Ep 13 – Wisdom from A Super-CTO – w/James Turnbull

James Turnbull is a Prolific Technical Author, Engineer of 25+ Years, and has worked in VP or CTO roles for various companies like, Glitch, Kickstarter, Docker, Venmo, Puppet, and Microsoft.

What we talked about:

  • How did you land so many cool Jobs?
  • Networking and remembering things about people
  • Coding as a CTO
  • Docker and Containers – Why they are awesome
  • Is DevOps important as an Entry Level Engineer?
  • Learning as a Stairs instead of an Arc
  • Gatekeeping in Software Development
  • How to become a CTO
  • 10X Engineers
  • Human Skills
  • Startups – How to be successful
  • Is Equity worth It at Startups?
  • How long should you stay at a company for?
  • Seeing People Learn and Grow as Developers
  • What I wish I would have known as a Junior Dev

Moving Away From a Monolith – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Huju9de2hmo




Douglas Hirsh: [00:00:00] welcome to another episode of the junior to senior dev podcast. I’m Douglas Hirsch 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:00:07] and I’m Tyler Lemke. And today we’re here with James Turnbull. He’s a prolific technical author, a engineer of 25 plus years. And he’s worked at various VP and CTO roles for companies like glitch, Kickstarter, Docker, Venmo, puppet, and Microsoft.

Thanks for coming on James. 

James Turnbull: [00:00:26] Oh, pleased to be here. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:00:27] so you’ve got, first of all. I don’t want to like try to blow smoke, but like I was, I was looking at your background. I’m like, wow. If I think if anyone could land the CTO job at any of these companies, they’d feel like they made it in life. How did you, like, how did you get these out?

Like. How’d you get so lucky to land jobs, all these different jobs. What are, what are you doing? What’s the secret sauce here. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:00:53] Please tell us it’s really hard work and it wasn’t luck. That’s what we want to hear. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:00:57] Or you’re not a genius. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:00:59] There’s an 

James Turnbull: [00:00:59] element of luck, all of these things and timing. you know, the reason I got into it, reason I got into engineering was kind of accident.

And so, Things that my very first engineering leadership job, I was literally appointed to engineering manager. Cause I was the person that didn’t jump to a meeting when we did a restructure and everyone was like, we don’t want that job. But James is in here. How about we just make an engineering management?

I came back to work the next day and it’s almost like you’re in charge. And I was like, huh, I get to what everyone around and just quickly discovered that’s not true. but no, I think a combination of, timing and, and, Yeah. And lock in. I think network is a big piece. Like, I, I think almost all of the jobs I’ve gotten have been referrals or people I know, or network or, yeah, I would say that, that it’s sort of like once you have a certain reputation, then, then it’s, it’s, it’s easy enough to get those introductions.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:01:47] That’s awesome. I love the networking piece. How did you, what, what, I’m, I’m big into networking for? Good for getting jobs. So how did you get into the networking sphere? What, what mediums do you use or how did you meet people? how did you get connections with the right people to, to land these roles? 

James Turnbull: [00:02:04] actually one of my former boss, this is the kinase who is the founder of puppet OSS system.

That should be a VC because I’m very good with people. And I always remember everyone’s name. And, and I’m like, like, I don’t know how you think that I’m like, I’m socially awkward or I’m introverted. And you guys always know like what their kids’ names are and where they went to school. And I just have one, I think I just have one of those brains where you just pick that sort of stuff up.

it’s getting a little bit slower as I get older. so I tend to ride a lot of things down. So like, have an Evernote with, you know, a person’s name, wife’s names, kids’ names like relevant sort of information. but yeah, I generally tend to think about stuff like, it feels like you’re having a conversation, someone it’s polite to remember things like that.

And I, so I discovered that the polite to remember things like that is actually pretty useful, because you can say to somebody that had been in there, like. They’re always surprised. They’re like, how did you remember? Like went to Portland state and I’m like, Oh, well, we’ll be talking about this thing. And they’re like, huh.

And, that, that’s what makes you somewhat memorable. but yeah, it’s, it’s a combination of sort of notes and, and, and just sort of the way my brain, I’m not very good with faces and, but, trivial information and fax it back when he was alive and stuff like that. I just seem to. Acquire. I don’t know quite what it is.

That’s great. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:03:12] I, I, that’s definitely not my strong suit. I think I remember people’s faces more and then I, I just focus too much on the technical stuff and not their lives, but I think that’s a great, that’s a great thing. So just think about, I kinda kinda think of thinking that if you just focus on what you might feel, what, what makes you feel good when people remember.

If you can just focus on those things and try to remember those, is that kind of the, what you just do naturally? 

James Turnbull: [00:03:37] Yeah. And I think part of it is, technologies come and go. Like I have some bonds with people based on technology. I’ve been part of some communities where, you know, people and things like that.

But, Like, I must have used a dozen different programming languages. I have my career. And I don’t know that I think about myself as a member of the go community or the Ruby community on the rust community. but other bonds, like, I lived in Portland, Oregon for a while. I was in Sydney, in Australia and the other places overseas.

I have a lot of friends there and I can talk about the place and, and memories of the place. And, you know, people I went to university with, I’m still friends with people I went to university with. I think it’s those connections that aren’t necessarily. Technology related people, people in, you know, this is why people go to Ivy league college colleges, right?

Like this great professors and stuff like that. But ultimately it’s about who you meet. Right. and, and Google and Apple and, and Microsoft for years and years hired out of what eight, 10 colleges. because they basically hired a bunch of engineers from those places. And there’s engineers only knew other people from those places.

So. All of a sudden their hiring pool consisted of a bunch of MIT RIT, Stanford graduates, and they never looked anywhere else. So those are the bonds I think are really powerful. and, I think it’s, if you retain this information like that or, or about a place or a person or some connection, I think it’s useful.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:04:53] That’s great. I love that. That’s that’s gold. So I think, I think Douglas had, I had a question about, Your technical chops. Cause you said you’ve done 12, you said half a dozen different languages. What are your, I’m stealing your question. Doug Douglas. When’s the last time you coded basically, have you, since you’ve been a CTO, are you a hands on CTO or, or have you been, has it, have you gone back and forth at when’s the last time you’ve sat down and, and, and, and popped out some code 

James Turnbull: [00:05:23] about 10 minutes ago when we just had this, I was literally talking before we to call ’em.

