Episode 9

Microservices are Interesting with Les Jackson


May 6th, 2021

39 mins 53 secs

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About this Episode

Sponsored by Reblaze, creators of Curiefense


Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer | Tzury Bar Yochay


Les Jackson
Developer Advocate · Author

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Committing to Cloud Native Podcast! It’s the podcast by Reblaze where we talk about open source maintainers, contributors, sustainers, and their experiences in the Cloud Native space. Today, we have an exceptional guest, Les Jackson, who is a Developer Advocate at Marketplacer. Find out what Les does at Marketplacer, the story of how his awesome YouTube channel and the Dotnet Playbook started, and the idea behind his book, The Complete ASP.NET Core 3 API Tutorial, developed. Also, Les explains what got him started doing Cloud Data content, and his interest in using Envoy to make microservices. Download this episode now to find out much more!

[00:01:53] Les tells us about himself, how he ended up a developer, and how he got to where he is now.

[00:04:11] We find out what Les does as a Developer Advocate for Marketplacer and the main frameworks and languages that he uses.

[00:06:07] Les tells us the story of how his YouTube channel and the Dotnet Playbook started.

[00:07:39] We learn the story behind Les writing a book called, The Complete ASP.NET Core 3 API Tutorial.

[00:12:22] Les talks about what got him started doing Cloud Data content. Also, he mentions an API Gateway called Ocelot.

[00:16:13] Les explains his creative process and why he was interested in using Envoy to begin with to make microservices.

[00:20:29] Tzury wonders if Les was always around Microsoft tech.

[00:25:57] If Les wrote another book, he tells us what it would be about.

[00:29:23] Richard asks Les if he can speak more about how he feels that open source has influenced his time as a YouTube code reviewer and code maker.

[00:32:45] Richard shares his thoughts about whether providing a credit card to sign up is a barrier to entry to adopting Cloud.

[00:35:18] Tzury asks what efforts Les is taking as Developer Advocates, in making sure what code people are writing and using on your platform, and if they provide guidelines, tutorials, or tools for testing.

[00:37:40] Find out where you can follow Les online.


[00:14:25] “They then pivoted to Envoy, and I thought this looks like a really interesting platform, so that’s actually where the idea for the video came from.”

[00:17:03] “But going back to why do I find microservices interesting, I think cause you kind of mentioned possibly, they’re hard, so it’s a bit of a problem. They’re really not an easy thing to implement.”

[00:17:25] “And I think I did mention that again, I’ve looked at some reference architectures and often what I like to do is pick them apart and kind of reverse engineer them to see if I can get them to work, because often I can’t get them to work out of the box where they maybe give you everything you need, do you try and run them up and there’s just this whole morass of errors.”

[00:19:05] “So, that’s why I picked Envoy, number one, I think it’s going to be around for a while.”

[00:23:15] “What actually got me back into development, one of the things that got me back into it was when Microsoft brought out .NET Core, which is this kind of open source secondary branch.”

[00:30:20] “Open source has completely changed things.”

[00:30:55] “Going back twenty years, everything was kind of locked down. You had to pay for absolutely everything and the quality wasn’t even sometimes that particularly good.”

[00:33:10] “On the flip side, what I think that people who are proponents of Cloud Native things, and I think that’s really interesting technology. So, I thought about why is it good is because it just gives you so much more massive power then you’re able to do at home.”



Curiefense Twitter

Cloud Native Community Groups-Curifense



Justin Dorfman Twitter

Richard Littauer Twitter

Tzury Bar Yochay Twitter

Les Jackson Twitter

Les Jackson YouTube

Dotnet Playbook



The Complete ASP.NET Core 3 API Tutorial by Les Jackson


The Kubelist Podcast-Episode 13-Curifense with Tzury Bar Yochay and Justin Dorfman of Reblaze



[00:00:01] Intro: A problem that really not an easy thing to implement. And I totally understand why people maintain monoliths for such a long time, because going to microservices architecture is very difficult. And so I think that just appeals to me to try and pick it apart. And I think I did mention that again, I've looked to some reference architectures and often I like to do is pick them apart and kind of reverse engineer them to see if I can get them to work.

[00:00:27] Richard Littauer: Hello, and welcome to Committing to Cloud Natives, the podcast where we talk about committing to both open source and the Cloud. How do they go together, how they work to make a better internet world, and how we're here to make sure that we can continue doing awesome stuff with Cloud technology? Today, we have two other panelists besides me. I'm Richard Littauer. Hello everyone. We also have Justin Dorfman. Justin, how you doing?

[00:00:52] Justin Dorfman: I'm great, Richard. How are you?

[00:00:54] Richard: Doing good. Thanks for being here. And we have Tzury Bar Yochay. Tzury, how are you doing?

[00:01:00] Tzury Bar Yochay: Doing great, Richard. Thank you.

