Ep#70 AWS Kubernetes and YouTube with Sai Vennam

June 15, 2022

Sponsored by our friends at Veeam Software! Make sure to Click here and get the latest and greatest data protection platform for everything from containers to your cloud!

headshot

About the Guest

Sai Vennam is a Developer Advocate, thought leader and content creator focusing on all things related to cloud, Kubernetes, containers technology and digital transformation.

Episode Summary

From IBMer, to Amazonian, our next guest is an experienced YouTuber with over a million views and not even on his own YT channel. He experience with Kubernetes, ROSA, Hybrid Cloud and EKS has accelerated his career. One thing I need to get and learn is a light-board. I think I’m going to ask him for some tips on how to get it done. Our next next is Principal Developer Advocate for Kubernetes at AWS, Sai Vennam. Sai’s going to give us a behind the scenes look at his home office studio and setup.

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

From IBM to Amazonian. Our next guess is an experienced YouTuber with over a million views. And that's not even on his own YouTube channel. His experience with Kubernetes Rosa hybrid cloud, and even EKS has accelerated his career. The one thing I need to get and learn from him is how to use a Lightboard. I think I'm gonna ask him for some behind the scenes quick tips. Our next guess is none of them. Principle developer advocate for Kubernetes at AWS C venoms is gonna give us behind the scenes, look at some of his home office studio and setup. Plus talk about some of the things that he's done for tubing. Now, before I brings on, don't forget to hit that, like subscribe and notify. Please join me in welcoming principle developer advocate, a AWS for Kubernetes CVE to the show side. Thanks for joining me, man.

Guest: Sai

Hey Jon, happy to be here today. You know, I'm super excited that I get to be a participant in your podcast today. You know, it's, the script is usually flipped. I'm the one interviewing people. So this is fun. I, I, I'm glad to be here and just, uh, uh, all I've prepped today is basically my phone, my, uh, my water, and we're ready to go.

Host: Jon

I actually had the, my script. And when I say my script, like the bullet points flipped on me. Normally I say, Hey, listen, we're just gonna talk about backstory. We're gonna talk about your YouTube being the, the, uh, Lightboard behind you, by the way, we will get a live screen tour of his, you know, studio set up, don't worry size, got it already and configured, but, and if you start to take over the show, I will not be offended at all, but this is the time for you to be relaxed and just enjoy the conversation and the show.

Guest: Sai

All right, I'm ready. Let's do it. And, uh, you know, like Jon said, I've, I've got a, uh, I'm gonna show off my studio in a bit here with my phone. The Lightboard is turned on. You know, I, I, uh, I do this a lot for YouTube just creating these enablement, engaging videos. Uh, so yeah, I'm, I'm ready to get into it when you are Jon.

Host: Jon

Uh, I think we are getting into it. So SI first of all, I always do this to all of my, uh, guests is I wanna little backstory on you. Tell, tell everybody listening who is SI venom. And by the way, I have to tell everyone that C and I met when I was at IBM, he was our, you were our SA right? So I was like, you were on one of the calls and I was talking to another one. I was like, oh, well, let's look him up on YouTube. I was like, oh wow. He did a bunch of IBM stuff. And that's actually, we were supposed to do this on my birthday about a month ago, plans changed, but I go plants change, but I wanna know more about SI.

Guest: Sai

Yes. Speaking of birthdays, I actually just turned 30 this last Saturday. Uh,

Host: Jon

Oh, right. Well, happy birthday, man.

Guest: Sai

<laugh> thank you. Yeah. I

Host: Jon

Will tell you what I turned

Guest: Sai

<laugh>. Well, uh, I can give a little quick backstory. I know I'm based in Austin, Texas, but uh, I was actually born in India. I moved to America when I was, I think, five years old, you know, just obviously with my parents. Uh, and you know, I went to school in North Carolina and I moved around a bunch for work. So, uh, I started in research triangle with IBM, right outta school. I still think it's funny. I, I graduated and, uh, I think a week later I started working on, uh, working at IBM on their new cloud platform. Um, at the time it was blue mix now IBM cloud. And as part of that role, like I bumped around a lot between different types of jobs and responsibilities. I was a developer at the very beginning. I switched into developer advocacy. I did a little bit of product management solutions architecture before jumping back to developer advocacy where I'm at today at AWS. And I've gotta say, I've, I've stayed at large companies, uh, for most of my career. And I think there's a lot of advantages and disadvantages for working at, you know, large companies versus smaller companies. But I think I've had a pretty good experience so far and had the ability to try so many different roles. So I feel pretty blessed about that.

Host: Jon

Wait a second, you couldn't get away from IBM. You were there. Then you worked there. Then you went to AWS and you were Thea for IBM. Did they think it was, it was all a natural fit.

Guest: Sai

<laugh> exactly. So, uh, when I left IBM, I ended up joining the, uh, partner solutions architecture team at AWS for IBM. That was my partner. And, you know, I couldn't think of a better way after spending eight years at IBM. I couldn't think of a better way to, to find that next chapter in my career, coming to AWS and continuing to work with IBM. And you know, that partner team has done so much great work in the last, uh, year, last year and a half. Uh, I think pretty soon here, we're gonna see a lot of, uh, IBM software coming on to AWS. And I just think it was so great because I've brought that network that I had at IBM. And I was able to leverage that to help AWS grow their partnership. I, it, it just felt like it was kismet.

