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Part Two: Brianna and Andrew Norcross Talk About Entrepreneurship, Learning a Language, and Defending Wordpress

Published 6/10/2015

Brianna and Andrew Norcross are a powerhouse of a couple. They started Reaktiv Studios, a WordPress-focused agency based in Florida. I spoke with Brianna and Andrew about how they have learned to work together as a married couple. If you missed it, make sure you check out Part 1 of this series.

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If you're wondering what kind of WordPress work these two are involved in, check out Nextdraft Newsletter, developed by ReaktivStudio's and mentioned in today's episode. It might help to know that they are an official service partner for WordPress VIP. So, yeah, they're legit.

Check out ReaktivStudios.com to learn more about what Brianna and Andrew do every day!

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone and welcome to Developer Tea my name is Jonathan Cutrell and today I am continuing my interview with Brianna and Andrew Norcross. Brianna and Andrew head up reactive studios down in Florida and I was so excited to have the opportunity to talk to them about the work that they do together and about entrepreneurship and about WordPress and tons of other interesting things. If you didn't catch the first part make sure you go back and listen to that at some point and also subscribe to Developer Teaif you don't want to miss any future episodes you can do that in pretty much any podcasting up. Of course there is an RSS feed and show notes and tons of other episodes of Developer Teaon DeveloperTea.com. I hope you enjoyed the second part of the interview with Brianna and Andrew Norcross. Brianna and Andrew welcome back to the show and thank you so much for being on Developer Teaagain. It's like a show. In the last episode we talked about what reactive does we talked a lot about you guys' relationship together and work life balance the lack thereof. The mystical or mythical work life balance and how to achieve it when you love your work you feel guilty sometimes I think or at least I do I feel guilty because I'm so excited about my work that I'll work until it's time to sleep. Yeah. I did that for quite some time. I mean there were there was a period where I worked far past the time to go to sleep. I mean we still take a lot of separate vacation like I'll take the kids up to see grand pairs and he'll stay home because we have two dogs who are old and busted and need attention so I'll go take the kids. Think I saw on Twitter that all of your dogs teeth are now available for sale. Yeah if you want any let me know because I was very expensive. Yeah they only took seven of them. It was like a 25% of a dog's mouth though. Yeah it's important that dog doesn't even know what to do at this point. Yeah he's pretty bummed tonight but he'll be okay. I also have a dog that helps me keep my work life balance in check because when I get home and my dog jumps up on me it reminds me that I've been coding for too long probably or something like that. Yeah. Andrew likes when we go on separate vacation because then I know that he's gonna be working like 13, 14 hour days so it's like a vacation permanent way from him. And then she doesn't have to deal with me coding for 13 hours a day. You know I'm trying to reset you know because that's one thing that we deal with you know that I've been getting better at is you know if I've been writing code all day I can't just walk out of my office and all of a sudden like be normal and dealing with human beings especially children is like I have to kind of take a bit of time like when I'm done working and in my office like I'll just read something or I'll just do a little bit here and there and just be able to talk to you especially like if I'm working and I'm like pushing right up against a deadline or trying to get this one little bit done or you know there's a emergency that has to be dealt with and I just have to come out of my office but my brain is still in the middle of you know writing a you know writing a class you know it's difficult for me to like actually process dealing with people so that's been one of the things from a relationship family perspective is like there are times right at the teller I'm not a bad mood I'm just trying to figure something out because I'm really short you know borderline ignoring people it's like you didn't do anything wrong I'm not angry I'm just trying you know like my head is full there needs to be a support group that sounds so much like what more than I go through and it's it's really really interesting to hear almost literally the same things that I do I thought I was unique in that like perspective right like my brain is totally focused on this thing and you know for example today we had the bug guy right the guy that comes and keeps bugs away from our house the exterminator yeah we're in Florida fully very very well person oh yeah yeah I'm sure you are so we we had exterminator come and Lauren stayed home in order to allow the exterminator to come and spray the house and so I get home and I still have you know a project in my head and she's talking to me about termites and I'm still thinking about code and she thinks that I don't care about the termites right like it for that and naturally so because I'm completely devoid of any emotion about the potential of termites being in our brand new home you know like it comes across as if I don't care when in reality I care just as much as she does yeah it's it's it's one of the things where I still catch myself at times it's just I need like I basically