Software Developers Journey Podcast

#247 Brandon Campbell-Kearns searched for his identity


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Brandon Campbell-Kearns 0:00
If something doesn't resonate with you through reading it, maybe try reading it and then doing it or looking at a tutorial and going section by section after you complete a section, go back and research what that section itself was on. Before you continue the next section. That way you get these little like, reinforcement loops along the way. But there's not necessarily one learning style for a person there is there could be a predominant one. I would say looking at it holistically and tapping into various different ways, while also keeping balance and not overwhelming yourself. I think that's what I did. In some cases, just like following all sorts of Twitter accounts. Listen to every podcast watch, trying to click into every new technology that I learned.

Tim Bourguignon 0:46
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 247 I receive Brandon Campbell Kearns. Brandon is a software engineer with a knack for teaching. He has built software and trained new engineers in modern web development at organizations such as the US Department of Defense, USAA, The Home Depot, and many others. Before joining the tech industry, Brandon taught English in Korea and also bartended in Atlanta, Georgia. These days he is researching new technologies while still teaching web development and sharing his insights on learning on his own podcast, Quarterly Learnings. Brandon, welcome to devjourney.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 1:36
Thank you for having me, Tim. And thank you for that, that smooth introduction.

Tim Bourguignon 1:40
I wonder who wrote this. But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the DevJourney 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, DevJourney.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. Brandon, as you know, the show exists to help listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape their own future. So as is usual on the show, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start of your tech journey?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 2:34
Yeah, this is really interesting. As I was thinking about it, it's kind of go to the default answer of deciding to be in a boot camp. But that's really not it. What made me do that was probably going to computer shows in the 90s with my grandmother used to go like, yeah, we used to go like expos. And she would actually she used to build computers, like, you know, when they were towers. And I would go with her to like CompUSA that was a store here in the US. It's so computers and whatnot. And she got me my first computer. And she taught me or brought me along with all of her on all her in her obsession with computers brought me along. And I think that's definitely a big boon to my interest in computers writ large. But we weren't writing code or anything like that, but it that definitely sparked the interest in computing and like what's going on? So

Tim Bourguignon 3:36
so obviously, then computers were a huge part of your childhood and then you enrolled in a computer science college degree somewhere and and the rest is history. Right? That's it?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 3:52
No, that's not what I was using the computers for. You know, kids things like being on chat rooms that probably shouldn't have been on downloading music that I probably shouldn't have been doing. And that's fine. We can let people know that that's fine is the statute of limitations is probably pass. But every now and again, something would come up that was a little beyond the UI, some sort of error message or like I was doing too much where I needed to defrag my disk or something like that. I didn't know what it meant. But it was interesting enough to me, I felt compelled enough to like dig into it more. And I don't really have super clear vivid memories of what I like to be able to tie that to today in writing code, but I definitely remember being piqued and knowing that there was something else going on behind this scenes that I wasn't necessarily like hip to at that time. So that sparked my curiosity.

Tim Bourguignon 5:07
Did you did you feel the need to scratch that itch back then and maybe didn't didn't succeed in doing this? Or just too much?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 5:15
Good question I do back then it felt like, it honestly felt like s is not something like, for me, I was interested, but I didn't know how to go about it. It was all like, get into computers get into programming was the sort of messaging at the time around me. But again, didn't know if that makes met, because I had, at the time, I had an uncle who was into computers. But he was in another state, and, you know, living his own career. So I didn't really know what that meant. So I just continued to just be online, and you know, go to school, do that do all that. But it took a while before it actually came, you know, to be something that I was like, I could do this, I could be a professional, this, whatever it was, which I didn't even know what that was at the time. But the next actual touch point was a with with software. As a craftsman was in high school, I took this visual basic class in ninth or 10th grade. And that was cool, that was good to see that I could get hands on and make something happen. At the time, I was hyper focused on being something like a safe route. And for me safe meant something that I had seen someone else do or be. And at the time, I hadn't seen anybody do computer programming in my direct sphere, or even really, like on TV or anything like that. And the way as we all know this, but the way that the profession is painted and casted on different shows, was very much not how I want it to be. Right. So the messaging and branding around the profession, and the idea of being a computer person, which is for me, that's all I thought of at the time. Was off brand. For Brandon. I like that. So yeah, so you know, life went on. And I went to university. Still not thinking at all at that point. Like after I did that visual basic class. I never really got tapped back into programming, I knew it was I had it in the back of my mind is like, oh, that's the thing. Now I knew it was like a profession in a real way and like what it meant, but not but and as I went to university, I even knew that there was a computer science department around the corner from my dorm, but I never tapped into it because I was chasing prestige. You know, in what form it sounds Ooh. But it's like it's actually horrible in the way of like, I want a job. That peep that has a lot of social esteem has this sort of like that will afford me the social currency in addition to like, the actual currency currency that people were like, I want people to say like, oh, you're a blank, whatever blank was I wanted to fill in that blank to where when people asked, What do you do? And I told them, they'd say, Oh, that's interesting. So I was chasing things. Like I went, I ran the gamut, right? I was pre med for a little bit. I was studying for the LSAT, which is the lawyer test here in the US all sorts of other things. I wanted to be a business source, but those were just I was striving for like an external ideal that was outside of me, and then like reverse engineering back to me, which I think that works if you're working on the thing, but it does not work. I found if you're trying to build a life you have to start internally and build out. Yeah. So but I was doing the complete opposite of that. Which I'm glad that I had that experience to know that that is not necessarily a good way for me to like start a foundation for a career or life. I would say more importantly life but you know, careers,

