Developer Advocate at Auth0 and YouTuber, where he creates weekly videos on web development, James Q. Quick talks with host Chris Sean about working in DevRel, streaming as a great technique to connect with audiences and build a community, and creating content for your job while also creating content for yourself.
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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 developer.newrelic.com/podcasts. We're so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.
Chris Sean: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Launchies podcast. Today I have an amazing guest, someone I knew about for a couple of months, and actually someone I found on YouTube before I even got the job I currently have, which is really interesting. His name is James Q. Quick. We've got James in the house. James, thank you so much. Welcome to the podcast, man.
James Q. Quick: Absolutely. What's up? I'm glad to be here.
Chris: Thank you. I really appreciate it. We've talked for what? One or two weeks, I think, trying to get you on here. And I've known about you for a while. When I was actually about to be a DevRel myself, the first video I saw was you on YouTube talking about DevRel. [Laughs]
James: Oh, cool. I love that.
Chris: Which is so funny. And I was thinking maybe I should make one, but I saw yours, and I'm like, I don't need to make one then. [Laughter]
James: I'm sure another perspective would be great.
Chris: Yeah, maybe. [Laughs] How long have you been in DevRel?
James: Well, it hasn't been a continuous thing. So I really randomly started my career off as a developer evangelist, which is the title they used at Microsoft at the time. So I did that for three years, then I did software development and technical architect for three years. And then now I'm back in DevRel for the past year.
James: During those middle years, I was still doing content. So how long have I've been doing DevRel type things? Seven or eight years. But how long have I officially had a title that was in DevRel? I guess a little over four at this point.
Chris: Interesting. That's pretty cool. So you were pretty much an architect. Why did you go back to DevRel? That's interesting. [Laughs]
James: Part of it was -- I was at FedEx, which is a great company. I had a really good job really good work environment, but culturally, it was just a little behind, and it wasn't as progressive. It wasn't like the modern tech companies that you see a lot of people work for and just really enjoy it. And so part of it was me looking for that. But also, I realized I just missed creating content more. While I was at work, I was thinking about the YouTube video I would record when I got home, and I was doing everything I could to pay my way to go and speak at conferences because I just still really enjoyed it. And the more I realized how much I missed that, the more I wanted to get back into it.
Chris: That is so interesting, so creating content is more fun than fixing bugs.
James: Not necessarily, it can be; there was definitely a mix. Well, one, I needed that experience of writing code every day because as a DevRel, especially fresh out of college, I didn't really have the technical chops. I was going in and giving talks to people that had been writing code for longer than I had been alive.
James: And it worked just because I had something different to share. But anytime they would ask me deeper technical questions, I would just have to say, "I don't know," because I didn't have that experience. So my wife and I have talked about this; going to do software development and then getting the experience of being an architect was absolutely the experience I needed at the time. So now, when I create content, I'm coming from a different perspective. I have a broader knowledge base; I have more hands-on programming and real-world experience that I get to share in the content that I do.
Chris: That is true. Let me backtrack. You became a DevRel right out of college.
James: It was a completely random thing, to be honest. Microsoft had a recruiter on campus where I was, so I talked to them, met the recruiter. The recruiter really enjoyed or really liked me just as a person, and I ended up getting interviewed for a software developer job, or I guess it was like a software engineer. I didn't get that role. What they do is they say, "Yes/no or no, but still a good fit for the company." So they found a technical account manager role, and I went and had final interviews in D.C. at the Microsoft office there and didn't get that and then based on the way I answered questions, the recruiter came back and said, "Hey, there's this other role called a technical evangelist. I don't know if you've ever heard of it but based on what you said, we think you'd be really good at it."
James: And it was a lot of -- In my conversations, I talked about building relationships and working with people and tinkering and experimenting, and that was exactly what they were looking for. So they had the mock program, the Microsoft Academy For College Hires. It wasn't super formal, just basically college hires that go into Microsoft, and they have a few trainings and stuff. But I was one of three or four that year that joined fresh out of college, and that program continued to grow over the next several years.
Chris: Yeah, and I think they're called developer advocates now.
