The “Banksgiving” Special with Tim Banks

Episode Summary

(Que Vince Guaraldi Quintet) Welcome to a very special “Banksgiving” episode of Screaming in the Cloud! For the opening salvo of the holiday season Corey is joined by Tim Banks, Principal Cloud Economist here at the Duckbill Group. Why typically named based puns aren’t in Corey’s repertoire, Tim suggested this one whole heartedly. Tim and Corey sit down for a pleasant conversation about the things that folks in tech can be thankful for. For starters, the folks themselves. While there are a few figures more public and in the spotlight, it is the ones behind the curtains that deserve even more credit. Join the conversation as they pay tribute to the unsung heroes who keep the tech world intact!

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

About Tim
Tim’s tech career spans over 20 years through various sectors. Tim’s initial journey into tech started as a US Marine. Later, he left government contracting for the private sector, working both in large corporate environments and in small startups. While working in the private sector, he honed his skills in systems administration and operations for large Unix-based datastores. 

Today, Tim leverages his years in operations, DevOps, and Site Reliability Engineering to advise and consult with clients in his current role. Tim is also a father of five children, as well as a competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Currently, he is the reigning American National and 3-time Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion in his division.

Corey: 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: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they’re all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don’t dispute that but what I find interesting is that it’s predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it’s going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you’re one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting:, and you’ll receive a $100 in credit. Thats slash screaming.

Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn’t think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don’t use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you’ll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they’ll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I’m not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting C-O-R-E-Y. That’s We’re gonna have some fun with this one!

Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I am Cloud Economist Corey Quinn joined by Principal Cloud Economist here at The Duckbill Group Tim Banks. Tim, how are you?

Tim: I’m doing great, Corey. How about yourself?

Corey: I am tickled pink that we are able to record this not for the usual reasons you would expect, but because of the glorious pun in calling this our Banksgiving episode. I have a hard and fast rule of, I don’t play pun games or make jokes about people’s names because that can be an incredibly offensive thing. “And oh, you’re making jokes about my name? I’ve never heard that one before.” It’s not that I can’t do it—I play games with language all the time—but it makes people feel crappy. So, when you suggested this out of the blue, it was yes, we’re doing it. But I want to be clear, I did not inflict this on you. This is your own choice; arguably a poor one. We’re going to find out.

Tim: 1000% my idea.

Corey: So, this is your show. It’s a holiday week. So, what do you want to do with our Banksgiving episode?

Tim: I want to give thanks for the folks who don’t normally get acknowledged through the year. Like you know, we do a lot of thanking the rock stars, we do a lot of thanking the big names, right, we also do a lot of, you know, some snarky jabs at some folks. Deservingly—not folks, but groups and stuff like that; some folks deserve it, and we won’t be giving them thanks—but some orgs and some groups and stuff like that. And I do think with that all said, we should acknowledge and thank the folks that we normally don’t get to, folks who’ve done some great contributions this year, folks who have helped us, helped the industry, and help services that go unsung, I think a great one that you brought up, it’s not the engineers, right? It’s the people that make sure we get paid. Because I don’t work for charity. And I don’t know about you, Corey. I haven’t seen the books yet, but I’m pretty sure none of us here do and so how do we get paid? Like I don’t know.

Corey: Oh, sure you have. We had a show on a somewhat simplified P&L during the all hands meeting because, you know, transparency matters. But you’re right, those are numbers there and none of that is what we could have charged but didn’t because we decided to do more 
volunteer work for AWS. If we were going to go down that path, we would just be Community Heroes and be done with it.

Tim: That’s true. But you know, it’s like, I do my thing and then, you know, I get a paycheck every now and then. And so, as far as I know, I think most of that happens because of Dan.

