Ep#79 The Gauntlet of AWS Cost Optimization

August 8, 2022

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About the Guest

Steph Gooch

Currently I am commercial architect in the AWS OPTICS team. We serve as subject matter experts guiding customers through ways to optimize their current and future AWS spend. Our team specializes in understanding the unique complexities of large customers and dive deep into their cost and usage data to recommend and educate customers on long term cost management and optimization strategies.

Episode Summary

Are you trying to figure out the Keys to AWS Optimization or success with AWS Cost Optimization? Did you collect all the infinity stones hoping to snap your fingers to reduce your AWS Cost? Check out this episode with Commercial Architect at AWS on FinOps and Cost Optimization, Steph Gooch.

Steph Good on YouTube

Interesting in learning more about Brand Relationships and Content Creating. Check out the podcast with Corey Quinn HERE!

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Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

All right. Ready to have some fun?

Guest: Steph

Yep.

Host: Jon

All right. Just note that anything that happens during the blooper reel might end it. No, I'm just kidding. <laugh> don't worry. I won't put anybody on the spot, but sometimes it makes for some great content.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, I bet.

Host: Jon

All right. And here we go. 3, 2, 1. Today, we're talking with Steph Gooch commercial architect at AWS on FinOps and cost optimization. Now let's bring Steph onto the show. Please join me in welcoming Steph Gooch to the show. Steph. Thanks for joining me.

Guest: Steph

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to hear my first ever podcast, like properly on a podcast. It's been my dream. So thank you for fulfilling that.

Host: Jon

Wait a second. You're on a lot of shows. Wait, this is your first podcast. Like yeah,

Guest: Steph

Everybody thinks of my Twitch show. Uh, the key database optimization is a podcast. They call it a podcast because people are like, oh, it's a, it's a show, but they it's a audio and visual show, but they just call it a podcast. And I just kind of now just nod along. I'm like, yeah, basically.

Host: Jon

<laugh> no. Well, I'm glad that you get a chance to do this and mine, but you're also on the other side of things. Normally you're hosting it today. You get to sit back, relax, and I'll do all the work.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, this is nice. It's interesting to not have to look at any kind of prep sheets or anything. I just have to chill out and have a chat.

Host: Jon

You know what? I don't look at any prep sheets either. <laugh> I mean, I, I know we have like five bullet points, whatever the conversation goes. It's just gonna go.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. <laugh>

Host: Jon

Okay. Let's talk about step and who Steph is and how you got to where you're at now. So Steph, a little bit of backstory on you.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. So, uh, we'll go back. I was, uh, at the university of Surry. Let's go back there, uh, where I did a master degree. Uh, and then I did a placement year where I dipped my toe into some technology stuff, finished that out. And then I went straight into a career at KPMG, not as an officer, but as a DevOps engineer where I got thrust into like the cloud where I didn't know anything about it. And I just learned on my feet, which was a really good experience, kind of throwing out there. Amazon was the first time I got to know and then became my obvious favorite through the years. Um, yeah, kind of built out from there. A lot of, of developing infrastructure, writing scripts, uh, some of the, I just learnt kind of cut my teeth on that kind of stuff. And then I got into this world of pH ops when I did a masters'. So my lovely KPMG paid for me to do a masters as part of the graduate scheme I was on and yeah, found finops and did a, this dissertation on cost optimization and visualization in the cloud, which is a bit for mouthful, but that was really fun and learned that kind of stuff. And then got involved in the world of Finn ops. And then couple of years there running the fops team and now Amazon commercial architects are pretty fun.

Host: Jon

Well, congratulations on the Amazon commercial architects, I'm going to jump back to the Finn ops real quick. You're one of the original founding members.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. So I was just on the phone to someone else about this day where I can't remember how many years ago it was, but I met, I think when I was doing my research into the dissertation, I found the FIS website and it was very new back then there weren't I think someone said I was one of the first nine, but I'm not really sure if that's true, but that's, that's the rumor going around. Uh, and then I was at a pre summit meeting for cloud ability and met some of the developers for this tool and was learning about fi I did some presentations started kind of saying lots of things about, oh, anything you guys could do. I could do. I was very bold back then cuz of the ke. And I was like, oh, it's all the same data, you know? Um, and yeah, then I got kind of sky Jr. Got in touch and was like, oh, do you wanna come and do a talk at this event? We're doing get involved in the foundation and kind of grew from there. So I'm one of the original people to get the practitioner exam and speakers from the event we did. I think it was 2018. Uh, it was, I think it's then, but yeah, I've been doing it for, it feels like a while now.

Host: Jon

Uh, so finops, let's talk about it real quick in, uh, do you wanna define it for everybody? Really? What is finops all about?

Guest: Steph

Oh, okay. So the finops pH ops generally is the practice of bringing together finance developer stakeholders to kind of speak one language to use the cloud efficiently. That is not the textbook answer. There is a textbook you can get. Um, but that's kind of how I think of it. It's not about cost saving, um, or kind of cutting costs and things like that. It's more about the money that you invest in the cloud being, getting the most bang for your buck is what I like to think about as

Host: Jon

All right. So bank for your buck, you kind of indicated that you want use or unlock their AWS cost. How do you unlock the AWS cost? First? You're a commercial architect at AWS. Yeah. So cost optimization is right around your key, but how are you unlocking AWS cost? To me sounds like your cost. I don't know you you're unlocking some more cost now for a quick interruption, a huge shout out to our friends at Veeam for sponsoring this episode, Veeam backup for AWS can easily protect all of your Amazon EC two RDS and VPC data. Wait a second. They can protect my VPC data too. Yep. That's right. Simplify AWS, backup and recovery while ensuring security and compliance. All right. Now back to our episode,

Guest: Steph

<laugh> hopefully not, it's more just kind diving in, in and people understanding what they're spending money on. I think that's the big thing in terms of five match management, pH ups, whatever kind you define it as is, oh, especially when I was developer. That's what I think back to a lot is I used that as a time where we didn't see a bill back then. Like no one, if I speak, people are more aware of it then, but because I worked for a big company and I'm gonna steal one of my customers technology where I had daddy's money, that's what one of my customers calls it, which is very funny. And we were like that. And one day I literally saw a paper copy of the bill and I was, was shocked how much we spent. And I was like, oh my God, this is crazy.

