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35 MIN

Ep. #86, Growing With DevRel with James Q Quick of Auth0

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Brian Douglas: Welcome to another installment of JAMstack Radio, on the line we've got James Q Quick, which you told me your middle name, what it stood for.

I'm not sure that's public information, but feel free to introduce yourself and tell us why you're here.

James Q Quick: Sure. Yeah, no privacy in the middle name, so James Quintin Quick is what it is.

And fun fact, I had to keep the middle name because there's a James Quick that played in the NFL.

Brian: Nice.

James: And I had much better SEO than I do for just James Quick, so that's why my brand has really--

I've really had to solidify the James Q. Quick to have my own branding and SEO out there.

Brian: Yeah. So many questions but yeah, go ahead.

James: Yeah. Anyways, initials aside, I do mostly JavaScript development.

I'm also a speaker and a teacher in lots of different capacities and then, hopefully most relevant to today's episode specifically, I have been doing DevRel as a developer advocate at Auth0 for almost a year and a half now.

So I joined like right before COVID, did like one trip to speak at a conference, came back and the world was basically shut down.

So I've been doing a lot of videos and Twitch streams being getting into podcasts a lot myself as well.

Been a fun year of just doing a lot of virtual content.

Brian: Yeah, I bet. I bet it's been fun and also great timing too as well. Were you doing DevRel before Auth0?

James: I was not immediately before.

So I actually started my career out of college as a technical evangelist at Microsoft.

So basically the same type of thing we were focused regionally, so I did South Florida and then New York City for a couple of years, switched when my wife and I moved back to Memphis, working as a software developer and then an architect at FedEx here.

And then I really just miss doing the DevRel-ly things.

I wanted to create videos, I wanted to be at conferences, I wanted to have a reason to be more active on Twitter, all those types of things.

Brian: Yeah.

James: So I started looking and found the role with Auth0 a little over a year ago.

Brian: That is awesome too.

And yeah, congratulations again at getting it big through Microsoft, it's a great place to learn the ropes and how to create content and engage in community for sure.

James: That was definitely huge for me, it was--

I've told this story a lot, but I applied for two different roles at Microsoft that I got turned down for, but it was one of those things where they thought it would be a good fit for the company, just not those roles.

Brian: Yeah.

James: And I think I had talked about being really social and spending time with people and they were like, "Well, what about this technical evangelism role?"

And I was like, "I don't know what that is, but yeah, sign me up."

Brian: Yeah, excellent.

And I just wanted to shout out the fact that Auth0 has been represented on this podcast twice, Episode 29 and 49.

First with Ado Kukic, I think I got his name right.

I did practice for that episode, but also Sam Julien as well, who I understand, is he running DevRel at Auth0?

James: He is, yes. He is my fearless leader in DevRel.

So when I started a little over a year ago, he was a developer advocate as well, and then it's been a few months ago that he moved up to be the head of DevRel, which is really cool to kind of work with someone that you already had a good working relationship with, already kind of in sync and now to continue to work with him as the head of DevRel is pretty neat.

Brian: Yeah, yeah, and we're approaching almost two years since the last Auth0 focus episodes.

So are you able to catch us up, what is Auth0 we're focused on today? What's new?

James: Yeah. One big thing that we can talk about now is the Okta acquisition, I don't know if you had seen or heard-

Brian: Yep

James: ... anything about that. We were pretty silent about that until everything finally wrapped up.

So we just officially became acquired by Okta.

We've done a little bit of collaboration with their DevRel team, started to meet them, done a couple of live streams and kind of excited just to see where that leads to.

I don't expect a whole lot to change very soon. I don't know, so we'll see.

It should be a lot of fun though, especially on the content and just collaboration side of basically having that many more people that we can have speaking at conferences, creating content, all that stuff.

Brian: Is Randall Degges is he still in the DevRel team at Okta?

James: Mm-hmm, yep.

Brian: Okay.

James: And I have not gotten to talk to him since the acquisition.

I met him like years ago, I think at Kansas City Developer Conference.

And I think he was out when we had some of our, meet-the-team meetings, so I haven't gotten to hang out and chat with him yet, but I'm looking forward to that.

