Brett Cannon - Core Python, Fountain Pens

Cool, we're recording with Brett Cannon.

So Brett, thanks for joining the show.

- Thanks for having me, Brian.

- You're involved with Python so much, but it's changed recently.

I mean, you do so much for Python, but are you no longer on the steering people?

- I am still on the steering council, but I am serving my last year.

So I will be on it until the end of this calendar year, end of 2023, when I'm choosing not to run again, 'cause when we were setting this all up, I thought we should have term and limits and we didn't set them up.

And at the time when we were discussing this, I said, I thought people should have like five, maybe 10 year term limits.

And I'm hitting your, this is my fifth year on the council.

So I just am flying through with my own promise and thoughts on the topic and stepping down.

- Okay.

How much free time is that gonna give you?

Or will it give you any extra free time?

- No, it will.

We meet for hour and a half every week plus homework, plus having to keep up with conversations and stuff in that regard versus maybe getting a bit more blase about certain topics.

Like, yeah, I really don't have to care 'cause that's not gonna come onto my plate.

I don't need to express an opinion kind of thing.

So no, it'll definitely free up a couple hours a week.

- Cool.

One of the reasons why I'm really excited to have you on the show is because of the focus on community.

And you've been a big part of the Python community for me and for a lot of people.

- Well, thanks.

- There's this quote that I think came from you.

Is that, is the, it came from the language, stayed for the community.

That about it, is that from you?

- Yeah, so the story behind that quote was I came up with it spontaneously on stage at PyCon when it was held in Montreal, Quebec.

Diana Clark asked me to do the opening remarks for the conference, you know, the whole, we have a code of conduct, abide by it, here's what's happening over the next couple of days, kind of opener.

She just didn't want to do it, so she asked me if I was willing to as a fellow Canadian, so I said, sure.

So I did it, and I ended with 10 minutes left to spare.

So I took that opportunity to thank the community for everything they do and everything.

And I go up that quote on the spot.

I have actually subsequently found out Fernando Perez also apparently had a similar quote at some point in some talk somewhere.

But I didn't know about it at the time.

He told me later on, years later, like, oh, by the way, I happen to have actually said something somewhere like in 90, like I can't remember what year.

And he said, but totally it's your thing.

You came up with on your own.

I love the fact that people have latched onto that comment.

So, but yeah, no, I came up with it.

Yeah, randomly on the spot and thank goodness it turned out to be a good quote because that's when everyone keeps quoting and not somebody stupid quotes I may have come up with over the years.

The, so this was, this was not that long ago, maybe six years ago or something.

Or, uh, when was Quebec?

Quebec would have been, was Quebec just before Portland?

I jumped on in Portland.

So yeah.

So I think Quebec was before Portland and Portland was 17.

So with this have been 13, 14.

So maybe a little less.

- Okay.

But you were already like, well in the community.

You're a part of the community.

So is that like true?

Was that quote that sort of an idea true for you?

Did you, do you think you came for the language and stayed for the community?

Or is that just what you observe other people doing?

- No, no, it's totally true for me.

So I got involved with Python.

I learned Python the fall of 2000, and then I subscribed to the Python Dev mailing list in June of 2002.

And then I made my first commit April 18th, 2003 as a core developer.

And so at that point, I'd already been involved for a decade.

and I already had been, I'd already made a big contribution, right?

Like at that point, I had already done import lib and the whole import thing.

So I'd already had that big thing I'm known for, code wise, done.

I had already finished my PhD at that point and I was working.

So I was already past the whole tons of free time to actually contribute as much as I used to, right?

'Cause as a grad student, I had plenty of free time.

So I was able to finagle some of my research back into Python and do school assignments around Python and all that stuff and just flat out having more free time.

So at that point, I'd already gotten to the point where what I was getting out from the language itself wasn't the technical learnings like I was when I first joined, right?

'Cause when I first joined, there was a lot of just like how to develop code, how to work in a team, all the things you talk about that you learn when you join an open source project and get involved, had already happened for me.

I had already done all that.

So at that point, the reason I was sticking around was honestly for the people.

And it still continues to be true to this day, right?

Like I'm motivated to try to make Python better because A, it helps the people who I've come to consider friends' lives better and also just the general world out there in terms of people in the community, the scientists and stuff who are trying to fight climate change or make massive discoveries in physics or all these people who are doing like good work, right, just with this and not just for money, although that's totally fine too because Lord knows I got to get paid too and pay my bills.

But just that kind of stuff, right?

It's really is for me about the community at this point because it's not as much about the technical learnings as much it is about just effectively helping people out.

Well, you also, you do help a lot of people out and you also give a lot of time, give your own time to people like me on podcasts and stuff.

But you also, so you, one of the, I want to, I guess I'll point people to a couple other podcasts.

You were on the changelog recently and that was an excellent discussion.

And they kind of, you discussed some of your past there too.

And then there was some other, I wish I would have looked this up.

I should have wrote it down.

You were on something else recently too, weren't you?

Oh, I was on Django talk.

That's it.


The Django chat.

The Django chat, sorry.

That was actually, I really, I guess I would encourage people to go listen to both the changelog interview with you and the Django chat.

Those are really great.

I thought there were great discussions.

And I guess I think I've shared this before, but I'm gonna share a story.

I knew you as like one of the Python gods, essentially, when I came in, when I started paying attention to the community.

So I've been using Python since like 2000-ish, maybe 2001, 2002, but I didn't really jump into the community too much until I started getting involved with the podcasting and stuff and blogging.

I guess blogging would give it a start, but that was more like 2000 and 2011 or something like that.

And, but, and then I started doing public speaking, trying my hand at it.

And my first PyCon that I spoke at, I was nervous as get it all get out and it didn't go as planned.

And I don't think it went that well.

- That's fine with Paul, right?

- Well, supposedly with Paul, but he didn't show up and.

(laughs) was supposed to be, yeah, Paul Everett and myself.

And in about an hour before he said, "Yeah, you were gonna do the talk and I was gonna do the demo, but you're just doing it all right now because I didn't have time to practice the demo.

" (laughs) And I'm like, "It's all good, but it's probably not gonna go well.

" And, you know, excuses, technical issues and whatever, trying to switch, just like I was flustered with just trying to switch between like the console and the everything and the, oh, it's doing PyCharm, the PyCharm window and the slides going back and forth that didn't work that well.

And then also the resolution of the PyCharm was so awful on the screen that it couldn't see anything.

But, oh well, I should have put it all in slides instead.