Guest: Steph

And then went into it. And I'm certain not saying KPMG's pad is spending money, but it was interesting cuz we'd never like, it was never something we were measured on. So kind of unlocking the ability to see the cost, I think is like where we start with a lot of our customers a lot where I started was getting into that cost usage report. Amazon has cost Explorer, the native tooling, and then trying to understand, and then being a better developer on top of that. So if you like developing is all about security and highly available, but cost is also a big factor of it. And I think like making people measured on that is really interesting. And that's kind of the drive for a lot of fi ops at the moment is looking into that.

Host: Jon

We can talk about the AWS bill or cost report shortly because actually I wanna talk about the whole story behind it and the culture that's driven behind, but at AWS, what are you doing as a commercial architect? Yeah. What's your whole role about,

Guest: Steph

So I look after telco AMEA customers, Armenian Europe, and my goal is I'm a resource that's attached to accounts I'm dedicated to them and I help them do four things. So cost optimization is one of them and is a big part of that. We are there to help lower the bill of customers. There's also looking at financial processes. So chargeback showback, those things where you wanna give people access to that bill. Like I was just talking about the visibility aspects. There's also the culture. So we like to have conversations, bringing in those different stakeholders, speaking to developers, like doing Finn hacks. I did one the other day. That was really fun. So that's where we went to a customer site and we had some education sessions and developers were there and they learned stuff and they literally had time dedicated to go and say, oh, okay, I'm gonna go resize this instance or tri spot or delete an I resource, things like that. And then there's just best practices overall. So I look across telco so I can share that. But also in general kind of working out with customers like what's what are doing what people are doing well and how we can share that on a wider scope. And that's where things like the Twitch show run come in or the blog post or the well architect labs where we can kind of expand that range of knowledge,

Host: Jon

The culture, that what I wanted to talk about, the AWS curve file and the cost of user reports. And I was indicating it's a whole culture shift. That's actually one of the four things you just mentioned. Yeah. How is it a culture shift? Because here's what I envision is that I was a traditional it and we never saw cost. We didn't really count of, be helped out with the budget. Okay. Yeah. And it, you know, obviously you allocated that over three to five years now with cloud, it is a culture shift because of the awareness. How is it?

Guest: Steph

It's interesting. I think some people, it depends where you start so smaller companies. Like I don't, it's really interesting for me when, um, people are already well into using Amazon for example, and then suddenly they realize they need to be more cloud efficient. And it's a bit of a shock and something's happened along the way where, like I said, the daddy's money kind of thing comes in. People have just been building property because they have high demand and it's not really been a factor to worry about. Whereas smaller companies that are more, they have a tighter budget from the start like, oh, I guess you can use cloud, but here's your you're really constraint to it. They're better at the kind of culture. But the big thing with the, the culture is it's all about that. I hate to go to visibility, but it's all about kind of sharing stuff and encouraging people to try and be more efficient.

Guest: Steph

It's a really hard thing to pinpoint. Um, the, seeing the cost and making people understand that what they do have an has an impact is really powerful. But also it's not always about cost because it's not there. I always have this analogy I use, which is like a mobile phone bill. So I have my personal phone. When I go on holiday, it's on airplane mode. I don't touch it. It's always like connecting to wifi or I don't use it, but my work phone, someone else is paying for that. And I don't see the bill. So if I want to go on Instagram or play pocket Pokemon, go back when it was in fashion, um, then I would do that on, on the works budget. Not Amazon, don't worry guess

Host: Jon

<laugh> and yeah, the disclaimer, she's not talking about AWS because

Guest: Steph

This is old Pokemon go was ages ago. I only know one person who's still playing. Um, and so yeah, the, and so that's the kind of mindset where it's like, cuz don't see the bill, I don't pay for the bill. I don't care about it. But when you think about kind of efficiency and maybe sustainability losing that as a culture driver is really interesting because maybe people don't care about spending, I don't know, 10 pounds an hour on a server, but they do care about how kind of green they are. Are they wasting energy? And therefore they have a kind of sustainability thing. So that's a big drive in culture. But yeah, I think it's working with people, not against people as well. I realize I'm talking a lot about general little things, but the understanding of, um, going in and using the kind of carrot versus stick method is always like, which one do you choose?

Guest: Steph

I think it's probably more efficient to educate people, give them an opportunity to shine, gives an opportunity to develop and enjoy the development part of it. So create some code to automate stuff rather than just yelling at them every day, saying, you've still got all these out resources. Why are you not doing this? So yeah, that, that kind of stuff, which is used to happen in security. I remember that happening where I worked, where the sec, every day people would meet and they'd just be yelled at cause things weren't patched. Whereas if they had invested like a day to maybe do like a hackathon and fix it, people would've been really more like invested in that time.

Host: Jon

Oh, that's actually an interesting concept because uh, if you get yelled at every day to do and patch your servers, right. But if you make it fun and do like a hackathon wherever he does, it really kind of gets everybody engaged and they're like, oh man, this is freaking cool. And they're doing work and they're patching for security, but they're having fun at it. A hackathon for cost optimization.

Guest: Steph

Well, that's, that's basically what a fin hack is. It's that, that kind of concept, but it is really, um, I, I feel like, especially with those mundane tasks where let's just take, for example, um, unattached, elastic, volumes, uh, EBS volumes, that is such a, like I've talked to almost every one of my customers. They have unattached volumes that are just sitting there and most often something's happen in a process and they're just sitting there costing money or burning money or burning energy, whatever thing you wanna look at and to go and tell the developer to go and delete them. They're like, I'll just do it later. I don't, I don't really care. Whereas if you were to say, okay, we've got a challenge. We wanna see you guys automate some of this work. They're not only are they getting it done, they are enjoying what they're doing.