Brian: Okay. Yeah, he's the one person I know of Okta. I chatted with them right before Okta went public, but he also had got acquired from Storepath, I believe, was the company he was working at.

James: Yeah.

Brian: So it's like a similar place technology as Auth0.

Auth0 had a different angle that they went about it, but it's actually fascinating that Okta is picking up these authentication companies and building a nice little fortress of security, which is amazing.

James: The fortress of security. I feel like that may--

We may need to like adapt that as our branding going forward, that's pretty fun.

Brian: Yeah, yeah. I mean it's a lot of tools.

So I guess what's the path moving forward for Auth0?

Are you all going to be another solution for the Okta sweep?

Because like GitHub uses Okta, the last company I worked for uses Okta, it's a very popular tool.

James: Yeah, I don't really have any insights in particular.

There's everything that I know of now, as we're still kind of executing and just trying to do the right thing for potential customers.

Brian: Yeah.

James: We don't want to start taking people away from each other, we're trying to the right thing from a sales perspective.

Other than that, like I said, from a DevRel perspective, a couple of collaboration opportunities, talking about what conferences and things we're going to, to see what overlap there might be, but nothing big that I know or see in the immediate future, but I don't know.

We'll see what the next couple of years brings.

Brian: Yeah, excellent.

Yeah, and I always have applauded the approach for Auth0, it makes it so easy to get authentication as part of your tool set.

There's been other platforms and technologies that I've used in the past, but Auth0 makes it so easy just to drop in, the SDK and be able to access my authentication library and log into GitHub, which is the thing I do all the time.

James: There you go, yeah.

Brian: They just make it almost too easy for me.

James: Yeah. Our big thing from the beginning and I'm sure Sam and Ado talked about this in the past, is just being really developer-focused and exactly what you said, making sure that onboarding experience for your average developer, I don't mean average in terms of talent, I just mean your everyday developer, making that experience as easy as possible and you kind of ask, what's new?

One of the things that's been really top of mind for me is our Next.js, SDK. So we had kind of an unofficial Next.js, SDK that I'd used before, which was already pretty good and they've officially taken it in-house, cleaned up a bunch of issues, completely updated it, and it's just absolutely fantastic. So I am a big React person, I'm a big Next.js person.

And using that library, it couldn't be any simpler.

You can add a couple of environment variables and abstracts, even creating like routes for you to handle login, log out, the callback and the authorization or authentication and workflow.

All those things are just kind of taken care of for you.

You can customize them if you need to, but really out of the box, you can actually add it to your app and a few minutes after you have it set up in the Auth0 dashboard.

Brian: Yeah, that's excellent too as well, shout out to the Next.js too as well.

It's a great framework on top of React and I'm actually about to start another Next.js site.

Can't talk about it publicly because it's going to be focused with some of my content that I'm going to be shipping soon.

James: Cool.

Brian: Probably in the next month, but that's the other thing I've been getting really into it during the times of COVID is creating content.

I started a YouTube channel, which I definitely stumbled into your YouTube channel in the last year.

So can you talk more about what you're doing as far as content and then when it comes to your personal content, Auth0 content?

James: Yeah. The interesting thing as a developer advocate and a personal content creator is like the overlap and trying to have those boundaries, which are sometimes you don't really even have to have boundaries.

Like if I use my personal channel and I like genuinely I'm a fan of Auth0, which obviously I am, if I use that in my personal channel and that gets exposure for work, that doesn't make my personal stuff any less personal, it's just genuine and happens to represent something that's beneficial for the company.

But yes, so I started taking my YouTube channel seriously a couple of years ago, doing a video every week.

Now I'm up to most weeks having two videos and just loving it.

That's my way to learn, it's my way to teach, it's my way to provide value to people.

So yeah, I've been doing that really seriously for myself and that's been a big part of what I've been doing for Auth0 as well.

So when COVID hit last year, stopped going to conferences, we started doing more YouTube videos, we actually have a big year, a rest of the year, at least planned for videos as well.