put a buffer between work and then the world yeah there's take 30 minutes go away because these are so like I understand now I do a lot and I don't take a personally anymore but the kids are definitely gonna take it personally so it becomes really important to have that like yeah yeah back in it's like a virtual commute kind of interesting you know what that's actually really interesting because I have a friend that says that his commute actually gets him ready for work and also decompresses him from work I've heard a lot of people who actually commute say that yeah that that seems to be the only benefit to a commute I could ever possibly think of totally agree with that 100% yeah it's like a it is a literal context shift right you know it's also interesting though because on the flip side she understands because we work together she understands more than anyone else would about my stresses totally yeah right you think about the common picture of the whatever you want to call it the American family or I guess even you know the international picture of the family and the man comes home and is stressed from work and then the wife wants to help but doesn't have any perspective about what exactly is happening so in order to help the man has to explain everything that's happening and by that time the wife is completely fatigued but the story trying to keep all the details straight and like what do you even do there's no true empathy there because she or he sorry and that sounded extremely sexist of me the works both ways right so yeah you know she has she comes home from work and explains to him her problems and you know neither of them can totally understand what's happening because they are just completely out of the context frankly that's why probably there's a lot of especially you know back in the day but so much more now I mean now maybe not as much now but especially you know historically people would go to the bar on the way home from work and they would have a drink or two just to you know blow off some steam but really it was just to kind of unwind their head so when they get home they're in you know in a condition and to deal with the home you know and while Brianna certainly has you know some empathy to to me and vice versa because like sometimes she's in the middle of doing something you know the kids will ask a question and she's like hold on I'm busy so then they just go and ask their question afterwards like it happened about an hour ago you know she was on the phone with the vet you know on the back porch with the door closed so there would be quiet and one of them goes to open the door and you know flag him away and he acknowledges that she's busy and then starts to ask his question which I went inside and I asked him what it was he couldn't even remember it was like four minutes later couldn't you remember what it was so you know it's it's one of especially the only kids it's like empathy is great but you know like we still have to be parents so there are times where I just have to buck up and deal with it and you know put aside whatever mine you know just slap on a smile and and and you know faint interest if necessary but it sounds like terrible parenting but it I mean yeah it sounds like it but I think anybody who's been a parent or she doesn't say it sounds terrible to me it sounds terrible to people who don't have children but the you know works out pretty well I said something recently in a talk that I gave about becoming a beginner and I said that basically we are all beginners at something every single day whether that's like being a beginner at it being you know whatever today's day is we are all a beginner and anybody who is a parent right now this is their first life being a parent you know like you you've never been a parent before this time and you've never lived another life so of course like you you're not going to have a perfect way of dealing with every unforeseen circumstance and I'm not a parent yet but I hope that my my thinking on this is going to prepare you know prepare me from feeling like I'm being an awful parent because I just don't know what's happening next I mean at the end of the day it's the kids are safe healthy fed and loved you're winning because there are just so many who aren't which is sad but you know absolutely there's nothing there's no perfect there's just just happy yeah and I think that's kind of the theme of this entire conversation right like there's no such thing as perfect work life balance or perfect parenting there's an approximation of what is good right nobody should be working 22 hours out of the day that's right there's definite rights and wrongs of everything else is a gray area yeah very interesting speaking of gray areas um wordpress let's do it ready he's ready for fisticuffs yeah why don't you just defend wordpress for me for the next five minutes I'm I'm kidding but only a little bit because so many people especially oh there's been a lot of bad nothing especially with all the excess stuff yeah there's there is so much negativity surrounding wordpress and you know obviously some of that negativity has its roots in something valid right but a lot of it doesn't and I'd like for you as the resident wordpress expert on this episode that to kind of speak a little bit to you know why is wordpress getting this bad rap but also why it shouldn't be getting this bad rap in a nutshell wordpress is nearly 12 years old as a platform and and it's been open source since day one it was forked from another open source project which means like the code base is that much more yeah it's better lie along that much longer there are some pieces