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Lessons Learned From Four Major Projects - with Shirley Wu

Shirley Wu discusses what she learned from her four most influential projects.

Shirley Wu has been freelancer since 2016, creating data visualizations for her clients. In this episode, Shirley talks about the four projects that had the most significant impact on her.

In 2017 Shirley created an interactive visualization of the musical, Hamilton. It blew up on the internet. It was the first time a project of her's had a significant response. It made her realize that code could be beautiful, colorful, and inspiring. The audience might not remember the figures or the writeup, but they will remember the emotional response they had.

Her next project was less fun and a lot more serious. She worked with The Guardian on an investigative journalism piece called Bussed Out. The project was meaningful to her. In the past, she shied away from more serious projects due to a fear of the backlash she'd receive if she didn't do it right. She got to work with a very talented team of journalists who taught her what she was capable of if she teamed up with the right people on important topics.

On a less serious note, Shirley had the privilege of having a visualization be commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The project was to do something with the data from Send Me SFMOMA. This project caused her to reconnect with making art for its own sake.

The most recent influential project was Legends. It was a personal project on the fifty-one female Nobel Prize winners since 1901. With her other digital projects, she is lucky only to get a few minutes of someone's time, but she wanted more than that, she wanted people to linger and be present. So Shirley is now pushing herself to break the boundaries of digital and make moving her visualization into physical space a reality.


Shirley Wu

Shirley Wu


Transcript

Kent C. Dodds: Hello everybody. This is your friend Kent C. Dodds. And I am joined by my friend Shirley Wu. Say hi Shirley.

Shirley Wu: Hi. Everyone.

Kent C. Dodds: Shirley, is just a fabulous person. I know that. And if you don't know her yet, then by the end of this podcast you will know that also. And Shirley, I'm going to give you a chance really quick to just introduce yourself. And we get to know you a little bit, and then we can talk about whatever it is that we're going to talk about today.

Shirley Wu: Thank you so much Kent. I actually really love your intro. I love that you say, "Hi, I'm your friend Kent. I love that intro very much. Hi, I'm Shirley. I am an independent creator of data visualizations. That's the formal title I've given myself because I'm a freelancer and I can call myself whatever I want. And basically all that means is that I work with a bunch of different clients across mostly the tech media and journalism industries. And I work with them and with their data to design visualizations that help either explore the data for the questions that they might have or to communicate something insights or patterns that they've learned with the data. That's my day job.

Kent C. Dodds: Cool. You have the freedom of being a freelancer.

Shirley Wu: Yes.

Kent C. Dodds: How long have you been doing that?

Shirley Wu: I've been doing this since memorial. Well, since the Summer of 2016. It's, I'm coming on three years. I've learned a lot from the last three years.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah, I bet. What's your least favorite part of being a freelancer? Then we can get into the good stuff. We hit that out of the way.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. Oh, my God. Yes. My least favorite part is that I'm always, always thinking about money. I feel such a horrible person that every single day, I think about money at least once a day. Where will my next client come from and where does paycheck will come from. And I especially hate it when because I make myself an annual goal of how much to make. That sometimes I think of clients as just a number and I hate that because I like to choose clients that I really enjoy working with. There are people that I really enjoy working with. And when I'm talking to a potential client and all I can think of them is the potential budget number. I really hate when I do that. That's the thing I hate the most.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. That's interesting. You're talking with this person and you're like oh, man I'm spending so much time with this person, but they are x number of dollars and I could be spending my time with this person who is x much more number of dollars or something.

Shirley Wu: It's not as much a comparison because if I'm talking to them it means that I'm already very much interested in their project. And I want it to happen. It's more like, how big will this project be and will I need to get another project while I'm working? Do I need to, can I just spend all my time on this for a few months, or do I need to supplement it with another client? That has to be smaller in scope so that I can juggle both. That sort of scheduling and logistics is that thing that I disliked the most because it just feels so cold and I really don't like it. But it's an unfortunate necessity that no matter how much I enjoy working with them, I have to think about the reality of making that quota I've set for myself.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And at the end of the day we live in a capitalist society for better or worse.

Shirley Wu: Yeah.

Kent C. Dodds: You've got to take care of yourself. But I can understand how that could be frustrating.

Shirley Wu: And I live in San Francisco or a south San Francisco.

Kent C. Dodds: Where money is tight for everybody.

Shirley Wu: Yeah, except for those people who are about to IPO.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah, exactly.

