The Leo Yockey Show

Put Yourself Out There (Nick DeJesus)

September 28, 2021 Leo Yockey / Nick DeJesus Season 2 Episode 3
The Leo Yockey Show
Put Yourself Out There (Nick DeJesus)
Show Notes Transcript

Leo and Software Engineer Nick DeJesus open up to each other about some of their negative experiences in the tech industry. After an alarming interruption, Nick details his path to finding a new specialty in his career; Leo and Nick discuss the key to bouncing back from mistreatment in the workplace.

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By: Leo Yockey

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Leo Yockey show, the show where I Leo Yockey interview guests about the universal truths and their unique life paths. How are we doing today? It's autumn somehow, already, I don't even know where time is going, it's gonna be 2022. Before we know it. I've been hinting at this for a few weeks now. But I've been talking about the fact that I'm returning to tech after a few weeks or a few months sorry, of saying that I'm quitting forever, I'm never going back. I'm finally ready to go back. And I feel really good about it. And I wouldn't have gotten there if it wasn't for the conversations I was having right here on this podcast. So I thank all of my previous guests, every single guest has been a big part of my healing. But perhaps in a way, none more than this guest today, Nick day, hey, Soos. Now I know Nick through that black tech Twitter network that I talked about a little bit on Paris Athena's episode in season one, which Fun fact, Nick and Paris are actually engaged. So there's a passage from a book that I actually want to read to y'all. It's from the book shook one by Charlemagne, the guide. It's a book that I'm currently reading right now, actually. And I just read this passage maybe an hour ago. And as soon as I read it, I said, Oh, my God, this perfectly explains the conversation that I have with Nick. And I was already planning on recording this intro this morning. So it's like, I gotta throw it in there. So here it is. We all share so many of the same fears and insecurities. I have friends who might have grown up in the Bronx, or Detroit, or LA, maybe even during different areas. But when we talk about it, we see that we often share the same exact pain and this and the exact same trauma. And once we can admit that the pain that used to feel so heavy, suddenly begins to lift, we are actually able to laugh about a lot of this because we've all been through it. We realize it's not just us alone on an island. So once again, that's from Shaquan, Pash, Charlemagne, the God. Now what he's describing here is exactly what I felt talking to Nick, you know, we shared some of our experiences that, unfortunately, are all too common for black people in tech. But there was something about this conversation that I could feel myself as we were having it, the the energy that gets created when two or more people meet and share common experiences. I don't know it's like there's, there's magic in that. And toward towards the end, we do talk a little bit about, you know, really what it takes to be able to heal and move on, when you're going through these things when life gets tough, and how to keep moving forward. Because ultimately, that's all we're all trying to do here right is just keep moving forward, no matter what happens in life. So Nick, I appreciate you having this conversation with me. Again, just being able to share and relate our experiences with each other. It helped me see that my issues my experiences, they weren't an issue with me, you know, I didn't fail at Tech, as much as it was that I just wasn't prepared for some of the challenges that I was kind of face and, and not realizing that this is something that kind of happens to all of us to some degree or another so I'm really excited that you're gonna get to be a fly on the wall for this conversation. Now, I don't think we get too much inside baseball here. There is gonna be some tech jargon. Some some of the key words from Tech that I heard that might not be relatable to everyone are Redux, react, React Native tech in which is a video game, which I wouldn't have ever known about. If it wasn't for Nick being in my life, JavaScript, open source dev REL. If you hear these things, you're not familiar with them just know that they're tech terms. We're just kind of talking shop a little bit, but I don't think there's too much of that throughout the conversation. And I do think that again, with a conclusion that we come to towards the end. I think this conversation is going to be relatable to a lot of people regardless of what industry you work in, because again, these are issues that happen in every industry not just tech so let's get into the conversation Shall we? Alright Nick, here we go. How you doing? What's up? I'm doing great. What's up with you? It's been a while. Once the last time we actually talked. Dude, the last time we like actually taught we've deemed a little bit on Twitter about some books and things, but i think that i think that i was in the in the black tech pipeline. I was just a peek behind the curtain for the listeners, former guests of the show Paris Athena black tech pipeline. This is Nick Nick is Paris is the DNC Yonsei and he is also famously on Twitter, the unpaid CTO he still have that on there I think I mean, I don't know if I'm gonna I'm gonna keep that there until she decides to pay me for my work one day maybe I don't know I've heard about like major like abuse it you know, it's like the people closest to you that hurt you the most you know if you were some mirando you probably would have been done paid by now but you know now I got I'm holding on to it. It's It's It's all I've got for now. It's like you know, my call for accountability on her part. There you go. I like it. Yeah. You're you're trying to look out for the all the future CTOs of blast test that plan and make sure that they get paid. What kind of monster we pay bears out to be right now. I know. Right? I mean, I'm the listeners already got to know her on their own. I'm always here for parish slender, though. Yeah, it's