developer chats

By Joel Hooks and John Lindquist

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We sit down with developers to talk about the latest and greatest in web development. These conversations will take you deeper into the human side of coding web applications and deliver insight that you might not expect.

Episode Date
Making A Fulfilling Career Out Of Multiple Interests With Hiro Nishimura

Hiro started coding HTML and CSS back in middle school so she could make internet friends and talk about anime. She never thought of coding as anything more than a hobby, and she stopped when she began college. She got her master's in special education, but due to a traumatic injury, she had to make a career pivot.

She got a job as a helpdesk engineer and eventually worked her to a sysadmin position at a startup. Hiro quit the comfortable sysadmin job. She asked herself if ten years from now, if she'd be proud that she stuck with the company for another six months. The answer was no. Hiro quit her job to focus full-time on teaching technology.

It was a huge leap, and yet again, she was in unfamiliar territory, but she's been able to find success. Hiro has released four intro-level AWS courses for non-engineers on LinkedIn, writes independent articles, and gets paid to write blog posts for small business owners.

You don't have to be a specialist to find success. Yes, the world needs people who can go all-in on something and produce fantastic work, but it also needs people who can bridge the gaps and solve problems with the breadth of their experiences.


"Making A Fufilling Career Out Of Multiple Interests With Hiro Nishimura" Transcript


AWS Newbies
Stripe Atlas

Hiro Nishimura


Joel Hooks


Nov 01, 2019
Get Comfortable Learning On Your Own With Khalal Walker

Khalal's first language was Java, he learned his it in school. He didn't like coding in school because all they did was learn algorithms and data structures. How many people have completely turned away from this amazing career where you get to build cool things like dad jokes in text messages simply because classes get structured around data structures, algorithms, and Java?

New coders should take a step back before jumping straight to a Bootcamp. Take time to learn on your own to make sure this is what you want to do or what you want to invest in. You'll still be doing a lot of self-lead learning anyway when attending a Bootcamp.

Try to find people who went to the Bootcamp. Don't look on websites like Course Report where almost every Bootcamp is five stars. Get on LinkedIn and find developers who graduated the Bootcamp and talk to them, you'll get honest insights.

ISAs are the only option for most people to attend Bootcamps. You have to be coming from a place of privilege to pay the 18-20 thousand dollars upfront. So instead they'll take 20% of your income for two years. You get a job for $100,000, and now, you have an $18,000 Bootcamp that just went up to $50,000. You got $50,000 worth of debt in 13 weeks. That's what people may get after a year or two of college, or three or four depending on where you go.


"Get Comfortable Learning On Your Own With Khalal Walker" Transcript



"what sort of habits have you developed or you think are important if you want to break into this field, and do it and kind of in a sustainable way?"


"You literally just can't give up or quit. And that sounds like the most cliche thing ever. But it's literally so important, because you're going to hit walls. You're going to struggle. I think, the biggest thing with being a developer is just banging your head against your keyboard for eight hours of the day. And the last hour, you just see the light and you just keep finding different ways until something works."


"So, I take that with learning how to code. In the beginning, you're going to mess up on syntax. You're going to forget a semi-colon. You're going to miss a quote. And some of these things may really, really bother you. But if you keep at it, these things will become second nature. And then, you'll have new struggles. Because when you have new successes, you move on to new problems."


"And so, as long as you know that in this industry, it's always... Things are going to get easier, but you're always going to be learning something new. You're always going to be learning. You're always going to be growing and you just have to have the willingness to take on that challenge every single day."

Khalal Walker

Joel Hooks

Oct 11, 2019
Out With The 10x Developer And In With The 10x Mentor With Tracy Lee

Making technical decisions for your business when you don't have experience as a developer is difficult. It's scary to make decisions that you don't know the consequences of.

Tracy got into development when at one point she had the freetime to take an HTML, CSS, JavaScript course online. Becoming a developer taught Tracy the importance of grouping her meetings so she could have uninterrupted blocks of time to get work done. Before, she didn't realize the impact that breaking people's flow had.

A lot of people are trying to become developers. One of the more common routes now is attending a bootcamp. But be careful, not all bootcamps are equal. Graduates from some bootcamps struggle a lot harder in the hiring process than others. Make sure that you do your research and talk to people who graduated from the program.


"Out With The 10x Developer And In With The 10x Mentor With Tracy Lee" Transcript


"I feel like if you're not technical, it's almost like you're scared to make the decision"

". . . I group together all my meetings, because I used to be like, 'Oh, co-founder, you're not in a meeting. Oh, he's probably bored. Oh, he's not involved.' Like, my god, I was just killing his productivity the entire time."

"You should be really promoting the idea of a 10x mentor. So, helping everybody within an organization, within a development organization, should be helping facilitate each other to be successful."

"But unless you keep doing the same thing, the thing over and over and over again, and getting really good at it, then you're never going to actually grow"

". . . do your research and find people that have gone to the bootcamp, and ask them directly what their experience was"


Tracy Lee

Joel Hooks

Sep 17, 2019
Build Performant And Reliable Applications With Molly Struve

To executives, new features mean more money, but even if you had terrific features, they wouldn't be worth a thing if they only worked half the time. Reliability isn't something you want to put off until later after the project has grown, it will save you a lot of time and money if you factor it in from day one. Everyone has adapted to a speedy internet these days. Users leave if the site is taking more than even a few seconds to load.

It's easy to get overly focused on features while losing the context of the overall application. The first and foremost solid you can do future you is to keep things as simple as possible. Never get overly complicated, that's where you run into scaling troubles. Complexity also causes significant headaches when bringing other people on.

In addition to keeping complexity low, make sure documentation gets written and that it's kept up to date. A solution that Molly's company has put in place to keep the docs fresh is to give every document an expiration date three months out from when it gets written. When someone references the docs, they check if it's past the expiration date, if it is they go through and make sure that the information is still current, and afterward extending the expiration date another three months.


"Build Performant And Reliable Applications With Molly Struve" Transcript


"To me, a site reliability engineer is a software engineer, but with their focus on performance and reliability."

"So, it's a dev, but they've got a little bit of something extra in there that just helps them kind of step back and look at the whole system and ensure that it's performing and reliable."

"There's only so much you can just attribute to the black box. Sometimes you actually got to go in there and figure out what's going on."

"You can have all the great features in the world, but if they're only working 50% of the time, none of your clients are going to be happy."

"A lot of times, if you're just focused on just the feature you're building, you'll lose the context of the overall application."


Molly Struve

Joel Hooks

Sep 06, 2019
Learn To Debug Properly And Ask Better Questions With Justin Samuels

How many of us still almost exclusively use console.log() when trying to debug something? It's okay, plenty of us do it that way, but you could be saving yourself a lot of pain and suffering by using the debugger and stepping through the execution.

There are several advantages to using a debugger, you get a tighter feedback loop, a lot more information, and it allows you to go into places you wouldn't have even thought about.

Now debugging can take you far, but there are times when we need another human to help us. Asking questions is anxiety-inducing, "what if this is something I should already know?" "am I being annoying?" "am I interrupting them from doing something important?"

The key is to remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question, but there are questions that haven't been thoroughly vetted. Stack overflow has an excellent wiki on asking good questions. Learn how to form good questions, and everything will end up being okay!

Justin is doing good work in bringing awareness to Atlanta's rich culture and advocating for people who are under-represented in technology. Be sure to check out the Render(ATL) conference upcoming in May 2020.


"Learn To Debug Properly And Ask Better Questions With Justin Samuels" Transcript


"It's a good combo though. Computers, business, and teaching people, and passing on information. I think it's a trifecta, right? It's a killer combo."

"But I loved React, because I already knew JavaScript. So it was like, 'Hey, here's some tools that you could just wrap around your JavaScript and you could make things better.'"

"I feel like when you use the debugger, that invokes a curiosity. It allows you to go into places that you wouldn't have even thought about. It also gives you a sneak peek of what's going on underneath the hood."

"So you'll always have three lanes, I call it. You either know what you do know, or you know what you don't know, or you don't know what you don't know. And I'm like, 'Okay, I could get past the first two.' But the last category of you don't really know what you don't know is scary all the time."

"You have to learn how to formulate a question that engineers are going to be able to be like, 'Oh, here's your problem.'"


Justin Samuels

Joel Hooks

Aug 30, 2019
The Elegant System of Management - with Will Larson

Everything is a system, and every system is a box in another larger system. It's up to managers to think in systems to make choices and understand their consequences. The manager has an obligation to their team. The decisions of managers make a tremendous impact on folk's lives.

But managers are only human.

"When we go into school there's kind of this sense that authorities are these all-knowing kind of perfect figures that are responsible for everything." The reality is that managers are humans that are dealing with their circumstances. It's easy to put all of the responsibility on them, but they need to be seen as people.

People fail. Managers aren't the only people burdened with responsibility. There's the "10x Engineer" or "The Hero Programmer," that end up with severe burnout.

