The Changelog – Episode #342

From zero to thought leader in 6 months

featuring Emma Wedekind

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We’re talking with Emma Wedekind about going from zero to thought leader in 6 months. We talk about the nuances of UX including the differences between an UX Designer and a UX Engineer, we touch on “the great divide”, and we talk about Coding Coach — the open source project and community that Emma and others are building to connect software developers and mentors all over the world.

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Emma, let’s start off with - you’re an American living in Germany. This is a prominent aspect of your life, as we know, because it’s on your Twitter bio, so it’s very important stuff… Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re doing over there in Germany.

Yeah, it’s funny, because I always confuse people, especially my colleagues, when I break out an American accent on meetings; they’re like “Are you German? Because your English is really good…” I’m just like, “Well, thanks… I’ve been practicing for 26 years, so I would hope it’s good…” [laughter] So I grew up in Upstate New York; I did the whole college thing in Albany, and after I graduated I moved down to Austin, which was never I saw myself living, because we all think cowboys and whatnot… But I ended up loving Austin, and I was there for three years; I worked at IBM, I had a great time, and that’s kind of where I met my husband. He was this German guy, working and living in Germany, full-blooded German. I have to kind of explicitly state that, because people assume that we met in Texas, or that he’s also an American. And I’m like, “No, he was in Germany. We did long-distance.” And long distance isn’t that enjoyable, I don’t know if y’all aware of that… But it’s not fun, so I was like, “You know what, I’m gonna move.” So I just sold everything and I flew my cats over here, and I found a job… And it’s been over a year now.

Was that a scary move, or was it exciting, or all of the above? Did you have to build up some confidence, or were you just like, “Heck, let’s do it!”

Not at all. I am the most indecisive human in this entire universe… But this was the one thing I never questioned. It was like, “You know what, I’m gonna move to Europe.” And I think that we were fortunate because a lot of people in our situation have to have a conversation of like who wants to move internationally, but for me, I was like “I’m moving to Europe. I wanna travel, I wanna ingest other cultures.” So it was really easy.

The hardest part was job hunting. A lot of companies didn’t wanna invest in a foreigner, because it’s expensive. You have to help with the visa process, and potentially relocating someone, so… I was very fortunate that LogMeIn wanted to take a chance on me and they actually helped me with the visa process, as well as relocation.

Where is LogMeIn based out of?

[00:04:00.05] They’re actually headquartered in Boston, so they’re an American company. We’ve got offices in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, we have offices also in Dublin, and a couple in Germany, Munich and Dresden. Yeah, it’s actually quite funny, having so many American colleagues, but me being over here… I always get that question, “Why do you live there?”

It’s nice being in an American company too, because if I ever wanted to move back to the U.S., I think I would have that option.

What was that conversation like, getting them to be cool with the whole visa and move process? Was it a big deal, was it early in the conversation? I’m just kind of curious, I’ve never had that kind of conversation before.

With the employer?

Yeah, to get them to say “Yeah, we’ll take a risk on you to move you to Germany. That’s no big deal.” How did you approach that conversation?

I think because I had a solid reason for moving. I wasn’t just looking for a European adventure, I was looking to move to be with someone I plan to spend my life with, so I had a little bit more of a reason to spread roots there… I think that was a little bit more reassuring for them as well. I was just very honest about it, and I said “My fiancée lives there. I’m looking to stay here for the indefinite future.”

People always ask me, “How long are you staying here for?” Like, forever.

Like, forever.

[laughs] I would say it was a pretty easy conversation. It didn’t work out with some employers simply for the fact that it was kind of a lot for them to invest, and that’s – you know, it is what it is; I don’t blame them for that.

Emma, we got you on the show in a bit of I guess maybe serendipity, because you happened to find us listening to the conversation Adam had with Erik Kennedy, all about design advice for developers, and you tweeted about it. And at the moment you tweeted, something like “This show is great. I’m gonna download like 1,000 of your episodes”, I was actually on dev.to, reading an article that you had written at the time…

Really…?!

Yeah, and that’s when I responded back; I’m like, “Well, we’ve gotta get you on the show, because you’re doing lots of awesome work as well.”

It’s like we both swiped right at the same time, that’s so cute…

Exactly.

Oh, my god…! [laughter] Group hug!

Yaay! [laughs] No, I’m very fortunate to be here. I have thoroughly enjoyed the setup for your podcast; I love how it’s a casual conversation, and it seems that everyone’s very authentic, and everyone on here is very knowledgeable, so I’m flattered.

Well, you’re definitely well-deserved. A lot of the stuff you put out there has helped a ton of people, and that’s kind of the thrust of what we’d love to talk about with you - your writing, your teaching, Coding Coach, mentoring etc.

One of the things you wrote recently – you’re relatively new to Twitter, but you’re very good at Twitter, so we can talk about that as well… You write technical stuff that is used by many. The Regex Cheat Sheet you did recently was massively beloved and useful for many people, so we’re just interested to hear about your writing - why you write, how you write, so on and so forth.

Yeah, definitely. Let’s see… Why do I write - I write because there is a plethora of knowledge out there, and I need to acquire as much of it as I can; not that I need to, I would like to acquire as much of as I can… And I’m the kind of person who always has to write things down and reference them. My approach is I write about the things that I’m currently learning, in the hopes that they can also help others.

I refer back to my blogs all the time for references… And it’s funny, because I wrote the Regex Cheat Sheet because I needed a cheat sheet or a reference to go back to, and people just assume that now I’m a Regex expert. No, no, no, I still don’t understand it; this is just something for me to go back to. And misery loves company, so all of us hate Regex, or don’t understand it, and thus I think that’s why it caught on so much.

But how do I blog - it’s kind of twofold. The first is you can plan out the topics. Sometimes I’ll tweet out polls and be like, “What does everyone want to read about?” And I generally find that I have a harder time writing those ones, because they’re pre-planned. Most of the time what happens is I get this burst of energy, and I just sit down and bang one out really fast, and kind of don’t re-read my stuff, which can get me in trouble… I get these spurts of inspiration, and I generally take an hour or so and I just publish them quite immediately.

[00:08:10.22] One of the things that I’ve noticed watching your Twitter feed as a smart, vocal woman in our industry, is you have a lot of trolls, or it seems like you have a lot of trolls, and I’m wondering if some of these not-so-thought-out posts, or just off-the-keyboard-into-the-ether has helped with that, or do you have a lot of “Well, actually…” happening?

