Giant Robots Smashing into other Giant Robots Podcast

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The Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots podcast is a weekly technical podcast discussing development, design, and the business of software development.

Hosted by Ben Orenstein, who is joined each week by developers and designers from thoughtbot and beyond.

Maintaining The Meat Machines (Adam Wiggins)

On this weeks Giant Robots Ben welcomes Adam Wiggins, Heroku co-founder and former CTO, to join as more of a guest host than guest. They discuss team size/structure, project scalability, the benefits of working abroad & self-maintenance best practices.

Adequately Industrious (Aaron Patterson)

On our special 100th episode Aaron Patterson joins Ben from RailsConf to talk AdequateRecord, frustrations in software, bulk meat discounts, the finer nuances of cat-naming and the importance of scientific thinking in web development.

You Are Not Alone (Greg Baugues)

From RailsConf, Ben & Greg Baugues of Twilio discuss how mental illness affects the development community and the importance of, as well as resources to, proper treatment.

Memorization Techniques (Chris Hunt)

From RailsConf, Ben talks to Chris Hunt of Github about techniques for enhancing spacial memory, competitive personalities, the coffee infamy of the Pacific Northwest and Clojure testing.

Business is Hard (Jeff Casimir)

Live from RailsConf, Ben talks to Executive Director of The Turing School Jeff Casimir on Conf-stress, the lack of jobs in open source and the challenges of learning to run a business.

Making Time (Chas Emerick)

This week Ben sits down with Chas Emerick to discuss his latest venture, The Quilt Project, start up philosophies and the importance of balanced time management.

Diversity of Approach (David Nolen)

On this weeks show Ben talks to David Nolen, Rails & Java Script developer for the NY Times, about being a stewart of ClojureScript, functional programing, the advantages of immutable values and Om.

Not Ruining Design (Rich Thornett)

This week on Giant Robots, Ben talks to Rich Thornett, Co-Founder of Dribbble, about the formation and criticisms of the company, the role of product design and remote team management.

Prospering Communities (Kyle Bragger)

This week Ben Talks with Kyle Bragger of Elepath, Inc on the nature of online community building, advertising vs subscription revenue models and the importance of continued creative output (and actually releasing it to the world).

Humility and Patience (Peter Reinhardt)

In this week's episode, we're joined by Peter Reinhardt, Co-founder and CEO of Segment.io. Ben and Peter discuss the product, their tech stack, the companies big pivot to Segment.io, their growth and future plans. They also discuss leaving MIT to start a company, getting along with your co-founders, nuclear reactors, hiking, and much more.

I Want These Ideas To Be Free (Max Temkin)

This week, Ben is joined by Max Temkin, creator of Cards Against Humanity and Humans vs. Zombies. Max talks about his success with Cards Against Humanity and his feelings of impostor syndrome. He talks about some of his other projects including his first indie game, Humans vs. Zombies. Most recently Max had a multiplayer PC game published called Samurai Gunn. Max talks about the "open source" nature of his games. They discuss money, sustainability, kickstarter, and much more.

The Bus Number (Harper Reed)

On this week's episode, Ben talks with Harper Reed, former CTO of Threadless, former CTO of Obama for America, and currently CEO of Modest. Harper talks about management and his "cabal" of people that he likes to work with. He also discusses his experience on the campaign, healthcare.gov, and procurement laws. When asked about his playbook for success, Harper talks about networking strategies, the use of different languages for different problems, craziness, and much more.

Turning the Tables (Ben Orenstein)

On this week's special episode, Chad Pytel turns the tables and interviews host Ben Orenstein. They discuss the process of running the podcast and Ben's roots in programming and computer science. Ben talks about his Vim mastery, how he got into public speaking, and his experiences speaking at RailsConf. This year Ben is organizing the live coding track at RailConf. Ben describes his strategies for learning programming, how he's getting into Clojure, and much more!

