We discuss culture and define what it is and what it is not. How do we create, maintain, enhance the culture. We cover the concept of shared values and practical tips for working towards an awesome productive culture.Download MP3 (33.9 MB)
Toran Billups - 00:07 - Welcome to Developing Fatigue today on the show. I got my man Kris Van Houten. What's up Kris?
Kris Van Houten - 00:11 - Not Too much. How you doing man?
Toran Billups - 00:13 - The dream. Just live in it everyday man. So then I got my man, Mr Brandon Williamss. What's up Brandon?
Brandon Williams - 00:21 - I love getting together with you guys and chatting about technology or the lack of technology on this podcast,
Toran Billups - 00:29 - these soft skills show. Uh, so today super soft skill issues, right? We're going to be talking about culture shifting and as always we have to get the definition from our good friend Kris. Kris, what else? Culture shifting thing.
Kris Van Houten - 00:45 - I don't know if I have like the textbook definition of this, but um, yeah, like it's like let's, let's talk a little bit about what is culture, why do we care? Like, what should be our motivation behind, you know, why do we want to change it or try to influence it in the places that would be work. And so, you know, for me starting out, when I think of culture, I think about it's just the overall social environment, outlook and mood of the place that I work, the people that I work with and the people that I work around and you know, you could work in a place like I work whereas like we actually have a full time staff member who's job it is to work on our culture as a company and make sure employees are happy and feeling satisfied and all that cool stuff.
Kris Van Houten - 01:28 - But you know that individual who has that job title is not a software developer and I feel like the software developers, they vary, if you want to call it unique, just a very different kind of role where it's like we work with a lot of various tools. We worked with a lot of various technologies and we have a lot of communication that spans across topics, across, you know, technologies and stuff like that. To where, you know, it takes someone who's kind of in that environment to want to improve those communication, approved that workflow, improve the mood and the overall outlook that people have on their product that they're working on. And so, you know, when I think about like my team that I work on, like I always want to make sure that, uh, I'm doing my best to make sure that my team is successful and my team is able to work efficiently, work productively to work well and you know, I also take a bit of responsibility to make sure that my team, the developers I work with my, with my team, that they're happy, that they are enjoying what they're doing as much as possible, you know.
Kris Van Houten - 02:35 - And uh, and so yeah, like when I think of culture and why I should care, it's, I think of those people that I work with and I think with the, the place that I work and I want to be as joyful as happy if you will have a place to work as possible. So, but what about you guys? What, what, what are things that come to your mind when you think about why should we care about culture or what it means to you guys personally, if different than anything I just said?
Toran Billups - 03:01 - Yeah. I think of uh, the culture as a shared set of values and this culture is shifting. Idea is really just about the evolution of a team or a company's shared values over some time period. And I think it's important for me because, you know, when I was younger I didn't really know the culture was a thing a obviously I didn't have a full time job that I really thought about culture, but the older I get the further up the ladder, that culture and that culture idea creeps to the top few things I care about. So it's probably in my top two or three now when I'm joining a team, I really am interested in the people, the values that those people have. And you know, if those people have open minds or if everyone's sort of formed and set where they're at, not ready to grow. What about you Brandon? What do you think about culture?
Brandon Williams - 03:55 - Yeah, where I work, we have a couple of scenes that we, we use a lot making sure that the right persons on the bus, making sure that the person's in the right seat on the bus. So we're, we're just exploding with growth right now and we find these people where we say this person has our culture, we don't know where they're going to sit yet, but let's just get them in the door and then we'll worry about finding the right seat on the bus later. Um, people are, um, we just had a staff meeting where we announced a lots of just internal transfers around the company. Um, somebody's going to be work over in this area and somebody working in this area and it's just the right fit for them at the right time. Um, and you know, along those lines, we just, we always say, hey, we're growing so fast.
