Posted by: Chas Emerick | November 13, 2009

Podcast #001

This is the inaugural Strictly Professional podcast, hosted by Chas Emerick and joined by Gerard Gualberto, Doug Martin, Chris Miles, and Lou Franco.

You don’t know us, but we’re software developers (and occasional software company founders) that have met through the Western Massachusetts Developers Group‘s biweekly meetings. We can all jabber on forever, and it seemed like a crime to deprive the rest of the world of our wit and wisdom.

Notes & Topics:

  • Chas thought a good starting topic would be Joel Spolsky’s recent article on, where he laments the “slow growth path” that FogCreek has taken over the years, and DHH’s response to it. This leads into a discussion about bug trackers, what is and is not a network business, and other various nonsense, including a sidebar about the
  • Lou mentioned Chas’ recent blog post, “Reducing purchase anxiety is a feature“, and how you’d better offer refunds, because your customers will get them if they want them anyway.
  • On the way to talking about why we’re software developers and what the nature of work is, Lou ran us through the outlines of Noam Wasserman’s “Rich or King” choice.
  • Doug exposes top-secret national security information.
  • We trail out with some brief software language philosophy. Miles mentioned Rich Hickey’s near-metaphysical discussion of time (first in Rich’s keynote presentation at this year’s JVM Language Summit [slides], and then in the Artima interview Time is the New Memory), and then said that Brainfuck is philosophically anarchist existentialism…which makes sense to me.

Comments, criticism, raves? Comment below, and maybe we’ll do another one.



  1. Hey guys, not bad. I actually sat through the whole thing. I don’t give a damn what JS and DHH have to say, but it sounds like every organization’s bug tracking needs are different. I wrote a bug/todo/time tracker in Django at my last job, considered open-sourcing it, but frankly our special circumstance was micromanagement! In my limited experience, paper works best in small offices, Trac and Jira are OK for larger projects, but there’s gotta be a more general, flexible solution… more like email, Wave, etc…

    I did land surveying for a few years before I found programming work in Western Mass… there’s something to be said for active/outdoors work, especially if you’re going to spend your free time coding! But programming pays MUCH better, and technology changes so fast that it takes 40-80 hours a week to stay current. I’m sorta hoping that’ll change as the software field matures, so it takes up less of my time, becoming more of a tool than an end in itself. Besides, pure coding is pretty dull.

    Rich’s “Time is the New Memory” thing is sort of a rehash of “Mutable State is the New Spaghetti Code”. He’s got a point – but what’s the solution if I’m not using Clojure? Hmmm….


  2. Looking forward to listening to this. This may feel premature, but: how about a podcast feed, i.e. something I can subscribe to in iTunes?

  3. Listening to the podcast, it’s funny how similar I am to you guys. I too fell into programming. I too considered law. I too didn’t go to college (then I did).

    I enjoyed the podcast. It’s a bunch of guys like me shooting the breeze.

    I also like the rawness of it. Just setup a mic and record, then post it. Post-production usually just ends up being a burden that gives people incentive to stop producing podcasts anyway. So if it makes a difference between doing it or not doing it, just keep it raw.


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