Screaming in the Cloud
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The Democratization of Tech with Tim Banks
Episode Summary
Tim Banks is a technical account manager at Mission Cloud, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner. Tim brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, having worked as a technical account manager at AWS, a site reliability engineer at Elastic, a DevOps engineer at ObjectRocket, a senior database administrator at TEKsystems, and a LAMP systems architect at Charles Schwab, among other positions. Prior to launching a career in tech, Tim enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a musician before being reassigned to avionics.

Join Corey and Tim as they discuss what a technical account manager does, how not all TAMs are the same and why that might be, how small businesses are more able to do the things they think are right compared to large businesses, how tech has come a long way with respect to diversity and inclusion over the last 20 years and how there’s still a long way to go, what the tech industry means for Tim’s legacy, why it’s important to have compassion, how we can iterate our personalities much like our software, the importance of action against racism and bigotry, and more.
Episode Show Notes and Transcript
About Tim Banks
Tim started his 20+ year career in tech quite non-traditionally. After joining the US Marine Corps to be a musician, he was reassigned into an avionics specialty based on the results of standardized testing.


After learning about and working on electronic equipment in the military, Tim went on to work for hardware manufacturers and defense contractors as a civilian. Specializing in systems administration and operations for large Unix-based datastores, Tim left the government contracting world for the private sector, working both in large corporate environments and small startups.


Today, Tim leverages his years in operations, DevOps, and Site Reliability Engineering to advise and consult with engineering groups as a Technical Account manager. Tim is also a husband and a father of five children, as well as a competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and the reigning American National and Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion in his division.


Links Referenced

Transcript
Announcer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Cloud Economist 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 Catchpoint. Look, 80 percent of performance and availability issues don’t occur within your application code in your data center itself. It occurs well outside those boundaries, so it’s difficult to understand what’s actually happening. What Catchpoint does is makes it easier for enterprises to detect, identify, and of course, validate how reachable their application is, and of course, how happy their users are. It helps you get visibility into reachability, availability, performance, reliability, and of course, absorbency, because we’ll throw that one in, too. And it’s used by a bunch of interesting companies you may have heard of, like, you know, Google, Verizon, Oracle—but don’t hold that against them—and many more. To learn more, visit www.catchpoint.com, and tell them Corey sent you; wait for the wince.


Corey: nOps will help you reduce AWS costs 15 to 50 percent if you do what tells you. But some people do. For example, watch their webcast, how Uber reduced AWS costs 15 percent in 30 days; that is six figures in 30 days. Rather than a thing you might do, this is something that they actually did. Take a look at it. It's designed for DevOps teams. nOps helps quickly discover the root causes of cost and correlate that with infrastructure changes. Try it free for 30 days, go to nops.io/snark. That's N-O-P-S dot I-O, slash snark.


Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. I'm joined this week by someone who's a great engineer, but frankly, an even better human. Tim Banks is currently a TAM or technical account manager at Mission Cloud. Tim, welcome to the show.


Tim: Thanks, Corey. Glad to be here.


Corey: So, I always feel the need to explain the TAM acronym because, as everything in technology, we like to overload things. It can mean, depending upon who you're talking to, either technical account manager or total addressable market. And if you get them confused, it really cuts across a little strangely, when you're dealing with AWS, for example, it's, “Oh, my TAM is enormous.” It's like, “Are you fat-shaming someone, or you're talking about marketing?” And the answer could easily be both. But you have a different direction on time sometimes.


Tim: Yeah the technical account manager can vary in it’s meaning—almost like DevOps does—from organization to organization in what they do. And a lot of times I found, what happens is they end up just being relationship curators, which is fine in a lot of cases. But I really think the whole point of having a technical account manager is technical accountability, both to the customer and to the company that you represent. And the reason I say that is because you are essentially an evangelist for the products you represent, for the company you represent, and for you the work that they do, somewhat of a developer advocate. 