But anyway, I got off and like, and then later I attended a talk that you gave, you gave like one of the closing keynotes or, I don't know, one of the keynotes, where you're talking about, I think you were talking about burnout or something.

- Yeah, so that would have been Cleveland then when I was giving one of the opening keynotes, I think on a, like Saturday about contributions to open source.

And yeah, it focused around burnout, just had to treat each other nicely to actually keep this whole open source thing going.

- Well, I just love the talk.

So I stuck around to try to just say, "Hey, I like the talk.

" And you walked up to me and said, "Hey Brian.

" And I was like, "Oh my God, Brett knows my name.

" (laughs) And then also you gave me positive feedback on the talk, even though I know it was a crash and burn, but that encouragement of just encouraging people to speak, public speak, 'cause that's something that we're not, as nerds, a lot of us aren't used to doing.

So I guess thanks for lying to me and telling me it was a good talk.

- No, I mean, actually I do remember that 'cause I think we ran into each other Sunday during the poster session the next day, if I remember correctly.

- I think so.

- Yeah, so I actually do remember that.

Yeah, I mean, I've been there, right?

Like I've been looking after spoken at PyCon US many times, and I've had talks rejected just to be clear.

I do not always get my talks in regardless of who people think I am.

So if I never feel bad, if you get a talk rejected.

But I have had that stage fright and the problems and all that.

And I've lived through it.

And it's one of those things where it takes time.

It took me years to deal with the bulk of my stage fright when talking in a room and I still get it right.

Like effectively, unless I've given the talk at least once already.

publicly, I'm nervous up there.

It might not always come through, but as a good example, for instance, I gave a talk at podcast Gaze this year, and I was nervous.

And I don't know if it shows through.

I hope it didn't.

But it's one of those you never quite know how the timing is going to go, or is the slide going to make sense, or just kind of where things might trip up.

And it's just the demo guides might not play in your favor, and same thing with the talk gods and whatever.

And I mean, the only time I didn't feel nervous giving that talk was when I give it at PyCon US 'cause I'd already given the talk live.

I already knew what slides I tripped up on and what slides people didn't find clear enough.

And I'd already gotten feedback from that talk from many people.

Thank you to those who gave that to me as well.

And I just know that it's also really hard to know objectively why you've given a talk, what went well and what didn't, right?

Because it's another one of these things where I've been in talks where I feel like every little joke I made landed flat.

And then afterwards, people come up and say, oh, that was so funny.

It's like, really?

No one seemed to-- - Nobody laughed.

- Exactly, right?

And it's one of those things where you think, oh, that talk once had gone over horribly.

And everyone was like, no, I loved it, or what have you.

And so I also just realized that, I mean, giving feedback is just something that's just helpful.

And it's a small gesture, and it's a small thing.

And you don't have to be rude about it when you do it, but everyone, I think, typically wants to improve and do better.

as long as you can deliver that feedback in a constructive, caring way, it's helpful.

And so I ran into you and it just is like, hey, you said at the start of your talk, this is your first talk.

It's like, well, I've been there and I know feedback is important and it's hard to get.

And so I wanted to offer that to you and give it to you and just like, good going, good.

It's hard enough just to get up on that stage.

Like that's how many I talked to be accepted to step one, step two is getting to the conference and giving it.

And then step three is just learning from the experience so you can repeat again next year.

- That's awesome.

I wanna talk about a bunch of other stuff, but I think it's a cool time to throw in some tips about public speaking that I've learned over the last few years, handful of years, that I've learned from other people.

From Hinnick, he's given some great advice.

The advice I got from Hinnick really was practice it a lot.

like just practice your talk a lot, like the whole thing, out loud, standing up, and so, and then also give it to several people.

So like, I think my talk at PyCascades, talk there also, it was probably the best time I've ever had and I think it went really well because I'd given it publicly for three times already.

- Oh nice.

- And I practiced it like a hundred times.

I just, it was a short talk and I just, I'm like, it's worth it, I'm just gonna practice it a lot.

And I probably practiced it even like five times that day in the morning.

So anyway, and that's not, and also the other thing, the other advice I got from somebody was, you don't have to come up with a new talk for every conference.

You can, you get a good idea and give it locally, maybe at a local meetup.

And then if it goes well, submit this pretty much the same talk to Python.

Why not?

Um, so tweak it maybe, but yeah.

And to back up both of those points, um, I can't remember their name, but the author of the blog, wait, but why, uh, gave a Ted talk once and effectively said what you said, like this whole talk was about how to give talks and kind of how he screwed up his doc and changed it last minute, but, um, very much about the repetitiveness of it really helps with your cadence and your pacing and really helps just deal with the nerves because at that point it's a recital, right?

Because otherwise the nervousness typically comes from where am I going to mess up?

But if you've more or less memorized it like it's a one person play that goes away because at that point you're just literally just repeating the words you've memorized at a certain pace and tone, but that's it.

There's no, "Oh, is this going to work or not?

Am I going to my time is like you've literally practiced it so much those nerves go away.

So if you can do that, that's obviously fantastic.

About giving it to multiple audiences too.

I remember when PyCon US actually had to switch to telling people, "Hey, sorry, we couldn't have accepted your talk, but do give it to a smaller, give it somewhere else.

" And I do think that actually works really well for the nervousness to go from a small audience to the bigger audiences, right?

As you said, like give it to your friends, give it to your coworkers, right?

So giving it work, giving giving it to your local meetup group or whatever, giving it then at your regional Python conference, and then going to one of the big international ones like EuroPython or PyCon US, and kind of working your way up such that you've had that practice, but also giving it to smaller audiences.

So everyone benefits.

And honestly, most of those conferences are totally happy to take talks you've given previously because they were at a smaller audience.

It'd probably be a little different if you went from PyCon US down to your regional 'cause there's a much bigger chance People have seen that video, but going small up, I've historically not found conferences having a problem with having you give a talk you've already given somewhere else.

- Yeah.

Anyway, I think it's fun.

And I also think it's fun to give a talk and also it's a growing experience.

The other, okay, the last bit was when I first started talking, I thought I'm never gonna get asked again.

So I'm gonna try to instill every bit of information that I know, that's not a good strategy.

Focus on something small and narrow is way easier.

And then the last bit for me at least is don't do demos.

- The one thing I'll add to this is try to stay calm by believing that you are the expert at your talk.

That helped a lot for me is I would always go of these talks going, oh man, or, oh geez.

Is someone gonna trip me up in the Q&A or something like that?

Which is why I always loved it when podcast skates did away with Q&A's, public Q&A's and you got private Q&A's.

But I basically started to go into talks going like, well, okay, I'm the one giving this talk.