Managing is an ethical and moral profession. Managers have to make ethical decisions in regards to deciding who gets promoted, fired, given a raise. How do we get justice and results? That's what makes management an elegant puzzle.


"The Elegant System of Management - with Will Larson" Transcript

Episode Quotes

"At companies that are struggling there is a lot of opportunity. And sometimes it's not easy opportunity, and it's not structured super well it's not packaged up, or you just get to have an easy entry into management."

"There's not someone teaching you there's not an easy path. You just have to go learn by trying, thinking, um going back to the principles and trying to figure out how to make it all come together."

"When we go into school there's kind of this sense that authorities are these all-knowing kind of perfect figures that are responsible for everything."

"Really any fast-growing company is the best place in the world to learn quickly about systems and how they work in reality."

"if you get good at the cold email of asking one short, crisp question that's a good question you can meet anyone."


Will Larson

Joel Hooks

Aug 27, 2019
Putting Emphasis on User Outcomes with Marisa Morby

Marisa Morby is a professional product manager. A common question she gets is "what's the difference between a product manager and a project manager?" There's a lot of overlap, but the difference is a product manager has to understand what needs to get done and why and be able to communicate that, and the project manager makes sure that everything stays on the rails and results in a cohesive product.

Many teams put significant of focus on user outcomes. A user outcome is the ultimate goal of the user. It's what they need to happen. If we don't know what the user needs to happen, we'll end up focusing on the wrong thing.

To figure out what a user wants user research needs to get conducted. No, you don't have to break out the lab coat. Research doesn't have to be so rigid. Just have conversations with your users and try to gain an understanding of their wants, needs, and frustrations. Make sure that you don't make assumptions about your user's needs. Ask questions that might seem painfully obvious to you

Marisa also talks about working with all-remote team. We live in an amazing day and age that allows us to do our work wherever we want, but there are challenges we have to overcome for everyone to still be productive. We have lizard brains that make it challenging to build trust with people whose faces we never see. Regular video meetings that give some space for non-work conversations are essential in building that trust with people. Meeting people in person also has a substantial positive impact on communication; it gives you a lot of context with people's mannerisms!


"Putting Emphasis on User Outcomes with Marisa Morby" Transcript


Marisa Morby

Joel Hooks

Aug 17, 2019
Escaping the Software Trough of Despair - With Laurie Barth

When you are a consultant, you can't just learn a framework and then choose a place to work that uses it. Your clients will have their own needs and constraints that you're going to have to adapt to serve your client well.

The constant learning can feel like a freefall. Constantly feeling dumb is panic-inducing. There's this trough of despair in software, where you swing between feeling like a genius and then going right back to despair.

We can't just learn, but we have to learn well. It's critical to retain what you learned. Keep a developer journal, start a blog for yourself, discuss what you learned in a study group, etc. The less you have to relearn things, the less time you'll be spending in the trough of despair.

The dreaded technical interview tends to have the problem of not testing you on anything that you should be learning. You have to spend your time cramming and hoping that the interviewer gives you problems that are still fresh in your mind. A one size fits all solution doesn't work and doesn't end up being objective. Candidates should get the opportunity to show off their skill and what they already know instead of figuring out what they don't know.


"Escaping the Software Trough of Despair - With Laurie Barth" Transcript

Laurie Barth

Joel Hooks

Aug 14, 2019
Embrace Challenges With A Growth Mindset - With Veni Kunche

There are a few options for those trying to start a career in web development, teach yourself, join a bootcamp, or go to college. Veni chose the college route, she got a master's degree in computer science, which is awesome, but it didn't fully prepare her for web development. Computer science is primarily theory and it doesn't really prepare you for the engineering side of the job. There are only so many research positions where you'll get to applying your degree directly, the vast majority of us are facilitating commerce.

When Veni was earning her degree the competition between her peers was fierce, but in order to grow she had to let go of that competition mentality. It becomes a puzzle for you to solve instead a competition between others. Having this kind of growth mindset is key to unlocking your learning potential.

You hear about JavaScript fatigue everywhere and all the time. It's exhausting to try to keep up with the Joneses. Let go of the competition and do this for yourself. Each new technology is an interesting puzzle for you to solve.

Veni is currently working towards increasing the diversity in the tech industry. She's building a community, figuring out what people need, and building awareness of opportunities. A lot of companies are trying to improve their diversity, but a lot of them aren't aware of how to do it in the best away.

To work for diversity we need to realize that we all have biases, and figure out how to do something about them. We also need to understand that visibility and representation has a considerable impact. When you're a white male you get role models everywhere you look, people to look up to and help you realize that you too can get where they are. Underrepresented people don't have role models everywhere you look in every field you could possibly want to be in.


"Embrace Challenges With A Growth Mindset - With Veni Kunche" Transcript


Veni Kunche

Joel Hooks

Aug 03, 2019
Gaining Freedom and Helping Others Find Success - with Pariss Athena

You don't have to be passionate about code to have a successful career as a developer. Pariss Athena talks about how it isn't the code itself that motivates her to get better at understanding it. It's what being good at code provides that drives her.

The financial freedom code gives Athena enables her to give more to the people and communities that are important to her. Success to her is freedom and helping others find success too. She is working on the Black Tech Pipeline, a platform to bring resources and exposure to the black tech community.

What can those of us who are already established in this industry do to help underrepresented people? Athena says speak up, reach out to the community with opportunities for jobs, speaking engagements, podcasts, etc. Diversity doesn't just happen by default. Systemically we don't have a society that enables that. We have to be active and be a part of the team to make it happen.


"Gaining Freedom and Helping Others Find Success - with Pariss Athena" Transcript


Pariss Athena

Joel Hooks

Jul 22, 2019
How Vue Earns Its Beginner-Friendly Reputation - with Natalia Tepluhina

Vue has a reputation of being the most beginner-friendly framework, but that didn't just happen by accident. The Vue CLI is an excellent example. New developers often struggle with using the terminal and remembering all the commands. The Vue CLI provides a visual interface for the developer to generate a project. By making it easier for newcomers to make Vue projects, they've reduced the barriers to entry. Beginner-friendly doesn't mean basic. Many large-scale projects use Vue.

Another example of something that fosters beginners and benefits established developers is how friendly, and inclusive the Vue community is. Natalia Tepluhina talks about gender mismatch in JavaScript and how the Vue Vixens are making efforts to make the gender ratio evener.

The Vue Vixens are using free and accessible education as the primary means of getting more women into tech. Natalia Tepluhina goes on to share her two main ideas when it comes to designing a good workshop. Stay accessible to people of all skill levels; don't assume what people know. Stick to one stack and one concept. People have a finite amount of mental resources; trying to do too much can end up just overwhelming people.


"How Vue Earns Its Beginner-Friendly Reputation - with Natalia Tepluhina" Transcript


Natalia Tepluhina

Joel Hooks

Jul 20, 2019
Organizing a Conference to Combat Brain Drain in His Hometown - with J.C. Hiatt

J.C. Hiatt put together the conference MagnoliaJS in the town of Jackson, Missouri to help his community and combat the growing problem of brain drain in his state.

MagnoliaJS is not only for his community, but it was put together with the help of it too. J.C. put it together, publically by using Github issues, blogging, and posting about it on Twitter. The community responds well when you are genuine and trying to do something good, and bringing them in and giving them a sense of ownership is what J.C. attributes as the single most significant contributor to the conference's success.

If you have the opportunity to do something like this for your city, go for it. Bring in as many people as possible, contact your city officials, plan it publically. Technology can have a significant positive impact on a community!


"Organizing a Conference to Combat Brain Drain in His Hometown - with J.C. Hiatt" Transcript


J.C. Hiatt

John Lindquist

Jul 08, 2019
Figuring Out What's Next after Your Needs are Met - with Jason Lengstorf

What do we do when all of our needs are met when we are making seventy-five thousand plus a year, working for a company with some prestige, have a home, and don't have to worry about food. Jason Lengstorf wrestled with this after the company he was contracting with didn't have anything for him to do, but kept him around. New goals have to be set, and growth still has to happen.

Jason discovered that what he wanted was to help other people grow in their personal and professional lives. To help other people you have to have a set of skills beyond your technical skills, typically these skills would be called "soft skills," but they are often just as important as technical skills, Jason prefers to call these skills "meta" or "catalytic" skills. These are the skills used in planning, bringing people together, decision making, all of these being essential in our careers.

You don't just use these kinds of skills in a software project; they are also the tools that are used to build communities of people. Jason explains how the trick to bringing a group of people together with something is to make everyone feel invested in what they are a part of, and like they belong.


"Figuring Out What's Next after Your Needs are Met - with Jason Lengstorf" Transcript


Jason Lengstorf

Joel Hooks:

Jun 01, 2019
Get out of Your Head and Start with Your Users - with Janelle Allen

Teaching provides a learner with more information, but the information isn't the only thing that is required to teach effectively. Doing is almost just as essential as the information itself for the learner to solidify what was taught. Creating an effective learning path is challenging, and we tend to start from what we know and take it from there. Janelle challenges the tendency to start from our knowledge, and instead, we should start from where we want our learners to end up being and work backward from there, this is called Backward Design.

