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Model View Conversation

Author: Ben Gohlke, Brian Gates

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Ben Gohlke and Brian Gates discuss how to get started and get ahead in the ever changing industry of software development. Current senior developers in their respective fields and former bootcamp instructors, Brian and Ben help to decipher the myriad options available to new engineers just starting out and how to navigate the educational and institutional challenges of the tech industry.
36 Episodes
36: Bama's On It!

36: Bama's On It!


On the latest episode, Podcast Brian interviews his former student Testing Brian on his career, from starting out in the kitchens of Alabama to going back to school in his late 30's, to becoming a successful QA engineer. The guys chat about testing and its importance to the modern software ecosystem, and the challenges involved with learning how to break things in a structured manner. NOTE: This episode was recorded at the end of February. The live company event mentioned in this episode was cancelled and the hosts are WFH full time now. Fortunately the podcast was always remotely recorded, so no interruption to our schedule! Please stay safe and hopefully this podcast gives you something fun to listen to while you're staying inside. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:00:47 - Bama's backstory 00:06:11 - Back to school later in life 00:08:45 - Swamp coolers to dev jobs 00:16:38 - How to write your own job description 00:24:49 - What is QA? 00:30:31 - What is automated testing? 00:41:17 - Bama's latest challenge 00:52:18 - Don't be the deer? 00:58:26 - Outro Special Guest: Brian Heptinstall.
Ben's dad Joe just had to make it a three-peat. He's back again with updates on what it's like to look for a new job at 60, how to deal with recruiters, how to promote yourself online, and most importantly, whether the advice we gave him was actually any good! Advice and experience is shared that's applicable for professionals at any point in their career. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:00:42 - Job search update 00:10:54 - 20th vs. 21st Century job searching 00:23:45 - Getting practice at finding a job 00:38:59 - Emotional journeys 00:41:32 - We actually give good advice? 00:55:08 - Outro Special Guest: Joe Gohlke.
34: Almost Software

