DevOps Institute

[EP48] Bootstrapping with Brandon Durbin, Founder and CEO of Akava


On this episode of the Humans of DevOps, Jason Baum is joined by Brandon Durbin, Founder & CEO of Akava – a Silicon Valley software engineering consultancy who helps start-ups and enterprises such as Disney, Oracle, Lbrands, Cisco and Uber build innovative cloud, devops, web and mobile solutions.. Brandon Durbin is a tech entrepreneur, investor and advisor. They discuss entrepreneurship, his background including overcoming hurdles and lessons learned, community building, continuous learning, advice and more

Brandon is part of the DevOps Institute family proudly serving as the inaugural Committee Chair for the Silicon Valley chapter as well as Chairing the organization’s membership committee! He’s exceptionally passionate about increasing diversity in tech and volunteers as a mentor for and Code2040. Brandon is an avid sports fan and enjoys traveling the world while indulging in local cultures and cuisines.

The lightly edited transcript can be found below.

Narrator 00:02
You’re listening to the humans of DevOps podcast, a podcast focused on advancing the humans of DevOps through skills, knowledge, ideas and learning, or the SKIL framework.

Brandon Durbin 00:18
I would probably say if you’re considering it, jumping in, be confident in how you land. In look, it’s not for everyone, and I get that I respect it. But if you’re considering it, do it.

Jason Baum 00:34
Hey, everyone, its Jason Baum, Director of membership at DevOps Institute. And this is the Humans of DevOps podcast. And this week, I’m very excited. I’m excited every week, but this week, I’m especially excited because I’m chatting with a friend of mine. We could say we’re friends, right, Brandon 100%. Okay. Brandon Durbin and Brandon is a tech entrepreneur, investor and advisor, the founder and CEO of a cava, a Silicon Valley software engineering consultancy that helps startups and enterprises such as Disney Oracle l brands, Cisco, Uber, perhaps you heard of them, build innovative cloud, DevOps, web and mobile solutions. He’s also part of the DevOps Institute family proudly serving as the Inaugural Committee Chair for the Silicon Valley Chapter, as well as chairing the organization’s membership committee, which we are starting. He’s exceptionally passionate about increasing diversity in tech and volunteers as a mentor for and Co 2014. He is an avid sports fan, and enjoys traveling the world while indulging in local cultures and cuisines. Which we could talk all day about because we’ve done that in the past. So are you ready to get human?

Brandon Durbin 01:46
Let’s get human.

Jason Baum 01:48
Jason Awesome. Awesome.

Brandon Durbin 01:50
Take a step further the friendship I was thinking about this last night, we are totally kindred souls, when in respect to food, sports, and definitely culture. So yeah, I loved the relationship we built, I’m super excited to see what we’re going to do here in the future.

Jason Baum 02:09
It’s exciting. It’s exciting when I get to meet people who are passionate about volunteering, that’s probably the first thing that I get excited about. Because I think it takes a unique type of person to want to say, I’m going to devote eight hours, 10 hours, 12 hours a month on something, and I’m not going to get paid for it. And it’s purely because I enjoy it. And I enjoy what it means. So I think that says a lot. You know about who you are when you’re willing to step up and do something like that?

Brandon Durbin 02:41
Yeah, 100%. So I’m not sure if you’ve ever read blue ocean strategy, but it’s the whole notion around give to get to give, right. And that mentality I read that years ago, and that has been incredibly sticky with me ever since. And so yeah, that’s one of my biggest drivers to volunteer.

Jason Baum 03:01
I think I read something similar by the Berenstein Bears. It’s called kindness counts. And I think I read that to my daughter. So what we want to talk about today, well, we’re going to talk more about that volunteering and community aspect because I know it’s something that’s passionate, that you’re passionate about. And also the San Francisco chapter of DevOps Institute. But first, I want to dive into being an entrepreneur. Because you are an entrepreneur, you are a self-starter, you are an investment advisor, you kind of do it all. You’re young. And I am fascinated by people who have that mindset as well, because that’s basically saying, I’m going to go do double the work. Pull all my hair out. I’m bald now. So that and I could be making double, working for someone else for half the hours. So what is it about being an entrepreneur that is so exciting for you?