Backward design doesn't just apply to education, it applies directly to software development. As developers, it's essential that we get out of our head and start with the user.

How do you start teaching if you have no one to teach? Janelle says there are three critical components to building your audience, having an email list, providing valuable content, and consistency. If you stay genuine and provide value you'll filter out anyone who doesn't resonate with you and what you offer.


"Get out of Your Head and Start with Your Users - with Janelle Allen" Transcript


Janelle Allen:

Joel Hooks:

May 17, 2019
Building Vue Vixens With Education and Inclusiveness – With Jen Looper

Jen Looper, developer advocate and the founder of Vue Vixens, didn't study software development in college, she has a Ph.D. in French Literature. Her degree might seem unrelated, but it strengthened her ability to explain complex ideas as well as her overall communication abilities, skills that are essential for her role as a developer advocate. These skills also come into play in her work building the Vue Vixens community, which now has over 20+ chapters all over the world!

The workshop has been a powerful tool for growing the Vue Vixens. Jen explains how the shared experience of learning, eating, and hanging out together can build a lot of lasting connections. Vue Vixens has also branched out from workshops into also hosting meetups, the structure of which is determined by the local chapter leader to suit the needs of their particular location.

But what makes a great workshop? Minimal installation, maximum output. Codesandbox and Nativescript playground have massively cut down on the initial setup times for the Vue Vixen workshops by doing away with all of the installing and installation issues that will always come up. Jen likes to use a cute app project to make the workshop more fun and to make exploring the deeper concepts less dry. To Jen, workshops are about empowerment first and foremost. If a student can leave the workshop feeling empowered and hungry to learn they'll end up much better off than if they learned more but left feeling disinterested.


"Building Vue Vixens With Education and Inclusiveness – With Jen Looper" Transcript


Jen Looper:

Joel Hooks:

May 14, 2019
Turning Technical Concepts into Approachable Illustrated Metaphors - with Maggie Appleton

There's a kind of "black box" mystery that surrounds illustrators and programmers, to someone who isn't one their skills seem like a form of magic, but to someone who is these skills are just the tools that they've been learning to use through time and hard work.

Maggie is the course logo illustrator at, and she has the challenge of turning the concepts being taught in the course into something more visually concrete. The challenge isn't necessarily the drawing, but the research that is needed to understand a topic to the point of being able to create an accurate metaphor that people who don't know what is being taught can grasp. Maggie discusses her process in research and creative thinking to get to that point.

The beginner's mindset is critical to Maggie for creating these illustrations. When someone becomes an expert in something, they tend to overlook things that have become muscle memory to them that make beginners struggle. You don't have to be an expert to teach something to someone! The problems that you ran into when learning a topic and the things that helped you wrap your head around it are still fresh in your mind and can be extremely valuable for other beginners and even those with experience.

Maggie started a site called to bring visual learning perspective of web development and internet concepts. There is a lot of content out there that teaches with language, but for many people, that style of learning makes it difficult for things to click. Never be afraid to teach things that are already being taught, often it is the way that you teach that matters most.


"Turning Technical Concepts into Approachable Illustrated Metaphors - with Maggie Appleton" Transcript


Maggie Appleton:

Joel Hooks:

May 03, 2019
Being Curious and Facilitating the Success of Others - with Stacey Mulcahy

JavaScript fatigue is a topic that has been trending for a while now. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the constant influx of new technology, but it's also thrilling to learn the latest cool new thing! Stacey Mulcahy discusses how she embraces this deluge of technology by being a generalist, allowing her to make connections with more people than she would have if she specialized in one thing.

Stacy is a Maker, a kind of tech-based DIYer and inventor. Creativity is, of course, important for the DIY hacker, but it's essential for everyone else too. Creativity is creative problem solving, and it's something that you can train. If you aren't "working your creativity muscle," your creative skills are going to degrade. Try to push the envelope and find outlets where you can apply your creative skills!

Like a lot of people in the tech world, Joel has a box of Arduino stuff that is gathering dust somewhere. How do you get past that initial "hello world" LED blink project? Stacey recommends to immerse yourself, see what other makers are doing and find inspiration from them. Try to find something that you enjoy and find fun and see if you can do it with an Arduino.

Lastly, Stacey tells us her story of what caused her to begin teaching children technology, and how she got to where she is now. It's rewarding to celebrate people's successes and provide them with a space where they can fail safely. If there isn't a community meetup for something you enjoy in your area you have the complete ability to start one yourself and be the organizer. There are multiple platforms that help organize events. The key for your community to grow is to be consistent with it.


"Being Curious and Facilitating the Success of Others - with Stacey Mulcahy" Transcript

Stacy Mulcahy:

Joel Hooks

Apr 29, 2019
Creating Authentic Content and Developing Yourself - with Emma Wedekind

Web development is a fantastic field where people, for little to no money, can self-teach everything you need to make a career, and it's amazing, right? That doesn't mean that there isn't a time cost though, it isn't easy, but the internet has an overwhelming amount of information that you can use to teach yourself. Authors who write this free content are the life-blood of the internet and provide an invaluable service to countless people.

However, in the sea of information, it's easy for your content never to get noticed. You wrote that blog-post that killer blog-post on medium, but no-one seemed to have seen it. Where you write your content is important, there are communities like the amazing that reach a specific audience and are more focused towards engagement, but the reason why you create your content is also important. People can smell inauthenticity if you are writing your content for the sole purpose of brand-building and getting views people are going to notice. Create content that you love and that you find interesting. You don't even have to be an absolute expert to teach, writing about what you are learning helps people learn right along with you!

Learning a discipline you love profoundly is invaluable, but that doesn't mean you should turn a blind eye to other subjects. It's valuable to have a breadth of general knowledge across different disciplines and be able to have high-level conversations.

A huge part of learning is asking people good questions. When you don't ask good questions, you are doing both yourself and the person you are asking a disservice. When you are too vague about what you are missing, and you don't give enough context, it's difficult to get a clear answer, and you are putting the burden of figuring that stuff out on the person you are asking.


"Creating Authentic Content and Developing Yourself - with Emma Wedekind" Transcript


Emma Wedekind:

Joel Hooks

Mar 28, 2019
Heading Gatsby's Learning Experience and Bridging Gaps - with Marcy Sutton

Marcy Sutton is the Head of Learning at GatsbyJS, but what does that mean? One of Gatsby's core focuses is the community, and a part of that is making the experience with Gatsby as friendly as possible. A large part of making Gatsby friendly is having excellent documentation, so that learning and debugging experiences would be smooth.

So the learning experience is smooth but what is Gatsby's potential on the web? Marcy talks about how Gatsby has the potential to make a huge impact. Currently WordPress is powering about a third of the web, that's huge, but it has its issues. WordPress is centered around the authoring experience but the front-end experience is not good. Gatsby is looking more towards the future, it doesn't use a database, it can build out static HTML, it's accessible, and it's also democratizing the experience with a themes ecosystem.

This brings up the point that JavaScript is eating the web and it's making it more difficult for folks who've had a different intro to webdev. This is a real challenge and people are having their careers impacted, what can we do to reconcile this? The decisions made by tech teams aren't considering this when the pick the technologies that they use, they're picking tech that's going to deliver a high preformance application, where does HTML and CSS fit into this? Marcy discusses how we can bridge the gap and find ways to include people with different skill sets.

Marcy also discusses the inclusive community that she has helped build, NW Tech Women, a small group out of Bellingham WA that hosts social events, but also volunteers and pairs with non-profits to make a community impact.


"Heading Gatsby's Learning Experience and Bridging Gaps - with Marcy Sutton" Transcript


Marcy Sutton:

Joel Hooks

Mar 15, 2019
Making Dumb Stuff That Makes Strangers on the Internet Smile - with Sara Vieira

Sara Vieira, developer advocate and professional maker of dumb shit, talks through why she does her weird experiments on the internet. Sometimes it is out of need, but honestly a lot of the time it is a random thing that she thinks of or something that someone says that brings up the idea, and she just has to make it. A lot of it is out of boredom, and also procrastination from other projects that she just doesn't want to do.

Sara calls herself a lazy developer, but that doesn't mean she isn't working. She finds simpler solutions that involve less coding and also avoids things that aren't necessarily interesting or fun for her to do, like CSS or writing her talk for a conference... A part of being a lazy developer is using the right tool for the job. GraphQL and Redux have an almost cult-like following, but for small apps, their solutions for state management and fetching data are complete overkill.

Netlify and Zeit's Now are great for deploying your projects, they allow you to get your unique dumb-shit out there quickly. There was this period where services were all focusing on scalability, but it wasn't easy to just throw your wacky side-projects out on the internet.

Sara is organizing the conference ReactJS Girls which will be happening in London on May 3rd, 2019. It started last year while Sara was living in London. She hosted a meetup where all the speakers would be women, but everyone was welcome to attend as a guest. Organizing it this way had multiple benefits, it acted as a filter for the dicks who wouldn't want to learn from women, and it empowered first-time speakers who'd otherwise feel imposter syndrome or fear of judgment.


