Backstage – Episode #24

Reflecting on 500 episodes

with Adam & Jerod


All Episodes

This is Adam and Jerod’s pre-show call before hooking up with Chris Coyier to record episode 500 of The Changelog. We’ve been doing these off and on for awhile now. We hang out for 30ish minutes before the show begins and ship that conversation as a bonus for our Changelog++ members.

We’re doing this one different. You don’t hit a round number like this very often. So, here it is. A standalone Backstage episode. Thanks for listening and here’s to the next 500! 🥂


Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes


1 00:00 Hello, friends 00:48
2 00:48 What does 500 mean? 02:11
3 02:59 Adam in/on Notion 01:46
4 04:45 Jerod's 1st episode hot take 02:59
5 07:45 Early days at The Changelog 01:38
6 09:23 Sound improvements 03:29
7 12:51 Nobody loves their own voice 03:35
8 16:26 Reference acknowledged? 00:52
9 17:18 Consistency & nerves 00:53
10 18:12 On the Wilco/WeWork ep 01:44
11 19:56 Watch WeCrashed? 02:34
12 22:29 Legacies 02:35


📝 Edit Transcript


Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧


What does the number 500 mean to you? It’s 200 more than 300, and 300 is a movie…

300 more than 200.

Yeah, it’s true. That’s true. I had to do the real basic math in my brain.

What’s it mean to me? It means if we’re gonna celebrate a milestone, there won’t be a bigger one until 1,000.

It’s true, yeah… Unless you’re a real big fan of 600, for some reason…

Yeah, but whose – Why…? When? Where? Why would you be a fan of 600? We could go binary; 512 would be cool…

Yeah, I guess 512… 511… 512…

512 would be cool, and then 1024.

That’s true, yeah. 512 is a good number.

Yeah. I had 512 megabytes of RAM in my laptop for a long time. And now I remember when I doubled that…

We can’t double our show count like we double our RAM.

Nope. It’s not that swappable. It takes a bit.

It took us like 12 – what was it, like 12 years?

Sadly, 12 years, yeah.

To get to 500. So if we wanna get to a thousand, that’s another decade.

I think it’ll be less than a decade though, considering – we’ve got a couple years there where it was less consistent…

Well, let’s just consider – if we do 50 shows a year, that’s ten years.

That’s true, yeah.

If we do more than 50, then yeah, less than a decade. If we do less than 50, it’s more than a decade. So when we celebrate episode 1,000, assuming nothing changes, which is a huge assumption, it’s gonna be – I mean, we’re gonna be in our 50’s, man…

Gosh… [laughter]

Can you still podcast in your 50’s? Can you still be relevant in software and be in your 50’s? A little bit tongue-in-cheek there, but…

You have to be influential, or have good opinions… Or just keep showing up.

Or a really, really impressive neckbeard.

That’s true, yeah.

Which - I’ve never been a beard man myself.

And have not been canceled somehow, in some way, shape or form, you know?

Right. There’s lots of impediments for us to get to a thousand… So we’d better celebrate 500, man…

We’d better get it while we can. Like, gosh… 500 though. Wow. It is a milestone. We’ve definitely grown up. And I’m even going back through our older shows, looking for moments, really…

Oh, you are?

You’re doing that?

Well, not like – you know, I did like the first 100 so far.

Are you doing it for the thing that we’re talking about doing?

Kind of…


Yeah. I mean, that’s the point… I’m finding some moments in there.

Okay… I didn’t know you were working on that.

Well, I shared the Notion doc with you… Remember that?

On Tuesday we talked about it. Did you miss that part of the conversation?

I don’t remember even discussing.

Yeah. I said “In the sidebar, under workspace, the Changelog 500.” See that?

I’m taking notes from 0 through 99.

You did not tell me that.

Yeah, we talked about this.

Or I did not listen to you. Did I acknowledge your sentence?

Yeah, because we were looking at Notion together, because we were complaining – I was complaining about Notion.

Right. You were just praising Notion I think the last time we had a Backstage… [laughs]

[00:04:01.27] Hey, you know, I’m gonna praise it again; I’m gonna go zig-zag here, because I was just using it today, and it’s just so fast.


It really is just so speedy. Yeah, Notion is speedy.

I’ve never felt that in my life.

I’m happy to be wrong, but it’s never felt speedy to me. It’s always felt a little sluggish. But maybe it’s getting faster. Maybe they’re working on it.

