45 min read

27: Paul, don’t rip my nuts off

This week on the Coffee & Code Cast we found out we had snubbed a listener and friend of Mike’s who listens via an alternative app that has it’s own comments section. We discuss that and apologize for missing those. This leas us into some funny stories that Mike recounts.
27: Paul, don’t rip my nuts off

Tesla News #1

In a follow-up from last week's episode number 26 Tesla reversed course on closing all its showrooms and will keep a few of them open. To handle the increased cost of operating those facilities they are increasing their vehicle prices across the board with the exception of one. We discuss the rollbacks in Kyle’s favorite segment.

Restructuring / Re-configuring Teams

Our primary topic for the show is the discussion of reorganizing teams. There’s a lot to cover here and we discuss the pros and the cons. We talk about all the different eyes that might be on the restructuring. When is an ideal time to execute something like this and of course why you might want to take on a task like this?

Show Notes

Full Transcript


Hey everybody and welcome to episode 27 of the Coffee Code Cast, a weekly live stream

tech podcast where we talk about neither coffee or code.

I'm Kyle Johnson.

And I'm Mike Sheehan.

Welcome to the Cast tonight.

Today on the podcast, bad news for bubbly water fanatics, most of you tech folks.

The Croy shares take a dive, but don't worry.

The tech drink of choice isn't going away anytime soon.

And it wouldn't be a coffee-code cast without some more Tesla news.

Kyle fills us in on the latest supercharger tech.

And our main topic today discusses reorganizing your tech team.

So we're going to take a look at some tried and true strategies to let you know how you

can give your groups productivity a boost and even help your company's bottom line.

If you're listening live, hit us up on our interactive Slack channel at coffee-codecast.com/live

or tweet us @coffee-codecast.

made it through that. Hey, let's get right off started with some follow up,

shall we? Let's do it. So first off, yeah, I do want to give a shout out to my good

friend, longtime family friend of mine from Omaha. We were neighbors as kids. So

like I knew her when she was in diapers and kind of funny ties into the other

story that's later on down here. But um, but yeah, like we were what were we doing

last week? I was in Arizona and you were looking around online and noticed that

there was some feedback.

- Well, we've been doing a little looking around

to see how we can market the show a little bit,

how we can get it out to a larger audience.

- Right, right, right.

- And part of that, when I was researching,

I happened to find another podcast app,

and the podcast app itself has its own reviews section

that don't necessarily get forwarded to us.

Like, we don't get to see them

unless we're members of the app.

- Yeah, so, Kristen, I get a friend at Omaha,

And sorry about that.

Sorry about the snub on Cast Box,

because Kyle sent me the comments last week,

and I looked back at the dates.

It was like from August 8th or something like that.

- From the bad shows.

I hope she's still listening.

- Well, and I've seen her a few times since then too.

I saw her at least over the holidays,

and she didn't say anything.

She was still very nice about it

and asking me how the cast was going

and what we were up to.

And so I feel very badly that you sent out some comments

and we just kind of snubbed you there.

So we'll keep better tabs on that.

But if that happens to you, just hit us up on Twitter

and slap us around and say, what the hell's going on?

Because that's really not our intention.

We're definitely looking to your feedback

and want to hear from everybody.

So sorry about that, Kristen.

But yeah, she said a few things.

Like she said something about--

I think we were talking about Amazon trunk deliveries.

This is way back in the day.

And so she had mentioned a South Park episode

that talked about--

It was the Bane episode where he had the face mask on

and the UPS man.

They beat his ass because he was like messing with their

wives, like hooking up with their wives, right?

Fucking hilarious.

So I watched that clip and she had made a comment also

just about, it was about insurance.

I think we're talking about insurance on one of the

episodes and liability and she brought up an old story

from my freshman year of college.

So yeah.

One of those moments, it was just a terrible--

so I was in school in Nebraska.

I went to Creighton.

I'm a Creighton grad and had lived in Nebraska previously,

but then we all moved to Denver as a family back in '95.

And so I was still--


Like went to college and I graduated in 2000.

So basically, we had left Omaha.

We were in Denver.

And I got a scholarship to go around across country at

Creighton University.

And I got this little Nissan Sentra stick car that I'm


No, it was before then, even.

I had some old beater car, and we're driving out, and I'm

following my parents, basically.

So they have shit loaded in the back of the car, and then

I've got stuff loaded in the back of my car.

We make it halfway.

We're in North Platte, Nebraska.

And barely it's not even North Platte.

I think we're still in Julesburg, Colorado.

We're on 76.

And the fucking car dies and don't know what's going on.

It's overheating and all this stuff.

And so we have to abandon the car in this little po-dump

town just right outside the Colorado, Nebraska

border on I-76.

And long story short, we consolidate things.

We have to go get the car later.

We're going to leave it there to get fixed.

Put whatever shit I need from my car into my parents' car.

We make it all the way to Omaha.

And when we see Paul and Teresa, that's Kristin's parents.

We were good family friends from back in the day when we lived there.

And so Paul had a pickup truck like a Ford F 250.

And I'm driving this little compact car.

So like I'm not a pickup truck guy.

I mean, you can probably imagine, like I'm not used to driving bigger vehicles.

And so he felt bad for me.

He's like, oh, fuck man, like your cars, you're, you know, you're going to college,

you know, if your car here, why don't you just borrow my truck for a few days.

And so I've got this like extended cab, like fucking F 250 that he gives me the keys to.

And it's like, okay, man, I'll take good care of it,

you know, for the week until my car's repaired

and thank you so much.

Well, fucking 30 minutes later, dude,

like I'm driving downtown, I'm on 24th Street,

like right by the McDonald's down there by campus,

and I'm on Cummings Street, I believe,

and it's like a one-way street,

and there's like three lanes, and I'm in the middle lane,

and I gotta make a left hand turn really quick,

and so I look in my mirror and I don't see anything.

So I hang a left, and there's this fucking

little compact car that's in the left lane,

that it was out of my field of view,

and I basically just cut that fucking car off,

and it drove right into the side of his truck.


