Episode 076: Breaking into Tech with Adrienne Tacke | CloudSkills.fm

Mike Pfeiffer on May, 13, 2020

In this episode I catch up with Adrienne Tacke, Senior Developer Advocate at MongoDB, author, and software engineer about breaking into the tech industry, teaching others, and helping people ramp up on the Azure cloud.

Make sure you follow her Adrienne on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

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Full Transcript:

Mike Pfeiffer:
What’s up everybody. It’s Mike Pfeiffer. Welcome back to another episode of the Cloud Skills, FM podcast. Super pumped to be here today with you. I’m excited to have Adrienne Tacke with me. She is a senior developer advocate at MongoDB, and she’s an Azure trainer for LinkedIn Learning. Adrienne, how are you doing?

Adrienne Tacke:
I’m great. Thanks for having me here, Mike.

Mike Pfeiffer:
Yeah, this is awesome. I saw your LinkedIn courses and I’ve seen some of your talks on YouTube and stuff like that. So I wanted to get you on the show. Azure is so big, right? And the cloud is so big. So I wanted to have you on and talk about that, but I also know you have a really interesting journey coming into tech. So I’d love to hear how you got into the industry, because what you’re doing right now is a really … a lot of interesting work. I know that there’s a lot of people that are interested in probably following a similar path, so I’d love to hear how you got into the industry.

Adrienne Tacke:
Absolutely. I guess I’ll start at college. I am not one of those that was really keen in technology. I wasn’t coding when I was eight and stuff like that, but it really only began for me in college and even in college, I didn’t know that I wanted to be in any kind of tech, major or engineering major. I actually wanted to be an international business major because I assumed that would enable me to get a job like Anthony Bourdain. I learned the hard way that’s not what that meant. So I kind of scrambled around to kind of find something else, still was unsure, but at the same time, I was also looking for a job to help pay for school. Of course, naturally, the highest paying student jobs that I’ve found was for the IT help desk at our university.

Adrienne Tacke:
So I applied, I went there and it was through that job that I actually saw a potential career. At this point, we were just resetting passwords and helping troubleshoot errors on computers that people brought in. But I actually liked going through that process, trying to find the root cause of somebody’s problem or walking somebody through something over the phone. But still at the time, I didn’t make the connection as I kept doing that job. Then I only had access to a software development internship because of that job. So I applied because it was more money and I went in and I got it and that’s kind of where my journey began. Ever since then, I’ve been in several different jobs, always in a .NET environment. So C#, well, really VB.NET was my first language, but then I moved over to C# for the rest of my career.

Adrienne Tacke:
All of the stuff that I’ve learned in all the different jobs I’ve had kind of led to, I would say, the last year or so of me saying, “You know what? There’s a lot that I know that I would like to share because there’s a lot of stuff specifically in the .NET world and C# world and know the cloud world, Azure world that I think is still very difficult for beginners.” So I kind of looked at that perspective and said, “What would these kinds of students need and what would these kinds of learners want to know?” We kind of get so ingrained in knowing the basics, that you kind of just talk or create courses or documentation, assuming a base level of knowledge, but you have to go a little bit further back than that. So that’s kind of where I am now, that’s my focus. It’s whatever I’m trying to teach something or give a talk, I try to keep that perspective in mind.

Mike Pfeiffer:
I love that because it’s, you’re right. I was just on a call earlier today before this and having a similar conversation. It’s like people jump right into the deep end of the pool sometimes. We were talking about some stuff we’re doing, bringing infrastructure as code talk in kind of an event and I was telling a couple of guys, I’m like, “We really need to be careful because everybody’s so advanced, but we got to remember not everybody else is,” and so I love that message. It’s interesting that you started in the help desk. I did too. Usually like programmers sometimes come in from computer science and just going straight into the industry and that’s kind of cool. So you had some perspective on help desk side then got into doing software development. Was that a hard transition for you to go from system support to programming?

