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Thoughtworks Technology Podcast

Thoughtworks Technology Podcast

The Thoughtworks podcast plunges deep into the latest tech topics that have captured our imagination. Join our panel of senior technologists to explore the most important trends in tech today, get frontline insights into our work developing cutting-edge tech and hear more about how today?s tech megatrends will impact you.


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The rise of NoSQL

In the past decade, NoSQL has gone from being an interesting experiment to becoming business critical. We catch up with Martin Fowler and Pramod Sadalage, co-authors of NoSQL Distilled, to understand why the database technology took off and where it?s proven its capabilities in the enterprise and how thinking around issues such as persistence models has evolved.

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The hard parts of software architecture

In today?s modern distributed systems are by their very nature complex. The decisions you need to make ? around the wiring of your services, what size should the services be, and how should they call one another ? are uniquely complex. In Software Architecture: the hard parts, the authors explore the rough edges of software architecture and look at how you can effectively do trade analyses that work for you. We catch up with two of the book?s co-authors.

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Machine learning in the wild

From creating novel solutions for parking airplanes or identifying the winning formula for single malt whiskeys, our colleagues at Fourkind have extensive experience in building machine learning systems. Here, Max Pagels and Jarno Kartela highlight why deploying ML is different, how edge cases can confound well-trained models and the unexpected areas where ML can deliver better than human-levels of performance.

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Delivering innovation at scale

Lean Enterprise was a landmark book, exploring how large enterprise could learn from start-ups and deliver innovation at scale ? how they could respond to changing market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies when building software-based products. Thoughtworks Technology Podcast catches up with two of the book?s authors to hear about its genesis, its impact and why there?s not likely to be a second edition.

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Jim Highsmith: a 54-year agile journey

Thoughtworks Technology Podcast catches up with retired Thoughtworker and co-signatory of the Agile Manifesto, Jim Highsmith. He talks us through his experiences, from working on the Apollo missions to dropped card desks, the birth of the agile movement and its future in a post-pandemic world.

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Securing the software supply chain

As the infamous SolarWinds attack showed, it?s no longer sufficient to just write secure code, you need to ensure that you understand the security risks throughout your entire software supply chain: whether that?s compilers, containers or the tools used to manage deployment pipelines. 

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Making retrospectives effective ? and fun

Retrospectives can play a vital role in enabling teams to improve continuously. Here, our podcast team is joined by Paulo Caroli, author of Fun Retrospectives to get insights into delivering sessions that energize and inform the whole team ? while ensuring they become increasingly effective at meeting their goals.

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Patterns of distributed systems

In today?s cloud-first world, distributed systems are everywhere. Unmesh Joshi gives an insight into his work looking at distributed systems ? from distributed databases such as Cassandra to messaging brokers such as Kafka or infrastructure components such as Docker ? the common problems that arise and the approaches to solving these problems, which he categorizes as patterns.

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Refactoring databases ? or evolutionary database design

Pramod Sadalage co-authored the book Refactoring Databases 15 years ago. The concepts remain hugely relevant today for those exploring microservices. We caught up with Pramod and Martin Fowler to hear about the genesis of the book and explore how the principles of refactoring work in a world of NoSQL databases.

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Making developer effectiveness a reality

There?s often lots of talk about how companies can make their developers more productive. But it may be more useful to think about developer effectiveness: how to ensure they?re building the most useful products for their customers. This isn?t about working longer or harder or hiring smarter people, it's just working smarter, using your time better and making sure that the company is providing that environment that allows developers to be effective. Our special guests from Spotify and Etsy give us their unique perspectives.

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Team topologies and effective software delivery

We catch up with the two co-authors of Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow to hear about their ideas on enabling enterprises to become more effective at software delivery ? and the influence of Conway?s Law, team cognitive load and responsive organization evolution.

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How green is your cloud?

Following on from our Earth Day episode on green software engineering, we turn to the concept of Green Cloud. Reducing your IT operations? carbon footprint is more complex than simply moving to the cloud. We explore how developers can gain insights into the energy usage of their cloud operations and the tools and techniques they can deploy to minimize their cloud-related emissions.

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Green software engineering

There?s increasing awareness of tech?s carbon footprint but to what extent can software developers help? Is it possible to measure the energy efficiency of your code? Can you write code that saves energy? Our podcast team unpick the art of the possible when it comes to green software engineering.