And so, I call, so I'm like, this is 30 minutes after

he gives me the keys to his truck,

and I'm gonna take care of it, and it's been blessed,

you know, like everything's gonna be fine.

30 minutes later, I'm downtown,

and I fucking wreck his truck.

Pretty fucking bad, like there's a hole in the floor.

Like it's in his truck.

And I'm freaking out, and the girl that I hit's freaking out,

and the baseball, she was on the softball team

and the coach was fucking pissed off and all this stuff.

And so I just remember calling him and I said, Paul,

he's a very like my father, like a very type A personality.

Like you don't wanna piss him off, man.

Like he'll do anything for you who'll have your back.

You know, he's an incredible man,

but if you piss him off, like you don't wanna be in his path.

And so I was terrified, not about the car getting erect,

but about what he was gonna do to me

after the whole fucking thing happened.

And I just said, oh yeah.

And so I call them up on the phone and I just go,

"Hey, Paul, don't rip my nuts off, man."


But I wrecked your truck.

And I think he was a bit in shock,

like what the fuck are you talking about?

What happened?

And I explained the whole story and we laugh about it now.

We got the truck got totaled, unfortunately,

but the funny part about that,

and I'll speed it up a little bit here

is that like the next week

when I had to go pick up my car in Julesburg,

he and I went out to go pick it up in that truck.


And so the floor still had a seam in the bed of the truck

and you could see like sunlight coming up

and then there were other problems like where the battery,

we had to like replace the batteries

because the alternator was bad

and all kinds of shit happened,

but we made it back to Omaha

with a healthy compact car that I ended up selling

And he got a new truck and life went on.

I love that story too, because that's

the prototypical thing that you think of in the Midwest,


The old dude in the old rusted out truck,

and he's driving down the freeway and throws his shit

out the hole in the floorboard or whatever.

Oh, yeah.

And the thing is, yeah, he had an older pickup truck

before this one, too.

And I remember as a kid, when we were neighbors,

the window crank on the driver's side

if the handle fell off.

And so his solution was he had some vice grips.

Just left on there.

Put some vice grips on there.

So if you wanted to roll the window up or down,

you just fucking grab the vice grip, dude.


Old school farm.

I mean, the only thing he could have done better than that

is maybe just put your screwdriver on your electric--

Pretty much.

Pretty much, dude, exactly.

Little power windows improvised.

Thankfully, he didn't rip my nuts off that day.

And we still remain really good friends, good friends

with those guys.

They're like my dad's best friends.

And so we see them when we go back to Omaha.

But yeah, that was a terrifying time

because my dad was pissed, of course,

that just the fucking car,

he had a problem on the way out there,

and then the whole thing was kind of a mess.

- That's a good story, I love it.

- So yeah, so anyway, like to wrap that up,

Kristen thanks for reaching out to us,

and sorry about the snub, but if it happens again,

you just send me a text and let me know,

and we'll make sure we get you on there

and we talk about it or whatever, so.

- Moving on from getting your nuts ripped off.

- Boom, what's going on, dude?

Well, Tesla got their nuts ripped off as well.

Tesla news.

Tesla follow-up news.

I mean, I'm injecting Tesla everywhere.

Does that mean that it's not the only news we're going to hear

today about possibly?

I'm not going to say.

You have to stick around to find out.

Oh, my god.

That's a tease.

That's exciting.

I don't know if it's a tease anymore.

It might have been like eight months ago.

All right.

Well, Tesla-- uh-oh, the wife is calling.

Somebody calling you right now?

Have her call on the air, man.

Put her on the air on the Bluetooth.

FaceTime call too.

Oh boy.

Can we wire her in on the Bluetooth?

Do you hook up there?

I don't think I'm hooked to the Bluetooth.

That'd be fun.

We'll see if she calls back.


Tesla, reverse this course.

So last week we talked a little bit about them.

What were they doing?

I already forgot.

Oh, they're going to close their showrooms.


That was the big announcement.

But there was a big backlash.

That's right.

Well, even we talked about it on here.

I didn't know how well that would really go over.

People usually want to go into a showroom

see, you know, that sort of thing.

It wasn't even that buddy.

Like, I mean, that's a big part of it.

What I saw on the news after the show was the share amount left on the lease.

So to break the lease, I mean, these guys are in typically you're in like a

10 year contract when you sign for a building like that.

And so it was going to be billions of dollars.

So it was going to cost them so much money that they backed out of it is what

you're trying to say.


So they've returned or went back on their closing

of all these showrooms,

they had already closed about 10%.

So some of that 10% are gonna reopen,

but they're still under some sort of evaluation

of about 20% of the buildings.

So they're still gonna close some,

but they're gonna leave the more high-trafficked ones open

is the main part of the story.

The other thing that they also announced too

is that in an effort to keep these open,

because that was a cost-saving maneuver,

they're also going to raise the prices

of all their vehicles, 3%.

However, that excludes the base model 3

so that they can continue to leave it at that 35K price

point that they promised.


So don't really have a whole lot more to talk about there.

I'm a little surprised by this, though, if I can be honest,

because you would think that with so much money on the line,

that would have been something they considered with their legal team

before they announced this publicly?

That's the Elon way, man.

You announce it and then you go.

Yeah, you just put it on Twitter and see what happens.

The SEC is coming after him, too.

That is not Tesla news that we're going to talk about.

I know.

You like the positive stuff.

I understand.

This was kind of neutral territory for you,

so I appreciate you.

It's not all positive all the time.


No, it's good stuff, dude.

I think that kind of covers up our follow up

from last time in our show news.

So I guess we'll just skip ahead, eh?

All right.


We're jumping in a little early today,

but we're going to talk about our topic for discussion here,

which is really something that's relevant for us

personally here at the office and something I think

a lot of companies deal with over time.

But it's going to be about reorganizing a tech team

or how you structure your tech team.

And yeah, I kind of wanted to dive into this

because we were talking a few weeks ago about some ideas

you had after you came back from Denver.

