Greater Than Code

by Mandy Moore

Mission: For a long time, tech culture has focused too narrowly on technical skills; this has resulted in a tech community that too often puts companies and code over people. Greater Than Code is a podcast that invites the voices of people who are not heard from enough in tech: women, people of color, trans and/or queer folks, to talk about the human side of software development and technology. Greater Than Code is providing a vital platform for these conversations, and developing new ideas of what it means to be a technologist beyond just the code. Featuring an ongoing panel of racially and gender diverse tech panelists, the majority of podcast guests so far have been women in tech! We’ve covered topics including imposter syndrome, mental illness, sexuality, unconscious bias and social justice. We also have a major focus on skill sets that tech too often devalues, like team-building, hiring, community organizing, mentorship and empathy. Each episode also includes a transcript. Community: We have an active Slack community that members can join by pledging as little as $1 per month via Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) Currently, we are listener-funded for two episodes per month. For Prospective Sponsors: Each show costs roughly $500 to produce. This includes, show management, audio editing, writing and publishing of show notes, writing and publishing of transcripts, guest outreach and scheduling, guest preparation, and community management. All told, each episode requires between 10-12 hours worth of work. If you are interested in sponsoring us for any amount, please reach out to Mandy via our contact form.

  

Latest Episodes

170: The Case for Vanilla JavaScript with Chris Ferdinandi

00:53 - Chris’s Superpower: Derailing conversations and having a knack for taking complex tasks and breaking them down into smaller, simpler parts that people find easy to understand. 01:44 - The Pitch for Vanilla JavaScript 03:06 - Peoples’ Biggest Challenge as a Developer * Having Trouble Keeping Up * Adding Processes and Tools Make it More Difficult to Get Started * “The Right Way To Do It” 05:50 - The Problem With The Way We Do Things Today * Front-End Development * Back-End Developers Move to Front-End 08:30 - Modern Web Development * The Use of Frameworks * Package Managers * “The Cascade is Bad” - Using More JavaScript 11:42 - A Better Approach To Web Development * Sometimes Old Is Better * Don’t Ditch The Old Just Because Something New Came Out * Embrace The Platform * Think Smaller And More Modular * Remember That The Web Is For Everyone 17:15 - CSS and JavaScript * Web Bloat That Affects The End User * Accessibility - Being Able To Work On Improvement * Accessibility Audit On Gutenberg (https://wpcampus.org/2019/05/gutenberg-audit-results/) * Being Too Heavily Focused On One Programming Language 25:05 - The Notion of Development At Scale * The Google Hiring Process And Frameworks 27:45 - Silos Of Technology 31:10 - Complexity And/Or Simplicity * Focusing On Quality Over Volume * Factoring For Growth 37:20 - Advocating For Vanilla JavaScript * Documentation * Unexpected Incidentals 44:10 - Gradual Movement Of The Code Base 45:30 - Using The Word “Just” 49:30 - The Concept Of State 52:45 - Use Of Static HTML 53:40 - Do Companies Actually Build For The Web Like This * Netflix Page Loads With Vanilla JS * Happy Middle Ground 58:05 - Summation Of Positives Of Vanilla JavaScript * Ease Of Beginner Developer Onboarding * Allowing Non-JavaScript Developers To Participate More Meaningfully In Your Process * Overall Resilience And Performance For The End User Reflections: Rein: Pick the thing that reduces your suffering the most. Jacob: If you are just starting to learn JavaScript, it is ok to not learn a framework immediately. It is also ok to dive into something else and come back to learn vanilla JS. Also, Noel Rappin - Modern Front-End Development for Rails (https://pragprog.com/book/nrclient/modern-front-end-development-for-rails), takes a great approach to using differing technologies and what they can bring to your project. Chris: Thinking about the instances where it does make sense to use some of these tools as opposed to reasons why you shouldn’t use them. Liked the talk about minimizing your pain. If you feel like there are too many moving parts to JavaScript, you are not alone, it’s not you, and you’ve totally got this. This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Chris Ferdinandi.


