The Stack Overflow Podcast

Where design meets development inside Stack Overflow

Episode Summary

We chat with David Longworth, director of brand design at Stack Overflow, about the work he's been doing to reshape our company and product pages. David has worked on across client services branding, media, and advertising – but always with a digital-first focus. He is mostly front-end focused but has used Node for various back-end duties over the years.

Episode Notes

David helps us understand where great designers fit on web companies these days, somewhere between front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end.

Right now a lot of projects have to be maintained in multiple places - one for marketing, one for design, one for development. David shares thoughts on how to combine workspaces and where design systems can be integrated with tools.

Congrats to our lifeboat badge winner of the week, Jon, for helping unpack this riddle: Execution failed for task ':fluttertoast:compileDebugKotlin'

Episode Transcription

David Longworth I think it's just interesting. We're ending up in this place where like Brad Frost's front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end phrase came from, which I think is really interesting, as someone who, you know, kind of flirts with all those things like, it's sort of ended up in a place where like, most front end roles now I feel like are looking for someone you know, who knows something like React, and it's very technical driven. Whereas I think there's still a small, like less dynamic way of doing things, which is just Vanilla, you know, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and it's sort of like whose job is it now to build the thing you know?


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BP Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Stack Overflow Podcast! I'm Ben Popper, Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. 

Paul Ford Goooood morning!

BP How's everybody doing? 

PF Doing good. Getting by in a crazy mixed up world!

BP Yeah, I feel that. I don't know if you guys attended but Linux Con was this weekend and it was a hoot and a holler, let me tell you. 

PF Oh, yeah.

BP You know, they say it couldn't be done couldn't get all these people together. But no, we did it. 

PF You should tell the people what you're talking about. 

BP There is a really wonderful YouTuber and I guess Twitch streamer called Krizam? Did I get that right? And I think this guy could be like, super popular. The only problem is he doesn't post, he post like very infrequently. It's just kind of random.

PF He's actually not, I don't think he is a Twitch streamer. But he did a flawless Twitch stream parody as an Excel streamer known as Makro with a K. 

BP Yeah, it was the professional gaming world but for Excel spreadsheets.

PF It is so good that I would watch an hour of it. And like I brought it up with a true Excel nerd who was like this is the greatest thing I've ever seen. Like it just, just spoke to their experience so much. 

BP The same thing with microservices. I don't know what this guy does, we'll have to him on the show.

PF Please, please have him on the show. He makes fun of the absolute comedy of our ridiculous industry better than almost anyone out there. 

BP It's pitch perfect software satire. Speaking of software, we have a great guest on the show today. My colleague, David Longworth, our Director of Brand design here at Stack Overflow. Welcome, David. 

PF David!

DL Likewise. Thank you for having me. 

BP So David, I think we decided we needed to have you on because we were talking about And I was sort of just complaining, we got to move from Trello, why do we have to do this? And then I was saying, I think people love Monday 'cause you can, you can get in there and automate some things and kind of make some magic happen. And I was telling them that you're like the rockstar ninja guru. 

DL Okay, not sure I love this reputation.

PF Yeah, I don't know if you want to be that in public. That's a, woof, wow.

BP Yeah, yeah, Monday, if you're listening. But tell the people a little bit who you are, what it is you do here at Stack Overflow and sort of where you sit, I think kind of in an interesting place between development and design. 

DL Yeah, so I'm a person based in London, working Stack Overflow remotely, as many of us are. The brand design team, which I lead is three of us. I'm based in London. We've got Liz based in Massachusetts, and we've got Morgan based in Montana now. So fully distributed team embedded in the marketing alongside yourself, Ben. And I will describe what we do is kind of the hands of the marketing team, we basically anything that's going to be designed or made that has to go public, through marketing is kind of done by us. 