You were talking to some of the Denver folks

about how we could be more collaborative

and how we could information share

and that sort of thing, right?

- Yeah, it's been a bit of an interesting

fact finding, I guess you might say.

So when I went to the Denver office,

I sat in with that team,

they have, I don't know, one, two, three,

four, five, six, maybe seven or eight people,

I think, sitting out there, maybe more than that.

- Just on their tech team, right?

- Yeah, right.

On the team directly that I was working with or sitting in with and

It was it was fascinating to watch them work because at the time and I think that's still true today

Although they are diverging. They were one cohesive unit. Yeah, all of them. It doesn't you know, whereas the team that we work on here

You know mics on a team

Currently you could even say of one if you want to do his most recent project, but before that on a team of what three?

Yeah, pretty lean teams here and that's always been the case because for a decent size tech group

But we have a lot of area to cover so we've always been spread a little thin right same goes for me

I'm on a team. I'm on one of the larger teams here. So if you count myself, I'm on a team of maybe five

There's a couple other teams of twos or threes that exist as well in the organization and

as I as I thought about it a lot I was kind of trying to figure out ways that maybe we could

could combine some of these teams and number one increase throughput was the big one because

Currently we have so few bodies on a project that the projects just drag out and take a very long time

Whereas if you might have six or seven people on it

You could complete it in theory and maybe double the time or even maybe faster if all the people are a cohesive unit that have worked together

Right. Yeah, and we saw some early success with the acquisition of the Denver office a few years ago

Like those guys coming in and being able and having previous experience helped

I mean this was a team that I think they were all pretty familiar with each other to some degree even though they weren't maybe all in the same project before

But there was already some cohesiveness there and some experience and so when it came to

Developing that new greenfield project that we needed to have done in record time

They were able to really put their heads down and focus and get shit done pretty exciting right so I guess just to kind of give a

A broad idea of what I was proposing is basically taking the, I don't know, five various teams

that we have currently now and potentially moving them into say one or, sorry, two or

three larger groups or teams and then spearheading those with each type of resource that you

may need, whether that be a PM, a manager, tech lead, whatever the case might be, just

trying to make a couple different teams.

So basically talking about restructuring or reorganizing a group, a team.

So it can apply even outside of tech, right?

It doesn't matter.

Just restructuring versus reorganization is the kind of the idea.

Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up because I think there's a really key distinction there.

So when I started researching the topic a little bit more and looking for other anecdotal things

that other teams have done.

Oh, it looks like Lex Ann joined the Slack channel there.


That's my sister.

Awesome dude, yeah.

Yeah, here's the thing, there's a big difference.

So restructuring versus what they call reconfiguring.

So restructure, reconfigure, it's both part of a reorg.

There's a lot of re's in there, but a pretty big differential.

So if you're going to restructure the team, it's really about the resources and the business

activities, like how they're grouped.

So you might say, like, for all intents and purposes here,

like, we have kind of three pillars of our business

that we excel at.

And those things would always kind of stay the same,

because that's what we're really great at.

But we might just, like, shuffle around, like, the players

and decide what group of people will be a part of a team

and how they approach those three pillars of the work

that those require.

I mean, it's not as invasive.

It still kind of shuffles up the tech team,

but you still kind of keep the business intact

in the business units.

A reconfigure is a little bit different.

This is where you're actually kind of modifying the business


And so it's like maybe rethinking about how

you retool the business.

And I know Instagram went through a really big shift

back in 2015.

And these types-- and GE as well,

these are very big changes that take years

to really see the fruits of the labor

because you're disrupting the entire organization.

You're rethinking about how you, like Microsoft,

you think like when Satya came on

and they went from the different divisions of labor

that they had then to saying like,

we're not just like the Windows team and the Office team,

like we're really gonna be like products and services

and we're gonna be cloud

and we're gonna be these other things.

And like that is a much deeper impact on the org.

So that's kind of the differential

between a restructure versus a reconfigure.

- That's pretty, I can't imagine teams

at GE or Microsoft or companies of that scale.

Billions of dollars, right?

These are massive, massive--

And employees, like the number of things

that you're shuffling.

Right, right, right.

It's even in the small example that we're using here

internally, the number of people that we're dealing with

and the different business units that are already

catching wind of this, like I can't even

imagine the scale that you're dealing with

in those types of companies.

Yeah, so I think you have to first look at what--

I mean, this is obviously coming from the very upper echelons

of the business is saying, what's missing out here?

And how could we be more efficient?

How can we impact our top line, our bottom line?

If we have gaps there, what do we want to do?

Do we want to really restructure how we represent ourselves

as an organization publicly, or do we just

want to really retool on the inside?

I think what you guys were talking about

was kind of the latter, more of retooling,

just how the tech team operates and how nimble we can be on our feet because

we're always gonna have like those divisions of labor in the company but

how we get the work done, there might be better ways to do that. Yeah I would

agree with that I think it's more of a, it's kind of a more of a work ingestion

or a point of contact with the business that would change. The amount of work or

throughput wouldn't necessarily change. There might be some impact up front

which is probably gonna be your revenue lost, right, in a larger

organization, especially that would be very pronounced. But the hope is that you come

up with either two or three highly performing teams that gel really well together, that

know each other, know how to develop applications together and stick together. So then the next,

you know, they might, there might be a period here in the next month or two months where

it's a little bit slow and impacted, that's to be expected. But as you move down the road

and now you've developed that application and now you develop the second application or whatever the product is you're developing or

Producing you should be getting better at that and the unit should become much more cohesive

Know what their role is and move forward at like a much more accelerated rate than than what you started with

absolutely, and I just want to call this out really quick like in my I

Got distracted looking at the slack channel. I kind of reversed the the two right so like the restructure is the bigger business model

the pillars change. The reconfigure is really where you just like, how do we organize resources

around the problem? And that's what we're talking about, the reconfigure. So I apologize

for that. I was looking over here and got distracted and kind of fumbled my words, but

the idea is still the same, right?

He is drinking a few Coors lights over there too.

