174 episodes

Elixir Wizards is an interview-style podcast for anyone interested in functional programming and the Elixir Programming Language. Hosted by SmartLogic engineers and Elixirists Owen Bickford, Dan Ivovich, and Sundi Myint, this show features in-depth discussions with some of the brightest minds in the industry, discussing training and documentation in Phoenix LiveView, the evolution of programming languages, Erlang VM, and more.
In the current season, we're branching out from Elixir to compare notes with thought leaders and software engineers from programming languages like JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Go, Scala, Java, and more. Each episode will take a deep dive into a topic from Machine Learning and AI, to ECS and game development, to education and community.
Learn more about how SmartLogic uses Phoenix and Elixir. (https://smartlogic.io/phoenix-and-elixir?utm_source=podcast)

Elixir Wizards SmartLogic LLC

    • Technology

Elixir Wizards is an interview-style podcast for anyone interested in functional programming and the Elixir Programming Language. Hosted by SmartLogic engineers and Elixirists Owen Bickford, Dan Ivovich, and Sundi Myint, this show features in-depth discussions with some of the brightest minds in the industry, discussing training and documentation in Phoenix LiveView, the evolution of programming languages, Erlang VM, and more.
In the current season, we're branching out from Elixir to compare notes with thought leaders and software engineers from programming languages like JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Go, Scala, Java, and more. Each episode will take a deep dive into a topic from Machine Learning and AI, to ECS and game development, to education and community.
Learn more about how SmartLogic uses Phoenix and Elixir. (https://smartlogic.io/phoenix-and-elixir?utm_source=podcast)

    "The Past is Your Teacher" with Alicia Brindisi and Bri LaVorgna

    "The Past is Your Teacher" with Alicia Brindisi and Bri LaVorgna

    It’s the season finale of Elixir Wizards Office Hours! SmartLogic’s Project Manager Alicia Brindisi and VP of Delivery Bri LaVorgna join host Dan to delve into the agile ceremony of retrospectives. They explore the vital role of retrospectives in Agile project management and unveil practical strategies for enhancing their effectiveness.


    Alicia and Bri break down the elements of a successful retrospective. They cover everything from meticulous preparation to facilitation techniques, and how to choose the best format for fostering open dialogue and actionable results. Learn how to navigate common obstacles and guide discussions toward productive, solution-focused outcomes.


    Throughout the episode, they emphasize the transformative potential of retrospectives within the Agile framework, portraying them not just as a procedural activity, but as a catalyst for continuous team growth and project success.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:


    Mastering the full potential of retrospectives in Agile environments
    Best practices for effective preparation and facilitation
    Choosing the right format to suit your team's dynamics
    Strategies for overcoming typical challenges during retrospectives
    Techniques for addressing and resolving interpersonal conflicts constructively
    The critical importance of valuing each team member’s perspective
    Practical advice on applying insights from retrospectives to enact organizational changes
    Tailoring and refining retrospectives to meet your team’s unique requirements


    Links mentioned:

    SmartLogic https://smartlogic.io/
    SmartLogic LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/smartlogic-io
    Contact Bri Bri@smartlogic.io
    Retrium Retrospectives for Scrum & Agile Teams https://www.retrium.com/
    4Ls Retrospective Template https://www.retrium.com/retrospective-techniques/4ls
    Start Stop Continue Retrospective https://www.retrium.com/retrospective-techniques/start-stop-continue
    Sailboat Retrospective https://www.retrium.com/retrospective-techniques/sailboat
    Starfish Retrospective https://www.retrium.com/retrospective-techniques/starfish
    ClickUp Project Management Platform https://clickup.com/teams/project-management
    Asana Task Manager http://www.asana.com
    Jira Project Management Tool https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira 
    Special Guests: Alicia Brindisi and Bri LaVorgna.

