Episode #2 - The ups and downs of remote working, GitLab, and running a successful meetup

Remote working and running meet ups with guest, Sam Beckham

In this Episode

In this episode we’re joined by Sam Beckham, a Senior Front End Developer at GitLab. As a fellow all remote worker, Sam shares his experiences of life without an office, the good parts and the bad, as well as tips for those new to remote working.

He also introduces us to his popular monthly meetup, Front End NE, and offers his thoughts on starting and growing a regular meetup, attending them as a developer, and what you can get out of them.

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There are a couple of mentions of a few names and resources in this episode that we’ve linked to here, check them out:

You can find out more about me, Rob Kendal, on my personal website, or follow me on Twitter.


Part 1

Rob 0:00 Thanks for joining me, Sam. Great to have you on the show. Certainly as a fellow remote worker and fellow front end dev, how’s it going?

Sam 0:07 I’m good, I’m good. I can’t complain. I’ve got a bit of a sore throat so apologies if that comes across on the recording but I’m pumped full of Terosets and Lemsip so I should be good

Rob 0:17 Yeah that’s maybe my approach to cold just kind of just power through the Lemsips until it goes away. I mean, to be honest, with the stuff that’s out there with coronavirus and stuff a bit of a sore throat I will take that just power through it will be fine. Yeah, so front end development at GitLab, How long have you been a front end developer and how did you get into it? was it was it kind of a straight shot or fairly kind of meandering around about

Sam 0:38 To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s had a straight shot of being a front end developer given like, maybe some of the younger ones. But given when we were at school, that wasn’t even a job that anyone could have. I did what everyone did at my age got into front end development by editing MySpace profiles and then slowly realising that you could kind of do this a job if you got the right clients right

Rob 1:03 So i similar I used to do that when back in the 90s when the internet was wasn’t really a thing and then it kind of suddenly was it was like all over MySpace and everyone was like what’s this Facebook rubbish and you just chopping up hacking about stuff that at the time didn’t know CSS for it made it made red lines on the page. MySpace CSS blast from the past, love it. Anyone is listening to this MySpace is some abomination of a music site now but it used to be but all the cool kids had your own profile where you can put stickers on and make thousands of friends that you never met you know like Facebook, but cool. But I asked that because I I’m like, people ask me how I got into it and it was very linear, like I mentioned on my first episode was like, well, I used to do computers and then I just started like building them and then I started developing that really so I kind of build them and told them what to do. And that’s like literally very sort of linear progression for me, where everyone else seems to be like our I used to be a welder and then suddenly I got in the sort of BASIC and now make video games and it’s like these really meandering kind of stories. So, so yeah, how’d you get into it?

Sam 2:06 When I was at college, I was doing some chemistry and maths. The other one was, but like really academic things. And my, my chemistry teacher sat me down one day and was like Sam like, What? What do you want to be when you’re older? What I want to be a forensic scientist, she’s like, a bit of a problem with that Sam, you’re not very good at chemistry.

What do you enjoy doing? So like, well, I like messing about with computers and things and making things look good. She was like, we’ll do that and that’s a job. You can do that as a job. So it was like it was a pretty harsh way of putting it but it was a you know, that was the eye opener I needed and then I went on to university to do multimedia design at Northumbria. So we were doing internet radio shows which was podcasts before they were called podcasts. And we did lots of flash things like flash, the technology, daft websites and 3D rendering and all sorts of things, and finally picked the area of all of that stuff that I actually liked and ended up going down front end development route and never really looked back.

Rob 3:12 I like it. I like that. It’s just a brutal honest assessment from a teacher like, Hey, you know, going to chemistry.

Sam 3:19 I’m glad she said it, though. Because I would be a miserable terrible scientist in another life if she’d never said that.

Rob 3:27 And just think how much fun you wouldn’t be having with all these different browsers that we have and testing our layouts and different technologies and things. You know, you just have to put one solution in a beaker and that’s it. No, no sort of testing for multiple beakers.

So you’ve been at GitLab for about two years ish?

