Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots



A weekly podcast discussing the design, development, and business of great software. Hosted by thoughtbot CEO, Chad Pytel, and rotating cast of fellow developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, we delve deep behind the scenes of the products and technologies we love.


  • 41: This is the sausage being made

    25/03/2013 Duración: 35min

    This week Ben Orenstein in joined by thoughtbot CEO, Chad Pytel, to discuss thoughbot's books, online and in-person training programs, other educational products, and the launch of thoughtbot's new subscription to everything they teach, Learn Prime. They also discuss some changes to, Five Guys, and much more! Ruby Science Backbone.js on Rails Intermediate Ruby on Rails Intro to Ruby on Rails Learn Prime Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @cpytel on twitter.

  • 40: He's winking at me

    18/03/2013 Duración: 32min

    Ben is joined by Bryan Helmkamp, the founder of CodeClimate. In Bryan's second appearance on the podcast, Ben and Bryan discuss the architecture behind CodeClimate, scaling the service, and growing the business. They also discuss speaking at conferences, proposal selection, two factor authentication and adding it to CodeClimate, marketing and content marketing, how to decide what to build and proving that it was worthwhile, strategies for testing at the beginning when you have few users, and Bryan reveals CodeClimate next big upcoming feature. Sidekiq JRuby Rubinius Just-in-time (JIT) compilation Librato metrics Rails Security Monitor by Code Climate Boston.rb, Rails Application Security in Practice_ Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @brynary on twitter.

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

    11/03/2013 Duración: 38min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Avdi Grimm, software developer, author, and podcaster. Ben and Avdi discuss Emacs, Avdi's personal assistant and delegating work. They also discuss naming and finding implicit concepts in your code, encoding processes as objects in their own right, his publishing and podcasting, the pronunciation of Parley, Ruby Tapas, education resources and the benefits of open source languages, his goals, the most civilized way to travel, and what we got wrong about the Law of Demeter. Mandy Moore, Assistance for Software Professionals Ruby Tapas MethodObject Objects on Rails Exceptional Ruby Confident Ruby Ruby Rogues podcast Wide Teams Ruby Rogues Parley GRSIOGR podcast on Law of Demeter, Episode 27: Fabulous new mistakes Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @avdi on twitter.

  • 38: Standing out from the pack

    04/03/2013 Duración: 37min

    This week Ben Orenstein is joined by Jeremy McAnally, employee at GitHub, author of Ruby in Practice, Rails 3 Upgrade Handbook, MacRuby in Action, and more. Jeremy and Ben discuss teaching and organizing conferences, remote working for GitHub, the and the company summits, GitHub workflows, their internal tools team. They also talk about standing out from the pack in work, life, and getting accepted to conferences, selecting people to speak at conferences, self-publishing, Jeremy's writing process and future writing plans, work-life balance, how to get a job at GitHub, and much more. MagicRuby Ruby Hoedown La Conf Hubot CodeConf Rails Girls Ruby in Practice MacRuby in Action Rails 3 Upgrade Handbook RedCarpet Markdown parser PrinceXML Securing Rails Seasonal Affective Disorder Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @jm on twitter.

  • 37: You're riding the Rails bro!

    25/02/2013 Duración: 34min

    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 Suspenders app Gemfile Podcast with Bourbon creator Phil LaPier Declaring and Scaling Process Types with Procfile Test spy Trello Minimum viable product (MVP) Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @joeferris on twitter.

  • 36: A gem called exploit

    18/02/2013 Duración: 48min

    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 is today, and RubyMotion in general. They then move on to discuss the recent cracking, the mechanism behind it, the process of restoring the service, and how it might affect RubyGems going forward. They then circle back to talk more about RubyMotion, testing, working at 37signals, CoworkBuffalo, OpenHack, and good coffee. #inspect, RubyMotion conference Basecamp for iOS cracked CoworkBuffalo The On-Call Programmer Kevin Purdy Chemex Coffeemaker OpenHack Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @qrush on twitter.

  • 35: I haven't lifted a pencil in years

    11/02/2013 Duración: 29min

    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 why it makes sense to outsource your bookkeeping and accounting. They also explore the checks and balances you should have in bookkeeping and accounting, the accounting departments role in an organization and 1099s their purpose, and what to do if you don't get one. Follow @thoughtbot and @r00k on twitter.

  • 34: Very little comes to those who wait

    04/02/2013 Duración: 29min

    In this week's episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by Steve Snyder, Entrepreneur in Residence at the law firm, Gesmer Updegrove LLP. Ben and Steve discuss Steve's history, his unique position at the law firm, mistakes to avoid, and advice and guidance to entrepreneurs just starting out. Gesmer Updegrove LLP The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't Follow @thoughtbot and @r00k on twitter.

  • 33: I've failed before

    28/01/2013 Duración: 25min

    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 differences between programming and design. They also discuss the downside to recurring revenue, successful marketing strategies for his book, advice for people who want to start something new, the concerns of a solo entrepreneur, and how his previous failures help him keep perspective. Bootstrapping Design Getting Real 30x500 Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, and @studiofellow on twitter.

  • 32: There is an excited you in there

    21/01/2013 Duración: 42min

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

  • 31: I write everything in Markdown

    14/01/2013 Duración: 45min

    This week Chad Pytel is joined by software developer, podcaster, and author, Brett Terpstra. Chad and Brett discuss Brett's work location and setup, his open source and commercial software projects, app store pricing, his publishing experience and workflow, and his podcast. They also discuss his keyboard and trackpad mappings, and much more. nvALT Brett's GitHub profile Marked MultiMarkdown 60 Mountain Lion Tips iBooks Author Pandoc Systematic on 5by5 KeyRemap4MacBook Apptivate BetterTouchTool Follow @thoughtbot, @cpytel, and @ttscoff on twitter.

