Backend Banter

Lane chats with Trash, a Netflix engineer and code streamer on Twitch. They break down Trash's story: how he got into coding, from being a mainframe developer all the way through his days as a backend engineer to a frontend developer at Netflix.

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What is Backend Banter?

The only podcast dedicated to backend development, technologies, and careers. Lane Wagner, the founder of, interviews successful backend engineers to get their takes on various trends, technologies, and career tips for new backend developers. Golang, Python, JavaScript, and Rust are the programming languages most commonly discussed, but speakers dabble in all sorts.

# Trash Dev

**Lane:** [00:00:00] So when I applied to Go Jobs, there's just there's just like nobody else there.

They're like, oh, I guess we'll hire you. We, we don't like you very much, but it's all we got.

**Trash:** you, you, you, you can use the keyboard. That's good enough. Here come, come work with us

**Lane:** Imagine that Facebook, I don't know if they're the right example at the moment, but let's just pretend they are. Meta opens up a new role for a Junior React developer, right? It's fully remote.

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** the number of people that are applying for that role. Like

you're competing with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people.

**Your resume's probably going straight into the bin.** So there's like something to be said about doing the thing that not everybody is doing or not what they're qualified for.

Like doing something a little, esoteric, a little strange


**Lane:** Great to have you on the show. Trash?

**Trash:** That's me. I don't even know my real name anymore for being honest.

**Lane:** Why did you brand yourself as trash [00:01:00] dev? Where, where did that come from?

**Trash:** So rewind to the beginning of the pandemic, which I think was March, 2020 is when it started. So that's when I stopped going into the office and I was like I want to talk to people cause I love gonna the office and just hanging out with like other engineers or whoever. So that's when I started streaming on Twitch and I was like, okay, I need a name.

So given my imposter syndrome and other things, I was like let's give the viewers low expectations so they don't come in and backseat code me, right?

**Lane:** Yeah.

**Trash:** I was like, let's just, let's go with trash. If the trash was like taken. And I was like I'm coding so let's just try dev. It worked and then it just stuck after that. It was

**Lane:** It's a big shame that you had to get that underscore in there. Did you try to grab the handle without the underscore first?

**Trash:** Dude. Yeah. Imagine the word trash is just so common. I, I, I try to get it on all platforms. It's like literally impossible to get the word trash, just cuz you know, that's one of the words that one of the most commonly used words ever

**Lane:** I actually started boot dev then like the same month you started streaming. It was [00:02:00] like when the pandemic broke.

**Trash:** Is that what like, encouraged you to do it? Was it just what am I gonna do now?

**Lane:** Actually no, I think it was just completely coincidental. I like. As the pandemic like, had started, it was like the week or two before, like the news had really circulated. I was going down to Lake Powell, I live here in Utah with, with family. And I just kind of like coded the first iteration of the platform, like on this seven hour car ride with my laptop. It just

**Trash:** Is you not get carsick

**Lane:** no. I the effects of starting to get old have only happened to me in the last couple of years. Like now things start to affect me, but like in, in my earlier twenties, it wasn't wasn't a problem at all.

**Trash:** So were you just hanging out in the car and you're just like, I'm just gonna do whatever this random idea popped into my head.

**Lane:** No, no. Like I'd wanted to build something for backend developers for a while in the education space.

**Trash:** Gotcha.

**Lane:** think backend development has been lost and forgotten amidst all the front end frameworks, but it just was convenient timing,

**Trash:** gotcha. Yeah, I mean if you think [00:03:00] about the internet's definitely the louder voices are definitely like the front end community, which is, I think it's because there's a lot more churn going on in that space, or there's always something new happening, right? Whereas you think about backend, a lot of those languages are old and pretty stable, right?

So that's like why I think like you have such an imbalance of voices there. But yeah, it's interesting.

**Lane:** Yeah, I, I've thought a lot about this. I think, like my current working theory is, is like that, there's two things. First is that the front end world, like moves way faster technologically in terms of like new products and frameworks. So there's just like inherently a lot more to generate buzz around if you. Hang out on tech Twitter.

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** but also I think front-end developers tend to be like, th this is me, just stereotyping now tend to be a little more personable and enjoy creating content more so you just get more front-end people, like inherently sharing and stuff on Twitter, like the vast majority of backend developers like you probably can't even find their social media accounts.

**Trash:** Yeah, I mean if you also think about like front end development's, visual, [00:04:00] right? So it's if it was backend, what would you show? Just like code snippets and then maybe like benchmarks or something, right? Whereas when you think about front end development, it's ooh, animations cetera, et cetera.

**Lane:** docs.

**Trash:** Exactly. Yeah. It, it's a, it's an interesting space. Like I've, I've always thought about this dynamic between, and

I'm pretty new to tech Twitter, maybe like a year in, and I, I, I, it's crazy to me that there's like this ecosystem within engineers and there's this like social status almost within the engineering community, which is just blows my mind.

If I told my friends that there's like a hierarchy of nerds on the internet, they'd be like, are you kidding me?

**Lane:** Yeah,

sniping each other on Twitter. And it's like such a small community comparatively. If you compare tech Twitter to like the actual tech world, it's like unbelievably tiny. If I polled 15 of my past coworkers and asked them who, the most popular tech Twitter personalities I know of are, I don't think any of them would know who they are

**Trash:** Yeah, my [00:05:00] coworkers literally don't go on Twitter, and it's great. I'm like, don't go there. I don't even talk about, I don't even bring up Twitter in general, but I couldn't imagine being on a team where everyone was on tech Twitter. I'd be like, oh, no, . Oh no.

**Lane:** Yeah, that'd be weird.

team I've been on I've only been on tech Twitter for the last couple years, like since starting Boots Dev, like Yeah, no one knows. It's, it's a small, it's a small isolated world that's for sure.

**Trash:** Yeah. Agreed. Agreed.

**Lane:** So I want to get into your story and talk a little bit about, you know, how you got into tech.

Obviously now you stream code, you work at Netflix, but a lot of times kind of the origin stories get lost in the noise. Tell me about the first time that you really started to code. It could even be like pre-learning to code, like what was your first experience with any sort of code?

**Trash:** So I'm a very old man. It was in high school and the only way I could go to a different school where all my friends went, basically our school district, they opened up a new school. So all my friends [00:06:00] were going to this other school and I was in zoned in it. But the only way I could go is if I joined their magnet program.

And go to that school. So the, what I did was in their magnet program, there was an Oracle Academy for databases. So if you're not familiar with Oracle, it's like a database thing. So I went, I entered their SQL Academy, and I did that for two years just so I could go hang out with my friends. So that was like my first like introduction to just like program in general.

Obviously it's not like C sharp or C or whatever, but it was database related and it was like my first like exposure to like the IT world, I guess you could say.

But I never wanted to be an engineer. Programming never crossed my mind. I actually, in college, I don't have a CS degree. And when I did have a programming class, I did terrible because I just, I, I hated it.

I just did, I did do goose, do do good in school in general, addicted to video games. And that's all I did. So I graduated and I couldn't find a job. And this was like during, so if you think about the economy now, back in 2008, nine was a very similar time. Everyone was [00:07:00] having job freezes and stuff.

So I, I got outta college and all my friends that were like with CS degrees or like IT focus degrees, they were all getting jobs during the summer. And I was like, I don't know. And I was just stuck during the summer, like with no job. And I was like, I don't know what to do. And I was like I took three programming classes in college, I think.

I think they were programming classes. So I went on Craigslist and there was a link that just said Programmer 1. And I was like whatever. and I just clicked it and applied

**Lane:** Classifieds

on Craigslist. That's that's an interesting strategy.

**Trash:** It was crazy. Cuz like back in the day it was like was like the main one. I don't even think like LinkedIn was a thing. I'm like really showing my age here. But yeah, like Craigslist was like my last resort and I just like searched the technology section. And then I saw that and they called me up and I had to do my interview on paper and I just had to do like a couple if statements.