Guest: Steph

They also don't have to do it in the future. So a big part of optimization is people think, I know I'm gonna go clean up. And I did this just to caveat when I was younger, more naive about optimization, I jumped in there, went round, deleting, cut. All these volumes was like, I'm gonna save us so much money. Two months later, look at the bill. There's still loads of alleviates volumes because I hadn't fixed the problem. I just kind of cleaned up a bit. Whereas I hadn't put any structure in place. There was no automation. And so that's a big thing is if you could put that in place instead, that's what I'm doing with some of my customers, which I'm looking forward to doing. If anybody wants a link to the GI hub repo, we've got some stuff going with that, but that's what we're looking to do. And then that means that we don't have to ask developers to clean stuff up because it's taken care of

Host: Jon

One of your four things was chargeback showback. Is it really a thing? Because I always remember that as like somebody said, oh, we can use this for chargeback showback, but do you really ever charge back that department or that company? Or is it like, oh you, you, I, I hit a point <laugh>

Guest: Steph

I've been talking about chargeback since I started doing this and I did a talk in, uh, the fi X, which is a fi conference and it had a big part about charge bag. And even I appoint was like, I can't believe I'm still talking about chargeback <laugh> and I started to go with someone and they were like, can you come to us just about chargeback? And I was like, why is still a problem? It is a problem. Um, I think it could be solved in some cases very easily with the way that you structure your accounts. Um, I just don't think people think about it when they start, because they're just like, I'm gonna, and that's what KPMG did. They had one account and they started off and luckily they created a really good account structure, which meant chargeback was easier, but people don't, they have, one of my customers has one giant account and they have everything in there.

Guest: Steph

So it's really hard to split up the costs and divvy them up. And it's more about, um, charging back internally. So it is kind of funny money. It doesn't really, really exist in some companies, but everyone does have their budgets and they, if you charge 'em for using carb resources, you, they wanna see what they've actually built is the right amount of cost that they're spending on it. Uh, so yeah, it is a, it is a big problem. And I guess also if you're charging people outside of your company and you're creating invoices from that kind of stuff, then it is really relevant. But yeah, it is a, still a big challenge, but there's a lot of resources out there on how to do it properly. And uh, yeah. Check out, say, check out my YouTube channel. You'll see. Oh, can add links in.

Host: Jon

There will be a link in the description below on our YouTube channel. Now here's a fun question for you. How important is tagging? Oh yeah. You saw my face because I have to tell you that I have been talking about this for years yet. It is still the main issue because it's so simple. People are like, yeah, yeah. Get to it.

Guest: Steph

So there's so many different viewpoints on tagging. I, and some, I was at something recently, it was like, you don't need to tag. And I was like, yes, you don't have to tag everything. So to kind of run everyone. So when we're talking about tagging, especially in Amazon, there's like key values that you've assigned into resources and people become obsessed with tagging. Again, I did this before. I was like, everything has to be tagged cuz how are we gonna know who owns, what, how are we gonna do all this stuff? But it depends. One question is why do you wanna tag it? What benefit are you gonna get from that data? If it is for chargeback, like we were just talking about then could you look at your account structure instead? So could you say that everything in an account a is gonna be charged back to a cost center?

Guest: Steph

B if you can do that, then why would you tag anything inside the account? If you know that everything belongs to it because in your cost and usage report, you can see what account it was used in. And you can also get metadata from the cost, from the organization's, uh, tags and there. So you don't have to tag all of your resources. You could just tag an account or some people use, um, like application IDs in the names of their accounts and have their data like nowhere near Amazon, they have an internal service where they log all that data and then they can see who owns it. Like who's responsible, what cost centers are attached to it, who they have to email when something is unsecure. And that could kind of be set out of it. There is also tagging where you need it for things like automation.

Guest: Steph

So if you wanna do, uh, instant scheduler, for example, you need to tag that for that. You need to set up and make sure that you have a good tagging structure, a way to tag, can you tag it through Terra or cloud formation rather than manually doing it? Can you set policies at your account level to ensure people have to tag their resources? So there are some like, things like that, but it is a balancing act. I think the biggest question is what are you trying to get out of your tags? And don't just tag for the sake of it because people don't like tagging,

Host: Jon

I think service control policies for enforcing tags in certain accounts or requirements. I, I think that is key because now you don't have to worry about like, you know, the infrastructures code deploying out on the Terra form or cloud formation, things are gonna be forced to be tagged or else mm-hmm <affirmative> they can't be deployed or you can't do it. Yeah. What about tagging something by, uh, maybe the user who created it, right. So is that available in the metadata or do I have that pushed out for like say a Lambda function that tags it with a user? So now I can identify who actually created it so I can hold somebody else accountable.

Guest: Steph

So I think it depends on what you're building. So I think some transformation you can see who done it who's I think you can, um, you can tell, I haven't been as a proper developer for a while. <laugh> but um, it is relevant, but then again, it's like, okay, so say you deployed it. Tomorrow's your last day. You're leaving in a week's time. When I look at that data, I'm like, oh, Jon did it and he's gone. So what's, what's the point of it. That's why taking it out of the resources, I think is more important just because that centralized location where all your data is somewhere else, you can update and edit. And it's probably more business reflective rather than like resource reflective. Um, you can also just look in cloud trail and see who's deployed it. If you really, if someone did something wrong and you wanna do the blame game. Um, but yeah, I think it's, again, it's all depends on why do you wanna know who deployed it? What benefit of that? Data's gonna get you.

Host: Jon

All right. Let's talk about your Twitch show. We were actually talking about, you said, uh, people call it a podcast. I think it's both. Let's just put it that way because it's a conversation you're having a natural conversation with everybody and it's really fun and engaging. It's called the keys to AWS optimization. You wanna talk about who you're doing the show with and what it's all about?

Guest: Steph

Yeah, definitely. So it's been a real fun project for me. I had not heard of Twitch. I mean, I've heard of Twitch before, but I wasn't, I'm not a gamer, so I didn't know anything about it. A lot of my friends do get confused and think I've suddenly become a gamer in my past times and I'm streaming that. Um, but yeah, so Twitch, our show is a show. We have guests on every Thursday, three 30 English time, and we just chat about something to, with optimization in Amazon. And so it's kind of, uh, me and Alex Head, who's my kind of big boss, uh, do it together. But we get guests on from our team who are other experts. We also get product owners. We've got people from things like dynamo or S3. Come on and explain two listeners how to optimize, which I think is the big part of it is we're actually just telling people from the horses now, how do you save money? We also get customers coming on, which is also really fun to hear what they've done, their success stories and what other people could learn from them. And then yeah, anybody that wants to come on, we had Jeff bar come on the other day, which was very cool. Um, I caught

Host: Jon

That.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. <laugh> that was really

Host: Jon

Cool.