Host: Jon

Was tech or cloud, always something you wanted to do. Was it like always ingrained in you, you enjoyed it or was there something else and you just happened to stumble upon it?

Guest: Sai

You know, that's, uh, that's a great question. I actually got into tech at such an early age. Uh, I think my dad was probably the first one that got me into it. He was managing Oracle databases back in the nineties.

Host: Jon

Oh, you said the word Oracle man. We'll bleep that out. Don't worry. God

Guest: Sai

Gotta do it. But that's the truth. And you know, he, uh, he had a computer at home and he got me started with Q basic and I dabbled with it a bit, but didn't get too into programming. You know, this was like second, third, fourth grade. Uh, but in middle school I had one of those programming calculators, like a T 83 E TA 84 mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I, I don't know, I, I was one of those kids that just could never pay attention in class. So when I had that calculator in front of me, I was just programming random games. Um, I, I made dance, dance revolution using the little arrow keys on my calculator. Um, I made snake on the calculator. It was just fun little games that I would program in between my classes or sometimes during classes. That was my first intro into tech.

Host: Jon

Nice. All right. So IBM, AWS, when you and I originally planned this, you indicated that you weren't gonna be IBM's SA anymore. You were taking on a new role. Can we talk about that new role?

Guest: Sai

Absolutely. So right now I'm focused on Kubernetes and containers. And I think, you know, for the few people out there that that may recognize some of the videos that I've made on YouTube.

Host: Jon

Whoa. Well, well, wait a sec, wait a minute. A few people out there. I'm gonna pause you, right. Just for that second. Let me read some stats to you because I have your page up. And by the way, I know how it is when somebody else indicates your stats. You're like, yeah. Yeah. That's okay. These are some big numbers by the way. Kubernetes explained you're not, they're not in front of you. I know. They're not. Do you wanna note from three years ago, do you wanna know how many views you got?

Guest: Sai

All right. Let's hear it.

Host: Jon

<laugh> 428,000 views.

Guest: Sai

Wow. All right. Okay.

Host: Jon

This, this was IBM. Okay. Uh, one and I got one more containers from the couch. I love that. That's that's pretty good. What is Rosa, by the way? That was actually one of my questions for you today. Uh, two months ago. Do you know how many views,

Guest: Sai

Um, guess a little over a thousand, maybe?

Host: Jon

Uh, 3.2. So you're a little shy of some. Okay. Okay. One more, one more. Uh, I'm gonna let you pick which one it is either hybrid cloud or containerization. Explain which one do you want?

Guest: Sai

Uh, let's let's see the containerization one.

Host: Jon

Ah, you picked a good one, 420,000 views. So don't say you dabbled a little bit. Don't don't, don't minimize your efforts cuz we're gonna talk about it in a second. Let's talk about the current work you do. And then we gotta jump into your whole aspect of tubing and content creating and the, the lighting behind you.

Guest: Sai

Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, with, with Kubernetes and containers, I, I feel like I hit this sweet spot. You mentioned that video was three, four years ago. I think it was 2019 that I put my first video out there. Don't get me wrong. I was the first one to make a video about Kubernetes in 2019, but that's actually when we saw that community really growing and you know, I I'd love to also talk a little bit about creating, engaging videos on YouTube because you know, a lot of people try to say there's a recipe, there's, there's a way to ensure success. But you know, I think it's just about finding as many factors as you can to contribute to success. And I, I think I hit a sweet spot there, whether I knew it or not. Uh, back in 2019, I think the first video I made was Kubernetes versus Docker.

Guest: Sai

And, and you know, when you say that, the first thing you think is why are you in comparing the two things? It makes no sense, but people were searching that because at the time Docker was very popular and Kubernetes was still kind of growing. And you know, it was, it was a orchestrator that everyone was using, but it didn't necessarily have that level of, um, adoption that it has today. And so I think, uh, it, it, I hit that sweet spot talking about containers, talking about Kubernetes and that kind of contributed to why those videos, uh, kind of took off. And today I'm, I'm back into that role, uh, on the AWS developer advocacy team for Kubernetes. So focusing on EKS, focusing on E um, uh, Rosa, which is that, that video, you just mentioned OpenShift on AWS, but really all things containers on, on AWS, because I think as a developer advocate and I think Jon, you've done a bunch of videos on what exactly developer advocate is.

Guest: Sai

And I think the best way I can explain it is we advocate for the developer. Yes, I, I work for AWS, but when I speak to a developer, I don't wanna sit there and give 'em a marketing pitch. I wanna understand their concerns, their needs, their pain points, and then present a solution that I think will fit them, uh, in their use case in the best possible way. And so I think that's what I do as an advocate. And now that I'm back in the containers and Kubernetes space, uh, I'm getting to do what I love again, creating Lightboard videos, creating enablement, uh, doing YouTube.

Host: Jon

Well, I think you're doing an excellent job at it. I can see from your passion as a developer advocate, here's what I think of and speaking to so many of 'em and I enjoy the role is that a developer advocate, just thinking just AWS terms, you're there for the developer on the customer side. And in fact, you're the person that says to AWS, no, no, no, they don't want that. They're not gonna use it that way. Or they have an issue we need to solve it this way. Or you say, Hey, you know what? We have this solution. Why don't you try this? You're the person that's actually on the side of the developer or the customer. I wanna use the word customer because it's more focus on the customer oriented solution. But, and that's usually how I feel is that you're trying your best to bring everybody together into one solution that it works. And whether you gotta change something on AWS side, or you gotta change the mentality of the developer, it's just a collaboration.

