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Episode 14

Linda Vivah: How to Get Into Cloud, Tech Instagram, WFH Setups, and Balancing Parenthood with a Career in Tech

Linda joins Adam to discuss her journey into the cloud from a non-cloud role, the different flavors of tech content on Twitter and Instagram, and how she's managed to balance parenthood with her career in tech.

About Linda

Linda is an SRE & web developer at FOX. She's also the founder of Codingcrystals where she creates jewelry, clothing & accessories inspired by STEM. Linda has two kids, writes tech content on Medium, and is an AWS Community Builder.

You can find her online on Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.


Adam Elmore: Hey, everyone, welcome to AWS FM, a live audio show with guests from around the AWS community. I'm your host, Adam Elmore, and today, I'm joined by Linda Vivah. Hi, Linda.

Linda Vivah: Hello, so glad to be here.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. So glad to have you. So we had to reschedule last week you had a voice issue and I hear it maybe still an issue. I hope we don't [crosstalk 00:00:24]

Linda Vivah: Still struggling, last week was much worse. I really sounded like there was no voice left. My son came home, got it from him.

Adam Elmore: I hope you're able to speak. Yeah. And I hope you get through it. And then afterward, you're still able to speak. I don't want to take your voice completely I'd feel really awful.

Linda Vivah: Got my AWS Community Builders mug right here.

Adam Elmore: Oh, nice. Yeah. So yeah. So let's start with your story. I think that'll be a part of it. So the AWS Community Builders we're fellow builders, and I know there's others on the call. Just kind of share with the crowd. Those that don't know you. Just your story, getting into tech, and maybe some of your other interesting parts of your background. There's a lot there.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Linda. I'm from New York, born and raised. I started... I got into tech untraditionally I was a philosophy major in college, thought I would go to law school. And really, throughout my college, I thought, oh, philosophy would be a great major for law. And I would go post college. So maybe I'd work and other things prior post college. So I ended up working in TV production, post college. And through that, did a lot of different tasks and was exposed to many things. And I even had to update a website. And that was my first time I ever touched code. I was updating something simple like HTML, CSS. I never took a Comp Sci class in college.

Linda Vivah: At that point I graduated, I was studying for my LSAT and ended up falling in love with it, starting attending meetups started networking with people learning more. And realized the reason I wanted to go to law school was because I love to learn. And I didn't know if I would be happy necessarily being a lawyer and just ended up falling in love with tech. And after a year of self study, I ended up leaving TV going to a coding boot camp called the Flatiron School it was in person at the time in New York, full stack immersive. And post that I ended up working as a JavaScript developer post-college not post-college, post-bootcamp and ended up working as a software developer for probably like, five years doing the JavaScript end started more front end ended up a little more back end, and then I shifted into cloud, into AWS. And now I work as an SRE. That's the short version. And yeah, as far as other things. Yeah, I was also working as a wedding singer for many years.

Adam Elmore: We'll dive into lots of things that you have in your background that are non traditional, which is so cool. I think... I want to kind of dive in on the AWS side, given it's an AWS show. So you're at Fox?

Linda Vivah: Yeah.

Adam Elmore: Is that still accurate? Yeah. And could you kind of speak... I guess they're using AWS at Fox? Could you speak to that?

Linda Vivah: Yeah. So we use over 200 services of AWS and for me, yeah, so we're big, with AWS and huge customer and we love it. So we ended up like a lot of my work was not touching AWS when I was doing more of the JavaScript end was working on front end applications. And then as JavaScript touches everything over time, I started using Node.Js and many other frameworks. But I started also doing my certifications. That's the way I started getting into AWS, because I realized how much we're migrating to the cloud. And it was just, I ended up building an Alexa skill and few other small things to get involved but realized I really wanted to work hands-on on the AWS end and that's what made me shift into SRE. Which, for those who don't know, stands for Site Reliability Engineering, and I did more of the Ops end, right, and infrastructure end.

Linda Vivah: So it was definitely a journey getting to there. At first, I was just learning a lot of AWS but wasn't able to implement as much when you're working more on the front end of things. So for me, yeah, there were many ways I was able to kind of shift into that. And a lot of it was also going to meet up talking to other people being involved in projects, doing my own little projects, but I use certifications a lot as a guide to make that shift, just to give me a guide of what to learn because it could get overwhelming. There's so many resources to something. So you know, certifications didn't get me necessarily fully to it. Right. It was like a guide for me. And then building projects on top of that teaching during lunch and learns internally at Fox and outside doing things on social media, and that kind of helped me make that shift over two years.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, so that's kind of where I want to take the show here to start is diving into the SRE side. Because I know, some SREs, but I've never really talked with SREs that are focused in the AWS space. And so I guess this is personal curiosity time. I don't know. I'm hoping there's other people out there that care about this because I care. So just kind of what your role looks like, as an SRE at Fox focused on the AWS space.

