Episode 16 - We are back!
"Tok Tok! Tok! Is this thing still on?" As you might have noticed, we took an extended break for a while and dealt with life and things. In this episode the team is finally back in the recording studio (as always remotely...) to catch up with the audience and warm up for a new season of content. This episode doesn't have a particular theme and we ended up chatting about our life changes and other news since the previous episode, including random tech topics like UPSs, backends and solar panels.
August 3, 2021
Episode 15 - Mathematics for Developers
"Mathematics. Oh?" Yeah... math. Remember? That subject from back in school and/or uni that you loved or hated or maybe just got along with ok-ish. And mathematics for developers - what is this? This episode is actually Kai's fault. He clearly likes mathematics and even studied it full time at university. We start as usual by going through a few things we've found online and talk about what we've been doing over the last few days and weeks. There's some exciting stuff in there, but you'll need to listen to the episode to get all these details. We launch into the actual topic by talking about how we feel about mathematics and how we use it in our lives. That varies from day-to-day arithmetic up to work usage to solve some types of problems. We talk about how you learn mathematics in school and how that progresses into university mathematics. One key component of enjoying mathematics and developing an interest in the topic seems to be teachers and their ways of knowledge transfer. Learning mathematics at university seems to be a very different experience: Lectures on the blackboard, hard to follow and understand and totally geared towards an academic career and not towards practical applications. But how do you learn math in a better way - or how do you get back into mathematics after some years of not using it? And how does that apply to development work? One way of looking at mathematics can be by trying to identify building blocks after you have picked a practical application. Let's say you want to work on some piece of code to animate a 2- or 3D object. Sure, you can just use a library. But if you want to understand the math behind it, you'd have to learn about rotation matrices. That leads you into having to understand a bit more about matrices and trigonometrical functions. Matrices are Linear Algebra, then there's some aspects of Geometry involved and functions are covered in Calculus. The interesting thing is that a lot of practical applications reduce to a limited amount of these building blocks. They act as reusable sets of knowledge that will help you to understand a variety of different topics across mathematics and computer science: Data Analysis, Machine Learning, Animations and more. We have some resources for you to help you get going. Video-based learning: Khan Academy Domain of Science Mathematics for Machine Learning Data Mining with Weka Tools and online communities: GeoGebra Community Wolfram Alpha Paul Dawkins' Online Notes Octave R TeX/LaTeX Books: Jeremy Kun - A programmer’s introduction to mathematics John Stillwell - From Euclid to Goedel
September 22, 2020
Episode 14 - Mechanical Keyboards
In this episode we talk about mechanical keyboards. A lot. We love mechanical keyboards! But before we get into the depths of how they work and why we like them so much, we introduce two new sections to our podcast: "Personal News" and "Community News". The first one should be self-explanatory and in the community news section we specifically want to talk about recent developments and news in the Android, Flutter and CFML communities - the places were we mostly hang out. When we eventually launch into the topic, we start off by talking about different keyboard technologies: rubber domes and membranes, butterflies and scissors and the mighty mechanical switches. If you always wanted to know what the difference between blue, red or brown switches is, you will learn that - and some other things - today. We even recorded their sound for you! A big draw of mechanical keyboards is the huge range of options how you can customise them. Mechanical keyboards come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from full size keyboard down to what's called a "40% keyboard". And did we mention that you can swap the key caps and make a keyboard truly yours? Yes, you can do that. And Lara has some experience with that to share! Also, it turns out that Lara learned how to property 10-finger-type at school. WOAW! Join us for fun and entertaining 84 mins talking about the joy of owning one or multiple mechanical keyboards! Some of the links we mentioned in the episode: Razer Optical Switches Japan Shopping Guide for mechanical keyboards Introduction to Cherry MX Switches Some beautiful key caps Candykeys Tuxedo Laptops now come with custom key caps: Wingdings (unboxing video)
July 27, 2020
Episode 13 - We talk about CVs, Resumes and Lebensläufe in tech with Raquel Moss
July 5, 2020
Episode 12 - The Talk (slides and delivery)
