Ep7 - Transcript
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Hayden Barnes: From being a lawyer to becoming an engineering manager at Canonical
Fabio RosadoToday, I'm joined by Hayden. He was a lawyer and started his own law firm, funded and managed Pengwin you were also working in sales for Apple, and you were also a paramedic. So you have a very vast background, which is very interesting. Can you just get us started by how was the process? from doing so many different things until where you are now at Canonical.
Hayden BarnesWell, first thanks for having me Fabio, it's really great to be here. I've had a lot of interesting jobs. And this actually used to bother me how every five years, I would get bored and go do something next. But once I kind of embraced it as part of my personality, it's actually worked out really well. So I had a very normal high school experience, went to college, undergrad, I kind of bounced around in undergrad, a little bit, kind of had to find my footing in the world, took a break from undergrad and went to medical school, and worked as a paramedic for a long time. I say a long time, long time for me, which is like three, four years.
Fabio RosadoThat's quite long. To be honest, I think it's quite long.
Hayden BarnesYeah. And then, from a tech background, I've always been a tinkerer, we're probably gonna end up talking about Linux. And I've been using Linux and Other Linux, like operating systems, kind of as a hobby, since I was a teen, but I never really pursued it professionally, mostly because I thought I needed a computer science degree. And I could never do the math that was required for those degrees. Like calculus just couldn't do it. So I, I kind of just wrote that off as something that will just always be a hobby. But I got close a few times. So I worked for Apple for a while doing business sales, personal shopping, and it was it was fun in the apple retail environment. And being part of that, especially when Steve was still in charge at Apple that was really special. But then I decided I had to go to grad school. So my actual undergrad is in anthropology.
Hayden Barneswith focus in archaeology, I was actually out in the field digging, you know, doing field studies, I get to, take classes on like, identifying pre human primates and that kind of thing. It was, it's really fun.
Fabio RosadoI actually had a friend that did that
Hayden Barnesthen I went to law school. And law school was really interesting. I actually really enjoyed law school. I got out of law school. At a time when the market for lawyers wasn't that great. I kind of I kind of went into law school to avoid the recession. But the recession really didn't catch up to the legal field until I got out. I went to law school in the DC area. And that was around the time that the sequester hit, which Non Us followers may not be familiar with. But it was a time when they dramatically cut back a lot of government. So a lot of entry level legal jobs just weren't available. So I had to rough it for a while. And we ended up moving from the DC area. The market was just flooded. And I moved back to Georgia, where I went to school and from and moved to city where my wife's family is I clerked here until I pass the Maryland bar. And then I had to retake the Georgia bar once I passed the Georgia bar. It's a small town. It's you know, you're in Georgia. We're not in Atlanta, which is the major metro area. So I have my own shingle and did some interesting work, mostly business litigation. And I had my own practice, I had a law clerk, I had some paralegals. I had some fortune 500 clients hired me to do work in Georgia. So just did a lot of local stuff. In a small community like this, when you're a lawyer, you kind of end up being a family lawyer or business lawyer, a little bit of everything to the community. I did that for about five years. And it kind of felt like I had gone as far as I could. I also found the tone of the legal profession to be changing. Even between the five years I started, and when I left, we got much more acrimonious to the point where you'd have a good case or you'd have a strong position on emotion, and you'd contact the opposing counsel, and you'd explain your position and the case, and they would recognise where you are in the case. And you deal right, you work it out the towards the end, I found that increasingly, parties and their attorneys just aren't as reasonable anymore. And you just had to beat them, like hard in court, again, and again and again, and maybe I just lost the heart for doing that. But in the meantime, I I was looking for new laptop. I'd been in the apple ecosystem for quite a while. But I didn't like the direction the MacBook Pros were going basically after 2015. It sounded like keyboards had lots of issues. I wasn't interested in the touch bar, like that didn't appeal to me at all. So I've seen these people who are fanatical about ThinkPad, Lenovo ThinkPad. So I picked a used one up on eBay, and I put Linux on it. And I liked it, it was pretty good. But I still needed to run a handful of Windows applications for my law job and expensive applications I paid for and they kind of work in wine, but not really. So I installed Windows reluctantly.
And try it. And I known about the WSL and had tried it in a VM before windows subsystem for Linux. But that's when I really dug in about, it's probably about four years ago now, when I started really tinkering with WSL. And for those, of you who don't know, the WSL windows subsystem for Linux, is a feature of Windows 10. That gives you a lightweight virtual environment to run Linux applications. Linux is a free and open source operating system that has a lot of commonalities with like legacy Unix servers, which power a lot of websites and services on the web. And it's, it's considered a competitor to Windows in some ways, and in some ways, it's not.
