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Becoming Comfortable – Embracing the Tech Space with Thuy Doan

Relicans host, Pachi Parra talks to Thuy Doan of Prodigy Education about imposter syndrome being a thing that you always have, but that you just become incrementally more comfortable with it, skills she developed in her first years that led to a promotion, and how she’ll never work onsite again. Remote, remote, remote! (But that Zoom fatigue, tho!)

Thuy also thinks that one of the biggest things that deter developers from building accessibly is if they don't know how to do it, it overwhelms them. They just think it's all or nothing, and that’s not the case! Tip: Use semantic HTML!

Should you find a burning need to share your thoughts or rants about the show, please spray them at devrel@newrelic.com. While you're going to all the trouble of shipping us some bytes, please consider taking a moment to let us know what you'd like to hear on the show in the future. Despite the all-caps flaming you will receive in response, please know that we are sincerely interested in your feedback; we aim to appease. Follow us on the Twitters: @LaunchiesShow.

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Jonan Scheffler: Hello and welcome to Launchies, proudly brought to you by New Relic's Developer Relations team, The Relicans. The Launchies podcast is about supporting new developers and telling their stories and helping you make the next step in what we certainly hope is a very long and healthy career in software. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of The Relicans podcasts on developer.newrelic.com/podcasts. We're so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.

Pachi Parra: Hello and welcome to Launchies, a podcast for newbies, developers with non-traditional backgrounds, and career-switchers. I'm Pachi, a DevRel Engineer in New Relic. And I will be your host for today's show. And today with me I have Thuy Doan. And she is a developer at Prodigy Education. Before that, she graduated in business school and worked in social media. We all love social media. [chuckles] Welcome.

Thuy Doan: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Pachi: Thank you for accepting being here. I love when I get people that went to college for something totally different from tech. So I am going to start by asking you, when did you first get interested in working in tech? When did you first start thinking about tech, and when did you find out that was something you could work with?

Thuy: I don't think I've ever thought about it when I was younger, not in grade school, and not in high school, and not in university. I think the most that I ever did with computers was play games on them. I used to be an MMO player. [chuckles] I did PvP and all that stuff. But I didn't think about it until in the middle of my first job, which was in social media.

After I graduated from business school, I went to work for this local advertising agency, and I did their social media. And we had a couple of clients, but at some point, it was like, I guess they weren't getting enough clients. So then they got to this point where they were like, "She's not doing a bad job; she's doing a good job. But is it worth keeping this extra person on the payroll?" And ultimately, they ended up laying me off.

Pachi: Oh no.

Thuy: I know. Bye, money. They laid me off, and so I guess I had time to think, like, okay, what am I going to do next? Am I going to stay in social media? Am I going to stay in advertising? And I just happened to see an ad on Instagram for a bootcamp, like a coding bootcamp in Toronto. Before that, I never thought...I was like, I don't know. I guess I never thought about it because I was like, I don't know if I'd be interested in building things. And I guess it seemed super mash. Like, it seemed like a profession that was for people who are super math-y or supercomputer science-y.

Pachi: Yes, that's very true.

Thuy: But I liked that it was in tech, and it seemed like tech was pretty versatile and booming. So I was like, maybe I can do it. So I convinced my dad that it was a good idea. And ultimately, I started going to a bootcamp in Toronto.

Pachi: So that was a pretty good ad that you found on Instagram. [chuckles]

Thuy: Yes. At that time, because I was going to bootcamp now, I actually moved out for the first time. So I was 24 starting a new journey. I had to take the bus and the subway to school every day. It was like 1 hour and 10 minutes one way.

Pachi: Wow. Oh my goodness. That was a lot of work.

Thuy: Yes. For anyone that went to university...it was like a 10-week long program full-time. And it felt like exam season every day.

Pachi: That's fun. [chuckles]

Thuy: The hardest week for me was actually the second week, though. We did for loops, and I was like, I don't know what's going on.

Pachi: I feel like for is a thing that took me a while to actually grasp what it was doing in for loop. And after it clicks, you're like, wow, okay. That's how it's done. But it took me a while to really grasp that. [laughs]

Thuy: Yeah. I don't know what it was. I had a hard time keeping track of the variables as we were going through. And maybe it was the way they were named. But when you learn them, you started with that, am I right?

