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When it comes to technology, you may have questions. So do we. Every other week, we demystify the tech industry, one answer at a time. Join us as we bring together a chorus of perspectives from within Red Hat to break down the big, emerging ideas that matter both today and beyond. Compiler is hosted by Angela Andrews and Brent Simoneaux. Learn more about our show at

Episode Date
The Web Developer And The Presence

Web development has changed a lot over the years. And for startups, it’s a necessity, at least for marketing and securing capital. But digital strategy and product strategy don’t have to be separate. They can be considered as two parts of a company’s approach to growth. 

The company, its business activities and its employees depicted in this podcast are fictional and are not intended to represent or depict any current or former business organization or any individuals living or dead. Any resemblance to any individual or organization is purely coincidental.

Mar 30, 2023
The Product Manager And The Loop

When building out an application, it can be hard to decide what needs attention, and what can wait. Maintenance is important, but development teams also want to add new features for customers. So they have to choose, and not everyone agrees. A product manager can help break the impasse. Good ones bring in customer feedback while providing teams with focus and direction. The result is a cycle that informs contributors on what’s working, what’s not working, and what future successes can look like. 

The company, its business activities and its employees depicted in this podcast are fictional and are not intended to represent or depict any current or former business organization or any individuals living or dead. Any resemblance to any individual or organization is purely coincidental.

Mar 16, 2023
The Sysadmin And The Script

System(s) Administrators don’t get enough credit. They set up systems. Maintain them. Make sure everything follows security best practices. All while having to know code and infrastructure and looking out for crises. And if you think you can automate away their jobs, you’re in for a surprise: They can do it better and continue to make other valuable contributions to your company. 

The company, its business activities and its employees depicted in this podcast are fictional and are not intended to represent or depict any current or former business organization or any individuals living or dead. Any resemblance to any individual or organization is purely coincidental.

Mar 02, 2023
The Designer And The Blueprint

Design can be a powerful tool. But where, and how, does it start when building software? And how can it drive a company’s growth? Through intentional, proactive processes and documentation, design can be a monumental force in development, discovery and problem solving. The company, its business activities and its employees depicted in this podcast are fictional and are not intended to represent or depict any current or former business organization or any individuals living or dead. Any resemblance to any individual or organization is purely coincidental.

Feb 16, 2023
The Architect And The Toolbox

There are many kinds of architects in the tech industry. While they don’t draw building schematics, they do put together blueprints for programs, systems, networks. What does it take to effectively build solutions to technical problems? And how do you learn those skills? 

Grabbing tools out of a box and assembling them into a working whole is the starting point. Architects consider a customer’s needs and how those are affected by the particular combinations. And as it turns out, keeping an eye on available tools has some pivotal advantages.

Feb 02, 2023
The CTO And The Vision

A Chief Technology Officer needs to be an expert in technology. That much is clear. But what does a CTO actually do every day? What outcomes are they responsible for? And how can others help them achieve those goals? 

The CTO and the Vision is the first episode in Compiler’s series on tech careers. We call it Re:Role. We launch a fictional startup that needs to expand its team as it grows. But before we hire, we need to understand when it makes sense to add another role, what it is the people in those jobs need to accomplish—and how they fit into the company structure. 

The company, its business activities and its employees depicted in this podcast are fictional and are not intended to represent or depict any current or former business organization or any individuals living or dead. Any resemblance to any individual or organization is purely coincidental.

Jan 19, 2023
From CodeNewbie: The new wave of frontend developer tools are on their way
Compiler is on a holiday break and will return in January 2023—but we're sharing an episode made by our friends at CodeNewbie that we think you'll like: To welcome back our show for Season 22, we talk with a familiar face to the CodeNewbie Podcast, Chris Ferdinandi. Chris is the author of the Vanilla JS Pocket Guide series and the creator of the Vanilla JS Academy training program. On today's episode, Chris talks about what he's learned since coming on the show in 2020, how he sees the future of frontend development evolving over the next few years, and what tools might help in your next job search. Check out the CodeNewbie site for complete show notes and more episodes:
Dec 08, 2022
Building A Common Language

While working in a software stack, IT professionals may have to bridge gaps in practical knowledge, institutional knowledge, and communication. Teams may be located in different countries or backgrounds, and may even work in different areas of the stack.

