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From Commodore 64 to Beyond with Jorge Téllez

Entrepreneur in Residence at Turing School and Director General at Cerouno, Jorge Téllez, talks about the early days of starting the Turing School, growing up in Mexico and getting into tech by gaining access to a Commodore 64, and using technology as a way to enact social change by working in international development and launching different projects in Latin America.

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Jonan Scheffler: Hello and welcome to Launchies. Proudly brought to you by New Relic's Developer Relations Team, The Relicans. The Launchies podcast is about supporting new developers and telling their stories, and helping you make the next step in what we certainly hope is a very long and healthy career in software. You can find the show notes for this episode, along with all of the Relicans podcasts on We're so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.

Danny Ramos: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. This is Launchies. My name is Danny Ramos. And today I'm joined by Jorge Téllez. Jorge, thank you for joining us today.

JorgeTéllez: Thank you for having me.

Danny: Yes. Please can you give the world a little quick introduction of who Jorge is?

Jorge: I'm currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Turing School, so that means that I am in charge of launching all the crazy new things. I also have an education company in Mexico where I help companies build up their software development capabilities. And I've been in the tech industry for a while, working with startups, building products, organizing the first Startup Weekend in Monterrey. I worked in international development as well and even in journalism. So my background is very, very diverse and very, very weird.

Danny: [Laughs] While we were getting situated at the beginning of the show -- First of all, that's all super interesting, and I just wanted to add that when we were getting situated, we were talking about names, and I think that's super interesting about how you couldn't add an accent over the E in your name.

Jorge: Yeah.

Danny: Technology like that is needed throughout this whole tech world. I run into it with my name, and my name, I would think is super easy. It's just Danny Ramos, the A mixing ‘ah’ sound.

Jorge: [Laughs]

Danny: But I get Danny Raymos, Raymus.

Jorge: Oh really?

Danny: [Chuckles] Yeah, all kinds of different names.

Jorge: So my name is Jorge Téllez. So the most common thing is that they pronounce Teyez like Téllez, and it's Teyez. We don't have the Z sound in Spanish. It goes to different places. Some people have called me Gorge.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: The worst actually is when they call me José. [Laughter] I'm like, how even? My name relates to José, I guess. We all brown people are José Olé or something. But yeah, it's interesting, let's say.

Danny: [Laughs] Yeah. I run into problems like that also. I really wanted to interview you because I have just recently finished my time at Turing. And you were like this ominous figure. You weren't really in the Zoom calls. You would pop in here and there. And then I remember going to a Turing event when people could still see each other in person, and you were there; you were in town or something. And I just kept on hearing whispering like, "Jorge is here. Jorge is here. I can't believe Jorge is here."

Jorge: [Laughs] Yeah. It's interesting. So Jeff and I started Turing way back in 2014. When that happened, we didn't even have an office. So before that, we were at Galvanize helping run what was then gSchool, then we were planning for all the Turing stuff. We didn't have an office at all. We were friends with the people at iTriage, and they gave us some cubicles so that we could start working there. And then all the interviews that we had for prospective students at Turing we did it at Tattered, the bookshop downtown.

Danny: Oh yeah, in Denver.

Jorge: Yeah. So I will meet with them, I will interview them, and we will do the logic thing all the applications systems and all that. Katrina Owen, at the time, worked with us as we were interviewing the people. And then Jeff found this place that was like an industrial basement in Blake. It was like a basement of a building was renovated. It was a low-income housing building, and people would go downstairs and do their laundry next to where Turing was.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: So we did all this stuff. We were even in meetups, and I would literally walk to people and be like, "Hey, do you want to become a software developer?" And they say, "Oh, I'm already a software developer." And I'm like, "Okay, do you have a friend who wants to become a software developer?"

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: And they would be like, "Yes, my friend here." And I was like, "Okay, are you interested in applying to Turing?" So I'd be talking to people like that randomly at any meetup that I could.

Danny: Wow, literally a door to door salesman for software developers.

Jorge: Pretty much. I was like, "Have you heard of Jesus Christ?"

