280 – 🎹 R&D Content Engineering with Joey deVilla

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In this episode, we get to speak with Joey deVilla: Tech Evangelist, Author, Senior R&D Content Engineer, and rock and roll accordionist. We discuss Joey’s new job at Auth0, what it takes to be an R&D Content Engineer, and an array of super cool technologies.

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Frederick Weiss: [00:00:00] I am Frederick Philip von Weiss, thank you so much for consuming the Thunder Nerds, a conversation with the people behind the technology that love what they do, and do tech good. And speaking of doing tech good, we have an amazing sponsor.

We have Auth0. Let’s talk a little bit about them and we’ll get into why that’s a funny and a little bit, but Auth0, they make it easy for developers to build a custom secure and standard-based unified logins by providing authentication and authorization as a service, you can try them out now at Auth0.com.

[00:01:25] Also, you could go to their sites that follow the same pattern on social media. We have YouTube.com/Auth0. Also, Twitch.tv/Auth0, and we have the developer playground and a cool, super cool events at the avocadolabs.dev. So check them out there. That’d be super cool of you.

[00:01:49] And please, if you can go to the YouTubes and subscribe, subscribe to the show, click the notification bell and get seven years of good luck. We would really appreciate that. And let’s get to our guest.

[00:02:09] We have a very special guest today. We have a tech evangelist, author, senior R&D content engineer, and rock and roll according player,  the rock and roll according guy himself. Joey deVilla. Welcome back to the show. Joey, super appreciate you being here with us today.

[00:02:31] Joey deVilla: [00:02:31] Always glad to be here and you know what I do love.

[00:02:34] I do love that show intro that you have.

[00:02:38] Frederick Weiss: [00:02:38] Thanks, man. Really appreciate it. Yeah, we work hard at our intros. Yeah.

[00:02:43] Joey deVilla: [00:02:43] It warms my eighties, child heart. Yeah.

[00:02:48] Frederick Weiss: [00:02:48] The thunder cats were the best. And I don’t know if you’ve seen, but they actually have some alternative versions now.

[00:02:54] Like they have a little kid version where it’s all funny, all new goofy, like stuff on Cartoon Network. Like you do all that. And it’s super cute too. It’s a lot

[00:03:05] Joey deVilla: [00:03:05] of

[00:03:05] Joey deVilla: [00:03:05] fun. I have not seen it. I’ll have to check. I’ll have to check it out. And of course, God loved the revenge of the nerds reference as well.

[00:03:13] Always classic. Exactly. A

[00:03:16] Frederick Weiss: [00:03:16] Great, movies. If you don’t know those, maybe don’t go back and watch them because the, probably not up to date and probably not, but they were funny for the time and there’s a lot of stuff that’s Oh, it’s cringy. But yet, anyways, if you grew up on a, you grew up Hey man, welcome back to the show.

[00:03:33] I think you’ve been on the Thunder Nerds now for 333 times we first met at a dev Fest somewhere on the moon with a new Armstrong. I’m not sure either one is, probably right. What have you been up to? I love to know how things have been going and obviously with the vids, the COVID is going on, how has that affected your life?

[00:03:58] You can’t travel. How’s business going? a big question. Go for it.

[00:04:04] Joey deVilla: [00:04:04] Tricky. All right. COVID yeah, COVID presented a few challenges, not the least of which is that last April my job evaporated. So I was doing mobile app development and they had to cut the staff by quite a bit.

[00:04:22] And does one of the newer people? Yeah I just got cut. What I did was I decided, okay. That did give me time to finish a book. For https://www.raywenderlich.com. I was in the middle of revising a book. In half of the book I have a book called iOS Apprentice and it is a beginner’s guide to the iOS program.

[00:04:48] So I was taking care of the half of the book that covered Swift UI programming, which is the new framework for developing apps in general for Apple products. So unlike the old way, which was more like the visual basic visual nineties visual tool way where you drag controls into a window and then attached code to those controls you were now doing you are now doing it a little more declared.

[00:05:19] You were declaring the actual UI in code and doing it declaratively. If you program in row react, you’re going to find it really familiar. So it’s a little more modern way of doing it because the way that you were doing it before you-I, can’t be that comes from the seventies.

[00:05:43] There’s really, it’s not that STEM, okay. Yeah. It, yeah, it is that old it goes off that’s, that, that small talk stuff it was, cutting edge in the seventies, but it was, getting a bit old. And that’s why we do have these declarative reactive frameworks now where you’ve got you’ve got these user interfaces that keep track of a state.

[00:06:07] And then if you wanna, if you want if I were Johnny Cochran, I would just say, if you want to update, change the state, that kind of thing. That would be my rapport. It, but yeah, that’s the thing is that now now we want reactive declarative UIs where. The user interface actually properly models the underlying data, whereas beforehand we always had to do it if we always have to check.

[00:06:31] Oh yeah. Did I change that variable? Oh, I better update that thing on the screen. And you often forgot.

[00:06:37] Frederick Weiss: [00:06:37] Is it easy for people to understand the value here, Joey, like a you’re explaining it and it sounds crystal clear, but is there somebody that’s picking this up and taking a look and going, ah, I really liked the old way.

[00:06:53] I was doing things with less friction. I’m going to keep on the path that I’ve been taking. I know the roads. I know how to get there in five minutes. Like how does that work? You know what, that, that

[00:07:04] Joey deVilla: [00:07:04] happens anyways, right? You’ve got people who you’ve got people who still say, you know what, I’d rather program in C very straightforward.

[00:07:14] C has less than 40 keywords. Nice and simple. Like even the latest version of C unite. Actually it’s probably not C 99 anymore it doesn’t have that many keywords. It’s really straightforward. We figured out it does a lot. It runs on everything. Why would I need to learn one of these crazy new fangled programming languages, it does happen.

