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Scott Moss Chats About Time Management

Learn how one engineer pushed himself to be as productive as possible while also striving to be the best dad he could possibly be.

Scott Moss is a retired Navy Veteran who made the career change into software engineering after becoming a father. His journey wasn't an easy one, and as a dad, he had to learn many lessons in work-life balance.

For us developers who have kids, his struggle is one that almost all of us can relate to. This industry has an extremely high ceiling, and there is a culture of grinding every day after work in order to make it big. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking "this is what is best for my family", you have to ask yourself is it worth the sacrifice of losing that time with your kids, and are you doing it for them or are you doing it for yourself?

Though it doesn't have to be all or nothing in either direction. There are strategies you can put into place that will allow you to reach your goals in both your work and family life. But it's going to require self-awareness, emotional availability, and good time management.

So check out this episode If you want to hear more about Scott's story and get advice on making family life work while still succeeding in your career!


  • Sit down and record every single minute of your day for the next week. At the end of the week review and see the time that you wasted on things that add no value to the goals.


Scott Moss
Scott Moss


Kent C. Dodds (00:00:00):
Friends, this is your friend, Kent C. Dodds, and I'm joined by my friend, Scott Moss. Say hi, Scott.

Scott Moss (00:00:05):
What's up you all?

Kent C. Dodds (00:00:06):
Oh, that... I did ask you to say hi, Scott, but that's all right. I got you twice.
This is the second recording because something went wrong. I have no idea what it was. Maybe we should be recording a backup locally this time but hopefully everything goes well. This is the only time that Zencastr has failed me on recording. It's been amazing otherwise.
What we're going to do is we're going to talk about something totally different because we got the first 17 minutes of the first recording that I'm going to tack on at the end of this one. We're going to talk about something totally different but if you want to continue listening when we're finished, then absolutely I recommend you do that. I still want everybody to get to know you, Scott, before we get into our conversation today.
I met you I think we established it was at ng-conf years and years ago. It was just a pleasure to get to know you and it's been a pleasure to be your friend for all this time. You want to give us a quick intro to who you are and what makes you tick?

Scott Moss (00:01:12):
First of all, I'm a dad. I am a retired Navy veteran, spent four and a half years fixing helicopters and flying around the country, doing stuff like that. And I'm also a software engineer at Netflix where I work on the TV app. So if you ever heard of that Netflix thing, that's what I work on. It's pretty cool gig.
Before that, I have started mini startups, some funded, some consultancy based, some teaching courses. I've pretty much tried to do as much as I can and to this day, I still do a lot of teaching on platforms like Frontend Masters. I don't speak at as many conferences than I used to because the whole COVID thing and just really just being a dad and trying to spend more time with my kids. It's just catching up. But I used to speak a lot at conferences.
And other than that, I love playing video games. I love playing basketball. I play basketball eight days a week, if that's possible.

Kent C. Dodds (00:02:11):
Oh, wow.

Scott Moss (00:02:15):
Yeah, I'm super passionate about helping people transition their careers in the tech whether it's learning to code or getting a promotion or becoming a product manager or designer or how to make it to a principal level, whatever, I'm super passionate about that.

Kent C. Dodds (00:02:31):
Oh, that's awesome. You keep yourself pretty busy but it I heard in what you said there that you've also been intentional about these things that you don't spend your time doing so that you can focus a little bit, and I think that's what we want to talk about today is, especially as we're both dads, getting to make sure that you're focused on the most useful things so that you're not taking that valuable time away from your family. Can you tell us a little bit about your family situation?

Scott Moss (00:03:07):
Yeah. I am a father of two. I have a 10-year-old son and I have... Right now, she'll be three months tomorrow or three months Friday, I think.

Kent C. Dodds (00:03:18):

Scott Moss (00:03:20):
A three-month-old. Yeah, we took like a 10-year break and together with their mom, same mom, we've been together since we were 19 or 20 since I was in the military, I'm 31 now.

Kent C. Dodds (00:03:31):

Scott Moss (00:03:32):
Yeah, it's been a long time but we're out here in Sacramento and we're all super close. Me and my son are like the same person. We play games together, we do fitness stuff together, we look at bad TV shows and make jokes about them together. We're all just really close. We're like a super Modern Family. At dinnertime, we all eat our own meals because we all like different things, that type of vibe.
We just love being around each other. We prefer to stay in than to go out. We're definitely the type of family that would prefer just to chill and watch Rick and Morty and eat popcorn versus going out camping or something like that. We like that but if we had the choice, we would just stay inside all day with our fast WiFi and do stuff like that.

Kent C. Dodds (00:04:26):
Cool. That's awesome, man. It's fun that you and your son... He's 10. My oldest is going to be nine soon and as they are getting older, you can actually do fun things like things that you think are fun, too.

Scott Moss (00:04:41):
Yes. Absolutely. My son is at the point now and he's actually been here for maybe three years now where if we play competitive games, it's a tossup. It's usually, "Oh, you're just a kid. I'm just going to destroy you." But now it's like, "Okay, there's a really good chance I'm probably going to lose because he's really good." It's been like that for a while and I'm just like, "Wow. Am I getting bad or is this kid just like a prodigy? I don't understand." But yeah, it's really fun to have them at this age now.

Kent C. Dodds (00:05:14):
No basketball though, right? You've still got the height and everything.

Scott Moss (00:05:18):
Yeah. Not by... You know I think he's going to be taller than me. I'm 6'5" but I think he's going to be much taller than me, I can just tell.
But he actually doesn't like playing basketball. He prefers his sports of choices, Muay Thai, and gymnastics. He likes to do that. That's his thing. He tried basketball but he doesn't have a lot of patience for other kids because he was the only child for such a long time and he only grew up around adults. That's just his mentality.
He's pretty mature. So when he's around kids his age or even sometimes slightly older, he just doesn't have the patience for them. So anything team sports related, he's just like, "You guys got to focus. Stop goofing around. Let's be serious." Kids that age aren't... They're goofing around so he's like, "I don't want to deal with them." That's his personality.

Kent C. Dodds (00:06:07):
Well, that's cool. I was into gymnastics around his age actually. That was awesome. I love that.
I think that my son actually will also be taller than me but that's not saying a whole lot because I'm only 5'10". But yeah, cool.
I guess I'll just mention that I have four kids. My oldest is turning nine soon and my youngest is three. We're all pretty tightly packed. For us, it's five years difference from the oldest to youngest thereabout.

