The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Stan Barber

March 26, 2024 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 85
Stan Barber
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Stan Barber
Mar 26, 2024 Season 1 Episode 85
Chris & Zoë

Our guest today is Stan Barber, a veteran IT professional with 40 years of experience in networking and internet technologies.

He shares his journey from being a computer systems administrator at a medical college to working for various internet service providers to joining Google Fiber and beyond.

From a rather non-technical background of studying biochemistry and psychology in college, he explains how he uses what he learned and applies the scientific method to his way of looking at problems.

We will talk about Stan’s insights and challenges on topics such as IPv6 adoption, network automation, balancing management and technology roles, and how it felt to be the “old person in the room” when he started at Google.

IT is always changing, so you need to remember that you need to keep learning.
Always look for opportunities to learn.

Stan's Links: 


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

Our guest today is Stan Barber, a veteran IT professional with 40 years of experience in networking and internet technologies.

He shares his journey from being a computer systems administrator at a medical college to working for various internet service providers to joining Google Fiber and beyond.

From a rather non-technical background of studying biochemistry and psychology in college, he explains how he uses what he learned and applies the scientific method to his way of looking at problems.

We will talk about Stan’s insights and challenges on topics such as IPv6 adoption, network automation, balancing management and technology roles, and how it felt to be the “old person in the room” when he started at Google.

IT is always changing, so you need to remember that you need to keep learning.
Always look for opportunities to learn.

Stan's Links: 


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all:

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Impostor Syndrome Network podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't. My name is Chris Grundemann, and this is the Stan Barber episode, which I think you're going to really enjoy. Stan has been involved in working with internet based technologies. Since he started his first job in the profession as a computer systems administrator back in 1984, which means that he's been involved in the evolution of what we now think of as the internet today from the ARPANET and its siblings like CS net and bit net, et cetera, into the NSF net and then into the commercial internet that we actually have right now.

[00:00:46] Chris: Stan's goal is to continue to provide technical leadership in networking and distributed computing, following the core ideals of the internet. And those ideals are centered on open collaboration to advance new ideas and technologies.

[00:01:03] Chris: Uh, hi Stan, would you like to introduce yourself a bit further to the imposter syndrome network? 

[00:01:08] Stan: Thank you, Chris. It's good to hear from you. We have worked together in the past and it's good. Good to see you again. Absolutely. I realized the people on cast may not be able to see us, but we can, that's right.

[00:01:20] Stan: I have a very kind of odd background for people who are in this business today, but it was not an odd background back when I started in 84. Because we didn't have an internet. We didn't know, you know, we didn't know a lot, but we, uh, what we have today would be something that would actually come to be, there weren't no cell phones, you know, and, uh, communication was done primarily via modems and faxes.

[00:01:46] Stan: Very different environment. So I started out really when I was in college as a biochemist of all things. And that's what my degree is. I have a BA in biochemistry and psychology from Rice university. So being an information technologist was not exactly how my path would, would work out, uh, and that has been kind of one of the fun things about, uh, about my career, how it's, how it's evolved all the time today, when we typically look at people who are in this business, we are looking at, you know, You know, what kind of certifications do they have is the experience that they're doing relevant to the job that they're doing today.

[00:02:34] Stan: And the thing that I would say about that is all of that is great, but it should not be all the things you are, you know, you're in this business. One of the things I really attracted me to this, a business originally. Was the fact there was so many things happening in so many different directions that it was very, very much an intriguing and exciting place to be.

[00:03:03] Stan: Of course, back in 1984 we were inventing, you know, some basic things like You know, BGP and, and SMTP and NNTP, of course, NNTP is not really around as much today, but all of these things that foster collaboration and foster the flow of, you know, TCP IP globally. And then of course, there were the things that were going on that were at a lower level, like the explosion of fiber that happened in the.

