Podcasts about deployments

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Best podcasts about deployments

Latest podcast episodes about deployments

NASACast Video
This Week @NASA, Jan. 7, 2022

NASACast Video

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022


A Week of Deployments for the Webb Space Telescope and more ...

NASACast Audio
This Week @NASA, Jan. 7, 2022

NASACast Audio

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022


A Week of Deployments for the Webb Space Telescope and more ...

DevOps and Docker Talk
GitOps and Automating Container Deployments, with Nirmal Mehta

DevOps and Docker Talk

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 50:17


Unedited live recording of this show on YouTube (Ep 114)  Topics and Links Guide to GitOps from weaveworks  GitOps origins; a blog from weaveworks: What DevOps is to the Cloud, GitOps is to Cloud Native Flux CD Argo CD Swarm Sync for Docker Swarm GitOps YouTube Live Show (Ep 113) where Bret talks about, and gives a demo of, Crossplane  YouTube Live Show (Ep 142) where Bret and Viktor Farcic cover DevOps Automation with Crossplane Control GitHub GitOps through "branch protection rules" DevOpsDays ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

WarDocs - The Military Medicine Podcast
COL Will Bimson, D.O.- Combat Cardiologist, Ranger Qualified- Supporting COVID Missions at Home in the USA and Deployments Across the Globe

WarDocs - The Military Medicine Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2021 35:54


    After completing a stint as the XVIII Airborne Corps Command Surgeon, Dr. Bimson is currently a student at the Army War College.   In this episode you will about what a Cardiologist can do downrange as Dr. Bimson describes deployment experiences in Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2011).  Taking the road less travelled by physicians, he describes his experiences and lessons learned by attending Ranger school at age 42 earning the Ranger Tab.  COL Bimson provides some advice for providers deploying to austere locations with limited medical support at remote Aid Stations.  He also recounts his experiences as the Chief of Clinical Operations with the 44th Medical Brigade when he was tasked with assisting in the set up of the Medical Station at the Javits Center in New York City.  Dr. Bimson has had a unique and interesting career trajectory, you will be engaged and enlightened by his stories and insights he shares on this episode.   Find out more about Dr. Bimson at wardocspodcast.com/guest-bios and visit our webpage and become part of Team WarDocs at wardocspodcast.com.    Please take a moment to follow/subscribe, rate and review WarDocs on your preferred Podcast venue. Follow WarDocs on Social Media Twitter: @wardocspodcast Facebook: WarDocs Podcast Instagram: @wardocspodcast

Kruse Corner
0319 There and Back Again

Kruse Corner

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 79:04


Marine Corps Veteran and co-host of Cancelled for Maintenance Podcast, Six, returns to the show so that we can discuss deployments. Specifically, the transition from being home, to being overseas, and then being home again. We try to cover all angles regarding this topic, offering insight and perspective from the one deployed, as well as the one that stays behind. Deployments are hard on everyone and we hope this conversation will help people to reach out, gain some understanding, and encourage communication. To hear more from the Cancelled for Maintenance Podcast, visit www.cancelledformaintenance.com or find them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @canxformaintenancepodcast.

CJ & The Duke
Documenting ServiceNow Deployments (Or CJ eats your lunch!)

CJ & The Duke

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2021 36:25


The gloves are off.  CJ and The Duke take on the ServiceNow industry's blind spot: deployment documentation.- What's at stake- Documentation value- Is it REALLY that hard?- Components of good documentation- What do other SERIOUS industries think?ABOUT USCory and Robert are vendor agnostic freelance ServiceNow architects.Cory is the founder of TekVoyant.Robert is the founder of The Duke Digital MediaSponsor Us!

What a Hell of a Way to Die
Border Deployments, Border DUIs feat. Davis Winkie

What a Hell of a Way to Die

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 52:19


This week, Francis speaks with Army Times investigative reporter Davis Winkie (@davis_winkie) about his recent story covering troop deployments at the US-Mexico border and the spate of incidents–to include deaths, serious injuries, and enormous amounts of UCMJ–and the fact that soldiers and officers at every echelon are reaching out with one very important statement: they shouldn't be there. Read Davis' story here: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2021/12/08/death-drugs-and-a-disbanded-unit-how-the-guards-mexico-border-mission-fell-apart/ And if you want to contact Davis, his details are as follows: davis.winkie@militarytimes.com and davis.winkie@protonmail.com For this week's bonus, it's a cross-post from Trashfuture's Britainology series, in which Nate, Francis, and Joe force Milo to learn about the Midwest. Now it's the good-natured Midwestern oafs in the driver's seat, and we explain the name of the region itself, why ICP had such appeal to our generation, and why literally everyone has a driving-while-intoxicated story involving being thrown out of someone's house. Get it on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/59837759 *SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT* We now have a storefront to sell the patches, buttons, and magnets that we also give out as flair for our $10 tier. Buy some sweet gear here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/58626568  https://www.hellofawaytodie.com/shop We have a YouTube channel now -- subscribe here and get sweet videos from us in which we yell in our cars like true veterans: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwlHZpNTz-h6aTeQiJrEDKw You can follow the show on Twitter here: @HellOfAWay Follow Nate here: @inthesedeserts Follow Francis here: @ArmyStrang

Mike Drop
Episode 79: SEAL Team 6 Pararescue Combat Deployments with Chad McCoy

Mike Drop

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2021 172:47


Shop https://www.mikeritlandco.com for Performance Dog Food, Treats, Apparel & more! Chad McCoy has most likely seen every injury known to man. After 17 combat deployments all over the world in the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa, it's safe to say he's seen it all. Chad walks us through his life, and shares many great stories about his time in the combat zones, giving us all the great details. Hope you enjoy it! Sponsored by @jockofuel and @teamdog.pet. --------- Table of Timestamps: 0:00 - Introduction 2:07 - Breaking the Ice 5:26 - Morning Routine 7:25 - Growing Up 14:19 - Joining The Airforce 37:08 - Real World Rescue 39:33 - 24th to Green Team 42:12 - Attaching to a Unit 56:15 - Medicine 1:03:04 - Bouncing between the Army and Navy 1:04:55 - 17 Combat Deployments 1:18:39 - First Operation as a Shooter 1:29:17 - Being a Medic in Somalia 1:42:21 - Craziest Injury and Dogs 1:52:33 - Time with Gold Team and Extortion 17 2:01:28 - An Operation That Went Horribly Wrong 2:09:42 - Crazy Injuries and Battlefield Medicine 2:16:08 - Constipation Climb 2:19:40 - Securing a Merchant Vessel 2:22:09 - CPR on a Plane 2:25:18 - Leaving Afghanistan and Military Hierarchy 2:30:51 - Transitioning out of the Airforce 2:46:59 - Foxtrot 3 and Lifeline Rescue Tools 2:51:21 - Outro ---------- Support Chad McCoy: Doolittle Labs: https://doolittleinstitute.org/team-di/ LifeLine Rescue Tools https://lifelinerescuetools.com/ ---------- Support Mike Drop on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mikedrop ----------- Support our sponsors: Origin Labs | www.originmaine.com/origin-labs | @ORIGIN USA Fueled by TeamDog | www.mikeritlandco.com | @Teamdog.pet --- ALL THINGS MIKE RITLAND: SHOP for Fueled By Team Dog Performance Dog Food, Treats, Apparel, Accessories, and Protection dogs - https://MikeRitlandCo.com Team Dog Online dog training - https://TeamDog.pet Support Mike Drop on Patreon https://Patreon.com/mikedrop

Federal Drive with Tom Temin
VA resuming EHR deployments in March, restructuring management of massive project

Federal Drive with Tom Temin

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 16:13


The Department of Veterans Affairs will resume deployment of its massive electronic health record modernization project at a second site in March. New leadership will attempt to get a handle of the initiative. The project has been on hold for much of the last year while the administration learned about problems at the first go-live site. Not everyone is thrilled VA is moving on. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to explain the next steps.

Rethink Energy Podcast
Rethink Energy Podcast 67: EV and oil Forecast, Q3 solar deployments, Sinopec's hydrogen

Rethink Energy Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 34:29


In this bumper episode the Rethink Energy team goes over the Q3 solar installation numbers, our new report covering the future of EV uptake and oil's collapse, plus Sinopec's green hydrogen facility.

Screaming in the Cloud
Keeping the Chaos Searchable with Thomas Hazel

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 44:43


About ThomasThomas Hazel is Founder, CTO, and Chief Scientist of ChaosSearch. He is a serial entrepreneur at the forefront of communication, virtualization, and database technology and the inventor of ChaosSearch's patented IP. Thomas has also patented several other technologies in the areas of distributed algorithms, virtualization and database science. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of New Hampshire, Hall of Fame Alumni Inductee, and founded both student & professional chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).Links:ChaosSearch: https://www.chaossearch.io TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by my friends at ThinkstCanary. Most companies find out way too late that they've been breached. ThinksCanary changes this and I love how they do it. Deploy canaries and canary tokens in minutes and then forget about them. What's great is the attackers tip their hand by touching them, giving you one alert, when it matters. I use it myself and I only remember this when I get the weekly update with a “we're still here, so you're aware” from them. It's glorious! There is zero admin overhead  to this, there are effectively no false positives unless I do something foolish. Canaries are deployed and loved on all seven continents. You can check out what people are saying at canary.love. And, their Kub config canary token is new and completely free as well. You can do an awful lot without paying them a dime, which is one of the things I love about them. It is useful stuff and not an, “ohh, I wish I had money.” It is speculator! Take a look; that's canary.love because it's genuinely rare to find a security product that people talk about in terms of love. It really is a unique thing to see. Canary.love. Thank you to ThinkstCanary for their support of my ridiculous, ridiculous non-sense.   Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. This promoted episode is brought to us by our friends at ChaosSearch.We've been working with them for a long time; they've sponsored a bunch of our nonsense, and it turns out that we've been talking about them to our clients since long before they were a sponsor because it actually does what it says on the tin. Here to talk to us about that in a few minutes is Thomas Hazel, ChaosSearch's CTO and founder. First, Thomas, nice to talk to you again, and as always, thanks for humoring me.Thomas: [laugh]. Hi, Corey. Always great to talk to you. And I enjoy these conversations that sometimes go up and down, left and right, but I look forward to all the fun we're going to have.Corey: So, my understanding of ChaosSearch is probably a few years old because it turns out, I don't spend a whole lot of time meticulously studying your company's roadmap in the same way that you presumably do. When last we checked in with what the service did-slash-does, you are effectively solving the problem of data movement and querying that data. The idea behind data warehouses is generally something that's shoved onto us by cloud providers where, “Hey, this data is going to be valuable to you someday.” Data science teams are big proponents of this because when you're storing that much data, their salaries look relatively reasonable by comparison. And the ChaosSearch vision was, instead of copying all this data out of an object store and storing it on expensive disks, and replicating it, et cetera, what if we queried it in place in a somewhat intelligent manner?So, you take the data and you store it, in this case, in S3 or equivalent, and then just query it there, rather than having to move it around all over the place, which of course, then incurs data transfer fees, you're storing it multiple times, and it's never in quite the format that you want it. That was the breakthrough revelation, you were Elasticsearch—now OpenSearch—API compatible, which was great. And that was, sort of, a state of the art a year or two ago. Is that generally correct?Thomas: No, you nailed our mission statement. No, you're exactly right. You know, the value of cloud object stores, S3, the elasticity, the durability, all these wonderful things, the problem was you couldn't get any value out of it, and you had to move it out to these siloed solutions, as you indicated. So, you know, our mission was exactly that, transformed customers' cloud storage into an analytical database, a multi-model analytical database, where our first use case was search and log analytics, replacing the ELK stack and also replacing the data pipeline, the schema management, et cetera. We automate the entire step, raw data to insights.Corey: It's funny we're having this conversation today. Earlier, today, I was trying to get rid of a relatively paltry 200 gigs or so of small files on an EFS volume—you know, Amazon's version of NFS; it's like an NFS volume except you're paying Amazon for the privilege—great. And it turns out that it's a whole bunch of operations across a network on a whole bunch of tiny files, so I had to spin up other instances that were not getting backed by spot terminations, and just firing up a whole bunch of threads. So, now the load average on that box is approaching 300, but it's plowing through, getting rid of that data finally.And I'm looking at this saying this is a quarter of a terabyte. Data warehouses are in the petabyte range. Oh, I begin to see aspects of the problem. Even searching that kind of data using traditional tooling starts to break down, which is sort of the revelation that Google had 20-some-odd years ago, and other folks have since solved for, but this is the first time I've had significant data that wasn't just easily searched with a grep. For those of you in the Unix world who understand what that means, condolences. We're having a support group meeting at the bar.Thomas: Yeah. And you know, I always thought, what if you could make cloud object storage like S3 high performance and really transform it into a database? And so that warehouse capability, that's great. We like that. However to manage it, to scale it, to configure it, to get the data into that, was the problem.That was the promise of a data lake, right? This simple in, and then this arbitrary schema on read generic out. The problem next came, it became swampy, it was really hard, and that promise was not delivered. And so what we're trying to do is get all the benefits of the data lake: simple in, so many services naturally stream to cloud storage. Shoot, I would say every one of our customers are putting their data in cloud storage because their data pipeline to their warehousing solution or Elasticsearch may go down and they're worried they'll lose the data.So, what we say is what if you just said activate that data lake and get that ELK use case, get that BI use case without that data movement, as you indicated, without that ETL-ing, without that data pipeline that you're worried is going to fall over. So, that vision has been Chaos. Now, we haven't talked in, you know, a few years, but this idea that we're growing beyond what we are just going after logs, we're going into new use cases, new opportunities, and I'm looking forward to discussing with you.Corey: It's a great answer that—though I have to call out that I am right there with you as far as inappropriately using things as databases. I know that someone is going to come back and say, “Oh, S3 is a database. You're dancing around it. Isn't that what Athena is?” Which is named, of course, after the Greek Goddess of spending money on AWS? And that is a fair question, but to my understanding, there's a schema story behind that does not apply to what you're doing.Thomas: Yeah, and that is so crucial is that we like the relational access. The time-cost complexity to get it into that, as you mentioned, scaled access, I mean, it could take weeks, months to test it, to configure it, to provision it, and imagine if you got it wrong; you got to redo it again. And so our unique service removes all that data pipeline schema management. And because of our innovation because of our service, you do all schema definition, on the fly, virtually, what we call views on your index data, that you can publish an elastic index pattern for that consumption, or a relational table for that consumption. And that's kind of leading the witness into things that we're coming out with this quarter into 2022.Corey: I have to deal with a little bit of, I guess, a shame here because yeah, I'm doing exactly what you just described. I'm using Athena to wind up querying our customers' Cost and Usage Reports, and we spend a couple hundred bucks a month on AWS Glue to wind up massaging those into the way that they expect it to be. And it's great. Ish. We hook it up to Tableau and can make those queries from it, and all right, it's great.It just, burrr goes the money printer, and we somehow get access and insight to a lot of valuable data. But even that is knowing exactly what the format is going to look like. Ish. I mean, Cost and Usage Reports from Amazon are sort of aspirational when it comes to schema sometimes, but here we are. And that's been all well and good.But now the idea of log files, even looking at the base case of sending logs from an application, great. Nginx, or Apache, or [unintelligible 00:07:24], or any of the various web servers out there all tend to use different logging formats just to describe the same exact things, start spreading that across custom in-house applications and getting signal from that is almost impossible. “Oh,” people say, “So, we'll use a structured data format.” Now, you're putting log and structuring requirements on application developers who don't care in the first place, and now you have a mess on your hands.Thomas: And it really is a mess. And that challenge is, it's so problematic. And schemas changing. You know, we have customers and one reasons why they go with us is their log data is changing; they didn't expect it. Well, in your data pipeline, and your Athena database, that breaks. That brings the system down.And so our system uniquely detects that and manages that for you and then you can pick and choose how you want to export in these views dynamically. So, you know, it's really not rocket science, but the problem is, a lot of the technology that we're using is designed for static, fixed thinking. And then to scale it is problematic and time-consuming. So, you know, Glue is a great idea, but it has a lot of sharp [pebbles 00:08:26]. Athena is a great idea but also has a lot of problems.And so that data pipeline, you know, it's not for digitally native, active, new use cases, new workloads coming up hourly, daily. You think about this long-term; so a lot of that data prep pipelining is something we address so uniquely, but really where the customer cares is the value of that data, right? And so if you're spending toils trying to get the data into a database, you're not answering the questions, whether it's for security, for performance, for your business needs. That's the problem. And you know, that agility, that time-to-value is where we're very uniquely coming in because we start where your data is raw and we automate the process all the way through.Corey: So, when I look at the things that I have stuffed into S3, they generally fall into a couple of categories. There are a bunch of logs for things I never asked for nor particularly wanted, but AWS is aggressive about that, first routing through CloudTrail so you can get charged 50-cent per gigabyte ingested. Awesome. And of course, large static assets, images I have done something to enter colloquially now known as shitposts, which is great. Other than logs, what could you possibly be storing in S3 that lends itself to, effectively, the type of analysis that you built around this?Thomas: Well, our first use case was the classic log use cases, app logs, web service logs. I mean, CloudTrail, it's famous; we had customers that gave up on elastic, and definitely gave up on relational where you can do a couple changes and your permutation of attributes for CloudTrail is going to put you to your knees. And people just say, “I give up.” Same thing with Kubernetes logs. And so it's the classic—whether it's CSV, where it's JSON, where it's log types, we auto-discover all that.We also allow you, if you want to override that and change the parsing capabilities through a UI wizard, we do discover what's in your buckets. That term data swamp, and not knowing what's in your bucket, we do a facility that will index that data, actually create a report for you for knowing what's in. Now, if you have text data, if you have log data, if you have BI data, we can bring it all together, but the real pain is at the scale. So classically, app logs, system logs, many devices sending IoT-type streams is where we really come in—Kubernetes—where they're dealing with terabytes of data per day, and managing an ELK cluster at that scale. Particularly on a Black Friday.Shoot, some of our customers like—Klarna is one of them; credit card payment—they're ramping up for Black Friday, and one of the reasons why they chose us is our ability to scale when maybe you're doing a terabyte or two a day and then it goes up to twenty, twenty-five. How do you test that scale? How do you manage that scale? And so for us, the data streams are, traditionally with our customers, the well-known log types, at least in the log use cases. And the challenge is scaling it, is getting access to it, and that's where we come in.Corey: I will say the last time you were on the show a couple of years ago, you were talking about the initial logging use case and you were speaking, in many cases aspirationally, about where things were going. What a difference a couple years is made. Instead of talking about what hypothetical customers might want, or what—might be able to do, you're just able to name-drop them off the top of your head, you have scaled to approximately ten times the number of employees you had back then. You've—Thomas: Yep. Yep.Corey: —raised, I think, a total of—what, 50 million?—since then.Thomas: Uh, 60 now. Yeah.Corey: Oh, 60? Fantastic.Thomas: Yeah, yeah.Corey: Congrats. And of course, how do you do it? By sponsoring Last Week in AWS, as everyone should. I'm taking clear credit for that every time someone announces around, that's the game. But no, there is validity to it because telling fun stories and sponsoring exciting things like this only carry you so far. At some point, customers have to say, yeah, this is solving a pain that I have; I'm willing to pay you money to solve it.And you've clearly gotten to a point where you are addressing the needs of those customers at a pretty fascinating clip. It's bittersweet from my perspective because it seems like the majority of your customers have not come from my nonsense anymore. They're finding you through word of mouth, they're finding through more traditional—read as boring—ad campaigns, et cetera, et cetera. But you've built a brand that extends beyond just me. I'm no longer viewed as the de facto ombudsperson for any issue someone might have with ChaosSearch on Twitters. It's kind of, “Aww, the company grew up. What happened there?”Thomas: No, [laugh] listen, this you were great. We reached out to you to tell our story, and I got to be honest. A lot of people came by, said, “I heard something on Corey Quinn's podcasts,” or et cetera. And it came a long way now. Now, we have, you know, companies like Equifax, multi-cloud—Amazon and Google.They love the data lake philosophy, the centralized, where use cases are now available within days, not weeks and months. Whether it's logs and BI. Correlating across all those data streams, it's huge. We mentioned Klarna, [APM Performance 00:13:19], and, you know, we have Armor for SIEM, and Blackboard for [Observers 00:13:24].So, it's funny—yeah, it's funny, when I first was talking to you, I was like, “What if? What if we had this customer, that customer?” And we were building the capabilities, but now that we have it, now that we have customers, yeah, I guess, maybe we've grown up a little bit. But hey, listen to you're always near and dear to our heart because we remember, you know, when you stop[ed by our booth at re:Invent several times. And we're coming to re:Invent this year, and I believe you are as well.Corey: Oh, yeah. But people listening to this, it's if they're listening the day it's released, this will be during re:Invent. So, by all means, come by the ChaosSearch booth, and see what they have to say. For once they have people who aren't me who are going to be telling stories about these things. And it's fun. Like, I joke, it's nothing but positive here.It's interesting from where I sit seeing the parallels here. For example, we have both had—how we say—adult supervision come in. You have a CEO, Ed, who came over from IBM Storage. I have Mike Julian, whose first love language is of course spreadsheets. And it's great, on some level, realizing that, wow, this company has eclipsed my ability to manage these things myself and put my hands-on everything. And eventually, you have to start letting go. It's a weird growth stage, and it's a heck of a transition. But—Thomas: No, I love it. You know, I mean, I think when we were talking, we were maybe 15 employees. Now, we're pushing 100. We brought on Ed Walsh, who's an amazing CEO. It's funny, I told him about this idea, I invented this technology roughly eight years ago, and he's like, “I love it. Let's do it.” And I wasn't ready to do it.So, you know, five, six years ago, I started the company always knowing that, you know, I'd give him a call once we got the plane up in the air. And it's been great to have him here because the next level up, right, of execution and growth and business development and sales and marketing. So, you're exactly right. I mean, we were a young pup several years ago, when we were talking to you and, you know, we're a little bit older, a little bit wiser. But no, it's great to have Ed here. And just the leadership in general; we've grown immensely.Corey: Now, we are recording this in advance of re:Invent, so there's always the question of, “Wow, are we going to look really silly based upon what is being announced when this airs?” Because it's very hard to predict some things that AWS does. And let's be clear, I always stay away from predictions, just because first, I have a bit of a knack for being right. But also, when I'm right, people will think, “Oh, Corey must have known about that and is leaking,” whereas if I get it wrong, I just look like a fool. There's no win for me if I start doing the predictive dance on stuff like that.But I have to level with you, I have been somewhat surprised that, at least as of this recording, AWS has not moved more in your direction because storing data in S3 is kind of their whole thing, and querying that data through something that isn't Athena has been a bit of a reach for them that they're slowly starting to wrap their heads around. But their UltraWarm nonsense—which is just, okay, great naming there—what is the point of continually having a model where oh, yeah, we're going to just age it out, the stuff that isn't actively being used into S3, rather than coming up with a way to query it there. Because you've done exactly that, and please don't take this as anything other than a statement of fact, they have better access to what S3 is doing than you do. You're forced to deal with this thing entirely from a public API standpoint, which is fine. They can theoretically change the behavior of aspects of S3 to unlock these use cases if they chose to do so. And they haven't. Why is it that you're the only folks that are doing this?Thomas: No, it's a great question, and I'll give them props for continuing to push the data lake [unintelligible 00:17:09] to the cloud providers' S3 because it was really where I saw the world. Lakes, I believe in. I love them. They love them. However, they promote the move the data out to get access, and it seems so counterintuitive on why wouldn't you leave it in and put these services, make them more intelligent? So, it's funny, I've trademark ‘Smart Object Storage,' I actually trademarked—I think you [laugh] were a part of this—‘UltraHot,' right? Because why would you want UltraWarm when you can have UltraHot?And the reason, I feel, is that if you're using Parquet for Athena [unintelligible 00:17:40] store, or Lucene for Elasticsearch, these two index technologies were not designed for cloud storage, for real-time streaming off of cloud storage. So, the trick is, you have to build UltraWarm, get it off of what they consider cold S3 into a more warmer memory or SSD type access. What we did, what the invention I created was, that first read is hot. That first read is fast.Snowflake is a good example. They give you a ten terabyte demo example, and if you have a big instance and you do that first query, maybe several orders or groups, it could take an hour to warm up. The second query is fast. Well, what if the first query is in seconds as well? And that's where we really spent the last five, six years building out the tech and the vision behind this because I like to say you go to a doctor and say, “Hey, Doc, every single time I move my arm, it hurts.” And the doctor says, “Well, don't move your arm.”It's things like that, to your point, it's like, why wouldn't they? I would argue, one, you have to believe it's possible—we're proving that it is—and two, you have to have the technology to do it. Not just the index, but the architecture. So, I believe they will go this direction. You know, little birdies always say that all these companies understand this need.Shoot, Snowflake is trying to be lake-y; Databricks is trying to really bring this warehouse lake concept. But you still do all the pipelining; you still have to do all the data management the way that you don't want to do. It's not a lake. And so my argument is that it's innovation on why. Now, they have money; they have time, but, you know, we have a big head start.Corey: I remembered last year at re:Invent they released a, shall we say, significant change to S3 that it enabled read after write consistency, which is awesome, for again, those of us in the business of misusing things as databases. But for some folks, the majority of folks I would say, it was a, “I don't know what that means and therefore I don't care.” And that's fine. I have no issue with that. There are other folks, some of my customers for example, who are suddenly, “Wait a minute. This means I can sunset this entire janky sidecar metadata system that is designed to make sure that we are consistent in our use of S3 because it now does it automatically under the hood?” And that's awesome. Does that change mean anything for ChaosSearch?Thomas: It doesn't because of our architecture. We're append-only, write-once scenario, so a lot of update-in-place viewpoints. My viewpoint is that if you're seeing S3 as the database and you need that type of consistency, it make sense of why you'd want it, but because of our distributive fabric, our stateless architecture, our append-only nature, it really doesn't affect us.Now, I talked to the S3 team, I said, “Please if you're coming up with this feature, it better not be slower.” I want S3 to be fast, right? And they said, “No, no. It won't affect performance.” I'm like, “Okay. Let's keep that up.”And so to us, any type of S3 capability, we'll take advantage of it if benefits us, whether it's consistency as you indicated, performance, functionality. But we really keep the constructs of S3 access to really limited features: list, put, get. [roll-on 00:20:49] policies to give us read-only access to your data, and a location to write our indices into your account, and then are distributed fabric, our service, acts as those indices and query them or searches them to resolve whatever analytics you need. So, we made it pretty simple, and that is allowed us to make it high performance.Corey: I'll take it a step further because you want to talk about changes since the last time we spoke, it used to be that this was on top of S3, you can store your data anywhere you want, as long as it's S3 in the customer's account. Now, you're also supporting one-click integration with Google Cloud's object storage, which, great. That does mean though, that you're not dependent upon provider-specific implementations of things like a consistency model for how you've built things. It really does use the lowest common denominator—to my understanding—of object stores. Is that something that you're seeing broad adoption of, or is this one of those areas where, well, you have one customer on a different provider, but almost everything lives on the primary? I'm curious what you're seeing for adoption models across multiple providers?Thomas: It's a great question. We built an architecture purposely to be cloud-agnostic. I mean, we use compute in a containerized way, we use object storage in a very simple construct—put, get, list—and we went over to Google because that made sense, right? We have customers on both sides. I would say Amazon is the gorilla, but Google's trying to get there and growing.We had a big customer, Equifax, that's on both Amazon and Google, but we offer the same service. To be frank, it looks like the exact same product. And it should, right? Whether it's Amazon Cloud, or Google Cloud, multi-select and I want to choose either one and get the other one. I would say that different business types are using each one, but our bulk of the business isn't Amazon, but we just this summer released our SaaS offerings, so it's growing.And you know, it's funny, you never know where it comes from. So, we have one customer—actually DigitalRiver—as one of our customers on Amazon for logs, but we're growing in working together to do a BI on GCP or on Google. And so it's kind of funny; they have two departments on two different clouds with two different use cases. And so do they want unification? I'm not sure, but they definitely have their BI on Google and their operations in Amazon. It's interesting.Corey: You know its important to me that people learn how to use the cloud effectively. Thats why I'm so glad that Cloud Academy is sponsoring my ridiculous non-sense. They're a great way to build in demand tech skills the way that, well personally, I learn best which I learn by doing not by reading. They have live cloud labs that you can run in real environments that aren't going to blow up your own bill—I can't stress how important that is. Visit cloudacademy.com/corey. Thats C-O-R-E-Y, don't drop the “E.” Use Corey as a promo-code as well. You're going to get a bunch of discounts on it with a lifetime deal—the price will not go up. It is limited time, they assured me this is not one of those things that is going to wind up being a rug pull scenario, oh no no. Talk to them, tell me what you think. Visit: cloudacademy.com/corey,  C-O-R-E-Y and tell them that I sent you!Corey: I know that I'm going to get letters for this. So, let me just call it out right now. Because I've been a big advocate of pick a provider—I care not which one—and go all-in on it. And I'm sitting here congratulating you on extending to another provider, and people are going to say, “Ah, you're being inconsistent.”No. I'm suggesting that you as a provider have to meet your customers where they are because if someone is sitting in GCP and your entire approach is, “Step one, migrate those four petabytes of data right on over here to AWS,” they're going to call you that jackhole that you would be by making that suggestion and go immediately for option B, which is literally anything that is not ChaosSearch, just based upon that core misunderstanding of their business constraints. That is the way to think about these things. For a vendor position that you are in as an ISV—Independent Software Vendor for those not up on the lingo of this ridiculous industry—you have to meet customers where they are. And it's the right move.Thomas: Well, you just said it. Imagine moving terabytes and petabytes of data.Corey: It sounds terrific if I'm a salesperson for one of these companies working on commission, but for the rest of us, it sounds awful.Thomas: We really are a data fabric across clouds, within clouds. We're going to go where the data is and we're going to provide access to where that data lives. Our whole philosophy is the no-movement movement, right? Don't move your data. Leave it where it is and provide access at scale.And so you may have services in Google that naturally stream to GCS; let's do it there. Imagine moving that amount of data over to Amazon to analyze it, and vice versa. 2020, we're going to be in Azure. They're a totally different type of business, users, and personas, but you're getting asked, “Can you support Azure?” And the answer is, “Yes,” and, “We will in 2022.”So, to us, if you have cloud storage, if you have compute, and it's a big enough business opportunity in the market, we're there. We're going there. When we first started, we were talking to MinIO—remember that open-source, object storage platform?—We've run on our laptops, we run—this [unintelligible 00:25:04] Dr. Seuss thing—“We run over here; we run over there; we run everywhere.”But the honest truth is, you're going to go with the big cloud providers where the business opportunity is, and offer the same solution because the same solution is valued everywhere: simple in; value out; cost-effective; long retention; flexibility. That sounds so basic, but you mentioned this all the time with our Rube Goldberg, Amazon diagrams we see time and time again. It's like, if you looked at that and you were from an alien planet, you'd be like, “These people don't know what they're doing. Why is it so complicated?” And the simple answer is, I don't know why people think it's complicated.To your point about Amazon, why won't they do it? I don't know, but if they did, things would be different. And being honest, I think people are catching on. We do talk to Amazon and others. They see the need, but they also have to build it; they have to invent technology to address it. And using Parquet and Lucene are not the answer.Corey: Yeah, it's too much of a demand on the producers of that data rather than the consumer. And yeah, I would love to be able to go upstream to application developers and demand they do things in certain ways. It turns out as a consultant, you have zero authority to do that. As a DevOps team member, you have limited ability to influence it, but it turns out that being the ‘department of no' quickly turns into being the ‘department of unemployment insurance' because no one wants to work with you. And collaboration—contrary to what people wish to believe—is a key part of working in a modern workplace.Thomas: Absolutely. And it's funny, the demands of IT are getting harder; the actual getting the employees to build out the solutions are getting harder. And so a lot of that time is in the pipeline, is the prep, is the schema, the sharding, and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. My viewpoint is that should be automated away. More and more databases are being autotune, right?This whole knobs and this and that, to me, Glue is a means to an end. I mean, let's get rid of it. Why can't Athena know what to do? Why can't object storage be Athena and vice versa? I mean, to me, it seems like all this moving through all these services, the classic Amazon viewpoint, even their diagrams of having this centralized repository of S3, move it all out to your services, get results, put it back in, then take it back out again, move it around, it just doesn't make much sense. And so to us, I love S3, love the service. I think it's brilliant—Amazon's first service, right?—but from there get a little smarter. That's where ChaosSearch comes in.Corey: I would argue that S3 is in fact, a modern miracle. And one of those companies saying, “Oh, we have an object store; it's S3 compatible.” It's like, “Yeah. We have S3 at home.” Look at S3 at home, and it's just basically a series of failing Raspberry Pis.But you have this whole ecosystem of things that have built up and sprung up around S3. It is wildly understated just how scalable and massive it is. There was an academic paper recently that won an award on how they use automated reasoning to validate what is going on in the S3 environment, and they talked about hundreds of petabytes in some cases. And folks are saying, ah, S3 is hundreds of petabytes. Yeah, I have clients storing hundreds of petabytes.There are larger companies out there. Steve Schmidt, Amazon's CISO, was recently at a Splunk keynote where he mentioned that in security info alone, AWS itself generates 500 petabytes a day that then gets reduced down to a bunch of stuff, and some of it gets loaded into Splunk. I think. I couldn't really hear the second half of that sentence because of the sound of all of the Splunk salespeople in that room becoming excited so quickly you could hear it.Thomas: [laugh]. I love it. If I could be so bold, those S3 team, they're gods. They are amazing. They created such an amazing service, and when I started playing with S3 now, I guess, 2006 or 7, I mean, we were using for a repository, URL access to get images, I was doing a virtualization [unintelligible 00:29:05] at the time—Corey: Oh, the first time I played with it, “This seems ridiculous and kind of dumb. Why would anyone use this?” Yeah, yeah. It turns out I'm really bad at predicting the future. Another reason I don't do the prediction thing.Thomas: Yeah. And when I started this company officially, five, six years ago, I was thinking about S3 and I was thinking about HDFS not being a good answer. And I said, “I think S3 will actually achieve the goals and performance we need.” It's a distributed file system. You can run parallel puts and parallel gets. And the performance that I was seeing when the data was a certain way, certain size, “Wait, you can get high performance.”And you know, when I first turned on the engine, now four or five years ago, I was like, “Wow. This is going to work. We're off to the races.” And now obviously, we're more than just an idea when we first talked to you. We're a service.We deliver benefits to our customers both in logs. And shoot, this quarter alone we're coming out with new features not just in the logs, which I'll talk about second, but in a direct SQL access. But you know, one thing that you hear time and time again, we talked about it—JSON, CloudTrail, and Kubernetes; this is a real nightmare, and so one thing that we've come out with this quarter is the ability to virtually flatten. Now, you heard time and time again, where, “Okay. I'm going to pick and choose my data because my database can't handle whether it's elastic, or say, relational.” And all of a sudden, “Shoot, I don't have that. I got to reindex that.”And so what we've done is we've created a index technology that we're always planning to come out with that indexes the JSON raw blob, but in the data refinery have, post-index you can select how to unflatten it. Why is that important? Because all that tooling, whether it's elastic or SQL, is now available. You don't have to change anything. Why is Snowflake and BigQuery has these proprietary JSON APIs that none of these tools know how to use to get access to the data?Or you pick and choose. And so when you have a CloudTrail, and you need to know what's going on, if you picked wrong, you're in trouble. So, this new feature we're calling ‘Virtual Flattening'—or I don't know what we're—we have to work with the marketing team on it. And we're also bringing—this is where I get kind of excited where the elastic world, the ELK world, we're bringing correlations into Elasticsearch. And like, how do you do that? They don't have the APIs?Well, our data refinery, again, has the ability to correlate index patterns into one view. A view is an index pattern, so all those same constructs that you had in Kibana, or Grafana, or Elastic API still work. And so, no more denormalizing, no more trying to hodgepodge query over here, query over there. You're actually going to have correlations in Elastic, natively. And we're excited about that.And one more push on the future, Q4 into 2022; we have been given early access to S3 SQL access. And, you know, as I mentioned, correlations in Elastic, but we're going full in on publishing our [TPCH 00:31:56] report, we're excited about publishing those numbers, as well as not just giving early access, but going GA in the first of the year, next year.Corey: I look forward to it. This is also, I guess, it's impossible to have a conversation with you, even now, where you're not still forward-looking about what comes next. Which is natural; that is how we get excited about the things that we're building. But so much less of what you're doing now in our conversations have focused around what's coming, as opposed to the neat stuff you're already doing. I had to double-check when we were talking just now about oh, yeah, is that Google cloud object store support still something that is roadmapped, or is that out in the real world?No, it's very much here in the real world, available today. You can use it. Go click the button, have fun. It's neat to see at least some evidence that not all roadmaps are wishes and pixie dust. The things that you were talking to me about years ago are established parts of ChaosSearch now. It hasn't been just, sort of, frozen in amber for years, or months, or these giant periods of time. Because, again, there's—yeah, don't sell me vaporware; I know how this works. The things you have promised have come to fruition. It's nice to see that.Thomas: No, I appreciate it. We talked a little while ago, now a few years ago, and it was a bit of aspirational, right? We had a lot to do, we had more to do. But now when we have big customers using our product, solving their problems, whether it's security, performance, operation, again—at scale, right? The real pain is, sure you have a small ELK cluster or small Athena use case, but when you're dealing with terabytes to petabytes, trillions of rows, right—billions—when you were dealing trillions, billions are now small. Millions don't even exist, right?And you're graduating from computer science in college and you say the word, “Trillion,” they're like, “Nah. No one does that.” And like you were saying, people do petabytes and exabytes. That's the world we're living in, and that's something that we really went hard at because these are challenging data problems and this is where we feel we uniquely sit. And again, we don't have to break the bank while doing it.Corey: Oh, yeah. Or at least as of this recording, there's a meme going around, again, from an old internal Google Video, of, “I just want to serve five terabytes of traffic,” and it's an internal Google discussion of, “I don't know how to count that low.” And, yeah.Thomas: [laugh].Corey: But there's also value in being able to address things at much larger volume. I would love to see better responsiveness options around things like Deep Archive because the idea of being able to query that—even if you can wait a day or two—becomes really interesting just from the perspective of, at that point, current cost for one petabyte of data in Glacier Deep Archive is 1000 bucks a month. That is ‘why would I ever delete data again?' Pricing.Thomas: Yeah. You said it. And what's interesting about our technology is unlike, let's say Lucene, when you index it, it could be 3, 4, or 5x the raw size, our representation is smaller than gzip. So, it is a full representation, so why don't you store it efficiently long-term in S3? Oh, by the way, with the Glacier; we support Glacier too.And so, I mean, it's amazing the cost of data with cloud storage is dramatic, and if you can make it hot and activated, that's the real promise of a data lake. And, you know, it's funny, we use our own service to run our SaaS—we log our own data, we monitor, we alert, have dashboards—and I can't tell you how cheap our service is to ourselves, right? Because it's so cost-effective for long-tail, not just, oh, a few weeks; we store a whole year's worth of our operational data so we can go back in time to debug something or figure something out. And a lot of that's savings. Actually, huge savings is cloud storage with a distributed elastic compute fabric that is serverless. These are things that seem so obvious now, but if you have SSDs, and you're moving things around, you know, a team of IT professionals trying to manage it, it's not cheap.Corey: Oh, yeah, that's the story. It's like, “Step one, start paying for using things in cloud.” “Okay, great. When do I stop paying?” “That's the neat part. You don't.” And it continues to grow and build.And again, this is the thing I learned running a business that focuses on this, the people working on this, in almost every case, are more expensive than the infrastructure they're working on. And that's fine. I'd rather pay people than technologies. And it does help reaffirm, on some level, that—people don't like this reminder—but you have to generate more value than you cost. So, when you're sitting there spending all your time trying to avoid saving money on, “Oh, I've listened to ChaosSearch talk about what they do a few times. I can probably build my own and roll it at home.”It's, I've seen the kind of work that you folks have put into this—again, you have something like 100 employees now; it is not just you building this—my belief has always been that if you can buy something that gets you 90, 95% of where you are, great. Buy it, and then yell at whoever selling it to you for the rest of it, and that'll get you a lot further than, “We're going to do this ourselves from first principles.” Which is great for a weekend project for just something that you have a passion for, but in production mistakes show. I've always been a big proponent of buying wherever you can. It's cheaper, which sounds weird, but it's true.Thomas: And we do the same thing. We have single-sign-on support; we didn't build that ourselves, we use a service now. Auth0 is one of our providers now that owns that [crosstalk 00:37:12]—Corey: Oh, you didn't roll your own authentication layer? Why ever not? Next, you're going to tell me that you didn't roll your own payment gateway when you wound up charging people on your website to sign up?Thomas: You got it. And so, I mean, do what you do well. Focus on what you do well. If you're repeating what everyone seems to do over and over again, time, costs, complexity, and… service, it makes sense. You know, I'm not trying to build storage; I'm using storage. I'm using a great, wonderful service, cloud object storage.Use whats works, whats works well, and do what you do well. And what we do well is make cloud object storage analytical and fast. So, call us up and we'll take away that 2 a.m. call you have when your cluster falls down, or you have a new workload that you are going to go to the—I don't know, the beach house, and now the weekend shot, right? Spin it up, stream it in. We'll take over.Corey: Yeah. So, if you're listening to this and you happen to be at re:Invent, which is sort of an open question: why would you be at re:Invent while listening to a podcast? And then I remember how long the shuttle lines are likely to be, and yeah. So, if you're at re:Invent, make it on down to the show floor, visit the ChaosSearch booth, tell them I sent you, watch for the wince, that's always worth doing. Thomas, if people have better decision-making capability than the two of us do, where can they find you if they're not in Las Vegas this week?Thomas: So, you find us online chaossearch.io. We have so much material, videos, use cases, testimonials. You can reach out to us, get a free trial. We have a self-service experience where connect to your S3 bucket and you're up and running within five minutes.So, definitely chaossearch.io. Reach out if you want a hand-held, white-glove experience POV. If you have those type of needs, we can do that with you as well. But we booth on re:Invent and I don't know the booth number, but I'm sure either we've assigned it or we'll find it out.Corey: Don't worry. This year, it is a low enough attendance rate that I'm projecting that you will not be as hard to find in recent years. For example, there's only one expo hall this year. What a concept. If only it hadn't taken a deadly pandemic to get us here.Thomas: Yeah. But you know, we'll have the ability to demonstrate Chaos at the booth, and really, within a few minutes, you'll say, “Wow. How come I never heard of doing it this way?” Because it just makes so much sense on why you do it this way versus the merry-go-round of data movement, and transformation, and schema management, let alone all the sharding that I know is a nightmare, more often than not.Corey: And we'll, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:39:40]. Thomas, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. As always, it's appreciated.Thomas: Corey, thank you. Let's do this again.Corey: We absolutely will. Thomas Hazel, CTO and Founder of ChaosSearch. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast episode, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this episode, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment because I have dared to besmirch the honor of your homebrewed object store, running on top of some trusty and reliable Raspberries Pie.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Screaming in the Cloud
Striking a Balance on the Cloud with Rachel Stephens

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 39:11


About RachelRachel Stephens is a Senior Analyst with RedMonk, a developer-focused industry analyst firm. RedMonk focuses on how practitioners drive technological adoption. Her research covers a broad range of developer and infrastructure products, with a particular focus on emerging growth technologies and markets. (But not crypto. Please don't talk to her about NFTs.)Before joining RedMonk, Rachel worked as a database administrator and financial analyst. Rachel holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a BA in Finance from the University of Colorado.Links: RedMonk: https://redmonk.com/ Great analysis: https://redmonk.com/rstephens/2021/09/30/a-new-strategy-r2/ “Convergent Evolution of CDNs and Clouds”: https://redmonk.com/sogrady/2020/06/10/convergent-evolution-cdns-cloud/ “Everything is Securities Fraud?”: https://cafe.com/stay-tuned/everything-is-securities-fraud-with-matt-levine/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/rstephensme TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by my friends at ThinkstCanary. Most companies find out way too late that they've been breached. ThinkstCanary changes this and I love how they do it. Deploy canaries and canary tokens in minutes and then forget about them. What's great is the attackers tip their hand by touching them, giving you one alert, when it matters. I use it myself and I only remember this when I get the weekly update with a “we're still here, so you're aware” from them. It's glorious! There is zero admin overhead  to this, there are effectively no false positives unless I do something foolish. Canaries are deployed and loved on all seven continents. You can check out what people are saying at canary.love. And, their Kub config canary token is new and completely free as well. You can do an awful lot without paying them a dime, which is one of the things I love about them. It is useful stuff and not an, “ohh, I wish I had money.” It is speculator! Take a look; that's canary.love because it's genuinely rare to find a security product that people talk about in terms of love. It really is a unique thing to see. Canary.love. Thank you to ThinkstCanary for their support of my ridiculous, ridiculous non-sense.   Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud, I'm Corey Quinn. The last time I spoke to Rachel Stephens over at RedMonkwas in December of 2019. Well, on this podcast anyway; we might have exchanged conversational tidbits here and there at some point since then. But really, if we look around the world there's nothing that's materially different than it was today from December in 2019, except, oh, that's right everything. Rachel Stephens, you're still a senior analyst at RedMonk, which hey, in this day and age, longevity at a company is something that is almost enough to occasion comment on its own. Thanks for coming back for another round, I appreciate it.Rachel: Oh, I'm so happy to be here, and it's exciting to talk about the state of the world a few years later than the last time we talked. But yeah, it's been a hell of a couple years.Corey: Really has, but rather than rehashing pandemic stuff because I feel like unless people have been living in a cave for the last couple of years—because we've all been living in caves for the last couple of years—they know what's up with that. What's new in your world? What has changed for you aside from all of this in the past couple of years working in one of the most thankless of all jobs, an analyst in the cloud computing industry?Rachel: Well, the job stuff is all excellent and I've had wonderful time working at RedMonk. So, RedMonk overall is an analyst firm that is focused on helping people understand technology trends, particularly from the view of the developer or the practitioner. So, helping to understand how the people who are using technologies are actually driving their overall adoption. And so there has been all kinds of interesting things that have happened in that score in the last couple of years. We've seen a lot of interesting trends, lots of fun things to look at in the space and it's been a lot.On a personal side, like a week into lockdown I found out that I was pregnant, so I went through all of locking down and the heart of the pandemic pregnant. I had my maternity leave earlier this year and came back and so excited to be back in. But it's also just been a lot to catch up on in the space as you come back from leave which I'm sure you are well familiar with.Corey: Yes, I did the same thing, slightly differently timed. My second daughter Josephine was born at the end of September. When did your kiddo arrive on the scene to a world of masked strangers?Rachel: So, I have an older daughter who just turned four, and then my youngest is coming up on his first birthday. He was born in December.Corey: Excellent. It sounds like our kids are basically the same age, in both directions. And from my perspective, at least looking back, what advice would I give someone for having a baby in a pandemic? It distills down to ‘don't,' just because it changes so much, it's no longer a trivial thing to have a grandparent come out and spend time with the kid. It's the constant… drumbeat of is this over? Is this not over?And that manifested a bunch of different ways. And I'm glad that I got the opportunity to take some time off to spend time with my family during that timeframe, but at the same time, it would've great if there were options such as not being stuck at home with every rambunctious—at the time—three-year-old as I went through that entire joy of having the kid.Rachel: Yeah. No, for the longest time, my thing was like, okay, like, there's no amount of money you could pay me to go back to middle school. I would never do it. And my new high bar there is no amount of money that you could pay me to go back to April 2020. That was the hardest month of my entire life was getting through that, like, first trimester, both parents at home, toddler at home, nowhere to go, no one to help. That was a [BLEEP] hard month. [laugh] that was bad.Corey: Oh, my God, yes, and we don't talk about this because we're basically communicating with people on social media, and everyone feels bad looking at social media because they're comparing their blooper reel with everyone else's highlights. And it feels odd on some level to complain about things like that. And let's be very clear as a man, I wind up in society getting lauded for even deigning to mention that I have children, whereas when mothers wind up talking about anything even slightly negative it's, “Oh, you sound like a bad mom.” And it is just one of the most abhorrent things out there in the world, I suppose. It's a strange inverted thing but one of the things that surprised me the most when I was expecting my first kid was looking at the different parenting forums, and the difference in tone was palpable where on the dad forums, everyone is super supportive and you got this dude it's great. You're fine. You're doing your best.Sure, these the occasional, “I gave my toddler beer and now people yell at me,” and it's, “What is wrong with you asshole?” But everyone else is mostly sane and doing their best. Whereas a lot of the ‘mommy' forums seem to bias more toward being relatively dismissive other people's parenting choices. And I understand I'm stereotyping wildly, not all forums, not all people, et cetera, et cetera, but it really was an interesting window into an area that as a stereotypical white man world, I don't see a lot of places I hang out with that are traditionally male that are overwhelmingly supportive in quite the same way. It was really an eye-opening experience for me.Rachel: I think you hit on some really important trends. One of the things that I have struggled with is—so I came into RedMonk—I've had a Twitter account forever, and it was always just, like, my personal Twitter account until I started working at RedMonk five years ago. And then all of a sudden I'm tweeting in technical and work capacities as well. And finding that balance initially was always a challenge.But then finding that balance again after having kids was very different because I would always—it was, kind of, mix of my life and also what I'm seeing in the industry and what I'm working on and this mix of things. And once you started tweeting about kids, it very much changes the potential perception that people have of who you are, what you're doing. I know this is just a mommy blogger kind of thing.You have to be really cognizant of that balance and making sure that you continue to put yourself in a place where you can still be your authentic self, but you really as a mom in the workspace and especially in tech have to be cognizant of not leaning too far into that. Because it can really damage your credibility with some audiences which is a super unfortunate thing, but also something I've learned just, like, I have to be really careful about how much mom stuff I share on Twitter.Corey: It's bizarre to me that we have to shade aspects of ourselves like this. And I don't know what the answer is. It's a weird thing that I never thought about before until suddenly I find that, oh, I'm a parent. I guess I should actually pay attention to this thing now. And it's one of those once you see it you can't unsee it things and it becomes strange and interesting and also more than a little sad in some respects.Rachel: I think there are some signs that we are getting to a better place, but it's a hard road for parents I think, and moms, in particular, working moms, all kinds of challenges out there. But anyways, it's one of those ones that is nice because love having my kids as a break, but sometimes Mondays come and it's such a relief to come back to work after a weekend with kids. Kids are a lot of work. And so it has brought elements of joy to my personal life, but it has also brought renewed elements of joy to my work life as really being able to lean into that side of myself. So, it's been a good year.Corey: Now that I have a second kid, I'm keenly aware of why parents are always very reluctant to wind up—the good parents at least to say, “Oh yeah, I have X number of kids, but that one's my favorite.” And I understand now why my mom always said with my brother and I that, “I can't stand either one of you.” And I get that now. Looking at the children of cloud services it's like, which one is my favorite?Well, I can't stand any of them, but the one that I hate the most is the Managed NAT Gateway because of its horrible pricing. In fact, anything involving bandwidth pricing in this industry tends to be horrifying, annoying, ill-behaved, and very hard to discipline. Which is why I think it's probably time we talk a little bit about egress charges in cloud providers.You had a great analysis of Cloudflare's R2, which is named after a robot in Star Wars and is apparently also the name of their S3 competitor, once it launches. Again, this is a pre-announcement, yeah, I could write blog posts that claim anything; the proof is really going to be in the pudding. Tell me more about, I guess, what you noticed from that announcement and what drove you to, “Ah, I have thoughts on this?”Rachel: So, I think it's an interesting announcement for several reasons. I think one of them is that it makes their existing offering really compelling when you start to add in that object store to something like the CDN, or to their edge functions which is called their Workers platform. And so, if you start to combine some of those functionalities together with a better object storage story, it can make their existing offering a lot more compelling which I think is an interesting aspect of this.I think one of the aspects that is probably gotten a lot more of the traction though is their lack of egress pricing. So, I think that's really what took everyone's imaginations by storm is what does the world look like when we are not charging egress pricing on object storage?Corey: What I find interesting is that when this came out first, a lot of AWS fans got very defensive over it, which I found very odd because their egress charges are indefensible from my point of view. And their response was, “Well, if you look at how a lot of the data access patterns work this isn't as big of a deal as it looks like,” and you're right. If I have a whole bunch of objects living in an object store, and a whole bunch of people each grab one of those objects this won't help me in any meaningful sense.But if I have one object that a bunch of people grab, well, suddenly we're having a different conversation. And on some level, it turns into an interesting question of what differentiates this with their existing CDN-style approach. From my perspective, this is where the object actually lives rather than just a cache that is going to expire. And that is transformative in a bunch of different ways, but my, I guess, admittedly overstated analysis for some use cases was okay, I store a petabyte in AWS and use it with and without this thing. Great, the answer came out to something like 51 or $52,000 in egress charges versus zero on Cloudflare. That's an interesting perspective to take. And the orders of magnitude in difference are eye-popping assuming that it works as advertised, which is always the caveat.Rachel: Yeah. I remember there was a RedMonk conversation with one of the cloud vendors set us up with a client conversation that want to, kind of, showcase their products kind of thing. And it was a movie studio and they walked us through what they architecturally have to do when they drop a trailer. If you think about that thing from this use case where all of a sudden you have videos that are all going out globally at the same time, and everybody wants to watch it and you're serving it over and over, that's a super interesting and compelling use case and very different from a cost perspective.Corey: You'll notice the video streaming services all do business with something that is not AWS for what they stream to end-users from. Netflix has its own Open Connect project that effectively acts as their own homebuilt CDN that they partner with providers to put in their various environments. There are a bunch of providers that focus specifically on this. But if you do the math for the Netflix story at retail pricing—let's be clear at large scale, no one pays retail pricing for anything, but okay—even assuming that you're within hailing distance of the same universe as retail pricing; you don't have to watch too many hours of Netflix before the data egress charges cost more than you're paying a month than subscription. And I have it on good authority—read as from their annual reports—that a much larger expense for Netflix than their cloud and technology and R&D expenses is their content expenses.They're making a lot of original content. They're licensing an awful lot of content, and that's way more expensive than providing it to folks. They have to have a better economic model. They need to be able to make a profit of some kind on streaming things to people. And with the way that all the major cloud providers wind up pricing this stuff, it's not tenable. There has to be a better answer.Rachel: So, Netflix calls to mind an interesting antidote that has gone around the industry which is who can become each other faster? Can HBO become Netflix faster, or can Netflix become HBO faster? So, can you build out that technology infrastructure side, or can you build out that content side? And I think what you're talking to with their content costs speaks to that story in terms of where people are investing and trying to actually make dents in their strategic outlays.I think a similar concept is actually at play when we talk about cloud and CDN. We do have this interesting piece from my coworker, Steve O'Grady, and he called it “Convergent Evolution of CDNs and Clouds.” And they originally evolved along separate paths where CDNs were designed to do this edge-caching scenario, and they had the core compute and all of the things that go around it happening in the cloud.And I think we've seen in recent years both of them starting to grow towards each other where CDNs are starting to look a lot more cloud-like, and we're seeing clouds trying to look more CDN-like. And I think this announcement in particular is very interesting when you think about what's happening in the CDN space and what it actually means for where CDNs are headed.Corey: It's an interesting model in that if we take a look at all of the existing cloud providers they had some other business that funded the incredible expense outlay that it took to build them. For example, Amazon was a company that started off selling books and soon expanded to selling everything else, and then expanded to putting ads in all of their search portals, including in AWS and eroding customer trust.Google wound up basically making all of their money by showing people ads and also killing Google Reader. And of course, Microsoft has been a software company for a lot longer than they've been a cloud provider, and given their security lapses in Azure recently is the question of whether they'll continue to be taken seriously as a cloud provider.But what makes Cloudflare interesting from this approach is they start it from the outside in of building out the edge before building regions or anything like that. And for a lot of use cases that works super well, in theory. In practice, well, we've never seen it before. I'm curious to see how it goes. Obviously, they're telling great stories about how they envision this working out in the future. I don't know how accurate it's going to be—show, don't tell—but I can at least acknowledge that the possibility is definitely there.Rachel: I think there's a lot of unanswered questions at this point, like, will you be able to have zero egress fees, and edge-like latencies, and global distribution, and have that all make sense and actually perform the way that the customer expects? I think that's still to be seen. I think one of the things that we have watched with interest is this rise of—I think for lack of a better word techno-nationalism where we are starting to see enclaves of where people want technology to be residing, where they want things to be sourced from, all of these interesting things.And so having this global network of storage flies in the face of some of those trends where people are building more and more enclaves of we're going to go big and global. I think that's interesting and I think data residency in this global world will be an interesting question.Corey: It also gets into the idea of what is the data that's going to live there. Because the idea of data residency, yes, that is important, but where that generally tends to matter the most is things like databases or customer information. Not the thing that we're putting out on the internet for anyone who wants to, to be able to download, which has historically been where CDNs are aiming things.Yes, of course, they can restrict it to people with logins and the rest, but that type of object storage in my experience is not usually subject to heavy regulation around data residency. We'll see because I get the sense that this is the direction Cloudflare is attempting to go in, and it's really interesting to see how it works. I'm curious to know what their stories are around, okay, you have a global network. That's great. Can I stipulate which areas my data can live within or not?At some point, it's going to need to happen if they want to look at regulated entities, but not everyone has to start with that either. So, it really just depends on what their game plan is on this. I like the fact that they're willing to do this. I like the fact they're willing to be as transparent as they are about their contempt for AWS's egress fees. And yes, of course, they're a competitor.They're going to wind up smacking competition like this, but I find it refreshing because there is no defense for what they're saying, their math is right. Their approach to what customers experience from AWS in terms of egress fees is correct. And all of the defensiveness at, well, you know, no one pays retail price for this, yeah, but they see it on the website when they're doing back-of-the-envelope math, and they're not going to engage with you under the expectation that you're going to give them a 98% discount.So, figure out what the story is. And it's like beating my head against the wall. I also want to be fair. These networks are very hard to build, and there's a tremendous amount of investment. The AWS network is clearly magic in some respects just because having worked in data centers myself, the things that I see that I'm able to do between various EC2 instances at full network line rate would not have been possible in the data centers that I worked within.So, there's something going on that is magic and that's great. And I understand that it's expensive, but they've done a terrible job of messaging that. It just feels like, oh, bandwidth in is free because, you know, that's how it works. Sending it out, ooh, that's going to cost you X and their entire positioning and philosophy around it just feels unnecessary.Rachel: That's super interesting. And I think that also speaks to one of the questions that is still an open concern for what happens to Cloudflare if this is wildly successful. Which, based off of people's excitement levels at this point, it's seems like it's very potentially going to be successful. And what does this mean for the level of investment that they're going to have to make in their own infrastructure and network and order to actually be able to serve all of this?Corey: The thing that I find curious is that in a couple of comment threads on Hacker News and on Twitter, Cloudflare's CEO, Matthew Prince—who's always been extremely accessible as far as executives of giant cloud companies go—has said that at their scale and by which they he's referring to Cloudflare, and he says, “I assume that Amazon can probably get at least as decent economics on bandwidth pricing as we can,” which is a gross understatement because Amazon will spend years fighting over 50 cents.Great, but what's interesting is that he refers to bandwidth at that scale as being much closer to a fixed cost than something that's a marginal cost for everything that a customer uses. The way that companies buy and sell bandwidth back and forth is complex, but he's right. It is effectively a fixed monthly fee for a link and you can use as much or as little of that link as you want. 95th percentile billing aficionados, please don't email me.But by and large, that's the way to think about it. You pay for the size of the pipe, not how much water flows through it. And as long as you can keep the links going without saturating them to the point where more data can't fit through at a reasonable amount of time, your cost don't change. So, yeah, if there's a bunch of excitement they'll have to expand the links, but that's generally a fixed cost as opposed to a marginal cost per gigabyte.That's not how they think about it. There's a whole translation layer that's an economic model. And according to their public filings, they have something like a 77% gross margin which tells me that, okay, they are not in fact losing money on bandwidth even now where they generally don't charge on a metered basis until you're on the Cloudflare Enterprise Plan.Rachel: Yeah. I think it's going to just be really interesting to watch. I'm definitely interested to see what happens as they open this up, and like, 11 9s of availability feels like a lot of availabilities. It's just the engineering of this, the economics of this it feels like there's a lot of open questions that I'm excited to watch.Corey: You're onto my favorite part of this. So, the idea of 11 9s because it sounds ludicrous. That is well within the boundaries of probability of things such as, yeah, it is likely that gravity is going to stop working than it is that's going to lose data. How can you guarantee that? Generally speaking, although S3 has always been extremely tight-lipped about how it works under the hood, other systems have not been.And it looks an awful lot like the idea of Reed-Solomon erasure coding, where for those of us who spent time downloading large files of questionable legality due to copyright law and whatnot off of Usenet, they had the idea of parity files where they'd take these giant media files up—they're Linux ISOs; of course they are—and you'd slice them into a bunch of pieces and then generate parity files as well.So, you would wind up downloading the let's say 80 RAR files and, oh, three of them were corrupt, each parity file could wind up swapping in so as long as you had enough that added up to 80, any of those could wind up restoring the data that had been corrupted. That is almost certainly what is happening at the large object storage scale. Which is great, we're going to break this thing into a whole bunch of chunks. Let's say here is a file you've uploaded or an object.We're going to break this into a hundred chunks—let's say arbitrarily—and any 80 of those chunks can be used to reconstitute the entire file. And then you start looking at where you place them and okay, what are the odds of simultaneous drive failure in these however many locations? And that's how you get that astronomical number. It doesn't mean what people think of does. The S3 offers 11 9s of durability on their storage classes, including the One Zone storage class.Which is a single availability zone instead of something that's an entire region, which means that they're not calculating disaster recovery failure scenarios into that durability number. Which is fascinating because it's far, like, you're going to have all the buildings within the same office park burn down than it is all of the buildings within a hundred square miles burn down, but those numbers remain the same.There's a lot of assumptions baked into that and it makes for an impressive talking point. I just hear it as, oh yeah, you're a real object-store. That's how I see it. There's a lot that's yet to be explained or understood. And I think that I'm going to be going up one side and down the other as soon as this exists in the real world and I'm looking forward to seeing it. I'm just a little skeptical because it has been preannounced.The important part for me is even the idea that they can announce something like this and not be sued for securities fraud tells me that it is at least theoretically economically possible that they could be telling the truth on this. And that alone speaks volumes to just how out-of-bounds it tends to be in the context of giant cloud customers.Rachel: I mean, if you read Matt Levine, “Everything is Securities Fraud?“ so, I don't know how much we want to get excited about that.Corey: Absolutely. A huge fan of his work. Corey: You know its important to me that people learn how to use the cloud effectively. Thats why I'm so glad that Cloud Academy is sponsoring my ridiculous non-sense. They're a great way to build in demand tech skills the way that, well personally, I learn best which I learn by doing not by reading. They have live cloud labs that you can run in real environments that aren't going to blow up your own bill—I can't stress how important that is. Visit cloudacademy.com/corey. Thats C-O-R-E-Y, don't drop the “E.” Use Corey as a promo-code as well. You're going to get a bunch of discounts on it with a lifetime deal—the price will not go up. It is limited time, they assured me this is not one of those things that is going to wind up being a rug pull scenario, oh no no. Talk to them, tell me what you think. Visit: cloudacademy.com/corey,  C-O-R-E-Y and tell them that I sent you!Corey: So, we've talked a fair bit about what data egress looks like. What else have you been focusing on? What have you found that is fun, and exciting, and catches your eye in this incredibly broad industry lately?Rachel: Oh, there's all kinds of exciting things. One of the pieces of research that's been on my back-burner, usually I do it early summer, and it is—due to a variety of factors—still in my pipeline, but I always do a piece of research about base infrastructure pricing. And it's an annual piece of looking about what are all of the cloud providers doing in regards to their pricing on that core aspect of compute, and storage, and memory.And what does that look like over time, and what does that look like across providers? And it is absolutely impossible to get an apples-to-apples comparison over time and across providers. It just can't actually be done. But we do our best [laugh] and then caveat the hell out of it from there. But that's the piece of research that's most on my backlog right now and one that I'm working on.Corey: I think that there's a lot of question around the idea of what is the cost of a compute unit—or something like that—between providers? The idea of if I have this configuration will cost me more on cloud provider a or cloud provider B, my pet working theory is that whenever people ask for analyses like that—or a number of others, to be perfectly frank with you—what they're really looking for is confirmation bias to go in the direction that they wanted to go in already. I have yet to see a single scenario where people are trying to decide between cloud providers and they say, “That one because it's going to be 10% less.” I haven't seen it. That said I am, of course, at a very particular area of the industry. Have you seen it?Rachel: I have not seen it. I think users find it interesting because it's always interesting to look at trends over time. And in particular, with this analysis, it's interesting to watch the number of providers narrow and then widen back out because we've been doing this since 2012. So, we used to have [unintelligible 00:26:24] and HPE used to be in there. So, like, we used to—CenturyLink. We used to have this broader list of cloud providers that we considered that would narrow down to this doesn't really count anymore.And now why do you need to back out? It's like, okay, Oracle Cloud you're in, Alibaba, Tencent, like, let's look at you. And so, like, it's interesting to just watch the providers in the mix shift over time which I think is interesting. And I think one of just the broad trends that is interesting is early years of this, there was steep competition on price, and that leveled off for solid three, four years.We've seen some degree of competitiveness reemerge with competitors like Oracle in particular. So, those broad-brush trends are interesting. The specifics of the pricing if you're doing 10% difference kind of things I think you're missing the point of the analysis largely, but it's interesting to look at what's happening in the industry overall.Corey: If you were to ask me to set up a simple web app, if there is such a thing, and tell you in advance what it was going to cost to host, and I can get it accurate within 20%, I am on fire in terms of both analysis and often dumb luck just because it is so difficult to answer the question. Getting back to our earlier conversational topic, let's say I put CloudFront, Amazon's sorry excuse for a CDN, in front of it which is probably the closest competitor they have to Cloudflare as a CDN, what'll it cost me per gigabyte? Well, that's a fascinating question. The answer comes down to where are you visiting it from? Depending where on the planet, people who are viewing my website, or using my web app are sitting, the cost per gigabyte will vary between eight-and-a-half cents—retail pricing—and fourteen cents. That's a fairly wide margin and there's no way to predict that in advance for most use cases. It's the big open-ended question.And people build out their environments and they want to know they're making a rational decision and that their provider is not charging three times more than their competitor is for the exact same thing, but as long as it's within a certain level of confidence interval, that makes sense.Rachel: Yeah, and I think the other thing that's interesting about this analysis and one of the reasons that it's a frustrating analysis for me, in particular, is that I feel like that base compute is actually not where most of the cloud providers are actually competing anymore. So, like, it was definitely the interesting story early in cloud.I think very clearly not the focus area for most of us now. It has moved up an abstraction layer. It's moved to manage services. It has moved to other areas of their product portfolio. So, it's still useful. It's good to know. But I think that the broader portfolio of the cloud providers is definitely more the story than this individual price point.Corey: That is an interesting story because I believe it, and it speaks to the aspirational version of where a lot of companies see themselves going. And then in practice, I see companies talking like this constantly, and then I look in their environment and say, “Okay, you're basically spending 70% of your entire cloud bill on EC2 instances, running—it's a bunch of VMs that sit there.”And as much as they love to talk about the future and how other things are being considered and how their—use of machine learning in the rest, and Kubernetes, of course, a lot of this stuff all distills down to, yeah, it runs in software. It sits on top of EC2 instances and that's what you get billed for. At re:Invent it's always interesting and sad at the same time that they don't give EC2 nearly enough attention or stage time because it's not interesting, despite it being a majority of AWS bill.Rachel: I think that's a fantastic point, well made.Corey: I'll take it even one step further—and this is one where I think is almost a messaging failure on some level—Google Cloud offers sustained use discounts which apparently they don't know how to talk about appropriately, but it's genius. The way this works is if you run a VM for more than in a certain number of hours in a month, the entire month is now charged for that VM at a less than retail rate because you've been using it in a sustained way.All you have to do to capture that is don't turn it off. You know, what everyone's doing already. And sure if you commit to usage on it you get a deeper discount, but what I like about this is if you buy some reserved instances is or you buy some committed use discounting, great, you'll save more money, but okay, here's a $20 million buy. You should click the button on, people are terrified to click at that button because I don't usually get to approve dollar figure spend with multiple commas in them. That's kind of scary. So, people hem and they haw and they wait six months. This is maybe not as superior mathematically, but it's definitely an easier sell psychologically, and they just don't talk about it.It's what people say they care about when people actually do are worlds apart. And the thing that continually astounds me because I didn't expect it, but it's obvious in hindsight that when it comes to cloud economics it's more about psychology than it is about math.Rachel: I think one of the things that, having come from the finance world into the analyst world, and so I definitely have a particular point of view, but one of the things that was hardest for me when I worked in finance was not the absolute dollar amount of anything but the variability of it. So, if I knew what to expect I could work with that and we could make it work. It was when things varied in unexpected ways that it was a lot more challenging.And so I think one of the things that when people talked about, like, this shift to cloud and the move to cloud, and everyone is like, “Oh, we're moving things from the balance sheet to the income statement.” And everyone talked about that like it's a big deal. For some parts of the organization that is a big deal, but for a lot of the organization, the shift that matters is the shift from a fixed cost to a variable cost because that lack of predictability makes a lot of people's jobs, a lot more difficult.Corey: The thing that I always find fun is a thought exercise is okay, let's take a look at any given cloud company's cloud bill for the last 18 to 36 months and add all of that up. Great, take that big giant number and add 20% to it. If you could magically go back in time and offer that larger number to them as here's your cloud bill and all of your usage for the next 18 to 36 months. Here you go. Buy this instead.And the cloud providers laugh at me and they say, “Who in the world would agree to that deal?” And my answer is, “Almost everyone.” Because at the company's scale it's not like the individual developer response of, “Oh, my God, I just spent how much money? I've got to eat this month.” Companies are used to absorbing those things. It's fine. It's just a, “We didn't predict this. We didn't plan for this. What does this do to our projections, our budget, et cetera?”If you can offer them certainty and find some way to do it, they will jump at that. Most of my projects are not about make the bill lower, even though that is what is believed, in some cases by people working on these projects internally at these companies. It's about making it understandable. It's about making it predictable, it's about understanding when you see a big spike one month. What project drove that?Spoiler, it's almost always the data science team because that's what they do, but that's neither here nor there. Please don't send me letters. But yeah, it's about understanding what is going on, and that understanding and being able to predict it is super hard when you're looking at usage-based pricing.Rachel: Exactly.Corey: I want to thank you for taking so much time to speak with me. If people want to hear more about your thoughts, your observations, et cetera, where can they find you?Rachel: Probably the easiest way to get in touch with me is on Twitter, which is @rstephensme that's R-S-T-E-P-H-E-N-S-M-E.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:34:08]. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.Rachel: Thanks for having me. This was great.Corey: Rachel Stephens, senior analyst at RedMonk. I'm Cloud Economist, Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with an angry comment, angrily defending your least favorite child, which is some horrifying cloud service you have launched during the pandemic.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Combat Story
Combat Story (Ep 52): Travis Hall | Green Beret (18D) | Ranger | Second Chance K9 | 18 Deployments