No one knows the content of this talk as well as I do.

'Cause literally no one else wrote this talk.

So I know what's in it and what's not.

And it's always okay to say you don't know.

'cause guess what?

Chances are the vast majority of people in that room don't know, and even if someone comes up in the Q&A and gives the answer kind of Q&A where they're just seeming to kind of just boast or trip you up, which thankfully doesn't happen too much, you can always just go, "Oh, okay, thanks," or, "I didn't know that," or, "Let's talk afterwards," right?

It's always okay to show your ignorance or your lack of knowledge.

We all have lack of knowledge.

There's always some gap.

You're not expected to be perfect, so it's okay to do that.

And when you, and I found for myself, at least, it took a lot of stress off when, 'cause then I don't feel like, oh my, did I prepare enough?

Do I know enough?

Am I gonna handle the questions?

Like, no, probably not, but that's fine.

It's not a big deal.

So that helped me a lot.

- It's also okay to get feedback and learn after a talk.

Like the, so my talk at PyCascades, it was like filmed at that one.

And so that, then other people got to watch it and then I got contacted by the talk, one of the talks maintainers and said I had a problem with the talks configuration.

I'm like, thanks.

It's not a problem.

Just like something in talks three, you had to say, you had to specify that it was like a different kind of build to do a PI project, almost build, but I can't remember the keyword now, but it's not necessarily in talks four.

I'm like, okay, cool.

I didn't know that.

- Yeah, I had the same thing with my PI cascade's talk.

I got a bunch of feedback from people afterwards 'cause my talk was on Python Syntactic Sugar and I said, "Oh, I don't think I can get rid of this syntax.

" And people come up to me and say, "Actually, I think you can.

" And they gave me some ideas and I went back, was actually able to write more blog posts on that whole series and then tweak it and then have a even better talk at PyCon US 'cause I was able to have even more of the problem solved and be a little bit more prepped.

So yeah, it paid off.

- And then bringing those skills back to work, I like don't worry at all about speaking in public at work.

I used to like even like 10 people or something, I'd get, I'd be nervous to get up and talk in front of a meeting room.

And now it's like, if I can talk in front of a couple, a few hundred people at a conference, then talking to 10 people is no big deal at all.

- Yep, yep, exactly.

Like when you've talked in front of an audience of thousands like you easily can at PyCon, talking in the middle of a meeting to some people, you really stop stressing.

Like I used to be one of those guys that would like, I have no problem taking over a meeting from the sidelines to stand up and like, oh, that's wrong.

And then, you know, go around and I wasn't that bad.

But if I'm the one actually starting the meeting or the discussion, I would be nervous for some reason, but that's all gone now.

So I think that's one of the benefits of trying to do of public speaking is because private speaking is that much easier.

But anyway, on a different note, I don't know.

So there's a lot of history of like how you got into Python and stuff and that's why one of the reasons why I'm gonna point people to those other podcasts 'cause you cover that.

And if people don't know it already, plus they're interesting questions.

But what do you do like you live up in Canada and stuff?

Like I can't remember why you're in Canada.

Were you born there or?

- Yeah, yeah, so I was actually born here in Vancouver and I was born to American parents.

And then before I turned about one, we moved back down into down to Washington state, Bellevue, Washington technically.

And then I basically grew up between, I was in Washington state for a while and then as a kid, And then we moved down to various suburbs of Los Angeles, all the way through junior college and went to Pasadena City College.

And then, yeah, and then Bay Area for my Bachelors at Berkeley and then Central Coast of California where I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for my Masters and then back to Canada for my PhD because my supervisor at Cal Poly had suggested, "Oh, why don't you try applying to Canadian schools?


Okay, sure.


Why not?

I'll give it a shot.

So I did.

And lo and behold, I got in and it turned out actually a friend of his from his PhD days was a prof at UBC and actually became my PhD supervisor.

And then I met my wife while I was here.

We tried to move back down to the States for a bit when I got my job at Google, but US immigration decided to lose her paperwork and we at that point, yeah, and the green card application we did required her to stay here.

So we did that.

And we'd been there separated right after getting married for like, five, six months.

And we're just like, why are we doing this to ourselves?

We're both Canadian, we don't need to do any weird immigration stuff.

So Google had a office in Kitchener, Ontario.

So we just moved out there for four years and then said, No, we want the West Coast lifestyle.

And that I'm moving to Vancouver.

So moved out here and that's when I also started Microsoft.

- Okay.

I didn't know Google didn't, I would have assumed Google had something in Vancouver also.

- No, it never happened.

They came up and looked, but didn't decide not to.

Most honestly, back then I left Google in 2015.

Back then a lot of the offices were due to acquisition and they just never acquired a Vancouver company.

So it just didn't happen.

And Google didn't do remote back then, except in very extraneous circumstances.

And I did not qualify as extraneous for that.

So I had to leave when I moved out here.

- So, okay.

So you're coding a lot, you're helping out.

You live in Canada.

So I'm gonna have to be respectful because I grew up in the eighties.

So Bob and Doug McKenzie just pops into my head - I still don't know what back bacon is, but.

- Oh, Canadian bacon?

- Is that what, is that the same?

- Same thing.

- Okay.

- Everyone is just back bacon is Canadian bacon.

It's just depends on where you are, whether they bother to label it Canadian or back bacon.

- Huh?

Is that like the egg McMuffin at McDonald's has got back bacon on it in Canada?

- I actually don't know.

I mean, obviously it's what you typically end up with on your pizza, but.

- Oh, that guy, okay, got it.

Yeah, no, I don't eat red meat anymore.

So that's not an issue, but anyway.

And I also don't really know what a toucan, but.

- It's a beanie.

- Really?

- Yeah.

- Is that something that's common in Canada or just a joke in the eighties?

- No, no, we all, for those of you who don't know, Canada's north, as it were.

And even the, so funny enough, a large proportion of the Canadian population actually lives below the 49th parallel because so much of the Canadian population lives in the Greater Toronto area, which is actually parallel to about Portland, I think, roughly, maybe Salem.

So it's actually surprisingly far south, but it gets frigid out there.

And even, so Vancouver in Victoria, BC, which is the capital of British Columbia, BC.

We have like some of the mildest weather in terms of winters and it still gets below zero, right?

And our highs and lows in winter before climate change were typically like lows of two and highs of five in the winter.

And so just everyone, the vast majority of people just have two sort of beanies just to keep your head warm 'cause it's just perpetually cold in the winter.

So it's just, everyone's got a hat.

- I even had to look that up.

