Episode 25

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Published on:

22nd Nov 2022

S1 E25: Ice cream, froyo, gelato … I’m not gonna discriminate (Jay / @kjaymiller)

Jay Miller joins the show to talk about their origin story, from dropping out of college and joining the military, to discovering military life wasn't for them, but the traveling was fun! How did they end up as a Cloud Advocate at Microsoft? We talk about that journey!

We discuss productivity frameworks a bit, before chatting about making career moves based on what brings you joy. We also talk about bonding through more inclusive methods, like eating ice cream instead of going out to a bar. Finally, we chat about diversity and how what might never come to mind for one person is just part of natural conversations for someone else.

Discussed Links

Transcript
Eddie:

Welcome to episode 25 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:

Ice cream.

Eddie:

Fro-yo gelato.

Eddie:

I'm not going to discriminate with J Miller.

Eddie:

Welcome to another episode of Web Joy.

Eddie:

I'm excited today to have Jay with us.

Eddie:

Jay, introduce yourself to the community and let him know who you are, what you

Eddie:

do, where you work, just the details.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

I'm Jay Miller.

Jay:

My title is Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft.

Jay:

I've been in dev for.

Jay:

Two, two years and some change.

Jay:

Maybe at this point I've been working in communities forever.

Jay:

Like before it was a job.

Jay:

. I'm a Python developer.

Jay:

I've been working in the Python community specifically for about the

Jay:

last seven years, something like that.

Jay:

Six, seven years.

Jay:

I don't know.

Jay:

Time flies when you're having fun or banging your head against the wall

Jay:

because your scripts don't work, you know?

Jay:

Either way,

Eddie:

nice.

Eddie:

I guess you kind.

Eddie:

Kind of gave some clarity there when you mentioned Dev, but I was

Eddie:

looking at your title and trying to figure out Cloud Advocate.

Eddie:

Are you advocating for rainy days versus sunny days that it was the first time?

Eddie:

I'd kind of seen that as a

Jay:

title.

Jay:

I mean, I am Team Cloudy Day Team.

Jay:

Overcast, not the podcast app.

Jay:

Well, I mean, I use that app too, but like the weather.

Jay:

Yeah, it's a developer advocate role.

Jay:

Nice.

Jay:

I think internally it's like cloud developer.

Jay:

But our titles are cloud advocates.

Jay:

Uh, Azure is kind of the big thing that we work around, but then

Jay:

also like Visual Studio Code.

Jay:

Working in the Python team, a lot of my job is focusing on using

Jay:

those things for Python, but also.

Jay:

Enriching the Python community itself.

Jay:

Like, I don't know how many people know this, but obviously Microsoft, one of the

Jay:

bigger companies that invests into Python as an organization, as a foundation and

Jay:

a community, but also a lot of effort and work goes into making Python, like

Jay:

actually creating Python versions, updating Python, making it more efficient.

Jay:

And it's my job as an advocate to kind of highlight and showcase.

Jay:

Those things as well as some of the, the business side of like, oh yeah,

Jay:

and you can do all of these things also in Azure and pay my bills.

Jay:

Like, that would be great.

Jay:

. Eddie: So you're also kind of

Jay:

Absolutely.

Jay:

A hundred percent.

Jay:

And active in the very active in the Python community, hoping to bring more

Jay:

people, people from different backgrounds, different upbringings, different stories

Jay:

into tech, getting them plugged in and learned like the same way that I did.

Jay:

Speaking

Eddie:

of the same way that you did, I guess, what, how did you

Eddie:

get to what you're doing now?

Eddie:

You mentioned, right, you've been doing dev well for a couple of years.

Eddie:

You've been doing community stuff for longer than.

Eddie:

Where did this all start?

Eddie:

How did you get here?

Eddie:

You know, I guess give us a, a

Jay:

overview of your journey.

Jay:

I'll preface it by saying, one, I'm a college dropout.

Jay:

I wear that with a badge.

Jay:

I don't know if it's a badge, pride or not.

Jay:

Kids stay in school, but it is a badge.

Jay:

It is something that makes me who I am.

Jay:

That said, I joined the military after deciding that college wasn't going

Jay:

to be for me, and then I learned.

Jay:

A couple of things about myself in the military.

Jay:

One military life just wasn't for me, but also I learned that I really loved

Jay:

traveling and I really loved like learning about other people, their experiences

Jay:

and the things that make them excited.

Jay:

Just truly excited.

Jay:

I got to live in Southeast Asia for a while.

