Helping People Achieve Awesomeness!

EAFH22: Deliver Value with Marty Nelson, Alchemy Code Lab

Dr. Dave:                      00:17                Yeah, I think so. So we’re going to talk about Alchemy Code Lab. Where did Alchemy Code Lab come from?

Marty:                          00:25                Well it really was a bit of serendipity. I’ve been in software development for a little over two decades now. Most of it as either a developer or a leader within a development organization. I left a company. I was working remotely for about six, seven years and September of 2013 they wanted either me to move to San Diego or we were going to go separate ways. I had family, kids here and I was like, thanks no thanks. Good amicable break. I had one of those moments when you have a bit of a pause where you’re like, huh, what’s next? I had as a developer had gotten really into JavaScript and this was really about 2000, 2013 is really the current ibex or the modern era of technology that we’re in. Cloud based services and HTML5 and web apps are taking off.

Marty:                          01:19                I decided to try startup stuff. I’d always been in midsize companies or enterprise environments. So I did some dumb consulting freelance, find some entrepreneurs, help them out and was doing that. One of those moments, I think we have in our life where I saw someone posted something about teaching and it was just like, you get that draw ever, you’re like I got to go check that out. You don’t know why, but you’re just interested. There’s a code school out of Seattle called Code Fellows. They were the first code school in Seattle in 2013. There’s like 19 or 20 now.

Dr. Dave:                      01:54                Really?

Marty:                          01:54                Yeah, there’s tons. They were the first though. They taught Ruby in big auditoriums at University of Washington. They opened a direct market in Portland and they were looking for some night instructors to teach night classes. I was like, oh I’ll check that out.

Marty:                          02:09                So I went and did a couple of those, got busy the rest of the year with the startup, but then we launched, got the MVP out and the company’s like, “Oh, we don’t know who our market is yet. We’re not sure what to do next.” I was like, “Well you figure that out.” The school at the time was like, “Hey we are looking for a full time contractor to teach Fullstack JavaScript,” which is just what I had been immersed and interested in for the past two years. So I said, cool I’ll do that. You got to still feed yourself even when you’re out contracting and stuff.

Dr. Dave:                      02:39                Of course.

Marty:                          02:40                So I did one class, did another contract for the next quarter with them. Then they hired me full time as the principal instructor in Portland. Well in their bigger picture of things in 2016, they were doing similar things like let’s teach a weekend course in New York, Chicago.

Marty:                          02:59                There were other schools like Galvanize or GA that were raising 25, 40 million in VC money and they realized that going into a market where you’re not known is expensive and their board discussed that and decided to pivot. They’re like rather than go out and raise money because they had grown solely through their own organic success to that point. They looked at their mission that they decided to move to licensing their curriculum, to take their successful curriculum and go to mid-market, smaller cities, places where they’re resisting tech communities often around startups and that and seeing if they could augment it with tech education. So as part of that they came to me and said, “Look we don’t really want this one school in Portland.” Their Seattle school is very large and still successful up there. So I took over the school and they were gracious enough the first six months we operated under the name Code Fellows PDX.

Marty:                          03:57                We don’t know yet right? Who we are. Our back office systems are all their back office systems and summer of 2017 we kind of get all our new systems in place and that’s where we rebranded as Alchemy Code Lab. That was the start of this leg of my journey. I think, why did I decide to take over code school? When you’re teaching like that and you see the level of impact. I’ll give you a specific example. I had a student who had a family, wife, one kid, had been working in like 32K a year, no health insurance, some desk job, and forget all the tech stuff that it’s intellectually challenging work. It’s meaningful. Just like the socioeconomic boosts that they leave and get a 70K job with full benefits.

Marty:                          04:44                You’re not just helping that person and everything. You’re helping with upward mobility of the whole family in that case. Certainly I’ve done some impactful things as a software developer, delivered some great products, been on some great teams. That’s the driving force is to that person level impact. I myself came from a nontraditional background. I was an art history major.

Dr. Dave:                      05:06                Right. You told me that.

