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Interview with Brian Rinaldi

In the final episode for season 1, Sean C. Davis and Brian Rinaldi chat about 5 years of, developer community and, perhaps, some Jamstack.

Featured Guest

Brian Rinaldi is a Developer Experience Engineer at LaunchDarkly. Brian has worked for a decade focused on developer community and developer relations at companies like Progress Software and Adobe. Brian has been a developer for over 20 years, working with front-end and back-end technologies mostly focused on the web. He is heavily involved in the community including running developer meetups and events via and serving on the board of and organizing meetups for Orlando Devs. serves as the editor of the Jamstacked newsletter.

Hosted by

Sean is a tinkerer and a teacher. He is driven to learn by doing (often failing) and loves passing those learnings onto others who may find them beneficial.


Sean C. Davis: [00:00:00] Welcome. Welcome. This is code sandwich hour. The show are we talk code sandwiches and it takes about an. I’m your host, Sean C. Davis. And I am delighted to be here today for an extra special episode where we close out season one of this show. Now you may or may not know that there’s a community and organization behind the show called certified fresh events.

And this community just hit this major milestone, which is. It has been operating for five years. And if you’ve been around the space long enough, that is no, no minor feat that to have the, just the drive, the consistency, the motivation, all of these attributes that, that you need to continue to put out content to organize events.

It takes a ton of effort. And so this was a major milestone. And so we’re gonna dedicate this whole episode in kind of a. Unstructured format to simply celebrating that fact. And we’ll talk about CFE will certainly we’ll get into tech, some tech topics and. We’ll of [00:01:00] course cover a few of what have become a staple code sandwich, our questions along the way.

And so to help me celebrate Brian Aldi, the founder, the creator, the just the man behind the scenes. A lot of the time of CFE is going to come on stage and help me celebrate. And so with that, let me welcome Brian to the stage. Thanks for being here, Brian.

Brian Rinaldi: Thanks Sean. Good to be here on my own site.

Sean C. Davis: that’s right. Yes. Yes. I okay. I’m I’m you can probably tell excited for this episode. Because I think that a lot of people don’t realize that you’re behind the scenes, you’re helping coordinate a lot of this show. And so it’s great to have you on the other side of the camera, but also I really a as we’ve figured out exactly what the show is, we’ve changed the format up and today totally different format.

I usually have this. Plethora of notes. I don’t, I’m doing all this research on the guest and figuring out exactly how to move the show. And [00:02:00] today we’re just gonna, we’re just gonna celebrate. This will be a lot of fun and I think the, there are still a few of those yeah, those staple questions that I’m I have to put you on the hot seat.

Course throughout. Cause of course it would. It would, it’s in true format. So with that, yeah. I think the only way to really kick off this show is to ask you what is the best sandwich.

Brian Rinaldi: Oh, God. I love sandwiches as well. Maybe not as much as you, I don’t know anybody loved sandwiches more than me until I started chatting with you.

So mostly cuz I I mean there’s a lot to love in a sandwich, but it’s the bread. The bread makes the sandwich a hundred percent. And I love bread. It’s my nemesis. I could go without sweets, but without bread it’s just anyway. I’m gonna say my favorite sandwich is honestly, I’m gonna think it’s actually pretty simple.

I love a good roast beef sandwich. Ooh. Okay. Just was I like the roast beef. Normally if I eat my meat, I’m usually like a, I like stuff a [00:03:00] little well done but like when it’s roast beef, like cold cuts, I like it. Nice and rare. Maybe some lettuce, definitely the horse radish Mayo.

So you know, you gotta, and I guess you can, if you really wanna make it perfect. Put it between two slices of sourdough. Okay. All right. Now I’m hungry. All I gotta go.

Sean C. Davis: Okay, so it’s one, it’s an interesting answer. Cuz it’s a sandwich that doesn’t really have a name aside from roast beef sandwich where, S

Brian Rinaldi: what’s inside.

Yeah, exactly. It’s

Sean C. Davis: what’s inside. Okay. All right. I was gonna ask you about the bread sourdoughs. Great. I, I’ve gotten into baking sourdough even actually before everybody got into baking sourdough when the pandemic started. But I, yeah, I, you have to appreciate like a fresh a fresh slice of sourdough.

