Pragmatic 63: Making Up Lines Then Reading Between Them

6 April, 2015


In this final episode John talks about the making of Pragmatic, highlights, lowlights, criticisms and advice on whether you should have listened to it or any podcasts at all. Then Vic grills John for information.

Transcript available
Welcome to the final Pragmatic. Pragmatic was a weekly discussion show that contemplated the practical application of technology. By exploring the real world trade-offs, we looked at how great ideas were transformed into products and services that have changed our lives. our lives. This is our final episode. This episode is sponsored by Sapient Pair and their iOS app, Shopee. Shopee is a collaborative shopping list app that's simple and easy to use with great features like pocket lock, smart ordering and real time collaborative updating. Shopping lists aren't to do lists and Shopee doesn't just help organize your shopping items, but it helps you shopping from start to finish. It's free on the iOS App Store. So check it out at Sapient, that's S-A-P-I-T-E ient-pair as in for more information. This episode is also sponsored by Hover. Hover is a domain registrar that stands apart from the rest. It's simple, easy to use and understand with a valet service for your domain transfer, making it simply the best way to buy and manage your domain names. Check out Hover at and find out just how easy it is to grab your own domain or transfer your existing domain to Hover using the coupon code exactly to get 10% off your first purchase. Let Hover valet your domain stress away today. We'll be talking about them more during the show. I'm your host, John Chidjie and I'm joined again today by my co host Vic Hudson. How's it going Vic? I'm good, John. How are you today? Mixed feelings, to be honest. Because this is going to be the last episode of Pragmatic, I have mixed feelings. I do need a break. I very much do need a break. And although we are recording this on April 1st, this is not an April Fool's joke. I just want to get that out the way. You're not trolling the internet? I am not trolling the internet, no sir. I'm not. So yeah, I don't do the whole April Fool's thing I find to be a little bit childish but that's okay. Yeah, so the last episode of the show is going to be very different to every other episode because it's going to be broken down into several pieces but the first bit is going to be me doing my spiel I guess and the second part is going to be handed over to you and you can then run the rest of the episode as you see fit. And you're free to ask any questions you may want to ask. Put me on the spot of whatever you like. It's free for all, the floor is yours, which again is, as I say, very different from how I've run the rest of the episodes. So the first half, I want to start as a bit of a retrospective. I'm not going to do excerpts and stuff from the show, but I do want to go through some things some people may find interesting, some show statistics, highlights, and favorite episodes, least favorite episodes, titles and that sort of thing. How the podcast itself fitted in and didn't fit in, what worked, what didn't, why I made it, key decisions I made along the way, what I've learned. I want to address some of the common criticisms of the show and of me. I want to actually ask the question, should you listen to this podcast at all and whether or not you should be listening to podcasts at all, frankly? And if you should, what types, what durations? And then the next question, should you make a podcast yourself? And if so, what type, what style, what can you expect? Can you make a living from it? That sort of thing. And I also want to explore a little bit about sponsors, Patreon, the commitment angle. And I have already talked about in episode 59 with Eric Hess, job versus hobby angle. So I will not be covering that this episode. I refer you to episode 59 if you want my thoughts on that. So what do you reckon, Vic? - Sounds good. - All right. So let's start with some statistics because there are lies, damn lies, and John Chiggy statistics apparently. So being a, claiming to be a former statistician in my job at Nortel, where I was doing statistical analysis of failures from the field for all different things, it's given me a little bit of a different opinion, I guess, or of statistics than I had before then. So I don't see statistics as quite being the frustrating thing that a lot of people dismiss it, but you can learn things, I guess. So let's just, let's see what we come up with. So on the lifetime of the podcast, there were approximately three quarters of a million downloads in total across all episodes and types of which there were 82 discrete entries in that list. Had I continued to make the show until I reached 100 episodes in total, while 100 entities including follow-up, I would have easily crossed the 1 million download mark. That would have been a cool number to have reached, but in the end, it's just a number. And I guess that's the point, right? Is that, you know, what's a number? A number is just a number. And I've written about that before regarding New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, that sort of thing, and birthdays. It's like, I know people like numbers and statistics, so I guess we'll keep going. All right, follow-up episodes. They averaged about 80% of the downloads of a main episode. So clearly about one fifth or thereabouts of the listeners were not interested in follow-up. And what's interesting is that I spoke to a fan of the show who actually, when I first met this particular individual, he was a fan of the show. He knew who I was and I had no idea who he was. So, he sort of walked into this meeting room and had this very strange expression on his face. He's looking at me and I'm like, "Oh, hi, I'm John Cheggie. How's it going?" He's like, "Oh, I know who you are." And he's giving me this sort of a nervous nod and I'm like, "Okay, yeah, good. That's good. Lovely." And he went on to explain later on during the, it was a factory acceptance test actually, I called it a meeting but anyway, factory acceptance test. And at the end of the, during the FAT, he then explained he was a fan of the show and he'd actually listened to most of the episodes. So fast forward a few months, you know, we were talking as we're going to get, going to grab a coffee as we occasionally do whenever we're in the same building and And we're talking about his attitude towards follow-up and he basically, his sentiment was that he thought that I did a reasonably good job of covering the most important topics during the main episodes. So why would he have to listen to the follow-up? He didn't see the point. Which was something I hadn't really considered, you know? I mean, I think that's really awfully terribly nice of him to say that, but I have follow-up episodes generally because I feel I've missed something or I've made a mistake that I need to have a correction. But I do wonder how many of those one fifth of people have that opinion. I don't know, obviously, and I may never know. In fact, I think it's a very good chance that I will never know, and that's fine. Anyway, so there were 63 main episodes, an average of 9.6 thousand downloads per episode. There were 19 follow up episodes, an average of 7.7 thousand per follow up episode. Total duration, not including this episode, is 89 hours, 59 minutes and 27 seconds. So round it up by about 33 seconds and you've got 90 hours of listening, mostly listening to me droning on about all sorts of rubbish. So there you go. Longest episode was episode 62, Send It Into The Void Baby, two hours, 51 minutes and 10 seconds. The longest follow up episode was Coffee, part A. That was one hour, 22 minutes and 25 seconds. Sorry, Marco. Again, shortest episode was 31 minutes, seven seconds. That was episode four, the morality issue. And on that particular one, I'd like to add that was the point at which I split out follow up from the main episode. So technically, when I recorded that episode, the original episode was about an hour and a bit long, and I split it out into a short episode at that point. So perhaps had it been a standalone episode recording, it may have been slightly longer, but in any case, it still has the crown as the shortest episode of all time. So there you go, they're not all long. Shortest follow-up episode, two minutes, 48 seconds. That was episode 24, downloaded versus streamed part A. If you want to download them all, you're looking at the MP3 feed, comes in and weighs in at 4.34 gigabytes total, 1.47 gigabytes for the AAC feed. Okay, some more stats for you. The most downloaded episodes were in order. Coffee, episode 30, at just over 26,000 downloads. The Sledgehammer Solution, episode 37, 19.5 thousand downloads. Watch This Time and Space, episode 38, at 15.5 thousand downloads. More than one quarter of the episodes have more than 10,000 downloads. The least downloaded episodes, and I'm not including follow-ups, and I'm not including the most recent three episodes because that's not fair, because you can only really, I think, in fairness, count one month out figures. Yeah, four weeks. So the one month out figures are the best numbers to use there, so we're not including those most recent three episodes. So the least downloaded episodes based on those exclusion criteria are, The least downloaded is "You Say Data, I Say Data" which was the SCADA episode. Episode 48, only six and a half thousand downloads. Downloaded versus streamed, episode 24, followed then by Stuxnet, episode 17. Now then, hold those thoughts because we're going to do a little bit of correlation, or at least we're going to try. As voted by listeners, there were a total of 40 submissions. Hang on, I should rephrase that. 40 unique submissions by listeners in total. Thank you to everyone that participated. I really do appreciate it. Got some interesting results. Now, the note is on the voting, right? Because I had to have some kind of... I had to start it and finish it with the same data set. Otherwise, it's an invalid sample. Well, it's an invalid, you know, because this... Anyway, episodes 1 to 59 inclusive. I did not allow people to vote on follow-up episodes because I consider follow-up episodes to be a component of the main episode. It is on a single topic. Therefore, if you liked the follow-up episode, you were implicitly liking the main episode along with it. You can argue whether or not that is fair or not, but that's the way I did it. So episodes 1 to 59 of that, the most popular episode as voted by fans of the show was episode 2, the battery problem. Now very early on about episode 15 or 16 got exactly the same results so there's no question that the battery problem episode 2 remains the fan favorite of the entire series which is cool, it's interesting. However the one that surprised me was it was only one vote shy of tying for first place. And that was episode 57, which was lap band bypass gastric sleeve. And that kind of blew my socks off, because that is not really a tech topic. That's a medical topic. And it's a very personal topic, actually. And honestly, I'm grateful, grateful that my wife agreed to come on and record that with me. I've had nothing but positive responses from that considerable amount and I'm quite stunned actually. It was a great episode. She's a bit of a rock star on her own and you guys just had great chemistry together. It was really fun to listen to. Cool. Well, thank you. I mean, yeah, we do and we do have good chemistry. One of the things that I'm very grateful for is that I found a woman that I can have those sorts of in-depth conversations with, which is wonderful. So I guess that worked out well. But moving on, tied for third place though, in terms of most popular voted was Stuxnet episode 17 and Coffee episode 30 was tied for third place. So flip side of that, least popular. So these were all tied for least popular. So I gave everyone an option sliding scale one to five or no opinion. And therefore I'm taking the good with the bad here and here's the bad. So these are the three tied least popular episodes. Episode 20, the critical path, where we talked about project management and Gantt charts. I'm actually not surprised to hear that. A bow on the Handlebars was my experimental Christmas episode. Yeah. OK. I remember that one. Got it. Message received. Message received. And the automation episode, come here, I want to tell you something. That was episode 51. And I guess I feel like I didn't do that episode justice because there are a few omissions I made in that episode and I hadn't had time to do the sort of research that I would have liked to do. So, I mean, I totally get why for all of those episodes. So what do we take away from all of this? Because I didn't just put all this out there just for the, oh, that's interesting. Think about it and do a little bit of correlation and see what we can come up with. So first of all, first takeaway, I've got three big takeaways from this, and then I'd be interested in your thoughts. First one is neither of the two top two voted highest feedback episodes appear in the top list of the most downloaded episodes. So... That's interesting. One of the least downloaded episodes is tied as third favourite by, you know, with by far the most downloaded episode. So that's Stuxnet and Coffee. They were voted as one of the most, two of the most popular episodes, and yet one had the most downloads and one had effectively one of the least. Interesting. It is. So what is the translation for both of those when you'd consider them together? And that is, I think that the number of downloads that an episode gets is not relative to how good the episode is, how popular it is with the listeners, and hence, therefore, advertisers should not care so much because Downloads are the metric that we use for judging, you know, that advertisers will use, sponsors will use as a litmus test to whether or not to give you a chance. Obviously, you have to do a run of it to know for sure how it's going to go. Yeah. But the problem is with a variable audience and a varying audience, it's actually very difficult to guarantee anything because the correlation simply doesn't exist. What do you think? What are your thoughts on all those numbers? I think there are a lot of variables in there that are really kind of hard to account for and to predict and Sure Okay. Yeah, there's a lot of that. That's that's not even based on your show itself It could be what else is going on in people's lives What else is going on on the internet who else is releasing big popular episodes that week? Absolutely, that's true There's no question in my mind that the coffee episodes download figures were heavily influenced by the fact that overcast had just been released and that it was You know, I mean it's it was For the one of a better way of putting it. It was Marco of week or Marco month or Marco and He appeared on anything he was mr. Popular people were interested so You know then again you could argue the topic you know coffee is something that a lot of people drink therefore a lot of people Could be interested in my thoughts on it however the coffee follow-up episode Did not download anywhere near as many and Marco subsequent appearances on the show did not also Rank highly in terms of downloads, so I think that some of it as you say is affected by Proximity to other events in the world So anyway, there you go just food for thought interesting Let's keep in mind a I don't run a podcast network Obviously I can only go based on the numbers that I've got in front of me and obviously My show is very Different in so many ways to what else is out there So I'm not sure how many conclusions you can seriously draw given those constraints But I just thought that that was an interesting conclusion Okay, let's keep moving so for the people that voted in I promised something I said that I Would randomly choose three people that left their names and email addresses As a thank you As you know stickers have been available on stick of mule now for about a month. They sold okay People have obviously been enjoying them. I see the occasional photo on Facebook if you want to Facebook on Twitter goodness me not Facebook. Ah You can post on Facebook if you want But you know if you have stickers and you want to take take a photo and show me where you've stuck them. That's cool I don't mind I'll probably favorite or save or retweet them for posterity but beyond that, you know, just the fact that you guys have Have you have you've enjoyed them enough then that that's fantastic So anyway, so the three winners as randomly selected. So before I actually tell you the names, I just want to tell you how I randomly figured it out. And I don't know if you're gonna laugh or cry, I want to slap me, but here we go. Okay, so how did I figure out who to pick? Well, I figured that with about 40 entries, that's about the number of people in a month. Oh, by the way, of those 40, only about 30 of them left their name. So there are about 10 anonymous entries, submissions. OK, so I figured that with that sort of figure, let's do it. Let's let's do days of a month, shall we? So how do you figure it out and make it based on the show? Well, what I did is I took an episode sort and download number sort in LibSyn. I picked three episodes of the same download count, essentially, for January in 2015. That was my the point in time that I picked the idea to sort from. And that turned out to be episodes 12, 25 and 18. So then I took those episodes published dates in the month, and then I picked those in the order of the list based on the date that they were submitted or rather the submission order that they were submitted in, whereby the day of the month was the row number. So is that sufficiently random, do you think? Yeah, I think so. It's certainly tenuous. But anyway, there you go. So I'm not going to say their full names, but the winners were Kaya, Eric and Russ. and I will be in touch with each of you guys after the show goes live to get your details and I will send you off your free sticker. So thank you so much guys for your submissions. I really appreciate it. It's a nice little way to end the show, I think is a little bit of a listener feedback about favorite episodes and so on. Okay, next thing I wanna talk about is my evolution. My evolution and The evolution of John yeah evolution of John I don't want that to sound too dicky, but the truth is that Just for the hell of it. I thought The way I approach Podcasting in the way I talk into this mic talk to you talk to guests you know and interact with the internet has changed Dramatically in the last two years because of this show no ifs no buts no question I'm far more confident and far more relaxed behind this, you know, bit of metal than I have been previously. So just for the heck of it, I went back and I re-listened to episodes one and two, then I listened to 18, which is one of those pivotal episodes, and 58, just to pick a few. And I went back and I re-listened to a few episodes of Existential as well, going back to 2012. It's really clear to me how much more me I've become, you know, like how much more of my personality is coming through in the most recent 20 or so episodes maybe of the show. - As you get more relaxed and comfortable. - Yeah. - Yeah. It's not just, this is not an act. This is more me. If you know me in real life, this is more me than I was in the beginning. I was far more, I was more nervous. I had my, well, I don't know if I'd call it like super ultra professional, but certainly my professional face on a bit in the early episodes, I was a bit concerned about how it would be accepted or interpreted, I guess. I wasn't sure that anyone would be interested in a show like this. So I feel like I've fallen into a good groove with podcasting the last, you know, probably three or four months, I think in particular. I will admit though, there is one thing, If you've listened to Tangential, you'll know that on Pragmatic, I do censor myself a bit because I hate editing out swear words. I do tend to swear a little bit more in real life, but there you go. If you want to hear me swearing, listen to Tangential, I guess. Anyhow, I just thought that was worth mentioning. Okay, feedback about the show. So, iTunes, let's start with iTunes. Honestly, it is an absolute pain in the neck with iTunes ratings and reviews globally. Do you know why, Vic? If it's anything like the App Store, they don't aggregate them all into one place for you. You have to pick a region and then pick the next region and then pick