Developer Relations and Education with Jasmine Green and Cecil Philip

Developer Relations and Education with Jasmine Green and Cecil Philip

July 12, 2019 0 By Bernardo Ryan



this episode of the dotnet car podcast is supported in part by productivity in tech if you're a developer that wants to share your knowledge with the community let Pitt's help you pit's or productivity in tech focuses on developer creators they use state-of-the-art editing tools to make your content look and sound great if you need help getting your show content off the ground their consulting services will help you answer any questions you have about starting a podcast creating or maintaining a YouTube channel running a newsletter creating and hosting online courses and many more if you just need or want to save time or increase the amount of content that you produce Pitt is the answer productivity in tech was started in 2016 by podcaster Jay Miller Jay has helped many podcasting content creators with their shows including this one you'll have noticed that most of the episodes of this show have transcriptions that's all thanks to Pitt the long and short of it is I send them the 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the things that microsoft are doing to help us develop us keep our skills shop and our own experiences on being on both sides of the lectern so let's sit back open up a terminal type in donating podcast and let the show begin so first of all I'd like to thank you both jasmine and sessile for being on the show today I appreciate you very busy people and taking the time out to talk with me and the listeners I really appreciate that thank you ever so much sure no problem at all thank you fantastic okay fantastic um so I thought maybe we could start with a little bit of introduction if that's okay so maybe you know maybe you could introduce yourself to the listeners in case they haven't heard of some of the work you do or that kind of thing is that okay sure um my name is Jasmine Greenaway I'm a cloud advocate at Microsoft focusing on the education audience in developer relations and just like Jasmine I'm also a cloud developer advocate at Microsoft also on the same team focusing on you know making sure that we you know we support academics and you know some of that educational side of things fantastic it's great to have you both on the show it's hopefully gonna be a very interesting talk a little bit different to what we normally talk about but I think that you know education and academia is very important to all of us regardless of whether we came from a so I came from a purely academic background so I went to university instead of computer science not everyone does that these days you know there's a lot of people who will be who are self-taught and a lot of people who go to code camps and a lot of people just sort of pick it up as they go along and all of that is fantastic and perfect my phone but yeah I like their we're gonna talk a little bit about the academia side of it I guess well I guess when we get around to discussing what what it is that you know you know your job role entails I guess we'll get a little bit more more into or that insurance definitely you know actually I'd love to hear if you could tell us what exactly got you into technology oh now this is an interesting question I like this turn the tables yeah interviewing the interviewer yeah I like it so for me I would have been a bet I would to say seven or eight yeah seven or eight years old and I came home from school one day and my parents had bought me and I'm gonna drop the name of the the device but I don't think you you'll have heard of it simply because it was a very it's a British brand of computer it's an Amstrad CPC for six for no I haven't heard about that one Daisy so this would have this would have been in the very early 90s I mean they came out in the early 80s but you know we got on secondhand when everyone that sort of had enough of using them but this was essentially you know the how like the ZX spectrum the ZX spectrum was a computer inside of a keyboard yeah this is the same kind of deal except there was a tape deck attached to the keyboard on the right hand side of the number pad oh okay that's interesting and this thing came with a book on basic their version of basic that are used and lots of exercises and lots of things to do and essentially one rainy summer afternoon because you know a British and it always rains in there in the summer we set up the computer and I just sat there typing all day learning how to use this computer and I ended up creating also verbal programs that you know the traditional sort of 10 print go to 20 20 go to 10 sorry we just I essentially started with that and then worked up to having a stick figure on screen and animating that moving around on screen and essentially I fell in love with a there's this machine here and I can make it do stuff that's awesome so you know the reason I wanted to ask you that question was because I always find it interesting to hear like the you know the genesis stories from a lot of people because everybody has such a different path that they took to get to where they are today and as I was interested to hear hey I you know I wanted to build games or you know I was a I was a music teacher or math teacher or you know whatever the case is right and I kind of found my way into technology and I think I think that's important to to recognize and respect to because you know that that kind of helps us understand the way that people are learning about technology and software development and obviously some of the tools that we make at Microsoft and it helps us understand like what can we best do so those types of people mmm definitely that makes a lot of sense and it also helps with say if I'm working on a team and I know that obviously I came from an academic background like I said earlier I took computer science at University so I know sort of the math side of things I know how it should work whereas I might be working with someone who came from a a code camp and I might be working with someone else who is completely self-taught so I know that I don't necessary to maybe acknowledge that and appreciate that when I'm communicating with them about technical points of view in technical issues and you know I may I may be able to get away with saying hey I think we we should we should use a bubble sort here or maybe I can't get away with it because maybe the best new self-taught doesn't know what bubble sort is or maybe and you know I don't want to pick on them maybe the person who went to the cur camp doesn't know what a powerful sword is I don't know I've never been to a code camp so I don't know what kind of things people get taught and I don't know what kind of tools that people have experience with so yeah I think it's a great idea this sort of getting to know that person's origin stories and then you can understand that point of view of where they're coming from sure for sure Jasmine how did you um how did you get started um so for me I came from actually quite a number of people from the myspace age when you could customize your social network site so for me it was myspace LiveJournal and xanga and then some engineers and people in the industry that I know also used this one called Neopets it's kind of like you take care of your own pet on this online platform and play games to earn like all kinds of points to like dress up your pets and stuff like that so I started from there but it wasn't like a long term like it wasn't a career option that I was thinking about until I got to university and I a minor in computer science because the degree I was going for gave me I wanted to give me a better competitive edge when I graduated from college and I like this computer science better so I majored in computer science or in sophomore engineering so James you mentioned something very interesting about about a the learning you know working in the team and talking about the backgrounds that they might have come from so for me because I was I didn't my major in software engineering I was kind of so a lot of my coursework was centered around not only CS theory or computer science theory but also centered on project management things like testing I had a class on like designing software and so things like so things like we like bubbles what we briefly touched on but we never really got like full you know full in depth like understanding but you know I know it's something that exists so I yeah I find it very interesting working with different teams that people have different backgrounds including in the open source world because it's really fascinating to see how people learn in like their path and how their path has brought them to where we are in the you know in this code base or code review definitely yeah I mean everyone has a role to play in in the modern tech space and everyone's opinion is equally valid so let's bring everyone together appreciating where we've all come from and appreciate our backgrounds and you know because we're all after the same goal right so you know we're we're on a team to create products