Software Developers Journey Podcast

#92 Tracy Lee is having fun all the way


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Tracy Lee 0:00
You know, in life, the easiest and most natural things come from you just doing what you feel like you need to do to solve some sort of problem in your life and, you know, maybe it's great, maybe it's not but you know, if it's not then you just move on to the next thing.

Tim Bourguignon 0:23
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey. The podcast shining a light on developers lives from all over the world. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and today I receive Tracy Lee. Tracy is the co founder of thisdotlabs, a mentoring and consulting firm, helping teams build front end applications. She is a Google Developer Expert, an RxJS core team member of women tech makers lead and a frequent keynote speaker. She's also leads Community Relations at the Node Foundation, and she is the host of the modern web podcast. Just to name a few. Tracy, welcome to this journey.

Tracy Lee 1:03
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 1:05
I'm so glad this is finally happening without revealing too much of the backstory. This is a third time that we try to do this. And I really hope this works out this time. Life has been complicated on my end at the beginning of this year, but knock on wood, it's going to work out this time. So let's talk about you. Where did your journey start in the first place in tech, I mean,

Tracy Lee 1:28
you know, it's funny, because, you know, you think about the different exposures that we've all had to tack. Right. I think, you know, I always think the most pivotal moment for me was, I had this boyfriend, and you know, he did JavaScript. When he said he was a JavaScript developer. I said, Oh, yeah, I've heard of Java before, you know, and that was a few years ago. And that's really when I actually learned how to code specifically. Um, and you know, so I've been doing development for about five years now, but I remember back, you know, in my early 20s, you know, building websites for for you know, restaurants, delis and different you know, a fro yo shop, I remember doing that. And I did that through Adobe product. So I think I did everything in Photoshop and then I stuck it in I can't remember the name of the product. But, you know, doing that, and you know, so when was my first turning? I don't know, but we're in my space when I could, you know, edit, you know, edit image tags, or was it geo cities? You know, when was my first journey I'm not sure I've driven will poke on valleys. So, you know, growing up in kindergarten, I was a block away from Apple. So Apple gave us computers. Um, so I was very fortunate to grow up in such a technology heavy place

Tim Bourguignon 2:55
where you always attracted to this more stem side lives and will technical and sciency side of life. You know,

Tracy Lee 3:03
it's weird because if I look back on it, I've always been exposed to it. My both my parents are engineers. So you know, even when I walk into a, a colo facility, the smell of the servers and the sound of the service reminds me of my childhood, which is a bit weird right.

Tim Bourguignon 3:25
Now, do you a bit nerdy?

Tracy Lee 3:26
Yeah. But it's almost like, you know, the smell for some reason is like, comforting to me is so strange as that is, um, I think in the Silicon Valley, you just kind of are. So even before I started code, I started a tech startup. Granted, I didn't know anything. And you know, I remember when I was initially trying to build the app I was trying to chase between co founders and thinking, Oh, Python is really hot, but these people know PHP should be up. But Facebook uses it. You know all the strange questions that non tech people ask That, you know, really in the end don't actually matter. So I was one of them. And then I learned how to code and I was like, Oh my God, I've been torturing all my engineers ever past eight years.

Tim Bourguignon 4:14
I'm looking forward to that part of the description. But let's, let's roll back a little bit. Take us through us through maybe maybe High School and how, what what you did after that, and then we'll come to the first creation of your of your startup baby.

Tracy Lee 4:30
Yeah, of course. You know, when I was when I was younger, all I really cared about was boys and getting married. So I have to tell you, I was very focused on just finding a boyfriend, getting married and having babies. And I went to school for marketing, mainly because that was the easiest thing to get me out of college immediately so I could, you know, get married and have babies. It was a breakup that happened in in college that really spiraled me through, you know, I would go to go to school like crying every day, I was just so sad. So I just had to distract myself. And I just, you know, I started companies. I just worked all the time, I was going to school full time. And I really love helping people. So I was working as a receptionist at this. This company, I was called force 10 networks. It they do. They do Lan? So, anyways, I was working there. And I was friends with a bunch of the hardware engineers, and the hardware. You know, I was like, Oh, hey, why don't we start something? Let's, let's like start something. And so I got them all together. And it was this one guy, Gerald. He said, Yeah, Tracy, you know, I'm a hardware engineer, but I really want to do web development. Have you heard of API's? And I was like, No, what's an API, but I ended up going to an API conference. And, um, you know, Funny enough, I was wearing a red dress and somebody said, Hey, Somebody tweeted about you. I was like what's tweeted about me? And they're like, yeah, on Twitter, and I was like, oh, what's Twitter? So I logged in to see this tweet about me in a red dress. And you know, Tech has always been very tech heavy. And this was back in, I think, 2007 or earlier. So for me, it was like, you know, I mean, there's like two, two women at a conference right? Before we got to Twitter, and that's kind of how I, that's actually how I found my first two co founders to start my tech startup. And that's kind of you know, when you open Twitter, and you discover Twitter, I don't know if you have the same experience, but it's like, oh, my God, the wild is out there.

