DiscoverCodePen Radio
CodePen Radio
Claim Ownership

CodePen Radio

Author: CodePen Blog

Subscribed: 2,670Played: 37,039
Share

Description

The CodePen team talk about the ins and outs of running a web software business.
380 Episodes
Reverse
399: Data Munging

399: Data Munging

2023-02-0134:24

There was a small problem in our database. Some JSON data we kept in a column would sometimes have a string instead of an integer. Like {"tabSize": "5"} instead of {"tabSize": 5} of the like. Investigation on how that happened was just silly stuff like not calling parseInt on a value as it came off a <select> element in the DOM. This problem never surfaced because our Rails app just papered over it. But we're moving our code to Go in when you parse JSON in Go, the struct type that you parse it out into needs to match those types perfectly, or else it panics. We had found that our Go code was working around this in all sorts of ways that felt sloppy and inconsistent. One way to fix this? Fix any bad data going into the DB, then write a script to fix all the data in the DB. This is exactly the approach I took at first, and it would have absolutely fixed this problem. But Alex took a step back and looked at the problem a bit wider, and we ended up building some tools that helped us solve this problem, and solve future problems related to this. For one, we built a more permission JSON parser that would not panic on something as easy to fix as a string-as-int problem. This worked by way of some Go reflection that could tell what types the data was supposed to be and coerce them if possible. But what should the value fall back to if it's not savable? That was another tool we built to set the default values of Go structs to be potentially other values than what the defaults for their types are. And since this is all in the realm of data validation, we built another tool to validate the data in Go structs against constraints, so we can always keep the data they contain good. Once all these tools were in place, the new script to fix the data was much easier to write. Just call the safe JSON function to fix the data and put it back. And the result is a cleaned up code base and tools we can use for data safety for the long term. Time Jumps Sponsor: Split This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release. Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
398: DevOops

398: DevOops

2023-01-2623:10

Stephen and I hop on the podcast to chat about some of our recent tooling, local development, and DevOps work. A little while back, we cleaned up our entire monorepo's circular dependency problems using Madge and elbow grease. That kind of thing usually isn't the biggest of deals and the kind of thing a super mature bundler like webpack deals with, but other bundlers might choke on. Later, we learned that we had more dependency issues like inter-package circular dependencies (nothing like production deployments to keep you honest) and used more tooling (shout out npx depcheck) to clean more of it up. Workspaces in a monorepo can also paper over missing dependencies — blech. Another change was moving off using a .dev domain for local development, which oddly actually caused some strange and hard-to-diagnose DNS issues sometimes. We're on .test now, which should never be a public TLD. Time Jumps Sponsor: Notion Notion is an amazing collaborative tool that not only helps organize your company’s information but helps with project management as well. We know that all too well here at CodePen, as we use Notion for countless business tasks. Learn more and get started for free at notion.com. Take your first step toward an organized, happier team, today.
I was asked about the paradoxical nature of CodePen itself recently. CodePen needs to be safe and secure, yet we accept and gleefully execute user-authored code, which is like don't-do-that 101 in web security. Marie and I hop on the show to talk this through as an update from quite a long time ago. It's wonderfully-terribly complicated. Part of what complicates it is that there are many different kinds of worrisome code, from malicious, to distasteful, to spam, and they all need different treatment. This is a daily and never-ending war. Time Jumps Sponsor: Notion Notion is an amazing collaborative tool that not only helps organize your company’s information but helps with project management as well. We know that all too well here at CodePen, as we use Notion for countless business tasks. Learn more and get started for free at notion.com. Take your first step toward an organized, happier team, today.
396: Open Source