Brandon Williams - 04:44 - Um, leadership really believes in our culture. A instills in our, and you know, the, the lowered leaders and just says, hey, this is important. But they, they're, they're cognizant that the leaders at the top can only set the tone and that the policing of the culture actually comes from everybody else. And like you said, the shared values is really important. So we have these shared values and um, we make sure that everybody knows what they are and I'm, one of them is just like a no gossip policy. So our leaders aren't going around saying, Hey, are you gossiping? That was gossip. Don't do that. No, it's actually just like an echo, a conversation. Um, you know, towards like, hey man, do, did you, did you see what Kris did today? Oh my gosh, I can't believe you just did
Toran Billups - 05:31 - probably his beard.
Brandon Williams - 05:34 - And so I say, hey, Toran man, sounds like it sounds like we're, you know, gossiping a little bit. And so we just Kinda, we just, I just throw that out there and we're just like, okay, Yep, that's right. That is a shared value. And we just walk away from it. So, um, it's just those, those interactions where we help each other say, hey, that's not constructive. Um, you know, I'm not your leader. Toran and I can't do anything about Kris's beard, so, um, I mean except hold him down and shave it, but whatever, you know. So just, that's what I think of when I think of culture.
Kris Van Houten - 06:05 - No, I think that's an excellent point. And it's funding. You've mentioned that a few times. This isn't us talking previously about, you know, how, where you work, they have no gossip policy and I think that's golden and you know, and there's been a few times where that's, this resonated with me as I find myself in various conversations at work where we're talking about stressful situations or you know, certain people. And um, I, I found myself getting caught in my head just like, let's, let's not go down that road, that road because let's not tear this person down behind their back, but they can't even defend themselves because that's just not fair to them. And you know, there's been times I haven't caught it but it's something that in large part because I've been talking to you so much lately, that it's something that it just sticks out to me now when I hear it. And sometimes even when I catch myself doing it and so I think that's, that's like one of those cultural things I just think should spread everywhere because it's just not fair to the other person and it's just not a good practice typically or ever. Really.
Brandon Williams - 07:05 - Yeah. Like what you said earlier about sending that email of gratitude, like positives all around in negatives up negatives go up to your leader and then they, they can handle that the right way.
Kris Van Houten - 07:17 - Yeah. Because I think, you know, I think there's a really stark contrast between a concerns and complaints and it's really easy to be like, it's super easy to be a negative person on the team and to basically just be introducing nothing but the negatives in your team and your work environment and your code base and, and whatever. And you know, and I've definitely caught myself there as well. We're, it's like um, this being a complainer right now and that's useless. You know, everyone wants to complain but no one wants to have solutions. And, and to actually like sit through and try to think about solutions like that takes a lot of work. And sometimes you actually realize that and I'm serious, like sometimes that actually takes a lot of work to the point where he might actually start to realize that the thing that you're complaining about, it might actually be the best possible solution when you actually think about what other solutions are might be out there.
Kris Van Houten - 08:12 - Uh, but you know, it's like concerns are another thing where it's not just whining about how things are going, but hey, like maybe you're concerned for a team member who's working too many hours, maybe you're concerned about, you see their stress level or you see, you know, if we keep going down this track of work, you know, here's some issues that might bubble up so you can raise those up to your boss, your management, your team to, to see if this is something that we should collectively be thinking about working on a solution for a. But just whining because you're angry about something like that, that really doesn't improve anything. It just kind of stresses everybody out. You know. And I think that to add on top of like what you were talking about, uh, Brandon and Toran about how when it comes to hiring, like one thing I noticed over the last couple years is that even when I find myself interviewing potential hires where I work, it almost seems like, yes, are you, are you skilled, can you do this job?
Kris Van Houten - 09:10 - I guess that that's a very important thing to figure out in the interview, but I almost, it's almost like a very close second seems to be does this person fit in with our culture, with our mission, with our values as a team? Will they get along with everybody? Are they the kind of person who's just going to sit there and argue with every other developer over every decision that they make? And I was wondering at I just want to point out that is actually a good thing that I see a lot more employers and companies doing now is actually sitting down and is talking to the person as a person and not just their skillset to term like will this person actually be a blessing or a gift, a contributor to our culture or someone who's going to make us battle within to keep that positive morale, that positive outlook in place. And so just wanted to call it out. I think that's something that's really good for employers to be considering and to continue doing it. They're actually doing that now because it, it, it gets noticed. He's from people like me had not heard of you guys was the same.
