The Changelog – Episode #473

State of the "log" 2021

with Adam & Jerod

Featuring

All Episodes

Our 4th annual year-end wrap-up episode! We don’t naval gaze often, but when we do… we make sure you get your money’s worth. Reflections, most popular episodes, our favs, and new this year: listener voice mails. Thanks for listening! 💚

Featuring

Sponsors

InfluxData – InfluxDB empowers developers to build IoT, analytics, and monitoring software. It’s purpose-built to handle massive volumes and countless sources of time-stamped data produced by sensors, applications, and infrastructure. Learn about the wide range of use cases of InfluxDB at influxdata.com/changelog

Retool – Retool is a low-code platform built specifically for developers that makes it fast and easy to build internal tools. Instead of building internal tools from scratch, the world’s best teams, from startups to Fortune 500s, are using Retool to power their internal apps. Learn more and try it for free at retool.com/changelog

LaunchDarklyFundamentally change how you deliver software. Innovate faster, deploy fearlessly, and make each release a masterpiece.

FireHydrantThe reliability platform for teams of all sizes. With FireHydrant, teams achieve reliability at scale by enabling speed and consistency from a service deployment to an unexpected outage. Try FireHydrant free for 14 days at firehydrant.io

Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes

Transcript

📝 Edit Transcript

Changelog

Click here to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧

State of the “log” 2021. Here we are.

We’re back, yes… Gosh, it’s been a year later, I guess. I guess, right?

I think this is the fourth annual State of the “log” at this point. This is like a thing we do.

This is a thing we do. It’s something I actually really look forward to. It’s a time of reflections, it’s a time of thanks, it’s a time of – and you know, I’ve probably said this a thousand times in the last four years, I’m a big fan of retrospectives.

I do know that.

So I think it’s really important to be aware of where you’ve been, and just take stock in the ups and the downs, honestly. It can’t just be the ups, it’s gotta be the downs, too… Because you learn from your fails, and –

We should edit our docs, because they’re mostly ups in here…

Do you wanna add some downs?

Oh, man… What are some downs?

[laughs]

What would be downs?

Brain Science hiatus…

That’s a downer.

That is a downer. I would say the constant treadmill of creating content, and the inconsistency consistency of inconsistency… Or however you play that out

Right.

I just so much desire for this show to be perfectly on time every single week, but for some reason – you know, it’s certainly in my bucket of things to do, it just never gets there. Somehow, something happens to make it impossible.

Operational groove. That was a thing this year. OOG.

Yeah. OOG. We love acronyms.

We’ll get there. We’ll get there. Always astriving…

I would say that’s a down though. That’s a down.

That is a down.

I want this show to be like – if it’s gonna be Friday, fine. If it’s gonna be Monday, fine. Pick a day, ship it no matter what… If that thing hasn’t shipped at the time it should have shipped, it’s a fail. And I feel like we’ve probably hit ten weeks this year, if that many, on a Monday.

[04:24] Should we admit to the people that our goal is to ship the Changelog on Mondays? Should we admit that? Or should we just keep that one to ourselves? Because I don’t think we ever ship it on Mondays. Yeah, maybe half a dozen or so.

If that, yeah. I’d say maybe ten max.

It’s usually Friday, you know…

Mm-hm. It’s because I wear a lot of hats.

And hey, developers aren’t supposed to ship things on Fridays, you know? So we’re breaking that law, too.

Yeah. But even Brain Science - that’s been such a great show… I mean, let’s share some details behind this. So we track our own stats thanks to our awesome partners, Fastly, and munging of the logs, essentially, and some wizardry to make it happen… And then Spotify is the biggest place that show got listened to in addition to our normal feed. So Shopify – or Spotify… I always mix the two, Shopify and Spotify. That’s really a shame. But on Spotify, they have their own tracking, their own stats. So they take our mp3, they put it in their own bucket and they track it independently from us.

They re-host your files. So does Google Podcasts, but who cares about Google Podcasts…? No offense, Google.

A lot of people do.

I’m just kidding.

For Practical AI at least…

In terms of the pool of listens, Spotify is significant, whereas Google Podcasts… Although Practical AI is huge on Google Podcasts.

That’s true. And Brain Science is –

Huge on Spotify.

Huge, yeah. So the most recent episode on the feed has been listened to more than 60,000 times. And across the rest of the catalog, it’s like 20,000+, 30,000(ish), when you add the two stats buckets together, ours and theirs.

Right. Now, this is a phenomenon with podcasts - when you leave an episode in the feed and don’t ship a new one…

…that one gathers listens. The first episode always gathers listens, and the last one always does. That being said it’s grown like wildfire over there on Spotify, without us doing anything.

Yeah. And it’s such a perplexing thing, honestly… And I look at that – so I agree 100% with the whole first episode/last episode in the feed gets the most listens, but I look at that like missed opportunities. If that show was going still yet, how many of those 60,000 people… Because on Spotify they’re pretty – I would say it’s probably in their best interest to be super-accurate…

Oh, yeah.

Because they want you to know, so you can grow there. And to be aware. So I look at that as like missed opportunity. But…

So tell the people why it’s on hiatus… Because - you know, missed opportunity, but why? Why is it? Because a lot of people have asked, why isn’t Brain Science shipping new episodes?

Yeah… And it’s my favorite thing to do, honestly, and it’s the hardest thing to do in life, and it’s basically no. The response of no. Because –

Focus.

Right, focus. So you have to say no to focus, and – a quick rewind on this… The reason I think we’re sitting here is because I said no to even Founders Talk, for several years, to totally focus on this show, to totally focus on the relationship we’ve been building over the years, and to turn this thing into a business and generate revenue to make it sustainable. And I think that that’s why it’s on hiatus, because – I was spending a lot of time, obviously, on Brain Science, and while there’s been success with it, it wasn’t in our main thing… So we have a saying called “Keep the main thing the main thing.” And when you do that, I think in anything in life, you see the results you wanna see, because you’re doing the work for which you’re optimizing for.

[08:12] And I saw myself putting a lot of work out there into this show, but I kept getting pulled into it - because I enjoy doing it, and it’s a great show - and not enough into… I kept seeing myself being mediocre in other places. Not that I didn’t show up and do my job, and deliver; it just was I was, like, mediocre… In the results of like sales, in the results of like delivering this podcast, and others… So I had to get that time back.

So basically, the reason why I was on hiatus is to give me my time back to focus… And I think to get us to a point where we can bring it back in a manner where it would be more sustainable, rather than being a burden… Despite it being an awesome show, and Mireille being an awesome co-host, and all the things. And plus, she has some things in her life too, which made it easier to do that… And sometimes it’s just the right timing, you know? Seth Godin’s book, The Dip, will teach you when to quit, essentially. Sometimes you’ve gotta quit. Sometimes you’ve gotta put things on the shelf for a bit and come back to it, and this is one of those things where you’ve gotta put it on the shelf and come back to it.

So the upside of that focus is it allowed us to ship Ship It, which has been a wild success…

A show that I love, with a person that we both love, Gerhard Lazu… And that’s really the new thing for 2021, is Ship It, and then operation Operational Groove… And a couple other things. We’ve been doing some more specials, trying to put a little bit more polish on certain things, and always improving our workflows, always trying to improve our sound, our music… But Ship It was the big thing that we added to our catalog this year.

And we’ve done 33 episodes… So that one’s in a groove. It’s gotten over 100,000 listens since I think May… When did we launch Ship It? May?

End of May.

Yeah. Over 100,000 listens, and that’s just on our platform, so that excludes Spotify and Google. And it’s doing well over there as well, I just didn’t log in to check out how well. And people are loving it. So that brings us to our first listener message.

Hi, this is Brandon from Boston. My favorite thing about Changelog in 2021 was the new podcast, Ship It. I’ve been doing more cloud infrastructure work lately, and I learned a lot from the podcast. My favorite episode was episode 15, on Crossplane. I thought it was a very clear and articulate explanation on an interesting product. I work primarily with TerraForm, so that the comparisons between Crossplane and TerraForm were helpful. Thanks to Gerhard for hosting, thanks to all the guests, and let’s keep shipping it in 2022.

Also in your feed you’ll see a – I think we’re gonna call it “Merry Shipmas”, right?

Merry Shipmas, yeah.

So you might see a “Christmas gifts” episode in the feed… And yeah, I think Dan Mangum and Jared Watts was awesome on that show. It was good.

Yeah, thanks Brandon for writing in, and here is a sample of his favorite episode, about Crossplane.

Why Crossplane? Why is it important? Why does it matter?

Yeah, great question. I think there’s maybe two different branches of thought there to perhaps explore. The first one is that some of us that created the Crossplane project - we also created the Rook project as well, too. Rook is storage orchestration for Kubernetes. We found there that in the early days of persistent storage for Kubernetes - you know, the story needed to evolve a little bit there before people started to become more comfortable with running storage or data-persistent sort of things inside the cluster.

[12:05] So we found there that some of the work that the special interest group for storage in Kubernetes had done was really strong. Persistent volume claim, storage classes, things like that. And we found very early on that applying those same patterns for being able to dynamically provision storage would also work very well for other types of infrastructure platform resources such as databases, and buckets, and even clusters themselves.

So that was the original why of Crossplane, is “Hey, we’ve done great things with Kubernetes for storage… Let’s do more infrastructure resources inside of Kubernetes and bring them in to being managed and provisioned and controlled by the control plane itself.”

And then beyond that, we’ve found that there’s a very strong story too for businesses that are starting to have their own shared services infrastructure platform teams as well, too. They have a responsibility to provision infrastructure and get new services up and running for a whole set of application teams around them… So being able to have some reproducibility, being able to enable self-service for the application teams is a really strong story to be able to make their jobs easier, and for the application teams to be able to get to production faster and have reliable infrastructure, and normalizing on the standards that are practices for the whole organization. It just makes the software delivery story that has a huge dependency on infrastructure all the more strong.

So Brandon knows this as a fan of Ship It - and maybe you all know this; but if you don’t, Adam and I also get to be on Ship It every tenth episode.