[00:01:02] Richard: Excellent. And because we don't necessarily like recording talking to just ourselves, we also have a guest on today as is normal. Our guest, however, hopefully, is not normal, but rather an exceptional person. I'm really excited to introduce him. We have Les Jackson. He's calling in today from Melbourne. He is a developer advocate at Marketplacer and has done a ton of really interesting stuff in this space. Les, how are you doing today?

[00:01:30] Les Jackson: I am very good. Thank you. I'm very flattered that you would call me exceptional. I'm not sure that's the case, but I will accept your compliment. Thank you very much.

[00:01:40] Richard: So Les, you also do a few other things. First off, to just background, to me, it's really obvious that you're not actually Australian. I went to the University of Edinburgh. I lived there for five years and you sound pretty Scottish to me. How did you end up where you are?

[00:01:57] Les: That's a good question. So you are very much correct. I'm from Scotland originally. I'm actually from Glasgow, which is like the other big city in Scotland. I moved to Australia about 11 years ago. And when people ask me why I did that, there isn't really a good reason. I had a visa that I had applied for just sort of randomly and it was going to expire. So I thought, well, that was a good time as any. It was really just the change I was after. And yes, it's worked out pretty well. Been here 11 years, so yeah, it's a nice place to live.

[00:02:26] Richard: It would be. One of the things I really like about your Twitter handle is that it's Binary Thistle, which shows that you're from Scotland because thistle is the national flower of Scotland, quite thorny, but also binary. Right? So you're interested in code. So you moved to Australia 11 years ago. How did you end up as a developer and how did you get to where you are now?

[00:02:45] Les: Sure. Well, I mean the developer journey started way back in Scotland in the UK. So went to university in Glasgow. I did a degree in computer science, which was predominantly maths, which I probably should have researched the course a bit more thoroughly, I always thought I was just going to do a lot of coding, but it was mostly really heavy mathematics, which was okay. Anyway, I joined when I left uni and I was fortunate enough to join the National Telco, which is British Telecoms a big company, lots of opportunities there. And I really started as a developer there and that's really what got me started many years ago, more years ago than I would care to mention. Looking at the young faces around the room, I'm probably the oldest person here and that's what really got me started.

And then interestingly, when I moved to Australia, I'd been in the UK working professionally for about 11 years, as well as a developer on various other roles. And when I moved to Australia, I decided to make the change to move away from coding and I moved into business analysis for a while. And that's what I did here for many years. And then more recently I've moved into my role as a developer advocate, which is again a nice blend between almost sort of business analysis and coding and talking and teaching and stuff like that. But yeah, started my developer journey a long time ago, over 20 years ago.

[00:04:01] Richard: A lot of developer advocates do start as developers just so that they know how to talk about the person. And they realize, well, actually they like talking to them more than they like necessarily coding all the time or dealing with managers or whatever you want to call it, which makes a lot of sense. What do you do as a developer advocate for Marketplacer?

[00:04:16] Les: So Marketplacer I suppose I'll call it a startup. It's probably coming out of that phase now. It's past the startup phase, I would say. About a hundred people, mostly in Australia, but we have opened a US office in San Jose I think is. So we're growing quite rapidly and my role there really is to help people integrate into the platform. So it's probably not, I wouldn't really say it's even the traditional developer advocate role. When I think about developer advocate, I tend to think of people going to conferences and getting people onboard onto someone's API, for example. That's not really what I do. It's more working with our clients who tend to be larger, I don't know, I suppose e-com customers who want to integrate into our platform. So I worked with their development teams to allow them to integrate into our platform, predominantly. Do a lot of documentation writing, which I quite enjoy. A lot of people hate documentation but I actually like writing documentation and working with the onboarding teams, working with the product team to consider new features for the APIs predominantly. So yeah, it's not really like a traditional developer advocate role, but it's one that I really enjoy. It's a good role.

[00:05:28] Richard: What are the main frameworks and languages that you're using as part of that job?

[00:05:31] Les: Over there at Marketplacer, the application is predominantly written in Ruby. I've done a little bit of Ruby, but if you've watched my YouTube channel you'll know that not really. I focus on other languages, but yeah, Ruby, Tape scripts, Java scripts. We're really lucky there because we do get to experiment with any number of languages that we want to use. So, I [inaudible00:05:50] somebody has written some modules in GOAL. I've written some stuff in C-Sharp, obviously. So yeah, but predominantly it's Ruby on Rails shop and then the front end is React, JavaScript, and Opentype strip.

[00:06:04] Richard: So you're not just doing developer advocacy, but you also have the DotnetPlaybook.com and a YouTube channel. Are those the same things? Can you tell us what the YouTube channel is?