It was funny. I was just like, I did that and I was like, there's my, that was my first job. And it was

**Lane:** into a physical building, sat down, they handed you a pen, [00:08:00] and they're like, what does an if statement look like?

**Trash:** exactly if you like, if, if you've ever thought about school and you get like to teacher passes out paper for your test, it was just like, instead of multiple choice, it's write, write, write a paragraph of like your answer. It looked like that. It was like three questions, like spaced out on paper and I just had to write if statements, like different kind of conditions in each one.

And I was like, what is this? Luckily like I knew what an if statement was, I wasn't like a programming wizard, but Yeah. And it was a mainframe. Programming position. It was interesting.

**Lane:** that is. Okay. Hold on, back up. This is really interesting to me. When did you graduate high school? What year?

**Trash:** '03

**Lane:** Okay. And you, and then you went to college? No,

went to college but didn't get a CS degree.

**Trash:** No, no

**Lane:** What was your degree in?

**Trash:** Bus Business administration and, and some other, and some, like other term. There was like, it was like mixed with it, but I'll just be honest, I [00:09:00] didn't, I didn't do anything there,

**Lane:** got it. Okay, so you went to college. So what? You graduated college like 2007.

**Trash:** So I actually transferred schools and they didn't count any of my gen eds.

So my first two years just disappeared. So I had to do 'em all over again. So I graduated in oh nine.

**Lane:** Okay, so you graduated like at the bottom of the 2008 recession or I guess right as we were starting to maybe climb out of it?

**Trash:** Yeah, basically as I was graduating, I actually had some jobs lined up and they're like, we can't, we're freezing. Like we can't, we can't hire anybody. And I was like, now my plans are shot. That's why I was like, during the summer I was like, I don't know what to do. So yeah,

**Lane:** yeah. Okay. Okay. So you were applying for jobs that like weren't tech related, like business, like more pertinent to your degree, I'm guessing like business management

**Trash:** dude, I had no aim in life. I was just like, I have a people, like my teachers would tell me to apply to these companies, so we'll get, we'll get to into this later, but I had a job lined up at IBM to just be like a technical consultant [00:10:00] or whatever. But IBM had a hire. Yeah. So IBM had a hiring freeze and that's when I go find another job.

So a year, let's just fast forward real quick, but we'll get back to that. A year later, IBM then called me back and was like, We'd be, we wanna hire you back, but you have to take like a math assessment. And it was like all calculus and stuff. And I was like, thank God that, like I remember math from college, like I used to love math.

I don't even know algebra, algebra anymore, but in college I love math. So I did the math assessment did great. And then thankfully, like IBM was like, what kicked off my like technical career.

**Lane:** Got it. Okay. So you went back to IBM later after this first job where you took the interview on the The pen and

**Trash:** Exactly. Mainframe programmer. And then, and then thank God IBM called me . It was like, it was like, we need you.

**Lane:** mainframe Mainframe programmer was a role in 2009. That's crazy to me.

**Trash:** So I didn't realize how dated that technology was, cuz again, I'm not, I wasn't like a programmer, I wasn't really into the tech [00:11:00] technology scene, but I knew when I sat down on my computer, like if, if, if anyone has been to a McDonald's 15 years ago, it just looks like a green screen. That's what I was coding in like no auto


**Lane:** a

nasty terminal.

**Trash:** I was, it's just like a green and black terminal with, with like awful font. Go-to statements everywhere. . It's

**Lane:** like

like falling numbers was based on, or that look right?

**Trash:** Literally, yes, but, but worse cuz you're actually in it.

**Lane:** Yeah. Okay. So for some of our, some of our listeners might not know what a mainframe is, right? This is older technology. What's the difference between a mainframe and like what we do now and what did that tr what did that transition look like? When we stopped using mainframes and started using, you know, personal computers

**Trash:** if you think about mainframes, like they're still heavily used in our industry. If you think about fi, the fi like financial industry, like most of them are built on mainframes and you can't just migrate off of that. You know, you put your [00:12:00] entire foundation at risk if you try to migrate from that.

So a lot of companies are using mainframes today. And for ch, like for the full picture, we had a person come in with tapes, back up our stuff and go bring them to a vault down the street. And that's how we did our backups every week.

**Lane:** what? What do you mean by tapes? Like magnetic spinning discs. Like hard

**Trash:** Yeah. Like a legit tape. And we'd plug it into our system and we write all our data to it. And we'd have eight tapes and he'd walk out on a suitcase that's locked, like as, as if he was like, went as if he went to a bank and puts it in his truck and goes like an armored truck almost. And then go, drives it to a volt and locks our data in there.

**Lane:** Okay. That's nuts.

how long were you at mainframe company And

**Trash:** A year and a half. A year and a half.

**Lane:** did you say, sorry, I'm getting my, my storyline mixed up. Did you say you were writing SQL for this role?

**Trash:** No. So let's let's, let's, let's fix the timeline. So high school, junior year to senior year, I was doing SQL [00:13:00] as one class. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Then college at the business degree and now we're at the mainframe stage. So we did, I did that for a year and a half and IBM was like, trash, we need you.

And I was like, I need you

**Lane:** They said

**Trash:** I didn't realize, yeah. I didn't realize how dated this technology was, and I was like, there's no way. Like I'm doing modern stuff. There's no way.

**Lane:** you writing at the

**Trash:** A couple, so some Fortran, some cobol the main language was called RPG four. So I was on a.

As 400, which is a IBM mainframe.

I don't know like the exact specs, but I know it's like a IBM RPG four. And RPG is like a language for that mainframe. But we also integrated with other systems that were like on FORTRAN and stuff. And then there was this other language called Lanza, which created visual, think of Tableau or something that just created visuals from your data.

**Lane:** Yeah.

**Trash:** I don't even, I think it was called Lanza. I think that's an acronym. So if anyone's listening, look up Lanza. I don't know. And those were like my main languages. It it was, it was crazy. Absolutely crazy.

**Lane:** That's a [00:14:00] different world. I, my career started a little bit after that. So I'm familiar with what mainframes are, but I have not had the displeasure is how I would

**Trash:** put it. Yeah. Just imagine a huge, solid machine just sitting there . It was crazy.

**Lane:** it was all on-prem, like you had all the equipment in

**Trash:** Yeah, dude, when I went to go back up tapes, I go walk to another room and it's like a wall of just switches and it looked, it just looked like a scene from the sixties straight up. Like when you think of like operators plugging stuff into the wall when people call it looked like that.

And then we were like writing to a tape every day at 5:00 PM we go in there and we write to a tape, put that tape in a different dude, it was crazy.

**Lane:** No, that's nuts. Do you, do you look at that, you said year and a half, right?

do you look at that year and a half as a valuable learning experience? Was there like, not everyone gets the chance in 2009 to work with that kind of technology? I know we're not using it day to day, but


**Trash:** Yeah. It was my, [00:15:00] it was like pretty much my introduction to programming for real. So like I said, when I was in college, I didn't, I just played video games. I didn't really take academic stuff seriously. But. When your livelihood depends on you being a good programmer, it changes the whole psychology around it.

So like now I'm like, oh, if I'm not, if I don't get good at programming, I can't pay rent.

**Lane:** Yeah.

**Trash:** So it was like from that moment where I was like, I would just sit there by books and just read about it. So I just don't, so I wouldn't get fired. And that's like the moment when I was like, okay, this is like what I'm gonna be doing probably for the rest of my life.

And I never actually, it's weird because I always hated school, but when you get paid to do it, it's just you just try so much harder, I don't know. It's, it's crazy.

