The Relicans

loading...
Cover image for You’re Going To Make It with Jeremy Schuurmans

You’re Going To Make It with Jeremy Schuurmans

Mandy Moore
Single Mom 👩‍👧 🐶😺😺😺😺 Owner/producer: Greater Than Code 💕 #DevRel 🥑 WiT/D&I 👩🏻‍💻 Podcast Production 🎙 #BlackLivesMatter #python 🐍 she/her
・25 min read

Software Craftsperson at Red Squirrel Technologies, Jeremy Schuurmans talks to Relicans host Danny Ramos about his past as a chef in Portland, OR to taking on an apprenticeship with a mentor, to landing his ultimate dream career in software development.

Should you find a burning need to share your thoughts or rants about the show, please spray them at devrel@newrelic.com. While you’re going to all the trouble of shipping us some bytes, please consider taking a moment to let us know what you’d like to hear on the show in the future. Despite the all-caps flaming you will receive in response, please know that we are sincerely interested in your feedback; we aim to appease. Follow us on the Twitters: @LaunchiesShow.

play pause Launchies

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.

Danny Ramos: Hello, everyone. My name is Danny Ramos. And we are here for another episode of Launchies where we talk to developers, people in the tech world, tech space, tech community with a background that they would like to share. And today, I have a very awesome guest that I've actually never met before. And we had a good conversation before we even started because I was in the limbo room of Zencastr, where I wasn't even logged in. So I greatly appreciate him for being patient with me. But, everyone, please welcome Jeremy Schuurmans. Jeremy, can you please introduce yourself?

Jeremy Schuurmans: I'm Jeremy Schuurmans. I'm a junior developer at a consultancy called Red Squirrel. We’re a small consultancy, mostly the Ruby on Rails and React type of work, but we can do pretty much anything.

Danny: Nice. Is that where most of your educational background is from? Is it Ruby?

Jeremy: Yes.

Danny: Nice. I have a very similar background, or I learned everything that I know now with Ruby and Rails. So it's always nice to meet another fellow Rubyist.

Jeremy: Yeah, definitely.

Danny: Now that I’m getting into this tech space, I keep hearing, “Oh, you're still using Ruby? Ruby is so old. Ruby's dead,” or something. Do you ever hear stuff like that?

Jeremy: I haven't. I mean, not directly. I hear chatter about that on the internet and stuff all the time. That was a big thing because I went to Flatiron School a while back, and they teach Ruby. And so there's a big discussion of like, okay, is Ruby worth learning? Is it marketable? Can you actually get a job in Ruby? But I graduated Flatiron School, and I was like, I just want to do Ruby. I love Ruby. And where I've been since then, it's like Ruby has been where I've found my place. And looking at the people that I've worked with, Ruby is definitely relevant today because it's powering a lot of really awesome things.

Danny: Absolutely.

Jeremy: It doesn't seem to be a thing of the past to me because I see it being used for new projects and new companies–

Danny: I think people just want a hot take. They just want to throw in a hot take out there. But yeah, I'm excited to be talking to you because from what I understand -- First of all, there is this really cool article that everyone should go check out, ‘From Cook to Software Engineer How Apprenticeship Helped Make My Dream a Reality’ on Medium. Can you tell us a little bit about that article? And I guess by telling us about that article, tell us a little bit about your past and how you got into tech.

Jeremy: That blog post was on the company blog. And it was a way of bringing closure to this crazy ride that I've been on the past couple of years. So I was a cook in Portland, Oregon. And I had never graduated college. I never got a degree. I spent four years in college and never graduated.

Danny: [chuckles] Nice. Yeah, just learning, just peer education.

Jeremy: It was for a variety of reasons. Originally, I went to this tiny liberal arts college in Eugene. And they didn't use Federal Aid. They had their own Financial Aid in-house stuff going on. But it was pretty expensive, and it was hard to find the money. And it was hard to work full-time and do school full-time simultaneously. I knew people that could do that, but for me, my work just suffered. And so that didn't work out. So I tried again at a different school later on, and it was the same thing; I just wasn't ready. I didn't have the study skills that I needed. And so it was like, okay, what am I going to do? By then, I was married. I had a small child. My oldest son, Harry, had been born. And I was like, yeah, I need something.

