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Christina Warren

16 Podcast Episodes

Latest 16 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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320: ‘Paper Floor Mats’, With Christina Warren

The Talk Show With John Gruber

Christina Warren returns to the show to discuss Apple’s controversial child safety initiatives, the tumultuous summer of Safari 15 beta UI designs, and a bit more on MagSafe battery packs. Sponsored by: Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code talkshow for 10% off your first order. Memberful: Monetize your passion with membership. Away: Because this season, everyone wants to get Away. Hover: Find a domain name for your passion. Get 10% off your first purchase. Links: Monotype Helvetica Now Variable. Quinn Nelson's skewering of Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack. Anker's superior $55 MagSafe-compatible battery pack. Yours truly on Apple's child safety initiatives. This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.

2hr 8mins

23 Aug 2021

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308: ‘Peak Hubris’, With Christina Warren

The Talk Show With John Gruber

Christina Warren returns to the show to talk about Apple Car, Apple TV, Clubhouse, and Bloomberg hamfistedly revisiting “The Big Hack”. Sponsored by: Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code talkshow for 10% off your first order. Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. New accounts can get $100 credit. Flatfile: Spend less time formatting spreadsheet data, and more time using it. Links: Daring Fireball posts on Bloomberg’s “Big Hack” update. “Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media” by Seth Mnookin. Zeynep Tucekci: “Critical Thinking Isn’t Just a Process” — interesting post about reading through the lines of authoritarian doublespeak. Marc Newson’s Ikepod watches, ideas which carried through to Apple Watch. Rocket — Christina’s podcast with Brianna Wu and Simone De Rochefort. This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.

2hr 26mins

20 Feb 2021

Similar People

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250: Crossovertired with Christina Warren


This week’s guest is Christina Warren, senior cloud advocate at Microsoft. She’s also my co-host on Overtired, so consider this a rare crossover episode.

1hr 6mins

28 Jan 2021

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The Christina Warren Interview

The Jake Feinberg Show

Dynamic young reiki healer and empath talks about breaking away from the confines of societies rules in college and how that has put her on a path towards her purpose in this life. 

1hr 46mins

18 Jan 2021

Most Popular

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We’re All AV Experts Now with Christina Warren

