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An Epic, Excellent, Eclectic Episode with Kiran Oliver

Relicans host Aaron Bassett talks to Technical Community Builder with Camunda, Kiran Oliver, about giving The Diana Initiative keynote this year on how to pick yourself up when you've been down.

They also talk about how to get started contributing to Kubernetes, being neurodivergent, and making webcomics and candlesticks with their wife!

Should you find a burning need to share your thoughts or rants about the show, please spray them at devrel@newrelic.com. While you're going to all the trouble of shipping us some bytes, please consider taking a moment to let us know what you'd like to hear on the show in the future. Despite the all-caps flaming you will receive in response, please know that we are sincerely interested in your feedback; we aim to appease. Follow us on the Twitters: @PolyglotShow.

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Jonan Scheffler: Hello and welcome to Polyglot, proudly brought to you by New Relic's developer relations team, The Relicans. Polyglot is about software design. It's about looking beyond languages to the patterns and methods that we as developers use to do our best work. You can join us every week to hear from developers who have stories to share about what has worked for them and may have some opinions about how best to write quality software. We may not always agree, but we are certainly going to have fun, and we will always do our best to level up together. You can find the show notes for this episode and all of The Relicans podcasts on developer.newrelic.com/podcasts. Thank you so much for joining us. Enjoy the show.

Aaron Bassett: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Polyglot Podcast. On this episode, I'm joined by Rin Oliver. Rin is a writer, journalist, producer, speaker, also a candlestick maker as well as Technical Community Builder with Camunda. Hello and welcome to the show, Rin.

Kiran Oliver: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Aaron: I'm so glad you could be here. I've been really looking forward to this interview because I do have to ask, and you probably get asked this all the time, but the candlestick maker. I know you have it on your site and in brackets (no, really). So, can you fill us in on that? What kind of candlesticks is it that you make? It seems like a really interesting hobby.

Kiran: Yeah. My wife and I actually have a small business. We called it Starcrossed Sundries, and we do have a Shopify store. I'm going to shamelessly plug that. We make candles, we make wax melts, and it's pretty great. We took a little break. We actually lost my stepdad earlier in August.

Aaron: I'm very sorry to hear that.

Kiran: It's okay. We're not currently open to a lot of new orders, but we will take some. We just have a longer-than-usual turnaround current time at the moment. But we make a whole bunch of candles and wax melts. We're hoping to explore a lot of different fandoms out there in pop culture in the future. Right now, we do a line about some Harry Potter stuff.

Aaron: Wow. [laughs]

Kiran: We do a lot of secret menu. Yes, we do a lot of Harry Potter candles. We do some stuff that's just…

Aaron: I have to admit, my partner is a huge Harry Potter fan. So I will definitely be getting to check out your...you said you got an Etsy store?

Kiran: We have a Shopify store, actually.

Aaron: Shopify.

Kiran: It's starcrossedsundries.com. And if you go to my Twitter, I've got it all over there if you look on that. It should be actually on my website as well. But yeah, I make candles and wax melts along with my wife, and it's pretty fun. We really enjoy it here. So you earn some change.

Aaron: I love that kind of thing where people have something that's like a craft or a hobby that they're really interested in that they can share with other people. There are lots of these kinds of platforms now to do it. But I should have asked as well; that’s not your primary business. You are a developer advocate. Is that correct? Sorry, community builder.

Kiran: I am a Technical Community Builder, yes indeed, at Camunda. I am a part of their developer experience team, which is under the umbrella of development relations.

Aaron: For everybody listening, can you give us like, what is Camunda? What's the elevator pitch there?

Kiran: Basically, the elevator pitch of Camunda is automate any process anywhere. That is our elevator pitch. It's end-to-end orchestration, business collaboration. We're very developer-friendly. We've got open architecture, and we've actually got CamundaCon coming up, and you can register now for that. That is live. And you go to camundacon.com, and that's on September 22nd and 23rd, 2021, if this episode comes up.

Aaron: Oh, so that is coming up pretty soon, or it's in the past depending on when people are listening to the podcast. [laughs]

Kiran: Or it's in the past, depending on when you're listening to this. It's either about to happen or has already happened, either one. [laughs]

Aaron: If you're listening to this after September 2021, then check it out in 2022. [laughs]

Kiran: Exactly. Check out CamundaCon 2022. Yes indeed.

