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James Turnbull

13 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 Oct 2022 | Updated Daily

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Ep. #85, DevOps versus Security with James Turnbull

The Secure Developer

Welcome back to The Secure Developer. On today's episode, Guy Podjarny, President and Founder of Snyk, is joined by James Turnbull. James is an engineering leader, author of 11 books, and open source developer, and is currently the VP of Engineering at Timber, working on the open source observability platform, Vector. He was formerly the CTO-in-resident at Microsoft, CTO and Founder of Empatico, and CTO at Kickstarter. He has held leadership roles at Docker, Venmo, and Puppet and was the chair of O'Reilly's Velocity conference. As someone who has been a core part of the DevOps journey, James is especially qualified to discuss how it's similar or different to security. Tuning in, you’ll hear about James’ journey, why he made the transition from security to operations, and why he considers people a key part of DevOps solutions. You’ll also find out where the lines between the two world meet and how one can benefit from the other. Tune in today!


2 Feb 2021

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Anil Dash and James Turnbull - How Glitch Might Remove the Stress of Accessing Full Stack Code

The New Stack Podcast

In this The New Stack Makers podcast, we speak with Glitch’s CEO Anil Dash and James Turnbull, vice president of engineering, about how Glitch could help developers remove much of the pain associated with installing and accessing application code and how it serves as an extension of GitHub. Glitch, which was originally called Gomix created under the Fog Creek Software umbrella — along with Stack Overflow and Trello — has served as the platform for over five million apps, according to Dash. Glitch can potentially take some of the pain out of application development since developers can begin working directly on abstraction layers while “taking away the the kind of boring, repeatable part of being a developer,” Dash said, who estimates about 80% of all code written is identical elsewhere. “Glitch provides people with a platform they can build on top of it without having to worry about installing this dependency or worrying about how this thing works,” Dash said. “That’s the way that a lot of the world has been moving and how the abstraction layer is moving further up the stack.” TensorFlow, Google’s machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) framework, serves as a good case study, Dash said. “Frankly, when TensorFlow first came out, I had tried to get it running on my dev environment and gave up after several hours of frustration — which made me feel dumb and was probably not their intended goal,” Dash said. Now, for access to the JavaScript framework for TensorFlow, Google has embedded examples of the code for TensorFlow with Glitch, similar to how YouTube code is embedded for video. “So, where you would embed a YouTube video, we’ve got an app running instead,” Dash said. “And it’s showing you how to build a model around your ML libraries and how to actually get up and running.” For those seeking just to study how certain code and apps work, Glitch can “make it really easy for folks who are like journalists to go: ‘okay, I don’t really understand how this AWS thing works, but I’ve got an example of someone using this Python app to to map all this data together,’” Turnbull said. “I can create a visualization from that. And I think that’s an example of a strong use case framework-wise.” Ultimately, for the developer, the creative — or for many — the fun part of development work could potentially be more accessible. Applications are “built on top of the scaffold,” Dash said. “I think what we’re seeing here is that we can provide that abstraction layer and we can take away the the kind of boring, repeatable part of being a developer,” Dash said. “We can provide people with a platform that they can take and build on top of it without having to worry about things like ‘I need to install this dependency or I need to worry about how this thing works, or I need to set up this framework or, or this template.'”


21 Apr 2020

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How to Build an Inclusive Culture with James Turnbull

CTO Connection Podcast

Many companies see the benefits of diversity and inclusion but don’t know that their own policies and culture are often the reason that women and people of color don’t come on board. James Turnbull, VP of Engineering at Glitch, is passionate about this issue and offers advice on how he advises companies to bring on more diverse talent.James also talks to Peter about how he approaches growing individual contributors to team lead positions and why he would never stay at the same company for ten years. [00:20] - Moving up the hierarchy in early-stage startups[02:41] - Leading cross-functional teams at Puppet Labs[04:47] - Growing the engineering team at Kickstarter[11:50] - Getting people to think about their work differently[13:30] - Stepping out of the comfort zone[15:27] - Attracting the best engineers[18:46] - Building a pipeline of diverse talent with an inclusive culture[22:43] - Communicating with teams as they start to scale[25:17] - Developer advocacy, education, and hiring[29:19] - Do more listening than talkingCTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.


