Software Developers Journey Podcast

#224 Grant Glidewell from substance abuse counselor to web dev


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Grant Glidewell 0:00
It sounds cliche, but that being part of who I am is really valuable for me. And I feel like people coming into this from we call them alternative backgrounds or non traditional back people who didn't go to school for CFP or science or engineering degrees or if you've landed here, and, you know, this is a second or third, fourth career, whatever, I feel like those backgrounds have a lot of value. I wouldn't change a thing. I mean, there are probably some things but off the top of my head, really the broader picture, I'm pleased with where I'm at other than feeling like oh, yeah, I've got I'm coming up on 40 and probably should be further along in their career, but I've made up for that by making some aggressive moves.

Tim Bourguignon 0:44
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey to 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 224 I receive grant Glidewell. Rent. Texas bore enough house Glidewell first off his name, the free thinking skeptic how he's making it for us right now. King of coffee nation explorer of JavaScript week mover and break trough famous discoverer of solutions. And Father of Logan was more to say, Your Majesty, welcome. I didn't prepare you for that. That was

Grant Glidewell 1:28
a bit of my wife wrote that. I still love it. I can't think of anything better.

Tim Bourguignon 1:38
I would have found it to say, Oh, this is this is gonna be the intro. So Greg, really, welcome to the show.

Grant Glidewell 1:45
Thanks for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 1:46
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. As you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like, and imagine how to shape their own future. So I suggest like always on the show, actually, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start of your journey?

Grant Glidewell 2:37
So that's, that's a difficult question. Because there's there's a few places in time where I could say this, this story begins, right? Like, oh, what's the child here are there and for the listeners, he gives you a little bit of time before the show to kind of think on this. So you're extra confused when a question comes up. Like it's definitely there to whip up some internal conflict.

Tim Bourguignon 2:58
I'm sure there's a couple of books have been written on you. And the story is clear.

Grant Glidewell 3:02
Only Yeah, time is not linear in my universe. It's It's wild. So there's there's some kind of early roots, we'll start where we'll start earlier than than the true beginning. Well, we'll get to the true beginning where there's like intention in like, I want to do this as a career but I mean, as a kid, I was exposed to computers quite a lot. My dad was a consultant and worked in technology and with with tech companies, and so I had a lot of exposure early in my childhood computers at home fast internet before there was cable internet, like we had a 56 six when everybody else was on a 28 eight modem. If you know what that is, you're probably my age. Congratulations. We're old so

Tim Bourguignon 3:46
you can hear the tone already. So

Grant Glidewell 3:49
So you know, lots of that early early internet adopters online gaming quake quake Team Fortress, I was I was in a quake Team Fortress clan, which is not like the weird Hood, Hood guys clan. This is like just a group of nerds that play the same game. So I had a lot of like early exposure to this. And honestly, when I was a kid I really thought before some other things got in the way which I think we should probably get into some of the things got in the way but one of one of the things that I really thought I would do was exactly what I do now like software engineering something just in the tech industry like that's that's really where my head was at before continue.

Tim Bourguignon 4:28
Did you picture what you are doing today? Or did you picture just being in this industry?

Grant Glidewell 4:34
So I did have some understanding so like the web that we experienced today did not exist like the the concept of pulling a screen out of your pocket and having access to anybody really just was unfathomable. I sound old saying

Tim Bourguignon 4:56
I'm exactly as old as you are even older. You remember when metrics came out and there was this dislike of phones with a with a slider to pop up the Dalek. Yeah, this

