The .NET on AWS Show, featuring Nick Chapsas!

The .NET on AWS Show, featuring Nick Chapsas!

In this episode we are joined by the amazing Nick Chapsas! Join us as we learn how Nick first got into .NET, highlight Nick's training website DomeTrain.com and discuss the future of AI in education!

Brandon Minnick
Amazon Employee
Published May 28, 2024

Listen to the Audio Podcast

Listen to the Audio Podcast

Watch the Live Stream



Brandon Minnick 1:08
Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another dotnet on AWS show. My name is Brandon Minnick. And with me as always is the amazing Francoise, Francoise.
Francois Bouteruche 1:21
Fine, thank you fine. Actually, it's a bonus only to inference today, but couldn't miss our awesome guests today. So I'm here Yeah, I'm fine. And while I'm
Brandon Minnick 1:39
doing great, I was down in LA this weekend visiting some friends. So a little tired, but that's okay. I've had my coffee for 8am pacific time doing it. But uh, but yeah, we've got like, amazing, amazing guests today. So I don't want to take too much time. But we do have a couple fun announcements that we wanted to share with everybody. So first of all, I'll go first. And that is to introduce Q or, or maybe redefine cue, because you've heard us talk about code whisper code whisperer before on the show, code whispers your AI coding companion. And it's actually now part of cue. So for anybody out there who's been using code whisper in Visual Studio, if you have the AWS toolkit installed, for example. You've probably seen it. we've rebranded, it's now Q. And I just recorded the video on it last week, in fact, so it's going through all the fun review processes internally. Hopefully that'll get published soon. But an intro video coming your way to show you how to use q with AWS toolkit in Visual Studio. To write your code for you. I think I create a whole ASP dotnet core API without typing any code. All thanks to Amazon cue.
Francois Bouteruche 3:02
Yeah, and Emily few are using Visual Studio code or clipboard writer, you can use Amazon cue as well. It's it's everywhere, in VS code in general, and writer and Visual Studio. So that's pretty amazing in you have what we call que inline. So basically put on your suggestion when you are typing. And we are also writing cute chats where you can just chat with Q to discuss, okay, I want to develop this feature, or should I do or have this error message? What does it mean? It's quite a Yeah,
Brandon Minnick 3:43
so check it out. Let us let us know what you think. We are still in early enough ish stages, with its integration into dotnet, where our feedback certainly makes an impact. So try it out. Let us know what you think. Come join us on the show. If you want. Feel free to reach out and we'd love to come show it off. And for its while you mentioned in one more announcement before we introduce our guests this week.
Francois Bouteruche 4:11
Yeah, I'd like to talk about the dotnet on areas open source of grant and this month's the grant has been worded to explain it open source project. I really love this open source project I use this. I use x unit in my own project. So I was very pleased to see x unit being granted our open source world product that open source project. So we have a bunch of other open source projects that has been crowded but great job to extend it thinks thanks to the open source maintenance of extended Euro guys. You're doing a great job.
Brandon Minnick 4:57
Yeah, I love that. I love that. program I love x unit. Same I use it in a lot of my projects as well. I mean, if you're if you're writing unit tests and dotnet, right, we're using x unit, or we're using n unit. Some people's still use MS test, I guess. But I bet at least half of data developers are using or using x unit. So, so, so awesome to see that get the get the recognition. Well, without further ado, friends, oh, we have we have such an amazing guest. I don't want to take any more of his time away because the stories he can share and the knowledge that he has to share with us today is just incredible. You know him from his amazing YouTube channel. He's also the creator of dome train.com, a dotnet trading platform where you can basically learn anything you want from experts all around the world. Nick, chaps is welcome to the show. When it goes.
Nick Chapsas 6:07
Fireworks explosive, explosive explosion Hey.
Brandon Minnick 6:14
Side effects soundboard.
Nick Chapsas 6:15
Yeah. Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm extremely excited to be here as they move for many reasons. Obviously, Brandon, I know you we've worked together, we see each other quite a lot doing talks around the world. We also work together, we're going to talk about that later. But I'm excited to be in the initiative of AWS, or dotnet on AWS, because they have been one of the very first sponsors of my channel on YouTube, supporting people like me who make content. And I'm still actively working with AWS. In fact, today's video on my YouTube channel is on something for you. On DynamoDB, actually, so very, very excited to be here. Thank you very much for having me.
Brandon Minnick 7:05
Yeah, we appreciate we obviously, love everything you do. But Nick, for folks who maybe haven't heard of you yet, who are you? And what do you do? Yeah.