like what we do? Absolutely. is, if you don't want to follow either them on Twitter for the tech stuff, follow for the relationship ship posts, that's for sure. Yeah. But yeah, I think the last time that we talked for real, I was in the black tech pipeline. And I was talking a few of the companies there. And potentially being recruited. And then at some, so this was probably like, February or so of this year. It's now August 19, that we're recording this. And I said, at one point, I was like, You know what, I'm actually done with tech, you can remove me from this pipeline of yours. I'm going to go off and spread my wings. And, you know, life life is having multiple other plans. But it seems like both of us are kind of in slightly different different boats than what we saw ourselves in six months ago. Right? Because you were also looking for an engineering role back around that time, I think, right? Yeah, it was a really interesting time. Because I mean, I feel like the beginning of this year was a really big struggle for me. You know, my past five years as a software engineer, haven't really been the happiest. And so I started getting more and more picky about where I want to work. And fortunately, I've been able to survive off of, you know, stripe sponsorship. In my get my my GitHub sponsorship, which includes stripe. And so like, I remember talking to you about this stuff, and then eventually you're like, you know what, I think I'm just done. I'm not gonna do this anymore. Yeah. And I was like, man, like, I feel you know, saying, like, like, saying, you know, I'm like, I understand exactly, how, like, you were speaking my language. But unfortunately, I guess I felt like, I cannot I still have to be here. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. And so that that resonated with me a lot. And it's kind of some it's one of those things that like I revisit in my mind every now and then because, because this like, because I feel like I've kind of been suffering in silence on my own. And then and then but it was just kind of validating to know that other people in this space, same space as me feel this way as well, you know? Yeah. So so the five years that you spent unhappy Can you kind of, can you kind of describe that a little bit more like what what was going on? Exactly. Like when you scan happy? What do you mean? Yeah, I think I mean, there's like a lot of, there's a lot of just weird things that I've experienced that I don't think others would, you know, my first maybe two or three years as an engineer, I was at a huge agency and I was like, their IT guy, and I wanted to convert from being their IT guy fixing all their laptops and stuff to software engineer. Doing a web development more specifically, I eventually ended up making that switch. And it was at a really weird time. So first of all, what was awesome? Is that my first dev role ever, I got sent to live in Scotland in everything. Oh, yeah, all expenses were covered. I lived in the center of the nightlife in Edinburgh. I was balling. It was like the bet, like it was amazing. Just there was amazing. However, it started off my first day showing up at work there, the person leading the project, was waiting for me outside the office, and literally told me as soon as I got there, he's like, I never wanted you on this project. Don't tell anyone, this is your first job. As an engineer ever. You are a react and Redux expert. And don't don't ask for too much help. And oh, my God, okay, hold on. podcasting is an audio medium. I just need everyone to know my jaws on the floor. I can't believe that's how you started your very first job. Day one, Jesus, okay, it's first day at work get here. It was such a stern look. And at the time, I mean, I was grateful anyway, because I was like, out there, this is my first thing, you know, and, and, and at the time, like, I looked at that, and I was like, Oh, I get it, we need to look good for the clients. You know, I didn't really think of it as malice towards me. Yeah. Until I realized that he was actually working towards actively removing me from the project since I started. And so like, so I was supposed to the pit. The plan was I was supposed to stay in Scotland for six months, and decide if I wanted to live in Europe for the rest of my life or not. But what happened was, he got me removed from the project after three months, at two months, my access to buildings and all that stuff seemed to happen to accidentally go away. But it was really him pulling strings in the background to remove me and it just kind of happened prematurely. Oh, my God. Yeah, it was like the wildness. And I had my coworkers, I loved them. It was first of all, this this, this agency's competitive advantage is underpaying a shit ton of Indian people. So my co workers, but like, I had, like 3040 Indian co workers, and they knew the situation and they showed me so much love and tried their best to support me. But they couldn't. Because they didn't want to, like get caught, like talking to me too much. Yeah, trying to survive at the end of the day, too. Yeah. And so it was it was horrible. But man, let me tell you, I had a great time after work every day, drinking all the whiskey hitting all the bars, the clubs, traveling to other countries and so much easier out there. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, so so it was it was simultaneously the best and worst time of my life. Yeah. And that tends to work out, huh. Right. Exactly. And so and I came back to America, and then from there, the people at the agency kept sending me to shit projects. Is it okay to curse on this podcast? Fuck Yeah, dude. Okay, shape. Hell yeah. So I got so all out now. Yeah, great. So they sent me to like New York to work on like Saks Fifth Avenue or something. And, but and that was cool. But after that, the basically my reputation was tarnished. And also this company was going through an acquisition at the same time, and tons of people were leaving. So everyone that got assigned to me as a mentor, kept leaving. So I basically had no mentor, no manager for leggy years starting off my career. So no way for me to grow. And to grow, I realized I had to do things on my own, which is why I started all kinds of side projects. Yeah. So that that was really like long, but this is how I started off in the industry. And I've only had similar experiences to what was like at that agency for years after. And this year, it finally changed. And in this year, what what changed exactly like how do you think it changed? Why do you think changed? Well, yeah, so it's a different role. It's not just like traditional software engineering. I'm a developer experience engineer. At prismic, and I wasn't necessarily looking at the time for work, but they reached out to me. And this is really important to me the initial interactions. It's like, Hey, you know, we saw your profile, we're really impressed. This we are prismic this is what we do. What do you want to do? What are you interested in? I'm like, Oh, well, you know, I'm not really looking for work, but I like e commerce, you know, and I like developer tooling. And that's like, that was pretty much it, right? Like, I don't care about CMS stuff. And then they were kind of like, well, that's cool. What if you did those things with us? And I was like, Oh, wait, like that sounds kind of nice like So you mean to tell me that I can still care about the things I care about outside of like a traditional job but at my traditional job and so after having a bunch of discussions and you know, they didn't even give me like a code challenge they just wanted to see maybe some maybe they wanted me to do like a presentation on on a technical topic and I had a discussion with the CEO and it was really like just nice it I didn't feel like I had to be anyone else other than myself it's very nice and and I've been I contracted with them for a few months and I still feel that way that I could just be myself and and I am working on ecommerce things at prismic right like so they trust me we have like game plans and stuff on like I think like I could bring a lot of value to them around ecommerce and in payment handling stripe all that stuff. Like these are the things I like working with yeah and so I'm allowed to work on these types of things with their platform that's awesome. So what was it like so before they before presenter Okay, let me let me share a little bit about about my experience so far I keep like bombard you with all these questions so you know in my experience so so my experience was a little bit different I didn't have someone flat out be like I don't want you here. But I still had an experience going into my first tech job where it was like I feel like I'm kind of at a disadvantage before I even go out the gate and I'm just trying to do my job and people aren't letting me but it was a lot more around like it was a lot more discriminatory It was like I think you know that I'm transgender. Like Yeah, so when I started my very first tech job so I started testosterone I started my like medical transition within the same month that I started my first tech job and so my name hadn't legally changed it actually didn't know what I wanted my legal name to be, but I was going by my initials at the time I was just going by Lj and I figured I was like okay, I talked to HR about this I'm like hey, this is why I go by Lj please don't like let anybody else know my legal name that doesn't absolutely need to hear it and they said no problem and then not immediately but like maybe a month or two into the job my manager was like oh yeah HR tote like everyone knows and I'm like what I didn't oh shit i didn't know that and he was like yeah I don't know if you noticed that like this person in that guy are like kind of weird around you like they're not like I kind of have to like you know keep them at bay because they're not really comfortable with you being transgender blah blah blah so like you should probably just stick with me because you know, like I you know, like I'll protect you basically, manager said wild It was also a lie. So it wasn't a lie that HR told them so HR did like spill the beans whether they did it like maliciously or if like the right people hadn't connected yet to like inform them that this was supposed to be confidential. I don't know it doesn't matter. But my manager straight up lied about these people like having a problem with it. And as I continue to get to know them, what my manager was saying was kind of contradicting but at the same time I was, I was young, I'm in a new career. I'm brand new to this whole transitioning thing. I mean, it all happens so quickly. I went from coming out as transgender to starting my just started my transition to starting this new career all within like six months. So I barely have a handle on what's going on and this guy's kind of like, take Taking advantage of my vulnerabilities. So I'm kind of in this position where I'm like, Well, I need this job to survive. And I don't know, like some of the things that you were talking about happening in your job, like, I don't know if these things are happening, and it's, it's making me kind of paranoid, it's in the back of my head, like, I don't, I don't know. And it's like, oh, I could have just gotten a new job, but not I mean, I was brand new to the industry, it took me a long time to get that job, you know, I was like, I can't leave a job in the first six months a year, like, that's not gonna reflect well on me. So I felt really like trapped. It really wasn't. So that was all back in the beginning of 2018. And it wasn't really until like, honestly, really, in the last like, few weeks, I was, I was talking to someone about it. And I was, as in a group of trans people actually, we were sharing, like coming out stories at work and stuff like that. And I was like, Well, I didn't really come out. But this is what happened to me. And everyone was like, Damn, dude, that's really bad. And I was like, Oh, wait, you're right, that is really bad. Like, no wonder I like don't want to be in this industry, because I have shit kind of happen at my second job, too. You know, and I hadn't really processed it. And so I kind of realized that in my wanting to leave tech, a lot of it had to do with like, not