We have this Kaizen idea… This is all Gerhard’s grand plan. He brings us on to work on continuously improving our platform, our workflows, our podcasts… And we do it in the open, and we discuss it quite openly, even to my shame sometimes, as we discuss my bugs and whatnot… And I believe Crossplane is very much in Gerhard’s plans for integration with the future of the Changelog platform. It looks like he’s always kaizening our platform, and Crossplane, I believe, is at least in the running to be part of that platform. Cool stuff.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Ship It, or maybe just the second or third potentially, if you haven’t listened yet and you wanna get deeper into it, I would suggest honestly episode number one, because you get to hear where we began… And obviously, the one Jerod’s mentioning is every ten episodes, so episode 10, episode 20, episode 30 - you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re doing on Ship It. So those would be good places to start. We often point out to other episodes on those shows, so it’s probably a good guide too, to Ship It.

Yes-yes. But this show is about The Changelog, it’s not about Ship It, so…

It’s becoming less about The Changelog, honestly… As we grow and explore and succeed and fail, we tend to point elsewhere. It’s becoming the hub, and not only just a spoke.

Yeah. Well, this was very intentional by us. For many years – we have a lot of episode requests; we still get lots of episode requests. And we love those, and we do a lot of episodes, honestly, just because somebody asked us to. We love to do that. That being said, for a long time people would ask us to do specific shows, and hear more about their favorite thing, or their niche inside of software… And you know, we only get to shoot one shot once a week for The Changelog, right? We’ve got 50 episodes a year, and we just didn’t feel like we should put a bunch of episodes about Go in The Changelog feed. It wouldn’t be serving our listeners. It would be serving some of them, but not all.

[15:49] And so that was why the strategy was to strategically add new shows that can go super-deep on these sub-genres inside of software, and I’m really happy that we finally have an operations infrastructure/DevOps/shipping it podcast, so we can have those conversations each and every week, without feeling like we’re having to avoid other potential awesome conversations on the Changelog.

I think too also to add more voices. While I really do enjoy your voice, Jerod…

[laughs]

…and I really do enjoy your company, and sharing in the successes and the fails with you, I think it’s also more fun to incorporate others. I think, having worked with Gerhard for many years, it just made sense. Because we were doing I guess a small snippet of where that show came from. We had done this for years, once a year.

Once a year, yeah.

And so it was just natural to grow by one more voice and one more people. And as we have said before, we came for the tech, but we stayed for the humans. I think for us this isn’t just simply about the progress and innovation of software. Of course, that is it; it’s the linchpin of the reason we’re here… But it’s really about the people. And maybe we’ll mention this when we mention Lara Hogan’s show - we get a chance to sponsor some people. To give Gerhard the platform of Ship It… He’s doing all the work, but - you know, if we hadn’t put the work in to build Changelog.com, the open source that’s behind it, all the podcasts involving it, then that show wouldn’t have a home here necessarily.

Right.

So it’s a multi-layered onion, basically.

It’s like a Tor network. So I couldn’t agree more… I love the diversity of voices and our opportunity to give people a voice on our different shows. I think that not only is it the spice of life to have variety, but there’s also just like – we couldn’t do that show as well as he can. I’ve heard him as questions I’m like “I never would have been able to –” You just can’t know it all; we couldn’t do a Go show. You and I couldn’t do a show about Go. I can barely do a show about JavaScript on JS Party. I’m just one of ten on that show that makes it awesome.

Just one of ten, yes. Precisely.

So the expertise is spread around as well, because there’s just so many facets to this industry, and you can dive so deep into these little camps. And I know there’s other areas of the software world that we are not providing for. Some of them are well-served by other podcasters, for sure, others not so much. I think we have some other places we can go, but I’m happy that we have more than just The Changelog now.

Yeah, I agree with that. Yeah, Ship It - well-received this year; 33 episodes, 3 Kaizen episodes, lots of listens, as Jerod had mentioned, and obviously a blossoming relationship (even deep) with Gerhard. Our infrastructure has improved, our partnerships have improved, we’ve gained new partners…

I think in the most recent episode of Kaizen on Ship It we thanked some particular partners over this past year for doing that with us, so I encourage you to listen to episode 30; that’s where that’s mentioned. Right at the very end. So if you wanna know more about that, listen to that.

And if you listen to the very, very, VERY end of that episode, we basically just laugh for three straight minutes.

I try to ring-lead back into normality, and I failed…

Oh, yeah.

…because Gerhard just was laughing so hard, and you were laughing so hard right along with him. I think even crying.

He was just making me laugh.

Like, cry-laughing, because it was just so much laughing.

Yes. Tears in the eyes.

That was fun.

It’s not every day you get to cry podcasting, but that was that day.

Yeah, good moments. You need a good belly-laugh.

Sometimes.

I encourage a good little laugh every once in a while is a good thing, sure.

Break: [19:51]

So as we dive into now focusing in on the Changelog, we have for this show – every year we do the most popular episodes, we talk through a few of those… Our favorite episodes this year we’ve also asked listeners to basically leave us voice messages; we appreciate each and every one that did. So we’ll play those, and of course, clips from episodes that they appreciated.

We do have a list of reflections… Do you wanna hop into populars, or we hop into some reflections first? We kind of reflected a little bit…

A little bit, yeah. Well, there’s a couple things I wanna point out. I think this will dovetail into some of the ones I’ll mention later on, but this year we got to get our merch store out there more often; we have a fulfillment center in Orlando, Florida now. Our store is obviously a Shopify store. We’re using ThemeKit to deliver that theme easily to Shopify. Maybe in the future we’ll do something that we talked about in the Ilya show, when we talked about all the cool things they’re doing around React, and React Server Components, and all those fun things… But the merch store is in place, and we’ve shipped more T’s this year than any other year, and a large majority of those T-shirts were free, to guests.

So if you’re listening to this, if you’re ever a guest on the show, when your show goes live, we email you immediately; our robot called Logbot emails you…

And along with that - Jerod, you can mention some of the code you wrote for this if you’d like to, but we generate a coupon code based on your name and some other fun stuff, and it gives you a free T-shirt; literally free, shipping and all. All you’ve gotta do is go to our Shopify store, plug in the coupon code… I guess you just click the link and it’s free, just in your checkout process.

Yeah, the link will actually auto-apply the discount. But if that doesn’t work, you can type in the code. But I think it pretty much always does, because Shopify knows what they’re doing.

That’s years in the making, right? You’ve wanted that…

I wanted that feature for so many years, because our shipping process was so manual… And we’ve given away free T-shirts to all of our guests since – I can’t remember when we didn’t do that. But I can remember when we had a giant spreadsheet with a backlog, and it was just such a manual process, and it relied upon us - or upon Adam and his wife Heather to get that stuff done… And we weren’t in that operational groove. I always wanted to just like – can’t we just auto-generate a coupon code? How cool would that be?

[24:06] And somebody else does all the work, yes. That’s what fulfillment is for.

And it’s so cool.

The hard part of that is finding the right partners. And I think another part of that is wanting so badly to own the process of something like that because you care deeply about the people you’re sending them to… But then you have so many things to do, and it eventually falls by the wayside, somehow, someway. And trying to keep up with everything.

So I’m so thankful for our fulfillment team doing that stuff. It’s all warehoused… We don’t have to touch a thing. We just have to do the fun stuff now, which is super-cool. But yeah, come on our show…

And I did get to code it up. I got to plug into the Shopify API and auto-generate coupon codes. We had to figure out a way of making the discount 100% off, because the discounts themselves inside of Shopify do not apply to shipping, and especially in today’s society, shipping is expensive and slow, globally especially, and there’s no way of – you don’t wanna give somebody a free T-shirt but then require them to pay shipping.

Yeah, it’s the worst.

And so it actually took – somebody gave me advice; I can’t remember who it was… I had tried to figure this out for a long time, and there’s a lot of people that struggle with this, with Shopify. It’s a feature everybody wants. It’s like, give me a coupon code that just adds free shipping to it. And finally, somebody – I think it might have been the NGINX folks. Somebody had sent me a free T-shirt via Shopify and they got it done; I wrote to them immediately, I’m like “How the heck did you do this? Because I didn’t have to pay shipping. We can’t figure it out.”

There’s basically a particular setting inside your store, where as long as the cart total is zero dollars, it’ll apply free shipping, but if it’s not, it won’t. So if our coupon code brings you to zero, which it does, then you get free shipping. But if you add another shirt - like “Oh, I’ll get two”, now you’ve gotta pay shipping. So it’s kind of lame in that way. But it’s better than it was before.

So lots of little intricacies in getting this done. I’m just so happy to have it done, and… Yeah, you can also just buy a shirt, merch.changelog.com if you want a sweet T-shirt. Or come on a show. That’s the easy button. Maybe a little bit harder, because you have to talk, and stuff…

That’s the easy Hard button.

It’s the easy Hard button. It’s the cheaper button.

And on that note - so we’ll mention Maintainer Week, and Every Commit is a Gift later on, as we get to our shows… But as a predecessor to that, we had the Maintainer, Maintainer, Maintainer T-shirt come out as part of that, which was –

Yeah, that was fun.

…worn by Daniel Stenberg, and one of the core members behind Pi-hole on Twitter, and I’m sure several others. Those are the two I remember most recently. But I was just so stoked to see that… Because even outside of the whole maintainer week stuff, Daniel was sharing an update about Curl recently. And for those who may be catching up, Daniel Stenberg is the maintainer of Curl, and he’s been doing so for 23 years as of the most recent recording… And this is probably – I think he said like 10 billion uses or installations, even on Mars, of the most recent… So he’s wearing our Maintainer, Maintainer, Maintainer shirt, which is a play on Beetlejuice, and also Steve Ballman… Is that right?

Steve Balmer.

Steve Balmer.

Developer, Developer, Developer, Developer.

Yeah. We were trying to – so behind the scenes, we were trying to get Nat Friedman… So Nat, if you’re listening to this, or somebody’s listening to this and you know Nat - Nat, you missed out, man. We were gonna do a show called Maintainers, Maintainers, Maintainers with you; it would have been a nice dovetail to the future of software, and GitHub, and the Microsoft roots, and all the fun stuff… But anyways; we wanted to do a show titled “Maintainer, Maintainer, Maintainer” in light of Steve Balmer’s Developers, Developers, Developers. If you wanna play a clip of that, Jerod – I don’t know if you have a clip of that pulled up; probably not. But you get it. You heard the chant.

[28:15] So that shirt is super-cool, and it’s warm. We got some stickers out there… And all that was done by our fulfillment team. We didn’t have to ship any of that late. The only hard part really was getting the shirts printed on time. It took a month and a half to get those shirts printed. We wanted to do one large batch and send them all at once, and… Yeah. So it was a lot of fun.

So look out for this coming June, I believe we will have maintainer week again, and we will definitely try to put out another limited run, different, I hope, T-shirt, specifically for maintainers.

