We chat with Jason Warner, former CTO of GitHub, who has taken his experience in software development and engineering management to the world of venture capital.
Jason is now a managing director at Redpoint Ventures and has led one investment so far, backing a company called Alchemy that is focused on infrastructure and dev tools for web3.
He describes himself as a "very average" programmer, but an excellent engineer, and explains how he parlayed his unique skill set into key roles at Heroku and GitHub.
Our lifeboat for the week goes to dfrib for suggesting a solution to: Error "nil requires a contextual type" using Swift
Jason Warner The simple way to describe what I did throughout my career up to this point is I tried to use the ability to program but also be technical as the superpower and not the core competency. And if I looked at it that way, at the end of the day it was going to be the thing that allowed me to move up or manage more responsibility or just basically have more impact, but I could do it in a way that most people at the highest rung of the tech industry weren't able to do. Particularly when I was younger, almost everybody who was a CEO was a former marketer or a former salesperson, and most of them were salespeople. I think that's part of the early to mid-2000's challenges where there was just bad companies and really poor decisions being made because they lacked technical experience at the top. I think recently in the past seven or eight years, we've seen a lot more technical people start taking over companies and I expect we'll see even more of that in the future because it becomes the primary mechanism by which you add value or have value inside companies.
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Ben Popper The UiPath 2022.4 release brings automation access for all. Learn new skills, focus on critical thinking, and enjoy value added work. They welcome robots on Mac, semantic automation through clipboard aim, a new attended framework, and more. Read on and learn more at Uipath.com/blog, and we'll have the full link for you in the show notes.
BP Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Stack Overflow Podcast. I'm your host, Ben Popper, Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. Joined as I often am by my colleague and collaborator, Matt. Hey, Matt.
Matt Kernander Hello, everyone. Nice to be here.
BP So we have a great guest today. Matt, when I think of tools and platforms that developers use, Stack Overflow and GitHub are kind of at the top of the list. So today we have a pretty exciting guest, Jason Warner, who worked as the CTO of GitHub and now has gone into the venture world. Matt, have you ever used another Git tool or has GitHub always been the one that was at the companies you were at?
MK GitHub is kind of like the first thing you learn when you're going through university. We were kind of sat down by lecturers being like, "Great, so we know you want to get up and running, but you should really figure out what GitHub is." It's actually quite interesting because GitHub is one of the first things you know, but the people who actually do know how to use GitHub well or Git well is very different from the people who just kind of skated by.
BP Yeah, exactly. At this point it's just like opening up the terminal. Like even when they gave us the little software lesson at Stack Overflow when you join, you can learn how to code, that was first week of class. Get yourself GitHub, figure out how to use it, that's going to be essential. All right, well let's get going with no further delay. Jason, welcome to the podcast.
JW Hey, Ben. Hey, Matt. Thanks for having me.
BP So we always ask folks at the beginning, not to date yourself but just to give people some perspective. How did you get into the world of programming? What first attracted you to that? Give us a little bit of a taste of your journey to a role as senior as CTO.
JW So I had what I always consider a nontraditional path to programming. I didn't actually start programming until I was about 17 or 18 years old. I grew up in Connecticut, in farm country Connecticut, and the only reason I actually got into computing was, in the town I lived in at the time in Connecticut, IBM was there and they offered a tax discount for hiring high school co-ops. So my auto teacher, which is actually how I got into this, told me I should apply for this because I'm exactly the type of kid that should benefit from a co-op like that. So I literally joined IBM to carry printers and computers around the building and hook them up, and they eventually said, "Hey, if you go to school and figure out how to program and learn computer science, we'll give you a job when you're done." And so I literally started trying to figure out what computer science was and started writing programming. So that was kind of my entry into it.
BP That's very cool. So you could have gone to the 4-H ag co-op, you could have done auto repair, but in your case, you started lugging around printers and that led you to programming. That's neat.
JW Yeah. The only way I got into programming is because I was able to pick up printers and carry them around and plug them into token ring networks.
MK It's refreshing hearing a story that isn't Neopets or Tumblr to be honest. I think you're one of the first guests we've had that has kind of like stumbled legitimately into it.
