Interlacing Literature, Academia, and Tech with Kate Holterhoff

Episode Summary

RedMonk has been a long time friend of the show and we’re always happy to have their folks on for a round of “Screaming!” Kate Holterhoff is a newly minted analyst, and RedMonk’s most recent hire. One of the interesting things about RedMonk is the many directions they go in seemingly all at once, and Kate joining the team is adding a path. Kate talks about her academic background and her PhD and her post-doc work. She is also a recently published author. So, why did she make the jump to frontend engineering? Kate offers some solid reasons behind her transition after developing an interest in the digital humanities. Kate provides some excellent insight on balancing these seemingly separate spheres of work that, in actuality, can overlap.

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

About Kate
Kate Holterhoff, an industry analyst with RedMonk, has a background in frontend engineering, academic research, and technical communication. Kate comes to RedMonk from the digital marketing sector and brings with her expertise in frontend engineering, QA, accessibility, and scrum best practices.

Before pursuing a career in the tech industry Kate taught writing and communication courses at several East Coast universities. She earned a PhD from Carnegie Mellon in 2016 and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship (2016-2018) at Georgia Tech, where she is currently an affiliated researcher.



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Transcript
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.


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Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I’m Corey Quinn. Every once in a while on the Twitters, I see a glorious notification. Now, doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I have all well, atwitter, if you’ll pardon the term. They have brought someone new in over at RedMonk.


RedMonk has been a longtime friend of the show. They’re one of the only companies that can say that about and not immediately get a cease-and-desist for having said that. And their most recent hire is joining me today. Kate Holterhoff is a newly minted analyst over at RedMonk. Kate, thank you for joining me.


Kate: It’s great to be here.


Corey: One of the things that’s always interesting about RedMonk is how many different directions you folks seem to go in all at once. It seems that I keep crossing paths with you folks almost constantly: When I’m talking to clients, when I’m talking to folks in the industry. And it could easily be assumed that you folks are 20, 30, 40 people, but to my understanding, there are not quite that many of you there.


Kate: That is very true. Yes. I am the fifth analyst on a team of seven. And yeah, brought on the first of the year, and I’m thrilled to be here. I actually, I would say, recruited by one of my friends at Georgia Tech, Kelly Fitzpatrick, who I taught technical communication with when we were both postdocs in their Brittain Fellowship program.


Corey: So, you obviously came out of an academic background. Is this your first excursion to industry?


Kate: No, actually. After getting my PhD in literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon in 2016, I moved to Atlanta and took a 
postdoc at Georgia Tech. And after that was kind of winding down, I decided to make the jump to industry. So, my first position out of that was at a digital marketing agency in Atlanta. And I was a frontend engineer for several years.


Towards the end of my tenure there, I moved into doing more of their production engineering and QA work. Although it was deeply tied to my frontend work, so we spent a lot of time looking at how the web sites look at different media queries, making sure that there were no odd break points. So, it certainly was an organic move there as their team expanded.


Corey: You spent significant amounts of time in the academic landscape. When you start talking about, “Well, I took on a postdoc position,” that’s usually the sign of not your first year on a college campus in most cases. I mean, again, with an eighth grade 
education, I’m not really the person to ask, but I sit here in awe as people who are steeped in academia wind up going about the magic that, from where I sit, they tend to do. What was it that made you decide that I really enjoy the field that I’ve gotten a doctorate in. You just recently published a book in that is—or at least tangentially related to this space.


But you decide, “You know what I really want to do now? That’s right, frontend engineering. I want to spend, more or less, 40-some-odd hours a week slowly going mad because CSS, and I can’t quite get that thing to line up the way that I want it to.” Now, at least that’s my experience with it, for folks who are, you know, competent at it, I presume that’s a bit of a different story.


