Whiskey Web and Whatnot

A whiskey fueled fireside chat with your favorite web developers.


35: Leading From the Top, Creating a Community, and Balancing It All with Tracy Lee

Show Notes

Great things come in unexpected places. For Tracy Lee, an ex-boyfriend's T-shirt sporting the Ember Tomster is what tipped her off to software development. Following curiosity and a three-week bootcamp, Tracy was hooked and ready to take on a career in coding. Today, Tracy is the CEO of This Dot Labs. She leads a team of 50 developers with a focus on reactive programming, web performance, and developer experience. Her clients and colleagues have become her closest friends and she's always looking to help fellow developers expand their careers. When she's not running an agency, Tracy is part of the RX Core Team (one of her many professional memberships), posting tech content to social media, and raising a new baby boy. So how does she manage it all?  In this episode, Tracy talks with Chuck and Robbie about wearing every hat under the sun and wearing them well, why she loves RxJS, having hard conversations with over-eager developers, what's so often ignored by non-technical CEOs, and what keeps Tracy motivated above all else.  Key Takeaways * [00:09] - A Cinco De Mayo-themed beverage review.  * [02:47] - An intro to Tracy. * [06:17] - What RxJS is used for.  * [09:28] - How Tracy balances everything. * [18:55] - Tracy's life outside of coding, parenting, and business ownership.  * [27:17] - How Tracy first got into web development.  * [38:23] - Tracy's advice for developers and the hardest pill to swallow when you're over-eager.  * [45:05] - An important conversation about whiskey and Tracy's liquor cabinet.  Quotes [08:24] - "Check out RxJS if you have not checked out RxJS. And then if you like it, I think it takes people a little bit to wrap their heads around it because it's a new way of thinking, but once people do I feel like people just want to RxJS all the things." ~ @ladyleet  [https://twitter.com/ladyleet] [15:19] - "I hope I can turn my life into only doing my hobby again. So that's my goal. Hire enough people to where I can actually not have to do all the things I don't love." ~ @ladyleet  [https://twitter.com/ladyleet] [29:36] - "I love development because it was so challenging to me, instead of business. I think developers go the other way, they're like, 'oh development's easy, let me do business stuff because that's challenging.' For me it was different, I was like, 'man this is so invigorating, this is hard and it's awesome and I can build things and create things.'" ~ @ladyleet  [https://twitter.com/ladyleet] [35:19] - "I always talk about web performance and generally no one really wants to invest in it but performance is such a huge deal." ~ @ladyleet  [https://twitter.com/ladyleet] Links * Tracy on Twitter [https://twitter.com/ladyleet] * This Dot Labs [https://www.thisdot.co] * Cutwater Spirits [https://www.cutwaterspirits.com]  * Bartesian [https://bartesian.com] * Keurig [https://www.keurig.com] * RxJS Core Team [https://rxjs.dev/team?group=Core%20Team] * Google Developer Expert [https://developers.google.com/community/experts] * GitHub Stars [https://stars.github.com] * Microsoft MVP [https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/] * RxJS [https://rxjs.dev] * Angular [https://angular.io] * Ember.js  [https://emberjs.com] * ember-concurrency [http://ember-concurrency.com/docs/introduction/]  * tc39 Proposal for Observable  [https://github.com/tc39/proposal-observable] * Introduction to RxJS Patterns in React [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF8XcEwwPpU] --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/whiskey-web-and-whatnot/message


Robbie Wagner: [00:09] What's going on everybody? Welcome to a special Cinco de Mayo edition of Whiskey Web and Whatnot with myself Robbie Wagner and my cohost, as always, Charles William Carpenter III with our guest today Tracy Lee. How’s it going Tracy?

Tracy Lee: [00:27] Good, how are you all?

Robbie Wagner: [00:29] We’re good. We’re good. Or I'm good. I guess I can't answer for Chuck.

Chuck Carpenter: [00:33] Yeah, you can't.

Tracy Lee: [00:33] Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Chuck Carpenter: [00:34] Yes, happy taco day basically and margarita day and whatever other things we may appropriate for our own self-benefit. So we won't be doing whisky today. You may or may not opt into margaritas, and I decided to get myself some of this Cutwater premade spirit. I thought it would just be easier than trying to mix a drink or have a blender here at the office. Mango margarita it is at room temperature. Hell yeah.

Tracy Lee: [01:03] It’s not a beer.

Chuck Carpenter: [01:04] It’s not a beer.

Tracy Lee: [01:05] It’s an actual margarita in a can.

Chuck Carpenter: [01:07] Yes, yes. It’s 12.5% alcohol by volume.

Robbie Wagner: [01:11] Oh hefty.

Chuck Carpenter: [01:13] And tequila with lime juice, mango, and other natural flavors.

Tracy Lee: [01:18] Tequila, lime juice, mango. That’s not bad.

Chuck Carpenter: [01:20] Yeah. Seems reasonable.

Robbie Wagner: [01:22] Sounds healthy.

Chuck Carpenter: [01:23] In a can. They actually make a few different cocktails. I have had their paloma and that was not bad. It’s pretty decent. And they do even some like basic stuff like vodka soda or whatever. Like how lazy are you if you need a vodka soda in a can?

Robbie Wagner: [01:37] So I made a really lazy margarita, now that you mention it, because I have the Drinkworks machine, which has been discontinued unfortunately. But I bought like 200 pods before they went out of business. So I'm doing well for a while, but yeah, you just put a pod in and it makes you a cocktail. They also have the soda ones. It’s just like okay, why do I need a machine? I can literally just mix soda and liquor. That’s not hard.

Chuck Carpenter: [02:06] Yeah, seems weird.

Tracy Lee: [02:08] Is the Drinkworks one like the only drink making machine out there? Or are there more? More like instant cocktail machines.

Robbie Wagner: [02:16] No. The one that’s still in business is Bartesian. I don’t know if you’ve seen that one, but it’s like you put four whole things of liquor in that one, and then they just make like pods of flavoring. Whereas the Drinkworks that I have, everything’s in the pod. The liquor's in there too. So it’s just one pod done.

Chuck Carpenter: [02:33] Interesting.

Robbie Wagner: [02:34] So just a little different.

Tracy Lee: [02:36] Why did they discontinue it?

Robbie Wagner: [02:37] I don’t know. I think—So Keurig owned it, and I'm wondering if it either just didn’t make them enough money or alcohol shipping laws were hard. I don’t know.

Chuck Carpenter: [02:45] Yeah, booze in general’s tough.

Robbie Wagner: [02:47] Before we overfocus on the booze portion of the show though, I think we should regress a little bit and let Tracy introduce herself a little bit. You are a lady of many hats. So for anyone unfamiliar, if you want to introduce yourself and what you're up to.

Tracy Lee: [03:04] Yeah. My name’s Tracy. You can follow me on Twitter @Ladyleet. That’s where I like to hang out the most I think. I'm a CEO of a company called This Dot Labs. So started it back in 2016, and we’re a team of, what, 50 developers now. It’s been an adventure for sure, but we’re always hiring and working with amazing clients and doing amazing things. I always like to say that’s how I make friends, like people sliding into my inbox and chatting. So if you're looking for a position or you need help with something like always happy to talk.