Combat Story

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2021 101:18


Today we hear the Combat Story of Travis Hall, an Army Ranger and Special Forces Green Beret who survived 18 combat deployments post-9/11 to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Niger. You heard that correctly: 18 deployments. Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal. Travis was an 18D (Special Forces Medic) and one of the first K-9 handlers deployed with the Green Berets in combat. He's been in day long firefights, run both high and low vis ops, trained thousands of partner forces, and survived some incredibly difficult operations. Travis founded Second Chance K9, which is a rescue organization that pairs working military dogs with special operations veterans suffering from PTSD. He also runs Second Chance Medical Consulting, where he provides private and semi-private training on firearms and medical aid. After 18 deployments over almost two decades, Travis' positive approach to life and his focus on making people's (and dogs') lives better is tangible. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story of someone who spent many years deep in our wars (with and without a dog at his side) as much as I did. And if you do enjoy it, I hope you'll subscribe and leave a positive review (it would mean a lot). Find Travis Online: Travis' Linktree Second Chance K9 Donate to Second Chance K9 Instagram @secondchancek9 Facebook @2CK9SD YouTube Ryan: Instagram @combatstory Show Notes/Time Stamps 0:00 - Intro 0:40 - A word from our Sponsor (LoanSteady) 2:10 - Guest introduction (Travis Hall) 3:16 - Interview begins 6:40 - Travis and a childhood WITHOUT (surprisingly) animals 10:56 - A family military history and a SEAL contract 17:46 - Why Green Berets? 20:04 - Fear of Missing the War 26:20 - Combat Story #1 - Arriving in country and immediately in a fight 30:21 - What's a Low Vis mission profile? 39:27 - Combat Story #2 - Brutal fighting in Kandahar, Afghanistan 44:15 - Combat Story #3 - Lighter/funnier side of combat and being mistaken for a local 51:37 - Combat Story #4 - Life as an 18D Special Forces Medic 56:23 - Combat Story #5 - Treating himself downrange 1:01:45 - Travis' documentary to support veterans 1:04:29 - Being one of the first SF K9 handlers 1:11:31 - Combat Story #6 - Travis and his K9 Bear in Iraq 1:25:59 - Origin of Second Chance K9 1:33:54 - What did you carry into combat? 1:36:12 - Would you do it all again? 1:39:44 - Listener comments and shout outs

Screaming in the Cloud
The “Banksgiving” Special with Tim Banks

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 34:54


About TimTim's tech career spans over 20 years through various sectors. Tim's initial journey into tech started as a US Marine. Later, he left government contracting for the private sector, working both in large corporate environments and in small startups. While working in the private sector, he honed his skills in systems administration and operations for large Unix-based datastores. Today, Tim leverages his years in operations, DevOps, and Site Reliability Engineering to advise and consult with clients in his current role. Tim is also a father of five children, as well as a competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Currently, he is the reigning American National and 3-time Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion in his division.TranscriptCorey: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I am Cloud Economist Corey Quinn joined by Principal Cloud Economist here at The Duckbill Group Tim Banks. Tim, how are you?Tim: I'm doing great, Corey. How about yourself?Corey: I am tickled pink that we are able to record this not for the usual reasons you would expect, but because of the glorious pun in calling this our Banksgiving episode. I have a hard and fast rule of, I don't play pun games or make jokes about people's names because that can be an incredibly offensive thing. “And oh, you're making jokes about my name? I've never heard that one before.” It's not that I can't do it—I play games with language all the time—but it makes people feel crappy. So, when you suggested this out of the blue, it was yes, we're doing it. But I want to be clear, I did not inflict this on you. This is your own choice; arguably a poor one. We're going to find out.Tim: 1000% my idea.Corey: So, this is your show. It's a holiday week. So, what do you want to do with our Banksgiving episode?Tim: I want to give thanks for the folks who don't normally get acknowledged through the year. Like you know, we do a lot of thanking the rock stars, we do a lot of thanking the big names, right, we also do a lot of, you know, some snarky jabs at some folks. Deservingly—not folks, but groups and stuff like that; some folks deserve it, and we won't be giving them thanks—but some orgs and some groups and stuff like that. And I do think with that all said, we should acknowledge and thank the folks that we normally don't get to, folks who've done some great contributions this year, folks who have helped us, helped the industry, and help services that go unsung, I think a great one that you brought up, it's not the engineers, right? It's the people that make sure we get paid. Because I don't work for charity. And I don't know about you, Corey. I haven't seen the books yet, but I'm pretty sure none of us here do and so how do we get paid? Like I don't know.Corey: Oh, sure you have. We had a show on a somewhat simplified P&L during the all hands meeting because, you know, transparency matters. But you're right, those are numbers there and none of that is what we could have charged but didn't because we decided to do more volunteer work for AWS. If we were going to go down that path, we would just be Community Heroes and be done with it.Tim: That's true. But you know, it's like, I do my thing and then, you know, I get a paycheck every now and then. And so, as far as I know, I think most of that happens because of Dan.Corey: Dan is a perfect example. He's been a guest on this show, I don't know it has as aired at the time that this goes out because I don't have to think about that, which is kind of the point. Dan's our CFO and makes sure that a lot of the financial trains keep running on time. But let's also be clear, the fact that I can make predictions about what the business is going to be doing by a metric other than how much cash is in the bank account at this very moment really freed up some opportunity for us. It turned into adult supervision for folks who, when I started this place and then Mike joined, and it was very much not an area that either one of us was super familiar with. Which is odd given what we do here, but we learned quickly.The understanding not just how these things work—which we had an academic understanding of—but why it mattered and how that applies to real life. Finance is one of those great organizations that doesn't get a lot of attention or respect outside of finance itself. Because it's, “Oh, well they just control the money. How hard could it be?” Really, really hard.Tim: It really is. And when we dig into some of these things and some of the math that goes and some of what the concerns are that, you know, a lot of engineers don't really have a good grasp on, and it's eye opening to understand some of the concerns. At least some of the concerns at least from an engineering aspect. And I really don't give much consideration day to day about the things that go on behind the scenes to make sure that I get paid.But you look at this throughout the industry, like, how many of the folks that we work with, how many folks out there doing this great work for the industry, do they know who their payroll person is? Do they know who their accountant team is? Do they know who their CFO or the other people out there that are doing the work and making sure the lights stay on, that people get paid and all the other things that happen, right? You know, people take that for granted. And it's a huge work and those people really don't get the appreciation that I think they deserve. And I think it's about time we did that.Corey: It's often surprising to me how many people that I encounter, once they learn that there are 12 employees here, automatically assume that it's you, me, and maybe occasionally Mike doing all the work, and the other nine people just sort of sit here and clap when I tell a funny joke, and… well, yes, that is, of course, a job duty, but that's not the entire purpose of why people are here.Natalie in marketing is a great example. “Well, Corey, I thought you did the marketing. You go and post on Twitter and that's where business comes from.” Well, kind of. But let's be clear, when I do that, and people go to the website to figure out what the hell I'm talking about.Well, that website has words on it. I didn't put those words on that site. It directs people to contact us forms, and there are automations behind that that make sure they go to the proper place because back before I started this place and I was independent, people would email me asking for help with their bill and I would just never respond to them. It's the baseline adult supervision level of competence that I keep aspiring to. We have a sales team that does fantastic work.And that often is one of those things that'll get engineering hackles up, but they're not out there cold-calling people to bug them about AWS bills. It's when someone reaches out saying we have a problem with our AWS spend, can you help us? The answer is invariably, “Let's talk about that.” It's a consultative discussion about why do you care about the bill, what does success look like, how do you know this will be a success, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that make sure that we're aimed at the right part of the problem. That's incredibly challenging work and I am grateful beyond words, I don't have to be involved with the day-in, day-out of any of those things.Tim: I think even beyond just that handling, like, the contracts and the NDAs, and the various assets that have to be exchanged just to get us virtually on site, I've [unintelligible 00:06:46] a couple of these things, I'm glad it's not my job. It is, for me, overwhelmingly difficult for me to really get a grasp and all that kind of stuff. And I am grateful that we do have a staff that does that. You've heard me, you see me, you know, kind of like, sales need to do better, and a lot of times I do but I do want to make sure we are appreciating them for the work that they do to make sure that we have work to do. Their contribution cannot be underestimated.Corey: And I think that's something that we could all be a little more thankful for in the industry. And I see this on Twitter sometimes, and it's probably my least favorite genre of tweet, where someone will wind up screenshotting some naive recruiter outreach to them, and just start basically putting the poor person on blast. I assure you, I occasionally get notices like that. The most recent example of that was, I got an email to my work email address from an associate account exec at AWS asking what projects I have going on, how my work in the cloud is going, and I can talk to them about if I want to help with cost optimization of my AWS spend and the rest. And at first, it's one of those, I could ruin this person's entire month, but I don't want to be that person.And I did a little LinkedIn stalking and it turns out, this looks like this person's first job that they've been in for three months. And I've worked in jobs like that very early in my career; it is a numbers game. When you're trying to reach out to 1000 people a month or whatnot, you aren't sitting there googling what every one of them is, does, et cetera. It's something that I've learned, that is annoying, sure. But I'm in an incredibly privileged position here and dunking on someone who's doing what they are told by an existing sales apparatus and crapping on them is not fair.That is not the same thing as these passive-aggressive [shit-tier 00:08:38] drip campaigns of, “I feel like I'm starting to stalk you.” Then don't send the message, jackhole. It's about empathy and not crapping on people who are trying to find their own path in this ridiculous industry.Tim: I think you brought up recruiters, and, you know, we here at The Duckbill Group are currently recruiting for a senior cloud economist and we don't actually have a recruiter on staff. So, we're going through various ways to find this work and it has really made me appreciate the work that recruiters in the past that I've worked with have done. Some of the ones out there are doing really fantastic work, especially sourcing good candidates, vetting good candidates, making sure that the job descriptions are inclusive, making sure that the whole recruitment process is as smooth as it can be. And it can't always be. Having to deal with all the spinning plates of getting interviews with folks who have production workloads, it is pretty impressive to me to see how a lot of these folks get—pull it off and it just seems so smooth. Again, like having to actually wade through some of this stuff, it's given me a true appreciation for the work that good recruiters do.Corey: We don't have automated systems that disqualify folks based on keyword matches—I've never been a fan of that—but we do get applicants that are completely unsuitable. We've had a few come in that are actual economists who clearly did not read the job description; they're spraying their resume everywhere. And the answer is you smile, you decline it and you move on. That is the price you pay of attempting to hire people. You don't put them on blast, you don't go and yell at an entire ecosystem of people because looking for jobs sucks. It's hard work.Back when I was in my employee days, I worked harder finding new jobs than I often did in the jobs themselves. This may be related to why I get fired as much, but I had to be good at finding new work. I am, for better or worse, in a situation where I don't have to do that anymore because once again, we have people here who do the various moving parts. Plus, let's be clear here, if I'm out there interviewing at other companies for jobs, I feel like that sends a message to you and the rest of the team that isn't terrific.Tim: We might bring that up. [laugh].Corey: “Why are you interviewing for a job over there?” It's like, “Because they have free doughnuts in the office. Later, jackholes.” It—I don't think that is necessarily the culture we're building here.Tim: No, no, it's not. Specially—you know, we're more of a cinnamon roll culture anyways.Corey: No. In my case, it's one of those, “Corey, why are you interviewing for a job at AWS?” And the answer is, “Oh, it's going to be an amazing shitpost. Just wait and watch.”Tim: [laugh]. Now, speaking of AWS, I have to absolutely shout out to Emily Freeman over there who has done some fantastic work this year. It's great when you see a person get matched up with the right environment with the right team in the right role, and Emily has just been hitting out of the park ever since he got there, so I'm super, super happy to see her there.Corey: Every time I get to collaborate with her on something, I come away from the experience even more impressed. It's one of those phenomenal collaborations. I just—I love working with her. She's human, she's empathetic, she gets it. She remains, as of this recording, the only person who has ever given a talk that I have heard on ML Ops, and come away with a better impression of that space and thinking maybe it's not complete nonsense.And that is not just because it's Emily, so I—because—I'm predisposed to believe her, though I am, it's because of how she frames it, how she views these things, and let's be clear, the content that she says. And that in turn makes me question my preconceptions on this, and that is why she has that I will listen and pay attention when she speaks. So yeah, if Emily's going to try and make a point, there's always going to be something behind it. Her authenticity is unimpeachable.Tim: Absolutely. I do take my hat's off to everyone who's been doing DevRel and evangelism and those type of roles during pandemics. And we just, you know, as the past few months, I've started back to in-person events. But the folks who've been out there finding new way to do those jobs, finding a way to [crosstalk 00:12:50]—Corey: Oh, staff at re:Invent next week. Oh, my God.Tim: Yeah. Those folks, I don't know how they're being rewarded for their work, but I can assure you, they probably need to be [unintelligible 00:12:57] better than they are. So, if you are staff at re:Invent, and you see Corey and I, next week when we're there—if you're listening to this in time—we would love to shake your hand, elbow bump you, whatever it is you're comfortable with, and laud you for the work you're doing. Because it is not easy work under the best of circumstances, and we are certainly not under the best of circumstances.Corey: I also want to call out specific thanks to a group that might take some people aback. But that group is AWS marketing, which given how much grief I give them seems like an odd thing for me to say, but let's be clear, I don't have any giant companies whose ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon my keeping systems up and running. AWS does. They have to market and tell stories to everyone because that is generally who their customers are: they round to everyone. And an awful lot of those companies have unofficial mottos of, “That's not funny.” I'm amazed that they can say anything at all, given how incredibly varied their customer base is, I could get away with saying whatever I want solely because I just don't care. They have to care.Tim: They do. And it's not only that they have to care, they're in a difficult situation. It's like, you know, they—every company that sizes is, you know, they are image conscious, and they have things that say what like, “Look, this is the deal. This is the scenario. This is how it went down, but you can still maintain your faith and confidence in us.” And people do when AWS services, they have problems, if anything comes out like that, it does make the news and the reason it doesn't make the news is because it is so rare. And when they can remind us of that in a very effective way, like, I appreciate that. You know, people say if anything happens to S3, everybody knows because everyone depends on it and that's for good reason.Corey: And let's not forget that I run The Duckbill Group. You know, the company we work for. I have the Last Week in AWS newsletter and blog. I have my aggressive shitposting Twitter feed. I host the AWS Morning Brief podcast, and I host this Screaming in the Cloud. And it's challenging for me to figure out how to message all of those things because when people ask what you do, they don't want to hear a litany that goes on for 25 seconds, they want a sentence.I feel like I've spread in too many directions and I want to narrow that down. And where do I drive people to and that was a bit of a marketing challenge that Natalie in our marketing department really cut through super well. Now, pretend I work in AWS. The way that I check this based upon a public list of parameters they stub into Systems Manager Parameter Store, there are right now 291 services that they offer. That is well beyond any one person's ability to keep in their head. I can talk incredibly convincingly now about AWS services that don't exist and people who work in AWS on messaging, marketing, engineering, et cetera, will not call me out on it because who can provably say that ‘AWS Strangle Pony' isn't a real service.Tim: I do want to call out the DevOps—shout out I should say, the DevOps term community for AWS Infinidash because that was just so well done, and AWS took that with just the right amount of tongue in cheek, and a wink and a nod and let us have our fun. And that was a good time. It was a great exercise in improv.Corey: That was Joe Nash out of Twilio who just absolutely nailed it with his tweet, “I am convinced that a small and dedicated group of Twitter devs could tweet hot takes about a completely made up AWS product—I don't know AWS Infinidash or something—and it would appear as a requirement on job specs within a week.” And he was right.Tim: [laugh]. Speaking of Twitter, I want to shout out Twitter as a company or whoever does a product management over there for Twitter Spaces. I remember when Twitter Spaces first came out, everyone was dubious of its effect, of it's impact. They were calling it, you know, a Periscope clone or whatever it was, and there was a lot of sneering and snarking at it. But Twitter Spaces has become very, very effective in having good conversations in the group and the community of folks that have just open questions, and then to speak to folks that they probably wouldn't only get to speak to about this questions and get answers, and have really helpful, uplifting and difficult conversations that you wouldn't otherwise really have a medium for. And I'm super, super happy that whoever that product manager was, hats off to you, my friend.Corey: One group you're never going to hear me say a negative word about is AWS support. Also, their training and certification group. I know that are technically different orgs, but it often doesn't feel that way. Their job is basically impossible. They have to teach people—even on the support side, you're still teaching people—how to use all of these different varied services in different ways, and you have to do it in the face of what can only really be described as abuse from a number of folks on Twitter.When someone is having trouble with an AWS service, they can turn into shitheads, I've got to be honest with you. And berating the poor schmuck who has to handle the AWS support Twitter feed, or answer your insulting ticket or whatnot, they are not empowered to actually fix the underlying problem with a service. They are effectively a traffic router to get the message to someone who can, in a format that is understood internally. And I want to be very clear that if you insult people who are in customer service roles and blame them for it, you're just being a jerk.Tim: No, it really is because I'm pretty sure a significant amount of your listeners and people initially started off working in tech support, or customer service, or help desk or something like that, and you really do become the dumping ground for the customers' frustrations because you are the only person they get to talk to. And you have to not only take that, but you have to try and do the emotional labor behind soothing them as well as fixing the actual problem. And it's really, really difficult. I feel like the people who have that in their background are some of the best consultants, some of the best DevRel folks, and the best at talking to people because they're used to being able to get some technical details out of folks who may not be very technical, who may be under emotional distress, and certainly in high stress situations. So yeah, AWS support, really anybody who has support, especially paid support—phone or chat otherwise—hats off again. That is a service that is thankless, it is a service that is almost always underpaid, and is almost always under appreciated.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don't ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.Corey: I'll take another team that's similar to that respect: Commerce Platform. That is the team that runs all of AWS billing. And you would be surprised that I'm thanking them, but no, it's not the cynical approach of, “Thanks for making it so complicated so I could have a business.” No, I would love it if it were so simple that I had to go find something else to do because the problem was that easy for customers to solve. That is the ideal and I hope, sincerely, that we can get there.But everything that happens in AWS has to be metered and understood as far as who has done what, and charge people appropriately for it. It is also generally invisible; people don't understand anything approaching the scale of that, and what makes it worst of all, is that if suddenly what they were doing broke and customers weren't built for their usage, not a single one of them would complain about it because, “All right, I'll take it.” It's a thankless job that is incredibly key and central to making the cloud work at all, but it's a hard job.Tim: It really is. And is a lot of black magic and voodoo to really try and understand how this thing works. There's no simple way to explain it. I imagine if they were going to give you the index overview of how it works with a 10,000 feet, that alone would be, like, a 300 page document. It is a gigantic moving beast.And it is one of those things where scale will show all the flaws. And no one has scale I think like AWS does. So, the folks that have to work and maintain that are just really, again, they're under appreciated for all that they do. I also think that—you know, you talk about the same thing in other orgs, as we talked about the folks that handle the billing and stuff like that, but you mentioned AWS, and I was thinking the other day how it's really awesome that I've got my AWS driver. I have the same, like, group of three or four folks that do all my deliveries for AWS.And they have been inundated over this past year-and-a-half with more and more and more stuff. And yet, I've still managed—my stuff is always put down nicely on my doorstep. It's never thrown, it's not damaged. I'm not saying it's never been damaged, but it's not damaged, like, maybe FedEx I've [laugh] had or some other delivery services where it's just, kind of, carelessly done. They still maintain efficiency, they maintain professionalism [unintelligible 00:21:45] talking to folks.What they've had to do at their scale and at that the amount of stuff they've had to do for deliveries over this past year-and-a-half has just been incredible. So, I want to extend it also to, like, the folks who are working in the distribution centers. Like, a lot of us here talk about AWS as if that's Amazon, but in essence, it is those folks that are working those more thankless and invisible jobs in the warehouses and fulfillment centers, under really bad conditions sometimes, who's still plug away at it. I'm glad that Amazon is at least saying they're making efforts to improve the conditions there and improve the pay there, things like that, but those folks have enabled a lot of us to work during this pandemic with a lot of conveniences that they themselves would never be able to enjoy.Corey: Yeah. It's bad for society, but I'm glad it exists, obviously. The thing is, I would love it if things showed up a little more slowly if it meant that people could be treated humanely along the process. That said, I don't have any conception of what it takes to run a company with 1.2 million people.I have learned that as you start managing groups and managing managers of groups, it's counterintuitive, but so much of what you do is no longer you doing the actual work. It is solely through influence and delegation. You own all of the responsibility but no direct put-finger-on-problem capability of contributing to the fix. It takes time at that scale, which is why I think one of the dumbest series of questions from, again, another group that deserves a fair bit of credit which is journalists because this stuff is hard, but a naive question I hear a lot is, “Well, okay. It's been 100 days. What has Adam Selipsky slash Andy Jassy changed completely about the company?”It's, yeah, it's a $1.6 trillion company. They are not going to suddenly grab the steering wheel and yank. It's going to take years for shifts that they do to start manifesting in serious ways that are externally visible. That is how big companies work. You don't want to see a complete change in direction from large blue chip companies that run things. Like, again, everyone's production infrastructure. You want it to be predictable, you want it to be boring, and you want shifts to be gradual course corrections, not vast swings.Tim: I mean, Amazon is a company with a population of a medium to medium-large sized city and a market cap of the GDP of several countries. So, it is not a plucky startup; it is not this small little tech company. It is a vast enterprise that's distributed all over the world with a lot of folks doing a lot of different jobs. You cannot, as you said, steer that ship quickly.Corey: I grew up in Maine and Amazon has roughly the same number employees as live in Maine. It is hard to contextualize how all of that works. There are people who work there that even now don't always know who Andy Jassy is. Okay, fine, but I'm not talking about don't know him on site or whatever. I'm saying they do not recognize the name. That's a very big company.Tim: “Andy who?”Corey: Exactly. “Oh, is that the guy that Corey makes fun of all the time?” Like, there we go. That's what I tend to live for.Tim: I thought that was Werner.Corey: It's sort of every one, though I want to be clear, I make it a very key point. I do not make fun of people personally because it—even if they're crap, which I do not believe to be the case in any of the names we've mentioned so far, they have friends and family who love and care about them. You don't want someone to go on the internet and Google their parent's name or something, and then just see people crapping all over. That's got to hurt. Let people be people. And, on some level, when you become the CEO of a company of that scale, you're stepping out of reality and into the pages of legend slash history, at some point. 200 years from now, people will read about you in history books, that's a wild concept.Tim: It is I think you mentioned something important that we would be remiss—especially Duckbill Group—to mention is that we're very thankful for our families, partners, et cetera, for putting up with us, pets, everybody. As part of our jobs, we invite strangers from the internet into our homes virtually to see behind us what is going on, and for those of us that have kids, that involves a lot of patience on their part, a lot of patients on our partners' parts, and other folks that are doing those kind of nurturing roles. You know, our pets who want to play with us are sitting there and not able to. It has not been easy for all of us, even though we're a remote company, but to work under these conditions that we have been over the past year-and-a-half. And I think that goes for a lot of the folks in industry where now all of a sudden, you've been occupying a room in the house or space in the house for some 18-plus months, where before you're always at work or something like that. And that's been a hell of an adjustment. And so we talk about that for us folks that are here pontificating on podcasts, or banging out code, but the adjustments and the things our families have had to go through and do to tolerate us being there cannot be overstated how important that is.Corey: Anyone else that's on your list of people to thank? And this is the problem because you're always going to forget people. I mean, the podcast production crew: the folks that turn our ramblings into a podcast, the editing, the transcription, all of it; the folks that HumblePod are just amazing. The fact that I don't have to worry about any of this stuff as if by magic, means that you're sort of insulated from it. But it's amazing to watch that happen.Tim: You know, honestly, I super want to thank just all the folks that take the time to interact with us. We do this job and Corey shitposts, and I shitpost and we talk, but we really do this and rely on the folks that do take the time to DM us, or tweet us, or mention us in the thread, or reach out in any way to ask us questions, or have a discussion with us on something we said, those folks encourage us, they keep us accountable, and they give us opportunities to learn to be better. And so I'm grateful for that. It would be—this role, this job, the thing we do where we're viewable and seen by the public would be a lot less pleasant if it wasn't for y'all. So, it's too many to name, but I do appreciate you.Corey: Well, thank you, I do my best. I find this stuff to be so boring if you couldn't have fun with it. And so many people can't have fun with it, so it feels like I found a cheat code for making enterprise software solutions interesting. Which even saying that out loud sounds like I'm shitposting. But here we are.Tim: Here we are. And of course, my thanks to you, Corey, for reaching out to me one day and saying, “Hey, what are you doing? Would you want to come interview with us at The Duckbill Group?”Corey: And it was great because, like, “Well, I did leave AWS within the last 18 months, so there might be a non-compete issue.” Like, “Oh, please, I hope so. Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please. I would love to pick that fight publicly.” But sadly, no one is quite foolish enough to take me up on it.Don't worry. That's enough of a sappy episode, I think. I am convinced that our next encounter on this podcast will be our usual aggressive self. But every once in a while it's nice to break the act and express honest and heartfelt appreciation. I'm really looking forward to next week with all of the various announcements that are coming out.I know people have worked extremely hard on them, and I want them to know that despite the fact that I will be making fun of everything that they have done, there's a tremendous amount of respect that goes into it. The fact that I can make fun of the stuff that you've done without any fear that I'm punching down somehow because, you know it is at least above a baseline level of good speaks volumes. There are providers I absolutely do not have that confidence towards them.Tim: [laugh]. Yeah, AWS, as the enterprise level service provider is an easy target for a lot of stuff. The people that work there are not. They do great work. They've got amazing people in all kinds of roles there. And they're often unseen for the stuff they do. So yeah, for all the folks who have contributed to what we're going to partake in at re:Invent—and it's a lot and I understand from having worked there, the pressure that's put on you for this—I'm super stoked about it and I'm grateful.Corey: Same here. If I didn't like this company, I would not have devoted years to making fun of it. Because that requires a diagnosis, not a newsletter, podcast, or shitposting Twitter feed. Tim, thank you so much for, I guess, giving me the impetus and, of course, the amazing name of the show to wind up just saying thank you, which I think is something that we could all stand to do just a little bit more of.Tim: My pleasure, Corey. I'm glad we could run with this. I'm, as always, happy to be on Screaming in the Cloud with you. I think now I get a vest and a sleeve. Is that how that works now?Corey: Exactly. Once you get on five episodes, then you end up getting the dinner jacket, just, like, hosting SNL. Same story. More on that to come in the new year. Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it.Tim: Thank you, Corey.Corey: Tim Banks, principal cloud economist here at The Duckbill Group. I am, of course, Corey Quinn, and thank you for listening.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Analysys Mason's Telecoms Podcast
Private LTE/5G network deployments 3Q 2021: trends and analysis

Analysys Mason's Telecoms Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 9:00


In this podcast, Ibraheem Kasujee (Analyst) and Tom Rebbeck (Research Director) discuss the emerging trends in the private LTE/5G market, such as who the main contractors are, what network technology is used, which sectors are deploying private networks and where such deployments are based. To learn more about private LTE/5G networks and why are they important, read this free article.  You can also download our free report on private network deployments, here. 

Screaming in the Cloud
Breaking the Tech Mold with Stephanie Wong

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 45:02


About StephanieStephanie Wong is an award-winning speaker, engineer, pageant queen, and hip hop medalist. She is a leader at Google with a mission to blend storytelling and technology to create remarkable developer content. At Google, she's created over 400 videos, blogs, courses, and podcasts that have helped developers globally. You might recognize her as the host of the GCP Podcast. Stephanie is active in her community, fiercely supporting women in tech and mentoring students.Links: Personal Website: https://stephrwong.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephr_wong TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking, databases, observability, management, and security. And—let me be clear here—it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build. With Always Free, you can do things like run small scale applications or do proof-of-concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free, no asterisk. Start now. Visit snark.cloud/oci-free that's snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. One of the things that makes me a little weird in the universe is that I do an awful lot of… let's just call it technology explanation slash exploration in public, and turning it into a bit of a brand-style engagement play. What makes this a little on the weird side is that I don't work for a big company, which grants me a tremendous latitude. I have a whole lot of freedom that lets me be all kinds of different things, and I can't get fired, which is something I'm really good at.Inversely, my guest today is doing something remarkably similar, except she does work for a big company and could theoretically be fired if they were foolish enough to do so. But I don't believe that they are. Stephanie Wong is the head of developer engagement at Google. Stephanie, thank you for volunteering to suffer my slings and arrows about all of this.Stephanie: [laugh]. Thanks so much for having me today, Corey.Corey: So, at a very high level, you're the head of developer engagement, which is a term that I haven't seen a whole lot of. Where does that start and where does that stop?Stephanie: Yeah, so I will say that it's a self-proclaimed title a bit because of the nuance of what I do. I would say at its heart, I am still a part of developer relations. If you've heard of developer advocacy or developer evangelist, I would say this slight difference in shade of what I do is that I focus on scalable content creation and becoming a central figure for our developer audiences to engage and enlighten them with content that, frankly, is remarkable, and that they'd want to share and learn about our technology.Corey: Your bio is fascinating in that it doesn't start with the professional things that most people do with, “This is my title and this is my company,” is usually the first sentence people put in. Yours is, “Stephanie Wong is an award-winning speaker, engineer, pageant queen, and hip hop medalist.” Which is both surprising and more than a little bit refreshing because when I read a bio like that my immediate instinctive reaction is, “Oh, thank God. It's a real person for a change.” I like the idea of bringing the other aspects of what you are other than, “This is what goes on in an IDE, the end,” to your audience.Stephanie: That is exactly the goal that I had when creating that bio because I truly believe in bringing more interdisciplinary and varied backgrounds to technology. I, myself have gone through a very unconventional path to get to where I am today and I think in large part, my background has had a lot to do with my successes, my failures, and really just who I am in tech as an uninhibited and honest, credible person today.Corey: I think that there's a lack of understanding, broadly, in our industry about just how important credibility and authenticity are and even the source of where they come from. There are a lot of folks who are in the DevRel space—devrelopers, as I insist upon calling them, over their protests—where, on some level, the argument is, what is developer relations? “Oh, you work in marketing, but they're scared to tell you,” has been my gag on that one for a while. But they speak from a position of, “I know what's what because I have been in the trenches, working on these large-scale environments as an engineer for the last”—fill in the blank, however long it may have been—“And therefore because I have done things, I am going to tell you how it is.” You explicitly call out that you don't come from the traditional, purely technical background. Where did you come from? It's unlikely that you've sprung fully-formed from the forehead of some god, but again, I'm not entirely sure how Google finds and creates the folks that it winds up advancing, so maybe you did.Stephanie: Well, to tell you the truth. We've all come from divine creatures. And that's where Google sources all employees. So. You know. But—[laugh].Corey: Oh, absolutely. “We climbed to the top of Olympus and then steal fire from the gods.” “It's like, isn't that the origin story of Prometheus?” “Yeah, possibly.” But what is your background? Where did you come from?Stephanie: So, I have grown up, actually, in Silicon Valley, which is a little bit ironic because I didn't go to school for computer science or really had the interest in becoming an engineer in school. I really had no idea.Corey: Even been more ironic than that because most of Silicon Valley appears to never have grown up at all.Stephanie: [laugh]. So, true. Maybe there's a little bit of that with me, too. Everybody has a bit of Peter Pan syndrome here, right? Yeah, I had no idea what I wanted to do in school and I just knew that I had an interest in communicating with one another, and I ended up majoring in communication studies.I thought I wanted to go into the entertainment industry and go into production, which is very different and ended up doing internships at Warner Brothers Records, a YouTube channel for dance—I'm a dancer—and I ended up finding a minor in digital humanities, which is sort of this interdisciplinary minor that combines technology and the humanities space, including literature, history, et cetera. So, that's where I got my start in technology, getting an introduction to information systems and doing analytics, studying social media for certain events around the world. And it wasn't until after school that I realized that I could work in enterprise technology when I got an offer to be a sales engineer. Now, that being said, I had no idea what sales engineering was. I just knew it had something to do with enterprise technology and communications, and I thought it was a good fit for my background.Corey: The thing that I find so interesting about that is that it breaks the mold of what people expect, when, “If someone's going to talk to me about technology—especially coming from a”—it's weird; it's one of the biggest companies on the planet, and people still on some level equate Google with the startup-y mentality of being built in someone's garage. That's an awfully big garage these days, if that's even slightly close to true, which it isn't. But there's this idea of, “Oh, you have to go to Stanford. You have to get a degree in computer science. And then you have to go and do this, this, this, this, and this.”And it's easy to look dismissively at what you're doing. “Communications? Well, all that would teach you to do is communicate to people clearly and effectively. What possible good is that in tech?” As we look around the landscape and figure out exactly why that is so necessary in tech, and also so lacking?Stephanie: Exactly. I do think it's an underrated skill in tech. Maybe it's not so much anymore, but I definitely think that it has been in the past. And even for developers, engineers, data scientists, other technical practitioner, especially as a person in DevRel, I think it's such a valuable skill to be able to communicate complex topics simply and understandably to a wide variety of audiences.Corey: The big question that I have for you because I've talked to an awful lot of folks who are very concerned about the way that they approach developer relations, where—they'll have ratios, for example—where I know someone and he insists that he give one deeply technical talk for every four talks that are not deeply technical, just because he feels the need to re-establish and shore up his technical bona fides. Now, if there's one thing that people on the internet love, it is correcting people on things that are small trivia aspect, or trying to pull out the card that, “Oh, I've worked on this system for longer than you've worked on this system, therefore, you should defer to me.” Do you find that you face headwinds for not having the quote-unquote, “Traditional” engineering technical background?Stephanie: I will say that I do a bit. And I did, I would say when I first joined DevRel, and I don't know if it was much more so that it was being imposed on me or if it was being self-imposed, something that I felt like I needed to prove to gain credibility, not just in my organization, but in the industry at large. And it wasn't until two or three years into it, that I realized that I had a niche myself. It was to create stories with my content that could communicate these concepts to developers just as effectively. And yes, I can still prove that I can go into an hour-long or a 45-minute-long tech talk or a webinar about a topic, but I can also easily create a five to ten-minute video that communicates concepts and inspires audiences just the same, and more importantly, be able to point to resources, code labs, tutorials, GitHub repos, that can allow the audience to be hands-on themselves, too. So really, I think that it was over time that I gained more experience and realized that my skill sets are valuable in a different way, and it's okay to have a different background as long as you bring something to the table.Corey: And I think that it's indisputable that you do. The concept of yours that I've encountered from time to time has always been insightful, it is always been extremely illuminating, and—you wouldn't think of this as worthy of occasion and comment, but I feel it needs to be said anyway—at no point in any of your content did I feel like I was being approached in a condescending way, where at every point it was always about uplifting people to a level of understanding, rather than doing the, “Well, I'm smarter than you and you couldn't possibly understand the things that I've been to.” It is relatable, it is engaging, and you add a very human face to what is admittedly an area of industry that is lacking in a fair bit of human element.Stephanie: Yeah, and I think that's the thing that many folks DevRel continue to underline is the idea of empathy, empathizing with your audiences, empathizing with the developers, the engineers, the data engineers, whoever it is that you're creating content for, it's being in their shoes. But for me, I may not have been in those shoes for years, like many other folks historically have been in for DevRel, but I want to at least go through the journey of learning a new piece of technology. For example, if I'm learning a new platform on Google Cloud, going through the steps of creating a demo, or walking through a tutorial, and then candidly explaining that experience to my audience, or creating a video about it. I really just reject the idea of having ego in tech and I would love to broaden the opportunity for folks who came from a different background like myself. I really want to just represent the new world of technology where it wasn't full of people who may have had the privilege to start coding at a very early age, in their garages.Corey: Yeah, privilege of, in many respects, also that privilege means, “Yes, I had the privilege of not having to have friends and deal with learning to interact with other human beings, which is what empowered me to build this company and have no social skills whatsoever.” It's not the aspirational narrative that we sometimes are asked to believe. You are similar in some respects to a number of things that I do—by which I mean, you do it professionally and well and I do it as basically performance shitpost art—but you're on Twitter, you make videos, you do podcasts, you write long-form and short-form as well. You are sort of all across the content creation spectrum. Which of those things do you prefer to do? Which ones of those are things you find a little bit more… “Well, I have to do it, but it's not my favorite?” Or do you just tend to view it as content is content; you just look at different media to tell your story?Stephanie: Well, I will say any form of content is queen—I'm not going to say king, but—[laugh] content is king, content is queen, it doesn't matter.Corey: Content is a baroness as it turns out.Stephanie: [laugh]. There we go. I have to say, so given my background, I mentioned I was into production and entertainment before, so I've always had a gravitation towards video content. I love tinkering with cameras. Actually, as I got started out at Google Cloud, I was creating scrappy content using webcams and my own audio equipment, and doing my own research, and finding lounges and game rooms to do that, and we would just upload it to our own YouTube channel, which probably wasn't allowed at the time, but hey, we got by with it.And eventually, I got approached by DevRel to start doing it officially on the channel and I was given budget to do it in-studio. And so that was sort of my stepping stone to doing this full-time eventually, which I never foresaw for myself. And so yeah, I have this huge interest in—I'm really engaged with video content, but once I started expanding and realizing that I could repurpose that content for podcasting, I could repurpose it for blogs, then you start to realize that you can shard content and expand your reach exponentially with this. So, that's when I really started to become more active on social media and leverage it to build not just content for Google Cloud, but build my own brand in tech.Corey: That is the inescapable truth of DevRel done right is that as you continue doing it, in time, in your slice of the industry, it is extremely likely that your personal brand eclipses the brand of the company that you represent. And it's in many ways a test of corporate character—if it makes sense—as do how they react to that. I've worked in roles before I started this place where I was starting to dabble with speaking a lot, and there was always a lot of insecurity that I picked up of, “Well, it feels like you're building your personal brand, not advancing the company here, and we as a company do not see the value in you doing that.” Direct quote from the last boss I had. And, well, that partially explains why I'm here, I suppose.But there's insecurity there. I'd see the exact opposite coming out of Google, especially in recent times. There's something almost seems to be a renaissance in Google Cloud, and I'm not sure where it came from. But if I look at it across the board, and you had taken all the labels off of everything, and you had given me a bunch of characteristics about different companies, I would never have guessed that you were describing Google when you're talking about Google Cloud. And perhaps that's unfair, but perceptions shape reality.Stephanie: Yeah, I find that interesting because I think traditionally in DevRel, we've also hired folks for their domain expertise and their brand, depending on what you're representing, whether it's in the Kubernetes space or Python client library that you're supporting. But it seems like, yes, in my case, I've organically started to build my brand while at Google, and Google has been just so spectacular in supporting that for me. But yeah, it's a fine line that I think many people have to walk. It's like, do you want to continue to build your own brand and have that carry forth no matter what company you stay at, or if you decide to leave? Or can you do it hand-in-hand with the company that you're at? For me, I think I can do it hand-in-hand with Google Cloud.Corey: It's taken me a long time to wrap my head around what appears to be a contradiction when I look at Google Cloud, and I think I've mostly figured it out. In the industry, there is a perception that Google as an entity is condescending and sneering toward every other company out there because, “You're Google, you know how to do all these great, amazing things that are global-spanning, and over here at Twitter for Pets, we suck doing these things.” So, Google is always way smarter and way better at this than we could ever hope to be. But that is completely opposed to my personal experiences talking with Google employees. Across the board, I would say that you all are self-effacing to a fault.And I mean that in the sense of having such a limited ego, in some cases, that it's, “Well, I don't want to go out there and do a whole video on this. It's not about me, it's about the technology,” are things that I've had people who work at Google say to me. And I appreciate the sentiment; it's great, but that also feels like it's an aloofness. It also fails to humanize what it is that you're doing. And you are a, I've got to say, a breath of fresh air when it comes to a lot of that because your stories are not just, “Here's how you do a thing. It's awesome. And this is all the intricacies of the API.”And yeah, you get there, but you also contextualize that in a, “Here's why it matters. Here's the problem that solves. Here is the type of customer's problem that this is great for,” rather than starting with YAML and working your way up. It's going the other way, of, “We want to sell some underpants,” or whatever it is the customer is trying to do today. And that is the way that I think is one of the best ways to drive adoption of what's going on because if you get people interested and excited about something—at least in my experience—they're going to figure out how the API works. Badly in many cases, but works. But if you start on the API stuff, it becomes a solution looking for a problem. I like your approach to this.Stephanie: Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate that. I think also something that I've continued to focus on is to tell stories across products, and it doesn't necessarily mean within just Google Cloud's ecosystem, but across the industry as well. I think we need to, even at Google, tell a better story across our product space and tie in what developers are currently using. And I think the other thing that I'm trying to work on, too, is contextualizing our products and our launches not just across the industry, but within our product strategy. Where does this tie in? Why does it matter? What is our forward-looking strategy from here? When we're talking about our new data cloud products or analytics, [unintelligible 00:17:21], how does this tie into our API strategy?Corey: And that's the biggest challenge, I think, in the AI space. My argument has been for a while—in fact, I wrote a blog post on it earlier this year—that AI and machine learning is a marvelously executed scam because it's being pushed by cloud providers and the things that you definitely need to do a machine learning experiment are a bunch of compute and a whole bunch of data that has to be stored on something, and wouldn't you know it, y'all sell that by the pound. So, it feels, from a cynical perspective, which I excel at espousing, that approach becomes one of you're effectively selling digital pickaxes into a gold rush. Because I see a lot of stories about machine learning how to do very interesting things that are either highly, highly use-case-specific, which great, that would work well, for me too, if I ever wind up with, you know, a petabyte of people's transaction logs from purchasing coffee at my national chain across the country. Okay, that works for one company, but how many companies look like that?And on the other side of it, “It's oh, here's how we can do a whole bunch of things,” and you peel back the covers a bit, and it looks like, “Oh, but you really taught me here is bias laundering?” And, okay. I think that there's a definite lack around AI and machine learning of telling stories about how this actually matters, what sorts of things people can do with it that aren't incredibly—how do I put this?—niche or a problem in search of a solution?Stephanie: Yeah, I find that there are a couple approaches to creating content around AI and other technologies, too, but one of them being inspirational content, right? Do you want to create something that tells the story of how I created a model that can predict what kind of bakery item this is? And we're going to do it by actually showcasing us creating the outcome. So, that's one that's more like, okay. I don't know how relatable or how appropriate it is for an enterprise use case, but it's inspirational for new developers or next gen developers in the AI space, and I think that can really help a company's brand, too.The other being highly niche for the financial services industry, detecting financial fraud, for example, and that's more industry-focused. I found that they both do well, in different contexts. It really depends on the channel that you're going to display it on. Do you want it to be viral? It really depends on what you're measuring your content for. I'm curious from you, Corey, what you've seen across, as a consumer of content?Corey: What's interesting, at least in my world, is that there seems to be, given that what I'm focusing on first and foremost is the AWS ecosystem, it's not that I know it the best—I do—but at this point, it's basically Stockholm Syndrome where it's… with any technology platform when you've worked with it long enough, you effectively have the most valuable of skill sets around it, which is not knowing how it works, but knowing how it doesn't, knowing what the failure mode is going to look like and how you can work around that and detect it is incredibly helpful. Whereas when you're trying something new, you have to wait until it breaks to find the sharp edges on it. So, there's almost a lock-in through, “We failed you enough times,” story past a certain point. But paying attention to that ecosystem, I find it very disjointed. I find that there are still events that happen and I only find out when the event is starting because someone tweets about it, and for someone who follows 40 different official AWS RSS feeds, to be surprised by something like that tells me, okay, there's not a whole lot of cohesive content strategy here, that is at least making it easy for folks to consume the things that they want, especially in my case where even the very niche nature of what I do, my interest is everything.I have a whole bunch of different filters that look for various keywords and the rest, and of course, I have helpful folks who email me things constantly—please keep it up; I'm a big fan—worst case, I'd rather read something twice than nothing. So, it's helpful to see all of that and understand the different marketing channels, different personas, and the way that content approaches, but I still find things that slip through the cracks every time. The thing that I've learned—and it felt really weird when I started doing it—was, I will tell the same stories repeatedly in different forums, or even the same forum. I could basically read you a Twitter thread from a year ago, word-for-word, and it would blow up bigger than it did the first time. Just because no one reads everything.Stephanie: Exactly.Corey: And I've already told my origin story. You're always new to someone. I've given talks internally at Amazon at various times, and I'm sort of loud and obnoxious, but the first question I love to ask is, “Raise your hand if you've never heard of me until today.” And invariably, over three-quarters of the room raises their hand every single time, which okay, great. I think that's awesome, but it teaches me that I cannot ever expect someone to have, quote-unquote, “Done the reading.”Stephanie: I think the same can be said about the content that I create for the company. You can't assume that people, A) have seen my tweets already or, B) understand this product, even if I've talked about it five times in the past. But yes, I agree. I think that you definitely need to have a content strategy and how you format your content to be more problem-solution-oriented.And so the way that I create content is that I let them fall into three general buckets. One being that it could be termed definition: talking about the basics, laying the foundation of a product, defining terms around a topic. Like, what is App Engine, or Kubeflow 101, or talking about Pub/Sub 101.The second being best practices. So, outlining and explaining the best practices around a topic, how do you design your infrastructure for scale and reliability.And the third being diagnosis: investigating; exploring potential issues, as you said; using scripts; Stackdriver logging, et cetera. And so I just kind of start from there as a starting point. And then I generally follow a very, very effective model. I'm sure you're aware of it, but it's called the five point argument model, where you are essentially telling a story to create a compelling narrative for your audience, regardless of the topic or what bucket that topic falls into.So, you're introducing the problem, you're sort of rising into a point where the climax is the solution. And that's all to build trust with your audience. And as it falls back down, you're giving the results in the conclusion, and that's to inspire action from your audience. So, regardless of what you end up talking about this problem-solution model—I've found at least—has been highly effective. And then in terms of sharing it out, over and over again, over the span of two months, that's how you get the views that you want.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: See, that's a key difference right there. I don't do anything regular in terms of video as part of my content. And I do it from time to time, but you know, getting gussied up and whatnot is easier than just talking into a microphone. As I record this, it's Friday, I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and I look exactly like the middle-aged dad that I am. And for me at least, a big breakthrough moment was realizing that my audience and I are not always the same.Weird confession for someone in my position: I don't generally listen to podcasts. And the reason behind that is I read very quickly, and even if I speed up a podcast, I'm not going to be able to consume the information nearly as quickly as I could by reading it. That, amongst other reasons, is one of the reasons that every episode of this show has a full transcript attached to it. But I'm not my audience. Other people prefer to learn by listening and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.My other podcast, the AWS Morning Brief, is the spoken word version of the stuff that I put out in my newsletter every week. And that is—it's just a different area for people to consume the content because that's what works for them. I'm not one to judge. The hard part for me was getting over that hump of assuming the audience was like me.Stephanie: Yeah. And I think the other key part of is just mainly consistency. It's putting out the content consistently in different formats because everybody—like you said—has a different learning style. I myself do. I enjoy visual styles.I also enjoy listening to podcasts at 2x speed. [laugh]. So, that's my style. But yeah, consistency is one of the key things in building content, and building an audience, and making sure that you are valuable to your audience. I mean, social media, at the end of the day is about the people that follow you.It's not about yourself. It should never be about yourself. It's about the value that you provide. Especially as somebody who's in DevRel in this position for a larger company, it's really about providing value.Corey: What are the breakthrough moments that I had relatively early in my speaking career—and I think it's clear just from what you've already said that you've had a similar revelation at times—I gave a talk, that was really one of my first talks that went semi-big called, “Terrible Ideas in Git.” It was basically, learn how to use Git via anti-pattern. What it secretly was, was under the hood, I felt it was time I learned Git a bit better than I did, so I pitched it and I got a talk accepted. So well, that's what we call a forcing function. By the time I give that talk, I'd better be [laugh] able to have built a talk that do this intelligently, and we're going to hope for the best.It worked, but the first version of that talk I gave was super deep into the plumbing of Git. And I'm sure that if any of the Git maintainers were in the audience, they would have found it great, but there aren't that many folks out there. I redid the talk and instead approached it from a position of, “You have no idea what Git is. Maybe you've heard of it, but that's as far as it goes.” And then it gets a little deeper there.And I found that making the subject more accessible as opposed to deeper into the weeds of it is almost always the right decision from a content perspective. Because at some level, when you are deep enough into the weeds, the only way you're going to wind up fixing something or having a problem that you run into get resolved, isn't by listening to a podcast or a conference talk; it's by talking to the people who built the thing because at that level, those are the only people who can hang at that level of depth. That stops being fodder for conference talks unless you turn it into an after-action report of here's this really weird thing I learned.Stephanie: Yeah. And you know, to be honest, the one of the most successful pieces of content I've created was about data center security. I visited a data center and I essentially unveiled what our security protocols were. And that wasn't a deeply technical video, but it was fun and engaging and easily understood by the masses. And that's what actually ended up resulting in the highest number of views.On top of that, I'm now creating a video about our subsea fiber optic cables. Finding that having to interview experts from a number of different teams across engineering and our strategic negotiators, it was like a monolith of information that I had to take in. And trying to format that into a five-minute story, I realized that bringing it up a layer of abstraction to help folks understand this at a wider level was actually beneficial. And I think it'll turn into a great piece of content. I'm still working on it now. So, [laugh] we'll see how it turns out.Corey: I'm a big fan of watching people learn and helping them get started. The thing that I think gets lost a lot is it's easy to assume that if I look back in time at myself when I was first starting my professional career two decades ago, that I was exactly like I am now, only slightly more athletic and can walk up a staircase without getting winded. That's never true. It never has been true. I've learned a lot about not just technology but people as I go, and looking at folks are entering the workforce today through the same lens of, “Well, that's not how I would handle that situation.” Yeah, no kidding. I have two decades of battering my head against the sharp edges and leaving dents in things to inform that opinion.No, when I was that age, I would have handled it way worse than whatever it is I'm critiquing at the time. But it's important to me that we wind up building those pathways and building those bridges so that people coming into the space, first, have a clear path to get here, and secondly, have a better time than I ever did. Where does the next generation of talent come from has been a recurring question and a recurring theme on the show.Stephanie: Yeah. And that's exactly why I've been such a fierce supporter of women in tech, and also, again, encouraging a broader community to become a part of technology. Because, as I said, I think we're in the midst of a new era of technology, of people from all these different backgrounds in places that historically have had more remote access to technology, now having the ability to become developers at an early age. So, with my content, that's what I'm hoping to drive to make this information more easily accessible. Even if you don't want to become a Google Cloud engineer, that's totally fine, but if I can help you understand some of the foundational concepts of cloud, then I've done my job well.And then, even with women who are already trying to break into technology or wanting to become a part of it, then I want to be a mentor for them, with my experience not having a technical background and saying yes to opportunities that challenged me and continuing to build my own luck between hard work and new opportunities.Corey: I can't wait to see how this winds up manifesting as we see understandings of what we're offering to customers in different areas in different ways—both in terms of content and terms of technology—how that starts to evolve and shift. I feel like we're at a bit of an inflection point now, where today if I graduate from school and I want to start a business, I have to either find a technical co-founder or I have to go to a boot camp and learn how to code in order to build something. I think that if we can remove that from the equation and move up the stack, sure, you're not going to be able to build the next Google or Pinterest or whatnot from effectively Visual Basic for Interfaces, but you can build an MVP and you can then continue to iterate forward and turn it into something larger down the road. The other part of it, too, is that moving up the stack into more polished solutions rather than here's a bunch of building blocks for platforms, “So, if you want a service to tell you whether there's a picture of a hot dog or not, here's a service that does exactly that.” As opposed to, “Oh, here are the 15 different services, you can bolt together and pay for each one of them and tie it together to something that might possibly work, and if it breaks, you have no idea where to start looking, but here you go.” A packaged solution that solves business problems.Things move up the stack; they do constantly. The fact is that I started my career working in data centers and now I don't go to them at all because—spoiler—Google, and Amazon, and people who are not IBM Cloud can absolutely run those things better than I can. And there's no differentiated value for me in solving those global problems locally. I'd rather let the experts handle stuff like that while I focus on interesting problems that actually affect my business outcome. There's a reason that instead of running all the nonsense for lastweekinaws.com myself because I've worked in large-scale WordPress hosting companies, instead I pay WP Engine to handle it for me, and they, in turn, hosted on top of Google Cloud, but it doesn't matter to me because it's all just a managed service that I pay for. Because me running the website itself adds no value, compared to the shitpost I put on the website, which is where the value derives from. For certain odd values of value.Stephanie: [laugh]. Well, two things there is that I think we actually had a demo created on Google Cloud that did detect hot dogs or not hot dogs using our Vision API, years in the past. So, thanks for reminding me of that one.Corey: Of course.Stephanie: But yeah, I mean, I completely agree with that. I mean, this is constantly a topic in conversation with my team members, and with clients. It's about higher level of abstractions. I just did a video series with our fellow, Eric Brewer, who helped build cloud infrastructure here at Google over the past ten decades. And I asked him what he thought the future of cloud would be in the next ten years, and he mentioned, “It's going to be these higher levels of abstraction, building platforms on top of platforms like Kubernetes, and having more services like Cloud run serverless technologies, et cetera.”But at the same time, I think the value of cloud will continue to be providing optionality for developers to have more opinionated services, services like GKE Autopilot, et cetera, that essentially take away the management of infrastructure or nodes that people don't really want to deal with at the end of the day because it's not going to be a competitive differentiator for developers. They want to focus on building software and focusing on keeping their services up and running. And so yeah, I think the future is going to be that, giving developers flexibility and freedom, and still delivering the best-of-breed technology. If it's covering something like security, that's something that should be baked in as much as possible.Corey: You're absolutely right, first off. I'm also looking beyond it where I want to be able to build a website that is effectively Twitter, only for pets—because that is just a harebrained enough idea to probably raise a $20 million seed round these days—and I just want to be able to have the barks—those are like tweets, only surprisingly less offensive and racist—and have them just be stored somewhere, ideally presumably under the hood somewhere, it's going to be on computers, but whether it's in containers, or whether it's serverless, or however is working is the sort of thing that, “Wow, that seems like an awful lot of nonsense that is not central nor core to my business succeeding or failing.” I would say failing, obviously, except you can lose money at scale with the magic of things like SoftBank. Here we are.And as that continues to grow and scale, sure, at some point I'm going to have bespoke enough needs and a large enough scale where I do have to think about those things, but building the MVP just so I can swindle some VCs is not the sort of thing where I should have to go to that depth. There really should be a golden-path guardrail-style thing that I can effectively drag and drop my way into the next big scam. And that is, I think, the missing piece. And I think that we're not quite ready technologically to get there yet, but I can't shake the feeling and the hope that's where technology is going.Stephanie: Yeah. I think it's where technology is heading, but I think part of the equation is the adoption by our industry, right? Industry adoption of cloud services and whether they're ready to adopt services that are that drag-and-drop, as you say. One thing that I've also been talking a lot about is this idea of service-oriented networking where if you have a service or API-driven environment and you simply want to bring it to cloud—almost a plug-and-play there—you don't really want to deal with a lot of the networking infrastructure, and it'd be great to do something like PrivateLink on AWS, or Private Service Connect on Google Cloud.While those conversations are happening with customers, I'm finding that it's like trying to cross the Grand Canyon. Many enterprise customers are like, “That sounds great, but we have a really complex network topology that we've been sitting on for the past 25 years. Do you really expect that we're going to transition over to something like that?” So, I think it's about providing stepping stones for our customers until they can be ready to adopt a new model.Corey: Yeah. And of course, the part that never gets said out loud but is nonetheless true and at least as big of a deal, “And we have a whole team of people who've built their entire identity around that network because that is what they work on, and they have been ignoring cloud forever, and if we just uplift everything into a cloud where you folks handle that, sure, it's better for the business outcome, but where does that leave them?” So, they've been here for 25 years, and they will spend every scrap of political capital they've managed to accumulate to torpedo a cloud migration. So, any FUD they can find, any horse-trading they can do, anything they can do to obstruct the success of a cloud initiative, they're going to do because people are people, and there is no real plan to mitigate that. There's also the fact that unless there's a clear business value story about a feature velocity increase or opening up new markets, there's also not an incentive to do things to save money. That is never going to be the number one priority in almost any case short of financial disaster at a company because everything they're doing is building out increasing revenue, rather than optimizing what they're already doing.So, there's a whole bunch of political challenges. Honestly, moving the computer stuff from on-premises data centers into a cloud provider is the easiest part of a cloud migration compared to all of the people that are involved.Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah, we talked about serverless and all the nice benefits of it, but unless you are more a digitally-born, next-gen developer, it may be a higher burden for you to undertake that migration. That's why we always [laugh] are talking about encouraging people to start with newer surfaces.Corey: Oh, yeah. And that's the trick, too, is if you're trying to learn a new cloud platform these days—first, if you're trying to pick one, I'd be hard-pressed to suggest anything other than Google Cloud, with the possible exception of DigitalOcean, just because the new user experience is so spectacularly good. That was my first real, I guess, part of paying attention to Google Cloud a few years ago, where I was, “All right, I'm going to kick the tires on this and see how terrible this interface is because it's a Google product.” And it was breathtakingly good, which I did not expect. And getting out of the way to empower someone who's new to the platform to do something relatively quickly and straightforwardly is huge. And sure, there's always room to prove, but that is the right area to focus on. It's clear that the right energy was spent in the right places.Stephanie: Yeah. I will say a story that we don't tell quite as well as we should is the One Google story. And I'm not talking about just between Workspace and Google Cloud, but our identity access management and knowing your Google account, which everybody knows. It's not like Microsoft, where you're forced to make an account, or it's not like AWS where you had a billion accounts and you hate them all.Corey: Oh, my God, I dread logging into the AWS console every time because it is such a pain in the ass. I go to cloud.google.com sometimes to check something, it's like, “Oh, right. I have to dig out my credentials.” And, “Where's my YubiKey?” And get it. Like, “Oh. I'm already log—oh. Oh, right. That's right. Google knows how identity works, and they don't actively hate their customers. Okay.” And it's always a breath of fresh air. Though I will say that by far and away, the worst login experience I've seen yet is, of course, Azure.Stephanie: [laugh]. That's exactly right. It's Google account. It's yours. It's personal. It's like an Apple iCloud account. It's one click, you're in, and you have access to all the applications. You know, so it's the same underlying identity structure with Workspace and Gmail, and it's the same org structure, too, across Workspace and Google Cloud. So, it's not just this disingenuous financial bundle between GCP and Workspace; it's really strategic. And it's kind of like the idea of low code or no code. And it looks like that's what the future of cloud will be. It's not just by VMs from us.Corey: Yeah. And there are customers who want to buy VMs and that's great. Speed up what they're doing; don't get in the way of people giving you their money, but if you're starting something net-new, there's probably better ways to do it. So, I want to thank you for taking as much time as you have to wind up going through how you think about, well, the art of storytelling in the world of engineering. If people want to learn more about who you are, what you're up to, and how you approach things, where can they find you?Stephanie: Yeah, so you can head to stephrwong.com where you can see my work and also get in touch with me if you want to collaborate on any content. I'm always, always, always open to that. And my Twitter is @stephr_wong.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:40:03]. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.Stephanie: Thanks so much.Corey: Stephanie Wong, head of developer engagement at Google Cloud. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment telling me that the only way to get into tech these days is, in fact, to graduate with a degree from Stanford, and I can take it from you because you work in their admissions office.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Sisters-in-Service
Elisa Escalante - Uncovering the Invisible Wounds of Military Trauma