Kate: Yes. I considered naming my blog at RedMonk, “How to Center a Div.” So yes, that is certainly an ongoing issue, I think, for anyone in [unintelligible 00:06:15] any, you know, practitioners. So, I guess my story probably began in 2013, the real move into technology. So, getting a PhD, of course, takes a very, very long time.


So, I started at Carnegie Mellon in 2009, and in 2013, I started a digital archive called Visual Haggard. And it’s a Ruby on Rails site; you can visit it at visualhaggard.org. And it is a digital archive of illustrations that were created to accompany a 19th century writer, H. Rider Haggard.


And I became very interested in all the illustrations that had been created to accompany both the serialization of his fictions, but also the later novelizations. And it’s kind of like how we have all these different movie adaptations of, like, Spider Man that come out every couple of years. These illustrations were just very iterative. And generally, this fellowship that I saw really only focused on, you know, the first illustrations that, you know, came out. So, this was a sort of response to that: How can we use technology to showcase all the different types of illustrations and how maybe different artists would interpret that literature differently?


And so, that drove me into a discipline called the digital humanities, which really sort of, you know, focuses on that question, which is, you know, how to computers help us to understand the humanities better? And so, that incorporates not only the arts, but also literature, philosophy, you know, new media. But it’s an extremely broad subject, and it’s evolving, as you can imagine, as the things that technology can do expands. So, I became interested in this subject and really was drawn to the sort of archival aspects of this. Which wasn’t really my training; I think that’s something that, you know, you think of librarians as being more focused on, but I became acquainted with all these, you know, very obscure editions.


But in any event, it also taught me how to [laugh] use technology, I really—I was involved in the [RDF 00:08:08] export for [laugh] incorporating the site on Nines, which is sort of a larger agglomeration of 19th century archives. And I was just really drawn to a lot of the new things that we could do. So, I began to use it more in my teaching. So, not only did I—and of course as I taught communication courses at Carnegie Mellon, and then I moved to teaching them at Georgia Tech, you can imagine I had many students who were engineers, and they were very interested in these sorts of questions as well. So, the move felt very organic to me, but I think any academic that you speak to, their identity is very tied up in their sort of, you know, academic standing.


And so, the idea of jumping ship, of not being labeled an academic anymore is kind of terrifying. But I, you know, ultimately opted to do it. It certainly was, yeah, but you know, what [laugh] what I learned is that there’s the status called an affiliated researcher. So, I didn’t necessarily have to be a professor or someone on the tenure track in order to continue doing research.


Corey: Was it hard for you?


Kate: So, the book project, which is titled Illustration in Fin-de-Siècle Transatlantic Romance Fiction, and has a chapter devoted to 
H. Rider Haggard, I wrote it, while really not even being an instructor or sort of traditional academic. I had access to the library through this affiliated researcher status, which I maintained by keeping a relationship with the folks at Georgia Tech, and was able to do all my research while you know, having a job in industry. And I think what a lot of academics need to do is think about what it is about academia that they really value. Is it the teaching?


Because in industry, we spend a lot of time teaching [laugh]. Sharing our knowledge is something that’s extremely important. Is that the research? As an analyst, I get to do research all the time, which is really fun for me. And then, you know, is it really just kind of focusing on historical aspects? And that was also important to me.


So, you know, this status allowed me to keep all the best parts of being an academic while kind of sloughing off the [laugh] parts that weren’t so good, which is, um, say the fact that 80% of courses in the university are taught now by adjuncts or folks who are not on the tenure track line. Which is, you know, pretty shocking, you know. The academy is going through some… troubles right now, and hiring issues are—they need to be acknowledged, and I think folks who are considering getting a PhD need to look for other career paths beyond just through modeling it on their advisors, or, you know, in order to become, ostensibly, a professor themselves.