Jay:

I got to travel all over Southeast Asia, go to places like Thailand and Cambodia,

Jay:

Malaysia, like all these places that people don't think about when they're

Jay:

like, where do I want to go on vacation?

Jay:

And for me it was like a working vacation where you know, you worked

Jay:

for a while and then you had a few days to actually go and enjoy.

Jay:

And in your early twenties you're just like, oh, you know, what's it

Jay:

like to party in a foreign country?

Jay:

But for me it wasn't necessarily that as much.

Jay:

Oh, I won't lie.

Jay:

There was some of that , but there was also like this idea of how do I

Jay:

get into their community and learn and experience how they're living, how they're

Jay:

learning, how they're doing things.

Jay:

Fast forward out of the military, I wind up getting a little cis admin

Jay:

job and I'm like, oh, okay, this is, you know, I don't wanna be there.

Jay:

. Um, like, long story short is I, like, I just, I don't wanna be doing that.

Jay:

I start trying to figure out how I can make myself more

Jay:

productive in the process.

Jay:

One, because I thought I was a really bad employee and was like one bad review

Jay:

from being fired, but then also, I wanted to just not have to sit there

Jay:

and answer help desk tickets all day and not like do all of those things.

Jay:

So I learned Python and I started getting more and more into Python.

Jay:

And at first it was like I just wanna learn how to program so I

Jay:

can just automate all this stuff and not think about it anymore.

Jay:

But then once I connected with the San Diego Python community and like

Jay:

literally was just amazed at how warm and inviting that community.

Jay:

It was like, okay, this is the community for me.

Jay:

This is where I want to be, and.

Jay:

I had also started like getting into podcasting a lot.

Jay:

From there, it was like, okay, I can do, I do the podcasting thing.

Jay:

I was running my own productivity show for like five or six years, and then I decided

Jay:

like, okay, that's enough productivity.

Jay:

Everybody's all productive.

Jay:

Now we can, we can retire.

Jay:

Now I, I do another productivity show, but it's a little bit more people

Jay:

focused, not like cranking widgets and checking off to do less focused.

Jay:

It's more about

Eddie:

can you do.

Jay:

Well, it's con, it's conduit.

Jay:

You do it, do okay.

Jay:

There's a thick accent where I'm from in Tennessee where

Jay:

a sound like O's apparently

Jay:

And to be fair, people ask her like, why did you call it conduit?

Jay:

And it's like, because we.

Jay:

Can't do it.

Jay:

Like that's the entire pun, was the reason why it got its name.

Jay:

And then everything else just kind of fell in, put in place, . Um, but

Jay:

going back to all this, I realized that I liked talking to people

Jay:

like that was what I wanted to do.

Jay:

That was what I wanted my career to be, was having authentic

Jay:

conversations with people.

Jay:

I had started building those skill sets, so I, I just dove into communities and

Jay:

like online communities, code newbie, and like I said, San Diego, Python.

Jay:

We all js.

Jay:

Now I'm just shouting out all the organizations that I've like contributed

Jay:

to in some way, shape, or form.

Jay:

At that point in time, I get out of it.

Jay:

I'm at the same company still, and I switch over to marketing.

Jay:

It's at this time where I'm like, okay, cool.

Jay:

I can actually automate myself out of this job.

Jay:

I start doing that, like I literally go into, Hit three

Jay:

buttons and then let scripts run.

Jay:

And it does all my work for like the entire eight hours.

Jay:

And I spend all that time just coding, learning more and more on

Jay:

how to program and how to do stuff.

Jay:

I go to a conference, I go to North Bay Python, and I sit down with Heidi

Jay:

Waterhouse, who's like absolutely amazing.

Jay:

And if you haven't met her yet, you absolutely should.

Jay:

We're just talking and she's.

Jay:

You should apply to be a developer advocate at my company, but

Jay:

you'd have to move to Oakland.

Jay:

And I was like, I'm, there's no way I'm moving to Oakland.

Jay:

My wife will not allow this.

Jay:

Like it's not gonna happen in the end, but she's like, well, still you

Jay:

should become a developer advocate.

Jay:

I look into it, I talk to people and they're like, oh yeah, first you become

Jay:

a software engineer, and then you become a senior software engineer, and then you

Jay:

get tired of writing code all day and you become a developer advocate, which

Jay:

I'm here to dispel all those myths.

Jay:

None of that is true.

Jay:

I was kind of bummed and some folks were like, we're gonna get you hired.

Jay:

Like we're just straight out.

Jay:

The community has spoken.