Sisters-in-Service

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 31:11


Unseen is centered around military trauma from the perspective of a mental health technician, Elisa Escalante, that deployed to Afghanistan and continued to dedicate herself to clinical work with veterans post military service.Unseen is an informative, critical, and empathetic look into the mental health side of military and veteran affairs. It highlights how both trauma and military adjustment stressors impact individuals on a social, spiritual, emotional, occupational, and psychological level. Elisa Escalante expresses views on resiliency and what it means to readjust post deployment. She also expresses views on the complexity of getting help in an organization that stigmatizes mental health treatment, viewing it as a form of weakness.In addition, Elisa writes on topics involving marginalized populations in the military and the uniqueness of clinical treatment toward veterans with suicidal/ homicidal ideation. Unseen enhances education and insight for all veterans, veteran family members, mental health clinicians, and students looking to help veterans in the social and mental realm. It also includes military trauma stories as well as a self-help segment with Q&A, self-interventions, and resources.https://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Uncovering-Invisible-Wounds-Military/dp/1631953532Support the show (https://www.podfan.com/sisters-in-service)

I got your 6
#51 -- Steve Ralston & Jason Delgado (Part 1)

I got your 6

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2021 90:11


In Episode 51, Brian kicks it with Jason Delgado and Steve Ralston from the SOF Bad Monkey Podcast. This is the second time JD and Uncle Steve have hoped on the show. In the first half of this episode, Brian talks with Uncle Steve about his 2 Deployments to Afghanistan. In the second half of the episode, JD joins Uncle Steve and Brian about getting out of the Marines, their phases of life after the military, and what has helped them out. (0:00:34 -0:43:20)- Uncle Steve/Brian (0:43:21 - 1:29:58) JD/Uncle Steve/Brian Go check out Uncle Steve & JD's Podcast@sobadmonkey www.sofbadmonkey.com

Screaming in the Cloud
Breaking Down Productivity Engineering with Micheal Benedict

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 45:32


About Micheal BenedictMicheal Benedict leads Engineering Productivity at Pinterest. He and his team focus on developer experience, building tools and platforms for over a thousand engineers to effectively code, build, deploy and operate workloads on the cloud. Mr. Benedict has also built Infrastructure and Cloud Governance programs at Pinterest and previously, at Twitter -- focussed on managing cloud vendor relationships, infrastructure budget management, cloud migration, capacity forecasting and planning and cloud cost attribution (chargeback). Links: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/micheal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michealb/ TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: You know how git works right?Announcer: Sorta, kinda, not really Please ask someone else!Corey: Thats all of us. Git is how we build things, and Netlify is one of the best way I've found to build those things quickly for the web. Netlify's git based workflows mean you don't have to play slap and tickle with integrating arcane non-sense and web hooks, which are themselves about as well understood as git. Give them a try and see what folks ranging from my fake Twitter for pets startup, to global fortune 2000 companies are raving about. If you end up talking to them, because you don't have to, they get why self service is important—but if you do, be sure to tell them that I sent you and watch all of the blood drain from their faces instantly. You can find them in the AWS marketplace or at www.netlify.com. N-E-T-L-I-F-Y.comCorey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Sometimes when I have conversations with guests here, we run long. Really long. And then we wind up deciding it was such a good conversation, and there's still so much more to say that we schedule a follow-up, and that's what happened today. Please welcome back Micheal Benedict, who is, as of the last time we spoke and presumably still now, the head of engineering productivity at Pinterest. Micheal, how are you?Micheal: I'm doing great, and thanks for that introduction, Corey. Thankfully, yes, I am still the head of engineering productivity; I'm really glad to speak more about it today.Corey: The last time that we spoke, we went up one side and down the other of large-scale environments running on AWS and billing aspects thereof, et cetera, et cetera. I want to stay away from that this time and instead focus on the rest of engineering productivity, which is always an interesting and possibly loaded term. So, what is productivity engineering? It sounds almost like it's an internal dev tools team, or is it something more?Micheal: Well, thanks for asking because I get this question asked a lot of times. So, for one, our primary job is to enable every developer, at least at our company, to do their best work. And we want to do this by providing them a fast, safe, and a reliable path to take any idea into production without ever worrying about the infrastructure. As you clearly know, learning anything about how AWS works—or any public cloud provider works—is a ton of investment, and we do want our product engineers, our mobile engineers, and all the other folks to be focused on delivering amazing experiences to our Pinners. So, we could be doing some of the hard work in providing those abstractions for them in such way, and taking away the pain of managing infrastructure.Corey: The challenge, of course, that I've seen is that a lot of companies take the approach of, “Ah. We're going to make AWS available to all of our engineers in it's raw, unfiltered form.” And that lasts until the first bill shows up. And then it's, “Okay. We're going to start building some guardrails around that.” Which makes a lot of sense. There then tends to be a move towards internal platforms that effectively wrap cloud services.And for a while now, I've been generally down on the concept and publicly so in the general sense. That said, what I say that applies as a best practice or something that most people should consider does tend to fall apart when we talk about specific use cases. You folks are an extremely large environment; how do you view it? First off, do you do internal platforms like that? And secondly, would you recommend that other companies do the same thing?Micheal: I think that's such a great question because every company evolves with its own pace of development. And I wouldn't say Pinterest by itself had a developer productivity or an engineering productivity organization from the get-go. I think this happens when you start realizing that your core engineers who are working on product are now spending a certain fraction of time—which starts ballooning pretty fast—in managing the underlying systems and the infrastructure. And at that point in time, it's probably a good question to ask, how can I reduce the friction in those people's lives such that they could be focused more on the product. And, kind of, centralize or provide some sort of common abstractions through a central team which can take away all that pain.So, that is generally a good guiding principle to think about when your engineers are spending at least 30% of their time on operating the systems rather than building capabilities, that's probably a good time to revisit and see whether a central team would make sense to take away some of that. And just simple examples, right? This includes upgrading OS on your EC2 machines, or just trying to make sure you're patching all the right versions on your next big Kubernetes cluster you're running for serving x number of users. The moment you start seeing that, you want to start thinking about, if there is a central team who could take away that pain, what are the things they could be investing on to help up-level every other engineer within your organization. And I think that's one of the best ways to be thinking about it.And it was also a guiding principle for us within Pinterest to view what investments we could make in these central teams which can up-level each and every different type of engineer in the company as well. And just an example on that could be your mobile engineer would have very different expectations from your backend engineer who was working on certain aspects of code in your product. And it is truly important to understand where you want to centralize capabilities, which both these types of engineers could use, or you want to divest and have unique capabilities where it's going to make them productive. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for this, but I'm happy to talk about what we have at Pinterest, which has been reasonably working well. But I do think there's a lot more improvements we could be doing.Corey: Yeah, but let's also be clear that, as you've mentioned, you are heavily biased towards EC2 instances for a lot of what you do. If we look at the AWS console and we see hundreds of different services now, and it's easy to sit here and say, “Oh, internal platforms are terrible because all of those services are going to be enhanced in various ways and you're never going to be able to keep up with feature parity.” Yeah, but if you can wrap something like EC2 in an internal platform wrapper, that begins to be a different story because sure, someone's going to go and try something new with a different AWS service, they're going to need direct access. But the EC2 product across the board generally does not evolve in leaps and bounds with transformative changes overnight. Let's also not forget that at a company with the scale that Pinterest operates at, “Hey, AWS just dusted off a new feature and docs are still rolling out, and it's not in CloudFormation yet, but we're going to roll it out to production,” probably seems like the wrong direction to go in, I would assume.Micheal: And yes, I think that brings one of the key guardrails, I think, which these groups provide. So, when we start thinking about what teams, centralized teams like engineering productivity, developer tools, developer platforms actually do is they help with a couple of things. The top three are: they can help pave a path for the most common use cases. Like to your point, provisioning EC2 does take a set of steps, all the time. If you're going to have a thousand people doing that every time they're building a new service or trying to expand capacity playing with their launch templates, those are things you can start streamlining and making it simple by some wrapper because you want to address those 80% use cases which are usually common, and you can have a wrapper or could just automate that. And that's one of the key things: can you provide a paved path for those use cases?The second thing is, can you do that by having the right guardrails in place? How often have you heard the story that, “I just clicked a button and that now spun up, like, a thousand-plus instances.” And now you have to juggle between trying to stop them or do something about it.Corey: Back in 2013, you folks were still focusing on this fair bit. I remember because Jeremy Carroll, who I believe was your first SRE there once upon a time, wound up doing a whole series of talks around how Pinterest approached doing an AMI Factory. And back in those days, the challenges were, “Okay. We have the baseline AMI, and that's great, but we also want to do deployments of things and we don't really want to do a new deploy of an entire fleet of EC2 instances for a single line of config change, so how do we wind up weighing off of when you bake a new AMI versus when you just change something that has—in what is deployed to them?” And it was really a complicated problem back then.I'm not convinced it's not still a complicated problem, but the answers are a lot more cohesive. And making sure that every team—when you're talking about a company as large as Pinterest with that many teams—is doing things in the same way, seems like it's critically important otherwise you wind up with a whole bunch of unique-looking instances that each have to be managed by hand as opposed to something that can be reasoned around collectively.Micheal: Yep. And that last part you mentioned is extremely crucial as well because like I said, our audience or our customers are just not the engineers; we do work with our product managers and business partners as well because at times, we have to tie or change our architecture based on certain cost optimizations which would make sense, like you just articulated. We don't want to have all the instance types. It does not add much value to a developer unless they're explicitly seeking a high-memory instance or a [GP-based instance in a 00:10:25] certain way. So, we can then work with our business partners to make sure that we're committing to only a certain type of instances, and how we can abstract our tools to only give you that. For example, our deployment system, Teletraan which is an open-source system, actually condenses down all these instance types to a couple of categories like high-compute, high-memory—and you've probably seen that in many of the new cloud providers as well—so people don't have to learn or know the underlying instance type.When we moved from c3 to c5, it was just called as a high-compute system, so the next time someone provisioned a new service or deployed it using our system, they would just select high-compute as the de facto instance type and we would just automatically provision a C5 for them. So, that just reduces the extra complexity or the cognitive overhead individuals would have to go through in learning each instance type, what is the base AMI that comes on it, what are the different configurations that need to go in terms of setting up your AZ-scaling properties. We give them a good reasonable set of defaults to get started with, and then they can then work on optimizing or making changes to it.Corey: Ignoring entirely your mispronunciation of AMI, which is, of course, three syllables—and that is a petty hill upon which I will die—it occurs to me the more I work with AWS in various ways, the easier it gets. And I used to think in some respects, it was because the platform was so—it was improving so dramatically around me. But no, in many cases, it's because the first time you write some CloudFormation by hand, it's a nightmare and you keep smacking into weird issues. But the second or third time, it's super easy because you just copy the thing you've already built and change the relevant bits around. And that was the learning curve that I went through playing around with a lot of these things.When you start looking at this from a large-scale environment where it's not just about upskilling the people that you have to understand how these things integrate in AWS land, but also the consistent onboarding of engineers at a fairly progressive clip is, great, you effectively have to start doing trainings on all these things, and there's a lot of knobs and dials that can blow up and hurt people. At some point, building the guardrails or building the environment in which you are getting all the stuff abstracted away from where the application engineers have to think about this at all, it eventually reaches a tipping point where it starts to feel like it's no longer optional if you want to continue growing as a company because you don't have the luxury of spending six months of onboarding before you let someone touch the thing they were hired to build.Micheal: And you will see that many companies very often have very similar programming practices like you just described. Even I learned that the same way: you have a base template, you just copy-paste it and start from there on. And no one goes through the bootstrapping process manually anymore; you want to—I think we call it cargo-culting, but in general, just get something to bootstrap and start from there. But one of the things we learned in sort of the hard way is that can also lead to, kind of, you pushing, you know, not great practices because people don't know what is a blessed version of a good template or what actually would make sense. So, some of those things, we have been working on.And this is where centralized teams like engineering productivity are really helpful is we provide you with the blessed or the canonical way to do certain things. Case in point example is a CI/CD pipeline or delivery of software services. We have invested enough in experimenting on what works with some of the more nuanced use cases at Pinterest, in helping generate, sort of, a canonical version which would cover 80% of the use cases. Someone could just go and try to build a service and they could just use the same canonical pipeline without learning much or making changes to it. This also reduces that cargo-culting nature which I called, rather than copying it from unknown sources and trying to like—again, it may cause havoc to our systems, so we can avoid a lot of that because of these practices.Corey: So, let's step a little bit beyond AWS—I know I hate doing it, too—but I'm going to assume that your remit is broader than, oh, AWS whisperer-slash-Wrangler. So, tell me a little bit more about what it is that your day-to-day looks like if there is anything that could be said not to focus purely around AWS whispering.Micheal: So, one of the challenges—and I want to talk about this a bit more—is our environments have become extremely complex over time. And it's the nature of, like, rising entropy. Like, we've just noticed that there's two things: we have a diverse set of customer base, and these include everyone trying to do different workloads or work service types. What that essentially translates into is that we realized that our solution may not fit all of them. For example, what works for a machine-learning engineer in terms of iterating on building a model and delivering a model is not the same as someone working on a long-running service and trying to deploy that. The same would apply for someone trying to operate a Kafka system.And that has made, I think, definitely our job a bit challenging in trying to assess where do you actually draw the line on the abstraction? What is the right layer of abstraction across your local development experience, across when you move over to staging your code in a PR model and getting feedback and subsequently actually releasing it to production? Because this changes dramatically based on what is the workload type you're working on. And we feel like that has been one of the biggest challenges where I know I spent my day-to-day and my team does too, in trying to help provide some of the right solutions for these individuals. There's—very often we'll also get asked from individuals trying to do a very nuanced thing.Of late, we have been talking about thinking about how you operate functions, like provide Functions as a Service within the company? It just put us in a difficult spot at times because we have to ask the hard question, “Is this required?” I know the industry is doing it; it's definitely there. I personally believe, yes, it could be a future, but is that absolutely important? Is that going to benefit Pinterest in any formal way if we invest on some core abstractions?And those are difficult conversations to have because we have exciting engineers coming in trying to do amazing things; it puts us in a hard spot, as well, as to sometimes saying graciously, no. I know many companies deal with it when they have these centralized teams, but I think it's part of that job. Like when you say it's day-to-day, I would say I'm probably saying no a couple of times in that day.Corey: Let's pretend for the sake of argument that I am, tomorrow morning, starting another company—Twitter for Pets—and over the next ten years, it grows to be larger than Pinterest in terms of infrastructure, probably not revenue because it turns out pets are not the lucrative source of ad revenue that I was hoping it would be but, you know, directionally the same thing. It seems to me that building out this sort of function with this sort of approach to things is dramatically early as far as optimizations go when it's just me puttering around on something. I'm always cognizant of the wrong people taking the wrong message when we're talking about things that happen like this at scale. When does having an engineering productivity group begin to make sense?Micheal: I mentioned this earlier; like, yeah, there is definitely not a right answer, but we can start small. For example, this group actually started more as a delivery team. You know, when we started, we realized that we had different ways of deploying services or software at Pinterest, so we first gathered together to figure out, okay, what are the different ways and can we start simplifying that part? And that's where it started expanding. Okay, we are doing button-based deployments right now we have thousand-plus microservices, and we are seeing more incidents than we wanted to because anything where there's a human involved means there's a potential gap for error. I myself was involved in a SEV 0 incident, and I will be honest; we ended up deploying a Hello World application in one of our production fleet. Not the thing I wanted to be associated with my name, but, you know—Corey: And you were suddenly saying hello to the world, in fact—Micheal: [laugh].Corey: —and oops-a-doozy.Micheal: Yeah. So—and that really prompted us to rethink how we need to enable guardrails to do safe production rollouts. And that's how those conversations start ballooning out.Corey: And the healthy correct way. We've all broken production in various ways, and it's—you correctly are identifying, I believe, the direction you're heading in where this is a process problem and a tooling problem; it is not that you are secretly crap and should never have been allowed near anything in production. I mean, that's my excuse for me, but in your case, this is a common thing where it's, if someone can unintentionally cause issues like that, there needs to be better processes and procedures as the organization matures.Micheal: Yep. And that's kind of like always the route or the starting point for these discussions. And it starts growing from there on because, okay, you've helped improve the deploy process but now we're seeing insane amount of slowness, say on the build processes, or even post-deploy, there's, like, issues on how we monitor and look into data.And that I think forces these conversations, okay, where do we have these bespoke tools available? What are people doing today? And you have to ask those hard questions, like what can we actually remove from here? The goal is not to introduce yet another new system. Many a times, to be honest bash just gets the job done. [laugh].Personally, I'm okay with that as long as it's consistent and people, you know, are able to contribute to it and you have good practices in validating it, if it works, we should go for it rather than introducing yet another YAML [laugh] and some of that other aspects of doing that work. And that's what we encourage as well. That's how I think a lot of this starts connecting together in terms of, okay, now this is becoming a productivity group; they're focused on certain challenges where investing probably one person here may up-level a few other engineers who don't have to do that on a day-to-day basis. And I think that's one of the key items for, especially, folks who are running mid-sized companies to realize and start investing in these type of teams to really up-level, sort of, the rest of the engineering.Corey: You've been doing this for a fair while. If you were to go back and start over again on day one—which is always a terrifying question, on some level—what would you have done differently about building out this function as Pinterest continued to scale out?Micheal: Well, first, I must acknowledge that this was just not me, and there's, like, ton of people involved in helping make this happen.Corey: No, that's fair. We'll blame them for the missteps; that is—Micheal: [laugh].Corey: —just fine with me. I kid. I kid.Micheal: I think, definitely the nuances. If I look back, all the decisions that were made then at that point in time, there was a decision made to move to Phabricator, which was back then a great open-source code management system where with the current information at that point in time. And I'm not—I think it's very hard to always look back and say, “Oh, we could have chosen x at one point in time.” And I think in reality, that's how engineering organizations always evolve, that you have to make do with the information you have right now to make a decision that works for you over a couple of years.And I'll give you a small example of this. There was a time when Pinterest was actually on GitHub Enterprise—this was like circa 2013, I would say—and it really served as well for, like, five-plus years. Only then at certain point, we realized that it's hard to hire PHP engineers to support a tool like that, and we had to rethink what is the ROI and the investments we've made here? Can we ever map up or match back to one of the offerings in the industry today? And that's when you make decisions that, okay, at this point in time, it's clear that business continuity talks, you know, and it's hard to operate a system, which is, at this moment not supported, and then you make a call about making a shift or moving.And I think that's the key item. I don't think there's anything dramatically I would have changed since the start. Perhaps definitely investing a bit more individuals into the group and going from there. But that said, I'm really, sort of, at least proud of the fact that usually these teams are extremely lean and small, and they always have an outsized impact, especially when they're working with other engineers, other [opinionated 00:22:13] engineers for what it's worth.This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking databases, observability, management, and security.And - let me be clear here - it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. 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Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: Most folks show up intending to do good today, and you make the best decision at the time with the context and constraints that you have, but my question I think is less around, “Well, what were the biggest mistakes you made?” But more to do with the idea of, based upon what you've learned and as you have shown—as you've shined light on these dark areas, as you have been exploring it, has anything jumped out at you that is, “Oh, yeah. Now, that I know—if I had known then what I know now, I would definitely have made this other decision.” Ideally, something that applies a little more globally than specific within Pinterest, just because the whole idea, aspirationally, is that people might learn something from our conversation. At least I will, if nothing else.Micheal: No, I think that's a great question. And I think the three things that jump to me, top of mind. I think technology is means to an end unless it gives you a competitive edge. And it's really hard to figure out at what point in time what technology and why we adopted it, it's going to make the biggest difference. Humans always tend to have a bias towards aligning towards where we want to go. So, that's the first one in my mind.The second one is, and we spoke about this last time, embrace your cloud provider as much as possible. You'd want to avoid taking on operational burden which is not going to add value to the business. If there is something you see your operating which can be offloaded—because your provider can, trust me, do a way better job than you or your team of few can ever do—embrace that as soon as possible. It's better that way because then it frees up your time to focus on the most important thing, which I've realized over time is—I really think teams like ours are actually—we're probably the most value as a glue to all the different experiences a software engineer would go through as part of their SDLC lifecycle.If we can simplify someone's life by giving them a clear view as to where their commit or the work is in this grand scheme of rolling out and giving them the right amount of data to take action when something goes wrong, trust me, they will love you for what you're doing because you're saving them ton of time. Many times, we don't realize that when we publish 11 different ways for you to go and check to just get your basic validation of work done. We tend to so much focus on the technological aspect of what the tool does, rather than the experience of it, and I've realized, if you can bridge the experience, especially for teams like ours, people really don't even need to know whether you're running Kubernetes or any of those solutions behind the scenes. And I think that's one of the biggest takeaways I have.Corey: I want to double down on something you said about the fact that you are not going to be able to run these services as effectively as your provider can. And relatively recently—in fact, since the first time we spoke—AWS has released a investment report in Virginia. And from 2011 through 2020, they have invested in building AWS data centers there, $35 billion. I promise almost no company that employs people listening to this that are not themselves a cloud provider is going to make that kind of investment in running these things themselves.Now, do cloud providers have sharp edges? Yes, absolutely. That is what my entire career is about, unfortunately. But you're not going to do a better job of running things more sustainably, more reliably, et cetera, et cetera. But there are other problems with this—and that's what I want to start exploring here—where in the olden days, when I ran things in data centers and they went down a lot more as a result, sometimes when there were outages, I would have the CEO of the company just standing there nervous worrying over my shoulder as I frantically typed to fix things.Spoiler: my typing accuracy did not improve by having someone looming over me. Now, when there's an outage that your cloud provider takes, in many cases the thing that you are doing to fix it is reloading the status page and waiting for an update because it is completely out of your hands. Is that something that you've had to encounter? Because you can push buttons and turn dials when things are broken and you control it, but in an AWS—or other cloud provider—outage, all you can really do is wait unless you have a DR plan that is large-scale and effective enough that you won't feel foolish or have wasted a huge amount of time and energy migrating off and then—because then it gets repaired in ten minutes. How do you approach that, from your perspective? I guess, the expectation management piece?Micheal: It's definitely I know something which keeps a lot of folks within infrastructure up at night because, like you just said, at times we can feel extremely powerless when we obviously don't have direct control—or visibility at times, as well—on what's happening. One of the things we have realized over time as part of running on our cloud provider for over a decade now, it forces us to rethink a bit on our priority workflows, what we want our Pinners to always have access to, what they need to see, what is not important or critical. Because it puts into perspective, even for the infrastructure teams, is to what is the most important thing we should always have it available and running, what is okay to be in a degraded state, until what time, right? So, it actually forces us to define SLOs and availability criteria within the team where we can broadcast that to the larger audience including the executives. So, none of this comes as a surprise at that point.I mean, it's not the answer, probably, you're looking for because is there's nothing we can do except set expectations clearly on what we can do and how when you think about the business when these things do happen. So, I know people may have I have a different view on this; I'm definitely curious to hear as well, but I know at Pinterest at least we have converged on our priority workflows. When something goes out, how do we jump in to provide a degraded experience? We have very clear run books to do that, and especially when it's a SEV 0, we do have clear processes in place on how often we need to update our entire company on where things are. And especially this is where your partnership with the cloud provider is going to be a big, big boon because you really want to know or have visibility, at the minimum some predictability on when things can get resolved, and how you want to work with them on some creative solutions. This is outside the DR strategy, obviously; you should still be focused on a DR strategy, but these are just simple things we've learned over time on how to just make it predictable for individuals within the company, so not everyone is freaking out.Corey: Yeah, from my perspective, I think the big things that I found that have worked, in my experience—mostly by getting them wrong the first time—is explain that someone else running the infrastructure when they take an outage; there's not much we can do. And no, it's not the sort of thing where picking up the phone and screaming at someone is going to help us, is the sort of thing that is best to communicate to executive stakeholders when things are running well, not in the middle of that incident.Then when things break, it's one of those, “Great, you're an exec. You know what your job is? Literally anything other than standing in the middle of the engineering floor, making everyone freak out even more. We'll have a discussion later about what the contributing factors were when you demand that we fire someone because of an outage. Then we're going to have a long and hard talk about what kind of culture you're trying to build here again?” But there are no perfect answers here.It's easy to sit here in the silver light of day with things working correctly and say, “Oh, yeah. This is how outages should be handled.” But then when it goes down, we're all basically an inch away at best from running around with our hair on fire, screaming, “Fix it, fix it, fix it, fix it, now.” And I am empathetic to that. There's a reason but I fix AWS bills for a living, and one of those big reasons is that it's a strictly business-hours problem and I don't have to run production infrastructure that faces anything that people care about, which is kind of amazing and freeing for someone who spent too many years on call.Micheal: Absolutely. And one of the things is that this is not only with the cloud provider, I think in today's nature of how our businesses are set up, there's probably tons of other APIs you are using or you're working with you may not be aware of. And we ended up finding that the hard way as well. There were a certain set of APIs or services we were using in the critical path which we were not aware of. When these outages happen, that's when you find that out.So, you're not only beholden to your provider at that point in time; you have to have those SLO expectations set with your other SaaS providers as well, other folks you're working with. Because I don't think that's going to change; it's probably only going to get complicated with all the different types of tools you're using. And then that's a trade-off you need to really think about. An example here is just like—you know, like I said, we moved in the past from GitHub to Phabricator—I didn't close the loop on that because we're moving back to GitHub right now [laugh] and that's one of the key projects I'm working with. Yeah, it's circle of life.But the thing is, we did a very strong evaluation here because we felt like, “Okay, there's a probability that GitHub can go down and that means people will be not productive for that couple of hours. What do we do then?” And we had to put a plan together to how we can mitigate that part and really build that confidence with the engineering teams, internally. And it's not the best solution out there; the other solution was just run our own, but how is that going to make any other difference because we do have libraries being pulled out of GitHub and so many other aspects of our systems which are unknowingly dependent on it anyways. So, you have to still mitigate those issues at some point in your entire SDLC process.So, that was just one example I shared, but it's not always on the cloud provider; I think there are just many aspects of—at least today how businesses are run, you're dependent; you have critical dependencies, probably, on some SaaS provider you haven't really vetted or evaluated. You will find out when they go down.Corey: So, I don't think I've told this story before, but before I started this place, I was doing a fair bit of consulting work for other companies. And I was doing a project at Pinterest years ago. And this was one of the best things I've ever experienced at a company site, let alone a client site, where I was there early in the morning, eight o'clock or so, so you know, engineers love to show up at the crack of 11:30. But so I was working a little early; it was great. And suddenly my SSH session that I was using to remote into something or other hung.And it's tap up, tap enter a couple of times, tap it a couple more. It was hung hard. “What's the—” and then someone gently taps me on the shoulder. So, I take the headphones off. It was someone from corporate IT was coming around saying, “Hey, there's a slight problem with our corporate firewall that we're fixing. Here's a MiFi device just for you that you can tether to get back online and get worked on until the firewall gets back.”And it was incredible, just the level of just being on top of things, and the focus on keeping the people who were building things and doing expensive engineering work that was awesome—and also me—productive during that time frame was just something I hadn't really seen before. It really made me think about the value of where do you remove bottlenecks from people getting their jobs done? It was—it remains one of the most impressive things I've seen.Micheal: That is great. And as you were telling me that I did look up our [laugh] internal system to see whether a user called Corey Quinn existed, and I should confirm this with you. I do see entries over here, a couple of commits, but this was 2015. Was that the time you were around, or is this before that even?Corey: That would have been around then, yes. I didn't start this place until late 2016.Micheal: I do see your commits, like, from 2015, and I—Corey: And they're probably terrible, I have no doubt. There's a reason I don't read code for a living anymore.Micheal: Okay, I do see a lot of GIFs—and I hope it's pronounced as GIF—okay, this is cool. We should definitely have a chat about this separately, Corey?Corey: Oh, yeah. “Would you explain this code?” “Absolutely not. I wrote it. Of course, I have no idea what it does. That's the rule. That's the way code always works.”Micheal: Oh, you are an honorary Pinterest engineer at this point, and you have—yes—contributed to our API service and a couple of Puppet profiles I see over here.Corey: Oh, yes—Micheal: [Amazing 00:36:11]. [laugh].Corey: You don't wind up thinking that's a risk factor that should be disclosed. I kid. I kid. It's, I made a joke about this when VMware acquired SaltStack and I did some analytics and found that 60 some odd lines of code I had written, way back when that were still in the current version of what was being shipped. And they thought, “Wait, is this actually a risk?”And no, I am making a joke. The joke is, is my code is bad. Fortunately, there are smart people around me who review these things. This is why code review is so important. But there was a lot to admire when I was there doing various things at Pinterest. It was a fun environment to work in, the level of professionalism was phenomenal, and I was just a big fan of a lot of the automation stuff.Phabricator was great. I love working with it, and, “Great, I'm going to use this to the next place I go.” And I did and then it was—I looked at what it took to get it up and running, and oh, yeah, I can see why GitHub is so popular these days. But it was neat. It was interesting seeing that type of environment up close.Micheal: That is great to hear. You know, this is what I enjoy, like, hearing some of these war stories. I am surprised; you seem to have committed way more than I've ever done in my [laugh] duration here at Pinterest. I do managing for a living, but then again—Corey, the good news is your code is still running on production. And we—Corey: Oh dear.Micheal: —haven't—[laugh]. We haven't removed or made any changes to it, so that's pretty amazing. And thank you for all your contributions.Corey: Oh, please, you don't have to thank me. I was paid, it was fine. That's the value of—Micheal: [laugh].Corey: —[work 00:37:38] for hire. It's kind of amazing. And the best part about consultants is, is when we're done with a project, we get the hell out everyone's happy about it.More happy when it's me that's leaving because of obvious personality-related reasons. But it was just an interesting company from start to finish. I remember one other time, I wound up opening a ticket about having a slight challenge with a flickering on my then Apple-branded display that everyone was using before they discontinued those. And I expected there to be, “Oh, okay. You're a consultant. Great. How did we not put you in the closet with a printer next to that thing, breathing the toner?” Like most consulting clients tend to do, and sure enough, three minutes later, I'm getting that tap on the shoulder again; they have a whole replacement monitor. “Can you go grab a cup of coffee? We'll run the cable for it. It'll just be about five minutes.” I started to feel actively bad about requesting things because I did a lot of consulting work for a lot of different companies, and not to be unkind, but treating consultants and contractors super well is not something that a lot of companies optimize for. I can't necessarily blame them for that. It just really stood out.Micheal: Yep, I do hope we are keeping up with that right now because I know our team definitely has a lot of consultants working with us as well. And it's always amazing to see; we do want to treat them as FTs. It doesn't even matter at that point because we're all individuals and we're trying to work towards common goals. Like you just said, I think I personally have learned a few items as well from some of these folks. Which is again, I think speaks to how we want to work and create a culture of, like, we're all engineers; we want to be solving problems together, and as you were doing it, we want to do it in such a way that it's still fun, and we're not having the restrictions of titles or roles and other pieces. But I think I digressed. It was really fun to see your commits though, I do want to track this at some point before we move completely over to GitHub, at least keep this as a record, for what it's worth.Corey: Yeah basically look at this graffiti in the codebase of, “A shit-poster was here,” and here I am. And that tends to be, on some level, the mark we live on the universe. What's always terrifying is looking at things I did 15 years ago in my first Linux admin job. Can I still ping the thing that I built there? Yes, I can. And how is that even possible? That should not have outlived me; honestly, it should never have seen the light of day in production, but here we are. And you never know how long that temporary kluge you put together is going to last.Micheal: You know, one of the things I was recalling, I was talking to someone in my team about this topic as well. We always talk about 10x engineers. I don't know what your thoughts are on that, but the fact that you just mentioned you built something; it still pings. And there's a bunch of things, in my mind, when you are writing code or you're working on some projects, the fact that it can outlast you and live on, I think that's a big, big contribution. And secondly, if your code can actually help up-level, like, ten other people, I think you've really made the mark of 10x engineer at that point.Corey: Yeah, the idea of the superhuman engineer is always been a strange and dangerous one. If for nothing else, from where I sit, excellence is inherently situational. Like we just talked about someone at Pinterest: is potentially going to be able to have that kind of impact specifically because—to my worldview—that there's enough process and things around there that empower them to succeed. Then if you were to take that engineer and drop them into a five-person startup where none of those things exist, they might very well flounder. It's why I'm always a little suspicious of this is a startup founded by engineers from Google or Facebook, or wherever it is.It's, yeah, and what aspects of that culture do you think are one-to-one matches with the small scrappy startup in the garage? Right, I predicting some challenges here. Excellence is always situational. An amazing employee at one company can get fired at a second one for lack of performance, and that does not mean that there's anything wrong with them and it does not mean that they are a fraud. It means that what they needed to be successful was present in one of those shops, but not the other.Micheal: This is so true. And I really appreciate you bringing this up because whenever we discuss any form of performance management, that is a—in my view personally—I think that's an incorrect term to be using. It is really at that point in time, either you have outlived the environment you are in, or the environment is going in a different direction where I think your current skill set probably could be best used in the environment where it's going to work. And I know it's very fuzzy at that point, but like you said, yes, excellence really means you don't want to tie it to the number of commits you have pushed out, or any specific aspect of your deliverables or how you work.Corey: There are no easy answers to any of these things, and it's always situational. It's why I think people are sometimes surprised when I will make comments about the general case of how things should be, then I talk to a specific environment where they do the exact opposite, and I don't yell at them for it. It's there—in a general sense, I have some guidance, but they are usually reasons things are the way they are, and I'm interested in hearing them out. Everything's situational, the worst consultant in the world is the one that shows up, has no idea what's going on, and then asked, “What moron set this up?” Invariably, two said, quote-unquote, “Moron.” And the engagement doesn't go super well from there. It's, “Okay, why is this the way that it is? What constraints shaped it? What was the context behind the problem you were trying to solve?” And, “Well, why didn't you use this AWS service?” “Because it didn't exist for another three years when we were building that thing,” is a—Micheal: Yes.Corey: —common answer.Micheal: Yes, you should definitely appreciate that of all the decisions that have been made in past. People tend to always forget why they were made. You're absolutely right; what worked back then will probably not work now, or vice versa, and it's always situational. So, I think I can go on about this for hours, but I think you hit that to the point, Corey.Corey: Yeah, I do my best. I want to thank you for taking another block of time out of your day to wind up talking with me about various aspects of what it takes to effectively achieve better levels of engineering productivity at large companies, with many teams, working on shared codebases. If people want to learn more about what you're up to, where can they find you?Micheal: I'm definitely on Twitter. So, please note that I'm spelled M-I-C-H-E-A-L on Twitter. So, you can definitely read on to my tweets there. But otherwise, you can always reach out to me on LinkedIn, too.Corey: Fantastic and we will, of course, include a link to that in the [show notes 00:44:02]. Thanks once again for your time. I appreciate it.Micheal: Thanks a lot, Corey.Corey: Micheal Benedict, head of engineering productivity at Pinterest. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a comment telling me that you work at Pinterest, have looked at the codebase, and would very much like a refund and an apology.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Dungeon Jedi Masters
Starships Updates & Deployments

Dungeon Jedi Masters

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 42:03


In the first part of our dive into Starships of the Galaxy, we take a look at what's new and updated for the system including a close look at two of the updated and new deployments. Be sure to tune in to the following episode where we'll discuss running starships as a DM. ---- Dungeon Jedi Masters Join the DJM Discord!   Music: Runaway by Diamond Ace | https://soundcloud.com/diamond-ace-music

Call to Marriage - Navigating Life as a Military Spouse

In this episode, I talk with Jen McDonald from the Milspouse Matters podcast about deployments over the holiday seasons, and ways to make them a little more tolerable when you don't have your person with you. Have questions about military life or marriage? Email me at ask.ctmpodcast@gmail.com or DM me on Insta & TikTok @calltomarriage --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/calltomarriage/support