I didn't really know what a beanie was.

- It's a knitted cap.

- Just a stock cap.

- Yeah.

- Yeah, okay.

- Something fancy is just we happen to have our own term for it compared to you all down South.

Just like nationally, we call it pop, but down South in the US, you all have different terms based on what region you live in, whether you call it soda, soda pop, coke, right?

Like in the South.

- Yeah.

- Even if it's Pepsi, you still call it any dark pop, you just call coke, right?

It's just we've naturally just decided pop is the term.

You sometimes see soda pop, but it's typically just pop.

- Well, that's kind of what I grew up with.

And so I grew up in the Eastern Washington and I think soda or pop was common then at the time, but there was a place called Pop Shop that you could take your bottles back to or something.

I think.

- I think Pop Shop is actually now the name of an actual pop making company up here at least.

- Anyway, but okay, so the temperatures are pretty mild-ish.

They're probably similar to Portland, not a little colder probably.

- It's pretty darn close.

Like when we've all had the massive heat waves, actually Portland's typically been hotter than we are by a degree, I'm talking Celsius, but by a degree or two.

Like when there's snow, I think typically, there's a good chance at least Seattle will end up with snow as well, whether or not Portland's gonna get hit quite the same, I don't know, but yeah, it's pretty mild.

- So what do you do in your free time?

Other than code, more coding.

- More coding.

Yeah, I mean, that's the problem with open source is when it becomes a habit, it ends up becoming your hobby.

A habit actually, my wife, Andrea, and I picked up over the pandemic was during the spring and summer months when it stays light out, 'cause once again, Vancouver is near the 49th parallel.

So in summer at its peak, like sunset, it's past 2130.

So we're talking like daylight past 10 PM or 2200.

So you can easily go out for a walk at night at any point and still have plenty of light to get around.

So we got into the habit of almost every day after work, driving to a different park in town and then parking the car by the park and just wandering the neighborhood for like an hour or so, trying to get in at least three kilometers, which is roughly two miles of walking every day.

- Nice.

- And we're very lucky living here because Vancouver's across the water from North Vancouver and West Vancouver, whose names are a little wonky when you think about the fact that West Vancouver is West of North Vancouver.

There's no South Vancouver.

And East Vancouver is just a labeled neighborhood of Vancouver itself.


- Oh, North Vancouver and West Vancouver are different towns?

- Yes.

So if you ever come to Vancouver, we have a bridge called Lionsgate Bridge, which actually Lionsgate Film, the production company is actually named after that bridge.

So when you go across Lionsgate Bridge, everything west of that bridge is West Vancouver and everything east of that bridge is North Vancouver.

But it's even worse too, 'cause North Vancouver, there's the district of North Vancouver and the city of Vancouver, which are two different things.

Although you ask locals who do not live in North Vancouver and it's just North Vancouver.

No one cares about that technical, political bureaucratic difference, but it obviously matters when you live over there based on what services you get and who provides it and all that stuff.

but yeah, there's little weird things.

But yeah, we're really lucky 'cause we're right up against the mountains here.

So we have great hiking trails as well.

So it's easy to go for hikes over North Van and West Van.

We've got plenty of parks here, I mean, being Pacific Northwest, lots of trees and stuff.

So yeah, I mean, going for walks is the default thing to do when we just wanna get outside and just go do something.

- Any skiing or snowboarding?

- I skied when I was a kid, Up until roughly my father broke a bone in his arm when we were skiing once and so he stopped skiing.

So it demotivated him to want to take a skiing 'cause this was back when I lived in LA.

So we had to go up to the San Bernardino Mountains which was like two, two and a half hour drive away to get to the snow and it was never great snow.

It was a fine, I mean, it was Los Angeles, right?

So there was at least snow.

So I did ski as a kid, but funny enough, when I moved here, since I moved back here from my PhD back in 2000, I think I've only gone skiing once.

I will admit though, we have started to try to do snowshoeing during the winter here, 'cause that's easy to drive to.

Doesn't require coordinating ski rental equipment for anyone, anything like that.

There's less risk of anyone breaking anything, and it's still a great workout, and you get to enjoy the scenery as you're going for the walk, so.

- Huh.

- Maybe a bit more of that.

- Cool.

Every year Costco gets a man and I'm like, how many people in Portland really need snowshoes?

But I mean, we have Mount Hood, but you know.

- Yeah, I mean, we're kind of lucky here, right?

'Cause we have multiple mountains with multiple ski resorts and almost all the ski resorts have a snowshoe trail somewhere.

- Really?

- Yeah, like you can go to, like if you go to Mount Seymour over here, They have actually multiple trails, which is great.

Cypress has a couple.

So there are just multiple places you can go to very easily.

And they're all reachable by public transit or by a bus from the ski resort.

So getting up there is real, real easy.

And once again, that's pretty cheap.

- I really enjoyed cross-country skiing, the one time I did it, probably 20 years ago.

Anyway, now the other thing that I wanted to ask you about, I guess your degree is in philosophy, right?

- My bachelor's is in philosophy and my master's and my PhD are in computer science.

- Okay.

Do you think that the philosophy affected your career or your attitude towards open source or anything, or is that just completely separate?

- That's a good question.

- I mean, it definitely helped just 'cause you have to learn how to think logically, right?

Like when I told people I was, when I was getting my bachelor's, lots of people were asking, "Well, what are you gonna do with that?

" I was like, "Oh, I'm going to grad school in computer science.

" Like, where's the connection?

Well, symbolic logic, I mean, this is back when people barely knew what software was, right?

- Yeah.

- Back in the early 2000s.

So it was one of these things where, yeah, symbolic logic alone and just having to think logically about large systems and thinking large systems and breaking them down into smaller constituent parts, right?

Or thinking about little constituent parts of something, of a thing, and then building up a larger argument, right?

It all kind of plays into software, right?

Whether you're trying to take the big problem, you're trying to solve and breaking it down into the functions, the classes, and whatever you want to do to solve it.

Or what are the tools I have available to me?

And having that spark of inspiration, it's like, oh, you know what?

If I plug all this together, it allows me to do this thing and have this bigger outcome.

So it definitely helped with that.

- I don't get how that's part of philosophy at all.

Maybe I just don't have enough philosophy background.

- Well, so the thing about philosophy, right, is kind of the way to think about philosophy is philosophy is anything that isn't in the sciences 'cause it's not solved yet, right?

So it varies from obviously ethics and metaphysics and epistemology, but political science, political philosophy as well and other things where it's just like we don't have a known answer to it and so ends up in philosophy.

