Episode 41

VoV 042: Freedom with Charles Max Wood


December 18th, 2018

1 hr 2 mins 49 secs

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About this Episode


  • Chris Fritz
  • Charles Max Wood

In this episode, the panel consists of Chris and Charles who talk about developer freedom. Chuck talks about his new show called The DevRev. The guys also talk about time management, answering e-mails, being self-employed, and their goals/hopes/dreams that they want to achieve in life. Check it out!

Show Topics:

0:00 – Advertisement – Kendo UI

0:30 – Chuck: Hi! Today our panel is Chris and myself. My new show is The DevRev. There is a lot of aspect of our job that boil down to freedom. Figure out what they like to do and eliminate the things that they don’t like to do. I think it will be 5x a week and I will have a guest every week. What does freedom mean to you? What is your ideal coding situation where you don’t starve?

2:10 – Chris: Let me take a step-back. Why I got into coding it was even before that and it was education. I wanted to work with schools and not necessarily tied to only one school. As a programmer I cannot be asked to do things that I don’t agree with.

3:21 – Chuck: A lot of this thought-process came up b/c of my initial steps into my self-employment. I wanted to go to my son’s activities. I saw freelancing as an option and then had to do that b/c I got laid-off. I hate being told what to do. I have an HOA in my neighborhood and I hate it. They tell me when and how to mow my lawn. This is how I operate it. I hate that they tell me to mow my lawn. I want to talk to people who I want to talk to – that’s my idea of freedom. Everyone’s different idea of what “freedom” is will be different.

5:36 – Chris: I want more time to create more free stuff.

Chris talks about DEV experience.

6:28 – Chuck: How did you get to that point of figuring out what you want to do?

6:44 – Chris: I still am figuring that out. I do have a lot of opportunities that are really exciting for me. It’s deciding what I like at that moment and choosing what I want to do vs. not what is going to wear me down. I don’t want to die with regret. There is a distinction between bad tired and good tired. You weren’t true to what you thought was right – and so you don’t settle easy. You toss and turn. I want to end with “good tired” both for the end of the day and for the end of my life.

8:00 – Chuck: I agree with that and I really identify with that.

8:44 – Chris: How do you measure yourself?

8:54 – Chuck: It’s hard to quantify it in only one idea. It’s hard to measure. I list out 5 things I need to do to get me closer to my [one] big goal. I have to get those 5 things done. Most of the time I can make it and I keep grinding on it before I can be done.

9:51 – Chris: My bar is pretty low. Is there more joy / more happiness in the world today in the world b/c of what I’ve done today? I know I will make mistakes in code – and that hurts, no day will be perfect. I try to have a net positive affect everyday.

10:53 – Chris: I can fall easily into depression if I have too many bad days back-to-back.

11:03 – Chuck: I agree and I have to take time off if that happens.

11:13 – Chris talks about open source work and he mentions HOPE IN SOURCE, also Babel.

12:23 – Chuck: When I got to church and there is this component of being together and working towards the same goals. It’s more than just community. There is a real – something in common that we have.

12:57 – Chris: Do you think it’s similar to open source?

13:05 – Chuck: You can watch a podcast in-lieu of an actual in-person sermon. In my church community it’s – Building Each Other Up. It’s not the same for when I contribute to open source.

13:43 – Chris: I ask myself: Is it of value? If I were to die would that work help progress the humankind?

By the time I die - I will be completely useless b/c everything in my head is out there in other peoples’ heads.

14:35 – Chuck: When I am gone – I want someone to step into my void and continue that. These shows should be able to go on even if I am not around. I want to make sure that these shows can keep going.

15:48 – Chris: How can we build each other up? We want to have opportunities to grow. I try to provide that for members of the team and vice versa. The amount of respect that I have seen in my communities is quite amazing. I admire Thorsten on the Vue team a lot. (Thorsten’s Twitter.) He talked about compassion and how to communicate with each other and code with compassion. That’s better community and better software. You are forced to thin from multiple perspectives. You want to learn from these various perspectives.

17:44 – Chuck: The ideas behind the camaraderie are great.

17:56 – Chris: And Sarah Drasner!

18:38 – Chuck: She probably feels fulfilled when she helps you out (Sarah).

18:54 – Chuck: We all have to look for those opportunities and take them!