JW I was probably older than both of those at this point, too. I lived through the first dot-com crash, I graduated right into it. So yeah, we're looking at interesting times now, too.
MK You joined IBM in 1995. You've had a very good career in tech so far.
JW Yeah, '95 was when I graduated high school, started college, and that was my high school co-op with them. And I stayed with them throughout, with a quick nine month diversion to do MITRE, which is a defense contractor. They did like flight simulators, so I did flight simulators at one point.
MK Ooh, wow. Cool.
JW And then I stayed with IBM afterwards, worked on the 2000 Olympics system, and then left to do a startup company. I joined a video streaming on the internet company in late 1999, and then got laid off the day before Thanksgiving in 2000.
BP Interesting. So, we've been talking about this a lot on the show. I was a senior in high school when the dot-com bust happened. We're very curious looking at what's happening now in the crypto world. There's been a washout in tech stocks generally, but I think in crypto it feels more like a big sort of boom and bust cycle more akin to the dot-com days. How would you compare the two? Do you see similarities and do you see stark differences?
JW Yeah. I mean, this is obviously a nuanced topic and perspectives are gonna matter and all that sort of stuff. But there's no world in which I think what we're about to go through, or is already happening to us at the moment, and what we'll also see in the next couple of months to a year, will be anything less than what we kind of all experienced in '99, 2000, 2001. The difference being that back then the internet and the internet companies that you might consider to be today tech companies were the anomaly. Now they're the tech economy. So we're going to be able to weather it in a way that we couldn't in 1999 and 2000, but it's not going to be any less devastating for the people who have to go through this and understand that it's not a short blip like 2020 was. When COVID struck and we all thought it was the end of modern tech, and two and a half months later, we ripped back all the way to those COVID highs. That's not what's going to happen here. And in particular crypto. Yeah, we've had crypto winters before but not like this. This is different. The crypto market and the Main Street market and Wall Street, they're all correlated. It's all about dollars available to people to invest and speculate on. And what's going to happen and you're already seeing it, is that people are gonna fly immediately to where there's safety and less risk.
BP Right. We are hiring at Stack Overflow. We want to be empathetic to people out there and I think that Matt and I have talked about this a bunch recently, which is that there is almost this weird juxtaposition of a lot of layoffs happening and a lot of companies where base salaries are going up and competition for talent is very fierce and open positions are innumerable. So, right, it won't be the dot-com days. When people lost a lot of jobs at software shops then, it was difficult because the number of software jobs overall shrunk. I don't think that, as you point out, is going to necessarily be the case these days, but they may have to return to more traditional industries as opposed to the bleeding edge ones.
MK I just want to add in here as well, for our younger generation of audiences would you be able to do a very quick summary around what the dot-com bust was, and then how it might be compared to what is currently happening with the crypto market and stocks and everything else?
JW The easiest way to describe what the dot-com bust was, was a major speculation market around internet-based companies that bled into tech as well. Because there's a hyper exuberance around all of these companies, the race to the IPO, to get liquidity on the public markets and to get there. It's not unlike what we saw last year even with a lot of the SPACs and a lot of the crypto companies kind of racing to get their tokens out there and get their liquidity to be the tokens. The difference again, going back to what we were saying earlier, is that once the bubble burst in '99, 2000, people fled from the internet companies. They tried to go back to more traditional assets, Main Street assets as you might say. Here, the traditional assets in 2022 are going to be Microsoft, they're going to be Apple. They're going to be those types of companies, which in '99, they got hammered. All those types of companies just got hammered. Crypto though, I mean the blue chips, the Bitcoins, the Ethereums, the certain types, they're going to be fine. But let's just be honest, 90 percent of all things that have been funded in crypto in the last two years are absolutely garbage and they shouldn't exist in a regular market. But they exist and a lot of VCs and a lot of founders are going to make out. They’re going to make out, they already got liquidity from a lot of their garbage tokens that they pumped. And a lot of founders are going to do well, but a lot of employees are not. A lot of employees are going to get washed out completely, and a lot of retail money is going to get washed out completely.