I also do like other stuff, I guess, with RxJS Core Team, Google Developer Expert. I recently became a GitHub star which was like so cool. Microsoft MVP.

Robbie Wagner: [03:51] What exactly is that? I've seen those around, the GitHub star thing.

Tracy Lee: [03:55] I don’t know. It’s just like another program, like the GDE program or the Microsoft MVP program where you kind of get this like insider track into like what's going on. Like what are different features or products that whether it’s Google or Microsoft or GitHub are rolling out from a developer perspective and just recognizing for like the contributions you’ve made to the community. So.

Robbie Wagner: [04:20] Gotcha.

Tracy Lee: [04:21] Yeah, it’s pretty exciting.

Chuck Carpenter: [04:22] Okay so it’s an invite thing. It’s not like something you apply for or like go try to get a certification in. It’s an invite?

Tracy Lee: [04:30] Yeah, I think you can like be recommended, which is like a way of applying. I don’t know if you can for the GitHub one or not, but I don’t know. You know they send you swag and fun things like that so.

Robbie Wagner: [04:42] That sounds cool.

Tracy Lee: [04:43] It’s exciting.

Chuck Carpenter: [04:44] I'm a little jealous. And here I thought I was becoming internet famous, but GitHub does not recognize me. Google does not recognize me. Microsoft as a whole definitely does not recognize me. So.

Tracy Lee: [04:57] Microsoft is fixed with the RxJS stuff. If y'all didn’t know, RxJS actually came out of Microsoft. Then like all the stuff I was doing with the browser teams and previously like state of browsers and all those fun conversations.

Robbie Wagner: [05:11] Yeah, that’s cool.

Chuck Carpenter: [05:12] Yeah. So I have two follow-up questions there.

Tracy Lee: [05:15] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [05:15] One, the Ladyleet thing, is that because it’s your last name and then T? Like switching your names? Or how did that come about?

Tracy Lee: [05:24] Yeah, well it’s kind of funny because one of my best friends, Ben Lesh, he didn’t figure that out for like four years. Then one day, so Ladyleet, one, three, three, seven, right? But then like my name is Lee Tracy as well. And I swear like one day he just randomly text messages me. He’s like, “Hold on. I think I just--.” I was like oh my, I can't believe you. But yes. Lady Lee T as well.

Chuck Carpenter: [05:53] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [05:54] So it just made a lot of sense.

Chuck Carpenter: [05:52] You're just not really into LeetCode tests? That’s really not LeetCode problems?

Tracy Lee: [06:01] I thought Leet is also really cute, you know? So like I thought it was cute to have the one, three, three, seven, which is why I was like oh ladyleet is totally perfect. My Twitter is not one, three, three, seven. It’s L-E-E-T. I figured that was like kind of best of both worlds.

Robbie Wagner: [06:15] Yeah, for sure.

Chuck Carpenter: [06:15] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [06:18] So then circling back to RxJS some, I don’t think I've used it before personally. I've seen it around, especially like a couple of angular projects I touched had it in there. What is it used for? What is the main idea there?

Chuck Carpenter: [06:32] Read the documentation in the intro. Come on.

Robbie Wagner: [06:35] I didn't have time before right now.

Tracy Lee: [06:36] Yeah, well I mean RxJS is all about like reactive programming. So I think when people think about it, they really like the idea of reactive programming. So for those of you who don't know reactive programming, it's a programming paradigm, and it's all about like data streams and the propagation of change. Basically easy ways to deal with sets of events over time, right?

Chuck Carpenter: [07:02] Is it kind of like concurrency? The way that I read it, I kind of thought about it in the like ember-concurrency kind of ideology or no?

Tracy Lee: [07:11] It's been so long since I've like been in the Ember one. Do we know each other from the Ember work, Robbie? I'm pretty sure we do, right?

Robbie Wagner: [07:18] Yeah. Yeah, I did a little bit of Ember work with you all.

Tracy Lee: [07:22] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [07:22] A long, long time ago.

Tracy Lee: [07:24] Because we started off in Ember. Like This Dot started off doing like a lot of Ember stuff. But I mean generally if you want to learn a little bit more about reactive programming, there's like [inaudible] tc39, for example. We’re starting to consider to adopt reactive programming paradigms. So for [inaudible] there's the event target observable proposal. Then for tc39 there's like promises and observable, like that type of stuff that's been happening, right.

So, I mean the tc39 proposal for observable, I feel like it's kind of like dead these days. But if you go to github.com/tc3/proposal-observable, you can kind of see like what they're trying to propose. RxJS is basically like a reference implementation of that. So.

Robbie Wagner: [08:15] Okay.

Tracy Lee: [08:16] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [08:16] Interesting.

Tracy Lee: [08:17] If that helps. It’s like oh I don’t know. I mean we could go on and on and on about it but check out RxJS if you have not checked out RxJS. Then if you like it, I think it, again, takes people a little bit to wrap their heads around it because it’s like a new way of thinking. But once people do, I feel like people just want to RxJS all the things. Then like we get into trouble too. So I swear sometimes I have these conversations with like Ben, who created RxJS 5 and up, and he’s like don’t use it. I'm like okay look. We’re trying to promote people to use this area like not discourage people.

But I also have like a lot of, like I just did a little mini YouTube series around RxJS. It’s RxJS Patterns in React, which is kind of fun. A lot of times when people hear about RxJS they think Angular because it’s a first class citizen in Angular. RxJS is used a lot in React as well. Yeah, check out those videos. They're on the This Dot Media YouTube if you want to check it out.

Chuck Carpenter: [09:28] You do tend to produce a lot of content. So it’s interesting. I was like going through your Twitter and just trying to like dig a little bit and see if I can learn anything about—I try to like ask some non-tech questions too. Like okay, you know this is Whiskey Web and Whatnot. So for the whatnot, we usually like to what else do you do? What else are you into? We know you are a new mother, new-ish. Robbie is a new father.

Tracy Lee: [09:54] Yes.

Chuck Carpenter: [09:53] I'm sure you can talk a little bit about those things. Like we’re at various points in our parenting journey. I have two of my own, three and five.

Tracy Lee: [10:04] Nice. So you're the most experienced out of all of us.

Chuck Carpenter: [10:07] Right. So that’s why I am not only probably the oldest but look the oldest. It’ll do that. So to go back to what was the purpose of my initial question though. So I was like trying to dig a lot, and you produce a lot of content. So you're really great about putting tons of content all over the place. You’ve got the YouTube channel. You've got like a lot of posts on Twitter talking about interesting tech things and things you're releasing, other people are releasing, and all of that stuff.

So I find it very interesting. You're obviously in the weeds making things, making content. How do you balance? I'm just very curious because I think we’re both agency owners at different places in that journey as well. It’s like how do you balance running an agency with staying technical, being involved with clients, and then also creating all of this content?

Tracy Lee: [10:59] I have no idea.

Chuck Carpenter: [11:01] Okay.

Tracy Lee: [11:01] But I think it’s like different people have different levels of operating. So I have this one friend Alistair who like even if I tried, I could never keep up with his entire life. He runs like 100x faster than me, and it’s like whoa. From one thought to the next. Like you have to digest. I have to spend like five minutes digesting like one sentence that he gives me, you know?