I think it varies on the job. Like, my current team is very small. like, it’s purely engineers, the CEO, and then 12 engineers. so, I’m somewhat of an IC, not a huge amount, but enough. And also you want to keep like a technology keeps moving and I want to keep, keep up with it and I want to be able to be credible.

And, it’s also something I’ve done for 21 years. I can’t. So to switch it off, I guess, But in other organizations, like, certainly my last role before this was sort of 40, 45 people in engineering and product. And, you know, I definitely wasn’t writing any code, because I, I don’t want to make sense afflict sort of VPA CTO code on, on, on one of my engineering team was then asked to support something that I, you know, I don’t do this professionally eight hours a day.

Like they do. My code is probably not going to be as good as theirs. Then, and then subject to doing a code review on my code. It’s a bit hard when you review your boss’s of like, most people are mature about it, but some people are pretty awkward. So rather than putting people in a position, no, like I’m writing something I have to support or review and plus the stand up time, like 45 odd people.

I was in meetings in one-on-ones like I used to describe it as I would have eight hours of meetings and then a couple of hours to do my job. so yeah, you don’t get a huge amount of time left to do that. I would say I’m. These days, I’m a hack and slash developer, right? Like I can solve problems, but, no ones they’re not particularly elegant.

and some things that, I can write JavaScript and talk script, but I’m terrible at it. And people like front end engineers, literally go, please don’t do that. Like, we were embarrassed for our craft when you touch out code. So, there are things of the things that are possibly by, I’m definitely in this, on the systems and things.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:07:07] That’s awesome. Is that. Is that where you started as well. I remember seeing one of your, one of your it’s a conference talk. So you said you started a yeah. did you start, managing mainframes or something like that or was it, was it just a servers? 

James Turnbull: [00:07:22] I started off, I started off fitness, so to meet Ryan Chinese pondered world, because an IBM mid range, sort of a baby mainframe, I guess the equivalent, like, you know, HP and sun and DGX and things like that were all sort of in the same sort of ballpark, those sort of, you know, if you had a bank or an insurance company, they’d probably be an ass funder flooding around some way to manage members or something.

so, yeah, my career was originally sort of. I would say, I would say more of a CC admin systems engineer than a, than an actual, a software engineer. most of the work I was doing was. In, languages like JCL and cl and IPJ, which had traditionally sort of business or process languages.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:08:01] Okay. I guess that makes, that kind of makes sense that you, you worked for puppet and Docker then, cause you kind of understood that world a little more. At least that kind of makes sense to me. what. You said, were you one of the first, I think you said you were one of the first developers at Docker or something like that.

So were you on the forefront of getting into containerization and stuff or was that stuff already taking off when you’re, when Docker was a coming forth or, or, I don’t know all the history about that, but I think it’s a, 

James Turnbull: [00:08:30] I guess there wasn’t an, I was definitely the only employee. the, I think I was somewhere in the, I dunno, actually 20 odd people with maybe, maybe a little bit more w w.

We were hiring pretty fast. Like I think it doubled every doubled in the time that I was there. I was there because I had actually seen Solomon hikes, give his presentation at Python about DACA. And, I vaguely knew a little bit about, Aleksey and so the containers and, and, but had never been there never been an area I, you know, and I know about zones and stuff, that’s sort of more older sort of things like logical partitioning, which would go back a long way.

And that was sort of interesting to me, but I saw this doc thing and what was interesting was less than technology, but more than workflow, I was like, Oh, I could just spin up a bunch of machines and I wouldn’t need to talk to anybody or install, test servers, or, you know, I can just run this on my laptop on the plane.

Huh. Okay. so that’s what appealed to me more than the sort of container the technology itself was what could do with it. and so I started writing a book about tacos not long afterwards. And, the team of taco were like, you know, can you, are you interested in coming on board and doing some work with us?

And yeah, so, I think engineering was about 12 people, 10, 12 people. And I try to maybe a little bit more, the core of the team was always French and, and I think those were the. Cause it was a previous hosted company called.cloud before that, I think the core of the engineering team was still lots of, the French engineers had worked on.cloud.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:09:54] I’ll tell you the whole idea of containerization. I mean, I remember the magic of running VM-ware for the first time I go back a long time. My dad was a computer programmer and I had hardware from like, I started writing code when I was 12 and a, I remember putting via where version one on a computer and, and having like very little ramp, but I booted up this copy of windows running inside windows and okay.

This is. This is cool. This is, this is, it was magic. I mean, there was an inflection point. I think, I think I could have gone either way. I could have gone down the systems admin side or the development side, at one point, cause we used to have computer splayed open all over the place. Hard drives, hanging out, you know, back in the old IDE.

what was it? EMF, Oh, there was, there was one before IDE, you know, before the old ID drives. And, you know, we just had all these old drives hanging around and we change them out and you know, all this, all this stuff and, and, You know, the whole idea of going from the point of these virtual machines, which were really heavy to, containers.

And, you know, I knew about, I heard about LXC and, and you know, the other, the other technology jails and stuff like that. But the Docker Docker just made it easy. That was the thing that I under that came to me was that I could just these commands and up, up and running, it was, and then with the layered, the layered file system that it had, it was, I know we’re getting, this is a lot more technical than that.

Even these words, we’re just using all over the place. Here is a lot more technical, I think then we’ve gone. But I love talking about this. This is actually a. 

James Turnbull: [00:11:36] Yeah, I think that’s one of the really interesting things about Docker is that, if you go to a lot of GitHub repos these days, there’s this other thing that under installation, their very first thing is it’s like a Docker run command, and you don’t need to know anything about go say or whatever, language, Ruby, whatever things.

and you just want to access its functionality. You typed Docker run and run the Docker image. And. Connect to whatever port it is, or open up a web page that like, and it’s done. Like, you don’t need to be a deep expert in the technology to get it running. and that’s an enormously powerful, that’s an almost about force and, and, sort of equalizing force, like a lot of front end engineers, for example, have no interest in, in, in, in the sort of backend of stuff.

But I just want, I want to go, I’d like to have, you know, my school database or Postgres database, or I’d like to have. And Apache web server, and all of those things, that combination, and previously though, there were lots of bundles of stuff, but this is like, I can take redness and just sort of locally.

Oh, that’s pretty cool. yeah. And when I, when I, when I stop it, it goes away and I haven’t installed any weird software anywhere. I’m not going to end up like messing up my openness ASL sell or whatever happens to be. Oh, I think that’s a really powerful force. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:12:40] Yeah, it just goes like when you’re ready for it to go away, it’s gone.