It was more prevalent the last couple of months, but I’ve noticed recently things have kind of died down for me a little bit in terms of trolling, or unsolicited messages. I will say there are other very smart, capable women out there who have it a lot worse off than I do. So I am very fortunate currently where I’m at. I do get some “Well, actually…”, and I try to view them as coming from a good place, where people really just want to educate, or whatnot… But occasionally they can come off a little bit malicious. I just generally try to put myself in their position with anything that comes with hate; if I post something and get some negativity, I try not to let that affect me personally from the get-go (it can be hard). But you can take that one of two ways - you can let that upset you, or you can take that and say “Well, is there some truth in what they’re saying?” I often find that seeing things from another point of view really changes how I think about things, and the way that I post.

It sounds like an incredibly healthy way of looking at it.

It’s hard though. It takes practice, because the internet is a very great thing, but it’s also a mentally taxing thing, and you have to kind of pick and choose your battles, but also use it for good and not for evil.

Some of that I think is the refining process as well of writing, and not just writing for yourself - even if you are the immediate, first audience - but writing for others and publishing, is that you have to detach yourself to a certain degree from your writing… Even though you can’t, because it’s your thoughts; you’re putting your thoughts on paper (digital paper) and you’re putting them out there to be considered, judged etc. and sometimes you can learn, sometimes you were right all along, but it’s kind of like the trial by cauldron - you put something through a fire, and if it comes out pure, then it was valuable, and if it burns up, it wasn’t so good in the first place… But it can hurt. The fire is hot, and it doesn’t always feel nice.

Yeah… And I think that I’m pretty self-aware and I encourage feedback and constructive criticism; I don’t agree with criticism to purposefully shame someone. If you’re gonna provide criticism, do it in a healthy way that everyone can benefit from. That’s a hard lesson I’ve had to learn, because my growth on Twitter specifically was quite exponential. It happened pretty quickly, and so I kind of had to learn to deal with these kinds of situations overnight, and it was hard.

Did you have specific goals when you started Twitter, or when you started writing more prolifically? I know you write because that’s how you learn, and a lot of it is reference for yourself, but do you look out five years and say “I’m trying to accomplish a long-term goal”, or is it more “I’m just doing it because I enjoy it, and I get these benefits”?

I have always loved writing to begin with. I actually almost declared a writing minor in school; it’s something I’ve always loved, and I think that stems from the fact that I read a lot. I digest books like it’s water; I’ve always had a voracity for reading, and so I think writing is complementary to that.

When I got back on Twitter, I would say it was August of last year, and it was due to the fact that I was blogging. I wasn’t blogging consistently, but I was blogging, and people had apparently started sharing some of my articles on Twitter. I had a Twitter account, but it was pretty archaic at that point. I hadn’t even logged in since college, and the stuff that I tweeted back then I don’t even wanna read… But my colleague was like, “Yeah, people are sharing your stuff. Why don’t you get back on, so that they can actually tag you in these things?” I was like, “You know what, that’s a good idea.”

[00:12:17.22] So my primary goal was never to gain followers, nothing like that… It was to interact with the community and hear what they had to say about my writing. That was the first goal. The second goal was to be more consistent with my content that I produce… Because when you’re consistent – not necessarily meaning “I blog every Tuesday”, but in the sense that you have a backlog of content, whether that’s blogs, videos, what have you, and you produce at least every week, two weeks, whatever. Those were my two goals. I think from that, my growth was part luck, part consistency, to some extent.

You mentioned books - I saw that you also blogged about which books will improve your career, on dev.to. I was a fan of a couple that I’ve read, and a couple that I haven’t, so I’ll have to check them out… But one in particular, “The Power of Habit”, is actually a position of a future show we’re doing called Brain Science, that’s sort of digging back and peeling back the layers of human behavior, as it relates to brains, and as it relates to science, obviously, and just how do we use what we know about the brain to become better. What do you think about that book in particular, and maybe a couple others you’ve recommended?

I loved that book. That was top three non-fiction books I’ve ever read. I love non-fiction books that teach you something, but in an anecdotal way; they interject these little stories about history, and the learnings that people have pulled out of their experiences. I find those to be the most easily digestible, and they resonate the most with me.

That was a really great one, because it allowed me to really rethink the way that I worked, and kind of altered my behavior to maximize my productivity. People are always like, “How do you do so much?” It’s a habit that you get into, and I guess at that point it’s subconscious. I love the whole idea of understanding the brain, and I took a few psychology courses when I was in high school and I loved it. I was terrible at it, I did terribly, but I loved the theory behind it… And if you liked that, I would highly recommend The Culture Map; I cannot recommend this book enough. This is probably the number one non-fiction I’ve ever read, because it discusses different cultures and how people communicate, so it has a lot of psychology basis, but it really helps you, especially if you’re working globally with different teams, or even interacting on social media - understanding the way that people communicate to each other; I think it’ll improve all of your communications with everyone in your life.

Yeah, that perspective is interesting too, because a lot with the brain and what we know as individuals is about experiences, so if you’re using the lens of the culture map, which means the world at large, we all have different experiences that manufacture what’s known as our mind. Your mind isn’t observable, it’s the inner workings of the parts of the brain. It just sort of enlightens you to the fact that everyone has a different perspective, and it’s not that it’s wrong or right, it’s just not the same.

And I think that goes back to dealing with the trolls or some of the hate you might receive, because what I might perceive to be hate, other cultures might perceive to be just constructive criticism. So it talks a lot about these high and low context cultures. In America we’re very used to wrapping constructive criticism in a compliment; or using these – I forget what the term is, but words that make it seem not as bad… So like “maybe”, or “just a little bit”.

Here’s an example - if someone gave three different presentations, and I went up to them after and I was like, “You know, I really like the first two presentations. The third one was maybe just a little bit too long, but the other ones were really good.” In America, that’s how you would give feedback. We don’t like to hear very direct, negative criticism. Versus, in Germany - and I’ve noticed this even before I wrote this book, and I couldn’t figure out why - they give very direct feedback, because they perceive that to be the most productive way to share thoughts with someone, so there would be no beating around the bush there.

[00:16:13.17] But then you look at cultures in Asia, and they’re on a whole different spectrum because they don’t give negative feedback, from what I understand; they only give positive feedback about the things that they enjoyed, and they just omit anything negative, so you have to read between the lines there. It’s a little bit higher context. Very interesting.

I would say that that helps me in my writing, and that helps me digest some of the conversations or comments I get online, because people communicate differently, and what I might perceive to be negative might not be the meaning behind the statements.