[00:06:14] Les: It's a bit confusing, to be honest with you. Yeah. So in my kind of brand is, it's actually really confusing. My brand is, or my Twitter handle is Binary Thistle. Yeah. So the YouTube channel started out with that branding and then when I sort of try, when I got into it more, when I kind of looked into running a YouTube channel more, one of the bits of advice that I picked up on was perhaps you should use your actual name. So I kind of switched it to using my actual name. The Dotnet Playbook is just a thing on the side, which is really a blog, to be honest with you. And as the name suggests, it's really, I suppose, quite long articles on taking you through step-by-step guides on how to do a particular thing.

The reason that I decided to create a blog. I was on holiday in Vietnam and I got incredibly ill. So I was in the small room, incredibly hot fever, and I didn't have anything to do other than having my phone. So I thought, what can I do to occupy my mind? And I thought I know what I'll do. I'll create a blog. And so I spent half that time just coming up with the domain name that I was going to use for this blog and it went through many iterations. So maybe that's fine. It's a bit disjointed because I was in that kind of strange state of mind when I was coming up with this concept. But yeah, look, the two things are kind of interrelated, interplayed them between each other. So I'll refer to the blog when I'm making my videos and I'll refer to my YouTube channel from the blog. But they're kind of the same thing but branded slightly differently.

[00:07:43] Justin: Besides a blogger, you're also an author and you wrote the ASP.NET Core 3 API. Is that right?

[00:07:52] Les: That is correct. So the genesis of that was the blog, Dotnet Playbook. And again, I bought a book. I can't remember who it was by, but it was about technical blogging. And one of the things they really suggested you do when you have a technical blog is that you try and build up your mailing list and that sounds like quite an old-school concept. But the idea behind that is you actually own your mailing list. Whereas I've got quite a few subscribers on my YouTube channel, but I don't really own those subscribers. I can sort of contact them, but if YouTube decided to shut me down, I'll lose all those subscribers. I don't have access to their email or anything like that. So I don't really own my subscribers. That's the way I look at it. So that was another reason I decided to create a blog because I thought, well actually, maybe own my audience a bit more.

Anyway, going back to my point, I wanted to kind of get people to sign up to my mailing list. And I thought, well, people aren't just going to, well, they might. They might just come to your blog, like, and sign up. I thought, how can I entice people? What can I use as a lure or lure them in to sign up to my blog mailing list? And I thought, well what I'll do is, I'll create a small eBook. Just maybe 20 pages or 50 pages, something really small, call it an eBook and say, look, if you sign up to my blog, you'll get a free copy of my eBook. And that was the original idea. And then what happened was I started writing this book and it just got bigger and bigger and eventually kind of turned into this full book really.

And I self-published for a while and that did quite well. I published on a platform called Lean Publishing. Any aspiring authors out there, I really recommend it. Fantastic platform. You get to keep most of your royalties. It's got some really nice offering features. Great platform. Also published on Amazon, of course. You have to kind of do that really to get as big an audience as possible. And the book did okay in the self-publishing kind of domain. But then maybe about after a year, I was approached by Apress. They do a lot of IT books, I guess, you'd call them. And they said, look, would you want to publish through us? And having never published a book before, I thought, well why not. Let's give it a go. And yeah, that was maybe just under a year ago, that kind of was published and it was published last October by Apress. So yeah, been an interesting insight into how actual publishing works as opposed to self-publishing.

[00:10:06] Justin: Was that like a bucket list, checkmark? Write a book and get it published.

[00:10:12] Les: Well, I think it is for a lot of people. What do you guys think? Is it something that you would consider?

[00:10:17] Justin: Oh yeah.

[00:10:17] Richard: Definitely.

[00:10:18] Justin: Probably not API, API tutorial, but definitely writing a book. Yeah. High up there.

[00:10:23] Les: Yeah. I suppose it was a bucket list item and that's actually why I agreed to do it because there was a lot of work involved in the editorial process. When you self-publish, you're basically just you. I mean, it was just me really. I didn't really involve anybody else. And I actually did the editing myself, which is probably the worst. Like a developer testing their own code. It's a big no, no. But I didn't really want to involve anybody else, to be honest with you. When you go with a publisher though, there's a technical reviewer, which is obviously awesome. There was the editorial staff who actually edit, review your English, and use of grammar. So as a Scottish person, my English sometimes isn't that wonderful and people sometimes say, "Is English my first language?" But yes. So they picked up a lot of grammatical errors. Let's put it that way. And then yeah, the actual publishing itself typesetting, all that kind of stuff is very interesting, but very lengthy when compared to self-publishing. So I'm not sure that's something I would do again, to be honest with you.