I haven’t, I don’t think I’ve directly installed a copy of my cul Postgres or Mongo DB in, in Wellover. You know, well over a year, at least probably a couple. and I remember having to fiddle around with all the stuff settings and, and, you know, all, all that stuff to get everything, to talk together nicely.

And now it’s just setting up these containers and the cool thing about the containers. This is just even from a security perspective, right? So you can, you can say, Hey, the ports are only open here or these things are talking and it’s on its own little network, you know, it’s, it’s got its own. You know, it’s got its own little network that it’s, it’s running in.


James Turnbull: [00:13:24] be a little bit wary about that. It’s I would say it’s, it’s, it’s more isolated. It shouldn’t then security, right? Like, so you’re not likely to cause any harm to anything else if you’re running a Docker network, but they’re pretty easy to punch holes and good tightness. it’s definitely not a virtual machine.

and I’m always wary of when people say security is, I think isolation is a, is a, is a definite advantage. you know, it’d be helpful to create a little local cluster or network of things to talk to one another and you don’t have to map poets around all what sort of stuff. but I’m not sure you could credibly claim security as being a benefit there.

yeah, they’re pretty thin walls, those containers. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:13:55] That makes sense. That actually makes sense. Thanks for the, thanks for the correction on, on the terminology. Cause isolation does make sense. I mean it, now that if I go and use that term, it won’t give that, that. You know that warm fuzzy of Oh, it’s secure.

yeah, no, that’s cool, man. so, so no, the, the thing about, about all the containerization and Docker was there just, it made it so much easier to even set up environments that I didn’t even want to go worry about getting familiar with anymore. You know, I’ve gotten to the point now. You know, it was always cool to bring down a new little server or something, you know, bring down post-grads by SQL and learn the ins and outs of it.

Now I don’t have to, I can just bring down a Docker container and connect to it and, it go, although there are a little bit of ins and outs that I remember having to deal with with like database containers, you know, trying to connect remotely and stuff like that. 

James Turnbull: [00:14:47] Yeah. They still need to be configured and 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:14:49] they still have to be configured.

But yeah, I mean, which, which actually is interesting, cause you worked at puppet too, which kind of were like, like to be, you know, do you use puppet and your Docker containers? And I though, but I don’t think, by my opinion, after a while of looking into, into the two was that they, those two technologies are quite, are quite different.

James Turnbull: [00:15:11] yeah, I think provisioning is a, I don’t think configuration management guys. I, but it happens at a different layer of obstruction. so you still need things and, and systems and, I would say. You know, I think puppet still has a place, particularly in the larger, the process where you have like lots of things, why together.

and you know, there’s always room for things like Terraform. Like you, you’re not creating when you create an AWS environment, you’re not just creating a bunch of, you know, Amazon containers to do things in, ECS or fire gate, or EKS for the Kubernetes version. You’re also spinning up low balances and virtual private networks and, and, all of the sort of environmental bits and pieces.

So you still need a layer of configuration management in there. It’s just sort of a, I would say it’s more of a plumbing thing than, the Mo the vast majority of engineers probably don’t see it. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:16:00] Yeah. I bet. just remind me of, cause I’ve heard you I’ve listened to you carefully. Do you, do you, do you cringe when people say, Docker containers or do you like, cause.

Really containers and Docker are two different things, right? Like, or, or, you know, so, nitpick on that, 

James Turnbull: [00:16:17] I think force of habit, like, there’s certain things I can shake out of my vocabulary. I think, cause I was doing a lot of the early evangelism for the DACA, the woods Docker containers, must’ve come out of my mouth a couple of millions of times.

So, I probably should. Separate the two. and, like I work with a bunch of people who are mostly use pod man, for example. Well, and, and, more Linuxy, yeah, more interested in, instead of thinking about it as a, a container as a, as a, as a format and like, and more about executing the runtime than it is about having a, a demonized environment with lots of containers and things like that.

Right. Yeah. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:16:50] Force of habit. Well, I wasn’t, I wasn’t criticizing you. I just, I, I remember hearing, some, Pluralsight course and, and that was talking about that. I was like, Oh yeah, it makes sense. It’s not really this, the two, two aren’t aren’t coupled to gather, but it says a lot about, it says a lot about you guys branding.

You’ve gotten done a good job at that time. I’m getting everyone to think. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:17:09] Docker is containers. They’re the Kleenex. 

James Turnbull: [00:17:12] Yeah. Yes. It’s very successful. I w I would, yeah, I think, I think that the branding was, was quite successful and, Solomon did an excellent job and the team, actually the marketing team at Docker there, the marketing team did an excellent job of, you know, the cute YL and the container images and, and the, and they’re very good about, you know, I think, I think it was a, it was a very good marketing campaign and they’d caught, caught a wave of stuff.

And, you know, I’m not sure, I’m not sure where it goes from here, but certainly it’s going to be in the vocab for the next few years. Cool.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:17:46] So I’ve, I’ve got a, interesting question. We’ve been talking back and forth now about, you know, about Docker and, and, you know, Servers and stuff like that. And you know, our main target is, and I’m about to do the same thing to you, Tyler, that you did to be, I’m going to take one, your questions now. cause I’m really interested now cause I was reading this and where, or basically kind of explain.

Is it important for a developer to, to kind of like get this dev ops experience at this point? Do you see that as like an indispensable skill that they need to have to be able to, to administer or handle the dev ops side of things? Or what do you think? 

James Turnbull: [00:18:31] It’s interesting question. I I’m, I’m kind of a Jack of all trades.

So I mean, like I’m not, I’m not deep in anywhere. I tend to think about. Sort of gluey sort of skills. honestly, when I think about junior engineers, the first few, you know, or early stage engineers, how would we wanna describe them? I think getting down the practices of being an engineer, like, working out like how to work in a team, how to be part of an agile process, you know, getting get right.

Learning the basics of a language and then the opposite, developing your skills there. and then, you know, the sort of peripheral stuff necessary for you to do a good job is probably the thing I would focus on. if someone’s obviously interested in the DevOps stuff, then, you know, they should go down that path.