I mean this is why scientists were originally called philosophers.

And the deal is is you kind of have to tackle philosophy depending on what you're trying to tackle from different angles, right?

Like if you're trying to prove the existence of God, like to take a big dramatic example, well how do you do that?

Well you You gotta work backwards, right?

You gotta work down to smaller and smaller stuff.

So like, I believe it was, see Thomas Aquinas, for instance, has a famous set of steps where he logically says, okay, well, if you take this to be true, and then this is true, and this is true, and this is true, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that proves blank, right?

And literally his was the proof of the existence of God, although I believe one or two of his things is like, it's a little, you could argue whether that statement's true or false, and that's where his whole logic breaks down, but otherwise it's the logical statements you can't argue with.

So from that perspective, right, that's going like, how do I make this happen in breaking down into smaller parts?

And the other part is just the usual, just sitting there, just contemplating the world, just thinking about it and just realizing, oh, well, you know what, this thing and this thing, well, this suddenly leads to this outcome, right?

And once again, taking, we could come off as disparate parts of something, and then just kind of tying them together in a unique way to have an epiphany or a realization that some of this opens up a new thing, right?

So versus the, I'm trying to prove this, work my way down.

It's more of this, oh, hey, I have these things in the world that I know to be true or I believe to be true.

What does that open up for me?

What does that say about the world?

And just kind of going that way.

And that's kind of the whole, oh, you know, I could totally use this software in an interesting way and create a new project or a new product, or you know what?

I totally could make something like, I can do something with this.

I'm gonna go play with this.

And then you kind of have some epiphany about some new thing.

- That's one of the things that actually, you talking about that made me think, one of the things I think is really important in software teams is to give people enough time to, 'cause they're thinking about the software while they're writing it and afterwards and then their free time and whatever, but allowing them enough time, extra time, to do something with that thinking.

So whether it's taking those ideas and building something bigger, or taking those ideas and redoing it, refactoring, and going, you know what?

Now that we've already gotten through this whole thing, I don't think I would do it that way again.

And I'd like to redo it, so I'm proud of it.

And I think that's really, that doing something with the thing, we think about these problems, and sometimes the way we think about them is doing the program, writing it, one way at least.

- Yeah, I will say the way I approach this at work is I tell people on the team, you're probably gonna have to rewrite this three times before you're happy with it.

All right, the first time is gonna be functional, but it's gonna suck, but it's gonna work.

The second time, you're gonna learn your lessons and you're probably gonna over-engineer the thing thinking you need to make up for the mistakes mean the first one.

And so then it's going to be a little harder to potentially maintain.

And then the third time, you're going to finally realize, OK, this is where I need to trim back.

And you're going to end up with a solution where you're not prematurely optimizing for some unknown use case or whatever, and you've got the experience.

You know exactly what you want.

I will say the other thing is-- so for the VSCode team that I'm on at work, we actually dedicate one week out of every monthly iteration plan to technical debt, which is how we're able to make sure everyone at work gets that chance to do that refactoring, to fix that API, to do that thing, to make their lives better as a developer.

And it's a massive win.

Literally giving everyone 25% of their work time to do nothing but just improve the quality of the things they work with to just make their lives better as developers is a game changer.

And it's totally worth it.

It pays for itself over and over and over again.

Because otherwise, you're just stuck having to live with that.

It works, but it sucks first version.

You don't get a chance to fix things.

Well, getting 25% of your time to just go off and just do whatever.

You're not being told what to do.

You're just told to make your life better so you're happy to come to work every day.

Really, really makes a difference.

And have you had any pushback from engineers?

No, why would the engineers be upset?

They get more time to fix all the things that bugging them every day, right?

Like literally it's one of these things where I tell people like, look, go fix that bug that's been bothering you that we just haven't been prioritizing for whatever reason.

Go fix that API that's been driving us and isn't well-designed.

Go automate some part of our workflow that you've just find too laborious to deal with.

Like it's literally a week a month to just go and improve your life as a developer.

So honestly, if that doesn't fit your ethos, this is not the team for you probably.

but no, I've never had anyone push back.

The worst I've ever had is people who are like, "Well, I don't know what to work on.

" It's like, "Oh, I bet you do.

You're just overthinking this, right?

Like, let's talk this out, right?

" Like, once again, is there some bug that's been bugging you a bit lately that you just haven't gotten to?

Oh yeah, well, there's this one.

Well, there you go.

Just go fix that, right?

- Yeah, there's always, there's like a bug that, like to me is important because it's breaking one of my regression tests, but nobody really cares about it or something.

I constantly tell the team, go fix tests, right?

Like literally, I'm sure there's some tests that are a bit too brittle that occasionally, like we did that for a while.

I was like, see, I got a little too flaky.

And it's like, you know what?

Just spend that week, just go fix tests, go make them better, make them less flaky.

Make them less flaky.

Like literally just whatever you need to do to make your life as a developer better, this is the week to do it and you get it every month.

So it also means you don't have to stress like, oh man, I don't get this one week a year.

What I'm gonna do?

It's like, no, no, whatever you don't finish, just carry it over the next month and you'll just keep working on it.

Go add new linting rules and make the linter pass.

It could be really simple stuff.

We introduced ESLint.

We had to use a block list to block files from getting linted because they just didn't pass yet.

But we want to make sure at least all new code met it.

Well, a thing to do during that week.

Take a file off the block list, see what fails, fix it to pass the lint, and then move on.

There's a whole bunch of stuff you can do.

- The interesting thing to me is the, 'cause I like to write also.

So with writing, the first draft is never going, we always call it the first draft.

That's what we call it.

- Yep.

- We don't treat software like a first draft or a lot of people don't.

And I think they should more.

- Oh yeah.

- Even though it's coming up a lot.

I mean, I can't remember who it was, whether somebody said like, first make it work, then make it fast or something like that.

But, and what that means is rewrite it possibly.

And it doesn't take as long.

And one of the things that some people I've come across have said, well, it took me a month to write that.

I don't want to spend another month.

It's not going to take you a month to rewrite it.

You already know all the lessons.

- Yeah.

- It's gonna, and you don't have to do it in one hole.

You don't have to throw everything away, but you can go, maybe it's not completely broken, but you can just change some stuff.

But that's where tests help.

Make it functional, write some tests around it, and then you can refactor.

- Yeah, I mean, tests can be very freeing that way, right?

It's about feeling confident that your code is still shippable.

And that's why I told the team, right, is you should write tests such that if I hit the release button today, as long as CRI is green, you're cool with that, and you're not gonna be sweating bullets.

