22 episodes

Join two lovable knuckleheads as they talk about building software. They'll drop a couple nuggets of wisdom each episode.

Retro Time // A Software Podcas‪t‬ Derek Seibert & Jeremy Miller

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Join two lovable knuckleheads as they talk about building software. They'll drop a couple nuggets of wisdom each episode.

    Developers & Dragons: D&D Lessons for Software Teams

    Developers & Dragons: D&D Lessons for Software Teams

    Since the first edition was released in the 1970s, the perception of Dungeons & Dragons has come a long way. The popularity of comics, Star Wars, and the overall normalization of “nerd” culture has brought Dungeons & Dragons into the mainstream. Today, D&D is being used as therapy and ways to improve mental health.







    Perhaps because of the misfit stereotype, the community that grew up around D&D tended to be more inclusive and encouraged you to be your authentic self– Long before these things were the new corporate buzz words du jour.







    “Software engineering” probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you think about Dungeons & Dragons. However, Dungeon Masters have a lot to teach us about leading an agile software team.







    This week, we talk to Kevin Winchester about his experience as a long-time Dungeon Master and the lessons he has applied to leading software teams from startups, to the federal government, to one of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates.







    Topics:• 03:05 – Jeremy loses his geek cred• 06:07 – How is D&D relevant to team building?• 07:00 – D&D as a tool for therapy• 08:15 – Agile team members as different D&D classes• 09:10 – UX Designer would have a high charisma score• 11:05 – WFH and D&DFH?• 13:00 – D&D was doing D&I before it was cool• 15:15 – D&D teaches you to serve your team• 19:20 – D&D for teambuilding• 20:15 – We need to onboard new team members as D&D players do• 22:50 – We’re all part of the same D&D campaigning party• 33:10 – Retro Time stickers now ship internationally!







    Helpful Links:• Dungeons & Dragons – Official Website• Dungeons and Dragons as Therapy? How This Popular Game Helps Mental Health• Find Kevin on LinkedIn





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    • 34 min
    Onboarding Like a Boss

    Onboarding Like a Boss

    We’re happy the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020 is over. With all the turmoil, you may have been swept up in layoffs and forced to look for a new job. Hopefully, you’ve landed that sweet new gig, and you’re on your way to being an integral part of your brand new team.







    Joining a new team is never easy, especially right now. There are some good ways to join a new team, and there are some not great ways to join a new team. Luckily, there are some tactics you can use to onboard like a champ and get up and running and contributing ASAP.







    Topics• 05:40 – Getting to know your team is the first step • 06:40 – Be aware of the cultures of remote offices• 07:27 – Extreme remoteness is hard on everyone• 08:30 – Idioms are confusing to other cultures• 10:25 – Find ways to make connections with your team• 10:50 – Get to know your product and the ecosystem• 11:35 – Use your UX team and their artifacts• 12:35 – Don’t go straight to the code• 13:30 – Different teams have different names for roles• 15:30 – Understand the support team and pipeline• 22:30 – Document your journey for future newbies• 24:00 – Derek’s documentation dad joke• 24:45 – People don’t remember things• 26:30 – Stop assuming everyone knows your buzzwords and acronyms• 30:55 – Don’t make assumptions that things are a certain way or done for a good reason• 32:00 – Pair up with a team member to get everything set up• 32:50 – You won’t be annoying if you ask a bunch of questions.• 33:55 – “Start at the Start” -D• 36:00 – Learn how the code moves to production





    —–

    Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you liked what you heard, be sure to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a comment and a five-star review. It helps us out a ton.

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    • 39 min
    Bring Your Authentic Self to Work Day

    Bring Your Authentic Self to Work Day

    Employees in the 2020s are very different from employees in the 1990s. We want to be inspired. We want to feel like we’re doing something important. We expect honesty. We expect transparency. We expect our leaders to accept us as we are.







    Being your “authentic self” at work can mean a lot of things to different people. For some of us, bringing our “authentic self” to work is something we aspire to. For others, it can be terrifying.







    When the company culture encourages bringing your “whole self” to work it can present some challenges to be sure. At what point does authentic turn into unprofessional? When does being respected for being authentic turn into fired for saying or doing something you shouldn’t have said or done at work?







    Just like most things, emotional intelligence plays a huge part in understanding where that line is, and it keeps us from crossing it. If we can do it correctly, we can build trust and respect. If we aren’t careful, we might get charged for that ketchup.







    Topics:• 00:15 – WE HAVE STICKERS!• 03:25 – What does “bring your authentic self” really mean?• 05:00 – Is it inauthentic or just unfamiliar?• 06:04 – Who are we at home vs at work?• 07:12 – How often do we code-switch?• 09: 35 – Is one CEO’s authenticity another person’s inauthenticity?• 11:10 – SPOILER ALERT! Jeremy code switches at work• 11:55 – Don’t confuse authentic with unprofessional• 13:40 – You can’t work at Commander’s Palace acting like you’re at Chili’s• 15:24 – As leaders, we shouldn’t expect others to be 2our version of authentic• 15:50 – Being respectful and diligent will allow you to break norms• 18:50 – Emotional intelligence informs when to code-switch• 19:30 – Jeremy’s code-switch fail• 21:30 – Our authenticity is informed by our identity• 27:27 – Be careful not to bring the negative aspects of your work self home• 29:20 – Don’t assume other’s identities are as strong as yours• 32:17 – Use the interview to test the culture• 35:30 – Organizations naturally lean towards the culture of the people who give them the most money• 36:45 – Don’t ask for ketchup at Commander’s Palace• 39:03 – Find a company that fits your values







    Helpful Links:• TEDx: Bring Your Whole Self to Work• Time To Rethink Bringing Your Whole Self to Work?• The Authenticity Paradox• Bringing your whole self to work is a bad idea• Be Yourself, but Carefully





    —–

    Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you liked what you heard, be sure to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a comment and a five-star review. It helps us out a ton.