Adrienne Tacke:
I think in terms of learning and because there’s so much to learn there, I think it actually helped because after having that job, I honestly feel like everyone should have experience with either customer service or a retail job, some point in their life, because it’s a very eye-opening, what you learn there and not just for the industry, but how you work with people and that’s a very, very important part. So I think the fact that I had to, especially walking through the solutions with people on the phone, that really, really stretched my skills in terms of finding the root cause, like asking the right questions, ruling out all other possibilities. I think that kind of background actually helped me when I was starting my internship, because there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know.

Adrienne Tacke:
And a lot of the courses that we learn, they focus a lot on the how, like this is how you code, this is a variable, blah, blah, blah, but they don’t kind of tell you the bigger picture with that. Like, “Okay, now I’ve created something. How do I deploy it? How do I share it? How do I do this? How do I do that?” There’s so much more that is involved with software development that if you think it’s just coding on your ID and you’ve created something, well, there’s a whole lot more to it. So I think it really helped because it made me understand that there was a lot more things I could ask myself and kind of look at all kinds of resources to help me find the solution to my problem.

Mike Pfeiffer:
Right. Was it remote support in the sense that it was just audio only, and you couldn’t see their screen had to verbally walk them through stuff?

Adrienne Tacke:
It was all kinds. So the majority of it was they would call in so we would talk to them over the phone. If it required remote desktop, we would ask them if it was okay and then we would do remote sharing. Then there were people who came into the actual office, so they brought their computers in. We also supported all of the people who worked at the university. So that was the field work, right? If we had to go to the actual classrooms and help professors out or TA’s and anything with the tech aspect, their laptops, if they needed help, software, that was us.

Mike Pfeiffer:
That’s cool. The reason I was asking, you have a good point there. If you’re trying to work with somebody one on one, especially if you’re doing it verbally, and it takes a lot of patience and a lot of understanding what they’re going through.

Adrienne Tacke:
Oh yeah.

Mike Pfeiffer:
I think that me being on the help desk at the beginning of my career helped me there too because I did develop some patience and understanding of art. You got to give them some time and stuff, so that’s awesome.

Adrienne Tacke:
Oh, no, I was just going to say absolutely, and it goes both ways. There are the really nice people and then there are the people who are very impatient, but you have to be patient. So that’s a very good skill to learn as well.

Mike Pfeiffer:
It’s not as easy as it looks, right? So anyways, kind of moving from there, I would love to get into what did it look like for you just going to be a developer and now you’re doing all these talks, because I know we’ve been connected for a while, but just like on social media and stuff. I saw last year at the end of the year, you were just on a global tour doing all these talks and stuff. How do you go from just writing code and doing the software development day-to-day and then going into this speaking career and all this?

Adrienne Tacke:
So on my last job, it was actually the best job I’ve ever had in terms of my team. I love my team now. I always feel like I have to say that, but I say that because it was my favorite team that I worked with and I learned a lot from them. We were a cohesive team, a collaborative team, everyone was great. It was almost like a dream team of what you would want in a software development team. So that was great. Everything was fine, but I don’t know, at that point in my career, I was just seeing all these conferences and like, “What does it actually take to be a speaker?”

Adrienne Tacke:
I see conferences all the time and I was always asking for budget. Like, “Oh, I want to go to this cool conference.” But then for whatever reason, I thought, “What does it take?” So I researched it and I saw the process, right? A lot of the conferences open up a call for proposals, you write an abstract, hopefully, the organizing committee goes through and picks it based on the match for the conference and that’s that. So I’m like, “You know what? Let me just make this goal for myself of if I could go to one conference,” and I think I tweeted about it, and I’m like, “My goal is to just do one tech conference this year and if I do that, I’ll be happy.”

Adrienne Tacke:
So I did that. I mass applied to as many conferences as possible because that was the advice, especially as a new speaker. I did that and then I ended up getting accepted to seven conferences. That’s why you saw [inaudible 00:09:27] I had a global tour going on. At the time, I did my first one, I loved it and the community was great. It was a JavaScript talk. Nebraska JS was my first one. They will always have a special place in my heart. Shout out to you guys. I did that one, went back to work and obviously, it was very difficult to balance a normal job with tickets that had to be done, features, bugs, bug fixes, everything, and then traveling to go to these conferences.