Marty:                          05:07                Yeah. Yeah. I came in in the .com boom. Another big supply demand imbalance back when what you did is you got those really big rocks books type of books, crammed it, went and got in a job with that.

Dr. Dave:                      05:20                Where did you go? Did you go to Crowd, did you go to Borders? Where did you buy your books?

Marty:                          05:25                Interesting enough, Palace Technical Bookstore.

Dr. Dave:                      05:27                Wow.

Marty:                          05:28                At the time it was on the park blocks, but interestingly where we’re sitting this floor was the original Palace Technical Bookstore. Talk about full circle right?

Dr. Dave:                      05:37                Yeah talk about full circle.

Marty:                          05:40                It was different obviously at the time, but I went and one of the first jobs it was Microsoft Access. So I had a lot of familiarity with computers. Not necessarily programming, although had like a lot of kids, you get a little this basic or logo, you remember that one little turtle and stuff like that? Mostly working like temp jobs in my twenties like you can’t really get a job with an art history degree unless you go like work at an auction house or something. Familiar enough that I could parlay that into learning. Some way along the line, I learned to teach myself. I had that skill and could go learn something, get in, convince someone that I could contribute, and then once I was in the door, I was just aggressive about, oh we use SQL server here. Who can I talk to? So I was not shy about like getting on projects, bugging people. I was going to soak up and learn how to use any technology I could get to.

Dr. Dave:                      06:40                That makes a lot of sense. So what drives your philosophy about life and business, right? I mean you started out grass roots, ground up. I mean even with your career, but what drives those philosophies?

Marty:                          06:52                Yeah well I think it’s changed. In those early days it was having a family. I can put the backdrop again. When you’re in your 20s and you’re single, you can be existentialist about why do we work? You get a family though and you need to be responsible for other people. Oh, now I know why I’m working. So it’s pretty practical. It’s actually been a fairly spiritual path and that just means for me like exposure to, was fortunate enough to people who had thoughts about the world, life, meaning. I A good spiritual tradition, I think you end up at some point wanting this connection. You have this connection to everything and then the goals in your life aren’t so much about you, but you want to make an impact. You get to a point where the things that you do aren’t so much about that you really want to do.

Marty:                          07:46                We have things we want. I’m not saying we don’t take care of ourselves, but for me to enable people here at this school to go out and get meaningful work, I actually see that as helping my community. I want to have a vibrant Portland. I want and economically abundant Portland. So I’ve always believed that when you align altruism and self interest, great things happen. You don’t have to fight it and that’s a good sign. You try to get people do this good thing, but it’s also in your self-interest. So kind of pragmatic, but forward looking at all the time I think.

Dr. Dave:                      08:21                Those are excellent ideals to drive life from right? Things to move you forward. When you think about value, right? I mean how do you define that? What comes to mind when you think about value because you have your family, you have this business, you have the students, you have a community. So there’s four different groups and then people that you have to care about. What do you think about value? What do you define that as?

Marty:                          08:50                Yeah I think that value there typically is a positive emotional impact. Even if I’m purchasing a product, oh it’s valuable. It gave me a boost somehow. Now that can be like an endorphin rush or it can be really genuine. I think as humans we are emotively driven. We do want happiness, we do want love and attention. I think often value then should move us, should inspire us, should invoke things in us. I’m a big believe. I don’t have any problem with money. Money to me is a marker of value. It’s just a way to hold onto the value.

Dr. Dave:                      09:38                Right.

Marty:                          09:39                You look at a lot of good marketing gurus or salespeople. They’re all about like providing value and people want to give you their money because, oh that’s a good exchange. So I see value especially as a software developer, we talk a lot about value and MVPs and that. Even on a feature level, you think about a user and I think about it in emotive terms. I’m like what is going to delight a user? What is going to be exciting about this product? Or just the accomplishment of using a feature. So I see value coming to emotional terms that way too. What’s the experiential value to that user?

