The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Nico Strina

October 17, 2023 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 64
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Nico Strina
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we chat with Nico Strina, the Vice President of Network Software and Platform Architecture at Equinix.

Nico has over 25 years of experience as a network engineer and architect, working in various sectors such as broadband, content delivery, and interconnection.

He shares his journey from graduating as a car mechanic and discovering Linux through music to becoming a leader in the network industry.

We discuss how he moved from France to Switzerland and then to San Francisco, and how he faced the challenges of building credibility and trust in different cultures. We also talk about how he empowers his team to achieve the North Star vision and how he balances his passion for technology with his family life.

Join us for this inspiring and insightful conversation with Nico Strina.

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“When you step somewhere extra, you need to take decisions that have consequences, but if you come with a positive mind, you’re doing your best.”
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Niko's Links:

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Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all:

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello, and welcome to the imposter syndrome network podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't, my name is Chris Grundemann, and I'm here with our absolutely amazing, if a little bit stuffed up co host, Zoe Rose. 

[00:00:23] Zoe: It's better than stuck up, I guess. 

[00:00:26] Chris: This is the Nico Strina episode, and I think you're going to love it.

[00:00:30] Chris: Nico is vice president network software and platform architecture at a little data center company called Equinix. He's held previous technical leadership roles at Twilio, Twitch, Jaguar network, and many more. He's also done two tours as an executive board member at France IX and is generally a big deal in the internet and interconnection space.

[00:00:53] Chris: Hey Nico, welcome. Would you like to introduce yourself a bit further to the Impostor Syndrome Network? 

[00:00:58] Nico: Yeah, thank you, Chris. And hello everyone. It's nice to be here today and thank you for hosting me. To give you a bit of context about myself, so I grew up in France a long time ago, where I started my career as a network engineer slash like business owner, where I started my first company back in 98.

[00:01:18] Nico: Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but, uh, it became more like focused on the networking for 15 years plus on broadband and network access, FTTH and related. And then the end of 2015, like I decided to move to more like content or related companies because I, I had the impression that I knew very well the access part.

[00:01:37] Nico: I wanted to see a bit the delivery side of the house. which was very exciting. So that was for like Twitch and Twilio. And uh, more recently, about a year and a half ago, I joined the clinics as part of the OCTO, the office of the CTO. focusing on network and the network software. And more recently, it's the role of vice president to drive the network software and platform architecture.

[00:02:00] Nico: So thank you for having me. 

[00:02:03] Chris: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks for being here. So just diving in here, as we sometimes do, I'd like to start back at the very beginning of your career, maybe even pre career. So I know you grew up in France, as you just said. I'm assuming your first job maybe wasn't in technology. What was your actual, like, very first job?

[00:02:22] Nico: That's a, that's a very good question. So I graduated as a, as a car mechanic because back in the days, uh, my family was Um, like into like, you know, like cars and, uh, and stuff like that. And it started with my granddad and then my dad, my uncle's, like it was kind of working together. That was kind of the, of the go to thing, if I can say, but it was like early nineties, mid nineties, and then.

[00:02:49] Nico: I'm doing music. I'm like also musician and doing electronic music. And by doing that, I discovered the Linux and then started like digging into, you know, like systems and, Oh, I need to do some nuts. So let's do some nuts. And then what became like, uh, something fun became a passion. And then this is where, like, I, I kind of went back to school for a while, which I gave up because I was so involved into the.

[00:03:12] Nico: The internet, if you want, I was already like mad, was focusing on already on like how to build like servers and infrastructure, generally speaking. So that's how like things started. And then from there, like, uh, as I said, like started my first company and ongoing. So. Very different job. 

[00:03:30] Zoe: I think that's the first person that said they got into tech because of music.

[00:03:35] Zoe: Not the first that liked to do tech because of music, to pay for the music, but I think, yeah, I think you're the first that's. 

[00:03:41] Nico: So the reason behind is like, uh, you, you need to use, I mean, we were using like sync or MIDI as a, you to synchronize. like equipments and somehow like, I mean, having MIDI channels or like devices on the network is not far off.

[00:03:54] Nico: And when I needed to have multiple servers to kind of like protect my infrastructure because I had multiple devices behind. Like, everything kind of makes sense. I don't know if you explain that. 

[00:04:05] Zoe: No, no, that makes 100 percent sense. The only thing that doesn't make sense is music and Linux, because Linux traditionally doesn't have the great experience with that.