27 Feb 2020

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234: Why Effective Onboarding and Having Exciting Work to do Matter so Much with James Turnbull

IT Career Energizer

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer is James Turnbull. He is VP of Engineering at Glitch.  James was previously a founder and CTO at Empatico, CTO at Kickstarter, VP of Services at Docker and a CTO in residence at Microsoft to name but a few.  He is also the author of several books, including “Monitoring with Prometheus” and “The Docker Book”. He is originally from Melbourne, Australia, but now resides in Brooklyn, New York. In this episode, Phil and James Turnbull discuss the need to find work that truly excites you. They talk through how to deal with the inevitable mistakes you make in a positive way. James also speaks about how adaptive technology is transforming the lives of those with disabilities. He also shares why you need to ask about onboarding at the interview. In particular, during the early stages of your career. KEY TAKEAWAYS: (02.35) TOP CAREER TIP Don't assume you're going to be doing the same job forever. You are going to evolve, and the IT industry moves fast. So, it should be easy to find work that excites you. There is no need to just settle. (3.35) WORST CAREER MOMENT Early in his career, James managed a major Casino’s computer. Naturally, he scheduled maintenance to take place at the quietest time. Unfortunately, one day, he fat fingered it and shut everything down for an hour during a very busy time. He immediately told the CTO what he had done, what the impact would be and the steps that could be taken to mitigate the situation. James expected to be sacked. But the fact he had admitted his error and done all he could to solve the issue saved his job. It taught him that mistakes happen. What really matters is that you deal with them properly. (6.35) CAREER HIGHLIGHT James is most proud of the teams he has built and the fact that he has had a positive impact on the careers of other people. Not long ago, on Twitter, people were telling others about the people who had influenced them and their careers. He was touched that several people talked about him. He is also particularly proud of the app his team at Empatico built. It is currently being used by 20,000+ teachers to teach children how to be empathetic, something that will have a lasting impact. (8.05) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T Interestingly, James states that the pace of change within the industry both terrifies and excites him. But overall, he is looking forward to seeing how technology will change the world. Right now, he is especially interested in the way adaptive technology is changing things for the disabled and everyone else. It is a great leveller. He is particularly excited by the difference it is going to make to the lives of the disabled in poorer countries and other more vulnerable groups. (10.36) THE REVEAL What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – The fact that you could have an interesting career and earn good money. What’s the best career advice you received? – Treat everyone you work with respect, kindness, and empathy. James shares an interesting story that demonstrates why this is so important. What’s the worst career advice you received? – Chase the money. Making career choices based solely on monetary gain rarely works out well. What would you do if you started your career now? – Realistically, he thinks he would probably end up as an Android or iOS developer. But infrastructure is where he would really like to be if he were to start again. What are your current career objectives? – Honing the skills that enable him to build amazing teams and products. What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Listening. How do you keep your own career energized? – Writing technical books exposes James to technology he would otherwise not use. This keeps him energized and engaged. What do you do away from technology? – James likes reading, art, collects antique maps and is interested in antique coins. He also finds history and politics to be fascinating. (17.12) FINAL CAREER TIP At the interview stage always ask about onboarding. Ask if you get a mentor and how you will become a fully functioning member of the team. If they have not really thought about how they are going to do that, it is probably best to try for a job elsewhere. BEST MOMENTS (3.06) – James - “Don't fixate on a job title. Instead, fixate on jobs that excite you.” (5.22) – James - “You make mistakes. What you do next and what you learn from them is what really matters.” (11.56) – James - “Treat everyone you work alongside with respect and empathy. If you don´t, you never know when it will come back to bite you.” (13.46) – James - “Don´t make career choices based mainly on the money. You will usually regret it if you do.” (17.30) – James - “At the interview, always ask about onboarding. If they don´t have a clear plan, consider applying elsewhere.” ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions.  Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers.  And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey. CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact Phil is also reachable by email at phil@itcareerenergizer.com and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer ABOUT THE GUEST – JAMES TURNBULL James Turnbull is VP of Engineering at Glitch.  He was previously a founder and CTO at Empatico, CTO at Kickstarter, VP of Services at Docker and a CTO in residence at Microsoft to name but a few.  He is also the author of several books, including “Monitoring with Prometheus” and “The Docker Book”. He is originally from Melbourne, Australia but now resides in Brooklyn, New York. CONTACT THE GUEST – JAMES TURNBULL James Turnbull can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: Twitter: https://twitter.com/kartar LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/turnbulljames/ Website: https://www.kartar.net/


27 Jan 2020

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True North Magazine meets: James Turnbull, former Digital Director at Domestic & General