[00:07:38] And if you can continue programming in a language from 1970, that’s where C’s from. And it works for you, especially if you’re in the world of embedded devices or you’re contributing to the Linux kernel or you’re writing video games and you can still do it.

[00:08:00] Yeah. All the more, power can get all the good object oriented goodness that we have in modern languages in C. You’re creating strucks with function pointers. Those are your methods. And then you’ve got variables in those drugs. Those are your, those are your properties.

[00:08:20] You can do it. If you’re programming in GTK, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re just building all these strucks with function, pointers and variables. And you’re doing object oriented programming that way.

[00:08:33] Frederick Weiss: [00:08:33] Yeah. There’s always some way to do a thing, a hundred different ways. I still know people that build design websites and Photoshop or whatever.

[00:08:44] Hey, the results are the results and if they’re great, Good for you. How do you communicate the value then to, to people like when, you’re selling this what, do you talk about first?

[00:08:58] Joey deVilla: [00:08:58] In that, in such a case, what I do is I end up talking with them about a real life problem they’ve occurred.

[00:09:05] And I would say something like when you get the notification badge on an icon for, I know your email. And he goes, Oh, Hey, you’ve got two emails or you got two messages and you click on it. And it turns out that you didn’t have two messages. It’s just that the UI was really slow and updating that number.

[00:09:26] And you were getting an update from minutes or hours ago. And I would point out there, see that is where a declarative reactive UI comes in really handy because the UI is always modeling. What’s what, the underlying data actually contains. You didn’t have to, you didn’t have to run some extra code, go, Oh yeah, I better check this variable.

[00:09:52] And then display that value somewhere on the UI. That’s already been taken care of. That’s already been taken care of for you. It is less error prone. You guess what? You’re doing less, you’re doing less extra work now. You’re not doing as much yak shaving anymore. I don’t know. They used to use that term a lot.

[00:10:14] Like the Eric Raymond’s hackers ditch, the jargon handbook, the hacker diction. Yeah. He used to use the term yak shaving all all the time that’s where Brennan’s, that’s a Renton Stimpy reference. One of the best shows ever. Oh yeah.

[00:10:34] Frederick Weiss: [00:10:34] I never even heard of a place where you could buy rubber nipples until that show.

[00:10:38] So yeah.

[00:10:40] Joey deVilla: [00:10:40] Did you and your grandmother

[00:10:41] Frederick Weiss: [00:10:41] how to suck eggs? Yeah. This is a funny show. Not appropriate for children. I

[00:10:45] Joey deVilla: [00:10:45] don’t think probably not, but yeah. Anyways, I was working on that portion of the book, the new way to program a program, the iPhone. And then the other thing I did was I was also doing some teaching on behalf of the computer coach.

[00:11:02] They were offering a lot of courses and I think there was some government stimulus money for it because some of these courses were really expensive and these people. I think the students were able to attend for free or greatly reduced rates and they wanted to pivot to learning some programming.

[00:11:20] So I thought I taught two two Python courses and a JavaScript course. And also at the same time while it was still around, I also took a course and managed to get some funding as well. So I gotta take it at a greatly reduced rate. I took a security course six weeks and six weeks at the place that used to be called the undercroft.

[00:11:45] They now go by the name neon temple. And it was security training from people who actually work in the security industry.

[00:11:55] Frederick Weiss: [00:11:55] Oh, that must’ve been super cool. I’m sure you picked up a ton from that.

[00:11:59] Joey deVilla: [00:11:59] Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I have, you know what? I knew how to do it, theoretically, I’ve never, I never actually performed a dictionary attack or a.

[00:12:09] Or let’s see, no DDA. Yeah, Or just set up a DDoSs or just look yeah. All that stuff.

[00:12:16] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:16] What was the coolest thing you learned from that?

[00:12:19] Joey deVilla: [00:12:19] Ooh, that’s tricky actually.

[00:12:23] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:23] Just one of them maybe, not the most, let’s not say the quintessential thing, but one of the really cool things.

[00:12:29] It was a

[00:12:29] Joey deVilla: [00:12:29] big

[00:12:30] Joey deVilla: [00:12:30] pro it was a big burrito of cool. I guess some of the coolest stuff was, I got to see a, I got to see a pony Gotzsche in action. Are you familiar with those, right?

[00:12:42] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:42] No, I’m not. It

[00:12:43] Joey deVilla: [00:12:43] is a raspberry PI zero that is specifically set up for all kinds of all kinds of hackery things, including wifi sniffing and incredibly cute.

[00:13:02] If anybody’s listening to the podcast, go look it up. Pona Gotzsche with phone spelled as pwn and the Gotzsche part like Tamagotchi.

[00:13:11] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:11] I love the Tamagotchi. I got my cat to leave. I trained it all the way and one day left the nest. It’s pretty cool. I cried a little bit when I was 19, but I still miss that calf, but man, that’s awesome.

[00:13:23] Good for you. What, let me ask you, what was the what was it, what was the sake of Genesis a, that, that made you write this? What w why?

[00:13:32] Joey deVilla: [00:13:32] The, a, which the book or the, yeah, the book. Sorry. Yeah,

[00:13:35] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:35] I’m going back to the book.

[00:13:36] Joey deVilla: [00:13:36] Oh, going back to the book. Okay. Actually the book, this is, this would have been the eighth edition of this book.

[00:13:44] So it’s been published for a good long time. But the other thing is I actually feel fondness and loyalty for this book because it is the book. Where I used to learn iOS programming a much earlier edition. I’ve been writing articles every now and again for https://www.raywenderlich.com. And when the opportunity came up to be an author for the book, I said, look, I wanna do this.

[00:14:12] Because well, one, it would be absolute fun, but two, I I want to pay it back. I learned from this book. So I would like to contribute to the latest edition of this book so that someone else will learn from this book. That’s so cool.

[00:14:28] Frederick Weiss: [00:14:28] It must have felt like such a, such an honor and a joy

[00:14:31] Joey deVilla: [00:14:31] to be able to do that.