Tim Bourguignon 6:41
I think it's a Scott hanselman, who coined the term Dark Matter developers, the idea that there is way too much to do in this world, there must be way more developers than what we usually see. But at first we don't see them. We don't see them at conferences. They're not on the internet. Maybe they're reading the writing. And so they're way way, way, way more people out there. And before going to conferences, they were saying, I just knew my colleagues. And that was it. There is way more many people,

Tracy Lee 7:09
there are so many people and I'm always asking, you know, the questions of, you know, what are we doing with life? You know, I think when you're on Twitter, you feel a little bit more compelled for some reason, socially, to be more of a social engineer, in a sense, right? Maybe, you know, give back to the community, like, you know, feel like you should do more, you know, almost feel like you should work more for the social good of the developer community. Whereas, you know, some developers just like to hang out and, you know, go home, take care of their kids, and then they work and then they have life outside of that. So it's quite an interesting balance. You know, it's quite an interesting question to ask yourself, you know, what is what is actually important in our lives and it sounds like you've been doing good balance having three kids. So yeah,

Tim Bourguignon 7:58
sleeping Sleep is the is the trade off. So yeah, I I have the chance to have a pretty pretty balanced life and and working out so far. So that's that's worked out all right. Yeah, but you have to do some trade offs somewhere. So Rachel, there's no secret. Okay, so that was kind of a turn from going from Well, I'm, I'm going to marketing and I want to quit working as fast as I can and and balance my life toward family, too. Let's focus this whole breaking up energy into building things. This this is kind of an interesting, sharp turn. And also a great things to know about yourself. If if you're in distress or someone that there's something then you have a lot more energy to spend in something.

Tracy Lee 8:47
Yeah, I always tell you know, women whenever they break up with our boyfriends, I say, congratulations, you're on the breakup diet. Or you know, oh my, you know, I hear so many so many people saying like, broke, you know, broke up with my girlfriend broke up, my boyfriend got a divorce. I'm like, well, you have so much more time to do exactly what you want to do, you know? So I think these trials and tribulations in our life, you know, kind of, I don't know if they define us, but they definitely add a certain, you know, the, the, they become a part of us in the sense and, you know, I kind of chose to take that energy. And I've done it multiple times through multiple, no breakups, just like All right, ready to work. It's funny, because I remember dating back, back when I started development. And, you know, my biggest test was okay, we get along. All right. Now, let's see if he can sit with me on the weekend, us, both of us in front of our computers and not talk to me. And that was my biggest test, right? Because, like, I'm sure all of us have had it, right. It's like, Okay, how do you signal to your significant other like, Don't talk to me, I'm trying to get in the zone. So even if my husband right now, this weekend, like he was trying to talk me, I was like, Oh my god, don't talk to me. He's like, Oh, am I bugging I was trying to get. I was trying to, you know, do some research on some some projects.

Tim Bourguignon 10:17
You said you, you created your first startup. So how did you go about this? This endeavor? How did you start a first startup out of the blue?

Tracy Lee 10:25
I just started, like, I, I just, you just start. I mean, there's some people who do things and there's some people who don't, and I just kind of always believed that it's gonna work out. So I just, you know, start if I get excited about something, I start running towards the vision, and then you know, if it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. And then you kind of get back on your horse and do it again, if it doesn't. And so you do that enough times and you'll find success.

Tim Bourguignon 10:51
Hmm. This totally adds up with the USA in for a very positive way of, of seeing whatever comes at you If it's gonna work out, then it's fine. It doesn't work out it's fine is very stoic. Yes. Is this a constant in everything you do?