And that's something I would say to you guys, if you have a means to market to an audience and I had my YouTube channel, then I would very strongly consider self-publishing. You have much more control and yeah, you get to keep most of the revenue. Whereas the publisher, I won't mention numbers, they basically keep the vast majority of any money that the book makes and you get what's left, which isn't a lot. And considering all the work that you have to put in to get it to that point. I mean, you have to invest a lot as well. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of work that goes into it. But I wouldn't probably do it again. I would write a book again, maybe, but I wouldn't actually publish a book again, but I'm glad I did. And if I had to make the same decision again, I would make the same decision again. It wouldn't be something I wouldn't do. But yeah, I probably wouldn't do it again. I'll self-publish them.

[00:12:08] Justin: Good to know. So I found you through YouTube and you were doing an Envoy tutorial and I just thought it was very fascinating. And supposedly it's like one of your top videos and what got you to say, you know what? I'm going to do some Cloud data content.

[00:12:26] Les: So I'm really interested in microservices generally. And my microservices, generally kind of started back at my last company, which was another large telecoms company in Australia, the big one, the big incumbent here. So they were going through a bit of a transformational phase and they had a lot of big monoliths hanging around and they kind of decided number one to kind of approach software development from an agile delivery perspective. And then they also decided to go down this microservices route, which I thought was really interesting. And those two things, as I'm sure you kind of have crossed, are very intertwined with each other in speed of delivery, all that kind of stuff. So that's kind of what got me started into microservices.

But again, as I said, I wasn't actually working in a very technical capacity in that organization. I was actually a team manager of some business analysts. So I was very far removed from the technology, but I was very interested in it. Anyway, so that's why I kind of started a YouTube channel, so I could keep my hand in this technology and actually learn about it myself. So just to be kind of clear, I've not actually implemented microservices in a production environment myself. I haven't ever done that. I only have ever kind of read about them, learned about them. Yes, developed with them, but in a more kind of sandbox-type environment. So that's one of the reasons for the YouTube channel to help me learn as well as teach other people.

So Envoy, yeah, it was something I kind of jumped on really through looking at Microsoft, has this microservices reference architecture that they use. I think it's called eShopOnContainers. And I was looking at that and I was trying to actually reverse engineer that. And I was looking at the different patterns that they had adopted there. And one of the things they had that was very clear in that architecture was this concept of an API gateway. And I think they originally used something called ocelots, which I have never used and nobody even looks at, but they then pivoted to Envoy. And I thought this looks like a really interesting platform. So that's really where the idea for the video came from. Because to be honest with you, I found it quite a difficult thing to work with. The conflicting file that you have to work with is really quite, I found it quite monstrous. The documentation is okay, but there was a lot of trial and error and a lot of digging around on Stack Overflow to get what I wanted working, which was a relatively simple API gateway that routed to two different API endpoints.

[00:14:58] Justin: I think you bring up a good point. I hear this a lot, especially from senior engineers, that Cloud Native architectures are very difficult to manage. On our previous podcast, we had with Richard Li from Ambassador Labs said upgrading Istio to 1.9 in production is like the worst thing. It's hell. And I think it's great that even someone who has accomplished what you have accomplished can also go, "Hey, you know what? I'm a smart guy, but this is really difficult." And I think that's one thing that the Cloud Native community is just going to have to keep working on and making it simpler, even though not everyone needs microservices. You haven't run microservices because you don't work at a company that really needs that, right? So it's a startup.

[00:15:47] Richard: Looking at your YouTube titles and looking at what you've written about .NET, ASPNet, and knowing that you work with clients directly on various different things, but you're mostly a Ruby shop. How do you figure out what you're going to focus on next as far as the next YouTube video you're going to record? You said you know you don't have to do microservices at scale and production. So how do you decide, now here's the thing I want to record?

[00:16:12] Justin: Yeah. What's your creative process and why were you interested in using Envoy, to begin with, to make microservices? You say you're really interested in them. What's there to be interested in?

[00:16:22] Les: I think it's distributed computing generally is something that I think is an interesting concept. And I think it definitely has its place. I mean, one of the things I would just go back to is for the whole microservices versus monolith. And I wouldn't even say, which is best because I don't think there's an answer to that, as not really. So I think you look at what problems you have and then you adapt and you go with a particular solution, which is often a hybrid. So I mean at the moment where we are predominantly a monolith but we're probably looking at adopting, should I say. I'll even call it microservices, but kind of devolved or decoupled services to some extent and using those where they make sense.

But going back to, why do I find microservices interesting? I think because you kind of mentioned possibly too hard. So it's a bit of a problem that's really not an easy thing to implement. And I totally understand why people maintain monoliths for such a long time, because going to a microservices, architecture is very difficult. And so I think that just appeals to me to try and pick it apart. And I think I did mention that again, I've looked at some reference architectures, and often what I like to do is pick them apart and kind of reverse engineer them to see if I can get them to work because often I can't get them to walk out the box or it may be they give you everything you need, you try and run them up and there's just this whole morass of errors. And so I think, yeah, it's just a puzzle or problem that I think I want to solve really. And that's why I find challenging and interesting about them. And then what I would then do, is just focus on a particular part of that architecture.