But I think that the sort of plenty of sort of skills I think are part of that being part of a team, being collaborative, understanding how a process works, Getting down the, the mechanics of, of, of a language and, and you know, working out how to, you know, how do I, I get, I get assigned a ticket, like how do I turn that ticket into code?

and how do I think about a feature and how do I break that feature into tickets? And, Oh, I’ve got a couple of features. Like, how do I think about planning network? those sorts of skills are the ones that, I think are actually harder to acquire than technology skills. I think you can teach people to program.

I’m not sure you can teach people that too. I think it, I think a lot of, if you can teach people our program, I think that that, teaching someone to be a developer or an it software engineer, is sort of more of a mentoring on the job, practical experience thing than it is, a college taught or, or a school exercise.

because I think you need to experience something like. If you wanted to learn to fly a plane in a flight simulator, you might be a very good pilot and maybe you could land the plane, but you probably wouldn’t be able to. There’s a bunch of things that you just don’t have with that actual hands on experience.


Tyler S. Lemke: [00:20:19] That reminds me that that reminds me. Cause I’ve been watching some YouTube videos about that, that same thing. This guy built like a seven 37 fuselage that had his own, his own simulator in there. But I think. You know, I’ve been in, I’ve been in the industry for three or four years professionally.

And I think of probably those, you know, bad deployments and stuff like that. That’s kind of what you’re, you’re kind of talking about right. Is, is when, when everything is going right, and you’re on these rails of learning things, you don’t learn, you know, how, how do you get around these really weird nitpicky things that you, you just learn and, and, different frameworks and.

How to think about things. in certain ways 

James Turnbull: [00:21:01] it’s kind of think about learning as a sort of a stairwell and not a, an arc. Like, I think you, you, you hit a hard problem and you sort of fossil it out and they used to take a step up and then you go on for a bit, then you hit another hard problem and you knew sort of level up like that.

And like the first time you see a unit test, you’re like, okay, I have no idea what I’m doing here. Oh, here’s a couple of unit tests I’ve written. If you ever need a test, that’s really cool. And then all of a sudden you’re like, Oh, okay. I need to think about this, this and this, or here’s an integration test, or I need to think about, you know, I’m, I’m starting to see the world the way the world works and the way that the application fits together, I’m sort of leveling my way up that stairs.

I think that you, there is a. There’s always that moment where you’re sort of like you look in the screen guy and I have no idea how this works. So what this is doing, I’m going to, I am. And then you have that Eureka moment of like, huh. Oh, somebody explains it to you, steps you, you’re doing you like, and you take an immediate leap up in skill rather than sort of a curve.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:22:01] That’s really interesting. So you, you, I know you’ve been involved in something called pursuit, so you, you, you have hands on experience teaching, Adults about, or at least being involved in, in, in, in, in organizations that teach adults tech. Right. So what have you learned? What have you learned there?

Cause both Douglas and I are very interested in the, in the process of learning and stuff like that. What do you do? I believe it’s called pursuit if I’m not missing. 

James Turnbull: [00:22:27] Yeah. shoots a program that helps some folks from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not be well represented in the tech industry, get tech jobs.

So it’s essentially a. Teach they teach, you know, iOS and, and, Android, Java, development, web development, and sort of try and sort of. Bootcamp people over in sort of a longer period. I think it’s about eight or nine months to all program. and, and, and sort of helped them find a job at the industry includes sort of work skills.

And most of the teaching I do for them is work skills. So I teach interviewing and, a lot of engineering techniques, how, how to sort of, you know, a bit of that networking outreach sort of stuff, how to, how to. Voter resume and things like that, sort of, mostly because when I, they would decided that I’m not an iOS or I write Java, but not in the Android world.

So, I, wasn’t a good match for the sort of technologies looking at, but I do have a lot of experience. I’ve interviewed many thousands of people, and being interviewed a lot of times and it’s something I actually quite like. So I, you know, I taught a fair bit of that. and for a lot of folks who’ve never had a.

It was a fraction in those who met like a technology interview is a very different thing than I interview in our retail environment or in hospitality environment. it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s almost a skillset in its own, right. Surviving a technology to be a tech interview. so teaching that stuff is, is good.

I think the big thing I learned is that it’s probably, I’m Al I’m always, people are always like, there’s a bottle, there’s a massive bottle and treat to being an engineer like that. You need to be a math genius, so you need to have gone to college. And I didn’t think that’s true at all. I think that that, some skills are uneven the distributor.

And if you are a deep specialist in crypto or blockchain or something, maybe you can, maybe you have an advantage, a leg up on somebody. If you spent have a CS degree. but a lot of engineering, you know, that you can learn that stuff. It’s not, it’s not, or you can look it up like the, the, you know, if somebody doesn’t understand how, how to, how to work with a particular algorithm or, like, you know, how, how, how they could think about a binary search trees like that, like they can go to Google and find an example in a thousand different languages with a bunch of explanation and a YouTube video and a Pluralsight course.

And. Like that stuff is not, it’s not some secret incantation. and I I’ve, I find that sort of thing, keeping really, it really antagonizes me. That’s like I keeping my, somebody, like if you don’t have a CS degree, surely you copy will engineer. I’ve had that. I actually, I actually got told that by an engineer.

Cool. That alone software company that has a search engine, that I wasn’t a real engineer because I didn’t have a CS degree. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:24:54] Yeah, I know. I know how that I actually know how that feels because I’m in the same boat. I’m self-taught well, you’re not well you’re self-taught but you do have a degree. I 

James Turnbull: [00:25:03] have a philosophy degree, which I’m not sure is particularly relevant to anything.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:25:07] No, no, no, but I’m just saying I, so we’re both. Self-taught that’s, that’s the one thing, right? We’re we’re self-taught and, but I did want to put that out there at least you, you know, sometimes people tell me it’s the, it’s the paper that, that makes the difference. Not the, not even the CS degree. 

James Turnbull: [00:25:22] A lot of organizations, the deep irony is like most electrical engineers will look at, software engineers and tell them that, you know, your tolerances are really broad and you’re clumsy and you’re not like you don’t, you’re not real engineers.

And then of course, physicists will look at mathematicians, look at electrical engineers, insight, you know, you folks on not like it’s all sloppy work and, you know, so that there’s a hierarchy there that’s kind of illogical anyway. So I always find that amusing. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:25:47] And the important thing, right, is, is that we deliver something that delivers value to the business, or that actually helps the customers right.

Where you think about the  the money that, that gets paid to us to do our job had to come from somewhere. So if we’re not doing things that produce value for the business, we’re not going to be working with that business for very long. Yeah, 

James Turnbull: [00:26:13] that’s right. Yes. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:26:14] That’s absolutely right, man. That’s the one I think I wish I could teach people, or really get them to know very clearly.