In this fourth and final episode of our mini-series on public speaking we're covering the final few meters on your road to a successful first conference talk: creating your slide deck and delivering the talk itself. We start with talking about the slides and how to create the content of your talk. There are a few fundamental rules such as avoiding walls of text and just reading everything that's on your slides. But outside these extreme situations, the content and structure of your slides depends a lot on your personal style and the content and type of the talk. It also seems that slide decks have changed over time. 10-15 years ago you'd generally have seen more text-heavy slides at conferences because the audio and video recording of talks was less common so that slide decks were the only reference people could have a look at after the event. We also talk about some of the common theme slides in a slide deck: Title, Agenda, About me and a closing slide. Which of them do you need? Which of them do we like or dislike in talks and most importantly: what should you put on them? The second part of this episode is about actually doing the talk. Practice a lot, try to warm-up on the day and have fun. Well, there's more - but you need to listen to the episode to hear that. Finally, here are all the links to the previous episodes of this mini-series in correct listening order: Getting Started Submitting and the selection process Writing your abstract
June 28, 2020
Episode 11 - Writing your abstract
In the third part of our mini-series on public speaking we're talking about coming up with an idea, a title and actually writing an abstract for your talk. The common problem first-time speakers and submitters face is: "Where do I even start?". It turns out that you don't necessarily start with a title. Often ideas are born out of some experience. You might have struggled with some tech, you might have learned a new framework or want to share something else you're passionate about. From an idea, sometimes you will progress to a working title. But don't worry: most likely it will change over the time you're spending on writing the abstract. Regardless, we have some general thoughts on titles like: try to avoid political slogans, swear words and titles that diminish other technology. The abstract itself should ideally consist of some paragraphs of plain text. Miquel's approach is a 3 paragraph formula: Introduce a problem or the idea Content of the talk Key takeaways We all agree that this is commonly a very good approach to structure your abstract. Obviously it still needs to adhere to the conference's requirements. A side-benefit is that going through a structured process like this is that you have a very good starting point for writing your talk, should it be accepted. We close with a few additional tips on where and how you could get additional help and support with your first response to a Call For Papers. In the the next (and last) episode of this mini-series you will learn about writing the talk and holding your presentation! Here are all the links to the previous episodes of this mini-series in correct listening order: Getting Started Submitting and the selection process Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
June 21, 2020
Episode 10 - Submitting a talk and the selection process
This is the second part of our mini-series on public speaking and we're talking about the selection process. All three of us have been on both sides of the table. We've submitted talks to a lot of conferences ourselves, but we also have been part of the selection processes of tech conferences. When it comes to being a speaker, we're covering the typical steps of a submission process. What is a call for papers (or proposals)? How do you deal with submission systems? What can and should you expect from an event and what are potential red flags? But we also want to raise awareness about what happens behind the scenes. It's important to understand the challenges around selecting talks and building an agenda from an organiser's or content committee's point of view. How do they operate and what are the typical ways a group of people tackles a pool of a few hundred talk submissions. In the next (and probably last) episode of our mini-series we're going to look into the actual process of ideation around a talk and give you some tips for writing an abstract that hopefully gets accepted at the conference of your desire. If you want to go back to the first episode of this mini-series, this is the link: Getting Started
June 8, 2020
Episode 9 - Getting started with public speaking
Welcome back to Code Cafeteria. We decided to take a few weeks off, but are now back with a new episode. This week we're launching into a mini-series on public speaking and how to get into public speaking. This first of a couple of planned episodes around the topic is about how we got started, what appeals to us about preparing and delivering technical talks and some fundamental ideas that might help you to get out there yourself: Your first talk doesn't have to be a 60 minutes slot at a global event - start with a local meetup. Your first time in front of people doesn't even have to be a talk. You could just co-run a meetup night and make some organisational announcements. Ideas for talks sometimes come to you in mysterious ways, embrace even random ideas. If English is not your first language, that's totally not a problem. The tech community is full of people with a non-English background. For more ideas, listen to the episode... Next time, we'll look into in more detail into deciding on a topic, coming up with an abstract for your idea and then submitting it to conference.
