Backstage – Episode #6

Dwayne Johnson’s movies are actually really educational

& other ridiculous statements from OSCON's hallway track

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Come hang with Adam and Jerod at OSCON’s expo hall. Normally here is where we list off the topics of the conversation, but we’ll shoot it straight with you. We didn’t have any topics. We talk about blockchain and serverless, but not insightfully. This is just us hanging out, being nerds, and making each other laugh. If you’re in to that, you’ll be in to this.

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Alright, we’re backstage here at OSCON.

Day two.

Day two, in the bag. Day one was pretty crazy…

Hallway track style, of course…

Our booth was so busy… We have a booth here at OSCON because of O’Reilly, and we love coming here… And we record from the expo hall floor. We get to see a lot of people, meet a lot of people, see listeners out there… Thank you for coming by and saying hello. It’s just so awesome to get that hallway track feeling, meet some people, shake some hands…

Oh, yeah. It helps that we’re sandwiched in between Python Software Foundation, which are nice folks, the popcorn machine, which you know that brings a crowd…

Oh, yes. The smell…

Oh, yeah. She’s preparing popcorn as we speak. And then the book where you pick up your free T-shirt, your OSCON T-shirt. Everyone’s gotta go to that booth.

High traffic. It’s probably the best placement in the hall.

When you go to a conference, it’s mostly about the swag.

Yeah. Of course. You’ve gotta outfit yourself. You’ve got two goals at a conference - meet people, and get new clothing.

Which is why it’s good that companies and brands that moved beyond T-shirts and are now providing us socks…

Socks, yes!

Sometimes you’ll find a hat… Mugs…

The occasional awesome travel drink, mug, or something like that…

Tell them about our awesome free mug hack that you’ve put together over there for Changelog fans.

Yeah, so my idea was that you come to a conference and there’s often some sort of mug or drink dispenser, some sort of cup thing given away… And I’m like “Well, in most cases you don’t really like those things”, because maybe it’s got a Verizon logo on there or something - which is fine, I like Verizon, but… Do I wanna brand myself–

AT&T. Do they have an AT&T logo on there?

There you go… You may not want that. So I’m like “Well, we’ll give them some circle stickers that stick onto mugs, or their favorite drink dispenser, or cup, or whatever you’ve got. You put our sticker on there… Boom!

Transformation.

People like when I say “Boom!”

Do they?

I said that a couple times yesterday, and people were really laughing…

People like it when you say “Boom!”

Audience, if you like it when I say “Boom!”, email us. We wanna know.

Email Adam. Adam@changelog.com. He’d love to hear from you if you like the “Boom!”

That’s right. Well, we actually say it after shows, too. We say “Boom goes the dynamite!”

That’s right. That’s our key that it’s over with.

Yeah. It’s how you know it’s done.

The guest always wonders what’s happening at that moment. When I say “Boom goes the dynamite”, they’re kind of like “What is that…?” “The show is over, okay?”

“It’s over now.”

“It’s over now. You’re done.” I also like to tell them that they’re off the Budweiser hotseat, but nobody gets the reference, because it’s from the 1990’s ESPN Sports Center.

Oh, my gosh…

Dan Patrick used to have an actual…

Spud MacKenzie.

A Spud MacKenzie. [laughs] That’s a dog, man…

Oh, my gosh…

[laughs] You’re just doing pop culture references from the same time period. What else have you got?

That’s it.

That’s it.

Budweiser was huge.

Budweiser was huge.

I don’t why, but they just were.

They had all sorts of commercials, like “Why ask why, try Bud dry.” Do you remember that one?

They were doing amazing with their marketing.

They really were.

That’s the way you do it.

The “What’s up” guys… Remember that?

“Whazzuuup?!”

Oh, yeah!

Was that Bud?

I don’t know.

I feel like that was Budweiser.

I don’t know, honestly…

That was annoying…

It was pretty annoying. I think what repopularized it, if not the first time, was when the Marlon Wayans brothers did that scary movie parody, and it was the ghost from Scream, the bad person in Scream, which was like this ghost face, which became super-popular for Halloween, too.

[00:04:17.04] Oh, for sure.

This is definitely Backstage, by the way…

Backstage, and back in the past…

Because that ghost face was pretty awesome, and then… I forget which of the Wayans brothers it was in that comedy/parody movie, but they were like “Whazzuuup?!” And they were like inhaling the cannabis, and stuff like that; they had some buddies over there, and they got really crazy.

That was post-whazzuup commercial. They were riffing on the commercials though.