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: Kind of like that, knocking on everyone's door. At that time then, we were able to find 18 people that were the best people, honestly, that we could ever find. They were very driven, very motivated. I still remember each one of them of that first class, and they were the thing that made Turing possible. But honestly, imagine that first day of class, you walk into this very narrow hallway, and there is a laundromat at the end of it; you have this very poorly lit thing. You come and open the door, and there is a Polish guy and a Mexican guy in the middle of the room.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: There is no furniture, only boxes. And then you are like, okay, this is day one. Let's build all the furniture ourselves. I would be like, "What the hell is happening here?" But they were like, "It's okay." And that's how Turing started and looking backward; it was very impressive how delusional we were at that stage.

Danny: [Laughs] Yeah. And for context, for any listeners who are not familiar with Turing, Turing is a coding bootcamp school, a seven-month program in Denver, Colorado, and I'm a recent graduate. And Jorge was the former director of growth and operations at Turing. And then Jeff Casimir is the director of Turing. But it started with just you two, right?

Jorge: So it was Jeff and I, then Josh Cheek joined a bit before we were about to launch. And then we added Rachel Warbelow, who is one of my favorite people on earth. She is an amazing teacher. She's very, very driven, and she cares a lot about people. And then also Steve Kinney, who was a former teacher in New York, and he had all this experience in JavaScript and meetups and so on. He is a brilliant and very funny person, a really good friend and then Josh Mejia as well. So that was the core of the initial team, and that team was able to pretty much build the entire program where we only had four real instructors, and we had to do everything. And I was teaching classes, running admissions, running operations. Jeff was directing the entire thing, and he was teaching and building curriculum. It was insane. And we even had to budget the days of the week when we were not going to be sleeping. It was intense, but it was totally worth it.

Danny: [Chuckles] Now, is that something that you imagined yourself doing as a young person, like teaching all these people how to program in a basement where a laundromat was or did you have different aspirations as a child?

Danny: I don't really know. I remember growing up -- So I'm from Mexico, and I was born in this little city that is the capital of a state called Veracruz, which is a state that covers a lot of the Gulf of Mexico coast. So one of my best friends growing up, his dad was American, and his mom was Mexican. So he was a scientist, and he was working at NASA analyzing moon rock samples and all that. He was super smart. And he would bring computers from the United States, and that's how I got access to a Commodore 64.

Jorge: That is like the coolest thing ever. [Laughs]

Danny: Yeah. It was weird. You had to boot it with disk tapes and floppies, and it was insane. But we used it because we wanted to play games. So that's how we were able to learn the file system and manage or use the computer and create files and directories and permissions and all that stuff. But it was because we didn't have a graphic user interface. You just had to type stuff to play games. We were playing all these sorts of things. We were catching up with all the technology. We programmed in BASIC some things.

And then I remember I think it was in elementary school, maybe fifth grade or something -- And my mom has a Ph.D. in psychology; she's super smart. But she was asking me, "What do you want to do?" And I was like, "I don't know." She started doing these questionnaires to see what were my preferences and so on. And she told me, "Jo, have you considered this computer science thing?" And I had no idea what I am going to do with this. Am I going to play video games? Where am I going to work? How does this look like? And I didn't have anyone who could answer that question. So my best friend, his dad, the American dad, who knew how that went he ended up going to computer science. And because I didn't know what to do with it and I didn't know that that was available and how you go about it, I ended up going and studying journalism. But if I had someone who had told me, "Oh, you could do this and this and this," maybe I would have become a software developer when I was 20 something years old instead of when I was 30 something years old.

Danny: Yeah, absolutely. I think there are definitely some parallels there to my own upbringing. The funny thing is that my friend his dad would go to Iran every now and then. And he would come back with bootleg video games and [Laughter] a suitcase of all these video games that were copied and completely illegal. I was like, this is so cool. But I also had a familiarity with computers, but I had no idea of the access or the possibilities of that knowledge. I never really thought of it as something that I could do or something that I was able to do. I just figured on TV and stuff all the nerdy guys are white and are playing with computers, so I probably wouldn't be good at that or something. Is that something that you ran into, or was it just like, oh, you weren't sure how computers could be making money as a job or something?