for people to use you know and I think it's in the Phoenix project one of the characters there met say is essentially what we are making has no value until it gets into the customers hands so let's do that and then worry about any sort of friction that we may have or something let's figure out a way of working together as a team appreciating everyone's background and appreciating where we've all come from and taking on board everyone's opinions and see what we can do and make this amazing product and ship it to the customer yeah oh so so what about your background so when I first got into computers I was in high school and like my school didn't have computers or you know computer science program and anything like that and so my dad he brought home this ol Compaq Presario like yes you know I don't remember these old you know the compact lines of computers mm-hmm but you know essentially those were the days when like you bought a computer and it came with like a set of books even okay and in one of those books there was this thing about like HTML and creating your first web page and so you know was one summer and I was bored and you know I started going through this book and I think one of the first exercises worse for you to you know create like an H tag or something like that and then you put your name on the screen and you know I did it it was super quick I did it it literally I did it in notepad and like it was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen right because Here I am like with this foreign machine right and I just put my name on the screen I thought it was the most exciting thing in the world so I'm calling my friends on the phone telling me yo you need to come over like my names on a computer you need to come see this you know I mean come over I'll put your name on the computer too like it was you know like looking back at it obviously it sounds like super trivial but you know at that moment like I felt like so empowered and just so excited about it and again like we didn't have like a computer science curriculum or even computers in school at time so I was you know whenever my family would like leave auntie and visit the United States or somewhere else like they'd bring me back books and I just you know whatever it is that they brought me back like I just ingests that material until eventually I was able to go to college and do computer science that's awesome so accessible and I have also taught and taught computer computer science classes at our respective communities and and colleges near where we you know where we live so I'm based in New York and sessle's based in Florida and I feel like sessile probably can also speak to this I really love when you know we want we when I'm working with students and we walk through like an example and you know it's time for them to try out this thing that we just learned and to seeing their face light up saying hey when I figured it out my goodness I do this my computer can do this it's always a gratifying experience and always great to see them you know start from you know being very nervous and anxious about not you know they're like is a lot of math do you know do you have to you have to be there like you have to be super smart to do this and you know really just breaking it down and showing them you know from you know part part one to part whatever like you know just teaching them these building blocks and you know and to get to this point where you know whether it's like entire like a website or something even as small as just like getting like Tesla was talking about getting you're like putting your name on like a site or a program so yeah so has any more about that or more on that yeah I think it's amazing and like extremely gratifying to see the eyes of your students light up or you know whether it's your students or your family member or somebody that's just you know happens to be sitting down next to you at the computer being able to see they're their eyes light up and like the excitement and the joy of like wow I just did this yeah that's extremely motivating for me particularly to like even up to this moment today I'm like I think about you know the different students that we work with and you know some of the things that we can to help them go through and it makes me very humble and appreciative of that factor because you know you think as professional developer so to speak like we're in this every day and we see these things and you know something's basic is doing stuff in a command line or you know like firing up is your studio or visual studio code but for them this is like it's like magic right like they don't understand how this works that I've never seen a lot of these pieces before mm-hmm to see the new excitement gets me even more excited to go back to work and do you know do you more my job yeah I can I could totally appreciate that for a short while after University I worked as a maths teacher and I like to use the phrase empowering but I worry that it it's not the right phrase but when you're able to sort of impart some knowledge on to someone and they go hey wait I think I get it and then they do it for themselves they take that knowledge they apply in their own way and find the answer or in this case they take the knowledge that you've imparted on the example you gave was less credit tag and put your name in the computer it doesn't like you said it doesn't sound like a lot to us but to someone who has never known how to do that someone who's never never been given the chance to do anything like that it is it's magic you know and it's wonderful just watching them light up and and then they instantly start thinking of other possibilities now obviously just fitting your name inside of a H tag isn't going to come up you know you may be not going to come up with the greatest set of possibilities ever but I remember when I was at university we had a small hackathon where someone had managed to use some c-sharp library to control characters in an Unreal Tournament game and when they announced that in the lecture somebody went oh my god I can create Solid Snake and have him sort of sneak around against the walls and it's that those moments where someone just goes wow this is a fantastic idea and I'm so excited that it's it's magic I really think that kind of highlights how us as an industry like we need to pay more attention to like the generation that kind of follows us right and I think things like mentors are very important and you know people just being able to spend their time with you and have conversations with you about these are the mistakes that I made unlike this is a journey that I went through you know I think it's important for us to not only give them guidance and encouragement but also just you know be it ear to listen right beer to listen them to for you to understand you know this is how things are different for me today as I'm building software I kind of realize you know how we as a community can kind of come together and like help all of us like elevate together yeah I agree you know back when I was you know tinkering around on like MySpace and LiveJournal there wasn't many you know resources available to me to like learn how to you know do the same stuff like you know I didn't I wasn't even realizing that there's like books and things like that but now like you know it's very easy to have access or there's lots of access to different types of technologies that anyone can learn but that's only part of it you know like how you know how do you so you can learn the what you know learn a language or learn technology but then comes part of learning how to work with a team work with you know learn how to communicate efficiently look how to learn how to you know work productively when you're working from home and things like that and it's really great to have like somebody who you can go to and talk to you and you know kind of have these like discussions you know outside of you know just like what technology can do for you yeah for sure hey Jamie how did you get into teaching like I'd love to hear her how that started I'd always wanted to teach something because I've always it's that moment you know I mean you've touched you both touched on it earlier on where you say you know you impart this knowledge and they ignites a spark and somebody you can use you I think you both use the phrase you see it in their eyes you know you can you can see this sort of thing lighting up in their face and they go oh my goodness I've just yeah and it is it's you're imparting this knowledge and saying this is how you can do this thing and you can do that in almost anything you do with maths you can do with computers you do with technology you can do with language you can do with anything here is how to do a thing and here is some knowledge and go go change the world with this knowledge that you have or pray this thing go be creative with it and and if I'm honest I really love that moment when I'm able to say to someone hey this is a thing go do it so earlier this week I was saying to my son about him how he asked me why are Rockets so big why are these space