DevOps Institute

[EP55] Leading as an Introvert with Stephen Dick, VP of Site Reliability Engineering at BetterCloud


On this episode of the Humans of DevOps, Jason Baum is joined by Stephen Dick, VP of Site Reliability Engineering at BetterCloud. They discuss dad jokes, getting his first big break on the international IT scene at SAP, leading as an introvert, Intrinsic curiosity, the power of listening plus way more!
Stephen is an Irish native and Tech executive who has been living in Silicon Valley, California for the last 10 years. He’s the proud holder of multiple ‘Dad joke awards’ and keeps his wife, 2 kids entertained with a stream of really really awesome jokes. He has over 20 years of technology industry experience and he serves as the President of our inaugural Silicon Valley chapter of DevOps Institute and is the Vice President of Site Reliability Engineering at BetterCloud.
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Find a lightly edited transcript 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.

Stephen Dick 00:16
One of the key things that was read into my life is Steven you’re an introvert, but your words quite just kind of masquerade as an extrovert. And I remember that feedback was just so penetrating because I didn’t be myself in that way. And that changed everything about my leadership style.

Jason Baum 00:33
Hey, everyone, it’s Jason Baum, Director of membership at DevOps Institute. And this is the humans of DevOps podcast. And today, I’m very happy to be joined by Steven dick. Steven is an Irish native and tech executive who has been living in Silicon Valley, California for the last 10 years. He’s the proud holder of multiple dad joke awards, and keeps his wife and two kids entertained with a stream of really, really awesome jokes. He has over 20 years of technology industry experience, and serves as the president of our inaugural Silicon Valley Chapter of the DevOps Institute, and is the vice president of Site Reliability Engineering at better cloud. Steven, welcome to the podcast.

Stephen Dick 01:16
Yeah, thanks for having me. Great to be here, Jason.

Jason Baum 01:19
So while while we’re on the topic of dad jokes, my Father’s Day gift this year for my daughter and my wife was a shirt that says zero days since last dad joke. So I am I am a partner in dad jokes.

Stephen Dick 01:35
That’s awesome. Give me Give me your best dad joke. Let’s that’s maybe an interesting way to to start our conversation.

Jason Baum 01:42
Oh, boy. Put me on the spot. All right. I have so many. Uh, you know, I realized that I have a lot of bad jokes. And I don’t know why. But what do you call a bat wearing a bell?

Stephen Dick 01:53
I didn’t know what

Jason Baum 01:55
a dingbat!

Jason Baum 01:59
There’s so bad. I have lots of really, really bad jokes. If you want to know it’s really good. What’s what’s yours? Oh,

Stephen Dick 02:09
here’s a good one. Why? Because we’re coming up to Halloween. Why do skeletons always seem so? Chill? Oh, why? Because nothing gets under their skin.

Jason Baum 02:22
Ah, that’s good. I like that one. I’m gonna start using that one.

Stephen Dick 02:29
We could go all day in this one. But

Jason Baum 02:31
this is my official. This is officially my favorite start to a podcast because we have already derailed ourselves. So this is this is gonna go well. Awesome. Well, Steven, I’m really, really excited to have you on I appreciate you coming on. Why don’t we just jump right in and get human? How’s that sound?

Stephen Dick 02:49
Yeah, sounds perfect.

Jason Baum 02:51
So let’s start with the beginning. You know, early childhood, you said you’re an Irish native. So I would love to hear about, you know, your your early childhood experiences in Ireland. And, you know, take us take us through.