Fabio RosadoIt's funny that this is sort of how you got started with WSL. I've been using my MacBook Pro, which I bought in 2015, early 2015. So I get what you say that's like the last good ones, I actually had to upgrade my SSD because it was too small. And I could do it myself. I didn't have to go anywhere, because it was the last version that you could change the hard drive. And for the whole streaming and for the whole thing with the podcast and editing and all the things I do. It needed something a bit beefier. Let's say that my MacBook Pro, it was struggling already. So I built my own computer. And that was the first time that I built a computer and I haven't used windows. So I think it was probably VISTA was my last windows. So that was a long time ago. And I was so surprised with WSL, I didn't expect to just run Windows permanently. I did say okay, I'm going to give this a shot. And then I'll probably dual boot with... I wasn't sure with this distro. Maybe Ubuntu maybe Mint I'm not sure. And I haven't yet. And it's been I think two months, or it's coming to two months. And yeah I haven't moved back yet.
Hayden BarnesThat's great. I discovered WSL and I started kind of getting involved a little bit in the community kind of answering questions, helping people out kind of figuring out who are the movers and shakers. And I started putting together a set of hacks that made WSL just kind of work out of the box, you know, with a lot of things like GUI apps. And you know, just configuring things that made what would you consider sane default. And I, of course, I was constantly hacking on this and breaking the configuration because I was pushing it to see what it could do. So I have to reset and then rerun the script. And I said, Well, why don't I just build my own image of a distro and have all this stuff baked in. So I did and scripted it and I started building my own image. And then I showed it around a few people at that time it was called WLinux. And people were really interested in this and having a Linux distro that was tuned and configured specifically for WSL. I was like, Okay, this was during a time. And it's it hasn't stopped during discussions about sustainability and open source and specifically open source development, independent open source development. You know, the people who kind of tirelessly maintain those obscure libraries, you may call in your Python application, or that does that one thing you need to do but you never really think about the person who's basically free part time job is maintaining that library, so that you can do that. So you don't have to write 300 lines of code to do that one little thing you need to do, if you're lucky if it's just 300 right
Fabio RosadoThat would be easy to maintain. I'm a maintainer for an open source project, which is a chat bot library written in Python. And we rely on all the other open source packages and libraries so we can integrate with different chat connectors. And yeah, I have a lot of respect by any open source, contributor, maintainer, creator, everything, yeah
Hayden BarnesYeah, one of my ideas for this was that you charge and like in some places you can't charge, you can't charge for a Pypi, really. But there's other ways you can charge and then you can take where you can charge and push those resources and funds upstream. So I contacted Microsoft and said, Hey, I want to put my own distro in the store. They said, Great. And I said, Yeah, and I want to charge for it. They said, Let's check with legal. And I knew it, I knew legal would say it was okay, because this is one of the four freedoms of free software is the ability to charge as long as the sources available and the licences are respected. And it's okay to charge for free software.
Fabio RosadoI guess your background, your legal background helped you as well, navigating the whole legal thing.
Hayden BarnesIt did, there isn't a lot of tech law in rural Georgia. But where it did come up, I did have some experience there. And like, I spoken at some conf... you know, tech conferences on legal issues. So you know, I kind of knew what I was getting into a little bit. I put it in the store, and it took off. And people... it was controversial, because charging for Linux is always controversial. Let me put it this way in the enthusiast community is for enterprise, they have no problem paying for Linux, they want to pay for Linux. But charging individual end users is tricky. But it took off. And we started getting lots of feedback and user requests. And what evolved was a model of very user connected development, where basically by paying 10 bucks for Pengwin, which is what we rebranded as penguin with P E G W I N, so a little bit of fun there for because it's on Windows, and the users who paid $10, we basically then consider them like shareholders, you give us $10. And it helps maintain this project. And as part of that, we give you support, you know, in the GitHub issues, bundling handful of tools and defaults that are optimised for WSL. And we built, we have plugged into the WSL community and started building this WSL. Eventually, I was able to wind down my solo law practice. And I briefly went to work for another law practice on basically on the side. Because I was I was starting to do work full time on Pengwin. And eventually, I had to hire other developers to help me and I had a developer I hired Patrick, in Hong Kong, Carlos, and Jim from the UK. And together, we worked on Pegwin. And then we started getting enterprise contracts for businesses who wanted custom images of penguin or their systems, specifically CentOS based distros. Pengwin is based on Debian but then we also did work to help bring Fedora and CentOS as an option to WSL, because those aren't really officially supported by those projects. And then we branched into basically distro maintenance. And we created raft, which is a a GUI that helps you maintain all of your existing WSL distros and install them and reinstall them and reset them and convert between one and two, just like in a really nice native Windows GUI experience. And it was a lot of fun working on an international team, kind of setting our own hours kind of doing what we wanted. And we didn't go out and get VC funding. I didn't want VC funding. Some of the startup incubators I looked at, basically have a no open source policy. They're like we're not interested if you're open, like at all.