of wordpress that have been in there since day one and yes some of the stuff under the hoods pretty ugly not a lot of it but some of it you know the as far as the security stuff yeah I mean it's there have been some holes exploited which exists frankly in any software it's just when you run 20 when you're running on 23% of the web that's a bigger hole and you know beyond that because of the self hosted platform and it is built to be able to run on you know cheap five dollar hosts and there's nothing there there there's some things built in in terms of security I mean there's a lot really built in security wise and you know it doesn't force version upgrades and it doesn't force you know certain things because it is free it's your software you do with it as you please you know from a developer standpoint you know it is a pretty liberate entry I mean yeah PHP people like to you know people that should all over PHP it works for Facebook it works for quite a few other frameworks and not only that you know it's really easy to write a plugin for wordpress which is a great thing you know I learned development by by writing code for wordpress the bad side of that is that it's really easy to write code for wordpress and you know it's very easy to write something that's and that is not secure that is non-performing and it will ruin everybody's day you know not only just its own little sandbox I mean but you know developers can be very opinionated at times I'm the first you know I'm the first one to admit that I can be as well I mean just look at the like what is the JavaScript framework of the week to sure is it is it is it react again good question or is it still angular is it something amber amber okay I mean like there's a there's a drinking game which you take a noun you add JS to the end of it if it exists you drink and depending on where your mindset is it could kill you because there's that many of them you know the idea that because it's old in software terms it's it's old yeah it's not good it doesn't follow true MVC which I could care less it doesn't use the latest and greatest because it's made to run in a lot of places and yeah I mean it's it's part of this way I've been running wordpress code in some capacity for eight nine years I had one site that I ran and managed hacked once because it was on a dev server I forgot it existed and it was five versions behind that's my fault that is not wordpresses fault and you know for the people that complain oh it's insecure the plug you know I mean if you're installed you know you install these plugins have hazardly you don't keep up your site that is not the software's fault at that point I mean at some point I don't see this happen very often is a lot of times developers do not take they don't own their own mistakes it's too easy to blame the software for a problem that you as an individual shooter shouldn't have done and I mean like this we're like I used windows for a lot of years and I know that from our developer standpoint I might as well just put a big A in my forehead and you know and walk out the door uh thing is I never had a virus because I maintained my computer you know I knew what to do you know that's right you know it's same thing with software you know running running away you know people like to think that software you just you know like website you build it leave it alone and it's fine until you touch it again and frankly the modern web does not work that way and you know if you you know you put you know you just leave your car sitting outside for a year and then you go to start it you're like well why the tire's flat and it you know won't start that's your fault for not running the car something car's fault for sitting there exactly yeah and it's a twofold problem right like one of the early rhetorics for why I guess not early but one of the recent rhetorics for Mac was that it didn't have any viruses right but as it has gained popularity the Mac is vulnerable just like a PC would be vulnerable if you don't take care of it if you don't paying attention to what you're doing and the truth of the matter is the reason why Mac in the in the beginning had fewer viruses or fewer virus attacks pointed at it was because it just simply didn't have the market share that the PC had right so it doesn't make sense for somebody who is trying to get the most damage to go after the smaller guy if they can go after the bigger guy yeah and frankly most of your security stuff is going to be browser based anyway which are that you know they're going to be man in the middle of attacks are going to be excesses you know cross-site stuff which at that point you're you're operating systems irrelevant you know if you're browser and yeah if you're going to fifth you know sites you shouldn't be going to and you know downloading you know wares and all that other you know garbage like that's your fault it's very easy to blame the hardware or the software the technology yeah because it didn't stop you from doing something stupid and yeah there's only there's only so much any technology can do to prevent you from being an idiot and it's also possible that you're ignorant right like that it's your fault but you don't realize what you're doing and so because you don't realize what you're doing and on top of the fact you're launching a website as easy as possible which means you're going to choose WordPress well now you have a recipe for disaster because you don't know what you're doing and you end up launching a website with like three clicks and throwing you know a theme and ten WordPress plugins that's obviously a recipe for a hack especially if you tell that to a