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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  • 218: Finesse in Quitting (Brittany Martin)

    October 15th, 2019  |  41 mins 54 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph is joined by Brittany Martin, an avid Rubyist and the host of the Ruby on Rails Podcast. They discuss Brittany's passion for roller derby and her upcoming Ruby conference talk: "Hire Me, I'm Excellent at Quitting." They also discuss using AWS Serverless, troubleshooting Postgress connection errors and working with Google Pay and Apple Wallet to introduce digital tickets.

  • 217: A Vote For Reasonableness

    October 8th, 2019  |  32 mins 47 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph shares an update on her mechanical keyboard adventures and provides a summary for the Ruby pipeline operator being reverted. Chris gets Steph's opinion on a possible improvement around using materialized views in tests and describes a recent debugging adventure he and Steph went on. They also discuss a listener question regarding encouraging companies to use Ruby and Rails and asking how we identify ourselves as developers. Finally, they round out the conversation with a clarification around public vs private GraphQL APIs.

  • 216: I'm Not the Best Criminal

    October 1st, 2019  |  39 mins 16 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph recounts an issue with an email client that lowercases URLs and Chris ponders the art of logging and using structured logs. They also highlight a plugin that improves TypeScript support in Vim, how the Pinterest team celebrates the "retirement" of code, and respond to a listener who is debating between refactoring their app or investing in a full rewrite.

  • 215: Start With People

    September 24th, 2019  |  35 mins

    On this week's episode, Steph returns from vacation and Chris makes some noise about a fantastic new button. They discuss Steph's continued adventures in search of the perfect mechanical keyboard and then dig into two listener questions on landing a first job as a developer and what frameworks and languages to focus on, as well as discussing some of the common objections to GraphQL.

  • 214: Have You Tried Refreshing the Page?

    September 17th, 2019  |  38 mins 43 secs

    On this week's episode, Matt Sumner guest stars to discuss his recent adventures on a project that uses React, TypeScript and GraphQL. Along the way, Matt and Chris discuss VS Code features, Apollo caching and reflect upon their first year as Development Directors. 

  • 213: Admins Matter Too

    September 10th, 2019  |  35 mins 18 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph discusses a mini design sprint she led to help validate an internal admin tool while Chris muses on the merits of net negative lines of code on a project. They dig into the idea that while code can certainly be an asset, it may also be a liability. They investigate ActiveSupport::MessageVerifier for secure time-sensitive tokens. Steph shares details about her recent visit to the Ruby on Rails Podcast and Chris shares the recording for a talk he gave on understanding technology choices. Lastly, they round out the conversation with a listener question about build times and lock files and how to organize and split up our tests.

  • 212: Award Winning Sheds

    September 4th, 2019  |  37 mins 17 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris share the news that The Bike Shed won the Best Dev Podcast on the Hackernoon Noonies awards! After a bit of celebration, they get back to their normal adventures with a discussion around onboarding covering the importance, approach, and pitfalls that they've seen in their time joining countless teams. They also touch on the relevance and increasing ease of SSL everywhere, and they answer a listener question about technical debt and rewriting applications.

  • 211: I'm Not a Lawyer, But...

    August 27th, 2019  |  36 mins 28 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss their preferred strategy when building an admin portal (spoiler: it's not using a client-side technology), separating our identity from our preferred technology, coding styles that require greater mental effort, and answer a listener's question about deleting migrations.

  • 210: Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen

    August 20th, 2019  |  34 mins 46 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss mechanical keyboards, combating error fatigue, the joy of admin features and respond to two listener questions about typed vs dynamic languages and various ways to "speed up" third-party API calls.

  • 209: We Will Never Know Enough (Michael Chan)

    August 13th, 2019  |  39 mins 15 secs

    On this week's episode Chris is joined by Michael Chan aka @chantastic, host of the React Podcast and prolific maker and sharer throughout the internets. They discuss Micheal's work on the React Podcast and themes in open source in general, Michael's focus on communication and delivering value, and the honest take that no one has all the answers or a silver bullet.

  • 208: Goldilocks and the Three Monitors

    August 6th, 2019  |  33 mins 30 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris and Steph weigh-in on curved monitors, discuss how pairing improves productivity and team morale, and respond to two listener questions inquiring what makes Rails successful and new project nerves.

  • 207: Very-Bad, Or Just Normal-Bad?

    July 30th, 2019  |  39 mins 46 secs

    On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss a handful of utilities that help with their workflows and GitHub, and then dive into a handful of ActiveRecord, SQL, and postgres-related topics. They discuss safe vs unsafe migrations when dealing with larger volumes of data, adding an index safely in migration without downtime, and bringing postgres enums into Rails.

  • 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.