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Episode 13 - From Linux to React Native with Nicola Corti

Dmitry Vinnik, a Developer Advocate at Meta Open Source, chats Meta Software Developer Nicola Corti about his journey to mobile development, his work with React Native and how podcasting helped Nicola stay connected with the community.


In this installment of The Diff podcast, host Dmitry Vinnik and Meta Software Developer Nicola Corti chat about how Nicola gained an interest in mobile development through Linux. They also discuss how open source plays an important role in Nicola’s career, what React Native is and how Kotlin is being used in the open source project’s build code. At the end, listeners get the scoop on Nicola’s podcast, The Developers’ Bakery.

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Episode Transcript

From Linux to React Native with Nicola Corti

[00:00:00] Dmitry Vinnik: Hello everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Uh, my name is MIRI Vinik, and I welcome you all to the next episode of the D podcast. And today I have a pleasure of speaking with Nicola Corte, but I'll let him introduce Nicola!

[00:00:22] Nicola Corti: Hi everyone. Thank you very much for joining us on the show. My name is ni Corti.

[00:00:28] I'm a software engineer on the react native team. Uh, yeah. And I'm super excited to tell you a little bit about myself. Like what do I do? And a little bit about open source, I guess, right?

[00:00:40] Dmitry Vinnik: Fantastic. Yes. As, as, uh, some of you know, who follow meta open source, we actually just started publishing mid the developer mobile edition blog in series.

[00:00:49] So I'm very interested in mobile development these days. And I believe Nicola has a great experience in mobile development. And I'd like to tell from you right now, what's [00:01:00] your journey was like into mobile

[00:01:01] Nicola Corti: develop. Yeah. So I would say that my journey in mobile started like, well, several years ago, I always, uh, used to love Linux.

[00:01:11] So I literal started using Linux on my. First personal computer I had. And, and yeah, like, you know, I always liked do a little bit of programming and so on. And then as, uh, you know, mobile phones got released like iPhone and so on. Uh, there were like no real alternatives to let Linux run on mobile. And then at the certain point, um, Android got released and I felt like, oh, whoa, this is.

[00:01:40] Linux on phone and I want to work for that. So I started learning how to do Android ops and, and so on and so forth. And then I kept on being involved more and more in and Android development. I landed my, my first job, uh, in a startup as a, as an under engineer. And then I [00:02:00] basically moved, uh, in Europe, in several countries as a, as an under engineer, again, focusing on developing up.

[00:02:07] And honestly there is nothing. That drives me more than, uh, the idea of writing code that ends up in, in the pocket of millions of users around the globe. So I really feel empowered when I see that, oh, the user is, is running one app and the app is powered to the code with the code I wrote.

[00:02:30] Dmitry Vinnik: Amazing.

[00:02:30] Amazing. Yes. That's uh, definitely an exciting thing to see that you are very like consumer FA facing the, the things you do matter and you can see them in action. You can actually use them your on your own, right. The doc fools, I would call it. So it's definitely a great experience. But you mentioned Android and Linux before that, it seems like you have this, uh, narrative of open source throughout your career.

[00:02:52] Can you talk about that? A little.

[00:02:54] Nicola Corti: Yeah, absolutely. So again, um, I really loved open source [00:03:00] since I discovered this, this idea, like the fact that you can actually write code, share it publicly, uh, and get feedback on your code from others, get someone else helping you and improving it, or get the code that someone else wrote and improve it and make it better is always something that, um, Yeah, I found it fascinating.

[00:03:22] I found it that, uh, yeah, you can write great code, but together we can do something better. And some of the biggest open source projects, again, like Linux or others actually developed by millions of developers around the globe. So yeah, I can say that. I always felt, uh, yeah, so much driven by doing open source and I always tried to search for opportunities, uh, like.

[00:03:47] Meeting other developers starting new projects together with others. Open source was always like a recurring topic in all the jobs, uh, that I had the opportunity to, to do in, in the past years. [00:04:00] And, and yeah. Then finally, I, I landed on, on the react native team, which, uh, I, you probably know is one of the biggest project on gab and I have the opportunity to work, uh, full time in, in the open source ecosystem, which is, which is.