Sam 3:45 I think be two years in May. So whatever that works out in months. I’m terrible with maths as I am a chemistry. So a year and a half, let’s say

Rob 3:55 Yeah, as a senior front end developer no less, which is quite impressive. How did you get into the role with GitLab? As I think GitLab’s one of those quite big companies that has these, this great looking culture and i think it’s it’s one of those almost feels like an iconic kind of place that people want to work want to be drawn to how did you get there get the role there?

Sam 4:15 So, so I used to work at Bytemark, you worked there yourself just after I left actually, I was I was basically sitting at work and you know, we all have bad days at work. It’s no reflection on the company, you you work at, but you want to work somewhere else. We were using GitLab every day, and it was an incredible tool. And I just sort of went on the jobs thing at the bottom and did a like a moon shot. I was like, I’m just going to apply see what happens if I don’t get it, I’ve still got a good job, it’s fine. To cut a long story really short, I ended up getting it. I still feel every day. It’s not real. Like that imposter syndrome creeps in there like they’ve made a mistake, but I’m here and I think I’m doing well so

Rob 4:58 Well enough to be promoted to senior so that’s really good

Sam 5:01 This is true, I’m doing something right I guess

Rob 5:04 And yeah it is, it’s a great tool I mean my my entire five weeks enjoyment that I spent at the hands of Bytemark that yeah we use GitLab and that was quite I never used it before I do similar things, BitBucket and GitHub and things but not this kind of all in one code management, code versioning and kind of project management, communication collab sort of tool you know, it’s one of these it seems to do it all but not in a kind of not a bad way where things are will do that because we can it really kind of, I think gives it a full end to end there’s no this isn’t an advert for GitLab . I should we just it’s one of those Sam obviously works for them, he’s gonna probably promote them and I just really like things I like and yeah, it was really quite quite fun to use. What’s it like working for such a large company it’s kind of spread out about the globe? Is it, am I right in thinking, I think that pretty much the entire company’s kind of remote first kind of approach.

Sam 5:53 The official term for it is all remote remote first would more imply like they have a central office. So that would be remote-first, we’re all remote in the sense of the CEOs remote, we don’t have an office, there’s no GitLab headquarters or anything. There’s just everybody working totally remotely from wherever they want in the world. at whatever time it is, it’s a shift. It’s weird to get used to. But for me, it’s it’s the best way I’ve ever worked. And I’ve done all sorts of different flavours of remote, I would say,

Rob 6:24 You know, I’ve been fully remote for for pretty much like a year, I think, a year, next month. But I find it interesting that companies especially it seems to be more in the UK, like the US and other countries seem to be very much like yeah, work wherever you want, it’s great, where the UK still seems to be holding on to this dear love of the actual office. And I think there’s this incredible fear that companies have where if they let people out of their sight, they’ll just be like, well, no one’s looking PlayStation and nothing will sort of get done. And I know that remote stuff isn’t, you know, for everyone, some people do you like that kind of, you know, human contact. I think a lot of developers you know, maybe shy away from other people as as much, so it’s probably quite good. I mean, if nothing else in a practical point of view, you need periods of concentration, I think and sometimes having a space on your own that is a little bit more disconnected can give you that. Do you find that remote kind of thing works really well for you?

Sam 7:15 So I often say almost jokingly, the biggest downside to work in remote is that if ever I had to get a quote unquote real job again, I would really struggle the benefits that you get from being remote. They just, they’re incredible. It is not for everyone, it can be quite lonely. And and some people do struggle with that being able to focus on what what you need to focus on without any distractions and being able to work wherever you want, whenever you want, like what suits you. It’s just it’s something you can’t get anywhere else. I would love it if everybody worked like this.

Rob 7:49 For me personally, I’m seeing the massive benefits now because where we are for anyone anyone who kind of doesn’t really know the UK that well like me, I put all my eggs into the technology basket left geography at the door. I work to South of York which is sort of in the middle of the country, but certainly now you know, in the Yorkshire wilderness, we kind of look out the window and it’s like there’s snow and half of where I live is kind of flooded. And it’s great to get up and think I can have a full productive day and not have to be stuck in traffic like my wife was this morning to go like 14 miles it took about an hour and 15 minutes and it’s just crazy. You know that that on the other end of the day as well. She’s got like a three hour kind of almost round trip. That’s you know, three hours that I don’t have to work addition additional to my day, and I can get lots of stuff done. Do you do any trips into, well I don’t suppose you have a have an office, if you’re all remote? Do you have any kind of meetups or in person kind of things with your team?