It’s hard to beat on a sandwich,

Brian Rinaldi: Oh yeah. Yep, absolutely. And my wife lasted me cuz she says like I have, when I would make sandwiches and stuff, I have like rules. Like I’m like no [00:04:00] that doesn’t go with mustard that goes with Mayo like that. You don’t have roast beef with mustard.

Do you have roast beef with Mayo, better horseradish Mayo, but I like a, I like that little spiciness to it. But then there’s other sandwiches. I’m like, you don’t have that with Mayo. You have to have that mustard

Sean C. Davis: Okay. I totally I totally get that.

And I’m thinking I don’t, so I don’t do, I don’t do roast beef very much, but and this is not traditionally a great sandwich, Arby’s is known for that roast beef sandwich. And I don’t know that I’ve really. Ever put either, either horse radish by itself or the horse radish mustard, spread condiment with or Mayo.

Yes. On a sandwich other than at Arby’s. And so I’m like, oh yes. I when you say, when you’re pairing roast beef with horseradish Mayo, I’m like, oh yes, it makes sense. But also I think of Arby’s.

Brian Rinaldi: Don’t ruin my sandwich. Dammit. Yeah. Once upon a time, when, before, when I was in college, I worked, I actually worked at a sandwich [00:05:00] shop.

It was like, it was deli style, like where you came in and I worked a slicer, like I’m sitting there you’d order what you want. I’d pull out the cold cuts and slice ’em right onto your sandwich. Yeah, and, oh my God. Yeah. I had so many good sandwiches. , I had my choice of what I, the other thing I loved was pastrami.

Oh God, I love a good past. I love pastrami. All right. Yeah. Yeah. But we could go on. Oh, okay.

Sean C. Davis: We could, the last thing I’ll say. Okay. So it is, it’s also a chain, but when you put all the sandwich chains, at least that are available to me in the Cincinnati area. When I compare ’em all the one that stands above all the rest for me is a place called Jersey mics.

And I. A big part of the reason for that is that they are they’re slicing the meat on site right before they put on the sandwich. It’s it’s so much fresher than all the other chain sandwiches I

Brian Rinaldi: have. Yeah, definitely. It definitely gives it a different there’s a difference in the flavor in the end.

I [00:06:00] think that you don’t think there would be like what happens to COA? But yeah. Particularly with things like roast beef and stuff like that, that like roast beef sitting out there already starts to lose its color and its flavor. It roast beef is like delicate, especially when it’s sliced.

Doesn’t last, like , on the other hand you could have salami out there forever and it’d be like, eh salami. It doesn’t really true. True. Yes. Yeah. It doesn’t, the flavor doesn’t really change, but like certain meats, the your roast beefs, your chickens, your Turkey, if you like that freshly sliced makes a difference.

Sean C. Davis: Makes strong makes sense. Or pastrami? Yes. Okay. So you’re right. We could talk about this forever. Let’s yeah. So we’re here to celebrate five years of certified fresh events, which is amazing. I know. Can you believe it? I can’t and I was even trying to think earlier today, like when was the first time I had heard about it or the first event I joined and.

I don’t know, it was probably 20, 19, 20, 20, so somewhere in the [00:07:00] middle there, I think. But because of that, I haven’t really thought much or know much at all, really about the early days. So I thought that would be an interesting place to start. Could you tell us the story of the motivation and the Genesis of this?

Brian Rinaldi: Sure. Yeah. So it started, I didn’t obviously have cuz we didn’t have I think five years ago there wasn’t really domain name. So it was oh, interesting. Okay. It was under certified fresh and the whole, I, the original idea was it was gonna be a place for cuz. Over my, the course of my career, even before I got into devel I was running conferences.

I ran, I think my first conference was over 15 years ago. It was about flash and flex. You can I would run a lot of events, both in and out of work. And about five years ago, I was like, I had moved to Orlando six years ago and I wanted to start running events in Orlando and I wanted to like an umbrella to run the events under.

So I had start was gonna [00:08:00] start this up and the original idea was Until I get my get ready to run, like the in-person events. I’m gonna just run some virtual events, right? At the time, five years ago, like virtual events, people. People still complain about that but back then it was like, this is dumb, like who runs virtual events.

Like we places wouldn’t even list them. I couldn’t, I’d send them to places, people. And they’d like, sorry, we only list real events. In person only real

Sean C. Davis: events and so context, this is 2017. Is that right?