Rockets so big if the people who get in them are so small and I said well you know most of it is is fuel you know and when it can win so I got I got what I did was I went and got two bottles of milk one was a one was an empty bottle and one was full of milk and I said lift the empty bottle can you see how it's really easy there's no effort required now lift the full bottle and you know he's quite young so lifting it was quite hard on you he was restraining a lot and I said did you notice how you had to put more energy into lifting the heavy bottle yes well the rocket is kind of like that full bottle in there you have to push really hard to make it go really high so to create that big that push we put loads of fuel into it and burn the fuel which creates the fire which pushes it up but it needs to be so big to contain all of this fuel when actually like he said you know the the the spaceman the Airbus and that's what he said the spaceman a really small and only sit right at the front so then as as the rocket starts to lift up and all this LS fuel gets burnt there are parts that are now empty because there's no fuel so they just detach or fall back to earth but because it's been pushed and then we went outside and we pushed a big rock and and I said when you let go when you stop pushing it will keep going wouldn't it oh yeah well that's what's happening with this rocking now that the fire is going to it's still pushing up a little bit and it just needs to push really hard to beat a thing called gravity and then to explain what gravity was I went and grabbed an apple and they said what do you think will happen when I drop the Apple he said it will fall to the floor and then they explained how the gravity helps – is sort of a it's a it's an invisible force which helps us to stay on the ground so we have to push really hard against gravity to get the Apple to go up and I got him to throw the the Apple up in the air a few times – for him to figure out how much energy he his arm had to exert to throw the book throw the Apple and I said imagine I said please don't but imagine how how hard you would have to lift and throw the the milk bottle you know that milk container full of how much effort you would have to that's essentially what a what a rocket is doing when it sets off and he's his eyes all lit up and he was like wow it's it's it's no longer magic I understand how it works and he was walking around the house lifting things up and putting them back down to see how much effort it required to lift them up and just watching him sort of explore his world this new thing has opened up this new understanding of how something works and he came over and he lifted up my I have a bottle that I have water in because I'm always drinking water he left did that happen he went no it's nearly empty that's really light and then ten minutes later when it was falling in and I'm drinking from it he came over took it out of my hands and was lifting it up and downing it and he's oh well that's that's heavier now I understand that that's heavier so that means I have to lift her further that's because gravity's pulling you down harder and it just it just all clicked for him and I love those moments just watching someone figure out how it all fits together yeah it's amazing man it's it's it's truly a blessing to to be a part of their it to be a part of somebody's learning experience and to give them the tools or even just a spark that they need to kind of take that information and just go ahead and create like amazing things with it yeah I really like or everyone so well notice that like moment when they get it you kind of like see it on their face a little bit sometimes agree yes it's almost like an adrenaline rush for yourself seeing it happen it's it is amazing and I wouldn't change you for anything you know anytime someone asks me especially if it's people who are I don't know what it is there were there are certain topics that you can help someone understand that they just kind of they go in and it's like yep no I understand that now I'm gonna go and do whatever it was I was doing but then there are certain topics that no matter who you speak to about it there will always be that moment that that recognition that spark in the eye that change in the behavior that makes them get really excited that well I'll just learnt this thing and it happens more I think with younger so maybe I see a lot more with people who are younger than 16 years old I don't see it so much with adults I guess but definitely with children but yeah you can get that you can get that experience from anyone and and for me at the very least it's a bit of an adrenaline rush this where I'll just help to change this person's life because we have you know like you were saying Cecily you know I put my name in the computer and then I told my friends to come over you were excited to show your friends and more than likely they were excited to see it too and then you've changed your life you've changed the lives of your friends and then you were saying when your relatives would come home with all of these books for you to read that would change your life too and it's it's this whole almost like an economy of constantly changing everyone's life constantly improving people's lives and it's just amazing yeah one of the things I love to say is that learning is very much of a social exercise like when I think about how I used to learn like back when I was in high school right it was you know how to leave my house I had to walk to the library and then when you got into a library like you had to go find the book then you had to go sit in the corner and be quiet right and he had to read this book right you could make any noise and want to disturb anybody and I always thought that that was weird right because you know I go to school with like a group of people right a group of students who work with kids or whatever and we're all learning together and we're talking and we're asking questions and I'm listening to other people ask questions and their questions are spark my questions you know I mean and it's very much of a community type setting right and I think even today like that's that's how we should we should always approach learning if you might know something that I don't know and I don't know something that you might not know but we could bring them together and we could share our experiences and we could solve the problem or create something new and really interesting and so that's why I'm always interested in in like connecting those dots right like I always try to encourage students to you know work together on projects and you know share your code that's cool that's fine put your stuff on github you know if you're not sure about something go ahead and s like it's totally fine to ask um you know ask as many times as you need and like no question is a silly question as long as I could give you or you know whoever it is can give you the tools to be able to take that next step forward and solving whatever problem is that you're trying to solve you know and I think that's one thing we we don't do a tremendously good job as a software engineers you know like when you think about like you go to our company like as a junior developer at some companies do this some companies don't but I find in general like when you go to a company it's just like hey I'm a junior developer and like the senior guy might show you how to get your account set up and you know where the software is and dah dah dah but what it really comes down to patterns and practices and you know this is you know don't do this don't do that like I don't find we do a really good job at that and so I think that's one of the things too York you'll see like me and jasmine and our team like we're trying to create a place and an experience for students where they feel like they do have somebody that they could talk to in a place that they could ask questions and not feel ridiculed by ador a place where it's it's very low stress you know I mean like your job is not dependent on you knowing these things that you're asking me about and then we can have a very common relaxing conversation again without you feeling the pressures of of ridicule or work or timelines or anything of that nature yeah I agree you know just talking thinking about my experience you know coming out of university a lot of the things that I know now I learned you know on the job you know um university prepped me you know a bit but I learned like things like you know get on the jaw I write mostly c-sharp and I didn't really learn that until maybe like a year into a year after I graduated and that's why and for me part of the thing that I really like could do mi team is attend hackathons so we'll usually you know if a few of us from the team will go to these hackathons as mentors and like help students like you know help set up their development environment help them show them how to set up their repo so they can you know collaborate together and things like that or even API questions or even pointing them to Docs because you know it's so easy you know you say I want to start this thing I