Ladybug Podcast

By Emma Wedekind, Kelly Vaughn, and Ali Spittel

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 Nov 16, 2019


We're Emma Wedekind, Kelly Vaughn, and Ali Spittel - three seasoned software developers working in different sectors. Since there's a major lack of technical podcasts out there, we've decided to start one. Just kidding -- there's already a ton! But, we wanted to add our voices to the space and share our experiences and advice. We'll have great discussions around how to start coding, the hot technologies right now, how to get your first developer job, and more!

Episode Date
Speaking At Conferences

Have you ever watched or attended a conference and been in awe of the speakers? How do they know so much information? How do they prepare a talk? How do they even get the courage to speak in the first place and what is that process like?

In this episode we’ll delve into all things conference talks. This is a very special episode because it’s our last episode this season. We’ve decided to release our podcast in seasons, which gives us more time to plan out our episodes and schedule guests ahead of time. We’ll be taking the month of December off and will be back with brand new episodes in January.

Show Notes

  • Our speaking experience - 1:31
  • What can I speak about? - 8:03
  • What is a CFP? - 11:51
  • Benefits of speaking - 17:22
  • Drawback of speaking - 19:53
  • Speaker fees - 24:19
  • Preparing your talk - 32:19
  • Speaking advice - 39:27
  • How do I get started? - 46:04

For full show notes, visit our website

Nov 25, 2019
Web Performance

Today we’re talking about web performance. Did you know that 40% of users abandon sites that take more than 3s to load? Turns out making your sites fast is pretty important! In this episode we’ll talk about what web performance is, why we should care, and we’ll give you tips for optimizing performance and measuring it.

Show Notes

  • What is web performance? - 1:18
  • Why should I care about performance? - 3:48
  • The cost of JavaScript - 6:59
  • What should I be measuring? - 14:02
  • Performance tools - 17:46
  • Performance-improving methods - 19:40
  • Progressive web apps - 26:49

For full show notes, check out our website.

Nov 18, 2019
Debugging 101

How often have you encountered a problem and struggled to figure out where to start? Or maybe you aren’t super familiar with the browser tools available to debug your JavaScript code. So today we’ve brought on a special guest, Rebecca Hill, to help us learn about the world of debugging.

Show Notes

  • Who are you? - 1:12
  • How did you learn so much about debugging? - 2:00
  • Basic debugging steps - 3:12
  • Is debugging language agnostic? - 6:21
  • Why don't we teach debugging? - 9:36
  • Different types of debugging - 13:45
  • Common debugging mistakes - 17:09
  • Testing - 19:39
  • Browser features for debugging - 20:50
  • Tips for new developers - 22:40
  • Which browser is best for debugging? - 24:55
  • Where can you learn more? - 26:08

For full show notes, visit our website

Nov 11, 2019
Working Remotely

In recent years, working remotely has become a more popular office perk not only among startups but enterprise businesses as well. Some companies even ONLY work remotely. In this week's episode, we'll discuss our experiences working remotely, the pros and cons from an employer and employee standpoint, and provide some advice on whether or not working remotely is a good fit for you.

Show Notes

  • What does it mean to work remotely? - 1:36
  • What is our experience working remotely? - 2:34
  • Pros & cons - 7:08
  • What makes a successful remote work experience? - 21:05
  • Should you work remotely as your first job? - 27:11
  • Personality traits for a healthy remote work experience - 31:35
  • Tips for working remotely - 33:31

For full show notes, check out our website.

Nov 04, 2019
Shopify & E-Commerce

If you’ve ever seen Kelly’s Twitter account then you’ve probably heard of Shopify, an E-commerce platform that gives you everything you need to sell online. This week we’re talking to JML, CTO at Shopify, and we’re giving you all the details.

Show notes

Who are you and what is your role at Shopify? - 1:05
What does a typical day at Shopify look like? - 1:41
What was your path in tech? - 3:36
What is Shopify & e-commerce in general? - 7:44 What makes Shopify different from competitors? - 12:41
Why should developers pay attention to Shopify? - 13:42
What are your favorite things that have been built by Shopify? - 22:09 How has Shopify's design system, Polaris, changed development? - 24:28 What tech stack do you recommend focusing on for new Shopify developers? - 30:06
What does the day in the life of a Shopify developer look like? - 31:01

For full show notes and transcript, check out our website

Oct 28, 2019
All About Technical Portfolios

This week we're talking all things portfolios. What can a portfolio do for you? How can you build one? Do you even need a portfolio to be successful? This week we'll delve into the world of portfolios.

