illustration for Building Vue Vixens With Education and Inclusiveness With Jen Looper

episode 44 Joel Hooks

Building Vue Vixens With Education and Inclusiveness With Jen Looper

Jen Looper, developer advocate and the founder of Vue Vixens, didn't study software development in college, she has a Ph.D. in French Literature. Her degree might seem unrelated, but it strengthened her ability to explain complex ideas as well as her overall communication abilities, skills that are essential for her role as a developer advocate. These skills also come into play in her work building the Vue Vixens community, which now has over 20+ chapters all over the world!

The workshop has been a powerful tool for growing the Vue Vixens. Jen explains how the shared experience of learning, eating, and hanging out together can build a lot of lasting connections. Vue Vixens has also branched out from workshops into also hosting meetups, the structure of which is determined by the local chapter leader to suit the needs of their particular location.

But what makes a great workshop? Minimal installation, maximum output. Codesandbox and Nativescript playground have massively cut down on the initial setup times for the Vue Vixen workshops by doing away with all of the installing and installation issues that will always come up. Jen likes to use a cute app project to make the workshop more fun and to make exploring the deeper concepts less dry. To Jen, workshops are about empowerment first and foremost. If a student can leave the workshop feeling empowered and hungry to learn they'll end up much better off than if they learned more but left feeling disinterested.


"Building Vue Vixens With Education and Inclusiveness – With Jen Looper" Transcript


Jen Looper:

Joel Hooks:


Joel Hooks: Hi Jen.

Jen Looper: Hi. How are you doing [inaudible 00:00:09]?

Joel Hooks: I'm doing great. I'm really excited to talk to you. Vue Vixens has been pretty inspiring to me and I love it. I had a few questions before we get into that though. Particularly I thought this was incredibly interesting. You have a PhD in French literature and you didn't do that as a career for very long instead you switched over to software development. It makes a lot of sense in my head, but I was wondering specifically not how that relates necessarily to software. Did getting a PhD in that whole process that you had to go through prepare you at all for your career in software?

Jen Looper: I think it prepared me a bit more for being a DevRel actually, for being a developer advocate. DevRel is all about teaching and explaining things and presenting content. When you're going through a PhD and whatever, you are also training to become a professor. You're training to become an educator. You go through a lot of pedagogy classes. At least we had to especially since I was under French department, so we are basically the cheap labor to get the kids through French 101.

Jen Looper: Yeah, so I think in particular being a language teacher has prepared me very nicely to both learn and to teach about software development. I look at software development as just another syntax, whether it's middle French or old English or JavaScript. This is all just a language and we're using language to express our ideas and our thoughts and our concepts concretely to make something else happen, so to get a reaction. Whether it be from a person or for a computer. That is how I look at it. I don't like to think it was completely a waste of time, but I'm happy that I actually went all the way through the PhD process and came out of it without too many bruises.

Joel Hooks: Yeah. I know it can be grueling especially towards the end.

Jen Looper: Yes.

Joel Hooks: In that respect it's like software anyway because the end is always the hard part.

Jen Looper: Right, it's all about the 80% prepping that. The 20% shipping is just the worst. Yeah.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, I feel like that kind of leads into, because you have this amazing collection of side projects that are kind of fun and interesting. It seems like there's a lot of focus on education on is where these are. I think that's interesting is that, is there a corelation there between your side projects that have an education feel to them?

Jen Looper: Yeah, a lot of them do. As I was developing a lot of these projects I had young kids. I always try to create projects that would be of interest and of use to my own kids theoretically even if it would be hard to make them actually use them. My first and most influential side project has been practice buddy, which is a little mobile app to help kids practice their musical instruments. Fun fact, my kids are both taking music lessons. I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be interesting if we could quantify that and incentivize them with stickers and maybe connect the student to the teacher. Then the teacher can get feedback on musical clips." It's pretty fun to watch. I don't honestly believe my kids got a lot of benefit from it, because they bailed before it was shipped. I do know that other kids have used it and other teachers have gotten benefit from it. That makes me happy, at least somebody is using it.

Joel Hooks: Okay, my next question was, did it work? I have many more children as well and we're always trying to push the music lessons. Some of them take to it and some are just like, "I'd rather do other things." What are you going to do?