Adrienne Tacke:
So I tried to negotiate, “Can I do this remotely type of thing half and half,” and it didn’t work out. I had the support of my team, but in the end, the environment there was like, “Everybody needs to be in the office. Everybody needs to do their job here.” So I said, "Well, this is actually something I enjoy a lot more. So I actually decided to quit my job and just pursue those things because not only did I have that, I had the LinkedIn Learning courses also. I was creating content for that. I was doing my thing on Instagram and LinkedIn trying to share educational information there. So I already had a lot going on in terms of side stuff, right? So that’s kind of how I got started there. All of that work was not for nothing because that ended up helping me get my job now as a senior developer advocate at MongoDB. So it was awesome.

Mike Pfeiffer:
Yeah, that is amazingly cool. Is that kind of a weird transition? You come into this job thinking that you’re going to be probably traveling all over the place and now social distancing and lock down and now you’re just like on Zoom calls all day, every day? Has that been an adjustment for you?

Adrienne Tacke:
Yeah, I was going full speed ahead. So in the beginning, I was actually very happy to get a break. There were some stretches of conferences where I was in Frankfurt for one week and then I was in Helsinki and then I had to get to a plane to catch a Tennessee conference within 24 hours. It takes a toll on your body. So yes, it’s awesome to be able to travel and meet people and go to all these places, but it’s a lot, especially if you do it constantly.

Adrienne Tacke:
So I actually enjoy that I get a little bit of a break now. I’m still bummed. There were a lot more conferences that I had lined up this year that I could have gone to a lot of places I wanted to visit. But in the end, this is the right thing and I think it’s nice because it aligns with my start here at Mongo. So there’s a lot of stuff I have to get ramped up on. I actually just finished my training and there’s no better time to do that now with all this time at home. So it’s been an adjustment, but it’s nothing too different. Working from home was not new to me and I’m sure to many software engineers, so …

Mike Pfeiffer:
Sure. I think at some point I would imagine that, like I could hope that we’re going to get to go back outside again and travel again. Even if we don’t, the remote communication tools are so good. There’s still lots of opportunities, but I think what’s really a big underline from the last kind of segment we were talking about was your trajectory in your career. What really got you to this moment a lot was just sharing what you’re working on, teaching people what you’re learning. How important do you think that that is for anybody else listening that’s thinking about maybe getting into that?

Adrienne Tacke:
I will say every big thing and professional milestone or accomplishment in my career has been due to sharing content of some form. When I started sharing my Don’t Be Afraid of the Terminal series on Instagram, I would share a command a day explaining what it was just because I was scared of it before. I’m like, “I don’t know what to do in this black box.” So I created all of these things and shared it and it went pretty well. It was only because of that, that a publishing company actually reached out to me to talk about writing my book.

Adrienne Tacke:
I wrote a book called Coding for Kids: Python. That was my really first big, huge achievement. Then with the speaking, I did all these speaking engagements. That’s what caught the attention of a couple of people for this developer advocate role. I got the LinkedIn Learning opportunities because of my voice and how I shared my content and educational stuff on both Instagram and Twitter. So all of these really huge opportunities only came about because I shared some part of my knowledge to the world in some fashion and people reached out to me to come find more with these opportunities. I think that’s super cool, really important.

Mike Pfeiffer:
It’s really inspiring and I love that. Do you feel like kind of along the way that it was maybe a little anxiety or kind of nerve wracking when you first started and you kind of had to work through that?