Stephen Dick 03:07
Yeah, 100%. So good morning, good afternoon to all of our listeners, wherever you are. So as Jason mentioned, I’m an Irish native, I’m based here in California in Silicon Valley. I’ve been here for about 10 years or so. But I grew up in Ireland. And I grew up in Ireland at a time where it’s not exactly like it was today. Back then, and by glare, Ireland was in a bit of a wartime modes, we had a community groups with just a ton of history and injustice, and fear and anger, and generational loss and Hertz. And many, many of your listeners will be familiar with the term Irish struggles. So there was a civil war, back when I was growing up. And, you know, you might think that that might have been just a really hard time to grow up as a kid. But my experience growing up in that environment was was actually very positive. My parents were heavily involved in cross community organization. So bringing groups of people together, across community lines, some of whom would never have even dreamt of talking to one another. But they’re they they sell themselves on on a mission fields dedicated to awakening hope and inspiring peace through faith-based organizations. And you know, growing up in that environment, one of the things I realized looking back is kind of like an early part of my childhood developmental template was really solidly built on this idea that you can bring people together to share shared outcomes to envision a better future. I mean, you don’t even need to like each other, to have a shared commonly held goal.

Jason Baum 05:09
And yeah, and that’s, that’s interesting, you don’t even need to like each other. And sometimes, sometimes it’s out of necessity, right, because to bring people together, I mean, during wartime, and certainly we’ve seen that in this country, and in tragedy, sometimes it brings people together more than anything else. So talk a little bit about what you mean by, you know, if you don’t, even if you don’t even like each other.

Stephen Dick 05:35
At the time, Irish history was, was littered with political struggle with internal strife of community struggle with religious division, socio economic divides stealing back generations. So we had to essentially two community groups that would not talk to each other, the labels that we put on some of these things for Catholics and Protestants, but of course, the conflict wasn’t just on religious lines, it was across social and economic lines as well. And you had generations of hurts have a really dark, bad stuff happening on both sides. And so when it came time to bring community groups together, there was just a lot of hurt, a lot of anger and a lot of emotions deeply held by both sides. And so it was always fascinating to me to watch my parents step up into leadership into leadership roles in that environment where they could bring people together in service of a greater ideal. So that was the context that guess, Jason that I was growing up in. But back then and back, Larry, you know, we were also undergoing a technology revolution as well. And this is back in the day where personal computers was a big thing, even just a label, a personal computer. And one of my earliest childhood memories was, we were the first family on our entire street to have a personal computer. And I remember thinking, this thing was the most wonderful thing that I’ve ever seen.

Jason Baum 07:18
What was the computer, what was it?

Stephen Dick 07:21
So this was a is a PC, it was a Windows machine, it had that early version of Windows on it. And this is where I first started to understand the power of the bash script, you can automate things and cause a tremendous amount of trouble for people, including my dad and fire to use this computer for work. And I remember waking up late at night to script creep up and I would end up breaking the entire machine. So he will wake up in the morning, he needed to do some work. And acuity, I’m just getting so frustrated in the morning because the damn computers broke again. And Steven, you know, it’s it was always an interesting experience. And, you know, once I mastered the art of the bash scripts, I learned graduated and learned to open the computer and I learned to be great if I pull this lead, alright, sparks will start to fly.

Jason Baum 08:19
So it’s just experimentation at your poor dad’s expense,

Stephen Dick 08:23
experimentation on my dad’s expense. So that was my my first experience into the technology worlds it was we were the first family to have a personal computer, I caught up to all types of mischief at my dad’s expense. But it my fundamental learning from law was computers can impact your life in a positive way you can do stuff with a computer that you just weren’t able to do previously,

Jason Baum 08:51
I would imagine that was also a place to escape some of what you were just talking about,

Stephen Dick 08:57
on number sense. So I look back in that and you know, I review elements of escapism, but also, you know, we have labels for these kinds of behaviors. Now, it’s just it’s not just mischief. But you know, the label that we put on this kind of a mindset is intrinsic curiosity. These are people who are compelled to explore new things, just to understand how they work. And these are the people that will look under the car under the hood of a car just to understand what’s happening in the engine. These are the people that are picking up new technology stacks, you frameworks, new coding languages, just for the fun of learning.