Jen Looper: Yeah. I think with the music either you're into it or you're just not. I was like very, very big as a violinist and my husband enjoys tinkering on the piano. I come from a musical family, but my kids are just not as into it as I would have loved. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Joel Hooks: Right. What's your process when you have an idea, you have some sort of spark that's like I want another side project because I don't have enough to do? I was wondering what's your process like when you do that? How do you fit it into your otherwise busy schedule?

Jen Looper: Yeah, I just started one yesterday actually.

Joel Hooks: Nice.

Jen Looper: I know right, so it's very fresh in my mind. Actually yesterday was really frustrating, because I had to build this website three times. It was just not behaving itself. I had this idea that, so this is when the .DEV domains came out and everybody got excited and jumped up.

Joel Hooks: Oh yeah, it's nice, too many.

Jen Looper: Yeah. One is, how do I even.DEV and the other is your momma is a. DEV.

Joel Hooks: Oh man.

Jen Looper: For the your momma one I want to showcase moms. Then I tweeted a little tweet and I got a lot of response by asking, what if I launch this website, what would it look like? A lot of people said, "Well, I have kids, I'd love to be featured. Or my mom was an amazing developer, I'd love to see her featured. Or I'm a farm mom, I want to be featured." People want to post themselves with their pets. Yeah, that's my process is like.

Jen Looper: I have a crazy idea, get some tools in place and then tweet about it and see what people think. The tweeter poll is highly underrated as like a product launch thing. I think even Product Hunt mentioned this. See what happens in Twitter polls and if there's interest, because if there's zero interest, I mean even if you love the project it might be hard to ship it. If you could have a spark of interest maybe it's worth building. I started mocking this thing up yesterday in CodeHS Sandbox, and then I tried to export it and make it run on my local. It's a completely different environment, so I had to redo it three times. It's actually in a descent shape now, and that's a learning process in and of itself. I'm always trying to optimize and find a good process where I learn something.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, and you learn for the next time too, what works and like the interplay between CodeHS Sandbox and your local environment is interesting too.

Jen Looper: Yeah, who knew right? Like with the mobile app if I feel like launching something that's considerably more involved than a web app in my opinion, so you have to have a plan in place on how it's going to look. If you're going to do it across platform, android IOS. If you're going to launch it to the community. Does it need a website to go with it? That's a lot bigger project, so a nice sweet little web app, a fun community thing to build, I think that's definitely worthwhile. That's how Vue Vixens actually started.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, so speaking of Vue Vixens, it's a smash hit. Like you've grown to 20 chapters, 20 plus chapters worldwide and I suspect it's still growing. I'm really curious because at the core of it, it feels like a community to me. That's something I think we should all if we don't strive for it can consider striving for. I was wondering what went into that and what went into creating this community over the span of time that you all have been working on it?

Jen Looper: Yeah. I launched Vue Vixens just again an idea, a whim. Something I thought would be fun. I was inspired by ngGirls and I was getting involved in the Vue community at a beginner level. I just DM-ed Sarah Drasner and I'm like, "I want to do ngGirls but for Vue. I want to give it a cool name." All she said was, "There must be alliteration in here somewhere." I was like, "It's Vue Vixens, that's it." Then I just slapped a logo together. I launched it on stage at Vue Amsterdam. At that point I had like a corruptacular website, a logo and nothing else.

Joel Hooks: It's a cool logo.

Jen Looper: Yeah, I love my logo. It's been a big labor of love, but yeah it just went a little bit viral I think it struck a nerve. People have been very, very supportive, both the women in the community and allies. Just the difference between Vue Amsterdam when I launched it and Vue Amsterdam this year has been really a great thing to see. There's a lot more women speakers on stage and I know every single one of them.

Joel Hooks: Yeah and that's good.

Jen Looper: They're all vixens and the number of women attending the conferences up. We were able to start up scholarship fund to help with that. I think it's a really exciting thing. I want to see this replicated in the React community, that's going to be the big interesting challenge to see how that goes. It's a different feel as a community.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, I know like Sarah Vieira and others are, there's the React Girls conference which is coming up as we're speaking. That kind of initiative I see which they felt like there's a little bit of relation because I think Sarah is involved in both communities. It's definitely something that is a community wrangler I guess.

Jen Looper: I think that of all people who could do this, Sarah is the one you know.