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah. 2017. Okay. But actually I managed to get the. Original. The first one I ran got included into JavaScript weekly.

So still one of the biggest audiences I had live. Oh, interesting. Funny enough. In the five years of running this, cuz I think we had like for that first one we had 270 people live, live, attend. Wow.

Sean C. Davis: Just for a small for a

Brian Rinaldi: one hour, like one [00:09:00] hour meetup thing. Yeah. And yeah. So anyway, it so I was like, oh I’ll just run these virtual events until I get around to running the in person events.

And then I’ll have a mailing list I can use for in person events. And I did end up running one in person event a couple years later, but it obviously has transitioned to being completely. Virtual events, even back then, like it, that was the only ver real event I ever ran under the name, under the business name, but like everything else is being virtual.

And I was a skeptic of virtual when I started doing it. I was like, yeah, eh, I’ll do it. But I’m not sure I believe in it. And then the more I started doing it, the more I really found it. It has certain benefits. There are drawbacks, obviously, but. There are a ton of benefits to running virtual events, one being it’s accessible to anyone around the world and I can run them for free.

And the costs are low. They’re not nothing, but they’re low, when you, when,

Sean C. Davis: So when COVID hit, did you feel, were you [00:10:00] like I’m so far ahead of my time, everyone’s oh yeah, we can do virtual events. This is fine. You’re like, man, I’ve been doing it for three years.

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah. It’s funny cuz COVID hit and I’m like, oh, this is gonna be a great opportunity of which I probably, you know, arguably you know, it was a good opportunity, but I don’t know that I fully took advantage of it. We did, our audience did grow dramatically. For the beginning of COVID the meetups were getting, were having a lot more attendance and stuff like that.

So I feel like we were ahead of the game. We being, the site, me kind of Royal, we, was a little bit ahead of the game running a lot of virtual events, but but it turned out to be weird cuz you got that initial boost, but then everybody started running virtual events. And so yeah, now we’re at a place where it’s tough for people cuz there’s so many different options for them to.

To go to and they’re a bit burnt out on it after, a couple years of COVID [00:11:00] virtual events. And I think it’s, we’re, I think we’re in the midst of figuring out exactly where virtual events fit into the whole developer event landscape. I think there’s definitely room to have virtual events and in person events, I don’t think like it’s okay, now that we’re having in person events, Virtual events don’t have a lot of value anymore.

I think it’s totally, that’s totally not true. They’re easily accessible. They’re, you can have a lot of interactivity with the audience depending on how you run them. They’re cheap they’re so I can get speakers from around the world. I get my pick of speakers and I’ve had some really great speakers because of that.

There’s tons of benefits to doing it. The drawback is number one that like now there’s so many. So it only adds to the distractions that were already, there was already a lot of distractions when you’re in a virtual event. And now it’s okay, I could go to that virtual event or these other 10 virtual events, all running at the same time.

Sean C. Davis: Yeah, so [00:12:00] there’s yeah there’s probably, COVID clearly changed everything and we know I think what you’re saying is right, that we’re already seeing in person events coming back. We’re also seeing some people found some footing in virtual events that they’ll keep going.

But do you anticipate that the future of CFE remains virtual and do you think. do you think there comes a time? Do you think there are some virtual events that there, there weren’t previously that are gonna stick around or do you see like a slowly moving back to in person and you’ll stay in this niche here that you can be like the virtual expert, so to speak.

Brian Rinaldi: I wish I had a definitive answer to that question. It’s something I toy with on and off all the time, which is, I think as far as what I wanna do right now I’m sticking with virtual events. Partly I’ll tell you my reasoning is B I’d say B. Sensitive to people who are running in person, any events right now, but in person events are [00:13:00] brutally tough.

They were always difficult. There were lot, they were high stress. You often didn’t know until like late, whether it was gonna be a complete bomb or huge success, cuz people wait till the last minute to buy their tickets. And this is like even five years ago, 10 years. The last minute has gotten closer and closer to the event as time has gone on to where you often don’t know, like until very last minute, there’s nothing you can do.

The costs are high. You have to put a lot of money down to run an in person event. Most of that’s food, but then you also have travel expenses and all kind. And anyway, it’s a, there’s a lot of upfront costs. . And so the difference between success and failure on an in person event is often like us, maybe, one or two sponsors or 10 per 10, 20% of your attendance.

