#96 Dylan Beattie THE Rockstar Programmer
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Dylan Beattie 0:00 This will go down in history as a fantastic piece of timing. In this year, January 2020, I started my own company, doing international software training and conferences and consultancy. And of course, January this year was a very, very different world to March this year. So it's been a challenging couple of months.
Tim Bourguignon 0:29 Hello, and welcome to developers journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers. To help you on your upcoming journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and today I received Dylan Beattie to keep it short. You are a software developer, Rockstar, of course, and since you're a software developer and a rock star, you are the creator of the Rockstar programming language.
Dylan Beattie 0:52 Yeah, correct.
Tim Bourguignon 0:55 We're going to talk about that very soon. Okay, but first, the very short reminder The show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape their own future. So let's go back to the beginning of your story. Where would you place the start of your DevOps journey?
Tim Bourguignon 24:13 Congratulation on the pivot.
Dylan Beattie 24:18 Right? Well, you know, it normally does experiences what you get when you don't get what you want. And I have a lot of experience by that definition. So
Tim Bourguignon 24:27 there's there's a whole bunch to unpack. I'm not sure where I could start. I would like to come back to two comments that you made. The first one was about the about the logo, language. I think this is a fantastic metaphor, which you said was using primitive element to make elaborate things. This is the perfect metaphor for programming.
Tim Bourguignon 34:33 Hopefully that's their component approach to to come back to something else you said. You said you were not really the the one to to plan your journey ahead. A couple of steps ahead. Yes, but not too much. what's what's your algorithm to steer your life How do you decide on taking branch a, instead of French be
Dylan Beattie 34:59 the thing That, you know, there are all these decisions that come up in life that look like a big deal. You know, like if you decide, I don't know, your moving house, and you need to decide where you're gonna go and live. And it's, I think it's easy for people to think that everything comes down to this decision. Like, if I pick the right house to live in, then I will be happy and everything will be lovely. And if I pick the wrong house to live in, then everything will be awful and everything will be miserable. But you know, I don't I don't necessarily agree with that as an observation. I think very much how good your days are from one day to the next is down to what are you trying to do that day and why are you excited about it? And, you know, the happiest periods I've had in my life that have still been points every day that just really, you know, pissed me off, upset me. And the absolute worst periods in my life where I've been dealing with the out and depression or you know, all these kinds of things, I can still look back and be actually, you know, even at the worst of it, there were moments in every day that were good moments or, you know, happy or inspiring moments. And you can I think we have more control over those kinds of things than, you know, a lot of people credit. And so if you look at a plan, and you're like, right, if I make this decision now, then everything for the next five years will be fine. You know, when you express it like that, it sounds a little bit naive, right? It sounds like well, how can I ever make the right choice? It's like, Well, no, you, you make the right choice based on the data you have available at the time and then you kind of follow through on it. And you'll be prepared for the possibility that you may have made a mistake, but you also like Alright, well, this is this is normal. Now. This is what I woke up with this morning. What am I going to do today? What am I going to do tomorrow? What am I going to, you know, do out of this I have a side project which has been a lot of fun over the last couple of years, which is a band called Blind breakers, which is all conference speakers who are also musicians. And you know, we get together when we go to conferences, and we play shows at after parties. And you know, we got invited to a bunch of things in November last year. And you know, that's taken probably three or four years to get to the stage attack now, but I didn't start that four years ago, as a plan of I'm gonna get this person and this person, this person, we're going to learn these songs. We're going to play this show on this date. I started it with just me and a guitar and a couple of funny songs I wrote about programming. And you know, there was this event called pubcon, which happens as a kind of after party for some of the NDC events. And I got to know Todd who organizes it, and I said, Hey, you know, I'm gonna bring my guitar to pubcon and play some songs. And he's like, oh, cool, do it. And you know, I was drunk and everyone was drunk, and it was probably a mess. But everyone enjoyed it, and it was pretty good. And based on the success of that, I came up with a couple more songs and then some Somebody a guy called Vikki fabula, who's a Russian Russian programmer and keyboard player who lives in Oslo, he came to me and he said, Hey, you know, do you want to add musical collaborator? Should we do the show together? So we did a show, and it's just grown. And you know, the outcome of that project over three or four years? Is the net result of