James: My organization as it was then doesn't really exist. They've pivoted in several different ways. So it's all different than it was back in the day in 2013 to 2016.
Chris: [Chuckles] I do believe that developer advocates they're streaming on Twitch now. I think they've made it a goal to stream on Twitch or, I think, on YouTube something like that, which is interesting.
Chris: Do you know Chloe Condon?
James: I would say Con-don.
Chris: Con-don? Okay.
James: I don't know that I've ever heard it pronounced, so that's just my guess. So either one of us...it could go either way.
James: I don't know her personally. She is someone that I followed on Twitter, and then there are a lot of other developer advocates that I follow too, and specifically, their open-source team was stacked for a while. The people they had on that team are really amazing. And one person in particular that I follow, and I've watched his streams a bunch, is Clarkio on Twitch if anybody wants to check him out. His stuff's really good. He's been doing it for a while, and I'm taking a lot of lessons and stuff from him watching him stream.
Chris: That's so awesome. It's pretty cool how a lot of developer advocates are actually getting into streaming now. I think it's a great way to connect with the audience and build a community. You pretty much were building your brand already, and so you went back into DevRel. How important do you think building a brand is for every developer nowadays, whether you're in DevRel or not?
James: To me, it's so beneficial in so many ways. And I think about the super extreme example; if I became the most well-known developer in the world, probably not going to happen, sure.
James: But if I became that, if I had millions of followers on Twitter, everybody knew who I was, what company wouldn't hire me? Unless I was actually an ass, what company wouldn't benefit from having my audience get a positive light on that company? If I worked for that company and had positive things to say and share, even if I'm not in DevRel, that's such a good benefit for the company, especially in the DevRel space. Obviously, I can basically be a free sponsor for Auth0. If I do content on my channel for Auth0, I'm basically a sponsor that they don't have to pay. So they get that benefit of just my existing audience, my experience with doing that sort of stuff and bringing that into the company.
But I think like you're saying, or I don't know if you have specifically, but I see this every day where it's people that go through a boot camp or they self-teach. They start a Twitter or LinkedIn or Instagram or whatever; they start posting every day about the stuff they're learning, and all of a sudden, they have a following. And at that point, it's so much easier to get a job. People already know you, employers already know you, workers who are hiring teammates already know you, and they know the things that you know. They know about the stuff that you've learned. They know that you're capable. They know that you're confident, all these things. It goes so far. There are so many benefits. By no means a requirement, but you're definitely going to be in a better position when looking for jobs and negotiating for jobs, finding more opportunities, that sort of stuff. If you have somewhat of an audience yourself, there's really just no doubt that it helps out.
Chris: I agree 100% literally because I have the audience that I have. When I got laid off due to COVID from one of the companies I used to work for, I just tweeted, 'I got laid off. I'm supporting my parents; they can't survive without me. How am I going to do this?' I got two job offers in one week, paying more than the job I got laid off from, and then even Amazon, Facebook, Apple reached out to me for front-end developers, which was kind of crazy. And then when I quit that company because the culture wasn't my fit, just it wasn't what I thought it would be. When I quit that company, I also tweeted, 'I quit my job because the culture was toxic. Someone yelled at me. I can't be part of a company where they treat their employees like that.' And then what happened is after tweeting that after a couple of days, a company reached out to me, and then I got that job. [Laughter] And I don't have a lot of followers on Twitter; I only have like 10,000. But the fact that just from one tweet or putting something on YouTube, that small, will help you to get a job.
Chris: And I knew that was true, but I really believed it when someone in upper management at this one company told me, "Chris, I can really see you having a job forever." And I'm like, "Why?" And he said, "Your following, your brand. Employers could just watch your content, and they can know who you are. That's huge." I think that's what every developer should do that whether you're trying to be a developer advocate or not.