Jorge: I think for me it was more like these are toys. It was like you had Nintendos, and you had Sega systems and all that stuff, and you have computers. I knew that you could type things on it and that you could do spreadsheets and that you could program on it. But I was like, so, how am I going to make money with this? It was not even clear to me what you would do with that. It was funny because it got to the point where video games were getting really big in terms of file size and so on. So we were not able to throw all the video games in one diskette and then pass it around and so on. So what we did was we started figuring out compression stuff and how to partition different files so that you can reconstruct it when you pass it into another computer and so on.

Danny: Oh, wow.

Jorge: So we're getting into that level of stuff, but it was just because we really wanted to play the video games, so like the computer games, and that was it. I think it started clicking -- the second wave of interest was when the internet was coming along. I remember back then, you had to use Unix and launch Mosaic to navigate or browse the internet, and we connected via Telnet. So we had this internal Telnet at my high school. And you know how people chat on Messenger and WhatsApp? We were chatting via Telnet.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: It would figure out the account of that person, and you would see who was logged into Telnet. And then you would start chatting with them in the terminal.

Danny: Oh, you were chatting with people in the terminal?

Jorge: Yeah, in the terminal. When you open the terminal, you would figure out what was the username of the person who was -- You could see all the listed users. We had the permission to do so; I don't know why.

Danny: [Chuckles] Oh wow.

Jorge: And then we were just chatting with them.

Danny: I always feel old now when I say I was chatting with people on AOL instant messenger or Yahoo [Laughter]

Jorge: This is way before that. And I remember most websites back then were just texts. It was just texts and hyperlinks and people putting in a couple of pictures or something. And that was it. And then people came up with gifs, and then people started building their own stuff. And you connect it to a host provider that was like someone that you will dial in, and sometimes they would provide as part of the deal some hosting. So you could actually buy some domain names, host your own websites, and so on. Now, if you buy an internet connection or you connect to anything, in particular, they don't sell you hosting, but back then, it was all bundled in one thing.

So I started playing with building my own websites in HTML, JavaScript. It was not a thing. It was starting to get there. And there were so many technologies. There was a Microsoft version of JavaScript. There were all these different technologies that were coming in and dying out, and so on. There was so much innovation, and now we settled on CSS. I remember there was this JavaScript type of CSS that you could also implement, which was super weird. It didn't make sense, but people were trying to use it to create dynamic styling and so on. And all that thing is gone. And I think the second wave of innovation on the frontend now is with React and all that stuff that is happening.

Danny: Were you playing with all these technologies before you had gotten into journalism, or is this after?

Jorge: No, I remember it was way before.

Danny: So you were really playing with things, and then you pivoted to go into journalism.

Jorge: Yeah. For me, it was interesting stuff. I loved computers. I followed all the things that people were building, and then, for example, for me, it was I'm just going to play with HTML, and then I'll do some sites here and there. It was very basic stuff. Back then, you pretty much styled a website using tables. So you had this grid that was like a big table, and you color the tables and hide the borders, and that's how you made a layout. It was very weird. I remember even in high school, technology like Microsoft saw that there was this big opportunity on the internet, and then they built Internet Explorer, which back then was amazing.

Danny: RIP Internet Explorer.

Jorge: Yeah. It was even better than Netscape when Microsoft really cared about that. So I got so frustrated that I couldn't get all the features that I wanted, so I downloaded Internet Explorer, and I installed it on one computer at my high school. And then the computer lab administrator told me, "Jo, you cannot do that." And I was like, "Well, that's stupid. This technology is better." And then he was like, "Well, don't do it."

Danny: [Laughs] Good response.

Jorge: Yeah. He told me, "Don't do it," I was kind of pissed. So the next day I went really early in the morning, and I installed it on all the computers.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: They suspended me from the computer lab for -- I don't remember it was a week or two weeks. But I realized he was right. I was pretty much being a brat. But this is to tell you that I was very interested in technology, but it just never occurred to me till way later that actually I could do something with it.