Fabio RosadoBecause they are afraid someone steals the idea
Hayden BarnesRight, of course, all the best startups rely on open source.
Hayden BarnesThey just the VCs don't want to fund open source. So we said we didn't we didn't need that. So we kind of wrote a, I wrote a manifesto called, like, what is an indie open source project. And it's a, it's funded by the users, we're directly accountable to our users, we often have a personal relationship with our users. And it was great, because then Microsoft released a trailer video for their new windows terminal at build 2019. And it had Pengwin in it. Like feature is like, Oh, that's great. It's fantastic. And then I got to speak at build, and things kind of hit a lot of momentum, then. And it was around that time that I heard from someone at Canonical the company that publishes Ubuntu. And basically, they said, hey, we've noticed what you're doing out there. And, of course, they have distros in WSL, as well. But they kind of wanted to take it to the next level. Would I be interested in coming over? And after series of discussions, we reached agreement where Yeah, I was willing to come over, I made arrangements to ensure continuity of Pengwin and raft, that those wouldn't just go away. Carlos on the team stepped up to become the new owner, benevolent dictator for life of that, and it's continuing. And then I actually stole Patrick, and brought him with me to Canonical. And basically Canonical gave me more resources to do what I wanted to do. And to back up a little bit, I had been thinking a lot, as an inspiration that went into this was, I've always been a fan of the terminal, I think the terminal is very powerful, useful. I don't think end users should be afraid of the terminal. You know, ideally, you shouldn't have to go to terminal. But I also want to make the terminal accessible enough, where if you land there, it's not hard, and you start to kind of unpack what it can do. So I was actually thinking about this on the back when I was in the apple ecosystem, something on iOS. And I looked at the Pytonista, and said, that's great for Python. But what if I want bash? Like what if I wanted to use bash to script and automate iOS the way you can in pythonista. But I ultimately decided that the apple ecosystem is just too close. It wasn't clear if my bash scripts that downloaded libraries could if I could put that out in the store because it's downloading other binaries. And ultimately, I experimented with some things on Windows, like, if you go look at my GitHub repos, there's a proof of concept of like Minix, which is a another Unix clone, that's running on Windows. It's like a simplified bash experience. But WSL was the way to go, ultimately, because not only because of the openness of the Microsoft Store, leverage went from Microsoft, but the platform was just so much more powerful with something we could do. It's something to do, we could build on, like, we didn't need to build the whole stack, we could just put our distro on wsl and go from there. So my mission has always been to bring more people to the terminal, expose more people to open source help people be more productive. And the key thing to coming over to canonical working on WSL. is that it gave me and our team, ,WSL a platform to continue to promote this as an option. You self mentioned you thought about dual booting, but then you ended up going with WSL
Hayden Barnesand, you know, question is does that present a conflict? You know, a little bit, you know, so,
Hayden Barnesideally, we, we, we would want to, you know, on a Ubuntu desktop, but we kind of kind of like open source isn't a zero sum equation, you contribute to a project because you know that your contributions flow outwards and other contributions flow back. And what we realise is that people who are using Ubuntu on WSL, are actually now more likely to use Ubuntu in other places. So they are spinning up Ubuntu to VMs in the cloud. They're buying Raspberry Pi's and flashing them withUbuntu to they're buying second machines. And having other machines, you know, I've got one, two, you know, I've got two devices running Windows and two devices running Ubuntu on my desktop. So and that doesn't include WSL on Windows where I spend a lot of time. So it's not even though users are going to WSL, and using Linux, there, we are broadening the reach of Linux, and kind of expanding the fold. And it. It's really exciting. I think it's really forward thinking of Microsoft to do this, basically, let us onto their platform. And let us kind of show everyone Hey, this is what Linux can offer. And I do think occasionally we, it gets cool enough that people are like, Well, let me just instal actual Ubuntu, which is great. But that's not that's not exactly what we're trying to do it not really a competition. It's bringing people into the ecosystem, teaching them the skills, and then going from there. It's that's a long answer to like one question, you have to get