Toran Billups - 10:12 - Yeah, definitely. I think that kinda throws to the next meaty topic here, which is. So we kind of understand culture, right? Or we think we've got a grasp on what culture and culture shifting is. But what is an example of us actually shifting the culture? And I think the one that I'll share is I joined the company a while back and I saw developers being very reactive, meaning that, you know, we were sorta just fighting fires and thinking about today, uh, there's this cultural idea of just survival. Like right now I just got to survive to tomorrow. That's the only thing I'm thinking about. And that was definitely the developer culture. And I had this mission, I guess, to change that to a more proactive culture. I'm not someone who just thinks about tomorrow, someone, I guess who maybe goes too far the other way.
Toran Billups - 11:02 - I'm probably thinking, you know, about next year, uh, which to be honest, if you're in a startup, maybe you won't survive a year. Uh, but I just tend to go a little bit further out. And one of the biggest pro tips that I'll hand over before I asked Kris and Brandon, uh, what, what they think they need to be successful. I think for me it was leadership had my back, you know, I remember the first day on the job, I went to my manager, my leader and I said, hey, uh, yeah, we don't technically have the ability to test drive some of these things and you know, I just got through the new hire stuff. So I really hate to leave but I don't have, I don't feel like I have much of a choice if I can't actually do this. And uh, to my surprise this guy actually really had my back and I think without his support trying to actually begin shifting from reactive to proactive culture
Toran Billups - 11:54 - would have been a failure from day one, which is really why I decided to kind of seek him out and not do it behind his back. So what about you guys have any pro tips on how to go about this all
Kris Van Houten - 12:06 - I'll say it. And if you had to quit that first day Toran, we would've never met and I started this podcast, so on, I'm thankful you didn't just rage quit and flip over a table and walk out. But um, but yeah, I think, you know, we can talk about and definitely bring up things like encouraging those around you, those in your team to do things like write clean, write clean code and write tests for the things that they are a coding around. Um, but, uh, you know, I feel like one thing that we tend to find ourselves talking a lot about in this podcast is just being people and being good people. And you know, I think with that comes down to in situations like these, this is, I can I even do this when I, when I parent my kids is do your best to be humble and apologize when you make mistakes or renew, you know, embarrass yourself somehow and you know, and, and to call out good work early and often. And sometimes it's best done just an email.
Kris Van Houten - 13:03 - You know, you don't have to do that publicly to, you know, because some people don't like to be called out publicly. Let's just be honest. I don't. And, but one thing I have done a few times in the past, and it's one of those things that I need to do more often, is to just like if I have a developer on my team who's doing excellent work, just send them a private email, two paragraphs, just say, Hey, I've noticed you've been working your butt off doing great work here. I want you to know, like, I noticed that and I want to encourage you to keep going and if I can ever help you grow in any of these areas, please reach out because you're excellent. I want you to be happy here and I want you to continue to, to, to develop and all your skill sets. And I've done that a few times and each time it's just, I've gotten responses back or just had a conversation with those people later on that where it's just, I can tell it made it, it made a difference in their month, if not their, their quarter of the year. Because there's like are like, I have someone noticed that, you know.
Kris Van Houten - 13:58 - And so, you know, while we want to influence people to do good work and to write clean, clean code and all that stuff, we also want them to be motivated to do that and I think that's a huge part of our culture that we can work on influencing those around us to be a part of what we fail. Sure. But, you know, get back up and try again. Oh, well, what about you Brandon? You got anything that, that we're all missing out on?
Brandon Williams - 14:25 - Uh, I'm just kind of curious because you guys both mentioned like writing clean code, writing tests like these practices and the technology. Does that, is that what's driving the culture change or is it the other stuff that you spent most of your time talking about? Like, um, you know, just encouraging them and sending them that positive email of gratitude and encouragement, like that kind of stuff.
Kris Van Houten - 14:48 - So you're asking like what strives which rob?
Brandon Williams - 14:50 - Yeah, like it is, is the, um, what kind of, what kind of culture change or culture shifting are we talking about? Like is it the technology culture shift or does, does technology play a role in shifting the culture or is it all the. All the soft skills around around that?