We also started doing live streams on Twitch, so that's been like one of those huge rabbit holes, right?

Brian: Yeah.

James: Like you want to make things entertaining and you want to have the dynamic things going on and Twitch bots and all that stuff is like one of those huge, huge rabbit holes.

But it's also a lot of fun because you get the unique experience of--

Like if you give a conference talk, you can see people nodding their heads or shaking their heads if they disagree, but you can't have direct engagement live.

Brian: Yeah.

James: And a Twitch stream, people can comment, you can stop and address and pivot your conversation.

You can do all these things, that's a really unique experience.

And live-streaming, that's just been a ton of fun, I think for us to explore with and kind of grow with.

Brian: Yeah, yeah. I'm right there with you.

Same live-streaming was something I dabbled with in the last couple of years on Twitch, but the community kind of grew without me paying attention because I was still doing in-person meetups and conferences.

And then when COVID hit, we had to figure out, what was the next thing.

So we made a huge investment as far as GitHub goes into using our Twitch channel, which is twitch.tv/github, which was a very hard channel to kind of shake off all the dust on because we've had it for so long but never used it.

So it got marked as spammy for reasons because GitHub-

James: Interesting.

Brian: ... itself as a known entity.

James: Yeah.

Brian: There's a lot of other GitHub Billy or GitHub Johnny accounts that do really interesting things on Twitch in their chat.

But it's been an interesting thing to chat. Engagement is something that I've really been focused on.

Because that's one thing I like about streaming is that again, with the YouTube stuff, you can engage community and have follow-ups or if you get over a certain amount of subscribers, you can create a community that way.

But with Twitch it's built into the product, like day one, where I can build a integration that talks to the Twitch API to tell everybody, whoever, puts pizzas and my chat.

Pizzas will mean something to the chat, I'll count the pizzas at the end of the chat and you get a prize.

Like that stuff is what you would do at a meetup, gauge interaction.

And I'm just blown away in how easy Twitch makes it, but also how many people are doing that.

So I'm curious like with Auth0, what streams are you all hosting?

What guests are you also inviting on the streams?

James: Probably the most formal thing or consistent thing that we have, definitely the most consistent thing is our Avocado Lab series, and it's actually going through or gone through, now it's kind of ready, but a complete rebrand and a new series of videos.

So there's three different tracks with the Avocado Labs.

One is the Learners' Track, and what we want to do is have other people from either different companies or just people in general do kind of introductory content for different technologies. Next.js, we just published one on Sanity and we've got a few more in the backlog already.

So just some introductory content that would go on YouTube and then do a follow-up live stream with that person that created the content to do kind of a Q&A and let them interact with our audience and vice versa. The other one is more specific to authentication, which is our Ambassadors Track.

So we have an Ambassadors program where our goal is really to help people grow in the DevRel space.

So this gives them the opportunity to create some content on YouTube as well, get some practice with that and then follow it up with a live stream.

And then the last one is the Community Hour.

And I want to give a special shout out to this one because I think it's one of the most fun, like to just basically jump on to a live stream and have a casual conversation with something that that person is particularly passionate and excited about.

And this is something I've done on my personal stream.

COVID has just been an excuse for me to reach out to random people online that I don't know at all, and be like, "That thing you posted was really cool, come on the live stream, if you want to, and tell me all about that thing. Brag about yourself, share with me, because I'm already super interested in it."

So that's something I've done on my personal channel and I think this is going to be very similar in the sense that bring people from the community, let them talk about stuff they're excited and passionate about and just kind of grow our audience around those people and hopefully get some extra exposure for those people and the thing that they want to talk about as well.

Brian: Yeah, It's a great way to do DevRel.

And I think the playing field has all been leveled when it comes to DevRel because now the only thing that you have to overcome is time zones.

So I can now have a San Francisco-based meetup for anybody in Australia or anybody in London who wants to join or stay up later, they can join and get information.

So now information is been leveled, but also there's been tons of, I don't want to say competition, but now stuff has become accessible.

And I wanted to just ask some questions because you have a successful YouTube channel, I have a YouTube channel and I definitely do a lot of research on folks and like not folks in particular, but kind of see what was working.