PF This could really help our listeners who are you know, mostly on the engineering side, for obvious reasons. Because I think, you know, when people hear marketing, they think all kinds of things, probably they read too much Dilbert. I only think really good positive things. Just to be clear. What are the things that you do? And and in particular, what do you make when you're doing your job? Because it's not, you know, the logos done.

DL That's it, the logo is done, we ship that, which wasn't even me, you know, I've only been there two years. It's basically so you know, we do a lot of emails, we do landing pages, which is where you sort of target your audience, when you're running ad campaigns. We do those ads, we take care of what we call the product pages. So that's basically the parts of Stack Overflow where before you're a user, so that's logged out homepage, like we talked about teams and talent and advertising. Okay, so let me be a developer for one minute because I actually think this is a good conversation.

PF Let me let me just pretend. Yeah, but that means you set up like one template and you're done?

DL Yeah, well, that could be true. But it's sort of about making sure every every bit of content is, is different. But the same, if that makes sense. 

PF And it's never done, oh my God, it's never done.

DL Brand guidelines are the key here. And it's to be honest, it's very analogous to a design system on the product side. In fact, we actually use the design, sort of modified version of our design system to ship all our pages, like the blog, for example, is built on our design system, which is called Stacks. So it's a very blurred line for sure. 

PF I don't think people understand too How much marketing can never be good enough. Like it always could do a little bit more. So it's a different, like, sometimes you get your code done and shipped, and it's out. You go over to marketing, it's like, well, that's good open rate on the newsletter, and then somebody goes like, but you know, I'm starting to feel a little a little old, rugged. 

DL Everyone has an opinion on it as well. I think that development is just a black box, right? Whatever goes in, as long as it comes out, doing what it's supposed to do. No one really cares, especially when you can't see it, right? If you're using something but design, branding, everyone's got an opinion, right? So you see those opinions. 

PF As a writer, when designers have the same thing. Everyone kind of does your job as they go throughout their day. And so they have opinions on your job. And like the number of people who probably have opinions on relatively low level, like let's say, ORM type code at Stack, it might be like, 100 people, but it's not every single person you meet throughout the course of the day, the people who give you you know, like you buy a cup of coffee, and they see the newsletter and you're like, I don't like it. Yeah, you're working with that.

DL We're not short on opinions. For sure.

PF No, developers as an audience, too. How does that work? 

DL Yeah, that's interesting. Because they, you know, the stereotype, I guess, is they don't really care about design. They care about functionality, but...

PF They care about everything!

DL Exactly.

PF Sorry, I don't know why I ground my teeth when I said that.

BP Strong opinions on everything. 

DL I guess I'd say this the information density, you have to trend a bit higher, right? So if you look at a developer when they're on the terminal, right, you wouldn't you wouldn't necessarily ship that as an ad in the New York Times. Although, you know, that could be a cool thing to try. But like, I think they're looking for, like functionality when they use stuff, where as like, you know, marketing, brand design consult trend to like more experienced stuff. So we've got an obviously, like, some of our customers aren't developers, right? So we've got to, like, try and tread this line in between these aesthetics. 

BP Yeah, I think actually, this is one of the big challenges that I found on the marketing side here is that we have a pretty great and consistent relationship with a lot of developers. But we don't necessarily think that those are the people who are going to be buying our software, especially at like the high level. So we have like one big audience that's like direct to developer. 

PF They're not, it's like the CIO and the CTO and the procurement people, and so on and so on. Yeah, absolutely. 

BP So the marketing staff is often aimed at someone who's not actually that like independent contributor, even like manager level engineer, it's aimed at like, the yeah, the person is holding the sort of purse strings. 

PF Well, this is where I find this organization kind of fascinating, just kind of, which is that you've got a product for developers. And I mean, of course, obviously, there's exchange, but still, I mean, overflow is the core still. And then you've got one of the world's largest digital media properties, that's also real. It's just, it's a media thing that publishes bazillions of web pages, has some ads on it, so on and so forth. And then you're marketing to people who are not those developers for many of your products. So it's actually as giant media surfaces, driving revenue go, it's a really complex one, there isn't like this, like, okay, we're just gonna sell developers more hats, because they like hats that say developer on them. Give me a piece of marketing we should look at. What's something that was good lately?