Aaron: So it's all by server orchestration then.

Kiran: It's more business process model automation. It's a lot of what we do, process automation for the digital enterprise. And it's about automation and improving processes that provide better customer experiences and increase business agility. So that is Camunda in a nutshell.

Aaron: Yeah, I've seen there's a lot of different stuff covered on this, everything from IoT to microservices to AI.

Kiran: That is correct.

Aaron: Yeah. You really are trying to live up to this automate any process anywhere.

Kiran: You can indeed. You can automate anything.

Aaron: With such a broad surface area, what is your key focus then, or do you have one as the Technical Community Builder? Is there an area that you are really keen about or that you focus on at work, or is it just you're really across the whole board?

Kiran: I am really cross-functional in my role. I touch a little bit of everything. My main project for this year, when I started at Camunda, was working on our Camunda Community Hub, and that is a centralized location for all of our community-contributed extensions. So if it's built by the community or even built by Camunda, but an open-source community maintained project, it lives in the community hub now. So we have a central location where people can find these community extensions. And it's really awesome. It's a lovely little GitHub organization, and it shows your extension lifecycle so you know if something's incubating, if it's just a proof of concept, if it's unmaintained and needs a maintainer, et cetera.

Aaron: So, what kind of extensions are people contributing to that then? Is there one in particular that you've really been impressed by or?

Kiran: I'm impressed with all of them.

Aaron: [laughs]

Kiran: But if I have to pick some, we have our Keycloak extension, which is pretty great.

Aaron: You said Keycloak.

Kiran: Keycloak. Yes indeed. And we have…

Aaron: What is that one? That sounded interesting.

Kiran: It is a Camunda identity provider plugin. It's an open-source identity access management platform including features such as user federation, identity brokering, and social login. So that is what that does. The way that Keycloak is described in its README is that single sign-on is sufficient if you want only authentication but have no further advanced security roles.

If you need to use Camunda IdentityService APIs or want to see users in groups showing up in cockpit, a customer identity provider needs to be implemented as well, and that's what Keycloak does. Keycloak provides the basis and is the identity management solution that provides a read-only identity provider. So it's a fully integrated solution for using Keycloak as an identity provider and Camunda receiving users and groups from Keycloak.

Aaron: I can see here Keycloak as well is open source too.

Kiran: It is, yeah. Yes indeed.

Aaron: It's a Red Hat project. Is that right?

Kiran: I honestly don't know that part.

Aaron: Oh, maybe it's just sponsored by them. It may not be under their umbrella.

Kiran: It's sponsored by Red Hat, yeah.

Aaron: So it's open source. Obviously, you have this community hub.

Kiran: Yes. Yes.

Aaron: And so you're integrating with things like Keycloak, which are open source as well.

Kiran: That is correct, yes.

Aaron: So is open source a really key part of Camunda or their philosophy on things or how they approach stuff?

Kiran: I would say yes, it is, and it's part of my job, actually. I've been doing some research in the potential for Camunda to join platforms such as the TODO Group. And that's something that I've been evaluating and is moving onto the next steps in that evaluation process. There are components of Camunda that are open source. We have BPMN.io open-source community hub, open-source, and some of our code is source-available. So it's something that I think that we definitely have in front of mind. And I think it's something that is definitely going to grow in the future.

Aaron: So it is a difficult kind of balance. Obviously, my role here with New Relic, a lot of what we do is open source, but we have a lot of proprietary code as well.

Kiran: Exactly. Yes.

Aaron: And it's very much the same even with my previous role at MongoDB where you have the community edition, which is obviously open-source, but then they have their own managed cloud, which has some proprietary features, et cetera. It is interesting trying to balance that and make sure you're giving back to the community as much as you can while also protecting your own commercial interests, et cetera, et cetera.

Kiran: Exactly.

Aaron: It's a difficult line to walk sometimes. [laughs]

Kiran: A very delicate balance.

Aaron: Yes, very delicate balance. So you say it's definitely something that's in the forefront of your mind, especially with this Camunda Community Hub.

Kiran: Absolutely.

Aaron: As a Technical Community Builder, what do you think are the key ways that you can support these communities then through your role?