ever really feeling like I had, you know, I had already been in the industry for like, three, four years at that point, and never really had a chance to get like, my, I never had like the development or anything like that, like it was constantly like, I'm just trying to survive here and also prove that I'm good at what I do. But I don't really have the space or support to actually like, practice my craft, and so right. Anyway, so I say all that. So with your experience, like what was kind of the process of like, real, I mean, I'm sure you knew in the moment to some degree that like, what you were dealing with was fucked up. But then you said that you were like, kind of dealt with smaller versions of that at your next jobs, which is the same thing that happened to me. So at what point were you just like, yeah, this off button, I don't actually deserve any of this treatment. And like, yeah, like, what, what kind of what was that process like for you to just what was the process of processing it like? So? Honestly, I have a lot of fuck you energy. Right? So it didn't take me long to realize that things were bad. But what I did was kind of, I started doing absolute bare minimum, I launched my tech app on their dime. Like, during my nine to five, I was coming into work. I'm like, oh, they're giving me shit work to do. So let me just hammer get that out of the way. It was like I was literally doing data entry. Because they didn't know they couldn't find anywhere else to do it. So I'd be like, let me just bang this out. And now I'm just going to work on learning React Native, making an app for the fighting game community Tekken players. So this is how I like that phrase, reclaiming my time. Yeah, I reclaimed my time. That way, it was like spike driven development where I'm like, Oh, I don't, they're not supporting me. They're not giving me what I need to grow. So I'm going to do it myself. at my desk. Yeah. And so that was kind of what allowed me to be okay. You know, maybe it would have been mentally healthier for me mentally if I had taken action and tried to find somewhere else to go. But I was like, fuck this, like, where else am I gonna get to write a React Native app for my community? I'm just gonna do it at my job. Yeah, and getting getting a job in tech. I mean, this isn't like just throw your application to great places and get hired like, this is a very involved energy draining process that Yep, yeah, it's not it's not simple. And so I so and that helped, so I launched it right. And you know, the thing that's messed up they were they needed React Native developers. I was one of the earliest adopters at that company, or just in general of React Native. Yeah. And they were getting React Native projects and skipping over me even though I had more experience versus people who didn't had none. Like they were literally gatekeeping like the good stuff. And so I can relate this by seven chicken. Yeah, yeah. They I launched t seven chicken. And I ended up getting like 20 to 30,000 users. Oh, wow. And It was great. It was such a great experience doing all that. And I'm like speeding through a lot because this is over the course of like years, right? Yeah. And so that was my ticket for applying to new jobs. Because now I had something that I can point to, and say, Hey, I wrote an app, I launched it on my own. here's proof. And here's, here's why it's valuable. I've got 30 people, 30,000 people using it. I got 4.9 star reviews. Screw whoever gave me like the two stars. Right? Never. Never forget, you really don't forget when you have like, you can get feedback. You can get like a million positive feedback things and but you're always going to remember the one or two that's thing. Yeah, the human right. Am I right? Right, right. And so that's what I want to go interview with. And so it's funny, because I was actually trying to get fired from that place for a while, like I was literally just doing the worst, the worst things possible. And I'm like, man, they still have me here. But I don't know, we could maybe go over those later. But anyway. So I ended up at this other. I interviewed at this other company, and it felt amazing, because I bombed their coding challenges all of them. But they really liked me. So they hired me anyway. And I was like, Wow, this is great. They saw potential, they love that I launched something on my own. They were considering React Native stuff. And I knew Redux to know they don't meet they I guess you don't meet a lot of developers, JavaScript developers that like like Redux. And I love Redux. Yeah. So that was going well, for a while, until the company kind of went in. I was there for like, eight months. And so first two or three months were great. But then it went into like a six month crunch time. And whoever was supporting me got way too busy to like, even look my direction anymore. Especially because they announced that they were leaving the company. And they basically, they were so good at JavaScript, they were like carrying the whole company on their back. So they were like, can you please release all of our features ever? Until you until the day you're gone. And he genuinely liked doing that kind of stuff. So I basically lost the support that I had. And then stuff just started getting weird. Like my co workers weren't really associating with me, it was also like a culture fit thing. Two, co workers weren't really talking to me, or inviting me out to lunch, or trying to spend time with me at all. I was making sure all of the tickets that I promised to deliver each sprint, those were happening, but then I was hearing complaints about me texting too much, and stuff like that, right? Like, oh, man, it was so I still have no idea what the problem was there. Um, and, and I remember talking to one of the it was like the VP of engineering about diversity and stuff, because I was struggling every time I see one of the black people there, which obviously is either going to be like, custodian level roles or IT support. Yeah, you know what I'm saying. So, every time I saw them, I just couldn't help but walk over to talk to them. And it felt great. Like, there was