Guest: Sai

Absolutely. And, and, you know, there's, um, there's a, a, a, a term shift that happened. I don't know exactly when maybe three or four years ago where this role was actually considered developer evangelism for the longest time and for better or worse. I'm actually really happy that we've moved away from that term, not as an entire industry, but especially as cloud providers. You know, when we look at, uh, cloud providers like AWS or old company, IBM, we moved away from evangelism because it was less about preaching the gospel of your product and solution and more about, you know, like we, what we just talked about advocating for developer needs and don't get me wrong. I think there's a lot of businesses and startups and companies out there that need true evangelism. But, uh, I, I think at the end of the day, having it's, it's, it's a more, um, level approach to talking about tech it's you're, you're meeting the developer where they are, rather than just saying, this is why you need to use my software.

Host: Jon

I actually tried to think of myself. And by the way, did you know, my title was chief evangelist. Right. And you were just like, I was just like, I gotta put you on the spot. Ah, I can feel you blush it. No, no, no, no, no. But I feel myself doing exactly both. I don't really, uh, I, I, how I explain myself and I try to is like, I'm a cheerleader for my company, but I advocate on the side of the developer on how to use it technically and work with it or tailor it to their needs and provide them solutions. Like, all right, listen, if we can't do it, we either a figure out, or we're not the solution for you, somebody else is. And that's sometimes you have to say that because they'll come back to you, if they feel that they can trust you.

Guest: Sai

Yeah. And if I can backed a little bit

Host: Jon

<laugh> hundred percent still, this is all staying in the recording

Guest: Sai

<laugh> as a cloud provider, you know, it's, <laugh>, that's, that's when we use the term advocate. I think that's that's

Host: Jon

Uh, you're all good. No, no, no. Backed right now. You're all good. Okay. Okay. Okay. How long you been at AWS?

Guest: Sai

Well, uh, just over a year. So it's year still very new to me. You know, like I said, I, I joined IBM right outta school and gave them eight years and, and, you know, grew my career from just a low level developer, you know, not that there's anything wrong with it, but, you know, just, uh, working on things like the Java backend platform to, you know, leveling up a little bit more and more to kind of now what I do today is, you know, having the pleasure to talk about technology and, and that kind of thing. So, um, you know, I think 10 years in this career and, uh, attempt of it now at AWS.

Host: Jon

Nice. Nice. All right. Let's talk about YouTube and your content creating. Now, I know this one said three years ago, you, you have 430,000 views off of it. Why did you create it? Like what, what, what empowered you to create it? I know it says IBM technology, but I'm sure either. They said, Hey, listen, SI, go ahead and create this. And you're, you know, some people are like, I don't wanna be on camera. I don't wanna be on YouTube, but why,

Guest: Sai

You know, I think this is, this kind of goes back to one of the reasons why I moved away from development and into kind of more, um, kind of speaking about technology instead, instead of just writing it, uh, a short stint in my career I spent at, uh, in San Francisco, uh, this was my stint at a startup quote, unquote, actually you can see the shirt right here. Uh, it's loopback.io. It was, um, shepherded by a company called strong loop. Uh, it was a no GS company focused on open source. And at the time they got acquired by IBM and I, I got the opportunity to go work with them as soon as acquisition had happened. So I got to experience a kind of startup culture for about years. So, but one of the things I noticed in SF, so, um, you know, I, I, I, one of the things I've noticed looking at the community right now, the developer community, and just, um, young people getting into careers, you look at TikTok and, and Instagram reels and that kind of thing.

Guest: Sai

One of the things you see, a lot of people saying never do more than what your job pays you for, do the bare minimum. Uh, they will never respect you for doing more than that. And I think for a lot of people, maybe if you're unhappy with where you are in your career and, and you want to find some place that, uh, really respects you and helps you grow your career, I get it. Um, but I see those as more like jobs, a job is something that gets you from point a to point B, lets you, uh, take advantage of your hobbies, but a career is one that you want to grow within. And so I think, uh, I, I kind of don't agree with those perspectives because one of the things that got me to where I was today was to do my day job and, and here's kind of where I kind of agree with them.

Guest: Sai

It's do just enough to fulfill being a good employee at your day job. But then if you have any remaining time, say two hours out of the day, three hours out the day, uh, there's two things you can do. You can double down on your day job. You can say, I'm gonna deliver one more work item this week. I'm gonna do one more thing. I'm gonna make my manager happy by doing one more thing that he asks. And the other thing you can do is focus on career growth and that's finding ways to get yourself recognized working on your skills, um, and just in general, working on things that make you happy. And I think that's where a lot of people, I think tend to kind of lose perspective is, uh, don't just pour all of your time into that day job. Try to find something extra with your time.

Guest: Sai

And I'll give a simple example. Uh, when I first was starting my career, I think I wasn't the very best developer out there, but I, that was fairly good. And so I would get my work items done fairly early. And so with the extra time I was looking for other things to do within IBM. So there was this hackathon, this internal hackathon that they had, uh, to try out the new cloud platform that they were developing. I said, okay, let's enter with a couple of my teammates. And we spent, you know, three hours, four hours, uh, a week working on this project for the hackathon and this is pure extra. It didn't make my manager happy that we were working on it, but I thought, Hey, look, this is something fun. I wanna do it. We ended up winning that, that hackathon internally. And that I think is what jet set my career to where it is today.