Chuck Carpenter: [11:30] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [11:31] So, I mean I think like for me it feels comfortable. I think I found whatever efficiencies I need to find. Some people look at my calendar and they have heart attacks. I look at my calendar I'm like wow. This like is actually pretty chill even though it’s like completely booked. But yeah. I don’t know. I mean I think it’s just finding the right people too. I think like all of us are developers.

So especially starting a company. Like you think that’s a natural progression of things. I think it’s the same thing with engineers. Oh I'm an engineer? Okay, well there's this path, and this path is to me becoming a manager. Like do you really want to do that? Do you not? Or freelancing, right? It’s like okay you do freelancing and then you start an agency. Okay but what does that mean?

So for many years I like had a really hard time coming to terms with like the fact that I get to code less. As the business grows, obviously you code—and I'm sure you guys have experienced this—you just code less and less and less because you have to deal with so much other crap that is going on. So I'm always juggling that, but I think hiring the right people has been my way of trying to do that. Then just constantly reevaluating with myself okay am I happy with life right now? Am I not happy? What do I need to change? How can I change it? What am I spending time on that I don’t like? What am I spending time on that I do like?

Chuck Carpenter: [12:59] Yeah, I think that’s key. I think that is the truth that I am facing currently.

Tracy Lee: [13:03] Yeah, it’s hard. I mean it took me like three years to finally be like okay. I've got to be okay with not coding as much even though I'm depressed every single day about it.

Chuck Carpenter: [13:14] Right.

Tracy Lee: [13:15] But it’s been three years. Deal with it Tracy.

Chuck Carpenter: [13:17] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [13:18] Yeah we still have not come to terms with that.

Chuck Carpenter: [13:20] No.

Robbie Wagner: [13:20] Chuck and I code way more than we should and then just do all the other stuff on top of that.

Chuck Carpenter: [13:26] Yeah. So basically running a business, developing business, account management, internal employee management. Robbie does finance stuff.

Tracy Lee: [13:36] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [13:36] Then also work for our clients because sometimes they come to us for our particular expertise. It’s like it’s great, but I am not available to all of you.

Robbie Wagner: [13:49] It’s hard for me to say no to things though. So that’s the problem.

Tracy Lee: [13:52] Yeah. Well, I think it’s hard especially with kids now. Like I swear to god. So my baby is four months old now. I'm like okay, I'm on—Somebody called it groundhog day. I was like yes, that’s how I feel. You just, you're in this thing. It’s like there's feedings, and then you live from between feedings. Then like they go to bed and you're like oh, it seems like it’s really early in the night. Just kidding. It’s 10:00. Wait, what am I doing? What's happening with life? Wait, I'm going to sleep now. Okay I wake up and do it again. So it’s just, you know, like it’s an interesting challenge that children bring to the table as well.

Chuck Carpenter: [14:33] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [14:33] But yeah. I mean developing and all that’s, I don’t know. I mean I still struggle with it. I'm like man, what am I going to sink my teeth into? What am I going to give a talk on next? What am I excited about? I do think it’s funny that all of us are sitting here going like it’s not what you think it is people. If you're a developer and you want to code, don’t start an agency.

Chuck Carpenter: [14:58] Don’t start an agency, yeah. Because ultimately you have to face that crossroads that you are running and business and the success and growth of that business is your primary responsibility, not the cool tech thing that you got to solve or learn about or dig into or whatever else. Like that’s become your hobby now essentially.

Tracy Lee: [15:19] But I hope I can turn my life into only doing my hobby again.

Chuck Carpenter: [15:23] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [15:23] So that’s my goal. Hire enough people to where I can actually not have to do all the things I don’t love.

Chuck Carpenter: [15:31] I mean 50 people’s pretty solid.

Tracy Lee: [15:33] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [15:34] Yeah. Once you figure all that out, you'll have to make videos for us to watch to learn how to do a better agency model.

Chuck Carpenter: [15:40] That’s true. That’s true. Either that or I’ll know one that’s for sale in a year or two, I think. So one of those two things will happen.

Tracy Lee: [15:50] Well, you know it’s funny because my husband is hilarious. So he, even before we got married—Like so okay taxes. Okay, I hate taxes. So my process of doing taxes before was like lay on the ground crying for a week. Then like the next week maybe touch it and still lay on the ground crying and like try to get the energy to like do my taxes. Then the third week finally I'm like okay, I'm emotionally capable of doing my taxes now. He like saw me go through that process, and then he’s like all right, I'm doing your taxes for you. So he like reconciles my life every month now.

Chuck Carpenter: [16:29] Nice.

Tracy Lee: [16:30] Which is hilarious but amazing.

Chuck Carpenter: [16:32] Yeah, no. That sounds great.

Tracy Lee: [16:33] But then like as the business grew and we were married, he was like let me just like poke in a little bit to your QuickBooks. Like let me just start helping. Then he started putting these slides together to like—For me I was always like yeah sure. Okay we’re financially solvent. Whatever. Let’s just keep going. Like I'm not so much about the numbers. I'm more about like growing the business and being excited about like what our developers are doing and whatever. He came and he’s like, “How about let’s make a presentation every month?” He just like took over finances. I was like man, this is kind of like working really well. Here you go.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:15] Okay. Okay. Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [17:17] So I'm thankful to have him in my life because he’s taken over like the things that are just really—I mean I think it’s bad to say I don’t care about finances.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:24] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [17:25] You know it’s not the most fun thing for me, right? It takes a lot of emotional energy.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:29] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [17:31] So thanks Robbie for doing the finances.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:34 ] Seriously. I do my household finances. So I'm just like that already is draining.

Tracy Lee: [17:40] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:41] So I don’t want to look at these things. It’s just like am I going to keep getting paid? Great. Hey, I need to buy this thing. Is that cool? Okay awesome. That’s all I need.

Tracy Lee: [17:51] Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:52] That’s all I want to know about it.

Robbie Wagner: [17:52] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [17:53] For sure.

Robbie Wagner: [17:54] If the answer is ever no to are you still getting paid, we have a big problem.

Chuck Carpenter: [17:57] Yeah, exactly. Hopefully, there's a conversation before I approach that. Anyways. This is a great time to mention that I guess I'm halfway through this. It’s tasty enough that I'm drinking it like a juice.

Tracy Lee: [18:09] Uh-oh.

Chuck Carpenter: [18:10] So that is something to be said, but not overly sweet.

Tracy Lee: [18:12] 12.5%.

Chuck Carpenter: [18:13] 12.5%. So the rest of my day is…I'm in Phoenix and we’re currently on Pacific time. So it is, we started this at noonish. Thanks Tracy. So what am I going to do for the next five hours? I don’t know. Hard to say.

Robbie Wagner: [18:30] Drink more.

Chuck Carpenter: [18:31] Oh yes, the Ballmer effect. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that comic about like how productive you are in programming based on the number of whiskeys you have. Then it’s like, the Ballmer Peak, that’s what it is. When you hit that peak, say it’s like two or three, you're like boom. You're in the zone. You're crushing it or whatever else. Have one more and it swipes down.

Robbie Wagner: [18:50] That’s essentially what will occur.