If it drops 10%, 20%, you probably, you might end up going from like making a decent amount of money on it to losing a bunch of money.[00:14:00] And cOVID like we are back to in-person events, but I could tell you that almost across the board, every person I talk to is running in-person events. They’re down like 40% on attendance.

Oh, okay. From what they were pre COVID. It’s still tough. And then they’re dealing with speakers. Can’t make it because they, their travel got, screwed up, cuz there’s travels a mess right now. And the outbreak of COVID at the conference. And it’s just, it’s super complicated right now, event running events.

Like I said was always complicated, but it’s brutally complicated now. And then adding the economy, taking sort of a downturn and suddenly like sponsors are disappearing and companies like I can’t pay for the tickets and. Yeah. Yeah. I need my sleep I need my sleep. And if I run this, if I’m like right now, if I ran in a person event, I would not sleep for the

Sean C. Davis: No and you’re doing it on the side and for the, a [00:15:00] lot of the bigger ones, I think people don’t realize that it’s that’s several people’s full-time job for a little while to to plan those things. Yeah. But I, yeah. So you, we take an event like more serverless, which just happened last just a week ago.

And so that’s one of your bigger events where it’s a one day conference. I, people who attend it they get to see you on screen playing MC and all of that. But I think a lot of people don’t really know what happens behind the scenes. Like how early do you start thinking about more serverless, say, how what are you What do you have to do in terms of coordinating the fund, funding it and you’re setting, offsetting your cost being that it’s a side project and making sure you’re getting speakers so that you are powerful speakers so that you can also get attendance.

You know what’s everything that’s going on.

Brian Rinaldi: So for virtual event, you have a little bit more flexibility, like to planning, cuz you don’t have to physical, like location and all that stuff to scope out. So for like more serverless or, it’s usually we probably [00:16:00] jam do dev is usually in January and I’d probably be, we’ll probably start planning it if we’re gonna do it virtual or not.

I haven’t decided yet. We’ll should be planning it right about now. So you’re talking about five, six months ahead of time. Okay. But, and then a lot of, that’s more like just getting the basic logistics set up, okay. Pick a date so that cuz you know, if you don’t have a date and some basic information like set, you can’t go start finding potential sponsors or potential speakers.

So you need to have kind of that information set. And typically, not to give like too much behind the curtain stuff, but typically because I partner with another place that does a lot of. I mean for con for the bigger conferences, I want super high quality production value because sponsors are paying for that.

So I partner with F I T C to do that stuff. And in order to do that, we have more costs and say, like running my meetups, which is like just me and some of the [00:17:00] infrastructure that you have to pay for. But I, I would start looking for sponsors to make sure we can actually. Not lose our shirt on it kind of thing.

Cuz we have to pay contractors, the guy who runs the video and the people behind the scenes who are helping with chat and doing support. And there’s, like even more serverless there, technically I think four or five of us in total involved in that. Behind the scenes, doing various pieces, speaker management, sponsors all this, so there’s more costs involved.

So you have to make sure you have the cost covered before you jump in. At least that’s how I like to do it. Anyway. So I’d start doing that right now. Like seeing if I filling out some initial sponsors and then also maybe filling out some keynote speakers so that, cuz that the two kind of work in sync, you wanna, having the big name speaker helps you land the big name sponsors and anyway, cause then they’re [00:18:00] sure like okay, so we’re gonna, this is gonna be a successful event cuz so, and so is gonna be speaking there and and they’re.

Well known and whatever drawn audience. Yeah. Yeah. And

Sean C. Davis: I just think it’s really it’s fascinating that you just don’t, you don’t see so much of that when you’re experiencing the conference that it’s it’s, you’re right. A lot less work, I think than something that’s in person.

But but still a lot that goes on behind the scenes. So something that I was interested in that I, I think just we talk a lot in this show about the passage of time in terms of folks’ careers and all of that and what they’ve been thinking about. And we’re talking about this history of virtual events and meetups and all of that.

It’s been a constant, but I’m thinking something that’s probably. Changed is like the, generally the content. You’ve by hosting something every other week for five years that you get to see this flow in trends pretty pretty readily and so [00:19:00] 20. And maybe you can just give us like a quick overview.