Guest: Sai

It's simple, but that one decision to start working on that hackathon project got me in front of some executives that executive allowed me to test out this product loop back and strong loop internally. And then he said, SI, should we acquire this company? You know, I gave him my honest opinion. Uh, and then we ended up acquiring the company and then, uh, ended up moving out to San Francisco. And then kind of back to your question, that's when I got into, uh, applying to local meetups and conferences, doing sessions and realizing that I love speaking about tech, not just writing it. And that's why I do what I do today. That's why I made that YouTube video, Kubernetes first Docker and, and all the videos after that. I just, I like speaking about tech and I think, uh, there's a critical need for effective enablement in this community.

Host: Jon

If I were to ask you say maybe a couple years ago, if you would be doing this, do you think you would be doing the same thing?

Guest: Sai

I, I think so. Yeah, absolutely. I think,

Host: Jon

But creating content so five years ago, do you think you would be YouTubeing and creating content

Guest: Sai

<laugh> if you asked me five years ago, if today I would still be creating YouTube content and videos and digital ailment. Absolutely. Yes, because even five years ago, this was something I did in my spare time. If I had any extra time in the Workday, sometimes even, you know, push it into weekends because I love this stuff. I there's a lot about this, uh, that, that I enjoy doing, setting up the perfect lighting equipment, learning how to edit videos, perfectly getting a nice camera to, to get a good look for my camera, uh, for my videos. I mean, this is all stuff that I enjoy doing. And then I combined that with, uh, you know, how it relates to work. And I find that this is, this is kind of a perfect intersection. And so absolutely I think if you asked me five years ago, I think, yes, I would still be doing it. But, uh, I would also imagine that I, I would grow as a leader as well, not just, you know, creating content, but nurturing others as well within my company. And, you know, that's part of being in a big company. It's, it's not just about being an individual contributor, but also about working with the network and, and other employees and potential new hires and helping them grow as well.

Host: Jon

I think it's important to find a career that you get paid to do and enjoy. Have you ever been asked, do you really get paid to be social in the create videos?

Guest: Sai

You

Host: Jon

Know, like, do you really get paid to do what you're doing? Like I see about 30 10. I mean, I'll tell you a story afterwards, but I'm curious of what people are asking you on the videos and the content and the Lightboard you're doing like, SI what work do you really do? I mean, you get paid to do this.

Guest: Sai

I get it all the time. And if, if we look at, uh, I think my LinkedIn is probably the biggest, um, uh, kind of proof to this. If I look at the messages I'm getting, it's interns, it's new hires, it's college students, and they're asking, how are you doing that? Like how, what, what was your career progression that enabled you to get to where you are today? And, you know, I, I love getting on calls with them, reaching out to them and working with these people because I, I could see myself being there, uh, eight years ago in that exact position and not understanding how to take my career to the next step. And so I, I think at this point, uh, absolutely, I think this is something that people ask all the time and I feel blessed that I get to do this. And, and yes, I do think I get paid now to be social and create enablement and create content and create YouTube videos.

Guest: Sai

Uh, but it didn't, it wasn't always like this. And that goes back to what I was saying. Five years ago, I was a product manager and I was, uh, creating these videos in my spare time. And my manager didn't love that I made the videos, but he didn't hate it either because I was like I said, I was hitting that, that day job minimum I was doing well at managing my product. And so with that extra time, you know, of course he's happy to let me kind of work on what I wanna work on. Um, and that actually is another thing I think, uh, having a manager that nurtures your career and growth instead of trying to limit your potential. I think that's another thing I've been super blessed to have my entire career, both at IBM and, and AWS right now is, uh, is to have a manager that kind of understands and nurtures that growth.

Host: Jon

I was actually gonna jump onto that question. And you, you touched on it, is that how important is it at regardless of the location everybody looks at AWS is huge company. Obviously you're gonna have the good and the bad managers and people as well, but how important is it to have a manager at AWS that says, you know what, SI, uh, you're, you're a PSA, right? You were in the PSA org. Correct. And you know, how important was that you applied for the da role and they were like, your manager sees that. And they're like, dude, you gotta do that. Let me get you there. That type of manager is like golden, where they don't want to keep you, they don't wanna block you. They wanna do that. How important is to have an advocate for you internally to go to other roles, knowing your potential for a company,

Guest: Sai

You know, that that's critical. And, and this is something that, you know, not just my previous manager, but, but more so at, at IBM, I, I saw this big time and, and I'm, I'm seeing it with my, even my current manager today. It's when, when you foster and nurture growth like this, uh, I, I think I, I liken it to customer loyalty. You know, you can look at Amazon's, uh, approach to returns, you know, when they first launched prime and you could just return whatever you wanted, people were like, how are they affording this? How can they do this? And I think it's, it's one of those things where, um, it's, it's about loyalty. It's about, you know, understanding that you're, you're establishing some sort of trust and, uh, relationship with the customer and in this case, your employee. And so, yes, I'm moving away from that particular team, but now I'm so happy to talk about, uh, technology from, from that team.