I heard it might be maintainer month, potentially…

Ooh…!

We’re not sure if the timelines are overlapping enough to force it to be maintainer month…

Typical feature bloat, you know…? It goes well, and then we’re like, “Well, can we just squeeze in a few more weeks into that month?”

Lastly, on reflections, you wanna mention Changelog++, because we’ve been doing that for a little while now…

Yeah. We did an episode on this, and I’ll do a micro-version of this. So we have a membership called Changelog++, because you know, why not increment things, and make it better? As we say at the end of some shows, “Changelog++. It’s better.” Now, if you’ve heard that clip, it doesn’t sound like me, but that is me.

Yes, it is.

So I did that in a funny voice - I think a funny-ish voice - and then did some tweaking to it.

Autotune. You autotuned it.

Yeah, I autotuned myself. And so… “Changelog++. It’s better.” Because it’s fun to say, like, “It’s better!” It’s better. Well, that’s been in place for a little more than a year now. We’ve got – it’s not a blow-up success, and it’s not meant to be. It’s just meant to be an avenue for mainly people who wanna support us, and maybe don’t want the ad versions of our show, and in many cases do want the ad version and they’re upset, because they wanna buy a ++ and also still get ads too, which is basically impossible at this point… But it’s been there for a year. Justin Dorfman has been a longtime friend and he sent us a clip where he gave us a little bit of praise.

Justin Dorfman: Adam, Jerod, it’s Justin Dorfman. Happy holidays, my friends. I just wanna say how much I love you guys and the media you produce. I’m looking forward to what Changelog has in store for 2022, as well as renewing my Changelog++ membership. See you next year!

We love you too, Justin, and we will see you next year, because we’re not going anywhere. I think the fun part about this is this is 12(ish) years, this next year will be 13 years of doing this, and I feel like we’ve just begun, in a lot of ways. I feel like we’ve hit the OOG, Jerod… You know what I mean?

We’re getting there, yeah.

I’m not even – I mean, there’s days I’m definitely winded. There’s definitely days where I’m like “Oh my gosh, please, can I go back to bed instead?” And it’s not because it’s not for the love, it’s because it is a lot of work, running your own thing, and showing up every day. It does take a lot of work. But yeah, we’re not going anywhere, and I do really feel like we’ve just begun. We have so much more to do, and I’m thankful for ++ and all the members who support that, but if you don’t care for our ads, then $10/month, $100/year - there you go. Changelog.com/++ if you wanna check it out.

Yeah. It is easy to get winded, but I wanna say this - I don’t think I’ve told you this yet, Adam, but just the other day I was putting together, and we’re putting together a special episode of Go Time called “The Funny Bits.” That’s the working title. I’m not sure what it’s gonna be exactly… But it’s coming, and it’ll drop into your feed soon, for Changelog++ subscribers, as well as Master feed subscribers.

[32:01] Or, if you are a Go Time listener, there as well. It’s just like all the funny parts from the last year, basically. People being silly on Go Time. And there’s a really great clip between Mat Ryer and Johnny Boursiquot, where Mat is just messing with him, and saying things like “I’ll do anything you tell me to do, Johnny.” He’s just being weird. And it reminded me of Ryan Adams or Bryan Adams. I always get the two confused; I think it’s Bryan Adams - “Everything I do, I do it for you”, off of the Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves soundtrack. So I thought “Well, what’s the appropriate thing to do here?” Well, I have to splice their voices into this song in order just to spice it up a notch.

So I’m sitting there, putting together this montage of Mat Ryer professing his feelings for Johnny Boursiquot over this soundbit of Bryan Adams singing that he would die for you… And I just thought, “I love this job.” This is like the most amazing thing ever.

In fact, that’s exactly what I would have been doing if I had a free day. I probably would have been taking some music and making some silly thing to make people laugh and have a good time.

So we don’t take it for granted how amazing it is that we aren’t going anywhere, and that we get to make podcasts for you all, and that we get to have these conversations, and have fun, and learn, and grow… It’s amazing.

Yeah, I concur. Definitely surreal. I mean, I didn’t begin my career in software thinking “I’ll one day be a full-time podcaster, running a podcast network with a bunch of awesome people and enjoying it every single day.” Not just the people that are involved in the shows, but the people who come on the shows, and the people who support the shows as partners and sponsors. It’s pretty profound, and I would have never necessarily guessed it. My whole life was spent thinking – like, I had other friends who had radio voices, and I never thought I had a voice for radio by any means. Clearly, I do. I didn’t think I did. I always hated my voice, like most people do until they hear it enough, I guess. You eventually love it, at some point.

But yeah, I’m so thankful to get to do this. And the reason why - just to pause a moment… because I wanted to do this earlier in the show, but it just didn’t come out as part of our flow… But I’m just so thankful for our listeners. If you listening to this show right now were not sharing your attention with us and sharing your time with us, this would just be an mp3 on the internet, not getting listened to. So we appreciate you sharing your time with us and listening to our shows, and I would say even more importantly, sharing this episode or others that you really enjoy, with your friends. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to help us grow our shows. We would love you to be a ++ member, but not because we want your money; just because it gets you deeper into the community… But really, honestly, skip the money; just share our stuff with your friends that you really care about, and that is enough for us. But just showing up to do this every single day, it’s such a profound blessing. I would have never guessed it.

Absolutely. So let’s hop into our most popular episodes of 2021.

Finally, some shows. The pre-roll of all of this is getting deeper. All the reflections and all the new stuff…

This episode is getting longer and longer. [laughs]

Well, we’ll just edit ourselves way down… Probably not. It’s just gonna be long. That’s okay. Most popular… Well, let’s start off with another listener clip here, because we have a good one, who loves not just a specific episode, but a specific part of all of our episodes. This is Aaron Yoshitaka calling in.

[36:01] Hey Changeloggers. Thanks for all the awesome content over the year. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of different episodes, but to be honest, one of my favorite parts of every episode is the amazing beats that you’ve got, the intros and the outros, and the ads… So a huge shout-out to Breakmaster Cylinder for creating all these awesome songs. My favorite is Solfeggio, which used to be the Changelog end credits; I’ve downloaded that and I listen to it all the time now. Cheers!

Cheers to you, Aaron. Thank you for leaving us that message.

Yeah. Breakmaster. Gosh, Breakmaster Cylinder. Obviously, we just thanked some listeners, and Aaron, you called in, of course, and we thank you for that… But I couldn’t imagine what we do without Breakmaster Cylinder beats. Breakmaster is just such a staple for our stuff.

More autotuned Adam tracks…

Yeah, potentially… [laughter] I mean, just terrible attempts at music, essentially. But I love Breakmaster’s beats; they work with us closely. As a plus to being a ++ member or a community member (which is totally free), you could be in Slack, and Breakmaster is in Slack. Now, I don’t know if they’ll talk to you… I’m sure they would via DM, but they hang out in Main, and some other channels, and stuff like that… But Breakmaster is in our Slack, and hangs out with us. We always throw different ideas… Especially the Merry Shipmas episode, we had them do a special, Christmas-flavored intro music for the show… And I just love that. It’s just so special. It really is just so special. And I think the important thing there is less just about the music, it’s about the detail, Jerod. You know this, right? If we have sweated the details for so long - and I think that’s what helps me show up more, is sweating those details and enjoying those details… Because some people will just – and it’s not bad to say this, but some people just throw music on their podcasts and move along. It’s just native to us to eke out the nuance of the title of a show, eke out the nuance of the beats in a music track for our shows, to get the very right music for Practical AI. I love that theme. It’s such a perfect theme for that show.

It is.

Brain Science, Changelog… All of them, obviously. JS Party… It’s a party. It brings the theme to the show, it brings things to life. So I’m happy that Aaron, and I’m sure others, appreciate the work we put into that music, along with Breakmaster Cylinder.

So Solfeggio - this outro, which ran on the Changelog for years… [Solfeggio sample 00:38:55.25] no longer is. It actually started with our most popular episode of 2021, which is Why We Love Vim, which was a Changelog Special. This is something new for us, kind of breaking out of the mold, and doing a non-normal “people sit and talk” episode. That’s our style; it’s an interview, it’s a conversation… And this was different. We had four guests, four different interviews, we had a long production process… It was actually a lot more work… I knew it was gonna be a lot of work, but it’s always more work than you think. And it was always off-schedule; because it was a special, it wasn’t like it had to fit into a certain week, so it actually took me a long time to produce it, mostly because I’m a procrastinator…

[39:59] But on that episode we wanted to have a very special outro, and we’ve put in a new track, not Solfeggio. And it was such a banger that we fell in love with it and just started replacing that outright. Although, of all of our outros - this doesn’t go for the theme songs, but for our outros - that’s the one that most people ask about, is the Solfeggio, like Aaron said. They love that track. But we love this new track quite a bit. Both Adam and I separately kind of fell in love with it.

The interesting thing about the song is that – so Breakmaster works with a DJ… I don’t know if you can call him a DJ, or a vocalist, or a rapper… I’m not sure how you would – an artist named Dislotec. And so Breakmaster is beyond just podcast famous in terms of music production; they produce music with I think at least Dislotec; I’m not sure if it’s others, but I’m sure they would if they did… So this song in particular has – it’s just the music of that track. So there’s a whole track out there with Dislotec rapping, with lyrics, of course, and all that fun stuff… This is just the music of that song.

So I think that’s what made it also stand out above others, too.

And it’s also a classical – it’s like a sample and a remake of a classical Bach track, which I learned through inquiries… And yeah, the actual lyrical one would not make it on our show because of explicit content… Although we did do one episode this year, the first time ever, with non-bleeped explicit content. That was an artistic choice.

But yeah, this “Why we love Vim” episode - we’ve put a lot of work into this one, and I guess we’re just really happy that everybody liked it. We had Julia Evans, Drew Neil, Suz Hinton and Gary Bernhardt on that show, all experienced, smart, well-spoken people who have just amazing things to say, and they really delivered, and just highlighted an editor that so many people use and so many people love, that it really resonated with a lot of folks out there. So it felt really good… Because when you put extra attention into an episode, you want it to be well-received, and it was really well-received… And we’re just really grateful that all that extra work paid off. It was the most listened-to episode of the entire year, which is pretty cool.

It also influenced me, man… I’m a Vim user now.

There you go.