Grant Glidewell 5:08
was still much cooler than the flip phone of the time. Yeah, that's a slide phone. With that. I think Samsung is gonna try and bring that back. We'll find out. Yes. Hello, yeah, the job that I have currently, like, didn't really in earnest exist. But I remember a very early experience, I somehow interned like gigantic air quotes. interned my my dad was consulting for a company called iPad, it stood for interactive video, Ivan communications. Wow, this is not something that was even on on my little outline. This is just memories that are coming back to me now. Awesome. So I think communications I'm in there. I'm interning and I am thinking visually in some pre Adobe product, what future splash animator, this was. This company was purchased by another company that turned it into Flash. And then that was absorbed by Adobe, if I'm remembering that whole, ancient historical timeline correctly, so I built something in what eventually was flash. And it was, it was simple enough that you know, like, 12 year old me could do it. And it's not dissimilar to what YouTube was. Because the whole point of this was to show off some interactive video feature that this company was was trying to come out with, they ended up contracting a lot with police and military to do video things with police and military that I, I'm not sure I'd be a huge fan of today, but whatever. But that was kind of my early exposure in, in technology. And I definitely saw myself wanting to move in that direction. But what I do currently didn't really exist before the masses and the populations, but some stuff kind of got in the way, I took a detour. And that led me to a whole different career that I think we should just briefly kind of go over because it ended up failing, spectacularly and exploding. And I think a lot of it set me up to do well in the position that I'm in now. So I started drinking, like 10 years old, and that like didn't work very well, for me, I was kicked out of school. And so I was like, Okay, I'll call it's not a good idea. Maybe, maybe drugs will work. So I start doing drugs. And I'm just gonna like very generally say like, drugs also did not work for me, shockingly, at 12 or 14 years old, I was kicked out of school again, by the time I was 16 years old, I hit ended up in the hospital three times that year, and the most that like the, the last time I was in the hospital, that's the last time I ever used any drugs at 16 years old. Like I don't remember very much about it, it was it was it was an overdose of a combination of lots of drugs. And I wound up in a substance abuse treatment program. And that shaped a lot of my kind of late teen years where I wasn't ever kicked out of school again, I managed to stay clean, like it's been 22 years. So yeah, I mean, it's like after, after five or seven years, I was just like, it just becomes what it is. It's I don't feel like I deserve a cookie for just doing the right thing and not being a miserable human being to be around. Like, you know, just being a person here that this set me up and put some people in my life that are still around today. Instead of wanting to be involved in technology and wanting to kind of seek out that lifestyle. It became about wanting to help other people find what I had found, which was to me kind of saving my life and by extension, helping them to kind of save their own lives. And so for 15 years, I was training to be and becoming and being a substance abuse counselor. And so like at 18 years old, I was working in acute psychiatric hospitals put myself through college while doing that and ended up running a private practice with a friend of mine who we are still friends today I specialized in working with adolescents and their families because that's really where my expertise lies, like kids trying to get sober have very unique needs. And it's a it's a tough time to try and get clean. So that's what I did for for a long time. And so I have a lot of experience in hospitals, medical industry and that sort of stuff. That's that's as deep as I think we need to get into that. What happened is so like I don't want to get political. There was a very good thing that happened. We we call it Obamacare, more people getting health care had this knock on effect in in health insurance and in billing for health insurance. And in trying to get reimbursed for treatment. And so this had a very direct negative impact on my practice and our ability to really make ends meet. And so I got to a point where there was months that I was looking at, like, not paying bills, or picking which bills I was going to cover this month, like it was really, really rough. And I hadn't had that, you know, in the 15 years prior of, of doing this kind of work. So, so it was rough. And that's, that's really where I started to in earnest intentionally try to become a developer.

Tim Bourguignon 10:40
Wow, first of all, thank you for going that deep on that story. That that is indeed something that happened and derailed that story. Before Yes, I took a detour. Yeah, that's the key to getting out of this detour you consider something else then then going back to to tech? Or was it just this like,

Tim Bourguignon 11:02
there was there was some consideration to going and like working at a hospital again, but it it just wasn't a good option. So so the the external impression of working as a software developer is that like you, you make millions of dollars and you drive around in Lamborghinis. Like it's it is a solid financial place that you can get to which is which is really, all I wanted is Lamborghinis and whatever, whether or not that's the reality is a different story. But I wanted something that was financially stable after feeling how bad it feels to be. Literally insolvent is, is there's a bad experience. And there was there was an immense amount of pressure. And so at the at the time, I knew somebody who did this, this kind of work he worked in, in in droop, and I still work with this guy like I, I work with him today. And it's absolutely wild that like, we've gone from, you know, him teaching me like what a for loop is. Two, we like have architected solutions together. It's wild, how much things have changed. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 13:04
That that hints at my next question, actually, how did you approach this transition? After 15 years, as you say, just before, my previous question did was a completely different space 15 years ago. And so when you started approaching this, this new idea, okay, now I'm going to start getting into tech again, how'd you start that

Grant Glidewell 13:24
with wild desperation, there just was, there was no other option, right? And trying to go back to school, this cost money. My, my wife was, I believe, finishing up school at the time, or had just finished school. And so we were looking at her student debt. And I'm like, retraining, not great this, this was an opportunity only because it's an industry that you can get into without formal education. And there are very few of those left. I think that's unfortunate. I think there are very few careers that really actually require education, and a few that that require educate or like, should require education that then really don't so, you know, I mean, those are, those are broader topics that

Tim Bourguignon 14:11
maybe, but that's going to be another tangent.