Danny: [chuckles] Yeah, “I need to provide, I think.”

Jeremy: Exactly. Exactly. [chuckles] And my wife was like, “Well, you love to cook. So why don't you cook?” And I thought, okay, I don't have any better ideas. So I went to culinary school in Portland, and I spent two years there. And I started off working at a dive bar in Oregon City, a small town, right outside Portland, just making fries, flipping burgers, and then slowly worked my way into fine dining and then really fine dining type of places.

Danny: Dang. Okay. Well, that's the story in itself, from dive bar to fine dining. There we go. That's blog part two.

Jeremy: [laughs] Awesome. But the thing about working in the culinary world, at least for me, was that if you're not one of the chosen few, it's really hard to make a decent living. And for me, I was never the most talented cook out there. If anybody who I used to work with ever hears this, they'll nod their heads and be like, “Yeah.”

Danny: [laughs] They’re like, “Yeah, we're actually glad he's gone.”

Jeremy: [chuckles] And so it was like running my own kitchen, reaching the heights of culinary stardom was not in the cards for me. And it was rough. It was rough on the family because it was a lot of long hours, working every Thanksgiving, working Christmas Eve.

Danny: Oh yeah. There are hardly any days off as a cook.

Jeremy: Yeah, especially if you have bills to pay. And so, after a while, I decided to make a shift, and I moved into restaurant management. But [chuckles] I was the worst manager in the world.

Danny: [laughs]

Jeremy: It was awful. It was one of those things where the manager who brought me on was a good friend of mine. And I had very limited managerial experience, but I figured I could learn. But what I found a valuable lesson that I learned from myself was that if you are managing a team but you don't know how to do the things that the team knows how to do, then it's not going to go very well.

Danny: [chuckles]

Jeremy: And I had never waited a table in my life, except for maybe a week in culinary school. So I found myself out of a job. And I stayed home with the kids for a little while, just trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And I saw an ad on social media for a bootcamp. It wasn't Flatiron; it was a different one. But I remember it being one of those ads where it was like ‘Learn to Code in Six Months, Make $100,000 a Year.’

Danny: Yeah, we’ve all seen those. We're like, “Hmm.” [chuckles]

Jeremy: Right? And my first thought was that's a scam. Like, there's no possible way.

Danny: Right. I was going to ask you. I was like, that was kind of my guess for code school. I always just assumed code schools were a scam because we have this idea of university. It's like, oh, you must go to a university for four years to really become educated in something. And this idea of code school or even apprenticeship really didn't come into my mind until when I was in the middle of college at university. Like, why am I spending all this money on these classes that have no relation to what I even want to do?

Jeremy: Yeah. I told somebody recently, “I wish that I had graduated. I wish I had a degree. It'd be nice.” I've thought about going back to school since and studying computer science just to learn things like algorithms and operating systems, things that I wouldn't have gotten from code school. But I go back and forth because as far as the skills that I need to actually do the job, like for me, my road in was apprenticeship. I feel really strongly that that's a solid way for people to break into the industry and for employers to bring in solid people from different backgrounds. But there's something about that ad that I saw that really intrigued me. I'd never written a line of code. I didn't really have much interest in it.

Danny: [chuckles] Same, same.

Jeremy: I knew that I liked computers, but that was about it. And so I started doing some research, and I kept finding over and over again people saying, “Bootcamps are a scam. Don't do it. They'll just take your money. You can't get a job without a degree.” But then I started to hear other things pop up just in the stuff I was reading on the internet like, “If you work hard enough, if you have a little bit of luck and you get some skills, skills can trump education. And it can happen if you're in the right place at the right time and you find a person who's willing to take you on. And so I thought, okay, I'll go for it. So the first person that I had to convince was my wife actually because I talked to her about it, and I was like, “Yeah, I think I'm going to learn to code and be a software engineer.” And she's like, “What? Are you insane?”