Linda Vivah: So I think even when it comes to SREs in different companies, and even within the same company, depending on what your products you're focused on is, you might have different tasks within it. So for me, it depends on what phase you are in an SRE role. I personally get to do a lot of things that do involve scripting too, and not all SREs do that, depending on what you have already in place or what tooling you're already using. And I like to... SRE in general, for those who aren't familiar, it just I look at it as more also like treating ops as a software problem. And really, our focus is a production end, right? And making sure we have that observability. And we kind of are able to see everything and identify things that we want to be proactive about. So you don't get paid until 3 am, right? So a lot of jobs involved with a mix of, yeah, everything from documentation to actually integrating new tools and for observability. And streamlining best practices, a lot of different hats, I would say, and communication is big, too, I think you're trying to be able to be the middleman on many different aspects and create that that way for everyone's life to be easier, right, like as far as the infrastructure.

Linda Vivah: So for me, it's been a lot of also POC, trying different tools and using things like New Relic, Splunk, Datadog, getting better at just creating apps on those places to be able to have that visibility. And then from there work on having that reliability of our services, the main thing to have that kind of software. So it can look very different. I've met SREs, even within Fox, that their tasks might be more specific too, depending on the team they're on. But for me, it's been a lot lately of Poc, I would say to just different tools you want to use for observability getting better at things like getting logs from Lambda the right way, right? I think you mentioned this awesome podcast. It's the serverless part is definitely... there's a few ways to go about how you want to, I guess, get that observability and it's not as straightforward, I think, I don't know.

Adam Elmore: There's some gaps.

Linda Vivah: That's a lot of research for me, and learning curve a bit, it's been fun. I like that it's really... I look at it as my job is to make everything reliable, and easier and visible, to identify what's already right. And to do that we need to have that visibility. So I know, it's kind of all over...

Adam Elmore: Sounds a lot better than web development, I mean, honestly.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, it feels more macro. I would say, I love doing development. And I guess I love many things. I tend to love everything that's the issue. But for me, it's that part that really touches the architecture and being able to have this reason, almost nerdy reason to understand how everything works, and document all that, really, have everything kind of... because when I was building more web applications it was very focused on whatever product I was doing. So for the elections, I got to work in elections. So it was this date of is, right? So it's cool to kind of get that larger. And although everything all of it is fun for me. Yeah.

Adam Elmore: In a past role, the SRE, sort of the lead SRE at the company I worked at prior to going freelance. He was the most knowledgeable guy in the company. I mean, it was the guy that everybody went to, and it makes sense, you sort of do have to understand everything about the operations, how everything comes together. And yeah, it's really super interesting to me, I guess, is Fox doing quite a lot of serverless stuff?

Linda Vivah: We are. It's a lot of live production. So we do have a lot of serverless. I would say it's a mixed bag right now with traditional and serverless and shifting, always improving on all those things. But yeah, it's a lot of our stuff is using Lambdas and removing always. Yeah, a lot.

Adam Elmore: So this might be a super dumb question, I don't know. Is Fox... when I think about a major TV network, using AWS, are they using like the media suite?

Linda Vivah: I would say, we use so many services we have actually also, I don't know if you've heard of Project Griffin, it's in Arizona, we have a kind of a building that we did it with AWS. So I don't want to butcher the explanation but I might be working but Yeah, no, we're very much utilizing a lot of services also that we also work with feedback loops with AWS.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, that's super informative to AWS, I'm sure to the needs of a major studio like that, major TV network. Yeah, that's something that I didn't even come into this show thinking to ask. But as I'm sitting here, I know, there's this whole family of media services in AWS and I just wondered, I guess, is that the type of customer that's using it? Or you guys using your own proprietary stuff that's so different?

Linda Vivah: No, we do that as well as other things I would say. But yeah, it's a large bag of things. And I think also depends. Here on... Yeah, because there's a sports end and it's all live, a lot of live production. There's the challenges that come with that, too. And making sure you stream everything in some manner.

Adam Elmore: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Linda Vivah: It's exciting space, but definitely hard to keep up.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. Oh, I'm sure. So I want to get into your part of the AWS Community Builders program, I think, did you come into that in the spring? Is that accurate?

Linda Vivah: So I came into it. I think now it's been a year.

Adam Elmore: Okay, so you were probably part of the maybe the first cohort, can you just share a little bit about what that's meant for you how that's kind of impacted your journey in AWS land?

Linda Vivah: So I think community is a big thing for me. And I think many people think when you're in tech, in general, having that community to learn and kind of network with others, is really important. When I was getting... whether it be when I started coding, or when I was shifting to the cloud, or when I'm learning anything, having a community of people that, one inspire you. Two give you a place to kind of a feedback loop of sorts, and three, just share knowledge, because all... everything in tech is about us building on each other's knowledge. That's why open source exists. All these other... we're just, we're all helping each other get better, right? So, for me, it was really important to have a community of people that I could learn with and grow with.