Sam 8:39 Yeah, so the way the way GitHub handle it is really nice. We have a big meet up every nine months ish. It’s called contribute now. Everyone from the company all gets flown out to one central location. By central I just mean it’s a location. There’s no central given we’re all over the world. So I’ve been flown out to South Africa. New Orleans is one coming up in Prague in a few weeks, actually not a couple of months it’s sooner than I thought. And that’s just everyone getting together, which in South Africa was like 200 to 300 people. Then in New Orleans, it was like 600 people, I think it’s going to be like 1300 people in Prague are like the company’s growing massive. But then on top of that, we have visiting grants. So if you want to go meet up with your teammates in Germany, or wherever, they’ll pay your travel to go do that, because it’s encouraged that you go out and you see, you know, you go see teammates, and there’s there’s little meetups all over the world that we can we can go to and just just meet people, which is really nice. And it’s optional as well. So if you don’t want to travel and you want to stay at home and you just want to talk to people over zoom or slack or whatever, that’s fine. But if you do want to go out and meet everyone, you’re encouraged to do so, and you know, they’ll cover the travel for that, which is is a really nice benefit.

Rob 10:05 Yeah, that’s that’s really that’s really quite amazing actually, they’ll pay to go and do that, especially the extra bit. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of companies that have either like a more central place where you can go out to all they’ll have some kind of a rate arranged meet up, you know, once a year or whatever it is, but to actually proactively encourage you to go and meet kind of either local or maybe not local if you want to see someone in Germany, just fellow kind of teammates, that’s really quite a nice thing because it gives you that option, I suppose, have slightly more personal kind of contact with them beyond kind of the screens of like slack or whatever you’re using, that’s really awesome. How do you manage working remotely?

Sam 10:40 It’s very, very similar to open source or for me, it’s very similar to being at university in that you get given some tasks to do at the beginning of a month or semester or whatever it is that you need. As long as you get that done and you communicate what you’re doing and what you’re working on as you’re going through. We obviously use GitLab at GitLab to make GitLab, which is awesome as well. So as long as you do that and you get get you your assigned work done or communicate why you can’t do it or whatever, then you left your own devices a little bit. It’s very autonomous kind of thing. So we’ll get assigned a lot of issues at the beginning of our milestone which corresponds to our releases. And then I’ll just work through them getting touch with who I need to get in touch with. So everything’s in issues, and then it’ll go through it will merge request people to review and get merged in and then at the end of the month, that all gets merged and shipped, and then you move straight on to the next milestone and carry on from there. That’s the general idea of how it works.

Rob 11:44 In terms of communication, it’s vital in any kind of whatever you do, how do you tackle it at GitLab with that kind of remote approach. I mean, get lab itself offers quite a lot in terms of code version on steroids. You have the outside kind of project management wrapper around it, but it doesn’t necessarily complete the circle in terms of communication. So do you have other tools that you use as well? Like how, you know, we use Microsoft Teams where I am, which is kind of Microsoft’s answer to Slack, you know, do you have any kind of additional tools that you use?

Sam 12:13 Yeah, so I mean, obviously, like I say, we use GitLab for all the async communication. So I asking for things on issues and all that sort of thing. But if you want to actually talk to someone like synchronously, which which really helps, if you want to meeting you obviously can’t host meetings on GitLab. So we have zoom, which is like a video call thing for just day to day chatting and stuff will use Slack, we have an email as well, but realistically, nobody uses email anymore. It’s just a place where all the spam goes. And we have what we call them coffee chats. So it’s like, it’s just over zoom. Again, it’s just a quick video call one on one with someone and it’s supposed to be like the kind of calls you would have while you’re making a coffee in the kitchen. So in a shared office, I mean, so you just sit down for half an hour. Uh, you put that time on someone’s calendar and you just have a chat about whatever you want. It can be about work if you want, but I always try to encourage them not to be because I want to know what people what people enjoy doing outside of work and things.