Danny: That is so funny. I love the fact that young Jorge goes sneaking into school and [laughter] I'm imagining someone doing that at Turing and sneaking into the school and just completely changing the technology. [Laughter]

Jorge: [Laughs] Yeah. And it's funny because it's one of those things that when you are on the other end of the aisle, you are like, oh, you cannot do that. There are certain things that you need to do or not to do or something. So I know now growing up what his position was, but back then, I was just like, I don't agree with this. I'm not going to do it. [Laughter]

Danny: And I'm just going to bring in Internet Explorer to everybody. [Laughter]

Jorge: Yeah. Now it would be even silly if you were like, I'm going to install Internet Explorer into everyone's computer. Now it would be like an act of insurrection.

Danny: [Laughter] Oh, wow. That is so funny. So now you work at CeroUno. Is that also a bootcamp but specifically in Mexico?

Jorge: Yeah. I always saw technology as a way to enact social change. My dad came from a very poor background; my mum didn't actually. And the thing that my dad had was a combination of luck and a loving family, and a lot of drive, and those three conditions made him very successful. But really, the only thing that my grandparents were able to pay for in his education was this technical training, and he took that and was able to run the operations for the healthcare system in one state. And he was very accomplished. And I'm very proud of my parents and my dad in particular because he came from such an underprivileged background. But growing up and even now, I'm always thinking, why is his story so rare? People tell you all the time like "Oh, it's just making the right decisions. And if you work hard enough and all that, then you're going to be successful." But I used to believe that, but not anymore. And I think if that were only the case, then you would have way more social mobility in our countries, and you don't see that. So there must be something else here. And I saw that technology was the lever that you could use in order to help other people gain social mobility. And that's why I started working in international development. I was launching different projects in Latin America. I launched the first Startup Weekend in Monterrey. And some of the companies that are now being funded in Mexico were companies of people that I met in Startup Weekend and the teams that were assembled then, which has been pretty cool. And now I came to Turing because of the same reasons, and I always thought that okay, let's do something like this in Latin America because there is so much need. But the level of difficulty to get all the pieces aligned to actually make structural change in Mexico is so hard, man. I feel that I've been playing on Hero Mode the entire time.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: It's like that, but if you were playing a video game in Hero Mode, but you had no legs.

Danny: [Laughs] What?

Jorge: It's that level of difficulty. I still don't feel that I have accomplished what I want to in Mexico in particular, and that's been a bit frustrating, to be fair.

Danny: Well, at least you're working towards a very specific goal. You have a very clear vision in mind, and props to you, man. That's really, really cool and very needed and important.

Jorge: Yeah, thank you.

Danny: So, did you feel a certain obligation or desire to go back to Mexico? Turing is obviously in Colorado, and you were living here. Or was it that you have family there, or is it just because of this very clear goal and vision that you have that you wanted to move back to Monterrey?

Jorge: It's a bit of different things. So yes, my parents are here in Mexico, so I wanted for my children to grow up near them, and that was one of the reasons. The other reason was that I saw that there is so much poverty and lack of social mobility. I find it a little bit entertaining when people talk about the lack of opportunities in the United States, and it's not because that's not true; it's because where we come from, it's probably 100 times worse.

Danny: Sure.

Jorge: So that was another thing. But also, I saw what we were doing at Turing, and I think we were very successful at providing social opportunities or social mobility opportunities for people that were lower middle class. They would come to Turing, and then we would put them on a track to be successful, to have more meaningful careers, to be able to sustain the quality of life that their parents had, or maybe a little bit better, and that was okay. But I really wanted to have something where we could take someone who was underprivileged in the low-income bracket and make them successful; that was my goal. And I feel that we were not really doing that. Even though we had very successful outcomes, it was not the outcome that I wanted. I was trying to do something a bit more in that area.

Danny: Right. I can't even imagine how life-changing it could be for someone in Mexico to gain this knowledge of technology because even for me, I was just working at Costco at a warehouse.

Jorge: Interesting.