Linda Vivah: And the AWS Community Builders program also is really about people who are passionate about that or enthusiasts of AWS and want to share resources to and publicly maybe also make content and stuff like that. So for me, I was using Instagram, a lot throughout my coding journey, and throughout my cloud journey. And for me I've kind of been doing a lot of the content creation. And this was a program to be able to kind of know about things also, that are going on in the space and being able to support other fellow community members and learn from them. And I've met so many friends through this program too that it's your kind of who you hang out with, in many ways. It's just important part of trying to upskill yourself and give back and all the methods.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, absolutely. I think I joined in the spring. And I love the community builder program, I do need to be more active. I feel like there's so many people in the community builders program. And I don't realize it until way later and I've been in the Slack, I could have connected a long time ago. It's so large it's almost hard to keep tabs on.

Linda Vivah: It's definitely hard to keep track of I always visit and I'm like, oh my gosh, look at all these articles are written these are so cool.

Adam Elmore: Yeah look at everything I missed.

Linda Vivah: It's definitely hard to keep track of I always visit and I'm like, oh my gosh, look at all these articles are written these are so cool. Yeah look at everything I missed. Totally. You know what was really cool? Last year with re:Invent, I was on it virtually and being able to have that Slack channel for re:Invent within the community builders program was so fun. It was kind of like the background chat. And it was kind of a viewing party in my opinion. I loved that. That was a highlight for me of the program, too.

Adam Elmore: [crosstalk 00:13:53]It's really great.

Linda Vivah: On re:Invent.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, to have. I'm talking all over you. I'm so sorry. Think we have a little bit of a delay. Everyone in the space can deal with it. We'll fix it in the podcast. I'm so thankful that we have people that come in and listen to the recording. I did sort of start this show, thinking it's a live audio show. I don't want to talk about it being a podcast. Now. I think I'm leaning more towards it's a podcasts and you guys just get to be along for the ride. So I'm not gonna rush through it so much. I think I've rushed a lot on the live show. I'm missing questions people are asking because I'm too busy getting through the live show. But the live show. This is the informal part. So you're gonna hear me talk over Linda, the entire show on the podcast.

Linda Vivah: I'm doing the same thing. I'm like I need to learn. I feel like I haven't. It's always survival in the household, everyone's tough.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. Is that a New York thing? Is that...

Linda Vivah: No, I got... my family's Jewish, Israelis and they're all talking at the same time.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, all at the same time. My family's the same way.

Linda Vivah: So it's definitely been hilarious. Everyone's trying to get a word in my family so it's survival. But Yeah, I've had to learn. I'm still learning clearly.

Adam Elmore: So I think your story includes that transition from non-technical background. You were working at Fox, I guess, your current employer in a non-technical role, and then you went to a bootcamp. Is that an accurate term for Flatiron School?

Linda Vivah: Yeah. Accelerated learning program, bootcamp.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. And then you went to the web dev and into SRE. I guess, do you have anything you'd want to share on that process? Just the bootcamp experience? Do you recommend it? That sort of thing?

Linda Vivah: Yeah, one thing was, for me, I shifted within the same company. And I think, doing that there's a lot of tools people don't realize, or things they could do, that are proactive, that could help that kind of shift. Because I think in tech we're always evolving, we're always learning new skills, and nothing really stays stagnant as far as tech skill, you always have to kind of upskill so for me, one of the things that really was helpful was starting an AWS lunch or learn. When I wasn't able to implement what I was learning as much on a day to day from the certifications I was doing, I started AWS lunch and learn because sometimes the best way to learn is to teach. So...

Adam Elmore: Yeah, I keep hearing that.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, I use social media for accountability too, it's great. You give, you get to help others, and you get to also keep your skills sharp, and you get to kind of hold yourself accountable too, so it's definitely a win. One, I love helping other people, too. I'm very much like a... I love people. And I love to learn with others. You take other people's questions. Hearing other people's questions is really important. I think in anything, even in coding bootcamp, hearing other people's questions, for me was one of the best things about being in a bootcamp, it was really not necessarily always the teachers, it was the people you're learning with. And I think it applies them...

Adam Elmore: Yeah, you got all those people doing the exact same thing alongside you.

Linda Vivah: Exactly. So...

Adam Elmore: Yeah, that makes sense.

Linda Vivah: It was one of the key ways to learn more also what other people were doing in the company that I didn't get to work on day to day. And I think being proactive with that, and finding ways you could kind of also help the company and learn and teach. I mean, it works well. And for me, like that has been one way. And I think even if you're not doing it within a company using maybe something like blogging, or even Medium, or being able to share what you want to teacher, that kind of role.