the only time I was happy when I was talking to the only black people at this company. And so I remember bringing up the diversity thing to the VP of engineering. And he's like, well, if you look at our numbers, you already know I've already so annoyed this guy. Like he hasn't said anything real yet. Never forget. He was like, his posts. He was like super laid back with his arms crossed, just so chill. It's like, well, if you look at our numbers, it's 50%. Like, left handed people, gay lesbian, whatever. And like, so Spanish, like every category ever, like me, like short people? Yeah. And then, and then 50% white tech Bros. Like, it's like they're scrambling to find diversity numbers like, yeah, had you had a weird stomach condition for a year. You're disabled. Right? You are. Yeah, exactly. So when he said that, I was so like, I was shocked because like, normally I see that kind of stuff on Twitter. I didn't think I would hear it with my own ears. Yeah, and I wouldn't have that being sent to my own face. I immediately was like, Okay, cool. That's really great to know. And I went back to mind. I just sat back down, and just was like, wow, internally screaming. Right, right, right. And I don't know, just over time, the manager, I had a really sweet guy. He just did not know how to handle conflict at all. There was oh my god, all this sounds so familiar. He didn't, he was too scared. If I was in his position, I would have been like, what's your problem with Nick? Yeah, like, let's talk about it. Let's get Nick in a room. Like what? You told me he was texting. Why are you snitching? Like, you know, I'm saying, like, I maybe it's just how I've grown up in like, you know, we, it's like, something's wrong. We, you know, we say something, and there's no problem. You just got to, I genuinely feel like white people, or like white men in particular have a hard time with conflict stuff. Yeah. You know, and so that happened. And he kind of kept shrugging exam. So he basically kept saying, like, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. And he, I didn't get fired. He hinted that. Like, he really wanted me to quit, because they didn't have anything to fire me for. Yeah. And so I said, you know, what? Why don't I just pack my shit and walk out right now? You were disturbing. Like he's serving the feasts, obviously. And I know that he felt so relieved when he heard that, but I also know he felt really bad because he knew he didn't support me or nothing. And if you feel bad, or sorry, yeah, oh, my God, this is all just static. so familiar. So yeah. Okay, so dealing with stuff like this, like, let me see, see, I need a minute now to like, what, what am I trying to ask from this? So when you're, when you're dealing with all of that stuff, it's like, how do you even get to see that? it through the thick of all this because you're not working a traditional, like software engineering role now? So it's like, how did you kind of sift through all of that bullshit, and realize that, in addition to the fact that you were in these positions of being poorly managed, you were also not quite in the right niche of tech? I think, I mean, ultimately, I go by, I am very, I believe in doing what you feel, like committing to what you feel if you feel something, even if it makes, like no sense at all. It's how you feel. And that is something that you need to acknowledge as long as it's like not hurting somebody, you know what I'm saying? Like, and so what's interesting is that I'm so committed to that. And I felt bad most of the time. But I'm like, this is the only option I have. Yeah, so I've always kind of been longing to not have to deal with the tech stuff, like you know, being a traditional software engineer. But I didn't know what was available to me. And so because you also say sorry, really quick because you've also said we've talked off mic a little bit like making a lot of money is important to you and that's real and so it does feel for a while that like it's like software engineer or what I guess I go back to like minimum wage jobs or making like 30 Yes, I'll die. Yeah. Right. Like that's, that's real because it does kind of trap you. Right? And so, you know, and so I just had I just I didn't think there was anything else for me. And so you know, this year, so a lot has happened and stuff and this year was really weird. I was like, Okay, I need a job. But now I'm just going to be picky. Yeah, cuz I keep getting burned from just jumping on whatever. Yeah, this year started off actually did a contract for a really cool startup. It's called it's playing multiverse calm. And I was I was happy and excited. They're like, it's a Wait, what is all that noise? Sounds like a smoke detector. Are you okay? Are you safe? Is that your house? Is your house on fire right now? No idea. What's happening. Harris. We're trying to record something. Oh my god, dude, can I just like go check that out? Yeah, please do. We can cut all this out. All right. It's putting his headphones back on. Hello. So, I heard you say it was your alarm. So no one broke into your house. It was no, no, it was the fire alarm on the second floor. But she's like doing something with her hair. But I don't know. I mean, her hair's not on fire. So I think that's good. Yeah. False alarm. Cool. Anyway, you were just saying that, um, in your job hunting this year, you decided to get picky and take whatever, whatever the thing was, I found here laughs Yeah, yeah. So so I was I was like, really passively job searching. So like, I didn't want to apply for any jobs where I didn't just want to, like straight up apply. It had to be through friends or connections. So that was one thing. So that was like my rule. I'm not gonna go look for a job. I'm just gonna wait till someone says, hey, there's this opportunity at this place. You want to check that out? And that, you know, I tweet a lot. So that kind of help. It's, you know, I was also focused on Paris's business to like, you know, doing like, you know, coding things and whatnot for, you know, typical stuff that CTOs would do you know what I'm saying? Yeah, paid or unpaid? Yeah. And so that, so and