Rob 13:13 Yeah, I like that. I like the idea a lot little specific coffee chats. I think that’s something I found with remote is that you have to work that little bit, it is a cultural thing. But I think you have to work a little bit harder to kind of have the normal related relationships and interactions that you’d have like you might just stroll past someone’s desk in an office for a coffee and you’re like, Oh, hey, how you doing and then shoot the breeze about where they’ve been up to you; yeah I went to this concept of the pub last night and this funny thing happened, etc. Where you kind of don’t have that idle chitchat as much, you kind of very much getting on with it. And then you communicate with people mainly if you’ve got a problem. So I like that idea. I’m actually trying to bring it in, they introduce where I work. I just have a bit of a, you know, just a chat for the sake of chatting, because that’s probably one of the things you miss, which we’ll, we’ll talk about, you know, talk about the bad parts in a minute. Do you have, do you have quite structured day do you have like a routine, you know, how do you handle that kind of remote working day to day when you when you, you know you are left to do a lot more of an autonomous approach to work?

Sam 14:09 Yeah so this is something I really struggled with when I first went remote. So I mean, I should say this is my third remote job Bytemark where I worked before that was remote as well and I worked for remote agency called No Divide when I started. And when I was there, I really struggled with it because it was like the opposite of what most people think with remote like you find it hard to sit down and do the work but I found it hard to stop doing the work because I was just sat on my laptop and the desk at the end of my bed. And I was just working away. The next thing I know it’s like 9pm at night and I’m like what am I doing this is this is awful for me and what fixed that actually was moving in with my partner Becky so when she gets home from work, I then know right okay, that’s the end of a working day. Like I know to stop. I mean it will kind of I’ve almost put myself into a nine to five routine, you know, it helps to have that separation of work and home. Like I’m not just sat on my couch, typing away, I’ve got that that clear separation of like, realistically it’s Molly 10 and six and nine and five because I like to sleep in but you know that that’s, that’s my work in time and I sit down and get my work done. And then when I’m done, I’m done. Like I leave my laptop alone and I’m at home. At the same time, if something comes up and I need to have a two hour lunch because I need to go take care of something, I can just add an extra hour on the end of that day or skip lunch the next day or something like that, you know what I mean? Where I can, I can make up the time as and when I need.

Rob 15:44 Again, I think that highlights kind of duality where you’ve got that kind of flexibility of kind of setting your own schedule, especially if you’ve got someone like you know where I work or with GitLab that does give you that kind of freedom of like look, we’ll let you, this is the work to get to done, you know within reason however you get that done is fine. And that flexibility is one of the best parts of remote work but that is the downside I suppose is the the lack of sort of structure and kind of points in the day where I this is the start point I’ve got my brew, I’m sat at my desk done, and this is the end of it because everyone else is leaving I suppose you can you know, lose those kind of those aspects. I know before I did this I had a period where I kind of ran my own marketing business, it was almost kind of like freelancing small operation that me and my business partner that was sort of almost remote because I could kind of pick and choose what I did when I wanted and go where I wanted, do what I pleasesd with a lot more freedom so I found that put me in good stead for this kind of role as remote because you had to be that bit more disciplined because like you said if you just left your own devices you just work for like 30 hours a day [laughs] with just no stopping at the end. But it’s It’s nice having that kind of precursor of having to force myself to be that little bit more sheduled by I’m a bit more sort of the opposite. I wish I could sleep in but my kid’s up quite early. I like to kind of get up with her we have a play and sometimes I walk her to school, which is quite great. Yeah, I kind of work early and finish early, which is which works out for me. But I still do slightly more than I think I normally would. But again, even if you compare that with the commute that you would normally have, I’m still working less than I have done in an office where technically I did fewer hours than I do now. But we mentioned when I kind of broached you by the podcast, you know, having seen the good and the bad sides. But what some of the bad parts, if you like and do you have any, any recommendations for people to watch out who may be thinking of going in remote work or have just started and they’re kind of, you know, some little little caveats and gotchas and how they can like work around them?

