Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots
A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot’s Chad Pytel (CEO) and Lindsey Christensen (CMO) are joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.

355: The New Hospitality (Maria Loughlin)
Feb 17 • 35 min
Maria Loughlin, VP of Engineering at Toast, discusses restaurants adaptation to new technology, her approach to building and supporting a team, and providing better business opportunities & education to their clients. Toast Maria on Twitter See…
354: Securing Opportunity (Shelly Bell)
Feb 10 • 36 min
Shelly Bell, CEO & Founder of Black Girl Ventures, discusses working to open up your messaging, what makes for a good pitch, and the current state of the investment landscape. Black Girl Ventures Ragbaby Exchange BEACON "Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get…
353: Built off of Hustle (Ashlee Ammons & Kerry Schrader)
Feb 3 • 45 min
Ashlee Ammons & Kerry Schrader, co-founders of Mixtroz, discuss the pain points in attending networking events, building an app from a non-technical / non-entrepreneurial background, and share some of their personal challenges along the way. Mixtroz The…
352: How Stories Are Told (Matt Daniels)
Jan 27 • 39 min
Matt Daniels, journalist at The Pudding, discusses journalistic editorial funding models, translating ideas through visual communication, their content-creation processes, and measuring 'success' in creative work. The Pudding Polygraph Shape Up- Basecamp…
351: The Forecast Calls For Goals
Jan 21 • 37 min
Chad & Lindsey welcome in the new year at thoughtbot, discussing actually having a budget, setting corporate goals, and the rise and fall of 'Use Your Best Judgement' as thoughtbot's principle zero. OKR Framework OGSM Framework Health Tech Workshop: How…
350: Beyond Transit (Tiffany Chu)
Jan 13 • 31 min
Tiffany Chu, CEO of Remix, discusses the different entities involved in transportation initiatives, pivoting to service an unanticipated user-group, and utilizing open-source in civic tech.RemixOpenStreetMapTiffany on TwitterSee open positions at…
349: Better Information (Lokesh Dani)
Jan 6 • 34 min
Lokesh Dani, founder of Xopolis, discusses researching the future of work, democratizing opportunity in the labor market, and focusing on the user experience.XopolisNSF Innovation CorpsLokesh on LinkedInSee open positions at thoughtbot!Become a Sponsor of…
348: Tailor to the Experience (Karen Rubin)
Dec 30, 2019 • 44 min
Karen Rubin, CRO at Owl Labs, discusses embracing playful aspects of your product, tailoring their marketing focus, managing growth in a B2B e-commerce company, the landscape of remote work, the complexities of building and selling a physical product,…
347: Deliver Better Services (Robin Carnahan)
Dec 9, 2019 • 29 min
Robin Carnahan, Director of State & Local Practice at 18F, discusses introducing tech into government as the Missouri Secretary of State, facilitating tech-education within the federal government, and the types of needs to which 18F…
346: Empower Users (Geoff DiMasi)
Dec 2, 2019 • 41 min
Geoff DiMasi, founder of Punk Ave. & Apostrophe, discusses his drive to build a CMS, balancing maintaining a service company while building a product (as well as the thought-process of spinning out a product into its own company), the Philadelphia…
345: Conviction in the Problem (Alex Cornell)
Nov 25, 2019 • 43 min
Alex Cornell, co-founder of Cocoon, discusses opportunity cost, prototyping methodology, having design skills as a founder, designing for intuition, and being invested in the problem you want to solve.CocoonNotionOrigami PrototypingApply to Y…
344: Facilitating Innovation (Heather Ames)
Nov 18, 2019 • 32 min
Heather Ames, co-founder and COO of Neurala, discusses automated visual-inspection, balancing research with deployment, the challenges of productizing AI, and finding the right product/customer fit.NeuralaBrain BuilderHeather on TwitterSee open positions…
343: A True Movement (Pariss Athena)
Nov 4, 2019 • 27 min
Pariss Athena, Hiring & Product Team Member at G2i, creator of #BlackTechTwitter, and founder of Black Tech Pipeline, shares her journey from never hearing about code to viral awareness campaign creator, as well as discusses visibility, finding value on…
342: The People Stuff (Jennifer Dary)
Oct 28, 2019 • 45 min
Jennifer Dary, founder of Plucky, rejoins the podcast to discuss the rarity of listening, what it feels like to have a six year-old company, and conducts a 1:1 for managers with Lindsey & Chad.PluckyJennifer on Giant Robots ep 270Executive Coach or…
341: From Survival to Growth (David Kaplan)
Oct 21, 2019 • 36 min
David Kaplan, head of engineering at Policygenius, discusses joining an established company in a leadership role, factors for long-term success, choosing Flutter over React Native, and challenging assumptions when building out an MVP.PolicygeniusFlutter…
340: Accessible, Ethical, Inclusive (Cat Noone)
Oct 14, 2019 • 32 min
Cat Noone, CEO of Stark, shares an overview of accessible design, dreams for shaping a more accessible future, helming custom support with a small team, and her motivation to create.StarkWeb Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)LyraA Stark Difference in…
339: Process Goals (Andrew Steele)
Oct 7, 2019 • 38 min
Andrew Steele, Olympic Medalist & Head of Product at DNAfit, discusses providing actionable wellness utility from DNA data, goal setting, "blame culture", localization, and his time at the Beijing Olympics.DNAfitBeijing 4x400m Relay Men's FinalIcarus…
338: Automating SaaS (Bryan Helmig)
Sep 30, 2019 • 39 min
Bryan Helmig, cofounder & CTO of Zapier, discusses extending tooling to small businesses through API integration, scaling, early marketing successes, and the future of automation. ZapierContact BryanSee open positions at thoughtbot!Become a Sponsor of…
337: Outcomes, Not Outputs (Adam Scroggin)
Sep 23, 2019 • 42 min
Adam Scroggin, CEO of CardBoard, discusses user story mapping, consulting vs product work, the importance of goal setting, product market fit, and his favorite tools & services for building web apps.CardBoardHeroku Private SpacesContact AdamSee open…
336: There’s No Manual (Chris Coyier)
Sep 16, 2019 • 40 min
Chris Coyier, cofounder of CodePen, creator of CSS-Tricks, & host of Shop Talk Show, candidly shares how a weekend project turned into a full-time business, aspirations for the future, and areas for improvement.CodePenCSS-TricksShop Talk Show…
335: Discipline & Creativity (Jonathan Cutrell)
Sep 9, 2019 • 30 min
Jonathan Cutrell, host of Developer Tea and Senior Engineer at Clearbit, discusses the history of the podcast, motivation for creation, learning to say ‘no’, and what it means to truly be ‘remote-friendly’. Clearbit Developer Tea Podcast Spec Tea Break…
334: Preserve and Extend (Devon Zuegel)
Sep 2, 2019 • 41 min
Devon Zuegel, Product Manager at GitHub, discusses her transition from researcher to product manager, and shepherding the funding, communication, and tooling of open source sustainability. GitHub Devon on The Bike Shed GitHub Sponsors Let’s talk about…
333: Do Fewer Things Better (Matt Massicotte)
Aug 26, 2019 • 38 min
Matt Massicotte, creator of Chime, discusses the landscape of text editors, the complexities of writing your own parsers, building a new product while building a new family, and alternative app platform & pricing models. Chime Matt on Twitter See open…
332: Grow to Accommodate (Jordan Berke)
Aug 19, 2019 • 33 min
Jordan Berke, CEO & founder of RepOne Strength, discusses finding your customers, working in the world of open source hardware, sourcing materials, relentless work pace, and bootstrapping. RepOne Strength Open Source NYC "Bill Gates says startup founders…
331: Deep Industry Expertise (Courtney & Tye Caldwell)
Aug 12, 2019 • 50 min
Courtney & Tye Caldwell, Co-founders of ShearShare, discuss their journey from salon owners to startup founders, defining an MVP and maintaining a narrow focus for your product. ShearShare Mentored by Failure- Tye Caldwell ShearShare Simplifying…
330: There’s So Much Potential (Tess Posner)
Aug 5, 2019 • 41 min
Tess Posner, CEO of AI4ALL, gives an overview of the field of AI and discusses representation in AI careers, the ramifications of not having diversity in tech, the role of allies, and the future of work. AI4ALL AI4ALL Summer Programs "Decoding Diversity"-…
329: The Detail Stuff (Jon Werner)
Jul 29, 2019 • 52 min
Jon Werner, CEO & Co-Founder of KOYA Innovations, discusses running a startup with his family, protecting one’s intellectual property, the importance of forethought, and developing a platform for kindness. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: ISL…
328: Reliability First (Rob Zuber)
Jul 22, 2019 • 41 min
Rob Zuber, CTO of CircleCI, discusses prioritizing product direction, scaling, slow iteration to introduce major changes, and what’s next for the platform. CircleCI Chaos Engineering Orbs Rob on Twitter See open positions at thoughtbot! Become a Sponsor…
327: Lead By Listening (Kate Brigham)
Jul 8, 2019 • 45 min
Kate Brigham, VP of Product, Design, & Research at ezCater, discusses organizational design, roadmaps, user-research, designing to solve the needs of several groups at once, and, as a leader, empowering others to solve problems. This episode of Giant…
326: Building the Whole Landscape (Morgan Evans)
Jul 1, 2019 • 43 min
Morgan Evans, organizational designer and CEO & Founder of Business Casual, discusses developing systems to holistically design a company, building a culture that is receptive to feedback, conflict mediation, acknowledging emotions while at work, and…
325: Wallet-Power (Vanessa Bruce)
Jun 24, 2019 • 40 min
Vanessa Bruce, co-founder of Dough, discusses affecting change through individual purchase-power, how she handles context-switching, choosing a platform to optimize for content creation, the challenge of visibility, and the decision to launch nationally.…
324: Tap the Market (Karyl Fowler)
Jun 17, 2019 • 47 min
Karyl Fowler, CEO & Co-founder of Transmute, discusses utilizing block chain for decentralized identity-management, exploring finding the right customer profile fits, education around data-security, her time at Techstars, and the startup community in…
323: Mission Focused (Kristy Wallace)
Jun 10, 2019 • 39 min
Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network, discusses cross-industry community building, utilizing tech to facilitate connections, scaling without losing personal impact, and becoming a certified B Corp. Ellevate Network The Five Love Languages: Gary Chapman…
322: Measure Equity (Paloma Medina)
May 28, 2019 • 43 min
Paloma Medina, performance coach, trainer, and owner of 11:11 Supply, discusses translating her brick & mortar store experience to an online shop, the themes around her coaching, design thinking, and how equity is linked to our long-term physical health.…
321: Building a Marketplace (Stefania Mallett)
May 20, 2019 • 46 min
Stefania Mallett, CEO and co-founder of ezCater, discusses non-compete agreements, maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit, codifying values, advice on building a marketplace, and the nuances of expanding globally. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored…
320: Lead Through Collaboration (Harold Hughes)
May 13, 2019 • 43 min
Harold Hughes, Founder & CEO of Bandwagon, discusses utilizing blockchain for security and personalization in event ticketing, data-transparency, his key to entrepreneurship, the importance of investment firms funding underrepresented groups, and speaking…
319: Beyond Purpose (Bruce Daisley)
May 7, 2019 • 39 min
Bruce Daisley, VP EMEA at Twitter, discusses the international focus of Twitter, the importance of psychological-safety on workplace culture, diversity & striving for fulfillment for all workers, and fleeting happiness vs enduring purpose. This episode of…
318: Scaling With People (Chris Sullens)
Apr 29, 2019 • 39 min
Chris Sullens, CEO of CentralReach, discusses needing to be cognizant of company culture while introducing new systems and a management team, the difficult task of hiring for culture, and how technology can help shape the future of ABA therapy. This…
317: About Fulfillment (Ben Furber)
Apr 23, 2019 • 71 min
