Software Developers Journey Podcast

#199 Carl Franklin is looking beyond what he can do


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Carl Franklin 0:00
Think of a project that really excites you. And imagine you are the only one in the world who can solve the problem. Imagine that it doesn't exist yet. And you're going to discover it, you're going to invent it. And even if you don't show it to anybody, it doesn't matter. You gotta give yourself a goal that you can be proud of achieving. And don't let the people who could do it with their eyes closed, discourage you. It's all about not getting discouraged when you're starting.

Tim Bourguignon 0:28
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, Tim bourguignon. On this episode 199, I received Carl Franklin. Carl is the executive VP of app V. Next, he's a software developer, a teacher, video and audio producer. He's a musician and you may know him as the creator of the promoter row size music tracks called music to Kotani. Carl, he's also an entrepreneur. He's a fellow keto where, wonder where that is met. I'm not sure if it'll be on the show today. We'll see. He showed up on my radar almost two decades ago, actually, as legendary host of the dotnet rocks podcast. And for the record, the fact that this show exists, and certainly has a lot to do with the version I took from you so and commuting with you and my ears. So Carl, thank you for that. And if the name of that show rings a bell, and maybe because I interviewed Carl's co host, Richard Campbell in show number 81 Back in December 2019. Before the whole Corona stuff happened, it seems like ages ago. Carl, welcome to the afternoon.

Carl Franklin 1:38
Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Tim Bourguignon 1:41
It's my pleasure. 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. Call. As always, let's go back to your beginnings you know that the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape their own future. So the first question is always the same. Where would you place to start off your developer's journey?

Carl Franklin 2:33
Well, I was born in 1967 with a silver calculator in my mouth. It's true. I was born in 67, the Summer of Love. I think that's the Summer of Love. And I had a normal childhood but I didn't really start getting into computers until I was in high school. We're talking 8283 But I had dealt with you know, the other things that I'm that I do in life, which is, you know, took music lessons, piano lessons and voice lessons and art lessons and I had a little tape recording, you know, fetish back then. So like, the everything got set in motion before I got into computers. But if it was when my father brought home a trs 80 model for from RadioShack it was before Tandy even existed, I think. And he used that with a spreadsheet to do taxes and all that stuff. It was VisiCalc I remember that. He tried explaining spreadsheets to me, but I glossed over. But my father was an engineer. And, you know, he had a geeky math brain. And he sort of got me interested in computers because you know, he could see that the writing on the wall back in the 80s that computers were going to take over the world. And you know, we sort of had conversations over breakfast or whatever, you know, he's getting ready for work and just sort of was he was taking some computer classes where he worked and was learning about computer science and he was trying to explain it to me he was really patient and extremely intelligent man. And so you know, he I remember having this conversation about memory and addresses and if it says the Think of your neighborhood, well every house has you know, something in it. Right? It stores something and every house has an address on a street. And then you have a street and then you have a town and then you know as you go out with zip codes and all this stuff and so every house has its own address and let's just say that every house stored a letter, like a letter of the alphabet and you want it to have your name Carl. So you go to this address and you store a C and you go to somebody else's house and you give them an A and somebody else's house and are in and out and then you know when you want to retrieve them you have to go like your you have a paper route. Carl had a paper and he says like you go collect it. And just little things like that. I mean, I was fascinated. So he brought home this cartoon guide to programming or cartoon guide to computer science. And then there was also a trs 80, basic sort of cartoonish kind of, you know, thing. And at some point, I was sort of just reading this stuff just to be interested. And at some point, I'm like, hey, I can do that. Let me go do that. So it was definitely maybe my junior year in high school, I'm thinking. And it just started following along in this book. And I remember it was. Now this is for the kids based on a non graphical computer. So it was text based. So if you open up a command window, that's pretty much what your whole screen was right there. And so everything was a text editor, and everything was text based. And you had to write line numbers for every line of basic code. And so the first thing I learned was print, and then input, which gave you variables, which were all named $1. Sign or B dollar sign, it was the dumbest thing. I'm like, Hey, Dee, why am I why do I have no more things to remember? Yeah, right. And then it was only later that some real people came around and say, Hey, you can call these whatever you want. You know, like maybe indicative of what they're holding you live. But I didn't care $1 sign d dollar signs. So the first program that I wrote was mad libs. Because I was in a Mad Libs at the time. Mad Libs are these crazy stories where one person asks you for the parts of speech that are missing, like noun, a verb and adjective and other adjective, and they just write them in the blanks in this story. And so then they read it. And of course, it's crazy nonsense, you know. So that that was the first program I wrote. And I just basically just looking at the tools that I had input in print, what can I do with that, ah, I can write a Mad Libs game. So I did that. And it was great fun, you know, just substituting $1, sign B, dollar sign C. And then I got to the point where I wanted, I was playing like, text adventure games. And I thought, well, let's really want to really push myself here to make a text adventure game. Because now I know about memory, I know about variables that can store variables. And now I think I can use what I need them to write out a nice adventure game. So I got to the point where you need to have a collection of things. Because in those games, it was like, you know, you see something and you want to pick it up. And now you have to know whether you have it or not. And it just baffled me. And I remember as a kid, just like, What am I supposed to? How can I do that? I can't like you know, make, I don't know how to make a set of things, you know. And then there was arrays. And I learned about arrays. I'm like, Oh, maybe I could do that with arrays. And so it just kind of you know, steamrolled and steamrolled and I had ideas that I wanted to do that were way beyond what I could do. And that, that spurred me on to learn about different things in the language. And of course, there was nobody else that I knew Who knew anything about this stuff. So I felt like I was on the moon. You know what I mean? Like, I wasn't intimidated by people's YouTube videos. And you know, well, this person already knows how to do that. Like there was nothing there may have been some magazines and stuff with, you know, completely different stuff in it. But there was certainly no learning about it. Except for what I had in this book in this manual. So yeah, that really piqued my interest. And I loved the CMM musician to write I love the creative aspect of giving yourself a goal that is beyond what you know how to do. And using that objective, to learn how to do just that stuff that you need to know to make that program happen and that process just completely hooked me and ironically, it's still what I'm doing today.

