Recapping our June - August podcast episodes

You know thoughtbot hosts two regular podcasts. Right???

  • Giant Robots is an interview-style discussion with a leader in technology, leadership, diversity, or other area near and dear to our hearts.
  • The Bikeshed is a podcast for developers, by developers, talking about new learnings, best practices, challenges, and fun stuff along the way.

We love to share who we’ve met and what we learned with our fans and sponsorships help us keep the great content coming. If you’re interested in sponsoring one of our podcasts, get in touch here for more information.

Check out these summaries and see what piques your interest from our 3rd quarter pods, and then spend a little time with our teammates and friends.

Giant Robots


Owen McGab Enaohwo is the CEO and Co-Founder of SweetProcess, a business process management software that helps management teams and employees easily document procedures, implement processes, and manage tasks. Chad talks with Owen about taking specific root issues and building software around them, overcoming resistance, and the importance of having the freedom to make changes to documents that outline how you do your work.


Jeni Barcelos is the Co-Founder and CEO of Marvelous, the world’s most beautiful all-in-one teaching platform. Jeni and Chad talk about what makes Marvelous different from other teaching platforms, the importance of elevating women to leadership positions, and why getting accepted into an accelerator program was impactful for the company.


Johanna Mikkola is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wyncode Academy, whose project-based programs help professionals launch new careers in the tech industry. Chad talks with Johanna about creating a digital skills training bootcamp, the hiring and training market and challenges, and prioritizing inclusion and diversity in the student population.

Deborah Levine is the Director of LGBT YouthLink at CenterLink, which supports, strengthens, and connects LGBT centers. Chad talks with Deborah about working on something new called imi: a free digital research-backed mental health tool intended to support and help LGBTQ+ teens explore and affirm their identity and learn practical ways to cope with their sexual and gender minority stress, and founding Q Chat Space, a digital LGBTQ+ center where teens join online support groups.


Tarush Aggarwal is the Founder and CEO of 5X, the modern data stack as a managed service that enables companies to answer business questions without building data infrastructure or bringing in the right data engineering team. Chad talks with Tarush about the modern data stack movement, choosing things that make sense on behalf of their customers, and building a team culture at a company with a fairly large time zone distribution.


Panos Siozos is Co-Founder and CEO of LearnWorlds, an online course platform for creating, selling, and promoting online courses. Chad and Panos talk about building e-learning platforms, providing rich feature sets and catering to customers in lots of different locations, and the decision to stop bootstrapping and take investor money.


Geronda Wollack-Spiller is the DEI Program Manager at thoughtbot. She and Chad talk about implementing a successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program by providing a culture of belonging, the challenges the tech industry faces specifically, and acknowledging the challenges of bringing someone onto a team who might be the only one with underrepresented identities.


Chelinde Edouard is Co-Founder and CEO of MustWatch, which connects people through television. Chad talks with Che about creating a social and user engagement platform that allows people to constantly use an app without interrupting TV-watching experiences, how they use data to improve user experience, and fundraising and giving investors opportunities to help build out and market the app.


Anna Spearman is the Founder of Techie Staffing, which connects high-quality technology talent with high-caliber clients. Chad and Anna talk about founding and growing the company, reputation building, and facing skepticism around her lack of track record in recruiting, and how her team finds and provides talent for clients as a white-glove service.


Susanna Twarog is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SOS, which is transforming wellness on the go through a network of smart vending machines. Chad talks with Susanna about the unique business that they’re building and what SOS can offer brands, and the biggest hurdles to getting 10,000 machines up and running.


Adam Kenney is Chief Product Officer at Numerated, which helps banks and credit unions transform how they lend to businesses. Chad talks with Adam about the institutional bank and credit unions market, customers, and sales cycles, along with the scaling and pandemic challenges they faced.


Victoria Guido is the new Associate Director of Business Development and DevOps Strategy at thoughtbot, and is joining Chad as co-host of the show! Chad talks with Victoria about getting involved in DevOps work, transitioning to agile, moving away from her old community which was based on geography, and tips for people onboarding into a new role.


Sarabeth Jaffe is CTO and Co-Founder at HelloPrenup, the digital prenup platform designed to get couples on the same page. Chad and Sarabeth talk about dogfooding her own product, completely starting over from a technical perspective using a low-code/no-code platform, and appearing on the ABC hit series Shark Tank.

The Bikeshed

341: Fundamentals and Weird Stuff

Steph and Chris recorded this episode in the same room, physically together! Chris talks about slowly evolving the architecture in an app they’re working on and settling on directory structure while Steph works to migrate unit tests over to RSpec. They answer a listener’s question about setting goals as a developer.

342: Sky Icing

Another toaster strudel debate?! Plus, the results are in for the most listened-to podcast in the RoR community! Steph has a “Dear Gerrit” message to share. Chris has a follow-up on mobile app strategy.

343: Opt-In To Oversharing

Chris is weathering through a holding period where his team waits for new features to become available with some of the platforms they integrate with, and as they think out new facets of the platform they’re building. Steph has been thinking recently about working in isolation. It’s a topic that Joël Quenneville pointed out to her and mentioned. Can engineers work in isolation and be successful?

344: Spinner Armageddon

Steph has an update and a question wrapped into one about the work that is being done to migrate the Test::Unit test over to RSpec. Chris got to do something exciting this week using dry-monads.

345: Fire Drill

Chris is getting ready to travel, and of course, Sagewell started the day with an incident… Steph talks books perfect for vacations and feels sufficiently scarred from still moving fixtures over to FactoryBot.

346: Occasional Biscuits

Natural disaster movies, anyone? It’s what Steph’s been into, and Chris has THOUGHTS on the drilling in Armageddon. Additionally, a chat around RuboCop RSpec rules, and they answer a listener’s question about getting acquainted with a new code base.

347: Tracking Velocity

Chris talks about a small toy app he maintains on the side and working with a project called capybara_table. Steph is getting ready for maternity leave and wonders how you track and evaluate working speed. They answer a listener’s question about where to get started testing a legacy app.

348: Breaking News

Steph and Chris share some big news about the future of The Bike Shed. Steph shares an update about integrating with Knapsack Pro. Chris is excited for larger projects that will begin in the next few weeks. They answer a listener’s question on keeping backlogs connected to the product vision.

349: Unpopular Opinions

Steph and Chris announce Joël Quenneville as the new host of the show! 🎉 Joël talks about where The Bike Shed is going to go from here. Together, the group chats about unpopular opinions and hot programming takes.

350: 21 Bell Salute

It’s Steph and Chris’ last show. Steph found a game, and if you’ve been following the journey, all of the Test::Unit test files are now live in RSpec. JWTs really grind Chris’ gears. The hosts wrap up with things they’ve learned, takeaways, proudest podcasting moments and thanks to all the folks who’ve helped make The Bike Shed happen.

351: Learning in Public

It’s Joël’s first episode as host of The Bike Shed! 👋 Joël has fellow thoughtbotter Steve Polito join him to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of “learning in public” and how there are many, many different ways to do it.

352: Case Expressions

As developers, we care a lot about code quality. How do we know how good is good enough? Alternatively, when working on code that’s really bad, how much do you improve it before calling it a day? thoughtbot’s Stephanie Minn joins Joël to chat about this and case expressions—we recently discussed these as part of thoughtbot’s RubyScience reading group.

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