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S1E38: End of Year Review

In our last episode of the season Josh and Leon look back at the stories that most stood out and the data that shows how we performed; and then look ahead to what next year will bring. Stick with us as we highlight some of the greatest moments of season one, and chart a course into season 2. Listen or read the transcript below.

Josh: 00:00 Welcome to our podcast where we talk about the interesting, frustrating and inspiring experiences we have as people with strongly held religious views working in corporate IT. We’re not here to preach or teach you our religion. We’re here to explore ways we make our career as IT professionals mesh – or at least not conflict – with our religious life. This is Technically Religious.

Leon: 00:23 It’s our last episode of the year. And so we’re going to do what every major Hollywood production does.

Josh: 00:27 Take a vacation to Hawaii and bring the film crew so we can expense it?

Leon: 00:31 Uh, no.

Josh: 00:32 And then do a retrospective episode so that we don’t have to actually create that much!

Leon: 00:36 Okay, so you’re half right. Actually, maybe a third, right? Because we’re still going to do a full episode.

Josh: 00:40 And no Hawaii?

Leon: 00:42 No Hawaii. So let’s dive right in. I’m Leon Adato.

Josh: 00:47 And I’m Josh Biggley. And while we normally start the show with a shameless self promotion today we’re going to do an end of the year economy size version. Like we shopped at Costco,

Leon: 00:57 Right, exactly. For all this stuff that we need for the end of year, all our parties and everything like that. Right. So instead of introducing just the two of us, we’re going to introduce everyone who’s been on the podcast this year. So here we go! Um, Josh, kick it off.

Josh: 01:11 All right, so, uh, Josh Biggley, Tech Ops Strategy Consultant. Now with New Relic. You can find me on the Twitters @jbiggley. I am officially as of this last week officially. ex-Mormon.

Leon: 01:20 Do I say congratulations?

Josh: 01:22 I think so. Maybe there’s a hallmark card for it. I don’t know, but yeah, no, we officially resigned this week. It came through a Thursday, Wednesday. I don’t remember. Uh, yeah, so that’s it. We’re done.

Leon: 01:33 Okay. All right. And, uh, I’m Leon Adato. I’m a Head Geek at SolarWinds. You can find me on the Twitters @LeonAdato. I also pontificate on technical and religious things at I am still Orthodox Jewish. I am not ex anything. Uh, and in the show notes, just so you know, we’re going to list out everybody that we talk about in the next few minutes along with all of their social media connections and the episodes they appear in so you can look them up. We’re just going to go back and forth on this one. So I’m going to kick it off. Doug Johnson was on our show. He’s the CTO of WaveRFID.

Josh: 02:08 Destiny Bertucci is the product manager at SolarWinds… uh, “A” product manager. They have lots of them. You can find her on the Twitters @Dez_sayz,

Leon: 02:17 And also a program manager at Solarwinds, Kate Asaff.

Josh: 02:21 All right. And Roddie Hasan, Technical Solutions Architect at Cisco.

Leon: 02:25 Al Rasheed, who’s contractor and virtualization admin. Extra-ordinaire.

Josh: 02:28 Indeed. Xtrordinair, a Mike Wise president of blockchain wisdom. I see. I see what he did there.

Leon: 02:35 Yeah, yeah. Blockchain wisdom, Wise-dom, right, whatever. Okay. Keith Townsend, who is CEO of CTO Advisor

Josh: 02:43 Yechiel Kalmenson is a software engineer at Pivotal. Yay.

Leon: 02:47 Yay. I’m so glad that you got to say his name again. Cory Adler, who’s lead developer at park place.

Josh: 02:53 Rabbi. Ben Greenberg is developer advocate at Vonage.

Leon: 02:57 Steven Hunt or “Phteven” as we like to call him, Steven Hunt, who is senior director of product management at DataCore software.

Josh: 03:04 All right. Leon, you’re going to have to help me here because I know I’m going to mis-pronounce this name.

Leon: 03:08 Go for it. It’s a hard “H”. It’s a hard H.

Josh: 03:11 Hame? Chame?

Leon: 03:11 Chaim (Cha-yim).

Josh: 03:11 Okay. Chaim Weiss a front end angular developer at DecisionLink there. I feel like we probably should have done that a little different and not made the guy who does not, um, you know, speak,

Leon: 03:25 No, I think we did it exactly right.

Josh: 03:29 You are a scoundrel.

Leon: 03:30 I am. So, Hey, you can have me say all the hard, uh, Mormon names.

Josh: 03:37 Definitely. Oh, we need to insert some of those. All right, let’s talk about numbers cause I mean, I, I, I’m a number geek. I love numbers. You called me out today on Twitter, uh, because I was complaining about a certain hundred billion dollar investment account that has certain former, uh, church that I have or a church that I formerly belonged to, might have. And I was comparing it to the bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Um, our numbers don’t have nearly as many zeros.