lots of little decisions of like, Yeah, let's do a show next week. Yeah, let's do this. Oh, someone's gonna be in town. Let's let's drop them an email and see if they want to join us. And it's, it's worked, you know, is it? Is there some way it would have worked better if there'd been a master plan? I don't know. There's no control group. There's no kind of, you know, a be testing for this kind of thing. But certainly, you know, just a big part of it is when you have an opportunity, and you're like, Okay, if this goes wrong, it'll be embarrassing, and it'll be in front of a roomful of people and, you know, it could damage credibility. And but you just got to get over that and go, what the hell you know, what's the not what's the worst that could happen? What's the best that could happen if we do this, and it was Next, what is the greatest positive outcome? And, you know, one of the other things that I think I think this actually goes back to Metallica to an interview I read with them. They did an album called load about 20 years ago that didn't get a hugely popular response. And I read an interview with James Hetfield, you know, sort of singer and guitar player. And he's like, well, we made the album we wanted to make, because if we made an album we didn't like because we thought the fans would like it, and the fans didn't like it. Then we made an album that everybody hated. And that was a massive mistake. So we made an album we wanted to make so if nobody else likes it, at least we liked it. And I think you know that that's a philosophy you can apply to a lot of things when you go into making a decision. You're like, Well, what do I want to do? You know, and never mind trying to keep other people happy or, you know, impress clients or shareholders or audiences or you know, Like, what do I want to do? What's the thing that I'm gonna look back and go? Well, it was a disaster, but at least like I'm, you know, I was honest with myself and I had a good time. And, you know, that is a philosophy that has mostly stood me in pretty good stead thus far. So, yeah, I don't have a five year plan. But I do have a set of principles. I used to make decisions from one day to the next. And I've been doing that for a lot more than five years. And most of the time it's working.
Tim Bourguignon 40:27 Yeah, it sounds to be working fine, even with Coronavirus and pandemic was starting a new business.
Dylan Beattie 40:33 Well, yeah, you know, I wrote a business plan. I wrote a very detailed business plan that I used to get, you know, get my bank account and set up my business accounts and all that kind of stuff. And the business plan lasted about three weeks after which it's like, well, that's not happening. That's not happening. That's not happening fine to improvise a new business plan. You know, you know that the movie Apollo 13, about the the NASA mission to the moon where they had the explosive And there's that scene where Ed Harris is playing gene Krantz. And he comes in and he goes, right, it's time to improvise a new mission. You know.
Tim Bourguignon 41:10 Congratulations on that. Let's stick to the to the music analogy. And yeah, and bridge the software world you hated. I don't know where the idea come from and how you came to the Rockstar programming language. Yeah. Can you give us the pitch about this? Because it's, This is nuts.
Tim Bourguignon 46:28 It's a fantastic icebreaker for sure. It is indeed So, and it adds up very well with what you said before doing what you like and even if it's a disaster, which is it is not in this case, but if it were, you had fun doing it and I think that's obviously what people see. But the the the follow up question I would have is, is did it succeed in screwing up with recruiters.
Dylan Beattie 46:54 There are certainly fewer Rockstar jobs on LinkedIn now than they were two years ago. But maybe that's just The economy? I don't know. I do. I do see people now, people on LinkedIn endorsing each other for Rockstar as a skill, which I love. I think that's so so good. So, but it's it's not yet been added to LinkedIn official list of programming languages so there's still still some goals to achieve.
Tim Bourguignon 47:20 Is there a 10 x language? I think there is.
Dylan Beattie 47:24 There's one called enterprise that somebody created to be an enterprise developer. And I think there's a 10 x language now. And it's just you know, you get once you realize that, you know, people who are good, this can actually create languages very quickly. You know, the latest idea I had was a language called mohito, which is all programming with emoji, no characters at all, just emoji. And there is already an emoji code language, which is kind of, you know, similar idea. So I that's kind of rattling around that I'm sure next time I'm I'm waiting in a bar and people are running late. That'll end up with a specification. or something. And I'm
Tim Bourguignon 48:03 looking forward to it already. I'm Dylan, if you had one call to action for our listeners starting their journey or on their journey and something they should do today, what would be your your advice or your call to action?
Tim Bourguignon 50:18 at the woman disappears easier. That's true. That's true. Yeah. And when you reach the turtles, you can stop, it's turtles all the way down.
Dylan Beattie 50:24 That's turtles all the way down. But hey, that might be a new species of turtle that nobody's discovered yet.
Tim Bourguignon 50:28 Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you very much. Um, if the listeners wanted to continue this discussion with you, where would be the best place to reach out?