Sam 17:38 The main bad part really was what I brought up, just then of, you know, it’s great that you you can manage your own time, but you also have to manage your own time you have to make that decision to sit down at your desk and do some work and you have to make that decision to stop working and leave it for the night and come back to it later on. That that took a lot of getting used to for me Having a separate space where you’re working really helps. I know people who have shoes that they wear to work, and then they put the slippers on when they’re at home, even though they’re still in the same house and thing, you know, it’s just that sort of getting your head around working from home, as opposed to working at, you know what I mean? Like, you do need to separate your work and your life a little bit. Like, that’s probably the biggest hard thing. And it can be quite lonely as well. I mean, I like being sat on my own most of the day, to be honest. But again, that’s not for everyone. It’s something else we say as well. We don’t say we work from home, we say we work remotely because that can be wherever you want. My old manager Lucas, he shares an office with with somebody else from GitLab , and he leaves home and he goes to an office and that’s his choice. And he does that and he gets that interaction with a co worker as well. And if I am feeling like I need some interaction or whatever, just go work from a friend’s office or go work in a coffee shop or go sit around a friend’s house well, they’re off just do a bit of work with them to talk to so you’ve got to be aware of your loneliness and not feel guilty about going out and talking to people because you do that at work normally anyway.

Rob 19:16 Yeah, that’s true. I think you’ve got to work the extra bit hard just to get through get beyond that kind of loneliness. If it’s not for you, it’s probably not for you if you’re someone who absolutely desperately, you know, enjoys the company of people a bit more closely like in an office type environment, then remote probably is going to be a bit tough I suppose. Yeah, you’ve got to work extra bit hard to fill in the gaps if you like me you would normally have in an office with other people in your immediacy and speaking of which, do you find that not having someone who can just like stick your head over a monitor and can kind of give a poke to, do you find that hampers you any? When you’ve got stuck because presumably, you know, there was there was a reasonable learning curve for you when you join something like GitLab because it’s quite a big codebase? You know, I know it’s split into teams and things but did you find that was something that hampered you a little bit to start with or do you get stuck with it now is it? You know being remote when you when you need a bit of help?

Sam 20:07 So yes, and no. You’re totally right onboarding is really tough because you can’t just tap the person next to you and say, like, what, what’s this? What do we do here, that kind of thing. But we we have a buddy system. When you start working, for GitLab , you get assigned two buddies. One generally works within your team, and one generally works with absolutely nothing to do with your team. They’re probably in a totally different department. For me being an engineer they helped me set up all of the things I needed to set up locally. They made sure a knew our merge request process and guidelines and everything. They took me through like our code guidelines, how we write Vue, that sort of thing. And if ever I had a question at any point, they were there, I will just send them a message on on slack and if needed, we would jump on a on a video call. So that was kind of like, being able to just tap them on the shoulder, but with the added benefit for them have, they could ignore that tap on the shoulder if they needed to. Like within reason, they could come back to it in five minutes or something. But you know, like, if they’re in the middle of something they can stop when they feel that they can stop. You know what I mean?

Rob 21:17 Yeah, like if you get a bit too eager and they put you on mute for a while.

Sam 21:22 And then this this the the other onboarding buddy who has nothing to do with your area of the company who will help you with things like culture of the company, or, you know, if you’re struggling with getting to grips with the remote side of things, then they’ll help you like, you know, they’ll direct you to certain channels in slack or they’ll help you set up coffee calls with people that we talked about earlier, or all that sort of stuff. While you can’t tap someone on the shoulder, you can still send a message in slack. And we generally say you got something to ask put it in a general channel rather than like a so I wouldn’t tap Mark on the shoulder and said how do you do this? I would put it in the front end channel and say, how do you do this? And then everyone on the front end team can see it and can respond and you more likely to get a response that way. So I guess it’s the office equivalent of standing up and just shouting, I’m stuck with this problem, please someone help me

Rob 22:15 Which I recommend to our office tethered brethern. And if you just want to start doing that as a trend that’ll be amazing; stick a video on Twitter just like Meerkat effect, just like you’re stuck, stand straight up and just shout it. I love it.

