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.


  • Poster Image

    84: The Bus Number (Harper Reed)

    February 2nd, 2014  |  Season 2  |  46 mins 20 secs

    On this week's episode, Ben talks with Harper Reed, former CTO of Threadless, former CTO of Obama for America, and currently CEO of Modest. Harper talks about management and his "cabal" of people that he likes to work with. He also discusses his experience on the campaign,, and procurement laws. When asked about his playbook for success, Harper talks about networking strategies, the use of different languages for different problems, craziness, and much more.

  • Poster Image

    83: Turning the Tables (Ben Orenstein)

    January 26th, 2014  |  Season 2  |  53 mins 30 secs

    On this week's special episode, Chad Pytel turns the tables and interviews host Ben Orenstein. They discuss the process of running the podcast and Ben's roots in programming and computer science. Ben talks about his Vim mastery, how he got into public speaking, and his experiences speaking at RailsConf. This year Ben is organizing the live coding track at RailConf. Ben describes his strategies for learning programming, how he's getting into Clojure, and much more!

  • Poster Image

    82: Teach all the things (Matt Knox)

    January 19th, 2014  |  Season 2  |  38 mins 25 secs

    This week's episode features Matt Knox of Twitter. Matt is a part of Twitter's university team which teaches new Twitter recruits about the company. He works as an engineer as well in order to stay current. Matt discusses his background as an engineer, and how he got into teaching. He discusses using Storm, essentially a real-time Hadoop, for Twitter. Ben and Matt talk about the importance of keeping a portfolio as a programmer and deliberate practice routines for coding, and more.

  • Poster Image

    81: An Agent of Change (Seth Godin)

    January 12th, 2014  |  Season 2  |  33 mins 41 secs

    In this week's episode, Ben Orenstein is joined by best selling author, Seth Godin. Seth describes himself as an entrepreneur, a blogger, and an agent of change. They discuss art, frustration, and the endless pursuit of perfection as an artist. In his newest book, The Icarus Deception, Seth discusses seeking art in your work and looking beyond standards and production. They talk about the importance of finding connections with other artists and people who can provide meaningful feedback. They discuss several of Seth's blog posts which are linked below, and much more.

  • Poster Image

    80: Growing Business (Josh Pigford)

    December 22nd, 2013  |  Season 2  |  28 mins 11 secs

    This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein chats with Josh Pigford about time management, entrepreneurship and farming

  • Poster Image

    79: The Gentle Wise One (Uncle Bob Martin)

    December 15th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  37 mins 59 secs

    This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein talks with Uncle Bob Martin about functional programming, ethics, and writing.

  • Poster Image

    78: Fancy Pants (Chris Lindland)

    December 8th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  28 mins 6 secs

    This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein talks with Chris Lindland, CEO of about online fashion, self-generating product and dress-pant-sweatpants.

  • Poster Image

    77: A Beautiful Thing (Harold Giménez)

    December 1st, 2013  |  Season 2  |  51 mins 16 secs

    This week on Giant Robots, Ben Orenstein speaks with Harold Giménez, Heroku postgres leader, about postgres, data management, and beer brewing.

  • Poster Image

    76: The Boutique Agency

    November 24th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  40 mins 51 secs

    Ben Orenstein speaks with Alex Kesler, founder and CEO of inSegment about digital marketing, GTD and productivity.

  • Poster Image

    75: Embedding Democracy (Catherine Bracy)

    November 17th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  31 mins 21 secs

    This week Ben Orenstein interviews Catherine Bracy, Director of Community Organizing at Code for America.

  • Poster Image

    74: Fancy Scala (Sean Griffin)

    November 10th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  32 mins 5 secs

    Ben Orenstein speaks with thoughtbot developer Sean Griffin about scala and ruby.

  • Poster Image

    73: Spooky Robots Haunting other Spooky Robots (Drew Neil)

    November 3rd, 2013  |  Season 2  |  33 mins 3 secs

    Ben Orenstein speaks with Drew Neil, creator of about teaching writing and workshopping vim.

  • Poster Image

    72: Up in the Mountains (Nathan Barry)

    October 27th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  32 mins 39 secs

    This week on The Giant Robots Podcast, Ben Orenstein chats with Nathan Barry about book writing, teaching and self employment.

  • Poster Image

    71: The Power of the Truth

    October 20th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  39 mins 53 secs

    Josh Clayton and Ben Orenstein interview each other about their managing director positions.

  • Poster Image

    70: Let Your Freak Flag Fly

    October 13th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  40 mins 17 secs

    Ben Orenstein speaks with Jeff Atwood about Discourse, forum software, and soylent.

  • Poster Image

    69: Geocoding in the Now

    October 6th, 2013  |  Season 2  |  14 mins 50 secs

    Ben Orenstein interviews Josh Clayton and Laila Winner on their book, Geocoding on Rails.