253 episodes

Will and BJ first met in college and have been friends ever since. You can tell this through their dynamic conversations. Will bring a wide knowledge base to the conversation through his years of experience as a senior developer and aspiring software architect. Whereas BJ being a journeyman developer is learning as he works in the field. He shares those lessons and more each week. Because of their varied experiences topics range from the technical to the every day life of a software developer. Whether you are just starting out or in the twilight of your career you'll find something useful and informative on Complete Developer Podcast.

There are plenty of podcasts out there focused on languages and coding. What we are doing with the Complete Developer Podcast is to also cover the other areas of life as a developer.

Complete Developer Podcast BJ Burns and Will Gant

    • Technology
    • 4.9, 87 Ratings

Will and BJ first met in college and have been friends ever since. You can tell this through their dynamic conversations. Will bring a wide knowledge base to the conversation through his years of experience as a senior developer and aspiring software architect. Whereas BJ being a journeyman developer is learning as he works in the field. He shares those lessons and more each week. Because of their varied experiences topics range from the technical to the every day life of a software developer. Whether you are just starting out or in the twilight of your career you'll find something useful and informative on Complete Developer Podcast.

There are plenty of podcasts out there focused on languages and coding. What we are doing with the Complete Developer Podcast is to also cover the other areas of life as a developer.

    Static Code Analysis

    Static Code Analysis

    Static code analysis is a way of debugging that automatically examines source code before it compiles or is run. It does this by comparing the code code to a set of rules or standards. It is a way of automating code reviews and can be used in conjuncture with peer reviews.

    Yuri Minaev is working in the PVS-Studio company as one of developers of the C++ static analyzer. His primary responsibility is to keep low-level stuff in order and add new features to the core module. It’s been almost 2 years since he joined the team after about 12 years of IT experience. Apart from that, he periodically gives talks at various conferences – mainly on topics related to static analysis and C++.

    PVS-Studio is cross platform, working on Windows, Linux and MacOS 64-bit environments. It can analyze code designed for 32-bit and 64-bit systems as well as embedded ARM platforms. It generates reports that help developers to find and fix bugs before they become a problem.

    Keeping a codebase clean and detecting problems before they occur will make your life better as a developer. When you can avoid getting nailed by simple problems, you can think about your software at a higher level, vastly improving your effectiveness as a software developer. It’s not just about avoiding bugs, although that’s important, but about what you can do with the time, money, and attention you save.

    Book Club

    Remote Work: The Complete Guide.

    Will Gant

    Chapter 10 – The Ultimate List of Remote Work Resources. This last chapter of the book lists out a ton of resources for remote work. This includes tools for automation, books, blogs, podcasts, career resources, and other things that will help you on your remote work journey. While you can do it all the hard way, you’ll get a lot further a lot faster if you learn from other people and use what they know. This section will help you do that.

    Tricks of the Trade

    It can be hard to let things go. Especially when it’s a project you’ve been the primary developer on for a while. You don’t want to let other people in to mess with the patterns and paradigms you’ve set up. However, in order to move forward we have to move on from our old code. There are developers who spend years building a large intricate system, but don’t allow anyone else to touch it. This means they spend the next few decades maintaining it. If you don’t want to spend your career updating and maintaining something you wrote early on, then you have to allow others to make changes in your code.


    * PVS Studio

    * Yuri Minaev

    Remote Work Book

    * Why Work Remote

    * Will’s Profile on Simple Programmer

    Editor’s Notes:

    Yuri lives in Russia so the audio from the call is not the best.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Long Term Remote Work

    Long Term Remote Work

    Working remotely is a wonderful job perk and can make many developers more productive, happy, and less likely to leave for greener pastures. However, it’s no panacea, especially over the long term. The effectiveness of remote work over the short term is a result of your work ethic and your ability to think on your feet. Over the longer term, however, remote work is only successful if you have good habits for managing your remote work environment. In addition to easily forseeable problems, such as communication and productivity issues, there are a lot of hazards to remote work that you might not have considered until you’ve done it for a while.

    Lots of things are stable over the short term that are completely unsustainable over the long term. For instance, you might need to work an 80 hour week for a week or two to hit a critical deadline that takes your career or your company to the next level, completely destroying your work-life balance, sleep, and personal interactions over the short term to get a much better long term result. However, you can’t do that for very long. In fact, we would generally argue that you can’t (or shouldn’t) do it all, but some people do manage it reasonably well on occasion. If you do it for very long, you not only quickly hit a point of diminishing returns, but you often do damage that can’t be easily undone.