Jay:

We think that yes, you would be a good developer advocate and we are going to

Jay:

do everything in our power to get you hired a friend of a friend of a friend.

Jay:

Had another department and a dev team that was hiring and spoke up for me.

Jay:

And from there it was like once I was in the role, people were like, oh

Jay:

yeah, developer advocate, you're here.

Jay:

Yep.

Jay:

. Now I do.

Jay:

What I said I wanna do is just have authentic conversations like

Jay:

this very one that we're having.

Jay:

I do that for a living and I get.

Jay:

Have it around Python a lot because that's my job.

Jay:

But I think the doing the Python part is cool because that's a language

Jay:

that I actually enjoy writing and I enjoy using a lot and learning about.

Jay:

But also the people within the community are just so dope and it's, it's just

Jay:

so amazing to connect with them and it's like, yeah, we're all around

Jay:

this Python thing, but what we really wanna do is like, go to a conference

Jay:

and like hang out with each other.

Jay:

Like that's what we really wanna do.

Jay:

Wow.

Jay:

That's

Eddie:

a journey.

Eddie:

I love the, that kind of highlights.

Eddie:

People, sometimes it feels like you can't get into right.

Eddie:

A role.

Eddie:

You can't get into the place that you want to be, and really

Eddie:

all it takes is one, right?

Eddie:

Like it doesn't matter what company you get the job at, doesn't matter

Eddie:

exactly what the circumstances are.

Eddie:

Like if you can get in the door mm-hmm.

Eddie:

, then when the people look around, they just see that you're in the door.

Eddie:

Like they don't care.

Eddie:

How you got there, per se, as long as you can do the job and stuff like, yeah.

Eddie:

You get fired by a bunch of companies that no one's gonna hire you,

Jay:

but haven't, haven't had to deal with that yet.

Jay:

Uh, so I think I'm, I think I'm doing good.

Jay:

Yeah, you're good.

Jay:

You're good.

Jay:

It's, it's funny that you mention that because my sister

Jay:

and I are 15 years apart.

Jay:

So like, uh, me in adulthood, she's about to graduate high school next year and

Jay:

we're having a lot of these conversations now of like, oh, when did you know that

Jay:

you wanted to do what you're doing now?

Jay:

And it was like when I was like 28 . A lot of the conversations were

Jay:

like, Don't worry too much about what the title is of what you wanna do.

Jay:

Just figure out what you like doing and do that.

Jay:

And then if you can make money doing that, great.

Jay:

If you can't make money doing that, then do something to make money to fund.

Jay:

The other thing that you really wanna be doing until that day comes and.

Jay:

Just because it's not Instagram influencer or like full-time live

Jay:

streamer, YouTuber, whatever.

Jay:

Like I have a lot of conversations with people who do those things

Jay:

and I learn from them and we're doing a lot of the same things.

Jay:

It's just I happen to work for big company and they work for themselves and

Jay:

I have benefits and them not so much.

Jay:

And it's, you know, your, your risk level will determine what path you want to take.

Jay:

Yeah,

Eddie:

no, that makes complete sense.

Eddie:

Recently, like I was writing a, a newsletter to the people that subscribe

Eddie:

to my newsletter, you know, and it was interesting though, because I was

Eddie:

writing about like career development, and it was like, all right, step

Eddie:

one, make sure you can get paid.

Eddie:

Step two, get good at something.

Eddie:

Step three, do something you're passionate about, hopefully

Eddie:

the thing you got good at.

Eddie:

And then step four, like have an impact on the.

Eddie:

That was like the kind of career ladder that they could kind of take

Eddie:

based on a Japanese actual framework.

Jay:

Itca guy.

Jay:

Yeah, ITCA guy.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

I was gonna throw the Itca guy again.

Jay:

Productivity podcaster, like, yes, I am very familiar with the, find what you're

Jay:

passionate about, find what the world needs, find what you can make money off

Jay:

of, and then find the thing that wouldn't, that you can identify yourself in.

Jay:

Boom.

Jay:

That center of that is quote unquote happy.

Jay:

Which I think is subjective because those things will change over time

Jay:

and a lot of that stuff is very fluid.

Eddie:

Yeah, I think that's an interesting point.

Eddie:

What you find happiness, or should I say joy in, uh, changes over time and.

Eddie:

Yeah, I'm full of bad jokes today.

Eddie:

Um, but you know, that changes over time.

Eddie:

I'm

Jay:

a dad.

Jay:

We've got dad, dad jokes are not only welcome, they're encouraged.