May 24, 2020
Episode 8 - Dead Tech
We're back from our Bunny Day break (to stay in Animal Crossing New Horizons lingo) and talked about (perceived) dead technologies. We recorded this episode already about a week ago and it was due to me (Kai) stressing around giving a virtual conference talk and then getting on with life in general that it just is being published now, sorry for that, peeps! Why did we decide to talk about what people perceived as dead tech? The topic got kind of triggered by the recent demand in COBOL developers due to a wide range of changes in countries' social security or tax systems all over the world. It turns out that many of these environments run on mainframe systems that were originally built in the 1960s-1980s. After a brief look at the language we talk about the variety of risk environments organisations operate in. Consumer products get iterated over much more rapidly than bank or government systems dealing with fundamental societal infrastructure and that's part of the reason why we still find a lot of COBOL-based mainframe applications in these kind of organisations. But there are many other technologies that are perceived dead. One of them is ColdFusion - a commercial web application back end platform (nowadays owned by Adobe), which is a very unusual business model for web app back end technology in 2020. Kai has, among other technologies, been using CFML (the language behind ColdFusion) since the late 1990s and Miguel talks about his personal recent experiences (the good AND the bad) with CFML. He was using Lucee though, an LGPL-based and open-source CFML spec implementation. CFML is certainly a niche language and has still a place for product development in certain environments. From there we move on to talk about a bunch of other things: Prolog, Visual Basic and also about Java. Will Java ever be perceived dead? In Android-circles it certainly already is and nearly everyone has moved on to using Kotlin. But part of the problem there is that Android's supported Java version is Java 8, which actually lacks of lot of useful and expected features these days. What defines a technology as dead and can it ever truly die? Certainly technologies come and go with the Gartner-quadrant-what-ever-hype cycle, but eventually a technology will probably become used less and less and end up in a long tail. There's also the question of available producers and consumers of libraries and the overall developer ecosystem. The question then is - what's economically and technologically better: stay with a chosen platform or at some point rebuild from scratch? Or maybe a middle ground is the way to go? Many things to consider and we hope you enjoy us talking about some of these considerations.
April 27, 2020
Episode 7A - Animal Crossing with our friends
There's a new Nintendo Switch game that is keeping our minds busy in these difficult times. A game that couldn’t have come at a better time. Of course we are still talking about Animal Crossing! Today’s episode 7A is the second episode about this game. This time we tried doing something different though: We invited a whole lot of our friends that also play the game to an online meeting room and we had a bit of chat about their experiences with the game and cover some extra topics like the bunny day event, sharing an island or using Animal Crossing Amiibos and Amiibo cards. So, we got together with: Jen (2010-4877-8227) Diane Helen (8425 2934 5599) and Nick (3984-7759-3378) Switch friend codes in round brackets. After a bit of general chat, we start off with the bunny day event. Some people don't mind getting inundated by eggs instead of fish and wood, but others like Miguel and Helen are really annoyed by it. If at least the DIY recipes were any good... Jen talks about playing on the same island with her husband. Turns out that the first player on the island becomes responsible for everything the Nooks want to get done while the other players can happily do their own thing... :) Diane and Nick introduce us to the concepts and the use of Animal Crossing Amiibo cards and Diane elaborates on her struggle to invite her favourite cat Rosie to the island. It was lots of fun for us getting together with our friends and we hope you enjoy this episode, too! Also: if you were wondering what the Animal Crossing clown sheep character looks like...
April 5, 2020
Episode 7 - Crossing all the animals?
The pandemic is - not to anyone's surprise - still not over. As more countries go into lockdowns, at least there's now a game for the Nintendo Switch that seems to have captured everyone's hearts. It offers the perfect storm of Kawaii cuteness and escapism into an alternative reality in which you live with lovely animals on an island building civilisation from scratch. Which - hmm - sounds a bit awkward. We're obviously talking about Animal Crossing New Horizons. Depending on one's count and if one included spin-off titles like Pocket Camp on Android and iOS in the count, it's the 5th or 8th instance of the successful Nintendo game franchise. And it seems to have taken off unlike any other game in our bubble and group of friends. On most afternoons or nights pretty much every single one of our Nintendo Switch friends who are online play Animal Crossing these days. All three of us got the game on launch day. Actually we all pre-purchased and downloaded it before launch day and the game just unlocked in the middle of the night. When we did this recording, we were just about 1 week into the game and already see different strategies and interests. While Miguel went wild on creating custom designs, Lara turned out to be a collector and fish/bug hoarder while Kai is trying to make big bucks...eh bells, with fruit selling. We talk about our experiences with the game, how more and more of our close friends got sucked into the game and what you can do to get more out of the game. And if you're wondering about our reference to the fruit and resource stealing by a friend of us, this incident was obviously documented on Twitter... In case you want to play with us, below are our Nintendo Switch friend codes: Miguel: 2754-0743-7310 Lara: 8359-7630-6308 Kai: 3852-3319-8305 External sources being mentioned: Using ACNH for parties and virtual catchup Miguel made an ACNH pattern with his and Lara's dog Lily Animal Crossing Patterns community Animal Crossing etiquette guide
