In this episode we chat with one of the winner of IBM's 2018 Call for Code virtual hackathon, which focuses on challenging developers to find ways to reduce the impact of natural disasters through technology. The winners of Project OWL, a deployable mesh network for bringing connectivity to survivors of natural disasters (don't worry, we explain what that it), were part of 100,000 developers to compete. You can join this year's Call for Code 2019 at callforcode.org.
[00:00:00] SY: Last year, more than a hundred thousand developers participated in Call for Code 2018, a virtual hackathon with the goal of finding ways to reduce the impact of natural disasters through technology. Submit your idea by midnight Pacific Time, July 29 for your chance to win $200,000 and support from IBM and other partners. Last year’s winner was Project OWL, a deployable mesh network that brings connectivity to survivors of natural disasters which you can learn more about in Episode 1 of this season. Start building your life-saving app today. Just a heads up that after this episode’s end credits, we’ll be playing a trailer of Command Line Heroes, the other podcast I host that’s all about open source and produced by Red Hat. So stay tuned.
[00:00:50] (Music) Welcome to the CodeNewbie Podcast where we talk to people on their coding journey in hopes of helping you on yours. I’m your host, Saron, and today, we’re talking about going from hackathons to building a business with Nick Feuer, one of the creators of Project OWL, a winner of Call for Code.
[00:01:07] NF: People that I knew who had families in Puerto Rico did not know if their grandmother was okay and didn’t find out until a month and a half later.
[00:01:17] SY: Call for Code is a virtual hackathon where developers find ways to reduce the impact of natural disasters through technology. Project OWL is a deployable mesh network, don’t worry, we’ll tell you what that is, that brings connectivity to survivors of natural disasters, and Nick along with his co-founder Bryan were one of the hundred thousand developers who competed. Nick tells us about how he went from hackathon hobbyist to building a real-world business that helps people after this.
[00:01:53] You might have already heard us talking about bootcamps on this show and how important they’ve been to changing people’s careers and their lives. Well, Flatiron School is one of the best. The education you receive and the skills you gain and the community you’ll have will prepare you for the rapidly growing tech field. Go to flatironschool.com/codenewbie to learn more. That’s flatironschool.com/codenewbie.
[00:02:15] Actualize Online Live is an online bootcamp created and taught by expert educators. It’s 100% live and can be taken from the comfort of your home. They use video conferencing, so you get to actually see and talk to your instructors and classmates in real time. That means you have live interaction and feedback, not just during instruction but during all your exercises and projects as well. Learn more at actualize.co/codenewbie. That’s actualize.co/codenewbie.
[00:02:44] If you’re designing a website or building a mobile app, you’re probably going to want to take payments at some point. Square APIs allow you to easily implement their payment form on your website. And with their In-App Payments SDK, you can add it to your mobile app. You don’t have to worry about dealing with PCI compliance because they’ll take care of that for you. Don’t let anything come between you and your money. Start building with Square over at squareup.com/go/codenewbie.
[00:03:17] SY: Thank you so much for being here.
[00:03:19] NF: Thank you.
[00:03:19] SY: Tell us a little bit about your background. Did you always know you wanted to be a programmer?
[00:03:24] NF: No. Actually when I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a researcher, you know, working in a lab, working with Petri dishes, and what really inspired me was my grandfather had passed away from cancer. So I really wanted to work in cancer research labs. And that’s what I actually did when I went to college. But after the first two years of college, I ended up taking a gap year where I worked in a lab for a whole year just to get the experience and I ultimately realized that that’s not really what I wanted to do. And after my gap year over the summer, I was still planning on continuing my degree since I was already halfway through, but my dad just actually came up to me and said, “Hey, I’m interested in selling vitamins online. You’re good at math and science. Just figure out how to set up a website.” And I didn’t have anything going on that summer. And so I’m like, “Okay. It could be interesting.” And when I started it, I actually didn’t like it that much, but there was a moment though when it kind of just clicked for me where I understood just how powerful coding was where I could literally do whatever I wanted as long as I could think of it, I could turn it into code and make an application. At the end of the summer, I actually ended up canceling all of my biology classes and switched my degree to computer science. I did a whole 180 and it’s been one of the best decisions I ever made.
