The Changelog

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Conversations with the hackers, leaders, and innovators of the software world


The Changelog The Changelog #495

Actual(ly) opening up

Adam and Jerod are joined once again by James Long. He was on the podcast five years ago discussing the surprise success of Prettier, an opinionated code formatter that’s still in use to this day. This time around we’re going deep on Actual, his personal finance system James built as a business for over 4 years before recently opening it up and making it 100% free.

Has James given up on the business? Or will this move Actual(ly) breathe new life into a piece of software that’s used and beloved by many? Tune in to find out.

The Changelog The Changelog #492

Two decades as a solo indie Mac dev

This week Jesse Grosjean joins us to talk about his career as a solo indie Mac dev. Since 2004 Jesse has been building Mac apps under the company name Hog Bay Software producing hits such as WriteRoom, Taskpaper, and now Bike. We talk through the evolution of his apps, how he considers new features and improvements, why he chose and continues to choose the Mac platform, his business model and pricing for his apps, and what it takes to build his business around macOS and the driving force of the App Store.

The Changelog The Changelog #491

Stacked diffs for fast-moving code review

This week we’re peeking into the future again — this time we’re looking at the future of modern code review and workflows around pull requests. Jerod and Adam were joined by two of the co-founders of Graphite — Tomas Reimers and Greg Foster.

Graphite is an open-source CLI and code review dashboard built for engineers who want to write and review smaller pull requests, stay unblocked, and ship faster. We cover all the details – how they got started, how this product emerged from another idea they were working on, the state of adoption, why stacking changes is the way of the future, how it’s just Git under the hood, and what they’re doing with the $20M in funding they just got from a16z.

The Changelog The Changelog #490

Schneier on security for tomorrow’s software

This week we’re talking with Bruce Schneier — cryptographer, computer security professional, privacy specialist, and writer (of many books). He calls himself a “public-interest technologist”, a term he coined himself, and works at the intersection of security, technology, and people.

Bruce has been writing about security issues on his blog since 2004, his monthly newsletter has been going since 1998, he’s a fellow and lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a board member of the EFF, and the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt. Long story short, Bruce has credentials to back up his opinions and on today’s show we dig into the state of cyber-security, security and privacy best practices, his thoughts on Bitcoin (and other crypto-currencies), Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid project, and of course we asked Bruce to share his advice for today’s developers building the software systems of tomorrow.

The Changelog The Changelog #489

Run your home on a Raspberry Pi

This week we’re joined by Mike Riley and we’re talking about his book Portable Python Projects (Running your home on a Raspberry Pi). We breakdown the details of the latest Raspberry Pi hardware, various automation ideas from the book, why Mike prefers Python for scripting on a Raspberry Pi, and of course why the Raspberry Pi makes sense for home labs concerned about data security.

Use the code PYPROJECTS to get a 35% discount on the book. That code is valid for approximately 60 days after the episode’s publish date.

The Changelog The Changelog #488

Mob programming deep dive

We’re talking with Woody Zuill today about all things Mob Programming. Woody leads Mob Programming workshops, he’s a speaker on agile related topics, and coaches and guides orgs interested in creating an environment where people can do their best work. We talk through it all and we even get some amazing advice from Woody’s dad. We define what Mob Programming is and why it’s so effective. Is it a rigid process or can teams flex to make it work for them? How to introduce mob programming to a team. What kind of groundwork is necessary? And of course, are mob programming’s virtues diminished by remote teams in virtual-only settings?

The Changelog The Changelog #487

Warp wants to be the terminal of the future

Today we’re talking with Zach Lloyd, founder of Warp — the terminal being re-imagined for the 21st century and beyond. Warp is a blazingly fast, rust-based terminal that’s being designed from the ground up to work like a modern app. We get into all the details — why now is the right time to re-invent the terminal, where they got started, the business they aim to build around Warp, what it’s going to take to gain adoption and grow, but more importantly — what’s Warp like today to get developers excited and give it a try.