Tim Bourguignon 9:54
careers paddle fly, turned out life is is all encompassing around it.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 10:00
Thanks, right? It's a red onion. It doesn't listen to you.

Tim Bourguignon 10:04
But it's a hard nut to crack or hard thing to, to let go out. How did you find at some point that this is not? For you?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 10:13
Yeah, that's a really good question too, because it requires a bit of being, being able to, in a sense, fail be in a place that's like, being comfortable with this is not working out. And knowing that in also having think, or I know that I had a lot of support around me that allowed me to try different things. So for example, when I went down the what I thought was the path for me of going to try to go to law school and studying for the LSAT, I corralled my family, like, hey, I want to take this LSAT prep course. And they all like chipped in to get me to take it. And then once I realized that it wasn't for me, nobody followed up to be like, Hey, we gave you all this money for the course, what's happened? So like, even though that is, it's kind of like a passive thing, it didn't really happen. It's something that didn't happen. That was helpful for me to that I didn't have that pressure of like, well, you need to do something with this, because, and I think people knew that, even if they had been saying that to me, I wouldn't, it wouldn't necessarily result in me, forcing myself into that, that square peg in a round hole.

Tim Bourguignon 11:39
I see. I see. I mean,

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 11:40
that square hole is a round peg. So it was more just as that that one example that I think I think is representative is that I knew I had support from my family, which at the time I was, you know, still in my 20s, early 20s, maybe not even, maybe just 2011. So that was a big thing. But internally, it was it was a tough struggle, because it felt like I didn't have an identity. Because I was mapping my identity to my profession. And or like my career prospects, which, you know, as I know, now, there's so much more to life than how you feed yourself. Right? That is true. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, all and you know, it doesn't hurt when the, the academic feedback you're getting from, you know, when I was doing the pre med thing, the feedback loop for, especially in organic chemistry, is very clear that that was not the move, because, you know, I was a pretty good student, but that then the organic chemistry, maybe rethink that, maybe refactor my approach to scholastics.

Tim Bourguignon 13:11
I mean, you pass Did you did you try like this, and you put it as failing as, but I would say, learning about yourself.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 13:19
You know, that's, that's actually, right. It's a, it's a, it's like a micro failure, right? In the moment, you have to have a little bit of like, oh, man, that didn't work out. But you're right. On the on the macro level, that sort of higher plane. It's like, okay, we're just editing as we go. So yeah, I mean, there was pre med there is I want to do law school thing I wanted to, I tried, like, business school for a bit at the school, I went to all of those were really good. Programs at the school I went to. So I just decided that that none of those none of those are for me. And it was a again, a rough feeling. But I was I said, Okay, I've got to chart my own path. I have to make a custom route for me.

