The Bike Shed

The Bike Shed

On The Bike Shed, host Chris Toomey and guests discuss their development experience and challenges with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and whatever else is drawing their attention, admiration, or ire this week.

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    176: The Machines Will Learn

    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.

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    175: Tell Me When It's Real

    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.

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    174: I've Watched a Lot of Vim Courses

    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.

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    173: A Combinatoric Explosion of Nulls

    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.

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    172: What I Believe About Software

    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.

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    171: What If We Just Used a Form?

    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.

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    170: Less Charted Territory

    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!

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    169: Fear Driven Development

    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.

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    168: An Escape Rope of Learning

    Chris is joined by Rachel Mathew to discuss Rachel's recent experiences with Scala on a handful of client and side projects. They discuss the benefits of working within a type system, learning to work with a compiler, and the process of getting to know a new language and paradigm.

    Along they way they dip into the complexity of twitter as a platform for discussion and making improvements to development workflows.

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    167: I Feel Like We Should've Solved This By Now

    Chris is joined by German Velasco for a discussion ranging from German's recent transition to remote working to the wonders of the Elixir language and the Erlang platform, blockchain, Ethereum, TypeScript, the Language Server Protocol, and more!

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