Fabio RosadoBut through all these things that she said, there's a lot of things that you said. So it's perfectly fine. And it's very interesting that you say that, that's the fact that Windows allows folks to install Linux distribution will definitely make people are more interested in more keen on trying the pure system instead of just using the terminal. Because one of the most powerful things or not, maybe maybe not one of the most powerful, but maybe the thing that makes people really love their Linux distribution is how much you can customise your distribution, you can make your operating system to look exactly how you want. I know when I was using Ubuntu, and so I used to have a very old laptop before I bought the MacBook. And I was using Ubuntu was my first Linux distribution that I've tried. And I used to spend hours just changing the how the windows Look how the cursors Look, the whole theme, you know, what we usually do? So yeah, even if people are just wondering, what is this Ubuntu thing, I think, definitely just have a look at it. You install it. There are so many different ways. You can just see use a... Like you said raspberry pi, which fairly cheap and powerful, especially this last version, you can even just use a USB stick and get Ubuntu of work in there. So yeah, I have a question from Horacio. He asks, What was about your previous career that helps you and will do you think it was valuable when you started as an engineer?
Hayden BarnesSo public speaking, kind of project management. So when you're a lawyer, of course, you're going to court you're arguing cases. So you need to love those public speaking skills. Project Management, you may have a case that takes six months, you may have a case that takes six years, and there's steps along the way, you have to plan for those. So there's a lot of like, management and administrative tasks that require supervising other employees and being accountable for their work. So when you're an attorney, and you have a paralegal draft something when you sign and file it, you're accountable for that, like there's no blaming the paralegal, for making a mistake here, though, is your law licence. So certainly a sense of accountability for your team was key. And probably some degree of emotional intelligence. And that is being able to work in a situation where, you know, I'm on WSL, I work on WSL
I'm on the desktop team at Ubuntu, but I need to be able to have nuanced conversations about these platforms with developers who may be sceptical, you know, some persuasion there and navigate sometimes where there's Yeah, there's somewhat of a conflict of interest, and work around those and find common ground. Find where there's examples, you know, if someone's working on the WSL, and issues a patch for your favourite open source tool, it's still a patch for your open source tool. So helping kind of shape the narrative there and guide people tore away from kind of the reflexive anger that some in the Linux community have towards Microsoft towards a more constructive, long term progressive view of what this means. So, certainly, that's one way where the emotional work you do with people as a lawyer came in handy as well, in addition to the administrative and project management, and public speaking skills.
Fabio RosadoThis is one thing that comes pretty much on every talk that I do with a guest is that being a developer, it's not just writing code, you're working with a team. So it's important to know how to communicate, how to manage yourself, how to manage your team, as well. And yeah, I understand completely that all this experience, the essence, as a lawyer, you are a very good speaker, a very good communicator.
Hayden BarnesYeah, it comes in handy. Because, you know, like, on our team, the engineers in desktop that we work with, and Patrick, on our team, they're smarter than I am, they're better coders, like, no doubt, like I can, I can put something together, you know, I can, I can code a handful of languages, it's kind of pigeon scratchy, but like, acknowledging that their skills exceed mine, but I'm here, not to put them down or to Lord my skills over them, because I don't have them, I'm here to help facilitate what they're doing. And guide, you know, serve as an advocate in the community here, you know, get feedback from developers and users serve as a conduit between our organisation and Microsoft, and the team's work on WSL at Microsoft. So I really see myself as a facilitator. And that's, that's kind of where really leads back to my work as a lawyer, where you take all you take this whole bundle of skills, and you facilitate something for a client, and that in this case, I'm facilitating something for my team, and our users, and the company I work for. So it doesn't actually feel all that different, except it's a lot more fun. And I don't have to deal with, like, as many pathological people, belive it or not. I will, I will, I will take the r/Linux comment section over a opposing party who tries to attack me in Court any day, any day.
Fabio RosadoIt's definitely builds character, I think, when you have to sort of fight another person to try to get your point across and to sort of win that battle in Court, so yeah. And also, if it's something that makes it more fun, it's more fun for you to work on these projects. doesn't feel like work. I think if you do something that doesn't...