396: Open Source

2023-01-1127:28

Robert and I jump on the podcast to have a little chat about open source generally and what we do with open source at CodePen. CodePen itself is not open source, aside from the small bits we've made public and the open-source things we include within it. But all Public Pens on CodePen are open source, so we certainly handle a lot of it! Enough that I felt comfortable making our Mastodon presence on Fosstodon, which is an open-source-focused instance. Time Jumps Sponsor: Split This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release. Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
Marie and I hop on the show to discuss our recently released Most Hearted of 2022 Pens. We only did the calculations the day before, so this is more of a first reaction than a deep dive. Congrats to Hyperplexed for #1 and a massive year on CodePen. Last one entry on the Top 100, and this year, nine. "Full layouts" like this appeared a number of times, including Aysenur Turk, last year's winner, at #13 with Liquid Transition Effect, and there were two NFT-themed landing pages (1, 2) in the Top 100. A lot of Pens attract attention when they have that "I could use this" feel to them, demonstrated by Ryan Mulligan's Logo Wall at #2! High five to Greensock for taking #3 with a re-creation of Brian Cross' lovely Pen. The tag "gsap" was used a ton in the Top 100. Jon Kantner took #4 and 10 other spots making this the most appearances on the Top 100 list ever, and also took a spot with a Pen made on December 13th! Aaron Iker and Yoav Kadosh both had 4 spots. Perhaps my favorite because of the deep CSS trickery involved was Scott Kellum's Apple inspired pride clock. Scott has the oldest account of anyone in the list, over 10 years old! Huge fan of Steve Gardener's joke, though as well. 11 of the Top 100 were created for CodePen Challenges. Time Jumps Sponsor: Notion Notion is an amazing collaborative tool that not only helps organize your company’s information but helps with project management as well. We know that all too well here at CodePen, as we use Notion for countless business tasks. Learn more and get started for free at notion.com. Take your first step toward an organized, happier team, today.
394: Very Remote Work

394: Very Remote Work

2022-12-14--:--

Rach lives in Australia, so for our otherwise U.S.-based team, that's about as remote as it gets. We've always been remote at CodePen, so we have it built-in to our culture already, but that doesn't mean we don't have to plan for it, think about it, and adjust things to make sure we're all doing the best we can. Writing is a fundamental aspect of it all, but even that is funny sometimes because you have to choose where those words will go that make the most sense. Right now, it's a balance between Notion, GitHub, Slack, and even our codebase itself. Time Jumps Sponsor: Split This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release. Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
Marie and Chris talk about the year in CodePen Challenges. If you participate, this might be an interesting look into how we think about them. If you don't, it might help you understand what they are and how they might just tickle your fancy. Time Jumps Sponsor: Split This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release. Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
Dee and Chris chat about our latest take on Project Management (PM), a somewhat tricky topic for us with such a small team where literally everyone is an individual contributor (IC) with a lot on their shoulders aside from PM. We're attempting a project of large scale, so part of what has helped us so far is scoping the project into phases releases. That way work that we know is in a later release can be put off until we're literally working on that release. Without at least that prioritization, things would take much longer. The releases are also chunked into sub-projects with a no-too-little and not-too-big quality, and within those projects is where the kan-baning happens. If we can keep the whole team on one project (or at least a group of 2-3), it limits the context switching which also helps speed and productivity. We use Notion for most of this work, and it's been nice to keep literally all of it (all the way up through all the phases) in one big database, then we scope the views down to phases and projects and cards. Each card we make sure has a very actionable tone to it and includes everything one might need to finish the task, including decisions, previous conversations, relevant other tickets, etc. Each card has things you might expect like who is working on it, the current status, whether it's blocked or not, and several other useful bits of metadata. It also contains time estimates, so we can, at a glance, see how far we've come and what's left on any given project. We know things like time estimates can change quite a bit, but everyone is well aware of that and isn't beholden to the numbers. It just gives us some idea of what is going on other than feeling like we're entirely driving blind. Each week we take a look at the progress together as a team. Time Jumps Sponsor: Split This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release. Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
TypeScript ain't exactly new, but it's a bit new to us. Robert was the most knowledgeable about TypeScript on the team and felt like it could be valuable for us. What does that mean though? Where would we use TypeScript? What blockers were there? What does it actually help with? The implementation hasn't been trivial, so has it been worth it? Will it be worth it? Robert, Chris, and Stephen discuss. Time Jumps
Marie and I talk about what's going on in the world of social media, and what that might mean for CodePen and front-end developers. Twitter doesn't feel particularly healthy at the moment, but has been the biggest player for front-end developers for a lot of years. Are we moving? Not? Where? Time Jumps
One thing that's been keeping us very busy at CodePen is moving our main API. We decided on GraphQL long ago and it's served us pretty well. We originally built it in Ruby on Rails alongside a lot of the rest of our app. But while Rails served us well, we've been moving off of it. We like our React architecture and we're better served leaning into that, with frameworks like Next, than staying on Rails. We proved out this combination of technologies for ourselves, building a whole set of admin tools with it. Now we're ready to keep that train going as we build out more of CodePen with the same stack. But removing Rails means moving off of our Rails-based GraphQL implementation. This means re-writing that API in Go, another bit of tech we've had a lot of luck with. Turns out that re-writing an API is more time-consuming than writing it to begin with, especially as we need to run them side-by-side and behave identically. No refactoring allowed! Unless of course we want to refactor it on both sides and take even more time. Dee joined me this week in talking about all this. It's a huge job! But we've been doing well at it, building our own tooling, doing lots of testing, and ultimately proving that it works by releasing it in small areas on the production site. It's all working out how we hoped it would: fast, cheap, and easier to reason about. Time Jumps Sponsor: Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program helps early stage companies level up. Their experts work with startups like Koord and INVISV to build their competitive edge with infrastructure. Equinix Metal provides real time guidance and support to help startups grow faster. With up to $100,000 in infrastructure credit, access to Equinix’s global ecosystem of over 10,000 customers and 1,800 networks, they might just be what you need to take your startup global. Visit metal.equinix.com/startups to take your startup to the next level.
388: Durable Objects