Adrienne Tacke:
Absolutely. There were certainly lots of points where I’m like, “Okay, this is the big leagues now. Hopefully, I don’t screw this up.” But when you get into it, for example, the book, I’m like, “Oh, I’m working with an official publisher now and there’s deadlines and I’m going through technical reviews and editing and multiple passes back and forth.” Absolutely, I was a little anxious. I’m like, “Is this going to be good enough? Are they going to cancel this contract?” But you go through it and you see that you can do it. You learn a lot from the process and I think that’s what’s most important. So with the book I learned there are rigorous reviews before and there’s a lot that goes into publishing a book, same thing with the LinkedIn Learning courses or any online platform.

Adrienne Tacke:
You have to spend a lot of time creating that content, making sure it’s good, making sure it makes sense. Then you take the time to film it, right? My first course was just screencap only. When I was recording them in the booth, my producer was like, “So that’s great. Say it, but say it while you’re smiling,” and that makes a big difference with audio. When you don’t have those cues from video and seeing somebody’s face and their facial expressions, you just hear their voice, it sounds like they’re bored but you got to emphasize it. All of these things just, I feel like they’re just lots of little bits that I learned that I continued to use to progress in my career and it has been great.

Mike Pfeiffer:
I love that you’re sharing that. I hadn’t even thought about that in a long time, but when I first started filming videos, I remember feeling weird about it. Somebody told me, “Hang a picture of someone’s face right behind the monitor and imagine you’re talking to somebody directly one-on-one.” That was some of the best advice I ever got because you’re right, people can hear you smiling. You don’t think that they can, but they can, right?

Adrienne Tacke:
Yeah. It’s funny you say that I had a couple online talks in the past and I have these no faces here that I hung on my … they’re on my monitor and it helps. It’s much better than just staring at your webcam. It just helps you feel like there’s an audience there, so …

Mike Pfeiffer:
Right. That’s so cool. When you were working as a developer only on that team that you were mentioning, did you ever get a weird vibe, like, “Oh, Adrienne’s going and doing all these talks, writing books and all this kind of stuff.” Did you start to feel like an outsider a little bit or were they always like super supportive?

Adrienne Tacke:
They were supportive. I think it was a week where I had to leave to go record for LinkedIn Learning and it’s not like they didn’t know, but it was still very much felt my absence there was … again, there were still tickets to be done, right? There were still sprint commitments that I had made. Just coming into that of balancing both this stuff and then meetings and actually completing work remotely, I think there were a couple of tasks at that time that I just didn’t make, or maybe there was a misunderstanding that I wouldn’t be available for a couple of meetings.

Adrienne Tacke:
But other than that, I think it was just miscommunication among our team or a misunderstanding. But no, for the most part, they were very supportive. They were like, “Oh, look, that’s super cool. We’re coworkers with a LinkedIn Learning superstar.” Now I’m like, “Guys, this is just like a learning platform. I’m not a celebrity,” but they were very jokey about it and supportive, which I like, so …

Mike Pfeiffer:
The reason I ask is sometimes, because I know other people have a done very similar kind of path and sometimes people around them, once that person starts to do something different and starts to change a little bit, they want to keep them the way they were and like, “Don’t change on us.” But I really just wanting to bring that up for anybody that’s listening and thinking maybe they’re resisting doing some of the things that you’ve done because of that. But I would love to hear about the LinkedIn Learning courses. That’s a really cool place to film, right, because you just like fly out there and you go into a studio and film courses and stuff?

Adrienne Tacke:
I can talk for days about that, but yes, my first experience was nothing short of excellent. So once you are finished with creating your content, there’s lots of prep before this even happens, right? So there’s an outline you got to see and align on what is actually going to be shared in this course. Then you got to plan out what chunks make good videos. How much content do you put into each? You don’t want to go too much over. Can this be grouped? All of that planning is done beforehand, as well as writing any scripts and as well as any demos that you might need, all of that is prepared.

Adrienne Tacke:
Then the week of recording, my first time was with producer Stephanie Gerald. She was amazing. She was awesome. You go into this booth, super secluded hi-tech booth. She’s sitting on the other side through a glass window. She can hear everything and see everything that I’m doing and you just you start recording. Then that’s where I learned the tidbits, right? She’s like, “All right, smile when you’re say this or go a little bit slower or can you increase the font size because you’re doing a lot of screencap?”