Nick Chapsas 7:14
So hi, my name is Nick, I make YouTube content on dotnet and C sharp, primarily. And on the back of that, I've also I'm building a company around training, its online courses. So things like Pluralsight, but better, if you can believe it. And that's on downtrend.com. So I've built that entire product platform. And it's not just me, it's many offices around the world, including Brandon, by the way, Brandon has a has two courses on don't train on Maori. So, yeah, you can check that link in the description. If you just look, it's moving. It's here. It's this one, you can look it on the screen. Don't click the screen, because it's going to just stop. Yeah, I know that there goes a lot of my energy because it turns out building an entire platform where I used to be just to engineer then the generic manager, what you would do one thing now wearing every single hat there is from engineering to marketing to sales. See ICD pipelines cloud stuff, it's like, it's a lot. But yeah, that takes like 95% of my time. Surviving from outage.
Brandon Minnick 8:37
Which is incredible, because you you're still publishing YouTube videos at a very high rate. So if knowing how much time it takes to put together just a five minute YouTube video, I think that's literally how long the one is I did on Amazon cue the other day, took me all day, you got to record that you've got to re record it, you've got to edit it, you've got to then re record it again. So if don't train second 95% of your time, you just must not sleep.
Nick Chapsas 9:11
can tell I don't have a wife or kids.
Brandon Minnick 9:16
Well, I certainly love it. I appreciate it. And highly recommend it. I know I am biased. Like Nick said, I've published a course on dotnet Maui so you can learn how to create dotnet Maui apps and we even have an advanced course. So if you already know how to make that in Maui apps, you can take our deep dive course and learn how to do all the other things you need to do with mobile apps like local storage and Graph QL using REST API's. async await all that fun stuff. But, you know, Nick, I'm certainly curious. And now that I've joined the platform, I get asked this all the time as well, but it's like how, how did this get started? You mentioned I like Pluralsight a minute ago. It's like it's it's kind of like Pluralsight, but only for dotnet. Like, what? What is this stone train thing? And why? Why should people use it?
Nick Chapsas 10:08
I didn't want to correct in the beginning, but it's not just for the net, you'll find non dotnet topics as well as Kubernetes courses, there's Docker courses, and we're expanding in other areas like JavaScript, rust, and so on. So it's still just for dotnet. But the idea was very simple. I mean, in the Creator ecosystem, which is the greater economy in general, on YouTube and other platforms, it's a great opportunity for people to build services, because we kind of have an advantage on on CAC, which is customer acquisition cost, it's very easy to convert an audience that exists on the YouTube channel into something that's very relevant. And then it's you so you control the end to end flow. So it doesn't make sense for me to take an ad from somebody like raid shadow legends, or Nord VPN, even though they might be great products. Why would I tell you for a minute about something? Okay, no VPN, I personally use, for example, so that's great. But like raid shadow legends? Why would I take that Skill Share? Or I don't know a bunch of other, you know, platforms that reach out to you. And they say, Take this money and talk about us for for a minute in an inauthentic way. Why don't I take something I know how to do because before don't train, I was actually making my own courses. And many people like my style, why don't I just take my style, I get some people I can trust, I know, they're really good at what they're talking about. Like you, Brandon, pat yourself on the back. And I teach them how I teach. And then get them to make those courses on the platform and then scale up to something really big. And we're working towards that now. And it's been going really great. It's an amazing experience. I'm writing the most code I've written in my career right now. Because it used to be when you work a full time job as an engineer that you have jumped on this Agile Scrum meeting in the morning, then talk around the coffee machine for like 20 minutes, then go for a walk, and then have lunch for two and a half hours, because nobody's gonna check if you want to come back to basically do nothing for an entire day. And now I wake up in the morning, I'll let you hear what I have to do. And there's so much from choosing the best technology to deployment to the services to this architecture. There's just I've never been fulfilled more as a software engineer. And these past two years. Well, don't train us as don't train existed in the past year. But I've been working on the rebranding for quite some time. And it's been amazing. It's it? Yes, it is draining Yes. It takes a lot of time. Yes, I traded the nine to five for 24/7. Great idea, by the way. Highly recommended to any sociopaths out there. But it is what it is. And as an engineer, I'm extremely happy.