[00:04:17] Dmitry Vinnik: Yeah, that's, that's definitely great opportunity of open source being your full time job, like my own, right. I'm a developer advocate of meta open source. Uh it's and as you said, it's very rewarding, but you know, before we dive into what your current role is, I, if you were to pinpoint one thing, what's the, you know, best thing that you find about opensource, like personally, what do you enjoy the most about opensource?

[00:04:42] You mentioned a couple of things, but I was wondering if you can pinpoint one single.

[00:04:47] Nicola Corti: So, um, one thing that I really like of open source is, um, the feeling of. Physically impacting others, people life. Uh, and in, in a [00:05:00] sense, um, I, I have to mention that I always like to work on developer tools. Like I worked on a lot of open source projects, uh, and most of them are essentially libraries.

[00:05:10] Linkers or tools that developers will use daily and having the opportunity to work on a tool that can improve your workflow, that can make you a better developer that can make you smile in the sense that you're will enjoy your code more because you will write better. Code is something that is really rewarding to me.

[00:05:30] And it's something that, uh, well, the open source community is a, is a space where you. Experienced those kind of opportunities over and over. So literally the feeling of improving the day of another developer is something that drove me into maintaining and creating open source projects for the wider community.

[00:05:53] Dmitry Vinnik: That's great. I can definitely relate. Uh, one of my main personal goals is always improve productivity [00:06:00] and efficiency of developers, not in a way of, you know, making more money and, uh, for, for the corporation they work for or, you know, making them deliver more, uh, in the sprint or in a, in a whatever working cycle they operate in.

[00:06:13] But the main thing I was always looking for from productivity is. They able to spend less time on work cuz you know, they have this chunk of work need to complete able to. Faster, you know, E more easily and, and then ultimately spend more time on their own personal lives, right. Spent with their family spending on their hobbies.

[00:06:32] So that's what productivity to me, that's what the goal had been always chasing or trying to improve others, uh, you know, workflow. And it seems like, again, you actually found similar way to do it through open source, and that's definitely, uh, great to.

[00:06:47] Nicola Corti: Yeah. And if you can add one thing, um, well, I like to mention that for me, open source is like, it's like one hobby, frankly.

[00:06:55] Like when people ask me like, oh, what are your obvious? So I really love running. But, [00:07:00] uh, another hobby that I have is literally open source. Like I literally like. To know what's going on in the princess community, engaging with others, finding new projects, supporting other projects, see if there is opportunities for a project to grow, where I can help them growing.

[00:07:18] So it's something where like, I really enjoy spending my free time and, uh, well, I'm. I mean, I like it, but I have to mention that. Um, I mean, obviously it's taking quite some time of mine and, uh, well, a lot of the great software in this planet is relying on open source contributors. So we should be extremely great of grateful to those kind of people.

[00:07:41] They are spending their time, uh, their free time in doing this kind of work. And I'm actually also extremely supporting to any, um, Sponsorship opportunity or any, anything like open collective and so on to make those projects sustainable. Because again, uh, there are projects which are really [00:08:00] running the word.

[00:08:01] Like there are servers or infrastructures that are built on top of open source software and that software is developed. By normal human being, which are investing their free time. So it's, it's literally like one fundamental part of the it ecosystem. We should all be grateful to this and we should all be like, yeah.

[00:08:22] Think about other, other open source developers, which are spending their time.

[00:08:27] Dmitry Vinnik: Absolutely. That's why it's so important to invest in, you know, products like projects, like open collective and supporting open source projects, whether it's, you know, external living and internal that come out of the world.

[00:08:39] Right. Uh, and I agree with you though, the world, you know, brands on open source one way or another, there is I even the. Companies that develop their own products one way or another. They most likely depend on something open source, even if it's just checking a Java script is the, you know, number, uh, order even, right.

[00:08:57] one of the most popular, uh, frameworks in [00:09:00] the library side there. So, you know, that's why whenever I could, whenever I see, um, I would, I would even call it maybe entitlement to some extent, expect that someone would fix it being demanding. It's not, they're not your employees, right? When you're going to open source asking for help you asking you've being polite, you are actually maybe offering your own help and offering to be taught how to actually fix the buck.

[00:09:23] That's why I like the projects that really try to invest in growing their contributors, uh, you know, and maintainers, um, Fleet of, you know, the people overall, so, and I'm, and I'm glad you're very, you can, you can clearly see, you're very passionate about, that's why I'm excited to hear of how you're able to connect with your previous experience of really focusing on mobile and being excited about it with Android and now working with react native at meta.