James: Absolutely. And I've had conversations with my wife recently, who was thinking about where her career is going to go and her potential to take chances and try new things out. And I think to your point; you’re in a very fortunate position to have taken a shot at that one company. I don't know anything about this scenario other than what you just said, but you took a shot. It ended up not working out. And most people don't feel like they have the ability to leave after a few months, not because there's a reason they shouldn't but because they're scared about finding that next job. So you having the experience, you having the audience, means that when you leave that job, you're able to tweet, you're able to share with your audience that you're looking and then have opportunities that come to you like that. In the world of COVID, I was fortunate I still have the same job that I started last year. And if you have that audience that you could fall back on to open up opportunities, and I've seen that, like, I didn't know your specific example, but I've seen other people in the industry who something similar happened. They posted, and the next day they had interviews, or a month later, it's like, "All right, I started the job with this other amazing company."
James: It's like, "Wow, that's super cool." It's just not really that easy if you don't have something to fall back on.
Chris: It is hard to get a job in the industry. I don't care how long you've been in the industry. It can be difficult. It can be scary. And just building your own brand gives you that extra leverage you need to get hired.
Chris: Just to share a little bit more, when I quit that job, I moved across the country for that job.
James: Oh, wow.
Chris: I moved from Las Vegas to East Coast, Virginia. So to quit, to live in the middle of nowhere, far away from every tech bubble you can imagine, was scary, but I knew that because of the audience I had, I could get a job fairly easily. Fortunately, I do think that whoever is listening to this, you need to start building something.
Chris: How did you get into that, though? I think it's interesting that we're talking about this brand thing now. And how did you get into that? Did someone tell you to do it, or you just wanted to try it out?
James: I've really gone through phases of that in my life, now I feel like I'm pretty comfortable with knowing what I'm doing and why and how, and that sort of stuff. But when I started as a developer evangelist at Microsoft, my manager at the time asked me if I had a Twitter account, and I said, "No." He said, "Oh, well, you probably should."
James: So I created a Twitter account, and I had no intentionality. I wasn't making sure I was posting the things that I was sharing. I wasn't posting consistently. I wasn't really doing any of that stuff. My handle was just on PowerPoint slides, I guess. And up until a couple of years ago, I probably had less than 500 followers. And on my YouTube channel, a couple of years ago, I forget what the number was, but it was like at 1,000. So anyway, being forced to start that, I created my YouTube channel and Twitter because of the developer evangelist role at Microsoft. I did that, and I just did stuff. I didn't research how do I get better? How do I grow? How do I do things that people care about? How do I make stuff in a way that people care about it more? And it's just been the last couple of years where I've started to really focus in on that. I see the benefits of having the following, not from an egotistical standpoint. One, it's fun. It’s fun to engage with people. And it's fun when you create something for people to care, and to comment, and show support and stuff.
Chris: I agree.
James: Yeah, just being more intentional. So I would say the last couple of years, and specifically the last year, there was a huge spike in growth on Twitter and YouTube. And I think it's from years of experience of now trying to be more intentional, trying to be consistent, trying to engage, trying to engage in the right way, creating the content that people care about has really led to some cool stuff; I think. So I'm personally excited for 2021. For me, this is hopefully going to be an even bigger year, but again, that's more people that I get to teach, that I get to share with, that I get to engage with, and hopefully help along the way.
Chris: Definitely. That's awesome. That's exciting to hear. Honestly, I've been on YouTube for four to five years now. And back then, there weren't that many people creating content for this niche, for code in general. It was me; I think there was CodingPhase. There was, of course, Brad Traversy and two other guys I can remember. I don't remember the names right now, and two other guys, that's it. But now there's a ton, and a ton of them have surpassed me by a huge margin, subscribers on YouTube. [Laughter] And it's like, what's going on? I was here first. [Laughter] It is because of what you said though their content is very intentional, consistent. I think for me, I got very comfortable, and that can slow you down. And so my question is, how do you do that? How do you continue to create content? Because I'm in DevRel now, and I'm creating a lot of content for everything else other than my brand, other than for YouTube, for Twitter or whatever, Instagram et cetera. But how are you able to continue creating content for your job and then creating content for your own self?
James: The short answer is I enjoy it, and I think you do too, or you wouldn't have the following that you have; you wouldn't have the number of videos that you have.
