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The Changelog: Software Dev & Open Source

The Changelog: Software Dev & Open Source

Conversations with the hackers, leaders, and innovators of the software world. Hosts Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo face their imposter syndrome so you don?t have to. Expect in-depth interviews with the best and brightest in software engineering, open source, and leadership. This is a polyglot podcast. All programming languages, platforms, and communities are welcome. Open source moves fast. Keep up.


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Darklang Diaries

This week on The Changelog, Jerod is joined by Paul Biggar the creator of Dark, a new way to build serverless backends. Paul shares all the details about this all-in-one language, editor, and infrastructure, why he decided to make Dark in the first place, his view on programming language design, the advantages Dark has as an integrated solution, and also why it?s source available, but NOT open source.
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Community perspectives on Elastic vs AWS

This week on The Changelog we?re talking about the recent falling out between Elastic and AWS around the relicensing of Elasticsearch and Kibana. Like many in the community, we have been watching this very closely. Here?s the tldr for context. On January 21st, Elastic posted a blog post sharing their concerns with Amazon/AWS misleading and confusing the community, saying ?They have been doing things that we think are just NOT OK since 2015 and it has only gotten worse.? This lead them to relicense Elasticsearch and Kibana with a dual license, a proprietary license and the Sever Side Public License (SSPL). AWS responded two days later stating that they are ?stepping up for a truly open source Elasticsearch,? and shared their plans to create and maintain forks of Elasticsearch and Kibana based on the latest ALv2-licensed codebases. There?s a ton of detail and nuance beneath the surface, so we invited a handful of folks on the show to share their perspective. On today?s show you?ll hear from: Adam Jacob (co-founder and board member of Chef), Heather Meeker (open-source lawyer and the author of the SSPL license), Manish Jain (founder and CTO at Dgraph Labs), Paul Dix (co-founder and CTO at InfluxDB), VM (Vicky) Brasseur (open source & free software business strategist), and Markus Stenqvist (everyday web dev from Sweden).
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Open source civilization

This week we?re talking about open source industrial machines. We?re joined by Marcin Jakubowski from Open Source Ecology where they?re developing open source industrial machines that can be made for a fraction of commercial costs, and they?re sharing their designs online for free. The goal is to create an efficient open source economy that increases innovation through open collaboration. We talk about what it takes to build a civilization from scratch, the Open Building Institute and their Eco-Building Toolkit, the right to repair movement, DIY maker culture, and how Marcin plans to build 10,000 micro factories worldwide where anyone can come and make.
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The rise of Rocky Linux

This week we?re talking with Gregory Kurtzer about Rocky Linux. Greg is the founder of the CentOS project, which recently shifted its strategy and has the Linux community scrambling. Rocky Linux aims to continue where the CentOS project left off ? to provide a free and open source community-driven enterprise grade Linux operating system. We discuss the history of the CentOS project, how it fell under Red Hat?s control, the recent shift in Red Hat?s strategy with CentOS, and how Rocky Linux is designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
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What the web could be (in 2021 and beyond)

Vercel CEO Guillermo Rauch and JS Party panelist Amal Hussein join Jerod to discuss the state of the web platform! We opine on why it?s so important and unique, where it stands today, what modern web development looks like, and where the whole thing is headed in 2021 and beyond.
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State of the ?log? 2020

It?s the end of 2020 and on this year?s ?State of the log? episode Adam and Jerod carry on the tradition of looking back at our favorite moments of the year ? we talk through our most popular episodes, our personal favorites and must listen episodes, top posts from Changelog Posts, and what we have in the works for 2021 and beyond.
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You can FINALLY use JSHint for evil

Today we welcome Mike Pennisi into our Maintainer Spotlight. This is a special flavor of The Changelog where we go deep into a maintainer?s story. Mike is the maintainer of JSHint which, since its creation in 2011, was encumbered by a license that made it very hard for legally-conscious teams to use the project. The license was the widely-used MIT Expat license, but it included one additional clause: ?The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.? Because of this clause, many teams could not use JSHint. Today?s episode with Mike covers the full gamut of JSHint?s journey and how non-free licensing can poison the well of free software.
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Coding without your hands

What do you do when you make a living typing on a keyboard, but you can no longer do that for more than a few minutes at a time? Switch careers?! Not Josh Comeau. He decided to learn from others who have come before him and develop his own solution for coding without his hands. Spoiler Alert: he uses weird noises and some fancy eye tracking tech. On this episode Josh tells us all about the fascinating system he developed, how it changed his perspective on work & life, and where he?s going from here. Plus we mix in some CSS & JS chat along the way.
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Growing as a software engineer