[00:09:48] If you can talk about that a little bit.

[00:09:50] Nicola Corti: Yeah. So, uh, I would like to point out, uh, that, uh, Mara has this unique, uh, onboarding experience called boot camp mm-hmm , [00:10:00] uh, which, um, I mean, I think it's really, uh, Something that is, is unique in this industry. I saw it, uh, only, only at matter, like I'm not aware of other companies doing so.

[00:10:11] And, uh, I'm actually surprised that this, this, uh, pattern is not replicated by others. Uh, but BA basically you have the opportunity in your first two weeks to experience different teams, uh, and to get to work with them, like actually deliver code, like ship code to production. Um, and, and yeah, when I, when I joined Mera, uh, I, would've never said like, yeah, uh, maybe I will end up in reactive or whatever.

[00:10:38] Like I knew that I wanted to do opens first and, and there are a bunch of projects, um, which are like developed daily here. But, um, yeah, I had the opportunity to, to spend some time with this team and I felt like that, um, um, The magnitude of the open source community related to [00:11:00] react native was immense.

[00:11:01] And I could have really, uh, delivered great value to this community. And so I just felt like, yeah, this looks like an amazing place to be like something where I can be helpful to others, something where I can, uh, really donate my skills for the open source community. Um, and, and yeah. React native as, uh, some of you probably know is one of the most popular across platform framework.

[00:11:31] Uh, it allows to develop Android and IUs ops, but not only, uh, there are forks of react native for windows, for Macko S uh, and other platforms. And, um, I mean, the amount of possibility that this framework enables is, is tremendous. And, uh, I'm. Impressed by how many people are involved in this framework. It's not just the react native team is, is a whole group [00:12:00] of contributors from all around the globe, from different companies, with different backgrounds, which are collaborating daily to improve this framework to.

[00:12:10] To ship it to millions of developers out there. And, and yeah, like also the, the possibility of having my, the whole history of my contribution completely public, um, Fully available on getup is something that, that really drives me forward. It feels like, okay, I'm doing something I'm spending my time. I'm creating some code, I'm creating some infrastructure, but I'm also donating it to the public so that everyone can actually use it.

[00:12:38] Benefit from it. Build amazing apps. I'm pretty sure that if I will take your phone, I could pinpoint some apps that are written in react native. So yeah, I'm glad that I'm. I got this opportunity to especially essentially spend my full time job in doing opensource, which is quite a unique [00:13:00] opportunity. I will say.

[00:13:01] Dmitry Vinnik: That's definitely unique for those, you know, who are listeners, who are not familiar with, with what react native while it is popular. You know, I, I, I like not to make assumptions of some folks might not know. So how would you, you know, define react native in simple

[00:13:15] Nicola Corti: terms? Yeah. So, uh, as, as I briefly mentioned before, react native is a framework for developing cross platform mobile applications.

[00:13:24] So it allows you to use all the concepts that you learned, uh, in the react space. So in, in the web space and translate them into, into mobile. So essentially starting from a react application, you can create, uh, Android and iOS application. Um, Probably, uh, I assume someone is familiar with mobile development, but if you're not, um, I would like to mention that doing mobile apps is not easy.

[00:13:54] Like it requires a lot of learning. Uh, mm-hmm a lot of framework, specific [00:14:00] knowledge, uh, which, well, if you're developing a product, uh, and you want to develop a product for hundred Android and IUs, the assumption is that you will, I will have to hire like a group of Android engineers and a group of IUs engineers.

[00:14:15] And so there, there are like, uh, a huge group of, um, of apps that will benefit from actually just, uh, writing a single code base and being able to write, uh, to, to ship up for both Android and iOS reusing the same concepts. So, uh, it actually, the framework is really powerful. Again, has been used in production.

[00:14:42] Lot of big companies. Uh, and, and we are, we Matta are also using that in production in several of our apps. And so this is a proof of how flexible this framework is and how extensible it can become. [00:15:00] So, yeah, and it's all open source. Like we are not selling it. Like you can literally take the code clone.

[00:15:07] Do whatever you want, maybe you build your own hardware and you can create UI for it with react native. Obviously you will need some adaptations, but yeah, uh, it's, it's all open source and all done for the sake of sharing knowledge with the rest, uh, of the open source community.