[00:03:34] Stan: Uh, late part of the last century and the early part of the first decade of the, of the 21st century and the fact that there was then the, uh, the. com crash of the end of the 2020, 2008, uh, 2008. That sort of thing. So there's been a lot of ups and downs along the way from a business perspective, but I would like to think that from a technology and a technology maturation perspective, we have always been on an upward slope and it continues that way.

[00:04:11] Stan: Today, but coming from my background, I had a lot of. Kind of core scientific method approaches to things because I was actually used to working in laboratories and that sort of stuff. And whether I was doing, you know, more socially, social science oriented experimentation in the psychology side, or whether I was doing, you know, biochemistry on the quote, hard science side, um, that was my way of approaching problems was to look at them as an experiment.

[00:04:47] Stan: What's the hypothesis you're testing? How do you set up an experiment to test the hypothesis? What are the results of that? And where do you go from here? And that was useful in decomposing the problems that would occur in my IT job. Going forward, they were all basically, how do I solve things? What do I apply to stuff?

[00:05:09] Stan: The other thing that was really useful to me was, um, I had an intense interest The things that were going to be the underpinnings of the internet, mainly Unix and the BSD, uh, version of Unix in particular, I got early exposure to that when I was in college, you know, running on VAXs. And, uh, that whole community really excited me.

[00:05:38] Stan: It was a very collaborative space in which, you know, people would say, well, there's this problem and then people would write tools and solve that problem. And then they'd move on to either refining those tools or creating a new tool set. Do something new. So that was something that always excited me.

[00:05:58] Chris: Awesome. That's a great intro. And yeah, we, we share a lot of, uh, a lot of kind of, I think your kind of general approach and thoughts and thinking towards things, there's a lot of stuff there already that I want to dive into. I think maybe first to start kind of where you started, you know, in your introduction in mind, we both mentioned that you started, you know, your first it and our digital infrastructure job, however you want to call it back in 1984, which was in many ways a different world than, than 2024.

[00:06:24] Chris: I have to imagine that that job itself looked a lot different than what folks might be doing today. Uh, and you kind of alluded to that. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about what a computer systems administrator actually did back in the, in the eighties. 

[00:06:39] Stan: Yeah, my first job was working, uh, in support of a neurophysiology laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine.

[00:06:46] Stan: The leader of that laboratory, a guy named Dr. Johnson, great guy works at, uh, UT. Now I started at Baylor when I was there. Had this idea that it would be great to build a laboratory to acquire signals from, uh, test animals of a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which By using this data acquisition computer.

[00:07:11] Stan: Which was using a Unix core platform running on it called mass comp. It was a Boston, Massachusetts based company, uh, had a system five, a Unix system five for people on the, out there who know what that is based operating system, and it would acquire data from these, these hippocampuses and rats and, uh, send that data over a network to another computer, which would then.

[00:07:41] Stan: Analyze that data and create a visualization of that data. And that was that my core job was to keep that, that laboratory network running. And that's where I really built, built up my expertise, both in, in being a Unix system administrator and in ethernet, which we had the, the orange cable of vampire taps, all that kind of thing, way back in the beginning of ethernet as a technology.

[00:08:08] Chris: Wow. That's, that's really, really cool. And I think that idea, that's something that, you know, I was lucky enough to be kind of maybe the next generation behind you in, in networking. And so I got to learn from you and others about, you know, thick net and thin net and the vampire taps. And, you know, it feels like networking was a lot more physical the earlier, the further back in, uh, in time you go.

[00:08:27] Stan: Yeah, no, that, that's, that's a true statement. I mean, when Ethernet first came out, there was a lot of concerns about, you know, packet collisions and all that kind of thing and imperfections in the physical media that, that really caused you to have to be really cautious about how you. You handle those things, but it was resilient enough that you could assemble it without having a clean room environment or anything like that.

[00:08:54] Stan: So even though you had to careful, you didn't have to be so careful that, you know, you were having to look at every little detail of what you did, but there were other things that were kind of confounding at times of, Do you have your cable terminated properly, you know, or is there some sort of crosstalk going on the line, that sort of thing, you know, having the tools we have today to debug that stuff.