Danny: Yeah, she’s like, “Okay, well, can we just keep the cook job real quick? We have children we need to feed.” [laughs]

Jeremy: Right. But eventually, I was able to get her on board with at least trying it out and seeing if there was something there.

Danny: Was this going to be a full-time program or a part-time program that you were interested in?

Jeremy: It was a full-time one.

Danny: So yeah, that is scary. That is taking a big leap of faith where all your time is going to be learning this thing that you may have some interest in. And now your wife is there to just be the foundation of everything.

Jeremy: Yeah, exactly. I went ahead and applied for that particular bootcamp, but I didn't get in. And they wanted me to actually have built something, which made sense. So they said, “Okay, go and do some courses, build something, and then come back in three months or so, then we'll see.” So I was searching for something to do to learn, and Flatiron school had this free bootcamp prep course that they put out, and so I started that. And it was just like HTML, CSS, a little bit of Ruby and JavaScript; I think that was all it was. And I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Writing my first line of HTML, all I did was spin up an HTTP server, and seeing something that I wrote in a text editor show up in my browser was the coolest thing ever.

Danny: You’re like, “I can talk to computers now. I'm in the matrix.” [laughs]

Jeremy: Exactly. It was the same feeling that I got when I learned a new dish and it worked out. It was this excitement of okay, this thing turned out. And so I kept going with it and eventually, I signed on to Flatiron. And back then, they only had self-paced programs. And so I did that and my wife, and we just threw everything we had into this.

Danny: Wow.

Jeremy: I stayed home with the boys and just coded all the time. She was working full-time. And it was just this dream of okay, we really think that this can be something. I'd been told over and over again by people by that point at Flatiron that “If you do this, it'll work out for you.” And so we just went for it because it was really like there was nothing else. This was the last hope that I had of giving my family a better life than what we had.

Danny: That is so cool. Shout out to partners who have someone in their life that is learning how to code because it sounded like your wife really put in a lot of hard work while you were learning. And I'm sure there were many nights where you were like, “Look at the sick code that I just wrote. Isn't this awesome?” And your wife has to pretend to be excited alongside you. [laughs]

Jeremy: Yeah, that's very true. [laughs] I would love to show off the projects and stuff that I did. And she was always excited or she pretended to be excited at least.

Danny: Yeah. Like, “Oh, sweet. I don't know what this means.” [chuckles]

Jeremy: Exactly. It's sort of like, “Okay, this is awesome. Are you close to graduation?”

Danny: Yeah, when's that job coming in? [laughter]

Jeremy: The rough part of it was that it was really hard for me to learn just basic Ruby stuff. It was so different from what I was used to. And it took me a while. I had launched into this, and I was like, okay, I'm going to wrap this up in three months. Everything's going to be great. It'll lead to the job. But that three months came and went and then six months came and went. And then a year came and went and I was still just barely halfway through the program. Eventually, I got far enough, and we're hitting like two years of hammering away at this almost. And I had gotten to the point where career coaching kicked in. And I was lucky. I had never met any of the other career coaches at Flatiron. And I'm sure that they're all amazing. The one that I had was the perfect one for me. Like, she was great.

Danny: That's really cool. Actually, in the last interview, I did for Launchies, I interviewed a good friend of mine, and she went to Flatiron and is actually an educator there.

Jeremy: Oh, right on.

Danny: She finished last year, a year and a half ago. So I doubt that you would know her, but her name's Gracie McGuire. But yeah, she had all great things to say about Flatiron. So, it's really cool to hear another great experience.