I do a lot of... It's a thing I wrote on my newsletter recently, I called it-- I didn't call it this, but I got it from a Twitch streamer, they call it the yoink and twist method.

James: Okay.

Brian: Where its like, you yoink that idea and then you make a twist on it.

So if you have a guest streamer, I'll have a guest stream, but then also have a music like a party or something like that in the middle of it.

And I think Alex Trost from a Prismic is doing some streams that are very much like the jjj twist, where he has the stream where he does like a one with Jason style stream, but it's also focused on CSS animations which is like so specific, but also that's like just not enough information about that.

I can't keep up-to-date with all that, but I can watch the stream every week, so.

But, oh, I was going to ask about your YouTube channel and like what things you found that are successful in doing YouTube?

You mentioned you're doing two times a week and have you seen the crossover in applying that with like the Auth0 brand and platforms?

James: Yeah. I've got a little bit of a controversial take on YouTube and growing a following on Twitter and that stuff.

Most people that I hear when they get asked the question, how do you grow?

It's like, just stay consistent, don't worry about growing, just stay consistent.

And part of the consistency thing is definitely true, but honestly, I don't know if we curse on this one or not, but the don't focus on growing, is pretty BS.

I've seen tons of people create really good content and never get an exposure.

I've created tons of good content that never got any exposure.

And it's not that you have to change being genuine to grow, you just have to pay attention exactly to what you said, of like, what are the trends?

How do I do my thumbnails? How do I tweak my titles to have people be interested?

I still provide the exact same value, but you start to package it a little bit differently to get people in.

Because at the end of the day, if we create the best content in the world and no one listens or watches or follows, it's not that helpful, right?

So doing some of those tweaks, paying attention, learning from others, experimenting with stuff on your channel is huge.

And I think for me like VS Code is just one topic that YouTube just associates with my channel.

I've created lots of different JavaScript-related content and some of it's done well, nothing has ever done as well as my VS Code content.

Brian: Wow.

James: And that's something I'm going to continue to play off of, right?

Like those are the videos that people seem to really enjoy, and honestly, especially the last couple of months, my growth has been exponential based on two videos.

One in two months is at like 400,000 views and the other is at 120 or something in a month.

Brian: What was the topic?

James: Well, see here's part of the package, the packaging of the content.

The really big one was titled: I Don't Need Postman Anymore, I Use VS Code Instead.

Brian: I watched that one.

James: Yeah.

So it's an extension called Thunder Client where you can basically do your HTTP requests, test them out inside of VS Code, which for me as a content creator, I don't like switching between multiple applications, especially when I'm recording, because I feel like I have to swipe over, I have to get this new application up.

So being able to do that inside of VS Code was just really neat for me.

And it's a little-- The title of the thumbnail is a little click baity, but the value is still there.

Tons of comments of people saying, "I didn't know this existed, I'm trying it out, this works perfectly."

The person who created the extension, just because the video was so successful, obviously really enjoyed that and was very supportive of me, and I'm glad that that was able to help his product grow as well.

And then for other people they said, "Oh, it doesn't quite do some of these specific things that I need."

And that's fine too, right?

Like it's not meant-- I'm not telling you, you should switch, I'm saying for me, I personally don't need Postman anymore, but that package that little bit of interest, that little bit of clickbait-iness kind of took that video over the top while still, like I said, providing value at least as far as I'm concerned.

Brian: Yes. So you're saying turn up the clickbait.

James: It's a weird thing because it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but I can a 100% say it makes a huge difference in just visibility.

And again, if you create content that no one sees, hears, watches, follows, it's not providing as much value I think, to a broader community as it could.

Brian: I agree too as well.

And it's like something-- So I hold at least one of the keys to the GitHub YouTube account, and so it's got a lot of followers and we get a lot of engagement on certain videos.

But what I've noticed with brand, including GitHub and other brands is we make YouTube, and I speak it for all the DevRel folks who have now are managing YouTube accounts, that they did not know they were going to do this a year ago, we spend a lot of time putting really good conferences and really good content and doing strategies to get the right speakers and making sure it's diverse group, but then we throw it on YouTube, we just let it sit there and die.