Sam 22:29 I would love to see that.

Rob 22:31 Oh, yeah, if anyone can do that. Please tag me on Twitter. And I will Yeah, I will pay to see that action.

Part 2

Rob 0:00 We’ve covered kind of history into into kind of front end development tech. I think the remote angles really good because it’s something that I’m getting asked a lot more about kind of how do I get remote jobs and then kind of a lot of fear about what exactly it entails. I think having that suddenly be detached from an office like what is that going to be like for me so it’s great to run through the the kind of good parts and bad parts of that. And lastly, I want to talk about I’m very interested about this Front End northeast that you that you founded and used to run which I know it’s it’s sadly stopped now and with but it was in both a monthly meetup and the yearly conference, which we talked before we started the podcast, I’m quite impressed by just the sheer level of effort involved to do that. So I’ve run a couple of events, nothing massive, but you know, it’s even something small, even just your local village things like just having whip round at a fete. It’s just the logistics of just organising one especially regularly. What made you decide to do that and how did that come about?

Sam 0:56 So I mean, I guess I should say from the beginning is is not just me that runs it, which was a massive help. There was three of us initially, and we took on some extra help as we went on it was myself, Martin Underhill and Colin Oakley. You’re right, it’s it’s a massive undertaking, and I could not run it by myself at all. When you were in it by yourself, you can’t be real, because you’ve got this event coming up, you know, like you can’t stay late at work because you got this event coming up. But when there’s three of you, one of you can drop out and say, like, Look, I can’t do this month over too much on or I’m away skiing or whatever. And then the other two can pick it up. So if you’re thinking about starting a meetup, or a conference or whatever yourself, find some friends to do it with first find some strangers to do it with first and make friends. That’s that’s been the biggest key for us that and consistency. So knowing that it was the first Thursday of every month, that helped us because we had a deadline every month like a release cycle, and it helped the people come in because they knew Every month it would be there

Rob 2:02 Outside of your own epic meetup, do you get too many itself at different ones?

Sam 2:10 I try to there’s there’s Middlesbrough front end, which if you’re local to me, I would totally recommend going to that’s run by a couple of friends of mine. There’s a few in Newcastle JavaScript northeast there’s NUX I believe that still going, but Newcastle’s like an hour’s drive away for me now so I don’t go to them as much as I used to when I lived there. Leeds JS, that’s great as well. But again, it’s a bit of a drive for me so I don’t get there very often. There’s this there’s all sorts out there. But being in in Teesside hinders me a little on the meetup front to the point where my own meetup was an hour’s drive away, right. So

Rob 2:51 Could have organised it a bit closer, I mean it’s almost like you, you started it [laughs]

Sam 2:55 Well, I was in Newcastle when I started it, and then about three months afterwards, I moved Yeah, I didn’t really want to take it with me

Rob 3:02 It was nice to see that the kind of tech scene in Newcastle I feel like it’s springing up a bit more. I mean I keep getting recruiters and the people come along and I added this opportunity in Newcastle are you interested? It’s like erm, yeah Newcastle’s is a lot further away than you think it is, you need to see where I live first but yeah it’s nice to see that it seems to be steadily increasing as this kind of Northeast tech hub bit like we’ve got Leeds down here which is kind of almost like a central London you know, it’s very kind of tech heavy in Leeds and it seems to be the Newcastle’s coming up. There’s a lot more agencies and big tech and stuff moving up there. Which is nice to see because it’s I think it’s weird you’ve got like this Yorkshire area around Leeds and Manchester and things and by extension York; York’s a bit more smaller and historic but you know, it’s got its own tech thing going on it but then it seems to be this kind of gap in the middle between there and kind of Newcastle where, you know, there’s Middlesbrough which again seems to have quite a bit of tech happening, there’s a few more, whether there’s some more money being released into it but there’s a few more tech agencies springing up. But then you hit kind of Newcastle and it’s nice to see it becoming a bit more of a kind of tech centre for the for the other north of the country.