[00:14:32] Oh yeah, absolutely. And the other thing of course is that this is the flagship book that Ray Wender likes to publish. They have a whole bunch, but this was their first book, and I actually, in the interview, the land, the author shift job, because they did, they still did interviews. They wanted to make sure that they were picking the right person for it.

[00:14:50] I basically said, look, if this. If all the books you publish are the Marvel cinematic universe. If all your books are the Ray winder, lik cinematic universe, this book is Iron man one. And, yeah. I feel very special about this book because it’s about a hired man. Oh, that’s so cool.

[00:15:11] Frederick Weiss: [00:15:11] And again, for the audio listeners, we’ll put links in the show notes.

[00:15:14] So where can somebody find out about the book?

[00:15:16] Joey deVilla: [00:15:16] Okay. We can find out about the book@raywenderlick.com and it’s a tricky name to spell, so yeah, definitely check the show notes. Yeah.

[00:15:26] Frederick Weiss: [00:15:26] We’ll put a link in there and and yeah, that’s so cool. So why don’t we, why don’t we talk a little bit really about the topic of the show, about the whole thing with, all zero, about how you got the job?

[00:15:44] You did some research, maybe you, looked at some people on this. I

[00:15:50] Joey deVilla: [00:15:50] did some research. Why didn’t I get that first? Okay. First of all, this job does not I owe you guys some beers that I like

[00:16:01] Frederick Weiss: [00:16:01] the beers,

[00:16:01] Joey deVilla: [00:16:01] because actually, yeah this, job does not exist with that, but under nerds.

[00:16:07] Nice tip. Okay. And the reason for that is I used I use this for research when when I was it’s not auditioning, but when I was getting set up to talk to Auth0, I had a plan to land a job because they were advertising this content engineer job, which looked like it would fit me to a T.

[00:16:29] So I figured I should do my research. I should find out who is the same, who in the same department works at all zero, what they do, what they’re like, that sort of thing. And you had to. Have you had two people from what is now the developer marketing department as guests. So you have, you had Sam Julene that’s right.

[00:16:54] And Sam let’s see, he’s now head of developer relations. That’s right. Okay. And you also have James. Yeah. Yeah. Both of whom? Both of whom I work with now. So that was great. I listened to their interviews at least twice. I’m pretty sure. And took some notes and made sure that I and I internalized and figured out a few things from what they said so that I would know what to say when it was my turn to be interviewed.

[00:17:26] So it was really handy. So yes big, debt of gratitude to the thunder nerves. If you want a job, listen to Thunder Nerds. That’s.

[00:17:35] Frederick Weiss: [00:17:35] I tell a lot of people that all the time yeah. Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that. So, you, you interview for the job you go in, you get the job and now you are doing some R&D, which most people know what the term is a I’m sure some people think it stands for rivers and dams and something about streams, but maybe you could communicate what R&D is and the value of warranty w what you’re doing there.

[00:18:03] Joey deVilla: [00:18:03] Okay. R&D means research and development, and it is what drives it is what drives the industry forward. But it’s interesting because of course it does mean all sorts of things. In this case, it just means that I am constantly researching and developing new ways to reach developers.

[00:18:29] And talk to them about a couple of things. One of which is programming software programming, software development, whatever you want to call it in general. And then also if you’re interested in this sort of thing, let me tell you about this authentication and authorization service that I happen to be able to hook you up with.

[00:18:53] Ah that’s that, that, that sort of thing. And it’s and it is both simultaneously and interesting and boring product at the same time. And that’s just simply because it’s interesting because it’s computers, computer security, this sort of thing is a vital component of most applications these days, but it’s boring because in the end you’re thinking what you mean logins.

[00:19:28] That sort of thing, but it’s something that you don’t do under most circumstances, I would say 99.9, 9% of cases, it’s probably something that you don’t really want to build yourself anymore. Just why would you choose a service? I used to serve as that for everything. That’s it? Just as you don’t go to the woods to chop down a tree, so you can get the wood to make a door.

[00:19:53] Instead you go to home Depot and you buy a standardized door. And ideally I ideally they’re constantly researching and improving doors all the time as well. I would hope, yeah. Especially here in Florida you’ve got these hurricane rated doors that sort of thing, and they’re standardized and it’s not, and they actually interface well with standard size door knobs and locks.

[00:20:20] Yeah. That is the same day. That is the same deal with Auth0. We are using specific standards, like open ID connect and open off 2.0. And at the same time we’re putting these standards together in a way that makes it easy for you to use. So you don’t have to worry so much about the authentication part of your application.

[00:20:47] You can worry about what the main thing your application does. Yeah.

[00:20:55] Frederick Weiss: [00:20:55] Yeah, that the exam took the words out of my mouth. Yeah. Being able to delegate your time, as far as I’ll just use this, rather than spending X amount on that, I really need my application to do X, Y, and Z, or my website. What have you.

[00:21:13] And, then being able to depend on that and even more validity to the, to be, to talk about how amazing office zero is. There’s a, new component to everything now that I believe you could talk about, there’s a, something that rhymes with the word  acquisition

[00:21:35] Joey deVilla: [00:21:35] It’s like our acquisition Boom.

[00:21:40] Frederick Weiss: [00:21:40] What Ryan’s what’s an acquisition. Tell me, Joey, what, what happened?

[00:21:44] Joey deVilla: [00:21:44] Okay. Frederick went to companies like each other very much.

[00:21:50] Frederick Weiss: [00:21:50] They, have a special hug and

[00:21:53] Joey deVilla: [00:21:53] it’s formed

[00:21:58] fast. The love. Okay both there is a company called Okta and they are a good deal, larger and a little bit older than we are. I believe Okta’s out. The origin story starts in about 2008, 2009, and they are also in the business of authentication and authorization, but in a slightly different area.