Jay:

So I can steal a few.

Jay:

There we

Eddie:

go.

Eddie:

Well, that's the problem is we put two dads on a podcast together and now our

Eddie:

deadness is going to ooze over the place.

Eddie:

We apologize to everyone listening,

Eddie:

. Jay: Yeah, don't ask us to build anything

Eddie:

, I get what you're saying though.

Eddie:

Just the idea of like the fluidity of like what brings you joy.

Eddie:

Not to quote Marie Kondo there, but like stuff happens in

Eddie:

like time periods and mm-hmm.

Eddie:

again, when I first got into like productivity, it was like, oh, I wanna

Eddie:

know the best apps and everything else.

Eddie:

And then the deeper and deeper I dove into that space, it was, I wanna look

Eddie:

at like, Way win, which is like the art of barely doing enough and just

Eddie:

letting things take their course.

Eddie:

Taoism, the art of doing nothing.

Eddie:

A lot of these, these different ideas, and I'm probably butchering those, so I'm

Eddie:

sorry if someone goes and looks it up and yells at you like, I'm sorry about that.

Eddie:

But the idea of.

Eddie:

Learning more about myself and learning what makes me happy in that moment and

Eddie:

like focusing just in those things.

Eddie:

My decision to go to Microsoft was built off of Joy.

Eddie:

It was a conversation of like, I love talking about people, but I'm often

Eddie:

finding myself talking about things that I'm either A, not interested in, or.

Eddie:

Or B I can't relate to.

Eddie:

And that's why I talked about like, you know, hey, I'm a college dropout.

Eddie:

This is a part of who I am.

Eddie:

Like this is how I see things.

Eddie:

And when you go into a field where a lot of people are like,

Eddie:

oh, did you go to Stanford?

Eddie:

Or, oh, did you go to MIT or Cal?

Eddie:

I'm like, no, , I didn't.

Eddie:

And people wanna like have all these conversations with you.

Eddie:

And then in my mind, how do I bring this back into something that is remotely

Eddie:

interesting to me until eventually I realize it's like, or I could.

Eddie:

Go into a space that is naturally interesting to me and

Eddie:

focus on those things instead.

Eddie:

That's good.

Eddie:

That's, that's really interesting.

Eddie:

So I guess, what is it that drew you to Microsoft where you were in

Eddie:

this place where you're like, oh, I'm not finding joy where I'm at.

Eddie:

Like, I want to head towards this.

Eddie:

What kind.

Eddie:

Was that draw for you?

Jay:

Well, I will say since a lot of my previous coworkers are also

Jay:

friends, like it wasn't them.

Jay:

That wasn't it at all.

Jay:

To be honest.

Jay:

We're all adults here.

Jay:

There is like a lifestyle level of joy that happens.

Jay:

There is also.

Jay:

Hey, how much are you traveling?

Jay:

How much are you versus how much time are you spending at home?

Jay:

Hmm?

Jay:

When you do travel, are you traveling to places that you want to be at versus

Jay:

places where they want you to be at?

Jay:

And then also, When you go and you travel, what is the experience there?

Jay:

And when you're not traveling, what is that experience?

Jay:

And what I found myself doing was avoiding one thing by doing the other

Jay:

until I couldn't stand the other.

Jay:

So then I would like switch back.

Jay:

Ah.

Jay:

So it was like travel, travel, travel.

Jay:

Okay.

Jay:

I, I wanna stop traveling, work on big projects so I don't have to travel.

Jay:

And then like, okay, now I'm bored of this.

Jay:

Go back to travel, travel, travel.

Jay:

Doing that whole thing.

Jay:

And a part of that is me having ADHD and, and like not being able

Jay:

to just say, I wanna spend the next 25 years working on the exact same

Jay:

thing, in the exact same project.

Jay:

That's just not me.

Jay:

But also having, having a company that is one large enough to know

Jay:

that not everything will be put on my shoulders, that's good.

Jay:

But also knowing that being on a, a relatively small, newer team where

Jay:

they're wanting new and interesting ideas gives me the ability to.

Jay:

Do the things that I'm comfortable doing because to be fair, as an uneducated

Jay:

black man in tech, that's usually not the thing that's not the case.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

So I can go into a room and say things that are my lived experience or what

Jay:

I think about just in my day to day.

Jay:

And people were like, I have never thought about it like that.

Jay:

Wow.

Jay:

This is the first time this stuff has ever been brought to my attention.

Jay:

Who would've thought, this is a great idea, we should do that.