Hayden BarnesThat was different, you know, there was a period where, like, my hobby now was my job. And like, what, what do I do now when I want to wind down, because if I go and do what I was going to do, which to wind down, which was tinker with WSL, I'm going to end up working gonna end up filing bug reports, I'm gonna end up writing code to patch something. So that is one of the downfalls of your hobby becoming your job. So when I joined canonical, I joined canonical as a developer advocate. And I kind of I was developer advocate, and I still feel like a developer advocate. First, in terms of my visibility in the community, facilitation I do. But I was also kind of doing the job of the engineering manager of the team, kind of organising the meetings, doing the clerical paperwork, so they're like, Hey, we're just going to give you that title. You're already doing it. So I definitely see, I'm gonna have to evolve into that role. Like I admit, I'm very green, in terms of being an engineering manager, not exactly something I planned for. I do have skills that translate, but in the long term, you know, I may pursue some sort of additional certifications, or training to kind of solidify that a little better kind of put a bow on what I have there. But it's a long term process. So but yeah, it's a lot of fun, too.
Fabio RosadoI was going to ask you two things, actually. So the first one is, like you said, the, the issue of, or turning your hobby into your job. Did you had to find a different hobby. So you can spend time on or you just fall back to the always be working all the time, because it's something to enjoy.
Hayden BarnesI paced it out I still will do hobby projects that involve WSL to wind down. Like, you're gonna laugh, but I I bought some PBX equipment on eBay. That gives me a basically a phone system over voIP that I can simulate. And then I bought a handful of dial up motions,
Hayden Barnesserial dial up modem, link them the WSL, and connected them so I could dial up out of one WSL container into another and connect them like the fashioned terminal BBs. Yeah, yeah. So that that took a few that took about a six, eight weeks of planning and, and getting the like finding the parts and getting the parks to work and finding the the old 80's codes to get the modem to wake up and talk. So I still do things like that, you know, and like, I have a rock pro 64, which is a similar to a Raspberry Pi on ways that I hack on and I use for different projects. So I still find things to do. But there was a transition where it's like, what do you do at the end of the day? And you know, certainly COVID changed your options.
Fabio RosadoYeah, as well, unfortunately, yeah, you have to spend more time at home. So yeah, since you this transition have you have ever had to deal with any sort of imposter syndrome?
Hayden BarnesOh, yeah. Well, I mean, you have a law degree. And you're now your developer advocate at canonical. And you're following in the footsteps of people like Martin Wimpress would be an op and Alan Pope, who are basically Linux celebrities, and you're like, here, you now have the same title. And you're on the same team. As these people you've known for years as these tech celebrities. You're gonna Now do the same thing just for WSL. And you're like, Wait, what? Yeah. And by the way, you don't even have a computer science degree. You're your former lawyer.
So yeah, that's definitely an issue, particularly when they then bumped me up to engineering manager because again, my team are smarter than I am in terms of coding in terms of the things that they can do. And I recognise where my skills translate and kind of where I have some gaps to fill in. And I plan to fill in those gaps when I'm done writing my book. So the other thing is that canonical is also provided a training programme for incoming managers To help grow that talent internally, so that's very useful as well.
Fabio RosadoThat's very interesting, because from all the guests that I've had on the podcast, I believe, the last one was Dr. Michaela she has a CS degree, all the other developers that I spoke to and software engineers, they don't have a CS degree. And everybody says the same thing. It's like,I don't have this degree. So I sort of feel a bit... It's weird to say, it's not that you are less than someone else that has a CS degree, because maybe you've learned more things or different things than someone that just finished a CS degree. And different universities, they might have, maybe delay their curriculum. But this is something that in our head is always like, yeah, I'm using this thing. And I know how I can code but the CS degree will get you more ready for testing algorithms and all these technical things. That's when you're learning on your own, you know, there's gaps in your knowledge. So yeah, it's... Kevin. So one of the guests, I had said something very interesting and said that the easiest way to try to quiet down that imposter syndrome is to try to think, okay, yeah, there is things I don't know. But all of these I can fill up, if I have the time.