Jeremy: Yeah, they were great. The community was the thing that I loved the most about them because they were supportive. And so when I would struggle, I had people that I could go to who would just cheer me on and be like, “It's okay. You're not on a timeline. You may have set yourself this timeline of graduating in three months, but everybody learns at a different pace. And just because it doesn't make sense to you now, doesn’t mean that -- if you keep going, you'll get it.” And so I internalized that, and it turned out to be true. And I tried to pass that along. I'd see other people who would struggle too. And I was like, “Okay, listen, if I can do this, you can do it.”

Danny: Sure. Yeah. That's huge, to find your network, to find your community, especially at this time you were just learning from home because that was what your environment called for. You needed to be home with the boys while your wife went out and worked. And now we find ourselves in that situation because everyone's just stuck at home right now. So I think it's really important to just ask around, find your network, see who can get on a call or who's at your school that can chat with you in Slack or a Discord channel that y'all are on or hang out and game or do something together. Because especially with coding, I found it can feel very isolating, and it can feel like you're the only one in the world who doesn't understand this. [chuckles] So it's nice to get someone on a call and be like, “Oh dude, I didn't get that either. Let's try to work on it together, or this is how I figured it out. How did you figure it out?” And that brought so much energy back to me because there'll be definitely times where I'm like, I can't do this. I don't know what to do. And I would just get down about it.

Jeremy: Yeah, it can be so discouraging, especially when you see people who maybe started after you, and yet now they're farther along in the program than you were, and you had a three-month headstart. I think that that's so true. And I think the biggest advice that I can think of for anybody who's thinking about doing this is don't do it alone. Find a support system because they're out there. There is a whole community of people who love to pay their experiences forward and help people out.

Danny: Oh, absolutely. Do you think it was challenging for you in a way because you had such a physical job previously and so your brain was kind of programmed in that way? For me, I found myself uncomfortable sometimes when I didn't get my solution because I had such a physical job previously, and I was like; I could just physically move this box over here and get it into the space I needed to. But seeing it on a screen, I'm like, why doesn't this work? I don't know how to use my hands. [laughs]

Jeremy: Yes and no. On the one hand, it was weird being stationary. Coming from a job where I was on my feet all the time and then coding all day, it was weird sitting in one place staring at a screen. I found that one thing that I hadn't anticipated would happen is my health started suffering because I hadn't realized how active I was just day-to-day, being on my feet for 10, 12 hours a day.

Danny: Getting your steps in.

Jeremy: Yeah. And I just never had to think about it. And then switching gears and going to code school, suddenly, I realized how much more effort it was going to require to stay healthy while I was doing that.

Danny: Yeah. Any tips there that you found to help yourself out? Like, just setting a schedule to go outside and see the sun. Or are you still trying to learn that yourself?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Danny: [laughs] Yeah, same here. Before this interview, I was like, you know what? Maybe I'll just go walk around the neighborhood real quick.

Jeremy: Yeah, definitely getting outside throughout the day is good. That's something that I need to do more of for sure. It's so easy to get caught up in working and just stay at the desk all day long.

Danny: I want to point out that you had said “Find your network and really get people to be your support system.” I saw your Lightning talk from RubyConf 2018. And I really liked what you said that coding is for everybody and programming belongs to the new people too. Can you expand on that statement there?

Jeremy: I was trying to talk about imposter syndrome. I was at RubyConf unexpectedly. [chuckles] I had not planned on going there, and I'm glad you brought it up because that was a part of this journey that I had forgotten. I wasn't thinking about that until you mentioned it. I saw the opportunity scholarships were opening up. And I decided to apply on a whim. I was like, I don't think I'm going to get it, but I might as well.

Danny: I've just been making all these big life choices. This is nothing. [chuckles]

Jeremy: And then I got an email a few weeks later that I had gotten on a waiting list and that if the person who had gotten the scholarship couldn't go, then it would go to me. And I was like, oh, that's great. Okay, cool. It's nice to know that at least they liked my submission. And then a couple of days after that, I found out that I was going.

Danny: [chuckles] You’re like “Oh okay, pressure to write a talk.”

