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By Greg & Mark & Laura
Musings and banter on software and product development.
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Testing 1, 2


February 01, 2022
Yule Log4j
It's Christmas so time to sit back, relax, eat heartily ... and think about your logging framework and what chaos might be happening in your infrastructure while you're arguing over which Celebration is the best. (Hint, it's Maltesers Teaser.)
December 21, 2021
The Topic Tombola
Only just less exciting than a loot box, we try a homegrown random topic selector and see what happens.
December 07, 2021
The Bit Is Back
Post-COVID, the world is a very different place, so the Bitpickers return with a hefty dose of the same old tosh, and the same lack of show notes. Sorry not sorry.
November 23, 2021
It's the season finale and we put down the keyboards and just have a good ol' chinwag. We'll be back in Spring 2021!
November 10, 2020
Performance Art
This week, the team talk about the good and bad of performance reviews
October 13, 2020
Of Mice And Mentors
Laura talks about her experience as a mentor, and we discuss the value of mentor/mentee relationships in the industry.
September 15, 2020
Situation Vacant with Steve Wright
In this episode we look at recruitment from the 'other side' as we welcome Steve Wright from Spectrum IT to discuss the role of the recruitment agent for todays job seekers.
September 01, 2020
Yeah but no but ...
This week we talk about 'visionaries' and 'evangelists' and how should a Development team respond when faced with exciting, but often unrealistic, new ideas.
August 18, 2020
Lockdown Retro
Recorded as the UK starts easing out of lock down, we take a look back over the 15 weeks and discuss how we've coped, what changes we've seen in ourselves and others, and consider what things might stick or change as we adapt to the new working model. Wait But Why - Why Procastinators Procastinate Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide To Life Liberated From Anxiety The Confidence Gap
July 14, 2020
Sitting on de-fence with Paul Newell
Look, an episode! This week, we talk with Paul Newell, veteran of the defence industry, to get a view on the difficulty applying agile concepts to multi-year, multi-million pound projects. This episode was recorded over Zoom, so sorry not sorry about the audio quality.
June 23, 2020
To Zoom or not to Zoom
It's another remote episode of Bitpicking TV, in audio form! This week, the team consider the sudden popularity of Zoom for conferencing, and whether anyone really cares about security and privacy if they can just get to change their background once in a while.  In an ironic twist of events, Skype lets us down halfway through, so we decide to try Zoom out for ourselves.  See if you can spot the join! Watch our happy little faces at
April 12, 2020
COVIDeo Killed The Radio Star
Desperate times, desperate measures....  The Bitpicking team congregate on Skype for what's probably the first of many remote sessions.  Naturally, the only topic in town is the impact of COVID-19 on the daily lives of software teams - remote working, changes in business priorities, and how long until we're all on Club Penguin... As an added bonus, you can now see our angelic little faces on Bitpicking TV!  Find us at - like and subscribe! (that's what the cool kids say, right?)
March 24, 2020
TDD! Do you know me?
Mark & Greg tackle TDD - Test Driven Development.  What is it?  When should you do it?  How can you make it stick?
March 17, 2020
Biting The Hand That Feeds You
Laura, Mark and Greg turn their sights on modern Agile - has it lost its way, and has it really changed anything in the meantime? (fact-check:  Semco is one of *Brazil's* largest conglomerates, not Britain's - clearly someone can't read and talk at the same time)
March 03, 2020
Webpacking it in with Matt Alner
We welcome Matt Alner (@matthewalner), developer, TechDorset organiser, and serial side project-er to Bitpicking for a rambling chat about meet ups, bluetooth hacking, browser wars, TypeScript and more! TechDorset:
February 18, 2020
Way-In Up The Options
This week, Laura, Greg and Mark talk about the best way to get in to software development.  Do you need a CompSci degree to be a good coder? Or are you better off just getting on with the job? 
February 04, 2020
I Gantt Believe It's Not Better
As we welcome in the new decade we look at Project Management and ask whether software teams need a dedicated Project Manager or not?
January 21, 2020
The Bitpicking Christmas Special!
Like all good Christmas parties, it started with good intentions and ended in chaos, and now we can't remember what we spoke about but we'll blame the mulled wine. Loosely themed around side projects, expect lots of deviation!