But it also goes the other way. You are also an advocate for the customer back to the company, back to the product teams, back to the business, back to making sure that your leadership is doing the right thing by them. And so I think that accountability is what's important. Even when some people just say, “Oh, all you're going to do is escalate this ticket,” or whatever, which is often one of the recurring functions of a TAM is to make sure support escalations happen, that's still a form of accountability in the end; making sure that the bugs get addressed is accountability. Making sure that the strategy that you came up with with your customer in a meeting or in an architecture meeting is being implemented and the roadblocks are trying to be removed on both sides; that's accountability. And if you're not doing that, you're not really doing the damn job right.


Corey: To be clear, you used to work at AWS as a TAM. And as it turns out, as I've walked through the world, I've met an awful lot of TAMs, mostly at AWS, but again, it's hardly a principle that they have pioneered. But one of the problems that I’ve found, especially during an era of rapid expansion, was that between account to account, the TAM's quality was markedly uneven. And I'm not saying that as far as not caring; they all cared. But it was their level of ability to achieve resolution, to get back to customers rapidly, effectively the core skill set of the job was very uneven. 


And at the time, it felt to me like it was a symptom of rapid growth on the part of AWS itself, as it was talking about its millions of customers. It seems like you can't scale up a support org and maintain a consistently high-quality bar, though Lord knows they tried. And again, if you're listening to this and you are attached to AWS, don't worry, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about those other crappier TAMs who don't listen to the show.


Tim: Yeah, those are the ones you always got to watch out about.


Corey: Oh, absolutely. When you say, “Corey Quinn,” and they say, “Who?” Ugh, warning sign.


Tim: [laughs]. So, I think it's interesting, especially in representing AWS. AWS is essentially a collection of about 500 startups that are operating under one flag. Every org has its own culture. Even within that org they have various factions within their own culture. 


TAMs are regional at AWS. So, you have Dallas TAMs, you have Austin TAMs, you have Boston TAMs, you have Silicon Valley TAMs, and that culture tends to cater to the customers that they serve. And ideally, when everyone works in their little section, their little region, it's pretty uniform because you have that kind of unified approach and those standards within that region. What happens is in the reality is that TAMs work across regions and across cultures. For example, I worked out of Austin, Texas, but my customers were in New York, Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area, Chicago. 


And so when you have that type of spread across the regions and across, especially, the various areas where TAMs worked, you would see differences in how they operated. And so I think also, there's a difference in experience people bring to the table. My experience as a TAM was based on 20 years of being an engineer, with a large part of that being an AWS customer, whereas sometimes TAMs come from more of a background of—not customer service, but more traditional account management and consulting, which is a different animal than being the hands-on engineer. So, I identified very well with engineering groups, and with the developers, and with the SREs that were banging their head against the wall trying to get things moved, and then taking those concerns up to their leadership and holding them accountable for how they wanted to implement their strategy.


Corey: My approach to TAMs has always been to not view them, necessarily, as technical resources, but rather their role was more or less to do traffic management between getting the customer problem to the person at AWS who’s empowered to fix it. With almost 200 services now, I think it is unreasonable to expect any one person to know what all of them do, and how they work, and the intricacies of how they break. Lord knows I'm trying, but I admit I have a couple of gaps.


Tim: One or two.


Corey: [laughs]. It’s a communication role. The number one thing to focus on is driving the ability to foster the right conversation with the right people, and not be afraid to escalate. But you've left AWS, and now you are same job, different company: Mission Cloud, which is, to my understanding, not a cloud provider as such, but rather a consultancy.


Tim: At Mission Cloud, we do some things that are essential for a lot of people: cost optimization, architecture reviews. We do a lot of work on ProServe. We do manage DevOps, which means different things in different people, and we do some monitoring. What I think the biggest thing that we do that helps people out is that we offer them insight and experience. 


We have a very senior group over there. It's some of the smartest and, honestly, the most caring people I've ever worked for as an organization, across the board. People have different levels of experience who have different strengths, but the one thing they all are is the embodiment of the AWS principle of customer-obsessed. We actually care about the people and the customers and the individuals with which we work, which I think is a luxury of having a smaller company; we are more invested in the success of our customers. And that comes across. 