James: I'm a pretty outspoken work-life balance -- My point that I want to get across a lot is if you're not doing stuff that you're excited about, you should be working towards doing stuff that you're excited about. By no means do I expect people to just be able to leave a job right now or find a job immediately. That's not at all what the expectation is. But if you don't truly enjoy what you're doing, life is way too short. You should be working towards paying attention to the things that you enjoy on a daily basis and then saying, "I want to do more of those things. What type of roles could I do? If I find a role that I could do, what skills might I need to improve on or add to my background or my resume so that I can be eligible for those jobs?" But if you're not working towards that stuff, I think you just fall into this trap, and I've given a talk about this. Most of my family have had jobs but not careers and not things that they enjoyed. It was a burden; it was something they had to do. Otherwise, we wouldn't have money, and we didn't have much, to be honest, but we had enough to get by. And that was it. And that's what people looked at it as like, this is the job I'm going to have; this is kind of all there is. And that's just not my perspective. So that goes back to me leaving FedEx. I had a good job. I made pretty good money, especially in Memphis, which is a lower cost of living area.
James: Yeah, in Tennessee. I had great teammates. I enjoyed a lot of what I did, but I had those things that I just felt like it was missing. I needed to make that change for myself. So how do I do so much? It's because it's fun. It's just like any other hobby. People spend a lot of time doing other things. Some of that is just watching Netflix. I've watched a ton of Netflix in my life. If you enjoy that and you enjoy something else like creating videos, you'll find time to do those things. I don't know. It's just cool. It's cool that I get to have them play off of each other; they're not mutually exclusive. I get to create content on my channel, on the Auth0 channel, do Twitch streams. Because I started streaming with Auth0, I now stream personally, and I'm better at it. And I practice things on either side, so I get better at the other. So yeah, that's the stuff I enjoy. I just love doing it.
Chris: It is sad that not many people do what they love for a living. It is very sad. Not many people do it. And I can pretty much say I got lucky. I was desperate for a job. I saw a YouTube video, and it said, "You do not have to be smart to learn code." And I'm like, what? I'm a college dropout. I don't even know how I graduated high school, and Bill Gates says I can become a developer?
Chris: Three months later, I get my first job. [Laughs]
Chris: I got really lucky. But again, I'm not going to lie; I didn't love it at first because I had no idea what I was doing. But when I learned how to code, it became fun, and now I love it. And I love what I do. Now, as a DevRel, I could personally say this is my dream job. I can't believe I got to where I am today. And the fact that I could just talk to people like you, which amazing, this is my job. [Laughs] And I get to stream on Twitch and just be me. That's what I'm being paid to do, be me. That is amazing. And it's because I didn't want to have a normal career of working in an office. And I think people definitely should do something for themselves that changes their life. And I think I know this COVID situation has been terrible. And when I think about it, everyone's staying at home or should be. [Chuckles] A lot of people should be staying at home. And I think that by the time this pandemic is over, hopefully even when it does become over, I think everyone should come out with a new skill or a new business or a new something because what excuse do we have to not come out with a better skill a better hobby?
James: I'm right there with you. I don't know what that thing is for lots of people, but I'm of the mentality no matter how, and I've been through some tough things in my life, but no matter how bad those situations were, you still have to take control of your life. And again, I've talked about taking control of your career. Things aren't just going to happen. You have to work towards them, and like you said, there's more time in the day or more time free because we don't have as many distractions that we go out and do whatever. We're spending more time at home. There's no reason not to learn a new skill either for fun or for practical purposes. If I'm looking for a job and I'm missing some skillset, yeah, go and do that thing. But also, my wife and I picked up playing golf, and it's been a great hobby for us.
Chris: Wow. Nice.
James: Because it's very COVID-friendly, right?
Chris: That is true. [Laughs]
James: We're out just walking around. We're not really near people, which is nice. And it's an outlet for us, something that's a little lower impact and stuff that's easier for us to do. And it's just a lot of fun. So there's no reason not to get more creative. And I think you've seen companies as a whole the ones that have done well or better than others are the ones that have adapted, the ones that have added more features to their mobile apps or added at-home contactless delivery that sort of stuff. Those evolutions now open up opportunities for people later on, especially we talked about Twitch or just streaming in general for DevRel. In the future, we don't have to necessarily travel to go to as many conferences as we might have. We can reach audiences through streaming and not have to pay for travel. That's kind of a game-changer. It's one of the benefits of some of the changes. So yeah, as bad as things have been, there's always some sort of change or positive approach. I think that you can spend on it or at least try to.