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Posted on 19 February 2020 | 10:00 am


169: Career Elbows

01:49 - Rein Talks About His Recent Career Transition From Being a Consultant to a Full-Time Employee 03:52 - Jamey Talks About the Decision to Leave Their Job * Making The Decision To Leave Your Comfort Zone 05:34 - Pros and Cons of Staying for Job Stability and Comfort * Learned Helplessness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness) * Being a Part of a System * Don’t Be The Smartest Person in The Room * Shared Space (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space) 13:20 - Resilience and Regulatory Mechanisms * Dr. Richard Cook - REdeploy 2019 Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LbePBiOvZ4) 15:59 - Interviews * Watching Interviewers’ Reactions to Challenging Their Questions * Gerald Weinberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Weinberg) - Secrets of Consulting (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Consulting-Giving-Getting-Successfully/dp/0932633013) * Most of the Things We Do Have No Effect Whatsoever in the Larger System 20:20 - Job Success and Effort 22:22 - Safety and Resilience * Aviation and Tech * Kubernetes * David Woods - Resilience is a Verb (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329035477_Resilience_is_a_Verb) 26:05 - Interview Anxiety * Who You Know * Group Bias 30:25 - Team Creating/Building * Assuming Competence * Consideration of New Team Members * Dealing With Change After Being Comfortable * Sidney Dekker - Understanding Human Error (https://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Understanding-Human-Error/dp/0754648257) 38:04 - Feeling Comfortable in Tech * Privileges of Being in the Field * Switching Career Paths 47:20 - Visualize How You Will Feel Working Somewhere * Analytical vs. Emotional Decision Making 50:08 - No One in Tech is an Expert in Human Performance - Interviewing * Ask Questions of the Interviewer * Being the One That Gets to Make the Decision * Avdi on the Interview Process - We Should be Able to Speak Up 58:25 - Discovering How to Make Better Systems * Tell More Stories This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks!


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Posted on 12 February 2020 | 9:00 am


168: Appolition with Dr. Kortney Ziegler

01:06 - Kortney’s Superpower: Being a visionary. Seeing things that aren’t necessarily there. 01:50 - How Appolition (https://appolition.us/) Came to Be * Grassroots Company Crowdfunding Money for Incarcerated Black Mothers * Tweeted About Using the Change Round Up Model * Educating Those in Tech About What Bail Is * Gaining Trust 07:20 - Kortney’s Professional Background * Building Things in Technological Space * PhD in 2011 - difficulty finding substantial employment * Filmmaker, Scholar * Encountered a lot of discrimination in professional career * Became Entrepreneur in 2012/2013 * Attended Filmmakers Hackathon * Launched Trans*H4CK (http://www.transhack.org/) * Appolition (https://appolition.us/) 13:10 - Appolition Specifics * Bail is Predatory * Educate Yourself About Bail * Partnered With Outside Team * 2000 Users, Waitlist of 8000 * Then Brought In House * Unlimited Users * Web App - No Download Required 19:45 - Partnering With Others To Provide Education 21:00 - Surprises/Ah-Ha Moments * The Expenses * Humbling to Recognize the Work That Goes Into It * Naming of the App Traveling in Media Convos 25:10 - The Goal of Appolition * How We Can Leverage Technology That Exists 30:00 - Lessons From A Hackathon * Went As Award Winning Filmmaker * Engineers Not Willing to Hear Ideas of Creators * Led to Creating Trans*H4CK (http://www.transhack.org/) * Refuge Restroom 35:19 - Changes Seen At Tech Events Since Trans*H4CK * Great Conversations and Events Happened * Startups Can Shift Rules, They Haven’t been As Inclusive As the Discourse Surrounding Them Was Encouraging Them To Be * Some Things Were Good, Some Things Were Bad, Some Things Need Improvement 43:08 - Plans After Leaving Tech * Getting Back to Creative Side * Filmmaking * Self-Improvement 45:49 - Fatigue 50:00 - Future Endeavors Follow @Appolition (https://twitter.com/Appolition) #AppolitionBookList Reflections: Jamey: Appolition being a webapp so that it is accessible to those who don’t have smartphones. Chanté: Going back into self improvement and self reflection is being tucked into the back of my mind. Jacob: What are conversations I can have that I have access to about diversity and inclusion before the professional gets called in. Kortney: Moved by the idea of finding community in tech. This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Dr. Kortney Ziegler.