Brandon Minnick 13:06
Yeah, and we're certainly grateful for for you putting it together. So I gotta say, you know, one of the things I really liked admire about you is you, you did come from the engineering world. And you like you just mentioned, you had the full time nine to five engineering job. And I'm a little biased because I too, was in the engineering field before getting into developer advocacy. And I feel like there's a certain I don't want to say style or flavor. If that's not the right word. Maybe it's just, you've been in the trenches, you you've made those mistakes. You kind of have those battle scars on Yeah, so that when you do share what you what you know, with folks, then it's it's, uh, it comes off as more authentic, more real, more genuine. And, you know, you feel like, I can trust the other person on the side because they've, they've been through it too. And I think that certainly shines through in your videos. But if we go all the way back, how did you even get into engineering into dotnet? In the first place? Yeah, so
Nick Chapsas 14:21
it's two different time periods. In the very beginning. I think it was like 1314, I got introduced to I was gaming my whole life. But at around 1314, I was introduced to MMO RPG is in the form for game called lineage two. And that was massive at the time in Greece, it was everything. And there was this thing where you had to pay a subscription to play the game and as a 14 year old, not gonna have any money. But at the time, there was also an open source emulator of the server of the game in Java. So What you would do is if you would run your own thing in Java, using MySQL, and then some XML files or whatever, and then what the Toriel on how to run this locally. So I would just run this thing locally and play alone because I didn't know how to host it for the people. And then I realized, oh, that's the text I see on the screen in the game that exists in this dot java file that I have over here. Meaning if I duplicate this line, will this thing happen twice? Oh, yeah. And then you see these things called public void, whatever, all that is a method. And I basically, self taught myself how to read and write Java, really badly. But that introduced me to that. And the reason for that was, and my dad takes huge credit, in retrospect, but at the time, like, I know, we're live on YouTube, so I can't swear. But what I can say is he will turn off the Wi Fi router, so I don't play online. So it would run this, this this emulator locally. And that's what got me into trying to learn how to make it so I can actually modify my stats to win. Monsters of the MMO. Were those playing alone. And, and that's how I got started. And then, on the back of that one thing broke the other and I still evolved. And then fast forward to 18 years old, I was ready to get into cooking school, because that's what they wanted to do. The programming thing was just a hobby. And my mom was like, Well, why don't we just, I was really bad at school, I can't stress enough in Greece, if you're not good at school, you can't get into university and universities are free in Greece. But it's a very different system than the US in the UK. Long story short, I land in the UK, very last minute study software engineering in London, go back for a year, do my mandatory military service. And then I come back to work. And I had one goal in mind, find the first job that was offered to me, ASAP, so I can start being financially independent from my parents. That was all my drive. In fact, there was a bit more there. And I haven't ever talked about this. But I was playing this mobile game, and I spent 2000 euros that I should have spent on in app purchases. Very, very bad thing, by the way. But don't do that at home. So I'm trying to say, I have to say those 2000 euros, were an amazing drive for me to start making money quick, so I can put it back into your account. And I'd said yesterday, the first job that accepted me. That's it just happened to be a dotnet job that did web forms. So if somebody's talking about battle scars, I've done web forms in 2015. Visual Studio 2008 Oh, finally.
Brandon Minnick 18:04
Moment of silence for Nick. Wow.
Oh, that's incredible. Yeah. And as mentioned, Francoise is also got a PhD. So I feel like we're in good company when it comes to be able to speak from experience and speak from battle scars. So. So Nick, how did you end up making that? Or what motivated you to make that pivot from full time job of getting a paycheck? financially independent living comfortably? I'm sure. As an engineer in the UK to Yeah, let's just roll that all the way. Go out on my own, the most terrifying thing imaginable? How are you able to? Or what incentivize you to make that jump?
Nick Chapsas 18:58
Yeah, so I believe in general that the only way to learn something for me anyway, is to know how to teach it. If you're really good at teaching something, then you know it. So I was very, it was very easy for me in the beginning to go from just learning a single topic in a small company because I joined the small company in the beginning to eventually growing and growing and growing the company and becoming the biggest, or at least knowing as much as there is to know within that bubble, but being the best thing is your bubble can only take you that far. So I started interviewing and I went to one of the biggest companies in the UK. It's called ASOS. We're doing well they're still doing ecommerce fast fashion. And when I joined ISIS, it was like this microservice architecture, mega migration migration to the cloud thing. The things I've never seen before I don't even know how it got the job to be honest. It was incredible. And I was so overwhelmed, I said, I'm gonna just start blogging about those things. Because the company was one of the biggest companies that used another cloud provider. And there was so much to learn, it just happened to be, don't worry, by the way, the company that go next that want to use AWS. But the first one was using another cloud provider. And there was so much to learn that I started blogging about it. But as you can tell by my flawless English accent, I'm not from here. And writing core grammar grammatically, correctly is not necessarily the easiest for me. So I will just send it to my ascendant blocks, my friends to approve them, and then publish them. But this will take a lot of time. So fast forward. A few months later, I said, Well, what if I just talk about those things, not even the camera, very small, 11 point font in a massive screen, let's just recall the camera and talk about what I what I learned, or the screen, or whatever they learn. And that's how I started with YouTube. And then for two years, nobody