Kiran: So one of the things that I've done involves working on things like release automation tools. I've been partnering with our infrastructure team to make some steps toward automated releases for people working in Java using GitHub Actions. And we're working on, hopefully, potentially in the future crafting some GitHub Actions to work with, for example, React JS, Python, other things such as that.

And also, we did a new release yesterday of the Community Action Maven Release, which is our GitHub Action for automated releases to Sonatype Nexus. And that actually introduced Aqua Security. Trivy security scanning was our previous release. We introduced that, and you can run that in a bash script. And in the new release, we actually introduced the option to have those results uploaded to the security tab in GitHub so that people are aware if your extension fails a security test what exactly it did. If it had a critical or high vulnerability, it will populate those results to the GitHub security tab.

Aaron: Nice. So I'm just trying to make sure I get this automate any process anywhere and what the flow is then for working with Camunda but looking at it working with different extensions and languages and integrating with GitHub Actions. And I'd take it with the security...is that part of GitHub's pull request or just the notification you get on a repo in general? It looks like a lot of different moving parts. Is there a standard process of getting started with Camunda, or is it really dependent on what you're trying to automate? Or where would you recommend people get started?

Kiran: I would recommend that there are actually...we have a lot of really good getting started guides, actually. If you go to our website, there is camunda.com, and you go to camunda.com/developers/getting-started/. Yeah, camunda.com/getting-started. And we have some quick starts. We have wonderful tutorial videos, and we have amazing documentation. We also have a lot of developer resources and an amazing newsletter you can sign up for. So we have wonderful getting started guides, and some tutorials that are rolling out, which I think will help people get up and running quickly and efficiently.

Aaron: I'm just looking for some of them as well. It really does cover such a wide range of different things in there with the quick starts and the documentation.

Kiran: It sure does.

Aaron: It is very detailed. So I know it's different at different companies. I'm not sure if this falls under developer relations there, but whoever is involved, they're doing a great job.

Kiran: I agree.

Aaron: But it's not just Camunda. We don't want to talk about it the whole time about that as well. You are a conference speaker; would that be fair to say too?

Kiran: That is correct. Yes, absolutely.

Aaron: How have you found it recently with this move away from in-person conferences?

Kiran: I actually enjoy virtual conferences. I recently did a closing keynote at The Diana Initiative 2021. That was all virtual, but the conference platform was really interactive, and everyone was very talkative. And it was actually really great to have that virtual experience. And I've had as warm a reception virtually if not warmer than I would've had in person. So I see no difference personally.

I've also been a speaker at some really great events. I've spoken at MozFest. I've spoken over at The Docks, Portland. I've spoken at Deserted Island DevOps this year. I've done a lot of virtual talks this year, and they've all been really great. And that's because of people that were there attending, and without attendees, you've got nothing. So I think that it's been really great to see people come out and support these speakers. And to have such an invested audience has been really nice.

Aaron: It's obviously been very different for a lot of organizers as well. And I think people have really been stepping up to the mark to get these conferences out and ensure that they're still happening. So I'm consistently and constantly impressed by all the work many times from volunteers that are going into keeping these conferences alive during these times. But I did want to just ask you about The Diana Initiative because it sounds like a wonderful thing that you're doing here in this conference, helping those underrepresented in information security.

Kiran: Yes, indeed. I'm actually also an advisory board member there this year. So I've been helping out a lot behind the scenes as well. It's been really great to get to see the inner workings of that and to get to help with that sort of thing. It's been really wonderful, and I'm very pleased to have been a part of it.

Aaron: Is it an event that's been going on for a while?

Kiran: Yes. Oh gosh, yes. It's been going on for years now, many years. I'm pretty sure that it's been going on for, I want to say, at least five, possibly ten years, if not more.

Aaron: Oh, wow. So that is pretty old then in terms of tech conferences. [laughs] Sometimes, they tend to appear and disappear pretty quickly.

Kiran: The first event was in 2016. So it's been going on for six years now.

Aaron: Nice. And it does sound like a really great thing they're doing there with it. And you said you're on the advisory board as well.

Kiran: I am indeed, yes.

Aaron: So what kind of things does that entail and on the lead up to one of these conferences?

Kiran: That was a lot of talking about how to set up things like the career villages, making sure that volunteers had all of their information they needed, a little fine-tuning of language on the website, lots of document review, lots of fine-tuning the verbiage and making sure contracts were right, et cetera.