[00:04:15] Nico: So, uh, that's, uh, that's, that's, actually it does. Like, uh, back then, the MIDI software I was using was, uh, Cubase, and it's expensive, right? So, back then, you still, like, you started seeing, like, uh, sequencers, like, that were capable of running in Linux. It was A bit difficult depending what, uh, like MIDI interface you are picking up, but there was some, some like free solution.

[00:04:38] Nico: It never went very far and I didn't. I didn't do much with it at the end and it became first my NAT device, but, uh, and, and then MIDI and everything else remained on Windows for, for years until I moved to me.

[00:04:53] Chris: I kind of almost did the opposite. I got like into music for a little while around like some of the synthesizers and MIDI stuff, almost because of technology.

[00:05:00] Chris: I mean, I was, I've actually listened to music a lot. But then got into playing with a little bit more with like the MIDI controllers and synthesizers and, uh, as that stuff got digitized a little bit later on. Yeah. 

[00:05:10] Nico: Oh, yeah. It's much easier today for sure. Like everything actually is about USB. 

[00:05:14] Chris: Yeah, it's making your life much easier.

[00:05:16] Chris: Yeah, yeah, much easier for sure. And actually we also share, I mean, so not quite as deep. My, my grandfather, my dad's dad was a diesel mechanic. And so I've, I've, uh, since inherited his tool. So I've got some really giant wrenches and stuff in my garage, which is kind of cool that every now and then I get to pull one out and actually use it.

[00:05:32] Chris: But most of it's too big for the cars and stuff I work on these days. 

[00:05:36] Nico: Yeah, this is, this is the part of my life that, uh, that could totally. Like, uh, like I had to put so much involvement into like the technicals to be able to ramp up right to the, the, the first Cisco device that I touched was I was trading it against like a node UPS that I was no longer using.

[00:05:53] Nico: So like, you know, like an exchange and I have the device in my hands and I'm like, okay, what to do with that? You know, like, yeah, he sounded like, uh, like, uh, All the AUE adapters and everything else, like, I mean, that was another era, but, uh, that's how, like, things started. 

[00:06:08] Zoe: That's, that's really interesting. I like, I like those kind of stories.

[00:06:11] Zoe: Like, okay, I've got this. What do I do with it? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, as Chris mentioned, you, you've had quite a vast career and you've had quite senior positions. Obviously, you probably started somewhere, but I'm curious on your, on your, on your Based on what you said about, you know, being quite hands on learning as you're going to now being in a much more senior position, what do you like about being in that much more manager leader position that you wouldn't have as maybe an individual contributor?

[00:06:41] Nico: Uh, the possibility to just push through things and to, and to help people like that are pushing through that, that particular thing, like, uh. I think that the role for like leaders, it should be just to make sure that we enable our folks to be able to just go and, and go and do things. And this is why, like, for me, that's something else that depending where you are, you don't have that chance of having, like, uh, as an IC, the, the voice being heard.

[00:07:07] Nico: And this is the part where, like, in my view, like, that's the opposite is like, we can define the North Star as like leaders, but like, you ought to get to the North Star and I can, you know, like define the milestones and everything else. I think it's, that's the role of ICS and this is where like, uh, that's, that's where I see the, like we should empower our people.

[00:07:27] Nico: That's, that's the, the bottom line is giving them the, the, yeah, the motivation and the, the way to go. Like if you can have the full scope and push to execution of that, often you can see like you define something else and it's all, there is all these cross functional discussions that needs to happen. I think that's, yeah, empowering, like that's one of my favorite web options.

[00:07:47] Zoe: I had another question kind of on the same strand. One of our previous guests mentioned the challenge of being, uh, promoted or going to a much more senior position too quickly. So I was curious on what your thoughts were about if somebody was in a more junior position and they were wanting to go to that much more senior role, what are things that you think that they should prioritize building skills on?

[00:08:11] Nico: That's a good question. I think that, so like, like having the foundations, I like what you said, like there is things that are fundamental. One of them is like, so problem solving, I think that people needs to be able to. To foresee like you're in an overlook at like organizations with like different problems and kind of sticking up the dots together, like to try to like solve like, like issues.

[00:08:34] Nico: That's one of the thing, the second point that can the second skill, I think that is very important is the ability to manage up and what I mean by managing up is the ability to communicate, report and show like the. The, what the organization like is doing somewhere, like in the performance, like, like quality to that, being efficient and being able to understand how your shop is running.

[00:08:55] Nico: I think it's like, it's fundamental in my opinion. And the third, I would say that's probably like being able to explain something else, you know, easy way to folks that's like probably don't have the context and don't have maybe the understanding of like what the subject is about. So you need to be able to, to have that.