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Posted on 5 February 2020 | 10:00 am


167: Clarity of Thought with Ted M. Young

01:20 - Ted’s Superpower: Translating things for people to understand better. 02:49 - Coding on a Live Stream * Curiosity is Useful and Dangerous * Comparing Coding to Puzzles 07:13 - Research is a Drug * Finding Answers is Gratifying * Current Reading Infects Daily Thought * Anders Ericsson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._Anders_Ericsson) 10:45 - Connecting the Academic Idea of Expertise to Everyday Context * Worked Examples (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worked-example_effect) * Memory Limits * Gaining a Solid Foundation for Training Purposes * The Path of Decision-making 16:50 - Code Reviews * Learning About Decisions Made Along the Way * Pair Programming and Mob Programming * Externalizing Your Thinking * Curse of Knowledge 19:41 - Recording Yourself Coding/Learning Something New * Gaining Empathy * Improving Documentation and Communication 21:56 - Live Streaming as an Introvert * What Other People Get Out of It * Seeing People Struggle and Being Able to Help * We All Get Lost * Building Community * Being Comfortable Showing Frustration 29:41 - The Difference Between Training and Live Coding * Suz Hinton (https://medium.com/@suzhinton) * Accountability in Live Coding * Privilege 35:35 - Applying Research to TDD Teaching Technique * James Shore (https://twitter.com/jamesshore?lang=en) * The Thinking Part and the Predictive Aspect * It’s Not About the Test Failing, It’s About Validating Your Mental Model * Retrieval Practice * Formative and Summative Assessments (https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/formative-summative.html) * Spaced Repetition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition) * AnkiApp (https://www.ankiapp.com) * The Purpose of Patterns 48:27 - Human Learning * Stop Teaching People What They Know and Find Out What They Don’t Know Reflections: Jamey: ‘Predictions’ in TDD - Having more succinct language for things in your head strengthens understanding. Artemis: The concept of strengthening and muscle. If we can work deliberately on strengthening these muscles then in the moments of our everyday work we can improve the quality of our day to day decisions. Ted: An aspect of expertise is you start connecting more things. We have to find a place for the ‘why.’ This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Ted M. Young.


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Posted on 29 January 2020 | 10:00 am