BP Yeah, that's unfortunate and it does seem like the most sophisticated ones are always a step ahead when it comes to some of the speculative stuff. All right, let's drop back for a second. I kind of derailed us because you mentioned dot-com. When you were getting started at IBM and then some of these earlier other shops you worked in your career, what languages and platforms were you most interested in? What were you using? What were the tools available to you at the time?
JW Again, going back, I didn't really know much. So I was kind of diving into what was available to me. So literally the first line of code that I ever touched, just like many people, would have Basic because I had it available to me and I could use it. But the second line of code that I ever touched was in Lotus Notes of all things, and many people don't even know what that is anymore. But IBM at the time used everything internal, so I was doing Lotus Notes things. Then when I got to college, I started to do things, that's when I started getting exposure to Assembly and C and all of those types of things. And Linux wasn't a thing yet. And then when I first found Linux was in some subcommunity at Penn State where I did my undergrad and that is when I started to realize that there was a lot of other programming languages available to me. And then the open source world opened up and I started doing things like Pearl as an example.
BP I don't really know Lotus Notes, but my impression of it is that within enterprises it was kind of transformative and there was email, and there was databases, and there was replication, and people hadn't really had that level of utility. But also it had almost like a consumer feel to it as opposed to like an enterprise feel, right?
JW It did. At the time, I have to say, I've got to give it credit. At the time it was kind of amazing. It was heavy though. It was one of those things where you'd click on something and it takes you literal tens of seconds for the next screen to render. But it did have a lot of functionality, it was fully bundled. At the time, we were just coming off of mainframe era into client era, client server was talked about quite a bit. This was one of those tools that really tried to recreate the entire coupledness and entire suite of tools that a lot of mainframes had into a desktop client server application. And it did quite a good job. It became everything to everyone who would buy into that ecosystem.
MK We've spoken quite a lot to technical folks moving around in their careers, whether that's from an individual contributor to a manager or vice versa and back again. Mitchell Hashimoto who we had on the podcast, basically worked his way down the rung to get down to an IC position, which was a really interesting discussion. But what I'm very curious on is that you've had a very extended history of being in very technical roles, Head of Engineering, worked at Canonical and Heroku, GitHub, all these things. But you've since moved into a managing director role at Redpoint, which is very much involved with investments and growing companies. So as an engineer, as somebody who's technical, can you speak to the transition from going from that technical aspect to something very much more finance oriented?
JW Yeah. So I think the simple way to describe what I did throughout my career up to this point was I tried to use the ability to program but also be technical as the superpower and not the core competency. And if I looked at it that way, at the end of the day it was going to be the thing that allowed me to move up or manage more responsibility or just basically have more impact, but I could do it in a way that most people at the highest rung of the tech industry weren't able to do. Particularly when I was younger, almost everybody who was a CEO was a former marketer or a former salesperson, and most of them were salespeople. I think that's part of the early to mid-2000's challenges, where there was just bad companies and really poor decisions being made because they lacked technical experience at the top. I think recently in the past seven or eight years, we've seen a lot more technical people start taking over companies and I expect we'll see even more of that future because it becomes the primary mechanism by which you add value or have value inside companies. But I just kind of looked at it that way. I also think that as far as programmers go, one, I got a late start so I had a little bit of worry about my ability to hang with other people. But two, I genuinely thought I was probably an average developer. I have since come to learn that I very much was an average developer, but I was an excellent architect. It's the difference between programming and engineering. I was an average programmer, but an excellent engineer. Systems– it's just the way my mind works. My mind is more of a distributed systems person and human systems that are organizations are no different, they're just, as I say, they're just lossier versions of computer distributed systems. So I happen to know how to manage those well, but weirdly, intrinsically I knew how to scale them. I knew how to operate them and I knew how to make them more efficient because of the stuff that I did on the systems programming side. So that's a weird way to answer the question, but I found myself doing that well. Now, going over to the finance side is a thing that I've always had now, given that I've been doing this and venture-backed startups for over 12 years, is honestly VC's don't know what they're doing. They don't know what they're backing. They're looking at a spreadsheet. They don't understand why a technology is important. The excellent ones do, and a lot of them get incredibly lucky, but if you notice the VC's track records there's very few people who have more than one successful investment. It's very well-known that very few people even get into a check on that side of the fence. So that's one side. It didn't seem like it'd be that hard to step into it and have some fun. The other side of it, the real reason is, entrepreneurs deserve better. They deserve to have somebody who understands what they're building and why they're building it and really what comes next. What are some strategies to employ, how to build the company, what this technology can impact, but also what could go wrong and how to mitigate those things. It's all what CTOs and CPOs do on a regular basis, and I don't think they had partner on the other side of the table from the financier side at all.
