Hosts Dan Lines, Conor Bronson, and Ben Lloyd Pearson team up for a special holiday edition of Dev Interrupted.

In this season-ending episode, they revisit their favorite moments from Season 3 of the podcast,  share a glimpse of what listeners can expect in Season 4, and spread holiday cheer as they reflect on what they're thankful for.

The team is taking a week off to enjoy the holidays. We’ll see you back here on January 2nd for the start of Season 4!

Episode Highlights:

  • 01:30 Reflections on Season 3: Favorite moments and episodes
  • 05:00 DI on the road: Conference recap
  • 10:00 Looking ahead: Season 4 of the podcast
  • 16:00 Holiday plans & giving thanks

Episode Transcript:

(Disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or amusing transcription errors)

Dan Lines: Hey, what's up everyone. Welcome to another episode of Dev Interrupted. This is Dan Lines, LinearB co-founder and COO. And today I'm with my fellow DI co-hosts, Conor Bronson and Ben Lloyd Pearson. Guys, thanks for joining me today.

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah, always a pleasure, Dan. Good to chat with you.

Dan Lines: Awesome to be doing this show all together.

It's becoming a little bit of a tradition. This is our season-ending holiday episode. And I think it's a really good chance for the audience to get to know us a little better, keep it a little light hearted, reflect on our favorite moments from Season 3 of the pod.

Like I actually was thinking before we came onto this episode, like how much the pod has evolved from season one, season two, season three was an awesome year. We're going to talk about season four. I can just talk personally, there's maybe two episodes or two to three episodes that jumped to mind for me that I really like.

I had some really good conversations with Tiago and the reason that I'm. He's an awesome dude, but the reason that I'm picking those out, we talked a lot about career development and I just feel like over the last, three to five years or so, the standard of engineering manager, director, I want to be a VP, I want to grow my career, I got to lead people, I got to know technology, I got to use metrics, all of that, like the bar is rising.

And that episode, I think we actually did two of them, but those episodes, I think are really nice if you're into career development. And I always like to, help the community be better leaders because no one wants a shitty boss.

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah, the first one you did with Thiago was on that topic of not just being a great leader But also the interview and getting hired part and I really loved that you did both those sections I would actually know if I'm looking at the category, I would almost say that might be my favorite as well because Between those two episodes you both shared like getting the job landing at preparing for and then also like how do you maintain and build?

Excellence once you're in there, and I thought that was a really fascinating approach how about you? 

Ben Lloyd Pearson: So yeah, the one that really caught my attention was the whole debate that McKinsey started around developer productivity, because, I used to work on an engineering team that we were actually measured by the number of commits that we made and the number of lines of code that we changed.

And I saw firsthand how, A, how easy it is to game those metrics and to whatever picture you want using some automation and scripts. But B just how it really didn't create a culture where we were cultivating high-quality engineering. We were solving problems because it helped us.

Paint this picture of effort, eat more easily rather than like we were helping, teams at the company deliver products more quickly. As somebody who is, who's now been on both sides of that sort of debate, in terms of the companies that I work for, it's really refreshing to see more perspective that is similar to what we share here at LinearB around.

looking for things that measure output and value and productivity rather than things that measure the amount of effort that you're putting into something.

Conor Bronsdon: Another one that I really enjoyed on the statistical end, because you bring up that kind of idea of like diving into the data, understanding it, and I think that is one of the pieces of value we get out of this podcast is Talking to people about these deep topics, I loved both the episodes we did focused on hiring trends this year.

I was really lucky to get to interview Maryam earlier this year, about the trends and strategies that were happening for companies as they were devs and a day to people has some fantastic data on that. Then Scott Carey from LeadDev joined us recently and talked through. What is happening with laid off software developers.

And I think those trends are so fascinating to look at in corollary to the platform engineering data, the dev productivity data that we're also seeing, because there is a lot of change happening in the industry right now, as you point out, Ben.