Like what were the hot topics? In 2017. And what do you feel like this show has given you in terms of insights into the industry by having to keep hosting event?

Brian Rinaldi: I think the the first one was a JavaScript one. I think it was Raymond Camden and TJ van told, did okay.

JavaScript in 2017 and ES six was still relatively new. Yeah.

Sean C. Davis: We were it’s early Gaby days probably.

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah. So so yeah. React was relatively new. Like we. A lot has changed in a short time since 2017. So we were I have this, I come from a JavaScript front end, the kind of background at least, my more like the past decade or so of my career.

And so like most of my connections were in those areas and so tend to kind. Focus on front end, but we did do a lot of O T stuff and we were talking go. On a high level, [00:20:00] the topics are all the same. I think the specifics of what people were talking about is different. Definitely the web development stuff has changed a lot.

Jam stack. Is jams stack even officially thing. Yes, I think it was, but it’s like

Sean C. Davis: I say, technically they say Netlify was founded and jams stack coined somewhere in the 20 15, 20 16 timeframe. But and I don’t feel like I started, I was at a Ruby on rail shop at that time and I.

I switched to the shop I was at switched to going all in on the jams stack pattern we used Netlify we switched to Gaby and headless CMS, and that was all happening for me. I think it was like the second half of 2017.

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah, I think that, it was definitely big changes right around there for jams stack stuff.

I think a lot of the tools that we’re using today like next JS or. Definitely stuff like Astro or what I mean. [00:21:00] I don’t even think next JS was around yet, or maybe it was in no.

Sean C. Davis: When you look up, I’ve written so many history posts that like I’ve got I’ll screw up every once in a while, but it’s always surprising me to look it up and see that the first official release of next, it goes back to 2015 or 2016.

But that in, the first jam stack conference was October of 2018 and we weren. It was like, there were probably people using next, but it was that I recall that I went to that one and I recall that was all Gaby. That was even like, Man. I’m still, there’s so much to learn still about Gatsby.

That was the cool kid. And now it’s nobody wants to touch Gatsby. Right? I’m sure that’s not true.

Brian Rinaldi: you’re gonna get us in trouble. Aren’t you Chuck? Yeah, I know.

Sean C. Davis: I know. No, it’s still it’s. It’s got its benefits for sure.

Brian Rinaldi: It’s. Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s just so many new tools.

It’s that’s the fun thing I get to especially cuz I, I pick the speakers and it’s Hey,[00:22:00] I wanna learn about, I the reason this all started, even like why I started doing events is I love to learn about new stuff. And often I love to learn about things that like have nothing really to do with my.

What I’m gonna do professionally. I am focused on, like I said, on front end on JavaScript and on serverless and jams stack. But I, I wanted to learnt stuff, even though I like, honestly I’ve never built anything IOT for, I was like, go seems really cool. And I went, so I’d started doing go and I pick topics based on things I wanna learn about in the way.

Following some trends. Like obviously I try to pick things. People are interested in but I definitely wanna learn about it. And I’ve had people even tell me like, oh, you could be like way more successful with this site. If you just Focused on one thing, say we’re all about front end or we’re all about JAMstack or whatever.

And I’m like, yeah, but that’s cool, but that’s not what I’m into it. Like I wanna learn about all kinds of other stuff. That’s fun to me. Even if I [00:23:00] never touch that language or that tool, I wanna learn about it. So yeah it’s, that’s the fun thing for me. Like it’s just sharing that kind of.

Opportunity to learn about new things and just constantly learning about them from like the experts, right? Like I get the people I’ve been fortunate enough to have on are like, are people well known in the field for being experts in the topics they’re talking about?

So it’s. I mean who could beat that? I like, I get to sit there and learn stuff, learn a new thing every couple of weeks. Like from some somebody who’s like super expert in this, like a super expert in this topic. It’s that’s

Sean C. Davis: awesome. Yeah. That’s a really interesting outlet because for me I like my side project is generally more blogging and writing.

And so if I’m gonna do that I’m researching and exploring first. It’s this is. You get a quick snapshot in an hour. And so on that note to you has there been can you recall a talk where [00:24:00] you regardless of your motivation for scheduling it, but that it was something you didn’t really know about and that you actually then either spun up a side project or dug into more because the talk was so interesting.