[00:09:13] Nico: And of course, like, I think building a cross functional relationship and building trust is very important as well, because if you want to be able to succeed in that corporation, like generally speaking, I mean, there's many groups that can be scattered in different organizations. That's one of the most difficult thing to do.

[00:09:31] Nico: So working with influence for the goal to execute the North Star of the company. 

[00:09:37] Zoe: That's one thing I'm used to my advantage though, when it comes to cold calls, cold sales calls, is that they'll call me and I'll be like, I don't have buying power. Or I'll be like, you know, I think somebody else in the company deals with that.

[00:09:50] Zoe: It's not my department. And then they'll be like, Oh, can I have their email? And I'll be like, I don't know who deals with it. 

[00:09:57] Nico: That's, that's why I keep doing it like this. I mean, in that context, okay. That's why empowering again is important. Like, uh, giving self confidence to people, it's, uh, it's fundamental.

[00:10:08] Nico: Because all these skills require, like, uh, like a certain point to be able to express your ideas. Or like, put it on paper, like I always say, write it down. Like, it's important to put your ideas on paper to be able to just, like, uh, like spread it and spread your ideas out. 

[00:10:24] Zoe: Yeah. Well, that point you made about confidence is really key because making those quick decisions in times where you don't have the luxury of time, you have to have the confidence to back it up and the knowledge of the, not just the technical side, but also the business as to what makes sense.

[00:10:39] Zoe: No, I really liked that. Really good answer. 

[00:10:41] Nico: Yes. Thank you. Putting that, uh, like, uh, like in front of you to decide, I think it's still a reminder. The way, like one of the best way, it's important to know and understand like the key KPIs or metrics that are going to help you potentially to take some of the decisions.

[00:10:57] Nico: So yes, it's a mix a bit of everything else, but like, I think that, uh, those skills are probably the most important. 

[00:11:04] Chris: Yeah, that makes total sense to me. That's a really good list. I like it of kind of things to build up before you get into leadership or as you're kind of developing as a leader. You know, is there anything you miss about being an individual contributor?

[00:11:17] Nico: Um, yes, there is. I mean, like you're like managing, it's like, it's a lot of back and forth and like your escalations and, and different things. I think I miss the, the moments where you can be totally hands on and like look yourself up into like your lab or something like that, where you focus on some tasks.

[00:11:35] Nico: And then you go for it. I think that's, that's kind of what I miss, but somehow like it's also like a very demanding also as well. So all in all, I think that like, uh, like being in zone, yes, like he's probably like, uh, something else I would miss the most. 

[00:11:52] Chris: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I, so I've been as, as a consultant recently, I've been bouncing around and kind of doing multiple things.

[00:11:58] Chris: And, and recently got back into like doing some, some actual like coding and putting together some automation. I had almost kind of forgotten the joy of doing something like that, where you can kind of sit by yourself in a room, you know, crank the music up or whatever, and, and kind of bang through something.

[00:12:11] Chris: And the thing that struck me as I was kind of now, you know, getting that emotional boost of, of completing something like that, that I hadn't had in quite a while was just the fact that it's so concrete, right? If I write a program and it works. Then I don't need anyone else's validation for that. Like no one needs to tell me it worked.

[00:12:31] Chris: No one needs to smile or nod. Like I, I built it, I ran it. It works. I feel good, right? Whereas so much of leadership and just so much of the work I've done in the last, you know, 10 years, even I'm around kind of marketing and sales and these kinds of other business development things, it is so tied to other people.

[00:12:49] Chris: And you've got this kind of soft, you know, understanding of, am I really doing well? I, it's hard to tell. I don't know. Like he kind of smiled. I, you know, I, You know, she kind of nodded at me. Maybe she's hearing what I'm saying. I don't, you know, as a communicator, it's very different. Whereas, you know, just sitting down and, and doing the thing, there's a, just a different satisfaction that comes from it.

[00:13:06] Chris: I find. 

[00:13:07] Nico: Oh, I agree with you. Like, and that's, that's the part where like, I, that's what I try to, to convey in my management style is like being able to keep the execution path, like active, like it's very difficult. Like when you depend on someone else, I mean, you have to wait, there's prints, there is whatever, like, this is why like the hands on, I like that part because this is where you can potentially make a huge difference.