Chris: Definitely. It's just learning to adapt to any situation. No matter how negative it is, there's a way to make a positive outcome out of that situation. I'm not going to lie; I’m a little sad because I was looking forward to the traveling. [Laughs]
James: Fair enough.
Chris: I was looking forward to going to Japan and some Ruby conferences and going around the world. But at the same time, I'm glad I could just stay home. [Laughs]
James: I definitely miss the community of being at a conference, and I didn't quite have the experience that I will have now. Because when I traveled to conferences before, I didn't know as many people. Now that I have more people that I engage with and stuff, I am likely to find a lot of people at a conference that I know, which that just sounds so much fun. So many of these people that I've been talking to online that I've talked to on Twitter and Twitch and stuff hanging out with those people seems like a lot of fun. But at the same time, I've been having conversations with my manager to say, "After we go quote, unquote 'back to normal' and can travel more, I don't think I want to travel as much as I had before."
James: Not just because of COVID's long-term effects or changes in terms of travel but just because now I realize I enjoy the video and the streaming stuff so much that if I had to break down my time, I'd rather do 90% of that or 80% of that and 20% of travel. I've pivoted a little bit in that sense.
Chris: It's not about going to every conference available now. I think it's going to conferences that you can make a bigger impact on, I guess, or even also benefit from.
Chris: I guess another question then, what is your job? I know DevRel is different in every company, but there are also some similarities. What is it that you mainly do?
James: Mainly, what I do now is video content. So I am pretty focused on --
Chris: For the YouTube channel?
James: Yeah. For the YouTube channel and then I also do a lot of streaming. Those are the two big things I focus on specifically. I spoke in a lot of virtual events last year. I probably won't speak at near as many this year just because I don't see the impact. I feel like it's a lot easier for me to just do a live stream and reach the same amount of people than it is to prepare a formal talk.
Chris: [Laughs] Yes. It takes less time to prepare for a stream as well.
James: Yes, and I enjoy it more. I still enjoy giving talks, but there's something about the thrill of being on the stage that's really special. And it's just not quite the same when you do it virtually.
Chris: I feel like when you're streaming on Twitch, it is more of a performance rather than when you're doing a webinar. If staring at a camera, you don't see any people. There are no live reactions unless -- A lot of times; it’s because we're sending them a video [Laughs], but yeah, it just doesn't feel as thrilling as you mentioned. It doesn't feel as exciting compared to streaming.
James: It's a different thing. I will be super excited to give an in-person talk at some point again. I do miss it. But I've definitely come around to just really enjoying streaming and just video in general.
Chris: Yeah, definitely. I can't wait to give a talk. That's been my dream for the longest time. Since I've done YouTube, I've always wanted to be able to speak at conferences. I can't wait. I've literally been preparing for it for years. I've been preparing for years to speak at conferences after watching all the videos that I've been watching. [Laughter] I can't wait to do a Q & A live on code; that's terrifying. [Laughter] Next question, something I think that's really important to ask is why code? Why did you get into it? Is it because that's where the money was at? Is it because someone inspired you? I did it for the money, of course. That’s always number one. But why?
James: I feel like I'm a weird example.
Chris: I like weird examples.
James: [Laughs] As great as my career has worked out, I literally got into it by chance. I was going to college. I got into the engineering school, not any particular reason why the engineering school other than just thinking that made sense. And then they said, "What are you going to major in?" And I had no idea. I didn't want to do chem or bio or any of that stuff. I didn't really enjoy those. I enjoyed math, and I just literally chose computer science. I literally had no idea. I'd never written a lot of code, never seen code, didn't know what code was. Didn't know anything about it, and the rest is history. I took classes; I enjoyed it enough. I kept going and then ultimately found love for it when I did -- I was interested in doing mobile development someone gave me a book. I was following the tutorial, and I realized this is cool and all, but I want to build something that would be fun. And so I built this Harry Potter trivia app.
