Whiskey Web and Whatnot

A whiskey fueled fireside chat with your favorite web developers.


116: Engineering Management vs Individual Contributor, Travel, and Inflation with Taylor Poindexter

Show Notes

Being a great engineer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a great engineering manager. So how do you know if a leadership role is right for you? Taylor Poindexter, Software Engineering Manager at Spotify, believes you have to try before you can decide and also know when to walk away.

Taylor started out as a tech lead. She knew she wanted to help people advance their careers, and that passion led her to management. She emphasizes that emotional intelligence and patience are a major part of the role and the signs of an effective leader because people are complex. She talks about some of her personal strengths as a leader and the importance of motivating your team, giving feedback, and taking uncomfortable criticism. Managing people isn’t an easy job, and Taylor’s advice for engineers who realize they don’t love leadership is to walk away before creating an unhappy work culture for your team.

In this episode, Taylor talks to Robbie and Chuck about tech hot takes, building effective engineering cultures, and the challenges and rewards of being an engineering manager.

Key Takeaways

  • [00:50] - Introduction to Taylor Poindexter.
  • [02:38] - A whiskey review: Barrel Private Release DJX2.
  • [12:19] - Tech hot takes.
  • [18:32] - Taylor talks about her skills as an engineer and manager.
  • [22:26] - Taylor’s advice for a developer who isn’t sure they want to be a manager.
  • [27:41] - Types of employees managed by Taylor.
  • [35:01] - Taylor unpacks her tweet about food spending.
  • [42:15] - Chuck, Robbie, and Taylor talk about the subscription model.
  • [45:10] - If Taylor wasn’t in tech, what career would she choose?
  • [48:32] - Chuck talks about his trip to France.


[19:32] - “I think I’m really good at motivating people. I think partially because, at the end of the day, they know I’m really honest and trustworthy.” ~ Taylor Poindexter

[20:19] - “The constant iteration of improving things makes the team a good place.” ~ Taylor Poindexter

[23:03] - “I realized that it was so important to me to give somebody else an enhanced career in whatever way I could.” ~ Taylor Poindexter


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[00:00:00] Robbie: What's going on everybody. Welcome to Whiskey Web and whatnot with myself, Robbie the Wagner and Charles William Carpenter, the four and a half. That's

[00:00:19] Chuck: That's my age and

[00:00:20] Robbie: good.

[00:00:22] Taylor: Could be zero, so it's better than nothing.

[00:00:24] Chuck: IQ. Right. I'm able to speak and feed myself.

[00:00:28] Robbie: That's I'm proud of you. Uh, our guest today is Taylor Poindexter. What's going on Taylor?

[00:00:34] Taylor: you know, just making it slowly and surely through the week. Glad that I'm here with you all. Finally made it.

[00:00:39] Robbie: Nice, nice. Yeah. We're excited to have you, uh, seeing that you're very into whiskey. So we're going to have you teach us some things.

[00:00:46] Taylor: Heck yeah.

[00:00:48] Robbie: Nice. Um, yeah, for anyone that may not have heard of you, can you, uh, give a few sentences into who you are and what you do?

[00:00:56] Taylor: So my name is Taylor Poindexter. I am an engineering manager 2 at Spotify. So I run a team of amazing full stack engineers front end and back end and before that I was in the startup world before that I was consultant. I also run a non profit called Black Coat Collective, trying to make sure that, uh, you know, tech is equitable and things are running along smooth.

, as they mentioned, I'm also a woman with whiskey on Instagram, and, uh, on Twitter you can call me Engineering Bay. So, that's my life in a nutshell. Also love traveling. Big, , weightlifting junkie. And, yeah.

[00:01:29] Robbie: Nice,

[00:01:30] Chuck: so we have many whatnot like topics. Uh, on the travel note, I just got back from France, not like this very second, but like, uh, this past Saturday.

[00:01:38] Taylor: Heck yeah. How was it?

[00:01:40] Chuck: Uh, it was great. The south of France is amazing. So we basically went from, in Paris briefly, Yeah, it was horrible. Uh, they all speak French and eat fries.

I don't know, it's weird. Uh, and was in Lyon for a bit. Uh, so visiting Beaujolais and then Avignon and some small towns around there. And

[00:02:00] Taylor: Nice.

[00:02:01] Chuck: then down to Nice, uh, doing the French Riviera and

[00:02:04] Robbie: hear it's nice there.

[00:02:06] Taylor: Yeah,

[00:02:07] Chuck: was really nice, yeah.

[00:02:08] Taylor: gone to Lyon and Les Comptes Amines because I also snowboard, uh, so really awesome. There's bedbugs in Paris right now running rampant. Hopefully they didn't get ya.

[00:02:17] Chuck: Uh, they didn't. Uh, I did sleep in a Best Western. And, uh, it wasn't, you know, it wasn't great. No, I'm just kidding. We were in some bougie nice thing. It was for my wife's 40th birthday. So we did all, we did all bougie nice stuff.

[00:02:29] Taylor: birthday wife.

[00:02:30] Chuck: Yeah. That's what we call her wife.

[00:02:34] Taylor: Just like that's, that's who she is now.

[00:02:36] Chuck: Mm hmm, mm hmm. Well, anyway, for our silliness, let's, uh, give it an impetus and a reason. We'll talk about today's bottle, which is the Barrel Whiskey Barrel with two L's. Oh, I love it. Uh, private release, DJ X2, finished in, uh, ruby port barrel. Uh, mine, at least, is 125. 8 proof. You know, we don't always get the same.

But I guess it is per barrel, so it should be kind of the same thing. today's is a blend of Indiana and Kentucky whiskeys, so we also got to get a little NJP in there. Um, it is not age stated, and so we also don't have any ideas on the mash bill, but we'll figure it out.

[00:03:13] Taylor: Did you say yours is 118? Mine's 125. 8.

[00:03:17] Robbie: Mine's also 125. 8.

[00:03:19] Chuck: mine's 125. 8. Did I say 118?

[00:03:22] Taylor: could have misheard. My apologies.

[00:03:24] Chuck: I also have problems reading as I get older. Um, no

[00:03:28] Robbie: in the notes, so I'm not sure what you said, but it does say

[00:03:30] Chuck: Yeah. I'm gonna, I'm gonna say she was right, but it is, uh, 125. 8. Thank you for the correction there.

[00:03:37] Taylor: Good

[00:03:37] Chuck: uh, let's just, yeah. It's been 13 long years of beating it into me, so, you know.

[00:03:45] Taylor: Oh, it smells good.

[00:03:46] Robbie: Getting some, uh, Big red gum on the

[00:03:50] Taylor: Mm hmm. Same.

[00:03:52] Chuck: I was thinking of, like, the big red soda. You know, that, like, red soda pop? It's a big red.

[00:03:58] Robbie: that like cheer wine?

[00:04:00] Chuck: Um, but it tastes completely different than that. It's like, it would be closer to like, uh, red cream soda. You ever heard of

that? It'd be kind of like that, but not, yeah. This is almost like some weird fruit punch soda thing.

Taylor breaking out the neat glass. Showing us how it's done.

[00:04:18] Taylor: It kind of tastes like red medicine to me for some reason.


[00:04:21] Robbie: Like a robot

[00:04:22] Chuck: Like cherry cough syrup kind of thing or something?

[00:04:25] Robbie: It does have a little of

[00:04:26] Chuck: could get a little of that. Yeah. So, yeah, this still takes me back to like the Big Red Soda a little bit. Definitely has a slight medicinal quality. Like, there's a spice or something in there. Cinnamon,

[00:04:39] Taylor: Mm hmm. I'm

[00:04:40] Chuck: hmm.

[00:04:40] Taylor: see what the water does.

[00:04:42] Chuck: Yeah.

[00:04:43] Taylor: So in one of your previous episodes, you kind of touched on it, but like, the nerdy scientific reason why water helps bring the flavor out, is so in whiskey, there's this thing called guaiacol, and so that carries the flavor, but guaiacol binds to the ethanol, and so by putting a couple of drops of water, and I just have like a little dropper like this, it breaks the compound up and allows the guaiacol to float to the top, so it becomes the first thing that washes over your palate, so you're able to...

Taste it a bit better.

[00:05:12] Robbie: Hmm.

[00:05:13] Chuck: Oh, I love that you have signed that. Uh, yeah, today I learned the more scientific terms behind it to you then. So since you obviously like geek out about the specifics of all of these things, do you use distilled water, , for your dropper?

