The Geek Joy Podcast

The Geek Joy Podcast, born in January 2016, is a place to talk about all the things that bring us joy, and some of the things that get in the way. Software, art, technology, empathy, fun hobbies, mindfulness... lots of interesting topics and people! It comes out Sunday.
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The Geek Joy Podcast

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Now displaying: January, 2016
Jan 25, 2016

Episode 2
Throwing a pebble into a pond… Who knows where all those ripples go?

With guest Pat Maddox of RubySteps


Alex Harms @onealexharms

Jason Felice @eraserhd

Pat Maddox @patmaddox

Tracy Harms @kaleidic


  • 2:28 “I like to use the term ‘nerd’. I’m a nerd. I wear that proudly.”
  • 3:24 “It’s like we’re all two year olds. You know how a two year old figures out they can change something… they have to take all the kleenex out of the box.”
  • 4:58 “It’s a throwing a pebble into a pond kind of thing, and who knows where all those ripples go.”
  • 7:47 “…Mike Hill, Geepaw Hill on Twitter.. was the first person I heard us (the term ‘geek joy’).”
  • 8:40 “all the girls had to take home ec. Yes, the 20th century really happened.”
  • 10:51 “It’s very nice when you can find somebody else who shares that particular interest… We can support each other in those interests…” (“I got this image of Rocky Horror in my head as you were talking about that.” – Alex)
  • 13:20 “Not that I have that kind of intense insight about something all the time. But those moments are golden. Just being able to understand what’s going on.”
  • 17:21 “Programmers really felt isolated, naturally. Because the difference between understanding a computer program and how that relates to the machine, and not understanding it, is a really binary sort of vision.”
  • 19:00 “I’m looking at this tweet from Kent Beck, where he says ‘Try treating programming as a learning activity that throws off running code as a by-product.’”
  • 21:24 “It was a teletype, and had this yellow paper that scrolled out of it…”
  • 22:23 “I was very good at taking things apart when I was a kid. And not so good at putting them back together”
  • 25:47 “…seeing the excitement on their face about something they just created and the new ideas that they have gets me really excited.”

Stuff we’re reading, watching, playing, listening to


“A whitepaper about a way of building regular expressions that was invented in, like, the late 60s and then forgotten about… I’m actually using… and it’s removing half the code.” (After recording, Jason remembered there were actually two he found interesting & wanted to share.)
Regular Expression Matching: the Virtual Machine Approach
Regular-expression derivatives re-examined (pdf)


Worm “a web serial called Worm, which I haven’t read it yet… It’s not really the kind of thing I would normally read, I think…”


Zettelkasten “Zettelkasten… I’ve used every note-taking tool over the years… It being based on plain text and IDs gives me plenty of opportunities to nerd out and write little tools…”

You can also sign up on Pat’s Zettelkasten page to get his guide for using it.


Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory “I find it inherently optimistic, and carrying the intent to enjoy the work… It fits in with my sense of geek joy… I think it’s explicit in that, and I appreciate that.” (“I love that book, so much.”–Pat)


Maple Leaf Rag, by Scott Joplin
Recorded and released into the public domain by Zachary Brewster-Geisz.

Jan 21, 2016

"Hi-Fivin the Universe"

With guest Mike "Geepaw" Hill of Helping Geeks Produce


Alex Harms @onealexharms

Mike Hill @geepawhill


  • 1:44 Astor Piazzolla, New Tango
  • 5:04 "Oh my gosh! They're pottery dorks!"
  • 6:12 "What makes you a nerd isn't what you love. It's how you love it." (Paraphrased Wil Wheaton)
  • 6:58 "I'm in it. I'm so engaged in it that I disappear from my own view."
  • 11:45 "being in fear feels to me like it stops up the works."
  • 13:40 "My focus is not on the fear."
  • 14:55 "When you push back in time on Jazz, all roads lead to Louis Armstrong."
  • 15:18 "Hello, Dolly!"
  • 18:05 "I'm just gonna stand up, and I'm gonna play the shit out of this! ... It comes through. You can hear that."
  • 22:10 "He's hi-fivin the universe. He's celebrating for the sheer exuberant joy of 'I'm alive, and I make sounds!'"
  • 24:03 "How do I get there? How do I do that? ... Here are the things that get in the way of geek joy..."


West End Blues, by Louis Armstrong