Screaming in the Cloud
The Future of Google Cloud with Richard Seroter

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 40:47


About RichardHe's also an instructor at Pluralsight, a frequent public speaker, and the author of multiple books on software design and development. Richard maintains a regularly updated blog (seroter.com) on topics of architecture and solution design and can be found on Twitter as @rseroter. Links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/rseroter LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seroter Seroter.com: https://seroter.com TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: You know how git works right?Announcer: Sorta, kinda, not really Please ask someone else!Corey: Thats all of us. Git is how we build things, and Netlify is one of the best way I've found to build those things quickly for the web. Netlify's git based workflows mean you don't have to play slap and tickle with integrating arcane non-sense and web hooks, which are themselves about as well understood as git. Give them a try and see what folks ranging from my fake Twitter for pets startup, to global fortune 2000 companies are raving about. If you end up talking to them, because you don't have to, they get why self service is important—but if you do, be sure to tell them that I sent you and watch all of the blood drain from their faces instantly. You can find them in the AWS marketplace or at www.netlify.com. N-E-T-L-I-F-Y.comCorey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Once upon a time back in the days of VH1, which was like MTV except it played music videos, would have a show that was, “Where are they now?” Looking at former celebrities. I will not use the term washed up because that's going to be insulting to my guest.Richard Seroter is a returning guest here on Screaming in the Cloud. We spoke to him a year ago when he was brand new in his role at Google as director of outbound product management. At that point, he basically had stars in his eyes and was aspirational around everything he wanted to achieve. And now it's a year later and he has clearly failed because it's Google. So, outbound products are clearly the things that they are going to be deprecating, and in the past year, I am unaware of a single Google Cloud product that has been outright deprecated. Richard, thank you for joining me, and what do you have to say for yourself?Richard: Yeah, “Where are they now?” I feel like I'm the Leif Garrett of cloud here, joining you. So yes, I'm still here, I'm still alive. A little grayer after twelve months in, but happy to be here chatting cloud, chatting whatever else with you.Corey: I joke a little bit about, “Oh, Google winds up killing things.” And let's be clear, your consumer division which, you know, Google is prone to that. And understanding a company's org chart is a challenge. A year or two ago, I was of the opinion that I didn't need to know anything about Google Cloud because it would probably be deprecated before I really had to know about it. My opinion has evolved considerably based upon a number of things I'm seeing from Google.Let's be clear here, I'm not saying this to shine you on or anything like that; it's instead that I've seen some interesting things coming out of Google that I consider to be the right moves. One example of that is publicly signing multiple ten-year deals with very large, serious institutions like Deutsche Bank, and others. Okay, you don't generally sign contracts with companies of that scale and intend not to live up to them. You're hiring Forrest Brazeal as your head of content for Google Cloud, which is not something you should do lightly, and not something that is a short-term play in any respect. And the customer experience has continued to improve; Google Cloud products have not gotten worse, and I'm seeing in my own customer conversations that discussions about Google Cloud have become significantly less dismissive than they were over the past year. Please go ahead and claim credit for all of that.Richard: Yeah. I mean, the changes a year ago when I joined. So, Thomas Kurian has made a huge impact on some of that. You saw us launch the enterprise APIs thing a while back, which was, “Hey, here's, for the most part, every one of our products that has a fixed API. We're not going to deprecate it without a year's notice, whatever it is. We're not going to make certain types of changes.” Maybe that feels like, “Well, you should have had that before.” All right, all we can do is improve things moving forward. So, I think that was a good change.Corey: Oh, I agree. I think that was a great thing to do. You had something like 80-some-odd percent coverage of Google Cloud services, and great, that's going to only increase with time, I can imagine. But I got a little pushback from a few Googlers for not being more congratulatory towards them for doing this, and look, it's a great thing. Don't get me wrong, but you don't exactly get a whole lot of bonus points and kudos and positive press coverage—not that I'm press—for doing the thing you should have been doing [laugh] all along.It's, “This is great. This is necessary.” And it demonstrates a clear awareness that there was—rightly or wrongly—a perception issue around the platform's longevity and that you've gone significantly out of your way to wind up addressing that in ways that go far beyond just yelling at people on Twitter they don't understand the true philosophy of Google Cloud, which is the right thing to do.Richard: Yeah, I mean, as you mentioned, look, the consumer side is very experimental in a lot of cases. I still mourn Google Reader. Like, those things don't matter—Corey: As do we all.Richard: Of course. So, I get that. Google Cloud—and of course we have the same cultural thing, but at the same time, there's a lifecycle management that's different in Google Cloud. We do not deprecate products that much. You know, enterprises make decade-long bets. I can't be swap—changing databases or just turning off messaging things. Instead, we're building a core set of things and making them better.So, I like the fact that we have a pretty stable portfolio that keeps getting a little bit bigger. Not crazy bigger; I like that we're not just throwing everything out there saying, “Rock on.” We have some opinions. But I think that's been a positive trend, customers seem to like that we're making these long-term bets. We're not going anywhere for a long time and our earnings quarter after quarter shows it—boy, this will actually be a profitable business pretty soon.Corey: Oh, yeah. People love to make hay, and by people, I stretch the term slightly and talk about, “Investment analysts say that Google Cloud is terrible because at your last annual report you're losing something like $5 billion a year on Google Cloud.” And everyone looked at me strangely, when I said, “No, this is terrific. What that means is that they're investing in the platform.” Because let's be clear, folks at Google tend to be intelligent, by and large, or at least intelligent enough that they're not going to start selling cloud services for less than it costs to run them.So yeah, it is clearly an investment in the platform and growth of it. The only way it should be turning a profit at this point is if there's no more room to invest that money back into growing the platform, given your market position. I think that's a terrific thing, and I'm not worried at all about it losing money. I don't think anyone should be.Richard: Yeah, I mean, strategically, look, this doesn't have to be the same type of moneymaker that even some other clouds have to be to their portfolio. Look, this is an important part, but you look at those ten-year deals that we've been signing: when you look at Univision, that's a YouTube partnership; you look at Ford that had to do with Android Auto; you look at these others, this is where us being also a consumer and enterprise SaaS company is interesting because this isn't just who's cranking out the best IaaS. I mean, that can be boring stuff over time. It's like, who's actually doing the stuff that maybe makes a traditional company more interesting because they partner on some of those SaaS services. So, those are the sorts of deals and those sorts of arrangements where cloud needs to be awesome, and successful, and make money, doesn't need to be the biggest revenue generator for Google.Corey: So, when we first started talking, you were newly minted as a director of outbound product management. And now, you are not the only one, there are apparently 60 of you there, and I'm no closer to understanding what the role encompasses. What is your remit? Where do you start? Where do you stop?Richard: Yeah, that's a good question. So, there's outbound product management teams, mostly associated with the portfolio area. So network, storage, AI, analytics, database, compute, application modernization-y sort of stuff—which is what I cover—containers, dev tools, serverless. Basically, I am helping make sure the market understands the product and the product understands the market. And not to be totally glib, but a lot of that is, we are amplification.I'm amplifying product out to market, analysts, field people, partners: “Do you understand this thing? Can I help you put this in context?” But then really importantly, I'm trying to help make sure we're also amplifying the market back to our product teams. You're getting real customer feedback: “Do you know what that analyst thinks? Have you heard what happened in the competitive space?”And so sometimes companies seem to miss that, and PMs poke their head up when I'm about to plan a product or I'm about to launch a product because I need some feedback. But keeping that constant pulse on the market, on customers, on what's going on, I think that can be a secret weapon. I'm not sure everybody does that.Corey: Spending as much time as I do on bills, admittedly AWS bills, but this is a pattern that tends to unfold across every provider I've seen. The keynotes are chock-full of awesome managed service announcements, things that are effectively turnkey at further up the stack levels, but the bills invariably look a lot more like, yeah, we spend a bit of money on that and then we run 10,000 virtual instances in a particular environment and we just treat it like it's an extension of our data center. And that's not exciting; that's not fun, quote-unquote, but it's absolutely what customers are doing and I'm not going to sit here and tell them that they're wrong for doing it. That is the hallmark of a terrible consultant of, “I don't understand why you're doing what you're doing, so it must be foolish.” How about you stop and gain some context into why customers do the things that they do?Richard: No, I send around a goofy newsletter every week to a thousand or two people, just on things I'm learning from the field, from customers, trying to make sure we're just thinking bigger. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an idea about modernization is awesome, and I love when people upgrade their software. By the way, most people migration is a heck of a lot easier than if I can just get this into your cloud, yeah love that; that's not the most interesting thing, to move VMs around, but most people in their budget, don't have time to rewrite every Java app to go. Everybody's not changing .NET framework to .NET core.Like, who do I think everybody is? No, I just need to try to get some incremental value first. Yes, then hopefully I'll swap out my self-managed SQL database for a Spanner or a managed service. Of course, I want all of that, but this idea that I can turn my line of business loan processing app into a thousand functions overnight is goofy. So, how are we instead thinking more pragmatically about migration, and then modernizing some of it? But even that sort of mindset, look, Google thinks about innovation modernization first. So, also just trying to help us take a step back and go, “Gosh, what is the normal path? Well, it's a lot of migration first, some modernization, and then there's some steady-state work there.”Corey: One of the things that surprised me the most about Google Cloud in the market, across the board, has been the enthusiastic uptake for enterprise workloads. And by enterprise workloads, I'm talking about things like SAP HANA is doing a whole bunch of deployments there; we're talking Big Iron-style enterprise-y things that, let's be honest, countervene most of the philosophy that Google has always held and espoused publicly, at least on conference stages, about how software should be built. And I thought that would cut against them and make it very difficult for you folks to gain headway in that market and I could not have been more wrong. I'm talking to large enterprises who are enthusiastically talking about Google Cloud. I've got a level with you, compared to a year or two ago, I don't recognize the place.Richard: Mmm. I mean, some of that, honestly, in the conversations I have, and whatever I do a handful of customer calls every week, I think folks still want something familiar, but you're looking for maybe a further step on some of it. And that means, like, yes, is everybody going to offer VMs? Yeah, of course. Is everyone going to have MySQL? Obviously.But if I'm an enterprise and I'm doing these generational bets, can I cheat a little bit, and maybe if I partner with a more of an innovation partner versus maybe just the easy next step, am I buying some more relevance for the long-term? So, am I getting into environment that has some really cool native zero-trust stuff? Am I getting into environment with global backend services and I'm not just stitching together a bunch of regional stuff? How can I cheat by using a more innovation vendor versus just lifting and shifting to what feels like hosted software in another cloud? I'm seeing more of that because these migrations are tough; nobody should be just randomly switching clouds. That's insane.So, can I make, maybe, one of these big bets with somebody who feels like they might actually even improve my business as a whole because I can work with Google Pay and improve how I do mobile payments, or I could do something here with Android? Or, heck, all my developers are using Angular and Flutter; aren't I going to get some benefit from working with Google? So, we're seeing that, kind of, add-on effect of, “Maybe this is a place not just to host my VMs, but to take a generational leap.”Corey: And I think that you're positioning yourselves in a way to do it. Again, talk about things that you wouldn't have expected to come out of Google of all places, but your console experience has been first-rate and has been for a while. The developer experience is awesome; I don't need to learn the intricacies of 12 different services for what I'm trying to do just in order to get something basic up and running. I can stop all the random little billing things in my experimental project with a single click, which that admittedly has a confirm, which you kind of want. But it lets you reason about these things.It lets you get started building something, and there's a consistency and cohesiveness to the console that, again, I am not a graphic designer, by any stretch of the imagination. My most commonly used user interface is a green-screen shell prompt, and then I'm using Vim to wind up writing something horrifying, ideally in Python, but more often in YAML. And that has been my experience, but just clicking around the console, it's clear that there was significant thought put into the design, the user experience, and the way of approaching folks who are starting to look very different, from a user persona perspective.Richard: I can—I mean, I love our user research team; they're actually fun to hang out with and watch what they do, but you have to remember, Google as a company, I don't know, cloud is the first thing we had to sell. Did have to sell Gmail. I remember 15 years ago, people were waiting for invites. And who buys Maps or who buys YouTube? For the most part, we've had to build things that were naturally interesting and easy-to-use because otherwise, you would just switch to anything else because everything was free.So, some of that does infuse Google Cloud, “Let's just make this really easy to use. And let's just make sure that, maybe, you don't hate yourself when you're done jumping into a shell from the middle of the console.” It's like, that should be really easy to do—or upgrade a database, or make changes to things. So, I think some of the things we've learned from the consumer good side, have made their way to how we think of UX and design because maybe this stuff shouldn't be terrible.Corey: There's a trope going around, where I wound up talking about the next million cloud customers. And I'm going to have to write a sequel to it because it turns out that I've made a fundamental error, in that I've accepted the narrative that all of the large cloud vendors are pushing, to the point where I heard from so many folks I just accepted it unthinkingly and uncritically, and that's not what I should be doing. And we'll get to what I was wrong about in a minute, but the thinking goes that the next big growth area is large enterprises, specifically around corporate IT. And those are folks who are used to managing things in a GUI environment—which is fine—and clicking around in web apps. Now, it's easy to sit here on our high horse and say, “Oh, you should learn to write code,” or YAML, which is basically code. Cool.As an individual, I agree, someone should because as soon as they do that, they are now able to go out and take that skill to a more lucrative role. The company then has to backfill someone into the role that they just got promoted out of, and the company still has that dependency. And you cannot succeed in that market with a philosophy of, “Oh, you built something in the console. Now, throw it away and do it right.” Because that is maddening to that user persona. Rightfully so.I'm not that user persona and I find it maddening when I have to keep tripping over that particular thing. How did that come to be, from your perspective? First, do you think that is where the next million cloud customers come from? And have I adequately captured that user persona, or am I completely often the weeds somewhere?Richard: I mean, I shared your post internally when that one came out because that resonated with me of how we were thinking about it. Again, it's easy to think about the cloud-native operators, it's Spotify doing something amazing, or this team at Twitter doing something, or whatever. And it's not even to be disparaging. Like, look, I spent five years in enterprise IT and I was surrounded by operators who had to run dozen different systems; they weren't dedicated to just this thing or that. So, what are the tools that make my life easy?A lot of software just comes with UIs for quick install and upgrades, and how does that logic translate to this cloud world? I think that stuff does matter. How are you meeting these people a little better where they are? I think the hard part that we will always have in every cloud provider is—I think you've said this in different forums, but how do I not sometimes rub the data center on my cloud or vice versa? I also don't want to change the experience so much where I degrade it over the long term, I've actually somehow done something worse.So, can I meet those people where they are? Can we pull some of those experiences in, but not accidentally do something that kind of messes up the cloud experience? I mean, that's a fine line to walk. Does that make sense to you? Do you see where there's a… I don't know, you could accidentally cater to a certain audience too much, and change the experience for the worse?Corey: Yes, and no. My philosophy on it is that you have to meet customers where they are, but only to a point. At some point, what they're asking for becomes actively harmful or disadvantageous to wind up providing for them. “I want you to run my data center for me,” is on some level what some cloud environments look like, and I'm not going to sit here and tell people they're inherently wrong for that. Their big reason for moving to the cloud was because they keep screwing up replacing failed hard drives in their data center, so we're going to put it in the cloud.Is it more expensive that way? Well, sure in terms of actual cash outlay, it almost certainly is, but they're also not going down every month when a drive fails, so once the value of that? It's a capability story. That becomes interesting to me, and I think that trying to sit here in isolation, and say that, “Oh, this application is not how we would build it at Google.” And it's, “Yeah, you're Google. They are insert an entire universe of different industries that look nothing whatsoever like Google.” The constraints are different, the resources are different, and—Richard: Sure.Corey: —their approach to problem-solving are different. When you built out Google, and even when you're building out Google Cloud, look at some of the oldest craftiest stuff you have in your entire all of Google environment, and then remember that there are companies out there that are hundreds of years old. It's a different order of magnitude as far as era, as far as understanding of what's in the environment, and that's okay. It's a very broad and very diverse world.Richard: Yeah. I mean, that's, again, why I've been thinking more about migration than even some of the modernization piece. Should you bring your network architecture from on-prem to the cloud? I mean, I think most cases, no. But I understand sometimes that edge firewall, internal trust model you had on-prem, okay, trying to replicate that.So, yeah, like you say, I want to meet people where they are. Can we at least find some strategic leverage points to upgrade aspects of things as you get to a cloud, to save you from yourself in some places because all of a sudden, you have ten regions and you only had one data center before. So, many more rooms for mistakes. Where are the right guardrails? We're probably more opinionated than others at Google Cloud.I don't really apologize for that completely, but I understand. I mean, I think we've loosened up a lot more than maybe people [laugh] would have thought a few years ago, from being hyper-opinionated on how you run software.Corey: I will actually push back a bit on the idea that you should not replicate your on-premises data center in your cloud environment. Sure, are there more optimal ways to do it that are arguably more secure? Absolutely. But a common failure mode in moving from data center to cloud is, “All right, we're going to start embracing this entirely new cloud networking paradigm.” And it is confusing, and your team that knows how the data center network works really well are suddenly in way over their heads, and they're inadvertently exposing things they don't intend to or causing issues.The hard part is always people, not technology. So, when I glance at an environment and see things like that, perfect example, are there more optimal ways to do it? Oh, from a technology perspective, absolutely. How many engineers are working on that? What's their skill set? What's their position on all this? What else are they working on? Because you're never going to find a team of folks who are world-class experts in every cloud? It doesn't work that way.Richard: No doubt. No doubt, you're right. There's areas where we have to at least have something that's going to look similar, let you replicate aspects of it. I think it's—it'll just be interesting to watch, and I have enough conversations with customers who do ask, “Hey, where are the places we should make certain changes as we evolve?” And maybe they are tactical, and they're not going to be the big strategic redesign their entire thing. But it is good to see people not just trying to shovel everything from one place to the next.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: Now, to follow up on what I was saying earlier, what I think I've gotten wrong by accepting the industry talking points on is that the next million cloud customers are big enterprises moving from data centers into the cloud. There's money there, don't get me wrong, but there is a larger opportunity in empowering the creation of companies in your environment. And this is what certain large competitors of yours get very wrong, where it's we're going to launch a whole bunch of different services that you get to build yourself from popsicle sticks. Great. That is not useful.But companies that are trying to do interesting things, or people who want to found companies to do interesting things, want something that looks a lot more turnkey. If you are going to be building cloud offerings, that for example, are terrific building blocks for SaaS companies, then it behooves you to do actual investments, rather than just a generic credit offer, into spurring the creation of those types of companies. If you want to build a company that does payroll systems, in a SaaS, cloud way, “Partner with us. Do it here. We will give you a bunch of credits. We will introduce you to your first ten prospective customers.”And effectively actually invest in a company success, as opposed to pitch-deck invest, which is, “Yeah, we'll give you some discounting and some credits, and that's our quote-unquote, ‘investment.'” actually be there with them as a partner. And that's going to take years for folks to wrap their heads around, but I feel like that is the opportunity that is significantly larger, even than the embedded existing IT space because rather than fighting each other for slices of the pie, I'm much more interested in expanding that pie overall. One of my favorite questions to get asked because I think it is so profoundly missing the point is, “Do you think it's possible for Google to go from number three to number two,” or whatever the number happens to be at some point, and my honest, considered answer is, “Who gives a shit?” Because number three, or number five, or number twelve—it doesn't matter to me—is still how many hundreds of billions of dollars in the fullness of time. Let's be real for a minute here; the total addressable market is expanding faster than any cloud or clouds are going to be able to capture all of.Richard: Yeah. Hey, look, whoever who'll be more profitable solving user problems, I really don't care about the final revenue number. I can be the number one cloud tomorrow by making Google Cloud free. What's the point? That's not a sustainable business. So, if you're just going for who can deploy the most VCPUs or who can deploy the most whatever, there's ways to game that. I want to make sure we are just uniquely solving problems better than anybody else.Corey: Sorry, forgive me. I just sort of zoned out for a second there because I'm just so taken aback and shocked by the idea of someone working at a large cloud provider who expresses a philosophy that isn't lying awake at night fretting over the possibility of someone who isn't them as making money somewhere.Richard: [laugh]. I mean, your idea there, it'll be interesting to watch, kind of, the maker's approach of are you enabling that next round of startups, the next round of people who want to take—I mean, honestly, I like the things we're doing building block-wise, even with our AI: we're not just handing you a vision API, we're giving you a loan processing AI that can process certain types of docs, that more packaged version of AI. Same with healthcare, same with whatever. I can imagine certain startups or a company idea going, “Hey, maybe I could disrupt or serve a new market.”I always love what Square did. They've disrupted emerging markets, small merchants here in North America, wherever, where I didn't need a big expensive point of sale system. You just gave me the nice, right building blocks to disrupt and run my business. Maybe Google Cloud can continue to provide better building blocks, but I do like your idea of actually investment zones, getting part of this. Maybe the next million users are founders and it's not just getting into some of these companies with, frankly, 10, 20, 30,000 people in IT.I think there's still plenty of room in these big enterprises to unlock many more of those companies, much more of their business. But to your point, there's a giant market here that we're not all grabbing yet. For crying out loud, there's tons of opportunity out here. This is not zero-sum.Corey: Take it a step further beyond that, and today, if you have someone who's enterprising, early on in their career, maybe they just got out of school, maybe they have just left their job and are ready to snap, or they have some severance money that they want to throw into something. Great. What do they want to do if they have an idea for a company? Well today, that answer looks a lot like, well, time to go to a boot camp and learn to code for six months so you can build a badly done MVP well enough to get off the ground and get some outside investment, and then go from there. Well, what if we cut that part out entirely?What if there were building blocks of I don't need to know or care that there's a database behind it, or what a database looks like. Picture Visual Basic in a web browser for building apps, and just take this bit of information I give you and store it and give it back to me later. Sure, you're going to have some significant challenges in the architecture or something like that as it goes from this thing that I'm talking about as an MVP to something planet-scale—like a Spotify for example—but that's not most businesses, and that's okay. Get out of the way and let people innovate and iterate on what it is they're doing more rapidly, and make it more accessible to teach people. That becomes huge; that gets the infrastructure bits that cloud providers excel at out of the way, and all it really takes is packaging those things into a golden path of what a given company of a particular profile should be doing, if—unless they have reason to deviate from it—and instead of having this giant paradox of choice issue, it's, “Oh, okay, I'll drag-drop, build things accordingly.”And under the hood, it's doing all the configuration of services and that's great. But suddenly, you've made being a founder of a software company—fundamentally—accessible to people who are not themselves software engineers. And I know that's anathema to some people, and I don't even slightly care because I am done with gatekeeping.Richard: Yeah. No, it's exciting if that can pull off. I mean, it's not the years ago where, how much capital was required to find the rack and do all sorts of things with tech, and hire some developers. And it's an amazing time to be software creators, now. The more we can enable that—yeah, I'm along for that journey, sign me up.Corey: I'm looking forward to seeing how it winds up shaking out. So, I want to talk a little bit about the paradox of choice problem that I just mentioned. If you take a look at the various compute services that every cloud provider offers, there are an awful lot of different choices as far as what you can run. There's the VM model, there's containers—if you're in AWS, you have 17 ways to run those—and you wind up—any of the serverless function story, and other things here and there, and managed services, I mean and honestly, Google has a lot of them, nowhere near as many as you do failed messaging products, but still, an awful lot of compute options. How do customers decide?What is the decision criteria that you see? Because the worst answer you can give someone who doesn't really know what they're doing is, “It depends,” because people don't know how to make that decision. It's, “What factors should I consider then, while making that decision?” And the answer has to be something somewhat authoritative because otherwise, they're going to go on the internet and get yelled at by everyone because no one is ever going to agree on this, except that everyone else is wrong.Richard: Mm-hm. Yeah, I mean, on one hand, look, I like that we intentionally have fewer choices than others because I don't think you need 17 ways to run a container. I think that's excessive. I think more than five is probably excessive because as a customer, what is the trade-off? Now, I would argue first off, I don't care if you have a lot of options as a vendor, but boy, the backends of those better be consistent.Meaning if I have a CI/CD tool in my portfolio and it only writes to two of them, shame on me. Then I should make sure that at least CI/CD, identity management, log management, monitoring, arguably your compute runtime should be a late-binding choice. And maybe that's blasphemous because somebody says, “I want to start up front knowing it's a function,” or, “I want to start it's a VM.” How about, as a developer, I couldn't care less. How about I just build cool software and maybe even at deploy time, I say, “This better fits in running in Kubernetes.” “This is better in a virtual machine.”And my cost of changing that later is meaningless because, hey, if it is in the container, I can switch it between three or four different runtimes, the identity management the same, it logs the exact same way, I can deploy CI/CD the same way. So, first off, if those things aren't the same, then the vendor is messing up. So, the customer shouldn't have to pay the cost of that. And then there gets to be other actual criteria. Look, I think you are looking at the workload itself, the team who makes it, and the strategy to figure out the runtime.It's easy for us. Google Compute Engine for VMs, containers go in GKE, managed services that need some containers, there are some apps around them, are Cloud Functions and Cloud Run. Like, it's fairly straightforward and it's going to be an OR situation—or an AND situation not an OR, which is great. But we're at least saying the premium way to run containers in Google Cloud for systems is GKE. There you go. If you do have a bunch of managed services in your architecture and you're stitching them together, then you want more serverless things like Cloud Run and Cloud Functions. And if you want to just really move some existing workload, GCE is your best choice. I like that that's fairly straightforward. There's still going to be some it depends, but it feels better than nine ways to run Kubernetes engines.Corey: I'm sure we'll see them in the fullness of time.Richard: [laugh].Corey: So, talk about Anthos a bit. That was a thing that was announced a while back and it was extraordinarily unclear what it was. And then I looked at the pricing and it was $10,000 a month with a one-year minimum commitment, and is like, “Oh, it's not for me. That's why I don't get it.” And I haven't really looked back at it since. But it is something else now. It almost feels like a wrapper brand, in some respects. How's it going? [unintelligible 00:29:26]?Richard: Yeah. Consumption, we'll talk more upcoming months on some of the adoption, but we're finally getting the hockey stick, which always comes delayed with platforms because nobody adopts platforms quickly. They buy the platform and a year later they start to actually build new development, migrate the things they have. So, we're starting to see the sort of growth. But back to your first point. And I even think I poorly tried to explain it a year ago with you. Basically, look, Anthos is the ability to manage fleets of GKE clusters, wherever they are. I don't care if they're on-prem, I don't care if they're in Google Cloud, I don't care if they're Amazon. We have one customer who only uses Anthos on AWS. Awesome, rock on.So, how do I put GKE clusters everywhere, but then do fleet management because look, some people are doing an app per cluster. They don't want to jam 50 apps in the cluster from different teams because they don't like the idea that this app requires root access; now you can screw around with mine. Or, you didn't update; that broke the cluster. I don't want any of that. So, you're going to see companies more, doing even app per cluster, app per developer per cluster.So, now I have a fleet problem. How do I keep it in sync? How do I make sure policy is consistent? Those sorts of things. So, Anthos is kind of solving the fleet management challenge and replacing people's first-gen app platform.Seeing a lot of those use cases, “Hey, we're retiring our first version of Docker Enterprise, Mesos, Cloud Foundry, even OpenShift,” saying, “All right, now's the time for our next version of our app platform. How about GKE, plus Cloud Run on top of it, plus other stuff?” Sounds good. So, going well is a, sort of—as you mentioned, there's a brand story here, mainly because we've also done two things that probably matter to you. A, we changed the price a lot.No minimum commit, remarkably at 20% of the cost it was when we launched, on purpose because we've gotten better at this. So, much cheaper, no minimum commit, pay as you go. Be on-premises, on bare metal with GKE. Pay by the hour, I don't care; sounds great. So, you can do that sort of stuff.But then more importantly, if you're a GKE customer and you just want config management, service mesh, things like that, now you can buy all of those independently as well. And Anthos is really the brand for fleet management of GKE. And if you're on Google Cloud only, it adds value. If you're off Google Cloud, if you're multi-cloud, I don't care. But I want to manage fleets of compute clusters and create them. We're going to keep doubling down on that.Corey: The big problem historically for understanding a lot of the adoption paradigm of Kubernetes has been that it was, to some extent, a reimagining of how Google ran and built software internally. And I thought at the time, the idea was—from a cynical perspective—that, “All right, well, your crappy apps don't run well on Google-style infrastructure so we're going to teach the entire world how to write software the way that we do.” And then you end up with people running their blog on top of Kubernetes, where it's one of those, like, the first blog post is, like, “How I spent the last 18 months building Kubernetes.” And, okay, that is certainly a philosophy and an approach, but it's almost approaching Windows 95 launch level of hype, where people who didn't own computers were buying copies of it, on some level. And I see the term come up in conversations in places where it absolutely has no place being brought up. “How do I run a Kubernetes cluster inside of my laptop?” And, “It's what you got going on in there, buddy?”Richard: [laugh].Corey: “What do you think you're trying to do here because you just said something that means something that I think is radically different to me than it is to you.” And again, I'm not here to judge other people's workflows; they're all terrible, except for mine, which is an opinion held by everyone about their own workflow. But understanding where people are, figuring out how to get there, how to meet customers where they are and empower them. And despite how heavily Google has been into the Kubernetes universe since its inception, you're very welcoming to companies—and loud-mouth individuals on Twitter—who have no use for Kubernetes. And working through various products you offer, I don't ever feel like a second-class citizen. There's really something impressive about that, of not letting the hype dictate the product and marketing decisions of it.Richard: Yeah, look, I think I tweeted it recently, I think the future of software is managed services with containers in the gap, for the most part. Whereas—if you can use managed services, please do. Use them wherever you can. And if you have to sling some code, maybe put it in a really portable thing that's really easy to run in lots of places. So, I think that's smart.But for us, look, I think we have the best container workflow from dev tools, and build tools, and artifact registries, and runtimes, but plenty of people are running containers, and you shouldn't be running Kubernetes all over the place. That makes sense for the workload, I think it's better than a VM at the retail edge. Can I run a small cluster, instead of a weird point-of-sale Windows app? Maybe. Maybe it makes sense to have a lightweight Kubernetes cluster there for consistency purposes.So, for me, I think it's a great medium for a subset of software. Google Cloud is going to take whatever you got, which is great. I think containers are great, but at the same time, I'm happily going to let you deploy a function that responds to you adding a storage item to a bucket, where at the same time give you a SaaS service that replaces the need for any code. All of those are terrific. So yeah, we love Kubernetes. We think it's great. We're going to be the best version to run it. But that's not going to be your whole universe.Corey: No, and I would argue it absolutely shouldn't be.Richard: [laugh]. Right. Agreed. Now again, for some companies, it's a great replacement for this giant fleet of VMs that all runs at eight percent utilization. Can I stick this into a bunch of high-density clusters? Absolutely you should. You're going to save an absolute fortune doing that and probably pick up some resilience and functionality benefits.But to your point, “Do I want to run a WordPress site in there?” I don't know, probably not. “Do I need to run my own MySQL?” I'd prefer you not do that. So, in a lot of cases, don't use it unless you have to. That should go for all compute nowadays. Use managed services.Corey: I'm a big believer in going down that approach just because it is so much easier than trying to build it yourself from popsicle sticks because you theoretically might have to move it someday in the future, even though you're not.Richard: [laugh]. Right.Corey: And it lets me feel better about a thing that isn't going to be used by anything that I'm doing in the near future. I just don't pretend to get it.Richard: No, I don't install a general purpose electric charger in my garage for any electric car I may get in the future; I charge for the one I have now. I just want it to work for my car; I don't want to plan for some mythical future. So yeah, premature optimization over architecture, or death in IT, especially nowadays where speed matters, don't waste your time building something that can run in nine clouds.Corey: Richard, I want to thank you for coming on again a year later to suffer my slings, arrows, and other various implements of misfortune. If people want to learn more about what you're doing, how you're doing it, possibly to pull a Forrest Brazeal and go work with you, where can they find you?Richard: Yeah, we're a fun place to work. So, you can find me on Twitter at @rseroter—R-S-E-R-O-T-E-R—hang out on LinkedIn, annoy me on my blog seroter.com as I try to at least explore our tech from time to time and mess around with it. But this is a fun place to work. There's a lot of good stuff going on here, and if you work somewhere else, too, we can still be friends.Corey: Thank you so much for your time today. Richard Seroter, director of outbound product management at Google. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment into which you have somehow managed to shove a running container.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Air Force Radio News
Air Force Radio News 10 November 2021

Air Force Radio News

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021


Today's Story: Augmented Reality for Deployments

Screaming in the Cloud
Building a Partnership with Your Cloud Provider with Micheal Benedict

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 54:44


About Micheal Micheal Benedict leads Engineering Productivity at Pinterest. He and his team focus on developer experience, building tools and platforms for over a thousand engineers to effectively code, build, deploy and operate workloads on the cloud. Mr. Benedict has also built Infrastructure and Cloud Governance programs at Pinterest and previously, at Twitter -- focussed on managing cloud vendor relationships, infrastructure budget management, cloud migration, capacity forecasting and planning and cloud cost attribution (chargeback). Links: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com Teletraan: https://github.com/pinterest/teletraan Twitter: https://twitter.com/micheal Pinterestcareers.com: https://pinterestcareers.com TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: You know how git works right?Announcer: Sorta, kinda, not really. Please ask someone else!Corey: Thats all of us. Git is how we build things, and Netlify is one of the best way I've found to build those things quickly for the web. Netlify's git based workflows mean you don't have to play slap and tickle with integrating arcane non-sense and web hooks, which are themselves about as well understood as git. Give them a try and see what folks ranging from my fake Twitter for pets startup, to global fortune 2000 companies are raving about. If you end up talking to them, because you don't have to, they get why self service is important—but if you do, be sure to tell them that I sent you and watch all of the blood drain from their faces instantly. You can find them in the AWS marketplace or at www.netlify.com. N-E-T-L-I-F-Y.comCorey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Every once in a while, I like to talk to people who work at very large companies that are not in fact themselves a cloud provider. I know it sounds ridiculous. How can you possibly be a big company and not make money by selling managed NAT gateways to an unsuspecting public? But I'm told it can be done here to answer that question. And hopefully at least one other is Pinterest. It's head of engineering productivity, Micheal Benedict. Micheal, thank you for taking the time to join me today.Micheal: Hi, Corey, thank you for inviting me today. I'm really excited to talk to you.Corey: So, exciting times at Pinterest in a bunch of different ways. It was recently reported—which of course, went right to the top of my inbox as 500,000 people on Twitter all said, “Hey, this sounds like a ‘Corey would be interested in it' thing.” It was announced that you folks had signed a $3.2 billion commitment with AWS stretching until 2028. Now, if this is like any other large-scale AWS contract commitment deal that has been made public, you were probably immediately inundated with a whole bunch of people who are very good at arithmetic and not very good at business context saying, “$3.2 billion? You could build massive data centers for that. Why would anyone do this?” And it's tiresome, and that's the world in which we live. But I'm guessing you heard at least a little bit of that from the peanut gallery.Micheal: I did, and I always find it interesting when direct comparisons are made with the total amount that's been committed. And like you said, there's so many nuances that go into how to perceive that amount, and put it in context of, obviously, what Pinterest does. So, I at least want to take this opportunity to share with everyone that Pinterest has been on the cloud since day one. When Ben initially started the company, that product was launched—it was a simple Django app—it was launched on AWS from day one, and since then, it has grown to support 450-plus million MAUs over the course of the decade.And our infrastructure has grown pretty complex. We started with a bunch of EC2 machines and persisting data in S3, and since then we have explored an array of different products, in fact, sometimes working very closely with AWS, as well and helping them put together a product roadmap for some of the items they're working on as well. So, we have an amazing partnership with them, and part of the commitment and how we want to see these numbers is how does it unlock value for Pinterest as a business over time in terms of making us much more agile, without thinking about the nuances of the infrastructure itself. And that's, I think, one of the best ways to really put this into context, that it's not a single number we pay at the end [laugh] of the month, but rather, we are on track to spending a certain amount over a period of time, so this just keeps accruing or adding to that number. And we basically come out with an amazing partnership in AWS, where we have that commitment and we're able to leverage their products and full suite of items without any hiccups.Corey: The most interesting part of what you said is the word partner. And I think that's the piece that gets lost an awful lot when we talk about large-scale cloud negotiations. It's not like buying a car, where you can basically beat the crap out of the salesperson, you can act as if $400 price difference on a car is the difference between storm out of the dealership and sign the contract. Great, you don't really have to deal with that person ever again.In the context of a cloud provider, they run your production infrastructure, and if they have a bad day, I promise you're going to have a bad day, too. You want to handle those negotiations in a way that is respectful of that because they are your partner, whether you want them to be or not. Now, I'm not suggesting that any cloud provider is going to hold an awkward negotiation against the customer, but at the same time, there are going to be scenarios in which you're going to want to have strong relationships, where you're going to need to cash in political capital to some extent, and personally, I've never seen stupendous value in trying to beat the crap out of a company in order to get another tenth of a percent discount on a service you barely use, just because someone decided that well, we didn't do well in the last negotiation so we're going to get them back this time.That's great. What are you actually planning to do as a company? Where are you going? And the fact that you just alluded to, that you're not just a pile of S3 and EC2 instances speaks, in many ways, to that. By moving into the differentiated service world, suddenly you're able to do things that don't look quite as much like building a better database and start looking a lot more like servicing your users more effectively and well.Micheal: And I think, like you said, I feel like there's like a general skepticism in viewing that the cloud providers are usually out there to rip you apart. But in reality, that's not true. To your point, as part of the partnership, especially with AWS and Pinterest, we've got an amazing relationship going on, and behind the scenes, there's a dedicated team at Pinterest, called the Infrastructure Governance Team, a cross-functional team with folks from finance, legal, engineering, product, all sitting together and working with our AWS partners—even the AWS account managers at the times are part of that—to help us make both Pinterest successful, and in turn, AWS gets that amazing customer to work with in helping build some of their newer products as well. And that's one of the most important things we have learned over time is that there's two parts to it; when you want to help improve your business agility, you want to focus not just on the bottom line numbers as they are. It's okay to pay a premium because it offsets the people capital you would have to invest in getting there.And that's a very tricky way to look at math, but that's what these teams do; they sit down and work through those specifics. And for what it's worth, in our conversations, the AWS teams always come back with giving us very insightful data on how we're using their systems to help us better think about how we should be pricing or looking things ahead. And I'm not the expert on this; like I said, there's a dedicated team sitting behind this and looking through and working through these deals, but that's one of the important takeaways I hope the users—or the listeners of this podcast then take away that you want to treat your cloud provider as your partner as much as possible. They're not always there to screw you. That's not their goal. And I apologize for using that term. It is important that you set that expectations that it's in their best interest to actually make you successful because that's how they make money as well.Corey: It's a long-term play. I mean, they could gouge you this quarter, and then you're trying to evacuate as fast as possible. Well, they had a great quarter, but what's their long-term prospect? There are two competing philosophies in the world of business; you can either make a lot of money quickly, or you can make a little bit of money and build it over time in a sustained way. And it's clear the cloud providers are playing the long game on this because they basically have to.Micheal: I mean, it's inevitable at this point. I mean, look at Pinterest. It is one of those success stories. Starting as a Django app on a bunch of EC2 machines to wherever we are right now with having a three-plus billion dollar commitment over a span of couple of years, and we do spend a pretty significant chunk of that on a yearly basis. So, in this case, I'm sure it was a great successful partnership.And I'm hoping some of the newer companies who are building the cloud from the get-go are thinking about it from that perspective. And one of the things I do want to call out, Corey, is that we did initially start with using the primitive services in AWS, but it became clear over time—and I'm sure you heard of the term multi-cloud and many of that—you know, when companies start evaluating how to make the most out of the deals they're negotiating or signing, it is important to acknowledge that the cost of any of those evaluations or even thinking about migrations never tends to get factored in. And we always tend to treat that as being extremely simple or not, but those are engineering resources you want to be spending more building on the product rather than these crazy costly migrations. So, it's in your best interest probably to start using the most from your cloud provider, and also look for opportunities to use other cloud providers—if they provide more value in certain product offerings—rather than thinking about a complete lift-and-shift, and I'm going to make DR as being the primary case on why I want to be moving to multi-cloud.Corey: Yeah. There's a question, too, of the numbers on paper look radically different than the reality of this. You mentioned, Pinterest has been on AWS since the beginning, which means that even if an edict had been passed at the beginning, that, “Thou shalt never build on anything except EC2 and S3. The end. Full stop.”And let's say you went down that rabbit hole of, “Oh, we don't trust their load balancers. We're going to build our own at home. We have load balancers at home. We'll use those.” It's terrible, but even had you done that and restricted yourselves just to those baseline building blocks, and then decide to do a cloud migration, you're still looking back at over a decade of experience where the app has been built unconsciously reflecting the various failure modes that AWS has, the way that it responds to API calls, the latency in how long it takes to request something versus it being available, et cetera, et cetera.So, even moving that baseline thing to another cloud provider is not a trivial undertaking by any stretch of the imagination. But that said—because the topic does always come up, and I don't shy away from it; I think it's something people should go into with an open mind—how has the multi-cloud conversation progressed at Pinterest? Because there's always a multi-cloud conversation.Micheal: We have always approached it with some form of… openness. It's not like we don't want to be open to the ideas, but you really want to be thinking hard on the business case and the business value something provides on why you want to be doing x. In this case, when we think about multi-cloud—and again, Pinterest did start with EC2 and S3, and we did keep it that way for a long time. We built a lot of primitives around it, used it—for example, my team actually runs our bread and butter deployment system on EC2. We help facilitate deployments across a 100,000-plus machines today.And like you said, we have built that system keeping in mind how AWS works, and understanding the nuances of region and AZ failovers and all of that, and help facilitate deployments across 1000-plus microservices in the company. So, thinking about leveraging, say, a Google Cloud instance and how that works, in theory, we can always make a case for engineering to build our deployment system and expand there, but there's really no value. And one of the biggest cases, usually, when multi-cloud comes in is usually either negotiation for price or actually a DR strategy. Like, what if AWS goes down in and us-east-1? Well, let's be honest, they're powering half the internet [laugh] from that one single—Corey: Right.Micheal: Yeah. So, if you think your business is okay running when AWS goes down and half the internet is not going to be working, how do you want to be thinking about that? So, DR is probably not the best reason for you to be even exploring multi-cloud. Rather, you should be thinking about what the cloud providers are offering as a very nuanced offering which your current cloud provider is not offering, and really think about just using those specific items.Corey: So, I agree that multi-cloud for DR purposes is generally not necessarily the best approach with the idea of being able to failover seamlessly, but I like the idea for backups. I mean, Pinterest is a publicly-traded company, which means that among other things, you have to file risk disclosures and be responsive to auditors in a variety of different ways. There are some regulations to start applying to you. And the idea of, well, AWS builds things out in a super effective way, region separation, et cetera, whenever I talk to Amazonians, they are always surprised that anyone wouldn't accept that, “Oh, if you want backups use a different region. Problem solved.”Right, but it is often easier for me to have a rehydrate the business level of backup that would take weeks to redeploy living on another cloud provider than it is for me to explain to all of those auditors and regulators and financial analysts, et cetera why I didn't go ahead and do that path. So, there's always some story for okay, what if AWS decides that they hate us and want to kick us off the platform? Well, that's why legal is involved in those high-level discussions around things like risk, and indemnity, and termination for convenience and for cause clauses, et cetera, et cetera. The idea of making an all-in commitment to a cloud provider goes well beyond things that engineering thinks about. And it's easy for those of us with engineering backgrounds to be incredibly dismissive of that of, “Oh, indemnity? Like, when does AWS ever lose data?” “Yeah, but let's say one day they do. What is your story going to be when asked some very uncomfortable questions by people who wanted you to pay attention to this during the negotiation process?” It's about dotting the i's and crossing the t's, especially with that many commas in the contractual commitments.Micheal: No, it is true. And we did evaluate that as an option, but one of the interesting things about compliance, and especially auditing as well, we generally work with the best in class consultants to help us work through the controls and how we audit, how we look at these controls, how to make sure there's enough accountability going through. The interesting part was in this case, as well, we were able to work with AWS in crafting a lot of those controls and setting up the right expectations as and when we were putting proposals together as well. Now, again, I'm not an expert on this and I know we have a dedicated team from our technical program management organization focused on this, but early on we realized that, to your point, the cost of any form of backups and then being able to audit what's going in, look at all those pipelines, how quickly we can get the data in and out it was proving pretty costly for us. So, we were able to work out some of that within the constructs of what we have with our cloud provider today, and still meet our compliance goals.Corey: That's, on some level, the higher point, too, where everything is everything comes down to context; everything comes down to what the business demands, what the business requires, what the business will accept. And I'm not suggesting that in any case, they're wrong. I'm known for beating the ‘Multi-cloud is a bad default decision' drum, and then people get surprised when they'll have one-on-one conversations, and they say, “Well, we're multi-cloud. Do you think we're foolish?” “No. You're probably doing the right thing, just because you have context that is specific to your business that I, speaking in a general sense, certainly don't have.”People don't generally wake up in the morning and decide they're going to do a terrible job or no job at all at work today, unless they're Facebook's VP of Integrity. So, it's not the sort of thing that lends itself to casual tweet size, pithy analysis very often. There's a strong dive into what is the level of risk a business can accept? And my general belief is that most companies are doing this stuff right. The universal constant in all of my consulting clients that I have spoken to about the in-depth management piece of things is, they've always asked the same question of, “So, this is what we've done, but can you introduce us to the people who are doing it really right, who have absolutely nailed this and gotten it all down?” “It's, yeah, absolutely no one believes that that is them, even the folks who are, from my perspective, pretty close to having achieved it.”But I want to talk a bit more about what you do beyond just the headline-grabbing large dollar figure commitment to a cloud provider story. What does engineering productivity mean at Pinterest? Where do you start? Where do you stop?Micheal: I want to just quickly touch upon that last point about multi-cloud, and like you said, every company works within the context of what they are given and the constraints of their business. It's probably a good time to give a plug to my previous employer, Twitter, who are doing multi-cloud in a reasonably effective way. They are on the data centers, they do have presence on Google Cloud, and AWS, and I know probably things have changed since a couple of years now, but they have embraced that environment pretty effectively to cater to their acquisitions who were on the public cloud, help obviously, with their initial set of investments in the data center, and still continue to scale that out, and explore, in this case, Google Cloud for a variety of other use cases, which sounds like it's been extremely beneficial as well.So, to your point, there is probably no right way to do this. There's always that context, and what you're working with comes into play as part of making these decisions. And it's important to take a lot of these with a grain of salt because you can never understand the decisions, why they were made the way they were made. And for what it's worth, it sort of works out in the end. [laugh]. I've rarely heard a story where it's never worked out, and people are just upset with the deals they've signed. So, hopefully, that helps close that whole conversation about multi-cloud.Corey: I hope so. It's one of those areas where everyone has an opinion and a lot of them do not necessarily apply universally, but it's always fun to take—in that case, great, I'll take the lesser trod path of everyone's saying multi-cloud is great, invariably because they're trying to sell you something. Yeah, I have nothing particularly to sell, folks. My argument has always been, in the absence of a compelling reason not to, pick a provider and go all in. I don't care which provider you pick—which people are sometimes surprised to hear.It's like, “Well, what if they pick a cloud provider that you don't do consulting work for?” Yeah, it turns out, I don't actually need to win every AWS customer over to have a successful working business. Do what makes sense for you, folks. From my perspective, I want this industry to be better. I don't want to sit here and just drum up business for myself and make self-serving comments to empower that. Which apparently is a rare tactic.Micheal: No, that's totally true, Corey. One of the things you do is help people with their bills, so this has come up so many times, and I realize we're sort of going off track a bit from that engineering productivity discussion—Corey: Oh, which is fine. That's this entire show's theme, if it has one.Micheal: [laugh]. So, I want to briefly just talk about the whole billing and how cost management works because I know you spend a lot of time on that and you help a lot of these companies be effective in how they manage their bills. These questions have come up multiple times, even at Pinterest. We actually in the past, when I was leading the infrastructure governance organization, we were working with other companies of our similar size to better understand how they are looking into getting visibility into their cost, setting sort of the right controls and expectations within the engineering organization to plan, and capacity plan, and effectively meet those plans in a certain criteria, and then obviously, if there is any risk to that, actively manage risk. That was like the biggest thing those teams used to do.And we used to talk a lot trade notes, and get a better sense of how a lot of these companies are trying to do—for example, Netflix, or Lyft, or Stripe. I recall Netflix, content was their biggest spender, so cloud spending was like way down in the list of things for them. [laugh]. But regardless, they had an active team looking at this on a day-to-day basis. So, one of the things we learned early on at Pinterest is that start investing in those visibility tools early on.No one can parse the cloud bills. Let's be honest. You're probably the only person who can reverse… [laugh] engineer an architecture diagram from a cloud bill, and I think that's like—definitely you should take a patent for that or something. But in reality, no one has the time to do that. You want to make sure your business leaders, from your finance teams to engineering teams to head of the executives all have a better understanding of how to parse it.So, investing engineering resources, take that data, how do you munch it down to the cost, the utilization across the different vectors of offerings, and have a very insightful discussion. Like, what are certain action items we want to be taking? It's very easy to see, “Oh, we overspent EC2,” and we want to go from there. But in reality, that's not just that thing; you will start finding out that EC2 is being used by your Hadoop infrastructure, which runs hundreds of thousands of jobs. Okay, now who's actually responsible for that cost? You might find that one job which is accruing, sort of, a lot of instance hours over a period of time and a shared multi-tenant environment, how do you attribute that cost to that particular cost center?Corey: And then someone left the company a while back, and that job just kept running in perpetuity. No one's checked the output for four years, I guess it can't be that necessarily important. And digging into it requires context. It turns out, there's no SaaS tool to do this, which is unfortunate for those of us who set out originally to build such a thing. But we discovered pretty early on the context on this stuff is incredibly important.I love the thing you're talking about here, where you're discussing with your peer companies about these things because the advice that I would give to companies with the level of spend that you folks do is worlds apart from what I would advise someone who's building something new and spending maybe 500 bucks a month on their cloud bill. Those folks do not need to hire a dedicated team of people to solve for these problems. At your scale, yeah, you probably should have had some people in [laugh] here looking at this for a while now. And at some point, the guidance changes based upon scale. And if there's one thing that we discover from the horrible pages of Hacker News, it's that people love applying bits of wisdom that they hear in wildly inappropriate situations.How do you think about these things at that scale? Because, a simple example: right now I spend about 1000 bucks a month at The Duckbill Group, on our AWS bill. I know. We have one, too. Imagine that. And if I wind up just committing admin credentials to GitHub, for example, and someone compromises that and start spinning things up to mine all the Bitcoin, yeah, I'm going to notice that by the impact it has on the bill, which will be noticeable from orbit.At the level of spend that you folks are at, at company would be hard-pressed to spin up enough Bitcoin miners to materially move the billing needle on a month-to-month basis, just because of the sheer scope and scale. At small bill volumes, yeah, it's pretty easy to discover the thing that spiking your bill to three times normal. It's usually a managed NAT gateway. At your scale, tripling the bill begins to look suspiciously like the GDP of a small country, so what actually happened here? Invariably, at that scale, with that level of massive multiplier, it's usually the simplest solution, an error somewhere in the AWS billing system. Yes, they exist. Imagine that.Micheal: They do exist, and we've encountered that.Corey: Kind of heartstopping, isn't it?Micheal: [laugh]. I don't know if you remember when we had the big Spectre and the Meltdown, right, and those were interesting scenarios for us because we had identified a lot of those issues early on, given the scale we operate, and we were able to, sort of, obviously it did have an impact on the builds and everything, but that's it; that's why you have these dedicated teams to fix that. But I think one of the points you made, these are large bills and you're never going to have a 3x jump the next day. We're not going to be seeing that. And if that happens, you know, God save us. [laugh].But to your point, one of the things we do still want to be doing is look at trends, literally on a week-over-week basis because even a one percentage move is a pretty significant amount, if you think about it, which could be funding some other aspects of the business, which we would prefer to be investing on. So, we do want to have enough rigor and controls in place in our technical stack to identify and alert when something is off track. And it becomes challenging when you start using those higher-order services from your public cloud provider because there's no clear insights on how do you, kind of, parse that information. One of the biggest challenges we had at Pinterest was tying ownership to all these things.No, using tags is not going to cut it. It was so difficult for us to get to a point where we could put some sense of ownership in all the things and the resources people are using, and then subsequently have the right conversation with our ads infrastructure teams, or our product teams to help drive the cost improvements we want to be seeing. And I wouldn't be surprised if that's not a challenge already, even for the smaller companies who have bills in the tunes of tens and thousands, right?Corey: It is. It's predicting the spend and trying to categorize it appropriately; that's the root of all AWS bill panic on the corporate level. It's not that the bill is 20% higher, so we're going to go broke. Most companies spend far more on payroll than they do on infrastructure—as you mentioned with Netflix, content is a significantly larger [laugh] expense than any of those things; real estate, it's usually right up there too—but instead it's, when you're trying to do business forecasting of, okay, if we're going to have an additional 1000 monthly active users, what will the cost for us be to service those users and, okay, if we're seeing a sudden 20% variance, if that's the new normal, then well, that does change our cost projections for a number of years, what happens? When you're public, there starts to become the question of okay, do we have to restate earnings or what's the deal here?And of course, all this sidesteps past the unfortunate reality that, for many companies, the AWS bill is not a function of how many customers you have; it's how many engineers you hired. And that is always the way it winds up playing out for some reason. “It's why did we see a 10% increase in the bill? Yeah, we hired another data science team. Oops.” It's always seems to be the data science folks; I know I'd beat up on those folks a fair bit, and my apologies. And one day, if they analyze enough of the data, they might figure out why.Micheal: So, this is where I want to give a shout out to our data science team, especially some of the engineers working in the Infrastructure Governance Team putting these charts together, helping us derive insights. So, definitely props to them.I think there's a great segue into the point you made. As you add more engineers, what is the impact on the bottom line? And this is one of the things actually as part of engineering productivity, we think about as well on a long-term basis. Pinterest does have over 1000-plus engineers today, and to large degree, many of them actually have their own EC2 instances today. And I wouldn't say it's a significant amount of cost, but it is a large enough number, were shutting down a c5.9xl can actually fund a bunch of conference tickets or something else.And then you can imagine that sort of the scale you start working with at one point. The nuance here is though, you want to make sure there's enough flexibility for these engineers to do their local development in a sustainable way, but when moving to, say production, we really want to tighten the flexibility a bit so they don't end up doing what you just said, spin up a bunch of machines talking to the API directly which no one will be aware of.I want to share a small anecdote because when back in the day, this was probably four years ago, when we were doing some analysis on our bills, we realized that there was a huge jump every—I believe Wednesday—in our EC2 instances by almost a factor of, like, 500 to 600 instances. And we're like, “Why is this happening? What is going on?” And we found out there was an obscure job written by someone who had left the company, calling an EC2 API to spin up a search cluster of 500 machines on-demand, as part of pulling that ETL data together, and then shutting that cluster down. Which at times didn't work as expected because, you know, obviously, your Hadoop jobs are very predictable, right?So, those are the things we were dealing with back in the day, and you want to make sure—since then—this is where engineering productivity as team starts coming in that our job is to enable every engineer to be doing their best work across code building and deploying the services. And we have done this.Corey: Right. You and I can sit here and have an in-depth conversation about the intricacies of AWS billing in a bunch of different ways because in different ways we both specialize in it, in many respects. But let's say that Pinterest theoretically was foolish enough to hire me before I got into this space as an engineer, for terrifying reasons. And great. I start day one as a typical software developer if such a thing could be said to exist. How do you effectively build guardrails in so that I don't inadvertently wind up spinning up all the EC2 instances available to me within an account, which it turns out are more than one might expect sometimes, but still leave me free to do my job without effectively spending a nine-month safari figuring out how AWS bills work?Micheal: And this is why teams like ours exist, to help provide those tools to help you get started. So today, we actually don't let anyone directly use AWS APIs, or even use the UI for that matter. And I think you'll soon realize, the moment you hit, like, probably 30 or 40 people in your organization, you definitely want to lock it down. You don't want that access to be given to anyone or everyone. And then subsequently start building some higher-order tools or abstraction so people can start using that to control effectively.In this case, if you're a new engineer, Corey, which it seems like you were, at some point—Corey: I still write code like I am, don't worry.Micheal: [laugh]. So yes, you would get access to our internal tool to actually help spin up what we call is a dev app, where you get a chance to, obviously, choose the instance size, not the instance type itself, and we have actually constrained the instance types we have approved within Pinterest as well. We don't give you the entire list you get a chance to choose and deploy to. We actually have constraint to based on the workload types, what are the instance types we want to support because in the future, if we ever want to move from c3 to c5—and I've been there, trust me—it is not an easy thing to do, so you want to make sure that you're not letting people just use random instances, and constrain that by building some of these tools. As a new engineer, you would go in, you'd use the tool, and actually have a dev app provisioned for you with our Pinterest image to get you started.And then subsequently, we'll obviously shut it down if we see you not being using it over a certain amount of time, but those are sort of the guardrails we've put in over there so you never get a chance to directly ever use the EC2 APIs, or any of those AWS APIs to do certain things. The similar thing applies for S3 or any of the higher-order tools which AWS will provide, too.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. 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Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: How does that interplay with AWS launches yet another way to run containers, for example, and that becomes a valuable potential avenue to get some business value for a developer, but the platform you built doesn't necessarily embrace that capability? Or they release a feature to an existing tool that you use that could potentially be a just feature capability story, much more so than a cost savings one. How do you keep track of all of that and empower people to use those things so they're not effectively trying to reimplement DynamoDB on top of EC2?Micheal: That's been a challenge, actually, in the past for us because we've always been very flexible where engineers have had an opportunity to write their own solutions many a times rather than leveraging the AWS services, and of late, that's one of the reasons why we have an infrastructure organization—an extremely lean organization for what it's worth—but then still able to achieve outsized outputs. Where we evaluate a lot of these use cases, as they come in and open up different aspects of what we want to provide say directly from AWS, or build certain abstractions on top of it. Every time we talk about containers, obviously, we always associate that with something like Kubernetes and offerings from there on; we realized that our engineers directly never ask for those capabilities. They don't come in and say, “I need a new container orchestration system. Give that to me, and I'm going to be extremely productive.”What people actually realize is that if you can provide them effective tools and that can help them get their job done, they would be happy with it. For example, like I said, our deployment system, which is actually an open-source system called Teletraan. That is the bread and butter at Pinterest at which my team runs. We operate 100,000-plus machines. We have actually looked into container orchestration where we do have a dedicated Kubernetes team looking at it and helping certain use cases moved there, but we realized that the cost of entire migrations need to be evaluated against certain use cases which can benefit from being on Kubernetes from day one. You don't want to force anyone to move there, but give them the right incentives to move there. Case in point, let's upgrade your OS. Because if you're managing machines, obviously everyone loves to upgrade their OSes.Corey: Well, it's one of the things I love savings plans versus RIs; you talk about the c3 to c5 migration and everyone has a story about one of those, but the most foolish or frustrating reason that I ever saw not to do the upgrade was what we bought a bunch of Reserved Instances on the C3s and those have a year-and-a-half left to run. And it's foolish not on the part of customers—it's economically sound—but on the part of AWS where great, you're now forcing me to take a contractual commitment to something that serves me less effectively, rather than getting out of the way and letting me do my job. That's why it's so important to me at least, that savings plans cover Fargate and Lambda, I wish they covered SageMaker instead of SageMaker having its own thing because once again, you're now architecturally constrained based upon some ridiculous economic model that they have imposed on us. But that's a separate rant for another time.Micheal: No, we actually went through that process because we do have a healthy balance of how we do Reserved Instances and how we look at on-demand. We've never been big users have spot in the past because just the spot market itself, we realized that putting that pressure on our customers to figure out how to manage that is way more. When I say customers, in this case, engineers within the organization.Corey: Oh, yes. “I want to post some pictures on Pinterest, so now I have to understand the spot market. What?” Yeah.Micheal: [laugh]. So, in this case, when we even we're moving from C3 to C5—and this is where the partnership really plays out effectively, right, because it's also in the best interest of AWS to deprecate their aging hardware to support some of these new ones where they could also be making good enough premium margins for what it's worth and give the benefit back to the user. So, in this case, we were able to work out an extremely flexible way of moving to a C5 as soon as possible, get help from them, actually, in helping us do that, too, allocating capacity and working with them on capacity management. I believe at one point, we were actually one of the largest companies with a C3 footprint and it took quite a while for us to move to C5. But rest assured, once we moved, the savings was just immense. We were able to offset any of those RI and we were able to work behind the scenes to get that out. But obviously, not a lot of that is considered in a small-scale company just because of, like you said, those constraints which have been placed in a contractual obligation.Corey: Well, this is an area in which I will give the same guidance to companies of your scale as well as small-scale companies. And by small-scale, I mean, people on the free tier account, give or take, so I do mean the smallest of the small. Whenever you wind up in a scenario where you find yourself architecturally constrained by an economic barrier like this, reach out to your account manager. I promise you have one. Every account, even the tiny free tier accounts, have an account manager.I have an account manager, who I have to say has probably one of the most surreal jobs that AWS, just based upon the conversations I throw past him. But it's reaching out to your provider rather than trying to solve a lot of this stuff yourself by constraining how you're building things internally is always the right first move because the worst case is you don't get anywhere in those conversations. Okay, but at least you explored that, as opposed to what often happens is, “Oh, yeah. I have a switch over here I can flip and solve your entire problem. Does that help anything?”Micheal: Yeah.Corey: You feel foolish finding that out only after nine months of dedicated work, it turns out.Micheal: Which makes me wonder, Corey. I mean, do you see a lot of that happening where folks don't tend to reach out to their account managers, or rather treat them as partners in this case, right? Because it sounds like there is this unhealthy tension, I would say, as to what is the best help you could be getting from your account managers in this case.Corey: Constantly. And the challenge comes from a few things, in my experience. The first is that the quality of account managers and the technical account managers—the folks who are embedded many cases with your engineering teams in different ways—does vary. AWS is scaling wildly and bursting at the seams, and people are hard to scale.So, some are fantastic, some are decidedly less so, and most folks fall somewhere in the middle of that bell curve. And it doesn't take too many poor experiences for the default to be, “Oh, those people are useless. They never do anything we want, so why bother asking them?” And that leads to an unhealthy dynamic where a lot of companies will wind up treating their AWS account manager types as a ticket triage system, or the last resort of places that they'll turn when they should be involved in earlier conversations.I mean, take Pinterest as an example of this. I'm not sure how many technical account managers you have assigned to your account, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the ratio of technical account managers to engineers working on the environment is incredibly lopsided. It's got to be a high ratio just because of the nature of how these things work. So, there are a lot of people who are actively working on things that would almost certainly benefit from a more holistic conversation with your AWS account team, but it doesn't occur to them to do it just because of either perceived biases around levels of competence, or poor experiences in the past, or simply not knowing the capabilities that are there. If I could tell one story around the AWS account management story, it would be talk to folks sooner about these things.And to be clear, Pinterest has this less than other folks, but AWS does themselves no favors by having a product strategy of, “Yes,” because very often in service of those conversations with a number of companies, there is the very real concern of are they doing research so that they can launch a service that competes with us? Amazon as a whole launching a social network is admittedly one of the most hilarious ideas I [laugh] can come up with and I hope they take a whack at it just to watch them learn all these lessons themselves, but that is again, neither here nor there.Micheal: That story is very interesting, and I think you mentioned one thing; it's just that lack of trust, or even knowing what the account managers can actually do for you. There seems to be just a lack of education on that. And we also found it the hard way, right? I wouldn't say that Pinterest figured this out on day one. We evolved sort of a relationship over time. Yes, our time… engagements are, sort of, lopsided, but we were able to negotiate that as part of deals as we learned a bit more on what we can and we cannot do, and how these individuals are beneficial for Pinterest as well. And—Corey: Well, here's a question for you, without naming names—and this might illustrate part of the challenge customers have—how long has your account manager—not the technical account managers, but your account manager—been assigned to your account?Micheal: I've been at Pinterest for five years and I've been working with the same person. And he's amazing.Corey: Which is incredibly atypical. At a lot of smaller companies, it feels like, “Oh, I'm your account manager being introduced to you.” And, “Are you the third one this year? Great.” What happens is that if the account manager excels, very often they get promoted and work with a smaller number of accounts at larger spend, and whereas if they don't find that AWS is a great place for them for a variety of reasons, they go somewhere else and need to be backfilled.So, at the smaller account, it's, “Great. I've had more account managers in a year than you've had in five.” And that is often the experience when you start seeing significant levels of rotation, especially on the customer engineering side where you wind up with you have this big kickoff, and everyone's aware of all the capabilities and you look at it three years later, and not a single person who was in that kickoff is still involved with the account on either side, and it's just sort of been evolving evolutionarily from there. One thing that we've done in some of our larger accounts as part of our negotiation process is when we see that the bridges have been so thoroughly burned, we will effectively request a full account team cycle, just because it's time to get new faces in where the customer, in many cases unreasonably, is not going to say, “Yeah but a year-and-a-half ago you did this terrible thing and we're still salty about it.” Fine, whatever. I get it. People relationships are hard. Let's go ahead and swap some folks out so that there are new faces with new perspectives because that helps.Micheal: Well, first off, if you had so many switches in account manager, I think that's something speaks about [laugh] how you've been working, too. I'm just kidding. There are a bu—Corey: Entirely possible. In seriousness, yes. But if you talk to—like, this is not just me because in my case, yeah, I feel like my account manager is whoever drew the short straw that week because frankly, yeah, that does seem like a great punishment to wind up passing out to someone who is underperforming. But for a lot of folks who are in the mid-tier, like, spending $50 to $100,000 a month, this is a very common story.Micheal: Yeah. Actually, we've heard a bit about this, too. And like you said, I think maintaining context is the most thing. You really want your account manager to vouch for you, really be your champion in those meetings because AWS, like you said is so large, getting those exec time, and reviews, and there's so many things that happen, your account manager is the champion for you, or right there. And it's important and in fact in your best interest to have a great relationship with them as well, not treat them as, oh yet another vendor.And I think that's where things start to get a bit messy because when you start treating them as yet another vendor, there is no incentive for them to do the best for you, too. You know, people relationships are hard. But that said though, I think given the amount of customers like these cloud companies are accruing, I wouldn't be surprised; every account manager seems to be extremely burdened. Even in our case, although I've been having a chance to work with this one person for a long time, we've actually expanded. We have now multiple account managers helping us out as we've started scaling to use certain aspects of AWS which we've never explored before.We were a bit constrained and reserved about what service we want to use because there have been instances where we have tried using something and we have hit the wall pretty immediately. API rate limits, or it's not ready for primetime, and we're like, “Oh, my God. Now, what do we do?” So, we have a bit more cautious. But that said, over time, having an account manager who understands how you work, what scale you have, they're able to advocate with the internal engineering teams within the cloud provider to make the best of supporting you as a customer and tell that success story all the way out.So yeah, I can totally understand how this may be hard, especially for those small companies. For what it's worth, I think the best way to really think about it is not treat them as your vendor, but really go out on a limb there. Even though you signed a deal with them, you want to make sure that you have the continuing relationship with them to have—represent your voice better within the company. Which is probably hard. [laugh].Corey: That's always the hard part. Honestly, if this were the sort of thing that were easy to automate, or you could wind up building out something that winds up helping companies figure out how to solve these things programmatically, talk about interesting business problems that are only going to get larger in the fullness of time. This is not going away, even if AWS stopped signing up new customers entirely right now, they would still have years of growth ahead of them just from organic growth. And take a company with the scale of Pinterest and just think of how many years it would take to do a full-on exodus, even if it became priority number one. It's not realistic in many cases, which is why I've never been a big fan of multi-cloud as an approach for negotiation. Yeah, AWS has more data on those points than any of us do; they're not worried about it. It just makes you sound like an unsophisticated negotiator. Pick your poison and lean in.Micheal: That is the truth you just mentioned, and I probably want to give a call out to our head of infrastructure, [Coburn 00:42:13]. He's also my boss, and he had brought this perspective as well. As part of any negotiation discussions, like you just said, AWS has way more data points on this than what we think we can do in terms of talking about, “Oh, we are exploring this other cloud provider.” And it's—they would be like, “Yeah. Do tell me more [laugh] how that's going.”And it's probably in the best interest to never use that as a negotiation tactic because they clearly know the investments that's going to build on what you've done, so you might as well be talking more—again, this is where that relationship really plays together because you want both of them to be successful. And it's in their best interest to still keep you happy because the good thing about at least companies of our size is that we're probably, like, one phone call away from some of their executive team, where we could always talk about what didn't work for us. And I know not everyone has that opportunity, but I'm really hoping and I know at least with some of the interactions we've had with the AWS teams, they're actively working and building that relationship more and more, giving access to those customer advisory boards, and all of them to have those direct calls with the executives. I don't know whether you've seen that in your experience in helping some of these companies?Corey: Have a different approach to it. It turns out when you're super loud and public and noisy about AWS and spend too much time in Seattle, you start to spend time with those people on a social basis. Because, again, I'm obnoxious and annoying to a lot of AWS folks, but I'm also having an obnoxious habit of being right in most of the things I'm pointing out. And that becomes harder and harder to ignore. I mean, part of the value that I found in being able to do this as a consultant is that I begin to compare and contrast different customer environments on a consistent ongoing basis.I mean, the reason that negotiation works well from my perspective is that AWS does a bunch of these every week, and customers do these every few years with AWS. And well, we do an awful lot of them, too, and it's okay, we've seen different ways things can get structured and it doesn't take too long and too many engagements before you start to see the points of commonality in how these things flow together. So, when we wind up seeing things that a customer is planning on architecturally and looking to do in the future, and, “Well, wait a minute. Have you talked to the folks negotiating the contract about this? Because that does potentially have bearing and it provides better data than what AWS is gathering just through looking at overall spend trends. So yeah, bring that up. That is absolutely going to impact the type of offer you get.”It just comes down to understanding the motivators that drive folks and it comes down to, I think understanding the incentives. I will say that across the board, I have never yet seen a deal from AWS come through where it was, “Okay, at this point you're just trying to hoodwink the customer and get them to sign on something that doesn't help them.” I've seen mistakes that can definitely lead to that impression, and I've seen areas where they're doing data is incomplete and they're making assumptions that are not borne out in reality. But it's not one of those bad faith type—Micheal: Yeah.Corey: —of negotiations. If it were, I would be framing a lot of this very differently. It sounds weird to say, “Yeah, your vendor is not trying to screw you over in this sense,” because look at the entire IT industry. How often has that been true about almost any other vendor in the fullness of time? This is something a bit different, and I still think we're trying to grapple with the repercussions of that, from a negotiation standpoint and from a long-term business continuity standpoint, when your faith is linked—in a shared fate context—with your vendor.Micheal: It's in their best interest as well because they're trying to build a diversified portfolio. Like, if they help 100 companies, even if one of them becomes the next Pinterest, that's great, right? And that continued relationship is what they're aiming for. So, assuming any bad faith over there probably is not going to be the best outcome, like you said. And two, it's not a zero-sum game.I always get a sense that when you're doing these negotiations, it's an all-or-nothing deal. It's not. You have to think they're also running a business and it's important that you as your business, how okay are you with some of those premiums? You cannot get a discount on everything, you cannot get the deal or the numbers you probably want almost everything. And to your point, architecturally, if you're moving in a certain direction where you think in the next three years, this is what your usage is going to be or it will come down to that, obviously, you should be investing more and negotiating that out front rather than managed NAT [laugh] gateways, I guess. So, I think that's also an important mindset to take in as part of any of these negotiations. Which I'm assuming—I don't know how you folks have been working in the past, but at least that's one of the key items we have taken in as part of any of these discussions.Corey: I would agree wholeheartedly. I think that it just comes down to understanding where you're going, what's important, and again in some cases knowing around what things AWS will never bend contractually. I've seen companies spend six weeks or more trying to get to negotiate custom SLAs around services. Let me save everyone a bunch of time and money; they will not grant them to you.Micheal: Yeah.Corey: I promise. So, stop asking for them; you're not going to get them. There are other things they will negotiate on that they're going to be highly case-dependent. I'm hesitant to mention any of them just because, “Well, wait a minute, we did that once. Why are you talking about that in public?” I don't want to hear it and confidentiality matters. But yeah, not everything is negotiable, but most things are, so figuring out what levers and knobs and dials you have is important.Micheal: We also found it that way. AWS does cater to their—they are a platform and they are pretty clear in how much engagement—even if we are one of their top customers, there's been many times where I know their product managers have heavily pushed back on some of the requests we have put in. And that makes me wonder, they probably have the same engagement even with the smallest of customers, there's always an implicit assumption that the big fish is trying to get the most out of your public cloud providers. To your point, I don't think that's true. We're rarely able to negotiate anything exclusive in terms of their product offerings just for us, if that makes sense.Case in point, tell us your capacity [laugh] for x instances or type of instances, so we as a company would know how to plan out our scale-ups or scale-downs. That's not going to happen exclusively for you. But those kind of things are just, like, examples we have had a chance to work with their product managers and see if, can we get some flexibility on that? For what it's worth, though, they are willing to find a middle ground with you to make sure that you get your answers and, obviously, you're being successful in your plans to use certain technologies they offer or [unintelligible 00:48:31] how you use their services.Corey: So, I know we've gone significantly over time and we are definitely going to do another episode talking about a lot of the other things that you're involved in because I'm going to assume that your full-time job is not worrying about the AWS bill. In fact, you do a fair number of things beyond that; I just get stuck on that one, given that it is but I eat, sleep, breathe, and dream about.Micheal: Absolutely. I would love to talk more, especially about how we're enabling our engineers to be extremely productive in this new world, and how we want to cater to this whole cloud-native environment which is being created, and make sure people are doing their best work. But regardless, Corey, I mean, this has been an amazing, insightful chat, even for me. And I really appreciate you having me on the show.Corey: No, thank you for joining me. If people want to learn more about what you're up to, and how you think about things, where can they find you? Because I'm also going to go out on a limb and assume you're also probably hiring, given that everyone seems to be these days.Micheal: Well, that is true. And I wasn't planning to make a hiring pitch but I'm glad that you leaned into that one. Yes, we are hiring and you can find me on Twitter at twitter dot com slash M-I-C-H-E-A-L. I am spelled a bit differently, so make sure you can hit me up, and my DMs are open. And obviously, we have all our open roles listed on pinterestcareers.com as well.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:49:45]. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I really appreciate it.Micheal: Thank you, Corey. It was really been great on your show.Corey: And I'm sure we'll do it again in the near future. Micheal Benedict, Head of Engineering Productivity at Pinterest. I am Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a long rambling comment about exactly how many data centers Pinterest could build instead.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Screaming in the Cloud
That Datadog Will Hunt with Dann Berg