Scott Moss (00:06:41):

Kent C. Dodds (00:06:41):
Yeah, it was pretty wild how fast that happened and it brings with it some interesting aspects of like... It's just different. Every family is different. Every situation is different. One nice thing about it is they're all pretty close friends, for the most part, because they're close in age and everything so they can do lots of the same things together and they are getting a little older, doing fun stuff that's fun for them is also starting to become fun for me just intrinsically, not just because I'm spending time with them but it's actually a fun activity on its own too.

Scott Moss (00:07:18):
Right. Something you would do by yourself, yeah.

Kent C. Dodds (00:07:21):
Yeah. Totally. Were you a father when you started in tech? Or did you become a father after you got into tech?

Scott Moss (00:07:33):
Yes, I was a father a year after high school. So yeah, way before I got into tech. When I was 19, that's when we found out we were having a son.
I was in the Navy stationed in San Diego and then I got the news. And you know what? At that time, I was borderline depressed because the military comes at you hard so I was just in my feelings and just really trying to navigate the waters of the military and then finding out that I was going to have a child that actually brightened everything for me. It gave me a purpose and I felt alive again and it was just like someone just recharge my battery. I think that's when I became who I am today is when I found out I was having a child back then.

Kent C. Dodds (00:08:18):
Oh, you know what? I can relate to that super strong, too. I was still in school when I had my first kid and she just changed my motivation to what I was doing. I worked harder and I cared more about the things that I did and I cared less about other things. Was there anything like that for you? Did you have a shift in what was important to you?

Scott Moss (00:08:46):
Yeah, absolutely. At the time, I was trying to become a pilot in the Navy. I wanted to fly helicopters, maybe in jets, even though I think I was too tall for jets.
They had like this program you had to go through because I was enlisted and you have to become an officer which requires a degree and all this other stuff but they have this transitional program that you could apply for. It's really hard to get into so I was shooting for that, I was just kissing up to everyone, just trying to get everyone's good graces to get approved to this program because no matter what I'm doing, I'm going to try to do with the best and the best that there was in the aviation community, in the Navy was to be a pilot so I was like, "That's what I'll be."
And then when I found out I was having a child, I just didn't care about it anymore. I was just like, "Oh. No, I don't want to do this anymore. This is dangerous. I want to be around here for my child and I want to see him grow and I want to provide for them. I don't care about this. I want to do something else."
That's actually the first time I started looking into getting into tech was because I found out that I was having a child and I needed something a little more, I don't know, safer with a lot more freedom and some more consistency so I can have more time with them. I don't want to be out on an 11-month tour on a boat and come back and my son's twice as tall as me. I was like, "I can't live like that."
Thankfully, we do have people that make those sacrifices and I'm so thankful for them but I wasn't that person, I couldn't do it. So yeah, I immediately was like, "Yeah, I'm not reenlisting. I'm not doing this program anymore. I got to figure something else out." That was not even a year into the Navy. I had four or five more years left. I was already like, "I don't want to do this anymore."

Kent C. Dodds (00:10:23):
Wow. For folks who continue listening after this, you were medically discharged and that's how you got into tech which could be seen as a bit of a miracle for what you were trying to do.

Scott Moss (00:10:38):
Yeah. Those events... The way that worked out was crazy.
When I was in the military, I always had these episodes, these bouts of where I would get dehydrated quite often. If you do CrossFit or triathlons a lot, you might come across a condition called rhabdomyolysis. I'm not sure if you've ever heard of that.

Kent C. Dodds (00:11:04):
I never heard of that.

Scott Moss (00:11:06):
It's basically when you're severely dehydrated and your muscles release this protein that basically interferes with how your kidneys process, filter your blood and stuff like that, and it basically clogs your kidneys and you can have kidney failure.

Kent C. Dodds (00:11:20):

Scott Moss (00:11:21):
You could die. Yeah, typically, you'll get that once or twice your whole life if you're in extreme fitness. I had it five times in the Navy within three years to the point where I had temporary paralysis in some of my limbs... They didn't think anything of it. It was whatever. They'll give me 10 bags of saline solution in the hospital for two days and then send me home.
One day, we were getting up to go out on the boat so we had to do a physical to make sure everyone was healthy and I'm the healthiest person in my command so no one thought that I was going to have any problems. But when I went to the doctor, he was like, "Yeah, everything checks out. You're great. You're healthy. You can do that. But I was looking at your record, it turns out you have all these bouts of rhabdo. Do you feel safe with that? Because there's no dialysis machine on the boat. I'm going to leave this up to you."
I was like, "I was going to get out anyway and seeing I only have less than a year. I wasn't going to reenlist." He was like, "Oh, okay, well, I'll just do you a favor right now. You're just going to get discharged." And I was like-

Kent C. Dodds (00:12:22):
Oh, wow.

Scott Moss (00:12:25):
I came back to my command. I was like, "All right, Moss, you get to go, right?" And I was just like, "Oh. Actually, no. I'm getting processed out and this is my last day at this command. I'm going to another command." They were like, "What? You're the most fit guy here. This is crazy. There's nothing wrong with you." I was like, "Apparently, there is."
That happened but I didn't know what date I was going to get out because the VA has to... They actually have to diagnose me with something to figure out what my benefit is going to be. They took a chunk of muscle on my leg and sent it to some lab in Sweden to figure out what was going on with me and it turned out I had some type of mitochondrial mutation that affected how I process water or something like that, it's something weird. But during that time, I had no idea when I was getting out.
And then in parallel, I'm trying to figure out how to get into tech. I find this boot camp, I applied, I didn't get in. I found another one, I applied, I didn't get in. And I just kept at it until I finally got accepted into a boot camp and then they gave me a date of November 7, 2013 is when I start and this is around August I figure out what that date is. Still don't know what I'm getting out of the military so I'm just like, "Okay. I have to be out of the military by November. I don't know when I'm getting out."
Literally, the very next day, I go into my command and I get a call from the VA and they're like, "Yep, we figured out your date. It's going to be October 31st, Halloween, 2013." Literally, seven days before I'm supposed to report to San Francisco and go to a boot camp, I'm getting out and I remember just sitting... I was working in a lab at a time testing oil samples. I remember just crying. This couldn't have worked out any better. This is crazy.

Kent C. Dodds (00:14:03):
Wow. Yeah, that's nothing short of a miracle. You couldn't have made that happen yourself. That's awesome.

Scott Moss (00:14:09):

Kent C. Dodds (00:14:11):
Boy, that's really cool. You saw your life situation, you're like, "This isn't conducive to the family life that I want to have so I'm going to find a way to make this work," and whether it's divine providence or luck, however people want to think of that, you got out and then you were able to jump into tech and have the lifestyle that you want with your family.
Have you had any challenges with the tech lifestyle not being what's best for the family or... When you have that first kid, your priorities all change, your motivation's changed so that you can be more focused on the family. Have you ever had something creep into your life where you lost track or... I guess I'm trying to pull out some learnings and advice that people could get if they ever run into that situation themselves.

