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This Old App

A podcast about learning, coding, smashing stuff together, breaking things apart, startups, failing, winning, and any other buzzwords we can think of.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Grab Bag - GraphQL vs REST, Websockets, Uber Fusion, Redux Sux, and Firestore Search

Don and Randy get back from a couple weeks of trips and projects and discuss a grab-bag of subjects of things they've worked on or learned.


7 Aug 2018

Rank #1

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Building an App (and Learning) with Vue.js

Randy has started working on the Chasms project again, and after the previous episode with David Rogers, he chose to use (and learn) Vue.js to get it started. Don and Randy discuss the various libraries being used to build the app, along with some strategies for other folks to get started with the framework.

1hr 1min

19 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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Is React the Popular Kid in School?

During Randy's interviewing stint, he spoke to a good number of firms that had needs for different stacks, but one particular framework stood out: React.Startups, small firms, and enterprise firms, alike, all seemed to have projects involving flavors of React running in development or production. This week Don and Randy discuss why React has caught fire and if it matters or not.

1hr 2mins

13 Nov 2018

Rank #3

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Callbacks! and Promises! and Awaits! Oh My!

We discuss the asynchronous nature of JavaScript, the old-person method of callbacks, the evolution to Promises, and then the shiny new car of Async/Await. We whine about the learning curve of all three approaches and try to figure out why so many blog posts teach it all wrong.


19 Jun 2018

Rank #4

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Power Apps for the People

Don has been hearing Randy tell him to quit coding so much and finally does something about it: He decides to build an app without writing a line of code (but not delegating it to someone else) by using Microsoft's Power Apps platform. This week, we discuss everything about PowerApps and how this might be THE FUTURE!


5 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Just Doing It Yourself Because of Liam Neeson

As a continuation to a previous episode, Don discusses why he's going to roll up his sleeves and handle a data-gathering project himself. He attempts to support his choice using a reference to a Liam Neeson movie quote and Randy begins berating Don with more Liam Neeson movie examples than is appropriate. Along the way, the discussion covers some good considerations about business management, outsourcing, training in-house, and how hand-on work can ruin actual job duty focus.


5 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Clean Code is Covered in Caca

This week, we shall rant! The term "Clean Code" is a vague and irresponsible phrase to use regarding programming and Randy will have nothing of it. It's time Uncle Bob's cute money-making catch phrase was put to pasture.


24 Sep 2019

Rank #7

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Document Datastores and Many-to-Many Relationships

While continuing work on the Chasms app, Randy asks Don for his two cents on an approach to solving a document datastore (firestore) schema involving a many-to-many relationship. A discussion ensues to make sure the whole approach to the project is right.


2 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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Trying to find a product-market fit

Don and Randy discuss the latest installment of the Chasms app saga. Don heads out to Denver for a sales conference loaded with potential customers of the Chasms text-to-chat system, but finds no takers. Further research finds a well-funded competitor, named after a dubious fruit. Is the Chasms project dead on arrival?


28 May 2019

Rank #9

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Testing with Node and JavaScript (Finally!)

After years of testing with Ruby on Rails and rspec, Randy never had quite the flow with testing on the JavaScript and Node side of things... until now. We discuss the value of testing with Node, Express, and in the context of Firebase Functions and why Randy is happier with TDD, or at least, Test Something, Sometime, Somehow development.


14 May 2019

Rank #10

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Relational vs Document DBs

We yell at document datastores to get off our lawns! We talk about the joys of SQL and 50-year-old relational databases we grew up with, trying to make sense of why MongoDB, Firestore, and Dynamo are necessary, and Randy's unhealthy love for Materialized Views. In addition, Lotus 1-2-3 is a database, no matter what Don says.


12 Jun 2018

Rank #11

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Breaking down bootcamps

Randy reacts to a Tweetstorm about Lambda School using his former experiences as a bootcamp teacher to add some perspective


30 Jul 2019

Rank #12

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Using a Framework Before Mastering the Language

Following a tweet from Ben Hong @bencodezen about whether people need to master JavaScript before using a framework, Don and Randy discuss how they have used, shipped, and been paid to use framework and applications many times without knowing the base language beforehand.


27 Aug 2019

Rank #13

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What to Use for Mobile Development?

We discuss the state of development around iPhone and Android development, mainly with using non-native code bases. Randy makes valid complaints about Apple. Don wonders why he isn't allowed to complain about Apple. The subjects of ReactNative, JavaScript, Flutter, Dart, Swift, Java, and Objective-C are discussed, including how Steve Jobs envisioned the Progressive Web App, yet money changed Apple's focus towards native development.Please leave a rating for This Old App on iTunes!https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-old-app/id1370196401


28 Aug 2018

Rank #14

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Typescript Pain. Is there any Gain?

Randy is diving back into the Chasms backend using Firebase Functions, which is written (by him) in Typescript. We discuss the ins and outs as to why Typescript was chosen, some pain points that cropped up along the way, Randy's attempt to rip it out, and ultimately why sticking with Typescript was necessary in this particular case.Alternative episode title: Typescript. Do I need this crap?


16 Apr 2019

Rank #15

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Twilio Segments, Pricing, and Proxy

Randy has been working on Twilio a bit since the team last worked on the Chasms project and updates Don on some of the interesting features Twilio has brought to market. In addition, they discuss a few gotchas about SMS pricing that might needlessly cost developers a few extra bucks.


19 Nov 2019

Rank #16

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Using Cypress for Integration Testing

Randy and Megan recently worked on a Single Page App and Megan learned how to use Cypress for integration/acceptance testing. Don and Randy discuss how Cypress works vs the old stalwarts, like Selenium. Automated testing for the win!


25 Jun 2019

Rank #17

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A Front-End Dev That Can't Build a Website?

Chris Coyier recently posted a tweet regarding a front-end developer he knew that "could not build a website." Is this strange? Shouldn't every developer that claims front-end skills be able to prop up a basic site?


15 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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Developers, Ageing, Naps, and What Are We Talking About, Again?

Don and Randy discuss the changes that ageing has on their development skills and focus, how to combat it (or adapt to it), and stay somewhat off the "old person joke" train... sort of.


13 Aug 2019

Rank #19

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Viable or crap? Discussing Blockchain, VR, Autonomous Cars, and Drone Delivery

This week we take a look at the state of a few hyped technologies and see where they really are in terms of usefulness, adoption, and long-term viability. Don thinks VR will never go mainstream and Randy wants a drone to bring him something, ANYTHING, right now.


21 Jan 2020

Rank #20