    • 32 min
    "So You've Been Hired" with Emma Whamond and Micaela Cunha

    "So You've Been Hired" with Emma Whamond and Micaela Cunha

    In Office Hours Episode 10, SmartLogic’s newest developers, Emma Whamond and Micaela Cunha, join Elixir Wizard Owen Bickford to discuss their onboarding experiences, joining a new engineering team, and navigating an unfamiliar codebase. They share tips and challenges on learning new programming languages like Ruby and Elixir while ramping up for active client projects. Emma and Micaela emphasize the value of starting with tests and seeking guidance from teammates when diving into unfamiliar projects.


    Our guests provide valuable guidance for anyone navigating the transition into a new software development team, highlighting the importance of collaboration, continuous learning, and community support in the tech industry.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:

    What to expect when joining a new engineering team
    Navigating existing codebases as a new hire in Elixir and Ruby
    Applying previous work experience to software development
    The importance of tests and team communication in unfamiliar projects
    Learning Ruby as a C++ and JavaScript developer
    Differences between dynamic and static typing
    Building team camaraderie and intentionality in remote work environments
    The steep learning curve of the onboarding process, including documentation, codebases, and client meetings
    Relying on teammates for guidance and overcoming the fear of asking too many questions
    Updating documentation within project repositories
    Learning team dynamics and identifying domain experts for targeted assistance
    Domain-specific knowledge: being a senior developer in one language vs. another
    Building friendships and connections within local tech communities
    The welcoming and supportive nature of the tech industry for newcomers


    Links mentioned:

    Elixir Programming Language https://elixir-lang.org/
    Ruby on Rails https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/
    Ruby Koans - Learn Ruby language, syntax, structure https://www.rubykoans.com/
    Elixir Language Learning Exercises (Elixir Koans) https://github.com/elixirkoans/elixir-koans
    The PETAL Stack in Elixir https://thinkingelixir.com/petal-stack-in-elixir/
    Alpine JS Lightweight JavaScript Framework https://alpinejs.dev/
    Phoenix LiveView https://hexdocs.pm/phoenix_live_view/Phoenix.LiveView.html
    WebAuthn Components passwordless authentication to LiveView applications
    https://github.com/liveshowy/webauthn_components
    Gleam functional language for building type-safe, scalable systems https://gleam.run/
    The Future of Types in Elixir with José Valim, Guillaume Duboc, and Giuseppe Castagna https://smartlogic.io/podcast/elixir-wizards/s10-e12-jose-guillaume-giuseppe-types-elixir/
    Git-Blame https://git-scm.com/docs/git-blame
    nix store https://nixos.org/manual/nix/stable/command-ref/nix-store
    Code and Coffee https://codeandcoffee.org/
    Special Guests: Emma Whamond and Micaela Cunha.

    • 46 min
    "From Inspiration to Execution" with Camber Griffin

    "From Inspiration to Execution" with Camber Griffin

    In Episode 9 of Elixir Wizards Office Hours, we dive into task writing and backlog grooming, transforming ideas from the discovery phase into actionable tickets. Join SmartLogic Developer Camber Griffin and hosts Dan Ivovich and Owen Bickford as they explore the intricacies of task writing, ticket grooming, estimation, and backlog management in the software development lifecycle.


    They emphasize crafting clear, detailed tickets that act as comprehensive guides for development teams. A well-written ticket does more than outline what needs to be built—it facilitates collaboration by including entry points, linking to essential documentation, defining acceptance criteria, detailing QA steps, and identifying potential risks and future hurdles.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:


    Crafting actionable development tickets from inspiration
    Achieving the optimal level of detail in tickets
    Tailoring ticket content for developers, QA, and stakeholders
    Standardizing ticket format with templates
    Structurally breaking down tasks into manageable sections
    Ensuring flexibility in implementation while maintaining clear specifications
    Proactively discussing architectural and design approaches
    Incorporating related documentation within tickets
    Clarifying acceptance criteria and QA procedures
    Accurately estimating task effort and complexity
    Collaboratively grooming tasks with cross-functional teams
    Adjusting tickets to evolving requirements
    Strategically planning for uncertainties and out-of-scope concerns
    Managing and versioning ongoing documentation
    Keeping the backlog clean, prioritized, and relevant
    Mapping dependencies among interconnected tasks