[00:13:26] Nico: Like, uh, like go to implement something else that, that is going to be meaningful and make a good impact. I mean, that's for sure. Like it's, uh, I can, I can understand the content , you know, that you have at the end of the like, oh, cool. That's the way. Like, I, I think we, again, to go back to leadership, like making sure that we enable folks and I like part of the things that I'm doing today, like in my job, like there is a long path of execution and sometime it's good to be able to have the control over it.

[00:13:55] Nico: And then being able to reach the

[00:14:00] Nico: North Star. 

[00:14:00] Zoe: Yeah. I was explaining to one of my coworkers today about the difference between accountability versus responsibility and how when you're the individual contributor, you may be responsible for completing a task, but if you're the manager, you're accountable. So if they don't do it well, you have to do it and how sometimes that's not the best thing in the world.

[00:14:21] Zoe: But, um, but yeah, no, it's, it's an interesting, it's definitely very different perspectives and also figuring out how much of something needs to be done and to what quality, which is something I didn't realize that I, like without thinking about it, I didn't realize, Oh yeah, no, I have to be accountable and like realize how in depth that task needs to be done.

[00:14:42] Zoe: Whereas as a contributor. You just do what you're told, you know? So it's interesting. It's definitely different. 

[00:14:48] Nico: After it depends on the level, I would say for the ICs, like for like early career, yes, you can, you can take like a, let's say, a task that will be coming your way, like as, like as you're growing up, I would imagine that that's one of the things I would say too.

[00:15:01] Nico: to the folks is being able to take initiative and I can bring the difference, like, to your, to your leadership. One is easier to enable and make sure that you have like everything as you need. And this is why like managing up is important, no matter what, like, because like, you would like people taking initiative.

[00:15:17] Nico: That's what makes differential at the end. So. I really appreciate what you just said. 

[00:15:22] Zoe: So this is a very bad segue because it's a completely different conversation. I'm interested in your experience of moving countries because we've had chats with a couple of other people previously and myself, I've also moved countries a few times, but I'm curious from your perspective, moving from France to, I believe, Switzerland to then San Francisco.

[00:15:42] Zoe: What were your kind of experiences with that and maybe thoughts of. Things that you really enjoyed about moving country and changes in types of jobs or roles to what you didn't enjoy as much. 

[00:15:57] Nico: So moving, so I did, I did move back and forth between different countries, so I'm going to pass on that. But the thing that I really enjoyed was kind of each time, each time it's kind of a new start somehow, like, you know, like you're like, even if you don't change role particularly, but.

[00:16:13] Nico: Like somehow, like, it's like, I don't know, being on a mission, like you're moving to something else to do, especially when you move forward, which is my case, like, uh, like if I take the example of when I moved from, from France to, uh, to San Francisco, the, the last time to, for Twitch, for instance, like the clearly, I had a mission attached to that.

[00:16:30] Nico: I knew what I was supposed to execute. So it's your own, that's a super exciting. Like I was like, finally, uh, being able to sit in the same office as my coworkers, because, you know, like before I was like that guy in Europe, that's. That's doing some stuff and like communication was, it was kind of super tricky.

[00:16:46] Nico: So moving has been, has been like fantastic, like meeting new people, like you're adapting to the local life. It was not that difficult at the end of the day because I was doing so much back and forth to go like NANOG and everything else like that. If you want, it was kind of like, uh, the end of the journey somehow, like I was arriving to a certain destination and to do something else.

[00:17:07] Nico: So like very positive, very, very positive, like being able to be close to decision makers, like meeting like new people, open different doors, and it gave me multiple opportunities so that I think I will never forget that part. Now, when it comes to like things that, uh, were difficult was like to live far from family, that's the thing, to have to have kids and, uh, like they live in Europe. So it's kind of tricky sometime, especially when you have stuff like COVID kicking in and like, you are like limited to fly. And so that was kind of a pain, but, uh, overall, like everything else remains very, very positive because. Uh, today, like, I mean, I, like, I established my way of living and like going back and forth with Europe and like being able to split a bit my time, like between both continents.

[00:17:53] Nico: So I would say that I'm, I'm kind of benefiting from the, the flexibility of our jobs where we can be working and like, and moving pretty easily. So that's kind of my, my takeaway of like, uh, immigrating somewhere. 

[00:18:09] Chris: Yeah, that makes sense to me. And it kind of resonates the same thing, you know, when I moved from Colorado to the East coast, I mean, definitely not quite the same, cause it's the same country at least, but still from, you know, the mountains in the middle of America to, uh, to the East coast and New York city is maybe as big of a culture difference as there is between countries, maybe.