Tracy Lee 11:07
It really is. I mean, uh, you know, some people are the people who like to start things. So I think you see this a lot where a lot of entrepreneurs are, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs get bored. Right? And so, I love starting things. And then, you know, when, when they start getting stable, I get bored, and I want to start something new. Right. And this is actually the, the detriment to many entrepreneurs. One of my investors in one of my last startup said, if you're, you know, because I was bored, and he said, Hey, you know, if you're making the donuts, right, like you're just there on the line making the donuts then you know, you're doing well. So that that's kind of like something that I think people have to remember in a sense, right like you think about, I don't know, you think about open source as well. Right, it's like a new thing here a new thing. They're a new thing. They're a new thing. You know, I mean, remember when react and angular and view, were getting so popular, you saw a new framework every single day. I'm over exaggerating, of course. But you know, the ones who were consistent are the ones who say,

Tim Bourguignon 12:16
this thrill of creating something new, does it bother you, in souls? That is a good sign that you are able to really create something, but does it bother you in in some parts of your life?

Tracy Lee 12:27
Ah, I mean, I think about was my husband just a little bit. It was like, you know, work life balance, work life balance. So I mean, I think again, you pick and choose what you decide to do. And what is you know, like, what you're passionate about, and, and, you know, like, what you choose to spend your time on. And, you know, unfortunately, or fortunately, I chose to spend my time on other thing. What, yeah,

Tim Bourguignon 12:54
fair enough. Um, how did you stumble on this first idea for these first startup,

Tracy Lee 12:59
so this is This was a food startup. And it was the time where I mean, mobile eat wasn't even really a thing at that point in time, right? Like, I think I had a, I definitely, I'm pretty sure I had a flip phone. At the time. I don't even remember. I had an iPhone. And iPhones were like just becoming popular. So apps were just becoming popular. And, you know, I was really excited about eating food. I was really excited about recommending food to different people in restaurants. So I was like, Okay, why don't we start an app that basically does exactly that. And, you know, that's kind of how everything started. But I think, you know, a lot of a lot of developers that I talked to, whether it be Hey, what side projects should I start, what startup should I start, what's going to be useful, etc, etc. The best ideas always come from the things that you are trying to solve for yourself. And I always emphasize that so I've kind of been stuck with For a while, because I've been wanting to do a side project, but you know, I don't really have something I'm, like, very passionately excited about until very recently. So we're building an application now, which I'm really, really excited about. But, you know, you, you do that and then you know, you just kind of like, see what happens in the sense, right? Um, so, you know, that journey of my first startup took me through eight years of my life, you know, you never think especially in the Silicon Valley that, you know, startup is going to encompass eight years of your life, but it did. So, I'm very careful about the things I choose these days. Like starting this out, for example, starting a, you know, development consultancy was a choice, but when I when I made it, I said, Okay, you know, this is going to be like a five to 10 year journey. So I better be in it for the long haul. And you know, I think I think with ideas, small ideas here and there, you don't have to think that way. For example, this new app we're building it's Basically connecting, I'll tell you, it's connecting people at conferences in an interesting way. And, you know, I'm just excited about it, I think it's a really good problem to solve. Sometimes I can be introverted, so it really helps me as a speaker, like, connect with more attendees in a way that is not as stressful for me. Um, and you know, I'm not really thinking too much about it, right, like side project. If it goes, Well, it goes, Well, if it doesn't, it doesn't. But you know, it could be the next big thing. Right? So that's kind of our mentality around things.

Tim Bourguignon 15:33
Is there a likelihood that this app that you're creating somehow becomes so interesting that is, it surpasses your, your activity with this, the labs and that you face you have to face them the decision? Where do I want to invest my time later on? So what started as a side project where you didn't want to put too much energy certainly threatens with air quotes to become your main activity.

Tracy Lee 16:00
No, I think that is actually a very common thing. So, if you look at Airbnb, for example, I don't know if you know the Airbnb story, but they started off selling cereal with people's pictures on it. And then, you know, kind of pivoted into Airbnb somehow I don't remember the exact story on that. But if you look at this company called outreach.io, as well, it's a successful startup that's located in Seattle. And, you know, they started off making recruiting software, I think, you know, and correct me if I'm wrong internet, but they, I'm pretty sure it was recruiting software. And then because they were having such a problem with, you know, sales generation, they built an internal tool to help sales people and that became their product. So I think, you know, in life, the easiest and most natural things come from you just doing what you feel like you need to do to solve some sort of problem in your life and you know, maybe it's great maybe it's not but you know, if it's not then you just move on to the next thing

Tim Bourguignon 17:07
but you have to be open to it's becoming something or not becoming something it's really you have to be open to the outcome.