[00:15:27] Dmitry Vinnik: Great. So I, as you, as you mentioned, uh, react native is now used on so many different devices and platforms.

[00:15:33] Uh, I believe, uh, last year, if I'm not mistaken, maybe even the year before, uh, react native has published block about, uh, multi-platform vision, where yes, they are now targeting desktop applications. We R VR, uh, and. More. So again, it's great to see a product, a project like that, growing and expanding. Uh, you also mentioned bootcamp.

[00:15:56] Yes. The bootcamp as the, you know, our listeners can read [00:16:00] at meta careers block, uh, we've discussed it in lengths there, but basically, you know, it's a usually six week program when engineers or whoever joins, uh, They usually go through this, what we call bootcamp, where they get to learn about different areas of the company.

[00:16:16] Uh, if they're not preassigned they can choose what team to go to, you know, have a trial with let's say Android team or iOS team or whatever other team they'd like, or, uh, different products and choose what actually works for them, what they enjoyed the most. And it's, I, I believe it's really. Connected to the open source nature of things, cuz again, open source in, in DNA of meta, it's how we got our start and we keep doing it, you know, in our culture as well.

[00:16:45] It's trying to be transparent, opening up, making people, uh, you know, accountable, but also giving them opportunity to make changes to production. Right. As, uh, Nicola mentioned. So again, for me personally, when I joined it was also great to [00:17:00] see, um, In regards to what you mentioned about, um, react native. Is there something in particular you'd like to, you know, you remember you'd be most proud of when you first started on working on a product product, any particular feature or change you've made that was very impactful to you personally.

[00:17:17] Like you remember that till the rest of your life, basically.

[00:17:21] Nicola Corti: For react native or, yeah.

[00:17:23] Dmitry Vinnik: When you, when enjoy, when you join the team yeah. For the react native or even maybe in the bootcamp or even before, like in that space in particular. Cause for myself personally, and, you know, basically give you a start in that sense.

[00:17:34] When I was working at, uh, my previous company, I still remember to this day I created a migration framework from old platform to a new platform. And I'll just remember that process. You know, for the rest of my days, as I said, uh, it's been exciting experience and it's been very impactful, uh, for our customers.

[00:17:52] So maybe you have something like that you really would like recall.

[00:17:57] Nicola Corti: Yeah. Um, I mean, [00:18:00] it's not a specific change. In a sense, but, um, it's more like, it's more like a process. Um, that's the fortune actually still. Yeah, it's actually still ongoing. Um, so react native, um, as, um, went through, uh, majorite of the internals.

[00:18:20] Uh, so you will find it on the react website referred. The new architecture, um, and these work, um, essentially like it literally brings, uh, like a new life to, to the framework because it unblocks a lot of opportunities between the JavaScript layer and the native layer. I am responsible of the immigration of the whole ecosystem to the new architecture, which as you can imagine is quite crucial in a sense that we want to allow libraries and third party apps to [00:19:00] run on the new architecture as we are doing.

[00:19:03] And, um, And yeah, there is a lot of work to be done in the open source space to enable others. So, uh, a lot of work in terms of documentation, uh, processes, infrastructure, build tools and so on. So, um, it's not just one single change. Uh, but again, it's, it's a, it's a whole collection of, of content and material that we are, uh, shipping for the community.

[00:19:28] And I think this is literally. Where you can see the commitment of the react team as a whole, towards the open source community. Like we are fully on board on these. Like we truly believe that react and react native can evolve. Only if the open source community is on board with us, if, uh, we are, we will miss out on that.

[00:19:54] Uh, it's going to be a pain, both for us and for the open source community. So we literally [00:20:00] invest, uh, full-time resources on, on this, uh, which I think it's unique, uh, in the industry. Uh, it's really hard to find again, frameworks, unless they're like obvious. Paid solutions like enterprise solutions, which are like monetized.

[00:20:16] Uh, it's really hard to find companies investing full time in frameworks, uh, for the sake of the open source community. So again, I think this is, this is a, a pretty, pretty unique opportunity for anyone to be. And if someone is extremely passionated about open source, uh, and mobile development, uh, drop as a message, uh, because we are hiring, uh, and, and yeah, we would be happy to chat with you.