Guest: Sai

So that Rosa video, for example, is about red hat OpenShift on AWS, and obviously red hat being a part of IBM. It's very close to that, that kind of brand. Now I'm happy to, to talk about that technology. And, and now I still continue to work with that team, even though I'm on completely separate part of the organization, uh, I'm able to kind of still interact with them, have that healthy relationship, uh, still work with them to kind of, um, grow enablement for their team, from my perspective. So I think that's, that's probably the, the biggest aspect of, uh, you know, maintain those good relationships and, uh, you know, foster connections that, um, would've been lost otherwise. And then the other thing I, now I recommend people to that team again. So, uh, people in my network, I feel good about saying, look, this is a great team to apply to here's their job listings apply. And, um, you know, I think, uh, without having that kind of a manager, you're not gonna get that kind of loyalty and growth.

Host: Jon

Nope. I agree with you SOS you mind if we switch gears a little bit, cuz I'm curious of your studio set up being a content creator myself. I wanna see it. We were actually planning, maybe trying to do this on site back in may, but we're gonna switch it up. We're gonna do, uh, we're gonna pull up zoom here on the phone. We're gonna do a virtual tour or whatever you wanna call it. I wanna see your setup. You wanna show everybody what you've got? Yay. Look, I can wait to myself on the camera, around the camera, right?

Guest: Sai

Sweet. Uh, so here we've got my little setup. Um, so I'll show the Lightboard in a minute, but very quickly maybe I should start with, what am I looking at here? And this is uh, my office. I've got a, it's a little obnoxious. It's a 49 inch ultra wide monitor. But

Host: Jon

Wait, wait, wait, wait, you say that's obnoxious. What do you think I'm looking at right here?

Guest: Sai

Is that the same thing?

Host: Jon

49 inch monitor man.

Guest: Sai

It's a game changer and, and honestly, I, I, I can't even put into words what it looks like in real life because it kind of curves

Host: Jon

To, Match's funny how you gotta move the phone back and forth the capture it all.

Guest: Sai

Uh, but I wanted to show an example of why this is so cool. So I do all my own editing. So here's a premier pro and people ask why not a two monitor setup? Why not a three monitor setup? Why should I do like ultra wide? And this is exactly why look at that screen real estate. There's no steam in the middle. You can edit and, and look at so much more at once. Um, and when you're not editing, even you can just pull up multiple windows without having that kind of scene right in the middle or three cameras set up, whatever it might be.

Host: Jon

All right, before you go to the next piece, here's a question with the 49 inch and I, this is the only issue that I have is a slide share or presentation with notes. Do you have the notes here in front of you on your laptop or how do you do it?

Guest: Sai

Yeah, no, that's, uh, that's a great point. So I, I do have the notes here, but um, when I want a screen share, I'll actually load it on my laptop. So, uh, you know, that's that fixed 16 by nine resolution. Uh, I can share here and continue to kind of look up there with where I have my other windows open. So that's kind of how I get around the, the screen sharing issue.

Host: Jon

I got an I iPad that I put right here with the notes. I'll have it right here in front of me connected. Then I'll use like the, uh, side car feature.

Guest: Sai

Nice. There you go. Yeah. There, uh, the continuity stuff has been really cool.

Host: Jon

Yes. Yeah. The, the extra add on. Alright, what kind of camera you got there? Can I, so

Guest: Sai

We got an EOS M 50 from cannon, just a pretty simple crop sensor. Um, you know, SLR, muralist, SLR camera, uh, pretty, pretty good for my purposes for the webcam, but I think the cool piece here is I've actually mounted it to my monitor. And so my Lightboard, so we'll get to that next is actually directly across from my webcam. And so it's multifunctional here. I can use it for my webcam and also for the Lightboard itself. And so I'll quickly show what this kind of studio looks like. Um, so usually this, this whole thing is on wheels by the way, it's a sit stand desk, uh, with the Lightboard on it. So

Host: Jon

Move it cool. There we go. Nice.

Guest: Sai

<laugh> uh, the, uh, background is kinda like a velvet, uh, black material. So it doesn't reflect any light, which is really critical because from a Lightboard videos gotta have a completely black background. Um, let's see. So here's the light where a lot of people are wondering, do you write backwards?

Host: Jon

<laugh> I was actually all right. I'm being totally geeked out right now. I wanna know because I'm thinking, Hmm, how do I do this?

Guest: Sai

So I am writing completely normal. So I'm writing hello world. And you can see from your perspective, um, from the computer, it looks backwards, but here's the trick. We just flip it and

Host: Jon

Flip the screen. Yep. And so

Guest: Sai

You'll notice that my wedding band is on the wrong hand. My hair is flipped the other way. Uh, and I can never wear a t-shirt with a logo on it. Um,

Host: Jon

Oh, tips as a trade. Oh man. You mean I can't wear my logo t-shirt oh,

Guest: Sai

<laugh> yeah. It's uh, it's pretty slick. Tons of lighting equipment here, face lights. This is an L E D that comes all the

Host: Jon

Way. Now did that lighting come with it or did you put it on for the Lightboard? Uh,

Guest: Sai

It actually came with it.

Host: Jon

Okay. I shout

Guest: Sai

Out to revolution light boards. I'm not sponsored by the way, but,

Host: Jon

But if you wanna sponsor this video, reach out to me. <laugh>

Guest: Sai

<laugh> uh, but yeah, they, they create these really slick setups and see it right here, revolution.

Host: Jon

Oh, there we go.

Guest: Sai

Everything is set up here, the dimmers and everything. Um, you can do it at home. Don't get me wrong. This is definitely a hundred percent something you can, uh, build at home. Yeah.

Host: Jon

But

Guest: Sai

It's not gonna come as cleaned.