So the first question you get from negativity might be “Where are you from?”, because then you can at least contextually place them. “Oh, you’re in a place where you’re a bit more direct or a bit more rude just by culture, not by purpose or malice.”

Yeah, and I wouldn’t even necessarily call it rude. There have been instances on dev.to where I’ll write a blog and someone will leave a comment that I perceive to be rude, and I’ll write back “I appreciate your comment. You could have been a little bit more respectful about it”, and they’ll reply and say “What did I say that wasn’t respectful? That was definitely not my intent.” So what I perceive as rude, they just perceive as natural communication for feedback. So I try to see all these interactions through rose-colored glasses.

Obviously, there are instances where people are just malicious, but understanding the way people think and communicate definitely helps you differentiate.

I could tell you’re a UX designer based on your book list though.

Why is that?

Well, it’s all about understanding human behavior. That’s pretty much what user experience is about - it’s about desiring a pleasant or an efficient workflow, whatever; and you care about things like behavioral economics, and just little interesting tidbits that seem to just simply be – you might just think she’s a designer, or he’s a designer; well, meanwhile they really care about these nuanced details that almost no one else pays attention to.

Yeah, and this whole UX engineering role is so new… And I had this identity crisis almost, because I am an engineer, and I really love everything technical. I’m classically trained in that. However, I always felt this longing to do more creative work, more psychological or design-oriented work, I just never had formal training.

I really got into design when I was working at IBM, on the design team. I was working with UX designers and visual designers, and I picked up a lot of knowledge there. And it really got me thinking, “Why is this not a represented field?” And recently, I’ve noticed it’s become a little bit more popular. You’ll see places like Google and Airbnb and Spotify have these physical UX engineer roles for people like me, who are caught in the middle between engineering and design. So having that conscious knowledge of what’s best for your users…

I was talking with April Wensel earlier today - she is the owner of Compassionate Coding - and one of the things she talks about is “How could we be more empathetic towards our users?” We have all of these requirements that come from product management and whatnot, but I often see in companies that they prioritize different features just because they wanna keep up with their competitors, they wanna have feature parity. And I’m sitting here thinking “This is the wrong way to approach these things.” And this comes from the “Start With Why” book from Simon Sinek, which is another one I definitely recommend… But when companies don’t have a strong foundation of why they’re doing something, and they focus on the what, so if the what is “I wanna beat our competitor”, and they’re not thinking about “Well, why?” The Why should be “I wanna have the best product to make our users’ lives enjoyable.” It’s harder to succeed when you don’t start with why. You have to have that foundation. So definitely putting yourself in the shoes of your users is going to enable you to create the best product for the community.

[00:20:15.24] I didn’t notice that the – and sorry about that; I’m a past UX designer myself, so… I skipped the engineer part of your role there, but… What is the bigger difference between a designer or an engineer, in this case? UX being placed before both of those.

Yeah… So people often read my title and they assume that I’m a designer, which is fine, because it’s a common mistake; it’s not a very known label. And to be honest, I hate labels, because I feel like they categorize people into buckets. It’s not black and white, right? We talk about this concept of like a T-shaped person, who has one really deep knowledge set; my deep knowledge set is front-end development. I have a computer science degree… I did a little bit of back-end in college; I learned Java, and database, and whatnot, but my passion lies in front-end dev, and my deepest experience is there…

However, I also have branched off into UX design, and I think that we as an industry are having this large identity crisis of people who get caught up in this impostor syndrome, because they maybe are like me, and they’re caught between design and development, and they enjoy both and they’re good at both, but there’s no real role defined yet. My role day-to-day is building design systems, which is part design, but I focus on the component library side; building robust components with React and TypeScript and all of that… So yeah, I would love to stop boxing people into these roles, which I think are more HR labels in a sense, because obviously you have to pay people on skills.

I don’t know, there are just so many titles in this industry, and it’s so easy to make assumptions about people, like “Oh, he’s a designer. He doesn’t have any coding experience.” All the designers on my team, for the most part, can code in HTML and CSS. The first day I realized that – I was working with a visual designer and he wanted to build an animation library; I was like, “Heck yeah! Animations - love it! Let’s do it!” And he was showing me this prototype, and I’m like “Oh my gosh, how did you build this?” and he goes “Well, I wrote the code for it.” I’m like “What?!” He was like “Yeah, I was a developer before, and then I moved into a visual or UX designer position.” Well, we see designer in someone’s title, or we see UX in someone’s title and we assume that they can’t code, and I hate that kind of gatekeeping mentality of like “Well, if you’re not a software engineer, if you’re not a software developer, you’re not good at coding. You can’t code.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh…” I hate that.

Yeah. It seems like, based on what you said there, that you’re really good with developing the right kind of tools for designers to allow developers to do their best… So design systems. It’s something that makes the dev experience better, to implement great designs for design teams, and so on and so forth.

It’s kind of twofold. That’s definitely one facet of that - it makes everyone’s life easier if your components that you’re incorporating are already accessible, responsive, whatnot. That takes a lot of pressure off the engineers to do the heavy lifting for every single component they need. But the second part is at the end of the day we’re not delivering a library, we’re delivering a consistent experience cross-platform, that’s accessible to everyone, and I think that’s the real benefit of having a design system in place - your users, regardless of who they are or their circumstances, all have a great experience across all of your platforms. And that’s the benefit that you really should be getting out of these design systems. I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I can enable that and facilitate that.

[00:23:49.14] Well, it’s almost like – I kind of came into some of this when I met Chris Eppstein, one of the fellas behind Sass and Compass, and I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I was like, “Wow, here’s somebody who really thoroughly understands design, thoroughly understands programming, thoroughly understands these things that really enable me as a designer (at the time) to need certain kind of systems to build these things, but didn’t have the tooling in place at the time.” So you kind of allow the design side to dream, and all this stuff, and the engineering side the freedom to implement freely what they design, and vice-versa, to get the best output for a positive user experience.

Right. Yeah, definitely. I think we need to do better working across this divide, and I think that’s what this role that I’m in now, this UX engineering position allows - to bridge the gap between engineering and design, because they go hand in hand, they’re complementary, but often they’re so siloed from each other and that causes discrepancies in your UI.

Is the silos because of the “You are a designer, you can’t code” stigma?

I think subconsciously it might have something to do with it, because we all have subconscious biases, and I would love to change those subconscious biases… But I think part of that comes from – we all like to pretend we practice Agile, and yet we fall into AgileFall… We get these requirements from product management, like “Okay, we’ve got a story”, and the typical engineer mindset is like “Well, I’m not gonna start coding this until we’ve got a high-fidelity design.” So it becomes this linear waterfall hand-off still. So there’s no real-time collaboration going on in a lot of companies, and I think that’s the biggest problem.