Leon: 04:02 No, not nearly as much. Um, and the numbers we’re talking about are not financial. The numbers that we’re going to talk about is just, uh, who’s been listening to the episode. So, uh, I think I mentioned the top of the show. This is our last episode. It’s number 38 for the year. We got a late start in the year, but we’ve been almost every week. So 38 episodes, uh, and yay. And you can find us on a variety of platforms you can find us on. I’m just going to do this in one breath. iTunes, Spotify, Google play, Stitcher pocket cast, Podbean, YouTube, PlayerFM , iHeartRadio. And of course you can listen directly from the website at https://www,

Josh: 04:37 Wow, congratulations. That was well done.

Leon: 04:39 Thank you.

Josh: 04:41 All right, so, um, let’s talk about who’s listening. I mean, or maybe how many people are listening. So as of this recording or prior to this recording, um, we’ve had 2100… Over 2100 listens and downloads. OVER 21… Does that mean like 2101 or we.

Leon: 04:57 It’s anything between 2101 and a billion.

Josh: 05:00 Sweet.

Leon: 05:01 But you have to figure that if it was anything close to say 3000, we probably would have said it.

Josh: 05:05 That that is true. So over 2100 listens and because we like math, that’s about 50 listeners per episode. Thanks mom. Appreciate.

Leon: 05:14 Right. It’s yeah, it’s not necessarily listened nerves, it’s just people who’ve listened. So yes, it could have been both of our moms clicking the podcast repeatedly. Hopefully that’s not the case. And in those 2100 listens, the results are that the top five episodes for the year based on the listen count. Uh, our number one episode is also our number one episode, “Religious Synergy”. Podcast episode number one is first with 89 listeners.

Josh: 05:42 That’s going way back, way back. Tied actually for number one, but not the first episode was episode 12″Ffixing the World One Error Message at a Time.” That was a good episode.

Leon: 05:55 It really was. There were some amazing aha moments for me in that one. Uh, number three is episode 17, “Pivoting Our Career on the Tip of a Torah Scroll,” which is where I was talking with Cory Adler, Rabbi Ben Greenberg, and Yechiel Kalmenson about their respective transitions from the rabbinate from rabbinic life or just Yeshiva life into becoming programmers, which was kind of a weird, interesting pivot in and of itself. And that had 76 listeners.

Josh: 06:25 Following up to… I mean, that really riveting discussion. I mean, honestly, it, it, it was very interesting to me is this whole idea of a possible imposter syndrome, which apparently I’m imposing on you by making you listen to this episode? I don’t know. Um, episode 11 was “Imposter Syndrome” with 71 listeners. Um, I would encourage others to listen to it because it’s still very, very relevant.

Leon: 06:51 Yeah. Yeah, there was, again, that was another one where I think we had a few aha moments both in, in ourselves. Like, “Oh, that’s right. That’s it. You know, that’s a good way to look at it. That’s an interesting way to…” You know, some and some ways to deal with imposter syndrome, which I think in IT is definitely a thing. Um, and the last of the top five is episode three. So going again, way back, “Being a Light Unto the Nations During a Sev One Call,” I think the “sev one call” was what got people’s attention. Um, and that had 68 listeners.

Josh: 07:20 I want to point out that this is the first time in my entire career that I have not been on call.

Leon: 07:26 Wow.

Leon: 07:27 Right. I realized that my very first, I mean maybe my second week at new Relic, I was like, Oh my goodness, I’m not on call anymore. I, no one’s going to call me when there’s a Sev One. It was weird.

Leon: 07:38 Yeah. That’s a, that’s a, and that’s something we’re going to talk about in the coming year. One of the episodes is how we have to, uh, almost rewire our brain for different, um, positive feedback loops when we change, when we significantly change our role. And that was something that actually, uh, Charity Majors talked about on Twitter about a month ago is going from developer to CEO / CTO, and then back to developer and how it’s just a completely different positive reinforcement model and what that’s like, what that does and we’ll talk about that. But yeah, it’s, it’s really weird when you make the transition. Um, as far as numbers, I also want to talk about where people are listening from. Uh, I will say “obviously:… Obviously the, the largest number of our listeners, uh, come from the United States about, uh, 1,586 or 82% of our listeners from the U S but that’s not everything. It’s, you know, it’s not all about the U S as many people not in the U S remind us.

Josh: 08:33 I mean, Canada’s pretty far down the list. I mean, the UK came in at number two at 104. So thanks Jez (Marsh) for listening to all of our episodes. Three times. Is that the way it works?

Leon: 08:44 Yeah, something like that. That was the numbers, right? Three again, you know, a couple of our UK listeners just kept on clicking. Um, interestingly, number three position is Israel with 73 listens. So I can think of a few people, Ben Greenberg being one of them, but Sharone Zeitzman and a few other and Aaron Wolf, uh, are people I know there, but who knows where those are. The, you know, 70 clicks came from.

Josh: 09:06 Are you asking your son to click every week as well?