Chuck Carpenter: [18:52] Yeah. Anyway.

Robbie Wagner: [18:54] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [18:55] So thank you for the business advice. I knew I could somehow dig in professionally there and get some direction. Get people to do the things you don’t want to do. I think that’s probably excellent advice. So going back to obviously tons of professional content and interest there. Do you do things other than keep your baby alive and code and make videos?

Tracy Lee: [19:20] I have a lot of projects. So before I got pregnant I was like okay. I'm going to—I mean I love music. I played cello professionally for a really long time. Piano as well. Then you get older and then like you don’t. So then like right before I got pregnant I was like I'm going to become the best musician ever. Actually I don’t know if y’all know Ken Wheeler, but Ken Wheeler and his like jam song Twitter inspired me. I was like okay Ken. What is your setup? I'm getting it. So I bought Ken’s setup. I was like I'm going to become—I'm going to make beats. It’s going to be amazing. I'm going to take classes on this.

Chuck Carpenter: [20:00] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [20:00] So I started doing that. So that was a project. Since I got pregnant I haven’t touched it. Then another thing I've been doing, I've been making jewelry since I was 18. But I was like okay, I'm going to make like diamond rings. I'm going to be able to make like Tiffany’s level jewelry because I can do this. So soldering and all this other stuff is what’s required. So I bought all this equipment. All these like drill bits, the solder, just all this crazy stuff, the blow torch, whatever. Then I was very sad to learn that you actually can't breathe that stuff when you're pregnant. So that’s another project.

Chuck Carpenter: [20:39] Right.

Tracy Lee: [20:40] Then right before I had the baby, you know because I was getting restless. I was like I am going to buy a Cricut. Do you guys know what a Cricut is?

Robbie Wagner: [20:46] Mm-hmm. My wife has one.

Chuck Carpenter: [20:48] Okay. No, I have no idea.

Tracy Lee: [20:50] It’s like this thing where like you can print fun stuff. You know like those cups that you see with people’s names or saying or like the shirts with sayings and stuff.

Chuck Carpenter: [20:59] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [21:00] So you can just basically make all that stuff. Or you can make greeting cards. You can make a lot of stuff with this Cricut.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:05] This sounds like a great Mother’s Day gift. I might have to hurry up and buy one.

Tracy Lee: [21:09] Yes. Yes. Go to cricut.com. Not sponsored, but they could. They could sponsor.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:16] They could. You or me or whichever. Whatever.

Tracy Lee: [21:19] Both of us. Yes. But anyways I bought a Cricut, and I bought every single thing possible I could buy on the Cricut website. Then I had a baby, and I haven’t touched the Cricut.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:31] Right. Your life and body is not your own for a while.

Tracy Lee: [21:35] Yes.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:35] This is what I'm told by mothers. Of course my body, you know.

Tracy Lee: [21:37] Yes.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:39] I'm also told that my part in that was very miniscule and let’s show respect where necessary. But yeah, I mean you know it’s just like early days. When they're mush and they're like we need to eat and poop and sleep, and that’s kind of what we do for a while.

Tracy Lee: [21:54] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [21:55] Once they start to become more self-sustaining and you're like oh, that’s adorable. But also I forgot what I do with myself during these times.

Tracy Lee: [22:06] Well, the one thing I actually really want to do because I've been reading a lot of books for the baby. As like the next project I'm thinking about doing is writing bilingual books. So I'm Chinese. I speak Mandarin, but I don’t speak Mandarin well enough I feel like. Then the baby needs to speak Chinese, and my husband is not Chinese. So I'm trying to teach the baby and speak to the baby only in Chinese, but the books out there are like there's not enough amazing books out there. So I want to now write a series of children’s books in Chinese.

Chuck Carpenter: [22:43] Oh, very cool.

Tracy Lee: [22:44] Which should be pretty easy. So maybe I can pop that out in the next three months or so.

Chuck Carpenter: [22:51] With all your spare time.

Tracy Lee: [22:53] Yes, but did you guys get the like teach baby HTML, teach baby JavaScript books?

Chuck Carpenter: [22:57] I did.

Tracy Lee: [22:58] Everyone has those, rights?

Robbie Wagner: [22:59] I did not. I did not know those exist.

Chuck Carpenter: [23:02] I should have sent those to you Robbie. I didn’t realize. I kind of thought yeah, yeah, HTML for babies, JavaScript for babies. There's a couple of different ones that are very interesting. Yeah, I did that because it was just on brand.

Robbie Wagner: [23:13] Maybe he just intuitively knows HTML already.

Chuck Carpenter: [23:17] Yeah through osmosis or something. That’s what you contributed in the DNA birth of document creation.

Robbie Wagner: [23:25] We’ll start him on Myspace layouts.

Tracy Lee: [23:28] But I kind of want to do some books around that too because I don’t feel like there is like enough books around those types of things or like enough good ones, you know. In my free time.

Chuck Carpenter: [23:39] Yes, exactly. That’s always kind of a thing. Well, I don’t suggest that you try to run the business and do a lot of coding for clients. I don’t suggest those. Then you'll probably have more free time. So it’ll be good. Actually like through different times—So when they're feeding, right, you're obviously a bit involved a bit here, but I've heard of people doing some work or that kind of stuff. Like you could write your book through audio. Just take audio notes on your phone while you're feeding. Because I mean you can't go anywhere for X amount of time. So you could do some things. Maximize that time.

Tracy Lee: [24:15] Yeah that’s difficult because the baby is at the point where he’s like getting distracted now. So if he even, you know. It’s like don’t talk. Just make sure he’s feeding.

Chuck Carpenter: [24:29] Yeah, that’s true. See this is why I'm the father and not the mother. I'm full of bad ideas.

Tracy Lee: [24:36] Well it’s funny because people were asking me. Because I'm like well, I'm gonna have two, maybe three. Then one of my friends was like so have you like talked to your husband about this? What does he say? I'm like oh, he has a decision? I don’t know. He’s never given me any opinions about this. I never asked.

Chuck Carpenter: [24:56] Oh, that’s funny. Yeah, and that's probably a worthwhile discussion.

Tracy Lee: [25:01] Thanks for the donation.

Chuck Carpenter: [25:03] Right.

Robbie Wagner: [25:03] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [25:04] You have one job to do. We did have this discussion. Because initially I was like oh yeah, these—We had the first child and I was like oh baby. So great. Adorable. I love doing this. But I think that yeah pregnancies can be challenging, infants can be challenging. We had a second one and I was like I'm not doing this a third time. So then I closed up shop. So I did have a say so.

Tracy Lee: [25:30] Your body, your choice.

Robbie Wagner: [25:32] Right, exactly. Yeah, I think logistically more than two just seems like a lot of work. Because I always go with the model of if I'm by myself, I have two arms. I can control two children. If you have a third it’s just like they're gone. What are you going to do?

Chuck Carpenter: [25:50] Yeah, I don’t know. We replaced ourselves. So I was kind of like this seems sufficient. That’s it. I don’t need to increase population.

Tracy Lee: [25:58] Well they do say it becomes more expensive.

Chuck Carpenter: [26:01] Although I grew up poor and then my mom also grew up poor, and she was like one of seven kids. If that's the case, then how did that happen? I have no idea. Either everybody eats spam or everybody goes to Harvard. I'm not really sure it feels like.

