Becoming a Rural Remote Worker with Chris Vermilion

Episode Summary

Chris Vermilion, Senior Software Developer at Remix Labs, joins Corey on Screaming in the Cloud to discuss how he went from working in academia to being a remote software developer based in Maine. Chris describes the start-up ouroboros he observed and how he’s seeing many start-ups shift to solving broader problems, as well as the benefits he’s found to creating communities through Slack and annual conferences. Chris also explains why he left particle physics to live in Maine as a software developer, and the pros and cons to both lifestyles.

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

About Chris

Chris is a mostly-backend mostly-engineer at Remix Labs, working on visual app development. He has been in software startups for ten years, but his first and unrequited love was particle physics.  Before joining Remix Labs, he wrote numerical simulation and analysis tools for the Large Hadron Collider, then co-founded Roobiq, a clean and powerful mobile client for Salesforce back when the official ones were neither.

Links Referenced:


Announcer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.

Corey: Tailscale SSH is a new, and arguably better way to SSH. Once you’ve enabled Tailscale SSH on your server and user devices, Tailscale takes care of the rest. So you don’t need to manage, rotate, or distribute new SSH keys every time someone on your team leaves. Pretty cool, right? Tailscale gives each device in your network a node key to connect to your VPN, and uses that same key for SSH authorization and encryption. So basically you’re SSHing the same way that you’re already managing your network. So what’s the benefit? Well, built-in key rotation, the ability to manage permissions as code, connectivity between any two devices, and reduced latency. You can even ask users to re-authenticate SSH connections for that extra bit of security to keep the compliance folks happy. Try Tailscale now - it's free forever for personal use.

Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Logicworks. Getting to the cloud is challenging enough for many places, especially maintaining security, resiliency, cost control, agility, etc, etc, etc. Things break, configurations drift, technology advances, and organizations, frankly, need to evolve. How can you get to the cloud faster and ensure you have the right team in place to maintain success over time? Day 2 matters. Work with a partner who gets it - Logicworks combines the cloud expertise and platform automation to customize solutions to meet your unique requirements. Get started by chatting with a cloud specialist today at That’s

Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I’m Corey Quinn. When I was nine years old, one of the worst tragedies that can ever befall a boy happened to me. That’s right, my parents moved me to Maine. And I spent the next ten years desperately trying to get out of the state.

Once I succeeded and moved to California, I found myself in a position where almost nothing can drag me back there. One of the exceptions—basically, the only exception—is Monktoberfest, a conference put on every year by the fine folks at RedMonk. It is unquestionably the best conference that I have ever been to, and it continually amazes me every time I go. The last time I was out there, I met today’s guest. Chris Vermilion is a Senior Software Developer at Remix Labs. Chris, now that I finished insulting the state that you call home, how are you?

Chris: I’m great. I’m happy to be in a state that’s not California.

Corey: I hear you. It’s, uh—I talk a lot of smack about Maine. But to be perfectly direct, my problem with it is that I grew up there and that was a difficult time in my life because I, really I guess, never finished growing up according to most people. And all right, we’ll accept it. No one can hate a place in the same way that you can hate it if you grew up there and didn’t enjoy the experience.

So, it’s not Maine that’s the problem; it’s me. I feel like I should clarify that I’m going to get letters and people in Maine will write those letters and then have to ride their horses to Massachusetts to mail them. But we know how that works.

Chris: [laugh].

Corey: So, what is Remix Labs? Let’s start there. Because Remix sounds like… well, it sounds like a term that is overused. I see it everywhere in the business space. I know there was a Remix thing that recently got sold to I think it was at Shopify or Spotify; I keep getting those two confused. And—

Chris: One of the two, yeah.

Corey: Yeah, exactly one of them plays music and one of them sells me things except now I think they both do both, and everything has gone wonky and confusing. But what do you folks do over there?

Chris: So, we work on visual app development for everybody. So, the goal is to have kind of a spreadsheet-on-steroids-like development environment where you can build interactively, you have live coding, you have a responsive experience in building interactive apps, websites, mobile apps, a little bit of everything, and providing an experience where you can build systems of engagement. So tools, mobile apps, that kind of work with whatever back-end resources you’re trying to do, you can collaborate across different people, pass things around, and you can do that all with a nice kind of visual app developer, where you can sort of drop nodes around and wire them together and built in a way that’s it’s hopefully accessible to non-developers, to project managers, to domain experts, to you know, whatever stakeholders are interested in modifying that final product.