"Making Dumb Stuff That Makes Strangers on the Internet Smile - with Sara Vieira" Transcript


Sara Vieira:

Joel Hooks

Mar 12, 2019
Developing Yourself While Teaching Others - with Ali Spittel

Today we are joined by Ali Spittel, a Software Engineer and Developer Advocate at, who speaks with us about:

  • The skills she gained from a developer teaching job
  • How she kept up on her coding skills without writting production code by doing daily code challenges
  • Why she began to blog and how she made a habit out of it
  • Blogging on a platform vs having your own website
  • Using visual feedback to teach beginners to code
  • Involving herself in the local developer community


"Developing Yourself While Teaching Others - with Ali Spittel" Transcript


Ali Spittel:

Joel Hooks

Feb 22, 2019
The Changes Gatsby and Mdx Are Making to the Internet - with Chris Biscardi

Today we are joined by Chris Biscardi where we discuss:

  • Learning in public and him live-streaming open-source development
  • Gatsby as a PWA generator and its potential to become the dominant force on the internet
  • MDX's power and its potential of replacing markdown as the default content type
  • Chris' project, MNTNR, and the assistance it'll provide to open-source maintainers.


"The Changes Gatsby and Mdx Are Making to the Internet - with Chris Biscardi" Transcript


Chris Biscardi:

Joel Hooks

Feb 15, 2019
Championing a11y and Being Authentic - with Lindsey Kopacz

Lindsey Kopacz, web-developer and accessibility blogger, joins us today to discuss:

  • The positives that being authentic and public with your emotional state provides.
  • Her blog and the excellent community
  • The business value of accessibility
  • Accessibility in a sense that isn't limited to people with physical disabilities


"Championing a11y and Being Authentic - with Lindsey Kopacz" Transcript


Lindsey Kopacz:

Joel Hooks

Feb 05, 2019
Learning to Code from Scratch on the Modern Web with Tae'lur Alexis

Tae'lur Alexis, self taught programmer and founder of CodeEveryday, talks to us about:

  • Figuring out that software was what she wanted to do
  • Learning to code from scratch on the modern web.
  • How front-end development was appealing as a beginner due to visual feedback and opportunity to be creative
  • How social media was key to her success in landing a job as a self-taught developer
  • The CodeNewbie and 100DaysOfCode communities on twitter and the roles they play in supporting developers
  • Setting up realistic habits and goals to prevent burnout
  • What the interview process was like for a new-commer to the industry


"Learning to Code from Scratch on the Modern Web with Tae'lur Alexis" Transcript


Tae'lur Alexis:

Joel Hooks

Jan 25, 2019
Negotiating Your Salary and Advancing Your Career with Josh Doody

Josh Doody, the author of Fearless Salary Negotiation, joins us today to discuss:

  • What you need to look out for to stay ahead in the industry
  • How to find leverage despite the information asymmetry between the employer and the job candidate
  • Why questions on what your current salary is or what you'd like it to be boxes you out of opportunities
  • The best way to put in the work towards a promotion.
  • Tradeoffs of working for a startup versus a big tech company
  • Equity in the salary negotiation, and how it weighs in.


"Negotiating Your Salary and Advancing Your Career with Josh Doody" Transcript


Josh Doody:

Joel Hooks

Jan 07, 2019
Switching Careers and Learning in Public with Tania Rascia

Tania Rascia works as a web developer full time. However, just a few years ago she was working as a professional chef. How and why did she make such a dramatic career switch? It isn't uncommon for culinary professionals to realize that they don't want to spend the rest of their life doing it. It is a very demanding job and isn't sustainable if passion isn't there.

So, having always been interested in computers and making websites, Tania decided to make the transition into programming as a profession. Starting with one-off small odd jobs on Craigslist, then an internship, and then a full-time web developer! There were a lot of skills and concepts that had to be learned in those three years, especially starting from near zero.

Sharing what she learned publically played an essential role in Tania's development. It's like writing documentation for herself, but everyone who read her posts got to benefit from it too. Tania also places a lot of importance in creating your own version of something to fully understand it. For instance, she didn't understand how bootstrap worked, so she experimented and worked on creating her own dynamic CSS grid framework to achieve that more in-depth understanding.


"Switching Careers and Learning in Public with Tania Rascia" Transcript


Getting Started with React
Derek Sivers
A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript
You Don't Know JavaScript

Tania Rascia:


Joel Hooks:


Dec 12, 2018
Incorporating Testers with Every Development Phase with Angie Jones

Today Angie Jones, a master inventor and automated testing engineer, speaks with us about what a master inventor is and what it took to receive that title, what testing automation is, having parallel between testers and developers, what developers can be doing to build more testable apps, and finally how modern web development has complicated automated testing.

Angie talks about some common problems when it comes to testing. The test team is often separate from the developer team, and it leads to communication problems. Testers should be working in parallel with the dev team to ensure that from the get-go they are writing a testable app!

Another common problem is that 100% test coverage gets pushed. However, that's the wrong idea. Automated testing is expensive to implement, so Angie talks about how she figures out what'll give the most "bang for your buck" when deciding what tests get automated.

Apps aren't as simple as they used to be, and thicker client-side UIs have made it much harder to implement automated tests. Automated Engineer is a fully fledged development position requiring skill across platforms, which is why Angie says that developers shouldn't be leading automated testing. There is a lot that automated testers have to do and separate skills that they need to develop. There's only so much a person can keep up on at once.


"Incorporating Testers with Every Development Phase with Angie Jones" Transcript


Angie Jones:

Joel Hooks

Dec 08, 2018
Opening Programming's Gates to Women's Communities with Diana Rodriguez

Diana Rodriguez, Worldwide Community Organizer for the Vue Vixens Initiative, joins us today to talk about her early experiences with development as a child, her transition into a becoming a full-time professional and her work with getting women from communities all over the world involved with programming!

In the days of yore, gathering programming knowledge wasn't easy, the community was exclusive, and the books were expensive. The only ways to learn were through college, expensive books, or a cool friend willing to give you some information. Despite these difficulties Diana managed to be involved with the Java community, she also had the support of her parents who bought her books. Eventually, Diana's skills grew, and she would put herself out there taking programming gigs. However, it wasn't until six years ago that she decided to go full time.

Eventually, she became jaded with backend work and was craving something new, that's when she discovered Vue and its excellent and welcoming community. This community was much unlike the Java community back in the day, and Diana is working to be a part of that push for inclusivity full-force through Vue Vixens. Diana works to open and grow chapters all over the world.

Diana talks about her recent work in South America and how the dev community was exploding, it was almost overwhelming! There were women from ages 13-72 at the meetup that the Vue Vixens organized in Argentina, the event even had to be split up over two days because there were so many people. Being careful of tunnel vision and thinking about these communities of people from foreign countries, women, and other underrepresented people in the tech and welcoming them can have a substantial positive impact.


"Opening Programming's Gates to Women's Communities with Diana Rodriguez" Transcript


Diana Rodriguez:

Joel Hooks

Nov 30, 2018
Exploring Concepts and Teaching Using Focused Zines with Julia Evans

Julia Evans, is a zine author and software engineer at Stripe. She joins us to talk about teaching specifics as opposed to high-level overviews, using zines to show that things that sound hard aren't hard in practice, the longevity of Julia's zine empire, and the impact that monetizing her zines had on her audience and the way she approaches working on them.

Julia writes zines, short tutorials in comic form for software developers. She recently starting monetizing them, it had an impact on her audience but not as much as you would think. Monetizing even had the unforeseen side effect of her zines getting taken more seriously, a college professor even made then required reading in his class.

She tries to keep the zines focused, with the topics breaking down something very particular. High levels talks often have the problem of not imparting anything useful. The specificity respects people's time and also can give greater context than a high-level overview. It's also much easier to be motivated to start a twenty-page zine as opposed to a three-hundred-page book.

Julia has many ideas for her zine empire. She wants to continue to collaborate with other developers so she can deliver content that isn't entirely in her wheelhouse. She also wants to start getting into some non-programming concepts, statistics in particular at some point. The possibilities with the medium are pretty much endless.


"Exploring Concepts and Teaching Using Focused Zines with Julia Evans" Transcript


Julia Evans:

Joel Hooks

Nov 20, 2018
Math and Functional Programming Aren't Exclusive to Wizards with Brian Lonsdorf

Joel and Brian Lonsdorf discuss the pain and growth of learning, math as a source of truth, dispelling that idea that you need to be a wizard to enter the functional programming space, and finally how you can start including functional concepts in your day to day work.

There's a reason that mathematicians tend to be the best functional programmers. The theories and patterns directly apply, it has truth and purity. It's powerful, almost powerful enough to describe everything, so what makes people turn away from it?

Traditionally, math gets taught in a dry manner from a young age, tables are memorized, and facts get drilled. It isn't until much later that interesting concepts like set theory get introduced, and at that point, it's too late for many people.