Joel Hooks: Yeah.

Jen Looper: She actually and I had when I was in London we had tea together, coffee and just talked to community. Very, very early days and it was really helpful to me. I think it maybe helped get her ideas a little. She'd already started working with some kind of React Girls type of thing at that time, so she gave me ideas, I gave her ideas. We've kind of played off of each other. What was cool was about couple of weeks ago in Germany, I think it was in I want to say Berlin, React Girls had a core meetup with Vue Vixens.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, that's what I had seen.

Jen Looper: I love that and I had a dual workshop with ngGirls, so ngGirls and Vue Vixens in morning and afternoon workshops. That's spectacular because I find that overlap of community and we can really learn from each other. What mistakes we're making, what strengths we have, what's working, what's not working.

Joel Hooks: I think the idea of these frameworks is competitive. I think it's not the correct idea. Why I really love it is when people come together in the communities, because it happens I think at the higher levels that people that are actually writing these frameworks and doing these things.

Jen Looper: Oh definitely.

Joel Hooks: Are talking and pulling ideas back and forth, but then you get people like strongly identify with the jealous group framework. Instead of exploring what's the good mark in trade offs and that sort of thing.

Jen Looper: Very. Yeah.

Joel Hooks: It is nice to see that kind of crossover. Also, gives people the opportunity to learn both at the same time like when you're in that mindset, I think that's very interesting.

Jen Looper: Oh yeah, I mean people don't have monopoly on great ideas. Like when React Hooks came out then Evan jumped right on it and made hooks for Vue. The interplay between him and Dan Abramov and Twitter was really interesting to watch. I love that it's out in the open, so we can all learn. It's like a masterclass.

Joel Hooks: I think Vue Vixens approach, and I don't know really if other people take the same approach. The workshop I think is interesting and it feels like it's one of the core atoms of Vue Vixen. Can you tell me more about why you chose this approach and how the workshop works in terms of bringing people together?

Jen Looper: Yeah. We were directly inspired by ngGirls who has this exclusive business model to call it that, of going to the big Angular conferences and there are a bunch of them. Doing the free workshops for large groups of women either before or after the workshop. Then people from the conference can get involved as mentors and it works beautifully. I was involved in ngEurope in Paris and I loved the ngGirls workshop there, because I'm coming from the Angular community. It was a beautiful site to see and I just saw the power of the workshop.

Jen Looper: It's not just wrangling code, it's also enjoying a nice lunch together, talking with mentors, building your career networking especially a whole day workshop, it's absolutely lovely. I'm also coming from a women's college standpoint. I went to Wellesley, so I understand this idea of just getting together with like minded ladies and the magic that can happen. It's really very special. We found out that yeah, there are a lot of big Angular conferences, but there's actually not that many big Vue conferences especially in communities that are really interested in Vue Vixens for example in South America.

Jen Looper: We decided that we needed to branch out a little bit from all the workshops and do not only different types of workshops, but also meetups. We've experimented with a meetup model, which has been interesting to tweak as we go to make sure that our mission is kept. We've had the chapter leaders take the lead in fixing up meetups that work nicely with their local communities. There are Vue Vixens Mexico chapter which is one of our most active ones in Mexico city. They are partnering with their local bootcamps, with their local few meetups to create interesting learning experiences for their communities. Yeah we're like trying to figure out where we can have our most impact and our most reach while maintaining the mission. That's always my main concern. It's a bit of a challenge.

Joel Hooks: I think that's interesting because you mentioned Central and South America and I think when people think development there it's US centric and then you have Europe and then Asia. You don't hear a lot of mention of Central and South America. It's like there's a huge thriving development scene.

Jen Looper: Oh yeah. We had our first Vue Vixens day in Argentina last July, it was spectacular especially because I got to go to Buenos Aires and eat the most amazing steak and I'm ruined for steak now. That's finished, I'm done.

Joel Hooks: Nice.

Jen Looper: I can't even touch it anymore. We'll have one in Colombia, I want to say in [inaudible 00:12:33] so that should be our next Vixens day. I think Mexico is going to do something special too. I just find like these communities are vibrant as heck. They know how to create something out of not a lot of external resources. They have companies that are able to sponsor them, but they can create mountains out of mole hills. It's spectacular and I have huge respect for all of our members in these places, South America especially.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, that's wonderful.