And it's something I've been pushing back on GitHub on and as well as other companies, when they invite me to speak and they're like, "Oh, they'll be low attendance. Well, go to our YouTube, you'll be able to grow your brand from that."

It's like, what's the strategy once it's up on YouTube? Are you doing marketing around it?

Are you adjusting the titles based on what is engaging in the talk? A lot of times, we just don't put the investment.

And what I saw the shift in the last year, which is, I find this super interesting that you joined the Auth0 DevRel team after doing other places of doing content, is that you have that, I guess the mindset.

So my follow-up questions, have you seen any success?

Actually are you managing anything when it comes to YouTube or are you just hanging out most the stream side?

James: Yeah. I'm one of a couple of people I think that have the overall management of the YouTube channel.

Brian: Yeah.

James: So heavily involved, especially from, not necessarily our marketing videos but from our developer-focused videos.

Brian: Yeah. And then I've seen like folks like Stripe, they have their Stripe developer YouTube aside from the actual Stripe YouTube.

And I think that's actually super successful actually Facebook developer, open-source Facebook's one of the--

They have a separate YouTube account, where you can have the expectations set that this is the content I will get from subscribing here.

And it's one of the challenges we personally GitHub have been, not struggling with, we haven't had the time to invest in it yet, but do we need to split off to have tutorial-based content here so folks can be consistent in what they're actually getting from it as opposed to a graveyard of conference talks?

James: Yeah. It's a tough balance and like you mentioned, a couple of brands, Twilio, Dev has their Dev channel.

Okta Dev has a Dev channel, so it's a popular take.

I think that's a lot of conversations that we've had of trying to figure out what the relationship is, what the cadence is for different types of videos.

So I would say it's something we're still figuring out, but we're getting a lot better at.

Brian: Yeah, yeah. It's a fascinating topic and folks who follow me outside of this podcast know I talk about it a lot, mainly because I'm just baiting folks.

Similar to how you find something that's cool, you invite them on stream, I'm baiting folks to have conversations with me and to pick their brain and then try to hire them eventually, but--

James: Yeah, the hiring pipeline, I like it.

Brian: Yeah, yeah. And it just comes to the testament of just being in the community, it's another part of DevRel.

It's so much easier if you're already active and know folks.

This is the first time we've chatted, but we've crossed community streams, we know the same people.

James: Yeah.

Brian: And it's not by mistake, we all connect and they're just certain people who are the networkers and the people who are connecting folks and inviting people to go speak, and then eventually it happens, folks migrate different teams, folks migrate to work on projects together and it's this nice little ecosystem.

James: Yeah.

Brian: I say this out loud because I spent some time talking to the folks who want to break into DevRel and find out what the next step is.

The next step is basically is be in a community, and then eventually if you're creating content moving forward, you will one day wake up with an email from Auth0 saying, "Come work for us."

Which I don't know if that was the-- How it worked for you, but it happens to a lot of folks.

James: Yeah, mine, I was definitely going after transitioning back into DevRel, so I was looking for opportunities at the time.

But yeah, I think that's one of the really cool things about DevRel.

For many people they ask, "How do we get started?"

The good thing is it's very accessible to get started.

It's not necessarily easy because it's going to make you do a lot of things that you probably are really uncomfortable about, and there's so many questions of, how do I get started on YouTube?

Literally create your first video as quickly as you can post it and then iterate on it every single time.

Like that's-- And it's blog posts, it's podcasts, everything, right?

Because if so many of us are so nervous about having something out there and then we also combine that with, we want to have the first thing be perfect and it's just never going to be the case.

I'm still-- I've been recording, I've probably recorded 300 plus videos over the course of my career and I'm still figuring out my camera angles, I'm still figuring out how to do my lighting, I'm still figuring out how to edit better. It's a never-ending process.

So it's one of the most accessible things to get started in, but mentally, I think it's really tough for people to do that.

And I've got, this has become a favorite analogy of mine.

I don't know if you're... The show, The New Girl, I don't know if you're a fan. If you've watched it before.