Aaron: People just don't realize the amount of admin that goes on behind the scenes for a lot of these kinds of things.

Kiran: Lots of admin.

Aaron: I've not been involved in actually organizing conferences. But with the Django Software Foundation, we get a lot of requests for grants and sponsorship of different conferences. And obviously very involved with DEFNA, The Django Events Foundation for North America, which is a separate body. But yeah, just hearing some of the things that they have to deal with, everything from organizing vendors to dealing with code of conduct, it is such a wide range that these volunteers give their time to. So to be part of organizing one of those conferences, as I said earlier, I've always been constantly impressed with people who volunteered time for this. So I just want to make sure I'm thanking you on the stream as well for taking part in that. To ask you about your talk then, you said you keynoted?

Kiran: Yes, I was the closing keynote. Yes, indeed. That is available on YouTube. I gave a closing keynote called Rising From the Ashes. And it was about essentially how to pick yourself up when you've been down and failure is temporary. While today might be your worst day, it's not the end of the world. And it won't be the absolute worst. It will get better.

Aaron: [chuckles] That is a great sentiment to carry. I think we've all been there at some point or other. And you say that that's already on YouTube. People can go watch that talk.

Kiran: Yes, everyone could.

Aaron: Wonderful. We'll link to The Diana Initiative in the show notes as well. And is it linked from there, your keynote?

Kiran: It is actually up on YouTube, and I will happily send it your way. It's pretty great. I'm very, very pleased about it. It's really awesome. And a lot of people actually have sent me amazing messages about it. Just the amount of people that have reached out to me and said, "Your keynote changed my life," has been great. I've gotten messages from people that have said things on it.

Aaron: That's so nice.

Kiran: They said, "The closing keynote was life-changing." I've had people say, "I've been struggling with unemployment for a year, and your keynote inspired me to keep going," et cetera. That's been really great. And it's been really nice to see that it's made an impact on people. I've had so many messages, and the outpouring of love and support and people saying, "This really impacted me. Thank you," has been so cool.

Aaron: Yeah, that must be so lovely to hear. Getting any kind of feedback sometimes as a speaker can be difficult but getting something as lovely as that, that's really sweet. It makes you feel very good.

Kiran: It does, indeed. It really does. It was really awesome.

Aaron: I don't want to speak for anybody else here, but that's why a lot of us got into developer relations and why we do what we do is because we do want to help people.

Kiran: I agree completely. Yeah, I do. I want to help people. I want to make sure that they have the best experience they can. I want to make sure that they are empowered and enabled to do what they do in a way that makes them feel good and makes them feel accomplished. And I want to make sure that they are having a good experience and that they feel valued, and their contributions are respected more than anything.

Aaron: That's so important as well. And it harks back to what we were talking about with open source. People are giving up their time, and ensuring that they do feel that their contributions are respected, and are important, and are valued is credibly important.

Kiran: Absolutely. I agree. I think that's very important, and I think that people need to be aware that there are people that are giving their time, and they're giving their resources. And for example, not even necessarily contributors, volunteers, anyone behind the scenes that makes something happen or anyone that's taking part in these events or helping out just value people's contributions; it's important.

Aaron: Yeah. So you've mentioned you've been on different conferences. You're saying many people might've seen you from KubeCon. Is that a community that you're also very involved with?

Kiran: Yes and no. I'm a little less involved this year.

Aaron: So I have to admit the whole Kubernetes community is not one that I'm super familiar with. I know I'm working for New Relic and probably should be something a little more. I'm very embedded in the Python community.

Kiran: That's actually something I could help you with because actually, the part of Kubernetes I'm most active with is contributor experience and getting contributors involved in Kubernetes, and they always need help. And if that's something you're interested in, I would love to help you get involved in contributing to Kubernetes. There are a lot of wonderful people there that make the contributor experience better.

Aaron: So for somebody like myself then who would be brand new to Kubernetes, what would be the onboarding? Where should I start?

Kiran: I would say first things first, read the contributor guide. Read the contributor guide. It's so important, and it's so useful. And everything you need to know to get started is there. If you read one thing, absolutely read the contributor guide.

Aaron: So contributor guide, and then it seems like such a broad, very technical technology to come into.

