Old Fashioned, old roles, new beginnings

Published September 19, 2021

It’s always hard to know when is the right time to make a career change. There’s likely never a perfect time, but in this episode, we talk about how we have made decisions and what’s worked and what hasn’t.

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Panel

Episode transcript

Ryan Burgess
Welcome to a new episode of the front end happier podcast. Lately, it seems like a lot of people are switching jobs or taking on a different role. In this episode we will share our thoughts on when it is the right time to take a new career change, or maybe share our thoughts on when it hasn't been the best time. Let's go around the table or virtual table and give introduction of today's panelists. Jamie want to start it off

Jem Young
Jem Young engineering manager at Netflix, Stacy,

Stacy London
Stacy London senior front end engineer on Trello,

Ryan Burgess
Augustus, I guess

Augustus Yuan
CRM software engineer at Twitch.

Ryan Burgess
All right. And I'm Ryan Burgess. I'm a software engineering manager at Netflix. In each episode, the front end happier podcasts, we love to choose a keyword that if it's mentioned in the episode, we will all take a drink. What did we decide today's keyword is?

Stacy London
Timing,

Ryan Burgess
timing. Alright, if we say the word timing, which I'm pretty sure we will, we will all take a drink. I figured a good way to start was, I would like to really know, what typically triggers each of you to start thinking about a new role or even like just not even deciding to make that role change. But even just being like inkling, I think I need a role change. Maybe it's moving to a new company, what what triggers that,

Stacy London
Oh, so many factors. Maybe you're not doing let's I just as an example, maybe you're like not doing the kind of work that you're really excited about? Are you that necessarily bored, but maybe there's something about what you're doing, that's a little too routine, and you want to challenge yourself more, in different in switch it up

Jem Young
that way, I think boredom is correct. I was speaking with the engineering leader here who I really respect to Bruce Wang, and he shared his GitHub page, which we can link in the show notes. But it shows his philosophy as a engineering leader. And it's like a chart where it's like, you want to strike the balance between challenging, and something that is is comprehensible, and it's in your wheelhouse. And it's a really hard balance to strike. Because if it's too challenging, then you get burnt out. Because you're just like, ah, things are on fire all the time, I just don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything. And if it's too easy, then you get bored. And then same thing, but different different side of the colon, you don't feel like you're accomplishing anything meaningful. And so you really want to strike that balance. And I think when I'm thinking about thinking about a role change, it's when I'm on either side of that coin, more likely the boredom side. I'm not one to shy away from a challenge, I prefer them. But I'll there's a lot to it. Like Stacy said, there's many, many things that go into changing roles. But for me, I think boredom and absence of meaningful challenge is one of the first things

Ryan Burgess
I think to add to the challenge. Part two is like, I think that years of experience isn't really equal, if that makes sense. If you sometimes are at a different company or a different role, you might be challenged that much more and learn that much in a year, then you would like a job where you're like, I get this. And so I think that that's something I think about too, is like constantly being challenged, I'm going to grow faster. And so if I start to feel complacent and just feeling like I've got this, then that's like not going to help my growth and those years of experience are still years of experience. Like don't get me wrong, but I feel like jumping into a new challenge is like 10 extra years of experience, just from that. Yeah,

Augustus Yuan
I wanted a plus one, the big growth part, like not necessarily boredom, but I think it's like always good to have an idea of where you want to be in 510 years. And if all of a sudden you don't really see that path, like really happening where you are, then I think that's always a good time to like reevaluate, like, okay, what can I do at my current company to get back on track? And if there's really like nothing available, then then maybe it's, maybe that's probably a sign, you know, maybe it's time to look and explore. And you should never feel ashamed about exploring opportunities, right? Like everyone. It's like, it's, you have to do what's in your best interest that just like the company will do what's in their best interest. And you'd like to think that for a lot of companies, their best interest is you for that doesn't always align. Sadly, that's just the sad truth. So

Ryan Burgess
I think sometimes to exploring doesn't mean you're necessarily going to leave, right? Ultimately, it just might highlight that you like what you do, and that's like the best place for you. And so I actually almost say that it's a good thing too. continually look for new opportunities like, yeah, there's a balance, you're not going to do that full time. But to keep your eyes open for certain things and just hear about different roles, because it may just remind you that you actually do love what you're doing and not can be awesome in itself. Or you find an opportunity to like, I can't pass that up, because it's so good.

Stacy London
That was a situation for me, where I was hoping to stay in sort of a technical track. And the next Pat, like step from senior was principal, and the current play at the place that I was at, I talked to, you know, a few people about it, they're like, No, that's not really an opportunity, you know, here. And so I was like, Well, that sounds like there's not a career advancement where I'm at. So like, that, you know, forced me to look around and, and then I found a spot where that could be an opportunity and a possibility. So yeah, that's definitely a reason.

Jem Young
We can all learn from you, Stacy, and being proactive about our career. And looking ahead five years and saying, Where do I want to go? And is my current role where I'm at suited to take me there. And so I like I, that's why I have so much respect for you, because you will be proactive and think about these things. versus, you know, it could be five years from now you're just like, I think get a raise, or I'm just not going anywhere, and you're just frustrated. But like that is something entirely within your power to change, especially in an industry, especially right now. Is do what you did you want to be principal, go, go move to a place where you can be principal,

Ryan Burgess
why right now, Jem?