 The practice of building software is deeply technical, but it’s also deeply human. In the final episode of Stack/Unstuck, we discuss how bridging gaps in communication and expertise helps teams come together from across a software stack to build something great. 

The Compiler team would like to thank everyone they spoke with in the making of Stack/Unstuck. Earlier in this series, we mentioned how building software was like building a house. One of our guests, Ryan Singer, made a great video where he discusses the similarities. Check out his explanation here. 

And to check out what David Van Duzer and his team are up to, you can visit the Open Up official webpage.

Nov 10, 2022
Testing, PDFs, And Donkeys

We reach our penultimate episode for Stack/Unstuck, and arrive on the topic of testing. Testing isn’t necessarily part of any technology stack, but it is a vital part of building software. Sometimes, it can feel like testing is an afterthought, or just a box for busy coders to tick once completed.

We hear from our guests about how testing doesn’t need to be saved for a curtain call. It can have a starring role when identifying problems within different components of a software stack. And as we include it more in discussions and planning, and as we start thinking about it earlier in development cycles, testing can further an application’s potential, and help teams build software better.

Oct 27, 2022
The Overlooked Operating System

The operating system wars are over. We’re still left with Windows, Linux, and MacOS—along with Android and iOS. Many argue that there’s little left to accomplish with the bottom of the software stack. But work on the OS is far from over. 

The kernel and user space provide the literal foundation for the rest of the software stack. Drivers, networking, and countless other features are abstracted away as common resources so the other layers of the stack can focus on their own functions. So when the overlooked layer gets an upgrade, it can really make a difference.

Oct 13, 2022

Writing data is easy. You take in the information and put it away for future use. It’s remembering exactly what you wrote and where you put it that’s the challenge. Just like having to look for your keys as you try to rush out the door, getting that data quickly makes all the difference. And when your database is your bestie, it can serve that information faster than you could imagine. 

Getting a database into shape takes specialized skills. From planning and development to maintenance and rebuilding, it’s a layer of the stack that needs constant attention and evaluation. It can be a performance booster—or an efficiency bottleneck. What does it take to keep your database and the information it stores available to the stack?

Sep 29, 2022
Frameworks And Fundamentals

Frameworks exist to make building apps easier, and there are a lot to choose from. We hear from one long-time Java developer about his passion project, an app designed to remind users of important deadlines and appointments. We explore his app’s framework—how he chose it, and how things changed along the way.

While they are there to help developers build applications very quickly, frameworks shouldn’t be seen as a salve or a substitute for basic knowledge. When things go awry, that’s when knowing the fundamentals can help, whether you are building applications on your own, or working on a larger team.

Sep 15, 2022
The Fractious Front End

Front-end development can be complex—and that means a front-end developer’s skills are essential, albeit constantly shifting. But a humble web search can produce various memes and jokes about how the front end isn’t as much of an endeavor as other parts of an application can be. 

Expanding knowledge beyond one’s area of the software stack can strengthen the skills they have, but negative perceptions can become a barrier to building those necessary relationships. As communities and companies grow, though, attitudes can begin to change. How can front-end developers communicate their expertise to their peers, and learn new talents along the way?

Sep 01, 2022
The Great Stack Debate

The software stack is like an onion. Or a sheet cake. Or lasagna. Or is it? It’s often described as having layers that sit on top of each other. The reality is much more complicated—and learning about it can help any tech career. 

The Great Stack Debate is the first episode in Compiler’s series on the software stack. We call it Stack/Unstuck. We explore each layer of the stack, what it’s like to work on them, and how they come together into a whole application. 

Aug 18, 2022
Are Big Mistakes That Big Of A Deal? Part 2

Mistakes are part of growth. If we’re lucky, we’re in an environment where they’re not punished harshly. That lets us fix the problem, learn to do better, and move on—but also to tell the story once the sting has passed.

Last episode, we heard three stories of people blundering into trouble and coming out the other side a little bit wiser. This episode adds three more stories of mistakes being made—but the culprit isn’t always as clear.

Jul 07, 2022
Are Big Mistakes That Big Of A Deal?

Oops. We all make mistakes. Most of the time, they’re small enough no one notices. But every now and then, we do something that makes us break into a cold sweat. The “Oops” becomes a curse, desperate pleas—or horrified silence as we process what just happened. In the moment, they’re panic-inducing. But once the dust settles, are those big mistakes that big of a deal?