Shirley Wu: Yeah.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. Very true. I'm actually curious about freelancing and having clients and things like that. And that's something I've never really done. I'm just, one thing that I've always been curious about is when you get a new client do you have to get yourself all set up with their equipment, or with their on their network, and now you're working in their projects, their repos, and you have to set up they monolithic project on your laptop, or how does that work to you? Are you typically working kind of on your own, on your own thing and then you give them the code when you're done? Is that, how does that work?

Shirley Wu: Yeah. Think fully it really depends on the client, but for most clients on the project that they come to me for is either an external marketing. It's either journalism which is a one off article. And I get to mostly develop in my own repo and then maybe toward the end. I might hand over that code so that they can deploy it. Or it might be for a company's external marketing which also means I don't need to work within their particular copies. I don't think I've yet had a client come to me to work on something that's integrated into their product. And I think that makes a lot of sense because it would probably be a lot of time and effort to ramp up someone into their product just for them to leave after let's say three months. And it doesn't make business sense for a company to do that. And I'm perfectly happy with that also because I don't want to ramp up for a company because that knowledge is not transferable in any way.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. And neither is that like oh, I have to install this version of the Java Runtime Environment. All right. Don't want to deal with that.

Shirley Wu: No.

Kent C. Dodds: Well, cool. You've had as a freelancer for the last three years, you've had the opportunity to work on some really interesting projects many different projects. But I think you have some specific ones that we talked about before that you'd like to share with folks. And I'd love to hear about what these projects are and in particular what you have learned from that. And then maybe we as an audience can pull out some specific things that we can learn and apply in our day to day development. What's the first one you'd like to chat about?

Shirley Wu: Yeah, definitely. I started freelancing back in 2016 and throughout the years I've had a few different projects that have been really, really meaningful to me. And this year in particular in 2019, I've kind of made a few goals about what I want to do with my career and with my projects going forward. And those goals were very much informed by these few projects that had been really meaningful to me. The very first one is back in 2016. December 2016, I published a project for a project site. A project called an Interactive Visualization of Every Line in Hamilton. And this was basically a labor of love for I think four months on and off. And aware because I was so obsessed with the musical Hamilton, and I just kept on. I have a very obsessive personality and a very addictive personality.

Kent C. Dodds: You're latched on to the specific things that you like.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. I'm, I have a personality of I'm either 100% and all in or 0% and not in at all. And it's mostly good because it means that whenever I decided to focus on something I'm all in. But it's also not so good because it means that if I get addicted to a TV show that's all I'm going to do for days. It's really not good when I go out. And if I have a few shots too many, I'm like go big or go home. It's really bad, but good in a career sense. Anyway, sorry. I was really addicted and I had this like on repeat and [Allan pipe 00:08:35] my fiance was like, "I think you should just make a visualization out of this." And that's how that idea whole idea happen. And it's this kind of we call it in the data visualization world, we called it a Scrollytelling because it's a project, it's a piece, it's kind of an article where say that as you scroll I review more and more of the data and more and more of the insights to you. And then at the very end I give you the exploratory tool to do the same, to do the analysis that I did or do different kinds of analysis. And that was really unexpectedly successful. Though I suppose in retrospect because it's Hamilton, I probably should have expected the success of it. It was really unexpected. My [inaudible 00:09:45] Miranda actually tweeted it and I think I lost. I think I stopped breathing for a few minutes, and then he actually, when I saw the notification that he followed me back I was like, what just happen. And then I had to calm myself down and be like, he's just a person, just another human being. He's in a really awesome talented human being. But he's just another human being. Otherwise, I think because of him and had really great success as well. But I think the two main things that I really took away from that is the first being that was the first time when I have made a project where the response was extremely meaningful to me. And by that I had a lot of people tweeting me that was just starting their computer science classes in school. And there were like, this is so cool. I didn't know that you could do this with code. And it was really colorful. There were, I had a lot of women, a lot of girls telling me like oh, I didn't know you could do these kinds of things by coding. I'm taking a CS class right now, or I now I want to take a CS class. Or the moment that made me the happiest was when a woman tweeted me that she and her son we're just starting to learn CS see us together or to learn to code together, and that they also love visualizations, and they also love Hamilton. And she was like, I can't wait until my son gets home, so I can share this with him. And I just absolutely love that because not only-

Kent C. Dodds: It's adorable.

Shirley Wu: Isn't that amazing? I'm because I have, I'm such a sucker for parent kids. Whenever that goes really well, family stuff I'm just such a sucker for it. And then just was so happy that not only are they, coding and this inspired them, but also that this brought this mother and son hopefully closer. And that was just so amazing.

