This week Toran and Brandon are interviewed by Kris as we learn more about consulting. We talk about the differences between consulting and contracting, why consultants/contractors tend to have a high hourly rate, some of the business and legal aspects of consulting, how to land that first consulting job and ultimately why they left consulting to return to full time employment.
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Toran Billups - 00:04 - You're listening to Developing Fatigue. I'm Toran. Today, I'll be joined by both Kris Van Houten and Brandon Williams, my two cohosts, and we're going to be talking about contracting consulting. Kris, consulting, is that we're talking about?
Kris Van Houten - 00:20 - I don't know. All I think about is all growing up growing up ever since I started working because when I was growing up I didn't care about Scott and stuff. Whenever I heard the word consultant, like, oh, we're bringing in a consultant. I think about that movie office space where they start bringing in consultants and everybody starts panicking like, oh, we're interviewing foreign jobs. We're all going to get fired and out on the streets. And so when I first heard that, like I have friends who do consulting and their web developers like this doesn't make any sense to me. And so I want to get a clarification from you guys. Like what is consulting and how's it different from a contracting in our field?
Brandon Williams - 01:00 - So I actually did a quick define on Google. Define contracting - a person or company that has a contract to provide materials or Labor to perform a service or do a job versus consulting or consultant - person who provides expert advice professionally. And when I was consulting, um, the, the leader that really brought everybody, all these consultants together helped explain the difference between those two. He said, you don't want to be staff aug. I did not hire you to be staff aug. If you want to go do contracting or staff augs, staff augmentation, go find some where else to do that because what you do is you come in and you just do the job and you don't ask questions, you just do exactly what they tell you as a consultant. I expect you and the client expects you to present them with three options and let them choose are always in the driver's seat.
Brandon Williams - 01:58 - You're there to help them question what it is they're trying to accomplish and help provide them options so they can choose which, uh, basically choose your adventure story. How do they want to proceed? So I'm really helped us understand that we were there to think critically and to continue to develop ourselves and make these businesses better that we're working for
Kris Van Houten - 02:22 - brilliant definitions. So thank you. Uh, so when you guys first got started in consulting, so just as a disclaimer, uh, you know, Brandon and Toran both. You guys have worked in consulting previously? I have not, I've just been a desk jockey my entire life. So, um, I'm curious, how did you guys get into consulting? Is that something that just basically landed in your lap or did you guys go out and decide to start pursuing this line of work?
Toran Billups - 02:51 - I think the experience I had was a little strange. I was at a agile meetup here in town and I was listening to a very experienced person talk about process and engineering practices, modern software development. And it was the first time where it sounded like I'd never heard this before. And this particular gentleman, uh, locally, it was just kind of getting back into the scene and starting up, I'm kind of a new, a new team and getting folks together. So I reached out to him privately and just said, look, I don't really know you and I don't really know what tech stack and what type of people you need, but after last night I just want to work for you. So whatever that is and whatever openings you have, you know, that's, that's the job that I want. And to my surprise, he did actually write me back and we got together and we sat down in a coffee shop and kind of talked about the role, the job and the only interesting part is you mentioned, you know, this isn't going to be a full time job.
Toran Billups - 03:55 - We're kind of putting a team together to build a new product. And so there's some risks. You know we don't really know week to week or month to month what that means. Ultimately, if we're delivering, you can assume you'll, you'll still be part of this team. So you can have some guarantees, you know, if you're working hard, you'll obviously have a job. And he said, so have you ever done this type of work? And I said, I don't really understand. And he said, you're, you're gonna. You're gonna send an invoice to this company and they're going to pay you and then you're going to take out your own taxes and she'll probably talk to, you know, an accountant because you're essentially going to be operating as your own business and just sending a bill for your hourly rate. And I was just like, Oh wow, I've never actually done that before. That sounds really scary. But I was so interested in working with this leader, truly you just one of the most inspiring and greatest leaders I've ever worked with in my career that I was willing to give it a shot. And so I dove in head first and I guess the rest is history. I don't know. Brandon, Brandon, do you happen to know anything about this story?