Teach all the things (Matt Knox)

This week's episode features Matt Knox of Twitter. Matt is a part of Twitter's university team which teaches new Twitter recruits about the company. He works as an engineer as well in order to stay current. Matt discusses his background as an engineer, and how he got into teaching. He discusses using Storm, essentially a real-time Hadoop, for Twitter. Ben and Matt talk about the importance of keeping a portfolio as a programmer and deliberate practice routines for coding, and more.

An Agent of Change (Seth Godin)

In this week's episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by best selling author, Seth Godin. Seth describes himself as an entrepreneur, a blogger, and an agent of change. They discuss art, frustration, and the endless pursuit of perfection as an artist. In his newest book, The Icarus Deception, Seth discusses seeking art in your work and looking beyond standards and production. They talk about the importance of finding connections with other artists and people who can provide meaningful feedback. They discuss several of Seth's blog posts which are linked below, and much more.

Fancy Pants (Chris Lindland)

This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein talks with Chris Lindland, CEO of Betabrand.com about online fashion, self-generating product and dress-pant-sweatpants.

The Boutique Agency

Ben Orenstein speaks with Alex Kesler, founder and CEO of inSegment about digital marketing, GTD and productivity.

The Data Optimist

Ben Orenstein and Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, talk about Data Science, Bitly and Cheeseburgers.

Wistfully Into the Air

In this episode of Giant Robots Ben talks with Des Traynor about intercom, concise communication. blogging and customer outreach.

Family Business

In this of episode of Giant Robots, Ben speaks with Natalie Nagele and Ilya Sabanin about Wildbit, Beanstalk, and work flow.

Deep Dive

In this week's episode Ben discusses effective business practices and advice for optimal page design with special guest Patrick McKenzie.

Nowhere to Hide

In this episode, Ben Orenstein speaks with thoughtbot CTO Joe Ferris about the technical interview process at thoughtbot, and more.

A Thousand Neckbeards

This week Ben Orenstein, Pat Brisbin, and Mike Burns talk about Haskell, Linux, functional and dynamic programming, Conway's Game of Life, and much more.

Delayed Gratification

In this episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by Michael Klett, Co-founder and tech lead of Chargify. Ben and Michael discuss the evolution of Chargify and bumps along the way, underwear subscriptions, Michael’s transition from hardware to software, negativity in the Rails community, slow tests, and much more.

Code in a Bubble Bath

In this episode Ben Orenstein is joined by Alex MacCaw, creator of Spine, formerly of Twitter, and now a developer at Stripe. Ben and Alex talk about travel, writing, code, and couch surfing.

The Value of Flow

In this episode Ben Orenstein speaks with designer and founder of Authentic Jobs, Cameron Moll, about Authentic Jobs, design, the value of flow and family, and much, much more.

Build your stuff on the side and have a good time

In this episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by 17 year old Jack Kaufman, author of The Found a Business Book. Ben and Jack discuss Jack's inspiration for the book and how he got all his interviews, the other opportunities it's led too, the common themes he uncovered in his interviews, the differences between those who got funding and bootstrappers, working on the book while in highschool, marketing he's doing, his plans for the future, the issue with college computer science programs, his fears about the future, and much more.

Not everything needs to be extracted

In this episode Ben Orenstein is joined by Yehuda Katz and Tom Dale from Tilde. They discuss bootstrapping a business and the model behind Tilde, their breakdown of product development and consulting, and how they all met. They also talk about designing APIs and frameworks that people actually want to use, how teaching helps them be better framework developers, how they can beat the competition, how supporting multiple languages and frameworks can ruin your app's experience, the big surprises as they've launched, Ember.js' push to 1.0 and beyond, the difference between Ember.js and Backbone.js and why JavaScript matters, and much more.

You look really fancy in your tuxedo

In this special episode, number 52, and our 1 year anniversary episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Ruby and Rails core team member Aaron Patterson, thoughtbot CTO Joe Ferris, and a live studio audience. The trio discuss Rails 4, observers, callbacks, dubstep, namespaces, Scheme, functional programming, thread safety in Rails, what it would take to remove callbacks from Rails and why you would want to do it, what should be in our anniversary episode, dealing with Rails security issues, why Aaron likes to work on Rails, meeting people's expectations, Vim, intuitive software, and so much more.