The Changelog The Changelog #486

Practical ways to solve hard problems

Frank Krueger joined us to talk about solving hard problems. Earlier this year he wrote a blog post titled “Practical Guide to Solving Hard Problems,” and a lot of what he had to say really resonated with us. The premise is simple — if you have to write some code that you’re just not sure how to write…what do you do? What are the practical steps that you can take when you’re feeling stumped? Today’s show goes deep on that subject…practical ways to solve hard problems and ship your best work.

Frank has his own podcast called Merge Conflict — check it out at mergeconflict.fm.

The Changelog The Changelog #484

Wisdom from 50+ years in software

Today we have a special treat. A conversation with Brian Kernighan! Brian’s been in the software game since the beginning of Unix. Yes, he was there at Bell Labs when it all began. And he is still at it today, writing books and teaching the next generation at Princeton.

This is an epic and wide ranging conversation. You’ll hear about the birth of Unix, Ken Thompson’s unique skillset, why Brian thinks C has stood the test of time, his thoughts on modern languages like Go and Rust, what’s changed in 50 years of software, what makes platforms like Unix and the web so powerful, his take as a professor on the trend of programmers skipping the university track, and so much more.

Seriously, this is a must-listen.

The Changelog The Changelog #483

ONE MORE thing every dev should know

The incomparable Jessica Kerr is back with another grab-bag of amazing topics. We talk about her journey to Honeycomb, devs getting satisfaction from the code they write, why step one for her is “get that new project into production” and step two is observe it, her angst for the context switching around pull requests, some awesome book recommendations, how game theory and design can translate to how we skill up and level up our teams, and so much more.

The Changelog The Changelog #482

Securing the open source supply chain

This week we’re joined by the “mad scientist” himself, Feross Aboukhadijeh…and we’re talking about the launch of Socket — the next big thing in the fight to secure and protect the open source supply chain.

While working on the frontlines of open source, Feross and team have witnessed firsthand how supply chain attacks have swept across the software community and have damaged the trust in open source. Socket turns the problem of securing open source software on its head, and asks…“What if we assume all open source may be malicious?” So, they built a system that proactively detects indicators of compromised open source packages and brings awareness to teams in real-time. We cover the whys, the hows, and what’s next for this ambitious and very much needed project.

The Changelog The Changelog #481

Making the command line glamorous

This week we’re talking to Toby Padilla, Co-Founder at Charm — where they build tools to make the command line glamorous. We talk about the state of the art, the next big thing happening on the command line and in ssh-land. They have an array of open source tooling to build great apps for the terminal and Charm Cloud to power a new generation of CLI apps. We talk through all their tooling, where things are headed for CLI apps, the focus and attention of their team, and what’s to come in bringing glamor to the command line.

The Changelog The Changelog #480

Git your reset on

This week we’re joined by Annie Sexton, UX Engineer at Render, to talk about her blog post titled Git Organized: A Better Git Flow that made the internet explode when she suggested using reset instead of rebase for a better git flow. On this show we talk about the git flow she suggests and why, how this flow works for her when she’s hacking on the Render codebase (and when she uses it), the good and the bad of Git, and we also talked about the cognitive load of Git commits as you work.

The Changelog The Changelog #479

Principles for hiring engineers

This week we’re joined by Jacob Kaplan-Moss and we’re talking about his extensive writing on work sample tests. These tests are an exercise, a simulation, or a small slice of real day-to-day work that candidates will perform as part of their job. Over the years, as an engineering leader, Jacob has become a practicing expert in effectively hiring engineers — today he shares a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

The Changelog The Changelog #478

Learning from incidents

This week we’re joined by Nora Jones, founder and CEO at Jeli where they help teams gain insight and learnings from incidents. Back in December Nora shared here thoughts in a Changelog post titled “Incident” shouldn’t be a four-letter word - which got a lot of attention from our readers. Today we’re talking with Nora about all things incidents — the learning and growth they represent for teams, why teams should focus on learning from incidents in the first place, their Howie guide to post‑incident investigations, why the next emerging role is an Incident Analyst, and she also shares a few book recommendations which we’ve linked up in the show notes.