Jeremy: It was another one of those things where it was like, okay, I guess I'm going to LA.

Danny: [laughs]

Jeremy: I got there with 20 bucks in my pocket when I got off the plane. And I was at LAX, and I was trying to figure out how to get Downtown. And I saw that you can take the city bus or there were other buses that you could take. And I'd never been to LA before. So I got on to one of the buses. I know it was like a $10 trip from LAX to Downtown. So I get there, pay the $10, I've got $10 left. [laughs] And I'm making my way through Downtown LA to the conference center. And it was a life-changing thing because I had my mentor and his name was Brandon Hays. And he was like my conference buddy. Like, he’d show me around and introduce me to people. And we were talking one time just over dinner because we were at the end of the sessions and he was like, “What are you doing for food?” And I was like, “I don’t know.”

Danny: You were like, “Hang around. I don't know.” [laughs]

Jeremy: He was like, “Well, do you want to go and get something?” And I'm like, “Listen, I know we're in Downtown LA, and I've got 10 bucks left.” And he was like, “What were you planning on doing?” And I was like, “I don't know, eat at the parties? I don't know.” [laughter]

Danny: McDonald's here too. I don't know. [laughs]

Jeremy: He was like, “Okay, listen, we'll get you taken care of,” which was so generous of him. And we were talking about it, and I was telling him my story about how I'm just trying to get my family a better life, and this is why I'm trying to learn to code and all this stuff. He was like, “Listen, a couple of things for you: first thing, you weren't supposed to be here. Your scholarship went to somebody else. And the reason why you're here is because that person couldn't go.” And he's like, “I know that you doubt yourself a lot. But you've been given opportunities. You've been given opportunities to learn to code. You've been given opportunities to be here, and you owe it not only to your family who you're trying to do this for but to people who were passed over for the opportunities that you have to make it work and then pay it back.” And he was also like, “Listen, I promise you, two years from now you're going to make it in this industry. And after you do, I want to hear you tell your story.” And I was like, “Okay.”

And so when I got to the Lightning talk, which I was like, I'm just going to do it, why not? This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I was talking about just that idea that in the industry there's a lot of gatekeeping. There's a lot of “You can't do this if you don't have a degree. You can't do this if you're a certain gender or if you're a certain color. You can't do this if you haven't been coding since you were in middle school.” I ran into that, and I know that there are people who run into that more frequently than I do. But I still believe that coding is for everybody and that you don't have to be a genius to do this stuff. You don't have to come from a certain background to be able to do this. Everybody should have access to it. And I think that everybody should have access to the opportunity that comes from learning how to do this. But the hard part of that is that if you don't have somebody who's telling you this -- like, I was lucky enough to have somebody who I was fortunately connected with who bought me some food and was like, “Keep going. This will work out for you.” Then I've seen so many people just quit. I saw it at Flatiron school, and it actually hurts to see people just give up. And I'm not saying that everybody has to do this.

Danny: Yeah. Everyone should code now [laughs]

Jeremy: If you try it and it doesn't work out for you, what I mean by that is if you try it and you don't like it or you decide that you don't want to do it anymore, then there's nothing wrong with that. But stopping because somebody told you that you don't belong I think that's just the worst.

Danny: Yeah, that's happening. Call people out. We don't need that in the community. We don't want people like that in the community, and we want to be creating space for everybody. And I think that's how we get more and more people with these interesting backgrounds. Like, for you to be a cook and you -- did you ever think as you were cooking that like, hmm, maybe I should be a software developer? Did that ever even come across your mind, or was it literally just this little tiny ad? The algorithm got you. Jeremy, the coding algorithm got you like hey, here's another guy we're going to throw an ad his way. Maybe he'll sign up.

Jeremy: That was it. Yeah, it was just that, just a random occurrence. And as I was learning it over and over again, I was like, I can't do this. So that was something else that motivated what I was saying at RubyConf a couple of years ago because I wanted to quit. I was like, I can't do this. This is not going to work. And then more credit to my wife, Erin. She was like, “Sorry, a-hole, you're going to see this through. [laughter]

Danny: “Yeah, we've already invested so much time and money.”