  • 30: Giant Year-End Extravaganza

    07/01/2013 Duración: 01h06min

    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 2.4 (refactoring, speed increase) and 2.5 (custom constructors) shoulda-context gets a new maintainer February Shoulda 3.0 Launches Airbrake acquired by Exceptional March thoughtbot goes to Stockholm Paperclip 3.0 FactoryGirl 3.0 opens up to all employers Copycopter goes open source Trajectory gets Campfire integration April Zero Github Issues FactoryGirl 3.2 New Boston office May Trail Maps released Trajectory gets a full json API Humans Present: Refactoring June Backbone.js on Rails hit 1.0 Opening and office in SF First podcast episode! July Playbook: Video Edition Version 3.6.0 of factory_girl, memoization to the names of attributes which adds a 33% speed increase on factories with override August Learn launched S

  • 29: The most ironic iOS developer

    31/12/2012 Duración: 28min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Gordon Fontenot and Matt Mongeau, two thoughtbot developers, to discuss iOS development using both Objective-C and RubyMotion. Ben, Matt, and Gordon talk about the differences between the two platforms for iOS development, testing in iOS development, the difficulty in it, and the ways to do it. They also make they're recommendations for getting started with iOS development, and discuss iOS apps they like, designing iOS applications, the iOS release cycle, and much more. RubyMotion LLVM CoffeeScript Bacon, a small RSpec clone Writing Tests for RubyMotion Apps Joel on Software, "Back to Basics" The LLDB Debugger RubyMotion, by Clay Allsop Test-Driven iOS Development All the C You Need to Know Fantastical for iPhone UIAppearance CocoaPods Follow @thoughtbot, @halogenandtoast, @gfontenot, and @r00k on twitter.

  • 28: Farther, further, faster

    24/12/2012 Duración: 47min

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

  • 27: Fabulous new mistakes

    17/12/2012 Duración: 26min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Joe Ferris, CTO of thoughtbot. Inspired by a question on Law of Demeter from listener Nathan Long, Joe and Ben (hopefully) answer Nathan's question, and then go on to discuss how the Law of Demeter is a form of duplication, how it effects testing, and how to better architect your report, your view, or your entire system to better obey the Law of Demeter. They also touch upon Rails' try method, how the pain of testing helps guide the code you write, where the Law of Demeter doesn't apply, how people don't refactor their tests, how to productively refactor your tests and avoid wasting time rewriting things, and much more. Law of Demeter, Wikipedia Virtuous Code - Avdi Grimm, Demeter: It's not just a good idea. It's the law Nathan Long's LoD question #try Builder pattern, Wikipedia The Boy Scout Rule Ruby Science Fluent interfaces, Stub a chain of methods Follow @thoughtbot, @joeferris, and @r00k on twitter.

  • 26: Deep into the psyche of Gary Bernhardt

    10/12/2012 Duración: 41min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Gary Berhardt from Destroy All Software Screencasts. Ben and Gary discuss DAS, how it has changed over the two years he's been doing it, and how his thinking has changed over that time. They then discuss Gary's thoughts on how to write software and tests, how we wants to "fix the kernel", and his exciting plans for the future. They also discuss his background, the production process behind Destroy All Software, and much, much more. Destroy All Software Screencasts Functional Core, Imperative Shell Erlang Follow @thoughtbot, @garybernhardt, and @r00k on twitter.

  • 25: Long hours on the BoltBus

    03/12/2012 Duración: 21min

    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 on the future. TechStars NYC Seth Godin Follow @thoughtbot, @alex_godin, and @r00k on twitter.

  • 24: Not so DRY that it chafes

    26/11/2012 Duración: 31min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Sarah Mei, RailsBridge co-founder, a developer at Pivotal Labs, and Diaspora core team member. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, Ben and Sarah discuss how communication patterns of your team manifest themselves in the code it writes, and how understanding those patterns can help you improve your code. They discuss RailsBridge, teaching, how teaching is an incredible learning opportunity, and how RailsBridge has helped expand the community of women developers in San Francisco and beyond. Finally, they explore how she got into Ruby, and women in technology. RailsBridge Pivotal Labs Follow @thoughtbot, @sarahmei, and @r00k on twitter.

  • 23: As a consultant it's always your fault

    19/11/2012 Duración: 31min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Tammer Saleh and Randall Thomas, the founders of Thunderbolt Labs. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, they discuss their philosophy of running and building the company, how they differ from other consulting companies, and how they do much more than just Rails programming and how its leading to very interesting new kinds of work. Why they list their prices right on their website, and how they derived their rate of $277 per hour. They also explore what their first year in business has been like, some challenges they've faced, and some important lessons they've learned. Thunderbolt Labs Follow @thoughtbot, @thunderboltlabs, @tsaleh, @daksis and @r00k on twitter.

  • 22: Your code looks nice today

    16/11/2012 Duración: 23min

    Ben Orenstein is joined by Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, hosted software metrics for Ruby apps. In this episode, recorded at RubyConf 2012, they discuss what code climate is, how Bryan considers it a small business not a startup, and what its like being a solo founder. They also discuss how code metrics can help you write and maintain better software, how it helps, and how it changes behavior. Finally they explore what the biggest surprise for him has been so far, some of his plans, and what success looks like for him. Code Climate Steve Berry, Thought Merchants Follow @thoughtbot, @r00k, @brynary and @codeclimate on twitter.

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