So the API gateway, for example, was one small part of that architecture. And what I was actually thinking and doing was I wanted to develop a course on microservices. So I started to think, okay, how would I structure this course? How would you even go about teaching something like that? And the way I kind of came up with was, okay, let's break this down and focus on individual components that you would teach the audience about that made sense both technically and from a kind of a business perspective, why do you need it to exist. And so, yeah, I picked API gateway. I picked Envoy. But Envoy seems to be something that is used quite widely. It's got quite a vibrant community around it. So I thought that's probably kind of a relatively safe bet to start focusing some video content around. I mean, that's what you want to do as well.

One of the things I think in the spaces, there are so many things that come out all the time and you might put your money, you might back your horse on one particular technology and then a few months later it's gone, it's irrelevant. And as a content creator, so you want to make sure you're creating content, that's got some longevity to it. So that's why I picked Envoy. Number one, I think it's going to be around for a while. It's got a vibrant community around it. And yeah, it seems to do the job well in terms of what an API gateway needs to do. So that's why I picked that. And then going back to this concept of developing a course so that I would then look at the different components may be that you would need to employ in our microservices and their architecture, such as the messaging between internal services. Do you go with GRPC? Do you use HTTP? Do you use a message bus? And focusing on those types of things, you know.

[00:19:37] Tzury: So Les, looking at your YouTube channel, I see a bunch of, if not, most of the videos around .NET, different versions, different topics, and so on. So my question is someone who needs, I will say the opposite. I went the opposite way, meaning I started with Microsoft technology back in the day, but I left .NET when it was back in 2.1 or 2.2, I believe. I was introduced to Python and Ubuntu started becoming popular. And I never looked back. I did some time look aside and seeing that Microsoft has changed tremendously. And if you would like, I would love to spend some time talking about the evolution of Microsoft in the last few years. Under Satya Nadella, I believe the revolution in the company and transformation the company had gone through. But to you, the first question would be, were you always around the Microsoft tech stock? Was it always your focus?

[00:20:34] Les: Yeah, that's a really good question. So going back to my university days that just a total smorgasbord of technologies. In fact, that's when Java actually the first kind of emerged when I was actually still at uni. So that obviously has gone. So that was something I learned about really on the boats of old school C languages that I've never even seen again. Ifil, I think was what we learned object-oriented programming with. Anyway, when I actually left an academic environment and moved into a commercial environment, the company I worked for at the time, British Telecom, the team I worked in, we sold, I suppose you'd call it a telephone switching equipment to other large corporations. And the role of the team was to integrate those switches into things like an agent's desktops or when the phone rang this agent's desktop would spring to life. Now, the reason I'm mentioning all that is the equipment that you sold it predominantly from a company called Nortel, Nortel Networks, a big Canadian telecoms company that no longer exists, unfortunately. But we worked a lot with their switching equipment and their, I suppose application gateway that allows us to integrate into that gateway, we were on a Microsoft-based API.

So it started off as something called Tapi which was a, yeah, went actually to a 32 DLL type API. And then they eventually pivoted to the Microsoft.net framework and that's the API application gateway that they provided vendors like ourselves to integrate into. So we were kind of forced in that case to use a Microsoft language. I mean, you could have run that with using similar language, but you would have made life very difficult for yourself. So yeah, that's kind of why I was introduced to this Microsoft development ecosystem. Like a lot of people, I started with Visual Basic 6, which doesn't even exist anymore.

[00:22:27] Tzury: I love Visual Basic 6. It was a great language. I was young and I used to build tremendous applications with it in days, literally.

[00:22:34] Les: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it had a lot of detractors, but you could do a lot with it and it was very nice to use. Then you had moved to the .NET framework and you really had two languages really to pick from C-sharp, Visual Basic, Sharp, GP Sharp. And I think also something called F-sharp, which is still around, although I never looked at that. So yeah, we went with C-Sharp as the language. Actually, I got to pick what language we went with and I chose C-sharp and it just stuck with me, to be honest with you. I liked the language. The .NET framework, the originals sort of framework, is very bloated though. And when I moved to Australia, I kind of left software development behind and kind of went on my merry way. And what actually got me back into development, one of the things that got me back into it was when Microsoft brought out .NET Core, which is this kind of open source as a sort of secondary branch, and everything's based on the .NET standard. But, you know, they had these two frameworks. The original monolithic legacy windows based .NET framework, and then this open source cross-platform version of .NET, which is really what got me interested in it again. And yeah, since then I've been using it and working with. It feels a lot lighter, a lot less bloated. It's multi-platform and I'm running on a Mac at the moment and it works great. Yeah.