I found a voice

On this week's show, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Sandi Metz, developer, author, podcaster, and recent Ruby Hero award winner. Ben and Sandi discuss winning awards, writing, whether notoriety changes who you are, what Sandi is proud of, the bad code she's writing and why, what she's doing now, getting real feedback on your work, that it's OK not to know everything, and much, much more.

It's Monday today, let's change everything

In this week's episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Jeff Casimir and Katrina Owen from Jumpstart Lab and gSchool to discuss performing, speaking, and imposter syndrome, preparing for your talk, and what makes a good talk and how to give one. The also discuss gSchool, the way the program works and they way it's guaranteed, teaching, admitting ignorance, how good practice should be harder than the real thing, and why Jeff didn't like studying Computer Science and why he didn't enjoy programming and how Rails reignited his passion for creating things, and much more.

The psychology of work

In this episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Gregg Pollack and Nathaniel Bibler from EnvyLabs and codeschool.com. Gregg shares what he's learned running his business, when not to be transparent, how to deal with compensation, and how the EnvyLabs compensation structure has changed over the years. Nathan, Gregg, and Ben also discuss Code School, yearly payments to a subscription, making courses effective, effective marketing, the effectiveness of mailing lists, community events, shared ownership, and much more.

Barista imposter syndrome

In this episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Jon Larkowski, closet hippie and developer at CareZone. Ben and Jon discuss being a closet hippie, transitioning from consulting to working on a startup/product team, ping-pong, paying attention to your habits and improving to your life, meditation, firewalling your attention, fostering a startup culture, imposter syndrome, podcasting, coffee, code review, guitar, and much more.

Two hours per minute

In this episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Ryan Bates of RailsCasts. Ben and Ryan discuss Ryan's transition to working on RailsCasts full time, staying up to date on the latest technology, how his coding style has changed, maintaining his open source, the process of producing RailsCasts, why he doesn't speak at conferences, the latest technology he is excited about, and much more

We don't have a monopoly on being unhealthy

Ben Orenstein is joined by Joe Kutner, programmer and author of ‘The Healthy Programmer’. Ben and Joe discuss how the demands of a development job lead to unhealthy habits, and ways to address the issues. They discuss specifics like standing desks, walking desks, the pomodoro technique, exercise, vitamin D, and much more.

Tiny Robots Cuddling with other Tiny Robots

This week we try something a little different. Joe Ferris, Matt Jankowski, Ben Orenstein, and Chad Pytel get together and have a little fun, in what we're calling "Tiny Robots cuddling with other Tiny Robots". We'd love to get your thoughts on this special format, tweet us @thoughtbot or email learn@thoughtbot.com.

I feel the opposite of burnt out

In this week's podcast, Ben Orenstein is joined by Chad Fowler, author, speaker, and CTO of 6wunderkinder. Ben and Chad discuss Chad's recent move to Berlin and 6wunderkinder, what a CTO does, getting back to coding, the early Ruby community, who Chad wants to hire, predicting success of new hires, and what makes a truly good developer, favorite interview questions, how Chad's interviewing process has changed over time, how age and experience can change your perspective, how Chad built a great team, and what he might write about in the future. They also discuss Chad's new tattoo, his regrets, meditation, therapy, gaining control over your mind, and much, much more.

A good person by default

thoughtbot's Ben Orenstein is joined by Scott Orn, venture capitalist at Lighthouse Capital Partners by day, and co-founder of Ben's Friends by night. Ben and Scott discuss building a community, the future of Ben's Friends, and how running the site helps him be a better VC, teaching people, and getting value out of giving back. They also talk about his work as a venture capitalist at Lighthouse, how the money flows, the freemium software model, why it's good and how it works, picking the winners, and how the market can affect success, and the companies Scott thinks are great investments, and where he thinks the market is going.

Why were you suing a website?