Scott Moss (00:15:10):
Yeah, absolutely. When I got my first job, it was a great job, it's a challenging job. But once I realized what was possible as an engineer and what the ceiling was which, at that point, I didn't see a ceiling, I still don't, I knew that a job just wasn't going to be enough for me. I need to be able to create, I need to be able to be responsible for change.
So I would come home from my job when I was living in Oakland and I would just like work on tons of side projects and tons of startup ideas and things like that I always thought that it was a worthy sacrifice of I'm going to come home and I'm going to grind for another eight hours until 2:00 in the morning every single day, even on the weekends.
I did that for a year and it's because I was caught up in this machine, this Bay Area, Silicon Valley machine of trying to keep up with everyone and trying to produce and be the next billionaire and do all this stuff. There's just so much artificial pressure to do that especially someone breaking in as a black man with no education. There was just so much pressure to succeed that way.
I can't go back to that year right now and remember hardly any interactions I have with my son and we lived in the same place. I don't remember... He grew so much in that year and I missed all of it. He went from being a little kid to now he's playing fighting games and he went from deciding what food he wanted to eat and picking his own clothes and having longer sentences and stuff like that.
And all he wanted was my attention, but I was just on the computer with my noise cancelling headphones on trying to create the next 100 million dollar company or something like that and I thought that that was okay, I thought that was standard, I thought that it'll be worth it. It totally wasn't because not only did I not succeed within that year or the goals that I set out, I lost so much time with my son that I would never get back and I always told myself that I have to do that, I had to put all the time I needed into these things.
But what I'm learning now years later is that it's not really the quantity of time that I put in at something but really the quality of the time that I put into something. If I go back and actually look at all the work that I was doing, most of it was just sitting there researching and figuring out problems. It wasn't so much hands on actually building stuff. I could have done that better. I could have done that on my own time, I could have done that when I was riding the BART or at work or taking a poop on the phone. I could have been doing stuff like that whereas instead I was doing that when I said I'd hang out with my son and I totally regret that.
I'm not the type of person that gets influenced by the zeitgeist of just having everyone just trying to keep up and stuff like that. That's not typically who I am but I was attracted to that lifestyle and that's what I want it to be and I got lost in it. I definitely regret that.

Kent C. Dodds (00:18:19):
Man, I can relate to that as well. I have definitely had times in my life where I was too concerned about keeping up and being the best and comparing myself to other people. How do you pull out of that? What made you decide, "You know what? I'm going to change this?" Did your wife say, "Hey, yo. Don't you want to be a dad sometime?" What made that change for you?

Scott Moss (00:18:53):
She was really supportive because... To go back, her and I, we had a history. So when I got into the boot camp, we were actually going through a divorce because for a lot of reasons but mostly because I sounded like a crazy person saying, "Hey, I'm going to get out of the military and go be an engineer." She was like, "What are you talking about? It sounds so ridiculous." Her and I were not together when I was learning to code but then when I finally landed a job and stuff, we got back together. I think at that point, she was like, "I guess I can't doubt you anymore."
Because of that, she was just full support of everything that I did because everything I do sounds crazy but somehow I figured it out so she would keep my son away from me when he's tapping my shoulder, I'm trying to work and stuff like that. She was in full support about it.
So it wasn't her. It was mostly I follow what made me happy. At the end of the day, the few moments that I did get to see my son was instant dopamine, made me happy, the brightest part of my day, and then I dreaded getting back on the computer, trying to build and trying to do things. It always felt like a sacrifice, it always felt like work. I just started...
One day, I was like, "You know what? I want to do what makes me happy. I don't want to do something that might make me happy in the future. I would do something that makes me happy right now and hanging out with my son makes me happy right now and that's what I'm going to focus on." Because that's what's best for his future.
I'm so concerned about my future and framing it like, "Oh, this is the best for my family," but in reality, it's my ego saying, "Oh, this is what you need to do." But what's best for his future is for me to spend more time with him so he can understand what it means to be who he is in this world. I might not be here tomorrow and I want to pass so many lessons on to him, so many failures that I've had, and things like that and I'm missing those opportunities. Yeah, ultimately, it was just like, "I just want to be happy and hanging out with him makes me happy."

Kent C. Dodds (00:20:47):
Dude, that's so true. So it requires some self-awareness to recognize, "Am I happy? And why am I not happy?" I think that's a good takeaway for people is reevaluate where you're at right now and are you doing the things that are bringing you happiness. Are you at the company that you're happy at? Or are you with the partner that you're happy with, I guess, and whatever it is. I think that relationships are where happiness comes from. I'm convinced of this.
And what's interesting is I love being a dad and I love spending time with my kids and I think for most people, the reason that you go out and get a job is so that you can support the things that you don't get paid for, spending time with your family and stuff. And so once you have taken care of those basic needs then you can go and hang out with your kids and be with your family and develop those relationships.
For me, though, I have just gotten so sucked into my work that there's some character flaws in myself where I'm just so motivated by people saying, "Hey, thanks for all that you doing," or whatever it is, or releasing something, launching something big and I can really easily lose sight for... There's like a temporary rush or something that is insatiable about working on projects and stuff like that.
Whereas on the flip side, hanging out with my family and building those relationships, that is happiness that just keeps coming. There's also the hard part of all this, we can talk about that maybe, too, the hard part of being a dad. There's plenty of that. But for the most part...
The interesting thing about becoming a parent for me was that my capacity to feel was just enormously increased. I can feel more happiness than I've ever felt in my life but I can also feel the opposite end of the spectrum more than I've ever felt in my life.
Anyways, I think that it's just so easy to get distracted by the things that don't really matter that give you some rush, I guess, that distracts you from those relationships that bring the real happiness.

Scott Moss (00:23:28):
Yeah, absolutely. I've fallen victim to those circumstances so many times and you have to be active about it because it creeps up on you. Your subconscious is telling you like, "Oh, yeah, this will be good for the family. You should totally do it." But really that's just-

Kent C. Dodds (00:23:47):
Yes. It's the worst.

Scott Moss (00:23:47):
You justifying this stuff. Yeah. It was like, "Is this really going to be good for them or is it better if I'm just here watching Rick and Morty with them? That's probably better." It's tough.

