PIT Podcast: A Surplus of Happy with Melanie C.

30 Jun 2020 08:00 UTC-07:00

I had the privilege of meeting Melanie C. very early in my python career. She was work on what would be known as five up app and learning Django. In this episode we talk about some of the problems we face and how that has led Melanie to force inject some happy into the lives of many many people.

Follow Melanie on Twitter

Auto-Generated Transcription

Jay 00:00:17:

lots of everybody. J. Miller here back with another productivity in tech podcast. I hope you're having a fantastic week and mine just got a little bit better because I have the wonder and privilege to talk to someone that I have known for

Jay 00:00:36:

God like six years now And one of the first people I met when I became a programmer Ah always brings a smile to my face to see them Talks are absolutely amazing. Phenomenal. And also just a generally overall just glowing person. Not because the radioactive, but because they just know how to brighten up a room. I am talking with the one the only Melanie crutch build. Melanie is so good to see you.

Melanie 00:01:09:

Wow, I The glowing, I think is like I think this is just fire of, like, embarrassment on my face now because you know

Jay 00:01:19:

the first of a nice say, like San Diego wildfires like G, it's like, well, not really

Melanie 00:01:24:

know Now I think it

Jay 00:01:26:

started. I guess so,

Melanie 00:01:29:

Yeah, we're we're hanging in there so far like

Melanie 00:01:33:

it's funny. It didn't quite into my consciousness that we have like yet another plague that we could layer onto 2020 like he's, you know, like of the seven layer salad of For that, 2020 is becoming like fires. I almost forgot, J thank you.

Jay 00:01:54:

Under, I

Melanie 00:01:55:


Melanie 00:01:57:


Melanie 00:01:58:

  1. Bless it.

Jay 00:02:00:

Yes. So other than the obvious, um, perils that air plaguing America right now. How have you been? Generally?

Melanie 00:02:12:


Melanie 00:02:13:

yeah. Well,

Melanie 00:02:16:


Melanie 00:02:18:

okay, so my my measurements of how I'm doing might be slightly different than the average person. Like if I

Melanie 00:02:30:

and awake

Melanie 00:02:32:

and I have clothes on my body Bonus bonus. Both of those air working today, I have fed my cells.

Melanie 00:02:41:


Melanie 00:02:44:

yeah, and I got a couple of things done today. I mean, that's like, I'm like, living my best life

Melanie 00:02:50:

at that point.

Melanie 00:02:52:


Melanie 00:02:54:

because, like,

Melanie 00:02:56:

it is, uh, often that those are not my days. You know, um, that they don't quite look like that because of, um because I have major depressive disorder. Um, I also have, like a really fun and exciting relationship with migraines, So there's that I have the anxiety. I have epilepsy, which is is fun,

Melanie 00:03:23:

that it's well controlled, so it's not as it's not as interesting or imitating as it might be. otherwise so, um,

Melanie 00:03:31:

but the, you know, the depression really gives you a completely different, um, scale of success,

Melanie 00:03:38:

I guess. Is what what I might call it. So

Jay 00:03:43:

as someone who often has to tell people in social environments of like, hey, if I start laughing really hard, can you just make sure I don't collapse? Um, I can relate. Um, that has the last few years ever since, you know, cardiac episode after cardiac episode,

Jay 00:04:02:

you do start to take a lot of things that other people I guess we take for granted. You, like, treat them as this has been a good day. I haven't blacked out in five days like OK, that is that is like an awesome feeling. All

Melanie 00:04:17:


Jay 00:04:17:

So I can I can totally relate

Jay 00:04:21:

to where you're coming from their Well,

Jay 00:04:24:

do me a favor, because I know you well, but the people listening to the show probably don't know you as well as ideo. So kind of Introduce yourself. Let people know who you are, what you do and, uh, ultimately like, what brings you joy in the tech space?

Melanie 00:04:42:

Oh, good gracious. OK,

Jay 00:04:43:

just some smiles, you know?

Melanie 00:04:45:

Yeah, Just anybody stuff? Um, let's see. I am a python and jingle developer.

Melanie 00:04:53:

Um, I am self taught. I went to two years of college and then

Melanie 00:05:01:

didn't go to college after that. Which they still turned you for. Interestingly love? Um, yeah. Uh, wow. Yeah. And spread this whole different thing. But private school is a racket. I don't know why you do that. Um, yes. So I did that I

Melanie 00:05:20:

and then much later in life, I got into development because it is fun.

Melanie 00:05:26:

Um, I started out like my professional life was in fine art photographic printing. So I had about a decade of, ah, life in the art world there, which makes it sound much sexier than it was. Um, although it was fun and good, like, that was a good time. And then

Melanie 00:05:46:

I had my first daughter and kind of rejected out of the job, seen for a while. And when I came back,

Melanie 00:05:54:

I wanted to do something that, like,

Melanie 00:05:57:

compensated for my time in a in a decent way, you know, especially living in San Diego. Um, and

Melanie 00:06:07:

I just thought, you know, I had done I have done some little like apple script scripts. Do you know what this thing is? What? Apples with this? Yeah,

Melanie 00:06:17:


Jay 00:06:17:

get a few of them. Ah,

Jay 00:06:20:

usually ones that turn my mic off because I am notorious for, like, ending a conversation being done and then later on, just being like, Oh, the recording still going And then like having three hours of just dead audio toe toe work on?

Melanie 00:06:36:

Yeah, yeah, it's just a little fiddly stuff like that. And so I am. I made some scripts, like, way back

Melanie 00:06:45:

many, many years ago. I don't know, 15 years ago or something, And, uh

Melanie 00:06:50:

so when I was trying to figure out where am I gonna go now with my career and loves, like, you know, I had fun with that. I'm one,

Melanie 00:06:59:

you know, making computers do stuff. Like maybe I could do some of that same born, um, and then came, you know, in my learning process came across the python community in San Diego and like

Melanie 00:07:11:

that was it. That's how I am. Kind of got my heat settled.

Melanie 00:07:17:

So, um, I work in a rightly or really not the car shop, as we were discussing earlier. Um, although I have repaired my car in a variety of ways on my own.