Brandon Durbin 04:12
Yeah, Jason First, thanks for calling out that, uh, I’m young. That means a lot. Because I don’t feel it anymore. And, you know, approaching mid-30s here and my girlfriend definitely makes me aware that I’m no longer young. So thank you for calling that out. Relative. Thanks so much. In terms of entrepreneurship. For me, I you know what, Jason, I’ve been a guy that’s always colored outside the lines. And I’ve struggled fitting into the corporate world, so to speak. I’m not a good corporate soldier. I just, I’m not. And I I realized that early on and I, I wanted to kind of take that leap of faith. So like taking a step back, give me some historical background on how a cave came to be, I was running a large Silicon Valley software engineering consultancy, that was brought on to run technical alliances and strategic partnerships that ultimately led to growth that was super successful. So much. So that was elevated to partner level effectively being the CEO building the nice 10 Plus person team. And what was interesting is I got caught in between a pretty gnarly founders quarrel, where one founder was doing all the work. And the other founder was nowhere to be found in the reason that kind of transpired was because when they brought me on, it was really to figure out the enterprise they were historically working with, like startups. And the problem with startups is they’re hyper-demanding, they want things yesterday, and they oftentimes don’t have money to pay for it, right. So they brought me on to figure out the enterprise I did successfully by way of alliances and partnerships. And as a result, they kind of cannibalized all of the founders who focused really on front-end UI UX type work, and what enterprises really cared about. And what was super sticky that we were providing was a lot of that DevOps, see infrastructure as code automation, everything, pipework. And so again, one founder was doing work, the other founder was not doing anything, he got so bad that like, on Slack, that one founder, who was Mia would never respond during the day, but thought it was okay to post on Instagram stories in the music studio at 3 am. As if people on his team didn’t follow them. So naturally, that created a lot of friction within the organization. It was a massive cultural pillar. We all three came to the table. And I said You guys need to talk because your team is coming to me. Totally concerned. And I think a lot of people are a flight risk if we don’t resolve this quickly. And that led to Alright, I think we just need to sell the company. So Brandon, can you take the company through acquisition. And I was, candidly, I was kind of excited for several reasons, one of which it killed this friendship that existed right? To, it gave me the opportunity to actually pay a company through acquisition. So within that, in the next nine months, I was able to go through the process, the dog and pony show, create our perspectives, source deals, negotiate terms all the way where we landed on three letters of intent. And from that point, you know, I was able to bring in our attorney and our business broker, and we were able to execute a pretty interesting deal with the acquiring company. Now, while all that is going on, in my heart of hearts, Jason, I knew I wasn’t going to go to the acquiring firm, even though I was the one leading it. And in that process, this is kind of how okay, what was born, it was an all-in multifaceted orchestration effort. So while I’m trying to sell the company, my former company, behind the scenes, I’m talking to a couple of core engineers that I know that were heavily utilized heavily sought-after people love them, they’re great client-facing, and they were just software polyglots. You know, consulting is all about utilization at the end of the day. And so, you know, me having an operational lens looking downward, I could pretty much cherry-pick on who I thought would be interesting, particularly portal. And so I approached, like, 1314 of them. And ultimately, it was like a resounding yes. 1212 came with me. And I told him what I would do differently. I made basil commitments on how you know, what a cable would be, is totally going to be a 180 culture lead from what they were just experienced, because I know they kind of had some PTSD as a result of what was going on. So that was like orchestration level one, level two became okay, let me go talk to some of these enterprise clients. You know, you mentioned them on the intro there. They were, or cool, Disney NASDAQ, Uber, um, know, a couple of T mobile’s another really big one. And I spoke with all these guys, and I told him what I was thinking about doing. I said, Hey, look, you know, we’ve done some really cool work with you guys. Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s effectively the same band different brand. Obviously, we’re dissolving must win. So I know we have to redo the legalese and essays but I just want to be transparent with you about what’s happening. When that happens, will you come with me, can we still engage, and it was a resounding yes as well. So that was a huge stress relief. And then the third component of that orchestration effort was talking to the founders of the acquiring company. And that was tricky. And that, you know, I had a heavy heart with that one, because I built a really cool relationship with, with both the founders and the CTO, they wanted me to come on and serve as kind of like an overlay between all them and like a chief of staff or you roll out focus on strategic initiatives, I became really, really close with the CTO. Within that. I said, Hey, I need to take you to drinks, we got to talk. After a couple of bourbons, I just broke the news. I said, Hey, man, I gotta be honest, and I won’t be able to go to, I won’t be able to be part of the acquisition. And here’s why. Here’s what I’m thinking about doing. Friend, a friend, I really appreciate your, your feedback, and more importantly, your support. And so he said, dude, hey, let’s order another one of these cheers. I’ll tell you what, I was super proud of you two, super excited for you. And three, can I be your first client. So just get off my shoulders totally. So in January 2018, the cable was born. And we are off to the races. But as mentioned, it took some time with these enterprise clients to actually turn them into no revenue-generating because we had to go through the MSA process. And as everyone knows that in enterprise organizations take a ton of time. So yeah, you’re one man turbulent is out. Everyone is hell. It’s one of those things. Jason, you brought up an interesting point. He said, you know, working for corporations, it’s predictable. You know, and that’s what I’d say there. You’re one is crazy, because I had this overhead with full-time employees. And I had to make sure they’re all fit, period. And, of course, I grew close with their family. So I had that extra level of responsibility on my shoulders that like, I have to make this work. And, you know, as it turns out, leaders do eat last. Yeah, that was like one of the first lessons learned and my first foray into entrepreneurship. But then fast forward, you know, everything has started to stabilize, it takes a ton, like an exorbitant amount of effort, not only to erect the mask but to get the sale up and then get windy on sale. That that is a story that I in a lesson I will never, ever forget. And I will never that will never be lost on. So now, yeah, we are in a hyper-growth mode. Those After mentioned clients have we’ve secured, we’ve acquired new clients, we’ve established new strategic partnerships with that size and other tech vendors. So we’re growing like crazy that DevOps spaces is on fire and most positive way, there’s a huge need in the market for us. And that’s, that’s, that’s really what is exciting us.