Kent C. Dodds (00:24:01):
That definitely happens to me where I convinced myself that what I'm doing is better for them. But I think a big part of it is actually... It's a coping mechanism, at least it is for me, for the challenges of being a parent because it is super, super hard.
There are things that I have to do as a parent, they're not listening or whatever it is, they're being disrespectful, stuff like that, those are just really tough challenges that I don't enjoy experiencing but I have to deal with when I'm a parent and I don't have to deal with those things when I'm in my office here doing work. I've got other problems and stuff but those are fun and interesting challenges whereas being a dad just comes with tons of challenges. Is that similar for you?

Scott Moss (00:24:58):
Yeah. One of the biggest challenges for me was developing patience because as a child I had zero patience. I grew up in poverty so I'm just so used to worrying about today and never thinking about tomorrow so my mindset was just always fast like get something now, figure out tomorrow when it gets here. And I just didn't have any patience for anything. I never had that. I never experienced long term gratification. Everything was short term gratification for me, like instant.
So when it came to having kids, you have to have patience especially for babies. It's just not going to work out if you aren't really patient because you can't reason with the baby. You can't tell them like, "Hey, it's going to be okay. You can relax and go to sleep for nine hours so I can sleep." Yeah, right. It doesn't happen that way so you have to develop the patience.
And that was really hard for me. I've really struggled with that because I wanted to be the best dad I can be but at the same time, I felt like I was losing my edge of what made me me, what made me this person. I was just out here just going after everything because I was this really aggressive about it.
But then here I am, a dad, that's super patient and waiting and empathizing and I feel like I was losing my edge but I had to realize that this is my life. Being a dad and being here with my family, that's my life. Work is not my life. It was the other way around for me. It was like work was my life and then now I'm here with my family.
I had to flip those roles and work became more of an auxiliary thing where sometimes I'll flip on a switch and I'll be a different personality but that's only for work and that's only to get things done but then I have to come out of it and I have to be here, be present, and be my true self with my family and it didn't feel like a struggle anymore. I didn't feel like I was competing between the Scott who's getting stuff done and the Scott who's trying to be a responsible dad. It was just like, "Well, I am responsible a dad and sometimes, I have to go over here and aggressively go after a goal but only when no one's watching and then I'll go back and be a dad."
That was really tough for me to learn some patience and now I'd say I'm extremely patient. I'm at the point now where I even look forward to the baby getting up or crying because I'm just like, "All right, I get to put the baby back asleep. This is going to be fun." It's almost like a puzzle, like, "All right. Is it the diaper or the bottle? No, no, no. You need burping? No? You want to be held this way? Okay." It's trying to figure it out. That's actually exciting to me.

Kent C. Dodds (00:27:42):
Wow, that's awesome.

Scott Moss (00:27:43):
Whereas with the first child, I was like, "Oh my God. Can you please just go back to sleep? Please." Trying to reason with the kid and now it's just like, "No, let's do this."

Kent C. Dodds (00:27:56):
Man, I need to get me some of whatever you've got. Something in the water you're drinking there? I don't know. Because, yeah, that sounds great.
When you are totally focused on the family and you've got work stuff that you need to do and even if money wasn't an object and we're totally fine and whatever. I don't think that it's absolutely necessary to spend 100% of your time just focused on the kid and I don't think that's necessarily good for the kid especially as they get older, they need to have some time on their own and things.
Naturally, you're going to have time even in that scenario to get work done and you want to and it's part of your life of improving yourself and hopefully making the rest of the world better all the while. What strategies have you taken to make sure that the time you do have to work is the most productive time that you can have so you're not wasting any of that precious time?

Scott Moss (00:29:04):
Oh, that's a good question. Wow.
For me, it's hard. Even if I had the time to sit down and work, I won't be able to focus unless I knew everything was handled like kids are either in school or they're fed or maybe they're napping, all chaos is calm, there's nothing going on because if there's a storm happening behind my door, I don't care, I can't sit down and do anything. I'm a problem solver, I got to go out there and fix it.
So really, it's just making sure that house is in order, make sure everything is good, you and your partner are on an understanding level that you got to go here and you got to work and there's understanding there, everything is taken care of, make sure...
One thing that I would do is I would just come in my room and I would just work but sometimes I'll be on the hook for figuring out food or cooking or some stuff like that and I just wouldn't do it. I just wouldn't. I would just forget, I would just be grinding so now everyone's starving and I'm just like, "Oh, yeah, I guess I was supposed to do that." Because I'm treating it like any other task like, "I'll get to it when I get to it after this meeting, after this meeting, after this meeting." When in reality, I should have figured that stuff out ahead of time, had it all planned out, and that would have enabled me to sit down and actually work efficiently and not be worried about that.
Yeah, just taking care of everything upfront makes it a lot easier to just sit down and focus.
The other thing is I try to avoid anything that's like... How do I describe this? Exploratory based work where it's like there's not an end in sight. There's not a goal for this type of work because you're just trying to go consume something, you're trying to go learn something as much as you can. I try my best to avoid that at all times whenever my family needs me like during prime hours, I'll avoid trying to go learn a new technology or go read up on something because I can't be here forever, I can be stuck in that world for weeks, and I don't want to do it.
So I'll wait till they go to sleep or I'll wake up early or if they go on a walk or if they go to the grandparents' house, then I'll do some of that work because I want to just focus on things that have clear concise end is in sight, really good goals that I can just get done in a short burst of two hours, three hours, and then I'm done.
And that has been a lot better because for me, being a parent, I'm sure you feel this way, the longer you spend away from your family, I don't know, the more you start to worry, even if they're just on the other side of the door, you got to check in whether it's just a text message or just pop your head out to see if everything's cool.
I feel like the longer you work, the more that anxiety builds up, and the less productive you get. I try to just stick to like, "All right, I'm going to just focus for two and a half hours, three hours, whatever I get done in that amount of time, that's what's going to get done. That means I get finished, cool. If it doesn't mean I get finished, I can come back in another block of time, maybe the next day or an hour from now and we'll figure it out. But I have to go reset my anxiety and I have to go reset my worries and make sure everything's good, check in with everybody, make sure I'm still present, and then I can come back." That has been helpful for me.
Whereas before I was like, "Let me just get this done and then when I get this done, then I'll go be a dad." That doesn't work because it's never done. You're always working on it. And then you're literally pushing off your family. You're pushing them away but in your head you're like, "But I'm doing it for you. What are you talking about? I'm trying hard to get this done so I can hang out with you. What are you talking about?" It's not perceived that way especially from a nine-year-old or 10-year-old.
Yeah, that's some of the stuff I've been doing.

Kent C. Dodds (00:32:53):
Yeah, it sounds like you just really focus on the high value stuff and you avoid that low value or no value sort of things. You've gotten rid of the craft and focus on stuff that's useful.