[00:05:27] Taylor: So honestly, I know I should, but I have this like really fancy filter underneath my, uh, sink. It's like alkaline and this and that. So you just do that and make sure it's at room temperature. If I have a party, I'll go buy a jug of distilled.

[00:05:41] Chuck: I think, uh, yeah, same thing. I think that that whole filtration system, so we have a reverse osmosis spout and then it filters through like shells and I don't know whatever bullshit that charges more money, but it does taste very clean and it feels kind of like same, same to me and it's, you know, on demand, so. Yeah, it's funny. I used to live in D. C. and I was, I think I was more schooled on the, uh, specifics of all of that, uh, at the Jack Rose. I used to wander over to the Jack Rose and spend money all the time, , on the thousands and thousands of bottles they have there. And they kind of show me a bunch of those nuances.

[00:06:18] Taylor: Yeah, I mean, I love Jack Rose. They get a ton of my money. Especially because I don't know if you saw during the pandemic, they sold majority of their collection to be able to continue to pay their employees. I thought that was pretty awesome.

[00:06:29] Chuck: Yeah, that is cool. Those owners are really neat. I met a couple of the guys, you know, hanging out there, too often. One guy kind of looks like, uh, old Willie Nelson. I think he's the scotch guy. And then Bill is the bourbon guy? Yeah.

[00:06:43] Taylor: one of the best nights of my life is I, I met a guy on Twitter, Mark, and he came in and, uh, he's friends with Bill and so they took me to Jack Rose when it was closed and just let me taste for hours on hours on hours and just hearing him tell stories was like 10 out of freaking 10.

[00:06:58] Chuck: Yeah, yeah. That guy is so interesting. And basically how that all even came together and how many bottles he used to just have at his house still. Cause he was such a dusty hunter. Yeah.

[00:07:10] Taylor: so badass. They even have Dusty's now, like they have like, my apologies,

[00:07:14] Robbie: No, no, you're

[00:07:15] Taylor: they have like Dusty's Night.

[00:07:17] Chuck: Well, as I say, they used to do, like, they had this case and basically they would just rotate it through every month or so and they would bring out different dusties. I tasted a 1947 I. W. Harper. That was like, you know, and when I first started going there, Whiskey wasn't super crazy, so like, I was introduced to Will It there, and they used to get their barrel picks and name them funny things.

I remember the first time I went to Will It, and I was like, I want Scrumpy Spice. And they were like, what are you talking about? And then I explained where I had it, and they were like, oh yeah, that guy just does his own thing. We don't name it. Ha ha

[00:07:51] Taylor: so funny.

[00:07:51] Chuck: ha. Yeah. But yeah, that place was amazing.

[00:07:55] Taylor: The 10.

[00:07:56] Chuck: Agreed. I mean, to me, it's the best whiskey bar I've been to in the nation.

So, and I've been to,

[00:08:00] Robbie: I was just better than the

whiskey library. Don't listen,

[00:08:03] Chuck: Yeah, it's bad. Yeah. The, the, the secret club in Portland, it's better than that. There's like, uh, what is the one in San Francisco? It's called like Rick house or something like that.

[00:08:13] Taylor: That sounds familiar.

[00:08:14] Chuck: It's pretty good, but again, it's not as good. And then in Louisville, there's a couple of different, um, Haymarket or something was the big one in Louisville.

[00:08:21] Taylor: Okay.

[00:08:22] Chuck: And then there's another one, but again, none of them touch the Jack Rose. Like, in it's heyday, it was like, you just had everything there. And being able to hit up those Dustys and stuff was just, pfft, it's incredible.

[00:08:32] Taylor: And just like really quality like employees and like owners and obviously like even Bill when I met him is like just like super down to earth like very welcoming like just want to teach you about whiskey and let you try a bunch of stuff it's like heck yeah it's like what I want. Feel good give you my money.

[00:08:48] Chuck: Seriously, yeah, you get a lot more than just like that dram out of it, so. well there we go. Uh, this episode is sponsored by the Jack Rose.

[00:08:57] Robbie: It should be.

[00:08:59] Chuck: could be, yeah. Yeah, that's where some of my kids college money has gone. Uh, it was well before them, so, so be it.

[00:09:08] Taylor: Bill understand.

[00:09:09] Chuck: yeah, exactly. So, we, we should talk a few tech things, but we, I, I'm sure we're going to circle back to whiskey a whole bunch

[00:09:16] Robbie: Should we rate the

[00:09:17] Chuck: we, Oh, yo, I totally skipped over that part. Thank you. Uh, the only actual host here is Robbie the Wagner. Um, okay. So you've listened before, so you understand our highly stringent rating system and because we are engineers at heart, it begins at a zero. So zero to eight tentacles because that's what most octopus octopi have.

Uh, zero being horrible. Don't give this to me ever again for. You know, not bad, and eight, this is amazing, this is my go to all the time.

[00:09:48] Taylor: Mmm.

[00:09:49] Chuck: Obviously, anything you want in between, because that's how strict it is.

[00:09:53] Taylor: My initial thought is about a four. It's something about the medicinal taste that I'm not really nuts about, but it's also one of those things, like, the more that I sip it, the more that I like it. So, I'd actually be quite curious to like, make this in a cocktail or something like that. Like, an old fashioned and see like, Do I like it more or do I like it less?

But I don't know how eager I'd be to sip it straight often.

[00:10:14] Chuck: that's fair. So you still think four is where you're going to land on it?

[00:10:18] Taylor: Yeah, let me take one more sip. You guys go around, I'll let you know if I change my mind.

[00:10:22] Chuck: Fair enough.

[00:10:24] Robbie: Yeah, I.

[00:10:24] Chuck: do you think Robbie?

[00:10:25] Robbie: I think, you know, I always go back to my favorites from Beryl, and this would not be one of those. it's just not as interesting. Like, it does have that little medicinal taste, and I don't love that. And then it's also just kind of, it's not bad, but it's kind of flat on the flavor profile. So, yeah, I might go one step up and give it a five, but it's not my favorite of Beryl.

[00:10:46] Chuck: Yeah, I mean, I, I think for one now bias has been introduced into any of my own personal thoughts, but, uh, we have done a number of these barrel, releases and I think they do very interesting stuff. So I like that. I actually like coming back to them. I was hesitant for quite some time cause I was just getting sick of new places coming out.

with, , barrel proof stuff for a hundred bucks. And it's like, okay, another one of these, like bullshit, you know. but once I was kind of open to it, then they've really had some kind of great releases. So, you know, to their betterment or detriment in that sense, like when they're not doing great, then a hundred dollars kind of sucks.

And if you have a hundred dollar bottle that you're like, well, this might end up being interesting in a cocktail. That's just like I don't want to waste my hundred

[00:11:31] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:11:32] Chuck: right? Yeah, to me that's kind of like and there's a lot of things that can be because there's tons of ingredients around them So this one's pretty mid for me.

I think it is kind of like a four give or take I think that The port barrel finish is basically like a softball way of just putting it out there Because the other parts weren't so great so you can kind of Easily, band aid over that with the well, they'll like this because it has that sweetness

[00:11:55] Taylor: Yeah.

[00:11:56] Chuck: so, I'm with you guys.


[00:11:58] Robbie: Cool. So yeah, you were getting ready to say something about something. Was it tech

[00:12:02] Chuck: I was... Well, I was just saying we should talk some about tech, cause I could find... I bet we could find this an easy conversation for an hour, just talking about whiskey things. But, there are two other parts to the title that we should at least, you know, give a shot at.

[00:12:18] Robbie: That's fair.

[00:12:19] Chuck: we like to do hot takes just because it's kind of funny, and because tech twitter is funny and people argue about dumbass shit.

[00:12:26] Robbie: call them. Cause none of them are that hot.

[00:12:27] Chuck: Yeah, they're not that hot at this point, like some of it. We're not going to ask you about milk, so don't worry about that. Um,

[00:12:34] Taylor: it for what it's worth. Whole.

[00:12:36] Chuck: Yeah, what's wrong with milk? Well, I like it because it makes cheese, and cheese is one of the best things that's ever come out of dairy. I

[00:12:43] Robbie: that's true.

[00:12:43] Chuck: mean, here's a hot take. Are there eggs, dairy?

