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Detaching to Seek an Outside View

Published 5/5/2021

Our inside view is made up of invisible, inescapable walls. Can we simulate an outside view?

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
You are on the inside. This is what we're talking about in today's episode. My name is Jonathan Cutrell. You're listening to Developer Tea and my goal on this show is to help driven developers like you find clarity, perspective and purpose in their careers. Today we are going to do a kind of a visualization type exercise. We've done these a few times in the show in the past. I think this is one of the best ways to communicate this particular point. This is really going to do is it's going to walk you through something in your own life, something that you can connect to, rather than just monologuing here. Something that you can connect to in your own life and hopefully it will give you a new perspective. It's quite literally that is the goal is to give you a new perspective on an otherwise older familiar situation. This idea of being on the inside is what we're talking about. In order to not interrupt the process of that visualization, I want to go ahead and tell you about today's incredible sponsor, Voyage. Voyage is a tool that is built by and forward developers. This saves hours of your time by automating staging environments of your full stack app for every pull request that you have. It includes feedback tools with each deployment so you don't have to juggle emails or slack messages, screenshots, Excel spreadsheets, all of those things from your counterparts. You can just do it all with voyage. Voyage isn't just deploying your front end. You've spent a lot of time building the complete app. Why not? Also, deploy the complete app. Maybe you have multiple repos, multiple services that's not a problem voyage. We'll deploy your complex application the way you built it to be deployed. You don't have to do special tooling to attach those front end deployments back to some staging, long running staging API or something. All of it gets deployed together. You can have unique deployments for each PR. No matter how long running those PRs are, you can have tons of commits that get attached to that PR, that same build with that unique URL is going to remain consistent until the PR is closed. With those feedback tools we were talking about, you can get everybody involved, not just the engineers who understand how a PR works on GitHub. It can be somebody who's never talked to GitHub at all. They've never used GitHub at all. They've never done a single comment on a PR in GitHub or in Gira, for that matter. You can integrate with Gira, by the way, and of course GitHub. Your whole team can view the link to your staging deployment without needing a third-party account, no GitHub account is even required to participate in the feedback rounds. Lastly, voyage is safe and secure. Your code is completely secure. It's never accessible by any team, including the team at voyage. Each subscription plan also includes the ability to do password, protect your deployments, so you get that extra layer of security. Set sail with voyage and save time and headaches with their automated staging environments. Head over to voyageapp.io. Thanks so much for watching today's episode of Developer Tea. We're going to spend this episode and the episode on Friday talking about the inside and the outside. What do we mean by the inside and the outside? If you think about your experience in life, you are clued in. You have the context, the information that you need. You have a perspective that only you can have in a way your version of the world is exclusive essentially to you. That inside view is a critical component to understanding how we see the world. Not only how we see the world around us, but also how we see our place in it and how we see others. When we look through the lens of the inside view and we see out to other people who have their own inside views, we very rarely are considering that those views could be wildly different. So for the sake of today's episode, I want to focus on trying to gain an outside view. Now notice what I'm saying here is not trying to adopt someone else's perspective. Getting an outside view is different from simply changing your point of view to that of another person. Getting an outside view is trying to eliminate the experience, the human experience aspect of whatever you are perceiving in that moment. Now this is essentially impossible to do, but walking through this exercise can help you identify and become more aware, more accepting of the limitations of having a perpetual inside view. So here's the kind of visualization walk through whatever you want to call it, the mental exercise that we're going to do today. I want you to pick a single belief and make it something that's salient to you that's relatively recent in your mind, but not something necessarily that you're actively frustrated or heated about. Something that you're not emotionally engaged in in this very moment. If you're emotionally engaged in it, it makes it harder to do this exercise because your emotions are basically going to create a barrier that reinforces that inside view. So make it something that you do feel strongly about or a perspective that you hold maybe a set of beliefs that you hold. And I want you to kind of restate what those beliefs are to yourself. Now this could be something as trivial as a taste in music or a particular appreciation for a film, maybe you have a favorite