Well, the point was that it repopularized it to a new generation.

Oh, REpopularized it.

I was looking up Scary Movie - that was in the year 2000, so that’s almost 20 years also. Scream itself has to be older, because like you said, that was a parody of Scream… Which is kind of weird, because Scream itself was kind of a parody of itself, which is why it was –

In a way…

It was tongue-in-cheek, it was self-aware.

It was one of the first movies that I remember that really kind of embraced the tropes of horror and still was scary, but made fun of itself.

But funny. Right. It was being very cliché about things…

That’s 1996.

Like running upstairs, for example, away from the bad person.

Where people always do the worst thing… The dainty person who’s like “I’m gonna go check what’s in the garage…” It’s like, “You’re tiny. There’s a killer loose…” “I’m just gonna check what’s in the garage” because you heard noise?

That’s right… Like, “Come on, get [unintelligible 00:05:38.09]”

It’s like “Don’t do that. Don’t go check in the garage.”

So anyways, yeah “Whazzuuuup?!”, that was from there.

Anyways, so Budweiser was good at advertising.

What does that have to do with anything?

Spud MacKenzie. [unintelligible 00:05:48.06]

Oh, the Budweiser backseat. So back in the late ‘90s, maybe 2000’s, Sports Center was the number one show for sports fans.

Oh, yes.

Dan Patrick and Craig Kilborn, and there was this cast of hosts on Sports Center that were funny, and charismatic… And Dan Patrick had a specific segment called The Budweiser Hotseat. It was an interview segment where whoever (some athlete) would come on the show, and they would lob hardballs at him/her, and at the end Dan Patrick would say “You’re off the Budweiser hotseat.” [laughs] And nobody remembers that. But I say it to way too many people.

Yeah… I understand it though, so I’m tracking with you. It’s fun.

Well, it resonates, because they’ve just been interviewed for an hour, and they’re feeling like “Okay, it’s time to relax.”

I said something yesterday and I can’t recall what it was, but it was like Dick Tracy.

That’s right, Dick Tracy.

I was talking about a watch. On your Apple Watch, if you have one, you can actually talk to it and text message via voice, basically. So I tapped a little microphone button and the next thing you know, I can capture my voice with this Dick Tracy device, and send it through the airwaves all the way to my wife, in some distant –

Right, just like Dick Tracy used to.

And I was like “What…?!” So I’ve referenced Dick Tracy, and…

What was funny was when you were doing that, you were–

You were tracking, but they were not.

Yeah, but you were explaining an Apple Watch and how it works, how you can talk to it, to a nice young woman who was wearing an Apple Watch at the time…

Yeah, that’s true…

I was like “Dude, you don’t have to explain it to her, she totally gets it. What she does not get is Dick Tracy.”

That’s right. I figured it was worth explaining, just in case. Just so that like if I wasn’t like exposing a new feature to somebody… Like, somebody out there is wearing an Apple Watch right now and had no idea that they can text-message with their voice. And right now, they’re texting their wife, their girlfriend, their spouse, their mom maybe even, their kids - who knows? All these individuals in their family… [laughter]

Everybody. Text the whole family. “Did you know I can talk to my wife…?”

[00:08:02.23] “…about this Dick Tracy device?”

And then their mom says “Yes, honey. Just like Dick Tracy.” And then they say “Who’s Dick Tracy?”

“What? Who’s Dick Tracy?” So yeah…

And the answer is “Who’s Dick Tracy?”

He’s a character in a show…

He’s a character in a show… [laughs] Nobody knows who he is. Even us who referenced him can’t even–

Dick Tracy is from the ’50s or ’60s, or something like that…

It was an old comic book; I believe it was a comic book first…

Yeah, sure.

And then eventually a movie star in Warren Beatty. He was a private detective, and he ended up arresting and killing mafia-type figures… And he would talk to his watch.

This is Dick Tracy?

It was Dick Tracy.

Wow. He’s a monster.

He was a pretty cool guy…

[laughs]

Let me see if I can pull up that reference, “When did the movie Dick Tracy first ship?” Or I guess – what do they say in the film world? Launch… Debut…

Yeah, debut…

When was the premiere?

Premiere, yes…

As developers, we just say ship all the time. “When did that ship? When’s this gonna ship?”

Yeah, it’s a cool word to use for like – oh, you know what a cool word is actually in mountain-biking? “Send it.”

Dick Tracy, 1990. Send it?

Yeah, send it.

What does that mean?