Brandon Williams - 04:58 - Yeah, I know a lot about this story. Uh, so actually I, this is actually the contract where the consulting gig where we were working together and I came through this a consulting opportunity through one of my college roommates. Um, we'd kept in touch and gone to lunch, um, periodically after graduating and he reached out to me and said, hey, I'd like to get lunch. So we went to lunch and it was, ended up being like an hour and a half or two hour lunch. So I had to make up the extra time at work that day. Uh, but, um, it was, it was a really good lunch. We just started talking and he's like, Hey, have you thought about doing this? I was like, yeah, actually I would, I would love to do consulting. I thought I needed more experience and um, you know, I, I was still, I don't know, I'm trying to think how many years into my career I was, but um, I still felt like I had much to learn and much to, to grow into.
Brandon Williams - 05:59 - But I knew that from a young age that I really wanted to own my own business. And consulting was kind of that first step into one mile business. And I'm forming an LLC and I'm setting up my finally area, no pain, my quarterly taxes. I'm working with an attorney. I'm just all that stuff, just a feeling like I was a business owner and I was in control of my own destiny and stuff like that. So, um, it was, it was those relationships, the networking, if you want to call it that, that Kinda got me into consulting and I, um, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was, it was a great experience. I loved it. Um, I learned a lot, you know, I learned the difference between contracting and consulting and so now when I hear people say I'm looking for some contractors versus I'm looking for some consultants, I know what they're actually talking about, the difference between those two things and if I want to open myself up to those opportunities.
Toran Billups - 06:55 - Yeah. And I, I think I remember following up with Brandon because Brandon, I kind of kept in touch, but I think truly these two, these two network connections we're talking about really came across in different channels. And then I reached out to you at some point and realized we were both going to be working at the same job, like two days apart from each other. Is that truly how it.
Brandon Williams - 07:16 - Yeah, it was, it was pretty crazy how that, how that happened. But, um, our worlds collided and it was, it was great timing. Um, there's a lot of fun.
Toran Billups - 07:25 - So there you go, Kris, serendipity in there.
Kris Van Houten - 07:27 - No, I appreciate that. Actually, think that's really interesting how you guys both got involved with it just a little bit differently now. Brandon you mentioned, you know, feeling like you had to be way more experienced, you're way more knowledgeable before he got into the consulting Gig. And so I was curious, you know, what level of skill having gone through that experience now, do you think that you should have before you start considering that career path for yourself?
Brandon Williams - 07:52 - Yeah, so I started adding up the number of years of experience I had up to that point. So, um, I had five years of professional experience, um, but I look back on the team that I had been on right before that and we were pairing 100% of the time. And I think that because of that experience, uh, because of the pairing pair programming that we did, I grew exponentially during that time there, um, because I got to learn not only my experience but then everybody, whoever I was pairing with, they were pouring into me all their years of experience. And so I was the youngest guy on the team and they were, uh, just investing in me and helping me to grow, um, just by working together and solving problems together. Um, I got to see different perspectives on how to do that. And so, um, while I only had five years of experience on my resume, I think I had more along the lines of, you know, like seven or eight years of experience just because I had seen a of different things and gotten to touch a lot of different types of systems.
Brandon Williams - 08:59 - Um, so I think, I think generally my, my recommendation is go, go, um, find, find a job, get some experience doing something, try and figure out how you can go deep in that one thing and learn how to go. And when you learn how to go deep in one subject, generally that translates to I can figure out how to go deep in another subject. Um, and so as you build up your, your, uh, breadth of experience, then you are more, um, it seems like you're more susceptible to, uh, be open to the consulting opportunities because you need to provide, like I said, you need to provide options when you, when your clients coming to you and saying, Hey, I want to solve this problem, you need to be able to say, okay, I've seen this a approach, I've seen this approach and I seen this approach. Which one do you want to choose?
