Getting into IT with Grant

Getting into IT with Grant

Real life stories and lessons of software product development. See what happens at startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies so YOU can build a successful career in IT and engineering. Grant shares first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to work across Aerospace, Fintech, Top Secret Defense Research and Development, Startups, and High Tech companies. Hear about software architecture and infrastructure, as well as the software development lifecycle and Agile product delivery. Find out what it takes to manage your career and be a successful IT leader and engineer at highly competitive, top tech companies. Read more at: If you have a question that you want answered, send it to:


March 18, 2023 72 min

James Jones is an IT leader and the founder of the QOL Group, a non-profit organization providing support for the disabled.  He is a highly motivational speaker and I was blessed to be able to record an episode with him.

In this episode, James talks about his journey of getting into IT, the importance of emotional intelligence as a manager and leader, and shares experiences from the industry that have left an impact on him both per...

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Building a web, or internet, scale application is no small feat.  Yes, anybody can get something running in the cloud quickly these days, but that doesn't make it good!  If you want to build a good internet scale application, listen and learn what it takes.

We'll discuss the three pillars of scalable applications: maintainability, reliability, and availability.  And we'll talk about SRE, DBRE, and Security in the context of scaling...

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Dustin Warner is a Lead Member of the Technical Staff (LMTS) at Salesforce.  He has been leading hugely impactful, high potential next generation software development on their platform and he was gracious enough to spend some time with me and let me ask a few questions.

In this episode we talk about his career and how he got to the position he's in.  We also discuss the ins and outs of platform development, not just on the Salesfor...

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ChatGPT is beginning to consume my news feed.  Everywhere I look I see blog posts written by AI paired with AI generated images made by DALL-E, all headlining in news articles from the mainstream media which are probably also reviewed or distributed by AI!  It's Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning everywhere we turn!

The rise of AI isn't bothering me as much as the trend of attributing *actual intelligence* to these robots...

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January 6, 2023 25 min

Okta was recently breached and some stuff was stolen by a hacker group!  Is this the end of Okta as a security provider?  You'll have to listen to find out what happened, how software exploits can work, and how to protect yourself (and your code) against them.

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There are a lot of programming languages out there, so what's the difference between them and why would I choose to use one over another?  In this episode, I review the top 5 most used programming languages of 2022.  This will help clear up when these languages should be used, what they're useful for, and why they even exist in the first place!  I will talk about:

  • Python
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • C# (C-Sharp)
  • C and C++ (C Plus Plus)
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The world is watching Twitter become a brand new company under the leadership of Elon Musk, and in this episode I dive into the details of what has been going on!  The situation is changing from day to day, so by the time you listen to this episode new information may be available, but as of 11/22/2022 this is the story.  

This episode isn't just a "current events about Twitter" episode, though.  It also takes a look at Mastodon, o...

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My condolences to Uber on their recent hack (Sept 2022), but this does provide a great opportunity to highlight poor security practices, and share steps that companies can take so they don't fall victim to the same exploits as Uber.  In this episode we'll talk about security, as if it's an onion, do a step-by-step analysis of the Uber hack, and consider just how devastating this situation could have been if a real, malicious hacker...

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When you build a software application or product, you don't just start writing code and hope for the best!  Your code runs on a platform, typically accesses a database, and displays data to a user - all of these functions should be isolated and organized into a tech stack. 

Defining your tech stack should be one of the very first things you do, even before you write your first line of code.  Let's dig into this topic, talk about th...

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If you feel stuck in your engineering career and are trying to break out into a different subdiscipline, then this episode is for you!  How exactly can you switch from being a Software Developer to being a Machine Learning Engineer?  Or from a Site Reliability Engineer to a Web Developer?  In this episode we will discuss how to make that transition, and how to best reflect on your current position to see why you want to transition ...

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You work in tech and you want to be paid more money.  Great, so what's your pitch?

Have you thought about what time of day to approach your manager?  What about setting up a new meeting or using an existing one?  How about how much money to ask for?  In this episode, I dive into these topics and more so that you can craft the perfect interaction with your manager!

Do not wander into your conversation, come up with a strategy for te...

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In this episode, we'll start by separating out Agile from DevOps, and then bringing in CI/CD pipelines.  We'll also discuss DevSecOps and some of the best practices in engineering that a developer can adopt.

We'll also give an overview of what a CI/CD pipeline looks like, what a pipeline stage is, what a pipeline's purpose is, and how it is related to DevOps.  As a bonus, I talk about tools for Static Code Analysis (SCA) and Static...

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If you write software, you are probably collaborating with other developers.  If you are collaborating, then you probably need to isolate your code and then merge it together when you're done.  So what are some of the best-practices for managing this?

My favorite is trunk-based development, but that name probably doesn't mean what you think it means!  In this episode, we dive into branching strategies and trunk-based development.  ...

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I have, unfortunately, dealt with plenty of narcissists in the workplace throughout my career.  Although these encounters are rare, they do happen, they are dangerous people, and when you confront them you need to be prepared for what you're getting into.  Narcissists are not like other people, so you must enter their world (temporarily) if you are going to come out of the engagement intact.

In this episode, we discuss narcissism, ...

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Someone wrote to me recently about working very hard and finally getting their dream job, only to discover that they hated it!  That sucks and I know many of us have been there before in our own careers.  It would be a tragedy to throw away a high paying, promising career if the reason why we hated it was something that we could control. 

In this episode, I read their message and then respond with what I think is really going on.  ...

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If you’ve ever wanted to do game dev, hear the story of how I published my first video game, Bonsai.  We’ll review the core concept of the game, the process of building it and the choices of technology, and the distribution of it on Steam.  It was fun, but wasn’t all rose colored!

Here is a link to Bonsai on Steam:

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As you write software, you are going to make mistakes.  These mistakes, or bugs and defects, have to be fixed while you continue to make your product better and build new features.  So how can you make sure you're making enough progress on your product while addressing all the of the bugs that are bound to pop up?

First, we'll begin by classifying bugs, features, and technical debt.  Then, we'll be able to talk about how much time ...

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Before we can talk about how to lead a software development team, we have to talk about leadership as a discipline.  We'll look to George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Captain David Marquet, and General Stanley McChrystal for good examples of how to organize groups of people to achieve a goal in a rapidly changing landscape.

We will then extend these examples into business and finally into information technology and engineering. ...

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September 22, 2021 28 min

Did you know that Southwest Airlines can fly internationally?  I was the technical lead on their international flights program, and in this episode I share a little bit about the behind-the-scenes technical issues associated with that new business offering. 

I dig into one problem in particular: how to modify a 20-year-old flight dispatch system to accurately identify new mission types based on an aircraft's equipment.

And, a big t...

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One of the more common questions I get is "what's the difference between software engineer and software developer?"  Well, here's the answer!  We'll discuss what engineering is first, then dive into the specifics that set apart a software engineer from a developer, and we'll even discuss how software architecture fits into the mix.  For good measure, we'll have to touch on Agile and DevOps, but we'll mostly stick to software engine...

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