    The costs of not managing things for the long term are stark. Poor remote work habits can lead to job loss, degradation of skills, damage to your most important personal relationships, financial and health woes, and even chronic pain. We are in a unique period in history where it is not only technologically feasible to work from home, but where we are expected to do so while heavily collaborating with other people. However, if you really want to take advantage of this unique opportunity you need to plan ahead.

    Working remotely over time has some challenges. While these can be overcome as they occur, you are usually far better off if you address them BEFORE you have to. Not only is this approach more sustainable, it’s also a lot less stressful than trying to fix things after problems have already occurred.

    Episode Breakdown


    The layout of your work area can hurt you a lot. Choosing good equipment and positioning of devices is a must. Simply sitting still for a long period of time is pretty bad for your health in general. Be extremely careful about how everything your office is positioned, and pay close attention to any aches, pains, or stiffness that starts developing. You need to be proactive.


    Social interactions happen incidentally when you go into the office. They have to happen intentionally when you work from home. While you aren’t going to get as bad as Tom Hanks’ character on Cast Away, isolation will “weird” you over time. A lot of people rely on work to provide them with socialization. The fix for this is to regularly meet with other people for lunch, or have a social life outside of work. You also need to set aside at least some time every week to have non-work conversations with your coworkers. Don’t let your rapport rot.

    Health (diet, exercise, mental health)

    It’s easier to ignore your health, physical appearance, and mental state when working from home where you can adjust a camera and not have people notice that you are putting on weight. There also tends to be a lot of snack food at most people’s houses and it can often be easier to eat that than it is to prepare real food (or to pick something up). If you had a routine of stopping by the gym on the way home, you’ll need to develop a routine oriented around either working out at home, or going to the gym at a certain point. You need to be working out,

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Types Of Programming: Coding Styles

    Types Of Programming: Coding Styles

    As programmers, we tend to be a rather interesting bunch. Some might even call us peculiar. Developers tend to have our own culture and even subcultures within the development community. Attending a polyglot or regional conference will show many of the various subcultures within development getting together to grow, learn, and enjoy the company of like minded individuals.

    Within the community of developers are several archetypes that you will see. Rarely will you find someone who is completely a particular one but you’ll notice these traits, some stronger than others, in most of the developers you meet. The other two episodes are look at the developers personality and their knowledge base.

    While researching the different archetypes of developers we broke them down into three groupings: Coding Styles, Knowledge Expression, and General Personality. This is the first of three episodes talking about the types of programmers you’ll meet in your career. It focuses on the various coding styles you’ll encounter.

    This is not an exhaustive list of coding style archetypes. Instead it’s a group of the ones you are most likely to encounter within your career. While there are others out there you can use this list to better understand your coworkers, managers, and friends in the development community. To be truly introspective think about the times you have exhibited the traits of these and try to figure out which one you resemble most. Use that information to set yourself up for success at your current place of employment and when you are looking for work.

    Episode Breakdown

    The Cowboy/girl Coder

    Cowboy coders are a force or nature who can code two to three times faster than anyone else. They typically have a degree in computer science and believe that clean code and best practices do not apply to them. Refactoring is a luxury for city slickers, the cowboy’s code is spaghetti at best and smells like several nights on the trail eating only beans. Cowboy coders are best on projects where deadlines are more important than anything else.

    The Perfectionist

    The polar opposite to the cowboy coder, the perfectionist aim to write the best code ever. While the cowboy treats code like cattle, the perfectionist treats code like their pet or even worse like their own child. They can get confrontational and argumentative when asked to speed up the process or when told to build a less than optimal solution for the sake of time or money. When resources are limited, the perfectionist works best when told the limitations up front and asked to find “the best” solution given the current limitations.

    The Caretaker

    The caretakers has been with the company for years, maybe even decades so they know the codebase inside and out, especially the older, more arcane areas. Likely an older generation of developer, they are more comfortable with out dated technology and languages so spend most of their time maintaining legacy applications. The caretaker may have gotten stuck in a rut or be bound by golden handcuffs preventing them from trying new technologies. Tread carefully if putting a caretaker on a newer project as they may be riding out to retirement on their knowledge of the codebase.

    The Specialist

    The specialist is a developer who rather than becoming a ‘T’ shaped developer has become a lower case ‘l’ shape, diving too deep into one area at the cost of being well rounded. The data scientist is one particular type of specialist who only codes in python, tends to be very good with math, and enjoys statistics and image manipulation. The security expert is another common specialist you’ll encounter who knows everything about security, typically hacks into systems for fun, and has a different set of ethics than most.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Breaking The Relational Model

    Breaking The Relational Model

    The rule: Normalize until it hurts; denormalize until it works. That’s what you typically get taught early on. While normalizing a database is a solid practice and something you should do when designing a system; it can jump up and bite you when you get under load. You probably won’t deal with most of these issues early on in a system (and shouldn’t), but the time will come where eventually some degree of denormalization is necessary to keep performance up to snuff.