[00:09:19] Stan: Would have been handy back then, but we didn't have any of that stuff. 

[00:09:23] Chris: Right. Yeah. I had to build it along the way. 

[00:09:25] Stan: The good thing about that job is it provided me an opportunity to demonstrate my, my problem solving capability and my organizational capability, you know, to put together these projects so that it got the attention of the, the executive management at the medical school.

[00:09:43] Stan: And they said, Hey, we really like what you did at this scale. This, this laboratory scale, how about you come do it for the whole, whole college? And so I became the network manager for Baylor college of medicine and deploying, deploying their first enterprise. Network. 

[00:10:02] Chris: Wow. That's really cool. That'd be a heck of a project.

[00:10:05] Stan: It was even more intensive than that because I don't know if you know much about Houston, but Baylor is in the middle of a place called the Texas Medical Center, which is, um, more than 30 institutions, all in a, all in a campus environment. And as opposed to being like a typical college campus, each of the entities are independent.

[00:10:28] Stan: So I had to hone my skills, not only in the technology to deploy a network across the campus. But they, uh, the soft skills necessary to interface with all the different administrators and faculty at these different independent institutions. And I helped organize for lack of a better way to put it, councils of people, people who'd work together, collaborators who would work with me to get these networks deployed.

[00:11:01] Stan: And we ended up extending, uh, Baylor's enterprise network to all these, these institutions that Baylor had affiliation with across this fairly large campus. And so we had orange cable running all over the place. And then we replaced chunks of it with FDDI because fiber was the future. And we thought FDDI was the answer, even though it turned out not to be long term, but, you know, it got us faster speeds and a higher degree of reliability in terms of the networking infrastructure.

[00:11:37] Stan: And then as the technologies kind of matured, we then started to look at, you know, how could we light up the fiber we had deployed with even better lasers, optics, if you will, to, you know, You know, get more and more speed out of it. And then along came, you know, what we now think of as wired internet, the, where the drop cable was replaced by, you know, telephone wire for lack of a better way of putting it, you know, what we now think of as wired.

[00:12:10] Stan: Cat6 and, and so on. And, uh, and, and the network kind of matured into a large switched environment. Now, uh, we learned the advantages of, of, uh, switches over repeaters and all of that stuff as part of that activity. And we were trying to put a computer on everybody's desk, you know, so that. Work can be done.

[00:12:36] Stan: This is well before wifi happened and all of that. So we were, we were doing wired, twisted pair ports to every desk so that everybody could hook up their, uh, you know, what was the desktop computer of the day. Yeah. Uh, an IBM PC clone or, or equivalent. 

[00:12:57] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. That's super interesting. And I think, you know, it's interesting to me that, you know, kind of this, your, your first experiences at Baylor in the 80s and 90s involved this kind of cross organizational collaboration, pulling these people together from different organizations in order to kind of deploy.

[00:13:15] Chris: This new technology of networking across all the campus to me, I see a reflection in that in a lot of the work we did together or have done together around IPv6, right? You've been the director of the Texas IPv6 task force since 2009, and at least from my perspective, I see some some corollaries there in that, you know, promoting the adoption of IPv6 is very much that kind of collaboration, cross organizational communication, getting people on the same page, Did you see that same reflection there?

[00:13:45] Chris: Has that kind of been a theme through your career? 

[00:13:47] Stan: Yes. That's been a big theme. After I left Baylor, I went to, uh, work for the, what was the NSF net regional network in South Texas at the time called Cisco net, which was a collaborative activity between. Again, between Rice University and Texas A& M University and many of the universities kind of there in South Texas.

[00:14:12] Stan: And we worked collaboratively to deploy this for lack of a better way of turning a regional area network that was at that time running over 56K and then T1 and all of that kind of thing, ultimately, ultimately resulting in the first, you know, T3 deployment that I was involved with. Late in the, um, part of the, uh, 80s, early 90s, as far as IPv6, that came about because I had done deployments of IPv6 at the first, uh, uh, internet service provider I worked for, which is a company called Vario, which was bought by NTT, the Japanese phone company.