[00:22:26] In fact they aren’t in. I mean they’re real bread and butter actually is employee authorization. So if you are a company and of course, you’ve got you, you’ve got all your standard company software and you want your employees to be able to log into those systems. You are using you’re basically using employee authorization and that is something that they Excel at.

[00:22:56] So there are these large fortune 500 fortune, two 50 fortune 100 companies who do who, whose employees log in using Okta. So Okta’s particular market is the C-suite, the CTO chief technical officer and the CIO, the chief sci. So the chief information security officer. So that’s the market they target, but that’s, and that is a pretty big market.

[00:23:25] Whereas OD zero on the other hand basically is going after milkers, who are building apps who want to provide, we need to provide some kind of login authentication service. So we’re going we’re yeah. Our target market. We’re actually directly talking to developers. We’re the yeah, We’re the t-shirts and hoodies and they’re the blazers, they’re the blazers and loafers and together, we are what we are forming the mullet of identity for the win for the net. I love that mullet of identity business in the front party, in the back. Ah, there we go.

[00:24:09] Okay. Gotcha.

[00:24:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:24:10] I was thinking about some kind of transformer, but I liked the mullet analogy, which I always do. Got it.

[00:24:18] Joey deVilla: [00:24:18] That’s awesome. So yeah

[00:24:20] Frederick Weiss: [00:24:20] you have a bright future I’m sure ahead. There must be some crazy exciting plans for the two to three year down the road and what that’s going to look like, being able to.

[00:24:34] Serve all these different levels of clients from what you said with the programmers to enterprise, I’m sure. Yeah, that’s amazing.

[00:24:46] Joey deVilla: [00:24:46] Yeah. And it’s going to be, it’s going to be really interesting and what’s going to happen at least in the very short term. In fact, actually, is that what customers, new customers may come up to one company or the other and go, I need this.

[00:25:03] And our sales teams will take a look and go, you know what? Our buddy here is probably better suited to you and vice versa. So what’s going to happen is now, in certain cases, people are going to go up, to us and say, I need this. And then somebody is going to go no, you need employee authentication, go here.

[00:25:25] Or on the other hand, somebody is going to go, you know what you need. You need application per user level application authentication. Yeah. You want, you, you want the office zero side of the company or often, or maybe a, in some cases an organization might need both,

[00:25:44] Frederick Weiss: [00:25:44] but no, I was going to ask you that question, like what happens for your existing customers on both sides, right on the left and the right of the same body.

[00:25:55] Is there very advantageous things that come along with this, where they go, Oh wow. Now I get this and now I get that on both sides,

[00:26:07] Joey deVilla: [00:26:07] right? Yeah. If they were buying, if they were buying a specific service things continue, as normal. It’s just that the catalog got bigger.

[00:26:18] It’s like going to Amazon and suddenly finding double the page, double the agents. Yeah. Sure.

[00:26:24] Frederick Weiss: [00:26:24] Wow. That’s amazing. Does this change your role in any way or now, are you doing it for, are you doing R&D for both entities or obviously it’s going to be the same entity. I’m sure it’s like a plan down the road to a

[00:26:42] Joey deVilla: [00:26:42] gather, looks like a short term, same entity, because a lot of it is still figuring out what the other half of the organization can do.

[00:26:54] And a lot of that re a lot of that requires a lot of that just requires a lot of conversations between our counterpart, our counterparts on the other side. And that’s just going to take time planning a little bit of execution. Some of it has already happened. So we’ve had you mentioned earlier at the start of the show during the sponsor message yet the, zero Twitch channel.

[00:27:23] Earlier today we had a joint show off your projects. Show off your personal projects? Twitch session. Oh, that’s fun. Some people, some people from Okta developer relations and some people from all zero developer relations and the included, and we were just, showing up for various projects.

[00:27:46] Yeah. And we’re, just beginning, we’re just beginning to get to know each other by sheer coincidence. It turns out I knew someone from Okta dev REL because we both at one point worked at Microsoft, so it was nice and it was Joelle’s friend USAC back from it.

[00:28:10] I knew him back from his Bismark days at Microsoft when I was a developer evangelist there and I was trying really hard to make Windows phone happen. I tried, I

[00:28:20] Frederick Weiss: [00:28:20] did my part. Yeah, there you go. I like some of the windows technology. I still have a Zune.

[00:28:26] Joey deVilla: [00:28:26] Oh, yeah. Okay. You know what, when I moved from Toronto, I had to get rid of a lot of stuff, but I did sell my Zunes to somebody who I know is taking very, good care of them.

[00:28:38] And actually it was the last Zune, the Zune HD, the one with a windows phone, like interface. In fact they hadn’t told me about windows phone seven yet, but I remember playing with the Zune HD and I was going, why do, they not just wrap a phone around this? This could be something.

[00:28:55] And it turns out it was already in the works.

[00:28:58] Frederick Weiss: [00:28:58] Isn’t that funny? How that, happens

[00:29:01] Joey deVilla: [00:29:01] That, that, happens a lot. And that’s what that’s what you get. That’s what you get used to it began to slowly Dawn on me that that of course, and this is just a natural consequence of acquisitions is that Okta knew about the plan long before even the highest level people at all zero did.

[00:29:23] Sure, Yeah. That, that’s the way. Yeah. So yeah. So I am sure there are parts of the plate. There are parts of the plan that are not visible to me yet. And a good chunk of what’s going to make this year interesting. Aside from the constant acceleration of a post COVID, is that yeah.

[00:29:48] Every, every day is going to be a little bit of a surprise. I don’t mind that it’s a lot of fun. And you know what after, sticking it home for about a year now. Yeah. I could use a couple of surprises. Good surprises.

[00:30:04] Frederick Weiss: [00:30:04] Are you going crazy for the first off? Let me ask you, did you get your a.dot Cudi shots?