then I also have my sponsorship from on GitHub, and especially from stripe, you know, so I was actually able to live comfortably without a full time open source, maintain maintainer. So. But, you know, I wanted more money. And I started off this year with like, working at this startup play multiverse. It's like, online tabletop gaming platform, which is amazing. Nice. Unfortunately, I was not in the good mental space for that role. I had a friend at the very beginning of this year, he was murdered out of an act of racism. town. Yeah, it was like a good friend. I've known him for like over 10 years and stuff. He was somebody I met through tech and and so I actually was trying to work at multiverse as a distraction, which is, like, the worst thing you can do when you're grieving, for sure. And so you know, and it's a it's a startup, very fast paced environment. And so, you know, I was getting feedback on my deliverables. And eventually, you know, it was like, it doesn't work for the business, you know, and so, and that's fair, like, the I'm still I'm on good terms with them. Like I know that the CEO he's actually in Cambridge and Boston area. And so we're probably going to like hang out or whatever. Sometime but yeah, like that was a big blow to my ear. And I didn't feel like interviewing or anything for a while after that. Sure. Then I joined another agency and that was an absolute shit show. I don't even want to get into that one. That was Yeah, such such horrible management. Yeah, common common Famous last words or this time will be different right? That's exactly what it was that I told them about my experience at the first agency to like yeah, it's gonna be different now. And it was the same my god yeah, so So at what point were you like, you know why maybe, maybe I just need to do something other than engineering like in addition to all this bullshit, like it's also just not quite the right niche. That's the thing even this year I still believe that I needed to stay as an engineer so now I'm like, Wow, now I need to just try even harder to find a place that I'd be happy being an engineer. Hmm, does it feel like you're like swimming upstream? Almost like the heart? Yeah, trying the worst it's getting? Exactly. I did I did forget to mention I worked at an amazing boot camp focused on underrepresented groups called resilient coders. Oh, nice. And I did work there as sort of like a teaching assistant. And that was like my first taste at having a job that didn't require coding. Yeah. And so this this all happened that happened like a while ago. And I will say to you said you were like focusing on your network and if listeners if resilient coders sounded familiar, that's where Paris learned how to code so it was kind of like your your foot in there. Yeah, I mean, it does. Yeah, difference. Having that network connection, knowing someone and kind of be a better place. That way, you know, oh wait, I think I misunderstood. No, I was part. So I actually met Paris. I started mentoring at resume quarters when she joined. Oh, gotcha, gotcha. We met because of resume. Oh, look at that a little, a little resilient coders couple different again, a success story. I got so much shit. Like while I was working there, they will after her cohort, they made a rule that mentors but but I'm so salty I need I need I need the public to know is that she expressed interest not me. So a lot of matter, it doesn't matter. That's never that's never whatever, whatever helps you sleep at night, man. It does help me sleep at night. I'm just messing with. So anyway, yeah, so I guess that was my first taste into something that didn't require me coding. But even then, I just didn't feel like there was any other option. That's why prismatic was so prismic reached out to me. And then they just straight up were like, yeah, we figured you'd be a good fit for developer experience. You know, what do you like, you know, and, you know, I told them what I liked. And they're like, do what, hey, you could do what you like here, though. So. So in that, and that's that, and I've been happy. And and you know, I didn't like I'm very active on Twitter. Yeah, right. I've been. I've been with them for months. But I didn't want to say anything, because I'm so work, work. trauma is a thing. Yeah. Right. And so I'm like, I joined y'all. But do y'all suck? You know? Yeah. It's like, you don't want to publicly be like, I love this place, then be like, here's my blog post about why they suck. Like, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So awkward. tone, like, so. And I it part of it makes like, that kind of thing makes me feel bad, right? Because I don't think like, like, they didn't really they don't deserve to be looked at that that way. Right? Like, I joined. And I'm like, I need to make sure that no one is a piece of shit. Right? But there's real like, like, it's not really quick. I mean, if you're, I mean, this is another piece. It's like when you're hiring people, if you're in a position to hire people, and it seems like someone who's new on board is is less than enthused, like it could be that they've been burned so many times that, like, they need that time and space, like, did they kind of give you that time and space to say did? Yeah, that's great. Yeah. Yeah. And they've been so supportive, you know. And so, the bar is, like, so low for me at the at this point, because like, all they had to do was show basic, decent amounts of respect, and my mind would have been blown. But they've been going above and beyond to really make sure I'm happy in in, you know, I'm enabled, and I'm able to do what I, what drives me, you know. So that's great that they're also able to, like, recognize me, like, Hey, here's this other thing that you can do, because it's a weird thing. It's like, we don't know what we don't know. So until you're like, seriously considering or until that other option is presented to you. It doesn't really seem like an option. It's like, yeah, it's it's software engineering, or bust. And they're like, or you could apply, like some of what you're doing on Twitter and things in your real life job, because we