166: From Software Engineer to Management with Phil Wheeler

01:10 - Phil’s Superpower: Putting Himself in Others’ Shoes. 02:03/09:14 From Software Engineer to Management * Empathy Through The Career Shift * The Learning Curve * Making a Conscious Choice To Switch * Gaining Leadership Skills * Making Your Own Opportunities 03:34 - How Phil Came Into The Greater Than Code Community * Found Through Twitter * Codemania (https://codemania.io/) 05:54 - Commonalities Between Issues Between USA and NZ * Inclusion, Equality in Technology 07:05 - Life Science Software Experience * Cloud Based, LT * Awareness of Accessibility 16:45 - To Get Into Management or Not * It’s Not For Everyone * Impostor Syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome) 18:55 - The Parallels Of Management And Parenting 26:17 - Working From Home Or The Office * Setting The Right Examples For The Team * Encouraging People To Take Leave, Learning And Development Opportunities, Health Reasons Without Repercussions 31:47 - Living In A College/University Town 32:54 - Overcoming Impostor Syndrome * Exists In The Technology Sector * Exists In Other Disciplines * Turn The Ship Around! (https://www.davidmarquet.com/turn-the-ship-around-a-true-story-of-turning-followers-into-leaders-by-david-marquet/) * The Manager’s Path (https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897) 35:58 - Empathy For Managers And Employees * Leadership Development * Self-Reflection/Self-Awareness * Journaling/Note Taking * Becoming A Technical Leader (https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Technical-Leader-Problem-Solving-Approach/dp/0932633021) 51:11 - Phil’s Thoughts For The Future * Citizens Before Consumers * What Can We Do Better? * The Global Digital Citizen Foundation (https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/) Reflections: Jacob: Happy being an individual contributor but contributing to the art of management by being a better employee and having empathy for managers. Phil: Self-Awareness and empathy. Wanting to push his people in a certain direction but taking that step back and determining where that motivation is coming from. Chanté: Impostor syndrome: at some point in time we’re all impostors. Doing reading about leadership can help whether you are taking that path or not. This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Phil Wheeler.


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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 5:00 pm


Fast & Furious with Penelope Phippen

Please enjoy this mini-episode of Greater Than Code featuring guest Penelope Phippen (https://twitter.com/penelope_zone) as we begin to pivot to our new podcast theme, the Fast & Furious (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_%26_Furious). * ( * Just kidding, we are still a tech podcast.) But we do hope you enjoy this set of outtakes where we grill Penelope on her Fast & Furious knowledge and speculate about the future of the franchise.) This is the kind of content we normally release exclusively to our Patreon subscribers, but we didn't want to hoard such joy, so it's a gift to all of you. But if you want more content like this, an invite to our Slack group, AND an invite to the Fast & Furious party at Jamey's house, please support us on Patreon! (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) * ( * That is also a joke, if you're a Patron, thank you for your support, but please don't show up to Jamey's house unannounced.) Special Guest: Penelope Phippen.


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Posted on 15 January 2020 | 5:00 pm


165: Rubyfmt with Penelope Phippen

01:37 - Penelope’s Superpower: An extremely cursed knowledge of the Ruby programming language’s grammar. 03:09 - Writing Ruby Programming 05:50 - Why Penelope is Doing This the Way She Is * Were Any Bugs Found in the Ruby Grammar * There is No Spec * There is No Written Standard for How Ruby is Supposed to Work 07:32 - Inability to Extract Parse.y Out * Penelope’s Ideas 12:02 - What Problem Penelope is Trying to Solve With This Program * Rubocop Doesn’t Well Solve This Problem 18:30 - Hierarchy of Nitpicking 20:35 - Opportunities for Collaboration 22:44 - Major Challenges Faced * Finding Time * No Major Challenges * Community Overwhelmingly Welcoming * This is Not a Gem 25:58 - What Others Will Do With Rubyfmt (https://github.com/penelopezone/rubyfmt) 28:08 - Finding Time and Motivation to Work on Rubyfmt (https://github.com/penelopezone/rubyfmt) 30:00 - Why Penelope Hasn’t Got Pushback * There Isn’t Another Tool in This Class for Ruby 34:25 - Heretically Creating An Ergonomic Way To Work With ASTs 37:00 - The Fate of Regional Ruby Conferences * Regional Conferences Are Valuable For Other People * Speakers Can Get Their Start * Local Conferences Can Benefit Local Speakers * Struggling to Get Speakers * Organizers Burnout and No One Takes Over * $$ - Hard to Break Even This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Penelope Phippen.