knew I existed because the videos were, quite frankly, terrible. They still some of my most viewed, but I just don't know how, then I started changing that content, I started upgrading some gear, some YouTube, you know, 50 P, amount of started coming in. And obviously sounds for my American friends. And it just turned out to be what it was today. And as I was I was growing, I'm always very skeptical of especially selling something to an audience, if I don't believe that the thing I'm selling is good. So for the longest time, I didn't want to sell my own courses, because I didn't want people to be let down if the course ends up being bad. So even though I could I didn't for the longest time until something happened, which I don't have to go in detail. I'm like, I'll try it. I'll try once. Let's see what happens. First thing goes out does amazingly feedback is amazing. But because I'm I'm very cautious with any decision I make. I said, Okay, the first thing, the first thing could have been a fluke. Let's just try to do a second one second one goes out was really good as well. At that point, I have to make a decision. Do I just do like nothing but working full time as a senior software, senior engineering manager, which I was at the time? Or do I just take the leap of faith because at that time had also changed companies, many people assume because I make YouTube videos that I've never worked for a big company wherever the company was working. Before I Quit YouTube was the ninth more most valuable privately held company in the world. It was a payment provider as well. So we're talking insane engineering that company at the time, when I was there, was doing amazing things, then I left I don't know what they're doing now. Potentially not that good. But that got me introduced into AWS. And I got incredible perspective, comparing the two cloud providers. And yeah, there's two, if anyone mentioned that third one, that third one doesn't exist. I don't know anyone who uses. And it was incredible, because it gives you this perspective of seeing what one has, what another doesn't have, how one can be better. And one of the feedback I had for AWS ended up making the platform better comes from that, which is why I believe it's very important to see what's happening in terms of competition in your industry. Anyway, to cut to the chase, at that point of like, I have to do this, it does make financial sense for me to take a leap of faith. If it doesn't work out worst case scenario, I'm still a software engineer that's fairly well paid. Like, it's fine. And it worked out in the beginning, it was just me. So it was like Nick chops has not come. But after six courses, I thought, well, if I want to build something, that's the thing that's working for me now, why don't I just expand that. And the more you start searching around, the more you understand that cause providers really screw over their authors. Like, really, you see some numbers on places like Udemy, for example, like 20,000 Students enrolled on a course, that offer on that Udemy course, might have made 50 per sale, Max, maybe less, even if the course is priced at $50 You have no control over anything. While I wanted to run a platform where the author's are as much of a priority as a student. And there's full transparency on on all fronts in terms of where we are what we're doing, you know, you know, very well rounded I won't make a decision in the company, unless I talk with every author, and they are comfortable with with me doing that. So that's what I thought was lacking. And that's where I based my will my business idea. So a more fair platform, we don't have to be a $10 billion startup that, you know, goes in NASDAQ and get by with equity fund, like, it's fine. We'll be fine, guys, we can just make enough real.
Brandon Minnick 25:31
Yeah, that's wonderful. And it also just, I mean, it's, it's so inspiring to, because you have literally built this from the ground up and shows that it is possible. Like you said, you don't have to be VC backed startup, to build this. But it one of the things you're speaking about, and it seems like the theme here is this teaching. And, and first of all, I'm curious as the only PhD in the room, you clearly have the most experience and you've even mentioned you'd love to get back into teaching Sunday. Yeah, how do you see how that relates to our teaching folks? dotnet having experience in the engineering world, kind of the work together go hand in hand. But how do you see how that how that works together?
Francois Bouteruche 26:29
I think when it comes to teaching, there are different needs. Teaching at the very beginning of your career, your career, your your students, you need no nothing in you have to start with something. And then there is teaching through your careers. And to me, personally, that's where I love, Nick, Nick's work. It's very well, when you're when you're in Korea, in my opinion, that's my personal take on this. You can learn new stuff, you can deep dive on some saying, Okay, this this new theme? I don't know, because I've been in this software engineering team for a while we didn't work on this, and I need to learn this new skill. And you cherry pick the topic you want. Okay, for my next project, I need to learn about dotnet, Maui and articles abundant. So, yeah, this is different browsers have different types of your your life, your career and different needs. So, to me, that's how I see this. Probably remembering when I was myself in engineering school, I would encourage teacher to revisit the way they're teaching to students nowadays. I've seen this myself, there are still stitch teaching like they did 20 years ago, at least in France. I don't know if it's the same in the US. Yeah, from what I've heard, it seems so it's it's quite current everywhere in the world, they are still teaching like 20 years ago. And nowadays. Sometimes I will relate to my own soul is 17. year he has started to, to learn about Python. And one day he came to me at home and say, Hey, what the point I can everyone whether it's interesting to me, on the internet, I watch a YouTube video I got and I know what the point of of these screws. This is where probably we need to revisit a few things because nowadays, so much content, very good content to learn available on the internet that we should probably revisit how ice coolant stuff like this works. There's still two need to deliver fundamental knowledge. Because when you're young, you're brand new, you have to learn everything, but maybe in a different way. That's my my take calls. These
Brandon Minnick 29:35
Yeah, and it's funny. It's funny. You mentioned that because we were talking about that. Well, you're still a Francoise.