Dan Lines: Alright guys, Conor and Ben, you guys attended a couple of great conferences this year. They sounded amazing. I wish I could have been there. Can you tell the audience a bit about them?

Conor we're going to start with you.

Conor Bronsdon: Absolutely. And Dan, we were sad to miss you, for the birth of your second child, but congrats to you and Lauren and and Dorian, of course, as well. Sounds like he is doing fantastic and, some things you got to miss we could definitely bring you to a conference next year though.

Don't worry. Thanks brother. I had a great time. It was a ton of fun having Ben join me for it and really getting to dive into more episodes with him. Some of the stuff we have coming out. In season four, I think it's gonna be really fantastic. Ben had an amazing interview with OpenAI that I think is going to be absolutely intriguing to people and that's coming really early in season four.

We did that at LeadDev San Francisco, had a ton of great interviews there. Two though, I spoke with the New York Times talking about shadow work and culture. Really it was a highlight for me. Got to talk to Gene Kim at DOES, a DevOps Enterprise Summit in Las Vegas and about his new book. You may have heard our recent recap of it with his co author Steve Spear.

It was on the pod. And I think there's just a ton of fantastic comment coming from there, everyone from Gene to Rob Zucker over at CircleCI, folks at GitHub we have a bunch of amazing conversations that happen there and it's always fantastic to be out in the community and learn and talk to folks.

And I know Ben is going to get the opportunity to be out there in Berlin shortly to talk to a lot more people at Leading Edge Berlin and meet a lot of our listeners. And it's definitely a special moment we get to do that.

Dan Lines: Yeah. Awesome stuff. Does is like always amazing too, and Vegas and all of that.

Hope I get back there next year with you all. Ben, what about for you?

Ben Lloyd Pearson: For me it was the first time to, for me to get a lot of just direct one on one interaction with like our core audiences, to, just share ideas with them. Like it's the greatest way to bounce.

Like conferences are one of the greatest places to bounce. New marketing messaging in the case of my role at the company but also just to see what, to learn about what engineers are struggling with day to day. And I think us being there with the DI presence and having the dome that people can come and see these people that they saw on stage talking to us, it just, it created a lot of hype around what we're doing. And I love how the conference format is such a great way for us to get just all these really high profile people, very quickly into, to produce content with us. Cause, a lot of great perspectives at these events.

And I think we've done just an absolutely fantastic job at getting those speakers interested in being a part of what we're doing here at DI.

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah. And definite big shout outs to Margaret and Jackson and Adam. Making everything happen in the backend and making the logistics happen, Jackson and Adam really stepped up.

Marker's on a maternity leave as well to pull it all together. I think it's been a really amazing year. And, beyond that, the show's just grown in so many amazing ways. Dan referenced his leadership series earlier, which I know we're going to talk a bit more about. And I think that was really cool to try something over an extended, six week time period of the show experiment with formats, which we're going to keep doing more of.

And then, the substack growth has been amazing. We have over 16, 000 of you who are now subscribed to our Dev Interrupted substack. And getting weekly or bi weekly content from us and, getting the opportunity to expand more into like deep dive blogs again and doing the newsletter format, I think has been super valuable too, to just keep getting all these touch points, get more information and engage with the community.

Y'all are fantastic. And we really appreciate every comment every share, every time you let us know we've got something wrong. it's really amazing to get your input. We value it so much.

Ben Lloyd Pearson: I appreciate you calling out the people behind the scenes for this because there's no way we can do the level of quality that we do for this without their help and support.

We have such a great professional crew behind us that, it's a fantastic thing to have.

Conor Bronsdon: We make it tough on them, but they're awesome. We do sometimes. They make it all work though. Speaking of Dan, I, I alluded to it a minute ago, but I'd love to ask you a bit about that leadership series.

You mentioned that talking to Tiago, to start those episodes really was impactful for you. And, it sounds like you really enjoyed that experience. And as someone who both is part of the show and also consumes episodes that I'm not on, I really enjoyed that. And it was fun for us to experiment with this new format.