Adrienne Tacke:
So all of these things I learned, but then all of the cool things about that too was there’s like a full cafeteria there. So I got to have lunch with her, fully provided for by LinkedIn. There was only the second course I did was the first time I learned about this June. It’s like an insider thing. I won’t spoil it for anybody, but June is amazing and I didn’t know what it was. Everyone kept talking about June and they’re like, “Ah, I need June.”

Adrienne Tacke:
I’m like, “I don’t know. Is this some super special person?” I don’t know what it was. But then I found out what June meant and I’m like, “Yes, I would love to have June right now.” So yeah, there are just these really cool bits that you get to see behind the scenes. They have awesome studios, wonderful people, all love what they’re doing and I’s a great environment to be around. I’m not surprised that people that have been there have been there for a while and they always feel inspired and energized every time they work there. I certainly felt that way each time I went out there to record my stuff for my courses.

Mike Pfeiffer:
So do you still get to travel out to Santa Barbara and kind of hang out in that cool area? Is that where you’re at these days, in the LinkedIn cities?

Adrienne Tacke:
I am based in Las Vegas, but yeah, when I do go over to LinkedIn, they do fly us out to their headquarters.

Mike Pfeiffer:
That’s awesome. So what is the courses then that you’re doing for them that are Azure related? Is it like developer stuff for people focused on the Azure platform?

Adrienne Tacke:
So yes. So the first one I did was it’s called, I think they changed the name, Developing Compute Solutions, but it was kind of a course that I wish I had when I was first starting out. So like I was mentioning earlier, a lot of things focus on how you do something, but not the full picture. So that course focuses on how do you get your application onto Azure Repos for source control or using GitHub and then how do you build a continuous integration pipeline and a continuous deployment pipeline with Azure pipelines? It was pretty much taking something that you’ve built and moving it through the whole process how, in a modern workflow, would you actually deal with a software from beginning to end?

Adrienne Tacke:
So that’s what that course focuses on. Then the second course I did was a little bit longer and kind of novel. It’s the Azure Essentials for Developers. So the goal here was Azure is so … there’s so much to learn in Azure. When you hear the word Azure, that could mean so many things to so many different people. So we focused on what would be the most valuable services and tools that you would need as a developer within the Azure ecosystem. So that’s what that course focuses on. It was different because this one was mostly live action. So we tried our best to get creative with some of the videos in terms of explaining some concepts and that one was really fun. That was my first time doing almost all live action. It was interesting.

Mike Pfeiffer:
Live action can be fun, right? A lot of things can go good and you get those demo fails every once in a while they could go wrong, but it’s always fun. That’s awesome. That sounds like amazing content then. Azure DevOps doing version control and CI/CD, and I think the developer essentials is actually really needed because I talk to a lot people. So many people getting into Azure now are finally doing production stuff. There’s so many people learning it. But to your point, it’s like a lot of people realize right away that “Man, this is pretty complicated and there’s a lot to learn here”. So just knowing the foundation and getting your legs under you is super important.

Adrienne Tacke:
Absolutely. I think so too. I think for me, the most valuable part that I would have enjoyed if this were available earlier in my career was the fact about subscriptions and resource groups. You kind of get what they are when you’re playing around in the portal, but then you’re like, “Well, what do I actually use this for?” Then all the other tools, if you’re a dev, you can integrate with this or sentiment analysis or all these other SDKs you know can use them. But then in terms of, if you’re actually fully invested in the Azure ecosystem, all of these things are still important when it comes to billing, when it comes to how you organize your resources. So I think for me, that was the most educational part and I think the most important part of that course.

Mike Pfeiffer:
No, that’s important because there’s a lot of people that are skipping it. A lot of the customers that I work with that are having problems is because they skip the foundational stuff. You know, they just went too fast and now we’re trying to unravel everything and go back and fix it. But so I could see where that would be hugely valuable because like you said earlier, it’s important that we’re all understanding and not just writing code. We actually have to know what’s going on and when that code gets deployed, even if we’re not the ones deploying it. So really knowing the foundation’s super, super important. Is Azure something that you’re focusing on a lot at MongoDB with MongoDB customers and stuff, or is it really going to be just like you’re hitting everything? Do you even know yet?

