Episode 19

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Published on:

27th Oct 2022

S1 E19: There's always incremental improvements laying around (Kyle / @KyleShevlin)

Kyle Shevlin joins the show to talk about his origin story from studying psychology and being a pastor, to working with jQuery and eventually getting cozy working on internet front-end tooling.

We discuss the differences between being a product engineer and being an internal tools-based engineer, before diving into more philosophical conversations about how everything can be improved.

Discussed Links:


Transcript
Eddie:

Welcome to episode 19 of the Web Joy podcast.

Eddie:

I'm your host, Eddie.

Eddie:

In this podcast, we interview guests about their origin story and what

Eddie:

makes them excited and joyful to be part of the tech community.

Eddie:

I hope you enjoy today's episode.

Eddie:

There's always incremental improvements lying around with Kyle Chevlin.

Eddie:

Welcome to another episode of Web Joy.

Eddie:

I'm excited to have Kyle with us today.

Eddie:

Hey Kyle, how are you doing?

Kyle:

I'm doing good, Eddie, how about you?

Kyle:

Yeah,

Eddie:

I'm doing pretty good as well.

Eddie:

Well, hey, we typically start off an episode where you just kind of give a

Eddie:

general introduction about yourself, who you are, what you do, uh, where you.

Eddie:

Simple basics.

Kyle:

Sure.

Kyle:

Uh, well, I'm Kyle Chevlin.

Kyle:

I'm a platform engineer at a healthcare startup.

Kyle:

I'm not gonna drop the name, uh, just because I actually

Kyle:

haven't put it anywhere.

Kyle:

It's not a secret.

Kyle:

I'm just doing my small bit of like, defiance to like, say, you

Kyle:

know, where we work probably isn't as important as like what we do.

Kyle:

But if it's meaningful to you, that's great.

Kyle:

But to me, I'm just kind of tired of it, and so I, I haven't put it on my resume.

Kyle:

It's not on my Twitter, it's not on LinkedIn or anything.

Kyle:

So I work at a healthcare startup as part of a front end platform team.

Kyle:

Specifically, I am building out essentially eternal tools

Kyle:

and libraries to support.

Kyle:

The other engineers that are building product for our company, our company

Kyle:

helps people who have type two diabetes be able to honestly get off of their

Kyle:

medications through a diet and through some other things that we help them

Kyle:

do by connecting them with, uh, specialists and that kind of thing.

Kyle:

So I am helping people build product faster is kind of how I think.

Kyle:

At the

Eddie:

time of this recording, no one actually knows this, but by the time this

Eddie:

airs, I will actually be helping lead a internal front end tools team as well.

Eddie:

So, uh, that's great.

Eddie:

Kindred Spirits.

Eddie:

. Kyle: Congrats on the new job.

Eddie:

Thanks.

Eddie:

Yeah, internal shift.

Eddie:

Fun to actually tell someone since no one knows

Eddie:

. Kyle: Right.

Eddie:

You can't, you know, haven't had that chance to get that, uh,

Eddie:

internet dopamine yet about it.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

No, I'm just, I'm just

Eddie:

kidding.

Eddie:

Exactly.

Eddie:

, that's what we crave, right?

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

So what's the short version of your story, right?

Eddie:

How did you get into intern or tools, uh, front end development, right?

Eddie:

Is that where you started?

Eddie:

Kind of give us a brief overview of what that journey looked.

Kyle:

My journey is not brief, but I will try

Kyle:

I think people who, who maybe know who I am, uh, through Twitter or

Kyle:

through my own blogging, know that this is a second career for me.

Kyle:

I was originally a pastor long ago.

Kyle:

Um, I have a master's in theology and that's.

Kyle:

Just something I did and I started coding a little over 10 years ago.

Kyle:

Now, honestly, on a whim, someone posted a Code Academy link on Facebook.

Kyle:

I followed it.

Kyle:

I did my ADHD thing where I, you know, just dove in and I just kept doing it and,

Kyle:

and then one day someone was like, You know, you can get a job doing this, right?