Dr. Dave:                      10:24                Wow, that’s really good. I really liked the context of where you’re coming from with that in terms of how people connect to what you produce and just the fact that you’re connecting with others. So to me that is really huge, but how do you build out happy contributing people because you have a group of people who come in here, want to learn, want to change the trajectory of their legacy in life through the work that you’re doing. How are you building out those happy contributing people to go out there and work for other companies and talk about alchemy as a place that you should come to you to become better at what you want to do?

Marty:                          11:03                Yeah, I think you talked about what core philosophy or beliefs. Another one I have is that everybody on this planet has amazing abilities and potentials. When people are struggling, it’s really about what do we need to get out of their way. So I don’t think anyone here that I have to make them what they’re not. The people that come here are wanting intellectually challenging work. They’re innately driven to be these creative, dynamic people. So I almost view us more as a refinery in some ways, right?

Dr. Dave:                      11:45                A code refinery.

Marty:                          11:49                It’s an interesting, and we talk about human capital, but I mean we’re like a refinery for human capital to give that. I see that. So that’s

Marty:                          12:00                Can we talk about our students, people we’re just here to assist and to take away old beliefs, I can’ts, or things about that and say, “There’s this opportunity and then going back to opportunity I found in my life. And I’m sharing that with you. Look, there’s this tech thing and you actually get paid to write some words down and inspire people and build economies and motivate social change.” I mean, if you think about [inaudible 00:12:27] software element, it’s stranger than any Harry Potter movie. What we do, if you really think about it.

Dr. Dave:                      12:32                It is very strange.

Marty:                          12:34                In a cool way.

Dr. Dave:                      12:34                Yeah.

Marty:                          12:35                Like, “Wow, we did what?”

Dr. Dave:                      12:37                Yeah. Look what we just did.

Marty:                          12:40                On that. We’re producing value to people out there, but I’m always thinking about that like it. And also, a big win-win-win person. Another philosophical thing for me and this really was… There’s a book by Seth Godin called Linchpin, that really frame this for me that we can come up with all solutions. I don’t believe solutions. There’s an infinite number of possible things you could do and you’ve got to find the ones that are going to benefit the most people. Again, to me it was by this point nature… Oh, I’m helping people, I’m helping Portland companies. We have a big emphasis on helping women, people of color tech. And you look at some of the benefits of that. And it’s not just social good, it’s high performing teams. It’s addressable market. I love… To me that’s a high value situation. How many wins are you racking up? For how many people? And so, if you look at alchemy, to me it’s a nexus of value creation and there’s just so many winners. Nobody’s losing and the deals on that.

Dr. Dave:                      13:45                So, you would say… Look, going back to Daniel Pink’s his view of drive of building autonomy, purpose and mastery. I mean, I would think that those are some of the key skills that comes out of your program. Waltz being a software developer, windows are common things that we just naturally have or we develop over time of going through a curriculum. I mean, would you align some of the things that you do? What would those three principles-

Marty:                          14:14                They were autonomy.

Dr. Dave:                      14:15                … Autonomy, purpose and mastery.

Marty:                          14:17                Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of the people in the world generally want work that has purpose. You want to plug them in. And I really connect with that because when I was in college, I struggled to get through college. Let me tell you part of it was people are partying all the time [crosstalk 00:00:14:38].

Dr. Dave:                      14:41                Don’t tell anyone.

Marty:                          14:42                But… A paper right?

Dr. Dave:                      14:44                Yeah.

Marty:                          14:44                Is maybe intellectually, but who’s it for? The teacher doesn’t really want to grade it. They have to, right?

Dr. Dave:                      14:50                Yeah.

Marty:                          14:50                I don’t want to write it.

Dr. Dave:                      14:51                No.

Marty:                          14:52                And so, that was a big struggle for me to prioritize doing that work. And in fact, I left college with a real… It tanked myself confidence. I went out like, “Am I going to be able to be successful?” I could barely struggle and I could get some motivation for a semester or two. But then I started working even waiting tables, bartending and once I had real people that I was serving, no problem. And I think a lot of people come back to purpose. We’re built… A lot of us are built to help other people. And where we won’t succeed or have motivation, you give us that opportunity to have a purpose of, “Wow, what I’m doing matters. It’s meaningful and I have the ability to produce value.” We innately want that. I mean, that’s another way to say values. We contribute to our community.