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 41:24


About DannDann Berg is a Senior CloudOps Analyst at Datadog, and has nearly a decade of experience working in the cloud and optimizing multi-million dollar budgets. He is also an active member of the larger technical community, hosting the monthly New York City FinOps Meetup, and has been published multiple times in places such as MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and others. When he's not saving companies millions of dollars, he's writing plays, and has had two full-lengh plays produced in New York City and China.Links: Datadog: https://www.datadoghq.com Personal Website: https://dannb.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dannberg/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/dannberg Monthly newsletter: https://dannb.org/newsletter/ Previous SITC episode with Dann Berg, Episode 51: https://www.lastweekinaws.com/podcast/screaming-in-the-cloud/episode-51-size-of-cloud-bill-not-about-number-of-customers-but-number-of-engineers-you-ve-hired/ TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking databases, observability, management, and security.And - let me be clear here - it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build.With Always Free you can do things like run small scale applications, or do proof of concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free. No asterisk. Start now. Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. If there's one thing that I love, it is certainly not AWS billing, but for better or worse, that's where my career has led me. Way back in Episode 51, I had Dann Berg, the CloudOps analyst at Datadog. And now he's back for more. Things have changed. He's now a senior CloudOps analyst, and I'm hoping my jokes have gotten better. Dann, thanks for being bold enough to come out and find out.Dann: Yeah. I'm excited to see if these jokes have gotten better. That's the main reason for coming back.Corey: Exactly. Because it turns out that death, taxes, and AWS bills are the things that are inevitable and never seem to change.Dann: Yeah. They just keep coming. They never stop, and they're always slightly different than you expect. I guess, just like death and taxes.Corey: So, when we spoke back in, I want to say 2019 is when it aired, so probably that—ish—is when we had the conversation, if not a little bit before that, you were effectively a team of one, and as mentioned, had the CloudOps analyst title. Now, you're a senior CloudOps analyst, which I assume just means you're older. Is the team larger as well? What does that process look like? How has it evolved in the last couple years?Dann: Yeah, it's been interesting, especially being a single organization and that organization being Datadog, that to be able to grow the team a little bit. So, as you said, it was just me. Now, it's a total of four people, including myself, so three others. And, yeah, it's been interesting just in terms of my own professional development, being able to identify what needs to be done, how much capacity I have, and being able to grow it over time, especially in this fairly new space of being specifically focused on cloud cost billing. So, kind of that bridge between engineering and finance, which itself is kind of a fairly new space, still.Corey: It is. And my favorite part of having these conversations with folks who have no idea what this space is, is learning—when I was starting—out how to talk about this in a way that didn't lead down weird paths. It's, “Oh, you save money on Amazon bills? Can you help me save money on socks?” It's like, “No. Well, yes. Get the Prime card, it gives you 5% off. But no.” And yeah, I talk about camelcamelcamel and other ways of working around the retail side, but that's not really what I do.It's similar to back when I was doing SRE-style work. I made it a point never to talk about being someone involved in working in tech, or suddenly you're the neighborhood printer repair person. Similarly, you have, I guess, gone in a strange direction because you weren't, to my recollection, someone who had a strong SRE background. That's not where you came from in the traditional sense, is it?Dann: No, not an SRE background at all. Yeah, I mean, it's really interesting. So, talking about this space, I mean, people are calling it a lot of different things, cloud economics, the term FinOps—financial operations—is being used a lot, now—Corey: Cloud financial management is another popular one. Oh, swing a dead cat, you'll hit 15 different words, and I give—my advice on that, even though I hate some of the terms is, cool. If people are going to pay you to have a title, even if you think it's ridiculous, you can take the money or you can die on a petty naming hill and here we are.Dann: Yeah. And it's interesting because the role that I was hired for at Datadog was very much this niche, very specific role that I didn't realize was a niche, very specific role at the time. So previously, I was at a company and I was building out their data centers, so I was working with vendors, buying servers, sometimes going on-site, installing, racking those, dealing with RMAs. And I was getting more involved as their cloud usage was growing and bringing some of those hardware capitalization cost procedures to the cloud. And so I found myself in this kind of niche role in my previous company.And a Datadog, they basically had the exact same role that was dealing with all of the billing stuff around the cloud—kind of from an engineering perspective because it was on the engineering team—but working closely with finance, and I was like, “Oh, these are the skills that I have.” And it kind of fit perfectly. And it wasn't until after I got to Datadog and was doing more research about this specific space that I discovered just how wide open it was. And I mean, meeting you was one of the earliest things that I did in the industry. Discovering the FinOps Foundation and a few other things has kind of like opened my eyes to this as an actual career path.Corey: It's an expensive problem that isn't going away anytime soon, and it is foundational and core to the entire rest of how companies are building things these days. My argument has been for a while that when it comes to cloud, cost and architecture are the exact same thing. You don't have the deep SRE architect background, but you're also now a member of a four-person team. Does everyone in the team have the same skill set as you, or do you wind up effectively tagging in subject matter experts from different areas? How is the team composed? People love to ask me this question, and I strongly believe there's no one way to do it. But what's your answer?Dann: Yeah, I mean, the team works very much in terms of everybody kind of taking on tasks that they need to do, but we did hire for specific skill sets when we tried to find people. So, the first person that we hired, we wanted them to have more of a developer engineer type background, writing code, stuff like that. The third hire, we were looking for somebody that was more of a generalist. I've seen myself more as a generalist in the space; anything that's going on, I can pick it up and make some progress on it and build something out. And then the fourth person, we were lacking some of the deeper FP&A or FinOps experience, and so we found somebody with more of that kind of background and less of the engineering experience, but they were eager to, kind of, move from finance into more of an engineering role. And I feel like this is the perfect role for that because I feel like there are a lot of non-engineers that want to break into engineering and don't really know how to do it. And if you are in finance, in FP&A, finding one of these more cloud-cost-optimization-specific roles is the great way to bridge that gap, I feel.Corey: The last time we spoke, I was independent, doing this all myself, and it turns out that taking all of the things that make me and trying to find those in other people is a relatively heavy lift, even if you discount the things like ‘obnoxious on Twitter.' So, how do you start decomposing that? Well, now we're a dozen people and we've found ways to do it. But by and large in our experience, for the way that we interact—and I want to get to that in a second—is that it's easier for us to teach engineers how finance works than it is the opposite direction. And there are exceptions to that, and as we scale, I can easily see a day in the near future where that is no longer the case.However, we also have two very specific styles of engagement. We do our cost optimization projects, where we go into an environment and, “Oh, fix this. Turn that thing off. Do you really need eight copies of those four petabytes of data? Oh, you didn't realize they were there. Great, maybe delete it.” And we look like wizards from the future and things are great.The other project that we do is contract negotiation with AWS, especially at large scale. It's never as simple as people would have you believe because, “Oh, you're doing co-marketing efforts, and you have a very specific use case, and there are business partnerships on 15 different levels, and that all factors into how this works.” It's nuanced and challenging, and of course, because it's a series of anecdata, I can't really tell too many stories in public about that. But those are the two things that we wind up focusing on. You are focusing on a very different problem.You're not moving from company to company, basically reimplementing the same global problem, solving it locally for them. You are embedded in an account for the duration, almost four years now by my count. And, “Okay, I guess I could just do a whole bunch of cost optimization projects on a quarterly basis in an environment like that,” doesn't seem like it solves the problem in any meaningful way. What does your team do?Dann: Yeah. Well, I mean, that's such an interesting question. Just in terms of—yeah, if you're doing consulting, you're starting from square one every time you get a new contract, a new engagement, and being at the same company for, like you said, about four years, going on four years now, you really have a chance to dive in and think about, “Okay, what does it mean to work cloud cost optimization into just the regular business cycle of how it works?” Because I mean, you have the triangle that everybody's familiar with: things can either be cheaper, faster, efficient and at different stages in the product lifecycle, you want to be focusing on these areas, more or less. And so, on our team, the different things that I'm thinking about is, first is visibility, is you want to provide engineers visibility into their cost. And not just numbers, right? Actionable visibility where if something needs to change, they need to do something, they know what that is.And a lot of the times, that means not just costs, but also efficiency. So, these are the metrics that this particular application should be scaling against. As this application grows, as usage grows, are we remaining as cost-efficient? Then there's also the piece—as you're saying—like discovering things within the infrastructure that, “Hey, if we make this change, or if you turn this off, if we do things this way, we'll save a bunch of money. Let's do those.”There's things like reservations, committed use discounts for GCP, all of those kinds of things we manage. And then dealing closely with verifying our bill, working with finance—FP&A—on cost modeling forecasting, both short-term—like, within a month; like, what are we going to be at the end of this month and it's the 10th right now?—and also, what does our next quarter look like? What are our next two years look like? And that bleeds into the contract negotiations, those kind of things as well.So, I mean, it's setting up the cycles of how do you prioritize this work? What is the company focusing on at the time? And what can you do when the company is not focusing explicitly on deciding to save money?Corey: One of the more interesting aspects of my work that I didn't expect is, whenever I wind up starting an engagement, or even in the prospect stage, I love asking the dumbest possible questions I can think of because it turns out they're not. And the most common one that I always love to start with is, “Oh, okay. Your AWS bill is too high. Why do you care?” And that often takes people aback, but once you dig down underneath the surface just a little bit, it becomes pretty clear that the actual goal is not that it's too much money—because spoiler, payroll always cost more than infrastructure—instead, it's, “How do I think about this? How do I rationalize what the additional costs are going to be per thousand monthly active users or whatever metric it is you're choosing to use?”And how do you wind up forecasting that because the old days of data centers where you—“Well, we're going to spend a boatload of money, and then we'll have capacity for the next, ehh, two years, maybe down to eighteen months, depending on growth,” that's easier for companies to rationalize around, rather than this idea of incremental cost on a per-unit basis, but not exactly because it also turns out that architecture changes, problems of scale, AWS pricing changes from time to time, all tend to impact that. What I think is not well understood in this space is that yeah, if you have a 20% overage this month, people are going to have some serious questions, but they're also going to have those same questions if you're 20% low.Dann: Yeah. I mean, understanding why people care about the cost is definitely the first step because with a single company, so it's just constantly looking at the numbers rather than understanding exactly what motivations a company has to contact somebody like you, like a consultant, right? Because usually, I imagine that it's going to be a bill, maybe two bills, three bills come in, and they keep going up and up and up, and they need to go down. And they're going to have an explicit reason why it needs to go down; finance is going to say, “Margins are x, y, and z,” or, “Revenue has done this; our costs can't do this.” There's going to be explicit reasons because if there aren't reasons, then they shouldn't necessarily be focusing on costs at that moment in time.What you want to do is have—I mean, this is way more complicated than just saying it out loud, but have a culture of cloud cost mindfulness, where people aren't just spinning up resources willy nilly. But also, my goal is for people not to have to really think about cost that much other than just in a way that helps them do their work. Because I mean, I want engineers to be able to build stuff and build stuff fast—that's what the cloud is all about—but I also want to be able to do it in a way that isn't inappropriately high in cost.Corey: I have my thoughts on this, and I've shared them before and I'll dive into them again, but how do you approach that? If Datadog makes a grievous error and hires me to write code somewhere as an engineer, what is the, I guess, cost approach training for me as I wind up going through my onboarding as part of an SRE team or an application team?Dann: I mean, this feels so basic as to not even be the right answer, but honestly, visibility is the easiest and best thing that you can give people, and so we've built out some visibility reports that engineers get on a regular basis. We also meet with our top—what is it—ten or fifteen spending internal engineering teams on a monthly basis to go over those costs so that they understand what they're looking at so that we understand the context behind it, so that we can understand what's on the roadmap going forward so that when things in the cost happen, we're aware. And then we're just staying on top of things. And if we have questions, we have an open dialogue with engineers and things like that.In an ideal space, it would be great to have cost, I guess, more fit into the product development lifecycle in a more deeply ingrained way, but at the same time, I really don't want to serve as a gatekeeper. Our goal is not to stop any sort of engineering process. And we haven't needed to do anything like that although I guess every company is going to be different in terms of what their needs are. But yeah, I'm totally happy to being a little bit more reactionary in terms of looking at the numbers and responding, and then proactive just in terms of the regular communication with people.Corey: I tend to take the perspective that engineers need to know enough about cost to maybe fill an index card at most because you don't want them, I guess, over-fixating on it. Left to my own devices in my personal account, I'll see a $7 a month bill and, “Oh, I'm going to spend two weeks knocking that down to $4.” And of course, I can do it, but is that the best use of my time? Absolutely not.Very often what is a lot of money to an engineer is absolutely not to the business. And vice versa when you bring in a data science team; it's, “Oh, yeah, we need at least four more exabytes of data because we never learned to do a join properly.” Yeah, maybe don't do that. Understanding the difference between those two approaches is key. But I've always been of the mindset that I would rather bias for letting developers build and experiment and have things that catch outsized things quickly, then trying to wind up putting a culture of fear around cost because I'd much rather see whether the thing they're trying to build is possible to build, then go back and optimize it later, once that's proven out. But again, this is a nuanced thing.Everyone seems to think I have this back pocket answer that will apply to all companies. And you've been doing this at Datadog for almost four years with a team of people. I am an outsider; I see the global trend, I see what works in different ways in different companies, but the idea that I can sit down and say, “Oh. Well, clearly the thing you're doing is completely wrong because that's not how I think about it,” is the hallmark of a terrible consultant. There are reasons that things are the way that they are and it's generally not that people are expecting to do a terrible job today. You know, unless they work in the Facebook ethics department, which is neither here nor there.Dann: Yeah, I mean, like I said, the product lifecycle, when you're building something new, you want to go as fast as possible. When you're launching it, you want it to be as reliable as possible. Once you're launched, once you're reliable, then you can start focusing on costs is, kind of like, not the universal rule, but kind of the flow that I tend to see. So, as you're at a company that is regularly innovating, creating new products, going through that cycle, you're going to have these kind of periods.As well as you have the products that have been around. There's a lot of legacy code, there's a lot of stuff going on, that maybe isn't the best, or some efficiency work that has been deprioritized for whatever reason, that maybe it's time to start considering doing this. So, keeping track of all of that. And like I said, if for whatever reason the business wants to focus on cloud cost efficiency, or a team has decided that in a particular quarter or for a particular reason they want to focus on that, being able to assist as much as you can, being able to save all that work so that there's kind of like a queue that you can go to when it is time to focus on cost efficiency stuff.Corey: So, here's a fun one for you. As of the time of this recording, it's a couple weeks old, but if you're anything like what we do here for some of our more sophisticated clients, we do occasionally build out prediction models, models of economics that wind up defining how some architectural patterns should be addressed, et cetera, et cetera. What's always fun is the large clients who have this significant level of spend on an outlier service. Every once in a while—it was great that we got to do a deep dive into the Washington Post's use of Lambda because normally, Lambda is a rounding error on the bill; they had a specific challenge and they did a whole blog post on this for the AWS blog. I believe the Monitoring Tools blog, but don't take that at face value; I never remember which AWS blog is which because AWS doesn't speak with a single voice on anything.But yeah, most of the time is block, tackle, baseline stuff that is the big driver of spend, but a few weeks ago, they change the pricing dimensions for S3 intelligent tiering, where there's no longer a monitoring charge for objects that are smaller than 128 kilobytes, and there's no 30-day minimum. So, the fact that those two things went away removed almost every caveat that I can picture for using S3 intelligent tiering, which means that for most use cases, that should now be the default. I imagine you caught that change as well, since that's one of those wake up and take notice, no matter what time of the world [laugh] it is where you are when that gets dropped. How did that change your modeling? Or did that not significantly shift how you view any of this?Dann: No, I mean, I think part of our role within the organization is to pay attention to stuff like that, and then you just have those conversations with the teams that I know were either exploring intelligent tiering. We do some pricing modeling for different products, S3 storage for different types, so updating those and being like, “Hey, this might be something we want to actually use and explore now.” Similar and I guess, more of something that I actively worked on that I consider in the same category is when Amazon announced savings plans as replacing convertible reservations. Because at first they announced, and being like, “Okay, well, it's going to automatically rebalance between… different instance families across regions, too”—which convertible RIs could never do it—“And it's going to be the exact same price for a compute savings plan as a convertible RI.” And we were kind of like, what's the catch? And we spent a few weeks doing a deep dive working with our data science team, kind of like being, “Where is the catch here?”Corey: Yeah, the real catch is that you can't sell it on the secondary market if it—Dann: Yeah.Corey: —turns out you bought the wrong thing, which if that's your Plan A, then good luck.Dann: Yeah. We definitely don't use that secondary market. I don't have as much experience there, although I'm sure some people can use it to their advantage.Corey: Almost no one does. In fact, the reason that it exists—my pet theory—is that once upon a time, companies would try and classify some of the reserved instance purchases as capital expenditures, which there has since been guidance from regulatory authorities not to do that. But at the time, the fact that you could sell it to a third-party on the secondary market would help shore up that argument. If you're listening to this, and you're classifying some of your RIs as CapEx, please don't do that. Feel free to reach out to me, I can dig out the actual regulation and send it to you. There are two of them. It's a nuanced topic. If you're listening to this and have no idea what I'm talking about, God, do I envy you.Dann: [laugh]. Yeah, definitely don't do that. [laugh].Corey: There was a lot that was interesting about savings plans. When I was read in the month or so in advance of them being announced, it was, “Great. I want to see this and this and these other things, too.” And some of those things came to pass. It was extended to work with Lambda.Now, I don't believe that is financially useful in almost every case, but it doesn't need to be because so much of cloud economics from where I sit is psychological in nature, where, “Oh, we have this workload that lives on EC2 instances and we want to move it to Lambda, but we already bought the reserved instances so we're not going to do it because of sunk cost fallacy.” Which is not much of a fallacy when it's that kind of money, in some cases. Okay, great. Now, if it can migrate to Lambda and still wind up getting the discounts you've paid for it, you have removed an architectural barrier. And that's significant.Now, I want to see that same thing apply to oh if you move from EC2 to RDS, or DynamoDB or anything else, that should be helpful, too. But whatever you do, don't do what SageMaker did and launch their own separate savings plan that is not compatible with the compute savings plans, so effectively, it's great; you're locked-in architecturally to one or the other because machine learning is, once again, a marvelously executed scam to sell pickaxes into a digital gold rush.Dann: I mean, I like savings plans a lot and we've been slowly, as convertible RIs have expired, replacing them with savings plans. And I think that it is pushing the other cloud providers forward—because we're definitely multi-cloud—and so that's really useful and I hope more people will take on the compute savings plan type model, just because it makes our lives so much easier. Or it makes my life so much easier in terms of planning it, selling the commitment internally, just everything about it has made my life easier. So, I mean, how many years later are we? I definitely haven't found any big gotchas, I guess, from the secondary market. But that doesn't really impact me.Corey: Yeah, I spent a lot of time looking forward, too, doing deep analyses of okay, for which instance classes in which regions is there a price discrepancy? And I finally got someone to go semi on record and say, “Yeah. There should not be any please ping us if you find one.” “Oh, okay, great. That is enough for me to work with.”Dann: Exactly, we got that, too. I didn't believe it so we were downloading price sheets and doing comparisons, doing all that stuff.Corey: Oh, trust but verify. And when we're talking this kind of money, I don't trust very far. They make mistakes on billing issues from time to time. And I get it; it's hard, but there are challenges here and there. I am glad you mentioned a minute ago that you are multi-cloud because my position on that has often been misconstrued.I think that designing something from day one to work on multiple cloud providers is generally foolish. I think that unless you have a compelling reason not to go all-in on one cloud provider, that's what you should do. Pick a cloud—I don't care which—and go all-in. Conversely, you have a product like Datadog where your customers are in multiple clouds, and first, no one wants to pay egress to send all the telemetry from where they are into AWS, and secondly, they're not going to put up, in many cases, with their data going to a cloud provider they have explicitly chosen not to work with, so you have to meet your customers where they are. In your case, it is absolutely the right thing to do. And Twitter often gets upset and calls me hypocrite on stuff like this because Twitter believes that two things that take opposite visions cannot possibly both be true, but the world is messy.Dann: Yeah. And I mean, the nice thing about us being in multiple clouds is we are our own biggest user. And that's actually one of the reasons why I love working at Datadog is because I get to use Datadog all the time. And not only that, Datadog is on everything and we have all of our products. I'm very spoiled [laugh] with all of this. But I mean, we are running in these different cloud providers; we are using Datadog in those different cloud providers, and that is just helping everything overall, too. In addition to supporting customers that are in each cloud because that is a huge reason as well.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: One of the problems that I keep running into across the board is that with things like Datadog—and again, not to single you out; every monitoring vendor to some extent has aspects of this problem—it's that when I'm a customer and I'm hooking my accounts up to Datadog, I want you to tell me about things that are going on, but the CloudWatch charges can be so egregious on the customer side, where it is bizarre and, frankly, abhorrent to me when I wind up paying more for the CloudWatch charges than I am for Datadog. And let's be clear here; I am, in fact, a Datadog customer. I pay you folks money. Not a lot of money, but I pay you money because I have certain things that I need to know are working for a variety of excellent reasons.And the problem that I keep smacking into on this is—it's not your fault; there's not anything you can do. In fact, you are one of the better providers as far as not only not being egregious with the way that you slam the CloudWatch endpoints, but also in giving guidance to customers on how to tune it further. And I really wish that more folks in your space would do things like that. It always bugs me when I wind up using a tool that tries to save money that in turn winds up costing me more than it saves.Dann: Yeah. Yeah, it's tricky there. I have less experienced myself setting up Datadog and running it in my own infrastructure as I'm more digging deep into the cost stuff and us using the cloud, so I can't speak to that specifically. But yeah, you're not the first person that I've heard have that experience. [laugh].Corey: And again, it's not your fault at all. I've been beating up the CloudWatch team for years on this, and I will continue to do so until I'm safely dead, which—depending on Amazon's level of patience—might be in mere minutes.Dann: In the larger-picture-wise, we have to remember that we're super early in the cloud adoption, even looking at the cloud economics FinOps cloud cost optimization world. I feel like most businesses at this stage in their journey are still in data centers and they're dealing with the problem of how do we move to the cloud and do it cost-efficiently? How do we set everything up? And that's where the world is right now.And I think that dealing with, “Okay, we are one hundred percent running in the cloud. What are the processes that we have in place? How do we think of finance and the finance organization not through the lens of ‘we once had data centers and now we don't,' but how do we look through that in the lens of ‘okay, we are cloud-native from day one? What does the finance department look like?'” And dealing with those problems is really interesting because Datadog has never been in a data center. We are cloud-native from the very beginning, and so it was interesting for me to join the company and build up a lot of these processes because it is different than what a lot of other people were dealing with and doing. And it presents some really interesting problems and questions that I think are going to be the foundation for the next decade of building companies and operating in the cloud.Corey: I always love having conversations with folks who are building out teams to handle these things because usually the folks I keep talking to, or who want to have conversations like this are building tools themselves to solve this problem through the miracle of SaaS, where they will bend over backwards to avoid ever talking to a customer. And we're all dealing with the same AWS APIs; there's not that much of a new spin you can put on most of these things. But understanding what customers are actually trying to do instead of falling down the rabbit hole trap of, “Hey, turn off those idle instances that are all labeled ‘drsite' because you probably don't need them,” is foolish. And after a few foolish recommendations, tooling doesn't get there. I am a big believer that tools can assist the process and narrow down what to look at.I believe they shouldn't have to exist; I think that the billing dashboard should be a hell of a lot better natively than having to pay a third party to make sense of it for me. But by and large, I do believe this is a problem that is best solved from a consultative approach. When I started this place, I was planning to build out some software, tried doing it—called DuckTools—and wound up mothballing the whole thing because what we were building was not what the industry claimed to want and, frankly, educating people into a position where then they see the value and only then will they buy is never been a game that I wanted to play.Dann: Yeah, I really liked that article that you guys published about exploring that product and the reason why you decided not to pursue it. But it's super interesting in terms of where the industry is going and building out those tools because I found that there isn't really any new thing that you can do with the tools. All the tools that exist for looking at your costs are largely the same. The main differences that I've seen is that the UI is slightly different and they have different sales teams. And if the sales teams are better, they're going to get more of the market share. And if the sales teams are not as good, it's going to be a smaller market share. And it's weird, too, be in this industry for as long as we have been, and seeing okay, well, Andreessen Horowitz just funded this new company, and this other company got invited into Y Combinator, or all of these things that are happening, and I'm kind of like, okay, but what is this tool really doing differently? And there are a few of them that are; that are doing something innovative and different, but there's also a few that are just like, this is a space where people are in, there's money here, we're doing the same thing, but we got our sales team, and we'll carve out our little corner, and then we'll get acquired, and that'll be that. Although I guess we're just at that stage of innovation in this space, I guess.Corey: Yeah, I have no earthly idea what the story is around how these companies plan to differentiate because it seems to me that they're directly attempting to compete with Cost Explorer, which—Dann: Yeah.Corey: —it's taken some time for that thing to improve to the point where it is now and it'll take further time for it to improve beyond it, but long-term, I don't think you're going to outrun AWS on a straight line like that.Dann: Yeah, I mean, when you work for one of these third-party cost tooling things, and you're working with one of your customers, and they're like, “How do I view this?” And it's kind of like, that is the easiest thing to find in Cost Explorer as well, it's—I can't imagine being like, “Well, you should pay me thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to view it here,” when Cost Explorer is free. And I think Cost Explorer, it doesn't do everything, but it's gotten a lot better at what it does, and it could probably solve 90% of people's problems without using a third-party tool.Corey: You are at significant scale in multiple clouds, so the answer that these companies always give is, “Ah, but we provide a single dashboard so that you can look at costs across multiple providers in one place.” Is that even slightly useful to you?Dann: Man, if you need dashboards, get a dashboard tool. Don't get this crazy cost analysis tool. I mean, there are some great dashboard solutions that you can get where you can connect your detailed billing, cost and usage report—whatever cloud provider is calling it, but, like, that really detailed gigabytes per hour report—and then visualize it, build reports, do all that kind of stuff because that's not something that the tooling does well right now, in terms of building out cost dashboards and stuff. But that's also right now. It could in the future.Corey: Yeah. If you're a BI tool, wind up passing out templates that normalize these things? I am so tired of building it all from scratch in Tableau myself. If you're Tableau, sell me a whole bunch of things that I can use to view this stuff through, so I don't have to wind up continually reinventing that particular wheel.Dann: Yeah.Corey: Oh, I like your approach. I didn't know the answer when I was asking the question. I was about to learn something if you'd gone the other direction, but nope, but it's good to know that my impressions remain intact.Dann: Yeah, I mean, I've used different tools in the past. Again, I hesitate to name any of them, but there's a few in this space that I feel like everybody—if they're in this space, they know which tools I'm talking about—Corey: Yes, we do.Dann: —and… yeah, I've used them. They're okay—a few of them are okay, a few of them are better than others, but I mean, I was trying to evaluate the value-add over me manually setting some things up and having some sort of visualization, and just the value-add in terms of what they were charging, even if it was like a significantly smaller percent of the bill because that alone, like, percent of bill is such a difficult cost model—Corey: Oh—Dann: —to do.Corey: I hate that. Pricing is hard. Let's start there.Dann: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.Corey: I hate the percent of bill because then it's, “Let me get this straight. I'm paying you a percentage of things like data transfer charges that I know are fixed, that I can't optimize? I'm paying you a percentage of my AWS enterprise support subscription? I'm paying you a percentage of the marketplace?” And so on and so forth. And it doesn't work. At some point of scale as well it's, I could hire a team of 20 people and save money versus what you're charging me. The other side of it though, “Ah, we'll charge you percentage of savings.” Well, then you wind up with people doing a whole bunch of things like before they bring you in, they'll make a bunch of ill-advised reserved instance purchases or savings plan purchases you have to then unwind after the fact. When I was setting this place up, I looked long and hard at different billing models and the only thing I found that worked is fixed fee. The end. Because at that point, suddenly everyone's on board with, “Hey, let's solve the problem and then get out as soon as possible.” We're not trying to build ourselves a forever job nestled in the heart of your company. And it's the only model I found that removes a whole swath of conflicts of interest. And that's the hard part. We have no partners with anyone in this space—including AWS themselves—just because as soon as we do, it becomes extremely disingenuous when we suggest doing something for your sake that happens to benefit them, such as, “Maybe back that S3 bucket up somewhere.” Well, okay, if we're partnered with them, does that mean we're trying to influence spend in the other direction? And it just becomes a morass that I never found it worth the time to deal with.Dann: Yeah, I—Corey: But that doesn't work for SaaS.Dann: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I haven't actually thought about pricing model for consulting in this space that closely, but I mean, when you're charging a percent of bill or percent of savings, you have the opportunity to screw the customer, right, through all the things that you were saying. If you charge a fixed fee, you have the possibility of undervaluing yourself, which the only one that's screwed in that case is you, potentially, and if you're okay with that risk and you're okay with those dollars, that's great. Because yeah, if you're able to be like, “Okay, here's the services that I do, here's the fixed costs.” “Done.” “Done.” That just sets everybody's expectations for the relationship in a much better way that you're not constantly worried about, like, upsells and other things that might happen along the way that screws the customer.Corey: And that's the hardest part, I think, is that people lose sight of the entire customer obsession piece of it. That's one of the things Amazon gets super right. I wish more companies embrace that. Dann, I want to thank you for taking so much time out of your day to suffer my slings, and arrows, and half-formed opinions. If people want to learn more about who you are and what you're up to, where can they find you?Dann: Yeah, I have a website you guys can go to that links everywhere else. It is dannb.org. And I spell my name with two ns, so D-A-N-N-B dot org. And I have LinkedIn, I have Twitter, I have a monthly newsletter that is not really about FinOps or anything, but I really enjoy it; I've been doing it for a year, now, that you should sign up for.Corey: And links to that will, of course, be in the [show notes 00:36:26]. Dann, thanks again for your time. I really appreciate it.Dann: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me again. It's been a blast.Corey: It really has. Dann Berg, senior CloudOps analyst at Datadog. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a comment featuring a picture of several corkboards full of post-it notes and string, and a deranged comment telling me that you have in fact finally found the catch in savings plans.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Screaming in the Cloud
Making Multi-Cloud Waves with Betty Junod

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 35:13


About Betty Betty Junod is the Senior Director of Multi-Cloud Solutions at VMware helping organizations along their journey to cloud. This is her second time at VMware, having previously led product marketing for end user computing products.  Prior to VMware she held marketing leadership roles at Docker and solo.io in following the evolution of technology abstractions from virtualization, containers, to service mesh. She likes to hang out at the intersection of open source, distributed systems, and enterprise infrastructure software. @bettyjunod  Links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/BettyJunod Vmware.com/cloud: https://vmware.com/cloud TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: You know how git works right?Announcer: Sorta, kinda, not really Please ask someone else!Corey: Thats all of us. Git is how we build things, and Netlify is one of the best way I've found to build those things quickly for the web. Netlify's git based workflows mean you don't have to play slap and tickle with integrating arcane non-sense and web hooks, which are themselves about as well understood as git. Give them a try and see what folks ranging from my fake Twitter for pets startup, to global fortune 2000 companies are raving about. If you end up talking to them, because you don't have to, they get why self service is important—but if you do, be sure to tell them that I sent you and watch all of the blood drain from their faces instantly. You can find them in the AWS marketplace or at www.netlify.com. N-E-T-L-I-F-Y.comCorey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Periodically, I like to poke fun at a variety of different things, and that can range from technologies or approaches like multi-cloud, and that includes business functions like marketing, and sometimes it extends even to companies like VMware. My guest today is the Senior Director of Multi-Cloud Solutions at VMware, so I'm basically spoilt for choice. Betty Junod, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and tolerate what is no doubt going to be an interesting episode, one way or the other.Betty: Hey, Corey, thanks for having me. I've been a longtime follower, and I'm so happy to be here. And good to know that I'm kind of like the ultimate cross-section of all the things [laugh] that you can get snarky about.Corey: The only thing that's going to make that even better is if you tell me, “Oh, yeah, and I moonlight on a contract gig by naming AWS services.” And then I just won't even know where to go. But I'll assume they have to generate those custom names in-house.Betty: Yes. Yes, I think they do those there. I may comment on it after the fact.Corey: So, periodically I am, let's call it miscategorized, in my position on multi-cloud, which is that it's a worst practice that when you're designing something from scratch, you should almost certainly not be embracing unless you're targeting a very specific corner case. And I stand by that, but what that has been interpreted as by the industry, in many cases because people lack nuance when you express your opinions in tweet-sized format—who knew—as me saying, “Multi-cloud bad.” Maybe, maybe not. I'm not interested in assigning value judgment to it, but the reality is that there are an awful lot of multi-cloud deployments out there. And yes, some of them started off as, “We're going to migrate from one to the other,” and then people gave up and called it multi-cloud, but it is nuanced. VMware is a company that's been around for a long time. It has reinvented itself in a few different ways at different periods of its evolution, and it's still highly relevant. What is the Multi-Cloud Solutions group over at VMware? What do you folks do exactly?Betty: Yeah. And so I will start by multi-cloud; we're really taking it from a position of meeting the customer where they are. So, we know that if anything, the only thing that's a given in our industry is that there will be something new in the next six months, next year, and the whole idea of multi-cloud, from our perspective, is giving customers the optionality, so don't make it so that it's a closed thing for them. But if they decide—it's not that they're going to start, “Hey, I'm going to go to cloud, so day one, I'm going to go all-in on every cloud out there.” That doesn't make sense, right, as—Corey: But they all gave me such generous free credit offers when I founded my startup; I feel obligated to at this point.Betty: I mean, you can definitely create your account, log in, play around, get familiar with the console, but going from zero to being fully operationalized team to run production workloads with the same kind of SLAs you had before, across all three clouds—what—within a week is not feasible for people getting trained up and actually doing that. Our position is that meeting customers where they are and knowing that they may change their mind, or something new will come up—a new service—and they really want to use a new service from let's say GCP or AWS, they want to bring that with an application they already have or build a new app somewhere, we want to help enable that choice. And whether that choice applies to taking an existing app that's been running in their data center—probably on vSphere—to a new place, or building new stuff with containers, Kubernetes, serverless, whatever. So, it's all just about helping them actually take advantage of those technologies.Corey: So, it's interesting to me about your multi-cloud group, for lack of a better term, is there a bunch of things fall under its umbrella? I believe Bitnami does—or as I insist on calling it, ‘bitten-A-M-I'—I believe that SaltStack—which I wrote a little bit of once upon a time, which tells me you folks did no due diligence whatsoever because everything I've ever written is molten garbage—Betty: Not [unintelligible 00:04:33].Corey: And—so to be clear, SaltStack is good; just the parts that I wrote are almost certainly terrible because have you met me?Betty: I'll make a note. [laugh].Corey: You have Wavefront, you have CloudHealth, you have a bunch of other things in the portfolio, and yeah, all those things do work across multiple clouds, but there's nothing that makes using any of those things a particularly bad idea even if you're all-in on one cloud provider, too. So, it's a portfolio that applies to a whole bunch have different places from your perspective, but it can be used regardless of where folks stand ideologically.Betty: Yes. So, this goes back to the whole idea that we meet the customers where they are and help them do what they want to do. So, with that, making sure these technologies that we have work on all the clouds, whether that be in the data center or the different vendors, so that if a customer wants to just use one, or two, or three, it's fine. That part's up to them.Corey: The challenge I've run into is that—and maybe this is a ‘Twitter Bubble' problem, but unfortunately, having talked to a whole bunch of folks in different contexts, I know it isn't—there's almost this idea that you have to be incredibly dogmatic about a particular technology that you're into. I joke periodically about the Rust Evangelism Strikeforce where their entire job is talking about using Rust; their primary IDE is PowerPoint because they're giving talks all the time about it rather than writing code. And great, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but there are the idea of a technology purist who is taking, “Things must be this way,” well past a point of being reasonable, and disregarding the reality that, yeah, the world is messy in a way that architectural diagrams never are.Betty: Yeah. The architectural diagrams are always 2D, right? Back to that PowerPoint slide: how can I make pretty boxes? And then I just redraw a line because something new came out. But you and I have been in this industry for a long time, there's always something new.And I think that's where the dogmatism gets problematic because if you say we're only going to do containers this way—you know, I could see Swarm and Kubernetes, or all-in on AWS and we're going to use all the things from AWS and there's only this way. Things are generational and so the idea that you want to face the reality and say that there is a little bit of everything. And then it's kind of like, how do you help them with a part of that? As a vendor, it could be like, “I'm going to help us with a part of it, or I'm going to help address certain eras of it.” That's where I think it gets really bad to be super dogmatic because it closes you off to possibly something new and amazing, new thinking, different ways to solve the same problem.Corey: That's the problem is left to our own devices, most of us who are building things, especially for random ideas, yeah, there's a whole modern paradigm of how I can build these things, but I'm going to shortcut to the thing I know best, which may very well the architectures that I was using 15 years ago, maybe tools that I was using 15 years ago. There's a reason that Vim is still as popular as it is. Would I recommend it to someone who's a new user? Absolutely not; it's user-hostile, but back in my days of being a grumpy sysadmin, you learned vi because it was on everything you could get into, and you never knew in what environment you were going to be encountering stuff. These days, you aren't logging in to remote systems to manage them, in most cases, and when it happens, it's a rarity and a bug.The world changes; different approaches change, but you have to almost reinvent your entire philosophy on how things work and what your career trajectory looks like. And you have to give up aspects of what you've considered to be part of your identity and embrace something new. It was hard for me to accept that, for example, Docker and the wave of containerization that was rolling out was effectively displacing the world that I was deep in of configuration management with Puppet and with Salt. And the world changes; I said, “Okay, now I'll work on cloud.” And if something else happens, and mainframes are coming back again, instead, well, I'm probably not going to sit here railing against the tide. It would be ridiculous to do that from my perspective. But I definitely understand the temptation to fight against it.Betty: Mm-hm. You know, we spend so much time learning parts of our craft, so it's hard to say, “I'm now not going to be an expert in my thing,” and I have to admit that something else might be better and I have to be a newbie again. That can be scary for someone who's spent a lot of time to be really well-versed in a specific technology. It's funny that you bring up the whole Docker and Puppet config management; I just had a healthy discussion over Slack with some friends. Some people that we know and comment about some of the newer areas of config management, and the whole idea is like, is it a new category or an evolution of? And I went back to the point that I made earlier is like, it's generations. We continually find new ways to solve a problem, and one thing now is it [sigh] it just all goes so much faster, now. There's a new thing every week. [laugh] it seems sometimes.Corey: It is, and this is the joy of having been in this industry for a while—toxic and broken in many ways though it is—is that you go through enough cycles of seeing today's shiny, new, amazing thing become tomorrow's legacy garbage that we're stuck supporting, which means that—at least from my perspective—I tend to be fairly conservative with adopting new technologies with respect to things that matter. That means that I'm unlikely to wind up looking at the front page of Hacker News to pick a framework to build a banking system in, and I'm unlikely to be the first kid on my block to update to a new file system or database, just because, yeah, if I break a web server, we all laugh, we make fun of the fact that it throws an error for ten minutes, and then things are back up and running. If I break the database, there's a terrific chance that we don't have a company anymore. So, it's the ‘mistakes will show' area and understanding when to be aggressive and when to hold back as far as jumping into new technologies is always a nuanced decision. And let's be clear as well, an awful lot of VMware's customers are large companies that were founded, somehow—this is possible—before 2010. Imagine that. Did people—Betty: [laugh]. I know, right?Corey: —even have businesses or lives back then? I thought we all used horse-driven carriages and whatnot. And they did not build on cloud—not because of any perception of distrust; because it functionally did not exist at the time that they were building these things. And, “Oh, come out into the cloud. It's fine now.” It… yeah, that application is generating hundreds of millions in revenue every quarter. Maybe we treat that with a little bit of respect, rather than YOLO-ing it into some Lambda-driven monster that's constructed—Betty: One hundred—Corey: —out of popsicle sticks and glue.Betty: —percent. Yes. I think people forget that. And it's not that these companies don't want to go to cloud. It's like, “I can't break this thing. That could be, like, millions of dollars lost, a second.”Corey: I write my weekly newsletters in a custom monstrosity of a system that has something like 30-some-odd Lambda functions, a bunch of API gateways that are tied together with things, and periodically there are challenges with it that break as the system continues to evolve. And that's fine. And I'm okay with using something like that as a part of my workflow because absolute worst case, I can go back to the way that my newsletter was originally written: in Google Docs, and it doesn't look anywhere near the same way, and it goes back to just a text email that starts off with, “I have messed up.” And that would be a better story than most of the stuff I put out as a common basis. Similarly, yeah, durability is important.If this were a serious life-critical app, it would not just be hanging out in a single region of a single provider; it would probably be on one provider, as I've talked about, but going multi-region and having backups to a different cloud provider. But if AWS takes a significant enough outage to us-west-2 in Oregon, to the point where my ridiculous system cannot function to write the newsletter, that too, is a different handwritten email that goes out that week because there's no announcement they've made that anyone's going to give the slightest toss about, given the fact that it's basically Cloud Armageddon. So, we'll see. It's about understanding the blast radius and understanding your use case.Betty: Yep. A hundred percent.Corey: So, you've spent a fair bit of time doing interesting things in your career. This is your second outing at VMware, and in the interim, you were at solo.io for a bit, and before that you were in a marketing leadership role at Docker. Let's dive in, if you will. Given that you are no longer working at Docker, they recently made an announcement about a pricing model change, whereas it is free to use Docker Desktop for anyone's personal projects, and for small companies.But if you're a large company, which they define is ten million in revenue a year or 250 employees—those two things don't go alike, but okay—then you have to wind up having a paid plan. And I will say it's a novel approach, but I'm curious to hear what you have to say about it.Betty: Well, I'd say that I saw that there was a lot of flutter about that news, and it's kind of a, it doesn't matter where you draw the line in the sand for the tier, there's always going to be some pushback on it. So, you have to draw a line somewhere. I haven't kept up with the details around the pricing models that they've implemented since I left Docker a few years ago, but monetization is a really important part for a startup. You do have to make money because there are people that you have to pay, and eventually, you want to get off of raising money from VCs all the time. Docker Desktop has been something that has been a real gem from a local developer experience, right, giving the—so that has been well-received by the community.I think there was an enterprise application for it, but when I saw that, I was like, yeah, okay, cool. They need to do something with that. And then it's always hard to see the blowback. I think sometimes with the years that we've had with Docker, it's kind of like no matter what they do, the Twitterverse and Hacker News is going to just give them a hard time. I mean, that is my honest opinion on that. If they didn't do it, and then, say, they didn't make the kind of revenue they needed, people would—that would become another Twitter thread and Hacker News blow up, and if they do it, you'll still have that same reaction.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking databases, observability, management, and security.And - let me be clear here - it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build.With Always Free you can do things like run small scale applications, or do proof of concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free. No asterisk. Start now. Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: It seems to be that Docker has been trying to figure out how to monetize for a very long time because let's be clear here; I think it is difficult to overstate just how impactful and transformative Docker was to the industry. I gave a talk “Heresy in the Church of Docker” that listed a bunch of things that didn't get solved with Docker, and I expected to be torn to pieces for it, and instead I was invited to give it at ContainerCon one year. And in time, a lot of those things stopped being issues because the industry found answers to it. Now, unfortunately, some of those answers look like Kubernetes, but that's neither here nor there. But now it's, okay, so giving everything that you do that is core and central away for free is absolutely part of what drove the adoption that it saw, but goodwill from developers is not the sort of thing that generally tends to lead to interesting revenue streams.So, they had to do something. And they've tried a few different things that haven't seemed to really pan out. Then they spun off that pesky part of their business that made money selling support contracts, over to Mirantis, which was apparently looking for something now that OpenStack was no longer going to be a thing, and Kubernetes is okay, “Well, we'll take Docker enterprise stuff.” Great. What do they do, as far as turning this into a revenue model?There's a lot of the, I guess, noise that I tend to ignore when it comes to things like this because angry people on Twitter, or on Hacker News, or other terrible cesspools on the internet, are not where this is going to be decided. What I'm interested in is what the actual large companies are going to say about it. My problem with looking at it from the outside is that it feels as if there's significant ambiguity across the board. And if there's one thing that I know about large company procurement departments, it's that they do not like ambiguity. This change takes effect in three or four months, which is underwear-outside-the-pants-superhero-style speed for a lot of those companies, and suddenly, for a lot of developers, they're so far removed from the procurement side of the house that they are never going to have a hope of getting that approved on a career-wide timespan.And suddenly, for a lot of those companies, installing and running Docker Desktop just became a fireable offense because from the company's perspective, the sheer liability side of it, if they were getting subject to audit, is going to be a problem. I don't believe that Docker is going to start pulling Oracle-like audit tactics, but no procurement or risk management group in the world is going to take that on faith. So, the problem is not that it's expensive because that can be worked around; it's not that there's anything inherently wrong with their costing model. The problem is the ambiguity of people who just don't know, “Does this apply to me or doesn't this apply to me?” And that is the thing that is the difficult, painful part.And now, as a result, the [unintelligible 00:17:28] groups and their champions of Docker Desktop are having to spend a lot more time, energy, and thought on this than it would simply be for cutting a check because now it's a risk org-wide, and how do we audit to figure out who's installed this previously free open-source thing? Now what?Betty: Yeah, I'll agree with you on that because once you start making it into corporate-issued software that you have to install on the desktop, that gets a lot harder. And how do you know who's downloaded it? Like my own experience, right? I have a locked-down laptop; I can't just install whatever I want. We have a software portal, which lets me download the approved things.So, it's that same kind of model. I'd be curious because once you start looking at from a large enterprise perspective, your developers are working on IP, so you don't want that on something that they've downloaded using their personal account because now it sits—that code is sitting with their personal account that's using this tool that's super productive for them, and that transition to then go to an enterprise, large enterprise and going through a procurement cycle, getting a master services agreement, that's no small feat. That's a whole motion that is different than someone swiping a credit card or just downloading something and logging in. It's similar to what you see sometimes with the—how many people have signed up for and paid 99 bucks for Dropbox, and then now all of a sudden, it's like, “Wow, we have all of megacorp [laugh] signed up, and then now someone has to sell them a plan to actually manage it and make sure it's not just sitting on all these personal drives.”Corey: Well, that's what AWS's original sales motion looked a lot like they would come in and talk to the CTO or whatnot at giant companies. And the CTO would say, “Great, why should we pick AWS for our cloud needs?” And the answer is, “Oh, I'm sorry. You have 87 distinct accounts within your organization that we've [unintelligible 00:19:12] up for you. We're just trying to offer you some management answers and unify the billing and this, and probably give you a discount as well because there is price breaks available at certain sizing.” It was a different conversation. It's like, “I'm not here to sell you anything. We're already there. We're just trying to formalize the relationship.” And that is a challenge.Again, I'm not trying to cast aspersions on procurement groups. I mean, I do sell enterprise consulting here at The Duckbill Group; we deal with an awful lot of procurement groups who have processes and procedures that don't often align to the way that we do things as a ten-person, fully remote company. We do not have commercial vehicle insurance, for example, because we do not have a commercial vehicle and that is a prerequisite to getting the insurance, for one. We're unlikely to buy one to wind up satisfying some contractual requirements, so we have to go back and forth and get things like that removed. And that is the nature of the beast.And we can say yes, we can say no on a lot of those questionnaires, but, “It depends,” or, “I don't know,” is the sort of thing that's going to cause giant red flags and derail everything. But that is exactly what Docker is doing. Now, it's the well, we have a sort of sloppy, weird set of habits with some of our engineers around the bring your own device to work thing. So, that's the enterprise thing. Let me be very clear, here at The Duckbill Group, we have a policy of issuing people company machines, we manage them very lightly just to make sure the drives are encrypted, so they—and that the screensaver comes out with a password, so if someone loses a laptop, it's just, “Replace the hardware,” not, “We have a data breach.”Let's be clear here; we are responsible about these things. But beyond that, it's oh, you want to have some personal thing installed on your machine or do some work on that stuff? Fine. By all means. It's a situation of we have no policy against it; we understand this is how work happens, and we trust people to effectively be grownups.There are some things I would strongly suggest that any employee—ours or anyone else—not cross the streams on for obvious IP ownership rights and the rest, we have those conversations with our team for a reason. It's, understand the nuances of what you're doing, and we're always willing to throw hardware at people to solve these problems. Not every company is like that. And ten million in revenue is not necessarily a very large company. I was doing the math out for ten million in revenue or 250 employees; assuming that there's no outside investment—which with VC is always a weird thing—it's possible—barely—to have a $10 million in revenue company that has 250 employees, but if they're full time they are damn close to a $15 an hour minimum wage. So, who does it apply to? More people than you might believe.Betty: Yeah, I'm really curious to how they're going to like—like you say, if it takes place in three or four months, roll that out, and how would you actually track it and true that up for people? So.Corey: Yeah. And there are tools and processes to do this, but it's also not in anyone's roadmap because people are not sitting here on their annual planning periods—which is always aspirational—but no one's planning for, “Oh, yeah, Q3, one of our software suppliers is going to throw a real procurement wrench at us that we have to devote time, energy, resources, and budget to figure out.” And then you have a problem. And by resources, I do mean resources of basically assigning work and tooling and whatnot and energy, not people. People are humans, they are not resources; I will die on that hill.Betty: Well, you know, actually resource-wise, the thing that's interesting is when you say supplier, if it's something that people have been able to download for free so far, it's not considered a supplier. So, it's—now they're going to go from just a thing I can use and maybe you've let your developers use to now it has to be something that goes through the official internal vetting as being a supplier. So, that's just—it's a whole different ball game entirely.Corey: My last job before I started this place, was a highly regulated financial institution, and even grabbing things were available for free, “Well, hang on a minute because what license is it using and how is it going to potentially be incorporated?” And this stuff makes sense, and it's important. Now, admittedly, I have the advantage of a number of my engineering peers in that I've been married to a corporate attorney for 11 years and have insight into that side of the world, which to be clear, is all about risk mitigation which is helpful. It is a nuanced and difficult field to—as are most things once you get into them—and it's just the uncertainty that befuddles me a bit. I wish them well with it, truly I do. I think the world is better with an independent Docker in it, but I question whether this is going to find success. That said, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what customers say and do, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it plays out.Betty: A hundred percent; same here. As someone who spent a good chunk of my life there, their mark on the industry is not to be ignored, like you said, with what happened with containers. But I do wish them well. There's lot of good people over there, it's some really cool tech, and I want to see a future for them.Corey: One last topic I want to get into before we wind up wrapping this episode is that you are someone who was nominated to come on the show by a couple of folks, which is always great. I'm always looking for recommendations on this. But what's odd is that you are—if we look at it and dig a little bit beneath the titles and whatnot, you even self-describe as your history is marketing leadership positions. It is uncommon for engineering-types to recommend that I talk to marketing folks.s personally I think that is a mistake; I consider myself more of a marketer than not in some respects, but it is uncommon, which means I have to ask you, what is your philosophy of marketing because it very clearly is differentiated in the public eye.Betty: I'm flattered. I will say that—and this goes to how I hire people and how I coach teams—it's you have to be super curious because there's a ton of bad marketing out there, where it's just kind of like, “Hey, we do these five things and we always do these five things: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But I think it's really being curious about what is the thing that you're marketing? There are people who are just focused on the function of marketing and not the thing. Because you're doing your marketing job in the service of a thing, this new widget, this new whatever, and you got to be super curious about it.And I'll tell you that, for me, it's really hard for me to market something if I'm not excited about it. I have to personally be super excited about the tech or something happening in the industry, and it's, kind of like, an all-in thing for me. And so in that sense, I do spend a ton of time with engineers and end-users, and I really try to understand what's going on. I want to understand how the thing works, and I always ask them, “Well”—so I'll ask the engineers, like, “So… okay, this sounds really cool. You just described this new feature and you're super excited about it because you wrote it, but how is your end-user, the person you're building this for, how did they do this before? Help me understand. How did they do this before and why is this better?”Just really dig into it because for me, I want to understand it deeply before I talk about it. I think the thing is, it shows a tremendous amount of respect for the builder, and then to try to really be empathetic, to understand what they're doing and then partner with them—I mean, this sounds so business-y the way I'm talking about this—but really be a partner with them and just help them make their thing really successful. I'm like the other end; you're going to build this great thing and now I'm going to make it sound like it's the best thing that's ever happened. But to do that, I really need to deeply understand what it is, and I have to care about it, too. I have to care about it in the way that you care about it.Corey: I cannot effectively market or sell something that I don't believe in, personally. I also, to be clear because you are a marketing professional—or at least far more of one than I ever was—I do not view what I do is marketing; I view it as spectacle. And it's about telling stories to people, it's about learning what the market thinks about it, and that informs product design in many respects. It's about understanding the product itself. It's about being able to use the product.And if people are listening to this and think, “Wait a minute, that sounds more like DevRel.” I have news for you. DevRel is marketing, they're just scared to tell you that. And I know people are going to disagree with me on that. You're wrong. But that's okay; reasonable people can disagree.And that's how I see it is that, okay, I'll talk to people building the service, I'll talk to people using the service, but then I'm going to build something with the service myself because until then, it's all a game of who sounds the most convincing in the stories that they tell. But okay, you can tell an amazing story about something, but if it falls over when I tried to use it, well, I'm sorry, you're not being accurate in your descriptions of it.Betty: A hundred percent. I hate to say, like, you're storytellers, but that's a big part of it, but it's kind of like you want to tell the story, so you do something to that people believe a certain thing. But that's part of a curated experience because you want them to try this thing in a certain way. Because you've designed it for something. “I built a spoon. I want you to use that to eat your soup because you can't eat soup with a fork.”So, then you'll have this amazing soup-eating experience, but if I build you a spoon and then not give you any directions and you start throwing it at cars, you're going to be like, “This thing sucks.” So, I kind of think of it in that way. To your point of it has to actually work, it's like, but they also need to know, “What am I supposed to use it for?”Corey: The problem I've always had on some visceral level with formal marketing departments for companies is that they can say that a product that they sell is good, they can say that the product is great, or they can choose to say nothing at all about that product, but when there's a product in the market that is clearly a turd, a marketing department is never going to be able to say that, which I think erodes its authenticity in many respects. I understand the constraints behind, that truly I do, but it's the one superpower I think that I bring to the table where even when I do sponsorship stuff it's, you can buy my attention but not my opinion. Because the authenticity of me being trusted to call them like I see them, for lack of a better term, to my mind at least outweighs any short-term benefit from saying good things about a product that doesn't deserve them. Now, I've been wrong about things, sure. I have also been misinformed in both directions, thinking something is great when it's not, or terrible when it isn't or not understanding the use case, and I am thrilled to engage in those debates. “But this is really expensive when you run for this use case,” and the answer can be, “Well, it's not designed for that use case.” But the answer should not be, “No it's not.” I promise you, expensive is in the eye of the customer not the person building the thing.Betty: Yes. This goes back to I have to believe in the thing. And I do agree it's, like not [sigh]—it's not a panacea. You're not going to make Product A and it's going to solve everything. But being super clear and focused on what it is good for, and then please just try it in this way because that's what we built it for.Corey: I want to thank you for taking the time to have a what for some people is no doubt going to be perceived as a surprisingly civil conversation about things that I have loud, heated opinions about. If people want to learn more, where can they find you?Betty: Well, they can follow me on Twitter. But um, I'd say go to vmware.com/cloud for our work thing.Corey: Exactly. VM where? That's right. VM there. And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:30:07].Betty: [laugh].Corey: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate it.Betty: Thanks, Corey.Corey: Betty Junod, Senior Director of Multi-Cloud Solutions at VMware. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a loud, ranting comment at the end. Then, if you work for a company that is larger than 250 people or $10 million in revenue, please also Venmo me $5.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Screaming in the Cloud
The Mayor of Wholesome Twitter with Mark Thompson