**Lane:** Yeah, you don't wanna fail like that. You know what you mentioned earlier about imposter syndrome, like

real. And I, and like I do have a CS degree, but

and I experience imposter syndrome from time to time, especially earlier [00:16:00] on in my career, and it's

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** without a CS degree, I imagine it's even worse potentially. We need to circle back to what games you played in college, because like boot dev is heavily we are huge video game nerds. Boot dev is

on like Dota two and World of

In terms of how we've gamified the platform. What games did you play the most?

**Trash:** So I actually pa played Counterstrike professionally for two years and that was like my last two years. I was just competing and I would play like 12 hours a day of CS 1.6. So that was like my main game for, for years. But then I was able to go pro and that's when like my last two years of college, I was just focused on that and it was like so primary

FPS player.

**Lane:** back then? I know Twitch wasn't really a thing yet,

**Trash:** dude, I wish, I wish Twitch was a thing when I was in pro gaming cuz a lot of the people that I played with are now super popular on Twitch. So there's Nothing from Evil Geniuses and Hiko and all these other people I used to play on teams with. And like my biggest regret is that Twitch [00:17:00] do didn't exist because I felt like my personality and persona was so good for it.

But yeah, it's interesting. It's like we didn't really get the recognition we deserve. So like the whole thing was like land tournaments. The only thing you knew about anything is like you communicate through M I R C. I don't know if you remember what M I R C is, but it was like that chat client.

And everybody was on it. It was basically just a big chat room and we would just travel the US and just compete and then we would go to world tournaments and yeah, it was, it was interesting. But that's how like I would get money is we would just have to win these tournaments. Top three get paid out.

So we would just, we were, we were based on the East coast, so we were just going up and down the East coast just like crushing all these noobs. It was, it was amazing.

**Lane:** That sounds fantastic. I never was into Counterstrike myself, but I watched a Did you, did you know about the website Counter Stick? It's like early two thousands, like flash videos.

**Trash:** big site we were on was rag. And that thing like fell apart at some year. I don't even know when.[00:18:00]

**Lane:** Oh,

**Trash:** What's, what's counter sticks.

**Lane:** was just like animated, joking videos about Counterstrike that I thought were hilarious, but

**Trash:** Oh, I probably saw those then. Okay. I definitely saw those then. Gotcha.

Yeah. there's a lot of those videos with the stick person that they're like crazy good animated. There's like a lot of kung fu stick figure people too. I don't know. It's nuts.

**Lane:** The early two thousands were great for flash, everything, like flash games, flash videos it was a different

**Trash:** I, I often, I often reminisce about the early two thousands. It was a much better life, I feel like for me, but yeah.

**Lane:** Yeah. I, I feel that. Cool. Okay, so we've, we've fast forwarded to. Your job at ibm. So what was it that made, that's kind of like, like what was it that made ibm, you said they reached out to you. Why? Why was that?

**Trash:** So my, the school I went to, and it wasn't like a great school or anything, but they were just one of the schools that they recruit from. So a lot of colleges like have a subset of colleges that you always go and do like on-campus [00:19:00] interviews for. So I got one of those on-campus interviews and I just happened to like, do good on it.

So I was able to line up, line myself up for a job there. So that was like I think I just I don't even think they asked me anything technical. It was like all personal or just behavioral and I guess like I won them over somehow thank, thank God. Yeah. And that was, that. It was crazy.

**Lane:** Okay. And how long were you at ibm?

**Trash:** Probably a year and a half, dude. I, it was actually a crazy situation. I was like sleeping under my desk and working like 12 hours a day. My job was to convert. A classic ASP web platform to and then convert a lot of the like, complex queries into some stored procedures. So I was able to use my Oracle background there, cause I used to, and I was just writing like a lot of pl, they call it pls, ql, like programming language, sql, where you can actually just write actual, like it just looks like a, [00:20:00] like a function essentially.


I was doing a lot of that stuff, but I was like working way too hard.

**Lane:** What's your life situation like? Do you have, do you have kids, do you have a wife? Are you like in a relationship? How, how are you able to spend so much time at work, I guess is my question.

**Trash:** well, at that time, right? That was a long time ago. So I was like, you know, A year and a half outta college. So I was just like, I think I, I had, I had a girlfriend with like my current wife, or my wife. It's not like I had any other wives, but my wife now she was my girlfriend at the time and we both moved up the, she moved with me to go work in ibm.

So I had a lot of time, because it was probably like early twenties you know, I have to pay the bills somehow, right?

**Lane:** it's a whole different, like you think about time. I, you have kids now, right? I,

I hear you mention 'em from time to time. I also have a

**Trash:** Yep. Yep.

**Lane:** You think

like way differently once you have kids. It's, it's a much different type of resource than it was before.

**Trash:** Yeah, so I have two kids. [00:21:00] How do, how many kids do you have?

**Lane:** Two, two and a half. And four, four month old.

**Trash:** Okay. I have a almost two year old and a. About to be five year old. It's, it's crazy. Yeah. I know how you feel and Yeah. Time right now is I literally don't touch my computer outside nine to five. It's cuz you know, switch to dad mode and, but it's good to have that separation for sure. It keeps you like on track.

**Lane:** Yeah. Yeah. Like before kids, it was like, everything was a mix of just my gaming life, like working out getting work done.

of do it all at any time. There wasn't there, there weren't hard constraints. It's a little different now. So why did you leave IBM after a year and a half?

That's not like a super long tenure.

**Trash:** Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I think it was mainly the work life balance. It was just like absolutely crazy. Like I remember my coworkers would come in and they would see me sleeping under my desk and they're like, what are you doing? I was like, I had to work till three in the morning cause we had a release.

And they're like, what the heck? And I was like, yeah, because when you're young you wanna prove [00:22:00] yourself and you wanna I would never do that again. But it was mainly cuz I was just like, just work to death wasn't honestly, wasn't like, paid enough for the, what I was doing, at least in my mind.

And I had friends that were working at other places and I would often hang out with them and they'd be like, why don't you come work at my company? And I was like, okay, why not? Get me an interview and I'll try it. Cause that's ultimately what happened. It was, it was just like not a healthy situation for me.

You know, the moment you're sleeping under your desk, you probably know something's wrong.

**Lane:** I, I've never done that. Like I feel like I've worked hard in my career, but I've never literally slept under my desk. That's like a whole, that's a different thing.

**Trash:** Yeah, it's, it's me either. And I was like, I can't believe I'm doing this. And I was like, I was like, this can't be, this is this can't be normal. So yeah, that's what kind of prompted that. It was, it was crazy.

**Lane:** Yeah. That's wild. Okay, I, I have a couple of questions regarding that whole thing. First. and a half at the ti I I I have two questions for you. At the time, were you worried that only being at [00:23:00] kind of two different jobs for a year and a half each would be like a black mark on your resume?

Had you wished you'd stayed longer? That's, so question number one is at the time, were you worried about it? And then question number two is in retrospect did it actually matter?

**Trash:** So there used to be like some kind of stigma around people jumping companies, right? If you ever saw a resume and you saw they were like leaving companies, you're like he is probably just gonna leave. My job in a year. So at the time I was thinking that, but you know, I'm never gonna sacrifice my own wellbeing for my company, right?

I'm sleeping on their desk I'm not gonna stay here. I don't, I don't care what that means for me in the future, right? But I, I always leave my companies for good reasons. I'm never just like leaving to leave, right? There's always something that's gonna be like pushing me somewhere else, or a reason why I wanna leave.

If we go back to the first job IBM called me back, of course I'm gonna go work at ibm. IBM at the time was known as like one of the best companies or top companies, tech-wise to work at. And I was like, yeah, I'm, I'm like, I'm coding, I'm coding [00:24:00] mainframe stuff. Yeah. I'm outta here. Like it's 2009, so yeah.