Hayden BarnesI do think if you're in a position to get is something you really want to do, and you're in a position to get a CS degree, go for it. If you already have degrees, or a career, I think that the certification route, or things like edX are a way to go to validate skills you have. And a lot of employers are more than happy to accept that. I looked at doing a CS programme at some point, like a post baccalaureate kind of Master's programme. But then I'm like... they wanted, they wanted your gra.... like my grades from like my undergrad. And I'm like that was that was, like 10 years ago, what does that have to do with anything and they're like, well, you have to have this GPA. Well, in law school, law school is graded on a mandatory curve. So if you are average, you get a C, you don't get the same grade inflation, you get an undergrad. So not that I was a C student, I was slightly better than average. But I was not in the top of my class in terms of applying to a graduate programme, I'm severely disadvantaged because it looks like my GPA is low. But actually, compared to my classmates, I was above average. So it was a real barrier coming from a law degree to a CS degree. Partly because the CS degrees there, their requirements didn't really match, kind of what I had to offer. So I went to edx.org, which is a massive online course platform, and basically signed up for a bunch of classes, some in areas I was already familiar with, and some in areas that kind of pushed me and took the certification and took the exams to validate my skills. And that seems to have made a big difference, both just having a degree. Any degree. Plus the certifications seems to have been close enough to a CS degree to make it. So what people are going to be capable of doing is going to depend on their academic history, the place in their career, the time that they have to either go to a boot camp, or do some sort of validation certification, or even do something like a cloud certification like Azure, or AWS. were basically the companies, if you figured out how to do it, they'll give you the exams and certify you for free.
So like if you go to an if you participate at Microsoft build or ignite, usually, there's a way to get a free certification code out of it, where then you can go and save money, you know, they'll give you the free materials. And then you can take the test for free. And now you're an Amazon certified AWS developer. And those are in really high demand. So there's, there's ways to piece it together. Even if you're not like me in the most ideal circumstance to get a CS degree.
Fabio RosadoI love the fact that you went to edX, because that's actually, I wouldn't say the first one. So the first first company that I had with code was Code Academy. But then I did the MIT 6.00x. So that's the introduction to computer science, and algorithms with Python. And that was what really made me fall in love with coding and why I wanted to maybe think that this could be a path for me in the future. Because I loved how hard the course was, I loved spending nights, just trying to think through a problem through to beat it was was interesting. And I agree, I mean, you have to fill up your gap somehow. And if you can get these certifications, even in your head, it's a way for you to prove that you know, your things, and you can do the job that someone else spent three years and a lot of money to get the CS degree.
Fabio RosadoWas there anything that was hard for you, when we did this transition?
Hayden BarnesIt was very exciting. A lot of fun. Initially, there was a lot of travel involved. Of course, that kind of got a damper on after travel kind of came to an end. So canonical is a remote first company, so 90% of the employees work from home or, you know, go to work at a coffee shop, or that kind of thing. And then every six to eight weeks, about a third of the company, gets together somewhere in the world. You know, the places we were supposed to go this year were Santiago, Chile, Vienna, Cape Town, South Africa, you know, so the travel, flight 17 hours, first to Europe, and then all the way down to Africa. tip of Africa is a challenge. But, you know, there was also the kind of loss of my hobby, excuse my job. We've talked about that. And, you know, I did have to let go Pengwin and hand off. I wasn't thrilled about that. But I saw kind of where canonical, I knew were canonical wanting to go and I knew he could do more for WSL and WSL users going over to canonical. All in all, I think it has been a huge net positive. So I'm really happy about the change. I'm looking forward to when we can go back to those company meetings now. I didn't think I would miss them. But I definitely do that.
Fabio RosadoI got a question as well. So hypothetically, if the WSL becomes bigger, would or will canonical, think about WSL related things.
Hayden BarnesOh, WSL, related a trainings. Yes. I guess kind of depends on what you mean by trainings. Ubuntu doesn't currently have like a certification programme. I think there's something in the works there. But it's not necessarily new training. It's existing skill validation. And so far, WSL specifically hasn't come up. What we do have is WSLConf which is our conference dedicated to WSL. And we have presenters come and give presentations on everything from like getting started to kind of more advanced topics. So we have a whole library. Now I think of about 30 videos, on various things you can do on Ws l on the Ubuntu YouTube page. I've got my blog, we have something wiki. The Ubuntu wiki has an entry for WSL and I put some tutorials there. We certainly could do more. We know that. And so I think I would be more interested in having whoever asked that question get in touch with me and tell them what they wanted to see. Because that will shape what we do. Right now we have a big push to help. So we have a lot of users, developers who are at work on Windows PCs are using WSL, and they're either not supposed to be using WSL.