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 41:18


About MarkMark loves to teach and code.He is an award winning university instructor and engineer. He comes with a passion for creating meaningful learning experiences. With over a decade of developing solutions across the tech stack, speaking at conferences and mentoring developers he is excited to continue to make an impact in tech. Lately, Mark has been spending time as a Developer Relations Engineer on the Angular Team.Links:Twitter: https://twitter.com/marktechson TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Anyone who has the misfortune to follow me on Twitter is fairly well aware that I am many things: I'm loud, obnoxious, but snarky is most commonly the term applied to me. I've often wondered, what does the exact opposite of someone who is unrelentingly negative about things in cloud look like? I'm here to answer that question is lightness and happiness and friendliness on Twitter, personified. His Twitter name is @marktechson. My guest today is Mark Thompson, developer relations engineer at Google. Mark, thank you for joining me.Mark: Oh, I'm so happy to be here. I really appreciate you inviting me. Thanks.Corey: Oh, by all means. I'm glad we're doing these recordings remotely because I strongly suspect, just based upon the joy and the happiness and the uplifting aspects of what it is that you espouse online that if we ever shook hands, we'd explode as we mutually annihilate each other like matter and antimatter combining.Mark: Feels right. [laugh].Corey: So, let's start with the day job; seems like the easy direction to go in. You're a developer relations engineer. Now, I've heard of developer advocates, I've heard of the DevRel term, a lot of them get very upset when I refer to them as ‘devrelopers', but that's the game that we play with language. What is the developer relations engineer?Mark: So, I describe my job this way: I like to help external communities with our products. I work on the Angular team, so I like to help our external communities but then I also like to work with our internal team to help improve our product. So, I see it as helping as a platform, as a developer relations engineer. But the engineer part is, I think, is important here because, at Google, we still do coding and we still write things; I'm going to contribute to the Angular platform itself versus just only giving talks or only writing blog posts to creating content, they still want us to do things like solve problems with the platform as well.Corey: So, this is where my complete and abject lack of understanding of the JavaScript ecosystem enters the conversation. Let's be clear here, first let me check my assumptions. Angular is a JavaScript framework, correct?Mark: Technically a TypeScript framework, but you could say JavaScript.Corey: Cool. Okay, again, this is not me setting you up for a joke or anything like that. I try to keep my snark to Twitter, not podcast because that tends to turn an awful lot into me berating people, which I try to reserve for those who really have earned it; they generally have the word chief somewhere in their job title. So, I'm familiar with sort of an evolution of the startups that I worked at where Backbone was all the rage, followed by, “Oh, you should never use Backbone. You should be using Angular instead.”And then I sort of—like, that was the big argument the last time I worked in an environment like that. And then I see things like View and React and several other things. At some point, it seems like, pick a random name out of the air; if it's not going to be a framework, it's going to be a Pokemon. What is the distinguishing characteristic or characteristics of Angular?Mark: I like to describe Angular to people is that the value-add is going to be some really incredible developer ergonomics. And when I say that I'm thinking about the tooling. So, we put a lot of work into making sure that the tooling is really strong for developers, where you can jump in, you can get started and be productive. Then I think about scale, and how your application runs at scale, and how it works at scale for your teams. So, scale becomes a big part of the story that I tell, as well, for Angular.Corey: You spend an awful lot of time telling stories about Angular. I'm assuming most of them are true because people don't usually knowingly last very long in this industry when they just get up on stage and tell lies, other than, “This is how we do it in our company,” which is the aspirational conference-ware that we all wish we ran. You're also, according to your bio, which of course, is always in the [show notes 00:04:16], you're an award-winning university instructor. Now, award-winning—great. For someone who struggled mightily in academia, I don't know much about that world. What is it that you teach? How does being a university instructor work? I imagine it's not like most other jobs where you wind up showing up, solving algorithms on a whiteboard, and they say, “Great, can you start tomorrow?”Mark: Sure. So, when I was teaching at university, what I was teaching was mostly coding bootcamps. So, some universities have coding bootcamps that they run themselves. And so I was a part of some instructional teams that work in the university. And that's how I won the Teaching Excellence Award. So, the award that I won actually was the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award, based on my performance at work when I was teaching at university.Corey: I want to be clear here, it's almost enough to make someone question whether you really were involved there because the first university, according to your background that you worked on was Northwestern, but then it was through the Harvard Extension School, and I was under the impression that doing anything involving Harvard was the exact opposite of an NDA, where you're contractually bound to mention that, “Oh, I was involved with Harvard in the following way,” at least three times at any given conversation. Can you tell I spent a lot of time dealing with Harvard grads?Mark: [laugh]. Yeah, Harvard is weird like that, where people who've worked there or gone there, it comes up as a first thing. But I'll tell the story about it if someone asks me, but I just like to talk about univer—that's why I say ‘university,' right? I don't say, “Oh, I won an award at Northwestern.” I just say, “University award-winning instructor.”The reason I say even the ‘award-winning', that part is important for credibility, specifically. It's like, hey, if I said I'm going to teach you something, I want you to know that you're in really good hands, and that I'm really going to do my best to help you. That's why I mention that a lot.Corey: I'll take that even one step further, and please don't take this as in any way me casting aspersions on some of your colleagues, but very often working at Google has felt an awful lot like that in some respects. I've never seen you do it. You've never had to establish your bona fides in a conversation that I've seen by saying, “Well, at Google this is how we do it.” Because that's a logical fallacy of appeal to authority in many respects. Yeah, I'm sure you do a lot of things at Google at a multinational trillion-dollar company that if I'm founding a four-person startup called Twitter for Pets might not necessarily be the same constraints that I'm faced with.I'm keenly appreciative folks who recognize that distinction and don't try and turn it into something else. We see it with founders, too, “Oh, we're a small scrappy startup and our founders used to work at Google.” And it's, “Hmm, I'm wondering if the corporate culture at a small startup might be slightly different these days.” I get it. It does resonate and it carries weight. I just wonder if that's one of those unexamined things that maybe it's time to dive into a bit more.Mark: Hmm. So, what's funny about that is—so people will ask me, what do I do? And it really depends on context. And I'll usually say, “Oh, I work for a company on the West Coast,” or, “For a tech company on the West Coast.” I'll just say that first.Because what I really want to do is turn the conversation back to the person I'm talking to, so here's where that unrelenting positivity kind of comes in because I'm looking at ways, how can I help boost you up? So first, I want to hear more about you. So, I'll kind of like—I won't shrink myself, but I'll just be kind of vague about things so I could hear more about you so we're not focused on me. In this case, I guess we are because I'm the guest, but in a normal conversation, that's what I would try to do.Corey: So, we've talked about JavaScript a little bit. We've talked about university a smidgen. Now, let me complete the trifecta of things that I know absolutely nothing about, specifically positivity on Twitter. You have been described to me as the mayor of wholesome Twitter. What is that about?Mark: All right, so let me be really upfront about this. This is not about toxic positivity. We got to get that out in the open first, before I say anything else because I think that people can hear that and start to immediately think, “Oh, this guy is just, you know, toxic positivity where no matter what's happening, he's going to be happy.” That is not the same thing. That is not the same thing at all.So, here's what I think is really interesting. Online, and as you know, as a person on Twitter, there's so many people out there doing damage and saying hurtful things. And I'm not talking about responding to someone who's being hurtful by being hurtful. I mean the people who are constantly harassing women online, or our non-binary friends, people who are constantly calling into question somebody's credibility because of, oh, they went to a coding bootcamp or they came from self-taught. All these types of ways to be really just harmful on Twitter.I wanted to start adding some other perspective of the positivity side of just being focused on value-add in our interactions. Can I craft this narrative, this world, where when we meet, we're both better off because of it, right? You feel good, I feel good, and we had a really good time. If we meet and you're having a bad time, at least you know that I care about you. I didn't fix you. I didn't, like, remove the issue, but you know that somebody cares about you. So, that's what I think wholesome positivity comes into play is because I want to be that force online. Because we already have plenty of the other side.Corey: It's easy for folks who are casual observers of my Twitter nonsense to figure, “Oh, he's snarky and he's being clever and witty and making fun of big companies”—which I do–And they tend to shorthand that sometimes to, “Oh, great. He's going to start dunking on people, too.” And I try mightily to avoid that it's punch up, never down.Mark: Mm-hm.Corey: I understand there's a school of thought that you should never be punching at all, which I get. I'm broken in many ways that apparently are entertaining, so we're going to roll with that. But the thing that incenses me the most—on Twitter in my case—is when I'll have something that I'll put out there that's ideally funny or engaging and people like it and it spreads beyond my circle, and then you just have the worst people on the internet see that and figure, “Oh, that's snarky and incisive. Ah, I'm like that too. This is my people.”I assure you, I am not your people when that is your approach to life. Get out of here. And curating the people who follow and engage with you on Twitter can be a full-time job. But oh man, if I wind up retweeting someone, and that act brings someone who's basically a jackwagon into the conversation, it's no. No-no-no.I'm not on Twitter to actively make things worse unless you're in charge of cloud pricing, in which case yes, I am very much there to make your day worse. But it's, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and lifting people up is always more interesting to me than tearing people down.Mark: A thousand percent. So, here's what I want to say about that is, I think, punching up is fine. I don't like to moderate other people's behavior either, though. So, if you'd like punching up, I think it'd be funny. I laugh at jokes that people make.Now, is it what I'll do? Probably not because I haven't figured out a good way for me to do it that still goes along my core values. But I will call out stuff. Like if there's a big company that's doing something that's pretty messed up, I feel comfortable calling things out. Or when drama happens and people are attacking someone, I have no problem with just be like, “Listen, this person is a stand-up person.”Putting myself kind of like… just kind of on the front line with that other person. Hey, look, this person is being attacked right now. That person is stand-up, so if you got a problem them, you got a problem with me. That's not the same thing as being negative, though. That's not the same thing as punching down or harming people.And I think that's where—like I say, people kind of get that part confused when they think that being kind to people is a sign of weakness, which is—it takes more strength for me to be kind to people who may or may not deserve it, by societal standards. That I'll try to understand you, even though you've been a jerk right now.Corey: Twitter excels at fomenting outrage, and it does it by distancing us from being able to easily remember there's a person on the other side of these things. It is ways you're going to yell at someone, even my business partner in a text message. Whenever we start having conversations that get a little heated—which it happens; business partnership is like a marriage—it's oh, I should pick up the phone and call him rather than sending things that stick around forever, that don't reflect the context of the time, and five years later when I see it, I feel ashamed." I'm not here to advocate for other people doing things on Twitter the way that I do because what I do is clever, but the failure mode of clever in my case is being a complete jerk, and I've made that mistake a lot when I was learning to do it when my audience was much smaller, and I hurt people. And whenever I discovered that that is what happened, I went out of my way, and still do, to apologize profusely.I've gotten relatively good at having to do less of those apologies on an ongoing basis, but very often people see what I'm doing and try to imitate what they're seeing; it just comes off as mean. And that's not acceptable. That's not something that I want to see more of in the world. So, those are my failure modes. I have to imagine the only real failure mode that you would encounter with positivity is inadvertently lifting someone up who turns out to be a trash goblin.Mark: [laugh]. That and I think coming off as insincere. Because if someone is always positive or a majority of the time, positive, if I say something to you, and you don't know me that actually mean it, sincerity is incredibly hard to get over text. So, if I congratulate you on your job, you might be like, “Oh, he's just saying that for attention for himself because now he's being the nice guy again.” But sincerity is really, really hard to convey, so that's one of the failure modes is like I said, being sincere.And then lifting up people who don't deserve to be lifted up, yeah, that's happened before where I've engaged with people or shared some of their stuff in an effort to boost them, and find out, like you said, legit trash goblin, like, their home address is under a bridge because they're a troll. Like, real bad stuff. And then you have back off of that endorsement that you didn't know. And people will DM you, like, “Hey, I see that you follow this person. That person is a really bad person. Look at what they're saying right now.” I'm like, “Well, damn, I didn't know it was bad like that.”Corey: I've had that on the podcast, too, where I'll have a conversation with someone and then a year or so later, they'll wind up doing something horrifying, or something comes to light and the rest, and occasionally people will ask, “So, why did you have that person on this show?” It's yeah, it turns out that when we're having a conversation, that somehow didn't come up because as I'm getting background on people and understanding who they are and what they're about in the intake questionnaire, there is not a separate field for, “Are you terrible to women?” Maybe there should be, but that's something that it's—you don't see it. And that makes it easy to think that it's not there until you start listening more than you speak, and start hearing other people's stories about it. This is the challenge.As much as I aspire at times to be more positive and lift folks up, this is the challenge of social media as it stands now. I had a tweet the other day about a service that AWS had released with the comment that this is fantastic and the team that built it should be proud. And yeah, that got a bit of engagement. People liked it. I'm sure it was passed around internally, “Yay, the jerk liked something.” Fine.A month ago, they launched a different service, and my comment was just distilled down to, “This is molten garbage.” And that went around the tech internet three times. When you're positive, it's one of those, “Oh, great. Yeah, that's awesome.” Whereas when I savage things, it's, “Hey, he's doing it again. Come and look at the bodies.” Effectively the rubbernecking thing. “There's been a terrible accident, let's go gawk at it.”Mark: Right.Corey: And I don't quite know what to do with that because it leads to the mistaken and lopsided impression that I only ever hate things and I don't think that a lot of stuff is done well. And that's very much not the case. It doesn't restrict itself to AWS either. I'm increasingly impressed by a lot of what I'm seeing out of Google Cloud. You want to talk about objectivity, I feel the same way about Oracle Cloud.Dunking on Oracle was a sport for me for a long time, but a lot of what they're doing on a technical and on a customer-approach basis in the cloud group is notable. I like it. I've been saying that for a couple of years. And I'm gratified the response from the audience seems to at least be that no one's calling me a shill. They're saying, “Oh, if you say it, it's got to be true.” It's, “Yes. Finally, I have a reputation for authenticity.” Which is great, but that's the reason I do a lot of the stuff that I do.Mark: That is a tough place to be in. So, Twitter itself is an anomaly in terms of what's going to get engagement and what isn't. Sometimes I'll tweet something that at least I think is super clever, and I'm like, “Oh, yeah. This is meaningful, sincere, clever, positive. This is about to go bananas.” And then it'll go nowhere.And then I'll tweet that I was feeling a depression coming on and that'll get a lot of engagement. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just, it's never what I think. I thought that the depression tweet was not going to go anywhere. I thought that one was going to be like, kind of fade into the ether, and then that is the one that gets all the engagement.And then the one about something great that I want to share, or lifting somebody else up, or celebrating somebody that doesn't go anywhere. So, it's just really hard to predict what people are going to really engage with and what's going to ring true for them.Corey: Oh, I never have any idea of how jokes are going to land on Twitter. And in the before times, I had the same type of challenge with jokes in conference talks, where there's a joke that I'll put in there that I think is going to go super well, and the audience just sits there and stares. That's okay. My jokes are for me, but after the third time trying it with different audiences and no one laughs, okay, I should keep it to myself, then. Other times just a random throwaway comment, and I find it quoted in the newspaper almost. And it's, “Oh, okay.”Mark: [laugh].Corey: You can never tell what's going to hit and what isn't.Mark: Can we talk about that though? Like—Corey: Oh, sure.Mark: Conference talking?Corey: Oh, my God, no.Mark: Conference speaking, and just how, like—I remember one time I was keynoting—well I was emceeing and I had the opening monologue. And so [crosstalk 00:17:45]—Corey: We call that a keynote. It's fine. It is—I absolutely upgrade it because people know what you're talking about when you say, “I keynoted the thing.” Do it. Own it.Mark: Yeah.Corey: It's yours.Corey: So, I was emcee and then I did the keynote. And so during the keynote rehearsals—and this is for all the academia, right, so all these different university deans, et cetera. So, in the practice, I'm telling this joke, and it is landing, everybody's laughing, blah, blah, blah. And then I get in there, and it was crickets. And in that moment, you want to panic because you're like, “Holy crap, what do I do because I was expecting to be able to ride the wave of the laughter into my next segment,” and now it's dead silent. And then just that ability to have to be quick on your feet and not let it slow you down is just really hard.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don't ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.Corey: It's a challenge. It turns out that there are a number of skills that are aligned but are not the same when it comes to conference talks, and I think that is something that is not super well understood. There's the idea of, “I can get on stage in front of a bunch of people with a few loose talking points, and just riff,” that sort of an improv approach. There's the idea of, “Oh, I can get on stage with prepared slides and have presenter notes and have a whole direction and theme of what I'm doing,” that's something else entirely. But now we're doing video and the energy is completely different.I've presented live on video, I've done pre-recorded video, but in either case, you're effectively talking to the camera and there is no crowd feedback. So, especially if you'd lean on jokes like I tend to, you can't do a cheesy laugh track as an insert, other than maybe once as its own joke. You have to make sure that you can resonate and engage with folks, but there are no subtle cues from the audience like half the front row getting up and walking out. You have to figure out what it is that resonates, what it is that doesn't, why people should care. And of course, distinguishing and differentiating between this video that you're watching now and the last five Zoom meetings that you've been on that look an awful lot the same; why should you care about this talk?Mark: The hardest thing to do. I think speaking remotely became such a big challenge. So, over time it became a little easier because I found some of the value in it, but it was still much harder because of all the things that you said. What became easier was that I didn't have to go to a place. That was easier.So, I could take three different conference talks in a day for three different organizations. So, that was easier. But what was harder, just like you said, not being able to have that energy of the crowd to know when you're on point because you look for that person in the audience who's nodding in agreement, or the person who's shaking their head furiously, like, “Oh, this is all wrong.” So, you might need to clarify or slow down or—you lose all your cues, and that's just really, really hard. And I really don't like doing video pre-recorded talks because those take more energy for me than they do the even live virtual because I have to edit it and I have to make sure that take was right because I can't say, “Oh, excuse me. Well, I meant to say this.”And I guess I could leave that in there, but I'm too much of a—I love public speaking, so I put so much pressure on myself to be the best version of myself at every opportunity when I'm doing public speaking. And I think that's what makes it hard.Corey: Oh, yeah. Then you add podcasts into the mix, like this one, and it changes the entire approach. If I stumble over my words in the middle of a sentence that I've done a couple of times already, on this very show, I will stop and repeat myself because it's easier to just cut that out in post, and it sounds much more natural. They'll take out ums, ahs, stutters, and the rest. Live, you have to respond to that very differently, but pre-recorded video has something of the same problem because, okay, the audio you can cut super easily.With video, you have to sort of a smear, and it's obvious when people know what they're looking at. And, “Wait, what was that? That was odd. They blew a take.” You can cheat, which is what I tend to do, and oh, I wind up doing a bunch of slides in some of my talks because every slide transition is an excuse to cut because suddenly for a split second I'm not on the camera and we can do all kinds of fun things.But it's all these little things, and part of the problem, too, with the pandemic was, we suddenly had to learn how to be A/V folks when previously we had the good fortune slash good sense to work with people who are specialist experts in this space. Now it's, “Well, I guess I am the best boy grip today,” whate—I'm learning what that means [laugh] as we—Mark: That's right.Corey: —continue onward. Ugh. I never signed up for this, but it's the thing that happens to you instead of what you plan on. I think that's called life.Mark: Feels right. Feels right, yeah. It's just one of those things. And I'm looking forward to the time after this, when we do get back to in-person talks, and we do get to do some things. So, I have a lot of hot takes around speaking. So, I came up in Toastmasters. Are you familiar with Toastmasters at all?Corey: I very much am.Mark: Oh, yeah. Okay, so I came up in Toastmasters, and for people at home who don't know, it's kind of like a meetup where you go and you actually practice public speaking, based on these props, et cetera. For me, I learned to do things like not say ‘um' and ‘ah' on stage because there's someone in the room counting every time you do it, and then when you get that review at the end when they give you your feedback, they'll call that out. Or when you say ‘like you know,' or too many ‘and so', all these little—I think the word is disfluencies that you use that people say make you sound more natural, those are things that were coached out with me for public speaking. I just don't do those things anymore, and I feel like there are ways for you not to do it.And I tweeted that before, that you shouldn't say ‘um' and ‘ah' and have someone tell me, “Oh, no, they're a natural part of language.” And then, “It's not natural and it could freak people out.” And I was like, “Okay. I mean, you have your opinion about that.” Like, that's fine, but it's just a hot take that I had about speaking.I think that you should do lots of things when you speak. The rate that you walk back and forth, or should you be static? How much should be on your slides? People put a lot of stuff on slides, I'm like, “I don't want to read your slides. I'd rather listen to you use your slides.” I mean, I can go on and on. We should have another podcast called, “Hey, Mark talks about public speaking,” because that is one of my jams. That and supporting people who come from different paths. Those two things, I can go on for hours about.Corey: And they're aligned in a lot of respects. I agree with you on the public speaking. Focusing on the things that make you a better speaker are not that hard in most cases, but it's being aware of what you're doing. I thought I was a pretty good speaker when I had a coach for a little while, and she would stand there, “Give just the first minute of your talk.” And she's there and writing down notes; I get a minute in and it's like, “Okay, I can't wait to see what she doesn't like once I get started.” She's like, “Nope. I have plenty. That will cover us for the next six weeks.” Like, “O…kay? I guess she doesn't know what she's doing.”Spoiler she did, in fact, know what she was doing and was very good at it and my talks are better for it as a result. But it comes down to practicing. I didn't have a thing like Toastmasters when I was learning to speak to other folks. I just did it by getting it wrong a lot of times. I would speak to small groups repeatedly, and I'd get better at it in time.And I would put time-bound on it because people would sit there and listen to me talk and then the elevator would arrive at our floor and they could escape and okay, they don't listen to me publicly speaking anymore, but you find time to practice in front of other folks. I am kidding, to be clear. Don't harass strangers with public speaking talks. That was in fact a joke. I know there's at least one person in the audience who's going to hear that and take notes and think, “Ah, I'm going to do that because he said it's a good idea.” This is the challenge with being a quote-unquote, “Role model” sometimes. My role model approach is to give people guidance by providing a horrible warning of what not to do.Mark: [laugh].Corey: You've gone the other direction and that's kind of awesome. So, one of the recurring themes of this show has been, where does the next generation come from? Where do we find the next generation of engineer, of person working in cloud in various ways? Because the paths that a lot of us walked who've been in this space for a decade or more have been closed. And standing here, it sounds an awful lot like, “Oh, go in and apply for jobs with a firm handshake and a printed copy of your resume and ask to see the manager and you'll have a job before dark.”Yeah, what worked for us doesn't work for people entering the workforce today, and there have to be different paths. Bootcamps are often the subject of, I think, a deserved level of scrutiny because quality differs wildly, and from the outside if you don't know the space, a well-respected bootcamp that knows exactly what it's doing and has established long-term relationships with a number of admirable hiring entities in the space and grifter who threw together a website look identical. It's a hard problem to solve. How do you view teaching the next generation and getting them into this space, assuming that that isn't something that is morally reprehensible? And some days, I wonder if exposing this industry to folks who are new to it isn't a problem.Mark: No, good question. So, I think in general—so I am pro bootcamp. I am pro self-taught. I was not always. And that's because of personal insecurity. Let's dive into that a little bit.So, I've been writing code since I was probably around 14 because I was lucky enough to go to a high school to had a computer science program on the south side of Chicago, one school. And then when I say I was lucky, I was really lucky because the school that I went to wasn't a high resource school; I didn't go to a private school. I went to a public school that just happened that one of the professors from IIT, also worked on staff a few days a week at my school, and we could take programming classes with this guy. Total luck. And so I get into computer science that way, take AP Computer Science in high school—which is, like, the pre-college level—then I go into undergrad, then I go into grad school for computer science.So, like, as traditional of a path that you can get. So, in my mind, it was all about my sweat equity that I had put in that disqualified everybody else. So, Corey, if you come from a bootcamp, you haven't spent the time that I spent learning to code; you haven't sweat, you haven't had to bleed, you haven't tried to write a two's complement algorithm on top of your other five classes for that semester. You haven't done it, definitely you don't deserve to be here. So, that was so much of my attitude, until—until—I got the opportunity to have my mind completely blown when I got asked to teach.Because when I got to asked to teach, I thought, “Yeah, I'm going to have my way of going in there and I'm going to show them how to do it right. This is my chance to correct these coding bootcampers and show them how it goes.” And then I find these people who were born for this life. So, some of us are natural talents, some of us are people who can just acquire the talent later. And both are totally valid.But I met this one student. She was a math teacher for years in Chicago Public Schools. She's like, “I want a career change.” Comes to the program that I taught at Northwestern, does so freaking well that she ends up getting a job at Airbnb. Now, if you have to make her go back four years at university, is that window still open for her? Maybe not.Then I meet this other woman, she was a paralegal for ten years. Ten years as a paralegal was the best engineer in the program when I taught, she was the best developer we had. Before the bootcamp was over, she had already gotten the job offer. She was meant for this. You see what I'm saying?So, that's why I'm so excited because it's like, I have all these stories of people who are meant for this. I taught, and I met people that changed the way I even saw the rest of the world. I had some non-binary trans students; I didn't even know what pronouns were. I had no idea that people didn't go by he/him, she/her. And then I had to learn about they and them and still teach you code without misgendering you at the same time, right because you're in a classroom and you're rapid-fire, all right, you—you know, how about this person? How about that person? And so you have to like, it's hard to take—Corey: Yeah, I can understand async, await, and JavaScript, but somehow understanding that not everyone has the pronouns that you are accustomed to using for people who look certain ways is a bridge too far for you to wrap your head around. Right. We can always improve, we can always change. It's just—at least when I screw up async, await, I don't make people feel less than. I just make—Mark: Totally.Corey: —users feel that, “Wow, this guy has no idea how to code.” You're right, I don't.Mark: Yeah, so as I'm on my soapbox, I'll just say this. I think coding bootcamps and self-taught programs where you can go online, I think this is where the door is the widest open for people to enter the industry because there is no requirement of a degree behind this. I just think that has just really opened the door for a lot of people to do things that is life-changing. So, when you meet somebody who's only making—because we're all engineers and we do all this stuff, we make a lot of money. And we're all comfortable. When you meet somebody where they go from 40,000 to 80,000, that is not the same story for—as it is for us.Corey: Exactly. And there's an entire school of thought out there that, “Oh, you should do this for the love because it is who you are, it is who you were meant to be.” And for some people, that's right, and I celebrate and cherish those folks. And there are other folks for whom, “I got into tech because of the money.” And you know what?I celebrate and cherish those folks because that is not inherently wrong. It says nothing negative about you whatsoever to want to improve your quality of life and wanting to support your family in varying ways. I have zero shade to throw at either one of those people. And when it comes to which of those two people do I want to hire, I have no preference in either direction because both are valid and both have directions that they can think in that the other one may not necessarily see for a variety of reasons. It's fine.Mark: I wanted to be an engineering manager. You know why? Not because I loved leadership; because I wanted more money.Corey: Yes.Mark: So, I've been in the industry for quite a long time. I'm a little bit on the older side of the story, right? I'm a little bit older. You know, for me, before we got ‘staff' and ‘principal' and all this kind of stuff, it was senior software engineer and then you topped out in terms of your earning potential. But if you wanted more, you became a manager, director, et cetera.So, that's why I wanted to be a manager for a while; I wanted more money, so why is my choice to be a manager more valuable than those people who want to make more money by coming into engineering or software development? I don't think it is.Corey: So, we've talked about positivity, we've talked about dealing with unpleasant people, we've talked about technology, and then, of course, we've talked about getting up on soapboxes. Let's tie all of that together for one last topic. What is your position on open-source in cloud?Mark: I think open-source software allows us to do a lot of incredible things. And I know that's a very light, fluffy, politically correct answer, but it is true, right? So, we get to take advantage of the brains of so many different people, all the ideas and contributions of so many different people so that we can do incredible things. And I think cloud really makes the world more accessible in general because—so when I used to do websites, I had to have a physical server that I would have to, like, try to talk to my ISP to be able to host things. And so, there was a lot of barriers to entry to do things that way.Now, with cloud and open-source, I could literally pick up a tool and deploy some software to the cloud. And the tool could you open-source so I can actually see what's happening and I could pick up other tools to help build out my vision for whatever I'm creating. So, I think open-source just gives a lot of opportunity.Corey: Oh, my stars, yes. It's even far more so than when I entered the field, and even back then there were challenges. One of the most democratizing aspects of cloud is that you can work with the same technologies that giant companies are using. When I entered the workforce, it's, “Wow, you're really good with Apache, but it seems like you don't really know a whole lot about the world of enterprise storage. What's going on with that?”And the honest answer was, “Well, it turns out that on my laptop, I can compile Apache super easily, but I'm finding it hard, given that I'm new to the workforce, to afford a $300,000 SAN in my garage, so maybe we can wind up figuring out that there are other ways to do it.” That doesn't happen today. Now, you can spin something up in the cloud, use it for a little bit. You're done, turn it off, and then never again have to worry about it except over in AWS land where you get charged 22 cents a month in perpetuity for some godforsaken reason you can't be bothered to track down and certainly no one can understand because, you know, cloud billing.Mark: [laugh].Corey: But if that's the tax versus the SAN tax, I'll take it.Mark: So, what I think is really interesting what cloud does, I like the word democratization because I think about going back to—just as a lateral reference to the bootcamp thing—I couldn't get my parents to see my software when I was in college when I made stuff because it was on my laptop. But when I was teaching these bootcamp students, they all deployed to Heroku. So, in their first couple of months, the cloud was allowing them to do something super cool that was not possible in the early days when I was coming up, learning how to code. And so they could deploy to Heroku, they could use GitHub Pages, you know like, open-source still coming into play. They can use all these tools and it's available to them, and I still think to me that is mind-blowing that I would have to bring my physical laptop or desktop home and say, “Mom, look at this terminal window that's doing this algorithm that I just did,” versus what these new people can do with the cloud. It's like, “Oh, yeah, I want to build a website. I want to publish it today. Publish right now.” Like, during our conversation, we both could have probably spent up a Hello World in the cloud with very little.Corey: Well, you could have. I could have done it in some horrifying way by using my favorite database: DNS. But that's a separate problem.Mark: [laugh]. Yeah, but I go to Firebase deploy and create a quick app real quick; Firebase deploy. Boom, I'm in the cloud. And I just think that the power behind that is just outstanding.Corey: If I had to pick a single cloud provider for someone new to the field to work with, it would be Google Cloud, and it's not particularly close. Just because the developer experience for someone who has not spent ten years marinating in cloud is worlds apart from what you're going to see in almost every other provider. I take it back, it is close. Neck-and-neck in different ways is also DigitalOcean, just because it explains things; their documentation is amazing and it lets people get started. My challenge with DigitalOcean is that it's not thought of, commonly, as a tier-one cloud provider in a lot of different directions, so the utility of learning how that platform works for someone who's planning to be in the industry for a while might potentially not get them as far.But again, there's no wrong answer. Whatever interests you, whenever you have to work on, do it. The obvious question of, “What technology should I learn,” it's, “Well, the ones that the companies you know are working with,” [laugh] so you can, ideally, turn it into something that throws off money, rather than doing it in your spare time for the love of it and not reaping any rewards from it.Mark: Yeah. If people ask me what should they use it to build something? And I think about what they want to do. And I also will say, “What will get you to ship the fastest? How can you ship?”Because that's what's really important for most people because people don't finish things. You know, as an engineer, how many side projects you probably have in the closet that never saw the light of day because you never shipped. I always say to people, “Well, what's going to get you to ship?” If it's View, use View and pair that with DigitalOcean, if that's going to get you to ship, right? Or use Angular plus Google Cloud Platform if that's going to get you to ship.Use what's going to get you to ship because—if it's just your project you're trying to run on. Now, if it's a company asking me, that's a consulting question which is a different answer. We do a much more in-detail analysis.Corey: I want to thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me about, honestly, a very wide-ranging group of topics. If people want to learn more about who you are, how you think, what you're up to, where can they find you?Mark: You can always find me spreading the love, being positive, hanging out. Look, if you want to feel better about yourself, come find me on Twitter at @marktechson—M-A-R-K-T-E-C-H-S-O-N. I'm out there waiting for you, so just come on and have a good time.Corey: And we will, of course, throw links to that in the [show notes 00:36:45]. Thank you so much for your time today.Mark: Oh, it's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.Corey: Mark Thompson, developer relations engineer at Google. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry, deranged comment that you spent several weeks rehearsing in the elevator.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Screaming in the Cloud
Teasing Out the Titular Titles with Chris Williams

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 39:59


About ChrisChris Williams is a Enterprise Architect for World Wide Technology — a technology solution and service provider. There he helps customers design the next generation of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, specializing in AWS and VMware. His first computer was a Commodore 64, and he's been playing video games ever since.Chris blogs about virtualization, technology, and design at Mistwire. He is an active community leader, co-organizing the AWS Portsmouth User Group, and both hosts and presents on vBrownBag. He is also an active mentor, helping students at the University of New Hampshire through Diversify Thinking—an initiative focused on empowering girls and women to pursue education and careers in STEM.Chris is a certified AWS Hero as well as a VMware vExpert. Fun fact that Chris doesn't want you to know: he has a degree in psychology so you can totally talk to him about your feelings.Links: WWT: https://www.wwt.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/mistwire Personal site: https://mistwire.com vBrownBag: https://vbrownbag.com/team/chris-williams/ TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by Honeycomb. When production is running slow, it's hard to know where problems originate: is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? I've got five bucks on DNS, personally. Why scroll through endless dashboards, while dealing with alert floods, going from tool to tool to tool that you employ, guessing at which puzzle pieces matter? Context switching and tool sprawl are slowly killing both your team and your business. You should care more about one of those than the other, which one is up to you. Drop the separate pillars and enter a world of getting one unified understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. With Honeycomb, you guess less and know more. Try it for free at Honeycomb.io/screaminginthecloud. Observability, it's more than just hipster monitoring.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. One of the things I miss the most from the pre-pandemic times is meeting people at conferences or at various business meetings, not because I like people—far from it—but because we go through a ritual that I am a huge fan of, which is the exchange of business cards. Now, it's not because I'm a collector or anything here, but because I like seeing what people's actual titles are instead of diving into the morass of what we call ourselves on Twitter and whatnot. Today, I have just one of those folks with me. My guest is Chris Williams, who works at WWT, and his business card title is Enterprise Architect, comma AWS Cloud. Chris, welcome.Chris: Hi. Thanks for having me on the show, Corey.Corey: No, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I have to imagine that the next line in your business card is, “No, I don't work for AWS,” because you know a company has succeeded when they get their name into people's job titles who don't work there.Chris: So, I have a running joke where the next line should actually be cloud therapist. And my degree is actually in psychology, so I was striving to get cloud therapist in there, but they still don't want to let me have it.Corey: Former guest Bobby Allen is now a cloud therapist over at Google Cloud, which is just phenomenal. I don't know what they're doing in a marketing context over there; I just know that they're just blasting them out of the park on a consistent, ongoing basis. It's really nice to see. It's forcing me to up my game a little bit. So, one of the challenges I've always had is, I don't like putting other companies' names into the title.Now, I run the Last Week in AWS newsletter, so yeah, okay, great, there's a little bit of ‘do as I say, not as I do' going on here. Because it feels, on some level, like doing unpaid volunteer work for a $2 trillion company. Speaking of, you are an AWS Community Hero, where you do volunteer work for a $2 trillion company. How'd that come about? What did you do that made you rise to their notice?Chris: That was a brilliant segue. Um—[laugh]—Corey: I do my best.Chris: So I, actually prior to becoming an AWS Community Hero, I do a lot of community work. So, I have run and helped to run four different community-led organizations: the Virtualization Technology User Group of New England; the AWS Portsmouth User Group, now the AWS Boston User Group; I'm a co-host and presenter for vBrownBag; I also do the New England AWS Community Day, which is a conglomeration of all the different user groups in one setting; and various and sundry other things, as well, along the way. Having done all of that, and having had a lot of the SAs and team members come and do speaking presentations for these various and sundry things, I was nominated internally by AWS to become one of their Community Heroes. Like you said, it's basically unpaid volunteer work where I go out and tout the services. I love talking about nerd stuff, so when I started working on AWS technologies, I really enjoyed it, and I just, kind of like, glommed on with other people that did it as well. I'm also a VMware vExpert, which basically use the exact same accolade for VMware. I have not been doing as much VMware stuff in the recent past, but that's kind of how I got into this gig.Corey: One of the things that strikes me as being the right move with respect to these, effectively, community voice accolades is Microsoft got something very right—they've been doing this a long time—they have their MVP program, but they have to re-invite people who have to requalify for it by whatever criteria they are, every year. AWS does not do this with their Heroes program. If you look at their Heroes page, there's a number of folks up there who have been doing interesting things in the cloud years ago, but then fell off the radar for a variety of reasons. In fact, the only way that I'm aware that you can lose Hero status is via getting a job at AWS or one of AWS competitors.Now, the hard part, of course, is well, who is Amazon's competitors? Basically everyone, but it mostly distills down to Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, as best I can tell, for Hero status. How does VMware fall on that spectrum? To be more specific, how does VMware fall on the spectrum of their community engagement program and having to renew, not, “Are they AWS's competitor?” To which the answer is, “Of course.”Chris: So, the renewal process for the VMware vExpert program is an annual re-up process where you fill out the form, list your contribution of the year, what you've done over the previous year, and then put it in for submission to the board of VMware vExperts who then give you the thumbs up or thumbs down. Much like Nero, you know, pass or fail, live or die. And I've been fortunate enough, so my vBrownBag contributions are every week; we have a show that happens every week. It can be either VMware stuff, or cloud in general stuff, or developer-related stuff. We cover the gamut; you know, people that want to come on and talk about whatever they want to talk about, they come on. And by virtue of that, we've had a lot of VMware speakers, we've had a lot of AWS speakers, we've had a lot of Azure speakers. So, I've been fortunate enough to be able to qualify each year with those contributions.Corey: I think that's the right way to go, from my perspective at least. But I want to get into this a little bit because you are an enterprise architect, which is always one of those terms that is super easy to make fun of in a variety of different ways. Your IDE is probably a whiteboard, and at some point when you have to write code, I thought you had a team of people who would be able to do that all for you because your job is to cogitate, and your artifacts are documentation, and the entire value of what you do can only be measured in the grand sweep of time, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.Chris: [laugh].Corey: But you don't generally get to be a Community Hero for stuff like that, and you don't usually get to be a vExpert on the VMware side, by not having at least technical chops that make people take a second look. What is it you'd say it is you do hear for, lack of a better term?Chris: “What would you say ya, do you here, Bob?” So, I'm not being facetious when I say cloud therapist. There is a lot of working at the eighth layer of the OSI model, the political layer. There's a lot of taking the requirements from the customer and sending them to the engineer. I'm a people person.The easy answer is to say, I do all the things from the TOGAF certification manual: the requirements, risks, assumptions, and constraints; the logical, conceptual, and physical diagrams; the harder answer is the soft skill side of that, is actually being able to communicate with the various levels of the industry, figuring out what the business really wants to do and how to technically solution that and figure out how to talk to the engineers to make that happen. You're right EAs get made fun of all the time, almost as much as consultants get made fun of. And it's a very squishy layer that, you know, depending upon your personality and the personality of the customer that you're dealing with, it can work wonderfully well or it can crash and burn immediately. I know from personal experience that I don't mesh well with financials, but I'm really, really good with, like, medical industry stuff, just the way that the brain works. But ironically, right now I'm working with a financial and we're getting along like a house on fire.Corey: Oh, yeah. I've been saying for a while now that when it comes to cloud, cost and architecture are the same things, and I think that ties back to a lot of different areas. But I want to be very clear here that we talk about, I'm not super deep into the financials, that does not mean you're bad at architecture because working on finance means different things to different folks. I don't think that it is possibly a good architect in the cloud environment and not have a conception of, “Huh, that thing seems really expensive if I do it that way.” That is very different than having the skill of reading a profit and loss statement or understanding various implications of the time value of money calculation that a company uses, or how things get amortized.There are nuances piled on top of nuances in finance, and it's easy to sit here and think that oh, I'm not great at finance means I don't know how money works. That is very rarely true. If you really don't know how money works, you'll go start a cryptocurrency startup.Chris: [laugh]. So, I plugged back to you; I was listening to one of your old shows and I cribbed one of your ideas and totally went with it. So, I just said that there's the logical, conceptual, and physical diagrams of an environment; on one of your shows, you had mentioned a financial diagram for an environment, and I was like, “That's brilliant.” So, now when I go into a customer, I actually do that, too. I take my physical diagram, I strip out all of the IP addresses, and our names, and everything like that, and I plot down how much it's going to cost, like, “This is the value of the EC2 instance,” or, “This is how much this pipe is going to cost if you run this over it.” And they go bananas over it. So, thanks for providing that idea that I mercilessly stole.Corey: Kind of fun on a lot of levels. Part of the challenge is as things get cloudier and it moves away from EC2 instances, ideally the lie we would like to tell ourselves that everything's in an auto-scaling group. Great—Chris: Right.Corey: —stepping beyond that when you start getting into something that's even more intricately tied to a specific user, we're talking about effectively trying to get unit economic measures of every user, every thousand users is going to cost me X dollars to service them on average, on top of a baseline of steady-state spend that is going to increase differently. At that point, talking to finance about predictive models turn into, “Well, this comes down to a question of business modeling.” But conversely, for engineering minds that is exactly what finance is used to figuring out. The problem they have is, “Well, every time we hire a new engineer, we wind up seeing our AWS bill increase.” Funny how that works. Yeah, how do you map that to something that the business understands? That is part of what they do. But it does, I admit, make it much more challenging from a financial map of an environment.Chris: Yeah, especially when the customer or the company is—you know, they've been around for a while, and they're used to just like that large bolus of money at the very beginning of a data center, and they buy the switches, and they buy the servers, and they virtualize them, and they have that set cost that they knew that they had to plunk down at the beginning. And it's a mindset shift. And they're coming around to it, some faster than others. Oddly enough, the startups nowadays are catching on very quickly. I don't deal with a lot of startups, so it takes some finesse.Corey: An interesting inflection that I've seen is that there's an awful lot of enterprises out there that say, “Oh, we're like a startup.” Great. You mean with weird cultural inflections that often distill down to cult of personality, the constant worry about whether you're going to wind up running out of runway before finding product-market fit? And the rooms filled with—Chris: The eighty-hour work weeks? The—[laugh]—Corey: And they're like, “No, no, no, it's like the good parts.” “Oh, so you mean out the upside.” But you don't hear it the other way around where you have a startup that you're interviewing with, “Ha-ha, we're like an enterprise. We have a six-month interview process that takes 18 different stages,” and so on and so forth. However, we do see startups having to mature rapidly, and move up the compliance path as they're dealing with regulated entities and the rest, and wanting to deal with serious customers who have no sense of humor about, “Yeah, we'll figure that part out later as part of an audit document.”So, what we also see, though, is that enterprises are doing things that look a lot more startup-y. If I take a look at the common development environments and tools and techniques that big enterprises use, it looks an awful lot like how startups were doing it five or ten years ago. That is the slow and steady evolution of time. And what startups are doing today becomes enterprise tomorrow, and I can't shake the feeling that there's a sea of vendors out there who, in the event that winds up happening are eventually going to find themselves without a market at all. My model has been that if I go and found a Twitter for Pets style startup tomorrow and in ten years, it has grown to become an S&P 500 component—which is still easier to take seriously than most of what Tesla says—great.During that journey, at what point do I become a given company's customer because if there is no onboarding story for me to become your customer, you're in a long-tail decline phase. That's been my philosophy, but you are a—trademarked term—Enterprise Architect, so please feel free to tell me if I'm missing any of the nuances there, which I'm sure I am because let's face it, nuance is hard; sweeping statements are easy.Chris: As an architect, [laugh] it would be a disservice to not say my favorite catchphrase, it depends. There are so many dependencies to those kinds of sweeping statements. I mean, there's a lot of enterprises that have good process; there are a lot of enterprises that have bad process. And going back to your previous statement of the startup inside the enterprise, I'm hearing a lot of companies nowadays saying, “Oh, well, we've now got this brand new incubator system that we're currently running our little startup inside of. It's got the best of both worlds.”And I'm not going to go through the litany of bad things that you just said about startups, but they'll try to encapsulate that shift that you're talking about where the cheese is moving so quickly now that it's very hard for these companies to know the customer well enough to continue to stay salient and continue to be able to look into that crystal ball to stay relevant in the future. My job as an EA is to try to capture that point in time where what are the requirements today and what are the known detriments that you're going to see in your future that you need to protect against? So, that's kind of my job—other than being a cloud therapist—in a nutshell.Corey: I love the approach. My line has been that I do a lot of marriage counseling between engineering and finance, which is a fun term that also just so happens to be completely accurate.Chris: Absolutely. [laugh]. I'm currently being a marriage counselor right now.Corey: It's an interesting time. So, you had a viral tweet recently that honestly, I'm a bit jealous about. I have had a lot of tweets that have done reasonably well, but I haven't ever had anything go super-viral, where it was just a screenshot of a conversation you had with an AWS recruiter. Now, before we go into this, I want to make a couple of disclaimers here. Before I entered tech myself, I was a technical recruiter, and I can say that these people have hard jobs.There is a constant pressure to perform, it is a sales job that is unlike most others. If you sell someone a pen, great, you can wrap your head around what that's like. But you don't have to worry about the pen deciding it doesn't want to go home with the buyer. So, it becomes a double sale in a lot of weird ways, and there's a constant race to the bottom and there's a lot of competition in the space. It's a numbers game and a lot of folks get in and wash out who have terrible behaviors and terrible patterns, so the whole industry gets tainted—in some respects—like that. A great example of someone who historically has been a terrific example of recruiting done right has been Jill Wohlner. And she's one of the shining beacons of the industry as far as how to do these things in the right way—Chris: Yes.Corey: —but the fact that she is as exceptional as she is is in no small part because there's a lot of random folks coming by. All which is to say that our conversation going forward is not and should not be aimed at smacking around individual recruiters or recruiting as a whole because that is unfair. Now, that disclaimer has been given. Great, what happened?Chris: So, first off, shout out to Jill; she actually used to be a host on vBrownBag. So, hey girl. [laugh]. What happened was—and I have the utmost empathy and sympathy for recruiting; I actually used to have a side gig where I would go around to the local recruiting places around my area here and teach them how to read a cloud resume and how to read a req and try to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to actually have good conversations. This was back when cloud wasn't—this was, like, three or four years ago.And I would go in there and say, “This is how you recruit a cloud person nowadays.” So, I love good recruiters. This one was a weird experience in that—so when a recruiter reaches out to me, what I do is I take an assessment of my current situation: “Am I happy where I'm at right now?” The answer is, “Yes.” And if they ping me, I'll say, “Hey, I'm happy right now, but if you have something that is, you know, a million dollars an hour, taste-testing margaritas on St. John island in the sand, I'm all ears. I'm listening. Conversely, I also am a Community Hero, so I know a ton of people out in the industry. Maybe I can help you out with landing that next person.”Corey: I just want to say for the record, that is absolutely the right answer. And something like that is exactly what I would give, historically. I can't do it now because let's be clear here. I have a number of employees and, “Hey, Corey's out there doing job interviews,” sends a message that isn't good when it comes to how is that company doing anyway. I miss it because I enjoyed the process and I enjoyed the fun, but even when I was perfectly happy, it's, “Well, I'm not actively on the market, but I am interested to have a conversation if you've got something interesting.”Because let's face it, I want to hear what's going on in the market, and if I'm starting to hear a lot of questions about a technology I have been dismissive of, okay, maybe it's time to pay more attention. I have repeatedly been able to hire the people interviewing me in some cases, and sometimes I've gone on interviews just to keep my interview skills sharp and then wound up accepting the job because it turned out they did have something interesting that was compelling to me even though I was reasonably happy at the time. I will always take the meeting; I will always at least have a chat about what they're doing, and I think that doing otherwise is doing yourself a disservice in the long arc of your career.Chris: Right. And that's basically the approach that I take, too. I want to hear what's out there. I am very happy at World Wide right now, so I'm not interested, interested. But again, if they come up with an amazing opportunity, things could happen. So, I implied that in my response to him.I said, “I'm happy right now, thanks for asking, but let's set up the meeting and we can have a chat.” The response was unexpected. [laugh]. The response was basically, “If you're not ready to leave right now, it makes no sense for me to talk to you.” And it was a funny… interaction.I was like, “Huh. That's funny.” I'm going to tweet about that because I thought it was funny—I'm not a jerk, so I'm going to block out all of the names and all of the identifying information and everything—and I threw it up. And the commiseration was so impressive. Not impressive in a good way; impressive in a bad way.Every person that responded was like, “Yes. This has happened to me. Yes, this is”—and honestly, I got a lot of directors from AWS reaching out to me trying to figure out who that person was, apologizing saying that's not our way. And I responded to each and every single one of them. And I was like, “Somebody has already found that person; somebody has already spoken to that person. That being said, look at all of the responses in the timeline. When you tell me personally, that's not the way you do things, I believe that you believe that.”Corey: Yeah, I believe you're being sincere when you say this, however the reality of what the data shows and people's lived experience in the form of anecdotes are worlds apart.Chris: Yeah. And I'm an AWS Hero. [laugh]. That's how I got treated. Not to blow my own horn or anything like that, but if that's happening to me, either A, he didn't look me up and just cold-called me—which is probably the case—and b, if he treats me like that, imagine how he's treating everybody else?Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: Every once in a while I get some of their sourcers doing outreach to see folks who are somewhat aligned on them via LinkedIn or other things, and, “Oh, okay, yeah; if you look at the things I talked about in various places, I can understand how I might look like a potentially interesting hire.” And they send outreach emails to me, they're always formulaic, and once in a while, I'll tweet a screenshot of them where I redact the person's name, and it was—and there's a comment, like, “Should I tell them?” Because it's fun; it's hilarious. But I want to be clear because that often gets misconstrued; they have done absolutely nothing wrong. You've got to cast a wide net to find talent.I'm surprised I get as few incidents of recruiter outreach as I do. I am not hireable and that's okay, but I don't begrudge people reaching out. I either respond with a, “No thanks,” if it's a particularly good email, or I just hit the archive button and never think about it again. And that's fine, too. But I don't make people feel like a jerk for asking, and that is an engineering behavioral pattern that drives me up a wall.It's, “So, I'm thinking about a job here and I'm wondering if you might be a fit,” and your response is just to set them on fire? Well, guess what an awful lot of those people sending out those emails in the sourcing phase of recruiting are early career, and guess what, they tend to get promoted in the fullness of time. Sometimes they're no longer recruiting at all; sometimes they wind up being hiring managers in different ways or trying to figure out what offer they're going to extend to someone. And if you don't think that people in those roles remember when they're treated poorly as a response to their outreach, I have news for you. Don't do it. Your reputation lingers long after you no longer work there.Chris: Just exactly so. And I feel really bad for that guy.Corey: I do hope that he was not reprimanded because he should not be. It is clearly a systemic problem, and the fact that one person happened to do this in a situation where it went viral does not mean that they are any worse than other folks doing it. It is a teachable opportunity. It is, “I know that you have incredible numbers of roles to hire for, all made all the more urgent by the fact that you're having some significant numbers of departures—clearly—in the industry right now.” So, I get it; you have a hard job. I'm not going to waste your time because I don't even respond to them just because, at AWS particularly, they have hard work to do, and just jawboning with me is not going to be useful for them.Chris: [laugh].Corey: I get it.Chris: And you're trying to hire the same talent too. So.Corey: Exactly. One of the most egregious things I've seen in the course of my career was when that whole multiple accounts opened for Wells Fargo's customers and they wound up firing 3500 people. Yeah, that's not individual tellers doing something unethical. That is a systemic problem, and you clean house at the top because you're not going to convince me that you're hiring that many people who are unethical and setting out to do these things as a matter of course. It means that the incentives are wrong, it means that the way you're measuring things are wrong, and people tend to do things out of fear or because there's now a culture of it. And if you fire individuals for that, you're wrong.Chris: And that was the message that I conveyed to the people that reached out to me and spoke to me. I was like, there is a misaligned KPI, or OKR, or whatever acronym you want to use, that is forcing them to do this churn-and-burn mentality instead of active, compassionate recruiting. I don't know what that term is; I'm very far removed from the recruiting world. But that person isn't doing that because they're a jerk. They're doing that because they have numbers to hit and they've got to grind out as many as humanly possible. And you're going to get bad employees when you do that. That's not a long-term sustainable path. So, that was the conversation that I had with them. Hopefully, it resonated and hits home.Corey: I still remember from ten years ago—and I don't always tell the story, but I absolutely will now—I went up to San Francisco when I lived in Los Angeles; I interviewed with Yammer. I went through the entire process—this was not too long before they got acquired by Microsoft so that gives you some time basis—and I got a job offer. And it was a not ridiculous offer. I was going to think about it, and I [unintelligible 00:24:19], “Great. Thank you. Let me sleep on this for a day or two and I'll get back to you definitely before the end of the week.”Within an hour, I got a response rescinding the offer claiming it had been sent by mistake. Now, I believe that that is true and that they are being sincere with this. I don't know that if it was the wrong person; I don't know if that suddenly they didn't have the req or they had another candidate that suddenly liked better that said no and then came back and said yes, but it's been over a decade now and every time I talk to someone who's considering something in that group, I tell this story. That's the sort of thing that leaves a mark because I have a certain philosophy of I don't ever resign from a job before I wind up making sure everything is solid—things are signed, good to go, the background check clears, et cetera—because I don't want to find myself suddenly without income or employment, especially in that era. And that was fine, but a lot of people don't do that.As soon as the offer comes in, they're like, “I'm going to go take a crap on my boss's desk,” which, let's be clear, I don't recommend. You should write a polite and formulaic resignation letter and then you should email it to your boss, you should not carve it into their door. Do this in a responsible way, and remember that you're going to encounter these people again throughout your career. But if I had done that, I would have had serious problems. And so that points to something systemically awful at a company.I have never in my career as a hiring manager extended an offer and then rescinded it for anything other than we can't come to an agreement on this. To be clear, this is also something I wonder about in the space, when people tell stories about how they get a job offer, they attempt to negotiate the offer, and then it gets withdrawn. There are two ways that goes. One is, “Well if you're not happy with this offer, get out of here.” Yeah, that is a crappy company, but there's also the story of people who don't know how to negotiate effectively, and in turn, they come back with indications that you do not know how to write a business email, you do not know how negotiations work, and suddenly, you're giving them a last-minute opportunity to get out before they hire someone who is going to be something of a wrecking ball in the company, and, “Whew, dodged a bullet on that.”I haven't encountered that scenario myself, but I've seen it from other folks and emails that have been passed around in various channels. So, my position on this is everyone should negotiate offers, but visit fearlesssalarynegotiation.com, it's run by my friend, Josh; he has a whole bunch of free content on his site. Look at it. Read it. It is how to handle this stuff effectively and why things are the way that they are. Follow his advice, and you won't go too far wrong. Again, I have no financial relationship, I just like what he's done a lot and I've been talking to him for years.Chris: Nice. I'll definitely check that out. [laugh].Corey: Another example is developher—that's develop H-E-R dot com. Someone else I've been speaking to who's great at this takes a different perspective on it, and that's fine. There's a lot of advice out there. Just make sure that whoever it is you're talking to about this is in a position to know what they're talking about because there's crap advice that's free. Yeah. How do you figure out the good advice and the bad advice? I'm worried someone out there is actually running Route 53 is a database for God's sake.Chris: That's crazy talk. Who would do that? That's madness.Corey: I can't imagine it.Chris: We're actually in the process of trying to figure out how to do a panel chat on exactly that, like, do a vBrownBag on salary negotiations, get some really good people in the room that can have a conversation around some of the tough questions that come around salary negotiation, what's too much to ask for? What kind of attitude should you go into it with? What kind of process should you have mentally? Is it scrawling in crayon, “No. More money,” and then hitting send? Or is it something a little bit more advanced?Corey: I also want to be clear that as you're building panels and stuff like that—because I got this wrong early on in my public speaking career, to be clear—I built talks aligned with this based on what worked for me—make sure that there are folks on the panel who are not painfully over-represented as you and I are because what works for us and we're considered oh, savvy business people who are great negotiators comes across as entitled, or demanding, or ooh, maybe we shouldn't hire her—and yes, I'm talking about her in a lot of these scenarios—make sure you have a diverse group of folks who can share lived experience and strategies that work because what works for you and me is not universal, I promise.Chris: So, the only requirement to set this panel is that you have to be a not-white guy; not-old-white guy. That's literally the one rule. [laugh].Corey: I like the approach. It's a good way to do it. I don't do manels.Chris: Yes. And it's tough because I'm not going to get into it, but the mental space that you have to be in to be a woman in tech, it's a delicate balance because when I'm approaching somebody, I don't want to slide into their DMs. It's like this, “Hey, I know this other person and they recommended you and I am not a weirdo.” [laugh]. As an old white guy, I have to be very not a weirdo when I'm talking to folks that I'm desperate to get on the show.Because I love having that diverse aspect, just different people from different backgrounds. Which is why we did the entire career series on vBrownBag. We did data science with Ayodele; we did how to get into cybersecurity with Christoph. It was a fantastic series of how to get into IT. This was at the beginning of the pandemic.We wanted to do a series on, okay, there's a lot of people out there that are furloughed right now. How do we get some people on the show that can talk to how to get into a part of IT that they're passionate about? We did a triple series on how to get into game development with Dennis Diack, the founder of Apocalypse Studios. We had a bunch of the other AWS Heroes from serverless, and Lambda, and AI on the show to talk, and it was really fantastic and I think it resonated well with the community.Corey: It takes work to have a group of guests on things like podcasts like this. You've been running vBrownBag for longer than I've been running this, and—Chris: 13 years now.Corey: Yeah. This is I think, coming up on what, four years-ish, maybe three, in that range? The passing of time, especially in a pandemic era, is challenging. And there's always a difference. If I invite a white dude to come on the podcast, the answer is yes before I get the word podcast fully out of my mouth, whereas folks who are not over-represented, they're a little more cautious. First, there's the question of, “Am I a trash bag?” And the answer is, “No.” Well, no, not in the way that you're concerned about other ways—Chris: [laugh]. That you're aware of. [laugh].Corey: Oh, God, yes, but—yeah. And then—and that's part of it, and then very often, there's a second one of, “Well, I don't think I have anything, really, to talk about,” is often a common objection here. And it's, yeah, if I'm inviting you on this show, I promise that's not true. Don't worry about that piece of it. And then it's the standard stuff that just comes with being me, of, “Yeah, I've read your Twitter feed; you got to insult me here?” It's, “No, no, not really the same tone. But great question; throw the”—it goes down to process. But it takes constant work, you can't just put an open call out for guest nominations, and expect that to wind up being representative of our industry. It is representative of our biases, in many respects.Chris: It's a tough needle to thread. Because the show has been around for a long time, it's easier for me now, because the show has been around for 13 years. We actually just recorded our two thousandth and sixtieth episode the other night. And even with that, getting that kind of outreach, [#techtwitter 00:31:32] is wonderful for making new recommendations of people. So, that's been really fun. The rest of Twitter is a hot trash fire, but that's beside the point. So yeah, I don't have a good solution for it. There's no easy answer for it other than to just be empathic, and communicative, and reach people on their level, and have a good show.Corey: And sometimes that's all it takes. The idea behind doing a podcast—despite my constant jokes—it's not out of a love affair of the sound of my own voice. It's about for better or worse, for reasons I don't fully understand, I have a platform. People listen to the show and they care what people have to say. So, my question is, how can I wind up using that platform to tell stories that lift up narratives that are helpful for folks that they can use as inspiration—in my case, as critical warnings of what to avoid—and effectively showcasing some of the best our industry has to offer, in many respects.So, if the guest has a good time and the audience can learn something, and I'm not accidentally perpetuating horrifying things, that's really more than I have any right to ask from a show like this. The fact that it's succeeded is due in no small part to not just an amazing audience, but also guests like you. So, thank you.Chris: Oh no, Thank you. And it is. It's… these kinds of shows are super fun. If it wasn't fun, I wouldn't have done it for as long as I have. I still enjoy chatting with folks and getting new voices.I love that first-time presenter who was, like, super nervous and I spend 15 minutes with them ahead of the show, I say, “Okay, relax. It's just going to be me and you facing each other. We're going to have a good time. You're going to talk about something that you love talking about, and we're going to be nerds and do nerd stuff. This is me and you in front of a water cooler with a whiteboard just being geeks and talking about cool stuff. We're also going to record it and some amount of people is going to see it afterwards.” [laugh].And yeah, that's the part that I love. And then watching somebody like that turn into the keynote speaker at a conference ten years down the road. And I get to say, “Oh, I knew that person when.”Corey: I just want to be remembered by folks who look back fondly at some of the things that we talk about here. I don't even need credit, just yeah. People who see that they've learned things and carry them forward and spread to others, there's so many favors that people have done for us that we can only ever pay forward.Chris: Yeah, exactly. So—and that's actually how I got into vBrownBag. I came to them saying, “Hey, I love the things that you guys have done. I actually passed my VCIX because of watching vBrownBags. What can I do to help contribute back to the community?” And Alistair said, “Funny you should mention that.” [laugh]. And here we are seven years later.Corey: Well, to that end, if people are inspired by what you're saying and they want to hear more about what you have to say or, heaven forbid, follow in your footsteps, where can they find you?Chris: So, you can find me on Twitter; I am at mistwire.com—M-I-S-T-W-I-R-E; if you Google ‘mistwire,' I am the first three pages of hits; so I have a blog; you can find me on vBrownBag. I'm hard to miss on Twitter [laugh] I discourage you from following me there. But yeah, you can hit me up on all of the formats. And if you want to present, I'd love to get you on the show. If you want to learn more about what it takes to become an AWS Hero or if you want to get into that line of work, I highly discourage it. It's a long slog but it's a—yeah, I'd love to talk to you.Corey: And we of course put links to that in the [show notes 00:35:01]. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me, Chris. I really appreciate it.Chris: Thank you, Corey. Thanks for having me on.Corey: Chris Williams, Enterprise Architect, comma AWS Cloud at WWT. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with a comment telling me that while you didn't actively enjoy this episode, you are at least open to enjoying future episodes if I have one that might potentially be exciting.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