This week, Ben Orenstein is joined by Peter Moldave, attorney at Gesmer Updegrove to discuss attorney client privilege, what not to do with email, the similarities between lawyers and programmers, how he got into law, his history with technology, and his time as a corporate lawyer at Apple. They also dig into how EULAs work, whether they are binding, whether you should be reading them, and how they can be enforced, software licensing, copyrights and the First-sale doctrine, patent law, software patents, and navigating the patent landscape. They also discuss how to view stock options in your startup job offer, working at startups, how to have a valuable career path, what your employer owns from your side projects or your work for them, how to manage liability in your startup, web site, app on the App Store, and side projects, the best corporate structure and much, much more.

This is the sausage being made

This week Ben Orenstein in joined by thoughtbot CEO, Chad Pytel, to discuss thoughbot's books, online and in-person training programs, other educational products, and the launch of thoughtbot's new subscription to everything they teach, Learn Prime. They also discuss some changes to apprentice.io, Five Guys, and much more!

He's winking at me

Ben is joined by Bryan Helmkamp, the founder of CodeClimate. In Bryan's second appearance on the podcast, Ben and Bryan discuss the architecture behind CodeClimate, scaling the service, and growing the business. They also discuss speaking at conferences, proposal selection, two factor authentication and adding it to CodeClimate, marketing and content marketing, how to decide what to build and proving that it was worthwhile, strategies for testing at the beginning when you have few users, and Bryan reveals CodeClimate next big upcoming feature.

We've been watching you for some time, Mr. Grimm

Ben Orenstein is joined by Avdi Grimm, software developer, author, and podcaster. Ben and Avdi discuss Emacs, Avdi's personal assistant and delegating work. They also discuss naming and finding implicit concepts in your code, encoding processes as objects in their own right, his publishing and podcasting, the pronunciation of Parley, Ruby Tapas, education resources and the benefits of open source languages, his goals, the most civilized way to travel, and what we got wrong about the Law of Demeter.

Standing out from the pack

This week Ben Orenstein is joined by Jeremy McAnally, employee at GitHub, author of Ruby in Practice, Rails 3 Upgrade Handbook, MacRuby in Action, and more. Jeremy and Ben discuss teaching and organizing conferences, remote working for GitHub, the and the company summits, GitHub workflows, their internal tools team. They also talk about standing out from the pack in work, life, and getting accepted to conferences, selecting people to speak at conferences, self-publishing, Jeremy's writing process and future writing plans, work-life balance, how to get a job at GitHub, and much more.

You're riding the Rails bro!

Ben Orenstein is joined this week by Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot. Ben and Joe discuss starting a new Rails project and our Rails application generator, Suspenders, test spies and breaking up your tests, and using Rails beta versions.

A gem called exploit

This week Ben Orenstein is joined by Nick Quaranto, developer at 37signals and one of the maintainers of RubyGems.org. Nick and Ben discuss the just released Basecamp iOS app, the architecture of the app, the origins of the app and how it became what it is today, and RubyMotion in general. They then move on to discuss the recent RubyGems.org cracking, the mechanism behind it, the process of restoring the service, and how it might affect RubyGems going forward. They then circle back to talk more about RubyMotion, testing, working at 37signals, CoworkBuffalo, OpenHack, and good coffee.

I haven't lifted a pencil in years

Ben Orenstein is joined by Dennis Najjar CPA from AccountingDepartment.com. They discuss international companies operating in the United States, the tools of his trade, how AccountingDepartment.com is set up and what their different clients look like, and why it makes sense to outsource your bookkeeping and accounting. They also explore the checks and balances you should have in bookkeeping and accounting, the accounting departments role in an organization and 1099s their purpose, and what to do if you don't get one.

Very little comes to those who wait

In this week's episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by Steve Snyder, Entrepreneur in Residence at the law firm, Gesmer Updegrove LLP. Ben and Steve discuss Steve's history, his unique position at the law firm, mistakes to avoid, and advice and guidance to entrepreneurs just starting out.