Screaming in the Cloud

About Christina WarrenChristina Warren is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, where she helps shape the overall video and broader content strategy for Channel 9, Docs.Microsoft.com, and the greater CA team. In this role, she hosts shows on Channel 9, Microsoft’s video channel for developer content, creates technical content snd demos, speaks at events, and interviews people within the developer community. Prior to joining Microsoft, Christina spent a decade in digital media as an editor, senior reporter, and commentator, with a focus on technology, business, and, entertainment. As a journalist, she appeared as an expert or commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, Bloomberg, the BBC, Marketplace Radio, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and many more outlets. She also co-hosts Rocket, a popular tech news podcast, which has the distinction of being one of the only tech podcasts with an all-female hosting team.Links: This Week on Channel 9 Rocket Podcast Microsoft Build Microsoft Developer YouTube Screaming in the Cloud Episode 68 TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Cloud Economist Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored by a personal favorite: Retool. Retool allows you to build fully functional tools for your business in hours, not days or weeks. No front end frameworks to figure out or access controls to manage; just ship the tools that will move your business forward fast. Okay, let's talk about what this really is. It's Visual Basic for interfaces. Say I needed a tool to, I don't know, assemble a whole bunch of links into a weekly sarcastic newsletter that I send to everyone. I can drag various components onto a canvas: buttons, checkboxes, tables, etc. Then I can wire all of those things up to queries with all kinds of different parameters, post, get, put, delete, etc. It all connects to virtually every database natively, or you can do what I did, and build a whole crap ton of lambda functions, shove them behind some API’s gateway and use that instead. It speaks MySQL, Postgres, Dynamo—not Route 53 in a notable oversight; but nothing's perfect. Any given component then lets me tell it which query to run when I invoke it. Then it lets me wire up all of those disparate APIs into sensible interfaces. And I don't know frontend; that's the most important part here: Retool is transformational for those of us who aren't front end types. It unlocks a capability I didn't have until I found this product. I honestly haven't been this enthusiastic about a tool for a long time. Sure they're sponsoring this, but I'm also a customer and a super happy one at that. Learn more and try it for free at retool.com/lastweekinaws. That's retool.com/lastweekinaws, and tell them Corey sent you because they are about to be hearing way more from me.Corey: Normally, I like to snark about the various sponsors that sponsor these episodes, but I'm faced with a bit of a challenge because this episode is sponsored in part by A Cloud Guru. They're the company that's sort of famous for teaching the world to cloud, and it's very, very hard to come up with anything meaningfully insulting about them. So, I'm not really going to try. They've recently improved their platform significantly, and it brings both the benefits of A Cloud Guru that we all know and love as well as the recently acquired Linux Academy together. That means that there's now an effective, hands-on, and comprehensive skills development platform for AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and beyond. Yes, ‘and beyond’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting right there in that sentence. They have a bunch of new courses and labs that are available. For my purposes, they have a terrific learn by doing experience that you absolutely want to take a look at and they also have business offerings as well under ACG for Business. Check them out. Visit acloudguru.com to learn more. Tell them Corey sent you and wait for them to instinctively flinch. That's acloudguru.com.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. I'm joined this week by Christina Warren for a second time. Christina, welcome to the show.Christina: Hey Corey, it's great to be back with you again. I guess it's a little over a year later since we talked. Things have changed in the world a tiny bit.Corey: Just a smidgen. Some things haven't though. You are still at Microsoft, and you remain a senior cloud advocate.Christina: That is also true.Corey: Whenever I hear someone say that they're a cloud advocate, senior or other appellation, I just tend to assume that that job basically entails people asking you, “So, what do you think about Cloud? And your response is, “Well, frankly, I'm for it.”Christina: [laughs]. Yeah, I mean, you're not wrong. I mean, so I'm a part of Developer Relations, and we talked about this on the show that we did last year, and so I encourage listeners to go back and listen to that one if you want to know more about my career transition and things like that, but I think that, yeah, you're not wrong. Part of it is absolutely saying, “Why yes, I am for the Cloud.” But I think the bigger thing, the way I view my job is that I'm advocating for the users, and we kind of act as this bridge between the people in the product teams and people who are using our products, as well as the people who are marketing, kind of creating content for those things. So, we try to sit in that middle space where we're really advocating for the users and doing what we can to improve the products so that people will build more stuff on our platforms.Corey: So, there's a lot to admire about this decade’s Microsoft, but one of the most admirable things I've seen recently, just in terms of achievement, not in terms of necessarily impact in the world was, with only a couple of months notice, you were able to turn Build not just into a digital event, but rather, sort of, the definition of what a lot of online events could aspire to one day become.Christina: Yeah, I know. The team did an amazing, amazing job, and really, it came together in about five weeks because the decision was made in March to move it online, there were still some other things that had to be figured out, but it really was about a five or six week period where it all came together. And I'm with you; I mean, the team and there were so many people involved. They did just a tremendous job, not just from creating the content, and how do you move what the sessions look like, and what's the formatting, and how is that different when it's virtual versus when we do things in person? But then there were also a lot of technical things that had to be done with making sure that Microsoft Teams would work the right way and that we will be able to have an interface for people to be able to select the sessions that they would want to watch at different times, and working with people to make sure that their setups that they're using from home will be robust enough, and that they can deliver their content. What we also did for Microsoft Build this year, in addition to being completely virtual, is that we did a 48 hour live stream so it was across time zones, and that was a massive undertaking because traditionally we do it on the west coast time zone, you go, you start, maybe, at eight o'clock in the morning, you end at five, and then people have their side events, and stuff and certainly content is often streamed online and people can tune into those things, but it's not set up for people who are in different parts of the world to be able to experience in a real-time way. And in this case, it was, and so we had the key segments were available on a replay for the ideal morning time zones for different parts of the world, but what we also did is we had presenters who were often presenting three different times, sometimes other presenters helped out live for a specific time zone. Meaning that when—for instance, I was hosting a lot of the Build live content, and I was holding down the desk from Redmond, but we also had hosts in the UK because that was the time zone that my shift was on. And so it was midnight to 9 a.m. in the United States, but that would be the equivalent of [crosstalk]—Corey: Oh, I saw that on twitter at one point. So, one of the nice things about the pandemic is it lets me replace some of my bad habits with better ones. For example, I took my bad habit of sleeping, and replaced it with a good habit of lying awake in the middle of the night and worrying—Christina: Right.Corey: Which is also known as Tweeting. So, I saw it scroll past where suddenly I see a pic of you in a mask—good for you—in a car going somewhere. Well, that's not something we do these days. What's the story here? And you were going to do your segment at Build.Christina: Exactly, exactly. So, we had hosts remotely, but we also wanted to tie things back to our studio, and also just frankly, in case there were technical problems and somebody’s internet went down, we didn't want the stream to go down. We didn't want dead air. But people were doing presentations live throughout the 48 hours, regardless of what timezone they were in, meaning that sometimes the presenters, it might have been three o'clock in the morning that they were doing a breakout session with people and we're taking Q&A and it was actually in real-time. So, it wasn't a situation where I think—it would be easy to think, okay, everything is pre-recorded, and you just make it available to people, maybe you hit a play button and people are able to interact with it that way. That's not what the experience was, and so there were a lot of moving parts. I am so proud of the team who did all the work. I had a small role but I was very, very proud to have had even any role in it because I really think that it was a terrific event, not just for virtual events, but I really feel like based on the feedback we heard from the community, people had a really good experience, and that was really gratifying.Corey: It really was a, forgive the Amazonian language, but it really was a bar-raising experience for online conferences, in the sense of this is what they need to become. It was not just turning a typical event you'd see in person into now a bunch of videos you can go and watch. The talks have to change, the interaction model has to change. I know I mentioned it when I spoke to Jeff Sandquist on the show in a previous episode, but I'll say it again, one of the most impressive things I saw was Emily Freeman giving a talk that was obviously pre-recorded. And then at the end, she just starts answering live Q&A from the audience and, “Oh my god, it wasn't recorded at all. She did it live.” Which is, from my perspective, a little on the silly side because what is the value of that, but on the other, she did it so well, it was flawless. And that was the first time of three that she gave that talk during the conference.Christina: No, you're exactly right. And you're dead on. Emily—and so many other people were pros—Emily did such a great job that yeah, you would think that it was pre-recorded. But when it is live, when you can answer those questions, that does add a little bit of a different dynamic. And what I'm hoping comes out of this is that when we are able to return to having in-person events because I'm actually still very pro in-person events. I think that there's a place for both. I personally get a lot of value from meeting people and being around people; I really like that. But what I'm hoping comes from this, and I've had this conversation with a number of people at Microsoft and other places too, is that what this will mean is that in the past the online component for various events, whether it's a developer conference, or something else is always been seen as an also-ran. You know, just been ad hoc.Corey: It’s an afterthought. “Well, we have all the trouble of getting these people here. May as well slap a crappy camera and some bad audio in the back of the room, and we’ll put something up.”Christina: Exactly. “Okay, we want to be able to have some on-demand stuff for later if you can't attend the sessions.” But it's an afterthought. It's not considered the same experience. And what I'm hoping comes from this is not that we get rid of in-person events because again, I think there's tremendous value there, but that we don't consider the virtual component a second class citizen, and that we start to see them as equals because they should be, just based on how our world works, and how our world is going to work going forward. I think that's really important. So, to me, I think that's what I'm most hopeful about is that we will not go all-in on one or the other, but we'll say, “No, these are both things we need to do, and we need to be thinking about both of these experiences, in whatever capacity we're doing them in.”Corey: One of the hard parts for me looking at this is, I don't want to call any individual company out, and fortunately I've been to enough of these things where I don't have to. There are an awful lot of these online events that are frankly terrible, where you’ll have some people who are extremely good at giving talks and are used to working a crowd, and now you're going to put them in their home, you're not going to have any custom lighting setup, you're going to have them using their potato-quality webcam, and it looks bad. One thing that I found that I'm doing is instead of speaking engagements for some of the sponsor work that I do, we've switched to doing some of these online, and after the first couple it was, this isn't going to work. So, first, I upgraded all of my equipment—and we can get into an equipment rant in a minute—Christina: Yes.Corey: —on my end, so now things are effectively flawless from an AV quality perspective. And then the problem there was, “Okay, I look great and they look like a potato.” So, now I have a pelican case that I ship out to the other end when I do these webinars, and it’s, oh, now we both look good; everything's there, and then we can do a lot of editing of that work in post, because it almost never needs to be done live, and then you can fix any embarrassing bloopers, you can have smooth transitions, you can make the video work. And you can also avoid the trap of, yeah, for a 45-minute talk, no one is going to get up and leave from the front row, at least in large numbers because they feel it's rude. Closing the tab is way easier, too.Christina: It’s way easier. It's way easier. And if you have bad audio, or if it's hard to see, or if it's not keeping you engaged, you're not going to continue watching. We've all learned that. I mean, I think that was one of the reasons why we made a point where our segments that Build this year were 30 minutes because we were trying to be very intentional about how long can you expect people to focus in on something? And some people really like longer content, and there's definitely a place for that. But you have to be thoughtful about the fact that just because people are viewing this from home doesn't mean that you suddenly have unlimited time to be able to sit someplace, and doesn't mean that your attention is going to be the same.Corey: I thought that Build worked for this masterfully. The longer form content, people appreciate that is great. I'm not one, personally, I have attention span issues, which is pretty obvious by anyone who knows me. I sometimes struggle to have the attention span to complete writing a tweet. But there's a lot of people for whom that is very much not true, and that is the way that they absorb things best. I love the fact that there are different sizes of content, different formats, and different ways of meeting people where they are. I agree with you, as far as what you said earlier, where there's tremendous value to me in going to in-person events and meeting people and forging connections. That's where we met a year ago at build.Christina: Sure is.Corey: The problem there is there has to be a business value that can be articulated to get that critical mass, and if we can say that an online event is 90 percent as good as being at an in-person event, then great. Is that extra 10 percent worth the additional expense to the business? And by expense, I’m not talking to the hotel and airfare. That's usually irrelevant. Now that I run a business and see the economics, I believe that more than ever. It's the opportunity cost of you're not going to get anything else done for one to three days while you’re at this event. So, is that cost worth bearing? For an awful lot of conferences I've been to, the answer that has been, not really.Christina: Yeah, no, I mean I think it's a really good question. And that's going to, I think, really impact the event business going forward more than just the traditional, can people travel, and do people feel safe being in large groups, and what is the appropriate thing to do there? I think you're right, people have