Like you're not going to be stressed that I am shipping your code today 'cause see I passed, right?

Like if you are, you didn't write enough tests.

So go write some more tests.

- Well, I want to hear about your fountain pen.

(laughing) Because I just got a new pen recently too but it's not a fountain pen.

So, okay.

So fountain pen.

- Yeah, yeah.

So I think it was when I graduated for my master's degree.

my dad bought me my first fountain pen.

It's a Waterman and I never had a fountain pen.

It was one of these things where like growing up as a kid, you'd never give anything that nice.

And 'cause you're gonna lose it or break it or whatever and that totally made sense.

But I had finally gotten old enough where actually when I graduated high school, I got a nice ballpoint pen with my name engraved on it.

And that was great.

and then subsequently I got a fountain pen.

And I had never experienced such a nice, smooth writing experience as I did with that pen.

And the feel of a fountain pen is fantastic.

And honestly, just thinking about the mechanics of it has always just been fascinating to me 'cause they're simple.

They've been around for centuries.

Like this is not a modern invention.

It's not like one of those Fisher pens that's pressurized so that you can write upside down, right?

So the mechanism of just like literally the physics of just how the ink just gets drawn in because of the capillary effect and all that and ends up at the nib and then you just write and it just gets pulled off and just keeps just pulling in.

It's just, it's one of those appreciations of the simple things as it were because we all work in crazy complicated technology.

I think you meet people like in tech all the time like have these little hobbies or appreciates for these the design of things that are way simple from the Before times isn't where before computers there's like how do people solve these problems without just using software to do it all And so I had that and I got another fountain pen later on and I just basically started to miss having a fountain pen but fountain pens You don't keep all over the house, right?

Like I don't know about you but like pretty much in every room where there's a potential need to write something down.

We have a thing of pens, right?

You just grab the pen in the house and you start writing, right?

I mean, this was like growing up too, but my mom was a school teacher.

So, once again, just got used to having pens around the house.

But I always missed getting to write with a fountain pen because inevitably you'll grab that cheap pen and just writes poorly.

It's like, is it out of anchor or something?

It's not very smooth.

The writing experience is like, "Eh, fine.

It's good enough for that quick little list, whatever.

" And I just got tired of not having one in my office because my fountain pen I keep by my bedside table for writing my gratitude journal to de-stress at the end of the day.

A gratitude journal is not a daily thing.

It's two, three times a week.

But I kept it by my bedside table to have that nice experience.

And so I just got very frustrated not having a pen by my desk.

But I also realized at my desk, I don't write that regularly.

And the other fountain pen I had, the second one I got, kept drying up because that's, I said, the drawbacks of fountain pens is the maintenance because they're using actual ink.

They do dry out, right?

It's not like in a sealed compartment as much.

And you can get cartridges too, but they will also dry out, especially if they dry out in the nib because you didn't store them appropriately.

And flushing them out is such a pain, right?

You have to run them under the tap, get all the ink out, shake it all out.

And then once again, that water gets really in there and it takes forever to get it all out.

And you want to get it out because otherwise it waters down down the ink when you do refill etc.

So I said, you know what?

Forget it.

This is annoying.

And so I went down to the Vancouver pen shop.

They're literally named Vancouver pen shop before they moved locations.

And I went in, it's like, I want a second fountain pen.

For the third in this case, I'm just like, what do you got?

Here's my problem.

I pen this, this is going to be the pen for the room where I'm too lazy to go to my bedroom to go get that other pen every time I need to write, but I don't write constantly so I need something that'll last.

I was like, well, we have some nice fountain pens that are guaranteed not to have the ink dry out in them for a year.

- What?

- Yeah, and it's like, oh wow, that's nice.

They're a bit pricey.

Well, let's see how they write, and they wrote beautifully.

I was just like, yeah, okay.

I'm not gonna make an impulse buy, right?

I'm gonna step away.

'Cause it was a couple hundred Canadian dollars, and it's like, okay.

And then I kept thinking about it, and then I just kept mentioning it every so often, like, I wonder if it should have bought that pen before they moved locations when it was on sale.

And I kept thinking I kept thinking and then finally one day, Andrew just went, you keep saying you, you keep thinking about whether you should have bought that pen just go buy the pen.


So that day we literally went down.

We bought the pen.

So I now have a platinum 1919 pen from Japan that has a guarantee that the ink in it because it's got a screw cap and such as a tight seal will not have the ink in it dry out for if for a year's time if I don't use it.

So right now my biggest problem is you have to store it upside down.

So when I do need to write something, I have to turn it, point it down and shake the ink down into the nib, but that's it.

And it just writes very nicely and fluidly.

- The last, I haven't written with a fountain pen for a long time.

And I think I let mine dry out too much and I couldn't save it.

I think I still have it around somewhere, but it had the little cartridge thing that you go in.

But you do have to write a little different, right?

I mean, or at least I felt I was writing a little different when I was writing with the fountain.

- Are you a lefty?

- No.

- Okay.

I know lefties have a problem with them because the ink does not dry quickly enough for them to not smear the heck out of it.

Not, I honestly don't.

I mean, you will write slightly differently just because the fluidity of the ink causes you to not have to press as hard as you used to, right?

Like with a ballpoint, you typically press a little harder to get the ball rolling and all that and really get the-- because you've got to have had that-- You get the ball rolling.

--pitch of a point, get the ball literally rolling, right?

Fountain pins, you don't need to do that, basically, as long as you just touch the tip instantly.

So you just start to press less.

But no, I wouldn't-- not that I can remember, but I've been writing off and on with the fountain pin now for decades.

OK, now I think I want to get mine out, play with it.

I mean, they also feel a little better because there's a little plastic waste in the world because of this, right?

Because you just buy the ink well, you stick the pen in it.

You have the fountain pens have a bladder that you can get where it literally it's just an empty cartridge that you just turn the back on it.

It causes a plunger to come up and suction just will pull ink in.

And I see you just get like a jar of ink and fill it up.




I did have a couple glass pens my wife gave me many years ago that had, that were, they were not fountain pens.

They were just, they were blown glass, or I guess they weren't blown.

They were pulled glass.

And they had like these little cuts in them that were twisted so that you could dip them in an inkwell and it would suck up the ink and then you could write with them.

And that was fun, except for they, you know, they didn't write for very long before they ran out of ink.

- Yeah, thank goodness for the bladders, right?

Or the ink cartridges for fountain pens are outside.

Yeah, I'd never be able to put up with this.

I had to constantly dip back into the ink well to get more ink into the nib to write some more.

No, no way.

No way I could keep up with that.