the next region. Exactly. Now, that's exactly right. - That's exactly right. And that's because iTunes has just managed that way around that. - There are a few services for apps that actually aggregate that data for you. I would assume they would probably work for podcasts too, although I haven't tried it. - Yes, they do. And I'm not gonna pimp any of those because they all charge what I think is a ridiculous amount of money for such a simple service. There was a piece of software called Comment Cast and it would allow you to monitor two shows and after that you would have to pay. And I was gladly happy to pay, it was something like $5 US or something, I forget what it was, it wasn't much. But the developer had just thrown his hands up in the air because iTunes, 'cause Apple kept changing subtle things in the backend and he just moved on with his life. And it happens and that's fine. So I kept on using it, but then I noticed some of the flakiness. So it went from being a rock solid app to being a very flaky app such that you would you do a refresh and it would come up with a list and you'd have, Oh, you've lost about 30 reviews. Oh, okay. Where did they go? Well, they are still there. It's just that there's something funny in the interface or that store was down or it didn't respond quick enough or yeah, insert reason. I don't understand all the details as to what went wrong. All I know is, is it stopped working reliably. So what I'm going to tell you is so far as I can tell. So, so far as I can tell, there are about 95 or so ratings and within that is a subset of about 60 written reviews in iTunes for the show globally. There was one, so there's one three star written review, two four star written reviews, and all other written reviews are five stars. There are three one star ratings, one two star rating and one three star rating beyond the reviews I mentioned before and one four-star rating. The rest are all five stars. So that gives us an overall show rating of 4.77 out of 5. That's pretty good. I'm pretty proud of that. I'm pretty proud of that. You should be. I'm so happy that so many people were kind enough to leave such nice reviews in iTunes and admittedly a lot of the listeners have now moved across to overcast, some also use pocket casts and so on, and they don't have the sort of, that sort of a feedback mechanism. You can debate as much as you like whether or not one star reviews mean anything or five star reviews mean anything and the whole thing of like, "Wow, everyone either loves you or hates you and blah blah blah blah blah." Whatever, that's fine, I get it, it's okay. In the end, like I said, a number is just a number, but I'm just grateful for the people that have left such nice reviews and I'm even grateful for the people that gave me a one-star review. At least you took the time to tell me what you thought. So I appreciate that. That's cool. Okay. Hey. So. Regarding overcast and those reviews, feel free to cut this out if you want. I know you've been absent from Twitter a lot lately, but I've actually got a workflow I put out a week or so ago that actually opens whatever podcast you're listening to in iTunes so you can review it if you want. Yeah, I saw that and that's great. And I should put a link to that in the show notes. So that's a good idea. It's a good way of giving feedback because Overcast only has a recommend feature. Yeah, and it's usually such a hassle to go and look up a show in iTunes later after the fact to try and review it. And this way you can just, while you're listening to it, you can just hit that share sheet and get pitched right out into iTunes directly to the show that you were listening to and saves a little bit, a few steps in the way there. Yeah, when it comes to podcast listening workflows, you're starting to compete with Federico ever teach you in this respect. - I'm not sure about that, but I think I'll take it as a compliment. - I think Teachy is gonna have to be careful. No, he's gotta watch it, man. You're coming for him. You're gonna get him. Okay, moving on. So more on feedback. So I get email and that's cool. I have never once said, don't email me because I want people to email me. I want people to tell me what they think. I want them to add to the conversation. I want them to interact and so we can make this better for everybody. And well, be careful what you wish for. So there were just over 600 individual items of feedback for the entire duration of this show. Feedback was not tracked against follow-up episodes only on the main topics since, as I said before, follow-up belongs to the main topic. Hence, on average, you're looking at about 10 items of feedback for every episode across all mediums. So that includes feedback form, Twitter, direct emails. The first 20 or so episodes of the show, I didn't have a feedback form on the website. It was still going via Fiat Lux. So I often gave out the show email address. So the point is that that's come from a variety of different forms over the past two years. So in terms of quantities per episode, some more stats for you. The shows that had the most feedback were coffee, not surprisingly episode 30 that had approximately 70 individual unique items of feedback. E-reader versus paper came in third place and I guess not surprisingly the battery problem was second in second place in terms of feedback. There was one bucket however of feedback that was not an episode because it was generic and the generic bucket of thank yous was 150. So it sort of wasn't an episode but you know it was a bucket of worthy of mention because I would flag as emails came in which episode the feedback related to and so on and so forth so I could track in my responses and so on. So anyway, okay I have responded privately to every email that I have received and yes that includes the emails that came in just today. So I just wanted to say as of this moment, maybe the emails will never stop, perhaps. But you know what, for this moment in time at least, I can say accurately it is currently true that I've responded to every single email privately that I have. Now via Twitter or Facebook, I've either acknowledged it by favoriting, at mentioning or replying directly on Twitter or or on the show in five episodes. So if I've ever missed anyone who's ever sent me any response of any kind, please accept my sincere apologies. It was never my intention. I wanted to make sure that I'd responded to everybody. So honestly, one of the saddest parts for me about ending the show is that the feedback will slow down eventually end. To me, it was a highlight of doing this because most of the feedback I got, not only was it positive, but most of it was very intelligent, very well thought out, and very thought provoking. And it carried on the conversation in ways that have simply not been possible for me when I've had these sorts of discussions with other friends. Because The problem is when I'm having a conversation about a topic that interests me, most of my friends in my social circles in, I guess, "the real world" will not share my passion or interest for the topic. Whereas people that listen to the show from all around the world, if they're listening to a topic that really strikes a chord with them, I will hear back from them generally. And that's a very different level of feedback than I will get in a casual conversation. So that is something that I think is unique to this sort of an experience. And frankly, it really was the highlight of doing this show because people take time out of their lives, not just to listen to the show and that's huge enough, but when they put, take more of their time to put together an email or even to send you a thank you tweet. I mean, it really does mean the world to me. It always has, and it always will. So again, thank you to everyone that has done that. Now, I acknowledge the fact that compare this to really, really popular levels of podcasts or TV shows or whatever, people that become popular to levels beyond what this is for me, I didn't get that level of inundation that some other podcast hosts will complain about. And because of that, it's easy for me to say, I responded to all of them. That's because there was only 600 in total for the entire duration of the show. What if it was 600 an episode? I think I'd struggle. Just in any case, just a tad, exactly. And I never crossed into that territory. And you know what? I actually think that's great because it's meant that I could respect people's time and their effort, and I could respect the listeners that took the time to respond. So it's been a good balance and I don't wish necessarily for more, nor do I wish for any less. So there you go. Again, I can't say thank you enough to everyone who said both good and bad things during the course of the show. You've made the show better, and I think it's been good for everybody. Okay, now I need to talk about some common criticisms about the show, but before I do that, I'd like to talk about our first sponsor, and that is Sapient Pear. Now, Sapient Pear decided after years of being annoyed and frustrated with the existing to-do list apps when they went shopping, that they'd create an iOS app for the iPhone and it's called Shopee. Now, there's a ton of to-do list apps out there and I've used lots of them over the years, but going shopping is a very specific use case for a list. If you're shopping for more than just yourself, then Shopee really begins to shine. The best way to describe Shopee is a fully collaborative shopping list app that's simple and easy to use. I picked it up and figured out how to use it pretty much immediately. It's not cluttered with options. doesn't presume you live in a specific country, or present hundreds of options for different kinds of butter or milk or bread, you just type in whatever you wanna remember to buy in a list, enter an amount if you want, that's optional, and there's your list. It remembers what you've ended for the future and even the order in which you buy and mark them off the list as you walk through the supermarket. Now that's cool enough, but when you share your list by email or iMessage or however to your spouse or your partner, then they can add and mark off and reorder items in the list as they need to. Anyway, see, I've tried this real time between two iPhones and the sync happens in less than about three seconds. That was over 3G. However, there's more. See, I also love the pocket lock feature. So if you're security conscious like me, and you've got a passcode set, there's nothing more annoying than having to lock your phone, slip it in your pocket, then get it back out again at the end of the aisle, just to unlock it again to look at your list. Well, Pocket lock disables the screen when it detects it's in your pocket and re-enables it instantly when it's removed. No passcodes, no fuss, and it works really well. So my wife and I, we've used this several times now, and where we used to note things in reminders or to-do apps or even on paper. Now we use, when either of us go shopping, we use Shopee. So you open Shopee to indicate you're about to start shopping. Then the geolocation detects the store that you're shopping at, and on the shared list, the other person or persons will get a notification that you're about to start shopping. Now, if they remember that they want you to grab something while you're there, they can tap that notification, jump into the shared list and quickly add that item. It'll appear on my list as I'm at the shop and I can then grab it while I'm there. It's brilliant. Those last minute, you know, is there anything else you need, phone calls, you don't need them anymore. Now there's no risk, 'cause it's free to try for the first month, you know, with no ads, after which it becomes ad supported. No risk, no functionality, it's just ad supported after that. But if you do want to help out the developers, you can in-app purchase a three or 12 month ad removal for 199 or 499 US respectively. Now, the update to fully support iOS 8 and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been live on the store for a couple of months now. And it's got the additional features of, like reachability features for the larger phones, like pull down to add new items. It's also had a fresh coat of paint. And you can also move checked items around at the bottom of the list if you want to declutter the longer lists. that's now possible as well. So please visit this URL, sapient, that's S-A-P-I-E-N-T, dash pair, as in two, dot com slash pragmatic, and follow the links to the app store from there, and that will help out the show. You can search for the app in the store, but if you use that URL in your browser of choice, it'll help out Pragmatic. Thank you once again to Sapient Pairs Shopee app for sponsoring Pragmatic. Okay, next is criticisms. It's not all positive, Vic. - Uh-oh. - Uh-oh. - So let me have it. - Let you have it. Well, they let me have it. So first and foremost is the follow-up. So I have copped this on and off. I've had both sides of it, people that love it, people that hate it, but it's important that I mention this. And just recently, about a month ago, first time I had this criticism for a while, but got the criticism that lacking integrated follow-up broke the continuity of the show. And I guess the whole point of breaking out the follow-up from the main episodes was that each individual episode would be a topic encapsulated unto itself. If you're interested in DRM, you listen to the DRM episode. If you're not interested in SCADA, you don't listen to, you know, the SCADA episodes. If you're not interested in amateur radio, then you don't listen to that episode. You know, there's no... I'm not trying to create and I was never trying to create a podcast that was must listen because it's there's going to be a little bit of follow up from the previous episode and then we're we're going to get into a new topic and then we're going to leave it open and then you'll have to listen next week for more. It's like this is not a serial podcast. This is a weekly podcast with a discrete set of topics. I wanted people to be able to choose. So I see it as a, as an improvement. I see it as a refinement of the medium. I see it as something different. And honestly, I can totally understand why. And we'll talk about a little bit about this later on as to why I think that's become the way it's done, quote unquote, the way it's done or supposed to be done. And continuity is not always the point as far as I'm concerned. If I thought it was the point, I would have done it that way. In fact, I started out doing the show that way and about three or four episodes in, I decided, you know what, let's be bold and do something different. And I think for the most part, it's been a positive experience because people can then choose what they want to do rather than forcing people to fast forward because how many times have you listened to an episode of podcast X where they're talking about an episode from a month ago that you haven't listened to that you're not interested in knowing anything about and they're making all these references and you don't understand any of them. Worse than that, let's say it was an episode a month ago that you did listen to. Well, there's a lot of water under the bridge between then and now and you've forgotten about it. Do I need to go back and re-listen because they're referring to something that they said and they're making a joke about something and I don't understand what they're laughing about and I just don't get it, I'm all confused. Fast forward, fast forward, fast forward. Oh good, they're finding onto a new topic. You know, I've lost count of the number of times I've done that with miscellaneous podcasts over the years. I'm not going to single anyone out because a lot of them do it. However that was not the single biggest criticism that I got about the show. it or not, the biggest criticism that I had about Pragmatic was that the show is not very pragmatic. Believe it or not. Interesting. Now, I'm going to start with some dictionary definitions. Okay. Just because I need to prove this to myself, if anything else. So, the Mac OSX dictionary, which is based on the Oxford Dictionary says that being pragmatic is dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that it's dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending upon ideas and theories. Relatively similar. I think honestly that I actually did that, but where it falls... - I would say so. - Yeah, I think so. But the problem is I found is that people have actually got a very varying ideas on what pragmatism actually is. So when I say, I'm trying to be pragmatic or let's make a pragmatic choice, different people have a different idea of what that actually means. And they don't go back to the dictionary definition of it. So a typical example of some feedback I get from time to time was I obsess over sometimes over a little design detail, like the colors used in a display. So if I'm displaying a certain alarm, what color it is. Now, when I obsess about colors, it has nothing to do with, I don't think the colors work together, or something vague or artistic, you know? So I only care if those colours distract from the alarm message indication, let's say, that might be missed because someone may be colour blind. So that's a practical consideration. It's not an opinion based on... That is baseless. It's like, well, from an artistic point of view, I think that this colour is nicer. And it's like, well, yeah, that's like totally your opinion, man. And that's great. But that's not a pragmatic choice. that is an opinionated choice. So that's I guess some people either can't don't or won't see that that way. Maybe they won't I don't know. People that have worked with me know that I rant a lot and I guess that comes across in the show. But anyway, I read a lot about why I have the opinions that I do and I read about the why I believe the things that I believe because I feel I need to justify to myself and every time that I do, it is a justification that I actually have some kind of logical foundation for why I have the opinions that I do. Because if it turns out that I can't actually back up something that I believe with a logical foundation, I'll abandon that line of thinking for one where I can justify it. Now, to me, that's my definition of making a pragmatic choice is making one that has a practical, logical foundation that has arrived at methodically as opposed to, I'm just like this 'cause it's like my opinion, man. And that's the end of my argument 'cause that's not an argument in my opinion. - Yeah. - So, and for me, especially in engineering, it's all about trade-offs. It's not just the practicalities of the design, the functionality, the aesthetics, they all matter, but so does cost. So does the deliverable being actually delivering something on time. Yeah, there's lots of other considerations than just how practical a design is or how functional it is or what color it is. You have to still be able to deliver this thing in some reasonable timeframe for a less than infinite amount of money. So that's why one of the key taglines of the show is exploring the real world trade-offs because that's what engineering means to me is it's about trade-offs. People get hung up on their pet peeves and their pet hates and they let that cloud their judgment and they don't see the bigger picture. And sometimes it's okay to do that so long as you can step back and give yourself a reality check and realize what you're doing. I've had jobs in recent times where I've been able to do that. I've had that, the ability to dive in, get very nitpicky and then take a step back and say, you know what, I've analyzed this, I've pulled this apart, I've found all these things that need improvement. People look and they nod and they say, yes, okay, now let's go through the list of the ones we're actually going to fix. you know, and maybe a 10th of the issues I brought up get fixed. But that's fine because it's all about trade-offs. I can't fix everything that's wrong. I have to choose somehow. Yeah. So pick your battle. Anyway. So I guess my, yeah, absolutely. It's about picking your battles. It's about being pragmatic and picking the right battles. So anyway, I guess, uh, it's the, uh, yeah. So it's about maintaining the focus on the bigger picture in the end. So honestly, if you can't explain why you think a certain thing, or have a certain belief, you probably haven't thought about it enough. I think people should be thinking harder and longer and thinking more about what they