Toran Billups - 15:08 - Yeah. I'll jump in over Kris here real quick because I mean Kris may have the other side of the coin here, but mine was definitely a technology helped drive something that was still a people change that Kris mentioned and in my example, a testing or the test runner, you know, might be the implementation that we're talking about, but what that unlocked was, you know, people had this new tool and it was fast feedback and the way that I sold that as part of that culture shift was not a. How you traditionally hear TDD is when people bring it to a company and it's all about the agile coaches are the XP practices and sort of the dogma. I, I realized obviously that was not going to work.
Toran Billups - 16:45 - And the upside of that was you don't really need to sell religion when it's 10 seconds versus 60. It's a no brainer as ultimately to Brandon's point, that was technology that drove the culture change, but the people eventually bought in and we could have switched, you know, test runners and ultimately, as you guys know, doing tdd years later, you know, it kind of teaches you the engineering practices and those are great things. But you may not hold to that religion every single time you, you jump into a text editor unnecessarily.
Kris Van Houten - 17:12 - Yeah. I think what I, what I want to call out with all this stuff is that it's really easy and good to call out like the, the technological improvements we can make to make our workflow better. And I think those things are awesome. And I think that one thing that if he spent a lot of podcasts and articles I read is that people will stop and don't always necessarily noticed that the people that they're working with are also people. And, you know, we spend, you know, I probably spend more time working than I actually get to spend with my family, uh, a lot of time because I work 40 hours a week, I get off work, have dinner, get the kids to bed. Then it's like, you know, we're, I'm just relaxing for the rest of the evening, but it's like I spend a lot of time working with these people and if they're not happy it shows and if I'm not happy it rubs off on them. And so, you know, I think influencing culture can be the technological side of what we're doing, which, which we would do our best to improve like Toran.
Kris Van Houten - 18:09 - So like reducing those, those feedback loops and stuff at that. I think that's huge for, for motivating the people that we work with. But also understanding that people are also, uh, you know, going through their issues at the roan and sometimes outside of work and they don't have an outlet to, to work through similar situations. You know, my mom, a couple of years ago just had this, had this phrase that she said to me that, that has stuck with me ever since, this is like four and a half years ago. She said this to me is that, you know, everyone's going through something so it'd be gentle and, and it's something I think about when I think about the people I work with, you know, they get stressed, they get angry, they have stuff going on at home with their families and, and I want to do my best to help them be relaxed people, to be happy people, to be people who don't see work as just this grudging and frustrating thing
Kris Van Houten - 19:06 - and they have to do every single day because happy developers, motivated, motivated developers produce better work and they are more excited to do, to produce good work. And so that's something that, you know, I just tried to call out on the side is that, you know, let's also focus on the people and not just, you know, the technology that they're working in.
Brandon Williams - 19:26 - Yeah. I'm going, going back to what Toran said, um, I, I really agree like, um, that the technology actually helped drive the culture shift. So, uh, for example, when I, when I started, where I'm, where I'm at right now, um, we had zero tests and just thousands of lines of code, um, and I just found a bug and I said, hey guys, can I, can I show you how to write some tests? Because they just weren't familiar with that. So I showed them, hey, this is how it's currently working. Um, this is wrong. And so I'll tweak the test to be the right, correct. The assertion, and then I'll go change the production code. And then I said, now every single time we push into master this will this whole run and make sure that, you know, if somebody else comes in here and as another feature that we'd never break this. We never break this functionality as it's supposed to work again, type of a thing.
Brandon Williams - 20:22 - Um, and we just, I saw that, you know, we, it took a long time. It's taken a while to just everybody to start to see it. But now it's, it's really awesome and that, um, several guys in the team will say, hey, that one really bit us, how can we write a test to make sure that that never happens again? And that like the days that that happens, I'm like, yes, we're making good, good changes for the culture and we're not. Um, the, the problem was like we just, we didn't realize how many little broken windows we had in our neighborhood and so we just started cleaning them up one at a time, just one percent better every single day. And, um, I, I just, I just, I look now at where we are and just think, wow, what an amazing shift we've made, um, to be able to. I feel like we're starting to gather some momentum and we're just ready to charge forward and unleash all the potential of what our team can accomplish just by some very small things.
