Software Developers Journey Podcast

#192 Julianna Lamb is running headfirst into challenges


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Julianna Lamb 0:00
It's the people that you work with matter a lot more than many other things. And I think it took me a little while to actually realize just how true that was. I think I've heard that advice from a bunch of different people. And I was like, yeah, like, sure, that definitely matters. But I want to be like working on a cool product. And, you know, I want my like, work itself to be super exciting, which I think does matter. But there's always going to be, you know, hard days in whatever you're doing. And I think what gets you through that is, is working with people that you feel like are, you know, leveling you up challenging you and that you're excited to learn from? And so I think looking back, like I've definitely, I think, stumbled into really great environments and companies, but I don't think I was like, necessarily evaluating them on the people that were there. And I think that is like one of the most important criteria when you're trying to figure out where you should be.

Tim Bourguignon 0:58
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building your own this episode 192, I receive Julianna lamb, originally from Idaho, and I now know where Idaho is. Juliana is a former professional figure skater who studied computer science and history at Stanford, where she also started racing triathlons, after having worked at Strava played and very good security. She's now the co founder and CTO of stiff platform for us infrastructure and passwordless authentication. And by the way, she also upped our game. And now races I remember. So wow, Juliana, welcome victory.

Julianna Lamb 1:46
Thanks for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 1:47
It's my pleasure. And I'm bowing in front of the Ironman runners, I've done my fair share of off trail races. And that's the process. That's awful enough already. So Wow. But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up, if you would like to join this fine crew, and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests, then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info, and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. The show exists, as you know, to help the listeners understand what your story looked like, and imagine how to shape their own story. So as always, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start after your death journey?

Julianna Lamb 2:49
I would say when I was in sort of elementary school, you know, maybe six or seven. I remember getting really into this like math olympiad thing. And I had a math teacher who I think just identified that I enjoyed math, and it was a strength of mine. And she just really went out of her way to give me more opportunities to sort of challenge myself and learn more outside of just like our day to day sort of math classes. And I think that sort of sparked this then like sort of experience throughout sort of early schooling, where I spent just a bunch of time sort of outside of school, my mom invested a lot in making sure I had resources to like, learn more about math and spend more time on things outside of you know, just the basic sort of school curriculum. And so I think that was sort of the first time that there was, you know, maybe some spark that there's some career ahead, that is going to be like math and numbers oriented, I really enjoyed a lot of the problem solving aspects of it. And what also at this time, you touched on this in my bio, I was really into competitive figure skating. So I spent, you know, most of my time outside of school training for and competing traveling for skating. And so I think you sort of saw these two paths and sort of develop in parallel from the time I was, you know, maybe six or seven until sort of later in middle school when I started to be like, 1213, etc. And there was really conscious decision then of do I go down the skating path and really make that my life and, you know, kind of do schooling on the side, do some homeschooling move somewhere else to train more intensely, and really, you know, go after the like, Olympic dream, or do I say here in Idaho in school and sort of go down the career path of going to college and doing that? And I remember spending a couple months like talking to my mom about this and do I really want to give up sort of all I have with school I really enjoyed it. And I had friends here and it felt like I was on a good path, but I also loved At the same time, and I think it became pretty clear that going down the school path was what was right. For me, I think I had ambitions that I don't think would have been satisfied with skating, it can be sometimes a short lived career to where you know, you're peaking around age 20, maybe, and then you sort of have to come up with your like, after skating adventure. And to me, it felt like this going down this path of focusing on academics and sort of seeing where that took me made a bunch of sense. And so I kept skating, but that was kind of this like, big fork in the road where I did it more for fun. You know, I continue to compete at a pretty high level, but definitely not at like the highest level, which I could have done if I had chosen to go all in on that.

Tim Bourguignon 5:48
Gotcha, gotcha. I'm gonna make enemies here. What did you do right to not end up as either a math teacher or an accountant, you said you were interesting in numbers?