DL I'm pretty proud of the logged out homepage we did. So if you're not logged in, and you go to that was we recently refresh that. I think it's just like, the most succinct, kind of like, articulation of what the company does right now. Obviously, you mentioned stackexchange, like, there's been so much like, so much history to this company, and like, trying to distill that down into like, this is who we are to everyone, right? Like you say, like, developers are gonna come in here who aren't accidentally not logged in and be like, okay, what is this? And then, yeah, some CEO who, you know, is looking at our products perhaps coming on this or, or a journalist or something. So it's like, you've got to talk to all these people in one go and try and, you know, tell a good narrative. 

PF Alright, so how do I get to that page?

DL It's a little website called 

PF But not logged in?

DL No.

PF Ohhhhh. I'm going to accept all the cookies because I'm in Incognito mode. Who cares? Living my dream. Alright, yeah! Look at this! This is good. This is like, here I am on Stack, I'm gonna find my way, join my community, create my team, looks good, ready to go! You know, it's interesting is, you know, here's this one page, there's a lot going on on this page. It's a lot of instrumentation and a full design system. And how long did it take to do this page? And you can mumble, if it's an uncomfortable answer.

DL I wish I had a figure in my head. The amount really have probably a month end to end, we've been wanting to do it for, I would say, a year, like, since we had the last version, which was I would be the first admit very flawed. So this was kind of like, learning from our mistakes, listening to the community, figuring out what the you know, the current strategy of the whole company is basically and distilling that down. No, that's right. A month is good. Like, I hear you say that I'm like ah, wow, that just that flew by, right? This could easily take a year, because of all the people involved communication through this page. That's a good sign for this organization. Good job Stack.

DL Well, yeah, I mean, the thinking is done. Right. It's just assembling the pieces. And, you know, making sure everyone's egos taken care of, and things of the right size and using the right words, to talk to the right audience, which is something where I would say is like, a hot topic for us right now is copywriting. And that's, I'm learning, you know, that's as complex as design, right? You can sort of fake design and, you know, put make something that looks pretty but words, you know, just naked words that have got to like tell something is really complicated.

PF They're the worst. This society would be so much better if it was purely visual, language has just caused trouble top the bottom.

DL Well, what, what his words if not design?

BP Oh okay. Right in there. Right in there.

PF No, I mean, let's think about you're starting with pictographic symbols, you know, and then they get rendered down to little, little iconic graphic, alphabetic thingamajigs. And then you have, then you put them all together and you make a book. I mean, it really it starts with design. That's what it is. 

BP Dave, why don't you ask Paul his opinion on paragraphs? He's got a lot to say.

PF Literature and literary criticism is really just a form of design thinking, you know, that's the argument.

DL Code is design. Everything's design.

PF Thought design, I love actually, what's fascinating is a content strategy, which often now gets called UX writing has been floated into design. It used to be kind of its own world connected to marketing, but like, Facebook has sort of pulled it in inside of design, they give it a new name. I can't remember, it might be like content design, something like that. 

DL Yeah. I see that that title thrown around a lot these days. Like, it makes sense, especially for us, there's only three of us. And we're at that we're doing the design. And so having a copyright, it means that we can, you know, have a really close collaboration, and this paragraph isn't flowing, right. There's headlines too long, like tinker, tinker, tinker and sort of massage it into the place that needs to be.

PF Hold on, I want to I want to resolve a foundational issue in our industry, and I have the exact two people to do it.

DL Big statement.

PF Okay. Yeah, no, absolutely. I only kinds I make. Okay, you two. I've got Ben and I've got David. One is more on the language writing side. One is more in the design visual side. Okay, which should come first, the design space for the copy, or copy? Okay, David, you go first. 