[00:05:05] SY: So I know that hackathons are a big part of your development. What exactly is a hackathon?
[00:05:10] NF: So a hackathon is an event that typically takes around 24 hours over a weekend where you come with an idea and build something to present to a panel of judges to win prizes.
[00:05:24] SY: So how many hackathons have you participated in?
[00:05:26] NF: So I’ve participated in over 60 hackathons across the US and Europe.
[00:05:34] SY: So what was the appeal for you? What made you keep going back to hackathons?
[00:05:38] NF: The amazing thing about hackathons is that it’s always broadening your horizons where usually at a hackathon you’ll have a couple sponsors. You’ll have a host company and then they’ll bring in a couple other technologies who will come there and you’ll bring their API or some hardware that they want you to try out. They say, “Here’s our API. Build something really cool with it.” And it was always a great way to try new technology. This is how I learned about Twilio or Firebase or Cloud Functions, serverless. And for me, I always thought it was a really interesting way to try out new technology and build something cool, just build a passion project or just kind of come up with something crazy or silly or try an idea that I had and the whole thing would just take a weekend, just so a weekend you go with a couple of friends and hang out and build something cool. But as it went on where I started to get a little bit more serious about what I was doing and also at the time I started getting better at code where by the end of the 24 hours, I would actually have a finished product that I was proud of. And at a hackathon, it’s not just, “Oh, just have some fun and build something.” Usually the companies that host these hackathons, they come with a problem. They say, “Hey, we have this problem and we want ideas to solve it.” And so you’re actually working with real needs. So there’s a hackathon at Ernst & Young where they’re talking about, “How do we improve the experience of insurance and after for a disaster relief?” And so, I mean, for me, I didn’t really know much about insurance, but the thing is that at this moment I knew that, “Hey, there’s a need, there’s a problem here, and we’re looking for technology to solve it.” And so you’re able to identify real problems and real needs that you could build a business on.
[00:07:34] SY: And Project OWL also similarly solves a need and something that you saw was a problem in not just the community but kind of in the world. Tell me a little bit about Project OWL. What is it?
[00:07:43] NF: I think maybe when talking about Project OWL, it’s important to start with IBM’s Call for Code. IBM’s Call for Code is a global virtual hackathon, a little bit different from the hackathons I was describing where you work on site and some building over a weekend, but it’s actually over a longer period of time where you have more time to build your ideas, but it works kind of the same way where you build a team, have an idea, and present it to judges. Call for Code, the problem that they were asking us to solve was disaster relief and disaster relief is a big problem around the world. And they wanted us developers to help figure out ideas for how we could improve the disaster relief process. So we were inspired by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and what really struck us was how Hurricane Maria completely decimated infrastructure where communications were down for so long, that people that I knew who had families in Puerto Rico did not know if their grandmother was okay and didn’t find out until a month and a half later that they were even still alive. And so we live in an age of technology where I take it for granted I’m able to at all times be able to contact my family or contact help and that kind of really for me struck me as a situation where what do you do when you have zero connectivity and there’s no one that you can call for help. And so that’s why we came up with Project OWL. And Project OWL is a deployable network that connects survivors of natural disasters with first responders in situations where there is no cellular internet connectivity.
[00:09:35] SY: How does it do that?
[00:09:36] NF: How it works, it’s an IoT mesh network that utilizes a Wi-Fi hotspot. So it’s kind of like imagine walking into Starbucks and connecting to their Wi-Fi, before you get connected to the Starbucks Wi-Fi, a little page pops up and ask you maybe for your email or some information about you before it connects you. Project OWL works the same way where you connect to we call the “Devices Ducks”. You connect to our Duck network or Wi-Fi network and a little page will come up. And rather than asking for your email, we ask for your name, phone number for someone to contact what your emergency is, and also where are you. And when you submit this message, it travels through our mesh network until it gets to a duck that is connected to the internet where it sends that information to our cloud platform and all this data gets put onto a map for first responders so that when they are making decisions on where do they need some supplies or people, they can make more efficient and more timely decisions on where they need to put those resources.