Melanie 00:07:29:


Melanie 00:07:31:

it still works. It still runs Most of the things we're still on there. It does have a weird rattle. Um, anyway, uh,

Melanie 00:07:39:

and my little side projects five up is still

Melanie 00:07:44:

up and running.

Melanie 00:07:46:


Melanie 00:07:48:

that's me. I have two kids. I'm cat

Melanie 00:07:51:

E, you know,

Melanie 00:07:53:

But I think that's it. The end. Is there more? What else should I say?

Jay 00:07:58:

No, that's it. That's good podcast. No, no, we're gonna look, look, goingto a lot of more detail than that, but but yeah, let's let's start with you know, one of the things that you just brought up was

Jay 00:08:11:

you wanted to do a job that you felt you were being compensated for. I guess I would say as fairly as

Jay 00:08:22:

weird systems that can

Jay 00:08:25:

Yeah, we're not gonna go into that conversation. That's another podcast. But, ah, the big thing was, it wasn't, You know, development wasn't something that you were like.

Jay 00:08:36:

Hey, I'm, like, 14 and hacking in tow. You know, the U S treasury and I've always been a programmer, and like, it wasn't like this whole crazy lifestyle thing for Yeah, I was like,

Jay 00:08:50:

Here's a small piece of my life that I do that

Jay 00:08:54:

I mean, it be cool if I got paid to do this. I mean, like that. That's a really

Jay 00:08:59:

interesting approach, because it kind of goes against what everybody is taught. You know, when you go to high school, you have to do like, Oh, yeah, you know, you need to go to the best school toe, get into engineering or get into our did to get into all these things. And it's like

Jay 00:09:16:

or you could just live your life, do the things that you enjoy doing and then find something in that realm that actually gives you a paycheck and then do that and then in your free time, make really cool stuff like five up, which we're gonna talk about later. Um, so So, yeah, I just thought it was really cool. Did you find a challenge? Ah, like, did you find it challenging to get into the tech space, Not having the I went toe Caltech or m I t. And you know up. You know, I was born with a keyboard in my hand, like that whole mindset.

Melanie 00:09:52:


Melanie 00:09:55:

it's tricky because I feel like not having those types of credentials.

Melanie 00:10:06:

I still like it.

Melanie 00:10:08:

It affects me like it means more to me than it does to other people. You know, I'm

Melanie 00:10:16:

I'm grateful. I mean, that's from my experience. Like, I'm grateful that I hade, um, the experience of applying to Riley in working through that process and not

Melanie 00:10:31:

not having the pressure to have some sort of pedigree

Melanie 00:10:36:

in intact.

Melanie 00:10:39:

So I didn't experience that, But it is always really interesting to talk, Teoh. Other folks that do you have an experience? I was talking to someone the other day who was mentioning that, um, it just so happened that in there, like a p

Melanie 00:10:59:

computer science class that they had,

Melanie 00:11:03:

they're like senior year in high school, which, first of all, ending a farming town.

Melanie 00:11:09:

We had f A like

Melanie 00:11:12:

also way.

Melanie 00:11:14:

The way that my life shook out. I only I graduated early, surly had, like, one semester of my senior year. And then I went and, like, works in a coffee shop after that, you know, like

Melanie 00:11:25:

our situations were like small time, different So but he,

Melanie 00:11:30:

you know, was saying

Melanie 00:11:33:

in my

Melanie 00:11:34:

in my a p

Melanie 00:11:36:

CS class.

Melanie 00:11:39:

The teacher happens to know, like the super good friends that someone high up in, you know, X y z tech, like in a huge tech company. And so this BP or whatever from this big tech company comes in and does like, practice interviews with every limits in the class. They're seniors, the high school, they're like 17. You know what I'm saying? Like were 18 or however old they are. They're teenagers, though, for sure. So there's these

Melanie 00:12:07:

teenagers. Some of them then got jobs like straight out of high school.

Melanie 00:12:13:

It's like I was just kind of like,

Melanie 00:12:17:


Melanie 00:12:19:

you know, like

Melanie 00:12:20:

and I know that, um,

Melanie 00:12:24:

you know, you were saying

Melanie 00:12:26:

a second ago like we don't want to get into the whole, like, inequality and what's like, you know, fair compensation and stuff.

Melanie 00:12:33:

Um, but it is just kind of

Melanie 00:12:36:

it is kind of mind blowing, right that some people do walk into the tech space saying, you know, I have

Melanie 00:12:44:

I have all these credentials. I have all these this experiments, you know, and I'm like one of the computer stuff, but which I did.

Melanie 00:12:55:

I did have a continuing everyone Yeah, yeah,

Melanie 00:13:01:

I've played Tetris super good at it

Jay 00:13:05:

for me. I always hesitate, you know, toe to talk about kind of the entrance into the tech space, Um, from any level of knowledge, because I technically haven't entered the development space working on it trying really am. But, you know, it is interesting to hear, you know,

Jay 00:13:27:

the conversation of

Jay 00:13:30:

you have a perfect example

Jay 00:13:33:

giving a resume to someone or like this, presenting a resume to a company and, like having two people

Jay 00:13:40:

look at your resume and tell you to conflicting things like one is like, Oh, you need to focus on your projects more because you don't have the job experience and one says, Oh, but your other job experience is super relatable for a higher management position, so you should focus on that more, and it's like, Okay, I have one person telling me to put my job experience at the front. The other one told me to put my projects at the front. I can't put them both there like I need writing something. So it it's always interesting to hear the idea of like

Jay 00:14:11:

it can't be this hard

Jay 00:14:13:

for everybody, and it's not necessarily.

Jay 00:14:18:

You know, I don't have a solution for that, but I would just I love hearing people address that, like OK, yeah.

Jay 00:14:26:

For some people, it was extremely easy for others. It was a little bit harder. And then for some, they're still trying to get their foot in the door. Um,

Jay 00:14:36:

but at the end of the day, I'm glad for some of the people who have

Jay 00:14:41:

gone through whatever they did,

Jay 00:14:44:

because now they know what it took, which means they're willing to help other people not have to go through that same thing.

