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Spicy Takes with Matt Swanson

February 17, 2023 1:04:26 123.73 MB Downloads: 0

Welcome to Remote Ruby and thanks for joining us!  Today, we have the most boring guest joining us…we’re kidding of course!  Our guest is Matt Swanson, who’s the CTO at Arrows and author of Boring Rails.  He’s taking over Jason’s spot today to bring us all the “spicy takes.”  Now that we’ve got your attention, you’re probably wondering what these “spicy takes” are.  We’ll just give you a little teaser…a new tool may replace Git in the next five years and contributing to open source is terrible advice for new programmers. We’ll also find out why testing and automated tests are so important, Matt explains how they prioritize features for customers at Arrows, he highlights two open source projects for people learning Ruby and Rails, and we find out Arrows is hiring Product Engineers.   Download this episode now to hear much more!

[00:01:00] Chris brings up Matt’s post from two weeks ago on Action Mailer stuff that you should go read.

[00:04:48] Matt has some spicy takes he wants to talk about, and he starts with the spiciest thing, and tells us about a new tool that may replace Git in the next five years.

[00:10:35] It’s spicy take #2, and Andrew wants it at a Maximum level of hot. Matt tells us that contributing to open source is terrible advice for new programmers, and Andrew and Chris share their take on this. 

[00:17:19] Matt highlights two open source projects for people who are learning Ruby and Rails that simulate real work and they are the umbrella of the Ruby for Good project and Forem project. Chris shares a college story when he was building a Rails app, ran into a bug, and wanted to fix it.

[00:21:13] Chris brings up the most common advice you see given always is, “Take it with a grain of salt.” Also, he explains why building features is the thing to focus on the most as a developer.

[00:25:39] Matt explains why testing and automated tests are so important, and there’s a discussion about VIM.

[00:28:54] Chris asks Matt how they prioritize features and things for customers, and what they use for custom domains.

[00:37:43] Chris talks about Hatchbox, how he learned so much from building the first version and making things simple, not building team support was an issue, and switching from Vimeo to Wistia for GoRails videos, but now looking at other options.

[00:44:06] Matt tells us about a feature in Arrows where they wanted people to have the ability to do embeds. 


[00:46:21] Arrows is looking to hire people for that Product Engineer role so please reach out to them. 

[00:48:02] What does Matt mean by scrappy, not crappy, when it comes to building, and he explains something he shared from someone recently on Twitter where you can build a mini form inside of an onboarding plan.  

[00:56:15] Chris brings up how they recently had Derek Sivers on as a guest where he talked about when he’s writing his Ruby code he tries to put as much logic and functions in Postgres.

[00:59:24] We end with Matt teasing a few last spicy takes for a future episode that you will want to hear.

[01:03:21] Find out where you can follow Matt on the web.


Chris Oliver

Andrew Mason


Matt Swanson




Jason Charnes Twitter

Chris Oliver Twitter

Andrew Mason Twitter

Matt Swanson Twitter


Boring Rails

Writing better Action Mailers: Revisiting a core Rails concept (Boring Rails)

Ruby for Good


Kent Beck

Jobs at Arrows

Remote Ruby Podcast-Episode 216: How Derek Sivers Uses Ruby and His Programming Philosophy

Ruby Radar Twitter

Ruby for All Podcast