Guest: Steph

That was really fun. A little bit nervewracking. Um, but yeah, he was great just to share some ideas. He had a very cool background. We chat about that for a while. Um, but yeah, I think the, the reason why I really enjoy it is like you said, it is a conversation. There are so many webinars and formal presentations out there. I do a lot of them as well, but sometimes it's nice to have it. People can listen in the background, they can ask questions because it's a live stream and there's that aspect to it. There's also our YouTube channel with the videos. People can add comments later, but that kind of answering someone's question, answering a customer's question live and solving a problem is so just makes me really happy that I get to do that. Uh, but also fact that we can share resources.

Guest: Steph

And I keep, every time I say something like, oh, on this YouTube or today I keep wanting to put a link in the chat because that's what I do a lot of the time as a host, I'm always like, oh, here's the link to this video. Here's the link to this blog. And that's what, as a speaker and as a host my goal, it's always to give people things that they can take away and implement into their businesses. So sometimes that is just a description of something or it could be a physical lab or query or something like that. They can put into it. But yeah, it's, it's a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. And I'm glad that I kind of started it however long ago.

Host: Jon

Well, speaking of giving people things to take away, I'll put the links in the description below to not only the Twitch, but their YouTube. Now, speaking of Twitch, I always thought it was a gaming platform as well. I do love the live chat feature. YouTube has one, but I think Twitch is kind of more of a personal, you can have a lot of fun with and put some automation around it. I used Twitch probably for about two years when I was at AWS. Oh, cool. Uh, doing some underground deep racer events here in my basement. So we were live streaming for the audience. Uh, that was really fun to use. I think I might go back to it. I'm not sure of the audience for myself, but what you guys are doing onto, which is awesome. And I love the conversation. I love you bringing in not only product owners, but customers who are saying here's how I'm solving X and you never thought they would use it that way or the how they solved it. It's like, oh my God, we can take this to other people.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. That is, I am looking to get more customers in. Um, I think next week we have a customer talking about forecasting. I, the good thing as well, I'm very selfish that I get to learn a lot in these conversations because I don't know everything obviously. And I don't know everything about how customers do things or about other products. There was only a certain set I used when I was a customer and it's changes the landscape changes all the time. So I get to go and ask people who are a lot smarter than me questions. And sometimes I've been, I've realized I've been caught. Like I, if I watch it back or when I'm in the middle of it, where I wanna get a pen of paper out, it's like writing notes or I just kind of sit back and I just listen and then realize I'm on camera. And that I actually need to pay attention and start like asking questions back. I can't just be a passive part in it. So yeah, it's really, that's probably one of the best things about it is that it's educating myself and other people in a really fun way.

Host: Jon

If I come on a podcast and I don't learn anything from my guests, I'm not asking the right questions. You gave me your, your four key things that you talked about. Obviously the, the culture, um, you know, DevOps, but the tagging question I had for you, I've been talking about tagging for a long time. And I think the question to ask people is what are you trying to achieve or do with it now, obviously, if all your stuff's in one account, you tagging's probably crucial, but if you separate it by your chargeback showback cost optimization, you know, these are all flown together for the tagging question. So I learned something and I appreciate it.

Guest: Steph

<laugh> I'm glad. Yeah. That thing, I mean, I was quite lucky that our account structure came from dub was like that there was a guy called Alan Richards, who he was the person that said, Steph, why'd you wanna tag? And I was like, because you have to tag, like, it was just like a given. And then he was like, but we already have the account structure. And I was like, oh, and then it just blew. And then now I'm just like I say this question, but you don't need to tag once you know about it. You're like, oh, this is quite cool.

Host: Jon

All right. So at AWS, you're part of a team called optics. What is that?

Guest: Steph

Uh, oh God, I'm trying to think of the official terminology, but we're basically a bunch of SMEs subject matter experts who know about cost optimization and are dedicated to help customers optimize. And it's a really fun team. I'm quite lucky. I was, I was there when there were six of us we've grown to about 30 now, uh, focusing on those. Yeah. It's been a real fast growth, uh, period. And it means that we can cover kind of a lot of different customers. There's kind of a couple different roles, but the big thing is that we are a free resource for these customers just to help them in their CFM. But I like it as well because there are, we have a real big, different match of backgrounds. So I've come from a technical background, I would say. But then there are people who come from a business background and their experience in how you deal with things like finance or procurement and actual business objectives is something that I never had to deal with when I was a developer.

Guest: Steph

And so I get to go and ask them questions and they get to come and share it with my customers. And if someone needs help writing a Python script and I can jump in, but we can all kind of collaborate and share and all go to our strengths. So the freedom that we had for me to like do the TWI show is, was really cool for me. We've had people develop internal tools that are known across the business. This girl, Ali Whitman developed the cost intelligence dashboard, which is this really cool dashboard for your cost spend. Um, and it was all cause we had this freedom to kind of just go and build stuff for the customers that would help them. Um, so yeah, it's a great, it's a great team and, uh, a fun, fun environment to work in.

Host: Jon

So these are SSEs globally, right? They all come from different backgrounds, but they have different roles at AWS, but you all come together to form the optics team.

Guest: Steph

So there's a bunch of us that are commercial architects, which is what I am, and there's a bunch which are customer enablement specialists. So we kind of dig it up into two ways. The customer enablement specialists focus more on the billing itself. So the billing console. So they're very good at explaining all the services, they know, savings plans and our eyes to a higher level than I can ever understand. And they're really good at advising customers on that kind of strategy when you first get into the cloud. And then the seat commercial architects are more about the deep dive. So we go kind of hard into the granular reporting stuff and maybe help get the optimization. We actually kinda get this well rounded view of a customer that we can help with both sides. But yeah, we are relatively global. We've got people in the UK, in Spain, a lot in America, uh, some in Ireland, UK, I'm sure I think of anybody rogue. No, that's the main one, a lot of America. So my time zone working is often quite fun.

Host: Jon

Ah, I like this podcast, which is early morning for me and about afternoon for you or evening. Yeah,

Guest: Steph

Afternoon, right

Host: Jon

Afternoon. So let's talk a little bit more about Steph, uh, when we, you and I talked and we were talking about a couple things, you had a competition coming up or for strong woman, can you give us a little insight on it?