Kyle:

Cause I had.

Kyle:

Considered it as a career.

Kyle:

It just wasn't something on my mind.

Kyle:

And uh, they told me to go get a job and I did.

Kyle:

It was lucky timing.

Kyle:

Honestly, it was before like the proliferation of boot camps.

Kyle:

It was a good time to enter the market, and I joined as a front

Kyle:

end developer because that's largely what I could teach myself.

Kyle:

Html, CSS, and J Query, which is all I really knew.

Kyle:

I didn't even, I can't even say I knew JavaScript.

Kyle:

I knew J Query and just a little bit of it, so I joined.

Kyle:

Like a design centric agency, like a, like an agency that

Kyle:

built a lot of brand websites.

Kyle:

And like my very first year, I just can't forget this, it was so formative,

Kyle:

but I worked on like 80 different projects and most of it was like

Kyle:

adding a little bit of UI or fixing some styling bug or something, or

Kyle:

you know, it was stuff like that.

Kyle:

And I got really, really good at css.

Kyle:

I've never understood the people who are like, Oh, I can't do

Kyle:

CSS just because that's what I.

Kyle:

So I actually have a little struggle having that, that empathy, because

Kyle:

that's kind of what I started on and then built the other skills.

Kyle:

And then how I've gotten to like being an internal tools platforming engineer.

Kyle:

I think that has a lot to do with a couple things.

Kyle:

I'm an idealist by nature, so I want things to be right, and

Kyle:

I want to do things right for the sake of doing them right.

Kyle:

I'm very lawful good in that, that regard.

Kyle:

Um, if you're a, you know, you're into d and d and you, you know,

Kyle:

your character breakdowns that way.

Kyle:

And I think the other thing is I'm also naturally like a systems thinker.

Kyle:

I often joke that I'm a forest person, not a tree person.

Kyle:

Honestly, sometimes, depending on the detail, the individual tree, it's

Kyle:

just really tedious and boring to me.

Kyle:

I'll lose it.

Kyle:

But like I.

Kyle:

Almost immediately hear something and see the greater impact it'll

Kyle:

have or can understand how it fits in the greater system.

Kyle:

And so building tools that kind of do that, like build systems that

Kyle:

help people do the right thing as, as silly as that sounds, that

Kyle:

that really fits with who I am.

Kyle:

And then I think the last thing.

Kyle:

I like sharing things.

Kyle:

I've learned, uh, like I like teaching in some capacity, and that

Kyle:

capacity has changed a lot throughout my career, but, Being an internal

Kyle:

tooling dev, that's kind of my job.

Kyle:

My job is to find patterns that are like, No, this isn't great, and here's why.

Kyle:

You know, I, I know you are a busy dev, working the fast you

Kyle:

can, but here's a better way.

Kyle:

And then coming up with ways to make sure that.

Kyle:

They can't fall into bad habits, like, you know, whether it's as simple as an Slint

Kyle:

rule or maybe I just, like, I don't give them the option to screw up in some way,

Kyle:

maybe through types or something else.

Kyle:

Uh, like, I'll give an example.

Kyle:

I work mostly in React and React Native.

Kyle:

Now, I think most people who work in React know that there's a style.

Kyle:

Available.

Kyle:

Well, you know, I can make it type safe that you can't use style like the

Kyle:

prop to override things, but that's not safe enough for me cuz I know some

Kyle:

of you out there are gonna work around me and you're gonna put like a ts

Kyle:

ignore and you're gonna write your own styles and I'm gonna let that happen.

Kyle:

So I literally destructure it and use a Ts expect error.

Kyle:

I don't assign it to the underlying component.

Kyle:

You just can't do it.

Kyle:

I keep you from doing it at run time cuz I know you, I know how you work.

Kyle:

And so, you know, sometimes it's about like gently guiding and other times it's

Kyle:

about putting a really strong barricade and saying, No, you can't break my system.