Pachi: Yeah.

Thuy: And I was just like, i++, oh my God. What am I keeping track of?

Pachi: That i is like, why do you use that? It's so confusing with those is. [laughs] I know what you're talking about.

Thuy: Yes. And the fact that I hit this point at the second week, like two weeks out of 10, I was like, man, it's the second week, and I already feel like this. I don't know how this is going to go. But I made it through, and I guess once we hit the React section, I was like, oh, okay, I understand React. I think I can do it now.

Pachi: Yay. What was the favorite tech that you learned in bootcamp?

Thuy: I would say React. I don't know what it was. I'm still trying to figure it out four years later. But when I learned React, it clicked to the point where I actually worked for the bootcamp that I took after as a TA.

Pachi: Oh, that's awesome.

Thuy: So, after I graduated, I worked as a TA. And I remember every time you had to introduce yourself, I was like, "Hi, I'm Thuy. I love React." And I would be super giddy.

Pachi: [chuckles] That's cute. "Hi, I love React. I can make you love React too." So it was like a 10-week program. After you finished that, how did you feel? How ready did you feel?

Thuy: Oh, man. So after ten weeks, my main thought was just like, okay, yeah, I did a bootcamp. Yeah, we did a project. We did a Demo Day. It's like a common experience for people coming out of bootcamps that maybe they'll get a job, but will they get paid? And if you do get paid, will you get paid a very low amount of money? And I didn't want to pick up a job that would pay me nothing or pay me little. So that's why I took the BrainStation job. I accepted the TA position because I wanted to job search without feeling desperate. And I had bills to pay. I needed to live.

Pachi: Yeah, that is smart. I feel like lots of people that I talk with, me included, the very first dev job was terrible. [laughs] Because you're so excited that someone offered you money to code. And it's like, yay, it's exciting. And two weeks in the job, you're like, okay, it's just not enough money for this. [laughs] But yeah, that was very smart of you to say, hey, I'm going to take this, and I'm going to take my time doing my job search. How was the job search for you?

Thuy: I think I have a bit of a unicorn experience. I think I was one of the more fortunate ones. Because if I think about it, I think I only applied to three companies.

Pachi: Oh wow.

Thuy: And I think I only interviewed at three companies. And it's not because I'm super smart or anything. I'm not a genius. I just want everyone to know. I'm competent, but I'm not a mega genius. During the six months that I was a TA at BrainStation, I decided to look for a little contract to get some development experience without committing to a company that I wasn't sure about yet.

Pachi: Wow. So you are super smart. [laughs]

Thuy: Aw. So there's this site...have you heard of angel.co?

Pachi: Oh yes. I never had luck in that, but yes.

Thuy: Oh. So I made an account on angel.co. I don't remember if I reached out or they reached out, but I was fortunate enough to have a company accept me to do a one-month contract with them to build a table or refactor this thing for us. It was like a small enough project. So I did that with them. And then at the end of it, I did try because I wanted a job, and I was like, maybe they should hire me.

Pachi: Maybe. [laughs]

Thuy: Maybe. But that one didn't work out. But the good thing about doing that contract is that it eventually paid off. Before it paid off, though, I did try again with a different company in Toronto. It was like a JavaScript agency called Rangle. So I applied there, and I remember I had to do some sort of whiteboard, which sucks.

Pachi: Oh. Those aren't fun. [laughs]

Thuy: Yes. Who likes those?

Pachi: Nobody, not even the people that give that to you like those. So I don't know why those exist.

Thuy: Yes. I don't know about you, but I don't excel. My favorite part of interviews is actually the behavioral part. Like, oh, what would you do? Or, in this situation, what have you done? I do way better at that.

Pachi: Yeah, same. I have ADHD, so it takes me a while to get in the zone with code. So it's just hard for me to concentrate to actually think and solve problems on the fly. [laughs]

Thuy: Yes. And if I know that there's a time limit, like, if you know that the interview is an hour, even if they're not like, "There's a time limit," you clearly have a time limit. So it's going to give you pressure.