And I think people who've gone from very large companies to very small companies see that. One thing that I've noticed is that the smaller companies, they have agility and they can move quickly and things like that, but what they also have the ability to do, it seems almost counter-intuitively, is the act on doing the things that they believe are right, or the things they believe are ethical, or the things they believe are moral which, like I said, seems counterintuitive because you would think a larger company with more money and more leverage and more influence would be able to do whatever it needed, and it would be able to take good stands, and moral stands, and ethical stands rather than doing maybe unsavory business with people or having unsavory business practices. But I found that the larger the company is, the less likely it is going to take the moral or ethical stance.


Corey: It's interesting to me that when I ask people to show up on the podcast, they often bring very different assumptions around what the show is going to cover, like, “Oh, do you want to talk about X, Y, or Z? The answer is always, in fact, “What do you want to talk about?” So, it's interesting to see some folks want to take it directly into, “Oh, let's talk about technology,” And I have to back people off from, “Well, let's not get into the intricacies of how an API works. No one is going to be staring at a computer and listening to this.” They're usually commuting—back in the before times, and that was a thing people did—and I don't want to put them to sleep and have them ram a bridge abutment. I don't want that on my conscience. 


So, it has to be something that you can follow while driving around. And some people go in the technical direction, talk about capabilities, others talk about business, but occasionally I wind up with someone like you who talks about, I guess, working in technology in varying capacities, either as a business or as a person while retaining your soul. And that's always been something that I think you've been extraordinarily good at centering.


Tim: I will say that I've always been as good and I think being an underrepresented minority in tech—I'm a half Black, half Mexican pansexual man—that's not always been my luxury, especially starting out. The tech industry, especially where it was pre-Y2K when I joined into the industry, was hostile toward people of color, and toward women, and toward our LGBTQ friends. And a lot of us left. A lot of us washed out. We couldn't take it. 


And the ones that did had to work in environments and in cultures, in offices and around people that were very hostile towards us. And the freedom I have to be a whole person and who I am now and to follow my conscience, and to do those things that I believe are right, within the confines of a professional and business relationship only come because I've had to endure what the industry was like before. The industry has come a long way; we have a long way to go.


Corey: Yeah. Well, we've come a long way. Therefore, we can plant a flag, declare victory, and go back to talking about the computers, right?


Tim: Don't we wish. I relate it to having worked in the kitchen. So, it can be said that I'm a bit of a renaissance man. I've had several careers, many running in parallel, and one of them was working in kitchens, and working in kitchens around the time that the big economic downturn of 2008 hit, where you saw a lot of very fine dining, very highly rated capable and talented chefs leave these well-funded, very expensive and very traditional and regimented kitchens, and go into doing things like food trucks, or delivery stuff, or very small things where they can be themselves and be creative. And what you saw that was the democratization of food and a democratization of fine dining, where it wasn't turned from a place where you go in and you sit down and some person in a suit comes to you with a bottle of wine, another person comes to you in a suit and fills your water, then yet another person in a suit comes and takes your order that was prepared by toque wearing, check wearing chefs that were trained at a culinary school. 


That's not what most people equate with fine dining now. That fine dining is far more accessible than ever was because it has been democratized. You're seeing that process starting now in tech. It's starting. We’re at the beginning. We aren’t at the end. We're probably not even at the middle. 


But you are seeing the democratization of tech, and as more and more people come into tech, more people of every background, and of every ethnicity, and every gender or sexual persuasion and of every religion, when tech is truly democratized, what you will see is tech companies will start to make more ethical decisions. Tech companies will start to have more diversity and inclusion and equity and leadership. Tech companies will be able to start to lead the way in doing the right things. They will be able to start influencing governments, they'll be able to start influencing—you know, whether it's local governments, foreign governments, even, you know federal governments, then we don’t start influencing them because they are made up of a representation that is not currently reflected in those governments, and they will be a source of power. For me, tech is a source of generational wealth that my family has never been able to achieve. 