[00:30:08] Did you get your Tuk two vaccines and what flavor did you get? You get a vanilla chocolate or

[00:30:14] Joey deVilla: [00:30:14] Pfizer? Yes, I did. I got Pfizer. It was just down the street. Cause I live in Seminole Heights, hipster central. The Publix has Manbun Monday. Nice. Oh, I should go there. You should. But I am just down the street from the old Greyhound track and the old Greyhound track has been converted to a FEMA site, which means not only do I get a shot, but if you go there, you get a shot from the air force.

[00:30:46] Bendix it’s the air force who are helping hustle people from from section to section. And they’re in uniform and they’re in full uniform because it’s a government because it’s a government. Yeah. Because it’s a government site. They figured they would get a government. Yeah. They would get government, crowd control people to shuffle you through it.

[00:31:06] And they were quite efficient. If it weren’t for, yeah, like the actual getting processed and getting the shot and waiting. And waiting the 15 minutes after to make sure there weren’t any immediate adverse reactions was about 25 minutes also very efficiently run. They processed a lot of people.

[00:31:27] The parking was a time-consuming thing.

[00:31:31] Frederick Weiss: [00:31:31] Yeah. I bet everybody’s trying to get there and trying to get their shot. I went to the CVS and probably, I don’t even remember where it was like 45 minutes away from me. I just went anywhere. I was actually very lucky.

[00:31:48] They were very professional. They got me in and out like that. It was the nicest experience as it could be. I’m pretty happy. Let me ask you, do you have, I know I do. I have a, I don’t know if I’m just paranoid if I just have meetup trepidation, but I’m still like I’m fully vaccinated.

[00:32:07] I’m two weeks in. I’m still scared to go out in public, even though like they say Pfizer, it’s pretty good against the variants and et cetera, et cetera. I’m just, I I’m, I don’t know if I’m just shell shocked or I don’t want to see people anymore. I don’t

[00:32:24] Joey deVilla: [00:32:24] know. Let’s put it this way.

[00:32:28] You play D and D

[00:32:30] Frederick Weiss: [00:32:30] I know of D and I have played it. I haven’t played it in a while.

[00:32:34] Joey deVilla: [00:32:34] You have played D and D right? Yeah. Yeah. We used to

[00:32:37] Frederick Weiss: [00:32:37] have a live D and D thing at my school Ringling school, the Ringling college of the arts, and then they would do like a D and D at midnight.

[00:32:44] Joey deVilla: [00:32:44] Okay. So you’ve rolled the 20 sided die, right? Yes, sir. Okay. Here’s the thing, right? The Pfizer the Pfizer vaccine, 95% effective. It means 5% ineffective, just like miracle max from a princess bride mostly, Bodley alive. All Billy crystal. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. 95% effective means 5% ineffective.

[00:33:10] That’s rolling. A one, any D and D player knows sooner or later that’s gonna happen. Yeah. That’s

[00:33:17] Frederick Weiss: [00:33:17] why I’m, just, I’m spired is still

[00:33:20] Joey deVilla: [00:33:20] 5%. So it’s still, a pretty good chance, still a pretty good chance. There’s also some vaccine hesitancy out there. I’m keeping an eye on how many people are getting their shots in the end at a certain point and I will listen to, and there are people I can listen to.

[00:33:39] There is Dr. Fowchee and the rest of the CDC and I have an additional bonus and that is that my sister, Dr. Eileen Davila is the chief. She is the chief medical officer for health for the city of Toronto. Yeah. Cause

[00:33:58] Frederick Weiss: [00:33:58] Your parents were both doctors and I forgot your sister went to the medical profession as well.

[00:34:03] Joey deVilla: [00:34:03] So yeah. All municipal health issues are hers. Like I know what restaurants are not to be that nice in Toronto. So yeah, I yeah, I check up on her as well. So she’s got good recommendations. So in the meantime, yeah I’m I’m, still holding back. I have a couple of times I’ve gone to a restaurant to actually sit down, it was outdoors.

[00:34:31] They were actually both in St. Pete. The new the new doc Ford’s the one it’s by St. Pete pier, the new St. Pete pier. It was really, yeah, actually both times they were restaurants. There, they were open air restaurants by Saint Pete beer. So outdoors I’ve had a couple of really small gatherings, like just two to three friends outdoors on my front lawn.

[00:34:59] And that’s about it holding off until I’m holding off. But I don’t wanna. I’m hoping that let’s see how things go after. Say the 4th of July that they’re treating that as an arbitrary marker. Let’s see. Let’s see how things go, because one thing I want to bring back and maybe I can still do it.

[00:35:19] Outdoors is a meetup where my wife and I run coders, creatives and craft beer. And it is just an excuse to get our geeky and creative friends together at seven, some brewery in Seminole Heights for beer and some food and conversation, and then run with that. Yeah. I greatly miss that and I would love to bring it back.

[00:35:44] Frederick Weiss: [00:35:44] I, hope that happens very soon. That sounds great. I will definitely come, honestly, please invite me cause I will be there. Let me ask you a few more things. Cause I want to get to some, other things about music, but I really want to ask you for the people that that are interested in getting into R&D you I imagine you don’t you, don’t go to school for R&D you don’t come out of college and go, I’m going to do research and development.

[00:36:15] You it’s, a thing, I guess it, it just progressively makes sense as you’re traveling through your career. So how does, one get into and get into that field and then how does one become successful for the people that are going out? This is the way I’m going.

[00:36:36] Can you give me some tips, some ideas to help me improve my career journey and what when I’m thinking about how everything makes sense to me while I’m, going down this path.

[00:36:49] Joey deVilla: [00:36:49] Okay. Let’s see. Now question loaded question. I can give you a dumb, short answer and then expand on it.

[00:36:58] Frederick Weiss: [00:36:58] I love that. That sounds great. All

[00:37:00] Joey deVilla: [00:37:00] right. And I guess the thing is what dumb short answer is, let’s say you find 20 bucks on the street. Would you buy doge going with it, just to see what happened and if your answer leans closer to yes. Then I would say maybe you do have that particular inclination towards R&D in this case that, that tendency to go let’s poke at it and see what happens.