Tim Bourguignon 14:08
How do you do that? I needed.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 14:13
So after I graduated, it was 2010. Everybody's doing the math now. Okay. I said I wanted I've been a student for anything, like 13 years. So my entire identity was tied in this 90 Day feedback loop with a 90 day break, which is really just a 90 day stress period of like, I didn't do the summer work. I didn't do the summer reading. It's like August 17. And school starts on the 28th and I still haven't read this book, big time procrastinator. Hopefully the people listening aren't like, yeah, that's the way especially if there's children listening. If you have summer reading or recommend you do it as soon as possible. That way you're not stressed out, learn from Learn, learn from me. Okay, so when I graduated from university, I knew that I wanted to do something I needed a pattern interrupt without knowing what the concept of pattern interrupt was at that time. So I thought, okay, geographic change will be helpful. A Daily Dot change will be helpful to, in also space of, like, I don't know the language be good to, to just like really reset my brain. So I looked into this is this is the thesis for me, I wanted to go to a place or do something that would afford me the ability to live in a new place and also pay me a salary. So I looked into that that was my search. So I found out about teaching English. Initially, I was looking into this program in Spain. But think there, they wanted to pay like 600 euro a month, not including lodging. Yeah, so that sounds rough, right. And even even in 2010, that's rough. So and, but the thing is, I already knew Spanish and the money thing. So I felt okay, I can, I can do something else. So then I found out about a couple of programs in Japan. And then I finally landed on this program in Korea. And it was teaching English there. And like that was perfect. Once I applied, it was a whole thing. Getting visas and go into different places and getting APA steals, I don't know, bunch of documents. So I ended up going there. And that was good. And I thought I thought it would be really easy teaching English, because I'm like to consider myself a pretty good English speaker. But it was not it was really hard. That was they were probably one of the most discriminating not maybe let's not say discriminate that a lot of scrutiny on the people that teach them because the in Korea, they get a lot of teachers, they're in school all day. And then after class, or like public schools over they have this you know, education is a big part of the culture. So they have a big private academy in NG. So I was teaching at a private academy called the Hogwarts in this suburb of so called Suwon. And they knew what they needed from a teacher. So I've learned a lot about communication, learned a lot about presentation learned a lot about connecting and like making eye contact and making sure that the things you're saying are, you're not just like moving your mouth and making your voice box vibrate that there's like, like some input coming out. So yeah, so I ended up there did that for a year, and had again had no idea that any of this would lead to anything in technology, I was just trying to I was just sort of like resetting, re or like adding new neural pathways and like letting new neurons fire together to see what could be born out of that. So it's really just an experiment. And I really honestly still view my life that way as an experiment, to I think a few people's chagrin

Tim Bourguignon 18:40
that feeds into the the, the experiments narrative that we had had the beginning and failing and trying etc.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 18:47
That's yeah, totally. Totally. I mean, it's like, probably, did you ever watched the show The Muppets? Just the cartoon. So there was like, Bunsen and then there was another guy. That was I was big fans of them. They were big time scientists. So that's probably where that that image came. But

Tim Bourguignon 19:09
but going at it on your own life. That is gorgeous.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 19:13
Yeah, I mean, yeah, I think I think any sort of state change, or behavior change or anything like that requires at least a base level of courage because it's an unknown thing. I don't know what's gonna happen. And some, I really get it, that for some people that's like unsettling and not comfortable and they don't want that. And that's perfect. That's great too. But for me, I think I'm trying to just I just want to find out you know,

Tim Bourguignon 19:46
make sense. So did this. Patreon, interrupt as you put it, workout this this geographic cultural language and activity results that you burn on a new path?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 20:01
Yeah, you know, that's the wild thing. It's it's like impossible to know, I don't know what would have happened. But I just know that where I felt like I was going was like, causing me more duress, then. Delight. So, but in hindsight, I would say yes, great choice. One of the better decisions I've made probably second or third to dive into a boot camp and letting my hair grow out those 2007 that we don't have. Yeah, that's right. That's right. But there's plenty of overlap. And we have lots of things. Absolutely. The but the biggest thing I learned from that was, again, like back to the people relations thing that it's really is about how you're treating people, like the relationships that you build with people, regardless of who they are, whether it's like an eight year old, a 14 year old, the owner of the school, whether it's somebody you have conflict with the relationship that you have with them is one of the most important things and can lead to who knows what, and again, that's the thing you just don't know.