Corey: Dan is a perfect example. He’s been a guest on this show, I don’t know it has as aired at the time that this goes out because I don’t have to think about that, which is kind of the point. Dan’s our CFO and makes sure that a lot of the financial trains keep running on time. But let’s also be clear, the fact that I can make predictions about what the business is going to be doing by a metric other than how much cash is in the bank account at this very moment really freed up some opportunity for us. It turned into adult supervision for folks who, when I started this place and then Mike joined, and it was very much not an area that either one of us was super familiar with. Which is odd given what we do here, but we learned quickly.

The understanding not just how these things work—which we had an academic understanding of—but why it mattered and how that applies to real life. Finance is one of those great organizations that doesn’t get a lot of attention or respect outside of finance itself. Because it’s, “Oh, well they just control the money. How hard could it be?” Really, really hard.

Tim: It really is. And when we dig into some of these things and some of the math that goes and some of what the concerns are that, you know, a lot of engineers don’t really have a good grasp on, and it’s eye opening to understand some of the concerns. At least some of the concerns at least from an engineering aspect. And I really don’t give much consideration day to day about the things that go on behind the scenes to make sure that I get paid.

But you look at this throughout the industry, like, how many of the folks that we work with, how many folks out there doing this great work for the industry, do they know who their payroll person is? Do they know who their accountant team is? Do they know who their CFO or the other people out there that are doing the work and making sure the lights stay on, that people get paid and all the other things that happen, right? You know, people take that for granted. And it’s a huge work and those people really don’t get the appreciation that I think they deserve. And I think it’s about time we did that.

Corey: It’s often surprising to me how many people that I encounter, once they learn that there are 12 employees here, automatically assume that it’s you, me, and maybe occasionally Mike doing all the work, and the other nine people just sort of sit here and clap when I tell a funny joke, and… well, yes, that is, of course, a job duty, but that’s not the entire purpose of why people are here.

Natalie in marketing is a great example. “Well, Corey, I thought you did the marketing. You go and post on Twitter and that’s where business comes from.” Well, kind of. But let’s be clear, when I do that, and people go to the website to figure out what the hell I’m talking about.

Well, that website has words on it. I didn’t put those words on that site. It directs people to contact us forms, and there are automations behind that that make sure they go to the proper place because back before I started this place and I was independent, people would email me asking for help with their bill and I would just never respond to them. It’s the baseline adult supervision level of competence that I keep aspiring to. We have a sales team that does fantastic work.

And that often is one of those things that’ll get engineering hackles up, but they’re not out there cold-calling people to bug them about AWS bills. It’s when someone reaches out saying we have a problem with our AWS spend, can you help us? The answer is invariably, “Let’s talk about that.” It’s a consultative discussion about why do you care about the bill, what does success look like, how do you know this will be a success, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that make sure that we’re aimed at the right part of the problem. That’s incredibly challenging work and I am grateful beyond words, I don’t have to be involved with the day-in, day-out of any of those things.

Tim: I think even beyond just that handling, like, the contracts and the NDAs, and the various assets that have to be exchanged just to get us virtually on site, I’ve [unintelligible 00:06:46] a couple of these things, I’m glad it’s not my job. It is, for me, overwhelmingly difficult for me to really get a grasp and all that kind of stuff. And I am grateful that we do have a staff that does that. You’ve heard me, you see me, you know, kind of like, sales need to do better, and a lot of times I do but I do want to make sure we are appreciating them for the work that they do to make sure that we have work to do. Their contribution cannot be underestimated.

Corey: And I think that’s something that we could all be a little more thankful for in the industry. And I see this on Twitter sometimes, and it’s probably my least favorite genre of tweet, where someone will wind up screenshotting some naive recruiter outreach to them, and just start basically putting the poor person on blast. I assure you, I occasionally get notices like that. The most recent example of that was, I got an email to my work email address from an associate account exec at AWS asking what projects I have going on, how my work in the cloud is going, and I can talk to them about if I want to help with cost optimization of my AWS spend and the rest. And at first, it’s one of those, I could ruin this person’s entire month, but I don’t want to be that person.