do. And I think opinion should be based more on evidence and fact, because bias and emotion are the enemy of pragmatism. And I've tried very, very hard, not just on this show, but in my life, to be as pragmatic as I can be. And hence, you know, the title of the show. I mean, I don't know if I've always succeeded. In fact, I'm reasonably sure I haven't, but that's okay because it's, it's okay to have a set of guiding principles and try and follow them. Even if you don't always succeed, at least you're trying. So that's at least that's what I tell myself. Hopefully that's enough. But anyway, I guess the, the, the show has been a pretty good reflection on that struggle that I've had with other people and with myself, actually, to be honest. but you know, people in the real world as well as on the internet, you know, and it comes down to this, show me a better, more practical way with a better overall outcome and I will follow that idea and I will follow you. It's that simple. So if you can't, don't or won't do that, then I can't respect that and I will simply continue to do what I believe to be the most pragmatic thing. And honestly, yeah, that's, yeah, that's all I got to say about that. So, if you still don't think the show was very pragmatic, that's cool. That's fine. It's all good. It's all good, man. It's all good, man. Okay. It's all good, man. Okay. Next big criticism off the rank, not letting the other host talk. So, this is an interesting one. The great thing, I guess, about the co-hosts on this show, meaning, of course, yourself and previously Ben Alexander, is that both of you understood A) and understand present tense, what the show is, and B) can still help to keep me on track if I'm wandering too far off or ask good counterpoint questions when they need to be asked. And I think the audience for the most part understand that. The problem with guest hosts is that unless they're fans of the show, they don't understand that. And they think it's more of an interview style of show where I ask them a few questions and they talk for two hours. Every guest host except for two, being Nick Coughlin and my wife Kirsten, the first time that I spoke to them verbally was when they appeared on the show. OK, and of those, half of those were not fans of the show. In other words, I hadn't listened to a single episode beforehand. Yeah, they're not going to say who. That's not relevant. The point is that's OK. So how many were there? So we knew there were two co-hosts, right, yourself and Ben. But there were 17 guest hosts in the course of the show. and in order of appearance they were Mike Hurley, Horace Deju, Seth Clifford, Josh Senters, Guy English, Casey Liss, Jason Snell, Marco Arment, Joel Hausman, David Smith, Russell Ivanovich, Nick Coghlan, Federico Vittici, John Siracusa, Brianna Wu, Kirsten Chidjy and Eric Hess. Now, that's the list in total. Whenever the planets aligned, I suppose, with expectations on on the show, preparation for the topic, knowledge of the topic that we wanted to cover. I got, I think, pretty good results with guest hosts. Sometimes they really were great episodes, like the one with Federico. But other times when I got guests on, I would get some feedback emails that went something along the lines of, "When you got someone amazing on your show like Person Blah, you should shut up and let them talk. And I got that feedback semi-regularly when I had especially bigger name in terms of their like popularity on Twitter or other podcasts when they would come on the show. So, people that are regular listeners of Pragmatic, they knew that it was an interview show. But imagine if you're a new listener and you're only listening because you're the biggest, know, person blah fan in the world. And then there's this jerk, this chidgy guy, he just won't shut up. Right? Now you're gonna be pissed, right? You're not listening for me. You're listening for the guest. So I disagree with that. You did. Well, okay, that's my premise. It's your show. Well, yes, it's my show. And a guest is a guest. Well, yes, I know. But, but the point is that in that situation, I can't win. Because Yeah, I agree with that too. Yeah. So, you know, the bottom line is every guest on the show is a gamble. It messes with the format, it messes with the continuity of the show in some ways. But the point is that I didn't want to pigeonhole the show. And sometimes, it's not an ongoing, never ending conversation where one episode blows into the next and, you know, and consistency is king, You know, like it's always the same two, three, four people, whatever it is, depending on the podcast you're referring to. It wasn't like that. I didn't want it to be like that. And when I have a set list of things that I want to touch on, you know, sometimes getting a guest on who knows a lot more about or is interested in talking about that topic is beneficial. I think it shakes things up a little bit. And I think that on the whole, it's been a positive and it's been a net positive for the show. However, that said, I typically run my show as a very tight ship. So there's a set list of things that I want to touch on. And the order is very important because of the way I like to structure my thoughts. And especially on more complicated topics, that the order that you cover the topics is very important. So, well, I think it is anyway. And there's a look, because sometimes there's a lot of foundation building you've got to do before you can reach a final conclusion. So often guests will not appreciate that and they will jump around. Sometimes I'll go off topic and it sort of distracts me from the order that I'm trying to follow in the show. So that's the other side of the argument. So and I guess every episode of Pragmatic, with maybe one or two exceptions, has had a definitive conclusion or set of conclusions. They're not really open ended. And you can disagree with the conclusion, but there still is one. It's not a never ending conversation. So I guess in many respects, the criticisms of having guests on and, and, and the structure of changing in the show sometimes as a result, I think that in fairness, it's not fair. It's like, it's like you can't apply those criticisms to a show like this because it's so different. I stand by my decision to bring guests on, um, where the topics truly benefited from their input, their experience on that topic. But it's difficult the first time you speak to someone, you know, to have an instant rapport with them. It doesn't happen very often. And I certainly found that there were certain guests that I felt that I clicked with straight away and other ones where where I just where we didn't. And that's OK. That's this. Yeah, that's just chemistry. Right. And there's. It's one of those weird things about the human experience. Right. So anyway, um, I got feedback that, uh, some, some people said the show's format was confusing. Um, and that I needed to figure out what the show actually was. But ultimately I think that's sort of the wrong way to think about the problem. Cause that's sort of like the Henry Ford problem. Ask people what they want. They'll say they want a faster horse. Well, you know, it's like, everyone says they want a podcast. That's that's different. why do they all sound the same? You give them one that's different, they complain it's different. It's like, okay. Anyway, so I think in the end, the right question was not about figuring out what the show was or what the format should be. It's just getting the balance right between co-hosts and guest hosts and picking the right guest hosts to have on the show. And that was the balance that I needed to strike. And I think in the last probably third or thereabouts of the show's run, I think I feel like I've got that balance right, where I have guest hosts on periodically, but with having you, Vic, as my stable co-host for the vast majority of the time. And I think that's worked the best personally. And I've had some feedback to that effect as well. - Well, it's hard to develop a rapport and a chemistry with frequently swapping out guests. And so there's a certain benefit definitely to having a steady host. - Absolutely. So, yeah, absolutely. And yeah, so I think it's worked better. But anyway, irrespective of whether you thought I got the balance right or wrong in the end, you know, I guess it doesn't matter because this is the last episode. But I'm still proud of what I've created over the last two years. So just on getting the right guest host, I've had feedback on this as well. It's hard to pick a good guest host for a given topic for a few reasons. I know by listening to people, I say listening, reading what people say on Twitter, listening to them on their podcasts if they had them and so on I could tell that they had an interest in a certain subject, you know, like the weather or patents or accessibility or RSI for example. When I'd get in touch with them I'd propose the topic that I thought they'd like to talk about but often they would come back and say, "Oh, actually I'd really like to talk about something else instead," because I'd always give them a backup list and say, "Here's a list of potential topics that I'm considering." So I didn't want to say, I wanted to give them the maximum opportunity to say yes or know and if they didn't like the topic I was pushing, suggesting that perhaps we should talk about, that they could feel free to choose another one. Well, again, sometimes it worked out, it was a good choice, sometimes perhaps not so good, but that's okay. I can't, as I said, I can't predict chemistry, but more importantly, I can't make the other person talk. So, you know, some people say I don't give people the chance to talk. Well, that's not really true. It's more a case of they want to have to want to talk. And what I found is that when I've had guests on the show that already have another podcast, they had no trouble talking at all. Yeah. More than happy, you know? Yeah. But it was the ones that did not have regular shows or regular podcasts that ran of any real length at all. Those are the ones that tended to struggle a little bit more, I think. And I don't think that's anything other than, now rewind back to my comment about my evolution, starting a podcast like back in 2012 to where I am now. That's all it is. It is not a reflection on anything other than exactly the same thing I went through and that's fine. Okay, so I've got a few more criticisms I want to address. Okay, the next big one on the list. the show away from Fiat Lux. I still get feedback from time to time. And I've quite publicly discussed my reasons why I don't want to rehash it all. But I think it's definitely I can't gloss over it. It's something that needs to be just discussed quickly again, I think as part of this. So I actually copped some flack when I took the show indie when I left Fiat Lux. Now I'd been heavily involved with Fiat Lux at that point and I was writing up insanely detailed show notes for the new Constellation site. And for a brief time, I thought that was actually the best approach. I was sold, I was bought in on it. I thought it was the way to go. However, I had a bit of time to think when I had my weight loss surgery and I was out of action for a month. And I looked over the numbers and I looked at the feedback we were getting from listeners, both publicly and privately. And I wrote about this on Tech Distortion, episode "Pragmatic" on Constellation. And I asked listeners, I said, "What do you, the listener, think?" That's exactly the phrase I used. The answer overwhelmingly was, "Yes, the new notes look nice, that's it." Not enough people actually cared. And that's, I think, a shame, but it's kind of like saying, well, I'm now forcibly painting decorative art on your car. It's gonna look nice. But the majority of people will look and say, well, that's nice, but I still like a red car or a plain black car or whatever, you know, or a white car. We just like white cars, but I know they're out there. Anyway, so my point is that, you know, it's like listeners told me what they thought. And the truth was that not enough people actually cared. 'Cause you listen to a podcast to listen to the podcast, not to read the show notes. And that's the reality. I'm sorry, but that's the reality. So they wanted to hear me talk about a topic, not write about a topic. Because if they wanted me to write about it, like writing detailed notes, then Tech Distortion would get four times the page views that it does, right? Pragmatic is far more popular than my blog. That's reality. So people listen to podcasts, they don't read them. So whilst having great show notes is great and all, it's not what matters most about the show. And now that I'm hosting everything, I can see those numbers and I can tell you the show notes get their links clicked somewhere between 1/50 to 1/100 there's many times the downloads get, the episodes get downloaded on average. You know, people just don't follow them, well generally. Only that the idea of the show notes for pragmatic, I guess, has become, it's a place to turn if you're more interested in learning about a given topic, you know? So if you're happy with the content of the episode, you don't feel the need to go through and do any more, you're not interested in the topic anymore, that's fine. The show notes are there if you want them, but if you don't, that's fine. So it's a series of links. So the reason that this is important to understand is that this was one of the driving reasons. And if I had to break up all of the reasons, that was one of the biggest ones was the overhead of preparing all of those notes. When I write notes, I don't write an essay. I write dot points, pages of dot points to make sure, you know, sometimes I think very carefully about the wording of things. If I have something I want to specifically mention, I'll agonize over the wording and I'll have it in quotes and I'll say, I want to make sure I read this specifically, because that's specifically how I feel I want to be misconstrued. But turning that into show notes, detailed show notes that are more conversational that are less just some, some engineer scrap dot point collection, which is frankly what my notes look like. You know, it's not something that can be turned into an article for tech distortion or anything like that. So it's a lot of extra work and the overhead of preparing those long show notes, the value ad seemed to be better to be put into preparing more detailed show notes than it was to reduce the amount of time spent on the show on preparing for the episode and then spending more of it, creating more detailed show notes. So that was the that was the trade off. So ultimately, Ben and I were moving in different directions in where he wanted to take constellation and essentially where my time was being spent in doing the work for the show. And I thought it was best at that point if we parted ways before it went too much further. So ultimately Pragmatic was my show in every sense of the word from the original concept to the preparation to pretty much to the delivery of it. It was my show. And it's interesting because some people don't see it like that, which is kind of strange to me. But I guess if you coming in from the cold and you listen to the first 20 episodes and then suddenly I'm, you know, I talked to Ben once more on episode 26. It was great to get him back for 26. Our calendars didn't align. He's been very busy with, with Bez and everything. And that's, and that's great. That's fine. It's just that, you know, I wasn't able to get him back on. So bottom line though, is that listeners don't understand some of the, some of the backgrounds of what was going on and why that transition happened. And I've actually had some quite abusive feedback, to be honest, about that. And it makes me sad sometimes, but honestly, Ben and I are still good friends. We still talk regularly. And I mean, he's a great guy and he's working on some really cool stuff and I can't wait to see it when it comes out. So, I mean, you know, and he's always going to keep on there in the background and he's not going anywhere. watch this space. That show notes thing, it's a tough nut because it's really good supplemental material but you do have to focus the attention to it's just one part of the equation that's not the end of it. There's also a factor of whether or not the host and the content producers can realistically fit that in and that's a big factor that a lot of people just can't seem to understand. For most podcasters out there, most of us aren't doing this business, most of us aren't making significant money out of it and it kind of has to be a hobby and so you've kind of got to give it a hobby time scale and there's only so much you can put into it so you've got to draw realistic boundaries of what you can and can't put into it Absolutely right, but the thing is that what Ben was doing with Constellation installation was absolutely, genuinely, and I mean this, completely was raising the bar. Oh yeah. Yeah, definitely. There is no question. That was not the question though. The question, like you just said, is the time investment required. So I think about professional productions, right? Like things like serial, it's not one guy or two guys or two guys and a girl putting us together. It's a team of people between the research, you know, the, or just the sound, just the, the sound mixing and the recording and all that is done over multiple days and weeks just to put together an episode, you know, it's like TV shows and there's production staff. And this is not something one person does on their own, or two people doing the vast majority of the work and hold down a full-time job doing something completely different in order to make ends meet. So it's tough. So anyway, I don't have anything else to say really on that. If you want more information, there's links in the show notes I've already gone over this before, but I just thought it was important that I address that. And anyway, okay, so next is feedback. So I should say feedback, I mean, follow up, sorry. So people that pay attention will notice that the follow-up on the show has slowed down considerably in the last three or four months. And a few people point this out to me. And this has become a more recent criticism about the show is that there's been no follow-up in recent months or very little. So why? What happened? Feedback and follow-up requires some degree of preparation. It requires research and notes, just like any main topic does. So when you've got a main topic that you need to cover each week, that time still needs to be spent preparing the notes for that episode. Now, when you're a sponsored show and the show is only sponsoring the main episodes, there's no financial incentive or pressure to cover the feedback. So what do you do? you want to do the best possible job on the main episodes, because they're the ones that have the financial incentive slash penalty. And we'll talk about that in a minute. Now, I did actually have trouble getting sponsors to cover the feedback episodes, because essentially, there are a few reasons, I think, first of all, no other podcast I know of splits them out. So there was an educational aspect to that I had to educate sponsors, this is the way that I do it. And a lot of sponsors came back and said, that's weird. No one else does that. I'd rather stick to this main episodes, thanks. You know, I made the fall episode slots, I think very cheap. But the problem is that they're not long enough. So as I said before, shortest one was just under three minutes. Would you take a full three minute ad read in a 10 minute follow-up segment? See, I think that's pushing it, you know, it's, it's a bad balance for listeners. And I wanted to respect listeners time. So I had to restrict it to no more than one minute ad read in a 10 minute follow-up segment, let's say, but only ever one. And to sweeten the deal, it was an exclusive, you know, follow-up sponsor for that entire month, irrespective of the quantity of follow-up slots, but I guaranteed a minimum of four 'cause originally that was the plan. However, advertisers, sponsors, they were not as keen to jump on that, unfortunately. They wanted to stick with the main episodes. So it essentially reached a point where the main episodes was where the interest was because again, as I said, feedback episodes were 20% less on average the main episode that they're associated with. So yeah, so that was one of the reasons. Another reason, every episode, every episode has a minimum overhead which is a markdown