Tim Bourguignon 21:16
Did you have in contact with making equites the teaching world before that?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 21:23
Oh, yes, my grandmother, the same grandmother, that was that got me into computers. She's a teacher also. And I used to go to her. So during my spring break, I lived in North Carolina. her students, she was a kindergarten, first grade, second grade, kindergarten, first grade teacher and pre K, sometimes her students would be still in school. So during my spring break, I'd go up to her class that Tina to her house, and go to work with her at the school. So then I really got obsessed with I still really like going into had like these teacher supply stores that I used to love going into, even though it was like, you know, I wasn't a school teacher. Like, I didn't teach kids. But I just really was fascinated by all that stuff. So yeah, that's definitely a threat.

Tim Bourguignon 22:13
We haven't come to your to you decided to go into bootcamp yet, but but I want to rebound on on one of the things that wasn't your bio, saying that you're training people, you're teaching people. So obviously, this is something that's resonated in this experiences Korea, and that you took afterward and continued surfing on. So how did that come to happen? So you going to bootcamp and then inserting this card, this wild card you had a coat with your grandmother or aunt or maybe in Korea and make a living out of it?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 22:48
Yeah, it's a good it's a good question. Something I think about a lot. I like the surfing analogy you use that's cool. I've tended to use, like the snowball analogy of like, I'm collecting the skills as I'm going down or up the hill of life. And it's like, this is just, um, the snowball. That's just this is what I got. But the surfing implies a lot more control. So I like that. So after I left Korea, I came here to the back to the US and was just again, it's kind of still on that journey of like, it was like poster reset. The patterns have been interrupted. So then I came back to the place where the patterns were formed and observed the gap. Like okay, cool. You've had a sort of like a brain shift here. Now let's go back to the place where it formed and see what's different. One of the biggest things was, when I was in Korea, most of the time people talking that was like white noise. Like I didn't know what they were saying over time, I got to be able to pick, pick out a few words. But for the most part, it was white noise, right? Which I love that was like very calming, and also love how the language sounds. When I came back here was I knew what everybody was saying. And it was like oh, what is going on y'all please stop talking. But anyway, I spent some time in New Jersey in the like the tri state area, working in restaurants still just like trying to think like what's my place in the world. And then I picked up another teaching gig teaching Koreans English but this time online. So during this time, it was the hours for like six to 10am or are five to nine depending on the time change. And it was 10 minute sessions of teaching folks like on the phone English through either readings or they talk to me about current events, whatever they want. I just like correct the English on the way. But if I had gaps during the time, I would just sit there till my next call so I would surf the internet. And just looking at different websites. This is back when I think StumbleUpon was still a thing you could just go like browse the internet just like click In stumble, stumble, please bring back StumbleUpon I can bring back some of the fun, let's let's write, let's write a nude. I'm sure you're not busy at all, Tim.

Tim Bourguignon 25:12
Let's do it on the weekend.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 25:14
Good, good. So then I'm looking at this and I'm like, wait. So of course at this time, I'm like, still sort of searching passively for something in my life. And then you connect dots in sight later. Yeah. This is whole angle of my life, this technicality, if you will, that I haven't tapped into. And also, these websites and webpages, web apps, are making me feel things. So like, that's interesting. Why can I be somebody who creates this sort of feeling in someone else. So I approached, my desire to get into tech came from that angle, wanting to be a someone who had the technical skills to create any motion in someone else, I knew I could do that with my words. And my action, like as a person, just because that's kind of who we are as humans. But it was really fascinating to be like, Oh, I can put these little bits and bytes together, and also affect change in a different way. So I would say that that's what sparked my curiosity in my head, and milk. I had a notebook that I was taking notes, and I know you're not doing a video right now. That's right, I'm holding my notebook. It's an Evernote notebook that's chock full of notes about HTML, CSS, etc. But as you and your listeners know, learning to code, it's not really something you can, like, ingest or take notes on. In, learn that way. I'm sure some people can, but you really have to, like get in there and write stuff. I'm not gonna say it was like a fruitless exercise to do all that because it really helps me to there specific things like certain HTML tags, and CSS, selectors, etc. That's like helpful to kind of have in your back pocket, but you can always look it up. But I didn't know that at the time. Or it wasn't an intuition. I guess I knew that. It wasn't second nature. So I said, I need to get hands on. So I found out about Code Academy. But then I said, this is cool. But I know I'm not about to sit here and go through all these things myself. I just don't have it. In Me, mostly because I didn't know what was at the end. I didn't know like, what is what's the end game? And like, what am I trying to do? Because I had never seen anything like that happen. I didn't know anyone who like wrote software, in a in a purse at a personal level. Right. So it started out like a lot of other things. Like I remember, the announcement of like, Hey, I'm gonna go into, I'm trying to write code. But it's like, I've learned that, like, the announcing of intentions can be great. But it's us more interesting to put energy into trying to do the thing. And then have someone observe or be curious about what you're doing. Because the announcement kind of like, releases the dopamine that you actually want to get from doing this thing. But that announcement is, you know what I mean, it's like a false false setups, like, Okay, I'm making progress. But you're not telling about that. Just announced it, which is maybe an important step, and you like how it feels, and somebody says to you how best or tell me more about that. Beautiful. But keep in mind that it's not the same things that I've done. This is me talking to myself in 2014. So yeah, and then I found out about then I found out about General Assembly, through my searches of like, how to, like, how can I learn about this? How can I do this in a practical way? And yeah, so I enrolled in their course, January 2015. Finished up April 2015. Rough experience, I cried when I first learned about our spec in unit testing. Well, because I mean, it was so hard. I kind of at that point, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, because it was like, Okay, this is it. I felt like I was older. I was 25 which was not old. So it's like okay, now it's time let's get something going. So, in the end, the first kind of moment of this is difficult. I don't know what this is. I have definitely broke down because it's an intense experience all day, or days a week. I mean, I get it. It's just like a job but it's also learning. Learning is a very rough journey people and talk about it enough, but it's rough. Again, like you're blazing new neural pathways that That's never easy to do. So if you don't have, to my earlier point support, or a reason for containment to get on that journey, you're probably not going to complete it because it's just too much resistance, there's so much resistance. So it