You know, sometimes I’m told the way that I think about things, even, even where it went, when I’m teaching other instructors might tell me, Hey man, that’s not, that’s not your job to think about. And I’m like, well, I’m dealing with the customers here directly with the customers here. I gotta think about that.

You know, I, I, I want to be sure that the customers are, you get, you get what I’m saying, right. We started thinking about it a different way than, than I’m just, I’ve just paid to deliver, or I’ve just paid the right code or, you know, what, what am I doing the right thing for the long term of, of what I plan to be doing with this company?

Is that going to help them and, 

James Turnbull: [00:26:57] I think that each thing, I mean, the podcast, you said you need a senior. I think that the more, some seniority someone has in an organization, the more important they need to understand that, that, they’re communicating with a business that is not technologically literate necessarily or not.

Actually, I don’t even want to even say literate. I’ve definitely worked for deeply technical CEOs, but they don’t care about it. Right? Like the widget is not, it’s important to them. It’s whether the widget does what the customers want and they can sell the widget. so if you spend a lot of time talking about the widget and how it’s various characteristics from a technology point of view like that, that’s gonna, that’s gonna turn the audience that you want.

It’s just going to be like, well, how is this relevant to our go to market? And how’s this relevant to the customers using the product. and the more senior you get, the more important that becomes to be able to translate that, that like the user wants these. So the customer wants this and the business that has like this.

And how do we, how do we achieve that? How do we turn that requirements into a solution that we can deliver in the timeframe that’s acceptable to them. And that’s much more about, that sort of communication collaboration, you know, Almost product management. He sends stuff than it is anything about the technology.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:28:03] We’ll talk to you about that lines of communication and tried to provide value. It takes me, there’s a, there’s a memory I’ve got in one of my first, one of my first corporate positions that I had where, the. We, we almost lost a client. I was working for a logistics company and I think we were, we had just gone through three cycles.

This, this product owner kept coming to me and saying, Hey, the client is asking to do this. And I’m like, okay, well let’s, let’s do that. Like, let’s, let’s get that done. And I would, I would do it. We would put it in a release and get it out the door. And the client would still say, Hey, we asked you to do this.

Why aren’t you done it? And they’d come back. Okay. We were wrong. Let’s talk, let’s do this. And eventually I just said, Hey. You know, let me, let me talk to the person who keeps asking for this thing to be done, because something was happening in the transmission of the message. And I don’t want to lay blame like that there, it should have been brought to me in the right way, but once I got on the phone and started talking to this person, I was like, Oh, you want to do this?

Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, yeah. And then we just, yeah. I was like, okay, that won’t take me very long. we’ll have it out. We’ll have it out pretty quickly. But after three tries of humbling, you know, people trying to deliver messages through, through, you know, layers of communication. It was, it was, I go back to this one because whenever we talk about light providing value and what not, that’s Really hard to track out of people what they actually mean. And even in our industry, it is, It’s hard to communicate. And then you start trying to put layers of communication in between people and eventually you, if you’re not skilled at delivering messages, things, don’t get to where they’re going properly.

There’s somewhere I was going with this and my brain is now. Yeah, I just went off the rails. Sorry buddy. No, man. It’s it’s, it’s one of those things where, where go ahead. Go ahead. Tyler. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:30:03] I wanted to, I wanted to switch this back to something you said before. Cause it going back to the, you know, the, the audience of the podcast is.

You’re kind of this self-taught self-taught to CTO. Right. And I think that’s a really interesting story. And what if someone is interested in that right now, say, Hey, I want to be, you know, I want to go from, you know, where I’m at right now, either self-taught or whatever I have a couple of years. And then just, what’s some advice you would give to, to that person.

to be able to get, to be a CTO of, you know, even, you know, small to medium business. 

James Turnbull: [00:30:42] I think it’s that. I mean, I will perfect. I should have said earlier that lack timing and privileges is another aspect of that. Like, I’m a, I’m a white, I’m a white dude from a first world country who went to university and, speaks English and have no problem with, with visas and stuff like that.

So I have an enormous amount of advantages in that regard as well. Right. But I think that it is about having that. Obviously CTO is very, like, there’s different definitions of. like I’m the VP of engineering, the current organization I’m at, I manage the sort of operations of the engineering organization.

and I work with a CTO who is, more on the sort of, technology product side of things and is sort of the, or we get switched to the R and D. Strategy, future sort of vision of the world. and there are CTOs like that. There are CTOs who manage the engineers as well as being technologists. And there are CTOs like some organization or multiple CTOs who look after the tequila technology domains.

so I I’ll probably focus on, on, you know, roles where you are managing engineers. I think that comes down to that sort of broad skillset. and, and I mentioned earlier about like senior engineers, having that communication collaboration thing. I always seeing somebody talk about like 10 X engineers and I think it’s kind of bull.

 most of them tend to be brilliant jerks. and I think about a staff engineer or an excellent. Engineering manager or an amazing director of engineering, as a force multiplier and they’re 10 X engineers, but they’re 10 X in the point. Yeah. The way that they make making 10 other engineers and more powerful.

And, in order to do that, yeah, you need to be able to talk to people. You need to be able to go. You need to be able to break things down and plan. you need some understanding of how money works. like, you know, I, I manage some fairly large program budgets and stuff like that, so I understand how pain works and you need to understand a bit about marketing and a bit about product.

And so I think that the big thing is to be inquisitive and curious and ask questions. and you know, you, if you, you know, instead of like a lot of organizations, like you get a set of requirements and you ship to requirements, like the, the, I think there’s a, there’s a definite, like, I’m interested in like how to, how does this fit together?

How does the product marketing team put the, put this thing out to the mine? Okay. What the, what, what does an STR do? Like I used to sit on coals at puppet, do he sells engineering sort of stuff, but also I just started listening in, on conversations with, and I’d hear the sales reps talking to the customers.

Cause he, you get a sense of like, you know, what the customer cares about, and how the sales rep is selling it and how to think about the product. And Hey, can make it easier for them to understand that. so I guess it’s, it’s that sort of don’t I won’t call them soft skills cause they could say that’s the wrong word, but don’t Don’t, you know, you need those human skills being the best software developer in the world will not make you the best engineering manager.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:33:24] I like that. So the, the, the idea of calling them human skills, cause you do not know how many times I’ve had to try to, to explain from a cognitive science hard skill versus soft skill. So, you know, the psychology also behind that, those two terms. So human skills, I actually liked that. That’s really cool.