DL So I used to work at a magazine. And it was extremely aesthetically oriented. So obviously, they knew what was going where, you know, we call it the flat plan. But in terms of the page design, it was like, very restricted, you know, word count wise, like here are the columns, here's the you know, the rag as it's called, like, here's the pictures. And so the rag is what the sort of right hand margin in, you know, in English looks like. So how the text breaks on two different lines you don't want, you don't want some weird, you know, line breaks and things like that. So that was more about sort of writing fill in the gaps, which I thought was an interesting, interesting way doing it. You don't really have to worry about that on the web as much, you know, thinking about responsive design, you sort of give up that control. But if it's a print, you're like, right, if we have to go into another page for 10 words, this is going to look crazy and cost money so we're not doing it.

PF Which magazine?

DL It was called Monocle.

PF Ohhhhh, good. Yes. Yes. Okay. Venn diagram of this audience in the Monocle audience. But it is not it is not a strong overlap, I would say. For those who don't know, Monocle, if you imagine a magazine where there's like a guy on a plane, kind of with a monocle, maybe not on maybe in the tray table with a really nice glass of champagne and it's a private jet. That's, that's Monocle. It's actually a great like, sort of one of the last world magazines that exists.

DL It's very thick as well. 

PF Oh my god, like that heavy paper.

DL Custom stock that, very expensive. 

PF So just to let you know that this is a premium product and that tells the advertisers that they should spend more to put their watches in the magazine.

BP Monocle is the first class of magazines for sure.

PF Absolutely.

BP They haven't spared. They haven't skimped. I don't know, when I was a journalist, you know, sometimes you would go out and do actual reporting, in which case, I feel like you know, you're bringing raw material from the real world, the words have to come before the design. If you were doing like marketing, and you were on, you know, in Mad Men, and you had a product, and somebody came up with this incredible tagline, you know, just something that like, nailed and encapsulated it, then that should come first. But by and large, I feel like for a lot of what we're talking about here, like the logged at home vision stuff that design comes first. And then you fill in the blanks, you know?

DL Yeah, it's definitely some back and forth as well, like, no one's gonna die on the hill of like, well, I'm not underwriting an extra word, or I'm not making this box, you know, 20 pixels bigger.

PF What we're getting right, like it is actually very dynamic. The one thing that I always yell about, and no one ever listens to me is do the brand first, before you do anything else. And everyone's like, "no, no, we're gonna start the website, and then the brand will land and we'll put them all together at the end and everything will be fine." It's like, it's not a logo, you spackle it's going to be 8 million decisions based on the brand. But everybody does the brand second. Well, it's also because the branding firms are always late. It's like, we're gonna, oh, we're gonna get that brand guide in and then we'll start the website and the branding firm is like, oh, boy, just another couple months. We're still researching fabrics. And so anyway, okay, good. It's an internal struggle, somebody has to make the boxes, somebody has to fill them in. My principle here is that the principle of maximum irritation is often the most productive. So if the, if the copywriter starts to draw designs, the designer becomes immediately motivated to get in there and start working with that copy and kind of like fix it up. Because it's terrifying what the copywriters doing. And if the designer starts to suggest copy, the copywriter jumps in and goes, Oh, my God, what are you doing? That's not anything. And then it's amazing how quickly that can unlock a blocked project, you can actually get like five times as much work done. If you just tell everyone to do everybody else's job just in that moment. And then boom! Just forward motion. I would never do that as a manager. But I have seen, I'd have seen it be very productive.


BP Dave had a few ideas here. I thought it could be fun to talk about. And one of the reasons I wanted to bring him on was sort of like, yeah, that intersection of development and design. So Dave, what do you think front of the front end back of the back end? Can you walk me through a little bit of what we're getting at here? 