Kiran: It is, but it isn't in a lot of ways in that it's very technical, but you've got to remember that just because it's a technical project doesn't mean that skills from all realms aren't needed. We still need documentation. We still need localization. We still need community and contributor experience. We need people to do things like organize our contributor YouTube channels, et cetera. And we need people to...there's an upstream marketing team. Write blogs. Talk to the SIGs, et cetera. Join a SIG, get involved. There are so many SIGs in Kubernetes that you can join. If you have an interest, there's probably a SIG about it.

Aaron: I think probably for me, the most important question I do have to ask about contributing to Kubernetes is what do I need to contribute to get one of the funky sailor hats?

Kiran: The sailor hats, oh gosh.

Aaron: [laughs]

Kiran: I think what those were something really special for the contributors or the SIG cheerleads for a particular year. I think that was a custom thing. I actually don't know. I've been wondering that myself. I have an in on sailor hats because my dad's actually a ship captain.

Aaron: Wow.

Kiran: So at any point, I could go back home and grab a real ship captain's hat, so I'm fine. They have the little gold bars on them. They're pretty great. Yeah, love them.

Aaron: For anybody who is not aware, Kubernetes' logo there is...there's probably a term for this. I'm getting it wrong here. [laughs] It's like a steering wheel for a ship. There’s probably an actual term for that that's not just steering wheel. [laughs]

Kiran: There is, yes.

Aaron: But whatever it is, this is how nautical I am. [laughs]

Kiran: It's actually a helm. [laughs] That's why The Helm Project is called The Helm Project.

Aaron: That makes sense. Yeah, the logo for Kubernetes is the helm is what I'm learning. There's definitely some kind of nautical-themed swag and things that have been out before. And I was just noticing looking at the contributors' website there are lots of people with these kinds of sailor hats.

Kiran: Yeah, those were something special. I know that much. It was something really special, and I think it was...I wish I remembered. I'm actually in this picture, which is really funny. [laughter] I have way different hair now, but I am in this picture. And it's fun to me because I look at this, and I see a whole bunch of people that I know that I only see a couple of times a year, but I love them all so much. And they're so great.

And if you're a part of this open-source community, these are some really awesome people. And people don't come to the Kubernetes community for Kubernetes. They come because it's a welcoming, fun community that people really enjoy being a part of and that people are so nice. They're just so nice. I have met so many wonderful people, and I highly recommend that people check it out because it's a wonderful, wonderful place to be.

Aaron: It sounds very much like the reasons why I enjoy the Python community so much. So I definitely will check it out. And honestly, one of the things that's been so hard with the lack of in-person conferences for me is that lack of the hallway track and getting to see my friends.

Kiran: Exactly, the hallway track. I love it. I love the hallway track. I miss the hallway track. It's pretty great.

Aaron: Yeah, it's so strange to be like, yeah, my friends are on like six different continents. And I get to see them at conferences, and that's really it. So having lack of travel for a while has been difficult and missing everybody. For any listeners here who haven't heard the term hallway track before, it's the conference that happens between the talk, so in the hallways as you're walking from one stage to the next. Would that be fair to say? Is that a good summarization?

Kiran: I would say that, or it's the one that happens when you're waiting for talks to happen or during lunch, or when you're waiting between things that you have to do between panels.

Aaron: I don't want to call anybody out on the stream, but there was quite a well-known figure in the Python community who was actually saying, "Whenever you go to PyCon, skip the talks, and just go there to see people and to make these connections and talk. Because all the talks will be recorded and you can view them online later," which was a quite controversial, I have to say, take. Being a speaker yourself, you'll know that one of the worst feelings is the speaker is talking to an empty room.

Kiran: That is the absolute worst. Yes, indeed.

Aaron: Yeah. So encouraging people to only go for hallway talk as much as I personally love the hallway track, I can't indulge that thought of only going to a conference for that. Go and support the speakers as well. They put an awful lot of work into their talks. Be in the room.

Kiran: Absolutely. I agree completely. Please support your speakers.

Aaron: And there's something different about seeing a talk in person than watching a video, at least for me.

Kiran: I agree completely. I think there's a lot of difference, and I actually haven't given an in-person talk since 2019. It was my very first one.

Aaron: Wow.