Host: Jon

Yeah. Yeah.

Guest: Sai

Uh, and the last thing I'll point out

Speaker 3:

Here, my window's very, very bright, um, pretty cool blackout solution here with south girls.

Host: Jon

Oh, I see. Pretty

Speaker 3:

Easy way to just black out an

Host: Jon

Entire window. Black it out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Host: Jon

Pretty cool. Actually. That is really cool. Hold on a second. I gotta take a note on that. I I've got one and depending on the time of the day, if it's before two o'clock it's a little bright comes into my office, even though I put the shades down, you might see it. Well, you can't see it cuz I put on this light behind me, but that is nice. Where, wait, what did you get to cover it?

Guest: Sai

Uh, so it's, it's a company called blackout easy, but really you can just go to home Depot, get some vinyl, cut it to the right size. Yeah. Pick some Velcro on it. It's super slick. And uh, something I really struggle with for a long time had to do a perfect blackout because you know, I don't have a dedicated studio it's um,

Host: Jon

Yeah, me.

Guest: Sai

Yeah. I <laugh> at at IBM we had a dedicated studio to record videos and then the pandemic hit and I couldn't make the Lightboard videos anymore. So we were kind of, uh, Fran frantically figuring out how do we do this? How do we find a place to do this? Because we can't get the cameraman and, and you know, uh, myself and everyone into a, into a small space together. So we brought the whole studio to my house and uh, <laugh> I think that was the first time I, uh, had to turn my guest room into like a dedicated studio. Um, my wife, uh, girlfriend at the time. Wasn't too happy about it, but you know, worked out

Host: Jon

<laugh> but yeah. D did you just get married, right?

Guest: Sai

Yeah. Yeah. We just got married in may.

Host: Jon

Yeah, right before. Yeah. That's right. Congratulations on that.

Guest: Sai

Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, we did, um, a destination wedding in Cancun. Uh, again, not because we love Cancun. Don't get me wrong. We love Mexico, but we have a lot of family coming from out of town and with the, uh, COVID policies for coming to United States, super restrictive, we didn't know what it would be like a year and a half ago. So we said, look, let's just do it out of the country. And so we know that our friends and family from out of the country can come without issue.

Host: Jon

Gotcha. So what do you think about the whole imposter syndrome? Because when, and does it only apply to AWS? Because when I was at AWS, it probably two months in, I started feeling it like, why did they pick me of all people? Now people really know why they did pick no, I'm just kidding. Like why they got rid. No, I'm just kidding. But anyway,

Guest: Sai

Uh, this, this is one I struggle with and I think, you know, it doesn't matter where you are in your career. Imposter syndrome is gonna be something that, um, plague a lot of people. And I, I think it's one of those things that, um, there's a lot of different techniques to handle it, but maybe I can share some of the things that have worked for me. Uh, when, when I start to feel like a little bit like an imposter, um, one of the things is to take a look at where you are today and, and where you've come from and all the different steps you've made in your life. Whether it's, you know, the tests you've passed and the, uh, the schools you went to and, you know, getting a degree or, or passing a bootcamp or whatever it was, all the steps that you took in your career just realized that it didn't happen by dumbfound luck.

Guest: Sai

You didn't get an offer because you tricked your interviewer. You didn't, all of these things are not random or luck based. And I think a lot of people lose that scope because they'll have one conversation maybe with their manager or with the teammate where, you know, they felt like their teammate was contributing more to a conversation or happened to know more than they did about something. And you get in your head and you're like, ah, I don't belong here. Obviously he belongs here, uh, and, and knows more than me, uh, or, or, you know, um, any of those kind of situations, you know, and I think one of the things that really helps me is to realize, look, you're here where you are here today. Not by some dumb luck, but because you deserve to be here. And, and when you can kind of admit that and accept that, that's when you can start realizing here's what I need to do to get even better, to get to the next stage of my career.

Guest: Sai

Um, I'd say that's one and, uh, one other thing it's, uh, it's, it's letting go of perfectionism. This is one of the things that as you grow in your career, you start to realize, um, not everyone's perfect, everyone makes mistakes. And if you're always chasing perfectionism, the unfortunate effect is that you don't actually end up getting anything done. Uh, if you're always wanting to do something perfectly, then you're the activation energy to start doing that thing becomes too high and then you'll end up not doing it at all. And there says, uh, video floating out there on YouTube with me in there, uh, from like 2013. And it was the first time I got in front of a film crew to record a tutorial video. And I think you can literally see sweat tripping off my

Host: Jon

<laugh> all, you know, we are gonna find the video, put the link in the description below. All right, share a little more.

Guest: Sai

I, I was so nervous. I got up there. We had to do like 15 different takes, even though I had literally done that demo a hundred times before and now I can get in front of a Lightboard and record a single take 10 minute video on my first try. Um, sometimes I'm not happy with it, I'll redo it, but it's one of those things where it's, if it's a skill that you can work on and work on and work on, uh, you're gonna get better at it. And, uh, that's one of the things that got me into enablement in the first place. Cause I loved, uh, kind of teaching people and, and doing enablement and creating videos, but I wasn't necessarily the best at it. Uh, and so I worked on it and I feel like I got better, but one of the biggest things that tripped me up in the beginning was I would mispronounce a word and you know, I English wasn't my first language.