[00:15:01] Stan: And when I was working at that company, Uh, the folks in Japan who were owners, of course. Wanted to deploy IPv6, but they didn't know exactly how to get it done. And fortunately, the company I was working with, the people there I was working with, there was, there are many people you may have heard of like Randy Bush.

[00:15:21] Stan: That was the first time I worked with him. Was there, the people there were very supportive about deploying v6. And so I had to develop, I was the operations manager there. And so I had to develop operational support approaches to supporting IPv6 on a global, uh, internet network, uh, uh, NTT actually operated the seventh largest internet.

[00:15:50] Stan: In the world at that time. So we weren't as big WorldCom or level three or those guys, but we were, we were in the mix, I guess, in the hunt as they would say, but because of that experience, that led me to want to be part of the emerging educational slash evangelical. or evangelist activity of promoting IPv6, uh, just generally because, uh, we were definitely seeing advantages on the, on the service provider side to running IPv6 and we wanted to encourage, find ways to encourage all kinds of internet users to say, look, let's, let's, let's really invest in this technology and make it go.

[00:16:38] Stan: We had a lot of things going on from, you know, the middle of the two thousands up through about the middle of the 2010s, where we made a lot of progress in the area. We, we worked with the large internet companies, you know, Google and Microsoft and several others, tons of service providers, T Mobile was just kind of getting started at that time.

[00:17:05] Stan: So they were saying. We won't really bother with deploying a V four network. We'll deploy IPV six as our core network and we'll do that. And of course, the cable companies at that time were trying to evolve from the at home model to a different model where they were operating their own networks. They were trying to figure out, well, how, how does IPV six fit into what we.

[00:17:29] Stan: We're doing. And so, so there were a lot of exciting things happening on that front. IPv6 came along at a good time to, and one of the key factors in doing that, frankly, was, was Microsoft windows kind of evolved to have IPv6 kind of built in. And so it was easy for consumers who use Microsoft windows. To use IPv6 if it was available.

[00:17:55] Stan: And so that was, that was very helpful as well. So we had, we had cell phone providers selling handsets that did v6. We had, you know, of course the windows platform. Deploying v6 and because of the, the migration models that the IETF has standardized, where IPv6 would be used if it could work, you know, you didn't have to really do anything and an end node to make IPv6 work.

[00:18:25] Stan: It was transparent to the end user, and so it still is today, but we did find that at some point, even with the effort to evangelize IPv6, we did run into people saying, well, it costs a lot to do this, and we have to retrain our staff to do that. And so on, and there is some truth to all of that, but as we are now in 2024, it doesn't cost much to deploy IPv6 is kind of built into everything now and, you know, products that are released, which do not support IPv6 are definitely in the minority, uh, you just don't, you just don't see that much though.

[00:19:12] Stan: To me, the biggest problem that I see in that area is there are still products that are coming out that are IPv4 only, but not, it's not prevalent. It's not the lion's share of things that are new that are coming on the horizon. 

[00:19:29] Chris: Yeah, definitely much easier to get it deployed now than well, than ever before, I guess.

[00:19:33] Chris: And it keeps getting easier. 

[00:19:35] Stan: The resistance, unfortunately, is still there, which is Confounding in a way, but 

[00:19:40] Chris: yeah, it's interesting how I think people who work in technology, which I think for most of us, we got into technology for similar reasons that you did, which is because it's so dynamic and it's changing and that's, that's fun to kind of be learning all the time, but still as a collective.

[00:19:54] Chris: We seem to be resistant to certain things. We, there's a certain changes. We just can't wrap our heads around it as a collective group of folks. IPv6 seems to be one of them. Network automation is another one that I'm wrestling with these days. And there's been others in the past too, but it's interesting how some things we can adopt new change really fast and easy and other things.

[00:20:11] Chris: Tend to get resisted more forcefully. 