to evaluate the business benefits, and what the cost is. And in some cases, I think you can say there are certain conferences where, yes, it is worth it. It is worth whatever the cost is going to be, whether it's the hard costs, or if it's going to be something like the time and what goes into it, what you can potentially get out of it is going to be worth that. And for some things, that's maybe not. And so I think a lot of events are going to have to really start thinking about what is our value and how do we make sure that we can get that across, whether it's virtual or it's in person.Corey: One of the things that people are getting wrong across the board right now, is this idea that whether your talk is good or not is going to depend on what kind of microphone you have, what kind of camera you're using, how well you wind up looking at the camera versus off to the side. And all of those things are definite value-adds, but the thing that's going to make or break it is, is the content good, or is it crap? Because people will suffer through an awful lot for good content. I would talk to you on this podcast over a rusty set of tin cans and a string if I need to. But it doesn't matter how good the production quality is if you're boring.Christina: Yes, that's a very, very good point. And you'd mentioned something earlier that said people are used to giving talks in person, and now they have to do things online, and I do think that's actually something that's important to point out and it's something that changes a little bit in my job because historically I've done a lot of in-person talks, that's been a big part of my job. I'm fortunate in the sense that I have actually more experience, and in some ways, I'm more comfortable doing things either pre-recorded like a podcast or even live video to a camera. I have more experience that way than I do in person. And if I'm being honest about my own strengths, I’m probably better in front of a camera than I am in front of a crowd. I think I'm a very good public speaker in front of a crowd, but I think I’m better—Corey: You are, in case you wondered.Christina: —thank you, but I think I'm better in front of a camera. And the reality is, is that they are different skill sets. Now, that doesn't mean you can't achieve both, but you have to think about it a little bit differently because when you're giving a talk in person, you do have the immediate feedback loop of the audience. You can feel that energy, for better or for worse, you can see what the feedback is, and you can riff. a lot of people are built off of that, and it can really change the dynamic of what the presentation that they give can be when you see really fantastic live speakers, they are, in my opinion, usually people that are completely feeding off the energy of the audience, and then the audience in return is feeding off of their energy, too. And it's different when you're presenting virtually or to a camera. It's just a different concept because you don't have that feedback loop. And I think that a number of people who are really, really good public speakers aren't necessarily as comfortable on camera or on microphone because they don't have the experience. They watch themselves back, and they're like, “Do I sound like that? Does my voice really sound this way? Is my movements, are those things correct? What is my eyeline like?” People can become obsessed about little things, and that—maybe they feel more stilted—and that can affect the experience. And so I think this is something that a lot of people are going to have to start playing around with and getting more comfortable with on their own about how they can do the right things and make that content, to your point, interesting. So that it, regardless of the quality of your camera or your microphone—obviously those things can help—people want to continue to engage and stay tuned because you're right: we will pull up with a lot, if the content is good enough. But the minute that the content is anything other than just exceptional, those other things, in my opinion, like the audio quality and video quality, that then starts to really just become a bigger and bigger issue, and makes you just that much closer to [crosstalk]—Corey: [crosstalk] sound like a jerk, so that's going to be a problem.Christina: Yeah.Corey: I, fortunately, wound up doing a little bit of video work a couple years ago when I took over some of the release review segments for the A Cloud Guru video training series. And that was, again, doing video right, to some extent. They had a production studio there, or they would have a video crew that would come in and do the recording here, so I had people dealing with things. Remember back we could have people working on video, and—Christina: Yeah.Corey: —[crosstalk] ourselves?Christina: I miss that.Corey: And it's a very different experience because I spent a lot of time on stage, and I flatter myself perhaps, but I believe I give good talks. And the reason I give good talks is because I gave a lot of terrible talks for a while, first. That is sort of the progression that it takes. But it's a completely different skill set. I normally will have a few bullet points on a slide, and the presenter notes at most, and I'll get up on stage and riff off of it. That doesn't work; there's nothing to riff off; there's no energy; it's you and the camera. So, I started using a teleprompter and writing these things out. It helps that I write the way that I speak, so that makes it easier, but using a teleprompter is its own skill.Christina: It is. It is. I use a teleprompter for the show that I do, This Week on Channel 9 and I'm really good on a teleprompter. I was fortunate that I had teleprompter experience before I joined Microsoft, but it's interesting because I've worked with a lot of colleagues who they've never used teleprompters before, and then they do for the first time and you think it'll be easier than it is. And it's not. It takes time to get the timing and to get the other things down and even writing how you write your script for the teleprompter and making sure things are spaced out enough and that you've got things moving at the right speeds. That all takes work, and you've got to figure it out. But to your point, I'm the same way: when I give live speeches, I tend to speak more extemporaneously, and I tend to riff more because you can. But if you were doing something in a recorded scenario, you don't have that same luxury because you have to stay consistent and on track, and it's one thing if we're having a conversation like you and I are right now. You can have your outline of your notes, and we can note things we want to say, but it actually works better if we’re not scripted.Corey: You can use notes? That would make this way easier?Christina: Well, you have notes but, you know, you have [crosstalk]—Corey: Well, I would hope I do, but you’d be surprised how unprepared I am these days.Christina: But what I mean. You have kind of an idea. You don't have anything scripted out, but you maybe have an idea of what you want to talk about. That works for this sort of scenario, and for these sorts of conversations. It doesn't work if I'm presenting how to do something if I'm going to talk about how to create an Azure static web app. I need to actually—this is going to be a recorded thing. I need to have it as scripted as well as possible so that I know that I'm not missing anything because people are going to be consuming it in a different context.Corey: Right. I'd be curious to hear your teleprompter story because my experience has been that there are traditional, extremely expensive, professional teleprompters, yada, yada. What I use are these metal and glass things that sit on a tripod, you put the camera inside of it, and then it has a holder at the front where you can put a tablet or a phone there. I [unintelligible] for a dedicated, cheap iPad that has a teleprompter app off the store.Christina: Same.Corey: And that sounded great. Now, the first version of the app that I looked at, great. It could hear what I was saying and automatically scroll to match where I was in the script. It's sucked. It was terrible. There was no good way to do it. How did you solve that problem?Christina: Yeah, so I use an app called Teleprompter Premium, I believe is what it's called from JoeAllenPro. This is for iOS, and they actually have an Apple Watch app, too. I believe it might be able to do that thing where it can hear you, but I don't do that. Instead what I do is I set the way that it scrolls, and then I set that to a cadence that I can keep up with and talk to. And so it took a lot of testing and training to know this is the right speed of scrolling for me. Really a big part of it was me learning to write my scripts the right way and knowing that I need to space things out in certain sections and not have really long blocks of text, to be able to have things that I can get through. And that was the big thing, knowing how to write the scripts correctly so that when it's scrolling, I don't have to worry about it adjusting based on me talking. That would be great, and some of the professional teleprompters can do that, but most broadcasters, how most of their work works is that the teleprompter is controlled by an actual technician. So, they are actually manually adjusting the script based on how the anchor is speaking, and they can either speed things up or slow it down, or go to a completely different section if that's what they need to do. So, that's how it works in broadcast. So, to approximate when you're doing it yourself, I do like the app that I use because it has an Apple Watch app, meaning I can stop, or speed up, or pause, or whatever, if something is going too fast because what'll happen occasionally is I'll be recording something, I'll be like, “Oh, I've gotten ahead of myself here,” or, “This is going too fast, I need to go back,” And rather than having to stop, go to the camera, scroll back, I can just use my Apple Watch to do that, which is useful.Corey: In what you might be forgiven for mistaking for a blast from the past, today I want to talk about New Relic. They seem to be a relatively legacy monitoring company, and I would have agreed with that assessment up until relatively recently. But they did something a little out there: they reworked everything. They went open source, they made it so you can monitor your whole stack in one place and, most notably from my perspective, they simplified their pricing into something that is much more affordable for almost everyone. There's even a free tier with one user and 100 gigs per month, totally free. Check it out at newrelic.com.Corey: On of the ways that I got around that particular problem myself because I was already learning a bunch of new skills and didn't really want to have to learn script writing and being able to plan the cadence of what I was going to say in that way is, I put a little thought into this, and because I've used apps that have the remote control with something you hold, an iPhone, for example, but then you have to make sure it stays on, make sure you're tapping it in the right way, sometimes it's not as responsive. So, what I did next was I wound up spending 100 bucks on Amazon, which sells pretty much everything, and most of them useless, but this was pretty great. It's a pair of foot pedals that wind up acting as a—you can remap it in their app to a bunch of different keystrokes whatever makes sense, so I can either have it control the speed, go back, go forward, I could have it advanced line by line, or page by page—Christina: Oh, that’s genius.Corey: —because I'm not doing videos where anything in my lower half is exposed, so it's not noticeable when I'm tapping something with my foot.Christina: Right, right.Corey: I’m sitting here smiling, looking calm and composed, meanwhile, I’m frantically tap dancing underneath the table.Christina: Okay, that is a brilliant idea. Okay, I'm going to steal that because that's even better than my Apple Watch solution, honestly.Corey: It also lets me to have my hands on camera, and not look like I'm sitting there scrolling.Christina: Yeah, I mean, well, usually what I would do is I would have it scroll, and I have my hands, and then if I needed to stop and go back, that's when I would use the Apple Watch to scroll back if I needed to. But I really like the foot pedal idea. That's brilliant.Corey: Yeah, these are these little things I've iterated on, again. Normally—please learn from my mistakes so that you don't have to wind up making the same—Christina: No, this is great.Corey: —sort of path that I do. I spent extortionate amounts of money on equipment that is sitting unplugged in the closet, because, “Well, that was generation three. I'm now on generation six of my podcast setup,” and it's ridiculous, but it works, and it iterates forward. The problem is everyone has an opinion on this stuff, and opinions are terrible unless they're your own.Christina: [laughs]. Yeah, no, I mean, that's true. I mean, we were joking before we started talking that we can kind of—and I think this is regardless of what field you're in, and I know this isn't as cloud-centric, but I think that whether you're an implementer or a developer or whatever, we're all now in this space where we've had to become AV experts overnight because it's become a crucial part of our job, and of course, Amazon sells everything except they don't have capture cards, and certain equipment in stock. To try to find a webcam these days is still over to kill us challenge because all of a sudden, we have to have these really high tech setups at home if you want things to be as good as possible. And you can fall down a rabbit hole in that way, too, where maybe you go too far. Like for what you're doing, I think that it makes sense for you to iterate and to continue to find the best solution possible. I do think that sometimes, you know, regular people, if you're just in Zoom calls, you might not need to be spending $1,000 on the camera and getting the pro microphone and whatnot. You could do much, much better at a fraction of the cost and still improve your quality significantly. But it does change things if you're now going to be connecting with people and creating content online, it’s—I've kind of been joking with people, it's like, we're all YouTubers now, and we're all having to set up these home studios, and learn these tricks, like setting up pedals to control a teleprompter, or using a stream deck to have macros that will control the front parts of your screen as you're capturing things and sharing code that you're working on. These are components that are different from what would be the case normally if you could go into a studio and work with professionals who would handle a lot of that for you, or if you're presenting something in a live setting, which is just different.Corey: One of the things that surprises me a bit is when I talked to people about what I've done, they said, “Oh yeah, after this pandemic, you're going to just stay home and do all this in your AV studio, right?: Hell no. I'm going to go back to doing what I should be doing now, and having the sense to hire professionals to do these things. Because it would be great if I didn't have to advance the teleprompter, for example, or someone else could work on the light balance. Or I don't do what happened once already, where I sit there and record a 20-minute video and then send it off for editing, and the response I got back for my video was, “That's great. But let's try one more take, and this time, maybe don't mute the microphone.” It's the, going through the iterative, dumb mistakes that everyone does. Having a team of professionals who are good at things is absolutely worth pursuing. It is worth paying for expertise, full stop because there's never enough time in the day to do everything, so being able to delegate to subject matter experts is absolutely worth doing. Sort of the whole premise is, I would argue, very directly aligned with Cloud.Christina: I completely agree. Actually, that's a perfect analogy, you're right. It's about figuring out, focus on what you're good at and what you want to do, and letting other people handle the rest of it because doing all of it, as we're learning, is a lot. I mean, my background, I studied film and video production in college. I spent a number of years—my career before Microsoft—doing tons of stuff on camera and actually creating content. I have a tremendous amount of video experience. I still would much rather have a professional camera people having their lighting setup, having their infrastructure, do what I'm doing because yes, I can set it up and I can probably do a pretty good job of making things work the way I want, but it takes a lot of effort, and it takes time away from doing things that I would really like to be focusing on. I would like to do some of the other things, you know? And what we've actually been doing as