Jem Young
Oh, man, we're gonna we're gonna go. I thought we're gonna get to this later. But so I'll tell you now, right now, we are going through it compensation review season, and Netflix that work. It's not performance review

Ryan Burgess
thing. And Google has gone through a bunch of this stuff, too. I think a lot

Jem Young
of companies are around the same. Yeah, here. And they're not called performance reviews, because they're not performance reviews. They are, I think it's important distinction to separate. measured performance versus comp. Well, we do it at different times a year deliberately. But part of part of being a manager at Netflix means I need to go out and look at the market and say, what is the top of market for my current team? And am I paying them enough? Is their compensation, correct. And so in doing that, I talked to a lot of people, like a lot of people. And I read a lot of articles, and I like to understand the safety industry. And right now, across all industries, this isn't just software engineering, all industries, we are going through, I don't know what's it called the Great attrition, where people are switching roles or dropping out of the market or switching to entirely new career paths because being stuck at home this past pandemic year. So that's two normal years is one pandemic year. Being stuck at home during a pandemic year means that we've had a lot of time to think and reflect on what we're doing in the world. And are we making a difference? are we actually doing anything so you take away all the, all the perks, all the senior coworkers every day, the shiny buildings, we go into the free lunches, the motivational posters on the wall, you take all that away? And what's your

Stacy London
accessories, posters,

Jem Young
accessories, you take away all that. But the hang in there monkey, what's your is, like, it's a job in a job at the core is how you exchange your time for money. And having all this time to think we've all like collectively, at least in the United States. But I think this extends broader. We've all looked at our lives and our careers and been like, this isn't what I want to do, that I'm not making a difference anymore. And money isn't everything. And that is it's not just tech, it's all industries, which is really fascinating. I for 1am fascinated see what's going to happen in five years and what's the result of all these things? But yeah, for people dropping out of tech to become like to open a restaurant or do something like they really want to do with their lives. So that said, combine that that feeling we all have with the fact that if anything, the pandemic is solidified texts hold on the world and the fact that we all need it. It is no longer Oh, yeah. twitches is nice for entertainment and Netflix is nice. And you know, these all these software development tools, they're nice to have no, they are necessary parts of society now. So every tech company that you have ever heard of is hiring every almost every single one. So yeah, you take what I said about being being burnt out and considering reconsidering your career choices, and the fact that every tech company's hiring It is literally the best time in history to switch switch jobs. Don't Don't get me on Twitter, I'm not telling you to switch your job. I'm just saying, hypothetically, if you wanted to do that, it's a really good time to do that. Also tech salaries I mean, that's just the chat.

Ryan Burgess
That being said to like, I honestly believe it's kind of one of the best times he interview too, is because you're not required to go in person. And so it's a lot more flexible, where you can just slot a time on your calendar where you're like, I'm in a meeting, or, you know, half day I'm in a meeting, you don't you don't show up to work really well dress and people are like, Oh, are you interviewing today? Like, you know that, like, that's an obvious situation, versus or oh, I have to take a random Wednesday off, that doesn't have to happen, right? And nobody's the wiser, and you don't have that awkward feeling. So I agree, and so many of what you said, Jem, but also, it's easier, and I think that helps the situation. But to someone else, you said, you mentioned comp. And I think like, comp is not a driver always for everyone. But compensation is important. We need to make money, right? Like we need to make money to survive, and you know, better ourselves, whatever you you can look at it in so many different angles. I also want to call out something that I've recognized Why have left companies or roles in the past, not feeling valued. And and comp can be that signal is like, but it may not even be that as having a manager being like, You're doing a great job that is sometimes like value enough. But compensation can be a value trigger, or just like being recognized for your work. And I think a lot of those things have stemmed me being like, oh, I should probably go look for something else. Because I'm not being valued. And not can be it too.

Stacy London
Yeah. To your point, Jem, just a little bit earlier about people like switching roles maybe more frequently. Now in the pandemic, after having thinking about things like if you'd have asked me a few years ago, if I would like switch jobs or switch roles, like during a pandemic, I would have been like, no, like, that. Sounds scary. Like I'm a conservative person in a lot of ways. And I'm like, No, I would that sounds too risky. And but I did it. Because of this I during the pandemic, I switched, because I was like, you're assessing like, what makes you happy? And why? You know, you have a lot more time, you've had potentially more time to think about that. And I was like, Yeah, I need to, I need to make a change, because I'm not happy with doing what I'm doing.

Ryan Burgess
I'm so thankful I made a change. And I'm actually a bunch of us did. Yeah. So did. Yeah, jam as well. timing was

Augustus Yuan
right, you might say

Stacy London
cheers, cheers. Well,

Ryan Burgess
well put. Cheers.

