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.

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  • 282: What is Normal?

    February 23rd, 2021  |  39 mins 54 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris adds Dead Man's Snitch to a personal project and considers "what is the app doing at runtime?" as he touches on the importance of creating observable systems. Steph shares analyzing a site's traffic and using Apache Bench for simple load testing. They also respond to a listener question about creating environment-specific data for data-intensive applications.

  • 281: Finding That Middle Ground

    February 16th, 2021  |  31 mins 29 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris tackle a listener question around switching from mostly-developing to mostly-communicating and the tactics they've used to balance these facets of their work. They also discuss the new error objects in Rails 6.1, the value of breakable toys, and the importance of keeping presentational concerns out of the data model.

  • 280: Stable New New

    February 9th, 2021  |  31 mins 56 secs

    On this week's episode Chris and Steph discuss a new tmux feature and wvim, a script that streamlines shell command edits. They also discuss the value of taking a sabbatical and protecting downtime. Steph shares some exciting news about thoughtbot and they answer a listener question about GraphQL and whether your app really needs an API?

  • 279: Seeking Calm

    February 2nd, 2021  |  35 mins 7 secs

    On this week's episode Steph and Chris discuss some of characteristics and behaviors they've observed in high-performing teams, touching on pull request sizing and prioritizing code review, deploy cadence, error monitoring and response, and minimizing the number of themes being tackled by the team in parallel. They also touch on moving to Netlify and simplifying deploys, an odd edge case with 303 vs 302 status code, and the quirks of the ActiveRecord or method.

  • 278: Beliefs in the Firmware

    January 26th, 2021  |  39 mins 15 secs

    In this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss the popular testing themes and questions that emerged during the RSpec training course, reflecting on which testing "rules" still apply and when to break the rules. They also chat about the results of the 2020 State of JS survey and repurposing email validations to be helpful vs strict.

  • 277: Making Communication Easier

    January 19th, 2021  |  39 mins 52 secs

    In this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss some of their methods for helping out reviewers of their pull requests and keeping code review moving along smoothly. They also discus the shift to async communication and the tools, processes, and workflows that come with a shift to async. Does standup still have a place in an async world? Tune in to find out.

  • 276: Ride-Along Files

    January 12th, 2021  |  26 mins 58 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris shares a new favorite tool for querying JSON and Steph revisits a previous deployment issue. They also dive into the new features in Ruby 3, ponder the idea of adding types to Ruby, revisit breaking changes, and round out the conversation with a listener question about managing tmux sessions.

  • 275: In Search of An Acronym

    January 5th, 2021  |  35 mins

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris revisit their discussion about testing rack rewrite redirect logic, mystery guests, DNS configuration, and trying very hard to not be too dogmatic. Steph describes her recent work trying to debug failing deploys with Concourse, Kubernetes, and Google Cloud while touching on blue-green deployment and secrets management. Finally, Chris talks about porting a svelte project to typescript and the trade-offs of adding Types upfront vs types after the fact, and the parallels to testing and TDD.

  • 274: Top 10 Review for 2020

    December 29th, 2020  |  26 mins 10 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph reflect on their top themes and technical picks for 2020.

  • 273: Revisiting 2019, A Top 10 Review

    December 22nd, 2020  |  27 mins 29 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris begin wrapping up 2020 with a review of their 2019 top 10 list. They share what's changed, what's stayed the same, and what they'd like to see more of in the coming year.

  • 272: Hacking the Gibson

    December 15th, 2020  |  33 mins 27 secs

    In this week's episode, Chris undertakes long-running background jobs that are performing duplicate work and adding significant load on the database. Steph shares her initial take of the book "Soul of a New Machine", a non-fiction account that chronicles the development of a mini-computer in the 1980s. They also dive into the question "how can teams turn a slow, hard to maintain test suite from a liability into an asset?" and touch on how to identify highly-functioning teams.

  • 271: Is That Your Final Answer?

    December 8th, 2020  |  37 mins 49 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris describes his continued explorations with Svelte specifically bringing TypeScript into the mix. Steph discusses the first cohort for the RSpec training and some related testing questions around third party APIs. They round things out with a listener question about managing permissions and roles, with a brief detour around single table inheritance vs polymorphic associations. Oh, and Steph rented goats to mow her lawn. 🐐

  • 270: Both Nothing and Deeply Special

    December 1st, 2020  |  38 mins 57 secs

    In this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss redirecting requests for various hostnames to one canonical host, creating student personas to improve educational content, and walking away from failing tests. They also embark on a Hollywood themed tour of RSpec mocks, stubs, and spies, when to use each approach, and discuss the types of tests they do (or do not) write.

  • 269: Things are Knowable (Gary Bernhardt)

    November 17th, 2020  |  46 mins 4 secs

    In the episode, Chris is joined by Gary Bernhardt to discuss Gary's recent work with TypeScript and how it compares with his focus on testing, they revisit some of Gary's ideas around software architecture and how they map to his current work, Gary's thoughts around the value of knowing our tools deeply, and the trade-offs between careful upfront design and shipping early and often.

  • 268: Getting Your First-Through-N Jobs

    November 10th, 2020  |  52 mins 56 secs
    career, inertia, jobs, rails, svelte

    On this week's episode, Steph discusses the value of conducting student research when creating course content and Chris revisits a recent architecture decision to use Svelt and Inertia. They also explore the challenges developers face in acquiring their first job and share insights for those looking for their next big role.

  • 267: Shiny New Things

    November 3rd, 2020  |  48 mins 1 sec

    On this week's episode, Steph describes her unique new project where they're building and presenting a training course around RSpec, testing, and TDD specific to an organization's codebase. Chris then runs some architecture choices by Steph to discuss a collection of new technologies he's considering, and more generally how we think about our experimentation budget.