Kent C. Dodds: That's wonderful.

Shirley Wu: Thank you. And I think that was the first project I was like, wow. I can, what I do I can actually inspire people. And especially to show them that coding can be beautiful and colorful. And matrix is cool, but it doesn't have to look like green [inaudible 00:12:39].

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. It's not all just the terminal.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. And that was the first moment I realized that. And that's one of the reasons why that project is so special to me. And the other one was kind of just realizing that before that project I've always thought of data visualization as having to be really precise numbers and the visualizations I'm showing you has to be very accurate. And it does because data visualization like statistics. It's very easy to misinform people or it's even if you have the best of intentions because we all have our biases, it's pretty easy to subconsciously or unconsciously bake our own biases into our data visualization. And if we want to be really malicious, it's very easy to mislead with the chart.

Kent C. Dodds: Okay.

Shirley Wu: And so while is really true that you should be very accurate and precise. That was the project in which I learned at that the most powerful is actually to connect with my audience on an emotional level. They won't remember that the, I don't know the statistics that I might have quoted them. But they will remember what I wrote about what I learned from the data that gave them an emotional response. And I think precision and numbers is important, but emotion and giving my reader delight and letting them, giving them that sort of an emotional part is very important also. That was the.

Kent C. Dodds: I think that can be applied to even products people who aren't building art visualizations. We should be as a novelist a amateur novelist. One of the things that we talk about a lot in the writing world is the emotions that we want to elicit out of the reader. That's what we should be focused on. And I think the same applies to your product. Whether you're building a bank dashboard, or a social media platform, or whatever it is to be mindful of the emotions that you're eliciting out of the viewer. And maybe if you are a bank dashboard some of those emotions might be negative, but finding a way to present it in a way that just makes peoples lives better. Is something that we could all probably be more mindful of.

Shirley Wu: Yeah, definitely. And I would love to talk about you're a novel offline.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah.

Shirley Wu: I also-

Kent C. Dodds: Oh, go ahead.

Shirley Wu: I was just going to say, I also really love those designs that we're seeing more and more of that are just a little bit kooky and it has to be on brand. But small ones were, I can't remember who it was, but was it a Yeti that as you were out there and as you type your password it just looks at the password or something. Those little touches in design are so great I feel like.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. It gives you a little bit of I don't know, delight like you said. What's this next project about?

Shirley Wu: Yeah. The next project is a lot less fun and a lot more serious. The next one is one that I did with The Guardian back in the fall of 2017. And that one is with The Guardian US team and it's called Bussed Out and it's called how America moves it's homeless. And that article is all about the homeless relocation programs that certain American cities have. And it was an incredible project of it's the Guardian. It was so much journalistic integrity. They spent about a year and a half collecting data from about 16 cities. And they I think were able to collect about 20,000 data points of homeless people who were given a bus ticket, a city had purchased the bus tickets for them. To be Bussed Out of that city. And there was this whole kind of long form investigative journalism into kind of why cities might do that. If that's effective at all. How do these individuals, these homeless people that do get a bussed ticket, how did they feel, how did they fair? And this was an extremely meaningful project to me because it's a very important topic. And I've always before this topic, before this fall of 2017. I've always kind of shied away from very serious topics, because serious topics are very controversial. And if I don't do it right I will bet get backlash and rightfully so because I didn't do it right. And I want to treat serious meaningful topics with a level of respect, and with the level of care that I wouldn't have been, I wouldn't be able to do individually. Because my area of expertise is in data visualization. It's not in homeless bussing across countries, or it's not in whatever other topics that I could choose from.
And this was the first time I got to work with a team of super talented journalist that have done all of their research and have talked to experts. And I got to kind of lend what I could to the project. And it was also very well received. I know that there was some talks that I think this trigger some policy talks. And this one was super meaningful to me because it kind of taught me again, what I could do if I worked with the, I don't want to say the right people, but if I could just team up with people who are working on these super important topics the kind of things that I could help with. And these are kind of the topics that I've always, there's always been topics that I've being wanting to do that are really important to me. That I've never had the courage to do because I would be scared that I would mess it up. I would not do it justice. And this is the project that really gave me the courage to kind of go forth and try my hand. Especially now that I have a little bit more experience and more of a portfolio. I think it's a little bit easier for me to reach out to experts in that field and be, would you like to collaborate on this topic?

Kent C. Dodds: And I get the help that you need to make sure that you do justice.