Jason Baum 13:14
And how many years are you into it now?

Brandon Durbin 13:17
So unofficially, three, officially, two and a half, one? The unofficial part was just behind the scenes getting everything together? Moving towards the launch,

Jason Baum 13:29
right? Yeah. And I cannot just call out how smart it was to do this over bourbon. Because I think that was, that’s another strategic move on your part. You know what the thing that I think is so great about your brand, and is is the fact that you are very personable, and you make you forge relationships, and I think that’s probably why you’re so good with the with community building side, and probably what made you interested in getting involved there?

Brandon Durbin 14:01
Yeah, thank you for that. I appreciate it. And that’s it. I think, by default, I’ve always been like, a connector. And it’s less about, I think people not to say like, salespeople and their mission is wrong. But my view on growth is like, How can I help you like what’s your mission? thing when you a nice first focus, and it’s just like, So your goal is to do XYZ. I love what DL is doing. How can I help? What can I do? How can I leverage my interest, passion and network to bring this thing to life? And that’s just part of my view on it. And that’s still in business today. It’s it’s more it’s less what can we do for you, but what can I how can I help you? What’s your mission? And how can we bring that to life?

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Jason Baum 15:34
Yep, that’s awesome. So we we found out how, how the company was built. That was thank you for walking that that was a great story. I hadn’t heard that one. So this is I’m learning just like you are at home, or in the car, wherever you’re listening to podcasts. And so now, let’s go back further. Let’s take it back. I don’t know. I always like to ask, like, when did you know that tech or because DevOps wasn’t, you know, a field? I mean, maybe it was called something different. But you know, when did you know Tech was somewhere that you want to be that space? And if you talk to Brandon for more than five minutes, I’ll tell you, he’s from Ohio State. So I think they’re I think they have to if they’re from Ohio State they have to declare that they’re from Ohio. No. So can we go back maybe to when When did you know Tech was for you?