Linda Vivah: There's always something to share as far as being able to... kind of like when you're writing notes, you're kind of crystallizing it, right, in my opinion, so sometimes when you're teaching it or when you have to do it as a deck. There are things you realize about questions that you kind of expect other people to ask and then you're like, well, I didn't realize that's it. For me, it's always been a good way because I think one thing with tech is a lot of things you want to learn can be overwhelming. And you need to give yourself some sort of guide that's feasible.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned earlier, the certifications are a great way to sort of guide that learning. And then being in communities of people, they're also learning the same things. It's good advice. You mentioned Instagram. And that's a place that you share a lot of your content. I'd like to hear from you. I think I have an Instagram account. I'm not really on it. And I wonder, I know about tech Twitter, I kind of understand it at this point after 15 years or whatever on Twitter. But I don't really know anything about Instagram and the tech scene on there or the AWS scene. What is it like? How could you kind of compare and contrast Twitter and Instagram for me?

Linda Vivah: Yeah, so Twitter's, I mean, not as visual right as Instagram. I think for Instagram, the way you're sharing content might be a little different. So you could have infographics, you could create reels and like eight second concepts, and I use it. I think of it as, I can't sustain YouTube at this point. So I'm just gonna reel because I have a bunch of kids running around, it's hard, obviously, I would love to, but it's definitely for me. I personally started out on Instagram, because when I was getting into tech, I saw some women in tech on Instagram. And from... there's a very nice community there. I don't know if it's as large as tech Twitter, and I need to get better check Twitter because I'm not as much on Twitter which I should be. But it's definitely, especially the women in STEM community.

Linda Vivah: There's a large one, I think on Instagram, and I met a lot of people through Instagram, throughout my journey, and I started to probably, I started really focusing on the tech end probably five years ago, and then AWS as far as the AWS, there's not that much. I think there's not enough we need more of it. But we need more of it. So I think if you're looking to switch into, do more cloud on AWS, I think you should create content on Instagram or TikTok. Yeah, and there's definitely demand for it. So I've met a lot of people through it, and a lot through the AWS Community Builders program. I actually found few Instagram accounts from the AWS Community Builders program. So we chat, right, as much as we can. And also... [crosstalk 00:20:29]

Adam Elmore: Yeah, it's a small club, you guys, you have a lot in common being on the same platform and being sort of pioneers. I've talked about it on the show, I've considered the TikTok thing because of my wife. She's super into TikTok. I mean, that's the only platform she really consumes anything on. Yeah, I'd like her to see something I just asked her today. She's listened to any of my podcast, I'm 13 episodes in she's not listened to a minute of it. So there's that. This is my little sad party here. My wife doesn't listen to my show.

Linda Vivah: You know what I like? The thing is, I like when you put time into a piece of content, it's kind of like, you want to put it in a few platforms. But it doesn't always work for a few platforms, you put time into it. So it's interesting, because with TikTok, you put it on reels, then you can put it on YouTube shorts.

Adam Elmore: Oh, nice. So you can just share it across all three?

Linda Vivah: Yeah. You kind of have to find [crosstalk 00:21:21]

Adam Elmore: Yeah, I don't know what I would say on a TikTok from everything I've seen of TikTok on my wife's phone. I don't know if I fit in. But I'd love to get on there and talk about tech. If it's something there's TikTokers that would like to here.

Linda Vivah: There is, I'm newer to TikTok, I definitely started a few months ago just because of reels, I ended up making reels then I posted on TikTok. I was like, Oh, this is interesting. And then from some hashtags, I found a lot of tech people, but I didn't realize because usually when I'm on TikTok, all I see is other topics, and not as much tech, but I think the algorithms learning and giving me some more tech content, which is awesome.

Adam Elmore: Well, I'm eventually going to check it out. You're a mentor at Girls Who Code I'd love to know more about that. I saw that on your LinkedIn. And I wanted to ask you about that.

Linda Vivah: So Fox has like a relationship with Girls Who Code. So I kind of have been involved with... I'm on the Women In Tech ERG at Fox and the DI tech council at Fox. So I run a lot of initiatives internally. And we have a partnership with Girls Who Code so I've mentored through Fox, and I mentor outside as well all the time through social media, it's my passions for sure. I love it. And I think a lot of people have helped me get to where I'm at. And I love giving back. But yeah, it's an incredible organization. We do a lot with them, and are doing more. We have a few other things coming up like speed mentoring and stuff like that.

Adam Elmore: Did you have any mentors that sort of helped you as you transitioned into tech, anybody that you looked up to, or that helped you along the way?

