A look back on 3 years of podcasting, and a bit of a look forward to what to expect in 2019.

Transcript for episode 61 of the Test & Code Podcast

This transcript starts as an auto generated transcript.
PRs welcome if you want to help fix any errors.

Welcome to Test and Code, a podcast about software development and software testing.

This is episode 61, the last episode of 2018. It seems like a good time for a retro perspective. I don’t think I’ve done one of those yet. But first, I want to thank Digital Ocean for sponsoring this episode, check them out at testandcode.com DigitalOcean and listen to their segment later in the show.

Welcome to episode 61, the last episode of 2018. It is December 31, as I’m recording this and put this out today, actually, and I thought it would be time for a retrospective.

And now, for those of you who are experts in helping teams do sprint in project and other kinds of retrospectives, please contact me. I’d love to have you on the show to talk about that. I am personally not an expert on doing software retrospectives, although I’d like to learn more and incorporate it into my work practices.

I do know of the concept. I’m not an expert. This is a look back on 60 episodes over three years of doing this.

I can’t believe it’s been three years. What a wild ride this podcasting thing has been so far, and it’s only beginning. I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon. I’m having a lot of fun.

And like I said about me not being an expert on retrospectives, I am not an expert.

But I did what any decent program would do before I started the notes for this episode. I Googled what software retrospectives are often like, and I came across many questions that seem relevant here, such as what went well, what needs improvement? It just seems like a touchyfeely phrase for what sucked, what was lacking kind of related to what needs improvement?

What did you learn and what are your next steps?

So I’m going to try to do some of that sort of things. In looking back on several of the topics related to this podcast, I also want to share some statistics with you because they’re kind of fun to look at. Similar to writing software in the open, I’m doing this podcast in the open, and I’m not trying to hide anything. And digging through the metrics of the past 60 episodes was kind of fun and insightful.

Of course, this is all from my perspective. I’d love to hear from you. What do you think went well? What needs improvement? What would you like to hear going forward?

There are lots of ways to contact me. There’s a contact form on testandcode.com. There’s one on Python Testing. Net.

There’s a Slack channel as well that’s associated with both.

And you can also reach me on Twitter at Brian Hawken or the podcast either at Test and Code at Test Podcast.

Now let’s look back.

The first episode of this podcast was August 11, 2015.


And the first 15 episodes were under the name of Python Test Podcast.

And actually I changed the name to Test in Code.

Yeah. Anyway, I like the name. It makes good stickers, too.

In 2015, we had eight episodes.

2016, we had 18 episodes. A little bit of a growth. Nice.

2017, there were eight episodes.

That’s just really bad.

However, I was writing a book in 2017. I’ll use that as an excuse. It’s actually the real excuse. I’m spending a lot of time writing that book in 2018, not writing a book. So 26 episodes. That’s better. But it’s an average of two per month and zooming into right around. Now I’m back to an average of about one per week with twelve episodes in the last quarter of 2018. Much better. That’s the kind of pace that I want to continue through 2019. The subtitle of this podcast is a podcast about software testing, software development, and Python. That’s the subtitle that’s on the website. However, at the beginning of the show, I usually say this is a podcast about software testing and software development. I don’t know why those two don’t line up. That might be something I might want to fix in the future.

Yeah, I’ll definitely try to settle on one and put it in both places.

I think it’s a podcast about software testing, software development, and Python. That seems about right. Maybe I’ll change the intro.

Anyway, let’s see if any of that held true so far. So I took all of the episodes, threw them in a spreadsheet the titles, and then tried to come up with counting them all. Now some of these numbers overlap, so don’t add them up and tell me that my math is off, because one, my bath probably is off. And two, these aren’t exclusive sets.

And if you don’t know what exclusive sets are, then I probably should do an episode on set theory. So let me know if I should do an episode on set theory. That might be kind of fun.

Okay, so these numbers don’t include this episode. I didn’t include episode 61 so far.

Software testing. There are 38 out of 60 episodes, so over half are about software testing.

21 I lumped into software development, even though software testing, as I do it, is part of software development.

Software development topics that if you didn’t even care about testing, you might care about these. There were 21 of those. So about 20 out of 60. And how about the Python bit? 21 of the episodes, not the same 21, 21 episodes were Python specific.

I actually thought that would have been higher. That surprised me.

But yeah, I’m covered like test driven development unit testing gosh. Well, there’s a lot of topics that hiring software engineers that doesn’t have to do specifically with Python. So, yeah, maybe that makes sense.

Maybe I should do more Python focused ones in 2019. Let me know of those 60. Even though if I count the non Python, that would be 60 -20 I should have done this math at a time. 60 -21 that’s like 40, 39, 39 episodes. Non Python, but I actually counted those up and I think even the ones that were Python related, I believe 45 episodes out of 60 were relevant to all programmers of all programming languages.