Corey: I would say that I count as one of those. I use something similar to build the tool that assembles my newsletter every week, and that was solving a difficult problem for me. I can write back-ends reasonably well, using my primary tool, which is sheer brute force. I am not much of a developer, but it turns out that with enough enthusiasm, you can overcome most limitations. And that’s great, but I know nothing about front end; it does not make sense to me, it does not click in the way that other things have clicked.

So, I was fourth and inches from just retaining a contractor to build out a barely serviceable internal app. And I discovered, oh, use this low-code tool to drag and drop things and that basically was Visual Basic for internal apps. And that was awesome, but they’re still positioned squarely in the space of internal apps only. There’s no mobile app story, there’s—and it works well enough for what I do, but I have other projects, I want to wind up getting out the door that are not strictly for internal use that would benefit from being able to have a serviceable interface slapped onto. It doesn’t need to be gorgeous, it doesn’t need to win awards, it just needs to be, “Cool, it can display the output of a table in a variety of different ways. It has a button and when I click a button, it does a thing, generally represented as an API call to something.”

And doesn’t take much, but being able to have something like that, even for an internal app, has been absolutely transformative just for workflow stuff internally, for making things accessible to people that are not otherwise going to be able to do those sorts of things, by which I mean me.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, exactly, I think that is the kind of use case that we are aiming for is making this accessible to everybody, building tools that work for people that aren’t necessarily software developers, they don’t want to dive into code—although they can if they want, it’s extensible in that way—that aren’t necessarily front-end developers or designers, although it’s accessible to designers and if you want to start from that end, you can do it. And it’s amenable to collaboration, so you can have somebody that understands the problem build something that works, you can have somebody that understands design build something that works well and looks nice, and you can have somebody that understands the code or is more of a back-end developer, then go back in and maybe fine-tune the API calls because they realize that you’re doing the same thing over and over again and so there’s a better way to structure the lower parts of things. But you can pass around that experience between all these different stakeholders and you can construct something that everybody can modify to sort of suit their own needs and desires.

Corey: Many years ago, Bill Clinton wound up coining the phrase, ‘The Digital Divide’ to talk about people who had basically internet access and who didn’t—those who got it or did not—and I feel like we have a modern form of that, the technology haves and have nots. Easy example of this for a different part of my workflow here: this podcast, as anyone listening to it is probably aware by now, is sponsored by awesome folks who wind up wanting to tell you about the exciting services or tools or products that they are building. And sometimes some of those sponsors will say things like, “Okay, here’s the URL I want you to read into the microphone during the ad read,” and my response is a polite form of, “Are you serious?” It’s seven different subdirectories on the web server, followed by a UTM series of tracking codes that, yeah, I promise, none of you are going to type that in. I’m not even going to wind up reading into the microphone because my attention span trips out a third of the way through.

So, I needed a URL shortener. So, I set up for this. For a long time, that was relatively straightforward because I just used an S3 bucket with redirect objects inside of it. But then you have sort of the problem being a victim of your own success, to some extent, and I was at a point where, oh, I can have people control some of these things that aren’t me; I don’t need to be the person that sets up the link redirection work.

Yeah, the challenge is now that you have a business user who is extraordinarily good at what he does, but he’s also not someone who has deep experience in writing code, and trying to sit here and explain to him, here’s how to set up a redirect object in an S3 bucket, like, why didn’t I save time and tell him to go screw himself? It’s awful. So, I’ve looked for a lot of different answers for this, and the one that I found lurking on GitHub—and I’ve talked about it a couple of times, now—runs on Google Cloud Run, and the front-end for that of the business user—which sounds ridiculous, but it’s also kind of clever, is a Google Sheet. Because every business user knows how to work a Google Sheet. There’s one column labeled ‘slug’ and the other one labeled ‘URL’ that it points to.

And every time someone visits a slash whatever the hell the slug happens to be, it automatically does a redirect. And it’s glorious. But I shouldn’t have to go digging into the depths of GitHub to find stuff like that. This feels like a perfect use case for a no-code, low-code tool.

Chris: Yeah. No, I agree. I mean, that’s a cool use case. And I… as always, our competitor is Google Sheets. I think everybody in software development in enterprise software’s only real competitor is the spreadsheet.

Corey: Oh, God, yes, I wind up fixing AWS bills for a living and my biggest competitor is always Microsoft Excel. It’s, “Yeah, we’re going to do it ourselves internally,” is what most people do. It seems like no matter what business line I’ve worked in, I’ve companies that did Robo-advising for retirement planning; yeah, some people do it themselves in Microsoft Excel. I worked for an expense reporting company; everyone does that in Microsoft Excel. And so, on and so forth.