Melanie 00:14:52:


Melanie 00:14:53:

And I have to say, like, you know, I worked hard. I tried to learn, I went to conferences and, you know, I built my thing, and I did

Melanie 00:15:04:

Those couple of talks like, I put time and energy into it,

Melanie 00:15:11:

but I knew someone. I honestly think that networking is huge,

Melanie 00:15:19:

which is also

Melanie 00:15:23:

just a huge, uh,

Melanie 00:15:27:

playground for injustice

Melanie 00:15:30:


Jay 00:15:30:


Jay 00:15:32:

because not everybody knows. Well, it I guess the hard part is, is like, if you know someone, you could get a foot in the door. But like

Jay 00:15:41:

the people that don't know anyone have a problem And then there's also like

Jay 00:15:46:

the We don't want to punish you for bringing in the wrong people kind of feeling that they come that comes with it. Like I I see so many people of color that air in

Jay 00:15:58:

management levels that work with no other people of color. And it's just like,

Jay 00:16:05:

I mean, I'm glad you're not like using it as a way to, like, bring just anybody in. But at the same time, it seems really weird that, like there's not one and it and it's because of that. It's like, Well, if I

Jay 00:16:20:

What if I make a mistake? What if I I have a bad higher and they happen to be a person of color? And then now you're making the problem even worse and even harder for other people in it. It's like again,

Jay 00:16:33:

I just wish that it wasn't this hard for everyone and that they didn't have to go to sleep, you know, worrying about their job because they hired someone that they know is capable of doing the work. But because of how they look, you know, it could be a problem. But

Jay 00:16:46:

ultimately, I don't think that the conversation we're gonna have here is probably gonna solve that problem. But I do hope that someone listening, uh, maybe you can, you know, solve a smaller problem like that and you know your own little world.

Jay 00:17:02:

But you talked about

Jay 00:17:05:

you know, you

Jay 00:17:06:

all the things that you did Do you know, aside from knowing someone like you gave the talks, you built the thing. Like when I first met you,

Jay 00:17:17:

I was trying to build a thing

Jay 00:17:19:

and, like, I had no clue what I was doing. And I think, um, a good like, a couple of mutual friends of ours were just like

Jay 00:17:27:

I mean, this is a cool idea. What are you doing

Melanie 00:17:31:

on? I mean,

Jay 00:17:33:

I I had probably I'd probably been using Python for maybe, like, a week and 1/2. So it was like, I have an exact problem. I've solved it in kind of this really ugly way. Now I want to take it to the next step and solve it in a slightly less ugly way. And in doing that, I just kind of screwed it up. But I'm going to talk about your

Jay 00:17:56:

Django app that just brings joy into the world and phones of people. So I'm just gonna I'm going to just sit back and let you just talk about about the app. Talk about the idea for it. Talk about you know what it's been like running it for as long as you've been running. I can't I can't imagine. Like,

Jay 00:18:16:

I don't think I have anything that's been in the wild for, like, more than a year.

Melanie 00:18:22:

Yeah. Um, so

Melanie 00:18:25:

five opap dot com

Melanie 00:18:27:

It's a Django out.

Melanie 00:18:29:

Um, it is not a phone app. I have to say the whole I was just thinking about this today. I think five up dot com was taken. And so I think that's where I went with five. Look after Tom. But to non tech people, like they're like, what's the thing that I download in the night? Just have to say, I'm sorry I made a thing that's confusing. Just

Melanie 00:18:51:

just ignore that for a second and felt the form and give me all of your personal contact information.

Melanie 00:18:57:

And then something good is gonna happen. Trust possibly did. Yeah. I mean, I'm a random person on the Internet. Why not? You know. So, um, yes. So what it does is it sends happy texts every day. That's its only function. That's all it does. I got the idea. It's build it because I actually, um the first, like

Melanie 00:19:23:

class that I took on python was through Udacity. And they have this bit in there Where you, um you had to make a little bit of a project using Tulio.

Melanie 00:19:39:

Um and so I had done, like, I had kind of come up with this idea of, like, isn't that when that be nice to just get happened? Texts

Melanie 00:19:48:

And part of the idea between our for sending five texts, which is what it was initially that you could only get five, and that was it. Like you're gonna have a quantity of five. Happy.

Melanie 00:20:01:

We're guard lis of what you like. That's what you're getting. Um, but the idea is there's some research that, you know,

Melanie 00:20:11:

maybe it's true. Maybe it's not. Whatever. Um, but this concept that need 3 to 5 positive things to outweigh each negatives thing that happens to you. So the idea is like, I'm kind of betting on a negative thing, but you every day. But I mean, if you end up with a surplus of happy. It's fine. It's time

Melanie 00:20:36:

not to be upset about it. So eventually I changed it so that you can choose

Melanie 00:20:42:

1234 or five per day

Melanie 00:20:46:

because people were like, it's too happy

Melanie 00:20:48:

saying they were actually just like is like a really, really happy person around you and your like, you're just annoying. Now. I'm sorry. Like I love the people are friendly and something is working well for you, but if you could do it away from me, that would be wonderful. So, um, video just a little bit of happened. Just one.

Melanie 00:21:07:


Melanie 00:21:08:

yeah, and

Melanie 00:21:11:


Melanie 00:21:12:

So I came to the Python meet up with this, you know, kind of baby idea, this python script, Um, and then someone was like, oh, built the Django

Melanie 00:21:22:

and I was like, all right, you know, like,

Melanie 00:21:26:

and then it was just like months of being like I don't know what I'm doing at all and just going home and, like, suffering through, you know, trying to go through this development process and figure it was going on like

Melanie 00:21:43:

I didn't know it at the time, and I do now. It's kind of both comforting and in infuriating that like hours, hours, and hours, days, weeks of developers time are spent over, like a semi colon in the wrong place. You know, like just a single character, you know, or just this, these the tiniest thing. So, you know, I went two months of that and then eventually got it somewhat working. It was very buggy at first. Um, it is still kind of bugging. Actually Had someone report above a couple weeks ago, and I I almost have it. Thanks, but, uh,

Melanie 00:22:27:

you know, life, but whatever.