Jem Young
I think an important distinction to call out for Fred and happier our regulars is we're not saying switch jobs or switch companies, we're saying switch roles. Sometimes, that's just switching roles within your own company. Sometimes it's switching roles within your own team, like you move from Senior Software Engineer, software engineer to tech lead. That is a different role. But you're still on the same team and you have a very different spot on your team. Ryan says this all the time about being a manager. But being a manager is a role on a team. It is not a promotion. It is it is a different role, a different role. We have jobs on the teams, just like software engineers have jobs on the teams. So I thought I thought I want to call that out that you don't necessarily have to move everything and flip it upside down and throw the table out out the window. If you want to change you can just often do within your own team.

Ryan Burgess
I mean, sometimes it does feel good to flip the table like

Jem Young
such a great feeling is and we've all been there is when you've already you've already you have an offer. You've already accepted it. You put in your two weeks, and you're in like these planning meetings. And you're just like, don't care. Hey, could you could you go out and take care of that? You're like, Yeah, I'll take care of that in two weeks. Sign me up in one day. You come come back to me an email.

Ryan Burgess
It reminds me of the scene from the office like Michael Scott walking around with like, Splenda and scotch. I'm not gonna say that. That's a great idea. But he just doesn't give a shit. He's like, Yeah, whatever. Like, I'm like I put in my two weeks. It's like, it totally is that feeling jam? You're like, yes, Sign me up. I'll take on all the work. Yep. You want that done? Sure. I love it. So how would you approach society when the right time is to make the change? And I didn't say the word keyword timing. Cheers. Here's here's that is a tough one to decide is like when is the right time.

Augustus Yuan
My thoughts around this is? I do think it's hard to pinpoint, but you don't want to be you don't want to catch yourself. In this moment where you realize, Wow, I really should be doing a role change, and having this urgency that needs to happen for it. So that's why I think some of the points y'all mentioned earlier were like, you know, it never hurts to explore opportunities. In fact, it's very important. And you should just make it kind of a regular cadence, like every, like, two years or something, just look at see what, what other opportunities are available, and just reevaluate where you are in your career path. And ask yourself if you're like, making the right move. But yeah, it is kind of hard to time. I don't know, if we go by averages in tech, apparently, it's, it's pretty low.

Ryan Burgess
It's a yes.

Augustus Yuan
To use this way. Recruiters tell me managers tell me it's four years, but

Ryan Burgess
it's definitely two years. Okay?

Jem Young
Cuz it's the first year you're still trying to figure things out. And then after a year, you're like, I figure things out. So by the end of two years, you're like, Okay, this isn't for me. That was a good call out, I guess this on, you don't necessarily want to make a change when your back is against the wall, when like you're forced to, that's usually the worst time to make a change, because you're not necessarily thinking rationally. And this isn't to say, if you're in a bad situation, like a toxic work environment, you shouldn't just, you know, Get the eff out. Absolutely, you should. But if you're just like, I don't know, things aren't working out, or I think the company is going under, those are the times when it's often not the best time to make a change, not that you shouldn't get out of a seeking company. But you know, when any, anything that's impacting your emotions, or your ability to think rationally, because you are subscribing to something, when you get a new job, like you're making some sort of commitment, hopefully, for, you know, the next percentage of your life. And, yeah, you should approach that with all the caution and care that you would with any other decision,

Ryan Burgess
I get smartly called that out gem, it was I guess, oh, sorry, it was smart. He called that Augustus and gem, I think it's really important that sometimes you do make rash decisions, or it's just like, you know, you're unhappy. And so you just want to jump to the next thing. And that's not a great place to be. And it kind of goes back to what we were saying, as always be evaluating, like, always be open to new opportunities, or at least hearing them out, you know, maybe you're not doing that on a daily or weekly basis. But like, maybe every half year, year, every two years, you're kind of thinking about what your career looks like, and what other opportunities there are. But I've definitely made mistakes where I was like, nope, gotta get out. Like, it's so bad, and I waited too long. And then you, you do make a rash decision, and it may not have been the best job that you're jumping into. And so I think that's very important to think about the timing. Cheers. Cheers, cheers, cheers. What are steps that you usually take to make a change? Like, do you think through it holistically? Like, sometimes I wish I thought more about, what's the next step? Are you all good about that? If you think it through, or how do you think that through what the next step is?

Stacy London
Yeah, I probably overthink it. But it's so important to me, who I work with. And so like, I do a lot of research on, like, who's going to be on that team that I'm on? Or what is the manager like? And if I can sometimes you don't have insight into that at all, but like, asking around your network and getting a feel for like, the culture of a place that you're going to and is it positive or toxic? Or, you know, is there diversity there? Like? Do they care about that? Like, there's all these questions that kind of float around and you're like, you know, am I going to be valued for who I am at this place? And those are also huge to me. So I'm, like always thinking about that. I'm trying to figure out, if I can get answers to those kinds of questions, even before I talk to company,

Augustus Yuan
I will say I'm freaking awful at this. But one thing that's definitely helped talking to some friends and know all of you, is like definitely like writing down. It might it might be hard. I don't know, it's sometimes easy to forget, but you know, just write down do pros and cons of like, when you're like looking at different options. Like even if it's a basic role change, you know, look at what your current job has, and then the role that you're aspiring to be and really just make a pro con list of like, what's going to change and really, really take give yourself the time to think it through. You know, like, I think Stacey called out some good good things like team culture, that sometimes something we forget, you know, money is in everything. Like you pay me a million dollars to be with people who beat me up every day I don't.