Dr. Dave:                      15:48                Yes.

Marty:                          15:49                And so, definitely align with that autonomy. People want to feel they have control, right?

Dr. Dave:                      15:58                Yeah.

Marty:                          15:58                Some amount. And particularly I was just watching… I wish I could remember the author’s name. A video that talked about environments where we have too much work and no control. Lead to anxiety, stress, higher incidences of depression. People want to sense that I have some autonomy. I will have control over that. And it’s interesting here because to teach that often, its often goes into teaching accountability.

Dr. Dave:                      16:25                That is a great context. Yeah, for sure.

Marty:                          16:29                Everybody wants autonomy, but do you want accountability?

Dr. Dave:                      16:32                Yeah.

Marty:                          16:32                Because you’re going to have to be accountable to yourself. And so, our program, for example, we just started this new class and one of the hardest thing for students is… We have a build system. You have to pass your test, you have to show up and you have to turn around things on time. Not because it’s a school assignment, but we don’t want to break the bill that soft with deadlines and software development. And so, you have to accept autonomy within that framework of accountability. And the last was craft?

Dr. Dave:                      17:04                Mastery.

Marty:                          17:04                Mastery?

Dr. Dave:                      17:05                Yes. This is the one field. That you can become really, really good or really bad. Either it’s right.

Marty:                          17:12                Yeah. I wonder how much that it is related to craft in the sense of… It takes a while to be the master.

Dr. Dave:                      17:19                Yes.

Marty:                          17:21                But I’ve noticed that people like craft and having the thing that you can master. And I think even if you’re not at the masters stage yet. And I don’t know if that’s an underrated thing about software development, but people really like the creative craft of it. And we have people who are knitters for example, have make really good coders.

Dr. Dave:                      17:47                Musicians make really good coders.

Marty:                          17:50                Yeah.

Dr. Dave:                      17:50                History made [inaudible 00:17:50]. I don’t know why, but they just seem to do.

Marty:                          17:55                Yeah. Absolutely.

Dr. Dave:                      17:57                This is interesting. Well, what are the markers that you would say are for satisfied customers? Because obviously your students are our customers. What are some of the markers?

Marty:                          18:08                Of satisfied customers?

Dr. Dave:                      18:09                Yeah.

Marty:                          18:11                Certainly I think reputation and recommendation is a hallmark. How willing is someone to subject a friend or colleague of their’s to the same experience or product, right?

Dr. Dave:                      18:24                Yeah.

Marty:                          18:25                I mean, that’s the basis of an NPS, Net Promoter Scores is some of the highest correlations. Like putting yourself… If you say how good I do, I’m I… You’re okay, you [inaudible 00:18:34]. But if I, it’s like I’ve got to put it my reputation on the line, recommending you to a friend, then it’s out there. And I think a satisfied customers how much of a community. For us, I was really shocked at our last Christmas party because we had three years of grads coming by. And it’s been a real joy. It wasn’t something that we intentionally said, ” Let’s make sure we create community.”

Marty:                          19:02                But the way that we operate here, the level of customer service and dedication to people, we had this payback that I hadn’t expected of. Three years of people came back. We had alumni offering. We want to do a scholarship fund for people that take the Intro course.

Dr. Dave:                      19:21                Nice.

Marty:                          19:21                You expect that at universities, but a code school? To me that was a sign of satisfaction. I think ultimately there’s a level of did you get what we agreed on? That’s a baseline, but I think that gets lost sometimes. Did you? And so, we’re trying to get people into full-time tech jobs. Did we do that for you? And that’s a satisfaction. One of the thing that’s been interesting in this particular business is sometimes the satisfaction can take longer than you expect. There’s a phenomena sometimes with some students who come through and they might have a viewpoint that they succeeded in spite of us. It’s so real, but that sometimes there’s a small handful of students that it will take a year or so before they like, “Oh yeah, it was really great there.”

