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

Episodes

  • 184: Fun, Interesting, and I Wouldn't Recommend It

    January 18th, 2019  |  41 mins 22 secs

    On this week's episode, Chris is joined by Eebs Kobeissi, a developer in our Boston studio, for a discussion encompassing the front end, back end, and everything in between. They start by discussing Eebs' recent work with both Elm & TypeScript, and the relative merits of these two strongly typed languages for the front end. From there they move on to a discussion around the different communities and rates of change in each.

  • 183: Former Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots (Ben Orenstein)

    January 11th, 2019  |  49 mins 25 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed, Chris is joined by former thoughtbotter Ben Orenstein. Ben & team are currently feverishly working towards launching Tuple.app, an app for remote pair programming. The conversation covers the unique technical challenges inherent to building this sort of app (WebRTC & firewalls, oh my), as well as a discussion around the merits and value of pair programming. To round out the conversation, Ben checks in on whether Chris is still "nerding out hard on Vim".

  • 182: What's it in the Service Of?

    January 4th, 2019  |  39 mins 12 secs

    Chris is joined by Eric Bailey, thoughtbot designer and champion for all things accessibility on the web. Chris & Eric chat about how Eric approaches accessibility and works to include it throughout the design process, design systems, functional CSS, CSS in JS, and more.

  • 181: Strong Types and a Functional Flair

    December 14th, 2018  |  41 mins 31 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed, Chris is joined by thoughtbot CTO Joe Ferris. Chris & Joe start by talking about all things data. More and more we're building applications that need to manage medium to large data sets, combining data from multiple sources, and our approaches and frameworks need to evolve to match these needs. Joe provides the low down on how this can shape the way we build our applications.

    As part of the discussion around data they dig into the idea of event logs, most notably discussing Apache Kafka and it's unique approach to capturing state by storing an immutable event log, and the resulting architecture that falls out of this.

    Lastly they chat about the Scala language both in relation to data and streaming applications, but also more generally as an example of an approachable yet powerful strongly typed language.

  • 180: A Citizen of the Internet (John Resig)

    December 7th, 2018  |  39 mins 14 secs

    We're thrilled to welcome special guest John Resig, creator of jQuery and front-end architect at Khan Academy.

  • 179: We CAN Just Use a Form!

    November 30th, 2018  |  49 mins 47 secs

    Matt Sumner returns to chat with Chris about their recent adventures. They discuss Matt's ongoing work building an open source Ethereum implementation in Elixir, Chris's recent trip to speak at GraphQL Summit, and React Hooks.

  • 178: Friday is For Spikes

    November 16th, 2018  |  38 mins 31 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed Chris is joined by Derek Prior, former thoughtbotter and previous host of this very podcast. Derek has recently moved on from thoughtbot to try out a new role as an engineering manager at GitHub.

  • 177: Tricking Computers Into Doing Things

    November 9th, 2018  |  32 mins 21 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed, Chris is joined by Christina Entcheva, developer from thoughtbot’s New York studio to discuss rails performance, user focused development, and headless CMSs.

  • 176: The Machines Will Learn

    November 2nd, 2018  |  37 mins 10 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed Chris is joined by George Brocklehurst, development director in thoughtbot's New York studio. The conversation starts with a discussion around progressive enhancement and the state of the modern web, and then shifts to focus on George's recent explorations of machine learning. This episode is a perfect introduction to the topic of ML, and provides a great summary of why you might want to start working with it and how to go about that.

  • 175: Tell Me When It's Real

    October 26th, 2018  |  42 mins 11 secs

    On this episode of the Bike Shed, Chris is joined by Josh Clayton, thoughtbot’s managing director in our Boston studio. Chris and Josh spend the episode discussing the various patterns and trends they see in the world of web development, covering languages and frameworks as well as more general patterns and approaches.

  • 174: I've Watched a Lot of Vim Courses

    October 18th, 2018  |  30 mins 48 secs

    In this special crossover episode, Chris is joined by Chad Pytel, Co-founder & CEO of thoughtbot and host of Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast, to discuss the content, history, and the process of making Upcase, thoughtbot's online learning platform, FREE.

  • 173: A Combinatoric Explosion of Nulls

    October 12th, 2018  |  50 mins 5 secs

    Joël Quenneville joins Chris to discuss Elm, the strongly typed functional programming language for writing reliable client side web apps. They discuss recent changes from the 0.19 release including reduced bundle size from dead code elimination, the somewhat controversial removal of custom operators. Anecdotally, Joël and team saw a reduction from 31.5K to 16.6K in bundle size going from 0.18 to 0.19 and felt no pain from the custom operators removal, so a big net win for them with this new version.

    Along the way Joël and Chris detour into the complexity of managing a project and community like Elm's and discuss Joel's recent work with the thoughtbot apprentice program. To round things out, Joël and Chris discuss the power of using a type system like Elm's to constrain the valid states of your application and make your apps more robust and maintainable.

  • 172: What I Believe About Software

    October 5th, 2018  |  55 mins 51 secs

    Steph Viccari joins Chris for a conversation starting with a discussion of some deployment and orchestration issues Chris was helping out with, followed by some of Steph's recent experiences with JSONB in postgres and the relative trade-offs of unstructured data.

    The heart of the conversation revolves around the core processes we use to develop software touching on sprint planning & story points, deadlines, the place for refactoring and code review in the regular cadence of development, and the often lamented retrospective meeting.

  • 171: What If We Just Used a Form?

    September 21st, 2018  |  45 mins 55 secs

    Matt Sumner joins Chris for a discussion around Matt's recent adventures with the block chain and Ethereum, as well as tackling the thorny issue of server rendered vs client side apps. They cover a bit of history, a bit of opinion, and some practical considerations to keep in mind when tackling rich client development.

  • 170: Less Charted Territory

    September 14th, 2018  |  49 mins 14 secs

    Chris is joined by Paul Smith to discuss Crystal, a statically-typed and compiled language with a Ruby inspired syntax. Paul has spent much of the past few years exploring Crystal and building a new web framework called Lucky.

    Paul's infectious enthusiasm for the Crystal language shines through in this discussion covering some of the unique features of Crystal & Lucky, but there is plenty to enjoy even if you're not specifically interested in Crystal.

    With Lucky, Paul has done a great job of taking the best of what has been built in other frameworks and bring it to Crystal, drawing inspiration from Ruby & Rails, Elixir & Phoenix, and even PHP and the Laravel framework. There's something in this episode for everyone!

  • 169: Fear Driven Development

    September 7th, 2018  |  38 mins 44 secs

    Chris is joined by Kane Baccigalupi, development director from thoughtbot's San Francisco office to discuss Kane's history in government working for 18F and California State and how those experiences have informed Kane's work since.

    Throughout the conversation Chris and Kane discuss their shared desire to hide all implementation details and their love of Ruby for how it allows us to do that, testing vs test driven development, and approaches for refactoring large untested systems.