    Links mentioned:

    Jira Work Management https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira
    ClickUp Project Management Platform https://clickup.com/teams/project-management
    GitHub Projects https://docs.github.com/en/issues/planning-and-tracking-with-projects
    Zube Agile Project Management https://zube.io/
    Pivotal Tracker Agile Project Management Tool https://www.pivotaltracker.com/
    Trak Portfolio Management System https://pd-trak.com/
    ClearCase Software Configuration Mgmt www.ibm.com/products/devops-code-clearcase
    Oban Job Processing in Elixir https://github.com/sorentwo/oban
    Special Guest: Camber Griffin.

    • 45 min
    "DevOps: From Code to Cloud" with Dan Ivovich

    "DevOps: From Code to Cloud" with Dan Ivovich

    In Elixir Wizards Office Hours Episode 8, hosts Sundi Myint and Owen Bickford lead an engaging Q&A session with co-host Dan Ivovich, diving deep into the nuances of DevOps. Drawing from his extensive experience, Dan navigates topics from the early days before Docker to managing diverse polyglot environments and optimizing observability.


    This episode offers insights for developers of all levels looking to sharpen their DevOps skills. Explore the realms of Docker, containerization, DevOps workflows, and the deployment intricacies of Elixir applications.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:


    Understanding DevOps and starting points for beginners
    Best practices for deploying applications to the cloud
    Using Docker for containerization
    Managing multiple programming environments with microservices
    Strategies for geographic distribution and ensuring redundancy
    Localization considerations involving latency and device specs
    Using Prometheus and OpenTelemetry for observability
    Adjusting scaling based on application metrics
    Approaching failure scenarios, including database migrations and managing dependencies
    Tackling challenges in monitoring setups and alert configurations
    Implementing incremental, zero-downtime deployment strategies
    The intricacies of hot code upgrades and effective state management
    Recommended learning paths, including Linux and CI/CD workflows
    Tools for visualizing system health and monitoring
    Identifying actionable metrics and setting effective alerts


    Links mentioned:

    Ansible open source IT automation engine https://www.ansible.com/
    Wikimedia engine https://doc.wikimedia.org/
    Drupal content management software https://www.drupal.org/
    Capistrano remote server automation and deployment https://capistranorb.com/
    Docker  https://www.docker.com/
    Circle CI CI/CD Tool https://circleci.com/
    DNS Cluster https://hex.pm/packages/dns_cluster
    ElixirConf 2023 Chris McCord Phoenix Field Notes https://youtu.be/Ckgl9KO4E4M
    Nerves https://nerves-project.org/
    Oban job processing in Elixir https://getoban.pro/
    Sidekiq background jobs for Ruby https://sidekiq.org/
    Prometheus https://prometheus.io/
    PromEx https://hexdocs.pm/prom_ex/PromEx.html
    GitHub Actions - Setup BEAM: https://github.com/erlef/setup-beam
    Jenkins open source automation server https://www.jenkins.io/
    DataDog Cloud Monitoring https://www.datadoghq.com/ 

    • 43 min
    "Printing is Ugly" with Joel Meador and Charles Suggs

    "Printing is Ugly" with Joel Meador and Charles Suggs

    In Episode 7 of Elixir Wizards Office Hours, SmartLogic Engineers Joel Meador and Charles Suggs join host Owen Bickford to tackle the often tricky task of adding print functionality to web applications. They discuss their recent experiences with browser-based printing and the hurdles of cross-browser compatibility, consistent styling, and dynamic content generation, such as headers and footers.


    The trio delves into the limitations of current printing capabilities in browsers, the potential of server-side PDF generation, and the necessity of juggling separate templates for web and print. They also consider accessibility for printed content and the demands of delivering high-fidelity, pixel-perfect prints.