Corey: I don’t know if I’ve told the story before in public, but I briefly explored the possibility of getting a PhD myself, which is interesting given that I’d have to… there’s some prerequisites I’d probably have to nail first, like, get a formal GED might be, like, step one, before proceeding on. And strangely enough for me, it was not the higher level, I guess, contribution to a body of knowledge in a particular direction. I mean, cloud economics being sort of an easy direction for me [laugh] to go in, given that I eat, sleep, live, and breathe it, but rather the academic rigor around so much of it. And the incentives feel very different, which to be clear, is a good thing. My entire career path has always been focused on not starving to death, and how do we turn this problem into money, whereas academia has always seemed to be focused on knowledge for the sake of knowledge without much, if any, thought toward the practical application slash monetization thereof? Is that a fair characterization from where you sit? I’m trying not to actively be insulting, but it’s possible I may be unintentionally so.


Kate: No, I think you’re right on. And so yeah, like, the book that I published, I probably won’t see any remuneration for that. There is very little—I’m actually [laugh] not even sure what the contract says, but I don’t intend to make any money with this. Professors, even those who have reached the height of their career, unless they’re, you know, on specific paths, don’t make a lot of money, those in the humanities, especially. You don’t do this to become wealthy.


And the Visual Haggard archive, I don’t—you know, everything is under a Creative Commons license. I don’t make money from people, you know, finding images that they’re looking for to reproduce, say, on a t-shirt or something. So yeah, I suspect you do it for the love. I always explained it as having a sort of existential anxiety of, like, trying to, you know, cheat death. I think it was Umberto Eco who said that in order to live forever, you have to have a child and a book.


And at this point, I have two children and a book now, so I can just, you know, die and my, you know, [laugh] my legacy lives on. But I do feel like the reasons that folks go into upper higher education vary, and so I wouldn’t want to speak for everyone. But for me, yeah, it is not a place to make money, it’s a place to establish sort of more intangible benefits.


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Corey: I guess one of the weird things from where I sit is looking at the broad sweep of industry and what I know of RedMonks perspective, you mentioned that as a postdoc, you taught technical communication. Then you went to go to frontend engineering, which in many respects is about effectively, technically—highly technical and communicating with the end-user. And now you are an analyst at RedMonk. And seeing what I have seen of your organization in the larger ecosystem, teaching technical communication is a terrific descriptor of what it is you folks actually do. So, from a certain point of view, I would argue that you’re still pursuing the path that you are on in some respects. Is that even slightly close to the way that you view things, or am I just more or less ineffectively grasping at straws, as I am wont to do?


Kate: No, I feel like there is a continuous thread. So, even before I got my PhD, I got a—one of my bachelor’s degrees was in art. So, I used to paint murals; I was very interested in public art. And so, it you know, it feels to me that there is this thread that goes from an interest in the arts and how the public can access them to, you know, doing web development that’s focused on the visual aspects, you know, how are these things responsive? What is it that actually makes the DOM communicate in this visual way? You know, how are cascading style sheets,allowing us to do these sorts of marvelous things?


You know, I could talk about my favorite, you know, selectors and things. [laugh]. Because I will defend CSS. I actually don’t hate it, although we use SASS if it matters. But you know, that I think there’s a lot to be said for the way that the web looks today rather than, you know, 20 years ago.


So there, it feels very natural to me to have moved from an interest in illustration to trying to, you know, work in a more frontend way, but then ultimately [laugh] move from that into doing, sort of, QA, which is, like, well, let’s take a look at how we’re communicating visually and see if we can improve that to, you know, look for things that maybe aren’t coming across as well as they could. Which really forced me to work in the interactive team more with the UI/UX folks who are, you know, obviously telling the designers where to put the buttons and, you know, how to structure the, you know, the text blocks in relationship to the images and things like that. So, it feels natural to me, although it might not seem so on the outside. You know, in the process, I really I guess, acquired a love of that entire area.


And I think what’s great about working at RedMonk now is that I get to see how these technologies are evolving. So, you know, I actually just spun up a site on [unintelligible 00:16:27] not long ago. And, I mean, it is so cool. I mean, you know, coming from a background where we were working with, you know, jQuery, [laugh] things have really evolved. You know, it’s exciting. And I think we’re seeing the, [like, as 00:16:39] the full stack approach to this.