I had to check that, because I’ve never actually heard AgileFall before. Jerod, have you heard of that before?

No. I’ve probably done it, but I’ve never heard of it.

I had to laugh out loud on that one. I’d never heard it before, that’s amazing.

I mean, that’s unfortunately what happens in most companies. Agile is hard. It’s all the rave right now; it’s in the same category with blockchain, and Bitcoin, and all those buzzwords.

No, I’m saying in terms of like buzzwords; it’s a very popular thing to say your company does Agile, and has Scrum…

But very few people execute that correctly, and I think that leads to AgileFall.

We all have good intentions when we say Agile, and then we attempt, and then for some reason, somebody, somehow, someway, some org messes it up and it becomes AgileFall, which I’ve never heard of before.

Isn’t AgileFall what comes after AgileSummer? [laughter] Whammy!

Ooh, dad jokes. [laughs]

It’s the wrong podcast for that, Jerod.

Just trying to lighten things back up… Hey, quick cross-promotion - if you like this conversation about the front-end divide, we’ve done two pretty good episodes of JS Party on this, the deep dive into the divide in the front-end space, and why it is there, what we can do about it etc. JS Party #61, hear from Suz Hinton, Kball and Nick Nisi, and then also JS Party #67, with Chris Coyier, who wrote “The Great Divide” blog post, as well as Suz again, and myself. We’ll link those up in the show notes. If you liked this conversation, you will love those.

Break

[00:27:07.23]

So we put a tweet out asking folks what should we ask Emma, and shout-out to @UKGeekgirlBCS, who said “Ask Emma if the idea for Coding Coach was based on her own experiences.” Happy to answer that for you, but first we’ve gotta hear about what Coding Coach is and the background there, and then we can find out if it was based on your experiences. So take it from there - what is Coding Coach?

Sure. Coding Coach is an open source platform whose goal is to connect mentors with mentees all over the globe, and to do it for free. That’s the basis of it. Currently, it’s very early in its production, because we haven’t set up a database, so it’s literally just a very superficial way to – it’s like a database essentially, at the moment, and we’re building a full platform… But absolutely, it was based on my personal experiences, because when I was at IBM, I started in enterprise storage systems; coming out of college I had a computer science degree, and I had primarily learned Java… And then quickly I had to switch to front-end before I started my first role. I was actually hired as a back-end dev, and I got put on front-end, and I was like “Oh, that sounds cool! Making websites. Nice. HTML is easy.” And then I got to work, and I was so overwhelmed for the majority of the year.

So I worked on that for a year and a half or so, and then I moved on to a design team. This was great, because I got to be a little bit more autonomous with my tech choices, so I chose to learn Vue and use that to build websites for quantum computing, which was super-cool… Except I didn’t have a mentor. I was the only dev on my team, and I had no one. I had asked someone at work who I look up to in the industry if he would be my mentor, and that was my first real experience with mentorship. And it turned out really well, and it was something I was always passionate about. I was like, “Well, we need to make this available for everyone, so people don’t get stuck in this rut like I did.”

I actually held a workshop at IBM, and I had a small little cross-functional team of volunteers. Jason Lengstorf was one of them. People are always surprised, we actually worked together at IBM. He was originally on my small team for this mentorship thing. We had a workshop where we worked with some executive women at IBM, and then sadly nothing came of it. It just wasn’t the right timing for me. I think I was kind of stuck in this limbo at IBM where I could get a promotion because there wasn’t enough funding, and I was kind of down on myself about that… So I kind of just let that go dormant for a little while.

Then I was in the Berlin airport back in September, and I had maybe 1,000 followers on Twitter; and I just tweeted at them, like “Would anyone be interested in building this open source mentorship application?” And I got an overwhelming amount of yeses. So I immediately bought a domain… I like the alliteration of Coding Coach, because believe it or not, all the domain names with the word “mentor” in it are pretty much taken, or you’d have to sell a kidney to buy it… And so I bought a domain, I opened a Slack organization and I started some Google Docs, and then it really took off from there.

Very cool. So what’s the process? Let’s say you want to be a mentor and you don’t have anybody to mentor… CodingCoach.io, as you said - you just go there and put your name on a piece of paper that says “Hey, I’d like to mentor.” How does it work?

For people who wanna become mentors – first of all, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who will donate their time for free to mentor someone. I thought it would be a little bit harder to get people interested in doing that… But it wasn’t. So what you can do is you can go to our GitHub repository; we’ve got a Coding Coach organization with a repository called “Find a mentor.” If you go in there, we’ve got a really robust readme.

[00:32:10.24] Currently, our mentors are based out of a packaged JSON file. Not ideal, but we’re working on getting our database set up at the moment… And our community has created this really cool CLI tool. You run it, you say “Add new mentor”, you fill out the prompts… Really well done, I’m really impressed by it. At the end it opens up pull requests for you.

So that’s the process to become a mentor, and currently we don’t have a vetting process. We wanted to get as many people on this platform to begin with; we didn’t want any barriers to entry… Which, you know, people are like “Well, how can you know if someone’s good at mentorship?” Well, one, I’ve produces this Mentorship Guidelines document on Google Drive, that really outlines how to be a good mentor and what that really means… And two is everyone has something to offer; just because someone might not be an expert-level developer doesn’t mean they can’t provide guidance in a certain area.

So for this first iteration there’s really no vetting process, but in the future, when we have our full platform built, we’ll revisit that idea, because… You know, I don’t really want any barriers to entry for someone to be a mentor. I don’t wanna have this gatekeeping thing. But instead, maybe what we’ll do is add a review process where the mentees of that person can go and recommend them, or leave reviews to encourage other people to go to them for a specific skill.

I wish I had read this guide beforehand, because I’m so in the dark about it. What are some of the details from it?

We have different guidelines for mentees and mentors. Typically, in this type of relationship, while you can learn from each other (it should be a symbiotic relationship), the mentee is really responsible for producing the majority of the content for the meetings. Firstly, a mentorship can be weekly, it can be bi-weekly, monthly, ad-hoc; whatever fits your needs. It’s all dependent upon your goals.