Toran Billups - 21:24 - I want to jump in there Brandon because I think you're a pro tip is lead by example. That's what you were just describing. You came in and he said, hey, uh, this is something, I think it's going to help keep our product more sustainable and here's how you do it. And over many months, your example to cold. And I think that's really the secret to the whole culture shift idea, right, is have somebody who's willing to step up and then Kris's example be the positive person on the team and in Brandon's example, show people something they haven't seen before and show them the value that it brings, which is really cool. One of the things that, uh, is maybe secondary to these two ideas you guys are talking about is like, how do you open someone's mind, you know, to a new idea. So Brandon just said like, oh, I TDD and I know you like, glossed over all the painful like, but more like we've all had the TDD, but why?
Toran Billups - 22:18 - Like, and one of the things I remember when, uh, I was culture shifting at this company a while back that I thought was a really cool idea and Kris, Kris was part of it. So I'll have him sing my praises as always. But what we started a book club and we read clean code by Uncle Bob and some good and some bad in that book of course. But uh, what the book really helped us do was, was kind of culturally heal from this reactive culture to one that thought about the craftsman, the craftsmanship ideas that are really in software and I think are good ideas. Uh, and ultimately we went through that book, you know, a chapter a week. And so there's kind of the built in timeline where people are kind of following with you. They kind of feel guilty, you know, if they don't come to the book club meeting and read up. Um, but Kris, you were, you were a part of that, you know, what did the bookclub bring for you and what kind of impact did it have that was more of a lasting impact, if any when I left.
Kris Van Houten - 23:12 - Yeah, I mean, so on a number of things I would say to that, you know, for one, uh, as I've probably stayed in the past like I'm, I'm a self taught developer and you know, as a self taught person, I've always, for some reason or another I've got on this track of always really valuing clean code and code is easy to read, but I never really knew outside of like what I just learned from my past experience, like what that actually looked like. And so to actually sit down and have a book where like that was the whole point of the book was to teach you some ways to write clean code. I hopped on that because I didn't know a book like this was even available. Uh, but you know, the book club for me at least, especially this book in particular was super helpful because it actually helps me to work through some assumptions that I just, I just always thought were a given.
Kris Van Houten - 24:08 - And I know, you know, one of the controversial things that I came across was like I'd always been very. Had a very strong conviction will say about like, you should always write comments in your code so that way someone who might be new to the team can come through and read your comments and understand what's going on. And I this book just in one chapter, like totally just rip that, that idea away from me. It was like, what if you just write your code in such a way that it's so easy to read it, you don't need comments because your comments were the first thing. They get outdated anyways and nobody ever goes back and rewrites them and eh to, to, to boot. And so I was like, well that's actually really true. I don't know if I've actually ever gone in there, rewritten a comment after I went in and changed the code.
Kris Van Houten - 24:52 - So. And that just made a lot of sense and it's like, what's nice is that now, since we had that book club, the people who went through that book with us, I see all those things that we learned in that book being displayed in the code that they write. When I'm looking at their PRs and I'm like, Oh, I see what you did there are you, you remember what we learned together, but, you know, even beyond books about code and I know I feel like I'm the person who's talking about like take care of the people on this episode. But I just think he had his picture in my mind, uh, when we had one of our team meetings and this was months and months ago. One of the other developers on a totally separate team was like praising book clubs at our company and they actually as a team went through this book on practicing empathy together and, and, uh, and practicing empathy as a team, as a company.
Kris Van Houten - 25:50 - And like she was up there on stage crying or shedding tears because of like what this book has impacted in their, in their team and as they work with other teams in the company and how it's been so beneficial and so educational for them. And I just like, Whoa, this isn't just about learning code. Like this is about helping people be better people. And you know, in a lot of this, you know, I don't know if her book club, that booklet that she was a part of was started because of the book called that, that, that Toran has started, but you know, since then we've had other teams come in and say like, Hey, like we want to learn high school together so we can learn what other languages do to solve certain problems. And it's definitely been one of those things that's caught on and you know, and we're about to start up another book club around like building, you know, larger scale applications. And so like that's, that's another thing we're going to get to learn collectively and implement collectively. So I'm excited to see what we do there. And so yeah, I mean book clubs where a good place to start because you know, you don't have to be the expert to be the one to comes in and teaches this topic, but you can learn it together and you know, you don't have to be the pro on the team in that area. So yeah, I'm, I'm a big fan of book clubs.