Leon: 09:09 He actually is in Yeshiva. He doesn’t have access.

Josh: 09:11 Oh, interesting. So you’re not, you’re not gaming. All right. I get you’re not gaming the system. I appreciate that. Um, so number four, Germany, um, I don’t know anyone on German. Well… Nope, no.

Leon: 09:22 Well Sasha Giese, another Head Geek. He’s in Germany. Well, actually he’s in Cork, but I don’t know what kind of, how he VPNs things. So he’s either the United, the UK folks or he’s the Germany folks. Who knows. Um, let’s see. Number five position is Finland with 38 listeners. And then we get to…

Josh: 09:39 Canada!!

Leon: 09:39 Oh, Canada,

Josh: 09:42 28. Um, yeah. Yay. VPN. I’ll tell him and I say, okay, so Canadians need to up your game.

Leon: 09:50 Puerto Rico comes in next with 8 listens or 8 listeners. It’s hard to tell.

Josh: 09:55 Austria?

Leon: 09:55 Austria.

Josh: 09:55 People listen from Austria?

Leon: 09:59 They listened to us from Australia.

Josh: 10:00 Five people in Austria. Yay. Austria.

Leon: 10:02 Right? And Australia, not to be confused with Austria. Uh, also five listens and number 10:

Josh: 10:07 Uh, Czech Republic number four. All right, with four. I don’t know what about in the Czech Republic either.

Leon: 10:13 So I know a lot of, uh, SolarWinds, developers are in the Czech Republic. So that could be, that could be it. So thank you. There’s, there’s more stats than that. I mean, you know, it, it goes down all the way to Vietnam and the Philippines, and they are the ones with one listen each, I don’t know who it is, whoever the person is from Belgium. Thank you for listening. Same thing for France in Japan. But, uh, we appreciate all the people who are listening.

Josh: 10:36 Our Bahamas listeners, all two of you, if you’d like us to come and visit, we’ve been more than happy to do that, especially during the cold winter months. So I mean, just get ahold of us. We’ll arrange, we’ll arrange flights.

Leon: 10:47 And, and uh, the two listeners from Switzerland, um, I apologize for everything I might say about Switzerland. I didn’t have a delightful time when I was there in 2000. Uh, and I’m kind of take it out on you sometimes, so thank you for listening. Anyway. All right, so where are people, is this, that’s weird geographically, but how are people listening? I know I listed out the type, the platforms that we, uh, promote on, but actually people are listening in a variety of different ways. What are, some of them aren’t?

Josh: 11:15 So browser, uh, 370, that’s almost 20% of you are listening in the browser, which means, Hey, you’re listening to us at work. Great. And I’ll get back to work and do your job, right?

Leon: 11:23 Well, they can, they can listen while they work. It’s okay. All right.

Josh: 11:26 Whistle while they work?

Leon: 11:27 No, listen, listen.

Josh: 11:30 Oh. I thought we were promoting Disney+ all of a sudden.

Leon: 11:31 No we are not promoting Disney+. We are not going to do that. Um, the next, uh, platform or agent that’s being used is Overcast, which is interesting. Uh, 235 listens, came from, um, over the overcast platform,

Josh: 11:44 uh, Apple podcasts coming in at 168.

Leon: 11:47 So I’m willing to bet that that’s destiny and Kate who are both Apple fanatics and they are just clicking repeatedly.

Josh: 11:53 That’s nice. Yay. Thank you. Thank you for clicking repeatedly. We appreciate that. OKhttp. I don’t even know what that is.

Leon: 12:00 It’s an interesting little platform that some people are using and it’s number four on the list. So 165 listens. PocketCasts is 133 listens. M.

Josh: 12:10 My preferred platform, actually a Podcast Addict, a 124.

Leon: 12:14 Spotify, which actually is how I like to listen to a lot of stuff. Spotify has 96 listens,

Josh: 12:19 The PodBean app, 94 listens.

Leon: 12:22 Right. And that’s actually how we’re hosting. We’ll talk about that in a minute. iTunes. So, I’m not sure exactly the differentiation between the Apple podcast in iTunes, but iTunes is at 72 listens. And in the number 10 spot:

Josh: 12:33 Google podcasts where I started listening to a lot of podcasts, 70 listens, and then, I mean the list is pretty long after that, but there’s a lot of diversity out there.

Leon: 12:42 Yeah. It’s not just like one, one, one, one, one, you know, all the way down after that. I, you know, there’s, there’s a bunch of them, PlayerFM and Bullhorn and, and CFnetwork and things like that. So…

Josh: 12:51 WatchOS?

Leon: 12:52 Yeah, watchOS people listening to it on their watch, now. It’s, you know, I mean, you know, and you’ve got, you know, iHeartRadio, Facebook app, um, you know, Twitter app. People are listening to us in a lot of different ways, which is kind of issues. So, so what do these numbers tell us? Okay, so those are the numbers, but what are we getting from this?