want to get started but sometimes you don't you're not sure if you have all the tools that you need or all the information that you need to get started so um part so part of reasons why I love like going to hackathons and showing them like here try this path try try this thing and I kind of you know giving them that push they need to you know get to that the next point in their project that they want to be I know that I've been to a few hackathons over here in the UK but mostly as a person trying to win I haven't had a chance to be the sort of mentor I think maybe the next hackathon I attend I'll ask whether I can help out rather than to see whether I can build something kiss you I think that would be quite useful even if I'm just walking around going hey do you need anything you know is there anything I can help with just being there just sort of bounce an idea off of maybe just do some I used the phrase rubber duck debugging I know that one of the people I work with at the moment calls it plastic programming or cardboard programming in that you could replace the person you're talking to with a cardboard cutout in the same inning you can replace the person you're talking to with a rubber duck because all you're doing is just sounding the problem and trying to figure out the solution and you know I love that when someone's talking to me and they're trying to figure it out and then they'll stop themselves partway through the sentence ago thanks Jamie and walk away and I'm like okay I didn't do anything here but yeah okay I'll take that yes so Jazmin you're in New York right and I know New York has tons of hackathons and events and things like that and you know one of the things I often hear here in Florida is like how do you know about these things and how do you find out about events and user groups and hackathons and and those types of things that I can get involved with so so like in New York specifically like how do you find out about these things so specifically in New York I do not have an answer for that thankfully on our team we have some amazing people who are able to find a lot of these hackathons that you know I that I learned from them but for me my main source has been this site called dev post because they have remote and they also have in-person hackathons that you can enter so that's yeah that's my my main source but do you have any resources on or either you have any resources on where I where I can find more hackathons I know for me it's always been a case of like with education and our industry needing to be very social you know I think a part of that too is is one kind of just putting yourself out there right but but letting people know that you want to be found which is might be a little bit of a weird thing to say but you know I'll show you for instance I started with going like local user groups and I found out because you know I was out one day and I you know there was this conference it was free I went to the conference spoke to some folks that were there I've never been before site you know these are all new faces and new people to me and they're like oh yeah we have this group in that group and this group and that group man I learned about all of these things that were happening but again me and my job and my eight to five bubble had no idea about any of these things but like the minute I stepped outside of that like I started to find out about all this stuff that was going on so you know that led to oh here's these hackathon Oh Headley here here are these startups and here are these schools and like all of those types of things so I think it just takes like a little bit of effort like stead of step out a little bit I think meetup.com is a good site that you know a lot of us use a lot of time you know newsletters and I'll also say like based on whatever your focus might be so maybe your focus is reactor learning or you know docker and kubernetes and things of that nature go online and just you know do a quick web search and see what's happening particularly near area cuz most of these things are always online there's online registrations and things of that nature and they're also looking for volunteers a lot of those happens to and volunteering is a great way to just kind of introduce yourself into that in your environment right like let me come in and kind of help set it up or you know help talk to folks or mentor or anything like that and then that'll just kind of help get your feet wet and help you understand like what exactly does it mean for me to be a part of this environment definitely um well I like to find out that giving talks is a great way to do it as well because you're taking the knowledge and experience you have and you're showing how you've applied it to solve ace you know a specific set of problems I mean you don't have to give a talk on here is this brand new technology and I'm going to show you in the live demo and hope that the Paris that they are smiling at me so that my life demo works you can just sort of stand there and say so we had this problem and we decided we needed to use docker and I've never used docker before so I went learning how to use docker and here's how I use docker to solve this problem I said talk on way too many times though but you know that kind of I've used this technology to solve this problem and this is how I did it versus this is how the the docs say you should do it because you know my for this version that I used solve the problem quicker and if I had chance I'd go back and you know do what the docs say but that kind of just that sort of hands-on experience that so I'm sharing it's almost like a mentorship is here is how I solve this problem or here is how I went about trying to learn how to solve the problem and maybe I didn't solve the problem but these are some of the things that I did that didn't work for me anything that can be really useful to at least that's how I tried to give my talks hey I was an idiot this is what I did and it kind of worked and I'm really surprised because you know I'm not very good at doing this together Beck yeah exactly and I totally understand I feel like that's one of the things that I love a lot about what we do here on our team is because you know we are you know we're allotted time so you know do ourself guy learning and Microsoft gives us a lot of resources to learn you know on our own and you know learn something new and for me when I joined Microsoft you know I had a little bit of exposure to Azure but I didn't know you know a lot and so one of the things I would do is I would go just pick up a service in Azure and just you know maybe go through a tutorial or poke around and then when I you know maybe make a proof of concept and when I find something you know or a service that really sticks or something that you know a project that I'm you know I'm really getting into you I use it as opportunity to write a blog post or do a talk or just show somebody else like how you know what I learned and how I applied it to a situation sure I did something similar when when Dom met Cole first came in I built essentially a web api a used interior architecture a lot of words Evan I don't know whether all of the listeners will know what they mean hopefully they will maybe not but it was an asp.net called Web API using an NT architecture to talk to a sequel like database and they used entity framework or and did a whole bunch of stuff and I was like where I need to learn how to use asp.net core entity framework or and I want to put it on Azure so how do I learn how to use Azure so I did all of that and then I stepped back the wind wouldn't it be great if that was all documented somewhere this sort of journey you have to create a wait a minute I'll start a blog and just blog about my journey in creating this all app and it turned out that it was incredibly useful with people because I saw that the place where I was working there were people at work going to that Pahokee to learn how to use the technology so that then they could use it on their next project and I kept the IP addresses in you know the analytics and things kept showing up I was like hey this is kind of useful to people and is is really useful just sort of sharing that knowledge so I think one of the things that we're trying to do as a team is really try to I think at this point right now that we're just trying to understand like what are the needs of people and when I say people I mean Pete Fulks in grade school to university to focus it a changing careers and things of that nature we're just try to understand like what is it exactly that they need to learn one of the things I always say is like learning is such a personal thing right because we all learn in such a different way I remember when I used to teach my University of course like I'd have students that are as young as 16 and I'd have some like you know late 20s and then I think my oldest student was probably like 54 56 years old and any time would that give out an assignment like I usually give like a like a research quote unquote research a suspected assignment but like they all do it so differently right like so if