Linda Vivah: So I would say, and this is a great place to have explained why I was on social media. I didn't have a mentor getting into tech, I didn't know anybody in tech when I was starting out. And for me, social media was the way I kind of had access to seeing a lot of people doing it. And it was not just like, Oh, here's my tech content. It was their life. And I think that's what attracted me to being on Instagram a bit because it kind of made me feel like I could do it too. And especially when you're kind of going into the unknown and feel like oh, you're not... you're kind of doing an untraditional path. You're like, okay, am I crazy? Is it okay that I'm completely quitting? Am I going to be okay doing this? Can I do it? And It's a mental thing I think a lot of it is very much a mental state, right, learning anything.

Linda Vivah: And you're used to being uncomfortable, not uncomfortable. Being okay with not knowing things and asking questions and never thinking a question's stupid. That's how you're always going to learn an upskill because you're not scared to dig into things that you won't know the answer. That's kind of in relation to tech. So, it was definitely a lesson for me kind of seeing other people do it and realizing it's a lot of mental state. When you believe you could do it. I feel that you've done half to work by really going into it and then saying I'll figure this out, right?

Adam Elmore: Yeah. It's interesting hearing you say at the beginning that about being a lawyer and that you really learned you just wanted to learn you wanted to do something where you're always learning and that's so great about tech. I mean, we're all always learning everyone's kind of on the same journey together.

Linda Vivah: We're professional students.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, exactly. I love it. So you do have this very diverse background. So the philosophy major, I guess, before I go into my real question here, do you have any like philosophy nuggets you want to share? Like why are we all here? I don't know.

Linda Vivah: My favorite class in philosophy was logic. And I don't know why I didn't connect the dots that I would like computer science. There's a logic class. And it's how you are, that was like the highlight of my degree, and I love that it wasn't a spit back topic, because a lot of things are memorizing. And I was just like yeah, I know how to get a 100 on a test, and then I forget it the next day, it's more about how to think and how to learn that was the part that really I liked about philosophy. I think what I realized was a lot of things were about memorizing, and I just didn't want to be in a major that doesn't challenge me in that kind of way to think. I was good at spit back topics, but I knew wasn't actually productive for me.

Adam Elmore: So aside from philosophy, you also have this background as a singer. So you're in production at Fox, you've got those skills going on. And then you're a wedding singer, and then Coding Crystals. So you've got a jewelry company inspired by STEM, you make jewelry. Could you speak about that?

Linda Vivah: Yeah. So I, when I shifted into a more coding job, at my first year as a JavaScript developer, I was pregnant. And for me, I used to sing on weekends a lot. And taking less of that I needed an outlet that was more artsy, I guess, although I find coding to be very artistic. I still always tell me that like mixed bag of things I do. And I started hand making jewelry, and realizing I'm kind of a person that likes to dress up, and with a little black and I really like purple.

Linda Vivah: So I was like, oh, I want to... I saw all these different people wearing like griffin and all these words in the hair, which is nice. But I didn't feel like I would wear that I wanted something more than body sweat. What I want to share and I was like, Oh, what if I make my hairpins say engineer, and now I have one that says cloud, stuff like that. So people who used to work at a pressive outlet for me, and being able to kind of break stereotypes, because I felt like there's no reason to... whatever walk of life you come from we're building products.

Linda Vivah: That's the main thing, right? In tech, we're building products and everybody builds those products for everybody. So there is no reason to dim your light in that sense. And I felt although I kind of maybe don't fit what people traditionally think of when they think of somebody in tech, because I'm very loud and glam and stuff like that. Right now. Sometimes. Kind of like, for me, just whoever did resonate with these kind of pieces to have that option. And I've seen teachers wear it in classrooms, and just being able to kind of make a difference in that way. I think it helps. We're very expressive these days with what we think and what we do. And we're proud of that. And I think being able to show it in many ways, including with crystals, it's kind of nice, and that's how it started. But then I use a lot. I ended up kind of making a way also to give back. And so I donate some of it a lot. DIFs and it's been really fun side business.

Adam Elmore: Super inspiring. It's really cool stuff. I think it occurs to me, I'm seeing you here, we're on video. And you're in that super cool office. I seen the pictures of your work from home set up. And like I can tell now that those windows sort of wrap all around you. You're there in New York City. What is the... have you worked from home for a long time or is it just from COVID?

Linda Vivah: Yeah, just from COVID. So I used to be in the office every day. And it's been really nice to be with my kids and being able to balance that more. I definitely... I'm pro hybrid, but I'm definitely very thankful for the remote work. I'm grateful to be able to do that. For me, one of the things that was... my kids are two and four and not missing out on certain things big and our job is very remote. I mean, my job personally is very remote in nature. Yes. Are there things that are good to be in person? Absolutely. But I do think being able to now work at home has been great. I do have a corner of my bedroom here kind of with a wall behind me. Well, yeah. But there's a lot of windows here. So it's kind of nice. I forget that I don't go outside sometimes for a few days in a row, which is bad, but...