Tim Bourguignon 9:32
That is also I want you to tread with the this fine line between being just above your your skills right now that it's challenging, and a bit too much that has become discouraging. Stay with us.

Tim Bourguignon 9:47
We'll be right back. 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 or 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 imposter syndrome network. And all are welcome. So find the imposter syndrome network podcast wherever you listen to find podcasts and look for the isn community on your favorite social platform. Hashtag impostor network

Carl Franklin 10:31
will never be kit. Well. Okay. Yeah, it did become discouraging. But when it came, became discouraging, I just put it down for a little while, pick up my guitar and play, exercise the right side of my brain and just jumped back at it because it's like, alright, well, I got all the time in the world. I'm a kid, you know, I don't need to. There's no deadline, there's no boss, it's just, you know, just figure it out. So I guess, I guess it just in more than discouraged me, I knew that it was possible, because I had seen things that work like this. You know, one of the things that I really wanted to do a little bit later was a bulletin board system, because I got a modem. And I got into bulletin boards, and, you know, calling different boards and stuff. And I'm thinking myself, Wow, I wonder how these things work. And then just started thinking about it. And so that became the next goal was to write a bulletin board system because I had no money. And, you know, my parents weren't about to spend three or $400 on a bulletin board piece of software that, who knows, they didn't even know what it did. You know, they were like, no. So yeah, I never really felt discouraged. I felt more discouraged in the music world. You know, like, because I would see a guitar player, like Eddie Van Halen, or something. And I would think, and I used to think this way, but I would think, Man, I should just burn my guitar. Why even bother practicing because, you know, here's this guy who's really popular, and he does everything like the best I'll do better than I'll ever do in my lifetime. But with programming, maybe it was the time you know that there weren't a whole lot of people who I could see visibly that that knew things that I didn't know. And so I really just had to rely on my own thoughts and my own ideas. And that was, you know, that that made the difference. I guess that

Tim Bourguignon 12:25
is really cool. And is still the way you kind of function today, giving you yourself crazy goals, crazy ideas, and then trying to realize that,

Carl Franklin 12:35
yeah, but they're not so crazy. Now, come on. Well, yeah, what I do now and I have been doing for the last few years is a YouTube video series called Blaser train. And, you know, it's really up to me to come up with a content every week to solve some problem or to, you know, a solution to a problem, or maybe just explore a feature that's there, maybe it's a new feature, maybe it's not, or otherwise do something that we didn't know we could do. And so, you know, it's this, it's the same thing. It's like, oh, okay, here's the thing that I want to accomplish, I don't know how to accomplish it. So I do the research. And then I have to construct a demo, you know, put together a sort of a demo that and then talk about it intelligently. You know, and say why this didn't work and why this does. And you know, and here's the thing, like, I could be wrong about all of this. And I have been on occasion people have pointed out, oh, you should just do it this way. You know, that's part of it.

Tim Bourguignon 13:43
I mean, that's part of learning. Absolutely. Yeah. Making yourself vulnerable. And then learning. Oh, sure. Yeah,

Carl Franklin 13:48
exactly. I mean, I'm the first to say, that didn't work. Let's try something else.

