Pillar 5

EP010: AI and MVI talk with Patrick Barnard from sites such as gamersloot.net

Hey there Navigators!  I had the absolute fortune to catch Patrick Barnard at an internet cafe between his two latest sojourn trips to the Philipines.  Patrick is a fearless entrepreneur who has made some pretty phenomenal companies throughout the years.  I will say, the time we connected the audio was a bit funky with background noise – BUT – the interview was SO GREAT.  Bonus points to anyone who DM’s me the funniest background outbreak!  We talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills, the automation displacement crisis that is looming, and talk about things such as minimum viable income for those displaced by the AI revolution.

00:00 Who is Patrick Barnard?

08:00 Why Patrick created Gamersloot, the largest distributor of World of Warcraft at one point – including countries such as Antarctica and Moldova.

10:00 Outsourcing game leveling in Romania, and cultural backlash.

14:00 AI as the next ‘Internet’.

17:00 What if AI could hire people versus a human?  Patrick sees the Pros vs Cons.

20:00 Job candidate differentiators from a guy who is a potential sensor, vs HR manager.

26:00 Why you should be eager to learn, and not limiting yourself.

30:00 Having an Idea, Having a Partner in business, and trusting others with the execution of said idea.

34:00 Facing fears, and why Patrick calls himself fearless.

41:00 What MBO can do, and how you have to look for quality when you use it (fiverr as an example).

44:00 Minimum Guaranteed Income and other ideas that Patrick thing ‘are not crazy at all’.

50:00 Bonus internet cafe background craziness.

EP008: Small Goat Farm to Massive Server Farms with Storied Developer, Author, Blogger, and Speaker Strata Chalup.



Today on this episode of Angle Free IT I got together with Strata Chalup, who is a Developer, Author, Blogger, and Speaker from many conferences, including the LISA conference.  Strata has been an influential person in my career because of her framework on troubleshooting.  I got it from a friend who saw her speech at LISA and have gone over it many times with people.  If you’re interested, I have a link to it below the show notes.  We touch on Interview Strategies, Solopreneuring, and Strata’s dynamic career pivots.

01:00: Intro with Strata.
04:30: When to go solo consulting versus employee.
06:00: How to skill build by learning frameworks.
07:45: Strata’s how to troubleshoot presentation and what impact it had on Preston’s career. Logic vs knowledge.
10:30: Diversity and inclusion – today versus yesterday – and what still needs to change.  Talk about Pillar 1 as well.
16:30: Imposter sydrome and battling it.
19:45: Joining IT when you’re not fresh out of school.
21:00: ‘Just’ is not just a phrase. It’s a nightmare.
23:00: Conduit – the race to the bottom price and how it affects Tech. Your job is to find out what is going “to be tires” in a few years and stay away from that.
24:30: Mentorship discussions, talk about Pillar 6.
27:00: Building a brand via values.
29:00: Things to avoid when looking to interview – ‘You should be able to explain a technical answer on a subway if you have one stop’.
31:00: Thoughts on pivots, and how Strata has accomplished pivots. PM-ing vs hands on.
34:30: Guest turnover – things Strata Loves: Arduino, and Adafruit. Also – super cool book Vehicles

You can find the latest book Strata Co-Authored Here.

Later on, we talked about Arduino programming – and I found a great starter set for people interested here.  For small Arduino parts, I love the Colorado company Spark Fun, which can be found at http://www.sparkfun.com.

As well, we touched on a cool robotics book from MIT that Strata was talking about can be found here.

EP007: Jeff Bowdin – Director, Dad of Daughters, and Dynamo of the 80%.

In episode 007 of the Angle Free IT podcast, I sat down to get a lesson in priorities and reality from IT Director Jeff Bowden. Jeff is very saged with his experience in technology and we met online in a few forums in which we both help people out with career questions.  We talked about a lot of things, but my highlights were diversity and inclusion, Prioritization and the 80% rule that Jeff runs his shop with. I know that I am better for having met Jeff and having gained some of his wisdom, and I am sure you will be too.