Julianna Lamb 5:58
Yeah, so I actually thought I was going to be an investment banker, my mom was an investment banker, which is why that made a lot of sense, I didn't just pull that out of nowhere. And so that's sort of the path that I thought I was gonna go on throughout all of high school is, I like math, finance, has a lot of numbers, right? This makes a lot of sense. My mom did it. And it sounded challenging. Like she got to meet a lot of interesting people work on hard problems sort of consistently. And so I think it's probably pretty clear from a lot of this background that I really like challenging myself and run headfirst into new challenges. And so that seems like something that would satisfy my sort of love of logic and numbers and continue to challenge me. And so I actually went my freshman year to Georgetown to their business school because I wanted to study finance. And so I thought that was this path that I was on, I was like, going to do the like, finance interviews and go and do the Wall Street thing. And I got there freshman year, and I saw people a few years older than me going through that sort of interview process for their summer internships. In one end, it was really competitive. And it felt like maybe not sort of competitive in the way that I enjoy being competitive, which is kind of with myself, I like to always really push my boundaries. And then the other piece is that they were like, congrats, you tested out of all your math classes. You don't need to take any more math. And I was like, wait, I'm here to study, like math, I thought that's what I needed to do to get a finance degree, I had not really researched what that actually was like, it just seemed like a good idea. And so I'd made some friends who were taking a computer science class, and I was like, oh, that sounds fun. I've never really heard of computer science. I grew up in a ski town in Idaho, we don't really have too many software engineers walking around there. And so I hadn't really been exposed to this concept of computer science before. And friends were taking it and as one doesn't College, kind of follow your friends around. And so I was like, Oh, I'll do that for an elective that counts for something seems like it could be fun, took the class absolutely loved. It was like this is super challenging. I feel like I'm learning something new every day. It sort of satisfies that, like logic, numbers, excitement that I had, and decided I wanted to go all in on it. And so I ended up applying to transfer to Stanford to study computer science, because Georgetown didn't have an engineering school. And so that's how I sort of ended up in computer science. I think I'm pretty lucky that I found it when I did, right. Like you, I think you only have so many sort of clear turning points in a career and getting to discover it freshman year of college is a really opportune time, because you still have four years of dedicated study ahead of you. And I think part of the reason that it made a lot of sense for me to do that switch is I was looking at this finance career. And I was like, Okay, I could still maybe see myself doing that. I think there's a lot of really interesting parts of it. But if I study computer science, I can always do that later. If I study finance, I'm not going to get to go to Computer Science later, or it's going to be much harder to do so. And so I think one thing I've liked focused on a bunch, I think, throughout my career is keeping as many doors open for as long as possible until you feel like really strong pull through one of them. And so I think computer science was something I enjoyed it was I think this is like 2011. And definitely the tech industries is really starting to take off at that time. I remember like people talking about like, we're launching and there were all of these, like, I think sort of the 2010 startups really starting to get big. And so I was like, that could be interesting. I could still do finance. I can do all of these things if I study computer science, so it was Yeah, both a good fit, but and also felt like gave me so many options that I could choose from down the road

Tim Bourguignon 10:05
and being in Stanford. So it's a really in the eye of the hurricane of the startup world. Examples everywhere I remember traveling to San Francisco actually Sunnyvale for business trip a few years ago, and just going for a run around and think I know this company. I know that one. I know that one. I just started playing really crazy. I understand the pole in this direction. But But where does the the history comes from that I read in your bio? You said it's computer science and history and Stanford. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

Tim Bourguignon 10:39
Hello imposters. If you work in tech want to work in tech or are tech curious in any way you'll want to listen to this. We've launched a community of professionals who come together to share information and advice about jobs, roles, careers, and the journeys we all take throughout our lives as the designers, builders, fixers investigators, explainers and protectors of the world's technology. We call it the impostor syndrome network. And all are welcome. So find the impostor syndrome network, podcast, wherever you listen to find podcasts, and look for the isn community on your favorite social platform. Hashtag imposter network.