[00:20:14] Stan: Yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with ruts. People get into ruts. They get into things that they understand. Uh, certain technologists will, I have a recipe. It always works if I do it this way, I'm just going to follow my recipe. But to me, that's a very slippery slope.

[00:20:31] Stan: You can't. You can't spend your time doing the same thing over and over again, particularly if you're trying to, you know, take advantage of what the latest and greatest is. I mean, the reason that the latest and greatest exists is because there's some value in it. It's not just there to give you something new to do.

[00:20:53] Stan: It's there to, you know, improve the situation you're in. And the problem with IPv6 in particular is because it has so many key features that were new at the time v6 was developed, that would have been part of IPv4 if IPv4 could have grown, that people are going, Oh, I could do it this way now instead of the way I've always done it.

[00:21:23] Stan: Um, There are certain people in the community that are just resistant to change. Change is one of the things I've learned over my career is that there are certain groups of people that are embraced change. And there are certain groups of people that are resistant to change. And. If those people who are resistant are the ones who are trying to progress your information technology infrastructure, then you run into slow and, uh, what ultimately comes up obsolescence issues.

[00:21:57] Stan: So I try and avoid those situations when it's possible, but sometimes you just have to, you know, charge on and hopefully make progress anyway. 

[00:22:09] Chris: Yeah. So speaking of kind of, I guess maybe challenges that are possible out there to face the resistance to change being one of them. I'm really curious. I hope you don't mind me asking this, but you know, with a 40 year career now, I mean, one, obviously you've, you've been able to do a lot of really amazing things for the internet and for all of us generally.

[00:22:28] Chris: But two, you're getting a little older now, right? 40 years is a long time to be working. And you obviously went to college and everything before that has that ever come up through your career? Um, I know, I mean, just to set the context there, I definitely remember for myself when I was the youngest person in the room and that definitely had an effect on me and people around me.

[00:22:47] Chris: I haven't yet come to the time where I'm the oldest person in the room. Um, and I don't know if you have either, but, but maybe that's, uh, I don't know if you've seen that evolve as your career has gone on. 

[00:22:57] Stan: Yeah, definitely. I know what it's like to be the oldest person in the room these days. One of the things that I learned toward the end of my career is it really depends on the culture or the place you're working for and whether they value the wisdom that comes with age or not.

[00:23:15] Stan: Some people do and some people don't. My most recent job was working for Google and Google has a history of being kind of a youthfully oriented company. But I went to work for Google when I was in my fifties, which is at that time was very unusual when I started in 2011 there, they were hiring to build a thing called Google fiber, which was their ISP.

[00:23:42] Stan: They wanted to disrupt the ISP industry by laying fiber to the home. And that was a very novel concept in 2011. Today, it's much more ubiquitous. And, uh, one of the things Google did as a result of the Google fiber activity was they were aware that to get up and running in a hurry, they actually needed people who knew how to build those kinds of things because Google at its core is a software company.

[00:24:15] Stan: They're not an infrastructure company. They have gotten much better at building infrastructure over the 11 years I worked there. But on the internet, on the ISP side, they, they didn't really know much of anything about deploying fiber to the home. They knew about acquiring IRUs from, from fiber providers and lighting IRUs, but.

[00:24:38] Stan: You know, as far as putting cable in the ground, they didn't have any real experience there. So, so that was kind of what, how I got started at Google was to use the fact that I had experience at doing internet operations for, you know, by that time, 20 years and help them build up an operations capability that they didn't have and they didn't have really that experience at all.

[00:25:02] Stan: So the bad thing that happened was that. They dumped a lot of money into Google Fiber and built it up very quickly and kind of went too fast. Um, you know, they deployed too quickly and they, uh, it was, it turned out to be a little bit unsustainable, so they had to, they had to pull back a little bit. That was kind of how I came across age as being kind of a factor that colored my, my work life, because I was working, uh, with, you know, these kids out of college or, or people who were early in their career.