James: I didn't know a ton of stuff, like so many things I didn't know. But I was able to hack this thing together, deploy an app on the Google Play Store so for Android, and that was a game-changer for me of just feeling how empowering those skills could be. There's almost nothing we can't build with programming, right?
James: Whatever problem we have, we can probably help solve it with programming. That's one of the most empowering skills that you can ever have. That was the game-changer for me; that passion evolved over the course of several years. I saw people working on startups, and I saw really smart people who were doing really cool things. And I just wanted to continue to be a part of that and learn with them. And the more I got into Twitter, the more I got into the communities. It just helped fuel and exponentially grow that passion. That's where I am today. I love everything about it. I love doing it. I love writing code. I love sharing it with people. I love teaching them. I love seeing that aha moment for people when they start to learn something that took me a lot longer to learn, but I'm able to help them learn it a little bit quicker. That's a pretty cool thing.
Chris: That is awesome. So it was an accident? [Laughs]
James: Yes, absolutely.
Chris: It wasn't an accident, but it was a good accident at a very young age.
James: Yes. Much like getting the dev evangelist job at Microsoft, it just worked out.
Chris: That's crazy. Your first job at Microsoft as a dev evangelist. How old are you, by the way?
James: I will be 30 in two weeks; February 7th is my birthday.
Chris: Wow. When did you become a developer?
James: I would say I became a developer as a dev evangelist, so that was seven years ago, so 2013. But I didn't write any production code until 2016.
Chris: That's funny. [Laughs] That's crazy. You haven't written any production code, and then you got a job at Microsoft. That's pretty awesome. That's a cool story to hear. That's amazing. I became a dev at 27 but as a junior developer. And so I often think about wow, if I actually did well in school [Laughter] and I became a dev at 21, my life would be totally different now, but I have no regrets. I am very thankful to be where I am today.
James: But we all have a journey. A lot of mine was luck, and that's cool and all. A lot of people realize they want to make a change, and they're much more intentional about it. And I don't know; I think the community has done such a good job of being so supportive to say it's never too late, empowering people to say, if you're not happy with your job or you see a different career that you're interested in, go and make that thing happen especially if it's programming. There are way too many free YouTube videos for people to not give themselves a shot to figure out if they like it. There are way too many resources not to take advantage of and just see if this is something you're actually interested in.
Chris: Where do you see code going, programming in general? Because the world can't exist without programmers. Everything is built off it: the computers, software engineers have put that together, phones, even the water bottles that we drink, people have programmed those machines and put that stuff together. Where do you see it going towards? Is AI the future? Are there jobs? Is it going downhill from here on out because of AI?
James: I don't think so. People get really excited about AI projects and things like that, and they never have really lived up to what we thought they would be. Here's a bad example, but also a really good one. And I thought about making a TikTok video about this at one point, so keep an eye out for that if I do.
James: But have you ever used this sink, and it's got the automatic faucet, so you wave your hands under the thing, and it's supposed to give you water? How many times, or in the same type of bathroom, how many times have you waved your hand underneath the paper towels?
James: And in those two things, how many times have you struggled to get the water to come out and/or the paper towel? And so you wave it, you pull your hand back, you wave it again, it works. Then it goes away. You take your hand back; you wave it, it doesn't catch it. You wave it again. We're talking about robots taking over the world or people are or AI taking over the world. We literally can't even solve that problem well yet; they give me a paper towel. We're so far away from that actually being a problem of that taking over the developer -- We're so far away. Think about when hybrid cars or electric cars were a thing that people were talking about. Like 15, 20 years ago, people were talking about that as a potential. Look at where we are today. There are some successful ones. But look at how few there are and then look at smart driving cars. Some cars can drive themselves, but look at how few there are over the course of the 20th. We're so far away from that sort of stuff. I in no way am worried about a career as a programmer for 50 years. And then you've got to think about that technology; someone built that. It takes people to build all these things, and people get nervous about no-code solutions and how that's going to take away programming, and that's just not true. One, somebody built those, but then also those things are made to facilitate building other stuff. It's all about the same mindset of building and using technology to help build stuff. So are those jobs decreasing? No, not in my mind at all. Am I worried about them decreasing? Not at all. Absolutely not.