Brian: I've seen the first couple of seasons, I didn't stick around for the whole thing though.

James: It's one of my favorite shows by far.

And there's a scene where the main character, Jess, is trying to get a man's attention and trying to compete basically with another woman for his attention and she asked for advice on how to do it.

And the advice is, just be there. When he goes to get a drink, be there.

When he goes to get something to eat, be there, when he goes to the dance floor, be there.

And I think it's the exact same thing in DevRel, right?

There's so many communities, there's so many, Discords, there's So many slacks, there's so many conversations on Twitter, there's so many opportunities to create content if you're there. And if you're constantly there, like you said, we crossed paths a bunch of times, first time that we're getting to do this, but we've seen each other and we've been aware and we're aware of so many other people. If you're one of those people that other people are aware about, you will wake up and get one of those calls.

Or by the time you decide to apply, you have some weight or you have a brand or you have something that kind of walks you through at least getting acknowledged.

And I think that's one of the hardest parts for a lot of technical jobs is how do you actually get that interview?

That's one of those things, that personal brand, that exposure that you can definitely start building now.

Brian: Yeah, that is so true.

And like we talked, I believe off-air before we hit record, but talked about like Twitter spaces and how Colby who's been on this podcast recently took a role at Apple tools, he's been hosting Twitter spaces with some, including yourself, like some heavy-hitters in the DevRel space.

And it just comes down to Colby and also Angie who's also on that team, they are there, they are in the conversation.

Angie is great at having that conversation publicly on the internet about like, "Yo. Hey dude, here's the thing, here's the thing we're working on."

And then also engaging some of her personality on Twitter and the same thing with Colby.

Colby has a personality as well and folks just kind of see that same avatar with the Star Wars characters, which I have it in my head because it's used everywhere.

But it's like so iconic when you think of Colby's content and it's memorable.

Hopefully my avatar is as memorable as his.

James: I definitely remember yours and I think you can almost have a gimmick.

Like it's not a gimmick in a bad way. I think the stuff that Colby shows is totally Colby, if you know Colby, right?

It totally represents him, but it is something that's personal and it's something that's super consistent.

And so going back to the idea of be there, be there consistently, but also be there in a way that is consistent from time to time and place to place, if that makes sense.

If your avatar, your picture, whatever it is, your handle, if that stuff is consistent and people find you in multiple places.

There's some research and I don't know the numbers, but to build a follower, to act like one of those genuine follower, people that really care about the things you do, the things you create, it takes, I'm making a number up, but 10 touchpoints, right?

They would have had to have seen something you've created and believed in it 10 times.

That may not be the exact number, but it's multiple times that they need to interact and get value from you and have trusted you to then be one of those people that's like, "All right, the next thing you do, I'm definitely going to be there."

Brian: Yeah. I've got such a story about that, but they gave a whole talk at Heavybit, which is the podcast host for us on this podcast, everybody check out Heavybit, about breadcrumbs and leaving breadcrumbs and onboarding experiences.

So like when I go sign up for Auth0 or perhaps I haven't even heard of Auth0, I just happened to see--

Like I was on your YouTube and then your bio, it said you worked at Auth0.

And then I go into Facebook and I don't know if you can do a Facebook ad words or whatever, but I see on Facebook it says Auth0.

And that retargeting, it works because eventually you're seeing this thing over and over again throughout the internet.

And you're like, "You know what, I need authentication, when am I going to use Auth0?"

So like, it's very powerful and that's what's very nice about hiring DevRel folks or folks who get being in the community and being there is because like, those folks can just be there, be a positive force in the community, but not selling Auth0 or GitHub or whatever, they're just there and they're helpful.

So when I have Auth0 question, I know who to reach out to.

And it would have been sad before, but now I can reach out to James as well.

James: That's 100% right, I couldn't have said it any better. I think.

That's absolutely my philosophy, I don't want to start a conversation with Auth0.

If someone else starts to conversation with Auth0, great, let's have that conversation.

Or if someone has a problem on Twitter, then I'm reaching out and I'm trying to do one-on-one, right?