I've failed before

This week Ben Orenstein is joined by Jarrod Drysdale, the author of Bootstrapping Design. Ben and Jarrod discuss the sales and revenue of the book, and his new project, cascade.io. They also talk about learning new things, problem solving, and the differences between programming and design. They also discuss the downside to recurring revenue, successful marketing strategies for his book, advice for people who want to start something new, the concerns of a solo entrepreneur, and how his previous failures help him keep perspective.

There is an excited you in there

Ben Orenstein is joined this week by Daniel Jalkut, the developer of MarsEdit and other fine software. Ben and Daniel discuss the origin of Daniel's twitter username, his history at Apple and his work there, and how it influences what he builds today. They also discuss the challenges of running your own company, and how Daniel's priorities and rule systems help him get things done, how the success of MarsEdit takes up his attention at the exclusion of other ideas, and how he thinks about failure. Then then go on to talk about App Store versus direct sales, why Daniel still sells his software outside the app store as well as in it, and what the breakdown of sales are like there, as well as Daniel's thoughts on App Store pricing and the benefits of being in the app store. Finally, Daniel tells us why he thinks git is like a PC and Mercurial is like a Mac, why he dislikes git, what he thinks makes a good podcast, how his podcast has changed, and much more.

I write everything in Markdown

This week Chad Pytel is joined by software developer, podcaster, and author, Brett Terpstra. Chad and Brett discuss Brett's work location and setup, his open source and commercial software projects, app store pricing, his publishing experience and workflow, and his podcast. They also discuss his keyboard and trackpad mappings, and much more.

Giant Year-End Extravaganza

Ben Orenstein is joined by Chad Pytel, the CEO of thoughtbot to take a look back at some of the things thoughtbot did in 2012. They then answer a bunch of listener questions.

The most ironic iOS developer

Ben Orenstein is joined by Gordon Fontenot and Matt Mongeau, two thoughtbot developers, to discuss iOS development using both Objective-C and RubyMotion. Ben, Matt, and Gordon talk about the differences between the two platforms for iOS development, testing in iOS development, the difficulty in it, and the ways to do it. They also make they're recommendations for getting started with iOS development, and discuss iOS apps they like, designing iOS applications, the iOS release cycle, and much more.

Farther, further, faster

Ben Orenstein is joined by David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails and a partner at 37signals. David and Ben discuss David's normal day, his working relationship with Jason Fried, how their blog, Signal vs. Noise, is important to the company, how he got into programming, where he draws his inspiration from, some good books he's read and how he learns today, how he overcomes fear and why he takes risks, how he got into racing, why he enjoys it, what he learns from it, and how feedback loops and goal posts help you learn, inspire you, and help you know how good you are. They then go on to explore what David would, or wouldn't, change about Rails, and how he sees Rails evolving into the future. David also talks a little bit about the new product 37signals has in development, and 37signals' overall product strategy, coding at 37signals and his approach to providing guidance to the team, what role he plays on Rails core, what he cares about, and what he pays attention to, and much, much more.

Fabulous new mistakes

Ben Orenstein is joined by Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot. Inspired by a question on Law of Demeter from listener Nathan Long, Joe and Ben (hopefully) answer Nathan's question, and then go on to discuss how the Law of Demeter is a form of duplication, how it effects testing, and how to better architect your report, your view, or your entire system to better obey the Law of Demeter. They also touch upon Rails' try method, how the pain of testing helps guide the code you write, where the Law of Demeter doesn't apply, how people don't refactor their tests, how to productively refactor your tests and avoid wasting time rewriting things, and much more.

Deep into the psyche of Gary Bernhardt

Ben Orenstein is joined by Gary Berhardt from Destroy All Software Screencasts. Ben and Gary discuss DAS, how it has changed over the two years he's been doing it, and how his thinking has changed over that time. They then discuss Gary's thoughts on how to write software and tests, how we wants to "fix the kernel", and his exciting plans for the future. They also discuss his background, the production process behind Destroy All Software, and much, much more.