There are really very few verticals where that’s not an option. It’s like, but what about a dating site? Oh, there are certain people who absolutely will use Microsoft Excel for that. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to hook up where you VLOOKUP but what do I know?

Chris: [laugh]. Right, right.

Corey: Before you wound up going into the wide world of low-code development over at Remix, you—well, a lot of people have different backstories when I talk to them on this show. Yours is definitely one of the more esoteric because the common case and most people talk about is oh, “I went to Stanford and then became a software engineer.” “Great. What did you study?” “Computer Science,” or something like it. Alternately, they drop out of school and go do things in their backyard. You have a PhD in particle physics, is it?

Chris: That’s right. Yeah.

Corey: Which first, is wild in his own right, but we’ll get back to that. How did you get here from there?

Chris: Ah. Well, it’s kind of the age-old story of academia. So, I started in electrical engineering and ended up double majoring in physics because that you had to take a lot of physics to be an engineer, and I said, you know, this is more fun. This is interesting. Building things is great, but sitting around reading papers is really where my heart’s at.

And ended up going to graduate school, which is about the best gig you can ever get. You get paid to sit in an office and read and write papers, and occasionally go out drinking with other grad students, and that’s really about it.

Corey: I only just now for the first time in my life, realized how much some aspects of my career resemble being a [laugh] grad student. Please, continue.

Chris: It doesn’t pay very well is the catch, you know? It’s very hard to support a lifestyle that exists outside of your office, or, you know, involves a family and children, which is certainly one downside. But it’s a lot of fun and it’s very low stress, as long as you are, let’s say, not trying to get a job afterward. Because where this all breaks down is that, you know, as I recall, the time I was a graduate student, there were roughly as many people graduating as graduate students every year as there were professors total in the field of physics, at least in the United States. That was something like the scale of the relationship.

And so, if you do the math, and unfortunately, we were relatively good at doing math, you could see, you know, most of us were not going to go on, you know? This was the path to becoming a professor, but—

Corey: You look at number of students and the number of professorships available in the industry, I guess we’ll call it, and yeah, it’s hmm, basic arithmetic does not seem like something that anyone in that department is not capable of doing.

Chris: Exactly. So, you’re right, we were all I think, more or less qualified to be an academic professor, certainly at research institutions, where the only qualification, really, is to be good at doing research and you have to tolerate teaching students sometimes. But there tends to be very little training on how to do that, or a meaningful evaluation of whether you’re doing it well.

Corey: I want to dive into that a bit because I think that’s something we see a lot in this industry, where there’s no training on how to do a lot of different things. Teaching is one very clear example, another one is interviewing people for jobs, so people are making it up as they go along, despite there being decades and decades of longitudinal studies of people figuring out what works and what doesn’t, tech his always loved to just sort of throw it all out and start over. It’s odd to me that academia would follow in similar patterns around not having a clear structure for, “Oh, so you’re a grad student. You’re going to be teaching a class. Here’s how to be reasonably effective at it.” Given that higher education was not the place for me, I have very little insight into this. Is that how it plays out?

Chris: I don’t want to be too unfair to academia as a whole, and actually, I was quite lucky, I was a student at the University of Washington and we had a really great physics education group, so we did actually spend a fair amount of time thinking about effective ways to teach undergraduates and doing this great tutorial system they had there. But my sense was in the field as a whole, for people on the track to become professors at research institutions, there was typically not much in the way of training as a teacher, there was not really a lot of thought about pedagogy or the mechanics of delivering lectures. You know, you’re sort of given a box full of chalk and a classroom and said, you know, “You have freshman physics this quarter. The last teacher used this textbook and it seems to be okay,” tended to be the sort of preparation that you would get. You know, and I think it varies institution to institution what kind of support you get, you know, the level of graduate students helping you out, but I think in lots of places in academia, the role of professors as teachers was the second thought, you know, if it was indeed thought at all.

And similarly, the role of professors as mentors to graduate students, which, you know, if anything, is sort of their primary job is guiding graduate students through their early career. And again, I mean, much like in software, that was all very ad hoc. You know, and I think there are some similarities in terms of how academics and how tech workers think of themselves as sort of inventing the universe, we’re at the forefront, the bleeding edge of human knowledge, and therefore because I’m being innovative in this one particular aspect, I can justify being innovative in all of them. I mean, that’s the disruptive thing to do, right?