[00:18:27] Chris: The biggest thing was the same thing, right? You know, being that far from family and having, you know, it's, you can't just jump in your car and drive to see mom and dad or the kids or something like that. Right. You've got to plan a whole thing around it. And it's a, it's a big deal. 

[00:18:39] Nico: That's right. And the thing that I'm trying to do, I'm trying to go like at least once a quarter to know, like, uh, even if it's a few days.

[00:18:45] Nico: So it's nice to see your parents or anything else like that. But then after, yeah, you make your life like a bunch of friends here now, like after like seven years, uh, like you've been in USA, uh, and that's like, I mean, it's, uh, it's just like the new life, like, uh, I like that feeling somewhat like to discover like new things because I'm like, I'm not the youngest doing that.

[00:19:05] Nico: And it's kind of cool to discover, like each time I'm moving somewhere in the US, like discovering new states and things like that. So. So again, like it's a very positive and then family wise after you can always fly them and like my kids are coming off term, like I just had my two daughters living here like a few weeks ago.

[00:19:21] Nico: And so like it's a things are doing good overall. 

[00:19:25] Chris: Awesome. Awesome. That's great. And we do live in a pretty cool age where, I mean, it's not quite the same as being in person, but you know, I don't know about you, but I do pretty regular like zoom calls with my kids. And that definitely helps kind of bridge the gap at least.

[00:19:36] Chris: Like I said, it's not the same as being in person, but. But it's better than writing a letter and sending it on a ship or something that people had to do, you know, a few years ago. 

[00:19:44] Nico: Definitely, like, I see it with my, my, my friends. I mean, I'm, I'm still very, very close with my hometown friends because, like, the different part is that before moving to USA, I mean, like, I grew up and lived in the same place for, like, uh, like, for as far as I remember.

[00:19:58] Nico: So if you want, that's kind of like, uh, making the jump is, uh, it can be challenging, but, uh, like, if you had motivation, you know, like, you can achieve lots of different things. 

[00:20:08] Zoe: The other benefit that I've had is I forget what year I did something, but I think, okay, what country was I living in when that happened?

[00:20:16] Zoe: So it has to have happened in this timeframe. That's how I mark COVID because I lived in Ireland at the time. So for me, I do have a distinction where most people are like. No, it was a bunch of years, which together. 

[00:20:31] Nico: Yeah, COVID, COVID has been very difficult. One of my kids is like, uh, more than 18 years old.

[00:20:38] Nico: So she could not fly in, in the US. So that was kind of difficult to catch up with her, like, uh, physically at least. But as you said, WhatsApp, Signal, like whatever you name it, there is... A bunch of very good application that helps you stay close. Like I seen from my parents, that's how we communicate. And I speak to them like on a, like bi-weekly basis, I guess.

[00:20:58] Nico: Nice. Maybe less sometimes. 

[00:20:59] Chris: Yeah, very cool. Well, so it sounds like, you know, moving was, was mostly positive and not really a challenge. I wonder. You know, what has been the biggest challenge that you've had to face in your career so far? 

[00:21:10] Nico: I would say credibility is very important because credibility brings trust and then trust bring like your like collaboration, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:21:18] Nico: I think it's important to be, to be reliable and, and show like doing the right thing when you. Coming from Europe and being in the position I was in, I mean, I'm glad I had very good leadership at that time when I was at Twitch. So you recognize him if you listen to the podcast, but like it was like, yeah, building credibility and people to say like, you know, like, okay, I trust you.

[00:21:41] Nico: Like I come out of nowhere. Like I was in Europe and some folks didn't know me. So if you are like coming and jumping in a quarter, you're meeting new people. And this is a. Like, uh, I think I had to like, yeah, for myself to, to be able to deliver and it was great. I mean, my, my coworkers were, were awesome in the three months.

[00:21:58] Chris: Yeah. That makes sense. And like you said, it kind of ties back into the moving part, right? Where you're, you know, before you were maybe just, uh, a name in Slack or, or whatever chat, you know, was being used before and, and actually sitting next to people and doing that definitely makes it come a little faster and easier, right?

[00:22:12] Nico: Definitely like, and that, that goes back to like, uh, like building a relationship. Like, uh, do what you say, say what you do. That type of approach. Like, uh, I think it's, uh, it's, uh, like you're being in service too, like working with others and things like that. That's what, like someone helps building that credibility.

[00:22:28] Nico: So if you want, I, I, I, I put in that bucket like lots of like many underlying things that needs to happen to be able to build that. But it, which was a great, like a test and a great, uh, challenge. I mean, it was not easy to do that every day because like my accent is a. Pretty thick. So, like, it was very difficult at the beginning.