we've been recording things for Channel 9 or Microsoft Developer, our YouTube and online video presence for various things, is we've actually been working with remote producers, which has been really nice, where we’ll connect with somebody over Skype, and then they'll use a tool called OBS, or the Open Broadcast System, to capture and composite things, and the producer will do a lot of the compositing, and the graphical work, and then some of the editing so that the content creator doesn't have to do that, which is really nice. But there's still elements you have to do to kind of make sure okay, what does my camera framing look like? How does my audio sound? [crosstalk]—Corey: Great video. Your fly was undone the entire time. [crosstalk]—Christina: Yeah, which that's a mistake I've made, too. We were doing some of our free content, kind of our teaser content for Microsoft Build, and I recorded these videos and then realized that I wasn't recording audio. I mean, this was a case where I had a remote producer who was listening and was watching—so basically, they were almost in real-time, they were watching me as I was looking into my camera, and they were saying, “Okay, let's try this again.” They were giving me prompts, and they were listening. And we did this, we had two hours and thankfully it was in the first hour, it's after the first hour ended, I realized I wasn't recording my audio.Corey: One thing I do want to call out is that before this sounds like we are just incredibly overprivileged, which we are—Christina: Yes.Corey: —but that's beside the point, I want to call out that in both of our cases, these are business expenses that are aimed at a goal. I mean, this podcast, for example, is sponsored. I make money by doing these podcasts. If you're trying to build a personal brand, and no one is paying you for, and you're doing it for the love of it, whatever you've got is fine. You can do this on your phone, start out and see if it's viable first. When I started this podcast, I had a series of checkpoints—same with a newsletter and the rest—that if I hadn't hit certain goals with them, I was going to wind them down. I didn't want to be someone where I’d been running this podcast for seven years and had almost 60 whole subscribers. At that point, why bother? There needs to be at least a critical mass of audience members, and it has to resonate, it has to be something that catches on. The other podcast I do, the AWS Morning Brief for example, back before they got acquired by Cisco, ThousandEyes sponsored a twelve-week miniseries on that called, “Networking in the Cloud.” And it was more or less a network primer introduction in the time of Cloud. I thought that would be great. I'll turn to an ongoing running series. Yeah, after episode eight, I was running pretty low on the list of ideas, and at this point, I don't want to talk about it ever again because it turns out it's not interesting enough. It's not a broad enough topic from my perspective, to come up with interesting and creative conversational topics every week. So, that didn't pan out. But always have a plan. Start small, iterate forward. My first newsletter was written in Google Docs. Now I have a whole production system, but I didn't start that way.Christina: No, I think you're exactly right. And I think, as engineers, a lot of times are impulse, I know—maybe I'm just speaking for myself, maybe I'm projecting, but I think a lot of times our impulse is to just buy the best. We read all the reviews, and we just want to go immediately to the top to the high end: I'm going to get all these things. And certainly, when I was starting out when I was making movies when I was a kid, that was the thing. Saved all this money for a Mini DV camera, and I got the best one that I could get, and I was more focused on the equipment than I was on the actual skills itself. And the camera was great, but it doesn't matter if what you're doing with it either isn't done correctly or, to your point, if people aren't seeing it. And so, I mean, yeah, I think that if this is something that is a business expense and something you can iterate over time, you can invest more, but you're right people's phones at this point, the front-facing camera on your iPhone is better than any webcam you can get first of all, but it's also going to be in many cases, the video quality is better than a lot of DSLRs that are a couple of years old if you haven't spent a tremendous amount of money on them. And so for me, the advice I always give to people is that audio is the thing that you should look at upgrading first. Getting something like a $100 Blue Yeti USB mic for your computer can do a tremendous amount of work. If you don't have $100, spending $30 or $50 on a quality headset, or even looking at—there are some other USB condenser mics that you can get that will really improve your sound quality. That's going to help tremendously because, my perspective, video quality matters a lot, but I think audio quality is more important because a lot of us—and look I'm ADHD as well, so maybe—I don't know if you are, but I'm ADHD—Corey: Extensively.Christina: —I multitask all the time. I listen to things more frequently than I'm watching. You know, if I'm watching, maybe it's in a smaller window, or it's on my iPad, I've got six other things open. So, video quality is important; it's more important if I can see if you're, like, showing a screencast, okay, capture that in as high of a resolution as you can, but what that person looks like, it's good, if there's good lighting, and other stuff that makes it more compelling, but really I need to be able to hear them. So, I always say to people, yeah focus on getting the Blue Yeti mic is great, or there are some options that are even less expensive than that, or even if you're just doing regular conversations with people in meetings, business meetings, just a proper headset will go a long way. And if things become—Corey: AirPods are terrific these days for that sort of thing.Christina: Yeah, AirPods, I love my AirPods. I use a different microphone, but I often use my AirPods to listen to. So, I have a microphone that I might talk through, but my AirPods are fine. But you know what, when I was able to go into an office, I would often, on conference calls, use my AirPods. They're fantastic. That's a tremendous solution. So, oftentimes you can reuse stuff you might use in other areas. But yeah, your phone is a great start. I mean, the cameras on smartphones these days are really, really good. And including the front-facing cameras. And so you don't have to spend a ton of money and go down that rabbit hole. You can, if it's something that's part of your business, and if you think that there can be value in it, and if you enjoy it, then iterate over time. But it's not something where—I mean, this is something that I have to tell people on my team, I have to caution against them because I see [unintelligible] the company’s massive equipment list, and, like, “What do you think of all this stuff?” And I'm like, “Well, it's great, but what are you doing, and do you really need all this, and couldn't we do this for 20 percent of the cost?” And in most cases, you could. And then it's like, okay, if this becomes something you enjoy, that's when you can look at—as you have, upgrading your setup, where you’re on, now, like, version six.Corey: One of the things that we'll do periodically is ship out a USB microphone to people.Christina: Yeah, we do that, too.Corey: They cost 60 bucks a pop, and it's great. It works super well. There are a few different models in that price range, depending on what's in stock right now, it's a bit harder than other times, and that works super well. But the next year is the tier that I'm recording in now, which is about 400 bucks a microphone, and it makes sense. There's another tier as well beyond this, that's around $4,000. And I have no interest in getting that because, at this point, it wouldn't make any meaningful difference until I—Christina: No. If you’re not recording music, if you're doing voice, and you've got to think that for the sort of content that we're doing—okay, for you, it's a podcast, meaning that it's going to be compressed down to, like, 64 kilobits, maybe 32, more than likely mono. It's going to be an MP3 file that someone listens to. You do not need a $4,000 microphone. You don't because you're not recording instruments, you're not recording vocals, you don't need it. So—Corey: And it's worse than that because before you get any of the benefit from that microphone, you have to effectively turn the room you’re recording in into a sound studio with sound deadening and very specific acoustic things. I have room noise here that I've done a fair bit of work to muffle, but this is my home office as well as my podcast recording studio, and I've always wanted to have it be comfortable to work in. I will admit now it's getting less comfortable to work in, just because of the video equipment. There are portions of the office that are no longer open for my use in pacing. I have to thread my way through microphone booms, and lighting racks, and the rest.Christina: God, I know. Welcome to my life. I got a green screen, and I got one of the Elgatos and we had one that—Corey: I had two screens because the first one, it turns out I now know how tall 10 feet is.Christina: [laughs]. Oh no. Oh no. Well, see, this was a similar case for me where I had to actually—I mounted mine on the wall because my ceilings are too high, but it's one that I can pull down from rather than raise up, but I wanted to get one of those because it was like, okay, I could get the muslin, and the stands and set it up, but that's the whole thing. And I just don't have the room, frankly, to be able to tear that down and put it back up when it's needed. You know, another point, yeah, you bring out, you have to have the right room connections, the right dampening or whatever the case may be, but you also need the right amps, and configuration and equipment to actually be able to use that. That $4,000 microphone is going to need a really expensive amp, and you're going to need to have somebody who can really understand those levels so that they can get the best out of it. And also, if you were to go into any radio station in the world, like the top tier radio stations, you usually see them on probably a $400 mic maybe—Corey: Yeah, Joe Rogan is constantly on, I think SM7B in pictures I’ve seen.Christina: Yeah. But I've been in iHeartRadio, I've been in the place where Ryan Seacrest does his show. He was not there, but I was interviewing Bob Pittman, and we were in Ryan's space. And I felt kind of good about myself because I looked at the microphone he was using. I don't remember the model, but it wasn't that much better than the HEiL that I have that I don't even use. And then the headphones that they use—and this is true. Any recording studio that you will go to, you just see those 7506 Sony's that have been around for 30 years. That's the standard. So, to me, if people who are doing radio and are doing these things professionally, if they're not spending $4,000 on a microphone, then you at home, absolutely have no reason to, unless you are actually doing musical recording, and that’s a completely different thing.Corey: Yeah, Taylor Swift probably has a $4,000 microphone.Christina: Oh, I’m sure she does. [crosstalk] does.Corey: And you can always throw money at this. Some of the RED cameras I was looking into, it's like, “Oh, what if I just buy the best?” Well, it turns out the best starts at $25,000, and I have a lot of other things I'll buy first.Christina: Right. And it turns out that to get the best out of that, you need to have a lot of experience. A guy that we've worked with before at Microsoft is a guy who has a RED, and is really good with it, and does a lot of work, and actually paid it off because he's really good at operating his RED, and so will do work for people using it. But if you don't know how to use that, if you don't know how to get the most out of that, that RED camera that you've spent all that money on, is not going to be of any benefit to you. It's like, look if you're MKBHD, Marques Brownlee, and your brand is to have these beautifully shot and composed kind of tech porn videos of gadget reviews, awesome, right? But most people, that's not the case. And again, you have to think about how are people viewing this? It's going to be in a small window, maybe on a phone, maybe on an iPad, maybe just listening to the audio, and so you think about there are things you can do with your content that is better. I feel like lighting and audio are the two things that are the least expensive to really significantly improve, but are the things that have the biggest impact on keeping people engaged, making you feel comfortable because has a quality experience coming out of it. Get some sort of key light, or some sort of other major light source, and step up your microphone.To your point, when we have guests on Rocket, a podcast that I do, we send people USB mics. We started doing that a couple of years ago because the quality otherwise just wasn't reliable, and it was such a small expense, assuming you can find things in stock, and it was such a small expense, considering how good the output could be otherwise. So, I mean, we would even do some certain Plantronics headsets if we needed to. We were really trying to budget for people and turns out great. It's a great investment to make to really improve the final product.Corey: I would agree with everything you've said. It's strange how if someone had told me six months ago that, well I spent a lot of time this next year thinking about audio equipment, “Oh, am I going to be famous on YouTube?” No.Christina: No. I’m just going to be on calls.Corey: —I am not going to famous on YouTube. We're going to be trapped indoors for a year. It's like someone wished on a monkey's paw, and here we are.Christina: Yeah, yeah. And it's so weird for me because I'm somebody who I've spent the majority of my career doing podcasts, doing video, and even for me, it's different. Doing it from home and doing it yourself, and in just the times that we're living in, so many people have made this comment that this is not normal times; this isn't normal working from home; this isn’t normal production from home. Things aren't available as much, and so we all have to adapt to the different changes. But it is very weird. You know, a year ago, I fully expected that you and I would be hanging out at Microsoft Build in person again. I'm so glad that I'm back on the podcast. I'm so glad that you are able to enjoy the event virtually, but—Corey: You're welcome back anytime. And for some reason, apparently, people didn't take a lesson last time and invited me back to Build. I'll be in digital format this year. I imagine they'll fix that for next year. But if they don’t, I’m thrilled.Christina: Yeah, no, I think we like having you there. You give it to us honest. You give us the good feedback that we need to hear, frankly. And I would say that for anybody who's listening, we didn't get into a lot of technical things in this conversation, but if you have feedback for us, positive or negative, let us know, or at least let me know and I can do what I can to get the feedback to the right people. I have no problem tracking people down and yelling at the right people. And we're listening. I mean, I think that's the biggest thing that all of us can take from this, is just, at least for me, it's reaffirmed how important it is to listen to people. Do a lot of talking, but it's really really important to listen.Corey: Yes, funny thing, we talk so much about microphones and never about headphones.Christina: Well, headphones are a whole other thing. Like I said, for audio stuff, I stick with my Sony 7506s, but when it comes to music fidelity, I have many many other opinions. But, yeah.Corey: Yes. Which is fodder for another time.Christina: It is. It is. Well, we could turn this into kind of an offshoot of Accidental Tech Podcast.Corey: There we go. Yeah, no, see, I'm not cool enough to hang out with famous people. That's still you. I mean, basically, you sometimes decide to go slumming and hang out on other, lesser podcasts like this one.Christina: No, no, no, no. And look, those guys—look, they're way more famous than me, but they're also the biggest nerds, which I say in the best way. So.Corey: Of course. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me once again.Christina: Thank you, Corey, I really, really appreciate it.Corey: Christina Warren, senior cloud advocate at Microsoft. I am Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts and a comment telling me why my audio setup is garbage.Announcer: This has been this week’s episode of Screaming in the Cloud. You can also find more Corey at ScreamingintheCloud.com, or wherever fine snark is sold.This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.