Grant Glidewell 14:16
Why is there not a license for this?

Tim Bourguignon 14:20
trade off during two? Okay, so you end the the self taught route, not that friendly shoulder and say, Hey, teach me for loops. And let's go. Yeah,

Grant Glidewell 14:29
yeah, it was, it was very much I started on the internet at Code Academy. And I was looking at Java, and I'm trying to like, learn Java, and I go to my buddy, and I'm like, Alright, so this Java thing I'm trying to learn and he just laughs at me and says, Hey, come over. Let's talk for a minute. I'm going to show you what I do. And I'm going to give you some advice on a direction to go. He was like, bet on JavaScript, learn JavaScript. And then once I got a little further into that, he he very heavily said suggested that I go into React, which I did. And it's those have been some of the best decisions that I've made in my career. I mean, it's, they have made up my career not to say that another path couldn't have worked, I think it could have but in, in my current market, and also the way that my brain works, it seemed to line up pretty well for me, but I spent a lot of time on free code camp.org, which is exactly what you think it is, it is a Free Code Camp. And it is built by the community for the community, I believe his name is Quincy Larson runs this. And he just the benevolence, the the absolute just gift that he has created in the wake of coding boot camps that are like blatantly predatory, which is another thing we don't really need to get into. But like they are out there, beware, if you're a new developer trying to get into this, like, be very, very cautious. Being self taught is not the only way a lot of people work better in a classroom environment, I totally understand that. And sometimes it's absolutely worth the investment. For me, the amount of motivation I had just in the form of, I'm not going to be able to eat, if I don't make this work made self teaching an option. So so that worked really well, for me, I did a lot of West boss courses. I went through and did everything that he offers for free. And then I'm like, okay, he's got a React class, like, I'm gonna just, it was, I think it was $100. And I was like, I'm going to spend a whole $100. And at the time, that was really painful. Right? Now I look back at it, and I'm like, that is the cheapest $100. Like, if, if that was the ROI? Yeah. You know, just every single day, one of the things I've kind of glossed over here is because my career at the time was, I don't want to say like falling apart. But it really was, I had a lot of extra time on my hands. And that's not something that a lot of people have. And so like I had the privilege of this huge amount of time to like, sit on a laptop, on my patio and go through a spouse courses or go through Free Code Camp classes. And like, try and validate that. And one of the ways that I tried to validate that was was going to meetups, which, again, not an option for people right now, you know, because of the world that we live in. And we'll probably continue to live in for a long time. But, you know, meetups in person are something that absolutely changed my prospects as as a new person trying to reenter tech.

Tim Bourguignon 17:44
You said, you said you validated your your knowledge, I assume, by going to meet up? What do you mean exactly by this?

Grant Glidewell 17:52
So this, this isn't, when you ask this, the only thing I can think of is Stuart Runyon, who eventually became one of my bosses. But at the time, I met him at a meet up and he was like, this is a great place where you can hear people say the words that you've been reading, and you don't really know how they're pronounced. Like, that's absolutely perfect. And exactly what I needed, right? You know, like, this is how you speak multiple languages. I do not, but I think it is akin to these things when you are reading them hearing it just orally, orally a you like in the ear, not orally, like in your mouth. Nevermind hearing, hearing it out loud, makes a difference in how you perceive things. And so definitely trying to talk the talk and trying to communicate problems that I'm having, like this is this is something that we have to do on teams, as developers at all levels, is describing problems describing possible solutions and trying to interpret somebody else's ideas and like piecing that together. And so like meetups were so crucial to me in this time and it's it's really unfortunate that they've kind of fallen apart I haven't been to a meet up and I mean, years at this point, they've gone online and I still haven't participated. Got a kid now and so like that plays into it for sure. But yeah, it's it's really interesting kind of thinking back on that time what it what it felt like walking into those rooms, hearing people say this stuff, and it was really exciting. And then I would get a phone call from a family or a kid that needed some advice or some help. And it was like this strange juxtaposition this like transitional space. It's It's honestly kind of emotional thinking back on it. It's very strange.

