Marie and I jump on the show to tell y’all we’re taking a little break! It feels like years since we’ve been eluding to the fact that we’re working on a new major upgrade to CodePen. Rather than keep dancing around it, we’re going to minimize or remove working on anything that isn’t working on that. We can’t wait to come back for episode 401 and tell you all about it.
- 00:14 Welcome
- 00:56 What’s happening with CodePen Radio?
- 02:13 Early days of CodePen Radio
- 04:43 Sponsorship simplified
- 07:20 Sponsor: Split.io
- 08:06 Documenting the history of CodePen through the podcast
- 10:35 Funny stories from past episodes
- 13:34 The next phase of CodePen
- 15:19 Thanks for listening
This podcast is powered by Split. The Feature Management & Experimentation Platform that reimagines software delivery. By attaching insightful data to feature flags, Split frees you to quickly deploy, measure, and learn the impact of every feature you release. So you can safely deliver features up to 50 times faster and exhale. What a Release.
Start raising feature flags (and lowering stress). Visit Split.io/CodePen for a free trial.
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Announcer: Today, on CodePen Radio.
Chris Coyier: Hey, everybody!!!
Marie Mosely: Oh, Chris!
Chris: It's CodePen Episode #400.
Chris: That might have clipped a little bit. Sorry about that.
Marie: Maybe. I warned you.
Chris: Marie is here. You already know that, everybody.
Marie: Hey, everyone.
Chris: We both have hosted this podcast for periods of time.
Chris: This is episode 400, so it's momentous, in a way.
Marie: It is.
Chris: That's a huge number, especially a show that you only do weekly. That's roughly eight years. Probably a little longer because I would think we skip some weeks here and there. Yeah?
Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Chris: Which kind of extends the life of the 400, in a way. It's not going away forever, everybody. Please leave it subscribed in your podcatcher.
But in the upcoming weeks, there won't be any. Episode 401 will be a cool, big announcement where we talk about all the new stuff we're doing at CodePen.
The thing is, we've been alluding to big, new, cool stuff that we're doing at CodePen forever.
Chris: For a couple of years on this show, and there's always stuff to talk about. We can talk generally about programming and business choices and the cool things our community make and abstract stuff like working remotely and all that. It's fun.
I can't help but feel a little hamstrung occasionally by not talking about the actual thing that we're coding with our fingers. You know what I mean?
Chris: That was really the core of the show, intentionally, was supposed to be this totally raw, like we're going to talk about everything that we're doing, so it's almost like this history of running a company. And it has changed a little bit over the years, and I feel like it's not quite that anymore because of how much stuff we can't talk about.
Marie: Yeah. Also, because we're not a brand-new startup anymore. The very beginning of the show, which is the three original cofounders, is all about starting up a company. And so, yeah, the show changed a whole lot as CodePen grew.
Chris: Yeah. It just changed, which is absolutely 100% fine. Those early shows... And I think you even wrote one through 61.
Chris: If you really care to research what it felt like and sounded like to start a company during those years, that's probably pretty accurate stuff. Then 62, you joined.
Marie: Yeah, that's when I come on the scene.
Chris: That's a big deal.
Chris: I mean you were literally hired, so I guess you're a podcaster now, too. [Laughter]
Marie: Yeah. Well, that's how it's always been with CodePen. You join and you get an intro podcast episode, and then, yeah, you could be drawn into the podcast any time.
Marie: Especially if whoever is running the podcast has an emergency. [Laughter]
Chris: Yeah. Indeed. Because there would be some weeks where we're just really busy, and we're like, "Oh, yeah. We do that podcast thing."
You know it's funny and true. Also, part of the truth of why we need to take a little hiatus is because I don't need that right now. I don't want to wake up on a day and be like, "Well, we're working on this really important new thing but got to make a podcast."
Chris: I freakin' love podcasting. I can't wait to have this hiatus be over and be talking about those other things. It's part of my freakin' soul, I feel like, at this point. But I can't have--
It literally is a distraction and slows down other things when I have to do that, and you have to make that tradeoff, like, is this podcast worth more than the time I'm investing in the big new thing? That math lately has worked out to be like, no, it's not. I cannot be distracted anymore.
That's been something going on behind the scenes a lot is we need to stop with the distractions. That is tricky, tricky, tricky.
Marie: Yeah, because also a podcast episode is not just the person that's hosting the podcast. You've got to pull somebody--
Marie: --off of what they're doing to talk to you about something, and it's not just that you turn on the microphone and start talking. You've got to plan out an episode. You have to have a reason that you have a podcast episode, so that means they've got to think about it, too. They've got to take time off of what they're doing, which in most cases is developing CodePen.
Yeah, it's not just something that one person has to worry about. It's a multi-person thing, and you've got to schedule it. You've got to record it. People have got to have their voice ready to talk on the air - all that. There's a lot.
Chris: Yeah. Yeah. You've got to edit it.
Traditionally, there's been advertisers on the show. Now, this show is on hiatus all told, but when we come back, there won't be any more advertisers on the show. That was also a bit of a distraction.