developer that is worth their salt they will recognize all the problems with that equation yeah which none of them have to do with the actual software I mean that's the thing it's it's you know the user as user education is lacking right and you know we're with WordPress with everything I mean how long did it take for people to understand you know looking for spoof sites and clicking stuff in emails which people still do and you know all these other things that ummm entering their Facebook password on anything that looks remotely like Facebook yeah exactly and you know it's one of those things that you know again it has nothing to do with you know that's not Facebook's fault that's not you know that's not the browser's fault to a degree I mean that's your fault and because of things like Facebook and another and certain other web software people expect every part of the web to be dead simple you know hit this button hit that button and go you know I've built things in WordPress for clients who hit two three buttons and it goes um are you familiar with the next draft newsletter yeah I'm not I don't think I am you send me a link to that and I'll put in the show notes though yeah it's uh done by Dave Pell it's fantastic I strongly suggest anybody subscribe it's free uh I built the site that runs it and it runs on WordPress and one of the things that Dave's able to do and he's done this for ten plus years now but he has a HTML file that he keeps up and BB edit he puts ten blocks of news in there he has a single text field in the back in the WordPress he hits one button and it creates all of the content in a standardized structure sends it to an iOS app and he has one other button and it goes to Mailchip and it goes out to like I mean some ridiculously high numbers subscribers you know WordPress can be two buttons but you know it's also managed very well I mean people people will sit on Chrome and complain about not you know like I don't want to update myself where it's like Chrome is updating whether you like it or not yeah that's that's funny that you mentioned that and you mentioned earlier that you know there's some ugly stuff in the core of WordPress because it's been there for a long time or because you know if they change it then the API is going to change and a bunch of users are going to get mad and leave WordPress behind and so any change in WordPress is is a relatively long change right so it's some of the best for sure yeah their commitment to backwards compatibility is frankly it's I've not seen another platform that that's been around for that long that has grown the way that it's grown that has that I mean think about it angular 2.0 pretty much completely incompatible with 1.0 and maybe that's changed last week or two but you know when they were announcing the 2.0 version of Angular it was like yeah none of your 1.0 is going to work right yeah and there was a big backlash against that and that would be detrimental I think at least to WordPress especially because the barrier to entry conversation WordPress is so easy to get started with that if it becomes not easy for someone who is a beginner they're going to leave it and go and find something that is yeah I mean if you know the barrier to entry for me individually was low enough that I could read other people's code I could look at things that were already running and kind of work backwards and figure out how it all worked and what to do and then start tweaking and then start building and then start layering and kind of going from there you know I there's I couldn't do that with Drupal I couldn't do that with you know with a Rails app sure you know I know enough JavaScript to get myself in trouble I'm getting a lot better on that you know that that's been my actually kind of my focus for like last year is getting a lot better JavaScript and not not a framework like just JavaScript yeah I know at one point you talked about you know like you were starting today like what would you learn or like what would you suggest I would suggest a language and I would say probably I would go JavaScript if I were starting today I'd probably do JavaScript and then you know from there go into some sort of server side language whether that's node or whether PHP Rails whatever you know start in the front on it and then kind of work back I would agree with that actually and on the note of the ugly stuff you know there's ugly stuff pretty much in every frame unless it's a brand new framework that you know somebody is very dedicated to keeping the ugly out pretty much every framework has ugliness for example pretty much every patch release for Rails right now and I develop in Rails so this is you know as honest as it can be most of them are for security fixes and that means that there was a security problem with Rails you know either somebody experienced it and reported it as bug or some tests found out once it had already gone to production you know in a live environment on somebody server somewhere so you're opening yourself up to vulnerability when you are a human when somebody who is human has made something and it hasn't been tested in literally every possible scenario there's still a possibility that there's a security issue and it just so happens that because of that high exposure that WordPress security issues are often found out quicker and also because people don't update their WordPress applications a lot of those old vulnerabilities are still out in the what yeah that's something that scares me is that yeah there's a lot of you know frameworks out there of any language that have no update capability if there's bad code out there there's nothing