Tracy Lee 17:14
Yeah, this is actually quite difficult because, you know, you can you know, if you're like, if I'm having an, you know, internal discussion with myself, right, about ideas, for example, okay, I have a development consultancy. Part of me says, okay, Tracy, you shouldn't be doing a side project because it's going to take away time from your consultancy. Part of me says Tracy you need to be okay and flexible, and you know, iterating off of things and, you know, trying new ideas, etc, etc. Right? And for some people, it works out really well. For some people, it's a distraction. So, you know, if you look at for example, those guys with outreach, you know, starting with recruiting software, moving to sell software You think did their investors for example, during that time thing, oh my gosh, they're these people are unfocused, what are they doing blah, blah, blah. But most investors encourage pivots, right? So I'm constantly having that battle with myself internally of like, you know, it's almost like this idea has to be good enough to where I am confident that it's going to, like something good is going to happen.

Tim Bourguignon 18:23
How would you go about and vet this?

Tracy Lee 18:26
Ah, you know, sadly, sometimes it's just a feeling and sometimes, you know, sometimes I'm writing sometimes I'm wrong. So, I've definitely been wrong many, many times before. I've been right. Um, but, you know, sometimes I'll just do a simple business model. Like for example, okay, if I'm going to sell this software for $10, recurring a month, how you know, how much how many customers do I have to get? And does that sound like an easy thing to me or a hard thing for me? A lot of people obviously, you know, when building a product go through customer journey, so If you're deciding to build a product for moms, you better start talking to a lot of moms. Part of it also is just having the right team as well, which I feel like I have. So, you know, it's like everything has to kind of work when you know, right, right time, right place. Like, for example, my last startup, we weren't being very, you know, this food startup, I was telling you about food recommending. We weren't being very successful for quite some time, maybe for let's say, two years, I was working on a part time. And Groupon started. And Groupon blew up. And it was right when restaurants started saying, Oh, I should use Groupon as a way to get a ton of customers in here. That's when they started, you know, allowing discounts with my model as well, right. They're like, Oh, you're just like Groupon, except you know, a little bit better or whatever it is. And it wasn't until then that actually found my business model. So you kind of have to be at like right time, right place. Right situation. Um, like you look at prettier for example, you know, James Long's prettier linter. And, or sorry, not linter, but like code formatter, um, you know, why was his successful at the time? Right? Was it just right place? right time? right person, right. Like, and that made it blow up, you know, stock component same thing, right? Like, why was that so successful at that specific point in time?

Tim Bourguignon 20:27
there's a there's a factor of right thing right time right products right place, right customers, right connections, right network. Everything, there is definitely something something of the kind in there. How do you think you would react if one of your startup exploded and became became? I don't want to speak about unicorns but very, very successful? How would that how would you handle the conflict, the internal conflict with your, with your thrill of making new stuff versus writing this way? that you created for as long as it gets, I think

Tracy Lee 21:02
that really comes to into hiring the right people, you know, and, you know, honestly, there's always there's a, I think as a, as an entrepreneur, as a developer as a, whoever you're constantly thinking, like, for example, as a developer, you know, thinking, Okay, I wasn't good enough CTO to get me to where I needed to be. But you need to have, you know, enough sort of internal route, you know, realization that, hey, I'm not the right CTO for 100 person company. I'm a better you know, head of product for 100 person company, let's say. So, a lot of times with entrepreneurs, I feel like it's just getting out of the way. And they feel like you've seen that a lot in a lot of different companies that, you know, were aware of on the internet, right? You see, like, people stepping down people, you know, leaving companies, people do miss people doing that. And you know, it's all a matter of who you are. Like, for example, I know I, you know, if I could find an amazing, let's say, operations person, I don't love operations, I'll do it. I'm good at it. But I know well enough that if I could find the head of operations, I would, I would just do it in a

Tim Bourguignon 22:17
heartbeat. Okay, so recognizing that you're not the best person for the job at some point and stepping down and leading the charge from a different angle.