BP Right. That's fascinating. So, let me ask you this, and I don't mean this in a jesting way, what's it like to be the CTO of one of the most widely used developer tools and also consider yourself a mediocre programmer? Obviously architecture is very important, but I get the sense it was already built when you got there. So how did you approach that job? And for the years that you were there, how did you see the developer ecosystem sort of grow and change?
JW Well, GitHub was an interesting place because I was also the CPO. So I had product, engineering, design, security, data, infra, and support on day one. Eventually I ended up running decent portions of marketing and I had talent partners as well. So I had a very weird role at GitHub. Most of my time was actually spent on the product side of the world, what should we build? What should we build and why should we do it? So GitHub actions, packages, advanced security analytics, all of those types of things, and eventually even Copilot and Codespaces and things of that nature. So I spent a lot of my time on that. But we did have a lot of architectural challenges too, and GitHub was blessed with two things when I joined. One was obviously a thriving developer community that was already on it, but a stellar, stellar, stellar infrastructure group and that infrastructure group was just world-class. But GitHub was hitting scaling limits and so I did sit down with them and talked about ways in which we can mitigate the scaling limits, and really take GitHub from a site where you could collaborate on software, to a full fledged end to end software development platform that can scale all the way to the planet. And I think when I joined we were signing about 10,000 people a day and we had just around 20 million accounts and 1.5 to 2 million daily active users. So incredible, but when I left we had something like, I think it was 50,000 daily signups, 7 million daily actives or something close to that. So you can see we had this growth in that curve unlike anything we had before that we really had to work at to scale that system. Now the infrastructure group as I mentioned was stellar and world-class and filled with excellent programmers, but the fact that I could actually sit there and listen and actually contribute to overall architectural approach too is something that was incredibly important.
MK This is something that I think a lot of engineers go through where they doubt their programming ability at one stage or another. Moving through that process of realizing that you were perhaps not the most gifted programmer, or that wasn't where your natural skillset lied, to going through the distributed systems. Is that something that you've come to peace with over the course of your career? Being like, "You know what? Programming, I can do it, but I actually prefer doing the distributed systems." What advice could you give to others who are trying to find their way within the software development space?
JW One, I have come to peace with it because I think that I've taken a much more holistic view to what it takes to build successful companies. I've used this a couple of times and I'll say it here more publicly, if we're to bring this out to a team sport type of aspect, I'm just going to use basketball here, programming might be shooting, but engineering might be rebounding, and architecture might be passing and assists and things of that nature. But we only really in the industry think about this from a development perspective as the ability to program in an individual aspect. But if you think about it from a team sports perspective and winning the championship, you talk about the overall makeup of the team. What are your rebounds, offensive, defensive? What are your three point shots, two point shots percentages, all of those things. So in that way you start to realize that it's not just about the singular act of programming. There's a bunch of other things at play. And I'll back this up again by saying that when I was at GitHub, we had a bunch of staff engineers, but they weren't the singular archetype. There wasn't just, "Give them pizza, leave them alone for three weeks and they crank out all this code individually." Yeah, we had a couple of those that were staff engineers, but there were several people who were good, maybe bordering on great programmers, but their superpower was their ability to understand exactly where something was going to blow up. And they had that hair on the back of their neck feel because they understood the system itself as well and they didn't get in every day and crank out hundreds or thousands of lines of code. They stopped other people from making massive, massive mistakes at scale.
