Episodes
Robby speaks with Pat Kua, Advisor, Mentor, and Coach at Patkua.com. They discuss good documentation and the consequences of the hero culture. Pat also shares how he transitioned from an individual contributor to his current role, along with the benefits of finding mentors and seeking advice from people in other fields.
Published 09/21/20
Robby speaks with Aaron Blohowiak, Senior Software Engineer at Netflix. They discuss mistakes teams make when refactoring too much before finding a product-market-fit and how Netflix deals with technical debt. Aaron also shares some early era Ruby on Rails stories, along with reasons why developers might be intimidated to apply at top-tier organizations like Netflix.
Published 09/14/20
Robby speaks with Magda Miu, Squad Leader Developer at Orange. They discuss the benefits of a healthy pull-request & review process and the unique challenges of mobile device app development. Magda also shares how she transitioned from being a day-to-day code contributor to team leader, as well as her strategies for keeping her technical skills sharp when she is not coding on a regular basis.
Published 09/07/20
Robby speaks with Gant Laborde, CIO of Infinite Red. They discuss the unique challenges of maintaining React Native apps and the importance of sync points in an asynchronous work environment. Gant also shares an overview of the types of projects that Infinite Red focuses on and his experience being an open-source maintainer.
Published 08/31/20
Robby speaks with Karen Lee Rigg, Engineering Lead at Permutive. They discuss being a good guest in another team's code base and dealing with imposter syndrome. Karen also shares how she moved from the consulting world to a startup working on a product, along with her journey from being a code contributor to a team lead.
Published 08/24/20
Robby speaks with Gianluca Arbezzano, Sr Staff Software Engineer at Packet. They discuss the value of consistent documentation (and why deciding where to document something is so difficult for developers!), how Gianluca began contributing to open source projects early in his career, and share tips for those who are intimidated about the idea of contributing to open source.
Published 07/13/20
Robby speaks with Ali Spittel – podcast host at Ladybug Podcast, writer, and Faculty Lead at General Assembly. They discuss mentoring Junior Developers, how she built a community around her written content and daily coding puzzles, how to build your writing as a developer, and her experience being a digital nomad.
Published 07/06/20
The mic is turned around on Robby for this special episode of Maintainable. Robby is interviewed by guest host Kayla Reopelle, a Ruby on Rails Developer at Planet Argon. They discuss the need for more conversations about improving existing code in the community, learning to manage client expectations as a consultant, and when he learned he was a mender, not a maker.
Published 06/29/20
Robby speaks with Ryan Cromwell, Technical Director at Sparkbox. They discuss the importance of simplifying deployments, technical debt in the client-services industry, and the traits to seek when hiring software engineers for client-services based work.
Published 06/22/20
Robby speaks with Camille Fournier, Head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma and author of The Manager's Path. They discuss the importance of avoiding overly clever code, onboarding developers to existing software projects and teams, and how to start approaching mentoring others and be a good mentoree. They also discuss topics from her book, like determining if a path toward management is right for you and navigating career growth in a technical role.
Published 06/15/20
Robby speaks with Gonçalo Silva, CTO at Doist. They discuss embracing continuous improvements, having a healthy level of skepticism about rewrites. Gonçalo also shares how Doist onboards new engineers to their team, along with the challenges of hiring remote junior developers.
Published 06/01/20
Robby speaks with Tudor Girba, CEO and Co-Founder at Feenk. They discuss how engineers work in the decision-making business, what skills are essential to build in engineers and get an introduction to the concept of Moldable Development and the Glamorous Toolkit.
Published 05/25/20
Robby speaks with Jeff Haynie, Co-Founder and CEO at Pinpoint. They discuss boundaries around APIs and contracts, useful and less-useful metrics for development teams to focus on, and more. Jeff also gives an introduction to Pinpoint's tooling for software development teams and stakeholders, and shares a story about how he had to reverse-engineer a proprietary application in under 24hours to keep the trains running on time.
Published 05/18/20
Robby speaks with Vladimir Khoriko, Tech Lead, Architect & Author. They discuss all things unit tests – what they are, the four pillars of good ones, examples of low-value unit tests, and more. They also discuss the age-old debate of rewrites vs. refactoring, and how to effectively prioritize maintenance work.
Published 05/11/20
Robby speaks with Brian Helmkamp, Founder and CEO at Code Climate. Brian discusses the use of the term "technical debt" now vs. 15 years ago, what he's learned from having thousands of engineering teams use their tools, and the long-term benefits of choosing to build their main application in Ruby on Rails. You'll also get an overview of Code Climate's main products.
Published 05/04/20
Robby speaks with Dr. Aino Vonge Corry, founder of Metadeveloper, technical conference editor, and agile retrospective facilitator. They discuss effective vs. ineffective communication with stakeholders, how to prepare for retrospectives, and why it's important to focus on "What should we do better?" when reflecting on work.
Published 04/27/20
Published 04/27/20
Robby speaks with Trisha Gee, Developer Advocate at JetBrains. They discuss Trisha's role as a Developer Advocate, how open source library maintainers are underappreciated, and how developers can overcome their fear of writing, speaking, and contributing back to the community.
Published 04/20/20
Robby speaks with author, speaker, and 40-year programming veteran Sandi Metz. They discuss why it's hard to teach maintenance skills, how humans tend to get themselves into messy situations, Sandi's "Rules for Developers", and more. You'll also hear some thoughts on Ruby and Rails, and how Sandi uses the phrase, "Lambs to the Slaughter".
Published 04/13/20
Robby speaks with Clare Sudbery, Lead Engineer with Made Tech. They discuss how to document and prioritize technical debt with a visual tool, trunk-based development patterns, and the importance of getting fast feedback.
Published 04/06/20
Robby speaks with Kelly Sutton, Software Engineer at Gusto. They discuss how to deal with technical debt from the pre-product/market fit era, the benefits of monoliths and knowing when to begin abstracting to micro-services, and the challenges of keeping Ruby on Rails applications up-to-date. Kelly also gives advice for developers who want to convince stakeholders to invest in refactoring projects – a common challenge.
Published 03/30/20
Robby speaks to Jonathan Abourbih, Engineering Team Lead at the BBC in Voice & AI. They discuss how to conduct blameless post-mortems, what's technical debt vs. bad code, and the challenges of measuring your success as a manager after years of being a developer. Jonathan also shares stories about large Java apps in a pre-Garbage Collection world.
Published 03/23/20
Robby speaks with Jessica Kerr, Symmathecist at Jessitron LLC. They discuss why working on existing projects is more interesting than greenfield ones, the overuse and harm of the term "technical debt", and how software is not a craft. Jessica also gives an introduction to being a Symmathecist.
Published 03/09/20
Robby speaks with Jon Thornton, Engineer at Squarespace. This discuss examples of good technical debt, implementing a new monolith alongside another monolith (and when to extract to a microservice), metrics to track within your engineering team, and more.
Published 03/02/20
Robby speaks with Ben Orenstein, CEO and Co-founder of Tuple, a remote pair programming app. They discuss why saying, "someday we'll go clean that up" doesn't work in reality, the downsides to putting maintenance work into a backlog, and implicit vs. explicit knowledge. Ben also gives an intro to Tuple.
Published 02/24/20