[00:37:28] Let’s let’s do a little bit of experimenting. Let’s see. What’s possible and it is and it is an interesting area to be in right now. Now, as far as R&D goes yet, that’s right. There is no there is no certificate program. There is no college major that is called R&D.

[00:37:56] It comes, disguised in all sorts. It comes disguised as all sorts of things. Sometimes it comes disguised as engineering. Sometimes it comes disguised as computer science, but sometimes it comes disguised as philosophy. The idea is as long as you are expressing some kind of curiosity and willingness to experiment and put in the work You are you are cut out, you are cut out for R&D and if you want to play around, if you want to play around with things, especially new things, especially if you want to I’m a Canadian.

[00:38:38] I’ve got to use the standard, or I’ve got to use the Canadian ism. You want to skate to where the puck is going now, where the puck is or has been. And one way in one way to think about it is let’s consider languages. Let’s consider what are considered the really popular languages right now.

[00:39:01] Because you’re doing some development work, right? Yeah. All right. Which language? A little

[00:39:07] Frederick Weiss: [00:39:07] bit of a JavaScript, CSS, HTML I play around with you, et

[00:39:11] Joey deVilla: [00:39:11] cetera, et cetera. Okay. But JavaScript, right? Yeah. Okay. That’s a twenty-five year old language. Yeah. Okay. JavaScript 1995. If you are a.net developer, you are probably, you’re more than likely programming in C-sharp.

[00:39:29] Yeah, 2000. It’s actually the newest of the mainstream languages, right? Damn Java, 1995 cold fusion actually here. It’s in use but cold fusion is either early nineties or late eighties. Can’t remember something like that. Yeah. I think it’s more nineties. Yeah. PHP 90, 1994 actually is still going.

[00:39:58] Yeah, that’s right. Ruby 1995 and Python the super hot language. 1991. Yeah, Can we do yeah. Greta van Rossum was, were yeah. W without the first version in 1991, when I started working with it in 1999. Python 1.8, you still have to import the string module to work with strings. It wasn’t built in.

[00:40:26] Yeah, but no, that’s funny. Yeah. Talking about lately are these is 2010 w the languages of the 2010s we have been, we are working with yeah. The languages that we’re using right now are, generally from the nineties or generally from the nineties. And they and they carry in, they carry with them.

[00:40:53] Lessons learned from programming in the eighties. And a lot of them are from a time when, you know, at least home computers could not run some form of Unix because they required something ridiculously large. Some ridiculously large amount of disc space, like five whole megabytes so they would put it.

[00:41:23] Yeah. So then these nineties languages are carrying a lot of baggage of eighties design and they were meant to, they were meant to, they were meant to solve problems that people would come up with in the eighties. In fact, one of the selling points of Java, the programming language was, Oh yeah.

[00:41:43] Simple. Yeah, simple C plus syntax. That is the only time you’re ever going to hear those words in the same sentence that sort of thing. But there’s this whole new wave of 2010s languages and they have a few things in common, including things like they. They embrace.

[00:42:06] You can use the really well as object oriented programming languages or functional programming languages. No semicolon most of them, no semicolons they figured that their compilers were smart enough to know when the end you’ve actually hit the end of a line.

[00:42:25] Let’s see. Now they provide some declarative interfaces. A lot of them know a lot of them have optionals. In other words they know how to handle null types because now for years professors, car horror calls, knelt, he invented the null pointer, but he also calls it a billion dollar mistake.

[00:42:46] It causes lots of problems. That’s what optionals are there for. Yeah, just all kinds of lovely new language features. And some of them you’ve seen before, some of the names you should be familiar with, there’s dark, there’s rust. Swift Coplin

[00:43:06] Frederick Weiss: [00:43:06] typescript that I was trying to figure that yeah.

[00:43:08] Yeah, there you

[00:43:09] Joey deVilla: [00:43:09] go. Some other ones like there’s some other interesting ones like crystal, which is what, if you, what if you had a language with C speed, but Ruby syntax or ballerina? What if, the concepts of networks and concurrency were already built into the language?

[00:43:34] What, if you could treat the network as a data type and that and that’s interesting because nowadays a lot of these old programming languages were designed when computers were not connected to the internet. We’re not connected to the internet all the time.

[00:43:50] You have to get to fire up the modem and make the modem sound like

[00:43:54] Frederick Weiss: [00:43:54] you to put your phone to the thing, just like in science,

[00:43:58] Joey deVilla: [00:43:58] Yeah. And in fact, actually I know that there’s at least one old show. I think it’s Stargate where at the end, after the credits run, they’re trying to brag visit us at our website and they play the modern sound.

[00:44:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:44:10] That’s awesome.

[00:44:12] Joey deVilla: [00:44:12] While they print the URL on the screen. It’s really funny. That’s

[00:44:16] Frederick Weiss: [00:44:16] awesome. I I was wondering if you ever hear that thing with the captain crunch whistle guy? Was that like a true story? Yeah, no,

[00:44:27] Joey deVilla: [00:44:27] I have stories about him. Yes. I have met him.

[00:44:30] Frederick Weiss: [00:44:30] Oh, you have? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. For the people who don’t know, there was a thing, like you could blow like this captain crunch whistle that came in the cereal box and you were able to get like, free internet or something like that. You were

[00:44:43] Joey deVilla: [00:44:43] able to, make free calls before hacking something.

[00:44:46] Yeah. Before hacking, there was something called freaking P H R E a K I N G and freaking a freaking his phone hacking. And the idea was to try and make free phone calls all over the world and the way he could do it was the phone systems controlled by tones. One of the tones I believe it gives you operator level control or something like that is a tone of 2,600 Hertz, which a giveaway whistle in captain crunch cereal happened to emit when you blew into it.

[00:45:20] So John Draper tries, he makes himself the operator gives himself all kinds of free phone calls and becomes known to the world as captain crutch.