Jay:

Or people say like, oh, we need to increase how people perceive this.

Jay:

And it's like, well, I know the community that I associate with would

Jay:

like this because that's what they say.

Jay:

Because again, I like to have conversations with

Jay:

people so people are telling.

Jay:

We should do things like this.

Jay:

And they go, we've never heard that input before.

Jay:

I'm like, whoa.

Jay:

Like all this.

Jay:

And again, these aren't the actual conversations verbatim, but this

Jay:

is the discussion as it's happening of like, Jay, what do you wanna do?

Jay:

I wanna build things that make a difference in people's lives,

Jay:

especially the lives of people that look a lot like me and.

Jay:

Okay, how do we do that?

Jay:

Is there a scholarship fund?

Jay:

Is there, it's like, no, it's just make data available.

Jay:

Be transparent about stuff and when you mess up, own it.

Jay:

It's a relatively simple thing.

Jay:

My developer advocate persona is very much, I'm not an expert, I'm not a,

Jay:

you know, I don't have a doctorate, which some people on my team too that

Jay:

there was like imposter syndrome there.

Jay:

There was this level of like, me being who I am.

Jay:

Is what made me valuable to Microsoft because the people.

Jay:

They've always reach, know who they are.

Jay:

They know what's available to them.

Jay:

The people that they would like to reach are the people like me, so it's like,

Jay:

Hey, I don't necessarily have all the ends because that's not how navigating

Jay:

life works, but, I have different viewpoints than what have been traditional

Jay:

in this space, and I bring all of that on top of my existing skill sets.

Jay:

I love that.

Jay:

And they saw that.

Jay:

They saw that and were like, Hey, yeah, come work for us.

Jay:

I was like, all right, let's do it.

Jay:

I'm a very simple person.

Jay:

If you just write me a message and say, Hey, I like what you're doing.

Jay:

I like the cut of your jib , you know, then.

Jay:

I got a short list of joy.

Jay:

Okay, first thing, new food.

Jay:

Love, love new food.

Jay:

Any, any time I can go to a new place.

Jay:

Try a new.

Jay:

Have a a wonderful experience and like a great conversation.

Jay:

I'm all about it and I'm not picky.

Jay:

I'm kind of picky now because I found out I have like a gluten

Jay:

sensitivity, so I'm like navigating that gluten free life right now.

Jay:

It's one day.

Jay:

One day.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

That's tough.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

That said one thing that doesn't have gluten ice cream.

Jay:

Hey, hello Of ice cream.

Jay:

I learned this.

Jay:

From a friend of mine, shout out to Marietta.

Jay:

Uh, she is, uh, absolutely amazing.

Jay:

Uh, she's also a developer advocate.

Jay:

I think she, she's at Google, I believe at the time This is out.

Jay:

Um, or a time of recording.

Jay:

But some things are inherently inaccessible.

Jay:

A lot of people like to grab a drink.

Jay:

I like to go grab a drink.

Jay:

That's cool, but I understand not everybody in the room can go

Jay:

grab a drink and not everyone in the room should go grab a drink.

Jay:

There are a lot more people that will go and grab ice cream than.

Jay:

Should be grabbing a drink probably, and you can have as much ice cream

Jay:

as you want, as long as you don't have any of the types of diabetes

Jay:

that you know we need to think about.

Jay:

The worst case you'll get is a stomach ache and, and maybe like

Jay:

some, some like lactose issues and.

Jay:

The good thing about that is there are a lot of vegan options of

Jay:

ice cream that are just as good.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

I make it a habit now of anytime I launch or do something great, I go

Jay:

celebrate with, with some ice cream and like I'll, I'll go to wherever I

Jay:

can and, uh, grab some ice cream and, and ice cream, froyo, gelato, like

Jay:

I'm not gonna discriminate on those.

Jay:

Like sweet, frozen, slightly creamy treat.

Jay:

Yes.

Jay:

I.

Jay:

That is what I'm looking for in life.

Jay:

That brings, uh, joy.

Jay:

And again, doing any of these things with someone, whether I'm doing it for the

Jay:

first time with them or celebrating them, celebrating their wins, their experiences.

Jay:

I think that brings me more joy than me doing it myself,

Jay:

especially if I know that.

Jay:

A tiny bit of that, like I played a part of, I'm never going to take credit

Jay:

for someone else like being amazing, but if I got to give them that little

Jay:

push, go do that amazing thing, and then I get to celebrate with them.

Jay:

I get to ask 'em like, how was it?