Kyle:

So sorry.

Eddie:

That is awesome.

Eddie:

All of you putting TIAs ignores everywhere.

Eddie:

Uh, including the people at my own company.

Eddie:

Kyle sees you

Eddie:

. Kyle: I mean, why do you think

Eddie:

prevent, uh, from happening?

Eddie:

It's like I see it all over the place.

Eddie:

I'm paying attention, you know, So

Eddie:

. Eddie: That's right.

Eddie:

That's awesome.

Eddie:

What is it that kind of keeps you excited about working in tech?

Eddie:

Right, in develop.

Eddie:

You, you kind of addressed a little bit of it, right?

Eddie:

Like you like to have things working properly.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

And that kind of leans towards the internal tools, but yeah, I guess

Eddie:

what keeps you passionate about

Kyle:

what you do?

Kyle:

That's a really good question, and I think, I think the answer is

Kyle:

like, it's a multitude of things.

Kyle:

I mean, one, let's be real.

Kyle:

There's good money in this career and that does help.

Kyle:

Like it helps you get through the bad times.

Kyle:

It helps you realize like you could be doing other things that are much

Kyle:

harder and, and frankly, I mean, I'm just really fortunate, Like I changed

Kyle:

careers at a good time and I've seen how like for example, my finances have

Kyle:

improved my life because of this career versus my friends who are still in

Kyle:

ministry or struggling or something.

Kyle:

So super lucky there, and it would just be, it wouldn't be

Kyle:

realistic not to acknowledge that, so I have to acknowledge that.

Kyle:

The other thing, I think it just, it's always fit my brain.

Kyle:

Even before coding, I had the wildest education journey.

Kyle:

I started as an engineering major, like mechanical engineering.

Kyle:

I have a double major in philosophy and mathematics because I had enough math

Kyle:

credits that when I switch, Philosophy.

Kyle:

I already had the major done.

Kyle:

It was not a wise decision, by the way.

Kyle:

It's just, it's just something a 19 year old me did without knowing any better.

Kyle:

I didn't have any guidance in my life.

Kyle:

That's a story for another podcast and a therapist probably.

Kyle:

So I've just always had a brain that could, you know, analyze things, break 'em

Kyle:

down, maybe figure out how they work, or just kind of enjoyed that kind of puzzle.

Kyle:

And coming up with solutions kind of thing.

Kyle:

So that certainly helps.

Kyle:

It's nice to have like problems to focus on, to work through, I think.

Kyle:

I think other things that keep me kind of passionate are, I love

Kyle:

the idea that there's just always incremental improvement laying around.

Kyle:

Like you can go learn.

Kyle:

A new technique and you never know when it might be a useful

Kyle:

addition to your repertoire.

Kyle:

I guess related to that is like how like learning a concept can maybe just

Kyle:

transform the way you think and I've kind of always enjoyed transforming

Kyle:

the way I think like you don't pursue degrees and philosophy and theology if

Kyle:

you're not willing to hear an idea or a concept wrestle with it and come away.

Kyle:

With different ideas and be a different person or something like that.

Kyle:

And I, to some degree, I think that happens in coding.

Kyle:

Like I, I'll give an example.

Kyle:

Many people who know me on Twitter know I have a course on state machines,

Kyle:

and I've really enjoyed learning about them over the years, even though to

Kyle:

this day I've still never gotten to use them in production at a company.

Kyle:

Like I have a fullon course on 'em.

Kyle:

I think they're great, but I've never gotten to use 'em.

Kyle:

There's always some pushback somewhere.

Kyle:

I think I might finally be at a place where we can, my managers

Kyle:

like onboard another team is like, Oh yeah, we want to use those.

Kyle:

So might quite get there.

Kyle:

But what I'm getting at is like, regardless of never being able to use

Kyle:

like X State, it radically changed how I think about programming.

Kyle:

You know, you go from these variables that represent infinite uh, data.