Truth be told, I don't love doing tech. I'm good at doing tech, but tech is my way to ensure that my children have something to inherit, that we have a house, that we have something to pass down, right, that's more than just a family Bible. And so you'll find that there are more stories like that. And when you see people that have that background when you see people that have the varying types of experiences, you're going to see better software, you're going to see better code, you're going to see much more smoothly operating practices because you have now an environment that is inclusive of everyone, that caters to what everyone's needs are, and what everyone's wants are. And when you do that, you're going to have just a much better product all around. There's no two ways about it.


Corey: One thing that I think I got wrong a lot was I would see these various conference submissions that I applied to—back when conferences were thing that we did—and there was a diversity and inclusion track, and I never submitted anything to those tracks because I looked at this, I looked at myself, I looked around, and saw how wildly over-represented my demographic was and thought that I had nothing to say. And this caused two problems. One, it is very easy for silence to be mistaken for complicity, and I never want to fall into that trap, and two, it puts the burden of doing the work on the people who this current societal structure has expressly disadvantaged. It's, “Oh, you're not being treated with equity in the same way that the overrepresented demographic is, so, therefore, we're going to make you do a whole bunch of unpaid extra work.” That's shitty.


Tim: It is.s, I think, one of the positive things that has come out of the current climate, especially since George Floyd’s murder, was that white people, white males, well-to-do and privileged white people have joined the discussion, and joined the discussion in an impassioned manner. They're out there in the streets, and they are protesting, and their kids are protesting, and they're finally really lifting where they stand. And I think that's what's been the biggest change from protests of the past. The things we saw in Ferguson were still primarily Black people out there protesting. And it was very easy to paint them a certain way; it was very easy to ignore. 


But in 2020, it's a much more diverse group. And when I say, “Much more diverse group,” I literally mean, there are more white people protesting, and there are more white people with money who are protesting. And maybe it's fashionable, maybe it's something that corporate can latch on to and try to make money off of it. And sure, that has some negative connotations; it has some negative effects. But in the end, the more people that join this discussion, the more people that say, “This is enough and we need to make a change,” the better, especially when those people are white men.


Corey: In what you might be forgiven for mistaking for a blast from the past, today I want to talk about New Relic. They seem to be a relatively legacy monitoring company, and I would have agreed with that assessment up until relatively recently. But they did something a little out there: they reworked everything. They went open source, they made it so you can monitor your whole stack in one place and, most notably from my perspective, they simplified their pricing into something that is much more affordable for almost everyone. There's even a free tier with one user and 100 gigs per month, totally free. Check it out at newrelic.com.


Corey: I think part of the problem is that from the white guy perspective, there are two different directions to go in. One of which is that you deny that there's a problem and that it's just people who want things handed to them that—the all lives matter crowd. And that's a shortcut to being a dumpster fire of a human being. And the other side is that, well, I don't want to take up space. It's too easy when we have these conversations for me as a white man to inadvertently—or advertently—center myself. 


And I want to make sure that I clear space for it. The problem is, is from the outside until you get to extremes, they look identical. And for me, my wake up moment was, if I don't start saying things out loud, I'm not going to be distinguishable from some of the worst people in the world. My argument had always historically been, well don't get political on Twitter because I run a business and I want to make sure that I don't inadvertently put half of my prospective customer base off. 


And now it’s, “No. If I need to do business with some of the worst people in the world, I'd rather shut the company down first.” At some point, no. We do have an ethics policy of who we’ll work with at The Duckbill Group, and it's squishy by design, but all it comes down to is when I tell my daughter and future—as of this recording—unborn child, where their college funds came from, I don't want to be ashamed. That's really all it is. And by sitting here, shutting up and not talking about these issues, I would be ashamed. I am ashamed that I sat here quietly and didn't say things for the past few years.


