Friday, August 5, 2011

Podcast Friday: Continuous Deployment, James Bach, Scionology and Paleo

Wow, it's Friday already? Where does the week go? That means it's time to review and comment on the various podcasts released in the past week that I've found interesting, entertaining, and informative.

Over at Software Test Pro, we've delivered another healthy helping of TWiST. In this episode, Matt sits down and talks with Noah Sussman of Etsy, the site dedicated to crafters of all types and making them storefronts to sell their wares. To say that this is a dedicated and passionate audience would be an understatement. Noah discusses developing and testing a site like Etsy, which emphasizes Continuous Deployment. Lots of buzzwords surround the notion of C.D., but Noah describes the reality of how Etsy does it and how they test it.

Bruce and Trish are back again this week with the next installment of Testcast, and this time they have a guest on the show, the inimitable James Bach. James always makes for an entertaining interview, and this is no exception. James describes the situations where he has decided to walk from a job rather than sacrifice integrity, as well as some of the tools that James finds valuable to help him in his day to day testing efforts This is the first part of what I'll guess is a two part interview, so I'm curious to see what Testcast will bring us next week.

The wild ride that is "Back to Work" is still one of my favorite listens, but again, it takes a bit of time to get into it, and often the first 20 minutes are banter that rewards the regular listener. First time listeners may well get lost in this, so I'm warning you now :). Episode #27 "Danny, Hold The License Plate" describes in equal parts the ongoing banter that Dan and Merlin share, but they also "vamp" more on the idea of "positions of strength" and knowing if and when it's time to walk away from a job (hey, I sense a theme this week :) ), as well as the idea behind subconscious information processing. Anyway, if you have been listening since I started cheerleading for them, then you will probably dig it. If this is your first time, you might want to listen with 1/2 an ear for the first 25 minutes or so ;). By the way, if anyone scratches their heads about the frequent mentions of "Squidword" in the show, they're referring to John Siracusa, who appears with Dan on the 5by5 show "Hypercritical".

Freakonomics is back and this week they investigate the "Church of Scionology". Nope that's not a typo, it's the idea that many companies keep it in the family and keep the leadership of companies handed down to the eldest son or some other member of the immediate family. Many family owned companies have this distinction, and the economists of Freakonomics ask "is this a good thing?" In many cases, families who put in the time and effort to become good executives and competent administrators and pass that ethic down to their kids do very well. Not all families do this, though, and the fact is, in many cases, the skills needed are not to be found in the family. This show goes through some examples of families like Anheuser-Busch and Yuengling & Son (both brewery's, interestingly), and the difference in "heir-run firms" in the U.S. and in other counties, and a country that takes the "Scion" approach to a unique level… Japan. Here, keeping it in the family has a whole different meaning, where if the son isn't up to the task, the parent will adopt a son, an adult of 25 or 30 years old able to take on the business… AND TAKE ON THE FAMILY NAME. Seriously, this one is fascinating and a recommended listen.

For my "out of the blue" podcast pick for this week, which may or may not have anything to do with testing whatsoever, is called "Latest in Paleo". It's a 5by5 property, and it's hosted by Angelo Coppola. It's based around the Paleo diet (which I will confess up front I don't follow) but there's lots of interesting things he covers, and the premise of the show is something I like a lot, which is the idea that "human beings are not broken by default" and that we should be open to viewing the place "where scientific evidence intersects with evolutionary clues".  Anyway, I find it interesting; you may as well.

And finally, if you are interested in hearing the results of "The Great AST Board of Directors Debate", well, you're in luck. All of the candidates (Matthew Heusser, Cem Kaner, Michael Larsen, Catherine Powell and Peter Walen) are represented and pretty much the whole interview is up (we did some formatting for sound and time limitations). If you want to listen, go here.

So what are you listening to this week? Anything testing related?
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