Corey: I used to volunteer for the jQuery infrastructure team and help run jquery.net, once upon a time.


Kate: Ohh.


Corey: I assume that is probably why it is no longer in vogue. Like, oh, Corey was too close to it got his stink all over the thing. Let’s find something better immediately, which honestly, not the worst approach in the world to take.


Kate: I’m so impressed. I had no idea.


Corey: It was mostly—because again, I was bad at frontend; always have been, but I know how to make computers run—kind of—and on the backend side of things and the infrastructure piece of it. It’s like I tend to—at least at the time—break the world into more or less three sets: You had the ops types, think of database admins and the rest; you had the backend engineers, people who wrote code that made things talk to each other from an API perspective, and you had frontend folks who took all of the nonsense and had this innovative idea that, “Huh, maybe a green screen glowing text terminal isn’t the pinnacle of user experience that we might possibly think about, and start turning it into something that a human being can use.”


And whatever I hear folks from one of those constituencies start talking disparagingly about the others, it’s… yeah, go walk a mile in their shoes and then tell me how you feel. A couple years ago, I took a two week break to, all right, it’s time for me to learn JavaScript. And by the end of the two weeks period, I was more confused than I was when I began. And it’s just a very different way of thinking than I have become accustomed to working with. So, from where I sit, people who work on that stuff successfully are effectively just this side of wizards.


I think that there’s—I feel the same way about database types. That’s an area I never go into either because I’m terrible at that, and the stakes over their company-killing proportions in a way that I took down a web server usually doesn’t.


Kate: Yeah, I think that’s often the motto, well, at least at my last company, which was like, “It’s just a website. No one will die.” 
[laugh].


Corey: Honestly, I find that the people who have really have the best attitude about that tend to be, strangely enough, military veterans because it’s, “The site is down. How are you so calm?” It’s, “Well, no one’s shooting at me and no one’s going to die? It’s fine.” Like, “We’re all going to go home to our families tonight. It’ll work out.” It having perspective is important.


Kate: Yeah. It is interesting how the impetus—I mean, going back to your question about, you know, making money at this field, you know, how that kind of factors in, I guess, frontend does tend to have a more relaxed attitude than say, yeah, if you drop a table or something. But at the same time, you know, compared to academia, it did feel a little bit more [laugh] like, “Okay, well, this—you know, we’ve got the project manager that is breathing down our neck. They got to send them something, you know, what’s going on here?” So, yeah, it does become a little bit more, I don’t know, these things ramped up a little bit, and the importance, you know, varies by, you know, whatever part of it you’re working on.


It’s interesting, as an analyst, I don’t hear the terms backend and frontend as much, and that was really how my team was divided, you know? It was really, kind of, opaque when you walked in. Started the job, I was like, “Okay, well, is this something that the frontend should be dealing with or the backend? You know, what’s going on?” And then, you know, ultimately, I was like, “Oh, no, I know exactly what this is.”


And then anyone who came on later, I was like, “No, no, no. We talk to the backend folks for this sort of problem.” So, I don’t know if that’s also something that’s falling out of vogue, but that was, you know, the backend handled all the DevOps aspects as well, and so, you know, anything with our virtual boxes and, you know, trying to get things running and, you know, access to our… yeah, the servers, you know, all of that was kind of handled by backend. But yeah, I worked with some really fantastic frontend, folks. They were just—I feel like they we could bet had been better categorized as full stack. And many of them have CS degrees and they chose to go into frontend. So, you know, it’s a—I have no patience for, you know—


Corey: Oh God, you mean you chose this instead of it being something that happened to you in a horrible accident one of these days?


Kate: [laugh]. Exactly.


Corey: And that’s not restricted to frontend; that’s working with computers, in my experience.


Kate: [laugh].