Kyle:

To understanding that things actually mostly progress

Kyle:

through a set of finite states.

Kyle:

And when you start to see that, you actually start to see states

Kyle:

that you didn't know were there.

Kyle:

I was explaining something to my wife the other day and I was like, You know,

Kyle:

you might have something where like a light switch is on or off, for example,

Kyle:

but there is something there in the time it takes you to move the switch.

Kyle:

And I was specifically talking about animations.

Kyle:

You would have a state of that transition.

Kyle:

Right.

Kyle:

And when you start to learn to think that way, I think it just changes the

Kyle:

way you look at a lot of programming.

Kyle:

And so, I don't know.

Kyle:

I feel like all those things kind of keep me interested in it.

Kyle:

I, I kind of went everywhere, but that's what I always do.

Kyle:

My apologies for my ADHD brain

Kyle:

. Eddie: No, that's really

Kyle:

In some ways swing it back around to your philosophy degree, like

Kyle:

that's kind of profound because people oftentimes feel unsettled when

Kyle:

they are in a state of transition.

Kyle:

Mm-hmm.

Kyle:

, and I kind of feel like identifying that you are actually in a definitive

Kyle:

state and like, okay, if I'm in this state, what are the attributes

Kyle:

of the state I should be in?

Kyle:

Like, what should I be doing in this?

Kyle:

Because normally they're like, Well, I'm not this thing yet, right?

Kyle:

I'm not turned on yet.

Kyle:

I'm not turned off yet.

Kyle:

And I was like, Well, what properties belong to you in this state of transition?

Kyle:

I feel like I don't know you.

Kyle:

You hit something really deep there.

Kyle:

That's cool.

Kyle:

Well, I guess I could kind of see that.

Kyle:

I think I've, I think to kind of add to that, People often hear on my journey

Kyle:

and they're like, How'd you end up here?

Kyle:

And I think, I think people maybe don't recognize that there's really

Kyle:

a ton of overlap, like of all these things, like learning to think

Kyle:

like philosophy was mostly just learning to think analytically.

Kyle:

And that's a skill that's used everywhere.

Kyle:

I mean, that's why PhD stands for philosophy of that thing, right?

Kyle:

Whatever you happen to study.

Kyle:

And so I guess I had, I'm, I'm sure I have, but I, I've never really thought

Kyle:

of it as, Maybe we do all focus on our personal transitions and not

Kyle:

our current states, or vice versa.

Kyle:

That's a really interesting thing.

Kyle:

I think we need another podcast for that one.

Kyle:

. Eddie: Yeah, definitely.

Kyle:

We'll, we'll book that one.

Kyle:

Stay tuned to everyone.

Kyle:

Um, . So kind of one of the main things we come around to on this podcast is talking

Kyle:

about things that bring people joy.

Kyle:

And I've noticed that, you know, you kind of have this motto, right, That you enjoy

Kyle:

leaving things better than you find them.

Kyle:

And I just really love that.

Kyle:

So I was curious if we could spend some time where you kind of talked to us

Kyle:

around how you came around to this thought pattern and kind of how it intersects

Kyle:

with your life and your job and, and

Kyle:

that stuff.

Kyle:

Sure.

Kyle:

I don't think it was a conscious choice.

Kyle:

I think to some degree it's who I am, and I think it could be a bit, because I don't

Kyle:

wanna say things are causational, but there's probably some high correlations

Kyle:

with the fact that I'm neuro divergent and maybe there's some degree of rigid.

Kyle:

I kind of look at myself sometimes as a, a relatively like black

Kyle:

and white rigid kind of thing.

Kyle:

I, it's not that I don't understand nuance, it's like, but once I've

Kyle:

made up my mind literally about something, until you really give me

Kyle:

extremely compelling evidence, I'm like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stand here.

Kyle:

And I think that applies to like what I mean by improving, while improving

Kyle:

involves change, like the constant.

Kyle:

I always want to improve, like the things I pursue and the things I do

Kyle:

in my life, whether it's coding or like, probably the biggest endeavor

Kyle:

I've done in my entire life is golf.