Jeremy: And so, as I started looking for jobs, I applied to a few places. I forget how many. I've seen people search for a couple of years before something finally works out; that wasn't me. It was maybe six months to a year altogether that I was looking. I don't remember for sure, but there were a lot of those times where I’d get a second interview and then like we'd wait hoping for something and then either nothing or the rejection letter a couple of months later. Or I'd go into an on-site interview and hoping for that third. It would just never happen.

Danny: The whole process of learning programming is a whole other beast when it even comes to interviewing, like they're two separate things. It's like, oh, wow, I just learned how to program, and now I can do this. I got it. I'm ready for a job. And now it's just like, oh, you thought that was hard? Now here are the interviews.

Jeremy: Yeah, for sure [laughs] It's a whole other skill set. And when it finally worked out, my gateway into the industry was this apprenticeship program that I came across.

Danny: What apprenticeship program was that?

Jeremy: So it was with a company called 8th Light. They were another consultancy. They're based in Chicago, and they have offices in a few other major cities. And I really responded to their program because they have this idea of software is craft. And I had always compared coding to cooking as I was learning it because it just felt to me like I would get the same feeling from building a Rails app that I would get from taking a bunch of ingredients and making a finished product.

Danny: That is so cool to me. I love when you said learning a new dish and having it turned out was giving you that same feeling of excitement. What would you say is the testing period? Making sure that it tastes the way it's supposed to taste like creating tests for it. I'm writing your next blog here, Jeremy. [laughter]

Jeremy: That's a great question. I had actually never thought of that before. Where is that phase in this? Like testing something where it's like, okay, is this good or is this not?

Danny: I need a little Ratatouille rat underneath my hat when I code, sometimes, definitely. I'm just like, “I don't know what to do next. Can you Google for me?” [laughs]

Jeremy: Yeah. I'm sure TDD helps with that.

Danny: [laughs] Yeah. So then you were at 8th Light, and you got this apprenticeship program. And how long were you in that before you landed your first job?

Jeremy: The way that their program is structured is once you got into it, you were hired. It was a six-month program. And the whole idea was they wanted to take people from non-traditional backgrounds and basically mentor them into a billable position. And so when I got that, that was the moment when the dream came true. I was taking my son to the dentist, and I was in the parking garage. And I got the email from them saying that I'd gotten the apprenticeship. And it was a long, several months interview process. Every stage I thought that I was out the door. And then it worked out. And when they told me what the starting salary was post-apprenticeship, Erin and I were just speechless.

Danny: [laughs]

Jeremy: I don't drink anymore, but we just sat, back then, we just sat in our kitchen and drank whiskey in the afternoon just in silence.

Danny: That is amazing because it's just such an overwhelming feeling.

Jeremy: That was like, everything that we had worked for that was it. It had just happened. We lived in a pretty poor, tiny, Portland apartment at that time. And I would just drive through nicer neighborhoods dreaming about giving that to my family. One day, this is what I'm going to give to my family. That was the moment. And so we relocated to Madison, Wisconsin where I live now, and I was there for three months and then the pandemic really started to take a toll on a lot of people in our business, and they were not exempted from that. And so after three months, they laid off all of the apprentices. And it was hard. It was hard.

Danny: That's so scary because you just worked so hard to get this and you finally got it and then out of just randomness of the world, it completely affects everyone’s life.

Jeremy: Yeah, it was rough. It was hard for everybody because it was one of those situations where the people on both sides of that video call were just devastated that this was happening. And since then, I should note since I named the company, they're in a better situation. And they've started hiring new people and I believe bringing back the apprentices who they had to lay off before.

Danny: Not to shame any company by any means, but this is common everywhere. We hear many all over the place. That's the unfortunate thing about situations where within certain companies it can be like, “Oh, this is all great. Everything's good and dandy. But now all of a sudden, our entire business has been affected because people are not staying at hotels anymore or going to the movies or eating out.” There are so many things on the list.