Guest: Steph

Yeah. Yeah. So I compete in strong woman, which is like strong man, but obviously the female version of, um, it's, you might have seen it on TV or on YouTube. It's people lifting a lot of weird, heavy things, uh, as I like to describe it. And uh, yeah, it's, it's really fun. I've been doing it for a couple of years now, but had a competition. I was at England strongest woman, which I qualified for and it was, it was a good, it was a really cool day. It was at, at like a big expo was against I'm. I'm still quite new to the sport and still have a lot to learn. But some of the women I were against, they are the strongest women in the world. They compete at well strongest women a lot. And I'm just in awe just kind of lifting up smaller things than they can.

Guest: Steph

Uh, but yeah, it was a really good comp we had one. Um, I had another one, two weeks ago where I came joint third, but fourth on look back, which I'm still sad about, but I, uh, I also coach at, uh, gym. So I'm a volunteer coach at a strength gym. And I took a bunch of athletes to that com that was really satisfying to watch them do. And one of my girls came first in her category. So that was really exciting. But yeah, it's just picking up. Anyone needs any moving things, call me, move the around.

Host: Jon

He's said pick up some weird objects. Is it just like weights or what, or do you need like pick up a fridge? You, what is it?

Guest: Steph

I know everyth thing in need really, but I've got like a giant ball onto my desk as well from when we were in lockdown. I need to wait. But yeah, the fun thing is that like people know about the, the big boulders that like stones, we at the stones, we call them and they're just giant balls of cement that you have to pick up and put somewhere. Uh, that's always quite fun. And we did, uh, I did truck push the other day, so I literally had to push a truck up a slight hill, uh, for a meters. And in like two weeks I have to pull a truck. So there's loads of like random. So it could be actual vehicles and things like that.

Host: Jon

Okay. Well, if I ever break down, I will give you a holler. Cause I got my truck. <laugh> that's pretty cut. Cool. How, how does Juan follow you or reach out to you for it?

Guest: Steph

Oh, for any of that stuff? Uh, um, all my socials are lift like a nerd. Um, so as you can tell, I lift stuff, I'm also very nerdy. If you can see my background, there's a lot of nerdy stuff in it. Um, and so that's yeah, that's on, I realized today it's, I've literally got it across all apart from LinkedIn. So any of the socials, Instagram, TikTok? Not that I post much, but yeah. Um, lift like a nerd, check it out there. Any questions about strength stuff or about cloud

Host: Jon

<laugh>? Yeah, I actually like, because, uh, Lyft and then the nerd part. So if you have any questions about lifting or you're a nerd and you wanna lift, reach out the step, I, I love how, when you talk to somebody and uh, so I'm, I'm a fitness person as well. And I love working out and it's like seven days a week. I've gotta do something. Yeah. And, uh, when I tell people they're like, what do you do for a living? I was like in it, it's very hard when you try to explain what you're doing, it's like, so I'm a chief evangelist and a con podcaster, you know, basically I'm on TV all the time or recording all the time. And they're like, well, what does that have to do with it? Well, yeah. Then try to explain that.

Guest: Steph

Oh my God. Yeah, I agree. I'm one of those people that would just, if you get me talking about anything that I'm passionate about, I will talk and talk and talk and I have to restrain myself a little bit, especially when it gets into like S and stuff like that. I could talk for an hour. I could talk hours on it. I do have a show. That's part of it as same as you have yours. And, but the, um, yeah, the it stuff. I definitely do that thing where I say I work in it and people, some people say, oh, what do you do? And then you kind of can lead into it. So I kind of give them more, not to be annoying, but just to see if someone says, okay, clearly they don't care. They don't know about it. They don't wanna know <laugh>. But if someone says, oh, what do you do? And then that way you can, like, I do this and you can go into more detail and they'll be like, oh, that's really interesting. And you can have a, a nerd conversation about it.

Host: Jon

How many times has somebody ask you to fix their computer? When you say that

Guest: Steph

<laugh> oh my God, don't, there's, we're a show. There's like a TV show called Zoe's extraordinary playlist. And in it, this is quite sad, but her dad dies and that's not spoiler really. And her mom is trying to get into his computer and she works in it and she's like a programmer. And my mom watched it as well. And I called her off the episode. I was like, please don't expect that. I can just hack into like anybody in the family's laptop if needed, because that's not what I do, which she's like, okay, good to know. Cause I was thinking that <laugh>

Host: Jon

<laugh> I always get those. I am so disconnected from the traditional desktops, laptops. I, I get, I have no problem. I have a Mac. I have no problem getting around and doing technical stuff, but I only do it for myself. And it's funny when somebody asks you, Hey, listen, can you fix my printer? Can you fix my, I listen, it's cheaper for you to go buy a new one. <laugh>

Guest: Steph

Yeah. I can't even use my printer half the time. It doesn't

Host: Jon

Wife always says like, you know how a mechanics car never runs. It's like an, it like sometimes a printer doesn't work here or something goes on, but it's it. When I try to go look at it and figure, I'm like, well, it works for me. I'm not sure why it's not working for you, but <laugh>

Guest: Steph

Oh my God. Yeah. And there's that thing where isn't it called expert proximity where something will happen and then they'll be like, my script's not working and I'll go on share screen. And then it will start working. And they're like, I smoke. Wasn't the same thing happens when I lift as well. But like, if I'm lifting by myself, I can't and I fail a rep or something. I'll call my coach over and I'll be like, I can't do it. Like what, what we doing wrong? And then she'll watch it and I'll do it. And I'll be like, she's like, you're fine. Stop being so dramatic. Just do the work.

Host: Jon

<laugh> stop being so dramatic. All right. I'm gonna switch to one of your favorite topics and you've got some Easter eggs around the back of your office. Uh, some latest one. I know you're a big Marvel fan.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. I do love a bit of MC well, I like to, before all the ma Marvel fanboy like attack me online. I'm a big MCU fan. I'm not a crazy fan. There's like a few things. Either side of me that you'd recognize. I think I've got my dad used to be into the comics when he was younger and he still has a ton of them. And then when Ironman came out, was it like almost 15 years ago? Now we went together to see it. And we kind of watched a lot of the MCU films as they came out. And it was a thing that we still talk about now. Uh, I watch him all with friends, bless him and he'll watch him for Disney plus, but we go through a lot of it and we'll pick it apart. And he'll tell me about, oh, he's like on these issues, this happened. And I'll talk maybe a bit more about in the podcast I listen to about Marvel and things like that. We'll have like, chats about it. But yeah, it's something, again, people in my team know if a new Marvel property comes out and they'll mention it, I will just run because I've normally listened to like three podcasts, like four YouTube videos. My TikTok is all about it. I know all the Easter X and I'll just dive into it.