Pachi: Right? And your brain's like, I cannot do it. Bye.

Thuy: Yes. I've frozen up. After interviews, I have been like, why did I say that? Why did I focus on this stuff? You know how to use this thing. What happened to you? Sometimes I do that.

Pachi: Right? Yeah, I feel you.

Thuy: So the second company that I tried to apply to was Rangle, that didn't turn out. And then the company that I'm currently at, a recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn, and they were like, "I really like what I'm seeing. I think you should apply." So they were trying to get me to apply. And I was like, are you sure? I only have one month of experience. Like, did you really read my profile?

Pachi: [laughs]

Thuy: I'm not a senior, just so you know.

Pachi: I'm telling you.

Thuy: Yes. But then I guess they liked something about the fact that I had experience somewhere else outside of software development and that I did do a one-month contract, so I had some experience. So I think that played out for me. And I ended up getting through the interview process and landing my job right now at Prodigy.

Pachi: That's awesome. And how long have you been there now?

Thuy: I've been here for over four years.

Pachi: Wow. And now you're not a junior anymore.

Thuy: I know. What a long road.

Pachi: How exciting. When you first got in the job, what were your biggest challenges as somebody just getting started as a real programmer in a real job?

Thuy: I think a lot of people say this, so it seems a little bit cliché, but I think imposter syndrome is the biggest thing. I was just like, man, I'm sitting here with my bootcamp certificate. I had coworkers who didn't have computer science degrees, so that wasn't really an issue. But I just felt like I was around people who were mega smart, like even some guy who has a philosophy degree, he was just mega smart. And I'm like, I have a social media background. I went to a bootcamp. I don't know how to contribute here.

Pachi: And how do you feel about your imposter syndrome today because people say they have that in the beginning, but how is that now?

Thuy: So that's interesting because I've talked to seniors and they say they still have it. So I'm wondering if maybe imposter syndrome is this thing that you always have, but then maybe you just become incrementally more comfortable with it. Or maybe you have a period where you have it, and then you don't have it, and then it comes back. It goes away, and it comes back again. For me, while I was a junior, it was there for most of it. But then, as I was coming up to getting close to my intermediate promotion, I felt like it was gone. But then, when I got my intermediate promotion, I felt like it was back.

Pachi: [laughs] Yeah, because you had already started. Like, you have been doing this thing for a while, and now somebody's saying, "Hey, you can do more than that. You are smarter than you think." So it's like, hey, wait.

Thuy: Yeah, I'm like, does it just happen when you start somewhere new or start a new role? I don't know. But I think overall, I’m more comfortable with the fact that I don't know stuff. But there's always that period at the beginning where you're like, ooh, I don't know. Am I ready?

Pachi: And especially because if you just started getting comfortable where you were, and it's like, hey, I know this. I know what I'm doing. And now I have this promotion. Now I have new tasks. It's like, hey; I was doing great. I knew what was going on, and now I'm not sure anymore. So yes, that makes sense.

Thuy: Have you had experience with imposter syndrome? Do you still have it?

Pachi: Oh yeah, every day. [laughs] Our team has ten people, and only two are entry-level, just me and Danny. And everybody else on the team is people that have years and years of experience in tech. And technically, this is my second year in tech. And in DevRel, I have been here for six months. So the DevRel portion of the job, I feel pretty confident. But because I focus so much on creating content and communities, my coding skills aren't very strong. So every time a conversation gets too technical, I feel I don't know what's going on. I feel I am totally faking, and somebody is going to find out someday. But I have been pretending very well so far so...Hey, boss, if you hear this, I know what I'm doing.

Thuy: [laughs] Don't fire us. Don't fire us. We're good.

Pachi: Yes, I'm awesome. Yes, we're doing great. [laughter] I feel like it's always a bit harder if you're a woman because when you look to the side, you always see more men. And we want to do more because sometimes we feel like we don't belong. Should I be here? Do I belong here? And we are fighting to show ourselves that we do but at the same time to make sure everyone around us accepts us as professionals.