Corey: Like, oh, God, it’s hard to remember I chose this at one point. Now, it feels almost like I’m not suited for anything else. You have a clear ability to effectively communicate technical concepts. If not, you more or less wasted most of your academic career, 
let’s be very clear. Then you decided that you’re going to go and be an engineer for a while, and you did that.


Why RedMonk? Why was that the next step because with that combination of skills, the world is very much your oyster. What made you look at RedMonk and say, “Yes, this is where I should work?” And let me be very clear. There are days I have strongly considered, like, if I weren’t doing this, where would I be? And yeah, I would probably annoy RedMonk into actively blocking me on all social media or hiring me. There’s no third option there. So, I agree wholeheartedly with the decision. What was it that made it for you?


Kate: I mean, it was certainly not just one thing. One of the parts of academia that I really enjoyed was the ability to go to conferences and just travel and really get to meet people. And so, that was something that seemed to be a big part of it [unintelligible 00:21:27] so that’s kind of the part that maybe doesn’t get mentioned so much. And then especially in the Covid era, you know, we’re not doing as much traveling, as you’re well aware.


Corey: We’re spending all of our time having these conversations via screen.


Kate: You know, I do enjoy that.


Corey: Yeah. Like in the before times, probably one out of every eight episodes or so of this show was recorded in person.


Kate: Wow.


Corey: Now, it’s, “I don’t know. I don’t really know if I want to go across town.” It’s a—honestly, I’ve become a bit of a shut-in here. But you get it down to a science. But you lose something by doing it.


Kate: That’s true.


Corey: There’s a lack of high bandwidth communication.


Kate: And many of my academic friends, when they would go to conferences, they would just kind of hide in their hotel room until they had to present. And I was the kind of person that was down in the bar hanging out. So, to me, it [laugh] felt very natural. But in terms of the intellectual parts, in all seriousness, I think the ability to pull apart arguments is something that I just truly enjoy. So, when I was teaching, which of course was how—was why they paid me to be an academic, you know, I loved when I could sit in a classroom and I would ask a question. You know, I kind of come up with these questions ahead of time.


And the students would say something totally unexpected, and then I’d have another one, say something totally out of the blue as well. And I get to take them and say, “You’re both right. Here’s how we combine them, and here’s how we’re going to move forward.” Sort of, the ability to take an argument and sort of mold it into something constructive, I think can be very useful, both in, you know, meeting with clients who maybe are, you know, coming at things a little bit differently than then maybe we would recommend in order to, you know, help them to reach developers, the practitioners, but also, you know, moderating panels is something that a lot of my colleagues do. I mean, that’s a big part of the job, too, is, you know, speaking and… well, not only doing sort of keynote talks, which my colleague Rachel is doing that at, I think, a [GlueCon 00:23:14] this year.


And then—but also, you know, just in video format, you know, to having multiple presenters and, kind of, taking their ideas and making something out of that sort of forwards the argument. I think that’s a lot of fun. I like to think I do an okay job at it. And I certainly have a lot of experience with it. And then just finally, you know, listening to argument [unintelligible 00:23:30] a big part of the job is going to briefings where clients explain what their product does, and we listen and try to give them feedback about how to reach the developer audience, and, you know, just trying to work on that communication aspect.


And I think what I would like to push is more of the visual part of this. So, I think a lot of times, people don’t always think through the icons that they include, or the illustrations, or the just the stock photos. And I find those so fascinating. [laugh]. I know, that’s not always the most—the part that everyone wants to focus on, but to me, the visuals of these pitches are truly interesting. They really, kind of, maybe say things that they don’t intend always, and that also can really make concrete ideas that are, especially with some of this really complex technology, it can really help potential buyers to understand what it accomplishes better.