Kyle:

I took up golf in high school.

Kyle:

I played lots of sports, but I took that one up in high school as

Kyle:

well, and I played collegiately.

Kyle:

I was an all American at the junior college level.

Kyle:

I went on to play more and I thought about turning pro and.

Kyle:

The truth is I didn't because I didn't have money, but looking back like that

Kyle:

was probably a wise decision, even without having the money to try it.

Kyle:

But even to this day, I still practice every single day.

Kyle:

I have a net and a mat in my garage.

Kyle:

I have a putt green in my basement.

Kyle:

I am.

Kyle:

Probably better than I was in college at this point, and I do it because

Kyle:

it's an impossible to perfect thing.

Kyle:

It just really tickles something in my brain to constantly pursue

Kyle:

this impossible to perfect.

Kyle:

Thing.

Kyle:

And it's, it's not just that, like when I was doing music, you can see

Kyle:

on the video camera behind me, I have, I have music equipment behind me.

Kyle:

You know, I was constantly trying to get better at that.

Kyle:

Whether it's be music production or songwriting or

Kyle:

something, I just really enjoy.

Kyle:

It's weird.

Kyle:

The things don't necessarily like make me happy.

Kyle:

But the recognition of improvement or just the feeling of improvement,

Kyle:

that really speaks to me another way.

Kyle:

Like video games, like I don't play video games that like make me happy.

Kyle:

I play video games that I get better at.

Kyle:

Like, as silly as it sounds like, uh, like Rocket League is probably the one

Kyle:

I've played the most the last few years.

Kyle:

And why do I like it?

Kyle:

Because the skill ceiling is unattainable.

Kyle:

Like the ceiling just keeps getting moved up.

Kyle:

Now I.

Kyle:

Personal skills, ceiling.

Kyle:

My thumbs are not amazing.

Kyle:

They're like the least coordinated digits on my body, but I can

Kyle:

see how I've progressed and how I get better and, and that.

Kyle:

That triggers something for me, that pursuit of improvement.

Kyle:

So it's weird.

Kyle:

It's like that's a constant, I think all things should pursue improvement.

Kyle:

I look at the world and I'm like, Why wouldn't you try to get better?

Kyle:

And it's why I get mad about all sorts of things is like, there are common sense

Kyle:

actions you can take to do better or there are common sense actions you can take

Kyle:

to be safer or, or something like that.

Kyle:

Like, and.

Kyle:

I just kind of look at that and that's a constant, like I just expect

Kyle:

people should pursue the same thing as me, and that's, that's how I'm

Kyle:

rigid, but I love the changing that comes from pursuing improvement.

Kyle:

I hope that makes

Eddie:

sense.

Eddie:

Nice.

Eddie:

Yeah, no, that, that makes a lot of sense.

Eddie:

I guess how does that, you know, as you're dealing with code as a

Eddie:

programmer, how do you balance that?

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

How do you balance improving things versus building things, right, Like shipping.

Eddie:

Yeah, exactly.

Eddie:

, yeah.

Eddie:

How do you improve it and

Kyle:

actually ship?

Kyle:

No, I think that's why I'm a platform engineer, right?

Kyle:

Like I, I realized one of the challenges I had was as a product engineer,

Kyle:

I feel like there's unfortunately like a natural antagonism between.

Kyle:

Um, doing quality engineering and product, and I think it's because, you know,

Kyle:

maybe we're motivated differently, but also it's like product lives and dies

Kyle:

by like what they're able to tell the business they've actually accomplished.

Kyle:

Like, you know, what their slide decks and their meetings and also

Kyle:

like what revenue does that bring in?

Kyle:

Like that's how they're going to achieve success versus like, As an engineer, my,

Kyle:

maybe my inclination is not to think of successes, how much dollars I've done,

Kyle:

but, but you know, it could be, it could definitely be a metric, like, especially

Kyle:

like if you're a backend engineer and you can like literally see like, you

Kyle:

know, if I fix this, uh, this function here, this throughput here, whatever, I

Kyle:

save the company X thousands of dollars.