[00:20:44] Dmitry Vinnik: Of course, yes. Meta is just, is constantly growing. And, uh, again, I'm, it's great that you mentioned that we're trying to involve community a lot more, right? The react had the work groups that really was a crucial part of launching the latest release of [00:21:00] react. And I'm, again, it's amazing to see that react native and this whole ecosystem is growing and becoming more transparent, more involving for the community.

[00:21:11] You know, do not to another point you, you said, um, that the process you'd be worked working on not particular change. And it's the key here that open source is really not about any single pool requests we make any single code change. It's actually everything else. Right? It's the process. It's architecture is the, uh, request for proposals and.

[00:21:33] Uh, you know, uh, it can be documentation change. It can be actually, you know, leading the work group, all that work that comes within happens within the open source within the project is what basically makes the, you know, we wheels of the project move forward. Right. That's what pushes it forward. So I'm, I'm glad you, you know, you focus on that and not on a single poor request.

[00:21:56] So it's, uh, again, it's great to hear great to. [00:22:00]

[00:22:01] Nicola Corti: Yeah. And if you cannot, one thing, um, like one thing that I really enjoy doing in open source and, and react native in this space is giving me a lot of opportunities. Is. Essentially community work. Like it's not just about writing code and developing features, uh, but also mentoring others, uh, helping people that are new to the open source space, uh, creating their first pool request, um, helping them with code reviews and so on, or also, uh, and this is something that I've done in other projects that are maintained in.

[00:22:36] Um, a lot of governance work. So how do we find a consensus between different maintainers? How do we split the work between different people? How do we automate processes that are related to rapid management? We have too many issues with too many pool request, how we can make this scale, uh, as the project grows.

[00:22:55] So those are problems. They're unique to the open source [00:23:00] space. Um, and I also like sometimes, uh, speak with other engineers from other companies to like, uh, super experienced. Uh, but they maybe have no knowledge of how the open source space works at all. So I would say that this is like a unique skill set, uh, that you develop only by doing open source on a daily basis or by spending time in open source communi.

[00:23:28] Dmitry Vinnik: That's that's definitely true. It's the, it's the skill, but I believe. These days, it's an open enough community where, I mean, depends on the community, obviously, but some communities really help you get up to speed and become part of it and learn those skills, master them even, uh, it's not really a talent that you're born with is something in you learn and you get better at, and to that point though, you know, to, to shift kind of away from meta specific work you've been doing, I believe you are also a code link expert from the Google [00:24:00] developer experts.

[00:24:01] How does it connect, connect with your overall, uh, work of the current work and internally and also outside of meta? Yeah.

[00:24:08] Nicola Corti: So if you were to ask me, what's my favorite programming language, the answer will be necessarily Catalin. Um, so, uh, I'm a big fan of it. I've been involved in the language since, before it was released, uh, as, as a stable.

[00:24:25] Um, yeah, and I mean, For those of you who are not aware, Android development historically always happened in with Java. Uh, Java is, uh, quite of an old programming language. And especially on Android, the versions of Java that you were allowed to use got stuck, um, for, for a long period of time. So you could not use a lot of the nice features that more evolved and more.

[00:24:55] Like newer programming language. Cool, cool deals. [00:25:00] Um, in this space, JetBrains, uh, developed the Carlin programming language, um, which is compatible with, with anything that runs under JVM. So you can, uh, mix Java and Carlin code, as you wish, and introduces a lot of, a lot of feature that we're missing in Java and makes writing code so much of a pleasure.

[00:25:23] Um, because it's so expressive, it's so compact. It's so, really nice to write. Um, I've been developing study analyzers, uh, I'm generally tools that, uh, help, help developing this, this language. Uh, I've been also contributing a little bit in the compiler, uh, like really small things, but, uh, yeah, I've been highly involved in the, in the Catling community.

[00:25:50] Um, I, I, I really. Like this language and, and also within react native, we are actively using, uh, using this language. [00:26:00] Um, specifically all of our build code is returning Kathlin. So whenever you run a command, uh, like react native run, Android, that runs. Some Catling code under the hood. Uh, we are also looking into, uh, migrating a little bit of the core of react native.

[00:26:18] We have some Catling code in it, uh, but for historical reason, there is a lot of Java. So we are like slowly, uh, moving from Java to Kolin and we are also, uh, updating our website to be BI. Uh, and this again, I want to point out that this is a, a community driven effort. So we do, uh, at, at the time of recording, we, we, we do have an issue, uh, on the, like a gab issue on the website, uh, of react native, where you can subscribe.

