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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  • 250: To Infinity and Beyond

    June 30th, 2020  |  42 mins 5 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss the importance of using inclusive language, branching into new branch names, and strategies that encourage the use of inclusive terminology. Chris also shares his latest experience with merging two systems that were split apart back into one system, tackling conflicting foreign keys and competing auth libraries. Steph discusses using polling vs web sockets to monitor work being completed in a background job and communicating to the user the various states of success and failure.

  • 249: What Would You Say You Do Here?

    June 23rd, 2020  |  41 mins 2 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris trade some consulting and everyone comes out a winner. Steph talks about a win and a loss on the battlefield of refactoring, and Chris shares a related effort around identifying and removing unused code. Chris shares a pattern his team has been using with a special "demo" flag to provide small enhancements but otherwise keep sales demos within the product.

    Steph then shares some friction related to using dependabot on her team's project that hints at more foundational ideas at the intersection of workflow, team dynamics, testing, deployment. And finally, Chris asks Steph for her thoughts on how best to add testing around the structure of API responses.

  • 248: Here Be Dragons

    June 16th, 2020  |  34 mins 16 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph shares a keyboard confession and interest in migrating to a split keyboard layout. Chris dives into creating static error pages that are independent of the app while still leveraging the app's CSS framework. They also respond to a listener question about Conventional Commits and discuss when automation tooling feels helpful vs harmful.

  • 247: Acronyms By Moonlight

    June 9th, 2020  |  49 mins 28 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss potential approaches to a complex client-side workflow, Chris shares the highs and lows of his recent adventures revising the caching in a REST API, Steph shares an Ember testing pro-tip and then explores the questions it brings up, and lastly, they revisit prettier-ruby and it's fantastic configuration setup.

  • 246: A True Movement (Pariss Athena)

    June 2nd, 2020  |  28 mins 13 secs

    We are pausing our normal tech-talk this week in support of the ongoing protests and to re-share the #BlackTechTwitter episode with Pariss Athena from our sister podcast, Giant Robots.

    During the past week, millions of people across the country have participated in protests in response to the killing of George Floyd and the systemic racism that plagues our nation.

    For everyone fighting for equality and justice, we see you, we love you, and we support you. Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter.

    For those looking for ways to take action, we have provided a few resources in the show notes. The list is intentionally short as we ask everyone to research ways to get involved and listen to leaders in the Black community.

    Fighting for equality falls on each of us, regardless of race or position, to work together to fight racism and unequal treatment.

    Stay Safe.

  • 245: Developer Therapy (German Velasco)

    May 27th, 2020  |  45 mins 17 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph is joined by thoughtbotter German Velasco. German and Steph chat about remote work and the rewards and challenges of their new(ish) roles as Development Team Leads. German also shares that he is writing a book! German shares his approach for defining an MVB (Minimum Viable Book), ideas for how to collect feedback, and plans for publishing. Lastly, they discuss a vim plugin that lives up to the hype.

  • 244: Existential JavaScript

    May 19th, 2020  |  40 mins 54 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph troubleshoots a mysterious Ember test failure that can't find a visible element, and Chris recounts an exciting three-act adventure that spans N+1 queries, caching, and SQL window functions. Steph also touches on upgrading to Ember Octane and Glimmer components and Chris shares a new helpful tool for drawing architecture diagrams.

  • 243: I'm Not a Couch Worker

    May 12th, 2020  |  40 mins 20 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris shares his recent explorations of railway oriented programming (hint: not what you think!) while doing his best to avoid words like "monad" and "functor" (he does not succeed in this effort). Steph updates on her quest for the ultimate personal note taking app and some misadventures in DNS and networking, and they touch on their shared search for ergonomics in the home office world we all live in these days.

  • 242: As Few Consonants as Possible

    May 5th, 2020  |  41 mins 36 secs

    On this week’s episode, Chris and Steph share their excitement for Roam Research and formatting Ruby with Prettier Ruby. They also discuss writing test coverage for an important GDPR process, embracing async communication, and share their preferred strategies for knowledge sharing within teams and the broader community.

  • 241: What If We Just Put a Phone Number?

    April 28th, 2020  |  36 mins 39 secs

    On this week's episode Steph and Chris dig into MVP thinking and asking how we can write as little code as possible before finding out if any user will actually want the thing we're building.

    They also tackle a listener question around Vim and the general ROI on honing our developer tools, discuss some of the subtleties of HTTP and forms as well as the difficulties when half of our UI is in React and the other half Rails, and lastly chat a bit about their adaptation to full-time remote work.

  • 240: A Framework in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion

    April 21st, 2020  |  34 mins 2 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss troubleshooting a race condition, trusting your intuition and pessimistic locks. They also touch briefly on TailWind CSS before diving deep into first impressions of Inertia.js.

  • 239: Admins All the Way Down

    April 7th, 2020  |  38 mins 5 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss what it really means to make a project "open source". Is it just about making the code publicly available, or should we be considering licenses and responsibility to update?

    They also discuss the need for breaks and structure now that everyone is working from home, revisit previous discussions around building functionality for admin users and the various admin systems out there, and they round out the conversation with a discussion around doubles vs spies in testing.

  • 238: All the Single Quotes

    March 31st, 2020  |  28 mins 12 secs

    In this week's episode, Chris shares details about his new greenfield project, implementing static pages with high voltage, opting for just-in-time architecture decisions and working with various admin libraries. Steph discusses various ways to advocate for change across larger engineering teams, recognizing when it's important to push for change vs letting go of strong opinions, and how to gain buy-in from your team.

  • 237: I Love The Squiggles

    March 17th, 2020  |  39 mins 18 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss the pros and cons of memoization, Chris revisits the discussion around the value of react snapshot tests as well as his continued explorations with Inertia.js while Steph updates us on living in a schema-less world, and they round out the conversation with a listener question about pairing tools, setup, and approaches.

  • 236: What's GNU With You?

    March 10th, 2020  |  44 mins 20 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss recent challenges associated with upgrading React Router and uploading files to Amazon S3. Steph also shares her latest reading adventure in cybersecurity and Chris reflects on his time at thoughtbot, how his approach to web development has shifted over the past seven years, and what he plans to do next.

  • 235: Take a Deep Breath

    March 3rd, 2020  |  44 mins 24 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris dig into their shared love of refactoring. How do they think about it, have they ever reverted a refactor, thoughts on deferred refactoring, and more.

    They also discuss some positive team habits, snapshot testing, the importance of keeping your testing as close to production as possible, and finally, Chris shares some big personal news.