Well, I mean, maybe the things I’m doing seem faster. The animations and the motions on the screens might make it feel like it’s fast.

Maybe they rewrote it in Tauri. Maybe it’s a Tauri app now.

So okay…

Tiny and fast.

So okay, Notion sidebar… Oh, number 500. Boom.

This is me starting.

I even noted your first episode. Episode 85 was –

That was my first episode?

Your very first episode, yeah.

Oh, man… I’m kind of nervous to hear from that one…

This is The Changelog, and I’m your host, Adam Stacoviak. We’re a member-supported blog and podcast that covers the intersection of software development and open source. We shine a spotlight on what’s fresh and new in open source. You can tune into this show live every Tuesday at 3 PM Pacific, 6 PM Eastern at This is episode number 0.8.5, recorded April 16th, 2013.

We’re joined by myself, Andrew Thorp, Steve Klabnik, Kenneth Reitz and Jerod Santo. If you’ve found this show on iTunes, we’re also on the web at If you’re on Twitter, follow @thechangelog, because that is us. Enjoy the show.

That’s pretty funny though… It was a good one. We were supposed to do the show live…

I remember one of the very first things I said, which I’ve said since then as well… I was like, “It’s good, I’m gonna say it again.” I was praising GitHub for putting the source code in front… And I was talking about how on SourceForge the code was never first, but on GitHub it was like, source code, right there in your face.

One of the things that really opened my eyes about GitHub was when you’d land on the homepage of a project and you’d see the code sitting right there… Because I was always a SourceForge user… A user as in I would download software from there, not that I’d use it for version control. But I’d never even realized that you could get at the code for a lot of those projects, because it’s just not emphasized in the UI… And when I saw GitHub, and you’d land on the repo and you’d see the code right there, it was kind of eye-opening at the time, for me at least.

I remember saying that, because that was kind of the only thing I think I said on that episode… Because I was intimidated, of course. You had yourself, Steve Klabnik, Kenneth Reitz maybe… And I’d never been on the show before.

Andrew Thorp.

And Andrew Thorp. So I was coming into like a lions’ den of cool dudes.

A lions’ den…

[laughs] You know, lions’ den… What do you call it?

Um, lions’ den, yeah. Intimidating folks, right? That’s a lions’ den.

Intimidating people. I can’t remember how people responded to my SourceForge/GitHub comparison, but I felt pretty solid about it, because I still remember it. I don’t remember saying anything else the whole episode. I wonder if I did.

I haven’t gotten that far, I don’t know, but I do recall that sentiment being shared… And it didn’t land incorrectly. It was like, you know, GitHub puts it front and center, whereas SourceForge just didn’t… So as a user of the code there, you never knew you can participate, really.

Yeah, exactly.

Whereas GitHub changed the game.

I thought it was a solid take.

Yeah. It’s still a solid take. We should pull a quote from that just for fun.

[laughs] I should say it again… And I said it since then, I’m sure. I mean, we’ve done - what, 435? No, 415. 415 episodes since then.

Yeah. Wow…

I’m sure I’ve said it since then.

You’re probably been on as many episodes as me, because even in the first 85 episodes I wasn’t on every single show.

Yeah, you’d come in on the intro, but… Wynn did a lot of the interviews.

Yeah, he did.

And maybe I have.

I’d probably say of the 85, I was probably involved on the frontend for at least half. Maybe 40%. Behind the scenes, totally a part of… Which is just interesting how things work out. Early days, man… Early days.

This is Changelog Spotlight 0.0.3. We spoke with Rob Pike of Google. He’s one of the principal engineers at Google and also one of the leads behind their open source language called Go. I’m Adam Stacoviak…

And I’m Wynn Netherland.

Yeah, so we had a really awesome interview with Rob Pike, a very candid guy. It was a super-awesome interview.

Very passionate about this new language…

Yeah, he had a lot of good things to say about it.

Even going back to episode in the hundreds… One I listened to the other day - I think it was the Chris McCord episode. I’ve been asked to do a talk at an Elixir meetup in San Francisco. I’m just gonna do it remotely… And that had me thinking about – they asked me something about how I picked Elixir, and stuff… And I happened to be on the website when I was talking with them, and I have found the episode almost by happenstance. I think 147, maybe… When Chris McCord first came on. And I was just listening to the intro, and I’m like “Gosh…” Even that, which is like, you’re 147 episodes in; I’m just like “It sounds so much better now.” [laughs]

Welcome back, everyone. This is The Changelog and I’m your host, Adam Stacoviak. This is episode 147, and today Jerod and I are talking to Chris McCord, talking about Elixir on top of Erlang, Phoenix, the web framework… Definitely got me and Jerod thinking about concurrency in Elixir for an upcoming project… Phoenix sounds really cool. You’re gonna love this conversation with Chris…

Just the overall production values, even from then, which - we were not like newbs at 147, you know?