[00:12:47] Robbie: Wait, why would eggs be dairy?

[00:12:49] Chuck: They're always in the dairy section and I've had people argue that they are dairy. I don't know, they don't have, they have nothing to do with a cow.

[00:12:55] Robbie: probably means from the cow. Doesn't it? Like literally.

[00:12:59] Taylor: I think so.

[00:13:00] Chuck: That's what I thought, I thought too, but I've had this argument,

[00:13:02] Robbie: don't know.

[00:13:03] Taylor: I think lactose... Yeah, lactose intolerant people can eat eggs.

[00:13:07] Chuck: Mm hmm, exactly. Yeah, because they come from chickens and they don't have any, they're just, , embryos, you know, that are not, yeah.

[00:13:16] Robbie: Yeah.


[00:13:17] Chuck: eat babies. I, I will, I can't eat lactose, but I can eat babies.

[00:13:21] Taylor: Baby eater.

[00:13:24] Chuck: Anyway, sorry, that wasn't on the list at all and I can easily go. Uh, so obviously you now spend your time as an engineering manager making teams happy and productive and all of those things. So I'm not going to ask you those questions at all. Um, what is the best web application framework, Laravel or Django?

[00:13:43] Laravel vs Django

[00:13:43] Chuck: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.


[00:13:45] Taylor: just kidding. I, I'm not gonna lie. I'm a back end engineer. So like, I know Laravel, or actually, excuse me, PHP gets a lot of hate. But I coded in it for four years and it was absolutely heavenly on the back end. So I will ride that train and I feel like the people that hate PHP just had Bad situations with like, WordPress and PHP.

Give Flareval a try. Just, just, even just look at the documentation. You can tell that it's good. Just, just give it a try.

[00:14:12] Robbie: yeah, people give a


[00:14:13] Chuck: you get a Lambo. If you do it long enough, you get a Lambo. That's what I saw. Yeah.

[00:14:18] Taylor: Lambo's right out

[00:14:20] Chuck: Lambo.

[00:14:21] Taylor: see it, we can see that afterwards.

[00:14:23] Chuck: Perfect. That's part of the what not for sure. I'm into cars, so that sounds good.

[00:14:28] Taylor: Yeah, they even filled it with whiskey for me. See, these are

[00:14:30] Chuck: Ha ha ha.

[00:14:31] Taylor: These are people you should be supporting.

[00:14:33] Chuck: Those... The Laravel people or the Italians? I didn't even know they knew that much about...

[00:14:39] Robbie: they just have

[00:14:39] Chuck: We put a da whiskey in there.

It's the strongest a stuff. Anyway.

[00:14:44] Robbie: Although apparently, uh, I'm going to probably get this wrong, but did you see the thing Jared shared? Where like Di Saronno or whatever bought, uh, Sagamore

[00:14:53] Taylor: Oh,

[00:14:54] Chuck: Oh,

[00:14:54] Robbie: and they're Italian,

[00:14:55] Chuck: have to give her... Uh, yeah. Di Serrano. Yeah, yeah, I did see

[00:15:00] Robbie: So they now have a rye whiskey. So Italians know whiskey, like.

[00:15:04] Taylor: see?

[00:15:04] Chuck: Yeah, but the whole, like, there's a high level of thing, because, um, what is it, like, Pernod is, uh, an aperitif that's, yeah, there's all, I mean, um, Suntory owns, like, Jim Beam and some other place, yeah, there's all kinds, that is all messy. I don't think any of them are owned by places in the States anymore.

[00:15:25] Robbie: That's

[00:15:25] Taylor: they kind of like, think of it like stocks, like diversifying. It's like, alright, we got this, we got that, alright, we're spreading it out. Especially because whiskey's so hot right now, everybody wants a piece of us, you know?

[00:15:35] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:15:36] Chuck: And, and a brand that's well established and selling a lot like that, they're happy to get.

[00:15:41] Robbie: yeah. Speaking of things that are hot, Java or C plus plus.

[00:15:46] Java vs C++

[00:15:46] Taylor: Mmm! Ha ha ha ha! Well, I work at a Java shop now, so I'm gonna go with Java. I know it's, I know it's heavy, but so is C So I'd, I'd pick Java, you know? And my best friend, Nguyen, he's like very into Java, so... gotta support him as well.

[00:16:02] Chuck: Okay.

[00:16:02] Robbie: Yeah, that's fair. I think Java has good parts. Like it's, just don't like stuff that's older just for the sake of not liking it. Like, so.

[00:16:12] Chuck: why, why not Zig?

[00:16:18] Robbie: The only thing that's been written in ZIG is bun.

[00:16:21] Chuck: I know.

[00:16:21] Robbie: Nothing

[00:16:22] Chuck: it's funny. Yeah, it's that new. So, anyway.

[00:16:26] Taylor: I was so confused on Twitter when I kept seeing the bun thing. I'm like, what is this? What is going on? Buns, buns, buns.

[00:16:34] Chuck: I mean. Otherwise, you don't want none,

[00:16:37] Taylor: Exactly, and I

[00:16:38] Chuck: Unless you, yeah. I'm tying it all together. Oh no, sir makes a lot of head of testa rosa. Different Italian print. Anyway.

[00:16:46] Robbie: Okay. Next one, Chuck.

[00:16:49] Chuck: Okay, moving on. Get rebase or get merge?

[00:16:52] Rebase vs merge

[00:16:52] Taylor: I was always a Git Merge girl, I'm not gonna lie. It's something about Git Rebase that I wasn't a fan of. I would do it if I had to, but I was always never a big fan of it. Especially because the branches I was working on, usually it would be other people working on it. Because it was like a startup and things were wild at the time.

so Merge.

[00:17:09] Chuck: Yeah. I could see right there things were wild. I think we'll do merge. It's going to be easier. Yeah. answer is always, it depends. I know you want to ask this last one, Ravi, so. This one has nothing

[00:17:23] Robbie: Yeah. No, I just had to throw this on there. Uh, is UVA ever going to be good at football again?

[00:17:28] Taylor: Oh, that's hurtful. My heart, know, my brother is 10 years older than me and he also went to UVA and they were good then. And so, you know, history repeats itself. So I don't know when. But eventually they will be good again. Just give it a little bit or a lot a bit of time.

[00:17:49] Chuck: Mmm.

[00:17:49] Robbie: Yeah, I

[00:17:50] Chuck: Yeah, on an infinite scale, they will eventually be better.

[00:17:54] Taylor: The odds are in their favor.

[00:17:55] Robbie: Yeah, I, uh, I went to tech and, uh, so I was like looking to see, cause I assumed you guys were doing better than us this year at football cause we are trash. And I was like, Oh no, just kidding. So I had to bring that up.

[00:18:09] Taylor: you're more trash isn't it?

[00:18:10] Robbie: Yeah. The entire state of Virginia can't play football. Sorry.

[00:18:14] Taylor: That's okay. We're doing the best we can here in Virginia.

[00:18:17] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:18:18] Chuck: spent ten days talking about a different kind of football with lots of, uh, European friends. And so, my head, every time, I'm just like thrown off by that. Yeah, Eggball game? Oh, yeah, that one, yes.

well, I think you kind of answered this already a little bit, but then you were working a bunch in Laravel, so you're not doing any coding whatsoever. Like, no PHP, no Laravel, no side hustle, side project, blah, blah, blah, whatever else. I, I appreciate the dedication to your craft. Like, I, Hmm.

[00:18:52] Taylor: You know I've been approached about writing a book. I don't think I'm there in my career yet, but I would like to write a book one day. But now all I basically do is do like very small Java changes within the team just to keep from bothering my team. Or looking at their PRs just to stay current and just like make sure I know what's going on.

I'm just like, I'm perfectly content with that as a manager. Cause I got enough crap on my plate most of the time. So it's like, alright.

[00:19:12] Chuck: Well then if you don't, and maybe this is a buildup for notes for the book and the future and all that kind of stuff. What do you think then, given your history there, moving up to, uh, manager two, not from one, but to two, so what unique, skills or tasks do you think you bring to your role?

[00:19:30] What Taylor brings to her role

[00:19:30] Taylor: Oh, excellent question.

I think I'm really good at motivating people. I think partially because they know at the end of the day like I'm very loyal and I am very honest and trustworthy. So I think that given my team that and they know that I'm going to support them no matter what, I think that helps me a lot.