Ben Furber, Developer at thoughtbot London, presents a panel discussion around striving for professional fulfillment, as individuals, managers, and organizations. The panelists touch on bringing your authentic self to work, finding organizations with…
316: A Completely Orthogonal Skillset (Lara Hogan)
Apr 15, 2019 • 40 min
Lara Hogan, co-founder of Wherewithall, discusses finding her ideal job coaching and mentoring, evaluating for management alignment, what makes for a strong manager, the value of role-play, constructive feedback, and her upcoming book, Resilient…
315: I’m Not a CPA, I Just Play One On Podcasts (Scott Orn)
Apr 8, 2019 • 42 min
Scott Orn, COO of Kruze Consulting, talks about podcasting, early stage pain-points, favorite tools, the trade-offs of remote work, and last minute tax-day advice for startups. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: PricingWire: Monetization &…
314: Streamlined and Thoughtful (Chelsea Moore)
Apr 1, 2019 • 36 min
Chelsea Moore, co-founder & CEO of BoxFox, discusses quickly going from idea to launch while doing everything from design to fulfillment in-house, their approach to growth, learning to say ‘no’, letting branding & social media evolve from itself, and…
313: I Just Want to Get There (Art Papas)
Mar 25, 2019 • 31 min
Art Papas, CEO of Bullhorn, discusses the business of temporary staffing, the danger of doing a marketing push before finding product market fit, focusing early on culture, adjusting to his role as CEO, communication techniques for company-wide messaging,…
312: Seeking Strengths (Gareth Burrowes)
Mar 18, 2019 • 38 min
Gareth Burrowes, Co-Founder & Head of Product and Marketing at The Tech Connection, discusses employment screening focused on candidate strengths, removing unconscious bias from the hiring flow, and the importance of diversity at every level of a company.…
311: Serving Serverless (Erica Windisch)
Mar 11, 2019 • 39 min
Erica Windisch, CTO and co-founder of IOpipe, discusses serverless architecture and how it can provide a clearer user-interaction story, the state of automatic code generation, and her experience in Techstars. IOpipe Techstars NYC 2016 An introduction to…
310: Have a Slide For That (Alec Stern)
Mar 4, 2019 • 42 min
Alec Stern, startup founder, entrepreneur, mentor, investor, and advisor, discusses founding Constant Contact, the early days of SaaS, the importance and utilization of ‘channels’, and pursuing customer feedback. Constant Contact Point2Point Global Alec…
309: Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast (Jamie Howard)
Feb 25, 2019 • 27 min
Jamie Howard, Director of Engineering at TransLoc, discusses hiring, solutions-driven engineering, leadership in the military vs the private sector, and Agile methodology. TransLoc The Ride Spotify Engineering Culture See open positions at thoughtbot!…
308: Technology is Everywhere (Siobhan Green)
Feb 18, 2019 • 35 min
Siobhan Green, co-founder & CEO of Sonjara, discusses finding good tech solutions for organizations in the social-benefit space and developing countries, merging her passions for tech and international development, GDPR, and the ethics and security of…
307: Win in the Long Term (Mike McDerment)
Feb 11, 2019 • 34 min
Mike McDerment, co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, discusses reimagining the platform with a system-wide A-B test, experiences with scaling, the value of customer service, and the art/science of change. FreshBooks Mike on Twitter See open positions at…
306: 306: Solving a Specific Problem (Ellen Chisa)
Feb 4, 2019 • 26 min
Ellen Chisa, CEO and cofounder of Dark, discusses building a complete programming platform from scratch, the benefits of a private beta, and making programming more accessible. Dark Philip2 Ellen on Twitter See open positions at thoughtbot! Become a…
305: You’re Never Done (Ben McRedmond)
Jan 28, 2019 • 28 min
Ben McRedmond, CEO of Consider, discusses his time as Senior Director of Growth at Intercom, teases his plans for fixing email, and discusses the importance & difficulty of product validation. Consider Ben on Twitter See open positions at thoughtbot!…
304: Intentional Soul-Searching (Natalie Nagele)
Jan 21, 2019 • 46 min
Natalie Nagele, Co-founder and CEO of Wildbit, discusses product updates, operating with more meaning and purpose, user research, bootstrap vs VC funding, and experiments in productivity (like a 4-day work week, turning off Slack, and strategies for…
303: Building Something Special (Margaret McKenna)
Jan 14, 2019 • 28 min
Margaret McKenna, Software Engineer at Devoted Health, discusses joining a team based on their mission, building systems from scratch, and evolution on a new, rapidly growing team. Devoted Health DJ Patil on Giant Robots Margaret on Twitter See open…
302: What Stage Are We In? (Sam Clemens)
Jan 7, 2019 • 40 min
Sam Clemens, Partner at Accomplice VC, discusses utilizing his product experience to nurture new companies, advice for where businesses should focus in various stages of growth, what should really be in an MVP, and his feelings around leaving a company as…
301: Projection & Prediction (Aatish Salvi)
Dec 10, 2018 • 39 min
Aatish Salvi, CTO of Teikametrics, discusses building a service for 3rd party Amazon sellers using data science, being wary of pre-mature optimization, integrating data engineering research into the team, and working with Amazon as both a partner and a…
300: More Useable Information (Jennifer Lum)
Dec 3, 2018 • 30 min
Jennifer Lum, COO and co-founder of, discusses building a company and platform that transforms unstructured information into machine-readable data in real-time, avoiding biases in data collection, and evolving & defining company values as one’s…
299: High-Touch (Millie Blackwell)
Nov 26, 2018 • 36 min
Millie Blackwell, President & Co-founder of Showcase Workshop, discusses differences in business culture between California and New Zealand, pursuing tablets as a business tool early in the lifespan of the iPad, experimenting with SaaS pricing, and…
298: Doing Right is Scalable (DJ Patil)
Nov 15, 2018 • 47 min
DJ Patil, Head of Technology at Devoted Health, discusses his time as the U.S. Chief Data Scientist, scaling healthcare to meet modern data demands, and the process of architecting a health care company. Devoted Health U.S. Government’s open data The…
297: Go Deep (David Kloba & Rob Meinhardt)
Nov 6, 2018 • 49 min
David Kloba & Rob Meinhardt, Co-Founders of Furious Collective, discuss the mindset and methodology of their venture production studio, recount their adventures over the past year of growing FormKeep after having acquired it from thoughtbot, and offer…
296: Stay Close to Your Users (Andrew Bialecki)
Oct 30, 2018 • 52 min
Andrew Bialecki, CEO of Klaviyo, discusses building systems to process and get insight from business’ data, scaling personality and humanity to mass communication, and translating customer feedback into concrete product improvement. Plus, the debut of…
295: Follow Your Passion (Jonathan Kim)
Oct 24, 2018 • 41 min
Jonathan Kim, CEO of Appcues, discusses building better onboarding and personalization to apps, starting a company as a solo founder, lessons learned from his time in journalism, and core culture values. Appcues David Cancel on Giant Robots Jonathan on…
294: From a Place of Sharing (Chris Toomey)
Oct 18, 2018 • 30 min
In this special crossover episode, Chad is joined by Chris Toomey, Development Director at thoughtbot and host of The Bike Shed podcast, to discuss the content, history, and the process of making Upcase, thoughtbot’s online learning platform, FREE. The…
293: Advertising as a Service (Sandra Richter)
Oct 10, 2018 • 44 min
Sandra Richter, Co-founder and CEO of Soofa, talks about redefining the infrastructure of out of home advertising, purpose vs business motivation, and learning from setbacks. Soofa MIT Media Lab Soofa Sign Soofa Talk Sandra on Twitter See open positions…
292: MVP-ing the Sales Process (Lindsey Christensen)
Oct 2, 2018 • 47 min
Lindsey Christensen, VP of Marketing at thoughtbot, discusses shaping thoughtbot’s marketing strategy, team, and future. Purpose-built Resource Center The Bike Shed Podcast Lindsey on Twitter See open positions at thoughtbot! Become a Sponsor of Giant…
291: Intrapreneurial Streak (Heena Purohit)
Sep 25, 2018 • 42 min
Heena Purohit, Product Manager of IBM Watson IoT, discusses how they are tailoring custom solutions with IoT data, building business acumen for better product managing, and iterating at scale. IBM Watson IoT Stryker Vehicle Intrapreneurship Trusted AI…
290: Usage Native (Mike Trotzke)
Sep 11, 2018 • 36 min
Mike Trotzke, CEO of Cheddar, talks about the future of billing models, when is the right time to do seed investing, and finding your value pricing metric. Cheddar Pricing Bootcamp "SaaS Pricing: Strategies, Frameworks & Lessons Learned"- Chad Pytel…
289: Capture Community Early (Jameson Toole)
Sep 3, 2018 • 35 min
Jameson Toole, founder of Fritz, discusses AI & Machine Learning on mobile, the process & ideology of launching a product from scratch, and the business of developer tools. Fritz Core ML TensorFlow InstaSaber Heartbeat Jameson on Twitter See open…
288: Pursuing Customer Delight (Yoav Shapira)
Aug 27, 2018 • 51 min
Yoav Shapira, an Engineering Manager at Facebook with a long history in Boston startups, discusses early technology choices for startups, balancing product needs/wants with technical limitations, the role of Capital-D ‘Design’, and common startup advice.…
287: Disruptive, Exponentially-Innovative, 10x Videos (Sarah Cooper)
Aug 20, 2018 • 30 min
Sarah Cooper, comedian, speaker, and author of 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, joins Chad to discuss management burnout, the creative process, and her latest book. 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings The Cooper Review "10 Tricks to Appear Smart…
286: A Million Boxes at a Time (Stephan Ango)
Aug 14, 2018 • 47 min
Stephan Ango, Co-founder and Head of Product at Lumi, discusses merging creative and scientific mindsets in industrial design, the logistics of packaging, developing custom solutions by slowly replacing 3rd party tools, and building your ideal culture…
285: Deep Counting (Jerry Talton)
Aug 6, 2018 • 47 min
Jerry Talton, leader of the Machine-Learning Services team at Slack, talks about picking up after a failed startup, design-thinking for machine learning, and important lessons from managing. Slack "Doggfooding" StarSpace General Management Course The No…
284: Bringing Vision to Robots (Clara Vu)
Jul 23, 2018 • 41 min
Clara Vu, co-founder & VP of Engineering of Veo Robotics, shares her story getting into the world of robotics, designing perception systems for industrial robots, and ‘First-Principles Thinking’ in all aspects of business. Veo Robotics T-Shaped Skills…
283: Overcoming Awkward Data (Joe Ferris)
Jul 16, 2018 • 41 min
Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot, joins Chad to discuss Data Engineering, what it is, when you need it, and some of the challenges thoughtbot has faced while using it. Machine Learning on Giant Robots Joe on Twitter See open positions at thoughtbot! Become a…
282: Robot as a Platform (Tim Enwall)
Jul 2, 2018 • 38 min
Tim Enwall, CEO of Misty Robotics, discusses designing, building, and selling a fully autonomous robot for developers. Misty Robotics- Use code GiantRobot for $200 off pre-orders Sphero RobotShop Crossing the Chasm- Geoffrey A. Moore Misty Series Pics…
281: Reconnecting With Development (Robby Russell)
Jun 25, 2018 • 49 min
Robby Russell, VP of Engineering & Partner at Planet Argon, discusses considering remote work for an agency, strategies for leading a dev team, defining focus for an agency, and the results of the 2018 Rails Hosting Survey. Planet Argon Traction: Get a…
280: Design at the Program Layer (Greg Storey)
Jun 18, 2018 • 47 min
Greg Storey, founder of Airbag Industries & Executive Director of Design at USAA, discusses the blurring of personal and company identity, helming a budding design group, "safe agile", what it means for design to ‘have a seat at the table’, and…
279: Building a Lifelong Brand (Alex Friedman)
Jun 11, 2018 • 24 min
Alex Friedman, co-founder of LOLA, discusses overcoming stigma, launching new products, measuring success, and brand values. LOLA Sex by LOLA See open positions at thoughtbot! Become a Sponsor of Giant Robots!