file, an mp3, an AAC file, each of them encoded with its own metadata, uploaded, created in Libsyn. You know, even if the episodes are shorter they still carry that same overhead. So having an extra episode of any kind, follow up or main is going to have additional workload. Yeah. Now, I've had a lot of people comment that a significant, how do I put this? Like I said before, the fan of the show, Simon told me face to face that, you know, that he didn't care about the follow-up. And again, I'm still not sure what to make of that. That really wasn't why I slowed right down the follow-up. It was mainly because I had my hands full doing the notes for the episodes, the main episodes that I didn't, and I'd gone back and responded to a lot of people individually. So I sort of decided that that was sufficient to address that follow-up. In some cases, I wish that I had more time so that I could have done the follow-up, but with a weekly show, there's a lot of time pressure. You just get one show out and it's time to prep for the next one, and there's no break. - Yeah. - And I'm, you know, you gotta have a weekly show. And we'll talk a little bit about that later on as well. However, all these things aside, honestly, I think follow-up for episodes like "The Battery Problem", it had four follow-up segments. Coffee's follow up was, you know, again, the longest. So, in fact, it was so long I had to get Marco back again the following week or two to record the episode. I actually got him on Skype for originally. So I'm grateful that he was able to make the time to come back and talk about that because I'm like, oh, because I mean, he's a busy guy. So, you know, anyway. So, yeah, other times, I guess the feedback's been so big that I didn't do it as a follow up. I actually did it as independent episodes. So I know it's not technically follow up and you could argue, "Yeah, well that was really follow up for this episode, but I thought the topic was so big that I couldn't do it justice as follow up. I had to make it its own discreet topic." And the one I'm specifically referring to and the gentleman in question that did this is a guy called by the name of Nick Radcliffe. I mentioned him before on the show and he has the unique honor to have been the only listener to provide so much feedback on a topic, in this case e-reader versus paper topic, that it spawned two independent episodes as a direct result. One on privacy and one on DRM, both of them with Seth Clifford as guest host. Now I started addressing that feedback more personally and emailing a lot of people's clarifications and corrections. So anyway, all right, so here's an epiphany that I had, well, an epiphany of sorts, I guess, along the way as I was doing the show. The more preparation that I did and the more depth I went to, and the more defined the boundaries of a topic discussion were, the less feedback I got. Now, if you think about it, that's not much of an epiphany, that kind of makes sense, right? But what doesn't make sense is when you think about it backwards. So think about it this way. If you want to show that has lots of feedback, it becomes an ongoing discussion with the internet, then don't do as much research. Because people will write in that care, will write in to correct you. And that gives you more to talk about the next week. Yeah, I'm not saying that other podcasts do this intentionally. But think about it, think it through. I think it's an interesting epiphany. End of the live show. Okay, so just don't worry, stick with me two more criticisms to address. End of the live show. So I got some people that were disappointed that the live show ended. And I just wanted to address that in case I hadn't previously. Look, I ended that partly for technical reasons because my upload bandwidth is terrible, as you know, as you You well know, Vic, and as I complain about endlessly, and I need to really find something else to complain about. I am aware. But partly because, yes, you are. You are aware. So but partly because I think the show format, specifically Pragmatic Show format, didn't lend itself to that sort of interaction. I introduced the Q&A segment after the show, and I thought that that helped tremendously with separating the two. But I found that listeners did not see it that way. Live listeners did not see it that way. Ultimately, I also had work commitments at the time and that pushed the time and date of the live show. And that meant that I had to move it around a lot, which made it less people were able to show up because it wasn't a regular time slot. Some guest hosts that I had on voiced their preference to not do the show live. All of that compounded, so I stopped doing the live show. I thought I'll revisit that early in this year, but turns out I decided that I would end the show and it's never come back. I think that live as a dimension for podcasting, I think it works for certain show formats and larger networks has become a must have. But let's be honest, in terms of the number of downloads versus the number of live listeners, it really isn't worth the trouble. That's the truth. I think I probably not, you know, it's for the true, absolute hardcore fans. Depending on your show and your format. Yeah. And you have to have the right show and the right format for it to work, but it's really not what podcasts are. Okay. Podcasts can be played whenever you like. That's the point. You don't want to be stuck. Oh, I have to listen to Pragmatic between nine and 11, you know, PM or whatever time that works out to you. in whatever part of the world you're in, right? It's like, well, I'm busy, I'm not awake. You know, a lot of listeners sleep in half their luck. But you know what, you know, the whole point of a podcast is you can play it back whenever you want to. So what you're doing is you're essentially, you're rewarding the loyal and time flexible few listeners and their interaction with the show during the show distracts the majority of listeners that are attracted to a non-live, non-interactive nature of a podcast. And that's what made podcasts popular in the first place. So you're essentially working against the format. So it's an interesting dimension, but honestly, I don't recommend it for the, for, uh, for the vast majority of people that are doing podcasts. I don't think it's bad exactly. I just don't think it makes sense. That's all. Okay. End of topic voting. Honestly, I hacked together a lot of PHP to make that work due to limitations in Statomic. Man, oh man, you do not want to see that PHP. You really, really don't. I'd accumulated so many great suggestions. Also, at that point, I had to put on hold. I had an I have enough still in the bank as it were for another 50 episodes, no problem. So I just decided to put on hold with every intention of rewriting it. When Statomic, the bunch of updated functionality that was gonna be added to Statomik. And by the time Statomik delivered some and still hasn't delivered all of it, I've decided, you know what, I'm ending the show anyway. So, the show ends before I get to that rewrite. It was really that simple. And that's it, yeah. So, I moved to a different host. It was a chance for me to streamline the site, so I took the opportunity. So there you go. Okay, so getting close to the end of my segment. should you listen to podcasts is the next topic. Oh dear. So, don't jump to that conclusion. I haven't reached that point yet because I have to talk about our second sponsor for this episode and what is the final sponsor for Pragmatic. And I'll be honest with you, this is one of those sponsors that I always wanted to have on my podcast at some point, because I love their stuff so much. having dealt with horrible registrars time and again in my life to find one that was this good has been such a relief and I'm of course referring to Hover and Hover they are a domain registrar that stand well apart from the rest. Owning and controlling your own domain is absolutely critical if you're developing an app, writing a blog, running a business, a project or if you just want to keep the same email address for life or you've had any presence you have any presence at all on the web. A domain is still the single best way for other people to find you and the best way to buy and to manage your domain names is with Hover. If you don't currently have a domain name, Hover can help find the perfect one just for you. Hover supports a huge list of TLDs and if you want to know what TLDs are, listen to episode 62. And their domain search is truly amazing. You can just type in your best idea and it'll tell you not only whether that domain is available, but suggest dozens of close matches that might be just as good or even better than your original suggestion. Sometimes people sign up for different hosting services that offer a free domain name as part of the deal, but make sure you read that fine print because often they'll charge a mint to transfer your domain out and leave you when you need to leave and you could lose control of it. So keeping control of your domain using a service like Hover puts you in the driver's seat and in as little as five minutes you can be up and running with a new domain if you want to. Hover's tools are so easy to use and follow most people won't need any help to get set up, but you You know what, if you do, their support team is always available to help you out. They're famous, they are famous for their no wait, no hold, no transfer phone service. A real living human being will help you. Hover do not try to upsell you on every little detail like who is privacy. I know everyone goes on about that because everyone should have it, but it's just included. There's no flashy ads, no pushy BS. In short, it's actually pleasant to use, which for a domain registrar in my experience is a rare thing. Now I know that that's all wonderful and everything, but Hover also offer bulk discounts for 10 domains and up. So the more domains you have with Hover, the cheaper it gets for each, which is a bonus. They also have a reliable email service. You can get a terabyte of storage space as well if you want it. They also offer email forwarding for just $5 a year. Finally, the service that I think brings so many people with existing domains to Hover is their valet transfer service, and it's free. Point Hover in the right direction with your existing domain and registrar, and they'll take care of everything for you. You don't have to worry about messing it up 'cause they do it all the time. It's gonna go a lot more smoothly than if you just do it yourself once every few years. That's why I removed my domains there years ago and that's why they're still at Hover and that's why they're staying at Hover. Check out Hover at and find out just how easy it is to grab your own domain or transfer your existing domain to Hover using the coupon code EXACTLY to get 10% off your first purchase. Let Hover Valet your domain stresses away today. Thank you once again to Hover for sponsoring Pragmatic. All right. So should you listen to podcasts? Yes. Well, hold your horses there, Asani. Let's think this through. There are many distractions in the world around us, and you have to decide the best way to spend your time. The average life expectancy is about 80 years in developed countries around the world, and it's actually 79.8 in the USA and 83 in Australia. Now, an average of 1,680 hours per year, not including weekends, not including four weeks of annual leave, not including those that work from home, that's around about 35 hours a week on average or seven hours per working day where people are working. Also, we're going to assume people spend about an hour or so average commuting each day and an hour or so for meal breaks at various times when they're at work. So the amount of time that people sleep though actually varies considerably, but a recent study in Australia suggests that about seven hours is about the right average figure. Now we're going to assume there's 24 hours in a day and that's probably a safe assumption considering there's going to be no time dilation effects at the speed we're traveling. That means that there are about eight hours, maybe nine every day to do your own thing. If you are employed, you're not at school and you are totally spectacularly average. Because let's face it, oh my goodness, there are so many different people and walks of life and everything that listen to this show or any other podcast for that matter, that I've got to deal with some kind of average because otherwise I can't address every use case, but still. So age old question then, what's the best way to use your spare time? Now, if you're in a relationship, you might want to spend that time with your partner. Maybe you want to read, maybe you want to watch a movie. Some of that time, unfortunately, that was going to be doing chores like the shopping, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn. Some or none of those may apply to you. Maybe you have someone to clean the house for you, in which case I hate you, but that's fine. Maybe you'll get someone else to do the shopping for you. I don't know. Anyway, if you have children, it's even less time. You've got other hobbies, you know, like other stuff that you do. Maybe you go to the gym, maybe you play chess, maybe you, I don't know, whatever you do. Anyway, so fitting into people's lives, how does talk radio and podcasts, how do they fit in? I put them in the same basket because they're the same kind of activity. So let's look at the benefits. First of all, you don't need to look at them. So you can listen to them eyes free. Unlike a television, they can be short, like 15 minutes long, like a podcast, like Developing Perspective, for example, or they could be long like four hours plus for some episodes of the talk show, for example. But there's no restrictions. So with TV, there's typically ad break restrictions and time has pressured the evolution such that you roughly TV shows will have be 22 minutes long or 44 minutes long. And that allows time for ad breaks and to fit in 30 minute or hour long slots. Let's say there are no such restrictions with podcasts, no matter what anyone says, there are no restrictions. You can do whatever you like. Okay. So, I think that it's useful to break podcasts into two kinds, two classes, if you will. Ones that can be background listening, ones that are far more engrossing/compelling listening. Now, that is not a judgment of good or bad. I'm just saying because different kinds of podcasts and radio content are good for different scenarios. So the background listening ones, let's say, be characterized by they're easy to listen to. They don't require a heck of a lot of thinking necessarily. They're generally conversational shows. Sometimes they're just they're like they're comedy. They're lighthearted. They're fun. You know, some people just like to have them on to hear people's voices in the background, you know, like background noise, you know, rather than just being sitting there working in silence, they'll put on their favorite radio show. And every now and then I'll take five seconds to listen in and chuckle or throw a shoe at the radio or whatever they might choose to do. Whereas compelling or engrossing listening shows, they like the news, let's say the news generally, you know, that's going to require a reasonable amount of concentration. So something like maybe like Serial or like this podcast or educational content like like hardcore history, let's say, just to pick a few examples, you know, they are the sorts of ones that you, that you tend not to be, I guess, easy listening as it were. So no matter how you slice it, I think that both of those broad categories of podcasts can have a place. Background listening is by far and away the best kind of podcast and honestly, the most prevalent kind of podcast. And you can listen to it in the widest variety of circumstances. One of the, I'm not sure I should call it a criticism, but one of the comments I've had about Pragmatic is that as podcasts go, it's very, it requires a lot of concentration. Like people can't just listen to it in the background. They tend to want to, they have to sit down and pay attention because there's lots of information in the episodes. They're certainly not listening for my sense of humor, at least I'm pretty sure they're not. So, you know, I'm just saying, so I don't make background. I don't think I make for good background listening, at least, you know, anyway. So I think the answer is yes, people should listen to podcasts, but just be, I told you this. I think that, yes, I know you did. But the reason that I think people should is that I think that background listening podcasts are the ones people should tend to listen to more because they are the ones that are broadly available. There's more of them. There's lots more options available. Podcasts like mine are far more niche. And frankly, I think that I just, did I just convince people they shouldn't listen to this podcast? Possibly, a bit late now, if you're listening to me tell you this. But you know what I'm saying? Is it's a much narrower set of situations and circumstances where the average individual can listen to a podcast like this one. So that means it's a restricted listening, which means it's going to be less accessible, which means that, you know, less people will listen and that's going to limit it. You just got to balance out your cue. Make sure you've got plenty on hand for both listening scenarios. Yeah. And I guess that's really the point is that if you are going to accept that it's a, it's a, it's a good medium, a good way of filling some spare time, or as background noise or information or something to listen to in the background, when you're doing other things, that's great. Just, I think that there should be some balance there. If it's all just compelling listening, then I don't know, maybe that's too much. Or if it's all background listening, easy listening stuff, then perhaps you're missing out. I don't know, but I definitely think some balance is in order. So. Okay. Should you make a podcast? Why would anyone want to make a podcast? Thoughts, comments before I say what I want to say? Um, I would say anybody should make a podcast that wants to make a podcast and feel they have something to say. Okay, that's a good place to start I think. I guess there's a lot of reasons, there's so many reasons I guess, but in my case I'd listen to so many podcasts, but I could never find exactly what I was looking for so I made mine. That really was the main driver. There were a few other blips along the way for me. Ultimately, Pragmatic though was the one that I always wanted to make. And I'm glad I did. It's been a lot of work, but I'm still glad I did. But I guess the question is, why put yourself out there? Why record your own voice? Why do it? Is it more than just having something to say? Because I'd like to think everyone has something to say. lot of people choose not to. I mean, why is it in a crowd that you'll have one person or a smaller number of people that are happy to stand up and speak while the others are happy just to let them? Yeah, there's a lot of different motivations for that. Absolutely. I mean, some people like our mutual friend, Jordan Cooper, for example, will say that it's all just narcissism. And I think at a surface level, I can see why people think that. And narcissism, for those that aren't sure what that means, and there may be some people I don't know. It's the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration I guess for the one a better way of putting it of your own attributes if that makes any sense like you yeah your own attributes your personality or whatever I guess. It's one of those harder things to nail down. The term actually comes from I think from Greek mythology because Narcissus fell in love with his reflection apparently. I better mean hey it was a while ago so who knows you know could have been maybe not whatever but okay yes so anyway so is it really is it the fame fortune popularity thing you know it's like oh yeah I'd love to make a make a splash and people listening to me and I'll become popular and it's a reason to do this and if it doesn't happen, then I shouldn't do it. And it's like, I don't know. I think it's a very broad brush to say that people do that. And that's a key component. Or, you know, I think perhaps you could say there's an element, no matter how small, there's an element of that, perhaps. But honestly, I think that you have to enjoy talking, right? And I don't mind talking. Couldn't guess