[00:26:51] You can ask to get a page assigned to you. Uh, and there's a list with all the page that contains only Java code. And you can say like, Hey, I want [00:27:00] to do this page. And then you will be responsible of migrating that page to use both Java and Lin code. Um, and, and again, this is a work that I, I honestly I could have done in, in like one or two days, I could have just taken the website and done it all by myself.

[00:27:16] Uh, but I thought that this was an opportunity to engage the community, to spread the knowledge of Kalin, to let other people being part of something bigger. So instead of, uh, just doing all the work by myself, With just me and my colleagues. I said like, Hey, let's, let's kick it off as a community driven work.

[00:27:37] So now I think we are like, uh, close to hit the 50% completion of this work. Um, but yeah, like this is, uh, I, I want to call it out because literally I think for open source, the question that I received the most is where do I start? And [00:28:00] we are doing our best to create tasks. Uh, bag reports or initiatives like these one that would allow people that are not open source expert to, uh, get started to do a small task, to know who to ping, to get some support.

[00:28:22] So my suggestion is keep an eye on those subscribe to get notifications, see how people are engaging over there. So keep observing for a bit, and then you can actually start contributing in this space. Kathlin is, is a great language because the amount of resources you can find align, again, it's quite extent.

[00:28:44] Like literally the, the language is, is out in several years now and also the space where you can find, uh, support like stack overflows, lack forums, and so on. They are really active. So I, [00:29:00] to anyone doing Android or anything, a native like react native also, I will totally recommend to use Kathleen instead of Java.

[00:29:09] Today is just way nicer and, and you will enjoy writing, uh, Android code more than before.

[00:29:18] Dmitry Vinnik: Great. And, uh, again, I like that you mentioned that, um, some of the things you could have done yourself or I've, I've, I've frequently seen that other, some other projects would have similar where there is a buck, there is an issue that would literally take person in the know.

[00:29:34] An hour, maybe a couple minutes, but instead they actually mentor the pair with someone who's newer to fix that. Cuz it's, it's really, it's this imposter syndrome worrying that you don't know enough to make a change to such a massive project, like react native, but here, because when you do. Little thing or something that's like even a, let's say documentation change.

[00:29:58] You already feel like more [00:30:00] empowered. You feel like you went through this whole pool request, submission, uh, merge process. You now a contributor to some extent. And honestly, personally, I believe that what distinguishes, uh, you know, more kind of a junior engineer from more senior engineer open source or.

[00:30:18] Where, if you're trying to tackle everything on your own, not asking for help, uh, not trying to empower anybody, uh, to fix something. That's what the junior engineer less experienced, not a number of years. You've done it. You can sit and do the same thing for years and become a senior, really, and some organizations, but it's the, the shift mind shift.

[00:30:40] You'd now I could have done it myself, but instead I'll spend more time in empowering others. Right. And that's what I feel like exactly what you're doing here. And to that point, I'd like to actually hear about your podcast, cuz I believe that's one of the ways you kind of spread the word about tech and uh, yeah, if you could talk about that a little bit.

[00:30:58] Nicola Corti: Yeah. [00:31:00] Um, yeah, I'm glad you asked. So I'm running a podcast, it's called the developers bakery. Uh, you will find it, uh, on online at the, the or, uh, on, on Spotify, apple podcast and, and Google podcast. Um, If you search for the developer's bakery. So the idea behind the podcast is to have a place where I can allow open source maintainers, uh, or authors of tools to have a space where they can tell what they're doing, present their project.

[00:31:38] Um, and tell us, tell us a little bit of story behind it. Um, So to be Frank, the reason why I started this podcast is because, um, like I started during the pandemic. Uh, so I think it was end of 2020. Um, and, and yeah, this is a site project of mine. So little, little side [00:32:00] note, all the, all the website and everything is, is self hosted and, um, written by me.

[00:32:08] Uh, And yeah, there is the whole pipeline that handles the publishing and so on. It's just because I was looking for a side project and I wanted to learn how podcast work works internally. I haven't used any automated tools, uh, which there are plenty of them out there in the market. Um, but yeah, essentially during the pandemic I developed this infrastructure and then I say like, Hey, about, I, I reach out to someone because I've been highly involved in conferences.