And also like I feel like this is such like a job interview answer, but like organization, like organization, like being able to figure out like which of the balls are glass and which ones are rubber and will bounce back up if I drop them is like a really good skill of mine. So constant reprioritization and execution.

and I'm really open to feedback and that's strangely a very good skill of mine. So like almost as soon as I put in a new process for my team, like.

The team will either tell me it's great or it's fucking awful and I need to do something else about it. So like, the constant iteration of improving things makes the team like a really good place.

[00:20:23] Chuck: I think that's good on twofold. Well, first of all, I want to just note that I'm completely stealing that analogy between whether the balls are glass or rubber, I've never heard that before and I really liked that. And I think that's like very useful. And then I think conversely, maybe should be pointed out that not only then are you open to feedback and people understand that, but then they must trust it enough to actually do it because I think engineering leaders, we can see that like, oftentimes, that can be very challenging, right?

They're in their own little world of, uh, and they, including us, of course, because we've all been there too, is we're heads down. We're in our world. We do a bunch of meetings now we do our work and we kind of just, Not say float through because that, that sounds like kind of negative.

I just, you know, getting feedback and, and, uh, engagement can be hard as a leader. And I think that the fact that you get that and they, they trust and, are happy to like provide that for you is like a strong testament to how you're running that team.

[00:21:22] Taylor: Absolutely, and I know it's a balance and some people get really turned off when I say this, but... I'm also okay with like admitting that I don't know something, or I've messed something up to my team, and they're like, Oh, they're gonna think you're an idiot. I'm like, no, they're gonna think I'm a human.

Because like, even if I'm sitting here telling them like, I've done everything perfect in life, and I will continue to do everything perfectly in life, like, nobody can do that. Like, so, just being able to be vulnerable with them also encourages them to be vulnerable with me. and build that trust because they know I have like the solid foundation to like get stuff done.

But i'm gonna mess stuff up here and there which is fine and they will too and i'll give them the same grace.

[00:21:58] Chuck: yeah, absolutely. I think that it's a misnomer to think about an engineering manager as like, Your leader, your guiding light at all times and, it's really closer to a peer with a different set of responsibilities, right? And success is us moving together with our responsibilities both shared and separate and, you know, and then we get there, so.

[00:22:21] Taylor: I couldn't agree more. I definitely agree with that.

[00:22:23] Robbie: Yeah. Yeah. I'm also curious, I think this is a thing that people struggle with a lot is like deciding, do they want to be a manager or not? So like, what advice would you have for someone who's like been a developer a while and they're not sure if they want to go that way or not?

[00:22:38] Advice on becoming a manager

[00:22:38] Taylor: So before I did the full time engineering management role, I was a tech lead and so I was still responsible for coding but I had people that I was responsible for too. And so what I did was I took a solid pause and just kind of like surveyed how I was feeling for like And so I was like, what things are energizing me about this job and what things are like, maybe not adding to me or just like detracting from me?

And I realized that it was so important to me to be able to give somebody else, like, an enhanced career in whatever way that I could be able to. And so I feel like that's a good first step of being able to, , see if management is right for you. But then also, if you have the chance to try it out, remember that you don't have to stay there.

So you could, like, give management a try, maybe you stay there for a year or two and realize, like, Actually, this isn't at all what I want to do. And you just go back to being an IC, like, there's nothing wrong with that. Or you can even do like an embed if your company allows it, like go to try it out for two or three months and then come back and kind of just assess how you feel.

[00:23:36] Robbie: Yeah, that's, that's good advice. I didn't really consider that. Like, I think people might think that's like moving backwards if you go away from management, I guess. But yeah, it's, it's a weird, weird thing where like some companies really prioritize, Management over like being able to elevate engineers, which I feel like is sometimes a mistake because like your top engineering talent wants to continually like advance their career, but they might not want to be managers.

[00:24:00] Taylor: Exactly. And then you get in these terrible situations, which has happened to me before, where somebody was a good engineer, but they knew to continue to progress, they would have to start leading teams, but they didn't want to lead anybody else and so they were like a jerk about it.

Then you're creating unhappy teams and that like, good engineer technically got what they wanted, but what is the damage of doing that when you probably could have carved out a place for them to continue to be an IC and like, found somebody else to manage the team?

[00:24:26] Chuck: Yeah, but a bad career ladder definitely is something to be illuminated. Yeah. There's interested. So there's that article by, uh, I think it's chair, charity majors where she talks about like the leadership pendulum and how you should, you know, she advocates for like kind of moving up into leadership and then going to another place where you're, especially if you're getting into a smaller organization, it's better to be kind of on the ground and then.

Swing your way back up. , yeah, I often suggest to people, too, to read Camille Fournier's book, no matter where they are in their career, that, um, The Manager's Path, just because it so well describes, like, each step. Talks about like that, crossroads and then kind of tells you where that takes you and what you should be thinking about at that point.

I think you have a, good example though. You kind of got to try before you buy, before you really know for sure. But at least having the information of what typical career ladder could be, I think that's a great place to have. Yeah.

[00:25:26] Taylor: And I also love the manager's path and honestly, even though I knew I wanted to be in management and I have no regrets at all, even with that desire, management has thrown things at me that I never would have expected. So like, it's keeping things lively. Um, so just making sure you're ready for that, too, because humans are complex.

[00:25:45] Robbie: Yeah. you want to go into details on those things you wouldn't have expected or are they not shareable?

[00:25:54] Taylor: um,

[00:25:56] Chuck: Don't worry, no one at your company listens to this. They might now, though.

[00:26:01] Taylor: Or just like, I guess I'll just say this, so like, obviously you know what being a human entails, and so like, maybe somebody being terminally ill, or maybe having certain things going on in their life, or just like, ways of working and trying to coach people to the standards that you want them to be at, and then having to deal with a fallout if they're not willing to meet that expectation, um, and just trying to have patience, and also meet people where they are, because like, literally every single person on my team is different.

In having to have the emotional intelligence and also the energy to be able to figure each person out and also try to give them exactly what they need from me as a manager.

[00:26:42] Chuck: yeah, I think that's a great thing, and trying to balance all of those things all at once, because people are at different places at different times, too. And then taking into account, like, the other side of it, that's, that's the human element happening there, is that you're dealing with humans on this side and trying to, , create value, have work that they feel great about and everything else here, and the business has its own set of ideas and objectives, too, and distilling that all the way through that process and having, communication in two different ways, in a lot of different ways, but you have to meet both sets of people where they're at.

[00:27:14] Taylor: Yup, I'm trying to make sure everybody's happy if I can do it. I know some people, and I, and I do get this, they say like, oh it's not your job to make everybody happy as a manager. And I get that, but at least for me the way I operate is usually easier if I can make everybody happy at least. Majority of the time, like, you know, it is a business, but I try to increase the happiness when I can.

[00:27:34] Chuck: Yeah. Yeah. Cause that tends to follow like good work and productivity. Turns out.

So I wonder then too. So here's an interesting thing that I think, uh, as an engineering manager that like, do you manage both full time employees and contractors?

[00:27:49] Taylor: So only full time employees right now. In the past, when I was tech lead, I did have one or two contractors, but that's interesting too, because like, you know, technically you're not their manager. You're just kind of like responsible for them.

[00:28:03] Chuck: Right. And it almost takes like a different set of responsibility and you know, while you want them. to be happy and enjoying their work. Sometimes that kind of gets. sidetracked for the, I need them to be productive. They cost this much, they're, you know, whatever. Like that's a whole different facet of things.

Like you want to bring all those positive new things, but you don't have the same touch points. You don't have the same like, Oh, here we are talking about your career goals. you know, I want you to do better and grow, but I also am not responsible for that and can't spend all, you know, the same amount of time on that.

And so I think that's an interesting and delicate balance.

[00:28:42] Taylor: Yeah, or even like little things like so every quarter I get like a team budget and the team budget is by person on my team. But I can see some companies maybe not giving me budget for the contractor, and so that may make them feel less involved with the team, but, or maybe I spread the entire budget with them included into it, but then the team gets less, and, you know, trying to work through those intricacies as well and keep people, feeling good about the work.

[00:29:05] Robbie: That's one of the most frustrating things about budgets at companies is like, they'll be like, Oh, we have this money and it's for contractors. And there's no way we could take that money and ever use it for like full time employees. There's no way we can't hire anyone, but you have this huge pile of money for contractors.