I’ve only had two episodes focused on data science. I’m hoping for more in the future. There were a lot of fun and I learned a lot there. So two on data science. And then how about guests versus just me?

There were 19 episodes that were just me, no guests and 41 episodes with guests. That’s actually pretty cool.

I’ve talked to a lot of people in the past three years. Neat. Thank you everybody for coming on the show.

I need approximately, let’s say if I did it 50 50. That means I need like 25 26 guests for 2019. I got to start emailing people.

I am going to go through the retrospective bit, but I think some of these statistics are fun.

I do keep track of downloads. I thought I’d share some of those with you.

It’s actually a bit of a trick because I switched audio hosting platforms partway through doing the show.

I’ve got statistics from two different hosts that come in. But anyway, it’s not that hard with a spreadsheet.

So average of overall episodes, it averages of 8651 downloads per episode. That’s pretty cool.

And for 2018, the average per episode is 7641.

I’m going to take a positive note here.

I could think, wow, it’s getting less popular, but I don’t think that’s the case. I’m actually seeing an uptick in the number of downloads in the first week and in the first 30 days over what I did before.

The higher average overall over just this year, I think, is because some of those older episodes are still relevant and people are still listening to them. And I think I’m going to take that lesson away from it. And I think that’s really cool. That was one of my goals starting out was to make episodes that would be worthwhile even long after they’re recorded.

Now I want to do the retrospective thing with what went well, what didn’t, and going forward and all that in many categories.

However, I want to shout out and a big thank you to Digital Ocean for sponsoring this episode and actually all of December and actually a big chunk of the fourth quarter of 2018. I really appreciate it.

Digital Ocean is the preferred cloud platform of hundreds of thousands of innovative companies. And not just companies, just people like you and me doing small projects as well.

Digital Ocean makes it easy to deploy, manage and scale applications with an intuitive control panel and API designed for developers. Get started with a free $100 credit towards your first project on Digital Ocean and experience everything the platform has to offer. They have things like cloud firewalls, real time monitoring and alerts, global data centers, object storage and the best support anywhere. Join over 150,000 businesses already creating amazing things on Digital Ocean. And if you go through www.testandcode.com. Digitalocean, you can get that $100 credit. Yeah. Just a big thank you for Digital Ocean for sponsoring it’s. Really great.

Now let’s do that retrospective that I was talking about. So now we’re going to go through what went well, what didn’t.

This is totally fine to look at.

What do you think?

Why am I asking questions out loud? Like somebody can answer?

Also with this episode, since I’m recording it and trying to get out in one day, I’m not going to do hardly any editing. This is just me. Blathering. Anyway, what episodes have been really popular.

I’m not going to go through all 60 episodes, but the top five or six, one of them is disqualified.

Top handful of episodes.

So the number one top episode is actually episode two.

My second episode was titled Pie Test versus Unit, Test versus Nose, and that has been downloaded 20,382 times.

Coming in at number two at over 15,000. Listens is episode 33 with Catherine Dermot in testing and data Science.

That is one of the reasons why. Also, it’s just really fascinating. But that’s one of the reasons why I’d like to do more data science in 2019 is because that’s obviously popular.

The third place is disqualified.

The third place, over 15,000 downloads. Also is episode one, what to expect from the Python Test Podcast.

I’m disqualifying it because this isn’t the Python Test podcast anymore. It’s Test And Code and it’s horrible.

The first episode is this weird, bizarre, like book analogy. I don’t know what I was thinking. And actually I scripted the whole thing and recorded it like three times. And it still turned out this bizarre thing. So if you haven’t listened to it, don’t go back and listen to it. Or if you do better, do it quick, because I’ll jump to that later.

That’s not going to stick around for very long. Okay. What I think of is the real number three is episode 18, testing in Startups and Hiring Software Engineers with Joe Stump. And I think this episode was great, but I don’t think it was really popular because of the testing and startups. I think it was popular because Joe has some interesting ideas and a little controversial on hiring software engineers.

Actually, I really enjoyed talking with him about his views on hiring software engineers. And I’d like to have more bring on more hiring managers to talk about things like that. I think it’s really interesting to look at how different companies do that. Anyway, I don’t think that was popular because of the testing part. It was popular because of the hiring part.

The fourth most popular is the only one on the top five. That was from 2018. And that is episode 45, which is David Heinemire Hanson. This is not surprising that it’s on the list.

Dhh talked about software development and testing and test driven development and Exploratory. Qa, and he’s both a very easy person to talk to and very knowledgeable and kind of a Rock store in the software world. So it was fun to talk with him and it was cool anyway.