Kyle:

Great.

Kyle:

It's a good metric for you.

Kyle:

But as a front end engineer, I think my metrics tend to be a little

Kyle:

more difficult to touch to underst.

Kyle:

I can't tell you how much more money, uh, more delightful experience gave

Kyle:

without somebody else doing some kind of like analytics and, uh,

Kyle:

economic breakdown, stuff like that.

Kyle:

So I feel like there's that, that antagonism.

Kyle:

And if you're a product engineer, you unfortunately have to balance it.

Kyle:

You have to learn.

Kyle:

You want to be successful, you have to deliver product, and that

Kyle:

should probably be your focus.

Kyle:

But that's why I pursued work where my stakeholders aren't my product

Kyle:

manager and the users directly, but my stakeholders are the other devs.

Kyle:

Like do the other devs feel like it's easier to do their.

Kyle:

Do the other devs feel like they're less likely to run into

Kyle:

the problems they did in the past?

Kyle:

Do the other devs feel like they're being successful?

Kyle:

By using the tools and the systems we create, that's a win-win for me.

Kyle:

That means I get to sit here and I get to fixate on little details

Kyle:

that actually really matter.

Kyle:

Um, things like a system is all all about balancing.

Kyle:

Enabling and disabling what power do I give you versus what powers do I

Kyle:

restrict, you know, and, and really thinking through, like, I'm writing

Kyle:

a blog post right now about how, you know, props on a component do that.

Kyle:

Like some props are expanders, like they expand the possibilities of what

Kyle:

can happen, like children or, um, anything that can take an infinite

Kyle:

state, like a string or a number like.

Kyle:

That's going to expand what this thing can do, um, versus props that are restrictive.

Kyle:

Like they only allow a certain set of, of things to happen.

Kyle:

And both are good.

Kyle:

But you really have to think about when you're designing something to, for reuse

Kyle:

to be reused by a lot of people, how do those things that power, that enabling,

Kyle:

that disabling, how does that impact everyone that's going to use this?

Kyle:

And so, I don't know, lucky for.

Kyle:

That really fits the way I like to think anyway, finding work

Kyle:

that fits that way works for me.

Kyle:

Like the hardest part is convincing people like that.

Kyle:

It's worth paying me for that stuff.

Kyle:

Cause you know, like when things are good, I think it, I think

Kyle:

everyone's like, Oh yeah, let's, let's make it easier for everyone.

Kyle:

But at the end of the day, You know, I think by the time this comes out, there's

Kyle:

been plenty of companies with layoffs.

Kyle:

Uh, I've definitely talked to people on internal teams that are, that have

Kyle:

concerns that proving that you have value and you add value can be a little more

Kyle:

challenging when your work is foundational versus on the edge, like on where the

Kyle:

user actually interacts with stuff.

Kyle:

So, I don't know.

Kyle:

It's a double edged sword.

Kyle:

I.

Eddie:

Yeah, no, that makes sense.

Eddie:

Right?

Eddie:

The more of a supportive role you play, the less clear cut your value is.

Eddie:

And particularly like if it's a big supportive team that is like,

Eddie:

Well, you know, how big does this supportive team actually need to be?

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

So yeah, I can definitely see that.

Eddie:

See that playing a.

Eddie:

Wow.

Eddie:

So that's interesting how that has kind of shaped where you work.

Eddie:

And I totally, I've so far spent most of my career in a product

Eddie:

engineering role, so I totally agree.

Eddie:

Like right, like I've been trained to think through tradeoffs

Eddie:

of quality versus shipping.

Eddie:

Speed, quality and speed are constantly like balanced.

Eddie:

Anytime I'm working on something and it's like you talk to the

Eddie:

product manager and you're like, Oh.

Eddie:

Well, you know, how important is it that it does this extra feature?