And then unfortunately it just didn't work out. Like it was good. Like I learned so much from just working there, but, you know. Yeah. I think, I think that's a common misconception though, at least nowadays where it can, I'm sure it's some people or some places it might hurt you if they see you jumping from job to job, but I feel like if you have good reasons and you can't really fault anybody for leaving their company.

There's always and I think, I don't even think you can ask to be honest. You can't be like, why'd you leave? Why'd you leave? Why'd you leave? You just, you know, I have faith in people usually, and I'm just like I'm sure they had good reasons to leave, so I'm not gonna hold it against them.

**Lane:** Yeah. So you recently published a video where you talk about learning and earning

**Trash:** Yeah.

**Lane:** I have, yeah, and I have like actually have a fairly similar kind of work history in the sense that like my average tenure at a company is like two years. And. For me at least, it's been like, you know, I feel like I go into a company, I, I get up to speed within, you know, a couple [00:25:00] months and then I can go hard for a

two years, and by the end of two years I slip into this rhythm where I feel like I'm just doing the same thing every day.

And so that, that's usually why I end up just leaving and finding something new, assuming that there's not some crazy reason to stay you know, a huge raise coming up or some, you know, options vesting or something. It's if I, if it makes sense to move, like I'm just gonna move. At least in the past things have changed this year, right?

With all the layoffs, but in the past it's been easier to get raises if you

couple of years than by staying within the same company. I don't know if that's been your experience as well, but.

**Trash:** Yeah, like the main reason usually why people leave is they just want that bump, right? It's usually I think I'm just gonna make up a, a number, but I think usually when people leave, it's like, at least 10% bump raise, right? Whereas usually if you stay it's 5%, 4%, what have you.

To be honest, like those numbers aren't even like that different. I remember I used to leave jobs, or I, I have left a job for what I [00:26:00] thought was like a way bigger pay raise, but then when I looked at my check, it was like, a couple hundred dollars extra. And I was like, what the hell is this ? So I stopped like thinking about the money unless it was like significantly different.

And I, I lean more on the learning phase, right? Because like I said in the video, I just, I'm very, I found like this newfound passion for engineering like maybe, maybe five years ago. And. Thank, I'm thankful for it because now I'm just like, so driven to be the best version of myself and, you know, I just, just wanna be smarter in general, right?

I always wanna feel like I'm like putting, doing my best work. So I just always have to be learning something new. And as soon as I'm not doing that, then I'll go somewhere else. But I always make sure like I'm doing my best work at that company. It's not like I'm like not doing anything.

You're like, eh, whatever. I'm bored. See ya. It's you know, I'll do what I can do for them to the best of my abilities, but at some point it's you know, there's not much else for me to do. It looks like we're stable. [00:27:00] All right. I guess I'm gonna, I guess I'm gonna move on and I, and I don't like, burn my bridges or anything, you know, I keep relationships with all my previous coworkers.

But, you know, there just comes a point where, you know, like you said, like after there's a point where everything gets repetitive and you're just like going through the motions and it's just eh, I don't really feel fulfilled unless. Something crazy is happening, which usually doesn't happen once your, your products become once you enter like that sustainment with just small features here and there, like it's like I'm just fixing bugs and whatever.


**Lane:** Yeah. Once the like adoption s curve of the product has tapered off at the top, again, it starts to get boring.

**Trash:** Exactly. Exactly.

**Lane:** problems are oh, the hardest problems are getting solved, like on that exponential growth trajectory. And then it starts to get a little Yeah.

**Trash:** Exactly, exactly.

**Lane:** that makes sense. So I'm actually noticing a really interesting pattern I, I've recorded now I don't know when this podcast is going to get released yet, but I've recorded about 10 episodes

[00:28:00] far and I've also noticed this in, in, in you know, the coworkers that I've worked with. But it seems to me that a lot of developers who've been in this industry for five plus years their start. Often it's some like weird, esoteric, like strange company, right? Like you worked at this mainframe company. I worked at like basically a hardware company that was like slapping sensors on bridges, like writing weird little scripts on raspberry pies to get stuff done. I talked to TJ DeVries and Melkey recently.

Both of them had similar like first jobs.

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** and I wonder if did, did we all stumble into these jobs on accident or is there like a strategy for new developers there? Is it easy, is it just easier to get jobs at like funky companies when you're new? Do you have any thoughts around that?

**Trash:** Yeah, I think at least for me personally, it's like I'm just. I'm gonna grab whatever, whoever wants me first, [00:29:00] right? . And if you think about it, like the tech industry is interesting. I, I can't, I don't, I can't really compare it to how it was in oh eight to how it is now or oh nine. But I imagine like someone with not a lot of experience it's, is probably, hold on, let's, let's back up.

Let me see how I wanna word this. It's a very interesting question. So for me, like my previous point, I just reach for whoever wants me first, right? I don't, I don't have enough experience to be picky. So it's I, I like Twitch didn't exist at the time, but it's I'm pretty sure Twitch went on me.

Like I didn't really have a CS degree or anything. But I didn't even try to reach for these huge tech companies cuz I just didn't. I just didn't think I had it anyways. Nor was I actually really aware of the tech scene at the time.

**Lane:** Yeah.

**Trash:** so I'm, I'm just, I'm just applying locally, right? It's whatever mom and pop shops around or whatever.

And I wasn't really part of a, like a tech hub city, right? I was like a small town, small beach town. Not a lot of [00:30:00] tech in general. So I think by default I'm already like pigeonholed to like these smaller tech companies. And I think it's also just a side effect. At the time that we were in, so 2008, you know, there wasn't many job boards like there like LinkedIn and like Twitter and all this stuff.

Like social media was just not where it was back then. You know what I mean? So being able to like network with people at these bigger companies just wasn't, at least at the time for me, I didn't know how to do that, right? So I only knew how to look like literally like in the Yellow Pages, if anyone knows what that is.

But it's like a little book that had like listings of all local businesses. That's one of the, one of the things that I would use to like, Look up whoever's local to me. So I think it's one side effect of just the technology at the time that kind of just kept me local to my ignorance at the time.

No different from like people or juniors reaching out today on Twitter. I didn't have any mentorship to help me there. And then three, just desperation. Like I just need anything, you know what I mean? , it's [00:31:00] who wants to hire me?

I don't care how much you're paying for me, it's better than $0 an hour. I will, I just want the experience. So I think like all those kind of culminate to, to where I end up. Granted, I could have worked at IBM out of the gate, but because of, because of hiring freezes, that just wasn't a thing.

But, but even if. Even if that IBM thing wasn't a reality to begin with, I still would've ended up where I was. Cuz at the end of the day, like they didn't hire me outta college, so I had to go do what I had to do to get a job. So I think like all those things and just the time and the place and just where tech was at the time was kind of that way.

If I had to compare it to today, it would probably be different because one, I would probably be on Twitter asking for mentorship and then I would hear all these opinions and I would see all these cool people working at cool places. So I would try my best to work at those cuz you know, if you're as a junior, I think it's really easy to be influenced on these kind of platforms.

So if I had that in my, in my [00:32:00] mindset, I would probably aim higher for sure. But yeah, I don't know. But not everyone, not everyone's built the same. Some people don't wanna work at big tech. And some people. like startups. I don't know. It's you know, different strokes for different folks. You know what I mean?

**Lane:** Yeah, absolutely. And you know, for people that can get those like immediate amazing jobs like right out of school or, or right after, you know, self-teaching or whatever I think that's fantastic. I just find it interesting like you said today, if you like follow tech Twitter or a bunch of tech YouTubers you'll hear a lot of the same advice and. thing that interests me, I don't have any data to back this up, but one thing that interests me is the idea that like if you experiment with stuff that people aren't really talking about, might have better success, right? Nobody was really telling me to go apply at these weird companies around town. But like it ended up working. And once you get that first job, I think it gets a lot easier to get the second, the third job,

experience on your resume just makes it so much easier to move around [00:33:00] within the industry. I think, I think there's something to be said of doing weird things, right?