Why couldn't you hire a person or two? I don't understand.

[00:29:24] Taylor: I don't get it either. And I don't know, I've had this exact conversation with friends, I don't know if it's like the insurance or the benefits that they also don't want to account for, , but it seems simple to me too. I'm just like, move the money over here. There you go. You're done. Now we can hire people.

[00:29:38] Chuck: I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Here's the thing. even with current climate, I would say that most software engineers stay at one place three to five years max, right? I think that's an average. And I think that a. Resource. Okay. So I'm going to dehumanize the whole thing too. You have a resource budget, right?

And you go, you have these three engineers and they're on the longterm budget. And then you're like, we have a roadmap that looks like a couple of years here. So we kind of know that we need people for these parts to reinforce this aspect. Like we have a core, we have this little part that we know about, but if people are staying three to five years, if we hire them, We don't want to fire them necessarily.

And you know, there's a whole different cost thing around that aspect of it to severance or whatever else. So the, these are more fixed. So I want consultants for that, that bucket.

[00:30:37] Taylor: That's true.

[00:30:38] Chuck: That's what I'm here for. Just drop it like it's hot.

[00:30:41] Robbie: Yeah. That, so what's the other side though? Because we've had the same problem of like, we want a contract here. And they're like, well, we have millions of dollars to hire people. We can't hire a single contractor. And it's like, well, is that true? Like, cause there should be less strings according to your argument.

But anyway,

[00:30:56] Chuck: Well, okay. Cause the art, I think the argument is different. I think it's less monetarily driven and I think that's a cultural thing where they believe that. They want long term investment in the company and the projects and everything else. They believe differently. They allocate money differently in the sense of, Yes, we have two million dollars and we have to scale.

That also speaks a lot to like VC days of scale is what shows success. So, it's hard for me to feel like that's, Good feedback for today, because I feel like the pendulum of that has changed quite a bit. But, traditionally, things that Robbie and I had experienced, uh, as consultants, I think that would be more the, well, full time employees is growth.

You know, we either want users, or we want growth by a team. Mm

[00:31:45] Robbie: Yeah. Arbitrary metrics.

[00:31:47] AD SPOT

[00:31:47] Taylor: And also your comment made me think of like the current market, the current job market for engineers and how much it's changed since like the last time I was job hunting.

quite fascinating.

[00:31:56] Chuck: Yeah, it was amazing to be in a space where people were begging you to work with them. And most of them were like your friends and former colleagues and that kind of stuff. And like everybody could just bring you wherever they want. that's an interesting thing cause it, cause for me, I, I don't think I had really like been through a serious job search in at least a decade.

Because even if I changed jobs, it was usually just based on... You know, that referral kind of whatever. Yeah, it was very easy.

[00:32:23] Taylor: Hot commodity.

[00:32:24] Chuck: yeah. And, uh, more gray hair, more wrinkles, no longer, no longer a hot commodity,

[00:32:30] Taylor: It's just the wisdom. That's all that is. Wisdom.

[00:32:32] Chuck: Mm hmm, yeah. That's, I repackaged it. I am the Gandalf of whatever thing. I am the Gandalf of Solid JS.

Sorry, Ryan, I actually invented it.


[00:32:45] Robbie: Ryan's a nice guy. He would probably be like, yeah, Chuck didn't invent it.

[00:32:48] Chuck: yeah, he did. Yeah. He's, now that I think about it, I believe he commented on a PR on knockout jss once in 2011, and so I guess he did. Yeah.

[00:32:59] Robbie: Is it

[00:33:00] Chuck: I, I didn't do any of those

[00:33:01] Robbie: okay. I didn't know.

[00:33:02] Chuck: I may

[00:33:03] Robbie: I

didn't know if you actually,

cause I,

mean, I used knockout back in the day. Some, so,

[00:33:07] Chuck: Yeah, no, it could have been possible. I remember evaluating Knockout versus Backbone.

js, and this is back when I used to work for National Geographic, and we, like, evaluated some stuff, and we went Backbone Marionette at our project instead, so. Didn't happen, didn't do any Knockout. Did you touch any front end frameworks at any point in your career? No?

[00:33:27] Taylor: absolutely not. Um, no offense at all,

[00:33:31] Robbie: Hmm,

[00:33:32] Taylor: no

[00:33:32] Robbie: but there's so many spicy takes and drama. It's so fun.

[00:33:35] Taylor: I know. And I see them all on Twitter. I'm like, Oh, thank God. This isn't my world.

[00:33:40] Chuck: Right, right. I mean, I'm, I'm kind of a part of those spicy takes and the whole, like, I think the whole thing should kind of get rethought and reset back to HTML rendered by servers and, frameworks with this stuff, you know, kind of just sprinkled in as needed. Like I think Astro is doing the right thing.

I think that maybe Laravel, cause I'm not familiar, but I'm familiar with Django from back in the day that is still chugging along and then with the tools we have now could do a real nice job, You know, tossing the complexity one side or the other, I don't know. What was the point?

I mean, there was a point for a little while, but I don't know about now.

[00:34:20] Taylor: so you're saying you're part of the drama on Twitter with the front end world.

[00:34:24] Robbie: I

[00:34:25] Taylor: At least you own it. I respect it.

[00:34:27] Chuck: I mean, I'm not incentivized to choose a side one way or the


[00:34:31] Robbie: I, I like

[00:34:32] Chuck: Guillermo won't come on here, even though I've sent him whiskey. He won't. I've sent him whiskey and he stole it, so he

[00:34:38] Robbie: calling him out again. I

[00:34:39] Chuck: 60 bucks or so, I think.

[00:34:41] Robbie: think it was more

[00:34:41] Chuck: And, uh, I know he's good for

[00:34:43] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:34:44] Chuck: It was, yeah, yeah, it might have been.

It was a Japanese whiskey, I remember. Because I think at a certain point I drank it and was just like,

[00:34:51] Robbie: No, we drank it on an

episode. Cause we went, he's never coming on, so we'll go ahead and drink it.

[00:34:55] Chuck: He's never coming on, we'll just do it. So, anyway. So,

[00:35:00] Robbie: Yeah. Anyway.

[00:35:01] Chuck: that's how spicy I can get. Yeah, okay, so.

[00:35:04] Robbie: yeah, the thing we're actually here for is, uh, you had a tweet that was saying you were surprised by how much you're spending on food. And I'm curious, two fold question is like, well, maybe three, I don't know, multiple tiers to this. Like, is that groceries, restaurants, does it include alcohol?

Like, unpack that for us.

[00:35:24] Taylor: So, last night I had a whole spreadsheet, right? So, the restaurants and stuff were on it's own. That's what I was most shocked about. But this is like a cooking household. And so, the groceries were also separate. And then another budget line for just whiskey. So like, I was only talking about the restaurant part.

Which is sickening. Absolutely sickening.

[00:35:48] Robbie: Yeah, yeah, I've, I've realized that myself because we, until recently with the economy being shit. Have not really had to have a budget, but now we do. So, yeah, we've noticed the same thing is like, it doesn't matter how much you put in your groceries and restaurants budget, you will exceed it. Like it's

[00:36:06] Taylor: Oh yeah.

[00:36:07] Chuck: yeah, we stopped, well, not the restaurants one, we have a restaurants budget, but this is maybe different, so I have two small kids, so our groceries budget is very healthy, even though they only eat like a handful of things, which is ridiculous, but so you just

[00:36:22] Robbie: Your hot dog budget's

[00:36:23] Chuck: cheese as possible, yeah, it is, you know, the Costco budget is pretty decent, because we need to get like frozen corn dogs, nuggets.

mac and cheese. Yeah.

Some frozen pizzas. Yeah, all the food groups. Listen, you know, we tried that for a little while. It

[00:36:40] Robbie: No, I'm with

[00:36:40] Chuck: you.

to be healthier. We'll do all these things or whatever else. At a certain point, you're just like, Please fucking eat. Please eat.

[00:36:47] Robbie: That's where we're at right now.

[00:36:49] Chuck: You have to stay at this table.

No, actually, it's 9. 30. Forget it.

[00:36:52] Taylor: Go to bed, you have school tomorrow.

[00:36:54] Chuck: Yeah, exactly. So it's like, I have that problem. So the groceries budget is just sort of like whatever we have to do.

