Getting Apps Done

Happy Birthday to Getting Apps Done! 🎂🎉

September 19, 2019

1x

Episode

44

We’ve survived our first year! This is the final episode of “Season 1”. Joshua takes a look back at the journey and lessons learned and how Getting Apps Done has made him a better developer.

A special thank you to all our listeners who’ve supported us, given feedback and participated in the show!

Be sure to check out our new Slack community to meet others who are facing the same things you are and share your journeys!

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  • 00:00 Joshua

    Hey folks, welcome to Getting Apps Done. A mostly non-technical podcast about building software. I am Joshua a technical consultant and I've been building software for over 20 years. And normally I'm joined by my cohost Kel, but today I'm all by myself.

  • 00:22 Joshua

    Which is very much like it was a year ago and today's a slightly special episode because tomorrow we will have been doing the Getting Apps Done podcast for a year. Um, so I guess it's kind of our birthday. So I wanted to kind of be a little bit more retrospective today and look back at the past year and how the podcast has changed and how it's changed me and my outlook on things, particularly around the development community.

  • 00:51 Joshua

    Now I'm going to be completely honest, when I started the podcast, my goals were largely about exposure because obviously we need to get ourselves out there and I hadn't had much luck with blogging, I hadn't had much luck with other ways of communicating my ideas and getting things out there. And as we know at the moment, content is definitely king. Content marketing has taken over everything. So there was a need for me to do something, but I wasn't quite sure what that was.

  • 01:17 Joshua

    And one day Kel said, well, your dad's in radio, you know a lot about audio, don't you? Why don't you do a podcast? And you know, it had never even occurred to me. I hadn't even thought about it. And when I did I thought, you know, maybe that could be something I could do. So I went out, I bought a microphone, I started recording. It was horrible. I tried a lot of things to improve the quality of the audio, to improve the quality of my presentation of it. And uh, and eventually I did get to the point that I had something that was releasable.

  • 01:47 Joshua

    I'll be honest, our first episode was on September 20th. I probably started recording at the beginning of July. That's how long it took me before and got something that I wasn't absolutely embarrassed to release. And even then I was really nervous about it. But obviously over time things have improved. I won't say that were absolutely great, but people seem to get value out of the things we talked about.

  • 02:06 Joshua

    But what I've noticed more than anything else is that my point of view has changed because when I set out, I was setting out to create content to get a little bit of attention from me and it didn't take very long before I realized that I really didn't care about any of that. I didn't want any of those things. The part that I was really enjoying was when I got feedback from other people saying that really helped me.

  • 02:33 Joshua

    And now I know I should have realized this and this should have been my primary goal from the start, but that's not always the way things go and it really changed the way that I started to look at community and how community works and how you can participate with the community.

  • 02:46 Joshua

    Now, when I started the podcast when I was looking to do was to talk to people who wanted to build apps. I wanted to talk to founders of startups and small business owners who had a reason to have applications built but really didn't understand all of the concepts around it and that's why it started out as mostly nontechnical.

  • 03:05 Joshua

    But what we discovered very quickly was that people who were also developers, particularly newer developers, were coming to us saying, I never knew that. I didn't know any of those things. That was really helpful to me and at some stage it just, it really hit me that there was a huge amount of value in this to newer developers. It's a context that I haven't been in for a long a while. It just didn't occur to me that people weren't learning some of these things in their boot camps at university or while they were practicing and learning on their own.

  • 03:34 Joshua

    These are things that I've built up over the years and it just didn't occur to me that that could be really useful to somebody because there are lots and lots of resources out there teaching people how to code about syntax, about loops and iteration and all sorts of things like this, but there's not a lot out there about all those other things that are really important to make a really well rounded and good developer. Things like the ability to estimate how long it's going to take you to do something. How to communicate efficiently with clients, other developers, bosses, whatever it may be. Even down to just how to get a job in software development at all are things that you don't necessarily learn when you're going to school to learn how to build software because they're so focused on teaching you how to build software and that's very important.

  • 04:16 Joshua

    Obviously you need to know how to build software to be able to build software and the concepts that you learned with those things are really critical, but there are a lot of other things that are really important as well and I think they were missing and people were starting to pick up that they were getting it from us and I was absolutely thrilled. That was something that I could get on board with. That was something that excited me. I wasn't excited about going and talking to business people, but I was really, really ecstatic that these other developers were benefiting from the knowledge that I had to share.

  • 04:42 Joshua

    The other thing that really shocked me about this is I kind of assumed that it would be difficult to get guests to come on the show to get them to talk with us. And I found is actually exactly the opposite. It's a really great way to introduce yourself. Say, Hey, I'm the host of a podcast. I'd love to have a chat with you. And almost every single time people just say, yeah, absolutely. That sounds really great.