Toran Billups - 09:50 - Yeah, I think, you know, years of experience. I might not have a blanket statement. Brandon's kinda hitting the point home that five years on paper might sound like not quite enough. I just want to come at a little bit differently saying that, you know, when you're consulting, especially the real bar that you're measured against either daily or weekly is your output. So let's say and Brandon's example, you gave them a couple options. They said go with option a, well, if you don't get option a done in a reasonable amount of time, you can imagine they don't really care if you gave him three or 10 options. You're not delivering, so something to keep in mind is that if you do have five years experience but you really, you're, you're cranking out a lot of features at your current job where you feel like you are a high performer. You might be someone who does well in this environment because truthfully that's at the end of the day you got to deliver features and I know Brandon, I at this particular contract, I'm not unlike a lot of jobs today where you have to demo, you know, in a sprint we got these features done, let's show them off to the team or the customer.
Toran Billups - 10:53 - That's exactly what we did. Every, every sprint we got together with the customers like you would expect an agile team to do and we showed them the features that they paid money for and for the most part we got feedback that they liked what we were doing. Keep doing it. If you're not comfortable with that, that's really the bar for me, that all right, you might not be ready to go out and join a consulting team or truly step into that consulting arena because that's the type of environment you're going to be judged is what you get done. So
Kris Van Houten - 11:19 - yeah. So it sounds like there's definitely a personality factor that comes into play here, but also you don't need to feel like you should have a PhD level knowledge of all things technology before you branch out down this direction because, you know, it sounds like Brandon, what you were saying is that you learned a lot from your peers who were also in the same field and we're able to kind of absorb a lot through them. So it kind of felt like you were getting more experience faster because you were taking in their knowledge base as you were moving forward. Correct?
Brandon Williams - 11:45 - Yeah, absolutely. I just want to reiterate what Toran said he. Um, so I was trying to give some numbers of years of experience at the end of the day, like Toran said it is all about what can you produce and so, um, are you going to deliver value to your client? So, um, that's, that's the, that's the end game is can I, can I make myself valuable enough that they want to keep me around or I can find that next client, will they recommend me? So,
Kris Van Houten - 12:14 - and consulting, something else that comes into play a lot is the need to network with other companies or other professionals. Was that something that played a significant role in your guys's work or um, or what did that look like for you guys? Basically.
Toran Billups - 12:29 - And in my example, aside from just reaching out to random people after you go to a meetup, which apparently it does work sometimes. Uh, the second consulting engagement I went on after I left this team that Brandon and I worked together on a, was truly by someone seeing a conference talk. I gave, reaching out to me and saying, hey, we have a product we'd like you to come build. We have a team we'd like you to mentor as you build it. What's it gonna take you to get you on this contract and to come out and join our team. And so that one was 100 percent network based. You know, I had to actually get in front of this audience and in front of a live audience and deliver a great talk. So people thought I was a good program or there's still that weird misconception that great conference talks mean you're great software developers I guess. But for whatever reason that ended up helping me find a or cast a really big net and at the time actually had a lot of people really interested in consulting and I just kinda picked between about three or four different people.
Toran Billups - 13:26 - The person I thought that was gonna I was gonna match up well with to be able to actually deliver for them because sometimes you can go down the road in consulting where you have a very specialized skill and it's a little divergent from what Brandon was kind of sharing. And in our first contract where we try to give the customer a lot of options that might be very diverse. In the second contract I was out on, I was really hired to be specifically an expert and help them build a Django and ember app. And so I joined that team not giving a lot of options directly because we were going to use that tech stack. But Day to day it was, it was similar to what Brandon said where I was treated more like an advisor as well as someone building the software and the network played a role of landing that job, which I thought was a really great opportunity. So
Brandon Williams - 14:14 - yeah, when I was a. So while I was consulting, I was, I'm trying to prepare and give conference talks and I'd seen tour and be successful with that. So trying to get, build up that personal brand, um, whatever, whatever that means, but just kind of say like, Hey, I know what I'm talking about. I can speak on this subject intelligently. And I'm getting my, getting my name in these conference lineups. And hopefully having people come to the, to the presentations and a receiving value from that. So that would potentially go back and say we should hire this person to come in and help us out with solve this problem.