278: The ‘Lights On’ Moment (Sam Moorhouse)
Jun 4, 2018 • 28 min
Sam Moorhouse, creator of Global Code, discusses the importance of mentorship and how he established a software engineering summer education program in Ghana. Global Code ELiTE ELiTE in Ghana Raspberry Pi Sam on Twitter Global Code on Twitter See open…
277: How Do We Work Together? (Michael Sheeley)
May 28, 2018 • 53 min
Michael Sheeley, former co-founder of Runkeeper, talks about his struggles with scaling, experimentation with prices, finding ways to connect and work together as a larger society, and innovation in health care. Runkeeper Michael on Twitter See open…
276: Enable and Serve (Chris Heivly)
May 22, 2018 • 47 min
Chris Heivly, author & entrepreneur in residence at Techstars, discusses the early days of MapQuest, Raleigh as a burgeoning tech city, and building up new tech communities. Build the Fort- Chris Heivly Techstars The Innovator’s Dilemma- Clayton M.…
275: Galvanizing Focus (Paul English)
May 14, 2018 • 43 min
Paul English, co-founder of Lola, discusses what it means to be a good brand, transitioning from a tech foundry to a single-product focus, lessons learned from having launched multiple companies, and his approaches to competition & success. Lola Lolas…
274: Providing Value (Ram V. Iyer)
May 8, 2018 • 37 min
Ram V. Iyer, Business Thinker & Professional Business Mentor at The Business Thinking Institute, discusses his internalization of business success/failure, having a ‘business thinking’ mindset, and distinguishing oneself through the value you can create.…
273: Showcase Your Value (Nilan Peiris)
Apr 30, 2018 • 31 min
Nilan Peiris, VP of Growth at TransferWise, discusses growth sources, handling failure, studying user evangelism, launching in a new market, and scaling globally. TransferWise Nilan on Twitter Become a Sponsor of Giant Robots!
272: Grown-Up App Development (Dermot Daly)
Apr 23, 2018 • 36 min
Dermot Daly, founder and CEO of Tapadoo, discusses being a developer early in the iOS ecosystem while differentiating themselves now as it’s become a more crowded market-space, building your ideal company, and developing apps for med-tech devices. Tapadoo…
271: Being a Good Manager (Camille Fournier)
Apr 17, 2018 • 40 min
Camille Fournier, author, speaker, and Managing Director at Two Sigma, discusses her path from Director of Infrastructure Engineering to CTO, lessons learned from tech team management, and the importance of defining core-values. Two Sigma Rent the Runway…
270: How’s Work Lately? (Jennifer Dary)
Apr 10, 2018 • 48 min
Jennifer Dary, founder of Plucky, discusses purpose, process, longevity, relationships, and trust by turning the tables and giving Chad a corporate counseling session. Plucky Hopscotch Design Festival Metis Upcase Joe Torre’s Ground Rules for Winners 1:1…
269: Human to Human Connection (David Cancel)
Apr 3, 2018 • 45 min
David Cancel, CEO & Co-founder of Drift, discusses bringing the personal touch back to sales through conversational marketing, validating an idea, competition, and differentiating yourself through communication & marketing. Drift True Startup Competition…
268: Present and Effective (Adam Marchick)
Mar 27, 2018 • 34 min
Adam Marchick, CEO & co-founder of Alpine AI, discusses pioneering vocal analytics, making a better experience for digital commerce on vocal platforms, and operating in an early stage market. Alpine AI Adam on Twitter Thank you Alpine AI for providing a…
267: Familiar With the Market (Sara Tateno)
Mar 19, 2018 • 31 min
Sara Tateno, founder and CEO of Happity, shares her journey from BBC Radio, to coding bootcamp, to startup founder. Happity Radio 1’s Essential Mix Mums in Tech Makers Academy Trigg Life Mapper Ignite Accelerator Sara on Twitter Become a Sponsor of Giant…
266: Destination Driven (Ernesto Moreno)
Mar 13, 2018 • 35 min
Ernesto Moreno, business coach, entrepreneur, & restaurateur, joins Chad to discuss transforming a restaurant using lean methodology, focusing on your strengths, and finding creativity in running a business. Arepas Lean Startup Methodology The E-Myth…
265: Loosening My Hold (Tracy Osborn)
Mar 5, 2018 • 38 min
Tracy Osborn, author and the creator of WeddingLovely, joins Chad to talk about juggling projects, redefining your core customer base, the feeling of giving up control when hiring, and publishing via Kickstarter. WeddingLovely Hello Web App The Startup…
264: Having a Realistic Mindset (Allen Pike)
Feb 27, 2018 • 40 min
Chad discusses reflection & goal planning, the scope of internal projects, and balancing time & team structure for both client & product work with Allen Pike, CEO & co-founder of Steamclock Software. Steamclock Software WeddingDJ Stables and Volatiles…
263: The Stuff of Science Fiction (George Brocklehurst)
Feb 19, 2018 • 22 min
Chad is joined by George Brocklehurst, development director of thoughtbot NYC, to discuss the methodologies, tools, and use cases in working with machine learning. What is Machine Learning?- George Brocklehurst Named-Entity Recognition Stanford Named…
262: The Thought Behind the Bot
Feb 12, 2018 • 57 min
In 2003, five friends came together to form thoughtbot. In this special episode, we take a look back on the founding of thoughtbot, and it’s first years, told from the perspective of the original founders and early partners. From their first meeting in…
261: A Human Future (Pamela Pavliscak)
Feb 5, 2018 • 35 min
Chad is joined by Pamela Pavliscak, founder of Change Sciences, about human-centered design thinking, and incorporating well-being & ethics as a measure of success. Change Sciences Value Sensitive Design Nudge- Richard H. Thaler IEEE Global Initiative on…
260: Treating Yourself Like a Business (Andrew Carroll)
Jan 29, 2018 • 39 min
Chad is joined by Andrew Carroll, CPA and independent CFO, to discuss how the new tax regulations will affect freelancers, small business, & solopreneurs. Also, recommended strategies for savings, retirement, and investing for entrepreneurs. CFO Andrew…
259: Carve Your Own Story (Curtis Herbert)
Jan 22, 2018 • 43 min
Chad is joined by Curtis Herbert, independent app developer and creator of Slopes, to discuss balancing client and product work, the pros & cons of a seasonal app, the importance of outreach, and experimenting with non-traditional business models. Slopes…
258: Doing it on Principle (Max Seelemann)
Jan 15, 2018 • 39 min
Chad is joined by Max Seelemann, co-founder and lead developer of Ulysses, to discuss app-review, the complexities of multi-platform releases, initiating a full-app rewrite, and switching to a subscription pricing-model. Ulysses Writing App Sunk Cost…
257: Mapping the World For Parents (Anne Halsall)
Jan 8, 2018 • 42 min
Chad is joined by Anne Halsall, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Winnie, discussing intention in branding, assumptions about features, balancing local and remote work, and quantifying growth. Winnie Winnie on Twitter Become a Sponsor of Giant…
256: Stay Hungry, Stay Learning (Hosted by Alan Wick)
Dec 18, 2017 • 47 min
The tables are flipped and Chad is interviewed by Alan Wick, at our Playbook Launch Party, on the lessons learned from starting thoughtbot, company methodology, and looking towards the challenges & opportunities of the future. thoughtbot Playbook Crossing…
255: Solving the Whole Problem (Maria Parker)
Dec 4, 2017 • 41 min
Chad chats with Maria Parker, CEO of Cruzbike, about running your first Kickstarter, issues with scaling production, and the challenge of shifting public perceptions. Hopscotch Design Festival Cruzbike Crossing the Chasm- Geoffrey A. Moore 3000 Miles to a…
254: Product and Vision (Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz)
Nov 20, 2017 • 44 min
Chad talks with Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz, co-founders of Wistia, about building/launching new products, hiring, and managing company identity & vision. Wistia Chris & Brendan on Giant Robots Wistiafest video marketing conference Soapbox Thank you…
253: iPads For Camp (Aleen Simms)
Nov 3, 2017 • 27 min
Chad is joined by Aleen Simms, an organizer for App Camp For Girls, to discuss the importance and logistics of their new Indiegogo Campaign. Head over to the App Camp Indiegogo via to have your donation matched today! App Camp for Girls…
252: Strategic Foresight (Amy Webb)
Oct 24, 2017 • 39 min
Chad is joined by Amy Webb, Professor at the Stern School of Business NYU and Founder & Quantitative Futurist at The Future Today Institute, to discuss distilling trends, incremental decision making, and the role of organizational management on the…
251: More Than Just Pretty Pictures (Jarrod Drysdale)
Oct 9, 2017 • 40 min
Chad is joined by designer and author Jarrod Drysdale to discuss lessons learned from shutting down Cascade, writing about design, cultivating content for your audience, and design’s evolving role within organizations. Jarrod on Giant Robots TheorySprints…
250: The Internet of Payments (Anders Brownworth)
Sep 26, 2017 • 35 min
Chad is joined by Anders Brownworth, Chief Evangelist at Circle, to discuss zero-cost transaction fees, cryptocurrency, and re-envisioning modern payment systems. Circle Disruptive Innovation- Clayton Christensen The Critical Path Podcast Anders on…
249: The Business of Buying (Thomas Smale)
Sep 12, 2017 • 37 min
Chad is joined by Thomas Smale, founder of FE International to discuss valuations, selling SaaS businesses, and tips to make your product more attractive to potential buyers. The Developer’s Path Video FE International SaaS Valuations: How to Value a SaaS…
248: Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey A. Moore)
Aug 28, 2017 • 39 min
Chad is joined by author Geoffrey A. Moore to discuss the concepts in Crossing the Chasm and how they relate to scaling consulting. The full transcript for this episode Crossing the Chasm- Geoffrey A. Moore "How Great Leaders Inspire Action"- Simon Sinek…
247: The Developer’s Path (Laurie Young)
Aug 15, 2017 • 35 min
Chad is joined by Laurie Young to discuss The Developer’s Path, a panel discussion hosted at thoughtbot London on how companies and developers can work together to achieve reciprocal growth. Developer’s Path Panel Video thoughtbot Playbook- Apprenticeship…
246: Becoming the ‘Yes’ Person (Sara Chipps)
Jul 28, 2017 • 40 min
Chad is joined by Sara Chipps, cofounder of Girl Develop It & CEO of Jewelbots, to discuss integrating with custom hardware, building a community of young coders, working with retailers, and branding. Sara on Giant Robots Jewelbots #JewelbotsBuild First…
245: F is for Feelings (Gregg Pollack)
Jul 13, 2017 • 55 min
Chad is joined by Code School & Envy Labs founder Gregg Pollack to discuss optimal work environments and building a company to support Open Source Projects. Gregg on Giant Robots Starter Studio Brené Brown The Human Element Code Pop Upcase Sell Your…
244: A Fork in the Road (Seth Godin)
Jul 4, 2017 • 32 min
Chad is joined by author, blogger, entrepreneur, and marketer Seth Godin to discuss the organizational introspection required to move from the cutting edge to the mainstream. The full transcript for this episode Seth on Giant Robots Tribes: We Need You to…
243: Mostly Local (Mike McKenna)
Jun 27, 2017 • 36 min
Chad is joined by Mike McKenna, CEO of Shotgunflat, to discuss cultivating a business in the town in which one grew up, working with family, the effect of adding a sales team to a consultancy, and the legislation of craft-brewing. Shotgunflat Thirsty Goat…
242: Too Dressed Up For The Internet (Kim Goulbourne)
Jun 19, 2017 • 24 min
Chad is joined by thoughtbot designer Kim Goulbourne to discuss inspiration, side projects, and winning a Webby Award! The Webby Awards Bitter Renter "Suck it Zillow. I won!" No Questions Asked Made By Bourn Kim on Twitter Kim on Instagram Become a…
241: I Don’t Like Talking to Computers (Nick Charlton)
Jun 7, 2017 • 62 min
Chad is joined by Nick Charlton, thoughtbot developer and co-host of the Build Phase podcast, to give their impressions on all the news out of the WWDC17 Keynote & Platforms State of the Union. Build Phase WWDC17 Keynote Platforms State of the Union I/O…
240: Handing Over the Reins
Jun 5, 2017 • 55 min
Ben outlines his next steps, reflects on his time at thoughtbot, and hands the proverbial podcast reins over to Chad. Ballroom Dancing Onboarding on Giant Robots The Art of Product Podcast Art of Vim Intro- Ben acting in a smoking jacket Upcase…
239: Change is in the Air
May 29, 2017 • 35 min
Ben bids adieu to thoughtbot, and outlines his plans, hopes, and fears for the future. Upcase FormKeep How to negotiate the Long, Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death- Gail Goodman The Stairstep Approach to Bootstrapping- Rob Walling Natalie Nagele on Giant Robots…
238: The Graph is Beautiful
May 22, 2017 • 19 min
Derrick gets technical about Drip’s performance optimization, and reflects on pre-conceived opinions in regards to tactical & strategic planning after receiving some constructive criticism. Upcase FormKeep Studio Pics New Relic
237: Steve Jobs Used Slides
Apr 28, 2017 • 34 min
Ben and Derrick recount their experiences and lessons learned speaking at MicroConf. Upcase FormKeep MicroConf Hedonic Treadmill Thank you to our sponsor this week, FreshBooks
236: Care For Customer Support (Spencer Fry)
Apr 21, 2017 • 37 min
Ben is joined this week by Spencer Fry, founder of TypeFrag, Carbonmade, Uncover, and Coach, to discuss carryover lessons of successful startups. Upcase FormKeep TypeFrag Carbonmade Coach Why I Started Coach Being a Solo Founder Notation Capital…
235: Meta Talk Process
Apr 12, 2017 • 31 min
As we prepare for MicroConf, Ben takes a new tact on his talk after giving an early demo, and Derrick recounts a positive pair-programming experience. Upcase FormKeep Screenhero Thank you to our sponsor this week, FreshBooks
234: Secret Features
Apr 5, 2017 • 29 min
On FormKeep, Ben implements custom redirects on form submissions and starts a test to remove up-front credit card collection, as well as discusses evaluation of feature requests. On Drip, Derrick walks through the app with new devs, considers on-boarding…
233: Insert Mode is the Worst Mode
Mar 27, 2017 • 27 min
Derrick welcomes new Javascript and Rails developers to Drip. Ben prepares a content deal and interviews a Content Manager for Upcase, discusses the benefits and methodology to Vim proficiency, works on an integration with Wistia, and ponders growing /…
232: Don’t Be Boring
Mar 22, 2017 • 27 min
As Ben and Derrick prepare their talks for MicroConf, Ben shares his tips and habits for talk preparation and public speaking. Upcase FormKeep Ben’s Pre-Talk Checklist How to Talk to Developers Thank you to our sponsor this week, FreshBooks
231: Who Likes Using Ugly Software?