Tim Bourguignon 30:17
was what was propelling you forward. In continuing on this journey. At this point, was this sheer power of will? Which did you have anything else?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 30:28
Well, that's big time, shout out to the bootcamp model writ large, because, for me, that was like, had a group of peers, and we all would learn together or go get coffee together, or go have lunch together. And it felt like I was learning with them. And I also knew that, you know, it was really helpful that it was in person. I know that, you know, lots of things are remote now, obviously, but that fact that it was in person, and I feel like I could have ridden my bike to it, ostensibly. I tend to the drive. But anyway, the fact that it was like sort of community driven that was really, that was the big, big thing for me.

Tim Bourguignon 31:09
I see, I see. There's a lot of way we could go and laughing to impact. But I, I want to come back to one thing you said, you said Please, you want it to create an emotion in somebody else. Yes, using technology. And I would like to to to have a look at your experience. Since this bootcamp since you Eric was again, entered the tech industry. In in light of this this, this this sentence you just said, Did you manage to create emotions? Did you manage to fulfill this, this idea that you're not doing right now? You managed to do that? And how did it go?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 31:48
Yeah, so really interesting. I've so it turns out, yes, but not exactly how I thought because when I was having those feelings, I was looking at mostly like animations, or very visual, very artsy sort of things. So initially, I looked into this graphic design school because I thought that was like the direct way I wanted to do it. But like, honestly, the goal was never to write. Business applications was never to write like software as a service, I never was interested in like, Oh, let me try to optimize the supply chain through a web app of Home Depot, like never was the goal. But there are a little component, when you think like, oh, a person has to interface with this app on a regular basis. Therefore, the way we build it is going to have an impact on their life. The estimate is interesting, like really zooming down on particular details, sometimes to the chagrin of folks that just needed to deliver the thing was important, but then also, like adding the teaching component in in the, like, not from the user standpoint, but from the people around me. That gave me that what I was what I was seeking that scratch that emotional itch, if you will, if it allowed me to connect with people. But at first, when I first landed on my team, I did not think that I had anything to offer from a teaching standpoint, for sure. But honestly, like, from a technical standpoint, I was just like, nice. They want to hire me. Lesko, they're writing checks. Okay. Right. So. But it turns out that like, the way I had been trained in software, which is very, I would say, XP was not the way that software was being written at Home Depot, which is where I landed first. At the time, so I had like my default, which is all I knew, was what represented progress for him for the people on my team, which I didn't expect that. So one thing was teaching the team how to use Git and GitHub, because at the time they were using SVN. So I was like, okay, cool. I this is all I know. And I don't even know what you mean about SPM. But if we're going to get I can show you that. So that I would say was why I continued to do the teaching thing. And then of course, a couple years later at Home Depot. One day, a director hit me up and was like, hey, what would it look like if we scaled the work you were doing with your team? Like across the whole technology organization? So I was like, I don't know, maybe it looks exactly like the bootcamp I took a couple years ago. So I put together a slide deck. Talk to him about it. There's another person who is on the learning and development team at Home Depot. But looking back at that slide, everything that is on it is What ended up becoming orange method at Home Depot, which is a internal tech bootcamp there. And then it was off to the races as far as teaching is concerned, in the tech space,