Tim Bourguignon 13:54
Yeah, you said before, back then you had no deadlines, and no boss, did you have the glimpse of an idea that sometime there could be deadlines, and a boss and still coding?

Carl Franklin 14:03
Oh, I don't know. It really wasn't until I started. I mean, the first real programming job I had. That wasn't texted, but I mean, I had a tech support job. And I got glimpses of code. And I would write structures and see for the developers that, you know, just wanted to pawn something off on me, but I didn't really do any development until I got to Crescent software. And these guys, so this was probably in 8889. And I was using their tools for QuickBASIC. And their tools were written in assembler. And they were really great about teaching, which really made me happy. Like, they would put out a book a little booklet that they just said when you had a product and whatever back then there was no downloading. They just send you a disk. And the book would be like the assembly language primer for quick basic program. members. Wow. I mean, you know, here, they're teaching me something new, but in a context that I already understood, and I really love that. And they were just gregarious about learning and about teaching stuff. They gave all their source code away. And they commented it. And you know, the comments were sometimes funny, like, Isn't this cool question. You know, they were just really excited about what they did in programming and stuff. So I called there for a summer job. I was in college, and on summer break, and I just called there and said, You know, I have all your tools and just looking for a summer gig. And here's the funny story. My wife, my first wife, she went for a four year degree, and she had her resume out and granted her degree was an English. So, you know, she had a resume out, we were living in New York, not in the city, but half an hour north of the city. And she put out her resume everywhere, no call nothing. I call a small business, you know, in in Connecticut and said, Hey, I want a summer job. And they said, you know, this and this. I said, Yeah. Do you have this? Yeah. Can you come up for an interview? Mike? Okay. So this is a classic story, right? I go up there and owner. It's in the owners house. And he's got a three story house. So at the top, or the executive office, in the middle is his living space. And then in the basement is where all the software was written in the whole business was right. So he's a guitar player. And I go into the middle area of the living area, and he's got a guitar and he's got some keyboards and stuff. And he was like, the guy's name is Ethan wiener. He was like the guy. He wrote great products. And he was very proud of what he did. And he shared his knowledge, gave away the source code. Like, he was the head of company. And so I said, Oh, you play guitar. He goes, Yeah, I've been playing all my life. And he picked up the center Telecaster, you know, plugged it in, turned it on, played this blues riff. And he just hands it to me, he says, let's see what you got. And I remember I played the riff, like, exactly, no, for note when he played. He goes, whoa, you drink scotch? And I said, Yeah,

Tim Bourguignon 17:21
he goes, you're higher.

Carl Franklin 17:24
And he was getting, of course, but you know, we hit it off right away. And we did have, you know, we did have a formal interview, and I got the job. But that's where I started doing real programming. And it was the visual basic one, oh, just come out. You know, they wanted to write demos for their visual basic tools. So I was busy doing that, and doing tech support like everybody else when it was necessary. So. So that was the first time that I really believed I could make a career out of programming up until then I didn't, you know, I didn't have the confidence. And I didn't, I also saw that, you know, QuickBASIC was sort of looked down upon, you know, by the people of the day as not a real language. Or even though I went on to do many contract gigs with QuickBase, and then Visual Basic exploded, and it was like a different story. But, but yeah, that I didn't really have the confidence to think that I could be I thought a real professional developer would have to learn C and assembler, and maybe C++ and learn all this crazy stuff. And it didn't all make sense to me all the ceremony of c, and c plus and, you know, pointers to pointers, just, I just couldn't wrap my mind around it at the time. And yeah, I was kind of discouraged. It wasn't until I found those guys. And they were like, you know, you should be proud of QuickBASIC it's a great language. And if you want to drop down real low use assembler, that's it's so much faster and more powerful. And if you're gonna learn C anyway, and deal with memory, and pointers and registers, you might as well learn assembly. So yeah, they were great. I love these guys.

Tim Bourguignon 19:08
Is it at Crete software? Was it not Christmas? Oh, sorry. Yeah. So it was expressing that, that you realized, okay, I'm a real programmer with whatever tools I have, I can really solve problems, and I don't have to shy away from it.

Carl Franklin 19:20
Yeah, it was. And more than that, it was that, you know, they valued the knowledge that I already had, which was about things like Windows, which they weren't, you know, Windows was kind of new to these guys. And I had been using Windows since whatever since way before when it was like a shell around DOS, you know. And so so they didn't know like, I remember them asked, trying to figure out like how to get a device working in Windows. And I was like, oh, yeah, you go to control panel and blah, blah, blah. And they're like, Whoa, you're a genius. And like, I'm sorry, I did not feel like a genius that was like, you know, it was just that it was unfamiliar to though I had learned in something that was unfamiliar, and then brought it to a company that was thriving, but just on the precipice of changing over to this new thing, so it was just good timing.