[00:10:47] SY: That actually makes a lot of sense. That was a really good explanation.
[00:10:50] NF: Thank you.
[00:10:52] SY: So it sounds like it still does need the internet, right? There needs to be at least one part, one duck, that you called it, that needs to be connected to the internet. So in a natural disaster, how hard is it to find that one duck?
[00:11:07] NF: Yeah. So it’s a really great question. And it also kind of speaks to one of the design points of our Clusterduck, we call it the Clusterduck Network, that we designed it to be offline first. So that means that if we needed to, this could be completely offline. So if you had one of these devices set up in let’s say a police station, they would be able to view in real time all the data coming in through the network on a small terminal to be able to say, “Okay, this is where we need to go. This is where people in our community need help before they have a Wi-Fi uplink.” The duck that is connected to Wi-Fi, we call this actually Papa Duck. This duck will typically be in an area where you’ll have your first responders. This would be in the headquarters where they’ll set up a satellite uplink to connect to Wi-Fi. Now, also, we’re working with another company called Fleet Space which actually offers a device where we can actually have like a mobile satellite connection. So this is also would be another way for us to be able to send data in remote areas. So it sounds like with this mesh network, it doesn’t necessarily need the internet because the first responders are on that same network. Is that right?
[00:12:33] NF: Yes, that’s one way that we could use it. But ideally, we would like to have it be connected to Wi-Fi because we have our whole software platform where it makes it a lot easier for us to display the information.
[00:12:46] SY: So I want to get into the implementation of the system. How is it actually work? How is it implemented?
[00:12:52] NF: So there’s two ways that we plan to implement Project OWL. First is disaster preparedness. We would work with local emergency operation centers to set up ducks in the local communities or in local counties with the ducks that are connected to solar panels. This way that whenever a disaster does hit, we have our mesh network already set up. So these would maybe sit on top of buildings or telephone poles and so that when disaster strikes we’ll be ready. However, when disaster does strike, you never really know what’s going to happen. And I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of all the destruction. So there will be areas where some of these devices might actually get destroyed. This is also one of the beauties of our technology is that they’re small IoT devices. The current prototype right now you can fit in your pocket and the great thing about a mesh network is that we’re able to replace these devices extremely easy. So it’s not like a telephone, wire, or anything like this where if you cut the wire, I lose all connection down the line. But with a mesh network, it actually if you lose connection in a small area, it will actually automatically route itself around that area. And if we wanted to replace the coverage, these devices are so small and light that we can replace them by drone deployment or with first responders as they’re walking into the area. They can carry these devices and place them by hand.
[00:14:23] SY: Okay. We’re going to pause here to recap how Project OWL works. So there are these little devices called “Ducks”. They’re set up all throughout a location, in this case a location where a natural disaster might happen. They’ve got a battery, solar panels, and they can connect to one another to create a self-contained network. So how do you log onto this network? Well, you know how when you go to Starbucks and you try to log on to their Wi-Fi? You get this page pop up where you have to put in your information, usually your email and maybe a password. This works just like that, only with this page pop up you’re not connecting to Wi-Fi, you’re connecting to the network. It allows people to send little bits of information to first responders who were also connected to the network. So far, none of these ducks are connected to the internet. They’re just connected to each other until we get to the Papa Duck. That’s the one that’s actually connected to Wi-Fi and allows the whole isolated network of ducks to be connected to the internet as well. Okay, back to the interview.
[00:15:28] So I know it also uses something called LoRa, L-O-R-A. What is that?