00:00 Intro

03:00 Cyclical nature in computing.

07:00 How remote skills are key.

10:00 Degree vs No Degree thoughts.

13:00 Skills Jeff sees as declining and losing their relevance.

22:00 Customer Service is what we end up doing.

29:00 Interview skills for noobs.

31:00 how to clarify your priorities.

38:00 Branching out to determine who the important people in the company are – get outside of technology (mention workplace poker).

40:30 Who some of the most important people in the company are – it’s not who you think it is.

43:30 How Jeff finds mentorship.

47:00 Pivoting and making the jump with both feet.

50:30 The 80% rule explained. Balance and Prioiritzation.

53:00 Jeff gives Preston an unexpected huge compliment.

That cool website Jeff Mentioned is HERE.

Episode 000: What drives an ultra-high-performer in tech?

Welcome to The Angle Free IT podcast.

Hey, I’m glad you’re here!  In this Episode, we explore all of the ins and outs of having a position within Tech throughout all different types of industries.  The focus of what we do is “How is it that some people get so much further ahead in their careers, and how do I do that too?”.  In this episode I explore the following:

00:00 : My motivation for starting the show.

05:20 : My Hypothesis.

08:45 : I’d Love your feedback.

10:00 : I’m ruining your misconceptions, but giving you the power to build them better.

11:30 : What ‘Angle Free’ means to me.

16:00 : Do what I do, not what I DID.

21:00 : You are Awesome – thanks!

Pillar 5: Keep your dreams and goals, even if people mock you.

Pillar 5: Keep your dreams and goals, even if people mock you.

I can’t tell you how many people told me my career shifts were dumb. The thing is, when you make an educated decision based on what our industry is doing, a lot of the time it looks SUPER weird.  This isn’t to say that you have to be a ‘futureologist’ or anything like that.  Just look at what’s new.  What are people talking about being ‘the next big thing’.  For instance, right now the ‘next big thing’ is IOT.  If you have IOT on your resume and LinkedIn profile, you’re going to start to get more and more recruiter calls.

The reaction to this decision to pivot spawns all kinds of salty memes out there that reflect this. “Wolves rarely bother with the opinions of sheep” is one that comes to mind.  A more positive version of this are the goofy pictures posted by 15 year-olds on Instagram like “sunshine in, darkness out”.

In all honesty though, the message is the same for this pillar.  It points to the fact that there are a TON of people in hopeless jobs that are negative and actively disengaged.  These same people WILL TRY TO SUBCONSCIOUSLY TAKE YOU DOWN WITH THEM. Did you notice that?  That was in ALL CAPS, bold, and italics for a reason.  I have been this guy.  Maybe not as deplorable as other miserable people I’ve worked with, but pretty damn close.

When I started to make career decisions based on what was best for me, versus what a corporate agenda or comfort level of myself and others was, I got pushback.  A LOT of pushback.  My favorite quote from a colleague who is not-so-good with the H.R.-P.C. talk was “Damn, that idea is more special-ed than you are.

I ended up explaining to him how to get out of a commodity tech job and become an SME 18 months later.

This has happened to me time and time again.  Proof in the pudding of things other people have told me in the past:

Don’t focus your time on virtualization, that’ll never catch on”.

Security will eventually kill off all cloud products”.

Information Security is a terrible career path.

Know what Preston, they’ll never automate the network”.

VoIP is definitely going to stay in-house, you can’t outsource it”.

The funny thing about this pillar (5) and pillar 6 is that they could actually be the different sides to the same coin.  But they take different mental approaches.

All of these things above were false statements. And by looking around and seeing the shifting tides of our industry I’ve Looked at my dreams, pivoted, added new skills, sold myself into a new role and usually bring people with me when I do it (see Pillar 1).