Yeah, it’s interesting… I think – is it like production value changing, or is it also taste? Because it’s kind of both, right?

I think it’s definitely both… I mean, you had a worse mic back then, I’m pretty sure. Or your EQ settings were not as good. You sounded a little bit hollow…

Yeah, I do hear that.

Like you didn’t have the bass. It was just not right, or something. And a little bit like you’re too far from the mic.

Yeah, in my old house… I think this is in – let me see what the date was for this… If this is 2015…

Oh, maybe this was the – was this the wood floors? I remember we got called out for the wood floors… [laughs]

We won’t say who called out, because… We can subtweet him though.

No, we won’t. So Adam got called out… “Are you on wood floors?”


“I can hear it.” [laughs]

Yeah, exactly. And you could. I mean, there’s no–

Yeah, yeah.

There was no getting around that. And I didn’t really understand how to minimize that back then. I would use dereverb, and stuff like that… I thought you could do it all in plugins… I had a carpet in my office, too; a big shag carpet. But it wasn’t all over the floor. There was a lot of the floor exposed… So yeah, that could have been a contributor to it.

And I did not have any whatsoever sound baffling on the walls. I had hard walls, hard ceiling, hard floors… That was back in the day when we didn’t make really much from this show, so buying gear was like “Whow…” If you spent $100 on something, it was like… You know, it could be the end, right then and there.

So over time we were able to improve because finances improved, and we were able to get the proper gear, and take the proper steps to make things good, all that good stuff. For example, where I live now, we built this house. So when we built this house, we put sound absorption in the walls too, to minimize outside noises coming into the room. And then on the inside of the room, you have sound absorption to minimize ricochets and whatnot. So, some treatment… And the room has carpeting, so it sounds good. Plus, fine-tuned the DBX 286s, and added the aural exciter as another device in the flow which adds that bass… Do you wanna hear something cool? Watch this…

[00:12:14.24] Aural exciter…? It sounds weird.

It’s aural, a-u-r-a-l, I believe.

That’s exciting.

[unintelligible 00:12:19.04] listen to this. This is me turning up the bass to really get the Howard Stern going on like that. Do you like this, Jerod? A little Howard Stern. Gonna getcha! Episode 500!


I’ll take it back to a manageable level… So there you go.

That’s fun.

That’s how that works. It adds a little bottom end. A little bottom end. A little subtle [unintelligible 00:12:39.25] bottom end. Not like a bass, but just like a little subtle bottom end. I don’t know how to call it anything besides bottom end, versus bass.

I’m liking a subtle bottom end.

It’s all about that bottom end, yeah.

Yeah, man.

So we’ve fine-tuned things. And you sound great on these. I’m listening to the Changelog News podcast, and I’m like –

Do you like it?

You sound good, man… Yeah.

Thank you.

You’ve got a great mic setup, it sounds good… You’ve got a decent voice… It’s okay.

Yeah. It works.

You’ve got a good voice, I’m kidding with you. I’m just messing with you.

Well, I think it’s mostly the mic, because… Nobody likes their own voice.

I’ve definitely learned to live with it, and I’ve learned to use it better, which is a weird thing to think about…

But I can get nasally pretty easily… Actually, right there, when I said “easily”, I sort of did… And I know how to retake that and cut the whiny part…

The thing you hear in your voice no one else hears…

It still slips in… I’m like, whatever. It sucks, because when I say something good - I mean, good as in I think it’s good, which may not be good anyways… But when I say something I like, in a way that I like, but then it has the nasal, I’m like “Dang it…”

Ah, yes…

It’s perfect, except for it’s like a couple octaves too high, and I’m like “I’m not gonna be able to say it that cool again”, but I wish I could say it like, but with my –

Well, you can’t tell on post. It seems like you do a really good job from the post-production process, hearing it as a listener…

It feels pretty natural, right?

Very intentional, well-paced. The extra effects and pop-cultural references that get pulled in…

Oh, yeah. That’s the fun stuff.

They’re the cherries on top, so to speak.