Jason Baum 09:38
Yeah, I would say that’s probably a central point. That’s a central theme on this podcast certainly is curiosity and and that just yearn to learn, right that’s, I mean, we call it continuous learning. And obviously, that’s a principle that that many follow you we’re just doing it without realizing and that you were doing it

Stephen Dick 10:01
by realizing, and you know that that would be like a kernel of advice. So if any of your listeners are out there, they’re just starting off in their career. You know, what I would say is be curious. I go out there and ask why, you know, interesting ask why that’s a. That’s an Enron slogan. Do you remember anyone? Oh,

Jason Baum 10:23
I remember Enron. Absolutely. Yeah.

Stephen Dick 10:26
So curiosity, definitely to Ghana on in some interesting directions.

Jason Baum 10:32
Yeah, and golden parachutes. So let’s, let’s talk about you know, so that was the that was their early years growing up. And I didn’t realize you’re only 10 years here in states. How do you like it? I don’t have to say any love it? Because it’s, no, no, it’s

Stephen Dick 10:50
over six. So home will always be home. I love going home. California is a great place to raise a family. I’ve got two kids. You know, this is a place where the sun shines. I love that. There is something about this Silicon Valley culture here, Jason that you just can’t replicate. There’s something about the curiosity of people have. There’s like this a knit culture where people think that we can achieve great things. You know, that the thinking here is big, and I just love it. So it’s a great, great time to be alive.

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Jason Baum 12:17
So let’s go from the early years now to your first big break in tech. What was it? And can you tell us a little bit about it?

Stephen Dick 12:27
Yeah. So many years later, I got my big break at the International tech scene with SAP. So I’d spent a number of years doing local circuits tech work, primarily working for smaller companies that were focused on Ireland’s in the UK. But I eventually started to work for SAP. And a couple of years into my journey at SAP, I started to work for a manager whose name was Roland, who had a profound impact on my career. He was going through his own transformational journey. Actually, Jason, I remember that vividly. I was moving from one team to his team, he was forming a brand new team. And I checked around the office to understand what my future boss was like, and actually didn’t have great reviews from my peers. Oh,

Jason Baum 13:26
no, you’re like, oh, gosh, I’m going to this guy.

Stephen Dick 13:30
And that was really interesting for me, because, you know, the real end, the person that I was experiencing, was, was radically different from the feedback I was getting on my peers. The person I was experiencing was transformative. He was asking why in his own way, he was transforming his own management style in a way that I really appreciate it. So eventually, he and this is interesting, because you got to work watch out for when you work for because if you’re working for somebody who’s asking why they might actually start to ask you I. So one of the questions he had for me was, why didn’t you fly to Vancouver for an undetermined amount of time to work on a major integration between an acquisition that was not going well for SAP at the time. The context there was SEPA just completed a major acquisition of another technology company, and it was forcibly political. Emperor’s refrain. It was the first time that I’d ever seen multiple people cry in an office before. There was all types of political issues to contend with. But at the technology level, we needed to figure out as a company we needed to figure out how do we bring sap to together with the acquired companies, in order to figure out how do we technically integrate product lines? And so he asked me, why don’t you go to Vancouver, British Columbia to build a band brand new team based off Sep employees and these acquires company employees to see if he can figure out how to make the product lines work. And that was interesting to me because he was asking me to go to Vancouver at the ripe old age of two when I was 25 years old. And that was my first management experience. Leading a team up in Vancouver, comprised of people, you know, my dad’s

Jason Baum 15:42
age, and you just got thrown right in there. You know, I was

Stephen Dick 15:45
looking at this screen capture that I’ve got this is back in the day when we used MSN Messenger, Jason.

Jason Baum 15:52
Oh, yeah. I remember messenger. Yeah.

Stephen Dick 15:55
So I’ve got this MSN Messenger chat between me and my boss. It was a Friday afternoon. And he asked me to book a flight to get a hotel, buying a rental car. And then he added and just kind of casually Oh, yeah, you should probably take the rest of the day off to figure out some logistics. Because we need you there in Vancouver on Monday morning.

