The Bike Shed

About the show

On The Bike Shed, hosts Chris Toomey & Steph Viccari discuss their development experience and challenges at thoughtbot with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and whatever else is drawing their attention, admiration, or ire this week.

The Bike Shed on social media


  • 350: 21 Bell Salute

    August 16th, 2022  |  52 mins 9 secs

    It's Steph and Chris' last show. Steph found a game, and if you've been following the journey, all of the Test::Unit test files are now live in RSpec. JWTs really grind Chris' gears.

    They wrap up with things they've learned, takeaways they've had, and their proudest podcasting moments. They also thank all the folks who've helped make The Bike Shed happen.

  • 349: Unpopular Opinions

    August 9th, 2022  |  40 mins 16 secs

    Steph and Chris announce Joël Quenneville as the new host of the show! 🎉 Joël talks about his grand plans for where The Bike Shed is going to go from here. (Okay, maybe not grand plans...!)

    Together, the group chats about unpopular opinions and hot programming takes.

  • 348: Breaking News

    August 2nd, 2022  |  32 mins 13 secs

    Steph and Chris share some big news about the future of The Bike Shed.

    Steph shares an update about integrating with Knapsack Pro. Chris is excited for larger projects that will begin in the next few weeks. They answer a listener's question on keeping backlogs connected to the product vision.

  • 347: Tracking Velocity

    July 26th, 2022  |  38 mins 50 secs

    Chris talks about a small toy app he maintains on the side and working with a project called capybara_table. Steph is getting ready for maternity leave and wonders how you track velocity and know if you're working quickly enough?

    They answer a listener's question about where to get started testing a legacy app.

  • 346: Occasional Biscuits

    July 19th, 2022  |  37 mins 13 secs

    Natural disaster movies, anyone? It's what Steph's been into, and Chris has THOUGHTS on the drilling in Armageddon.

    Additionally, a chat around RuboCop RSpec rules happens, and they answer a listener's question, "how do you get acquainted with a new code base?"

  • 345: Fire Drill

    July 12th, 2022  |  49 mins 22 secs

    Chris is getting ready to travel, and of course, Sagewell started the day with an incident, a situation, if you will...

    Steph talks books perfect for vacations and feels sufficiently scarred regarding still working with moving fixtures over to FactoryBot.

  • 344: Spinner Armageddon

    June 28th, 2022  |  38 mins 50 secs

    Steph has an update and a question wrapped into one about the work that is being done to migrate the Test::Unit test over to RSpec.

    Chris got to do something exciting this week using dry-monads. Success or failure?

  • 343: Opt-In To Oversharing

    June 21st, 2022  |  30 mins 31 secs

    Chris is weathering through a slight lull, a holding period, where his team waits for new features to become available with some of the platforms they integrate with, and as they think out new facets of the platform they're building.

    Steph has been thinking recently about working in isolation. It's a topic that Joël Quenneville pointed out to her and mentioned. Can engineers work in isolation and be successful?

  • 342: Sky Icing

    June 14th, 2022  |  43 mins 42 secs

    Another toaster strudel debate?! Plus, the results are in for the most listened-to podcast in the RoR community! :: drum roll ::

    Steph has a "Dear Gerrit" message to share. Chris has a follow-up on mobile app strategy.

  • 341: Fundamentals and Weird Stuff

    June 7th, 2022  |  35 mins 27 secs

    Steph and Chris are recording together! Like, in the same room, physically together.

    Chris talks about slowly evolving the architecture in an app they're working on and settling on directory structure. Steph's still working on migrating unit tests over to RSpec.

    They answer a listener question: "As senior-level developers, how do you set goals to ensure that you keep growing?"

  • 340: Solving People Problems with Rob Whittaker

    May 31st, 2022  |  50 mins 36 secs

    Steph is joined by a very special guest and fellow thoughtbotter, Rob Whittaker.

    Rob shares how he became the Software Development Director for Launchpad II, thoughtbot's Europe, Middle East, and Africa team. They also dive into what it's like to be a Development Director, the differences between mentoring and coaching, working with GitHub Codespaces, and strategies for boosting your creativity and problem solving capabilities.

  • 339: What About Pictures?

    May 24th, 2022  |  45 mins 3 secs

    Steph has a baby update and thoughts on movies, plus a question for Chris related to migrating Test Unit tests to RSpec.

    Chris watched a video from Google I/O where Chrome devs talked about a new feature called Page Transitions. He's also been working with a tool called, an omnichannel communication whiz-bang adventure!

  • 338: Meticulously Wrong

    May 17th, 2022  |  45 mins 52 secs

    Chris switched from Trello over to Linear for product management and talks about prioritizing backlogs.

    Steph shares and discusses a tweet from Curtis Einsmann that super resonated with the work she's doing right now: "In software engineering, rabbit holes are inevitable. You will research libraries and not use them. You'll write code just to delete it. This isn't a waste; sometimes, you need to go down a few wrong paths to get to the right one."

  • 337: Oh, Henry

    May 10th, 2022  |  43 mins 46 secs

    We've got a tricycle anniversary! 🥳 Will it be ruined by a cockroach?

    Steph shares an update regarding some of the progress and discoveries that she's helped make with a client in regards to speeding up CI.

    Chris is finally getting a little bit more back into the code at work and finds himself riding another time management struggle bus. P.S.: Who even names these apps?!?!

  • 336: Million Dollar Password

    May 3rd, 2022  |  35 mins 7 secs

    Chris came up with a mnemonic device: Fn-Delete – for when he really wants to delete something and is also thinking about password complexity requirements, which leads to an exciting discussion around security theater.

    Steph talks about the upcoming RailsConf and the not-in-person option for virtual attendees. She also gives a shoutout to the Ruby Weekly newsletter for being awesome.

  • 335: Start Messy

    April 26th, 2022  |  35 mins 38 secs

    Steph has a question for Chris: When you have no idea how you're going to implement a feature, how do you write your first test?

    Chris has thoughts about hybrid teams (remote/in-person) and masked inputs.