The mentee should have, in theory, defined 3-5 tangible goals that they wanna improve. I get a lot of messages from people who are saying “Hey, will you be my mentor?” That’s the message, and I’m like, “Okay, I’m happy to help you, but what skills are you looking to improve?” Sometimes they say “I wanna be a better front-end dev.” I’ve gotten people also that are like “I wanna be great at Node.js”, and I’m like “Well, first of all, I don’t know Node.js, so it’s in your best interest to go find someone who’s an expert in that field, because I really wouldn’t be beneficial to you.”

But if they come to me and it’s very vague, I always ask them for 3-5 tangible goals that they can check off. And I find personally the best types of mentorship have to do with building something.

My first mentorship at IBM was “Okay, well, you don’t have a portfolio, so let’s use building your portfolio as a way to build up your skillset with Vue.js.” That, I found, was the most beneficial, where each week I would have checklist items to say “Okay, I need to get the navigation done this week”, make it collapsible and responsive and all that stuff, and then we’d do a live review together, and that would be really useful for me.

But some people also just need to get better at technical interviewing. It’s a skill we need to work on, so another way to do it is mock interviewing with the mentor. But really it’s all in the mentee to make sure that they have those tangible goals outlined, and that they’re prepared to do the majority of the work to make sure those meetings are used to their full potential.

What’s the process for a mentee to find the mentor? Can a mentor have several mentees? Are there any constraints at all? You said there’s really no barriers to entry, so maybe there’s no constraints either.

[00:35:47.01] Yeah, so the way that we have it set up now is you can go to mentors.codingcoach.io, and we’ve got some filters on there; you can filter by geographic location, languages spoken is one we will have added very soon… You can filter by technology or language that you want to learn, and then from there you just go and you look through the mentor list. We’ve got this little Contact section at the bottom with their preferred method of contact, whether that’s e-mail, Twitter, Slack… And then you just reach directly out to them.

We’re in the process of adding this getting started guide to our page, because at the moment it’s just a static page, and there’s no real call-to-action; there’s an issue open on GitHub to improve that. But ideally, in our full platform we would have this match-making thing. We were joking about Tinder at the beginning of this, but really, this all started with like Tinder for mentorships, right? I know what I want out of a mentorship - I want someone perhaps who’s a female, who’s maybe not in the technical side, but maybe more on the design side, and I want them to be in my time zone. I input that criteria and it’ll generate some matches for me; with the algorithm that we’ll develop, it will match for you what you’re looking for.

So that’s the ultimate goal, essentially - Tinder for mentorships, and ideally we would provide a communication platform through our site. But currently, we just wanted to get this MVP out here, so people could start finding someone. We didn’t wanna keep putting it on and putting it off; no, we’ll get a database out there for people to use while we’re building our whole platform.

I like what you said too though about the guide, and the fact that there’s – or someone reaching out to you saying “Hey, can you be my mentor?” and you’re like “Well, in what way?” Providing the framework for a mentor and a mentee on how to be good at both. As a mentee, what should you bring to the table? What should be some of your desires, and kind of help them articulate that, because connecting people to other people is not exactly dramatically hard; there’s obviously some difficulties in there, but the hard part is how to get them to mingle well.

Yeah, and I think I would love to facilitate that process. We wanna make it easier for people, so one of the ways we can do that is before they contact a mentee through our fully-fledged platform when that is delivered, perhaps we kind of like force them to enter 3-5 goals before they start that conversation, because that takes the pressure of having to remember all of these things before contacting them. And that way, when the mentor receives this invitation, they know what they’re getting into.

We also wanted to take the pressure off of ending a mentorship or rejecting a mentorship, because this is a really weird area… Like, “How do you maintain a connection with someone without burning a bridge?” So I’ve added some of that into the guidelines, how you approach that conversation, but we wanna make it really easy within our platform for either party to say “You know what, this isn’t working for me anymore and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I appreciate what we’ve done together, but I think it’s best if we just go our separate ways for now, with the caveat that maybe we revisit this someday.”

That is so hard… I’ve had to do that in different scenarios before, and that conversation is so hard. Wow… Yeah.

Well, it’s like breaking up with someone, but it’s not someone that you’re very close to.

It basically is, yeah.

So it’s hard for both people, and you wanna take that pressure–

“It’s not you, it’s me…”

Yeah, yeah. [laughs] But they go through lifecycles. Some mentorships, just like relationships in your life, whether that’s friendships or romantic relationships - they’ll go through phases, where you grow, and then perhaps you’ve outgrown the lifecycle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think we should be ashamed to say those things; we just need help formulating that.

So obviously free is great, but why do you think that this kind of platform needs to be free or should be free?

I have so many reasons, but primarily it’s because people don’t necessarily get to choose their circumstances. I was very privileged in the way that I grew up and where I currently am, and I do not take that for granted, but there are some people who are not in the same place that I’m at, or they don’t have the same access to resources… And that breaks my heart, because this is something that they have to work harder to achieve than I do, and why is that fair?

[00:40:03.03] So I wanted to make this something that anyone can go to to get help. We shouldn’t have to lay awake at night, wondering how we’re gonna get help on this project that we need to get delivered, or potentially get fired. You know, there’s certain things in life that I feel like should be available to everyone, and this is definitely one of them.

Well, certainly I think if you break down a mentor for what it is, it’s a person who is giving advice and guiding… And I’m curious if you subscribe to Lara Hogan, by any chance.

I don’t.

Lara Hogan is a former VPE at – I think it was Etsy, if I recall correctly; she runs Wherewithall, and she gives some amazing advice on mentorship, and in particular the flipside of that, which is sponsorship. She says the secret sauce, the magical mode is sponsor mode; basically sponsor mode is feeling on the hook to get someone to the next level. So rather than just simply being the person who is willing to give advice and give some guidance, maybe not so much long-term invested, the sponsor part of it - because she’s big on coaching sponsors for mentorship - is the secret sauce, so to speak.

I love that. I think that’s really cool, but I think we’ve gotta be careful too, because some people don’t do well with pressure like that, and others thrive under it. Given that this is kind of like a free platform, our mentors have no monetary…

Incentive?

Yes, thank you. They don’t have those incentives. It would be harder, I think, to get sponsors, specifically on my platform; however, I wouldn’t rule it out, because our community has just flourished with so many giving people. And I think too part of it is people feel good when they do acts of service like this. That’s one of the things about doing charity work or donating things - it makes you feel good. So I think that’s part of where this comes from. Additionally, it can look good to your employer, or to help you get promotions if you are labeled as a mentor, or perhaps a sponsor. It’s definitely a cool concept, that I would love to learn more about.