Scott Moss (00:33:11):

Kent C. Dodds (00:33:12):
One of the things earlier you mentioned that the amount of time that you spend with doing work, it doesn't matter as much as the quality of things that you're doing so that ties in there.
When you said that, it made me think the same is true for our relationships where the quality of time is much more important than the quantity of time. Now, they're both important. They require our time in some cases and then the relationships need that time but it's the quality just matters so much and when it's so easy to be distracted by our devices and things, my kids notice, the kids know, and the relationship suffers when we're not engaged and we're not present.
I think by saying, "Okay, this is work time. Going to just get a bunch of work done, be focused and then when family time starts..." This is the thing I really struggle with is I'm always like, "Oh, I'm so close to this checkpoint," or whatever and [inaudible 00:34:19] family time. I got to stop doing that and just say, "Nope, I didn't finish. If it's only five minutes left, it will only be five minutes tomorrow. I can continue this tomorrow."
Being a dad in tech is awesome. I love it.
Is there anything else you wanted to talk about before we give folks the homework?

Scott Moss (00:34:43):
Yeah. I did want to talk about the tech industry in general and I don't know, how some of the roadblocks you might run into as a parent in the tech industry especially like Silicon Valley, because a lot of folks in tech... And it's not even such an age thing. I would say, "Everyone's so young, they don't have children." Not really. That's another thing. People in the tech are all over the spectrum. I've worked with people that are 60, I've worked with people that are 70. They're all over the place.
But none of them have kids. Especially in the Bay Area. I think it's different maybe in Utah or in other places like LA. But in the Bay Area, almost no one has kids. They just have dogs and that's it. Everything structured around the... Whenever you tell someone like, "Oh, you don't have a kid. Oh, well, that's fascinating."

Kent C. Dodds (00:35:40):
We're just like propagating the human race. Is that so unusual?

Scott Moss (00:35:44):
It's so unusual. It's so foreign. The whole culture is created around that. It's everything. There's so many... There's never rules that say, "You must be here at this time. You must work on Saturdays." But you feel obligated too because everyone else is. It's like an unspoken thing. You want to keep up, you want to be competitive, you don't want to lose a job. But that's really hard to do with children, even if you have a partner, that's just really tough to do. It's going to be hard to find that quality time when you're working.
Quality time might be like if your daughter or your son had an event, something at school, a sports event, something where if you were there would mean the world to them, you might miss that because you're trying to keep up with your colleague at work because that's the culture that you work in because it's built around people with no children.
Your bosses might say, "Hey, we support families. We have all these benefits of..." "Yeah, you do but your culture doesn't. Your culture is making me feel like I have to be here. Everyone around me is getting raises and I'm not and you're saying I'm doing fine. Is it because I'm not working harder? What is it?" And you feel like you have to do that and you got to make those sacrifices.
I told myself I was not going to be part of that. I just wasn't going to do it. First thing I did when I got my first job, I was like, "Look, I have a kid. Kid comes first. I'm never going to work weekends. I'm never going to keep up with anyone. That's just how it is. Don't expect me to do it." And they were like, "Okay, all right, we will do that, we won't expect you to do it."
That's just how I've been and I think just by saying that first, making that clear so it's not one of those times like you'll be out at Disney World with your family or whatever and you'll get that Slack message. You already know what it is, you don't really want to look at it, your heart just like, "Ugh, I don't want to look at this Slack message." You look at it and someone's asking you a question about something. So you start freaking out like, "If I don't get to a computer and help them, it's going to look bad on me."
But if you set that expectation first, you can just ignore that and not feel bad like, "I told you all. I'm not doing that. You already knew what I was about before I got here and that's just not how it is." That's pretty much how I handle it. I've actually had to leave a job because I've had situations where they felt like I wasn't available enough and I just got tired of them feeling that way about me so I just left. I was like, "I'm not going to put up with this. I'm an engineer. I could go find another job. I don't care." So I just left because I'm not going to bow down to that culture and try to fit in with everyone.
I do think it's changing though and I think that's because just the time of everything. We look at after the bubble in the '90s and how everything is growing now, if you look at the people that have been involved, we're getting older now. We're all 30s and 40s and approaching 50s and we're all having children, if we don't have them already. I feel like the people who have created some of the technologies that are the favorite technologies today, it's the cars, the Airbnbs of the world, they're older now and they're all having children and once they do, they're going to change the cultures of the companies that they're creating and the companies that they invest in and things like that.
I do see it changing but there definitely were some roadblocks that I think people who are new to tech would be hesitant to address. They would just be like, "I just got to tiptoe the line and figure it out," but I'm here to tell you that if you get into that role and that culture is trying to pressure you to be work like you're just some single, straight out of college kid, don't, because it's not fair and you should speak up and you should let it be known and don't try to play both sides.

Kent C. Dodds (00:39:32):
Oh, man. Thank you. Bravo. I think that is great.
In Utah, there are a lot of family so I haven't had too much of that but it's a global... We live in a very global society and I have definitely felt like how in the world am I going to keep up with these people that are at their prime and don't have kids and maybe they don't even have a spouse that they are building that relationship for. They just spend 17 hours a day coding. I'll never be able to keep up.
And the fact is who cares, you don't need to.

Scott Moss (00:40:10):
Right. Who cares?

Kent C. Dodds (00:40:13):
The more that I'm in this, the more that I realized that it doesn't really matter if you keep up with Joe because Alex is not much further ahead in this other thing. You'll never be able to keep up with a collective everybody and so don't bother comparing yourself to other people and focus on the things that really bring you happiness. I think that's the big takeaway.

Scott Moss (00:40:41):
Yeah. For me, my goal is that I know I'm getting better is two things. I always pick my birthday because I can remember that day and I always try to test myself every year to see if I'm just that much better. If I have improved technically, communicatively, whatever it is, just anything, I just want to see if I'm better so I have these questions that I asked myself or I have my partner asked me just to see if I'm getting better.
That's one thing. Because I only want to outdo myself. I'm not concerned about anyone else. I'm only competitive with myself. It's those games you'll play, those racing games where you'll race against the ghost of yourself and you're trying to beat the lap? That's me. I'm just trying to race against last year me and I just want to do slightly better or half a percent increase is amazing to me. That's what I'm trying to do. So that's one thing.
The other thing is I want to see if my kids improved because-

Kent C. Dodds (00:41:37):
Ooh, yeah.