[00:37:00] Taylor: And I guess if I think about it, for the restaurant budget, like, you know, if you go out with friends, you're gonna get a couple cocktails, so definitely alcohol in there, but like, you know, like a couple hundred dollar bills, those add up fast. I'm like, how did we get here? Then I started thinking about charging things as fraudulent, I'm like, I didn't spend this.

I'm like, oh wow, that was a hundred percent me. All of these you did all of this. You have no one to blame.

[00:37:23] Chuck: Yeah.

[00:37:24] Robbie: like, uh, grande margaritas are much more expensive than they were a few years ago. Cause I go through a lot of those and, uh, they're, they're really, uh, putting a hurting on my wallet now.

[00:37:35] Chuck: Speaking of margaritas, it's a surprising menu item everywhere in France. There are like their cocktail menus. Okay, so, everybody has margaritas, mojitos, yeah, all over the place, I refused to order one, just, I don't know, it felt like out of principle, it was like, why am I going to have these, but a margarita everywhere, you could get that, there's also a lot of burgers, but,

[00:37:58] Taylor: spritz? For some reason I feel like

that would be over there.

[00:38:01] Chuck: yeah, there's a Spritz everywhere, especially as you go south, because Nice, was Italy, was French, was Italy, was France, it like switched back and forth a number of times.

So Nice has like a great blend of both, Italy and France. Um, but really everywhere, you know, Lyon, Avignon, like anywhere we went, that would be on the

[00:38:21] Robbie: Did someone try one in anyone? Margaritas? No.

[00:38:25] Chuck: Nope. No, we, we refused.

[00:38:28] Robbie: Yeah, here's our wine list with all these Bordeaux's and Burgundy's and uh, no, we're gonna have the uh, the margarita.

[00:38:34] Chuck: So,

[00:38:35] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:38:36] Chuck: So, we decided we actually really like the gamay grape. And that is very prevalent in a number of Beaujolais.

Uh, so Beaujolais is very good and did some of

[00:38:46] Robbie: Should we get some nouveau?

[00:38:48] Chuck: Nouveau Beaujolais?

[00:38:49] Robbie: Yeah, bourgeois nouveau.

[00:38:51] Chuck: Mm hmm. Beaujolais.

[00:38:53] Robbie: Yeah, oui oui.

[00:38:58] Chuck: My favorite, okay, this is what not, but whatever, my favorite idiom, that I learned while in France is Noyer le Poisson, which means drown the fish,

[00:39:08] Robbie: Oh, drown


fish. Okay.

[00:39:10] Chuck: Yeah. And it's when you're trying to kind of go around or kind of suppress the truth or the facts of what is being talked about there, Noyer le Poisson.

[00:39:20] Robbie: Oh,

[00:39:21] Chuck: So amazing.

[00:39:22] Taylor: Do you speak a little bit of French? Like, in general? Because you're doing it pretty well.

[00:39:26] Robbie: He's taken more French than he would like to admit.

[00:39:29] Taylor: Okay.

[00:39:30] Chuck: Okay, so, Alright, but let me go ahead and set context here. First of all, I'm 46. And I took French from 4th grade until, like, my sophomore year in high school and then, like, a couple years in college. Hmm. Which is a long time ago, so not really. But yeah, like I used to be pretty good at it and then never really got to practice it and it was suppressed and whatever else.

But being in France, you know, the neural transmitters start to like, and then some stuff happens. So I can pronounce things I didn't, I didn't bother with that, but that's, yeah.

[00:40:08] Taylor: Also, you're aging very well.

[00:40:10] Chuck: Oh, those are filters and lights and stuff. I was like, give me the Oprah filter, and then that's what we bought, and it's totally fine. So, yeah, I don't know. You know, getting a 4K camera is not advised as you get older. Because you might see good things. I see...

[00:40:26] Robbie: it's only sending you the 720p right now. When the video comes out, you'll be like, Oh my god, Chuck looks old. Yeah, me either.

[00:40:32] Chuck: He's old as shit. I can't believe I haven't, I haven't shaved since we got back either.

And I was like, there's a lot of silver in there. Too much. Yeah.

I'm going full Clooney though.

[00:40:44] Robbie: before we, before we jumped on here, I was telling him I just went to like an hour long beard trim and treatment thing. So I'm all like shiny and oily and like, yeah, it's, uh, it's, it was weird, but it was, uh, I guess. Good.

[00:40:59] Chuck: Is it as weird as you're describing?

[00:41:01] Robbie: Well, you want me to go into full detail? So there were like

[00:41:05] Taylor: I want to know. I

[00:41:06] Robbie: of stuff.

They like put stuff all over my face and then all over my beard and then like did a hot towel and then took it off and then put stuff all over my face and my beard again and did another hot towel and then did the same thing and did a cold towel. And then did the same thing and did a hot towel again.

And I was like, what are we doing here? Like, I don't understand.

[00:41:24] Chuck: You're very high maintenance.

[00:41:27] Robbie: Cause I was just like, you know, do a beard treatment, whatever. I thought it was gonna be like one and done, but yeah, it was, uh, it was very involved.

[00:41:34] Taylor: No, I think it's good.

[00:41:36] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:41:36] Taylor: because beers probably on the daily don't get a lot of love. Like, you probably, like, push lotion all over your face, maybe, like, comb it down a little bit, I assume. Like, what do men do with their beards, really?

[00:41:47] Robbie: I mean, it depends. Um, yeah, sometimes I like shampoo it and treat it nicely. And other times I don't do anything to it. So

[00:41:55] Taylor: That's fair. Balance.

[00:41:56] Robbie: yeah. Anyway, let's, we can not talk about that.

[00:42:01] Chuck: About beards. Let's focus on, on this episode of Robbie's

[00:42:05] Robbie: Hmm. Sponsored by Hammer and Nails. Men's grooming at its finest.

[00:42:10] Chuck: Is that a grooming brand?

[00:42:11] Robbie: It's like a subscription barbershop. So I just like pay

[00:42:14] Chuck: Everything is a subscription these days.

[00:42:17] Taylor: I hate it.

[00:42:18] Chuck: Yeah, like, right? Because you just can't, you can't just buy software. Everything, like, clean my Mac, right? That was a piece of software that I used to get all the time, and then they switch to this subscription model. I don't want your subscription

[00:42:34] Robbie: but we have it through

[00:42:35] Taylor: and done.

[00:42:35] Chuck: Yeah,

[00:42:36] Robbie: so you don't have to pay for it.

So if you are paying for it, stop doing that. But yes, I do,

[00:42:39] Chuck: Oh, I don't anymore.

[00:42:40] Robbie: do hate that everything is like that. Like if you want to release a new version and charge me again, fine, but I don't want it to always charge me forever. And then I forget about it and like, remember three years later, I'm like, Oh, that was like 400 of nothing.

[00:42:55] Chuck: Yeah, and that's what they count on. Which is kind of like a, it's really, I don't know, yeah. It's, it's not great.

[00:43:02] Taylor: Yeah. Crummy.

[00:43:04] Chuck: Yeah, everything is a, a subscription, and they'll randomly, I think that's what's happened with cable, because it was supposed to be like, well, streaming no longer is this cable thing. Great, I can ad hoc whatever it is I want, but as a soccer fan, now I have to have 47 different subscriptions. And now it's almost like I should have just got cable.

And then, randomly, they'll bump it up. Oh, it's gonna go up another dollar. You're like, ah, a dollar. I'm fine with that. Disney Plus is going up two bucks. Okay, yeah, I'm fine with that.

[00:43:34] Robbie: Yeah. Give me

[00:43:35] Taylor: I will say, though. Yeah, if you call. a lot of times I'll drop your bill back down, like I'll do the fake threaten to cancel, like I do it all the time with my internet, I'm like, oh god, no, this is way too much, like, absolutely not, like, when can you cancel this, I'm going Verizon, and they're like, whoa, whoa, whoa, ma'am, we can cut it down an extra 50 bucks, I'm like, oh, thank god, okay, please don't let this happen again,

and so,

[00:43:57] Robbie: I love doing

that. Yeah. You can do that. Like people will post that on Twitter too of like, you know, every year, uh, Adobe is like, Oh, are your prices going up? And I'm like, Ooh, got to cancel. And they're like, Oh, just kidding. Your price is the same.

[00:44:08] Taylor: see,

[00:44:10] Chuck: Right. And it's just risk tolerance. What is your risk tolerance? Will you really opt out?