Julianna Lamb 11:22
Yeah, so when I transferred into Stanford, I came in with like a year of credits, basically, from Georgetown, where I'd done sort of general education, some of my finance classes, etc. And so I had all of these credits, none of them applied to my computer science degree, though. And so I basically started from square one and did four full years at Stanford to do the computer science degree. What that meant is that I had most of my general education requirements out of the way. And so I could choose whatever classes I wanted to sort of fill my schedule with. And so I tried a couple of different areas and landed on history. And the reason I really liked that is I think, I've always enjoyed sort of learning about history and having really engaging sort of discussions about it, too. And so it was a really nice contrast to you know, I had 100 person lecture classes for computer science, they were oftentimes, like recorded and I could watch them online. And I was like, Okay, I'm like sitting here on the Stanford campus and watching my like, ces lecture from my dorm room, I feel like I'm not really taking advantage of the education opportunity here. And so in contrast, history classes were like, you know, 1020 people where you're sitting around a table with a professor, and really just like digging deep on issues having really engaging discussions. And so I think there's probably a bunch of subjects that could have satisfied that. But I found the topics in the history classes, the most engaging, it was really intentional to feel like I was getting more out of my education kind of I was like, I want to spend time like learning from my peers and talking to professor's and engaging a different part of my brain as well. And I think it's proven to be very useful, actually, because you spend so much time writing arguments for history classes, it's what your papers are, it's like a can take some problem and write some argument about it, right. And you're doing that constantly in the workplace, too, right? I'm writing a product spec and arguing why we should prioritize building some feature, etc. So I think it ended up being a really like good pairing of sort of disciplines. And I definitely didn't plan it that way. But in hindsight, it was good.

Tim Bourguignon 13:39
It's amazing how in hindsight, it all the dominoes fall down against the hole. That's where I picked up this skill. And oh, that's where the other one comes from. And you see the past clearly. But if you turn around, everything is dark. Awesome. Yeah. That was good. I'm glad that you see the value in that. So how did getting out of Stanford look like for you? How was it to graduate and start working in? Well, startup land? Since you started with Strava?

Julianna Lamb 14:09
Yeah, so while I was at Stanford, I was sort of, you know, trying to figure out like, what do I want to do? Okay, I'm studying computer science. Do I want to go be a software engineer? Should I reconsider that finance path? And I think it comes back to that sort of like, keeping all the doors open felt like, again, if I was a software engineer, I would get exposed to so many different types of interesting products being built, I can still always go to business school and pivot into finance if I want to. And I was then sort of making the decision of like, Okay, do I go to like a big company, or do I go to a startup when I graduate? I think I gravitated sort of towards the startup ecosystem, because I really like feeling as though what I'm doing is having an impact and really counting towards something. And so you know, getting To join Strava. And as a new grad ship features that I could see in my app, the next day was like pretty wild. And so I think that's sort of what pulled me towards those, like smaller companies. And I knew I wanted to go and work for a startup, I had no idea what I wanted to actually do within engineering, though, I had done an internship and it had kind of been an even, it would have been a super small company, there were like, five, I think, full time employees. And so I've done a big range of things, a lot of sort of infra work spinning up some like sort of data pipelines and metrics, etc. But I didn't really know what that was called, because the company was so small that like, there weren't really titles. I was like, Oh, I'm doing software engineering, it's all kind of the same, I don't know. And so I didn't know if I wanted to do like sun end, or mobile or back end or infrastructure. I had no idea. I just wanted to work at Strava. Basically, this is like the senior year sort of decision I'm making. I had gotten into triathlons. At this point, I used Strava. A bunch love the app. And I was like, this is perfect. Like, I can work on a product I love. I'll do whatever for you guys. Something software engineering, but it doesn't matter to me. I'll figure it out when I get there. And so it was yeah, pretty amazing place to land after graduation. i Yeah, had a blast working there. And it's pretty cool to share a lot in common with your coworkers, too. Everyone was super into whatever sport they were passionate about and getting to come together and build a product that we were all using. This was awesome.

Tim Bourguignon 16:33
I believe so amazing feeling. Did you manage to find out what you were after you said you didn't know which kind of the jack of all trade or the Giuliana was right? You were? Did you figure that out? At some point? Are you still going in every direction keeping all doors open?

Julianna Lamb 16:51
Yeah. So when I was at Strava, I did sort of like a mix of full stack and Front End Web Development and found that the back end work was really what excited me I liked the types of problems you're solving. They're like, how do you get data from different places get the data that you want, those were the challenges that I enjoyed the most. And so I actually really intentionally went to plod from Strava to go deeper down that sort of back end path. And the thing that got me excited about plod is that it's an API product. And so as a back end engineer, you're building product versus I looked at like the back end and infrastructure team at Strava. And is like, they literally sit in a corner here. Obviously, they're doing really important work, but they feel a bit separate from like the product engineering work. And I always really liked thinking about, you know, what are we doing? how is this impacting users? How is this product being used. And so I was kind of looking for back end roles where I could work on product that was basically kind of my job search when I joined plaid. And that ended up being a fantastic fit, I was on their back end engineering team got to work on building the API and a bunch of other cool features there. And so I think I've I will now say with confidence, like I'm a back end engineer, that's like sort of my my sweet spot, obviously. Now as CTO, I need to know what is happening and be able to engage in a lot of pretty deep discussions with people across the stack. But I think I did sort of find my way eventually, it just took a little while.