March 29, 2020
Episode 6B - Views on the struggles of large organisations dealing with remote work and business continuity
After last week's episode about how things change in the tech industry in these pandemic times, we thought it'd be interesting to get some other people's views on remote work and business continuity planning. Let's face it: Lara, Miguel and I have very clear views on why we prefer remote work and at the same time have less experience from working in *really large* organisations. Also - our respective business setups are rather small, family-sized operations and we don't face challenges that come with being responsible for employees. This is episode 6B, the second interview we did in the wake of episode 6. We wanted to get some outside view points on how different types of organisations deal with changes in the tech industry. In this episode Kai talks to Nick, who's been working in various IT management roles in large public and private sector organisations in New Zealand and the UK for the last 20+ years. During the discussion with Nick it becomes obvious quite quickly how different large organisation (have to) look at remote work. It can be much harder to send 1000 people home instead of dealing with the situation of a 5 person dev team. That starts with the simple things as hardware VPN authentication tokens, access to laptops and ends with networking infrastructure. Also - as a public sector organisation, state secrets might actually be at risk. However, regardless of all the struggles, does Nick think that overall we're properly setup to deal with the pandemic or other emergencies from an ICT point of view in New Zealand? You'll have to listen to find out! Have fun and wash your hands!!!
March 23, 2020
Episode 6A - Chatting about moving to remote work at Raygun with John-Daniel Trask
Ok, we've done that weird thing again and went off the main line of the podcast to sneakily injected an interview. After last week's episode about how things change in the tech industry in these pandemic times, we thought it'd be interesting to get some other people's views on remote work and business continuity planning. Let's face it: Lara, Miguel and I have very clear views on why we prefer remote work and at the same time have less experience from working in *really large* organisations. Also - our respective business setups are rather small, family-sized operations and we don't face challenges that come with being responsible for employees. In episode 6A we're having a chat with John-Daniel (JD) Trask, one of the co-founders and CEO of Raygun. They have about 50 staff in Wellington, New Zealand as well as Seattle in the US and some remote contributors in various places in the world. After the novel coronavirus and Covid-19 took off globally (and then in NZ), JD has made a very early decision to switch from an office-based setup with occasional remote work to a make everyone work remote. Some people perceived that to be *so* early, that he even had to face some criticism for undertaking this step. We got together (obviously physically distancing) to talk about their situation, what JD's reasoning was for acting early and how it's been working out so far. Have fun listening and wash your hands!!!
March 20, 2020
Episode 6 - Changes in the tech industry in a pandemic world
This week's topic is a deviation from our normal plan. Due to the rapid developments around the novel coronavirus and the Covid-19 illness we decided to talk about some implications for the tech industry in regards to work setups and events or conferences. Please note: Neither of us are doctors or epidemiologists. Lara has a background in biology and we’ve been very closely following the statistical and mathematical modelling around the epidemic clusters, but we are no experts when it comes to the pandemic. We have added some useful and trustworthy links to the show notes though. So, this episode is not about the virus or the illness itself. Promise. The last thing we want to do is to contribute to anxiety, uncertainty and fear. But there is a need to talk about some of the implications for our industry. How will work look like in the next few months or years? What happens to physical conferences? Will we go back to what work and events used to be when this pandemic will eventually be curbed by medication and/or vaccines? External sources being mentioned: Are Tech Conferences Dead? One Team Gov Global Online Workshop General pandemic information and trustworthy/factual people to follow on Twitter: NY Times (non pay-walled) The Spinnoff - Flatten the curve Actually, read all of what Siouxsie Wiles is writing on The Spinnoff Eric Feigl-Ding (Twitter) Kai Kupferschmidt (Twitter) Helen Branswell (Twitter) Amy Coopes (Twitter) Caitlin Rivers (Twitter) Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
March 15, 2020
Episode 5 - Pets as co-workers