Long hours on the BoltBus

Ben Orenstein is joined by Alex Godin from dispatch.io. Ben and Alex discuss Alex's hectic time in both apprentice.io and TechStars, how he got started at his age, what he's accomplished so far, what he worries about, when he is happiest, and his outlook on the future.

Not so DRY that it chafes

Ben Orenstein is joined by Sarah Mei, RailsBridge co-founder, a developer at Pivotal Labs, and Diaspora core team member. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, Ben and Sarah discuss how communication patterns of your team manifest themselves in the code it writes, and how understanding those patterns can help you improve your code. They discuss RailsBridge, teaching, how teaching is an incredible learning opportunity, and how RailsBridge has helped expand the community of women developers in San Francisco and beyond. Finally, they explore how she got into Ruby, and women in technology.

As a consultant it's always your fault

Ben Orenstein is joined by Tammer Saleh and Randall Thomas, the founders of Thunderbolt Labs. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, they discuss their philosophy of running and building the company, how they differ from other consulting companies, and how they do much more than just Rails programming and how its leading to very interesting new kinds of work. Why they list their prices right on their website, and how they derived their rate of $277 per hour. They also explore what their first year in business has been like, some challenges they've faced, and some important lessons they've learned.

Your code looks nice today

Ben Orenstein is joined by Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, hosted software metrics for Ruby apps. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, they discuss what code climate is, how Bryan considers it a small business not a startup, and what its like being a solo founder. They also discuss how code metrics can help you write and maintain better software, how it helps, and how it changes behavior. Finally they explore what the biggest surprise for him has been so far, some of his plans, and what success looks like for him.

Data, Context and Interaction

Ben Orenstein is joined by Jim Gay, author of Clean Ruby, and Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot, in the episode recorded at RubyConf 2012. Ben, Joe, and Jim discuss Data, Context and Interaction (DCI), what it is, whether it is at odds with Object-Oriented Programming, how it can be applied to your applications, and much more.

Ruby Lightning

In this special episode from RubyConf 2012 we pulled aside some of the attendees and found out what they're working on. We also include a selection of the great lightning talks at the conference. Enjoy!

I have tons of guns and knives

Ben Orenstein is joined by Aaron Patterson, Ruby Core team member, Rails Core team member, and a Señior Software Engineer at AT&T Interactive. Aaron and Ben discuss the upcoming features and excitement for Ruby 2.0 and some things Aaron would like to see in Ruby in the future that didn't quite make it into Ruby 2.0. They also discuss how the Rails Core team differs from the Ruby Core team, how much effort it takes to write a detailed blog post and how many mistakes are involved, how he likes being a ruby celebrity, his involvement in Seattle.rb and what it teaches him. Finally, how awesome his job is and how he could do it forever, how he worries about Ruby or Rails becoming irrelevant and wants to stop that from happening, how he is happy all the time, and if he could wave a magic wand and change one thing about Rails, what it would be. This and so much more in this entertaining episode recorded at RubyConf 2012.

Trading Hours for Money

Ben Orenstein is joined by Brennan Dunn, author of double your freelancing rate and planscope.io. Ben and Brennan discuss transitioning from a freelancer to a consulting company, the issues he faced doing it, and how he overcame them. How he promoted someone to replace him in his consulting company and is focused exclusively on products now, where Planscope came from, how it works, and how he more than doubled the conversion rate. How content marketing was slow to work for him, and how he fixed it. How to effectively pitch and sell products, what victory looks like for him and what he's working for, and so much more.

I'm feeling full and Sassy

Ben Orenstein is joined by Kyle Fiedler, a designer at thoughtbot, and one of the creators of Bourbon Neat. Ben and Kyle discuss responsive design, what it is, and how to implement it. They also discuss Bourbon (a library of Sass mixins) and Neat (a fluid grid framework based on Bourbon), what's wrong with Twitter Bootstrap and why Bourbon Neat is better, and the other reasons why Bourbon Neat was created despite all the other grid frameworks that are available. Kyle shares the most common design mistakes he sees developers make in projects, whether or not design is subjective or whether it can be more objective, his design process and how it has changed, what the Golden Ratio is, and how it's used in Neat. Finally, they also discuss the Design for Developers workshop offered by thoughtbot, which teaches the fundamental design principles and tools to developers, and much, much more.