Tim Bourguignon 18:36
That's good. You if you find it out eventually that that's good. What was the spark to motivate you into looking somewhere else then? Strava the way you describe it, it seems like like the perfect place to be. But what when did you realize okay, now I have to look somewhere else?

Julianna Lamb 18:52
Yeah, so I was kind of like, passively looking. I was like, I really enjoy Strava. I love all the people here. And I think I want to go deeper on sort of this like back end role. And there wasn't really that sort of exact fit at Strava. Again, like the product teams, right, I'm much more sort of like front end or mobile focused. And so I was like, I can keep doing this work here. And it's going to be enjoyable, but I think that like there's gonna be a steeper learning curve for me somewhere else maybe. But I was really happy there. So I was kind of waiting for like the perfect thing to come along. But I was just sort of keeping my eyes out open and sort of seeing what's out there. And so plod came along. And it just made a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. It combined that sort of interest in finance to with getting to work in tech and AI as a back end engineer could work on like their products. So I was like this is like kind of a dream come true. Right. And so I think it really did take like the perfect opportunity to pull me away from Strava. I think something that I've stayed sort of true to throughout my career is just Having a really close eye on what my learning curve is like, and making sure that I'm constantly being challenged learning new things and feeling like I'm growing a ton. And so whenever that has plateaued a little bit, I've looked for sort of new opportunities, but also, you know, not done so super aggressively kind of just like been patient and waited for the right thing, taking the time to figure out what that right next step is to, I think that's a lot of what it's been to is it's like, okay, I feel like something is missing in my day to day right now in my current role, what is missing? What is the role that then helps me get more of what I'm looking for, and challenge me in those new ways,

Tim Bourguignon 20:41
you have a special trick to to introspect and realize this, because it's awfully complex to really understand and not three years down the line when you've been bought for to, to understand that this process is starting and happening and realize, okay, now I need to start looking for something else.

Julianna Lamb 20:59
I don't think I do it super structured, or even maybe super intentionally, I will say is a lot of what I think about when I'm like out on a long run or bike, you have a lot of time to just introspect and think and so I think, you know, it's kind of like a chicken and egg problem to write, I probably really like endurance sports, because I like sitting with my thoughts and reflecting on, you know, what's been going on in my day or week and having space to really, like think deeply about things. So that's probably why I enjoy those endurance sports so much. But it also affords me I think, a lot of like, time to reflect. And I always try and like make time for that. Because I find if I just in like running from one thing to the other, you never really have time to process those thoughts. And so just being intentional about making sure that I have time to like, stop and reflect in any given day or week.

Tim Bourguignon 21:56
Sorry, I'm sure that pun wasn't intended. But unless you're running from one place to the other with 42 kilometers in between following 180 kilometers of biking and three swimming or something like this. I'm sure the numbers are off. But that's an awful long time. So that you have some time. That's that's good. Okay, so So you describe a little bit of what you were doing it played? What was the highlight there? And then why did you transition somewhere else again?

Julianna Lamb 22:23
Yeah, so my favorite work that I did at plaid was around fraud and protecting basically against account takeover attacks, which has been a lot of this, I guess, Genesis for what we're working on here at stitch. So what I was working on is basically, you know, random website gets hacked usernames and passwords are stolen, people reuse passwords across so many of their different online account. And plod is essentially an API to connect your bank account. And so we would see some of this sort of like pass through fraud to the banks where whenever those stolen credentials are out there, people are taking them and trying to get access to, you know, hundreds of different types of accounts, they can afford them some value. And bank accounts have a lot of value. And so I think that work just sort of highlighted how bad passwords are, and how much people reuse them and how vulnerable they can leave accounts, if that's all that sort of protecting access. And I think I really enjoyed working on that problem, because I think there's no right answer to it. Whenever you're talking about fraud, you're talking about sort of, I guess, like increasing friction, increasing cost for an attacker to do whatever it is they're trying to do. And I like that's an ever evolving problem, right? You're, you're never going to solve it. But you're trying to figure out like, what is good enough, what basically stops the problem, but you are never done, you have to keep sort of evolving as attackers are evolving, etc.