Corey: And it’s a shame that you’re such a nice person because you would be phenomenal at basically being the most condescending person in all of tech if you wanted to. Because think about this, you have people saying, “Oh, what do you do?” “I’m a full-stack engineer.” And then some of the worst people in the world, of which I admit I used to be one, are, “Oh, full-stack. Really? When’s the last time you wrote a device driver?”

And you can keep on going at that. You work in particle physics, so you’re all, “That’s adorable. Hold my tea. When’s the last time you created matter from energy?” And yeah, and then it becomes this the—it’s very hard to wind up beating you in that particular game of [who’d 00:15:07] wore it better.

Chris: Right. One of my fond memories of being a student is back when I got to spend more time thinking about these things and actually still remembered them, you know, in my electoral engineering days and physics days, I really had studied all the way down from the particle physics to semiconductor physics to how to lay out silicon chips and, you know, how to build ALUs and CPUs and whatnot from basic transistor gates. Yeah, and then all the way up to, you know, writing compilers and programming languages. And it really did seem like you could understand all those parts. I couldn’t tell you how any of those things work anymore. Sadly, that part of my brain has now taken up with Go’s lexical scoping rules and borrow checker fights with Rust. But there was a time when I was a smart person and knew those things.

Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Strata. Are you struggling to keep up with the demands of managing and securing identity in your distributed enterprise IT environment? You're not alone, but you shouldn’t let that hold you back. With Strata’s Identity Orchestration Platform, you can secure all your apps on any cloud with any IDP, so your IT teams will never have to refactor for identity again. Imagine modernizing app identity in minutes instead of months, deploying passwordless on any tricky old app, and achieving business resilience with always-on identity, all from one lightweight and flexible platform.
Want to see it in action? Share your identity challenge with them on a discovery call and they'll hook you up with a complimentary pair of AirPods Pro. Don't miss out, visit That's Strata dot io slash ScreamingCloud.

Corey: I want to go back to what sounded like a throwaway joke at the start of the episode. In seriousness, one of the reasons—at least that I told myself at the time—that I left Maine was that it was pretty clear that there was no significant, lasting opportunity in industry when I was in Maine. In fact, the girl that I was dating at the time in college graduated college, and the paper of record for the state, The Maine Sunday Telegram, which during the week is called The Portland Press Herald, did a front-page story on her about how she went to school on a pulp and paper scholarship, she was valedictorian in her chemical engineering class at the University of Maine and had to leave the state to get a job. And every year they would roll out the governor, whoever that happened to be, to the University of Maine to give a commencement speech that’s, “Don’t leave Maine, don’t leave Maine, don’t leave Maine,” but without any real answer to, “Well, for what jobs?”

Now, that Covid has been this plague o’er the land that has been devastating society for a while, work-from-home has become much more of a cohesive thing. And an awful lot of companies are fully embracing it. How have you seen Maine change based upon that for one, and for another, how have you found that community has been developed in the local sense because there was none of that in Maine when I was there? Even the brief time where I was visiting for a conference for a week, I saw definite signs of a strong local community in the tech space. What happened? I love it.

Chris: It’s great. Yeah, so I moved to Maine eight years ago, in 2014. And yeah, I was lucky enough to pretty early on, meet up with a few of the local nerds, and we have a long-running Slack group that I just saw was about to turn nine, so I guess I was there in the early days, called Computers Anonymous. It was a spinoff, I think, from a project somebody else had started in a few other cities. The joke was it was a sort of a confessional group of, you know, we’re here to commiserate over our relationships with technology, which all of us have our complaints.

Corey: Honestly, tech community is more of a support group than most other areas, I think.

Chris: Absolutely. All you have to do is just have name and technology and somebody will pipe up. “Okay, you know, I’ve a horror story about that one.” But it has over the years turned into, you know, a very active Slack group of people that meet up once a month for beers and chats with each other, and you know, we all know each other’s kids. And when the pandemic hit, it was absolutely a lifeline that we were all sort of still talking to each other every day and passing tips of, you know, which restaurants were doing takeout, and you know which ones were doing takeout and takeout booze, and all kinds of local knowledge was being spread around that way.

So, it was a lucky thing to have when that hit, we had this community. Because it existed already as this community of, you know, people that were remote workers. And I think over the time that I’ve been here, I’ve really seen a growth in people coming here to work somewhere else because it’s a lovely place to live, it’s a much cheaper place to live than almost anywhere else I’ve ever been, you know, I think it’s pretty attractive to the folks come up from Boston or New York or Connecticut for the summer, and they say, “Ah, you know, this doesn’t seem so bad to live.” And then they come here for a winter, and then they think, “Well, okay, maybe I was wrong,” and go back. But I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and the tools for communicating and working remotely, have really taken off.