BP Yeah, I think that what you say there is a really good point. There is kind of this stereotypical, almost caricature of software engineers which we see in films and television, and I think also people assume the larger the organization or the more central to developer culture, the more it would hue to that. But as we know, programmers like everyone, come in all shapes and sizes so it's important to reiterate that I think. You mentioned earlier on your sort of thesis on VC which is that entrepreneurs and investors, your LPs, deserve better. That is to say, someone who's been there and built stuff and kind of has that experience can look over maybe a pitch deck and sort of evaluate the technology on more than just the financials. So what kind of companies have you been drawn to? Let's start there and then I have a follow-up.
JW So in general, one of the reasons I like Redpoint aside from the excellent humans that they are and their own history and track record of investing in some amazing companies, is their focus tends to be on infrastructure in high tech companies. So I'm attracted to those types, building fundamental plumbing layers of the internet or next generations of software, all that type of stuff. And what I invest in, what I look at is infrastructure. Not just dev tools but all infrastructure companies. Some recent examples of that would be, Redpoint invested in a company called Cribl, which if anyone knows what this is you'll understand what I mean by this, but it's sharded visibility tracing kind of an analytics insights platform. A bunch of Splunk people rolled out of Splunk and are building what you would consider to be the next generation of that. Plus, my personal investment that I've made at Redpoint up to this point is Alchemy, which is a crypto infrastructure company. Again, like you think about it, it's perfect. A brand new thing has emerged in the market, emerged in the world, they're doing fundamentally new and interesting things. I invest in that and help them build that out and scale it to a degree that no one's ever seen before.
BP Right. I want to pull that thread a little bit. Was Alchemy mentioned in the post from the Signal founder? I feel like I remember that name. There was a really interesting post from Moxie Marlinspike.
JW I believe it was. I can't remember it myself but I think it might've been, yeah.
BP The interesting thing there was the grand thesis of Satoshi was that everything would be decentralized and everybody would be running their own node in part of this big system, but when we get back to brass tacks and people want a mobile app that works, actually there's a bunch of people who are building the infrastructure and most people's experience with their wallet is being run through Alchemy or another one of these infrastructure providers.
JW I had a tweet a long time ago, it's the old Scooby-Doo meme. But it basically said the greatest trick the crypto community ever pulled was rebranding decentralization as centralization, or vice versa, I can't remember exactly what I said. But all great decentralized products need a centralized person to make it accessible. You go back through the history of this and actually something that I looked for was, "Hey, there is some talks about this being decentralized, what's the centralized component of this that I can invest in?" Coinbase, GitHub, Alchemy, fundamentally this pattern repeats itself. You're never going to get to a fully decentralized system. One of the reasons I had a big problem with the original Bitcoin paper in general was it was academic and it wasn't practical.
BP Yeah. Alchemy and Infura where the two that he sort of mentioned. When he looked under the hood he was not surprised, but wanted people to understand that as a casual user who had sort of drunk the Kool-Aid, you might not be getting the experience you have come to believe.
JW There's always some layer of centralization that will happen. This is an actual topic that we talk about inside Redpoint, but in general inside all the crypto community too, is people theoretically want to get to this, but practically speaking, you can't. And if you ever do, you actually cross the Rubicon to get to decentralized enough, actually everything atrophies. Because now, decision making is too diffuse and you get to the lowest common denominator. And actually Ethereum is suffering from this right now. Ethereum can't move forward fast enough, because it has tried to fully decentralize decision-making. Vitalik can't unilaterally make a decision, which many people say is good, except it's going to cause them all sorts of manner of pain and they're going to fall behind.
MK As someone who's more interested in the infrastructure or, if I'm phrasing this correctly, the tools to facilitate these processes and technologies from becoming mainstream and scaling to where they need to be, what do you think are the biggest challenges facing that space right now in order for mass adoption to happen? In order for things to be functional and have tangible benefit to the everyday person?