388: Durable Objects

2022-10-1926:59

Robert and I jump on to chat about Cloudflare's product Durable Objects. It's part of their Workers platform, which we already use at CodePen a good bit, but with Durable Objects... Global Uniqueness guarantees that there will be a single instance of a Durable Object class with a given ID running at once, across the world. Requests for a Durable Object ID are routed by the Workers runtime to the Cloudflare data center that owns the Durable Object. In their intro blog post a few years back, they call the "killer app" real-time collaborative document editing, which is obviously of interest to us. So we've been tinkering and playing with how that might work with CodePen's future technology. Time Jumps Sponsor: Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program helps early stage companies level up. Their experts work with startups like Koord and INVISV to build their competitive edge with infrastructure. Equinix Metal provides real time guidance and support to help startups grow faster. With up to $100,000 in infrastructure credit, access to Equinix’s global ecosystem of over 10,000 customers and 1,800 networks, they might just be what you need to take your startup global. Visit metal.equinix.com/startups to take your startup to the next level.
A few months back, Alex and I did a 10-year anniversary episode that took the form of 10 bits of advice formed in the fires of running a software company for a decade. That was us talking at you. We thought it would be fun to turn the tables and have you talk at us in the form of an Ask-Me-Anything follow-up to that 10-year show. Time Jumps
386: Hakim El Hattab