[00:22:46] Nico: It's getting better, but it's not very much better. But this part was like, you're like a barrier that I had to manage to push her on the side of the road to be able to, to succeed at some point. So interesting period of my life. 

[00:23:01] Zoe: Yeah. I work currently with a variety of people across Europe because I work with an EMEA.

[00:23:07] Zoe: I'm in the Netherlands. You probably can't tell, but I'm in the Netherlands and I have noticed there are certain countries that people struggle a little bit communicating with other areas. France is one of them because, I mean, I grew up, I grew up in Canada. So I'm used to different French, different French, but still French accents.

[00:23:27] Zoe: So I, I can understand it, but I have noticed. Other people, um, struggle a little bit more understanding the accent. And so that does actually impact, does it, it does impact the communication when you're not in person for, for sure. 

[00:23:41] Nico: I agree with that now for

[00:23:46] Nico: every, like, uh, I'm a very positive person, so I'm always looking at the bright side of the situation, so. I see also tons of benefits being an accent, which is people are genuinely interested in others. Like I see that often where they are more likely to engage with me because like, Hey, like, what's that accent coming from?

[00:24:03] Nico: You know, like, uh, and uh, when you're doing business, they can, when I was like, is it particularly like, uh, doing more like business type of jobs, it was very helpful to establish contact. And get people to listen to you because they have to pay attention to what you say. And at the end of the day, it's very helpful to carry on some messages.

[00:24:23] Nico: That's communication being key. I think that as long as the message is delivered, the transport method can be what is. 

[00:24:30] Zoe: That's fair point. It's like an icebreaker. Yeah. 

[00:24:33] Chris: And also I like that idea of like forcing them to pay attention. I think I read something somewhere about. You know, somebody who, whenever they were saying something important, they would actually like lower their tone of voice.

[00:24:43] Chris: Like they, you know, they would start talking really softly, which kind of forces everyone to have to lean in and listen more intently, which seems counterintuitive, right? Because you would, you would think if you want to get a message across, you need to be loud and like force it on people, but. Getting them to come in and have to dig for it, uh, can be, can be helpful there.

[00:25:00] Chris: Uh, so that's interesting. I do that when I'm angry. Start talking quieter. Yeah. It's a good anger technique. It's better than yelling for sure. 100%. But, but, but another thing you said there, which we've obviously all seen, I think through this conversation is the fact that you're kind of always looking at the bright side of things.

[00:25:16] Chris: And, and that's something that, that I definitely at least try to do. I don't know that I always accomplish it, but, but really, you know. Focus on being positive. And it's been a big thing in my life. I think, you know, everything from kind of how you talk to yourself, to how you talk to others, to just how you see things that are happening around you.

[00:25:32] Chris: I wonder if, is that something that just comes really naturally to you or do you work at that? And, and either way, you know, are, are there ways that, you know, techniques you use to, to stay positive or to see the bright side or to see those silver linings? Because it's not always easy, I think, at least for me.

[00:25:46] Nico: No, no, it's like a definitely like, uh, that's what I'm, I'm, I'm trying to do it. It doesn't mean that I am all the time. There is days where I like, you know, you wake up and that there, that starts where like everything goes to hell. Like, I think that it happens to everyone. Yeah, I, I'm not sure like, there, like, I think it's a mechanism that I acquired by telling myself that things will be all right.

[00:26:05] Nico: You know, like sometime when you're stressing out and like, I used to do lots of self-defense and like there is one thing that kicks in is a adrenaline. And when a adrenaline kicks in, you freeze. And when you freeze, you lose kind of like, control of yourself, right? To, to a certain extent. It's the same when like things goes, goes bad, like stepping back, being able to breathe.

[00:26:23] Nico: Just tell yourself that everything's okay. Like there is a solution for every problem. And sometimes the solution can be harsh and it's going to be painful, but sometimes that's, that's just a low hanging fruit. And in fact, like stressing out over low hanging fruit, sometimes it's just like a matter of like stepping back and breathing.

[00:26:39] Nico: Right. So I do that often, like where I take a break and I go just, just go take a walk five minutes just to put your, your, your thoughts together. Like stepping back from the situation can be very helpful. So if you want, that's kind of like small methods like that, uh, that I acquired. And one of the thing that is very important is taking feedback.