Josh: 13:08 Um, people in the US like the listen to us on their watches. That would be a connection that you could possibly draw, but probably not accurate. I, the first thing is, you know, we have a long way to go. I think that 2000 listens in the better part of a year, 50 listens per episode. If you just divide it mathematically, um, there’s, there’s a lot more growth that we can do. So if you’re listening and you think, “Oh, you know, it’d be so much easier to listen to this if you just…” Blah, blah, please let us know. Um, you know, we want to make this interesting and listen-able, whether you are listening to it live or meaning, you know, from a podcast platform or you’re reading it through a transcript or what have you, please let us know what we can do to make the podcast more consumable for you or your friends or family or coworkers.

Josh: 13:56 If that suggestion is that I don’t participate anymore as well to make up more or listen-able, I mean, let Leon know and he’ll let me down gently.

Leon: 14:05 Right? And vice versa, vice versa. I could see it going either way.

Josh: 14:09 Definitely.

Leon: 14:11 So, so, right. And I think also the numbers are interesting in terms of the ways that people are listening. And I think that tells us something a little bit about where we might want to advertise or promote. Along the way that, you know, that Overcast was really a surprise for me. I did not expect that. It’s not on the list of things that I had targeted. Um, and yet there it is. You know, people were listening to it, so that might tell us where we want to reach out to people.

Josh: 14:33 And it’s funny too because both you and I participate a fair bit on Twitter and LinkedIn and we’ve been known to, I mean both retweet and post about our podcast on those two platforms. I mean, I’m, I surprised because I would’ve expected more people to be listening, via one of those platforms like Twitter, you know, in tweet listening. So…

Leon: 14:56 Yeah, it is interesting. And maybe that’s something we need to find a way to enable more of. I dunno. I dunno. Um, you know, that’s, so we’re going to, we’re going to dig through those numbers, um, and see what else we can find. Again, if you see something in those numbers that we didn’t let us know. The next thing I want to do is go relatively quickly through some behind the scenes we’ve had. I’ve had some folks ask, “Well, how exactly do you make the podcast?” Um, either because they’re interested in doing one of their own or because they just, you know, are interested in that stuff. So, uh, the behind the scenes stuff, first of all, we use a variety of microphones because we have guests from all over the place. So since Josh and I are, are the two primary voices you’re going to hear, I use a blue Yeti microphone, um, which I love.

Josh: 15:37 Yeah. And I use a job for pro nine 30, which I use both for work and for the podcast. I think the takeaway here is you don’t have to go and drop a hundred or 200 or more on a specialized a microphone if you’re just going to be doing a podcast from home. And if you’re going to have more than one guest, it gets really awkward when people want to hug up against my face to talk into my mic.

Leon: 16:02 Yeah. At least to some awkward questions, you know, in the house,

Josh: 16:05 right? Yeah. So you know why, why do you have Leon’s whiskers on your sweater?

Leon: 16:13 Right, exactly. So yeah, you don’t need a lot. Now again, I, I’m really enjoying the blue Yeti. Um, Destiny turned me on to it. Uh, when we first started doing, you know, talk about podcasts and doing them and it was really a worthwhile investment for me, but I wholly support what Josh was saying is you can get good quality sound out of a, a variety of low end low cost microphones. To record the podcast we use cast, which you can…

Josh: 16:40 OK. Hold on a second, can I just, can I point out how awesome it is that a bunch of D&D geeks use a platform called “Cast” to record this show?

Leon: 16:49 Yes. Okay. It is kind of cool and yes, I do. I do have a little bit of nerdery in my head. And I say, “Okay, I’m going to cask now… HOYYYY!” Oh, you’ll find cast at Um, so you can find that there and it’s really economical. It’s 10 bucks a month for, I think it’s 20 hours of recording. So for a home podcast you can fit the time that you… And you can export individual tracks or you can export a premixed version or whatever. It gives you a lot of nice granular controls and they even serve as a hosting platform, but we’re not using it. And speaking of exporting, I export individual tracks for each voice and then I’ll do the audio editing in Audacity, a free tool. It does everything that I need it to do. And if the sound is horrible, it’s my fault because I’m, it’s me using Audacity. If the sound is amazing and you love it, it’s purely because Sudacity is an amazing tool to use.

Josh: 17:50 Wait… we edit this show?

Leon: 17:51 We do. I tried to take out a lot of the ums and ahs and every once in a while we really mess up and we have to go back or something like that. I edit that out. Most of the time. I think episode 11 ended up the unedited version ended up getting posted, but we didn’t say anything terribly embarrassing in that one.

Josh: 18:07 We usually say all sorts of terribly embarrassing things that we publish well,

Leon: 18:11 Right, right. The embarrasing stuff is the best part.