Toran Billups - 14:58 - Yeah. It's a really great sales funnel. The only downside conference talks are not free on your time. A lot of these conference talks take a lot of time to prepare. And so, um, we can talk about that a little bit later on maybe some of the downsides of consulting Kris, but, uh, those conference talks ultimately when, when they dry up, I think your network to some degree also dries up.
Kris Van Houten - 15:21 - So you have to find out other ways to supplement and in those cases then, well, okay, so we've talked a little bit about obviously what consulting is, how it compares to contracting and obviously a little bit about how you guys got started in this field. But I want to maybe pivot a little bit and start talking about what your experiences were like and so Toran like you were mentioning just a moment ago, maybe talking about, you know, our worst parts, but let's start on a positive note and talk about what were some of your favorite parts about doing consulting work when you guys were doing it?
Toran Billups - 15:53 - Uh, you know, there's, there's two parts of the standout for me in the second contract because I don't want to steal any thunder from Brandon and we had a lot of great experiences and shared experiences on that. That first team we worked together. I still look fondly at that experience. The second experience though, I actually still keep in touch with the founders of that company. The engineers that I mentored a, they were like family to me. In fact, a friend of mine, Scott, that I remember, uh, he actually taught both me and my wife and my son. He taught us all how to surf out in San Diego because we'd fly out there occasionally as I was working on site from time to time and my family will come out as well. And that's how it felt, you know, the connections we're not a command and control, like, oh, give me options and build the software. It was, that was a family business is how it felt. And the people that I worked with in that engagement are still people that I would work with again in a heartbeat. And I, I hope the impression I left with them was much the same.
Toran Billups - 16:51 - The other side of it, uh, I think in both my consulting engagements that I would recommend and most people, you know, think about this a little bit is obviously the money side of it. Um, you probably the first time you think about consulting is when a friend of yours tells you the hourly rate and you're just like, say what now? Because the, the hourly rates are often a little deceiving. Brandon and I were alluding to earlier, there's a lot that goes into the hourly rate. So, you know, when somebody says $50, $80, $100 an hour, um, you know, take into account that you are going to have to probably have a contract written up if you're, especially if you're a freelancer out on your own consulting, uh, you're gonna have to have some kind of accounting person help you out. Unless you want to spend a bunch of time doing that. A lot of contracts require, especially bigger contracts. They require you have some kind of insurance and that is actually, again, money out of your pocket. And uh, the big one most people don't think about is when you're completely solo, you have no one paying your insurance.
Toran Billups - 17:49 - So if you have a family, especially that is going to be possibly a very hefty bill depending on the coverage and the provider that you have. So, but on the same, on the same token, I think there's, there is a lot of money to be made in consulting because of what Brandon was hitting on, which is you're delivering value. And that's one of the reasons people go in search of consultants is they don't want people to just hang out in meetings, they need stuff done in three months, they need to ship a product. So the money never hurts a good motivator. Right?
Kris Van Houten - 18:19 - Yeah. What about you, Brandon?
Brandon Williams - 18:21 - Um, so for me it was a, the opportunity to work with some really awesome people on this consulting team. Uh, that leader brought together some of the, some of the best and brightest in town and getting to work alongside them, learn from them, um, expand my skillset significantly was just invaluable. I just, I look on that experiences a really good one. Um, and so if I were to, uh, I'm full time now, but I'm just looking at that, just trying to find that, right? If I, if I were to go back into consulting again, trying to find that right consulting firm that brings in other really top level consultants that you can go and be around. Just a iron sharpens iron, right? So, um, being around those other people makes you a better person as you learn things. You want to share it back with them and so everybody's just kinda continuing, continuing to level each other up. So,
Toran Billups - 19:22 - and we were really lucky in that role. I mean, we were even pairing at that first consulting gig and like Brandon said, you know, I want to say it just on air because these, these people I worked with were phenomenal, like the greatest technicians I think I've ever worked with, um, you know, in my career and these guys, I could still reach out to them today. They also felt very much like family. They were great people.