Tim Bourguignon 19:42
That that's the best compliment for for what we're doing. So if you're a nostalgia train, that's good. No, absolutely. That's why I asked about this validation is because in my career I've been I've been going in and out of development for a while very early. My career I started moving toward the more the people side. So I won't don't want to say management really the people so and I fought against this for a while. And so I always drifted, and then quit and come back and drifted again in next job and quit and come back. And at some point, I said, Okay, let's give it a go. And I tried it for almost a year. And I remember after trying to come back to development was pretty much what you described. And I would have used the word validated as well. But in a slightly different context thing, I went back to that. At that time, I went back to dotnet, there was my language, I was an audio technology I was on, and really trying to understand everything that's going on in a talk and say, Okay, I'm not able to follow and be almost at the same pace as the speaker, meaning I know trying to catch up the whole time and really trying to understand what would they say? I really, okay, it's logical, I can see where they're going to dress. Oh, so I'm really at the bleeding edge. And if that's it, then then I validated that I'm back. Basically, I'm back at the level, I want it to be where I can really follow up with what's happening. It's not the bleeding edge, obviously, a worldwide, but it's bleeding edge around me. And so that's good enough that I say, okay, not not no, I'm good enough. And, and that leads to my next question, which is, when did you feel good enough to say, Okay, now I get away from my paycheck. And I started working in this industry.

Grant Glidewell 21:26
Okay, when did I feel good enough? This makes an assumption that I'm there. Because I think there's like, I think it's a little bit fetishized in in like this, like, deep humility, of like, I'm always a junior Dev, right. And I, I remember hearing that as, as a junior Dev and thinking like, No, you're not a junior, that's kind of insulting. Like, if I can aspire to be your level of Junior, it just felt very weird to me. So skipping forward to where I felt, I want to just use the word competent. Because the first couple of jobs, I had the, like, there were, there were problems there. Some of the minds, some of them organizational, the first place that I felt competent, is probably I was hired at an agency to help them transition from doing Drupal work to doing jam stack. Right? So they've been building in this monolith, and our, you know, their, their leadership had a desire to start to market to their clients, like, hey, we can do this other type of work to and expand our client base. And so I was brought in to introduce that I was also learning on the fly as I was in there, which sounds like, Oh, you didn't know what you were doing, which, like, let's be honest, is true. But I knew at that point, so I had come from a startup where it was a company of like, seven people, five of which are engineers. And, like it was, it was such an amazing time. But it gave me insights into how do these people actually accomplish things. And it's not because they have this, like, deep understanding of like, the intricacies of how the application is going to work. They know how to figure it out. Right. And so I felt really confident in my ability to figure something out. And, and I know that given a little bit of time, I couldn't make this thing work. And what I put together at this agency was was a few different things. One, it was a stack, I was handed a relationship with some folks over at Gatsby, which was an absolute godsend like to be given those connections, it really, it really opened a lot of things up for me and put me where I am in my career today. But I also put together something that comes from my previous career, I put together a comprehensive education program for the PHP developers to, to come up on JavaScript, modern JavaScript, and JAMstack. Gatsby, which also comes with Graph QL, which is like, these are a lot of steep learning curves, if you're not familiar with them. So I was very proud of, of what we were able to accomplish there. And I think a lot of the engineers there really liked that work and hopefully have continued, I haven't kept in touch with many of them.

Tim Bourguignon 24:24
That is very cool. I like the way you formulate it saying well, they have the I'm not going to be able to quit your web. But whether they have the confidence that they're going to figure it out. And this is really one thing I've observed as well. It's really the difference between between good developers because they have the knowledge they've been doing it etc. and and really great developers who don't have the knowledge yet, but they have enough understanding to say yeah, I know I'm going to figure it out. And and the confidence and, and really, they usually do They usually do, they usually have two, three paths. So possible path, and they will try them in their heads and say, Well, I have a feeling that this one is better, and actually works. And this is amazing to see how people can can just project in the future and say, Well, I have a feeling that this is going to be right. And this work. I'm amazed when I see this. A few of you engineers in my in my team right now. We're just mazing at this. And I'm always looking at him saying I see so many possibilities of how this could fail. I said, Well, I have a strong conviction. He's going to work say, Okay, you're the boss. I know if you do, then I know you do. He said this, this is an ability, which is absolutely outstanding.