I had to convert. On my Linux box or my Raspberry Pi I would often just use Nano, because it’s just there, I can get out of it… Mainly because I can exit it, you know… [laughter]

Well, you can exit Vim now, right? You learned it.

But I learned Vim… And I think the hardest thing to learn about Vim might be how to exit it…

I know. They would do well just to have the thing at the bottom that just tells you how, or something…

And just insert in Visual Mode, and… So much so that I even have a vimrc file. You don’t have to have a vimrc file just by using Vim.

No, you do not.

And not only that, but I have my color scheme set to Dracula Pro.

So when I have Vim, I have Dracula Pro (thank you, Zeno) as my theme for it. So yeah, I love that episode, too. I think when you don’t have deadlines, when you don’t have a constraint, it’s possible to meander to your finish line…

It is.

You know, we had Sourcegraph… That was one of our first, I think, interruption-free sponsors this year.

Sourcegraph obviously did a lot of great fundraising this year to bolster their company, and they’re now a unicorn… At least by Silicon Valley valuation standards. I love the team behind that company; thanks also to them to support that. And wasn’t it the Neovim fella…? I forget his name.

He works at Sourcegraph.

He does, yeah.

[44:09] I didn’t even know that until we did that show. I’m like, “This is so cool!” It was so awesome to have him as a –

Yeah, close the loop.

…interruption-free sponsor.

Yeah, that is cool.

And then how that show turned around and – you know, this is not the “We love Vim episode”, it’s a counterpart to it, but it’s still quite as popular.

Yeah. Why Neovim, which was very popular as well. We’ll get to that one. So - awesome that you got influenced to adopt Vim. That makes us official influencers.

And no plugins. I can’t go Gary’s route; I’m going no plugins. I was trying to keep it vanilla. Vimrc only. A few things, like syntax on and a couple of other things… Just settings, essentially; what every Vim user might do. I’m just trying to avoid plugins, except for my color scheme, which - you have to do that.

So the number one Vim influencer might be Gary Bernhardt. We gave him the mic drop at the very end of the episode. He gives three reasons why you might wanna use Vim. Here’s the clip. It’s very compelling.

I absolutely would recommend it. I also recommend people not to beat themselves up over it if they decide they don’t like it. There’s kind of this weird sort of “You have to use the hard thing or you’re not a real programmer” or whatever. Don’t worry about any of that, but give it a try.

I can name three different reasons to do it, and I think all of them are sufficient on their own. First, RSI. It will prevent injury. It’s a really important thing as a programmer if you wanna make a career out of this. The second is speed. Vim is unambiguously faster than other editors. It’s not even remotely controversial to say that. But the question of course is gonna be whether you value speed over what you may be giving up, things like deep language support from something like Visual Studio, or a JetBrains IDE, or whatever… So you’re making a trade-off there. But for me, speed is even sufficient on its own, because every time you have to stop and slowly make some edits is a chance for you to forget what you were doing, to lose the state in your brain. And maybe you’re eight levels deep in your stack and you’re gonna start losing those levels if you have to get distracted. It’s also just fun, honestly, to be fast…

And then the third reason is that Vim, unlike most other editors, is not gonna go away, the Vim keystrokes in particular. So many people have them so deep in their brains that 30 years from now you will absolutely be able to get an editor that has those keystrokes. I don’t know whether it will be Vim, I don’t know whether Bram Moolenaar will be maintaining it, but you will be able to use those keystrokes.

So any of those for me is sufficient, especially for the last one. If you think about the timeline - just for me, 15 years; at the beginning of that time, TextMate was just becoming popular. Then it was Sublime Text. It was cool. Then Atom was cool. Then VS Code was cool. A lot of people switched between two of those, three of those, maybe all four of those, and that whole I was just getting better and better at Vim… And you multiply that out by the length of a career, you use Vim for 40 years - you’re gonna be so good at it by the end, and it’s still gonna be totally relevant, I think.

So when he said the 15 years thing, with the different editors… I was like, “You got me, Gary.”

[laughs] “You got me…”

Because I was the hopper. I hop from different thing to different thing, and he’s like “It’s just getting better and better.” That to me was like a developer gotcha. “You moved around, I stay consistent, and I reap the benefits of that consistency.”

Hm… So you switched your editor. [laughs] Number two - Modern Unix tools, with Nick Janetakis. This was actually the next episode, right after Why We Love Vim, and I think it may have benefitted a bit from Why We Love Vim’s success. This is #451, and this is one of those shows where it’s just like “Hey, let’s look at a repo and talk down a list of things on a repo.” So it’s kind of the opposite from Why We Love Vim, which was like a six-month production. This was “Find a cool repo, invite a friend on the show, and just talk about it.” And that was Nick, and that was Modern Unix Tools, which just lists out replacements for older Unix tools… And just have a fun conversation, nerding out, all about the command line.

[48:12] Not that I think this was a bad show by any means, but I’m surprised. And I love that about – like, when we do this at the end of the year… Because wasn’t it last year – we had a bunch of authors on in that year, and almost everybody in NMC was a book author…

And this year it’s like, “Okay, this is all kind of tooling.” Why Neovim, Unix tooling, Vim itself…

Right.

…10,000 hours of programming… I’m sort of like spoiling some of the next mentions, but…

Spoilers, man…

Yeah. And then OAuth even. Who would’ve thought that –

Now you spoiled the whole list. You’ve just gone through it. [laughter] That’s alright, we needed to move faster.

But yeah, I was surprised. I’ll spoil the next one then. So OAuth, “It’s complicated” was the next one, and that – I loved that show for a nickname, really. “All-business Barat.” When you said “All-business Barat” at the end of the show - that made it for me, man. It made it for me.

[laughs] That made it – when I said that, you looked off-put almost.

Oh, I loved it, man. In that moment, I was like, “That’s so good!”

Okay, so this is a little insider baseball. Barat is a good friend of ours. We’ve met him at Microsoft years ago, and he brought us out for Build in Seattle, and also New York… And he’s become a great friend. And what I love most about this business, and I think what makes me not just say, but feel “We came for the tech, but we stayed for the humans” is because of relationships like Barat. Because Barat no longer works at Microsoft. At the time he worked for Okta, which recently Auth0. Now he – I’m not sure I shared this with you Jerod, but he works at Influx Data now. As you may know, Influx Data is one of our partners; we love them very much, they’re awesome people over there, Paul Dix, rest of the team. Maria, Chris, lot of people. Tom Crow used to be there, he was from Equinix Metal… I just love the people. It’s really that kind of thing.

So long story short, Barat - not even about OAuth at this point yet, but Barat helped us coordinate this show with Aaron Parecki… And Aaron who is deep in the throes of OAuth, came on and schooled us. Absolutely schooled us. Maybe less you, but more me…

Oh, yeah.

…but schooled us on all things OAuth and the details of where things are at, and why it’s so complicated.

Right. It was funny, because as you were telling that, I was looking at our transcript, trying to find that quote, and I was like “Maybe it got cut from the show, because it’s not anywhere in here”, but no, it turns out it’s unintelligible. So near the end of the show I thanked Barat, I said “Well, we do wanna give a shout-out to [unintelligible] for introducing us to you, Aaron.” So I’ll go fix that after this… But what I said was “All business Barat.” So tell me why that was funny to you. What’s the inside story?

Well, this is a bit of insider baseball again, but I know when we went to – okay, so a bit about maybe how we work. We’re not put you’re quarter in kind of dance monkey kind of people.

Right.

So even though we went to Seattle and New York on Microsoft’s dime (thank you), that didn’t mean that we went there and we were gonna do the shows they want us to do.

Right.

So Barat has an agenda - and for sure, he does; he’s a marketer, and he’s trying to connect us with the right people, and get the right message out there about Microsoft, and Build, and… This is years in the making, but they hadn’t acquired GitHub then, so they were a different Microsoft in terms of like the community perception of them. So I think we play – maybe not a significant, but a key role, in many of the key roles that were played, to (I guess) reshape their narrative. So rather than just going to this conference(s) and just saying “Great, Barat! Who are we talking to? Make us a list and we’ll just dance.” We pushed back on it; we pushed back and said “We want this kind of person. We want that kind of person. We wanna talk at this level. We wanna talk about AI, we wanna talk about Python”, and the different things we did, and we pushed just as much as he pushed us.

[52:07] And so I think that’s why I thought it was funny, because Barat is fun, but he’s also business, and so because of the deep relationship, when you said that, it just was like “Yes, that’s the perfect nickname for Barat.” And I think he actually likes it a lot. So he doesn’t take it as an offense, by any means.

No, it was not meant to offend, by any means.

And because he’s always – he brings his entire person to our relationship and our conversations. And I can actually get to where, in certain contexts, I am kind of all-business. I’m like, “Alright, we’ve got a show to start.” But you and Barat are talking, and you guys will talk for hours. I’ll be there for the first 90 minutes, and then I’ll kind of check out, go check my email. So it was kind of actually tongue-in-cheek about him being all-business, because he tends to think I am all-business. So a little bit of that as well. So it was all in good fun, but also just a deep-dive on OAuth, which is – it is complicated; that’s one of my favorite episode titles of the year - OAuth, “It’s complicated”. [laughs] With quotes, like the relationship.

Yeah. [laughs] I liked that so much, too. I think that really is – I don’t know what number in terms of funness for this job is fun, but titling shows is extremely challenging, but also very fun.

Yes. It’s sometimes just pure pain when you can’t think of a good one, but…

I think the next one might be an example, “Why Neovim.” I think we went back and forth, and this was very much a settling moment… Like, “Okay, why Neovim?” You know?

It was almost giving up, but it’s perfect.

It kind of was, because that was kind of the point of the show… It was like, we just did this big Vim episode, and then everybody’s asking this, “When’s the Neovim show gonna come?”

So - okay, we’re doing the Neovim show. In fact, this one was joined by Nick Nisi co-hosting with me, so you weren’t there for this one…

Well, he’s such a Vim lover.

He is.

There’s even memes about it.

Yeah, he’s the quintessential Vim lover… And the question a lot of Vim users asked themselves is “Why Neovim?” Like, “Why was it created? Why do I care? Should I be checking it out?” So number four most popular episode of the year, “Why Neovim” with TJ DeVries of Sourcegraph, and a core member of the Neovim team. Number five –

Wait, wait, wait. Before we move on…

Can I mention a couple non-landed titles?

Oh, for that one?

Yeah. I did a search in our Slack…

Oh, okay.

So Jerod and I - we DM just-in-time, essentially; if not right after the show, just-in-time of the show shipping…

Right.