Corey: Some of the endless engagements I’ve been on that I enjoy the most have been around talking to vendors who are making things. And it starts off invariably as, “Yeah, we want to go ahead and tell the world about this thing that we’ve done.” And my perspective has always been just a subtle frame shift. It’s like, “Yeah, let me save some time. No one cares. Absolutely no one cares. You’re in love with the technical thing that you built, and the only people who are going to love it as much as you do are either wanting to work where you, or they’re going to go build their own and they’re not going to be your customer. So, don’t talk about you. No one cares about you. Talk about the pain that you solve. Talk about the painful thing that you’re target customer is struggling with that you make disappear.”


And I didn’t think that would be, A, as revelatory as it turned out to be, and B, a lesson that I had to learn myself. When I was starting o—when I was doing some product development here where I once again fell into the easy trap of assuming if I know something, everyone must know it, therefore, it’s easy, whereas if I don’t know something, it’s very hard, and no one could possibly wrap their head around it. And we all come from different places, and meeting people wherever they are in their journey, it’s a delicate lesson to learn. I never understood what analysts did until I started being an analyst myself, and I’ve got to level with you, I spent six months of doing those types of engagements feeling like a giant fraud. I’m just a loudmouth with an opinion, what is what does that mean?


Well, in many ways, it means analyst. Because it’s having an opinion is in so many ways, what customers are really after. Raw data, you can find that a thousand different ways, but finding someone who could talk on what something means, that’s harder. And I think that we don’t teach anything approaching that in most of our STEM curriculum.


Kate: Yeah, I think that’s really on point. Yeah, I mean, especially when some of these briefings are so mired in acronyms, and sort of assumed specialization. I know I spend a lot of time just thinking about what it is that confuses me about their pitch, more so than what, you know, is actually coming through. So, I think actually, one of the tools that we use—writing instructors; my past life—was thinking like someone with an eighth grade education. So, I actually think that your reference to having [laugh] you know, that’s sort of chestnut, that can actually be useful because you say, “If I, you know, took my slide deck and showed it to a bunch of eighth graders, would they understand what it is that I’m saying?”


You know, maybe you don’t want them to get the technical details, but what problem does it solve? If they don’t understand that, you’re not doing a good enough job. And so that, to me, is [laugh] actually something that a lot of folks need to hear. That yeah, these vendors because they’re just so deep in it, they’re so in the weeds, that they can’t maybe see how someone who’s just looking for a database, or a platform, or whatever, they actually need this sort of simplified and yet broad enough explanation for what it is that they’re actually trying to do what service they actually provide.


Corey: From where I sit, one of the hardest things is just reaching people in the right way. And I’m putting out a one to two-thousand word blog post every week because I apparently hate myself. And that was a constant struggle for me when I started doing that a year or two ago. And what has worked for me that really get me moving down that is, instead of trying to teach everyone all the things, I pick an individual—and it varies from week to week—that I think about and I want to explain something to that person. And then I wind up directing what it is I’m about to tell—what it is I’m writing—to that person.


Sometimes they’re a complete layperson. Other times they are fairly advanced in a particular area of technology. And the responses to these things differ, but it’s always—I always learn something from the feedback that I get. And if nothing else, is one of those ways to become a better writer. While I would start by writing. Just do it, don’t whine—don’t worry about getting it perfect; just go out there and power through things.


At least, that’s my approach. And I’m talking about the burden of writing a thousand words a week. You wrote an actual book. My belief is that, the more people I’ve talked to who’ve done that, no one actually wants to write a book; people want to have written a book, and that definitely resonates with me. I am tempted to just slap a bunch of these—


Kate: Yeah.


Corey: —blogs posts together and call it a book one of these days as an anthology. But it feels like it’s cheating. If I ever decide to go down that path, I want to do it right.


Kate: I guess, I come at it from the perspective of I don’t know what I think until I write it down. So, it helps me to formulate ideas better. I also feel like my strength is in rereading things and trying to edit them down to really get to the kernel of what it is I think. And a lot of times how I begin a chapter or a blog post or whatever is not where it should begin, that maybe I’m somewhere in the middle, maybe this is a conclusion. There’s something magical, in my view, that [laugh] happens when you write, that you are able to pause and take a little bit more time and maybe come up with a better word for what it is that you’re trying to communicate.