DL Yeah. So I think it's like what the current state of front end looks like. So obviously, design is just one part of it. And at some point, you need to build the thing you're talking about. I think it's just interesting. We're ending up in this place where like Brad Frost's front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end phrase came from, which I think is really interesting, as someone who, you know, kind of flirts with all those things like, it's sort of ended up in a place where like, most front end roles now I feel like are looking for someone you know, who knows something like React, and it's very technical driven. Whereas I think there's still a small, like less dynamic way of doing things, which is just Vanilla, you know, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and it's sort of like whose job is it now to build the thing you know?

BP Yeah and I mean, one really interesting thing that this leads to is, you know, all designers are developers, all developers are designers, and folks have, you know, a lot of opinions that they want to share with the other side, as we move through product changes, platform changes, public platform changes, like that call we were on recently.

DL Right, which one are you talking about? 

BP The one where we're arguing about the right hand rail, and I was saying that this should just be a button where you can play the podcast. 

DL Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah. So one thing on Stac kOverflow I think that's quite interesting is where do we surface, where do we surface our other stuff right? Because depending on who you are, to me, it's the same questions the homepage, right? And we don't want to just bombard people with non relevant content.

BP Oh like the podcast?

DL For example. Not relevant to anyone. Our blog posts.

BP Anybody who likes software or good conversation. Thank you very much. 

PF It just got hold in here! 

BP But yeah, no, it was interesting question, cuz it was sort of like, you know, that there may come a time where it's like, okay, you know, you're like, for example, we talked yesterday about unified search. And now if you're logged in, on Teams, you're gonna see public Stack Overflow and your private instance, you can search the whole universe from within that. So for example, if we know somebody logged into Teams, do we show them something different? We don't want to show them marketing for teams, that's for sure. Because they're already logged in. You don't want to try to sell somebody something they already paid for. 

PF This part's actually really hard too because it's the tooling never supports it. It's not everybody's like, oh, we'll have a B test on this. And then when you actually try to go do this work, that kind of personalization, it turns out to be very challenging. There aren't a lot of great systems for it.

BP Oh, man, Paul, that's what I said. I said, we should have like eight different sets of states, like why argue about what it's going to show? Let's just do eight variations that are modular based on boxes they checked when they logged in, or didn't log in?

PF Yeah, but does the actual content management system support that? Like, it's hard to get that done.

DL Well, yeah, it's not, it's not built, you know, it's, it would need to be an extra thing, which means you need to justify why it's done. But yeah, it's surprising, because all our marketing stuff is really about, like, who's the audience and then we kind of work backwards for the thing. Whereas on something like Stack Overflow, you know, we don't have the tools to know who we're talking to. But you know, it's also our own property, I guess. So we're trying to figure out where to surface interesting things, right? People listen to the podcast, because it's talking about technical stuff, which, you know, they might not know about. So they might be choosing something new like front of the front end.

BP I'll tell these pesky developers refuse to take our cookies and are browsing with all, removing all of our scripts! You know, blocking all our scripts all the time. So you know, the cohort that goes as I go, boy, it actually, is that one of the hardest to pin down in terms of like, what should I serve you? Because they don't want to be. They don't serve any of your marketing.

PF Okay, so What do you wish developers knew about design? I would say that, in fact, both sides of the equation really should just be aware that, like, people have opinions. And you know, they can also be very right about things. Like some of the most techie developers I've worked with, you know, have caught things visually that no one else has caught. She, you know, it's not it's a spectrum, I think of creativity. And like I was saying, it sounds a bit pretentious me, but but coding, I think, is designed in a way, right, you're designing a system with inputs and outputs. And, you know, there's many ways to do it. But you know, maybe there's some, there's some beauty in there. And there's some opinionated ways of doing things. But that's just the same as design, really. So I'd say, designers talking to developers should be aware, you know, that their opinions are super interesting, you know, they might build something similar, they might know, some sort of technical way of doing things that, you know, can improve the user experience. And then vice versa, like, plenty of, especially Stack Overflow, we're lucky enough to have a lot of designers who are aware of code and, you know, so it works works both ways. And that's kind of where the design system needs, right? Because it's like, the visual components. In a way, you know, we have these in our design system in figma. And then we also have them existing as code in the stack. 