…and we’ll go back and forth.

And because the shows ship on Friday afternoons, I’m usually on the back patio, having a Barley Pop, on my phone, and Adam’s still working, because that’s the way we work sometimes… So I’m DM-ing… So go ahead.

So my picks were “Vimming with Neovim”, “Let there be Neovim!” (with an exclamation point), like “Let there be light…”

[laughs] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

“Neovim on the rise”, and then you said “There a Neovim in town”, “Neovim on the block…”

Oh, like a new Vim. Like, Neovim on the block.

Like Jenny from the block…

And then we were like “We don’t want it to be like a take-over of Vim itself.” Like, it wasn’t a replacement; I think that’s even said.

Yeah, exactly.

And then we minced words over like “Would it be Vim’ing?” and you’re like “I think it’d be vimming”, and I’m like, “That just doesn’t work with me. It’s just to many m’s…” Even though it made sense. And you said “Vim’s been verbified…” This is us going back and forth, back and forth.

Right. About the word Vim.

And this is probably a good 15(ish) minutes… And then I’m like, “It’s kind of lame to be a one-word kind of a thing… I don’t know. Not creative at all”, and you’re like “I agree, it’s not creative.” And then I think you finally said “Why Neovim”, essentially. You’re like “Just giving some options. Why Neovim.” I’m like, “Okay, cool. That works for me.” And that’s how we ended it.

[55:58] Yeah, sometimes the title just strikes you, and you just know it. I think OAuth, “It’s complicated” - I think I put that in there even before we recorded the show, because I that was my feelings about it, and you just left it… So I’ll throw in some title options sometimes, and then Adam ships the episode, usually… So he kind of has final call on that; sometimes he just uses it, sometimes he asks for replacements.

Other times it’s just like pulling teeth to get an episode. Well, let’s move on to number five most popular of the year. We’ll talk about this in more depth in a minute, because it’s one of my favorites as well. This is episode #463, with Matt Rickard, “Lessons from 10,000 hours of programming.” Another tried and true show style for us is find an awesome blog post and then have the person come on and talk to us about it. But let’s not go too far in the details on that one quite yet.

Honorable mentions for most popular… It didn’t quite make the top five, but still got a lot of listens - “The business model of open source” with Adam Jacob. “This insane tech hiring market” with Gergely Orosz, and “Leading leaders who lead engineers” with Lara Hogan.

Definitely some of my favorites.

I mean, I concur with the listeners.

So do I.

It’s nice to see that we have certain feelings about an episode, and then the listeners respond in the same way. Having Laura on the show - I mentioned that in the Deeply Human conversation we had on DevDiscuss, which was a few episodes back, so go back in your feed just like one or two shows, you’ll see that… I had imposter syndrome inviting her on, because I was such a fan of her work. I was like, “I’m a little intimidated… She’s so cool… Can we match up?” And then Adam coming back… We had Adam on the show in 2017, I think, in line with OSCON, and I think it was “The war for the soul of open source.” What a dramatic title. And then Gergely is another be-back. We had a lot of be-backs this year. Adam, Gergely… Laura’s a first time. That was super-cool. I’m a big fan of all of those shows. So I agree with the audience.

Well, let’s get into our favorites then. I think you’ve just hit on a few… Do you wanna go first?

Well, I like all the ones that are as most popular, based upon our numbers… To go one layer deeper in terms of a non-be-back. This is a first-timer; can you believe Ryan Dahl spent his whole career without coming on the show?

I know. For shame.

Right? Come on, Ryan. Thank you so much though for coming on, exploring Deno land with us…

Yes, thank you.

…which was quite fun, honestly. Even with that one too, I was a little nervous, because like – we should have done that show in terms of like how rooted we were in early JavaScript, early Node, and Express even. We had Tim Caswell as alum, as a logger way back. Tim Caswell - I believe he is the original author of Express, if I can recall correctly. If not, a maintainer. I think he created it.

Maybe. It could have been TJ Holowaychuk.

Fact-check me on that, please…

Okay. It’s one of those two. Keep going.

But finally having Ryan Dahl on - it’s one of my favorites. Just exploring Deno land with him… Without going into all the details, obviously Deno is a – what is it, an anagram? Is that the right word? What are those, whenever you take the word and you jumble it up? Is it an anagram?

Um, sure.

Sure. So Deno is Node spelled differently, obviously…

[laughs] Yes, exactly.

And I think they did it accidentally, and then they’re like “Oh, Deno, like a dinosaur”, so they went the whole Deno route, Deno like a dinosaur. So this is Ryan’s new take, essentially, on all that he did with Node. There’s a lot of interesting history around Node. There was a fork called io.js… Just a lot of interesting – I would say maturity in governance of open source, community around open source, and how you lead a project like Node, that took off quite well, to allow JavaScript to go beyond the frontend, to go to the backend as well.

So just having him on finally, I think after 12 years, basically… I think Node’s been around for almost as long as we have, so it was a long time in the making, basically.

[01:00:10.08] I have done some background now, and confirmed that the initial author of Express.js was TJ Holowaychuk.

Okay. Sorry, TJ. My bad.

Tim Caswell, Creationix, created many Node things, one of which was Connect, which was a middleware for Node, which was very popular, and I think he built it with TJ. And then also JS Git, Tedit, Jack… Many things. Nvm perhaps…

So now I’m starting to guess things, but… Lots of things. And now I believe he works at Vercel, according to this website called LinkedIn.

And he needs to, because Tim is such a tools/tool maker… He goes deeper than deep can go. I think we had him on the show 3-4 years back, and we were talking about IDEs, and all the stuff he was doing with git. Just this super-deep stuff; above my head in terms of where I need tooling at. He’s a toolmaker for toolmakers, essentially…

So Tim makes a lot of sense in light of Vercel, and especially with a lot of the talent acquisition they’ve been doing; just so much happening at Vercel. They’re really scooping up a lot of talent.

Yeah. I think Tim is the one who had told them “Somebody should just give you money and let you do whatever you want to do with technology.” Like, just be a patron, back before Patreon. You know how rich people used to just commission someone to make art? And of course, they’d want a picture of themselves, but they’d also say “Create whatever art you’re gonna create.” Tim Caswell is one of those guys that just creates art with code, so I’m happy to hear that he’s doing well. Hopefully, Vercel is letting him get that done.

So let’s go back and forth on these. So that was one… I’ll just say, also in my list, Exploring Deno land with Ryan Dahl; so that was a highlight for both of us.

Oh, it is in your list. Cool.

I do see that now.

The other one for me - I think I have a theme, except for one, which is like when we step outside of the normal, I’m enjoying myself… The first time we did that this year was the Elastic vs. AWS episode, where we got community perspectives. We put out a call to our listeners to call in, as well as invited a bunch of people from around the community. I think we had six voices on that episode, not including our own. Eight if you count us. Adam Jacob, Heather Meeker, Manish Jain, Paul Dix, VM Brasseur and Markus Stenqvist… Which was just cool. A lot of work, a lot of interviews… I think you had some post-production on this, work that I didn’t have to bear the brunt of, so good on your for that… But I thought this was really cool, because it’s such a big conversation that us plus one person I just didn’t feel like would have done it justice. This was all the way back in – published in February. I think we recorded these late January, early February. A deep-dive on the business of open source.

I thought it turned out really well. I just liked hearing different people have different takes, and they’re all well-reasoned, and they all come from these different perspectives… So that was one of my favorites.

Yeah. What I liked most about this was it was a community well-rounded. Not just practitioners. You know, Paul Dix is CTO/founder of InfluxDB; Influx Data is the company, but InfluxDB the technology. Permissively open sourced. They have built a business around it, and he’s been in the ups and downs of the business side of open source.

[01:03:56.12] Heather Meeker is a well-known lawyer who’s assisted many companies in establishing their licenses. The SSPL… She’s done a lot of work in different licensing and stuff like that. I’m probably leaving out lots, because it’s just meant to be light… But a legal side even. You know, Adam Jacob built a company around it… Chef, obviously, Manish Jain…

Dgraph…

And then Vicky Brasseur, who’s very much in the weeds of what is and what is not open source, and just kind of helping lead communities through the process of open source. And Markus - a listener sharing his thoughts on how this played out for him, what his perspective was as an everyday developer, essentially. So multi-angled for that show. I just love how that came together, honestly.

Alright, do you wanna go back and do one of your favorites?

I’ll go back to my list… Which one shall I pick? Okay, so I’ll just go with the next one in line with this then, not so much next one in terms of favorites… But back to Adam, “The business model of open source.” So this is funny, because we actually pulled the Adam Jacob clip for the show we just talked about, this “Community perspectives on Elastic vs. AWS” - we pulled that Adam clip from the conversation we had with him way back I think in 2017 or 2018, and it was still accurate, it was still true; and we said that again in “The business model for open source.”

I pay attention to Adam Jacob on Twitter, I always appreciate his perspective on hard things in life, hard decisions, hard emotional thoughts on software, hard things in terms of like – even when Docker took their thing that I think everybody thought should be open sourced, there were a lot of thoughts around this… And Adam just has this different perspective on it, so I always appreciate the Adam word of wisdom, essentially… So the business model of open source was a good show to go into that… Because Adam is cool. Here’s a clip.

Oh, I’m so hopeful. Yeah. No, look, how can you not be hopeful? Look at people… Look at this thing that we do all the time. It’s insane that it exists at all… And it exists because we have all decided it should. Like, literally, all of us decided that this was the coolest thing we’d seen, and we wanted to keep doing it, and we do it every day, and it’s such a blessing. And that mass group decision that this is how it’s gonna go, and that we can all have lives because of it, and we can spend our time on Earth doing this work - that is such a beautiful thing. And I fundamentally believe that that is who people really are. There’s so many things that divide us and make us awful, and those are awful things, and I see them, and I don’t want them… Do you know what I mean?

[01:08:02.24] …and also, at the core of what we all hope for. I think that’s really what we all hope for. And we’ve got this little pocket of the universe where there’s this precious thing, and we happen to have done it in software. I think that happened in software because the resources are infinite. If you have power in a computer, you can do what you want. So it’s effectively infinite within its own sphere. It’s not, because power and access to computers, and all that stuff… But if you put that stuff aside, it is this infinite resource, where it costs nothing to let other people have it. That is a beautiful thing, it’s a lovely vision, and it makes me infinitely hopeful for what it can do and be.

It’s obviously – Adam’s talking about open source.