[00:15:32] NF: Yeah, so. LoRa is a really interesting technology. And we chose it primarily for two reasons. One, it’s extremely low power. So this means that we’re able to operate entirely off of battery. And this is important because during a disaster where internet and cellular connectivity are down but also power is down. So therefore, we won’t have a reliable source of power during a disaster event. The other reason is also LoRa is extremely long range and actually it’s already in the name. LoRa stands for “Long Range” and it’s a radio. When I say long range, each of our devices are able to reach up to 1.5 kilometers in range. And there are other cases where we’ve been talking to other people in the space and where LoRa can even reach up to 10 kilometers.
[00:16:27] SY: Wow.
[00:16:28] NF: So it’s a really powerful technology. But at the same time, it does come at a cost. You won’t be streaming cat videos on LoRa. One of the drawbacks is that you have a lower data rate. But also at the same time, we also get a really interesting property where you don’t need necessarily line of sight to get long distances. So kind of what I mean by this line of sight, if you imagine your Wi-Fi router, once you leave the house, you’d no longer have connection. With LoRa, you’re actually able to pass through buildings. And so an example of this is actually when we’re doing some testing in Brooklyn, we are able to be connected between devices even through buildings multiple blocks away. So LoRa is a really powerful technology. We’re kind of using it in a little bit of a different situation than what LoRa is normally used. It’s extremely popular in the sensor space because of where you can have sensors sending data over LoRa and have them last for a year off of a battery, really interesting technology and really powerful.
[00:18:31] Actualize Online Live is not only a super convenient way to receive a top-notch bootcamp instruction from the comfort of your home, they also have nifty tools to help you learn everything from new coding concepts to syntax. They even produce a free weekly video called “Think Like A Software Engineer”, which teaches you things like how to debug code, how to research problems, and how to teach yourself new languages. Learning the mindset of a software engineer is the key to getting past the hurdles that can bog you down as you code. Check out the series at actualize.co/codenewbie. That’s actualize.co/codenewbie.
[00:19:11] SY: So how did you learn about all these technologies, LoRa, the ducks, the mesh network? It sounds like there’s a lot of the technologies required to make all this work. How did you learn about these?
[00:19:20] NF: Through hackathons. The first time I ever heard of LoRa was at a hackathon. It was more of a hardware-focused hackathon, but one of the sponsors for the event built LoRa gateways, and that was the first time I had ever gotten my hands on the technology. The same thing with getting into hardware. I never took any hardware or electrical engineering classes. And the first time I ever used or did anything with a Raspberry Pi or anything like that was at a hackathon where I had this idea to build a robot and I did it at a hackathon and figured it out. All the different technologies that we used were learned from previous hackathons and kind of just hacking it together into this one idea to solve a problem that we’re really passionate about.
[00:20:14] SY: So we talked a lot about the hardware of Project OWL, but I want to talk a little bit about the software of it. What kind of coding was needed to make this thing work?
[00:20:22] NF: So on one side we have the ducks, the Clusterduck Network. On the other side, we have the OWL. So OWL has two meanings for us. It’s an acronym for Operations, Whereabouts, and Logistics, but also it has a symbolic meaning where owls are really good at seeing in the dark. So we want to be the eyes that are able to see in the dark of a natural disaster. So the OWL Platform acts as this tool for first responders to be able to visualize all the data that’s coming in. So we use a bunch of different technologies. Currently, it’s all built in Rails, but also we use a bunch of different IBM technologies, mainly IBM’s IoT hub as well as Watson AI.
[00:21:08] SY: Very cool. And how did you learn to use these things?
[00:21:10] NF: So similarly also from hackathon. So this is from a hackathon that IBM sponsored and where it said, “Hey, check out our cloud technology and build something really cool.” And so actually what’s kind of interesting is that one of our co-founders, Bryan, Bryan and I have an interesting relationship because we actually were competitors at hackathons for a couple of years where both of us are big hackathon veterans, I guess, you could say. And because we went to so many hackathons, we would end up at the exact same hackathons very often. So we would end up competing against each other. And Bryan, he actually would often use the IBM Watson because he was always interested in the NLP, this is a Natural Language Processing at the hackathons for his solution. And so that’s actually how it became one of the big parts of Project OWL’s that this is actually Bryan and I’s first time where we were working together. So kind of competitors coming together to build something even better.