Marty:                          20:19                But it can be difficult. This is an emotionally intensive program. And so, that can be hard for people that go through and align. And like I said, I think it feels a lot like parenting in some ways. We’ve had times when we guide our kids and we know that, but they don’t appreciate the tougher guidance that we give. And it might be like not to their adult that they’re like, “You know what you were right about that.”

Dr. Dave:                      20:46                It takes time. It takes time for people to appreciate the moment that they’re in. Until they go through the journey and they look back and go, “Oh yeah, that made a lot of sense at the time not so much.” And I think a lot of it is just that, going through that journey of learning something new and try to progress it and realize your future as well, which is something amazing. Thriving business, what makes your business thrive?

Marty:                          21:14                Yeah. I feel we’re so young now, I often ask, “Are we thriving?” It’s been tough. Like I said, I had to… I have a software development background. It means my default is I’ll manage a business like an agile project, which uncertain ambiguity that actually fits the time. So you get through there. One of the big lessons for me and thriving in the last couple of years I learned from a business is, I used to have this picture of thriving as just an abundance. Like, “Oh, there’s money here, everywhere.” And I was actually out in the garden and looking at a plant and I was like, “Oh, that plant is really is a hosta. That plant is really thriving.” And I was like, well, what did I mean by that?”

Marty:                          21:58                And it was like all the leaves are healthy and the flowers are out, but it had been watered correctly. It had been in the right shade or sunlight that it needed. Thriving also means that you’re operating in a context and environment that supports you. It means you’re utilizing your resources well. It doesn’t mean that you’re like money everywhere necessarily. It means that you fit into the ecosystem and you’re thriving and the things that you take in, feed you and what you produce has value to your environment too. Right?

Dr. Dave:                      22:32                Yeah.

Marty:                          22:33                In there.

Dr. Dave:                      22:34                That’s excellent. Some form of nurturing, it’s part of a thriving business. That enables your business to thrive.

Marty:                          22:42                Yeah. I think you have to look at… Again, it’s not just profit loss that’s a marker. But is the organism healthy? Are the teams functional? If you’re dysfunctional, you’ll get brown withered leaves on it. That’s why.

Dr. Dave:                      23:01                You talk about agile. As a natural default for how you operate your business, but do you apply agility throughout your organization? Is that something that’s part of your DNA?

Marty:                          23:15                I think definitely, yeah. Particularly an area I didn’t know anything about marketing, but it’s the same thing I look at. Well, are we in a really exploring stage? Do we need to run experiments? Do we need to just try a few things here? Or are we experienced, can we take bigger steps in what we’re doing. Certainly one of the big ones is limiting work in progress. Especially small business. There’s 100 things that we want to do. There’s 200 that we need to do, but we know that’s like having 10 things in progress is not where you want to be. You got to you got to serialize some of your work. You have to pick what’s most important.

Marty:                          24:01                In fact, I think trying to apply it to the business, it’s tough in that if you come from a software development, you kind of understand the context, but you have to start to see the patterns in your business.

Dr. Dave:                      24:14                Right.

Marty:                          24:15                Like prioritization on that. Like if we have a shift over to software [inaudible 00:00:24:21]. So, I don’t know if I mentioned to you, we have a small consultancy here at Alchemy. We’re actually actively building products for clients, as well. Which has been great for me because I get a place to try software development the way I think it should be done. It’s tough when you’re a software developer. Well, you train people.

Dr. Dave:                      24:37                Yeah.

Marty:                          24:39                Your ability to apply [Agile 00:24:41] is [inaudible 00:24:42] often by the organization that you’re in.

Dr. Dave:                      24:44                Certainly, and the people.