Chris: No. I'm not worried about it at all. I don't have a degree in computer science; I'm a self-taught front-end developer. But either way, it's all about adapting to survive in an industry anyway if something is changing. Let's say something we don't realize changes within the next couple of weeks months then we just adapt.
Chris: We just move on. We learn that new language, we get better at it whatever it takes. And then you have to adapt, or you lose. I don't see that many Flash developers around anymore, so I'm sure they adapt to other languages today. [Laughs] That's a good point. Last question before we end. I know we have to end this soon. As someone who's been in this industry as long as you have, you've worked at FedEx, and then you were at DevRel at Microsoft, and DevRel at Auth0, what's one message you want to send out to current new developers and aspiring developers? What's something that you want to tell them that no one has ever told them? That's a hard one, but I'm going to challenge you.
James: We've kind of touched on it before. If you're not excited about the stuff that you do on a day-to-day basis, you should be working to make a change. It's not an overnight thing. I'm sure in your self-learning process of learning front-end web development, you didn't -- Well, you actually had a really quick turnaround, it sounds like.
James: But it wasn't overnight. And I'm sure you've put in a lot of work, and you did a lot of tutorials and videos or whatever you did. If you're not happy in any way with where you are you even if it's small, you should be looking to fix that thing because there's no reason not to. I think a lot of people don't feel empowered. I get so outspoken about this because I feel so empowered. I feel like I can do anything I want to, hands down, I feel that way, and lots of people don't. And there are a lot of different reasons why. But I think at the very least, people can work towards it. Whatever it is that you want to change, you can watch a YouTube video about that topic. You can take a Udemy course on that topic for ten bucks. You can take a more professional course for a couple of hundred if you have the money. You can reach out to a mentor. You can do tutorials; you can build a product; you can do all those things. You can make progress to whatever your goal is.
If you know what your goal is, or if you know what the thing in your life is that you want to change or be happier about, it's all about forcing confidence on yourself even if you have to pretend that you're confident, forcing yourself to believe in yourself, to believe in the power of change, to believe in the path to making change. It's just so important. Whatever step you're in, if you're looking for your first job, you can make that happen. If you're looking for your next job, you can make that happen. If you're looking for a raise, you can make that happen. But you have to be intentional, and you have to work towards those things, really have those as the light at the end of the tunnel that you know you're working towards, and you're making progress towards every day.
Chris: Exactly. It's not easy, but it's worth it in the end. Life is short.
Chris: Man, James, thank you so much for coming out. Where can people find you? What do they need to do to find you? I'm assuming you're dancing on TikTok.
Chris: Where can they find you there? [Laughs]
James: So I have my TikTok account. I haven't posted anything yet.
Chris: [Laughs] Okay. My bad.
James: But to make it easy, James Q Quick on everything.
Chris: You have that on everything?
James: I got randomly banned for no reason on Instagram, so I don't have Instagram right now. This is a very --
Chris: Yeah. I remember that. Why?
James: I have literally no idea. I'm probably one of the least controversial people on Instagram intentionally and got banned.
Chris: Yeah. We have to be with our jobs too.
James: Yeah. I don't know. But anyway, outside of Instagram, James Q Quick anywhere, Twitter, YouTube, personal site jamesqquick.com. Probably the easiest way to connect is Twitter. Or if you have a specific question or collaboration or something you want to talk about, you can send me an email through the contact on my website.
Chris: Yes, please. Everyone follow James Q Quick #FreeJamesQQuick on Instagram. Let's get him free. Let's get him his IG back. We have to. They cannot do this. [Laughter]
James: I'm hoping that actually helps. We'll see.
Chris: Yeah, you never know. Well, thank you so much, James, for coming out. Honestly, it was fun speaking to you, and I'm glad I got to know you more. We got to do this again.
James: Absolutely. Yeah. I will be happy to come back anytime.
Jonan: 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 therelicans.com. 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 dev.to 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.