Thuy: Yeah. I definitely feel you on the whole woman thing. I remember when I first joined Prodigy; I guess we definitely had way less female developers than we have now. I actually don't even know how many we have now. But on my first day, one of the female developers on my team comes up to my desk and just stands there and stared at me and was like, "You are real."

Pachi: [laughs]

Thuy: And I was like, "What do you mean?" And she was like, "Well, I rarely see female developers. And you're real." I was like, oh okay.

Pachi: I think I am. I believe so.

Thuy: [laughs]

Pachi: But I'm glad to see that every day this is changing. But it's changing because I feel like women in general in tech are working for it, not because people are handing that to us. We're fighting for it.

Thuy: Yes. Yes.

Pachi: So you got your first job, and now you're not a junior anymore. What do you feel like in your first years to get a promotion...what skills do you think you developed in those first years that made you ready for this promotion? Not only in your eyes because, like you said, you got imposter syndrome again. But from your manager's point of view, what do you think that you developed that made you ready for a promotion?

Thuy: I would say during my first two years, when I was mostly junior, I felt like all I was focused on was how do I do the task? How can I make sure that I do the Jira card? We just need to make sure we can do our work. But then, as I was getting closer to being intermediate-ready, one, I became comfortable with the work that we were doing. I was becoming more independent. I had to pair a lot less with people. The problems that I was trying to solve shifted from how do I do the work to how do I take the burden off other team members on my team? So, for example, I have more senior people on my team, and they were being relied on to explain certain things, onboard people. They had all this knowledge stuck in their head. And I was like, how can I help you take this knowledge from you so that I can help share it instead of having you always do it?

Pachi: That's really smart.

Thuy: That really helped me move into the intermediate area.

Pachi: I feel like that's a really good approach. You just get your job done and look around to see how you can be helpful, especially because I feel like seniors part of their job is helping people that are starting. But they already have so many jobs as a senior.

Thuy: Yes. They're counted on for all the big technical decisions too. We're doing a migration or something, and they have to be the one that does that right up. And at the same time, there's like a new person who needs to be explained things. And I just wanted to make sure that...maybe you've heard of the term bus factor. I really just wanted to reduce the bus factor that we had on our team. And I was like, imagine we lost those seniors, you know, heaven forbid a car accident, and they passed away, and all this knowledge would go with them. Let's spread that, lessen the burden.

Pachi: Even if you want to be less morbid, there are so many jobs out there. They could just get an awesome offer tomorrow. And they're like, "Hey, I'm doubling the salary." And then you're not going to think twice.

Thuy: That's true.

Pachi: Actually, in tech, everything is moving so fast.

Thuy: Yeah. And I guess it seems like the landscape is getting much more competitive. For example, I'm seeing with the rise of remote, instead of companies...for example, my company's headquarters is near Toronto. So we've always had to compete with Toronto talent, people who are trying to get Toronto talent. But because we're remote now, we have even bigger concerns. It's not just us and all the Toronto companies that they can think about joining. They could join a New York company. They could join a California company. They can join a London company.

Pachi: Yes, anywhere.

Thuy: Yep. And I guess because people have been working from home for so long, they're just like, hey, I like it. I want it. If you're not going to give me remote, I'm not going to work for you anymore.

Pachi: Yeah, that's me. [laughs]

Thuy: Oh yeah.

Pachi: If somebody says, "Hey, you want to work from the office? I'm going to pay you 20% more." Nope. I'm very happy and comfy on my chair right here. [laughs]

Thuy: Yeah. Did you always think that you could work from home? Have you always liked it?

Pachi: I always wanted. I'm a bit on the introvert side, and I'm a loud introvert. I'm very comfortable talking to people online. I am the internet queen, but physical people drain my energy. So going places is exhausting to me, which is not great if you're in DevRel. But one conference every three months should be fair.

One of the things, when I started learning to code, was that the attraction was, hey, you can maybe find a remote job. That's interesting. I can just have my office at my place and have my cat on my lap while I work? That's attractive. And then the pandemic hit, and it was like, hey, that's the only option you actually have right now. [laughs]

Thuy: Cat time.

Pachi: Yay. My cats are spoiled, though. They're very spoiled now.