3 Sep 2020

Episode artwork

290: ‘The Least Worst’, With Christina Warren

The Talk Show With John Gruber

Special guest Christina Warren joins the show. Topics include the App Store and antitrust, the general crumminess of video streaming service UIs, and historical examples of when Apple gets something wrong. Sponsored by: Mack Weldon: Reinventing men’s basics with smart design, premium fabrics, and simple shopping. Get 20% off your first order with code talkshow. Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code talkshow for 10% off your first order. Raycon: The next wave in wireless audio. Save 15% with this URL and code talkshow. Links: Steven Levy on the G4 Cube’s 20th anniversary. Me on the Cube and lessons learned. Report commissioned by Apple comparing the App Store to other “digital marketplaces”. Rolling Stone TV Critic Alan Sepinwall: “Who Loses Big in the Great Streaming Wars? The User”. Jason Snell pointing out that even the playback UIs stink for a lot of streaming apps. Jonathan Mann on Apple (Steve Jobs) deciding to use his “Antennagate Song” to open their emergency press conference. From the DF Archive: “Antennagate Bottom Line”. “The Innocence Files” — outstanding series on Netflix documenting the work of the Innocence Project, which works to free those convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. Rocket — Weekly podcast hosted by Christina, Simone de Rochefort, and Brianna Wu. Christina on Twitter. This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.