Tim Bourguignon 23:54
What is your first time digging, you're dipping your toes into security?

Julianna Lamb 23:59
I had done a little bit before. I think I've always been interested in it. So the company that I interned on when I was in college was doing fully homomorphic encryption on data so that you could search over encrypted data. And I think I've always gravitated a bit towards security. That was one of my favorite classes in school. I also very funnily wrote a paper about passwords in my like policy and computer science class. So I don't think if you told me like, in whatever, 2013 When I was writing this paper that like I was gonna dedicate my life to passwords and getting rid of them. I would have been like, No, this is like a paper I wrote in a weekend. That's cute. But now, I think it goes to show that like, there is some common thread, even if I didn't really like, realize it until I'm looking back in hindsight, right. But I think I've always gravitated towards security. How do you keep people safe online? How do you make sure that the average user sort of Navigating the web is protected, right? And I think it's a really fascinating problem to me. Because, again, there's no like solution. It's, whenever you're talking about security, it's ever evolving. There's always more that you can be doing, you have to sort of constantly evolve, essentially,

Tim Bourguignon 25:18
how'd you do you tread this fine line between wanting to help, but also, and that's my words being scared shitless of not providing enough security for people because it's a no as you say, it's an ever evolving field. And the dependence with big air quotes are running as fast as we are creating stuff. And so it's, I would be scared of not providing the tools. How do you deal with that?

Julianna Lamb 25:42
Yeah, it's definitely a really good question. I think there's a lot of stress in this job in this like pursuit of security, but I think it's again, like being pragmatic in terms of understanding, you know, okay, there's like, always going to be something probably, but what is sort of the the right level of security protection for given accounts, given data, etc. And something that we're trying to do here at stitch is make it easier for people to log into their accounts more securely, I think what's hard with passwords is that people end up making a bunch of sort of like dumb decisions and reusing passwords, because it's like, too hard for us to maintain, you know, hundreds of different passwords, right? You can use a password manager that helps, but it doesn't necessarily solve the problem, there's still always edge cases or you know, you might not use a password manager, etc. And so I think what we're sort of dedicated to is like, we understand that like, security is really hard for the average person to think about right? You probably don't think when you're like signing up for a new account, oh, I can't use the same password as XYZ account because as soon as XYZ account gets breached, if it does, then all of a sudden, that attacker has access to all of my accounts, right? Don't expect an average consumer to have that kind of mindset. So how do you make it so that people can't make dumb mistakes? Basically, how do you make it easier, and, like more secure, essentially, to log into accounts, and we see passwords is kind of being this like, like root cause? Right. So I think that's all to say, to wrap it back to your question. I think investing in continuing to build out more infrastructure around this make it easier to keep accounts safe, like you're always moving forward, right. And so you would have to focus on that versus like, get too wrapped up in all of the what ifs, you obviously need to keep them in mind. But you have to keep moving forward to

Tim Bourguignon 27:41
absolutely, I have a big smile on my face because I had to type 35 characters long password with my TV remote today. And I really cold My, my password manager with how do you call that French names? No, I'm not sure. I wasn't happy. password managers do help you. But sometimes they don't. When other direction maybe. And we're jumping a bit of a above very good security. But when did you feel that now was the time to step into a role like a CTO and really not be the individual contributor you were and leaving maybe a little bit of those service back end behind? And really embracing the whole system and the guidance of other people, the team, etc. And while you decide now, I'm ready, now is the time.