Grant Glidewell 25:40
One of the one of the things my coworker says, often he says it's software, we can do anything. Like yeah, that's true. Don't say that in front of stakeholders. Like let's try and put some, like reasonable limitations around this stuff. But it's, but it's not wrong in that, oh, you know, I think it it takes some some experience. But some, I think there's a bit of, I don't want to say a mental attitude, because that's vague enough to be meaningless. But I think it takes some kind of stupid confidence, who, like, say, Yeah, let's do it. And that really have a full plan. But you just have this idea that, while it's software, we can do anything with it, I managed to do all of these other things that, you know, I didn't really know how to do when I started. Yeah, we can totally do that.

Tim Bourguignon 26:39
There's quite what I've seen, what I've seen a couple of times, is that they have and I say they because I don't count myself in in this club, actually, they really have the understanding of the lowest common denominator. And they kind of always have an idea of how they could make it as crappy as possible, but working. And so if all if all hell breaks loose, they know they can come back to Option Z. And and it's going to work. And I've seen this a couple of times with people saying, well, well, yeah, those two, those two softwares are not talking but we'll come back to a text file. And we're going to dump things here. And we're going to base our x copy, it's on the on the other side and an important on the other side. And it's going to work. It's absolutely not nice. But and when you when you know this from the get go that this could be working, then I guess this this, this confidence starts coming, you can say, well, anything better than this is nice. So strike,

Grant Glidewell 27:41
what you're saying is really, really hilarious. Because I so I have seen people think this way, I have thought this way when when features or whatever are being pitched are being demanded. Exactly that. Okay. At the very least, I can, you know, write this to a bucket, read it over here, or, you know, build some sort of integration around this with that. And this is, this is the terrible way to do it. I know I can get to the end goal. I don't want to do that. So I'm going to spend some time trying to figure a better way to do it. Yeah. Oh, wow. I haven't heard that quite articulated in that way. Because I think I think a lot of people want to project that they, their mind works like that thinking meme with all of the formulas flying around and all of this, when really it's like a little bit of duct tape and rope. Yep, I can make that work. But we'll you know, we'll see if we can 3d print some pieces around it and make it you know, just less less crash fire,

Tim Bourguignon 28:45
then you're motivated to not doing this. Right. Oh, God, that would be so terrible. We need to find a way to not do this. But it's really something I've seen, I've seen in especially in the startup world, where you're really trying to make it work. You don't have the time you don't have the resources, you don't have the luxury of doing it fine. And so you're just going fast. And when you say okay, now we we should probably not use duct tape this time, then then it's time to graduate and do something else. But it's always the first thing you have to think okay, well, what would be fast and working? Okay, why is it not the right thing to do? And so this is something that I see nowadays, I work for a startup right now. And so I'm surrounded by this and really this discussion, this is a crappy way to do it. Why is not the right way? Why should we invest more and and there's always a good reason to do it. But at least you didn't do it for the right reason. And not because you have to do it the craftsmanship way and have 100% coverage of your tests before you do anything. Yes.

Grant Glidewell 29:48
What are those? Oh, geez. We write TypeScript. We don't need TAs.

Tim Bourguignon 29:54
Exactly. The types are doing it for you, right.

Grant Glidewell 29:57
Just gonna break it, whatever. Okay, so

Tim Bourguignon 29:58
that's it. Let's go I could do that job we before we dwell too much on it. So you said there was an interesting you did some training material as well for the the deliver the former developers were on this job system in PHP, and to help them transition to this gem stack. So more JavaScript and QL. You mentioned as well, was it something that you had pictured being part of you work a few years prior, doing doing that kind of exercise? So