Brandon Durbin 16:27
You know, fascinating story on that one. I stumbled into tech. When I what I mean by that. And Ohio State, I dueled I did Hospitality Management. Because a lot of my older friends said, Hey, this, this college is a party, hospital Hospitality Management Program is a party and being young and dumb, and like, Okay, that sounds good. But then being practical, and like, I need to get my business management degree within Fisher, just like a top 25 program nationally. And so what I thought I wanted to do, Jason was like, go back to Hawaii and manager resort, right and do that whole thing.

Jason Baum 17:07
And nothing like that. Sounds really nice to me.

Brandon Durbin 17:11
It does. But now fast forward, it’s like, Would I rather be making sure other people at my resort have a good time? Or would I rather be the person at the resort? Right? So good call. I’m glad this happened this way. But effectively what happened when I was graduating, we’re coming out of the recession. And people were still super sensitive with discretionary funding, which, of course, is traveling. And with that, the hospitality and tourism industry was still trying to get its bearings back. as such. You know, there’s a crazy amount of layoffs, middle management, we’re just, I mean, not demoted, but just taking lower roles just to have a job that created a blocker for young guys like myself at the time coming out of college to get into the industry. So I was working. I like a luxury high rise in Columbus. And it was intentional as for me as running like, operations there, which had like valet and concierge and parking with HOA at any rate, it was kind of a strategic move in the sense that that building had a lot of like-minded individuals. And so I wanted to position myself to talk to these people. As it turned out, one of the guys that came really really chummy with ran a tech consultancy. And he said, What are you doing working here? Like, can I take you to dinner? I said, Yeah, of course, and identity, he kind of laid out the roadmap. Well, you know, what he does, what he’s trying to do, and what my interests are at the time, Jason, I was the guy that lied that about being proficient itself, that’s how technically inept I was. So fast forward, I decided to join this company thrust me into the biz dev role. Less like strategic alliances, more partnerships, and some client management, if you will. And it was at that time where I’m like, Oh, shit, tech as tech is hot, hot. And so I became obsessed I was I had a subscription just like ink works and Fast Company, coast, etc, etc, etc. Physical magazines. And they’re mailed to the office and every day when I received when I flipped to the tech section, and I would maniacally read about all the cool things that are happening in tech. Right. And I was with that company for the first two and a half years it served as a launchpad. And this is how this is really cool. How this all weaves together. I effectively outgrew that that company, the gentleman who brought me on gave me a chance in tech, you know, we had a heart to heart and he said, Look, you’ve outgrown this outfit, and I support you any way possible. And you know, he’s my first boss, mentor and father figure at the time with you Well, and he’s like, You need to soar. And however, I can support that I’m here for it. And also, whatever you get into out there in San Francisco, because I told him over dinner that I was packing up and leaving. By the way, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a place to live. I picked up a TV, a suitcase. Fork, because I thought that was important.

Jason Baum 20:28
You’re not gonna be able to find a fork wherever you go, yeah, to a fork, Lis fork lists area of the country.

Brandon Durbin 20:35
Right? I just failed. And I took off, but my boss at the time was like, hey, whatever, you know, if you get into anything, you want to invest in it, and just, you know, let’s stay in touch. And, you know, as, as I previously mentioned, on how a cable was born, during that process, I reached out to him, I said, here’s what’s at what’s going on. Moreover, would you be interested in being my co-founder? And so fast forward from that point, when the cable was born, you know, eight years elapsed between there. And what was my first boss who gave me a shot in technology and served as my mentor ended up being my co-founder, eight years later, so Wow, awesome. Awesome. That’s great. Yeah, cables that are cool. That’s so

Jason Baum 21:22
cool. Yeah, you’re a risk-taker, I would say, huh.

