March 9, 2020
Robby speaks with Jessica Kerr, Symmathecist at Jessitron LLC. They discuss why working on existing projects is more interesting than greenfield ones, the overuse and harm of the term "technical debt", and how software is not a craft. Jessica also gives an introduction to being a Symmathecist.
March 2, 2020
Robby speaks with Jon Thornton, Engineer at Squarespace. This discuss examples of good technical debt, implementing a new monolith alongside another monolith (and when to extract to a microservice), metrics to track within your engineering team, and more.
February 24, 2020
Robby speaks with Ben Orenstein, CEO and Co-founder of Tuple, a remote pair programming app. They discuss why saying, "someday we'll go clean that up" doesn't work in reality, the downsides to putting maintenance work into a backlog, and implicit vs. explicit knowledge. Ben also gives an intro to Tuple.
February 17, 2020
Robby speaks with Ernesto Tagwerker, Founder and CTO at and Ombu Labs. They discuss the challenges of Ruby on Rails upgrade projects, running a software consultancy, hiring and mentoring junior developers, and more.
February 10, 2020
Robby speaks with Marit van Dijk, Software Engineer at Bol. They discuss effective communication with stakeholders about technical debt, Marit's scenic route to becoming a software developer, and automated testing strategies when dealing with several services. They also cover lessons in mob programming and touch on README file best practices.
February 3, 2020
Robby speaks with Mike Perham, Founder and CEO at Contribsys and author of Sidekiq and Faktory. They discuss the pros and cons of using external dependencies, how Mike built a business off of his open source project, Sidekiq, and the dIfference in maintaining Ruby vs Go software projects.
January 27, 2020
Robby speaks with Ev Haus, Head of Technology at ZenHub. They discuss how to get to zero technical debt, metrics an engineering team can measure, good pull-request etiquette, and more.
January 20, 2020
Robby speaks with Adam Tornhill, Founder of Empear and CodeScene. They discuss the benefits of having clear boundaries between teams, strategies for prioritizing where to start tackling technical debt, and how to improve the onboarding experience for developers new to a software codebase. Adam also shares a rare example of a successful rewrite project.
January 13, 2020
Robby speaks with M. Scott Ford, CTO and Chief Code Whisperer at Corgibytes and co-host of the Legacy Code Rocks podcast. They discuss the difference between Makers and Menders, how to prioritize a technical debt backlog, and how to provide feedback to other developers.
January 6, 2020
Robby speaks with Gitte Klitgaard, Agile Coach and Owner of Native Wired. They discuss how to create space for psychological safety, the importance of sharing mistakes and fuck-ups of the week, and understanding, coping and taking advantage of your Imposter Syndrome.
December 23, 2019
Robby speaks with Nathaniel Bibler, CTO at Envy Labs. They discuss how to talk about technical debt as a team, navigating communication challenges with clients, and how to be a good guest in another team's code base. If you work – or want to work – at an agency, you should listen to this episode.
December 16, 2019
Robby speaks with Abby Bangser, Senior Test Engineer on the Platform Engineering Team at MOO. They discuss how maintainable code leans on a dependable build and test process, what metrics Moo's platform engineering team measures, and codifying your pipeline – including having pipelines build on a regular basis.
December 9, 2019
Robby speaks with Viktor Klang, Deputy CTO at Lightbend Inc. They discuss how to avoid constant firefighting, effective usecases of TODO and FIXME comments, and how to create a safe space for developers to make mistakes.
December 2, 2019
Robby speaks with Beth Long, Software Engineer on the Build & Deploy Tools Engineering team at New Relic. They discuss the origin of the technical debt metaphor, considering when a rewrite is necessary (spoiler alert – it rarely is), and speak about the limitations of agile across modern engineering teams.
November 25, 2019
Robby speaks with Emily Bache, Technical Agile Coach at ProAgile. They talk about her experience coaching teams on how to improve the long-term maintainability of their software – including how to still see your direct impact when coaching instead of coding. They also dig into the social aspect of development, mob programming, and how coding is a social activity.
November 18, 2019
Robby speaks with Zee Spencer, owner of Zinc Cooperative, and programmer at Cohere. They speak about how social systems impact software maintainability, why legacy code is profitable code, and consulting within a timebox constraint.
November 4, 2019
Robby speaks with Ana Nelson, a software developer, writer, improv performer, and creator of Dexy — an open-source tool for writing any kind of technical document that incorporates code.
October 28, 2019
Robby speaks with Dave Aronson, Owner, Consultant (and T. Rex) at Codosaurus.
October 21, 2019
Robby speaks with programmer, speaker, and author Michael Feathers, most notably known as the author of the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code.
October 14, 2019
Robby speaks with Justin Searls, Co-Founder at Test Double. Hear Justin's experience digging into technical debt, learn why software is like a sedimentary rock, and more.
October 7, 2019
Robby speaks with Patricia Aas, Programming CTO at TurtleSec AS about how programming and security are intertwined.
September 30, 2019
Robby speaks with Nate Berkopec, owner of the Speedshop and Rails consultant. Nate speaks about speed in Rails, along with how to prioritize performance in your day-to-day development workflow.
September 23, 2019
Robby speaks with Victor Rentea, an independent technical trainer and Lead Architect at IBM based in Romania. Victor talks about teaching other engineers about legacy code, calling yourself an "expert", and what to do when you're rushed to deliver features but are dealing with refactoring challenges.
September 16, 2019
This week's guest on Maintainable is Sandro Mancuso, Software Craftsman & Co-Founder of Codurance. Robby and Sandro cover topics like how to avoid technical debt, what skills make for a successful software consultant, and more.