Tracy Lee: [26:17] There's a lot of forums out there that talk about like two versus three kids. Like if you have two kids, you have four people. Four people can fit into a taxi. Four people can stay in one hotel room, right? There's a lot of like efficiencies with just having two kids. Then once you move to the third kid, then all of a sudden it’s like okay you need two taxis or you need not just a sedan, you need like a bigger car. It costs more to go to the airport. There's just all these things that come with having more than two children. Maybe that was his argument against having three children.

Robbie Wagner: [26:56] Right.

Tracy Lee: [26:58] Gentle. Gentle argument.

Chuck Carpenter: [27:00] I could see that. If you want to maintain like socioeconomic standards and make it efficient then seems like let’s not get in two taxis. That’s it. This is a one taxi family. That’s all we are.

Tracy Lee: [27:14] Yes, exactly.

Robbie Wagner: [27:17] I'm curious. How did you first get into web development?

Tracy Lee: [27:20] So I had this boyfriend, and he was like wearing this shirt, and there was this like cute little squirrel thing on it. I was like oh, that’s cute. What is that? He was like, “Oh, that’s the Tomster.” I was like oh, what's a Tomster? And it was the Ember Tomster. I was like oh, what's Ember? He said, “It’s JavaScript.” I said oh, like Java? So I was definitely there.

Then he was like so passionate about it and was like super into the Ember community. I was like oh these people seem nice. They're on Twitter. I'm on Twitter. Let’s hang out. Then I was board. I was like well, maybe let me start a meetup. He was complaining about not having a social life. I was like cool, let’s start a meetup. There's your social life. So even though I don’t really like him as a human being now since we broke up many years ago like I'm super thankful for him getting me into it.

Robbie Wagner: [28:25] But then Tom’s done really well since, you know.

Tracy Lee: [28:30] That would be funny but no. Then I took a bootcamp and I learned to JavaScript. I was so excited about it. I was doing a startup at the time. We were a tech startup, but I wasn’t on the tech side obviously. I just did a three week bootcamp.

I have to say it was so interesting because within those three weeks I realized what it meant to be a developer, and I realized how much I was torturing my co-founder/CTO. Like these things that business people just don’t understand, like flow, right? Or these things that business people don’t understand like tech debt. Like you just don’t know until you become a developer and you're like oh. Or like, for example, I would always be like oh, he’s not in a lot of meetings. Like we should get him to be in our meetings so he feels like he’s more a part of the team, right? Like what terrible, terrible decisions I made before I learned how to code.

But I loved it so much. I loved development because it was so challenging to me. Instead of business I think developers go the other way. They're like oh, development’s easy. Let me do business stuff because that's challenging. For me it was different. I was like man, this is so invigorating. This is hard and it’s awesome. I can build things and create things. I think this was around the 2015 time.

So I was super lucky, for example, to have all the tooling that we have, right. The S2015 was just like—Like there was new stuff happening there. So I was exposed to all these really amazing things and all these tools. Like Ember CLI, for example. Dude once I discovered Ember and Ember CLI, I was like oh my god. I'm a machine. I’d build like three websites in one weekend. Like it was so empowering, using material design. I thought I could do anything.

Ever since then I've just like been doing that. Part of my goal—For me what keeps me happy is like building community and bringing people together. So that’s kind of how This Dot started. I really just kind of wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. What really made me happy was like bringing people together, like helping facilitate conversations, seeing people be inspired by community. So a lot of This Dot is very much related to that from a content perspective, from like a production perspective. Because if I was running consultancy and like not doing that then I would be like not so happy with my life. So going back to the like make sure you're doing something you still enjoy.

Chuck Carpenter: [31:18] Yeah I think that’s so interesting, and that actually makes sense now. So it was on your site, and I saw you guys have job postings around a developer advocate. It’s so different for an agency to actually have that kind of position and utilizing that as part of like your marketing and whatnot. So I felt that was like huh, that’s really interesting. A developer advocate? Typically that’s drawn around a product or particular software or library or something like that. From an agency perspective, I wonder what that fit is. But you saying that, it actually kind of—It’s more of an extension of what you love to do. So why wouldn’t you have a team that can do that similar thing and that you're a part of?

Tracy Lee: [31:59] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [32:00] Yeah. Then you're tied to any one product or software piece or whatever else.

Tracy Lee: [32:04] But I have to ask for you all as an agency like are you all developing your own things or do you hope to one day? Is that why you started the agency?

Robbie Wagner: [32:16] No, I started the agency, to be honest, to look like I was more of a big deal because it was just me when I started, and I didn’t want to just market myself. So I was like let’s be a company of just me. We’ve obviously evolved since then and most of the people we have are not doing Ember. It’s me and like one other guy doing Ember because I’ll never give it up until Ember dies honestly.

Chuck Carpenter: [32:38] Until, not if is what you’ve said.

Robbie Wagner: [32:41] Oh I mean every framework will die eventually. It might take a long time for some of the more popular ones. But anyways, all of that to say Chuck and I have talked a lot about trying to do some products or different things, and I don’t know. We are not idea people I feel like. We can execute everything. We like to get into a lot of stuff and can do a lot of different things, but we don’t have like a great product idea.

Chuck Carpenter: [33:07] Yeah. We also don’t give ourself mind space for that, right? So we’re like running the business. We do the business development. We do account management. We do client work. It’s just kind of like the scale that we’re at currently we are really in the weeds on a lot of stuff.

Tracy Lee: [33:25] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [33:24] So we kind of like, we know what a five year plan could be, but we don’t really know as much about what are the details of the one year plan.

Tracy Lee: [33:34] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [33:35] So I would say that’s just where that amounts to. So we get to like touch and work on a lot of different things. So that can kind of be fun, but we don’t get to choose our own destiny.

Tracy Lee: [33:45] Yeah. Yeah. Wait, how big is the team now? I remember Robbie, we met and it was like you and I think three or four other people when we first met.

Robbie Wagner: [33:54] Yeah, I think we’re like around 15 now. Something like that Chuck?

Chuck Carpenter: [33:58] So it’s six full time employees, and we have a pool of—and I’ll have to look—it’s 12 or 15 consultants, so contractors, that we’ve been working with for a while. Although I feel like that basically converting to more full time employees is the most advantageous. I guess we’ve been risk adverse and we need to actually like shift that paradigm. So let’s say we’re like 15 or so active currently.

Tracy Lee: [34:25] Yeah. Well, risk adverse is good. That’s how you survive.

Chuck Carpenter: [34:29] Yeah. Well, that is. That’s true. It has worked in our favor for the time being, but we tend to do a lot of staff aug though. So we don’t have a lot of project based work. It’s a lot of time and materials, staff augmentation. Hey, this thing that we made is slow or this architectural approach is a problem. So can we do that? Or we just want to accelerate velocity and we heard you guys are good. So come in.

Tracy Lee: [34:54] Yep, sounds a lot like This. I think it’s more fun that way. Project based stuff is fun too, but solving hard problems is also fun.

Chuck Carpenter: [35:02] Yeah like improved deliverability and developer experience and shave off time because you're ecommerce. It turns out if things load a little faster, conversion rates improve. Stuff like that.