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    • 41 min
    Software Engineers are Creatives Too!

    Software Engineers are Creatives Too!

    This week our heroes discuss creativity, or the act of creating something new. Computer science often gets a bad rap for being "too technical." How can the entire software team flex their creative muscles?

    • 38 min
    What Is Your "Why?"

    What Is Your "Why?"

    “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”– Antoine de Saint Exupéry







    What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? What motivates you to keep going when times get tough? Have you ever thought about the “why” that drives your “what?” If you are one of the few who have, have you ever thought about all the ways your passion can inspire others to join you on your journey?







    Simon Sinek has several books that discuss finding your “why.” Your “why” isn’t what you do, or how you do it, but what drives those things that we do every day. It’s what motivates us to keep going when things aren’t going our way.







    Taking it one step further, the author Antoine de Saint Exupéry says that if you want to build a boat, don’t just find workers and give them orders, but teach them to long for the immensity of the sea.







    If we want to build great software, we can’t just spin up a pod and expect great results. If we want to build great software, we need to motivate our team to want to build great software. If we can figure out how to motivate our teams to want to build great software, there’s no stopping us.







    Topics:• 00:25 – Wash your hands• 00:55 – Simon Sinek is smart• 01:45 – Why do we do what we do?• 02:45 – Apple vs Others• 04:30 – Is your organization a good fit?• 05:20 – Why are we still here?• 07:30 – Finding your “why” opens your options• 08:00 – How to build a boat• 08:32 – How does this relate to software?• 09:49 – Finding shared a shared “why” builds a coalition• 12:15 – Your “why” can be strengthened by your experience• 12:50 – Your strong “why” can influence other’s “why”• 13:00 – Influence is not about Coercion• 13:15 – Your passion can spread• 14:05 – You can lead without being the “leader”• 14:29 – Your emotional intelligence matters• 16:55 – How do we find our “why”?• 18:00 – Now might be a good time for a reset• 21:15 – Podcast Soulmates







    Helpful Links:• Simon Sinek• Start With Why• How Great Leaders Inspire Action• How to build a boat





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    Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you liked what you heard, be sure to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a comment and a five-star review. It helps us out a ton.

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    • 24 min
    The Butterfly Effect in Software

    The Butterfly Effect in Software

    You probably haven’t heard of the theory of long-range dynamical behavior associated with chaotic dynamics. But the odds are good you’ve heard of its more common name, The Butterfly Effect.







    You may have also seen Ashton Kutcher’s 2004 smash hit of the same name. In that movie, Evan Traborn, played by Kutcher, figures out how to go back in time to change traumatic events from his past. As he does this he realizes that even though his intentions are good his actions have unforeseen consequences.







    In software, we make a lot of choices each day. Some of these choices seem small and insignificant, but sometimes our choices can have ripple effects that come back to the surface later. Sometimes, what surfaces can be nothing but trouble.







    With so many unknowns, how do we ensure that what we’re building won’t come back to haunt us later?







    Topics:• 02:05 – What is the Butterfly Effect? • 04:10 – In software, our decisions tend to stick around a while• 04:54 – The Butterfly Effect isn’t always bad• 05:35 – The origins mean a lot• 08:22 – We can’t always be sure how our tools will be used later• 15:35 – Plan ahead with a Pre Mortem• 19:24 – Consistently ask if you’re impacting the future• 21:15 – Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.• 21:34 – How do I make the wrong decision less often?• 22:49 – Enterprise software lasts forever• 26:08 – “Best Practices” can be a dangerous term• 29:49 – Who will be maintaining your code years from now?• 32:30 – Did you read the AWS fine print?• 33:05 – Enterprise software lives longer the longer it lives• 36:56 – Who are the people you’re building software for?• 39:20 – Eliminate bad paths before they can cause trouble







    Helpful Links:• The Butterfly Effect• Benjamin Franklin’s Poem• Atlassian’s Pre-Mortem Template• Ashton Kutcher’s best movie





    —–

    Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you liked what you heard, be sure to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a comment and a five-star review. It helps us out a ton.

    If you haven’t already, sign up for our email list. We won’t spam you. Pinky swear.



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    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

bigbrother82 ,

Software super hero’s with a sense of humor

These two guys are pretty special. They always have an interesting take on software development but instead of just stating facts, find an entertaining way to make their point. Worth the time to listen, will make you a better dev!

pyjammy pam ,

Great stuff!

Especially that one episode that woman was in. Oh right, that was me. Killer episode.

Adalton22 ,

Silly Gooses

I’m privileged to be the the first one to give you a review. I think episode one was pretty spot on! Keep up the good with. Amy D.

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