The E-Commerce Takeover: How eBay Drives World-Class Software Innovation

Taylor Friesen
iOS Engineer at eBay
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Podcast Questions

  • The evolution of mobile in the e-commerce space
  • Taylor’s favorite form factor
  • Taylor’s 1001 reasons why Native development is better than React
  • The future of AI with mobile
  • Asynchronous vs. synchronous communication & deep work as a software engineer
  • If you are a college grad starting out today, what coding languages would Taylor best recommend.


Joe Toste (00:00):

This episode is sponsored by Nagarro. Nagarro is an 8,000 plus Digital Product Engineering Company that excels at solving complex business challenges through agility and innovation. We call it Thinking Breakthroughs. Thinking Breakthroughs is how we've helped industry leaders to embrace digital and accelerate technology-led innovation. Our clients range from Startups to Fortune 500 companies like Verizon, Honeywell, Siemens, Lufthansa, Google, Intel, and many more. Our goal isn't just to be another vendor but a long-term strategic partner. And what really separates us is how we see the changing and evolving world. The challenges that companies are facing are more unique and complex than ever before, especially with the technology disruption happening across the globe today. And is this technology disruption that our clients look to us to find solutions in a forward-thinking agile caring extension of your team way that can help transform, adapt and build both the now and the future.

Joe Toste (00:57):

At Nagarro we care. Caring is our superpower. It drives us to deliver excellence to our clients. It makes us responsible, and it makes us better colleagues. It all begins the conversation. You can email me at joe.toste@nagarro.com or message me on LinkedIn. For all information on Nagarro, check out negarro.com. That's N-A-G-A-R-R-O.com. Let's talk about the possibilities. And now off to you, James.

James (01:27):

Thanks, Joe. And welcome everyone. You're listening to season two of TechTables, a Q&A podcast dedicated to interviewing industry leaders from across the globe, ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies, mixing it up each week with topics ranging from Design and Digital Product Engineering to AI in industry 4.0. Let's do this, Joe.

Joe Toste (01:49):

Thanks, James. I'm super excited today to shift our focus to all things eBay. Huge thank you to Taylor Friesen for taking time to come on the show and meet with me in today's episode. We'll cover up the evolution of mobile and the e-commerce space. Taylor's favorite form factor, Taylor's 1,001 reasons why Native development is better than React. The future of AI with mobile, we're going to talk about Asynchronous versus Synchronous communication and deep work as a software engineer. And if you were a college grad starting out today, what coding languages would Taylor best recommend? But that's quite enough for me without further ado. I'm thrilled to welcome Taylor Friesen, iOS engineer at eBay. Hey Taylor. Well, thanks for coming to Tech table. Super excited to have you this morning.

Taylor Friesen (02:26):

Hey Joe, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Joe Toste (02:29):

Awesome. So we were talking in our pre-podcast call. You're an iOS Native Engineer at eBay, and we were talking about mobile, and we know mobile used to be really hot where every company wanted to create an app in the early 2000s. It was the big thing. Next, we went through the phase that mobile was going to die, but instead, it evolved, with the advancements in AI, VR, AR, and other Mixed Reality technologies. Can you talk about your experience in E-commerce space and what the evolution of mobile means to you and your team?

Taylor Friesen (03:05):

Sure thing. I think the big thing with mobile, as you said, it's just been, it's such a new platform, and we're watching it grow up in real-time, seeing how consumer tastes change and how the technology has changed and advanced so quickly. Think about where that, for example, the iPhone is today versus when it debuted, Oh over ten years ago now. It's so different, and we have wearables, and like you said, we have AR and VR coming and all these different things. I think one of the biggest things is trying to keep up with trends and what are consumers interested in? What's going to keep them engaged with your app and your platform? What are the cool new features? And as a user, what do I want? For example, if I'm going to go shopping for something, do I want to see just pictures? Or do you want to able to see AR in your own space? Or do you want to be able to, at some point in the future, wear your AR Apple glasses, those are ever launched.