Well, I'm going to blame it on the fact that we don't have 12 ounce cans, only 16 ounce

cans today. So I'm having a little more, I'm imbibing a little more than maybe I usually


You're lightweight these days.

I was doing some clean living, you know, I was doing some

I was in Arizona last week and laying out on the

You know laying out the spa on the pool and yeah

So I think one of the really interesting things too that I've come to to realize I guess is initially when I

Pitched this as a possible solution. It was coming from a purely tech perspective, right? I looked at it from purely like a

Quantity of work that we could produce how could we produce it better?

How could we be more organized those sorts of things internally to the to the tech team or the teams that I work with day to day and

The thing that I'm starting to see now a lot more as I interact with

Folks from the business that are outside of our department or with other layers of management or those types of things

I'm starting to see these other audiences and other perspectives of what it is that we're doing right because now

from a business perspective or a product owners point of view like

I'm pulling away their resources or at least that's the way they perceive it. Right. I'm pulling away the resources and or

Shuffling them up and rec causing people to kind of get up to speed with the work that they're trying to do

At least that's a potential pitfall

and so they're

Maybe resistant or hesitant

Immediately, right? They they're immediately like well, you're gonna you're gonna slow down my project

You're gonna stop my productivity. You're gonna kill revenue whatever the case may be which immediately is probably accurate because I mean

And we went through this a few years ago as well, where everybody kind of had a dedicated--

we were very siloed a few years ago, even more so.

I mean, we've gotten away from that, but that's how it was.

And everybody had their person kind of that you come down to and just talk to on the third

floor and say, "Hey, I need this thing done," and screw the sprint and screw the backlog

and the priorities.

Like, "This is what's important to me now, and we got a problem, we need to fix it."

And that was a big shift.

And I think we're kind of at another crossroads where this could be another big shift to if we go down this road

So the next part of it too that came up in light is again me only focusing on the tech portion of it is the PM portion

So ingestion of work

Is something that I really didn't consider correctly

Or at all for that matter it all be honest

So we've had a lot of discussions over the past week of how do you take?

Work from subject matter experts for instance, so let's use like the old

You know recess example, right? You number off in one two one two one two one two right as you go down the line

Right, so let's say you split your team up in that way in theory

Maybe you have a pretty good mix of expertise from the products or things that you support on each team

But what you're gonna run into is that you've now taken away this team of subject matter experts

So now you have them spread across multiple teams

How do you direct the work? Who gets it? Right? So now you've got a new problem that you have to solve for or does it get spread between the two?

Like there's just a number of questions that as a tech person and kind of as a, I guess, what's the word I'm looking for? I don't know.

Basically just wasn't looking far enough outside to see the whole picture and I see that there's a lot of complications but I still think the idea itself is fairly solid.

That's just a matter of how to execute it.

Well, that's kind of the crux of our problem today, too,

is that as we're growing--

I mean, we're in a phase of rapid growth.

We had the acquisition happen.

Now we're bringing on a lot of new hires.

And we've got a lot of new projects

that have been green lit.

And even though we're not siloed anymore,

well, I kind of feel like we are.

I feel like--

I definitely feel we are.

I mean, we used to be just--

the silo before was like one or two guys.

And I think now what's happening is

that you're getting bigger teams

because there's more people coming on board.

But now we're being siloed within the group by function.

So it's like, well, there's the reporting guys

and the systems guys.

And so now there's all these external dependencies

on other teams, but they're focused on their efforts,

you're focused on your efforts

and we're having this tug of war of like,

well, my shit's important.

And if I don't have this happen,

my goal's not gonna get hit.

This is kind of what happened at the company level

a few years ago.

Now it's happening within the group.

And so yeah, I think we have this real crisis

at our hands here where we only have so many people

and everybody has their own goals

and we're not really working together.

There's a tension there that we have to figure out

how to get, how to manage.

- Yeah, and I think there's a certain number of things

that you can complete as a team,

which is one of the other things

that really drove me to propose this idea.

And currently, because we have five,

I don't think that may not be correct,

but let's say we have five teams available,

It's the business's assumption that we can manage five or more projects at any given

time, which that's true, but they're going to be done at a much slower pace.

And you may not have an architect on your team.

So building the project out in a useful and forward-thinking way, where it can be very

scalable, may not be implemented in the project correctly, because you may not have that expertise

on your team.

Whereas if you had two very large teams, you would have -- the idea would be that you'd

have an architect on each team, you'd have a PM on it, you'd have everything represented.

And again, the team would be good enough to be able to gel together.

Like I said earlier, I don't want to repeat myself, but gel together and move forward

with the project in a very quick fashion.

So number one, the velocity would go up.

Or two, you would have, hopefully, the business being focused on more, we have these two projects

running currently, we want to crank these bad boys out and move on to the next, right,

instead of dividing the teams of two into their own teams of two or something like that.

So the idea also would be to get the business to be like focusing, getting their focus down

to a needle point instead of this like kind of water hose that flows down.

Yeah, and I think that's always going to be a challenge.

Like, I don't think that's ever going to go away.

I'm sure that everybody can relate to that.

That's always going to be a pressure that exists there.

I think the project management's a really critical part of that though, because I've

seen the flip side of even having a decent group of us.

You said earlier, "Oh, you're on a team of three."

Really, it's a team of five guys.

We've got three developers, three slash four developers, but he's more in a different role.

really more overseeing what's going on, like tackling some of the bigger problems.

A couple other guys working with us there too. And I think what happens is that I've seen it

go the other way where you get a lot of group think or like group discussion going on and all

of a sudden like where you had five minions working on work now you've got five people just

like sitting there looking at the wall going I'm not sure what to do next or like you know we're

kind of looking to see what's happening and what we need to work on. And so I can see the flip side

being a problem too. You have someone there that's always greasing the wheels making sure that you're

moving forward. I think and that's been an important part of the conversation is again the PM and then

we keep talking manager or tech lead whatever that may look like because there is a very large piece

of the pie there that needs to be considered and that is the influx of work and making sure the

sprints in tech terms, sprints, the amount of work that you bring into a given period

of time that you do work can be completed in that there's enough for the people to continue

working and not run out of stuff to do like you're mentioning.