[00:25:47] Stan: And if you know anything about Google's culture, there is a, Move fast and break often kind of mentality because that's just how they got things done. And one of the things that Google Fiber as a entity struggled with was the fact that breaking stuff is not really a good way to engender positive support amongst consumers and then learning that that's not really the best way for them to go about doing it at the scale they're trying to do it.

[00:26:18] Stan: They need to. You know, slow down and do it right the first time and not try and have to go out and do it over and over and over again until I get it right. That's just not the way to build an ISP. Later in my career at Google, I moved into, you know, working more in the planning activities for networking in the data centers of Google.

[00:26:43] Stan: And, um, that was, um, more of a program manager analyst activity. Um, one of the things throughout my career has been, you know, do I want to be a manager or do I want to be a technologist? And when I started at Google, I was really hired to be a manager or, and building up, you know, the operations organization by hiring people and so on.

[00:27:08] Stan: But the latter part of my career, I was really more oriented towards doing more of an analyst role and, and trying to figure out, uh, how do I take the toolbox that Google provides to deploy networking in your data centers and allocate those resources, you To, you know, save money, but also address the needs.

[00:27:31] Stan: And, uh, I always enjoyed both aspects of that. I liked being a manager, but I also liked doing the technology planning stuff. And, uh, that was always a point of tension, uh, in within myself between which do I like to do more now? And how do I spend the time keeping myself engaged, but also helping people be successful in their careers?

[00:27:57] Stan: I found it all rewarding. Well, it really depended on the people I was working with. When I was hiring people, I always tried to hire people that I knew had a vision that was similar to mine and it didn't have to be identical to mine. But they need to be excited about working with the technology and supporting the technology and addressing the customer need.

[00:28:20] Stan: Those are all things I think are core to being successful as an information technologist. If you get too locked in on the technology, but you use, you lose sight of the, of the end goal, which is ultimately to provide a service to somebody. I think that blinds you to certain things and you make decisions that are not going to, they're not going to give you the best outcomes if you're able to, to integrate those things.

[00:28:44] Stan: So you are able to deliver a good service. While taking advantage of the latest available technology, that gives you, I think the best results. And so that was a, that was always the thing I looked for in people to hire to try and be sure I was picking people who were thinking like that or had the capability of thinking like that.

[00:29:04] Stan: They may not have, the light bulb may not have quite gone on yet, but you could see that the light was flickering and. A little bit of training or encouragement would help them, you know, latch onto that idea as being a core principle. The, the problem with being a manager, I think is that if you do that too much, if you are hiring people and training them all the time and you don't actually get your hands dirty yourself, you, you lose the capability to get your hands dirty.

[00:29:34] Stan: And that I think is a dangerous, a slippery slope. 

[00:29:38] Chris: Yeah, it is. And it is tough to balance. I find for myself these days, I actually kind of used the, the idea of kind of time chunking. I think some folks call it, and I try to dedicate certain days of the week to different activities. So in general, my Tuesdays and Thursdays are kind of my manager days.

[00:29:55] Chris: Where I spend a lot of time in meetings and talking to people and that kind of stuff, and I try to reserve my Wednesdays and Fridays in particular for kind of more deeper technical work. That's how I've kind of tried to find that balance. It sometimes it bleeds over. It's not always perfect for sure, but I definitely appreciate that tension there between the two.

[00:30:14] Chris: I don't know if you have any, you know, um, other ways that you've tried to stay active in the technology while also being a good manager. 

[00:30:23] Stan: One of the things that's really helped me is to read voraciously, you know. I try and follow all of the light reading, light reading. I love to read because it gives me summaries of what's going on in the industry.

[00:30:37] Stan: It's not always a perfect, perfect view, but it's a, it's a good place to look lightreading. com and I recommend it to people. I also keep my ear to the ground on what's going on in IETF, even though I, I'm not actively participating in it right now, because. That's where people are trying to decide what's really important for us to develop as technologists, to accelerate internet work.