that. Oh, John, I had no idea. Anyway, I also enjoy teaching people. I don't know how that sounds. I really don't actually. My father was a primary school and eventually a high school teacher. And I don't know if there's anything to that as to why I enjoy teaching people things I know. I don't No, I've enjoyed tutoring younger engineers. I enjoy giving presentations. I've stood up in front of dozens and hundreds of people giving presentations. It's never been an issue for me. I get butterflies for the first 30 seconds, especially if it's a hundred or more people. And then I'm over it. Especially if it's a topic that I know and I understand, I've never had a problem with that. I haven't actually really sorted out, like sorted out as in like, I haven't really chased after that though. I haven't pursued a career in teaching. I've always thought maybe someday, maybe when I retire or when I'm done with engineering and I feel it's time to step back, maybe I might see if I could explore that in a university maybe one day, I don't know. But it's not really on my radar. So this is actually the first time I've actually communicated to such a big audience. And it's been, I guess, it's been a very interesting journey of sorts, if you like. But should you make a podcast? Well, honestly, you have to brace yourself for you put yourself out there. You're going to get feedback. Some of it's going to be good. In my case, I was lucky most of it was good. That is not the experience of every person that makes a podcast. If you put yourself out there, you are going to get criticism. People are going to tell you how you should be doing it, what you should be doing, who you should be doing it with. They're going to correct you. And some people are going to try and even take you down, right? And you have to ask yourself, do you really want that? Do you really want to deal with that? If you're striving to become more popular for reasons I don't understand, but if you're striving to use it as a mechanism to become more popular, honestly, question why you're doing it, I think. If you've got something to say, great, but you have to enjoy saying it, otherwise, I think, you know, it'll fizzle. And I see a lot of that. People say, "Oh, look, I've got all these great ideas. I want to create something and I'm going to go out there and I I create and it lasts 5-10 episodes and dies. And it's like, well, obviously they didn't enjoy talking about it, or maybe they got too much negative feedback or their heart wasn't really in it. I mean, Pragmatic's gone for, it's approaching two years, not quite, it's about a year and nine months or thereabouts. It's, you know, it's getting close to two years. That's not the sort of thing that I don't think it fizzled. There were a few prognostications early on that it wouldn't make it as far as it has. But ultimately, though, yeah, I guess I just ran out of steam. But should you make a podcast is the question I'm trying to address here. And I think the short answer is, yes, I think so. But just be sure you're doing it for, I guess, good reasons, if that makes any sense. It does. And be sure that it's something you're passionate about, that you can, that you enjoy talking about. It's a podcast. There's lots of talking. Enjoy talking. I guess it's pretty simple really when you think about it. But there's another issue that I want to talk about. And that is, can you make a living from podcasting? Because I've been approached by a few people that have asked me the question, say, "Oh, you know, John, you've been really, really successful with Pragmatic and you know, it's done really well." And I'm like, "Upon what do you gauge that. And it's like, Oh, we've had lots of sponsors. I'm like, yes and no. Yes. I've had sponsors. Some have done well. Some have not. So you know what? Let's talk a bit about that. No one talks about this. Yeah. Well, and the topic success is very relative. One person's failure could still be another person's success and vice versa. Thank you. Yes, exactly. So, okay. Can we start by trying to answer the question? Can you make a living from podcasting? Yes, you can, but make no mistake, it is very hard and you have to work really hard. You have to sacrifice a lot. And you know what? It's getting harder with every passing month. As the volume of podcasts increases, so does the competition for the podcast sponsorship money, which to date remains by far the easiest way to make money podcasting. So let's just talk about that. A lot of people have said to me, you know, what about Patreon? Now, Patreon is an interesting idea. So just for the listeners that don't understand Patreon, the idea is that you can sign up and sponsor. As an individual, you can say, I'm going to be a patron for your show. I'm going to give you $1 a month because I'm awesome and I think you're awesome and I want you to keep doing what you're doing. Thumbs up, everybody smiles. and I think that's great. However, I think Patreon is an interesting idea and it works great if you already have an established base of listeners or readers but I think it's very very hard to make a go of it from the beginning when you don't have that. Also, if you look at the figures for downloads to listener ratio who are prepared to actually fund the show through a system like Patreon, it isn't very high. Most listeners would rather put up with ads, and I say put up with in quotes, some people enjoy the ad reads, apparently. I don't know, I mean, I guess it's all in the delivery, maybe, or maybe it's learning about new products that they didn't know about, that they could be interested in. Either way, some people don't mind the ads. And let's face it, it's free, right? All you got to do is sit there and listen to an ad, or some people will fast forward through the ads. I mean, obviously, would rather that they didn't but they're free to do that should they choose to. But it's also up to them I mean if they listen to the ads and they choose not to actually support the show that's also their choice whereas with Patreon it's a commitment. So people generally would rather listen to the ads than pay money out of their own pocket to fund the continuation of the show and the most damning criticism against Patreon is that if the Patreon model worked better, the majority of podcasts would be using that model. And they don't. And as a market, look at the evidence. The evidence tells you that a sponsorship model works best advertising model works best. Yeah, you'll get the best return from that. Now, you can have a principled argument as much as you like. But the truth is that the numbers and the business side of it does not stack up. Principles doesn't buy your house, and it does not feed you or your family. So anyway, there's also another dimension to this. If you're producing a podcast that's based on the Patreon model, where you have a direct, more direct connection with listeners that are paying for your show, then you become more heavily influenced by those audience members and their specific satisfaction, rather than those that don't support the show through Patreon. And I just want to point out, by the way, Patreon is not the only way that you can do this, right? There's other ways of accepting recurring payments and so on. I'm just picking it as an example. And I don't think there's anything wrong with Patreon for a lot of different things. Just I'm trying to compare and contrast the two between sponsorship model versus Patreon. So as I was saying, as a producer, you're more heavily influenced by those audience members that support the show. If you keep them happy, they'll keep paying for the show. If they're not, they won't. And then you will lose your funding to do the show. So when, in terms of it getting harder every month now, just that's enough said about Patreon. Talking about sponsors, right? And how much harder it's getting. Okay, when I started looking into podcasting, let's talk about Squarespace. Squarespace had a cutoff before they would even consider sponsoring your shows, about 5,000 downloads at that point per episode. I think it's about one month out, something like that. About a year ago, that had jumped about 10,000. Now it's sitting at about 25,000. And that's the effect of market, I think market saturation, is that in order to get a decent return, they're having to advertise on much bigger shows. However, is that the point? And that's, I think, one of the things that I struggled with early on. You hear the expression, a good fit, you know? And in my early days of my engineering career, I scoffed when I heard that. I thought, oh, it's just, you know, that's just management BS bingo. You know, it's not, that doesn't mean, it's like, that's not just what people say. It's like, it's like proactive, you know? I'm being proactive now. So a good fit though, is actually a really good way describing the problem. If I have a sponsor that has a product that my fan base, follower base, listener base, whatever you want to call it, is really interested in using, if I can connect that sponsor and their product with a good deal with that fan base, then we have a good fit. So if your sponsor has a good, useful, desirable product or service, and I think a unique deal or a customised deal through you and only you, and your listeners are affluent enough or want to support the show specifically enough, or they have a desire to use said product or service, you have a good fit, and you have a great sponsor relationship. If you are attempting to address the mass market. And that is a far more difficult proposal, then it gets pushed down the road of more traditional advertising, for which you must show a return. Well, I mean, you have to show a return for all sponsors, right? Otherwise, I'll stop sponsoring you. So ultimately, that's the truth. Yeah. And, and ultimately, you know, it becomes a more difficult sell, because you go through the traditional outlets, and they're going to say, well, you have to meet this minimum threshold and I'm sorry, you do not meet the threshold. So get lost, you know, or some will be polite, most just won't respond. So ultimately, I think, okay, so there's more to say before I do the wrap up on sponsors. Okay. How many sponsors would you accept in an episode of Pragmatic? Just just curious, Would you accept 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? What do you think? What do you think is a reasonable number? I think most people assume one sponsor per half hour of content is pretty reasonable. I think. That seems to be about the average anyway. So by that math, most episodes of Pragmatic have been spot on then. I've originally said two. I've done one episode with a third sponsor. There were a few episodes of the talk show I recall where Mr. Gruber attracted four sponsors in the episode. And given that they are generally longer episodes, again that sort of fits that rough working math that you proposed. So I think that that is a balance that you need to be careful of. But there's another balance as well and that's the duration. So how long do you think an ad read should be for a sponsor in a podcast? That's really variable and subjective. To me it depends on what the read is for. Obviously some things don't need long at all and obviously some things need a little bit more detail. I think probably length of the episode itself should be considered. If we're going to stick with our one ad read per half hour, maybe one minute for each ad read per half hour and maybe add 30 seconds to each ad read for each additional half hour of content. So, like if you're doing like an hour and a half long show, maybe a minute and a half to two minutes maximum, I would think for each ad. - Okay, that's fine. Under that mass, as long as you're aware, the average duration of an ad read on Pragmatic is about two and a half minutes. So I failed, sorry. - I'm sorry. - That's okay. Yeah, so you should- - Now again, I'm trying to- - Criticizing the original. - No, I'm not trying to criticize you or this show at all. I'm trying to- - I'm just putting- - I'm trying to speculate what I feel like the average listener would have tolerance for. And a lot of this is just based on some tweets and things that I've seen from some very vocal minorities on the subject of ads and podcasts. Okay. Ultimately, I don't think there's a right or a wrong, but there are some extremes. You're right there. Yeah. So a lot of it comes down to the fluidity of the ad read. I think the passion, the emotion, the delivery of it, but because people aren't stupid, they can tell. can tell the difference between someone that is really enjoying a product and someone who is just doing an advertiser read. People can tell the difference. But for example, I'm going to cite Back to Work, another one of my favorite podcasts. Some of those ad reads can go for between 12 to 15 minutes. Some of them blend so much into the content of the show, it's hard to actually separate out and tell that they're an ad read. Now, I don't know like, and then of course, you got the other ones that have a distinct start and finish some of them play music in the background when they're on some of them, very strict time limits 60 seconds, 90 seconds, you know, two minutes, very strict. Are those things good or bad? Is that what listeners wants? Will they just fast forward through them? Or they'll go 2x, 3x or 10x, God knows what x, you know, or just stop listening to the show because of it. I mean, these are all questions that as a content producer, honestly, it's tiring trying to answer them. I'm trying to create content. I'm not trying to become an ad agency, but I'm at this uncomfortable middle ground where I'm neither. I'm neither a little name that will get no sponsorship and I'm neither a big enough name to justify that time investment of larger advertisers and worry about those sorts of details. I do think that you have to be fair and reasonable to your sponsors and balance that with what's fair and reasonable to the listeners. And maybe that sounds like Captain Obvious, but it's a really hard balance to make. It's easier said than done. I hear it. It is a lot easier said than done. And people criticize all the time about advertising in podcasts. But the truth remains, it is the single best way to generate an income from a podcast. And honestly, there are a lot of podcasters that I think do a fantastic job of their ad reads. But the vast majority of the ad reads that I hear on a lot of different podcasts that I listen to have room for improvement. Frankly, some of mine perhaps do as well, but that's because this is not my forte and I'm still learning. I think I've improved on the course of this show, but I still have a long way to go. And, you know, if and when I come back to doing podcasts again, if I have sponsors in future, I will continue to work on that because I have to do their products and services justice because that's part of the deal. Does it affect what I say in the show? Nope. I think you're mad if you let it. You have to be you, you have to be, you know, fair and reasonable. But you know what? You also have to get a good fit because if you're chasing sponsors just because other people have them as sponsors, you're doing it wrong. You know, yes, it's easier to chase after people that are familiar with podcast advertising because you don't need to give them the spiel about this is what a podcast is. This is how we advertise and all that sort of stuff. And I've been there and I've tried that. It's hard work and it's a long game. I'm talking three to six month long game with some of these sponsors in order to bring them into the podcast sponsorship. And even then it may not work out. So yeah, it's always easy to chase the ones that are established that have done this before. But at the same time, if you do that, then be aware that you may not get the best fit, especially if you're doing a podcast that's very niche. or different enough. And I think Pragmatic was in some respects different enough. In any case, you know, what is success? Like you said, different sets of metrics. Yes, I have made some money from the show. I have mostly reinvested that money in the show in like buying this microphone, the Heil, I've got a PR40, I've got a Heil shock mount. I've got a Nonix Blackjack that I'm recording this through. So all this podcasting hardware that I'm using has been funded from sponsorships. The software that I use to edit this, Logic has been funded by that. The website is funded by that, Libsyn is funded by that. All of that is funded from that sponsorship money. So, you know, I guess being self-sufficient and not being a cost impact to the family budget was one of my measures for success. And yes, I guess it was successful in that respect. But this is getting back to, can you actually live off of this? Short answer for me, no, I can't. I just, I can't. It doesn't make that much. I don't want to go into the figures and I have very good reasons for that. And I need to respect the wishes of my sponsors and some of the contracts that I have signed. So I'm sorry if I can't talk about that on the show. I wanted to. I've deliberated long and hard about this, but I decided not to. But what I can say is that I don't think it's possible for one individual to start a podcast that does not have a prior following of any of any nature, of any real significant quantity. And that's open for discussion and with a single podcast be able to live off it. I don't think that's possible, which is why people in that scenario tend to start their own networks. Because if you start a network, that's when it can start to pay off because you're not just leveraging yourself, you're leveraging the different personalities that you get on that network. But you got to be very careful about who you get on the network. And then it becomes a all the benefits of being on a network. We've got joint advertising deals. You've got joint promotional material, the cross pollination of the different show episodes of shows and stuff and so on. So all those benefits, that is actually feasible. But even then, only just. It's a hard slog and it takes a lot of effort. People just, they hear the podcast and they think, oh, great, you know, such and such a starter network and they're doing really well. Do not kid yourself how hard work that is and how hard they are working in the background. Okay, believe me. Okay. So ultimately, as more people get on, jump on the bandwagon, there's more material, it's going to get harder and harder and harder to fight for that sponsorship money. There's only a certain amount of sponsorship money out there. And yes, more people will get in, more companies will get involved with sponsorship. And ultimately, if you can find a good fit with a small number of sponsors, that's really what you need. But that could take months or years to figure that out. Your audience will change, companies will change, people that you have arrangements with, if you like, or deals with within a company, they will move on. Everything is changing. The landscape is changing. It is not straightforward. It takes persistent effort. So can you make a living doing a podcast? I think yes, with a lot of caveats and be prepared for a lot of work. This is not easy street. Do not kid yourself. OK, so sections of people's portfolio is, I think, a far better way of thinking about a podcast. Blog traffic is decreasing and people are turning to podcasts as well. Social, you could argue, is in decline after a big boom. That's more debatable, but still not going to debate those. Just throwing that out there, food for thought. I guess if you think about a blog as part of your portfolio and here's your portfolio, I want to say portfolio sounds real professional. But what I mean is, oh, it's by the brand. - Sorry. - I've got, I had to throw that in there, thanks. Sorry, Marco. The point is that I start out with an app. I have a blog that supports that app and helps advertise that app. The app advertises the blog, there's a symbiosis. I start a podcast, it picks up a slightly different segment of the audience. They will then become aware of my app through the podcast. And then they may get a show note link to the blog and everything starts to, you know, assist each other and every little bit gets a slightly different segment of the market and more and more people then you will get drawn into that ecosystem, that brand, if you will. Having a blog as an element of your portfolio is a far more convincing argument to do a podcast if you're trying to build up an audience, I think. But I guess where this falls apart for me