And I did a little LinkedIn stalking and it turns out, this looks like this person’s first job that they’ve been in for three months. And I’ve worked in jobs like that very early in my career; it is a numbers game. When you’re trying to reach out to 1000 people a month or whatnot, you aren’t sitting there googling what every one of them is, does, et cetera. It’s something that I’ve learned, that is annoying, sure. But I’m in an incredibly privileged position here and dunking on someone who’s doing what they are told by an existing sales apparatus and crapping on them is not fair.

That is not the same thing as these passive-aggressive [shit-tier 00:08:38] drip campaigns of, “I feel like I’m starting to stalk you.” Then don’t send the message, jackhole. It’s about empathy and not crapping on people who are trying to find their own path in this ridiculous industry.

Tim: I think you brought up recruiters, and, you know, we here at The Duckbill Group are currently recruiting for a senior cloud economist and we don’t actually have a recruiter on staff. So, we’re going through various ways to find this work and it has really made me appreciate the work that recruiters in the past that I’ve worked with have done. Some of the ones out there are doing really fantastic work, especially sourcing good candidates, vetting good candidates, making sure that the job descriptions are inclusive, making sure that the whole recruitment process is as smooth as it can be. And it can’t always be. Having to deal with all the spinning plates of getting interviews with folks who have production workloads, it is pretty impressive to me to see how a lot of these folks get—pull it off and it just seems so smooth. Again, like having to actually wade through some of this stuff, it’s given me a true appreciation for the work that good recruiters do.

Corey: We don’t have automated systems that disqualify folks based on keyword matches—I’ve never been a fan of that—but we do get applicants that are completely unsuitable. We’ve had a few come in that are actual economists who clearly did not read the job description; they’re spraying their resume everywhere. And the answer is you smile, you decline it and you move on. That is the price you pay of attempting to hire people. You don’t put them on blast, you don’t go and yell at an entire ecosystem of people because looking for jobs sucks. It’s hard work.

Back when I was in my employee days, I worked harder finding new jobs than I often did in the jobs themselves. This may be related to why I get fired as much, but I had to be good at finding new work. I am, for better or worse, in a situation where I don’t have to do that anymore because once again, we have people here who do the various moving parts. Plus, let’s be clear here, if I’m out there interviewing at other 
companies for jobs, I feel like that sends a message to you and the rest of the team that isn’t terrific.

Tim: We might bring that up. [laugh].

Corey: “Why are you interviewing for a job over there?” It’s like, “Because they have free doughnuts in the office. Later, jackholes.” It—I don’t think that is necessarily the culture we’re building here.

Tim: No, no, it’s not. Specially—you know, we’re more of a cinnamon roll culture anyways.

Corey: No. In my case, it’s one of those, “Corey, why are you interviewing for a job at AWS?” And the answer is, “Oh, it’s going to be an amazing shitpost. Just wait and watch.”

Tim: [laugh]. Now, speaking of AWS, I have to absolutely shout out to Emily Freeman over there who has done some fantastic work this year. It’s great when you see a person get matched up with the right environment with the right team in the right role, and Emily has just been hitting out of the park ever since he got there, so I’m super, super happy to see her there.

Corey: Every time I get to collaborate with her on something, I come away from the experience even more impressed. It’s one of those phenomenal collaborations. I just—I love working with her. She’s human, she’s empathetic, she gets it. She remains, as of this recording, the only person who has ever given a talk that I have heard on ML Ops, and come away with a better impression of that space and thinking maybe it’s not complete nonsense.

And that is not just because it’s Emily, so I—because—I’m predisposed to believe her, though I am, it’s because of how she frames it, how she views these things, and let’s be clear, the content that she says. And that in turn makes me question my preconceptions on this, and that is why she has that I will listen and pay attention when she speaks. So yeah, if Emily’s going to try and make a point, there’s always going to be something behind it. Her authenticity is unimpeachable.