stop and unless people know about it interactively maintaining it you know from an individual level it's still there I mean WordPress has a single button update and it becomes the responsibility goes back to the developer but if you're like a lot of other developers you work on a project and then the contract ends and that person is you know moving on and they don't necessarily have a developer on hand all the time and so you know the question becomes like do you need to go back and contact those people and say hey I know I wrote code for you and you paid for it but you need to update and now you have to pay me more to update it like that's that's a very serious difficulty that real clients and real people are facing every single day yeah I mean it's it's one of those things where I figured out in 2014 I wrote about two or three thousand words of content and I wrote about 200,000 lines of code that's pretty incredible I like I don't remember I clearly do not remember all the code that everything I don't remember all my clients over the past eight years there's been code that you know plugins that I've released that I've you know let die basically I said hey I'm not updating this anymore it's no longer needed or to you know whatever and frankly if you're a developer and you look at your code from six months ago and you still think it's the best then you're you're not getting better as a developer and that's kind of the spirit of this show is to encourage you to not be like that guy and instead to constantly be improving right like we have better in us as human beings we can make a system that fixes this problem there are ways to fix the entire internet having a big issue with WordPress there are ways to fix that problem yeah I mean any time WordPress shows up like on hacker news which frankly I don't read hacker news anymore because of numerous reasons you know everyone jumps in oh it's terrible this is what and then they mentioned some you know some CMS that you know no one's ever heard of or some people heard of and it's funny if you look at that same thread two years ago because it's the same thread every two three months really if you look away from two years ago I'd say 75% of those CMSs haven't been touched by their developers like there's no longer developed development happening on it so I mean it's it's great you know like I've I kind of deal with with those things the same way I deal with like a lot of the really really cutting edge web stuff like it's really cool and I like playing with it but I have a job and like the cutting edge stuff that only works in the latest version of Chrome Canary really rad never could use it in production and the closest thing you can do is you know find a find a polyfill or you know try to replicate that same behavior in another technology and so you know if you for example if you're really interested in web sockets or something and you find a brand new framework that uses web sockets oh you might want to reconsider using that brand new framework and see if there's something in a existing framework that implements that technology the same underlying concept because if that framework goes you know dormant if it has like a sunset whatever they call it now then you're kind of up a creek like there's not going to be any stack overflow that's going to help you out because nobody knows what you're talking about right yeah I mean there's like there's certain things especially like on the CSS like I'm not a fun guy I do enough of it to get by but like there's some really cool CSS stuff that I would love to use more than I can but because you know we deal with a lot of clients that you know that have either some of its accessibility stuff which a lot of the JS frameworks don't really address very well or you know they do need to work on older versions of an explorer which you know whatever sucks but you know they're paying for it you know so like flexbox like I can't use flexbox yet I'd love to be able to use that that would that would remove so much stuff and yeah I can add a lot of backfill you know poly fills and kind of back compatibility stuff but sometimes it's easier to write it a little bit older that works and you know it's it's one of those things where you know it's I don't want to always be chasing what's new because I'm never going to get that good at anything if I'm always learning the next thing and not actually like deep diving into what I'm doing right now I wrote a post about that actually referring to tools and tools sets and how we have this obsession with you know trying to keep up as we always say how do you keep up in the industry and I think it's such an improper view of craftsmanship and that's that was the point of the post was craftsmanship if you look at a blacksmith and you look at the way they use their tools how many times does a blacksmith change their tool set maybe wants because the old one more out right that's the extent of them changing their tool set now I realized that that's a completely different situation from the web because we have a lot of different tools that are actually changing what we're working with but fundamentally to master a tool set you have to stick with it for longer than you know a day right or longer than a week. Yeah it's because I've done WordPress for eight nine years now like I know like I said that ugly code yeah I know where it is and I know how to avoid it or work around it without having to do too much work you know it's not going to surprise me and it's interesting because I work with other developers every day and we split our energy into WordPress and Rails and there's always these you know differing