Gergely Orosz joined Adam for a conversation about his journey as a software engineer. Gergely recently stepped down from his role as Engineering Manager at Uber to pursue his next big thing. But, that next big thing isn?t quite clear to him yet. So, in the meantime, he has been using this break to write a few books and blog more so he can share what he?s learned along the way. He?s also validating some startup ideas he has on platform engineering. His first book is available to read now ? it?s called The Tech Resume Inside Out and offers a practical guide to writing a tech resume written by the people who do the resume screening. Both topics gave us quite a bit to talk about.
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The future of Mac

We have a BIG show for you today. We?re talking about the future of the Mac. Coming off of Apple?s ?One more thing.? event to launch the Apple M1 chip and M1 powered Macs, we have a two part show giving you the perspective of Apple as well as a Mac app developer on the future of the Mac. Part 1 features Tim Triemstra from Apple. Tim is the Product Marketing Manager for Developer Technologies. He?s been at Apple for 15 years and the team he manages is responsible for developer tools and technologies including Xcode, Swift Playgrounds, the Swift language, and UNIX tools. Part 2 features Ken Case from The Omni Group. Ken is the Founder and CEO of The Omni Group and they?re well known for their Omni Productivity Suite including OmniFocus, OmniPlan, OmniGraffle, and OmniOutliner ? all of which are developed for iOS & Mac.
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The Kollected Kode Vicious

We?re joined by George Neville-Neil, aka Kode Vicious. Writing as Kode Vicious for ACMs Queue magazine, George Neville-Neil has spent the last 15+ years sharing incisive advice and fierce insights for everyone who codes, works with code, or works with coders. These columns have been among the most popular items published in ACMs Queue magazine and it was only a matter of time for a book to emerge from his work. His book, The Kollected Kode Vicious, is a compilation of the most popular items he?s published over the years, plus a few extras you can only find in the book. We cover all the details in this episode.
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Inside 2020's infrastructure for

We?re talking with Gerhard Lazu, our resident SRE, ops, and infrastructure expert about the evolution of Changelog?s infrastructure, what?s new in 2020, and what we?re planning for in 2021. The most notable change? We?re now running on Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE)! We even test the resilience of this new infrastructure by purposefully taking the site down. That?s near the end, so don?t miss it!
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Maintaining the massive success of Envoy

Today we welcome Matt Klein into our Maintainer Spotlight. Matt is the creator of Envoy, born inside of Lyft. It?s an edge and service proxy designed for cloud-native applications. Envoy was unexpectedly popular, and completely changed the way Lyft considers what and how to open source. While Matt has had several opportunities to turn Envoy into a commercial open source company, he didn?t. In today?s conversation with Matt we learn why he choose a completely different path for the project.
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What's so exciting about Postgres?

PostgreSQL aficionado Craig Kerstiens joins Jerod to talk about his (and our) favorite relational database. Craig details why Postgres is unique in the world of open source databases, which features are most exciting, the many things you can make Postgres do, and what the future might hold. Oh, and some awesome psql tips & tricks!
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Shopify?s massive storefront rewrite

Maxime Vaillancourt joined us to talk about Shopify?s massive storefront rewrite from a Ruby on Rails monolith to a completely new implementation written in Ruby. It?s a fairly well known opinion that rewrites are ?the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make? and generally something ?you should never do.? But Maxime and the team at Shopify have proved successful in their efforts in this massive storefront rewrite and today?s conversation covers all the details.
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Spotify's open platform for shipping at scale

We?re joined by Jim Haughwout (Head of Infrastructure and Operations) and Stefan Ålund (Principal Product Manager) from Spotify to talk about how they manage hundreds of teams producing code and shipping at scale. Thanks to their recently open sourced open platform for building developer portals called Backstage, Spotify is able to keep engineering squads connected and shipping high-quality code quickly ? without compromising autonomy.
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The team that fashioned Apollo 11

We?re helping Atlassian to promote Season 2 of Teamistry. If this is the first time you?re hearing about this podcast, Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian that tells the stories of teams who work together in new and unexpected ways, to achieve remarkable things. Today, we?re sharing a full-length episode from Season 1 which tells the story of the team that fashioned the Apollo 11 spacesuits. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for the first time, we don?t actually see his face. We see his moonsuit. That moonsuit ? in effect ? is Neil Armstrong; an inseparable part of this historic moment. While the spacesuit kept him alive to tell that story in his own words, what went unnoticed is the extraordinary team that stitched it together.
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Gitter?s big adventure

