On The ReadME Podcast, we take a look behind the scenes of the most impactful open source projects and the developers who make them happen. Our guests are coding in public, creating firmware, designing hardware, researching security vulnerabilities, creating art and music, and making phenomenal scientific discoveries. They’re also working on the periphery of open source, taking time to consider how we think about technology. In sharing these stories, we hope to provide a spotlight on what you don’t always see in the lines of code, and what it takes to build the technology that inspires us all.
Creating space and opportunity with She Code Africa
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Ada Nduka Oyom initially studied microbiology at university, but quickly fell in love with programming. Witnessing the huge disparity of women to men in technology, she started She Code Africa so women could learn to code and be properly recognized for their work. In this episode, Ada shares her inspiration for She Code Africa, what she’s learned during her journey to becoming a global thought leader, and what she hopes to pass on to the next generation of female developers, now on The ReadME Podcast.
Changing the hardware development game at Adafruit
While procrastinating at MIT in 2005, Limor Fried built her own MP3 player and shared it online, immediately inspiring others to create their own hardware. What started as a small side hustle on PayPal is now Adafruit, a wildly successful business with 100 employees and a 50,000 square-foot factory in New York. Limor, otherwise known as “Ladyada,” empowers users with the tools they need to bring their ideas to life, from mini arcade games to light-up cosplay accessories to humidity-detecting clocks. She shares her journey to Adafruit, how open source plays into the business, and why electronics engineering should be taught from the top down, now on The ReadME Podcast.
From comics in Virginia to React Core at Facebook
Rachel Nabors grew up in rural Virginia and knew that if they could just get a laptop and the internet, they could bring the world to them. Currently balancing documentation, demos, and community engagement on Facebook’s React Core team, it’s safe to say Rachel was right. An illustrator, developer, author, speaker, and teacher, Rachel shares how they discovered programming via Sailor Moon, what open source and the React Core team means to them, and what’s next, now on The ReadME Podcast.
cURL: 25 years and 200 releases later
Almost 25 years ago, in 1997, Daniel Stenburg created cURL, a command line tool for transferring data. The name stands for “client URL,” works on any platform, and is used in billions of installations. Despite maintaining cURL for a quarter of a century, Daniel couldn’t be happier where he is, and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. We recently sat down with him to hear how he first discovered open source, why he wants to lower the barrier of entry for newcomers, and how he sees cURL evolving in the future, now on The ReadME Podcast.
Quitting a steady job to chase intuition
From a master's thesis to global go-to
While working on his master’s thesis for web applications, Tobias Koppers created an optimizer out of necessity, which he called webpack. His thesis complete, Tobias realized how fun it was to iterate with users and bring code splitting and bundling to the masses. Driven by the continuous innovation of the open source community, a few choice partners (like Sean Larkin) and Open Collective sponsorships, Tobias was able to become a full-time maintainer—and webpack is now used by millions of developers around the world. Tobias shares his story and why he recently took a new role at Vercel, now on The ReadME Podcast.