I gave reading material like my older students would always read but like my 16 year olds would never read anything but like if I gave videos to watch or anything that they could look at like they told you wash them for sure like they'd wash them like multiple times but my older students want to read and then I'd have some students that are just more hands-on they just they just want you to show them how things work so when you think about how you approach teaching somebody something like you gotta think about like what's the best way for us to craft content from the consumer and that's what you'll notice like a cross salt seemed like we we have Microsoft learn right now which is which is very much of an online learning platform so you know you can go through and you could read and you can try out some exercises right there inside of your browser you know one thing that I'm also focused on isn't like I do a lot of video content and you know turn a net show and Channel 9 at Microsoft but we create a lot of video experiences for for you to watch and you can understand like what's happening in certain products and how to certain API is work and SDKs and services and things of that nature and then you know a lot of other folks on our team like you know folks like jasmine and tons of others like they do a lot of workshops they do a lot of hackathons and a lot of in-person type experiences which which kind of gives you like that hands-on methodology of learning which i think is also important too and so I think unique and I need to have all three of these together to really help folks understand or really help them absorb the information in like a very deep way you know and so again that's one of the things that we're trying to do is just make sure that we could approach them in a way that's that's interesting that's fun but also to let you could we could we could reach you in the way that you want to learn and you can do it at your own pace in your own time yeah I agree and the nice thing about what Microsoft does when it comes to tech technology it's always well-documented it's always available on you know on Docs at Microsoft calm and also you know available and github so if somebody realizes that there is something off about the documentation they can always go and make you know a submission to the Microsoft dachshund you know fix that and that's also another just also a great way to to learn is just going through that those documentation I mean I do that a lot especially when I you know whenever I'm at a conference and maybe I'm at the booth and you know somebody asked me oh hey I don't know about I don't know much about this product or this service could you give me some information about it I always point them you know to the docs because it's always it's always just a central location for getting some full like the full scope of the information that you need to get the job done or get or to get to a point where you that you want to be in terms of your project or or the thing whatever you might be building yeah definitely what I'd say to anybody that might be a an educator or the university or code of school or anything like that like definitely reach out to us and let us know like what are some of the ways that we could help support you from I know whether it's you know workshop material or coding sound poles or anything like that like we'd love to hear what are the types of problems that you're trying to solve in terms of delivering content and in you know keeping information fresh and keeping it interesting for your students and try to see how we can kind of help you do that you know obviously without home and the last thing you just mentioned special sessile yeah I think it's also important that we have support for educators who you know want to teach their students how to learn something you know whether it be computer science or maybe just even learning cloud about plant technology through a sure it's yeah it's so easy to you know want to be able to reach students but also it's also important to keep in mind how we're you know showing instructors how they can show students and help students how to how to know make a website or work on like a service cloud solution or something like that so I think a part of you know part of our you know job is also to equip instructors with the tools they need to show students how they can do those things in the end that's that's really an important point there he made sessile like what would you say are some of the questions that you get the most from students and from people that are trying to get into the industry because I think for students like that's that's often a place of like fair concern worried like oh my god how am i studying the right thing or am i you know by taking the right class or you know like what do you tell people when they ask you those types of questions so for me most of the questions are I feel like a lot of them turn out to be how can I get a job in the industry and then that turns into well what entices you what are you interested about learning in in the industry and they'll say you know X Y & Z so say for example let's take you know web development so I'll say you know probably say something like think about you know the building blocks of the web you know JavaScript HTML and CSS and I tell them okay so that's probably where you want to start and so what I like to do is give them like you the foundation like where is that starting point for someone to go for so for them it would be if they don't know if they already know HTML and CSS okay then maybe it's time to you know look at JavaScript here's some documentation and here's some you know fun project cuz I've seen because I find it important to give folks examples on the possibilities that they can have with a certain technology because I find that especially in when I when I'm instructing students showing them the what is possible really excites them and really gets them excited or motivated to try not replicate what you know what I'm showing them but to get started – to learn how they can do it themselves so I'll send them with like some foundational points I'll set them with some inspirational resources that sounds a little bit like how I so one of the examples I always throw out about my sort of teaching style from back when I was a teacher was I used to go into different ladies I guess it was a bit intrusive I used to go into other lessons when I wasn't teaching during that period and sort of trying to figure out how the other teachers were working because I was really new to it let's take circumference of a circle right one one teacher would draw a circle on the on the board and then make a point in the center and draw a line from the point to the outside of the circle and just write down the formula and just leave it at that and say get your calculator does that work better and then another another person would would take their students on the journey where they were learning a little bit about Greek and why it's called radius and why we do things with pie and lowest theoretical stuff I told up to the class one day and I said rope we're going to learn about the circumference of a circle and I got my bike my bicycle and I said let's look at the front wheel I don't know how big the front wheel is but I can measure with a ruler or with a measuring tape from the center out to the to the edge and we'll call that something will come up with a name well that's collar the radius I don't know why but let's choose that word radius and then we talked about how to get from the radius to how what the circumference was and then I said right okay let's we know how how long the circumference is what they were the measurement of the wheel is so why don't we put a little clicker on the wheel and every time it rotates all the way around we know that that the wheel has traveled the length of the circumference if it was laid down in line and then we sort of wheeled the bicycle around the school and candid how many sounds it clicked and when we go back to the class were you in red okay how many times does it click oh it clicked save 120 times how far did we did we travel oh we traveled this far how did we work that out we measured the distance from the center of the wheels to the outside of the wheel and is that sort of making it like you were saying adjustment that sort of making it engagement in gauging bringing the students in and giving them something to do you know maybe that's not the best way to do it maybe this I don't know [Applause] so here's a question for both of you specifically if you want to learn not in that like what's the path that you take like what's like what's your go-to you know methodology yeah like say like a new API comes out or because I always look at this industry as this is a constantly learning industry whether you're doing net when you're doing mobile what are you doing web you doing cloud like new stuff is always going to come out and somebody's gonna have a new framework or library or something like that that you need to figure out right and incorporate into your product I think that's important