[00:45:32] Frederick Weiss: [00:45:32] That’s so funny, just the random things like people to try. And you should track captain crunch, Berries are delicious. I want to get to this user comment here.

[00:45:44] Todd Willoughby is asking for any R&D books that you could recommend and I’ll extend that to any resources that you think people should go out and take a look at. But if you could first address Todd’s question here about

[00:45:59] Joey deVilla: [00:45:59] books, let’s see R&D R&D books, actually in the end, I would have to the R&D book, I would end up going with just as an arm, as a kind of way to prepare your mind to research to do R&D type work is Kent rivers for, I think is Greggor.

[00:46:21] But my last name is Paul. Yeah. P O L Y a. Okay. The classic book called how to solve it. And it’s a book full of mathematical problems and and it’s like how many. How many bottles of a certain radius can you fit into a box, but there are all these mathematical conundrums, and then they explain how to solve these problems.

[00:46:47] At the very least what it does is it teaches you an approach to problem solving. Any book that walks through some kind of methodical problem solving process is probably really helpful. There’s another author, I believe his name was Petrosky and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong.

[00:47:09] He’s written a whole bunch of stuff about the way engineers think, and that is the way to do it. One thing to remember of course, is that what we are doing is not quite is, not, actually, shouldn’t actually be considered as a close, to science, which is just pure research, but engineering, which is basically.

[00:47:32] Taking what we know of science or what we generally know and finding a way to apply it, to solve specific problems. And yeah, that that’s what I can recommend off the top of my head, but yeah, I think Petroski and polio or ni yeah, those are the two names that popped up to me immediately.

[00:47:52] Frederick Weiss: [00:47:52] All right.

[00:47:52] We’ll find that we’ll put a link in the show notes then. Yeah. I wanted to ask you’re aware of so many different technologies and obviously that’s part of your thing, part of your career what, actually gets you out of bed in the morning? What is your thing where you’re like, you know what I need, to learn about this.

[00:48:15] I’m so passionate about this, whether it’s a new technology or old technology, but this is something that w when you get up, you’re like, I gotta find out more about this. Do you have something such as that kind of inspiration? Oh,

[00:48:29] Joey deVilla: [00:48:29] yeah. And what I try to do is I try and hang on. I try to keep one of those things active at any given time in this particular case, actually right now, it is making sure that I’ve got a better understanding of letters.

[00:48:51] Just because you know what it is it works on all sorts of platforms. Like most, a lot of people do think of it as a cross platform, mobile development, but it is also, it also works for cross platform web application development. And it is part of my it’s, it belongs either in the 20% part or the 10% part of my technology knowledge portfolio.

[00:49:21] What I mean by that is that generally what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to keep my knowledge portfolio in. Three buckets like the way an investor would do where 70% is in pretty sure things 20% is in strong maybes and 10% is just way out there. Maybe it’s a bit of a long shot, but maybe it’ll pay off, but I want to study it because I’m interested and I find it interesting and I find it interesting.

[00:49:51] And it’s the same way where an investor would go, yes, 70% in mutual funds, 20% in maybe this fancy fund and 10% in Carol Baskins do a crypto coin. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. No, I haven’t heard that one big cat rescued a lady from a tiger. Just about a coin. Of course she did.

[00:50:15] Why not? 2021. Yeah, exactly. That was, not on my 20, 21 bingo card, but that’s the thing highly good for her highly unpredictable these days. That we got me. That’s funny. Yeah. I’ll send you the link as you put it in the notes. Oh yeah. Please send me

[00:50:38] Frederick Weiss: [00:50:38] the link. I need that in the show notes.

[00:50:40] Hey we’re getting close to the end and I want to get to our next segment, which is music.

[00:50:51] You have been getting, obviously you’re the accordion guy, but now you’d be getting into some different hardware. Do you mind explaining the new way you’re going down and maybe you could play some some music for

[00:51:03] Joey deVilla: [00:51:03] us actually. It’s the old way I started off as a, I started off as a As an Oregon player, actually, we had an organ, we had an organ at home and I went to Yamaha Oregon school and in a fit of rebellion when I was either 17 or 18, because the only way out of gray, the grade three of the accordion school, this was the Yamato court in school was to finish the very meta-level.

[00:51:32] Oh, sorry. Yeah, it was terrible. I did one last performance and yeah. Managed to get myself injected from the school after it. And that’s because they wanted you to sing and play at the same time. And I sang with the voice of weirdly gruesome from the Flintstones, the creepy guy whose house always had the cloud over it.

[00:51:55] They were Frankensteiny and yeah, they were the goth. Yeah. Yeah. They were gothy and yeah, he had a wife named Cree Pella and. He would say, Aw, padlock, you look so nauseatingly beautiful this evening. Yeah. That Peter Ward voice. So I sang it. It was Barry Manilow’s weekend in New England and I sang it using that voice.

[00:52:17] And they, soon as they said, they basically said, here’s your certificate? Don’t come back. That’s awesome. Yeah. By joining some bands I played some synth and I got into the coordinator simply because I was complaining to a friend that I cannot drag us out on the street. And he said, look, I’ve got an accordion in my basement.

[00:52:37] Take it, you play it. I said, okay. So that’s how I ended up taking it up. One of the things I want to do is do more programming videos and I would like to have one. I want to have my own music in many ways. So I picked up a cord and three keys. Not sure you can see it in the back. It’s right behind me here.

[00:53:02] Oh, there we go. Beautiful. It’s right behind me. Here. It is an arranger keyboard. It is probably the best bang for the buck. It is shockingly cheap for what you get. I do the sound of core keyboards I actually have. I actually kept my 1990 1 cent here. It’s a cord wave station and it’s a bit of a collector’s item now.