[00:44:16] Taylor: cause I will

[00:44:17] Chuck: pay for Adobe?

[00:44:18] Robbie: No, no, no. I was just, just saying that like that people have been posting that on Twitter. I saw that recently. also if you add stuff to your cart and then just don't buy it, they'll be like, here's a coupon for like 20 percent off or whatever. I love that too.

[00:44:32] Taylor: Me too. I will say with like canceling to quit, I have been, I've had my bluff called a couple of times. You're like, all right, we'll cancel it today. I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, just kidding. Actually, wait, I need my cell phone for tonight. Like, can we like,

[00:44:43] Robbie: Yeah.

[00:44:44] Taylor: Just kidding. Oh, my phone's breaking up. Like, I'll call you later.

[00:44:49] Chuck: You just hang up right at that? You're like, never mind.

[00:44:52] Taylor: Nevermind, no.

[00:44:53] Chuck: I didn't confirm.

[00:44:54] Taylor: No

[00:44:54] Chuck: confirm. No confirm.

[00:44:57] Taylor: I did not consent. I did not consent.

[00:45:02] Chuck: Oh, I like that. That's, that's, that's funny.

[00:45:05] Robbie: do want to, uh, regress back to a question we have here. If you weren't in tech, what other career would you choose?

[00:45:11] What other career would Taylor do

[00:45:11] Taylor: Ooh. That wasn't in tech. I always think, like, I would want to be in the medical field, like, as a doctor. But then I see my friends who are in the medical field, like, go through that whole process. And I don't know if I would love it enough for that. So part of me thinks I would want to be, like, a veterinarian.

Like, I love animals. I know I'd have to see them in their worst state sometimes. But I'd probably be, like, a veterinarian.

[00:45:33] Chuck: Hmm. Interesting. I don't know if I would have guessed that. I would have just said you would go into whiskey. You have such a passion for that. And there's the science aspect that you're very interested in too. So I can see that overlap, but.

[00:45:45] Taylor: I've thought about that, but I've connected with some people that are in the whiskey industry, and I'm not saying that's not true I am saying it money is super important to me and like the likelihood of me making like really good money In whiskey is slim Especially because like so many people want to get into it so many people are passionate about it And if I was a trust fund, baby Um, I would probably do that, but like, because I'm not, it's like, ah, I gotta make that money somehow.

[00:46:10] Robbie: you got to already be rich to start a successful whiskey brand pretty much.

[00:46:15] Taylor: Seriously, it's expensive.

[00:46:17] Robbie: it is.

[00:46:18] Chuck: Yeah, and I think that's a real talk thing to like call out. That money does matter. Like don't pretend that money doesn't matter, I hate those interview questions or, or even just sometimes it's during the, uh, application process and they're like, Oh, look at our brand and blah, blah, blah, and what drives you to us?

And I'm like, well, number one is to feed and shelter both myself and my children.

So money is required for that. Yeah, your salary is within my range. The skills look like something I could do. Now let's talk. You know? Right, yeah. If you want to be in the country of capitalism and you want to embrace that, like, that's great, you know?

Now, what can we align on beyond that? Great, but don't tell me, like, why I want to solve, , health insurance. You know what solves health insurance? Free fucking health insurance. I'll say that. Free fucking health

[00:47:10] Robbie: The way it is everywhere, but America,

[00:47:13] Chuck: Right.

[00:47:14] Taylor: Right.

[00:47:16] Chuck: Socialism sucks if it takes away from my pocket.


[00:47:21] Robbie: do like inches and feet though. Gonna say it.

[00:47:24] Taylor: Oh.

[00:47:25] Chuck: oh, freedom units. Freedom units. Pounds are okay, cause they do that in England too. They don't do, I don't think they do inches, but,

[00:47:34] Robbie: I don't know. I've never done a construction

project in the

UK, so.

[00:47:37] Chuck: plus, you'll feel better about yourself if you go to, to millimeters, so. Mhmm,

[00:47:41] Robbie: Why? Oh, I said, oh my god.

[00:47:47] Chuck: this is, this is not a family friendly

[00:47:49] Robbie: All right.

[00:47:51] Chuck: Ugh, I meant your height, you pervert. Your height, you pervert. You're

[00:47:56] Taylor: Oh.

[00:47:59] Chuck: Average. Said it.

[00:48:01] Robbie: Oh god. Okay.

[00:48:03] Taylor: Oh. Oh.

[00:48:05] Chuck: Listen, Taylor, I'm here as the entertainment. Robbie is like, listen, I

[00:48:11] Robbie: the line of appropriate or not, and uh, that's where we are.

[00:48:14] Chuck: Yeah. Mm hmm.

[00:48:16] Taylor: I've also never heard them called freedom units. I'm gonna be stealing that. No,

you're good.

[00:48:21] Chuck: I don't know where I picked, I, I, I certainly didn't invent it, most things I haven't, but I, I definitely picked it up somewhere, and I like it, I

[00:48:29] Taylor: I like it,

[00:48:30] Chuck: yeah. It's kind of like the fries thing, which by the way, speaking of France, they're, they think it's funny that they're called French fries, they're like, we didn't, we didn't invent these, the Belgians did.

I mean, yeah, we had them, so do you.

[00:48:44] Taylor: Yeah, but Belgian fries doesn't sound as good like the French fries. That, that flows. You know,

[00:48:50] Chuck: Yeah, I'm sure it was more about that. It's all about the marketing.

[00:48:53] Taylor: Yeah, you know, rewriting American history, or French history,

[00:48:59] Chuck: Just history in


[00:49:00] Taylor: just in general,

[00:49:01] Chuck: I'm just thinking about the Roman Empire right now. Hold on.

[00:49:04] Taylor: naturally. I bet both

of you

[00:49:06] Robbie: is that a thing? I don't

[00:49:08] Chuck: I don't know. But I love the timeliness of it because I was in France, staring at a former aqua duck from a hundred AD. And then like that kind of started sparking. So I was like getting in

[00:49:20] Robbie: Yeah. So you were

thinking about it. Yeah.

[00:49:23] Chuck: I was because I was looking at it.

[00:49:24] Robbie: So, uh, my wife was telling me about another one. I don't know if you saw this, but it was like, ask your husbands, uh, on a scale from one to 10, how hot is Ryan Reynolds? Did you see that?

[00:49:35] Chuck: No,


[00:49:37] Robbie: he answers. Like nine or 10, then like, he's straight. If he answers like six or seven, you have problems.

[00:49:46] Chuck: Okay, so if I was gonna go an eight, where's that put

me? Because I think like, very attractive man, But his eyes are a little close set. You know, they're a little close.

[00:49:55] Robbie: I think he can do no

[00:49:56] Taylor: fair.

[00:49:57] Robbie: He

[00:49:57] Chuck: No wrong. That's Brad Pitt. Bullshit. That's Brad Pitt. That man can do no wrong.

[00:50:03] Robbie: Okay.

[00:50:04] Chuck: a solid 9 or 10 because he can't, have you seen California?

He can't even ugly up. He's like from Kentucky, has this big scraggly like dirty beard. He's a murderer and he talks like, like this all the time and you're still like hot dude. Snatch. is my second reference point, right? So he's like Irish pikey, uh, which is gypsy greasy as hell mismatch outfits, whatever else.

I don't know, what do you say, Taylor? Brad Pitt and Snatch.

[00:50:35] Taylor: You

know what? I was trying to picture him in Snatch. Like, I know what he looks like, but in Snatch, I can't remember. I mean, I think he's very attractive, but for me, it's Leonardo DiCaprio. Like, he's my, my bread and

[00:50:45] Chuck: Really? Okay.

[00:50:46] Taylor: Yeah.

[00:50:47] Chuck: I mean, I think he keeps it going and I mean, he's an amazing actor, so you know, that,

[00:50:51] Taylor: Ten out of


[00:50:52] Robbie: we're not talking about acting skill. We're, I'm talking about like, approachable human beings.

[00:50:56] Chuck: say, let's say he was like let's say he was a manager at Best Buy. Does he still get a 10? Cause I think Brad Pitt would probably still get a 9 or 10.

[00:51:06] Taylor: that's fair. Ooh, that's a tough question.

[00:51:09] Robbie: Yeah,

[00:51:09] Chuck: I think that's the context. Can't do wrong means not rich and famous. It means this person is just

[00:51:18] Robbie: Regards. Okay. I see. I see what you're saying.