Ryan Burgess
But, like

Augustus Yuan
it's it's easy to forget, but pro pros and cons, just do pros and cons. And really, I think the most important thing when you do this, though, is like really like, understand what you value what is important to you. Like, for some people, it's culture. Some people, it's like your career growth, some people, it's their money, but really like, understand what you value. And then, and then work backwards from that really, like, that's really the best you can do.

Jem Young
To add on to that, I think it's important. Remember, we're saying these things as people with a crap ton of experience, like we are all senior, except for me, I'm the most junior person in my role currently on the podcast. That's okay. But so like we we have enough background in history to make these kinds of decisions, such as, from an ex role, do I want to go to a startup and be scrappy, but the work life balance probably isn't going to be that great as a big tech company where I won't, I'll be very siloed into this one specific area. But the work life balance will probably be a little better, and work will be a little more stable, we can say these things, because all of us have worked at startups and large companies. So we understand that balance. If you're less experience, some advice would be go to the opposite place where you are, if you're at a startup, go to a big company. And if you started a big company, go to a startup, get a taste for all of it. And then over time, you'll discover, you know what I really prefer mid stage startups like Series B, or Series C, that are already off the ground, all the dust is already blown off. But they're not quite big enough, where I'm gonna feel like another cog in the wheel. Or the other way, I started to start up hour and I want to see how like processes, and people who have a lot of experience are thinking about really big complex problems. So I'm going to go to a bigger company. But that comes with time. And so if you're just starting out, yeah, do the opposite of what you're doing. Now, if you're if you're looking for a role change AI, this may come back to haunt me as bad advice. But try it, you know, you only have a finite number of working years that you're really going to be in to the software and get as much experience as you can

Stacy London
follow up to like what I guess this was saying was like, what you value and then what alliance with like that company, I think I've talked about it on this podcast before, I probably should just like see if I can, like make this spreadsheet public as like a template. But yeah, the basically like your values, and then you can give them weights. So you can say like, this is a 10 like one that one to 10, like I value this at a 10 or I don't value this at all one anyway. And then like in other columns, and you have like the companies that you're talking to. And then you can just like score it basically like check off, like what these companies have. And then you get scores. It's like, the Company A is 65, or whatever that is. And you know, the best score kind of wins. Because it because it is hard to like, hold all these things in your brain and try and say like, oh, I value this, and this company has this. You can like, kind of score it on a spreadsheet, if you're a really big nerd with me,

Ryan Burgess
honestly say, see, before you talked, I was gonna say like plug your spreadsheet, because I think that that's the thoughtfulness that I've always appreciated. Where I've learned from you where I'm like, Yeah, I need to think about this more holistically. And think of the pros and cons and like doing that. It's like, I think you, I think we're all thinking that right? Like you is going through our heads, but actually mapping it out and putting that time in. It's great. Like, it's like you can see it and visualize it and see it in front of you. And it becomes like more of a thoughtful decision. So I think it's an amazing point. And I wish I was more thoughtful in my career, many, many years ago. And I've learned that since we're from you that I'm like, yeah, no, like, you can actually just put this together and like see it and think about it from a more rational decision. So I think that's an amazing idea. Thanks.

Jem Young
So here's a I guess I want to hear your hot takes on this. If you're thinking about a change, let's say let's say you have an offer in hand already, like what's let's go beyond the exploratory phase and you have an offer in hand. Do you tell your manager or not? And how does that conversation go? Is it I'm leaving? Here's my two weeks, three weeks, whatever? Or is it? Hey, I've got this offer. I want to talk it out with you.

Ryan Burgess
Oh, that's a tough one. I think it's awesome. If you can be that transparent with your manager, you need to be able to trust them. And I guess like at the same time, what are you gaining from that conversation? Like if you're bringing it up to them to you see them as someone that can help you? And they're going to try very hard to be impartial on the decision, then go for it. That's awesome. And then if there is that trust, but I don't, I don't know. If you don't have that trust. What are you gaining from that? Are you trying to hold it over their head like Hey, I have this offer. And like, you know, you need to fight to keep me. Like I think it all depends like, if you can legitimately have a great conversation with your manager, who cares about you as a person and someone who's growing? Absolutely. Like, I hope you are at that point, because that that is how the relationship should be, at the end of the day, can this person grow? And like, if it's not at the company that we're working together or not in the team, and they're getting this offer? Like, I want to help them, and I see them go that far. But that's not always the case, I think you need to really ask like, what are you trying to gain from that conversation?