Jen Looper: Yeah, it's great.

Joel Hooks: Going back to workshops, what do you makes a good workshop? Like if you're going to sit down and start working on a curriculum, where do you start and where do you see the end when you're starting?

Jen Looper: Yeah. Here we go back to pedagogy. I like to create workshops that people will come away with minimal frustration in terms of weird installation situations and maximum output. I want them to come away with a full fledged mobile app at the end of their session, one way or another. We were helped tremendously by the creation of CodeHS Sandbox and the NativeScript playground. That's something were you're building a mobile app in the browser and flashing it onto your phone with a QR code. It saved us so much agony of I'm trying to make a workshop after installing X code android studio and all the rest of that nightmare.

Jen Looper: This has been an eyeopener to have this tooling available that we can use to create great experiences for our members. There are other things we do at our workshops. NgGirls for example created a to do app over an entire day. I decided I wanted to do something cuter because if it's not cute I'm not interested in doing it. We create a patch lock with the puppies. We query the dogs CLAPI, which is a really easy API to just make axils, use axils to just query it. Grab puppies that you could adopt, and there's also a cat API that we can use as well. It's just I want people to come to have the charm factor, to just be creating cute things that will instantly be appearing on the screen while learning some deep core concepts of the framework.

Jen Looper: We're always geared towards absolute beginners. I'd had success with mechanical engineers, chemists. I had the CMO, the marketing officer, chief marketing officer of progress complete a mobile app on her phone during lunch time with the CEO of our company breathing down her neck. It was hilarious. It was great. I love to see these successes because people walk away with this great feeling that they can do it and they're empowered. Workshops are really about empowerment first and learning deep concepts second at least for us.

Joel Hooks: Vue, I think it's touted as one of the most beginner friendly job JavaScript frameworks that you can jump into. I was wondering if you had any thoughts or opinions on what makes Vue special in that regard.

Jen Looper: I think it's stemming from the docs actually. Well there's two things I guess. The docs are written for the beginner and for really onboarding people as gently as possible. The maintainer of the docs, the core maintainer is [inaudible 00:15:33]. He's an ex-German teacher finally add up. All of us language teachers are in here doing it like the gentle introductions to this thing. The other thing is that, Vue has always been firmly designed first. I think the founder of Vue, the co-creator of Vue Evan is coming from Parsons School of Design. It's not like a CSE field of a framework. It's more of a, let's create something beautiful, useful with a beautiful clean code. I think that there's a heavy expectation that design will be a big part, not just visual design, but also the design of your code. The cleanliness and the beauty of your code will be available to you as well. It's really cool, I really like it a lot.

Joel Hooks: Yeah and I think you see that in a formation of the community to and who the champions of the Sarah Drasner and others that are like the champions of this framework. They're drawn to it and I haven't asked, but I would suspect for similar reasons.

Jen Looper: Yeah, I think so. I did a talk recently on the zen of Vue, it's all about being right at that fulcrum between design and technology. Sarah's the perfect example of that, she's an artist. She went to fine arts school. You know you've got a bunch of random ex language teachers running around doing things. Yeah, it's a very diverse community and a very I can say a design focused.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, I think at the end of the day my thoughts on Vue and the idea of the secret source is definitely Evan, you and his passion for the project. Just a proper project shepherd. It's been very inspiring to me to watch over the years.

Jen Looper: Oh yeah, absolutely. He's a treasure. We all worry if Evan gets eaten by a [inaudible 00:17:13] somebody actually wrote this article, it's hilarious.

Joel Hooks: It feels like the popular frameworks are big multinational corporations that are essentially ad networks. I'm an Angular user and I use React now and I enjoy frameworks for the sake of their architects personally. Just to see Vue and see it succeed has been really a great story to watch.

Jen Looper: Well up and coming is Felt.

Joel Hooks: Yeah.

Jen Looper: I keep seeing tweets about Felt. Felt has been around for a while I'm I right? I have never touched it.

Joel Hooks: I haven't touched it either. I'm actually honestly because I don't, I used to chase new technology and I feel like I get older and I just have other interests too.

Jen Looper: Yeah, I actually had a nightmare that Vue had been completely defalcated in favor of a new JavaScript framework called, I think it was called Blaze. This is literally a dream that I had and it was very specific. It was called Blaze.