[00:26:55] Nico: Like we all at a certain point do something else that someone else won't like. And that's, that's factual, right? I mean, you're crossing the road there, like when it's not your turn, like whatever you can imagine. I think this is very important to be self conscious about your own limits, because if you know yourself, it's easier to go and like, and go and then try to like, uh, go against problem and then keep positivism.

[00:27:18] Nico: So like building up that self strength and like, uh, like we all fail at some point to accepting failure is also something else that we need to accept at some point, find solutions. And that's what motivates me to be positive is. Like finding solution, like building something else in return that can be, that can be useful.

[00:27:36] Nico: I think that's, uh, that's how I keep my positivism. But there is days where like, uh, it's going to take me a few, uh, a few minutes before I can get to the point where like, I can take to that moment where I'm like, okay, you understand what the problem is and then you can move forward. And, uh, and I think it's, uh, yeah, it's just a step, like a stance, even when it's difficult.

[00:27:58] Chris: Yeah, that definitely resonates with me. I think making it a habit, uh, has helped, right? The more often you do it, the more it becomes kind of a reflex, I think, and, and definitely, and definitely just the, the kind of seeing things as, as a challenge, as a test almost, right? I think that's one of the things that's helped me is, you know, I think what I see is people who I tend to think of as more negative and more kind of pessimistic often see things as like happening to them, you know, the kind of, well, why is this happening to me?

[00:28:25] Chris: This always happens to me. Those kinds of, those kinds of thoughts and feelings. And the way I've tried to combat that is just to look at it and say, you know, this is a test, you know, it's up to me to prove that I can overcome this, whatever it is, right. It's just a personal test for me, which has worked pretty well for me as making that a habit of just like, Oh, like, like, as you said, right, there is, there is going to be a solution here.

[00:28:43] Chris: It's just up to me to figure it out. 

[00:28:44] Nico: Exactly. That's it for me. I had a similar mantra to that somehow, like it's a, but it's a, it goes along and I really like it resonates what you're saying because like there is no, there is no one of the coach that I had like was telling me anyway, like, you're the only person that could change the situation, right?

[00:29:02] Nico: I mean, when you're like in, like, stepping in the mud and it's complicated and everything else, you're the one that can lift your legs and, like, can start moving in one direction or another. What is, like, what is making, like, people doubt and being credited, don't get me wrong, is the unknown, right? I mean, when you step somewhere else and you need to take decisions, I mean, sometimes it can have consequences, and It's important to think that anywhere, no matter what you do, there will be consequences, positive or negative.

[00:29:28] Nico: If you come with like a positive thoughts, positive mind, positive attitude and everything else like that, I mean like, and you like it's important, like that you're doing your best and doing your best can mean variety of things for different people. And like that's important to build that self-confidence because like you often, like when you, you do entrepreneurship and start companies and everything else like that, I mean, you fail, you stumble.

[00:29:50] Nico: Like, I mean there are standard things and that's why it's important to. To see the positive side. We can take action, you can take action as individual and that's what makes Like, honestly, like, uh, it took me time to be able to put this in motion, but when it comes to work, it's very efficient. I, um, I can relate on different topics.

[00:30:07] Zoe: Yeah, definitely. I really liked the point you made about seeing it as a challenge as well, because I think for me, it's not that I think, Oh, why does this happen to me? I usually have the opposite where I'm like, my have the lack of confidence is, Oh, why did I cause this to happen? So when I change my mindset and say.

[00:30:25] Zoe: Actually, this is something I can get over that has helped me actually build my confidence a little bit. I did have one question about, because we talked a lot about the kind of the more soft skills kind of, of a career and your career journey. We didn't talk to that much about. What you actually do, so I'm curious, what, what do you actually do right now?

[00:30:47] Zoe: And what would your day to day kind of look like? 

[00:30:50] Nico: Uh, right now, uh, so, but it's the planning phase for us. So like we are working on our planning for, for next year. I mean, like, like probably like many companies, we are trying to, to put things together. So since I just took the role, so I'm focusing a lot on like, bringing some health and healthy things to the, giving some love to the organization, meaning understanding, like Charlie, they call the.

[00:31:11] Nico: The things that we are doing in detail is making sure that we have like your definition of roadmaps and, and, you know, like communicating that to the broader audience. And taking care of, uh, like, like when I say the rock, it's making sure that we have the right skill set and the right people in the right position, because there's a lot of things that we are building.

[00:31:28] Nico: There is lots of, you know, like places where we are missing, like even redundancy on some skills, because like, you know, like teams are built the way they are built over time. And sometimes it's good to assess somehow, like what is missing. So I would say that I'm focusing a lot of my time on, like, I would say more administrative type of work right now, because the organization itself requires that part.