Josh: 18:16 Um, so we, uh, we as an ep, as a podcast, we try to be very inclusive and accessible. And, uh, for our listeners who don’t actually listen, who are hearing impaired, we use Temi, uh, for doing transcription. And I mean, that’s, that’s something that I picked up from you, uh, about halfway through this year. And I’ve really enjoyed that experience. And today as we were prepping for the show, I realized that doing the transcription isn’t just for people who are hearing impaired. It’s also very much for us. Because we post all of those transcriptions and I was looking for a particular episode, something that we had said in those these past 37 episodes and I was able to go and search on and just find it, boom. Just like that.

Leon: 19:03 Right. So that, that is a, a secondary benefit that I like. Of course I said that we needed to do transcribing because I have a lot of friends who are Deaf or hard of hearing. I also have a lot of friends for whom English is not their first language. And so having the transcript works really well. Uh, and yes, it makes it very searchable. We can go back and find where we said something really easily. You don’t have to listen to hours and hours of, uh, of recordings just to see “now, where was it that Doug talked about being the worst person to invite to a Christmas party…” Or whatever, which was hysterical by the way. Um, so yeah, it, it’s, it comes in really handy and a little bit of extra work. Um, we host on PodBean, I mentioned that earlier. So that’s where the episode gets uploaded to when it’s finally done. And PodBean pushes things out to just about everything else. It pushes out to iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, um, a whole mess of platforms. And then I manually repost it to and uh, that does the promotion, the actual promotion of the episode out to Twitter, Facebook, um, and LinkedIn.

Josh: 20:06 Interesting. And then I think that it’s important that our listeners know that we invest between three and five hours per episode. Well, we’ve certainly gone longer. Some of our episodes and the prep, the recording and then the dissecting, I mean we’re probably up around 8, sometimes 10 hours for a particular set of episodes. You know, those two-part-ers that we’ve done, you know, they’ve run really long, but yeah, three to five hours a week, uh, on top of our full time gigs as uh, husbands and fathers, uh, and jobs. Apparently we have to have jobs in order to make money and feed ourselves. So yeah, it’s a labor of love.

Leon: 20:43 Yeah. My family is much, they’re much more uh, solicitous of my saying “I want to go record a podcast”

Josh: 20:48 when they’ve eaten, you know, regular. Yes. Yeah. They’re totally accepting of that. Right?

Leon: 20:53 Yeah. It makes things easier. And you know, the, I think the message there is that if, if you feel the itch to do a podcast, it’s accessible. It’s relatively easy to do. It requires more or less some free or cheap software. I told you the cast is $10 a month. Um, Tammy, one of the reasons why I like it is that it is 10 cents a minute for the transcribing. So, you know, a 30 minute episode is $3. Nice. It’s really, really affordable to do so, you know, the costs are relatively low. Um, between that and hosting and um, Podbean. So it’s really accessible to do. You know, don’t think that there’s a barrier to entry that that money or even level of effort is a very true entry. And that means also that you can take a shot at it, make some mistakes, figure it out. I fully ascribed to IRA Glass’ story that he did about, uh, the gap that when you first start to do something, there’s this gap between what you see in your head in terms of quality and how it comes out initially that it’s not, it may not be what you envision it can be, but you have to keep at it. You have to keep trying because ultimately you’ll get there because it’s your, your sensibility of, and your vision. That really is what’s carrying you through. Not necessarily your technical acumen at the start. That comes later. So that just, you know, it just a little encouragement. If you think you want to do this, absolutely try reach out to us on the side, either on social media or email or whatever and say, “Hey, I just need some help getting started.” Or “Can you walk me through the basics of this or that,” you know, we would love to help see another fledgling podcast get off the ground.

Josh: 22:28 This is why I had four children. The first three. I’m like, all right, that’s uh, uh, obviously I’ve really messed up. And the fourth one, or maybe I should have a fifth. I dunno,

Leon: 22:38 Who knows? Well, okay. So I, I routinely and publicly refer to my oldest daughter as my ‘pancake kid’. You know, when you’re making pancakes and, uh, you make the first one and it’s like overdone on one side and kind of squishy on the other and misshapen and kind of, you know, that’s, and the rest of them come out perfectly circular and golden Brown and cooked all the way through because the griddle’s finally up to the right temperature and everything. But the first pancake that first pancake comes out and it’s just a little weird. And my daughter is the pancake kid. So, uh, moving on from pancake children and how the sausage gets made, having made the sausage, I think we both have some moments in some episodes that were our favorites. And I’d like to start off, uh, I got a little bit nostalgic, um, about this. So my top favorite moment was actually when we had Al Rasheed on and you and Al ended up getting into this 80’s music nostalgia showdown where every other comment was, you know, an oblique reference to some song that was, you know, top 40 radio at some point during the decade. It was by end of the episode. It was just. It was wonderful and awful and cringe-worthy and delightful all at the same time. And I just sat there with my jaw hanging open, laughing constantly. I had to mute myself. It was amazing.