Mar 14, 2017 • 33 min
Ben & Derrick reflect on the S3 outage and how it affected their services, and muse on managing user perceptions. Derrick submits a talk to MicroConf on what it means to be "customer driven", and begins a refactoring effort to rework Drip’s integration…
230: Sales Through Education (Anna Jacobsen)
Mar 6, 2017 • 32 min
Ben & Derrick welcome Anna Jacobsen, Education Director at Drip, to discuss customer demos / onboarding, sales and retention strategies, customer success, and best practices within Drip. Upcase FormKeep Drip Drip Certification Course Lessons Learned From…
229: We Need More Counters
Feb 27, 2017 • 33 min
On FormKeep, Ben runs an A/B test on trial length and adds a short onboarding survey, meanwhile wrapping up team signups and working on a content licensing deal for Upcase. Derrick reports back from his machine learning class, and discusses an issue in…
228: Start in Beginner Mode
Feb 20, 2017 • 24 min
Derrick travels to Portland to visit fellow bootstrapper friends, Ben recounts his recent conference travel, and a discussion of their most pivotal hires as well as account rescue techniques. Upcase FormKeep Big Snow Tiny Conf The Startup Echo Chamber is…
227: We Don’t Do Fractional Pennies
Feb 13, 2017 • 30 min
Derrick celebrates a great shipping week, completing both ‘live segments’ and a Drip certification course. Ben recounts the rollout & results of the Upcase + Tapas promotion, and reflects on its successes and possible pitfalls. Upcase FormKeep Efficiency…
226: There Are So Many Edge-Cases
Feb 6, 2017 • 22 min
Ben presses to meet the Upcase & Tapas launch deadline, and shares some lessons learned from its preparation, promotion, and launch. On Drip, Derrick rolls out more UI updates, is looking to hire JavaScript and Rails engineers, and details his hiring &…
225: Abuse the Sunk-Cost Fallacy
Jan 30, 2017 • 31 min
Ben halts the search for a marketer to instead hire a sales consultant and focus on growth himself, and announces a collaboration with Ruby Tapas. Derrick enrolls in a machine learning class, and contemplates Drip team & work structure. Upcase FormKeep…
224: Sharpen Your Saw
Jan 23, 2017 • 33 min
Derrick takes a solo retreat to reflect on new goals for Drip, and draws up preliminary plans for scaling team size / structure, as well as speeding up velocity through parallelism. Ben shares his experience with GrowthHackers Projects, hides the lowest…
223: Work Deterrent System
Jan 9, 2017 • 25 min
Ben & Derrick discuss music in the workplace, optimizing Redis, reaching larger markets beyond early adopters, and standing out in job application e-mails. Upcase FormKeep Hostile Architecture on 99% Invisible twemproxy Crossing the Chasm: Geoffrey A.…
222: Honesty Bait
Dec 19, 2016 • 30 min
Derrick considers learning a new language to be prepared for scaling Drip’s optimization, and gives new details on the tech used to streamline queries for large accounts. Ben breaks down his post to finding the best candidate for product Head of…
221: Power in Mimicry
Dec 12, 2016 • 35 min
Ben discusses the lessons of mimicked learning and tempering of judgmental thinking gleaned from a sports book, and muses on how to apply them to career advice. On Drip, faced with a mountain of catch-up work after the holiday, Derek confronts…
220: Goin’ Legit (For 2017)
Dec 6, 2016 • 33 min
Ben decides to hire a support firm, document support processes, completes the Hound pricing change, and prepares to make products their own division for next year. Meanwhile, on Drip, Derrick addresses a performance challenge. Podcast Swag Bundles Upcase…
219: Rails’ Sidekick (Mike Perham)
Nov 28, 2016 • 31 min
Ben is joined by Mike Perham, author of Sidekiq, to discuss running a business solo, taking a side project from hobby to full time job, and scaling support as an app grows. Upcase FormKeep Indie Hackers- Sidekiq Sidekiq Open Core Software Business Model…
218: A Spark of Inspiration
Nov 21, 2016 • 35 min
On Drip, Derrick launches a free tier, and utilizes credit card anti-fraud measures. Ben publicly launches FormLinter, pauses exploring new product ideas in favor of giving attention to existing ones, and starts to rebuild the product team. They also…
217: The Object Object Object
Nov 14, 2016 • 50 min
Ben and Nick get super nerdy this week and chat about Meetspace’s architecture using Go, Postgres, and HMAC including custom cookie signing, rendering, error handling, tooling, and more! Upcase FormKeep Meetspace- use code GIANTROBOTS30 for 30% off your…
216: The One With Laila & Brenda
Nov 7, 2016 • 38 min
Sadly, Ben is stuck in hammock somewhere, and we are without a new episode this week. However, we would love you all to check out thoughtbot’s newest podcast, interviewing inspirational designers, developers, and other makers in tech, The Laila & Brenda…
215: SaaS is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Oct 31, 2016 • 37 min
Ben and Nick chat about ways to pitch your product, working solo as well as sustainably, and the costs of doing business. Upcase FormKeep Meetspace- use code GIANTROBOTS30 for 30% off your first month Staying Motivated While Working Solo Nick on Twitter
214: My Cat is VP of Marketing (Nick Gauthier)
Oct 24, 2016 • 42 min
Ben talks to Nick Gauthier, founder of MeetSpace, about the importance of validating ideas, reading through API documentation, and pricing surveys. Podcast Patreon Survey Upcase FormKeep MeetSpace- use code GIANTROBOTS30 for 30% off your first month HMAC…
213: Madness Free
Oct 17, 2016 • 40 min
Derrick finds some new areas to improve after walking new hires through Drip’s architecture, and discusses his custom billing engine. On Hound, Ben delegates the new-pricing project, and validates a new product idea. Podcast Patreon Survey Upcase FormKeep…
212: Good Enough, Namaste
Oct 10, 2016 • 38 min
Derrick brings a few more new hires onto the team, and ships a change to make clients’ Javascript snippets more performant. On Hound, Ben does some direct outreach sales, considers bringing on someone to help with marketing, and muses on the balancing act…
211: Battle Hardened Over Time
Oct 3, 2016 • 39 min
On Hound, Ben sends out announcements for pricing changes, questions when a decision is the "right" decision when it comes to customer feedback, and toys with per-seat pricing model feasibility. Derrick has a successful first week on-boarding the new…
210: s/Walden/Andover
Sep 26, 2016 • 32 min
Ben plans a camping trip, acquires a new Twitter account, releases his notes on giving great conference talks, and begins to tell users of Hound’s new pricing. Derrick reacts to the announcement of Github Projects and what that means for Codetree, ships…
209: Playlist Driven Development
Sep 19, 2016 • 33 min
On Drip, Derrick deals with a high-bandwidth customer and hires a new devops team member. Meanwhile, Ben brainstorms new pricing structures for Hound. Upcase FormKeep Drip Lessons From the Saas Metrics of 1500 Companies- Patrick Campbell MicroConf Session…
208: Efficiency Starts With a Haircut
Sep 12, 2016 • 40 min
Derrick switches domains from to, begins to update the design of the Drip widget, and tries to find balance in his varying roles as CTO. Ben hands off the reigns of Upcase, switches to a low-tech project management solution, and mixes…
207: Database & Queue are Dirty Words (Derrick Reimer)
Sep 6, 2016 • 33 min
Ben welcomes guest co-host Derrick Reimer, co-founder of Drip, getting to know his background and products for our first outside-thoughtbot view on SaaS strategy (as well as Ben’s arm-twisty methods for getting him on the podcast in the first place)!…
206: I’m Glad We Talked About This (Chad Pytel)
Aug 22, 2016 • 47 min
thoughtbot CEO Chad Pytel joins Ben to discuss our recent office closings and reasons necessitating this decision, what this means for the product team, and the future of thoughtbot. Also, a teaser of what to expect next from Giant Robots Podcast. Upcase…
205: Bottling Calm
Aug 8, 2016 • 42 min
Fresh back from vacation, Ben shifts his attention to a Hound project, adding in tiered plans and pricing. Chris begins to build out a drip sequence for content recommendations, prepares to roll off to return to client work, and leaves us with some final…
204: Disinclined, For Simplicity’s Sake
Aug 1, 2016 • 56 min
Chris delves into marketing mode for the TDD course, removes more client-side analytics code, and starts redesigning the information architecture on Upcase. On FormKeep, Ben alerts users to site down-time, removes all pay-per-form logic from the codebase,…
203: Worry Beads on Business Chains
Jul 25, 2016 • 45 min
Ben receives some insight on customer referrals for FormKeep, applies his pricing philosophy to Hound, and realizes a personal blind-spot when it comes to customer satisfaction. On Upcase, Chris patches an automated follow-up messaging bug leading to…
202: A Full 360
Jul 18, 2016 • 41 min
Ben rants about bad jokes on twitter, doesn’t ship any improved activation features on FormKeep this week, irons out some bugs on FormLinter, and begins an ad campaign. Chris contemplates shifting Upcase’s business model, and walks through the impetus…
201: The Difficulty is in Focusing
Jul 11, 2016 • 48 min
Ben encounters a downed FormKeep and enables a monitoring service, completes the un-grandfathering process for accounts on old tiers, and begins work on improving activation flow. Chris sends out a survey to users and discovers a shift in the Upcase…
200: Summertime Sadness
Jul 4, 2016 • 46 min
Chris digs into the causes for a MRR drop, discovering usage trends with seasonality; and in the process gets a clearer picture of Upcase’s user base. Also, he welcome Geoff to the project, and begins a new marketing initiative driven by user…
199: Heartening Frustration
Jun 27, 2016 • 51 min
This week, we ruminate on the meta-organization of project management. Ben embraces team feedback on, reaches the end of Formkeep’s grandfathered pricing window, and removes sandboxing to streamline plan structures. Chris contemplates…
198: Nailing Down the Why
Jun 20, 2016 • 45 min
On Formkeep, Ben launches FormLinter to increase form accessibility and conversions, and looks forward to additional persons on thoughtbot product work. Chris continues marketing of the Bourbon Smash course, wrestles with metrics and analytics, and…
197: An Engine That Throws Off Money
Jun 13, 2016 • 68 min
On Upcase, Chris releases the Bourbon course, restructures how new courses are highlighted, and discusses juggling the various factors that contribute to MRR. Ben takes on-boarding notes from a century old dance school to improve activation on Formkeep.…
196: Anecdotal Driven Development
May 30, 2016 • 49 min
Ben changes product activation flow, possibly for the worse, launches a new UI, and muses on new customer acquisition for Formkeep. On Upcase, Chris starts to see benefits from the domain transition, and brainstorms on how to un-bottleneck course…