Tim: Absolutely. I do take my hat’s off to everyone who’s been doing DevRel and evangelism and those type of roles during pandemics. And we just, you know, as the past few months, I’ve started back to in-person events. But the folks who’ve been out there finding new way to do 
those jobs, finding a way to [crosstalk 00:12:50]—

Corey: Oh, staff at re:Invent next week. Oh, my God.

Tim: Yeah. Those folks, I don’t know how they’re being rewarded for their work, but I can assure you, they probably need to be [unintelligible 00:12:57] better than they are. So, if you are staff at re:Invent, and you see Corey and I, next week when we’re there—if you’re listening to this in time—we would love to shake your hand, elbow bump you, whatever it is you’re comfortable with, and laud you for the work you’re doing. Because it is not easy work under the best of circumstances, and we are certainly not under the best of circumstances.

Corey: I also want to call out specific thanks to a group that might take some people aback. But that group is AWS marketing, which given how much grief I give them seems like an odd thing for me to say, but let’s be clear, I don’t have any giant companies whose ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon my keeping systems up and running. AWS does. They have to market and tell stories to everyone because that is generally who their customers are: they round to everyone. And an awful lot of those companies have unofficial mottos of, “That’s not funny.” I’m amazed that they can say anything at all, given how incredibly varied their customer base is, I could get away with saying whatever I want solely because I just don’t care. They have to care.

Tim: They do. And it’s not only that they have to care, they’re in a difficult situation. It’s like, you know, they—every company that sizes is, you know, they are image conscious, and they have things that say what like, “Look, this is the deal. This is the scenario. This is how it went down, but you can still maintain your faith and confidence in us.” And people do when AWS services, they have problems, if anything comes out like that, it does make the news and the reason it doesn’t make the news is because it is so rare. And when they can remind us of that in a very effective way, like, I appreciate that. You know, people say if anything happens to S3, everybody knows because everyone depends on it and that’s for good reason.

Corey: And let’s not forget that I run The Duckbill Group. You know, the company we work for. I have the Last Week in AWS newsletter and blog. I have my aggressive shitposting Twitter feed. I host the AWS Morning Brief podcast, and I host this Screaming in the Cloud. And it’s challenging for me to figure out how to message all of those things because when people ask what you do, they don’t want to hear a litany that goes on for 25 seconds, they want a sentence.

I feel like I’ve spread in too many directions and I want to narrow that down. And where do I drive people to and that was a bit of a marketing challenge that Natalie in our marketing department really cut through super well. Now, pretend I work in AWS. The way that I check this based upon a public list of parameters they stub into Systems Manager Parameter Store, there are right now 291 services that they offer. That is well beyond any one person’s ability to keep in their head. I can talk incredibly convincingly now about AWS services that don’t exist and people who work in AWS on messaging, marketing, engineering, et cetera, will not call me out on it because who can provably say that ‘AWS Strangle Pony’ isn’t a real service.

Tim: I do want to call out the DevOps—shout out I should say, the DevOps term community for AWS Infinidash because that was just so well done, and AWS took that with just the right amount of tongue in cheek, and a wink and a nod and let us have our fun. And that was a good time. It was a great exercise in improv.

Corey: That was Joe Nash out of Twilio who just absolutely nailed it with his tweet, “I am convinced that a small and dedicated group of Twitter devs could tweet hot takes about a completely made up AWS product—I don’t know AWS Infinidash or something—and it would appear as a requirement on job specs within a week.” And he was right.

Tim: [laugh]. Speaking of Twitter, I want to shout out Twitter as a company or whoever does a product management over there for Twitter Spaces. I remember when Twitter Spaces first came out, everyone was dubious of its effect, of it’s impact. They were calling it, you know, a Periscope clone or whatever it was, and there was a lot of sneering and snarking at it. But Twitter Spaces has become very, very effective in having good conversations in the group and the community of folks that have just open questions, and then to speak to folks that they probably wouldn’t only get to speak to about this questions and get answers, and have really helpful, uplifting and difficult conversations that you wouldn’t otherwise really have a medium for. And I’m super, super happy that whoever that product manager was, hats off to you, my 

Corey: One group you’re never going to hear me say a negative word about is AWS support. Also, their training and certification group. I know that are technically different orgs, but it often doesn’t feel that way. Their job is basically impossible. They have to teach people—even on the support side, you’re still teaching people—how to use all of these different varied services in different ways, and you have to do it in the face of what can only really be described as abuse from a number of folks on Twitter.