[00:32:35] Uh, or like other, you know, public speaking opportunities. Uh, but with the, with the pandemic, I was really missing the networking, uh, of, of such events. Like I was missing the 10 minutes discussion with the developer advocate, uh, which I will find over there. So I thought like, Hey, there's a lot of people there I would love to meet.

[00:32:58] And I would love to [00:33:00] get to know them. I would love to know what they're doing, how their project. Started and were the challenges behind it. And so on. How about it? Just invite them to, to speak and to tell me, like, to tell us why they even started the project, how it started. And so. And so, so yeah, uh, so far I think we are beyond episode 30.

[00:33:21] Uh, I I'm Frank, I'm not checking statistics that much. It's just like a way for me to, to get in touch with other people, to share the knowledge about certain projects, it's really niche, uh, sometimes to really deep dive into some of the mobile technicalities. So. So, yeah, I hope people are, are not enticed away, uh, by, by the depth of, of the topics.

[00:33:47] But aside from that, um, yeah, I mean, I, I found podcasting as, as a way to, to enjoy my time and getting to know more people. Um, so, so yeah, please, everyone to. [00:34:00] Take a look at it. Uh, drop me a message. Uh, if you're interested, like, or leave some feedback, there is a Twitter account for it. Um, so I'm reading every message that I receive over there.

[00:34:12] So, yeah.

[00:34:14] Dmitry Vinnik: Great. And, uh, we'll link the podcast in the show notes as well. So anybody can follow in, uh, give it a listen. So that's, that's great. And I, I like. You've used this time during COVID, uh, while I know you've really done quite a bit of public speaking before, uh, you know, the pandemic happened. Uh, have you had any, um, you know, interest in doing virtual events lately, or you thinking of going back on a, some public speaking or you really been enjoying the podcasting a bit more?

[00:34:46] Nicola Corti: Yeah. Um, Well, I, I think it's a mixture of the tool. Um, I really miss the, um, again, the, the, the opportunities to meet physically with other [00:35:00] developers. Like, I don't know, getting a speakers dinner the day before the event and getting like a, like after party or just getting to speak with people. Like literally the last conferences I've been to.

[00:35:11] I recall that I was mostly, uh, I, I was not really attending talks like maybe two or. But most of my time was actually spent, uh, connecting with others, creating new opportunities and so on. So this is something that well, virtual events try to replicate in some form, but it is not the same as in person events.

[00:35:32] They've been said I'm actually a big fan of, uh, Virtual, when it comes to connecting, uh, with, um, communities that are far away. Like I had the opportunity to give virtual talks for, uh, schools in India, uh, which I would've never had the opportunity to travel to. Um, or, you know, maybe you can just. Do one big travel for a [00:36:00] conference a year.

[00:36:00] Like we would not go to all the small meetups while, uh, with virtual. I really had the opportunity to, to connect, um, with a lot of, a lot of different people. So in a sense, well, uh, pandemic happened, it was not great, uh, for a lot of people, um, But, yeah, I'm glad we all managed to, to work it out. And we found a way to share knowledge, uh, which didn't required us to meet in person.

[00:36:28] Uh, but I'm really looking forward to, to getting back to, to some degree, um, whenever it's, it's possible and safe to do so, uh, in person in the near future.

[00:36:39] Dmitry Vinnik: Yeah, what we would call it usually is a hallway track when you don't go to events, uh, to go to the conference, but you don't go to the talks themselves as much, but yeah, just networking, speak that actually, I, I used to go to a lot of conferences and I would, because most of the talks were recorded.

[00:36:56] I, I didn't see a reason of going there. Right. Like [00:37:00] when I'm in person, while I can utilize things that are not. Work talking to people, not for the sake of growing my LinkedIn profile, but to know what they do to know what the world, especially after my talk, if I give a talk and I like to hear people's, uh, experiences, that's what excited me the most.

[00:37:15] But really, as we close, you know, going get to the close to the end of our episode, I'd like to hear about one of your hobbies that you mentioned today. It's running. Uh, I believe you are, uh, I would call it a blown distance running. I know it's not the ultra marathon, but still a marathons.

[00:37:30] Nicola Corti: Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah, that's true.