Jason Baum 16:15
Wow. Wow. Yeah, talk about having to grow into a role or like, just not even having a chance to. And I mean, it’s funny, because we’ve had people on the pod actually, Evelyn Orlick, who is who works with us, is a colleague of ours, she was talking about the skill gaps and and things and we do the upskilling report. And one area that people you know, it’s it’s, it’s a constant is that management isn’t really something that is taught, you know, it’s it’s, I mean, there’s courses, but real management skills is something you just have to learn. And you’re just, you’re just thrown into it, most managers are just kind of thrown into their first manager position, and how to deal with different types of people. That’s, that’s something that you got to, they have to learn and just experience over time. So you said 2525, I imagine that was difficult for you.

Stephen Dick 17:17
It was a lot of fun. And, and here’s why I was working with I mean,

Jason Baum 17:21
you barely know yourself at 25, let alone have to know other people and different lenses and their personality.

Stephen Dick 17:30
Somewhat management is experiential, he got a look at the people that you admire, and you try to copy their style. So I don’t know if you’ve come across Hunter Hunter Thompson. He has a podcast. It’s called Cash Flow connections. He talks about this a lot where you look to find mentorship, not in the traditional context, but you try to find somebody who does something that you want to do, just they already do really well. And you try to copy or emulator. So part of a was a keen remarks are things that I’ve seen work well, or don’t, and either do or don’t do those things. But part of it is also you know, throwing yourself in and taking some risks, and then learning as quickly as you can, from what doesn’t go well. And there’s this book called failing forward, it talks about some of our DevOps concepts of taking a risk, making sure that you give yourself grace as you fail, but then learning from those failures, and then reframing the failure as a good fail, as long as you learned something, and you’re not going to repeat the same mistake twice. It’s a bit pale. So I feel the lights in my career, and I’ve learned to pride myself on that. Because we live in a culture, I think that it’s kind of obsessed with success. But what I’ve learned is most quote unquote successful people are just people who have learned to feel often learn from it, and then don’t repeat the same mistake twice. Yeah, that’s

Jason Baum 19:07
the hard part. Right? That’s the part that we’re always you know, it’s it’s the the tweaking it and getting it they’re doing it the right way the next time. I mean, that’s something that we teach our kids right, you we started at the top with with, with dad jokes, and it’s it’s a basic principle we teach our children you know, it’s okay to make a mistake. You know, mistakes are how you learn. Yeah, so, so from there, where do we go? What was next?

Stephen Dick 19:37
Where do we go? Well, I have to say this because in Vancouver, I was working with a massive advantage. I was working with a lot of Canadians. I don’t know if you’ve ever if you’ve ever been up to Vancouver. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. And I absolutely love the Canadian culture. So to all your listeners, if you haven’t been to Vancouver, you gotta go Go. It’s simply incredible. And what I learned is yes, we can operate in these profoundly difficult political circumstances where you might think that you’re surrounded by sharks. But in fact, you might just be surrounded by Canucks and hockey fans. So, it’s so interesting. So my so I guess my takeaway there is, you know, stay curious. You never know where the path is gonna lead. And my path led me up to Vancouver. And I’m tremendously class bias.

Jason Baum 20:31
And, and you you became a Canadian? No. How long were you in Canada?

Stephen Dick 20:40
Just almost a year, I became a want to be Canadian.

Jason Baum 20:43
Yeah. Long enough to become a real hockey fan. Or?

Stephen Dick 20:47
One hundred percent, so

Jason Baum 20:48
I have to be right if you live there.

Stephen Dick 20:50
I lived I had an apartment right, besides Canucks home stadium. So that was one of my favorite things to do was go see a game out of you couldn’t see the game and hang about outside because, you know, it’s applied to get rockets outside as

Jason Baum 21:03
well. Yeah, yeah. I need to convert to hockey I, I’m a big NFL fan. And I think I need a new sport. Alright, so So from there. Let’s let’s talk about, you know, what, what came after SAP and the management experience?