Tim Bourguignon 20:12
We're jumping way ahead, but you have a long story is Microsoft what was it always a story with Microsoft somehow, somewhere in the back row?

Carl Franklin 20:20
Well, seeing is how I started with a das computer, right. I mean, I Okay, so I started with that trs 80. But it was really my father, he got a, you know, an 8680 86 clone. And that started me down my computer like computer path. But so I've always been a DOS guy. And then when Windows came around, I was a Windows guy. So I was right there in the Microsoft camp out of just necessity, I guess I couldn't afford to buy Mac at the time, that was not my thing. And I also noticed that Mac users were tended to be less technically proficient, because they didn't have to be you know, they didn't have to write config, SYS and AUTOEXEC BAT files, and they didn't have to put jumper shots on their motherboards to get certain hardware to work. Like it was a nightmare. It was. So So I guess just out of necessity, I've been a Windows person. And then like I said, I just went out once I got to Crescent software, and things started really moving over the window. Ethan, who was writing the a lot of the content for the magazine of the day, which would later become Visual Basic programmers journal, he arranged it so that I could take over the q&a column in that magazine, because he didn't because it was all the questions were about Windows. And he had been coming to me with Windows visual basic questions. And he just didn't want to. He was, he's like, Man, I'm tool for this. I don't need to learn another thing. I'm just gonna retire. And so you know, you want to go for it. So I mean, I was the right place the right time. And I started writing for the magazine, and then speaking at the conferences, and that sort of got my visibility up there. So yeah, always been in the Microsoft camp.

Tim Bourguignon 22:06
Okay, so from this, suppose I'm going to use conjecture to conjecture. I can see from the VB world, you probably migrated to be the mascot when he came out. And they were on the dotnet bandwagon. And that's how it started.

Carl Franklin 22:18
Yeah, so you know, regular Visual Basic went all the way up to VB six. And I was just cranking out stuff. And I was working for a company in California, using VB six on some medical software, and it was great. And I went back home, I came back to the East Coast, my wife and I had a baby. And, you know, I was working remotely for this other company. And that was just going well. And I started, you know, I've always been interested in teaching. I mean, ever since those early days, were with my father giving, you know, talking to me about addresses and memory around the breakfast table, I just always thought it was great to be able to offer something to somebody and explain it in a way that they can digest it and then see the light bulb go off if it's very rewarding. So I thought, What the heck, I could do this. And at the time, I was managing a website. This is like 9495 95 called Carl and Gary's Visual Basic homepage. And we had a mailing list. And there was about, I don't know, 25,000 people on it. And they had all just said it was a very popular page. And so I decided, You know what, I'm going to charge X amount of money. I'm going to have a weekend, you know, programming class, in Visual Basic, we're going to do it at this hotel. I mean, I just I called I mean, I figured out how much it would cost. Everybody brings their laptops, I got coffee, like all the expenses and sent out a thing and man it filled right up. And it's like, well, this is cool. And I just had a great time teaching and yeah, there were a few kinks to work out but it was still awesome. And so that that idea of teaching and training net left me and so I was doing that in full swing with a Visual Basic masterclass when dotnet came out. And right about the time that dotnet came out, I was nominated to the regional director by my local soft guy sustained,

Tim Bourguignon 24:35
briefly describe what a regional director is in these. Yeah,

Carl Franklin 24:38
it's really funny. It's a Microsoft Regional Director, but you don't work for Microsoft. You don't have a region you don't direct anything. Obviously, but originally the job was for you to you know, you represented your local community to Microsoft and you represented Mike First off to your local community. And this is before the internet. So this is before Channel Nine before they had direct, you know, teaching and direct access to their customers. They wanted this outreach program. And every year, they did this one day event called Dev Days. And it was a free event in every region. And the regional directors job was to deliver the keynote, which always included a demo, and they would ship you crates of computers and a script and stuff to run. And yeah, it was cutting edge. And it was awesome. So so that was the job. And that's why they call it a regional director. And then, you know, the internet happened, and Channel Nine happened in the job of the Regional Director became more of a prestigious thing. And not just that in the MVPs were coming up to, but regional directors had to account for how many people they reached, quote, unquote, in in a month. Right? And so you had to log all that stuff in there, you know, tool. And you know, you were up for review. Every once in a while. It may might have been every year, I can't remember. But every year, you know, or every period, they would look over, you know, who's not talking to people and who is and they would weed out the ones that weren't doing anything. So I started teaching classes in VB dotnet. I wasn't yet doing C sharp, but VB NET and ASP. Net. And that went well.