Making it fast

Ben Orenstein is joined by William Josephson and Jay Moorthi from Solano Labs, the makers of tddium, the hosted, scalable continuous integration service. They discuss the architecture of the service, including how they're using Go to speed up parts of it, the surprises they've had in getting started, how they've gotten involved in the Ruby community, and how they validated their idea and get feedback from customers. Also, their experience working with thoughtbot, what has worked and not worked for driving public customers to the site and converting them, dealing with privacy, customer support, their goals and their growth plans, and much more.

Moving money should be free

Ben Orenstein is joined by Seth Priebatsch, creator of SCVNGR and LevelUp. Ben and Seth talk about LevelUp, how it got started, how they make money, and what the future holds. They also discuss his daily schedule, maintaining focus, what he worries about, how your motives can limit your success, how to change the world by choosing the right thing to change, why he stopped hiding doubt and started being more transparent, and much, much more, including the most interesting question he's never been asked.

Say goodbye to that big guy

Ben Orenstein is joined by Prem Sichanugrist, a developer at thoughtbot and the #31 top Rails contributor. Ben and Prem walk through the major changes that will be introduced in Rails 4, including strong parameters, the new built in queue, cache_digest, changes in ActiveRecord::Relation, and ActiveResource. The also discuss what people can do to ease contribution and issue submission to Rails, how can people get their first commit into Rails, and much more.

I'll disagree in just a little bit

Ben Orenstein is joined by Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot, and Josh Clayton, developer at thoughtbot and the lead maintainer of FactoryGirl. In this Rails focused episode, Ben, Joe, and Josh dish on ActiveRecord callbacks, observers, state machines, and before_filters vs. middleware. They discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of each, and how to keep your app clean while doing the right thing. Then they touch on what's new in FactoryGirl, how using build_stubbed can speed up your test suite, and much more.

I think I'll be on a yacht

Ben Orenstein is joined by Matt Jankowski, COO of thoughtbot. Ben and Matt start off by talking about how Matt came to join thoughtbot and his role at the company. They then discuss the typical thoughtbot sales process. How all problems are communication problems. How the way thoughtbot works is appealing to startups and how they hear about thoughtbot. How thoughtbot handles its 20% investment time in open source and our own products, how we preserve that despite trying to grow the business, and how that has evolved over time. The reasons why it's not always possible to work faster by increasing the team size. Goals, metrics, and things thoughtbot can do better. Plus, how project management techniques translate to child-rearing, his standing desk, and much more.

You want your system to bend, not to break

Ben Orenstein is joined by Sean Cribbs, Software Engineer at Basho, the makers of Riak. Ben and Sean start off discussing the interesting overlap of programmers and musicians and why it seems to happen so much. They then discuss Sean's role at Basho, what Riak is, how it works, and how it differs from other NoSQL databases. Sean works remotely for Basho, which has several offices, so Ben and Sean discuss remote workers and remote offices, and the ins and outs of navigating that set up, and how he got paid to work on open source. Finally, they discuss Erlang, which most of Riak is written in. These topics, plus much more.

Isn't the last stage of grieving acceptance?

Ben Orenstein is joined by Joe Ferris and Mike Burns. They start off with some recommendations for awesome programming books and then dive right in to questions about not following "Tell don't ask" in the view, how MVC and the Single Responsibility Principle may be at odds with "Tell don't ask" in the view, and what a more object oriented approach may look like. They also discuss "Class-oriented programming", what it is, why it is bad, how Rails does it, and how to avoid it. They take a quick trip through Mike's experiments in Ruby and Smalltalk in creating his own programming language. The three codecateers then take on the really important topic of method order and code organization, and finally they reflect on how their code has changed over the years, how no solution is foolproof, and how to move to the next level as a programmer. These topics and more, in this installment of the GIANT ROBOTS SMASHING INTO OTHER GIANT ROBOTS podcast!