Show Notes

What is a technical portfolio? - 1:16
Do we have portfolios? - 8:13
Why would you want a portfolio? - 8:21
How do you build a portfolio as a backend developer? - 17:06
What can you put in your portfolio? - 18:11
What if I'm bad at design? - 20:26
What should developers focus on when building a portfolio? - 23:15
Fun portfolio examples - 25:24
Wins - 29:18

For full show notes, visit our website.

Oct 21, 2019
React, Vue, && Anglular, OH MY!

You've probably heard about some of the JavaScript frameworks that dominate the front end ecosystem. And this week's podcast we'll be discussing the pros and cons of JavaScript frameworks, go into detail about React, Vue, and Angular, and discuss tools and resources for how you can get started with these frameworks.

Difference between a library & a framework - 1:04 Do we even need a framework? - 4:37 Pros & cons of using frameworks - 13:25 Popularity of different frameworks - 16:54 React - 25:31 Vue.js - 34:14 Angular - 39:34 Which framework is right for me? - 44:23 Evolution & speed of frontend development - 45:44 Learning these frameworks - 47:31

For the full show notes, check out our website.

Oct 14, 2019
Hacktoberfest Pt. 2

October means it's time for Hacktoberfest. We're talking with Shannon Crabill about what open source is, how to get involved with Hacktoberfest, and tips & tricks for maintaining open source projects.

Show Notes

  • Who is Shannon? - 1:17
  • What is open source? - 4:19
  • How did you get involved in Hacktoberfest? - 4:55
  • What is it like to maintain an open source project? - 6:27
  • Tips && tricks for people wanting to work on maintaining an open source project - 7:35
  • How to contribute to Hacktoberfest projects? - 8:54
  • Advice for beginners getting started in open source - 11:51
  • How do you find projects to contribute to? - 13:09
  • Hard parts of open source - 14:30
  • Best parts of open source - 15:38
  • How to gain confidence to contribute - 16:52
  • Advice to someone beginning their coding journey - 18:06

For the full show notes, head over to our website!

Oct 10, 2019
Hacktoberfest Pt. 1

October means it's time for Hacktoberfest. Hacktoberfest is an awesome event where you can get involved in open source whether it's your first time contributing or you're a seasoned pro.

In this episode we'll discuss what Hacktoberfest is, how you can start contributing to open source, and with our special guests Peter and Jess from Dev, we'll talk about how you can maintain your own open source project.

For full show notes, check out our website.

Oct 07, 2019
Design Systems

Design systems are in the world around us from the signs on the side of the highway to the setup of a grocery store and our products are no exception. But what exactly our design systems and how do we build them? In this episode, we'll take a look at the foundations of design systems, the benefits and drawbacks, and the process for creating one from the ground up.

1:23 What are design systems? 2:58 Emma's experience with design systems 3:52 Ali's experience with design systems 4:41 Kelly's experience with design systems 5:00 Do you need a design system and who are design systems for? 7:46 Benefits of design systems 11:11 Drawbacks of design systems and team structure 13:11 How do you measure success? 14:24 Challenges of building a design system 15:34 How to build a design system 18:19 Styling components 19:03 Documentation tools 21:09 Style guides 23:42 Why design systems fail 25:08 Who builds design systems 29:20 Tools for building design systems 32:54 Notable people in design systems 36:54 Wins

For the full show notes and links to the speakers, check out our website!

Sep 30, 2019
Teaching Code with Angie Jones

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an effective teacher in the tech industry? Well wonder no more!

We had the pleasure of chatting with Angie Jones, Senior Developer Advocate at Applitools and Director at Test Automation University about her experience as a teacher. Angie talks to us about her teaching and learning styles and shares some advice for those looking to get into the world of teaching.

In this episode, we discussed how to teach to multiple skill levels, common misconceptions about being a teacher, and much more!

For the full show notes and links to the speakers, check out our website!

Sep 23, 2019
What The Heck Is GraphQL?

GraphQL has taken this industry by storm, but what is it exactly? In this special episode of the Ladybug Podcast we’ve invited 14 GraphQL experts from the community to educate us on all things GraphQL!

2:00 - What Is GraphQL? (Erin Fox)

8:21 - Benefits Of GraphQL (Akshar Takle)

11:19 - History Of GraphQL (Brian Douglas)

14:01 - Syntax (Chris Biscardi)

17:01 - Schemas (Kurt Kemple)

20:02 - Variables (Swyx)

24:24 - Fragments (Emma Wedekind)

25:36 - Directives (Jon Wong)

32:10 - Toolkit (Alan Johnson)

38:49 - React Hooks & GraphQL (Shruti Kapoor)

46:13 - GraphQL vs. REST (Chantastic)

49:20 - When NOT To Use GraphQL (Zach Lendon)

54:37 - Useful Tools For Learning/Using GraphQL (Manjula Dube)

1:01:27 - Making GraphQL Development Easier With Hasura (Rajoshi Ghosh)

1:05:06 - Wins!