opinions in fact one of the developers did something in Angular and it was you know built on top of Rails using Angular and you know I've been outspoken about my you know dislike for Angular but I went and looked at it and it worked and it looks great and I'm like dude that's fine like there's nothing particularly wrong with what you're doing you know as long as it solves the problem right and so it's it's been an interesting process of learning how to manage developers when I have my own opinions and Brianna you are in the process of learning how to manage a brand new team right you guys have grown recently and I'm interested to hear kind of your insight on how to manage other developers especially when they have opinions and you know you have your own opinions how do you how do you merge those two things? Well I don't do a lot of the technical management because I have no idea about code at all I know that our partner Josh how he does things with our our newest developer is it's less enforcing his opinions on the new developer is like sometimes they'll have the new developer do a code review on his stuff so the new developer can see how he might do things and make suggestions I don't think there's anybody who can't learn something from somebody else so it's not really so much like what you have to do it this way it's like well what way would you do it if it makes sense and it works and it's either I don't know what the what the quantifiers are for better code is it more efficient or something like that but then we'll go with that and not force it just to be done a certain way that's a great perspective to have I think there's it's always a trade-off right because you guys probably wouldn't hire somebody that that is working in not WordPress right now at least or somebody who is like anti-word press right yeah I wouldn't just wouldn't be a good fit for the things we need to get done but our most recent hire has a high interest in Drupal which we don't we don't know anything about it but that's great because he's going to bring a whole new perspective yeah and I think that is a really important aspect to remember like you know there's nothing wrong with other frameworks being your primary interest necessarily but sometimes you know even if it's good code it may not be what we need to be writing in right so in the case of of the developer who wrote Angular at whiteboard it's good code but the question will be does anybody else know how to write that does anybody else know how to maintain it and luckily he was smart enough to realize you know this is a small enough example that it's not going to throw somebody for loop but have you guys experienced you know coming into a project and looking and thinking wow I have no idea what's going on here because they're using you know plug-in or maybe a an entire framework that I'm just not familiar with oh what was the one Andrew is starting with a K was that was oh oh kahanan yeah so we were dealing with a prospective client that had a huge site running on WordPress we were told cyber now for a long time had passed through multiple developers hands Developer Tea hands I should say so you could clearly look at it and see oh well this group did this this group did that there was a whole lot of things that were done they may have been done correctly when they were done in 2009 you know we we dug deeper and we're like we found are you familiar with the the PHP framework kahanan I'm not actually at all I've never even heard that I only know what it is because a friend of mine was building something with it but it's an entire PHP framework it was inside of a plug-in that they had written oh my goodness I mean it's it's like code igniter or leravel you know like it's that level of framework you know clearly not WordPress clearly no need for it to be there were they like even doing their own database stuff inside of that like their own tables and that kind of thing there were so many tables inside of this site that were no longer being used I mean we were fortunate we found out that like half the code that was being you know wasn't even active anymore oh man it was just sitting there because nobody knew why it was there so no one would remove it because they didn't know why it was there and no one wanted to be the one that removed that one piece that made the whole house cards fall you know the part of the project is going to be unwinding all of them it's going to be like a two you know it could be a you know easily going to be a 12 it's like 12 to 15 months yeah and it's the first six months at least it's going to be just unwinding everything boiling it down to what is it actually doing yeah because it's it's a media it's a news media site so it's not it's not e-commerce it's not crazy you know an API stuff it's it's just something that everyone had built on top of and nobody was like maybe we should pause for a minute and clean this up instead of like let's just push the garbage really really flat and then build on top of it the interesting piece of that to me about your relationship with the project especially Brianna is that you coming into this like there's no transparency for you especially as a non-developer into those problems right like it's very difficult for somebody who hasn't been able to get into the code to be able to make a judgment call especially about these legacy projects that we come into and suddenly like oh my goodness what is going on oh yeah I mean for anything that's not textbook and I don't know a lot but in three years I've learned the basics not encoding but just what to look like you know I can I can ballpark it but things like