[laughs] Obviously.

Just to be clear, if you’re listening and thinking “What is Adam talking about?” It’s open source. And I even got to say this recently on the Deeply Human episode with DevDiscuss – I didn’t remember saying this until I saw the clip on Twitter later on… Because sometimes you say things in life and you’re like “I don’t recall saying that.” Okay, that’s true; it’s actually true, that open source is the most important thing we have going on right now.

Now, obviously, there’s a lot of important things going on right now beyond simply open source, but… I mean, if software is eating the world, open source eats software. Everything is built on the backs of open source software, and Adam is just describing a world where we all get to show up, and it’s this precious thing, and it’s worth protecting, it’s worth showing up for. And that’s the origination of everything we’ve done here, is the movement of open source in 2009, GitHub had just come around… And open source is moving so fast. So cool. Adam is a special human being. He really is a special human being.

He doesn’t pull any punches. He’ll tell you exactly what he’s thinking, and so it’s always fun to ask him questions, because he’ll just tell you exactly what he thinks about it.

He is not shy about his opinion, he really is not, and he’s a special human. I love his spirit. What about you, what’s next for you?

Alright back to me… It’s back to one of our most popular episodes, the one mentioned, “Lessons from 10,000 of programming.” This one very much reminded me of one of my favorite episodes from last year, which is “Laws for hackers to live by”, which is where we just have a list of (in this case) reflections from Matt after he’s gone through his commensurate 10,000 to become an expert, things he’s picked up along the way… And we just go deep and discuss and react to those things. We did that with the Hacker Laws episode last year; this one’s not laws, it’s just things he’s found to be true.

I just really enjoy those conversations… They’re deep in the weeds of software engineering best practices, and worst practices, but they also fly above any sort of particular technology. You know, we’re not talking about JIRA, we’re not talking about Python, we’re not talking about Kubernetes. Maybe those things weave in and out, because those are ultimately the things that we’re using to build things. But we’re talking about how we go about doing what we do. And those to me are just very enjoyable conversations.

Yeah. It’s the craft.

Exactly.

What’s funny too is that this – you know, his title was “Reflections.”

Yeah. And we tried to turn them into lessons.

Right. Well, they were lessons for us.

And he kept saying, “Hey, hey, this isn’t a lesson.” [laughs]

Which was fun.

And I think that’s so true. It’s definitely the human side of things… Like, “How did this really matter to me, given my context, given my know-how, given the things I’m building, given even my experience level?” When you get into that kind of detail like that, I think special things come out, because… You’re right, it’s not just about a particular language.

[01:12:03.03] And something even Amal said recently, I think it was in the JavaScript channel, conversations back and forth about different frameworks for JavaScript… And she was even saying like to remove the emotion out of it. It’s more about “What tool do you need today to get the job done?” Not what are you in love with. Because I think we can say “We love Ruby”, “We love Python” or “We love Elixir”, “We love JavaScript.” Well, do you have to love the tool you’re using? Sometimes you just need to use the thing that works best for your team, and product, and what you’re trying to do at the time. It’s not like “Well, I need this because I love this thing.” It’s more like “What works right now?” And that might have been one of his lessons, is like “Use the right tool, not the one you love.”

So clearly I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed this episode; it was one of our most popular… And we had a listener call in and tell us about it as well.

Hi there, Changelog. My name is Rustem which Miscrosoft speech cognition system recognizes me as Auston Glu so you can call me that. I’m a data scientist from Russia. Currently, I work in UAE, and my favorite episode of 2021 is with Matt Rickard about his 10,000 hours of deliberate programming. My favorite points are number three, delete as much code as you can… Which is quite funny, because he mentioned that he predominantly deleted other people’s code, which I feel so compelled to do sometimes. The other point is number ten, if it looks ugly, it’s most likely a terrible mistake. And I go back to my code before I listened to that podcast and I find so many “terrible mistakes”.

Well, I’m a fan of the show. Thanks a lot for your work, and have a good new year.

I loved that he pulls in the machine learning, the Microsoft thing that converted his name to Austin Glue. That was hilarious.

Yeah. Good sense of humor on you, Austin. I appreciate your insights on those two particular aspects. For me actually, the part about “If it’s ugly, it’s mostly likely a terrible mistake” was probably the best part of that. I just got so many kicks out of that, just thinking about it in different contexts…

Yes… I love that we’re getting beyond our opinions now, into state of the ’log. Because it could be - and has been - just you and I sharing our thoughts, and now we have some fans reaching in and sharing their thoughts, too. By the way, everyone who participated and got their clip mentioned - what are they getting, Jerod? Are they getting a special prize? What are they getting?

They’re gonna get a free Changelog T-shirt. We’re gonna use our handy-dandy coupon code generator; or just going to the Shopify admin and doing it manually this time, who knows…? And we’re gonna ship them off a free T-shirt for sending those in. So we appreciate that.

I also have, for those who did not check out that particular episode - that’s #463; of course, links in the show notes. Here is a sample from our conversation with Matt Rickard.

…one that we touched on with the Prag Prog fellas themselves around DRY. This is always controversial, DRY… And it’s because we all think about it a little bit differently, or I think that we all misunderstand what their point was. They did point out on that episode when we had their 20th anniversary show that one of the most misunderstood points in the Prag Prog book is the chapter on DRY. So they tried to rewrite it. I haven’t read the rewrite very closely to know if they accomplished clarifying that, but you have a point here… One of your reflections says “Know when to break the rules. For rules like “Don’t repeat yourself” sometimes a little repetition is better than a bit of dependency.” And you link to another blog post of yours called “DRY considered harmful.” Do you wanna unpack that one for us?

Yeah… I mean, the “DRY considered harmful” - maybe that’s…

[01:16:04.08] Clickbaity?

Yeah, a little clickbaity. [laughter] And you know, I don’t think it’s actually that harmful. I think the way that it’s been dogmatically used is sometimes a little dangerous… But it’s just more of a point about how as programmers we have a bias for abstraction. Understanding that we have that bias and trying to keep it in check, especially when it comes to duplication versus encapsulation… I just think that it’s a path that I’ve gone down too many times, of carving out microservices, or creating service boundaries where there really shouldn’t be… Or prematurely optimizing when requirements aren’t really finalized; and you know, the requirements are never finalized. And just the wrong abstraction at a low level can really cause a lot of issues in terms of refactoring and just added work down the line.

Yeah, I think we fall prey to this because we’re such pattern matchers… And as soon as you spot that pattern, you’re like, “Ooh… Opportunity.” Some of those abstraction layers are the power in software. The ability to build those abstractions are what give us leverage. So every time we see one, we think “Boom! I’m not gonna repeat myself. I’m going to DRY this sucker up.” But like you pointed out, oftentimes that second iteration, that second usage is not actually generalizable, or it looks generalizable until you find the third one, which - you know, just throw another param on the function. It’s what we do. We’re like, “Well, I’ll just throw a true/false at the end of this thing.” Then I have this extra branch in my function because it didn’t actually map onto the use case like I thought it did. So a lot of it is just that enthusiasm of like “Oh, here we go. I’m gonna DRY this sucker up.” It feels so good, but it does come back to bite.

Yeah… I don’t really know how to get around it. I keep on falling prey to it over and over again… But maybe that’s just kind of the name of the game.

Having Matt on the show was cool. I think he said he didn’t podcast too often, but I think he did a great job with that, and I think that’s a source of encouragement. And maybe even one that didn’t necessarily make the list, but now I kind of even feel bad about saying that, was the Swyx episode. It kind of reminded me of that. He is taking the Swyx advice, where he is learning in public, essentially.

So I’m an advocate now, having that conversation with Shawn Swyx Wang, and I think that Matt had definitely put these thoughts out there. And I would say it’s a source of encouragement for our audience and listeners; it’s like, whether you’re new to programming, or you’re new to this show, or you’re new to software development, or you’re an old hat and you’ve been around for years - we all have something to share, that levels up the next person right behind us… Or even old Adam, or old Jerod, or old you. And I think that’s what Matt did here, was he shared his reflections on it, probably to kind of come back a year later; this blog post may serve him just as much as it served us…

…for him to come back to in a year, or months later, to say “How do I really feel?” Because sometimes you don’t know what you think you know until you say it out loud, or you put it in black and white. There’s something that happens in your own mind about what you believe when you declare it… And that’s what Matt did here, was he declared things he reflected on, or lessons for us, but reflections for him… And I just wanna encourage everyone listening to this show to try to do more of that in this next year. What you think you know that is insignificant, it’s probably pretty significant. So just find ways to share it. I’ll leave y’all with that.

And what next? Okay, so a surprising hard like for me, and I would even say must-listen, would be the Luis Villa show on JS Party.

Ooh…!

That show was titled “We ask a lawyer about GitHub Copilot.” Now, this actually – if I’m splitting hairs here, this was better-suited to be an episode of the Changelog. However, I will say that Nick Nisi and b0neskull did a phenomenal job hosting this, and I would dare even say better than maybe you and I might have. And I’m actually thankful they did it instead of us… Because again, back to that shared perspective, shared voices - I was so happy to listen to this show, and hear the perspective Luis brought.

[01:20:20.26] From my understanding, Luis is a lawyer by trade, but he’s in software, and I’m sure he does programming, I’m just not sure what his full background is… But he works at Tidelift, and as you know, Tidelift is very much fighting to pay the maintainers; they’re finding ways to create a sustainable ecosystem of enterprise-ready open source that’s secure, that’s maintained by the maintainers, and that the maintainers aren’t starving, they’re actually getting money for their hard work, and the enterprises that are using it are finding ways to support it. That’s very much Tidelift’s mission. So Luis is coming from that perspective of like “What is fair use? What does the law say about how this works in terms of copyright and legal licenses?”

As you know, whether it’s proprietary software or open source software, there is a legal license in place that says what you can and can’t do with it. So when it comes to the court of law, he really brought a great perspective on how we should detach emotionally from this and look at it from the law… And if we don’t like how it’s working, that doesn’t mean that “Okay, deal with it.” It’s more like “This is how the law works”, and so I think as people who live in the U.S. legal system, or legal systems anywhere throughout the world, if you wanna change how this works when it comes to fair use or copyright, then the way to change is through legal processes, and stuff like that. But I just really appreciate the lawyer perspective of this conversation. Let’s hear the clip.