Augustus Yuan
I freaking love that advice, Ryan, like that, I want to echo it. But for this is just advice that I've heard from random peers, which is when you have a conversation like that with your manager, you know, like, let's say, like, the most positive case, they come back and say, hey, you know, what we really value you, we're gonna give you what you want, whether it's a role change, or, or a higher salary or something. I think the the advice that I've been told is that generally what happens is the manager starts to think this employee has their, like, mind out the door, you know, they they wanted to leave. And you know, and they're really thinking, what were the reasons why they wanted to leave? Because, you know, to you, maybe money will help maybe like a role change will help. But is that really going to help? And so it kind of puts you in this like list of people into this bucket. I'm not saying all managers think this way. But this is just the advice that I've been told where now you can kind of be seen as someone who's been considering a role change. And now it's time to think of backup options. So just be very cautious about when you decide to have that conversation. And I really like the advice that Ryan said, like, what is the goal that you're trying to achieve with a conversation like that?

Stacy London
Never got an offer, and then use that to try and stay somewhere? I don't know many people who have actually, I feel like if there's things you're unhappy about for, you know, a period of time before you even actually make the that I you know, make that call to actually start interviewing and get the job offer. Hopefully, you've maybe if you've had a conversation with your manager to be like, hey, I really don't appreciate working 70 hours a week or whatever what we can do to change that. And then if that conversation doesn't go, well, it's like, having an offer in hand is not going to make that change any more than the other conversation. So I don't I don't know about using it to stay like temporary, right? Yeah,

Ryan Burgess
yeah. Yeah.

Augustus Yuan
I also want to add that, you know, if you have the trust to tell the trust with your manager to tell them, hey, I have an offer, give. What can we do about this? I feel like you can probably before you get to that point, maybe go a step. This is what Stacey was mentioning, you know, like, have that conversation with your mate. Like, it should be pretty obvious to your manager, you're not happy. And try like that conversation should be something you bring up in one on ones. And, you know, you shouldn't make that a secret. It shouldn't be a surprise to your manager, if you're thinking of leaving, is my perspective, if you really have that trust. So don't, don't let it get to the point where like, I got an offer, what can we do about this? Like, I would say that's probably like the last resort kind of thing where you, you, they know you're unhappy, they can't do anything. They I guess they can't do anything about it. So that, you know, that's the ultimatum is my perspective.

Ryan Burgess
So I don't know about all of you. I've made many mistakes throughout my career. And I always look back. It's it's not the worst thing because I've learned from them. But I'm curious, like, What mistakes have you made about like, being able to make a career change,

Jem Young
switching roles for more money, like Stacy said, the spreadsheet and pros cons list and weights and all that. It's really important because it's really easy to get distracted by a large number. And especially if it's substantially more than you're making now. And you just look at that and you're just totally myopic you you've Forget everything else. Like how's the work life balance? How's your manager? How are your peers? Is the work you're doing? Valuable? Like, are you selling ads to people? Is it like soul crushing work, but it's more money like you? It's really important not to get too distracted by money. And I say this in a position of privilege. I know, because we're, we're pretty good at here. But the mistake I've made was leaving a company for more money and missing all the red flags like, Hey, it's 7pm Why is everybody still here? Oh, because the CEO is still here and he likes to see us working. That's a red flag right? there, but um, like it's more money, or, Hey, the the two founders are like, pretty buddy buddy and they like to go out drinking, just have a crazy time and come back to the office sometimes that's a red flag right there. But I missed all of that, because I've solely focused on the increase in salary that I got. And thankfully, I was able to leverage that, that job to do more. But that's a mistake. Just looking at pure compensation is almost always a mistake. It's important factor. But like Stacy said, you have to weigh them against everything else.

Stacy London
Yeah, like not asking my mistakes, I think we're like, as my career progressed, I've learned more about what I should ask in the interview. And knowing like, the really important questions to ask, because of how much they affect me and make me happy or not happy. And now knowing these questions better, I'm, you know, it's like, I made mistakes of not asking the right things in the interview process. And then you get to the job. And you're like, Oh, this is not I did not sign up for this. But that's sometimes they don't get to tell you in an interview, right. Like, sometimes maybe they make everything more rosy than it actually is. But that's a that's a lesson learned. For sure. For me,

Ryan Burgess
and that comes a little more with experience to like you start to be able to read it a little bit better, where you're like, huh, yeah, you're you're you're pitching the rosy picture, but like, what is it actually, like in this culture? DC? You mentioned? Good managers. I've definitely stayed too long with like, bad managers. And I think it's like, you think it's gonna get better? It doesn't, you know, I wish it did, but it doesn't. And and so I've definitely had that happen more than a couple times, where I've stuck it out, be like, Oh, it's gonna get better. But I don't I don't know when the right time is, or when's the right timing? Cheers, cheers. like to call it like, where you're like, it is literally not getting better. I don't know that that's one that's always stuck out in my mind where it's, it comes down to, I felt like I stayed too long. I still don't have an answer for this, but I'm gonna share it that it's like, every time I reflect on, like, oh, I stayed too long. That was a mistake. And so I don't know if I've shortened that over the years when I've had that happen. I don't know. But it's a tough one to deal with.

Stacy London
It's so hard, because sometimes maybe you you like your teammates are great. And like other aspects are really great. And that's the only variable that's not and you're like, well, I'll just ignore that all ignore my manager as much as possible. And then, but the other stuff, I'll like, you know, pay attention to my teammates, and maybe that'll make it better. You end up staying too long? Absolutely.