that definitely we have to get a developer in to act as a technical PM and I'm just a PM who's just dealing with the client because I'm not qualified at all for something that crazy it's hard to know when you're not qualified though you know I just defaults I have no idea and usually I mean I've been shocking myself where I make a guess and then I just say hey is this right or wrong and they'll say yes or no and and sometimes it's been more yes than no lately which I'm pretty impressed by it's better I found it's better to do it that way it saves time instead of saying what do I need to tell them I say do I tell them this and then instead of them instead of the developer having to write this huge answer it's just yes that's right or no that's wrong in your choice and there's some intuition that we have to eventually get to especially for people who are non-technical who are trying to either become developers or maybe they're in a similar position you bring on we have to kind of trust our intuition because there is a bit of intuition that goes along with actually writing code so if it seems complicated it probably is having just a kind of mental library the longer I do this the more projects I know we've done capably and I know we know was it a nightmare or was it pretty easy and nobody on the web really is doing something so original that hasn't been done before in some kind of capacity so if somebody wants a membership thing and it sounds a little different we've done a membership thing that it could be based off of so I can estimate based on things we've already done and you know as Andrew mentioned in the last episode there's probably some code that you've written that's going to end up crossing over being reused or whatever in those instances as well so it helps kind of scope things in terms of what building blocks do we have already in place that we can kind of put together. I mean that's something that I think is a goal for the next 12 months is to get like a really decent like a code library that we can sort by especially for me it would be helpful if I could say have we done this before and I go to our wiki and search like membership and I see what we've got or don't have and it just has a brief description of what it is right yeah I don't need the code but I know that tells me we've done it before and then for any other developers we bring on you know it was just a shared knowledge base which is not only sadly is a great for profits because everything is more efficient but everybody benefits. Let's enlightening I really appreciate information about WordPress and also about you know managing developers and managing that uncertain kind of weird ground where you're trying to figure out what's wrong with something or maybe you're just estimating a project and you know you have to kind of trust your you have to trust your intuition and also you know pull on past experiences and make the best judgment you can and hope for the best after that right yeah I mean some of it is some of it is just just hoping that you did the right thing but yeah which is like the worst thing for a developer. I know nobody wants to hear that but an injury actually this is how Andrew got his start say yes figure it the hell out later yeah it's the the method of jumping off the cliff and growing wings or whatever building their plane. I mean the bigger your clients get and the bigger the liability becomes if you were to mess it up the less you can do that but it's a good way to get your foot in the door. Well let me ask you guys the final questions that I always like to ask my guests and and this will be a really interesting version of this. If you had to speak to a beginner developer or an experienced developer and you only had you know 30 seconds to give them some advice I know Andrew you mentioned to tell them to learn a language and specifically to learn JavaScript what other advice would you and also Briano would you give to to any developer if you had just 30 seconds. I would tell them to think of the problem from a totally inexperienced user's perspective because I am a totally inexperienced user and so when I'm testing our group has has me test things because you know I'm the village idiot. If it's good for the lowest common denominator it's probably good. It's good insight. Everything that I've learned is because I'm already I'm trying to get an outcome and that really seems to help focus on learning how to do something. If I'm learning something with no no desire to you know no preset or expected outcome it's like I learned something and I don't even know what I learned and I reuse it again. The other thing is don't plan on sleeping for a while. Yeah like this is not a nine to five. Set for the beginner or for the experience developer. Yes. Yes. This is not a job that at least my own experience and the experience of everybody. Literally everybody I know that does this. This can't be a job that you just you're okay with. Like if you don't want to do this you're not going to do it because there's there's times where you're going to be going through and you're going to be looking at like I'm an idiot. What is happening? Why don't I clearly don't even know how to do math anymore. I feel like an am so dumb why can't I do this and then you're like I clearly have figured out and solved all the world's problems right now and it kind of goes back and forth like that three four times a day and yeah it's it's not not for the I guess nothing I don't want to say faint at heart because there's this is not a difficult job in that regard but from a mental standpoint you know like you have to want to do this like this is not