Marty:                          24:46                Exactly. Yeah. Priority for businesses, it’s a product backlog. You’ve got to choose what’s most important. And I’m going to get back to this question here because it’s important. One of the things I’m doing in our lab that when we work with clients is I ask questions like, “What’s the simplest happy story you could tell about this product?” As a way to… What’s MVP? What’s really going to make… And it’s kind of the same in the business I had, just this last year, I was like, “I’ve got all these growth plans. We’re going to grow like this.” And I just started throwing that at everybody and I just created chaos. It’s sort of like saying, “We got to build this feature and this feature and this feature.” And then, I was like, whoa. I made that mistake and nobody’s happy. Talk about autonomy, lack of autonomy. I’ve given people, including myself, too much to do. And it went back to what’s the simplest story? And I told the team earlier this year, I said, “Look, we need to prioritize us being happy at work.”

Dr. Dave:                      25:44                Yeah.

Marty:                          25:45                Back to that organism, if we’re not operating in a way that we like our work. That’s step number one. You know, so that’s to me.. I felt that wasn’t aligned with agility was, and man, we just had this aha that we don’t really talk about that they maybe we should be, is the team happy? And we are, we operating our team mechanics, like people want to focus on the product, but if that’s your back to thriving, if that’s the organism, it’s almost like that’s, we talk about sprint zero but say it’s like backlog items zero and that kind of taps I guess into the whole retrospective tradition too.

Dr. Dave:                      26:23                Yeah. You know, it’s important to have happy contributing people, not just contributing people, but they’re happy. They’re happy to be there, they’re happy to show up at work and happy to work with each other and, that’s hard to do. But you know, as a leader, that’s kind of part of your responsibility of trying to craft and an environment that works like that. And so I’m glad to hear that you have recognized that. Yeah. So if there was one thing that will, you would say that, you know, hey, you know, this was such an amazing experience. Here’s one thing that I would like to just attribute that to.

Marty:                          27:04                To which thing? I’m sorry, I fondled.

Dr. Dave:                      27:06                It’s just any one thing you had been for three year experience. Just pick any one thing that you would say that has been like a great experience or a great story that you would just like to just call out.

Marty:                          27:20                Sure. You know, I think I’d have to go with one of those student moments of one of our students, Charlie Welsh and some of us, I didn’t know until later, but she, a single mom had literally gotten to a point where she was couch surfing, didn’t have had a car, didn’t have a home, but had friends. Obviously sleep on couches and went through the program, extremely dedicated and then went out and was able to very quickly secure job. In fact, got recognized, did well enough of that job that she won a women who code rising stars award.

Dr. Dave:                      28:05                Nice.

Marty:                          28:06                You know, and then came back. And then I heard the story about, you know, here was my life and we just, we just bought a house.

Dr. Dave:                      28:14                Wow.

Marty:                          28:15                You know, and that, and some of the stories about going from that despondency of not even having a place to live but you know, needed to take care of your kid too. I’m living a good life. I’m providing for my family. You know, if I get it, I think 10 20 years from now, like that’s, that’s what I’ll remember.

Dr. Dave:                      28:38                Yeah I mean.

Marty:                          28:39                Are those kind of moments.

Dr. Dave:                      28:41                That is a shifting legacy moment. Is the way I would phrase it. Right we have shifted the experience of her being here shifted her legacy to a point where wow, yeah, now she could really sustain herself and her family.

Marty:                          28:56                Yeah.

Dr. Dave:                      28:56                Yeah.

Marty:                          28:57                So I know you asked one, but I, I’m actually going to add,

Dr. Dave:                      28:59                Add another, give me some more.

Marty:                          29:05                So it’s great to inspect, but I want to share some like internal developer, you know, one of the real joys for me of this has been to have a position on the craft or an outlook on the craft where I am thinking hard about how to break this down for new people and just the level of depth as a developer, as a technologist, when you have this opportunity, when you are engaged with it but not in product development mode and when you’re teaching you’re constantly curating. You’ve got to make choices about how do you expose people to this stuff. Because in tech in general, we do an awful job at providing curated information. You know, you go to most docs and it’s like it’s exhaustive, it’s all the commands, you know, which, which makes it an assessable.