Kiran: So I think I've gotten a lot better at giving talks since then. So I'm actually really looking forward to those. This will be my first non-virtual talk since 2019.

Aaron: I have to admit that giving talks in person and doing pre-records, I actually find pre-records a lot harder.

Kiran: I like pre-records, but I do find them very difficult. They are not my favorite thing.

Aaron: I'm not sure if you're the same as me but knowing that I can re-record something...If I'm giving it live, I'm giving it live. If I make a mistake, if I stumble a word, if I um or ah too much, I just press on. There's nothing else I can do. But with a pre-record and knowing that I can just stop the recording and go back and start again, I must record some of my talks maybe 20, 30 times.

Kiran: Yep. I've done that. I've done that. And I have a lot of clips on my work computer right now that are just me getting three minutes in saying something expletive and then just stopping the recording.

Aaron: [laughs] I was tempted at one point to put together almost a blooper reel of the fumbles that I have during pre-records that cause me to stop.

Kiran: I should do that. That sounds fun. I could do that.

Aaron: [laughs] My partner can comprehend. I don't know if you do this. I know some people have different ways of recording it, but I have friends who will record talks, pre-records in sections. So they'll break it up by maybe 5 or 10 minutes or by topic area. So if they do fumble, they can just re-record that section.

Kiran: That seems like a way better way to do it.

Aaron: Yeah, I 100% agree, and I just can't do it that way myself. [laughs] My partner thinks I'm putting a lot more work on myself in doing it this way, but I just can't seem to get the flow right if I'm restarting from a particular section. Which if you get 54 minutes into an hour-long talk and then flub something and have to restart, it is heartbreaking.

Kiran: Yeah, I think I'm going to have to start doing that, though. It sounds like a much better avenue for me. [laughs]

Aaron: I did get one great tip on it, though. It never started natural for me whenever I would stop in between and re-record something. And a friend who does a lot of recordings for audiobooks pointed out that it was the way in which I was breathing because, in some recordings, I would breathe out and then stop the recording and start the recording again. And at the start of recording, I was breathing out again. And it's like, you don't notice the fact that you never breathed in in between those. But whenever you're listening to it subconsciously, you can pick up on those kinds of things.

Kiran: That's a good point, yes. I know the other thing I've noticed too is just being aware of the fact that you need to breathe; that’s a big one.

Aaron: [laughs] Yeah.

Kiran: I tend to not breathe, and I just need to remind myself to slow down so I can breathe, and it'll still be there. If they leave, they leave.

Aaron: Getting the speed right can be difficult as well. I'm originally from Ireland. We talk very fast. Having to learn to slow myself down, especially when you're nervous.

Kiran: Same. I'm from New England. We do the same thing. You and I are talking about the same speaking cadence. I'm like, ooh, someone else that speaks fast. That's great. [laughs]

Aaron: [laughs] You're originally from New England.

Kiran: Yes. Yes.

Aaron: You spent some time in New Zealand, I believe, as well.

Kiran: That is correct. I spent four years in New Zealand. I am a permanent resident, and my wife is a citizen.

Aaron: Oh, wow. It looks like a beautiful country. I've never been.

Kiran: It's very pretty. We lived in Oakland. We lived in Mission Bay. It was pretty great.

Aaron: And now you're back in the U.S.

Kiran: Sure. Yes, indeed. We just bought a house. We live in the Northwest corner of Louisiana.

Aaron: I don't think I've been to Louisiana. I've been to a lot of different states. Before COVID, we did a drive from Seattle to Florida.

Kiran: Oh, cool.

Aaron: Trying to get probably the farthest you can do in the U.S. [laughs]

Kiran: Wow. That is a lot of driving, ooph.

Aaron: But I don't think we stopped in Louisiana. The other thing I was going to ask just before we run out of time here is you do have this five-year goal list on your site.

Kiran: I sure do.

Aaron: So the first one there is to write a successful webcomic.

Kiran: Yeah. [chuckles] It sure is.

Aaron: How is that coming along?

Kiran: That's coming along. It's happening kind of. It's in the works I guess I could say. My wife and I are collaborating on it, but we keep getting distracted by other webcomics we want to make. So that's a little bit of a problem, too many webcomics. Oh no. [laughs]

Aaron: Can I ask what the topic of the comic is, or what's the theme?