Josh: 23:59 Wow. I mean, Cher would say, if we, “if I could turn back time…”

Leon: 24:05 See? See? It was like this, it was like this for 35 minutes straight. It was nothing but this. Okay. So that was one. The second one was, and we talked about this, uh, earlier with the top episodes Fixing the World One Error Message at a Time. There were just some amazing overlaps that came out during that episode. You know, where we saw that, you know, the pair programming may have had its roots, whether it knows it or not in the idea of chevruta, or partner style learning in Yeshiva that, you know, that was just a total like, Oh my goodness. Like again, an aha moment for me. So that was a really interesting one as we were talking about it and finally, not a specific episode, but just every episode that, that we were together and that’s most of them, the time that I got to spend with you, Josh, you know, as we planned out the show, sort of 30, 40 minutes of prep time before we record and we just had a chance to catch up on our lives and our families and things like that and really share it. And that’s something that the audience is never going to necessarily hear. We weren’t recording and it’s just, you know, it was just personal banter between us. But you know, uh, we worked together for a very brief time, you know, at the same company, but then we worked together, you know, on the same tools and the same projects far longer than that. And this was, this really just gave us a chance to deepen that friendship. And I really value that. And to that end, the episode that is, that is titled failure to launch, for me, was really a very personal moment. It was a really hard moment for me where my son was going through a hard time. And as a parent, when you see your kid struggling, it just tears you apart. And both the prep and actually the execution of that episode I think was for me, a Testament to our friendship, you know, in audio like in a podcast. That was, that was you being really supportive of me and helping me think through and talk through those moments. And um, you shared a lot of yourself in that episode also. And, and I think that was sort of emblematic of the, again, the secondary benefit of the podcast. The first benefit is just being able to share these ideas and stories with the public. But the secondary benefit for me was just how much friendship we were able to build and share throughout the, this last year.

Josh: 26:22 And I, I have to remind the audience that your son, he stayed in Israel, right. And he’s doing absolutely fantastic. So that time for you and I to commiserate for, to be a virtual shoulder, um, to, you know, snuggle your head on and yeah, t.

Leon: 26:40 That’s how the whiskers got there! Angela, if you’re listening, that’s, that’s how it happened.

Josh: 26:45 That is absolutely how it happened.

Leon: 26:47 Don’t think anything else.

Josh: 26:49 No, I agree that those, those are the things that you don’t really, you don’t really value until suddenly they happen. And you realize that for the past year we’ve spent more time together than probably most of my friends. It’s just weird. I mean life is busy and you squeezed friendships in between other things, but this was something that we carved out every week. So, I mean, I got to spend 90 minutes to 120 minutes a week just chatting with you on top of the chatting we did in social media and whatnot. So a 100% super powerful. Um, I often say, uh, you know, my best friend in the world, um, doesn’t live anywhere near me. Uh, he lives in Cleveland, so that’s great. So I,

Leon: 27:34 And that’s the amazing part about the internet in general. But yeah, this podcast has helped. Okay. So those were, those were my favorites. Josh, you know what are yours? I’ve got the tissues out.

Josh: 27:41 Yeah, you got em? All right. So my first one was recently outing. Um, I’m making you out yourself and your ongoing feud with Adam Sandler.

Leon: 27:52 Sorry Adam. It goes all the way back to college. Uh, couldn’t stand you. You are, I’m sure you’re a much better person now, but you were impossible to deal with back then.

Josh: 28:01 I mean, we were all, we were all impossible to deal with at that age. I’m just going to point that out. There’s a reason that we send our kids to college. Just saying. There’s also a reason that some animals eat their young also saying that,

Leon: 28:13 Oh, right. Media was merely misunderstood. She was just having a bad day that many mothers can commiserate with .

Josh: 28:22 Uh, also I enjoy at least once an episode, sometimes more reminding you that, um, you did abandon me after four days to take a role as a Head Geek at Solarwinds,

Leon: 28:37 Mea Culpa, mea culpa, marxima culpa! I’m so sorry. Yes, I know. I know.

Josh: 28:42 I, and I think that that will probably go on my tombstone. Um, “do you remember when Leon left me?” Or something.

Leon: 28:52 Again, hard to explain to your family why that’s on your tombstone.

Josh: 28:55 It’s going to be a big tombstone door and don’t, don’t worry. Um, and I think to your failure to launch episode, um, one of the moments that, not when it happened, but in retrospect was sharing with the world that I suffer from depression and uh, and that it’s OK, um, that we, and we talked about that later on, we talked about the power of reaching out to people, um, who say, “Look, I, I suffer from depression and it’s okay to suffer from depression.” And people who know me, uh, and who know me well will know that sometimes it’s very situational, but to tell the entire world or at least 2100 people or 2100 listens, um, that I suffered from depression. It, that’s fine. It really was.

