The Bike Shed

About the show

On The Bike Shed, hosts Joël Quenneville and Stephanie Minn discuss development experiences and challenges at thoughtbot with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and whatever else is drawing their attention, admiration, or ire this week.

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  • 376: Success and Fulfillment

    March 21st, 2023  |  41 mins 3 secs

    Stephanie has a win and a gripe from her client project this week. In a previous episode, Joël talked about his work exploring how to model dependent side effects, particularly D&D dice rolls. He went from the theoretical to the practical and wrote up a miniature D&D damage dice roll app that you put in a few inputs. Then it will roll all the dice necessary and tell you did you successfully hit your target and, if so, how much damage you did.

    Together, they discuss how they think about fulfillment at work and what brings them fulfillment as developers.

  • 375: Deleting Code

    March 14th, 2023  |  31 mins 19 secs

    The idea of deleting code has been swimming around in Stephanie's brain recently because she's been feeling nervous about it. Together, Joël and Stephanie explore ways of gaining confidence to delete code while feeling good about it.

  • 374: Discrete Math

    March 7th, 2023  |  30 mins 54 secs

    Joël is joined by a very special guest, Sara Jackson, a fellow Software Developer at thoughtbot.

    A few episodes ago, Stephanie and Joël talked about "The Fundamentals" and how many of the fundamentals of web development line up with a Computer Science degree. Joël made a comment during that episode that his pick for the most underrated CS class that he thinks would benefit most devs is a class called
    "Discrete Math." Sara weighs in!

  • 373: Empathy, Community and Gender Bias in Tech with Andrea Goulet

    February 28th, 2023  |  42 mins 21 secs

    Stephanie is joined today by a very special guest, Andrea Goulet. Andrea founded Empathy In Tech as part of writing her book Empathy-Driven Software Development. She's also the founder of the community Legacy Code Rocks and the Chief Vision Officer of two companies: Corgibytes and Heartware (which provides financial support to keep Empathy In Tech running).

    Stephanie has strong opinions about the concept of "Makers and Menders" that the Corgibytes folks have written/spoken about, especially around those personas and gender stereotypes. Andrea joins Steph to evolve the conversation and add nuance to the discussion about legacy code/maintenance in our community.

  • 372: Onboarding (Well!) Onto a Project

    February 21st, 2023  |  37 mins 37 secs

    Stephanie raves about more software development-related zines by Julia Evans. Joël has been thinking about the mechanics of rolling dice.

    Stephanie also started on a new client project that Joël has already been working on for many months. They talk about onboarding.

  • 371: The "Fundamentals"

    February 14th, 2023  |  36 mins 32 secs

    Joël has been fighting autoloading in a Rails app recently, and it's been really unpleasant. Stephanie has been experimenting with how she interacts with Slack.

    What are "the fundamentals"? People often argue for the value of Computer Science classes for the jobbing programmer because we need "the fundamentals." But what are they? And does CS really provide that for us?

  • 370: Creative Expression in Software Development

    February 7th, 2023  |  38 mins 52 secs

    Stephanie shares that she's been taking an intro to basket weaving class at a local art studio, and it's an interesting connection to computer science. Joël eats honeycomb live on air and shares a video that former Bike Shed host Steph Viccari found from Ian Anderson. It's a parody to the tune of "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but it's all about the Ruby 3.2 release.

    In this episode, Stephanie and Joël shift away from literature and lean into art. Writing code is technical work, but in many ways, it's also aesthetic work. It's a work of art. How do you feel about expressing yourself creatively through your code?

  • 369: Most Impactful Articles of 2022

    January 31st, 2023  |  50 mins 23 secs

    Joël has been pondering another tool for thought from Maggie Appleton: diagramming. What does drawing complex things reveal? Stephanie has updates on how Soup Group went, plus a clarification from last week's episode re: hexagons and tessellation.

    They also share the top most impactful articles they read in 2022.

  • 368: Sustainable Web Development

    January 24th, 2023  |  36 mins 3 secs

    Stephanie talks about hosting a "Soup Group"! Joël got nerd-sniped during the last episode and dove deeper into Maggie Appleton's "Tools for Thought."

    Stephanie has been thinking a lot about Sustainable Web Development. What is sustainability? How does it relate to tech and what we do?

  • 367: Value Objects

    January 17th, 2023  |  34 mins

    Joël's been traveling. Stephanie's working on professional development. She's also keeping up a little bit more with Ruby news and community news in general and saw that Ruby 3.2 introduced a new class called data to its core library for the use case of creating simple value objects.

  • 366: Componentization and Branching Strategies

    January 10th, 2023  |  38 mins 31 secs

    Happy New Year! It's 2023 🎉 Joël and Stephanie chat about developer resolutions or things they'd like to do this year and then discuss componentization and branching strategies.

  • 365: Career Progression

    December 13th, 2022  |  37 mins 55 secs

    Joël has been thinking a lot recently about array indexing. Stephanie started volunteering at the Chicago Tool Library, a non-profit community lending library for Chicagoans to borrow tools and equipment for DIY home projects!

    It's the end of the year and often a time of reflection: looking back on the year and thinking about the next. Stephanie and Joël ponder if open source is a critical way to advance careers as software developers.

  • 364: Constructive vs Predicative Data

    December 6th, 2022  |  34 mins 7 secs

    Stephanie and Joël attended RubyConf Mini, and both spoke there. They discuss takeaways and highlights from the conference.

    The core idea for this episode is explained in this article: Constructive vs. Predicative Data. This came up recently in a conversation at thoughtbot about designing a database schema and what constraints could be encoded in the schema directly versus needing some kind of trigger or Rails validation to cover it.

  • 363: Deployments

    November 22nd, 2022  |  34 mins 26 secs

    Joël discovered Bardcore. Stephanie planned and executed an IRL meetup for folks in the WNB.rb virtual community group in Chicago and had a consulting win.

    Together, they discuss what deployment processes look like for clients in their current workloads.

  • 362: Prioritizing Learning

    November 15th, 2022  |  29 mins 40 secs

    This week, Steph and Joël discuss investment time and keeping track of things they want to learn.

    How do you, dear listener, keep track of things you want to learn? When investment time rolls around, what do you reach for, or how do you prioritize that list? Are there things you actively decide not to focus on when choosing where to develop deep expertise? Are there things you wish you could spend time on if you could?

  • 361: Working Incrementally

    November 8th, 2022  |  30 mins 28 secs

    thoughtbotter Stephanie Minn joins The Bike Shed as co-host! 🎉

    Joël and Stephanie talk about continuing on a rewrite and redesign of a legacy Rails app and working incrementally.