Jay 00:22:30:

We need bugs in life, I guess.

Melanie 00:22:33:

Yeah. I mean...No.

Melanie 00:22:36:

no, I got in your gardens

Melanie 00:22:40:

right there. Get in the garden. I always try to do that. Things I have young kids, you know where you're like. Let me spine

Melanie 00:22:46:

finds him to be grateful for about that, you know,

Melanie 00:22:51:


Melanie 00:22:52:

reminds us that we're fallible or something. I

Jay 00:22:57:

Oh, that's that's too funny, though. And I love that, like, again. A lot of the story that came from from this was

Jay 00:23:08:

a level of like, I understand that that life sucks at times.

Jay 00:23:13:


Jay 00:23:15:

at best I'm I'm leveling the playing field or I guess it. At worst, I'm leveling the playing field That best I'm giving you, like

Jay 00:23:24:

extra happy. Which to me, that is That is like

Jay 00:23:30:

a lot of people know, like my favorite

Jay 00:23:33:

personality in the entire world is the late, great Bob Ross, and it was just like nobody on the planet should ever be. This happy like the guy, like adopt squirrels. It's,

Jay 00:23:48:

I think, of the some of the greatest people that have ever lived. Like Nikola Tesla apparently married a pigeon like there's just a level of coziness that just comes with being

Jay 00:24:01:

an amazing person. And I think that if you could be crazily like happy and just want other people to be justice crazily happy as you like that is the best possible outcome because the

Jay 00:24:18:

the worst

Melanie 00:24:18:

side of that is

Jay 00:24:19:

like serial killer. So it's like extremely happy sociopath. Serial killer. Where on the spectrum are you and right? So I love that one that you're using your coding skills for good and not sociopathic serial killer. He stuff,

Jay 00:24:35:

Yeah, but also that

Jay 00:24:39:

you pushed through because it was just suggested to you. Um, I am like the exact opposite of that someone tells me to build a jangle after like that. I don't want to build a jingle app. I want to build a flask app. I want a village static site generator like I want to do everything but the thing that everyone is telling me to do because they're telling me to do it this way. And I need to know why I shouldn't do it that 8000 other ways.

Jay 00:25:03:


Jay 00:25:05:

on top of that, you were actually willing to

Jay 00:25:09:

share that experience with the community and not just the app itself. But I've I've had the privilege of listening to what I would consider the greatest python conference talk ever. Um, which is like, so you want to build a jingle app? It's like

Jay 00:25:25:

you. You bring your personality into

Jay 00:25:30:

all the things that you do like. I'm on the 50 website and it's like how it works. Sometimes life has sad things. We have happy messages,

Jay 00:25:38:


Melanie 00:25:38:

you're not

Jay 00:25:39:

so sad anymore. And it's just like

Jay 00:25:42:

it doesn't have this weird like s CEO, like marketing spend using 15 different buzzwords for social ranking and like all of this other stuff that people try to do to game the system. It's like

Jay 00:25:57:

it is

Jay 00:25:58:

truly a Melanie Appetite, Melanie website and time. I would be afraid to look at the code because I'm sure the comments would just have me laughing. It's like, This is stupid. I'm not gonna dio because that's what my code looks like. It's like, I hate that I have to

Melanie 00:26:15:

do this

Jay 00:26:16:

But apparently Python hates me. So

Melanie 00:26:20:

usually those air like

Melanie 00:26:22:

I bet my get history

Melanie 00:26:24:

my get history is where I hide my secret feelings for sure. Like less often. Yeah, exactly less often in the code itself, I think.

Melanie 00:26:35:

But Gathers I think there's some some fun. Makes sense Is that there Are you looking girl, your eyes

Jay 00:26:45:

looking for a good one? Execute some lint ing c L. I love it. It's just like,

Melanie 00:26:50:

Oh, see, that's recent. Yeah, that's me. Just do you want stuff cleaning up?

Jay 00:26:56:

Yeah, I mean, that's I probably should do deleted, weird static directory. Stuff like this

Melanie 00:27:03:

is I go. This is

Jay 00:27:04:

the stuff that I think developers need to see on a more regular basis because you get these weird posts or, like, how to write ineffective, get commit messages like I mean, yes, sure, I understand. If someone's reviewing your code, you want to make it as helpful when is clear and concise as possible, but at the same time being able to just get your frustration out a little bit and I get commit?

Jay 00:27:28:

Sure, do it. I think that's absolutely a wonderful way. Teoh, Uh, one not go insane, but to also again inject a little bit of yourself into your work. And, uh, I mean, you've always done that, But please tell everybody about some of the talks you've given about this about well, about the five up app. And also

Jay 00:27:53:

just why just just why? Because the, um I can't even I can't even begin Teoh like breakdown like the talks themselves because they're so good.

Melanie 00:28:07:

Ah, they really I mean, that's

Jay 00:28:09:

that's not me. Like, you know, trying to butter you up. I genuinely you made me try Django for the first time, literally.

Melanie 00:28:16:

You're talking

Jay 00:28:17:

like OK, I will use Django, but only because Melanie said it's not as bad as it looks.

Melanie 00:28:24:

It's not as bad as it looks. Um, yeah, So I

Melanie 00:28:31:

I think I only have the two talks that I ever

Melanie 00:28:35:

like, actually gays. I gave them both multiple times, though, um, And then I did also do a, um,

Melanie 00:28:44:

like an injured a python that life on a couple years in a row. Um, that waas, um,

Melanie 00:28:51:

in short, a python for human people with feelings.

Melanie 00:28:55:

Um, which was a lot of fun, I think. Like

Melanie 00:29:00:

getting in and out on a 25 minute talk is way more manageable for me. Like I think that that's kind of my sweet spot. Three hours of like, having to make sense is pretty tricky.