Leon: 29:41 Yeah, it really, it came out okay. And that actually arose from a previous episode. So the episode we’re talking about is “Fight the Stigma” and the previous episode, it just, it was like in passing and it was very to the listener, it was very, you know, noncommittal. It was just, “…and I suffered from depression” and et cetera, et cetera. Actually that was the “Failure to Launch” episode that you mentioned it. And afterward, after we’d stopped recording I said, “Wow, that, that seems so easy for you. Was it, was it a big deal?” And you said, “Yeah, it was a huge deal. Like my heart was beating in my chest!” And, and every like, it really wasn’t, it didn’t seem like it, but it was a big admission. We said, “we need to explore this a little bit more. We need to go into it.” And it was really brave. I know that that’s terrible. Like, Oh wow, you’re such an inspiration, like don’t turn you into that. But it made hopefully made a difference in other people who are listening. But it was really a, a big thing for, for us who are doing the recording.

Josh: 30:35 Yeah. And I will say that, uh, in addition to that depression at admission, this podcast has really been a part of my transition away from Mormonism. I mean, we started talking about this podcast a year before we actually started the podcast. So I was, you know, I was kind of in the throws of it, but I mean 30 to 60 minutes a week of being able to hear other people’s perspectives who, um, may or may not, um, share our religious views or former religious views in my case, was really powerful for me and helped me process through my transition away from Mormonism a lot faster than most people. I’ve, you know, I, in the community, I’ve seen people that are going on decades of trying to transition away from Mormonism. And I did it in under two years.

Leon: 31:28 Right. And I think, I think part of that, and this is one of the foundational ideas behind the, the “Tales from the TAMO Cloud” series that we’ve started to do is to talk about people’s journeys. Um, you know, both their technical journeys and also their religious journeys. Uh, and to make sure that the listeners understand that life is a journey. I know that’s really cliche, that there’s a place where you are today that is different from where you stood before at the beginning when you were, when you were growing up that the house that you grew up in, in the traditions in that house are valid and they are a thing. But that may not be what you do now. You may be doing what you may think of as more or less or different. And that’s normal that we have multiple voices on here who say, “I started off like this and then I was this and then, and now I am this and this is how I got from here to there.” And the, this is in that conversation could be, I started off on help desk and then I was a storage engineer and now I’m working as a, you know, customer advocate or it could be that I started off as, you know, Protestant and then I was disillusioned and I was nothing. And now I’m, you know, born again, evangelical Christian or whatever and people, you know,…that, that those transitions are normal and healthy and not an admission of failure. It’s an admission of life.

Josh: 32:50 You forgot to include my transition from working in technology and despising sales to now working in presales and being part of the sales cycle. I mean, I’ve literally gone to the dark side. It’s,

Leon: 33:04 You really have, and you probably going to have to talk about that at some point. Yeah. After Star Wars is out for a while. So we’re not spoiling anything for anyone.

Josh: 33:11 Exactly. Right. Uh, I will also point out that it is moments like this that are so powerful for me. I quote you, Leon, in real life. Um, so often that I’m pretty sure people are convinced. I am considering converting to Judaism.

Leon: 33:28 I know that you got that comment, especially when you were still involved in the church and you were running a Sunday teaching programs and you’d, you’d say, and you know, and I think the group, the class would say, “and what is your friend Leon think about that?”

Josh: 33:42 It really was hilarious. It would be like, “…so I have a friend” and they’d be like, “…and his name is Leon.”

Leon: 33:48 Right.

Josh: 33:49 It, it, it was fantastic. Um, and then I think, no, I know that my all time favorite tagline of this past season came from, uh, episode 30, uh, when good people make bad choices and an evolved, um, melons,

Leon: 34:06 I’ll play the clip.

Josh: 34:07 That’s of wonderful. I think that’s better than me reading it because yes, play the clip.

Josh: 34:13 In the Bible. Matthew records “…by their fruits, you shall know them.”

Doug: 34:17 So ironically, we’re not supposed to be judges, but we’re supposed to be fruit inspectors.

Josh: 34:23 Doug, are you looking at my melons?

Leon: 34:26 I cannot be having this conversation.

Josh: 34:28 I don’t know why we played that clip

Leon: 34:32 Because we have no shame. Um, yeah, it was… Just talking about that clip took up a good solid five to 10 minutes of, of solid laughter of us just trying to do that. And that represents some of the joy. So those were some of our favorite moments. If you have some of your favorite moments, uh, please share it with us on social media. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, uh, there’s, you know, posts again on LinkedIn. You can share it in the comments area on the website, anywhere that you want to. Um, all right, so I want to transition over to looking ahead. We looked back a little bit, um, in the coming year, what are we thinking? Uh, Technically Religious is going to move into and that idea of constantly improving and I’ll start off by saying that we’re really gonna work on improving the production quality. I think we have some room to grow. That we can get better. I’m, I’m getting better at, again, editing the audio and getting better sound levels and things like that. And that’s going to continue. I also want to make sure that we make the time that we’re talking as clear as possible. So getting the ums and AHS and those vocal tics out of the way. I think that transcripts are getting better and faster and so they’re getting easier to do and we’re going to keep on doing that and especially to our deaf and hard of hearing listeners. But anybody who’s consuming the transcripts, please let us know if there’s something we can do to make it easier for you. And the last piece I’m going to unveil is that we are going to have intro and outro music along with the intro text, so stay tuned for that. We’ll have a big unveiling of that.