Joel Hooks: Sounds like a nightmare maybe.

Jen Looper: It was a terrible dream.

Joel Hooks: Vue Vixens is for women and those identifying in women and the workshops are free. I think that's amazing. I was wondering the idea that you're being open and generous and inclusive to these folks, how is that important to your overall mission?

Jen Looper: I mean it's critical to the mission. Our reason for existence is to make sure that the community is as friendly and diverse as possible, because I think that it's so obvious to me that it's the strength and the longevity of your framework or of your community is going to be dependent on how diverse it is. You have to have people with other ideas coming in, and people have to evolve to accept new things. We try not to be exclusive of communities, but as inclusive as we can be with our mission being that we're really focused on people who identify as women.

Jen Looper: One thing I wanted to do is I launched segments of our workshops that I allowed my chapter leads to give for all communities. For Vue Boston, which I manage we did some of our nano activities which was a Vue Vixens gift to the community. It's not to shut anyone out, and also our stuff is all opensource, so you can certainly pick it up and do it. It's not underneath the tables or anything.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, and are those the mini workshops because I thought those were super interesting personally.

Jen Looper: Yeah, so there's three groups now and I think there's going to be a fourth one coming soon from our Spanish chapter leader. There's a full day workshop which is six chapters, five web, one mobile. Then the minis are something that we can do in like after hours or lunch meetups. If you want to do a lunch and learn, minis work nicely. I did a mini with our CMO and our CEO the mobile mini and it's just been built a really quick link Tinder for dogs or something like that. Yeah, and then the third group is nano. The nanos are the ones that we offer for the entire community that you can just get a group of friends together and just bash through a nano as an icebreaker, though a code icebreakers.

Jen Looper: I have one mobile in there and then all of our chapter leaders and our community numbers created about six other nanos. These are like how to setup your environment for Vue. How to create a master detail list as a mobile app. Stuff that as of interest to the membership, they just wrote it out. Then with the format that I specify and then we publish them and they can be used. I think it's a really nice thing to give to the community.

Jen Looper: The chapter lead for Spain is working on a workshop on how to design your own personal website and that's like a six part workshop. He's really killing it over in Spain, so it's coming soon.

Joel Hooks: Yeah and these are all available at for free. They look to me like they're all great for self paste learning too.

Jen Looper: Yeah.

Joel Hooks: They're really laid out and have everything you need to start up.

Jen Looper: Oh thank you. Yes, so it's just click workshops so it's right there. Yeah.

Joel Hooks: You've mentioned Native or mobile and doing NativeScript and that relates to your professional job that you do your developer advocate with the focus on NativeScript. I was wondering if you could tell me about NativeScript and what it is, because I had the opinion when I first heard it I was like, oh this is a whole new language. This is something we'd have to learn from scratch. I suspect I'm not the only person that's had that idea in their head. Can you tell me what it is and what it's about?

Jen Looper: Yeah, definitely I used to work on a lot of booths with NativeScript. People do come up with and they're like, "Oh you know I really don't want to know, like which one is a disaster." It's like, "No, no, no it's just JavaScript and it's a keen to React Native." Well for React Native it's a bridge and for us it's a runtime. We've created this runtime that runs on your mobile device and you're able to write an entire mobile app in JavaScript across platform. Then the runtime will translate what you've written into Native modules.

Jen Looper: If I write in JavaScript I write that I want to create a button or I use a NativeScript module to just use some text to create a button, that will be translated using the JavaScript engines to a Native button on IOS and a Native button on android. It's this kind of cool, new fashioned way of writing a mobile app to be differentiated from code over technologies which is basically a little web app that runs in a web view. It's like the next generation after the code over idea of using JavaScript to build across platform. The pioneer in this technology actually I believe was titanium, because there's not a code over technology they have a different way of translating your JavaScript to Native code.

Jen Looper: We use a runtime, React Native uses a bridge and with NativeScript we have this ability to use just JavaScript or TypeScript or Angular or Vue. We have a new port for this Felt and a new port for React. We have a Canadian member use it, a Canadian React NativeScript because he didn't really love React Native. I'm like, "All right, well just knock yourself out, enjoy."

Joel Hooks: It feels like it was Angular centric in the early days, but since then we've seen more adapters that have appeared.