Thuy: Aww.

Pachi: Like last week, I was away for a week for vacation. When I got back, they weren't happy. They're like, how dare you? [laughs]

Thuy: Did you get a cat sitter?

Pachi: Yeah, she came like once a day. But I didn't ask for permission, I guess. They didn't give me permission. My older cat woke me up at 3:30 in the morning today just to head-butt me and say, "Hey, don't forget. Never do that to me again." [laughs]

Thuy: We're bitter, and we're letting you know.

Pachi: Yeah, that's exactly what she wanted. [laughs]

Thuy: Before the pandemic, I actually didn't think that I could do work from home. I guess I thought I liked this separation. Like, you go to the office, you go to work, and it's separate from home. You leave, and you come back. But it's too convenient. I don't have to commute. I can just roll out of bed, and here I am at stand-up.

Pachi: You do have to definitely have boundaries because it's very easy for you to work an hour or more, or instead of having an hour lunch, you take just half an hour and come back to solve a problem. So I have been trying to be very strict with my schedule. I don't work before 9:00, and I don't work past 5:00. I know if I start working late, I can go all night writing or doing something. So I had to say, hey, at 5:00, all done for today. Good. No work anymore. [chuckles]

Thuy: Yeah, definitely boundaries. I'm finding it hard because I'm in an apartment. We only have the one-bedroom, so it's not like we have a separate room for the office. So our desks are just out in the open. So it doesn't really feel like I'm somewhere else. At least if you have a separate room, you can close a door or something. But I'm just sitting out in the open like where I normally am.

Pachi: Yeah, that's tough. I used to be like that in my last apartment. Now I have one bedroom that is my office that's a big mess. But I just come here to work. [laughs]

Thuy: Nice.

Pachi: When you started working from home, outside that space issue, did you find anything else challenging, or did you adapt quite fast?

Thuy: People always talk about Zoom fatigue, and I guess I didn't feel it at first, and maybe it needed to take some time. But I think after a year, I started feeling the Zoom fatigue. Some people felt Zoom fatigue right away, but I felt it much later. I don't really know why, though. And I find that if I work on my couch, I will probably work into the evening as compared to my desk. If I sit at the desk, even though I don't have an office, it kind of feels like this little tiny corner is my office. And if I go there, it's work time, and if I leave it, it's not work time. So I try to sit at my desk, but the couch is so comfortable. So it's super hard.

Pachi: And especially when you have some meetings and you can just get your laptop and get comfy.

Thuy: Yes. I'm like, why do I have to sit on my desk for a Zoom when I can sit on my couch for a Zoom?

Pachi: Yes, for Zooms, I'm always doing them that way. When I have a two-hour strategy call, I don't need to be on my computer. I can just be on my laptop. And the couch is so comfortable. [chuckles] I don't think I got Zoom fatigue as bad as other people. But just the fact that sometimes I just turn the camera off and just be there listening makes a huge difference. Because some days we're not just feeling well and our face is not camera-ready. It's like, okay, I'm just going to leave this off, and I'm listening to everybody. But I can eat and do whatever, and that's fine.

Thuy: I would say for the first year, I used to have my camera on all the time, even when I was making breakfast. But nowadays, I turn my camera off, and it helps me conserve energy.

Pachi: Yes, it makes sense. You don't really think about that. But even if you're with people you're comfortable with; if you have the camera on, you have to keep a certain posture. Even if you're just friends, you keep something up. And if you don't have the camera on, you can just relax and that gives you the energy to do other things.

Thuy: Yeah, and when I have the camera on, I feel like I have to work to look like I'm paying attention. Like yeah, even if I am, but what if I happen to look somewhere else? And then it looks like I'm distracted.

Pachi: Right? I have two monitors. And what if I look to that one and people think that I'm not paying attention to them?

Thuy: Yes.

Pachi: Yes, I totally feel that. [laughs] And that's so funny. And I feel like everybody has a way that they do and the things that they think about this whole online setup. I wouldn't mind maybe going to the office maybe once a month to say hi to people. But I'm comfortable. [laughs]

Thuy: I definitely like the option. If you can work fully remote or fully in the office or a mix, that'd be nice.

