CoRecursive: Coding Stories

Adam Gordon Bell - Software Developer

  • 49 minutes 19 seconds
    Story: Jeffrey Snover and the Making of PowerShell

    What if you had to fight against your company's culture to bring a revolutionary tool to life? Meet Jeffrey Snover, the Microsoft architect behind PowerShell, a command tool that transformed Windows system administration. Initially met with skepticism, Snover's idea faced resistance from a company that favored graphical interfaces. 

    Snover's journey began with a simple mission: to make Windows as command-line managable as UNIX systems. Despite facing pushback and navigating through company restructures, his persistence paid off. 

    This episode explores how Snover's relentless drive and clear vision overcame numerous obstacles, leading to a tool that is now fundamental in modern enterprise environments. Listen to how one person's determination can challenge the status quo.


    Help Adam Find His Next Role

    I'm on the hunt for a new developer relations role. 

    If you know of any companies where they need someone who can speak engineer, who can communicate to developers, that's me. I'm your guy for explaining complex stuff in a way that's catchy and fun and makes sense to software developers. If you know of any roles like this, let me know. Who should I be talking to?

    Reach out: [email protected], @adamgordonbell, Linkedin, My Calendar.



    4 July 2024, 8:00 am
  • 52 minutes 26 seconds
    Story: From Burnout to Breakthrough

    Can you imagine risking your career to making coding easier to learn?

    Meet Felienne Hermans, a professor who did just that by stepping beyond academia to redefine coding education. Disillusioned by her research’s limited impact, Felienne discovered a new calling in teaching coding to underserved students. Her journey led to the creation of Hedy, a programming language designed to dismantle language and learning barriers in coding.

    Confronting skepticism from her peers, Felienne’s dedication to accessible coding challenged traditional academic priorities. Felienne’s story is a powerful reminder of the impact one person can have by following their passion against the odds.


    4 June 2024, 10:12 am
  • 48 minutes 12 seconds
    Story: Coding Machines

    What if the tools you trust were actually betraying you? Join us for a riveting story where a team of software developers discovers that their compiler is compromised. What starts as suspicion of a simple bug quickly escalates into the alarming realization.

      In this 100th episode celebration past show regulars Don and Krystal join Adam lend their voice to this work of fiction about the limits of trust in computing from Lawrence Kesteloot.

      Join us in as we peel back the layers of trust in the software we rely on daily and celebrate our 100th episode.


    3 May 2024, 10:53 am
  • 57 minutes 9 seconds
    Story: Code, Kickflips and Crunch Time - Mick West's Neversoft Journey

    Meet Mick West, whose career began in an unusual office setup — sandwiched between a kebab shop and a phone sex hotline. From there he worked all over Manchester, making computer games for Tiertex and Ocean. 

      Career opportunies brought him to California and to his own game dev company, Neversoft. At Neversoft, navigating team growth and tight deadlines, Mick played a key role in creating "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater." This wasn't just another game; it was a huge hit and secured Mick's legacy in the gaming world.

      Join us as we explore Mick West's journey from a quirky start to the heights of video game innovation and beyond. Discover the resilience, adaptability, and teamwork that fueled his success and how he continues to explore new horizons. How did he tackle the technical challenges that came his way, and what can we learn from his relentless pursuit of the next big thing?


    2 April 2024, 10:00 am
  • 47 minutes 35 seconds
    Story: Leaving LinkedIn - Choosing Engineering Excellence Over Expediency

    What if your dedication to doing things right clashed with your company’s fast pace? Chris Krycho faced this very question at LinkedIn.

    His journey was marked by challenges: from the nuances of remote work to the struggle of influencing company culture, and a critical incident that put his principles to the test against the company’s push for speed.

    Chris’s story highlights the tension between the need for innovation and the importance of project health. This all led Chris to a pivotal decision: to stay and compromise his beliefs or to leave in pursuit of work that aligned with his principles.

    He chose the latter. Join us as we dive into Chris’s compelling story, exploring the challenges of advocating for principled engineering in a world that often prioritizes quick wins over long-term value.