So I think there have been a lot of changes at Microsoft and I think, for the most part, very positive. They've kind of opened up a lot and they've gone down a lot of open source-type routes, which is nice to see. They've gone cross-platform that feels less, that they're kind of basing the whole entire shop on Windows and Office. Although I mean, they're obviously still very big products for them, but yeah, it feels a lot more open.

[00:24:18] Tzury: Yeah. I would say one of the great signs about Microsoft's transformation is the fact that they actually own GitHub. They go a long way with tremendous effort, not to mention it and not to show it off, meaning they want to keep things to the community. And really I was immersed in today's culture of open source and they seem to be doing all the right choices over time. One of the things that I've noticed in the last six to eight months is Microsoft I would say secret, but not so publicly known extreme support for the development of the language for us if you know about it. So people don't know that Microsoft actually pours tons of dollars into promoting and pushing this language, which is a really good sign. They believe in their language and they actually going the full way, which is resourced culture.

[00:25:13] Les: I wasn't aware of that, that they were involved in the Rust project and that's interesting. And yet to a point on Github, I remember when it was announced that they bought it. There was quite a large vocal outpouring of anxiety from the developer community that Microsoft has bought Github and they're going to rebadge it and tie it in with Office. And that just hasn't happened, has it? So yes, it's good to see.

[00:25:34] Justin: They're not going to screw it up. I'm glad that Microsoft bought Github rather than someone else. And if you told me, I would say that 10 years ago, I would have said, you're crazy. But you know, the way they've come around as Tzury just brought up is just the transformation has been unreal.

[00:25:54] Tzury: So Les, if we can stay on this for a moment, what would be your next book about, and don't tell me you never thought about it.

[00:26:01] Les: So the next book I actually had kind of off the line was actually microservices. I wanted to do a tutorial book, step by step tutorial book on microservices. But to be honest with you, I mean, to slightly take a step back, I left my previous role in March last year, so almost a year ago, last year. And I took six months out just to focus on YouTube, just to focus on books and all that kind of stuff. So I spent quite a lot of time on this microservices tutorial project/book project. And it's hard. It was really hard and I still haven't fully figured that out. So in answer to your question, I've kind of postponed it. I've not canceled though. I postponed the microservices book because it's going to be pretty hard to write something like that. And instead, I've decided to go with maybe a book, again I like kind of the tutorial format, as you can probably tell. And I've thought about doing like a beginner's guide to like a full stack developer probably within the Microsoft space predominantly, but obviously bringing in things like Docker and possibly things that Envoy, if that makes sense. So yes, I think my next book is going to be for an aspiring full stack developer and taking them all the way through everything you need to know, including things like, yeah, a professional gate, workflow, pool requests, code review, all that kind of stuff, writing requirements, even.

So I'm still kind of scoping the book out just to define the parameters of it because many developers might not be where they are interested in requirement rating. But I think it does form part of a developer's role sometimes. So yeah, that's probably what I'm going to focus on. The main problem I'm going to have now though is what do I use as the front end kind of component? And I have been looking at Blazor recently, Web Assembly, which is really interesting. But I'm not sure that's a very marketable technology and it might have to lay on something like React to stand in for the kind of front-end component. That's my thought at the moment.

[00:27:55] Tzury: This full stack book sounds like a great idea. You've got to do it. Telling you.

[00:27:58] Les: Cool.

[00:27:59] Justin: We got our sign up to Reblaze Publications. We have a new venture coming out and we're assigning you to an eight book deal.

[00:28:06] Les: Oh, wow. That sounds really good, man. Yeah. Okay. All I have to do now is write the book.

[00:28:11] Justin: And you have until next month, no pressure.

[00:28:16] Les: Oh that's okay then. That's fine. Yeah. No problem. Next month. Absolutely no issue at all.

[00:28:24] Justin: Yeah, yeah.

[00:28:25] Richard: So one of the things that I'm wondering, you're someone who uses YouTube as a way of teaching people how to code, and this is increasingly happening and you're like Kent C Dodds out there, he makes great stuff on how to use React. And it's interesting to me because you have this interesting role in the ecosystem where open source projects, mostly live on GitHub at the moment, and you can go and you can write documentation for those projects. You can write PR, sort of add code. You can talk about them on Twitter. But you're kind of just a one-level removed, right? You look at the project as a whole and say, here's something I could do with it. Here's something I could do with it. And so it's contributing back by allowing other people to learn about the open-source stuff, to learn about the open-source projects and your work couldn't exist without open source. It's because it's open-source that you're allowed to go in and learn all these cool technologies and figure out, okay, how would I retell this story? And you said earlier, I'm glad that they do open source things and so you're obviously very interested in it. And I'm just wondering if you could speak more on how you feel that open source has influenced your time as a YouTube code reviewer, a code maker. What do you think?

