Episodes

#45 - Startups, Growth, and A Quest to Build People-focused Companies, with Jennifer Kim

November 21, 2021

The decision to join a startup or a big company is not an easy one, as one has to consider many factors that go beyond just the financial side of things. In this episode, I talk to Jennifer Kim, a seasoned startup advisor with a lot of experience dealing with these kinds of decisions and more. Jennifer also specializes in the people part of the startup equation - arguably, one of the hardest ones. We chat about the current challenges startups encounter in this space, why it's important to build a diverse workforce, and what one individual can do to be a changemaker in their company's culture.

#44 - So What Is Product Marketing, with Isaac Levin

November 11, 2021

You've probably heard of the many types of PM - project managers, product managers, and even program managers. But did you also know that there is a PMM - product marketing manager? I wasn't quite sure what the responsibilities of one would be, so I reached out to Isaac Levin - Principal Product Marketing Manager at Elastic, and asked him to talk about his work.

#43 - Ins And Outs Of Developer Advocacy, with Brian Douglas

November 1, 2021

Developer Advocacy is a relatively new field, but when it comes to knowing how to navigate it, Brian Douglas' knowledge is second to none. As Director of Developer Advocacy at GitHub, he is at the forefront of a lot of the developer engagement efforts - from understanding the pain points of those that use GitHub, to advocating for new initiatives and programs. I sit down with Brian to learn more about what it takes to be a great developer advocate, how one can break into the field, and how you measure success in the role. Suffice to say - it was a packed conversation and we needed more time and maybe even a future follow-up to cover everything.

#42 - Building The World You Want To See, with Jeff Atwood

October 31, 2021

Whether you are new in the tech industry or are a veteran developer, chances are that you've used a product that Jeff Atwood worked on. I'm talking about Stack Overflow and Discourse, of course. When it comes to building communities and fostering good conversations, Jeff took an unusual position - steer the conversation towards finding the best in people, argue ideas and not people, and ultimately, contribute to a world that's just a bit better. How does it all work? Jeff elaborates in this episode.

#41 - Why Big Tech Is Not For Me, with Chloe Shih

October 22, 2021

Despite what your LinkedIn feed might tell you, a career in FAANG is not the only way to grow in tech. Or even get started in tech, for that matter. There are many variables in play that can help you determine what career track to pursue, but none more important than the answer to your own "Why?" That's why today I am talking to Chloe Shih, a product manager and content creator, about her journey to a product manager role, struggles along the way, and the realization that work in Big Tech might not be all that interesting or impactful.

#40 - Engineering and Team Empathy, with Amro Mousa

October 17, 2021

Management, and especially engineering management, is way more than just telling others what to build. Talking to Amro Mousa, an engineering manager at Twitter, it becomes evident that a key ingredient to a good team is empathy. In this episode, I learn from him on what the best way is to lead with empathy in a team, and how one should think about the management track as a potential avenue in their career.

#39 - Focus on Delivering Value, with Dan Shaw

October 7, 2021

In the sea of shiny technology objects (I am talking frameworks, tools, libraries, and many others), Dan Shaw has been pretty opinionated - focus on delivering value to the customer first, and tools second. In this episode, I sit down with Dan to learn more about this approach, and how he applied it in his career and work with the Node.js community - after all, he’s known as the Godfather of Node.js.

#38 - Becoming a Polymath, with Salman Ansari

July 11, 2021

From the early days - when we are growing up, to when we go to school, we tend to be involved in a lot of activities. From sports, to music, painting, coding classes. But as we grow up, we tend to specialize. One is a product manager, or a Python programmer, or even a doctor. According to my good friend Salman Ansari, this is where we have an opportunity to break out of the typical norms and become a polymath - a person with extensive knowledge in several domains. In this episode, I learn more about Salman's career, as well as his take on how someone can become a polymath.

#37 - Be A Builder, With Jack Zerby

June 25, 2021

Last time I chatted with Jack, I had pages of questions I still wanted to ask - with this episode, I attempt to address that backlog. And the more I talked to Jack, the more I realized that the theme of his entire career is - "be a builder." As someone who started and worked at many startups, he sure knows first-hand how to do that well and in a way that is sustainable. Today, we talk about his work at Vimeo, what it means to collaborate with others, and how to build a network of folks that are there when you need them most.

#36 - Diving Into Open Source Engineering, with Jenn Creighton

June 13, 2021

There is a bit of a chasm between requirements for building open source projects and those that are designed to be closed. Not surprisingly, it also requires a different set of skills altogether if you want to do it right. To learn more about this, I sat down with Jenn Creighton, Senior Staff Open Source Engineer at Apollo GraphQL. Jenn has been building scalable web experiences at companies such as Ralph Lauren, Chartbeat, and ClassPass, and is now leading the work on one of the most interesting and active open projects out there.