Or their company just blocks them from using WSL because their Windows devices are locked down or some other issue. So we are right now researching kind of what those barriers are as well. And figuring out how we can empower employees to go to decision makers in organisations and kind of say, hey, let's do Ubuntu WSL. This is why it makes such difference in my workflow. By the way, if we have problems, we can call canonical, canonical, would provide support. So I'd be interested in hearing what kind of training users would be interested in having or doing. And also hearing kind of what barriers people are encountering in their workplace with WSL. We have a lot of developers who have have it on their personal machines and want to take it to work. And we've got to bridge the gap there for workplaces.
Fabio RosadoThe one thing that I've noticed, personally, with WSL, that make me want to use a proper Unix machine. So a proper Linux machine will be in Python, when you deal with async. You have the async, loop. And windows uses a different kind of loop to manage async things. So this was actually a very big thing that we had to try to support on this open source project. And I was picking up a very old connector for Twitter that uses a simple doesn't work because it's using the Windows async loop. Which To be honest, I haven't spent enough time digging into that to figure out if I can change something. But yeah, that was the the the only thing that I was a bit like, okay, that's interesting, I would expect him to use the whole Ubuntu workings.
Hayden BarnesWere you on WSL1 or WSL2?
Fabio RosadoI'm onWSL2,
Hayden BarnesThere are some like edge cases. And a lot of them tend to be either networking or file system related with I notified because quirks kind of access NTFS from the virtual Linux environment, you know, and sometimes those signals don't get past correctly. But the good news is that the WSL team at Microsoft is super responsive. And, you know, things like that crop up. Good news is things like that have gotten a lot better with the WSL. Two having the full virtualized Linux kernel there has solved so many problems. It's introduced a couple more, but a lot of those really obscure things kind of went away with WSL2. We used to have an issue with RPM package manager on CentOS and Fedora rel, on WSL one. And it it had bugged people with WSL for years, we finally figured out the issue is an obscure system call compatibility issue. But it just doesn't exist on WSL2, if people have tried to WSL1 and been disappointed, I strongly encourage them to get and try WSL2 again, because a lot of those issues are resolved.
Fabio RosadoWSLCorsair, I believe you know, this,
Hayden BarnesNuno yes!
Fabio RosadoHe said that's a good training. It would be a bridge, learnUbuntu Linux on WSL. And then how to move to full fledged environments, VM or bare metal? It's actually a very good idea and very good idea for maybe a blog post or video on youtube or something. Yeah.
Hayden BarnesWell, the funny thing is, is that, Nuno, is the tech reviewer on my book on advanced WSL. So maybe we should put it in? Maybe he should write it and we should put it in the book.
Fabio RosadoI think that sounds like a good idea.
Hayden BarnesJust Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting, how to transition from WSL to either a VM and Hyper V, or VM in the cloud. And see, that's the difference that Ubuntu provides. So were at Pengwin, we provided like a really bespoke, WSL specific experience like this is, you know, tune to WSL with Ubuntu, we don't provide as much WSL customization out of the box, we still provide some w cell related utilities. But the idea there is that when you develop on the WSL, on Ubuntu on WSL, it's going to have the same core base packages as a Ubuntu server. It's going to be very similar to what deploying to the cloud is going to look like in fact, for... we're working on a new out of box experience right now, that uses the same libraries as the server installer. So if you are not... if you are comfortable running Ubuntu from the store, installing Ubuntu from the store and running it and see the interface for the first time and going through that interface. When you're ready to move to Ubunut server, and you set that up for the first time, it's going to be incredibly familiar. It's just going to be like, oh, I've seen this before. So there's certainly more we could do there. I think that's a good idea Nuno.
Fabio RosadoSo why did you decide to write a book? Was it because you answering the same sort of questions all the time?
Hayden BarnesMostly, it was flattering that someone thought I could write a book. No. So there were no, there were no WSL books at the time. And there have been a couple introductory WSL books. But there hasn't been a book yet. That like delves into the theoretical architecture, and advanced things you can do with WSL, like nested virtualization, and using KVM to instal other operating systems within WSL, using Kubernetes. And that kind of thing. And the key to anyone who I think wants to move into tech, is to find an emerging niche area, and get really good at that, and start writing and talking about. And that doesn't even have to be new. So like Kubernetes, Kubernetes, is definitely on the rise. And there's a lot of talk there. And, and there may still be room there. But there's already a lot of people doing work there. So you know, you might want to look and it could be something even obscure as like, learning Fortran, on modern IBM mainframes, there's still a market there, there's still a niche there. And there's not a lot of people doing it. And it can be easy to distinguish yourself in that space, with a blog, with YouTube tutorials with getting out there. And then once you get out there, you will get noticed. And the opportunities start to trickle up from there. So getting involved in like a, as a maintainer is another idea, something that you've done, you know that certainly, if you're looking for a job at like an open source company, like canonical, having open source contributions in the community is important as well. But find your niche, and then start talking about it. And you'd be really surprised where you can go with this. Especially... you don't even have to be that good. Right? I'm just able to
Fabio RosadoI wouldn't say that.