386: Hakim El Hattab

2022-09-28--:--

This week I got to speak with Hakim El Hattab. I feel pretty special as Hakim told me he doesn't do public stuff very often. I get it! He's a busy man with a family, a successful company, and ambitious other projects. I think of Hakim as the master of simple but satisfying UI concepts that have a way of becoming bigger than demos. Consider Ladda, which you can find as part of his personal site, which is a button that expands to show a spinner. This concept started with Hakim and has now made its way to surely hundreds or thousands of websites, some as big as Slack and some as awesome as CodePen itself. Time Jumps Sponsor: Equinix Metal Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program helps early-stage companies level up. Their experts work with startups like GenesysGo and Cuemby to build their competitive edge with infrastructure. Equinix Metal provides real-time guidance and support to help startups grow faster. With up to $100,000 in infrastructure credit, access to Equinix’s global ecosystem of over 10,000 customers and 1,800 networks, they might just be what you need to take your startup global. Visit metal.equinix.com/startups to take your startup to the next level.
This week I got to talk to Kristopher Van Sant! Again! This time we got to talk about Kristopher's professional work as well as some favorite Pens. Time Jumps Sponsor: Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program Equinix Metal’s Startup Partner Program helps early stage companies level up. Their experts work with startups like GenesysGo and Cuemby to build their competitive edge with infrastructure. Equinix Metal provides real time guidance and support to help startups grow faster. With up to $100,000 in infrastructure credit, access to Equinix’s global ecosystem of over 10,000 customers and 1,800 networks, see why startups choose Equinix Metal. It’s not just about the infrastructure, it's about the people behind it. Are you ready to go global? Visit metal.equinix.com/startups to take your startup to the next level.
We just recently published the 300th CodePen Spark. Marie joins me on the show, as she leads up the creation of the vast majority of Spark newsletters. We get into things like why we do it, how we create it, how we send it, and things we've learned along the way sending a newsletter of this magnitude. We have some interesting failsafe procedures in place. Plus we get into some of the analytic numbers behind what we're doing. Here's to another upcoming many hundred more! Time Jumps Sponsor: Notion Notion is an amazing collaborative tool that not only helps organize your company’s information but helps with project management as well. We know that all too well here at CodePen, as we use Notion for countless business tasks. Learn more and get started for free at notion.com. Take your first step toward an organized, happier team, today. Show Links: Riccardo Zanutta’s “Animations & Cool Effects”: https://codepen.io/collection/XgZLNA (started in 2014!)AndyMan’s “Patterns, filled space”: https://codepen.io/collection/XBLxoeEric Karkovack’s “ASCII Artwork”: https://codepen.io/collection/MgaYzZJhey Tompkins’ “Speedy CSS Tips”: https://codepen.io/collection/bNWWdOPeter Norton’s “3D CSS”: https://codepen.io/collection/GoZQxGBramus’ “Scroll Linked Animations”: https://codepen.io/collection/xKzjpo
383: Soft Delete All