And so what I think of is the number five here is for the top five is episode 27 with Mamu to Chemi, where we discussed the difference between unit testing, integration testing, and system testing, and then just caught up on Mamod and he’s a fun person to talk to. So that’s our top five.

A few observations of those top five. Only one of those is from 2018. So older content is still relevant for people to listen to.

Four of the five are not Python specific, which I guess it makes sense now that I looked at the numbers and only like 20 out of 60 we’re Python specific. Only all five of them are testing related.

But like I said, the Joe Stump interview one, I don’t think about hiring software engineers. I think that’s why it’s popular, not that it’s testing related.

And the top one number one, which was an interesting observation, the episode with pipe test versus unit, test versus nose, it was done with very little prep work. I was having a morning coffee at a coffee shop, wrote down some notes, came back home, recorded it, and I think I recorded a home. Maybe I recorded it out somewhere and then edited it. I went back to the coffee shop to edit it. And it’s kind of neat that that’s that popular. I didn’t put that much work into it. Go figure.

All right, so that’s the top five in some observations. And so one of the episodes I want to highlight a couple of episodes, actually just one.

And it’s episode 32. Episode 32 was an interview with David Hussman about Agile versus Agility dude’s law and a whole bunch of other stuff. And it’s a really excellent interview. And I do want to highlight this because I feel very lucky I interviewed him or I released this. I interviewed him, I think actually I don’t remember when I interviewed him, but I released it on October 3 of 2017.

But in 2018, the world lost David, David husband passed away from cancer this last year. And I am both saddened and also honored that I was able to talk with him before the world lost this great thinker so. Please, if you haven’t heard episode 32, go have a list. And there’s a lot of good information there in there.

Okay. So those are still just kind of what went well and observations.

So what should I do more of then?

I’d like to do more.

You can see that test frameworks are still important. And so more coverage of pipe testing, unit, even unit test, would be good data science topics. Of course, other broad topics like hiring and other software management topics would be great. Controversial opinions like Joe Stumps opinions.

Those are fun to have and then bread and butter testing topics like levels of testing, TDD, Exploratory, QA, and then other software development topics. I think those are all good things to have on there. And obviously one takeaway is that well known names are good, like Catherine Charmall and David Heiner. Myer Hanson. So getting some big fish in here is kind of fun for the podcast.

What needs improvement?

I’m just going to say that episode one, it needs rerecorded.

Itunes still says, hey, you should listen to this as one of the recommended episodes, and I feel bad about that. So I’m going to have to rerecord that. So the people that jump to that right away.

It’s titled what to Expect and it doesn’t tell people what really the podcast is all about.

Next steps.

I already said this. I’m going to rerecord an accurate episode one of what to Expect.

I think I’ll plan far ahead for topics for solo episodes. So I have a whole bunch of solo episode topics ready to record when I need to reach out to lots of people for interviews and topic ideas.

And people can give me ideas for topics they’d like me to cover in 2019. Also, topics I’d like to cover. I’d like to do more web development topics. Web frameworks I’m both developing on with web frameworks and also testing stuff with different frameworks.

More data science. Not just testing with data science, but other data science topics.

I interviewed a book author, a couple of book authors, and I’d like to do more book authors and course authors and people teaching stuff. They’re great people to support because I think they’re doing good things and cool people making cool stuff.

Also, other fields, not just web or other things. I also tested the embedded field, so testing embedded devices would be a neat, fun topic to do more on. Py test. I’m kind of a Pipest fanatic, but I haven’t really done very many Pipest episodes.

I’d like to do development workflow topics and some opinionated, lean topics and test driven development and just more opinions and you tell me what you want more of or any of if I haven’t done it yet.

I want this to be a great community driven podcast.

And yeah, that’s episodes for this retrospective. Next, I’d like to talk about community.

There is a community around this podcast, and I’m humbled by that.

There’s a Slack group that you can sign up for on both testandcode.com and Pythontesting. Net.

There are 507 people in the Slack group as of today, and my community I think of is also the Patreon supporters of the show and subscribers to the email newsletter.

So there are 49 Patreon supporters right now. Thank you so much. And people that are not Patreon supporters now, but have been in the past, I appreciate you as well.

And there are 612 subscribers to the mailing list. And if you don’t know about the mailing list, it’s because I haven’t really pushed it much because I don’t really do much with it, but I’ll get to that later.

So what’s going well?

The Slack group is going amazing. People are in there helping each other out, and it’s amazing to watch and be a part of.

I was afraid to put this together because I was afraid that I would have questions that I didn’t know how to answer. But I don’t have to worry about that. There’s amazing people in there answering questions all the time.

What is lacking?

I’d like to do something extra for Patreon supporters, and I’d like to have some kind of plan for the mailing list. So it’s the Patreon supporters. I want to give something extra back to them.