Tim: I think as we look at where we are and where we have been, I don't think it's necessarily bad for us to feel some sort of shame--at least contrition—for the way we were. Lord knows I have. I may be Black, but I'm still a man and I was definitely either unknowingly or unwillingly, but certainly, a vehicle for misogyny when I was younger. And I feel shame for that. And it's not in the context, “Oh, because I had daughters,” because that's irrelevant. And not because, “Oh, I have a wife.” 


You know, none of that is rel—it's because I've done things that were not beneficial. They were harmful in and of themselves, without the context of whether or not I have female children or a spouse. And I think once we realize that, and you talked about talking to your daughters and not being ashamed to tell them where the college fund came from. And it's not even that context, right? You have progressed, and you have learned from your mistakes, and you are not the person that you were before. 


We talk about it like in software development: like you're iterating on it, and you're improving each time. You're fixing your bugs; maybe you have some new bugs, you're going to fix those as well, right? That is a natural progression. That is the thing we're supposed to do as people. The problem comes when the people don't want to do that. 


When they're going to sit there and say, “There is nothing wrong with Windows Vista.” Which is essentially what that is, right? That whole notion is the Windows Vista of personalities. Where “This is good, I don't need to change anything because this is the way it's always been.” Or, “This is the thing that I believe in, and why would ever change that?” It's just not healthy, and the lowercase p ‘progressive’ it's not progressive. 


And who wants to stagnate? Who wants to sit there and do nothing? Who wants to just exist and never change? So, that's good. And I think we all need to do that. And I think when we look at where we are at Mission as a company, one of the things that we talked about is trying to be much more aware of how we are inclusive and how we are trying to encourage diversity. 


But I think the key that you talked about, and I've mentioned about is, you know, the shame and, kind of, guilt for where you've been before, but we have to have compassion in there. One of the things we're talking about is how to have inclusive language, how to be more inclusive in what you say to people, how to be more inclusive of gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, or whatever it is, but when you have to say to somebody, “Hey, that person’s preferred pronouns are ‘they’ not ‘she?’” You have to do that with compassion because we're trying to learn. We're trying to progress. And I think you've mentioned this before, I know sometimes with me, I'm still defensive, right, for stuff like, “Oh, I'm not wrong,” or, “This is the way [00:21:14 crosstalk]—”


Corey: Well, my immediate response when I get called out for something—maybe it's a joke that punched down in a way that I didn't see it, or I didn't realize, but what I was talking about on Twitter, for example, is an expression of privilege that I didn't see, and my immediate response whenever I'm called out for that is a flash of defensiveness. And I've learned to walk away for a minute, or not indulge that because growth always starts off with that feeling for me, in my experience, and taking that as it's easy to shortcut that into someone has called me out, politely or otherwise, for saying something hurtful that I did not intend to be hurtful, my immediate shortcut defensive reaction is, “Oh, they're wrong because I didn't mean it that way.” That's never how it works.


Tim: No.


Corey: To be fair, a few times this has happened, and I thought about it for a little while and I went back and no, I don't believe that that's accurate—I forget what it was, but recently someone responded on Twitter to a pull quote from one of these podcast episodes with that is a problematic term. And I went back later and said, “Okay, I've done some research on this. I don't believe it is, and I can find no corroboration on it. How so?” And their account was deleted. And it turned out that it was effectively a bot or troll account. So, oh, I did a whole lot of work, and it turned out that no, I was just successfully baited into something. But, you know, I'll do the work every time.


Tim: I think the work is what's important. And this is what I was talking about: when we have compassion, when we say to somebody, “Hey, maybe you should say that differently,” or, “This is what that person prefers.” That's the beginning of the work. The work for receiving that correction, or call out is to look in yourself, reflect, maybe educate yourself a little bit, and then say, “Hey, I'm going to make this change.” 


But that's not a switch, right? Bugs don't get fixed the second you think about them or the second somebody mentions them. You have to do work to fix them. You have to iterate on yourself in order to correct that. And so I try to approach that with compassion. Obviously, some things are very blatant. Some things are very immediate in their need to maybe—sometimes are a little more inflammatory, but especially around people whose companionship, whose friendship, whose opinions that I value, I will try to be as compassionate as I can, especially to strangers. 