383: Soft Delete All

2022-08-31--:--

In this show, Stephen and Chris get to talk about an internal technical detail we were improving in our database, which led to a public-facing feature for y'all. The idea is that all (most, anyway) database tables should have a deleted_at column. When you query against them, under regular circumstances, any rows that have a non-null value will be filtered out. This is the concept of "soft" delete. It's not really gone from the database, it just behaves like it is. This has two clear benefits: Deleting is super fast, it's just manipulating a single value.It opens the door for un-deleting things that perhaps were mistakenly deleted. This approach can be slightly more work. You'll need to offer a way to truly wipe data completely for users. You'll probably want a reaper to clean up data that has been deleted long enough. You'll need to comply with regulations about data deletion. You might have to build un-deletion features. You might need to be doing that filtering yourself throughout the app. It's work, but it's generally worth it. In our case, because we soft delete everything on CodePen now, the Deleted Items area of Your Work now works for all Item Types (Pens, Collections, and Projects). Before, it only worked for Pens, and even there it was a little messy as it didn't retain the URL slug or comments and such — now it does. Time Jumps Sponsor: Memberful Memberful is a best-in-class membership software used by the web's biggest creators. If you're building a membership website for a client, Memberful handles the hard stuff so you can complete your builds quickly and your clients can focus on creating content while earning revenue with ease. It seamlessly integrates with popular tools like WordPress, Mailchimp, and Discord, so they can reach and monetize their existing audience. Memberful maintains GraphQL API, webhooks, and OAuth Single Sign on to make integration even easier. Help your client monetize their passion. Get started for free at Memberful.com
CodePen will host your assets, like images, data models, libraries, whatever. It's quite useful! They are easy to browse, easy to copy URLs or code snippets of usage, served with the right headers from a fast global CDN, and heck, we'll even help optimize them. It's easy to amass a lof of them, as we allow you upload many at a time. But while we had Bulk Upload, as it were, we didn't offer any other "bulk" actions, until now. Stephen and I talk about how we added more bulk actions for assets, making them all the easier to manage. Shout out to our user with many thousands of assets which helped provide the motivation to get this out. Time Jumps Sponsor: Memberful Memberful is a best-in-class membership software used by the web's biggest creators. If you're building a membership website for a client, Memberful handles the hard stuff so you can complete your builds quickly and your clients can focus on creating content while earning revenue with ease. It seamlessly integrates with popular tools like WordPress, Mailchimp, and Discord, so they can reach and monetize their existing audience. Memberful maintains GraphQL API, webhooks, and OAuth Single Sign on to make integration even easier. Help your client monetize their passion. Get started for free at Memberful.com
Marie and I this week! Marie dug up some interesting data about "external library" usage on CodePen. In the Pen Editor (specifically), you have the option of adding external resources. These are literally placed in the Settings area and added to the end of your HTML. We're specifically focused on these (not scripts you might add in the HTML by hand, Projects, imports, or otherwise) because we have them in a special database table — good for exactly this kind of data analysis! We're also focusing on just JavaScript this time. We'll look at the top 10 in terms of usage over time. Time Jumps Sponsor: Whiskey Web and Whatnot Whiskey Web and Whatnot is different than your typical dev podcast. We show a lighter, more human side of developers you know and love, like a fireside chat with your favorite devs. Past guests include Tom Preston-Werner, Kent C. Dodds, Charlie Gerard, Wes Bos, and the incomparable Chris Coyier! We have discussed everything from Next.js and TypeScript to Chuck’s past life as a blackjack dealer, favorite power tools, the best casseroles, and of course whiskey!
380: Ol’ Jake

380: Ol’ Jake

2022-08-1033:18

This week I got to speak with Jake Albaugh. Long-time listeners will remember Jake as an alumnus of Team CodePen. That's a first for a podcast guest! We looked back a bit, where Marie dug up some of the best Jake classic Pens, and talked with him about what his professional life has looked like post-CodePen. Time Jumps Sponsor: Memberful Memberful is easy to use, best-in-class membership software for independent creators, publishers, podcasters, educators, and more. We take care of the hard stuff so you and your clients can focus on what you do best, while earning revenue quickly. Memberful seamlessly integrates with the tools you already use, like WordPress, Mailchimp, Discord, and lots more. With Memberful, you have full control and ownership of all things related to your brand, your audience, and your finances. Learn more at Memberful.com and get started for free — no credit card required.
loading
Comments (8)

Guillaume M-D

episode #155, I'm curious. Do you cut a lot when you edit podcasts?

Feb 7th
Reply

Guillaume M-D

yes, pandas only eat bamboo 🤣

Oct 4th
Reply

Laurent Mbuyu

One thing that stood out for me is the fact that side project is an opportunity to experiment new things. There is no need to polish the same coin unless you're doing a project for a client. Else it's an opportunity to learn new things.

Sep 27th
Reply

Laurent Mbuyu

Pretty interesting. Why didn't you pick Angular?

Sep 27th
Reply

Guillaume M-D

episode115 seem to be broken. Doesnt play

Aug 18th
Reply

Guillaume M-D

this one was funny hahaha. the SOUNDS!

Jul 12th
Reply

Peter Cruckshank

Great show, it's nice to hear how everyone is working together remotely. And how those changes play out in CodePen

Dec 16th
Reply

Wagner Moreira

awesome!

Sep 14th
Reply
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store