Gitter is exiting GitLab and entering the Matrix?ok, we couldn?t help ourselves with that one. Today we?re joined by Sid Sibrandij (CEO of GitLab) and Matthew Hodgson (technical co-founder of Matrix) to discuss the acquisition of Gitter. A little backstory to tee things up?back in 2017 GitLab announced the acquisition of Gitter to help push their idea of chatops within GitLab. As it turns out, the GitLab team saw a different path for Gitter as a core part of Matrix rather than a non-core project at GitLab. We talk through all the details in this episode with Matthew and Sid.
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How open source saved htop

Today we welcome Hisham Muhammad into our Maintainer Spotlight. Hisham is the creator of htop - a well known cross-platform interactive process viewer. This conversation with Hisham covers the gamut of being an open source software maintainer. To set the stage, a new version of htop was announced, but not by Hisham ? it was a kind takeover of the project and needless to say Hisham was surprised, but ultimately relieved. Why? Well, that?s what this episode it all about?
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Estimating systems with napkin math

We?re joined by Simon Eskildsen, Principal Engineer at Shopify, talking about how he uses a concept called napkin math where you use first-principle thinking to estimate systems without writing any code. By the end of the show we were estimating pretty much everything using napkin math.
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Inside GitHub's Arctic Code Vault

Earlier this year on February 2nd, 2020 Jon Evans and his team of archivists took a snapshot of all active public repositories on GitHub and sent it to a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago where it will be stored for the next 1,000 years. On this episode, Jon chats with Jerod all about the GitHub Archive Program and how they?re preserving open source software for future generations.
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Bringing beauty to the world of code sharing

Carbon is an open source web app that helps you create and share beautiful images of your source code. Whether you?ve used Carbon personally or not, odds are you?ve seen its dent on the universe of social code sharing. Mike Fix has been maintaining Carbon for a few years and he?s embraced the project as an opportunity to experiment and practice working in public. On this Maintainer Spotlight episode, we chat with Mike about building Carbon, growing its community, sustainability models, and why he loves the world of open source.
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Celebrating Practical AI turning 100!! ?

We?re so excited to see Chris and Daniel take this show to 100 episodes, and that?s exactly why we?re rebroadcasting Practical AI #100 here on The Changelog. They?ve had so many great guests and discussions about everything from AGI to GPUs to AI for good. In this episode, we circle back to the beginning when Jerod and I joined the first episode to help kick off the podcast. We discuss how our perspectives have changed over time, what it has been like to host an AI podcast, and what the future of AI might look like. (GIVEAWAY!)
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Working in Public

Nadia Eghbal is back and this time she?s talking with us about her new book Working in Public. If you?re an old school listener you might remember the podcast we produced with Nadia and Mikeal Rogers called Request for Commits. If you weren?t listening then, or can?t remember?don?t worry?the back catalog of Request for Commits is still online and subscribe-able via all the podcast ways. That podcast is still getting listens to this very day! Obviously we go way back with Nadia?and having a chance to now talk with her through all the details of her new book Working in Public, this was a milestone for this show and Jerod and I. We talked through the reasons she wrote the book in the first place, Nadia?s thoughts on the future of the internet and the connection of creators to the platforms they build their followings on, and we also talk about the health of projects and communities and the challenges we face internet-at-large as well as right here in our backyard in the open source community.
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Designing and building HEY

We?re talking about designing and building HEY with Jonas Downey, the lead designer behind HEY. In their words, ?Email sucked for years, but not anymore.? We were super interested in how they went about solving the problems with email, so we invited Jonas on to share all the details and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of HEY.
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Making Windows Terminal awesome

Kayla Cinnamon, Program Manager at Microsoft for Windows Terminal, Console, Command Line, and Cascadia Code joined us to talk about the release of Windows Terminal 1.0 and the new Windows command-line experience. We talk about everything that went into rethinking the command line experience on Windows, the UX and UI design behind it all, the learnings of working in open source, and what?s to come for the Windows command line experience.
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It?s OK to make money from your open source

Adam loves a good dark theme and supporting a fellow creator, and Hedy Li finished the episode we did with Nikita Prokopov covering FiraCode and reached out saying Zeno Rocha?s work on Dracula deserved the same credit. We agreed. So we linked up with Zeno about his passion for open source, how he?s changed his mind on making money with open source, his big release of Dracula Pro and the future of Dracula, and of course his new book ? 14 Habits of Highly Productive Developers. Check for a link in the show notes for details on how to get your hands on Zeno?s book for free through our giveaway.
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Laws for hackers to live by

Dave Kerr joins Jerod to discuss the various laws, theories, principles, and patterns that we developers find useful in our work and life. We unpack Hanlon?s Razor, Gall?s Law, Murphy?s Law, Kernighan?s Law, and too many others to list here.
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What's next for José Valim and Elixir?