I think there’s an opportunity too for progress, like any relationship, and that’s sort of the scenario we’re applying here - this is a relationship, and just like you’d mentioned, discontinuing it is just like breaking up… And every relationship has a level of progress, layers to it, and each new layer, a new level of trust is added, so maybe eventually someone can self-nominate them to be someone’s sponsor, and it’s not–

It’s thinking beyond MVP at this point.

Right. And that’s me, I’m a dreamer… I dream.

I so am as well.

To quote Pink Panther, “I’m a dreamer who dreams.” I don’t know if you recall that, “Yuri, the Trainer who Trains.”

[laughs]

No, I missed that one, but I appreciate you dreaming.

Well, Steve Martin, Pink Panther, the very first one; not the second one. Yuri, the Trainer who Trains. If you’re listening to this and you’re laughing, you know why.

I liked the AgileFall joke better, but… [laughter]

Shots fired, shots fired!

Sorry, I’m a little sassy. [laughs]

No, I love it. It’s great.

I just like that I’m winning. That’s what I like about it.

Jerod is winning. He’s always winning. I’m curious to get back on track here, because I’ve got a question; I just can’t stop thinking about it. What has been the feedback loop so far, from the mentors and the mentees? What kind of feedback do you have to share?

It’s a great question. We, in all honesty, are not great at capturing this feedback. We really should be better about it. One thing I did try to do was reach out to individuals and try to do this developer spotlight type of thing on Medium - we’ve got a publication on there - and really ask them, “What are your goals? Are you a developer by day, or are you learning this on the side? What are your goals? How does Coding Coach really help you?” I love learning that way, and having those one-on-one talks with people. But we really hope to gain better feedback moving forward. It’s just really hard when – you know, I feel like I’m wearing so many hats at the moment.

[00:44:06.02] I’ve got a few really key people in the organization who drive the development of this. I’ve got [unintelligible 00:44:11.04] is great; he is a developer at Wix, and this Coding Coach alpha idea that we have live today was his idea, and I wouldn’t be there without him… And then Crysfel Villa is another one. He works at InVision as an engineer, and he is driving the fully-fledged platform.

They take a lot of responsibility onto them, but I fall in short on the capturing feedback part. And it’s definitely a discussion in our Slack organization; I would say for the most part we get a lot of feedback through Twitter, as well as in our Slack org… But for the most part, it seems really positive. I haven’t seen anyone – the only negative thing that’s come out of it is it can be a little overwhelming when you get so many messages… And I have been on that end myself, where I get a lot of e-mails and I feel bad, because it’s ironic; I created this mentorship platform, and I’m a horrible mentor at the moment, because I’m so busy, that I feel bad I can’t devote so much time to everyone. If you have suggestions on how to capture feedback, I would love to hear them, because that’s something I’m still a little bit unsure about.

Yeah, I’m always down. My favorite thing about some of the things I do here besides just talking to a microphone is to really hear different challenges and different problems, and help people find unique ways around them… Because different perspectives always provide different paths, and there’s nothing I love more than just dreaming with somebody. And it’s even cooler when you’re not on the hook to do the work… [laughs] Because you can give some really good advice and be like “…and it’s your work to do.”

At the current state though, the path to connecting with someone - is it going to mentors.codingcoach.io and clicking on their e-mail, or their GitHub or their Twitter and personally reaching out, or is there a platform-level thing that’s enabling these connections?

No, it’s very primal at this point. You just directly reach out to the person. I’ve seen so many messages… Even through Twitter, people will tag some of the mentors they see and will be like “Hey, will you mentor me?” And everyone’s very quick to be like, “Yeah, absolutely. Send me a message.” It’s such a welcoming environment, and I have never seen such positivity; I am so humbled by that, because I don’t feel like – I hate to say “This is my brainchild”, because I feel like I was just a catalyst to help… Like, the community is building it. I will open issues and people will jump on them. They are the ones building it. This was just me facilitating that, so it’s really great to see.

I love it. I think I said it before, and I’ll say it again - I think this needs to be in place. I love the fact that it is free, that it is accessible to anyone. I have some concerns about sustainability, but hey, that’s what you always have whenever something’s free, like “How do you manage it long-term, and it not be a burden or a bare on somebody?”, but those are good challenges to have.

In the end, you have potentially great people being connected, and better software developers and engineers coming out the other end, and potentially even deeper friendships.

Well, I should mention now they do have a Patreon.

Oh yes, oh yes.

Yeah, we do, and I always feel guilty – I shouldn’t feel guilty about having one… But just know that the money on there is going to be reinvested in the organization. So it’s not something I would ever personally take as a cut. I will say we do have some long-term goals. I had a conversation with Crysfel a little while back about potentially doing courses – not courses, but live group mentorship around a subject matter; perhaps we’ll do a React hooks mentoring session, where it’s more of like a teacher thing, but it’s very personal. You can ask questions and get some live help, but in a smaller group of like 3-5.

[00:48:06.04] That’s the kind of thing we could potentially think about monetizing. Anything that’s really content-oriented, we can think about that. I wanna keep the one-on-one mentorships free, to a certain extent. I wanna be able to have anyone come and get a mentor, and I’ve thought about different ways to monetize it, but for the immediate moment I wanna get our platform up and in a good state before I consider taking that to the next level.

It sounds like you can see some future in this where it could be potentially your full-time thing.

I would love that. Not that I don’t love my job; I really love my job, I love my teammates, and I get a lot of value out of that, but I’m always the kind of person that I feel like I always work ten times harder when it’s my project, or it’s something that I built from the ground up. I think there’s so much more reward in that, and I think almost everyone would agree… So yeah, I’ve always loved the idea of working for myself someday.

Break

[00:49:06.20]

As I mentioned before, we’ve put out a request on Twitter; we like to answer community questions, we like community feedback… By the way, if you have feedback for this show, of course Twitter is a good place for it. We also have a dedicated place now on Changelog.com. Each episode has a discussion. All guests and hosts are on that discussion, so if you have questions for Emma, or for us, or if we forgot to say something that we should have said, please add your comments there. We appreciate them.

That being said, we do wanna answer a few of the questions that were asked on Twitter… So let’s start here. This is from @shreeshbhat. Shreesh is the name, and he wants to know about the life in a day of a UX engineer. I assume that means your day job at LogMeIn. What does your day look like?

