Before being “known on the internet” with Ben Orenstein (Tuple)

Ben Orenstein joins me to talk all about before being “known on the internet”
Ben Orenstein joins me to talk all about before being “known on the internet”

"Being next to a person who cares a lot about the craft of programming was really what turns me into a software engineer like someone who can make it a happen for real"Ben Orenstein

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Ben Orenstein:
Ben's Company, Tuple
Ben on Twitter: @r00k

Brian Casel:
Brian’s company, ZipMessage
Brian on Twitter: @casjam

Thanks to ZipMessage

ZipMessage (today’s sponsor) is the video messaging tool that replaces live calls with asynchronous conversations.  Use it for free or tune into the episode for an exclusive coupon for Open Threads listeners.

Quotes from this episode:

Quote 01:

Ben: My dad was also in sales in the high-tech industry. He worked for AMD the chip maker for most of his career. And so that was actually really nice because he was in the tech industry, I got into computers at a young age, like we had a computer at our house before. A lot of people did, I think.

And yes, I discovered at a quite early age that I was obsessed with this particular thing and wanted to play with it all the time.

Brian: That's cool. Yeah. I mean, my dad wasn't in the tech industry, but he was sort of like, you know, one of the like the early like early adopters of computers getting really excited about it. So, you know, like the old school, like Prodigy Service and.

Ben: Oh, yeah, yeah. Prodigy, yeah. Yeah. I forget sometimes that, that was like - really that was lucky. I had a lucky break there was exposed to this thing early on.

Quote 02:

Ben: College is really fun. I think you should probably go. There are not a lot of times where you're going to get to do what you get to do in college, and it's an amazing life experience, so you should probably do it from that perspective. Try not to go into a ton of debt to do it because it's probably not worth that unless you're in a... I mean, if you're a major in computer science, you can probably pay off your loans to probably be successful there.

But I think you should mostly like my opinion of college is like it's mostly a boondoggle financed by your parents slash the government. And so you should like go and have that incredible experience because it is really fun and like living by yourself for the first time, it's great. So I think there's a lot of lessons and like enjoyment to be had there, but if you're not that into that idea and you're just like, I want to know how to like make it make things like I would, I would say like a computer science degree is probably the slowest path to that And like a boot camp is going to be a much better
the choice for you.

Brian: Yeah, for sure. I agree with that.

Quote 03:

Ben: In terms of like workflows or skill sets that kind of unlocked super powers that lasted the rest of your career like that. Like, for me, that's one of them was like the ability to, figure out how to build something, you know? Hmm. It's hard to break it down I mean, I learned so many. I feel like I basically went from programming because it's like I touched on there really was not that much programming in my computer science degree.

There was some, but not a lot Um, I was doing some programming at Meditech, but not like, not any sort of modern programming. And so when I joined this place, it's called Dana-Farber. It's a cancer research institute, but I joined Dana-Farber. I was actually writing Ruby-on-Rails app next to somebody kind of all day long, and we would like like a program like, like, I would plug a keyboard into his computer and we would sit next to each other, and we were like, tackle things together.

And he would review all my play requests and gave me a ton of feedback and, um, being right next to a like person that cared a lot about the craft of programming and knew a lot about it was really what actually turned me into. Like a software engineer, like someone who could make something happen for real because there's like, there's, there's like 5000 things around programming that are involved to like, actually like get a product out the door.

And so it's not just like, do you understand Ruby syntax? Do you know what the object hierarchy looks like? It's like, yeah, sure. That's part of it. But there's like a million other things along that goes with it. This is around when I started learning them, for example, which became a pretty core part of my toolkit.

I'm still a VIM user today, like years later. More than a decade later.

Brian: Yeah.
Before being “known on the internet” with Ben Orenstein (Tuple)
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