When someone is having trouble with an AWS service, they can turn into shitheads, I’ve got to be honest with you. And berating the poor schmuck who has to handle the AWS support Twitter feed, or answer your insulting ticket or whatnot, they are not empowered to actually fix the underlying problem with a service. They are effectively a traffic router to get the message to someone who can, in a format that is understood internally. And I want to be very clear that if you insult people who are in customer service roles and blame them for it, you’re just being a jerk.

Tim: No, it really is because I’m pretty sure a significant amount of your listeners and people initially started off working in tech support, or customer service, or help desk or something like that, and you really do become the dumping ground for the customers’ frustrations because you are the only person they get to talk to. And you have to not only take that, but you have to try and do the emotional labor behind soothing them as well as fixing the actual problem. And it’s really, really difficult. I feel like the people who have that in their background are some of the best consultants, some of the best DevRel folks, and the best at talking to people because they’re used to being able to get some technical details out of folks who may not be very technical, who may be under emotional distress, and certainly in high stress situations. So yeah, AWS support, really anybody who has support, especially paid support—phone or chat otherwise—hats off again. That is a service that is thankless, it is a service that is almost always underpaid, and is almost always under appreciated.

Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle HeatWave is a new high-performance accelerator for the Oracle MySQL Database Service. Although I insist on calling it “my squirrel.” While MySQL has long been the worlds most popular open source database, shifting from transacting to analytics required way too much overhead and, ya know, work. With HeatWave you can run your OLTP and OLAP, don’t ask me to ever say those acronyms again, workloads directly from your MySQL database and eliminate the time consuming data movement and integration work, while also performing 1100X faster than Amazon Aurora, and 2.5X faster than Amazon Redshift, at a third of the cost. My thanks again to Oracle Cloud for sponsoring this ridiculous nonsense.

Corey: I’ll take another team that’s similar to that respect: Commerce Platform. That is the team that runs all of AWS billing. And you would be surprised that I’m thanking them, but no, it’s not the cynical approach of, “Thanks for making it so complicated so I could have a business.” No, I would love it if it were so simple that I had to go find something else to do because the problem was that easy for customers to solve. That is the ideal and I hope, sincerely, that we can get there.

But everything that happens in AWS has to be metered and understood as far as who has done what, and charge people appropriately for it. It is also generally invisible; people don’t understand anything approaching the scale of that, and what makes it worst of all, is that if suddenly what they were doing broke and customers weren’t built for their usage, not a single one of them would complain about it because, “All right, I’ll take it.” It’s a thankless job that is incredibly key and central to making the cloud work at all, but it’s a hard job.

Tim: It really is. And is a lot of black magic and voodoo to really try and understand how this thing works. There’s no simple way to explain it. I imagine if they were going to give you the index overview of how it works with a 10,000 feet, that alone would be, like, a 300 page document. It is a gigantic moving beast.

And it is one of those things where scale will show all the flaws. And no one has scale I think like AWS does. So, the folks that have to work and maintain that are just really, again, they’re under appreciated for all that they do. I also think that—you know, you talk about the same thing in other orgs, as we talked about the folks that handle the billing and stuff like that, but you mentioned AWS, and I was thinking the other day how it’s really awesome that I’ve got my AWS driver. I have the same, like, group of three or four folks that do all my deliveries for AWS.

And they have been inundated over this past year-and-a-half with more and more and more stuff. And yet, I’ve still managed—my stuff is always put down nicely on my doorstep. It’s never thrown, it’s not damaged. I’m not saying it’s never been damaged, but it’s not damaged, like, maybe FedEx I’ve [laugh] had or some other delivery services where it’s just, kind of, carelessly done. They still maintain efficiency, they maintain professionalism [unintelligible 00:21:45] talking to folks.