    Throughout the episode, Joel, Charles, and Owen offer up practical advice for developers grappling with similar issues, emphasizing the need for thorough research, proactive problem-solving, and the exploration of both in-browser and external PDF generation solutions.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:


    Real-world experiences with software project printing
    Navigating the limitations of browser-based printing
    Ensuring cross-browser compatibility and consistent layout
    Generating dynamic content for print versions
    Exploring server-side PDF generation and its advantages
    Balancing design consistency across web and print formats
    Addressing accessibility in printed outputs
    Overcoming the unique challenges of high-accuracy printing requirements
    Practical tips for researching and implementing printing solutions
    Handling complex data presentations like tables in print
    Evaluating the pros and cons of different printing APIs
    Understanding the distinction between web viewing and printing needs
    Innovating with mixed content in PDF generation
    Learning from past printing challenges and planning for future improvements


    Links mentioned:

    CSS3 https://css3.com/
    WeasyPrint https://github.com/Kozea/WeasyPrint
    WebKit https://webkit.org/
    Pdf.js https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js
    YesLogic Prince 15 https://www.princexml.com/
    PrintXML https://gist.github.com/craiga/2934093
    PDF/A https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/A
    The PDF/A Family of Archiving Standards https://www.pdflib.com/pdf-knowledge-base/pdfa/the-pdfa-standards/
    PDF/X https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/X
    Microsoft Encarta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encarta
    Special Guests: Charles Suggs and Joel Meador.

    • 47 min
    "Keeping it Fresh" with Bilal Hankins and Anna Dorigo

    "Keeping it Fresh" with Bilal Hankins and Anna Dorigo

    In Office Hours Episode 6, SmartLogic Developers Anna Dorigo and Bilal Hankins join Elixir Wizards Sundi and Dan to discuss their experiences maintaining a decade-old Ruby on Rails codebase.


    They delve into the critical importance of deeply understanding the codebase, keeping dependencies current, and adapting to the original application's evolving priorities and design choices.


    The conversation spans a range of topics, including accessibility, testing, monitoring, and the challenges of deploying database migrations in production environments. The guests share effective strategies for sustaining and enhancing older codebases, such as employing automated tools, performing code audits, and adhering to clean coding principles.


    Key topics discussed in this episode:


    Grasping the legacy codebase and its historical context
    Overcoming accessibility issues in older applications
    Safe dependency management and upgrades
    The effects of application scaling on database performance
    The critical role of comprehensive test suites in legacy systems
    Using tools like Sentry for error tracking and performance monitoring
    The benefits of automated security and dependency scans
    Juggling client needs with budget constraints
    Local simulation techniques for large datasets
    The value of iterative code reviews and maintaining clean code
    Utilizing git history for contextual understanding
    Onboarding strategies for legacy projects
    Removing obsolete code and avoiding "magic numbers"
    Importance of descriptive naming for better code clarity
    Leveraging a rich repository of example code for learning and reference
    Proactive code audits to anticipate issues
    Managing pull request sizes for smoother reviews
    Communicating effectively about upgrades and potential impacts
    Strategies for handling large databases efficiently
    Ensuring thorough test coverage
    Keeping open lines of communication with clients regarding ongoing maintenance


    Links mentioned:

    COBOL programming language https://developer.ibm.com/languages/cobol/
    Ruby on Rails https://rubyonrails.org/
    ARIA Rules (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) https://www.w3.org/TR/using-aria/
    Shawn Vo on Elixir as a Competitive Advantage https://smartlogic.io/podcast/elixir-wizards/s5e5-vo/
    Bundler Audit Ruby Gem https://rubygems.org/gems/bundler-audit/
    Sentry application monitoring and error tracking software  https://sentry.io/
    Dependabot Github automated dependency updates
    Mix hex.audit https://hexdocs.pm/hex/Mx.Tasks.Hex.Audit.html
    Git Blame https://git-scm.com/docs/git-blame
    Cow hoof trimming videos - The Hoof GP on YouTube (TW graphic imagery)
    Special Guests: Anna Dorigo and Bilal Hankins.

    • 36 min

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