  • 05:06 Joshua

    And that boggled my mind. I, again, I probably should've known that from the start, but I didn't. It was something that really surprised me and I found that this is actually true about a lot of content generation. When you are creating really good content, other people want to participate with that. They want to chat with you, they want to converse with you. And it's a really powerful form of networking. And I think that as developers, one of the things we really need to be doing, and we've talked about this quite a few times, it's not necessarily what you know too, you know, they say this all the time, but it is absolutely true.

  • 05:36 Joshua

    And anything we can do to get to know other people, to make real connections, not just getting ourselves on the 500 club on LinkedIn, but actually connecting to people, understanding them and communicating with them and chatting with them and sharing ideas and expanding ourselves and growing with them is really important because that's how we find those jobs. That's how we get better at what we do. That's how we get a different point of view and the podcast has really helped me personally do that and I think content generation in general, it's not just about getting your name out there, it's also about getting yourself out there and starting to meet other people and to start this conversation and that is a really, really powerful thing that I wasn't expecting, that I'm really grateful for and I wanted to share that as well because as developers, you've all got some knowledge that other people don't have. Even if you're brand new at this, you have knowledge that somebody who hasn't started yet has and being able to share that is a really great way for you to connect with others.

  • 06:34 Joshua

    Another thing that I found that was quite interesting to me is building the content and building the show was actually very much like building a piece of software. We had a vision in mind originally and as we discovered that things changed, we pivoted and we moved and shifted and iterated and improved and took things in incremental steps until we got to a point where we are where we are now and I'm sure over the next year we're going to do much the same. We've already started planning it out. We've even got a 52 week plan this time. Last time we pretty much just went with it as we went because we weren't really sure what we were doing. Um, but obviously this is proving to be something that we really enjoy and we find that other people are getting value out of it, so we're taking it a little bit more seriously for the season.

  • 07:20 Joshua

    Another thing that I noticed about the podcast was it really helped me to solidify my own ideas and I don't think it's just podcasting. I think blogging and vlogging and all sorts of other things like this can be really great. Creating content forces you to stop and think about what you think. Um, I obviously I have ideas, I've had ideas all along and I run with things and I do things, but I don't always stop to think, okay, why am I doing it this way? And it's kind of like teaching in order to be able to teach somebody, you can't just do it. You need to be able to understand and explain why you do what you do.

  • 07:59 Joshua

    Being able to put yourself in a position to take a step back and look at how you're doing things and why you're doing them that way provides a huge amount of insight into your own processes. And I think there's a huge amount of value in that, particularly for developers because quite often there's just so much tech. We spend a lot of time just building up knowledge and we keep building and building and building and working with the experience that we've got and doing things the way we do them. But sometimes we really do need to take a step back and refactor.

  • 08:26 Joshua

    We all know about refactoring, we do this all the time with software. We know that in order to have maintainable software, at some stage you have to start plowing forward, take a step back, refactor, improve and make it maintainable and the same is true for it knowledge and the way you, you think you can gain all this knowledge, you can keep gaining it and working with it and gaining new experiences and things like that. But at some stage you do need to take a step back and reflect and look at why those things are what they are.

  • 08:52 Joshua

    It's an important part of growth. Being able to retrospectively look back at things and take the knowledge that you've gained and really think about it, think about your processes, think about how you're doing things and why you're doing them and really give you a greater understanding of those things.

  • 09:07 Joshua

    And the podcast has absolutely done that for me. And I think I have been writing a lot more lately. And even that, it's forcing me to take that step back to look at things and understand why I do things the way I do. And that's been really important that I think is important for a lot of developers. And it's something that we don't necessarily always think about it all the time for code, but we don't think about it for ourselves. And that's really important. Just taking that step back and thinking about it.

  • 09:31 Joshua

    So if you've been with us for the entire year, uh, I'm shocked. But thank you very much. If you've been with us for only an episode or two, we're really glad to have you and we are looking forward to another really great year with lots of new content, lots of new people and lots of real connections.

  • 09:49 Joshua

    I will put some transcripts up at gettingappsdone.com. Please be sure to check out my website. I've just redone it. It's all shiny and fancy at joshuagraham.info. And Kel's website at piffner.com if you'd like to come celebrate with us as we are now one year old, please join us on our slack channel at gettingappsdone.com/slack we'd love to hear from you, chat with you, and learn more from you as well. We post every Thursday, so we will be back next week with the first episode of season two of getting apps done. In the meantime, thanks for listening.