Shirley Wu: Yeah, definitely.

Kent C. Dodds: Well, it's an amazing project. All of these projects that will be linked in the short notice, and I strongly recommend people look at these because I'm looking at them and they're pretty cool.

Shirley Wu: Thank you.

Kent C. Dodds: Using the things that you can accomplish with code.

Shirley Wu: Yeah, definitely.

Kent C. Dodds: There's your next one that you sent me here is this send me love thing. Can you tell us about that one?

Shirley Wu: Yeah. That was for SFMOMA. This was last spring, spring 2018. And SFMOMA had approached me they had a project called Send Me SFMOMA back in 2017, where you could text the number, and you can text the things like send me art, or sending San Francisco, or send me love, or send me hearts, or and they'll take that keyword and match it to like an art piece of their collection. And they'll send you back that art piece. They do the best that they can to match it and send you back an art piece. And the idea was really fascinating because the basic premise is that they have something 30,000 pieces in their collection and they can only show like 5% of it at any given time in their actual physical Brick and Mortar Museum. And this was an idea of how about, how can we give people access to the rest of the collection? And they ended up receiving five million texts.

Kent C. Dodds: Oh, wow.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. Across I think in a span of a few months, I think.

Kent C. Dodds: It's crazy.

Shirley Wu: Right? And then they contacted me and another local studio separately to do projects. And what they wanted from me was something that was more artistic. And this was the thing I ended up choosing to do is instead of focusing on the big big 5 million texts, I decided to focus on individuals. I chose five individuals that I thought had really interesting interactions with the service. And then I just looked at a week of their interactions and this is complete. I don't know why. I think it's because I was in Japan at the time. There was a lot of flowers and cherry blossoms and I just made them, I ended up representing each day of their interactions as flowers and trees. But this one was really fun to do. And I think you might have been the first time a client had been like, has been like go forth and do art. [inaudible 00:22:45] had because all of my clients have when I work with clients it's for visualizations and they must tell a story correctly or they it has there's a lot of back and forth between my clients and I to make sure that the visualizations we're building fits their specific needs. And I've definitely also had clients that are this is the data set or this is the API do whatever you want with the data. But tell a story with it. And this is the very first time that a client was make art and we'll pay you for it.

Kent C. Dodds: That's pretty cool.

Shirley Wu: And I was like, what is his freedom that I'm getting. What is this creative freedom? But this one was just personally really important. Just to realize how much I love art. I grew up painting and drawing for 14 years of my life, and I gave it up when I went to university. And this really made me realize I want to do more art again.

Kent C. Dodds: Kind of made you introspective a little bit. And think through what I really want to do in life.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. It even made me introspect in the sense that, I realize that the biggest reason why I gravitated towards data visualization is that, it's the most art sort of thing I can do that tech companies will still pay me for. Sounds like. I didn't realize this for years, but this project made me realize that's the biggest reason why I did data visualization because it was basically the closest to art I can get.

Kent C. Dodds: That makes a lot of sense. And you do create really cool things. This one's very interesting. It's very cool.

Shirley Wu: It's so out there.

Kent C. Dodds: I like hovering over the tree and seeing all the random pictures and things that people got when they. Yeah. [inaudible 00:24:50]

Shirley Wu: Right. [inaudible 00:24:51]. And I first, I love the random keywords that they ask for.

Kent C. Dodds: Someone said, show me eyeballs and oh my goodness. That will hunt my dreams.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. And they will because it's a modern art museum. Not everything that they get is, some things are just kind of really weird that they get.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah.

Shirley Wu: And that one was just kind of a really fun in a, I'm getting as close to an anonymous individual it's really weird because I feel after working on that project, I knew so much about these individuals for the span of a week by know in terms of what might have been going on in their lives to be asking for those sorts of things. Because some of these people will ask throughout the day, some of them will text few hundred times in that week.

Kent C. Dodds: Oh, my goodness.

Shirley Wu: And might know absolutely nothing about them.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah, that's right. Show me breakfast, show me toothbrushes, show me like.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. And you can even tell the blocks of time that they were probably at work, or at school, or because they'll wrap the fire text and then they'll disappear for a few hours and then they'll wrap the fire text.

Kent C. Dodds: Oh, that's fascinating. Cool. This next one is called Legends. Can you tell us about that one?