Brian Rinaldi: Oh God. I’m sure. Putting me on the spot. I’m like,

Sean C. Davis: I haven’t done that much.

Brian Rinaldi: That’s my, I know recently recently being like late last year, we had Casty Williams on and she was doing into Astro. It was definitely something that like was on my list of, I want a mess with that.

But I hadn’t really had the time to learn it. And then I sat through that and I’m like, okay, I’m definitely gonna do that. So it I’d say it tends to still fall within like it’s stuff. I have the time to really dig into professionally. Tend to be the things that, fall into the areas that I know.

So like we also had talk about kit and I was like, oh, that’s cool. I wanna try that too. And stuff like [00:25:00] that. I love learning about if the next one is all about DevOps stuff that launched darkly where I work is. In the DevOps space, but I’m not a DevOpsy person per se.

And as much as any, developer’s not DevOps anymore, like we’re all managing some of the infrastructure on some level and managing the continuous deployment, whatever. But but I really, I’m not like an, that’s not really my focus area. But I’m actually really. Curious to learn more about that.

Cuz I think it’s a topic I really should know more about and can’t wait to learn more about it from her.

Sean C. Davis: So it’s great. You get, you gotta get this you get this taste like you, you can speak, to, to some degree of knowledge about so many different topics and you don’t have to put a ton of effort into the research.

It gets fed to you.

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah. I get people to tell me that’s right. But yeah, I used to describe it. Like I always said, even before I started this, I’m like, I feel so in Boston, there’s this really [00:26:00] big splash pool called that’s in Boston, common called a frog. And I used to say like that I was like the frog pond.

I, I covered a wide area, but I’m not very deep at any particular point , yeah. Yeah,

Sean C. Davis: I, that, that idea really resonates with me where I think about always thinking about what’s the next step of the website and the blog and all of that. And I, and or YouTube channel.

And I know cuz I read, the dev rows and the influencers who are the celebrities in our space. It’s everybody’s got their thing. And so you need two things you need. Maybe three things, you need your thing, you need to have some presence that’s really engaging and you need to do it constantly.

And so you you need like this intersection of all of those things and I’m kinda like you where I. I’m so interested in developments of things that are happening and things I don’t understand. And I also just wanna share the information that I have, and [00:27:00] that’s not one particular area or anything like that.

So I prefer to write about all of these different things. So I, that idea resonates with me and I I know it’s not like the formula for success, but I also think that. One you can by being wide and shallow, you can potentially attract folks who maybe they, something catches their attention and then they’re talking with people they wouldn’t otherwise communicate with, but it also made me think is there a yeah.

Okay. So getting to a question the question I, it just popped in my head was, are you do you think there’s a space where. You could actually brand yourself as having a thing. And the thing is you come here because you’re filling in the gaps of the ecosystem today. Can you push your ideology of what a side project is on other people to entice them, to come to things that might not otherwise interest that or catch their attention?

Brian Rinaldi: I think you’re, I think you could. I kind [00:28:00] of figure, as far as this, like any kind of, especially when you’re talking a side project, whether it’s your blog or a site like this or whatever, the only way to keep it alive is that you gotta love doing it. And you hope that whatever you’re doing, even if it’s not a huge audience there’s other people out there that you’re helping who have similar kind of.

Interests and, to you. And I think those it, for number one, you can’t look completely for external validation, which, you side project lives partly because you enjoy doing it. And Even running this for five years can has taught me that if you’re looking for that external validation it ebbs and flows.

And so it’s hard to keep your motivation going if you’re relying on that, when it ebbs. And so it won’t cuz it’s not always gonna be constant. So you gotta do something you love doing that you’re passionate about doing. [00:29:00] And in my case it happens to be like, I love running events.

I love being in developer community. I love kind of meeting new people and all that kind of fits nicely into this. So so even, even if I have an event that doesn’t have that massive audience that I would. On, there’s a part of me that would love to have a biggest audience possible at every possible but I get to meet a new person.

I get to learn new things. . And so it’s not just about me, obviously. I wanna share that with whoever want, that’s the whole point of this but if I can’t, if I’m not enjoying it, then the project will eventually. Same thing goes with a blog, which is probably my blog is speaking of blogs, my blog is dead, cuz a lot of my energy is put here.

