The “perfect” guest appearance (for me)

I guess I can continue with “the perfect X (for me)” pattern here. I like it because it illustrates strong opinions but acknowledges that everyone is different, and I very well may be in the minority with some of these. I don’t intend to be an edgelord contrarian person but instead, take time to critique my own ideas from different viewpoints.

Funemployment time

I took time off before starting the job hunt and am not working during this period. I have looooots of time. So I figured podcast appearances would be an excellent way to stay engaged with the community and maybe even convince someone to hire me. I absolutely loved hanging out with my friends Seth and Ken on the Absolute Appsec podcast. I had a good time explaining the GitHub account security on the Application Security podcast. I’ll be on the Securitea and Crumpets podcast later today. And I have a Devslop presentation on the 27th.


While preparation can feel like extra work when you think you can just wing it, practice helps me. Absolute Appsec was three friends hanging out, and we were all over the place. I loved it and would do it again. The Application Security podcast is a little more formal and structured. They shared a loose schedule beforehand with some key points to hit.

Lewis from Securitea and Crumpets reached out a few days in advance with a rough outline that he refined before I could read it. I had the time to at least write some things down in response. I would leave breadcrumbs for something I would rather explain in-depth verbally instead of writing an essay. It gave him a chance to react to my answers and surely create more potential areas to explore time willing.

Devslop is on another level, and they clearly communicate that. They mean no disrespect to other podcasts, another thing they clearly expressed, but they had an expectation that the guest is prepared and comes with collateral. I wasn’t required to create a slide deck, but I did. Devslop wanted materials 2 weeks in advance and had an easy-to-follow checklist of things to do, like scheduling a dry-run (something unique in my experience). Some people won’t want to do the extra work if they don’t have something prepared, and that’s OK. But I like structure and will embrace this format because honestly if I’m up there talking on my own, I’m going to gloss over some critical detail that’s the foundation for whatever’s next.


So far, I’ve used streamlabs (I think), some video services I’ve never heard of, discord (future), and maybe even another tool. Why can’t we just use zoom lol. I have two cameras: one for me and one for my dog when I would stream. This confuses software. These interfaces are all janky. But maybe it’s a good thing because I show up early anticipating a reboot or unplugging of cables.

Live vs. recorded

On some levels, I would prefer to have someone edit the content. I remember asking someone to take out a section in the past because I didn’t feel like it was good or even accurate, so I learned to avoid that situation. But still, an editor can probably improve things, and I’m OK with that.

Live, on the other hand, can have audience interaction. So while I might end up regretting saying something and know that it’s out there forever, audience interaction is really cool. I’ll answer a million questions if it helps people understand things. I’m not an educator. I’ve just seen cool stuff I can share.


I prefer to have multiple co-hosts when I do guest appearances, but it’s certainly not a requirement of mine. Having that extra person there to keep the conversation going can be helpful at the expense of a potential moment where everyone is talking at once.

Straight to business or for the memes

I’m not even sure what my preferences are. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have three separate apps that serve different purposes. Sometimes, I want to listen to a figurative radio while writing a blog post. This set of podcasts is mostly news-based things, a handful of miniseries, a couple sportsball podcasts, and more. It’s OK if I take off my Aftershokz (sponsor me!!!) without pausing, resulting in 3 hours of my playlist going unlistened.

Other times, I want to carefully analyze everything said with my undivided attention. This can either be history, technology, or science-based. And no ads are allowed here. At all.

Other times, I just want someone to keep my brain engaged just enough that I’ll eventually drift off into sleep. These are almost exclusively based on history, preferably history before Rome. For these podcasts, I hate guests almost as much as I hate ads. Unless the guest has a similar speaking style with high-quality audio, it just feels like it doesn’t belong and can actually wake me up if I’ve already drifted off. OK, I don’t know that’s true. But I have awoken and heard that resulting in my throwing my Aftershokz (they are great for sleeping, free shoutout) across the room.