[00:53:25] And yeah, I do. And yeah, I am working on it. I am working on playing some stuff that will end up in my programming videos and there’ll be a lay and accordion track on top of them. And I’ve been noodling around with the one rhythm setting on this thing that is as close as court dares to get to a very popular song without getting sued.

[00:53:49] Every keyboard manufacturer who makes an accord mace has an arranger kind of abandoned box feature, always tries to include one pop song that probably somebody at the store can demo and go, Oh, I can start I can sound like the head of the moment. Sure. Yeah.

[00:54:06] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:06] Let me get that

[00:54:07] Joey deVilla: [00:54:07] Taylor Swift going.

[00:54:08] Yeah, exactly. So you’re all

[00:54:11] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:11] let’s hear it. And you get to

[00:54:12] Joey deVilla: [00:54:12] play,

[00:54:13] something. A quickly playing the song of the moment or I’ll play the setting of the moment.

[00:54:19] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:19] Yes, please. And thank you.

[00:54:29] Joey deVilla: [00:54:29] Let’s see if I can get it.

[00:54:41] Is that coming across? I don’t, yeah, we can hear it perfectly, but here’s the close to copyright breaking park.

[00:54:54] Oh, nice. It’s close. There’s the real part is actually,

[00:55:08] yeah. So I’ve been having fun with that. I’m going to have to write a song called bad eye about Python.

[00:55:15] Frederick Weiss: [00:55:15] Yes, please. That’s awesome. Nice. Hey Joey, we’re getting to the end of the show and I just want to provide two things first. I want to ask or actually I want to ask you if there’s The, this seems to be all the locations that people could find you a, Twitter, according guy.

[00:55:34] I see a pattern here. Then, Oh, LinkedIn, Joey Davila. The global nerdery your blog are we to Villa and obviously all zero. Do you mind just quickly talking about global nerdery and what that is global nerdy.

[00:55:49] Joey deVilla: [00:55:49] Okay. Global nerdy is my personal tech . My personal tech site has been up since 2006.

[00:55:56] The name was randomly determined by a program that I wrote and two cows who I used to work for as their domain name, reseller. They used to have an API called name spinner. You could provide him with a bunch of words and it would spit back all these available domains that you might want to buy based on the great service back then.

[00:56:17] Yeah. And I tested my own app by going, I need a name for my tech site. I think I threw in a nerd and one of the suggestions it sped up was global nerdy. And I thought, wow, that is like a Japanese video game. That’s a Japanese video game name. That sounds like a bad guy from metal gear.

[00:56:43] W doesn’t have characters like sniper Wolf and I was a global nerdy. He might be evil hackers. I’m like, okay, I’m going to go with chicken. Yeah,

[00:56:52] Frederick Weiss: [00:56:52] that’s a great name.

[00:56:53] Joey deVilla: [00:56:53] Yeah. So I went with that and since then, I’ve just been writing about tech topics that are interesting, but the also, the thing I’ve been doing is I post a weekly list of tech, entrepreneur and nerd events centered in and around the Tampa Bay area as a service just telling people, Oh yeah, here’s what’s going on.

[00:57:17] Currently. The list is for online events that have some kind of online feature. Eventually, once things get better, I will list all the events, even the in-person events. So check that out. And I also do a fair bit of yeah, I do a fair bit of writing about programming. I like to think that the best description of the time and date classes in Swift appear on that blog, go check it out.

[00:57:46] Yeah. So that’s basically, what that blog is about. It’s trying to serve the tech community one way or the other.

[00:57:53] Frederick Weiss: [00:57:53] I love it. And if you’ve had that blog for, a long time, you’ve been writing since 2006 in there,

[00:58:00] Joey deVilla: [00:58:00] 2006 and the according guide blog, Joey davila.com has its 20th birthday, this November, 2001.

[00:58:07] Oh, that’s

[00:58:08] Frederick Weiss: [00:58:08] awesome. Congratulations. That’s so cool, man. Yeah, you’ve been doing it for awhile. Hey, we’re right about at the end of the show, next segments.

[00:58:19] Words of wisdom. Joey, I want to ask you at, the end here, if you could provide our audience any kind of parting words of wisdom, any advice out there, anything you want to say floor is

[00:58:30] Joey deVilla: [00:58:30] yours. Okay. For one we know what you can learn from history. We are just coming out from under a pandemics, look at the things that happened after previous pandemics especially now because think of the great play, which coincided with the invention nearly with the invention of the printing press.

[00:58:57] And now think of the current plate that we’re under and how it coincides with relatively recent developments. It’s not exactly the same time, but close enough for rock and roll. This relatively recent development of ubiquitous, constantly network computing and where that fits in beyond that, the other bit of advice I’m gonna totally, I’m totally stealing from I believe it’s the Sikorsky helicopter company and in something, it was something that they had posted to a bulletin board, something about basically going look, look at the bumblebee.

[00:59:35] Its weight distribution is all wrong. It’s wing sizes, all wrong. There’s no way it should fly, but it doesn’t know that. And it does it anyway. Do the same thing, be the bumblebee. I love that. That’s

[00:59:47] Frederick Weiss: [00:59:47] awesome. Joey, thank you so much again for being on the show, as we said for a 333rd time, and I’m sure we’ll do it again.

[00:59:59] Hopefully, we’ll be able to see you in the future, in the flesh at the next conference. And I’ll, I’m definitely taking you up on, on St. Pete coming down and having a habit of beer with you and definitely. And your wife. Yeah, that sounds

[01:00:13] Joey deVilla: [01:00:13] great.

[01:00:14] Joey deVilla: [01:00:14] All right, let’s go. Yes, please.

[01:00:17] Frederick Weiss: [01:00:17] Thank you. Hey again for the Thunder Nerds, I am Frederick Philip von Weiss.

[01:00:23] Thank you so much, everybody for watching. Sincerely appreciate it. And we’ll see you next time. Oh, hold on. I’ve got one comment, one comment. Oh, Todd. Thanks all. Hey, thanks Todd. Appreciate it.


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