Brandon Williams - 26:59 - So what you guys have been describing is something that we call shared experiences at work and it's a great way for, like you guys just described building that trust, she trusted you guys enough to get up on stage and shed some tears. That's a very vulnerable place to be. And so we do shared experiences once a month, the whole company gets together and we have a lunch. And the idea is that you sit with people outside of the area that, um, where you work and you just break bread together and you, um, and as you're eating that meal, you're, you're experiencing life and just building that trust with each other. We also do one, one, one, one day a month we go out with just our immediate team just again to, to eat a meal and to, um, just to remind ourselves like, hey, we're all, we're all just people and this is all just a, all just technologists.
Brandon Williams - 27:55 - And we're here trying to do our best to do our job too. Um, as professionally as we can and to help is most the most people that we can. Um, and at the end of the day we can only move as fast as we trust each other. So having those very intentional shared experiences, just like, you know, book club is just one of those ways that you can do that look for, you don't have to do, um, a whole team or a team lunch or you don't have to do a whole company lunch, try and figure out what those shared experiences are for you and your company so that you can accelerate your, um, the trust and just, and have those experiences together.
Toran Billups - 28:39 - Yeah, I have to chime in because Brandon didn't, didn't share one of the fun experiences we had together that really solidifies why this is important in my mind. For those who don't know, Brandon and I actually don't live in the same town anymore. In fact, he's moved away, uh, you know, tear moment for me. But, uh, you know, Brandon and I had these shared experiences so many times and for so many years that I consider him like one of my very best friends and family. And that I think is the result of these shared experiences is that the trust, everything built up, you would go through war, you will go through hell with these people essentially because they are family, you'll do anything for them. Um, we should may not say about everyone you've ever worked with, but the shared experiences can improve that process even though you may join a team and on day one thing, uh, I don't know if this is the team, the team that I was sold or the team that I thought I wanted to join.
Toran Billups - 29:29 - Well, a year later through several, several shared experiences. You may think differently as Kris was saying, these are people and you're going to get close to these people and maybe those experiences will help. The one that I'll throw out as a pro tip is like mobbing. If you haven't heard of mobbing, it's kind of like pair programming to the Max. And the funny story that I'll share that Brandon was involved in years ago, I came back from this Django conference. And as usual, you know, you come back from a conference a little hyped up and for some reason I went to the scaling talk where they mentioned this Django library called Johnny cash and at the time, this is years ago, but Django, one six came out. And so when I came back to the team, I was of course all hyped up selling this Johnny Cash thing. And the team's like, well let's figure it out.
Toran Billups - 30:13 - And we, you know, we're used to doing this sort of mobbing environment. And what this looks like is I just get in front of the computer, there's four or five other people. The team behind me heckling me as I'm, as I'm trying to install this live coding the nightmare edition. That's what this is. And what's even worse about this Johnny Cash Library as I wrap up here, is it just didn't work with Django. One six, which is this hilarious that like I left the conference all hyped up telling these guys about how awesome it was. And there was like. But it doesn't work with Django one six, which wasn't like a Beta or anything. This was like a stable release, so that was one of those failed, but great shared experiences
Brandon Williams - 30:53 - during that time, like we were, we were heckling him and that's probably a nice way to put it was heckling. It was, it was pretty brutal. But man, we were laughing and we were laughing so hard we were crying and um, just that like we all, whenever that team gets back together, that is one of the moments that we remember and just, um, that, that shared experience just really bonded us as, as a group of, um, group of technologists and as a team. So it was really cool.
Kris Van Houten - 31:22 - Nice.
Toran Billups - 31:25 - Kris, do you have any sage advice to wrap us up before we jump into our big wins?
Kris Van Houten - 31:29 - Oh, sage don't, don't put me on the spot man.
Toran Billups - 31:34 - um, anything we haven't touched on yet, you know, nothing I can really think of.