Danny: I had more and more friends telling me about coding school and this bootcamp. And I had always thought bootcamps were like a scam. And I've heard some horror stories about that, but more and more people were telling me about Turing. And so I was like, you know what? Fine. I'll just go into it. I'm not really into my job right now. I feel like I could do more, and Turing completely changed my life. And I'm here now talking to you for work. [Chuckles] But I can't imagine what it would be like for someone in Mexico to completely pivot and go into technology or just learning coding or just being an institution that feels like that initial kind of family-oriented feelings that you had around your dad and his family.

Jorge: And the interesting thing is that with CeroUno, we never received any meaningful investments, and we had to bootstrap from day one. So we ended up training a lot of people in companies doing corporate training in order to pay for the things that we really wanted to do. We did a couple of experiments. One was successful; the other wasn't. The one that was successful was going to people that were studying computer science in very poor -- or public universities and help them skill up and get them jobs in the tech industry, that was successful.

The other experiment that I was really, really interested in doing and that I still think that I will try it again I saw that a lot of moms had kids, and they abandoned the workforce, and it was not because they were not able or that they didn't have the skill; I never thought that that was the case. Actually, a lot of them had Master's degrees and PhDs and had been successful executives, but it's just that they didn't have the support network or didn't have the jobs that allowed them to do that. So when I saw that, I was like, imagine the economic impact that this is having in our country where you have half of the workforce that is very highly educated and very capable and very skilled and that half of the workforce is not working and not because they don't want to it's because they can't figure it out, and we cannot build the systems to do it.

Danny: The resources aren't there, right?

Jorge: Yeah, exactly. And there are minor things that you can do. The main thing is to provide childcare and opportunities for flexible work and so on. So I had this idea, I saw a discrepancy in the market, and what I did was I did this program that was only for moms. It was in data science where I would train them in a very intensive setting while their kids were in school. And we already had some commitments from companies to hire them. And what happened was that the economic situation in Mexico started to deteriorate, and the companies were cutting or sustaining the levels of personnel. So, in the end, the companies that I had commitments from were not able to hire them. I had very, very talented moms that I could not get them to job opportunities. I still think that now, with the COVID thing and all the remote work and all that stuff that I can try it again, and I will probably do it again with all the lessons learned. But it was a very inspiring experience to see how capable they were and how they passed all my expectations by orders of magnitude, and how I was unable to provide them with that successful outcome, so that was very heartbreaking for me as well.

Jorge: That is tough. There's only so much you could do. There were some external forces that had changed the entire outcome, but that is amazing. I didn't know that about you. That's really cool. Those types of resources are still needed. That just reminds me of it was just my mom and I for a little bit. And she went to school at San Diego State University for a semester because they had a program just like that where they would watch your kid at a daycare, and you could go to school. And she still wears that San Diego State University crewneck around the house. Even though she didn't finish, but it's still such a proud moment for her, and those resources are so, so needed.

Danny: Yeah. And if you take into account how much a daycare costs for a company, if a company is doing millions of dollars in revenue, to invest in daycare, it's not a significant amount of money, particularly when you see all these other perks that tech startups give to their employees. They give new computers, training, conference stuff, swag, unlimited PTO, all these kind of things. And why not invest in childcare? If you were to invest in childcare, you will have a more diverse workforce. You will have moms probably joining your company. You will probably have also really good marketing and PR if you want to. So I always wonder if it's so clear and the economics make sense, why are people really not trying to do this thing? And I think it has to do with the fact that a lot of people running these companies are not moms, and they never felt the need to have the support systems because of our cultural structure. For better or worse, moms are still the main childcare providers within families. The males don't experience that pain. They think that moms are sometimes doing less valuable stuff. And if you realize that that is a very taxing role in terms of cognition, in terms of physicality, and all these kinds of things, then you will have more empathy for it. So I think if you really want to reduce the gender gap in the tech industry, childcare is where you should start.

Danny: I completely agree. It's just we don't need all these t-shirts. [Laughs]

Jorge: Yeah, absolutely.

Danny: I don't need all these shirts with the same thing on them. Why not invest in childcare? So what are some key things that you would say to potential students to pretty much embark on the CeroUno journey?