Guest: Sai

So a lot of times I would mess up saying something and I'd be like, crap, gotta do it. Uh, a cut and start all work from the beginning. And I'd be there three hours later cuz I fumbled one little word. And uh, I think one of the things was, you know, just who cares if, if you made a mistake, get past it, keep recording 99% of people aren't even gonna notice. And I think it's that letting go of perfectionism that helped me kind of go, go to that next stage with, you know, these kinds of videos and doing this podcast with you and you know, uh, creating Lightboard and, and that kind of thing.

Host: Jon

No, that's one of the things, uh, it really resonates with me is that I look at a couple of the videos that I have done and they're still on my YouTube channel. So if you wanna laugh, head on over and take a look because, uh, some of 'em I've done. I, I look at 'em, I'm like, wow, the video quality sucks. Oh my God, I'm I, I probably recorded a couple, I don't know, 10, 15 times. And we're doing this recording once and only once folks, we're not doing a double take and it is what it is and how it works. It's because it's gonna come across natural. It's gonna cross as a conversation. If we mess up, it's gonna be part of it or it's gonna be part of the blooper reel.

Guest: Sai

Yeah. And, and Jon, one of the things that, uh, when I was just watching a few, your videos on YouTube, just to kind of, kind of get ready for those podcasts, see what other people have talked about. And I was getting a little jealous myself. I felt the imposter syndrome. I was like, Jon is amazing at this. I wish I had that kind of energy when I interviewed, uh, my, my guess. I wish I had that kind of cool background and, and the setup and uh, you know, you've got, you've got the great voice and everything for all of this and I'm starting to feel that myself a little bit. And I think, uh, I think that's, that's that goes back to that imposter syndrome where, you know, everyone has their strengths and like what they're good at. And, and Jon, I think you're quite, you're quite fantastic at, at, at

Host: Jon

You.

Guest: Sai

And uh, I think making your guests feel comfortable and, and that kind of thing. So yeah, I'm jealous, but

Host: Jon

Don't be man. Actually, it was an honor for me to ask you to come on. I'm like, I, for you to accept, to come onto the show, I was like, SI, what do you think about coming onto my shows? And, uh, you were like, yeah, let's do it. So it, and I'm glad you said yes. And thank you so much for all of the compliments you just gave me. I still feel, I feel the imposter syndrome myself. Like people are like, you're you're awesome matter or whatever. I'm like, no, I'm still, yeah. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I come on. And I'm just like, and it's funny. I had a guess one time where we were just talking to Emily in the beginning, I'm like, all right, you ready? I'm gonna click record, click record. And all of a sudden my energy level went from zero to 110. He's like, oh my God, I don't know if I can do the energy as level as well as you, but this is awesome. Like, I don't know how that happens, but it just happens.

Guest: Sai

Yeah, no, it's, it's infectious man. You're the energy is infectious. And I think if you put that energy out, you're gonna get it back as well. Um, but, but that, that switch that you mentioned that, that flip of the switch, I get the same thing. It's, it's the craziest, like before I go up on stage to do a session, I'm sitting there, I'm getting stuck on what were my bullet points again? What was I gonna talk about? <laugh> wait, does, is that demo really gonna work? If I do this and I, and I freak out and last

Host: Jon

Minute, but you go on and it all works, right?

Guest: Sai

Yeah. And then you get up on stage and that, that switch flips. And you're just, you, you hit that mood and you're, you're, uh, you know, you're, you're doing less ums and us, and you've got the demo lined up and you're not worried about if it's gonna break or not, and you're just going with the flow. And I think that's one of those things that's, uh, that's really critical is to, to turn off that part of your brain, that's kind of overthinking these things and just, just get into it.

Host: Jon

How many improv ones do you do like recording some quick ones or all years long or they, you do some short ones?

Guest: Sai

Uh, I, I would really love to start getting into some of the shorter ones. Um, my, my coworker, Justin Garrison might have seen him on containers from the couch, creates these hilarious shorts to basically one minute long videos that go over really complex topics like horizontal pod. Wait, scalers and Kubernetes.

Host: Jon

Wait a second. Yes.

Guest: Sai

Have you seen the

Host: Jon

One with the, is your coworker? Oh, dude, I love his videos. Yeah. I have, I, I inspire to create some like him because he did, um, uh, storage, but he used buckets. Yep. Right. Or whatever it is. Yes,

Guest: Sai

Yes. Yeah. So I think, uh, for local volume provisioners or volume provisioners he use buckets for horizontal pot autoscales he had like a, um, a little cup with a hole in it and then poured water into it. And it was just such a great explanation of, um, kind of memory usage and, and feeling. And, uh, I, I, I, I love his style and I think this is one of those things where as a community of advocates and evangelists, I think we can learn from each other and, and these new types of teaching and, and learning. Um, you know, and, and, uh, Jon, like I said, uh, you know, with this Lightboard video set up, I've got here. I'm happy to have you come here anytime, check it out yourself and maybe even make a video yourself.

Host: Jon

Yo, behind the scenes, you heard it here, folks. We're gonna do a behind the scenes go on out to Texas. We're gonna have some tacos.

Guest: Sai

Oh, hell yeah. I

Host: Jon

Love the tacos out there. We definitely gotta be, Hey, can you put a word in for me with Justin? I'd love to have him on the show and how he does some of this and comes up with these some ideas, cuz I wanna do the same thing. This is pretty cool, but gotta do behind the scenes as well.

Guest: Sai

Absolutely. Uh, you know, I think you, you had asked me how, um, how I prep for one of these things. If I do improv or do I prep

Host: Jon

Yes.