Because that interaction is so unique and special most of the times, but a lot of how I feel like I fit in is like I create content and Auth0 is a piece of it, it's not the focus, but it enables building this application and this tutorial, and that now gets some of that exposure without saying Auth0 is the thing that you need to do.

So later on, like you said, when you think I need authentication, I need login, I need to GitHub login, whatever I'm someone hopefully, and Auth0 is something, hopefully that people think of for the problem that they're trying to solve.

Brian: That is so excellent.

And I had one final question I want to bring it back into Auth0 and originally how we got to then those content stream of conversation.

But how do you make the decision of what goes on, the James Q. Quick YouTube channel and what goes on Auth0?

Because it could be related, but there's a decision that has to be made.

I make the decision all the time, but I would love to hear what your thoughts are.

James: Yeah. I guess I don't know how to explain it. It's been a pretty clear boundary, for my personal channel, I do whatever I want.

That's really what it comes down to and it's really important to me that I maintain that genuineness.

Again, Auth0 has been included in some videos, but I'm not advertising, I'm not pitching Auth0 because this is my longer-term brand.

This is my thing that's going to stick with me.

So I kind of just do my thing on my personal YouTube channel and then stuff that's work-related, even stuff that goes on the Auth0 channel, it doesn't have to be Auth0 all the time.

And I think that's part of that genuine experience too, where we want to kind of embrace just being a developer.

And then also for the people who are looking for, how do I add authentication in Next.js and React and Vue and Angular and Svelte and all these different things, obviously support that kind of stuff.

So for me, it's a pretty clear boundary. I spend my personal time working on personal videos that go on my personal channel, they are whatever I want them to be.

Some of that personality ties in to the stuff that I do with Auth0 as well but I think that's one of the cool mixes.

And one of the benefits of hiring someone to represent your company that also has their own brand.

I can't tell you how many conversations I've had about Auth0 that started from somewhere that's not related Auth0 at all.

I run a discord server, people know that I worked for Auth0, they ask an Auth0 question there.

Same thing on Twitter, same thing on YouTube.

And so I think that's one of the things that I get to bring to the table, but also for me personally, I get to maintain and keep that brand longterm.

Brian: Yeah, excellent. And I am your GitHub guy too as well.

How many times I've gotten actions, questions because I happen to be very strong with that content, but it came out of a need.

So I wanted to learn the feature better and I saw a need of, we be the next-level content.

So there's a lot of intro content, but not in the next steps, here's an example, here's how to integrate it.

And that's where I'm swimming in that type of content.

It's like, here's a concrete example of how I used this yesterday, here's a video about it.

And it makes it so much easier for stuff to get organically found.

Well, going back to the thing that you mentioned too as well, I had-- You mentioned your most popular video.

One of my most popular videos happened to be on Next.js and happened to be like the first project I built in Next.js.

So I didn't really spend a lot of time talking about it, but I think the title was too good that people watched it and got disappointed, so I had to do a follow-up.

Months later, I did a followup of actually showing you the code and setting it up.

It was a long tale of a story that I had to eventually have to conclude, but yeah, good times. I love YouTube.

I love the organic nature of just finding folks, people just scrolling through. But I think we can talk about this forever.

James: Absolutely.

Brian: So I want to wind down the conversation so we can get the picks. Anything else you wanted to add where folks can find your content and as well as Auth0 content as well?

James: Yeah, Auth0 YouTube channel and the Auth0 Twitch channel, both A-U-T-H-0.

Again, video is something that we're taking a really seriously, have kind of progressively taken that more seriously, the last, I guess, year and a half or so, and then the same thing on live streams.

And we do have, I mentioned those three different segments of Avocado Labs.

So either doing a video introduction to some technology, GitHub and GitHub actions would be a great one, hint, hint, if you're interested.

Brian: Yeah, for sure.

James: And then the Community Hour we're doing a live stream to talk about something that you're passionate about.

If anyone is interested in that stuff, feel free to reach out @jamesqquick on Twitter, we'd love to have more people involved with those.