Jen Looper: Yeah and that's what brought me into the view community actually was watching this lovely student from Bulgaria, not Bulgaria, Budapest who just decided to port a NativeScript for Vue. I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw him tweeting and I was like, "You've got to be stopped. How could I help?" It was a really exciting moment that actually changed my career and brought me into the Vue community.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, that's pivotal then.

Jen Looper: Yeah, start with mobile and then you can join the whole ecosystem, it's awesome.

Joel Hooks: How do you personally choose and evaluate what tools you're going to use or what you're going to invest in, in terms of career?

Jen Looper: Well what has worked for me actually is to try to build the same app in several different technologies. Like Practice Buddy has been rewritten four times now I think at least. I started with Native IOS and then I did Corona SDK and then Kendo Mobile and then JavaScript with Angular. Right now it's an Angular app and you learn a lot. Rewriting something that you know well again and again and again. Unfortunately my poor customers have to deal with release after release, but I did the same thing in a talk.

Jen Looper: I did in Amsterdam last year it was a cheese display app, so very basic master detail for Dutch cheese. It was delicious. I wrote this app in rack NativeScript and showed the pinpoints in both platforms. Oh I did on Ionic too. Then somebody else ported it to Flatter, so it's all on my repost. it's really a cool way to learn, compare apples to apples and see how it feels.

Joel Hooks: Kind of the idea ToDoMVC, but with more delicious or a cuter centric arithmetic.

Jen Looper: Oh yes, popping [inaudible 00:25:05] and cheese.

Joel Hooks: Yeah. I'm actually a big fan of ToDoMVC and I think this is the same principle in just like...Well one I like to do apps, personally I like checklists and stuff. Just the idea that you don't have to learn the domain over and over again, right?

Jen Looper: Yes.

Joel Hooks: Like you don't have to talk about the domain because you know it. I think it's similar pet store or whatever with like you don't need a clever thing to learn. You just need something that's familiar so you're not having to think about and design the domain from scratch while learning right?

Jen Looper: Exactly, yeah. Exactly. It can be pleasant to look at at the same time.

Joel Hooks: Yeah and having fun while you do something that is otherwise become tedious is perfectly acceptable and maybe even encouraged.

Jen Looper: Definitely. It helps with learning process.

Joel Hooks: It seems to me just from the outside that you're a very busy person. Like I love productivity, this is why I like checklists and stuff. I'm wondering like how do you keep it all together? Through the years what have you learned to keep it all sane and actually accomplish what it is you set out to do?

Jen Looper: Well at this point in my life I'm an empty nester, so this does make it a lot easier. We also downsized. I think simplifying your life, I mean not that you're going to throw out your kids. If you can simplify your lifestyle a little bit, you know people in my time usually have two houses, two properties so one on the cape and one in town. I can't even enVisual, I can't even like conceptualize that because it's just too much complexity. If you can Marie Kondo the heck out of your life, that is very helpful. If it doesn't spark joy just like go on.

Jen Looper: I think that like you said about to do lists, I'm also a big fan. I have a little app extension or a Chrome extension called Compliment Dash. It's by Sarah Wegman who is this lovely ex Wellesley which is a Wellesley alarm and she's a Vue Vixen. She wrote this cool extension that gives you a compliment and then it allows you to write your to do list right on your browser. This has been helpful to me. I've also used like to do lists, mobile apps and that kind of thing. I use that for packing lists, but yeah and trying to keep organized. I'm going to be going back to using Google Keep because I need a good note-taking app and I got off of using Evernote. I think Keep is pretty good.

Joel Hooks: I've been on Notion lately.

Jen Looper: Yeah, Notion is great.

Joel Hooks: It's free form so you can do all sorts of fun stuff with it, though that has its drawbacks, because like lack of structure. It's like JavaScript framework, some of them have a lot of structure, some of them don't. It's kind of how does your brain work? Do you need it to build your own structure? Do you need to have it provided for you?

Jen Looper: Do you use Notion for note-keeping, because I have a lot of stuff on there already? I never thought about that too much.

Joel Hooks: It works okay. I actually don't like it very much for writing. I use Dropbox Paper.

Jen Looper: I do too, yeah.

Joel Hooks: For most of my actual like when I'm sitting down to write because of the collaboration and just the general writing flow feels good to me. It's not perfect, but nothing is.

