INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR GOODALL : FEATURED PRESENTER at ADNUG, 11 MARCH 2020
Originally published on February 24, 2020
I recently caught up with Taylor to get an insight into his own unique career path and also introduced a new section, questions from Slack and Twitter, which allowed me to include some more technical questions from the community.
Hi Taylor, thanks for taking the time to speak with me, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a software developer currently working at bzPay which is a financial tech company that develops innovative financial tech products.
I have a keen interest in building web services, some front end development and lately been diving into some info sec as well.
I’m originally from Alice Springs, spent some time in Mount Gambier about 11 years ago moved to Adelaide - which has been home ever since. Previously I worked in telecommunications as a customer service rep, moving my way up to a programmer for the Internode brand. I enjoy occasional gaming & making music in my spare time.
Can you tell us about your talk “Developing Serverless Applications”
My presentation is on developing serverless apps in general – specifically using AWS SAM as the framework while developing those applications.
What are the key takeaways?
The talk is a good primer for anyone looking to develop serverless apps in the future or who may be tinkering currently. I’ll cover off the lessons I have learnt along the way.
Who would you recommend comes to your talk?
I would have thought developers would be the key audience – but as technical decisions are made by the CTO; I think there would be value in all senior staff members attending as well.
Can you tell us about your own career path into the tech industry?
I have been tinkering for about 10 years on and off. Self taught as a developer on the internet – tinkering away with bits and pieces. Eventually I found the confidence to attend a local meetup which set the bar for myself. My entry point was working as customer service in a call centre and doing passion projects on the side.
An opportunity came up to join the software development team at Internode who were responsible for the internal systems. It was a great experience and I learnt a lot from working in that field.
What advice would give to others who are considering a move into development – especially those like yourself who didn’t come from ‘traditional’ pathways?
The advice I would give – put yourself out there – go to network events. Find out what you want to do and work very very hard to get there. Focus on self-learning – and even when you are working the learning never stops.
Put everything on GitHub so you can show potential employers for your work and display that you have the skills and experience to contribute to their team.
We also have such a vast amount of online content to learn from - with the premium versions being the price of lunch once a month. I would never be here right now without learning from screencasts, blogs & the general tech community.
I would also encourage you to contribute to open source communities where you can, even if you don’t feel confident working on features or bugs there’s plenty of other ways to contribute such as technical document writing. This is an excellent way to show your employer you understand version control, code reviews and can work on existing code bases.
You need to be motivated, even when it seems hard. You need to keep the ball rolling, even if your opportunity has not come up just yet as you never really know when it might. Someone once said luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
What is your favourite thing about being a Developer?
Really, I just love solving problems – whether it be business problems or solutions for ourselves. There’s something amazing about working towards a solution that might make life easier for yourself or thousands of people.
What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of your field?
The thing that excites me is as the tech improves our work as developers will change – and we are unlikely to be doing the same thing. The role will require a bit of everything.
I think the iteration cycle of how fast we can deliver software will get quicker. Faster iterations for developers.
What would be the implications of these faster iteration cycles?
I think it’s possible that software teams could move too fast & end up with a product that becomes difficult to maintain & enhance, it’s also likely that there could be less specific IT roles & developers will have a lot more responsibility moving forward & not as many roles for people who can only do software development.
What podcasts/blogs are you into right now?
Darknet Diaries – www.darknetdiaries.com
North Meets South – www.northmeetssouth.audio
No Plans to Merge – www.noplanstomerge.simplecast.com
Before you go, I am trying out a new idea. I put out the call to the HeapsGoodDev Slack and Twitter communities for some intelligent questions – here we go!
FROM DAN HARRIS : What's it like using dotnet core in AWS? Any dramas?
Generally, it’s really nice to work with overall, if you’re writing dotnet core the transition is reasonably painless, I’d say the biggest thing for lambdas is local development & testing. Which is where SAM comes in although that's not a dotnet core specific issue.
FROM MICHAEL TIMBS : C# seems to have the slowest cold start time, in practice I’ve found cold starts aren’t an issue but how do you weight the cold start v execution trade off?
We’re yet to have serious bottlenecks because of the cold start times and I personally have not given a lot of consideration into it because we’re most productive in dotnet core at this point in time. I’d be pretty happy to rewrite specific functions into GO if it came down to it though if the business case warranted it.
PART 2 FROM MICHAEL TIMBS : Are you packing bigger lambdas (more work/longer runtime) to make up for this or are you keeping functions small?
Most of the functions are quite small at this stage, if they become to a size where they need to be broken down further we’ll probably look into step functions as needed. Most of the serverless work is pretty simple so far as i’m still a big fan of containerising where we can.
FROM ANDREW BEST - If you were a GIF, which one would you be?
ANONYMOUS - Have you considered using RUST?
Unfortunately I have not yet, past the hello world level of rust. maybe in the future though. There is too much new tech coming out, it’s hard enough to stay in the loop as it is!
Thanks Taylor, looking forward to seeing you present on 11 March 2020!