Reversim Podcast
424 Melio's payment processor

Reversim Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021


[קישור לקובץ mp3] שלום וברוכים הבאים לפודקאסט מספר 424 של רברס עם פלטפורמה - יצא מספר פלידנרומי, איזה מגניב! . . . - (אורי) 424?! . . . - (רן) 424 . . . התאריך היום הוא 17 באוקטובר, השעה היא 21:30 עוד מעט והשנה היא 2021 - (אורי) והטמפרטורות התחילו לרדת היום, גם היה גשם . . . - (רן) היה גשם היום, נכון, סוף סוף . . . היום אנחנו מתכבדים לארח את אילן ואת אור מחברת Melio - זה Mi-lio או Me-lio? . . .(אילן) האמת שזו שאלה מאוד טובה, כי כשהקמנו את החברה אז קראנו לה באמת Me-lio, אבל כשהתחלנו לדבר עם אנשים מארה”ב, אמרו לנו שיש משהו שנקרא Long e ו- Short e, שזה משהו שלא הכרנו . . . אז חלקם הוגים “Mi-lio” וחלקם הוגים “Me-lio” . . . מבחינתנו זה “Mi-lio”.(אורי) זה בטח ה-Domain שהיה פנוי . . . (אילן) האמת שה-Domain שהיה פנוי היה Mi-lio(paymnets.com), אבל ככל שהצלחנו לגדול והחלטנו שהשם זה ממש משהו שאנחנו שלמים איתו - כי היה גם שם תהליך, אבל זה סיפור לפודקאסט אחר - אז קנינו את melio.com, שהיה קצת יקר אבל הצלחנו להשיג, ארבע אותיות וגם com., אירוע קצת . . . (אורי) טוב, אז זה היה אילן . . .(רן) כן, אנחנו נעשה היום פודקאסט הפוך - נתחיל מהסוף . . . .כן - אז אנחנו שמחים ומתכבדים לארח פה את אילן ואור מחברת Melio - אנחנו נדבר על Melio ועל פלטפורמת התשלומים והטכנלוגיה שפיתחתם כדי באמת לממש את כל הסיפור הזה.אבל לפני זה - בואו נכיר אתכם: אילן - בבקשה:(אילן) תודה רבה שאתם מארחים אותנו - כבוד גדול.אני מכיר את אורי ורן עוד מלפני מספר שנים, כבוד הוא לנו לבוא לפודקאסט אני אילן, אחד ה-Co-Founders וה-CTO של Melio - הקמנו את החברה לפני כשלוש-וחצי שנים רשמית - קצת לפני עבדנו עוד בגראז', להבין מה אנחנו רוצים לעשותאני אספר על זה קצת עוד מעטשנים יחסית אינטנסטיביות בשנים האחרונותלפני כן הייתי ה-VP Engineering בחברה בשם Winward, ולפני זה עבדתי ב-Outbrain כשנתיים + . . .איתי פה נמצא אור . . .(רן) אור - ברוך הבא!(אור) תודה רבה - אני היום ב-Melio ה-Principal Engineer, הצטרפתי יחסית ממש בהתחלה. זה היה . . .לפני כן הייתי Co-Founder בסטארטאפ אחר, ולפני כן הייתי יועץ באיזושהי חברת נקרא לזה “בוטיק-DevOps” קטן שנקרא FewBytes ואחרי שעזבתי את ה-Startup שלי בתור Co-Founder - הייתי Co-Founder ממש לא טוב - מישהו שידך ביני לבין אילן והאמת שממש בשיחות הראשונות עם הפאונדרים של Melio זה פשוט . . . אני יכול להגיד באופן אישי שזה היה מעיין “אהבה ממבט ראשון”, ממש “עפתי עליהם” עד הסוף ואמרתי “אני רוצה לעבוד פה” וכל השאר פחות או יותר היסטוריה . . .(רן) אז Melio - אני מניח שיש כאלה שכבר שמעו את השם, אבל למי שעוד לא שמע: מה עושה Melio?(אילן) אנחנו פיתחנו ומפתחים פלטפורמה לעסקים קטנים, להעברות תשלומים.ככל שזה יהיה אולי מופלא ואולי לא לחלק מהמאזינים או למי שמקשיב, תשלומים, בארה”ב בעיקר, עדיין רובם ככולם מועברים על גבי פיסות נייר - שהם שיקים . . .סדר גודל של 18 טריליון דולר נעים בארה”ב בין עסקים קטנים בכל שנהסדר גודל של כחמישה מיליארד שיקים נכתבים בין עסקיםכשאנחנו . . . זה סדר גודל שראינו לפני ארבע שנים, ואמרנו “רגע - זה לא הגיוני”בעולם שה-Digital Payments קורים בין חברים, כלומר - היום להעביר כסף בין Friends & Family קורה בצורה מאוד פשוטה, יש הרבה מאוד אפליקציות שאתה יכול באמצעותן להעביר כסף בצורה סופר-קלה.אם אתה עכשיו בתור Consumer שרוצה לעשות Check-out ב-Online, התהליך הוא מאוד מאוד מתקדם, כל עולם ה-eCommerce.אתה יכול לעשות Check Out עם Stripe או עם כרטיסי אשראי או Affirm או עם Klarna או עם כל שיטת Check out אחרת.עדיין, תשלומים לספקים, רובם ככולם, מועברים בעצם על פני פיסות נייר - שיקים, העברות בנקאיות - דרך כלים שהם מחוץ . . . בעצם כלי מערכת, שהם בעיקר כלים של הבנקים.(רן) אפילו בקרנות הון סיכון אומרים “I'll write you a check” . . . (אילן) I'll write you a check”, Yes” . . . וגם אנחנו היום, כ-Melio - אנחנו כותבים שיקים . . .בעצם, יש לנו ספקים שרוצים לקבל רק שיקים . . .והבעיה הזו נראתה לנו די מעניינת ומאוד מאתגרת - אמרנו “איך זה יכול להיות, בעולם ש-Payments עוברים ו-Shifting ל-Digital בצורה מאוד מאסיבית, עדיין עולם ה-Supplier Payments נמצא על גבי פיסות נייר” . . .(רן) על אילו סוגי עסקים אנחנו מדברים? מספרות, וטרינרים, . . . ?(אילן) אז אנחנו מדברים כמעט על כל סוגי העסקים - זה יכול להיות כמו שאמרת - מספרות וטרינרים, מסעדות, Doctor Offices למינהם, Professional Services, צלמים . . . (אורי) גולדמן-סאקס?(אילן) גולדמן-סאקס . . . גם כאלה, הגדולים . . . ובאמת לחברות כמו Nike או Fortune-500's יש כלים, היום, לעשות גם Procurement וגם Paymentsאבל כשאתה הולך לעסק הקטן - מה שנקרא Owner-Operated Business - לבעל העסק כיום אין כלי מתאים כדי לנהל את תשלומי הספקים שלו.ומה שמאפיין בעצם את אותם עסקים זה שאין להם היום איזה Bookkeeper או איזשהו Accounts-Payables Expert שעושה עבורם את ה-Paymentsאנחנו היום ב-Melio, או אצלכם ב-Outbrain - יש בעצם Finance Department, שמתעסקים ב-Accounts-Payablesאבל אם אני עסק קטן, אם אני עכשיו בעל מסעדה ויש לי חמישה-עשרה עובדים - בדרך כלל מי שמטפלים בזה זה או אני או מישהו שהוא Trusted Employee.והיום עסק קטן ממוצע - העסקים שאנחנו מטרגטים (Targeting), של 5-10 עובדים, סדר גודל של 1-2 מיליון דולר Revenue בשנה - מוציאים סדר גודל של 50-60 Payments בחודש.וה”אירוע” הזה הוא בדרך כלל Heavy . . . בדרך כלל נעשה ידנית . . .(רן) אנחנו תיכף נצלול לסיפור הטכנולוגי שם, אבל קצת בכל אופן כדי להבין את הרקע - פתאום קם אדם בבוקר ומרגיש שהוא חייב לעשות מערכת Payments? זאת אומרת - איך קורה שילד-טוב-ירושלים, אילן, אחד מהפאונדרים של החברה, מחליט שבא לו להרים מערכת Payments לעסקים בארה”ב?(אילן) אז מה שבעיקר משך אותנו זה גודל ההזדמנות - באנו ואמרנו רגע, עסקים קטנים - סליחה על הקלישאה אבל זה The Backbone of the economy . . . בסופו של יום, הדרך שהם מתנהלים - גם ברמת האופרציה של להוציא את התשלומים וגם האופרציה גם גוררת . . . אופרציה לא יעילה גורמת לניהול תזרימים מאוד לא טוב עבור העסק.עסקים קטנים - אם אתה מסתכל על הסיבות שעסקים נסגרים לרוב - אז חלק נותנים שירות לא טוב או מוצר לא טוב, אבל בהרבה מאוד פעמים זה נובע מכך שהם לא יודעים לנהל נכון את “האירוע התזרימי”, אתה-Cash Flow.והרבה פעמים זה קורה בגלל היעדר יכולת אופרטיבית והבנה של מה בעצם צריך להוציא היום ומה אפשר להוציא מחר ומה אפשר לנהל בצורה יותר חכמה.באמת, מה שהדליק אותנו, מה שבעצם גרם לנו להגיד זה איך אנחנו יכולים לעזור לעסקים קטנים? - על ידי זה שנוכל בעצם לקחת את עולם ה-Payments שלהם לעולם ה-Digital, ולנהל בעיקר את ה-Cash Flow.(רן) אוקיי, אז אני לא מבין גדול בעולם ה-Finance, אבל אני כן יודע שיש כמה חברות וכמה ספקי תשלומים גדולים - הזכרתם אני חושב את Stripe ויש עוד כל מיני גדולים אחרים . . . (אורי) . . . האם בין ה-CRM לניהול הכספי - CRM זה יותר לצד הלקוחות . . . (רן) . . . כן, נשים לרגע את הסיפור העסקי בצד - אני מניח שיש סיבה למה Stripe לא מתאים להם, אבל אתם גם החלטתם לייצר מערכת תשלומים פנימית, זאת אומרת - לנהל את הכל אצלכם. למה לעשות את זה ולמה לא להשתמש באיזשהו צד שלישי - איזשהו בנק, ב-Stripe או כל דבר אחר כזה?(אילן) לפני שאני אענה על השאלה הזאת, אני אקח לרגע צעד אחורה - הסיבה בעצם כיום לכך שעסקים בעיקר מתנהלים - לתשלומי ספקים - בעיקר עם שיקים, זה בגלל חוסר ההסכמה, לרוב, הבסיסי בין איך שצד אחד רוצה לשלם לאיך שהצד השני בעצם רוצה לקבל את הכסף.היום, כשאני הולך ועושה Check out online, ויש שם איזשהו Check out עם Stripe - אז אני יכול לשלם בכרטיס אשראי, והצד השני יקבל את זה לחשבון הבנק שלו, בעצם.יש איזשהו “נדל”ן”, שזה ה-Point-of-Sale, שיכול לסלוק את כרטיס האשראי שלי - והצד השני יקבל את הכסף.בעולם ה-B2B, לרוב הטרנזקציות (Transactions), החלק הארי של הטרנזקציות קורה OTC - Over the Counter.אין בעצם היום איזשהו Point of Sale - לא לרכישה ולא לתשלום - וה-Point of Sale שבעצם קיים זה ה-Invoice.כשאני מזמין, לדוגמא, מהספק דגים שלי עשרה ק”ג סלמון למסעדה - יחד עם הדגים אני מקבל בעצם Invoice, ושם אני אמור לשלם את התשלום עבור הדגים באיזה Net Terms.עכשיו - אני ספק דגים שכבר קיים בשוק 20 שנה, ואני עכשיו מקבל ממאות לקוחות כסף - ובאיזשהו מקום אני לא בהכרח רוצה לתמוך בעוד שיטת תשלוםכי כל תהליך ה-Finance שבניתי או כל תהליך ה-Reconciliation שבניתי בעצם בנוי מעל שיקים, שמגיעים אליאני יודע איך הכסף מגיע ואיך לקשור אותו לחשבונית המתאימה.אבל אותה מסעדה שנפתחה עכשיו, מסעדה חדשה שלא בהכרח רוצה לשלם בשיקים - רוצה לשלם בכרטיס אשראי, רוצה לשלם בהעברה בנקאית . . . .שני הצדדים לא מסכימים על אמצעי התשלום.(אורי) . . . ואז יורדים למכנה המשותף הכי נמוך - שזה השיקים . . .(אילן) בול . . . ולכן מגיעים בדיוק למכנה המשותף הנמוך ביותר שזה השיקים - שיק - ברור שהוא מתקבל בכל מקום, ברור שהוא “ג'וקר”, ואתה יכול בעצם לתת אותו, ובעצם זה סוג של סטנדרט . . . (אורי) זה נייר - אפשר לעטוף איתו דגים . . .(רן) יש יותר נמוך - יש Cash . . . אבל לשם עוד לא ירדנו . . . יש מטבעות זהב . . .(אורי) נייר . . .(רן) אז בעצם אתם החלטתם שאתם בונים איזשהו Transpiler - משהו שמתרגם דיגיטלי לנייר, נייר לדיגיטלי או כל מיני תרגומים אחרים שקיימים . . . (אילן) בדיוק, ולשאלתך של למה בעצם בנינו Payment Infrastructure - כדי להגיע למצב שאנחנו בעצם נוכל לבוא ולשרת את אותם עסקים, הרי היינו צריכים לייצר איזושהי “חוסר תלות” בין הצדדים - Decupling בין המשלם למקבלובנינו בעצם Payments Infrastructure חדש, היום כבר מעל שלושה בנקים - Evolve Bank & Trust ו-Silicon Valley Bank ו-JPMorgan Chaseבעצם בנינו יכולת לבוא ולסלוק כסף מהמשלם בכל דרך שנרצה - זה יכול להיות כרטיס אשראי, זה יכול להיות Debit Card, זה יכול להיות בנק, זה יכול להיות PayPal, זה יכול להיות Apple Pay . . . אנחנו יכולים לסלוק כסף בכל דרך אפשרית - ולהוציא אותו מהצד השני בכל דרך שהצד השני יחפוץ בהבעצם יצרנו ניתוק בין שני הצדדים - מה שנותן לנו היום המון כוח לבוא לעסק - לבוא למסעדה או לאיזשהו צלם או מספרה או כל מקום אחר - ולהגיד “אוקיי, לא משנה עכשיו, אתה לא צריך לשכנע את הצד השני איך לקבל את הכסף, תן להם באיזו דרך שהם יחפצו, ואתה תשלם איך שאתה רוצה”.(אורי) יש גם, כאילו את “הדרך של Melio”, את ה . . . לא יודע, כרטיס או סוג של bit כזה . . . אפליקציה שהיא אפליקציית-סליקה, שאם היא מתאימה לשני הצדדים אז מה טוב, אבל אתה יכול גם דרכה לקבל ול . . .?(אילן) אז הדרך שאנחנו היום . . . בדוגמא שנתתי, נניח שאני מסעדה, אז אני יכול לסלוק, אני יכול עכשיו לבחור לשלם באשראי, יכול לבחור לשלם בבנק - ב-Bank Transfer - ואתה תקבל איך שתחפוץ, נניח שיקים או העברה בנקאית או כל דרך אחרת.אנחנו כן מייצרים . . . אנחנו נייצר בעצם סוג של . . . אם אני מבין נכון את השאלה שלך, מעיין Wallet, כך שאפשר בעצם, ברגע ששני הצדדים ב-Network, אז בעצם נוכל להעביר כסף - שהוא בעצם Wallet, שכל אחד יוכל להשתמש בו ב-Network עצמו.עכשיו, אחד הדברים הנוספים שיצרנו ב-Payments Infrastructure הזה זה בעצם, שלהבדיל ממערכות כמו bit או Pepper, או בארה”ב Venmo או PayPal, ששני הצדדים צריכים להיות ב-Network על מנת שצד אחד יוכל לשלם לצד השני - אנחנו בעצם יצרנו יכולת של מה שאנחנו קוראים לו Open Network - רק צד אחד צריך להיות ברשת על מנת שהצד השני יקבל את הכסף.על ידי כך, בעצם הורדנו את העומס ממי שכרגע משתמש בנו, כדי לשכנע שהצד השני יכנס.(רן) כן, אז החלטתם והבנתם שאתם רוצים להציע מערכת תשלומים נורא גמישה שהיא Open ואתה יכול לשלם איך שאתה רוצה ואתה יכול לקבל את הכסף איך שאתה רוצה - אתה בא לאור, “המתכנת המסכן”, אומר לו: “אור, בוא תבנה לי כזה!” . . . איך מתחילים? מה האתגרים פה? איך בכלל מתחילים לבנות מערכת Payments כזו מאפס?(אורי) אז אור מוציא לו חשבונית . . . (אור) אז באמת, Melio זה קצת יותר ממערכת תשלומים, מן הסתם - חלק גדול מאוד מהמערכת מבוסס על Interface ממש נוח - בגלל שזה Small Business, בגלל שאין להם כל הרבה זמן להתעסק עכשיו עם איזושהי מערכת Business-ית מורכבת, שבדרך כלל פונה לעסקים, אז בגדול, מה שאני הצעתי לאילן כשהתחלנו היה שאמרתי “אילן, תשמע - אנחנו נמצאים עכשיו On the verge of Serverless”, יש לנו הזדמנות לא לתחזק שרתים! יש לנו הזדמנות להינות מהיתרונות . . . “(רן) . . . ואומר את זה אחד שתחזק כבר הרבה שרתים, אמרת ב-Intro . . . (אור) בדיוק - מה שאצלי בראש היה זה שאני לא רוצה להגדיר יותר NTP בחיים, לעולם . . . אז אמרתי לאילן “בוא נעשה Serverless! בוא נלך על זה ובוא נראה אם זה עובד לנו”.[משלנו!]ואילן זרם איתי . . . עשה לי בהתחלה פרצוף של “אתה חושב? אתה בטוח?”, אבל אמרנו “יאללה, בוא נלך על זה” . . .(רן) “זה לא Hype, זה לא כמו GraphQL שיעבור עוד מעט? . . . .”(אור) בדיוק . . . באמת, היו לו ספקות קצת בהתחלה, ואמרתי לו “שמע - עלי! מה שלא יעבוד, אנחנו נסדר”.ואז באמת בנינו את המערכת - ה-Payments Processing שלנו בעצם רץ Serverless.האמת שחלק גדול מאוד מתשתית של Melio רץ רק על Serverless, רק על Lambda, ספציפית על Lambda.(רן) והמוטיבציה היא באמת “אני לא רוצה את כאב הראש הזה של NTP”, או שיש גם סיבות ארכיטקטוניות אחרות?(אור) זה מאוד . . . .(אורי) . . . זה מאוד Stream-oriented, נכון? זה Processing של Streams של Data, וזה נשמע מתאים . . . (אילן) אז זו נקודה מאוד חשובה, מה שאמרת עכשיו - בסופו של יום, תשלומים - רובם יוצאים או בהעברות בנקאיות מצד אחד, או בשיקים . . . עדיין אנחנו מוציאים שיקים - Melio מוציאה היום סדר גודל של מאות אלפי שיקים כל חודש, כי עדיין הספקים רוצים לקבל שיקים . . .תהליך גביית התשלום הוא באמת Stream-oriented, כלומר - אני יכול להיכנס למערכת ולקבוע תשלום.אני יכול לקבוע אותו לעכשיו, אני יוכל לקבוע אותו להיום או למחר לעוד חודש - אבל בסופו של יום, כל או רוב התשלומים מתמקדים בעצם בנקודת זמן אחת.בסופו של יום, כדי להעביר כסף בהעברה בנקאית או בשיק - זה דווקא Batch-oriented, כלומר הכל מתרכז בנקודה אחת, כי הבנקים בסוף עובדים ב-Cut-off-ים . . .זאת אומרת שכשאני רוצה להעביר כסף מנקודה A ל-B, בעצם יש Cut-off של הבנקה-Cut-off של הבנק הוא ב-2300 או 2400 Central Time בארה”ב, ואז בעצם בנקודה הזאת אנחנו לוקחים את כל השלבים שנקבעו להיום, או שנקבעו למועד שאנחנו רוצים - ובעצם מוציאים אותם.מה שאומר שהמערכת מקבלת Event-ים, מקבלת פקודות, ב-Stream - אבל בסופו של יום, היא מתנקזת לנקודה אחת, שבה צריכים להעלות את אותו קובץ, אותו Ledger, לבנק, כדי לבצע את התשלומים השונים - או להוציא שיקים או . . .(אורי) הבנתי שאופי הטרנזקציות האלה זה אופי שלא מצריך State, כמעט . . . (אור) נכון - אז באמת, אני מוכרח להודות שבהתחלה המוטיבציה הייתה מאוד “לנהל כמה שפחות” ולאט לאט, עם הזמן - האמת שדי מהר - ראינו שזה משחק לטובתינו בעוד מקרים, כי יש לנו את הצד . . .צריך להבין שהשוק הזה הוא נורא נוח, כי . . . במובנים מסויימים הוא מאוד נוח ונקרא לזה “פריוויבלגי” לנו, כ-Business - כי מדובר בעסקים, אז הם עובדים 0900-1700, זה רוב העומס שיש לנו במערכתהם לא עובדים בשבת, הם לא עובדים בראשוןהבנקים לא עובדים בשבת ולא עובדים בראשון - אז אנחנו לא עושים Processing בימים האלו.יש לנו פריווילגיה מאוד גדולה להפעיל את המערכת רק בזמנים מסויימים,וגם בתוך אותם ימים - רק בשעות מסויימות(רן) אילו זה רק היה בשעון ישראל אז זה היה אידיאלי . . . (אור) כן, זה היה מושלם . . . אז במובן הזה, Serverless מאוד עזר לנו, כי אם ניקח לרגע רק את ה-Payments Processing -אז 90% מהיום זה 0, לא קורה שום דבר . . .אולי יש כל מיני Management ו-Logistic tasks וכאלו שרצים ברקע, אבל חוץ מזה - כלום.ואז, ב-Trigger מסויים ביום, במערכת מתחילה לעבוד, עושה את כל ה-Processing שהיא צריכה לעשות - וחוזרת לישון.(אורי) זה מזכיר לי קצת ב”רמזור” כשהוא מלמד ריקוד במשרד רואה חשבון - “מה קורה כל החודש? כלום-כלום-כלום . . . 15 לחודש?! אוו . . . .”.(רן) אז אתה אומר שהיכולת היפה של פונקציות Lambda לעשות Scale-up באופן מיייד ואחר כך לכבות לכמעט אפס - זה יתרון ארכיטקטוני אחד . . . דרך אגב, לגבי ה-State שהזכרתם פה, אז לפחות בדרך שבה אני מדמיין, דווקא ב-Payments אני מדמיין שקיים הרבה מאוד State, רק שהוא תמיד צריך להיות Persistent, את אומרת - הוא אף פעם לא In-Memory, כי אסור לאבד אותו . . . אז אולי זה לא נכון להגיד ש”לא קיים State”, אבל ה-State תמיד חייב להיות Persistent . . . .(אור) נכון - ה-State, במקרה שלנו, בוא נגיד . . . . אנחנו לא “Serverless קלאסי”, נקרא לזהה-State שלנו יושב על Database טרנזקציוני (Transactional), הטרנזקציות שלנו הן בתוך ה-Lambda, מן הסתם גם חלק מה-Processing של מה שה-Lambda עושהחלק ממה שאנחנו עושים בעבודה מול הבנקים זה בעצם חלק מהטרנזקציה שקוראת מול ה-Database, זאת אומרת - אנחנו מתייחסים ל-Lambda כאל Volatile לחלוטין - שאם היא תיפול, לא יקרה כלום מבחינת “לא יזוז כסף לשום מקום”.וה-State עצמו באמת נשאר ב-Database.(רן) איך נראים ה-API-ים מול אותם בנקים? אני זוכר מהפעם האחרונה שעשיתי איזשהו Payment, זה היה איזשהו CORBA זוועתי עם Perl וכאלה דברים . . . .מה המצב היום?(אור) אז באמת, תשלומים מול בנקים זה סיפור שלם לגמרי, שאפשר לספר עליו . . . אני אתן לרגע את הראשי תיבות ACH - זה Automated Clearing House, שזה בעצם אוטומציה למשהו ענתיקה שנקרא Clearing House . . .(רן) . . . ושום דבר שם לא אוטומטי . . . .(אור) . . . והאוטומציה . . . אני אתן שתי אנקדוטות, אבל בגדול זה קובץ עם המון Records בפניםאתה שם אותו באיזשהו Server בצד השני של העולם - וזה “חור שחור” . . . .אין שום דבר - לא מודל של Request Response . . . יש Response מסויים, אבל זה לא בדיוק אומר לך “אה, כן - אנחנו בדיוק העברנו את הכל!” - אתה יודע רק אחרי כמה ימים אילו מה-Records נכשלו.מה שלא נכשל - הצליח . . . זה בערך המודל לפרוטוקול של הדבר הזה.(רן) כנראה . . . (אור) “כנראה” . . . בדיוק.עכשיו, תוך כדי שאנחנו עובדים אתה אומר לעצמך אוקיי, זה מודל ש . . . יש שם איזשהו מחשב שעובר על הרשומות אחת-אחת, ה-Processing מעביר אותן הלאה ומחזיר אלינו מה שנכשל ומה שלא נכשל.ואז גילינו שאחת הטרנזקציות שחזרה ונכשלה - אנחנו ראינו איזשהו Meta-data בפנים שאנחנו שומרים כדי למפות את זה אחר כך לטרנזקציות פנימיות שלנו וכו' - ואצלנו זה התחיל נגיד עם “t” קטנה ומספר מאוד ארוךוחזרה אלינו טרזקציה שאנחנו לא מזהים - זיהינו אותה, כי שהסתכלנו בעין זה היה “T” גדולה ומספר מאוד ארוך . . . .ואז הבנו שאיפשהו ב-Chain של הבנקים, יש פשוט איזשהו בנאדם שפשוט הקליד “T” . . . . המחשב לא טועה בין “t” ל-”T”, זה שני דברים שונים לגמרי, אבל בנאדם שמקליד T באיזשהו אקסל או email או משהו - כנראה התחלף לו פעם אחת ל-T גדולה ומשם זה נשאר גדול וחזר אלינו בחזרה עם אות גדולה . . .(רן) זה היום שנשפך לו הקפה על ה-Shift . . . .(אור) משהו כזה, בדיוק . . . אז המערכת הזאת היא כאילו סמי-אוטומטית, כי הדברים הם Triggered בצורה אוטומטית - אבל יש שם הרבה מאוד עבודה אנושיתוגם השגיאות שחוזרות הרבה פעמים זו עבודה אנושית, כל מיני מיפויים שמסתכלים על ה-Owner של החשבון בנק - הרבה פעמים זה שם . . . .הם אשכרה ממפים את זה לשם, והרבה פעמים הם לא מוצאים את המספר . . . יש ממש הרבה מאוד תהליכים, ואני רוצה להגיד אולי - אם המערכת היא סוג של . . . ה-Input-ים שהיא מקבלת מהמכונה - אנחנו מתייחסים אליהם גם כאל Input-ים אנושיים, כדי לוודא שבאמת לא נפלנו גם במקרה הזה.(אורי) אבל רגע - קודם, אילן דיבר על זה שאתם מוציאים המון שיקים. זה כאילו . . . אשכרה יש מדפסות שמדפיסות נייר? Serverless מפה ועד להודעה חדשה, אבל מדפסות . . .(אילן) חבל על הזמן . . . (רן) בטח יש שירות של אמאזון שמדפיס שיקים, לא? . . . .(אילן) א - נכון, יש שירות של Amazon שמדפיס שיקים [?], אבל אנחנו משתמשים בשירותים של הבנקים שמדפיסים שיקיםאור דיבר בעצם על קובץ ACH, שזה קובץ מקודד, ששולחים אותו כדי לבצע העברות בנקאיותיש קובץ עם פורמט אחר, קצת יותר מתקדם, ב-JSON, שמעלים לבנקים והם מוציאים שיקים.בעצם, אנחנו נותנים פקודה לבנק - אתה צריך להעביר את זה עד שעה מסויימת, את הקובץ עצמוכשאתה אומר להם “הנה הפרטים” - ומהצד השני יש מדפסות, ומוציאים בעצם שיקים . . . עכשיו, הם עוברים, נכנסים למעטפות, עוברים ל-USPS - ומגיעים ליעד שלהם . . .(אורי) אני חייב להגיד שכאילו . . . נגיד ב-Outbrain, כשאנחנו עושים תשלומים לספקים - וזה הרבה מאוד ספקים, פעמיים בחודש - אנחנו עובדים עם איזושהי מערכת נוראית שנקראית מס”ב, מכירים? (אילן) [מהנהן ביאוש כנראה](רן) ישראלית?(אורי) כן, “מרכז סליקה בנקאי” או משהו כזה . . . (אור) זה די מזכיר את המבנה של ה-ACH, באיזשהו מקום - מאנקדוטות ששמעתי . . . (אורי) אני, אישית, מעדיף לחזור לשיקים, אחרי החווייה עם המס”ב הזה . . . כאילו, מעלים שם איזשהו קובץ Excel, זה אותו דבר כנראה . . . נורא.(רן) יותר בטוח מלשלם ביטוח לעובדים, שגם זה בדרך כלל לא מגיע, אבל לא משנה . . . .(אורי) נכון . . . .אבל יש שם גם . . . לפעמים מתחלפות להם . . . השמות מתחלפים בצדדים כי הכל בעברית, ואתה צריך לקרוא ביוונית, וזה . . .(רן) אז היום אתה מומחה ל-Payments, אור? את היום והלילה שלך אתה מבלה בפיענוח של קבצים כאלה?(אור) אז אני, בוא נגיד במרכאות “למזלי”, יש צוות הרבה יותר גדול שמתעסק בזה.אני עשיתי את זה תקופה יחסית ארוכה, אני . . . זה כמו במטריקס, שהוא רואה את הקוד ויודע מה מופיע מאחורי זה בלי להסתכל על התמונות? אז זה אותו דבר - אני מסתכל על הקובץ ACH ואני יודע - זה המספר של הזה, המבנה הזה זה שם . . .(רן) זה “T” גדולה אז היום Rachel עבדה, זה “t” אז . . .(אור) כן . . . גם בשיקים, אגב, זה מאוד . . . שוב, שיקים זה תהליך אנושי - זה נשלח בדואר אז זה הולך לאיבודיש גם דברים . . . לדוגמא, כשהתחלנו שלחנו מעטפות בצבע הלא נכון . . . שלחנו מעטפות סגולות של שיקים, של Melio, סגול . . . וגילינו שיש אנשים שפשוט מניחים את השיק בצד ולא עושים איתו כלום, כי הם חושבים שזה פרסומות . . . אז שינינו את זה ללבן - ופתאום אנשים כן הפקידו את השיקים . . . .יש כל מיני דברים . . . זה באמת, הערבוב הזה של תהליך אנושי ותהליך שאנחנו מייצרים דברים אוטומטית, שמים ב-API באיזשהו מקום איזו JSON או לא JSON - אנשים בצד השני בסוף צריכים לעשות פעולה, וזה הופך את הכל להרבה יותר מורכב.(אורי) יש לי משהו שמעניין אותי - דיברת על זה שבאים ועושים תשלום, ומקבלים מצד אחד ומשלמים מצד שני - ואתה רגיל שהטרנזקציה נסגרת, נכון?עכשיו, “נסגרת” זה אומר “הכסף עבר”, אני יודע, אבל זה לא בדיוק ככה - אתה . . . הכסף לא עבר, אתה רק העברת את הקובץ ל-Processing של מישהו אחר או שהשיק בדואר, זה . . . ואין היזון-חוזר.(אילן) אין היזון חוזר, זה נכון, וגם במקרים מסויימים, כמו שאור אמר - ב-Bank Transfer, ב-ACH, הפרוטוקול עובד בזה שהוא אומר “כל עוד לא חזרתי אליך אז הכל בסדר”, ואם חזרתי אליך עם שגיאה אז הנה הדברים שנכשלו”אבל כן בנינו מערכת - בנינו מערכת, בסופו של דבר אנחנו מעבירים היום בקצבים של עשרות מיליארדים של דולרים בשנה, יש לנו עשרות אלפי לקוחות ואנחנו חייבים שהכל יהיה מאוזן.ה-SLA הוא מאוד מאוד חשוב - בסופו של יום, אנחנו חייבים . . . לא יכולים להפסיד שדולר לא יגיע לצד אחד או תשלום או שניים יפלו, כי בסופו של דבר מדובר על עסקים שהכסף שלהם לא הגיע לספקים, וזה המון המון Relations שבין העסק לספק.ולכן בנינו מערכות שיושבות בעצם מחוץ ל-Payment Processing, שבעצם בודקות שהספרים מאוזניםנכנסות לבנקים, לוקחות קבצים שאנחנו . . . שמחוץ ל-Transactions, שהם קבצים שמגיעים אלינו - כדי לאזן את הספריםכדי לראות בעצם שכל מה שאנחנו ייצאנו - אנחנו אחרי זה מתשאלים את הבנק, אז אנחנו מבינים . . .כל מה שאנחנו שלחנו לבנק כהוראה, כשאנחנו אחרי זה מתשאלים את הבנק, אנחנו מוודאים שהבנק באמת הוציא את זה.כל המערכות של ה-FinOps שאנחנו . . . .(רן) אני מניח אגב, שזה ערך מוסף משמעותי, מעבר ליכולת הטכנית להעביר תשלום - לוודא שזה מאוזן, לוודא שהדברים עברו, אני מנחש שזה ערך מוסף . . . אני יכול להגיד, שוב - אם נחזור לאנקדוטה של החברת ביטוח - אני זוכר פגישה עם סוכן ביטוח שהבטיח לי ש”פה יש מחשב שבודק!”, אז שאלתי אותו “מה, לפעמים אין מחשב שבודק?”, אז הוא אמר לי “לא . . . בחברות זה אנשים, אצלי זה מחשב!”. אז ברוך הבא למאה העשרים . . . (אורי) אבל אתה אומר “אני מבצע את הטרנזקציות, ואחרי זה יש לי Sweeper כזה שעובר ובודק שבאמת כל הטרנזקציות - "באמת הבנק שילם את זה”, זה מה שתכל'ס סוגר את הטרנזקציה.(אילן) זה יוצא אצלנו כדוח במערכתאנחנו עושים בדיקות אצלנו, עוד במהלך העלאת הקבצים - גם שם יכולות להיות נפילות שלנויש הרבה Lambda-ות שרצות, יש הרבה קבצים, אנחנו עושים תהליך של MapReduce, שעוברים בעצם שורה-שורה בקבצים ופותחים אותם ב-Lambda-ות שיש לנובסופו של דבר אנחנו צריכים להבין שכל מה שקראנו מה-Database עולה לתוך הבנקים - עוד לפני בכלל שיכולים לסגור את הטרנזקציה.אז גם שם פיתחנו יכולת שבאנו ואמרנו שאנחנו לא מחכים - בגלל שאין שגיאות ואין היזון חוזר . . .(אורי) זה לא שאין שגיאות - אין הודעות שגיאה . . . (אילן) אין הודעות שגיאה, בדיוק - אז אנחנו, בתהליך העלאת הקבצים, אנחנו כל הזמן בודקים מה העלינו לעומת מה שהיה כתוב ב-Database - כי התהליך בעצם חיצוני ונפרד - כדי להקפיד שהדברים מאוזנים.רק בשלב שלאחר מכן, יש תהליך שבעצם מתשאל את הבנקים ובודק מה בעצם אנחנו העלינו, ואז רואה שהכל מאוזן.(אורי) עד כדי “t” קטנה ו-”T” גדולה . . . .(אילן) . . .שרק אור תופס, כן . . . (אור) יש פה באמת . . .אפשר להגיד שאנחנו עושים Reconciliation בכמה רמות שונות, מכמה Check-Points שונים בתוך התהליךגם מיד אחרי שאנחנו מעבירים את הכסף, גם כמה ימים אחר כך, גם כשמהבנק מודיעים לנו, בדיעבד, מה הצליח ומה לא הצליח, גם אחר כך במאזן של של הבנק, הסופי, שאנחנו רואים . . . .אנחנו מנסים באמת לקבל את התמונה השלמה, כי שוב, כמו שאילן אמר - אנחנו לא יכולים להרשות שבגללנו ה-Customer שלנו לא ישלם חשבון אחר, כי אז הוא, שוב, בבעיה מול הספק שלויש לו עכשיו Cash-flow problems . . . בשבילו זה 100% - תשלום אחד בשבילו . . .אצלנו תשלום אחד זה פרומיל-של-הפרומיל - אצלו זה 100% מהדברים שהוא מתעסק בהם.(אורי) זה גם פוגע לו לפעמים בדירוגי אשראי או כאילו . . . Credit Score.(אור) יכול . . .(אילן) זה יחס עם הספק . . . זה יחס עם הספק, שהוא אומר לו “The Cheque is on its way” - והוא לא באמת on its way, ואז היחסים ביניהם עשויים להיפגע.(רן) איך עוד נראה הסיפור הטכנולוגי? זאת אומרת - האם עצם זה שאתם עוסקים ב-Domain הזה, של פיננסים, יש לזה השלכות טכנולוגיות, לצורך העניין - באילו שפות אתם כותבים? איזה Security זה אומר מבחינתכם? השלכות אחרות, טכנולוגיות שקיימות?(אור) מבחינת שפות, אנחנו די “סטנדרטיים”, נקרא לזה ככה, לפחות בתעשייה היום.אנחנו עובדים ב-JavaScript, גם קצת Python בכל מיני מקומות בתוך המערכת - אבל בגדול רוב המערכת כתובה ב-Node.זה מאפשר לנו, פשוט בגלל ש-Lambda ו-Node זה מאוד . . . נקרא לזה “Native” ב- Runtime.לא ניסינו יותר מדי להתחכם שם - אנחנו בודקים את עצמנו כמה שיותר.מבחינת Security, גם - Lambda משחק יחסית לידיים שלנו במקרה הזה: אין Server . . . אין Port לפרוץ אליו אפילוזה לא קיים, כקונספט . . . גם ל-Compliance, אגב - גם מאוד עזר לנו, כל מה שקשור ל-Serverless.כשעברנו Compliance - עברנו כבר שני תהליכים - ופשוט, יש חברות . . .(אורי) מי הגוף שמבקש מכם את ה-Compliance? זה Compliance עם מי?(אור) Compliance ISO 27001 . . . (אורי) שהוא יותר פיננסי או . . .(אור) זה של אירופה יותר, אם אני לא טועה . . . (אילן) האירופאי זה בעיקר Security, ועכשיו אנחנו בעצם בתהליך, מסיימים אותו, של SOC 2 Type 2מי שדורש מאיתנו את הרגולציות האלה זה (א) השותפים שלנו, זה הבנקים שאיתם אנחנו עובדים - זה ה-Rails שאיתם אנחנו מעבירים את הכסף ושותפים - Melio בסוף . . . עוד לא נגענו בזה, אבל נחזור רגע לחלק הטכנולוגי - ל-Melio יש שני קווי מוצר עיקריים - הקו הראשון זה Stand-alone Experienceהקו השני בעצם זה ה-Platform - “היכולת לאמבד (To Embed) את ה-Experience בנדל”ן של מישהו אחר”השותף הכי גדול שלנו היום זה Intuit, ב-QuickBooks - בעצם שמו את היכולות שלנו בתוך QuickBooksושותף שמקבל שירות פיננסי רוצה לדעת שאנחנו Well-Secured.(רן) אז אמרת . . . למה אתה מוריד את ה-Attack-Surface? . . .(אור) דילגנו על זה . . . גם בתוך ה-Compliance יש סעיפים שלמים של Port management וכל מיני דברים כאלו, ברמת המכונות וה-Server-ים, שזה פשוט לדלג עליהם . . . לקצר מאוד את הזמן של ה-Compliance, באופן מפתיע . . . זה מפתיע את הצד השני, שעושה לנו את ה-Review - כמה חתכנו.זה היה מאוד נוח בהקשר הזה.(רן) למרות שאתה יודע - אני מניח שה-Compliance הזה יזוז עם הזמן ויתרגל, ויגלה שגם לצורך העניין, ב-Serverless צריך פשוט לבדוק דברים אחרים . . . אין יותר Port-ים פתוחים, אוקיי . . . אין יותר File Descriptors, אבל כן יש דברים אחרים . . .(אור) יש Dependencies, יש Static code analysis . . . עדיין יש הרבה API-ים שחשופים החוצה לעולם, מן הסתם . . .(רן) אני מבין שה-Compliance עוד לא הגיע לשם . . . .(אור) אנחנו מנסים כמה שיותר לדאוג בעצמנו, כי שוב - ה-Compliance חשוב לנו בגלל שזה חשוב לפרטנרים שלנו, זה חשוב לנראותחשוב לנו שלא יקרה לנו שום דבר, לשמור בעצם על כל הלקוחות שלנו, אז יש כאן את האספקט של האם אנחנו מרגישים מספיק אחריות בשביל לעשות את זה.כן . . . .אז בהקשר הזה, השימוש ב-Lambda ובאופן כללי ב-Serverless - אני רוצה רגע להגיד מילה על Serverless - אני תמיד שומע “Serverless, Serverless” . . . כשהתחלנו להתעסק עם זה, אני פחות התעניינתי בזה שזה Serverless, אפילו קראתי לזה הרבה פעמים Management-less . . . .יש Server, הוא קיים - יש Lambda, זה Server, יש Instance, יש לנו Connection ל-Database שאנחנו עושים לו Re-use, יש RAM ואנחנו מחזיקים שם כל מיני דברים, יש CPU . . . . יש הכל.זה מבחינתינו כאילו מתנהג קצת כמו Server שמריץ קוד ב-Check-point-ים - רק שאנחנו כאילו לא מנהלים אותו.אז במדרג, אנחנו כן מסתכלים על זה כי Lambda זה ה-Holy Grail מהבחינה הזו של Management-lessמתחת לזה יש לנו FarGate, יש לנו זה . . . אז אנחנו לא Pure-Serverless - אנחנו משתמשים במה שמתאים לנו באותה נקודת זמן.(רן) איך זה משפיע על חווית הפיתוח? זאת אומרת - אם אני עכשיו בא ומתקן איזשהו Bug ב-Service, שהוא כנראה חלק מ-70 רכיבים אחרים - איך אני מפתח אותו? איך אני בודק אותו?(אור) יפה, אז זה אחד הדברים הראשונים שגם אני חשבתי עליהם כשאמרנו “בואו נעשה Serverless” . . .אז יש לנו כרגע שתי גישות - אחת שהיא קצת יותר Legacy בתוך החברה ואחת שהיא יותר חדשה, שאנחנו ככה מתחילים לעשות לה סוג של Imploy מבפניםהגישה הראשונה, שהיא עדיין עובדת בחלק גדול מה-Service-ים - מה שעשינו איתה בעצם . . . ה-Service-ים עצמם, היה להם מבנה פנימי מאוד ספציפי, הם היו נראים כמו איזשהו Web Application, והייתה איזושהי מעטפת קטנה שסידרה בעצם את כל התשתית מסביב, שהיא כאילו תיקרא ל-Routing בתוך ה-Web Applicationאם זה Event מ-SQS אז הוא מול איזשהו Route עם Fake payload, שזה בעצם ה-Payload מ-SQS, ועוד כל מיני דברים בסגנון הזהאם יש S3 אז הוא מול איזשהו Payload מ-S3ואז זה מאפשר לנו בעצם להריץ את הדבר הזה בתוך Lambda כרגיל, עם Event-ים ו-Listeners והכל . . . (רן) וב-Commit אתה מייצר איזשהו Container שעוטף את זה . . .(אור) אפילו לא Container - הלכנו ממש npm-start . . . פשוט, מה שהיה . . . היו פשוט, בכל פרויקט, היו שני סקריפטיםאחד שמתאים ל-Lambda והשני שהוא Server עם איזושהי מעטפת.כשמפתחים עבדו לוקאלית, אז בעצם הם . . . ה-Service שלהם דיבר ישירות עם ה-Cloud, לא עבדנו עם RabbitMQ לוקאלית ו-SQS ב-Cloud, עם DynamoDB ב-Cloud ועם Redis לוקאליתפשוט הכל - לכל Developer יש תשתית שלמה - “שלד” כזה של התשתית - בלי ה-Computeהוא פשוט בוחר איזשהו Service שהוא רוצה, npm-start - וזה מתחיל “לנגן” מול התשתית, מול ה-SQS הרלוונטי, מול ה-DynamoDB הרלוונטיה-RDS, במקרה הזה MySQL, עדיין לוקאליתזאת הייתה הגישה הראשונה - זה עבד יחסית טוב, רצנו עם זה יחסית הרבה זמן.עכשיו אנחנו נהיינו קצת יותר Powerhouse של -Lambda, ואנחנו עובדים לגישה שהיא קצת שונה - אנחנו עובדים עם SAM היום - SAM זה המתחרה-Serverlss, זה “ה-Serverless.com של AWS“. . . הרעיון זה שהוא מייצר לנו CloudFormation templates, אנחנו עושים לזה Deployments כחבילה שלמה, כ-Stack שלםואז, ברגע שיש לך Stack כזה, של . . . בגדול, לכל מפתחת אצלנו נגיד יש חשבון AWS פרטי, זה כרגע . . . עדיין אנחנו בסוג של נקרא-לזה-POC כדי לבדוק שזה . . . שההתיכנות של זה היא ממש בסדר.לכל מפתחת יש חשבון AWS - בפנים יש בעצם את המיני-Production של Melio - איזה שירות שהיא רוצה להריץ שם, את ה-email Service שלה, גם את ה-Payments Processing, הכל . . . ואז, אם היא רוצה לפתח Lambda מסויימת, אז כתבנו איזשהו כלי משלנו, שבעצם משתלט על ה-Lambda הזאת, ומעביר את ה-Compute אליה למחשבואז היא יכולה לעשות Break-points, לוקאלית - זה רץ ממש על המחשב . . .(רן) כמו Telepresence בעולם של Kubernetes . . . .(אור) בדיוק - רק עם פחות משחקיםפחות משחקים עם Port-ים, פחות משחקים עם Networking - רק לקחת את ה-Message, לשלוח אותו למחשב, לעשות את ה-Compute . . .כי ה-Resources של AWS בכל מקרה זמינים - SQS זמין ב-API Call ו-SNS זמין ב-API Call, אז ה-Compute שרץ לוקאלית על המחשב “מדבר עם ה-Cloud כאילו הוא ב-Cloud”אז ה-Telepresence במובן הזה זה רק להעביר את ה-Messaging למקום הנכון ב . . . נקרא לזה “ב-Network הגלובאלי העולמי”, למחשב הספציפי שבו זה נמצא כרגע.(רן) אז מפתח חדש שמצטרף אליכם - אנחנו כבר לקראת סיום, וזו שאלה אחרונה אולי - מפתח חדש שמצטרף אליכם, שמעולם לא חווה Serverless ולא חווה את ה-Concept - עד כמה, להערכתם, קל או קשה לו להכנס ל-Mindset הנכון, של Serverless, של Stateless, וכו'?(אור) אז אני מודה שזה אתגר . . . אנחנו, ככה, מנסים בתקופת ה-Onboarding של המפתחים והמפתחות, אנחנו מנסים להכניס את זה מעיין ל-Mindset של “אנחנו חיים על Lambda”, עם האתגרים - מה שיבוא, אנחנו נתמודד איתו.בגדול, הגענו למצב שיש כבר הרבה מאוד Engineers שכבר עובדים עם זה, אז ברגע שמישהו מצטרף, יש את ה . . . נקרא לזה תמיכה, ה-Ecosystem הפנימי של החברה שיודע לעזור.אני יכול להגיד שהחבר'ה של ה-Payments Processing מדהימים בקטע הזה - ממש אימצו את זה לגמרי והם הולכים עם זה עד הסוף.גם עם ה-Pitfalls ועם ה-Challenges שיש לזה - הם הולכים עם זה ורצים עם זה קדימה ממש יפה.רציתי לגעת דווקא בנקודה, בהקשר של Serverless, אם יש לנו זמן - בהקשר של Pricing . . .יש איזושהי מנטרה כזאת, ש-”Serverless הרבה יותר יקר” [תלוי . . . 412 Serverless at Via], בגלל שזה בעצם שירות Premium כדי להריץ פונקציה אחת בודדתאנחנו, מה שנקרא, מוצאים - בהשאלה מאנגלית [we find it] - אנחנו מוצאים את זה יחסית - אם לא יותר זול אז מקביל לדברים אחרים.יש לזה כמה סיבות - מן הסתם, אחת הסיבות העיקריות זה שאם לא הרצנו אז אנחנו לא משלמים, אבל באיזשהו מקום . . .(אורי) אין דבר כזה “להשאיר Instance באוויר” . . .(אור) בדיוק - אין Instance באוויר . . . כשהוא כן באוויר זה יקר יותר, אבל רוב הזמן אצלנו הוא לא באוויר.בוא נגיד לא “רוב הזמן”, אני מגזים - אבל חלק גדול מהחודש הוא לא באוויר.ויש פיצ'ר מאוד נחמד, בהקשר הזה, שיחסית מאוד קל לנו לעשות לו מה שנקרא Unit economicsכי בעצם כל Processing אצלנו - אנחנו יודעים כמה הוא עולה, אנחנו יכולים לעשות איזשהו חישוב גס ולדעת כמה בעצם לתרגם- ממש לחשבונית AWS - לתרגם כמה עולה הפעילות העסקית, ואפילו לתת תחזיות על סמך זה.וזה יתרון מאוד גדול בשבילנו.(אורי) זה מחזיר אותי לשאלה שמחכה מההתחלה . . . מה המודל העסקי? זאת אומרת - אתם פר-טרנזקציה? אתם . . .(רן) עושים פרסומות! מה בעיה? . . . (אילן) Recommendations, כן . . .במערכת שלנו, בסופו של דבר, יש שני סוגים של Transactions - יש את מה שאנחנו קוראים לו Basic Transactions, ה-Fundamental - להעביר ACH ל-ACH או ACH לשיק - התשלומים האלה הם חינם, בעצם Engagement Flywheel עבור העסק ועבורנו בעצם - שהעסק ישתמש בנו.הסוג השני של התשלומים זה בעצם Premium Payments - אם עכשיו עסק רוצה להשתמש בכרטיס אשראי - אז לא מתאפשר לו כרטיס אשראי, כי רוב הספקים לא מקבלים אשראי בעולמות ה-B2Bאנחנו, בזכות ה-Decupling, מאפשרים לעסק בעצם לשלם בכרטיס אשראי - והצד השני יקבל שיק.וע”י כך, בעצם לעזור לעסק ולדחות תשלום בעוד 30 או 45 יום ל-Billing cycle הבא שלך, של כרטיסי האשראיהדבר הזה יעלה למשלם 2.9% . . . (רן) “אשראי ישראלי” - שוטף פלוס . . .(אורי) “השיק בדואר” . . . .(אילן) ותשלומים אחרים שהם Premium Services זה אם אני עכשיו בתור . . . אם אני רוצה . . . ACH, לוקח לו שלושה ימים להגיע בין צד אחד לצד אחר, זו המערכת הבנקאית בארה”ב [גם בארץ…]אם עכשיו רוצים שהתשלום יגיע באותו יום, או Instant - אז בעצם זו עלות שאחד הצדדים יכול לספוג בינתיים - מי שרוצה להאיץ את התשלום או לקבל יותר מהר את התשלום.(רן) דרך אגב, גם במערכת הבנקאית - אני מניח שאתה מכיר את זה - יש גם אפשרות לזרז את התשלום תמורת “תשלום סמלי” . . .(אילן) בדיוק - International payouts -אנחנו היום נכנסים לתשלומים בינלאומיים - ותשלומים כאלה עולים כסף, Domestic wire.אז אנחנו נותנים את התשלומים, את ה-Fundamental payments, בחינם - אבל התשלומים היותר Premium הם בעצם עולים, לאחד הצדדים, תלוי למי אתה מוכר אותו.משם מגיעים ה-Unit Economics שלנו.(אורי) אבל יש, נקרא לזה “הלימה”, בין כמות הטרנזקציות שאתם תבצעו - תכל'ס תשמשו ב-Lambda-ות, נכון? - לבין כמה כסף שתרוויחו, זאת אומרת - זה יחס ישר, מסויים, אבל . . .(אילן) זה לגמרי ככה . . . בסופו של יום, כשאנחנו בעצם מודדים, אנחנו מסתכלים בעצם על סך כל ה-Volume ש-Melio הוציאה באותו יום או באותו חודש - וכמה מה-Volume הזה הוא בעצם volume ש-Melio קיבלה עליו Revenueויש לנו איזשהו יעד שאנחנו באים ואומרים - “רגע, מה היחס?”אם מסתכלים, נגיד, על Check out באונליין, בוא נניח על Check out ב-Stripe - בסופו של יום, כש-Stripe מסתכלת על 100% מהטרנזקציות, הם מרוויחים רווח כזה או אחר, 2.5% או Whatever.אז ב-Melio זה עובד קצת אחרת, בגלל שיש Blend - יש Blend של תשלומים שהם בחינם ותשלומים שהם עולים, ש-Melio בעצם מקבלת עליהם Revenue.כשמסתכלים על הכל, אז יש לנו איזשהו יעד של כמה “Bips-ים” בעצם מסך כל ה-TPV הוא בעצם רווח או Revenue ל-Melio(רן) תרגם שנייה . . . Bips זה?(אילן) זה בעצם האחוזים שבעצם עליהם אנחנו . . .(אורי) זה רווח . . .(אילן) זה הרווח . . . זה ה-Revenue[בערך . . Basis points (BPS) refers to a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%]וזה בעצם יעד שאנחנו מסתכלים עליו כל הזמןויש הלימה, בדיוק כמו שאמרת, אורי - בעצם, זה שאנחנו רואים שעסק משתמש בנו יותר, או מבצע יותר תשלומים, אז כמות ה-Premium Payments היחסית שקוראת שם בעצם עולה.ולכן אנחנו באים, וזה עדיין כלכלי עבורנו לבוא ולהגיע למצב שאנחנו רוצים שה-Engegement יעלה - כי אנחנו יודעים שאפשר אחרי זה To derive more revenue.(רן) הנושא הזה, של Unit Economy, אני לגמרי מזדהה איתו - אני נמצא גם במקום שמאוד קשה להבין כמה דברים עולים ואני יודע שזה משמעותי - אבל אני תוהה עד כמה זה בכלל זה משמעותי, עלות מרכיב הענן אצלכם היום - זה בכלל משהו משמעותי? אתם בכלל שמים לב אליו בשלב הזה של הגדילה?(אורי) . . . כאחוז מה-Revenue, ה-Cost of Sales . . .(אילן) בוא נגיד ככה, אם אני יכול ככה “לשתף ולא לשתף”, מה שנקרא . . .(רן) אם המשקיעים לא מקשיבים . . . [אבל אולי קוראים?](אילן) יש לנו עלויות עסקיות, שהן לא עלויות של הענן, בעצם - העלויות מול הבנקים, מול השותפים “הטבעיים”, נקרא לזהוכשמסתכלים על התמונה הכוללת, כשכוללים בפנים את העלות של הענן - אז זה לא כל כך מפחיד.(רן) זה בסדר, ואני חושב שהרבה חברות נמצאות במקום כזה, בעיקר בשלב של גדילה, שבו יש עלויות הרבה הרבה יותר משמעותיות - והן במכוון “שופכות כסף” על הענן, נקרא לזה.הבעיה שהן אחר כך מגיעות לנקודה שממנה מאוד קשה לחזור, של “אוקיי, עכשיו אני רוצה לצמצם את עלויות הענן - אבל עכשיו זה כבר ממש ממש קשה”.[השלמות למיטבי שמע - 421 The Cost of Cloud, a Trillion Dollar Paradox with Martin Casado ו - 418 Carboretor 31 Cost of cloud paradox](אילן) אז אני אהיה איתך כנה - זה שיקול מאוד . . . זה שיקול שעובר לנו גם.בסופו של יום, כשאמרנו שאנחנו רוצים להיות Management-less, אנחנו מעדיפים להתרכז ב-Core Businessכי Melio זו חברה שגדלה - גדלה וגדלה מאוד מהר - בשנה האחרונה הגדלנו את נפח הפעילות ב-5000% אחוז . . . ה-Covid, הקורונה, נתנה Boost מאוד גדול לעסקים להיפטר ממשהו פיזי או לפגוש אחד את השני כדי לבצע תשלומים ולעבור לתשלומים Online.דרך אגב - ה-Serverless או ה-Lambda-ות עזרו לנו To scale out בצורה מאוד טובה - מראש בנינו את המערכת שנוכל To Scale out בצורה טובה, וזה עזר לנו בגדילה הבאמת מאוד מהירה שקרתה לנו.אבל לנקודה שלך - כן, אנחנו הרבה יותר מפוקסים ביכולת שלנו להגדיל את ה-Business מאשר ללכת ולהבין איך אנחנו נחסוך בעלויות עיבוד.(רן) אבל עושים הכנה למזגן? זאת אומרת - מתישהו תתקינו את המזגן הזה . . . .(אילן) לגמרי . . . בחברות Payments זה נהוג להבין בעצם “כמה עולה תשלום”כשאני מסתכל שנייה רגע על . . . Melio בעצם ביצעה מיליונים של טרנזקציות - מה העלות הכוללת שלי, מתהליך העיבוד, עלויות שותפים - Per-Transactionהיכולת לחשב את זה היא יכולת מאוד חשובה כדי להביא את ה-Business to Scale(רן) אז הזכרנו שאתם גדלים - לא אמרתם איפה אתם גרים . . . איפה המשרד?(אילן) המשרד שלנו נמצא בתל אביב, ברחוב הארבעה, מגדלי הארבעהמאוד נגיש מבחינת “קרוב לרכבת” - מאוד נגיש למי שנמצא מחוץ לתל אביב, מאוד נגיש למי שבתוך תל אביבמשרדים יפים, חדשים, שתי קומות - וגדלים . . . (רן) מה אתם מחפשים היום?(אילן) היום ה-Engineering ב-Melio הוא כ-80 אנשים, שנמצאים בארבע קבוצות - אנחנו רוצים להכפיל את גודל הקבוצה, את קבוצת ה-Engineering בשנה הקרובה . . .מחפשים קצת “הכל מהכל” - מחפשים Full-Stack Engineers, יותר לצוותים שהם Product-facing, שמתעסקים בחווייה - לא דיברנו על זה הרבה היום, אבל יש חווייה - אחד הדברים, ואור הזכיר את זה קצת, דיברנו בעיקר על ה-Payments Processing, אבל בסופו של יום אנחנו מוכרים חווייה - חווייה שתיהיה מאוד מאוד נוחה ופשוטה לבעל עסק קטן כדי לנהל את התשלומים שלואז יש צוותים שהם Product-facing שהם בעיקר Full-Stack Engineers.מחפשים Data Science - כי -Melio עושה את כל ה-Risk של ה-Payments, כי Risk “לא קיים” בכל עולמות ה-B2B כמשהו שהוא off the shelf, אז היינו צריכים לפתח את כל המודלים בעצמנואז גם Big Data Engineers וגם Data Science לקבוצות של ה-Risk וה-Data.ו-Backend engineers ל-Payment Processing, שדיברנו עליו עכשיו . . . (רן) יופי - אז שיהיה בהצלחה, תודה רבה על הביקור, השיק בדואר, להתראות! האזנה נעימה ותודה רבה לעופר פורר על התמלול!