Brian: Sounds good, looking forward to joining. I'm happy that... Let me know when, when and where, and I'm there. As long as I'm not traveling, which is not happening any time soon.

James: That's all right.

Brian: Speaking of kicking in, I want to kick us into picks.

So these are things that we are jamming on.

These a jam picks, it could be music, food, entertainment, all of the above, nothing is off limits.

We do have a code of conduct, but yeah, and nothing is off limits.

And if you don't mind, I'll go first.

There's a pick I've actually been working some content on today of all days right when we're doing a podcast, but it's GitHub Codespaces.

It's a feature that's been around in beta for quite some time, actually about a year at this point, and I'm looking forward to the--

Actually at the time that this podcast goes out, it's actually already available.

So folks definitely check out, GitHub Codespaces in your repos today, but it's a tab.

It gives you an entire VM environment to run your code that's hosted on GitHub and to be able to check it out.

So I have some content that actually will go out and we'll get a YouTube channel and in some other places around setting up your JavaScript environment to run in the browser.

It's something that is pretty cool with Codespaces, where you can actually set up your Docker container and your doc container file directly from Codespaces.

So if you don't know about Docker, if you didn't know how to set that up and make it run, we'll actually generate a file for you.

So you don't have to run in Codespaces, you could run it on AWS or Azure or Google Cloud and you have a Docker file and a doc container file that can help that run for you.

So I think it's going to be a pretty killer feature for folks who just want to get started and containerization and get accepted run right on every machine, not just on my machine, because I've definitely had some issues with the pass of that.

But yeah, definitely a great way to get started and check it out for sure.

Also I'm going to shout out, I think I also did today, which is a Twitter space.

I don't want to say every Thursday, because I don't want to commit to that.

But on Thursdays, on some Thursdays, we're doing a conversation with developers, DevRel folks in the industry about a topic and the title is called: What's Good? And we're just trying to focus on the positive that's happening in our community.

So obviously there's going to be stuff that's negative, but I'd love to create a space for positive interactions and conversations about people who are doing really good stuff in the community.

So it's a Twitter space, it is not recorded. So there's no podcasts, you just kind of have to show up and know it's there. So the best thing to do is probably follow me on Twitter, which is a plug.

James: I love it. Yeah, you got to plug yourself at the end there, which I need to get ready to check out and hopefully do a video on the GitHub spaces or GitHub-

Brian: Codespaces, yeah.

James: Codespaces, yeah. Now mixing GitHub into what other spaces.

Brian: Yeah, yeah, too many similar names.

James: That's right.

Brian: Very different products though.

James: Yes, very different products. Cool.

For me, so I've got a book and this is a pretty personal one for me because this is from one of my best friends.

He was in my wedding and I don't know how to put this, has one of the most interesting slash traumatic backgrounds.

So many stories I've heard just from being friends with him for a long time, and he had started taking notes of all these things and just kind of jotting them down in a notebook several years ago and eventually came to put out this book that is in--

Will be ready to ship in the middle of June, but is available for pre-order at the time of recording.

And it's called PTSD, which stands for in this case, Perseverance Through Severe Dysfunction, the tagline being: Breaking the Curse of Intergenerational Trauma as a Black Man in America.

And I think it's one of those things that's just like, if you're ever interested in what it's like to be someone else with maybe a different culture, maybe a different background, or just here's some things that mostly people probably can't imagine, just some of the most impactful stuff, the conversations we've had and I've read like an early version of the book, just so cool.

And so informational and just kind of so much exposure, I think.

So some of the things that you may have never thought about before.

So I'll give you a link to this, but it's PTSD on Amazon and written by my very good friend, Reggie Ford.

Brian: Excellent, thanks for sharing. I look forward to checking it out and add to my wishlist on Amazon for sure.

Excellent. Well James, thank you so much for having the conversation.

We went deep into the content rabbit hole. It's always nice to catch up with Auth0 folks and see what they're working on.

I will definitely catch some streams, as well as a totally down to join the stream and talk about all the cool things that I'm working on too as well.

Because can't talk about myself enough even though this is my podcast.

So again, thanks so much and listeners keep spreading the jam.