What they’ve had to do at their scale and at that the amount of stuff they’ve had to do for deliveries over this past year-and-a-half has just been incredible. So, I want to extend it also to, like, the folks who are working in the distribution centers. Like, a lot of us here talk about AWS as if that’s Amazon, but in essence, it is those folks that are working those more thankless and invisible jobs in the warehouses and fulfillment centers, under really bad conditions sometimes, who’s still plug away at it. I’m glad that Amazon is at least saying they’re making efforts to improve the conditions there and improve the pay there, things like that, but those folks have enabled a lot of us to work during this pandemic 
with a lot of conveniences that they themselves would never be able to enjoy.

Corey: Yeah. It’s bad for society, but I’m glad it exists, obviously. The thing is, I would love it if things showed up a little more slowly if it meant that people could be treated humanely along the process. That said, I don’t have any conception of what it takes to run a company with 1.2 million people.

I have learned that as you start managing groups and managing managers of groups, it’s counterintuitive, but so much of what you do is no longer you doing the actual work. It is solely through influence and delegation. You own all of the responsibility but no direct put-finger-on-problem capability of contributing to the fix. It takes time at that scale, which is why I think one of the dumbest series of questions from, again, another group that deserves a fair bit of credit which is journalists because this stuff is hard, but a naive question I hear a lot is, “Well, okay. It’s been 100 days. What has Adam Selipsky slash Andy Jassy changed completely about the company?”

It’s, yeah, it’s a $1.6 trillion company. They are not going to suddenly grab the steering wheel and yank. It’s going to take years for shifts that they do to start manifesting in serious ways that are externally visible. That is how big companies work. You don’t want to see a complete change in direction from large blue chip companies that run things. Like, again, everyone’s production infrastructure. You want it to be predictable, you want it to be boring, and you want shifts to be gradual course corrections, not vast swings.

Tim: I mean, Amazon is a company with a population of a medium to medium-large sized city and a market cap of the GDP of several countries. So, it is not a plucky startup; it is not this small little tech company. It is a vast enterprise that’s distributed all over the world with a lot of folks doing a lot of different jobs. You cannot, as you said, steer that ship quickly.

Corey: I grew up in Maine and Amazon has roughly the same number employees as live in Maine. It is hard to contextualize how all of that works. There are people who work there that even now don’t always know who Andy Jassy is. Okay, fine, but I’m not talking about don’t know him on site or whatever. I’m saying they do not recognize the name. That’s a very big company.

Tim: “Andy who?”

Corey: Exactly. “Oh, is that the guy that Corey makes fun of all the time?” Like, there we go. That’s what I tend to live for.

Tim: I thought that was Werner.

Corey: It’s sort of every one, though I want to be clear, I make it a very key point. I do not make fun of people personally because it—even if they’re crap, which I do not believe to be the case in any of the names we’ve mentioned so far, they have friends and family who love and care about them. You don’t want someone to go on the internet and Google their parent’s name or something, and then just see people crapping all over. That’s got to hurt. Let people be people. And, on some level, when you become the CEO of a company of that scale, you’re stepping out of reality and into the pages of legend slash history, at some point. 200 years from now, people will read about you in history books, that’s a wild concept.

Tim: It is I think you mentioned something important that we would be remiss—especially Duckbill Group—to mention is that we’re very thankful for our families, partners, et cetera, for putting up with us, pets, everybody. As part of our jobs, we invite strangers from the internet into our homes virtually to see behind us what is going on, and for those of us that have kids, that involves a lot of patience on their part, a lot of patients on our partners’ parts, and other folks that are doing those kind of nurturing roles. You know, our pets who want to play with us are sitting there and not able to. It has not been easy for all of us, even though we’re a remote company, but to work under these conditions that we have been over the past year-and-a-half. And I think that goes for a lot of the folks in industry where now all of a sudden, you’ve been occupying a room in the house or space in the house for some 18-plus months, where before you’re always at work or something like that. And that’s been a hell of an adjustment. And so we talk about that for us folks that are here pontificating on podcasts, or banging out code, but the adjustments and the things our families have had to go through and do to tolerate us being there cannot be overstated how important that is.

