Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

About the show

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot's Chad Pytel is joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.


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    175: Broaden Your Worldview (Ashe Dryden)

    December 21st, 2015  |  Season 4  |  30 mins 4 secs

    Ben talks with Ashe Dryden about ways to approach diversity in the tech community from workplace, conference, and personal perspectives.

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    174: Building Character (Laura Roeder)

    December 14th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  29 mins 43 secs

    Ben and Laura Roeder, founder of Edgar, chat about anthropomorphizing your brand to build better engagement, going the extra step to care about customer success, and some tips for social media marketing best practices.

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    173: Obsessed With Helping (Hiten Shah)

    December 7th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  30 mins 28 secs

    Ben talks with Hiten Shah, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, on the value of helping others, frameworks for a better life, being an infovore, and tips for finding a successful product niche.

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    172: Go After the Hard Stuff (Eric Normand)

    December 1st, 2015  |  Season 4  |  41 mins 27 secs

    Ben and Eric Normand of LispCast and talk about the pros and cons of Haskell and Clojure, empathize on some of the pain points of running an educational coding platform, and hypothesize on how the next great programming "killer demo" will present itself.

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    171: Always Be Hustling (Steli Efti)

    November 23rd, 2015  |  Season 4  |  37 mins 39 secs

    Ben talks with Steli Efti, CEO and Co-founder of Close, on maintaining energy and passion in speaking, why engineers make great sales people (and how they can be even better), and managing your emotions to be more productive and happy.

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    170: Make Things People Want (C. Todd Lombardo & Trace Wax)

    November 9th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  39 mins 38 secs

    Chad talks with C. Todd Lombardo & Trace Wax about their new book, co-authored with Richard Banfield, Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products, as well as the process and benefits of design sprints.

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    169: Purpose Driven Development (Sara Chipps)

    November 5th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  36 mins 2 secs

    Brenda talks with Sara Chipps on the desire to educate in code, her inspiration to work on hardware, and the troubles of manufacturing.

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    168: 'Unpronounceable' (Star Simpson)

    October 27th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  31 mins 52 secs

    Chad Pytel and Laila Winner welcome Star Simpson to discuss PLIBMTTBHGATY (Programming Languages I’ve Been Meaning To Try But Haven’t Gotten Around To Yet), fostering community through meet-ups, and the finer points of taco delivery via drone.

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    167: A Place For Both (Brenda Storer)

    October 12th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  36 mins 46 secs

    Ben talks with thoughtbot designer Brenda Storer on fitting both development and design in her job title, tips for public speaking, and introduces a new change to the show.

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    166: Refactoring Health Care (John Norman)

    October 5th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  40 mins 13 secs

    Ben talks with John Norman about his process and modified approach to the delivery, payment, and tech of modern managed health care. They also touch on age bias in the programming world, living a purpose-driven life, and dealing with startup growth.

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    165: Everyone's Welcome Here (Adam Stacoviak & Jerod Santo)

    September 28th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  43 mins 5 secs

    Ben talks with Adam & Jerod of The Changelog Podcast to discuss their personal interviewing modalities, doing full-time media creation, and a new video project aimed to explore the actual people behind your programming heroes.

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    164: Transcribing at 260 wpm (Mirabai Knight)

    September 21st, 2015  |  Season 4  |  36 mins 50 secs

    Ben talks with Mirabai Knight about the technology and uses of modern stenography; including using steno with Vim, and her work on Plover, the open source Steno engine.

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    163: Play is the Best Way to Learn (Nadia Odunayo)

    September 14th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  31 mins 37 secs

    Ben talks with Nadia Odunayo about giving non-technical conference talks and full-time pairing.

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    162: Literal Giant Robots (Brinkley Warren)

    September 8th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  23 mins 25 secs

    Ben is joined by Brinkley Warren of MegaBots Inc. to discuss the history, build, and strategy behind the MegaBot Mk II, USA's entrant in next years giant robot duel!

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    161: Listen to Your Users (Jules Coleman)

    August 31st, 2015  |  Season 4  |  28 mins 38 secs

    Ben and Jules Coleman, founder of Hassle, discuss staying close to the codebase while in a more managerial role, the challenges of rapid growth, and the value of internalizing feedback.

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    160: Unfollowing the Leader (Drew Neil)

    August 26th, 2015  |  Season 4  |  30 mins 49 secs

    Ben and Drew Neil discuss freeing up Vim's leader key, the value of visual learning, and using GitHub to crowd source closed captions.