Adam Elmore: Oh, I'm the same way.

Linda Vivah: I keep thinking I'm outside.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. I wonder, you seem you might be a little more... Are you extroverted? Do you get energy from being with people? Has that made it hard or are you more introverted?

Linda Vivah: Yeah, I think I get... so it's a double-edged sword. So I'm extroverted because I love people. And I do get energy from people. However, when doing deep work, especially in the line of work. It could be a distraction. So sometimes it's kind of nice that I could control more of when I'm extroverted when I'm not, because I think where I'm happy, I'm happy with both, but I love just those days where I'm like, good, no meetings and just filming stuff, and that's kind of where I love it. But then yeah, I gain, a lot of energy from people and stuff. So I'm definitely an extrovert, which, for me though in the office, I love but also could be a distraction for me to do my job.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. And you've got... I mean, you're in New York City, you've got lots of people, if you want to go see people so you don't have to do the work.

Linda Vivah: There's no shortage.

Adam Elmore: I do have just a few kind of quick questions that I've started asking all the guests, one of them we always talked about. So in terms of mentors, or people who inspired you, do you have any favorite emerging trends in tech or cloud?

Linda Vivah: Well, I'm interested in learning more about... Well, I think, for me, I never explored like the blockchain related AWS services and kind of wanted to look into it. I haven't had a chance yet so that's one thing I'm kind of looking into.

Adam Elmore: There seemed to be a lot of people that want to look into that, and then talk about it in various circles.

Linda Vivah: [inaudible 00:31:13]I'm like, what? I'm more recently in the SRE role. So I'm kind of trying to just get better at what I'm doing right now and kind of... it's so hard. It's like shiny objects like a...

Adam Elmore: It's a constant stream.

Linda Vivah: And that's how I feel also. Yes, I don't know if I have a specific thing. I'm definitely trying to really dig deep into the observability aspect. I think of serverless right now, but definitely on the horizon. I think I do want to toy with some blockchain related work through.

Adam Elmore: Okay. Yeah, that's, I don't know if I'm baiting. I might be baiting that answer out when I asked everyone that because it is sort of the dominant emerging trend that is taken over the discourse in recent days. Do you have a favorite AWS service?

Linda Vivah: I think I would say Lambda and confirmation just... Well, I'm saying that only because I use them a lot. But I don't know if I have a favorite, necessarily. But definitely. I have a soft spot for Lambda, because I think it's the way I ended up starting with AWS like, yeah, using just serverless services.

Adam Elmore: You came in at the right time.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, right. I started when lambda existed. So it was like, okay, good. I think for me, it was just incredible to see just being able to take a piece of JavaScript code, especially coming from front end, like just being able to implement it that way. Yeah, I think it holds a soft space in my heart.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. No, that's good. I don't know what I'm looking for when I asked that question. I didn't know if you was gonna say something super exotic. Like Pinpoint, or I don't know. Do you have any technology hot takes?

Linda Vivah: Technology hot takes?

Adam Elmore: Yeah.

Linda Vivah: Not one that I can think of off the top of my head.

Adam Elmore: That's all right.

Linda Vivah: I love AWS is that...

Adam Elmore: Ooh, hot take. I don't think on this show, It's a hot take.

Linda Vivah: Maybe some people will be like, Google Cloud.

Adam Elmore: Or, I worked at my startup, I had an employee that was super against the man and Jeff Bezos. It's just a way to give him more money. And there's a lot of web dev types, I think, that are more into let's use open stuff. Let's use stuff that can run anywhere. So there is that crowd. And I guess to that crowd, that was a very hot take that you're really into AWS.

Linda Vivah: That depends on context. [crosstalk 00:33:49] And then also, I don't know if this is a hot take, but I don't have a favorite between JavaScript and Python. And some people are very passionate that. But I actually don't.

Adam Elmore: Oh, yeah. That's a thing. Yeah. People get really worked up about that. Tabs or spaces, Emacs and Vim. I don't really have takes on any of that stuff. I mean, I guess I use VS Code. I like Typescript and Python. They're both good.

Linda Vivah: I'm getting better at Vim but I definitely love VS Code.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, I bought Kenneth Cassel's vim.so, I bought the course. taken about half of it. It's pretty fun. I mean, the navigating around...

Linda Vivah: You could make TikToks with that.

Adam Elmore: I'm sure to impress my wife with that content. That'll be great content. So okay, we're gonna play a couple of games. And we're gonna start with the one that everyone knows and loves, AWS or Amazon. And for those that don't know it, then you need to join the Discord for one because I know if you're on the Discord you'd know about this game, because I talk about it incessantly. But two, it's basically there's like 200 services. And they all start with either AWS or Amazon. And Linda has to guess and or know the answer as I read off services. And I don't think that there's no sort of rhyme or reason, right? So it's kind of a 50/50 shot, Linda. Good luck.