If you’re on a trail and you’re [unintelligible 00:09:15.29] and you come up to this jump, and you hit that jump right and you launch off that thing and you totally clear it, that’s called sending it.

Do people tell you to send it?

Send it!!!

They’ll yell it.

Yeah, your buddies will be cheering you on, because you’re about to–

Because you might be timid, you might not be sure about this…

Yes, and it’s that vote of confidence. “Send it!”

Now, do they use the past tense? Like “You sent it!”

Yeah, I think so.

Okay…

I’ve heard it said before.

Are you gonna start to try to work “Ship it” in there to those folks?

No, I don’t think it’s worth it.

[laughs]

The point was the word choice of the exact same thing. We say “ship it”, or “shipped”, or…

They say “premiere, debut”…

Premiere, debut… They say “Send it”… I love all these little – what are those called? Is it an -ism for that area?

Like an idiom?

Idioms… I like that. I like that about different cultures within a culture.

Subcultures.

Yeah, subcultures. Subcultures… [laughter] I like that about that, because you can–

I’m just here to come up with words that represent what you’re saying.

That’s right… [laughter] Anyways…

So I think you should work on this “ship it” thing in the mountain-biking culture…

Community.

You know, cross-pollinate good ideas. “Ship it” is a good idea, so the next time your buddy is about to really hit a ramp, or a berm, or whatever they hit…

“Ship it!!”

Ship it!

What if he’s like “I don’t know what that means!” He crashes. He’s like “I didn’t know what to do.”

He’ll crash because of it, yeah.

“I didn’t know what to do. I was gonna send it, but then you told me to ship it, and I just… I froze up and I crashed my bike, man…”

We’re getting some people in here today… The action has actually opened it up here in the expo hall.

That’s right.

We’re doing the Backstage early…

And here comes an interview.

Potentially. We’ll see.

For sure. First break - one of the ironies of us at OSCON is we have to ask everybody how the conference is, because we hang out on the hallway track.

That’s right.

So it’s like “What talks are you gonna see?” “None of them.” Keynotes? Barely. So people come out, we ask them what they saw, what they’re thinking about it, what are the trends… I haven’t really captured any trends this year yet. I had one guy who was complaining “Too much blockchain, too much serverless.” So those might be trends; maybe he was just cranky, I don’t know…

It’s hard to tell.

So that might be a theme…

Blockchain and serverless… I don’t know, how do you feel about blockchain?

[00:12:04.03] Mixed emotions.

Yeah? Why is that?

I feel like the hype around it became one of those moments where it was the solution to all problems, to a certain degree, and I think we’ve seen what’s played out so far is that it can be a good solution for some problems, and we’re in a phase where we’re trying to figure out what those problems necessarily are. So that’s why it’s mixed emotions. It’s like “Well, there was this promise, there’s some things that are legit, there’s a lot of smoke…” There was a lot of currency going around the word…

…until the bottom fell out of the ICO craze…

What do you think is not applying particularly? What are some key areas where it was like “Oh, blockchain will solve these problems”, and they tried it and it just didn’t?

It seemed like – and maybe this is actually working well and I just haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like a lot of the using it as a chain of custody for physical goods hasn’t really… I know Walmart’s doing some stuff, and I know IBM’s got some projects, and Hyperledger is a thing, but… I guess I just haven’t seen any of that, like big stories of successful applications of that in shipping, in logistics etc.

Yeah. I did see the recent news from Shell. They had a big investment in Ethereum I believe it was. It wasn’t very popular on the news feed, but it was interesting to me, because I was like “Here’s this big oil company, trying to find a way to use blockchain to essentially ensure that we as consumers, when we buy electricity, that it is–” Because they have a network of electricity, essentially, this energy…

Right. Oh yeah, that was interesting.

And basically, it was that as a customer you would be ensured that if you bought windfarm energy, that the energy your house is using is in fact that energy, because of blockchain technology.

How would they track it though?

That to me is the black box.

Is the tracking of energy flow already digitized? I assume so…

From what I understood there was some sort of energy network. I don’t know if that’s a literal IP-based network, or if it’s just a network of storage devices for large-scale energy. I honestly have no idea how the energy grid really works. From what I understand though, you can’t contain energy; that’s why it’s always almost like a stock market, the way you trade it.

Right.

Trading energy is really big in Houston, which is where I’m from… And I know a lot of people who are involved in selling energy, basically… In the process of procuring it, enabling it, infrastructuring it, and then also selling it… Which is pretty interesting. Because that’s what the world uses. So back to the point of blockchain, I thought that was a really interesting use of it, to ensure that as a consumer I’m in fact using the energy I thought I was buying - from the windfarm, to the sustainable energy sources, to just natural coal-burning processes to derive energy.