Scott Moss (00:41:38):
Right? I want to see how much they have improved, if their mentality, their emotions and their feelings, and the way that they see life is the same as it was last year then I failed. I failed miserably because a whole year went by and I didn't show them anything, I didn't teach them anything, I didn't... I wasn't supporting them. I want to see a big change in my children every single year.
I always look at those to see if I'm making progress and I just don't compare myself to the industry or what anyone else is doing. I could care less. I know someone in their 20s is a billionaire and don't care. Good for you, man. That's great. I have two beautiful children that I wouldn't trade for hundreds of billions of dollars. That's all that matters to me.

Kent C. Dodds (00:42:25):
Oh, dude, love it. I love it. That's great.
So let's wrap up with our homework here. Scott, you told me earlier that there was a time in your life where you evaluated how you use your time. Do you want to describe that a little bit so we can give that as homework?

Scott Moss (00:42:40):
Yeah. One point in my life, I reached this peak level anxiety of my son was having performance issues at school and he was acting out which is so out of his character and we drill down and found out it was mostly because of the lack of attention I was giving him and it was easy to find out. When I was giving him attention, he performed well. When I wasn't, he didn't perform well. It was that simple.
So I had to make a change. I was like, "All right, I have to find a way..." Because I was actually running a company, too. I had 20 employees at one point so I was like, "I can't just slow down and just stop business. I got to figure out a way." So I had to figure out a system of how I can still be productive but also be there for my child. And the best...
Actually, my girlfriend suggested. She's like, "Well, you just need to make more time," and I was like, "Make more time? I don't have any time. You see how busy I am all the time." She's like, "Yeah, but really what do you do?" And I was like, "What do you mean what do I do? I do all this stuff." She was like, "Does it have to be done? What are you doing in between?" So I was like, "Okay. You know what? I'm just going to write down everything that I do so you can see."
And then that's what I did for a whole week. For every minute, I was like, "All right, this is what I did. I woke up, I brush my teeth. I had this meeting, 20 minutes looking at ESPN for some ... I don't even really watch sports that much. Why am I looking at ESPN?"
Or one morning I woke up and I literally sat in the bed for an hour and a half looking at Reddit and YouTube before I even got out of the bed. Just weird things like that and then I calculated that. I was pretty much wasting 20, 25 hours a week on things that add no value to either work or my family or me, just random stuff of not doing anything, and I was like, "Wow."
I felt so disgusting because here I am saying I don't have that much time to spend with my kids without sacrificing my job. And I do. I had plenty of time and it felt so bad that I was going to brush that off without even investigating, without even trying.
Yeah, homework. If you feel like you are struggling to find the time to maybe even break into technology as an engineer, a product management or designer, maybe you're already in tech and you're having a hard balancing the task that you have at work and staying productive and being in the limelight but also being a parent, I would urge you to sit down and record every single minute of your day of your week, whatever cadence you want, and go back and watch all the time that you wasted on things that add no value to the goals that you set for yourself.
Because at the end of the day, you want to use this time you have now to pursue the goals that you have and be there for the family. Pretty much nothing else matters at this point. When you get older, I'm sure things will be different but for now, go after the goals that you want and be there for your family and put all your time into those things whether it's building a stronger relationship with your partner or helping your daughter or your son grow and whatever task they're doing, or maybe you're launching a startup, those are probably the most important things in your life so put the time into those things and everything else, get rid of it, cut it out.
It's going to take some time to get to the point where getting rid of that stuff is so natural that you don't have to think about it anymore because most of those things are probably bad habits that you've just picked up along the way, things that carried over from your previous life, things that you just cannot get away from.
So it's going to take some time but that's where the discipline comes in and if you're consistent with it, next two or three months, it'll just be regular to you. You'll notice when you start wasting time you'll be like, "Wait, what am I doing?" And you'll get right back on track. So it takes some time but I highly recommend doing that and that's pretty much what I did.

Kent C. Dodds (00:46:29):
Dude, I love it. I think that's great. And there's something to be said of spending time for self-care. You want to take care of yourself but watching YouTube videos and scrolling Reddit or Twitter or something, that's not self care.

Scott Moss (00:46:29):
That's not self care. Exactly.

Kent C. Dodds (00:46:45):
That's coping.

Scott Moss (00:46:46):
Yes, that is coping, 100%. That's a good word. Yup.

Kent C. Dodds (00:46:51):
Cool. Hey, Scott, it's been such a pleasure to chat with you. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience, your life with us. And what's the best place for people to reach out to you and connect with you and keep up with what you're doing?

Scott Moss (00:47:03):
Best place would definitely be on Twitter. You can hit me up there and my DMs are open. I try to respond as soon as I can but these days, I get a lot so bear with me but I do try to go... I don't try to go two weeks without at least looking at every single message that I get. So if you hit me up on there, let me know but you can follow me at scotups with one T on Twitter. Other than that, yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at most of the time.

Kent C. Dodds (00:47:29):
Sweet. All right. Thanks, everybody, and we'll see you all in the future.

Scott Moss (00:47:29):
All right. Peace.

Kent C. Dodds (00:47:37):
All right. And like I said, we are going to play the first bit of our last recording that got chopped off. It's great so I encourage you to continue listening and we'll play that right now.
Hello, friends. This is your friend, Kent C. Dodds, and I'm joined by my friend, Scott Moss. Say hi, Scott.

Scott Moss (00:47:56):
Hey, everybody.

Kent C. Dodds (00:47:56):
All right, I did ask you to say hi, Scott, but that's okay. [inaudible 00:48:00].
I'm excited to chat with Scott. Scott and I have known each other for a long time. I think we met at ng-conf 2014 or something like that. Is that right, Scott? I can't remember.

Scott Moss (00:48:13):
Oh, man. Is it that long ago?

Kent C. Dodds (00:48:16):
It's been a while. Maybe it was 2015. But yeah, it's been a long time but I'm pretty sure it was the AngularJS community that we got to know each other and it's just been a pleasure to keep up with you over the years, the cool things that you are working on, and... Oh, you know what? I remember I think it was NG Conf you told your story of how you got into software.

Scott Moss (00:48:39):
That's right.

Kent C. Dodds (00:48:41):
Actually, I was so inspired by that story, I walked up to you and just told you, "Thank you so much for sharing that." I'm still inspired by it. I'd love for the audience to get to know that if you're okay sharing a little bit of that before we get into our regular chat here. Yeah, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself and if you don't mind sharing some of that story of how you got into the software, that'd be awesome.