Hayden BarnesI'm just able to. Okay, well, thank you. But just being able to get out there and talk about it, you can really accelerate your career.
Fabio RosadoBecause you know you had all this experience creating Pengwin move to canonical work on Ubuntu WSL. And you also do the WSLConf I think if someone should write a book about this, I think it's you. really do you have any prevision
Hayden BarnesI appreciate it
Fabio Rosadowhen when the book will come out?
Hayden BarnesI think the current target is the middle of 2021. Now.
So we're going through the final chapters now. I just realised the actual manuscript is due in 10 days, which I'm totally not going to make. We'll get there, we'll get there close.
Fabio RosadoHopefully you well under pressure.
Hayden BarnesYeah, I 2020 is a different level of pressure, though. So everyone needs to make sure they're also attending to self care and their emotional needs. That's important.
Fabio RosadoAnd Nuno said not not the fault of the review. Hopefully.
Hayden BarnesNo, it's not his fault. So are you still flying?
Fabio RosadoYeah, I actually went back to flying in July. So we sat down at home for three months. And July was a weird month because the whole airport was running at like 5%. Every shop was closed. The lights were dimmed it was really weird. We see start thinking things like should I be in here? And now the fights are still... they are not full, some flights to Turkey because from UK, Turkey was on the green list. So in UK... I'm not sure if you know how, how it goes. But in UK, you have a list where if countries have a lot of cases, they go to the red lists and you have to self-isolate if you come back. So Turkish flights where very busy now, Turkey is on the list. So they are less busy. It's getting back into this weird time where flights are coming up empty. I believe we are running around 30% capacity or 40% capacity, but don't quote me on that. But definitely running less flights. And then November is always a slow month for aviation, at least in Europe. And I think, yeah, I'm not sure if we will be flying much. Since all cases around Europe are rising. So we'll see how it goes. We are back to flying. So that's that's good. Actually last month, I was very, very busy. Which I didn't expect. So it was like well, okay, this is let's go back to work. So we'll see how it goes.
Hayden BarnesThe airport, the description sounds like the airports at like, 3am You know, when they're closed
Fabio RosadoYeah exactly.
Hayden Barnesbut when you're there, it's 9am. And it's supposed to be packed.
Fabio RosadoYeah. And it's not an easy group of people. Okay, if folks wants to share with you some ideas for the WSL training or anything about WSL, if they have questions, if they want to see what you are doing anything really how or where is the best place to do that?
Hayden Barnestwo places at Unix terminal, that's U N I X T E R M I N A L on Twitter, you can either reply or DM me, also my blog, boxofcables.dev. And I try to post there more often. Lately, because I've been doing too much other writing, and about once a month, but if you add it to your RSS reader, I tend to post interesting stuff there. And it just a random blog post I post over the weekend that kind of went a little viral.
Fabio RosadoThats good!
Hayden BarnesSo you never know.
Fabio RosadoI love your Twitter handle and your website name. And I'm quite surprised that your Twitter handle was available.
Hayden BarnesMe too. That's why I hung on to it as hard as I can.
Fabio RosadoThat's a good idea. So thank you for taking the time to spend this hour chatting about your journey. It's definitely very interesting. And I'm looking forward to read your book and to get your book. So I'll keep an eye on to see when it's finally released. Because like I said, I started with WSL and I think it'd be something cool to dig deep and since you are going into the whole and you can escalate this advanced stuff. I think it'll be very interesting to mealso.
Hayden BarnesSo awesome. Well, thanks for having me. And I really appreciate this series, its podcast, because it's an important area of tech that we should talk about. So I really appreciate it. Thank you for having me.
Fabio RosadoThank you so much. And actually you were the one that agreed to come on the podcast when we had this very brief chat on Twitter. I think it was a one of the tweets that I sent about the WSL and you commented out and then you said I actually went from lawyer to be a manager so that's great. I'd love to hear about it. So I also appreciate you taking the time to agree to get us into the chat. I, have a good day and see you la
Hayden BarnesYou too.