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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  • 206: No-One Wants to be the Canary

    July 23rd, 2019  |  38 mins 8 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss working with Django, Angular, and explore the new features released in Ruby 2.7.0-preview1! They also respond to a listener's question regarding the trade-offs of using client state management tools like NgRx and Redux.

  • 205: Won't Somebody Think of The Jokes (Aaron Patterson)

    July 9th, 2019  |  45 mins 29 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined in a live recording from RailsConf by the one and only Aaron Patterson. They discuss Aaron's many RailsConf keynotes, his recent work on Rails view rendering and his three-year-long effort to bring more advanced garbage collection to Ruby which will finally be seeing the light of day. And of course, plenty of puns.

  • 204: I Don't Like Rest

    July 2nd, 2019  |  45 mins 52 secs

    In this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss ways to unplug and protect personal downtime, RESTful sorting, altering production data within a Rails migration vs a rake task, adopting Unicode characters, and respond to a listener's question about how they approach client relationships and share thoughtbot's Agile-like process.

  • 203: A Blessed Monkeypatch (Eileen M. Uchitelle)

    June 25th, 2019  |  40 mins 46 secs

    On this week's episode, we revisit RailsConf 2019 for another live recording, this time with Eileen M. Uchitelle, GitHubber and rails core team member. Eileen joins Chris to discuss her RailsConf talk on how GitHub maintained a custom fork of Rails for years, how they finally moved off it, and what lessons we can take away from their experience. They also discussed Eileen's recent work on automatic database switching coming in Rails 6, microservices and monoliths, and getting into working on Rails.

  • 202: I Left it All on The Dance Floor

    June 18th, 2019  |  32 mins 21 secs

    In this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss how working with typed-languages influences their work with dynamic languages. They also chat about the benefits of pair programming, tracking performance events using Rails' Instrumentation API and respond to a listener's question about how to structure code that doesn't fit neatly within the default Rails' structure.

  • 201: Artisanally Indented Code (Kevin Deisz)

    June 11th, 2019  |  45 mins 39 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Kevin Deisz, CTO of CultureHQ, live from RailsConf. They discuss Kevin's RailsConf talk on preevalution in Ruby, but dig further into Kevin's core philosophies that drive his work on tools like preval. They round out the discussion with Kevin's work on prettier-plugin Ruby, an automated code formatter to finally tame the wild west of Ruby syntax, and the hopeful path to a v1.0 in the not too distant future.

  • 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.