With this, it's easy enough to get more ink.

- Well, I wanna, we went, kind of went past the gratitude journal.

Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

What's that?

- Yeah.

So it's one of those things where if you're one of these people like me, where it's very easy to end up accidentally focusing on the negative, right?

like what went wrong with your day, when you reflect on it, or like, oh, this could have gone better or whatever.

Gratitude journal is basically a way to just force you to think about what went well.

Right, so it's like, what three things do you think went well today?

Like, and then what, name a couple things that are just going well in your overall life, right?

Just kind of forcing you to recognize what you should be thankful for versus focusing on the negative you have, right?

As an example, I've got a couple medical, non-light threatening, just to be clear, things like pulled muscles and like little RSI on my thumb that I'm dealing with that kind of stuff.

And so it's very easy to just think about that because it's a little more in your face when it's like constant little pains and whatever.

But then when you stop and think about it, it's like, that is minor compared to what some people in this world are going through right now, whether it's locally here in Vancouver or you think about what people are having to go through in the spring.

I mean, Like you can run the gamut from just having to put up with horrible stuff right now compared to me just having a bit of pain in my thumb right now.

And so it's just the gratitude journal and actually been shown scientifically in psych studies to actually help people feel better and have a more positive outlook because it forces you to acknowledge the state of your life which is typically for us in our current situations without speaking for you specifically, pretty good.

And just kind of making you just reflect on what you do have in your life and what is going well.

And so yeah, so I just-- - And do you have set times that you, set days that you do this, or is it just end up being approximately about every two to three times a week or something?

- Yeah, it's basically, it's just whenever I go to bed and I'm not dead exhausted and I just have less than five minutes.

I mean, it doesn't take very long.

You just have to, I just sit there, pull out my fountain pen and just go like, "All right, let's just think real quick what's going well and what hasn't.

" It takes a couple minutes, just as long as I'm not dead exhausted and I just sit there and have the time to just kind of do it.

I do it right in bed too.

Like I get in bed, it's on my bedside table.

I just grab it, I just write it and then put it down.

Hopefully I also have time to do a bit of reading and then yeah, go to sleep.

- That's cool.

I think I might try that.

- Yeah, I will say I turned on one of my reports to it recently and they've said that has helped them a lot too, 'cause they're going through a medical thing.

And they were just like, yeah, it really helped me put everything in perspective and just kinda just feel better about my plight in the world as it were.

And just, yeah, just as I said, just kinda force you just to think about the good things to kinda help push back the negative thoughts you might be having about just like, yeah, that thing didn't go well today.

It's like, yeah, but you know what, grand scheme of things, so what?

- When, what are you currently reading?

Right now I'm reading "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah.

It's not a new book at this point, but my wife read it years ago and absolutely loved it.

And I have multiple book series that I'm reading and I try to break up reading the books in any of these series with a book not from any of these series to kind of just get a bit of writing.

So I had just finished the next book in the Murderbot Diaries.

- Murderbot?

- Yep.

- That sounds great.

I don't know any of these.

- Oh, it's fantastic.

So it's a sci-fi book series by Martha Wells.

What's really good about the series is it's mostly novellas.

So they're like under 200 pages.

- Oh, nice.

'Cause I read so slow.

- Yeah, I'm a very slow reader myself and these books engage me enough and are short enough that I can read an entire one in a day if I'm not careful, which is great, but it also means, damn it, I got through too fast, I want more.

Luckily, if you start now, she's, I think, book, I think there's now five books now, and I think the sixth is coming out later this year.

And actually, some of them have now gotten book length.

But I absolutely love it.

It's, without spoiling it, but basically there's something called Murderbot that is basically kind of, it's not quite a cyborg kind of thing that is sentient and kind of breaks free of its controls, but doesn't tell anyone 'cause it's too busy trying to just not get caught so it can enjoy watching its version of telenovelas and just trying to live life and just whatever.

But it's extremely sarcastic too about always talking about the stupidity of human beings and the stupid things they do and put themselves, situations they put themselves in 'cause its whole job is to keep people alive.

I love it.

It totally fits my humor.

So I'll have to try it.

So I got, was a hungry for some sci-fi.

So I went and I was just a couple, read it, started a couple books that I wasn't really enjoying.

So I went back and instead of rereading "Stranger in a Strange Land" I listened to it as a book on tape.

And it's still a fun book, but it's, It doesn't date well.

It doesn't, I don't think it's aged well.

I mean, there's a lot of great stuff in it still, but there's a lot of sexism in it that is just hard to take in the modern age, but you know.

- Yeah.

Yeah, well, I also wasn't a voracious reader as a kid.

I don't know why, honestly.

I mean, my mom was a school teacher.

I mean, I was around books, but it was, I don't think I grew up around, I didn't see parents reading in bed constantly as a kid.

So it just wasn't a habit I ever picked up.

And then I got older and was like, "Man, everyone just keeps talking about," by the way, the whole man comment, you can tell I grew up in Southern California.

I keep trying not to do that to be a bit more gender neutral in life.

And it's a freak, it's a really hard habit to break.

Anyway, I just like, geez, everyone keeps referencing these canonical books that they grew up with, right?

like like Dune is a good example.

I never read Dune until like before the movie from Denis Villeneuve came out, right?

So, but Andrea, my wife, read it and loved it and talked about it and multiple other people and all the references to it.

So it's like, all right, fine.

I'm going to find, sit down and read it.

And it was amazing.

I absolutely loved it.

And I have a stupid $200 copy of it because it was such a wonderful book and I want to be able to lend a beautiful copy to anyone who I know, whoever wants to read the book.

It's huge though 500 something pages the the largest book or series of books I read were probably harry potter books I'm actually reading those now too Like I have multiple I have i'm reading the harry potter series Because my wife read them is uh when she was younger and we have an eight year eight and a half year age difference so there are certain things that she got into that I just I didn't quite get into because like potter books happened while I was like in high school So I just didn't latch on like she did when she was younger.

So i'm coming back around to those I'm reading the murder bot series.

I've read book one of Old Man's War.

I love that enough that I'm going to start reading book two.

So yeah, I've got a couple series going.

Oh, and I haven't, I've read The Hobbit, and I've not started Lord of the Rings yet, but I got a nice copy of that.

- Well, don't spoil it by watching the movies, I guess.

(both laughing) - Actually, so funny enough, I prefer watching movies first, and then watching movies next.

- Actually, so funny enough, I prefer watching movies first and then reading the book.

'Cause I actually really, I enjoy films a lot.

So like you were asking what I do in my spare time, right?