December 23, 2019
A Man With A (Open) Plan
This week, we discuss what makes a good working environment for teams.  Are you an open plan fan or a cubicle hermit?
December 10, 2019
Playing, Ranting and Tinkering.
We have a meandering chat about what’s on our tech minds this week — Laura tells us about a play workshop 🧸, Mark rants about front-end development 😡, while Greg describes what he does to relax 🛠.  Enjoy!
November 26, 2019
Showing our true (team) colours
Laura asks what makes a good team, then we answer everything but.
November 12, 2019
Don't step on my bootstrap shoes
We discuss the recent Design Twitter thread about whether designers should code, and coders should design.
October 29, 2019
I Know What You Did Last Summer
We're back! To kick off Season 2 we ease back in with a chat about what's happened while we've been away, from electric cars and conferences to job interviews and social media.  Oh, plus a little surprise we think you'll love ... Got something  you want to talk to us about?  Get in touch via Twitter to @bitpicking!  Don't bother with Mastodon though - we don't check it. :)
October 15, 2019
They made me do it, your honour!
In the Season Finale, we tackle responsibility in software development by making wildly irresponsible claims about things we know little about.  Enjoy! We'll be back in the autumn, until then if you have any feedback for us, please find us @bitpicking on Twitter!
June 11, 2019
Rage Against The Machine (Learning)
In Episode 19, Greg and Mark brave the subject of Machine Learning and AI, and conclude that they're really not qualified....
May 14, 2019
What the UX with Laura Yarrow
This week we talk to Laura Yarrow - UX Consultant at Experience UX.   Like all UX conversations we start by clarifying what it really is, before discussing how to start in UX and what you can do if you don't have a big budget, before settling on a mini-rant about dark patterns. Oh, and Laura had it right all along, of course. REFERENCES: Paper Prototype example: UX Professional Association: Interesting UX People: Kim Goodwin - Dana Chisnell - Jared Spool - Good Web Form design:
April 30, 2019
Crossing the lower case j's
This week we discuss how much process is reasonable to avoid chaos and ensure team principles are satisfied, without it getting in the way of progress.  Do we need rules or can we be trusted to do the Right Thing™️?  Is agile now just a process?  Do fancy 'no process' models really work?  Find out by filling in the listener engagement form in triplicate, posting to us with a stamped addressed envelope, waiting for the code in our reply and using that in the episode unlock form to get the first half, then get the second half by posting a review on Twitter using the code word FREETHOUGHT.  Or, just hit the play button. Things mentioned in the episode: Maverick! Valve employee handbook.
April 16, 2019
Minimum Viable Podcast
Greg and Mark chew the fat on what constitutes a Minimum Viable Product.
April 02, 2019
Call in the FEDs! with Matt Northam
We welcome Matt Northam, a self confessed ‘FED’ (front end developer) from Bournemouth digital agency Redweb, and discuss such things as how to start in web design, using the Wu-Tang Clan to improve team working, and his favourite HTML tags. Matt's 3d hoverboard -
March 19, 2019
That'll be $0 please!
Why do so many of us develop for free?  Greg and Mark discuss the world of Open Source software and consider what drives developers to release and contribute to such projects, and consider whether other industries have similar behaviours! Feeling hungry?
March 05, 2019
Can you hear me now? with Dave Butt
Mark & Greg chat to Dave Butt from Holiday Extras, about the ups and downs of working as a remote developer.   Get your Pair Bears now!