Melanie 00:29:13:

Just like I'm so sorry. Everyone, you know,

Jay 00:29:16:

three hours long,

Melanie 00:29:18:

red, like in the end, you're just like, I don't know, let's talk about those bugs again or something. Um,

Melanie 00:29:27:

so, yeah, the first talk that I wrote waas about my experience writing five up and like

Melanie 00:29:34:

all of the things that I did long because some of them were kind of like

Melanie 00:29:39:

a little bit tragic, you know, like I mean,

Melanie 00:29:43:

like, recoverable, like I figured it out. But like,

Melanie 00:29:46:

you know, my email and password were like, committed. And to get at some point

Melanie 00:29:52:

like that, I agree

Melanie 00:29:54:

that it's not the best.

Melanie 00:29:56:

Um And then just like accidentally destroying stuff, it's all these stuff. I mean, I don't know that everyone, like,

Melanie 00:30:04:

puts their email and password in their code. Like I feel like I kind of win on that one for, like, dumb stuff that you do on accident. Like I'm pretty

Jay 00:30:15:

sure people have done Aziz Muchas They would admit they'd be like, No, I've never done that. I mean,

Jay 00:30:21:

Miguel Road, like McGill did a talk about that. I think it pike on a couple of years ago. That's like you accidentally committed your password. Now what do you dio? And to me, that was great because it was saying like, OK,

Jay 00:30:35:

probably one of the most like prominent people to use the plastic framework is telling me that he has screwed up by putting, you know, some type of environment variable that shouldn't be in there or some type of password or some type of authentic r A p I key. That should not have been hard coded in there like he has done this. So when I mean after that talk, I was like, OK, I am team environment, variable for life like

Jay 00:31:02:

the first thing you see is like import os every time because I'm like I will not do that again. I've had that happen to me where someone's like,

Jay 00:31:11:

Yeah, heads up, You should Ah, like I submitted a PR that removed your password for you and I'm like, Oh, thank you for that.

Melanie 00:31:19:

Cool, Great. That's hopeful.

Melanie 00:31:23:

Yeah, exactly. So And I think

Melanie 00:31:28:

I don't know. I think it's important for people to know like

Melanie 00:31:32:

there's there's no magic going on here. I mean, people do harder stuff than what Ideo like. I understand that, um, and that people are hearing like super fans and stuff. Andi. But

Melanie 00:31:47:

like I'm fancy enough to be employed. So that's something you know and like

Melanie 00:31:53:

and it's not amazing it I mean, like, it's not. It's not so magical and difficult that you can't do it. You know that you can't like you can become a developer and also be a little bit of a bumbling weirdo like these things can be for you. You could be that in one thing. So like, and I I I feel like our fear of

Melanie 00:32:19:


Melanie 00:32:20:

making mistakes

Melanie 00:32:22:

and like

Melanie 00:32:24:

being stealing hard,

Melanie 00:32:26:

keeps us out of spaces where we could really fries. You know, um, and I always imagine that there's someone in the room that is sitting there being like,

Melanie 00:32:37:

Well, I could never you know, because that's me, like, 48

Melanie 00:32:43:

100% of the time I was gonna go 48%. But that's a lie. And 4800. It's not really a value that makes any sense, since, though,

Melanie 00:32:52:

and I have a job, everybody

Jay 00:32:54:

and and the thing with that, like

Jay 00:32:59:

I I grew up around

Jay 00:33:01:

like the biggest nerd in the world like my grandfather wanted me to be into computers like he let me take apart his computer. He made me put it back together. Um, like I grew up playing with the max, which is probably why I don't use the Mac's in Al.

Jay 00:33:19:

Like I thought one of the first computer games was Eclipse, which is ah, like a job I d

Melanie 00:33:28:

on. He was

Jay 00:33:29:

just like, yeah, I just draw stuff in the things and I was like, OK, cool. I'm gonna make a computer game and, like No, no, I didn't. But he knew that I wasn't going to, but he was like Yeah, sure. Try it anyway. And like, this

Melanie 00:33:40:

is the kind of

Jay 00:33:41:

guy that he went to the university library to doubt, like rent out algebra books for fun. And I'm just like your old man. You're supposed to be, like, watching like, daytime news and sleeping on the couch or something. And I always thought that that's what it meant to be like in the tech space of lying. So you gotta get a like

Jay 00:34:06:

if you haven't read every Manning book that's out there, you have it. If you don't have, like, the subscription toe like O'Reilly learning, then you're doing it wrong. You need toe. You need to, like,

Jay 00:34:17:

have submitted, like at least three talks toe every major conference using your language. You need to have been to every talk. Like I hear about all the people that love and fawn over WWDC, and they're like, Oh, it's like

Jay 00:34:33:

the mecca for IOS developers is like, Oh, it's like the mecca for conference viruses. So you probably shouldn't like

Jay 00:34:42:

put that stigma on people. Not everyone wants to go to a conference. Everyone is can understand half of what you know,

Jay 00:34:52:

someone who has a PhD in mechanical and electrical engineering and has turned that into, like writing functional algorithms using Haskell like not everyone can do.

Melanie 00:35:05:

Not everyone can understand that. And if

Jay 00:35:07:

you don't, it's okay. Like

Melanie 00:35:09:

I think

Jay 00:35:10:

Python, because it's readable, literally showed

Jay 00:35:13:

100 lines of python code that I had written Teoh, a graphic designer, and they were like,

Jay 00:35:19:

I think you miss. I think there's a space after this comma that's not supposed to be there. And I was like,

Melanie 00:35:24:

How are you debugging my

Melanie 00:35:29:

like that to

Jay 00:35:30:

me is amazing that people can look at the code, read it and understand what's happening, and that it eliminates the stigma of like you have to have void and no parameters instead of code and and it immediately closes the door on people who are just like, Yeah, I just wanna send five happy tweets. You know, our five happy text to my phone like, Can I do that?

Melanie 00:35:53:

No. One?

Melanie 00:35:55:

No, I I love Python. For that reason, I do think like it's one of the more low entry languages out there.

Melanie 00:36:05:

I've been working with Java script a little bit in the last couple of weeks, and I want to love all languages equally.