Eddie:

Cause we could get it out faster if we cut that one feature.

Eddie:

You know, like

Eddie:

. Kyle: Yep.

Eddie:

You do it all the time.

Eddie:

You know, you cut scope, you cut scope, you cut scope.

Eddie:

I think one of the things that's really useful about this kind of

Eddie:

job for the way my brain works is.

Eddie:

I have a lot of autonomy to, as I'm going, like, I'm improving the

Eddie:

system and I see something, it's not a big deal for me to make another

Eddie:

ticket and go and just keep going.

Eddie:

And, and as long as everything's building towards like the

Eddie:

goal we have, that's fine.

Eddie:

I, I'm also, you know, uh, I'm not the biggest stickler of like

Eddie:

roadmaps and sprints and all that.

Eddie:

I'm definitely a bit more of.

Eddie:

Just put things on a board and let's go.

Eddie:

Like, let's not worry about points.

Eddie:

They're all made up.

Eddie:

They don't matter.

Eddie:

You know, stuff like that.

Eddie:

You, you don't want me as your agile, uh, coach or anything like that.

Eddie:

This time.

Eddie:

I will swear you can blur it out, but I'm letting you know, it's, um, have you

Eddie:

ever seen J F d I just fucking do it so.

Eddie:

Kind of a believer of that.

Eddie:

Well, if you ever decide that you need to get a job as an

Eddie:

agile something, let me know and we'll take down this episode.

Eddie:

. Kyle: All right.

Eddie:

Yeah, yeah.

Eddie:

No, no.

Eddie:

I'll stand by this till I die.

Eddie:

Sounds good.

Eddie:

Well, hey, as we're wrapping up, I was just curious, like how does this kind

Eddie:

of play in your personal life, right?

Eddie:

Is there any way in which you kind of approach.

Eddie:

This just in, Yeah.

Eddie:

More, you know, where there's hobbies or how you go about

Eddie:

your day or productivity or

Kyle:

whatever.

Kyle:

Yeah.

Kyle:

I mean, I think we've already touched a bit about how pursuing improvement

Kyle:

and leaving things better really.

Kyle:

Means something to me.

Kyle:

Like for instance, uh, we bought our first home right before the, the lockdown.

Kyle:

And so, you know, slowly but surely I'm improving things here and I have

Kyle:

designs and plans and stuff like that.

Kyle:

So there's things like that.

Kyle:

I think there's also ways, like I just ask myself a lot, uh, not that I necessarily

Kyle:

come up with good answers, but I ask myself things like, like, are there

Kyle:

changes I can make that would improve my.

Kyle:

That would maybe get me more time with friends, for example, or,

Kyle:

uh, give me more opportunities to spend doing activities I enjoy.

Kyle:

I'll give an example.

Kyle:

I don't do this every Thursday, but one of the things I was doing when I, uh, was

Kyle:

pursuing work was made sure that I told them like, Hey, there's a group of guys.

Kyle:

I play with golf every Sunday, but they also play Thursdays afternoons.

Kyle:

How cool are you with.

Kyle:

Splitting off in the afternoon, going and playing, and then coming

Kyle:

back and work in the evening.

Kyle:

And it, you know, if they balked at it, I balked at them.

Kyle:

But the way I look at it, two things.

Kyle:

I live in the Pacific Northwest.

Kyle:

Sunlight is a precious commodity.

Kyle:

I gotta take advantage of it while it's there, but two.

Kyle:

You know, time is a precious commodity.

Kyle:

Like one of the ways you can be wealthy in this world is to have freedom with your

Kyle:

time, and it's really hard to achieve.

Kyle:

And so finding people that will be okay with that or allow you at least the

Kyle:

flexibility to maybe control your time a little bit more can be really meaningful.

Kyle:

And so for me that's, that's one of the ways, like I kind of apply all that to my.

Kyle:

Honestly a part of it is it it, and this kind of goes back to philosophy,

Kyle:

theology, and all that is like, it's just really thinking about how time is finite.