Joe Toste (04:01):

We are going to talk about that, by the way, because I think there were some releases that recently happened. I think they were pricing them, I think anyway. But keep going.

Taylor Friesen (04:13):

I'm always excited to talk to the future. And so, I mean, it's a constant game. It's funny. I get the question a lot. Whenever I'm talking about what I do, people will be like, "Oh, so, you work on apps? What do you do all the time? How's their work constantly?" I'm like, "Oh, there's always something." People always want something new. The space that I work in, for example, I work on the part of the app that does sign in, sign out red stuff like that.

Taylor Friesen (04:40):

For example, sign up with Apple, got launched last year, and that's something to add. And as a consumer, being able to get on as quickly as possible, sign in, have the least amount of friction. Even for me personally, I know the harder it is to use an app or the more effort that it requires on my part, the less likely I am to do it. I wish I had this statistic at the top of mine, but it's something like the average amount of time spent in an app is on the matter of seconds. And so it's being able to grab a consumer's attention and hold it is really tantamount keeping them engaged with your platform.

Joe Toste (05:17):

That's... You had a couple of really great insights. One, reducing the friction. And I think reducing the friction too is relative. Right? Because we think ten years ago, the iPhone first comes out. What friction means ten years ago. It was much different than what friction means today, and the amount of time and the app is you got, I don't know half a second. I don't know actually what the start is, but I mean, just you swipe up, hit the app, and if it's like something doesn't grab your attention immediately. You're out. You're doing something else,

Taylor Friesen (05:44):

Right. I mean, for example, app launch time, that actually makes a huge impact. If your app takes too long to launch that waiting for a webpage, that's too slow. You're just going to move on.

Joe Toste (05:57):

So performance, usability. And I think to talk a lot about empathy was talking about it yesterday and with another podcast guest, and empathy is so huge. I think you're in a really great spot, too, because you work as an engineer, but also I know you're an Apple fanboy from what we were talking about before.

Taylor Friesen (06:16):

Guilty as charged.

Joe Toste (06:17):

So you really get to dive in and see, "Hey, how would I want to use the eBay app? How would I want to use, the iPhone, the Mac book pro?" Whatever it is. Right. Which is really great. So let's talk about your favorite Form factor or even future Form factors. So there's an iPhone or phone wearable. We've got watch AR glasses, I'm reading in terms. So there's some big leaks that came out a couple of days ago. And I think they're thinking 2023. It's going to be the release date, maybe late 2022 at the earliest.

Taylor Friesen (06:58):

It's still a little bit away.

Joe Toste (07:01):

And it's still a little bit away, but they're coming up with some pretty cool Markerups that look pretty sweet. Anyways, let's dive in first on what your favorite Form factor is. And then we can talk shop on the Apple AR Glasses.

Taylor Friesen (07:17):

So if we're talking current Form factor, I still think that I have this stuff, but I don't have an iPad anymore, which is shocking to hear. But I used to have one and love it, but it was a little bit too big to use all the time. And then I got the Apple Watch, and that's awesome. It's a computer on your wrist, but it's a little too small to use all the time. And so I think, the curb's biggest best curb current Form factor is my phone. And as every other adult nowadays knows, we spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone because it's convenient. It's the right size. It's with you all the time. And really the only limitation is there's still this barrier of entry, this barrier of use in the sense of, if you want to look something up, for example, pull your phone out, unlock it, find the app you want, type in what you're looking for.

Taylor Friesen (08:07):

That's sounds really an arduous task until you imagine a potential future. Like these AR Glasses, for example. How cool would it be to say, "Oh, I'm going to do a Google search for something, and you can just pull up on your Glasses whatever you're looking for, say, or think, or I don't know keyboard on your arm or something like that what you're looking for and have that pulled up right in front of you right away. I mean, to me, that's the future, the symbiosis between the link between you and the machine. And it's amazing how your abilities then as a person get expanded, enabled, constantly being able to have this connection. And I think just it makes it so much easier. That's the key. Right?