Kiran: It's a queer romance high fantasy dragons and badass princesses sort of tropy thing. We love it.

Aaron: [laughs] Is there any other ones in the same kind of niche that people might recognize the names of, anybody you're drawing influence from or inspiration?

Kiran: Gosh, I don't know. Honestly, I'd have to ask my wife. She's very much well-versed in comics things, and I'm not so much. I do the writing part, and my wife and I collaborate on writing as well. She does the illustrations. I cannot illustrate my way out of a paper bag.

Aaron: [laughs] That's the other thing I was going to ask of who's doing the illustrations? And the other one you've got, and this is something close to my heart as well, is net in your five-year goal is to build something that helps neurodivergent folks.

Kiran: That is correct.

Aaron: For anybody who doesn't know who's listening, I have ADHD type C, which is the combined type. I've talked about this a lot at different conferences. So it's always something that's very, very close to my heart. So I'd be very interested in it too. So have you started building on this? Have you got any plans for it?

Kiran: That's awesome. I actually have ADD, the inattentive type. [laughs] And I'm also autistic, and I have dyspraxia and dyscalculia. I am a multiply neurodivergent, as I like to say, which is super fun. I've kind of started working with that. And I think I've given a lot of talks about that as well. So I guess I've not necessarily built something as I've gotten the message out there. In terms of building things, I have a resource out there on GitLab, which is about breaking down the barriers to open source for neurodivergent contributors. So I guess in theory, yes, I have built something.

Aaron: Yeah, definitely.

Kiran: I have.

Aaron: Where can people find that?

Kiran: That is on GitLab, I believe.

Aaron: I think these kinds of things will be linked from I think it's ckoliver.com.

Kiran: It is. It is. Yes, yes. That is correct.

Aaron: Folks listening at home right now looking for any of your talks or links.

Kiran: They can find them on my website. Yes, indeed. They sure can.

Aaron: And I'll get that again. It is ckoliver.com.

Kiran: Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed.

Aaron: Next on your list is something that I would love to aspire to as well, but I cannot run. But you're running three races for charity. [laughs]

Kiran: I have done two of those.

Aaron: Congrats. That's amazing.

Kiran: I have done a few. It's actually something that I started...I started doing a lot more walking over the last couple of years. I actually broke my leg in 2018. So something I did once I was able to walk again was do some walks for charity.

Aaron: My partner is an avid runner. I am not.

Kiran: I don't do running just because I have so much new hardware now. It was a really bad break. I had to have surgery, so I got pins and screws and stuff.

Aaron: Oh, ouch.

Kiran: So I try to avoid running. Walking I can do now. The cool thing about the races I do is it's for a charity called Random Tuesdays, and it's all fandom-related. And there's a Doctor Who Running Club for example.

Aaron: [laughs]

Kiran: It exists. It's a thing. There's a Harry Potter Running Club. There's a bunch of them. And then there are some other fandoms I don't remember off the top of my head.

Aaron: Do the Harry Potter ones run with a broom between your legs?

Kiran: No. No, no. But we do have really cool swag. We have fun shirts.

Aaron: So it's only for people playing Quidditch then.

Kiran: There are actually events every couple of weeks where there is Quidditch, and they get house teams. And you have to run a certain amount of miles, and you get a fun t-shirt. And it's actually pretty cool. It's really collaborative. And it's a whole bunch of people who have just come together to play Quidditch essentially in terms of running a lot of miles and trying to beat the other houses by walking more or running more. [laughs]

Aaron: Nice.

Kiran: The profits from their shirts and stuff go to charity.

Aaron: And the last one of your five-year goal list, how is the learn two new instruments coming along?

Kiran: That's actually coming out pretty okay. Well, I haven't necessarily picked up a new instrument. I did get a violin. I learned to play some scales. So I'm going to say playing is achieved.

Aaron: Yeah, 100%.

Kiran: Because playing counts as not letting it not die.

Aaron: [laughs] Yes.

Kiran: So I have completed a singular scale, and I can tune it. So I will call that a win. And I can play some basic notes, so I'm good. And I am picking up another instrument. I am relearning to play the flute. I got one from a friend of mine. So I have my flute, my violin, and I have a guitar. And I'm hoping in the next couple of months to maybe get an ocarina. But my dogs hate the tin whistle I got, so I'm not thinking an ocarina is going to be any better, but we can hope it might be. Maybe they'll like the ocarina better. Maybe they're just Zelda dogs. That would be nice.