Chris: It worked in my world when I still owned CSS-Tricks, and there was something about putting together a cross-site package of ads that I found highly effective over my years of doing that.
You talk to a brand or whatever - a company. It's weird to say brand, but whatever. You say, "I'll put you on this newsletter and this podcast and this podcast and these display ads and all that." It sounds good. It sounds like you get a lot of stuff.
I feel like advertisers have this thing in their head. They know, "Hey, if somebody sees one ad one place, that's usually not effective. You've got to hit them." It's like the third time people see something like that is when they might act upon it.
When they see, "Oh, there's a package," man did that sell well. That's less of a thing because I don't own CSS-Tricks anymore. ShopTalk Show is going to go ad-free, except for me and Dave. Dave is talking about his thing, Luro, and I'm talking about my thing, CodePen. Just because that's kind of a distraction, too, having to wake up and do an ad for some company. It's just a little bit of a time suck.
And I loved those years, and it was an important part of our business strategy for a while. Less so now, so no ads when we come back (on this show as well).
But you can see, you know, Marie was painting a picture of how much time can go into this thing. It's not just these few seconds talking into a microphone. It's all kinds of other stuff, too.
We get some free time back in which that we're going to invest specifically in the new editor. Well, yeah, I said it - new editor. Right? That's what the project is, essentially. No details on what that is and means exactly, but it's kind of a CodePen 2.0, we'll say.
Chris: We need to put the time into that, any time we can get back out of that, because it's big and it's hard. In a sense, it's risky - and all those things. If you don't take care of time sucks, we'll never get it done. We've been working so hard on it for so long.
It's just HUGE in scale is the thing.
Marie: That's true, and we all need the headspace back.
[Guitar music starts]
Chris: This podcast is brought to you by Split, the feature management experimentation platform. What if a release was exactly how it sounds, a moment of relief? Ah... An escape from slow, painful deployments that hold back product engineers.
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[Guitar music ends]
Chris: All right, so that's that. What about the history of this show, to some degree? What else has happened?
We know the very early episodes are documenting what it's like to get the company up off the ground.
Marie: Yeah, and I was an early listener, which makes it kind of funny to me that I've been on the show a lot since then because I listened in the early days.
Marie: I was thinking, "I would like to work on that team," and so that's kind of part of the reason why I decided to reach out when I did and ended up with the job that I'm in now is because I listened to the founders talking about the vision for the company and just working together. And that all sounded cool to me. So, to me, those were inspirational videos -- not videos, audio podcasts.
Marie: They inspired me to join the team so, to me, they're very special, and they're also super interesting. I've listened to some of the older ones recently, and it is super interesting to get that early insight.
Then after that, like we were talking about earlier, is the beginning of the team intro shows, and I'm the first one because I'm technically the first hire. Then after that, it's all of the original, you know, first-round team, and so it's a lot of fun to listen to those, too, to listen to all of us super excited at the very beginning as we were joining up. It's a good time, so that's early days CodePen.
Then over time, the show grew. We talked about more stuff.
Eventually, I actually hosted it for a while.
Marie: I forget which years they were, but I hosted the show for probably like 80 episodes, something like that, and so there's my era.
Chris: Oh, that's funny because you were trying to guess how many shows you've been on. You're on the ones that you hosted, for sure, 75-80.
Marie: And then I'm on a bunch of others.
Chris: Then it turns out, double that number, really.
Marie: Yeah. I'm on like 180-something episodes total, like when there's everything that I got onto, you know, just joined in on the episode or hosted it myself. Yeah, I'm in here a lot. You're in there more, but you're the only one who has me beat.
Chris: Yeah. Probably, I don't know, it would be more than 80%, I'm sure.
Marie: Got to be. Yeah.
Chris: Even when you hosted, I was on a lot.
Marie: You were on, yeah, a lot of the time. So, the two of us, really, this has been a show that we've worked on together a whole lot.
Marie: But there are some real fun ones back in the back catalog. Honestly, there are cool episodes all throughout, but there are a couple of funny ones that I just thought would be fun to talk about. Little anecdotes from the old days. [Laughter]
The reason I was laughing at Chris at the beginning of this show with his big, "Hey, everybody!" was that we had a technical issue with a "Hey, everybody" one time that was so bad, we had to rerecord the show.
Marie: This was episode 93. It's back from 2016. It's me and Chris and Rach, who is on the team now, and Tim Holman, who was one of the early team members. We were getting on to talk about making picks on CodePen, which is something we were all into.
Holman was a real good picker. He was right neck-and-neck with me back in the old days.
Marie: And so, this was back when we used to record on QuickTime where we would do a countdown (three, two, one) and we would all hit record, which is very old-fashioned. We do it now in -- what is this -- Riverside, which is a much smoother way to record a podcast.