a job you take until you figure out what you want to do. Yeah. This is a job you do because you can't fat him doing anything else. Yeah even though you're at a desk this is not a desk job. No I mean I worked for 10 years in banking and finance and you know at the last few years but I was a money manager I would never ever go back to that line of work ever again. I could not fathom doing anything other than what I do now every time I think about any other job I was like I'm just like I kind of shut her I was like I really hope I can keep doing this for a living because if not I don't know what I'm going to do. It has to be kind of an obsession. Pretty much. Most people that I meet that are successful developers. They become really hyper obsessed with the process of creation using code and it's very much a journey. It's emotional and it's you know it's very difficult mentally and you have to have a lot of fortitude and be willing to fail a lot and be willing to you know look at your successes and move past them so that you can succeed again after you fail a bunch again. It's totally a roller coaster of a job and you go everywhere like in the world in your mind like there's so many different things and a given day that you're thinking about it is not the same thing every single day. In fact it's quite the opposite of that. Yeah. Well that's great advice and I think this has been just such a really interesting and different two episodes of Developer Tea. I think you guys are providing a lot of value to the to the people who are listening and you know real world experience and real world stories and it's such an interesting different relationship that you guys have from the average conventional wisdom and a different relationship that you have with your work and so I really appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you so much. Thank you for having us. Yeah really appreciate it's been fantastic. So if people want to find out more about what you guys do where should they go? They should go to reactivestudios.com. Awesome and you both have or at least I know Andrew has a blog that he does development writing on. Very occasionally like I'm very bad at keeping up on that. I mean I mean I'm both very Twitter prolific if anything. We don't have Facebook at all. Okay there you go. And I use Twitter now I will say absolutely like but you could be an HR violation. It could be what I look at your phone by yourself away from other people. I try to keep the dark stuff only at night. You know I don't want to ruin anybody's afternoon. But after hours. Yeah I mean late night with Norcross. Oh it's yeah it's something else but I mean I used Twitter before I restarted being an developer so I didn't have to worry about any like filtering of myself and after a while it's like well I can't start now. Not that I'd want to anyway but that's really where I had yeah my Twitter I've you know my website that you know I update once a year my latest blog post was about how to make a sleeveless t-shirt so I mean there's really ground breaking content. Yeah I mean I wrote a plug-in to pull in all my gists from GitHub which is how I keep all that code updated. Yeah it's all automated. That's the joy of being a developer. Never underestimate my ability to over-engineer a problem. Yeah that's that's good. I appreciate that a lot. I've been doing some similar over-engineering myself so it's a lot of fun. You learn a lot through over-engineering. That's just reminded me of last night. I don't know if this is what like even just a more of a personal anecdote. Andrew is trying to fit this tall two-liter in the fridge and he spent seriously baby it was like maybe nine minutes trying to figure out how to move this part in the fridge so they can stand up in there. When you could it is laid it on its side in about 32 seconds. Yeah but that is not the point not the point. No but that is just such a classic thing that happens in our household over-engineering. Oh yeah I do very similar things. I had to find a way to make my little raspberry pie play music. I didn't care that I could play music from my iPhone through my Apple TV because that's not the point. The point is to make my raspberry pie play the music. Yeah I'm a big fan of making things harder than an S to B. Totally I'm bored with you Andrew I understand. This has been great. Thank you so much once again for being on the show. All of these links will be in the show notes. Thank you so much guys. Sure if you know where to find us we need us. Thanks so much for listening to my interview with Andrew and Brianna Norcross. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to check out the work that they do at reactive studios you can go to reactivestudios.com that's r-e-a-k-t-i-v studios.com. Of course that link will be in the show notes on Developer Tea and you can find a bunch of other episodes of Developer Teaat developertea.com. That is where most of this stuff is happening so make sure you go and check that out. You can leave comments there and you can contact me on the contact form. But if you prefer to email you can email me at developertea@gmail.com and then also on Twitter and at Developer Tea. I wanted to take a minute and say thank you to all of you who listen to this show because of you Developer Tea was nominated for the 16th annual Net Awards the podcast of the year award. If you would like to vote you can always find that at thenetawards.com or you can go to bitly that's b-i-t dot l-y slash vote t v-o-t e t-e-a. Of course that link will also be in the show notes at DeveloperTea.com. Thanks so much for listening to the show and until next time enjoy your tea.