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Twenty years of agile

We talk to two of the signatories to the Agile Manifesto for Software Development ? Jim Highsmith and Martin Fowler ? to get their perspective on how the agile movement has evolved over the past two decades.

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Talking with tech leads with Pat Kua

The skill set needed to effectively step up to a tech lead role can be markedly different from the ones you gain as an engineer. That realization is what prompted our former colleague Pat Kua to write his book Talking with Tech Leads. Here, he shares his experiences of how to successfully navigate the journey towards becoming a tech lead.

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My ThoughtWorks journey: Patricia Mandarino

Our employee No. 1 talks through her experiences of winning over agile skeptics, pair programming refuseniks and TDD doubters, along with her account of the winnebago come mobile computing lab otherwise known as the mythical Thought Mobile. Neal Ford and Alexey Boas join Patricia Mandarino to hear about her ThoughtWorks journey.

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Exploring infrastructure as code

Our team catches up with Kief Morris to hear about the release of his updated book on infrastructure as code. They explore how tools, practices and patterns from software engineering can be applied to managing infrastructure ? and how IaC has evolved in the years since Kief wrote the first volume.

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XR in the enterprise

Once the preserve of gaming and consumer electronics, extended reality (XR) ? a combination of virtual and augmented reality ? is now finding applications in the enterprise. This might be in testing and training situations or data visualizations. Here, we explore the implications this technology has for the enterprise software development lifecycle.

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Getting to grips with data visualization

A vast array of powerful data visualization tools are gaining traction in enterprises looking to make sense of their data sets, for instance D3, Bokeh, Shiny and Dash. In this episode, our team explores to concept of data visualization as part of a complete digital experience, with the workflows and journeys of a wide variety of users.

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Computational notebooks: the benefits and pitfalls

Computational notebooks ? such as Jupyter and Databricks ? have soared in popularity with data scientists thanks to the ease with which text, visualizations and code can be combined on a living document. But what works for the data scientist doesn?t always fit with developers? needs. Productionizing notebooks is fraught with perils. Our podcast team explores how to use computational notebooks most effectively.

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The architect elevator

Our podcast team catches up with Gregor Hohpe to hear about his book The Software Architect Elevator which looks at how to connect the boardroom to the IT engine room and how architects can drive digital transformations.

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The future of Clojure

The Clojure programming language has seen some radical changes in recent times ? not least of which is a change in stewardship of Cognitect, the company that provides technical support for Clojure. Here, we catch up with Stuart Halloway to find out what Cognitect?s acquisition by financial services firm Nubank means for the future of Clojure.

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The future of digital trust

Establishing who someone is and how much they can be trusted is hard ? even more so on the Internet. Here, our podcast team explores some new concepts in digital trust, such as decentralized identity, privacy protection and identity ownership.

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Integration challenges in an ERP-heavy world ? Pt 2

In the first part of this two-part episode, we looked at the challenges encountered when an agile software development mindset runs up against ERP-heavy integration environments. Here we look at some of the solutions that can ease the path toward legacy modernization.

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Democratizing programming

There?s growing interest in empowering non-developers to perform tasks that previously only programmers could do. This can help the enterprise deliver useful things quicker and free up developers to focus on more critical stuff. But challenges emerge when moving the citizen-developer-built applications to production scale. Our podcast team explores the possibilities and problems of democratizing programming.

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Integration challenges in an ERP-heavy world

Enterprise resource planning systems remain business-critical for many organizations. But these decades-old and often highly customized systems weren?t designed to operate in a modern, distributed manner. This throws up huge integration challenges when organizations want to explore how to embrace new digital opportunities. We look at how to overcome some of these challenges.

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Models of open sourcing software

Open source has become an important model for building interest and trust in a software project. But there?s no one-size-fits-all approach to open source. In this episode our podcasters explore different ways to approach open source and examine whether end-of-life has to mean obsolescence.

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Applying software engineering practices to data science

The need for high quality information at speed has never been greater thanks to competition and the impact of the global pandemic. Here, our podcast team are joined by David Colls and Danilo Sato to explore how data science is helping the enterprise respond: What new tools and techniques show promise? When does bias become a problem in data sets? What can DevOps teach data scientists about how to work?

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Using visualization tools to understand large polyglot code bases

Code visualization tools can be a great way to understand the intricacies of large code bases but they can be problematic when dealing with very old or very new code sets. Our co-hosts Rebecca Parsons and Ashok Subramanian are joined by Erik Dörnenburg and Korny Sietsma to look at the benefits and challenges of code visualization, especially when dealing with multiple programming languages.