Jen Looper: Yeah, I keep all my conference pictures on Dropbox Paper, but I really would like to consolidate my life. I do use a lot of tools.

Joel Hooks: Yeah, me too.

Jen Looper: It's better to consolidate.

Joel Hooks: I get internal criticism from my joy of new tools.

Jen Looper: I know. We're developers and hackers and engineers [inaudible 00:28:12].

Joel Hooks: It's something new I'll try that. It's okay if my stuff is on 12 different sites on the internet. I know where it's at.

Jen Looper: Yes, I know. Now we're moving our stuff on from our own blogs right to either Medium or [inaudible 00:28:24].

Joel Hooks: See I've been pushing the opposite approach. I've been encouraging people to go back to your own space and own. I was reading your blog and you go back several years and it's like this is great. You have this entire backlog and it's yours and you own it. I think that's so important and the move away from that into the Mediums now popping pay well and stuff which is really sad.

Jen Looper: Yes, so [inaudible 00:28:46] has been a great blogging platform. I actually had a ton of excellent content on Teller at developer network. That thing was defalcated.

Joel Hooks: Oh ouch.

Jen Looper: Now if you look at some of my dug links those are like my best articles. I'm actually over this weekend this is my task, this weekend I've got to go on the way [inaudible 00:29:06] machine, grab that content and just publish it to my own stuff. It's a tragedy to lose that stuff, it's so good.

Joel Hooks: Will you build a scrapper or not?

Jen Looper: Oh I don't know. I've got the raw files of the similar I just don't remember where.

Joel Hooks: Yeah. No, that's something that we use.

Jen Looper: We pretend to be organized and we're really literally not.

Joel Hooks: Yeah. It's piles on the floor. It's fine. My last question that I had for you was, have you read any good books lately that you found inspiring or maybe insightful in terms of career or software or anything, even loosely related?

Jen Looper: Yeah. It's a cool question, because I gave a talk, this talk I mentioned before called zen and the art of Vue. That was inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. If you haven't read this book recently, it's an astonishing book. It was written in 1971 by a guy who is doing software manuals, so he's a tech writer. He's talking about building up, maintaining motorcycles in a very similar way that we talk about maintaining code and writing about without using manuals. It's really interesting and you realize that since 1971 until now nothing has changed. We're still writing useless manuals and docs that nobody understands or no docs.

Joel Hooks: You can go back to like Plato and that kind of trend emerges in terms of humans.

Jen Looper: Oh yeah nothing has changed. Yeah.

Joel Hooks: It's a great book though. I think one that you can revisit. It's not one you read once and then it's gone forever. It's one that can be revisited and you'll learn something new and refresh.

Jen Looper: Absolutely. Yeah, and I have also been reading the Manager's Path kind of slugging through managerial stuff. I can announce it here, I'm actually jumping ship. I'm moving to Microsoft to be a manager.

Joel Hooks: Microsoft is snatching up all of the best people. Congrats to them for getting you to jump ship and move over there.

Jen Looper: Thank you, yeah.

Joel Hooks: That's exciting.

Jen Looper: I'm really excited, so I get to manage an awesome team of six incredible people the original. They gave me the Canada, US and Latin American regional developers to manage cloud advocates.

Joel Hooks: Awesome.

Jen Looper: We're really excited. Now it's like slugging through a lot of managerial material.

Joel Hooks: I'll send you link. My friend Will [inaudible 00:31:13], but it's a really good book they just put out on engineering management.

Jen Looper: Oh really?

Joel Hooks: I just tweeted about it. He's at Stripe and he's one of the most conscientious engineering managers I've ever had the pleasure of encountering. It's funny because we work on the same, like I hired him to work on my first software project and it was his first time to ever get paid to write software. I have this interesting kind of not parallel, but career check to get there, so it's fun to see it.

Jen Looper: Wow, that's fantastic yes.

Joel Hooks: Thanks Jen. I really appreciate it for you sitting down and talking with me today. I appreciate all the work that you do in the community. Vue Vixens is amazing and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Jen Looper: Thank you for your support. Watch for your momma is a.DEV and I'm going to release it for mother's day.

Joel Hooks: Nice, we'll be on the look out. Thank you.

Jen Looper: Awesome. Thanks.

Joel Hooks: Bye.

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