You interviewed some great guests for this series on the career journey of an engineering leader, going from the basics of interviewing and getting promoted on how to lead teams all the way up to carrying yourself with confidence in the boardroom. And I know we already recapped the series a little bit in that last episode, Career Journey 6, your invitation to the boardroom, but I wanted to ask if we do another series next year, what do you think we should do it on?

Dan Lines: Yeah, first off, I think we should do one. It was a ton of fun. I really enjoyed it. When I'm talking informally now with the community, there's one topic that keeps coming up. And this is what I want to do it on. What our community is saying to me is, hey, Dan. I really need to measure my engineering initiatives, especially around developer experience, and even more so within the realm of developer experience, which there's a lot of initiatives out there to improve developer experience, but the gen AI portion of it, Hey, we're starting our co pilot initiative.

It's costing me this much money. I need to figure out how to measure the adoption of this. The impact of this, so yeah, I'd love to do something around initiative measurement in particular with DevX, DX, and Gen AI.

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah, that's a really fantastic topic and, we've seen so many insights from the data that you and Ben are looking at.

Showing that the speed of code generation has improved so much, yet the rest of our processes have not improved in line with it. And so we've shifted, this instead of shifting left with everything and kind of fixing things earlier, we've shifted right where the problems are. Now people can create code quickly PRs out, but that process of getting code actually through production.

Tested, merged is still such a headache for a lot of people, and I think there's a massive opportunity coming to improve software development processes over the next couple of years. Ben and I got to write a great article about how to improve your code review process and speed up your total cycle time in line with Dora's research.

And I think there's such an opportunity there around Gen AI and improving that developer experience, but also helping the whole org move faster and more predictably. And I think that's an exciting thing to be at the cusp of.

Dan Lines: Yeah, exactly. We're measuring this stuff now with GitStream. So yeah, I'd love to I'd love to spend some time there for Season 4.

Conor Bronsdon: I can also say not only are we thinking about it as a show topic, is not official yet, and our producers probably don't want me to say this on the podcast, but we are looking at bringing our conference series, our digital conference series, back. Many of you who are in the audience may have attended and interact in the past And we are looking at doing another large scale Dev Interrupted, one day online event Probably centered around DevEx.

I don't have official dates on that yet, but look for something end of H1 next year and Hopefully we'll have some incredible content for our listeners, and I think we'll dive into it a lot more.

Dan Lines: Let's move on to season four. Let's do a little preview. We talked about season three. We did our recap. You asked me, Hey, what do you want to focus on? I want to focus on initiative measurement, DX, AI, Gen AI and all of that. I'll pass it over to you guys. there's a nice, exciting change coming to the show format in 2024.

What can you tell us about it at this point?

Conor Bronsdon: Sure. So we've really done three types of episodes this year, right? call it four. So we've done remote recording interviews and event recording interviews where we're in person at an event. We're going to continue both those formats. I think we have a lot of value from both those, Ben highlighted some of the awesome conversations we've had in events and I think.

You get a great opportunity to, get one on one with folks, get feedback, but also just the digital recording access is fantastic. And then we've added these two formats over the last year and a half, labs episodes that, you two are doing a fantastic job bringing in data, bringing in viewpoints, really setting a stake in the ground of how software development needs to work.

I loved Ben's recent programmable workflows labs episode. And we also have started doing this career journey experiment with, longer for multiple episodes. Attached together, but what we haven't done a lot of until this recent conversation around developer productivity, where we really did this kind of emergency pod to talk about this debate is news focused formats, like what is happening right now?

We've always looked at this longer time horizon and. We are really excited to experiment with that show format starting in January. You can expect us to have more rapid recap style episodes that bring in guest hosts. I'm really excited to announce our guest host in early January for this. They're going to be working with Dan on Diving into what's happening day to day, week to week in software development.

And I think it's going to be a fantastic compliment to the deep dive interviews the long-form stuff we do to add this type of, more fast breaking, segments. it's gonna be great.