Adrienne Tacke:
Yeah. So because of my background as a C# developer, that’s kind of hopefully the area that I’ll be taking over. So obviously Mongo has their own Atlas cloud based offering, which is Atlas, their database user service. I’m going to try to capture a lot of the C# market, but I want to do that by showing how Mongo is actually useful in these applications. So same with me, my whole background, I didn’t use document databases. I was in SQL server land, C# land and when you heard Mongo, you’re like, “This is of no use to me or what would I use this for?” But now it’ll be my job and there’s actually a lot of uses for it, regardless of what programming environment that you’re in. But yeah, that’ll kind of be my focus for the foreseeable future, so …

Mike Pfeiffer:
Does it seem like a .NET developer is going to have a lot of unlearning to do? So if you’re doing traditional .NET, you do a lot of SQL obviously. Then so the relational database world is so much different than NoSQL and document database kind of pattern and all that. Do you foresee it being a big departure for people that have this big mental shift or do you feel like people will be able to transition fairly easily to using Mongo as a backend?

Adrienne Tacke:
I think there’ll be some difficulty in the beginning because it is a mindset shift. So you can’t just replace your SQL server with a Mongo database. That’s not how that works. It’s more of transitioning from a relational database standpoint and how you save your data that way into the document model. So I think once that part is reached and you understand the differences, you see why certain data may actually fit better in the document model versus the relational model or why your applications might actually benefit from the document model versus a relational model and how you’re querying your data. Once those differences are understood, then I think adopting it is no problem. But certainly, I know for me, it was like, “Okay, I needed to switch that set of thinking of how you view your data.” So I assume that would be the most difficult part as well for other .NET developers.

Mike Pfeiffer:
That makes a lot of sense to me because I think that’s probably where I would have to spend the most amount of work because I’m still doing a lot with SQL server. I’ve gotten lazy now that Entity Framework does all the work for me and I’m like code first. But anyways, I don’t want to get off into the weeds here, but one thing I’ve been wondering throughout this entire talk is there had to been a fair amount of resistance along the way in your career as a female and trying to like get into the tech and elbow your way in.

Mike Pfeiffer:
We all know, it’s no secret, that there’s a disproportionate kind of balance of males having a higher count in the industry and that’s starting to change. Companies are starting to get the … they’re starting to make efforts, but I’m assuming you probably must have faced some resistance along the way. I’m wondering what you could offer as tips for other females out there listening that are interested in kind of following a similar path or even just doing development and maybe can just getting into tech.

Adrienne Tacke:
Absolutely. Yes, I’ve had my fair share. I don’t know if it’s a silver bullet for everybody, but I kind of just kept going. So it’s not to say that it didn’t hurt or I felt that I didn’t get upset by some of the things that happened to me, but I kind of used that as fuel to kind of say, “No, I’m going to prove you wrong and I’m going to do it because I want to stay here.” So as an example, there a recruiter story that I always share whenever this kind of topic comes up. It was a recruiter who called me and they’re like, “Oh, we are calling about this program or position.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, cool.”

Adrienne Tacke:
They’re like, “So do you have any experience with InDesign and Photoshop?” I’m like, “I’m familiar with those, but I don’t see why that’s related to this position.” She’s like, “Oh, this is for a programming position.” I’m like, “Yes, I’m talking about programming in the context of writing code and designing and creating software and application.” She’s like, “Oh no, honey, those jobs are for the men.” I couldn’t believe that this recruiter actually told me that. This programmer position was something … it was a position of designing those brochures and pamphlets for conferences and events, I guess. So I was like, “Oh, sorry. You’ve got the wrong person.” At the time, I wanted to say more, but I’m like, “This is not it.” But that was just one example.