2hr 37mins

28 Jul 2020

Episode artwork

Episode 68: The Rise of the Cloud-First Generation with Christina Warren

Screaming in the Cloud

About Christina WarrenChristina Warren is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, where she helps shape the overall strategy for Developer Relations in Azure. As an advocate, she hosts shows on Channel 9, Microsoft’s video channel for developer content, speaks and creates content at events, conducts on-camera technical interviews within the developer community, and liaisons with product teams across the company. Prior to joining Microsoft, Christina spent a decade in digital media as an editor, senior reporter, and commentator, with a focus on technology, business, and, entertainment. As a journalist, she appeared as an expert or commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, Bloomberg, the BBC, Marketplace Radio, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and many more outlets.She also co-hosts Rocket, a popular tech news podcast, which has the distinction of being one of the only tech podcasts with an all-female hosting team.Links Referenced Twitter: @film_girl  http://christina.is/ Rocket on Relay FM TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host cloud economist Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This week's episode is generously sponsored by Digital Ocean. I'd argue that every cloud platform biases for different things. Some bias for having nearly every feature you could possibly want as a managed service at varying degrees of complexity. Others bias for, hey we heard there was money in the cloud and we'd like if you would give us some of that. Digital Ocean is neither, from my perspective they bias for simplicity. I wanted to validate that so I pulled a few friends of mine about why they were using Digital Ocean for a few things and they pointed out a few things. They said it was very easy and clear to understand what you were doing and what it took to get up and running when you started something with Digital Ocean. That other offerings have a whole bunch of shenanigans with the root access and IP addresses, and effectively consulting the bones to make those things work together.Digital Ocean makes it simpler. In 60 seconds they were able to get root access to a Linux box with an IP, that's it. That was a direct quote, except for the part where I took out a bunch of profanity about other cloud providers. The fact that the bill wasn't a who done it murder mystery was compelling as well, it's a fixed price offering. You always know what you're going to end up paying in a given month. Best of all you don't have to spend 12 weeks going to cloud school to understand all their different offerings. They also include monitoring and alerting across the board, and they're not exactly small time. Over 150,000 businesses and 3.5 million developers are using them. So give them a try. Visit do.co/screaming and they'll give you a free $50 credit to try it out. That's do.co/screaming. Thanks again to Digital Ocean for their support of Screaming in the Cloud.Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud, I'm Corey Quinn. I'm joined this week by senior cloud advocate, Christina Warren. Christina welcome to the show.Christina: Thank you so much, I'm so excited to be here.Corey: I first found out about you years ago when you were a guest on the Accidental Tech podcast. And now you're on Screaming in the Cloud, which is undoubtedly a brand new career low for you. So first my condolences.Christina: Well first of all thank you that ATP episode was one of my favorites, so we actually swapped hosts that week. So John Siracusa went to Rocket and I went on with Marco and Casey. And I still, it's funny, this just shows the reach of their podcast, I still have people, you hear like, "Oh I first knew you from that." And I'm like, yeah I will probably never reach an audience like that big.Corey: I am still astounded when I get stopped at cloud conferences invariably and I'm asked, "Are you the person from the podcast?" And it's, oh wait, how do you know what I look like? I have a face for radio, there's a reason I do this and it's always strange seeing where people come in, it's weird. Then you start getting loud on Twitter or do a newsletter, or go fall in love with the sound of your own voice and give conference talks as I've done for entirely too long. And it's, you never quite know where people first hear of you and start-Christina: Totally.Corey: ... following you.Christina: Yeah, no that's great that ATP was your entry point, that's awesome, I did not know that, that's really cool. That's still one of my favorite podcasts.Corey: It really is. Whenever I get the chance I listen to that but it turns out there are not enough hours in the day for all the various podcasts out there.Christina: This is becoming a real problem, that we're like now adding to obviously. But, so kind of like peak Netflix, we're not a peak podcast but it's one of those things where I'm like, it used to be something you'd do on your commute and now you're like, oh but if my commute were four times as long, then I could get through my podcast but.Corey: Increasingly it seems like one of those valuable commodity, we all have his attention. And because that is finite we can't make more of that, and some day I'm sure the most valuable commodity will be water. But until that societal collapse, attention seems to be it right now.Christina: I think you're right, yeah.Corey: So once upon a time you were a journalist.Christina: I was.Corey: And now you're a cloud advocate.Christina: I am.Corey: That is atypical as far as career progressions tend to come.Christina: It is, it is. And it's funny because I'm actually going to be giving a talk tomorrow, kind of about how I switched careers. And, the interesting thing though is that I was kind of an atypical journalist in terms of how I got into that too. So even though it's a very uncommon trajectory, it sort of makes sense in my life. So as long as I can remember the two things that I, well the three things I guess that I've loved the most have been computers, technology, gadgets, whatever, pop culture and writing, and story telling, whatever. And when I was, I guess when I was 12 years old I was in a bike accident. And I ran into a tree and messed up the side of my face and broke my jaw and all that good stuff, fortunately no scars. And when my mom, when we were coming back from the ER from getting the X-rays and stuff she was like, "You can have whatever magazines you want." As like solace for me breaking my face.And, I had already had that month's Teen Beat or Seventeen, or whatever, and I'd already decided that I'd wanted to make it like my summer project to learn about computers. And so I picked up two issues, one of PC World, one of PC Magazine, I didn't understand really anything that was in them or on the covers, and I just started reading and going to the library. And this was before I had the internet at home, and just really nerding out and loved it, just loved it instinctively. And, so I did web development stuff and I didn't study CS in college because when I took programming in high school, I didn't really like the people that I was in the classes with and I was like, I don't want to spend four years with this.And, my whole career, even as a technology journalist, a lot of times I was way more technical than a lot of the other writers. But I had to explain things to a new audience. And then I come over to Microsoft and I'm still a very technical person but there are people who are way, way more technical than me. So I kind of go from being like the person who is always having to kind of dumb myself down to being like oh man, I need to like step up. But, if I think about it, the things that I did as a technology journalist, and the things that I do in dev role aren't that different in so far as, I would go to conferences like we're at Microsoft Build, right now, I would go to conferences as a journalist, and I would talk to developers.And I would hear about the things that they were excited about, or the things they were mad about, and I would try to advocate for them, and I would try to write articles that I would hope that the companies were reading saying, these are real issues. This is why this platform is taking off, or this is why it's not, and really kind of get the feel for those things. Because those people are my people. I've always been, friends with developers, whether it's like web, or app, or whatever. And now that's still kind of my job, right? It's just, I can now go directly to the product teams, rather than having to scream on the internet, I can just scream in person.So it's still it's a uncommon career change, but a lot of it really does come down to liking the audience, liking the content, and then wanting to advocate for those people.Corey: It also speaks to a mature advocacy organization that, doesn't approach you and say, "Wow, we absolutely love your ability to tell stories. We love the credibility you've built up in the space. But in order for us to hire you, you have to solve an algorithm challenge on the whiteboard." I've gone through interviews like that in years past for developer evangelist style roles. And the question was always, well what is the purpose of this?Christina: Right.Corey: Well, we need to make sure that you have technical credibility in front of an audience. Cool. How did you hear about me and consider me for this role in the first place? "Oh, you have a massive following and massive credibility in front of the audience." Did you hear those two sentences put next to each other? It becomes a very strange story. And that's what it's about for me. Is at least the storytelling aspects of it. And that's one of the things I find compelling about Microsoft as a whole, is a very practiced approach to telling stories. Satya's keynote on day one of the conference was pitch perfect, probably one of the best delivered keynotes I've ever seen. Every word was very intentional, emphasized correctly. And when I tweeted about that, I got a few responses of, "Well, was he reading from show notes to do it?"Yeah, I don't care what tool you want to use, I don't care if you have an earpiece and someone whispering what to say in your ear, stand in front of 2,000 people and give a talk, you're going to be nervous, and a spoiler, you're going to do a terrible job, at least the first few times you do that.Christina: Yes.Corey: It doesn't matter, it's just the ability to tell a compelling story and deliver that well, is fascinating.Christina: I agree. And I also, okay, so does he have a teleprompter? Does he have show notes? Do you know how hard it is to read off a teleprompter? I do it all the time, I'm become very good at it, it is very difficult, and there are people who are so much better at it than me. And so people who say that the first thing I think I'm like, okay, well, you've never done this. Because if you did you know that in many cases, it's actually harder to read off the teleprompter, than it is to be extemporaneous, or to memorize.Corey: Most of my speaker notes when I'm giving a talk on the bottom of slides are either bullet points, or things not to do.Christina: Same.Corey: Don't make this joke because it's coming in three slides. Good. Because after you do that a couple of times and realize you've completely neutered your own joke, you kind of don't want to do that again.Christina: No, I'm the same way. And when I give talks and whatnot, my speaker notes are usually bullet points, usually not scripted. There has been, I've been part of Microsoft Ignite the tour for the last few months, and those talks which are more structured, and I'm not always the only one giving them, are a little more rehearsed and practiced. And at this point I've done them so many times that it's pat. But in general, my whole public speaking style usually is tended to be more extemporaneous. And I don't say that as a brag, that's the easy way, right? Like, to me, people who have something really well practiced, and rehearsed, and written out, that's a skill that I don't have. I mean, unless it's on a teleprompter that I can read from.Corey: One of the best things I ever did to learn to give a decent conference talk, was to give a bunch of really terrible ones first. I started this way back in the early days of 2012, in the dark ages. And there was a project I was working on, Salt Stack, as it turns out, which did not do as well in the market as I would have wanted it to, it's sort of not really where the zeitgeist is. But, this is amazing, why is no one talking about this? Good question. Why aren't you talking about this? So I put documentation on slides, I read my slides to people, I mumbled into my own shoes, and eventually people like, "That was great. Now here's how you could do that in a way that isn't objectively terrible."And it got slowly better. But for me the breakthrough was when I was a traveling trainer for Puppet. Going into different cities, sitting down in front of people who'd paid a fair sum of money to learn how this worked, in some cases, a very hostile audience because they perceived, rightly or wrongly, that this was going to automate them another job. And they were sort of forced to be there by their employer, and then periodically because computers, demos would break. So the first week, I'm white knuckling this the entire time, by the third week it's okay, I sort of have this and by the seventh week it's, this is super boring, I'm giving the same exact talk for three days and doing the same jokes, and you mix it up a little bit. But past a certain point, you get tired of telling the story the same way and you want to start improvising.Christina: Yeah.Corey: And having the flexibility to do that when giving the same talk repeatedly is important.Christina: I agree.Corey: So from your perspective, when you're on Ignite the tour and traveling to all these different places, and giving what is fundamentally the same talk that you've given a bunch of times, but is new to the audience, how varied do you make that?Christina: I haven't been varying it too much this time. I think when we do the tour next year, I might mix things up a little bit more. Part of that has been because, we have the slides that have already been localized for whatever language they might be in. The other thing is that even though, and this is a challenge that I haven't ever had before. In many cases, English might not be the primary language of the country that I'm speaking in. So that means that I might have a live translator, where if someone will be translating, as I'm speaking in people's ears, or we're having the closed captioning translating happening. And so for those reasons, I don't want to play too much with the format. But you're right, because that is something I always think about. I'm like, I would really like to mix this up more and maybe make this more innovative.But sometimes it's a challenge when you have other things to consider. And so in those cases, I'm like, all right, you know what? I'm not the goal of this right? That's I think the important thing too, is recognizing in some ways, and this isn't always the case but I think this is important to know. When you are the focus of the talk, when it is kind of about you and when it is not, when it is about the content. And in these cases, it's not about me. They want to get the information and I want to present it the best way that I can, but it's not the Christina show. It is about getting the information to people and explaining things, and then hopefully being able to answer their questions and provide them with more resources at the end.Corey: It's about the audience, it's never about the-Christina: Completely.Corey: ... presenter.Christina: You're right. I mean, there are a few times when you might be giving a more personal talk, or might be something about your background where you can take that on more, but you're exactly right. But sometimes I think that, especially those of us who speak a lot, can kind of get caught up in that idea of oh, it's about me and what I want to project, and what I want to do, and it's like no, it's not always. And sometimes you really need to, even if it's boring for me to do the same talk over and over again. And to be clear, it hasn't been because again, these other challenges of, do I have a translator? How is the audience going to know this and whatnot? Then that's enough of a kind of a difference to not make it the same old, same old. But even if it were, I think for this particular thing, and like I understand the context, it's like this is for them, this isn't for me.Corey: One thing that you've talked about previously in other shows and things that you have done, has been talking about how you view developer advocacy. And I think a common misconception industry wide is that, to do that, you need to be a public speaker. The way you've defined it, it sounds like you cast yourself almost as more of a public listener.Christina: Yes.Corey: Of talking to customers, and more importantly, listening to customers, as opposed to some companies that talk at customers, but that's a separate problem.Christina: Right.Corey: So I guess one of the questions I have is when you're out there talking to people who are using Azure for various business tasks, for setting up new things, for exploring, what have you learned from them?Christina: I learn all the time what pain points are. I learn maybe what we're doing well, what we're not. And those are the things that I really want to take back to the product teams, and then help maybe if I see something strategic that we might be able to do. I want to help improve that. I learn all the time about whether our message is getting across or not. Because there are many times I think, and this is why I think advocacy is important, where, and it's not the product team's fault, I am no way dismissing them. But you know, engineering, you have certain goals and you are in sprints, and you are kind of in your own head, and you're getting your project done. And you don't maybe always have the best insight into how are people really using this or not using this.Like of course you have internal telemetry and analytics, and you can see things on Twitter, but if I'm talking to someone, and they're saying, "It's really hard for me to, why can't I take a custom image and move it to a different region or a different subscription? Why do I have to copy things to a new VM, and a new storage blob, and do this process and it's convoluted and I do this repeatedly, over and over again, and I have scripts that will do this for me, but this is not a seamless process." And I'm going, you know what you're right. And I can talk to the product teams and know the technical challenges around it, and I can empathize with that, and I can try to express that to the customer. But I can still say, okay, but this is still a really big problem and we need to continue focusing on finding the solution, because this is something that's impeding the way they're using things and what they're doing.Corey: You're talking about something that started to, I guess, tease at the back of my mind. So at the beginning of, I'm recording the show at Microsoft Build, and they're in the first day, waiting for the keynote to open, I had half an hour to kill. So I spun up my first Azure account, and I decided to spin up a VM. And I hit a, I was live Tweeting the entire experience because I don't have an internal filter, and the entire world cares about everything I'm having for lunch. And I started Tweeting the experience. There were a lot of great things at it, and then spinning up a single VM, it defaulted to picking a Debian release and oh my stars, that brings me back.Christina: Yes.Corey: And it was fun and exciting, and it took 19 minutes and 22 seconds to provision. And, I'm huh, this seems kind of slow. And people chime in and start looking into the problem under the hood, there was an issue with the storage layer in that region at that time. And I have this knack for finding corner cases by blundering into them. And I think one of the directors of compute wound up, one of the directors in container services wound up chiming in and digging into this. And it was, their customer service experience was exceptional. But I'm starting to realize now that by being loud and noisy, even though my cloud bill personally is 20, 30 bucks a month, I do not at this point, have the typical customer experience because I am perceived, rightly or wrongly as being loud and influential.Christina: Right.Corey: I am loud, I would argue whether I'm influential.Christina: You're influential.Corey: I try, my mother tells me so and I try to believe it, but you know how mothers can be. The problem I see as I look at this though is, I don't have a bearing anymore on what the "typical customer" experience is, I don't know. For example, is that something that anyone who had that problem and Tweeted about with Azure, would they have experienced that? I'd like to hope so because it's scale.Christina: It doesn't scale. I don't think that you would see the director of compute responding to somebody with 200 Twitter followers, right? Like, if we're being honest. I just don't think so just because I don't think it would hit their radar. But what has impressed me, and I can't say this for all the times is, how many times I will Tweet things, and obviously, I'm influential in so far as any of us are, and I'm loud, and have a following too. But I'll Tweet things without tagging people or just might be innocuous. And the Tweets will be found by some of the QA teams, who will then comment and reach out. So people are actively looking for these things all the time, and gathering that feedback, and I think trying to help when they can. And it's not always going to be that direct kind of hand holding, let's investigate what the issue in this region is.But I think that the goal is to hear as many inputs as we can, and even though it doesn't scale where every single person is going to be able to have that type of experience, is you want to be able to, when I'm talking to people, I don't know or care what their cloud bill is. If they're having feedback, or if they're having an issue, I want to connect them with somebody who can solve their problem period. Right? Like that, to me is is the goal. And that whether we succeeded at that or not, that's for other people to determine. But I think that's always the goal is to get people's questions answered. And I would hope that the experience would be realistically, you're not, someone else who doesn't have your following is getting the same level of maybe hand holding. But I would like to think that there would be things in place that people would pick up on and be able to say, "Hey, this is going on, or have you tried this?"Corey: One thing that I will say and go on record with, is that this is not at an individual level. Something that I see as a differentiator between any of the public cloud providers. Every individual employee I know at all of the major players has something very similar to this attitude. If a customer's having a bad time, that's a problem and needs to be addressed. The challenge that I see and where I think Azure is excelling in this space is, in making it very clear in communicating to its existing 40 year history of customer install base, that they are very interested in talking to them, and learning from them, and supporting them wherever on the curve they tend to be.And sure the future is going to be pure, not purely but, largely public cloud driven. And if you're not there yet today, that's okay. There's no sense of we will begrudgingly go ahead and give you an offering that sort of works for your current environment, but you really have to move, clock is ticking. It's much more of a, we are here when you are ready to go here. As opposed to taking a data center and slowly flooding it. And as the water rises higher and higher up the rack-Christina: Hahaha, you better come.Corey: Exactly.Christina: Told you, told you, we told you. No I mean, I think you're right. And I think part of that is, when you have, as you said like a 40 year old business that has differentiated business aspects right? So which is going to be unique in our space, where you have lines of business that have existed for a long time where we know A, firsthand how important some of those workloads might be, and how difficult it might be to migrate them as much as we might want them to. And also just the fact that some people might not want to do that. And, I think it's kind of, legacy is always a difficult thing to kind of figure out how long do you to support something? When do you kind of force people to move on?But Microsoft has a very, very well known history of supporting legacy things. Some would argue too much, right. So I think that that is part of kind of the goal is to, yeah, we're here for you when you're ready, but we are going to continue to offer other offerings too. Obviously the benefits of cloud and an iterative development are that you get updates and things more quickly. Like I think like Office 365 is a great example of that. There's still a standalone version that it's kind of locked in time, and you'll get some maybe security updates and whatnot, but if you want to get the frequent feature updates that are pushed all the time, you need the cloud accounts. And, I think that for a lot of people, that can be a compelling