I also am—I benefit from readers. So, for instance, in my book, I have one chapter that really focuses on Harper’s Weekly, which is an American newspaper. I’m not an Americanist; I don’t have a deep knowledge of that, so what I did is I revise that chapter and send it to American periodicals and got feedback from their readers. Super useful. In terms of my blog at RedMonk, anytime I publish something, you can bet that at least one founder and probably at least one other analyst has read it through and giving me some extremely incisive feedback. It never is just from my mind. It’s something that is collaboration.


And I am grateful to anyone who takes the time to read my writing because, you know, all of us have so much time, of course. It really helps me to understand what it is that I’m trying to dig into. So, for instance, I’ve been writing a series for RedMonk on certifications, which makes a lot of sense; I’ve come from an academic background, here it is, you know, I’m seeing all these tech certifications. And so, it’s interesting to me to see similarities and differences and what sort of issues that we’re seeing come up with them. So, for instance, I just wrote about the vendor-specific versus vendor-neutral certifications. What are the advantages of getting a certification from the CN/CF versus from say, VMware and—


Corey: Oh, I have opinions, on all of [those 00:30:44]—


Kate: I—


Corey: —and most of them are terrible.


Kate: —I’m sure you do. [laugh]. It came naturally out of the job, you know, sitting through briefings and, kind of, seeing these things evolve, and the questions that I have from a long history of teaching, but. I think it also suggests the collaborative aspect of this, of coming to my colleagues—you know, I’ve been here before, for what, four months?—and saying, you know, “Is this normal? Like, what are we seeing here? Let me write a little bit about what I think is going on with certifications, and then you tell me, you know, what it is that you’ve seen with your years and years of expertise,” right?


So, Stephen O’Grady’s been doing this for longer than he really likes to admit, right? So, this is grateful to have such well-established colleagues that can help me on that journey. But, you know, to kind of spiral back to your original question, I think that writing to me is an exploration, it’s something that helps me to get to something a little more, I guess, meaningful than just where I began. You know, just the questions that I have, I can kind of dig down and find some substance there. I would encourage you to take any one of your blog posts and think about maybe where they—or using the jumping off points for your eventual book, which I will be looking for on newsstands any day now.


Corey: I am looking forward to seeing how you continue to evolve your coverage area, as well as reading more of your writings around these things. I am—they always say that the cobblers children have no shoes, and I am having an ongoing war with the RedMonk RSS feed because I’ve been subscribed to it three times now, and I’m still not seeing everything that comes through, such as your posts. Time for me to go and yell at some people over on your end about how these things work because it is such good content. And every time RedMonk puts something out, it doesn’t matter who over there has written it, I wind up reading it with this sense of envy, in that I wish I had written something like this. It is always an experience, and your writing is absolutely no exception to that. You fit in well over there.


Kate: It means a lot to me. Thank you. [laugh].


Corey: No, thank you. I want to thank you for spending so much time talking to me about things that I feel like I’m still not quite smart enough to wrap my head around, but that’s all right. If people want to learn more, where’s the best place to find you?


Kate: Certainly Twitter. So, my Twitter handle is just my name, @kateholterhoff. And I don’t post as often as maybe I should, but I try to maintain an ongoing presence there.


Corey: And we will of course, put a link to that in the [show notes 00:33:04].


Kate: Thank you.


Corey: Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. Kate Holterhoff, analyst at RedMonk. 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—or if you’re on YouTube, smash that like and subscribe button—whereas if you’ve hated this podcast, please do the exact same thing—five-star review, smashed buttons—but then leave an angry, incoherent comment, and it’s going to be extremely incoherent because you never learned to properly, technically communicate.


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 duckbillgroup.com to get started.


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