Yeah. And at the same time you see companies like Microsoft continue to invest in blockchain things… So usually where there’s enough smoke, there’s a fire, and I think there’s eventually gonna be a fire, but there’s been a – you know, hype phases are phases; I feel like we’re at the kind of exhausted (of the topic, of the word, of the conversation) phase, and then…

All the exciting things have happened.

…eventually, we’ll see real use cases happening out there.

[00:16:11.01] Yeah, right. All the exciting hype has been in place, the gauntlet has been thrown.

Also, a lot of people have to now build the things, and that takes time.

Yeah. That’s a good key there, too - ideas are just ideas until they’re actually executed, you know what I mean?

For sure.

It seems very logical, but… You often think the idea is the most magical thing, and it’s actually a marriage of many parts. You’ve got the idea, the ideation, the vision, the aspiration to even do something, and then you’ve got the actual execution process. And then the follow-through.

So there’s a lot of key components to just simply shipping an idea, so to speak.

And that’s why I think the ICO as a novel instrument for funding bubbled, because it was so easy to feign competency; you were selling ideas, so all you needed was a white paper to get investment… And there’s your idea.

There was a pitch, basically.

Right. And some of those were in more or less stable or completed forms. Some of them actually copy-pasted other people’s white papers around…

Oh, really?

So it got really sloppy. Yeah…

Then they get called out, because you know, we can learn these things; we have technology.

We do have the technology…

But very few teams actually had the technical chops to pull off what they were building, and those that do are still working on a lot of these things.

That’s interesting, man. So what about serverless then? Or have you got more on blockchain?

Serverless… I don’t know. I can say where it’s interesting for certain use cases. I still haven’t been sold on the “convert everything over”, because it just seems like the workflows and the tooling - which I know is being rapidly developed at this phase - what I have seen so far has not congealed into a completed offering. There’s still a lot of question marks - how do you do this, how do you do that?

What in particular?

I think for me it’s visibility into where your code is erroring, where there’s problems, how you run local versus on Lambda, or wherever you’re running the code., differences there, if there are any…

Does that tie you to a cloud then, because you’re serverless? Does that mean that you’re all in on cloud, so you always have a cloud provider, or your own cloud?

No. It depends on how you implement, but a lot of the frameworks and the libraries and stuff are trying to sit in-between and make you cloud-agnostic; or you could be on multi-cloud and just run against this set of abstracted APIs. You could definitely write directly against Lambda, and then I’m sure you have certain Lambda things that you’re stuck with…

How is serverless different than just developing something around the idea of APIs? It seems like serverless in that is very similar, except for the fact that serverless sort of lives nowhere…

Yeah, so I guess the difference is…

Because you used to be able just to–

…if I’m building against an API that I created, like a microservice architecture, I’m in charge of all of those services.

So I have to make sure they’re provisioned, and deployed, and monitored, and… It’s just a layer up from that. You just care about the code, and if it gets called at the right times, then the service provider basically takes care of spinning up whatever containers need to get spun up real fast, and keeping things cashed and whatnot, and all that stuff… It’s not that there’s no servers - as people have said - it’s that you don’t care as much about them; you don’t have to think about them as much.

…or hopefully at all, if the abstraction holds.

[00:20:15.18] The idea thought is not so much do less, but to have more focus. If you as a team no longer really have to concern yourself with the uptime of the infrastructure which you’re on, then that’s one less point of – you know, where you’re not focused on the product, and the service itself, rather than the technology it’s running on.

Yeah…

It gives you–

I think doing less and focusing and related. You can focus, because you are doing less…

Yeah… What I mean is it’s not about laziness, it’s about optimization of the efficiency of your team, for example.

Well, some people argue that laziness is about efficiencies, too…

[laughs] That’s true, I guess.

I’m too lazy to do this myself over and over again, so I’m gonna automate it… So that’s about my efficiency, because now I can reapply that work to something more creative or higher-value. So laziness is a virtue in certain senses… And then in the other sense, where you’re actually so lazy that you don’t get anything done, or can’t get yourself to work, or whatever… That’s a different kind of laziness.

Do you wanna go into the many layers of laziness?

There are seven layers of laziness.

[laughs]

I’m currently living between layers four and five – no, I don’t know.