Stephen Dick 21:24
Yeah, so I eventually landed in Salesforce. And I think a lot of people think of Salesforce as, like a, like a lighthouse company, when it comes to how to do clothes really well, or how to complete a DevOps transfer, transformation really well, but actually joined Salesforce, I was invited to join to join Salesforce right after their biggest long term events in the company’s history. So this is an interesting little this. And this is not proprietary knowledge, you can Google this and find a wealth of information on this. Salesforce was completely inaccessible for over 1000 customers for over 24 hours. There’s data loss. And of course, social media blew up. It was all over social media. And the analysts like Gartner started to poke around Salesforce, and question their ability to deliver a highly available stable platform.

Jason Baum 22:25
And was what so it’s good time to join,

Stephen Dick 22:28
as well is an interesting time to join. That’s for sure. So I joined Salesforce. And you know what’s interesting, I built two essary teams from the ground up, scale those teams I internationally very, very quickly. I was operating in high growth environments. I was eventually asked to lead an Esri trance DevOps transformation for one of sales forces, largest acquisitions at the time. So I was leading in an environment where the business was growing a 52%. Year over year, transactional volume was over 100 billion a month. But transactional volume was growing at 72% year over year. So high growth, high velocity time. And I used to think that was the highlight of my career. I used to talk about that as a you know, I lead these teams skill to my globally. And I thought that was great. And, you know, my experience of going through that was actually a little bit different. My experience was, yes, I was building teams scaling to my globally and enjoying doing it. But I think one of the things that we don’t talk about often enough, especially in the technology sector is is this concept of burners, where you can be, you can be running fast, doing what you love, you can consider yourself to be a higher power leader. But if you’re operating in a way that isn’t natural for you, then you’re eventually going to hit some barriers to your own personal development or your own ability to scale. And that’s happened to me at Salesforce where I’m starting to burn I but I didn’t. I didn’t know how to talk about it. Do you

Jason Baum 24:21
mean burnout from like, you’re just exhausted or burnout from your you’ve done everything you can do?

Stephen Dick 24:29
So the way it’s the way a manifest for me was, I was I’ve been engaging in a leadership style that wasn’t natural to me. I was doing I was because I had a team in Ireland. So I was waking up at five 6am and having meetings early in the morning. And then I had a full US business day of Back to Back meetings, and then a team in Australia. So I was on the phone again at 789 at night. And then maybe you’ve got had an incident in your production system at 2am in the morning, so I kept you up until four. Which point you’re about to wake up anyway. So you had the coffee?

Jason Baum 25:09
Yeah, when to sleep.

Stephen Dick 25:09
Yeah. So that kind of that kind of lifestyle isn’t sustainable. And I was starting to manifest burnout. It’s in the form of disconnection with my work in the form of, of bitterness around the things that I’m signing up for. You know, I was coming home, then weary, and now led to problems in the home province. And then that led to a compounding effect where I was stressed at home as well, and then bringing that into the office with me. So I didn’t know how to talk about any of this. And I feel like that kind of burnout is particularly common in the technology industry. I’ve heard some people talk about it. I don’t think it’s a conversation, Jason that we have often enough. And for me, I was I can thank, you know, some of my key mentors because they were able to speak into my life and communicate some things that I just couldn’t see. And one of the key things that was read into my life is Steven, you’re an introvert, but you kind of masquerade as an extrovert. And I remember that feedback was just so penetrating because I didn’t see myself in that way. And that changed everything about my leadership style.

Jason Baum 26:35
That’s an interesting description, I have often told people that I am a reluctant extrovert. So I feel like that that’s similar.

Stephen Dick 26:45
Very similar. So similar to a reluctant extroverts, you know, in the Western world, Jason, we have this. It’s like a second, we hold the extroverts leadership ideal. As a stereotype that really pervades a lot of our cultural spheres. it pervades our politics, our corporations, our classrooms, our churches. We’re used to thinking as effective leaders as charismatic, dominant, or charging directive, decisive, gregarious, but there’s no evidence non zero evidence that those are the qualities that make good leaders. And in fact, Peter, Peter Drucker actually challenges some of the stereotypes and some of his books around how we think a leader should act, and what effective leadership actually is. And where I’ve been particularly challenged is yes, we also in the Western world, have a an introvert stereotype of Ryan’s introverts tend to be shy or awkward or timid. But what I try to encourage my leaders is that introverts is actually introverts have natural leadership skills, that allow them to thrive in the workplace, allow them to be highly effective leaders. And that that concept transformed my leadership style into one of my core values, these lead as an introvert. It really yourself, make sure you’re giving yourself time and space to process. But it’s nothing that I was kind of embarrassed about in the past, and use it as a transforming experience. So I can talk about these things in a way that maybe hopefully impacts our listeners today in a positive way as well.