Host: Jon

Okay. You've got a glove back there. You just got it. Wanna

Guest: Steph

Talk about it, infinity. Yeah, I got it. Bless my paras. Got it. For me. It's a Lego infinity that, um, I'm not a massive Lego builder used to when I was younger, but I just finished it. I need to put lights in the knuckles, in the stones for them to light up. But yeah, that was,

Host: Jon

Oh wait, they don't light yet. Oh, that's this for our next recording. When we get together. All right.

Guest: Steph

It's so obvious. They've got buyers on them and I'm like, I thought it was just gonna be like a clip in thing, but there's like all these wires and I'm like, I need to figure this out, uh, to learn how to do, I've watching Lego masters American one. And I feel like shut learn tips from them.

Host: Jon

I think you need to do a recording or tutorial and wiring it all together. I think people will pay attention and like, wait a second. Then all of a sudden you're like

Guest: Steph

<laugh> with the music in the background.

Host: Jon

Yep. You gotta, you just, you gotta get the rights to the music or else you just put in your own dun

Guest: Steph

Singing it.

Host: Jon

Oh, sorry. What happened? I don't, who knows? Okay. I have to challenge you. And this is gonna be a stressful question for you. What was your favorite one? Favorite Marvel movie released?

Guest: Steph

Oh God, that's a terrible question.

Host: Jon

Um, okay. Are your top three? How's that?

Guest: Steph

Oh, no. You know, I feel like I should have these ready, but I'll go for my, the best one. I think my best cinematic experience was probably end game. Um, just, I mean, that's a classic answer. It was 10 years in the making. It was like the climax of everything. And I went with my mom and dad. We went to an, every man cinema, which is like a nice cinema, a very nice cinema chain in England. And I, cuz it's was a lot of people die. Hopefully that's not a spoiler, but I cried so much watching that film that my parents, when they left to go home and I had to go back to my apartment, they were like, are you gonna be okay by yourself? Cause I just could stop crying about these characters. But yeah, that's a classic. The one I go to, I, when I re-watch all the time is captain America, the first Avenger. I don't know why, but it's my, like I feel under the weather, I, I just wanna curl up and watch a movie. I'll watch that one just to like feel good. But guardians is also a kind of classic one, but some of the new ones I just watched, I need to start rewatching some of the new ones that came out like multiverse madness, just for Elizabeth Olsen. She is, I think holding people keep saying she's holding the whole MCU on her shoulders cuz she's the best one.

Host: Jon

Okay. Um, captain Marvel, not captain, captain Marvel was one captain America, the winter soldier. I absolutely, I have to tell you absolutely love the action parts in the beginning. The was Samuel L. Jackson in the car chase. Uh, I will rewatch the elevator scene like 20,000 times. Oh God. That

Guest: Steph

Insane.

Host: Jon

I will re I no lie. I absolutely, I think that's amazing. And he's like, you know, this isn't personal. It feels kind of personal and uh, the Avengers, it's all

Guest: Steph

The courts.

Host: Jon

Oh my God. I, I, I'm a big, uh, captain American one. Uh, what's the, for the first Ironman still dig. I really dig that one. Yeah. The two and three are pretty good. Um, the Avengers, the end game. What was the one right before? I can't think of the name

Guest: Steph

Infinity. Woo

Host: Jon

In. Okay. Yes. So, uh, a big captain American one. I love it. When he, all of a sudden he comes out, he's at the, uh, their kicking butt, uh, in the London train station, right? Oh yeah. And then all of a sudden, the train's going by behind them and you hear it and they're looking and they shoot the camera onto him. I was in the theater and everybody's clapping when they see captain America come on. I was the same way.

Guest: Steph

The thing is. So I, in my podcast that I listen to Americans react to the screen a lot better than we seem to, because I hear about all these stories. People are like clapping, there's load of audios on TikTok. People like screaming and end game. And I was like, who was just pretty chill? Like we just watching silence, but there's like the bit in the train station when he catches that pole and the sphere is a great bit, but oh God, I, the me and my friends will just quote, I say me and my friends, me, and like one of the four, two of them we'll just quote stuff to each other. And then they won't know I'm quoting stuff. Cuz I go like really niche into stuff we were talking about. We went to see love thunder on Friday and uh, was talking about how it's like more of a comedy.

Guest: Steph

We were just spa like texting, just individual quotes to each other and gifts and stuff like the whole day. So I love that kind of stuff. But yeah, I think there really, there is, there is a lot of them at the moment. I love a lot of the TV shows. One division was amazing. I really enjoyed miss Marvel that came out recently and Hawkeye they're probably my top three. Um, but yeah, you're saying about, uh, the, what you say wind soldier that is known as like one of the best ones, because it's like a genre film, it's more of a kind of spy be a large kind of thriller. And I do like it when marble does that. When, cuz it's the classic film like thought love thunderer is a bit more of a comedy. You do have some more genre ones. Multiverse band is trying to be a horror and has a lot of horror KNS to it, especially from Sam Rainey.

Guest: Steph

But yeah, there's so many, I, I think that's the good thing about them. There's a lot, there is a lot at the moment though. So it means that if you don't pay attention to everything, there's a bit of a fear that you'll miss something like a miss, an Easter egg somewhere else, which is quite like if you, um, if you watch miss Marvel, when you watch the own credit scene, if you pause at the right time, you can see trust a bro moving company, which is a nod to the Hawkey series. So if you didn't see that you wouldn't see that. And it's there says quite a lot of content. I think, um, they just released the map for the next kind of couple of years and it was shocker. So that's all I spent my time doing, watching Marvel stuff, lifting and talking about cost ization.

Host: Jon

<laugh> that that's actually a good summary of our podcast, but I can't end here. I gotta talk about some Easter eggs that you have and I have an Easter egg, you might not have noticed. So now you're gonna start paying attention and looking in my screen, I know there's not much on mine and you're like, wait, what? See? Yeah. Uh, I'm not getting the mine yet. You've got a couple AWS on air in the back. Oh

Guest: Steph

Yeah. I've got the keys on the show. I've got the mirrors, got my gaunt. But um, what else have I got? There's a, a thing down there which is Steph, which I dunno if you could read which my best friend bought me and it is made up of like Marvel characters in the background. So things like that. Yeah. But you can't see it from this distance, that giant Ironman poster I got when I was 16 from my college from a party and then a weird one. The thing in the frame is actually a certificate for a second down TaeKwonDo, uh, black belt, which I am. Uh, so yeah, lots of, lots of weird things in the background.