Danny: The initial thing is to figure out why you want to do this. From my experience at CeroUno and Turing, I've seen that a lot of people only do it for economic reasons without really trying it first. And sometimes those are the students that are the least successful students because when things get hard, then they just abandon it. They are just like, "Oh, maybe I can find something that is easier that can get me the same amount of money."

Jorge: Right. It will get very hard.

Danny: It's hard. And so I always recommend people who are thinking about it to try it first. At Turing, we had Try Codings, where you can go check it out, test whether you feel comfortable. And the other thing is if you feel comfortable and you like it, then take the leap of faith and actually do it. And if you have the drive, if you have the passion, yes, it's hard, yes, sometimes you'll want to cry.

Jorge: I did not want, I did for sure. [Laughs]

Danny: And you'll feel that, oh my God, I am so dumb. I can not get this thing that everyone else is getting. And when you always feel that, and you have the grit, then you step back, you walk around, and then you come back to it. And then sometimes getting on an hour break makes it all work. And the funny thing, though, is that that feeling will never go away. Sometimes you are given -- Like I use this story, you are like, oh my God, I don't get it. I don't know how to do it. I'm so dumb. Why am I here? They're going to realize that I don't know anything, and they will fire me. And then in an hour, it's like, oh, I think I get it. And then it's like, oh my God, no, it's not working, it's not working, it's not working. And then it's like, oh my God, it's working. I submit the PR, everything is amazing. Oh, I'm the smartest person in the world. And then that cycle will repeat over and over and over again. And you just have to remind yourself what's the process and just be certain that you can do it. It's just about having patience and taking it easy.

Danny: Right. As a person who is new myself, I would always see my friends or even my girlfriend, you know Lovisa, would just be struggling with that at the computer and be like, "Oh my gosh, I can't figure this out. I'm so dumb," yadda, yadda. I'm like, "Why are you saying these things? It's not a big deal. It's whatever; it’s all good." And now she hears me saying the same thing to myself, and she's like, "See, I told you this is just part of the process." [Laughter]

Jorge: Yeah. And it is. And it's really interesting that a lot of people who go to the conference I would say like 90% of people who go to conferences only get half the things that are being said in the conferences or even less.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: Yes, you have very smart people that are very loud and talk about things as if they were born programming and so on, but those are the very, very rare cases. Most developers are like you and I, who are always working hard, learning stuff. They don't get some stuff; they get other things. And that's how most of us look like, and that's okay. If you want to build compilers and so on, and you're good at it, just go and do that thing and build the tools that everyone else is going to be using. But I think there's this huge percentage of developers that are the unsung heroes who build the actual stuff that people are using, and those are the things that might get you a better job or that might get you food on the table or might be building a system that will help someone to have a better quality of life. So those are the unsung heroes, and that's the large majority of developers. So don't feel bad if you are not understanding how to build a virtual machine using some Erlang or something. If you're not interested in that, that's okay. You can have a very successful developer career-building other stuff.

Danny: Absolutely. I think there are just so many different avenues that could be taken. For me, I have a younger brother who's really into computers, loves the inner workings of them but is not really interested in coding right now, but also he's still young. There are still so many opportunities out there. Maybe he'll find another passion, and I'll help him to the best I can with that. But there's definitely this one-track mind I feel like with some people where it's just like, I don't really like this framework or this language, and I don't like coding. But there are still so many other things that can be explored. If you know the inner workings of computers, then that is a whole career in itself.

Jorge: Yeah. And I think that at least for me, the main driver was always what do I want to build? And I will be like, okay, I want to build a website that has all the links to all the Robotech TV shows or chapters or something. So I will then start by that, and then I will be like, okay, so how do I do this? Oh, I'll need to learn HTML. Oh, okay. And then, oh, I need to style this in a certain way. When I was learning programming, I built this little app where people that were trying to find music -- it was kind of like Tinder but for concerts.