Grant Glidewell 30:25
considering my introduction to development was West boss, I aspired to be less boss, which I don't have the same interest in, in doing that type of work. Now, I love I love public speaking. I mean, there was a whole prior career lots and lots of people work and interaction, and I still want that to be part of my job. But at that, at that particular time, absolutely. I was like, I'm going to record some YouTube videos, they're still up there. It's it's kind of I should go look at them and see how bad they are. But yeah, I did some YouTube videos. And we also started incorporating some other people's. It wasn't just me like making training material, I used some some good stuff, some West boss, some stuff from front of masters, I think some stuff from Egghead so like it was, it was a very broad, like, we're gonna go through the best course material I can find. And when we hit roadblocks is really where I started to, like, try to fill in the gaps with some of these videos. I don't remember what they were. I know I did one on, like dealing with arrays. And I did some stuff specifically around Gatsby. Oh, and then we wrote. So like this, this, this job was was hugely forward for me in a few different ways. Because not only was I getting to kind of live out some of that dream and use some of that kind of educational skill set. But also, we got to build some of the like, features that that Gatsby used with Drupal specifically. So the shop was not going to move entirely away from Drupal, that would be a very weird thing for them to do. Drupal is a phenomenal back end and works headless Lee very well. And so that's that's what they wanted to do. But there was not a very good preview experience around this. And so what I helped write with another engineer, there was the Gatsby Drupal preview plugin, which is simple. It's just some HTTP requests going back and forth. So we did exactly what we were just describing were like, well, how can I make this work? Well, if it gets, like it, we just set up some web hooks, we can kind of ping the local host and have that connect with, you know, Drupal in some way when something changes, and okay, how can we reduce the latency of this? How can we increase the accuracy? Can we just send a diff? Can we parse the diff on the client like, we, we started at, you know, duct tape and buckets and ended up with mostly duct tape and buckets I actually used so this is this is Gatsby, their huge Nemesis is next Jas, which was built by the site at the time who had a an HTTP client framework called micro. I don't know if you're ever familiar with that, okay. Not really, I know, just little, little micro little tiny requests, like Node fetch client, right now that fetches, like, baked into the latest node. Great, fantastic. We need that. But micro is what I used instead of they had not exposed their Express instance internally yet. So I built a competing products HTTP request client into Gatsby for a short short period of time. That tickles me just a little bit.

Tim Bourguignon 33:36
And it should both both good and bad.

Grant Glidewell 33:41
They saw it and they were like, Why don't you Why don't you just using Express and like, it's not exposed? I can't make a request with your instance. There's no way for me to get at it. Like, oh, yeah, we should do that. Yeah, it'll make writing plugins a lot easier. If it did, and it in a does, they've done a lot of really good stuff in Gatsby.

Tim Bourguignon 34:03
But the the exercise always good having to to go that deep and say, Okay, how would I do this if I had to? And will you go through the exam, and then at the end, find that Oh, somebody already did it? Okay. Yeah, yeah. Pretty cool. Pretty cool. So is this something that you're not expressly doing on purpose now, this training piece and this teaching piece?

Grant Glidewell 34:31
So sadly, teaching is not really part of what I'm doing now. So after, after this agency, I moved on to a larger tech company. Well, a larger business company that does tech is Docusign. So like, the signature stuff, that's everybody knows what they do. If you've ever bought a house you've used DocuSign and like three other competing products because Nobody can, like settle around just one product anyway. So I came in, and this is this is where, you know I work with this is where things came full circle, my, my buddy was working here, he was like, hey, we need an engineer brought me onto his team, we re platformed off of like Magento for some e commerce stuff, we like we accomplished a whole lot, some like internal change stuff happened, we he went on to a different team, I went on to this new team. And our goal was doing exactly the thing that I've now pigeon, my whole pigeon holed myself to do, which is replatforming away from Drupal. So we have now like replatform, to docusign.com, and other web properties that we own from Drupal seven and Drupal nine on to a headless JAMstack type of thing. And so I don't get to teach people about this other than kind of onboarding already, really great engineers, that the thing that I that I've that I get to do now that I find really valuable is like, we've managed to build this team. And that's something that I didn't really have a desire to do, it just kind of fell in my lap. And like interviews started showing up on my schedule. And like there were people attach to these interviews and talk to them and like, figure out, you know, what, what their fit would be like on our team, it was it was just kind of this interesting experience to go from, like, I'm just an engineer to now I have this, you were kind of alluding to it earlier, like you've vacillated between people work in engineering work, and they are very, very different worlds, when it comes to people work, I feel like I have an unfair advantage. Because I did that for years, you know, talking and dealing with people and dealing with crisis and all this kind of stuff and delivering hard news and trying to motivate people like all of that stuff is in my wheelhouse. And so like, I've had to kind of pull that out a bit while at the same time delivering engineering goods. So like I've gone to now spanning a huge amount of just territory in and what I do and what I'm responsible for. It's very weird. And I don't know, if it's apparent, as I'm talking, I'm also having this realization, life,

Tim Bourguignon 37:21
this coming this way want to say you look puzzled, not not happy, not unhappy, just puzzled. And maybe to pin it back to something else that you said, you said, Well, I pigeonhole myself into into this kind of work, you could have said, although I kind of created an expertise in this job and do what why you chose those words.