So I think that's a very important piece of the puzzle.

So the next question really becomes like, okay, so now we decide we want to do this,


You get buy off from all the members.

How do you implement it?

How do you do it?

How do you go forward?

Yeah, I think that's a crucial piece.

I mean, we kind of introduced those terms earlier, like the difference between, like,

is this something that just affects our group or is it a bigger company-wide decision or

some kind of hybrid model?

And I think that's, it just depends on your situation, your size and your ability, your

willingness for, I should say, like your threshold for change, right?

So these things can be very costly.

Any kind of disruption.

We talk about it all the time, right?

We're bringing on what we have seven new guys coming on next Monday.

Which is huge.

It's going to be a high productivity day, I can tell you.

No shit.

And I think that gets lost a lot of times in translation.

Like, look, we've got these guys coming on.

Well, therefore, the business is saying, well, shit, this is awesome.

We've got seven guys.

I mean, this hiring process only lasted like a month and a half.

It was a very brief stint that we were in hiring.

And I think it gets lost a lot of times.

Like, well, great.

Now we're going to be X times more productive.

Like, now these projects can cross the lines.

Like, no, it's going to slow us down.

We're going to get slower.

And we're going to be doing a lot of hand-holding

for a few months before we can really get these guys off

on their own to know the systems, the internal,

the institutional knowledge out there.

And I'm glad you brought that up, too,

because that's another very good point to the whole team's--

the restructuring process for us.

'cause when I came on board,

granted we had a little period of growth there,

but then we immediately crashed.

Yeah, we did.

We lost a lot of heads and we stayed pretty even

for quite a while, for a year and a half,

maybe something like that,

and then the acquisition occurred

and now we've got more headcount coming on again.

But that kind of begs the question of two,

the restructuring,

because now we've almost doubled in size

as a tech department.


So it's just a matter of like re-looking at

how it is you do work and how you decide

who's on what teams and how you structure your people

and that sort of thing.

So I think this is a valid time to do that.

Whether or not we go with that plan or not,

it's still a valid exercise to make sure

that that's something that we continue to evaluate over time.

- Well, I'll just throw my opinion out there

because we've talked a little bit about this,

but I think the bottleneck right now

is the dependency chain.

Like we have so many dependencies on these projects.

I mean, like the big thing in the last few days

has been around, like all these new things going on,

all these new projects and like these,

not only new projects, but projects coming to completion,

but they have certain requirements around,

let's say, reporting.

And now, like, a reporting team is pretty nimble

and they're pretty new and they're trying

to get a lot of shit done and they have their own goals,

but everybody's flooding in at the last minute

because it wasn't something that was thought out

in the beginning, it wasn't thought out a year or two ago.

It's kind of like, well, we just assumed, of course,

naturally we have to have reporting for our applications,

right, so I need this, like I can't go live

until this is done.

And they're slammed.

And there's only a few people that

can handle all these requests.

So to that end, I think it makes sense

to have an embedded resource, in some cases,

on each of these teams so that it's like, look,

they might have their own goals and their own group,

but you've got your team that can kind of handle all these

things to move it along forward.

Because there's at least one person that's on the team that

cares about reporting.

That's their main goal and they're here to support you on that. Yeah

So I think in our case at least how to do it

I don't know that we can say exactly how it's going to go

I can't give out any kind of like this is exactly how it goes

But as far as what we're doing currently, it's a lot of discussion. So currently we have

four or five players in the in the meetings and we're discussing all the different various facets of

How this could work and who the players are and who the business stakeholders are and how they would respond to what we're doing

And just trying to make sure that we've got all the different things covered so that if we do go forward with it

Like we've covered all the bases. We know how to respond when the business comes in and says hey, what the hell

You're gonna stop production. You're gonna kill revenue yada yada yada. We have answers for all these things

And that's the point that we're at currently so we're still trying to develop all this

Develop the idea develop what it is that we want to do because it may change it may be three teams

It may be two teams. It may be one team who knows

So it's still being discussed. So we're still moving forward through that phase

And then the next go ahead it seems like distributing these things though has its benefits

And I'm going back old school like when you and I were at you know

TNMC back in Omaha then Nebraska Medical Center. Yeah, the one and only man extraordinary

What was an extraordinary serious medicine extraordinary care?

It's like it's like a Grey's Anatomy episode

But no like I remember those days too and like we were you and I were kind of the outliers

We were kind of the you know the redheaded stepchild like working in marketing because we had a pretty hefty

IT staff like a core systems group and a lot of internal guys that were there for a long time and you and I were like then

the web the webmasters the web guys that were working on the marketing team and there was

It wasn't ideal. I wouldn't want to go back to that again because I mean it was really difficult to manage those relationships

But in a similar fashion though like they didn't have time or concern or care for those things

But it was important to the organization and so having us there was absolutely critical

And I think over time we established those relationships to where like we got more trust and we got more things

It's like okay. You know what like not everything has to go through this central

Pipeline we know you guys now you're over there. We're over here

but we can still get stuff done and work together and have a good synergy and get things moving.

I think we, yeah, to that point, I think we kind of, although we continue to report to marketing,

we kind of made ourselves part of the IT team and like you said, made relationships and inroads

that made us able to be effective by getting some of the roadblocks knocked down that we needed to

do some of the basic things that we had to do in our day-to-day work that we were pretty hamstrung

So I think that was a good exercise. It was a good learning experience on how to build bridges in that way

Yeah, you know from a business standpoint a

Little different because it was cross-team. I mean like this discussions really about how you organize your team

I mean that was that was a bigger example. I mean these guys were at that point like 5,500 employees. I think and

Yeah, like just there was a lot of

Needs coming from all around the company and only a finite amount of resources to accomplish that and so that was one way that they

did it was

kind of a division of labor saying like look we're gonna have the marketing group

But they're gonna go to IT kind of dotted line kind of thing go to IT and figure out what you need and you guys are the technical people

Figure it out. So there's some examples of like how it's been done or maybe how you could do it

But then the next question is like

When when when is a good time? Oh, is there a good time? Is that is there such a thing? Hmm? Yeah

Yeah, I would say there's never a good time. It's kind of like addressing technical debt

you know, like that's always a sexy thing that we tech people really fantasize about is like that

one day that we just get like weeks to work on technical debt, but there's never a good time

because you hit the goal and there's always another goal, right? That's exactly right. And in our

scenario, the quote wizard scenario that we've been talking about that the ideal time that I've

been pitching is the wrap up of these two major projects that are going to kind of come together

supposedly at about the same time, middle of the year maybe. And I have spoken that that may be a

a pretty key time because there's going to be a fair number of our engineers that are

going to become free or maybe moving to other projects in theory, whatever the case may be.