Right. I always wonder – like I said in one of them, I’m starting to put the links to the actual references in the transcript… It’ll tell you who said it. Because I wonder how many of those land and how many of them fall flat. I mean, different people around the world, different ages… You know, probably more I’m landing on you, because we’re kind of the same timeframe… But my references are like, you know, Futurama, The Office, The Simpsons, Star Wars stuff, movies like from the ‘90s and 2000’s… And I did an Austin Powers one, I think, on this most recent…

“Yeah, baby…!” Maybe it was that, I don’t know.

Oh, actually, I wanted – maybe I actually dropped it. I couldn’t find the right thing he said. Oh, I thought he said something like “I’m a cheeky monkey, baby. Yeah!” And I couldn’t find it. Because I wanted to say something about this guy’s list of – he made a list of ways to lose your best engineers… And all the things are very cheeky, because it’s like tongue-in-cheek, you know? And I wanted to have Austin Powers saying “Cheeky monkey”, and it turns out – I don’t think he ever says that in the show.

I just thought he did. He says a lot of stuff, like “Do I make you randy?” “Do I make you horny?”, of course, he says that… But I thought he said like “I’m a cheeky monkey, baby. Yeah!” And I spent like 20 minutes trying to find it, and I just never did.

So I did not have an Austin Powers, but I thought I did. Oh, I had the Jurassic Park reference. Did you pick that one up?

I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and scroll through… What was it exactly?

I was talking about the Hacker News post that had a whole bunch of comments, and I put in that part where Jeff Goldblum walks up to the dinosaur doodoo, and he says [00:15:50.28] “That is one great pile of s**t.”

Oh, okay.

But I cut it right as he says sh**, and I just cut back to me.

I do recall that, because I liked how you transitioned from that right into… “There’s good stuff in there, for sure. In fact…”

Yeah, “There’s some good stuff in there, for sure.” I always think about that quote when I see a big ol’ Hacker News comment thread. I’m like “There’s a big ol’ pile of…” But I was first going to just bleep it, but then I’m like “What if I just cut it right as he starts to say, and then just like take over?”

Keep the sh** in there, yeah.

Yeah, exactly. But I figure most people know Jurassic Park, you know?

That’s true.

But then there’s other ones where I’m like “I wonder if anybody remembers this…” And then I’ve put a Monty Python one in there… Anyways. I would love to have a stat of references acknowledged per episode. You know, like of all the listeners, what percentage got which references. You’d have to have like a Minority Report thing to know that.

It could be a geographical thing too, not just an age thing…

Well, that’s what I was saying; all around the world, yeah.

And I think you could have somebody translate this show and transplant, like movies do. They’ll take cultural references out of like the U.S. version of it…

Oh, replace it.

…and put it into, say, the one that releases in China, or somewhere in Asia, or something like that. They’ll put a more relevant cultural reference in, versus the one from America.

Right. That would be cool. And scary… [laughs]


It’s like the audio equivalent of the goatse, man… If you’re gonna hot-swap in something you’re not – you’re like “Wait, no! No, that wasn’t it!” [laughs]

I think, to summarize though what we’re saying, is that you can see when you stay consistent and dedicated long enough, the improvements when you look back.


Because you can look back… You know, episode 1 through 99, 100 through 199… Each hundred episodes you can tell there’s differences. Even in the hundreds, per hundred episodes, for example.

We didn’t just arrive here being this good, I suppose. I mean, I’m not even trying to like boast, but we’re pretty comfortable talking to pretty much anybody, I would say. There’s nerves…

From time to time…

…as there should be, but for the most part, it’s never like –

Yeah. And we wanna do well.

Yeah. Like, I was nervous talking to Jack Dorsey, for example. But that had video aspects, and it was gonna go out to their developer conference. So it was more than just –

That was high stake.

Once I was in the groove, it was like any other thing, ever.

[00:18:11.05] I think it’s more like less people – I mean, I think I would also be nervous talking to Jack Dorsey, probably. I think it’s less that people intimidate now, and it’s more like lines of questioning… Similar to the WeWork one with On Freund. It’s kind of like “How much is he willing to talk, and how comfortable is he?” and making that awesome, and not be weird… Those kind of things still make me a little bit anxious… You know, like, “Can I say this and not ruin it? I don’t wanna ruin the show.”

It turns out he was a totally cool guy, and we could pretty much talk about anything, so that was awesome.

Yeah. I love it.