reason to do that, but there might be some people who are like, "No, you know what? I don't care. I just want my perpetual license." And that's it.Corey: There's an entire class of users out there who if you move an icon, the thing is broken, they open a support ticket. I've been accused of being insulting when I say this before, and it's never intended that way. But, Microsoft has 40 years of experience in apologizing to its customers for software failures. And you need that expertise when you're working with cloud. I'm sorry, it's computers, it breaks, that's what they do.Christina: Absolutely.Corey: And communicating that to the customer in an effective way that first expresses empathy with them. But secondly, it says that yes, we know this is a problem, we are working on this, thank you for continuing to do bear with us on this and communicating that well, and not leading to the various gossip rags tearing the company down in tech browse, is a skill in its own right. And it's one that I think Microsoft can foundationally teach a master class in.Christina: I think you're right. I mean, and because you're right. I mean with that history and with products that are used by as many people as use them, even if you had the highest level of QA in the world, you're still going to have issues, they're computers.Corey: And even direct honestly doesn't work here. Well, if your software had been written differently, our outage wouldn't have taken you down. While true, and while something useful and valuable to communicate, if you're not very careful with the phrasing, it sounds-Christina: Right it sounds you're blaming them.Corey: ... blaming the customer.Christina: Exactly, I mean, that's the thing. And when we have outages and that happens you know at every company. I've actually been impressed with how well some of the write ups, some of the technical write ups are, because this used to be what I would do as a reporter. AWS would go down and usually it'll be like an S3 bucket and like North Carolina or whatever, right? Like it'd be like Eastern Region and it would go down. And then the entire consumer internet goes down. And you have to explain to mom and dad, why Pinterest isn't loading. And you know, they don't care about the various esoteric things that oh, well if they'd had multi region, or this or that, they don't care and this is down.And sometimes, and I always feel so bad for the dev ops people and the SREs in those situations who are getting the calls, and are trying to get things up and running, because you never know what's going to happen. But sometimes getting the information about what it is, can not always be easy. It's, I think Amazon has actually done a really good job as of late of making those, communicating better when those things happen.Corey: In some ways they've been forced to by their own customers.Christina: Right, right. But that's something that I have, when we've had outages I always look for because, people usually aren't coming to me, they're not yelling at me about it. But I do a weekly show on our YouTube channel that's Channel 9, and if we have like a major outage, I need to talk about that, right? I need to actually be able to explain this is what happened, and this is what we're doing about it. Because otherwise I don't think that that's authentic or helpful, right? Like if this is, we're publicly communicating with people, we need to do that. And so, I've been really impressed with how well some of the write ups have been, like the postmortems after the fact, right? Like you have the log that says it's happening, but the postmortem is after the fact I'm going, oh, that's interesting.And then when you look at that you can kind of understand, wow, these are massive challenges, and these are like maybe a set of events and circumstances that would not be anticipated. and that would be whatnot. And in some ways almost, I almost wish that we would have some of our instances be used as almost like a class or talks for our users to be like, this is what we've learned from this, and this is how you can learn from the same things that we have because the challenges aren't wholly unique, right? Like a data center going down and maybe, or part of it having an outage because of something being configured the wrong way or maybe like a weather condition or something else and not having made decisions for whatever reason to architect things that might have made that not happen.When you learn that, when you look at what are the trade offs, those are interesting discussions to have with your end users too. Because they're going to be, they're not worrying about the data center itself, but they might be having to worry about their own places a fault might happen and how they're going to recover from that. I think that it's not unrelated, and there are lessons to learn from that, period.Corey: And one of the most understated parts of the cloud as a whole is, let's say that I write a reasonably terrible web app, because that's the level of developer I am. And then as soon as it's done, I make the final commit, I host it on a cloud provider, and then I sail around the world. 10 years later I come back because I'm as good at sailing as I am at writing code. If I'm running this in a cloud provider, things are great. It is, the storage has gotten faster, the reliability has increased, whereas if I leave this running in my own data center, the raccoons have taken it down by year three. Things inherently get better as opposed to succumbing to bit rot. And that's something that I think is not talked about nearly enough.Christina: I totally agree, I totally agree. You know, the one thing you have to keep in mind though is that if you're settling on a role for 10 years, your software and stuff, your VMs, they've all been updated, right to keep up with security. But like your code might stop working.Corey: Or you're assuming my code ever worked in the first place, that's beside the point.Christina: Okay, that's my point.Corey: It's my code, come on now.Christina: Well, you know what I mean? I mean, I think that's something that is different, that is also, I mean, this is great, but this is also I think sometimes a challenge and a thing with educating people saying, okay, yeah, once you have this, this is great that these things are going to be staying up to date and get the patches, but if something goes, if like a version of PHP finally has been like out of support for a long time, and we're going to cease it and force an upgrade on the library to that. If your code hasn't been updated for that, it might break.Corey: This is also part of the advantage of a server less story as well, where it's okay, my code might still be crappy, but I don't have to worry about the-Christina: I don't have to worry about the other stuff.Corey: ... TLSPs, or the web server, or the patching or-Christina: Yes, I 1,000% agree. I think that is like the wonderful part of the server less story, and hopefully we can get some more of that where, because ultimately, that would be a great thing to not have to worry about that stuff. Where something's upgraded underneath me, and now my stuff breaks. Because that's like, and then that's a hard challenge too. How much do you just let people use out of date, non updated things, right? You could conceivably let them do it forever, but is that the right move?Corey: It's always a problem. I used to work at a web hosting company running a giant WordPress grid. And that's awful the plugin problems, the outdated version of PHP that everyone was using, and people are paying 10 bucks a month for it, you can't break all their sites and uplift them, you'll lose the customers. How do you solve that problem? And this sort of gets at one other point I wanted to talk to you about. You have entered technology as a profession, through what I would classify as a non traditional path.Christina: Definitely.Corey: And everyone I talked to at this stage of the game, seems to have come from a few different pathways that are increasingly closed to people who are entering the workforce today. Well, how do you get really good at cloud? Well spend a couple of decades building out data centers and things like that, oh, spoiler, you're going to be woken up in the middle of the night and have to fix something at 2:00 AM while crying, and it builds character, because character is what you get when you don't get what you wanted the first time. And you iterate forward from there, well, today, you can leapfrog over that entire thing. My daughter is two years old and I'm not going to be teaching her Q basic, as how to use a computer. She instead turns and talks to the robot lady who lives inside of the phone, or the speaker on the counter, or something and that is her interaction with technology.And how do, I guess not that I'm trying to plan for the two year old case, but people who are graduating college today in 2019, or considering career in tech, where does the next generation of cloud oriented developer types come from?Christina: I think they come from people, the way they've always come, from people who tinker, people who play with things, people who are getting excited about things. It's just the way you're tinkering that's different, right? I mean, I think we were kind of talking about this before we started recording that, I think it's interesting to think about the kids that are graduating from college now, because public calls have officially been a thing for long enough, they're literally like a cloud first generation. And the training and the teaching has gone level two. So they're not going to have the experiences dealing with the the old, shared, web hosts, or dealing with having to maybe like rent their own servers, or co locate, or whatever.They've always known a world where the cloud has been what they use, what they deploy to, what they develop on. How they deal with any of their networking stuff. And it's always been flexible, they can always add more power and, or take things away. And I think that's interesting, because in some ways that's kind of forced the rest of the world to maybe catch up. But I also think that it's exciting because those are the people, like when I look at like Visual Studio Code, which is, even though I didn't work at Microsoft, I would be such a huge fan of that product. I think it's such an amazing editor.Corey: It is incredible, and the one thing I'm waiting for, is I want it to work on my iPad Pro.Christina: Yes. Which hopefully with the preview that they announced this week of the online hopefully-Corey: They're dancing around it, there's-Christina: I know.Corey: ... just one missing piece.Christina: I know, I know. Because I want it on my iPad Pro as well, that's the dream. That's ultimately the dream. And I think we're getting super close, especially with some of the remote stuff that they're doing. Like we're almost there, but-Corey: I'm old and grumpy, I'm an old grumpy UNIX sysadmin, which we call sysadmin because there really is no other kind in that world. And my editor of choice is Vim. I've been using it that way for a long time. But oh my stars is Visual Studio Code pretty, it just works. There are things I don't have to worry about and-Christina: Right. And but my point too, is that, you look at the ecosystem around it, you look at the people who are building some of the best, most inventive plugins, you look at people who have even before we announced Visual Studio online, were doing their own kind of implementations of Monaco, which is the open source, you know source of the browser engine, or the text engine, I guess, for Visual Studio Code, where they're putting that in containers that can be running a web browser. And you will use on your iPad, right? A lot of people doing that work, are like 21, 22, 23 years old. You see so much stuff happening in JavaScript that is in containers in general, but serverless, right? Are young people who are just playing around and excited. So-Corey: But my interview question still involves, what level of raid is the right one for this particular use case?Christina: Right, which-Corey: Why?Christina: Exactly right, which is wrong. And I mean, I think that that's one thing where we're going to have to catch up on how we interview and what questions we're asking, and how we're assessing people's skills. And I also think sometimes you have to figure out, what skill is important for this particular role? Because it can change and it can alter. I mean, I always think the biggest thing whenever I interview people is, I'm wanting to know not what they know, but what they're willing to learn. And, because to me, that's the biggest thing. I love to learn, I love it. I'm obsessed with learning and knowing as many things as I can. And I'm always amazed of all the things I don't know, you know?Corey: Looking for curiosity, looking at the, tell me about something you're the best at. And it's great to have those conversations instead of, well, you're super good at X, Y and Z, let me find a crack in the knowledge where you don't know the answer to a problem that I had to look up to write. That's not helpful, that is looking for absence of weakness instead of hiring for strength, and that's philosophically something I've always been opposed to as a hiring manager.Christina: No, I'm totally in agreement and I hope that we can get away from some of those. You have to do this on a whiteboard to get here. Because, look in some cases that might be valid and completely necessary, and in some cases it might not. Because like for instance my job, it really doesn't matter if I can solve the problem on the whiteboard. What matters is can I communicate with people? Can I help tell the story that's going to help people get what they need to get done? But even more importantly, like you said, can I listen? And can I then synthesize that feedback back to people who can actually make the changes?Corey: The last topic I'd like to cover with you is, the divide between ops and dev.Christina: Yeah.Corey: How do you see that?Christina: I mean, it's so interesting. Because before I joined Microsoft, I really, I mean, I knew about operations, but I'd never really considered it two separate disciplines. Because, a lot of the people that I know, and people who work at startups, that line ceased to exist a really long time ago, everybody kind of does everything. And so I didn't ever know like how, I guess like church and state for some people it was. But I think it's disappearing over time. And I think it's good for a couple reasons. And I think that it's been disappearing for a really long time, it's just becoming more visible now. And I don't mean that that DevOps is the solution. What I mean is that, I talk to so many operations people who will say to me before I talk to them, "Well you know, I'm not a developer." And then they'll show me all of their answerable or, power shell scripts, and all these things that they're doing, and all their tool.And I'm like, okay, I'm sorry, this is code, this is a lot of code. And this is doing the exact same things that somebody else would do, what are you talking about, I'm not a developer? And sometimes you talk to developers, who might say, "Well, I'm not an operations person," but and then they have these amazing build pipelines, and they have tests, and all kinds of things going up. So I think we kind of have to get over this idea that, I think that some developers need to stop being so precious and accept that there are all kinds of things that can be code, and not just whatever they think. And I think some ops people have to kind of maybe open themselves up to the idea that, this identity I have, there's nothing wrong with it, but I can do more and I'm actually capable of doing these other things, I don't have to just be responsible for this one piece.Corey: From my perspective, it's always been a strange reality of our entire industry, that whatever tool you're using today, whatever thing you're great at, assuming that you are more than five years away from retirement, what you will do, by the end of your career will bear almost no relation-Christina: Absolutely.Corey: ... to what you're doing today. And I've talked to a number of friends about this, and I'm still gathering research, but I gave a talk with Sonia Gupta, a couple of months back on embarrassingly large numbers, salary negotiation for humans. And someone came up afterwards, because we talked about different folks from different underrepresented groups, and how that was communicated, and how negotiation strategies differ. And someone said, "That was great, but I didn't notice you talking about ageism at all in this."Christina: Totally.Corey: And first, holy crap they were right. But the follow up question, I don't have an answer for this is, how much of ageism is based on actual bias and based upon things that have no bearing in reality, versus how much of that is based upon, well, I've been doing this for 40 years, and I continue to insist on writing Perl for Solaris, at which point that the industry has moved on and the jobs simply don't-Christina: ... those jobs simply don't exist. Yeah, no. I mean, I think it's probably a little both. I think more of it is probably bias, but I think some of it is people. Because I talk to a lot of IT pros who are trying to, they're freaked out by the cloud, they're freaked out by their jobs going away. I totally understand.Corey: I was that person.Christina: But yeah, you've transitioned and you've seen the opportunities, but you've taken like, you're the perfect example to me. Because you took the stuff that you knew as an IT Pro and translated it into the cloud. And let me ask you genuinely, how different are the fundamentals really?Corey: The fundamentals are incredibly important. Learning the fundamentals required exposure to environments that don't exist in the same way today. But I started off my career being very deep in the world of large scale email administration. Unless I want to work for maybe five companies, that's not really something everyone needs to do.Christina: But I guess my point though, is that those skills though, like how hard was it for you to then transition and maybe apply those things to what you do and to setting up maybe a large scale email organization in the cloud?Corey: It was applicable in the sense of going back to the idea of the T shaped engineer. Where you have to be effective in something approaching an operations style role. You need to have a broad baseline of relevant experience. And then for marketing and self promotion purposes, you want to have one or two areas in which you're deep. And I started off being very deep on email, I then transitioned into configuration management when it seemed like that was not going to be a longer term success play. And that seemed like a great play at the time, and then this whole industry sort of pivoted around immutable infrastructure, and that writing was on the wall. And my most recent pivot as an engineer was into this world of cloud, and only somewhat recently have I realized that if I have to pivot again and do something else, I'm almost certainly not going to find my next role as an engineer somewhere anymore.I've turned into something different that's really hard to define but, honestly the answer is, I'm not happy sitting there writing code for a living anymore. I used to love that, and now I find that I want more and spoiler, my code's really not that good.Christina: No, you want to at the analysis, you want to look at the big picture things, you want to talk about those trends, which I think we need that and that's important. But I guess what I was trying to get at is, when you made kind of that transition from doing kind of the old world things to going into cloud, I mean, obviously, it takes a lot of work and I'm not trying to say that you can do it overnight, but it's not as if you had to learn a brand new language.Corey: Oh, absolutely, it's a series of half steps. It's the same way as when you talk to people in their career and they, for example, you were a journalist before this.Christina: Yes.Corey: And now you moved into, effectively what is a technical role.Christina: Yes.Corey: And-Christina: I'm technically a content engineer, so yes.Corey: Exactly. And to do that, it was a lateral shift from taking things you were good at in your previous role, and applying them in a new context to the role you're in. It wasn't what a lot of people think of a career transition being of, well, now you have to go back to square one and take an entry level job, and a massive pay cut and-Christina: Yes. Well this is kind of my overarching point, right? And I think that this is what sometimes I think people of all ages, this isn't just saying to the gray beards, right? This is something that people need to know that you don't have to start back at ground zero. If you are an IT pro and you are having to move to the cloud, you are not starting from scratch. Is there a lot of things that are going to be different and that you need to learn? And maybe that you need to brush up on? Sure. But a lot of things, it's not as if you're starting from from nothing. And a lot of the things that you do, and the experiences you have will come in handy, and will be applicable when cases you don't even know it.Case in point for me. When I was interviewing at Microsoft, my whiteboarding experience was, how do you break down a complex problem? And I used an example of a story that I'd recently written that was incredibly complex, and had a lot of moving parts, and that I had had to learn about in very, very, very little time. And then I had to not only learn about it, synthesize it, then I had to write it down in a way that the audience could understand. It was a complicated, ridiculous thing. When I was in the process of that exercise I was realizing, oh, I can do this, this job I can completely do. But it took being in the interview room, and doing that process for me to realize, oh, these skills that I had that I didn't think would be applicable here, are completely applicable.And these things that I already know, it doesn't mean that I don't continue learning, and I don't continue improving, because obviously you do and that, you should be doing that even if you were writing the same Perl code in Solaris for 40 years, you should not be, in my mind, you should always be curious and always be trying to figure out, well how do I write this better? How do I optimize this better? What else is going on? But it does mean that, I think there are a lot of things that people already have in their knowledge base, that are going to give them a step up if anything. And so does not mean afraid of, just because it's different means that I'm zero.I think you put it exactly perfectly. I'm not starting from ground zero, I don't have to start school again, and take a lower wage job, and go to another place. It's like, no, I just need to pivot and think about how I can apply these things in new ways, and also take the time to learn more, and to continue growing. And I think the big thing too a lot of people don't realize is that, when you join a new role, a new company, nobody is really expecting you to be operating at 100 the first day. You're allowed to learn and people are going to train you, and people are going to help you.Corey: I have a friend who joined Azure after being deep in the AWS weeds, and I was speaking to this person, and they mentioned that they've been there for six months and were still learning a lot of the Azure stuff, despite the fact that this person has forgotten more about AWS than I will ever know. And it's, you're always learning, there's always a ramp. And being able to do the entire job written in the job description means it's probably going to be a boring job. There needs to be some stretch room.Christina: Completely. I mean, that's something that, women especially, often we look at job descriptions, and studies have shown this, and we think that we have to have all the requirements. But you're exactly right. If you have all the requirements, you're overqualified.Corey: Oh, absolutely. My first job, I looked at the list of requirements that they wanted for a UNIX admin, and I'm looking at that going, I don't have any of these second half of the list. And then I found out what the pay range was, and it was effectively a seventh of what it would have been if you were someone who had all of that stuff. And looking back now 15 years later, I still don't have everything on that list, it's an aspirational shopping list, not a whole list of hard requirements.Christina: Definitely.Corey: So if people want to hear more about what you have to say, where can they find you?Christina: So I'm on Twitter, I'm @film_girl on Twitter, and I'm on Instagram in the same handle. I do stories from time to time, not too often.Corey: You're on the gram.Christina: I am on the gram. But I actually do a weekly tech news podcast called Rockets at relayfm.com/rockets, and that one's more consumer tech focused. We, and a little bit of pop culture. But it's really fun.Corey: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate it.Christina: Corey, thank you for having me.Corey: Christina Warren, senior cloud advocate at Azure, I'm Corey Quinn, this is Screaming in the Cloud.Announcer: This has been this week's episode of Screaming in the Cloud. You can also find more Corey at screaminginthecloud.com or wherever fine snark is sold. Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.