And it's, you can't, I can't really describe what weird things are but almost everyone I talk to in tech has like a weird entry into, into the tech world. And, and I think that's that's telling in some way.

**Trash:** Yeah, I mean if you think about it, I puts a new thought in my mind, like if you're, the companies that I was working at are like maybe these smaller companies, they aren't considered sexy, right? In tech. So that by default, just like excludes a lot of people, right? So your competition pool is a lot smaller, and especially if they're just small mom and pop local shops, they're not even on the radar.

Internationally or internationally. It's all just local. So you have just your local competition, but then if it's just. Not sexy tech, then your competition's even smaller, so you know what I mean? So it's harder for them to find candidates to begin with. So if you come in waltzing through the door, ignorant as anything, they're like, please work with us.

You know what I mean?

**Lane:** Imagine that [00:34:00] Facebook, I don't know if they're the right example at the moment, but let's just pretend they are. Meta opens up like a, a, a new role for a Junior React developer, right? No backend experience required. It's fully remote.

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** the number of people that are applying for that role. Like

you're competing with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people.

Your resume's probably going straight into the bin. So there's like something to be said about doing the thing that not everybody is either just not what they're doing or not what they're qualified for.

Like doing something a little, esoteric, a little strange I feel like a lot of my early success in my career was due to the fact that I loved Go, like Back Before Go was nearly as, it's still not like this huge language, but it was even smaller back then. And so when I applied to Go Jobs, there's just there's just like nobody else there.

They're like, oh, I guess we'll hire you. We, we don't like you very much, but it's all we got.

**Trash:** you, you, you, you can use the keyboard. That's good enough. Here come, come work with us

**Lane:** Yeah, exactly. Okay, cool. I wanna get [00:35:00] back to your story. So you go to ibm, and then you leave after a year and a half. Where do you go?

**Trash:** So IBM was like government contracting. So to g paint a picture of the location, this was Northern Virginia, so Washington DC area, the primary like tech there or the industry is going to be like government focused or defense focused or whatever because you know, that's obviously the capital and et cetera.

So at IBM I was doing. Dd call it defensive department or I forget what DOD stands for. Anyways, department of Defense, I said defensive departments, then I , yeah, department of Defense. But yeah, it's just like D O J D O D pretty much just like you need a clearance for this kind of stuff too.

So it's one other thing I had to get a clearance, et cetera. So I went to another similar firm, just, I like IBM but a smaller, like a smaller one called Booz Allen. And they were just also specializing in government contracting, et cetera. So basically you get hired by Booz Allen, but then they contract your team out to you know, [00:36:00] some Navy projects air Force projects, et cetera.

So there I was doing net and then I was doing Action Script. That was like my first introduction to action script. And this is when Flash was still alive, cuz that's how old I am. So flash was still a thing. So I was making flash apps Doing a lot of, and it was a Microsoft stack. So one thing to note is the government is very heavy Microsoft, so it's Microsoft up and down like nothing else.

So obviously like SQL Server net.

**Lane:** They're paying like crazy Microsoft fees just to run Microsoft server.

**Trash:** Like my, my machine just comes loaded with everything. Microsoft everything I could ever want from Microsoft was in there. So yeah, I was like, I basically, ever since I was doing like DOD stuff, I was just stuck in this Microsoft ecosystem. So a lot of C sharp sql and then the action script stuff, and not really any JavaScript.

JavaScript came a lot later. But Action Script was like my intro to what JavaScript is today. It was [00:37:00] interesting.

**Lane:** Yeah, that makes sense. And how long were you working there?

**Trash:** Yeah, same kind of story about two years. So okay, here what's here's the interesting bit. So I stayed there for two years, left, went to like a, like a web agency to do Java. And I was like, I don't know Java. And I was like, my friend's you wanna come do Java? I was like, what's that? And I was like, cause I didn't know, cause like again, like I wasn't like a hardcore programmer.

I just did whatever I was paid to do.

**Lane:** agency doing Java. So this is backend Java monolith. How? How does that,

**Trash:** Yeah. Basically the agency had their own custom CSS that was powered by Java and they had their own custom Java framework. So it wasn't even like Spring Boot or anything, it was just our own in-house one, which actually was like, Really, really good. But anyways, yeah. So I would build out all the features for the CMS that just powered all of our client sites and, you know, a lot of, a lot of that.

And that's actually when I got introduced to JavaScript. But I only stayed there for a year because [00:38:00] it was actually like toxic there for me. And I went back,

dude, my first day this person was sitting next to me and they just started crying . And I was like, and they like ran outta the office and I was like, what, what, what did I do?

And it was my first time programming on a Mac too, cuz obviously I've, I've always been on a Microsoft stack or whatever. So I was like, I had a MacBook and I was like, what is this? Like I don't even know what Mac OS is, like what, what is this? But just to give a high level overview. I stayed there for a year, went back to Booz Allen.

And stayed for another four years. So it was like six years at, at one company, which is the longest I've ever been. Yeah. It's interesting. I was like really good friends with all my people there. Like we were all like, it was pretty much like running a small company within like a big company of just all your best friends almost.

**Lane:** That's awesome.

**Trash:** it's but we're still doing our job, but it was just like, I don't know, just being surrounded by all your good friends. So it was like really, really, really fun. And the work-life balance was really good. So[00:39:00]

**Lane:** So another four years at Booz Allen. So like now we're getting up until what? Like 2017? 2018 timeframe.

**Trash:** Yes. Yep. 2018. Exactly. Yeah, I think so.

**Lane:** Are you at Netflix yet, or not quite?

**Trash:** No, no, no, no. Dude, I've been, I've been around the block . So after I went back to Booz Allen that's when I, so I mentioned briefly at the. At the agency, I got introduced to JavaScript. Cause I used to,

so all the backend engineers sat in their own section and then all the front end engineers sat in their other section.

But I happened to be like, right where the two sections met. So I became friends with all the, all the,

**Lane:** team, but sat next

**Trash:** yeah like both of the edges were like touching each other. Here's like the aisle, they're hero aisles right here. So I'd be like, what are you, what are you working on over there? That looks cool.

They'll be like basically making the site responsive and blah, blah, blah. And writing JavaScript. I was like, I was like, I was like, looked at my computer, I'm just like, in a terminal or like [00:40:00] in IntelliJ or something and I'm just like, I'm like, I wanna do that. So I used to go out to lunchroom.

**Lane:** so everything else, in my opinion, looks pretty much better.

**Trash:** Exact Exactly. I was like pretty invisible in Java. I'm gonna be honest. Like it was, it was not, it was not fun. So I would go, go to lunch with 'em and they was like, teach me, teach me what they're doing. Like I remember one time the one thing that like made me want to do friend development is the engineer that was sitting next to me, they were making like a web player almost like Spotify.

And I was like, whoa, that's cool. But I was like the backend ENG engineer and I was feeding him all the data he needed to like, you know, make this stuff work. And I was like, I'd rather do that. And that's what flipped my switch. So when I went back to Booz Allen, I was like, I wanna do JavaScript only.

And they're like, fine. And then like I started just,

**Lane:** They

**Trash:** that's when, what was that?

**Lane:** Did they just let you hop teams? Switch over to the front end team.

**Trash:** Yeah, it's it's interesting. It's just one, one big engineering team and you just put yourself wherever you want [00:41:00] to be, so since it was like a team of backend engineers, mainly no one wanted to touch JavaScript. I was the only one that was like, I. I'll do JavaScript, like all of 'em, just wanted to stay in C sharp and write SQL or whatever, and I was like, I will gladly use JavaScript.

But the funny thing is, is that none of them wanted to write JavaScript. So we started using TypeScript back in like pretty early. So we were writing like J Query TypeScript, which is really funny. And then we were using super old frameworks. This was like when React wasn't even, it was like a war between React and Angular.