Jason Baum 28:41
Yeah, that’s, that’s great advice. And, you know, it’s sometimes when you’re the charismatic one, when you’re the one doing all the talking, sometimes you’re not doing the listening. And you know, that listening piece is is key, right? When you’re when you’re trying to lead a transformation or lead a team or whatever it is, I mean, if you if you’re not listening, you’re probably missing a lot.

Stephen Dick 29:08
Probably missing a lot. And you described yourself as a reluctant extroverts. That’s a curious phrase. What’s What does that mean?

Jason Baum 29:18
To me? Oh, you’re turning this on me. See, here you go. This is good. This is good. No, I guess reluctant. extrovert means I’m someone who can talk in front of a crowd and not have a problem. You know, I can I can be on stage I can I can do I don’t get I don’t have like stage fright. You know, nothing, nothing like that. But do I enjoy being the center of attention or being around a crowd? And and No, no, that’s that’s not my that’s not what I enjoy. So I think in some ways, you know, it’s it’s kind of both you know, you have both qualities. None of us are this you know, our everything. So

Stephen Dick 30:02
when you talk about when you self identify as an introvert, how do you? What are the traits? How do you define introversion in your own life?

Jason Baum 30:14
Yeah, that’s a good question. I guess introvert to me, is someone who would rather the spotlight be on someone else? Like right now? Like right now? Yeah, yeah, exactly. Now you’re making me uncomfortable. Yeah, this is this is, I know, I’m supposed to throw it back at you. Yeah, when the spotlight is on you. You know, you’d rather it be on someone else, I think is probably the start of it.

Stephen Dick 30:42
Yeah, yeah. 100%. So what I’ve come to learn is like extraversion and introversion is really just defined by where you get your energy, or do you feel energized. So you’re probably an introvert, if you feel energized by reading a book, being in your own space, watching a movie, during independent work, you might be described as an independent worker, you’re an extrovert. If you walk into your party, there’s 100 people in there. You know, nobody had that party. But you think, hey, my people.

Jason Baum 31:22
And what do you mean by that? What do you mean by that?

Stephen Dick 31:25
No, an extrovert gets charged by sub gets energized through social interaction,

Jason Baum 31:31
like new people. To me, that’s that’s an opportunity for young people to meet. Yeah.

Stephen Dick 31:37
But it’s curious to me that, you know, the first thing that you jumped to was, it’s also I don’t get state, right. You know, I can stand in front of an audience, I can do a podcast. And I don’t feel a whole lot of anxiety. And that stands in the face of you know, what a whole lot of people hold. There’s a stereotype of introverts being kind of shouting on stage. But I can definitely relate to what you’re describing. In fact, some of the best public presenters tend to be introverts.

Jason Baum 32:09
Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, I feel like we could do a whole podcast on on this topic, because it’s, it is fascinating. I’ve heard other people who have come on, talk about being introverts leading, maybe not in the same way that you just put it but certainly leading, leading by example, and not necessarily through words. And yeah, in other ways that they put I don’t want to put words in other people’s mouths. But yeah, it is. It’s a very interesting topic. How do you think being in a remote environment impacts that?