February 19, 2019
Testing 1, 2
Greg & Mark dive into the murky world of QA, and ask “shouldn’t the devs be doing that?”. Quality at speed - how Atlassian does testing
February 05, 2019
Give me a Dev! Give me an Ops! What have you got?!?  Some Cloudformation templates and an Ansible script.  But what else should you have? Greg & Mark clear up any confusion around what DevOps is and who should be doing it ... or do they? Say hello on Twitter! If you like us, please leave us a review on your favourite podcast platform
January 22, 2019
Old Men Yell At Cloud.js
Mark & Greg tackle the issue of how teams make decisions on languages or frameworks, and when switching might, or might not, be appropriate. They also complain about Javascript a lot. Maybe use one of these on your next project! Brainf*** - if you're worried about backwards compatibility with your existing stack, worry no more! Rockstar! - Desire is a lovestruck ladykiller Flubber.js - Any resemblance to actual JS frameworks, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
January 08, 2019
User Abuse
In this episode we talk about engagement with users - in particular how to respond to App Reviews when they aren't entirely positive or have any actionable insight. Mark's Skype For Business shitlist - AWS Load Balancers now support redirects to HTTPS, who knew! -
December 11, 2018
Podcast for Hire
It's episode 8 - Greg and Mark consider what makes a good job advert for hiring developers, and how much technology choices count as an indicator of company culture. We also discuss the latest blog from Cloudflare discussing their entry into the serverless computing landscape - Cloud computing without containers -
November 17, 2018
The Stud Wall Episode
Greg & Mark reflect on their takeaways from the re:develop 2018 conference. —> Mark asks how professional the software industry really is given the expectations of other industries, and what is the right way to assess whether someone is actually any good. Then Greg expresses his frustration about the continued amount of conversations around whether to estimate or not by talking about estimating or not for 20 minutes. This week's links! Kent Becks 3X (Explore, Expand, Extract): Intro to Cynefin (Warning: may contain Papyrus): Uncle Bobs take on professionalism in software development: Product: The Delivery: Greg's c120 project:
November 02, 2018
Live! from re:develop 2018
Greg and Mark wheel the outside broadcast unit out for the after party of the re:develop conference held in Bournemouth on 12th October 2018, and ask some of the speakers and attendees for their thoughts on the day. For the full list of talks and speakers, see , where videos of the talks will be available soon also. Featuring: * Tom Quay (@tomquay) - re:develop Organiser and Founder of Base / Passenger. * Stuart Landrige (@sil) - Speaker and owner at Kryogenix Consulting, host of Bad Voltage podcast. * Matt Wilson (@mattwilson1024) - Attendee, software developer and DJ. * Dan Thomas (@dannyt) - Speaker and Founder of Moov2. * Thor Mitchell (@ThorMitchell) - Speaker and former Chief Product Officer at Crowdcube. * Dan Wentworth (@darkphnx) - re:develop Organiser and Head of Development at aTech Media. * Adam West (@theukbatman) - Support Analyst at aTech Media. * John Le Drew (@antz29) - Speaker and Founder / Principal Consultant at Wise Noodles. * Tom Geraghty (@tom_geraghty) - Speaker and former Head of UK Cloud Platform Ops for Experian. * Jorge Lambert-Cruz (@jsclambert) - Attendee and Technical Architect at Siemens.
October 16, 2018
YDIW is now Bitpicking!
A rose by any other name still represents two idiots trying to make sense of software and product development.
October 06, 2018
No comment
/* TODO: Greg and Mark ask themselves if it's right to put comments in code, discuss the the office light switches, and dig up age-old flame wars */
October 03, 2018
Clipped on byte boundaries
In which Greg and Mark have a ramblechat. Greg has a cathartic moan about avoiding a 'pile on' when trying to prioritise, and Mark reminisces about the good old days when 32K was enough for anyone. In between, Mastodon, Twitter, Slack and Teams come under fire - we reveal how the mild-mannered Mark was transformed into the superhero @revbingo, and why Greg is upset with a Twitter user who hasn't posted for nearly 10 years. We are on Mastodon! - A beginners guide to Mastodon - We're also on Twitter! - Picade - Mark's poorly constructed Intel8080 emulator - The Universal Machine - Come along to Redevelop 2018 on October 12th, and be in with a chance of getting yourself on YDIW! -
September 23, 2018
A Retrospective on Retrospectives
Following the minor success of the first episode, Greg and Mark run a small retro to consider what they can do better and then turn to retrospective practices generally. What are they good for, how do you run them, and most importantly - can Indiana Jones help get the best out of the team? And, as promised, we Google'd some retro formats for you and this came top! Join the conversation - get in touch on Twitter:
September 09, 2018
When is good enough, good enough?
In their first episode, Greg and Mark discuss the impact of ‘good enough’ - when the thing you’re doing is not entirely finished, but might be considered good enough to serve its purpose. Should you ship or should you carry on until it is complete?
August 30, 2018