Scott Moss (00:49:02):
Absolutely. Yeah, I'm Scott Moss. Like Kent said, I am currently a senior engineer at Netflix and before that I was running a SaaS company, like a dev tools company that I founded. It was a YC funded company. Doesn't sound as cool as it doesn't pay so it's really hard to do that. And before that, I've done all types of things like consulting and Open Source and hackathons and working at other companies. So I was just all over the place.
My journey, like Kent said, to getting into tech is, I don't know, pretty different than I'll say a lot of people. Starting out, I don't have a computer science background. Never went to college. I barely graduated high school after dropping out for a little over a year and I was raised with seven siblings and just basically extreme poverty in some of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia that you could imagine.
Future for me wasn't promised. I didn't really have a good idea of what I wanted to do but somewhere around my early 20s when I was in the military, I decided that I wanted to be an engineer and I think strictly because every time I got on Google and looked up some of the most fascinating, happiest careers on the planet software engineering was always on the list. So I was like, "Why not do that?"
So when I got out of the military in 2013, I decided to just move to the Bay Area, I was going to learn to code, and I was going to get a job, and nothing was going to stop me. I was able to do that within three months.

Kent C. Dodds (00:50:36):

Scott Moss (00:50:38):
Yeah, it was pretty crazy. I was able to do that in three months and that's pretty much the start of how I got here.

Kent C. Dodds (00:50:47):
It's amazing. I can't even imagine. That takes something. I'd love to talk a little bit or dig a little deeper into what that takes. How did you manage to go from just got out of the military to paid software engineer in three months?

Scott Moss (00:51:03):
A lot of the work happened before I got out of the military. Around the time, let me say, a couple months before I got out, they decided to medically discharge me for a condition that just wasn't going to work in the military and that takes a long time. They have to do all these procedures, they have to diagnose me. So you're basically waiting to get out. You don't know what day it's going to be but you know you're getting out. That's when I started looking and trying out different things and that's when I came across software engineering and I was like, "Okay, this sounds interesting."
Back then, there wasn't a lot of resources online so I went to Borders, and I bought books and things like that and I studied. I think the first thing I looked at was Android development because I was such an Android fanboy back then and I was like, "I'm going to make Android apps." That was just way beyond anything that I could understand back then so I didn't do that but it gave me an idea of what I was getting myself into.
And then, eventually, I landed on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and at the same time, I was trying to do drop shipping or something like that so I started a Shopify store and then I was like, "Oh, this is actually a perfect place for me to practice my HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills on my store." I just didn't really know what to do.
I remember Shopify having this marketplace of developers you could reach out to. So I've went on there and I found this developer locally in San Diego where I was and instead of reaching out to him and asked him to help me with my site, I reached out, I was like, "Hey, you got any work I could do? I'm trying to learn to code. I know that sounds crazy. You don't have to pay me but I need to learn from someone that's doing something." And he was all about it. He was like, "Yeah. Anything I could do to support a veteran. I'm all about it."
And he just started giving me basic HTML, CSS work for his clients that were actually paying him and he would show me stuff on the side and I was just like, "Wow, this stuff is really powerful."

Kent C. Dodds (00:53:01):
Yeah, cool.

Scott Moss (00:53:02):
"I can't believe a stranger is helping me." And to this day, I've never met him face to face. But we-

Kent C. Dodds (00:53:02):

Scott Moss (00:53:06):
Yeah, we worked together for months on just tons of projects together. And then when I found out when I was going to get out, I was like, "Okay, I got to take this serious now so..." I'm sorry. No, wait. I didn't know when I was getting out yet but I decided I want to take it serious so I was like, "Okay, I either go to college. I can use my GI bill. The military will pay for it or I can try something else." I decided to try something else. I just didn't want to go to college for four years.

Kent C. Dodds (00:53:35):
Didn't want to go to college, yeah.

Scott Moss (00:53:36):
I want to do something else. So I looked at how to learn to code fast. And back then, there were these things called boot camps. There were maybe two or three at the time. They almost seem very scammy back then like what's going to happen, what's really going on. I applied to one of them. I can't remember which one it was. I think it was maybe Dev Bootcamp. I don't remember.
I remember studying. It was like Ruby. I was studying Ruby. I was doing all this stuff and I went into the interview and it was actually with the CEO of the company and he asked me the most ridiculous brain teaser I've ever been asked, even to this day, and I was like, "What is this? Is this what software engineering is about? Because I don't want to do this." It was crazy.
So I didn't get in there but I'm not the type of person to get discouraged. I've been told no my entire life. Nothing has ever worked out my way up until this point so I was like, "They don't want me. Someone else will."
So I tried another school and this one was actually called Hack Reactor. I applied for that one and I think I've made it through two or three interviews then I did the last one and I failed. I failed miserably because Hack Reactor had a really high bar to get in there and I felt...
And then they emailed me. They were like, "You can try again in three months and that's the earliest we'll let you do it." And I was just like, "I can't. I have to do this now. In fact, I got to try again next week." And they were like, "Oh, well, we did like you but you just were not technical enough so we will let you do it again next week but if you fail, you got to wait a whole another year." And I was like, "Okay, let's do it."
I just took off from work and I studied all that stuff that they quiz me on the interview, I just double down on that hoping that maybe they'll ask me the same thing or something similar and I'll get lucky. I just study for a whole week, I booked the interview, and I think this time, it was with the CEO, Tony, who is actually a good friend of mine now and he asked me completely different questions but somehow I was able to get through it and I passed.

Kent C. Dodds (00:55:42):

Scott Moss (00:55:44):
Yeah, I got into Hack Reactor. I still don't know when I'm getting out but I know I'm starting Hack Reactor in November and now it's September and I'm like, "Oh, man. How do I get out of the Navy? I'm screwed."
And then, kid you not, the very next day after I got that acceptance from Hack Reactor, I get a call from the VA saying, "You're getting out on October 31st." And I was just like, "Oh my God."

Kent C. Dodds (00:56:09):
Wow, lucky.

Scott Moss (00:56:10):
Seriously, seven days before I'm supposed to report the Hack Reactor. Yeah, that's how all that happened.

Kent C. Dodds (00:56:18):
Oh, man. That's an awesome story. There's so many things to unpack in that and just the tenacity.
One question that I have for you is how did you find yourself so committed to this that you were willing to not give up at all of those spots where it seemed... You failed one interview to get into a boot camp and you're like, "Oh, man, maybe I'm not cut out for this." That would be a very natural way to feel.
And then you failed a second one and now it's like, "Really? Oh, I guess maybe I'm not." But no, that was not your reaction. How did you decide? It would have been so easy for you to say, "I guess software dev isn't what I want to do or isn't good for me. I'll just let the military pay for my college and I'll go get a different job." How did you know that software was going to be your thing? And how did you stay motivated and committed?"

Scott Moss (00:57:10):
I think it's two things. One is I always think about it like this. If there's something that a human can do, I'm a human, why can't I do it.