Marty:                          30:01                So you’ve got to, when you’re teaching, you’ve got to really start to think about it and then you start to have almost like an academic research experience where you’re like, that’s really interesting that you know, that language construct is like that or you prepare demos where it’s like you have one hand tied behind your back. It’s like, okay, I can’t use any syntax I haven’t introduced.

Dr. Dave:                      30:24                Mm-hmm.

Marty:                          30:25                And so it’s really been a joy to have three years of immersive. I’m coding everyday. We do live coding, I’m coding all the time. It’s not like I stepped away from it like a manager. Right.

Dr. Dave:                      30:40                Yeah.

Marty:                          30:41                And it’s been a neat experience to have that researcher reflective thinking time about code, about coding, about process. You know, we, those of us who’ve been doing agile, we often know what works, you know, and I think getting organizations to do it as another thing, but I think in terms of can we build it well, there’s really enough, you know, things like TDD and testing and approaches and refactoring that you can do a pretty good job building it well at least I think, you know, there.

Marty:                          31:21                But you look at that how we do it in there’s practices, but then it’s like how do you explain that to someone who’s new? Like why? Why does TDD work? Why does test first thinking work and, and actually having time to think about what we do and deconstruct tacit knowledge. You know, when you’re building things, when you’re like next product, next release, you don’t have that level of reflection on what is it that software developers do.

Dr. Dave:                      31:47                And that’s true because even at the academic level, if you go to a regular college testing isn’t one of the things that we really think about, right? Mean the thing you learn how to code, you learn. you know, different constructs to use and data structures and algorithms and all of this wonderful stuff. And to me it’s wonderful stuff. But we don’t spend a lot of time talking about coding. You know, I would have people as a manager, have people who would come and work for me who do not want to care, who don’t want a mob. I don’t want to do that. I now understand why. Because where they came from is that you are the lone ranger because that’s what we taught. You spent four years of going to have a code that way. It’s hard to break out of that.

Marty:                          32:35                Yeah. And, and I think probably you’re in as a consultant is another arena where you’re afforded opportunity to reflect on that because you’re going to help your clients. And I was just surprised that this environment actually for instructors, you know, I kind of think about it, that the bootcamp coding schools were really like a rethinking of education based on an immediate need as the supply and demand came up. But it was a pragmatic solution. It was driven out of immediacy and need and it’s really disrupted education, I think given as success and it’s going to continue to, I think we’re on a rise of vocational training as a viable path and not only as an economic booster,

Dr. Dave:                      33:20                I think it’s a beautiful thing, you know, as opposed to spending four years.

Marty:                          33:24                It’s very agile.

Dr. Dave:                      33:26                It is very agile to. I like it.

Marty:                          33:28                It’s like MVP, right? What’s a minimum viable of developer that you need out there and what’s really, and it just one of these things where you could strip, we don’t need that because we don’t have that. We don’t need these things in there. But I think there’s an opportunity to do the same thing for the academic research thing out of the university context and into this other context that we have here that is vocational. And it’s that level of thinking that’s really only going on at agile conferences and those of us that love agile. But here it’s forced me to deconstruct it. Like, what? Why did, why was I successful in my career as a developer? You know? And it’s like you can give them the laundry list of practices and go back to the 12th principle, whatever that’s more about right when you get it down to, for me, that’s been a super joy of this job is to reflect on two decades of work and have that kind of space. Even though I’m pretty busy, but that’s my job.

Dr. Dave:                      34:28                Yeah, it is your job. So Marty, thank you so much for the insights about alchemy.

Marty:                          34:34                Mm-hmm.

Dr. Dave:                      34:35                You know I’m really looking forward to sharing this back with the community and having people learn more about, we’ll what your doing. I think it’s really a good thing.

Marty:                          34:46                Well, thank you.

Dr. Dave:                      34:46                So great job. Thank you.

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This podcast and interview produced by Dr. Dave Cornelius

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