personally, well, for me personally, I guess to an extent, I think that a lot of success in podcasting and blogging and so on is popularity. And popularity is a fickle friend. If you screw it up, you're done for the most part. There are always gonna be people that are controversial and some people are attracted to controversy. I'm not, some people are. And even then, wrong controversy about the wrong group of people and you could be done. You know? Yeah, for me personally, I don't want or need popularity to make a living. I just, I don't. There's a lot of pressure that comes along with popularity is people start hanging on what you say, how you say it, you know, who you say to, who you don't say things to. Oh, you're not talking to such and such anymore. I haven't seen you tweeted them in months. And it's like, "Oh, God. You don't follow this person anymore. I'm culling followers. It doesn't mean anything." Yeah, but maybe that means you're having a... "No, it doesn't. Stop reading between the lines. There are no lines. And you're making up lines and you're reading between them." You know, it's like all of that extra pressure just increases as your popularity increases. You know? And if you're not making much from it, if you're not enjoying it, why are you doing it? It seems like a lot of unnecessary stress for not a heck of a lot of gain, putting yourself out there. But you know what, maybe the trade-off is worth it. There's that trade-off thing again. Maybe that's worth it if you're trying to build out a brand as part of your portfolio, I guess. I don't know. Works for some people, I suppose. Something else to consider. I'm not sure I have a conclusion on that, but for me personally, I just think that building any kind of career based on popularity is always difficult because it is so fickle. That's you know, but I'm an engineer, I guess I would say that, wouldn't I? Because I, that's just, that's just not how an engineering career is built. Well, generally speaking, I suppose there are some people that have built, have extended their careers through popularity, I guess, like popular public speakers or something, but I don't know, maybe. I'd like to think probably less so, but I don't know. Maybe I'm just looking at it wrong. It's possible. OK, so my final conclusion before I hand over to you is, should you listen to podcasts? Absolutely, yes. But if you're going to get some balance, I think, between easy listening and some, I I think educational content is an opportunity to learn. Why not? But be careful who you listen to. I think there's a lot of uninformed opinions out there. And a lot of that ignorance that I see out there gets perpetuated and it's frustrating. So I guess just be careful. If you're gonna listen to dribbling nonsense for hours, then well, be warned that you may start dribbling nonsense yourself. Who knows? (laughing) But, you know, and if you're going to start making a podcast where you just dribble nonsense for hours, then just be, you're going to get dribbled nonsense as a result of that back at you. Right. You're only going to get back what you put in, you know. And if you think people are just going to listen to you dribble nonsense for the heck of it, then maybe maybe you're deluding yourself. I don't know. Maybe some people have fun doing that. I don't know. But in any case, I would suggest you're always going to be own biggest critic. So whatever you do, make something that you are proud of. Otherwise, you're just going to beat yourself up about it. So don't make something that's mediocre and just keep making it because it's mediocre because you want to keep it. You're like, "Oh, but I got to keep making it because I got to keep making it." No, don't. No, no, no, no, no. Just make something you're proud of. If you're not proud of it, stop doing it. Honestly, if you've got a choice. So anyway, make it a good one. Don't half-bake something. something good. And honestly, it is hard to start a podcast. It's hard to start it from scratch. Like I have no following, no interest. Before I started Pragmatic, I had less than a hundred followers on Twitter, for example, and I'm now creeping up towards 600. That's not a measure of anything really, but it's a litmus test to suggest that more people are following what I'm doing and what I'm saying as a result of this show. But I'm a far cry from a lot of other people that have popular podcasts. I'm still nobody in many respects. And that's probably a good thing, based on everything I've just said. But anyway, look, it's hard to build something solely based on a personality, I guess. That's my other bit of advice is, yeah, they say you need a hook, I guess. I don't know. So think about that. What exactly are you going to do? Please don't just copy what everyone else is doing. All right. That's been done. Right. Do something different. Do something daring. I think people should care a little bit about the audio as well. Don't go- You don't have to go stupid, right? You don't have to have a microphone suspended on a floating plate in the middle of a bucket of water to try and isolate it from some subsonic sound waves or something. I don't know. I don't know. There's all sorts of crazy rubbish that people think. It's like, oh, this bit of shock map is going to make all the difference. No, it isn't. How about you work on some better content first. Content first. Yeah, I mean, but at the same time, you can't have, you know, like, "Hey, how's it going?" You know, it's like that's... Really? No, you have to care a little bit, but don't go stupid. I mean, I listened to Existential and I cringed because it was recorded on, you know, like a headset mic that came with my iPhone. terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible. Now I knew it was terrible. But you know what, hey, whatever. Anyway, so I've taken a lot more care with Pragmatic from the beginning, I bought a decent microphone, and now I've got an even better microphone. But I'd stop there, you know, this is sufficient. And if you're going to, you know, do it and have a dodgy internet connection, you can do it over a double ended recording. It's a little bit more work editing, but you know what? It's fine because you remove the Skype, FaceTime, phone call quality from the equation. So do a double ended recording. So you record your end, they record their ends, end or ends, and you reassemble them and edit it. You know what? It works. And it's a great way to get rid, to take that out of the equation. And finally, if you're going to build your own site using whatever methodology you like, just do some research and pick the best delivery method for you, the producer of the show. Don't just run with all the in crowd says, Hey, we're using Drupal today. It's got a custom Java player applet. Do it, do it, do it, do it. No, don't just do it, do it, do it, do it. Just don't. Okay. Please don't do the popular thing. Do what works for you. If you want to use Squarespace, use Squarespace. If you want to use a SoundCloud, use SoundCloud. You know, if you want to use Libsyn and all their built-in tools to, to, to create your feed and everything, fine. Research and do what the best thing is for you. Not everyone that produces a podcast has to be a bloody web developer. I'm not. So, you know, and I've done a custom, like I've used Statomic as a CMS. I've got Libs in the backend in a funny way. My own RSS feeds hosted on my own site, which is running on a virtual private server running on CentOS. It's like, well, okay. Anyone would think I might be a web developer, but no, I'm not. Perhaps maybe because I'm using StataMaker as a CMS and I'm not a web developer. If I had rolled my own case even, yes, maybe. But I'm not. No. And no, I'm just not going that far. And I've proven from hacking PHP that I should stick to my day job. And that's it. That's all I have. That is the end of my notes. The final notes for the final show, that's what I got. That's it. Did you know that that was 10 pages worth? You mentioned it, yeah. So finally, Vic, finally, finally, finally, now is your time to take over. You have control. You have the reins. Go for it. Okay. All right. Well, I'm going to explain to the listeners that for my segment, I have been tasked with asking John questions and he's going to answer them and he has no pre knowledge of said questions and I'm just gonna admit right up front. Most of them are softballs But uh, there's some things that that I was curious about and I've got some from Twitter and I'm gonna Interest those in there and I'm gonna stay right off the bat that my question list has diminished somewhat since the start of this episode because you've stole them and your spiel and They've already been answered. So no no need to apologize. That's great. No, no, no need to apologize That's great because I still have several left Unfortunately, most of them are the softballs Okay, then so we'll start with with one of mine and Like I said, I'm not necessarily going to attribute everybody from from Twitter that asked a question If it comes up and you recognize it as yours You'll know that that was you and we'll just move on from there so that we can keep it kind of brief and keep it moving The first one that came to my mind was actually About a week and a half ago. I was listening to some other podcast Anybody that follows me on Twitter knows I listen to a lot of dev podcast and this topic was floating around that there's recently been some buzz about whether software developers have the right to be considered and to call themselves engineers and I wondered as an engineer. Do you have any thoughts on that? A short answer is absolutely they can call themselves an engineer. I think that engineers Engine engineering is a discipline as a recognized discipline. I think Sort of the mechanical engineering for me in the Industrial Revolution is what drove engineering as a profession. Certainly before that, there were architects and you would argue civil engineers, but whether they were referred to as civil engineers, I'm not entirely sure about the history, but I don't think so. And the mechanical engineering, and then of course, with the discovery of electricity and so on, with the electrical engineering from there. More recently, of course, we've now moved to logic and software programming and so on. And it's all about changing the world around us to do things that we need to be done. Whether that's done via mechanical engineering for a vehicle to get us from point A to point B. If you look at a modern vehicle, modern vehicles have more than just the mechanics, they have more than just a steering column and some wheels and a chassis. You know, they also now have electrics in them. So they'll have, you know, electric calipers on the brakes, let's say, or hydraulic. mainly hydraulic, I guess it's a bad example, but yeah, they've got electric headlights and they'll have a battery which is driven by electricity. So you've got electrical engineering in there. But even more so, more recently now you have on-board computers and the computers can control everything. Control systems that do cruise control, adaptive radar, you know, as well as of course all the lighting indications and you know, various different, you know, there's a lot of software and CAN bus for comms from different devices around a car. You know, all of that comes on software. All of that, those are aspects of engineering. And I see absolutely no reason why anyone should call a software developer, just a software developer. And I think the problem is the connotation. It's like, oh, you're just a software developer. You're not a real engineer. You said that's the connotation that I've heard that expression. I don't think that that's fair because honestly, it's an aspect of engineering. It's a dimension of engineering. So I think it's totally and absolutely fair. Yeah. Well, I think that the biggest, most common reason that I've heard for the people that are against software developers calling themselves an engineer is, I mean, if you look at it on a purely basic, forget about degrees and schooling and technical training, engineering itself can can kind of sort of be generically summed up as a problem solver. And so it's really easy for software developers to fall into that category. But if you look at it on a deeper level beyond the generic viewpoint of it, then, you know, people like such as yourselves, you know, the quote, air quote, I'm doing real engineers, you know, there's a lot of schooling involved. There's degrees, there's certifications. There's a lot of things like that. I think the biggest argument was just that does a guy that learns to code in his spare time and puts some apps on the store really have the right to put himself in the same league as the degree holding, certification holding, got to put in his dues engineers. I think that's pretty much where they're coming from in that. Okay. Well, if that's the angle you want to consider it from, then I refer you to episode 10, Passion of academic proof as to my feelings on the subject. And just to summarize that, I don't think a piece of paper makes you a good engineer. I don't think four or five year university degree makes you a good engineer. The thing is that if you want to consider that an engineering degree is a form of practice, then so is developing something yourself in your house, in your backyard. And if you get the same end result and it takes you either less time or more time, maybe time's not so relevant, then ultimately you have still engineered whatever that is. Now, the argument is, can you then call yourself an engineer? Well, an engineer is someone that engineers things. And if you have engineered a product, then you are by that definition an engineer. If you prefer, perhaps an inventor, maybe. But honestly, I see that as a subset. So the problem is that society recognizes degree qualification and like I said, again, referred to episode 10. The problem with degree qualification is that it has limited value beyond a certain point. Whereas, so show me someone that's just greening out, finish university after five years of studying for their engineering degree and then show me someone who's written an application, it's taken them five years, but it's a really great app and it plays podcasts. Now, at the end of that time, both persons has well, only one of those persons has actually developed a product. The other one hasn't. All they have is the potential to develop a product and there's no guarantee it'll be any good. So you decide which is more useful in the end. Excellent. I find. Yeah. So it's fair to say that the John Chiggy answer to that question of whether or not you're an engineer is that the proof is in the pudding. Yes. And frankly, I've worked with people in engineering that were not engineers that did a better job than the engineers did. And that's because they have learnt the ropes through apprenticeships, through learning by doing and learning by being burned in the field. Nothing teaches better than being burned. There is no doubt about that. And if you go and you try something and it doesn't work, you damn well remember next time. Whereas in engineering, in a degree, you typically get taught, "This is how it is done." Sometimes you get an explanation, sometimes you get the math behind it. behind it. Too often you get the math behind it and you don't need to know it. But anyway, and what do you end up with? You end up with someone that does not get burned and they do not remember the reasons that you don't do things. Whereas the person who has gone through, done it the hard, quote unquote, hard way, normal way, whatever, non-degree method has been burned because they screwed up all along the way and they've learned. You know, I am a better PHP programmer now than I was two years ago. Why? Because I tried to write it myself. No education on PHP at all, except information I could find on the net. I don't have a computer science degree. I have an electrical engineering degree. And I guarantee you, they did not teach me Java. They did not teach me JavaScript even. They didn't teach me any of that stuff. You know, I haven't learnt it formally. I learned it by trying. Anyway, next. Okay, next. This is one from Twitter and I'm not even going to begin to touch the content or an answer to this. I'm going to leave it completely up to you because this is on levels way above my head and the question is simply put, "Hole flow or electron flow?" Oh God. Are we talking about doping of silicon now? I understand this is a hotly debated engineering topic. It's semantics is what it is. I mean, I, yeah, okay. You know what? However you want your brain to work. I liken it to the glass half full, glass half empty, you know, thing. Where it's like both are true. Depending on how you want to think about it. Can I interrupt you for just a second? You can. First, tell us muggles what we're questioning here. What's whole flow and what's electron flow? - Well, it's coupled with the argument of electron, well, electron movement. So if you've got a piece of silicon and you can dope it with either end doped or P-doped silicon, and that'll either leave a deficiency or an additional space for an electron. So you can argue whether or not current flowing through there is through the alarm, is the electron flowing through the deficient sections or whether or not it is the holes that are moving. It's insane. It's insane. The holes, you think to yourself, it's like, OK, I'm going to dig a hole in the ground and I'm going to dig another hole in the ground and five meters away. The holes don't move. But it's convenient to think that the holes are moving because it makes certain things simpler to get your head around. OK. It's also the whole... Electrons are negatively charged. So what do they go from? Do they go from positive to negative or negative to positive? I would guess from negative to positive. That's right. But when you draw current and flow on a circuit diagram, you've got positive voltage at the top going to zero or ground, which is a lesser voltage. Your power is flowing from positive to negative. But that's not the direction the electrons are flowing. Okay. Yeah, if hasn't melted your brain yet. I don't know what will. So anyway, there's a little smoke. Anyway, it's just I the silicon doping hole movement, electron movement and electron flow direction and it's just, whatever. I don't know. Yeah, I think that was one of those facetious questions. It was meant to make me annoyed and it succeeded. So congratulations whoever asked that. Good. I shall let them know. Good. All right. This one should be a little less annoying and a little easier for you. As an engineer, what's the toughest problem you've solved or the one that you're the most proud of? Oh, good, good question. Okay. I'm going to go with the Bradbury machine. And I know that the Bradbury machine is... Okay. I don't know if I've talked about this before. I think I may have on some podcasts. Maybe I was a guest when I was a guest on Engineering Commons. I think I may have talked about this. The Bradbury machine is a industrial machine. It's a light industrial machine and it makes garage doors. These are sectional doors. If you're familiar with this sort of door, I'm not sure what it's called over in North America, I think it's referred to as, some people refer to them as a sectional overhead door. The idea is that you have a series of panels and they are long, very long rectangular panels and they are about somewhere between one or two foot and three foot high sections and you place four or five of them, one stacked up against the other and they each have a hinge so that when you raise the door, it pulls the door up and along a track that runs along the, underneath the ceiling line and has a series of runners on each side of the entryway. to the garage. Is this sounding familiar? Yep. Okay. Do you have such a door? I do. Okay, there you go. Cool. So, the Bradbury machine, Bradbury is the name of a company and the company makes all sorts of hydraulic presses and roll formers and all sorts of different things. They simply call this the Bradbury machine because the original press is a Bradbury press. So, they called it the Bradbury machine and it was made for a company in Australia originally they were called CSI Doors and now they are called BND Doors. So BND Doors at their facility here in Brisbane were doing a major upgrade to their Bradbury machine and the Bradbury machine was going to from being a separately controlled straightforward machine which had a single