[00:29:32] Les: You're absolutely correct. So I mean to kind of look at the flip side of the coin. I've worked for quite large companies that have been locked into these proprietary vendor technologies. I won't mention any names because I don't want to get litigated against but completely closed off. So even if you just, if you want to learn about this particular platform X, for example, you have to buy into this company's entire document library. They would not release it. In fact, really scarily again, I've got this particular company in mind, you couldn't, if you Googled their documentation or anything about their platform, you couldn't get, I don't know how they managed to keep their stuff so under wraps. It was unbelievable. You had to buy into the, yeah, they had to buy into their developer program and that obviously costs money. And so coming back to your point, yeah, open-source has completely changed things. And when I make videos, one of the things I do is this is the list of things that if you want to follow along with, these are the things you'll need. So you'll need a code editor. You can pick anyone you like, but you know, I choose Visual Studio Code. It's free. You'll need to use this...

[00:30:37] Justin: It's the best.

[00:30:40] Les: Yeah. You'll need to use this development framework. It's free. You'll need to use Docker. It's free. And basically, it's amazing, you can do this incredible stuff and it's for the [inaudible00:30:51] of community-based developers, all free, open. It's incredible. And you're absolutely right. Going back 20 years, everything was kind of locked down. You had to pay for absolutely everything and the quality wasn't even sometimes that particularly good. But you had these companies that were just locked into technology. They had to use it. To move away from it was just more effort than it was worth and you had these horrible lock-ins. Open source has changed all that. And I even remember when this idea of open source kind of first emerged, that all these large companies are going, "Oh this is such a terrible idea." For obvious reasons, they would say that it's going to be open to security vulnerabilities and it's not going to be as good as we can do it because we put so much money into it. And it was all about the money, obviously. So completely proven to be totally wrong. And even the organizations at Microsoft have pivoted to open source to a larger or greater extent.

And yeah, I couldn't do what I do on my channel. I couldn't teach about things. I couldn't learn about things. Going back to the kind of model we had 20 years ago because you had to pay for everything and people are just going to walk away from that or they can't afford it. Whereas now, yeah, it's completely open. The only thing I would call out and I was maybe going to talk about this was Cloud. And one of the things I found in making videos, whenever I do anything on Cloud, I usually use Azure that's kind of my field house. I find they don't tend to do as well and I wondered why do these videos not do quite as well as some of the other stuff? And the only thing I could come up with was that you need to provide a credit card to sign up. That's the only thing I can think of. Now, where they may not charge your credit card and you have these free offerings. I think they bait you all off of free starter so. I think you still need to provide this credit card to kind of sign up for it. And I think that's the only thing I can think of that puts people off playing with Cloud a bit more. Yeah, which is an interesting thing. I thought I'd throw that out there. I don't know what you guys think about that. Do you think that's a barrier to entry to adopting Cloud?

[00:32:47] Richard: I think it's a really good point. I mean, one of the main things that I've seen leveled against cloud technologies is that it is some sort of vendor lock-in, right. It's not entirely free in a sense because you're using another person's service and so they could change the service. They could change the terms. They could change the language. Then you have to update yourself or it's gone. And I think the credit card has a way of getting into that service is another barrier to entry. On the flip side, what I think that people who are pro bonos of Cloud native things, and I think that's really interesting technology. So I thought about why is it good? It's because it just gives you so much more massive power than you're able to do at home. I have a really tiny knuck over there on my desk that record stuff every night and it could only really record like a couple of things. The RAM is pathetic. I could update it maybe. But it's never going to be able to do things at scale. But if I want to do stuff at scale, having a credit card and being able to put it in is like the least of my worries. I have much bigger concerns that pretty much Cloud is going to be able to help me with. So I think as far as like an initial hump, yes. But it unlocks more.

[00:33:53] Les: I totally agree with you. I mean, I was very reticent to, I don't know why. I was very reticent to take that first step. And I was like, oh, I'm going to end up with some horrific charges here. But yeah, you take that step and you realize what you can do with it and what you have at your disposal exactly as you say. Yeah. It's super powerful. And it's just getting people over that initial hump I think is exactly the point.

[00:34:16] Justin: My only thought on that is depending on the demographics of who watches your videos if they're under 18, that could be a big reason why they're not doing, because they don't have access to a credit card or if they live in a country that just doesn't have that luxury. So that's my only thing. But I think Richard hit it on the head.

[00:34:36] Les: Yeah, you're right. I think the country demographics. I mean my largest audiences in the US so I don't think it's really an issue for the majority of people in the US. The next largest audience is in India. So I'm not sure of the credit card situation in India, but maybe it's not as prevalent over there. I'm going to imagine, no. I'm happy to be corrected on that. And even in countries like the UK, credit cards are definitely not as, talking about credit cards. But yeah, credit cards are definitely not as prevalent as they are in the US. I'm going to stop talking about credit cards now.