We?re joined again by José Valim talking about the recent acquihire of Plataformatec and what that means for the Elixir language, as well as José. We also talk about Dashbit a new 3 person company he helped form from work done while at Plataformatec to help startups and enterprises adopt and run Elixir in production. Lastly we talk about a new idea José has called Bytepack that aims to help developers package and deliver software products to developers and enterprises.
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The intersection of coding and fonts

A listener request led us to Nikita Prokopov and FiraCode, and we?re sure glad they did. When we think of open source software, fonts aren?t usually high on the list of things that need maintaining. That?s not true when your font also supports hundreds of programming ligatures like FiraCode does. Nikita has his hands full!
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Big updates in Safari 14

We?re joined by Ronak Shah and Beth Dakin from the Safari team at Apple about their announcements at WWDC20 and the release of Safari 14. We talk about Safari WebExtensions, Face ID and Touch ID coming to the web, Safari?s plans to advance the web platform, and it all comes down to their focus on privacy, power, and performance.
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Shipping work that matters

We?re revisiting Shape Up and product development thoughts with Ryan Singer, Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp. Last August we talked with Ryan when he first launched his book Shape Up and now we?re back to see how Shape Up is shaping up ? ?How are teams using the wisdom in this book to actually ship work that matters? How does Shape Up work in new versus existing products?? We also talk about the concept of longitudinal thinking and the way it?s impacting Ryan?s designs, plus a grab bag of topics in the last segment.
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The ONE thing every dev should know

The incomparable Jessica Kerr drops by with a grab-bag of amazing topics. Understanding software systems, transferring knowledge between devs, building relationships, using VS Code & Docker to code together, observability as a logical extension of TDD, and a whole lot more.
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Creating GitLab?s remote playbook

We?re talking about all things all-remote with Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab. Darren is tasked with putting intentional thought and action into place to lead the largest all-remote company in the world. Yes, GitLab is 100% all-remote, as in, no offices?and they employee more than 1,200 people across 67 countries. They?ve been iterating and documenting how to work remotely for years. We cover Darren?s personal story on remote work while he served as managing editor at Engadget, his thoughts on how ?work? is evolving and ways to reframe and rethink about when you work, this idea of work life harmony, and the backstory and details of the playbook GitLab released free of charge to the world.
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De-Google-ing your website analytics

Plausible creators Uku Täht and Marko Saric join the show to talk about their open source, privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics. We talk through the backstory of the project, why it?s open source, the details behind a few viral blog posts Marko shared to bring in a ton of new interest to the project, why privacy matters in web analytics, how they prioritize building new features, the technical details behind their no cookie light-weight JavaScript approach, and their thoughts on a server-side option.
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Leading GitHub to a $7.5 billion acquisition

Jason Warner (CTO at GitHub) joined the show to talk with us about the backstory of how he helped to lead GitHub to a $7.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Specifically how they trusted their gut not just the data, and how they understood the value they were bringing to market. We also talk about Jason?s focus on ?horizon 3? for GitHub, and his thoughts on remote work and how they?re leading GitHub engineering today.
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VisiData is like duct tape for your data

Saul Pwanson is the creator and maintainer of VisiData, a terminal interface for exploring and arranging tabular data. On this Maintainer Spotlight episode, Saul joins Jerod for a wide-ranging discussion on crossword puzzles, biographs, and Saul?s open source gift to the world. Thanks to AJ for the suggestion!
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Gatsby's long road to incremental builds

Gatsby creator Kyle Mathews joins Jerod fresh off the launch of incremental builds to tell the story of this feature that?s 3 years in the making. We talk about Kyle?s vision for Gatsby, why incremental builds took so long, why it?s not part of the open source tool, how he makes decisions between Cloud and open source features, and more.
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Indeed's FOSS Contributor Fund

Duane O?Brien (head of open source at Indeed) joined the show to talk about their FOSS Contributor Fund and FOSS Responders. He?s super passionate about open source, and through his role at Indeed Duane was able to implement this fund and open source it as a framework for other companies to use. We talk through all the details of the program, its impact and influence, as well as ways companies can use the framework in their organization. We also talk about FOSS Responders an initiative to support open source that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
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Work from home SUPERCUT