34: Almost Software


The guys continue their tour of software and software-adjacent roles within an organization. Today's show is all about the roles that are integral to the success of a software product, but aren't directly involved with producing code. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:01:37 - UI/UX Designer 00:16:34 - Testing/QA 00:28:00 - DBA 00:42:22 - Dev Ops 00:49:08 - Product Owner 00:59:23 - Project Manager 01:07:00 - Outro
The guys continue their discussion from last time on how to decide what kind of developer to become. They talk team size preferences, whether you like to be on the frontier or work with established best practices, and finish up with the importance of UI/UX to a project and how you might decide if that's a possible path for juniors. Stay tune for the next episode where they will get into all the other jobs that surround the core development team. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:00:21 - Big team or small team? 00:14:22 - Best practices vs. wild west frontier 00:24:52 - UI/UX and its importance to a product 00:36:04 - Outro
Ben and Brian explore the different kinds of developer you can become and how you might go about picking a platform/language to learn. There was so much to talk about, we needed to cover this in two episodes, so stay tuned for more next time. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 00:25 - Where do you start? 03:24 - What do you like? 12:50 - Front end vs. back end 21:28 - Are you a math person? 42:46 - Outro
Ben and Brian sit down with Brandi Bailey, a lifelong learner and a current iOS student at Lambda School. Brandi recounts her earliest memories of exploring the world of programming all the way to her current struggles and triumphs of learning iOS programming as a second career. She has lots of great advice to impart to others who may be on the same journey or about to start down the path of learning to code. Big thanks to @blubrandi ( for coming on the show and sharing her story! Sorry for missing our previous episode date. Ben was under the weather, but we're back on track. Talk to you again you in two weeks! Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:00:31 - Brandi gets the programming bug 00:04:41 - Brandi's professional journey 00:10:58 - Developer training and the Ivory Tower 00:23:32 - Imposter Syndrome: for junior and senior devs alike 00:42:27 - Brandi paints her perfect picture of life post-Lambda School 00:51:29 - Outro Links Lambda School ( Apple IIc ( Try Guys play chess with a chess master: 4 on 1! ( Special Guest: Brandi Bailey.
Happy Festivus everyone! On this last episode of the year, Ben and Brian tell you about all the tech things that have annoyed them so far in 2019, as well as their biggest tech accomplishments and a vision for a possible future in 2020. A departure from out usual style, but we wanted to bring you something hopefully a little more fun for the end of the year. We hope you all enjoy the holidays and remind you to take the opportunity to step away from the computer and any tech learning you might be doing to enjoy a breather. Breaks often produce an even better understanding of the learning material when you return. See you next decade! Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:02:25 - Inscrutable error messages 00:05:22 - Computer problems are the worst 00:08:12 - So this is a grievance 00:12:38 - Tech hiring: why is it so bad? 00:19:15 - What happened Apple? 00:22:10 - Mega Corps: where good products go to die 00:26:21 - Huge mega corps: do we need them? 00:28:33 - Surveillance capitalism 00:35:48 - Accomplishments for the year 00:39:41 - A vision of a possible future 00:44:17 - Outro Links Parse bought by Facebook ( Ring doorbell susceptible to hacks ( Ring allows very permissive access to data from law enforcement ( Functional Typescript in React ( Lambda School's iOS Program ( iOS Orlando Meetup ( We stream the meetup live on Twitch ( Apple's SwiftUI tutorials ( Combine Framework (
Ben and Brian discuss the age-old and never ending debate on code structure and organization. They help disambiguate requirements from conventions and some stuff that's just one person's opinion. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:36 - Code syntax 04:17 - Code formatting 11:59 - Coding with your team, not against it 28:45 - Coding to conventions 41:01 - Personal preferences 59:38 - Outro Links Wikipedia article on indentation styles ( Airbnb JS style guide ( Ray Wenderlich's Swift style guide ( Google's Swift style guide (
Ben and Brian discuss the happy news of Brian's new job and what might be the best practices for starting off a new job on the right foot. They chat about everything from making a good first impression, to relationship building with co-workers and leadership, to work in your personal life that can lead to more happiness at your job. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:04:45 - Making a good first impression 00:14:29 - Managing your manager 00:26:37 - Building relationships in-person 00:35:18 - Attributes of a quality co-worker 00:44:58 - Happy and fulfilled person, happy employee 00:56:36 - Outro
Ben and Brian chat with their first returning guest of the podcast, Ben's dad Joe! He's back and he's got news (and a little wisdom) to share with everyone. Listen to find out what it's like to be on the job hunt at 60 years old and how the challenges faced in that scenario are in some ways remarkably similar to when you're just starting out in your career. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:01:17 - Joe's career news 00:06:03 - 21st century job search 00:17:16 - Marketing yourself 00:27:40 - Finding a new job in your sixties 00:44:55 - Outro Links Joe's resume - check out his 30+ years of experience! ( Special Guest: Joe Gohlke.
Ben and Brian dive into a discussion about how to sell yourself during the interview process. They talk about the importance of having a personal elevator pitch, how to change your approach with each kind of person you'll encounter in the interview, and how best to approach each step to ensure you've done your best to showcase your skills and abilities. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00:00 - Intro 00:00:35 - Adapt your story to different audiences 00:06:38 - The phone screen 00:42:25 - Selling yourself to individual contributors 00:53:54 - Talking to a (or the) manager 00:59:23 - Executive review? 01:04:41 - Outro Links Mila Kunis interview with inexperienced reporter (
The guys run through the advantages and usefulness of attending and potentially speaking at technical conferences. They provide advice on how to find the right conference and techniques for maximizing your experience while you're there. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 02:15 - Cost of attending conferences 05:32 - Conferences we've attended 14:01 - Which conferences to attend? 16:51 - Networking benefits at conferences 36:54 - Speaking at conferences 46:49 - What should you talk about? 57:40 - Outro Links Ancient City Ruby Conference in Jacksonville, FL ( RailsConf ( RWDevCon Conference ( The Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) (
The guys sit down with Lee Warrick, a junior front end web developer who recently attended a local bootcamp after years of being a firefighter and nurse. They talk about his transition from healthcare to programming, how the college experience differed from his development training, how he keeps his skills sharp on the job, and how you can run a bunch of extracurricular activities for developers, but maybe just attending some is at least as effective a use of your time. We really enjoyed having Lee on the show and hope that his story can inspire our listeners who might be on the fence about learning programming. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:28 - Lee's developer story 09:31 - Biggest surprise of developer life 13:56 - Advice to your younger self 23:08 - How do you keep learning after school? 38:14 - Can your job actually be fun? 40:36 - How to keep from burning out? 46:44 - Choosing the right extracurriculars 56:53 - Outro Links Lee's website ( Lee on Twitter ( Tech Jr. Podcast ( Tech Jr. on Twitter ( You Don't Know JS - Kyle Simpson ( React Newsletter featuring Lee's article ( Stefan Mischook on YouTube ( Paul Hudson's cautionary comments about using too many learning systems at once ( Ray Wenderlich's tutorials ( Free Code Camp ( Tyler McGinnis ( Wes Bos ( Carol Dweck's research into the Growth Mindset ( Dr. Dweck's fantastic TED Talk about the Growth Mindset ( Special Guest: Lee Warrick.
Ben and Brian discuss the importance of nurturing other interests besides coding, and how to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Whether you're just starting out, in the middle of an intense school program, or involved in a busy work schedule, it's important to give yourself opportunities to engage in life outside of code. Also, it's our 1 year anniversary! Thanks so much for listening, and we're super excited for the next year of the podcast! Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 0:00 - intro 0:48 - work/life balance and why it’s important 7:05 - exercise 14:00 - socializing with other humans 29:45 - mindless and mindful entertainment 47:03 - cultural experiences 51:30 - build a new and healthy habit 54:08 - outro
Ben and Brian discuss how the educational landscape has changed since they became educators. They touch on how to create a nurturing classroom environment despite the pacing of the technnology industry and both the improvements and setbacks in they've experienced in teaching and mentoring on software development. Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:10 - Changes in technology 09:21 - Expectations of juniors 20:04 - Institutional landscape 34:05 - Improvements/setbacks in teaching development 53:47 - Advice: how to navigate constant change
Episode 21: Tell Your Story