Screaming in the Cloud
Navigating the Morass of the Internet with Chloe Condon

Screaming in the Cloud

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 42:32


About ChloeChloe is a Bay Area based Cloud Advocate for Microsoft. Previously, she worked at Sentry.io where she created the award winning Sentry Scouts program (a camp themed meet-up ft. patches, s'mores, giant squirrel costumes, and hot chocolate), and was featured in the Grace Hopper Conference 2018 gallery featuring 15 influential women in STEM by AnitaB.org. Her projects and work with Azure have ranged from fake boyfriend alerts to Mario Kart 'astrology', and have been featured in VICE, The New York Times, as well as SmashMouth's Twitter account. Chloe holds a BA in Drama from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of Hackbright Academy. She prides herself on being a non-traditional background engineer, and is likely one of the only engineers who has played an ogre, crayon, and the back-end of a cow on a professional stage. She hopes to bring more artists into tech, and more engineers into the arts.Links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChloeCondon Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gitforked/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ChloeCondonVideos TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by Honeycomb. When production is running slow, it's hard to know where problems originate: is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? I've got five bucks on DNS, personally. Why scroll through endless dashboards, while dealing with alert floods, going from tool to tool to tool that you employ, guessing at which puzzle pieces matter? Context switching and tool sprawl are slowly killing both your team and your business. You should care more about one of those than the other, which one is up to you. Drop the separate pillars and enter a world of getting one unified understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. With Honeycomb, you guess less and know more. Try it for free at Honeycomb.io/screaminginthecloud. Observability, it's more than just hipster monitoring.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Somehow in the years this show has been running, I've only had Chloe Condon on once. In that time, she's over for dinner at my house way more frequently than that, but somehow the stars never align to get us together in front of microphones and have a conversation. First, welcome back to the show, Chloe. You're a senior cloud advocate at Microsoft on the Next Generation Experiences Team. It is great to have you here.Chloe: I'm back, baby. I'm so excited. This is one of my favorite shows to listen to, and it feels great to be a repeat guest, a friend of the pod. [laugh].Corey: Oh, yes indeed. So, something-something cloud, something-something Microsoft, something-something Azure, I don't particularly care, in light of what it is you have going on that you have just clued me in on, and we're going to talk about that to start. You're launching something new called Master Creep Theatre and I have a whole bunch of questions. First and foremost, is it theater or theatre? How is that spelled? Which—the E and the R, what direction does that go in?Chloe: Ohh, I feel like it's going to be the R-E because that makes it very fancy and almost British, you know?Corey: Oh, yes. And the Harlequin mask direction it goes in, that entire aesthetic, I love it. Please tell me what it is. I want to know the story of how it came to be, the sheer joy I get from playing games with language alone guarantee I'm going to listen to whatever this is, but please tell me more.Chloe: Oh, my goodness. Okay, so this is one of those creative projects that's been on my back burner forever where I'm like, someday when I have time, I'm going to put all my time [laugh] and energy into this. So, this originally stemmed from—if you don't follow me on Twitter, oftentimes when I'm not tweeting about '90s nostalgia, or Clippy puns, or Microsoft silly throwback things to Windows 95, I get a lot of weird DMs. On every app, not just Twitter. On Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, oh my gosh, what else is there?Corey: And I don't want to be clear here just to make this absolutely crystal clear, “Hey, Chloe, do you want to come back on Screaming in the Cloud again?” Is not one of those weird DMs to which you're referring?Chloe: No, that is a good DM. So, people always ask me, “Why don't you just close your DMs?” Because a lot of high profile people on the internet just won't even have their DMs open.Corey: Oh, I understand that, but I'm the same boat. I would have a lot less nonsense, but at the same time, I want—at least in my case—I want people to be able to reach out to me because the only reason I am what I am is that a bunch of people who had no reason to do it did favors for me—Chloe: Yes.Corey: —and I can't ever repay it, I can only ever pay it forward and that is the cost of doing favors. If I can help someone, I will, and that's hard to do with, “My DMs are closed so hunt down my email address and send me an email,” and I'm bad at email.Chloe: Right. I'm terrible at email as well, and I'm also terrible at DMs [laugh]. So, I think a lot of folks don't understand the volume at which I get messages, which if you're a good friend of mine, if you're someone like Corey or a dear friend like Emily, I will tell you, “Hey, if you actually need to get ahold of me, text me.” And text me a couple times because I probably see it and then I have ADHD, so I won't immediately respond. I think I respond in my head but I don't.But I get anywhere from, I would say, ohh, like, 30 on a low day to 100 on a day where I have a viral tweet about getting into tech with a non-traditional background or something like that. And these DMs that I get are really lovely messages like, “Thank you for the work you do,” or, “I decided to do a cute manicure because the [laugh] manicure you posted,” too, “How do I get into tech? How do I get a job at Microsoft?” All kinds of things. It runs the gamut between, “Where's your shirt from?” Where—[laugh]—“What's your mother's maiden name?”But a lot of the messages that I get—and if you're a woman on the internet with any sort of presence, you know how there's that, like—what's it called in Twitter—the Other Messages feature that's like, “Here's the people you know. Here's the people”—the message requests. For the longest time were just, “Hey,” “Hi,” “Hey dear,” “Hi pretty,” “Hi ma'am,” “Hello,” “Love you,” just really weird stuff. And of course, everyone gets these; these are bots or scammers or whatever they may be—or just creeps, like weird—and always the bio—not always but I [laugh] would say, like, these accounts range from either obviously a bot where it's a million different numbers, an account that says, “Father, husband, lover of Jesus Christ and God.” Which is so [laugh] ironic… I'm like, “Why are you in my DMs?”Corey: A man of God, which is why I'm in your DMs being creepy.Chloe: Exactly. Or—Corey: Just like Christ might have.Chloe: And you would be shocked, Corey, at how many. The thing that I love to say is Twitter is not a dating site. Neither is LinkedIn. Neither is Instagram. I post about my boyfriend all the time, who you've met, and we adore Ty Smith, but I've never received any unsolicited images, knock on wood, but I'm always getting these very bait-y messages like, “Hey, beautiful. I want to take you out.” And you would be shocked at how many of these people are doing it from their professional business account. [laugh]. Like, works at AWS, works at Google; it's like, oh my God. [laugh].Corey: You get this under your name, right? It ties back to it. Meanwhile—again, this is one of those invisible areas of privilege that folks who look like me don't have to deal with. My DM graveyard is usually things like random bot accounts, always starting with, “Hi,” or, “Hey.” If you want to guarantee I never respond to you, that is what you say. I just delete those out of hand because I don't notice or care. It is either a bot, or a scam, or someone who can't articulate what they're actually trying to get from me—Chloe: Exactly.Corey: —and I don't have the time for it. Make your request upfront. Don't ask to ask; just ask.Chloe: I think it's important to note, also, that I get a lot of… different kinds of these messages and they try to respond to everyone. I cannot. If I responded to everybody's messages that I got, I just wouldn't have any time to do my job. But the thing that I always say to people—you know, and managers have told me in the past, my boyfriend has encouraged me to do this, is when people say things like, “Close your DMs,” or, “Just ignore them,” I want to have the same experience that everybody else has on the internet. Now, it's going to be a little different, of course, because I look and act and sound like I do, and of course, podcasts are historically a visual medium, so I'm a five-foot-two, white, bright orange-haired girl; I'm a very quirky individual.Corey: Yes, if you look up ‘quirky,' you're right there under the dictionary definition. And every time—like, when we were first hanging out and you mentioned, “Oh yeah, I used to be in theater.” And it's like, “You know, you didn't even have to tell me that, on some level.” Which is not intended to be an insult. It's just theater folks are a bit of a type, and you are more or less the archetype of what a theatre person is, at least to my frame of reference.Chloe: And not only that, but I did musicals, so you can't see the jazz hands now, but–yeah, my degree is in drama. I come from that space and I just, you know, whenever people say, “Just ignore it,” or, “Close your DMs,” I'm like, I want people to be able to reach out to me; I want to be able to message one-on-one with Corey and whoever, when—as needed, and—Corey: Why should I close my DMs?Chloe: Yeah.Corey: They're the ones who suck. Yeah.Chloe: [laugh]. But over the years, to give people a little bit of context, I've been working in tech a long time—I've been working professionally in the DevRel space for about five or six years now—but I've worked in tech a long time, I worked as a recruiter, an office admin, executive assistant, like, I did all of the other areas of tech, but it wasn't until I got a presence on Twitter—which I've only been on Twitter for I think five years; I haven't been on there that long, actively. And to give some context on that, Twitter is not a social media platform used in the theater space. We just use Instagram and Facebook, really, back in the day, I'm not on Facebook at all these days. So, when I discovered Twitter was cool—and I should also mention my boyfriend, Ty, was working at Twitter at the time and I was like, “Twitter's stupid. Who would go on this—[laugh] who uses this app?”Fast-forward to now, I'm like—Ty's like, “Can you please get off Twitter?” But yeah, I think I've just been saving these screenshots over the last five or so years from everything from my LinkedIn, from all the crazy stuff that I dealt with when people thought I was a Bitcoin influencer to people being creepy. One of the highlights that I recently found when I was going back and trying to find these for this series that I'm doing is there was a guy from Australia, DMed me something like, “Hey, beautiful,” or, “Hey, sexy,” something like that. And I called him out. And I started doing this thing where I would post it on Twitter.I would usually hide their image with a clown emoji or something to make it anonymous, or not to call them out, but in this one I didn't, and this guy was defending himself in the comments, and to me in my DM's saying, “Oh, actually, this was a social experiment and I have all the screenshots of this,” right? So, imagine if you will—so I have conversations ranging from things like that where it's like, “Actually I messaged a bunch of people about that because I'm doing a social experiment on how people respond to, ‘Hey beautiful. I'd love to take you out some time in Silicon Valley.'” just the weirdest stuff right? So, me being the professional performer that I am, was like, these are hilarious.And I kept thinking to myself, anytime I would get these messages, I was like, “Does this work?” If you just go up to someone and say, “Hey”—do people meet this way? And of course, you get people on Twitter who when you tweet something like that, they're like, “Actually, I met my boyfriend in Twitter DMs,” or like, “I met my boyfriend because he slid into my DMs on Instagram,” or whatever. But that's not me. I have a boyfriend. I'm not interested. This is not the time or the place.So, it's been one of those things on the back burner for three or four years that I've just always been saving these images to a folder, thinking, “Okay, when I have the time when I have the space, the creative energy and the bandwidth to do this,” and thankfully for everyone I do now, I'm going to do dramatic readings of these DMs with other people in tech, and show—not even just to make fun of these people, but just to show, like, how would this work? What do you expect the [laugh] outcome to be? So Corey, for example, if you were to come on, like, here's a great example. A year ago—this is 2018; we're in 2021 right now—this guy messaged me in December of 2018, and was like, “Hey,” and then was like, “I would love to be your friend.” And I was like, “Nope,” and I responded, “Nope, nope, nope, nope.” There's a thread of this on Twitter. And then randomly, three weeks ago, just sent me this video to the tune of Enrique Iglesias' “Rhythm Divine” of just images of himself. [laugh]. So like, this comedy [crosstalk 00:10:45]—Corey: Was at least wearing pants?Chloe: He is wearing pants. It's very confusing. It's a picture—a lot of group photos, so I didn't know who he was. But in my mind because, you know, I'm an engineer, I'm trying to think through the end-user experience. I'm like, “What was your plan here?”With all these people I'm like, “So, your plan is just to slide into my DMs and woo me with ‘Hey'?” [laugh]. So, I think it'll be really fun to not only just show and call out this behavior but also take submissions from other people in the industry, even beyond tech, really, because I know anytime I tweet an example of this, I get 20 different women going, “Oh, my gosh, you get these weird messages, too?” And I really want to show, like, A, to men how often this happens because like you said, I think a lot of men say, “Just ignore it.” Or, “I don't get anything like that. You must be asking for it.”And I'm like, “No. This comes to me. These people find us and me and whoever else out there gets these messages,” and I'm just really ready to have a laugh at their expense because I've been laughing for years. [laugh].Corey: Back when I was a teenager, I was working in some fast food style job, and one of my co-workers saw customer, walked over to her, and said, “You're beautiful.” And she smiled and blushed. He leaned in and kissed her.Chloe: Ugh.Corey: And I'm sitting there going what on earth? And my other co-worker leaned over and is like, “You do know that's his girlfriend, right?” And I have to feel like, on some level, that is what happened to an awful lot of these broken men out on the internet, only they didn't have a co-worker to lean over and say, “Yeah, they actually know each other.” Which is why we see all this [unintelligible 00:12:16] behavior of yelling at people on the street as they walk past, or from a passing car. Because they saw someone do a stunt like that once and thought, “If it worked for them, it could work for me. It only has to work once.”And they're trying to turn this into a one day telling the grandkids how they met their grandmother. And, “Yeah, I yelled at her from a construction site, and it was love at first ‘Hey, baby.'” That is what I feel is what's going on. I have never understood it. I look back at my dating history in my early 20s, I look back now I'm like, “Ohh, I was not a great person,” but compared to these stories, I was a goddamn prince.Chloe: Yeah.Corey: It's awful.Chloe: It's really wild. And actually, I have a very vivid memory, this was right bef—uh, not right before the pandemic, but probably in 2019. I was speaking on a lot of conferences and events, and I was at this event in San Jose, and there were not a lot of women there. And somehow this other lovely woman—I can't remember her name right now—found me afterwards, and we were talking and she said, “Oh, my God. I had—this is such a weird event, right?”And I was like, “Yeah, it is kind of a weird vibe here.” And she said, “Ugh, so the weirdest thing happened to me. This guy”—it was her first tech conference ever, first of all, so you know—or I think it was her first tech conference in the Bay Area—and she was like, “Yeah, this guy came to my booth. I've been working this booth over here for this startup that I work at, and he told me he wanted to talk business. And then I ended up meeting him, stupidly, in my hotel lobby bar, and it's a date. Like, this guy is taking me out on a date all of a sudden,” and she was like, “And it took me about two minutes to just to be like, you know what? This is inappropriate. I thought this is going to be a business meeting. I want to go.”And then she shows me her hands, Corey, and she has a wedding ring. And she goes, “I'm not married. I have bought five or six different types of rings on Wish App”—or wish.com, which if you've never purchased from Wish before, it's very, kind of, low priced jewelry and toys and stuff of that nature. And she said, “I have a different wedding ring for every occasion. I've got my beach fake wedding ring. I've got my, we-got-married-with-a-bunch-of-mason-jars-in-the-woods fake wedding ring.”And she said she started wearing these because when she did, she got less creepy guys coming up to her at these events. And I think it's important to note, also, I'm not putting it out there at all that I'm interested in men. If anything, you know, I've been [laugh] with my boyfriend for six years never putting out these signals, and time and time again, when I would travel, I was very, very careful about sharing my location because oftentimes I would be on stage giving a keynote and getting messages while I delivered a technical keynote saying, “I'd love to take you out to dinner later. How long are you in town?” Just really weird, yucky, nasty stuff that—you know, and everyone's like, “You should be flattered.”And I'm like, “No. You don't have to deal with this. It's not like a bunch of women are wolf-whistling you during your keynote and asking what your boob size is.” But that's happening to me, and that's an extra layer that a lot of folks in this industry don't talk about but is happening and it adds up. And as my boyfriend loves to remind me, he's like, “I mean, you could stop tweeting at any time,” which I'm not going to do. But the more followers you get, the more inbound you get. So—Corey: Right. And the hell of it is, it's not a great answer because it's closing off paths of opportunity. Twitter has—Chloe: Absolutely.Corey: —introduced me to clients, introduced me to friends, introduced me to certainly an awful lot of podcast guests, and it informs and shapes a lot of the opinions that I hold on these things. And this is an example of what people mean when they talk about privilege. Where, yeah, “Look at Corey”—I've heard someone say once, and, “Nothing was handed to him.” And you're right, to be clear, I did not—like, no one handed me a microphone and said, “We're going to give you a podcast, now.” I had to build this myself.But let's be clear, I had no headwinds of working against me while I did it. There's the, you still have to do things, but you don't have an entire cacophony of shit heels telling you that you're not good enough in a variety of different ways, to subtly reinforcing your only value is the way that you look. There isn't this whole, whenever you get something wrong and it's a, “Oh, well, that's okay. We all get things wrong.” It's not the, “Girls suck at computers,” trope that we see so often.There's a litany of things that are either supportive that work in my favor, or are absent working against me that is privilege that is invisible until you start looking around and seeing it, and then it becomes impossible not to. I know I've talked about this before on the show, but no one listens to everything and I just want to subtly reinforce that if you're one of those folks who will say things like, “Oh, privilege isn't real,” or, “You can have bigotry against white people, too.” I want to be clear, we are not the same. You are not on my side on any of this, and to be very direct, I don't really care what you have to say.Chloe: Yeah. And I mean, this even comes into play in office culture and dynamics as well because I am always the squeaky wheel in the room on these kind of things, but a great example that I'll give is I know several women in this industry who have had issues when they used to travel for conferences of being stalked, people showing up at their hotel rooms, just really inappropriate stuff, and for that reason, a lot of folks—including myself—wouldn't pick the conference event—like, typically they'll be like, “This is the hotel everyone's staying at.” I would very intentionally stay at a different hotel because I didn't want people knowing where I was staying. But I started to notice once a friend of mine, who had an issue with this [unintelligible 00:17:26], I really like to be private about where I'm staying, and sometimes if you're working at a startup or larger company, they'll say, “Hey, everyone put in this Excel spreadsheet or this Google Doc where everyone's staying and how to contact them, and all this stuff.” And I think it's really important to be mindful of these things.I always say to my friends—I'm not going out too much these days because it's a pandemic—and I've done Twitter threads on this before where I never post my location; you will never see me. I got rid of Swarm a couple [laugh] years ago because people started showing up where I was. I posted photos before, you know, “Hey, at the lake right now.” And people have shown up. Dinners, people have recognized me when I've been out.So, I have an espresso machine right over here that my lovely boyfriend got me for my birthday, and someone commented, “Oh, we're just going to act like we don't see someone's reflection in the”—like, people Zoom in on images. I've read stories from cosplayers online who, they look into the reflection of a woman's glasses and can figure out where they are. So, I think there's this whole level. I'm constantly on alert, especially as a woman in tech. And I have friends here in the Bay Area, who have tweeted a photo at a barbecue, and then someone was like, “Hey, I live in the neighborhood, and I recognize the tree.”First of all, don't do that. Don't ever do that. Even if you think you're a nice, unassuming guy or girl or whatever, don't ever [laugh] do that. But I very intentionally—people get really confused, my friends specifically. They're like, “Wait a second, you're in Hawaii right now? I thought you were in Hawaii three weeks ago.” And I'm like, “I was. I don't want anyone even knowing what island or continent I'm on.”And that's something that I think about a lot. When I post photo—I never post any photos from my window. I don't want people knowing what my view is. People have figured out what neighborhood I live in based on, like, “I know where that graffiti is.” I'm very strategic about all this stuff, and I think there's a lot of stuff that I want to share that I don't share because of privacy issues and concerns about my safety. And also want to say and this is in my thread on online safety as well is, don't call out people's locations if you do recognize the image because then you're doxxing them to everyone like, “Oh”—Corey: I've had a few people do that in response to pictures I've posted before on a house, like, “Oh, I can look at this and see this other thing and then intuit where you are.” And first, I don't have that sense of heightened awareness on this because I still have this perception of myself as no one cares enough to bother, and on the other side, by calling that out in public. It's like, you do not present yourself well at all. In fact, you make yourself look an awful lot like the people that we're warned about. And I just don't get that.I have some of these concerns, especially as my audience has grown, and let's be very clear here, I antagonize trillion-dollar companies for a living. So, first if someone's going to have me killed, they can find where I am. That's pretty easy. It turns out that having me whacked is not even a rounding error on most of these companies' budgets, unfortunately. But also I don't have that level of, I guess, deranged superfan. Yet.But it happens in the fullness of time, as people's audiences continue to grow. It just seems an awful lot like it happens at much lower audience scale for folks who don't look like me. I want to be clear, this is not a request for anyone listening to this, to try and become that person for me, you will get hosed, at minimum. And yes, we press charges here.Chloe: AWSfan89, sliding into your DMs right after this. Yeah, it's also just like—I mean, I don't want to necessarily call out what company this was at, but personally, I've been in situations where I've thrown an event, like a meetup, and I'm like, “Hey, everyone. I'm going to be doing ‘Intro to blah, blah, blah' at this time, at this place.” And three or four guys would show up, none of them with computers. It was a freaking workshop on how to do or deploy something, or work with an API.And when I said, “Great, so why'd you guys come to this session today?” And maybe two have iPads, one just has a notepad, they're like, “Oh, I just wanted to meet you from Twitter.” And it's like, okay, that's a little disrespectful to me because I am taking time out to do this workshop on a very technical thing that I thought people were coming here to learn. And this isn't the Q&A. This is not your meet-and-greet opportunity to meet Chloe Condon, and I don't know why you would, like, I put so much of my life online [laugh] anyway.But yeah, it's very unsettling, and it's happened to me enough. Guys have shown up to my events and given me gifts. I mean, I'm always down for a free shirt or something, but it's one of those things that I'm constantly aware of and I hate that I have to be constantly aware of, but at the end of the day, my safety is the number one priority, and I don't want to get murdered. And I've tweeted this out before, our friend Emily, who's similarly a lady on the internet, who works with my boyfriend Ty over at Uber, we have this joke that's not a joke, where we say, “Hey if I'm murdered, this is who it was.” And we'll just send each other screenshots of creepy things that people either tag us in, or give us feedback on, or people asking what size shirt we are. Just, wiki feed stuff, just really some of the yucky of the yuck out there.And I do think that unless you have a partner, or a family member, or someone close enough to you to let you know about these things—because I don't talk about these things a lot other than my close friends, and maybe calling out a weirdo here and there in public, but I don't share the really yucky stuff. I don't share the people who are asking what neighborhood I live in. I'm not sharing the people who are tagging me, like, [unintelligible 00:22:33], really tagging me in some nasty TikToks, along with some other women out there. There are some really bad actors in this community and it is to the point where Emily and I will be like, “Hey, when you inevitably have to solve my murder, here's the [laugh] five prime suspects.” And that sucks. That's [unintelligible 00:22:48] joke; that isn't a joke, right? I suspect I will either die in an elevator accident or one of my stalkers will find me. [laugh].Corey: It's easy for folks to think, oh, well, this is a Chloe problem because she's loud, she's visible, she's quirky, she's different than most folks, and she brings it all on herself, and this is provably not true. Because if you talk to, effectively, any woman in the world in-depth about this, they all have stories that look awfully similar to this. And let me forestall some of the awful responses I know I'm going to get. And, “Well, none of the women I know have had experiences like this,” let me be very clear, they absolutely have, but for one reason or another, they either don't see the need, or don't see the value, or don't feel safe talking to you about it.Chloe: Yeah, absolutely. And I feel a lot of privilege, I'm very lucky that my boyfriend is a staff engineer at Uber, and I have lots of friends in high places at some of these companies like Reddit that work with safety and security and stuff, but oftentimes, a lot of the stories or insights or even just anecdotes that I will give people on their products are invaluable insights to a lot of these security and safety teams. Like, who amongst us, you know, [laugh] has used a feature and been like, “Wait a second. This is really, really bad, and I don't want to tweet about this because I don't want people to know that they can abuse this feature to stalk or harass or whatever that may be,” but I think a lot about the people who don't have the platform that I have because I have 50k-something followers on Twitter, I have a pretty big online following in general, and I have the platform that I do working at Microsoft, and I can tweet and scream and be loud as I can about this. But I think about the folks who don't have my audience, the people who are constantly getting harassed and bombarded, and I get these DMs all the time from women who say, “Thank you so much for doing a thread on this,” or, “Thank you for talking about this,” because people don't believe them.They're just like, “Oh, just ignore it,” or just, “Oh, it's just one weirdo in his basement, like, in his mom's basement.” And I'm like, “Yeah, but imagine that but times 40 in a week, and think about how that would make you rethink your place and your position in tech and even outside of tech.” Let's think of the people who don't know how this technology works. If you're on Instagram at all, you may notice that literally not only every post, but every Instagram story that has the word COVID in it, has the word vaccine, has anything, and they must be using some sort of cognitive scanning type thing or scanning the images themselves because this is a feature that basically says, hey, this post mentioned COVID in some way. I think if you even use the word mask, it alerts this.And while this is a great feature because we all want accurate information coming out about the pandemic, I'm like, “Wait a minute. So, you're telling me this whole time you could have been doing this for all the weird things that I get into my DMs, and people post?” And, like, it just shows you, yes, this is a global pandemic. Yes, this is something that affects everyone. Yes, it's important we get information out about this, but we can be using these features in much [laugh] more impactful ways that protects people's safety, that protects people's ability to feel safe on a platform.And I think the biggest one for me, and I make a lot of bots; I make a lot of Twitter bots and chatbots, and I've done entire series on this about ethical bot creation, but it's so easy—and I know this firsthand—to make a Twitter account. You can have more than one number, you can do with different emails. And with Instagram, they have this really lovely new feature that if you block someone, it instantly says, “You just blocked so and so. Would you like to block any other future accounts they make?” I mean, seems simple enough, right?Like, anything related—maybe they're doing it by email, or phone number, or maybe it's by IP, but like, that's not being done on a lot of these platforms, and it should be. I think someone mentioned in one of my threads on safety recently that Peloton doesn't have a block user feature. [laugh]. They're probably like, “Well, who's going to harass someone on Peloton?” It would happen to me. If I had a Peloton, [laugh] I assure you someone would find a way to harass me on there.So, I always tell people, if you're working at a company and you're not thinking about safety and harassment tools, you probably don't have anybody LGBTQ+ women, non-binary on your team, first of all, and you need to be thinking about these things, and you need to be making them a priority because if users can interact in some way, they will stalk, harass, they will find some way to misuse it. It seems like one of those weird edge cases where it's like, “Oh, we don't need to put a test in for that feature because no one's ever going to submit, like, just 25 emojis.” But it's the same thing with safety. You're like, who would harass someone on an app about bubblegum? One of my followers were. [laugh].Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don't ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.Corey: The biggest question that doesn't get asked that needs to be in almost every case is, “Okay. We're building a thing, and it's awesome. And I know it's hard to think like this, but pivot around. Theoretically, what could a jerk do with it?”Chloe: Yes.Corey: When you're designing it, it's all right, how do you account for people that are complete jerks?Chloe: Absolutely.Corey: Even the cloud providers, all of them, when the whole Parler thing hit, everyone's like, “Oh, Amazon is censoring people for freedom of speech.” No, they're actually not. What they're doing is enforcing their terms of service, the same terms of service that every provider that is not trash has. It is not a problem that one company decided they didn't want hate speech on their platform. It was all the companies decided that, except for some very fringe elements. And that's the sort of thing you have to figure out is, it's easy in theory to figure out, oh, anything goes; freedom of speech. Great, well, some forms of speech violate federal law.Chloe: Right.Corey: So, what do you do then? Where do you draw the line? And it's always nuanced and it's always tricky, and the worst people are the folks that love to rules-lawyer around these things. It gets worse than that where these are the same people that will then sit there and make bad faith arguments all the time. And lawyers have a saying that hard cases make bad law.When you have these very nuanced thing, and, “Well, we can't just do it off the cuff. We have to build a policy around this.” This is the problem with most corporate policies across the board. It's like, you don't need a policy that says you're not allowed to harass your colleagues with a stick. What you need to do is fire the jackwagon that made you think you might need a policy that said that.But at scale, that becomes a super-hard thing to do when every enforcement action appears to be bespoke. Because there are elements on the gray areas and the margins where reasonable people can disagree. And that is what sets the policy and that's where the precedent hits, and then you have these giant loopholes where people can basically be given free rein to be the worst humanity has to offer to some of the most vulnerable members of our society.Chloe: And I used to give this talk, I gave it at DockerCon one year and I gave it a couple other places, that was literally called “Diversity is not Equal to Stock Images of Hands.” And the reason I say this is if you Google image search ‘diversity' it's like all of those clip arts of, like, Rainbow hands, things that you would see at Kaiser Permanente where it's like, “We're all in this together,” like, the pandemic, it's all just hands on hands, hands as a Earth, hands as trees, hands as different colors. And people get really annoyed with people like me who are like, “Let's shut up about diversity. Let's just hire who's best for the role.” Here's the thing.My favorite example of this—RIP—is Fleets—remember Fleets? [laugh]—on Twitter, so if they had one gay man in the room for that marketing, engineering—anything—decision, one of them I know would have piped up and said, “Hey, did you know ‘fleets' is a commonly used term for douching enima in the gay community?” Now, I know that because I watch a lot of Ru Paul's Drag Race, and I have worked with the gay community quite a bit in my time in theater. But this is what I mean about making sure. My friend Becca who works in security at safety and things, as well as Andy Tuba over at Reddit, I have a lot of conversations with my friend Becca Rosenthal about this, and that, not to quote Hamilton, but if I must, “We need people in the room where it happens.”So, if you don't have these people in the room if you're a white man being like, “How will our products be abused?” Your guesses may be a little bit accurate but it was probably best to, at minimum, get some test case people in there from different genders, races, backgrounds, like, oh my goodness, get people in that room because what I tend to see is building safety tools, building even product features, or naming things, or designing things that could either be offensive, misused, whatever. So, when people have these arguments about like, “Diversity doesn't matter. We're hiring the best people.” I'm like, “Yeah, but your product's going to be better, and more inclusive, and represent the people who use it at the end of the day because not everybody is you.”And great examples of this include so many apps out there that exists that have one work location, one home location. How many people in the world have more than one job? That's such a privileged view for us, as people in tech, that we can afford to just have one job. Or divorced parents or whatever that may be, for home location, and thinking through these edge cases and thinking through ways that your product can support everyone, if anything, by making your staff or the people that you work with more diverse, you're going to be opening up your product to a much bigger marketable audience. So, I think people will look at me and be like, “Oh, Chloe's a social justice warrior, she's this feminist whatever,” but truly, I'm here saying, “You're missing out on money, dude.” It would behoove you to do this at the end of the day because your users aren't just a copy-paste of some dude in a Patagonia jacket with big headphones on. [laugh]. There are people beyond one demographic using your products and applications.Corey: A consistent drag against Clubhouse since its inception was that it's not an accessible app for a variety of reasons that were—Chloe: It's not an Android. [laugh].Corey: Well, even ignoring the platform stuff, which I get—technical reasons, et cetera, yadda, yadda, great—there is no captioning option. And a lot of their abuse stuff in the early days was horrific, where you would get notifications that a lot of people had this person blocked, but… that's not a helpful dynamic. “Did you talk to anyone? No, of course not. You Hacker News'ed it from first principles and thought this might be a good direction to go in.” This stuff is hard.People specialize in this stuff, and I've always been an advocate of when you're not sure what to do in an area, pay an expert for advice. All these stories about how people reach out to, “Their black friend”—and yes, it's a singular person in many cases—and their black friend gets very tired of doing all the unpaid emotional labor of all of this stuff. Suddenly, it's not that at all if you reach out to someone who is an expert in this and pay them for their expertise. I don't sit here complaining that my clients pay me to solve AWS billing problems. In fact, I actively encourage that behavior. Same model.There are businesses that specialize in this, they know the area, they know the risks, they know the ins and outs of this, and consults with these folks are not break the bank expensive compared to building the damn thing in the first place.Chloe: And here's a great example that literally drove me bananas a couple weeks ago. So, I don't know if you've participated in Twitter Spaces before, but I've done a couple of my first ones recently. Have you done one yet—Corey: Oh yes—Chloe: —Corey?Corey: —extensively. I love that. And again, that's a better answer for me than Clubhouse because I already have the Twitter audience. I don't have to build one from scratch on another platform.Chloe: So, I learned something really fascinating through my boyfriend. And remember, I mentioned earlier, my boyfriend is a staff engineer at Uber. He's been coding since he's been out of the womb, much more experienced than me. And I like to think a lot about, this is accessible to me but how is this accessible to a non-technical person? So, Ty finished up the Twitter Space that he did and he wanted to export the file.Now currently, as the time of this podcast is being recorded, the process to export a Twitter Spaces audio file is a nightmare. And remember, staff engineer at Uber. He had to export his entire Twitter profile, navigate through a file structure that wasn't clearly marked, find the recording out of the multiple Spaces that he had hosted—and I don't think you get these for ones that you've participated in, only ones that you've hosted—download the file, but the file was not a normal WAV file or anything; he had to download an open-source converter to play the file. And in total, it took him about an hour to just get that file for the purposes of having that recording. Now, where my mind goes to is what about some woman who runs a nonprofit in the middle of, you know, Sacramento, and she does a community Twitter Spaces about her flower shop and she wants a recording of that.What's she going to do, hire some third-party? And she wouldn't even know where to go; before I was in tech, I certainly would have just given up and been like, “Well, this is a nightmare. What do I do with this GitHub repo of information?” But these are the kinds of problems that you need to think about. And I think a lot of us and folks who listen to this show probably build APIs or developer tools, but a lot of us do work on products that muggles, non-technical people, work on.And I see these issues happen constantly. I come from this space of being an admin, being someone who wasn't quote-unquote, “A techie,” and a lot of products are just not being thought through from the perspective—like, there would be so much value gained if just one person came in and tested your product who wasn't you. So yeah, there's all of these things that I think we have a very privileged view of, as technical folks, that we don't realize are huge. Not even just barrier to entry; you should just be able to download—and maybe this is a feature that's coming down the pipeline soon, who knows, but the fact that in order for someone to get a recording of their Twitter Spaces is like a multi-hour process for a very, very senior engineer, that's the problem. I'm not really sure how we solve this.I think we just call it out when we see it and try to help different companies make change, which of course, myself and my boyfriend did. We reached out to people at Twitter, and we're like, “This is really difficult and it shouldn't be.” But I have that privilege. I know people at these companies; most people do not.Corey: And in some cases, even when you do, it doesn't move the needle as much as you might wish that it would.Chloe: If it did, I wouldn't be getting DMs anymore from creeps right? [laugh].Corey: Right. Chloe, thank you so much for coming back and talk to me about your latest project. If people want to pay attention to it and see what you're up to. Where can they go? Where can they find you? Where can they learn more? And where can they pointedly not audition to be featured on one of the episodes of Master Creep Theatre?Chloe: [laugh]. So, that's the one caveat, right? I have to kind of close submissions of my own DMs now because now people are just going to be trolling me and sending me weird stuff. You can find me on Twitter—my name—at @chloecondon, C-H-L-O-E-C-O-N-D-O-N. I am on Instagram as @getforked, G-I-T-F-O-R-K-E-D. That's a Good Placepun if you're non-technical; it is an engineering pun if you are. And yeah, I've been doing a lot of fun series with Microsoft Reactor, lots of how to get a career in tech stuff for students, building a lot of really fun AI/ML stuff on there. So, come say hi on one of my many platforms. YouTube, too. That's probably where—Master Creep Theatre is going to be, on YouTube, so definitely follow me on YouTube. And yeah.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:37:57]. Chloe, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I really appreciate it, as always.Chloe: Thank you. I'll be back for episode three soon, I'm sure. [laugh].Corey: Let's not make it another couple of years until then. Chloe Condon, senior cloud advocate at Microsoft on the Next Generation Experiences Team, also chlo-host of the Master Creep Theatre podcast. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a comment saying simply, “Hey.”Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

The Daily Crunch – Spoken Edition
OpenStack gains new momentum, as deployments increase during the pandemic

The Daily Crunch – Spoken Edition

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 4:49


OpenStack, the open-source project that gives large enterprises and public cloud providers the tools to run their own AWS-like private clouds in their data centers, today announced the release of OpenStack 24. Codenamed Xena, the release focuses on polishing many of the system's sharper edges.

Sisters-in-Service
Merci McKinley - MST Survivor/Advocate and Policy Influencer

Sisters-in-Service

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 43:35


Merci McKinley is a retired Staff Sergeant from the United States Army. She served as a Logistician in both garrison and combat operations. Merci has deployed to various combat operations in support of Iraqi Campaigns and Operation New Dawn. She is an advocate who aligns herself with those in position to influence policies that affect veterans. As a survivor, Merci utilizes her experiences to help shape policies for survivors of military sexual assault and intimate partner violence.  Her advocacy has influenced policies for active duty servicemembers, and veterans that became public law under PL 115-232 and PL 116-92. Since 2018, Merci has been consulted by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee to influence the National Defense Authorization ACT.  She has worked with Women Veterans Rock to advocate on behalf of the Deborah Sampson Act. Her advocacy has garnished support from the Maryland Women Legislative Caucus to develop legislative measures for women veterans, and establishment for the study of Regional Women Veteran Centers in Maryland.  Merci has voluntarily participated in doctoral studies, and research studies for the development of programs and services for female veterans with military sexual trauma. She has assisted the 2021 Department of Defense Independent Review Committee on Sexual Assault to revise policies to be inclusive of Trauma Informed Care and improve on Victim Care and Support Services.    Merci readily encourages, and network with others to develop programs within their state to provide services and support for women veterans.   Merci has written in several anthologies in support of giving women a voice. She is the Author of “The Harvest” that empowers women through adversity, the songwriter of Silent for Too Long, a poet,   and the author of “You Can” which motivates children through poetic verses.   Merci is a member of the Service Women Action Network and frequently participate in the Annual Public Policy Day organized by Women Veterans Rock.SWAN - https://servicewomensactionnetwork.orgWomen Veterans Rock - https//:www.womenvetsrock.orgBook - The HarvestAvailable on Amazon  and Kindlehttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721HG984/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_glt_VYXSVRJJSN3ZZTX8C4TQ

Step Up To Challenges Podcast
Episode 19 - Eduardo Leon - Iraq War Veteran - Life Struggles - Consequences

Step Up To Challenges Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2021 179:29


Iraq war veteran Eduardo Leon joins us today to talk about his early life growing up poor and in a traditional Mexican family,  multiple deployments,  getting IED, his post military struggles with depression, anxiety and substance abuse and how he pulled himself out from the darkness. 0:00 – Beginning / Introduction 6:42 – Eduardo Leon – Air Force Veteran 9:04 – Born in Hayward CA and early life. 12:00 -Now living in Salinas 23:00 -Wanted to be a Cop and SWAT 30:00 -Joined the Airforce & shipping out 40:00 -Air Force Security Forces Academy 49:00 -Back home from training – August 2001 a month before attacks on Sept 11, 2001 50:00 -1st Reserve Drill weekend.  Unit activated 2 days later. 1:01:00 – Dec 2002 – 1st Deployment to Kuwait 1:18:00 – Back home but volunteers for deployment to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 1:26:00 – Finally Deploying to Iraq to Camp Victory…..Route Irish, Abu Grave, Green Zone & more 1:44:00 – Surviving an IED Blast as a Turret Gunner. 2:06:00 – Coming Home from Iraq – Last one from Unit/Detachment to leave 2:08:00 – Starting to feel my mental cup getting full while working back in the civilian world. 2:12:00 – Life is quickly unraveling. 2:17:00 – 1st used Meth to mask depression and problems. 2:25:00 – Negative consequences begin.  Losing job, getting evicted and being separated from family. 2:31:00 – Out of desperation he finally goes to Beacon House for help. 2:51:00  - Closing Remarks & Gratitude TAKE ACTION.....STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE & subscribe to the show and while you are there hitting the subscribe button go ahead and leave a review while you are listening! You can find us on the following: iTunes Google Play Spotify Stitcher Visit us at our website:  www.stepuptochallenges.com THANKS!  TAKE ACTION & STEP UP TO CHALLENGES IN YOUR LIFE!

VPR News Podcast
'A Very Lonely Club': How Post-9/11 Deployments Impacted Vt. National Guard Spouses, Children

VPR News Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2021 6:35


On Sept. 11, 2001, Nicole Morlan was married to a man who would go on to serve overseas with the Vermont Army National Guard. They had a young child at the time, and Morlan says the deployment — and then return — had a big impact.

The New Stack Podcast
Meet the DevSecOps Skillset Challenge For Cloud Deployments

The New Stack Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 28:05


There is much discussion about technology and tool gaps when organizations make the shift to cloud environments. However, a major — and often less-discussed — challenge is how to ensure that the DevOps team has the necessary skillsets to see the project through. Making sure that the right in-house talent and DevSecOps culture is in place to make the shift without exposing the organization's data and applications to security risks is especially critical.In this The New Stack Makers podcast hosted by Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS,  guest Ashley Ward, technical director, office of the CTO, Palo Alto Networks, discussed the associated DevSecOps skillsets challenges for cloud deployments.

The Nasty Guard
Machine Guns and Afghanistan Deployments

The Nasty Guard

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 136:43


First off, our thoughts go out to every Marine and Soldier busting ass in Afghanistan. Our love and support go out to those friends and families affected by the attack at the airport on 8/26/21. That being said, today we bring talk about an Afghani gone National Guardsmen, then we peer into some of the amazing work the Guard is been doing across the world in the last week. After that, we bring on a 2 time Afghanistan Vetran, a military meme lord, an 11b, and a part-time savage.  We hope you enjoy our talk with Instagrams @ados_acktual because we definitely did here. Hear his stories, his thoughts on the current tempo in Afghanistan, and his thoughts on recruiters. Lastly, we get deep into military Reddit and it does not let us down. Follow us on Instagram @TheNastyGuardGrab your gear at thenastyguard.comThank you for the support. I love all of y'all.

Drive On Podcast
Dual Military Couple on Mental Health and Deployments

Drive On Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 41:40


Heath & Jamie Britt talk to me about their podcast, E-14 Podcast, being a dual military couple, grief, loss, PTSD, and so much more!

Psyda Podcast with Minhaaj
AI in Supply Chain and Economics of Logistics - Frank Corrigan

Psyda Podcast with Minhaaj

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2021 118:55


Francis Corrigan is Director of Decision Intelligence at Target Corporation. Embedded within the Global Supply Chain, Decision Intelligence combines data science with model thinking to help decision-makers solve problems. 00:00 Intro 01:21 Data Science applications in Logistics and Supply Chain, Cost and Performance trade-off 03:21 Amazon vs Target fulfillment Model, Owning vs Coordinating with Last Mile companies e.g. FedEx 08:36 Suez Canal Container Blockage, Fallback plan at Target 10:37 Predicting products to Stock in Bottle Neck Scenarios 12:42 Air Freight vs Sea Shipments Costs, Ideal vs Real World Deliveries 15:48 Lack of Good Data and Prediction Challenges 18:00 Managing Expectations as Head of Analytics, Importance of Communicating 20:11 Stakeholder Management & Data Science Newsletter 23:39 Technical and Non-technical Teams Coordination, Speed Reading 26:36 Data Stories and Visualizations 29:47 Reporting Pipelines vs Story Narration 31:37 Times Series, Prophet, Flourish and Hans Rosling 35:28 Economist turned Data Scientist, Embarrassment as Motivation 38:20 Lack of Practical Skills of Data Science at University 41:18 Employer's Perspectives on Data Science Talent 45:24 What Causes Data Teams Failure 48:40 COVID 19 and Times Series Corruption, Anomaly Detection 56:15 Toilet Paper Demand Scenario, Commodity Pricing Alerts 59:50 Automating Alerts for Panic Situation 01:02:10 Pandemic as a Blessing for Digital Business, Exponential Growth Rates and Tuition Fee Reimbursement for Employees 01:06:06 Data as Decision Support System, Strategic Decision Indicators 01:08:08 Capital in 21st Century, Thomas Piketty and Free Markets 01:11:31 Failures of Capitalist Societies on Individual Front and Socialist Aversion of Wealth Generation 01:15:15 UBI, Interventions, and CEO to Lowest Paid Worker Ratio 01:18:25 Career Blunders and Regrets 01:22:12 Psychometric Tests for Intellect Filtering, Behavioral Stability and Creativity Trade-off 01:24:08 Target's Epic Failure in Canada, What Data Science could have Prevented 01:25:08 Gameplan to Compete with Walmart and Amazon 01:28:00 Sarimax, Armiax and Volatility Management, Planning vs Forecasting 01:31:33 Deep NNs or Lack thereof, Explainability and Monte Carlo as Alternative 01:34:00 Model Parsimony in Times Series, Baseline Models in Excel 01:37:50 R vs Python, Specific Use Cases 01:40:25 Delegating and Element of Trust 01:43:20 Time and Space Complexity of Models, Netflix and Deployments at Target 01:46:00 Political Impacts on Shipments, Narratives and Hypothesis Testing 01:48:00 Nate Silver, Nassem Talib, and Early Inspirations 01:52:05 Work-life Balance

Refuel Team Fairchild
Let's Talk About Deployments

Refuel Team Fairchild

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2021 15:23


Listen in as we talk with TSgt Quint before TSgt Quint was hired to be the Professional Development Center NCOIC. It's really easy to follow along to a checklist and make sure we pack all of the items on that list, BUT sometimes there are extra items we really wished we'd thought about bringing with us. There are also a few processes we sometimes forget about taking care of before we leave, like telling our credit card/debit card company we will be using our card outside of our local area...nothing like a giant DECLINED message when you're trying to grab a quick bite to eat during a short layover.

Diapers and Deployments | SkillMil Podcast

On this SkillMil podcast episode of Diapers and Deployments, Serena and Michael have on another musical star! Travis Marvin, from the Travis Marvin Band is on the show today to talk about Cars 4 Heroes, a charity where he sits on the board. Travis gives us all the details on giving back to veterans and other heroes, who are in need of transportation in this great country. The Car Santa in Olathe, KS is turning dreams into reality with the help of generous donators. We also get to hear two songs recently released by Travis and his band. You won't want to miss this episode. Mike and Serena would like to see Travis Marvin play at Flora-Bama down in Pensacola! Who's coming to hang with us? “Cars 4 Heroes is not affiliated with Cars 4 Vets, Cars for veterans, or any other organizations that give cars away. We have been around since 1996 helping veterans” www.cars4heroes.org www.travismarvin.com

Be Safe, Love Mom
Ep 013: Coping with Rapid Deployments

Be Safe, Love Mom

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 20:23


Be Safe, Love Mom - What Holds Us Together is focused on you the military mom (or loved one) adapting to life as the parent of a service member. As the mom of our service members, I know the importance of encouragement and support and community with other military moms. Many families have been jolted recently with the news of a rapid deployment of their sons and daughters. Today Elaine talks about her strategies to deal with the stress that comes with that news. She also talks about Afghanistan from the perspective of someone whose family has been intertwined with that region. Her children deployed twice, her husband worked for an Afghan airline for four years, and she also taught in the only coed school in Kabul.

Oracle Groundbreakers
OracleDevLive Preview | Ophelia Hernandez on Continuous Deployments to Oracle Cloud

Oracle Groundbreakers

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 3:40


Oracle Developer Live — Simplifying Modern App Dev August 3 & 5 Register https://developer.oracle.com/developer-live/simplifying-modern-app-dev/ In this short preview Jim Grisanzio from Oracle Developer Relations talks with Ophelia Hernandez about her upcoming DevOps session at Oracle Developer Live next week on automating continuous deployments to the cloud. Video here: https://youtu.be/tp6oEhRg-2Q  Continuous Deployments: Automating Software Releases to OCI Platforms: This session will introduce OCI's new DevOps platform that enables developers to automate software deployments to OCI platforms. With OCI DevOps, you can accelerate feature delivery to customers and gain the confidence to quickly recover from errors. Ophelia Hernandez https://twitter.com/ophyh Director, Software Development, Cloud Native Services, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Ophelia Hernandez is a director of software development at Oracle. A passionate engineering leader excited about the future of the cloud and DevOps, she enjoys solving difficult technical problems, mentoring, guiding career development, and team building. With more than 10 years of experience leading teams, Ophelia has built high performing global teams from scratch and is always looking for ways to become a better leader. Outside of work, she enjoys her four dogs, two cats, and one daughter and is an avid boxer, hiker, and world traveler. Jonathan Schreiber https://twitter.com/jonschreiber Senior Principal Product Manager, Cloud Native Services, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Jonathan Schreiber is a senior principal product manager for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), working to empower developers on Oracle Cloud. During his time at Oracle, he contributed to the team that launched Cloud Shell, and now he is excited to bring the OCI continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform to developers. Prior to Oracle, Jonathan spent 10 years working in engineering and product management roles for San Francisco startups. His experience spans from ad tech at Federated Media to content marketing platforms at Chute. He started his career in the twilight of the dotcom era at TiVo, making websites with toothpicks and string On demand sessions from previous Oracle Developer Live conferences: https://developer.oracle.com/developer-live/ Oracle Developer Relations https://developer.oracle.com/team/ #OracleDevLive on Twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/OracleDevLive Jim Grisanzio on Twitter @jimgris https://twitter.com/jimgris

River to River
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm And Iowa Veteran Talks Two Afghanistan Deployments

River to River

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021


River to River host Ben Kieffer speaks with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and retired Master Sergeant Randy Rennison of the Iowa Army National Guard.

Google Cloud Reader
How does Anthos simplify hybrid & multi-cloud deployments?

Google Cloud Reader

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 6:05


How can you consistently secure and operate existing apps, while developing and deploying new apps across hybrid and multicloud environments? How can you get centralized visibility and management of the resources?Original blog post.More Google Cloud Reader here

The New Stack Podcast
Cloud Native Deployments Bring New Complexities to the Developer

The New Stack Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 25:02


Many organizations are finding that shifting to cloud native environments has become easier than it was in the past. However, the complexities and ensuing challenges can still surmount once at-scale deployments begin.In this episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, hosted by TNS' Alex Williams, founder and publisher, and Joab Jackson, TNS managing editor, application-deployment standards are the discussion of the day. The featured guests are Bruno Andrade, founder, Shipa, a provider of frameworks for Kubernetes; and Bassam Tabbara, founder and CEO, Upbound, which offers a universal control plane for multi-cluster management. 

Grid Talk
California Braces for Fire, Massive Storage Deployments

Grid Talk

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 25:51


In this episode of Grid Talk, Host Marty Rosenberg talks with Elliot Mainzer who is the President and CEO of the California Independent System Operator (ISO). The discussion focuses on the effort to bring on more renewable generation in California and what that means for the delivery of energy. Battery storage will play a significant role in meeting peak demand.“The next five to seven years, California is going to be bringing on a monumental amount of new supply into the system. The amount of storage on the California grid this summer is going to be one of the largest in the world,” said Mainzer.Mr. Mainzer also talks about what's ahead for the evolving energy market in the West including the need for additional generation and new infrastructure.“There's just no way we're going to be able to meet our clean energy objectives reliably without additional transmission resource diversification.”The podcast ends with a discussion about the ongoing drought in the Southwest and the threat to the grid from wildfires.Elliot Mainzer took over as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator in September of 2020, following an 18-year career at the Bonneville Power Administration. The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. Mr. Mainzer earned his bachelor's degree in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. He has an MBA and Master of Environmental Studies degree from Yale University. 

Hearts & Stripes
EP080 Pillar Deployment Retreat Replay

Hearts & Stripes

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 17:26


We are taking a little break here at Hearts & Stripes podcast to wrap up some exciting Military Marriage Day planning, but don't worry!  We have you covered with a fun replay series where you can there from me, Bree Carroll as I collaborate on other amazing #milspouse platforms.   Today's replay is from the Pillar Deployment Retreat in 2020.  I had the opportunity to speak on the Power of Relationships during your deployment season.  Here is what I discuss:  - There are 3 relationships you need to be intentional about. #1 Your relationship with yourself. #2 Your marriage relationship. #3 Your relationship with everyone else. - How you handle each relationship will either positively or negatively impact your deployment season. - #1 Your relationship with self: You have power of choice.  Use it to take care of you mental, physical and emotional needs. - #2 Your marriage relationship: Deployments are a great opportunity to build on your relationship by thinking outside the box, using effective communication and bringing new intentionality to how you care for one another. - #3 Your relationship with everyone else: Be cautious of how much power are you giving others in this season.  - The CARE Method for your deployment season:  Carefully Consider if the relationship is charging you up or depleting your energy Asses the Foundation as to if the relationship is mutually beneficial Reinforce the Structure by either building the relationship or creating a boundary for it Engage + Trust the help that is offered to you and listen to yourself     Listen to our Heart Tracks II playlist on Spotify   Military Marriage Day Summit info here at www.militarymarriageday.com ! Resource: Join us in the Hearts & Stripes Facebook Group. We are in the middle of a four week challenge discussing identity.  It's not too late to be a part.   To get even more on Hearts & Stripes podcast, resources, coaching and more head to https://breecarroll.com/ Connects with us on IG https://www.instagram.com/itsbreecarroll/ Connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/itsbreecarroll

Empowered and Unapologetic
Confessions of a Military Spouse and Tips to Help During Deployments | EU 72

Empowered and Unapologetic

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 35:14


You're looking at your kids and you're attending yet another family event by yourself. You're wondering why the hell you're doing this because you're basically already a single mom. You're seeing to all of your kid's needs so why do you put yourself in this constant cycle of deployments? The loneliness and the frustration have [...] The post Confessions of a Military Spouse and Tips to Help During Deployments | EU 72 appeared first on Empowered and Unapologetic.

JavaScript Jabber
Pain-Free Automated Deployments with DigitalOcean's App Platform - BONUS

JavaScript Jabber

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 27:55


If you wish you could just push to your git repository and then have your application automatically update itself, then you should have a look at DigitalOcean's App Platform. This offering is a sort of secret weapon that allows you to customize your application with the services you need and then simply push to deploy. There's no outsourcing to 3rd party databases, etc. It's all included in DigitalOcean's offering. So, you just pick what you need and then set the app to deploy. DigitalOcean's App Platform also works for static sites. So, if you're running a build of your blog or JAMstack app, you'll find that App Platform already supports you. To try it out, go to https://do.co/jabber and sign up to get $ Panel Charles Max Wood Guest Chris Sev Phil Dougherty

All JavaScript Podcasts by Devchat.tv
Pain-Free Automated Deployments with DigitalOcean's App Platform - BONUS

All JavaScript Podcasts by Devchat.tv

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 27:55


If you wish you could just push to your git repository and then have your application automatically update itself, then you should have a look at DigitalOcean's App Platform. This offering is a sort of secret weapon that allows you to customize your application with the services you need and then simply push to deploy. There's no outsourcing to 3rd party databases, etc. It's all included in DigitalOcean's offering. So, you just pick what you need and then set the app to deploy. DigitalOcean's App Platform also works for static sites. So, if you're running a build of your blog or JAMstack app, you'll find that App Platform already supports you. To try it out, go to https://do.co/jabber and sign up to get $ Panel Charles Max Wood Guest Chris Sev Phil Dougherty