Grant Glidewell 37:48
So I think because I would prefer to be a generalist, which I am now gives you my current role as a generalist, but so seeing these projects that I've been able to work on where I'm doing these, these migrations, and, and moving on to like a very specific stack, like I have developed expertise in that I do, you know, kind of know how to plan and execute these projects and do them in ways that are more more or less efficient. They're they're difficult, large think pieces, really, because you have to have an understanding of where we're coming from and where we need to go and what the needs are on on kind of the latter end of that, it becomes very big in my mind. And sometimes I would just rather be an engineer that gets tickets, and executes the tickets, and doesn't really have to do everything else around it. Does that make sense?

Tim Bourguignon 38:48
Oh, yes, it does. I had to said this, too. I have a form management job. Now. I'm really completely on the low side. And three weeks ago, we did a hackathon. And so really, four days non stop coding. And, and the most of my co workers since I changed jobs about a year ago, hadn't seen me write out a single line of code. It was really worth you can code it. And so that was the first realization. And the second one was, Oh, that's so good. It's so enjoyable. You get some fixes every 20 minutes, you managed to do something and said, Ah, and then 20 minutes later, ah, oh, it works. And then you raged for 20 minutes because it's not working and then you get a fix again. And it's it's I don't want to say it's simple, but it's you get this quick we're our rewards and it really makes your day it brings a rhythm it's it's a different scope of problems. And sometimes it does really really good so I understand what you're what you're saying and but I enjoy going back to my daily life was juggling was 25 balls and not being able to juggle three at the same time. Really, but that's the kind of promo I like. But I really went back to this and say, oh, yeah, I remember why it was so great. And I get it. Somewhere in the middle, I guess would be the right balance. But yeah, I

Grant Glidewell 40:10
think I think so

Tim Bourguignon 40:11
that that's usually a place where I asked for advice. And I'm, I'm struggling with. Let's try it. Okay. You, is there something that you could have thought you talked about? You told us about this dark place that you had, or this this detour that you took? Is there something you could have told yourself? Now, knowing all the old words, you've lived now in the Indus tech side, and what it brought to you? And we've seen you in this memory lane in the past 20 minutes realizing things, etc? Is there something you could have told yourself back then, to help your your former self? I know, it's a slippery slope? But yeah, it's a

Grant Glidewell 40:51
it's a slippery slope. I don't know, my, my former self would thoroughly freak out at the concept of time travel or sending messages through time. Like, I, I think I could do more damage like this. Anything else? On honestly, like, it sounds cliche, but that being part of who I am, is really valuable for me. And I feel like people coming into this from we call them alternative backgrounds, or non traditional back people who didn't go to school for CF, see CS pewter science or engineering degrees. Or if, if you've landed here, and you know, this is a second or third, fourth career, whatever, I feel like those backgrounds have a lot of value. So I wouldn't change a thing. I mean, there probably some things but off the top of my head, really,

Tim Bourguignon 41:50
I'm putting you on the spot. So

Grant Glidewell 41:52
yeah, that the broader picture. I'm, I'm pleased with where I'm at other than feeling like, oh, yeah, I've got I'm coming up on 40. And probably should be further along in the career. But I've made up for that by making some aggressive moves. And you seem to be having fun, which is the most one can hopeful. That's true. It is fun.

Tim Bourguignon 42:18
There's in the end, the last 45 minutes have been fun as well, Grant, it's been a blast. Thank you very much.

Grant Glidewell 42:25
This was great. Thanks for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 42:27
Where can people find you online and start a discussion or continue this fun discussion with you?

Grant Glidewell 42:32
So I'm on Twitter at Grant Glidewell. I also co host the podcast with Austin Gill called the function call that has a Twitter handle of the F and call or the F and call.com. I love that show name. It's so good. We generally just chat and have a good time. Usually not too serious.

Tim Bourguignon 42:52
Yeah, when when I end the call with with cheek aches. That's because if we've been laughing and that's good. And that's pretty much the case right now. So good. Anything else you want to plug in?

Grant Glidewell 43:02
No, no,

Tim Bourguignon 43:03
that's all I got. Awesome. Then thank you again. It's really been a blast. And I hope we can we can catch up again someday. Absolutely. And this has been another episode of developer's 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 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 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 email info at Dev journey dot info. Talk to you soon.