thing for for everyone that's trying to come to this field to understand right like you always have to keep learning stuff yeah so like we I think as engineers like we have to be very efficient at it and I mean like we can't take months upon months of a months to learn stuff like sometimes you got to pick up stuff really quickly we don't have to learn everything obviously but like for the things that we need to pick up like we knew be able to pick it up quickly and kind of keep moving and so like I think it's important for all of us to have like a thing right like like maybe I reach for books first or maybe some folks like Pluralsight or LinkedIn learning or like online course courses and things like that maybe they go to router doing something like EDX or Coursera you know like there's so many different ways to do it you know but I felt like everybody has like their thing right like their own branch that they take to kind of figure that stuff up I would say for me it's mostly I look at code first I look at examples and then you know find me like looking at the docs because usually it's if it's something you know new with.net I might will have to refer the docs and say like oh well what does this thing exactly do so it's usually code first then Doc's later for me I'm a little different so because I've done a lot of you know most of my career aside from when I was teaching was all about making a product make a thing and ship it to the customer so for me it's a case of I'll try to figure out what this thing is and how will help me to do my job whatever the whatever that job is and I will try and focus on the tiny part that I need to know so I like the example you gave this I saw was let's learn that well done that's huge you know it's it there's server-side stuff there's desktop stuff there's Web API stuff there's there's now a way to run net inside your browser so you can run it in the browser you can write apps on your computer and have them sent over to your iPhone or your Android or your tablet or whatever you know there's a it's a huge subject so rather than less Lonette let's learn this little thing that I need to know about dotnet and then slowly build on top of that but I've always found that the only way that that works for me is if I can build something with it so the example I gave earlier on about I wanted to build a web api to be able to throw it onto a hill was I wanted to learn how to take it Web API have put it on a ship because a project I was working on during my work day was I had to take a pre-existing Web API hidden put it on Azure so I've got to learn how to do that and I couldn't do it during work time because I had other responsibilities so let's build something really quickly and let's figure out how to put it there using the fewest steps possible and then maybe once I can when I'm done I'll go back and learn why is it that whilst I can do FTP delivery it's maybe better and I'm using the bunny cost then maybe it's better to use Azure DevOps to push a button and use a service principle to do that for me or why is it better to use let's say it might be better to use build agent or a deployment system or some other third-party tool well once I've got it working first he'll then go back and figure out the whys so I think I'm I do things the opposite way I guess to you jasmine yeah sounds like it but one thing that I did before I did developer relations I found that you know I'd be working on something and you know they'd be a new technology so for example when NBC asp.net MVC I feel like it was three came out I didn't know much JavaScript and I kind of had to learn it on the job yeah so for me yes so yeah like I'm just kind of thinking about how yeah and the opposite so yeah I was you know building building the application working on on application but also what referring to dachshund like thinking you know looking at how you know how it compares against what I built or just referring to those stocks to help me you know get to the next step one thing I also love to do is when I'm especially when I'm learning a new programming language is I build something and I go look at some code that I know is going to be it's like written by somebody who has written the language for a while and works at language and and looking at how they have done things or how they've saw like a specific problem and looking and comparing mind be like oh wow mine oh our solution is kind of the same oh look how they did it yeah I always love comparing the workers there's more than one way to solve any problem in the business we're in right yeah so let's say that you and I are both test with here is a list of items get them into alphabetical or ascending to descending order or something here's a list of stuff sort it for me I'll go away and do it one way and you may go and do it a different way and we'll get we may end up with the same result we both have the list sorted in whatever order we were tasked with but you know you may have gone and done a breadth-first dividing conquer and all these guys are different or maybe you've just used Java Script and gone dot sort here whereas I've gone away and maybe I've gone and done err I've maybe sat and tried to do some some thinking about it well it's a partially sorted list than this there's that the other well maybe I didn't maybe I just went you know what I'll fake it and I'll just write the list out in like manually write it out in the right order I don't know but each of those is I saw it from my last example is a valid way of sorting that list and so it's comparing those two you can get an idea of what the person was thinking in and how they got to that solution and then like you say it's a great way to sort of improve your own thinking as you then go oh I see I see that's how that person brought that test then they focused on this part first whereas I focused on this part I wonder where they focused on that part well this person is much more experienced than maybe they've seen these kinds of things before I think come Scott Hanselman had a blog post that last year that was how do you know all this crap and he said well it's kind of a gut feeling and kind of a bit of Education and experience and gut feeling maybe it's a combination of those but then maybe you don't meet someone who's done all of that maybe you meet someone's fresh out of school who then is very much a case of let's do it the theoretical way and then you meet someone who's told themselves from the docs from Stack Overflow from looking around on the web from asking other people from being mentored by people and maybe they've got a much more elegant solution than anywhere else yeah that's why I always go back to say learning today is such a social thing like it has to be a social thing right and one of the reasons why I love like websites like github so much is that you know we could we could learn from each other without even having to engage in with each other too much right like I could kind of go and look at your code or I could see what you did and if I need to like then I could ask you questions by a github issue or you know or send your message or something like that and I find those ways are so much richer like when we here do things like that and we can engage with each other in a way that we could share our knowledge and obviously everybody is a pimp that doesn't make everybody's opinion right or wrong or you know it doesn't make your opinion any better than mine because like we all are coming from things at a different angle with different use cases but still like being able to understand different sides of how to solve the same problem is only gonna make us better at the end of the day definitely I mean you just look at for instance cooking we've talked a lot about sort of technology and development I guess so far but what about with cooking right you've got one person who knows that to cook a dish one way and another person who knows that to cook a dish it's the same dish in a slightly different way those are two both valid algorithms I guess to try and make it fit what we're talking about to sort of bend that metaphor they're both the same they may not be the same process but they both have the same end result one method takes five minutes less but it doesn't yield as good of a result and maybe the other method takes longer and and yields a slightly better result and comparing those notes and figuring out how each of us got to those stages is a great way to learn like you say it says I can learn from you by seeing how you've done it and you can maybe learn a thing or two from me by seeing how I've done it right exactly do you mind if I ask you a little bit I mean we've mentioned really quickly a few times about developer relations could you maybe talk to us a little bit about what that is yeah sure we could talk about ever a little bit in a particular role of me and jasmine play like I like to think of us as like the the leis on or that like the conduit between the company and the community right so you know as much as we do a lot of public events like workshops and speaking and hackathons and things of that nature you know