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


  • 200: FOMO for Hallway Track (200th Episode!)

    May 29th, 2019  |  53 mins 51 secs

    On this very special Bike Shed, Steph and Chris celebrate reaching the 200th episode. They discuss the origins of the show and thank some of the wonderful folks who helped make it happen (thanks Derek, Sean, Amanda, Laila, and of course Thom!). They discuss Chris's recent trip to RailsConf and some strategies for making the most of conference attendance. Also, Steph's recent work hosting an intro to web development course. They wrap things up with a series of questions captured live from RailsConf at the community meetup covering career growth, naming, graphql, joy, and more.

  • 199: Pave That Path

    May 21st, 2019  |  45 mins 16 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris talk about PR sizing, load testing (the weird way), and ponder the merits and pitfalls of personal style in code. They also discuss Hertz suing Accenture for undelivered software and the belief that engineers should talk to users! This one truly has something for everyone.

  • 198: In Terms of Tradeoffs (Glenn Vanderburg)

    May 14th, 2019  |  41 mins 22 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Glenn Vanderburg, VP of Engineering at, live from RailsConf. They discuss Glenn's RailsConf talk, "The 30-Month Migration", covering distributed data models, refactoring, and the wonders of postgres. They also discuss Glenn's famous talk, "Real Software Engineering", and what the term "software engineering" means within our communities.

  • 197: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

    May 7th, 2019  |  44 mins 27 secs

    Steph and Chris discuss Redux, integration testing strategies, scoping data for React components, and take a question from a listener about improving process and reducing bugs in a complex service-oriented system with a hint of waterfall in their workflow.

  • 196: I Can Be Wrong on the Internet

    April 30th, 2019  |  38 mins 28 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris welcomes Steph as the new co-host of The Bike Shed! Chris and Steph discuss their experiences using React, TypeScript, and Angular.

  • 195: WebAssembly & WASI (Lin Clark & Till Schneidereit)

    April 19th, 2019  |  37 mins 1 sec

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Lin Clark and Till Schneidereit of Mozilla to discuss all things WebAssembly. Lin and Till are helping to lead the development and advocacy around WebAssembly and in this conversation they discuss the current state of WASM, new developments like the WebAssembly System Interface (WASI), and the longer term possibilities and goals for WASM.

  • 194: My PGP Shame

    April 12th, 2019  |  47 mins 13 secs

    Mike Burns discusses the ins and outs of application security, his comprehensive Application Security Guide, common security holes, and his personal information & security management workflow.

  • 193: A Thing I Know Almost Nothing About

    April 5th, 2019  |  47 mins 41 secs

    Edward Loveall, former thoughtbot design apprentice and now thoughtbot developer, chats about his thoughtbot origin story, podcasts, DNS, and "must have" developer tools on new machines.

  • 192: I Don't Want to Think That Hard

    March 29th, 2019  |  34 mins 5 secs

    Sid Raval chats about functional programming, strong types, and accessibility. The discussion touches on TypeScript, Haskell, Scala, Elm, as well as accessibility and developer tools.

    Thank you to CircleCI for sponsoring this episode.

  • 191: Open Source is Created By Humans (Devon Zuegel)

    March 22nd, 2019  |  39 mins 32 secs

    Chris is joined by Devon Zuegel who recently joined GitHub in the new Open Source Product Manager role. Devon and Chris discuss the complexities inherent to open source including funding models, managing motivation and burnout, different open source models, and end with a discussion around how we can be better open source citizens, both as consumers and maintainers.

    Thank you to CircleCI for sponsoring this episode.

  • 190: Going Steady With a Platform

    March 15th, 2019  |  52 mins 26 secs

    Alex Sullivan takes Chris on a tour of the mobile landscape comparing the core native platforms (the languages, developer tooling and IDEs, and fundamental thinking), React Native, and briefly touching on the newest entrant into the mobile space, Flutter.

    Thank you to CircleCI for sponsoring this episode.

  • 189: It's Gonna Work, Definitely, No Problems Whatsoever

    March 1st, 2019  |  41 mins 38 secs

    Chris is joined by Steph Viccari to chat about Steph's recent experience working on the Hubspot API ruby wrapper, testing third-party APIs, VCR, using exceptions as control flow, and spooky mystery guests at a distance. A little something for everyone!

  • 188: A Function by Any Other Name

    February 22nd, 2019  |  38 mins 1 sec

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by German Velasco for a conversation that fully lives up to the name of the show with plenty of opinions and impressively deep dives on topics that folks outside the world of programming would never think could warrant this much discussion.

  • 187: Convincing People Not to Build Software

    February 15th, 2019  |  41 mins 31 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Matt Sumner, development director in our Boston Studio to discuss Matt's crypto adventures, design sprint experiences, a new ecosystem for him with Scala & GraphQL.

  • 186: Let's Duplicate Stuff

    February 1st, 2019  |  38 mins 12 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Daniel Colson, developer in our New York studio and current maintainer of all things FactoryBot. Chris & Daniel discuss Daniel's work as maintainer of one of thoughtbot's most popular open source projects and some of the parallels to thoughtbot's consulting work. They then discuss a bit more on the specifics of FactoryBot and what's in store for upcoming versions.

  • 185: The Transactional Fallacy (Avdi Grimm)

    January 25th, 2019  |  35 mins 1 sec

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Ruby Hero Avdi Grimm. They discuss Avdi's history of guiding the Ruby and broader programming communities, his thoughts about where we're at with object-oriented programming, and where he's looking to next for our industry.