195: The Storm Before the Calm
May 23, 2016 • 67 min
Ben delays a new feature until an easier implementation can be reached, adds additional event tracking for better site usage feedback, takes a medium to large digression to rant about Javascript, and makes headway on Formkeep’s UI refactor. On Upcase,…
194: Changing Your Internet Home
May 16, 2016 • 49 min
Chris transitions Upcase to for SEO and branding purposes, and introduces reactivate & resubscribe functionality. Ben publishes a blog post on Formkeep’s pricing history, optimizes the initial form setup page, and begins work to…
193: This Episode Has Been Brought to You By the Letter ‘S’
May 9, 2016 • 45 min
Ben switches from Mandrill to Sendgrid, turns a corner on his guarantee vs trial test, and begins the process of overhauling Formkeep’s UI. Meanwhile, on Upcase, Chris utilizes an interesting method for A/B Testing, teases a secret project, and increases…
192: The High End of Reasonable
May 2, 2016 • 50 min
Ben and Chris muse on the nature of weather-related happiness. Also, Ben works on instrumenting Formkeep’s activation funnel, utilizes a monitoring utility to optimize sign-up flow, and vows to almost certainly not toy with pricing any more. Meanwhile on…
191: I’ve Done it Once, I’m an Expert
Apr 25, 2016 • 47 min
Ben and Chris discuss taxes and financial (as well as bedtime) routines. On Upcase, Chris showcases "The Weekly Iteration" on the site, reveals a long-term dream for the platform, and patches a critical security issue. Ben adds a bunch of features to cut…
190: An Unkempt Backlog
Apr 19, 2016 • 55 min
Chris makes progress on Upcase’s to-dos in order to shift focus to after-the-funnel improvements, and makes a renewed vow to talk to customers for direct feedback. Meanwhile, Ben attends a conference, and while he picked up some great strategies for…
189: Swimming Against a Stream of Complexity
Apr 11, 2016 • 48 min
Chris keeps improving MRR on Upcase, patches a Javascript problem with a Javascript solution, and implements benefit focused text on course descriptions. On Formkeep, Ben discovers a flaw in an A/B test, deals with squirrely payment code, and prepares for…
188: I Have a Spreadsheet!
Apr 4, 2016 • 45 min
Ben decides to A/B test pricing, begins grandfathering existing customers to the new tiers, teases new features on Formkeep, and recounts some interesting customer interactions. Meanwhile, Chris drives conversions through e-mail and Twitter, identifies…
187: Missed You!
Mar 28, 2016 • 54 min
Chris welcomes a new member to team Upcase, confronts a drop in MRR, and looks forward to increased content production. On Formkeep, Ben introduces tiered pricing and trials, considers tier differentiators, and muses on what next to implement. Formkeep…
186: Learning Through Experimentation (Ryan Buckley)
Mar 14, 2016 • 37 min
Ben and Chris welcome on Ryan Buckley, co-founder of Scripted, for an honest discussion on the shortcomings, pain-points, and benefits that arise from restructuring a product’s focus. Formkeep Upcase: 50% Off Your First Month For Giant Robots Listeners!…
185: The Funnel is Just the Beginning (Lincoln Murphy)
Mar 7, 2016 • 30 min
Ben welcomes SaaS growth and customer success pioneer Lincoln Murphy to discuss the true importance of providing value to existing customers and focusing on their success, as every tactic you undertake as a business is predicated on understanding their…
184: I Love You, Businesses!
Feb 29, 2016 • 50 min
Ben accidentally launches a Vim course, debates a B2B vs B2C focus, and feels out different Formkeep pricing tiers. Chris welcomes back a handful of former subscribers to Upcase, continues to work on content production, and integrates relevant content…
183: Embarrassing Trailing White-Space
Feb 22, 2016 • 49 min
Chris converts with email campaigns, lays out a time-table to churn out a ton of content, and tries to analyze a dip in revenue. Meanwhile, Ben tests the definition of what constitutes a "conference", focuses on how to enrich Formkeep for specific use…
182: The Weight of Javascript
Feb 15, 2016 • 49 min
Ben finalizes Formkeep’s Ember removal, toys with the idea of manual on boarding, and positions himself to begin experimenting with plans and pricing. Meanwhile, Chris deals with credit card fraud, too many inodes on Upcase’s server, and finishes the…
181: Tying Your Work to Impact (Brian Balfour)
Feb 8, 2016 • 42 min
Chris talks with growth expert Brian Balfour on starting and sustaining SaaS business, and his team’s approach to addressing growth issues. Upcase Pirate Metrics Airbnb Growth Study Be the Best at Getting Better Traction vs Growth How to Become a Customer…
180: We Don’t Deal With Paper
Feb 1, 2016 • 48 min
Chris gets a surprise while reviewing Upcase’s Q4 profit & loss statement, gains some insight into e-mail marketing, wrestles with the added complexity of adding github auth-to-access, and brainstorms new community-driven projects. Meanwhile, Ben gets his…
179: It’s Tough to Iterate on Nothing
Jan 25, 2016 • 58 min
Ben resolves to cut back on dashboard checkins, makes progress on Formkeep’s Ember extraction, and struggles with product-market fit. Meanwhile, Chris tackles some analytics issues, opens up Upcase landing pages from behind the paywall to improve…
178: No-one Wants Form End-Points for Christmas
Jan 18, 2016 • 65 min
Ben and Chris both struggle with cancelations coming into the new year, Formkeep continues to strip out Ember and focus on content marketing, and Upcase resolves a major issue in the exercise system and improves the checkout flow. Formkeep Upcase The…
177: I Forgot There Would Be Follow-On Tasks
Jan 11, 2016 • 52 min
Chris tracks new members after the release of the new Mastering Git course from Upcase, launches a drip e-mail campaign to attract more members, and focuses on increased content output. Ben continues removing Ember from Formkeep, rethinks an activation…
176: The Pricing is Right
Jan 4, 2016 • 54 min
As Ben transitions from Upcase to Formkeep, so too will the podcast transition to an open discussion around growing thoughtbot’s internal projects and maintaining them as businesses, highlighting our hopes, experiments, tactics, failures, and success…
175: Broaden Your Worldview (Ashe Dryden)
Dec 21, 2015 • 30 min
Ben talks with Ashe Dryden about ways to approach diversity in the tech community from workplace, conference, and personal perspectives. AlterConf The Diverse Team The Inclusive Event Model View Culture Brianna Wu - 9 Ways to Stop Hurting and Start…
174: Building Character (Laura Roeder)
Dec 14, 2015 • 29 min
Ben and Laura Roeder, founder of Edgar, chat about anthropomorphizing your brand to build better engagement, going the extra step to care about customer success, and some tips for social media marketing best practices. This episode is brought to you by…
173: Obsessed With Helping (Hiten Shah)
Dec 7, 2015 • 30 min
Ben talks with Hiten Shah, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, on the value of helping others, frameworks for a better life, being an infovore, and tips for finding a successful product niche. Upcase: 50% Off Your First Month For Giant Robots…
172: Go After the Hard Stuff (Eric Normand)
Dec 1, 2015 • 41 min
Ben and Eric Normand of LispCast and talk about the pros and cons of Haskell and Clojure, empathize on some of the pain points of running an educational coding platform, and hypothesize on how the next great programming "killer demo"…
171: Always Be Hustling (Steli Efti)
Nov 23, 2015 • 37 min
Ben talks with Steli Efti, CEO and Co-founder of Close, on maintaining energy and passion in speaking, why engineers make great sales people (and how they can be even better), and managing your emotions to be more productive and happy. Upcase: 50% Off…
170: Make Things People Want (C. Todd Lombardo & Trace Wax)
Nov 9, 2015 • 39 min
Chad talks with C. Todd Lombardo & Trace Wax about their new book, co-authored with Richard Banfield, Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products, as well as the process and benefits of design sprints. Upcase: 50% Off Your…
169: Purpose Driven Development (Sara Chipps)
Nov 5, 2015 • 36 min
Brenda talks with Sara Chipps on the desire to educate in code, her inspiration to work on hardware, and the troubles of manufacturing. Upcase: 50% Off Your First Month For Giant Robots Listeners! Jewelbots CSS Dev Conf Girl Develop It Mesh Networking…
168: ‘Unpronounceable’ (Star Simpson)
Oct 27, 2015 • 31 min
Chad Pytel and Laila Winner welcome Star Simpson to discuss PLIBMTTBHGATY (Programming Languages I’ve Been Meaning To Try But Haven’t Gotten Around To Yet), fostering community through meet-ups, and the finer points of taco delivery via drone. Upcase: 50%…
167: A Place For Both (Brenda Storer)
Oct 12, 2015 • 36 min
Ben talks with thoughtbot designer Brenda Storer on fitting both development and design in her job title, tips for public speaking, and introduces a new change to the show. Upcase: 50% Off Your First Month For Giant Robots Listeners! Girl Develop It CSS…
166: Refactoring Health Care (John Norman)
Oct 5, 2015 • 40 min
Ben talks with John Norman about his process and modified approach to the delivery, payment, and tech of modern managed health care. They also touch on age bias in the programming world, living a purpose-driven life, and dealing with startup growth. Iora…
165: Everyone’s Welcome Here (Adam Stacoviak & Jerod Santo)
Sep 28, 2015 • 43 min
Ben talks with Adam & Jerod of The Changelog Podcast to discuss their personal interviewing modalities, doing full-time media creation, and a new video project aimed to explore the actual people behind your programming heroes. The Changelog Beyond Code…
164: Transcribing at 260 wpm (Mirabai Knight)
Sep 21, 2015 • 36 min
Ben talks with Mirabai Knight about the technology and uses of modern stenography; including using steno with Vim, and her work on Plover, the open source Steno engine. StenoKnight CART Services Giant Robots 164 Transcript White Coat Captioning Stenotype…
163: Play is the Best Way to Learn (Nadia Odunayo)
Sep 14, 2015 • 31 min
Ben talks with Nadia Odunayo about giving non-technical conference talks and full-time pairing. Playing Games in the Clouds- Nadia’s 2015 RailsConf Talk Floobits Makers Academy RubyConf Nadia On Twitter
162: Literal Giant Robots (Brinkley Warren)
Sep 8, 2015 • 23 min
Ben is joined by Brinkley Warren of MegaBots Inc. to discuss the history, build, and strategy behind the MegaBot Mk II, USA’s entrant in next years giant robot duel! MegaBots Giant Robot Duel Kickstarter MegaBots Inc. (with initial challenge videos) Darpa…
161: Listen to Your Users (Jules Coleman)
Aug 31, 2015 • 28 min
Ben and Jules Coleman, founder of Hassle, discuss staying close to the codebase while in a more managerial role, the challenges of rapid growth, and the value of internalizing feedback. Hassle Kaizen The Shit That TechCrunch Doesn’t Tell You Jules On…