So that’s yeah. Your blog is you gotta enjoy, find things you enjoy writing about. And people come, hopefully people come, they pro you know, they probably will. There’s definitely people out there who have similar interests to you, whatever your interests are. Just take your lead from that, right?

Sean C. Davis: Yeah. And you don’t necessarily have [00:30:00] to, for speaking again, upside projects, you don’t necessarily have to have a cult following to be successful. Like my site is probably I can’t, I don’t know that I could actually verify this, but I would guess less than 1% people coming to look for new content and it is at least 99%.

Google traffic because I’m mostly writing about maybe it might be skewed a little bit. I’m mostly writing about solutions to problems, but I’ll put some ideas in there and and get some chatter on Twitter. But yeah, it’s I agree. It’s if I, I do it because I like writing, not because I’m trying to.

In page views and monetize if I actually want. So and maybe what we’re getting at here and maybe a good way to, to wrap this and transition is to say there’s there’s, I don’t know some inherent difference of doing a, having a side project because it’s it’s a hobby, it’s an interest.

It’s a thing that you enjoy versus. You are doing this because you want to turn it [00:31:00] into a business. And not that those two things can’t overlap, but they have different motivations and different side effects. Yeah. I think as a result,

Brian Rinaldi: do you think so? Yeah. If you’re trying to turn it into a business on the wrong pro, cuz I’ve never I’ve always managed to get these things to a certain point.

Like I’ve had multiple things that I’ve spun off and then, sometimes I in the past I sold. But I’m, I’ve never been one to really make a lot of figure out how to make a lot of money off of any of my side thing. Not even this I get, I make enough to like, hopefully one day pay myself back for all the money I spent on it.

Which will take a while at the current rate, but, that’s all right.

Sean C. Davis: It’s yeah, it’s fun,

Brian Rinaldi: right? Yeah. It is fun. That’s what I said. Like otherwise I would, it would be dead if it wasn’t fun, it would be dead. So this is you. Anyway.

Sean C. Davis: Exactly. That’s a kind of a perfect transition to to work toward closing this season out.

And, usually I do this kind of what has become a longer series of [00:32:00] hot sea questions, but I thought we’d end up with two that I asked for the first episode and wasn’t sure if they would hang around, but they really got some attention and some interesting answers. So I figured let’s end with those and then we’ll close out this season and kind of a great segue, I think from, talking about CFE and side projects and all of this is what would you say is the worst mistake that you’ve made in your experience here?

Running CFE over the last five?

Brian Rinaldi: I think the worst mistake I made was actually that, it was a mistake in terms of, if you talk about I lost a lot of money on it. And things like that. I, it was still, it went like for the people who came, it went really well and stuff, but I ran that in person converse and here in Orlando.

And I think. I had as with any failed event, you’re like you have a number of things you think were the reason it happened to be come right before we [00:33:00] closed up for COVID. So I think that really hurt the number of attendees. It’s it also was maybe too nichey of a topic. The kind of hook was that it was like, it was all about being a developer, but it, the talks all had ties into history, like the history of the web, right?

Like it was all web development stuff, but it was, it’s like very tied into I teach about some new topic, but with a lot of the history of it. So it’s called like a flashback comfort. Which

Sean C. Davis: is super interesting. Yeah.

Brian Rinaldi: I thought it would be cool. I thought, but anyway, who knows if it was the niche topic or if it was the fact that it was COVID, I think over some combination of all those things but I, yeah, I, that was the only event I’ve ever run where I really lost a bunch of money.

Sean C. Davis: Okay. Bunch

Brian Rinaldi: being, I didn’t, in the high thousands, like I think almost like eight K on that thing. So it’s not like the end of the world, but still a lot of money, [00:34:00]

Sean C. Davis: but yeah that’s significant. Yeah. Yeah. Enough to make you not wanna do in-person events again for a while.

Brian Rinaldi: yeah, for, yeah, none.

I haven’t done any since then yet, like that was a low cost event. So in terms of It was designed to be not like I wasn’t doing a big conference center or anything like that. That’s where like you get into these, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollar contracts that are hard to get out of and where you can really get killed.

But, thankfully the people running them know what the hell they’re doing for the most part. .

Sean C. Davis: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. All right. Then last, very last question is I’m gonna go back to the classic four parter, which is the you, the scenario is you get to have a meal. Generally lunch with anybody living or dead.