But you never know that going into it. We did ask beforehand, “Hey, are you cool to talk about the WeWork stuff? Because we want to…” And his PR gal says he was cool with it, but you’re never sure what that exactly means. It turns out he was. I thought he was a really cool guy.

I thought so, too. That was a really good – that was a fun episode.

I actually haven’t listened to that one back. I just finished the Tauri episode… I’ve just clipped the Tauri episode, so I’ve gotta do WeWork…

I was nervous about the title for the WeWork show, because I was like – you know, I only added one word to the “title not final” title.

Right, you added “upskilling”.

That’s it. Just upskilling.

I thought the title was pretty good… Because I wanted to reference both companies in there, so… It was kind of about two things. So from WeWork, to upskilling at Wilco… I thought it was a good title.

Yeah. I tried three or four different titles that was just way too wordy… I’m like “Nah… WeWork is a pretty good summary on its own. And what are they doing at Wilco? Upskilling.”

Right. And we talk about that as like a new –

[unintelligible 00:19:45.13] If you read the title and you click through, you’re like “Ahh…” This has – yeah.

Not much of a reaction to that show. I wonder how many people watch WeCrashed… Because it is Apple TV+, so it’s kind of exclusive… If it was on Netflix, maybe more people would have seen it.

Yeah. Hm…

I don’t know. I think most of the people, most of my friends, I’m like “Have you seen WeCrash?” almost everybody says no. Because I wanna talk about it.

Yeah. You’ve gotta really want to. It’s probably like Silicon Valley. A very small audience.

Sort of. It’s less of a buy-in, because it’s like a mini-series…

Yeah, that’s true… But I mean like in terms of its potential audience. You really have to be a geek, I think, or a nerd. Pick your favorite –

Or just be a fan of Anne Hathaway or Jared Leto. I can’t even remember why Rachel and I watched it. I think we were just kind of out of stuff to watch, and we have Apple TV+, so we’re like “Oh…”

Neither ones of us were necessarily fans of those two. I knew of WeWork, and I was like “I think they had a bad IPO, or something.” I didn’t really know – I’m like, “They’re infamous for something… Yeah, let’s give it a shot.” And then it was well –

The crash, really. Yeah.

It was well acted, so we’re like “Okay”, and we got into it. But I think probably less people have seen that than Silicon Valley, just because you’ve got long-running –

[00:20:59.29] Yeah. I’m waiting… I still haven’t watched all of WeCrash. I think I’m like halfway through episode two… And I want to, it’s just I don’t have the attention to give it right now. And I wanna give it enough attention where I can watch it all in like a few weeks… And I know I can’t right now. I watched episode one on a plane.

Oh, yeah.

We were flying to Sedona back in late April, first part of May… So I was like – that was great for a plane ride. It got me in. I wanted to watch episode two, three and four, but…

You probably like it more now that we’ve talked to somebody who was there, and was part of it.

You’re probably more connected to it.

Well, like I said yesterday, man, I’m thinking about WePod.

I know you said that.


They probably had a business called WePod, because they had WeStar. There were tons of businesses that were subsidiaries of WeWork. Like WeLive… WeFit – no, that was a video game, WeFit. I don’t know them all. There’s a bunch of We businesses that they were spinning off, and all had the same mission. You have to watch it.

It would be an undertaking, though… I’m actually intimidated by all the tech required to just manage the buildings. Like On had said, all the security stuff [unintelligible 00:22:11.25] was semi-intimidating. Having to build that bespoke software just to run a business is sometimes quite daunting if you’re not desiring to be a software company. And software creation is so expensive. It’s just the absolute most expensive thing you can do today. Anyways… Well, episode 500…

Yeah, 500, man…

I’m not sure what this is, and where to land, but hey, it’s been fun gabbing about the number 500 and what it means to us right now, because… 500. It’s a lot.

It’s a lot.

It’s a lot of anything.

Well, if we added up all the shows we produced though, we’re probably like 5x that.

Way more than 500, yeah.

Probably thousands.

Yeah, I would say we’re in the thousands. We’re probably in like the 1,500-1,800 range roughly, I’d guess…

Yeah, something like that. We could easily figure that out with a SQL query… But I don’t feel like it.

Yeah. One keystroke away.

Not to mention our doing news, which is not going to be numbered… But those are episodes. They’re not the same, but they’re still chipping shows.

They’ll double the count, yeah.

Well, we’d better go talk to Chris. This is the CSS-Tricks legacy, not the Changelog Legacy.

It’s true. Not yet… Not yet.

Not yet. Someday…


Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚

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