[00:37:34] Uh, so I'm, I, I love running. Uh, I I've been, I've been, I've been, I started to run, let's say more seriously in 2019 just before the pandemic. Uh, and I think it was something that, um, I mean, I, I, I always did some short rounds for the sake of being fit. Uh, but then I, I, [00:38:00] uh, I noticed that there is a huge community.

[00:38:03] Around running. And, and again, this topic of communities comes over and over and, and yeah, you would be surprised by how many people are actually running and how different it feels to run when you're alone or when you're within a group of people. So I had the opportunity to run the London marathon in 2021.

[00:38:26] Um, I, I got an entry for the Berlin marathon in 2022. Oh. Um, so looking forward to that, it requires a bit of preparation. Um, I have to admit that I, I could do better in being more exact on, uh, yeah, on following my, my, my preparation schedule. But at the end of the day, running for me is fun. Like I literally.

[00:38:52] Enjoy going out and running, listening to music and so on. Then if I do it together with others, [00:39:00] uh, well, it's even more fun. So every, every weekend, more or less I'm joining some like local races, uh, or so. But yeah, it's something that I, that I found like great for L uh, reasons, uh, as you can imagine, uh, but also an nice opportunity to connect with the local local communities.

[00:39:23] Uh, if I can call out. Uh, uh, a race, I will definitely mention, uh, the park run initiatives. Uh, so, uh, it's, it's, it's a thing that started in, in, in, in London I believe, or, or definitely in UK. Uh, but now it's available all over. All over Europe, for sure. So it's basically like, um, volunteer, organized races, uh, which are 5k races in, in parks.

[00:39:52] So literally if, if you start in London, you will find that basically every, every park has one and on Saturday morning, you just wake up, you go there, it's free. [00:40:00] You run. There is a group of people, like 400, 500 people, they all run. Uh, and there are volunteers which are basically helping taking the time.

[00:40:10] And it just like, it feels so different. Like I could run 5k alone, but if I'm there with others, it just like feels completely different. Trust me. Like if you've never done it, uh, do that. And what is even great is that, uh, I'm from Italy. So I, I, I said like, Hey, how about I search for a park? I noticed that there is one next to the, the city where I'm from.

[00:40:33] Nice. And yeah, it was so great because when I've been there, I actually found a lot of people that were from London and they started saying like, oh, you live in London. So you should come to our park run. Uh, which is the one in AMS to the heat or, or so, so. It's so great how you can create community through those opportunities.

[00:40:55] So I, I literally invite everyone to, to take a stance and, and [00:41:00] go out and run a bit. You will probably, the first time will be challenging. Um, but you, you will find a lot of people that are so much into running. And I really like driven by, by this.

[00:41:15] Dmitry Vinnik: Of course. Yes. I, you know, again, it's can be a run, it can be starting with a walk or just going for a stroll.

[00:41:22] Uh, you know, if you have, uh, young, young kids as well, you know, just taking a stroller out, really just it's combining breathing fresh air and as well as, you know, enjoying yourself and some exercise and it's, uh, you know, when the time when I used to travel a lot, like I remember one year, one month I visited like 13 countries for conferences and.

[00:41:42] I wouldn't go to the gym in a hotel or near Airbnb where I would stay. I'll always just have a pair of, you know, uh, uh, the running shoes with me and I'll go for a run. You know, it would be long distance. And even if I don't know anybody there, I can use some apps like Strava. That, uh, shares [00:42:00] my run with others.

[00:42:01] Um, I listen to, you know, yeah, never long cuz I listen to a podcast or I listen to music. So I feel like someone is with me. So yeah. It's uh, it's definitely, I can connect to, to you in that sense. It's it's very exciting and it's this runner's high is the real thing. And when you run a marathon, it's very different than from writing, you know, or with somebody than running on your own.

[00:42:21] I've uh, experienced it multiple times too, so I'm sure others will. Great too. So thank you so much for your time today. Uh, I know our time zones, I'm, you know, Pacific time zone you on Europe right now. So it's quite late for you early for me, but I'm great. We connected. I I'm glad we connected and I hope everyone enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.

[00:42:42] So thank you so much.

[00:42:44] Nicola Corti: Thank you very much for having me. It was a pleasure and keep up the, the great work with the podcast. Thank you,

[00:42:49] Dmitry Vinnik: you too. We're also gonna share your podcast too, so hopefully everybody who's listening right now will subscribe and, uh, give it a listen. As I said before. Thank you.[00:43:00]