Melanie 00:36:19:

I want that so bad.

Melanie 00:36:21:

Also Pythons the best. I don't know. I don't. I'm sorry, everyone. I just

Melanie 00:36:28:

It's just clean ends.

Melanie 00:36:32:

I don't know. It's it's low entry. I think, Um,

Melanie 00:36:37:

yeah, it's good stuff, but what you were saying, um,

Melanie 00:36:42:

a second ago about

Melanie 00:36:44:

this huge range of like one

Melanie 00:36:48:

you know, one engineer has a PhD in is doing this grace and stuff, you know, down to like, here's me,

Melanie 00:36:56:

you know, making my little Web app. That doesn't silly and nice thing.

Melanie 00:37:01:

Um, that

Melanie 00:37:03:

that gap

Melanie 00:37:06:

was really difficult and overwhelming to experience at my first pie con, Um, because it's, you know what, like 3500 people or something. And you do have these people that have their doctorates and, you know, like listening to some of the talks. I remember because I was, you know, obviously much newer to Python at the time. Um, but I remember just being like I'm not doing,

Melanie 00:37:35:

you know, like we'd go into a room and there's like, Here's a 20 minute talk

Melanie 00:37:40:

and, like I know they said words and there were slides like there were visuals, so a lot of stuff happening there. And yet

Melanie 00:37:48:

I have no idea what just happened.

Melanie 00:37:52:


Melanie 00:37:54:

no, you know, And then

Melanie 00:37:57:


Melanie 00:37:58:

you know, kind of the little circles of people that

Melanie 00:38:02:

then joined up in our like, you know, what do you dio And

Melanie 00:38:06:

you know, like, I do fancy things, You know? I'm like

Melanie 00:38:11:

Hyson tweets the tell you your sparkling mermaid, not tweets and text messages, You know, actual message by the way you mentioned earlier. Bob Ross. Do you know that? I quote Bob Breast in private.

Jay 00:38:24:

I didn't. And now

Jay 00:38:27:

I I don't get text messages. City

Jay 00:38:31:

I mean,

Melanie 00:38:31:

I probably drug simple.

Jay 00:38:32:

No, it's not you. It's I go, Yeah, I did this thing where it was like, don't ever get a message or like, a phone call from anyone that's on your favorites. And ever since then, people like chaos and your message lychee After you did

Jay 00:38:49:

e don't get half my messages anymore, which is great, cause I have plausible deniability. Anytime I don't want to do something like I didn't get the message. I'm sorry.

Melanie 00:38:56:

Yeah, I think that's awesome.

Melanie 00:38:59:

I mean, you broke up with me, and I just found out

Melanie 00:39:03:

and we literally had a like It's not years me moments that happened

Melanie 00:39:10:

that's gonna be on the Internet now is fine. Oh, man.

Melanie 00:39:14:

Science. My received text that I send myself. That's what I going to dio like self wish that I do. Now

Jay 00:39:23:

I'm gonna do the horrible thing you should never do after a breakup. I'm just gonna keep going forward.

Jay 00:39:28:


Jay 00:39:32:

you. Talked about, like, just kind of the vast difference of conversations that air had it conferences.

Jay 00:39:42:

I gave my first conference talk at North Bay Python last year and, uh,

Melanie 00:39:50:

I couldn't go. So a conference, it

Jay 00:39:53:

really isn't there not having won this year, which I mean,

Jay 00:39:57:


Jay 00:39:58:

they announced it last year that they were having won. I felt like I felt like they

Melanie 00:40:02:

feel like

Jay 00:40:02:

Josh knew he was just like, something's gonna happen. He's like, we don't want to be a part of it. We're out this year will see on two years. But

Jay 00:40:12:

one of the talks, that was it was like the second I was the last talk in the first half. And then the next talk after me was Greedo. And he was talking about writing. He was

Melanie 00:40:25:

talking about writing

Jay 00:40:25:

a peg par surfer python. And I'm just like

Melanie 00:40:29:

I don't know what

Jay 00:40:30:

you're talking about. I'm gonna look, and I'm just gonna be like, Okay, Yeah, sure, whatever. And then we all got dinner together and it was me,

Jay 00:40:41:

you know, And then, like a couple of other developers that are like python core maintainers and I'm just like

Jay 00:40:48:

and luckily, my talk was mostly about podcasting, So I felt like I knew what I was talking about, but they were all like, Ah, yes. So I would really love to learn how like podcasting could be implemented, you know, in a larger

Jay 00:41:04:

audience in the python community. And I was like, Oh, that's cool. Yeah. I would love to learn more about whatever it is you talked about earlier to Andi. That's like, That's the crazy feeling that when we create this facade that, like, you have to have a PhD, you have to be, you know,

Jay 00:41:23:

a huge brainiac to write code that matters. What you're doing is you're taking your skill set away from the people that could genuinely benefit from the things that you can bring to the table like has a podcaster I know way more than any human should about dealing with transcriptions with AWS and

Jay 00:41:47:

having these talks with mentors where it's like,

Jay 00:41:51:

Hey, I built a framework that does like it creates a

Jay 00:41:55:

standard schema for transcription. So matter what Web service you're using, whatever developable law. And they're just like,

Jay 00:42:02:

why? I was like because you told me I needed a project that would make me hire Well, that's why. And they're like But why that when I was like, Well, it's because it's a thing that I have to deal with on a regular basis. So and as we're breaking it down and like talking about it, they're just like,

Jay 00:42:18:


Jay 00:42:20:

what you built this I'm like, Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, but like, you know, this is like, this is stuff that you would give, like a keynote talk on, like the whole process of building this stuff. And it's like I just had a problem that I need to solve. So I solved it. And then I realized that there was a bigger problem, so I started working on solving that, too, and they're like, Yeah, that's what developers do. Congratulations and I'm like, Well, okay, I still need a job

Jay 00:42:50:

like no one's gonna take me serious If I'm just the guy that comes up and goes, Hey, I do podcasting. Come on, let's talk about Python. Um, it and that's where it's It's so frustrating because it's like, How do we fix that? And I've literally had people telling me like

Jay 00:43:06:

you would give really good talks it, like the local conference seen and I'm like, What the hell does that mean? And they're like, Well, you know, some talks were made for conferences that have less than, like 1000 people and then some. Some talks were made for people that are not for people, but for conferences that have, like there, like Pike on Level. And I'm like, Okay, that's stupid. Like I feel like my should be good

Melanie 00:43:30:

one of

Jay 00:43:30:

the people

Melanie 00:43:33:


Melanie 00:43:35:

that's frustrating. That's a frustrating thing that you just described that someone said, like also, I'm gonna go and say That's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. Like

Melanie 00:43:46:

so. And

Melanie 00:43:50:

because a at Piper on not every

Melanie 00:43:55:

talk is Aquino.