Ryan Burgess
I think it is, it goes to those like factors of like, you put them all in you weight them and everything like that. And you're like, Well, I have this amazing team, I love the work. I'm happy in that aspect. But then you go into like, a one on one with your manager. And you're like, Oh, my God, I hate my life. And it's like, that's a huge barrier right there. But like you, you kind of like, rationalize it, because you're like, I have all these amazing other features that come with it.

Jem Young
I've been fortunate to be around a lot of people and socialize with with a lot of people. So I can share some mistakes that I've seen made and that were shared with me. One is, Ryan, just like you're saying staying too long, like listening, I guess, falling for the emotional appeal of a role where it's like, we're a startup, we're a family, we brought you in, we took you out of boot camp and built you into this incredible software engineer, you should stay because we care about you. And I'm not discounting you know, there are really tight relationships, you form your work. But no one else is looking out for your career more than you. Not not your manager, not not your best friends. Like it's just you because at the end of day you have to do the work. I've seen people stick around too long at companies because they're like, oh, you know, we're family. It's tight. I'm like, you can do better than this place. And it's not the best place for you. I've seen I've seen people leave companies like you're saying I guess this because like one bad day and granted, usually one bad day or the compound result of many bad days. But like one thing and if you like flip out, burn your bridges. And just like if you guys I'm out. I think that's mistake, even if it's a terribly toxic company. Tech is a really small world. I promise you the people I ran into 10 years ago are people I see today. Even though we've never worked together we still the circles are still the same. So I think Leaving poorly, no matter how the company is treating you is is a mistake, like, have your have your dignity and walk out the front door. But yeah, I've seen I've seen a lot of mistakes. Obviously, if people had perfect careers, then we probably wouldn't be doing a podcast of this, they would automatically know when to change roles.

Ryan Burgess
So they shouldn't flip tables, Jeff,

Jem Young
I mean, you can first like I said,

Stacy London
it's good, then wipe the computer off the table.

Ryan Burgess
I think that's a perfect segue. Before we get into pics, I would love like, one piece of advice that you all would leave with our listeners what to do when you're wanting to change a role or thinking about it? You know, maybe it isn't flipping the table over or like Jem said, You can do it, but it's a small community. So I'm curious, like, what's one piece of advice you would leave? Leave our listeners?

Augustus Yuan
Yeah, I guess I can start. Like, I think that this is a, something I like, I echo a lot of what you all said about like staying too long. That was a mistake I also made. And, you know, it was big, and I actually don't regret it. But, you know, I think retrospectively, you know, it wouldn't have been as consequential to have left early and may may have been beneficial. You know, we've crossed that bridge, and we'll never know. But one advice that I will give is, you know, when you have an awesome team, and when you have, like, it's really hard to, to stop, like, you know, being a part of this company family that they've created. Like, when you're looking for a job, just realize looking for a job as a full time job. That was like one piece of advice that someone gave me. And you need to realize that when you are looking for a job, you know, you have to make sacrifices at your current job, you cannot do both. And you can't like, Go interviewing around, but expect to be the highest performing person in your team or something like that, like, so if you're looking for a job, you need to take it seriously. And you and you need to put in that effort. Because people will see that you're not putting in the effort. When you're looking for a job, they're gonna be like, I don't think this person actually really wants to leave. So just like Be honest with yourself, when you're looking for that job. That was a mistake that I made, like I was kind of in this middle ground of like, I'll explore. But if I don't get it, then I don't care. And I'll just be honest, you're not going to get it if you don't care. Hmm,

Stacy London
let's see, I guess the sounds cliche, but life is short. And so really pay attention to what makes you happy. And then try and, you know, adjust. If you can, I know it's sometimes a lot of privilege to be able to, to change roles and easily switch things but but if you can, it's worth it. Because you're spending, you know, 40 plus hours of your life doing this thing, at least try and make it so that it generally ticks as many of those positive boxes as you can.

Jem Young
I'll just echo the advice that was given in the show by all of you, which is understand your priorities, you should apply different weights to different things before you make a role change. And, Stacey, I love what you said earlier. Yeah, like find a manager that lives with you. Like that is so critical. It's something that I think until I got to my current stage of my career, I totally neglected I've just like, is it cool tech? Is it a great stack? Is it a cool company with a good reputation? Is it? Are they paying me a lot of money? Do they have a cool office? And like all these other I guess tangible things but the intangible of Do you get along with your peers? Do you connect well, with your manager? Is your manager going to look out for your career growth? Or are they I don't know, petty and if you threaten to leave, they're like flip out on you or something like that. I I really can't underestimate the importance of what a good manager will play in your career. So when you're looking for role, really interviewed them just as much as they're interviewing you, and like press and ask the hard questions and see if they they stand up to your expectations. Because yeah, and then like obviously, when I say good manager, I'm talking about Ryan, I was privileged to have He's my manager for like three years and literally I would not be where I am without, without him today. But like that just goes to show you like look at where I am now because of a good manager. And like you can you can do so much more when you have like a good team that good manager. Yeah. And also, like I said earlier, money isn't everything. It is important and don't don't let anybody undervalue at all like don't take that crap but but it's not everything if you're talking about two different offers that the same pay roughly like really, really think about what's important.