I’ve got a handful of ideas, but I’m not ready to share anything yet. However, the last time I reached out directly to supporters and asked them what would be good as a benefit, the only response I got was, and I got this from several people was that they aren’t doing this support for anything extra, they’re just helping out. That’s awesome.

Nevertheless, I do want to do something to give back to them because they should know how much I appreciate it.

As for email, I haven’t really known what to do with this for a while. I was emailing people to let them know that there was a new episode out, but if they subscribe on itunes or something else, they’re going to know about it anyway.

Or on Twitter.

So I actually looked at a bit of research, and one idea that I had heard from another podcaster is to have it be something that’s beneficial.

One of the ideas was to wait until a few days after an episode goes live and send out the email with the show notes and all the links that are covered in the episode.

That way, people that are listening in their car or while exercising or somewhere, and they’re not near a computer, near a Pin or anything, they don’t need to worry about copying the links down or anything, because they’ll know that they’re going to get that email and they can look at notes and look up links that way.

I think that’s a decent idea, so maybe I’ll try that. But for both of these topics of what to do next for both Patreon extras and email content, please let me know if you have any ideas.

All right.

Branching Out this podcast isn’t just about this podcast. I do other work related to teaching about Python and also teaching about testing.

I’ve got a blog at Python testing. Net and another podcast and a book. So the other podcast I do is I started Python Bites with Michael Kennedy in November of 2017.

That’s going very well with 110 episodes so far.

Usually the format is six Python related news stories or blogs posts or cool things we found, or even different Python tools or libraries that cover six of them every week. And it’s been very well received and it’s a lot of fun.

The other thing is the book I mentioned this already mentioned this a lot of times. There’s a lot of work though.

The book Python Testing with pytest was published September of 2017 with a second printing with mini corrections, fixes and updates to software versions which came out in November 2018. So that was just this last month. So a year ago, a little over a year ago the first published book came out and in a month ago an update came out.

Now if you’re looking for this on the Amazon or something, you’ll notice it doesn’t say second edition. It is not the second edition, it’s just the second printing. So it still shows up as first edition.

Many people have reached out to me and told me that this book has helped them have fun and finally really get software testing. And that is so awesome. I love feedback like that.

Okay, I kind of covered the podcast, the other podcast in the book that went well. But there is what sucked part or what was lacking blogging. I haven’t done anything on the blog since September of 2017.

When I look that up, I was surprised. So absolutely no content in 2018. I feel bad about that. And even in September of 2015, the last entry I have is asking people what they want more of that’s so lame. And people answered and I still didn’t do it.

I’m going to combine what was lacking and next steps because they’re all related. Next steps.

I want to get more writing content, so more blog posts up. And if I get one up in 2019, it’s more than 2018, but maybe at least one per month would be nice.

Also, some of the content that’s there is kind of getting out of date, it was intended as reference material and if it’s out of date, it’s not really good reference material. It’s not that it’s wrong. It’s just that there are new ways to do things now and I’d like to go fresh from those up videos and courses are lacking. So I’ve been asked by many people to do some demo videos and some screencasts and maybe even some courses to help people out. And I think those are completely valid requests and I want to get on it. And actually that’s like up very much on my next to do list because I’ve already bought in Camtasia Studio and I’m going to try to I think it’s anyway, you know what I’m talking about and I want to start doing some of those things.

What else you tell me, what do you think is going well with everything that I’m doing around Python and testing and this podcast and my blog? What do you think is we think it’s going well. What’s lacking? What should change?

Where should we take this rocket ship? I want this to be fun for both you and me.

I’d love to have help with it. You want to come on the show, get in touch with me. You don’t have to be an expert if you’ve got a little bit of experience you’ve got that much more experience than beginners so feel free to come on if you want to help out with any of the next steps that I brought up on the show. Also even like some of the updating old blog posts and stuff I’d love help or even if you just want to pick out really what needs fixed first, that would be great. I’m all ears. That’s all I got today so thank you for listening for three years and for 61 episodes. Awesome.

Thank you so much to digital ocean for sponsoring grab your $100 credit at testandcode.com digitalocion that link is also in the shownotes at testandcode.com 61 the show notes page.

Actually I’m not going to put up a whole bunch of links.

There are other episodes that I mentioned in the show.

All the episodes are at testandcode.comepisodes or individual episodes that I mentioned are at testandcode.com and then the episode number so to listen to 32 it’s testandcode.com 32.

Thank you for helping to grow the show without you spreading the word of the show to friends and colleagues on social media and giving ratings on itunes this show couldn’t grow and it is growing so thank you and for those of you going the extra mile in supporting through Patreon your contributions are now funding, audio editing and making it possible for me to put out more shows. That’s that’s all for now. I’ll see you in 2019. Now go out and test something.