Tim Bourguignon 26:30
Whenever you know, the end of the 90s, isn't it? Or beginning of Yeah,

Carl Franklin 26:35
yeah. Oh, so I know where we going? Yeah. So in 2002, so I was going strong all the way up through the 2000s. And, you know, 2002, I started dotnet rocks. So that was August 2002. Yeah. Now, where did that idea come from? Actually, the idea came from public radio. And for those who aren't American who aren't American, we have this public radio, which is supported mostly by endowments, National Endowments, but also by listeners. And then they do have ads, but their ads tend to be less, they tend to be more respectful of the listener. Although lately they've just been just as bad as regular radio. But it's not like hey, come down to Scotts auto and get yourself in REO Speedwagon. It's not like that. So public radio had a couple of shows that were what I would consider edutainment. Right, so these were like quiz shows, and you'd learn something, but also, you know, they were fun to listen to. And I thought, why don't we? Why don't I do that. But with dotnet, there's a lot to learn here. And dotnet had just come out, I think, in February, right of 2001. And so I was busy learning it and all that stuff. And I'm like, You know what, there's so much to learn here. There's so much we could talk about let's, and I'm talking to myself, now. I'm going to start this show. And the guy who started it with me, I just came to him with the whole idea. And I said, you want to be my co host? And he said, Yeah, that sounds fun. But he fought like I did that nobody would be listening to it. But I had this mailing list that started with Carl and Gary's and it morphed into my company, Franklin's net, which did the training. And I basically just post the recorded conversation, put them as mp3 files up on our website. And I started a sort of a little directory with a title and the description and how long it was, and all that and some metadata and maybe a picture of the guest. And I just send out a newsletter and say, you know, here you go download it, learn it, love it. And they didn't

Tim Bourguignon 28:47
just to put it in perspective. You said February 28 2001, is when net was released. 2000 2002. Sorry. And October 2001 is the first release of the iPod. So, so mobile music wasn't a thing really at that time. No, it was just emerging.

Carl Franklin 29:07
Yeah, it was just emerging. And did you say October 2001? Was the iPod 1000 to

Tim Bourguignon 29:13
201. Wow, just before. So

Carl Franklin 29:17
but I didn't I remember that. Some people were using iPods and some people were using these other players that were cheaper and more accessible and easier to copy files on and off of and but that wasn't the mainstream. It was not at all the mainstream. In fact, people were asking me to stop at 60 minutes so that they could fit it all on a CD. And they were they were because CD listened in their car, or whatever. And they were angry when we went over 60 minutes and it didn't all fit. I remember having to split up our shows into two halves and make two CDs and we even sent them out to people like we won't say it was madness.

Tim Bourguignon 29:58
That's true that there was a period where everybody has a CD burner on their keys, right? And stacks of CDs, I suppose. 10 years of blank CDs and just

Carl Franklin 30:07
and also MSDN came on CD. So you have a whole bunch of CDs in the mail that had windows and this and that. And the other thing that I'll say about that is even to this day, music CDs have become obsolete. You know, I'm, I'm an artist, and I have made CDs. And I have CDs in my albums, and I give them away like business cards. And when I give them to somebody, they're like, What am I gonna do with?

Tim Bourguignon 30:34
That that's absolutely true. Yeah,

Carl Franklin 30:36
this represents work. Yeah, I have to burn it and put it on my iPad or my whatever, if I want to listen to it. Or why aren't you on Spotify? Which means I want it for free? Yeah, so Anyway, don't get me started about the music business.

Tim Bourguignon 30:54
We can go there if you want. I

Carl Franklin 30:58
certainly can, but maybe after. Okay.

Tim Bourguignon 31:01
Okay. But let's keep one foot in the music business. Still. I know that you've had a lot of side projects that have been in conjunction with some maybe some hardware, maybe some a bit of coding and music. Is this something that you're that's intentional? Or is it just because it's the itch that you're scratching right now and you just keep doing it?

Carl Franklin 31:20
Am I not getting what you're referring to because I'm old and stupid and forgot?

Tim Bourguignon 31:27
Oh, maybe it's burning my mind. I remember you playing with the pedals that you created yourself. Having iPad apps to steer oldest so So creating the hardware for your pedal the connectivity for it, and then all your iPad apps to to during the show change the settings and stuff like this?