Pachi: Yes, that would be nice. You just go and say hi. And some companies have their office open, and they're doing something like this. You can come to the office if you feel like it and just work from home if you don't. And I love it. I'm looking at your dev.to, and I love that. I'm just seeing you're very big into accessibility. And that's awesome because I feel like when you learn especially if you're a dev in front end, nobody really talks to us about that. So you will learn to make websites, but after, someone will just say, "Hi, I made this website. But now I figured out it's not accessible at all. But I already built this entire thing. I don't want to go back and fix things." So I want to ask you what do you think people should learn from the beginning to make the web more accessible?"

Thuy: I think it starts with...I guess for developers, don't discount the power of semantic HTML.

Pachi: Amen.

Thuy: Yes. It's so funny. I'm on Twitter a lot. I've seen people say things like, "Oh, HTML is not a programming language." And then there's a whole other side where they're like, "How dare you? It is super important."

Pachi: I would die in that whole world. [laughs]

Thuy: Yes. Yes.

Pachi: Just respect HTML. Okay, people?

Thuy: I think that one of the biggest things that deter developers from building accessibly is I think if they don't know how to do it, they just think it's all or nothing. It's like either you do nothing, or it's a great, big effort. There are a lot of ways that you can improve it. But one of the smallest ways is to just be cognizant of using some semantic HTML. Some people just don't know. It drives me nuts.

Pachi: I know. One of my first jobs, I just got a lot of legacy websites. And there were so many divs, everything. Even texts were in divs. Like, why are there so many divs here? [laughs] It doesn't make sense.

Thuy: Yeah. I'm still learning. I'm not an expert or anything. And I find that following people and the other developers but also mainly developers in the accessibility space; I learn so much more about stuff. For example, I recently learned about...what was it? Ben Myers is his name. Do you know him?

Pachi: Yes. His name is familiar.

Thuy: He wrote an article about...it was like an HTML element that I didn't know about actually. Where is it? Ah,

. Yeah,
.

Pachi: That's the thing. People say that HTML is not a big deal. But there are a lot of tags that people don't know about. And if you learn, they are super useful.

Thuy: Yeah. I went to bootcamp in 2016, and I didn't hear anything about accessibility stuff until 2019.

Pachi: Wow.

Thuy: And I only heard about it because I went to a front-end conference and Marcy Sutton spoke on it. I guess I consider her to be my accessibility queen.

Pachi: She's awesome.

Thuy: And ever since then, I've just been pushing the accessibility agenda, which has been great. I feel like I'm a better person, but I also feel like I'm much more angry than I was.

Pachi: [laughs] I feel you. Those little things that you can start doing. I started learning to code with HTML. And I was learning the tags. I kind of started doing semantic HTML without knowing I was doing it just because when I was learning the tags, that made sense to me. And then when I started listening here about accessibility, I was like, hey, I'm doing that already. That's awesome. Yay.

Thuy: Nice.

Pachi: But I'm always preaching the word of semantic HTML, even if people are not listening. Listen to me, people. Listen to us. We know what we're talking about, kind of. [laughs]

Thuy: Yes.

Pachi: And right now, what are you working with? What tech are you working with? What are you doing?

Thuy: For the last four years, I've worked with React. I still am. But I recently found out about stuff like Gatsby and Next. For the last four years, I've not done any side projects. I've just been head down at work. I'm trying to get into doing stuff on the side and interacting with the community more, and writing resources. That's why I do like the dev.to stuff now, and I do podcasts. I'm interested in learning about things that I've been missing all this time just because I've been so focused on work. So Gatsby is probably the next thing that I'd be exploring in my own time and TypeScript. I want to know what's up with TypeScript.

Pachi: Yeah, TypeScript is something that has been looming over my head. I don't even know if I know JavaScript. [laughs] But I guess nobody knows JavaScript. Nobody will ever know JavaScript. We just pretend that we do.

Thuy: Yes.

Pachi: We do our best. [laughs] Okay. So for the final part of the podcast, I always like to end this with a very...it's a cliché question, but it's fun how everybody has somehow different answers. What is your best advice for people that want to start on tech or are starting? Like, they're just starting to self-study, or they just got into bootcamp. What is your best piece of advice for those people?