Nick Chapsas 29:44
I see I'm in slow motion
Brandon Minnick 29:52
Yeah, now.
Francois Bouteruche 29:54
Yeah. So it was it was finished last week.
Nick Chapsas 29:59
It's and cut
Brandon Minnick 30:05
the the internet connections coming in for as far as I know, you touched on something that I was chatting about this weekend with my buddy PJ he PJ Metzger used to be a high school English teacher was really good at it. And I, we coded together for a couple years starting over the pandemic, and now he works in tech, also teaching. But yeah, we were talking about kind of the state of the education system. And you know, nowadays, it seems like with AI, teachers are kind of I'd say rightfully so scared of it, because you can use it to heat. And so they'll they'll ban it, they've got tools in place to try and detect like using AI to write your essays for you. And you know, similar things we can get away with in code. But yeah, the way I look at it is these, these are now tools that exist in the industry. So when we create an app when I, when I'm writing code, when Francois writing code, Nick's writing code, we're going to be using some of these tools, because they're not tools, our toolkit, and so instead of essentially extinguishing these from the curriculum, really, the way I see it is you need to learn how to integrate them into your teachings. But yeah, I remember when I was going to college, I mean, gosh, we're coming up on 20 years, which makes me feel old. But at least back then I was literally taking exams with pencil and paper. Yeah, writing Java code. Java was my first language in college. And I look back, I just don't like that. And it seems so silly and archaic nowadays, because your first job, you get Visual Studio IntelliSense, you've got internet access, and you've got access to all the docs. And that is how things work. But instead of teaching that we kind of teach this rote memorization, like, you got to remember public static, void main, and exactly how to spell it or it'll get a point taken off on your exam, when in the real world. Nobody cares about that. It's, you know, can you build this in time? So yeah, man, I hope academia is not still doing it like that. I hope they're at least letting kids use IDs now and exams. I
Nick Chapsas 32:46
do want to point out, by the way that technical interviews on companies like AWS, Microsoft, and other ones, are not too far off, or we're not too far off in the very near past. If chargeability can reverse a linked list very efficiently, from Would you hire it? Like really, and that's what I never understood, and other friends follow. I just never wanted to work for any of those companies. By the way, sorry, guys. longest time because, like, okay, I get it, like, knowing how to write efficient code and my brain making the connection that like a binary tree is more efficient, whatever, I get that. But I would prefer if I would work on something that on the interview test that I would actually apply in my day to day job. I'm pretty sure even now, if I interview for Microsoft, or AWS or for any of those companies, I will be asked to reverse a bloody binary. And I'm speaking, I don't obviously know, but I could use AI as part of my dev kit, by my you know, a tool in my toolkit to to do it. It doesn't matter that I don't know how to do it. And I don't think necessarily we would judge someone just based on their ability to do that. On the flip side, I think there's a double edged sword with things like AI, integrating work, because I'm just gonna give you an example. Creative Writing is, especially as engineers, you know, when you have to write a report when you have to write on a ticket when you have to write or whatever, and don't go too far even today, I've been reviewing submissions from engineers will do public speaking for conferences. And I can't tell you how many times I it's obvious that the abstract for those talks is AI generated Not everyone can can know, everyone can delve into the depths of the knowledge that we've been like, I get it. It should be a jumping point. And it should be adapted into something original, I think. But yeah, it's a very interesting, interesting world to live in, especially with how fast things like I really. And I had this idea for years, by the way, but I really wanted to use AI to get into a company like pretend I'm someone else, and use charging the entire process undocumented. And now with the charge of a tea for our voice thing. I'm very curious to see if anyone will ever attempted if anyone's watching. Please do it. It's possible. Definitely.
Brandon Minnick 35:56
I believe it in Yeah. And I'm sorry. Go ahead. No, no. Yeah.
Francois Bouteruche 36:05
There are some Cinder and storm outside here. So I guess it's a reason why. So it could it could happen once again. So sorry about this. Yeah, I agree with Nick. And something, like too hard on this topic is I think we are on the fence. Because we need, I think AI can help to learn. But we have to be not too lazy. Because Because at some point, you have to learn something you have to new the thing. Otherwise, you're just a parrot. Even just repeat what the AI tells you to do. You don't have a common sense you can be you can criticize the outcome, the response of the agents. So you also have to learn Don't be lazy, you still have to learn. Otherwise, if you if you don't continue to learn the yes, the AI we got you. So you still have to learn. But you can leverage AI to be faster to to do more things.