Carl Franklin 31:46
Oh, yeah, that was? Yeah, yeah, I remember that. Yeah, I don't think I was into the broad category of that, but I'm such a generalist that you know, sometimes my life my areas of interest collide. So yeah, this was Microsoft Surface. And they had which makalah I wanted to take all my guitar pedals, you know, guitarists have pedals. Right? They have pedal that's like distortion, maybe reverb, delay, chorus, flange, weird effects, whatever. And they you know, they have a pedal board and a guitarist, defines themselves by their pedal board. It's like the thing, right. And I was never into that I just like the $100 boss stompboxes in, I just get all my sound from a good amp and guitar. But anyway, so there's a program from Native Instruments called Guitar Rig, and you can get in a live setting. And so what you do is you have to connect to a MIDI audio connector, so you have an audio in and out. Your guitar goes in the end, and then the affected version comes out the output, right? And then the whole thing is like touchscreen for turning effects on an awful I didn't want to do that during a gig. So I wanted to how did I do this now? Oh, I know what it was. It was a little button that was on my little sticky button that was on my guitar. Like think of a button with a sticker on the back and I had a bunch of them 123 and four and I could use them to turn effects on and off so this is great because I don't you know I don't know why I couldn't just look down and step on the bar. I don't know maybe it was just a phase I was going through I don't know. But that was happening was on a gig. I'm playing guitar and I should never you know this is good advice. Never use your Cobby code in production. Right on a gig for musician is in production. And so I'm on my guitar stops and I look at the computer and it says Please wait while we up update to Windows eight No, no question mark. No box comes up. Like do you want to do this now or? No? They forced it on everybody. Do you remember that? Or maybe it was Windows nine and one of those windows they foisted it on everybody. They said you will upgrade you will update or whatever. And so I had no choice I was completely screwed. Because I didn't have my paddles. Me had to take a break and wait till the frickin surface updated to Windows whatever. Yeah, that idea quickly lost its appeal

Tim Bourguignon 34:39
or at least able to turn the surface around and really make this joke Windows is updating.

Carl Franklin 34:46
embarrassed to that I just said my battery went dead or something. Okay, fair enough. Remember

Tim Bourguignon 34:55
that that's a cool story. That's what did you come back to the to the podcast? Some point Richard came in and sort of changed was pretty early. It was before the show. 100 wasn't.

Carl Franklin 35:06
Yeah, it was show 100 Yeah. 100 Okay. And yeah, so the first guy did the mark done did shows one through 50. Murray Blythe came on and did shows 50 through 100. And then Richard did 101 while he was on 100 Also, but you know, till now he's still doing it. So,

Tim Bourguignon 35:23
and you said just before the show, it's 1700 something

Carl Franklin 35:27
1700 something almost 1800 shows.

Tim Bourguignon 35:31
That's longevity for you.

Carl Franklin 35:33
Interestingly, if you're going to be in Louisville, Kentucky for code Palooza in August, we are going to have a dotnet rocks 20 F anniversary party on August 18. In Louisville, you won't have I don't think you'll have to be

Tim Bourguignon 35:52
is it one of the ones you organized?

Carl Franklin 35:55
Chad green organizes it. Like it's a local, you know, conference run by one guy. And maybe he has a team. Maybe he doesn't, but he's the guy that I deal with. And it's it's really good code palooza.

Tim Bourguignon 36:11
You heard it and then we'll add a link here. That's additional so that you find it right away. Okay, so how did you see this this dotnet world and maybe not just dotnet? You told me you were looking outside of dotnet as well, during this 20 years periods, and basically observing the coding world and talking about it every week. And more than this thing. You have three shows at the peak points. You had three shows every week. Yes, three

Carl Franklin 36:33
Shows a week. Yeah. And it was really because we had advertiser advertisers who were willing to pay us for three Shows a week. And they wanted three Shows a week. And we also heard from people that said, you know, I listen every day on my commute. And, you know, once a week isn't enough. So yeah, that was breakneck work. I mean, we did it. But it was, yeah, it was the thing

Tim Bourguignon 36:54
out of curiosity, you did the this feed into your business. So that was part of your freelancing work, or you did get something financially out of that? Or was you just, well, advertising

Carl Franklin 37:04
was the main revenue model for dotnet rocks. And that didn't kick in until 2007. Really. So we did, you know, five years, maybe 2000. We had done a little bit of advertising here and a little bit there. But it really didn't get going until Eric came on No, in advertised in every show. And they were just they were really looking for to get some traction in the dotnet. World. And so so we kind of grew big together dotnet rocks and TELRIC. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 37:34
Okay, that makes sense. And then not jumping to a different topic that you're not going to expect the show that actually aired today. So at the time of this recording, and in 15th of March is one developer working for the app centered, which is an app, trying to get you in the flow. And that really reminds me exactly what you were doing with music to code by. And it would interest me is to know how you not just came with the idea of music to to code by, but also experiment and find which rhythm which kind of music, what works, what doesn't? Well, you can help us developers get into the zone, get into a flow with music.