Tim Bourguignon 35:14
that is so cool that your first job really, right away, propel you into this this, you have something to offer, you're not just newbie that just has to shut up and learn. You have something to offer to to the whole team, the whole company. And let's try to play this card right away and scale this. This is awesome. What

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 35:34
it is awesome. And I think that the actual truth, Tim, is that everyone has that everyone has that. They may not be focused on it, because they might be thinking about the fear of like, oh, how am I going to contribute? Do they like me this and that, but you definitely have that, especially if you're a career changer. What you were doing before you got into, let's say into tech matters, especially if it's like a humanities thing. That's definitely what's needed. It's not the case. And I think this is what happens with a lot of folks who are career changing. They think that they have to become a computer also. But it's like no, no, we need human beings telling the computer what to do, or other human beings, so you cannot lose the human connection you. In fact, that's the strength. So for me, I lucked out. But also, I think that everyone has something that they can offer to a new space that they join, especially if they tap into themselves.

Tim Bourguignon 36:43
Absolutely, I'm nodding heavily, resonates so much with the experience I've had, and especially mine, I'm almost my 40s Now, a couple months, and it'll be there. And, and I feel that now now I'm just starting to realize stuff I learned at university, I was just way too young for that back then. And when I entered the tech industry, I was a kid we're just not there yet. And when I interact with people we've had a career before and I have to feeling more often than not, they are over this already. They are mature they are adults already the the are able to reflect on what they learn and what the what the upbringing and we're not interacting with kids anymore. We're interacting with with human beings who have something to bring to the equation. And it's so rewarding to to bring those first or second or third careers, bring those learnings in in something entirely different humanities or not, but something entirely different and and diversify a bit the the culture we're having this is so rewarding. I love this

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 37:50
100% It's like it's rewarding. It's important it like a life has to happen. I mean, it it is happening. But I mean, it's it's important that that it continues to happen for sure.

Tim Bourguignon 38:02
So what is in your future? More teaching more, bringing wildcards together connecting people and one foot in tech and one foot in the rest? Yeah, that's

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 38:13
a good question. I think definitely teaching will continue to be in is currently a part of the deal. So since you know, I've done work at as you mentioned in the in the bio working with the Department of Defense teaching, they're also at startup in San Francisco, which is remote. I really love this idea of taking people on that journey kind of I kind of alluded to it the tumult involved in like, I don't know how to do this thing, I don't have this capability. The journey to get to having it is a tumultuous one and I like being there for that I love it. Because I like to watch people not in like a sadistic way. But I really enjoy watching people struggle through a concept, not for the struggle, but for like this, the self reinforcing cycle of like, oh, I ended this, I, I didn't know what this was this morning. But today I have a little bit of an idea. And then watching that grow is best. It's like you get to see someone evolve in real time, like a Pokemon or something. It's really you know, there's nothing there's nothing quite like it. So I know for sure that teaching will continue to be a part of the journey. So much so that I'd like started a whole podcast about I just want to talk about learning and AI. But But what's going to evolve probably is like the contents of that bucket like what will I learned because, you know, in order to teach you have to be a continual learner. So I've got to be constantly learning so right now I'm interested a little bit in the web three stuff not As much as the finances but like the blockchain itself, really interested in mushrooms, like the species of all the like the varying array of species of mushrooms, I'd love to like one day build like a company where I make mushroom leather or something like that. Or, you know, my dad is a mortician, I'd love to one day create, like, you know, if there ever comes a day wreck, the business is mine. 100% and people will be wrapped in mushroom bags that come to me, as opposed to supposed to casket so we can decompose and return something back to the earth, right. And then if I have to put together a bootcamp of like, how to teach you how to do that, that's what I'm gonna do.

Tim Bourguignon 40:43
Sounds like a plan, right?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 40:46
But in present day, yeah, I'm currently teaching folks how to code in the middle of a cohort. Right now.