PF Perfect, great. Let me let me try it from another angle. Because I think it'll be interesting. When a software engineer wants to communicate something about design, what's the best way for them to share that idea with you? Like, would you want them to open up figma? Do you want them to do pencil sketches? Like how do you get a good rhythm going, where people are communicating what they want to see happen in a way that you can move quickly?

DL I think figma is a is super interesting tool. For many reasons. On the marketing side, we're now getting our, you know, non technical non design market is looking at stuff before we build it, and you know, in signing off on it without having to version control things, you know, export things, you know, send them a Google Drive, or God forbid—

PF You just drop them right into the figma link and they can explore.

DL And they can comment on things, right. So this obviously works really well for developers as well. And they get the added benefit of being able to inspect things, you know, so it can get the distance between two objects, you know, you can get the hex value of things. So I think it's a combination, like something we use, as well as, is a tool called code pen, basically, as a template. So I design systems in that code pen. So it's a great way to sort of, you know, pass this code pen around and just sketch ideas in code. So obviously, developers greatest sketching ideas and code, and then design it can come in and you know, at the right class, you know, to make maybe the right font or the right size of things. So, I think those tools are really interesting. Like, that's, that's where I see design development is most interesting. Crossover is, you know, the design is articulated in code. So, if both sides know, know a little bit about that, then you're gonna get an incredible result. Because the designer, you know, understands why things work the way they do, especially in HTML. It kind of gets a bit weird, you know, in other languages. 

PF Just today, I gave a designer this feedback, which, not feedback I sketched a bunch stuff like literally in Keynote, just gluing things together. I was like, look, the way I want this to look, it doesn't have to look like this, just the thing in my head is IKEA instructions. So like, doesn't doesn't have to be a cartoon just has to be at that level of granularity. Because I need to imply to people that this is not real, just a suggestion. But I don't want to go straight to like scribble, you know, like hands gifts, I want it to look a little bit dressed up. 

DL That's very open minded of you. Because I think a lot of people, it can go the other way. And like, no, it does need to look exactly like my sketch. But you've had an interesting point, which is about giving up control, which I think is basically where entire industries, trending in a ways we're not talking about being a magazine and controlling every word flow and things like that this is all about like, we're making a system, here are the constraints, you know, hit programming those into the computer, and then filling it full of content. And then you've got, you know, there'll be bugs, of course, but you just got to give up that's not from a typography point of view, or whatever, going to look perfect everywhere. 

PF I have tried to control designers before, it's very ineffective. The beautiful thing is watching their faces. As I get slightly more and more granular. I'll be like, you know, what I think this could look like? And then it gets cold in the room. And then I'll be like, what about red? And then it gets real cold. So I know where my boundaries are. And I've learned to respect them. You know what to this is the thing I think people see design is this very specific kind of craft, you do yourself a disservice if you're not in a position to be surprised if you're a consumer of design. You actually want the person to go away and surprise you. And they should feel a little annoyed. Like they should take it and be like, what are they thinking? Hold on a minute, and then they should be a little frustrated with you if that you didn't get there, and then come back and be like, this is what you wanted, right? Because it's like, I need the API to work this way. You come back to two weeks later, and you're like, okay, I know you asked for Protocol Buffers to transmit a compressed JPEG. Totally didn't do that. Totally didn't do that! What I was thinking is that, like, we could actually, I did sentiment analysis, you can extract what this text is about and send that back instead. It's like, yeah, you know, it's like I needed to—you know, that's the worst nightmare.

DL It's better this way, trust me.