Dylan Beattie 50:40 So I'm a very easy person to find if you type my name Dylan bt into Google, you'll find my website Dylan bt dotnet. You find my email is Dylan at Dylan bt dotnet. I'm Dylan Beatty on Twitter, Dylan bt on GitHub, Dylan bt on Facebook. I'm Dylan bt one on Soundcloud which upsets me but there's somebody else got that first. But yeah, I'm a pretty easy person to find Twitter is the best place to find me and chat. Because you know i Twitter is a very easy forum to meet people. It's transparent. It's I like the format very much. I'm on it a lot. But yeah, drop me an email, get in touch. My company is versatile. You are at I le.com. Like a bear Ursa who does a lot of things. And yeah, at the moment, although the website doesn't quite reflect this yet. My specialism is in virtualizing technology events. And I've been you know, blogging and writing about the progress and things we've learned with with making progress on that. So yeah, get in touch. I'm always happy to chat,
Tim Bourguignon 51:41 any chance to see you on virtual conferences in the next weeks.
Dylan Beattie 51:47 So the ones that are definitely going ahead are there's a dotnet EF w days which was going to be in Kiev and is now going to be online that's happening this Saturday the 11th and next time Saturday the 18th. And then I'm also doing an online workshop with them on Sunday the 26th, which is a one day introduction to building distributed systems with dotnet. There's NDC Porto, which is now in DC online is taking place at the end of April the 21st, to the 24th, I think, which again, online, get some tickets to that we figured out some really, really interesting ways of virtualizing, the online conference format. We got good results with speakers, we're trying out some new technology NDC Oslo, which was previously one of the biggest events in the development calendar, but you know, 1800 people last year, that's in June that's going to be running completely online. Next, which is where I was supposed to be today in St. Petersburg, Russia that's now running in June and is going to be running online. So check that out. And And the interesting thing is all the events that are like we're still running because we're on November, and all the other events that are like we are reshaping July until November, and the other events that are like well, we probably going to run something in November. So if this you know, COVID-19 situation resolves itself over the next the next few months, then you know that November is going to be very, very busy. I think I worked it out, there's like I can, I can be on the road doing conferences for seven weeks back to back without going home in the middle. So, but we'll see it's, you know, even November is a little bit far ahead to be planning.
Tim Bourguignon 53:29 For the say story, I run a side project gathering papers, and I was pushing back to to fall. And I'm not sure what to do with it because I actually am at this mistake. I think big gatherings are not going to be so easy even involved, but no, well,
Dylan Beattie 53:47 yeah. Well, you know, I mean, the other the other interesting thing, I think, conferences or conference organizers should start thinking about now is I'm getting invitations now to virtual calls. conferences and now you know, people I've not worked with before they know me through work I've done on my you know, my reputation, who are like, we'd love you to speak at our virtual conference. And I'm like, Well, you know, without meaning to sound too mercenary what's in this for me because on the one hand, you know that the organizations that I have an existing relationship with I'm very, very keen to help them survive and succeed and want them still to be going on the other side of this thing. But you know, speaking of the reason why speakers do what we do is most of us we love traveling we like meeting people, we enjoy the the live audience and the atmosphere and our virtual conferences are very, very different proposition. And the format works very well in terms of presenting material, but in terms of you know, all the extra things that happen around it that we enjoy a lot of those on hold for the moment. And so you know, this invitation is like, you want me to get up in the middle of the night so I can talk to a webcam and you can broadcast it live for your event that's happening and you know, They are or Russia or Australia or whatever. What am I getting out of this? And, you know, I think those events need to start now thinking if we do end up trying to run virtual events for a longer period of time, how are we going to structure it? What's the nature of the sort of, you know, the commercials business relationship? Because we've not had to think about these questions before this has taken everybody by surprise a little bit. Even the, you know, the people who in January was saying, Oh, this is gonna be a big deal. A year ago, we had no clue. Nobody had any idea this was coming. So a lot of interesting questions, a lot of interesting conversations are going to be happening, but absolutely, we'll figure it out.
Tim Bourguignon 55:41 Awesome. Dylan, thank you very much. It's been a blast listening to story.
Dylan Beattie 55:45 It's been my great pleasure.
Tim Bourguignon 55:46 And this has been another episode of devjourney. And we'll see each other next week. Bye. This is Tim from a different time and space with a few comments to make. First, get the most of those developers journeys by subscribing to the podcast with the app of your choice, and get the new episodes out to magically right when they air. The podcast is available on all major platforms. Then, visit our website to find the show notes with the old 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 and with me or reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn. And a big big thanks to the Patreon donors that helps me pay the hosting bills. If you can spare a few coins, please consider a small monthly donation. Every pledge, however small helps. Finally, please do someone you love a favor, tell them about the show today and help them on their journey.