it's also important for us to engage a lot with product engineering and and you know bring them useful feedback from the folks that we're engaging with in the community so it's a you know it's it's a two-way relationship I think one of the challenging parts of that relationship is is one trying to establish trust on both sides at the table right because you know the folks in the community might think like oh he's a marketer and he's trying to sell me stuff yet it'll mean and then like the folks on the engineering side would be like well he's not technical at all and he doesn't know whatever whatever and so like I think it's important for us to try and establish trust on both sides and then once we do that you know that's when things kind of start click right like so now you know we could championed about the the interesting products and features and you know capabilities that are happening on the product engineering side to the community and then we can also take the problems that they're having but even even the successes that they're having and take it back to the product team so they could know how the product is being used and what people are thinking about them and then you know once that relationship is there like it only ends up making all of us better at the edited day I think yeah I agree so um all feedback can be be useful feedback and can make a difference you know and you know what those next release notes will be or the next service or products or update will be yeah and I like that idea of having someone that I can talk to it may be an event or maybe just a name that I can send an email to or someone on Twitter this is yeah I'm seeing a little friction using this particular documentation or this particular feature and I was wondering you know can can we have a chat about that and then so I guess it's a little bit like the advocacy the developer advocacy roles that a few folks have I guess at Microsoft where you can say hey this thing isn't isn't necessarily the greatest experience here's what I've had so far is the experience I've had so far here are the the issues are founded here with the great things about it could you maybe pass this detail back on to someone on the team or can you maybe point out why what I did that caused this experience to be suboptimal and and and what I can do to stop it from being like that in the future maybe it's the way I have used the tools maybe it's because I'm trying to write an asp.net framework application on a Linux machine and I don't have mono and I'm I don't understand the differences between operating systems I'm just bashing my head against the keyboard maybe that's it but then hopefully you'd you'd hope that's covered in Docs it's a really bad example but yeah I like this idea of having someone to talk to that you could put a name and a face to and say it says all oh hey Jasmine I have this problem um can you help me out yeah you know a nice thing about that is not only do we have you know one on ones are you know face to face interactions with folks who are interested or are already using Azure or even vs or vs code but also being able to have like normal recurring meetings with these product teams so with all of our in our entire team we have folks who have taken the lead on kind of being the liaison between us and product teams so what will happen is you know some of these meetings will you know they'll be you know advocates that are interested in learning about like the next things are coming about about a particular service and you know so they'll have somebody either a you know a PM or even an engineer come and talk to us about you know what's happening and then also give space for us to kind of talk about any maybe content development around that or any like just good stories to tie in to to con so it's kind of a two-way street when we have these you know these meetings it's like they're sharing you know these properties or sharing with us the advocates you know what's coming and you know what they're excited about in what they're working on and we are giving them feedback and showing them content and the things that we're building with the things that they're that they are building in creating its sure okay so I guess in that aspect then as a user of the technology as a user of the product as I think I've heard a lot of people use the word customer but yeah as someone who is using the technology in the product I can then provide feedback and maybe that feedback can go into the next version or maybe I can say hey wouldn't it be great if I could do this thing with this technology and then you know maybe that could provide maybe enough people are asking for it that there's there's reason for for you to take that back to whomever you take that back to and put a case forward and say hey I've had five thousand people ask me what can I do this with visual studio why can't I do debugging JavaScript inside a visual studio about an example but let's say that 5,000 people all message you on the same day which would be distressing I guess about being able to do this then you can take that to someone and then they can be whatever experiments needs to be done whatever thought process whatever work needs to be done and then at the end of it maybe six months to a year later because I don't know the kid and Sue these things there's this new tool comes out that people can use and someone who would maybe I put that suggestion in and then I feel I feel great because I'm like hey somebody's listening and it's made this tool a lot better at least for me anyway yes exactly so with that said then so we've talked about developing advocacy what is I think I think we kind of touched on it a little bit but what are your favorite ways to try and impart knowledge on someone so let's say you're you're trying to mentor someone maybe you're trying to teach someone something I know that I talked about that sort of practical let's do something and I'll show you why is that I gave the example of the Rockets and I gave the example of the wheels but what about yourselves especially with technology is there a there's no best I'm using bunny courts again there's no best way to teach someone because like you both said earlier and everybody learns in different ways but what would you say is is a great way for for you to sort of teach something we've talked a lot about learning but what about teaching one things I always tell my students is like if you really care about something like you got to put effort into it if you want to learn how to be a technologist so you want to learn how to do design or 3d modeling whatever the case is like you got to put effort in and I find if you to put effort into it like it has to be something that's like personal to you for you to be consistent right can consistency is important so one of the things that I always say is why don't you look at your life look at the things that you do your hobbies your you know whatever the case is going to movies playing video games whatever and let's see how we could apply technology to it so make it better so I'll give you an example so I had a student and you know his family was into like going like fresh markets and you like these little pop-up shops where people are selling produce you know like different fruits and vegetables and things of that nature and I'm like it's something he does every weekend with his family I'm like well that's such a part of your life less it's it's like a Rydia a habit for you right like it's a normal occurrence why don't you make a website for it like teach yourself the things that we learned in class what HTML and CSS Java and web servers and you know hosting and DNS and like all of these things and apply it to something that you care about and I find when you do that obviously like it's something that you care about it's not that you're really passionate about a fennec you're more likely to stick to it you're more likely to remain consistent with it I'm more likely to follow through with it and again like whether your methodology is watching videos or reading or just hands-on tinkering until you figure it out you know I mean I think it I think it just starts with like what can I do to make this thing interesting for me right I got one of the ways I do that is again take something that you care about whether it's sports racing you know maybe you're into flowers maybe you're into you know gardening maybe you're into collecting stamps I know if people still collect stamps but you know if that's the thing you could do that and you know apply technology to it create a website create a mobile app create something or you know take what you've learned and your course your class your your lecture and try and apply that to something that means something to you yeah I feel like I do a little bit of that too but the way that I also like to teach especially my own teaching code is I like to kind of um I guess it's like a form of pair programming so whenever I'm you know I teach a new concept I show an example and I usually live code it right there in front of the students I do it because hey I'm going to usually sometimes make