Brandon Williams - 19:43 - Yeah. Um, I also really enjoyed, um, the other, the other side of that was just a more of the flexibility of consulting. You kind of take off the time that you want and work the hours that you want within reason. Um, we had some core office hours, but then, you know, nobody was saying, Oh, you've taken 10 days of vacation this year. Um, I guess you don't have any vacation left up to you as a consultant. If you work, you get paid. If you don't work, you don't get paid. I'm kind of kind of a sales commission type mentality and I really enjoyed that. It was up to me if I wanted to work or if it was up to me if I didn't want to work. And so balancing that with family was, I just really enjoyed that part of it. So,
Kris Van Houten - 20:30 - so that's all really good information. So I'm kind of curious if those are what you guys loved about doing consulting work, uh, what were some of the downsides to doing consultant work that maybe you guys could share a little bit about?
Toran Billups - 20:45 - Yeah, I think the hardest part for was truly just keeping the funnel going, keeping it full, uh, whether it was conference talks or your local network, uh, eventually there are certain times of the year as well where businesses are just not signing contracts. So if you happen to be falling out and your contracts wrapping up about that time, uh, it can be kind of just a little. And so one thing you need to probably take into account as is obviously you're, you're making more money, so try and put some of that money away. I'm not just for holidays because like Brandon said, you know, if you take Christmas off, you're not getting paid, so take that into account, but also kind of have to plan more financial responsibility, you know, if you're going to be possibly off for two, three months between jobs or even just a couple of weeks, just having some responsibility of putting money away for that is, um, you know, it comes with the territory of it, but it's also not awesome a, if you've been sitting in like a cushy fulltime job with, you know, four weeks vacation hanging out to think, oh, every time I take a day off I might not be getting paid for that. So that can be kind of interesting. What about you, Brandon?
Brandon Williams - 21:50 - Yeah, for me, the, the things that I disliked about it were, I'm, like you said, the hourly rates really nice, but then when you start to do it, you realize this is why the salary or hourly rate is so nice is that you have to do all this other stuff that you don't get paid for. And so that's, um, and you really kind of talked to me about that. And um, with your second gig where you were, you were doing, um, what was it like 30, like you weren't working full time, you weren't working 40 hours a week technically or billing that 40 hours, right? Right. So you were doing other things like business things just to keep yourself, keep your funnel going, keep yourself, uh, do, do all the business things that you need to do. And so that's, um, that's the part that, especially as web developers are like, oh, I just get to go write code all day long. Now there's a lot of other things that you have to do, um, around, uh, being a consultant or a contractor,
Brandon Williams - 22:48 - I guess less if you're a contractor because you're just kind of showing up right in the code and going home. But, um, as a consultant, as you're finding your own contracts and your own clients, that's, that's a lot of work and it's a lot of networking. Um, it's a lot of business development relationships. So, um, taxes are not fun to pay tax paying your taxes quarterly. I'm watching all that money go to Uncle Sam is that one's pretty tough to that part I disliked immensely.
Kris Van Houten - 23:19 - Yeah. So sounds like there's definitely some aspects that would, that most people might not realize her first with they're considering getting involved in a, in consulting and so are those, those things that you guys mentioned as you know, some of the downsides of consulting, is that what that results in both you guys leaving that to go back to work full time for different companies or organizations?
Toran Billups - 23:40 - Yeah, definitely. When when the sales funnel dries up, you start to look at other options. So there was two factors when I got out of consulting. The first was the technology I had specialized in as I was essentially, you know, I'm not really an ember expert, but I was kind of known for ember and around the time that my contracts we're kind of winding down, it was pretty clear that ember just was not as popular widely and so I was having trouble finding contracts at the hourly rate that I was hoping to get. And so that was one of the reasons that I eventually, I remember pitching it, talked to like react, uh, there was a react conference, NG conference and ember conf that particular year and I didn't, I didn't land a single talk. And I remember thinking like, well, that made the decision for me as I'm not going to be out in front of anyone. So you know, just like eventually if you're your marketing budget, Ryan know wines down, nobody's going to know who you are anymore.