Host: Jon

How did we not talk about that as well? Well, congratulations on your accomplishments, achievements, you know, strong woman, your black belt. I mean, don't forget the Marvel stuff too.

Guest: Steph

<laugh> yeah, the black belt's quite old now. I used to do it for many years, but I broke my ankle sadly twice. So that kind of retired me from, uh, doing any sports where you kick people. But instead I do boxing. So, uh, you can't see them that frame it's like load of boxing stuff down there. <laugh>

Host: Jon

Uh, instead you pull trucks or push trucks.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, exactly. <laugh>

Host: Jon

Uh, you have an AWS on the couch back I notice. Oh

Guest: Steph

Yeah, I've got my hoodie. That's from our strategic account. So that's like, oh, swag hoodie. And then there's like a, the weird checkered thing is actually at the Finn op sex conference. They gave us bandanas. I don't know why that was like, yes, swag. We need bandanas, but yeah, there's a foot op swag. <laugh>

Host: Jon

So right. How many places do you go? Do you get a bandana as swag? Normally it's a pen. Thing's true. So this is definitely so different.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. We're going to New York next week for our, uh, team offsite. And I just messaged my manager this morning. Like what swag did you get us? And he said, I didn't get you any. I was like, what's the point of going if we don't get any swag <laugh> and he's like, go look at this stuff. It's not every, it's all sold out because everyone's on offsite. And I was like, no, it's fair enough. So I'm trying to get us something different <laugh> that we can all have as like a little treat. So we'll see. But yeah, all the fun things.

Host: Jon

Well I'm on vacation next week and I am near New York though. Unfortunately. And we could have got together. We could have done this in, in person, but

Guest: Steph

I'm oh job. <laugh> see.

Host: Jon

Fair enough. How long you in New York?

Guest: Steph

Uh, a week? Well, basically just shy a week. I've we are doing a couple of days there for work, but I've never been. So I'm taking the opportunity of flying out there a little bit early, leaving a little bit late and uh, going and exploring, which I'm really excited about. Someone else in my team is doing the same thing. Uh, she's been before, but I'm just excited to go and I don't know, eat loads of food. I feel like that's the thing you do in New York <laugh> and uh, go around the tool buildings and go to M and M world and do this dumb stuff.

Host: Jon

Uh, I'd like to see a selfie in front of JFK 14, right across from empire state building as the Amazon building, you can just like walk inside, take a picture to get the logo in the back. But, uh, that was my home base. Uh, so obviously I was a ex Amazonian. Well, I am an ex Amazonian, uh, and my whole realm was cloud management tools. So cost optimization was right around that. Right. So, you know, I, I, everything you're saying resonates with me on some of the stuff that I talk about in preach, but as well, I wanna get back to the Easter egg. Okay. Have you found my Easter egg?

Guest: Steph

No. Is it something, is it on the J cause I can see.

Host: Jon

Ah, okay. Okay. So my little Easter egg

Guest: Steph

Is, oh, is it a little pin? Badge

Host: Jon

Is a little pin badge of Jeff car.

Guest: Steph

Ah, I want one so much. <laugh> I like collect pin badge.

Host: Jon

I know a guy.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. I damn. I been like Jeff, why didn't you gimme one? Um, yeah, I, I collect pin badges from this sounds so sad. Uh, from wherever I go in terms of like fun activities or cities or countries, I'll try and get a pin badge and I've got this massive thing in my bedroom more. That's just like a collection of them. Uh, so I can just kind of look back and remember fun things. They're a bit smaller than shop BAS, which I know a lot of people collect and I definitely used to, but don't have, there's no need to have like a hundred shot glasses.

Host: Jon

There's always a need for an extra one. <laugh> my wife. Can we collect them wherever we go, whether it's a new place, which we're find a shot glass. So we have this, uh, case that's actually over full of shot glasses. So we have to move a mouse around, but it's kind of a remembrance of like where we were or how we got there. And that's so we don't use 'em they're just for

Guest: Steph

It. Just nice. I did start doing that. <laugh> go on. Sorry.

Host: Jon

No, no, no, no. I was just gonna say though, if we ever have a massive party, when I need to line up shots, we're good to go.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, you're ready. You're ready for the party house. <laugh> we, I definitely started to do that. And then it just was like, I dunno where to put all these things. Cause I didn't, I wanted to get one of the display cases and I just thought I can't wanted to do this. And then my mom bless her. She started to buy shop glasses for me, where she had gone on holiday. And I was like, that's not sorry. The point of

Host: Jon

Collecting

Guest: Steph

It's meant to be that I collected, but she's like, oh. And then she get, then she got the night started getting them for her as a joke. And then now we are like, no more shot glasses please.

Host: Jon

<laugh> <laugh> here. I was here. You were not, but have a shot glasses. Yeah,

Guest: Steph

Exactly. I had a great holiday. You were home working, but

Host: Jon

Uh, well step I'm gonna wrap things up and I, first of all, I appreciate you joining me on the show. This was fun. This was entertaining. We have to do it again.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, definitely. Thank you. Like I said so much for filling my podcast dreams of being on one and this is great. This is yeah. Definitely happy to come back and talk about any of these subjects or anything else. Definitely

Host: Jon

Step I'm sure I could pick a subject and we can talk about it and fill the air. It would be entertaining. We would go off script. Wait, we don't do script here now. Just like literally. So no, literally do you have a script you're going by? Because I don't.

Guest: Steph

No, definitely. Even on keys, we don't, we like have bullet points. We're like, okay, what are the three things you wanna cover? Let's chat about it. And then the random questions for the audience, Alex, the cohost I went with, she will throw me random questions, which I always be like, oh the stress she's gonna ask something really hard. But I realize it's made me a much better kind of public speaker. Cause I can handle things on my feet. But yeah, like it's the whole point of it is a natural conversation. It's not, it's not PowerPoint.