Like we go for walks and stuff, but Andrew and I like watching movies and bespoke television, like Sopranos, Mad Men kind of TV.

Or certain comedies, plenty of British stuff actually.

And it led to me seeing a lot of movies of books that I wanted to read well before I read the books.

And what it caused me to do is actually, I ended up appreciating the books more 'cause it's usually one of those things where people go, "Oh, the movie's never as good as the book," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, well, okay, then I'll watch the movie first, enjoy the movie as a movie.

And then I get to read the more detailed backstory, right?

Like I'm meeting that with Harry Potter, right?

Like, oh, that gets to me.

- Yeah, there's a lot more in the books, right?

- Exactly, so I get to have the reverse reaction.

I get to have enjoyed the films as cinema and I get to go back, read the books and go, "Oh, that's interesting that they left that out.

" All this little detail that they kind of hinted at but didn't have enough time to get into, right?

So I actually enjoyed the books more because I don't have to expend mental energy on certain things.

I already have a mental picture for how I wanna choose to view these characters.

But I get the benefit of all that extra detail.

I get to appreciate the movies even more if they're done well or why something was the way it was or go, yeah, no, I totally see it.

- My wife and I had read the first four or five Harry Potter books before, however many there were before the first movie came out.

The downside of that is neither of us had any idea how to pronounce Hermione.

(laughing) 'Cause it's not really a name you run into.

- Yeah, no, not at all.

- But-- - Yeah, it's always funny to find those words, like you think you know how to pronounce or your spouse thinks they know how to pronounce, that you both only ever read in print, and then you find out from each other, oh, you thought it was pronounced that way in your head?

Like, by the way, I don't know.

I mean, I don't know if you're one of these people who reads to themselves in their head, 'cause that's how I read, and I think partially why I read so slowly.

- Yeah, definitely.

- Yeah, I've met people who don't.

So it's one of those interesting things where you talk to people and realize what goes on in your brain is not the same as everybody else's.

And, but yeah, we have this occasionally, which is like, especially because right, having grown up in the States, I pronounce things typically more like an American than she'll pronounce things as a Canadian, finding where the little not cross section is.

But yeah, it's still fun to go like, oh, that's how you thought it'd be pronounced.

I thought it'd be this.

And we had to then look it up and find out who's right or who's wrong and start doing it the proper way, as it were.

- That first conference that I spoke at, you said we ran into each other at the poster talk And that like jogged a bit of my brain.

And I'm like, I think at that time we talked a little bit about tea and we both have like the same teapot.

- The house or are we talking about the Breville?

- Breville, the one, or at least at the time, the one that like, you know, you can set the temperatures and stuff like that.

So I just had some Earl Grey today made with that, but I like it on the oolong setting.

I think there's one that's 195 degrees.

I like that better for Black Peas than 212.

- Oh, interesting.

I'll probably not tell Andrea that.

So Andrea worked at a tea shop in university.

It's not here anymore, but having worked in a tea shop plus having English grandparents led to her getting steeped into the whole world of tea and being very into it to the point that for anyone who ever visits our home, we have an entire cupboard in our kitchen dedicated to nothing but tea.

And I mean a cupboard, it's literally three shelves full from individual little bags, like 100 grams, all the way up to one kilogram bags of some of our favorite teas.

And the tea maker, assuming Brian and I are talking about the same one, Breville makes one called, literally called the tea maker, which is as an engineer kind of cool when you see it, it's got buttons for water temp, but it has a metal basket in it and a magnetic railing in the back of the pot.

And what you do is you put your tea in the metal basket, put the top on and it's magnetically stick it at the top of the rail, set your tea, and then there's a temperature sensor that starts boiling the water until it hits the right temp.

And then the medic railing will magnetically lower the basket into the water, kick off the timer for the steep.

And then when the timer goes up, raise the basket back out, beep, and then that way, you know, your tea has been brewed at the proper temperature with the proper amount of steeping.

And the pot is well insulated enough that you actually don't have to rush over to get to it either because it's just gonna stay nice and warm for a surprising long amount of time.

- Yeah, one of my big pet peeves is going to tea, like going out to tea and, and they, and having people just pour the water in the teapot.

And I'm like, well, it's only gonna be perfect for like that first pour.

And then every other cup is gonna be too strong.

- Yeah, you can tell how serious the tea place is based on whether they bring you the pot with the tea in it or whether they bring you the leaves and a basket over your teacup and they give you the hot water to pour yourself.

(laughing) Right, 'cause as you said, if they bring it to you already seeping in it, they've already started the timer for you and they didn't tell you when they started the timer, right?

- Yeah.

- So unless they immediately tell you when they put it down, oh, pour this in about two minutes, 'cause they can tell roughly when they started it in the back.

- Well, sometimes they'll give you the little timer thing, the little tea timer.

- Yeah, but yeah, you can always tell when we go to, we always have to go to tea shops and go to tea rooms when we travel and it's one of those things where it's like, you can always just tell us like, oh yeah, here, here's your pot with your tea.

Like when did you put this in?

Like, I don't know how long you've been steeping this back there.

Did you rush and bring it to me immediately?

Or did you get sidetracked?

Like, is it been sitting here for a minute already or is it 10 seconds or.

So we always, we always have fun, but we're usually disappointed.

But even the bad tea shops are good stories usually.


Uh, we've actually been in tea shops where, and where Andrea's school, uh, not teach ups tea rooms actually in high end restaurants where Andrea, or high-end hotels at least.

And she has schooled them on how to properly do tea and they actually offered her a job once.

There's like, are you looking for a job?

We could totally use that one.

There's the manager for the team working with her.

He's like, you should know this.

If I'm the one having to randomly come in and explain to you how to properly brew and serve tea, I don't want to work here 'cause you've already started from a low position.

- My wife worked at a tea shop once and she, for her job interview, she brought her portfolio in 'cause she had like a portfolio of the different teas, like these that she's done at parties and stuff.

And they're like, you're the only person that brought a portfolio.

So yes, you're hired.

- Nice.

- So next time we're up in Canada, my wife and I should try to get you and Andrea to take us out to tea or something.

- Definitely.

- You're gonna make a multiple good tea shops.

- Thanks so much for your time, Brett.

And I think I've gotten to know you a little bit better and I hope everybody else has as well.

- Thanks, Brian.


Creators and Guests

Brian Okken
Brian Okken
Software Engineer, also on Python Bytes and Test & Code podcasts
Brett Cannon
Brett Cannon
Python core developer; snarky Canadian
Brett Cannon - Core Python, Fountain Pens
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