Aaron: From a fellow ADHD person, if I can keep a hobby long enough that I'm still interested in it, but the time the gear I've ordered online arrives, I count that as a win.

Kiran: Accurate. Yeah.

Aaron: My interests and hobbies change so frequently. [laughs] I'm not very musical myself, but I have some colleagues on the team who stream sometimes about Sonic Pi, which is making music with programming, and that's a lot of fun.

Kiran: Ooh, that's exciting. I would love that link. Please send it to me because I'm actually going to get...I actually did a talk with a friend of mine in New Zealand, and they're sending me a Raspberry Pi with a keyboard, and I don't know what to do with it. So if I can make music with it, that's going to be wild. And you'll have made my day. [laughs]

Aaron: It's like a live coding environment. I think the syntax that they use is very similar to Ruby.

Kiran: Oh, that's cool.

Aaron: And as you're typing, it is being compiled in real-time and changes the music that's being played. I should point out it's Sonic Pi, P-I like Raspberry Pi, not py as in P-Y, which is what I'm normally talking about, which would be Python. I think there is a similar Python music generation package. But this particular one, the Sonic Pi, is the P-I Raspberry Pi if people are looking for it online.

Kiran: That is awesome.

Aaron: I have a colleague who was streaming about that pretty regularly. We have Sam Aaron, I think, might be correct. I might be getting it wrong, the creator of Sonic Pi. If it's not Sam Aaron, I'm very sorry for getting the wrong name if they're listening. [laughs] But they've been on the New Relic stream a couple of times, and I played with it. And it's always such an interesting thing to see because it's such a great combination of two interests, one that I would like to think I know a little bit about and one I have no idea. I just can't generate music. I can't play an instrument. I can't hold a tune. [laughter]

Kiran: Well, I highly recommend that you give it a shot. I think that you could surprise yourself. I really do. And it's one of those things where you think I can't do that but give it a try. There are a lot of instruments out there. One of them might resonate.

Aaron: Very true. Very true. But yeah, if you've got a Raspberry Pi on the way and you obviously have an interest in music already, I would definitely give it a go.

So we are coming up on time, unfortunately. I do like to leave a little bit of time at the end just for guests to go through kind of...we've talked a lot about where people can find you with your personal site and things. But are there any other projects or socials or things you're working on that you'd like people to know about that you want to give a shout out in these last few minutes?

Kiran: I would like to give a shout-out actually to my team. My team at Camunda is pretty great. I love the developer relations team there. I love everyone I work with, wonderful people.

Aaron: That's lovely.

Kiran: And I am super stoked to be a part of such an amazing group of people. And I get to come to work every day and do awesome stuff and work on great things and talk to amazing people. I'd like to shout out all of our community extension maintainers. You're all wonderful. All of our contributors, fantastic. I love you all. And I think that overall, I'd just like to thank everybody that's been supporting me over the years. It's been a long haul, started from the bottom, and now we're here.

Aaron: [laughs] I think that's probably the sweetest shout-out I've had at the end of one of these shows, if I'm honest. [laughs] Normally, it would be like, "Yeah, this is a project I'm working on, and here's where you can find me on Twitter, and this is my Instagram." But that was really sweet.

Kiran: We did that in the beginning. We did that already. [laughter]

Aaron: Yeah, bears repeating sometimes.

Kiran: Nah, I'm good. You can find me on Twitter. I'm @kiran_oliver. And I'm on GitHub at C-E-L-A-N-T-H-E, celanthe. And yeah, that's me in a nutshell. And I look forward to talking to everyone in the community.

Aaron: Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I've really enjoyed chatting with you. It's been a very eclectic episode. That's always a lot of fun for me.

Kiran: I'm sorry it's super random. [laughs]

Aaron: No. Hey, that's interesting. But yeah, thanks again for joining us.

Kiran: Thank you.

Aaron: Hopefully, everybody at home subscribes to our latest episodes and all the usual things. And I will see you all next time. Thanks again. Goodbye.

Jonan: Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of the rest of The Relicans podcasts on therelicans.com. In fact, most anything The Relicans get up to online will be on that site. We'll see you next week. Take care.

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