But a good number of the resources will become free at that time.

So that would be a good time to kind of restructure, reorg, whatever you want to call it.

And then anything, those two projects would become maintenance or new features from there.

They've been effectively wholesale rebuilt.




wholesale cleanup over the last two and a half years.

And a lot of legacy applications and a lot of the

monoliths have been destroyed and new things are happening.

But the reality is that project ends, but it's just


It's just the starting point, and now you've gotten


I mean, one way that that's commonly done is that's how

you bring guys up through the ranks.

You kind of have your senior guys that know all the

institutional knowledge.

They're really there to make sure that that app is

successful or that rewrite is successful and then the junior guys kind of come up

and they get to learn the system and it's nice because they're not under the

same scrutiny that you would be as as the engineer that's been there for eight

years or whatever but you'll learn that thing and build up. That's one of the

things that we're trying to promote too I guess it should be said is we have a

lot of new faces, young faces but even the guys that have been here for a very

a long time are really interested in learning other projects, learning other things, learning

from other people, learning new technologies, whatever the case might be.

So having them in a small team kind of siloed on their own specific project and having to

work on that for months, years, in some cases, they're getting tired of it, which is understandable.

So the multi-team approach or the two team or maybe even three gives them the opportunity.

Let me crack that beer for you there, buddy.

Oh, thank you so much.

I was getting a little dry.


gives them the opportunity to work on other things

other than the thing that they have institutional

knowledge on.

- Yeah.

- They still can work on those tickets.

Those tickets will still come in to their queue

and they can pick them up if they want to,

but they can also share that knowledge now

with other team members or the other team members

can work on it directly and figure it out for themselves.

So it just distributes the learning capabilities

and makes the engineers more happy overall.

- Yeah, I think that's a critical point to touch on

that we really haven't talked a whole lot about

is just that, like, if you're doing this day in and day out,

and I've been doing this for what, 20 plus years, you as well,

and across different industries.

So we were in health care in the early stages

and did a few different things before we got here.

And I think the problems are the same.

How you solve them gets a little bit different.

But it doesn't matter if you're in manufacturing or health

care or lead arbitrage or whatever.

You're still trying to solve scalability.

You're still trying to solve.

And so I think that's the interesting part,

is that if you're a full stack developer stuck

in middle tier for three years,

like you gotta get out of there

because I've been out of CSS for three years.

I mean, it's a whole different landscape

than it was when I started.

So I think that's probably one of the more compelling

reasons why you wanna have at least a reconfigure

or at least reshuffle the teams is like,

okay, information knowledge is important

and you wanna keep that out of one guy's head all the time.

But also too, you've got this talent pool.

Like these guys know what they're doing on a lot of different levels.

And if you're just stuck in one little groove, you're going to get rusty on the other end.

And it's it's kind of monotonous.

Like you get to a point where it's like, yeah, I know the middle tier.

I've got to handle logging and I've got to handle this exception handling.

And I've got to make sure that we can, you know, ramp up.

Like it gets really old.

And so I think there's lots of benefits from keeping it fresh.

You keep your guys happy.

You're getting new people in, you're mixing up the knowledge and the collaboration piece too.

You're learning new things. So as we bring people on and they've had experience with

different technologies, like that information gets shared as well. So a big win for me.

And I think the last point that I have here, I think on this topic that is probably important one

is I don't think that anything that we've discussed here, especially in terms of our company,

was any fault of anybody. It wasn't the fault of anyone here. I think it's a natural progression

of a company as it continues to build on itself, right?

So like you have the people that you have here

that have been here a very long time,

they become domain knowledge holders in those areas

for reason because you needed the speed,

you needed them to just work the thing that you have built.

They built the whole thing, so it's logical

to have it go directly to them

and to continue to operate in that manner

for a period of time.

But at some point, you do need to share that knowledge

and distribute it out because people are gonna leave,

people are gonna find other things or retire

or whatever the case may be.

So the knowledge does need to be distributed

and how you do that, I think,

is where you start to get into these restructuring

conversations that are important

and I think they need to happen

at some kind of regular cadence,

whatever that cadence may be, that's up for debate.

- Well, I'll say this too, it's like,

I think it's good to have tough discussions

with leadership and with the rest of the group.

Nobody wants to hear that the project is three months,

gonna be three months out from the due date,

But I think there's a good reason sometimes for that.

And when you can explain what that is,

they probably still don't like it.

But I mean, I think we've had a pretty good history here

as of late of saying, look, you're not

going to like this now.

It's tough news, but this is reality.

And here's what we're going to get out of it.

And then six months down the road, boom.

I mean, nobody wanted to get off of Rackspace

when we went to the cloud.

There's nothing sexy about that.

It's not going to make us more money right away.

It's not going to give us more leads or subscribers.

But it's like, look, if we don't do it,

the cost of not doing it is going to be pretty detrimental.

So I don't like that argument because I think it's really

easy to be doom and gloom.

But I think there's a reality there

that you have to be honest to and just say, look,

these are things we need to do to adapt and grow.

And even though it means that your priorities might

be put on hold a little bit longer,

we can demonstrate value on the back end

because we're going to be that much more nimble and that much quicker on the response once

we're jelling together as a new group.