September 9, 2019
This week we're excited to have Bryan Liles, Senior Staff Engineer at VMWare, on Maintainable. Robby and Bryan chat about representation in the industry, how to use your job title to your advantage, and more.
September 2, 2019
This week's episode features Liz Keogh, Lean & Agile Coach and Trainer. Robby and Liz talk about behavior-driven development (BDD), what it's like to be a coach, and more!
August 26, 2019
On this week's episode, Robby talks to Colin Jones, CTO at 8th Light. They chat about software consultancy, what it means to be a good guest in someone else's codebase, and more.
August 19, 2019
This week Robby interviews the host of the Developer Tea podcast, Jonathan Cutrell. They discuss what constitutes debt, how to build a strong team, and more!
August 12, 2019
This week Robby chats with Karolina Szczur about what people get wrong about technical debt, best practices for documentation for remote developers, and more!
August 5, 2019
This week Robby chats with Liran Haimovitch, co-founder of Rookout. Liran discusses things like how the term "technical debt" is misused, as well as how to overcome it.
July 29, 2019
Robby speaks to Robert Meaney, Head of Testing & Test Coach at Poppulo. Robert explains the difference between technical debt and testing debt, the importance of observability, and more!
July 22, 2019
Robby speaks with Melissa Eaden, Tech Lead in Quality at Unity 3D. She shares her experience working with legacy code as it relates to testing.
July 15, 2019
Robby speaks with Steve Poling, Senior Technical Consultant at Excelon Development and long-time Software Developer. Steve describes whether he's team rewrite or team refactor, shares his definition of technical debt, and why uniformity of code matters.
July 8, 2019
Robby speaks with Matt Weagle, Engineering Manager at Lyft. Matt discusses how his engineering teams have handled technical debt in small iterations vs. a major rewrite, why a whiteboard is the best tool for architectural challenges, and the most common mistakes he sees when engineers approach legacy code bases.
July 1, 2019
Robby speaks with Mariah Howard, Senior Product Manager at Thinkful, to discuss technical debt from a product management perspective. Mariah touches on Google's metrics framework, leading vs. lagging indicators, and technical debt in products outside of the world of code. You'll also learn more about Thinkful's mission and methodology as an online school for engineers.
June 24, 2019
Robby speaks with Anne Marie Kirby, CEO & Co-Founder of CoreHealth Global. She shares questions to ask before a software rewrite, evolving 10+ year old code, and proving a business case when pitching software improvements as a developer.
June 17, 2019
Robby speaks with Marco "Ocramius" Pivetta, a software consultant specializing in PHP. Marco gives his input on different types of technical debt he's seen, working with less experienced developers as a senior, and getting "kicked in the teeth" as a developer. He also shares what great senior devs should spend more time on (hint: It's not writing code).
June 10, 2019
Robby speaks with Lisa Crispin, co-author of Agile Testing and Testing Advocate at Mabl. Lisa speaks about "thinking skills" for developers, why testing professionals should be integrated into dev teams, testing and development cycles, and how to start building automated tests on a legacy application.
June 3, 2019
Robby speaks with Pim Elshoff, Software Developer at Procurios. Pim explains why developers should improve their communication skills when speaking with management, recalls his biggest mistake as a developer, and gives tips on explaining your side of an argument and how to listen to empathize.
May 27, 2019
Robby speaks with Morgan Senkal, Software Architect at Metal Toad. Morgan recalls a challenging 15-year-old legacy project that was reminiscent of a Stephen King story and explains what to think about when considering a software rewrite. Morgan and Robby keep a running analogy of technical debt and automotive repairs.
May 20, 2019
Robby speaks with Eileen M. Uchitelle, Senior Software Engineer at Github and member of the Rails Core Team. You'll hear about Eileen's work upgrading Github from Rails 3.2 to 5.2, how Github prioritized the upgrade, and why teams should get ahead and upgrade to Rails 6.
May 13, 2019
Robby speaks with Charity Majors, CTO of Honeycomb. They discuss her work as an Infrastructure Engineer, how Honeycomb was created, all about working and testing in production, and why software engineers should be "on call" for their code.
May 13, 2019
Robby speaks with Charity Majors, CTO of Honeycomb. They discuss her work as an Infrastructure Engineer, how Honeycomb was created, all about working and testing in production, and why software engineers should be "on call" for their code.
May 6, 2019
Robby speaks with Sahil Lavingia, Founder and CEO of Gumroad. Sahil has been transparent about the challenges of building a company – speaking on VC investments, layoffs, and more. Sahil talks about why he built Gumroad, adjusting development processes when your staff shrinks, and the future of Gumroad, including potentially open sourcing the product.
April 29, 2019
Robby speaks with Coraline Ada Ehmke, Principal Engineer at Stitch Fix and author of The Compassionate Coder. Coraline speaks about the social side of coding and empathy in open source and legacy projects. Robby and Coraline also walk through some possible scenarios on development teams and how to handle them with empathy.
April 22, 2019
Robby sits down with James Smith, Co-Founder and CEO at Bugsnag, to discuss software stability, engineering processes in a startup vs. a stable company, and how the Bugsnag engineering team gets things done as a team with offices on two continents.
April 15, 2019
Robby speaks with Anna Filina, a software consultant at Zenika Montreal who specializes in legacy code. They discuss why engineers don't have to ask permission to write tests, why convincing people to get on board with your technical plans matters, and what a "software archaeologist" really does.
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