Carl Franklin 38:12
Well, the music to code by project was born from a dotnet rocks interview, believe it or not, with Mark Seaman, and he's a guy from Denmark, really smart. You know, I think he went to the same school that Anders house Berg went to. And he basically was reading this book by me Hi, chicks and Mihai called flow. And the book talks about this state of mind, where you're doing some activity, where, you know, it's, you have muscle memory to do it. And you're getting immediate feedback, that was also an aspect of it. immediate feedback from the activity. And you could get lost in time. You know, you and so as developers, we know what this is, but as one of the examples that he gives, in the book was watching fishmongers, filet fishes, or fish, I think fish is the plural, if it's kind of fish. But if it's multiple species of fish, you call it fishes. Alright. So basically, just, you know, with a fillet knife, it's like a, he was like a machine. He's just zips up shop Hall, right? And he could do that all day, and four or five hours go by, like, it's nothing. And it's lunchtime, and he just wakes up, you know? And he's like, Whoa, that went really quickly. And so, you know, you might have this experience if you're like, I don't know mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, having the cooking or just encoding certainly. And we were talking about ways that we can do it. in a healthy way, because for me being in flow as a coder means, you know, after everybody's gone to bed, you know, and you go all through the night until you can until you fall over. And it's not good for you, right? So Mark was trying to figure out how to practice to, to get yourself in and out of this flow state quickly so that you didn't have to destroy yourself. And so he gave some some tips, you know, turn off your email, the Pomodoro Technique came up, I believe, because that's a really good way that you can set aside these 20 minute or 25 minute periods of time. Yep. And you just tell everybody, look, I'll be back in 25 minutes, I don't exist right now. Turn off your phone, turn off your email, set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes. That's what the Pomodoro is a little tomato clock. And then when you're done, you come out of it. And you sort of make notes in terms of what you did, how much you did. And then after a while, you get a sense of Pomodoro being a unit of time. And you think, Oh, this you start estimating time, not in hours, but in Pomodoro. So I thought that was really cool. But I asked Mark has music ever been used to help people get into that state of flow or maintain it. And he said, Actually, there was this really great study that was done. And I can't quote it right now. But I think I linked to it music to flow by music to code by rather, which was with school children who were doing math problems. And they found that when they played Baroque music, to you know, it's a double blinded, random study. So when they played Baroque music to kids, that was between 60 and 80 beats per minute. They did much better with retention with recall with understand and with kids that had no music at all. So there seems to be something to this idea about. And it was specifically about the tempo, they tried it with slower tempos, and with more aggressive music, and the aggressive music was too distracting, the slower tempos were too boring. And so they found this sweet spot, which also happens to be right around the sweet spot for the human heartbeat. You know. And so I thought, well, you know, maybe I could do that with music. That's, you know, not everybody likes Baroque music, and maybe I could do something with more modern stuff. And the goal, again, try to make it soothing, not too monotonous, and not too boring, either. So you're gonna know it's there. But you're not going to expect that something's going to jump out. And, you know, it's not going to be like a Nirvana song, you know? Or Beethoven. It's not

Tim Bourguignon 43:00
nothing too unexpected. It's only only instrumental, it's your rigs, nothing that gets into your head, and you want to follow along. Yeah, I

Carl Franklin 43:08
don't know about you. But sometimes if I'm doing something that's mindless, and I don't have to think I can put on TV where people talking, that's great. But as soon as I have to think about code and start talking to myself, that becomes completely distracting. So I have to turn it off.

Tim Bourguignon 43:23
Might be a generational but yes, I have to Feeding My Kid can go along and do stuff with with people talking about growth, and right, just filtering this out. But I can definitely get into you find right away though the rights form the right format, or did you have to experiment a bit with it?

Carl Franklin 43:41
I experimented, I had a, I wouldn't call it a focus group, but a group of people that were, you know, listening to it and trying it out, and they thought it was great, and they really liked it. And I didn't have to change anything. You know, I created one song and I sent it to people. They're like, this is great. And I created another one. Everybody's like, wow, this is amazing. Yeah, keep them coming. One guy said that he has dogs that are anxious and restless. And he would put this on and they would just go in a circle and fall asleep. What other people reported that their autistic children could fall asleep to it, which is something they were having a hard time doing. So yeah, so as a sleep aid, it's also good, I guess, but that didn't I don't know how I felt about that. I also did a Kickstarter for it, right? And I think I raised 10 grand. And then I started selling like, you know, the whole collection and stuff and I made some good money. I mean, it wasn't great money, but it was not bad. And I always joke that I find it kind of upsetting that my most popular music project is something that works best when you just don't even listen to it. When it's background music, it's like oh, yeah, You know, I can play guitar too, right? I mean, like, I have skills. You know, I can play Larry Carlton solos, man. But no, you want the stuff with? No, that's too distracting.