Taylor Friesen (08:48):

I think that in my mind anyway, to make technology more accessible and easier to use for more people is amazing. And even the phone, I do this for my job. Right. And so being able to use the iPhone that's not even a question. But my grandpa, for example, recently got a new iPhone, and it's surprisingly complex nowadays, setting one app and learning how to use it. I can't say that they are Glasses would be easier in that regard or less easier or harder. But I have faith that in the future, trying to simplify that and get that connection easier and faster as is only going to be a good thing for people.

Joe Toste (09:29):

Just to talk shop on the Apple Glasses because I'm getting pretty excited. And I think one of the patents that Apple has thrown out there is if you could do a zoom with the Glasses. Right. Because now if you're walking around, you've got your iPhone, and you've got your iPads, and you're walking around. And so maybe some combination of iPads and the Glasses together and it's you've got them, it's minority report where you're on it, and you don't have to hold up your phone anymore because then you're hands-free.

Taylor Friesen (10:06):


Joe Toste (10:07):

It'd be really great for driving. Although I don't know if that made that legal.

Taylor Friesen (10:11):

Well, in your self-driving car, then sure. That'd be great.

Joe Toste (10:14):

Your self-driving car.

Taylor Friesen (10:16):

I mean, that's, and you bring up a good point. I said that it could only be a positive thing, but yet at the same time, the idea of everybody constantly being plugged in all the time and always being, looking at something on their Glasses no there's a downside to that. I think you have to try to find the balance and figuring out what's appropriate, what's acceptable. I mean, it's a conversation I had recently with someone about historically checking your wrist. Looking at the time was a pretty rude thing to do. If you were in a conversation with someone and you took a glance down at your wrist, it's wrists. It's like, "Oh man, I'm sorry. Do you have somewhere to be?" And yet, nowadays, with the advent of smartwatches, nobody thinks anything of it. Right. You're just checking a text. You're doing whatever. And so, if you're in a conversation with someone and all of a sudden their eyes glaze over and they're looking at their Glasses, something to consider.

Joe Toste (11:08):

I think with all things. There's a little bit of the boundaries necessary for sure. The Watch pieces is pretty funny because it's not just time. Right. It's Slack.

Taylor Friesen (11:20):


Joe Toste (11:21):

You have all stuff happening. And now, even with COVID, the world's more blurred companies are more global, you talking to people around the world. So definitely. So on our podcast prep call, you said you have 1,001 reasons, not 101 reasons, 1,001 reason why Native development is better than React. So let's kick it off. What are your 1,001 reasons?

Taylor Friesen (11:50):

Maybe I'm the King of hyperbole here, but I could probably get close.

Joe Toste (11:54):

That comes out. Right.

Taylor Friesen (11:57):

So, I have to say the caveat here is that I'm a Native developer who built my career doing Native development. So I have a vested interest in claiming that that's the King. But there's a few key things. And I think it boils down to the performance of your app, the security of your app. And honestly, the ability to keep up with the latest stuff that's going on in the platform.

Taylor Friesen (12:25):

So when you're doing Native development, you have access directly to these APIs that the company provided, whether it's Apple, whether it's Google, whether it's some other platform. Those are always going to be the most performing. You have direct access to things. They're always going to be the most secure. You're able to interface directly with the security tools that are provided to you by the platform you're working on and through React or through Flutter or any of these other third-party, build it once, deploy it twice type of things you don't have that, and you're waiting on them to add support for whatever Apple or Google or whoever has added in their latest release. And so that's one reason. And then two, I think when you want to build an app, for me, at least I think having apps and experiences that are the most platform-specific, the most unique is really important as a user.