What else here at OSCON? We’ve got blockchain, serverless… That’s stuff that you’ve heard that was too much of. What have you heard that’s been–

Well, it was just one guy that said that. It wasn’t like this is –

It’s a unanimous group of one.

Yeah, I’m just getting my information from people who walk by and say “Hey, what’s interesting? What are people talking about?” and he was just like “Too much of this, too much of that.” Like, “Okay.”

I haven’t heard too much about machine learning today or yesterday… I don’t even know if I heard the term, except for maybe when we were talking about Practical AI… But from other people…

We had a couple of people talking to us about bio – biotech? I don’t know; what is it called? Yeah… The genome stuff.

Editing of DNA.

DNA becoming a technology of sorts, the sequencing.

Genome sequencing. We have a guy coming back later today to talk to us about editing genomes, and whatnot…

Yes. And they’re legit doing this. It’s intense. I actually learned about it through a movie. Dwayne Johnson’s movies are actually really educational.

The Rock?

Yeah, The Rock. If you haven’t heard of The Rock before, you know –

He has a series of educational movies. Jumanji, Jumanji 2, Jumanji 3… [laughs]

[00:23:04.09] And let’s not forget Moana…

That’s right.

That’s probably the most educational movie out there ever… So I highly recommend it. But anyways, Rampage is where I heard about this…

Rampage - is that from the old Nintendo games?

That’s right, yeah. You’ve got the wolf, you’ve got the –

You saw that?

[laughs]

I mean, I was kind of bored, and I was like “I like him in movies”, so I figured–

I hope you were on a plane, or something…

Nah, I was…

So did you pay money to watch that?

Okay, good.

It was free. Well, I guess with the services. You know…

It was prepaid. Was it like a Hulu thing, or what?

Part of my subscriptions. It was of the movies I could watch.

Alright. It must have been pretty good, because you’ve been mentioning it a few times.

Well, the reason why I mentioned it is the point; I’m glad you’re bringing it back, because - CRISPRs was talked about on there. It’s this project of genome sequencing. So I heard about it, I was educated via a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie called Rampage, about CRISPRs, and this whole idea of editing DNA.

Right. So I guess the point is if anything that you say is incorrect, it’s because you’ve been educated by The Rock… And by the way, if you’re listening to this and you’re being educated by Adam now, think about what’s happening here…

It’s getting slippery–

And if you happen to know The Rock, tell him to reach out.

If you know Dwayne Johnson and you’d like to get him on The Changelog…

That’s right…

What would we talk about The Rock with, if we actually brought him on one of our shows? What could we possibly act like is on topic from him?

Commitment. That man is committed.

Like Git commits?

Well, I think committed to being a – he seems to be a pretty awesome human being; there’s a lot of people who like him, he’s very likeable. He’s very talented, I would say, as somebody who’s an on-screen personality, which is not very easy; it’s easy for some. He has an insane workout schedule which he is highly committed to, which is I think commitment - being committed to your career, your physique, your mental stability… He’s an awesome family dude…

I had no doubt that he’s interesting.

I’d hate to see some bad news come out about him, because he’s pretty cool. And I think he’s an idol to a lot, in good ways, and a model to many, on like [unintelligible 00:25:13.03]

[unintelligible 00:25:14.22]

Yeah. Or live long enough to…

Turn into Bill Cosby. [laughter]

Please, do not put that into our transcripts. That’s redacted.

Time to wrap up on that one…

This is redacted…

That was the “Boom!”

Well, there’s just some things you don’t wanna be searched for.

Boom goes the dynamite!

[laughter] That’s right. Give that one up. Transcriber, don’t put that in there. Unintelligible. Cannot be fixed. But yeah, The Rock. He’s pretty educational. Super-cool dude. Rampage, I learned about CRISPRs, genome sequencing… I mean, that’s the best, when you learn about bleeding edge technology via a Sci-Fi comedy called Rampage, featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Based on a video game from the ’80s.

That’s right. Bringing it back to the ‘80s, I’m tellin’ ya, man…

It all goes back…

My gosh…

Everything goes back to the ’80s.

Dude, I’ve seen some people dressed here today and yesterday…

Like it’s the ’80s?

And I’m like “Wow, you came out of my junior high, basically”, you know what I mean? That was actually the ’90s.

Well, fashions are cyclical, you know? They come in, they come back out, eventually…

Yeah. It’s so wild though. I feel so old for seeing that.

That’s why I try to keep the same clothes for as long as I can - because eventually, they’ll be back. [laughs] We should stop.

Yeah, that’s the point where you stop right there.

Boom goes the dynamite!

Changelog

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