Toran Billups - 31:39 - You know, I, there's always more we could cover on this topic, but I think that's a good spot to stop for them for the evening. So he has always wanted some.
Kris Van Houten - 31:48 - Yeah. What's your big win? So I know like this whole episode I had just been like Mr Hartz in let's just be the loving person, but honestly, it's something that I've been wrestling with lately and you know, I, I flew down to Austin, the company I work for is located down here to take part in some meetings this week and to talk about some really, you know, crucial, critical stuff that we're, we're, we're working on and trying to implement and solve and just noticed that like, my outlook was just super negative, super pessimistic and borderline like anger and it was like 12:30 last night to the center and trying to prep some notes for this meeting and dislike, how to do a heart check. I was like, why am I so angry about this? And, you know, I was able to identify some reasons why just, you know, because working with this team, working with this code base that this had been a frustrating. Not because the people, but just because, you know, there's been bugs, there's been delays and so on and so forth.
Kris Van Houten - 32:45 - And that's kind of like painted this bad picture of this project. Uh, in my head and, but then I had to sit back and think like, well, is that, is the code bad? Is the project bad? Is the vision of this product bad? It's like, no, like this is actually the best way to solve these problems that were coming across and has had. It's like humbling moment where I was just like, why am I being such a jerk about this and why am I being so negative? And I just had to like have that, that, that moment where I had to reconcile that with myself and you know, and I was planning on coming to these meetings today and just being like this grumpy who just saying that, you know, this is a horrible idea. We shouldn't be doing this because of the frustration that has caused me in the past. But, you know, thankfully I was able to kind of get my head out of my butt last night and just think about, you know, let's actually push this project forward and how can I actually contribute to solving some of the problems that they have?
Kris Van Houten - 33:40 - And is this, is this like a total mind shift for me and I'm thankful that I was able to have that recollection, you know, late last night before I crashed for the evening, but it just made those, those meetings go so much better today. I was actually able to talk to someone developers today to see, hey, like how can I help and what are some areas that my skillset would be useful with what you guys are trying to do and just resulted in such a better outcome. And so just. Yeah. And so I think that's one reason why I'm just thinking a lot about that in particular this episode is like let's focus on the people because we need to make sure that our team is taken care of and that we, we care about the people that we work with 40, 50 hours a week. So that's not a big wind windows. Just having that, that clarity to and humility just to kind of sit back and be like, Yo, quit being an idiot. So that's what I got. What about you guys?
Brandon Williams - 34:36 - Uh, so my big win is I really enjoy doing internal trainings and teachings and stuff like that and um, I guess it's gotten noticed. One of my leaders wants to send me to a training on how to do better training. So I'm really excited about that. Um, the opportunity to go do that and to see how I can improve how I, how I train and teach people and mentor. Um, so that's, I'm really looking forward to that, to that experience.
Toran Billups - 35:10 - Awesome. That's awesome. Yeah. My, a big win is kind of a result of you guys and the show and that is you. You guys have influenced me to be a intentional reader this year and reading books, you know, outside of my wheel house and the one I'm going to recommend that, gosh, I wish I'd read this years ago now is crucial conversations and we reference it occasionally on the show, but if you have not read this or you're just not aware of it, uh, it's sort of a, a great way to think about how to approach those conversations. You probably dread with a manager or a coworker just because of the anxiety or the fear that you know, you've built up this story in your head. This is one of the examples anyway, is that we often tell ourselves a story that's just not true and the book kind of helps you recognize this and gives you some ideas on how to deal with us.
Toran Billups - 36:03 - Generally, I would recommend this to any team that's just forming a. It helps you kind of think about other people like Kris was talking about, uh, but also, uh, you know, how to deal with yourself, which I've learned. Uh, my, the famous joke is that like, I'm impossible to work with now. I'm just like a monster. So anyway, be prepared for that. The book will challenge you and I want to thank you guys for challenging me to be a bigger reader this year and dive into books that are outside of my comfort zone. So that's awesome man. Thank you guys for coming out and we'll check everybody out next week.
Brandon Williams - 36:34 - See you guys later.
Kris Van Houten - 36:34 - Okay