On this episode of Compiler, we hear three stories of people who wish they had an easy undo button. But making those mistakes taught them all something important—and changed how they do their jobs. Because those big mistakes end up being valuable lessons for the rest of their careers.

Jun 23, 2022
How Does Data Help Shape Movies?

Movies are culturally important. They transform language and communication. Motion pictures present fantasy worlds we can get lost in, helping us understand the world differently. Discussing data and movies can make the fantasy seem…a little less fantastic. It can feel sterile, mass produced, and devoid of imagination. 

But data is vital, both for those behind the camera and those sitting in theaters (or at home). This episode will cover some ways data science and machine learning can inform filmmaking, from conception to post-production.

Jun 09, 2022
How Do We Make Updates Less Annoying?

Updates. They take time out of your day and your devices out of commission. That’s about the extent of it for an end user. But for organizations? Updating their systems is a big deal. And forgoing regular updates is a recipe for disaster. 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” isn’t a good option for enterprise IT. Your system may keep running but if you haven’t updated in awhile, you may be missing some stability and performance improvements—and probably some security patches too. Regularly updating is a good habit. How do we make it less annoying?

May 26, 2022
When Should Data Die?
We have a finite time on earth. But the data we generate? It can last much, much longer. We have limited control over what happens to our data during our lives. And while you might not care about anything when you’re gone, you and your loved ones might have an interest in how your information is used after you pass. So we wondered: When should data die? It’s a tricky question. In the digital age, individuals generate mountains of data over their lifetimes. But who has the right to decide whether that data remains, or when it is deleted? How should IT organizations handle their datasets given the complexities of privacy, legacy, and ownership that they need to consider?
May 12, 2022
How Bad Is Betting Wrong On The Future?

Technologists are often asked to make decisions based on future industry advancements—or basically, things that haven’t happened yet. It’s already difficult to choose the right path for a project without the pressure to be clairvoyant. But everyone wants to feel like they are leading the pack on the next big thing. 

What do we need to know to make a good prediction for where technology is headed? Alternatively, what do we need to know to avoid the wrong choice? We speak to experts in the DevOps space about betting wrong on the future, how development projects go awry, and what teams can do to get things back on track. 

Apr 28, 2022
Are We As Productive As We Think?

We live in what some call a “distraction economy.” There are countless messages, emails, tickets, bugs to fix, and meetings to attend. For those who have to build software, platforms, and services, as well as those who maintain them and keep them running, it can be difficult to decide what to focus on first. 

The immense pressure to be productive is challenging to balance with passion projects, personal responsibilities, or just with the need to rest. Our team spoke with tech-minded creators in the productivity space on how to achieve full focus, and how to make time for work, relaxation, and creativity. 

We would love to see you (virtually) at Red Hat Summit. Register for the virtual experience of Red Hat Summit at

Apr 14, 2022
Who's Afraid Of Compilers?

It’s about time we asked a question about compilers. It’s been a scary proposition. Compilers have a reputation for density, complexity, and a fair bit of mysticism. But when we looked into them, we learned they’re really just like any other program. So we wondered: Who’s afraid of compilers? 

In this episode of Compiler, we start to break down the reputation by opening up the black box. What do compilers do? How do they work? And what can you gain by learning more about the inner workings of compilers?

Mar 31, 2022
How Do Roads Become Smarter?
Traffic jams and congested streets are an annoyance many people have to endure. Turns out, the same technology keeping us constantly connected—the Internet of Things—can also improve how we move people and things from place to place. But what are the considerations for technologists? Connectivity can’t be the only piece of the puzzle. Smart road technology can make travel safer, easier, and more efficient. But how can it make travel enjoyable?
Mar 17, 2022
What Do Kids Learn When They Learn About Tech?

Computer literacy is supposedly coming naturally to younger generations who seem to be born with smartphones in their hands. But there’s a difference between tech familiarity and actually knowing how technology works. And when kids learn about the wide world of IT, what else are they learning? 

Kids know tech is everywhere. In this episode of Compiler, we spoke to middle school, high school, and college educators about what it is their students are hoping to learn—and what skills they pick up on the way.