Brandon Minnick 37:23
Yeah, and I look for the in the chat here, they're asleep, is chiming in saying with AI and education, you can use that as a tutor, mentor, and teachers can still guarantee mastery, zero saying you can you can do that with one on one teacher or any other way. And that both are super valuable. And also, also zero sleep and chat. I feel like this ties in perfectly with what you just said. And Francoise that says when when they're interviewing they test more for problem solving and communication thinking skills and not looking to see if Did you memorize something in a textbook? And? And gosh, alright, you you sound like one of the good ones, the zero sleep. But yeah, certainly agree with Nick's point that these. Like, I call them leak coding interview exams, where if you haven't heard of it, there's a website called leak code that literally just gives you challenge problems, like brain solving, like, what do you call those? Thinking puzzles? brain teasers? So puzzles that you have to figure out. But yeah, you know, are we rehearsing? linkless? Every day in this role? You know, is this really pertinent? Do you need somebody on the team that knows how to reverse a linked list? Because I think somebody's already figured that out, you know, if I were to do that, or if I had to do that, the first thing I'm gonna do is either Google or now that we have all these AI tools, probably just ask them. And then I'm done. And so why are we wasting our time doing that these interview processes? And not that anybody on my team is like this. I think we've gotten an amazing team here. They do us but I've certainly worked with people in the past where you can tell like, Oh, you just, you just studied leet code, like you're here because you studied for the interview, which is fine. I mean, if that's the gate, you got to get through then we all got to get through it. But yeah, I've certainly worked with people. It's like, you don't really know how to do this. But you got the job because you you leak coded which anytime you're studying for a test like that is is a shame, but I'll often look it up. I do because I do want to promote. Yeah, I've already PJ where We brought up we were chatting about this topic this weekend he brought up he's actually taking there's a Harvard course on C. So not C sharp the best language in the world, but see just just a little layer down. Harvard's doing this and yeah, they've trained open AI on the course. So the professor vetted all the materials, and also told it like, here's gonna be the homework assignment. So if somebody asks you like, how do I do exactly this? Don't just give them the answer. But when you do ask that question, inevitably, when you get that homework assignment, and it's due tomorrow, and you jump over to open AI, that's been trained on the course and say, like, how do I do exactly this? They'll say, Well, I can't give the answer. But what part of it are you stuck on? Or how, like, here's how you can get started. And it actually has this conversation with you. So it's almost like, yeah, back in my day, we'd have to go to the professor or the TAs office hours to really get that one on one assistance. But now, you know, after procrastinating for weeks, and weeks and the homeworks, due in five hours at eight in the morning, and you stayed up way too late. Now you got to do it. You've still got that teacher, that mentor there to help you out. And I love that I love because that's how we can use this tool instead of saying like, Oh, it's terrible Bennett, we're going to go like, almost like a nuclear arms race in the other direction, where we're going to buy all these tools that can detect AI. And that's how we're going to keep it out of college or not have great school. But in reality, it can also make your life easier as an educator, if you leverage it in that way. So that's got to be the way things ended up going. Because yeah, otherwise, you end up graduating college. And I kind of say this from experience when I was taking tests using pencil and paper writing code. And my friend didn't even tell us that IDs existed. We were using Notepad. Another kid in my class discovered notepad plus plus. And that was amazing, because we got syntax highlighting. But yeah, all that ends up happening is you end up graduating and you start looking for that first job, and they'll maybe start asking you questions or like, hey, share your screen. And let's do this together in Visual Studio and you go what's Visual Studio? Or what's a IML? What's DevOps? And you have this just very small understanding of what they taught you versus what you actually need to be successful in the real world. So we'll see. But I yeah, I think the more successful students will be using these tools for their education rather than being just kind of bombarded with them afterwards. But I digress. Over get back out. So So Phyllis, in his you, you wear many hats, like you mentioned your you have YouTube channel? Hundreds of 1000s of subscribers if I'm not getting that number incorrect, feel free to millions and billions? Yeah, millions now. Congrats. That's incredible. So outside looking in, you've made it right. You've got the YouTube channel successful. Now we have dome train. What's what's next for Nick? chasis?