a mistake and it's good for them to see that you know sometimes at the process there's been times where I've had like search for something that didn't work properly and I think the students really enjoy the aspect of oh this person you know who's been doing this for you know years and they had to look something up I think they really they appreciate you know me being able to be vulnerable like that and then we also have a part where we'll all code together so they'll kind of like follow after me so I'll like write something and I'll be explaining it write something down or I'll type something out and explain it and then they you know follow follow along so at the end we all have the same you know we all have the same outcome and we know we talk and we talk about the process to get there so when I'm not doing that from the instructor lens or you know in a classroom setting I like to use screen sharing so I have been really loving vs codes live share that's been a great resource I also really enjoy this tool called glitch it is a online tool that allows you to build things like websites small websites right there in the browser all your files are right there so you press with the press of a button you can see you the output of the website that you've created and then the nice thing is that people can actually come come and watch and follow along and watch as your you know creating the site so and then you know you with an account you have the site that you built also has an address so you know whenever you're done you can share it with somebody else and or and then someone else can um kind of do this thing called remix II where you know you have this project done and you want and somebody wants a copy of it very similar to github fork you remix the project so you have a copy of it on your own that you can go ahead and update and change if you'd like and then the other thing is that on glitch you have the feature of being able to ask for help from the community so someone can like hop onto your project and come and help you out and show you and point out the points that you're having issues with or help you fix them mmm I like that I like that and if it fits really well with what you both said a bit take that knowledge and apply it apply it make it fit cessful I think you use that word that phrase of something that you enjoy something that you need something that fits within your life and you know I think it works again you know with it with what jasmine saying about taking this thing and actually doing it you know do the thinker's technology is very much a doing activity you can sit and you can learn all the theory but eventually you're gonna have to sit behind a computer and do something with you know and I think it's very similar with say music you know you can you can sit and learn the scales in your head you can sit and learn how to you read the musical notes but into the you you're set behind an instrument or have an instrument with you and are actually physically interacting with it you're not really doing anything musical I guess I guess you could make the argument that what about a conductor or what about a writer there's still that experience of you can't press these five notes on the keyboard at the same time because three of them are over here and the other two or the other end of the keys and you literally figuratively can't reach but with technology yeah you need to be in front of the computer in doing the thing and I like that I like the whole look at what it is about your life that then you do you like to do and apply that but I think you know the example you gave investors was create a website and the example you gave the adjustment of standing in front of a group of people and say let's do this live now and if I get stuck you'll see what happens when I get stuck or when I do something wrong you're gonna see what happens when I do something wrong it gets similar to what happens with a mixer and twitch people sort of live coding I really like to watch those and that's a bit of a pair programming experience as well even with some of the greats you know people have been doing this for years like yourselves they get stuck and they'll ask the audience a can you figure this out I can't figure it out and then the host and the audience go on a full journey of let's learn why it didn't work and they takes it on this new this new sort of trajectory the live coding thing goes back to something I did a uni so one of my lecturers the first lecture that we had for computer science 101 using C sharp and net he would take us through a certain topic and would bring up a notepad like he would bring from the command line open up notepad and create a file and then used the command-line c-sharp compiler to compile the the app but would have it on a you know several screens or random so we could all see and we would watch him type out all this code and he'd make a typo and so we chaired out hey you've done that Rob know you've done that wrong and you know looking back now it was obvious he was doing parts wrong to see whether we were paying attention but some parts not so much and that's really great too because then you're like oh hey the master they was that the teacher becomes the student I was about to say the master becomes the student that's not quite right so the teacher becomes the student this whole hey you told us how to it's that applying thing like you guys were both saying you know that applying thing yeah I like that tactic to of you know making you know making a mistake on purpose so see if they're following along and I also really like when they you know raise their hand and like hey I think this part is wrong you think you might need to fix that that means you know makes you it just really affirming it feels like you know makes you feel like you're doing something right you know and they're actually you know absorbing what you're learning also there has definitely been a time where I've definitely made a mistake and passed off as a learning experience where I would say oh I forgot or I made a mistake on this thing and you know someone play it out and I'm like okay just making sure you all you know learn but in oh no that was actually a real mistake yeah like that being able to pass it off as I was testing you all I guess all that really really remains to say is thank you ever so much for being on the show we've gone on a long time it was I loved this conversation it was fantastic I could talk about teaching and learning in education or lesson to someone talking about teaching and learning in education for days because it's something I'm really really in my own life really passionate about you you've both been fantastic and indulging me and that kind of thing so thank you ever so much for being on the on the show and helping me learn a little bit more about what Microsoft are trying to do to help help people learn and how people can help Microsoft to help other people learn I guess so thank you very much for that yeah sure definitely I mean it I think it was definitely pleasure for both of us to be on the show and you know any time at all you want to have another conversation we're totally we're totally free for it whether it's recorded or not thank you for having us thank you very much and definitely yeah I will definitely get in contact with that with you both again because it's a lot of fun and I love to I love learning about learning is how open it but um one last thing then if folks want to get in contact with you or want to learn a little bit more about you how can they can they do that and if so how can they do that sure for me the main one is Twitter so my twitter handle is Paula Deeks that's pa la di qu e and I'm also fairly active on Twitter as well so I'm just at the cessful Phillip and also if you feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn – I use that not as often as I'm on Twitter but you know both of them work equally as well fantastical ah I'll make sure to put links in the show notes so people can click through because sometimes it's odd you know if you're driving along oh you're going for a run or something it's it's hard to sort of recall that on a later stage so I'll make sure for all other and show notes for anyone who's interested thanks seriously thank you both for being on the podcast another it's a it's taking some time out of your workday to to talk to me and very much expecting you both to have to run off to meetings or run off to some important thing to do so thank you ever so much for taking the time sure Thank You Jamie – it's been a pleasure and likewise thank you that was my interview with Jasmine green and Cecil Phillip of Microsoft be sure to check out the show notes for a bunch of links to some of the stuff the week of it and a full transcription of the interview the show notes as always can be found at dot Annette Cole dot show and don't forget to spread the word leave me a rating or review on your podcast or of choice to come back next time for some more dotnet go goodness I'll see you again real soon see you later folks [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] you