160: Unfollowing the Leader (Drew Neil)
Aug 26, 2015 • 30 min
Ben and Drew Neil discuss freeing up Vim’s leader key, the value of visual learning, and using GitHub to crowd source closed captions. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and fast cloud hosting, built for developers. Use…
159: Falling Out of Love With Haskell (Mike Burns)
Aug 17, 2015 • 23 min
Ben and fellow thoughtbotter Mike Burns take time out of their Summer Summit schedule to chat about launching offices, the art of classical code, and why Mike no longer loves Haskell. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and…
158: Producing…Stuff (Thom Obarski)
Aug 10, 2015 • 31 min
Ben is joined by trepidatious producer, Thom Obarski, to talk all things media at thoughtbot, compare working in tech to entertainment environments, and bestow some beginner advice on starting one’s own podcast. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored…
157: Between Frustration and Enlightenment (Tom Stuart)
Aug 3, 2015 • 46 min
Ben is joined by Tom Stuart to talk about incorporating computer science topics into Ruby, his process of preparing talks, enriching your development career with a bit of computer science knowledge, and gushing about how amazing computers truly are. This…
156: It Has to be Valuable (Steve Tooke)
Jul 27, 2015 • 33 min
Ben is joined by Steve Tooke to discuss the importance of communication, testing, and building Cucumber 2. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and fast cloud hosting, built for developers. Use the code GiantRobots for a $10…
155: CTO Duties (Joe Ferris)
Jul 20, 2015 • 40 min
Ben welcomes Joe Ferris, thoughtbot’s CTO, to discuss design parity within the company, inversion of control, and solving all the world’s problems with monads. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by Digital Ocean. Simple and fast cloud hosting,…
154: Do it Right the First Time (Samir Talwar)
Jul 13, 2015 • 34 min
Ben and Samir Talwar of Codurance discuss the appeal of functional programming, mob programming, and a different take on conferences. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and fast cloud hosting, built for developers. Use the…
153: Auld Lang Syne (Chad Pytel)
Jul 6, 2015 • 54 min
As Giant Robots nears its 3 year anniversary, Ben welcomes back Chad Pytel to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year at thoughtbot. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and fast cloud hosting, built for…
152: Providing Positive Change (Denise Yu & Rosa Fox)
Jun 29, 2015 • 29 min
Ben welcomes Denise Yu and Rosa Fox of Codebar to discuss the importance of fostering community, mentoring tips, and more. Codebar Denise on Twitter Rosa on Twitter
151: Open By Default (Aidan Feldman)
Jun 15, 2015 • 28 min
Ben discusses consulting and open source from within the government, as well as choosing the right clients, and the value of mentorship, with Aidan Feldman of 18F. 18F Hacker Hours Open Source Community Aidan on Twitter
150: Don’t Screw it Up (Derek Prior)
Jun 8, 2015 • 33 min
Ben talks with fellow thoughtbotter Derek Prior on conference speaking, code review, and podcasting. Implementing a Strong Code-Review Culture- Derek’s RailsConf 2015 Talk How to Talk to Developers Giant Robots on Genius The Bike Shed Podcast Derek on…
149: Try to Stand Out (Chris Toomey)
Jun 1, 2015 • 32 min
Ben talks with fellow thoughtbotter Chris Toomey on networking, mentorship, React.js, and sustainable pace. Boston Vim Meetup Upcase React Pete Hunt- React: Rethinking Best Practices The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement- Mr. Money Mustache…
148: We All Want to be Heard (Rebecca Miller-Webster)
May 25, 2015 • 32 min
Ben talks with Rebecca Miller-Webster, Managing Director of thoughtbot Chicago, on beginners contributing to open-source, organizing conferences, and cultivating a more inclusive culture. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple…
147: Cry Through it, and Keep Typing (Saron Yitbarek)
May 18, 2015 • 33 min
Ben welcomes on Saron Yitbarek to talk about creating communities that foster learning and niceness; as well as getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and how confronting that discomfort can ultimately lead to success. This episode of Giant Robots…
146: Ready For the Real World (Shelby Kelly)
May 11, 2015 • 28 min
Ben and Shelby Kelly discuss teaching at a coding bootcamp and the future of junior-developer programs. Stick around till the end to catch a sample of her Rocky Mountain Ruby rap! This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and…
145: YOLO! _push to master_ (Sam Phippen)
May 4, 2015 • 43 min
Ben talks to Sam Phippen on working on the RSpec core team, new features in 3.3, tips for contributing to open-source, and his favorite parts of Rails. This episode of Giant Robots is sponsored by: Digital Ocean: Simple and fast cloud hosting, built for…
144: Finding a New Way (Pam Selle)
Apr 27, 2015 • 34 min
Ben talks to Pam Selle on the importance of self-impossed structure, voice coding, and living with RSI. Recurse Center Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs MacVimSpeak Hands-Free Coding Keyboardio It’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! Choosing a…
143: Keep an Open Mind (Carin Meier)
Apr 20, 2015 • 29 min
Ben talks with Carin Meier on the writer’s process, how programming relates to the arts, and the importance of a graduated and immersive approach to learning. Living Clojure Mathematica Ease into 5k 4Clojure Wonderland Katas Hitchhiker’s Guide to Clojure…
142: The Power of Play (Justin Gitlin)
Apr 13, 2015 • 28 min
Ben talks with Justin Gitlin on changing the experience of a social media platform, as well as shaping game dev to art (and vice versa). Mode Set Ello Facebook real-name policy controversy OhHeckYeah Dwarf fortress Rototo An Interview With Scott Adams…
141: Don’t Say No to Anything (Georgia Dow)
Apr 6, 2015 • 29 min
Ben sits down with therapist/writer/podcaster/speaker/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Georgia Dow to discuss the value of new experiences, the advantages of private mentorship, and living life to its fullest. iMore Vector Podcast Isometric Podcast Royal Mews…
140: Don’t Believe Everything That You Think (Sir John Hargrave)
Mar 30, 2015 • 31 min
Ben talks to Sir John Hargrave, CEO of Media Shower, about his new book Mind Hacking on the power of reprogramming one’s thoughts to maintain new habits, and innovations to the traditional publishing model. Media Shower Mind Hacking CBT Therapy Philsophy…
139: Learning Oriented Culture (Mike Brittain)
Mar 23, 2015 • 38 min
Ben talks to Mike Brittain, VP of Engineering at Etsy, on interacting with the development community, strides in diversity practices, the pros/cons of an open office, and the difficulties in transitioning from engineering to management. The Art of the…
138: Overloading the Home Row (Craig Andera)
Mar 16, 2015 • 44 min
Ben talks to Craig Andera, developer at Cognitect, on his latest 20% time project, how Clojure gets made, and driving immutability into a database. Cognicast Kinesis Keyboards khordr Datomic "Simplicity Matters"- Rich Hickey Mile…Mile & a Half…
137: The Haskell Renaissance (Pat Brisbin)
Mar 9, 2015 • 30 min
Ben talks with Pat Brisbin on his new book, and the future of Haskell at thoughtbot. Maybe Haskell announcement thoughtbot’s books Learn You a Haskell for Great Good Upcase Haskell excercises Carnival haskell on heroku Yesod Maybe Haskell (50% off for our…
136: I Think it Was the Altitude (Ben Orenstein)
Mar 2, 2015 • 31 min
Chad officially welcomes Ben back to the podcast, discuses the employer/employee ideology that can facilitate a successful sabbatical, and reveals some exclusives on the future of thoughtbot. Turing School Ben on the Healthy Hacker podcast Pogo-stick…
135: Planning For Change (Ben Arent)
Feb 23, 2015 • 33 min
Chad talks with Ben Arent, product manager at Rackspace, on the pros/cons of app acquisition, as well as their favorite Sass tools. Rackspace Airbrake Go Programing Language Hybrid Cloud OnMetal Cloud Servers Open Computer Project Segment Intercom Tender…
134: Growing to Meteor (Paul Dowman)
Feb 16, 2015 • 41 min
Chad talks with Paul Dowman, founder of OK GROW!, on replacing Rails with Meteor, and how martial arts has made him a better developer. OK GROW! Meteor Velocity Test Framework Wasting Less Time Replace CoffeeScript with ES6 Jeet Kune Do Paul on Twitter
133: The DNA of Music (Matt Aimonetti)
Feb 9, 2015 • 34 min
Chad talks with Matt Aimonetti, co-founder of Splice, on remote worker strategies, fundraising, and his vision for the future of digital musical collaboration. Splice Chromebox For Meetings #NoEstimates Matt on Twitter
132: Story Tellers (Adarsh Pandit, Kyle Fiedler)
Feb 1, 2015 • 38 min
Chad talks with fellow thoughtbotters Adarsh Pandit and Kyle Fiedler on the pros and cons of stories, story points, and job stories. Adarsh’s tweets on points Converting to Jobs Stories Pivotal Tracker Basecamp Lighthouse Agile Manifesto Replacing The…
131: The Human-Computer Interaction Umbrella (Irene Ros)
Jan 26, 2015 • 32 min
Chad talks with Irene Ros, data visualization practice lead at Bocoup, about her pursuit of making data visualization function in a social context. What is Lotus Notes? Many Eyes Mant Bills Bocoup Roosters Stickers Around the World Popcorn.js AngelList…
130: Counting all the F-Words (Joanne Cheng)
Jan 19, 2015 • 27 min
Chad & developer Joanne Cheng break down thoughtbot’s statistical year in review! Data by Design (Giant Robots ep 112) thoughtbot 2014 Report Feltron Reports "The Weight of Rain"- Jonathan Corum csvkit Build Phase Joanne on Twitter
129: The Engineering of Payments (Ian Logan)
Jan 13, 2015 • 35 min
Chad talks with Ian Logan, an Engineering Manager at Airbnb, on the challenges, ideology, implementation, and future of their payments system. Airbnb Combinatorics Open Air: Payments on a Global Scale 13 Secret Rock Stars of Silicon Valley Airbnb Disaster…
128: To Attract and Retain (Dan Croak)
Jan 4, 2015 • 47 min
Chad talks with thoughtbot CMO Dan Croak about our content marketing strategy, managing the flow of new media, and the origin of our growth team. Bourbon Paperclip thoughtbot Playbook How To Scale a Development Team- Adam Wiggins Semantic Linefeeds-…
127: Merging Worlds (Meng To)
Dec 22, 2014 • 39 min
Jeff Smith talks to Meng To, author of Design + Code about the blurring line between developers and designers, learning tools to better communicate, and the difficulties of planing a world-wide workshop tour. Design + Code Framer Sketch Meng’s Design Blog…
126: Log In to Your Space (Zach Dunn)
Dec 15, 2014 • 47 min