    On average if you start suggesting denormalizing a system, you will have to be able to show that it improves performance significantly. There are good reasons that systems aren’t denormalized and people will typically balk at doing so. However, there are places where under some circumstances it’s worth considering. After all, CPU cycles on a database server are often some of the most expensive ones out there – go check your SQL Server or Oracle licensing fees for proof.

    Rules are made to be followed in general, but sometimes you have to bend them just to get by. This is especially in computer science, where many “rules” or more like “guidelines for most cases” at best.

    Episode Breakdown

    When additional join tables will hurt performance.

    Joins are not cheap or free. Complex joins are especially bad (for instance, a function call in a join). This is especially true when you are joining across a lot of tables and aggregating a lot of results on a regular basis for data that doesn’t frequently change.

    When you need to keep historical database records.

    Consider a system that manages invoices and products. You don’t want to mess up historical data on invoices from last year when a product price changed today. Typically historical tables are also going to be used mostly for reads, so you want to cut down the number of joins just to make that faster. Tables with historical data can often be more heavily indexed than you might see in transactional tables that are used in online transaction processing that has to be fast.

    When data needs to be structured for reporting purposes.

    Reporting systems generally have a lot of data duplication simply so that more interesting trends can be spotted with the data at hand. You’ll also have very different indexing requirements for reporting tables. The way the tables are accessed is also very different for reporting. They tend to be read heavy and are going to need different levels of locking depending on what you’re doing.

    When the data itself is hierarchical in structure.

    Hierarchical data is difficult to represent efficiently in a relational model. This is especially true when you need to rearrange a tree, or determine if something is an ancestor of something else, especially if the structure has an arbitrary depth. It’s also very difficult to write logic for tree structures stored in a relational model such that you don’t accidentally create cycles in the data.

    When the data is a graph structure.

    It’s even more fun when it’s a graph, because cycles are actually possible. While storing nodes and edges is easy enough, doing things like finding the shortest path will be difficult. You’ll also have a difficult time proving that any two nodes are connected without a serious risk of major performance problems.

    When you have very large records.

    Relational database have issues with large records, whether you query them or not. They aren’t really designed for holding things like images and huge chunks of text. This is especially true if you want to index and search through this content, as a lot of the search capabilities of a relational database are not really built for this purpose. If you are storing large records,

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Impostor Syndrome When Getting Promoted

    Impostor Syndrome When Getting Promoted

    Impostor syndrome is a feeling of inadequacy. It is the sense that you are not qualified or talented enough to do your job. In many cases it’s a feeling that you can’t live up to the expectations of a job because you are a fraud. It was first identified by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in a paper in 1978. At first they thought it only affected women but further research indicates it affects people no matter their gender.

    While affecting everyone slightly differently, Valerie Young has identified a few patterns that people tend to fall into with impostor syndrome. The perfectionist sets very high standards for themselves and if they don’t meet them feels like a failure. The expert feels like they should know every little thing before being competent. A person who is naturally gifted will feel inadequate if they struggle to learn or do something. The soloist feel that they have to do everything on their own, they are a fraud for asking for help. Finally the superhuman will push themselves harder than their coworkers to prove they are not an impostor.

    Typically impostor syndrome rears itself when a person is put into novel situations or given more difficult tasks than normal. For most of us some of the most stressful times in our careers comes with celebration. We get promoted then have to take on new duties and responsibilities. This can lead to stress, anxiety, and impostor syndrome.

    Impostor syndrome is something that we all face at one time or another in our careers. Many of us face it several times as we move up the ladder. This is not a comprehensive list of fears or concerns. They are the ones that we have heard about from others or have faced during our careers. If you have other concerns or questions about moving up in your career leave us a comment or send us an email about it.

    Episode Breakdown

    Common Impostor Syndrome Concerns When Getting Promoted

    * What if I don’t find a good role model or mentor?

    * I’m not good enough, what I do isn’t perfect.

    * I like being “in the weeds” on a project, but moving up means I’ll have to take a more general focus.

    * I’m not good a taking on new responsibilities.

    Impostor Syndrome Concerns with Starting As A Junior

    * I do not know enough about coding or the business to be useful.

    * I don’t really know where I want to focus my career or how I want to brand myself as a developer.

    * I’m afraid I’ll mess up the existing codebase because I’ve only ever worked on my own code.

    * Coding is fun, but what if I don’t like doing it as a career?

    Impostor Syndrome Concerns with Moving to Mid-Level

    * I’m not going to get as much mentoring or support.