I do hope we can make a lot more of those arguments that you just discussed because we've made

lots of the arguments that you've made before that basically saying like, "Hey, if you don't

do X, the whole system's falling over," type of thing.

We've made a ton of those arguments over the past, I don't know, year and a half.

Luckily, we're starting to get away from that to where we've built away from those kinds

of very monolithic and fragile systems.

So that's very good.

But yeah, I hope we can have more of those conversations

that you were discussing and a much more collaborative team,

much more spread of knowledge.

I think it's also a factor of trust, too,

because there is a big disconnect

between the nerds in the closet, so to speak,

like doing the day to day and the guys upstairs.

And I think that's really something

we have to bridge the gap on because I think the best people

around here understand a little bit of both.

They understand we're going to go so crazy on the technical

stuff and not care about the business needs.

And on the flip side, we're not going to just be all about

top line and ignore what these guys are saying.

Like if we have a good marriage there and a good trust

relationship there, then it should be like a give and take.

It's like, well, we're going to compromise on this.

And it's going to be difficult.

But you're going to win some, we're going to win some.

And yeah, we're not going to get everything we want,

but it's going to pay off at the end of the day.

And we're doing great work right now.


So restructure, not restructure, we'll find out.

TBD, we'll continue to fill you in as we move along,

because we need to move along.

I wish we had more time to talk about it,

because I feel like I'm just getting warmed up here, man.

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

All right, let's move along, huh?


In the news today, so yeah

This is funny man like I mean this is like the tech guys

Lifeline here like Le Croy we're talking about Le Croy. Is that how it said Le Croy Le Croy look

I mean, I would joke Le Croy Le Croy Le Croy. Do we have anybody like who's your you have some family in France?

We should call them up and see what they think it's called

Is it actually French? I don't think it probably means it's like it's like those Chinese

tattoos that you get that means like dick or something like you think that it

means something really like inspirational you know live life to the

fullest it just means like dirt.

It says I'm an asshole or something.

Yeah exactly.

So I don't know.

But yeah like there was a big there was a lot going on in the news last week.

This is the last show about LaCroix sparkling water because yeah their quarterly sales took

a big nose dive and they've been on the up and up for like five years now.

I mean they've been killing it.

It's everywhere.

It's everywhere if you work in tech like this stuff is stocked in every tech department ever

I'm pretty sure that like all the major like the fang group and everybody like we're all fueled by

Lecroy, so what is it like if I don't drink it because I don't really like it

But explain what actually Lecroy is water with fucking carbonation in it flavored water with carbon. Yeah natural flavorings apparently

We'll see I mean that's kind of being debated right now or not

But yeah, it's you know, you get a little 12 ounce can of water with a little lime or Pample moose

Sorry, what did you sneeze grapefruit? Yeah exactly

There's something I was just gonna bring up but I lost it all right continue shit

So yeah, like I mean this has been kind of a staple in in the I

Think everywhere. I mean everybody loves this stuff

But like we really enjoy the shit out of it here at the office and we enjoy it in in tech man

It's like we're gonna get away from these

Sugary sodas and so we have a la Croix. It's I know what I was gonna say is it's the other thing

I think that's really endeared itself is that it's dirt cheap like you can get a 12 pack of this stuff for what two bucks

It used to be that way. It's not anymore. I mean when I see it now. It's like five or six bucks. Oh, okay

I think that's part of the problem. Maybe that's why their stock is crashing. Yeah, I think that's part of the problem

I mean that so their stock took a nose dive. There's a few things going on right now

There's there's there's competition coming in from you know the major players. So you've got your Pepsi and

Coca-Cola are coming in

I don't know if you've had

Topo Chico I have actually but only in Texas is that available up here? It is I ordered some on Amazon Prime now

Like last week. I use that for my vodka sodas. You were talking about this. You did a little taste tester

Sampling of what kind of soda water you liked and that was the one you came up with that might be a good topic for next week

Because we might have somebody who's very into

Brewing on the show next week. So that's a little deep tease

What kind of tease deep oh deep deep tease, okay?

Yeah, no, I

It it's interesting. Yeah, like that I was researching like different carbonation levels blah blah blah topochico

Lots of carbon bubbles very bubbly very good

No, like the big controversy though comes from the CEO

So I mean they they hit a big miss. There was a report that came out last like q3 q4 that talked about

What was in the water you asked if it was natural and there was some claims that it was like not as natural as they

Said it was gonna be wasn't there like rat shit in it or something. Yeah, I don't remember that

Maybe I blocked that part out.

But it was pretty bad.

He didn't say it had anything to do with...

I mean, he was very quick not to take responsibility personally.

Here's a quote he says here, quoting CEO Nick Caparella.

He goes, "Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped."

This isn't gonna be good

This guy

This guy Elon Musk. What's going on here? He doesn't know the Twitter yet. Thank God

Otherwise, they probably be out of business like I think otherwise bubbly would be dominating the fucking bubbly market

He goes brands do not see you're here

So they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies

Wow, wow, yeah, you can't say that as a CEO like you

You can't say that as anybody.

That's just bad in so many different ways.

Their brand identity has suffered, though, in the last couple quarters.

And it was because of just the contents of what was in the water.

I know for me, too, I used to, like a year ago, I was just sucking that stuff down like

it was going on a style.

And then there was some reports coming out that it wasn't natural.

And there were some things they were doing there that weren't as healthy.

And so, yeah, I shipped it away from it.

And then it was obviously like a very competitive market.

So you got Bubbly from Pepsi and you've got Topo Chico coming from Coke.

And so a lot of other guys had an opportunity to capture some market share there and they did.



So the big crux of that problem, which happened what maybe six months ago or a little longer

than that, was that the claims on their can or marketing materials were that they were

all natural, like you mentioned.

that they were, the suit came against them that they were putting in non-natural or synthetic

ingredients. So that pissed off a lot of people and got them in a little bit of trouble. Turns

out it seems that's not the case, maybe. Yeah. But yeah, definitely caught a lot of flak

for that. Yeah, that's one of those things too. It's like an easy attack on typical consumer

drinks, right? You look at the back of a can of LeCroix and you see Zeros on the nutrition

facts like all the way down like no sodium no carbohydrates no da da da da da and so

they're probably figuring hey man if we can like squeeze a little bit of that in there

too it makes our numbers look a little better and I mean what's the price of water I fucked

you can get like 13,000 gallons of water for like a couple bucks they just pump a little

carbon in there.