Julianna Lamb 28:31
Yeah. So Reid, my co founder and I had worked together at plaid. And we had sort of the idea for Stitch quite a while before we actually went and started it. And it just lingered there in the back of our minds for a while we, you know, chat with people get their feedback on it, etc. And I think at that point in time, I was definitely sort of eyeing maybe starting a company. But I was not trying to start a company just to start something. I wanted to be doing it with a co founder that I really wanted to work with. And on a problem that I knew I'd be, you know, passionate about for, like 10 plus years to come. And so I think this all ended up sort of coming together really well, where Reid and I worked together, we knew what that was like we knew what each other's strengths and weaknesses were and how we would collaborate together that was already super direct. And so I was like, Yes, of course, I'd love to start a company with Reid, that'd be amazing. We also have this idea that we both worked on, there's a lot of pull here. It just makes a lot of sense. And so I think it was kind of this like snowball effect where again, I was like, open to the idea of starting a company but I wasn't really like actively seeking it out. And it over time as Reid and I started talking about this idea more and more it just became clear that like, this is what we should do. It was time to do it. And I think with with anything like you kind of just have to like, dive in and try I had out and I think it's been really amazing starting this company working with Reed. And then also I think like growing and changing what I'm doing going back to that like always wanting to feel challenged thing. I think as a founder, you were constantly being challenged in new ways having to learn new skills, I think the job is very different, like, honestly, almost every month. So when we first started, I was like writing code and doing a ton of code reviews, and pretty much like an IC engineer, to some degree, also, always spending a ton of time on recruiting more people really quickly realized that was not what I needed to be doing, because we had a bunch of amazing engineers who were better at writing code than I was. And so it was about how do we make all of them feel productive, know what they're working on, have the right resources, etc. And then, you know, as that's evolved, now, we have engineering managers who do that. And so now I'm even one more level up. And so I think that's been one of the really fun things about this role is, you know, diving in and getting started, it wasn't that much of a different path, right? It was, okay, I'm gonna be thinking about product, and I'm going to be writing some code. And then just like the pace at which I think that has evolved has been really exciting. But I don't think I could have predicted what that was going to look like, exactly. But I was excited to sort of take on the challenge,

Tim Bourguignon 31:22
one more challenge for you. So where do you see it going? Do you think you're gonna continue growing like this? And you're always going to continue holding? Or is it's going to stagnate a little bit or not stagnate, but slow down a little bit for next? What do you think?

Julianna Lamb 31:37
I think it's gonna keep going at sort of the same pace. As we continue to hire more and more people, our product suite gets more complex, our like, customer base grows and gets more complex as well, I think it's going to continue to change, like what I'm doing day to day, right? Even spending time recording a podcast is very different than what I was doing a year ago, right. And so I'm sure there's going to be more things like that in the future, where you know, we're gonna get PMS, we haven't hired any PMS yet. And so I do a lot of product work. And that's gonna be a huge sort of adjustment in terms of how the team and I think each sort of like, key hire that you make evolves the team a ton. And so that evolves my role. So yeah, I think I don't think it's changing anytime soon, other than it's going to keep changing.

Tim Bourguignon 32:27
Wait a second. Tracy, you said you said you have engineering managers. So I assume you have a few teams already. So you must have 3040 50 employees already? Or maybe more. But you don't have any PMS.

Julianna Lamb 32:39
Yeah, so we're about 30 people total, and no PMS, although hopefully some soon, we're interviewing a bunch right now. So it's definitely a hire that we need to make. But right now, Reid, and I basically act as PMS, for the different projects in conjunction with sort of engineers and engineering managers, as well as design. It's kind of like a group effort basically to be the PM.

Tim Bourguignon 33:05
Okay, did you apprehend this, letting go of maybe the direction the product is taking and letting somebody else figure that out? And you act as a as an advisor? Probably, but not the person taking the shots on a day to day basis?

Julianna Lamb 33:20
Yeah, I think one of the things that is super important as the team grows, is how we communicate vision. So right now, we're like, making a lot of the smaller decisions, right? And so that communication doesn't matter as much as it well, when we have PMS. It matters more now than it did a year ago, when there were five engineers and Reid and me were like every decision we were looped into, right. And so I think that's been one of the like, most interesting challenges of this sort of, like founder journey is, especially working with someone who I've worked with in the past. And I feel like we have a very, like shared vision of where we're going, which I think, hopefully is good that co founders sort of share vision, right? But then sometimes it's easy to forget that we're thinking so similarly, but not everyone else in the team is, you know, looped into all of the contacts that we have, etc. And so how do you communicate out that vision? And so I think if hiring PMS is like stressful for me, it's because we haven't communicated that vision well enough that I can have confidence that they'll make the decisions that are right. I think that's the reason we're hiring them now is there's a bunch of research and prioritization and sort of figuring out that we want to do that like different products level that we just don't spend enough time on right now. So I'm really excited to hire people in to focus on that and sort of live and breathe that versus have it be, you know, one more thing that I'm doing in a given day with all of my other responsibilities. And so I think I put a lot have the responsibility then on me to make sure that as we hire people, right, they're they're brought into that sort of vision, they know where they're going so that the day to day week to week decisions that they're making are, you know, sort of the right ones and moving the company in the direction that we want to be going in.