[00:35:08] Tzury: I would love to talk about credit cards in terms of you're working developer advocate in that e-commerce company and security, I would say is probably a top concern. I would love to hear about what efforts are you taking as developer advocates, making sure code people are writing and using on your platform is secure. Do you guys provide guidelines, tutorials, some tools for testing? Any plans regarding this? Yeah.

[00:35:34] Les: Yeah. I mean, I probably can't talk too much about it, but we've recently gone through, we want to go for, and I can't remember the certification, but there's an internet ISO security certification. So we've been going through that process.

[00:35:48] Tzury: 27001, is it?

[00:35:48] Les: I think that's probably it. Not actually fully across it, but yeah, we've been going for that. So I've been involved in that to some extent. So that's as we are coming out of the startup phase and we want to kind of grow, bring on bigger clients, yeah, you need this kind of stuff. So we've gone through all that. Thankfully, we've kind of passed, which is good. And I think we're just going through the kind of final stages of that. But to a point, yeah. I mean, part of my role is to help people using an API to understand what they can and cannot do with or without credentials, for example. So we do explore some stuff that's publicly available, such as product listings. There's no reason why we wouldn't allow that to be consumed from the API without really the need to authenticate. But then when you start talking about yes, all those card management, all that kind of stuff, that has to be absolutely 100% secured and tied down. So yeah, part of my role is to help the developers understand what they need to do in order to transact securely. Yeah, absolutely. It's a huge area. And if it goes wrong, well, don't need to tell anybody on this session that yeah, it can be massively damaging to any company's reputation. It can end companies, to be honest with you.

[00:36:56] Tzury: Richard, to your point, we're in a Committing to Cloud Native Podcast and Cloud Native the whole idea of Cloud Native is making sure there is a technology, portable technology which you can take to any vendor and move around with freedom. So a vendor may be lucky with other technology, but not with Cloud Native and Committing to Cloud Native is the way to go.

[00:37:19] Richard: I agree. Awesome. Les, it is around time to wrap up this episode. So before we do so I want to make sure people know where to find you online just a last time because you said at the very beginning that you're not a marketer and it's been very clear to me this entire conversation, nothing about marketing. That's not true. You're obviously very brilliant at marketing.

[00:37:40] Les: Yeah.

[00:37:42] Richard: Where do people find you online?

[00:37:44] Tzury: Dozens of thousands of YouTube subscribers.

[00:37:47] Justin: [Inaudible00:37:47] before we wrap up, I just got to bring this up. Here, this is how great his videos are. He has a video that has 890 up votes and not one down vote. Has anyone ever seen that? Like that's...

[00:38:03] Richard: There you go.

[00:38:02] Justin: Yeah. I just had to bring that up.

[00:38:03] Les: I've probably just jinxed that now because I do check. I think I know the video you're talking about. I did check. Then I go, how is that possible?

[00:38:15] Justin: Right. Okay. So you were thinking it too.

[00:38:15] Les: Somebody now, is going to go, "I'm going to down vote that now." But hopefully, they don't.

[00:38:19] Justin: No, no. Our listeners are awesome. They're mature. And they would never do something like that.

[00:38:25] Les: That's good.

[00:38:25] Justin: If they do, they can no longer, listen.

[00:38:26] Les: Okay. Yeah. I'm just joking. So you can find me, look, yeah, just Google my name. I mean, that sounds a bit pompous, but yeah, that will bring up the YouTube channel. So Les Jackson. From the YouTube channel, that's kind of my central hub but you can kind of find me on Twitter and my blog and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, YouTube's my central kind of launching off points.

[00:38:49] Richard: Les that's L E S.

[00:38:52] Les: Jackson, yes.

[00:38:52] Richard: Twitter is Binary Thistle as we said earlier. Les, this was excellent. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for waking up early. I believe it's 6:50 in the morning where you are, so I'm super pressed.

[00:39:04] Justin: Yeah. Thanks, man.

[00:39:05] Les: It's my pleasure. I've really enjoyed the talk and yeah any time. It was really good. It was really enjoyable. And so thank you for the opportunity to talk to you guys. It was great.

[00:39:13] Richard: Updates this week from Reblaze. Well, we're actually really excited about this one. We get to tell you to go listen to another podcast. I know we shouldn't be doing that, but why not? Cross-linking is the best. So Kubelist.com/podcast. That's K U B E. Obviously from Kubernetes has interviewed Justin and Tzury Bar Yochay. So if you liked hearing them talk about really cool stuff at Reblaze, go listen to kubelist.com/podcast. Otherwise check in next week for another fantastic Committing to Cloud Native experience. Thank you all.