Jay:

Are you gonna do it again?

Jay:

Like any of those things.

Jay:

I think that's what brings the most joy.

Jay:

I've never thought

Eddie:

about it in that way, how like it is.

Eddie:

Ice cream is an easier thing for most people to go consume,

Eddie:

and like it's lower threshold.

Eddie:

I, I love that.

Eddie:

I might have to steal that and start embracing

Jay:

that.

Jay:

Absolutely.

Jay:

And also like there are thousands of flavors to choose from.

Jay:

Especially if you get into like gelato, like.

Jay:

There are a lot of coffee gelatos and everyone will be different.

Jay:

People just throw like different fruits and like sometimes they'll

Jay:

even put like vegetables and stuff.

Jay:

There's a place in San Diego where I live called Ann's Dry Cleaning, and

Jay:

it's literally a gelato place that's in a renovated, dry cleaning store.

Jay:

So like the dry cleaners isn't there anymore, but it's now a gelato shop and.

Jay:

I love going there because they always have, they'll have like Toro,

Jay:

they'll have like sweet potato or Wow.

Jay:

Like different like mint and peanut butter stuff.

Jay:

And it's, it's always like different flavoring and different

Jay:

flavor profiles to choose from.

Jay:

And, and again, like when you can go somewhere that.

Jay:

Has a lot of options, whether you're vegan, whether you know, whether you

Jay:

just can't consume dairy and they have like other options that you can use.

Jay:

You can try that work out like that is so much more accessible than like,

Jay:

Hey, everybody here is drinking.

Jay:

What alcoholic beverage would you prefer?

Jay:

Oh wait, you're under 21.

Jay:

That doesn't work.

Jay:

Oh wait, you know, you have a history with alcohol that you know

Jay:

need to be around that like, It allows more people to be invited.

Jay:

If, if someone has like type two diabetes and they're like,

Jay:

Hey, I can't eat ice cream.

Jay:

It's like we will stop and like go somewhere where you can eat or we will

Jay:

find like something for you and, and have the experience, but you don't have

Jay:

to miss out on the larger community.

Jay:

And a lot of that is.

Jay:

Less stigmatized than something like alcohol abuse and,

Jay:

and, and things like that.

Jay:

So it, it makes the conversation so much easier to have than like,

Jay:

oh, hey, let's go to the pub.

Jay:

And then like, oh, ah, kind now I'm gonna pass.

Jay:

And then you're like, oh, now everybody's doing like the,

Jay:

the weird like shuffle thing.

Jay:

Like, oh, sorry, didn't mean that someone's like, ah, I.

Jay:

I'm lactose intolerant.

Jay:

Cool.

Jay:

Let's, let's go somewhere where you can go and let's grab a bite to eat and maybe

Jay:

some dessert and we'll figure it out.

Jay:

Whatever we can have that's lactose free, we'll have it dessert, you know,

Eddie:

whatever.

Eddie:

Yeah, I think that's great because right, like in kind of building off of what you

Eddie:

were talking about where like being a black man at Microsoft, like you bring

Eddie:

a different viewpoint, like a lot of men in tech and so we center events around.

Eddie:

Alcohol and stuff and golf.

Jay:

Geez, I don't ever, I hate golf like this.

Jay:

For anyone that ever wants to connect with me, do not ask me to go play golf.

Jay:

That is, oh, do you play golf?

Jay:

No.

Jay:

I don't even play putt putt.

Jay:

Like get no . Like all of these weird things.

Jay:

And it's not even to say that, that those are weird gendered things,

Jay:

but it's like just ask people what they like to do and then go.

Jay:

That's probably the other thing that brings me joy, is that now the community.

Jay:

Less afraid of asking and is work and they're like working on it,

Jay:

like, how can we best reach you?

Jay:

And then taking that feedback and like just doing that like that.

Jay:

Someone asked me about mentorship the other day and I, I told them like,

Jay:

if you want to reach underrepresented people with mentorship, learn

Jay:

where they are, learn how they want to be helped, and do just that.

Jay:

Nothing el like, don't go anywhere beyond what they have asked of you.

Jay:

To do.

Jay:

Cause that's where folks like wind up going into these, these weird traps of

Jay:

like, oh, I sat down with this group and I did all these things for them.

Jay:

And they're like, that's great.

Jay:

That doesn't really, that doesn't really help me though.

Jay:

Oh man.

Eddie:

No, that's, that's true.

Eddie:

People can get in their own heads and think, I'm gonna do this for so and so

Eddie:

and like that does nothing for them.