The Changelog The Changelog #476

Supabase is all in on Postgres

This week Paul Copplestone, CEO of Supabase joined us to catch us up on the next big thing happening in the world of Postgres. Supabase might be best known as “the open source Firebase alternative,” a tagline they might be reluctant to maintain. But from Adam’s perspective, he’s never been more excited about what they’re bringing to market for Postgres fans. In the last year, Supabase has gone from 0 to more than 80,000 databases on their platform — and they’re still in beta…and it’s open source. Hopefully today’s show sheds some light on why everyone is talking about Supabase.

The Changelog The Changelog #475

Making the ZFS file system

This week Matt Ahrens joins Adam to talk about ZFS. Matt co-founded the ZFS project at Sun Microsystems in 2001. And 20 years later Adam picked up ZFS for use in his home lab and loved it. So, he reached out to Matt and invited him on the show. They cover the origins of the file system, its journey from proprietary to open source, architecture choices like copy-on-write, the ins and outs of creating and managing ZFS, RAID-Z and RAID-Z expansion, and Matt even shares plans for ZFS in the cloud with ZFS object store.

The Changelog The Changelog #472

AI-assisted development is here to stay

We’re joined by Eran Yahav — talking about AI assistants for developers. Eran has been working on this problem for more than a decade. We talk about his path to now and how the idea for Tabnine came to life, this AI revolution taking place and the role it will play in developer productivity, and we talk about the elephant in the room - how Tabnine compares to GitHub Copilot, and what they’re doing to make Tabnine the AI assistant for every developer regardless of the IDE or editor you choose.

The Changelog The Changelog #471

Deeply human stories

Today we’re bringing our appearance on DevDiscuss right here to The Changelog. Jerod and I guested their launch episode for Season 7 to talk about deeply human stories we’ve covered over the years on this podcast. For long-time listners this will be a trip down memory lane and for recent subscibers this will be a guided tour on some of our most impactful episodes. Special thanks to Ben Halpern and Christina Gorton for hosting us. Check out their show at dev.to/devdiscuss

The Changelog The Changelog #470

Returning to GitHub to lead Sponsors

Today we’re joined by Jessica Lord, talking about the origins of Electron and her boomerang back to GitHub to lead GitHub Sponsors. We cover the early days of Electron before Electron was Electron, how she advocated to turn it into a product and make it a framework, how it’s used today, why she boomeranged back to GitHub to lead Sponsors, what’s next in funding open source creators, and we attempt to answer the question “what happens to open source once it’s funded?”

The Changelog The Changelog #469

Shopify's vision for the future of commerce

Today we’re joined by Ilya Grigorik to talk about Shopify’s developer preview release of Hydrogen and the preview release of Oxygen which is in early access preview with select merchants on Shopify. Hydrogen is their React framework for dynamic, contextual, and personalized e-commerce. And Oxygen is Shopify’s hosted V8 JavaScript worker runtime that leverages all of their platform with the hope of scaling millions of storefronts. We cover what developers can expect from the Hydrogen framework, Shopify’s big bet on React Server Components, the future of Shopify at scale with Hydrogen powered by Oxygen, and a world where merchants never have to think about the complexities of scaling infrastructure.

The Changelog The Changelog #467

Connecting the dots in public

Today we’re joined by Shawn “swyx” Wang, also known as just “swyx” — and we’re talking about his interesting path to becoming a software developer, what it means to “learn in public” and how he’s been able to leverage that process to not only level up his skills and knowlege, but to also rapidly advance his career. We cover Swyx’s recent writing on the light and dark side of the API economy — something he calls “living above or below the API,” his thoughts on Cloudflare eating the cloud by playing Go instead of Chess, and we also talk about the work he’s doing at Temporal and how’s taking his frontend skills to the backend.

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