Anyway, we were all supposed to count down, "Three, two one," and then press record. And Chris just gets on and blasts out this "Hey, everybody," that blows out all the speakers and everything, and Tim Holman, after being startled from that big, huge, "Hey, everybody," accidentally hit the button again and turned his recording off because he was so jolted by the noise. [Laughter]
Marie: We ended up having to re-record that whole episode because he didn't notice until way far in. That is actually take two, that episode.
There are a couple in there that are take two episodes. Most of the time, we didn't say that it was. But we ran into that a couple of times.
Chris: I always found that so demoralizing, like, "Oh, my God."
Marie: It was. It was really take the wind out of your sails, or we would just sometimes have a false start and just be like, "All right. Scratch this. Let's start over." [Laughter] We had a couple of those too.
Marie: But then when we're talking about people's debut on the show, one of the things that I always thought was kind of funny was that Stephen Shaw -- who is on the team now and you would have heard recently on a couple of episodes -- was actually on the show before he joined the team. I had him on as part of the Keyframers, which was his Twitch streaming show that he did. I had him on episode 171. Then 20-something episodes later is his debut as a member of team CodePen, which is pretty cool. [Laughter] The show wasn't really part of it. We just knew he was doing interesting stuff.
Chris: Yeah, that's cool. That's a first. You know?
Marie: Yeah. Then on the flipside of that, we had Jake come back after he had moved on, so we've had people on before they joined the team and people on after they leave the team.
Chris: Yeah. Nice.
Marie: Jake was on. That was pretty recently. That was back in August, 380. Those are some fun ones to listen back to.
Chris: Jake. Hilarious.
Chris: Well, that's kind of the basic history of the show, in a way. Please... Thanks so much, everyone, who has listened so far. Again, I'm hesitant to sound like it's over because it's not.
Marie: Yeah. We're just going on hiatus.
Chris: Yeah. Reclaiming of the time a little bit and excited to come back and talk about the new stuff. It'll just be a different phase, you know, which makes you think about how that just is the nature of the beast with work sometimes.
Sometimes my work looks like this, and sometimes my work looks like this. Different, you know? It could be heavy coding or heavy marketing or heavy writing or heavy planning or heavy management.
It's almost an attractive concept of running a small business. Probably a lot or most people in the world whose work looks like this is just the same all the time.
Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Chris: If you cook steaks at Applebee's, as I used to do, what your work looks like is cooking steaks at Applebee's. You know? [Laughter]
Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah, you probably shouldn't be podcasting while you're doing that.
Marie: Got to watch that steak. [Laughter]
Chris: No. Unless you change roles significantly, your work just never changes.
Chris: I find it kind of attractive, really, is that I'm just never bored - ever.
Marie: I know that you're not going to stay away from the microphone for long. There's no way this hiatus is going to go a minute longer than it needs to.
Chris: Yeah! Yeah, that's absolutely right. I just can't wait to put on my dev rel hat - or whatever - and start talking about this new stuff.
Marie: Yeah. [Laughter]
Chris: But right now, I'm deep in some Go code being like, "Ooh... it needs to work like this and this, and close this ticket, and get a little closer to this milestone." And you know that's just what matters right now, in a way.
Again, a big thanks to all you listening. Also, thanks to Chris Enns, our editor.
Chris: For the vast bulk of editing this show. It's been huge because we do want it to be as close to just hit record and hit stop as possible, as a podcast, and he does a lot to make that happen. He records the show, gets those time stamps jumping. You know the ones that are like, "I'm going to jump to 17 minutes and 34 seconds in the show."
Chris: He puts those together while he's editing, which is a huge value add to the edit.
Marie: Yeah, and he's just been so great to work with. He's a lifesaver, really. We've had some real close calls, quick turnarounds, everything, and he's always been there for us.
Marie: Lots of appreciation for Chris Enns.
Chris: All right. Well, you know, keep speculating. Keep rubbing your hands together. If you happen to be listening this far into episode 400 and you absolutely know that you want in on the beta of this thing, you could just email us at email@example.com and say, "Put me on that list," and we will put you on that list so that you'll see it before anybody else sees it.
Marie: Yeah because there's a reason to be on that list. Pretty soon, we're going to be reaching out to people.
Marie: Asking people to join the list. But anybody who is on there first, obviously, you're going to hear first.
Chris: That's wonderful. Thanks, Marie, for all your work on this. It'll probably be Marie's and my voice hitting you in episode 401 on ??? day.
Marie: Either that, or we're going to train an AI to just spit it out for us.
Marie: We've got hundreds of episodes of our voices. Let's just do that. [Laughter]
Chris: Yeah. That's true. A custom model. [Laughter]
Chris: Oh, my God. It'll be like, "Notion, notion, notion, Go."
Marie: [Laughter] Yeah, right.
Chris: "Remote, Australia." [Laughter]
Marie: It'll just be a big, long sequence of me saying the phrase, "You know," over and over and over.
Marie: It's all it will be. [Laughter] All right, well, thanks for listening, everyone.
Chris: Fantastic! All right. See ya. Bye.
Marie: See you on the other side.
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