Eddie:

All the time I think, oh, I'm gonna do this for my wife and

Eddie:

she'll really appreciate it.

Eddie:

And she's like, yeah, thanks.

Eddie:

Thanks for.

Eddie:

I appreciate it, I guess, but like that, that wasn't important to her.

Eddie:

Different people accept and receive things differently based on their

Eddie:

background and their experiences, and it's like, just cuz we think that

Eddie:

someone will appreciate this or we have gender or racial stereotypes that make

Eddie:

us think that someone will appreciate something like they're an individual.

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

Find out if they actually care about the thing before you go

Eddie:

and spend effort trying to.

Jay:

Yeah.

Jay:

Cause I mean a lot of that, a lot of that failure will go against

Jay:

what could have been success.

Jay:

I think that was one of the big things working with, uh, HBCUs.

Jay:

Historically, black colleges and universities and like the southeast

Jay:

companies are so eager to talk about how like, Their company wants to do

Jay:

so much for those schools and it's at the same time, it's like, did you

Jay:

ask them what they needed and just start providing those things instead?

Jay:

Because like when we go on a campus and talk to somebody, and I'm not saying

Jay:

we as in like Microsoft, I haven't done that for Microsoft, but like when I

Jay:

personally for anybody go onto a campus and I'm talking to students and I'm

Jay:

like, where are you at in your learning?

Jay:

How can I help?

Jay:

And when they say, oh, you know, it'd really be cool if we had, you

Jay:

know, people to just learn about this thing that cost me nothing.

Jay:

That's, that's some tweets and some hashtags and like, do that.

Jay:

And then you go, Hey, is there anything else I can do?

Jay:

And like keep having successes to them because what you qualify as a success

Jay:

and what they qualify as, as a success will be so different that sometimes their

Jay:

successes will be absolutely free to you and you can do more, but you can do more

Jay:

in a way that you know will benefit them.

Jay:

That's good.

Eddie:

Yeah, I mean, as we wrap up today, you know, one thing we like to do as

Eddie:

a community is we love to support each other, and so we just wanna know, is

Eddie:

there anything you've been involved in or anything that you've worked on that

Eddie:

you'd like to share with the community?

Jay:

Yeah, so I have been working over the last couple of years getting

Jay:

deeper and deeper connected with.

Jay:

Internal team level, DEI things at everywhere I work.

Jay:

Cause again, I am very used to being the only person that looks like me at

Jay:

my job or being the only black person.

Jay:

The only like, so like anytime that happens or, or

Jay:

anytime I go to a conference.

Jay:

I always call it like the rule of two, like, oh, there's always like two people

Jay:

of color speaking, and one of them is definitely talking about their experience

Jay:

as being a person of color in that space.

Jay:

It's sad because everybody that I've talked to that is black is like, Oh,

Jay:

I'm number two and you're number one.

Jay:

It's like, like, yes.

Jay:

Like we're it, we found each other.

Jay:

It's great.

Jay:

But when I ask people like, how do we fix this?

Jay:

What do we do about it?

Jay:

They're like, oh, I don't know.

Jay:

It's so hard to find organizations that cater to, to underrepresented

Jay:

people in tech and all these things, and we give money to like

Jay:

this one group and that's it.

Jay:

And I was like, There are so many groups out there that need help and

Jay:

need support and need members, and there are plenty of people who want

Jay:

to be a part of communities that are people that look like them and

Jay:

have the same experiences as them.

Jay:

And it's not an exclusionary thing.

Jay:

It's a finally a place where I can feel safe and not be the only person

Jay:

doing the thing that looks like me.

Jay:

So, All of that to say, I've put together this website called Diversity orgs.tech.

Jay:

I put it out a long time ago.

Jay:

It was this other thing where like you would just start put in your, your

Jay:

city and like what technology you're into, and you would get like all of

Jay:

the different organizations in that area that cater to that, those groups.

Jay:

It's expanded a little bit.

Jay:

There's some things that I'm taking into.

Jay:

Perspective, more things like accessibility and making sure

Jay:

that like it's usable, um, by the greater, uh, community.

Jay:

And right now, like as we're recording, this is around Juneteenth.

Jay:

So like I'm celebrating Juneteenth and I'm throwing up all the black organizations,

Jay:

but they're actually like, 600 organizations that I have manually gone

Jay:

through the process of like indexing and adding and throwing all the information

Jay:

and classifying and all that stuff.

Jay:

And I'm hoping that there will be more by the time that this is released.