Jeremy: Yeah. And so like for me, I spent the next couple of months just trying to find a job, but it was back to square one. Nothing was working out. And then I got connected with a man named Dave Hoover who runs Red Squirrel, the company that I'm at now. And we met and we chatted, and I felt like we really connected. And he has a lot of experience with apprenticeship type of programs and mentoring people. And so he offered a sort of like, okay, let's wrap up your previous apprenticeship. Let's do this educational experience at Red Squirrel. And we'll see if we can cap it off and get you in a position where you are more hireable than you are now. It was unpaid, and I just went for it. I really loved it there. It's a small company, and I liked that. It's 100% distributed, which I found was ideal for me. Just being able to work wherever I wanted was great because I love as much autonomy as I could possibly get. And eventually, he started throwing a little work at me, and I've basically been there ever since. I was in a contract role for a long time and then I was recently hired on full-time.

Danny: That's great.

Jeremy: So that's the end of that story, I guess. [laughter]

Danny: And that is Jeremy. [laughs] That's really cool. I'm happy to see that. I think there were so many instances in there where it's just like, it's great to get this insight on someone's story that may not be heard all the time. We'll hear success stories for people who got into programming where it's like, “Oh, I didn't know how to program, and now I'm a programmer.” That's great. But to hear “I got into programming, I got the apprenticeship I wanted, and then I lost my job because of COVID. And so I had to start over again,” it's good to get those types of stories out in the open so people can hear. Because then they don't feel like this whole idea of isolation again where it's like I'm the only one who lost my job or something. Or I'm the only one who's having trouble finding a job. It's like, no, it's not true. It's happening everywhere.

Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. It's so hard nowadays I think to hold on to hope. For me, it's the only option. In my experience, if you can stay optimistic, if you can hold on to hope that things are tough right now but if I can believe enough that it's possible, things can be better later. For me, I've never seen any other alternative to that because the only other alternative is giving up. I'm always skeptical of those self-help videos that you see where they’re like, “Just believe.” [laughter]

Danny: Just believe. Well, there's definitely that aspect where you can't give up when you're cooking. It's like, hey, no, but we have people paying. We need this food right now. What are you talking about?

Jeremy: Yeah. If anybody is listening to this and anything that we've said is resonating, the thing that I've always felt I wanted people to get from anything that I've ever written or said was don't give up. You can do it. It can work. You just got to keep going.

Danny: Jeremy, I think that is the perfect way to end it, just a nice little inspirational speech at the end. Someone's listening while they're cleaning their apartment, ending their shift, thinking about getting into programming. And hopefully, this is a little spark that gets them to check out some programming schools or reflect on their own story, or maybe the algorithm will get them too, and they'll get an ad from a programming school like you did. [laughs] I just want to say thank you so much for just being a guest on Launchies and just sharing your story. It's really inspirational. There are so many things I feel like I resonated with just with my own personal story. And so that was great. So thank you, Jeremy. Thank you so much. Where can people follow you, find you, keep up to date with you?

Jeremy: I've found over time that social media was contrary to my desire for happiness in my life.

Danny: [laughs]

Jeremy: So I'm not on social media anymore. But if anybody wants to email me, jeremyschuurmans@redsquirrel.com is my email. I'm happy to chat with anybody.

Danny: Are you not on LinkedIn either?

Jeremy: Oh, no, I am on LinkedIn, yeah. LinkedIn is the one that I saved because I feel like that's sort of unavoidable for your career.

Danny: Yeah. Because I saw it on your website and I was like, okay, not on Twitter, weird, but I'm sure there are others. [laughter] Thank you so much, Jeremy. I really appreciate it. And have a good one.

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. You'll also find news there of FutureStack, our upcoming conference here at New Relic. We would love to have you join us. We'll see you next week. Take care.

Discussion (0)