Ryan Burgess
Jem, how do I follow that? Thank you, man. You know, but I think I like your advice, good managers. I don't think I even valued it until probably recently where I thought like, that is like one of my top criteria, because you you spend so much time with them. But another thing I was gonna say to that I've learned is, don't wait till you're unhappy and and that's hard is is very, very hard. But I feel like kind of similar to Gustus said is like sometimes you aren't going to show up to those interviews. Well, I think when you're so unhappy, and almost defeated in your current role, it shows in the interview, like you show up unconfident, like, you're just not gonna show up your best self. And that's tough. It's such a shitty place to be in, and I feel for anyone having to be there, because you're like, get out, like, you realize I need to get out and you need to interview. Hopefully, you can try and avoid getting in that. And if you are in that space, take a break. Take a vacation, try and get out of that headspace and interview. Because I think like you want to set yourself up for success in those interviews. All right, well, this awesome conversation. Let's hop into pics. In each episode of the front end, happier podcasts. We love to share pics of things that we found interesting want to share with all of you. It can be all over the map what we're sharing. I'm always curious, Jem, what do you have for us? Valley silicon? Whatever it is, I'm always curious, what do you have for us?

Jem Young
Oh, I'm so excited. Because I've got a valley silicon pic. And I've got to Silicon Valley thick. You know, it's a rare Cooper. But to start, I will one of my picks is Bruce Wang. He is a leader at Netflix on who I haven't I've interacted in passing. And every time I see him, I'm like, This is what a leader looks like. This is what a leader acts like. Fortunately, he has open sources leadership philosophy, which is amazing. It has. It's on GitHub, and it has this chart about safety versus accountability and like where you want to operate and all these like amazing things that hopefully someday added to this level of leadership where I have my own philosophy. I highly recommend it for leaders and or people looking like what should a good manager or leader do? What should they look like? And this is what this is an example of what should should look and sound like for my helmet if I should do Valley silicon or silicon valley first. Because they're both brands, as is my as is my nature. I'll go with my the first the first one I'll do Valley silicon. For those that are new, this show would not get fun and happier regulars. Valley silicon is the part of the show where I call out things that, you know, they probably shouldn't exist and they only exist because people here in Silicon Valley get paid far too much money. So for this particular pick, all of you are you familiar with a balanced bike? Parents have small children will probably have. Okay, so for those who don't know, a balanced bike is a really small miniature bike, essentially, it has no pedals. And it's mostly used for children to work on their balancing. Pretty simple device since there's no crank or gears the the actual expensive part of a bike. They're usually pretty expensive. We picked up one the other day for $15. So what if I told you there was a bike company that released a balanced bike for the low price of $1,000. And mind you this, this is a bike for children. It has no pedals. It is carbon fiber. I mean, honestly, it's a really good balanced bike. It is made by specialized, which is a is a fairly it's a good high end bike company. Yeah, it's awesome. But it's $1,000 and anybody with children will know children go through things very quickly, like six months they could be out of this bounce bike, but let me read from the page. If we want to inspire the next generation of riders kids deserve better bikes. That's why we took the same tech powder World Championship Winning bikes and combined it with proportional design to build the ultimate balanced bike. We pored over every detail to achieve a ride quality that's unprecedented it's such a small size right quality balanced bike like that they're not competing races they're not going downhill but not doing jumps like

Ryan Burgess
there's no there's no like there's no smoothness of ride their feet are on the ground. Yeah.

Jem Young
Wow. Having a shout out to specialize if they can get away with it and they probably will sell it. You know whatever. You want to spend $1,000 on a bike I spent $15 I'll

Ryan Burgess
see you can. I hope you can like put pedals on it but I'm pretty sure you can't even $1,000 is so expensive, but some of the bikes I do know there's like some that are balanced bikes that you can grow with your Kid wear though, you can add the pedals on and things like that. And they're not $1,000 I'm telling you that.