James Turnbull: [00:33:44] Yeah, I’m sure I’ve stolen it from somebody I met maybe, maybe, Yeah, I’m I’m I feel like I’m, I’ve stolen that from someone that I can’t remember who, I’ll have to often dig it up. And if I, if I, if I have stolen from someone real, quite at them, and let you know, but, yeah, sure. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:33:59] I think it’s interesting that you said this because we saw this with, our first interviewee, his name is Jason Cox and he actually had a criminal, like.

Like corrections background, kind of a similar, like in psychology. And I see, I see that a lot of it seems to me like people that have, that have focused on soft skills or have that proclivity, they can still do well in software development. That’s kind of my, I don’t think I’m the best developer in the world, but I hope that I have a little bit better soft skills.

So I’m kind of like leaning on that, like, okay, this can take me somewhere in my career. Right. Do you think that’s a, Do you think that’s a viable option for those who are like struggling? Hey, I don’t know if I can, you know, be the best, you know, like kind of like, you know, we look at the X developer and like, I can’t be that guy, but maybe I can lean a little bit on my soft skills.

James Turnbull: [00:34:46] I mean, I feel like it, yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s hard. there was a, I think there’s a, there’s a mix of skills. I think that, You know, I need to be credible talking to engineers and I need to understand when engineers tell me things like what, like the they’re like the estimate is this and doesn’t feel right to me, but I can’t, I cannot pack it because I don’t actually know what’s happening.

I think that’s problematic. certainly managing engineers. so I wouldn’t say that, I, I think it’s, it’s, it’s a well rounded skill set rather than, than a, rather than a particular, like, I’m really good at talking to people. And this is a classic sort of thing that, I think a lot of women, a situation where like women are put into is like, I see a lot of fairly senior women who like get pushed into as a chief of staff, so to jumps because they’re good at, at planning things or coordinating or dealing with humans.

and I’m like, okay, that feels like a trap to me. And it feels like it’s, yeah, it’s a, a stereotyping that, that are. that we should avoid and that we should sort of look at people in a, in a more holistic kind of way. I think that any organization that, that, that looks at somebody and goes this person, you know, because they’re the only empathetic person in the team should be in charge of the empathy, soft skills, these sort of human skills side of things.

The question should be more like what’s wrong with our organization and how do we fix our culture? Rather than like push, push all of the responsibility for trying to deal with that, you know, the friction in between that sort of stuff under, under the person who’s best at dealing with the friction.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:36:11] That’s fair. It sounds similar to kind of what happened to you at the beginning of your career, or maybe that’s not what happened, but I know you said that everyone was like looking around, like, yeah, you’re the best guy for this. 

James Turnbull: [00:36:23] You get it. And I think, and that’s in our, the old people I was quite close with.

So, I think they knew that I wasn’t gonna object overly much to the, to the concept. and I, it’s one of those things I always wanted to try and there’s a good chance that if I hadn’t have enjoyed it, then, I might’ve gone and done something else. but it turned out that, that, I like that.

And, and so, you know, I appreciate it as a, as an interest. I’ve I’ve been, like, I think I was probably, From that couple of gigs on now, I was probably a CTO in the early two thousands. And then, as an individual contributor at a bank for, for several years, what can a security team and then an individual contributor as a, as a systems engineer.

Yeah. An operations architect. without any leadership responsibilities. And then I jumped back into a leadership role. And so, and as I said in this role looks like, you know, I’m 75% people leader in 25% IC or some varying percentage depending on it. So, I, I’ve never sort of settled on one, but I do.

My preferences is leading engineering teams.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:37:18] That’s great. So. I want to ask you, cause it seems like you are an expert on startups having worked at multiple different ones. In fact, you were, I know you, a CTO over, some type of startups at Microsoft as well. what type of. What type of individual, seems to succeed the best at, at startups?

Like what type of developer, what, what are the, what are the skill sets that help? if, if there’s listeners who want to say, Hey, I want to go work at a startup. What are, what are one or two things that you saw and people who are successful, at those roles? 

James Turnbull: [00:37:54] I think it depends, early stage startups.

Like the, you know, where you are, one of the first few engineering hires, Again, they’re lonely, like at a higher relative to the senior people. Like my team currently is very senior folks. Like I think there’s, I don’t think there’s anyone with, with sub five years experience. Maybe it might even be a moose, anyone with less 10.

but if you start into sort of like the next sort of stage of like a series ism and like that one it’s sort of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 a hundred engineers, I think you need to be. Fairly flexible. you need to be set up, be prepared to do different things and jump into different things. Like one day you could be riding a postulate.

Password screen for something. And the next day you could be puzzling out a Twilio notification. And like, it’s not, it’s not like, a lot of corporate jobs. You might work on a project that lasts a long time, like a quarter long sort of thing to build something. I start up like, you know, you are, you’re very sprint oriented, so you need to be able to context shift and be flexible.

I think too, you need to be prayed to accept a certain amount of risk. and because like I have enough options certificates to wallpaper, a bathroom, which are about the same probably worth about less than more paper. so, you know, I always say to junior engineers who work at startups, like don’t, don’t.

If someone says to you, like, are we, we, we weighed heavily on equity and not so much on salary and you like, you’re not, you’re not making a living wage. Are you not making what you feel is a, is a good wage? because you’re getting equity, just remember that more than 75 to 80% of those companies, these file and that equity is worthless.

but you still need to eight and you still need to pay your rent. And maybe you’ve got a family or you’ve got kids that got put to school, or you want to buy a house. So pay a mortgage or whatever it is. you need, you need to be able to be comfortable with, with, sort of, you know, having that conversation and going okay.

If I’m not getting paid quite as much, I’m good. It’s equity, that’s a higher risk option. or, you know, am I prepared to negotiate and come up with a like, and some startups, like it’s not possible. We can only pay you X dollars and, and exchange, we give you this X equity. and that’s a decision you still have to make.

Larger companies, obviously, you know, much more stratified pay scales and you’ve got a pretty good idea like Microsoft, like, you know, does, does, you know, T is of like, you know, in the company levels in the company and levels have pay ranges around them and got presented to you. What you’re buying.