For the full show notes and links to the speakers, check out our website!

Sep 16, 2019
Career Paths in Tech

There are so many different paths your career can follow in the tech industry. There's frontend, backend, or even full-stack development. You could also be a software engineer, quality assurance engineer, UX engineer, manager, developer advocate, or something else entirely!

For full show notes and resources for today's episode, check out the episode page on our website

Aug 26, 2019
Ask Kelly about Entrepreneurship

Today we are doing a deep dive about entrepreneurship with our in house business owner, Kelly! Everyone can benefit from thinking entrepreneurially, even people who don’t want to start their own business. We’re going to ask Kelly about all the things that we are curious about and scare us about entrepreneurship.

Check out full show notes and resources for today's episode, check out the episode page on our website

Aug 19, 2019
Level Up with CSS - Part 2

In our first part of our CSS episode, we discussed the foundations. In this special bonus episode we'll continue the conversation by covering some more in-depth areas of CSS, like layouts with Grid and Flexbox, animations, media queries, naming conventions, pre-processors, and frameworks.

Read the full shownotes and transcripts on our site:

Aug 15, 2019
Level Up With CSS - Part 1

We all know that Peter Griffin Family Guy gif of him unable to work some blinds. This gif is always associated with the frustrations of CSS. Something changes, then something breaks. Why do people have these issues? How can you improve your CSS skills? What are the key concepts that you need to understand to write clean, maintainable styles?

In this episode, we'll talk all about the nuances of CSS -- what it is, how it works, and how to get better at it.

Read the full shownotes and transcripts at our site:

Aug 12, 2019
Impostor Syndrome

Have you ever been scared to contribute to a conversation or publish a blog post because you were worried you weren’t qualified enough? Wondered how you got to the point you’re at in your career because you feel you don’t belong? Or that you’re a fraud? You’re not alone!

In this episode, we discuss how we have experienced impostor syndrome and our personal strategies for combatting it.

0:36 How have we experienced Impostor Syndrome

  • Job Interviews (0:48)
  • Quitting Computer Science & feeling like you stick out (2:04)
  • Speaking for the first time at a conference (7:19)
  • Feeling like you’re not qualified to teach something (11:46)
  • When people say mean things about you (13:11)
  • Running a company as someone young (16:32)
  • Getting criticism (17:56)

21:21 Impostor Syndrome as a Business Owner

21:55 Impostor Syndrome pushing us to be better

24:40 Combatting Impostor Syndrome * Tracking your wins * Focusing on your personal journey instead of others’ * Being open about it and community w/ others

37:24 WINS

  • Cecilia who just graduated from the full-stack software engineering boot camp at Georgia Tech and landed her first job as a junior software developer.
  • Emma - Coding Coach Team is doing incredible things
  • Lindsey - Survived 106 heat index for her engagement pics!
  • Kelly - Started her own online store!
  • Ali - Spoke at CodeLand which was her most difficult talk to date because of how personal it was

Additional Links:

Check out the full shownotes and transcripts on our site!

Aug 05, 2019
How the Ladybugs Got Their Spots

In this episode, we're getting to know the ladybug hosts, both on technical and non-technical topics. Listen in to learn about our favorite tech stacks, our biggest career milestones, favorite books, and more.

Be sure to review the show notes on our website for links to all resources we discuss. We also have full transcripts listed there!

Jul 29, 2019
Web Technologies We're Excited About

The landscape of technologies you can learn in the development world can be overwhelming if you don't know where to go next. In this episode, we discuss the technologies we're most excited about. From CSS to GraphQL, Django to WebAssembly, and design to augmented reality - we cover it all.

Be sure to review the show notes on our website for links to all resources we discuss.

Jul 22, 2019
Blogging 101

One of the most popular outlets for programmers is through blogging. In this episode, we discuss why each of us got into blogging, the pros and cons of starting your own blog, and tips on how to make your blog a success.

View the show notes and a full transcript at

Jul 15, 2019
Side Project Balancing Act

Side projects are an excellent way to express yourself creatively and build up your tech stack. But how do you find time to work on your side project when you have a full-time job and other responsibilities at home? In this episode, we discuss our personal side projects, along with some useful strategies for giving your side projects the attention they deserve.

View the show notes and a full transcript at

Jul 08, 2019
New Career, Who Dis?

There are several different ways you can learn how to code. In this episode, we discuss computer science degrees, bootcamps, and self-directed learning. Each has benefits and have brought a lot of people into the world of programming. Each also has challenges.

We all have had unique paths to programming, so we'll incorporate our experiences and observations.

Visit for the full transcript and show notes!

Jul 01, 2019