Nick Chapsas 43:46
More downtime? I think. Okay, there is a there is a I always like plans, I like to have a Northstar in terms of where I'm going. I don't like to be very specific with it. Because when you set a very specific goals, you can get disappointed when you don't hit them. And I don't like disappointment, who does. But the way I said is I just want to build a really cool platform, wherever we can come and learn. I want to start having more partnerships with companies so we can provide more things for free. Or at least discounted because I the reason why we're charging what we're charging, is because when we have to because author's time is not free, my time is not free. But if we can get the company to pay for the time, then the student doesn't, which is awesome. And in fact, AWS is the first and currently only company that has a sponsored cause on doctrine. So if you go on don't train right now and you search for AWS, you're going to find a complete live free course on how to get started with AWS and dotnet completely for free, you can just sign up, and it's yours to keep forever. And we'll always be. So I want to have more of that. And then it's just a matter of getting more cool people to make more cool things. Yep, that's the costs right here. And then the app, select companies a lot. So more companies can have their own train as part of their onboarding and training. And go further and further and further. Without that, I, I think I always, I was always trying to build something from when I remember myself, I was wanting to build something. And this thing seems to be working out fine. And I just find build more and more and more, and I'm addicted to the tech aspect of it every time there's a process, whether that is from the Notifications we have every time a sale is made on on our author discord to I don't know how the microservices we have talking to each other and how to run this entire thing. Locally, for example, dotnet, aspire, which is this new cloud native stack for dotnet applications, all our back end is in dotnet. By the way, I've integrated that recently into the entire aspire, dome train back in system and running everything with a spire. Deploying everything was fire, and well, aspirate, but you get the idea through fire. And that has been an amazing process, then every time a new thing needs to happen, whether that is author payouts or calculations or tax calculations or everything, automating the entire thing in a very nice event driven way where you know, your dynamic to be documented, will get updated, you'll have a stream, the stream will listen to that update. You take that, can I do something with this? So this can be used for that, that you asked tax pot that goes here? Okay, let's go put it there. Does that trigger something? Or it does trigger threshold notifications? And there's so so much. That's so extremely interesting and addictive? That? Um, I have an engineering? Yes. Is this fun? Yes. So I'm at this stage right now. And then it's just a matter of hiring more people. I've always been very cautious with when it's time to scale, and also don't want to raise capital, because I don't want to give away any part of my vision to any. There's many companies, I've never reached out to funders, but we don't need to be frank. So it's just a matter of slowly expanding. And yeah, it more business stuff with more b2b stuff will will really help.
Francois Bouteruche 48:09
Yeah, I have a question. Yeah. Sorry. I have a question for unique because from, from the point of view, you looks like a very busy person. And I would like to get away from tech and more like, Okay, what is your daily routine? Or do you keep up with all the same, you will deliver very impertinent because you are delivering a lot of things. It seems you, you you, you are mainly successful, you probably have some failure, but we often people just focus on success. So what is your daily routine? And what are your advice to the to our audience?
Nick Chapsas 48:56
Yeah, I am. I am a solid, like 14 years of failure for like two years of decent success. So you only see the tip of the iceberg. There's so much failure, that maybe at some point, I'll make a video talking about that, if anyone's interested. But it's the failures that made me learn what I know to be able to run and turn this into a successful project. So this doctrine would not be successful. If I didn't have 14 years of age behind my back. It just wouldn't, as why so many of you tried to do something similar and just failed. Because you need to fail. And that's part of the process. Now, in terms of routine, many people ask me, how do you keep up to date with everything right? And especially tech, because I'm talking about tech. So how can you talk about tech when you don't work for a company? Well, I do work for a company they don't want to run and it's way worse because I don't only have to worry about you know the two Good stuff, the tech, I also have to worry about compliance, I have to worry about DevOps, I have to worry about it, I have to worry about security so much more I'm dealing with, meaning I'm getting exposed to so much more. Second talk about so much more. I love reading. So I always catch up, latest blogs I follow and so on. And for me, ever since I worked at my first company back in 2016, there was always this person, it would come after work, or they would come on Monday, after the weekend. And they would say, I read about this thing, I prototype data I'm gonna bring into the company, and we're gonna try it. We find out if it works, if it doesn't, if it sucks, if whatnot. And then we go with it, and we don't. And for the past three to four years of my career, especially last week, I was the person I was a personal go off over the weekend, read everything about a new thing, then bring it in, like I think my team was the first one my last employer to effectively introduce event sourcing using DynamoDB. At my company, so bring with an event sourcing framework on the back of DynamoDB. And then use streams to what's the word not of them is concurrency, eventually consistent every all the data into Elastic Search to make it searchable, and so on. And that was one of the examples of something I went and prototyped over the weekend. And then we tried it, we scaled and we built it. My process is exactly the same. I am still the person, I still do exactly what I would do when I was working full time. The problem is I don't necessarily have to wake up at 3am. If because of someone else's mistake if the thing broke and I have to be on call. So that's fundamentally the change. Okay. And I don't blow actually, that NDA, I can't talk about it. I don't blow a lot of money on on licensing because of bad architectural decisions.