Host: Jon

Yeah. I don't like, uh, you said, uh, webinars. Um, I, I shy away from that term even though companies wanna use it, I'm like, listen, it is not a webinar. I'm gonna call it a podcast because when you have me on it, we're not gonna be going through a script. We're gonna be talking, we're gonna have lots of fun and it's gonna be entertaining, quirky, and we're gonna mess up and you're gonna leave it on.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. <laugh> yeah that's the good thing you do. It's more natural. It's more fun. You do get those off the cuff comments and questions and it's a bit more digestible. Isn't it?

Host: Jon

Yep. Before I go, the next time we do this recording, you have to put some new Easter eggs up and I'm gonna do the, the same.

Guest: Steph

I gotta get some new Lego sets. I'll get some new posters. I'm really thinking about like, I love your setup cuz it looks, it looks really good. I'm just gonna say, and then mine is obviously it's just chaos, like a teenager's bedroom. It's just crazy shit everywhere. Oh, sorry. Uh, but yeah, I'm thinking about like adjusting and turning it around so I can get like a bookcase or shells kind of vibe and have a bit more closer visualization of some fun things. Cause there's loads us of stuff throughout my apartment. So I just wanna maybe I think about kind of showing some other ones, but we'll see if I ever get round to moving it.

Host: Jon

I actually thought about doing a setup outside my office. A stage one. I don't wanna say like a kitchen type, like move a little kitchen thing there and do a recording from it. Or it is weird because I would like, alright, we're gonna stand on a podium. We're gonna do a whole lighting. I think I just need to buy it like a separate or build something separate outside my house of studio that I can move around.

Guest: Steph

Ah, that'd be pretty cool. I've seen a lot of people get on the like green screen aspects recently. That's been quite that. I'm just like, oh, maybe I should invest in, in. I don't know. I feel like I'm sometimes quite lazy with how much production I put into it. Cause the whole it's very relaxed. And so there's no editing, like you said, similar yours. So we just run and then it's just like on YouTube five and it's later. So there's no kind of heavy editing, but there I've seen a lot of people have the, a big kind of white room and then they have the green screen. Then they can be like in the presentation or in the PowerPoint, which is interesting and a bit more kind of fun. But yeah, something to look at.

Host: Jon

I do that occasionally I'll do the green screen. I actually had used to have one mounted above. Now I have a floor, one that I can just raise oh. And cover everything. And I'll zoom in the camera and I'll cut out all the edges and I'll be within the green screen. Uh, I do a lot of sponsor type videos or demos and I might be like, right, no, a moment from our sponsor. And we know we'll talk about it. It, and it'll be looking like I'm actually on top of the show and do a little, you gotta get a little creative with it. I have lax in some areas, but I like to throw it in every once in a while. I have a spontaneous idea.

Guest: Steph

No, that's cool. That means you're proper YouTuber video. You're sponsored by someone. I am not <laugh> I guess I'm sorted by Amazon, but not, I'm not aware of my,

Host: Jon

You are sponsored by the largest company in the world. Don't worry. You've got it covered. And if Amazon, you would ever like to sponsor any of my episodes, reach out to me below

Guest: Steph

<laugh> I love it. That's what I need to do with my Instagram. I need to get more on the sponsorship game for strong women, get some free belts and stuff I can wear for lifting.

Host: Jon

Well, I'll tell you what, when this comes out, you can share it out. And we'll tag like, you know, for strong women like, Hey, listen, you need to sponsor steps. She's an up and coming one, you have highly energetic, quirky, just like me. And she'll bring more people to it in engaging conversation. I'm sure it'll work.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. Do you wanna manage my uh, social media stuff? <laugh>

Host: Jon

Let's let's talk offline. We've got a lot to talk. <laugh> actually have all about, I know I said I'm gonna wrap up, but when the conversation's going, I can't stop.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, I forgot.

Host: Jon

Uh, no that's all right. This is what it's all about, right? Because it, you don't, you don't have a set thing. Uh, I am working on a product that would be great for us type podcasters and individuals. I'm not gonna spoil it now, but they cast out all their stuff and it goes out all to do your social media, your YouTube, you Spotify, everything from one location and you can actually do clips within it and post them on social media from one area I used to use, like zap you to kind of do a lot of the automation or I'd spend like four hours, five hours on a week and prepare 'em for the entire week here. You could do it automatically. We should talk. This would be really helpful for us. That's

Guest: Steph

Really cool. Cause I was literally thinking to this. So I was like, oh, I'm definitely gonna post on my Instagram that I've done this. And then I know people, but like sound bites. And I was just sitting there like, do I just get my phone and just record? Like I was like, that's not very professional. And I was trying to think how you do it, but yeah, definitely any wisdom anyone wants to share about being better on socials? Cause that's something that I need to get better at for our show specifically. We have, I, I'm not great on Twitter and I know that's really big. I have my that's like an nerd Twitter, but I also got my Amazon one in case. So I could have the name, um, in case I ever wanted to do it, but definitely to get better at doing more of the promoting that stuff. Cuz we aren't, it's not on the Amazon LinkedIn pages. They're gonna share it. So we are like independent in Amazon. So I'd like to, to work on that. So yeah. Any advice would be great.

Host: Jon

You're you're building a brand, I wanna say without the Amazon backing and you're building the awareness for it. It's very hard, but it's very, um, you, you feel satisfied when you build these all the way up without that high valued backing. You're like, oh my God, I've now we've got like thousands of subscribers and we didn't do this with a lot of marketing promotion. So it's something that you can be proud of.

Guest: Steph

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And that's the thing is I wanna be able to reach the wider audience, but yeah, just hopefully, and then also gets feedback and stuff like that. Cause that's one thing I'd like is for, to learn more what people wanna know about. Cause we can see it by the views, but it would be good for me to be like, oh, people really care about, I don't know, uh, data transfer at the moment and we focus a couple of episodes on it rather than us talking about the savings plans than that. Yep.

Host: Jon

Nice. All right, Steph, thank you so much for joining me on the show. This was fun.

Guest: Steph

This was so much fun. Thank you for having me.

Host: Jon

Yeah, not a problem. Everybody. Steph Gooch commercial architect at AWS and today we are talking about Finn ops and cost optimization. I'm your host, Jon Myer. Don't forget to hit that. Like subscribe end notified, because guess what? We're outta here.

Guest: Steph

That's such a cool end.

 

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