Chad talks to Zach Dunn, CPO of Robin, about the future of smart spaces, working with family, and when to shift your company’s scope. Robin One Mighty Roar either 2013 Boston 25 Under 25 Robin: The Boy Wonder Bathroom Ocupancy Proof of Concept Zach on…
125: Rebooting (Adarsh Pandit)
Dec 7, 2014 • 43 min
Chad talks to Adarsh Pandit, thoughtbot SF Managing Director & host of the Reboot podcast, about his personal journey which inspired our newest show. Reboot "The Pickaxe" Agile Development with Rails Learn to Program Adarsh on Twitter
124: Maintaining Your Legacy (Scott Ford)
Nov 23, 2014 • 32 min
Chad talks to Scott Ford, founder & COO of Corgibytes, about the business of software remodeling/retrofitting, and finding value and beauty in old code. Corgibytes Scott on Twitter
123: Don’t Call It a Codecation (Chris Hunt)
Nov 18, 2014 • 24 min
Ben & Chris Hunt catch up on their latest conference talks, podcasts, and things accomplished on their recent coding retreat. Service Oriented Architecture at Square Solving the Rubik’s Cube in 20 Seconds Trailmix Turing School Spanulate Podcast You…
122: Ruby, the Weird Way (Britt Ballard, Caleb Thompson, Richard Schneeman, Terence Lee)
Nov 10, 2014 • 50 min
Britt Ballard leads this roundtable discussion on home-growing your own conference and their experiences, from theme and logo selection to scheduling guests and venues, turning Keep Ruby Weird from a dream into a reality. Keep Ruby Weird Jeremiah The…
121: Prolificness (Allison House)
Nov 2, 2014 • 32 min
Guest-Ben Chad Pytel talks with Allison House about maintaining personal growth while freelancing, and her approach to harnessing your capacity to learn. Origins Tiny Habits- BJ Fogg "Summer Noon"- Tweedy Design Tips Signup House on Twitter
120: Open Your World For Commentary (Tom Lehman)
Oct 27, 2014 • 54 min
Ben talks with Tom Lehman, creator of Genius, about the power of honesty in corporate culture, and navigating the mores of discussing salary. Genius The Genius ISMs Dunning–Kruger effect Don’t Call Yourself a Programmer, and Other Career Advice- Patrick…
119: Create Value or Create Technology? (Pete Hunt)
Oct 19, 2014 • 27 min
Ben talks with Pete Hunt, formerly of Facebook & Instagram, on React and what makes this unique JavaScript library tick, as well as shifting from a technical to a business focused mindset. React Fielding Dissertation Simple Made Easy- Rich Hickey Pete on…
118: Scare Yourself (Dan Martell)
Oct 12, 2014 • 37 min
Ben talks with Dan Martell, CEO and founder of Clarity, about self-actualization in business, how life is affected by those around which one surrounds themselves and the value of staying outside one’s comfort zone. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Ira Glass on…
117: Designing Quality (Will Sulinski)
Sep 21, 2014 • 27 min
Ben talks with Will Sulinski, founder of Pistol Lake, on translating lessons learned from the tech sector into success in the fashion industry. Pistol Lake Let My People Go Surfing Chris Lindland Episode Will on Twitter
116: A Model Jellyfish (Carl Smith)
Sep 14, 2014 • 31 min
Ben talks with nGen Works founder Carl Smith about alternatives to a "flat" structure, remote management & community building. nGen Works BizCraft Podcast Technically Simple Podcast Drive by Daniel Pink DPM Radio The Bureau of Digital Affairs QCat Carl on…
115: There’s a Spectrum Involved Here (Brandon Bloom)
Sep 7, 2014 • 37 min
Ben talks with Brandon Bloom about finding the right tool for the job, there being too many objects in OO Programing and the importance for a full spectrum of options, regardless of the choice. Hour of Code Campaign Om Mathematica Unsound and Incomplete…
114: Offer Value First (Ryan Delk)
Aug 31, 2014 • 24 min
Ben talks with Gumroad grower Ryan Delk about standing out from your peers by adding value before you ask for value. Gumroad Chris Sacca on Foundation: "Create Value Before You Ask For Value Back" Section Around 14:50 Ryan on Twitter
113: Minimum Path to Awesome (Rob Walling)
Aug 24, 2014 • 32 min
Ben and Rob Walling, founder of Drip and HitTail, discuss engaging your audience, the path to building new habits and the need to create. Drip HitTail MicroConf The Biggest Gamble of Your Career Tiny Habits Startups For The Rest Of Us Podcast Rob on…
112: Data By Design (Joanne Cheng)
Aug 17, 2014 • 26 min
Ben talks to developer Joanne Cheng about lessons learned from the conference circuit, as well as the subject of her latest conf talk, Data-Driven-Documents within JavaScript, and trends in dashboard design. D3 Interactive Data Visualization for the Web…
111: Thinking Outside the Loop (Chris Granger)
Aug 10, 2014 • 41 min
Ben talks with Chris Granger, creator of Light Table, about building a better IDE and envisioning a world where all programming happens inside a database and anyone can do it. Light Table Toward a Better Programming Aurora StrangeLoop 2013 Demo Exploring…
110: Protecting Invisible Things (Eric Mill)
Aug 3, 2014 • 32 min
This week Ben talks with former thoughtbotter, and creator of Is It Christmas, Eric Mill about the power of blogging, the personal empowerment offered by the internet and the role of government in the digital age. Is It Christmas? The Door to the FISA…
109: Venturing Thru Capital (Alex Taussig)
Jul 27, 2014 • 36 min
Ben delves behind the scenes of a VC firm with Alex Taussig of Highland Capital. Highland Capital Partners Alex on Twitter
108: Picking Your Obsession (Brett Van Zuiden)
Jul 20, 2014 • 38 min
Ben talks to Brett Van Zuiden, founder of Filepicker, about the importance of finding your specialization and passion in your industry, as well as his experiences in Y Combinator. Filepicker Scaling Instagram IFTTT All-TIME 100 Novels Y Combinator Brett…
107: The Best Secrets Kept (Sara Haider)
Jul 13, 2014 • 32 min
Ben talks to Sarah Haider, Android lead at Secret, about anonymity in social media, her work with Girls Who Code and Android Development. Girls Who Code Secret Hound Sara on Twitter
106: Sprinting Thru Design (Alex Baldwin & Galen Frechette)
Jul 6, 2014 • 28 min
Ben is joined by fellow thoughtbotters Alex & Galen to break down their product design sprint workflow. Google Ventures: Design Sprint Recipe Human Centered Design Toolkit Jobs To Be Done Framework Milkshake Marketing Product Design Bootcamp
105: Use Your Info-magination (Marc-André Cournoyer)
Jun 29, 2014 • 32 min
Ben welcomes Marc-André Cournoyer of Coded Inc. to discuss self-marketing and sustaining info-product platforms. Thin How to Create Your Own Freaking Awesome Programming Language Influence- Robert Cialdini Scientific Advertising- Claude C. Hopkins Coded…
104: Maintaining The Meat Machines (Adam Wiggins)
Jun 22, 2014 • 40 min
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.…
103: Consulting the Consultants (Adam Wathan, Chris Keithlin)
Jun 15, 2014 • 36 min
Giant Robots welcome Adam & Chris of Vehikl who inquire about project selection / scheduling, portfolio building & customer-facing. Vehikl thoughtbot Playbook Adam on Twitter Chris on LinkedIn
102: Put It Out To The World (Peter Cooper)
Jun 8, 2014 • 28 min
Ben sits down with Peter Cooper, of Cooper Press, on his evolution from blogger to published author and publisher. Cooper Press Ruby Inside Ruby on Rails vs PHP video Fluent Conf /r/lifeprotips Peter on Twitter
101: Developing Skills (Alex Fox, Jatin Bhandari)
Jun 1, 2014 • 38 min
Ben is joined by Alex & Jatin, recent graduates of the first thoughtbot / Metis Ruby on Rails Bootcamp, to talk about the process, experience and feedback on their path to becoming junior developers. Ruby on Rails Bootcamp Alex on Twitter Jatin on Twitter
100: Adequately Industrious (Aaron Patterson)
May 25, 2014 • 45 min
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. AdequateRecord…
99: You Are Not Alone (Greg Baugues)
May 18, 2014 • 19 min
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. Business of Software Video Developers and Depression book Devpressed Forum Open…
98: Memorization Techniques (Chris Hunt)
May 11, 2014 • 19 min
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. Dominic O’Brien Bibliography World Memory Championships Chris on…
97: Railing Against Rails (Ernie Miller)
May 4, 2014 • 25 min
Live from RailsConf Ben & Ernie Miller explore his "Curmudgeon" talk, modules and the importance of nuance. TDD is Dead Appriss: VINE Ernie on Twitter
96: Business is Hard (Jeff Casimir)
Apr 27, 2014 • 35 min
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. Turing School of Software & Design Heartbleed Bug The E-Myth Revisited
95: Making Time (Chas Emerick)
Apr 20, 2014 • 41 min
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. 100% Time Clojure Programming: Practical Lisp for the Java World The Quilt Project PDF…
94: The Nature of Writing (Diana Zmuda, Jessie Young)
Apr 13, 2014 • 36 min
Ben is joined by Diana & Jessie of thoughtbot San Francisco to discuss their latest book, iOS on Rails, the concept of releasing a book in Beta and the importance of apprenticeships to emerging junior developers. iOS on Rails Roy Fielding Ray Wenderlich…
93: Diversity of Approach (David Nolen)
Apr 6, 2014 • 41 min
On this weeks show Ben talks to David Nolen, Rails & JavaScript developer for the NY Times, about being a steward of ClojureScript, functional programming, the advantages of immutable values and Om. David Nolen ClojureScript React Kitchen Table Coders:…
92: Program to the Machine You Have (Ryan Hoover)
Mar 30, 2014 • 32 min
Ben and Ryan Hoover, co-creator of Product Hunt, talk revenue models, the value of blogging, diversification of skills, and tiny steps towards major change. Tradecraft: Training people to succeed in traction roles at high-growth startups Product Hunt: A…
91: Not Ruining Design (Rich Thornett)
Mar 23, 2014 • 34 min
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. dribbble Rich on Twitter
90: Do One Thing Well (George Brocklehurst, Mike Burns)
Mar 16, 2014 • 22 min
Ben talks to George Brocklehurst & Mike Burns of thoughtbot’s Stockholm office on creating and distributing gitsh, an interactive shell for Git, and why it shouldn’t be a Ruby gem. Get Gitsh Stockholm Vim Haskell Stockholm Classical Code Reading Group
89: Moving Beyond The Wheel (Mahmoud Abdelkader)
Mar 9, 2014 • 35 min
This week on Giant Robots, Mahmoud Abdelkader of Balanced joins Ben to talk the priorities in ones career trajectory, the role of a successful CTO, and the benefits of radically open transparency. Balanced What Does Balanced Do? Balanced Github Balanced…
88: Prospering Communities (Kyle Bragger)
Mar 2, 2014 • 28 min
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). Elepath, Inc Exposure…
87: Monitoring the Bathrooms (Tony DiPasquale)
Feb 23, 2014 • 23 min
This week on Giant Robots, Ben chats with Tony DiPasquale on utilizing Arduino engineering to solve 0th world problems. Arduino Home Page Original Bathroom Occupancy Proof of Concept Breakdown Full Low Power Custom Arduino Sensor Board Instructions!
