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Greater Than Code
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231: Deserted Island Safety and Expectations with Austin Parker


01:04 - Austin’s Superpower: Pain Tolerance 02:06 - Deserted Island DevOps (Running an Online/Virtual Conference in Animal Crossing or Other Mediums) Deserted Island DevOps 2020 on YouTube Software Circus The Great Cloud Native Bakeoff Making Real-Time Audience/Human Connection Streaming Watch Parties Austin Parker: Virtual Events Suck. 24:09 - Failure; Making it Safe to Fail Technical Failure Psychological Failure Underpromise, Overdeliver 32:51 - Safety and Setting Expectations (The Problem with More is Better) OKRs Open Source Principles Reflections: John: The creativity of new ways to experience a conference. Coraline: The importance of moderation. Austin: How to communicate feelings of failure and setting expectations about it to people you’re working with. Jacob: Find a conference that has been thoughtful about interaction when not in person and go. This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Transcript: CORALINE: Hello and welcome to Episode 231 of Greater Than Code podcast. I’m so happy to be here with you today. My name is Coraline Ada Ehmke and I’m joined by my friend, John Sawers. JOHN: Thanks, Coraline. And I’m here with Jacob Stoebel. JACOB: Thanks. John! It’s my pleasure to introduce our guest this week, Austin Parker. Austin makes problems with computers and sometimes solves them. He’s an open-source maintainer, observability nerd, DevOps junkie, and poster. You can find him ignoring Hacker News threads and making dumb jokes on Twitter. He wrote a book about distributed tracing, taught some college courses, streams on Twitch, and also ran a DevOps conference in Animal Crossing. Such a nice pleasure to have you on the show. AUSTIN: It's fantastic to be here. JACOB: We can start the show like we always do by asking you a question. What's your superpower and how did you develop it? AUSTIN: Right now, my superpower is I'm 50% through a COVID-19 vaccine and I developed it by staying indoors for the past year, but more hilariously I guess, I developed a strong resistance to burns by working as a gas station cook for quite a while, back in my younger days. So I ran the fryer and you get really good at ignoring hot oil spattering on you. So I'd like to think that that level of pain tolerance is what helped me get through a lot of DevOps stuff and getting used to computers. [laughter] CORALINE: Yeah. I hate Kubernetes and it's hot oil splashing. They should do something about that. It's open source. I guess, I could open my PR, but . AUSTIN: Yeah. Well, they say PR is welcome, but that's the open-source maintainers. Bless your heart, right? CORALINE: Yeah, exactly. So Austin, I want to know more about this DevOps conference that you ran in Animal Crossing. AUSTIN: So let's start at the beginning, let's take everyone back to just about a year ago now where we were all kind of settling in for our wonderful pandemic that has been extremely not wonderful for most people, but I think everyone was coming to grips with how long it would take at first. My day job, I work as in developer relations. I'm a marketer, effectively. But I remember a lot of people were talking, the marketing team and certainly, the entire events space like, “Oh, what's this going to do about the summer events, what's this going to do about the fall events?” and I'm sitting here like, “Hey, I think this is going to last a little longer than till June.” So the conversation kind of pivots as everything gets progressively worse and people are starting to come to grips like, “Well, can we do a virtual event?” I don't th...