Episode 21: Tell Your Story


Season 2 has arrived and Ben and Brian are back after a much appreciated hiatus! Thanks for sticking with us. On the season premiere episode, they discuss how to build a public narrative around your current career achievements as well as the goals you have for your future career goals. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:34 - What is a public narrative? 15:31 - How will this help you? 25:02 - Matching talent with business needs 32:25 - Professional biodiversity 40:18 - We grade ourselves 46:18 - Living this strategy on Twitter 53:37 - The power of marketing yourself 59:08 - Outro Links Ben's blog ( Ben's Twitter ( Seth Godin's blog ( This is Marketing book (
Welcome to the season finale of Model View Conversation! We hope you've enjoyed learning and growing with us. It's been almost a year since we started the show, which is hard to believe. Even though this is the end of season 1, don't worry. We've got some exciting plans for season 2 and we'll be back before you know it! In this special episode, Ben and Brian speak to a man with over 30 years of experience as a developer and database administrator. He also happens to be Ben's dad. Joe Gohlke joins us and has lots of wisdom to impart in this special season finale episode. It was a very engaging talk and is filled with great advice for junior and senior developers alike. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:02 - Joe's developer story 06:47 - Communicating with non-technical colleagues 14:31 - Working with (for) non-technical management 32:32 - Interjecting in a mixed crowd 48:33 - Ask questions the right way 57:32 - Gushing praise is always welcome! 1:00:12 - Outro Special Guest: Joe Gohlke.
The guys return to finish their discussion of the different ways you can engage in learning about programming. This time they delve into online courses, bootcamp and other concentrated learning environments, and the importance of building stuff on your own and with others to demonstrate mastery of concepts. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 00:21 - Online courses 07:14 - The illusion of mastery 12:36 - Bootcamp vs. online course 14:06 - Exercise sites 16:37 - Bootcamps 30:37 - Meetups and conferences 39:00 - Building your own stuff 43:33 - Building with others 51:06 - Outro Links Code Wars ( Project Euler ( Exercism (
Ben and Brian discuss many different ways you can get started and learn about programming. So many ways in fact, we had to break it up into two parts! In this one we talk about books, onine tutorials, and podcasts. If none of those work for you, fear not as we tackle several more learning methods in part II. Stay tuned for that. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 01:17 - Ways to learn: books 21:01 - Online Tutorials 30:54 - Pro tip: contribute to open source 34:58 - Podcasts as a learning tool 45:45 - Outro Links Books The Pragmatic Programmer ( by David Thomas, Andrew Hunt Don't Make Me Think ( by Steve Krug HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites ( by Jon Duckett Apple Human Interface Guidelines ( The C Programming Language ( by Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs ( by Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman The Non-Designer's Design Book ( by Robin Williams Podcasts Syntax ( with Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski DevChat ( Podcast Network Under the Radar ( with Marco Arment and David Smith Accidental Tech Podcast ( with Marco Arment, John Siracusa, and Casey Liss Full Stack Radio ( with Adam Wathan Shop Talk Show ( with Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier The Art of Product ( with Ben Orenstein and Derrick Reimer
Ben and Brian discuss what it's like working with non-technical people or for a fundamentally non-technical company and how to navigate that as a programmer. They share their experiences with that at previous and current jobs as well as their best practices for advancing your ideas and showcasing your skills to a non-technical audience. Follow us on Twitter @mvcpodcast ( Chapters 00:00 - Intro 02:54 - Feeling valued and having context on a software team 11:24 - Interacting with non-technical team members 32:48 - Introducing tech to your non-tech employer 42:47 - The tech wizard fallacy 59:45 - Outro
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