Thuy: So for me, this is what I would have told myself if I could speak to the me then from the me now, and it's that, I guess, put aside your idea of what you think the ultimate developer is supposed to be like. Because I used to think that the ultimate developers are those people on TV that you see, they open the terminal, and they're hacking. They're hacking a government program.

Pachi: Right?

Thuy: And they're typing super fast, and their eyes are going left and right, left and right. I want to say you can craft, design, write, develop the type of developer that you want to be. And the job of a developer is actually way more socio-technical than it is just technical. And if you are a person that has...let's say you pivoted from a different career like business or maybe you were a teacher, or you had a philosophy degree, those soft skills are important. They’re really important whether or not you're a lower-level individual contributor or you move into management. Because yes, we produce code, and yes, we ship stuff, but you have to do other things with your communication skills.

When you put up a PR, it's your job to get PR reviewers to be comfortable with your work. So in a way, you have to communicate your idea. You have to convince your PR reviewers that it's a good idea. If you run into a problem, you have to explain things. That is much more important than you think. So if you are especially somebody that's coming from a non-traditional non-technical background, there is a place for your skills. And you can create the ultimate developer role that includes those things, especially if you like it.

I recently found out...like Pachi; you’re one of the reasons. But I recently found out about this thing called developer advocacy. I did not know that that was a thing until this year. If you told me that a developer could also make money speaking, writing content, engaging with the community, I would have been like, what? For real?

Pachi: [laughs]

Thuy: I thought a developer just hung out in a little room and wrote code. But no, there's a whole avenue out there that you can explore. And if you interact with the community and are always open to learning, you'll find the developer that you want to be and pursue that.

Pachi: That is very true. Community is so important if you want to be something bigger than just a programmer. You can just be if you want. You can also be the hacker, the programmer in a dark room, and that's fine. But there is so much more out there that if you just go to Twitter and go to #TechTwitter, you're going to make friends, and you're going to learn. And you're going to find people to support you. And like you said, you'll find out new things.

I did not know what DevRel was either like a year ago. [laughs] I was doing that as a hobby without knowing. I was streaming. I was writing. I was talking to people. But I didn't know that that was a career. And when I found out the job, I was like, hey, that's me. And I wouldn't have found out if that was a thing if it wasn't for the community I had on Twitter. So having a community…and it can just be like we do. Just go to Twitter and tweet and interact with people, and that can be really life-changing.

Thuy: Yeah. I've never felt more supported than when I started interacting with people in the community. Even things like I tried to do a 100 Days of Code, but I think I only did one day, and then I never tweeted about it again. I just found it really hard to do 100 Days of Code, but people were supportive. They were just like, "Maybe your thing is you do it on the weekends. Maybe, you only do it once a week."

Pachi: I did that, and I skipped days, and I was fine. [laughs] It took me like 300 days to do the 100 Days of Code. But I finished. [laughs] Okay. Thank you so much for talking to me. That was so much fun.

Thuy: Thank you. I loved it. It was great vibes.

Pachi: I like to chat with people. Everybody is so awesome in the community. And I like to get to know more people and to introduce them to the audience. So, where can people find you on the internet?

Thuy: So I am clearlyTHUYDOAN basically everywhere. That's spelled C-L-E-A-R-L-Y-T-H-U-Y-D-O-A- N on Twitter, Instagram, mostly Twitter, dev.to as well. I'm also on Polywork. If you need invitation codes, hit me up. I got one.

Pachi: Polywork is awesome. And go follow her on Twitter. Make friends. Thank you so much. That was awesome.

Thuy: Thank you.

Pachi: And thank you for listening. This was Launchies for you, and stay tuned for this episode and the next episode. We have episodes every week. And if you have any guests you'd like to see in the show, you can DM me on Twitter or any social media; I go as pachicodes everywhere on the web. Bye.

Jonan: Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of the rest of The Relicans podcasts on therelicans.com. In fact, most anything The Relicans get up to online will be on that site. We'll see you next week. Take care.

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