Melanie 00:43:58:

Just just in case anyone hasn't been before, there's either. There's a handful of key notes, but when you pulled off. All the majority of the stocks are in a small room, you know. So

Melanie 00:44:11:

talk it, Pike. On talking a local conference like you could end up with the same number of people like ends. You know, Northway Python. It's single track. So instead of you know, at high Con, where you have seven different walks, you could go to it and given time slot,

Melanie 00:44:27:

you know, Northway Python. There's one you're gonna end up with it a pack grim.

Jay 00:44:32:

Everybody at that conference paid to hear you talk.

Melanie 00:44:35:

Yeah, exactly. It's wonderful. So there's that element. But also

Melanie 00:44:43:


Melanie 00:44:44:

I feel like

Melanie 00:44:49:

you never know why

Melanie 00:44:51:

your talk gets turned away from any particular conference. You know, it could be that they got

Melanie 00:44:58:

a bunch of different talks on that same topic. Like it just so happens to be that way, you know? I mean, unless is it are you doing close like sleight of hand magic? Is that because I can see I can say that being like meeting a small room

Jay 00:45:15:

for this

Melanie 00:45:15:

presentation, a volunteer

Melanie 00:45:19:

and need a volunteer, and everyone has to be within arm's length of my body

Melanie 00:45:24:

so and I don't know. I mean,

Melanie 00:45:29:

I think in general, in life,

Melanie 00:45:32:

none of us know we're doing like, ever. So when people sit down and they're like, Well, this thing is good for this circumstance, Like, you know, you know,

Melanie 00:45:43:

none of us know what we're doing. Just admit it and go on, like with any of the stuff we're doing. We're lucky that we still exist as a species.

Jay 00:45:57:

Absolutely. And I want in this on a way more positive. Note that wherever you are now, So please tell me what's what's next for five up. Is there anything next for five up? Is it just gonna be more of the same? And I'm okay with that, too, cause I'm happy with it.

Melanie 00:46:15:

Um well, first is fixing the very important broken thing.

Melanie 00:46:22:

This so that that's sexy updates coming at you fast. Um, but there are There are some things that I've wanted to dio um,

Melanie 00:46:32:

So there's a database that I curate of messages that go out, but you've been also every user has a personal needs, so I can send you my link, and you can put a nice message into my cue and I'll get that mixed in with the other curated ones. Um, and that's like actually a really, really fun and powerful

Melanie 00:46:52:

um, feature. What I want to do with that is make it so that you can see your past messages like your past custom ones and break you them, because right now you get it once and you never see it again. So I don't want to reveal them before you get thm. Um,

Melanie 00:47:12:

because the surprise is important.

Melanie 00:47:14:

We like surprised, like delight is in surprise. Unless it's like

Melanie 00:47:20:

surprise your bankrupt like That's not awesome. But like surprise. I think you're a cool person. Is like is nice, you know, So I don't want to reveal them before you see them, But it's

Melanie 00:47:31:

some of the custom messages that I've received, and I know that other people have received have been really

Melanie 00:47:41:

like they can hold you up, you know,

Melanie 00:47:44:

um and so if you have the option to go back and say, like, actually, just keep that in my queue all the time, you know some that's me, every

Melanie 00:47:51:

Howard along. That's that's one thing that I've been wanting to dio, um, I want to make it some people can suggest

Melanie 00:47:59:

things for the general database. And then I can

Melanie 00:48:02:

say that

Melanie 00:48:03:

you know, I can allow them to go in because the it's like

Melanie 00:48:08:

350 messages or so that are in there. But they're all ones that I've stood in. You know that I signed and thinker interesting have been there but would be nice to have other people. You know, we have a lot of men, but then it's You do have lots and Jay Peak America's like,

Melanie 00:48:24:

Yeah, some people have weird,

Melanie 00:48:27:

weird heroes out there. This is So, um

Melanie 00:48:32:

you think those air

Melanie 00:48:35:

I I have been wanting to, like, make it a tweet pot or so, but that's like latter. Now I would love to be able to send pictures. Um,

Melanie 00:48:45:

but that's kind of it's all kind of tricky because it's this weird like, um,

Melanie 00:48:51:

sent through like it sent by email to the SMTP gateway for each of the carriers, you know, for a long period. So there's a little bit of tricking us involved there.

Jay 00:49:04:

You mentioned using Tulio earlier, and we're definitely not gonna get too deep into the weeds here, But the

Jay 00:49:12:

Tulio a p I has that like SMS thing?

Jay 00:49:18:

Is that utilizing the same like email stuff? Or is that actually using, like a phone number type

Jay 00:49:25:


Melanie 00:49:29:


Melanie 00:49:30:

abandoned twilio straightaway because it's very expensive. Um, especially if you get any number of users that are getting five messages a day legs

Melanie 00:49:43:

I can't afford that is quite expensive. And so but send bread,

Melanie 00:49:48:

um, was very affordable. And so I had to kind of do this hack around to figure out how to use the S and P gateways to send The message is so like each carrier has like, a phone number at

Melanie 00:50:01:

something at 18 c commune over something like this. So you email the

Melanie 00:50:07:

that email address, then it comes through a text.