Today we?re featuring conversations from different perspectives on working from home from our JS Party, Go Time, and Brain Science podcasts here on Because, hey?if you didn?t know we have 6 active podcasts in our portfolio of shows. Head to to collect them all!
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Visualizing the spread of Coronavirus

Harry Stevens is a Graphics Reporter at The Washington Post and the author of ?Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to ?flatten the curve?? ? the most popular post in The Washington Post?s online history. We cover the necessary details of this global pandemic, the journalist, coding, and design skills required to be a graphics reporter, the backstory on visualizing this outbreak, why Harry chooses R over Python, advice for aspiring graphics reporters, and how all of this came together at the perfect time in history to give Harry a chance to catch lightning in a bottle.
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Securing the web with Let's Encrypt

We?re talking with Josh Aas, the Executive Director of the Internet Security Research Group, which is the legal entity behind the Let?s Encrypt certificate authority. In June of 2017, Let?s Encrypt celebrated 100 Million certificates issued. Now, just about 2.5 years later, that number has grown to 1 Billion and 200 Million websites served. We talk with Josh about his journey and what it?s taken to build and grow Let?s Encrypt to enable a secure by default internet for everyone.
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The 10x developer myth

In late 2019, Bill Nichols, a senior member of the technical staff at Carnegie Mellon University with the Software Engineering Institute published his study on ?the 10x developer myth.? On this show we talk with Bill about all the details of his research. Is the 10x developer a myth? Let?s find out.
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Welcome to The Changelog

The Changelog is deep discussions in & around the world of software? and it?s been going for over a decade. We talk to hackers, like Chris Anderson from 3D Robotics? leaders, like Devon Zuegel from GitHub? and innovators, like Amal Hussein? Welcome to The Changelog! Please listen to an episode from our catalog that interests you and subscribe today. We?d love to have you with us.
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Prepare yourself for Quantum Computing

Johan Vos joined us to talk about his new book ?Quantum Computing for Developers? which is available to read right now as part of the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP). Listen near the end of the show to learn how you can get a free copy or check the show notes for details. We talked with Johan about the core principles of Quantum Computing, the hardware and software involved, the differences between quantum computing and classical computing, a little bit of physics, and what can we developers do today to prepare for the perhaps-not-so-distant future of Quantum Computing.
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Engineer to manager and back again

Lauren Tan joined us to talk about her blog post titled ?Does it spark joy?? In this post Lauren shared the news of her resignation as an engineering manager at Netflix to return to being a software engineer. We examine the career trajectory of a software engineer and the seemingly inevitable draw to management for continued career growth. The idea of understanding ?What are you optimizing for?? and whether or not what you?re doing truly brings you joy.
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Pushing webpack forward

We sit down with Tobias Koppers of webpack fame to talk about his life as a full-time maintainer of one of the most highly used (4 million+ dependent repos!) and influential tools in all of the web. Things we ask Tobias include: how he got here, how he pays himself, has he ever gotten a raise, what his typical day is like, how he decides what to work on, if he pays attention to the competition, and if he?s ever suffered from burnout.
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Altair 8800 and the dawn of a revolution

We partnered with Red Hat to promote Season 4 of Command Line Heroes ? a podcast about the people who transform technology from the command line up. Season 4 is all about hardware that changed the game. We?re featuring episode 3 from season 4 ? called ?Personal Computers: The Altair 8800 and the Dawn of a Revolution.? This is the story of personal computers and the revolution that took place in the PC era. Learn more and subscribe at
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Enter the Matrix

Matthew Hodgson (technical co-founder) joined us to talk about Matrix - an open source project and open standard for secure, decentralized, real-time communication. It?s open source, it?s decentralized, it?s end-to-end-encrypted, and it?s also self-sovereign. Matrix also provides a bridge feature to bridge existing platforms and communication silos into a global open matrix of communication. A recent big win for Matrix was Mozilla?s announcement of switching off its IRC network that it had been using for 22 years and now uses Matrix instead.
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From open core to open source

Frank Karlitschek joined us to talk about Nextcloud - a self-hosted free & open source community-driven productivity platform that?s safe home for all your data. We talk about how Nextcloud was forked from ownCloud, successful ways to run community-driven open source projects, open core vs open source, aligned incentives, and the challenges Nextcloud is facing to increase adoption and grow.
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