Tim Bourguignon 35:16
I really liked this waste you put in there. Did you still have time to code in all this?

Julianna Lamb 35:23
I don't really code anymore. We did a hackathon this summer. And so I built a product as part of the hackathon, which is a lot of fun. But most days, I am pretty far removed from code, I'll do code review sometimes. Now. Usually, it's for like, a Doc's change or something else. That's not maybe like core product, but more about like, you know, branding, communication, all of that. So yeah, pretty far removed. But it's fun when I get to do it.

Tim Bourguignon 35:51
Did you miss it?

Julianna Lamb 35:54
Sometimes, yeah, I think I really enjoy what I'm doing. Now. I think one thing I really have always liked spending time on is growth of recruiting, and then like people development, so how do I both make our current team, you know, feel really excited and challenged about the work that they're doing, and then bring in more great engineers to work with them. And so while doing that, but it definitely is a very different type of sort of day to day than writing code. And sometimes I'm like, I would love to just like go and spend a couple of days building something. But I also know, that's just not the highest leverage thing that I should be doing. And so I think I'm at peace with that decision. But it definitely is something that I definitely miss.

Tim Bourguignon 36:40
I totally understand. I'm at the same place. I think my last professional commit was something like 2015 or so. And since then, I've drifted more and more away from the code. But I can still see it when I hear an interesting discussion. And I see many years going into surgeons who that's interesting. So and then I have to remind myself, no, that's not my job, and I'm there for something else. But once in a while, I'll just geek out for one day and code something and just just let it out. And after witness, okay, that was good. Oh, that's fun. That's really fun. So when you think back on on this whole journey, maybe it's this journey of seeking challenges and always getting wet, it's harder, etc. What was the one advice that you heard? And that really helped you along the way? Maybe we will hear tons of advice and discard 90% of that. But there's always one to say, Oh, I remember that one. And it stayed with me for a while. Is there such or such advice in your story?

Julianna Lamb 37:36
Yeah, I think it's the people that you work with matter a lot more than many other things. And I think it took me a little while to actually realize just how true that was. I think I've heard that advice from a bunch of different people. And I was like, yeah, like, sure, that definitely matters. But I want to be like working on a cool product. And you know, I want my like, work itself to be super exciting, which I think does matter. But there's always going to be you know, hard days in whatever you're doing. And I think what gets you through that is, is working with people that you feel like are, you know, leveling you up challenging you and that you're excited to learn from? And so I think looking back, like I've definitely, I think stumbled into really great environments and companies, but I don't think I was like, necessarily evaluating them on the people that were there. And I think that is like one of the most important criteria when you're trying to figure out where you should be.

Tim Bourguignon 38:32
Absolutely. And as we say, when we when you look back in hindsight, and then you will see people, this person nudged me in this direction. And this person brought this idea and this had this change in my life cetera. You don't really see projects you really see faces. And so Amen to that. Thank you very much. So where would be the best place to to start or continue with discussion with you? Is there a place online where we can find you? Yeah, I'm

Julianna Lamb 38:56
pretty active on Twitter. My handle is at Giuliana Eelam. And then stitch is a lot of what I do. So we're at St. Y tch.com. And yeah, we'd love to chat with people.

Tim Bourguignon 39:10
Well, I'd link to the show notes. So you just have to scroll down and click there anything timely on your plate or not timely underplay that, you still want to plug it into the show notes.

Julianna Lamb 39:19
We're always hiring if you want to come and work at stitch and if you're building an application using us for authentication should hopefully be a no brainer.

Tim Bourguignon 39:30
And if it's not, then please contextual you know. There's a BAM a pm starting soon in, he or she will have oh, they will have something to do. Awesome. Thank you very much for taking us on this roller coaster and of life of challenges. That was really cool. Thank you. Awesome. Thanks so much for having me. It was my pleasure. And this has been another episode of depth history, and we see each other next week. Thanks a lot. for tuning in, I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash Delete. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week store is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o t h e p or email info at Dev journey dot info talk to you soon