Tim Bourguignon 40:54
This is so cool. Unfortunately, I left my teaching journey a little bit before COVID. It's really hard stop to it. But it will come back at some point, I remember this, what you were what you were talking about, really, this seeing the spark lit up light up by somebody, when he finally found the way to connect with them on an idea you tried one didn't work you tried one didn't work, it's not the right one. And finally, do find the one that connects with this person. And you see the spark going up is so so exciting. So rewarding for both of you. Ignite, and using Oh, now I know one more way to explain this. And this is so rewarding as well.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 41:35
100% It's like improv or stand up comedy or something like that. Like they really is, like, performance, but also like not in a performative way. It's you have to say performance, because you have to observe the responses that you get into too much.

Tim Bourguignon 41:54
Absolutely. But one thing we didn't touch in, and that's probably I think it's a good note to end on to is learning style. You went a little bit saying, Well, you looked at the Code Academy and say, well, not necessarily my cup of tea, this way of learning, and then enrolled in the bootcamp and talked about the community and saying, This is exactly what I needed at that point. In person, peer, not pressure, but peer emulation, maybe. How did you find this for yourself? And what would be your advice for somebody who is unsure about the way they their brain functions and what the brain needs in order to learn best? How can they find this?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 42:38
Yeah, that's a good question. I think there's, it said, definitely a journey, I had to try things that didn't work before I found what did work. So one, maybe core tenet of that, that endeavor, or core positive trait of that, for success in that endeavor is to not give up when something doesn't work for you. So for example, it's not that Code Academy like wasn't for me, it's just that Code Academy wasn't the right tool for the problem I was trying to solve, which was, I need a whole new career. I think right now, if I were to, like if I needed to add a new competency, or just play with the new thing that might happen in Code Academy and see if okay, what is go look like just to get the syntax underneath my fingers. And that's good, that's tool solves that problem for me. But when it comes to actually building something of import, project based learning turned out to be the way for me because it incorporates all of the different learning styles. And the likelihood for someone listening that you are just have one learning style is pretty low, you probably need different modalities to learn something put another way, like if you don't resonate by, if something doesn't resonate with you through reading it, maybe try reading it, and then doing it or looking at a tutorial and going section by section after you complete a section. Go back and research what that section itself was on. Before you continue the next section. That way, you get these little like, reinforcement loops along the way. But there's not necessarily one learning style for a person there is there could be a predominant one. But I would say looking at it holistically and tapping into various different ways, while also keeping balance and not overwhelming yourself. I think that's what I did. In some cases, just like following all sorts of Twitter accounts, listen to every podcast, but trying to click into every new technology that I learned, which was like it was kind To cool, it was like looking at it from a college or collegiate survey class approach. But it didn't lead to what I wanted, which is like to have the practical skill. I see.

Tim Bourguignon 45:14
Very insightful. Thank you very, very much. That was very interesting to be on this on this life experiment, as you put along with you. Thank you very much. Where would the the best place to find you online and continue this discussion? With you?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 45:32
Yeah, best place to find me would probably be Twitter. I do a lot of things there. And my handle is Campbell current underscore. I'm 90%. sure on that.

Tim Bourguignon 45:49
I'll add it to the show notes. So there's no no, no, no Miss typing the underscore in there. Timely or not that you want to plug in?

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 46:01
Oh, yeah, I'm tapping to my podcast if you're interested in learning and learning journeys, specifically within organizations. So the thing that I was talking about the launch method, boot camp, and other boot camps are built within the DOD and USA, et cetera, are the kinds of things that I think a lot more companies need to do. So my podcasts literally just like, exists to nudge. If one person is like, Hey, we should start a boot camp at our place. Then I'm considering my podcast successful. It's called quarterly learnings. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts. And shout out to shout out to the podcast space and podcast.

Tim Bourguignon 46:42
Indeed, and I'll add a link to the show notes as well. So to search, just click on it and you will get there. Brendan, thank you so much.

Brandon Campbell-Kearns 46:50
Thank you, Tim. This has been really fun. Nice to Nice to reflect. I appreciate it.

Tim Bourguignon 46:56
And this has been another episode of developer's journey. I will see each other next week. Bye 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 the show appears on, on our website, DevJourney.info/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 DevJourney.info/donate. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep or per email [email protected].