Mar 03, 2022
Command Line Heroes Presents: Relentless Replicators

Hey listeners—we’ve got something different for you to try. If you enjoyed our Caturday episode and want more stories about security, we think you’ll like Season 9 of Command Line Heroes. It’s Red Hat’s tech history show, and this new season is all about malware. Here’s the first episode:

Computer viruses and worms haunt the internet. They worm their way into a system, replicate, and spread again. It’s a simple process—with devastating consequences. But there’s a whole industry of people that rose up to fight back. 

Craig Schmugar recalls how he and his team responded to MyDoom, one of the fastest-spreading worms ever. Dr. Nur Zincir-Heywood reveals the inner workings of viruses and worms, and how they draw their names from the world of biology. And security expert Mikko Hypponen shares advice on avoiding malware. But he also warns that we’re in an arms race against malware developers.

Feb 24, 2022
How Can Memes Improve Security?

Memes are goofy. They’re easily recognizable. And they’re often used to make a point. So it’s no wonder that people on both sides of the InfoSec community are not only familiar with memes, but often use them in their endless games of cat and mouse. Consequently, memes are often a sign of a breach of security. Because there’s little as satisfying as leaving a meme as proof of your security prowess. 

On this episode of Compiler, we hear from a couple of Red Hatters who rose to an unusual security challenge. And while intentions were good, the memes could have easily been something much more nefarious.

Feb 17, 2022
Can Kubernetes Help People Find Love?

Valentine’s Day is a time for roses, candy, wine, and time with that special someone. And more than ever, people are meeting their romantic partners through dating apps and websites. These apps have different features, and can vary in user experience. What technology can meet the unique demands of those looking for love across cultures, time zones, and even across oceans?

In this episode of Compiler, our team goes on a date with Kubernetes to discover how container orchestration speaks to the needs of a constantly-growing user base. From thoughts on scalability, on through to testing and deployment, we hear from those who swipe right on Kubernetes.

Feb 03, 2022
How Should We Handle Failure?

In tech, there's a lot of pressure to keep things running smoothly. That makes even a small mistake or a brief outage seem disastrous. When people fail at something, they can experience many different emotions: Anger, regret, or even fear. In this episode of Compiler, Jen Krieger and 2019 TED Fellow Dr. Erika Hamden join us to discuss how we should handle failure, and how teams and individuals can benefit from processing it safely and effectively. 

Compiler is all about asking questions. And we've got some for you—our audience. Help us compile your thoughts about the show by filling out our survey at

Jan 20, 2022
Mailbag: Managers, Technical Debt

Since the debut of Compiler, our team has posed a few interesting questions, and the answers have gotten people talking. Do the words ‘manager’ and ‘leader’ mean the same thing? How can technical debt become more complex, outside of team areas of responsibility? 

We revisit some of our past topics on the show and let others weigh in on what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what we may have missed on the first pass. 

Want to learn more about Jeff Walter’s work? Pay a virtual visit the Atmospheric Data Science Center or

Jan 06, 2022
What's The Recipe For Burnout?

Working on a popular open source project can be demanding. Just ask the maintainers on GitHub’s ReadME podcast. In a special episode of Compiler, we teamed up with ReadME’s Brian Douglas to learn more about the challenges open source maintainers face—and investigate why burnout seems to be so prevalent in the industry. 

Burnout’s always going to be a problem. But we can still try to avoid it. To do so, we wanted to understand the recipe for burnout: what factors could we identify that seem to bring it about? This episode’s guests share their own experiences and bring the weight of academic research to uncover the reasons too many of our beloved maintainers burn out.

Dec 09, 2021
How Are Tech Hubs Changing?

Start-ups. Newly affluent neighborhoods. Overpriced coffee shops. Tech hubs evoke a lot of imagery, opinions, and emotions. Traditionally, if someone wanted a career in tech, they had to make the move to one of these cities. The influx of new people and new ideas into a city can cause shifts in discourse, culture, and power. After all, technology can transform people, and it can transform places, too. 

But things are starting to change. In this episode of Compiler, we unwrap what has made tech hubs into spaces of collaboration and creativity, and how that energy can alter cities over time. Lastly, we speak to a few of the change-makers who are thinking outside of the physical and social dimensions we’ve come to associate with innovation.

Nov 25, 2021
Why Should You Write Technical Documentation?

We’ve all encountered technical documentation: Readmes, product manuals, and how-to guides, to name a few. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are less than helpful. Open source communities often need more people to write and update their projects’ documentation—but it’s not an easy task. So why not help out?

