The Bike Shed

The Bike Shed

On The Bike Shed, hosts Chris Toomey & Steph Viccari discuss their development experience and challenges at thoughtbot with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and whatever else is drawing their attention, admiration, or ire this week.... Show More

Episodes

October 26, 2020 37 min
On this week's episode, Chris and Steph share mixed-feelings about Spring preloader and how to use Spring just for tests. They also dive into troubleshooting an OpenSSL error, Postgres generated columns, and creating moments of contentment. This episode is brought to you by: ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed) - Give Scout a try for free today and Scout will donate $5 to the open source project of your choice when you depl...
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Mark as Played
October 19, 2020 46 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris chat about database transactions and job queues, building static sites with GatsbyJS and NetlifyCMS, the performance impacts of front end frameworks and static content, and lastly they catch up on Hacktoberfest and the complexities of encouraging and supporting work in open source. This episode is brought to you by: ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed) - Give Scout a try for free toda...
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On this week's episode Steph and Chris discuss the ins and outs of joining teams, building trust, and working together to improve processes and communication. They also touch on some lesser used features of bundler, and revisit a discussion around Rails maintenance periods thanks to some listener feedback. This episode is brought to you by: Indeed (https://Indeed.com/bikeshed) - Click through and get started with a free seventy...
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Steph's taking a quick break this week, but in her absence, Chris is joined by Dave Rupert (https://daverupert.com/). Dave is the lead developer at Paravel, co-host of the Shop Talk Show podcast, creator of The Accessibility Project, and an all-around prolific and thoughtful maker of digital things. Chris and Dave chat about creating and sharing content like podcasts and blogs and how to get past your inner editor. They discuss...
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September 28, 2020 52 min
On this week's episode, Chris introduces a new segment called "Good Idea, Terrible Idea?" as he considers introducing a read-only mode to avoid interrupting users during scheduled downtime. Steph has started a new project and explores the idea of merging separate, but similar, applications into one codebase. They also dive into micro-service environments to discuss the difficulties of integration testing and potential ...
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September 21, 2020 52 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris tackle a listener question around composition over inheritance, especially in the context of Rails which makes regular use of inheritance. Dependency injection, OOP vs FP, frameworks vs app code -- they hit it all! They also chat about burnout and how they've dealt with it, using jq to investigate differences between json responses, refactoring tests and using let, and Steph shares he...
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September 14, 2020 44 min
On this week's episode, Chris shares a tale of performance improvements and a recent discussion about replacing a REST API with GraphQL. Steph dives into migrating a database column to restrict input and dropping database columns safely. They also discuss when to abstract code (a topic that surprisingly, they may not agree on) and running "Unused" to identify dead code. This episode is brought to you by: ScoutAPM (http...
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September 7, 2020 48 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris tackle the thorny topic of 10X engineers. Do we think they really exist? What characteristics make an individual more effective, and more importantly, what can they do for a team? To round out the conversation, they chat about rewrites and when they do and don't make sense, Ruby 2.7 keyword argument deprecation warnings, and a listener question revisiting Ruby popularity and what lang...
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August 31, 2020 41 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss a git-blame feature that supports bypassing less helpful commits. They also revisit a discussion about Dependabot PRs and recent performance adjustments, sharing which strategies worked and which ones didn't. They also discuss the dreaded three-state boolean, designing a system for cacheability, and using Ruby's magic comment to freeze string literals. This episode is brou...
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On this week's episode, Steph & Chris take a deep dive into all things technical debt. How do you know when your code has reached "good enough"? When might we purposefully knowingly take on technical debt? How do we tackle existing technical debt without halting new development? How can we tell high-interest, hair on fire debt from "ehh, it's fine" debt that we can let lie? Tune in to find out! This epis...
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August 10, 2020 46 min
On this week's episode, Chris shares his recent adventures of working with a team that prioritizes async-first communication and Steph revisits a previous discussion around the use of web sockets and optimistic user interfaces. They also dive into the classically hard question "should we rewrite the app?" and share survival tips for learning to type on a split keyboard. This episode is brought to you by: ScoutAPM (https...
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August 3, 2020 28 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris chat about the relatively new Rails viewcomponent library from GitHub, Steph talks about her work with Storybook as part of extracting and defining a design system, and they chat about the attrextras project with convenience helpers for ruby & Rails apps. They round out the conversation with some keyboard updates (ErgoDox onramp is steep!) and project rotation notes. This episode is b...
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July 27, 2020 42 min
On this week's episode, Steph celebrates passing an important test and discovers an API that returns different data than it's provided while Chris asks the important bikeshed question "What is the proper maximum line length?". They also roundup the latest listener questions and discuss establishing freelancing rates, property-based testing, and time tracking skills that help them manage competing priorities. This e...
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On this week's episode, Steph and Chris have a brief chat about Snowpack, a new and ultra-speedy bundler in the front-end world, and revisit a conversation around namespacing models in Rails. The conversation then shifts to a discussion of the ins and outs of hosting a podcast and how folks might be able to dive in if they're interested in starting one themselves -- from selecting topics, to the hardware and software they u...
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July 13, 2020 54 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss leveraging the Unix utility sed to search files and remove unnecessary test setup, using Vim's Arglist to create a to-do list for file edits, and budgeting time for fancy command-line scripts. They then take a deep dive into the world of utility-first CSS and TailwindCSS. This episode is brought to you by: ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed) - Give Scout a try for free to...
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July 6, 2020 37 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss using JSONB to store survey responses and the differences between JSON and JSONB, using (or not using!) exceptions in Ruby and the fail keyword, the pros and cons of namespacing models in Rails to organize features, and a new recommendation for running tests from vim. This episode is brought to you by ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed). Give Scout a try for free today and Sc...
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June 29, 2020 42 min
On this week's episode, Chris and Steph discuss the importance of using inclusive language, branching into new branch names, and strategies that encourage the use of inclusive terminology. Chris also shares his latest experience with merging two systems that were split apart back into one system, tackling conflicting foreign keys and competing auth libraries. Steph discusses using polling vs web sockets to monitor work being co...
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June 22, 2020 41 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris trade some consulting and everyone comes out a winner. Steph talks about a win and a loss on the battlefield of refactoring, and Chris shares a related effort around identifying and removing unused code. Chris shares a pattern his team has been using with a special "demo" flag to provide small enhancements but otherwise keep sales demos within the product. Steph then shares some f...
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June 15, 2020 34 min
On this week's episode, Steph shares a keyboard confession and interest in migrating to a split keyboard layout. Chris dives into creating static error pages that are independent of the app while still leveraging the app's CSS framework. They also respond to a listener question about Conventional Commits and discuss when automation tooling feels helpful vs harmful. ErgoDox EZ Keyboard (https://ergodox-ez.com/) Keyboardio At...
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June 8, 2020 49 min
On this week's episode, Steph and Chris discuss potential approaches to a complex client-side workflow, Chris shares the highs and lows of his recent adventures revising the caching in a REST API, Steph shares an Ember testing pro-tip and then explores the questions it brings up, and lastly, they revisit prettier-ruby and it's fantastic configuration setup. This episode is brought to you by Datadog (http://datadog.com/thebi...
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