10 Jul 2019

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E32 - Journalism Apocalypse and Tech Trends with Christina Warren of Microsoft

Tech Stories from HackerNoon

Episode 32 of the Hacker Noon Podcast: An interview with Christina Warren, former journalist at Mashable and Gizmodo, who currently works for MicrosoftIn this episode Trent Lapinski interviews Christina Warren from Microsoft, who is a former journalist from Mashable and Gizmodo. You get to learn about journalism, fake news, and what’s happening in the big tech companies. “This is what the news media struggles with, is that people don’t trust them, even though very often the mainstream media, in my opinion, isn’t out to mislead people and push an agenda. I think most working reporters are out to report the truth.” “Microsoft is evolving and understands that it is not the past anymore. We ultimately want to build tools that developers can use regardless of what platform you’re on.” — Christina Warren Production and music by Derek Bernard - haberdasherband.com/production Host: Trent Lapinski - https://trentlapinski.com

1hr 2mins

27 Mar 2019

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080: Apple's next big software thing, with Christina Warren


Confession: After the Life and Death of Twitter episode, the recorders kept rolling and all the big brains shared their thoughts on the rumored "Marzipan" iOS and macOS cross-development platform. Christina Warren of Microsoft joins to add context to everyone's hopes, dreams... and fears. Links Christina Warren - @film_girl Loren Brichter - @lorenb John Gruber - @gruber Paul Haddad - @tapbot_paul Craig Hockenberry - @chockenberry Ben Sandofsky - @sandofsky Greg Pierce - @agiletortoise Apple Plans Combined iPhone, iPad & Mac Apps to Create One User Experience Rocket Channel 9 VECTOR on YOUTUBE is here — Subscribe now! Vector on YouTube Subscribe via: Apple Podcasts Overcast Pocket Casts Castro RSS Follow on: Web Twitter Instagram Facebook


23 Feb 2018

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030: Pivot to Video & Messenger for Kids, with Christina Warren


Modern media companies have been “pivoting to video” but not all of them have been successful. Christina Warren, formerly of Mashable and Gizmodo, discusses why. Also: Facebook Messenger for kids. Seriously.  Links: Christina Warren: Twitter, Mashable, Gizmodo, Rocket Podcast Why the pivot to video has failed Publishers and the pursuit of the past Facebook Messenger for Kids How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met Sponsors: MintSIM: Voice, data, and text for less. Get free first-class shipping with code VTFREESHIP. Thrifter.com: All the best deals from Amazon, Best Buy, and more, fussily curated and constantly updated. Subscribe via: Apple Podcasts Overcast Pocket Casts Castro RSS Follow on: Web Twitter Instagram Facebook


6 Dec 2017