Toran Billups - 24:37 - So I started looking around also, I think personality plays a role and this could maybe be a whole show in itself, but eventually, uh, me personally, I, I sort of missed being part of a product and a team that is kind of iterating and I get to see that over time when you're in a consulting gig and then you bounced to another consulting gig, you really don't get to see the fruits of your labor kind of landing and growing and get to market. And so one of the reasons I eventually went to full time as well as joining a software product team, I got to see the product, you know, every single day and improve it and really have a say in how it works. The only downside there, of course, more politics than consulting.
Kris Van Houten - 25:17 - So Brandon. Would you agree with that? That's kind of what led you to go back to full time work for company.
Brandon Williams - 25:24 - For me, going back to full time, it was the company where I'm at. We, we do work that matters and the culture is second to none. Um, this organization just, we have a mission. Everybody believes in that mission. Um, you know, we feel like we're on a crusade to, to bring hope to people and um, because we are. And so just being, getting to be a part of that team and a part of that mission was just so appealing to me that I actually left consulting and this, to me, this was the only place that I ever wanted to work full time again. If I wasn't consulting, um, if something were to happen here, I would, I would just immediately look to go back into consulting because I really enjoyed, um, I enjoyed the flexibility. I, I did like, um, I like the variety that you would get as a consultant. You had kind of come in and drop into a team and get to work on that team and you know, maybe that contract's only for six months.
Brandon Williams - 26:25 - Well, if you, if it's an awful contract, it's only six months. If it's a great contract, we'll just make it the best six months and then maybe you get extended or whatever. But um, you just get a lot of variety as your consulting or contracting so that, that was something that would appeal to me.
Kris Van Houten - 26:41 - Yeah. I definitely would never discount the opportunity to work on something that you're actually passionate about, to work on something that changes people's lives for the better because yeah, if you can find that in the work that you do every day is an awesome day of the job basically. Usually. Usually.
Brandon Williams - 26:58 - Yeah, absolutely.
Kris Van Houten - 27:00 - This is awesome. So I think you guys, for all your input, I'd like to add, just kind of drop one more question, are you guys before we close out and move on to our big wins for the week, but you know, we probably have people who are listening who might be thinking about getting, you know, into the whole consulting gig. So I was curious if there's any little bits of advice or maybe some things that they might not be thinking about that maybe you haven't already mentioned on the show already, uh, that they should take into consideration. So just basically some tips and tricks if they're thinking about,
Toran Billups - 27:32 - yeah, I have, I have one tip because it's also around something we didn't talk about and that is contract renegotiation. So yeah, something that is maybe hidden from you on your first, you know, bright eyed, you know, you have dollar signs in your eyes that first day, but in three months, six months, 12 months, at some point, there is eventually going to be the end of that original contract and you'll either need to move on, you know, go find another client or if you are still working and doing valuable work, the client might offer to extend and say, Hey, it'd be great if you would sign up for another six months or another year. And at that point you may not remember or this may never have occurred to you in your life, but everything's up for negotiation at any time, including at this point now your original hourly rate. So, uh, one thing that I, I tried to do well when I was working in this contract after Brandon and I parted ways is renegotiating this hourly rate was on the table for a brief moment.
Toran Billups - 28:34 - And so I talked to my wife about this and thought, you know, I really do like working for this team. And I actually am debating just sticking around or, or going to another contract locally to kind of fill my time. And ultimately I came back and told this particular team, I said, you know, why don't we keep the hourly rate the same because it seems like it was more of a fixed budget that they were trying to get me within. And I said I can make that budget work if I'm only working four days a week. And so that's what Brandon was talking about earlier, is there for I think a better two thirds of the contract that I worked for these folks. I actually only worked four days a week, which maybe from a financial perspective seemed like a hit. But the upside is it allowed me to keep my hourly rate identical. So I felt like I didn't really take a hit and instead I just caught myself a free day to either do business sort of things that Brandon was talking about or occasionally just spend some time with my family. Uh, that time was essentially free to me.