Shirley Wu: Yeah. That one was actually a personal project. And there was two main motivations for it. And one was going back to kind of what I learned from Bussed Out, wanting to do more topics are important to me. This one is the 51 female Noble Laureates since 1901. And I think this one was I just wanted to work with a data set of just women that I felt were legendary. And I don't know how, but one night I was like, Nobel prize winners there are legendary.And that's the first motivation. And the second motivation is that for the last few years I've kind of been, I've being thinking about, one of the things I've being thinking about a lot is that I spent so many, so much time and I spend months and months working on these projects and I throw all of my love and tears and sweat into it. And I probably get 30 seconds of someone's time. I'll be really lucky if I get a few minutes of their time. And that just makes me really, really sad. Especially because and they might be reading this, but then they might read half a page and then get distracted by a million other things on their screen, and then maybe they'll forget about it. And I think this is kind of a selfish ego thing. But I just really want to make work that people will linger in for longer. And for the last few years I've been kind of really interested in physical installations. Installations that are immersive that people have to walk into the space and that the whole thing just hits you. And you can't be distracted. You can still be distracted by your phone, but hopefully you're not. And you just have to be there and you have to be present. And I think there's something really powerful to that. And I've being kind of obsessed with this idea of how can I bring my work, and how can I bring what I've learned about creating data visualizations and data driven narratives and stories into the physical world that people can kind of walk through and learn from and take something away from. And that was another motivator behind this Legends project. One of the things I realized while thinking through this is that the reason why I can't imagine any of my work in three dimensional space, is because on the day to day I work in two dimensional space. And every time I thought about a room, I can only think about like projectors and screens which is completely it's very sad to then because then I'm still missing that third dimension. And then when I realized that I was like wait, I should just learn how to code in 3D. And I taught myself D3.js.

Kent C. Dodds: Sound simple enough.

Shirley Wu: Well, and then I taught myself D3.js. And I got a lot of help from Matt Diesel on Twitter. He's amazing. And I made this. It's not perfect, it was like a three, i taught myself the D3.js and made this in three weeks. Which is.

Kent C. Dodds: It's pretty. I think it's pretty cool.

Shirley Wu: Thank you. It's I knew you know how when you work on your own projects you know all of the things that are wrong with them.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah.

Shirley Wu: I knew all the things are wrong with it, but this one really kind of gave me the courage to go forward for my 2019 goal. Which is I want to start doing physical things.

Kent C. Dodds: What are you working on with in the physical realm then?

Shirley Wu: Nothing as of yet. I guess my biggest project for the last few months have been renovating this condo with my fiance. It's kind of physical.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah.

Shirley Wu: But once we moved in and settled in I think we're, I'm going to start trying to put a prototype. The first goal I have is to just take this legends project and make it physical. Maybe try prototyping starting with just paper of how the crystal shapes could look in the physical world. And then trying to experiment with different materials and different needs to because I had no experience or background in this. I need to start from zero. But that's the long term multi year goal of hopefully building something that people can walk through and be surrounded by. And the biggest thing is that hopefully they can learn something and take something away from it. And I'm hoping that what I build in the physical I always want them to have a digital counterpart, because I'm very much aware of the fact that physical has its limitations of it biases towards people that live nearby. It biases towards people that if I decided to charge for tickets people that can afford the tickets. And I always want a digital version, but the most important for me is that I hope that I'll build these with narratives and stories about kind of the topics that I've come to find very important for myself. Those are, thanks for listening to the rambling Kent.

Kent C. Dodds: That's wonderful. And I feel the world is getting closer to a place where you could really thrive as a digital or a data visualization digital world, physical world mesh where we going to have augmented reality, and you could walk into this room with these glasses on and you interact with these things and or in VR or something like that. I feel you would really thrive in that kind of an environment. And then actually making physical representations of this art. The drawback of physical is I can click on something and i can expand, and I can drill down. But you can't really do that quite so well in the physical world and i need this to be creative. But if you could put that into a VR type of situation than it is an immersive experience but also something that you could do some pretty cool effects and whatever to give some insights into that data. Exciting things I had.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. And I think what you just said as challenges I hope that one day I get good enough with the physical and I keep saying the physical because it's a big question mark for me is still. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to achieve it. I hope that one day I get good enough with that I can be oh, we can't click on something in spam, but maybe we can do something that's similar in the physical world. How can we use this challenge and go get around it to make it into our advantage. And I think that'd be really cool.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. That's very interesting. I look forward to perusing the museums. Where your physical manifestations are displaced.