JW So my general view is that people will give up fundamental 'rights' in some cases for easy to use. And again, crypto and open source actually are very analogous types of movements, just crypto has a hyper financialization aspect on top of it. But many people theoretically wanted open source to mean that everyone could view the source code on any fundamental component they wanted and you would give up experience and usability to get that. Turned out no one gave a whatever about all of the things that Stallman really thought to be true. They wanted an easy to use package, and it could have been open source under the hood, but if it was two percent harder to use, let alone two 20 times harder to use, no one was going to use it. Crypto suffers from this at the moment itself. The UX and DX in crypto is atrocious. No one's going to want to manage their own keys and passcodes and all that sort of stuff. And just fundamentally, people are in their Richard Stallman of open-source phase right now which is, "You're wrong about what people are going to care about." It also happens to software because it's hyper financialized massive security vulnerabilities and no one wants to lose their entire net worth because somebody figured out how to hack Axie Infinity.
BP Sure. Write a better smart contract. You mentioned open source there. What's your experience been like with that over the years? When you were at GitHub for example, and you were focused on product, did you get signals from the open source world or from the number of stars? How do you look at the open source world now? A couple of times recently on the podcast we've had discussions about how a number of folks in the venture capital space for example have chosen to define themselves as open source investors. That's where they see the opportunity. Follow the developers and you'll get to the next big thing. Do you agree with that sentiment? Tell us a little about your experience with open source.
JW Sure. I've been in the open source world for a long, long time, I mean, mid '90's when Linux started to come out and then the Python communities and things like that and then eventually Rails and Ruby. I think in general the philosophy of following developers is the right one. They'll lead you to what will be next, but you've got to understand why they're doing it. So nights and weekends where they're going to spend their time is always going to be interesting. And then what they're using to solve the largest problems at scale will be interesting. Because there's a vast in-between which might not be that interesting, and this is where I think a more technical developer-oriented person would be able to suss that out. One of the things in the past 10 years or so as people started to realize that developers mattered was they tried to fund every sort and every type and every single open source project out there. And not every open source project deserves to be a company, let alone can actually be a company, and that's where I think that things kind of went wrong for a little while. But I think the general rule of following developers is the right one.
MK I'm curious as well, just as an aside. Was there anything in particular that you really wanted to kind of hone in on during today's podcast? Any particular topic about VC work or GitHub or anything else that you were really chomping at the bit to talk about?
JW No, I mean, for me, the only thing that I ever wake up thinking about is what is next. So I talk about developers, I talk about infrastructure, and I talk about what's coming. My favorite topic of all time is always what's possible but that's a different view, maybe too long for a podcast. I would say that no particular topic other than if any younger entrepreneurs right now are building a company, take seriously what people are saying about the downturn in the market. Maybe that would be my one big takeaway at the moment. Get some financial discipline inside your organization. Start figuring out how to make some money, tighten up your operational controls, and take it seriously. We're not going to be getting back to a funding environment, in my opinion, probably for years that looked like 2020 and 2021. But for the next 18 to 24 months, very likely it's going to look very different from what you've ever seen.
MK So what advice would you offer then for anyone starting up a SaaS company or anything within this space from day one? What would you suggest they focus on in the short term to get through this phase?
JW I think that one is, don't look to your peers that raised a couple of years ago. A lot of people didn't need to have certain types of corporate discipline or product discipline to actually raise. They could raise on bad fundamentals or ahead of where the business actually was. I would say assume you actually have to prove that the business is viable and should exist to raise money these days. The second thing is, I would say that this is a build fast, hire slow environment. You shouldn't be hiring out ahead of where the business is, and if you get too far ahead that's when you get in trouble. And the last thing I would say is, we're back into an environment where stages do matter. For the last couple of years, you literally could have seed fundamentals and raise a B or C valuation. We saw it all the time. But now the stages are going to matter, and the way I've always bucketed these things, and it may sound a little bit older at this point, but I think it matters in an environment that looks like this. Seed is about proving that the idea should exist. A is about proving that people will adopt it and you can convert people from maybe slight usage to paid. B is about proving that you can actually build a company around this, like the go to market functions, the marketing motions, the partnership activities, all of those sorts of things. And C is about making sure that you can scale that company and the entire organization as you grow it, and then you get to the pre-IPO rounds. A lot of that got muddied in the last couple of years when you could have less than a million dollars in revenue and raise at a multiple billion dollar valuation, which is going to lead to a lot of pain in 2022, obviously. But that's not going to be available to someone starting today.