[00:31:47] Nico: But on the tech side, it's like hiring the right leaders, making sure that we have, like, uh, like I just like, we had the chance to try out like a bunch of people like recently, and this is helping us like to go and build a roster that we need to go and take her down. All the priorities that we have for the end of the year and next year.

[00:32:06] Nico: So it's like working on that, uh, the most after I have tons of discussion with on technology and then with vendors and, and things like that for more like strategic side of the, of the house and like for us to define a bit more like, uh, how do we partner and, uh, who do we work like with these people? So like, it's, it's, it's very high level at that point, uh, right now, like it's this ends on for sure, compared to the OCTO where we are doing, uh, Like things that are more like in the details.

[00:32:32] Nico: But, uh, I'm staying close to the, the technicals because I love it. Uh, and because I'm deeply passionated by that. But yeah, right now the focus is going to be continuing to consolidate and go the, the organization empower folks. Uh, like, and I take like lots of pride looking at the organization this way because I'm very.

[00:32:51] Nico: I like to work with rich people. So yeah, it's a very stable moment for me. 

[00:32:56] Chris: Very cool. Yeah, I've definitely found that I like building organizations almost as much as I like building networks. Yeah, maybe more. Depends on the day. I think. 

[00:33:03] Nico: The, the, like you said, sorry to interrupt you, Chris, but like it's, you're isn't it so much what you just said, because like, I, I believe that Like, um, you know, like if you go from definition to execution, like, uh, that's the, the joy of being a leader is to be able to see like steps coming one after the other, like, and people be able to be able to execute.

[00:33:24] Nico: So somehow, like when you're passionate and I know you're passionate about the, the technologies that, uh, like me, um. Like, it's super good to see, like, things that you sometimes would like to see and that you would like to work on, like, if you were the engineer, like, coming to life. And that's, uh, just, it's, uh, for me, it's a form of art and like, it's, uh, I really enjoy that.

[00:33:44] Chris: Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, unfortunately that's all the time we have for today. Nico, do you have any projects or causes that you'd like to highlight for the imposter syndrome network? 

[00:33:54] Nico: So what, what is important for me at the end is like mentoring people. Like, I think that there is a bunch of very, very talented folks out there and they're like mentoring is just like a few hours of real time, you know, like here and there to help someone else grow.

[00:34:07] Nico: I think that there is a lot of things, including the APC that's like for the veterans and an organization like that. I like encourage people to be active in that because like giving of our knowledge. I think it's, it's very important that the people that might build also like things tomorrow. So I think that this is one of the things that I find very interesting.

[00:34:27] Nico: And also like there is a, like within companies sometime giving a hand on, on the, like, uh, helping people, like on giving directions, even if it's not in your group, you know, like it's always good to have like discussion and opening the door to people that may have questions. Uh, so that's what I'm advocating for, like to be, to be like taking the time to listen to your folks.

[00:34:46] Nico: And sometimes like answering a few questions can help in lurking like your situation. So that's, uh, that's important to me and, uh, that's the project, but that's something else that we should do like on a day to day basis. 

[00:34:59] Chris: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. No, I love it. Nico, thank you so much for sharing your story with the Imposter Syndrome Network.

[00:35:05] Chris: And thank you to all of our listeners for your attention and your support. If you found this episode insightful or interesting, please consider paying it forward by letting others know about this show and the great guests we have on. Before we do kind of turn the mics off, Nico, I am curious, what do you think of as the greatest achievement in your career so far?

[00:35:23] Nico: The greatest achievement in my career so far? I would say, let me think, like, I think that the period at Twitch was like one of the super exciting moments of my career because when I joined, we were not acquired by Amazon yet. It was, uh, or we just got acquired. It was really much at the limit. And when I joined, it was kind of like a new era that was going to start at Twitch because we were going full speed into like deploying a lot of.

[00:35:50] Nico: locations within the network. And I think that it's not my achievement. It's our achievement with the team. It was like a team effort that was Like, uh, we were like learning as we were building and it was fantastic. And, uh, like I, I, I miss a lot that part of, of my career. Like I know that the team, uh, they are at Twitch, so hi guys.

[00:36:09] Nico: So yes, that's, that's a great achievement is to see like things coming up online and, and, and, and then people enjoying the service, simple as that. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you, Chris. Thank you very much for like, uh, Again, like you're inviting me today and uh, thank you as well, like I appreciate your questions.

[00:36:25] Chris: Well, we'll be back next week.