Toran Billups - 29:31 - As we talked about earlier, some of the tradeoffs of, well, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Well that's also kind of Nice. I don't necessarily have to work on Fridays, so suddenly it's a free day for me and I felt like that would be maybe a pro tip for people to consider. I've heard of other friends of mine and in bigger contracts on teams that when it comes time to renegotiate, they sort of recognize that you're pretty comfortable in that role and they're going to try and cut you down like 10 or 20 percent and whether you actually take that pay cut or not, there may be other options. So always negotiate. Right.
Kris Van Houten - 30:04 - That's definitely good advice there. Thank you. What about you, Brandon, you got any last minute advice?
Brandon Williams - 30:09 - Um, I just want to reiterate what Toran was saying earlier about a finding a, finding that some areas where you can add value to a company. And so just as you're building up your skill set, say is this going to be valuable to somebody? Um, where can I build my skill set? So that I am valuable to somebody, um, and really pursuing that. That's I think a Toran really hit it on the head just that's the best way to get in to consulting so that you can find that client that wants to hire you. So
Kris Van Houten - 30:40 - thank you guys so much. Like this is definitely information that I did not know before hitting record on tonight's episode. So thank you guys for all your input. That's awesome. Awesome stuff. Um, why don't we go ahead and move into the main events of every episode and that's big wins. And so, uh, Brandon, why don't you go ahead and start us off.
Brandon Williams - 31:00 - So just thinking back over the last week, um, I think my biggest one is just after this, after we get done recording these episodes. Uh, sometime we just hang out afterwards for a little while and just talk about life, um, or families work, whatever. And I just remember that conversation that we had after last week's episode was just really struck stuck with me this weekend. I just been thinking about it a lot. Just I care about you guys. I love spending time with you guys on, on the podcast, and I'm in immuno before and after as well. Um, and so just just thinking about that, that's, that's been really a highlight of my week.
Kris Van Houten - 31:41 - Nice. Thank you man. Feeling is definitely mutual. I love hanging out and getting to chat with you guys on a weekly basis, if not more often than that. So absolutely Toran. Do you got a one up that one somehow?
Toran Billups - 31:53 - Uh, not possible, man. Brandon, he's the most genuine, right? He's, he's a salt of the earth, they say so, um, you know, for me, I think the big win is, is really helping my coworkers both understand and even go further and sort of demand productivity in their day to day. A lot of the, a lot of the tools that we use eventually. I'm sure you guys see this at work as your, as your projects grow and get bigger, it becomes sometimes like the frog in the pan where you don't even know it and then suddenly you're just waiting around for like a minute and you're like, that's, that's normal, right? It's like, no, no, that would be normal if we let it be normal. So sort of challenging the status quo and helping my coworkers find productivity. So that's my big one.
Kris Van Houten - 32:37 - Nice. Nice. Let's see. I guess my big win it, I was thinking about making it somewhat selfish and that my kids went back to school this week so I can find him like schedule my days a little more consistently so I don't have like the chaos of summer, but I guess something else I'm actually really excited about it. It's not necessarily a big win that it's something that I did, but more just something that my company is doing that I'm pretty excited about and that's just, they recently unveiled kind of like a updated restructuring for how the teams were supposed to be working and typically when a company is restructure how all the teams are separated out it, it's usually bad. Um, you know, but this is the only time I've seen an updated or redone structure of our department and Technology period that I'm just like, yes, this feels perfect. This is exactly what we need. And so, you know, I'm down in Austin this week, uh, you know, I'm sit in my hotel room right now and just been talking to several of my team members throughout the day since I've been here
Kris Van Houten - 33:37 - and you know, they're also all really excited about this new structure that the teams are basically adopting going forward. And so I'm like, I'm actually really excited that our company's been listening to a, if you will, to the complaints and the gripes of teams and you know, the, the challenges we've been facing over the last few months and it seems like they're definitely making some changes to make things better for, for our department. And so that's my big win. Something that's basically across my entire company that I'm really excited about going forward and hopefully they don't reorganize. We things like next week and change it all back. So.
Toran Billups - 34:15 - Awesome man.
Kris Van Houten - 34:16 - So I just want to thank everyone listening for hanging out for the last 35 minutes or so and just wants everyone to have a great week and we will talk to you all then