Compassion is important. Compassion, I think, in tech and in the world, is what makes a huge difference. Whether you express it in the form of empathy, where you express it in the form of letting people have their time, or where they need to self-care, making sure they don't burn themselves out, making sure that you're speaking to them inclusively, making sure that you are receptive to being told that you're not being inclusive. All that is compassion. 


I think really what we see as a larger thing in the world today is a lack of that. It's either lack of compassion or lack of maybe taking the difficult stand. And I think it's interesting to pivot to that a little bit—using, kind of, the difficult stand part—one of the things that you brought up earlier today that I thought was very important was the actions of large cloud provider who maybe was meeting with companies, and then—under the guise of advisement, and then making competing products. I think you've mentioned that before, and it's something that I've seen as well in my time, and that kind of punching down is horrifying.


Corey: I see it also with certain large cloud providers with their non compete clauses in their contracts. I'm sorry, I have remarkably little sympathy for a company that is valued at over a trillion dollars, when they start, effectively, continuing to maintain their level of supremacy on the backs of their employees who effectively have zero power comparatively. Now, collectively, their employees have a lot of power. But oh, that's union-type words. And we don't want to have those conversations.


Tim: Oh, heaven forbid that we have to treat our employees fairly.


Corey: Oh, it's maddening. And at some point something changes, I think. I was independent for a while, I was an employee—badly—for a long time, and then when I started hiring people, I kept waiting for the switch where I would suddenly want to screw over my employees in favor of my own advancement, and I haven't found it yet. Maybe it happens at some point. I mean, I firmly believe that you don't get to build a trillion-dollar company and keep your soul. I think that you have to make compromises that are objectively evil. But on balance, I'm not trying to build something that's going to turn me into a billionaire. I have no desire to ever get there.


Tim: I think the important thing is to do what's right. There's an LP with Amazon, saying that, “Leaders are right a lot.” And I think that should change.


Corey: Yes, meanwhile here, a followership principle at The Duckbill Group where we tell people we're right a lot.


Tim: [laughs]. I think instead of, “Be right a lot,” it needs to be, “Do the right thing.” That difference is huge. It’s a huge difference between being right and doing the right thing. It's like you said before, you know that you're not a racist, you know that you're not a bigot, you know that you are doing these things—


Corey: I am not a bigot, but I will say that we are all racist based upon the aspects of society that we have grown up in, just—not to interrupt you on that. But I have been shaped by the racism I have grown up in. There is a world of difference, though, between saying, “I’m subject to racist tendencies, and thus have them myself,” and saying, “I am a bigot.” There’s a world of difference, and I think in common conversation, people conflate those two terms. They're not alike.


Tim: I agree and appreciate that correction. But I do think what's important is when you said that it wasn't enough that I simply wasn't a bigot, but what needed to happen is that I needed to then take action; I needed to not stand idly by, and be right. Instead, what I needed to do was do right. And I think if it was instead of, “Be right,” it was, “Do right,” then some of these decisions that you see being made, would not be made. 


You would not see companies leveraging the technology or the ideas of their customers to compete against them and make more money. They would not be leveraging their positions against their employees to keep those ideas and that talent from being able to make them money at other places. Because it's not enough to think the right thing or to say the right thing: it is important as a leader, and for someone that wants to have a good impact on the world to do the right thing.


Corey: Doing the right thing is super easy to do when it has no consequences and it's low impact. It's one of those, “Oh, do I wind up buying a carton of eggs that explicitly says cage-free on it for another 50 cents instead of the one that doesn’t?” All right. I'm going to do that, I’m going to feel virtuous. I’m basically buying a good feeling for 50 cents at that point. 


When it starts turning into something that has the potential to impact business, to cause controversy, to take a stand on something, that's where it gets scary, and that's where it gets fraught. One way I could see having to stop talking about these things at some point because I feel it now when it was just me I could sound off about anything I wanted in tech with zero consequence. If I get it too terribly wrong and turn myself into a cautionary tale, well, now we're 10 people. That is a lot of people's livelihoods I'm gambling with. 