[00:31:03] Stan: And so reading the mailing list associated with IETF is something else I do. That, that keeps me aware of that sort of thing. So to me, it's, it's, it's reading all the time and reading, you know, reading those kinds of resources. And then hopefully every now and then I get a opportunity to go to a Go to something, you know, go to an NANOG or something like that and talk to people who are doing this stuff and asking them what they're learning and.

[00:31:33] Stan: Where they think the next thing that we need to worry about is one of the problems when you're an operations guy, like I am is, uh, operations is always dynamic. You're always being yanked somewhere to do something to fight some fire and you don't always have control of where the fires are. And so while allocating two days a week to do something and two days a week to do something else is a great, really great goal.

[00:32:01] Stan: I always found that I couldn't be quite that regimented and get the, and solve the problem that popped up on Tuesday when I'm supposed to be doing technology stuff. And really, I need to spend time coordinating resources to resolve something. 

[00:32:14] Chris: Yeah, that's very, very true for sure. The outages don't wait for us.

[00:32:19] Chris: That's a good point. 

[00:32:20] Stan: Outages are, well, they're not fun. Particularly when the outage was human induced and not, not induced by some other thing like, you know, natural disaster or whatever, the thing I always used about outages that were human induced is I always say, okay, how can we change the process around the troubleshooting of whatever that particular item was, or the.

[00:32:43] Stan: Maybe the change control mechanism that was used for that thing that created that gap, and then I try and say, okay, can we change the process to avoid this in the future? If you can turn it into a learning moment, then that's value. If you can't do that, that's a problem because then it'll come up again in some other context.

[00:33:04] Stan: So, so that was, that was always my approach there. I never looked, that was one thing I always really appreciate about Google. Google has a blameless culture. Where they don't say it's your fault. They always say it's the process's fault. 

[00:33:18] Chris: Sure. We can, we can fix this process. 

[00:33:20] Stan: Yeah. Yeah. Because you know, if the process is good, you won't have those errors because the process would catch it.

[00:33:27] Stan: Now, that's not to say that humans don't make mistakes, they absolutely do, but if the process is really, if the process is well developed and well understood, the problems minimize themselves. And, and that's, that was really something I always appreciated about Google. 

[00:33:47] Chris: Yeah. And I like your perspective on it too, right?

[00:33:49] Chris: I mean, I think one, the, you know, failure is only a failure if you don't learn from it. In some ways I'm, I'm rephrasing what you said there, but I think that's, you know, really important, but then also I really liked that idea of kind of what I would call maybe embodied learning, right? Where let's not just like learn the lesson, let's actually take that lesson and, and embody it into the methodologies we're using, the processes we're using.

[00:34:12] Chris: You know, the next plan we write up, we'll, we'll take account of it and actually building that into the systems we use around us so that the mistake almost can't be made again. I really liked that approach and that, that thought. 

[00:34:24] Chris: Unfortunately, speaking of outages, we are out of time. The time flies when you're having fun, Stan, thank you so much for sharing your story with the imposter syndrome network and thank you to all of our listeners for your time, your attention, and your support.

[00:34:39] Chris: 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 

[00:34:48] Chris: Stan though, before we totally close out and turn off the mics here, I would love to hear, you know, if there's one piece of advice that you have, you know, for folks that are maybe new to, uh, digital infrastructure and it and operations, you know, I think your years of service have hopefully built up to a lot of experience or have definitely built up to a lot of experience.

[00:35:09] Chris: Anyway, I wonder if there's, if you could pick out one, one lesson that you'd like to share with, with folks who are listening. 

[00:35:14] Stan: Well, I think the biggest lesson is never stop learning. Things are always going to be changing. That's part of the reason I really like it. It's always changing. So you need to always remember that you need to keep learning and it doesn't always have to be courses you take or.

[00:35:32] Stan: Certifications you get, it can be other things too. Always, always look for an opportunity to learn that's, that would be my key, key recommendation to anyone who's listening. 

[00:35:45] Chris: I love it. I think that's great advice. Hopefully everyone takes it and, uh, we will be back next week.