86: Humility and Patience (Peter Reinhardt)
Feb 16, 2014 • 21 min
In this week’s episode, we’re joined by Peter Reinhardt, Co-founder and CEO of Ben and Peter discuss the product, their tech stack, the companies big pivot to, their growth and future plans. They also discuss leaving MIT to start a…
85: I Want These Ideas To Be Free (Max Temkin)
Feb 9, 2014 • 40 min
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…
84: The Bus Number (Harper Reed)
Feb 2, 2014 • 46 min
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…
83: Turning the Tables (Ben Orenstein)
Jan 26, 2014 • 53 min
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…
82: Teach all the things (Matt Knox)
Jan 19, 2014 • 38 min
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,…
81: An Agent of Change (Seth Godin)
Jan 12, 2014 • 33 min
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…
80: Growing Business (Josh Pigford)
Dec 22, 2013 • 28 min
This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein chats with Josh Pigford about time management, entrepreneurship and farming Josh Pigford’s Website Josh Pigford’s Twitter Tiny Farmstead Baremetrics Popsurvey Temper
79: The Gentle Wise One (Uncle Bob Martin)
Dec 15, 2013 • 37 min
This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein talks with Uncle Bob Martin about functional programming, ethics, and writing. Bob Martin’s Twitter Clean Coder Bob Martin’s Blog
78: Fancy Pants (Chris Lindland)
Dec 8, 2013 • 28 min
This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein talks with Chris Lindland, CEO of about online fashion, self-generating product and dress-pant-sweatpants. Chris Lindland’s Twitte Betabrand
77: A Beautiful Thing (Harold Giménez)
Dec 1, 2013 • 51 min
This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein speaks with Harold Giménez, Heroku postgres leader, about postgres, data management, and beer brewing. Harold’s Twitter Harold’s Blog Heroku
76: The Boutique Agency
Nov 24, 2013 • 40 min
Ben Orenstein speaks with Alex Kesler, founder and CEO of inSegment about digital marketing, GTD and productivity. inSegment inSegment’s Twitter
75: Embedding Democracy (Catherine Bracy)
Nov 17, 2013 • 31 min
This week Ben Orenstein interviews Catherine Bracy, Director of Community Organizing at Code for America. Catherine Bracy’s Twitter Code for America
74: Fancy Scala (Sean Griffin)
Nov 10, 2013 • 32 min
Ben Orenstein speaks with thoughtbot developer Sean Griffin about scala and ruby. Sean Griffin’s Twitter Understanding Computation Tom Stuart Scala Website Martin Odersky’s Free Class Programming Scala
73: Spooky Robots Haunting other Spooky Robots (Drew Neil)
Nov 3, 2013 • 33 min
Ben Orenstein speaks with Drew Neil, creator of about teaching writing and workshopping vim. Vimcasts Practical Vim: Edit at the Speed of Thought Drew Neil’s Twitter
72: Up in the Mountains (Nathan Barry)
Oct 27, 2013 • 32 min
This week on The Giant Robots Podcast, Ben Orenstein chats with Nathan Barry about book writing, teaching and self employment. Nathan’s Twitter Nathan’s Website The App Design Handbook
71: The Power of the Truth
Oct 20, 2013 • 39 min
Josh Clayton and Ben Orenstein interview each other about their managing director positions. Ben Orenstein’s Twitter Josh Clayton’s Twitter
70: Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Oct 13, 2013 • 40 min
Ben Orenstein speaks with Jeff Atwood about Discourse, forum software, and soylent. Coding Horror StackExchange Jeff Atwood’s Twitter
69: Geocoding in the Now
Oct 6, 2013 • 14 min
Ben Orenstein interviews Josh Clayton and Laila Winner on their book, Geocoding on Rails. Geocoding on Rails Josh Clayton’s Twitter Laila Winner’s Github
68: Simplicity and Elegance
Sep 29, 2013 • 34 min
Ben Orenstein and Paul Farnell, CEO of Litmus, talk about starting up, business practices, and Litmus. Paul Farnell’s Twitter Litmus
67: The Data Optimist
Sep 22, 2013 • 29 min
Ben Orenstein and Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, talk about Data Science, Bitly and Cheeseburgers. search engine OkCupid Blog hackNY DataGotham NYC Resister Hilary Mason’s Personal Website Hilary Mason on Twitter
66: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Sep 15, 2013 • 40 min
Ben talks with Anthony Eden about DNSimple, programming languages and code retreats. dnsimple Anthony Eden’s Twitter
65: No! Videos Private!
Sep 8, 2013 • 38 min
On this episode Ben talks with Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz about Wistia Wistia Chris Savage’s Twitter Brendan Schwartz’s Twitter
64: Wistfully Into the Air
Sep 1, 2013 • 36 min
In this episode of Giant Robots Ben talks with Des Traynor about intercom, concise communication. blogging and customer outreach. Intercom Inside Intercom Blog Des Traynor’s Twitter
63: Knowledge Bomb!
Aug 25, 2013 • 48 min
Ben and Chad discuss mentoring, job hunting tips and FAQ thoughtbot Code Review Guide Pair With Me Sandi Metz Rules
62: Family Business
Aug 18, 2013 • 31 min
In this of episode of Giant Robots, Ben speaks with Natalie Nagele and Ilya Sabanin about Wildbit, Beanstalk, and work flow. Wildbit Beanstalk Ilya Sabanin’s Twitter Natalie Nagele’s Twitter
61: Having the Craic with Paul
Aug 11, 2013 • 34 min
In this episode Paul and Ben talk about tito, funconf, and organizing conferences. Paul Campbell’s Twitter Pabcas Hypertiny Tito
60: Deep Dive
Aug 4, 2013 • 34 min
In this week’s episode Ben discusses effective business practices and advice for optimal page design with special guest Patrick McKenzie. Learn Prime Bingo Card Creator Paul Gram (Do Things That Don’t Scale) Double your Freelancing Rate Follow…
59: Nowhere to Hide
Jul 28, 2013 • 25 min
In this episode, Ben Orenstein speaks with thoughtbot CTO Joe Ferris about the technical interview process at thoughtbot, and more. Flog tool complexity Flay duplication tool Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @joeferris on twitter.
58: A Thousand Neckbeards
Jul 21, 2013 • 31 min
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. Real World Haskell Hackage Conways Game of LIfe Learn You A Haskell Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k,…
57: Delayed Gratification
Jul 14, 2013 • 28 min
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…
56: Code in a Bubble Bath
Jul 7, 2013 • 36 min
]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. Alex’s Personal Website Alex’s Blog Alex’s World Travel Blog…
55: The Value of Flow
Jun 30, 2013 • 42 min
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. Authentic Jobs Cameron’s personal website Podcast: Hired Cameron’s Future…
54: Build your stuff on the side and have a good time
Jun 23, 2013 • 25 min
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…
53: Not everything needs to be extracted
Jun 16, 2013 • 38 min
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…
52: You look really fancy in your tuxedo
Jun 9, 2013 • 58 min
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…
51: I found a voice
Jun 2, 2013 • 32 min
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…
50: It’s Monday today, let’s change everything
May 26, 2013 • 43 min
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…
49: The psychology of work
May 19, 2013 • 35 min
In this episode, recorded at RailsConf 2013, Ben Orenstein is joined by Gregg Pollack and Nathaniel Bibler from EnvyLabs and Gregg shares what he’s learned running his business, when not to be transparent, how to deal with compensation,…
48: Barista imposter syndrome
May 12, 2013 • 37 min
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,…
47: Two hours per minute
May 5, 2013 • 20 min
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,…
46: We don’t have a monopoly on being unhealthy
Apr 28, 2013 • 33 min
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,…
45: Tiny Robots Cuddling with other Tiny Robots
Apr 21, 2013 • 34 min
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…
44: I feel the opposite of burnt out
Apr 14, 2013 • 52 min
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…
43: A good person by default
Apr 7, 2013 • 44 min
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…
42: Why were you suing a website?
Mar 31, 2013 • 50 min
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…
41: This is the sausage being made
Mar 24, 2013 • 35 min
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…
40: He’s winking at me
Mar 17, 2013 • 32 min
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,…
39: We’ve been watching you for some time, Mr. Grimm
Mar 10, 2013 • 38 min
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…
38: Standing out from the pack
Mar 3, 2013 • 37 min
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…
37: You’re riding the Rails bro!
Feb 24, 2013 • 34 min
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. Suspenders…
36: A gem called exploit
Feb 17, 2013 • 48 min
This week Ben Orenstein is joined by Nick Quaranto, developer at 37signals and one of the maintainers of 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…
35: I haven’t lifted a pencil in years
Feb 10, 2013 • 29 min
Ben Orenstein is joined by Dennis Najjar CPA from They discuss international companies operating in the United States, the tools of his trade, how is set up and what their different clients look like, and…
34: Very little comes to those who wait
Feb 3, 2013 • 29 min
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…
33: I’ve failed before
Jan 27, 2013 • 25 min
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, They also talk about learning new things, problem solving, and the…
32: There is an excited you in there
Jan 20, 2013 • 42 min
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.…
31: I write everything in Markdown
Jan 13, 2013 • 45 min
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…
30: Giant Year-End Extravaganza
Jan 6, 2013 • 66 min
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. January Trajectory Redesign Open source releases every two weeks Factory Girl…
29: The most ironic iOS developer
Dec 30, 2012 • 28 min
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,…
28: Farther, further, faster
Dec 23, 2012 • 47 min
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…
27: Fabulous new mistakes
Dec 16, 2012 • 26 min
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…
26: Deep into the psyche of Gary Bernhardt
Dec 9, 2012 • 41 min
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…
25: Long hours on the BoltBus
Dec 2, 2012 • 21 min
Ben Orenstein is joined by Alex Godin from Ben and Alex discuss Alex’s hectic time in both 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…
24: Not so DRY that it chafes
Nov 25, 2012 • 31 min
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…
23: As a consultant it’s always your fault
Nov 18, 2012 • 31 min
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,…
22: Your code looks nice today
Nov 15, 2012 • 23 min
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…
21: Data, Context and Interaction
Nov 4, 2012 • 28 min
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…
20: Ruby Lightning
Nov 2, 2012 • 33 min
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! Rob Mack from Spiceworks Dr. Nic Williams from…
19: I have tons of guns and knives
Oct 31, 2012 • 38 min
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…
18: Trading Hours for Money
Oct 28, 2012 • 39 min
Ben Orenstein is joined by Brennan Dunn, author of double your freelancing rate and 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…
17: I’m feeling full and Sassy
Oct 21, 2012 • 25 min
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…
16: Making it fast
Oct 14, 2012 • 35 min
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,…
15: Moving money should be free
Oct 7, 2012 • 43 min
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,…
14: Say goodbye to that big guy
Sep 30, 2012 • 30 min
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,…
13: I’ll disagree in just a little bit
Sep 23, 2012 • 30 min
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…
12: I think I’ll be on a yacht
Sep 16, 2012 • 38 min
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…
11: You want your system to bend, not to break
Sep 9, 2012 • 54 min
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…
10: Isn’t the last stage of grieving acceptance?
Sep 2, 2012 • 43 min
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…
9: TDD for Business!!
Aug 23, 2012 • 50 min
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…
8: Wax on, Wax off
Aug 16, 2012 • 30 min
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, Edward is a current design apprentice. Gabe, Edward, and Ben talk about…
7: Something Else Was Smellier
Aug 9, 2012 • 34 min
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…
6: MVP of Personal Hygiene
Aug 2, 2012 • 44 min
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…
5: My wife is getting really into whiskey
Jul 26, 2012 • 48 min
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…
4: I’ve got a little thoughtbot angel or devil on my shoulder
Jul 19, 2012 • 37 min
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…
3: The FactoryGirl Representation of a Factory
Jul 12, 2012 • 40 min
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…
2: Design with a sip of Bourbon
Jun 22, 2012 • 35 min
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…
1: Polymorphism vs. Conditionals
Jun 11, 2012 • 31 min
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. CVS SVN Git…