TDD for Business!!

Ben Orenstein is joined by Chad Pytel, the CEO and Founder of thoughtbot. Ben and Chad talk about the history of thoughtbot, success, failures, lessons learned, the current growth plans for the company, and much more. They also answer listener questions about hiring, growing, balancing client and internal work like open source and products, and contractor rates and how to set them.

Wax on, Wax off

Ben Orenstein is joined by Gabe Berke-Williams and Edward Loveall. Gabe is developer at thoughtbot and the product manager of the thoughtbot apprenticeship program, apprentice.io. Edward is a current design apprentice. Gabe, Edward, and Ben talk about apprentice.io, how it works, it's successes, and lessons learned. They also discuss how Gabe goes about mentoring new developers, and effective learning and teaching methods. Edward also gives his perspective on his apprenticeship how it went, his typical day as an apprentice, his advice for incoming apprentices, and much more.

Something Else Was Smellier

Ben Orenstein is once again joined by Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot. Joe and Ben dive right in to a technical discussion about Objects versus Structures. They then discuss what Joe does as the new CTO of thoughtbot, and how his goal is to set up a system where everybody is teaching everybody. Finally, they discuss why Joe doesn't like using rspec's let and subject, and his strategy for writing tests without them.

MVP of Personal Hygiene

Ben Orenstein is joined by Dan Powell, founder of Abakas. Dan plays the role of Consulting CTO for his clients. They discuss the best and the worst of his job, his history as a Linux hacker, and what his experience has taught him about technology and technology trends, and how he stays on top of them. Also, how to create effective, well-written, maintainable software, the Rails talent crunch, developers getting promoted to management, maintaining work-life balance and how not to get burnt out, and much, much more.

My wife is getting really into whiskey

Ben Orenstein is joined by “Cowboy” Ben Alman, JavaScript open source developer and Director of Pluginization at Bocoup. They discuss how Ben Alman got started with programming and his crazy projects, the open web, favorite tools, and one of his latest projects, Grunt. They also discuss CoffeeScript, and why Ben Alman’s not using it yet, speaking at conferences and how Ben Alman got more comfortable in front of crowds, whether its important to understand straight JavaScript, or just jQuery, and more! Also, Whiskey.

I've got a little thoughtbot angel or devil on my shoulder

Ben Orenstein is joined by David Thyresson, the founder of Stattleship and a past client of thoughtbot. Ben and David discuss how he got started with Stattleship, how he came to work with thoughtbot, and what it was like to work with us. Also, how the idea of what he would initially build changed, and how through agile software development he discovered how it was wrong. How he learned Ruby on Rails from thoughtbot during his project. Finally, what has worked for driving visitors to the site, and important lessons learned about starting up, building an app, and running a business.

The FactoryGirl Representation of a Factory

Ben Orenstein is joined by Josh Clayton, the maintainer of FactoryGirl, and a developer at thoughtbot. Ben and Josh discuss FactoryGirl: using it, its development progress, and features. What it's like to run an open source project, and how to contribute to open source effectively. Looking at your old code and being a better developer. Approaches to testing. And answer your questions about: FactoryGirl, How to write effective tests suites and whether integration tests are a scam, our process for upgrading between Rails versions, testing complex UI logic, and leaving code untested.

Design with a sip of Bourbon

Ben Orenstein is joined this week by Phil LaPier, the creator of Bourbon and a designer at thoughtbot. Ben and Phil discuss the design process, fundamentals of visual design, common design errors, and how to be a better designer (even if you're a developer), and how to work with designers as a developer. They also answer some audience questions about design: How to handle feedback from clients, and HAML vs. HTML.

Polymorphism vs. Conditionals

Ben Orenstein and Joe Ferris (and the surprise special guest Seana Quental) start the series off with a very technical discussion about Polymorphism vs. Conditionals. We also answer some of the audience questions we asked for last week.