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Machine learning in astrophysics

Astronomers are increasingly turning to machine learning as a means to understand more about our universe ? whether that?s the formation of galaxies or the Sun?s activity. Here, our co-hosts Neal Ford and Rebecca Parsons catch up with our special guest from the National Center for Radio Astrophysics in Pune, along with a couple of ThoughtWorkers to hear more about this intersection of data science and astrophysics.

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Programming languages geek out

Programming languages are simultaneously a creative and an engineering medium. So how do you find the programming language that most facilitates you being creative, while enabling you to produce code that others can read? In this episode, two of our regular co-hosts, Rebecca Parsons and Neal Ford, take a deep dive into the world of programming languages.

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Observability does not equal monitoring

When working with modern distributed systems, complexity is a given. But how can you make observability a characteristic of your systems, such that your operators get feedback in the event of an outage? In this podcast our co-hosts Rebecca Parsons and Neal Ford talk to Bharani Subramaniam and Prasanna Pendse about the monitoring and observability in cloud-based systems.

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Working with 50% of code in the browser

The evolution of modern applications has seen more and more code that runs in the browser, rather than on servers or backend systems. What are the implications of this shift? Are there any lessons to be learned from the past?

Our hosts Mike Mason and Rebecca Parsons are joined by Erik Dörnenburg to explore the implications of having more than 50% of code in the browser.

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Realising the full potential of CD

To get the full benefit of continuous delivery, it pays not to just think about delivering software into deployment, but thinking about the value that?s being delivered. In this episode, our co-hosts Alexey Boas and Rebecca Parsons are joined by ThoughtWorkers, Ken Mugrage, Arvind SV and Scott Davis, to explore continuous delivery in terms of business value ? not just the number of builds that have run or pipeline instances.

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Testing the user journey

Great web development isn?t just about the front and backends: the experience the user has is critical to success. In this episode, our hosts Alexey Boas and Subramanian talk to Scott Davis and Zabil Cheriya Maliackal about the principles of user journey testing and the tools such as Gauge and Taiko that can help.

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Continuous delivery in the wild

Often, discussions around continuous delivery focus on things that cutting edge companies are doing ? at the cost of ignoring those companies that are quietly succeeding with CD. Our hosts, Mike Mason and Alexey Boas caught up with software consultant Pete Hogdson to hear about his new book that explores the practices continuous delivery. The book looks at those companies succeeding with CD, and the common principles they share ? such as reducing batch sizes ? even while the way they apply those principles varies wildly.

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Lessons from a remote Tech Radar

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that for the first time in 10 years, the next volume of ThoughtWorks Technology Radar had to be created via a virtual meeting, instead of face-to-face. Our podcast team share their experiences of working on this complex and highly interactive project. They discuss how the tech held up, what was missing and what worked well.

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The future of Python

The increased emphasis on machine learning in the enterprise also seen resurgent interest in Python. What makes Python different from other languages? What are the main features that make it unique? And where will Python go from here? In this episode, our podcasts chat to Luciano Ramalho, from ThoughtWorks Brazil ? a renowned author of books on Python ? about dunder methods, fast fails and what?s new in the upcoming second edition of Fluent Python.

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A sensible approach to multi-cloud

When it comes to cloud, you may find that for some applications ? ones you intend to maintain over a long period of time ? you have to account for the possibility of changing providers in the future. Some vendors promise to make that a seamless transition ? but in so doing, you might be losing out on some of the rich functionality that the cloud providers can offer. Our regular podcast host, Zhamak Dehghani talks to ThoughtWorks Australia?s Head of Technology, Scott Shaw about the cost of multi-cloud portability and explores how businesses can calculate the risks and rewards of multi-cloud.

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Digital transformation: a tech perspective

Digital transformation has rapidly become an over-used buzz phrase. But the concepts behind it ? of putting technology expertise at the core of business leadership ? remain critical to delivering new business value.

Our podcast regular, Mike Mason is joined by his co-author, Gary O'Brien to talk about the practical lessons detailed in their new book, Digital Transformation Game Plan.

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IT delivery in unusual circumstances

When it comes to delivering IT in unusual circumstances, ThoughtWorks veteran Patrick Sarnacke has seen it all: from working through coup attempts to dealing with flooded server rooms or just pair programming with a reluctant partner. Mike Mason catches up with Pat to talk through his 20+ year journey with ThoughtWorks and the highlights of his career.