You know, a decade ago, my first startup—actually, you know, in kind of a similar situation, similar story, we were starting a company in Louisville, Kentucky. It was where we happen to live. We had a tech community there that were asking those same questions. “Why is anybody leaving? Why is everybody leaving?”

And we started this company, and we did an accelerator in San Francisco, and every single person we talked to—and this is 2012—said, you have to bring the company to San Francisco. It’s the only way you’ll ever hire anybody, it’s the only way you’ll ever raise any money, this is the only place in the world that you could ever possibly run a tech company. And you know, we tried and failed.

Corey: Oh, we’re one of those innovative industries in the world. We’ve taken a job that can be done from literally anywhere that has internet access and created a land crunch on eight square miles, located in an earthquake zone.

Chris: Exactly. We’re going to take a ton of VC money and where to spend 90% of it on rent in the Bay Area. The rent paid back to the LPs of our VC funds, and the circle of life continues.

Corey: Oh, yeah. When I started this place as an independent consultant six years ago, I looked around, okay, should I rent space in an office so I have a place where I go and work? And I saw how much it costs to sublet even, like, a closed-door office in an existing tech startup’s office space, saw the price tag, laughed myself silly, and nope, nope, nope. Instead installed a door on my home office and got this place set up as a—in my spare room now is transformed into my home office slash recording studio. And yeah, “Well, wasn’t it expensive to do that kind of stuff?” Not compared to the first three days of rent in a place like that it wasn’t. I feel like that’s what’s driving a lot of the return to office stories is the sort of, I guess, an expression of the sunk cost fallacy.

Chris: Exactly. And it’s a variation of nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM, you know? Nobody ever got fired for saying we should work in the office. It’s the way we’ve always done things, people are used to it, and there really are difficulties to collaborating effectively remotely, you know? You do lose something with the lack of day-to-day contact, a lack of in-person contact, people really do get kind of burned out on interacting over screens. But I think there are ways around that and the benefits, in my mind, my experience, you know, working remotely for the last ten years or so, tend to outweigh the costs.

Corey: Oh, yeah. If I were 20 years younger, I would absolutely have been much more amenable to staying in the state. There’s a lot of things that recommend it. I mean, I don’t want people listening to this to think I actually hate Maine. It’s become a running joke, but it’s also, there was remarkably little opportunity in tech back when I lived there.

And now globally, I think we’re seeing the rise of opportunity. And that is a line I heard in a talk once that stuck with me that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity isn’t. And there are paths forward now for folks who—I’m told—somehow don’t live in that same eight-square miles of the world, where they too can build tech companies and do interesting things and work intelligently with other folks. I mean, the thing that always struck me as so odd before the pandemic was this insistence on, “Oh, we don’t allow remote work.” It’s, “Well, hang on a minute. Aren’t we all telecommuting in from wherever offices happen to be to AWS?” Because I’ve checked thoroughly, they will not let you work from us-east-1. In fact, they’re very strict on that rule.

Chris: [laugh]. Yeah. And it’s remarkable how long I think the attitude persisted that we can solve any problem except how to work somewhere other than SoMa.

Corey: Part of the problem too in the startup space, and one of the things I’m so excited about seeing what you’re doing over at Remix Labs, is so many of the tech startups for a long time felt like they were built almost entirely around problems that young, usually single men had in their 20s when they worked in tech and didn’t want to deal with the inconveniences of having to take care of themselves. Think food delivery, think laundry services, think dating apps, et cetera, et cetera. It feels like now we’re getting into an era where there’s a lot of development and focus and funding being aimed at things that are a lot more substantial, like how would we make it possible for someone to build an app internally or externally without making them go to through a trial-by-fire hazing ritual of going to a boot camp for a year first?

Chris: Yeah. No, I think that’s right. I think there’s been an evolution toward building tools for broader problems, for building tools that work for everybody. I think there was a definite startup ouroboros in the, kind of, early days of this past tech boom of so much money being thrown at early-stage startups with a couple of young people building them, and they solved a zillion of their own problems. And there was so much money being thrown at them that they were happy to spend lots of money on the problems that they had, and so it looked like there was this huge market for startups to solve those problems.