Tracy Lee: [35:16] That’s like always been a funny huge thing. I always talk about web performance. Generally I feel like nobody ever wants to invest in it, but like performance is just such a huge deal. Just like you said Charles it’s like hey, did you know that this is going to increase your conversion? But like for some reason there's like this weird disconnect with people actually wanting to invest a sprint on just performance, for example, to like see results. They're like, “No, we can't do that. We have other things. Features, features, features.” It's like ah.

Chuck Carpenter: [35:46] Right.

Tracy Lee: [35:48] It’s always a fun conversation.

Chuck Carpenter: [35:50] Yeah. Seeing the value in user performance, but I think like seeing the value—It’s a lot of times a hard sell too to see the value internally in that your developers aren’t seeing their features go live for two weeks, a month, whatever. X whatever thing. That’s a problem. That’s a problem because like you're losing a lot of mind shift before things go live to you can iterate on. Your iteration cycles suck. There's all kinds of things there. Then also they just don’t like working at a place where their work doesn’t see light for months. So maybe retention issues there too. There's all kinds of interesting metrics that can be looked at.

Robbie Wagner: [36:31] Yeah I think this prioritizing developer experience and getting rid of tech debt and stuff is super important these days because it’s a hot market. If you aren’t providing good developer experience and you don’t care about tech debt and you just force people to ship features in like a five year old framework then people aren’t going to want to work there. Like it’s, you know, a big thing. People bring us in sometimes being like oh, we just want to keep our team just doing feature work forever. You come fix all the architecture. I'm like well we could do that, but you have to have buy in from the whole team to fix tech debt or your culture is just wrong, in my opinion.

Tracy Lee: [37:13] Yeah. I feel like I've tried fighting that battle. Like you're always trying to change culture, and then you're like oh look, the new VP has come in. Oh great. We've got to start this thing over again. Oh look, another new VP a year later. Okay here we go again. So it makes me so sad because I feel like I'm always like oh man, we’re going to go in there. We’re going to help these developers. It’s going to be awesome. While we do and while we do impact change, like change in terms of organizational change just needs to come from the top. It makes me so sad. It’s like okay, we’re three years in. Okay we've moved a little bit. Ugh.

Chuck Carpenter: [37:54] Yeah. Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [37:56] So I always wish there was more.

Robbie Wagner: [37:57] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [37:58] Big old organizations just tend to have those kinds of politics. So it’s very difficult. You have to have the patience of I would love to give you this, but unfortunately your rate of change and buy in and movement and uptake, it’s probably this. Oh you want to do a six month engagement? It’s probably this. We do a year and maybe we get this.

Tracy Lee: [38:21] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [38:22] Then we kind of go, you know. Yeah?

Tracy Lee: [38:24] But I think it’s also kind of interesting too. Like as a developer, I think it’s really important to understand how large organizations and small organizations work. Like on one side, you have people who have only worked at small companies and only done startup MVP type stuff. They're like what's the latest technology? What’s the latest technology? Are we using the cutting edge stuff? I just love seeing new developers come in with these bright eyes, and I love it when this new technology breaks everything else and they're like oh crap. I need to change it. Like we have this one developer right now, and I can't wait until he’s like just kidding. Let’s use the little more stable features. I'm not all about this breaking edge technology that came out last week anymore.

Chuck Carpenter: [39:14] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [39:14] Then you have like these other people who I feel like are like aw man, you're going into a large organization and you're just learning so much about like how to communicate and how to manage up and how to work within a large organization and solving those types of problems. How is microservices actually set up or micro front ends actually set up? Does this make sense? Or when you're going to GraphQL you're like actually seeing people do federation, for example. I mean it’s like you pick and choose your battles of what you want to be exposed to, but I think overall it’s good for a developer to experience all those things within their career.

Chuck Carpenter: [39:53] Absolutely. I saw a tweet a couple of months ago and it said something like a senior engineer isn't faster. They're just seen it before, right?

Tracy Lee: [40:03] I like that.

Chuck Carpenter: [40:04] That’s what it is. It’s not like oh, it doesn’t mean that I can type faster and I know all these answers right away. It’s just I've probably had this experience. So I know something a little bit different about how to solve it.

Tracy Lee: [40:17] I really like that.

Chuck Carpenter: [40:18] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [40:20] I think like that also goes with like a lot of developers are like how do I become a senior engineer, you know? How do I keep progressing? I think you said it very accurately, Charles, is like you just haven’t seen enough. It just takes time. It’s hard to say that to somebody who’s like, “Okay, I'm going to be a senior next year.” It’s like okay well I don’t know how to tell you, you just like need to see a few more things.

Chuck Carpenter: [40:50] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [40:51] Because unless you’ve lived it, you just don’t know. But that’s hard to say. That’s a hard pill to swallow, I think, for a lot of people.

Robbie Wagner: [40:57] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [40:57] Yeah. Like being explicit and a lot of engineers want the steps. They want to say when I tick these boxes I'm there. Is it just a time component? That’s the problem in this market too is that salaries are jumping and people are jumping into more advanced roles in a shorter period of time, usually to meet HR guidelines for pay bands and not necessarily meetings the job description. I want to hire this person. They want this much money. Oh, okay, we have to put them in this bucket. Are they in this bucket? I'm like well, I guess they are because this is what I need to get this person, get this individual. The market’s like growing so rapidly.

So yeah like on the other side you like try and write a career ladder that breaks down some of these things, and there is kind of a time component behind it, but it is a little bit arbitrary because it’s not okay I say it’s five years. Maybe you’ve happened to have a lot of experiences in four years. Well, you're there. You tick the boxes. Well, not the time box. So what is that? Yeah. It’s a hard one to nail down.

Robbie Wagner: [42:06] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [42:07] It’s all arbitrary.

Tracy Lee: [42:08] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter:[42:09] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [42:09] It’s like I think I mentioned on a previous podcast that I just kind of felt like every day at work for a long time I was like I have no idea what I'm doing. Everyone’s so much smarter than me. Then one day I just didn’t feel like that anymore. Not that I had like learned a certain amount of stuff or had a certain amount of experiences. Like oh, I can figure this stuff out myself.

Tracy Lee: [42:26] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [42:27] So it’s not like you just have to tick a bunch of boxes. You just start to get better and have a better time developing.

Tracy Lee: [42:33] Yeah. Definitely not saying there has to be a time component, but sometimes I feel like some advice I give to like a developer when I've seen them and I'm like you're doing all the right things. You just need a little more time. Because that’s what my intuition tells me, you know? Sometimes, again, that is just like a hard thing to say but oh my god. I've seen people with like four years’ experience be like crazy amazing architects and it’s just like whoa. Like how did you do that in four years? That’s like the craziest thing I've ever seen, you know? But it’s really cool to watch.

Robbie Wagner: [43:09] Yeah. In some cases, the frameworks people are using haven’t even existed for four years. So.

Chuck Carpenter: [43:14] Right.

Robbie Wagner: [43:15] So it’s hard to have a senior in certain things.