And one thing I still do and I make it a point, whenever we have a final round interview, is I make it a point to be on that call. So, I can say, “This is a risk factor.” It has to be me that says that because if anyone else on the team says that about me it sounds like, “We can't stand Corey and he's terrible.” But it's one of those things that is important to me that, first, I remember and I honor, and secondly, people are not blindsided by the fact that I'm occasionally going to go on Twitter and say something dumb.


Tim: I really think the advantage of doing that, and really, the thing that makes it appealing is that people get to say, “All right, well, I want to hitch my horse to this wagon.” Or I guess, “My wagon to this horse.” Because you can do a little bit of research about Corey Quinn and, kind of, find out where you stand on a lot of things, and I think that goes into making the choice of where you want to work. Because you are small enough to where your values—you know, the things that you hold dear and believe to be important—are reflected in what the company does. And there's an advantage in that in attracting the people that want to work in that culture. I don't think they're going to work for The Duckbill Group to become billionaires, sad as I am to say.


Corey: No, not until we finish our acquisition of Gartner.


Tim: Oh, in that case, well then yeah, I will gladly buy your pre-IPO stock, then.


Corey: Excellent. Excellent. Thank you.


Tim: But when you work for companies that are very large, and now it's the name you want to work for, not the culture of the person, it becomes a different animal altogether. It's like, why would people buy Nikes? Why would people pay so much for Nikes? It’s because they say ‘Nike’ on them. There are maybe shoes in a similar quality or better quality that are less expensive and less well known, but you're going to buy these Nikes because they say Nike on them. 


A lot of people want to have Amazon on their resume. A lot of people want to have Google on their resume, or Apple, or any of these other large players in the tech industry. It's good to have in your resume. A lot of people want to work there because they said, well, I’m—you know, when was the last time you heard of somebody that worked at Google that didn't tell you that, right?


Corey: Yeah, they are very practiced telling the story of why you should work somewhere. It's good for the resume. It turns out, it's going to help you out quite a bit. I don't have any big names on my resume, not in tech, not that anyone would ever notice or care about, and that's okay, but I can definitely understand the appeal. You see this sometimes the people who used to work at Netflix, for example, and every conference talk, they get is about, “Well, back when I worked at Netflix 20 years ago…” at some point, it's, “Yeah, you can only trade on what you used to do for a while.” People are going to ask, what are you doing now?


Tim: I think that's what becomes important. Going back to, like, doing the right thing. You can say, well, I did this back then, I did this back then, and I made this decision back then it's like, “Oh, great. What are you doing now? What is the great thing you're doing now?” 


Like you say, “What influence do you have now? What is the difference you're making now?” And if you're just standing up there, essentially reliving your glory days in high school on a conference talk, I don't think that's going to impress anybody. And it almost becomes sad because you're using this platform now to sing about something that you did twenty years ago, ten years ago, five years ago, three companies ago, instead of trying to make some difference now. And now, more than ever is when we need the difference to be made.


Corey: I think that's probably the best place to leave it. If people want to hear more about what you have to say, where can they find you?


Tim: I'm on Twitter @elchefe. Hang on for the ride because I'm very much the authentic me on there. But that's the place for now. I might appear on another podcast later on, and if so, I will put it on that Twitter account.


Corey: Excellent. Some of my best Twitter accounts that I follow make me uncomfortable from time to time, and that's exactly why I follow them. Bring your whole self to work, or at least to Twitter.


Tim: Absolutely.


Corey: [laughs]. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate it.


Tim: Thank you, Corey. I appreciate it.


Corey: Tim Banks, TAM, and excellent human being at Mission Cloud. 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 Apple Podcasts, whereas if you've hated this particular episode, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts as well as a comment explaining why you're not a human trash fire.


Announcer: This has been this week’s episode of Screaming in the Cloud. You can also find more Corey at ScreamingintheCloud.com, or wherever fine snark is sold.


This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.


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