star wars or something, and you believe that this star wars is unequivocally the best one in the series. That can be as trivial as that. So now what I want you to do is I want you to try to imagine yourself having never experienced that thing. In other words, you never had the opportunity to develop that belief to begin with. You were never exposed to the thing. Maybe star wars never existed. We're talking about kind of an alternate reality here, of course, but maybe star wars never existed. Maybe you never encountered that particular argument for whatever reason you're unaware that this belief, this stance, whatever it is exists. So in this alternate reality, you are kind of in the suspended state, right? You don't necessarily not believe the thing that you believed before. You're not rejecting it. It's just simply not there. As you imagine the absence of this belief or the absence of this position that you currently actually hold. I want you to note, what are the feelings that arise when you imagine that alternate reality? For some people, a feeling of anxiety might arise. This is pretty normal. The feeling of not being anchored because you have this belief that for whatever reason it's become a part of your identity or it's become a part of your experience in life. And you're removing that. And if you don't have that particular piece of view, it feels like you're kind of losing grip, at least as a very small example. For other people, the feeling may be one of confusion or they may feel a very big struggle in even imagining this reality, right? And what this is outlining is that the beliefs that we hold, even when we are actively trying to let them go, not necessarily trying to defy them, but simply letting them go, right? Letting them kind of return to a neutral state where we have no opinion at all. It's difficult to even return to a neutral state. This is how strong the boundaries are for that inside view. But once you've gotten to the place where you can have that kind of neutral position, then I want you to imagine that instead of being born, when you were born, let's say you were born 50 years earlier. And imagine how you would develop that same belief or what you would, you know, what kind of belief would you develop? Now this is critical because you have to take into account new variables. There's a whole culture that you haven't necessarily been a part of. And so even though you might be the same person, your surrounding variables have a great effect on the things that you believe, the things that you are going to perceive in the world. Now we can turn up the volume on this a little bit by changing that time by a much more drastic number, right? So that the culture is not just stepwise, a little bit different. It's just drastically different. It's an order of magnitude different. Imagine that you were born a thousand years ago, right? Or even a thousand years from now. But take the same belief that you mentioned in the beginning and with that time distance, imagine how you would respond to the same question. Now here's what we're doing. We're taking a specific concept that is salient and present and not distant from you now. And we're trying to kind of imagine our consciousness traveling through time, right? We're distancing ourselves from our held belief. And so if you distance yourself far enough, the reasons that you're holding that belief start to change or they start to break down. For example, another way that you can distance from a belief is to imagine how that belief changes as your actual age changes. Imagine if you will hold that belief in 20 years or perhaps why you didn't hold that belief five, 10, 15 years ago. When we seek the outside view, once again, this is nearly impossible to actually achieve, but when we seek the outside view, it forces us to confront what those boundaries are that create the inside. So what is it that is limiting my perspective? Is it the fact that I am a human? And that's one thing that is very difficult to get past as a human. We can not stop being human. We can't change our brain's capacity to comprehend in drastic ways. Is the limiting factor something about my personal experience or my context that I can't change, for example, my race? That would be another example of something that might create an inside view. Most often, the inside view that we are kind of forced into is created by boundaries that we can't really perceive to begin with. And so this is why this exercise is so valuable because it doesn't take stepwise motions away from your current position. In other words, I'm not asking you to imagine that things are slightly different. I'm asking you to imagine an entirely different scale of thinking. Imagine that you are so disconnected from that belief that you're just looking at the belief and you're trying to remove yourself. This is truly the only way that we can seek the outside view is to detach from whatever it is that we're looking at. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Voyage for sponsoring this episode. If you want painless staging deployments with your full stack application and a complete feedback system that involves everyone from your product managers to every engineer on the team, head over to voyageapp.io. If you want to have conversations like this one or perhaps you want to have more concrete conversations feedback on your code even, you can join the Discord community, the Developer Tea Discord community by heading over to developertea.com slash Discord. Thanks so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.