[00:51:20] Taylor: Okay.

[00:51:21] Chuck: Yeah.

[00:51:21] Taylor: Joe, and in their own way, but still super

[00:51:23] Chuck: Yeah. Yeah. Cause I watched two guys, two guys, a girl in a pizza place. And I remember like, oh, that guy's hilarious and whatever else. But I mean, was he a nine or 10? Nah.

[00:51:34] Taylor: think I know that movie.

[00:51:36] Chuck: it was a show.

So it was probably in the nineties or something.

[00:51:41] Robbie: So you might not remember it.

[00:51:43] Chuck: So here's the thing is I'm a mediocre engineer and I am a nine or ten out of ten for pop culture, trivia. And so it's just kind of what I bring to the, to the table. So anyway, that, that, yeah, that was kind of Ryan Reynolds kind of first quasi famous thing.

[00:52:04] Taylor: I was going to say two, because I am too a mediocre engineer, but I am terrible at knowing who famous people are. Like, I know who Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are, but like, you know, anything out of that is probably,

[00:52:18] Chuck: okay. But you picked him as your go to bread and butter. So, where's your ideal Leo? Is he, okay, I'm gonna give you three choices. Basketball Diaries, Titanic,

[00:52:32] Taylor: Okay.

[00:52:33] Robbie: I don't know Basketball Diaries either. Is

[00:52:35] Taylor: What about Greg Gatsby? So...

[00:52:36] Robbie: Yeah, Great

Gatsby was nice. Yeah,

[00:52:38] Chuck: Yeah, it was great, but

[00:52:40] Robbie: Book was probably from

[00:52:41] Chuck: moment, I'm trying to, Basketball Diaries, uh, was in the 90s also. It was a book first,

[00:52:48] Robbie: Yeah, no, no, I was saying Great Gatsby the book was is older than just never mind.

[00:52:52] Chuck: 1930s, uh, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I actually was near a resort that he was at in Nice. Anyway, um, Well, then, okay, so, I wanna, I want the middle to be Titanic, and I wanna go pre Titanic and post Titanic.

[00:53:07] Taylor: Okay. What was before Titanic for him?

[00:53:11] Robbie: Yeah pre Titanic

[00:53:13] Chuck: A lot. Believe it or not, a lot.

[00:53:15] Robbie: something that I don't know any of the stuff he was in before that

[00:53:19] Taylor: know. Great Gatsby is my, one of my favorite movies of all time. Like, if I had a bad day I'm gonna watch that movie. And I know like cinematography isn't great in it or whatever. Um, and I'm a movie buff. But I just don't know

[00:53:31] Chuck: Okay. I went to film school for a year.

[00:53:34] Taylor: Oh my gosh.

[00:53:35] Chuck: Yeah, I've had like nine lives. Eight lives. Because I'm not dead yet,

[00:53:39] Taylor: What's your favorite movie then?

[00:53:41] Chuck: so it's kind of like picking your favorite pizza, right? There are, there's so many good ones, but just because I get asked this a bunch, I kind of have a go to. So five easy pieces. Jack Nicholson, 1975, give

[00:53:56] Taylor: It's called Five Easy Pieces.

[00:53:58] Chuck: five easy pieces.

So he's a savant that comes from a family of musical geniuses and he very much rejects that and so there's a like family dichotomy there and like just all kinds of very interesting things that I love. Jack Nicholson in the 70s is it was a say if you're familiar like he's just incredible at a certain point in the mid 80s or so he just started phoning it in and he was Jack Nicholson and great good for you but in the 70s he was just killing it.

[00:54:31] Taylor: Yeah, I like, love movies so much. I've watched a lot of old movies too, back, back when Netflix used to send you the DVDs. Um, so that's how I watched a lot of his older movies.

[00:54:40] Robbie: Nice

[00:54:41] Chuck: I, I, I did a similar thing. I would pick an actor and then just like watch everything.

[00:54:47] Robbie: didn't we

find out that Netflix has existed since like 1995 or something.

[00:54:52] Chuck: It's a

[00:54:53] Robbie: Was that with you or was I talking to someone else about that? I don't

[00:54:56] Chuck: I don't know, uh, it could be, 95 is when I graduated high school. And I didn't have a Netflix subscription then, but I would imagine sometime in the next five... years or something. I got one 98. There you go. I remember it

[00:55:11] Robbie: they didn't have DVDs then, right? So like, what, were they sending VHS

[00:55:16] Chuck: nah, nah, no, it was always it was always DVDs for

sure and

[00:55:21] Robbie: in 98, did we? Now I look that

[00:55:22] Chuck: I don't know, but I know that they had the service and I had that one first and it was cool and then Blockbuster came out with their own

[00:55:31] Robbie: You're right, 97 with

DVDs, so, okay.

[00:55:34] Chuck: See, so there you go

[00:55:35] Robbie: Yeah, cause I don't, didn't think they ever sent VHS tapes, but it would have been hilarious if

[00:55:39] Chuck: No, they did not. Not that I ever experienced. I definitely did not get that.

[00:55:44] Taylor: That would be funny though.

[00:55:45] Chuck: That's just called mail order blockbuster or something. I also worked at a blockbuster for one summer in order to watch movies for free. Just had a part time job at a blockbuster. I've had like every job

[00:55:57] Robbie: Yeah. You really

[00:55:58] Chuck: I think that's what we've...

[00:55:59] Robbie: It'd be quicker to list the jobs you haven't had.

[00:56:01] Chuck: Right, I haven't been a stableman. I have been a valet, I was a blackjack dealer, I've been a bartender,

[00:56:07] Taylor: As a valet, what was the coolest car you've ever been in?

[00:56:10] Chuck: coolest based on the car or coolest based on the owner?

[00:56:15] Taylor: Ooh, both.

[00:56:17] Chuck: Okay, so the owner one was funny because, , it was Phil Mickelson's 500SL, and he's very tall, and, I know I look tall in this video, but I'm not, so that was a hilarious thing of like, it literally felt like five minutes of this, moving the seat up, you know?

So that was a really funny one. Uh, but otherwise, the coolest car that I have. Been in, or driven, or just been in? I don't know. so, Living in Phoenix, at that point, first, for a while, then moved, then came back, or whatever else. There's a lot of crazy cool supercars here, so, I've been in, uh, Carrera GT, And some, are you a Porsche person?

[00:57:03] Taylor: I am.

[00:57:04] Chuck: Okay,

[00:57:05] Taylor: eventually. I just need a little more time.

[00:57:08] Chuck: Okay, I have had seven Porsches and even when I didn't really have money I just bought old ones and kind of worked on them and all that kind of stuff so I had a 68 912, 74 many other, like I had a 2003 Boxster and some other stuff that is less cool. I actually have a Taycan now, so.

[00:57:26] Taylor: Do you like it?

[00:57:28] Chuck: Love

[00:57:28] Taylor: Okay. Okay.

[00:57:29] Chuck: Taycan, Cross Turismo, highly recommended.

It's just like an everything car. I've even taken it off road because it has a two and a half inch like Air suspension lift that you can do some like off road into

it's really fun. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Fuck. Yeah is

[00:57:47] Taylor: But I'd be like a little bit worried about damaging it because I baby my car so much. Like, I don't have anything super fancy right now, but like, if I was off roading, I'd be like, Oh, did a rock just hit up under my door or something? I'd be nervous.

[00:57:58] Chuck: I mean I guess it just matters whether you care too much about that or not Like I didn't go like buck wild In a wash and go crazy like that, but like you can and you get it dusty and dirty and whatever else But wasn't like too crazy

[00:58:10] Taylor: Okay. Alright, that's fair.

[00:58:12] Robbie: All right. Before we get too far down Chuck talking about Porsches for the next 30 minutes, um, we're kind of out of time. So is there anything you want to plug, uh, before we end here?

[00:58:23] Taylor: Ooh. Let's see. If you love whiskey, you can find me on Instagram, womanwithwhiskey. Uh, if you just like to hear me talk or want to learn about tech management or anything like that, Engineering Bay on Twitter. Very easy. , or if you miss both of those, Poindexter. dev is my site where, like, everything's all together.

[00:58:39] Robbie: Thanks everyone for listening. If you liked it, please subscribe, leave us some ratings and reviews. We appreciate it. And we will catch you next time.