decoiler, embosser, leveller, press, guillotine, slitter chopper, and single roll former to a one that had dual row roll formers, double arm decoiler, and fully integrated control system with their sales system. So what that required was a much faster, more powerful PLC, a hell of a lot of wiring and reprogramming of sections of the plant that the machine that had been controlled by different PLCs. And the whole project itself was about half a million to do probably about 100K or so in variations. And it was an absolutely amazing project. It had servo motor controls. It had just so much machine control. It was so much fun. And it was such a difficult problem to solve because it involved scripting in Visual C to take data from SAP, from their ordering system, and scrub them from their, what they call color files. So people ordered the doors and they were shuffled together on colors. So let's say you'd have ocean spray or mist gray, different colors. So these coils of steel would be delivered from BHP and you would put them on the decoiler, the decoiler would, well, decoil as in uncoil the steel and just from loading that file, the colour file, the machine would then spit out the doors in the correct height, the correct punch hole positions, the correct roll forming and everything and it would then stack them at the end. Then they would wrap it and ship it. So the software solution was taking the color files and then spitting out a door at the end. And that was a tremendously rewarding and difficult problem to solve. And I'm most proud of that. - Excellent. That's really cool. All right, we'll move on to another one from Twitter. This is a good one. I think it's a really good question. What technology that you've talked about on the show do you think will have had the most impact on the world in 10 years time? Whoa. Ah, okay. I think the short answer to that is RFID. RFID? Yeah. Okay. I'm going through my mind thinking of the topics in the different episodes and where that to which that question would apply. And the reason I say RFID is look at where identification technology is progressing. So I thought briefly about power, but I think that a lot of the elements of building blocks of renewable energy are already in play. But RFID is going to reach a point where you don't have a shopping checkout anymore. You know, it will truly become you just take the goods out and that's it. It counts them all, it bills you correctly. And you don't have to tap a thing, it'll just do it correctly. There are some technical difficulties in getting that to work properly, but it's getting better all the time. The technology continues to improve, the cost continues to come down. It's going to become, I think, transformative in transportation, shipping around pallets, and it'll reach a point where people will start wearing the things like an Apple Watch that's got all this built into it. I think RFID near field communication is going to be the thing that's going to have the biggest impact in the next 10 years, absolutely. Excellent. Okay. All right. There, there's a little known fact that, that on some level, we're all engineers in a way, because we're always trying to fix and repair things at home and in our daily lives. And a lot of those, Have you met my children? Um, I, no, but I've met my children. They're trying the other direction. So as this engineer, what's the most unorthodox solution that you've rigged up to solve a problem at home? - Oh God. Oh, this is gonna be so self-incriminating. Oh no, I cannot tell you that one. I'm trying to think about which one of these I'm prepared to admit. (laughing) - You know, oh, hmm. I'm gonna give you an innocuous one while the back of my brain tries to think of another one. - Okay. - Okay. All right, I've got two and they both have to do with duct tape. (laughing) - Oh, this is, okay. I have a follow-up question that leads to duct tape. - Okay, cool. All right, so the first one is I have a bunch of hard drive enclosures and these hard drive enclosures have a power switch on the back of them. The power switch is a momentary latching. Oh, sorry. It's a latching on spring loaded switch. So you push the button in, it latches on, the spring is held in tension by a latch. You push it in a second time, it releases that latch and then the spring forces the button back out again. So you're familiar with that kind of switch, right? Okay, so what all goes wrong is when the damn latch don't latch no more and it's like, oh dear, now me hard drive don't worky no more Whoops! So what do I do? Well, I got to hold that thing in. How do I do it? Well, I'm going to go and get a packet of cereal a cardboard from a packet of cereal, a breakfast cereal I'm going to cut it into a strip, fold it up on itself about, oh I don't know, a hundred times however many times, what's the limit? Seven, whatever and I'm going to fold over so many times and I'm going to get some duct tape and I'm going to duct tape and wedge that in there to hold the damn button on. Now my hard drive works again. Oh yeah. Of course I could have just replaced the switch or gotten a new hard drive caddy but nope, nope, nope. The duct tape and the cardboard saved me. Okay. Next one along the same kind of vein is I bought myself a shock mount. Extra special, extra cheap from eBay in Hong Kong. And let's just say the dimensions didn't exactly match the microphone that I had at the time, which is an ATR2100. Once again, duct tape and cardboard to the rescue. My microphone was tiny and thin by comparison to this thing, which was designed for a condenser mic, which is much, much meatier. So what I do? Well, a layer of duct tape, layer of cardboard, layer of duct tape, layer of cardboard, and eventually about an hour and a half later, I had built up enough thickness for this to actually be held properly by the shock mount. And hey presto, that's how I built my shop mount up. So that I, yeah, anyway. So there you go, duct tape, possible with your best friends. - That's awesome. Okay, the follow up question, which you've kind of already answered, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. In this same particular school of engineering, there's a pretty popular image that floats around Google. It's a flow chart. And basically it implies that all problems can be fixed with the right amounts of WD-40 and/or duct tape. Have you seen this image and do you subscribe to the philosophy? I have seen said flowchart and absolutely, and I have to put a link to that in the show notes. It's yes, I have and the number of times I have reached around for the correct viscosity oil for my bike chain and I've just reached for the can of WD-40 instead. And I have felt bad on the inside every time I've done it. And I know that it's a completely different viscosity and I know that it's just going to dry out and evaporate and this will become a rusted blob again. I know, but you know what? WD-40, it just works. And it's just, it's just so attractive in the bottle and it's just there and you just spray and it's magical. I am such a bad mechanical engineer. That's why I'm not a mechanical engineer. But anyway. You know, the best thing they ever did with WD-40 was make the cap that has the straw built in on a hinge. Oh, totally. Yes. All those hard to reach places that should also not have WD-40, but it works so well on. But yeah. Oh dear. Such a good product for so many of the wrong reasons too. And don't breathe it in in a confined space either too. Yeah. But anyway. OK, cool. OK, this next one's a Twitter question. What engineering project from the ancient world do you wish you had worked on? Oh, pyramids. Pyramids? No question. Any particular reasons why? Because they're still there. OK. I mean, look at them. They're still there. I mean, they took a layer of the cover stones off, but the vast majority of those pyramids are still standing. They are the most impressive pieces of engineering from the ancient world still in existence today. And I mean, honestly, because you go back in any significant period of time, it has to be civil. You know, if I were to go back to thinking of electrical engineering, I would be thinking of Marconi and the early radio transmitters. If I go back further than that, steam engines, yeah, they're cool but never really do anything for me. It's like, "Okay, great. I'm not a mechanical engineer. Fine." The really ancient world, you've really got to go civil. If you go on civil, nothing beats the pyramids. Okay. Anything in the modern world that you didn't participate in that you wish you had? Tesla, Model X, Model S. Cool. any of them. Yeah, I see them as being truly transformative products and they have a little bit of everything in it that I adore. Which is a fast car, electrical engineering and variable speed drives and IGBTs and high-speed switching, as well as, of course, the software. I think it's a truly beautiful expression of engineering. Every time I see one of those cars, I don't see the car, I see everything that went into building it and it just blows me away. I think it's an absolutely gobsmackingly brilliant piece of engineering. Okay. All right. Now I got a series that are a little more meta about this particular podcast. The first one you've kind of sort of hinted on in your discussion earlier, but I felt like you were speaking mainly from an abstract generic point of view about people in general. Why did you decide to do this podcast and what caused you to do something a little differently than the normal tech podcast, despite the fact that you are a fellow MacTart? I'll try and take that last comment personally. Bottom line is... No, no, do not, do not, because I consider myself a MacTart. It's not meant to be an insult at all. OK, fair enough then, mate. OK, look, honestly, Vic, I partly answered this, as you said, and I'll just reiterate this. I made Pragmatic because I wanted to make the podcast that I felt didn't exist. I felt I wanted to make one that was that was the podcast that I would like to listen to, you know, and I had to because no one else was making it. And every time I'd listen to a different podcast, I'd be picking it to pieces. Well, not picking it to pieces, but things about it would irritate me. And it's like, well, you know, I don't like the way they do this. I don't like the way they do that. And I would like to do it differently. And if you can't convince someone else to do it differently, do it yourself. And that's what I did. So, yeah, I mean, that's why I did it and that's the reason it's different. That's why I did it differently is because I wanted it to be different. I didn't just want to do another podcast. And I mean, here's the thing, I mean, if you want, yeah, talk to Clinton about Existential. I was concerned before I even started Existential was I said, "Oh, look, I don't just want to do another tech podcast, which is inevitably what existential sort of became. Hence why I said Pragmate was really the first podcast that I did that was really what I wanted to do. All the ones before that were more of a compromise and it was too much like what other people were doing and I wanted to do something different. I think that that alone can be a good motivator. There are other podcasts out there that are doing something different but they're few and far between. I just wish there were more people that were doing their own thing, their own way, because I think you'll find that the niche audiences will appreciate that. That's what I found. - Excellent. Okay. I'll let you decide how you wanna quantify this and whether you wanna consider it just in pure pages of notes or in thought and brain power or hours total, but what's the least amount of prep you've ever put into an episode of this show? I'm not sure I can give you an accurate answer on that. It could be a rough estimate. Certainly. Yeah, I can give you a rough estimate based on... Yeah, I can. I would say the least amount of prep I've done on an episode is probably about two hours. That's for about the absolute least. I've never put in less than that, that I can recall. Yeah. Okay, what's the most? Not sure what else to say. Oh, God. Somewhere between 35 and 40 hours. Basically, a solid week's worth of prep. And that was for the last episode. Although admittedly, admittedly, the battery problem came close as well. And it's funny, you know, because you look back at the correlation between hours of prep in and listener feedback, and there is a little bit of a correlation. Not totally because lap hand bypass gastric sleeve. And this is the other thing to keep in mind. I spent six to 12 months of research, not full time, mind you, learning about that surgery before I had it done on me. You know, because that's who I am and I cannot put a blindfold on and walk into a room and say, yeah, I hear this things like, you know, You cut stuff, like, you know, go and don't tell me what it looks like when I'm done. You know, I can't do that. I just can't. It's not in me. It's kind of like, I equally cannot drive a nine inch nail through my eyelid, you know, can't do that either. So, I have a low pay threshold. So, and I have a low lack of comprehension threshold. I guess, I don't know. Anyway, my point is that I have to comprehend what I'm getting myself in for. So you could argue that I had done months of prep for the lap band episode because I had done that prep not specifically for the episode, but it was done in recent memory during the duration of the show. So, you know what I'm saying? It's like, although the prep notes themselves only took 10 hours, 15 hours, whatever to do. I don't know the exact figure. I don't keep track of that exactly for each episode, but I only remember the hype, the long ones. 'Cause I'm like, oh. And you know what? You know what the thing about doing show notes is, is it's pervasive, you know, because you'll go and I'll write a bunch of notes and it'll be like, I really should mention this. And then I'll go and lose and I'll look, I just spent half an hour researching, electron flow, let's say, or I spent half an hour researching von Neumann and it's like, hang on a minute, he was just gonna be a footnote or you know what I'm saying? It's like, and then you look into Turing and it's like, oh, oh, so let's look into the movie that was done recently. Oh, oh, let's look at that. Oh, I should really watch that. Oh, okay. And then another hour is gone. - It's easier to go down the rabbit hole. Well, I don't like to see it as a rabbit hole. I like to see it as fleshing out to an appropriate depth. But the problem is how do you judge appropriate? And I don't know if I've judged appropriately or not. Based on some of the feedback I've got, I think I've done a reasonably good job of judging the appropriate amount of depth. So I guess I'll pat myself on the back for that. But the truth is that, yeah, you're right. For some people, they would probably consider that going down the rabbit hole too far. - Yeah. Do you often have a... Is there a pretty fair amount of stuff on the cutting room floor so to speak as far as the notes? Like things that you start out and you start putting in and then you end up deciding not to cover as we're doing the show Or ahead of time before you do the show? Only in the case of when I have guests on Sometimes yes, but still generally no. Generally if I've got on my notes, I like to talk about it during the show There have been some times where guests have come on and made certain points I had on my list and I'm like, "Well, okay, they made that point. There's no need for me to cover it so I'll skip it." Sometimes it doesn't fit in the flow. If it doesn't fit in the flow of the conversation, sometimes you miss an opportunity to bring something up. I try not to backtrack. I try to have it as discrete segments of the show. Maybe that harkens back to the Fiat Lux days when we were trying to do that within the show and have each subsection of the show being a discrete section as well. Okay. All right. This next one is, with the hindsight, looking back on Pragmatic now, as it is, if you were to do a reboot or you were starting it over today, what, if anything, would you do differently? - Ah, yeah, that's a tough one. I think, I'm gonna keep this to two things, just the two big things that I would do differently. The first thing I would do differently is I would not spend so much time messing with the website and the feeds. I would choose a more out of the box solution. And the reason for that is I sunk a lot of time and effort into the site. And it was great from an educational point of view, but it detracted from the quality of the content. And sometimes I've regretted that. So that's the first thing. Hence one of my recommendations before, don't go and do what the cool kids are doing, do your own thing, do your research, and make the right decision for you. And the right decision would have been something that was lower overhead, 'cause that sort of overhead just dragged me down, I think the quality of the show during that time. Second thing, one of the things, Vic, that you and I have developed and since you've been co-host of the show, I mean, we've spoken previously before you were co-host. We did an episode of Tangential and we've been friends for a while, but our rapport developed more after we started doing the show regularly. and that's grown over time. And I like our relationship. I think we've sort of reached a nice level such that when we make the show, that there's a good balance. There's a right amount of interaction, interplay, whatever you wanna call it. I don't know what the right word is. You know, not a people, person or something. I don't know. But anyway, what I mean is if I was doing it again, I would like to start from that point rather than where I did with no pre discussion, no pre anything, just, you know what I mean? Like I'd like to probably, if I were to do it from scratch, I would do it with someone who I already had built up a rapport with rather than using the show as a mechanism to build such a rapport. Not that I use it as a mechanism to build a rapport, that came out wrong. What I mean is-- - No, I understand what you mean. - Develop, you know what I mean? Yeah. - Yeah. - It's like, cause I feel like- - Some pre-recording Skype sessions, and I don't just mean like the half hour before the show, I mean like start talking and getting familiar with each other before you ever began to work on the show. - Yes, exactly. And it sounds, I don't know, maybe that sounds weird, but the chemistry aspect of it, you know, maybe this just speaks to my, speaks to just the way I see the world. It did not occur to me. Right? And and the listen back is what where that jumped out at me right? The listen back is that that's when I then when I really got it. It's like well, just listen to how we are now and listen to how we were 20 episodes ago. Yeah, no, and then go back to the very beginning and the first episode with Ben Alexander and then episode 20 later 18. I think I got up to and just the difference there is chalk and cheese, you know, yeah. or cheese and chalk or chalky cheese or blue vein cheese or whatever cheese or camembert cheese, probably not. Anyway, yeah, those, okay, so I'm just, I'm picking two things. There's a bunch of little things, but I don't want to harp about that. And most of the point is I think I've already covered like, you know, stuff about live and so on. - Yeah. Okay, that's cool. Next is, what would you consider to be the most satisfying or rewarding aspect that you've got from doing this show? The most rewarding part of making Pragmatic has been an opportunity for me to learn. And that may sound crazy, but I guess there's a theory that goes something along the lines of this, whereby in order to fully comprehend something, you have to teach that something to some other people. You have to convey an idea to truly comprehend and grasp a concept. You have to be able to explain it to someone else. There's a difference between reading off of a Wikipedia entry, assuming there aren't any gross errors in it, of which sometimes there are, and reading it off verbatim and then actually explaining what that means. And for me, it's been an excuse, perhaps, quite an excuse. Most of the topics that I've covered on this show, in fact, I guess all the topics in the show, I've been exposed to in one form or another to varying degrees in my life and my career more specifically. And I guess that means that I shouldn't have had to do any research, but I do the research because I want to get my facts correct, because memory is a funny thing. And that gives me the