see you doing it. Yeah. And we know you would be good at it. That's exactly you're actually not the first. Sorry, I keep saying Debra, I know that's not technically what you're doing. That it's it's kind of make sense. But I do you know, I Isha Blake. Yes. She's, she's a former guest of the show. And she's also in dev REL. And she also if I remember correctly, was like initially kind of sought out. It was kind of the same thing where she was like, wait, I'm doing this already. Like it could be my job. So I mean, I know Valerie Feeny. I mean, let me just run through all the tech people we've had on the show so far. But Valerie Phoenix, you know, she was saying like, you can get into tech without knowing how to code at all. And and even in the realm of coding, like there's so many different jobs out there so like, I think that I think that a big takeaway it's like you because here's the other thing and I think Valerie said was like, you know, I'm gonna be a black woman no matter where I go. So I might as well be in Texas. This is where the money is. It's like, a lot of this bullshit we're going to deal with no matter where we go because unfortunately, these problems are kicked into most industries. So it's like when you find the right fit, it feels a little bit less Yeah, friction doesn't feel as bad because you're at least doing what you want to do you know what I mean? Because it's like, okay, so if you're a white guy, especially if you're a white man, and you're in a job that doesn't really fit you, people are gonna have a lot more compassion for you. Because most people, if you're in a job, that's a bad fit, you're not going to be as engaged and you're going to have other issues and things like that. But it's like, when you're the other, no matter what that other may be in this job isn't a good fit for you, they're just gonna think that there's some sort of character flaw within you that you're an employee, and they're not going to give you that chance to really, like you said, you didn't get the support that you needed to, you know, and someone who is really mentoring you, like a manager should might have recognized like, hey, maybe this other role would have been better for you. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah, totally. And yeah, and in the wild thing about all of that, is that it makes, it really makes you question yourself. And I think that's the worst part of it all. And that's a big part of what I was facing most of this year. I'm like, Why the fuck? Can I not hold a dev job? Like, what is wrong with me, too? I need to get better at coding to I need to get better at socializing. Do I? Like why can I Why is everyone else successful in this, but not me. And I felt and I've been fighting with that, on top of the loss of my friend, on top of the financial burden, the idea that I wasn't really making, like really good money, you know, it was just this year. This year did not start off Well, for me at all in a mental and emotional space. Yeah, you know, and so. And so like that, all of that is kind of why I was so picky, because it's like, the last thing I need is now to just be at a job that sucks. On top of the not even being able to keep the jobs. Yeah, for sure. You know, because by cuz in my mind, it's like, no matter where I go, I'm just going to be unhappy. I just need to be at a place where I would be unhappy the least. Now what a depressing, right? Like That was how I saw the world. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, it's just and I think that the big the big piece, I mean, you, you keep kind of bringing it up so casually, almost in passing, but I think it's actually the most important key here is he kept saying, you know, like, I'm on Twitter a lot, I'm active on Twitter. And I think that, you know, throughout all of that, you kept showing up. And, you know, I think it's like Arlen Hamilton, it's like, you know, be be be who you are, so that the people who are looking for, you know, nowhere to find you. So it's like, even though you're going through all this stuff, and I actually do remember now you tweeting about your friend that had died, I remember a picture of the two of you at like a convention that you posted for protection. And you know, so you were still showing up, you're still active in your community, and you're, you're showing what you're doing. So even even though you couldn't see that maybe part of the problem is you're trying to get a software engineering job, when you really belong in this Developer Relations, developer experience role, the fact that you are continuously showing up and being yourself, the right people did find you and recognize that and they were able to reach out to you, whereas if you were like, I don't know what I want to do. And why is this not working for me, and I'm just gonna, like, you know, kind of curl up into my own shell and kind of disengage from the world, then you would still be wondering why you can't hold a tech job and trying to make it work with software engineering, and still being miserable. So I think that that, that willingness to be vulnerable, I think, is really what kind of helps you get to where you're at. Now, you know, yeah, yeah, I am very happy to share what I'm going through and put, I think it's important to put stuff out there. Like, because I've always found it helpful when I'm down in the dumps. And then someone else kind of tweets like, Hey, I'm down in the dumps. Like, oh, shit, yo, me too. You know, like, yeah, this that just feels good, you know. And so and I have also tweeted this year about my struggles with like imposter syndrome, or, you know, coding challenges. Oh, man, that's another thing I was bombing these interview as bombing challenges. at places that I feel like I'd be amazing at more games. Yeah. And so that that really hurt, too. And so I think like, oh, I'll always be kind of sharing these things. And that energy that you put out, comes back, you know, 100% 100% I couldn't agree with you more. And I can't can't imagine a better note to end this on to I think we're out of time to do you. Do you have anything else that you want to share that