19:08 – Chuck: We have been talking about personal fulfillment. For me writing some awesome code in Vue there is Boiler Plate or running the tests.

19:52 – Chuck: What tools light you up?

20:02 – Chris: I am a bit of a weirdo. I feel pretty good when I am hitting myself against a wall for 9 hours. I like feeling obsessed about something and defeating it. I love it.

21:21 – Chuck: The things that make you bang your head against the wall is awful for me. I like writing code that helps someone. (Chris: I like the challenge.) We will be charged up for different things. You like the challenge and it empowers me to help others out.

22:21 – Chris: I like learning more about how something works. I want to save people a lot of work. There has to be a social connection or I will have a hard time even attempting it.

22:52 – Chris: I also play video games where there are no social connections. I played the Witness a few months ago and I loved the puzzles.

23:45 – Chuck: What other tools are you using?

23:57 – Chris: Webpack is the best took for creating the ideal development scenario.

24:47 – Chuck mentions Boiler Plate.

25:00 – Chris: It was built to help large teams and/or large applications. 

I built some other projects like: Hello Vue Components & (with John Papa) Vue Monolith Example.

27:07 – Chuck: Anything else that you consider to be “freeing?”

27:13 – Chris: I like working from home. I like having my routines – they make me happy and productive. Having full control over that makes me happy. The only thing I have is my wife and my cat.

28:12 – Chuck: Yeah I don’t miss driving through traffic.

28:44 – Chris: I don’t like to be around people all day.

30:40 – Advertisement: Get A Coder Job!

31:05 – Chris: Online I get a couple dozen people reaching out to me for different things: completely out-of-the-blue. I want to respond to most of those people but...

33:12 – Chuck: If it’s not on my calendar it won’t happen. I will get those e-mails that can be very time consuming.

33:35 – Chris: When they are asking for something “simple” – it’s not always simple.

34:30 – Chuck: I want to help everybody and that can be a problem.

35:02 – Chris: They are reaching out to me and I want to help.

35:56 – Chuck and Chris go back-and-forth.

36:18 – Chris: How do you figure out how to write a short enough response to the email – to only do 30 minutes?

36:44 – Chuck: Can I answer it in one minute? Nope – so it will go into another pile later in the week. I’ve replied saying: Here is my short-answer and for the long-answer see these references. I star those e-mails that will take too long to respond.

37:50 – Chris and Chuck go back-and-forth.

38:06 – Chuck: Your question is so good – here is the link to the blog that I wrote.

38:37 – Chris: I want to document to point people HERE to past blogs that I’ve written or to someone else’s blog. I feel guilty when I have to delegate.

39:35 – Chuck: I don’t have a problem delegating b/c that’s why I’m paying them. Everyone has his or her own role. 

40:40 – Chris: Yeah that makes sense when it’s their job.

41:30 – Chuck: I know working together as a team will free me up in my areas of excellence.

41:49 – Chris: I am having a hard time with this right now.

43:36 – Chuck: We are looking for someone to fill this role and this is the job description. This way you can be EXCELLENT at what you do. You aren’t being pulled too thin.

44:19 – Chris: I have been trying to delegate more.

45:04 – Chuck: Yeah I have been trying to do more with my business, too. What do I want to do in the community? What is my focus? What is my mission and values for the business? Then you knock it out of the park!

45:51 – Chris: As a teacher it is really helpful and really not helpful. You are leading and shaping their experiences. You don’t have options to delegate.

46:27 – Chuck: Yeah my mother is a math teacher.

46:37 – Chuck: Yeah she has 10 kids, so she helps to delegate with force. She is the department head for mathematics and she does delegate some things. It’s you to teach the course.

47:18 – Chris: What promoted you to start this podcast? Is it more personal?

47:30 – Chuck talks about why he is starting this new podcast.

48:10 – Chuck: My business coach said to me: write a mission statement. When I did that things started having clarity for me.

Chuck talks about the plan for the DevRev!

55:20 – Chris: I am looking forward to it!

55:34 – Chuck: It will be recorded via video through YouTube, too, in addition to iTunes (hopefully).

55:52 – Chris & Chuck: Picks!

55:58 – Advertisement – Fresh Books! DEVCHAT code. 30-day trial.