[00:22:24] SY: So what is the ideal situation of using Project OWL? Walk me through once everything is set up, the ducks are in their right places. What does it look like?
[00:22:34] NF: So yeah. So when everything is set up, what would happen is that after a disaster, the survivors of the disaster will be able to open up their phones and connect to one of our Wi-Fi hotspots, be able to put in what’s their situation, their name, phone number, location, as well as what their emergency is, whether they need food, water or they’re trapped or someone else’s trapped. They’ll be able to send that information. That message will be sent through our mesh network. And then once it gets to one of the ducks that’s connected to the internet, it will send that information to our OWL Platform and it will appear like dots on a map for first responders. And so first responders can then, whether it’d be Red Cross, FEMA, or any other kind of organization involved in the disaster relief process, they’ll be able to quickly identify where people are and what are the conditions like so that when they do go in to rescue people they are able to do it more efficiently and quickly.
[00:23:40] SY: But if there’s a natural disaster, wouldn’t the ducks be destroyed?
[00:23:44] NF: One of the great things about being a mesh network is that even if one of the devices goes down, it does not destroy the integrity of the network. Messages will actually route around where we might be missing connectivity. So therefore, we’re still able to get messages. Now if we wanted to restore coverage in that area where a duck is destroyed, our devices are so small and lightweight that we would actually be able to replace them using drone deployment.
[00:24:14] SY: So since ducks are essentially gathering a bunch of information, they’re gathering my name, my location, potentially medical information, if I’m reporting that I’m hurt or I’m sick, are there any security concerns? What do you do with all of these potentially personally sensitive information?
[00:24:33] NF: Yes. So that’s a great point. And even though we’re only sending messages the size of a tweet, all of it will be encrypted and so all that information will be protected. So that’s definitely a concern that we are addressing.
[00:24:48] SY: What was the most surprising thing you learned in working on Project OWL?
[00:24:53] NF: I mean, the thing is, just like kind of just to put it out there, the most kind of interesting thing or surprising or exciting about this whole process was the process of going from a hackathon project to going down that journey of transition to something real and putting this technology in people’s hands. And when we were in Puerto Rico, interacting with the community and saying, “Hey, we have this technology. If you had this during Hurricane Maria, would this have helped you?” And then people were just like, “If I had this, this would really help me a lot in that situation.” And just getting that kind of feedback was really powerful for us where really we felt that we were on the right track and creating something that people needed. This is something that could actually save people’s lives and that really changed a lot for me.
[00:25:51] SY: And I know you have teammates. You have a couple other people that you’re working with for Project OWL. What is the structure of it? Is it a non-profit, a corporation? What is Project OWL?
[00:26:03] NF: Project OWL is a for-profit company.
[00:26:07] SY: So it’s interesting that it’s for profit because I think it naturally feels like a non-profit, you know, you’re thinking about disaster relief and organizations going to save lives and it feels like usually there’s a non-profit entity attached to that mission. So I’m interested to hear why you chose to go for profit. Why is that the better, the faster way of helping people?
[00:26:30] NF: We felt that operating as a for-profit is that we felt that it allowed us to innovate really quickly, but also that there are other ways that we can use Project OWL’s technology. For example, at music festivals. We have many people in a small area which causes the cellular networks to become overcrowded. And so in this situation, similar to a natural disaster where you need to call for help, you’re no longer able to get in touch with the medical tents. So we would set up Project OWL during this music festival as a dedicated emergency network that people at the festival can always have a direct line to the medical tents to ask for help.
[00:27:16] SY: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. The other example I’m thinking of is maybe like conferences, sports events. There seem to be a lot of frankly for-profit events that can use this technology. So when you go from this hackathon project to an actual business, what does that process look like? Tell me about that journey.