…it’s actually been sort of interesting, and honestly a little frustrating for me - some of the same people who came out strongly in favor of fair use when it was Google saying “Yeah, reimplementation should be fair use.” Basically, when it was Oracle’s stuff getting copied, everybody was like “Hell yeah! Copying is awesome!” And now when it’s GPL stuff – like, I get the emotional valence there, but from a lawyer perspective, GPL is a copyright license, and Oracle’s grungy, terrible, every-lawyer-hates-it terms of service or standard EULA around their code, copyright perspective - those are both copyright licenses. Courts aren’t in the business of saying “Oh yes, but we really like Richard Stallman and we don’t like Larry Ellison, so therefore one of these is fair use and the other isn’t.”

There’s been to me some sort of frustrating inconsistency about people who until a month ago were big fair use proponents… We can get into the nuances of that, because it is really complicated; the question of fair use in machine learning is in fact a really complicated one, and anyone who tells you that it’s black and white - like, courts don’t know what machine learning is… So the idea that you can say “Oh yeah, this is definitely fair use” or “Definitely not fair use” - there’s so much grey area in there…

So yeah, I mean - one, I’ll say from one perspective, I really appreciate listening back to that, because I didn’t listen to it when it was on the JS Party feed. No offense to JS Party, Jerod…

Come on, man…

I love the show. I know, I know; I should have. I should have. But obviously – hey, I’m the one who elected it to be the cross-over.

Okay… [laughs]

I’m the one who said that.

And totally redeemed yourself.

Totally redeemed. [Dumb and Dumber extract] “Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber… You go and do something like this… AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF.” Maybe because I really wanna listen to them – like, I’ll listen to it if it’s on the Changelog’s feed. Okay, fine…

[laughs]

[01:24:02.00] But I got to listen to this show, and I think I may have been washing dishes or doing some housework… Like, that whole one-hour blitz you do at the end of the day after the house is turned upside down because of the kids, or whatever… It’s like, “Let’s kind of collect this thing together.” I put that show on, and I just couldn’t stop cleaning, because it was a great show, and I couldn’t stop listening because it was a great show… So I think Luis really brought it, but in particular, I’m really thankful for the perspective that Chris and the perspective that Nick brought to this show… Because they really helped shape that show. I just love the way that they danced around the conversation and brought it to life. It was really a great job, I was very impressed by them.

Yeah, 100%. I listened to it a couple of times, both on the JS Party feed, and on the Changelog feed, because I’m a loyal listener of all of our shows…

Are you trying to say I’m not loyal?

[laughs] I didn’t say anything about you.

Because I’m a loyal listener…

I was just talking about myself…

…I didn’t talk about you. Alright, I’m at my last favorite here, because I also exercise self-control, and selected five, unlike yourself, who has quite a few left…

I’ve got eight.

Too many favorites to pick from… And this last one for me is the other time I went really outside of our wheelhouse, in addition to the “Why we love Vim” episode. This one is even further away from what we normally do. This new Changelog special Song Encoder, with $STDOUT the rapper. Now, unlike the Vim episode, which went bonkers on the downloads, this one didn’t particularly hit like that one did… But I don’t even care, because I freaking loved this episode. I had so much fun making it… If I had to go back to one episode and listen to it over and over again, it’s the one that I will go and listen to, because I love the music, I love what he does… And it was definitely one of my favorite things that we worked on this year. I look forward to doing some more song encoders.

It’s funny, because on that episode we talk about how he hasn’t really blown up as an artist; I asked him why, and it’s kind of like, well, maybe the cross-section of people who write software and people who love rap music is just like a very small group of people. And maybe that’s the same case with our listeners. Because we had good listens, it’s a respectable show, but it wasn’t dropping fire like the Vim episode was. And maybe it’s because some of us love hip hop. I know we’ve had a few huge compliments from that episode; people are like “This is fire.” But not in the numbers that we got with the other special.

You know, I think that’s gonna be the case. I have to concur that that was one of those shows I could definitely – and have gone back and listened to it a few times. Something about just his story, and even his natural non-singing voice.

He says “angsty teenager a couple of times in there.” You can almost hear the angst in his voice, just as normal talking…

Right.

And what I love most is that somehow he found a way to turn that angst into creation. He tells a story about his brother got him the microphone and the whole JS viral –

Hell.js was his first one…

Yeah, exactly. But how that turned into “Let me just put it out there.” Because I think that’s what happens. Somehow, we all get a chance to “put it out there”, and the “it” is art. I remember back in the day I would tell Heather, my wife, early in my podcast career even, like “This is my art.” Even with software design - obviously, that’s more art than this might be; literally art… But I just felt like I’ve gotta show up every day and put out this art.

I wanna encourage everybody who’s out there listening, follow in his footsteps and put our your art, whatever that art is.

3 AM in San Francisco was a really good track, in my opinion, and one where I was like “We’ve got angels who invest, they don’t protect.” The lyrics he put in that was just really, really magical. So I’m thankful for $STDOUT the rapper.

In my original idea of that episode, that was the final track that played it out… And then as we got going, it ended up to - he had his brand new track that he came up with, Integrations… And he was gonna drop it the same day we dropped the episode. I’m like, “How cool is that?” So that I saved instead for the ending. Like, “Let’s end on this brand new joint from $STDOUT.”

[01:28:29.00] But yeah, 3 AM in San Francisco was so poignant… And his other stuff is so funny that it’s like wow, all of a sudden – like you said, the funny guy has things to say all of a sudden. So I was gonna end the show with that track, because I agree, it’s awesome. But at the end of the day –

Yeah. Don’t make me feel, just make me laugh, you know?

Totally.

But a little bit of behind-the-scenes on this one… So you pitched this idea, and I very much was like “What are you talking about?”

Sometimes where I think as a thankful bit to you, and a source of encouragement even to me, sometimes – I think I saw a TikTok on this recently, where it was like, you can’t tell somebody your vision, sometimes you have to show them your vision before they can follow you. Because only you can see your vision.

So as an encouragement to you – like, you were gonna do this anyways, but always show up with your vision. Just because I don’t agree with it - and same thing for me, if you don’t agree with my vision early - put a bit more work into it until it’s enough to see more of. Because once I got a glimpse further into what this could be - not just $STDOUT the rapper and what they brought to making this cool and interesting - is showing that… And I think that’s something you’ve developed this year, was between the Vim episode and this. You definitely have a storyteller heart, and you’re able to take all of this widespread story and somehow condense it into an edit, which I think is very much a skill. And you’ve definitely developed that skill.

Oh, thank you. I’m definitely working on it… And I should say that this whole Song Encoder thing - I do say it in the outro, but I’ll say it again… It was completely inspired by the Song Exploder podcast, which I’ve listened to for years… And I’ve always thought “This is such a cool podcast.” I love the way he does it.

Now, he’s focusing in on a single song, and I just didn’t feel like we had the meat to do that, so I was like, “Well, let’s focus on a single person and make a show.” But I like to be inspired by other people’s cool art and put out our own cool art… So as a fan of podcasts, I was just like, “We need something like this, but put our spin on it.” So I’m looking forward to doing more things in that vein, being inspired and hopefully inspiring others to make cool stuff.

I couldn’t imagine a podcast world where this episode didn’t exist, for programmers. I think part of our job and what makes this so fun is that we find out what needs to exist to encourage the future generation of developers, current and future. And I think it’s part of our duty and part of our mission to find out what those beautiful gems are, hidden in the veils of the programming world, in the world of software… Whether it’s startups, whether it’s the next framework, whether it’s the next language, the next paradigm shift, the next disruption… And help it exist.

Well, when you say it like that, it sounds like a lot of pressure. [laughs]

Well, I think it is, but I think the way you distill pressure like that is just show up and do what needs done every single day.

Oh, yeah.

That’s how you do it. It’s a day by day thing.

Alright, so I shot my favorites out there… You’ve got a long list of more.

Why don’t you go ahead and do them, as quickly or as slowly as you like?

Here’s what I will do… I’ll rattle a few of them off, that are left over, and I’ll let you choose which one we dive deeper into. So the first one of the list that didn’t get spoken of yet on my list - which is eight… The norm is five. However, last year we did come up with “These are our favorites”, and then “These are our must-listens”, and I had to explain…

Oh, that’s right.

…the nuance of what a must-listen is.

We had arbitrary distinction between the two, yes.

So I think that these are all my favorites, not necessarily – I didn’t choose what was a must-listen this year though… But the next on the list is “Leading a non-profit unicorn”, with our good friend, Quincy Larson, “Let’s mint some NFTs” with Mikeal Rogers, long-time friend of the show, “Every commit is a gift”, in line of Maintainer Week, and with our good friend Brett Cannon. “Shopify’s vision for the future of commerce”, and that was with Ilya Grigorik, long-time friend as well… Gosh, a lot of long-time friends here. And “Oh my! Zsh, with Robby Russell.” Again, long-time friend, and Oh My Zsh is a must-install; I do not stand up a new Mac instance without installing – actually, I should say anything Linux, really, without doing Oh My Zsh. Life is just not okay unless it’s got Oh My Zsh in place. I’m sorry.

So with that being said, a lot of be-backs in there, a lot of long-time friends in there… Which of those stand up most to you?

So we’ve discussed “Every commit is a gift” recently, on DevDiscuss. Shopify was just a few weeks ago that episode dropped… And Oh My Zsh was just a couple weeks before that… So let’s go back and time and let’s talk about minting some NFTs.

Oh, yeah.

Controversial subject. Hot topic.

Love’em or hate’em.

What’s interesting about NFTs I think is that currently you’ve got some people that are sort of like anti-crypto because of climate change, and things like that… And I think the sad and challenging thing of that is that we’re mixing this paradigm shift in humanity, the way we exchange value essentially - we’re mixing that with a current problem. And I think that’ll eventually get panned out. Somehow, someway. We always innovate to a point somehow that this is not longer a bad thing for the human race and the Earth. And I’m hopeful that one day that will become a thing.

But the NFT idea is often in this faddish, this weirdish because you’ve got people on Twitter with, you know, AdamStac.eth, for example, or JerodSanto.eth, for example… Because you’ve gotta put your identity out there, in this crypto world. And NFTs is the vehicle, I think, that is propelling web 3 forward.

[01:36:16.07] We’ve got the old web, which is web 1, where it was like “Everybody’s invited”, and you can publish. Web 2.0 was more on like “Okay, now we have social networks, now we have communication down.” And web 3 is about “How do we enable everyone to own a part of the internet and command a part of the internet?” And that’s very much what web 3 is about. And NFTs is exactly that.