So this was like, like the timelines we're jumping around a lot on my timeline. But since I was at Booz Allen for four years, if you, you go from 2018, this was 2014 when I was picking a framework to use. So I was like, do you want reactor Angular? And I was like, I'll do angular, whatever. But yeah, that, that kicked off my passion.

So I started my, my career off as an angular dev mainly. Just doing TypeScript, so like I was still using like able to use types still. I wasn't like in the Wild West or [00:42:00] anything, even though it's still sketch in TypeScript. But yeah.

**Lane:** Okay, cool. I, so I have a question here that I, I think will be interesting to our audience. A lot of the people listening to this podcast or, or going through boot dev have done some front ends and actually had the opposite flip in, in the sense that they decided they didn't like front end very much, and now we're learning back in development. And one question I have for you is what's. What's a, like one of the differences that you see in terms of like interviewing for front end positions versus interviewing for backend positions? Because there's tons of interviewing and like career building advice for new developers, but a lot of the times the people giving the advice, aren't necessarily like putting in a disclaimer like, this is how you should interview as a frontend dev.

This is how you should interview as a backend dev and this is how you should prepare. But as someone who's clearly had a lot of experience doing backend development and kinda made a switch to frontend development how would you delineate like the, the career building [00:43:00] experience for those things?

**Trash:** So let me, let me confirm your question. You you're asking what are the differences in the interview process between front and backend? Almost

**Lane:** how would you

what are the different things you would do preparing for a front end role preparing for a back end role?

**Trash:** Hmm. It's interesting because when I switched to front end, I still had a lot of experience, so my interviews were. Still pretty like difficult in the same vein, so I would say like for my backend interviews, a lot more focused on object oriented like patterns and stuff like that. Definitely more like system design around like databases and just overall like more higher level like system design stuff, but obviously back Yeah, but obviously more backend oriented.

Like how would you like, you know, communicate with, from this service to this service? Or how would you architect this so it scales when you have X number of requests, et cetera, et [00:44:00] cetera. Like you think about more about like performance bottlenecks and stuff, at least for the positions that I was working on.

But then also just like database design, right? Because I was really heavy in the SQL stuff too, so we had to make sure you know, everything was like normalized. We had make sure our database schema was made sense. So a lot of those exercises But when I switched to the front end, like I feel like a lot of the positions I did front end for front end for still required a lot of backend knowledge still.

So I still got I still got those high level system design questions, not necessarily around like performance bottleneck on the server side, but still like how would you just architect your front and application, which isn't much, it is different, but in my brain, like being able, they're all just puzzle pieces and you're just playing 'em in places.

So instead of just like servers or maybe database tables and they're schemas or whatever, they're just like UI [00:45:00] components I guess you could say. I, I don't know,

**Lane:** like front end only, or have you pretty much always been full stack when you're working on the front end?

**Trash:** A lot of them have always been full stack, whether it's you know, I'll do some Ruby or some note or what have you. There's been one position after Booz Allen, so after Booz Allen, I went to Capital One and I was strictly a UI engineer there. Maybe like some slight small, small note stuff, but strictly just angular.

It was just an angular dev position. So my interview there was just like strictly UI and wasn't like too terribly difficult. But again, like for anyone listening, it really depends on where you are in your career. That's really gonna dictate the kind of questions you're gonna ask, right? You're like, you're not gonna ask someone, you're not gonna give the same interview to a junior than you would like a senior or maybe mid, right?

There's always, cause there's different things they're looking for, you know what I mean? So it's like my perspective's kind of skewed cuz when I entered the front end world, I had all this experience with me. So they just kind of like, Ask me [00:46:00] really like high level stuff around architecture and things, and my experience around that versus live code, this button or something.

You know what I mean? There wasn't like too much of that. But yeah.

**Lane:** that makes sense. So you are at Capital One, you're UI dev.

I, I want to get to Netflix. Get me to Netflix. What's next?

**Trash:** oh, we, we got some time. So after, so Capital One was my first job, I feel like, outside of the government space. So the reason why I left Booz Allen was I was just tired of working for the government. It was just the Microsoft stack. I was like, I'm just, I'm tired of using net or I was also like, just just that environment.

I was just done with it. Just wanna try something new. So Capital One was my first, like my gateway drug, like out of the government space.

And it was great. And I stayed there, honestly not that long because I. We wanted to move to the West coast, so this is all happening in like the DC area. And I was like you know, I'm getting older, I'm eventually gonna have kids.[00:47:00]

Or I actually did have a kid while I was at Capital One, but I was like, while, while he is still young, I wanna move. So I don't want him to go to school, then I take him out and then go move somewhere else.

like, this is the time, like as difficult as it is to move across the country with a newborn, I was like, we need to do it now before he's actually like making friends and et cetera.

So I started interviewing on the West Coast, up and down from San Francisco to la and I happened to land at a startup called goat. And if you're not familiar with that, basically, I don't know, are you into like sneakers or anything or anything like that?

**Lane:** Do I look like I'm into sneakers? Like I don't.

**Trash:** So there's like, there's like these two big players called, one's called StockX and other one's called goat. And they're basically like, Huge e-commerce platforms. So you can buy like Jordan's or like any, any kind of fashion, like fashion wear or anything, you would go to these platforms and then go buy it.

So the cool thing is like these people, I, it's basically like eBay specifically for like [00:48:00] streetwear, right?

So I can go sell my shoes on one of these platforms and people will bid on it and I'll bid each other and et cetera. So I went there and that was my first react job. So I've been in Angular and all that up until this point.

And on the West coast, apparently everything's react. But on the East coast a lot of things were just angular. But I was like, for me it was like, okay, I wanna see, everyone's talking about Silicone Valley or the West Coast and how tech is so cool. I was like, let me go work with these engineers and see like what they're really made of.

So I was like, lemme see how I, how I stack up on the tech scene. So I was like, I went over there and tried that out. So there's, I'm not on, we're not on Netflix yet. So after, after, I went to.

**Lane:** me the, give me the breakdown of East Coast versus West coast tech scene.

**Trash:** For me it's, it's harder because I've always been in this vacuum of government contracting. Which is like in the DC area.

**Lane:** East Coast to me though.

**Trash:** Yeah, it, it's, to be honest, I think a lot of the jobs, like a lot of people [00:49:00] flock to the DC area cuz when you think about the government, the government's always funded. So there's always money flowing into there.

So there's always gonna be positions available. Usually. Obviously given like the previous couple years, it's not as crazy as it was before. But you know, the government, especially for Department of Defense, you know, we need defense, so we're gonna put money into those programs, so that was like a lot of people flock to the DC area for that reason.

But yeah, as far as comparing the scenes, I mean it's apple and oranges just because one's government that I've been in and the other one is, Almost it is GOAT was a startup, so it was like I went from zero to a hundred almost. It was similar to the agency I was at.

I guess that was like, like my first kind of taste, but I I wasn't there long enough to like, and I was also doing Java, so I just purged like that job from my memory, like it just doesn't exist. But yeah yeah, if I had to compare East Coast to West Coast I, I feel like my perspective's skewed just because of my experience, but you know, it's, [00:50:00] I almost wanna say, and people might get mad at me, like the engineers I worked with in the DOD space were just like, I feel like they were better

**Lane:** the, the, the East Coast engineers were just actually better. That's awesome.

**Trash:** So let me, let me, let me back that up though, cuz this is actually gonna cause more turmoil.

**Lane:** just script kiddies That's what you're,

**Trash:** exactly. Can you think about the, the d o D space and like these bigger, like you had to wear like you had a dress up to go to work basically, so that kind of like paints a picture for you. So obviously when you have to wear a tie, they expect to have degrees like CS degrees.