Tracy Lee 22:27
Yeah, we're like learning as well. Right? I think we can see this in code basis as well, right? Like, you're like, Okay, I know how to create this, you know, like, I do this with Angular projects a lot. Like, okay, I know what I'm doing. I've gotten to a certain point. You know, I've put in all the right conventions in there. Like, I've I figured this out, but like, then if, you know, an application gets too complicated, I know to just step back and be like, Alright, this needs to be re architected somehow, like let's get somebody in there. And then you know, I learned from the like, from the you know, from the doing code reviews, I learned from it. pairing with that new person, etc, etc. But, you know, I, you know, I'm like, self aware enough to step back and say, Okay, I need some help. And I think that's really important in like anybody's journey, right? That you know, especially in your development journey, you need to just be like, Alright, I want to learn and I think once you stop learning or thinking you're the best or you're like become attached to like, let's say code base,

Tim Bourguignon 23:27
you know, it becomes it can become very detrimental to you. Would you mind taking us to the, how you learned how to code and how you maybe became a Google Developer expert, and I think Microsoft MVP and Eric's JS coma core team member, how the whole this whole grew up and became the person you are today to the very social or social, very present person that we see in social media. And you seem to be doing so much on the side which is, which is amazing how this whole game To be,

Tracy Lee 24:00
you know, this is a this is very much. So the whole idea of, you know, again, I talked to so many junior developers and our developers, and they're always saying, Well, what do I do? What do I do next? What do I do? That's interesting. What do I do that is, you know, that's gonna get me noticed, etc, etc. I mean, when I started, I was just, you know, excited about talking about how I first learned Ember, and then I got into react. I was like, Oh, my God. Let me show you how I learned react. Oh, let me show you how I learned Angular. Oh, you know, Angular Material. I love material design. Let me talk about that. So I didn't care about what anybody else thought I just did what I wanted to do and what I was excited about. And it's during those times where you're actually doing things that other people care about, because they can tell right like, good example is, you know, I really wanted to mess around more with note especially since, you know, I do community relations for them. And you know, messed around with node a little bit. And then I was like, Man, I'm not that excited about this. I'm much more excited about friend development right? But if I had started doing stuff related to node like I would have not been excited and passionate about it. So I you know, I stopped very shortly thereafter you know, like fine I dabble around a little bit but like I'm not super super excited about you know teaching build people how to build see allies or you know, whatever it is.

Tim Bourguignon 25:28
I'm so glad you're saying this is exactly the right the right thing is when you show energy when you should joy and when you show how excited you are about something. It's contagious and and people start noticing that you are having fun doing this and, and this is all the need to to get started as well. And this is this is really the right way to put the to put the question or you are right to uh, to put it this way. First, show your joy and then you're going to get noticed if that's what you want, but first show Do what you love and do it on the open on open stage and show the world what you're doing. And that's, that's gonna pan out, I think, yeah, it

Tracy Lee 26:08
doesn't have to be, you know, like, Man when I was starting, I'm like, Oh, look at Ember, there's a cry, check this out, look how easy it was for me, you know, and some people might, you know, some people who are more experienced might be like, Who the hell cares? But I was so excited that I learned this new thing and people cared. So, you know, you don't have to, you know, if people don't care, whatever, do something else, or keep doing what you're excited about. Who cares? You know, I think the most important thing when it comes to development and or anything in your life, is not to do something that you feel like other people should do or do something for, you know, whatever motivation it is outside of doing what you're passionate about, like if you just focus on what you're passionate about, then you know, the other things will come and you'll be in a happy place because you know, Imagine if, for example, I was, you know, started evangelizing node and then, you know, I got really well known for node. And then I had to give all these talks on node and I was just bored out of my mind. I would only do it for a few months, right? Like it would not be elastic. Absolutely.

Tim Bourguignon 27:14
How much time to invest in all this. I want to call it site site activities, but it's for your site activities. If you can make a different distinction between between things you get you do for money directly and thing you don't do for money. How much time are you spending on your site?

Tracy Lee 27:34
I have no idea. It's so it's so intertwined. But what I what I do, I mean, sometimes I get a headache looking at my calendar, I have to tell you, because I'm very like, organized with my time. But I'm also very forgiving with myself, right? Like I don't, sometimes I feel guilty but sometimes I mean that most of the time I don't feel guilty. So when I try to do is look at my week and just block off Time to say, Okay, this is what I'm going to focus on this. This is what I'm going to focus on that. And one thing I've been recently doing is just thinking about like the one thing I'm going to do this week. And the one thing I'm going to do today and just focus on that. So that really helps, right? Like, for example, this weekend, I really wanted to mess around more with Gatsby and scoli and kind of do some comparisons. You know, Gatsby's react static site generator and Scolese Angular static site generator, and you know, I had some other things come up so I didn't get to it. But I didn't feel bad about it, but I went into the weekend getting excited about like, Okay, this is you know, if you think about like the 10 million things you want to do. The problem is, I think with all of us that we just have this paralysis of, Okay, now, I you know, what am what am I going to do? Right? But when you focus yourself and you just think about like the one thing you want to do today or One thing you want to do this week, and hopefully you'll actually do it. You know, or at least have more clarity, do you make

Tim Bourguignon 29:09
a distinction between the thing you want to do and the thing you have to do?