Brandon Durbin 21:27
Yeah, you know, I think entrepreneurship is like 70%, like, overconfidence, 20%, ignorance and 10% like naivety. And using a sports reference, it’s funny, I had all this confidence the world, this is how it’s gonna happen. Here’s the playbook. Here’s the vision. And of course, that’s not how that works, right? It’s, you know, it’s not linear. It’s, it’s spiral. And often, there’s, you know, as many downs as there are ops, especially, you know, starting one, but the goal is to have more ups and downs, long term. But using a sport, quote from our friend, Mike Tyson there, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Right. And that’s it, I felt like I got punched in my face several times. But in that, you know, I felt there was a ton of lessons to be learned. And for me, it’s like, how quickly can I apply those lessons to improve? Next,

Jason Baum 22:29
what would you say is that biggest hurdle that you ran into, or something that knocked you down that that you took something from?

Brandon Durbin 22:37
Yeah, thinking that money was gonna flow day one, you know, thanks. And we also bootstrapped this thing, 100%. And so, I was fortunate to be in a place where I did fairly well, with Forrester Research, and had a bunch of money saved for this venture. So I was able to always make payroll. So I pride myself on never faulting that, especially in the turbulent year one. But then things started clicking, and things started turning around. Another tough lesson learned was like, man, there’s a lot of sharks in the water. And being able to suss that out. I have issues with some former clients and former partners that I wish I would have sussed out early on, about their DNA. But you know, you learn that now I understand what that archetype looks like. And I can call that out ahead of time. So, yeah, it’s, it’s a risky world out there. But it’s fun. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Jason Baum 23:42
Would you say that because you had someone you said like your former boss, and mentor and first investor? I mean, that’s pretty cool that someone took an interest in you and your career, you know, what advice was passed on to you that maybe you would want to pass on to, to the audience.

Brandon Durbin 24:02
Um, I would probably say, if you’re considering it, job, jumping, and be confident in how you’ll land. And if you’re comping within your confidence. There are probably some components like your network, obviously, your product, your solution, your service, it likely will succeed, but it’s going to take a ton of effort. And don’t be scared of that. And look, it’s not for everyone, and I get that I respect it. But if you’re considering it, do it. And in the process, I personally feel like especially in the services space, if you can bootstrap Bootstrap, because personally for me, you know, I have there’s couple companies that I I advise for and I help fundraise and they’re hating it right now because now they don’t feel like it’s their company anymore. They feel like they’re, they’re an employee in the recording to someone who is their investors, right? And so while I think there’s a bazillion use cases to take on funding and I support that it’s you got to kind of do an introspective and figure out what you want desire need the most. And then take it from there.

Jason Baum 25:14
Awesome. So you are the, as we said early on the Inaugural Committee Chair for the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Silicon Valley Bay Area chapter because we have to make sure to get all of them in there. And, and also working with me on growing out some of the well, the initial membership committee and growing some other chapters across the United States that are going to be kind of hyper-local. So lookout for those. But what is it about community building? That excites you?

Brandon Durbin 25:51
Yeah, several themes. I think first, just inherently, I’m a people person, I love learning about what makes other people tick. And then, as I previously mentioned, being that connectivity tissue and layer and saying like, Oh, Jason, you want to stand up a chapter, I would love to help orchestrate that. What do we need to do? Okay, first step one standard committee. Okay, cool. We sent out that instrument, that survey instrument, we coauthored that, which is really fun, thanks for allowing me to get it. And then from there, we let you let the data speak to us, and have had a ton of really cool conversations with some people with like interests, and like passions. And I think at the end of the day, you know, it’d be a little self-serving, I like to understand how people are viewing the world as it pertains to DevOps, or just personally. And then, you know, specifically, I’m partial, but out here, there’s a lot of cool things going on every day. It’s like, you can never stop learning and taking in people’s perspectives, I think helps me as an individual learn, and I feel bad for people that don’t want to have that mindset of like, and be a sponge, listen to everyone take in perspective, it’ll make you way, way, way, way more well rounded. And I think that’s exciting for me. So the community building piece is, is a huge opportunity. And I am full of gratitude for you picking me to do so.