The best part about switching to the design team is I have substantially less meetings… So my days are typically a lot freer. Typically, I come in – it depends on the day, but sometimes they give us free breakfast, so I might start out with a coffee/chat with my colleague, and get some free breakfast, which is usually pastries, which I should probably stop eating… And then probably around nine I sit down and – it depends what my goals are for the day. The past week I’ve just been taking online tutorials; I need to brush up on some skills, because I have a lot of skills that I need to deepen specifically, like Webpack, and deeper React knowledge. So that’s what I was doing in the last week… But normally, I would work on building a component library, or perhaps updating some documentation, and later in the day we might have a touch point with my small design team to discuss my status, and where I’m at, and if we need to update any priorities… But in general, the days are pretty free, and it’s nice that I get the chance to really make my own schedule, that aligns with our goals.

Here’s a follow-up question from Shreesh as well - we were talking about Coding Coach previously… They say “What is your coaching style at Coding Coach?” Got a style?

[00:52:00.28] Hm… [laughter] I’m personally a little bit more asynchronous because I have so many commitments to things. I don’t have a ton of time to sit down and devote 30 minutes or an hour to physically talking to someone through GoToMeeting, or Skype or whatnot. So typically, my management style is asynchronous, where I say “Send me a list of your goals” and then we kind of revisit our plan from there.

Some people just need access to resources, need help finding tutorials to watch, and blogs to read. Some people – I haven’t gotten anything other than that, but were I to get someone who needs a little bit more help developing a project, or maybe tweaking a design, I would do what I had mentioned earlier with my previous mentorship experience… Maybe create a project like building your portfolio, and do that in phases. Step one is design it, and step two would be “Alright, let’s build all the HTML for it. Then let’s add some CSS and add some Javascript, if necessary.” That would be my idea mentorship style.

My mentorship style is usually I just roll my eyes and then say “RTFM”, and then I hang up the call.

[laughs]

What does that mean, RTFM?

That means “read the effin manual.” It’s a very old [unintelligible 00:53:15.19]

Oh, my gosh… I don’t understand all these acronyms.

It’s not a nice response.

No, it’s not very nice… And I don’t do that, I’m just joshing you.

And Jerod doesn’t recommend that either.

It’s kind of like – do you guys remember Nick Burns, “Your Company’s Computer Guy”? Do you guys remember that, from Saturday Night Live back in the day?

Gosh, no…

Jimmy Fallon played a stereotypical IT computer guy, and then everybody else played typical business people, sitting in their cubicles… And you know, their computer doesn’t work right, and they always call him over, and they’re trying to use – “I put the thing in the Excel spreadsheet, and I just don’t–”, they’re trying to ask him nicely to help them with their computer, and he’s just insufferable. He’s like, “MOVE!”, and he pushed them out of the way…

Oh, okay, okay…

Remember that?

The “MOVE!” set it off for me. I do recall it now, yes.

Yeah, “MOVE!” He pushes them out of the way, sits down, and types real fast, and it’s fixed. The worst mentor ever.

Yes, yes, yes. Speaking of that, it sounds like maybe that’s accessibility-related, to some degree.

Oh, good segue…

Shreesh’s second question is “How do you design while keeping accessibility in mind for all your users?” I have to admit that I’m all for [unintelligible 00:54:24.00] except for I’m so far from it lately that I don’t know the best places to step in and provide accessibility.

Yeah, I love accessibility, and I would say I have pretty good knowledge on the subject, but when I physically design things, I always for some reason lean towards colors that are not accessible. I love low contrast, for some reason… So every time I make a design, I’m like “Oh, it looks great! Let’s build it!” and someone’s like, “Well, that’s not accessible. Well, actually, that’s not accessible”, and I’m like “I know you’re right, but I don’t wanna believe it!”

I struggle with color contrast and font ratios specifically, because your users need a specific base pixel size in order to be able to legitimately read these things. When you’re designing something - from the design side, not the coding side - you’ve gotta make sure that your test is legible, so you really shouldn’t have primary text that’s less than 16 pixels. I think that’s the new standard. It’s either 16 or 14, I can’t remember. Any secondary content, like footer notes or things like that can be a little bit smaller, like 12, I believe… But make sure that your font is readable, that it’s not too crazy-looking; because I’ve seen some crazy fonts that just… You know sans serif is in general the best, most easily readable font, and in terms of color contrast, make sure that – don’t forget your hover and focus states, because if… You know, one big thing that I see devs do all the time is they remove the browser outline on focus, like tabbing –

I do that every time.

[00:55:56.24] I do it too, and I shouldn’t do it… But if I’m a user and I look at a web page that’s been tabbed through, I should instantly be able to tell where the cursor is. And that’s a big problem I see in a lot of sites.

Yeah, but it looks so ugly. It ruins the design.

I know, I know…

That’s what I say to myself inside when I remove it; I’m like, “I know this isn’t right, but this is why” and gives me a reason… And it’s not okay.

I know… I don’t condone it, but I also do that myself. I just make sure to replace it with something that looks a little bit better, and it’s clearly obvious. It’s hard though… And I always try to use Semantic HTML for screen reader purposes, but again, that can be pretty difficult when you’re making custom components, and it can be hard to remember all the different area attributes you should be adding.

Is there anything like an accessibility linter, or anything where you can sort of run it through this thing and it’s like “Oh, you are/are not accessible”? Obviously, there’s probably something similar, but…

Lighthouse has an accessibility…

Yeah, I was gonna say Lighthouse. Yeah, they’re generally quite good. And if you’re using something like Gatsby for static sites for React, they are amazing with their Lighthouse – what’s the word…? Their accessibility on there…

Scores, yeah.

Yeah, yeah. Using tools like that generally set you off in the right direction from the get-go, but… Yeah, I would run your site through Lighthouse and see how it does.

That’s one of the things I love about Gatsby, is their focus on performance and their focus on things that are sort of like the checklist that everybody should eventually learn when they become more and more professional at their jobs, in design in particular. It’s like, “Hey, you shouldn’t have to think about accessibility.” You should, but not to the degree that Gatsby can help you through Lighthouse, or Lighthouse itself.

Right. Like hitting the Easy button.

Yeah. We’re lazy, right Jerod? We want the Easy button.

Absolutely.

I just want that Easy button. I want myself to be accessible, but I don’t wanna work hard at it, okay? [laughter] RTF-Accessibility-M.

Alright, let’s move on to the next one. This is from Donna Amos (@donnacamos88), “What are steps that you would recommend taking for learning UX design if you’re just starting out?”

Great question. Sarah Drasner put out a course on Frontend Masters called Design For Developers. I highly recommend everyone reads that, or watches it, whatever is your preference. That’s a really great place to start, because it gives you the fundamentals without going – it’s not too overwhelming. I think the course is maybe about four hours. That’s a great place to start.