Tracy Lee 29:12
Ah, do I make a distinction? Um, you mean when I think about like, the one thing I want to do, or the one thing I have to do? Yes, um, no. But what I'll do is I'll actually block off time in my calendar. So like, for example, if I look at my calendar this week, I know that I have time to play with development. Tuesday, Thursday, and then all of Sunday, and then Saturday night, and like, you know, you give yourself that space, you give yourself that time, right? Um, but you know, if something else comes up, I'm okay with it. If I'm tired, I'm okay with it. But at least I feel better about making an effort in that, yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 29:56
Yeah, it's um, it's something I've been I've been struggling as well. With not just with my kids with wanting or setting goals for myself, and then life is happening and and you end up every week of doing something else, which somehow felt on the more urgent category, riding this wave is kind of not always easy.

Tracy Lee 30:17
Yeah, I think it's okay, though, you know, like, for example, and you know, things change, right. Like, you know, for that for, you know, maybe like, a few weeks, I'm gonna keep keep on the thing I'm excited about, but I'm already thinking about like, the next day next I'm excited about which is, oh my god, I can't remember the name of the framework right now. But it's a React Native VR framework. 000 ar something. VR VR. Oh, basically. Um, and I'm so so so excited about that. So I can't wait to start messing around with VR on React Native, you know, if I try to do all of them at once, and I'm just gonna, you know,

Tim Bourguignon 30:54
you kind of get this paralysis. Absolutely. And when you set a goal for for yourself like this Does it have practical application? Or is just Well, I want to learn about this and and whatever idea comes to mind at that point? Or do you really have a goal, a specific, tangible goal in mind

Tracy Lee 31:11
for these specifically, I don't really have tangible goals. I'm just, you know, messing around with technology. But I've, I think a lot of people struggle with this as well. I want to learn Pharaoh, because I think it's really exciting. I'm just excited about how easy the framework is for AR related things. However, I'm trying to think of an app I can build for this to make it a more tangible goal, right. But as much as I've thought about it, I can't think of anything that interesting. So I'm just going to mess around with its technology. I think when we think about, I talk to a lot of junior developers, so it's always like, ooh, what technologies do I learn so that I can do this right. I think the way to come from it actually is building something. Whatever it is, and then using the technologies that apply specifically to the thing that you're building. Right? Because for example, if you're a beginner developer, you probably don't have a lot of, you know, experience with state management, right? If you build a complex application, you're gonna all of a sudden need a lot of state management, right? Or like at least some level of management. So then all of a sudden, you have to learn it, because because your application is pushing you towards that. So it's hard to kind of shoot, you know, like, who are what do I build? No idea. Um, it will be the other way around as well.

Tim Bourguignon 32:39
I vote for the to to do app. That's.

Tracy Lee 32:44
Yeah, wow.

Tim Bourguignon 32:47
Yeah. Then you have to be creative to do this.

Tracy Lee 32:51
Maybe, you know, maybe if I play with fear, for example, like something will come to me, and then I'll be excited about it. But you know, whatever. I'll just play with all the different you know, come on. It's in there and just make a silly app that doesn't make any sense. But at least I'll get to, you know, I'll scratch my itch of like wanting to learn something exciting. Same thing with Angular Material, right? Like, you can, you know, when I was learning material design, like you can, you can build something, but a lot of times, you know, a lot of the blog posts that were most popular for me was just, hey, okay, I'm trying to get familiar with material. Let me just write about all the different components, you know, so I wrote about, I don't know, some, some number of components, and just showed the very basic levels of how to interact with them. And that was really, really useful for people, some writing or publishing or talking about it. unintentional byproduct of all everything you do random blog posts is a very good way to just write documentation for yourself, so that you remember what the heck you did. I use them a lot, right? Like I was like, Okay, I'm going to set up a pop. And I'm just going to do a step by step walkthrough. Almost create documentation for how I set up my application. And then you know, you can very easily take that blog post and turn it into a talk. So a lot of times early on when I was, you know, starting off in my developer journey, I would do that. I would, you know, play with attack or, you know, however we came, okay, maybe I agree to give a conference talk. No, I have to learn any new technology. I mess around with the technology. I write a blog post, that becomes my outline for the talk. And then I give the talk, right, or maybe the other way around, somebody got excited about the blog, they want me to talk about it.