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Continuous delivery for today's enterprise

Continuous delivery has gained huge traction in the enterprise, but it means many different things to many different people. In this episode, our regular host Rebecca Parsons is joined by two special guests ? and former ThoughtWorkers ? Dave Farley and Jez Humble, who in 2010 co-authored the landmark text on the subject, Continuous Delivery. Together, they explore the engineering disciplines continuous delivery and look at the implications this has for the enterprise.

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Fundamentals of Software Architecture

Rebecca Parsons talks to Neal Ford and Mark Richards about their new book that promises to become the definitive guide to software architecture.

The book provides a concise overview on what's needed to become a software architect.

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Cloud migration ? part two

Once again, we look at the issue of cloud migration, taking a deeper dive into the process and why organizations are looking at creating platforms on top of their cloud infrastructure.

Our co-hosts, Alexey Boas, Head of Technology for ThoughtWorks Brazil and Ashok Subramanian, Head of Technology ThoughtWorks UK are joined by Alexandre Goedert Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks Chile. Together, they look at the complexities of building digital platforms that can give teams sufficient freedom to innovate, while maintaining some standardization.

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The price of reuse

For any large, multinational enterprise, there?s a dilemma at the heart of their software architecture. Centralization promises to save costs, providing a standardized template for how to do things and not waste effort reinventing the wheel. But local markets have unique characteristics, whether that?s customer behavior, regulations or the competitive landscape.

In this episode, our co-hosts Alexey Boas and Zhamak Dehghani are joined by Sriram Narayan, an advisory consultant for ThoughtWorks India. Together, they explore the price of reuse: the challenges and trade offs for architects that arise from a centralized blueprint for IT.

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Towards self-serve infrastructure

Traditional, centralized approaches to infrastructure management risk creating organizational friction and bottlenecks for dev teams. By defining a standardized tech stack, you immediately make it harder to satisfy your teams? diverse needs.

A self-serve approach can enable teams to tailor infrastructure to their particular needs. But how can you deliver a self-serve infrastructure without paving the way for chaos and ensure the appropriate guardrails are in place? In this episode, our regular co-hosts Neal Ford and Mike Mason are joined by Evan Bottcher, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks Australia and Zhamak Dehghani, Technology Principal, ThoughtWorks North America, to explore how to benefit from self-service options.

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Martin Fowler: my ThoughtWorks journey

In the latest episode, our regular co-hosts Rebecca Parsons and Neal Ford are joined by colleague and software luminary, Martin Fowler, to talk about his journey with ThoughtWorks.

Together they explore Martin?s life before ThoughtWorks, how he came to join and what it is that?s persuaded him to stay for more than 20 years. They also delve into how Martin?s bliki emerged as an essential guide to all things software and about his passion for enabling everyone to take more control of their computers ? and how to do so while maintaining things like code quality and maintainability.

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Building an autonomous drone

Everyone knows the adage: move fast and break things. But there are a few fields of endeavour where it is quite so apt as the world of drones.

In this episode, our co-hosts Neal Ford and Zhamak Dehghani talk to data scientist, Emily Gorcenski and head of product innovation, Jeremy Abbett, both from ThoughtWorks Germany about their project to build intelligent, autonomous drones. Together they explore the ramifications of writing code in a new, constrained hardware environment, and where faulty code can have huge project ramifications. And yes, there have been a few breakages. 

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Cloud migration is a journey not a destination

The allure of cloud, with its promises of cost benefits, greater stability and more recently as the lynchpin of digital transformation, is well understood. But if such promises are to be realized, tech leaders need to think beyond just lifting and shifting on-prem applications into the cloud.

In this episode, we?re delighted to welcome a new co-host to our team: Ashok Subramanian, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks UK. He?s joined by our regular host Alexey Boas and special guest, Alexandre Goedert, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks Chile.

Together they explore what cloud migration means today, now that the big three cloud platform providers have practically met feature parity. They look at the implications of cloud-to-cloud migration and help uncover some of the hidden costs.

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Getting to grips with functional programming

Any developer that?s moved from an object-oriented language to a functional one knows how disconcerting the shift can be. It demands a completely different mindset.

In this episode, our regular co-hosts Neal Ford and Alexey Villas Boas talk to Gregorio Melo about functional programming. He?s just written a book about functional programming, using Clojure as its basis.  Together they explore why developers choose to learn functional languages and how they can make the learning curve less daunting.

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