Material that's "dry" doesn't have to be taught that way. It's been three and a half years since Brian first put Professor's Frisby's guide up on Github and it brought light and friendly perspective to heavy material. It showed that the functional programming paradigm was learnable without requiring a deep dive into Haskell.

The deep dive doesn't work for everyone. There's merit in starting with something like Gatsby and just getting something out there that you can play with immediately, and then later learn the fundamentals of Javascript. The same thing applies to learning functional programming. You can start composing with Lodash and ease into the deeper patterns and concepts.


"Math and Functional Programming Aren't Exclusive to Wizards with Brian Lonsdorf" Transcript


Brian Lonsdorf:

Joel Hooks:

Nov 02, 2018
Being a Passionate and Deliberate Engineer with Jem Young

Today we are joined by Jem Young, a senior software engineer over at Netflix. Jem is here to discuss his programming philosophy and how it is an extension of himself, how engineers should have the freedom to have ideas and veto things, the difference passion makes, and being informed about the libraries that you include in your code and if they are actually needed.

Netflix's homepage got 50% faster when Today Edwards had the idea of not shipping React to the client. All event handling was done with vanilla javascript and React remained on the server side. Finding this balance of developer productivity and performance is important. Jem talks about how you should really examine the reasons why you are including a library in your codebase, and to ask yourself if it could be implemented in a simpler way with what you already have.

Jem discusses what it means to love the work you do and to have a real passion for creating software. Passion makes a difference in a developer's career path, the devs who are just looking to make a paycheck and don't really care don't end up in the same place that those who really care about their work do. Jem is curious, he experiments with software on his weekends, he'll sometimes wake up at 1am with the solution to a bug he's been thinking about all day, software is an integral part of his life beyond it just being how he puts food on the table.


"Being a Passionate and Deliberate Engineer with Jem Young" Transcript


  • Trusting your engineers to know what they are doing
  • Weighing the performance costs of included libraries
  • The difference that real passion for software makes
  • How programming is like solving a puzzle
  • How the code you write represents you

Jem Young:

John Lindquist:

Oct 19, 2018
Learning and Experimenting with Physical and Digital Mediums with Keith Peters

Keith Peters joins us today to talk about his experiences with experimenting with code and math, the transition from Flash to Go, woodworking and blacksmithing, and getting books published.

Keith talks to us a bit about multi trochoids; they're what happens when you take a circle and roll it around something, like a spirograph. He was inspired to do this project by Sodaplay, a site back in the flash days that had stuff you could hook up to various engines.

What language did Keith use to write his multi trochoid experiments? Initially, Keith wrote it in Go, but he wanted to put it out on the web and make it interactive, so he ported it to Javascript.

Back in the 90s Keith worked with Flash, when Flash left he moved over to Javascript and using the html5 canvas. Javascript is great if you want it live on the web but for still images and animations it was a pain in the neck, so Keith tried out Rust, Python, and finally settling on Go.

Keith is into some non-coding hobbies like woodworking and knife making, Joel has even bought some of his knives. It started when Keith wanted to build an arcade cabinet, he bought tools and got into learning how to use them. Keith has found a lot of crossover with working with his hands and building things with code, both of them can be boiled down to learning a technology to create things and solve problems.

Finally, Keith explains the pros and cons of going through a publisher to get your book out. He says that self-publishing is easier than ever, but a publisher provides you with a lot of assistance with editing, marketing, artwork, and a healthy dose of pressure.


"Learning and Experimenting with Physical and Digital Mediums with Keith Peters" Transcript


Keith Peters:

John Lindquist:

Oct 05, 2018
Success and Failure in the Interview Process with Dave Smith

Dave Smith is on the Alexa Team at Amazon, he hosts the Soft Skills Engineering podcast and headed up the recent Utah JS Conference.

Recently Dave asked on Twitter "on a scale of 1 - 10 in difficulty how would you rate the task of writing a function that iterates over a list of strings and returns the top 10?" This sparked up a lot of good, and most people rated it a 2-3 until people started asking "wait, is this question in an interview context? In that case, it's a solid 10." Dave talks about how the external stresses of an interview can turn even a "simple" question into a very stressful and challenging experience.

The topic of interview "red flags" comes up, and Dave explains how the biggest one is refusing to answer a question. He says that even if you don't have an answer to something try to follow up with more questions and have humility, you are there to present yourself. Dave also says not to make up or guess at something if you don't know the answer, try to ask them to rephrase the question and give the angle of your own understanding.

Dave has his own excellent podcast with his co-host Jamison Dance called Soft Skills Engineering, check it out in the link below.


"Success and Failure in the Interview Process with Dave Smith" Transcript


Dave Smith:

John Lindquist:

Sep 28, 2018
Eve Porcello on GraphQL

Today we are joined by Eve Porcello, who teaches Javascript, React, and GraphQL with Moon Highway. She is also the author of the books Learning React and Learning GraphQL.

Eve explains her process in preparing her conference presentations and how she uses techniques she learned in her theatre and improv background to really bring something professional and engaging to the stage.

Why is GraphQL blowing up recently? Eve says she believes it's because people realize that are a lot of clients that need data and they only need to load the smallest amount of data that's necessary.

Everyone always says to have a project app to learn something new but what do you even build if you have "no good ideas"? Eve talks about what makes a good learning project. Keep the scope really small. Some variant of a to-do app is a great project.

Finally, Eve talks about her work with the High Fives Foundation. High Fives works with injured extreme sports athletes to help them pay for the high health care costs of an injury.


"Eve Porcello on GraphQL" Transcript


Eve Porcello:

Joel Hooks:

Sep 21, 2018
Jason Lengstorf on GatsbyJS

Jason Lengstorf is a developer on the GatsbyJS team.

Jason didn't start his career even remotely in the tech field. He was a musician.
Jason's band didn't have much money, so he learned design to make merch, learned some markup to edit their myspace, eventually learned to build a website for them, then learned backend so his bandmates could upload images and post things.

Jason talks about Gatsby's plans to compete with the more seamless WordPress model. He also talks about gatsby's differences from WordPress and the use cases for each service.
One of Gatsby's strengths is how good it is for learning Javascript and React, you can quickly go from the command line to getting stuff on the screen in two minutes, much like create-react-app, the differences is that with Gatsby you get a data layer and a good deployment story.

Finally, they talk about what it's like to manage a repo that has 964 contributors, 5500 commits, and 936 issues. It was more chaotic in the early days, but they have brought on some people who are helping manage it and are defining better processes.

If you are interested in learning Gatsby, they have recently put much work into revamping their official tutorials.
Check them out here


"Jason Lengstorf on GatsbyJS" Transcript


  • His early musical aspirations that lead to his career as a developer
  • Gatsby's goals in creating an agnostic unified data layer.
  • The differences between Gatsby and other static site generators
  • Gatsby 2 and its many performance upgrades
  • Managing a large and active repository


Jason Lengstorf:

John Lindquist:

Sep 14, 2018
Lynne Tye, founder of

On this episode, I get the chance to speak with Lynne Tye, the creator of Key Values, a place for Software Developers to find a company that fits their values beyond just what tech stack they use or salary they provide.

Lynn has had a diverse career and only started coding in 2015. Once she cut her teeth freelancing, she realized it was hard to find the right company to work with. When job listings and recruiters proved unhelpful, the idea for Key Values was born.

Tune in to hear us talk about finding the right company culture, work/life balance and why it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone, and the value of hands-on involvement.


"Lynne Tye, founder of" Transcript


  • Weighing the importance of your time
  • What does work/life balance mean to you
  • What it takes to launch your project
  • Why loving what you do is so important
  • Taking investment money
  • Ambition and expectations with yourself
  • Lynne’s previous career path vs. her current one
  • Figuring out what works for you in your education
  • Starting a business when you just started to program


Lynne Tye

Joel Hooks:

Aug 29, 2018
Jen Luker, a11y champion

Jen Luker is a software engineer at Formidable Labs Inc. She has worked as a full-stack developer using PHP, Javascript, and CSS, but has a particular fondness for frontend technologies.

Today, we discuss the issue of accessibility and how focusing on making websites and software more accessible should be a constant consideration, particularly since it taps into an underserved market. Tune in to hear on discussion on this vital and fascinating topic.


"Jen Luker, a11y champion" Transcript


  • The Internet and accessibility
  • How loading times affect accessibility
  • How accessibility helps everyone
  • Missing out on business by not being accessible
  • The importance of making accessibility a regular part of the conversation


“One of the benefits of incorporating a lot of these accessibility features is that they end up helping everyone.” -Jen Luker

“Only about one in ten websites, according to an audit that DQ did, is accessible.” -Jen Luker


Jen Luker:

Joel Hooks:

Aug 22, 2018
swyx (Shawn Wang) on infinite building

Shawn "swyx" Wang is an infinite builder, dual-class CFA, and Developer. Shawn currently works for Netlify.

Tune in to hear Shawn talk about what it means to be an infinite learner and builder and how he uses this approach to further his career.