Tim Bourguignon 45:13
You need to put it in your bio formulas like this. First wanted Sonia tombstone. But it's a bit yeah. BIOS better? I really encourage listeners to to give it a give it a go. It's really interesting is it's as you say, it's really helping get into the zone that we all have experienced as as developers. Yeah, when some once in a while and really helps us that's really we've reached the end of our time blocks and time really flew by in the flow man in the flow. Thinking about about people coming into our industry today. Is there one piece of advice you would like to leave them with and say, Hey, this has helped me along the years. This is something that is important to me right now. And I encourage people to to look at it as well.

Carl Franklin 46:01
Yeah, give up do something else?

Tim Bourguignon 46:04
No, you told us a story I was an English major.

Carl Franklin 46:09
So yes, and I think it might have been obvious from the beginning of my story, which is, think of a project that really excites you. And imagine you are the only one in the world who can solve the problem. Like, imagine that it doesn't exist yet. And you're going to discover it, you're going to invent it. And even if you don't show it to anybody, doesn't matter, you got to give yourself a goal that you can be proud of achieving. And don't let you know, don't let the people who could do it with their eyes closed, discourage you. It's all about not getting discouraged when you're starting because you look at something, you look at a YouTube video and somebody's going, Oh, you just do this, and this and this, and you're like, oh, you know, well, that's obviously not the right tool for you to learn with. You have to find those things that are slow and easy to understand. And you also have to be able to ask questions without, you know, fear of ridicule, or any of those insecurities that most people have. Seriously, imagine that you're the only person in the world who can solve the problem, and then just go to it, you know, start Googling, start looking things up and figure out what, you know, what's the first thing you have to learn? All right after that, what's the next thing? Okay, what's the next thing? And I think that's good advice. And eventually, you might get to the point where you feel like you can contribute to somebody else's project. And there are tons of projects, open source projects out there that need help. And even though you may not realize it, you know, after you've been developing for six months, a year or something like that, you probably know enough to be able to spot problems and to fix things, and to offer solutions. So, learn how GitHub works. Learn what a pull request is, and then go make some

Tim Bourguignon 48:06
and I've been nodding my head too heavily. So Amen to that. Thank you very much call. Where would be the best place to start a discussion with you or continue this discussion with you?

Carl Franklin 48:18
Okay, well, there's quite a few things. If you're into music, go to Carl franklin.com. If you like Steely Dan, and you like big bands, and you want to see live music, go to Franklin brothers band.com. If you want to learn all things dotnet and listen to people talking about it, that's dotnet rocks.com, D O T N E, tr, o c ks, calm. If you want to learn blazer, and I'm gentle, I don't think I talk over anybody go to Blazer train.com. There's a whole bunch of content there. And even though I started a couple years ago, and so some of the early ones, you know, the exact details of them may or may have changed may or may not have changed, but the fundamental stuff is still there. I also have a show called the dotnet show, where I started talking about Xamarin Forms, and then it's sort of moving over to Maui. That's sort of the latest thing. You know, Maui is taking a little bit longer than we thought and so there aren't as many episodes there, but there will be come May, June, July. You will be a lot more. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Yeah. That's about it.

Tim Bourguignon 49:26
Anything timely? For end of April? Can we see you somewhere alive and

Carl Franklin 49:31
of April? Oh, you know what? There's another show. Another podcast that I just started a little while ago, called Security this week. Who, okay, security this week we learn about now, first of all, I'm not the expert. I'm the guy who asked the dumb questions. Currently, I'm getting smarter. But it's only because I'm talking to two really smart guys whose job it is to hack companies. They get there. They work for a security company, and they get hired to do penetration Testing and you know, here's the challenge hack into our systems and tell us where we need fortifying and all that. And the route really smart and we learn a lot about it and about the about security through the lens of current events. So we look at it the ransomware attacks that happened this, you know, log for J was a big thing. And we talk about if we need to worry about it, first of all, is this something that I, you know, as a just a regular user sitting at a desk in my company need to worry about, is this something my company needs to worry about? And so we go through these things and talk, talk through them. And we have a few laughs too. I couldn't

Tim Bourguignon 50:39
imagine a show where there's no laughs and you're able to speak that calm. Awesome, and we'll add all those links to the show notes. Call. It's been fantastic. Thank you so much for taking us on this adventure from the 80s to somewhere, right somewhere today. Thanks for stopping by. And this has been another episode of devas journey, and we see each other next week. Bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you liked 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 appear 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 donate. 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 per email info at Dev journey dot info. Talk to you soon.