This is gonna look like, and you stocks actually worth money, and those are much safe options. so yeah, flexible, prepared to take some risk. I would say to, Stops are not the most, stuff’s pretty homogenous environments. like the, you know, I T’s pretty technology is pretty, it’s pretty homogenous broadly, but startups tend to be.

Heavily white dudes who went to Stanford. and if you go to San Francisco, there’s like a cliche, like, North face, vests and, and, and you know, folks hanging around. Yeah. Cyclops, coffee and stuff like that. So there’s like a, there’s definitely not, that can be unwelcoming to people who don’t fit the mold.

and, Can you very hard to break into those communities. and that’s not an awesome thing. And sometimes it’s not a great thing to be the only person who is the only woman on a team or the only person of color. so yeah, startups, there’s definitely some risk there that they’re not the most accepting of different sort of diversity.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:41:06] Oh, good to know. I’m sure that’ll, that’ll help inform people. 

James Turnbull: [00:41:10] That 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:41:10] are looking for that. So that was, that was some great gold right there. I really liked how you, you chimed in about the equity portion. Cause that’s, that’s kind of what I, the I’ve assessed before working for a startup just very briefly.

I was like, I don’t think this is actually worth anything. So, But the, 

James Turnbull: [00:41:31] I think we had another 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:41:32] question was, you know, what do you think about staying safe, staying at a company for 25 years and, and getting a pension. It’s kinda, it’s kind of, we’re asking Joe. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:41:42] I do, that was a little tongue in cheek there.

We would get that response, but I loved the job history though. It I’ll tell you more like, like what do you, what do you think. 

James Turnbull: [00:41:51] it’s a hard one. Like, I, I definitely, I was looking at LinkedIn the other day and I saw somebody who had the, you know, celebrate and one of those moments where they send you, like celebrate somebody and they work anniversary.

And I thought, wow, that person’s still at their company. But, they loved their job. They had a couple of kids for probably now calling out college, I guess. and that’s what they wanted to do. They liked to go into work at, at eight and leaving at six and no five or whatever it happened to be.

And they liked the work they were doing. Like if they worked with, they weren’t particularly interested in doing anything else, it was a solid paycheck. They didn’t take their work home with them. like for some people that, that, that works like that. And there’s nothing wrong at all with, with having that approach.

I wish companies would be more loyal to those people that, you know, they’re often the glue in our organizations. And, you know, I often suffer from redundancies and stuff like that. large companies obviously have risk of their own. so I didn’t have a problem with that. I have found it like, you know, the, one of the problems in the startup world can be, it’s tumultuous, like, like I’ve definitely had, I shot a bunch of short stints of jobs because of circumstances beyond my control of companies not going well or changing direction or, you know, geography or, all sorts of stuff like products, changing and market conditions.

And 2008. Wasn’t a great time for anybody. And I suspect this last couple of years of this year and next year is going to be interesting too. So, you know, there’s a lot of companies that a lot of people look at a resume and go, they only work somewhere for a year or a year and a half. Like they’re either they’re a mercenary or then they have the commitment.

and cause they’ve got that in their mind that like that, you know, there’s a sort of, it’s expression, but it’s sort of boomer attitude of, of, like you are going to work at a company for, for 10 years. Like my, my, my dad kinda understand why I kept changing jobs to him. Like staying somewhere for 20 years, it’s like totally normal activity.

and I’m like, well, circumstances are not like that. But people still think about people’s resumes with that other mindset in mind, particularly there’s a lot of. Older folks in leadership, obviously like there’s a lot of companies where like I’m in my forties. There’s a lot of people in my, on my age who are sort of in leadership roles who have a fairly traditional view of people’s resumes.

it, Hockins back to the comment about sort of computer science degrees and stuff like that. If someone doesn’t tick the box, then, it’s not a fit. but I can understand the concern from companies, I certainly have that conversation with, with people when I’m hiring. They’re like, you know, you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta be able to tell us the story of how this happened and why you have these short stints here.

And, and I’m like, I would love to tell you something different, but here’s what happened. And some companies are like, Nope, we don’t want to continue that. And others are like, yeah, cool. We know we accepted that’s, the nature of the world. I guess I think about software engineers in the same sort of way to, probably more relevant to the junior to say anything is that.

I anticipate given the nature of the market, particularly in startups, that if I get paid in it’s the two years out of a, out of a software engineer is sort of a software engineer, one or two, or maybe even a senior senior software engineer. that’s a pretty good outcome. Because often the fastest way to get the next job up the runway, the latter, or the next pay rise, or the next sort of opportunity or move cities or whatever happens to be you want to do is changing companies.

and if you’re 22 years old and, and, and you, you know, you, you jumped around for two years old arguments here and there for, for fees while you sort of work out what you’re doing, and then you could get up that ladder. Like we shouldn’t penalize people for that. That’s a, we might, if we make it hard for them to, to, to, or they can’t grow, cause their startup grows their particular way and their only option is up and out then like how, why should we shouldn’t we shouldn’t penalize them for the fact that the market works in a particular way.

you know, you can’t deny that, that, that, you know, 20, 30, $40,000 pay rise by going somewhere else is considerably easier than getting a 20, 30, 40,000 pyrites in your current job, even with the promotion. So why would we sort of look at people’s resumes and go, you know, that, that, that person looks like they’re shifty or mercenary or, when we, when we know that the way the market operates.

Douglas Hirsh: [00:45:49] So, you know, I, I actually really, I thought this was, that was a really good question because, our, our histories. You know, going back the past five years, the last job I took, I had to answer those kinds of questions. Like, Hey, it looks like you jumped around jobs a lot. Why? And I had to go through, well, I delved into startups and things were a little weird and.

You know that, you know, I kind of had to go through it, explain, like I went to go the, like I teach now. And the first time I went to go teach the a, the company only survived seven months after I jumped ship from a, from a major, you know, from a massive bank into working at this, at this coding boot camp.

And, they had been around a while, so I thought I was okay. No, they were failing. I just didn’t realize it. And, and so then after that, I just started working with startups. Cause I felt like this is the reason why I went to startups was because I felt like I could make a difference more so than just as a, just as an IC.

you know, as, as developers zero zero, zero one zero, Oh. Or, you know, whatever. and, you know, that’s, that’s kind of, that’s. That’s one of those things where, where I thought looking at your history, I wanted to get your take on it on it too. But the other piece of this, which I don’t know, I want to touch on this a little bit just from, from our, to our audience, is that the lessons I learned at the different companies I worked for were all different.