"swyx (Shawn Wang) on infinite building" Transcript


  • Infinite learning
  • Infinite building
  • Javascript fatigue
  • Engagement
  • Fighting feelings of inadequacy


“I changed myself from a financial career...I thought that was a stable thing...I realized that I needed to move on from that…” -Shawn Wang

“You should learn just in time, not just in case.” -Shawn Wang

“If you actively write stuff and put stuff out...that you are interested in, guess what? People come and engage with you…” -Shawn Wang

Shawn Wang:

Joel Hooks:

Aug 15, 2018
Henry Zhu, Maintainer of Babel

Henry Zhu is currently a steward for Babel, and today he'll be discussing the management and lifestyle side of working on an open source project full-time.

The financial side to open source is interesting. Henry talks about where he gets his money and how he can be financially independent while still working on open source full time. Most of the money comes from donations through Open Collective and Patreon. A lot of the donations come from users, but corporations do donate as well. Henry also discusses the stability of it, and how the NPR model of asking for donations can lead to uncertainty about the next month.

Henry says he's enjoying the management and marketing side of being a steward about as much as he enjoys coding. It's a side that people don't often think about with open source. This side of it includes a lot of marketing and interacting with the greater community, as well as the other maintainers and contributors to babel.

How does Henry handle all this responsibility when there is no one above him telling him when to take a break, or when to go on vacation? Henry and Joel talk about having a positive "selfishness", and taking care of yourself so that the project can prosper. If you want to be doing it for years you have to make sure that you don't burn out.


"Henry Zhu, Maintainer of Babel" Transcript


Henry Zhu:

Joel Hooks:

Jul 30, 2018
Phil Pluckthun, Creator of Dank Mono

Today we are joined by Phil Pluchthun, creator of the programming font Dank Mono and core contributor to the styled-components library. Phil will be talking about his work in design and programming, styled components, the process of making a font, and finally some advice to anyone who wants to make a font of their own.

So what are styled components? It's a new component-based CSS and Jest library. It's all about using these small styled components that you put in instead of HTML. It's nice because you don't have to create a whole new component that renders for some simple styling.

Phil talks about as a developer he's always been in a role where he's had to work closely with designers and provide feedback for them. Over time he started to work more with design projects, and as he worked for small startups without a lead design, he found himself filling that role.

Dank Mono is Phil's first font, He's always enjoyed typography, and as he's gone along it starting turning out better than he thought. When he started, he just wanted to make some ligatures for Operator Mono, but there were some terms in there that would prevent him from ever being able to share it.

In the beginning, Phil was doing every letter from scratch. He started with an h because it has an excellent shape that can be reused with many letters. Halfway through he learned that Glyphs app supports components, so he had to start over after a week!

Phil encourages anyone who is not entirely satisfied with the fonts available to think about what they'd want to change. He recommends to start with Glyphs app and watch and read its related talks and tutorials and to start with a single letter to see how you like it!


"Phil Pluckthun, Creator of Dank Mono" Transcript


Phil Pluckthun:

John Lindquist:

Jul 13, 2018
Ives Van Hoorne, creator of CodeSandbox

We are joined by Ives Hoorne, a developer at Catawiki and creator of code sandbox. Today he talks about how he began writing code, how Minecraft modding made him love it, his interest in the company Catawiki and how he taught himself web development to work there, and finally the future for his projects.

Ives began coding at 11 years old. He was fascinated by secret languages, so he and his friend made a program in Visual Basic that would jumble text and another that would decipher the text. They would send these to each other as public facebook messages. It fell off after this project for awhile. After a few years, Ives got back into it when Minecraft came around, and he started writing mods for it.

The success and popularity of Code Sandbox made Ives happy. He enjoys how it became popular and how some of the bigger names such as Dan Abramov started talking about it. Though Ives discussions about how this positive feedback caused him to attach his self-worth to the project, and how he had to let that go so he wouldn't be hurt by snarky feedback and other forms of negativity related to his project.

There were a couple of surprises in the development of Code Sandbox. Code Sandbox stores all files and directories in their Postgres database. When they fork Code Sandbox, they copy all the files, directories, and sandboxes over. Ives thought this wouldn't scale but somehow they now have 400k sandboxes, and the database is only four gigabytes! One of the negative surprises was when there was an error in the sandbox when someone tries to share their sandbox, the preview service would try over and over again to take a snapshot. The following month their hosting bill was a dozen times the price as it usually was!

Ives' first experience speaking at a conference was much better than he expected. When he was presenting, he noticed that he was talking with a bunch of people who were willing to listen to him. It was such a cool experience for him that he now loves speaking at conferences for him. Ives says he wants to start talking about things besides Code Sandbox, such as UI driven development for example. He says that it can be greatly improved, npm installing is still manually typing npm install package-name. He says that this can be made much better by being able to search for dependencies and directly add them with a single click.

Finally, Ives talks about his plans for Code Sandbox. He plans on adding a dashboard because currently, it's very cumbersome to navigate to your sandbox. The dashboard will give you the ability to put sandboxes in directories organizing them that way. They are also managing offline support. Finally, they are adding team support so multiple people can all work on a sandbox at once.


"Ives Van Hoorne, creator of CodeSandbox" Transcript


Ives Van Hoorne:

John Lindquist:

Jun 27, 2018
Health and Wellness for Developers

Today our guests and host talk about what pushed them to start living healthier lifestyles and what they are doing to maintain it. Leonard was 280 pounds when he was 23 at his heaviest, Taylor was 19 and 287 pounds, and John was 320 pounds.

Leonard made a change due to having health issues with his heart, he got on P90x and after a year of it moved on to much better things, this got him to a muscular 190. John began because he failed a breathing test and only had 50% lung capacity, he got it into his head that he was a healthy person now and started using the elliptical and not eating junk food. Taylor was turning 20 as a milestone and decided to make a change by kicking soda, going vegetarian, riding his bike, and walking around more. His goal was never to get a six pack but just to live a healthier life.

It has been five years since Leonard's initial push to get fit. He says that the most significant thing has been finding a sustainable diet and exercise program that he can do for the rest of his life, well into his 80s. P90x is not sustainable, he followed it precisely for six months, but he was physically burning out and felt terrible.

Reading a book called the Primal Blueprint changed everything for Leonard. It teaches that manipulating your body composition is all about finding that balance of macronutrients and lifting heavy things while getting plenty of rest. Since he hated gyms and alpha attitudes, Leonard purchased a barbel, a squat cage, and some weights allowing him to take his body to the next level lifting heavy things three days a week. He blew through his weight stalls, cut down to sub 10% bodyfat, and developed significant musculature! Being a remote developer was the ideal environment for achieving these things due to the flexible schedule and ease of access to his home gym.

Finally, things are wrapped up with Leonard explaining how having a healthy body and exercising have given him mental health benefits. The depression and anxiety he used to struggle with have been helped by the changes he has made. Taylor leaves us with the advice to do this for yourself, not for anyone else, and to take your time and not get into a big hurry with it. It takes time.


"Health and Wellness for Developers" Transcript


Taylor Bell:

Leonard Souza:

John Lindquist

Jun 14, 2018
Brian Vaughn, React Core Team

We are joined by Brian Vaughn. Brian is on Facebook's Core React Team. He also contributes to a lot of open source products in the javascript space.

While Brian went to college to study Graphic Design, he ended up transitioning into programming. During college, he did a lot of graphic design consulting work, as a way to pay his way through school. Eventually, he agreed to create a website for a client and found that programming was a much better fit.

Brian built react-virtualized during his time he spent at Treasure Data. The company is really into open source, and many of his team members had projects out there. When they were writing the console, they used Facebook's fixed data table.
However, it did not have the features that they wanted. So Brian volunteered and built what would be the first version of react-virtualized.

The exposure he got from sharing react-virtualized with the community is what landed him the job on the React Core Team. A developer's success tends to come from sharing the cool thing they built. Share your work everyone!

Brian talks about React's goals with 17. Dan Abramov and Dominique have been working on creating an optimizing compiler for react components. The idea is that the compiler can read your components and optimize them. You will be able to keep writing React components in ways that make sense to you, and it will compile them and optimize at runtime. The team is also working on making functional components more powerful, so you do not have to reach out to class methods. It will be interesting to see what will shake out of their work when using async and the compiler.


"Brian Vaughn, React Core Team" Transcript


Brian Vaughn:

John Lindquist

Jun 04, 2018
Evan You, creator of Vue.js

John Lindquist asks Evan You when exactly did he become a developer? Evan talks about how the whole thing was a gradual process with no definite "I'm a developer now!" moment. Evan had a degree in art and art history, but he was finding it hard to find work. So Evan went back to school and enrolled in a design and technology program where everyone was forced to learn to code, this is where he first learned Javascript and found great enjoyment in using it.

Google's Chrome experiments are what drove Evan to learn Javascript on a deeper level. Evan landed a job at Google Creative Labs after he created and put a portfolio of his prototypes out there once he thought himself to be good at programming. Google Creative Labs were looking for someone who could bring in design and build cool things quickly, they contacted Evan, and things sort of just fell together.