opportunity to refine my thinking, order the discussion, and to ensure that I'm not misremembering certain key facts and it also provides me a reference point so I can review and say yes this is a good reference material for this subject if you want more information and that's great but it's also an opportunity for me to cover it over to think of how I'm going to explain it and then when I do the episode and I do go through it and then I get feedback to make corrections essentially I am teaching this back and that in that process I am learning and And I've learnt a lot in the last nearly two years doing this show. It's been an opportunity and an excuse for me to push the boundaries of my knowledge and to improve. That's the truth. Excellent. So, I'm grateful for that because honestly, I mean, if you didn't do a podcast or a show like this, I guess you could just read Wikipedia or you could read a bunch of different articles on the internet. But is that really as good in terms of educating yourself as trying to then explain that to other people? It's all great to internalize it But when you're trying to explain to someone else it forces you to to understand it, I think as thoroughly as possible And i've had that opportunity and i'm grateful for that opportunity. Cool. Excellent Okay, um, I think that you've already incidentally answered part two to this question in the answers to some of the last few but I'm going to go ahead and throw it out anyway in case you feel like there's anything you want to add. But the most dissatisfying aspect of the show? Anything to add beyond what you've already said incidentally to the other questions? I think that that's a different question. Anything that I found dissatisfying about it. The easy answer is to say, well, the opposite of everything I found satisfying was dissatisfying. This section of the Venn diagram is therefore in the other section. Yeah. Honestly, it's hard to find anything that I would say was really dissatisfying. I'm not ending pragmatic because it was dissatisfying as a whole or even in the majority in part. It's more of a fact that it's a lot of work. Yeah. And it's become work. And if there's anything that was dissatisfying, it's that been that transition from hobby to job, which I discussed with Eric a few episodes ago. And on, I think it was episode 59, Roll With The Seasons. The fact is that this has become a job, a second job, and it should not be. I have a job, it pays the bills. This doesn't, this can't. It's therefore a distraction, especially when there's a lot of happening at work at the moment, especially when family is getting busier. I've got more of my kids in sports, they're doing more extracurricular activities. I want to not sit down and say, "Daddy's got to do prep for the next episode," and have my kids sort of nod and sort of glumly. I don't want those opportunities to just keep slipping away. I want to spend more time with them while they want to spend time with me. Yeah. And there will come a time, as you know, when that is no longer the case, when they are doing their own thing and they don't want dad hanging around. Yeah, that's fine. And maybe maybe when maybe if it was a show that required less prep, maybe it was if it was a show that was easier to to create, that would be different. But then it would be just like every other one. Yeah. So how do you satisfy both criteria? And the short answer is you can't. Therefore, it has to end. You have to decide what's more important. I think I have decided. All right. Yeah, I think you have to. And I respect your decision and I support it 100 percent. It's really good that you can look far enough ahead to think, you know, I need to make sure I can enjoy these days and these these moments with my family and my children now, because Sadly, so many people don't realize that until the moment's gone and they missed it. People think they know what's important, but honestly, so many people don't. And I mean, I don't half the time either. I'm just doing my best. And, you know, I don't like to think about this as being, you know, was the last year and a half or nearly two years of making this show, So was this all, was it a waste? You know, I don't think so, not at all. Was it, were there opportunities lost that I could have spent time with my family? Yes, there were. And I do regret some of them, yes. But they've been really supportive and they've been really patient. And the time has come for me to reward their patience with more of my time. So yeah, there you go. I think that's a great answer, John. All right, let's shift topic to topics for a moment. What's your absolute favorite topic that you ever covered on this show? Oh, that's actually really almost impossible to answer because a lot of topics I really enjoyed covering. None of them stand out? I guess there's personal... I guess if we're going to just talk about personal enjoyment, I personally enjoyed doing the radio episode "Look Ma, No Wires" because it's a topic about radio. Radio got me into engineering and I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that if it wasn't for that CB radio that I got when I was just a teenager, that I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you right now. That Pragmatic would not exist. I would not be an engineer. God knows what I would have been doing. And I love the idea of domino effects, of cause and effect. I love the idea of everything happens because of a series of events that lead up to it. And I love going and tracing back, asking why five or 500, 5000 times to figure out when did it all start. So talking about a topic for me that for me has been the biggest part of my professional career was a lot of fun. And I did precious little prep for that episode, probably four or five hours, I can't remember the exact figure because so much of it is in my head that I didn't need to. I didn't need to fact check most of it because I just knew it so well. And that was fun. That was fun. So unfortunately the majority of listeners did not see it that way. And that's okay. That's fine. No problemo. Everybody's got their own opinion. Give the audience what they want. Not what I want. Was there a least favourite topic or a topic that you actually regretted covering after the fact? I'm going to mention one, OK, I will mention one topic that I don't regret any topic that I did in its entirety. I regret the reactions that it drew and my miss, how I may have been misinterpreted and perhaps how I could have been clearer. Perhaps that's the regret that I have the most, and that is episode 10, I referred to it before, which is Passion over Academic Proof. A lot of people sent me a lot of very angry feedback about that episode. And you can imagine the sector that it came from. It was from educators. I would think so, yeah. That saw my, yeah, that saw the episode as an attack on their profession. And that was not my intent. The problem is that with academia is that it reaches a point where academia is is a construct to perpetuate itself. And as an engineer, I find that frustrating as hell, because if you're not adding constructive value, you're not adding value. And if an academic institution only exists to perpetuate its own existence and it doesn't educate people in any beneficial way, then why does it exist? That's my simple way of thinking. And honestly, I found that frustrating. But the point is, of course, nothing is ever black or white. And the truth is that universities have a very important role to play. There's lots of research and development that universities do that have advanced our society and our technology. there is, but there are good universities and there are bad universities. And the fact that everyone seems to be so obsessed about these pieces of paper that prove qualification, it's not to say that you do away with universities, it just means that they change their focus. Rather than focusing on a broad certificate, it should be a series of certificates of competency. That's what the argument of the episode was. And I would rather people focused on what they are passionate about, which is a specific subset of engineering topics and get qualifications in those specifically which make you immediately useful to a company rather than a broad base of half-baked incomplete qualifications that roll up to one big piece of paper that essentially proves you're a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. That was the gist of the episode, but unfortunately, a lot of people, I did not explain that thoroughly enough and a lot of people stopped listening to the show and were very angry at me personally about my attitude and you know comments like well you know you have a degree and you know how can you say things like that and it's like well it's because I've gone through that and I've seen both sides of this that I can provide that argument but people are invested in their opinions and you put a piece like that out and sometimes no matter what you say no matter how you phrase it, they will be offended because you are, they perceive it as an attack on them and on their way of life when nothing could be further from the truth. What it is, is I'm trying to, and here I am now, still trying to correct for my mistakes on episode 10. I regret that topic because I did not explain it as well as I could have and maybe I'm still failing at trying to explain it and maybe I'm going to get more angry email from the few educators that are left. I don't know. not because honestly that's not what I meant. Yeah. So, yeah. I think you might have also just incidentally answered my next one, but I'm still going to throw it out just in case there's, you have one you feel differently about or there's more to possibly add to that. Do you feel there's any topic that you've covered that you fell short on, dropped the ball or just didn't do justice? And if so, why? And feel free to say, "See previous answer," if that's the case. I will put my hand up and say an episode recently, I feel like I dropped the ball. And that's because I've had a long series of emails with Nick Radcliffe about it. And that's the episode on DRM. And I was under a lot of time pressure. have been for the last few months. That should be obvious. Perhaps it's not, perhaps it is, I don't know, but just take my word for it. I've been under a lot of pressure at work and it has been difficult. So although I had a lot of time to do prep, I didn't have enough. And there were some key points that I missed. And at this point in time, I'm not planning follow-up. I've tried to address them privately with Nick in response to his feedback. I hope that I've clarified my position. Ultimately, though, it probably does warrant a follow-up episode and at this point in time, it's probably not going to happen, but unfortunately. However, I feel like I let him down and I let some of the listeners down by not covering certain topics. And I'm not going to bring up those topics now because that would make this an embedded follow-up and that is not in the spirit of the show. That's a no-no. That's a no-no. Yeah, you can't do that. I'd be breaking my own rules and that would just be right. Hypocrite! So anyway I cannot be a hypercrite that would be bad so anyway yeah that's that one. All right we're down to the last two questions and I think these are good ones and then I have some stuff I want to say after that that's just to say. What will you miss the most about doing this show? I will miss the feedback and I've said that I'll say it again I will miss the the follow up and the feedback about the show. It's been wonderful to have so many people that have genuinely loved the show. You know, they say that the, how does the song go? Haters gonna hate, hate, hate. I've had so few people that have come back and saying negative things about the show. And I've spoken to other podcasters and it seems like that's rare. It seems like they cop a lot of the more, a lot of popular podcasts, podcasts with, you know, even lesser download numbers than mine, cop a lot more flack than I have, which is to me is, you know, amazing that I've got such wonderful listeners. And I feel bad actually about ending the show now because I've had so many people and have been so disappointed the show's ending. I feel a little bit bad about it. I actually feel quite a lot bad about it because I'm taking away something that people enjoy, but ultimately I have to look out for myself and my own family as well and my own time commitments. But, you know, if anything else, that would alone be enough to spur me to move on, but I've made other commitments and I have other pressures that at the moment I simply cannot get around and would not seek to, importantly. So, yeah, I'm gonna miss that. Okay. All right. Last question. I'm going to channel a little bit of an inner Mike Hurley here. What's next for John Chiggy? Okay. What's next for me is, and I'd like to say that was a possible English accent, but that we really, really, you need to work on. Anyway, okay. I have made no secret of the fact that I'm intending to do some more on tech distortion on coffee. So I am just going through a coffee phase in my life and I have been writing a bunch of stuff in the background in parallel in my spare time which has not been much and I'm building an entirely new section of the website that will be coming up very shortly in the next five to six weeks or so time frame. We'll see how we go. I'm horrendously bad at time estimates. So maybe that's a bit longer. We'll see. Anyway, so watch this space. I will post about it for people on Pragmatic 'cause it is tangentially related to episode 30 and we'll build on that and there will be more, much, much more. And I have something in mind that is, I think, different and unique. So we'll see how we go. It will not be another podcast at this point in time. I need a break from podcasting. So you're gonna see some more of the written stuff from me for a while. And I'm not gonna say any more than that 'cause I'll give too much away. - Okay, that's cool. All right. Now, before we close up and before we wrap, there's some things I wanted to say. - Sure. - Quite some time ago, seems like eons ago now, I cannot honestly remember where I first stumbled across your show. But I remember listening to the first episode I ever heard of it. It was an earlier episode. So I've been a long time fan of Pragmatic. It was back in the Fiat Lux days with you and Ben. And it was a really different show from most of what was in my queue. And I just found myself really enjoying it. And I continue to enjoy it now, even as a host and as a listener to the, when you have guest hosts on. And I wanted to take a moment to, on behalf of myself and the internet in general, to say, thank you for making this show. Thank you for the time that you put into this show and it's appreciated. And it will be missed. Um, I know you've, you've struggled and you really got to do what's best for you and your family as far as your time commitments, and I do not begrudge you for ending the show at all. And I'm just grateful that it's here. I'm grateful that you've decided that you're going to leave things up for a so that people can continue to revisit it and new people can continue to it download and enjoy it and I also want to say on a personal note that It's been a while back now but You sent me an IM or a DM through Twitter one day and and you just kind of lightly tossed the idea out there that you were interested in getting back to a regular co-host and That you were thinking about using me for that and I wanted to say that I was really flattered and honored by that I've really enjoyed being the co-host of this show. I've really enjoyed the report we've developed and to just get a chance to chat with you and hang out with you on Skype and to talk about this stuff. I'd like to address that I never felt that you never gave me an opportunity to talk and that you wouldn't shut up. I don't know if people have said that in particular about me or not because you don't share a lot of that with me for obvious reasons. But I will say that far to the contrary, you have always asserted that I should feel free to speak up whenever I felt I had something to add, especially in the early days when you didn't think I was speaking up enough. And I think sometimes you probably still feel that way. You've always been really supportive of that. And it's been a real pleasure and a real honor to share this show with you. And I want to thank you for giving me that opportunity. Thank you, Vic. That's, um, thank you. very nice for you to say. I'm grateful that I was able to find a new co-host for the show in you and I think that you've done a wonderful job and I've appreciated the fact that you've always made the time even when we had last minute scheduling insanity sometimes. And I've appreciated that very, very much. So your flexibility and your keen interest in participating in the show. And some of the, I think that some of the best episodes that of the show that I've done, it's sort of, it's been you and me as a team. And I think that we've turned out some great content. And I think that the show has been better for your involvement. And I also, yeah, I guess it's one of those things that you... I'm terrible at taking compliments. Thank you. You're welcome. All right, cool. So look, I might wrap it up there, but I'm going to wrap up the ending of this subtly differently, because I can. (laughs) So before we finish, I'm gonna say a few words after the final role, but I think it's important that I do the final role. So first of all, I'd like to start by thanking both of our sponsors for this, the final episode of the show. First and foremost, of course, to Sapien Pair and their iOS app, Shopee, for sponsoring Pragmatic. If you're going shopping, you want a great collaborative shopping list app, then Shopee can help you out. It's ad free for the first month. So I wanna check it out at sapient, that's S-A-P-I-E-N-T dash pair, as in two, .com/pragmatic. I'd also like to thank Hover for sponsoring Pragmatic as well. Hover is a domain registrar that's simple and easy to use with a valet service for your existing domain transfers, making it simply the best way to buy and keep full control of your domain names. Check out Hover at and find out just how easy it is to use and use the coupon code exactly to get 10% off your first purchase. Let hover valet your domain stress away today. Now, if you would like to talk more about this, you can still reach me on Twitter @johnchiji. You'll also see my writing. This podcast, as Vic said, will be up for, well, let's just say a near indefinite period of time. I've decided to leave it up there as a long list of reasons why, but let's just say it'll be there for posterity, I guess. And all that's hosted at my site at That will remain up and watch for the new coffee section that'll be coming in coming months. And if you'd like to get in touch with Vic, what's the best way for people to get in touch with you, Vic? - They can find me on Twitter @vickhudson1. - Fantastic. Now, I'm also going to continue to post occasionally to the Pragmatic Show account on Twitter. If you'd want, you can still follow it @PragmaticShow. However, obviously there's going to be a lot less activity on that. So, so there you go. One of the other things I guess I want to do as a final wrap up is Pragmatic. I think the point of the show for me is that time is precious. And I think that people spend so much of it listening to stuff that is either factually inaccurate or not well-researched or is just background noise, you know, and maybe that has its place. But I guess considering that time is precious, I just hope that people can be selective and choose the better content that is out there. And because time is precious and we get so little of it in our lives, you got to choose how to best spend your life. And creating this sort of content does take time. So if you want to do something like this, just be sure before you spend it, spend your time and dive in. Focus on the details that matter in your projects, in your job, and in your life. and make pragmatic choices wherever you can. Stay in the game and remember that you can only affect the world if you're a participant and if you're part of it. Enjoy your lives. Thanks again for listening everybody and thank you, Vic. Thank you, John. 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Duration 3 hours, 10 minutes and 13 seconds Direct Download
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Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.