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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 #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.

Ship It! Ship It! #45

Swiss Quality Assurance

Pia Wiedermayer, Lead QA at Zühlke, is talking with Gerhard today about software quality. If the name sounds familiar, check out episode 28. Thank you Romano for the introduction 👋🏻

Do you remember the last time that you used an app, whether it was in the browser or on your mobile, and everything just worked? What about that intuitive feel, snappiness and you achieving the task that you intended to without feeling that you are fighting tech? Experiences like those take a lot of effort across multiple disciplines. They are designed, built and maintained over long periods of time. It all starts with people like Pia that really care about quality. It’s so much more than just automated testing…

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 #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.

Ship It! Ship It! #39

Haunted codebases & complex ops

This week we are talking to Robin Morero, the person behind fabled.se, a DevOps consultancy from Gothenburg, Sweden. Their motto is “move faster and prosper”, which Gerhard prefers to the initial “move fast and break things”.

Fabled works with startups primarily, and after 26 years, Robin has a few interesting insights to share. What do you think, are haunted codebases real? At what point do pull requests become harmful? What about k3s running on KVM as a simple starting point for production? If this reminds you of #7, and the follow-up YouTube stream with Lars, it’s no coincidence.

Ship It! Ship It! #28

What does good DevOps look like?

This week Gerhard is chatting with Romano Roth, Head of DevOps at Zühlke, a company founded by Gerhard Zühlke in 1968. Nowadays they help companies all over the world build, ship and run anything from factory robots, to AI assistants in complex regulatory environments, and even medical devices that perform autonomous robotic surgery.

When Romano is not leading a team of 30 software engineers that specialise in operations, infrastructure and cloud, he is one of the organisers of DevOps Days Zürich, and also the DevOps Meetup group, which is how Gerhard and Romano met in 2019.

Having started his career as a .Net developer back in 2002, Romano had his fair share of dev and ops challenges, and he always enjoys seeing real business value delivered continuously in an automated way. In recent years, Romano’s perspective broadened, and now he sees DevOps realities across many companies. If you are curious about what good DevOps looks like, and what are the real challenges, then Romano has some good insights for you.

Ship It! Ship It! #24

Connecting your daily work to intent & vision

This week Gerhard is talking with Arnaud Porterie, founder of EchoesHQ, a new utility that measures and communicates engineering activity.

They start by re-creating the 60 seconds Y Combinator pitch, and then shift focus to what it was like to get EchoesHQ off the ground. Next, they tackle something which is always on Gerhard’s mind: Why is it important to connect our daily engineering activity to intent?

Before EchoesHQ, Arnaud used to run the core team and the open source project at Docker, and combined with other engineering leadership roles that he held for over a decade, he kept encountering misalignment that was preventing organisations from making meaningful progress. Let’s hear why EchoesHQ might just be a great way of addressing this.

The Changelog The Changelog #463

Lessons from 10k hours of programming

Today we’re talking to Matt Rickard about his blog post, Reflections on 10,000 Hours of Programming. Matt was clear to mention that these reflections are purely about coding, not career advice or other soft skills. These reflections are just about deliberately writing code for 10,000 hours, which also correlates with the number of hours needed to master a skill.

If you count the reflections we cover on the show and be the first to comment on this episode, we’ll get in touch and send you a coupon code to use for a 100% free t-shirt in the merch store. Good luck…

Ship It! Ship It! #22

It's crazy and impossible

Today we have a very special episode, where Gerhard gets to share his favourite learnings from Steve Jobs. If it wasn’t for his determination to build a better personal computer, Gerhard would have most likely continued with a career in physics.

We know what you’re thinking: it’s crazy and impossible to interview Steve Jobs, but on his 10th memorial anniversary, Gerhard was determined to combine the things that Steve said with his passion for computers, automation, and infrastructure.

Live your life and ship your best stuff because there’s nothing like the present.

Thank you, Steve.

Ship It! Ship It! #21

Learning from incidents

Things go wrong all the time. We all make mistakes. And that is okay. What is not okay, is to think that it won’t happen, or that there will be someone else around when it does. In that moment, it doesn’t matter who wrote that module, package or microservice. But there is a better way to think about this, and there is an approach that makes people actually look forward to incidents.

It all starts with thinking of incidents as opportunities to learn, and then share those learnings with everyone, so that you can all improve. In this episode, Gerhard is joined by Stephen Whitworth and Chris Evans, incident.io co-founders, and former Staff Engineers at Monzo.

They get it, we get it, and now you can get it too.