I didn't have one luckily, like I just had experience, so they let me in. But these kind of contractors usually just hire from Ivy League schools, so a lot of just like those, you know, those popular schools that use things like Purdue Brown, et cetera. So I worked with a lot of those, those people. And I'm not saying like those engineers are better than anyone else, but like from a CS foundational [00:51:00] perspective and like the way they thought was wildly different than what I worked with, like when I first went to the West Coast.

Mainly because like when you think about startups, like CS degrees became not really a thing. Especially like my role at this company was more front end focus too. Like for those type of roles, you don't really need degrees anymore. No one's really caring about Big O, right? No one cares about the backend really.

So it's you know, just the, the personas I was around was just completely different. That doesn't mean like they're worse. I definitely said they were better, which is, I should probably table that back. I would just say they had different skill sets, you know what I mean?

**Lane:** I can't

cut out the section where you say that and then not, not provide the context.

**Trash:** you should have to be a really, really good clip. But yeah, it's, but it, it's just it's just like a different atmosphere. Like a lot of them, you know, the, the persona of a, and maybe I'm stereotyping them, but like these Ivy League kids, these Ivy League kids, they're like very [00:52:00] focused, you know, like not, I'm not saying they were like,

**Lane:** it. Is, is my perception. There's like,

there's like a more formal. both in the education that you go through, but

like the way you work. Like I worked at a company where the headquarters was in Chicago,

**Trash:** Mm-hmm.

**Lane:** to the other companies that I'd worked with that were all headquartered in California and yeah, like the CEO showed up in a suit, which is like

to me.

Like I started with, you know, California based companies. It's just like a totally different feel.

**Trash:** Yeah. I would say if there was like an actual difference, I would say way more laid back on the West coast, but again, my per my perspective's kind of skewed just cuz of the environment I was in. But yeah, I would say West Coast engineers are funner so far. . But, but yeah, it's just, again, like it's, it's, it's interesting just because of my positions that I was working at were different, you know what I mean?

But yeah, I think, I think obviously they're both good in their own ways. Like they both, but I think like the East Coast engineers were definitely like, very focused. Work ethic was like [00:53:00] pretty gnarly. So I was at GOAT for a while. I was leading the web team there. I was there for about a year and a half I think. So is this if you think about, if you think about my previous experience, like my, my pattern is like a year and a half to two years and then I go to a new company.

So I went to Hulu and Are you familiar with Hulu at all?

**Lane:** Yeah. The

Netflix, little green

**Trash:** yeah, , exactly. Little Netflix. Disney acquired Hulu when I joined, which I didn't even know at the time. I basically joined Hulu and then like our first town hall was like, We're gonna roll out all these changes cuz Disney's taken over and I literally didn't know that.

I was like, what? I was like, cause I just wanted to work at Hulu. I didn't really care much about Disney.

but anyways, that's a, that's a, that's an interesting story. But anyways, I worked at Hulu, so I was like, man, I wanna try like the streaming industry. I'm like, I'm a Hulu user. Like I love their platform, I love their shows.

And they're also known for just like paying decent amount in like the, I was in Los Angeles at the time, so they were known for having a little bit higher salary than what I was [00:54:00] making. And you know, I was, I was having another kid, I was having a second kid and I was like, all, I probably need to make more money because


**Lane:** good. We

**Trash:** Yeah, exactly.

LA was way more expensive than where I was in Virginia. Like I. Metropolitan errors are just crazy. So I was like, okay, I need, I need to like, look for something else. I love, I love my company, it was fine, but you know, in order for me to take care of my kids in the future, secure, like their futures, like I need to like, make a little bit more money.

But also I cared about the, the company I was working at too, right? Cause as you get older, whereas as you get more experienced, you can be more picky. You know what I mean? You don't just, you just don't reach for whatever, right? You're like, you know, I know what I like and I know if I don't do this, I'll be miserable.

That in mind I was like, okay, who seems like a good fit? And keep in mind my dream job was Netflix. Like the whole goal of going to Hulu was gonna be my stepping stone. Just so I can have what it's like in a streaming company to go ultimately to go work at Netflix. That was like,

**Lane:** why? Why was that? What, [00:55:00] what made you think at any point that like Netflix was the place to be?

**Trash:** I don't, it's interesting. I d I don't know. When that thought was implanted into my brain, what I think happened was when I started getting more into programming. Cuz like I said, like my first half of my career I was kinda just going through the motions and doing the job, but I got really into it. When I got into the JavaScript like front end world, that's when I was like,

man, I'm gonna live and breathe this stuff.

And I would just always see like blogs or tech talks. And they were always from Netflix. I was like, is everyone that work at Netflix a genius? Cuz that's all I see. Like

**Lane:** Discord was


like on the


and, and, and stuff. I, I've just been like consuming all these blog articles that Discord puts out. I'm like, I need to be at Discord at some point.

**Trash:** Exactly. So yeah, very, very similar like emotions there. And I was like, man, I would watch their content not like movies, but like their technical content. I would follow their technical [00:56:00] blog and I'm like, man, like this is nuts. I would love to be able to call these people my colleague.

And then I was pretty ignorant to salaries at the time. I didn't realize like what, like what salary bands were. And like I looked it up and I was like, okay, now I definitely wanna work at Netflix. You know what I mean? . So it's so it's you know, so I was like, okay, okay. I was like, I can work towards that if I work hard enough.

Oddly enough, when I started streaming on Twitch is when I actually was able to talk to Netflix engineers, namely like Primeagen and my friend Jordan, who used to work there at the time.

**Lane:** working at Netflix.

**Trash:** Yeah. So

**Lane:** Oh, okay.

**Trash:** that's how that's what pushed me to like actually apply. I never thought I had the skills to do it.

So when I first started streaming was when I was at Hulu. So I got my job at Hulu. And this was like at the start of the pandemic. So I joined, I think June, 2020, and then the pandemic started March. So I was like streaming a little bit right before I joined Hulu. And like at the time, like this guy Jordan was popular and Premin was popular at the time, so I'd always see him at the top of the [00:57:00] categories and they were both in Netflix.

And I was like, huh. And I would watch your streams and I would see what they're coding. And I'm like, man, you guys are like geniuses. I was like, I don't even know what you're doing. And I was like, okay. I was like, I guess I was right about Netflix. I guess people are smart that worked there, right? So like that made me more passionate about wanting to get in it.

And then I befriended Permian, I befriended Jordan, and they all convinced me, they're like, yeah, you should just apply. Just try it. And obviously my name was Trash Death at the time, which means I just had crazy imposter shit. And I was like, I was like, there's no way I could ever work at.

Netflix. So what I ended up doing was on my stream when I wasn't my stream wasn't as big as it was today. I would just sit there and just build not even talk to anyone, really. Just code the projects I needed to code just so I could like, you know, I wanna make sure I was like, I knew what I was doing and just always constantly learning.

So I just built like a ton of projects and I was like, you know what? I think it's time. And I remember I went to Hawaii on a family vacation and one of my friends that works at Netflix lives in Hawaii. So he, we [00:58:00] actually hung out on the beach and we're just sitting there having beers on the beach and he's just apply dude.

And I remember that day, went back into the beach house and just cold applied. Didn't even get referral. Just cold applied to three positions. And then I remember when I flew back home, I got an email from Recruiter. I was like, holy shit. I was like, this is crazy. And I guess,

**Lane:** and you didn't even use them. What,

**Trash:** so this is the funny part I was asking, I was gonna Jordan was gonna be my referral and I dmd him and I guess he didn't see it and he didn't reply.

And I was like I don't wanna bug him again. So I was like, I think my resume's good enough for them to call me back, especially cause I have Hulu and Hulu was like a direct competitor, so I'm pretty sure that's what got me the interview is because, oh, Hulu, let's poach this guy. You know what I mean?