[00:27:36] NF: Yeah. So when we were working on Call for Code, I was working as a junior back-end developer and didn’t really know anything about business. So for me, I was just interested in writing code and building something cool on weekends. All that changed after we won Call for Code. And I think for me it’s just been such an incredible experience where every day is something new. I have to be able to adjust and adapt to new situations. I write more emails and spreadsheets than I write code these days. At the same time, I’ve got to meet so many different people and learn so much from seeing the whole other aspect to technology aside from just writing code but also kind of working on how do you take that technology that’s really cool and something that I’m really interested in and how do I get it to the people who need it and the people who are going to use it. It changes your whole mindset of technology where you build something that’s really cool, but now you have to think about exactly how do people use it. And for example, when we developed the technology, we didn’t really think about this, but it was brought up to us. In a natural disaster, people were extremely stressed out. Then in a normal situation, they might be able to use technology. Well, what if they’re extremely stressed out? How do you develop technology for someone who is stressed out or what if a child needs to use the technology? Are they able to figure out how to use it? And the thing is that when you turn it into a business, you start asking a lot of these different questions and have to change your perspective from, “This is really cool tech.” You’re thinking more objectively about the user and something that also came out of this was responsible tech, kind of something that I personally didn’t think too much about but also this is something I think a lot of criticism for people who… like about Silicon Valley were just building all this tech but not really thinking about the people. And I think this is also something that was really interesting during this whole process was starting to think more about how do we build technology responsibly and how do we think more about the people that we’re building the technology for rather than just building something cool.
[00:30:07] SY: Coming up next, Nick talks about the most important things to think about when building a project even before you start to code and the most surprising thing he’s learned while building Project OWL after this.
[00:30:27] We’ve talked about open source a bunch of times on this podcast, but frankly, open source is so big and complex, and fascinating that it needs its own show, and it has one called Command Line Heroes. It’s produced by Red Hat and it’s hosted by me. That’s right. I’ve got another podcast talking to incredible people about all things open source. We talk about the history of open source, the introduction of DevOps and then DevSecOps, and we even do an interview with the CTO of NASA. And that’s just the beginning. We also dig into cloud and serverless and big data, and all those important tech terms you’ve heard of, and we get to explore. If you’re looking for more tech stories to listen to, check out redhat.com/commandlineheroes. That’s redhat.com/commandlineheroes.
[00:31:13] Square has APIs and SDKs to make taking payments easy whether you’re building a mobile app in iOS, Android, Flutter, or React Native. If you want to embed a checkout experience into your website, it’s super easy. Square has processed billions of transactions so you know it’s tried and true. Start building with Square over at squareup.com/go/codenewbie.
[00:31:40] SY: So for folks who want to build projects, build apps like you did and help people in natural disasters and first response, what is the biggest piece of advice you have for them?
[00:31:50] NF: Biggest advice that I would give and this is something I think that also if you’re interested in going into hackathons that’s really important is understanding the problem that you’re trying to solve. For us, what we were trying to solve was, how do we bring connectivity from zero percent to one percent? How do we get the message out from a survivor, to a first responder in a zone where they have no connectivity, no power, or anything? How do we get that message to the first responder so that we can make disaster relief more efficient? It took us a while to really understand and craft Project OWL and what was really great with IBM’s Call for Code was that they brought in subject matter experts for disaster relief. One of these people was Rodric Bowman from Red Cross, New Jersey. And it was really great to be able to have access to him, to ask him questions about the disaster relief process and asked for who can we talk to and bounce ideas off of him, as well as also asking other technologists about LoRa. One of the groups that, if you’re in the New York City area, you should definitely check them out, which is The Things Network New York City meetup group. We got to ask them questions and get a lot of help on our technology on how can we, you know, presenting what the problem is and how do we use the technology and getting their ideas and feedback too.
[00:33:26] SY: Now at the end of every episode, we ask our guests to fill in the blanks of three very important questions. Nick, are you ready to fill in the blanks?
[00:33:34] NF: Let’s go for it.