PF Well, this is actually something that engineers can learn from design, which is design sketch culture, allows for novel weird solutions to get thrown into a mix for discussion much more quickly. Now it's on the beholder also has to do some work to be like, okay, I can, I can understand where you're coming from, even though it's, there's no color or just like, you know, your I can see what you're hinting at. Engineers often don't have that, like UML isn't really something we do anymore, we don't actually have a lot of sketching tools for engineering solutions. 

DL Well, I guess it's a lot of work, right, like engineering, unless you've got the right tool set, like to just just building it. And just like prototyping, it is very close to being the same thing, right? Maybe there's, you know, some edge cases, some testing. Where as design, you know, just moving some squares around on a screen. And you know, you can use your imagination or I can tell you how it's gonna work.

PF The cost of change is very, very low right? And that's, that's one of the reasons why I really like as an engineer, as a manager of an engineering org, I love these frameworks that let you just put an API in front of a database, so that all you do is change the schema, and now you have a different back end. And like that stuff, or even stuff like AirTable, where you're just modeling out the data messing around. Or you know to bring it back,, which is halfway to product management.

BP Hey, looking for a sponsorship?

PF You know, they sponsor everything. So I think we're all sponsored by these days. Once you get that marketing budget at that scale, because they can't put any more features in that freakin' product, that's for sure. They don't need that. So might as well spend the money on marketing. Talk about that, bring us all the way back. So you are a afficionado power user David as well, as a designer, what is that? What are you doing? 

DL So we're just we're using it for as many things as we can really because I think we've struggled with on the market team especially like, using a lot of different tools and having things all over the place or duplicated. I'm making us sound like we're more of a mess than we actually are slash were but everyone gets excited about new tooling, right? So we're just basically trying to make sure that we're not duplicating anything, you know, kind of like programming. It's all you know, the one ticket for the one piece of content, but this podcast is in there now. Case studies were doing which require content and design, just putting it all in one place. But yeah, from a technical point of view, it's you know, I guess Trello is like this as well. I never looked into it, but you know, scriptable things so kind of no code approach to when this happens, do that. Which just makes things way easier for our like, you know, complicated—

PF AirTable's like this too. I think it's just like, it's such a huge zone of basic productivity where you don't need engineering. And it's just kind of like data modeling. And away you go. It's very, very powerful. I'm not surprised. 

DL Yeah. If you think like a developer and something like ad server, you can you can script. You know, if you can speak it, you can you can script that out, like, oh, when it when we tweet something, make sure we write cross post it over here.

PF Right. And expressing that for developers to express that in code is actually an enormous amount of work. And to use one of these low-code tools to just kind of say, here's how humans need to do this. I think what I like about these tools is a lot of times, there's Zapier integrations and all sorts of stuff. But like, a lot of times, they're just like, here's the recipe, and whereas the developer instinct is how do I automate it? And it's okay to just kind of keep humans in the mix, if it's helping you be more productive. 

DL Yeah, I mean, using your terminal is kind of the equivalent of that on your computer, right? If you can, I'm always seeing as designers like if you just have a basic understanding of your terminal, like it's going to help you with design stuff, like I have to resize a folder of images, I can just, you know, hit command and press go. Which just speeds—

PF Brought to you by!

BP Alright! If they weren't a sponsor before, they're a sponsor now!


BP Alright, shout out to Jon awarded April 21st, a lifeboat batch for helping a question with a score of negative three or less get up to an answer score of 20 or more. "Execution failed for task ':fluttertoast:compileDebugKotlin'"

PF Execution failed, but Jon did not. Jon succeeded. 

BP Boom. Exactly. So yeah. Ben Popper, Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. You can always find me on Twitter @BenPopper. And you can always email us

PF I'm Paul Ford, fried the Stack Overflow, check out my company Postlight. Hiring, hiring, hiring! Developers, product managers, designers, we need, we need everybody. 

DL Yeah, I'm David Longworth. I'm the brand design team leader at Stack Overflow. You can find me on Twitter @abovedave. Thanks for having me. 

BP Sweet. Well, thanks so much for coming on. That was fun!

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