Corey: Anyone else that’s on your list of people to thank? And this is the problem because you’re always going to forget people. I mean, the podcast production crew: the folks that turn our ramblings into a podcast, the editing, the transcription, all of it; the folks that HumblePod are 
just amazing. The fact that I don’t have to worry about any of this stuff as if by magic, means that you’re sort of insulated from it. But it’s amazing to watch that happen.

Tim: You know, honestly, I super want to thank just all the folks that take the time to interact with us. We do this job and Corey shitposts, and I shitpost and we talk, but we really do this and rely on the folks that do take the time to DM us, or tweet us, or mention us in the thread, or reach out in any way to ask us questions, or have a discussion with us on something we said, those folks encourage us, they keep us accountable, and they give us opportunities to learn to be better. And so I’m grateful for that. It would be—this role, this job, the thing we do where we’re viewable and seen by the public would be a lot less pleasant if it wasn’t for y’all. So, it’s too many to name, but I do appreciate you.

Corey: Well, thank you, I do my best. I find this stuff to be so boring if you couldn’t have fun with it. And so many people can’t have fun with it, so it feels like I found a cheat code for making enterprise software solutions interesting. Which even saying that out loud sounds like I’m shitposting. But here we are.

Tim: Here we are. And of course, my thanks to you, Corey, for reaching out to me one day and saying, “Hey, what are you doing? Would you want to come interview with us at The Duckbill Group?”

Corey: And it was great because, like, “Well, I did leave AWS within the last 18 months, so there might be a non-compete issue.” Like, “Oh, please, I hope so. Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please. I would love to pick that fight publicly.” But sadly, no one is quite foolish enough to take me up on it.

Don’t worry. That’s enough of a sappy episode, I think. I am convinced that our next encounter on this podcast will be our usual aggressive self. But every once in a while it’s nice to break the act and express honest and heartfelt appreciation. I’m really looking forward to next week with all of the various announcements that are coming out.

I know people have worked extremely hard on them, and I want them to know that despite the fact that I will be making fun of everything that they have done, there’s a tremendous amount of respect that goes into it. The fact that I can make fun of the stuff that you’ve done without any fear that I’m punching down somehow because, you know it is at least above a baseline level of good speaks volumes. There are providers I absolutely do not have that confidence towards them.

Tim: [laugh]. Yeah, AWS, as the enterprise level service provider is an easy target for a lot of stuff. The people that work there are not. They do great work. They’ve got amazing people in all kinds of roles there. And they’re often unseen for the stuff they do. So yeah, for all the folks who have contributed to what we’re going to partake in at re:Invent—and it’s a lot and I understand from having worked there, the pressure that’s put on you for this—I’m super stoked about it and I’m grateful.

Corey: Same here. If I didn’t like this company, I would not have devoted years to making fun of it. Because that requires a diagnosis, not a newsletter, podcast, or shitposting Twitter feed. Tim, thank you so much for, I guess, giving me the impetus and, of course, the amazing name of the show to wind up just saying thank you, which I think is something that we could all stand to do just a little bit more of.

Tim: My pleasure, Corey. I’m glad we could run with this. I’m, as always, happy to be on Screaming in the Cloud with you. I think now I get a vest and a sleeve. Is that how that works now?

Corey: Exactly. Once you get on five episodes, then you end up getting the dinner jacket, just, like, hosting SNL. Same story. More on that to come in the new year. Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it.

Tim: Thank you, Corey.

Corey: Tim Banks, principal cloud economist here at The Duckbill Group. I am, of course, Corey Quinn, and thank you for listening.

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.
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