I will admit that there’s kind of a lack in content surrounding this area… I’ve seen a couple good blogs on Medium, basic design tips for engineers, but in general there’s this hole in the industry… We talk about bridging this divide - well, where’s the content? How do you actually get started? This is something that we need. So I would recommend that video… I know Frontend Masters is a subscription and not everyone has access to that, so I would check on Medium, although they are now putting a lot of their content behind paywalls, so that might also not be an option.

Don’t get us started on Medium. Adam and I will rant–

Careful, careful…

[laughs] I know…

Well, there’s gotta be an Awesome UX Design List, or something like that, that you can point to, Jerod, at some point…

I’m sure there is. There’s an Awesome-Something… Awesome-* on GitHub.

That’s right.

Everything has one.

I created this repo on GitHub called Design Inspiration, that you can go star. It’s literally like a community list of design resources - icons, graphics, inspiration in terms of animation, cool portfolios, color swatches… It’s all divided up by content there, so I would recommend you check that out if you’re looking for some tools or inspiration.

We might be a little late in the game to ask this question, but I’m curious to know what you think UX design is… Because I think some people ask that question - not so much that Donna is asking it in this light, it’s just that I for myself, when I was first getting involved in it, I was actually doing a lot of it; then I realized “Oh, I’m a UX designer.” So what are some of the things you think UX designers do? What are some of the practices they do? First, let’s just remove UX and just have designer.

Yeah, this is like a weird area with labels again…

There’s a divide there, right?

But what is the divide?

Is it a great divide? [laughter]

[01:00:03.28] I think that anyone who considers himself a designer has, to some extent, some visual skills and some UX skills; and by UX, I mean the ability to empathize with users and understand, again, human psychology, to a certain extent.

One example of this is I saw a conference talk that was really cool, and it had described whether we should do buttons with square corners or with rounded corners, and they actually found that buttons with square corners had a higher call to action and users’ eyes immediately gravitated toward that. I think they measured it by how fast they moved the mouse to the button… And they found that square edges were a lot more prominent than the rounded, because there’s more pixel value to the squares.

That’s the area that I would say user experience engineers can flourish in - understanding how users interact with websites and being able to design the structure and the architecture of a site, and do these user experience graphs. You see a lot of – I’m not sure they’re called information architecture graphs… Where you can see – it’s literally a graph of how a site is laid out, and all the flows that the user will go through to interact with it. That’s really where I think UX is differentiated from visual… Because I would say if we’re comparing design with front-end engineering, I would assimilate a UX designer to HTL, and a visual designer is more like CSS. So there is some crossover, but I would say a UX designer is more like psychology and theory-based, I would say.

Okay. The last one - and this might have been asked and answered during the first segment, but I’ll throw it out there anyway… Lasha Krikheli says they would love to hear you about appealing to developers, growing an audience, having an impact on people’s lives.

Yeah, this is funny, because I don’t consider myself like anyone super-knowledgeable or experienced in this industry. I think I produce a lot of relatable content, and I think that’s what draws people. I don’t claim to know everything; I am also in the same position as a lot of people with this learning journey, and we don’t talk enough about the relatable moments that we have, like impostor syndrome, or trying to fix a build for five hours and then your whole day is wasted. I don’t BS these things because they’re real life, and everyone struggles with them. So I think being authentic is one of the biggest things that will help you grow.

[01:02:43.22] If you’re just putting out content or tweeting things that you think people wanna hear, it just won’t resonate with the community. So I would say be authentic, again, be present, interact with people; that’s a big thing as well, I always try to respond to every message I receive… And I would say, in general, just try to be positive, because people go to the internet as a way to escape whatever they’re doing in their daily lives; maybe they’re bored, or maybe they’re just not in a good place mentally, and they go to the internet to escape… So I think the more positivity we can put into the community, the more attraction that you’ll get.

I’m certainly a fan of the positive side of things. I think far too often we gravitate towards negativity. What was the example earlier, Jerod - you were talking about something, how everything was positive, the response… And that’s the way you’ve gotta be. I think that’s sort of our MO as well; while there’s so many negative things to camp out on, we try our best to shine the spotlight on things that are positive, even in negative situations… Because there’s always some good return, even from negative situations; it takes some patience and whatnot to see it, because it’s not always very clear.

Yeah, absolutely. I like to turn any – what I would call a negative situation into a positive experience, if possible, but it takes practice; it’s definitely not easy.

Well, that’s the lightning round at you. Thanks so much for joining us. Hey, any final thoughts, or words from you, or shout-outs before we call it a show?

I don’t think so. I think I really enjoyed my time here; I’m glad that our date ended up well, and… [laughter]

We’re about to have a second.

I’m excited to hear more about this podcast that you guys are gonna be producing… What did you call it, Brain…?

Brain Science. Adam, tell her a little bit more…

Brain Science!

Okay, so I wasn’t sure if Brain Science would be a good title for it, because it’s literally called Brain Science… But I thought - well, because we have computer science, it would be somewhat punny and tongue-in-cheek that we’d call the show Brain Science, because you have computer science. I thought, hey, our audience is primarily software developers, and the curious, so I thought “Let’s just call it Brain Science.”

I love it.

Did you consider Computer Brain…?

Yeah, exactly.

That’d be the other option.

Did I consider Computer Brain?

If I did, it was a joke. That sounds terrible. If you have a show out there called Computer Brain…

You should stop.

You should stop. [laughter] The flip side of that though is that if you are looking for a podcast on brain science and you search for that, we’ll be top of list.

We’ll be right there.

I have very high expectations for this, and I really hope that you incorporate rapping in some context into this podcast.

Well, for rapping you’re gonna have to come to the JS Party. We’ll hook you up with the raps.

We will wrap the show eventually.

If you want a Javascript rap, you come find me.

Oh, don’t think we’re not gonna ask you to come on JS Party and rap, because we definitely are going to.

It’s done. The e-mail is in the can.

If I can create a rap about [unintelligible 01:05:54.09] application server, I can create a rap about Javascript, so we’re all good.

Okay. The [unintelligible 01:05:59.21]

I love it, I love it. Emma, thank you so much for spending time with us; it’s really been a lot of fun talking through UX and accessibility and mentorship, and we may have mentioned it to some degree, but we’d love to do whatever we can to support this whole thing you’re doing; it’s amazing, we think it needs to be there, so whatever we can do to be a positive source of support for you, we’ll be there.

Yeah, thank you so much. I really had a great time talking to you both.

Changelog

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