Failed in Public

Created by Wes Eklund, Software Development Engineer at Amazon Web Services
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What everyone's up to

Spoke at a meetup
Gave a live demo
I was invited to (finally ;)) speak at Azure Thursday and introduce Backstage, the platform to build your developer portal. Want to watch the whole thing? Here you go! .
Want to learn more about Backstage? take a look at
Lead Developer Advocate, Spotify
Aug 25, 2021
Merged first Pull Request
Learning In Public
Failed in public
+ 1
After a few fits and starts, I finally merged my first PR at dutchie! While the PR was some simple refactoring and rearranging of files, it was a great way to get my feet wet and interact with the codebase.

I also may or may not (I did) introduce a bug that broke production for a minute. I guess that right of passage didn't take long!

New things I learned about include:
  • Tracking my progress with Jira
  • Documenting my thought process in the company wiki (Confluence)
  • Who to bug when I (inevitably) break something
  • How to make a hot-fix
  • Just how kind and supportive the entire engineering team at dutchie is 🥰

Software Engineer I, dutchie
Dec 15, 2016
Closed a business
Failed in public
Left a role at intraverse vr llc
+ 1
While we had developed some promising demos and had exciting success with our pneumatic soft muscle and tendon operator IK controls, the team at Intraverse VR encountered an issue that we would not longer be able to overcome with what we had developed. 

The pneumatic soft muscles we were producing had too small of a lifespan, and would fail after approximately 1000 cycles. Increasing production quality would require extremely specialized equipment and manufacturing partners, and be cost prohibitive. We had also encountered a few mechanical and maintenance issues that were making commercialization of our system to individual operators impractical, and would ultimately need an intensive support team and replacement part supply chain.

On December 15th 2016, our team signed articles of dissolution for Intraverse VR - a little wiser, a lot more grounded, and without breaking the bank or ending in debt!
Co-Founder, Intraverse VR LLC
Jul 22, 2021
Failed in public
Spoke at an event
Gave a live demo
+ 1
I gave a talk tonight! It was not good. It was so bad, in fact, that I'm going to have to record a short video that does the subject justice because it's actually really neat.

Long story short, you can use Nomad to run tasks on a variety of historical UNIXes, and hardware under emulation. And... the world got to see exactly none of that.
Every single element failed. The blinkenlights did not blink. I forgot history and blanked on how to operate the machine, and then I  rambled on a live stream. It was a train wreck, cinematically plummetting off a bridge into fiery doom! 🔥🚞😮

So, in conclusion: 

  1. Never, ever do a live demo if you can finesse it with some behind-the-scenes magic beforehand.
  2. Do not go in without visuals. You don't have to use them but you want them. 
  3. If you can't cram it into your talk, and you have lots of links, make a site. Just check it in and send the link. Your message gets out,  you yammer less, and anyone who is actually interested can look at that instead. 

World, I owe you an *actual* demo, and Nomad on a PiDP-11 deserves a little bit more time. Let's try this again without the disaster! 
I'll record a video in the next few days, post a link, and otherwise try to do this right because I want you all to see it. 
Failed in public
Wrote a Blog Post
I used to host women's networking events for a few years under the name ideate networking with a friend. We wanted to create small, intimate events where you would get to speak with every single person. We also sent out introductions prior to the event so you could make connections before you even arrive.

For this particular event, it was an after-work dinner event. I had promoted it all over social media and was collecting free registrations via Eventbrite.

Long story short, no one showed up.

It was one of the most embarrassing yet pivotal moments of my career. I decided to write about it and through sharing this story, I connected with people all over the world who have experienced similar situations but never felt courageous enough to share.