if/else; a podcast by CTO.ai & Mayuko Inoue

Description: A career in technology is full of choices. We’re here to help you make smart ones. In each episode, we meet a software developer who needs to make an if/else choice. From important technical decisions to sticky career challenges, we cover the hard and soft skills you need for a sustainable and rewarding career in tech… at any stage of your career. Hosted by Mayuko Inoue, if/else is an original podcast from CTO.ai, the makers of The Ops Platform. Listen to the trailer below...

We are very excited to be a part of a new podcast, if/else, hosted by YouTube sensation Mayuko Inoue. In each episode, we meet a software developer who needs to make an if/else choice and help them evaluate their options by inviting guests with expertise in a if/else dilemma. As we gear up the launch of Season 1, I wanted to share a bit on my background and why we are so excited to help bring if/else from concept to reality.

First off, CTO.ai is a young startup, and creating the if/else podcast has been a big undertaking for us. We want to support successful careers in software development in part as a way of giving back and also as a way of supporting our profession to the benefit of everyone involved because really, what's the point if we're not using our own experience to help someone else also be successful? I wouldn't be where I am in my career, I wouldn't have been able to start this company with so many great software engineers, if other people hadn’t taken the time to tell me about their experiences so that I could learn.

My journey of becoming a Software Engineer began when I was 8, I started teaching myself how to code as a way to explore my ideas and make them real. I learned everything I knew from Google, GeoCities, and open source. At age 16, I decided to drop out of high school and pursued a side hustle on the internet. That decision, born out of my entrepreneurial drive, meant that university was never in the cards for me. I sometimes wonder about the relationships I might have built at university, and how those experiences would have accelerated my learning, but I’ve come to understand that every career path has its trade-offs. Ultimately, there are so many things you can’t learn until you get into the job market.

So, after dropping out of high school, I joined a tech support company and provided support for DevOps (or as we called it back then, “system administration”). As an up-and-coming developer, I quickly realized that the fastest way to learn was to interact with others and observe what how were working. As that experience led to others, I decided to specialize early on in the rise of JavaScript, which on top of the solid DevOps foundation I already had, put me on a path to building applications end-to-end in a modular and iterative format. That was one of the best decisions I made as it paved the way to my first startup success; Retsly (acquired by Zillow) without which, CTO.ai would probably not exist. My early exposure to DevOps led me in this direction; a formal education would have probably led me elsewhere. So for me personally, the decisions that have led me to be the founder and CEO of CTO.ai have been unconventional and non-linear.

Today, there are 40 million software engineers in the world, as that statistic moves towards 100 million I believe it’s critical for our community to foster more mentors. Whatever career path we follow, all of our success depends on the knowledge and skills of those we encounter along the way. That experience can be shared one-to-one or it can be embedded into technologies designed to support engineers in the work they do. That’s the scalable approach and it is one of the fundamental ideas behind the developer community we are building.

Another scalable way to share the experience is through social platforms, which brings us to why we are supporting the new podcast, if/else. We have observed how new content created by people like Mayuko Inoue has captured the essence of these issues. Mayuko is amazing, and we are excited to be in partnership with her. She has built a strong YouTube following with a thoughtful exploration of how to become a software engineer, what it's like to get into technology as a career and what to watch out for along the way. As soon as I saw the work she’s been doing and then had the chance to speak to her, it was clear that we have a shared vision for supporting software engineers and their careers. When the idea for the podcast came together, we knew that this is something we wanted to be involved with.

We hope that if/else will help software engineers at the start of their careers, those who are further along in their careers and even executives looking to get a handle on issues that are important to their software engineering teams. Ultimately if the content the podcast finds its way into the hands of somebody who can benefit from that advice, we’ll know that it has fulfilled its purpose. Follow if/else on Twitter to stay updated on new episodes and, have a listen to episode one.