Taylor Friesen (13:20):

I think that even if someone's not technical, they can tell when they're having a bad experience with something. I think you can tell when you're using an app in it. It's just a web view. For example, and being able to build with these platforms, it's awesome. I mean, I will give it to them in the sense of, it does take in some cases, less effort to do all the programming once and deploy it twice, but you lose this, the Native experience, the Native UI elements, the Native performance, all those types of things. And as a user, they're losing something on that. So you have to decide that trade-off.

Taylor Friesen (13:54):

I think if you're developing an app, is it worth it to you to have the best possible experience? The most secure, the fastest, the most native feeling, the most native-looking you want to keep up to date, you want to never have to be waiting on another company other than the platform you're developing on to get ready for you. Native makes sense. But I could totally see if you wanted to get somewhere, you wanted to get an app up there quickly. You had a limited development team. You had developers, for example, that were not native developers but were more experienced in whatever the language or whatever the platform is, then, that could be used.

Taylor Friesen (14:32):

So I could see a few scenarios where it could be nice, but generally, I'm in favor of Native every time I've seen a comparison one versus the other. I think that for me, Native almost always wins out.

Joe Toste (14:46):

No, that's really good. I think that the biggest thing you touched upon, we talked about experience, And I don't know if there is an acceptable trade-off for experience. I just don't think there is. I think you have the best experience, or you're garbage. I mean, it sounds harsh, but I think it's tough. It's when you see Apple come out with something they set the standard. Right.

Taylor Friesen (15:13):


Joe Toste (15:13):

They set the experience, and then people try to ship stuff, and you're like, "Well, it doesn't exactly work like my phone." You start to get that because people know. Right. I don't think there's an acceptable, do you think there's an acceptable experience trade-off?

Taylor Friesen (15:32):

Realistically ultimately, no. I think the goal should always be to work towards the best possible experience. The caveat, of course, being, if you're a Startup and you're really rushing to get something to market, maybe you could make the case for saying, "Well, I want to get an app as fast as possible. So I'll take a trade-off experience." But you're just building tech debt for yourself at that point. And I think no, ultimately if your mobile is important to you and evidence points to the fact that it should be, then you're going to want to have the best possible experience for your users. How are they going to stay engaged with your app? How are they going to spend the most time there? Spend the most money or whatever it is that's the most important to you? And I think that it's by having the best possible experience.

Joe Toste (16:17):

I think that's really good. And I think maybe end of last year, maybe it was two years ago and there's a great article in Software Engineering Daily. I don't know. Do you ever catch that blog?

Taylor Friesen (16:30):

I don't know. I'm going to check it out.

Joe Toste (16:32):

You check it out. There's a really great one on why Airbnb is moving off, React Native. Right?

Taylor Friesen (16:37):

I did read that.

Joe Toste (16:38):

So that one's a little bit dated, I think maybe two years, but I think that was a really great... I'll link it in the show notes, but it was a really great deep dive on their move from React Native to go into a fully Native experience, which is great. So I'll get them there. It's pretty long. So I don't have. I'm not going to brain dump a summary out, but it's definitely worth, and I think there's a podcast too. I'm going to have to go read, listen to it because it was that good, but. So, where do you see the future of AI with mobile?

Taylor Friesen (17:12):

The future of AI, I mean, man, there are nearly infinite possibilities. That's the thing. I think honestly, it's hard because I don't know that we've found even the best possible use cases for it yet at this point. It's still so new. Well, one particular example that I think we had previously discussed is Machine learning in regards to AI. For example, for me, what I think is interesting is on eBay. I both enjoy using the platform to buy things, but I also really enjoy selling things on it. But a big challenge that I have is I don't know what my stuff is worth. I bought it for a certain amount. I know it's not worth that amount. So what is someone else willing to pay for it? And it turns out we have a big catalog of items and a big sale records to pull from.

Taylor Friesen (17:58):

And so I think one particular thing that would be neat to see, let's say from E-commerce perspective, is to be able to use computer vision, machine learning, to point your camera at something and have it be able to analyze that item and pull it up and tell you, "Hey, here's what it's going for on eBay." That would be a really useful thing to say, "Hey, do you want to list it? Do you want to list this item?" And that's just one particular example, but I think learning and anticipating, Oh, there's so many possible things to think about. You could even go if I want to go where you want to tie it back to usability of your device, and ease of use is learning your habits and your behaviors and then anticipating what you might need and providing that for you. And I know Apple has started to do this with some of the things built into iOS. I think that there's a lot of room for growth and the ability to expand that into third-party sectors too.

Joe Toste (18:53):

No, that's really good. That's actually a really great bridge. I mean, there's a couple of different areas we think about security is a great one. Right. So we know Apple uses AI and ML to verify Face ID. Right. Is a great example. So they're using that. I think some retailers that also offer greater personalization. So, I'm not too familiar deep in the eBay app world, but there are some examples like Sephora's Color IQ, I know utilizes AI to scan a customer's face and then provide those personal recommendations. So I could see eBay doing something like that too. I'm just spit balling right now. No insider information. Just [crossword 00:19:37]

Taylor Friesen (19:37):

No, not here either. No, I totally work in a separate part of the app. So...

Joe Toste (19:42):

American Eagle, I know, is another company out there where they integrate AI into the shopping experience with interactive dressing rooms. Right. Which is pretty cool. So there's a number. I mean, I'm trying to think voice search IoT and other areas.

Taylor Friesen (20:00):

That makes it to your examples, too. Remember, Warby Parker had something in their app where they would scan your face and then suggest different glasses frames to you.

Joe Toste (20:09):

So I know those are a lot. Those are pretty popular now. I think they're still getting more refined. I recently was getting glasses, and sometimes the glasses are cricket on your nose and face.

Taylor Friesen (20:22):


Joe Toste (20:23):

Which is pretty funny. So, obviously, voice-activated commands while driving is another cool one. I think BMW and Tesla have some pretty cool ones that came or that are coming out or just out. So there's a ton of possibilities in the space. So I'm curious. Let's talk about Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication and work. What are your thoughts on the state of work today, and as the future, what does the future look like as a developer? You used to go into the office you're in your home now.

Taylor Friesen (20:58):


Joe Toste (20:58):

What do you think that's going to look like?

Taylor Friesen (20:59):

I mean, that's a good question. To be honest, I think right now it hasn't changed as much as I hoped that it would have with zoom and with Slack and email and all these different tools, a lot of the in-person stuff has been replicated virtually. And I think that for the future of communication, I think that being able to move to what you say, Synchronous versus Asynchronous, a more Asynchronous model is ideal. I don't know if you've heard about the I think it's a Manager versus the Maker Schedule or something like that. If you haven't looked this up,

Joe Toste (21:34):

Interesting. Am going to look it up.

Taylor Friesen (21:36):

But as an IC, as an Individual Contributor, I am expected to write code and to produce. And one of the big things with that is the amount of time you need to get to load it basically into your memory. Here's what I'm working on, reading the code, getting the context, getting up to speed on that. And then being able to productively do things. It's a lot of lead time. It's 15 to 30 minutes sometimes of getting your head into what you're doing before you can actually start to be productive. And so every time that I have a meeting or an interruption or something like that, it really pulls me out of what I'm doing and kills my productivity. And so days when I start work and then I have a meeting 30 minutes later, and then that meeting's an hour, and then I have half an hour break and all those types of things, that's my output for that day is vastly reduced. So I think one thing that as we've moved into this remote experience and as eventually, hopefully, we move back into whatever the new normal is going to be.

Taylor Friesen (22:40):

We put some thought into that. I would say, I'm fine with meetings. I know that they're necessary, but maybe get them all in one day or say more meeting mornings and then get to work in the afternoon and then moving conversations and discussions to asynchronous when possible. So even for Slack, I think there's an expectation there that people will respond right away. And I just don't know that's the healthiest thing. Sometimes if it's an urgent matter, "Okay, I get that." But sometimes treating Slack almost more email can be helpful to say, "Oh, I've gotten a message. It's not urgent. I'm gonna have to put that off for later so I can focus on what I'm doing." Maybe that's on me. Maybe I need to close Slack a little more often.

Joe Toste (23:26):

So, really funny. Let's talk. This is great. Let's dive deeper. So Slack's a great example. Right now, I have Slack, and we also have Microsoft teams. Both are closed right now. So if you wanted to Slack me, it's impossible. And so I'm recording a podcast with you. I'm fully present. Now in order to be fully present, to really achieve that. We'll call it deep work. I had to take off my Apple Watch. No Apple Watch on. It's on the charger.

Joe Toste (23:57):

I put my phone on the wireless charger I have on another desk in my office behind me. And I'm here with you. Same thing when I have to really focus, I go to the top right-hand side on my Mac book pro do not disturb, put that sucker on. Right. So, but it is interesting because there's that expectation of you feel like you want people to respond. Now, if someone has that expectation for me right now, it's just not. It's too bad because I'm not available. But I think, too, being able to achieve that deep ORIC level is super important. And you can't just hop around, meeting here for 30 minutes. And then I think also one of the things about asynchronous work that's I think is really important too, is finding out how you work. And for me, I'm much more of a morning person. I love to get coffee. I've already had like three cups. I'm going to leave here after this podcast, and I'm going to get cup number four.

Joe Toste (25:03):

So, but figuring out when you do your best work if you try to come to me and you want me to work between 2.00 And 4.00, I can tell you, I don't do anything deep. That's email writing time where you can Slack me all you want. My brain is just tired. So I think really figuring out when you operate the best for your schedule and then figuring out and communicating that to your managers or whoever it is, or to your leadership team. And just figuring that out is super important. And also setting an expectation you want your managers to trust you. Right? You want-

Taylor Friesen (25:42):


Joe Toste (25:43):

And it starts at the top, the CEO empowering people to get their work done and not be so micro-managing and even the school system, I know I'm just dumping right now. That's hilarious. So my wife's a teacher, my wife's college professor, and they have to be on zoom eight hours a day. Zoom has to run and record eight hours a day for the state of California. And so I'm like, "Man, see California is stupid. That is ridiculous." I don't even have a word, except, "This is crazy." So, I mean, I can't even stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day.

Taylor Friesen (26:27):

Oh, man, you are kidding.

Joe Toste (26:28):

So, it's just not productive whatsoever. So those types of... Anyways, I could go on all day, and my wife gives me really great stories. The students in our class complain. And I'm like, "I'm with them too." I wouldn't want to be on zoom eight hours a day, either.

Taylor Friesen (26:44):

So, I mean, I'm hearing two things basically hear from you, which I totally agree with is that one learning your own personal work style and figuring that out and then committing to that is perfect. So if you're the kind of person who needs to set your distractions aside, put the phone away, take the watch off, close Slack, close your email, whatever, put your headphones on if you need to. Get down to work and then communicating that with people that's critical. And then two, I think I hear also that there's this undercurrent of organizationally your organization needs to figure out what is appropriate and get that communicated from almost from a top-down level and say, "This is our expectation. This is what we're going to support. If you want to support a maker's schedule, if you want to support a non-maker schedule or whatever." And setting that expectation team-wide is also critical.

Joe Toste (27:36):

No, that's really great. So, we're wrapping up. We're getting to the end. I'm curious. So if you were a college grad today, COVID environment, I'm curious what coding languages would you want to triple down on coming out of college, and what would you do to get an employer's attention? I'm curious about that.

Taylor Friesen (28:02):

Wow. That's a great question. And to be honest, I don't know, in terms of my experience as a Mobile Developer.

Joe Toste (28:09):

And you've been at eBay for the last five years?

Taylor Friesen (28:11):

Almost five years there about four and a half now. And then, before that, was also doing Mobile development. Although my history, I did a little bit of web, and my first job out of college was doing Mobile development through Xamarin actually, which is similar to React, doing Mobile development in C#, basically. Anyways, speaking from a mobile perspective, I would say, if you want to do iOS, knowing Swift is critical. If you want to do Android, knowing Java and Java in general is, I think, a great language to know, really versatile. You can parlay that into web development as well, but being focused on Swift from an iOS perspective is critical. If there are plenty of companies who only do the development in Swift at this point, knowing Objective-C is super helpful to get a job at companies that have legacy apps.

Taylor Friesen (29:05):

For example, our app has been in the app store since day one. So we have Objective-C code still and know many companies do too. And being able to work in that legacy staff makes you really valuable. Beyond that, in a wider industry perspective, I don't know that I have the knowledge to be able to say, "Hey, if you want to go do web development, here's what you should learn." But from Native, at least I know that's really important. And keeping up on the latest technologies following along with WDC, Apple published, all of that stuff, you can go and watch the videos that is super helpful and important. To get a company's attention, I have found that having some real-life experience is actually really critical.

Taylor Friesen (29:53):

Like CS degrees are awesome. I think it gives you a lot, teaches you how to learn, and it teaches you a lot of the programming fundamentals, but I think being able to go out and get that real-world experience. So when you can go to an interview, you can say, "Yes, here's the project management software I've used. Here's how I've communicated. Here are some things that I've worked on. Here's some issues that I had in the development process." Those types of things that I think, for the most part, the college experience doesn't necessarily teach you is super great. So finding an internship, if possible, before you leave school, or I think with Native development, what's really neat is if you have the drive and the ability the time to do a side app or do a little example project or something like that.

Taylor Friesen (30:33):

And so if you don't have an internship and we'll say, "I haven't had that experience, but here's something that I worked on. And here's some of the things that I encountered with that." Just for me, when I'm hiring, I always like to see somebody who has the ability to learn, is excited about what they're doing, and can show, "Here's some of the things that I'm interested in, here are some of the things that are challenging to me, and here's what I like to do."

Joe Toste (31:00):

I love that. So off the college piece, my wife and I, we have a daughter she's 11. We're getting her into Swift playgrounds. Have you heard of playgrounds?

Taylor Friesen (31:10):

Oh, yes. I recommend it to a lot of people.

Joe Toste (31:13):

It's playground. So, we're pretty excited about that. She's done some... Apple has some coding stuff. Sorry. You want to go for it? You look excited.

Taylor Friesen (31:21):

I know I was really excited. I'm sorry. You just, what you said, you said about the college piece. I don't want to interrupt because I really want to talk about stuff playgrounds too. But I was going to say too. Actually, I think when you're talking about college degrees and stuff, I think a CS degree can be super valuable. That's what I did. That's the path that I took, but I know a lot of excellent developers that did not get CS degrees. And so I think a lot of times, even just having the experience and the drive and the ability in this field, depending on the company, that's not always necessarily, you can totally be an awesome developer and, go to boot camp or be self-taught. So being self-taught, for example. So playgrounds go ahead.

Joe Toste (32:01):

No, I mean, it's just something that they don't teach this necessarily in schools, from what we've seen. And so we know Apple puts on, they also put on these pre-code, but they would put on these robotic our boot camps at the Apple store for kids.

Taylor Friesen (32:18):


Joe Toste (32:19):

Which is super fun. And so you can go in there, they teach you to code, and your robot moves around and then was Swift playgrounds. Really awesome. I found longest time was on iPad only, but now it's on Mac too. So-

Taylor Friesen (32:33):

Oh, nice.

Joe Toste (32:33):

I think the... And I'm just looking at the website right now. I just looked so fun. I mean, I think I want to do this. Looks so great. I mean, it looks so fun.

Taylor Friesen (32:45):

They had a little game. Right. It makes coding totally fun. And I love that.

Joe Toste (32:49):

I love that too. We're going to wrap up with the final question. So there's a great podcast I've been listening to called Invest Like The Best by Patrick O'Shaughnessy. He runs an Asset Management Company. He ends every podcast with this question, and I'm taking it. So what's the nicest thing someone has done for you, Taylor?

Taylor Friesen (33:10):

The nicest thing that someone has done for me ever?

Joe Toste (33:15):


Taylor Friesen (33:18):

Wow. I don't think that this isn't one specific example, but the first thing that popped in my head was honestly just allow me to be myself, listen and hear me and see me as I am. And as a person, the fact that, no matter what my views are, no matter who I am or what I'm doing with my life, or what I do for work, any of those types of things, just saying, "Hey, I recognize your intrinsic value as a person." I don't know. I see that and affirm that. And I think that's especially, in today's world, that's one of the biggest things that you can do for another person is just see the fact that they're human, just like you and being able to come alongside them and accept that and be there for them is huge.

Joe Toste (34:08):

No, that's really great. I really like that. Everyone has intrinsic value. And even if you disagree with whatever stance they have and across the world, everyone's got many stances,

Taylor Friesen (34:20):

We are stances natives.

Joe Toste (34:23):

Right. That's great. No, I love that. Oh, that's awesome. So, and Taylor, where can people find you? Do you hang out on LinkedIn, Twitter?

Taylor Friesen (34:32):

[crosstalk 00:34:32].

Joe Toste (34:32):

You hang out nowhere.

Taylor Friesen (34:35):

This came as a surprise. I really don't hang out anywhere. I have a Twitter that I really don't use. I have a LinkedIn that I check occasionally. Wow. I should have a better answer to this question. You can find me on Twitter (@tfreeze1). I check that occasionally. I don't have a big online presence.

Joe Toste (34:57):

No. You're fine. Well, thanks for coming on the show, Taylor. I really appreciate you.

Taylor Friesen (35:03):

Thank you so much. This was awesome. I actually have a closing question for you, Joe.

Joe Toste (35:08):

Why? No. You ask the question.

Taylor Friesen (35:11):

You said that you're going for your fourth cup of coffee. What are you drinking today?

Joe Toste (35:15):

Oh, great question. So in Santa Barbara, my hands-down favorite coffee shop is Handlebar coffee. If anyone is out there trying to send me a gift Handlebar, It would get my attention very quickly. But I'm at my coworking spot today, and they serve Dune coffee, which is probably number two in Santa Barbara. So it's not terrible. I'm drinking Dune. I did have Handlebar this morning before I left the house at 5:45 AM or whatever it was so.

Taylor Friesen (35:44):


Joe Toste (35:45):

Had Handlebar and I'm going to go get some Dune. Pretty excited about that right now, actually.

Taylor Friesen (35:51):

So either number one or number two coffee in Santa Barbara. That's not so bad.

Joe Toste (35:55):

You come down to Santa Barbara. We'll go to Handlebar.

Taylor Friesen (35:57):

All right. I'll just do that.

Joe Toste (36:01):

Thanks, Taylor.

Taylor Friesen (36:02):

Thanks, Joe.

Joe Toste (36:03):

If you're interested in seeing what Nagarro, a Digital Product Engineering Company that excels at solving complex business challenges through agility and innovation, can do for your company. You can email Joe at joe.toste that's T-O-S-T-E @nagarro.com or message Joe on LinkedIn. For all information on Nagarro, check out nagarro.com. That's N-A-G-A-R-R-O.com. You've been listening to the TechTables podcast. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you have an iPhone, we'd love for you to open the Apple podcast app and leave a quick rating for the show. Just tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. To catch more TechTables episodes. You can go to techtablespodcast.com, and to learn more about our sponsor, please visit nagarro.com. That's N-A-G-A-R-R-O.com. And of course, you can find Joe Toste, your podcast host, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Joe's last name is T-O-S-T-E. Thanks for listening.

Joe Toste
Joe Toste
Host of TechTables Podcast

Host of TechTables 🎙- Conversations with Top Technology Leaders