True North Magazine - The Podcast

We thought we would kick off our 2020 podcast season with a cracker! This is definitely not a left over from Christmas Day but a brilliant listen from one of the most enigmatic Digital Directors of his generation. Until recently, our guest this week was Digital Director at Domestic & General, Europe’s leading domestic appliance insurer. Over the past four years James Turnbull (JT to his friends), led a digital revolution which in 2019 saw D&G recognised as ‘The fastest improving digital experience in the UK across all products and categories’ by ForeSee. JT has also been instrumental in transforming the digital fortunes of other leading consumer brands such as The AA and British Gas. Outside of work, as well as supporting a young family, JT finds time to play an active role as a volunteer for Surrey Search & Rescue, so there is rarely a dull moment. In this brilliant podcast James shares some of the lessons his years in the digital industry have taught him and the shortcuts he uses to fast track success.


13 Jan 2020

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055 Monitoring in the Time of Cloud Native with James Turnbull


James Turnbull ( https://jamesturnbull.net/ ) is an author of 10 books on topics like Docker, Packer, Terraform, Monitoring, … and is currently writing a book on Monitoring with Prometheus https://prometheusbook.com/ . We got to chat about what modern monitoring approaches look like, how to pull in developers to start building monitoring into their systems and how to bridge the gap between monitoring for operations vs monitoring for business. Having a monitoring expert like James that knows many tools in the space was great to validate what we at Dynatrace have been doing to solve modern monitoring problems. We learned a lot about key monitoring capabilities such as capturing data vs capturing information, providing just nice dashboards vs providing answers to known and unknown questions and making monitoring easy accessible so that monitoring can benefit both business, operations and developers.We hope you enjoy the conversation and learn as much as we did. A blog we have been referencing several times during the talk was this one from Cindy Sridharan on Monitoring in the time of Cloud Native: https://medium.com/@copyconstruct/monitoring-in-the-time-of-cloud-native-c87c7a5bfa3e

1hr 5mins

12 Feb 2018

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DevOps Cafe Ep. 70 - Guest: James Turnbull

DevOps Cafe Podcast

James Turnbull joins John and Damon to chat about monitoring, automation, and the changing art of operations. In addition to his current work as a practitioner (Kickstarter) and past as vendor (Puppet Labs), you might also have read some of James's popular books on Monitoring, Puppet, Logstash, Docker, and Linux.


27 Oct 2016

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The Art of Monitoring with James Turnbull

Cloud Engineering – Software Engineering Daily

Monitoring translates machine data into actionable business metrics, and is a key component of a modern software company. James Turnbull’s new book “The Art of Monitoring” describes how organizations can build their monitoring infrastructure. James joins the show today to outline the strategies that a company can use to proactively monitor their systems. We talk about pull- vs. push-based monitoring, events, logging, metrics, and James’s experience as CTO of Kickstarter. The post The Art of Monitoring with James Turnbull appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.

1hr 2mins

28 Jul 2016

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Docker and Microservices with James Turnbull

Open Source – Software Engineering Daily

Microservices on container architecture lead to effective workflows associated with DevOps. Docker containers wrap up a piece of software in a complete filesystem that contains everything it needs to run. This allows for quick flexibility and scaleability in business applications, a key driver of the DevOps methodology. James Turnbull is VP of engineering at Kickstarter, an advisor at Docker and author of The Docker Book. Questions: How can Docker help you with change management in high-frequency trading? Should you build microservices from day 1? How does Docker interact with clustering technology like Mesos? What does the Docker ecosystem imply about the future of operating systems? Links: What is Docker? Software Engineering Radio: James Turnbull on Docker Docker Slideshares Knight Capital: A DevOps Cautionary Tale The post Docker and Microservices with James Turnbull appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.


28 Aug 2015

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#49: Reflections on Monitorama 2015 with Adrian Cockcroft and James Turnbull

The New Stack Analysts

In this monitoring-powered edition of The New Stack Analysts podcast, captured during a break between sessions at Monitorama 2015 in Portland, Oregon, Alex Williams and co-host Donnie Berkholz of 451 Research reflect on the conference’s big take-aways, with returning guests Adrian Cockcroft of Battery Ventures, and James Turnbull, VP of engineering at Kickstarter.Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuA1AjorCQsLearn more at: https://thenewstack.io/tns-analysts-show-49-reflections-on-monitorama-2015-with-adrian-cockcroft-and-james-turnbull/


23 Jun 2015