Guest: Sai

Honest with you. I there's a ton of prep that goes into those Lightboard videos. It's uh, there's, there's good. And the ugly of, but the good is that I get to learn about this completely, you know, cool technology and absorb. I generally absorb like eight to 10 hours of reading material videos or whatever. And I have to condense it down into 10 minutes. Uh, and I think that's, that's the cool part is the fact that I get to learn about all these technologies. Um, but I guess the ugly is it, it takes away from, it takes a lot of time, you know, it takes away from being able to, um, uh, you know, meet the minimum requirement for your day job. And so when I was a product manager, this was a constant struggle. It was like, okay, spending all my time, doing product management.

Guest: Sai

And then whenever I can have some extra time I'll prep for a Lightboard video, but now as a da, I think it's, it's great that this is just something I can do. 24 7, always learning about new technologies and creating these videos, these Lightboard videos. Uh, and it's a great way to learn myself. I think one of the videos that I, uh, I made for back when I was at IBM was for blockchain and I had no idea how blockchain worked. And uh, I was, you know, I was interested in crypto and all of that, but it was a great opportunity for me to go out there and read just literally thousands and thousands of papers and videos out there on blockchain, condense it down into a 10 minute video. Um, and, and, you know, be able to put my spin on it. And I think people like that.

Host: Jon

I agree with you two, two more questions before we wrap things up one, are you gonna be at any of the other events coming up like Remar summits or anything?

Guest: Sai

Uh, I, right now I'm only planning to be at open source summit in Austin and then Cuban Detroit reinvent, but I'm open to going to more events. Uh, Jon, let me know because

Host: Jon

I'm at re Mars, by the way, I'm just saying that out there you wanna do some improv stuff. I will, I will literally slap a camera on the table. We will do a live five to 10 minute. Well, not live, it'll be a quick recording and updated, uh, recording on the event and what's going on. I will be in the New York summit. I'm not sure where else I'm going yet because it's hard to, you know, plan some, I will be at reinvent. So plan to meet up there as well.

Guest: Sai

Nice, nice. Looking forward to it.

Host: Jon

Gotta do that before and we definitely have to plan that behind the scenes before any of that stuff happens.

Guest: Sai

Absolutely.

Host: Jon

Okay. Now my last thing is for somebody who wants to get involved and to do this or get started creating content, can you give them a tip? What should they do?

Guest: Sai

Yeah. And, uh, you know, I touched on this a little bit, but you know, the, the other way to look at it, um, you know, you can always spend that additional time you have every day, let's say, you're, you're doing a good job at your day job. And you're hitting that mark. You can always spend your extra time doing even better. But I think one of the things that I've found that that's always worked for me is to focus on things that help you. I think it's three things get recognition. Um, uh, because I think that's, that's one of the most important things it's, uh, your manager might be recognizing what you do, but unless you're getting recognition kind of from, from leadership and across teams, uh, I think some of your impact can be a little limited. Um, uh, number two, I think growing your skills because a lot of times as developers and being new into this industry, uh, you can get stuck in, um, your tiny piece of the world and it's gonna be critical because, uh, very few people, I know've stayed in the same job for over, you know, even two, three years.

Guest: Sai

Uh, and even back in the day, know when people stayed in roles for longer five, 10 years, you you're gonna make, have to make a switch at some point. So being able to grow your skills is gonna be critical. So anytime you have that extra time, um, I think, uh, take advantage of it. And, and the last thing I'll say is, you know, to be able to do something like this, it's all about getting out of your comfort zone. Um, like I said, there's a video out there of me being completely awkward on camera. Uh, you know, one of my first YouTube videos ever. And I didn't give up at that point. I said, look, I, this is something that I wanna get better at. And, you know, I, I kept, uh, focusing on it and, you know, I, I still think there's a lot of room for me to grow, but I think this is one of the things. If you get yourself out of that comfort zone, um, I think, uh, that that really lets you, uh, grow.

Host: Jon

Sorry, I'm gonna add on your number three. Is that video that you're thinking about doing, do it, put it out there and get better at it. Just keep adding onto the next one, learn one new trick, one new trait. That's that whole thing that I was talking about is, you know, develop yourself afterwards. Take that extra time. I think if you wanna put content out there, you just need to do it and then you just tailor and add on to it.

Guest: Sai

Absolutely.

Host: Jon

All right. Sai. Thank you so much for joining me in the show. I really appreciate it. This has been an awesome conversation.

Guest: Sai

Yeah. This, this flew by, honestly.

Host: Jon

I see. And that's how they're supposed to because it's just a chat. We're just hanging out, like we're in the same room, but shortly, maybe we will

Guest: Sai

Appreciate it, Jon, this has been awesome. And again, uh, I mean, everything I said about you just being an amazing host and honestly, I feel so comfortable here. I feel like we're, we're best buds now. I can't wait to have you over in my house. You can meet my dogs. Uh, me and my wife, you know, that feels weird to say my wife,

Host: Jon

Ah, there you go. It would be, uh, definitely an honor to come over, meet, see your set up. Maybe we'll do a live recorder or live post right there. We'll do some awesome stuff. Everybody Sai on principal developer advocate at AWS for Kubernetes, my name's Jon Myer. Your host. Thanks for joining. Don't forget to hit that, like subscribe and notified, because guess what? We're outta here.

 

Comments are closed.