Google Creative Labs was where Evan first started his work on Vue. As the project grew, the team started to use Angular 1. it had too many features that they didn't need. Evan also didn't like some of the design decisions that Angular 1 had. So, Evan started to work on a templating library just for his personal use. After six months, in February 2014, he officially released it as Vue.js, putting it out there for others for others to use. Initially, it was just a templating library but as the community grew and more features got requested Vue got built into the framework that it is today, being compared on the same level as React and Angular.

Finally, Evan and John discuss Vue's future regarding single file components and proxies. Currently, there are still a lot of problems going with the compile on the fly approach. However, there is a spec being discussed called HTML Modules. Html Imports are getting dropped from the spec. There has been discussion around the HTML Modules spec that looks very similar to what single file components look like on the platform level.

Evan plans to refactor Vue to leverage proxies. Currently, when Vue receives data, it will walk through all of its properties and convert them to getter/setters, this has caveats such as not tracking newly added properties when it finishes. Proxies allows them to get rid of these caveats. Proxy traps can track these changes!


"Evan You, creator of Vue.js" Transcript


Evan You

John Lindquist

May 29, 2018
Iheanyi Ekechukwu on education, programming, and managing side projects

Today Joel catches up with Iheanyi Ekechukwu. Iheanyi is a Product Engineer currently working at DigitalOcean. He previously worked at IBM on Watson. They also talk about Iheanyi's education, stack, and side projects

Iheanyi started out majoring in Computer Engineering, but switched to Computer Science after he figured out hardware just wasn't for him. He now lives and works in Brooklyn and spends most of his time coding (though he always brings his design skills to the table).

Iheanyi's design comes from a dual degree program at Notre Dame, the college where he graduated. He noticed a lot of subpar interfaces coming from pure programmers, and he was frustrated with that, so he took his school's opportunity to learn design and apply it to his work. Even if he isn't a designer, he uses his skills daily to communicate with designers and make whatever he works on that much better.

Iheanyi started using Ember back during college. He was frustrated by his school's class search interface, and he set out to improve it. Ember and Rails were like a match made in heaven for him, Ember having been authored by ex-Rails core team member, Yehuda Katz.

Joel discusses with Iheanyi what he's currently using in his work. They get into GO, and how Iheanyi has enjoyed working with a statically typed language when doing back-end work. Not having to worry about full test coverage when refactoring has been great!

Lastly, they talk about the various side projects Iheanyi has going. Such as Interface Lovers, a blog where top designers are interviewed and share their work music playlists. Also, Seeker, a job-board app that allows you to connect your strip account to it and have companies submit jobs.


"Iheanyi Ekechukwu on education, programming, and managing side projects" Transcript


Iheanyi Ekechukwu

Joel Hooks:

Apr 19, 2018
Michel Weststrate creator of Mobx and Immer Libraries for JavaScript

Joel interviews Michel Weststrate, author of Mobx and his new library, Immer. Today they get into the power of Immer, its early success on Github, common mistakes in state management, and what is next for Mobx.

Immer is a light-weight, immutable state-management tool. Michel talks with Joel about some of its capabilities. Immer takes an object and a function and can track all the changes made to that object, it then gives you back the original object and a mutated copy. Immer can replace reducers, Michel calls them "producer" functions as they "produce" the new state.

Joel then asks Michel "what makes state management so hard for people and are they overcomplicating it?" This question leads to Michel explaining that people don't think enough about the structure of their state enough up front. When you talk about state, there are three distinct concepts, values, references, and identities. However, people tend to only think of state purely as data. "You have to think about what is going to store it and what is going to reference it."

Michel talks about how the mobx-state-tree fits into an application. Mobx is unopinionated; it doesn't tell you how to organize your stores. mobx-state-tree, however, is very explicit about the three concepts of state, values, references, and identities. With mobx-state-tree you organize your data into models and tell it how they relate to each other. It's all about consistently organizing your state!

What's next for Mobx? Michel is currently working on some exciting features using proxies to make Mobx even more transparent than it is now. Michel has also been thinking about improving on asynchronous processes and how to leverage async actionables.


"Michel Weststrate creator of Mobx and Immer Libraries for JavaScript" Transcript


Michel Westrate

Joel Hooks:

Apr 03, 2018
Jack Doyle, creator of Greensock

John Lindquist speaks with Jack Doyle, the creator of Greensock. They discuss many things including the motivation behind the creation of Greensock, managing GSAP forums, and how he transitioned from Flash to Javascript.

Jack didn’t initially create Greensock to be a monetized business, but rather a helpful tool for other developers. He was working at an ad firm doing animation work, and it was there that he found the inspiration to create Greensock.

The Robert Penner easing equations were like magic for Jack. Such simple equations that could create such cool effects were terrific. He talks about how he doesn't consider himself a math wiz in the slightest. The visual feedback that animation gives with the equations however really help him solidify the concepts.

Jack's success turning his side project into a successful business is genuinely impressive. It was a stressful time for him; he was working for the agency still at the time. People don't feel safe with a product that might lose support any day, so he goes into the security behind a financially backed product and the factors that lead to him monetizing his business.

Finally, there is a lengthy discussion on the challenges of having to maintain such a universal library that works on nearly every platform. There are a *lot- of edge cases. Jack also makes an effort to keep the API stable, so that questions that you find online from ten years ago can still apply to you today.


"Jack Doyle, creator of Greensock" Transcript


Jack Doyle

John Lindquist

Mar 13, 2018
Sarah Drasner talks about SVG animation with Greensock and Vue.js

John Lindquist interviews Sarah Drasner, a senior cloud developer over at Microsoft and a Vue core team member. She is also known for making super cool animations. Today they discuss what got her from an art background to a full-time developer, resistance to change, why Vue is terrific, and the GreenSock animation platform (GSAP).

Sarah's background was very unusual for a developer. She graduated with a major in printmaking and became a scientific illustrator for a nature museum. She relates drawing to program in that it's just a series of formalized steps. Many people say they can't draw, but if they just opened up and learned the process they would become technically proficient in drawing!

Sarah also talks about how awesome GSAP is. Through benchmarking, she found that GSAP performed even better than native technologies when working with SVGs. She then gets into MorphSVG, and how it lets you transition between two SVGs and all sorts of things to create transitions.

Finally, she discusses how she stays motivated on all the many projects she works on. She likes to imagine the feeling she'll get when she finally finishes it and lets that drive her. She also uses positive rewards for little milestones, such as eating a treat she enjoys or sitting in her favorite chair and relaxing.


"Sarah Drasner talks about SVG animation with Greensock and Vue.js" Transcript


Sarah Drasner

John Lindquist

Mar 06, 2018
Reactive Programming and the P2P Web with André Staltz

Joel Hooks interviews Andre Staltz, an open-source hacker, and creator of Cycle.js. Andre quit his job to become an open-source hacker and now spends 30% of his time on open-source development and 40% on the Scuttlebutt project.

Today they discuss the current web's stagnation, the vision of the peer to peer web, and what André is doing to reach that goal. They'll also discuss things that are more in Javascript land, such as Cycle.js and the callbag spec.

Scuttlebutt is a web protocol, like HTTP. It's like a vast array of JSON objects that sync between two computers whenever they are both on the same network; this enables data to never reach an outside server, a true peer to peer network! Andre goes into his work on the project and why he believes it is necessary for the future of the web.

But what is the peer to peer web and why is it better/different than the internet as we know it? Andre says that we are reaching a point where innovation is beginning to stagnate, where it is just enough to have Google, Amazon, and Facebook. We have reached a sort of peak, and things aren't evolving further. Andre goes on to say that one of the fundamental things that the internet missed early on was that it didn't guarantee a p2p connection.

Andre gives some examples of how you begin to use the p2p web today. The Beaker browser, for example, can still access HTTP and HTTPS connections. However, it can also use the DAT protocol. What is DAT? Well, it allows you to directly "seed" your website out, and others can "leech" it. Like torrents, the more peers there are accessing your website, the better! He also talks about Fritter, a twitter clone that only runs on DAT. You download the front-end and JSON files of what people are saying. You are even able to fork the front end and customize it for yourself!

Back in Javascript land, Andre talks about how he plans to properly support the Pull data source in Cycle.js, as well as having web-workers in the middle. He also talks about why he's removing the last library dependency from Cycle.js, xstream, in favor of just using a set of callbag utilities.


"Reactive Programming and the P2P Web with André Staltz" Transcript


André Staltz

Joel Hooks:

Feb 26, 2018
React Router with Michael Jackson

John Lindquist, co-founder of, interviews Michael Jackson, co-creator of the react-router library, and co-founder of React Training. Michael discusses his experiences with running a massively popular repo with a relatively small code-base, pioneering of new features, and the future of CDN based importing.

Michael gets into the early days of the react-router repo, and what he had to do to steward the library. "In open-source, you are not just coding all day." It's mostly management, with it being a relatively small code-base that had a lot of users created a situation where you had to have excellent communication and a lot of deliberateness with what you change.