But yeah, the rest is history. Like I did, I got the interview and I just. To be honest, I just crushed it. It was a very long process, but I just demolished it. And the rest is history, you know, and I'm just like super thankful I am where I am today. But yeah, I don't know. It's just, it's crazy to think that and like I think it's wrong [00:59:00] to kinda hold companies on pe put 'em on pedestals.

Like I wouldn't recommend that for anyone. But you know, I just, I was inspired at the time by Netflix and like all the engineers I saw all the stuff they're putting out and that's what really what drove me first and foremost. Like the money was secondary for sure. But my initial, what, what initially piqued my interest was just like the, the individuals that are putting out tech content for them.

I was just like, man, this is nuts. You know what I mean?

**Lane:** That's such a cool story, man. I, I, I'm glad you're able to tell the whole thing. I

**Trash:** Dude, it's a long story.

**Lane:** It's a

**Trash:** is a long story.

**Lane:** You're old God

**Trash:** I'm so old. We need five hours, dude. It's like a novel and I like, I like that. I feel like I, I dumbed that down a lot.

**Lane:** over. I'm just kidding. man. Okay. I have one last question for you. Cause I want to like, tie your story back into you know, how our listeners can, can take something interesting from it for their careers. If you [01:00:00] had, let's say you had a little brother. 30 years old has worked with computers in the sense that is is tech savvy but kind of has, has self-taught, right? Self-taught, programmer 30 years old, feels like they have specifically backend development skills. They can build crud applications. They know sql, like all this kind of stuff. What's what piece of advice would you give them? How would you recommend they go about getting that first job? would you recommend going straight and, and applying to Netflix with no CS degree, but like a bunch of projects under your belt? Or would you recommend looking at smaller companies? Like how would you talk to that


**Trash:** So I wouldn't, I wouldn't tell them to aim at specific companies. If they wanna apply there, they can definitely apply there. I think what matters is what they're doing in preparation, if they ever do get that interview. So for me it's let's, and let's just talk about the current tech industry.

Like it's hard to find a job right now. That's no secret, like

layoffs happen. Ton of competition. For me, like my current [01:01:00] recommendation is like you have to build and just get seen whether your product's amazing. If your product's amazing, that's one thing. Like you can. Probably get a job just by building a popular product, right?

But not everyone wants to build, not everyone has those ideas, so it's not really for everyone. So then, like my other option is open source, contribute to like projects, right? They don't necessarily have to be popular but it makes your work visible, you know what I mean?

**Lane:** Yeah.

**Trash:** I do think it's harder for backend engineers to display their work, especially when it's closed source, right?

It's what do you have to show? Like you have your experience, but if you don't have experience, how do you, like, how do you, how do you come across as like competent? And for me it's like you have to build projects and they have to be semi complex. Like you can't just build hello world things like they can't be trivial.

Like you have to build. Some like real world stuff for sure. But then like even take that further to the open source open source world to where it just shows that you can collaborate with other people. You know, they can actually review your work [01:02:00] again, they can see like your pull requests, see how you interact, how you take feedback, you know?

And it just shows like your soft skills as well, you know what I mean? So for me it's like build, build, build open source if you can or you should. I feel like open source is for me is like one of the hands down best ways to get a job,

**Lane:** you're not

your projects that are for your job, like to me, that's absolute insanity.

you can provide all of this signal up front to the employer. You should, you should be doing that,

**Trash:** Exactly. It's and I feel like it makes the interview process even easier cuz you're talking points are just your projects. It's I saw this project, like what were like your pain points, et cetera. Like how did you scale that? And it's like you you basically dictate your own interview in some cases because they just wanna know about the stuff you've been building and they can just.

Look at your work straight up. So I know, like I've interviewed a ton of candidates. When I see open source stuff, I go look and I go look at their gito profile and I look at their prs. I'm like, man, like he knows what he's doing or he or she knows what he's doing, right? I'm like, I [01:03:00] don't really have much to ask him.

Let's just see if he fits in. You know what I mean? So those are like

**Lane:** yesterday that

a markdown. markdown linter in rust. To,

**Trash:** see? Exactly.

**Lane:** idea for a backend development project. He, it was

right? I could go just look through the code. It did something interesting and he didn't need to build this know, front end app in order to show off what it is.


like, you know, this is how you install it, so you run it, it does this thing. I couldn't agree more. Like build, build, build.

**Trash:** Yeah, I think one other reality is that depending on your experience level, you will most likely get hit with some leet code ish type questions. So it is obviously if you're interviewing somewhere and you don't know that's gonna happen and you just get, and you just get blindsided by 'em, that just means there was a bad company or a bad recruiter.

But ideally if there's leak code coming up, you should know that it's gonna be happening on an interview. So I always try to at least know the basics or keep my foundations somewhat solid. I'm not saying go grind leak code [01:04:00] hearts for 2020 years. But at least be able to talk through those problems, right?

You don't necessarily have to solve the problem, but you can conceptually like talk about it, right? And I think that's good enough for a lot of people, to be honest. Obviously depending on where you're interviewing, if people talk about the FANG and like how you know, they have to weed out people with these kind of processes but it's not always true.

That's kind of like, it's not always true in most cases. So again, build, build, build open source. Please put your work out there for people to see. Obviously networking is a big thing, right? So tech, Twitter as cringe as tech Twitter is I think it is a helpful tool and I think it is motivational to be honest, to be surrounded by other people that are in the same situation as you trying to find a job, right?

Because it can be very alienating doing that by yourself. Like right now, like I see stories of people just applying, not getting any responses and they just They're just sitting alone in miser being miserable. But when you can share those experiences with a community it's like it's a [01:05:00] lot easier to get through.

So I always recommend people to like, you know, gravitate towards good communities. Whether it's mine, primes, melies, whoever. We all have communities, like ultimately we want people to succeed. So if you need something like that, I would, you know, employ everyone to take that route. But yeah.

**Lane:** That's fantastic advice. To distill it down, build, build, build. And I would almost just say put in the work, be better. Make sure that when you do get that interview, because there is a certain amount of luck that that's involved with, you know, getting an opportunity to interview. Just be ready to crush it.

And, and, and if you can do that, you're in like the top 20 10% of candidates. In my opinion. Most people don't crush their interviews.

**Trash:** yeah, like there's no worse feeling then. Knowing, knowing that you had an opportunity and you dropped the ball cuz you didn't prepare enough. If you, if you, if you like, studied hard and you, and you did bad, I think that's fine. But if you didn't get the job because you didn't prepare, that's like such a [01:06:00] regretful feeling.

And I've done that before where I was like I know I knew how to do this. I just didn't prepare. Like I just try to rely on my current knowledge and I'm like, ugh. And ever since that point, like rejection sucks, right? No one wants to be rejected. It doesn't matter if you prepare or not.

So it's like just knowing that you always did your best and just crush, just try to crush it and that's the best you can do, right? But yeah, rejection is literally the worst feeling. So I always do my best to not feel that ever again. If that means I have to like, sell my soul to get a job. I, I don't really have the time now, but you know, I do try hard.

To make sure, like it's my time, right? I'm, I'm interviewing, if you're gonna interview me, I'm gonna make sure I put my best foot forward. One for me and then one for you, like for me and my family, and then obviously for the company so I can show 'em that I can do the best work for them and stuff.

But yeah.

**Lane:** That's fantastic. Thanks so much. This is, this has been a great interview. I really enjoyed it. Does everyone know where they can find you? What, where, where are you online, where are your platforms?

**Trash:** where am I? [01:07:00] YouTube Trash dev. So trash underscore dev on YouTube trash underscore dev on Twitch. And then trash with two H's underscore dev on Twitter. Because, because someone took trash underscore dev and they won't give it to me. So that's my destiny

**Lane:** It's, it's all over.

**Trash:** I know I hate it. I want it so bad