And I think we’ll probably see that dry up a little bit. So, it’s nice to get back to what are the problems that the rest of us have. You know, or maybe the rest of you. I can’t pretend that I’m not one of those startup people that wants on-demand laundry. But.

Corey: Yet you wake up one day and realize, oh, yeah. That does change things a bit. Honestly, one of the weirdest things for me about moving to California from Maine was just the sheer level of convenience in different areas.

Chris: Yes.

Corey: And part of it is city living, true, but Maine is one those places where if you’re traveling somewhere, you’re taking a car, full stop. And living in a number of cities like San Francisco, it’s, oh great, if I want to order food, there’s not, “The restaurant that delivers,” it’s, I can have basically anything that I want showing up here within the hour. Just that alone was a weird, transformative moment. I know, I still feel like 20 years in, that I’m “Country Boy Discovers City for the First Time; Loses Goddamn Mind.” Like, that is where I still am. It’s still magic. I became an urban creature just by not being one for my formative years.

Chris: Yeah. No, I mean, absolutely. I grew up in Ann Arbor, which is sort of a smallish college town, and certainly more urban than the areas around it, but visiting the big city of Detroit or Lansing, it was exciting. And, you know, I got older, I really sort of thought of myself as a city person. And I lived in San Francisco for a while and loved it, and Seattle for a while and loved it.

Portland has been a great balance of, there’s city; it’s a five minute drive from my house that has amazing restaurants and concerts and a great art scene and places to eat and roughly 8000 microbreweries, but it’s still a relatively small community. I know a lot of the people here. I sort of drive across town from one end to the other in 20 minutes, pick up my kids from school pretty easily. So, it makes for a nice balance here.

Corey: I am very enthused on, well, the idea of growing community in localized places. One thing that I think we did lose a bit during the pandemic was, every conference became online, so therefore, every conference becomes the same and it’s all the same crappy Zoom-esque experience. It’s oh, it’s like work with a slightly different topic, and for once the people on this call can’t fire me… directly. So, it’s one of those areas of just there’s not enough differentiation.

I didn’t realize until I went back to Monktoberfest a month or so ago at the time at this call recording just how much I’d missed that sense of local community.

Chris: Yeah.

Corey: Because before that, the only conferences I’d been to since the pandemic hit were big corporate affairs, and yeah, you find community there, but it also is very different element to it, it has a different feeling. It’s impossible to describe unless you’ve been to some of these community conferences, I think.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, I think a smallish conference like that where you see a lot of the same people every year—credit to Steven, the whole RedMonk team for Monktoberfest—that they put on such a great show that every year, you see lots and lots of faces that you’ve seen the last several because everybody knows it’s such a great conference, they come right back. And so, it becomes kind of a community. As I’ve gotten older a year between meetings doesn’t seem like that long time anymore, so these are the friends I see from time to time, and you know, we have a Slack who chat from time to time. So, finding those ways to sort of cultivate small groups that are in regular contact and have that kind of specific environment and culture to them within the broader industry, I think has been super valuable, I think. To me, certainly.

Corey: I really enjoyed so much of what has come out of the pandemic in some ways, which sounds like a weird thing to say, but I’m trying to find the silver linings where I can. I recently met someone who’d worked here with me for a year-and-a-half that I’d never met in person. Other people that I’d spoken to at length for the last few years in various capacity, I finally meet them in person and, “Huh. Somehow it never came up in conversation that they’re six foot eight.” Like, “Yeah, okay/ that definitely is one of those things that you notice about them in person.” Ah, but here we are.

I really want to thank you for spending as much time as you have to talk about what you’re up to, what your experiences have been like. If people want to learn more, where’s the best place for them to find you? And please don’t say Maine.

Chris: [laugh]. Well, as of this recording, you can find me on Twitter at @chrisvermilion, V-E-R-M-I-L-I-O-N. That’s probably easiest.

Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:28:53]. Thank you so much for being so generous with your time. I appreciate it.

Chris: No, thanks for having me on. This was fun.

Corey: Chris Vermilion, Senior Software Developer at Remix Labs. I’m Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you’ve hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with an angry comment, and since you’re presumably from Maine when writing that comment, be sure to ask a grown-up to help you with the more difficult spellings of some of the words.

Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit to get started.

Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
Newsletter Footer

Get the Newsletter

Reach over 30,000 discerning engineers, managers, enthusiasts who actually care about the state of Amazon’s cloud ecosystems.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sponsor Icon Footer

Sponsor an Episode

Get your message in front of people who care enough to keep current about the cloud phenomenon and its business impacts.