A little bit of flavoring a couple drops of flavor.

Couple drops I mean that can't be that expensive couple drops of flavor and all of a sudden

shit like now it's 450 a 12 pack.

That's quite a 50% increase, pretty much.

A little less, maybe?

I don't think there's a better--

I can't think of a better margin market

than sparkling water.

And I buy this shit.

I'm not trying to say that people are fools.

Like, I'm a fool, too, for buying this shit,

but I do all the time.

I mean, I don't blame you.

It's a better option than soda.

You could be drinking 120 calorie cans of soda,

just tapping back.

Yeah, exactly.

So I think, yeah, I agree.

It's been good.

But yeah, it's a concern.

I mean, this thing is a multi-billion dollar market.

And he wasn't doing exactly a whole lot of brand justice

last week.

The injustice was him get up and speaking last week.

Yeah, it sounds like much like the Tesla CEO.

They might want to shut them up publicly.

They need to get together.

They need to get these guys in a cigar room

with some scotch and just figure out how to keep it quiet,

keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves

a little bit more, yeah.

- Speaking of Tesla, buddy, I got more Tesla news.

- God damn it, I knew there was gonna be another thing there.

- Tesla's third generation supercharger is announced.

No, you can't use them anywhere, they don't exist.

- Where can I get one? - But they're announced.

- Oh, they're announced. - Well, you can't get them.

You have to drive to them and use them

at the lot that they're assigned.

It's like your gas station.

- But they closed all the lots, so where do we go now?

No, the charging stations are all available.

They didn't charge any of those, or close any of those.

Oh, okay.

Well, this is really cool.

Tesla created, this was actually announced like

hours after our last show.

They announced their third generation supercharger.

So what that means is that this charger

can charge your Tesla, any Tesla,

much, much, much faster, as much as 50% faster

than was previously available.

This is very cool because it's the same,

Well, it's not the same technology, but it's not requiring a major redo of the infrastructure.

You can just replace one with the Supercharger 3 and boom.

Huge increase in efficiency there.


And the other thing that frustrated a lot of Tesla users, so the way that this works,

if you're not familiar with charging your vehicle as a Tesla owner, they have these

lots that are dedicated all over the United States.

They're everywhere.

You just don't see them usually.

But there's a number of these supercharger stations, just think of them almost like a

gas pump, and you back into them and you plug in for a matter of, you know, it might be

now, you might have to be there for an hour to get nearly a full charge, let's say.

What do you do?

Do you go inside and get coffee?

Do they have Krispy Kreme's?

Like, how does that work?

It's kind of interesting because when you are driving to the supercharger station, they

show it on your map in the vehicle, and it'll say also that things that are nearby so that

you can walk to them, right?

You can not hear there's the you know Applebee's is nearby or the whatever yeah, whatever business

Happens to be there, so they'll give you some options of what you might be able to go do some of them

Are you know at a hotel or something so it's not like you're gonna do anything you're just gonna sit there and wait

But the point that I was trying to make is that

Before if you had a let's say you had a lot of 12 superchargers right you have in theory

You have a capacity of 12 cars that can charge at any given time problem is the

Supercharger v2's divided power amongst all 12 vehicles or at least banks of two

So if you had another car on the other side of you that was charging next to you

You might you might have your power degraded by

XYZ percent so you're not getting the full power of the supercharger as if the law was empty if that makes sense

Yeah, so these version three ones don't have that problem

Doesn't matter how many people are in the lot they they can deliver the same amount of power regardless

Which is huge. That's a big deal especially in like busy cities like Seattle

There's one in Izziqua, for instance, that has quite a number of different stalls and that'll be really important for them.

Because there's not a lot of these things yet. I mean, they are, they do have good coverage coast-to-coast

along the interstate system, but there's not like so many that you don't care.

You want to get in and get out and then get more people through these things, and this allows you to do that.

And that's exactly what they're trying to do with these. That's why they announced them.

They're basically saying that, okay, at this point we've sold a lot of vehicles in the electric arena.

We need to increase capacity

Right of charging abilities for people that are taking road trips and being on the road

Because you need to be able to get more vehicles into the charging lot in less time

So this thing I think I can't see the stats on here now

I don't know where they went, but it can charge I want to say

70 miles in five minutes or 75 you're close

I was gonna test you on that but you were pretty damn good about that.

So that's crazy.

They actually show a video that's pretty fun to watch because it's literally just a picture

of the dash of the Model 3 and it shows the screen that you see when you're connected

to the supercharger and it just shows the mileage ticking up.

Just tick, tick, tick as it's charging and showing you how much miles you've accrued

as the battery charges and it's pretty fast.

It's pretty amazing.

And if you do the math on that, by the way, that's about a thousand miles per hour.

That's crazy.

That's fucking like ludicrous mode to the max.

That's crazy, dude.

That's really exciting.

Like that's why we bought into Tesla.

That's why we're excited about Tesla.

You're bullish on Tesla.

Like this is the future and it's like happening right now, which is really fucking cool.


Very awesome news from them.


No, I give you shit about the Tesla news, but that was a good one.

Thank you for bringing that up.

Please don't bring any up next time.

Oh, there'll be more Tesla news for sure.

There's always Tesla news to talk about.

- Oh boy, okay, well.

- Well, that's probably it for episode number 27.

- Did we really hit the hour already?

- Hit the hour.

- Oh man, I didn't even push my course light.

- We're over the way, maybe three minutes.

Oh man, well, let me crack you another one.

- One more.

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Or talk shit if you don't like us.

Let's hear about it.

I just want to get some feedback.

I'm willing to hear you talking shit.


Bring it on.

All right.

Thanks for listening.