Sam 4:09 I love Newcastle, I really do. I miss it a little bit to be honest.

Rob 4:12 It is nice I we we ended up in down in York because I was kind of wanting to live here and I had the opportunity when I was my wife finished (at the time girlfriend) when she finished university and we were kind of well what should we do? Where should we go? And we’d always wanted to live in York and I had a kind of job opportunity down here. Otherwise, I probably would have ended up in Newcastle where because my family’s are all kind of, you know, Geordies or are from Teesside. So you’d recommend conferences and meetups for other devs out there something that they should especially maybe people wanting to get into development, which is something I’d like to cover a lot more broadly in this kind of, you know, in our podcasts overall. And but yeah, people is something you’d recommend, recommend them going out to get themselves out to different meetups and things?

Sam 4:18 Absolutely, definitely. I mean the topic of the talks themselves is great. But the best thing for me for all meetups for anyone, whether you starting or you’ve been doing it for years is getting talking to the people there. And the talks themselves are generally a good icebreaker for something to talk about with everybody afterwards. So if you do go to one, take full advantage of it, don’t just go to the talk and leave go the talk and talk to people about it afterwards. I learned a lot more from from talking to people afterwards than I do from from the talk itself, generally. I mean, that’s how I met Martin and Colin was was through going to other meetups and other conferences and things and then we sat down and decided, let’s give this a go ourselves. Let’s do a front end one, which at the time that there wasn’t one in Newcastle.

Rob 5:42 It’s a shame is ended. What is the reason for that? If you don’t mind? Yeah,

Sam 5:45 Well, to be honest, we were all at very different places on our lives than we were five years ago, footloose and fancy free five years ago, I think. Martin only had one child. I was living and working in Newcastle and we’ve we’ve gone way further with this than we ever thought we would. And we hit a point where it’s like, well, do we make this bigger and make it a thing that we do as a job? Do we keep it going as it is? Or do we just draw a line under it now, and not let it get to the point where we resent doing it? Because it’s a chore, if that makes sense. It sounds awful as we still love doing it. But it’s like, it just it hit a natural point where it was, you know, it was five years, it’s our 60th events like this is a good place to, to just to just stop and leave the space open for for the younger folk who who have a bit more free time than us now.

Rob 6:40 Well, I mean, you know it is that age old toss up, do I continue by front end event or have a kid? I mean, you know? Yeah. Well, thank you very much for for coming on the show. It’s been great talking to you about everything. Do you have anything that you’d like to promote website social media, open source things abstract metal bands

Sam 7:03 So the I mean this is the point where I usually promote my meetup but that seems maybe pointless now. We do have two two events left I don’t know when this goes out but we have first Thursday March and then the first Thursday in April night will be our final event so if you can make it along to to either of them then please do so. Frontendne.co.uk you’ll find all the details on their. Use GitLab, it’s great!

Rob 7:28 GitLab, it really is! Now, you know, obviously like we said, Sam works for them. So his opinion, obviously skewed, but I’ve used it for a brief two month ish period. And yeah, it was it was great. If you’re thinking of bringing that kind of structured project management DevOps kind of it, he’s got a lot of stuff built into it. And if you’re thinking of branching out with something like that, in your organisation GitLab is definitely something to try. I when I worked with the University of York, we were thinking about moving on to that, because I think it worked out, in the end we couldn’t but because some kind of wrangle, but it was they do offer kind of educational licencing and things like that. If you’d like to find out more about Sam, you can find him on twitter at @samdbeckham. Just like just that famous footballer, no relation?

Sam 8:13 No unfortunately not.

Rob 8:14 No relation. He can hook you up with that. But yeah, @samdbeckham on Twitter, I’ll ask him for some some links and everything else if he’s got any, and we’ll stick those in the show notes. Thank you very much for coming, Sam.

Sam 8:24 Catch you later Rob, thank you.

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About The Front End

The Front End Podcast explores the in's and out's of life as a developer. Covering topics such as modern-day development, learning and professional growth, frameworks, tools, techniques, UX/UI, and careers.

Created by Rob Kendal, a UI developer from Yorkshire.