Brandon Minnick 52:09
Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And like you said, there's, there's something different about when either you're working for yourself, or you're doing something for yourself, you're doing something because you enjoy it. But also, yeah, it stuffs gonna go wrong. When it breaks. You only got yourself to blame her too. So yeah, when say, the website goes down at two in the morning and alarms start going off. Yeah, it's one thing when you're working at a big company, and, you know, you get the same paycheck, whether the website stays up or goes down Well, assuming they don't fire you. But yeah, in that scenario, it's a hassle. But you're when it's your own website when you created it when you're also going through a learning journey of your own. Well, certainly you're more incentivized to fix it. But also that's now a lesson learned. You can share with people and you can say hey, don't don't do what I did like don't forget to toggle this at US council or whatever it might be right. It is. But yeah, I agree so much, man. Definitely envious. You know, certainly someday I'd like to go off on my own as well. But it's It's scary. It's It's comfy havin a paycheck that comes every other week, and you know exactly how much it's going to be. I I look at my wife. She's starting her own HR consulting business right now and seeing her go through a lot of those similar trials trepidations. There's times when everything's great and feels like you do no wrong, and there's times when nothing seems to be working and the pipeline seems to be dried up. But yeah, you know, I think if you're truly passionate about it, and you love what you do, then you're going to make it work. And I see that shining through a lot with everything you're working on. Exciting. Thank you. I appreciate it as a dotnet developer who's watched your courses as somebody who's taken your classes and speaking of which, check out the AWS course on on Doom train. It's like Nick said, it's totally free. And it will teach you everything you need to learn about AWS. And so you can get a little sense of how dome train works. Who is this Nick chaps this guy does he does he really know what we're talking about here. And, yeah, you know, four hours. That's nothing right. You know, take the afternoon off, study up some AWS or even if maybe there's something you're working on nowadays, like your boss or your team leader said hey, we're going to use DynamoDB you can get a free one hour course on that. with examples with code with video, Nick walking you through it. So all these resources exist. And all thanks to obviously extend Nick and don't drink.com And like you said, the the battle scars he's learned along the way.
Nick Chapsas 55:18
AWS for making it free, like it wouldn't be free. But thankfully you guys sponsored it. And it is. And yeah DynamoDB must be my favorite AWS service, like thinking about it, because I was looking how long every service I after some point, making that course, I got sidetracked because the DynamoDB section ended up being like three hours just to DynamoDB. And everything else was like hour or 30 minutes. I love, love, love DynamoDB so much, because of the, I think the limitations that databases like DynamoDB that they put on you make you write better code, because you really have to think about your data modeling. And there's some really cool features like, once you get into transactional rights cross table, calculating how many units you need. It's I circle working with strange circle. I think if I was to, to build another business right now, I have a few ideas. I just don't have the time. One of them would be like building an event store on the back of DynamoDB. I think that'd be really cool.
Brandon Minnick 56:37
Yeah, yeah. As soon as you start getting some sleep again, then yeah. build out the next, the next empire. Well, well, Nick, again, thank you for everything you do from the bottom, my heart on behalf of the dotnet community. The help you give all of us is just insurmountable. We, there's certainly certainly things I couldn't have done without you. So highly recommend. Subscribe to Nick on YouTube, check out don't train.com But, Nick, for folks who want to follow along and stick with you throughout the journey, where can they find you online?
Nick Chapsas 57:19
Twitter, that's it. Don't expect much you won't learn anything from it. Like you're gonna see. Hopefully funny memes and that.
Brandon Minnick 57:30
So that's at Nick chamsys. On on Twitter. Nick chapter sign YouTube.
Nick Chapsas 57:37
Yeah. But I'm sorry. Like, if you have a YouTube and you have anything to do with that you'll see something like this. I do I do this.
Brandon Minnick 57:49
It's it's the thumbnail. I call it a meme at this point. Because it is how you make thumbnails. I do the same thing. I
Nick Chapsas 57:59
didn't make the game, either. I just I just follow their footsteps.
Brandon Minnick 58:07
Right? You look surprised. Yeah. Look, you look frustrated. And then that's your YouTube thumbnail. But
Francois Bouteruche 58:15
it looks like it looks like you do this. You won't be promoted on YouTube. Yeah. So this must be an AI algorithm that looks at your Sunday. No, you don't have the right face. You won't be promoted. Yeah,
Brandon Minnick 58:31
that's right. Well, well, we've got to run. It is the top of the hour. I wish we could stay all day and chat with you, Nick. But again, thank you for everything you do. And thank you. Thank you for watching. Thanks for joining us for another episode of dotnet and AWS. We're here live streaming on Twitch every other Monday, at the same time, not 8am. Pacific. And don't forget, we also have an audio podcast. So if you want to bring us on the go with you. If you want to listen to me, Nick and Francois, talk about dotnet together while you're driving your car or walking your dog. Subscribe to the dotnet ears podcast on your favorite podcasting app. And we'll see you in two weeks.

Any opinions in this post are those of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of AWS.