    4 March 2024, 11:00 am
  • 57 minutes 20 seconds
    Story: Beautiful Code - Inside Greg Wilson's Vision for Software Design

    Greg Wilson has been on a decades-long quest to transform how we teach and talk about software design. From getting rejections for using the term “beautiful code,” to empowering scientists through workshops on Python and Unix, Greg has pushed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

    Join us as Greg shares his failures and epiphanies along the way. You’ll hear how he revolutionized research computing by showing physicists the power of profilers. How he taught grad students the elegance of shell scripts. And how he’s crusaded to create a shared language to discuss software architecture with the nuance of true craftsmanship.

    Greg’s captivating journey reveals that with perseverance and the right examples, we can elevate software design discussion to an art form. But that we’ve got a long way to go. You’ll come away enlightened and eager to level up your own understanding of software design.


    2 February 2024, 11:00 am
  • 44 minutes 12 seconds
    Story - Code as a Lifeline: Brain Injury Sparks Python Mastery

    What if your dreams were suddenly ripped away? What if your talents vanished, your passions erased? That's what happened to Jason McDonald when a traumatic brain injury at 16 ravaged his planned destiny of becoming a doctor. Jason painfully rebuilt his ind and body from scratch - relearning to read, write, even speak. 

     A serendipitous discovery of coding ignited a new passion within Jason. He dove into the world of Python, even writing a popular programming book. His is a story of the incredible resilience of the human spirit when faced with life-altering challenges. One that calls us to embrace our own vulnerabilities as gateways to growth.


    2 January 2024, 11:00 am
  • 46 minutes 17 seconds
    Story - From 486 to Vue.js: Evan You's Full-Time Gamble on Open Source

    From the early days of exploring creative possibilities on a 486 computer in his childhood to developing one of today's most popular web frameworks, Evan You's journey is a tale of passion and innovation.    Evan started Vue.js while working at Google, just wanting to scratch his own itch for a lightweight JavaScript framework. But soon Vue started to gain a huge following. 

    Eventually Evan then faced a tough dilemma - should he take a leap of faith and devote himself fully to his fledgling open source project?

    Hear Evan's firsthand story of that key career transition. How the explosive user feedback at Vue conferences gave him confidence. But also the challenges he faced by putting himself directly in the line of fire from unhappy users.

    It's an inspiring journey - from a developer just trying to solve his own problems to the leader of one of today's most popular web frameworks. Hear the very human story behind Vue.js.


    4 December 2023, 11:00 am
  • 48 minutes 36 seconds
    Story: Platform Takes The Pain

    How did Spotify scale from 10 engineers to 100s to 1000s ...without slowing down? Without becoming corporate? 

    Facing an IPO deadline, Pia Nilsson worked with 300 teams to transform how Spotify built software. She spearheaded a movement that led them from working in silos to a unified developer platform. 

    Hear the inside story of how Spotify's Platform teams embraced transparency and customer focus to create Backstage — now used by companies worldwide. 

    It's an amazing tale of ingenuity and perseverance. Hear Spotify's secret to scaling engineering without losing speed and independence. Don't miss it!


    2 November 2023, 10:00 am
  • 51 minutes 50 seconds
    Story: Sloot Digital Coding System

    Lost treasure. Conspiracy theories. Impossible tech demos. 

    Jan Sloot claimed to have invented revolutionary data compression that could fit a full movie into a tiny smart card chip. Top executives and investors witnessed his demos and became true believers, ready to bankroll this company into the stratosphere. 

    But was it all an elaborate illusion? 

    Join me as I unravel the perplexing story of Jan Sloot, the eccentric Dutch TV repairman who dazzled the tech world with his compression claims. 

    Discover the shady details and follow the bizarre twists and turns, as we try to separate fact from fiction in the puzzling case of the Sloot Digital Coding System. 


    2 October 2023, 10:00 am
  • 42 minutes 53 seconds
    Story: Configuring Identity: Adam Jacob and the Search for Self in Software

    Today, we go behind the scenes at Chef - the game changing infrastructure automation tool. Adam Jacob created Chef, and it became a massively popular DevOps tool. But despite Chef's success, Adam constantly battled self-doubt and finding his footing as a leader. 

    In this raw episode, Adam shares how the pressure of going from sysadmin to startup CEO caused an identity crisis. He opens up about the motivational speech that left him in tears, realizing his self-worth was too tied to Chef's outcomes. 


    1 September 2023, 10:00 am
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