Stephen Dick 32:46
And it’s been my experience that it tends to favor introverts because introverts in the teams that I’ve allowed tend to feel more in control of their social interactions, so I can switch them off. I can close the computer, close the laptop, and really take time, shut the camera off, shut the camera off. Yeah. Whereas I have some extroverted verbal processors in my team and remote work I can see just doesn’t work quite as well for them. So I do think there’s some real divides there. Ryan’s high remote work can be applicable applicable to different personality types for

Jason Baum 33:24
Yeah, yeah. It’s really interesting topic. So I mean, that leads us right to your you’ve, you’ve signed on talking about an introvert who’s who’s choosing to lead in a pretty extroverted way, I guess, you know, forming the chapter in Silicon Valley in the Silicon Valley Bay Area and in San Francisco. Tell us a little bit about that.

Stephen Dick 33:51
Yeah, yeah. 100%. So, so listeners out there, our Silicon Valley Chapter of the DevOps Institute, is known. And it’s a good way for other DevOps professionals, to network to share best practices, to learn across company lines, to stay curious, be humble, and hustle to take on added responsibility to make things better. But most importantly, the Silicon Valley Chapter is a set of humans. And we’re here to partner. We’re here to not lead with our armor, but relationship. So if you’re out there, and you’re a listener, and you’re in Silicon Valley, and maybe you’re a tech professional who wants to learn, come join us. If you’re a seasoned DevOps leader, and you want to give back, come join us. If you’re an engineer, come join us if you love production environments, but pick getting picked getting paged in the middle of the night. Come join us. If you’re an entrepreneur or an innovator come Join us. If you’re a parents, and you’re trying to figure out how do you balance your work with your family life, come join us. If you just moved to Silicon Valley, come join us, if you’re an introvert, come join us. If you’re an extrovert, you’re okay to get invited to

your invited say, no, they probably already joined,

Stephen Dick 35:23
probably already joined already, they’re already have a seat at the table. And of course, lastly, if you’re, if you’re human, come join us.

Jason Baum 35:32
That’s fantastic. Thank you so much, Steven. And you know, I just have to say that, you know, chapters are the lifeblood of an association. It is where you go to meet like minded people, and, and what has been missing, at least to me, and, and a lot of people who I talked to, you know, this pandemic, it’s been hard for so many different reasons. But one thing that we have lost, that virtual can never replace, is that imperson getting to know someone, and this is great. I love doing these podcasts and getting to meet people and know people and learn about them. And, and certainly virtual events, you could pick someone out and you could you could meet them. But you’re never going to have those conversations that you would have if you just rent if you just walked over to someone with a drink in your hand or drink in their hand and just, you know, start having a conversation. And I think that that’s the true beauty of a chapter. And, and I’m so excited to see them get get kicked off for DOI. So, so Steven, before we leave, I’m going to ask this this last question. And I know you’re prepared. You told me listen to the podcast, which I really appreciate. What’s one unique thing about you that maybe nobody knows professionally?

Stephen Dick 36:55
But nobody knows professionally? So I guess my secrets out on that dad jokes. So I am a I’m a aspiring hydroponics enthusiasts. So in my back garden, I’m trying to grow a vegetable patch already by solar powered hydroponics that will that will serve up vegetables for all of our meals is the family for the entire year. So that’s quite a project to kick off. And if your listeners aren’t familiar with with hydroponics This is how to grow vegetables vertically, using just a tiny little bit of soil. But really, it’s nutrients delivered by water that can utricle Stein. Really 30 plants encasements

Jason Baum 37:49
Are you looking to be self sustainable? Your numbers? Wow, that’s pretty. That’s pretty impressive. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Steven for being on the podcast. It was great getting to know you and, and I feel like I have another friend and now and Irish for someone from I know you’re in California, but we’ll just pretend.

Stephen Dick 38:10
Yeah, man. 100%. Hey, listen, thanks for having me. terrific to see everything you’re doing over there. Looking forward to make things happen with the Silicon Valley Institute. So thanks for your time.

Jason Baum 38:22
Absolutely. Thanks so much, Steven. And thank you for listening to this episode of the humans of DevOps Podcast. I’m gonna end this episode the same way I always do encouraging you to become a 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 of all, stay human, long and prosper.

Narrator 38:45
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 are part of something bigger than yourself. You belong

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