Linda Vivah: I saw you do it on a previous podcast, I caught the live show.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, live audio show.

Linda Vivah: I saw you do it on a previous podcast, I caught the live show. And I tried to look up if there's a reasoning to why, certain things are named Amazon or AWS.

Adam Elmore: Oh, yes! You've researched it, I love it, you're prepared.

Linda Vivah: True, I saw this on I think Stack Overflow. But somebody said that Amazon is prefix for standalone services at AWS is more things that are triggered by other services. However, during this time, I'm not going to be able to pick back through that fast. So...

Adam Elmore: Yeah, you think about whether it's a standalone service, I think you'll get about three questions answered. Does anything else call this service? Or is it... so now I know you've done homework, and that's going to make it even funnier and more fun.

Linda Vivah: It's going to make me fail even more, because I'm going to think too much. I'm going to over think.

Adam Elmore: Are you ready, Linda?

Linda Vivah: Ah, I'm not gonna be ready anytime soon. So let's do it.

Adam Elmore: Okay, this is serious business. Alright, here we go. minute on the clock. GameLift?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: Workspaces?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: App Mesh?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: API Gateway?

Linda Vivah: AWS.

Adam Elmore: CodeStar?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: Fault Injection Simulator?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: VPC?

Linda Vivah: Amazon.

Adam Elmore: Control Tower?

Linda Vivah: AWS.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, Service Catalog?

Linda Vivah: Amazon, I don't know.

Adam Elmore: Systems Manager? Oh, there's the horn.

Linda Vivah: I don't know if this logic works.

Adam Elmore: Yeah. I mean, it would work great if you just knew exactly which ones were standalone services.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, I need to have an encyclopedia in my head.

Adam Elmore: I think you got five, I'm gonna eventually make a leaderboard for this. Maybe I could get the guests to help me we can build it out in AWS. Linda, you can be the SRE to make sure this thing doesn't ever go down.

Linda Vivah: Let's do it.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, we're gonna do it. Well figure it out. We'll get Alex to do the Dynamo side. Yeah, okay. The second game I want to play is a new one to the show. And this is like 20 questions where I'm going to think of a AWS service. I've actually already written it down. And Linda has to ask me yes or no questions, and try to guess what that service is. And this is the first time we've done it. There's no timer involved. It's just how few questions how efficient can you be to get to this service? Okay. Or you could just start asking, is it you know, app sync? That would be one approach. Let's see if you get it in 20. So I've got the service in mind. You can fire away with your first question whenever you're ready.

Linda Vivah: Is it a core service? AWS core service?

Adam Elmore: Oh, geez. What's a core service? Is that like a standalone service or?

Linda Vivah: EC2, PPC, Lambda? Would it fit more in microservices? Or is it?

Adam Elmore: Would it fit in a shopping cart? Good question.

Linda Vivah: Is it SQS?

Adam Elmore: No. That's not a specific question. I love it. It's not SQS.

Linda Vivah: Is it a server?

Adam Elmore: When you say microservices... Oh, go ahead.

Linda Vivah: Oh, yeah. No, I don't know what I'm asking. So go ahead.

Adam Elmore: Maybe ask if it was serverless.

Linda Vivah: Yeah I'll ask if it's serverless.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, it is serverless. Yes.

Linda Vivah: All right.

Adam Elmore: I think that's two questions. I gotta mark these down.

Linda Vivah: Is it Lambda?

Adam Elmore: No, but that's a great guess. I mean, you had the serverless bit so...

Linda Vivah: Does it start with an s other than the AWS?

Adam Elmore: No, it does not. You know, as we get into this, this is the first time we've played this. And I've never done this like at home. I didn't workshop it with my wife or anything. There's a very real possibility. This just is not a good idea. It's very possible. This is just really hard because I don't know what questions I would ask as I think about it, like I might ask about like the color of the logo. LIke is it a green logo? What's that?

Linda Vivah: Is it a green logo?

Adam Elmore: I don't actually know. So don't ask me that.

Linda Vivah: We're gonna think through, I think this could be a great game. I'm trying to think how we can make it...

Adam Elmore: I do too, it has potential.

Linda Vivah: But we'll make it an Alexa skill.

Adam Elmore: Let's just... we'll struggle through it here. Let's think of some other questions. And then maybe at some point, this is a game that makes sense. And people know how to do it. So there's serverless. What about like the type of service? You could ask... oh, that's what you did. You asked it was a core service. It's not compute.

Linda Vivah: It's not compute. Is it storage?

Adam Elmore: Not compute. No, not storage. Now we're talking, not storage no.

Linda Vivah: Security?

Adam Elmore: No. But I like your line of questioning. This is getting good.

Linda Vivah: Start with AWS or Amazon?

Adam Elmore: Oh, no. Sorry, I don't actually know.