Adrienne Tacke:
I was like, “Really, this is still a thing?” Then I’ve had a couple of jobs where I had a couple of coworkers who, for whatever reason, just it’s the same kind of experience like, “Oh, you’re a junior. Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” At, first I kind of stayed quiet, especially for me and my personality is not to … I want to avoid conflict. I don’t want to stand up to somebody. So it was really hard to stand up for myself. But then it just got to a point where I’m like, “Okay, no, you do not know what you’re talking about.” I found that instead of just calling that out and saying, “Oh, why are you treating me this way?” I wanted to just learn as much as I could so that I could actually answer back in those meetings. Or if we were debating some sort of solution and somebody was offering up a solution I know didn’t work, I would have something to reply back with. I’d say, “No, this is actually not the right solution because of X, Y and Z.”

Adrienne Tacke:
I felt the more that I did that, the more I was taken seriously, like what I had to say was actually focused on the problem at hand. So I found doing that certainly served me very well. I think that’s what’s kind of continuously fueled my passion to just continue learning as much as I can, because if I can say something and actually prove … somebody might assume I don’t know anything, but if I say something to them that shows that I’m actually knowledgeable in the subject, it almost cuts that short and they can’t say anything about that anymore.

Adrienne Tacke:
So yeah, that would be my advice is to just to continue pushing on and also to be comfortable in who you are. I think that was another big part of a lot of the resistance that I received was in the beginning, I’m like, “Maybe I’ll be taken seriously if I wore jeans and black hoodies and whatever all the stereotypical looks of what a real programmer looks like.” But I’m like, “This is not me. I don’t like wearing these things.” So I continue to wear what I like to wear. I like to wear skirts. I like to wear dresses. I like to wear heels. Sometimes, I like to wear makeup. A lot of people told me, “They’re not going to take you seriously if you’re dressed this way.”

Adrienne Tacke:
I felt that firsthand going to conferences. They always assumed, “Oh, are you the assistant? Are you the … ?” I don’t know, “the marketing person? Are you this … ?” Never, never the technical person. So I would say that shouldn’t matter. I think it’s becoming more and more aware that shouldn’t dictate what a real programmer looks like. There’s no developer uniform. But yeah, just continue being who you are and continue to really excel at the thing that you want to do because your passion and knowledge for whatever that topic may be, or industry, whatever you’re doing, I think that’s going to show a lot more than just being there and having people assume all these things about you, so …

Mike Pfeiffer:
That is such great advice and it’s a powerful message to the truth, right? It’s something that you can’t avoid and I really agree with that. I spent probably a couple of years of compromising and kind of holding back against who I actually was as a person, not even really thinking about it, especially earlier in my career, because I was trying to fit into the mold and you go to such a great point. It’s like, you just got to be you. If they can’t deal with it, then you can go add value somewhere else and you’ll still be able to succeed. So such an important message. Adrienne, where can people that are listening, find out where you’re at online, where you’re at on social … where are your website? Where can we follow you?

Adrienne Tacke:
Absolutely. I’m most active on Twitter. So it’s just my name, Adrienne Tacke. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me on LinkedIn. That’s where you’ll see my first post about my courses. My website is Adrienne.io. I got really lucky with that domain.

Mike Pfeiffer:
Oh, you nailed it.

Adrienne Tacke:
Yeah, I did.

Mike Pfeiffer:
That’s an awesome domain, actually.

Adrienne Tacke:
It is.

Mike Pfeiffer:
That’s probably one of the biggest regrets that I have, going back and thinking. I wish that I would’ve known more back in the day because then I’d have the same handle everywhere on every platform and the same website. I wasn’t thinking about it like that so many years ago, but that’s a really good domain. Wow. All right, Adrienne. Well, thanks so much. Everybody that’s listening go follow Adrienne, check out her book, check out her LinkedIn Learning videos. Awesome content out there. Adrienne Tacke, thank you so much. Take care everybody.

Adrienne Tacke:
Thanks.

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