We're back in the main line of Code Cafeteria this week and spend some time to talk about our pets and other animals and how they influence us in our home and work lives. While Lara works from an office most days of the week, Miguel and Kai both work remotely from home and have their respective animals around. But Lara's company allows dogs at work and we talk about what the pros and cons of that can be. Particularly in a shared, open plan office, bringing your animals to work can be great, but can also cause all sorts of issues. Join us for some entertaining anecdotes from our animals or from friends who have been visited by rather unusual office companions... External sources being mentioned: Lily (living with Lara & Miguel) and Kylo (living with Kai) on Twitter Dogs at Flick Electric in Wellington Benefits of Office Dogs Didga and Boomer on YouTube Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
February 29, 2020
Episode 3A - Talking BSD with Lenz Gschwendtner
Episode 3AAAWHAT??? Yes, dear listeners - we went back to episode 3 about operating systems for developers. And then we branched off from master into a special feature episode 3A to talk about BSD. For this special feature episode, we reached out to Lenz Gschwendtner, who's been using BSD for server and infrastructure hosting as well as his main daily driver on his laptop for years. Miguel and Kai spent about 30 minutes to talk with Lenz about his background and how he ended up in the BSD ecosystem and what makes it interesting and worthwhile to use it. We also cover topics like available software, hardware compatibility and many more. Hope you enjoy this out-of-schedule recording. We're back to our usual schedule next week... External sources being mentioned: ZFS FreeBSD Laptops on FreeBSD Byhve Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
February 22, 2020
Episode 4 - Nintendo Switch Games
The Nintendo Switch and video gaming in general are important parts of our lives. In this episode we talk about how we got into the current Nintendo platform, how it's relevant to how we met and cover games we love and look forward to being released in 2020. We also share our tips and tricks for interacting with the Nintendo ecosystem, we talk about pricing and micro-transactions and cover some general aspects of gaming culture along the way. External sources being mentioned: Nintendo Pulse Podcast (@dasme and @stephenthemunn) Der Nintendo Podcast (from German Nintendo Magazine) The SwitchCast Reddit: NintendoSwitch subreddit Compare Nintendo Switch eshop prices globally Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
February 15, 2020
Episode 3 - Operating Systems for Developers
"Developers, Developers, Developers!!!" - anyone remembering a slightly weird behaving Steve Ballmer running up and down the stage at a Windows 2000 developer conference, chanting these words? At the time he wanted to make clear how Microsoft would focus on developers now and that developers were such an important audience of Microsoft. Let's see how that holds up in 2020. In this episode we’re getting a bit more technical and talk about operating systems for developers. The discussion about what the best OS for a developer is has been going on for years. But is there a best operating system, an actual winner? Or does it maybe come down to personal preferences or even individual projects? And sometimes, operating system choices can be driven by hardware choices or vice versa as well. How big is the difference in day-to-day usage between operating systems these days anyway? We spend so much time in our IDEs and shells - does it even matter if it’s Windows, MacOS or Linux? We’re going to talk about our respective experiences with various operating systems over the years and try to see in what direction this fundamental part of our ecosystem is headed. Listen to us to learn more about Windows, MacOS, Linux and some other operating systems and why we might prefer one or the other for our use cases. External sources being mentioned: Codecafeteria Twitter poll results Jennifer Doherty: Command-line scripting options for mixed-OS teams Some sources for laptop hardware for Linux: System 76 (US) Tuxedo Computers (Germany/EU) Entroware (UK) Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
February 2, 2020
Episode 2 - Past work experiences
This is Episode 2, and today we talk about our past job experiences. Miguel talks about what he learned about the gaming industry when he worked there, Kai shares his experience working in Germany and New Zealand before becoming a freelancer, and Lara talks about my time as QA before becoming a developer. Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen
January 18, 2020
Episode 1 - Developer Communities
In this episode we're talking about developer communities. We're starting off by trying to define what different types and categories of communities there are. It's quite interesting how many different angles there are to look at communities from: online vs. offline, people- or technology-centric, vendor-driven and many others. All three of us have been part of different communities over time and we talk a bit about how each of us got involved with developer communities in the wider sense and what we currently do. In a lot of ways, developer communities reflect life outside the tech industry and it's important to be aware of that. While you might meet like-minded people and make friends you will also have to deal with different opinions and people who you don't get along with: that's ok. We discuss some different ideas on how communities can manage this through moderation, code of conducts and in some instances being invitation-only. To close the episode we provide some guidelines for interested listeners to find and join existing communities.
January 4, 2020
Episode 0 - This is us!
"Tock tock! Can you hear us? Anyone here?" Welcome to Code Cafeteria, a new podcast about developer life, technologies, games and occasional random other topics. We are Lara, Miguel and Kai and in this mini-episode 0 you're going to learn about our backgrounds and we'll give you some context around who we are and what we do. Have fun and make sure to be back for episode 1!
January 4, 2020