Jason Baum 27:25
Oh, please, thank you for volunteering. You know, I used to think continuous learning was like a buzzword. But I’m realizing the more that I speak to people on this podcast, that it’s a way of life. And you said something like, you know, life is not linear and your, your, your journey is not linear, it’s gonna bounce all over the place. And I forgot who said it on the podcast, but it might have been Leo, Leo Maria. He said that, you know, it’s, it’s taking advantage of the opportunity when it comes to you. And you might not know it at the time, that it’s an opportunity. And it may not seem like it and it’s like how do you know that that’s going to be the thing that takes you to the, your, your dream job, or you’re where you want to be in life, and you never know, and like he was talking about for his kids, actually, and we start waxing poetic about that, like for your own children? How do you tell them, Oh, take this opportunity, even though it’s gonna be really hard. You’re gonna, you know, invest now in Apple, right? 30 years ago, or, you know, go into coding 30 years ago, when no one knew what that was. And, you know, what’s the next thing? I personally think it’s the space program, but who knows? Because we need to get off this point as fast as possible. But yeah, I don’t know. It’s, it’s funny that you say a few people have said, you know, it’s, I wish I knew the answer. Until,

Brandon Durbin 28:51
you know, to spin that back into entrepreneurship. I think what’s fascinating is that I, I had no idea that this would even be an opportunity, but through entrepreneurship path, and then being involved in of course, being the face of the band and CO architecting solutions, and then of course, pitching several different companies to earn their business into led to opportunities that are were totally unforeseen for me to meet and that is several times these clients when their business and these clients, they pulled me aside and they’d say, Hey, I’m thinking about doing this thing. I’ll be leaving this company by x date. You know, Can I court you effectively, and can I show you what I’m working on? And that would lead to here’s my really cool product. I was totally seduced by you and your vision and your approach and your outlook. Would you consider being my co-founder, and in the first time that happened to me, I was like, Whoa, shit, that’s not what I thought was gonna To the product, you know, these would be like CTOs of companies or heads of products that companies and that’s kind of the Silicon Valley mindset. Everyone always has some sort of other hustle. It’s just, you know, how can you manage it effectively, and manage your time personally and professionally and make sure that your goal is aligned and mission-aligned to the long-term strategy. So that was something really, really exciting. that popped up in spawn that I could have never predicted.

Jason Baum 30:31
Yeah, managing time, I think he just said, like, being able to manage that piece. That’s my new mission right now. Actually, I’m on like a health kick. Because you know, 19 months of a pandemic will do that to you, where it’s, gosh, I need to start focusing on you know, some health, getting fit again, and then managing time. If if you could figure that one out, let me know, because that’s my next goal.

Brandon Durbin 30:56
I you know, we clean, professional and like personal commitments, that one that’s the one I I struggled with mightily, early on. You know, I felt like I was taking my partner hostage at times because I expected her to be in the foxhole with me and understand exactly why I’m doing this inside out. But the reality was, that was not fair. Right. And my co-founder was very intentional on calling that out early on. It’s like Brandon, free, right? Like, you don’t want to take a bunch of people hostage that care about your love you that are going to support you and boost them in the process of trying to build a cave. Uh, and that was like, Oh, shit. Yeah, I You’re right, I need to any skill back and learn to your point how to manage time. Yeah,

Jason Baum 31:43
that’s a good point about that. That’s the good advice, I should say, from your mentor. It’s what other advice do you have for someone who’s like starting out in their journey?

Brandon Durbin 31:57
Yeah. Look, you’ll never have it all figured out. Um, that’s kind of what’s on the forefront, you’ll never have it all figured out. Do your due diligence upfront as much as possible a B, test your message, talk to friends, mentors, clients, anyone really test what you’re trying to do ahead of time. But it will never be perfect. And so as I mentioned previously, jump, jump and see how you land and I bet you’ll fly. The way I do to Jason is the worst-case scenario, man, I could have. I can always go back to a corporate job. I know I said on my good corporate soldier. But if there ever came a time where I have some you had to do that. I mean, right before I was standing up AKAVA like Accenture had an offer out to me, they wanted me to lead up growth in the Bay Area, like CO lead. And I mean, you know, money was great. And, and all that. But again, it just wasn’t it fit me right then in there. What I know I can always go back if I needed to. And that’s right. Like, that’s everyone. Worst case scenario, guys. Go back to the corporate job, right. It’s not, you don’t lose, you won’t lose as a founder, what you’ll do is take all those lessons and learn from it and spin that out and refactor and be better.