Tim Bourguignon 34:32
I've been following the exact same pattern, writing a blog post, or a few tweets and writing blog posts and writing an article for a magazine itself and then making a talk and then making a workshop out of it. And just kidding, in increasingly, I guess

Tracy Lee 34:46
it's really helpful to write because you're so much better, I think, because you're you, you have to explain it to other people. So it makes me very much better developer absolutely

Tim Bourguignon 34:57
in different mediums as well. So my blog is very Loosely held so I can write whatever I want on an article, you have to be formal, you have to truly have a constructed skeleton. And then on top, you really have to be to be not just theoretically interesting, but also engaging and adding metaphors, metaphors. I think this is really different views on the same problem. Yeah. Okay. The time box is slowly coming to an end, but we need an advice from you. Um, what would you advise newcomers in our industry to, to do or not do? If you had one advice to give? What would that be?

Tracy Lee 35:34
And this goes to some of the things that I said during this podcast. So many newcomers are like, Well, what do I learn? Well, what do I do? Well, how do I get a job? You know, how do I do this? And I would say that, you know, don't do don't do something just to do something because you think that there's a position out there but do something that you're going to be passionate about. We're gonna pursue the technologies that you get excited about. Because that's where, you know, the job is going to be, in my opinion, I think, you know, some people maybe don't have that luxury. This doesn't mean like, you know, if you don't like testing, don't learn testing, for example. But this means, you know, where you are most excited, make sure to shine and make sure that that is a large percentage, hopefully, of what you're doing versus not because, you know, when people look at your portfolio, yes, they want to see that you're a well rounded person. But the things that you get really, really, really excited about, let's say, you get excited about animations, for example, you know, there's so many positions out there, and they might be like, oh, wow, I really need to hire somebody for this. So I think that's very important because you know, you don't want to you know, again, right like if i if i I started just doing a lot of note, I was just bored out of my mind. No offense to no developers, I just need some. I just need some visual feedback. Email is all about visual feedback, right? Otherwise, it's not exciting to me, I don't get a kick out of it. But you don't want to pursue something or do something related to development and show that in your portfolio and get hired for it. And then all of a sudden realize that like, Oh, crap, I need a career change. You know?

Tim Bourguignon 37:29
That wouldn't be bad per se. I mean, you wouldn't know what what you don't like but the other way around would be better. You're right. Thank you. That's a great advice. Thank you very much. And Chrissy, where could listeners continue this discussion with you? Where would be the appropriate place to conduct you?

Tracy Lee 37:46
I think probably on Twitter Lady leet l e t as in time, so you know, or t as in Tracy, I guess but follow me on Twitter. I'm always happy to to answer questions, you know, this.we do a bunch of different meetups like we do Angular meetup.com, view meetup.com, React Js meetup.com. These are monthly meetups, for anybody to join. So it's a great place to like come hang out as well. Um, but yeah, I'm usually on Twitter hanging out.

Tim Bourguignon 38:22
Thank you very much crazy. There's been a blast hearing your story and seeing how you went from creating startup to creating startups and having fun all the way.

Tracy Lee 38:33
Thank you.

Tim Bourguignon 38:35
And this has been another episode of developer's journey. We will see each other next week, bye. All right, this is Tim from a different time and space with a few comments to make. First, get the most of these developer's journey by subscribing to the podcast with the app of your choice, and get the new episodes automagically, right when the air. The podcast is available on all major platforms. Then, visit our website to find the show notes with all the links mentioned by our guests, the advices they gave us, their book, references and so on. And while you're there, use the comments to continue the discussion with our guests or with me, or reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn. Then a big big THANK YOU to the generous Patreon donors that help me pay the hosting bills. If you have a few coins to spare, please consider a small monthly donation. Every pledge, however small counts. Finally, please do someone a favor, tell them about the show today and help them on their journey.