Ship It! Ship It! #17

Docs are not optional

On this week’s episode, Gerhard is joined by Kathy Korevec, former Senior Director of Product at GitHub, and now Vercel’s Head of Product. Docs play an essential role in GitHub Actions, and Gerhard’s experience has proven that. Building, testing, and shipping code with GitHub Actions works better because of their excellent docs. However, the docs that Kathy pictures are not what you are imagining. She explains it best in her post, Maybe it’s time we re-think docs, which is what started this whole conversation.

The bottom line is, just as you wouldn’t ship untested code, shipping code without documentation is not optional. Today’s conversation with Kathy explains why.

Ship It! Ship It! #16

Optimize for smoothness not speed

This week Gerhard is joined by Justin Searls, Test Double co-founder and CTO. Also a 🐞 magnet. They talk about how to deal with the pressure of shipping faster, why you should optimize for smoothness not speed, and why focusing on consistency is key. Understanding the real why behind what you do is also important. There’s a lot more to it, as its a nuanced and complex discussion, and well worth your time.

Expect a decade of learnings compressed into one hour, as well as disagreements on some ops and infrastructure topics — all good fun. In the show notes, you will find Gerhard’s favorite conference talks Justin gave a few years back.

Ship It! Ship It! #11

Honeycomb's secret to high-performing teams

Gerhard talks with Charity Majors, ops engineer and accidental startup founder at honeycomb.io about high-performing teams, why “15 minutes or bust,” and how we should start using Honeycomb in our own monolithic Phoenix app that runs changelog.com. There is just one step, and it’s actually really simple!

They also talk about how Honeycomb uses Honeycomb to learn about Honeycomb, which is one of Gerhard’s favorite questions. As for key take-aways, deploying straight into production is really important, but not as important as optimising for humans - which are not replaceable cogs, that learn and share their learnings continuously. That is the secret to making things easy and happy for everyone.

The Changelog The Changelog #447

The foundations of Continuous Delivery

This week we’re sharing one of the most popular episodes from our new podcast Ship It. Ship It launched in May and now has 8 episodes in the feed to enjoy…it’s hosted by Gerhard Lazu, our SRE here at Changelog.

In this episode, Gerhard talks with Dave Farley, co-author of Continuous Delivery and the inventor of the Deployment Pipeline. Today, most of us ship code the way we do because 25 years ago, Dave cared enough to drive the change that we now call CI/CD. He is one of the great software engineers: opinionated, perseverant & focused since the heydays of the internet. Dave continues inspiring and teaching us all via his newly launched YouTube channel, courses, and recent books. The apprentice finally meets the master 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♀️

Ship It! Ship It! #8

Cloud Native fundamentals

Why Cloud Native? What are the guiding principles that you should keep in mind as you are choosing a project from the Cloud Native Landscape? How do you build & ship an app in a Cloud Native way? Katie Gamanji, Ecosystem Advocate @ CNCF and former cloud engineer for American Express, Condé Nast and Microsoft, joins Gerhard to cover these topics in the context of the Cloud Native Fundamentals course that she developed. 15,000 students have already enrolled, and the initial feedback has been great. Tune in if you want to know why you should too, how to do it and when the course will become available for free.

Ship It! Ship It! #6

Money flows rule everything

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Ian Miell, author of Docker in Practice as well as Learn Git, Bash, and Terraform the Hard Way. They talk about being comfortable with the uncomfortable, focusing on the tech while keeping a holistic view of the business. Following the money flows is key. Ian explains this concept really well, and Gerhard feels fairly confident you will be better off if you pay attention. Let us know in the comments!

Ship It! Ship It! #5

The foundations of Continuous Delivery

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Dave Farley, co-author of Continuous Delivery and the inventor of the Deployment Pipeline. Today, most of us ship code the way we do because 25 years ago, Dave cared enough to drive the change that we now call CI/CD. He is one of the great software engineers: opinionated, perseverant & focused since the heydays of the internet. Dave continues inspiring and teaching us all via his newly launched YouTube channel, courses and recent books. The apprentice finally meets the master 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♀️

Ship It! Ship It! #4

OODA for operational excellence

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Ben Ford, former Royal Marine and founder of Commando Development, about the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act). Shipping is just a small part of it. The OODA loop that you know is probably the wrong one. We explore Mission & Command, Situational Awareness and a few other practices that will help you deal with complexity as you code and ship. As a former Royal Marine Commando, Ben learned these skills the hard way, and then refined them over many years as a software engineer. Check out the diagrams in the show notes - they are a work of art and precision.

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