Kyle:

And I think there's potentially even more pressure on it due to things like.

Kyle:

Anything from like, uh, climate change to all sorts of other potential

Kyle:

issues and crises that might happen that affect things like economics

Kyle:

and communities and all that.

Kyle:

So part of me is like, I might as well do the things I enjoy now while I can.

Kyle:

Because I don't know if they're gonna be here in 30 years.

Kyle:

I play with a bunch of old retirees, and I joke with them about that all the time.

Kyle:

They're like, in their sixties and seventies, they play

Kyle:

four or five times a week.

Kyle:

And I know people have their qualms with golf and I, I get it.

Kyle:

I really do actually get it.

Kyle:

I, I think they'd be surprised that I, that I actually understand

Kyle:

why they're upset with it.

Kyle:

But it's just a, it's just the most challenging activity that I've

Kyle:

ever done in my life and enjoy.

Kyle:

I enjoy it in a very different way than probably they think, But my point.

Kyle:

It might not be there.

Kyle:

When I'm at the age of retirement, we might not get to retirement.

Kyle:

So I'm gonna try and enjoy it while I can and enjoy whatever else in

Kyle:

my life that I can, while I can.

Eddie:

No, I think that makes a lot of sense.

Eddie:

And I think lots of times we can shut down our ideas of growth and progress

Eddie:

because we think, Well, I can't do that.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

And so it's just, I think in some ways, like you were talking about with your

Eddie:

house, allowing yourself, What could be better and don't shut it down immediately.

Eddie:

And then you can make a plan and you can say, This won't be tomorrow,

Eddie:

but maybe I'll do this in six months or a year or two years.

Eddie:

And allowing yourself, you know, um, to make the most

Eddie:

important things happen today.

Eddie:

Cuz like you said, you know, Yeah.

Eddie:

Who knows what tomorrow

Kyle:

holds.

Kyle:

Who knows?

Kyle:

I sure don't.

Kyle:

Yep.

Eddie:

Awesome.

Eddie:

Well, Kyle, thank you so much for joining me.

Eddie:

Uh, it's been just a delight to chat and kind of talk through your,

Eddie:

your worldview and your experiences as a developer and, uh, yeah.

Eddie:

Appreciate

Kyle:

it.

Kyle:

Yeah, thank you Eddie.

Kyle:

I glad to be here and, um, had a lot of

Kyle:

fun.

Eddie:

Thank you for joining us for episode 19.

Eddie:

There's always incremental improvements lying around with Kyle Chevlin.

Eddie:

You can find out more about Kyle on his Twitter at Kyle Chevlin

Eddie:

or his website, kyle chevlin.com.

Eddie:

He has a brand.

Eddie:

You can find links to everything we talked about in this episode,

Eddie:

as well as a link to Kyle's Twitter and website in the show notes.

Eddie:

If you didn't get it.

Eddie:

If you enjoyed this episode, help others discover it as well.

Eddie:

Give us a shout out on Twitter and tag a friend or a coworker

Eddie:

that you think would enjoy it.

Eddie:

And don't forget to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date at web Joy fm.

Eddie:

Thank you for listening and have a great day.

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About the Podcast

WebJoy
Find your happy place
The WebJoy podcast is an inclusive community centered on celebrating the diverse origins, skills, and experiences that make up the tech industry.

Talking with guests about their origin stories, what they love about working in their roles, and what they find joy in keeps this an upbeat and rather lighthearted podcast.

We approach the world with optimism and hope, while recognizing the flaws and challenges within our own industry and the world at large. We believe that if we work together, we can all find our happy place.

About your host

Profile picture for Eddie Hinkle

Eddie Hinkle

Eddie's mission is to bring joy and empathy to the tech industry. He does this through engineering leadership, mentoring and podcasting. Eddie currently works as an Engineering Manager at Glassdoor, Mentors on ADPList and hosts the WebJoy podcast.