Danny: [Laughs]

Jorge: You will find certain things in your area, certain concerts that were playing or festivals or whatever. And then you will be like, oh, I'm interested in going to these things. And you could see other people that were interested, and you could organize with them and meet with them, so you guys are creating a community around those events. And it was an app that I wanted to build and learn a lot of things like building. And I think if you always have a project first and some idea of what you want to build, then that interest will force you to understand the technologies and the things that you need to get in order to build that project. But if you start by trying to be on the opposite side, like, oh, I'm going to learn React, and then you are like, okay, but what am I going to do with this thing? Your interest fades away so rapidly, and you're probably going to be abandoning it quite soon.

Danny: Yeah. Breaking up into small pieces, that's a big thing that I learned even just through programming that has just helped me out with life in general. I imagine when you were working at CeroUno, the idea of helping mothers get technical education seemed like such a large, vast problem but then by breaking it down into smaller issues that you could accomplish; then it gets you closer to breaking down that larger issue of just trying to help this community.

Jorge: And the interesting thing is that if you start thinking about all the things that you need to do in order to achieve something, you will get so scared that you won't be able to move. You'll be like, oh my God, I need to find the companies, and convince the moms, and create the program, and find financial resources and make sure that the experience is top-notch and all these things, and you'll be like, this is daunting.

Danny: [Chuckles]

Jorge: But if you're like, oh, I have this idea. And then what's the first thing that I need to actually do in order to make this feasible? Oh, well, I need to make a video and then see whether moms like that video, or I need to do a website and see who'll sign up. Or I need to talk to some moms and see what their schedule is and whether this program can fit their schedule. The ultimate goal that I want to get to is having more moms in the workforce, so that's the ultimate goal, and then you switch back to the little, tiny things. What's the next thing that I need to do in order to get to that thing? What is the next thing that I need to do in order to get to the next thing? And if some of those little things don't work, you can just go back and figure out what did I learn? How can I revise this step? And then take the next step. So it's always about making sure that you are clear with where you want to go and just focus on that next step so that you don't get overwhelmed; at least, that's how it works for me. If I were to plan ahead, like, oh my God, there are six months of things that I need to do, and I have to envision every single little detail, I wouldn't do anything with my life. I will just be sitting watching Netflix all day long.

Danny: [Laughs] Which isn't half bad either.

Jorge: [Laughs] Yeah.

Danny: Well, thank you so much, Jorge. I really appreciate you being here and spending time to talk with me. Any last remarks to early-career people that are thinking about jumping into the tech world?

Jorge: If you are interested, try it, and if you liked trying it, then just keep doing it. And don't think about, oh my God, I don't know how I'm going to be a successful software engineer at Facebook or Amazon building new algorithms or something like that. Take the little tiny step. And that doesn't mean that you're not going to get there, but don't get paralyzed by that. If you like it and it interests you, just try it. If I could do it, and I don't consider myself a math genius or a computer science genius, anyone can do it. Don't let fear and the sense of loss prevent you from achieving your dreams. Try it and see whether it feels right.

Danny: Thank you so much, Jorge. Where can people find you if they want to find more information about you?

Jorge: They can follow me on Twitter. Twitter handle is @novohispano, N-O-V-O-H-I-S-P-A-N-O. If they are in the United States and want to apply to Turing, they can do so at [] We have Try Codings every other week. There are many things that they can learn, and they can try in a very safe environment. If they are in Mexico and want to connect about CeroUno, it's just And yeah, I'm always open to talk to people who are interested in helping a more diverse and underrepresented, and underprivileged population to get into tech, particularly if it's about giving social mobility opportunities to those people. So I'm always open to talk to anyone who needs it.

Danny: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jorge. I really, really enjoyed our conversation together. This is Danny Ramos. Thank you so much for listening. This is the Launchies podcast. Catch a new episode next week.

Jonan Scheffler: Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of the rest of The Relicans podcasts on In fact, most anything The Relicans get up to online will be on that site. Right now, we're running a hackathon in partnership with called Hack the Planet, where we're giving away $20,000 in cash prizes along with many other fabulous gifts simply for participating. We would love to have you join us. You'll also find news there shortly of FutureStack, our upcoming conference here at New Relic. The call for papers for FutureStack is still open until February 19th. I encourage you to stop by and submit a proposal. We would love to have you join us. We'll see you next week.

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