I was learning constantly. when I went to a new company, Policies were different the way they handled the software development life cycle was different. Some people leaned more toward waterfall. I’ve worked in agile environments. It, it, because I did all those and you’ve done these two, the, the amount of the amount of knowledge that we’ve got is, is a lot more than if we had just stayed in the same company that had the same policies and worked on the same stack for.

10 or 15 or 20 years, 

James Turnbull: [00:47:48] I think it’s sort of depth and breadth sometimes. I think, I think startups. Yeah. So the impact, like, you know, if you’re a, an early engineer at a startup, you know, you’d have an opportunity to shape a product. and, I can definitely point out some things that, that I build and go, that was me.

and I could definitely point at some, some aspects of a product or some things that, that, and I can go. You know, I had somebody who reached out to me on the day to ask about our feature of a product I used to work on. They’re like, I want to talk about this and how it fits together. And do you know who wrote the, and I was like, mm, that might be me.

and I don’t know whether they have any good to say about it, but, like the, the, I sort of hearkened back to the fact that that was a pretty cool thing we built. and so I think that’s a. Now, perhaps more so than a larger company where they’ll release cycle might be once a year or once a quarter or something like that.

The idea that you see it, you see your actual work go out and people use it sometimes in the same day. Like, you know, you continuously deploy something and watch it, watch the feature you built, go out to the world. And what change you made? there’s nothing like a, you know, watching a junior engineer deploying on a, for the first time where they maybe they made a small change to some HTML or some JavaScript or.

Yeah. something and they’re like, they watched a play happen in the, we hit the refresh under their browser and say the change place you like. That’s a pretty, I mean, that’s a, to me, that’s a, I like that. I like seeing people have that experience. 

Douglas Hirsh: [00:49:07] Yeah. That’s a really good one to have when, when someone gets to see their stuff come alive and even the most minute change, I actually.

Getting to teach adults development. It gives me that, that experience. I get to see people who, who, you know, we we’ve been doing a lot of projects recently. It’s, we’re at a heavy project phase of our, of our coding boot camp right now. And I’m, watching the projects the people have got so creative in their eyes just.

Light up is there they’re demoing it for us. And, and yeah, so that whole, the push, the initial code out there is a, is a big deal. There’s no, there’s no other feeling like it, you know, you help them do that. 

James Turnbull: [00:49:49] Yeah. I do like ’em bootcamp projects are like there’s, singing, shoot, seeing the projects. I do it a little bit of sort of project management help for some of the earliest.

Cohorts projects. And, I was, you know, as amazed some of the ideas people had and, mainly people from different backgrounds because, you know, I think they’re trying to address problems that I I’m not necessarily have board are not necessarily where exists. And that’s super interesting when you see somebody who goes, well, actually, there’s this thing over here.

And I need a thing that solves this problem and I’m like, Oh wow. I never would’ve thought that problem existed, but they’ve got a different experience or different background. And, that stuff’s super fascinating. So I, 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:50:27] I think you’ve left us some, a part of this with some great, wisdom. We’d like to, we’d like to end with a, the same question each time, or at least some variation of it.

But what’s the one question that we should have asked you that, that we didn’t, that, that you’d like to like to share, share the answer to, I 

James Turnbull: [00:50:44] guess, I don’t know that there’s a, there’s a specific question that Springs to mind. I think the, I think, you know, I was thinking a lot about the sort of junior to senior path and, and, thinking about a couple of things that, that I wish I’d known more than, than anything else. one of which was like, you know, that that’s, there’s, necessarily map out your entire future on straight off to you first, you first on your first day at work, like, be flexible and see what comes along.

You know, you might, you might be like I’m going to be a front end engineer. And then two years later, discover that that go is the most awesome thing. And you want to build back in microservices somewhere, or dev ops is a really cool thing or immobile development, or what happens to be, you know, don’t, don’t, don’t sort of have, well, it goes on about the world around you.

Good opportunities. I would say to people like. You know, if you see something like you want to be a product manager for 12 months or two years or whatever it happens to be, that’s a useful Scodel Acqua so you don’t think you have a fixed vision of like, I’m going to be a front end engineer. That’s the only thing I’m going to be.

Okay. Don’t believe sort of that gatekeeper, we sort of stuff about like, you need, you need this sort of background or this experience, you know, You know, if I read another Hakkanese post from somebody who’s like a real engineer, it goes home everyday. He doesn’t write eight, eight, eight hours of code on there.

You know, they could have repo. And so I haven’t got that. No, I’m not going to hire them. It’s a job, right? Like it’s a job like any other, and some people take their work I’m with them. And some people don’t. and there’s nothing wrong with not, we going rock climbing in the weekend, instead of, instead of like, you know, churning out a thousand lines of closure on some particular problem, we building, nothing wrong with that either, but, but it’s certainly not a job requirement as far as I’m concerned.

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:52:23] Awesome. That’s great. So if anyone wants to follow you, I know you have a, I think we’re going to leave at least one link to, One of the talks that you gave on YouTube. what’s the best place to follow her or contact you James? 

James Turnbull: [00:52:36] Oh, I’m very old. So I have Twitter. so, I’m KRT on Twitter, but, probably probably my blog, KR T a r.net.

and that’s sort of the best place to find stuff and, I’m always happy to chat with folks too. I spend a lot of time. Again, a lot of LinkedIn and emails from folks saying, you know, like, you know, I have some advice about this. I can’t necessarily jump on the phone with everybody, but generally tend to reply or everybody, or point them at somebody who might have a better answer.

So I’m, I’m maybe regretting open myself up to this, but, yeah, I’m always happy to set up, talk to folks. And as much as my, network or advice is useful, I’m always happy to expend some capital on, on, helping some other people get into the industry. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:53:12] That’s awesome. thanks so much for sharing your time with us today, to tonight and everyone listening to the episode and, it’s been great and we’re going to, we’re going to follow where the, the next startups you go to.


James Turnbull: [00:53:24] it’ll be interesting to see how you have to stay put for a while. I would like to have it. I have a, a cake for a few years. I’m kidding. This last 12 months with COVID has made a bit interesting. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:53:36] Well, there’s something, something safer stability that that’s for sure. 

James Turnbull: [00:53:41] Yeah. 

Tyler S. Lemke: [00:53:43] Awesome. Thanks so much, James.

We really appreciate it. 

James Turnbull: [00:53:45] No, thank you for having me.

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