Linda Vivah: Is it something that helps give cost? Does it help monitor anything? Is it a monitoring service?

Adam Elmore: No.

Linda Vivah: I lost track of what was... Was there any yes we guessed?

Adam Elmore: So far, it is no, it's all been nos.

Linda Vivah: Does it start with a c?

Adam Elmore: No. Also, No. So we're at nine questions. So for the audience, this can only be 11 questions more painful. So if you just stick around, we're gonna get through it. We're gonna get to 20 questions.

Linda Vivah: We're gonna get there. Is it a standalone service?

Adam Elmore: You know what, I'm going to Google it because I feel like that's a great question. I should know the answer.

Linda Vivah: No. I feel like we all it's hard to like, actually define that. I feel like as we think of everything is triggering everything actually with AWS.

Adam Elmore: It is a standalone service.

Linda Vivah: It is. Okay

Adam Elmore: The first yes.

Linda Vivah: Is it related to identity management?

Adam Elmore: No.

Linda Vivah: Well, no, that would trigger something that wouldn't be a standalone anyway. Machine learning?

Adam Elmore: No. Good guess. I like this.

Linda Vivah: Gaming? I don't know.

Adam Elmore: No, there's a lot of services. They've got a whole section of gaming services. Yeah. I learned about a new one all the time.

Linda Vivah: I'm trying to think of a good question. And...

Adam Elmore: It's hard. I don't know that there are many good questions.

Linda Vivah: Would it be more of a virtual tool like a front end, mobile developer tool?

Adam Elmore: No.

Linda Vivah: No, okay.

Adam Elmore: Not really.

Linda Vivah: How many questions? Am I on the 11th yet?

Adam Elmore: We are... Yeah, no, we're at 14. We got six more questions.

Linda Vivah: This is what happens when you try to figure out a service from out of how many of AWS, 200?

Adam Elmore: I think what I should do, so far, the verdict is not a good game. I'm aware. I think one thing I could try is I could say, "I'm thinking of a compute service." And you've got 20 questions.

Linda Vivah: Yeah, that's good. I like that.

Adam Elmore: Narrow it down considerably, because there's just too many.

Linda Vivah: There are too many, but is it something that I would consider... I don't know if you would know this, but I consider this obvious.

Adam Elmore: No. I mean, I don't think there's any...

Linda Vivah: That actually helps.

Adam Elmore: Oh, okay. Yeah. Maybe I'll give you a clue. We're at 15 questions. There's five left. I'm going to give you a clue and put us all out of our misery here because this is not fun. It's not your fault. I set up a trap.

Linda Vivah: This is fun. This was good.

Adam Elmore: Okay, so here's a clue. It's related to streaming. I'm not going to say streaming what.

Linda Vivah: Oh, I forgot the name though. There is a service that automates tagging. Can you put it up? There's a few when I'm thinking streaming. Oh, man. Oh, can I look up it? Wait I want to look up the name.

Adam Elmore: Go for it. Yeah, we got to do something.

Linda Vivah: Oh, sorry I'm totally Googling. This is what we do anyway.

Adam Elmore: This is a very accurate picture of our day job.

Linda Vivah: We have to Google everything.

Adam Elmore: I want to take a moment to thank all the live listeners that have stuck with us through this gripping content we're trying to figure out if this is a game worth playing.

Linda Vivah: Well, I don't know if...

Adam Elmore: Another plug for the Discord. Oh, go ahead, Linda.

Linda Vivah: Don't worry, I was trying to think if it would be more of a cloud from but that's not what this is really just streaming.

Adam Elmore: Yeah, I realized there's a lot of ambiguity in streaming actually. That could mean a lot of things.

Linda Vivah: But if talking about media streaming, there is some video related services. And I'm just...

Adam Elmore: Yeah, I wasn't talking about media. And that's the tricky part.

Linda Vivah: Oh, so it's Kinesis?

Adam Elmore: It is Kinesis Firehose. Close enough. You got it! I think it took you 16 questions, Linda, it's been so good. Sands that last torture chamber of a game. It was so great of you to humor me and to go through all that. But seriously, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show. Really appreciate it.

Linda Vivah: Thank you so much absolute honor. And I'm such a fan looking forward to listening to your upcoming interviews coming up and thank you again for having me.

Adam Elmore: Let's see other things join the Discord. I can only say that twice an episode but I'm gonna say it twice every single episode. Join the Discord. Tell us how bad that game was and how you would make it better. I would love to know because I feel like there's something there. But that was not it. That's definitely not it. Also, rate and review the podcast for reasons unknown. I believe that it has some impact on something. But I know it makes me feel good. So I appreciate every single review. Thank you so much, everyone that came and listened live. Appreciate you all. And we'll be back on Thursday. Thanks again, Linda.

Linda Vivah: Thank you.