people out there when you love something get out there. Just do it. Just go in front of really like minded people. They don't fight. Nope. Nobody's hating anybody. And if they do the community will will deal with them. We will kick them But but just with the BP price, and you will see that it really pays off, you will grow, you will grow more than the listeners. And it helps everybody.
Tim Bourguignon 35:15 Amen to that.
Tim Bourguignon 35:17 Hmm.
Tim Bourguignon 35:19 I couldn't have said it better.
Manuela Rink 35:23 So much love.
Tim Bourguignon 35:25 So much love tonight, that's really great. I say I don't have my unicorn, oh, I see it, it's back there.
Manuela Rink 35:32 God, I just have a semmering ape. But I don't know if this is counting.
Tim Bourguignon 35:39 Definitely something, unicorns are better. But But um, so we reached the point where I would like to offer you the opportunity to plug anything, do you have some conferences coming or something like that
Manuela Rink 35:55 I'm actually I have something we will launch a virtual format, I would say. But it's actually a challenge. It's called mission to Mars. And this is a one day workshop, which will take place in a couple of different cities two times over the next three months. So we will have two, two workshops in Munich, two in Cologne, two in Berlin and two in Hamburg, and one in cars who so wherever the people are, there will be a workshop near them. And what we will do there is get hands on the basic level on IoT, on serverless, computing, and on cognitive services. So you will leave the room after one day, having touched all of the cool tech topics. And I can just get started with it afterwards. So its mission to Mars. And I can send you the link that you can put it put it somewhere afterwards in the show notes. Yes. Yep. And yeah, it would be super, super great if we have a lot of a lot of attendees who want to get first touch on those on those technologies. So because they experienced one will maybe just bore bore themselves to death because we will start at a very basic level. That's and this is a really good opportunity to have a guided entrance into just topics.
Tim Bourguignon 37:29 Some kind of free free workshops.
Manuela Rink 37:31 It's completely free. We have we have snacks there, we have coffee, we have drinks, we have good entertainment, I hope so. It will be a lot of fun and really hands on tickets. It's not just somebody stands there and just talks to people. It's always a little intro and then hands on workshop. So the people have to coach by themselves. And we are there as as as coaches to help or help if needed.
Tim Bourguignon 38:00 Sounds cool. Sounds good. Um, yeah. Can you send me the the CDs as well the the link maybe the cities on the link so I can all that nationals.
Manuela Rink 38:10 Okay, yeah. Anything else? Actually, no, that's just everything, I guess.
Tim Bourguignon 38:18 Wow. That's
Tim Bourguignon 38:19 really that's really good. I think we ever finally have our episode. That was great. Thank you very much money.
Manuela Rink 38:28 Thank you, Tim. It's really really lovely things. We can do that
Tim Bourguignon 38:32 anytime. Oh, to speak more about doing iOS at Microsoft.
Manuela Rink 38:38 I'd really love to and I think we can fill a whole episodes just with the ordering process at Microsoft when you need apple.
Tim Bourguignon 38:49 Okay, yeah, do we have legals just let them get legals on that and then we can talk. Good. was great talking to you money.
Manuela Rink 39:01 Thank you. You too.