In this episode of Compiler, we find out why everyone should write at least a little bit of technical documentation. We speak to people who contributed to documentation to help, to learn, and even to start their careers in open source.

If you want to get involved with Fedora—technical writing included—check out

Nov 11, 2021
How Do We Mentor The Next Generation Of IT Leaders?

New tech graduates enter the workforce every year. What generational differences and unique challenges will these younger professionals face? Mentorship is essential to make the transition into enterprise IT, regardless of where a person worked before. But it’s not always clear what mentees need, or what would be most beneficial for them. 

In this episode of Compiler, we speak to people about what makes a good mentor, how learning can go both ways, and what is most meaningful in mentoring relationships.

Oct 28, 2021
Do We Still Need Strong Copyleft Licenses?

It’s a good idea to understand the open source licenses governing the projects you use. Luckily, it’s less daunting than you may think. We start with the very basics of copyright and move to open source and the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses—and how they govern the world of open source software. 

But we learn how these distinctions may not be as relevant as they once were. The landscape of tech is changing. Developer culture isn’t what it used to be—and neither is how we consume software. On this episode of Compiler, we ask: Do we still need strong copyleft licenses?

Oct 14, 2021
Can Superstitions Solve Technical Problems?

We all know not to walk under a ladder. Or break a mirror. Or do anything that may incur the wrath of the paranormal. Superstitions linger, even in places you may not expect. The devices, software, and general technology we use every day spring from the progression of science. But that doesn’t stop us from coming up with new superstitions. 

From blowing into cartridges to waving cell phones in the air, we’ve come up with some fixes that technically don’t make a lot of sense. This week on Compiler, we ask a few people from tech support whether superstitions have a useful role in solving our technical difficulties.

Sep 30, 2021
Do We Want a World Without Technical Debt?

Software development teams often reach a crossroads. Should they perform maintenance and address bug issues, or add new features to satisfy users? The former isn’t as exciting, but sometimes the most important work is invisible to those who reap the benefits.

For now, the project has been released, and everyone wants to celebrate. But there’s an elephant in the room, one that teams can ignore—at least, for a while. This week on Compiler, we unpack the concept of technical debt, and wonder if there is a world where it doesn’t exist. 

Sep 16, 2021
What Are Tech Hiring Managers Looking For?

Interviewing for a job is often a stressful process. Most people don’t enjoy the inherent judgment involved. Being prepared helps—but what exactly are you preparing for? There isn’t a single interview process that covers the whole tech industry, not even for technical positions alone. But they do have elements in common. 

Whiteboard exercises and verbal pseudocode help reveal basic coding ability. But that’s not the only point of those interviews. In this episode of Compiler, we learn about the hiring process from the perspective of applicants and the hiring managers who evaluate them—and the qualities beyond technical knowledge they take into consideration.

Sep 02, 2021
What Can Video Games Teach Us About Edge Computing?

From button-mashing brawlers to massive battle royales, there’s a lot of fun to be had in online gaming. That is, if players’ connections are reliable. If you’ve ever dealt with input delay, or wrestled with lag, you know how important a quality connection is in online gaming. But with edge computing on the horizon, what impact might there be on how we play? 

The internet, as we’ve explored in past seasons of Command Line Heroes, is a patchwork of international agreements and varying infrastructure. But there’s something coming to change the ways we connect. In this episode of Compiler, we explore what edge computing could mean for people who enjoy video games, and what this form of entertainment could teach us about the technology. 

Aug 19, 2021
Should Managers Code?

Becoming a manager can be a triumphant milestone of working life. It’s often a recognition of leadership and, in the tech industry, technical skill. Many argue those skills necessarily become casualties to the management track. But it’s hard to let go of your creative side to make room for managing others. Can they do both? Should managers code? It’s an old question that never seems to receive a clear answer. 

From the Red Hat offices to the moons of Jupiter, Compiler explores why it’s such a complex issue. We spoke with Red Hatters who are vocal about what role, if any, managers have in the code base—and why they fight to keep their hands on keys for as long as they can. 

Aug 05, 2021
Introducing Compiler

From the creators of Command Line Heroes, our new original show unravels tech topics both big and bizarre. Join hosts Angela Andrews and Brent Simoneaux as they discuss the things that move technology forward, today and beyond. Compiler premieres August 2021. Find out more at

Apr 13, 2021