Jem Young
I mean, again, if if you care about spending literally 100x on a bike that your kid will be out in six months. Hey, props to you, and especially wants to send me one for review. I will take one, my son will definitely not throw it over. Because it's it's especially like this carbon fiber, he definitely will take a terabit I'm sure he will. So if you're if you feel like your child is missing that in your life, be the best parent and get them this $1,000 balance. But that was my valley silicon pick. For my Silicon Valley pick. I recently. i This is not a humble brag. I have a fairly large house. And I promise I'm not bragging it's just really long. So if there's a package or something, I've got to like get up from my desk, walk all the way downstairs. He's out the door. It's a hassle, especially working from mobile all the time. And we have a lot of construction stuff like that going on. So I you know, I I went and bought an outdoor camera for my house just so I can see what's going on. No, no, Ryan Ryan's doing a little dance. Y'all can't see this. Now, this is not the start of a smart home. I refused. Y'all know how I feel about that. But I didn't do any research because I trusted the brand. And I got a Google Nest Cam battery brand new. What can I say about this camera it? Its image quality is not anywhere near its competitors. It's only 10 AP, it's not 2k or even 4k. It's expensive. It's not any cheaper. It doesn't work with Nest software, which is the reason why I bought it because I have like a nest thermostat. And you know which which actually is pretty good. But it doesn't work with Nest software, even though it's called the Google Nest Cam battery, you have to use a Google Home. So now I have a nursery cam for my son. And I have this outdoor camera. And it's two different apps. And it's your like, come on Google, come on. Like it's so frustrating, like these little simple things. And the top it all off, it only has a three hour recording window. So someone breaks into your house does something but it was outside of three hours Sucks to be you you will never know anything. So at that point. Oh, and because it doesn't work with the Nest app itself. I can't use like an it can't buy subscription or anything to have longer video. So I'm forced to use Google Home which, before the show, I guess it's an hour going on a rant about the Google Home app. Anyways. So this is my rants on the Google Nest Cam battery. It's a glorified webcam with a three hour recording time. And like for that I think I can go much, much cheaper. I hate to say but I think this is my last Google product that I will buy sight unseen. I will wait my time and read reviews rather than like blindly trusting them because it's such a disappointment. It's I don't want to go on a rant about Google and how they build products. But I've got plenty to say about that. And we can go for when we go offline. We'll we'll go on a rant about that. But those are my picks. Thank you all for listening to Jem rants of the of the day.

Ryan Burgess
Alright, Stacey, how do you follow Kim

Stacy London
are so boring now. To music pics, it's been a long time since I've been on an episode, so I've had a long time to listen to some new tunes. The first pick is pulses of information by rival consoles. I think I've had some pics from rival consoles before. It's a newer song from him. Quotes swirling below the skin and echoing through the body. The track connects us through unspoken dialogue, give you an idea of what that might be like. And the second pick is ocean tumblers by KILM. That it's a track from 2020. So it's not super new, but they hadn't put out anything in a while counts there Michigan based instrumental collective that there are I think since 1993. And this was this song has been described while not the song in particular, but their sound in general has been described as constructing radiantly textured sound fields that develop and immerse the listener in a panoramic smudge of chromatic rhythms and syncopated tones. So give us to listen to get on the headphones.

Ryan Burgess
I love the I love the description. Like it's so good. I guess this what do you have for us?

Augustus Yuan
Whoo.

Ryan Burgess
Sure.

Augustus Yuan
I have two picks on my first pick, of speaking of apps that have arisen from the pandemic from people quitting their jobs, and, you know, it's this app called a Finch. It's a self care pet game. So, you know, it's so, so interesting. I didn't know that much about you know, mental health is such an important thing. And this this app Basically, it's just like a very simple app that it's basically a journaling app. And what it does is it creates a soul pet, and you record like how you're feeling that day and, and it's like really cool, it does some ml stuff. I'll just do a shameless shameless plug of this, this app was actually made by my brother's wife. And she quit her job to work on this, and it got on the App Store. So I personally am a little invested in it, because I've seen it from like, alpha to beta to gamma to where it is now. So I honestly think it's a it's worth checking out. So appreciate if you can. Okay, okay, well, I'll just say another thing. Like, there's some cool stuff they like, do some machine learning with it, to help, you know, like, like, different like, how you're feeling it's etc, depending on what you journal. So I don't know, there's like some cool tech stuff with it, too. If you're ever interested, feel free to reach out and, and my second pick is, is a music pick. It's a playlist called sessions by it's actually made by the people who made League of Legends, Riot Games, and they have like a really good music, producing the company that they partner with, or something I don't know, they, they make really, this playlist is a has like a lot of good beats. It's really good for studying, there's no lyrics. But the cool thing is, this, this playlist actually is DMCA free. They made it so that content creators can use it. So if you stream if you're content creators, like who have a podcast, you know, you can use it and it's copyright free. So yeah, just want to give a shout out to that

Ryan Burgess
too. Very cool. Well, I have just two picks for us. This episode, I have a cool, I want to call it a productivity plugin, but it's called fig. It's a plugin for the terminal. It's a nice little hack that has like autocomplete for command line that presents you with a nice little menu. If you use VS code. It'll be very familiar, it looks exactly the same. But you start typing like Git, and it's like, we'll try and like suggest different autocomplete commands. I love it. It's just like this nice little hack that makes my life so much easier. I believe it. It's not fully available yet. But you can request an early access@fig.io. And then my next pick is about a week ago or so. My team and I were talking about how important communication is, especially in the remote times or remote world that we're in. And it reminded me of this book that I read years ago called the Culture Map. It's such a great book that covers how different cultures communicate and how they're unique to one another. I highly recommend just reading it you'll learn so much about how to communicate with different cultures and, and how in which they communicate. It's just like, it was really interesting. I find all around, it's great, but it'll also make us all be better with our colleagues. Alright, well, that is all we have for today's episode. Thank you all for listening to today's episode. You can find us at front end happy hour.com You can find us on Twitter at @frontendhh you can really subscribe to us on whatever you like to listen to podcasts on. Any last words.

Jem Young
Buy our merch we just released a sweatshirt.

Ryan Burgess
Oh, we did. Yes. Winter's coming. I mean, we need to stay warm. That's right. See

Augustus Yuan
you all next timing. Cheers