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Posted on 15 January 2020 | 10:00 am


164: Psychological Balance with Dr. Mireille Reece

01:14 - Mireille’s Superpower: Being just herself. The sense of respect around the individuality of every person. 02:30 - Being Different From Others is a Good Thing * Nature vs. Nurture * Epigenetics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics) 05:59 - Our Brains and Empathy * Mirror Neurons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron) * Dr. Dan Siegel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_J._Siegel) * The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon/Frequency Illusion 11:15 - The Brain vs. The Mind * Extended Cognition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_cognition) * Sensation and Perception * Survival Rules - Virginia Satir (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Satir) 19:22 - Three Brains in One (https://psycheducation.org/brain-tours/3-brains-in-one-brain/) 21:51 - HPA Axis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothalamic%E2%80%93pituitary%E2%80%93adrenal_axis) * Dr. John Briere (http://s1097954.instanturl.net/) 23:06 - Overcoming Unconscious Impulses * Fight or Flight * Collateral Data * Brené Brown (https://brenebrown.com/) * Grounding 26:56 - Affective Prosody (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Psycholinguistics/Prosody) * Gavin de Becker - The Gift of Fear (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gift_of_Fear) * Incongruence 33:26 - Balancing Transparency at Work * Humanity in Tech * Codeswitching * Arianna Huffington (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianna_Huffington) * Relationships at Work * Psychological Safety * Shame * Learned Helplessness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness) 48:41 - Effort Over Outcome 56:15 - Using the Word “While” 59:25 - Decoding Your Anger * Using Energy 01:05:28 - “Plays” or Neural Routes 01:09:20 - Correlation vs. Causation Reflections: Rein: Bringing our whole self to work without thinking about punishment or reprisal. Finding psychological safety. Jacob: How he thinks one of the biggest problems in the tech industry is that there is this brick wall around feelings and how feelings and work don’t mix. Rather than a brick wall, what kind of filter can we put in front of our emotional lives that is appropriate for the professional world? Mireille: It really is around being able to see other people as people and when we do that most of the time people are not trying to make our lives more difficult. Check out Mireille’s podcast Brain Science here (https://changelog.com/brainscience). This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Dr. Mireille Reece.


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Posted on 8 January 2020 | 10:00 am


163: Cause A Scene with Kim Crayton

01:24 - Kim’s Superpower: Being a Black Woman in Tech with a Strategy and a Platform. 02:21 - Continuously Validating Your Space as a Black Woman * Technical vs. Technology * Kamala Harris (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris) Suspending Her Campaign * Inclusion, Diversity, and Business Strategy 08:10 - The System was Built to Harm and Oppress Black Women * Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift_Every_Voice_and_Sing) * Stacey Abrams (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacey_Abrams) * F*ck Civility * White People are on a Spectrum of Racist * Ibram Kendi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibram_X._Kendi): How To Be an Antiracist * Black People Cannot be Racist 15:42 - The Only Power Black People Have is the Power Whiteness Has Given Them * Capitalism, Communism, Marxism, Socialism are Theories Rooted in White Supremacy 21:24 - White Feminism is Bullsh*t * White Women are Now the Default Diversity in Tech 25:50 - Being a Strategist * Influencing Small to Medium Sized Business * Making Meaningful Impactful Change in Tech 33:15 - #causeascene (https://hashtagcauseascene.com/) 35:41 - Price Asymmetry 36:48 - Kim’s Six-Step Process 40:15 - Stop Looking for Simple Solutions to Complex Problems * Defining Racism Beyond the Dictionary Definition 44:29 - Future of Jobs Report from World Economic Forum (https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2018) 45:55 - Strategies for Developing Your Other Technical Skills 48:15 - Bounded Rationality (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bounded_rationality) * Facts Change, Truth Remains the Same * Collaboration Over Competition 52:10 - Can We Have Antiracist Capitalism? 01:00:59 - Defining Racism This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep (https://twitter.com/therubyrep) of DevReps, LLC (http://www.devreps.com/). To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode) To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps (https://www.paypal.me/devreps). You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well. Amazon links may be affiliate links, which means you’re supporting the show when you purchase our recommendations. Thanks! Special Guest: Kim Crayton.


Audio Download

Posted on 1 January 2020 | 10:00 am