And you and so you have to answer, who’s the person where are you going and what are you eating and or what are you ordering and what are, what what topic are you

Brian Rinaldi: discussing with them? [00:35:00] Okay. So I knew you were gonna ask this cuz obviously I’ve watched every episode and I gave a lot of thought to it and I think, and end, I was trying to come up with I caught myself trying to come up with too smart of an answer when in fact I don’t really have the smartest answer, how, it.

I went with a gut feeling and it’s gonna be super nerdy and boring, but I wanna have lunch with mark ham. And okay. Not because I’m a giant star wars nerd, cause I love star wars, but but he’s had a really interesting career in the sense, like he’s, it was defined by star wars obviously.

But he’s he’s been the voice of joker and just about everything. I love he does a great job as the joker. He’s really he, his voice now defines the joker you, and if you don’t know it’s him, if you don’t know, he’s the person who does the joker you’d have no idea. Interesting.

Okay. Yeah. Cuz it doesn’t sound anything like [00:36:00] him. He’s he’s just done a lot of interesting things post career, and especially now he’s like super, politically active. I love his he’s great on Twitter. He’s like funny and charismatic and just, I don’t know. I just wanna know, I’d love to have lunch and just ask him about his career and kind of things you do on this show.

I’d love to have this kind of conversation with him. And then we would go, so I’d take him. Assuming he’s in Orlando, we’d go to Stasia’s deli and get sandwiches, all right. Rose beef sandwiches. Exactly. And what was the that, okay. It was who, where and what was the other part?

What would we talk about? I think, oh, we have we covered what talk about the, his career, basically. I’d like to ask him about that. Yeah. That’s I love that’s great. Yeah.

Sean C. Davis: yeah. All right. Thanks. Thanks for joining me. This is great. It was really interesting to hear about the history of certified fresh [00:37:00] events and I think a great way to close out.

Season one, I’m really looking forward to you taking a little break and you and I are gonna spend some time brainstorming about how we can make this thing bigger, better more creative next year or not next year, next season, which will, hopefully we’re planning on starting in sometime in the fall 2022 here.

And for those of you listening, you can you can catch all of the first season of code sandwich. In video format on YouTube. And also you can get to the YouTube video through, and you can get the audio format in podcast form wherever you happen to get your podcasts. With that, I think that’s that, that about wraps up Definitely check out in the interim while we’re on our break, catch the meetups that happen twice a month.

And and keep a word out, join the discord community, follow us on

Brian Rinaldi: Twitter. What else? And the massive library of it was five years worth of meetups. Yeah. How many you [00:38:00] have? I think we’re nearing 200 now, 200 videos that it’s like it’s and every single one of ’em. It’s free. So it’s it’s the one thing I complain about all the time.

There’s so much stuff there then people just I need to do a better job of getting it out there. But but yeah, it’s just a great resource for people. Most people don’t know

Sean C. Davis: about. And imagine they stay, we talked about the passage of time, but I imagine that you’re, you could probably still find some pretty relevant topics if you go back to some of those 2017 topics.

Brian Rinaldi: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. They’re not like none, some of the stuff like gets dated quickly and others, they’re still relevant four years later and granted we’ve been running it for four years, so it’s like Stu five years. So there’s stuff. From last month or stuff from five years ago, you just searched the topic you wanna find.

And probably I have it.

Sean C. Davis: Or send you a message and you’ll make it happen.

Brian Rinaldi: Yeah. Or send me a [00:39:00] message and say, Hey, you haven’t covered this topic. You really should. I’ve been looking for something on Python. We haven’t done anything on Python in five years, which boggles my mind.

Sean C. Davis: Yeah. And I’ve been hearing actually some somehow been hearing more folks talk about it, so that’d be great. So actually, yeah. Tell so aside from and and getting a link to the, or joining discord from their how else can people get in touch with you or with

Brian Rinaldi: the. Yeah. You can see my, my name is E Mo synth on just about any service you’re on.

But I’m most active on Twitter. And my DMS are open, so I’m happy to like, have people reach out to me. Fantastic.

Sean C. Davis: All right. Thanks Brian.

Brian Rinaldi: Thanks Sean. Thanks for great season one. It was a lot of.

Sean C. Davis: This was amazing. Thank you. All of all the viewers and listeners out there go back to some of those previous episodes.[00:40:00]