you feel like you'd be remiss if you if you left it out? Um, then I don't I can't I can't think of anything right now. I just have a genuinely, I just genuinely think that it's important to for people, it's, I wouldn't say important. I think it's valuable for people to share themselves on social media. Yeah. Beware Be who you are, and show up. People who are looking for you can find you. You have no idea what kind of positive impact you would make on somebody. You'll probably never, you'll never know, you'll just there are people out there lurking. Mm hmm. And then I'll hear something like months later, someone said, Yeah, that one tweet. You put out about this? You know, I decided to do XYZ because of that. Yeah. No, and that person doesn't comment or like or post themselves, but it's out there for them. You know? Yeah. I love that, man. Yeah. Thank you for coming on, Nick. That I mean, this was a really cool conversation. And I think it's, it's I really, I mean, this wasn't even really the the general theme that I was expecting to come out of this conversation. But I think that it's a really important one. It's like when you it's like, it's almost just like, don't give up. Like, just keep, keep showing up. And that's the biggest thing. It's like when you're when you're not sure what you want to do share that with people share that with people share with the world, because you just never know who's going to be that person to kind of like, show you show you the other route and show you the other way. Because a lot of times it could be you know, being a software engineer like you're so you're so close, yet so far to like, yeah, it actually should be and it's like, sometimes when you're that close, you can't see the other perspective, the other the other options and things like that. So just opening up talking to whoever talking out into the world on social media, like, you just never know where that's gonna take you, man. So I thank you for sharing your story and for and especially for being vulnerable about some of the hard parts. I mean, man I can, I can go on and on and on with my own versions of some of these nightmare stories that you've shared right down to that. That goddamn diversity thing. Oh my god. Yeah, I burned on time. memories, right? Yeah. Yeah. I'll tell us about some of that stuff off. Make the Yeah. Do you have anything that you want to promote anything else you want to plug including yourself? Um, no, like, just you know, if you want. Follow me on Twitter, if you if you don't want to, that's cool as well. At day Hey, Soos DAYHAY. S o s? Yeah. I love that. The phonetic spelling of de hasee. Title I do is calling me the Jesus. Yeah. Oh, my God. I'll put I'll put the link in the show notes for that. And, man, Nick, thank you so much. I will talk to you soon. Take care. Once again, that was Nick day. Hey, Soos. Thank you again for coming on the show. Nick. I really hope we get to work together someday. That would be just so cool. And I appreciate this conversation. I appreciate the chats that we've had since then, and we'll continue to have in the future. I think at one point during the interview, I mentioned a quote from Arlen Hamilton. I pulled up that quote, it's from her book, it's about damn time. And she said it much more succinctly than I tried to paraphrase it. But the quote is, be yourself so that the people looking for you can find you. And how true is that? I mean, with everything that Nick went through putting himself out there and being himself on Twitter is part of how he was able to move forward. And you know, in my experience, doing this podcast and getting these interviews together and really reinforcing my network through this podcast has given me opportunities that I wouldn't otherwise have You know, I've, I've been introduced to people that, you know, mutual friends of ours said, Hey, I think you too, I think this person would be a great fit for your podcast, and then that person becomes a really good friend. You know, there are people in my life who I have been in my life for a long time. And we've gotten to know each other on a much deeper level as a result of this podcast of doing an interview on this podcast. And there's just a richness that has been added to my life just from putting myself out there doing this project. And you know, that might look like different things for different people. And, you know, whatever that putting yourself out there means but you know, we are, we're social beings, as humans, we need each other to heal. And I'm just so grateful to have the opportunity to share and heal with others. And you know, and be able to share that with all of you. So if you liked what you heard today, please give us a five star written review. It's like currency in this world. Truly the way that the rankings work in the podcast world is by the five star reviews, not by the amount of listens. So it really goes a long way in helping to promote the show. Take a screenshot of this podcast and throw it on Instagram, make it your Instagram story, you can tag me at Leo Yockey LEYOCKEY. It's a great way to let your friends know that you're listening and what you're into and what you find cool. Yeah, and I will say right now, there is a slight chance that next week, October 5, we're going to go dark. With some of the changes with getting an attack and a couple of personal events coming up. I might not have the bandwidth to be able to put these out once a week throughout the remainder of the year. I'm going to go as close to once a week no more than bi weekly, or sorry, no less frequently than bi weekly. But just putting that out there fair warning, I might put up some bonus content or something if I can't do a full episode, but either way, I'll definitely be back by the 12th. I have some exciting artists coming in. Towards the end of October I have a musician Trish is who's got an album coming out soon. Addy woolridge is coming back the day that her second book gets released. So I'm really excited for you to hear those conversations. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being on this journey with me. And as always, stay evolving.