BP Right, right. You mentioned before, optimism. Yes, VCs generally tend to take that tack. I don't think we have any of our resident cynics on today as hosts, so you can just feel free to fire away. But what are one or two technologies or trends you're particularly excited about and where do you think they'll be taking us in five or ten years?
JW So I think we'll go back to crypto. I think crypto is going to matter, and it rightfully should. Facilitating payments and money movement and all of those things. But I think that right now we're focused on the wrong things. So forget 99% of what you see in crypto and just think of it as a pump and dump garbage type of thing. And start looking through what you could do with cross-border money movement in such a way that is not possible to do today, wires, banking, all that sort of stuff. So that's one I think is going to be interesting. I also think that Snowflake ushered in a new era of cloud type computing and brand new mechanisms that are going to be available. So we're going to get way more real-time streaming systems. We're going to get way more easy and facilitated data movement, which will unlock new types of applications out there, combined with edge networks and what will happen with data locality closer to people's geos and things of that nature, so that's another which I'm fascinated by. Because again, it opens up new architectural patterns. I'm super happy to see developers being thought of on a regular basis in terms of developer experience. You get Vercel’s and Gatsby's and Netlify’s of the world on Jamstack. Today literally Fastly and Glitch happened it was announced.
BP Yeah, friends of the show. Good to see.
JW You're starting to see edge networks start to develop. It's interesting to see and I'm super happy to see that. I hope to see some of that happening and unlocking in the regulated spaces like maybe healthcare. Not that this is my space, but it would be nice to see developers and entrepreneurs be able to go after that space in a way that right now is not possible to go do. That'd be interesting.
BP I always thought it would be cool if you could own all of your health data and port it with you. That the blockchain was a useful concept for that as opposed to calling my old doctor's office to transfer to my new doctor's office, and the old doctor has gone out of business. That doesn't need the speed of Visa, but I'd like ownership of it and I'd like it to be immutable. My health records have always been something that I feel there's a pain in the butt around.
JW On that front, I think privacy is going to be a massive aspect that will have to come to the blockchains before we start to unlock certain aspects of those things. So I do think specifically in the blockchain crypto world, you're going to see more sharded and private blockchain type of stuff, along with ZKs, or zero knowledge proofs, privacy things that pop up. Once those things happen, fundamental primitives and building blocks will be available for us to do interesting things, but Fidelity is never going to want to use the public Ethereum ledger for all of its transactions. No one's going to do that, which again goes back to my fundamental flaw in the Bitcoin paper about these certain assumptions. But once these things happen you're going to start to see actual, real innovation that a lot of snarky individuals, myself included, say, "Oh, Bitcoin fixes this." You will actually see it, but we're still years away from doing that because we've been so focused on BS pump and dump schemes for the last couple of years.
BP NFTs and tokens for the win.
BP All right, everybody. It is that time of the show. We're going to thank somebody who came on Stack Overflow and helped spread some knowledge. Awarded May 10th to dfrib, they’re getting an error here, “nil requires a contextual type.” They're using Swift. If you've gotten that error, well, we have an answer that might just help you out. I am Ben Popper. I am the Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. You can always find me on Twitter @BenPopper. Email us with questions or suggestions, firstname.lastname@example.org, we'll shout you out. And if you like the show, leave us a rating and a review. It really helps.
MK And I'm Matt Kiernander. I'm a Developer Advocate here at Stack Overflow. You can find me online @MattKander on YouTube or Twitter.
JW Well, Matt, Ben, first, thanks for having me. It's been a lot of fun. You let me rant a little bit about some things. You can always find me on Twitter @JasonCWarner, happens to be my handle in most places so you know how to email me at Gmail or find me on GitHub or Telegram, Signal, Discords all over the world. So that's me, @JasonCWarner.
BP All right. Well thanks for coming on. And everybody, thanks for listening. We will talk to you soon.
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