Shirley Wu: I don't know, I hope so. That's my a big dream. Although side tangents, I've been having a little bit of thought of where do I actually want my work to be? For the longest time I thought I would want it to be in a museum, because I feel as an artist that's the big goal. But then I'm like, museums are actually very, it's actually very excluding also. You have to, I said, SFMOMA costs $25 per entry. That's a lot of money. And what does it mean to create art for kind of that sort of... I'm this is kind of hypocritical because I can afford to go to Send Me Love SFMOMA. What does it mean to create art of in the audience.

Kent C. Dodds: For everyone.

Shirley Wu: And I feel this is probably some, I'm probably just going into a territory that I'm unfamiliar with and probably artists all around the world have already thought about this, and now I'm just starting to think about it. What does it mean to create one for everyone versus create one for just an audience that can afford it.

Kent C. Dodds: Well, you see those videos of people who make stairs that are actually like piano keys, or there is different that just happen in the streets and whatever. And I love those kinds of things I think. That are quite interesting.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. I think it's the physical versus digital attention from me again. Something that everybody around the world has access to versus something that only people there has access to.

Kent C. Dodds: Yes. That's tricky.

Shirley Wu: That's the thing.

Kent C. Dodds: I guess that's where VR comes in handy too. It can be that almost physical not quite.

Shirley Wu: But VR, I also have opinions about that. It's still not very affordable. Hopefully in a few years time it becomes a little bit more affordable, but it's still hundreds of dollars for a headset. That's a very limiting market too. That's my opinion.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. We all need to live in star trek where there's no [inaudible 00:36:11]. And we're all just working hard to do as much as we can and enjoy life.

Shirley Wu: Yeah. Sounds good.

Kent C. Dodds: Sure. I really enjoyed chatting with you about these projects and kind of your experience and learning and growing through this. What would you say is something that and people can go home and take away, and something specific that they can do out of the learnings of your personal experience?

Shirley Wu: Yeah, I think one of the biggest things is, I don't want to be this is what you should do. I think one of the things that have really benefited me the most is I actually have a elementary school teacher that said that she, "Every day at the end of the day she reflects on her day. What she did well and what she didn't do well. What she learned, what she wants to do, she wants to learn going forward or wants to do going forward." And I've applied that since every day in my life. And I try to everyday reflects on what I've done well or not well. And what I want to do going forward. And I think I have to do this a lot just because I'm a freelancer. And I have to think a lot about my future and where money's coming from. But even if you're not a freelancer, I think it's very beneficial to just kind of take a moment to reflect and think about where you might want to head towards next.

Kent C. Dodds: Yeah. Be mindful and intentional about the direction you're going.

Shirley Wu: Yeah.

Kent C. Dodds: I guess there are people who can jump in the canoe and just go with the flow, or they can grab a paddle and be intentional about the direction where they're going.

Shirley Wu: Yeah.

Kent C. Dodds: That's fantastic advice. Thank you for sharing that. As we wrap up here, surely is there anything else that you'd like to talk about or mention before we close up?

Shirley Wu: No, I don't think so. I'm really grateful that I got to talk to you about all of this Kent. Thank you so much for letting me just, this is probably the most self absorbed interview slash podcast I've ever done. Where I just talk about myself.

Kent C. Dodds: No. I hope that you don't really feel that way. And I hope that people who listen to their skin pull apart the pieces where or the insights that you presented to us. Because I really do feel these projects have taught you something valuable and we can pull out some specific insights to apply into our own lives. And that's what this podcast is all about is to hear about people's personal life experience and then pick away at the pieces that that can be self applied. I appreciate that.

Shirley Wu: Hope so. Thank you for making us a part of you.

Kent C. Dodds: Truly, if people want to keep up with you, how do they connect with you?

Shirley Wu: I'm on Twitter at S-X-Y-W-U GitHub. Actually, I'm on everything at that handle and GitHub a twitch that I will hopefully restart soon YouTube channel and with all of my archives, life codes. I just recently started an Instagram because I hear that when you do art, Instagram is where it's at. There that and my website is the same as sxywu.com.

Kent C. Dodds: Fantastic. All right. We'll get links to those too for people. But surely it's been a wonderful chat with you. Thank you so much for chatting with me.

Shirley Wu: Definitely. Thank you so much for having me. It's been super fun.

Kent C. Dodds: Good, good. What people don't know is that we got to spend an hour discussing [inaudible 00:40:08]. It's been awesome. Thanks everybody. I hope that this was helpful and interesting to you. It was certainly interesting to me, and we will be in your ears next time. Good bye.

Shirley Wu: Good bye.