Tracy Lee: [43:17] Oh and then the thing I also love is because we do a lot of code exercises. Like part of our interview process is code exercises. Sometimes I'm like you created this person as a senior and they have like six months experience? Okay, that's a little weird. Then you dig into it a little more, and you're like oh, it’s because they actually use this framework. Actually this framework is actually just giving them all these things that you're seeing. It’s not actually the developer. So it’s cool how frameworks can get us there so much faster from a development perspective.

Robbie Wagner: [43:49] Yeah, definitely.

Chuck Carpenter: [43:50] For sure but goes to show that like it doesn’t always give you the context of what all these things do too. Like oh, what is it masking over that Vanilla JavaScript does? They're accelerators and that’s great, and that like gets a job done but as far as understanding. Maybe that’s the component that’s missing. It’s like yes, you can do the job. You can create an app in X, Y, Z framework, but do you know what are the implications of that and why this framework is a good choice for that. Or maybe this one. You need something that does this because state is managed differently here than it is her. What is state in terms of the browser persistent state and this temporary state? Oh cache. We should put cache questions in our thing. Because I don’t even know, and then we’ll just like never hire anyone again because I can't answer them either.

Tracy Lee: [44:42] Or you're like—

Chuck Carpenter:[44:43] Cache and naming things.

Tracy Lee: [44:44] Become a cache expert.

Chuck Carpenter: [44:50] Yeah I've done some things with Apollo Server and Redis cache. It does get interesting.

Robbie Wagner: [44:54] Yeah, I think caching is not the problem, right? It’s cache busting that's the problem.

Chuck Carpenter: [44:59] That’s true. You can save all kinds of things, but at what times is appropriate?

Robbie Wagner: [45:04] Right.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:05] Gone deep.

Tracy Lee: [45:05] I'm sad I'm on this like whiskey podcast because I actually have a very intense whiskey collection, and I'm not drinking since I'm breastfeeding.

Robbie Wagner: [45:15] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:16] Right, right. You know you're a responsible mother. I mean it’s fine. It’s appropriate. Yeah whiskey might be extreme too, but I am very curious. You should—

Tracy Lee: [45:25] But I only have whiskey.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:26] Okay. I'm from Kentucky. Listen.

Tracy Lee: [45:27] Nice.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:29] I know the struggle. So you should send us a picture of your liquor cabinet.

Tracy Lee: [45:34] Yes. I actually have two.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:36] We can use that to promote this one.

Tracy Lee: [45:38] Do you guys have like a favorite?

Chuck Carpenter: [45:39] I like the one that gives me a buzz a lot. Turns out that’s many of them.

Robbie Wagner: [45:44] Honestly we’ve been through so many. The rating scale is like somewhat arbitrary as well. So it’s kind of like based on the day I might like one better than the other, but I can't say for sure which one.

Tracy Lee: [45:56] So you don’t have a favorite.

Chuck Carpenter: [45:57] I don’t pick a favorite anything.

Robbie Wagner: [46:00] My favorite is Sagamore Rye because the way your rating scale is is like price factors in. So it’s like a very cheap middle of the road really good rye. I like rye’s better than bourbons personally. So that’s kind of my favorite, and we’re actually doing a barrel pick of a Sagamore for the podcast sometime soon. So we’ll have to send you some of that.

Tracy Lee: [46:20] Yes.

Robbie Wagner: [46:22] Whenever you can drink again, we’ll have you back on so to do that.

Tracy Lee: [46:25] Oh my god. I’ll add that to my crazy collection.

Chuck Carpenter: [46:28] Well, I want to hear your favorite.

Tracy Lee: [46:29] I want to hear your favorite.

Chuck Carpenter: [46:30] So it depends. I have a problem picking favorite anything because then that means I have to like dismiss. What's your favorite movie? Well, I like these 12 a lot.

Tracy Lee: [46:39] But you have a favorite child, right? Like you have to have a favorite child.

Chuck Carpenter: [46:42] It depends. Whichever one loves the most on that particular day, I like them the best. Because they do switch. They’ll like have favorites and go back and forth. You guys will figure this out. They’ll break your heart like 45 times. It’s terrible. But then when they come back you're like oh, I'm basking in this. But I was just thinking about how recently I think I recommend to people that are not super whiskey snobs and something they can sip on that isn't overly expensive, that kind of thing. I like Four Roses Single Barrel.

Tracy Lee: [47:11] Oh me too.

Chuck Carpenter: [47:12] That’s a good one to get into. Yeah. It’s approachable. It’s like $35.

Tracy Lee: [47:16] Okay, well my favorite is…I have two favorites. So my favorite used to be Blanton’s.

Chuck Carpenter: [47:21] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [47:23] The reason why I love Blanton’s is because I tried it and I was like dude; this is so amazing. So I'm from the Bay Area, California, and then I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where there's like these liquor laws that happen. I couldn’t find Blanton’s like at all. I didn’t realize it was such a rare bourbon.

Chuck Carpenter: [47:41] It’s allocated now. Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [47:44] Right. So then for like three months I couldn’t find this stuff. So I went back to California, and in your local grocery store, which is just like Publix or Safeway, whatever. At Safeway. I was like dude. There is five Blanton’s there. So I literally bought like 10 Blanton’s within like a three hour period. I drove to all the Safeways to find all the Blanton’s. Brought it all back to me to North Carolina. Then I went down this spiral of like all the expensive whiskeys. So the Colonel E.H. Taylor. Weller is actually my second favorite, like the green labeled one.

Chuck Carpenter: [48:23] Special reserve, but A 107, that’s the jam. But it used to be like $30 a bottle and now you're lucky to find it for $100.

Tracy Lee: [48:31] Yeah the green label one, the Weller green label, whatever it’s called. I guess it’s special reserve. I found it in Atlanta for like $30 something.

Chuck Carpenter: [48:40] Nice.

Tracy Lee: [48:41] I was like dude. I bought like four of them.

Chuck Carpenter:[48:43] Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [48:44] It was crazy. I was like is this mislabeled?

Robbie Wagner: [48:45] Just resell them.

Chuck Carpenter: [48:47] I was going to say. First of all, you could just pay for everything probably by selling a couple bottles on the secondary. Then third, you are one of those people that builds a bunker.

Tracy Lee: [48:55] Oh I build a bunker. Yes. Bunker of bourbon.

Chuck Carpenter: [48:59] Yeah. Yeah. I'm like I’ll have one and leave one for other people. I'm nice. I don’t know why I do that. I should turn and burn and get it but.

Tracy Lee: [49:07] Okay.

Chuck Carpenter: [49:08] Oh yeah.

Tracy Lee: [49:09] Don’t call me out for my COVID toilet paper shopping. We weren’t going to talk about that here.

Chuck Carpenter: [49:14] Yeah. Bunker, bunker. Tracy Lee bunker lady. Those are good ones. Actually it’s funny. So you should go to Buffalo Trace. I think you’d love it. They make a lot of Blanton’s there. So I don’t really know why it’s so damn hard to get.

Robbie Wagner: [49:26] I think they make it hard to get on purpose artificially.

Tracy Lee: [49:29] Well no because Blanton’s is made on this one section specifically. So there's like only this one area that they actually--what do they call it—like let it rest or whatever or let it age.

Chuck Carpenter: [49:43] Oh you mean the Rickhouse or whatever? Or what?