But coming to that show with Mikeal Rogers, I was very (I would say) green on the NFT subject, very not schooled, and that episode very much schooled me.

Yeah. So real quick, let me tell you this. I did not make this up, but I heard this casting of web 1, 2 and 3, which I thought was an interesting way of thinking about it. Not in terms of technology, but - web 1 is when corporations made the content and made the money. They were the creators and the value capturers. Web 2, the people created the content, and the corporations captured the value or made the money. And web 3 is when people will create the content and the people will capture the value, or make the money. I think that’s an interesting way of thinking about it… Versus trying to define it based on “Is it centralized or decentralized?” Anyways, so that was interesting; I’m just throwing that out there as something that I’ve found interesting, and maybe you will as well.

Totally. That resonates with me very much so. Gary Vee said recently – I mean, seriously, a lot of this stuff was faddish to me for a while; I was like “This is gonna blow over. I’m not really sure about this.” But then you’ve got people like Gary Vee who look into this further, and even like Jack Dorsey recently, with stepping down as CEO of Twitter and doing something different basically, and he’s very much putting it down when it comes to crypto, and –

Turning a square into a block.

That’s right. But it was this idea that - okay, my future network won’t just simply be “Who follows me on Twitter?” It’s somehow involved in – you know, if we as Changelog create NFTs, for example, the people who have bought will essentially be our followers. They can invest in our future, and they can share in the wealth of that future, and we can as well, through royalties and whatnot.

It’s still very early, but a lot of the direction it can take resonates with me in terms of how we can be essentially capitalized by our most loyal fans. People listening to this show, this particular show; this particular episode, not our shows in general. This far in, for example. If we wanted to do something where it wasn’t like “Hey, let’s go raise some money from venture capitalists…” It’s almost like Silicon Valley, that episode; I know you don’t listen – or watch the show very much, but–

[laughs] No, I just hear about it from you. So I don’t have to watch it anymore. I just get all the synopses.

That’s right, I just tell you. Well, there was an episode… I think it was called “ICO or death”, or something like that… I have to look it up. But they were gonna ICO, because they saw – it was a long story short; I shouldn’t even go into this, but I’m gonna have to, really quickly. I’ll keep it short. They accidentally gave away credits on their network, and outside of their control, they got into the open market… And they couldn’t get those credits back because they had given them away, and they traded hands a few different times, and when they finally caught up with it, the credits were worth millions of dollars. And so, like any good HBO show on current trends and technology, they had to go the route of essentially finding out “How could ICOs fit into this world?”

[01:39:59.16] The episode was called “Initial coin offering.” So they just dove into it, basically. They had some value out there. It’s interesting how you can be fueled by your most loyal fans, versus simply the incumbents of venture capital. Not that those are bad people by any means, or [01:40:17.17] better than the other; it’s just a new avenue. It’s a new reduction in the barrier to entry.

Right.

Or a new way to enable your fans to participate. Because isn’t it all about participation? This is what the web is about, is participation.

And identification, I think…

For sure. Yeah, of course.

Like, who I am, what I’m with, who I support, what I represent.

Right. What brands do I wear. It’s almost like Gucci bag, Nike shoes… It’s very much like that. Do I own an NFT of Changelog’s brand new artwork for their shows?

Right.

Well, I don’t own it because I like the JPEG.

Yeah, exactly.

I own it because I value them so much, and I wanna own stock in the future of whatever we are, via NFT. That’s what is interesting about this model.

I agree. I do think NFTs are in a bubble. I do think it will probably pop, and many will fall by the wayside, and then we’ll have – the leftovers are the ones that are actually doing things that are interesting and innovative… And I think the cool thing is the programmability of it. And if you can imagine that relationship, you can codify that relationship, and then you can offer that relationship out to the world and see if other people are interested. That is new and different. I mean, some of these things, like – well, you could already support us by going to Changelog.com/++ and typing in your credit card. The payment rails is not the innovation. Now, we have counterparty risk, blah-blah-blah. If Stripe kicks us out, you can’t do that anymore, there’s all that kind of stuff; so that’s there as well, the permissionless aspect is a part of it… But I think really just the ability to imagine a financial relationship between multiple parties, and codify it, and then see if there’s interest. I think that’s gonna create new things that don’t exist yet.

Right now we’re just kind of like “Hey, you can donate through this” or “You can sign your name on this as the original owner”, and it’s like, it’s a JPEG; I can right-click and download it, as the naysayers all say. But there’s gonna be things that you’re doing with NFTs five years from now that are impossible without them, I believe. But there’s probably gonna be a bubble bust between now and then, because it is pretty frothy right now.

It’s definitely the beginning, the early innings of what will become of this way to create and share the value of what is created out there… And I think what’s more – what’s happening now, like any gold rush, or any rush of sorts, there’s gonna be bad actors, and there’s gonna be people that are just in it to create scarcity, and get that value. I actually saw a TikTok recently where it was like “Do you wanna get rich? Go to Canva, and whatever-this. And then go to this marketplace and find somebody to create you 1,000 pieces of artwork, and then put those out there as NFTs”, and this and that. It’s like, okay, you’re not really bringing anything of value, really. You’re just selling – at that point it’s just JPEGs. But maybe that’s the code smell, so to speak, is if you’re just buying a JPEG, you’re doing it wrong. Because if we ever got into the NFT space, it wouldn’t be to sell a JPEG. That might be the thing you can look at, and say “I own this thing” and –

Yeah, put it in your gallery.

There’s the other example where like you buy stock in a company, on the open market… Like, you can’t see that stock. You see the value; it’s the same concept. It’s a way to essentially issue stock to our loyal fanbase. And we give them a JPEG to look at. But if you’re just buying a JPEG, you’re probably doing it wrong. In our case, we would probably attach the JPEG, just because that’s the way you visualize it. You literally do buy a JPEG, but what you’re buying isn’t. If you’re just buying the JPEG, you’re doing it wrong.

But Mikeal Rogers schooled us – you know, we should get Juan Benet back on the show; it’s been way too many years. We talked about the Interplanetary Filesystem…

[01:44:27.19] That’s right.

…we even brought the Beastie Boys into that episode; it was super-cool to do that.

Oh, that’s right.

But IPFS, and the fun things they’re doing over there… Very much investing in the necessary infrastructure for what is gonna become the direction of web 3, if it actually plays out or not. That’s what they’re investing in. That’s where Mikeal Rogers works at. Good to have him back on the show.

Absolutely. So that’s episode #438, and that concludes our faves.

Mm-hm… Long list.

Long conversation. Should we talk future at all, or should we just save it and just call it a day?

I think if somebody’s listening to this and we didn’t share the future with them in any way, shape or form, they’d be upset.

[laughs] They’ve made it this far…

Yeah. I think if they’ve made it this far, we owe them five more minutes of something that depicts where we’re going.

Alright. Where are we going?

I don’t know that we actually have a lot of ground to share in terms of where we’re going; we have some loose ideas. Jerod mentioned, and I even complimented him on his editability of the “We love Vim” episode and the Song Encoder episode, and I think we’ll do more of those… So more specials. We have obviously other ideas around podcasts, but we’re not exactly excited to move into a new space, unless it’s specific and we think we can add some value there. And there’s one in particular that we have some ideas on, but that’s to be seen, essentially.

Not to be announced by any means right now.

I agree, more specials… Perhaps a new podcast in the next year, if that shakes out… We’re also long overdue for some refreshed looks, maybe some new merch… These are things that we’re actively pursuing, but also not ready to put a ship date on those things yet… Because hey, why do that, when we don’t have to?

I’d say the most pertinent place, where we’re really optimizing for, is on the OOG, the Operation Operational Groove. We had very much put that in place and started working towards that this last year. We have a new hire; Jason is now on the team… [Please Clap 01:46:53.23] And I think the thing we should project for the future is even greater consistency across the board.

Mm-hm.

I think that would be what would make me the most happy for all of ’22. We can not ship a whole new show, we could not ship one more special, but if we delivered on consistency as it should be, I would count 2022 as a success. Now, if we could do that plus some things, all the better.

If you’re listening this far, I wanna mention a few links to you. Changelog.com/community - free to enter; everyone’s welcome. No matter where you’re at on your hacker path, you are welcome; hang your hat here, come call our Slack your home. Lots of people in there talking about Apple stuff, Vim stuff, Linux stuff, Unix tooling… Lots of conversations in there. JS Party is live every week, there’s lots of conversation there… Go Time happens to have a whole separate Slack that is part of the Gopher community, so you have to go to that one for that… But we’d offer it if it was there, so… Call our community your home.

[01:47:50.06] If you’re missing some friends, if you’re in the middle of Omaha, Nebraska, like Jerod once was, and needed a home for his hacker heart, come call ours your home, and you will be welcome. Changelog.com/community. Totally free.

Again - hey, if you’re a long-time listener and you’re like “I wanna support these guys. The NFTs aren’t out there yet. I might buy one if there was one.” They’re not there yet. Check out ++. If you love our ads, don’t check it out. Because we get lots of feedback from people that say, “Hey, I love Changelog++ and I love supporting you, but I really like your ads too, because they help me stay grounded on what’s out there.” We do put a ton of effort into our ad ops… So Changelog.com/++ if you wanna support us in that way or get our ad-free shows, plus some bonus content behind the scenes, fun things like that, that only hits the ++ feed. Sorry, non-plus-plus subscribers; that’s how it works.

And then I would say, you know, last, obviously, the Galaxy Brain move. Master feed. Changelog.com/master. If you’ve listened to this show all the way to this point and you’re hearing my voice, you should be getting all our shows. And if you don’t like one, just swipe left and delete it out of the list for you.

That’s right.

That way you get everything we ship, you never miss anything, and you get the bonus stuff from Backstage, which - we have some awesome conversations on Backstage. We’ve talked about Tenet recently, with heavy spoilers… Our good friend, Paul, who helped us spoil a bunch of stuff on Tenet. We talked about other things around programming, and just – it’s off-angle, and it’s a lot of fun, so check that out as well. What else, Jerod?

Thanks for listening. Thanks for being a part of what makes Changelog awesome. We appreciate you spending time with us. Have a great new year. We’ll see you in 2022.

It’s so weird to say it, right? We’ll see you… Next year?

Yeah, we’ll see you next year. Listeners, thank you so much for listening to this show. Sponsors who have sponsored this show - thank you so much; you know who you are. We’ll see you next year.

Changelog

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

  0:00 / 0:00