Jay:

So if you go there, You can, if your city has an API thing that you can do,

Jay:

like there's an API where you can find all the organizations that cater to

Jay:

underrepresented groups in your area.

Jay:

If there's a particular area, a particular group that you want to look

Jay:

into, uh, you can do that as well, both on the web as well through the api.

Jay:

And if you're an organizer and you're like, Hey, my group's not in here,

Jay:

that's because we haven't connected on Twitter yet, so we should do.

Jay:

But then also you can create an account and add your organization as well.

Jay:

And I will say that like I'm in the process of making sure that one,

Jay:

this is accessible for everybody.

Jay:

It's also safe for everybody.

Jay:

So if you say, Hey, add my thing, why don't I see it?

Jay:

It's because there is a vetting process to make sure that.

Jay:

We highlight when Code of Conducts don't exist.

Jay:

We highlight when, you know, you say you're a local organization, but you only

Jay:

meet online for, you know, for reasons.

Jay:

Like, we get that and we take reporting very, like I take reporting

Jay:

very seriously and personally inspect all of those things.

Jay:

So yeah, the, the site is diversity orgs.tech.

Jay:

Again, hopefully, uh, by the time this comes out there will be more things to

Jay:

talk about on there, but I'm already excited about where it is today.

Jay:

That's,

Eddie:

I love that you're collecting this information and I also like

Eddie:

the idea of like, hey, highlighting something specific, right?

Eddie:

Like with Juneteenth, you know, highlighting all the different

Eddie:

organizations that are for black people, and that's a great idea

Eddie:

even to potentially like year round figure out, hey, like what

Eddie:

other things for underrepresented.

Eddie:

Could you highlight and like have little, like, highlight things for

Jay:

those different groups?

Jay:

I think it's, it's going back, like I said, we're recording this in

Jay:

June, like the week of Juneteenth.

Jay:

Um, after this, it's going back to Pride, at least for one more week.

Jay:

Nice.

Jay:

Uh, and then we'll see, like there, I've, I've gotta figure out what

Jay:

that content schedule looks like.

Jay:

And again, all of these organizations are available on the site and this

Jay:

isn't designed to take away from.

Jay:

I don't provide any of the services that they provide.

Jay:

Uh, you basically, the page that I get is like, here's an

Jay:

informational page about them.

Jay:

Here's all the things that you need to know to make, whether or

Jay:

not you wanna engage with them.

Jay:

And then here are the links to their platform on how you can

Jay:

engage with them in the way that you have deemed that you wanna sorry.

Eddie:

We made it through most of it and then Riverside just totally died on me.

Eddie:

. Alright.

Eddie:

I think we're

Jay:

good now.

Jay:

. Okay.

Jay:

Yeah, I was gonna say it froze for a second, but I wasn't sure

Jay:

if it, uh, I was like, uh, knew I should have did that back recording

Eddie:

That's okay.

Eddie:

I think it recorded everything on yours.

Eddie:

Fine.

Eddie:

It sends a different stream between us than it does record locally,

Eddie:

so yeah, the local should be okay.

Eddie:

And then, yeah, it's just, we didn't see each

Jay:

other.

Jay:

Okay.

Jay:

Cool.

Jay:

Cool.

Eddie:

Hey, Eddie here from the future or.

Eddie:

Should I say present day.

Eddie:

I was convinced when we were recording this, that despite the issues we

Eddie:

are having here in each other, that the recording was happening fine.

Eddie:

It was all going to be available.

Eddie:

It turns out.

Eddie:

Jay was right.

Eddie:

I should have had him doing a backup recording.

Eddie:

Well, welcome to the real world where not everything goes as planned, but

Eddie:

Hey, at least we were just minutes away from the end of the episode.

Eddie:

Thank you for joining us for episode 25.

Eddie:

Ice cream.

Eddie:

Fro-yo gelato.

Eddie:

I'm not going to discriminate with J Miller.

Eddie:

You can find out more about Jay on his Twitter at K J Miller or his website.

Eddie:

K J miller.com.

Eddie:

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

Eddie:

As well as the link to Jay's Twitter and website in the show notes.

Eddie:

And if you enjoy this episode, help others discover it as well.

Eddie:

Give us a shadow on Twitter or tag a friend or coworker

Eddie:

that you think would enjoy it.

Eddie:

And don't forget to either follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our

Eddie:

newsletter to stay up to date.

Eddie:

Thank you for listening and have a great day.

Show artwork for WebJoy

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.