Jason Baum 33:24
Awesome. So this is the part of the show where I didn’t ask you before we started recording the podcast. And this might be a mistake. But I always like to ask, What’s one unique thing about you that nobody knows? Maybe you’ve never shared it publicly? This is ever I realize a dangerous question to ask someone. unprompted. But hey, let’s do it. Anyway.

Brandon Durbin 33:54
I’ll keep it PG. Thank you. Yeah, so I wouldn’t say no one knows this. But the broad certainly doesn’t know this. But I am a licensed officiant in four states, and I’ve officiated five ways.

Jason Baum 34:14
Oh, that’s so cool. Yeah, that’s a good one. Yeah. Some people say they hiked the Himalayas. We actually had a few people who have hiked the Himalayas, which is so cool. Yeah, no, you’re the first officiant licensed officiant Yeah. Very cool. Very cool. So if you’re looking for someone to marry you. Very cool. Yeah, I’m trying to think here. If I feel like we’ve touched so much today on the podcast, I really appreciate your coming on. So what’s your What was your escape during the pandemic?

Brandon Durbin 34:46
Oh, I’m outside of an exorbitant amount of wine. No. Yeah, I read a lot. And I watched a ton like I was averaging and I would encourage All folks on my team did a, let’s do a step challenge monthly. Um, and I would send out pride, like, you know, I wanted to make their mental or uneasy, right, and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew we were gonna lay off anyone, everything was gonna be good. We’re gonna tighten up the belt, but the ship’s not gonna sink. And so I would do a lot of culture things like, you know, copper weeks where, you know, people engineers would build, like, products that they made that served a really cool purpose. Others would be like, again, physical stuff, and taking care of mental and physical health. So we do step challenges. And I would take, like my play on it was I would take every single call that was not presenting on the road, like walking. And so on average, I was averaging like 370,000 steps a month. And that that helped me rationalize the number one I was drinking Jason. So I think they call it to balance.

Jason Baum 36:05
I was gonna ask you, so what was your job? Because I’m doing that for myself right now. So yesterday, I had 13,349 steps. Yes. I’m trying to get up there myself.

Brandon Durbin 36:17
But I had 17,500.

Jason Baum 36:21
You know, I’m not going anywhere. This is like, I’m just like running in my house. It’s like 110 heat index here. So you know, I’m not going outside anytime soon. Yeah, nice weather there. And Sanford. Well, except that, you know, things are on fire. I apologize. That’s pretty bad. But yeah, when it’s nice weather, you can get out there. And do it for sure. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. It’s always fun talking to you.

Brandon Durbin 36:46
pleasures mine. Thanks so much for having me look forward to seeing what we do out here with the Silicon Valley Chapter and the membership committee broadly.

Jason Baum 36:55
Absolutely. And if you are listening, and you are interested in joining us in on the San Francisco chapter, committee, or just coming to an event and you want to learn more, shoot us an email at Member Services at DevOps Institute COMM And we can hook you up. Alright, thanks again, Brandon.

Brandon Durbin 37:15
There’s gonna be some crazy fun events. And I look forward to making it splashy. Thanks so much, Jason. Yeah,

Jason Baum 37:21
it’s a pleasure. And thank you for listening to this episode of the humans of DevOps Podcast. I’m going to end this one the same as I always do, encouraging you to become a premium member of DevOps Institute to get access to even more great resources just like this one. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and most evolve. Stay human, live long and prosper.

Narrator 37:43
Thanks for listening to this episode of the humans of DevOps podcast. Don’t forget to join our global community to get access to even more great resources like this. Until next time, remember, you aren’t part of something bigger than yourself. You belong

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