React is just Javascript, meaning that it enables multiple solutions and allows innovation within the library. It also means that there will be some discourse in the direction that things should go. Michael also discusses how to keep an open dialogue with the React community, even though doing so may pose some challenges.

Michael is extremely excited about the future of the CDN and unpkg. He says that it would be awesome if Facebook or Pinterest only needed to load the package once, or even if individual modules were loaded instead of entire libraries. unpkg is excellent and predictable. No need to read the documentation on how to include the library in your app. No need to worry about builds, webpack, bundling. It brings back a fresh perspective and lets you just use the web!


"React Router with Michael Jackson" Transcript


Michael Jackson

John Lindquist

Feb 19, 2018
Data Viz using D3 with Ben Clinkinbeard

John Lindquist interviews Ben Clinkinbeard, a veteran developer and egghead instructor. He currently works as a consultant, focusing on data visualization. Ben discusses his career path, the benefits of having a mentor, and the importance of Data Driven Documents.

Ben talks about how he worked on a multi-year project for the Colorado Department of Education where he was visualizing aggregate standardized testing data. He discusses his experience there and how it left a long lasting enjoyment of the craft. He also talks about why he chose D3 for his data visualization work, and how he feels that it's the best option in the JS space.

A lot of companies have D3 as a "nice to have" but not many devs have that skill. There is a lot of demand but not enough supply. Seeing this, Ben created a screencast for egghead as our very first instructor! His interest in info-products sparked and he talks about his experience and the challenges he faced building his email course and then a full-fledged D3 and SVG book.


"Data Viz using D3 with Ben Clinkinbeard" Transcript


Ben Clinkinbeard

John Lindquist

Feb 12, 2018
12-factor Javascript Applications using Docker with Mark Shust

John Lindquist has a conversation with the Mark Shust, an expert with Git and Docker. They talk about the 12-factor style of building an application and why devs should have a standard method.

Often developers don’t have a standard process with git. Mark talks about the gitflow workflow, a way of working with features and managing how that feature gets merged into the code base.

Though due to working with so many branches gitflow has its complexities. So, Mark trimmed it down and created a new workflow he calls git ship, which is gitflow without the development and hotfix branches.

Before Docker, Mark was running through a dependency hell. Though with Docker Mark was just able to deploy an image and not have to worry about anything. Docker is like a VM but without all the memory overhead! You can even deploy as many images as you want at a time. You can run Postgres, Node servers, and also use entirely different languages in each image!

Check out Mark’s course which covers all mentioned topics, Build a Twelve-Factor Node.js App with Docker


"12-factor Javascript Applications using Docker with Mark Shust" Transcript


Mark Shust

John Lindquist

Jan 26, 2018
Angular Web Applications with Juri Strumpflohner and Rob Wormald (Angular Core Team)

John talks with Juri Strumpflohner, an industry expert and angular trainer; and Rob Wormald, an Angular core development team member, getting into how Angular has evolved with the 2.0 release, powerful new features, their favorite libraries, and where the future is taking it.

Angular has gotten much better under the hood. Rob talks about how the Angular team is working on really improving the code while still keeping the public API stable. He also talks about the team's ongoing debate on where to improve the code. Faster? Smaller? Currently, the team has chosen to work on making it smaller and has improved the bundle size of Angular.

One of the new things about Angular that people are most excited about is the Elements and CLI Schematics libraries. Juri talks about how Elements opens up a "whole new world," allowing people not to have to resolve the same problems over and over again by letting them create reusable angular components.

One of the hardest things to learn with Angular was the design and architecture patterns. Rob goes into how the team has improved the documentation, now actually getting into best practices and giving architecture guidelines.

Finally, our guests get into their favorite Angular libraries. NgRx Formly being the big favorite. NgRx Formly is a beautiful library that allows devs to create powerful reactive forms. Rob also highly recommends the Angular Schematics library. It is a powerful low-level tool that allows you to create templates and code generators. You can even use it in conjunction with the Angular CLI to extend it or modify it for your own needs!


"Angular Web Applications with Juri Strumpflohner and Rob Wormald (Angular Core Team)" Transcript


Rob Wormald

Juri Strumpflohner

Jan 17, 2018
Learning React with Kent C. Dodds

Kent C. Dodds, a leading React expert, speaks with John Lindquist and Joel Hooks, the co-founders of egghead, about how React is a fantastic technology to learn for both newcomers to programming and Javascript grey-beards alike.

Kent talks about how great componentizing your code is. No longer are you going in and writing HTML for all your pages, you are now writing powerful and useful javascript components.

The concepts that React got built upon don't just apply to React code. Joel talks about how he taught the React style of componentized code, but using Angular in the workshops he has run.

Kent and Joel also discuss the importance of ES6. There are still new Javascript tutorials that are get written in ES5, Joel explains why this is shortsighted. The future of Javascript is moving to ES6. Not only that but ES6 is an excellent improvement over ES5.
New and powerful features can be leveraged with it, spread syntax, arrow functions, modules. These features are the direction Javascript is moving.

So check it out. Learn this new technology and see that it's not so weird, with Kent's new courses The Beginner's Guide to ReactJS and Advanced React Component Patterns


"Learning React with Kent C. Dodds" Transcript


Kent C. Dodds

John Lindquist

Joel Hooks

Dec 29, 2017
Dan Abramov, co-author of Redux

Joel Hooks co-founder of, interviews Dan Abramov, co-author of Redux. They discuss the "Redux phenomenon" and the notion of improving the developer experience.

Dan's Redux course has been the most popular course on for years. What caused Redux to blow up as it did? Dan is here today to talk about the problems he faced that inspired him to write this framework, and all the experiences he had that led to it.

Joel and Dan talk about how quickly functional programming concepts pushed their way into the mainstream. When they were younger object oriented was how you programmed, Gang of Four was like their bible. However, Dan talks about the problems he was facing and how they inspired him to create Redux.

Dan's belief that user experience starts with the developer also inspired Redux. The notion that a developer should suffer is silly. Having a tool that is a joy to use and allows a programmer just to create things is invaluable.

The frustration of getting started with React was enormous. You had to deal with Webpack and install packages manually and hope that you didn't mess up. All this was hugely daunting for beginners especially. create-react-app was the solution for that. Allowing an easy way to get React going with a dev server and all, it let you just get in there and start building components.

Finally, Joel and Dan leave us with a note to those seeking to learn to program well. Read GitHub like it's a blog. Read the commits, the issues, the PR's, all of it. You might not understand what is going on now, but you will build fluency and eventually you'll understand well enough that you can start to answer questions and contribute.


"Dan Abramov, co-author of Redux" Transcript


Dan Abramov

Joel Hooks

Dec 22, 2017
Getting into Python

Will Button and Miller Hooks, two experienced Python developers, have a conversation about the differences between Python and Javascript, and what that means to a new programmer.

Python is downright awesome for a beginner, due to it being more readable and there not being a mountain of frameworks that all seem like completely separate languages. Not only that but there are amazing tools that enable a beginner to just jump right in and create.

Python is learnable to the point that even people outside of software development are using it as a tool to automate annoying manual tasks. Scripting away all the hard repetitive tasks at work until everyone thinks they are some kind of wizard.

One of the tools mentioned in the podcast is the wonderful Cookiecutter Django. A great tool for beginners who don't want to deal with a million installs and an array of different skills just to get a project deployed.

The other tool mentioned, The Jupyter Notebook, gets python up and running right in your browser. Inline code and rich text documentation allow you to write code and see the results inline, even giving you the power to write documentation around the output.

Check out Will's new egghead course, Intro to Python, and jump into this rich, beginner-friendly world.


"Getting into Python" Transcript


Miller Hooks

Will Button

John Lindquist

Dec 08, 2017
Functional JavaScript with Paul Frend and Brian Lonsdorf (Dr Boolean)

In this episode John sits down to talk to Paul Frend and Brian Lonsdorf (aka Dr Boolean) about functional programming, and its practical use cases on the job. Paul has released a new course on covering the topic of transducers that is the spark for this conversation.

Transducers are a a useful pattern that can deliver performance and readability, but are often misunderstood or obscure to many programmers. Along with transducers you'll learn more about monoids, folds, lenses and so much more.


"Functional JavaScript with Paul Frend and Brian Lonsdorf (Dr Boolean)" Transcript


Brian Lonsdorf

Paul Frend

John Lindquist

Nov 22, 2017
Using TypeScript with Basarat and Marius Schulz

Two leading TypeScript experts, Marius Schulz and Basarat Ali Syed, discuss their initial reactions and excitement for TypeScript and how it has evolved and earned their trust over the years. TypeScript has been the main focus of many of their products and trainings and they’ve gained their expertise by closely following the project and digging deep into the TypeScript compiler code. As TypeScript continues to improve with features, tooling, and performance they share their opinions on what they’re most looking forward to in the near future.


"Using TypeScript with Basarat and Marius Schulz" Transcript


Marius Schulz


John Lindquist

Nov 06, 2017