Tracy Lee: [49:46] I don’t know.

Chuck Carpenter: [49:45] Yeah, I've been in the building where they bottle it and do all the stuff. There's a shit ton of bottles there. So I don’t know. But I guess it does have to like go all over the place. So the first time I was there at Buffalo Trace, the tour guide was one—And everybody was asking about Pappy at that time. I want to say, I don’t know, it was like sometime around 2010 maybe. I don’t know.

Tracy Lee: [50:06] I can't bring myself to buy Pappy. I found it but I'm like I can't.

Chuck Carpenter: [50:10] I had it. I had it like before it was a billion dollars too. It’s fine, but like this man said the best whiskey is the one you like. If that happens to be Pappy at, whatever, $300 or if it’s Weller, because at that time the Weller Green was like $20/$25. If it’s that then great. The secret is they have a very similar mash bill. They used to have this thing in like whiskey groups a while ago. It was called poor man’s Pappy, and it would tell you like between the three different Wellers—because there's a 12 year Weller too—between those ones like mix this, this, and this. Put it in your bottle, let it sit for a little bit, and then you basically have Pappy.

Tracy Lee: [50:46] No way. That’s really cool. Willett as well, but I don’t really like Willett as much.

Chuck Carpenter: [50:51] Oh yeah.

Tracy Lee: [50:53] I have the Stag—what's it called? The Stag Junior I think it is.

Chuck Carpenter: [50:56] Yeah, baby Stag.

Tracy Lee: [50:58] I wasn’t into it.

Chuck Carpenter: [50:58] Nah, it’s too hot.

Tracy Lee: [50:59] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [50:59] Too hot.

Tracy Lee: [50:59] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter:[51:00] But you’ve tried a lot of good stuff. Then a bunch of those are Buffalo Trace. So you're like leaning in that direction I would say. Willett’s not. They're their own thing but.

Tracy Lee: [51:07] Yes.

Chuck Carpenter: [51:09] Yeah they used to be cool back in the day before they…

Tracy Lee: [51:11] Well it has a cool bottle.

Chuck Carpenter: [51:12] Yeah.

Robbie Wagner: [51:13] I like their bottles.

Tracy Lee: [51:14] I like their bottle a lot. Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [51:16] I like their ryes. So they have their own distillate. They have a bourbon and a rye now. Their old stuff used to be picked from another place, but they have been doing their own distillate for a few years, and their rye is pretty good if you like ryes. It’s like a three year/four year.

Tracy Lee: [51:31] I like ryes, but my husband for some reason doesn’t like ryes. So like I never buy ryes and I never drink ryes for some reasons. But if you have, I don’t know if you've all heard of Jeff Morgenthaler. He’s like a cocktail mixologist. I think he’s in Oregon. So he makes a really, really, really good Amaretto sour that I've made with Blanton’s before, but y’all should check it out. Like Jeff Morgenthaler’s Amaretto sour is like my favorite drink. I can drink like five of them and it’s delicious.

Chuck Carpenter: [52:00] Wow, yes. I think I would like to drink five of them today after having this one tequila thing. My day is over anyways.

Robbie Wagner: [52:09] We do have happy hour later, and it’s still Cinco de Mayo.

Chuck Carpenter: [52:11] Oh my gosh. Yes, that’s true. My wife was like do we have tequila at home? We do not. You will need to get some. We mostly only have whiskey. I keep gin too just because I like negronis in the summer. But Gin Web and Whatnot just didn’t have the same ring to it.

Robbie Wagner: [52:28] Yeah, I'm not a huge gin fan.

Chuck Carpenter: [52:30] Suit yourself. You can make boulevardier with bourbon instead of gin. It’s negroni still, but instead of gin you do whiskey, and it’s called boulevardier and it’s fun to say.

Tracy Lee: [52:44] Well, y’all are welcome over to my house to drink my alcohol anytime. I did after just buying like all the bourbons felt like I needed to buy other alcohol to round out my cabinet. So I do have other things in there. Then I've bought all the Laphroaig and all the fun things that you can find like in Ireland and the UK. So.

Chuck Carpenter: [53:06] Yes, yes. Very nice.

Tracy Lee: [53:08] Lots of fun stuff.

Chuck Carpenter: [53:08] All right. So I’ll look—

Robbie Wagner: [53:10] You better watch out with that offer. Chuck will be flying out there right now.

Tracy Lee: [53:13] Seriously. Come drink my alcohol.

Chuck Carpenter: [53:15] I was going to say that’s all I'm going to do. I have a business trip and just don’t contact me for a week. That’s what I’ll tell my wife. Sorry it’s a business trip. Yeah, I know some people in Raleigh and good barbecue. So that’s cool.

Tracy Lee: [53:29] Well, I'm in Atlanta now. So you'll have to come to Atlanta.

Chuck Carpenter: [53:31] Oh, hot-lanta. Which I've never been to Atlanta.

Robbie Wagner: [53:35] Oh, you going to Render(ATL)?

Tracy Lee: [53:38] No, I'm still with child. So yeah. But my friends are coming in early so we’re going to hang out before they all get COVID at the conference.

Robbie Wagner: [53:50] There you go. At the music festival? Yeah.

Tracy Lee: [53:52] Yeah.

Chuck Carpenter: [53:54] There's a poor Shakespearean center there in Atlanta too. So you can go do that, drink whiskey.

Tracy Lee: [54:00] Very true. Good business trip.

Robbie Wagner: [54:02] Yeah. Whiskey after the driving hopefully.

Chuck Carpenter: [54:04] Yeah. Yeah. Not recommended to do the other way.

Robbie Wagner: [54:08] Yeah. All right well we’re about at time here. Before we wrap up, is there anything you would like to plug or let people know about Tracy?

Tracy Lee: [54:15] I think that if you know women in tech who are looking to get into the field or who are in the field or whatever or you're trying to inspire to get into the filed, I can't tell you how many junior developers are like, “Well, my boyfriend is a developer or my husband is a developer.”

Chuck Carpenter: [54:31] Right.

Tracy Lee: [54:33] Then they're getting in and surpassing their significant others, which I love to see. But we do have this like monthly women in tech mentoring. So if you go to thisdot.co you can check out like a bunch of our different events. We have angularmeetup.com, reactjs.com, youmeetup.com. But the women in tech one is amazing. We meet like every month for an hour. It’s a closed session, but if you just want some awesome people to come hang out with, feel free.

Robbie Wagner: [55:01] Cool.

Chuck Carpenter: [55:01] Yeah, that’s awesome. There are two ladies who work with us and obviously some in our network. So I am happy to share that resource as well.

Robbie Wagner: [55:09] Yeah. Well, thanks again for coming on Tracy. If anyone wants to subscribe to this podcast, please do so. We appreciate it. It helps us get the word out about it, and we’ll catch you guys next time.

Chuck Carpenter: [55:26] Thanks for listening to Whiskey Web and Whatnot. This podcast is brought to you by Ship Shape and produced by Podcast Royale. If you liked this episode, consider sharing it with a friend or two and leave us a rating and maybe a review as long as it’s good.

Robbie Wagner: [55:40] You can subscribe to future episodes on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. For more info about Ship Shape and this show, check out our website at shipshape.io.