    * What if I am overwhelmed by the amount of work.

    * How will I keep up with changes in technology?

    * Am I trying to make changes or move up too quickly?

    Impostor Syndrome Concerns with Moving to Senior

    * What if I’m not ready to be a mentor?

    * I’m not longer the learner, I don’t know enough to be an expert.

    * I’m afraid to ask questions or appear unknowledgeable.

    Impostor Syndrome Concerns with Moving to Management

    * I’m an expert, not a manager.

    * How do I manage others while still actually working?

    * Now I’m managing friends and former peers.

    * I don’t know how to give direct feedback.

    Book Club

    Remote Work – The Complete Guide

    Will Gant

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Red Flags In The Hiring Process

    Red Flags In The Hiring Process

    When you are looking for a new job, it’s easy to take the first job that comes along. And it might even turn out ok. However, it’s also possible that you’ll end up in a job that is absolutely miserable, burning you out and making you hate software development.

    Worse still, when you finally get to the point where you are exhausted enough with your job that you end up quitting (or worse, getting fired), the damage has been done. A bad enough job can completely ruin software development for you, to the point where you dread working on code at all. This has happened several times to Will over the course of his career and it’s really hard to recover from.

    A new job can make huge changes in your career, for good or ill. You want to make sure that any new job you take is going to help you improve your career, without burning you out. While not every bad job gives obvious warning signs before you start, most of the worst ones will at least give you some warning of what to expect.

    Episode Breakdown

    Job Posting

    Verbiage that indicates that the company over-estimates themselves, and you’ve never heard of them.

    “We only hire the top 5% of developers”. Is your payscale in the top 5%, are you deliberately ripping off the top 5% of devs and hoping they won’t catch you, or are you full of crap? This tends to mean that they have a byzantine, awful interview process of which they are very proud, that probably is designed to help them hire yes men who feel lucky to be there.

    We are looking for a very specific type of developer and have a thorough set of interviews to find them. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes they need a developer with a very specific set of skills. However, most of the time, what they are looking for is a “yes man” or someone who is compliant. If you can’t tell why your specific set of skills are exactly what they need, then one of you will be disappointed.

    Lack of clarity about what you’ll be doing.

    Some companies hire before they have a clue what they are doing. This can often mean that you have to pivot repeatedly during your tenure at an organization. If you don’t know what you want out of your career, this can be a wonderful opportunity to try new things. If you do know what you want, this can be an unbelievable waste of time.

    If they are being especially vague, it can indicate something even worse. For instance, they may be doing something that is borderline illegal, immoral, or just sketchy in general. Companies running low-budget pornographic operations, or quasi-legal investment schemes may approach you in this way. You would be surprised how many people are involved in extremely sketchy ventures who will approach you if you know the right people.

    Asking for too much experience for what they are willing to pay.

    If they are paying a junior developer salary, but expecting five years of experience, there is a reason for it. This could be anything from not having a clue about the market value of a developer, to simply making the job posting so that they are free to outsource. Sometimes companies will post an oddly specific set of criteria for a developer position not because they are looking for someone, but because they’ve found someone they want to hire and are otherwise constrained. This is a common trick some sketchy companies used to hire H1Bs at a lower price, whom they usually later mistreat.

    Initial Contact

    Can’t pin them down on a time for initial contact, or the time changes repeatedly.

    Some companies have really messed up, slow, or confusing hiring processes.

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

westtk ,

Great newbie advice digest

I've been listening to Will & Beej for a few years now. The consistency and breadth of this show is awesome, and a perfect complement to more technical podcasts. Even though some episodes wander towards backend topics I never touch, there’s plenty of content to satisfy anyone. My only complaint is the length of the episodes; the intro & outro are pretty long and detract from the core content. Regardless, this podcast is on my subscription list and will probably stay that way as long as they keep going.

Sdjbaby ,

Good for anyone new in IT!

I’m a computer Information systems student graduating in May so I’ve been doing all of the things that I need to do so that I can get a good entry level job afterwards, so listening to a lot of the episodes with topics on personal development outside of education has been soooo helpful for me! Since I worked most of college and had to support myself I didn’t get a lot of time to work on personal projects or anything outside of school so I’m having to put the recruiters’ microscope on my personality and ability to learn and work with people very well and listening to this podcast has gave me so many good pointers, especially the LinkedIn and Social anxiety episodes!

SoulFyre777 ,

Great content and engaging hosts!

Really appreciate the insights, tips, and transparency you guys offer every week! I especially loved the episode on Perseverance (per-severence...?). You guys can’t know how much I needed to hear everything you guys talked about that day. Thank you both for what you do!

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