Josh: 36:03 Does it involve kazoos?

Leon: 36:04 It probably does not actually involve kazoos.

Josh: 36:06 That’s disappointing.

Leon: 36:06 I, okay, so we’re still working on it. Maybe we can work some kazoos. It’s going to have a lot of sound. It’s gonna have a lot of sounds,

Josh: 36:13 A lot of sounds. Okay. good. I’m okay with that. Are we also going to leverage Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system in order to broadcast?

Leon: 36:23 If you can make that happen. I’m fully on board with that, but that, that’s news to me. But I, yeah, I’m all for it. Slightly less ambitious than Elon Musk’s Starlink system would be getting some other guests in and maybe some higher profile guests. Uh, somebody mentioned earlier that Larry Wall has a very interesting religious point of view and also he is the progenitor of the Perl programming language, which I have an undying love for. This is a hill I’m willing to die on that Pearl is still valid and and useful. So someone said, “Hey, you should get him on the show.” So I am actively pursuing that and a few other guests whose names you might recognize even if you don’t know me or Josh or the circles that we run in.

Josh: 37:04 I just want to say that Charity Majors is high on my list this year. Unfortunately I missed having a chance to chat with charity last week while I was in San Francisco. A charity. I’m so sorry. I realized as I was wrapping up my week that I didn’t reach out cause I’m a terrible person.

Leon: 37:21 That’s right because you were terrible. That’s what it was. Not that you were busy learning the ropes of a completely new job and juggling several responsibilities and things like that. No, no. Just because you’re a bad person.

Josh: 37:33 Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So to make it up for you to you, I, we will invite you onto the show. We’d love to talk about this journey and then to make it, make it up to you for inviting you onto the show. Uh, we will also get together next time I’m in San Francisco.

Leon: 37:50 Same, same. Since you took time to get… So I met Charity when she was at, we were both at DevOps days, Tel Aviv. So Charity, we do not all, both have to fly literally around the globe to see each other and get to hang out next time. So, so there’s that. Um, we’re going to have some more TAMO interviews. If you are interested in being part of the show, either you want to do a tales from the Tamar cloud interview or just part of any conversation. We would love to speak to you. If you want to be a guest. If you think that you want to try your hand at editing, I will be happy to give up the reins to either the audio or transcription editing responsibilities. Um, let me know, again, reach out in social media and also promotion. Uh, I want this year to be more about getting, uh, Technically Religious promoted better and more so that we can have more readers, more input, more fun, more more goodness. And that leads to something that sorta speaks up your alley Josh.

Josh: 38:48 Well, I was gonna say if someone happens to have $100 billion laying around and would like to sponsor the show, we would be,

Leon: 38:58 yeah, we wouldn’t use all 100 billion, would we?.

Josh: 39:00 No. I mean at least at least a billion or so we would leave.

Leon: 39:04 Oh, okay. Yeah. I mean cause we’re not greedy.

Josh: 39:07 99 billion? We can totally make this happen on nine, 99 billion. In all honesty. If you are interested in sponsoring the show and we’ve dropped a number of names of, uh, vendors, uh, during this episode… And not intentionally, we really do appreciate the technology that allows us to deliver the show. But if you’re interested in a sponsorship, please reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to talk about you, your products, um, and to also accept your money.

Leon: 39:32 So that’s, I think that’s a good wrap up. I think there’s a good look back at, at 2019 season one. Uh, the next episode you hear will be the official start of season two of technically religious. Do we have a cliffhanger? Is there some sort of, are you going to poise over me with a knife or,

Leon: 39:48 Right. Is this so… Josh, I have to tell you something really important. I’m…

Josh: 39:54 And we fade to black. No, no, no. We’re not going to do that. I was waiting with bated breath. I was, I was going to put it in my ANYDo so that I can remember to listen to the next episode.

Leon: 40:03 Yes. Uh, so just to wrap up to everyone who’s listening, uh, both Josh and I and everyone else who’s been part of the show, uh, thank you deeply. We hope that you’re going to keep listening as we kick off season two, and that you will share Technically Religious podcast with your friends, your family, and your coworkers. And while as you listen to this episode is probably somewhat belated, we’d like to wish you:

Josh: 40:25 A Merry Christmas.

Leon: 40:26 or happy Christmas if you’re in Britain. Also a Chag Chanukah Sameach.

Josh: 40:30 A happy Kwanzaa.

Leon: 40:31 A joyful winter solstice.

Josh: 40:33 Festivus… For the rest of us!

Leon: 40:37 Thanks for making time for us this week to hear more of Technically Religious visit our website,, where you can find our other episodes, leave us ideas for future discussions and connect us on social media.

Leon: 40:49 You really want to end the year with a Festivus joke?

Josh: 40:51 Well, since we can’t be in Hawaii.

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