Melanie 00:50:11:

So that's what I did. And then, interestingly enough, uh, Tulio then acquired sin bread and ensure

Melanie 00:50:19:

they have not jacked up saying grits, Princes, is this I know. Or maybe I've like, you know, I just got in at the right time, But, um, when I saw that, I was like, Please don't touch me more money. I do this for fun.

Melanie 00:50:33:

I want people to be happy. But like, not like many, many hundreds of dollars are happy.

Jay 00:50:39:

All of my users air happy. I am miserable because I got a 48th of happy.

Melanie 00:50:44:

Yeah, I can do that. I can't do that.

Melanie 00:50:47:


Melanie 00:50:49:

yeah, that's how that works.

Jay 00:50:50:

And five up is free, right?

Melanie 00:50:53:


Melanie 00:50:53:

One of his act. Yeah.

Jay 00:50:57:

Uh, though message and data rates may apply. I just saw that at the bottom.

Melanie 00:51:02:

Yeah, I did that stuff that

Melanie 00:51:06:

doesn't say like expensive messages are not happy. I'm pretty sure I shove blood in there.

Jay 00:51:11:


Jay 00:51:12:


Jay 00:51:13:

Yes? Make sure you know about your texting and data plan. Expensive messages are not happy.

Melanie 00:51:19:

They're not. I mean, I have a good database of messages, but, like, I don't know if they cost you 1/4. No, e, I don't know. I don't know about that.

Jay 00:51:29:

Oh, man, that's too good. All right, well, let's let's get ready to button this up, cause we seven after show to get Teoh. Um, let everybody know once again, if they want to talk to you or if they want to learn more about five up, um, Or if they wanna check out any of your amazing conference talks, where can they do all of those things.

Melanie 00:51:52:

Let's see. So five up is five a pap dot com.

Melanie 00:51:58:

Um, I am on Twitter and, like, everywhere on the Internet almost is. Hello, Melanie C. Um, so twitters where I hang out the most, um, Facebook and I are on a break.

Melanie 00:52:11:

Eso don't look for me there. Um,

Melanie 00:52:15:

see what else?

Melanie 00:52:18:

Five apps on Twitter. I think it's high by Bob the terrible

Melanie 00:52:22:

project, Mom,

Melanie 00:52:24:

it's on there somewhere. You'll find it just 11.

Jay 00:52:27:

Some branding thing will figure that out.

Melanie 00:52:29:

Yeah, and then all of my talk, sir, on YouTube. So

Melanie 00:52:35:

if you want, you can keep them all up and compare each, you know, performance to the next and rate them and send it to me. And I'll get real sad about it. Never beautiful.

Jay 00:52:47:

I would recommend the ah, the North Bay Python talk.

Jay 00:52:51:

Um, about how to get started. To Jingo, it was very, very funny. I heard multiple people, not just me say that it was the best talk of the entire conference, so Oh, yeah. You could definitely got that award.

Jay 00:53:07:


Melanie 00:53:08:


Melanie 00:53:09:

it was It was a fun one. It was fun. Everything went wrong. Little preview furry you people out there the panic that you see Israel. It was not staged.

Jay 00:53:19:

Oh, I remember that. It was Yeah, that was

Jay 00:53:24:

I think I triple prepared for my talk. Because of that, I was just like, I know it works. I know everything is good. I'm just going to do it again just to make sure. And also that was their first year doing a conference. So I'm sure, like,

Jay 00:53:40:

the first year versus the third year, though, should they got a lot of bugs? You know, it

Melanie 00:53:45:

wasn't them. It wasn't them. It was me. And I swear to you, I had practiced that talk so many times. And the things that went wrong that you saw had never gone wrong before. Like had not gone run 30 minutes prior. When that happens, been in the green room. It was just, you know, the stars just aligns to really make me vulnerable and sweaty, very sweaty.

Jay 00:54:10:

All right, well, thank you so much for being my esteemed guests on the show

Melanie 00:54:16:

on. And well, now

Jay 00:54:18:

I love this because I know that in a post Corentin like

Jay 00:54:25:

huge world on fire kind of thing that we're living in right now.

Jay 00:54:30:

Eventually, we will be able to sit down and

Jay 00:54:34:

have dinner and talk and laugh and do all the things that we did on the show s So I can say for one that this this isn't This isn't a bit. This isn't anything. This is This is 100% Melanie. Every time I have talked to her like I I absolutely love and enjoy our conversations. Um, no, you are also the first person to tell Meteo give a talk, so Oh, yeah, I have to thank you for that

Jay 00:55:04:

s o. Thank you so much for being on the show. And

Jay 00:55:09:

now, time for all the stuff that quote unquote pays the bills. Uh, thank you for listening. Everyone out there. I do something different that most podcasters don't. I don't ask you for money. I just ask that as you were listening to this, you weren't like doing 15 other things that you actually listen to. The things that my guest and I were talking about because

Jay 00:55:33:

we get vulnerable. We talk about our experiences when we talk about the things that matter to us and we do it in a way that We hope that it can resonate with other people out there. So

Jay 00:55:44:

I don't ask that you raider review the show. I ask that you just listen.

Jay 00:55:47:

But if you feel like you must

Jay 00:55:50:

tell me about something that I said that was obviously wrong or stupid, you can do so on Twitter at KJ. Why, Miller? I will ignore it. I will block you. Um, but if it was nice, I'll reply back and say Thanks. Um,

Jay 00:56:03:

yeah. If you are a podcast or thinking about getting into podcasting, you need some help with that. You can reach out to me at info at productivity in tech dot com.

Jay 00:56:12:

And of course, thank you to my uncle. Most people don't realize that when I say that but my uncle in a diorama wallet for the use of his music, a hustler in spite of myself for the Intron Ultra music, I'm only doing this because melodious, smiling at me, and it's like, Well, she did say you have to know people, so I know people. That's how I got my break. So there we go.

Jay 00:56:31:

But that is gonna do it for this week's episode for Melanie and myself. I have been your host, J. Miller, and I hope for at least a tiny bit of our amazing conversation. We have been productive.

Jay 00:56:43:

Now. Are you ready, Melanie? For the after show?

Jay 00:56:48:


Jay 00:56:49: