Episode 67: Becoming a Developer with Lexis Hanson | Salesforce Developers Podcast

Lexis Hanson is a Senior Software Engineer here at Salesforce. In this role, she is also the primary front-end developer for Trailhead Live. 

Lexis’s interest in coding started with building Myspace pages. Eventually, she came to work for the customer support side of Salesforce. In this episode, we talk about how she went from there to becoming a software engineer. We also discuss various technologies such as JavaScript and React. Tune in to hear it all.

Show Highlights:

  • Lexis’s side passion for finance.
  • How she transitioned from an interest in coding to a determination to make it her career.
  • The struggles she encountered when she started her journey towards becoming a software engineer.
  • The difference between good and bad context switching.
  • What to do when you get emotional about difficult coding.
  • Why you should stick to a single language when starting out.
  • Why Lexis is such a fan of JavaScript.
  • Tools and resources that help when learning how to code.
  • How Lexis got into networking and got other people involved in her journey.
  • How to show experience if you’re applying for your first tech job.
  • What reverse recruiting is and how Lexis used it to get her current job.

Links:

Episode Transcript

Lexis Hanson:
I do think the self-taught route is definitely a challenge. In hindsight, it took longer, but I feel like I also was more resilient to challenges when they came up in my real job, because I went through a lot of that pain on my own and had to figure things out.

Josh Birk:
That is Lexis Hanson, a senior software engineer here at Salesforce, primary front end developer for Trailhead Live. I’m Josh Birk, your host for the Salesforce developer podcast. And here in the podcast, you’ll hear stories and insights from developers for developers. Today, we sit down and talk with Lexis about her journey to getting that job as a Trailhead Live developer and working with such technologies as JavaScript and React. And we start pretty far down the field with her passion for finance.

Lexis Hanson:
When I was like 12 and 13 years old, so this is an early age to get excited about stocks and numbers and things.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
I remember when I was around that age, my mom, she would look at, they’re called prospectuses for different mutual funds and things like that. And they’re more or less just summaries of what the funds are doing, what their growth has been over the last decade or two decades. And what always got me excited was seeing these charts that said, if you invested $10,000 in 1990 it would be worth $30,000 now. And I was always just fascinated that that money could just sit there and grow and you didn’t do anything, it’s compounding, but it’s not compounding in a scary way, like Deadwood.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
It’s the absolute opposite, so yeah.

Josh Birk:
So the magic creation of money.

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. Yes.

Josh Birk:
Nice.

Lexis Hanson:
I feel like in Silicon Valley, right, everyone tries to go out and start their startups and that’s their way of creating cashflow and feeling worthy in some ways and getting income and we always fail to forget about thinking of these other ways we can get our money working for us.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
It’s so within reach for everyone. So definitely one of my side passions is trying to get people excited about finance and investing for those that, it’s within their means. Just because we all should have access to those sorts of things.

Josh Birk:
Nice. And was there something early on for the same thing with coding or software in general? Or is that just kind of a side effect of living in the Silicon Valley?

Lexis Hanson:
Well, like a lot of people, we all have our, I want to say like our starter drug or something, but for me it was MySpace. Right?

Josh Birk:
Sure, sure.

Lexis Hanson:
So I loved creating custom MySpace profiles and I had a MySpace page for profiles, that was a thing back then. Yeah. People would create profiles and they could share them and other people could pull them down and stuff. So yeah, that was my first entry.

Josh Birk:
Nice. It is very frequent on the podcast, we do accidentally date ourselves with things like MySpace. So you’re in good company there, you’re in good company.

Lexis Hanson:
Love it.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha. And then you actually shared this with a couple of the other podcasts we’ve had. And I think most notably Brian Fear aka SFDC Fox, started his life with Salesforce in support, talking directly to customers, but he always kind of always really wanted to be that software engineer. Did you have you have this aha moment where it went from, I think this is something that’s interesting to me too I am determined to get this tech job?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. It was two aha moments if you will. So one, on the customer side, interacting with customers all the time, the Salesforce IQ product was actually in the process of being sunsetted because Salesforce is strategy and product vision changed and things. What that meant was when issues arose on the product side, just over time, it’s this product that wasn’t actively being developed on for awhile. It felt really frustrating to want to do everything I could to try to please customers and help them out. But I had no ability to truly go and fix the product for them, right? Or to execute on that. So I was running up against that wall where it’s like I can try to navigate the conversation all day to make them happy, but that’s going to last a day or two. And then they’re going to come back and say, stuff’s still broken, what’s going on?

Lexis Hanson:
So that was one piece of it. And then the second piece, the reason I mentioned Salesforce IQ is because that team more or less, that business unit was kind of operating still in its own world, its own office, 200 employees. We were still a part of Salesforce, but it was off to the side and they had free lunch and stuff at that time, obviously that all went away. But free lunch is good. So at one of these lunch conversations, I was sitting down with a few of the engineers in Salesforce IQ, just a couple of friends and one of them pointed me to some really phenomenal online resources to just start diving back into all of this. And I think all of us, for anything that we’re interested in, it’s just a passive interest until you find that thing that clicks with your interests and your learning style. And once you’re able to latch onto that, all you need is the time and dedication and you’re golden, you’re good to go.

Josh Birk:
Yeah, so first of all, I think we have to thank CSG, because you are at least the second person who now has a full professional career in software engineering, simply because they wouldn’t let you actually go fix somebody’s problem.

Lexis Hanson:
Yes.

Josh Birk:
So I don’t know if that was their intent, but thank you all for getting more software engineers into our ecosystem. But at that time, when you were about to say, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to go on this journey. Do you feel like there were big blockers either in your life or in your career that was kind of weighing you down from doing it?

Lexis Hanson:
Oh my gosh. Yeah. We all have that, right?

Josh Birk:
Yes.

Lexis Hanson:
So on a personal level, right? So I’ll take a step back. As I was embarking on this journey, I had to make the decision of whether I was going to go about this self-taught or do something like a bootcamp, right? And those only continue to grow in popularity. Then I decided to go to the self-taught route and had to check myself along the way every few months to make sure that was still the right path. But that said, knowing I was going the self-taught route, I needed to be brutal about allocating time every week to my learning. Right? You don’t have some construct to keep you working on stuff like a check that you’re paying to a bootcamp that’s telling you to spend this time, you just have to do it all yourself.

Lexis Hanson:
And so that basically meant I had to cut out 95% of social activities, right?

Josh Birk:
Oh, wow.

Lexis Hanson:
All of my weekends were spent on this. I had this really awesome rec soccer league I was a part of with a whole bunch of women in the Bay area and I stopped doing that. So definitely sacrifices on the personal side. And then of course on the work side, I still maintained really great relationships with my customers, did my job 110%. But also there was a struggle all the time of, I have to go jump on a call with this customer, but really I prefer to be typing up a program really quick or solving this function I couldn’t figure it out earlier. So yeah, it’s definitely something that was a struggle, but you just have to keep in mind your priorities and just keep that stuff in check every step of the way.

Josh Birk:
And when you first started getting that serious into, I’m going to dedicate my weekends, I’m giving up my social life, I’m pushing through work. Did you have a timeframe in mind where you’re like, if I’m still doing this timeframe, if I’m still sacrificing this much in 18 months or two years, something’s not working. Were you giving yourself that kind of milestone or deadlines?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. It was a loose deadline just because here’s the thing. There’s stuff that’s in our control and there’s stuff that’s not in our control. I’ll caveat to say I was lucky. I didn’t have a lot of family commitments at the time. And I was in a place where I had a good understanding of my existing job and I know not everyone is that fortunate, so I just want to acknowledge that. But rather than saying, my deadline is two years and my deadline is a year and a half. Because that’s more controlled by other people saying yes to me and me getting a job. I more preferred to keep my goals bound on how much time I was spending each day, if that makes sense.

Josh Birk:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.

Lexis Hanson:
So I actually had, not per day, but it was per week. I had to get 20 hours in a week and I can divide that however I wanted.

Josh Birk:
Wow.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah, it sounds bad but I tried to be open-minded about it. So for me that 20 hours wasn’t just actively coding for 20 hours. It could also include watching technical videos or doing content that was more passive, reading stuff even. And I felt that was important because I have a hard time coding 20 hours a week now being my full-time job. There’s other stuff that you do throughout the day that’s not just straight up coding. You have meetings and other things that come up in conversations with the team. So, I mean, it’s important to have those different types of activities that still quote unquote count to your learning because sometimes you’re just not going to want to code, right? Going through and trying to build something out or write algorithm stuff out. If you’ve had a long day at work, that’s sometimes the last thing you want to do. And so it was important to give myself that space and say, Hey, it’s okay to just watch a video on React tonight. That’s totally fine, it still counts.

Josh Birk:
Yeah. And I feel like this also does a little bit into something else you’ve talked about, which is the distinction between good context switching and bad context switching. If you’re going to put in the 20 hours, how did you decide when you wanted to try to push through a problem? I guess actually, what’s your definition of good context switching versus bad context switching?

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah, that’s a great question. So my definition of when it’s time to context switch in a positive way is if you ever get to a moment where you’re like, I really love to throw my laptop against the wall right now, things are not going well.

Josh Birk:
Yes.

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. Anytime you feel that immense sadness overcoming you because you can’t figure something out and you get into that negative self-talk of why am I even doing this? I’m so stupid, I can’t figure this out, which happened a lot more than I would like to admit. Once you find yourself in that place, I still have a problem with this. I’m not perfect about it, but that’s when it’s time to just stop that thing. Just take a break and taking a break doesn’t have to mean relax and take a nice aroma bath or something, you don’t have to walk away completely. That type of positive context switching could also mean, I’m just going to go watch a video right now. I’m going to go watch Ryan Florence go talk about Java Scripts. That’s my happy place right now.

Josh Birk:
Instead of yelling at the computer, you can still soak in some of those 20 hours by watching a Ted talk.

Lexis Hanson:
Exactly. Yes. A hundred percent.

Josh Birk:
Yeah. Yeah. And I have to tell you, I mean, you’re not alone. My wife has walked in while I’ve been working, asking who I’m yelling at. And I’m like, nobody, I’m just yelling at the laptop because it’s not doing what I’m telling it to do and it refuses to behave. And so then she just walks out, looking like I’m crazy person. So I feel like that emotional attachment to your code betraying you is probably just kind of a deep programmer thing. And yeah, I agree. Once you hit emotional state, you’re not going to figure out the logical flaws in your program. So maybe a good time to walk away. Yeah.

Lexis Hanson:
And it’s hard. It’s hard to walk away, but you have to tell yourself it’s the best thing.

Josh Birk:
It’s hard to walk away because it feels like admitting defeat. And the other thing is you feel like if you just stared at it for another 30 seconds, the answer will reveal itself. And I would say out of 10 times, it’s true maybe twice. It’s just so rarely true that the emotional investment and nearly breaking your laptop, probably not worth the time you’re actually dropping into.

Lexis Hanson:
Correct, yes.

Josh Birk:
So completely agree. Now, along the way, while you were doing this… Well actually let me take a step back because one of the first pieces of advice that you give is if you’re going down a route like this, is to stick to a single language and not to trot off onto libraries and programming frameworks too early on, why do you think that’s useful?

Lexis Hanson:
Just from personal experiences. I started programming in Python for two or three months when I embarked on this journey and I was trying to switch over to Java script. And I was kind of straddling these two worlds. And luckily I got that same exact piece of advice early on from the same engineer that was throwing me these online resources. And even as I was looking at JavaScript, I’m like, should I look at React or Angular? Any one of which of these frameworks that exist. JQuery was still very much used at the time.

Josh Birk:
Still kicking around their time right now.

Lexis Hanson:
Still kicking around, yeah. And that’s one of the biggest things when you’re new to this is just the overwhelming choice and the overwhelming amount of things to learn. So yeah, I got that same advice, which was don’t focus on the frameworks or multiple languages, just focus on getting really good at one language, spend four to six months just on the language itself, the vanilla version of it. And that will give you a tremendous foundation to then layer in frameworks and other languages and other things, because you need that foundation to be able to go figure stuff out.

Lexis Hanson:
I know people have different philosophies on that and I’m sure someone’s going to say, well, I learned five languages and I have all this breadth now, but it may be different learning styles led to different paths. But for me, that was really important. And as I started to layer in learning things like React, I was able to really understand when things weren’t working, how to figure and debug it because I got so good with just vanilla JavaScript, the Chrome debugger and stepping through functions to figure out exactly where my thing was breaking.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha. Okay. Now I know developers don’t like to be opinionated or maybe more accurately, we like to say that we’re not opinionated and then we talk about our opinions for hours on end. So give me your opinion on JavaScript and why did you lean towards JavaScript as opposed to something like Python?

Lexis Hanson:
So JavaScript is a hot topic, people have very strong opinions on JavaScript.

Josh Birk:
Yes they do.

Lexis Hanson:
I personally have grown very fond of JavaScript. I love it. I know it intimately now, right? And it does have its perks, especially for thinking numbers and floats and those sorts of things, [inaudible 00:15:53]. That said, JavaScript can be used everywhere and anywhere, the most computer situations, right? You’ve got your front end and backend in the web. You can do it desktop with electron apps for instance. You can run things on Arduino boards with node. So I love the ability to do almost anything with JavaScript that you can dream of on the web. It’s universal. And I love it for that. And in situations where you want to go build something on the backend, you have most of the skills to do that. And you might just have to go look up a few node methods and you can figure it out.

Lexis Hanson:
So I love it for that. I do think that there is some tension about it not being a type language. For instance, in Trailhead Live right now, we are not even using TypeScript and we’re in discussions to start using it just because it does make things a lot easier when you know what you’re supposed to expect inside your code. Right. It saves a lot of trouble. Thankfully, knowing how to use the debugger helps a lot.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
But yeah there’s definitely tensions and trade-offs, but I think there’s also a beauty and an art in that when you know how to use things in a nice and eloquent way.

Josh Birk:
I am definitely with you there. It’s a huge fan, it’s made my life much, much better [inaudible 00:17:21]. So tell me a little bit more about tools that you used and websites that you went to and resources that you would recommend, especially if somebody is going to attempt what you did in carve out 20 more hours of the life that they need in order to try to get something like this done.

Lexis Hanson:
So I mentioned before I started on Teamtreehouse.com and I still think that’s a fantastic resource when you’re just starting out. And I think it costs something 25 bucks a month, don’t quote me on that. However, if you have a public library card, at least I know for San Francisco, my sister’s in Mesa, Arizona, she had the same situation. They contract with public libraries oftentimes.

Josh Birk:
Oh, cool.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. You can log into your library account and just get a free tree house account.

Josh Birk:
That’s awesome.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. Saves a lot of money for sure.

Josh Birk:
Nice.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. And then this one’s kind of niche, but watchingcode.com was phenomenal for getting to know the debugger and just all the stuff under the hood about how JavaScript works but without getting too deep. It’s this guy, Gordon Zoo, he was formerly at Google and you start out building a to do app and he starts with-

Josh Birk:
Of course.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah, exactly. Everything. And he just starts out with requirements and you build for each requirement and then you knock it off the list. And so it’s a very cathartic learning path and I really appreciated that. Trailhead is also a great resource for this too. Salesforce just came out with their JavaScript certification, right? Which I haven’t gone through so I can’t speak to it at all yet. Also Udemy, of course, right?

Josh Birk:
Yeah.

Lexis Hanson:
Lots of content on there. It can be hit or miss, but generally if you’re looking for things that have decent ratings, that’s usually a good check. Andrew Mead is a guy that I’m thinking from memory that does a lot of JavaScript and React content that I consumed and Stephen [Cryder 00:19:23]. Yeah. There’s a long list. But that’s the other thing too, is one of the experiences I had, as soon as I was starting to tell people I was embarking on this path and I was trying to make this career change, which ultimately ended up taking around 18 months.

Lexis Hanson:
Everyone has an opinion about content you should use. Right? Everyone’s like, Oh, you should go read this book or go read eloquent JavaScript and go watch this course, it was great. And had I listened to every single thing that everyone had recommended to me and done it, I never would’ve made a career change.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha.

Lexis Hanson:
Everyone has an opinion, but the stuff that other people have that works for them might be a terrible resource for you.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
And it’s good to be honest with yourself. If someone recommends a book and you’re falling asleep after an hour of reading it and you hate it, stop reading it.

Josh Birk:
So while we’re still talking about tools in general, did you find any getting things done or time management tools that actually helped you with it?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes, actually. Have you heard of Rescue Time?

Josh Birk:
I have not.

Lexis Hanson:
Okay. So Rescue Time is a tool that will monitor what things you’re doing on your laptop just to give you an aggregate sense of what you’re spending your time on. So it’s usually meant to be used as a productivity tool to make sure you’re not spending all your time on social media and stuff and try to block you after you spent too much time on those sites. And what I used it for was I used that to count my time spent learning. So I set it up on my computer and categorized everything that I considered to be that learning time, right? So even just Stack Overflow and things like that was all still countable towards my time. And yeah, so that was my way of keeping honest if I hit 20 hours in rescue time or if I read offline, I would still include it.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha.

Lexis Hanson:
But yeah, that was the biggest one I would say for productivity and time tracking.

Josh Birk:
Nice. I have to say that the moment you said Rescue Time the first thing that came up to me was that it might be a cartoon that my nephews watch and that sounds so much more useful. So I’m glad we got that on the tape. Okay. So then let’s go back to, you’re clearly socializing with people, you’re talking to people, you’re getting advice from people, but you’re also trying to manage your time, your full-time job. How did you get into that interaction on the communal level? Were there specific developer groups or meetups that you went to and was that included in your 20 hour chunk? How did you approach having other people help and join you on this journey?

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah, I did. So I was doing quite a few meet ups at the time. So some were more participatory than others. In other words, I think there was an HTML five meetup. It still happens but of course COVID has changed things recently.

Josh Birk:
Sure, yep.

Lexis Hanson:
And the HTML five meetup, they would have various thought leaders and stuff and engineers that were local come in and do presentations on all things web. And so you’re sitting there amongst 500 people or whatever and it was really great content. And the other type of meetup I would go to was women in JavaScript meetup. And that was obviously much more participatory role sitting huddled at a table at a random office that let us go hang out for a couple hours. And we would code together and we would solve problems with each other, talk about job search things, just all things end to end.

Lexis Hanson:
I only actually went to that a handful of times though. So in terms of in-person networking and interaction, I probably could have done a bit better. I also did some workshops through an organization called Rails Bridge. I didn’t do any ruby or rails stuff, but dabbled in some other workshops with Elm. Yeah.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha, gotcha.

Lexis Hanson:
But really, I think that’s probably in hindsight, an area I could have doubled down on further was just more in person networking and interaction. I did do more things online, especially as I was beginning to interview and really felt ready to try to start looking for jobs. But in terms of that learning process, I think I could have moved quicker had I taken advantage of that more.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha. And I do want to talk a little bit about some of the tips that you have when it comes to going from learning this to actually trying to get that job. But all of this just reminds me… So David Foster Wallace, when he was talking to his writing classes, he would always tell people, just write. This was his core mantra on how to learn, how to write. And he’s like, it doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t even have to be coherent. And people have this myth that, and this is DFW talking, right?

Josh Birk:
Creative genius extraordinaire, and David’s like people have this myth that there are people who are just born with the genetics to sit down and write a bestseller. And he’s like, it’s bogus, it’s a skill, it’s an exercise. And you just have to keep doing it. And you just have to keep honing the skill, and this is the guy who kept every single rejection letter he ever got as a reminder that you just have to keep doing it until you get better. How much of that do you think translates into a mantra, which is just code?

Lexis Hanson:
Every bit of it. I mean, I had to learn very quickly with this whole switch that I cannot have a fear of rejection. I’m allowed to feel terrible if I get rejected for a little while. It sucks, it’s a really crappy feeling, but you have to take that time to be upset and then get back on the horse and just keep doing it. And it requires a lot of emotional fortitude after awhile, right? It’s a very arduous process, but I ended up getting my software engineering job at Salesforce, which is fantastic, but that wasn’t without a lot of trouble along the way. I really wanted to make this change. And so I was applying internally, externally as much as I could, because my goal was to make this switch. And I was really keen on doing it at Salesforce.

Lexis Hanson:
But if I couldn’t do it at Salesforce, I was still going to do it. So that said, I ended up getting a couple of offers eventually, but it doesn’t hurt as much when you apply to the things online and you immediately get rejected. It still hurts.

Josh Birk:
It still hurts, yes.

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. It hurts even more when you’ve started to have conversations with people and even doing technical screens and you just totally bomb it. Those are when it really starts to hurt and you start to feel really crappy sometimes. That’s a tough battle, it really is.

Josh Birk:
Yeah. And having been through that cycle myself, it’s like, there’s the interviews you knew you bombed. I remember I went into an interview and the guy dropped the F-bomb like 12 times. And I was just like, I don’t even know what’s going on at this point. And I never heard from him again, I’m like, I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t know if I really want this recruiter in my life kind of thing.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah.

Josh Birk:
This is true of so many things, but I think it’s really true in tech that we have this chicken and egg problem. Like I remember really early in my career, I saw somebody who wanted, I think it was seven years of experience in Adobe Flash and to talk about dating yourself, totally dating myself with seven years of experience at Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash had been out for maybe five years at that time. Right? So time travel and paradoxes aside, how does somebody get five years of experience to do an entry level position? Right? So do you have any tips on how can you kind of show experience even though you’re really going for your first tech job?

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. There’s quite a bit to unpack there. I think it’s a recurring theme on Twitter about job postings wanting more years of experience in a technology then the technology has existed.

Josh Birk:
It’s sadly a trend. It really is.

Lexis Hanson:
So aside from that, because we can’t fix that. I think when job recs say things like that, or when they list requirements, of course, that you don’t check every single box for, if you check a lot of them, of course still put yourself out there, still apply. And I think that’s pretty common wisdom at this point, but it’s a good thing to always keep in mind. Also one interesting piece of advice I got as I was going through this journey was I kept seeing that every job posting was for a senior software engineer. Right? And I was still very much on the junior side, maybe mid if I could stretch it.

Lexis Hanson:
But every job posting seemed to be senior, senior, senior. And Steven James, who is a colleague at Salesforce, and I worked with on an open source project as part of my transition, his advice was that a lot of engineering managers, they don’t want to keep people from applying that are overqualified. So in other words, putting a job rec out with the senior title casts the widest net for engineering managers, and then they can take that pool.

Josh Birk:
Interesting.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. And I didn’t get any offers from jobs that I applied for that said that, but I think it’s just a good idea to keep in mind, even for postings that don’t say junior or entry-level to also just say, I can still apply for that, apply for a mid level.

Josh Birk:
What’s the harm.

Lexis Hanson:
Right, yep.

Josh Birk:
And did you have any side projects or pet projects that you had developed yourself that you could use as, here’s my catalog of things to show that I can actually put together a full application?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. So I started with stuff that was pretty commonplace vanilla, right? To-do apps and things like that. Or on these Udemy courses, a lot of them, the recipe is that you learn technologies through building a project.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha.

Lexis Hanson:
And so more of that guided adventure scenario early on. And eventually, I had been wanting to organically think of an idea for something to build, which is so much harder than it sounds. Everyone’s like, oh, just go build something, whatever you’re excited about.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
And finally, I had that aha moment where I went to Google IO, which is Google’s developer conference. And for attendees that you’re there, giving everybody Google Homes. So it was like their hot new thing. And I think that was 2017. Anyways, I got a Google Home, brought it back to my place, hooked it up. And this is of course when wave V1 of crypto was going on, cryptocurrencies were all hot and things were rallying.

Lexis Hanson:
And so I tried to ask the Google home what the price of Ethereum was, and it didn’t know how to answer it. Yeah. It didn’t have a response. I was like, all right, I bet I could build something for this. And so that was my first quote unquote real app that I built and it was called Crypto Prices. I got it on the Google Home app store. And it not only did Ethereum, but it did conversions of all the cryptocurrencies to other crypto prices, Fiat, all the things.

Josh Birk:
Gotcha.

Lexis Hanson:
Yeah. It was fun. And it of course got a lot of traction at the time. Not necessarily because it was an amazing app, but just because it was very on brand for the time. So yeah, it was good. So I was able to use that of course on resumes and then I’ll make it [hub 00:31:37] so people could look through that code. And then I also, sorry for going on a little long here, but I found an open source project to contribute to that was a Salesforce project. So that was at the time, Design System React, which is for those that don’t know, Sales force’s implementation of the lightning design system in React. I think I got it there.

Josh Birk:
Nice. So that kind of went full circle for you?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes, yes. A thousand percent.

Josh Birk:
Okay, so describe reverse recruiting to me.

Lexis Hanson:
Yes. So traditional recruiting, right? That’s of course where recruiters might reach out to you and contact you via LinkedIn or email and say, Hey, we think you’d be great for this position. Let’s set up a call. Which is lovely when it happens and I’m sure we all wish that people would just constantly be contacting us for jobs.

Josh Birk:
Right.

Lexis Hanson:
However, especially when we’re doing career changes or you’re at an entry level in a field, it’s probably not going to happen. Or it might be the truly terrible opportunity that you actually don’t want, right? And so reverse recruiting kind of flips that model on its head where you go and reach out to recruiters and hiring managers for positions that you’re excited about.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Nice. And I believe that’s how you have your current job, right?

Lexis Hanson:
Yes, exactly.

Josh Birk:
And that’s our show. I want to thank Lexis for the great conversation and information. And as always, I want to thank you for listening. Now, I did ask after Lexus’s favorite non-technical hobby and spoiler alert, we’re going full circle here because it turns out she still has quite a passion for finance.

Lexis Hanson:
Oh yeah, there’s definitely [inaudible 00:33:20]. And I want to caveat, I am not a day trader. There are fun things I do, right? So I have my stable investments that are my mutual funds or ETFs, things like that. But then actually on the investing side, I always tell people if you want to have your stable stuff, but the thing that keeps you interested in reading finance news and knowing what’s going on in the market are those little bets, the 2%, the 5% of your portfolio, that’s the fun stuff. So yeah.

Josh Birk:
Nice. Now if you want to learn more about this episode, head on over to the show notes where you can learn more about Lexis herself as we’ll have links to some of the presentation seats done on this topic as well as more in depth in JavaScript in general. And if you want to learn more about this show, head on over to developer.salesforce.com/podcast, where you can hear old episodes, see those show notes and have links to your favorite podcast service. Thanks again, everybody. And I’ll talk to you next time.