Kent C. Dodds (00:57:19):
Ooh, love that.

Scott Moss (00:57:20):
Sure, some people are going to be better at other things but really what makes someone better at something. It's usually they've been doing it longer, they've been more persistent. It's really only a matter of time, it's not so much that like, "I'm not cut out for this." It's like, "I'm not cut out for it right now. I need more." So that's one thing. I'm like, "If this thing is out here and they're saying humans can sign up for it, then basically I should be able to do it too at some point. So I'm going to keep that."

Kent C. Dodds (00:57:48):
I love that attitude, man. That's awesome. That's great.

Scott Moss (00:57:51):
And then the next thing was even though I failed those interviews, I was so much better after every single one of them. I felt myself just understanding so much more and getting closer to where they wanted me to be so I was like, "If I just do one more, I can't imagine how good I'll be. Even if I don't get in, I might even be good enough to do something else myself."
But just doing these interviews, it's actually given me confidence, it's showing me things that I didn't know, it's giving me a window into how a professional engineer would think and what they're looking for. It's given me needed context that I didn't have at the time so I felt like, "The more and more I do, the closer I'm getting and because I'm a human, it's only a matter of time before I get there so that means just keep doing these interviews eventually I'll get there." That was my philosophy.

Kent C. Dodds (00:58:41):
Oh, man, I love that. I have so many thoughts about that.
Elon Musk has a different approach to space exploration than NASA. NASA will test, test, test for years and years and years and then they'll launch something and hopefully, everything works out. Whereas SpaceX is like, "Let's do a bunch of testing but let's launch this thing. We don't know anything until it actually happens and then we collect a ton of data on our failure and then we do it better next time."
It's like the end to end testing approach, right? Just run the thing and you just learned so much from your failures and you're just not afraid of failure which I think is a really key thing to pull out of this.

Scott Moss (00:59:26):
Failure is a necessary tool for success. I don't know. Maybe it's past generations or I don't know where it came from that failure is such a bad thing. I've never met a successful person that didn't fail. It's just not possible. If you took a test, if you took the SAT and you failed and then they sent you all the answers that you failed on, I guarantee you, the next time you take the SAT, you're going to have such a higher score, you're going to have such an advantage than you did last time. So you really want to fail and learn from that so you can succeed next time.

Kent C. Dodds (01:00:04):
Right. It would take self, or what's the word? Self awareness or analyzing your performance. You can't just keep on doing the same thing over and over again. That's not what you did. You said, "Hey, I'll do this again next week." I'm sure that seven days was filled with outrageous amount of study.

Scott Moss (01:00:24):
Yeah. My roommate, she thought something was wrong with me. I remember sliding food underneath my door and [inaudible 01:00:31], "You haven't even come out in a week. Are you okay in there?" And I was just like, "Leave me alone. I'm trying to study." But yeah, it was really tough.
I remember spending the last bit of money I had... Because when I was doing the interviews with them, I noticed they all have MacBooks and I didn't have a MacBook. I was like, "Maybe this doesn't make a difference. I'm too naive to understand what the difference between having a Mac and not a Mac right now matters. But if I can align myself as closely as I can to what they were doing, it'll feel better." So I remember spending my last 800 bucks on a MacBook on Craigslist just to sit down and learn and I was like, "I have to do this."
So I was trying to learn how to use a Mac, I was trying to learn how to code at the same time. I wasn't eating. But that week, I feel like I can remember every minute of that week in my head right now.

Kent C. Dodds (01:01:19):
Wow. That's amazing.
It's the tenacity of pushing forward and changing the rules a little bit for yourself. I love that you went to Hack Reactor, which by the way, at PayPal, we hired a bunch of engineers out of Hack Reactor. They're a great boot camp. All of those engineers were fabulous. But yeah, I love hiring people from Hack Reactor.
But yeah, Hack Reactor, they say you can interview every three months until you get in but you're like, "No, I cannot wait that long. I need to make it happen now." You change the rules. You said, "No. I need this to happen now." You made that opportunity that didn't exist before. There wasn't an opportunity to interview again a week later but you made that opportunity which I think is also another key takeaway there.

Scott Moss (01:02:15):
Yeah. In my head, I'm like, "Well, the worst they can say is no. We're going to double down on you. You got to wait three months." And I'm like, "I can deal with that." I could deal with the worst case of them saying no because they already said I had to wait three months so it doesn't get worse. I don't have anything to lose here by demanding that I'm going to do it a week from now and that's just how I thought about it.

Kent C. Dodds (01:02:36):
Absolutely. If you don't mind indulging me in a little story of my own, when I was still in school, I had an internship at Domo. They ran ng-conf and stuff. Before I signed on to intern with them, I actually signed on to intern at USAA over the summer and so I told them, "Hey, I've got this other internship." They're like, "Yeah, that's totally cool. You can come back after your internship and everything would be great." And I was like, "Sweet."
So I went on to Texas for the internship and then a couple weeks before coming back, I started emailing the recruiter and my manager and saying, "Hey, I'm coming back. What do you need me to do?" And I heard nothing. Nothing from them at all. I was like, "Oh, shoot. I need to have a job when I get back." At this time, I was married, had one kid, another girl on the way and I was like, "I need to make some of that money."
I keep on emailing them. Radio silence all the way up to the day before I get back and I planned on going in, I just emailed them and I said, "I'll see you tomorrow." So I came into the office and go to the front desk reception. I'm just like, "I'm here." And they're like, "Who are you here to see?" I'd say, "Go get my manager." He comes back and his face is like, "Oh, Kent. Hi. Yeah, sure. Come on back. Let's get you a laptop, I guess."

Scott Moss (01:04:07):
Oh my goodness. I love it. I didn't know that. That is crazy.

Kent C. Dodds (01:04:14):
Yeah, that was a fun experience.
Yeah, just changing the rules. What's the worst that could happen? In my mind, I was thinking, "They'll just send me away and maybe they'll say, "No, no, we actually don't want you back." That would be the worst but that doesn't change whether I go in or not. They don't want me back either way. Or maybe they'll just say, "We're not ready for you. Come back next week or whatever." I can do that too. That's fine.
Just analyze what are the things that I can do that I can control in this thing to reach my goal and let me just exhaust all of those opportunities so that we can make this dream happen.
And again, I'm sorry that got cut off because the rest of the conversation was awesome but it's gone forever. Sorry.
But yeah, thanks again, Scott. You've been awesome. It's just been a pleasure to have you on the show. We'll see you all in the future.

Scott Moss (01:05:15):
Yeah. You all take care. Thanks, Kent.

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