Dan Lines: Awesome. I can't wait for this, the special guest host reveal. Can't wait for January to be here.

Ben, similar question for you. So you hosted your first episode this year and the audience is going to hear more from you next year in season four. What are you excited about for next year?

Ben Lloyd Pearson: I got to experiment with some more practitioner focused content this year, that we introduced with the DI Labs episodes keep an eye out for more of that, we want to that concept a little deeper and provide more hands on guidance how to navigate, some of these emerging technologies like Gen AI, within your workflow.

Conor mentioned developer experience. That will probably be a recurring theme with some of this. But yeah, just look forward to seeing more of content that just helps you get more hands on, with really cool technologies that are coming out

Dan Lines: That sounds awesome. Can't wait for that stuff.

And yeah, Ben, you did a kick ass job. So looking to hear more from you next year. We're going to round this episode out now. With a little bit of a personal touch on the holiday season. So let's go around the remote room here and talk a sentence or two of what we're thankful for and what are we planning for the holidays.

I'll go first for me. With this type of question, I always have to go back to family. Like we've said in the episode a few times, I have a new baby boy, Dorian, who's two months old now. I have a three year old daughter, Layla. I have my wife, Lauren. This is the first year that I feel like we actually have a substantially sized, full blown family.

So I'm and for our three year old Layla, like she's excited. This is the first year that she's like looking forward to the end of the year holidays. We're exploring like the history of multiple religions in our, household and trying to educate ourselves and our family. So we're going to do a lot of different, just like fun events.

And yeah, that's what I'm most thankful for and how we're going to spend the end of the year. what about you, Conor?

Conor Bronsdon: Love that, Dan. Really similar answer from my end. My, my wife and I have been married just over a year now. And, I'm, so thankful to have her in my life. And as a partner, I, it's been.

Really special to continue to bond together and I can't wait to, be where you are, someday, Dan. And we had an opportunity to, go visit family recently down in California. We're going to go visit more family area. And I am, I'm just so thankful to, have so many incredible people in my life, both as colleagues and friends and family.

And my mom, we go through some tough health stuff this year, fighting cancer and appears to have beaten it, again. So really just thankful to have, health and have folks around and looking forward to spending a lot of time with her over the holidays. I can go see her actually this weekend and grab lunch.

and then a little cheeky note. My wife and I are sneaking down with friends to Puerto Vallarta for a week to take a little vacation, catch some sun, and excited for that too. That'll be a lot of fun.

Dan Lines: Great news, Conor. That's awesome about your mom. Ben, what do you got going for the holidays?

What's up with you?

Ben Lloyd Pearson: So I'm gonna have to stick with you, Dan, and go back to family. I moved across the country a year ago, and at this time last year, I wasn't really settled into our new home quite yet. this year, very well settled in. I actually have family that lives Very close to me now that I get along with very well.

And my kid has cousins that are local that he gets to play with. I'm very, just very thankful to have that sort of like familial support network, available to me now. but yeah, this winter, yeah, I think I'm this is my first winter actually owning a pair of skis for the entire winter, because I bought some at the very end of last season, used them once.

And we now have snow up here. So I'm excited to get to spend more time on my skis. Cause I've never lived this, live, I now live in Northern Michigan. So I've, I live very close to a lot of ski areas, which was very different from where I used to live in Texas.

Conor Bronsdon: We got to hit the slope sometime, man. I would love to go skiing with you. Let’s find a time.

Dan Lines: Alright. Great. Great answers, guys. Great stuff. Thanks everyone for listening. The show wouldn't be possible without you all. Please reach out to us. We would love to hear more from you on what we should do with our guests, our topics, anything at all.

You can find us on LinkedIn or on our sub stack. We're at Dev Interrupted. Drop us a review wherever you're listening to this episode and from our family here at Dev Interrupted to yours, we hope you have a happy and relaxing holiday season. The podcast will be taking a short break, but will return in two weeks for the start of season four on January 2nd.

See you next year.

Conor Bronsdon: See you next year, everyone. Happy holidays.