[00:33:35] SY: Number one, worst advice I’ve ever received is?
[00:33:39] NF: Well, whenever I’m asked about advice, it’s not really that someone particularly gave to me, it’s more of a quote that stuck with me for a long time, and it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword and it’s a quote by Mario Andretti. And it’s, “If everything’s under control, you’re not moving fast enough.” How I always interpret it was kind of, you know, “Always push your boundaries. Never completely settle,” which is really great for me if you think about going to these hackathons and trying new technology and going beyond where I was before. But also at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword where if you bite off more than you can chew where for me it’s like where I take on too many responsibilities and just for the sake of like, “Oh, I want to try all these things,” where it becomes overwhelming and don’t go too far where you can’t handle everything.
[00:34:39] SY: Number two, my first coding project was about?
[00:34:42] NF: Yeah. So my first coding project was creating a clone of Bowman, a popular game on Newgrounds at the time. And what’s interesting about this game, it’s a two-player game where you take turns shooting an arrow at each other. Why I chose this game to clone was because it has this really interesting mechanic where you can’t see the other player on the screen. And so you have to kind of guess, you know, what angle and how much power you need to use when you shoot the bow and then you watch the arrow fly and you see it land whether or not you hit your friend or not. And so it’s kind of an interesting challenge to how do I emulate that and do all the animation. So it was a really fun and interesting challenge. There’s a lot of math also involved when creating it. So I was doing 3D calculus. So that was really fun.
[00:35:42] SY: Number three, one thing I wish I knew when I first started code is?
[00:35:47] NF: Is that code is a blank canvas. You can create whatever you can think of.
[00:35:55] SY: Definitely. Thank you so much for being on the show and telling us all about Project OWL.
[00:35:59] NF: Thank you.
[00:36:06] SY: This episode was edited and mixed by Levi Sharpe. You can reach out to us on Twitter at CodeNewbies or send me an email, email@example.com. Join us for our weekly Twitter chats. We’ve got our Wednesday chats at 9 P.M. Eastern Time and our weekly coding check-in every Sunday at 2 P.M. Eastern Time. For more info on the podcast, check out www.codenewbie.org/podcast. Thanks for listening. See you next week.
Command Line Heroes trailer:
[00:36:44] GC: At the end of the meeting, they were in agreement. They wanted one data-processing language. The language which came to be known as COBOL.
[00:36:51] SY: That’s programming pioneer, Grace Hopper. We told her story last season and there was so much love for the tale of Hopper and the early days of programming languages that we decided to follow up with a whole season of amazing language stories. This is Season 3 of Command Line Heroes, an original podcast from Red Hat. And I’m your host, Saron Yitbarek. In Season 1, we tracked the emergence of open source.
[00:37:18] MAN: I think a world without open source is almost bound to be evil.
[00:37:23] SY: In Season 2, we pushed the limit of what developers can shoot for.
[00:37:27] MAN: One day we’re going to put humans on Mars. We’re going to explore even further to find Earth 2.0.
[00:37:34] SY: But we cannot wait to share Season 3 stories with you. Each episode takes you further into the world of programming languages. We’ve been out on the road, listening to hundreds of developers and sysadmins, and your excitement for languages, your curiosity has inspired us to devote a whole season to exploring their secret histories and amazing potential.
[00:37:56] MAN: The language I love the most right now is Python.
[00:38:02] WOMAN: Okay. I know this sounds weird, but a language that I love is VAX Assembler.
[00:38:36] WOMAN: We now see all of these collaborative projects that are interwoven. So it’s quite an evolution.
[00:38:43] WOMAN: Most programming languages, you can just learn a bit and you can really make it do whatever you want.
[00:38:50] SY: It’s a meeting of the minds between humans and our technologies, a journey that extends the possibilities of programming past anything that’s come before. Command Line Heroes Season 3 drops this summer. You can subscribe today wherever you get your podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Check redhat.com/commandlineheroes for all the details.
Thank you to these sponsors for supporting the show!